Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Redshirts: Failure

Manna 'Doc' Davies - played by Skipper
The first time I saw an RPG run with more than ten players was only a couple of years ago.  Matt Finch, of Swords & Wizardry, was running 14 of us through Mythrus Tower at NTPRG Con.  Matt's DM methodology included standing on top of a chair and yelling, as well as using a giant, schoolroom sized white board for combat diagramming - all to wonderful effect.

There were nine players in the Stars Without Number game last session.  I'm still trying to get use to such a large party.  I think I need a nice, stable chair to stand on – but things have been working out anyway.  Merwyn, the in-game CO, acts as caller – which helps a lot.  And Adelaide has this habit of raising her hand and staring at me with an undying glare until I acknowledge her.

This session saw Kaye with his new psychic combat character – Nick Scryer the grenade teleportist.  A new lady gamer, Skipper, showed up to play as well.   She sketched her warrior, Manna ‘Doc’ Davies, up above.

The title of this blog includes 'Failure,' and so did the game session.  The party was supposed to deposit a flight team onto an ancient starship and leave, but the complications became too great - the main complication being an enemy fleet attempting to secure the ancient ship for themselves.

Lessons learned:
  1. Infiltrating a star system in a snail-slow shuttle is folly, no matter how well cloaked it is.
  2. Grenade teleportation is effective and sneaky.
  3. Resource poor star faring nations would most likely mount Reaper Battery on any of their Patrol Boats.
  4. Calling a Reaper Battery an Ion Cannon saves a lot of time in-game, because everyone has seen Empire.
  5. Kaye has not seen Empire.
  6. Using the terms 'Scotty,' 'Chekov,' and 'Uhura' to describe enemy crew members is a quick and efficient way to get descriptive data to the characters during a loud and hectic combat sequence.
  7. Kaye has not seen Trek.
  8. Kaye will be voted off the island.
  9. Throwing in an electrified bridge floor is a fun way to knock out half the party.
  10. Having a violent fire-fight on a ship's bridge will destroy the controls on said bridge.
  11. All players will violently argue that if a ship's bridge is destroyed, one can easily reroute the piloting controls to engineering because that is how all starships are designed and that everyone knows that, even if they have never watched Star Wars or Star Trek.

Our dear Adelaide has documented the fun below in glorious purple:

