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The Terror-Dome of Warlord Daikhan - an Adventure for Stars Without Number



The Terror-Dome of Warlord Daikhan is a role-playing game adventure scenario by Christian Conkle. It is compatible with Stars Without Number.

The characters must go undercover to the prison planet  Papillon-IV to rescue a courier and their valuable package from a power-hungry warlord.


This scenario is the first of a planned series known as Sector-85. Sector-85 presents a setting inspired by and emulating low-budget 80s science fiction movies.

These stories emphasize action and adventure. They are often set in what appears to be the California desert - sometimes Spain, sometimes Argentina. Sets are re-dressed factories and public works facilities decorated with tattered fishing nets, corrugated metal, and piles of jumk. Lasers flash in brilliant streaks and go “Pew! Pew!” Anything struck by a laser explodes in a shower of sparks. Abandon any notion of realistic space physics or cutting edge computer science. Robots come in three flavors: sexy android, comic relief, and menacing war-bot. Computers save to bulky storage media. The good guys wear distressed leather jackets and riding boots. The bad guys are bald cyborgs and maniacal dictators, or both.

The biggest player in Sector-85 is the Orion Federation, a democratic alliance of planets with a mission to defend the peace and explore the galaxy. The Orion Federation are the “good guys” but there’s a hint of hypocrisy and passive corruption lying underneath their squeaky clean image.

Twenty-five years ago, the Orion Federation fought a war against a powerful totalitarian regime known as the Nova Concord. The Nova Concord lost the war and its leaders were confined to a desolate inhospitable world—an abandoned terraforming project from the Galacitc Golden Age known as Papillion-IV.

In time, the prison planet was forgotten. Resources were reallocated, leaving a skeleton crew to maintain the network of defense satellites.

A few days ago, a hyperspace mishap caused a courier bearing data with incalculable value to crash-land on Papillion-IV.


The adventure scenario is inspired by and attempts to emulate 80s direct-to-video science fiction movies:

  • Escape from New York (1981)
  • Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared Syn (1983)
  • Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
  • Starchaser: the Legend of Orin (1985)
  • Space Raiders (1984)
  • Steel Dawn (1987)

Player Characters

This adventure scenario is designed for 4-6 3rd-level player characters with at least one Warrior, one medical Expert, and one technical Expert. The characters are recruited by an overworked station administrator to undertake a desperate rescue mission on a quarantined prison planet inhabited by brutal war criminals.


This adventure scenario is divided into a prologue, two acts, and a finale.

Act 1—the Journey

The characters are secretly deposited onto the surface of Papillon-IV with minimal equipment. They must travel across the wasteland towards their destination. How they choose to travel from the drop zone to the designated coordinates is entirely up to them. Do they go by foot? Do they cross the intervening mountain range or go around? Do they engage with friendly locals or play it more aloof? The choice is theres.

Possible encounters include:

  • Paranoid scrap scavengers
  • Dangerous alien fauna
  • Hostile cave dwellers
  • Bandit raiders

Act 2—the Terror-Dome

The characters arrive at the Terror-Dome, a fortified complex run by Warlord Daikahn’s enforcers. They must gain entry and navigate the complex in order to find the captive within. Once again, there is no definitive strategy. The method of entry is left entirely to the imaginations of the players. They might go in disguised as bandits. They might bribe some guards. They might sneak in ninja-style. They might even be intentionally captured in order to be brought before the Warlord so that he can gloat and monologue!

Possible encounters include:

  • The Hostel Environment, a home for bandit raiders
  • Navigating the ventilation system
  • Flooded sub-levels populated with escaped slaves and giant slugs
  • The Citadel, home of a secret army of fanatical soldiers
  • A gladiatorial arena
  • A mad scientist’s laboratory
  • Meta-mutant monstrosities
  • A palace throne room guarded by elite meta-mutant super-soldiers

Finale - Escape from Papillon-IV

Upon rescuing their target, the characters must escape the Terror-Dome. There is no pre-written scene for this section and no pre-determined path towards resolution. The Gamemaster must respond to the choices made and strategies implemented by the players with a level of opposition that is realistic and challenging yet tempered with the expectation that the players are here to shoot lasers and have fun.

Possible escape strategies include:

  • A vehicle chase across the wasteland
  • A rooftop extraction and shootout
  • Stealth and subterfuge
  • Exploding power reactors
  • Slave revolts
  • Factional strife


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Reviews (0)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Graham O June 17, 2023 12:50 am UTC
I noticed that you didn't post about this on your blog. I love it. Its straight out of the 80s and would have loved to see a movie version of this. Can't wait to see more.
Customer avatar
Christian C June 17, 2023 6:58 am UTC
Thanks. I sort of figure my blog is dead. I'll post to it tomorrow. :-)
Customer avatar
Graham O June 17, 2023 7:37 am UTC
No big deal. I was just curious. Are you planning on each Sector-85 to be its own self-contained adventure. Or will they link together in a campaign?
Customer avatar
Christian C June 17, 2023 3:21 pm UTC
Each will be self-contained - but also kind of linked? The next one, Six Weeks on Zephyrus-2, will be a space western-themed anthology of six short adventures, level 1-3, so it can be played BEFORE Warlord Daikhan. There will be Nova Underground terrorists, so the theme of all these will be the long-term fallout/after-effects of the Nova War.
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File Last Updated:
June 09, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on June 09, 2023.