Recommended levels 3-5
This adventure takes place aboard the massive research vessel Inquiry. The ship is a bustling hub for all manner of scientists but its main mission is to collect and catalog lifeforms throughout the galaxy. The top level of the Inquiry is equipped with all the amenities of a small city including schools, shopping and restaurants. The ship's lower decks house state of the art research facilities and specimen storage.
Bryce Trexton is a human geologist stationed on the Inquiry. He specializes in Volcanology, specifically in researching to make highly geologically active planets more hospitable. His research is important to him on a very personal level; as a child his home world was evacuated following massive volcanic eruptions.
After a decade of research and no major break troughs, the Inquiry Scientific Funding Commission decided that his project was no longer cost effective. Bryce is known for having a short fuse and after receiving notice of his project termination, he snapped. He grabbed his personal belongings, stormed down to the low-security top floor of specimen storage sector and cut the power.
Bryce thought that this would create a nuisance as small life forms ran amok. Unbeknownst to Bryce, a freshly caught Sphero-Hydra was being stored in the top floor temporarily. The Sphero-Hydra attacked Bryce then fled to the main level, finding itself near the playground of Daftix Daycare.
This adventure takes place as the party is aboard Inquiry delivering cargo/supplies or meeting with a contact. Bryce Trexton might even be the contact in question. As the adventurers spend some downtime in the top level, they hear frantic screaming coming from the nearby daycare playground.
1- Worried Workers
Two Ysoki sisters (Morzi and Banko Daftix) run Daftix Daycare for the children of Inquiry researchers. As the adventurers approach they see one of the grey furred sisters frantically screaming as the other attempts to call security by the playground gate. Inside the gates several children are stranded on playground equipment with steaming blue puddles of slime beneath them.
Morzi frantically explains that a monster charged through the playground during recess, spraying blue fluid from its many heads. She begs the party to help save the kids. Banko keeps trying to call security, but can't get through as most of the security team is busy doing damage control in specimen storage.
2- Jungle Gym
Two children are stuck on top of a creaking jungle gym surrounded by a puddle of hot blue slime. Tolfo, a dwarven boy and Davi, a lashunta boy are bored and want to get down. The slime is scorching hot, acidic and slowly dissolving the jungle gym. The structure can't support another creature climbing it unless they are small sized, but larger adventurers can attempt to catch the children with a DC 15 reflex save. On a failed save they still catch the children, but stumble into the slime pool and take 2d6 fire and acid damage.
Two screaming children are trapped on an automated Merry-Go-Round spinning out of control. Tara, a human girl and Zela, a vesk girl both look extremely nauseous as they cling to the device. Adventurers can make a DC 15 strength check to force the carousel to stop spinning, or a DC 15 engineering check to cut power to the damaged equipment. Once the merry-go-round is stopped, the closest PC must make a DC 10 reflex save to avoid getting puked on by Zela.
4- Slick Slide
A terrified Ysoki girl named Keiri is hiding inside the top of a covered slide. The ladder is twisted and ruined, but the slide itself is intact. PCs can easily catch Keiri if she comes down the slide, but she refuses to budge unless she is bribed with Psi-Cream.She tells the party she wants green Psi-Cream, but she doesn't like chocolate or nuts. She happily slides down when brought a cone of Mnemonic Mint.
Alternatively one of the party members can attempt a DC 20 acrobatics check to climb up the slide. A PC that fails this check slips and falls into the blue slime surronding the slide taking 2D6 fire and acid damage.
5- Psi-Cream Cart
This automated Psi-Cream cart stops by the daycare every recess but now lies wrecked in the center of the playground. Psi-Cream is a frozen treat with psychically enhanced extreme flavors. All the flavors come in a shade of purple or green.
Clairvoyant Caramel - Purple with caramel chunks
Brain Berry - Purple with blue berries
Psycho Ripple - Purple with white swirl
Mnemonic Mint - Green with faint glow, Keiri's favorite
Hypno-Nut- Green with yellow nuts
Phrenic Fudge- Green with chocolate fudge swirl
6- Monster in the Ball Pit
The Sphero-hydra is a multi-headed apex predator from a distant moon inhabited by orb based life forms. Sphero-hydras have several ball shaped heads attached to a round body. Each head is dotted with round protruding eyes that give the creature 360 degree vision. Sphero-hydras have regenerative abilities that allow them to heal wounds and regrow heads unless exposed to extreme cold.
Unfortunately for Dartix Daycare, the playground ball pit looks extremely similar to natural features from the Sphero-hydra's home world. The hydra is lurking under the surface of the ball pit and attacks when the pit is disturbed.
Sphero-Hydra CR 5 XP 1,600
CN Medium magical beast
Init +1 Darkvision 60 ft. Perception +10 Speed 30 ft.
HP 50 EAC 16 KAC 18
Fort +8 Ref +8 Will +3
Melee bite +13 (1d6+9 P)
Ranged spit +10 (1d4+4 A; critical: corrode)
Str +5 Dex +1 Con +3 Int +0 Wis +0 Cha +0
Athletics +10 Stealth +15 Survival +10
Multi-attack (Ex) The sphero-hydra has four heads and can make an attack with each one during a full attack with a -6 penalty.
Regeneration (Ex) Regenerate 5 body HP at the beginning of each turn. This regeneration is suppressed for one round by cold damage. The creature falls unconscious when all four heads are reduced to 0 HP or the body is reduced to 0 HP. If the sphero-hydra has its regeneration suppressed at the time, it dies instead. The body has 50 HP and each head has 10 HP. For each 10 HP regenerated by the body, the sphero-hydra regrows a destroyed head.
After the Sphero-Hydra is defeated it coughs up an ID badge belonging to Bryce Trexton. Bryce is hiding injured in the lower specimen storage levels. The party can try to track him down themselves, or turn the information over to security. If the party needs information from Bryce, they may need to smuggle him off of the Inquiry.
The party has only a few minutes to decide on a course of action, as security conveniently shows up shortly after the children are saved and the Spher0-Hydra is defeated. Station security gives the party a 5000 credit reward and the grateful Daftix sisters offer to take the heroes out for lunch.