Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Redshirts: Fred Saberhagen Attacks!

Kzinti Warrior
This session of Stars Without Number was the one back the week before Thanksgiving.  The intrepid freeze-dried scouts were sent to a system that happened to be the main theater of operation of a war between two races.

The first 'race' was Saberhagen's Berserkers - those spaceship-robots programmed to wipe out all life in the galaxy.  I loved the Berserker series, and I even called them Beserkers in the game.  The PCs keep calling them 'reapers.'  Grrr.

The second race is the Warchou.  Actually, I had it in my mind that the word was spelled WARCHOW, but the players have emailed me about them, all spelling it WARCHOU like some strange zeitgeist was whispering to them (except Adelaide,) so I kneel to the zeitgeist and spell it WARCHOU now.  Anyway, have a giant love fest with the Kzinti, the Klingons, the Billy Goats Gruff, a megaphone, a laugh-track from a sitcom in the 1970s, and a tribe of dancing bears, and those are the Warchou.

The Warchou live for glorious, hand-to-hand battle, even if they have to jump out of their spacecraft and go take on alien robot battlecruisers toe-to-toe.  They love to laugh.  And they love to shout everything they say.  This makes few other races really want to talk with them.  The Warchou are not interested in science or technology or history or algebra or anything you'd learn in school.  They really just want to kill things and laugh about it, stealing other races' starships and weapons when given the chance.

What surprised me about this session was the unexpected TREASON.  The Warchou fully admitted to killing all of the humans on 13 planets, but despite this, and despite being on a super secret military scouting mission, Lt. O'Brien the psychic decided to tell murderous aliens everything they were up to, detail all of their high technology, and give them  the location of their secret stealth mother ship.  It was a rather jaw dropping moment.

Oh, and their CO Lt. Commander Taylor died.  Shot to death by his own crew.  Oops.

So here is the Ballad of the Redshirts, as sung by Adelaide the bard/scientist:

  • The group awakes and now there is another robot that is in the room with them. (this was Fixer)
  • Their ship was taken but Owlicious was allowed to keep Teddy. (the AI)
  • They are told there are a lot of ships fighting each other and they are supposed to find out who those people are.
  • They head off and not too long into their trip Owlicious notices another ship heading their way.
  • Lt. Commander Mark Five artfully dodges that ship and another two head their way which he also dodges.
  • The group hears some weird noises from the waves Lt. Commander Taylor hacked into and Owlicious knows it can not be made from any human.
  • One of these ships comes and attaches to the group's ship and they see it is a metal squid like thing. Owlicious fires the heat cannon at it but it does nothing.
  • The squid manages to break into the hull and Lt. Commander Taylor punches the shit out of one of the tentacles.
  • Miles O’Brian teleports a grenade at the squid that hurts it but doesn't kill it, unfortunately shrapnel from the grenade flows into the ship but luckily no one takes damage from it.
  •  Owlicious notices on her sensors 4 more squids are coming.
  • A tentacle wraps around Miles and Kal kek neatly avoids another before firing at it and missing.
  • Desmond Connors fires a pre-tech laser at a tentacle and hits. Robot RC1140 “Fixer” also fires but misses.
  • Owlicious fires the heat cannon again and this time blows a chunk of it off. It then flies off with Lt. Commander Taylor grasped in its tentacle. Lt. Commander Five fires a gun and it hits Lt. Commander Taylor in the leg.
  • Then Kal Kek fires and hits Lt. Commander Taylor in the stomach, knocking him unconscious. 
  • Connor fires at the tentacle and actually hits it, freeing the dying Lt. Commander Taylor. “Fixer” jumps out in his grav-harness to attempt to bring Lt. Commander Taylor back. He succeeds and grapples unto him. 
  • Lt. Commander Five flies the ship gently off with the two of them hanging behind.
  • When they finally get Lt. Commander Taylor back in Owlicious and Miles slap some laz patches on them until he stabilizes. 
  • Another squid attaches to the ship but derps out and can’t seem to get his tentacles in the hole. A third one misses its attachment at first but later gets it and starts fighting with the last one to get inside.
  • Another broadcast of unintelligible noise and they unsuccessfully try to communicate. Owlicious decides it would be best to slap Lt. Commander Taylor awake. He then immediately starts speaking with the creature communicating over the coms and talks it into assisting them.
  • Suddenly a man-bear-dog appears on the screen riding a jetpack and is headed towards the group screaming.
  • O’Brian decides to pull out his history book to try and figure these things out, but is unsuccessful.
  • Owlicious looks it up the new “ally” while the boys are firing at the squids and believes it is a War Chow.
  • Lt. Commander Taylor jumps out of the ship to try and mimic the War Chow in punching them but misses his jump completely.
  • The squid that the War Chow is attacking tries to smack him off but misses and smacks itself.
  • Another one gets into the ship but Kal Kek burst fires at it and almost completely killed it. “Fixer” misses with a chainsaw sword and falls out of the ship, O’Brian nearly hurts himself punching the same one.
  • Lt. Commander Five fires the main cannon and sends shrapnel all over the place when he blows the squid up.
  • Lt. Commander Taylor decided it would be an excellent idea to snap the seal off his extra oxygen tank and use it to propel himself towards another squid. He hits it hard and kills himself, spinning his body out farther away from the group.
  • Kal Kek opens fire at yet another squid and smashes its face in again. 
  • “Fixer” follows in Lt. Commander Taylors shoes and goes straight for the core of a squid and misses. O’Brian goes outside as well to punch a squid and misses as well.
  • Everybody but Lt. Commander Five and Owlicious are punching things, I’m tired of writing that.
  • Another two squids come and latch onto the ship. Omega team coms in yelling that they are under attack. Yeah, like anyone else gives a shit. Toodles Omega team.
  • Five more ships looking the same as the first war chow arrive and four other war chows come out and start punching squids knocking the squids armor off and the team quickly jumps in to help defeat the last of them.
  • Owlicious awakens Teddy and orders him to try and save Lt. Commander Taylor but he is unable to do so.
  • The war chow are preparing to leave when O’brain decides it would be a wise idea to let them know the Aquila are in possession of high tech level ships and the war chow then declare they will set out to retrieve them. 
  • Kel Kak Shoots O’brain for being a traitor but it doesn’t kill him.
  • The team heads back to the Aquila with their tails between their legs to sleep off another however-long defeat.

So, the intrepid crew didn't do too well this time around - but at least they survived.  Well, some of them did.  Sort of.

- Ark

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