Corsairs of the Endless Void, Ep 01: A Price for Freedom

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A gang of galactic mutineers raid and work their way across the depths of space, one step ahead of the Confederation Navy.

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A short preamble here, since we're all new to the game and we're going to need to review how it works, and fix the kinks in the system as we go.

I'm going to mix IC and OOC talk freely throughout this game, in order to string it together smoothly like you might around a table.  That said I will try to keep the strictly OOC stuff to a minimum.  Since in this case we all use the chat and various IM services (as well as having the Private Message available) that shouldn't be a problem.

This system is designed to support pro-active characters, with an emphasis on action and decision instead of endless planning.  There will be more details once we get to the first "job".  For this first part, however, you're going to need to decide which of your priorities to pursue immediately.  And you will be given some very immediate priorities in a moment.

You've all made some great characters and I love the ship you've built, which I've named the Dark Horse (one of many suggestions I recieved).

We are going to try for a posting rate of one "official" post a day, but I have no problem with this being expanded to three times a week, if we're unable to keep up with one a day.  If you're all REALLY eager we might get more than one a day, but no one should feel pressured to match such a pace, especially as we all have different schedules.  In this context an "official" post could be considered a round of combat, or any other situation in which there's a progress bar to fill or important things being done.  Basic cross-talk, such as answering the GM's or other player's questions, can move at any rate.  You are not restricted from posting more than once a day, but you can only take one "turn" to make actions, roll dice, and impact the game mechanically.

I'll be doing the dice rolling for this game, unless that starts to be a problem.  I have a special fancy font style for reporting your dice rolls so that should be fun.  When they become relevant, dice rolls will be presented all together in a single block, letting everyone know the results of their actions at once.

One last note:  Throughout the game I will be asking individual players direct questions, to help flesh out the world and their characters.  When I ask such a question, please give that player a chance to respond before you offer your own suggestions.  If the player asks for other opinions, that's fine, but they must have a chance to offer their own idea first.

 

Alright, moving on to the first post, which will establish where we are and what's going on.  Every time I make an "official" post like the first one below, I will include a header that says where your characters are, and a couple of aspects that already exist on the scene.  In this first post, we are starting in a large and generalized area of space called the Ausana Sector, containing a few sparsely populated star systems.  Smaller parts of the sector will be locations unto themselves, with their own more specific aspects.

Edited by: Bob the Outcast on 05/05/2015 - 13:27

Ausana Sector
Colonial Space, Confederation Cruiser in Sector


The Ausana Sector is a relatively quiet corner of the Confederation.  Sparsely populated with only a few small colonies, its remote location and lack of strategic importance left it mostly spared throughout the last war.  Since the peace, the Confederation has been sending many missions to such places, looking to re-assert its dominance and provide aid to the independent-minded colonists in the area.  Some accept the help gladly, others resist, and there's always the threat of things turning violent.

The TCS Dark Horse has been at space for weeks, making its way to the Ausana Sector.  Low on supplies and with an unhappy crew and an unpopular captain, the mutiny may have been inevitable.  Regardless of the causes, the old captain is now gone, and you are free of Confederation control, able to go where you want and do what you want.  On the downside, it's only a matter of time before the Confederation becomes aware of the mutiny, and you are all branded traitors and criminals.  The absolute best case scenario you can hope for is spending the rest of your short life laboring on a penal colony.

Hodge, what would you say was the last straw for you?  What drove you to support this mutiny?  At what point, in your mind, did this seem like a good idea?

Saidria, not-so-loyal war machine that you are, perhaps you can tell us what ultimately became of the captain?  Has the poor man (or woman) been mercifully marooned on a habitable planet?  Or did you just flush the atomized dust that remained of him out an airlock?

You all do have one particularly massive problem that is going to need to be dealt with as soon as possible.  The Dark Horse was supposed to rendezvous with a Confederation cruiser in the next day or two.  Heavily armed and extremely dangerous, the cruiser is almost certainly in the sector already, and it is only a matter of time before it starts searching for the Dark Horse.  You would be terribly outmatched in a direct confrontation, and cruiser commanders are not known for their patience and understanding.

There is a Confederation Cruiser in the Sector

I can tell you straight up that your only real solution for that is to get out of the Ausana Sector as quickly as possible.  But there are a couple of things you're going to have to deal with first.

To start with, the Dark Horse is dangerously Low on Supplies.  It may be food, water, fuel, or spare parts needed to keep the ship functioning.  I'm sure Baron Ted can fill us in on the details.  Regardless, Ausana is remote enough that you won't be able to get to the next sector until you've renewed some supplies, not without risking starvation or being lost adrift.

It's also going to be a very short escape if you can't do something about your Registration of Mutiny.  Every ship in Confederation space has a unique registration number and transponder codes.  Every nav-beacon you contact, every starport you stop at, and every ship you communicate with records your registration, leaving a record of your passing that the cruiser will have no trouble following.  Leave the Ausana Sector without changing your registration and codes, and the cruiser will just follow after you.  The problem is that the registration is hard-coded in the ship's operating systems.  Changing it is a highly specialized task requiring powerful code-breaking equipment and forging a new set of codes, you aren't likely to be able to do it yourselves.  It is also incredibly illegal and usually outrageously expensive.

Both of these issues are going to need to be dealt with before you can flee Ausana and escape the hunting cruiser.  Fortunately, you may have some options.

Daria, you're a former colony hotshot, and this is colony space.  Is there any chance you might know someone in the area?  A friend of a friend who might be able to help out?

