In the desolate wastes of Antarctica, under thick layers of ice and snow, forgotten by the world and only remembered in a few databases of the ancients: There lies Psilabs; a major research complex into the human psyche and the powers of the human mind.
Only rooms of essence will be covered in detail. General rooms will be mentioned, but it is left to the GMs discretion to flesh them out.
Founded in 2089 by Frederick Engels, the Psilabs Corporation was the world's primary psionics and mental abilities vendor during the 22nd century.
Psilabs specialized in harnessing the powers of the human mind. They were a special clinic that evaluated candidates and if they had the necessary talent; trained them in the powers of the human mind.
In the initial years, Psilabs was situated in the Swiss town of ChampÃ©ry in the Alps. A security breach in the early 22nd century resulted in the escape of a psychotic test subject, and the subsequent death of 23 ski tourists. Following the incident Psilabs was forced to relocate to Antarctica. No government wanted the facility on their soil, but they dearly wanted the finished agents that Psilabs produced.
Before entering the building,the PCs have to make their way through 3 meters of ice and snow before they find the rooftop of the buried research facility. The howling wind of the polar wastes will fill their ears, until they manage to find passage into the building.
J.S. Bach's Concertos Italiens is the first thing they will hear:
Concertos Italiens <-- Click to visit Youtube. Could not get embedding to work.
The second thing they will hear is the voice of Franziska, the consumer grade AI that controls the building.
'Welcome to Psilabs Corporation. It has been a while since our last visit, so please apologize for the state of the building', are the first words she will utter.
After a short while cleaningbots will begin to whirr around the PC's feet.
Remember that the facility is entombed in ice, and will be very cold at first. Furthermore the armored glass windows have cracks in them and resemble nothing more than icy walls (due to the ice and snow surrounding the building).
Franziska will also remind the PCs of the dwindling oxygen levels.
Kurt Engels is a level 4 psionic that has spent the last centuries in cryostasis in the Psilabs basement. He is being awakened by Franziska as the PCs enter the building, and he is severely mentally destabilized.
Kurt Engels is an adept telepath and a powerful telekinetic master with powerful telekinetic shields.
He is the reason everyone else in the facility is dead, their heads twisted 180 degrees around, looking backwards.
If the PCs somehow are able to make Kurt Engels talk, he will reveal that he is the owner of the facility - a direct descendant of Fredrick Engels, the founder of Psilabs. He will retell a tale of the days after the apocalypse, when Psilabs realized everyone else on the planet were dead and they were left alone down in antarctica. A decision was made and Kurt underwent several psionic inductions, trying to create a powerful enough psionic to escape the facility.
'But I discovered I like killing things more than I really like anything else', he will cackle.
Kurt is strong enough to crush a tunnel through the ice outside, or even psionically punch his way through the steel between the different floors.
The Elevator is the primary method of traveling between the floors, or from the rooftops to the building below. It is a platform elevator with a steel rail fence, and a broken control panel attached to that steel rail fence.
It can however be controlled by talking with Franziska.
At E3, the topmost floor (and rooftops), the elevator is shown beside the spaceship landingpad. When the elevator is on lower floors, all that is visible from the spaceship landingpad is a large sliding gate; now closed.
E2 - The Second Floor
As the elevator descends, Franziska's voice can be heard.
'Cryosleep suspended. Waking up subject A. Turning on building heat. Warning: Air ventilation system cannot be started. Suspected obstruction in the ventilation ducts.'
On the second floor the PCs will find the security room, the barracks, the Psi Induction chamber, a large meeting room (with lots of mutilated corpses) and a unisex toilet. The hallways are eerily empty, save for the whirring of cleaningbots.
The Security Room has recordings from the last 3 years, and some ancient logs. The barracks has a Telepathy Nullifier Device (Weighs a lot and needs to be carried by two men of average strength - Emits an ultrasonic signal that disrupts telepathic abilities in a 500 meter radius, but does not affect telekinesis in any way).
Important Room: Psi Induction Chamber
The Psi Induction Chamber is a very large room on the second floor. It is dominated by a huge water tank, with tubes and devices attached to and running from the tank to the floor. It is currently empty, except for a reddish fluid.
