This Week’s Trailer: Pathfinder (2018)

This time we have an oddball out of China — the movie Pathfinder (2018) seems to be “in development” according to IMDb, though I found a few details about the film on Asian Movie Pulse.

Their summary is:

“The film, with a cast that includes Song Yang (Wrath of Silence, The Final Master), Qi Xi (Mystery, Someone to Talk To) and Qu Jingjing (Birth of the Dragon, Journey Through China), tells the story of a group of Chinese pioneers whose spacecraft crashes on a remote planet. Stranded in a vast desert, members of the crew have to battle the elements, possible alien creatures and, above all, each other, to survive.” —  Asian Movie Pulse

Here’s the trailer, which has some quite cool visual elements.

A Different Approach

Without English subtitles and without much information, I decided I’d just go with a simple list of items I saw in the trailer:

  1. Single ship or small fleet
  2. Crashes on a desert planet
  3. Different factions trying to survive
  4. Some creatures in the desert with many tentacles
  5. Ship was in trouble before it crashed
  6. Multi-body system with at least two large moons or a planet and moon nearby
  7. Multiple crash sites
  8. Multiple combatants
  9. Friends or family separated
  10. Technology includes a medical pod of some sort
  11. Practical vehicles (motorcycles and 4-wheel vehicles) and helmets (to keep the sand out)
  12. Cybernetic-or-exoskeleton-clad warrior was super fast.

So how would I toss these things in a blender and come up with an adventure?

Chasing Survival on a Desert Moon…

Dominion Space Forces (DSF/Space Marines) have fought the pirates of the Society of the Free Wolf into the remains of a system a few light years from BANCE-11. The system, Katerra, has a small set of planets and moons but has not been fully explored as yet. It’s accessible, but distant enough that time and resources were making pursuing the pirates a costly venture. Both fleets were badly damaged in multiple battles as well as a freak meteor storm that appeared out of nowhere, punching holes in every craft large or small.

The pirates did a last ditch maneuver around a large dusty moon, Numati, to gain speed and take out a number of their pursuers — but they did it at a high cost. All ships on both sides were caught in Numati’s gravity well and only one had enough power to pull away.

DSF Fleet Commander Gregor ordered the ship back to Dominion space for repairs and to send back reinforcements, but knew it would be days if not weeks until such resources returned. One by one, pirate and marine ships fell to their fates.

Two large craft landed mostly intact, but many broke up on the descent, crashing in huge debris fields scattered across the surface. Ships from both factions are strewn across the surface, but it is largely covered with sand and rock. Water, if available, will be hard to find, so every survivor’s first priority is to gather every resource they can until help arrives.

At least two native species have appeared in the limited information available for Numati. The Sprong, named for the noise they make as they emerge from the sand, are round creatures with dozens of tendrils that feels its way through the sand, spinning and swimming. They are rumored to range in size from a few feet to monstrosities a hundred meters across.

And then there are the Wyrm, which hunt the Sprong in the deep deserts. Whereas the Sprong rise and fall through the sand to find food, they tend to stay in the top layers. The Wyrm prefer the deep and dark, feeling their way to their prey.

As one of the surviving Marine unites, your mission is two-fold. Survive and reconnect with other DSF forces — and take out the pirates if opportunities present themselves. Weapons, ammunition, shade, and water are scarce.

Fight wisely.

Questions…

This sort of hits me as a bit like Dune, but with creatures shaped like microbes and tapeworms and a mad dash for resources I think it could be quite challenging. What kinds of traits do you think these creatures should have? What would the Sprong feed on in such a dry environment?


Looking for more creatures for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the articles about the system! What other movie trailers would you like to see explored in this manner? Leave a comment below or drop me a message via e-mail or on social media!

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