The UNIT Campaign: Spearhead From Space

autononstreetWith the release of the ‘Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook’ I thought it would be appropriate to provide some UNIT themed adventures for anyone wishing to run such a campaign.

I’ll first be looking at adventures to tie in with ‘Spearhead From Space’.

Identity Theft

The PCs are assigned to clean up the deactivated Autons, where they will be stored at a secure facility for examination. They are despatched to road lined with shops, bodies of innocent civilians lying amongst smashed glass. While the PCs load up the plastic husks others are taking the corpses away.

To the PCs surprise one of the Autons suddenly jerks to life. Before they can shoot it the Auton claims to be called Wilfred Balam. His last memories were of mannequins coming to life and being shot in the back as he attempted to flee. Now he has awakened in this plastic body.

PCs will need to make a snap decision whether they’ll give this Auton the benefit of the doubt. Searching nearby bodies turns up a man with documentation that identifies him as Wilfred Balam but could this Auton have seen the same paperwork and used it to create a cover identity?

Ideally they should take Wilfred in to custody so he can be examined. You can have the PCs work alongside the Doctor and Liz Shaw while they do this. The Brigadier might want to keep this turn of events secret so assigns only those who know about Wilfred to provide security.

It could turn out that Wilfred had latent psychic potential and when his physical body died his mind (or spirit) migrated to the Auton, since it was already a psychic vessel. The question would then be whether he can be returned to his dead body or whether he has to remain as an Auton. If so he could join UNIT as a rather strange but theoretically bullet proof NPC.

Instead this may be an Auton trick. Some units could be programmed to pull this ruse to infiltrate and sabotage the enemy. ‘Wilfred’ could work in secret to contact the Nestene intelligence and lay the ground work for a further invasion.

You might decide to mix the two, with Wilfred and the Auton intelligence battling for control of the body. Both personalities might be unaware of each others personality. The PCs will then have a  chose between destroying the Auton or finding a way for Wilfred to assume total control.

Rag And Bone

UNIT photographers recorded the scenes of the Autons attack both to quickly get information to commanding officers and for reference later. Study of photos taken in East London indicate that there are several missing Autons bodies. 10 are shown in the picture but only 6 were collected.

The PCs are sent to question residents in the area. They remember seeing a Rag and Bone in the area, with a horse and covered cart. Tracking down this person leads them to a yard and house cluttered with odds and ends, like something from ‘Steptoe and Son’.

Inside the two residents, father and son, have been murdered. The PCs are hunted by two Autons who use the clutter to perform hit and run attacks. There should be enough dolls and mannequins for the Autons to blend in and for the PCs to wildly shoot at.

The house has numerous oil lamps dangerously located amongst flammable material like piles of old newspapers and dry fabric. It is very possible that a fire might start and spread quickly, which would be one way to despatch the Autons, as long as the PCs can escape themselves.

Afterwards they may wonder what happened to the two remaining missing Autons. Before they reactivated two were sold to collectors in London. This can be learned by studying surviving paperwork or asking locally.

Who these customers were is up to you. They might be shop owners, eccentrics of London gangsters. Have they been murdered by the Autons or have they found a way to use them to further their own agenda? The PCs will need to find out.

Everything Must Go

Not long after the events of ‘Spearhead From Space’ a number of people go missing at a department store, either in London or in another major city. The police investigated but as no bodies were found on the site they can’t be sure that anyone at the shop is responsible.

At UNIT shipping manifests from the toy factory in Epping indicates that Autons were sent to the department store but were delayed, kept in a container that would have prevented them from being activated during the initial attack. They weren’t traced in time and would appeared to have been delivered to the department store.

To avoid panic the PCs are sent undercover as shoppers and new staff members. They are to locate the Autons and have them removed before any more people go missing. Due to bad luck the day they arrive is also the day of a huge sale so the store is bustling with people.

The shop has many different mannequins on several different floors, not to mention a storage area in the basement. Searching is slow process, made more difficult by the many demanding shoppers.

They may meet Harold Wilberry, still searching for his wife, Sarah, who went missing two weeks ago. He shows them a photo of her so they know what she looks like. Not long after the PCs see Sarah amongst the shoppers. If they confront her she says she has simply left her husband and doesn’t want the PCs to tell him.

While searching another area of the department store the PCs will find a mannequin that looks exactly like Sarah. Alternatively Harold may discover the mannequin and become hysterical. Examination reveals this is the real Sarah, placed in suspended animation.

The Sarah they encountered earlier is an Auton duplicate. When they awoke they realised the need to blend in and have been capturing store workers and shoppers, replacing them. Their captives are kept out of sight but sometimes the remaining shop workers place these ‘mannequins’ on more prominent display.

The PCs will need to work out who is an Auton and find their victims so they can be revived. If the Autons realise their plan has been uncovered they may decide to lock the exits, turn out the lights and eliminate everyone.

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