Stars Without Number (Bullet Points :D)
  • The team awakes from cryosleep again, lots of vomiting is going on. Again
  • They are joined by a new psychic named Nick Scryer
  • The group swears they see metallic scorpions on the floor with tiny people chasing them but eventually that goes away and they are asked to go to the mess hall.
  • As they are eating lt. Commander Gonzales tells everyone “good job” for the last mission but that Newt, the child that they rescued, is not going under for cryosleep and that she is “creepy.” However, she is also able to operate the ship which is helpful.
  • He also assigns them, excuse me, Lt. Taylor volunteers the group to go back to the hellspawn-Biotonics ship because the commander is interested in the tech on it.
  • They are to drop off two specialists named Brick and Brack
  • There are self-replicating scorpions being taken off the ship the group is about to get on. Yay.
  • Lt. Nathienal Taylor attempts to hack the scorpions and destroys them.
  • Newt tells the ship she’s actually a brain in a jar and the group bolts for the ship quickly and it takes 4 days to reach the main planet.
  • Lt. Taylor finds a frigate floating around in barren space, which seems to be 600 years old, that they choose to ignore.
  • They continue to encounter ships randomly. I think the DM is attempting to bait us onto one of these ships. It’s not working very well.
  • Slices of the ark are missing and seem to have made home on this new Russian planet.
  • Suddenly every scanning system on the planet turns towards their ship and “see’s” them, but they manage to seem nonthreatening.
  • The lieutenants decide it would be best to attempt to fly into the ark and are detected, ship battle starts.
  • They get hit by ion cannons twice and are about to be boarded by the enemy.
  • The enemy ship attaches a “rope” and what seems to be a walking tube to the side of their ship and everyone prepares for battle.
  • Loranzo and Kal Kek fires at the enemy Russians but only Kek hits, it does little damage however.
  • Scryer attempts to teleport one of the men outside of his suit but it fails.
  • Marina “Doc” Davies eviscerated one of the armor suits in the doorway.
  • Everyone else fails at killing things.
  • Owlicious continues to hide in the back because she has learned from previous missions she is NOT a good tank. Survival of the smartest, bitches.
  • Lt. Mark Five gets knocked flat.
  • Three people come in behind the power-armored suits but they are only in normal suits.
  • Scryer shuts down all the power suits and the three guys behind them are dead.
  • There is chatter coming over the groups helmets, they decide to look down the tube to the other ship. They see there is another man down the tube and Professor Ramapudi shoots and kills him.
  • Everyone rushes like Han Solo down the tube to the new ship with the power armored people in the front.
  • Loranzo fires some spikes down the hall and turns it into a bloody mist.
  • “Doc” Davies throws a grenade down the hall at the enemies. Two of them go SPLAT and one guy looks stunned but still has his gun.
  • Kal Kek fires at one of the remaining men after he witnesses “Doc” Davies throw a grenade.
  • Scryer teleports a grenade to the last guys and blows them to pieces.
  • Owlicious is pretty sure she’s found a toilet.
  • Everyone else attempts to kill everyone not friendly on the ship that they come into contact with and one lone man flees for his life.
  • Owlicious makes it past as a door closes but Doctor Daktan and Mark Five get locked out before teleporting in.
  • Loranzo climbs up a ladder and sticks his head in to look around and “Doc” Davies gets impatient and moves him forcibly out of her way to get through.
  • Lt. Taylor and Professor Ramapudi attempt to hack the ship, but it doesn't go so well.
  • Kal Kek pushes “Doc” Davies out of the way much like she did to Loranzo but she quickly recovers and opens fire at the men shooting at Loranzo. She splats another against the wall.
  • Kal Kek fires at the other guy shooting and blows his head clean off.
  • Scryer finally managed to get through the ladder shoot and fires with his spike thrower at the captain and misses, destroying lots of valuable equipment.
  • Professor Ramapudi heads to the engineering room and the rest of the group hears shooting.
  • Lt. Taylor bolts for the engineering room quickly and Owlicious makes it just in time to blow Scotties brains out leaving Doctor Daktan alone in the hallway. He then begins skulking around the ship before heading for the med bay.
  • Kal Kek, Scryer, and “Doc” Davies get shocked unconscious but Loranzo stays standing. The captain and the other guy also get knocked out but Uhura is completely untouched. He opens fire at her with a spike thrower that rips her into a thousand tiny pieces.  Angry Loranzo is angry.
  • Professor Ramapudi attempts to halt the detonation but messes up and the time goes quickly down to just ten seconds. Luckily Lt. Taylor manages to turn the computer off before it counts down much more. 
  • Everybody in the bridge wakes up and “Doc” Davies can smell her hair burning. She see’s Doctor Daktan slit someone’s throat.  She then ties up the unconscious captain and prepares to react if he wakes up. You know, hovers over him ready to bash his brains in with the butt of her gun and all that.
  • Professor Ramapudi loots Scotty's body and finds commands that allows him to give Mark Five control to fly the ship.
  • They decide it is best to just bail as fast as possible out of the area using this new ship.
  • Mark Five attempts to jump the ship back to the three sisters and he nails it with the help of Professor Ramapudi and “Doc” Davies. His “jumping virginity” is now gone.

…to be continued <3


- Ark


  1. Hey, we must have been in the same Mythrus game. SWN sounds like a blast.

    1. We very well might have been! A very, very crowded room.

      I do like SWN. If I every house ruled a merger between Basic D&D and Traveller - and was actually good at writing rules - then SWN would have been it. :)

      - Ark