All these ships are similar in some way. But I like to think the Silver Trailfinder is unique, one of a kind. I’ve spent half my life on this flying machine.
Veteran explorers and globetrotters spend decades trying to discover more and more about the place they inhabit. They invest their health and their best years to bring new information to people. They are, fortunately, aware that their work and findings shall certainly outlive them. But a true truth-seeker cares little for this banality, what is important is to complete the chart, to finish the books and tomes, to expand mankind’s horizons.
This supplement takes the characters to a sci-fi ship, the Silver Trailfinder. This flying contraption belongs to a series of vessels called Trailfinders. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes; their technology goes back hundreds of years. The prototypes are today considered scientific jokes compared to the marvelous vessels that soar the sea of stars today. The Silver Trailfinder is a massive metallic sphere. It travels swiftly through the Astral Sea, always looking for new things to discover.
Trailfinders are either driven by a seasoned explorer with idealistic dreams, or by a bunch of pirates. This is common knowledge today. The clash of two of these ships is not an uncommon occurrence. Hence, all Trailfinders are either well-equipped to fight and eventually take over another vessel, or they feature the necessary parts to make a swift escape when danger appears.
Consider the following ideas to have the characters of your campaign get involved with this ship.
- Just a Job. The characters are hired by Captain Marvolo. They must accompany him to a faraway desert planet where he will exchange some goods with a client. The exchange goes south and the heroes must fight.
- A Hard Journey. Captain Marvolo knows his next journey through the Astral Sea might draw unwanted attention. He needs efficient bodyguards for this purpose.
- Getting a Ship. The characters want a ship of their own. They spot the Silver Trailfinder stationed on the plane they are now. Taking over the ship won’t be easy.
The Silver Trailfinder
Captain Marvolo owns an incredible ship. Despite its three-decade-old model, the Silver Trailfinder remains in optimal condition and its reinforced materials and pieces match the level of performance of the newest ships.
The giant sphere is divided into several levels and areas. Individual descriptions of the most important chambers of the ship are described below. The GM is free to come up with more areas and uses for this ship.
Features of the Ship
Shape. The Silver Trailfinder has a spherical shape. The bridge is located on the lower part, covered by a thick layer of reinforced steel shields.
Size. The Trailfinder has a diameter of 135 feet. Despite its shape, most chambers are square-shaped. The sphere’s walls contain the ship’s machinery, ventilation systems, computing apparatuses, secondary arcane batteries, and emergency storage supplies.
Speed. Trailfinders are not known for their speed. Small vessels and planar ships travel three times as fast. Still, they are fast enough to reach their destinations. The Silver Trailfinder is faster than others of its kind.
State. Captain Marvolo has done an incredible job maintaining the ship in optimal condition. No area of the Silver Trailfinder requires maintenance or work.
This is the ship’s center, a link to every area. The doors magically connect to any other area on the ship by inputting the destination in the adjacent control panel. Everywhere else, all doors lead back to the Nexus. Tables with protein-based food magically refill every 24 hours.
Captain Marvolo spends most of his time here monitoring his operations. The Silver Trailfinder has a crew of twenty-five good men and women. Eight people are posted at the bridge, and half of them are Marvolo’s officers, to command in his absence. Several monitors oversee most of the ship. The controls inform of any anomaly or events out of the ordinary within and outside the vessel.
There are enough parts and tools in here to tinker or build something. A small engineering team works here to develop weapons, artifacts, or useful tools for the ship.
Up to fourteen patients can be comfortably accommodated at the same time. However, there is only one doctor and an assistant at the ship’s hospital. The high-quality medical equipment on board makes up for this, though.
The captain sleeps next to his officers. Each of them enjoys a private room with some amenities. The area features a private restroom and showers for them.
The larger section of the crew is as loyal to their captain as any of the officers. They dream of a life of adventure. Most aspire to become an officer one day and work hard to stand out; or be the owner of an independent ship.
Kitchen / Dining
This area is open to everyone. The Silver Trailfinder’s crew does a great job keeping order in the kitchen, even if dozens and dozens of meals are prepared daily.
Only an expert could understand what goes on here. Trailfinders possess a complex, unique engine that allows them to travel long distances burning little fuel.
Captain Marvolo is proud of this part of his ship. It all started as a hobby. He found that he could harvest vegetables on the ship if the room possessed the right temperature and the right chemicals were added to the synthetic soil. After years of trial and error, he finally came up with a sustainable food source for himself and his crew. He saves money and space doing this.
This area processes wood and similar fibrous materials. It is small for a factory line; fine-tuned to the ship’s needs. They manufacture wooden beams, small wooden parts for construction, and sawdust. A team of six hard-working people operates this area during the day.
The bay is located at the sphere’s center. It mostly holds the goods crafted in the airwood processing area. The captain often transports all kinds of cargo from point A to point B. The cargo bay features two underground secret compartments (left of the cargo bay, see map).
The ship has a decent collection of books. There are treatises, tomes, and documents that pertain to most subjects. However, only the captain, three officers, and a pair from the rest of the crew make use of this office.
Even though the large crew lives on the ship, the restroom area remains in impeccable condition. Captain Marvolo does not tolerate messy places or filthy people.
The Silver Trailfinder features a shuttle-like vessel. It serves as an escape pod, and as a more practical means of transport when the captain requires to move around without moving the entire ship. The runabout’s bridge has seats for up to five people on the controls but one person can pilot the shuttle alone if needed.
Runabout’s Lower Decks
There are accommodations for five people on the shuttle’s lower deck. The main area features a kitchen, dining room, and recreational space next to the private rooms.
The options are endless when it comes to traveling through space. The GM is free to come up with new ideas or reasons to get the characters involved with Captain Marvolo and his ship, the Silver Trailfinder. Likewise, what occurs on this mission should not be the end of their dealings. The captain could be a future contact.
Consider the following if you chose any of the situations described above (see Adventure Ideas).
- Just a Job. The adventurers must defend Captain Marvolo and his goods at the exchange point. They are ambushed by an enemy criminal faction. After the confrontation, the captain offers the heroes a place on his ship. This might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
- A Hard Journey. The adventurers are ambushed by Astral Sea pirates with mithral weapons and mind powers. If the pirates are defeated, there will perhaps be a free ship for the taking. Or maybe Captain Marvolo perishes in battle, and the Silver Trailfinder’s crew asks the characters to become their new captains. Or maybe the battle does not have any horrible outcomes and the captain reaches his destination safe and sound.
- Getting a Ship. The characters fight Captain Marvolo and his crew to get a hold of his ship. This is a challenging ordeal. Marvolo’s men shall give their lives for their captain. And to see him die would only triple their will to take revenge on the characters. If the characters defeat them, the Silver Trailfinder is theirs. But just like they did, others will come and fight them for the ship…