The Induction Tank can be used to unlock the inherent psionic abilities of a talented subject.
The subject will need to be submerged for a week, wearing an oxygen mask and being sedated by psychedelic drugs being delivered through one of the tubes. Every hour the subject will be subjected to a strong electrical current, while being exposed to the special chemical compound created by Psilabs.
The Induction Tank is fully stocked for 2 psionic inductions. If the PCs want to attemp to create more psionically enabled individuals, they have to go scavenging for supplies.
The second item of note in the Psi Induction Chamber is the Talent Sensor.
The Talent Sensor is a chair in which the individual subject needs to be strapped. It looks very much like the electrical chair, in fact, but it sends mild shocks through the subject while the machine reads the subjects' vitals while also monitoring brainwaves.
The Talent Sensor rates the subject from 0 to 5.
Almost all humans are 0, meaning no talent, while the gifted usually have 1.
Talents with 2 to 5 already possess mental abilities, with 4 and 5 possessing awe inspiring powers.
Note that psionic induction can trigger various degrees of psychosis in the test subject; hence the facility's remote location.
It is left up to the GM's discretion whether this affects the PCs in any way.
E1 - The First Floor
The rooms on the first floor are: Play Room, Store room, Shower and bathrooms, dining hall, kitchen, food cold storage, and the holding cells plus the supermax holding cell.
Room of Importance: Supermax holding cell
The supermax holding cell was where the most dangerous psionics were held when they broke the laws of the Psilabs Corporation. As the PCs open the solid metal door to the holding cell they will notice that the armored glass surrounding the cell has been cracked open, the steel bars have been bent and broken and the shackles inside have been burst.
They are witnessing the scene of Kurt Engels escape.
The play room has several means of entertainment; pool, blackjack, holographic television and also includes several secluded booths with virtual reality gear and virtual reality programs. These range from the educational to the sexual.
E0 - The Ground Floor
The ground floor is primarily made up of the reception area, with a grand overview of the Psionic Battle Dome, and the office-bedrooms that line the other side of the psionic battle dome. The only area of any real interest is the psionic battle dome.
The Psionic Battle Dome
This room is a large room filled with obstacles and curves. In many ways it somewhat resembles a modern day skating park. It used to be the primary training area for the psionics, and features a lot of holographic projectors.
This room is the place where Kurt Engels will chose to face the PCs, if he must.
However if he has the option to sneak past the PCs and steal their transportation, he would rather do that.
E-1 - Sublevel One
Sublevel one is a cold basement with only three rooms:
The snowmobile garage, the cryocoffin room and the power station.
The Cryocoffin room is where Kurt Engels have been in cryostasis since he killed the staff all those centuries ago, and he has ordered Franziska to wake him up whenever visitors next arrive.
The power room is a miniature nuclear powerplant, providing near endless energy for the facility.
In Bleakwood the PCs used their spaceship engines to melt the snow and ice over the landingpad. They initially found the facility in an old database while searching for effective countermeasures against psionic attacks.
They hacked into the security system, took the identity of a captain of the guard of Psilabs and thereby wrestled control of Franziska from Kurt Engels who now had to rely solely on his telekinetic powers (since they used the telepathic nullifier against him).
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? Responses (5)
Excellent. Were the PCs successful?
Yes. The group is aged 39, 18, 15 and 11. They have been playing for years and years, and due to their age I have had to be gentle on them. They have amassed quite a number of high tech artifacts, and Kurt Engels was dispatched by a crack shot of a laser pistol.
I did kill the PC of the 15 year old a couple of weeks ago, but the real life trauma that ensued was not fun to witness. There were tears, a mournful depression, not wanting to eat, and they found nanobots. Problem solved.
Yes, they play Bleakwood light. ;)
I like this quite a lot, the entire backstory of Kurt's escape, piecing through that, to find a powerful and demented psion, an oblivious AI, the setting.
Awesome adventure with a fun back story. Can see it being a perfect evening while playing the chosen music in the background (which I did as I read it).
(next version will allow embedding of most multimedia)
Anything that starts with 'In the desolate wastes of Antartica...' gets me excited. Great little adventure here! Reminiscent of modern paperback thrillers.