Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Redshirts: Courts-Martial Carnival, an Email Interlude

The pre-Thanksgiving week Stars Without Number session was so odd - from an outside perspective - that I felt that a higher authority should get involved.  I mean, while the scouts were initiating first contact with two genocidal species - the Berserkers and the Warchou - the CO had been killed by friendly fire, a team member had allegedly committed treason against the entire human race, and another team member had tried to murder that alleged traitor.

In a D&D game that would be nothing strange.  It would not even be that strange in a tramp steamer space opera.  But Redshirts is a military scouting expedition.  Yeah, it's specifically set so far away from the brass back home that the PCs have a lot of autonomy and leeway in how they accomplish a given mission, but the results of this particular mission were on the order of several levels below 'complete screw up' and dangerously approaching 'fire everyone and outsource to the another dimension.'

So, between games, I had the players give email testimony in various courts-martial regarding the mission, having the top brass level charges against the scouts.  They really got into it.  I swear, some of them must have had lawyers coaching them.  It was funny.

Here are some quotes from various players:
"On charge D. Spacer Kal Kek's attempted murder of Lt. Miles O'Brien. Not Guilty, the Lt. O’Brien is a traitorous scumbag, and he was about to divulge the location of the secret asteroid base and the rendezvous location for the ancient mother ship to a known race of hostile creatures."
Yeah.  Miles O'Brien was his name.  Yeah.  Anyway, more quotes:
"On charge C. Spacer Kal Kek's negligent discharge in the death of Lt. Commander Nathaniel Taylor. Guilty, but I wish it to be here recorded that I was attempting the execution of a well thought out rescue plan to retrieve Lt. Cmdr. Taylor. But despite my best intentions, my understanding of the spatial rotation of space born rotating mass was lacking, and I could not preform the calculation well under pressure. These facts lead to a miscalculation and a mis-fire. I there for ask for the leniency of the court in sentencing as it was not my intention to damage the Lt. Cmdr. Taylor, but rather to assist in his rescue."
"Spacer Kal Kek's attempted murder of Lt. Miles O'Brien.  Not Guilty.  Officers have the right to put down members of the team that are endangering the mission. Kal Kek was simply the weapon used to do so. Due to incompetent training Lt. Miles O'Brien was only wounded. Requesting Kal Kek be put into Field Arms Training course to better prepare for such events.  Requesting Lt. Commander Mark Five be sent for a brush up on Officer Training, with possible officer candidate evaluation. Lt. Miles O'Brien should have been apprehended after such an encounter, yet was not. This is against regulations."
and this gem:
"Lt. Miles O'Brien's high treason against the Union.  Guilty.  Knowing full well that these aliens had already exterminated the humans in the area, O'Brien gave away the biggest secret known to team, endangering the mission and all Humans in the sector.  Requesting evaluation of loyalty, Evaluation of officer candidacy, Psychological Evaluation, Back ground check, Drug check."
In the end, all charges were dropped except one.  I mean, really, all of the friendly fire was basically a lot of natural 1s rolled one after the other, and a DM who is a prick. (Yay me!)

Lt. Miles O'Brien was convicted of high treason against sanctity of the Aquila Union, and had his rank reduced to Midshipman.  He was then released on his own recognizance into the depths of space without directional control or atmospheric succor.

One player thought that meant I was giving him a shuttle and letting him go.  Funny . . .

- Ark

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