Itzli, this is a contested area of space, and the Confederation is known to hire mercenary outfits to boost their forces in remote sectors.  Do you know of any old friends who might be in the area?

Anders, we mustn't forget the trade lanes.  Ausana may be remote and the profits small, but perhaps a Seruvian trader of previous acquaintance might be trying to take advantage of the fresh market?

 

 

In future I will not be quite so leading with the questions, I just want to give an example of the sorts of things you can do.  You do not need to be asked if you have a contact in the area to declare (based on your aspects) that you have a contact in the area.  All (or none, though I wouldn't recommend it) of the above may be true, or you might have an even better idea of your own.

To briefly re-iterate in plain text, you need to escape the Confederation Cruiser that will soon be hunting for you.  Before you can do that, you need to deal with the problems Low on Supplies and Registration of Mutiny.  On the most basic mechanical level, what that means right now is picking a contact (or other possible solution) to get in touch with and starting a job (essentially a story or mission) to solve one of the problems.


TCS Dark Horse - Confederation Corvette
Stolen!, Experimental Systems, Make Some Noise, Rocketship on Rails, High Energy Plasma Exhaust, Incredibly Checkered History
100MJ Particle Beam Array
, K-7 Arc Beam Turbolaser Turret

Weapons -2, Shields +2, Sensors +0, Engines +4
       b b b b
Conditions: Low on Supplies, Registration of Mutiny

Itzli hovered behind the pilot in the cockpit, eyes flickering as he cross-checked what bits of the sensor net he had access to with his own memories, dredging up digitalized histories and place- and people-names.  Eventually he grunted.  "Aha.  Unnister should be out on Horace Station, if we can make it there.  He used to run with the Flaming Exhaust merc company and has no love for the Confederation.  Besides, given the Incredibly Checkered History of this ship he might have even worked on it before.  That'd make make things a little bit more reasonable, anyway."

Cockpit

Daria hated people crowding over her shoulder when she was working. And working she was, trying to plot out her courses to use an absolute minimum of fuel until they could get that whole collection of mistakes resolved. "I'm gonna kill Ted, I swear, I'll shove his baronacy right up his aristocratic black hole..."

Of course, Itzli is speaking, and who is he to think he can suggest courses and destinations? "You're joking, right? Horace? Maybe, maybe we can make that, if we're willing to coast halfway there. We're low on supplies, and fuel is right there at the top of the list. I figure our best, really only bet, is to try to slingshot our way to Tosche Point and hope that cruiser isn't refueling at the same stop. If she's in system at all, I have an old friend of the family who resettled out here, owns a drydock. Does asteriod belt racing now. Maybe he can hide us out for a bit."

Ted was caught by surprise by the mutiny as the captain was, since he spent much of his time happily crammed into a broom clo-accounting room ensuring numbers line up and everyone had their supplies they needed. He was finally dragged out by the rest of the 'commanding' crew because they needed to know some hard numbers.

Command Bridge

Ted replies snappishly from leaning against a large display table dominating the room, standing before the command crash couch "Maybe if you chose not to show off flying we would have more fuel left!" His voice reaches a slightly higher pitch at the end, very nearly whining, particularly as he hates some the manevours. He's chosen to cover the fancy digital device with paperwork because he can't figure out how to make the damn experimental thing work. Stupid testing crap.

He takes a deep drink of decaffinated coffee to help steady himself (he doesn't need to be jumpier) and flips through the relevant papers. "Fuel is not the only thing we are low on. While the ship has plenty of water-not really a difficulty in a closed system-other anemities such as toilitries and real food are an issue. The crew may riot if forced to switch to emergency compressed nutrient bars." He shudders. He tried them once, as an experiment, and heartily agreed with the captain... ex captain about them. Only fit for plants. "We unfortunately offloaded our delivery-which we could have used-to the colony on planet We Made It! earlier and planned to restock completely and... empty on rendevous, but with the amount of plasma we put out, our fuel consumption has always been higher then average."

His eyes stray over the ship's registration for a moment, tempted by a plan, but unwilling to voice it. Someone may notice his hesitation.

"That same issue which makes it delightfully fast" he snips again at Daria "Also makes it hard to hide. Unless we can refit the engines, which would be expensive and time-consuming, that is not a viable plan." He groans. He was looking forwards to just finishing the expense reports and having a nice nap as the ship trundled along at a gentle pace. "A garbled report or sending a statement about delays may buy us some more time before they begin searching, but we will completely unable to shake them, as docks log our registry and ship-type-" Amongst other things, all of which he is familiar with "on top of the aforementioned issue."

"We need supplies and a way out, ASAP. Money would be helpful, but not necessary since we are liable to spend immediately."

Maintenance bay

Mutiny and already seriously Low on supplies, she was submitting her own Requisitions for Munitions and she pondered the now Marooned Captain. She had ensured she had been Marooned with a Dodgy Radio, and Fouled Star Compass, hopefully delaying the Confederation Cruisers rescue and thus their pursuit. Perhaps if the Captain hadn't let slip that she planned to obtain three New Security Droids and that the other War Relics had been mothballed the mutiny could have been averted. If everyone didn't make Ted do all the paperwork, she might not have found out that the captain had set up a shutdown maintenance schedule at the same time she was too receive the new droids a clear sign that the Last of the 10k7’s was going to be put in mothballs till the next war.

Being a War Relic she pulled on her knowledge of old weapons caches, ammo dumps, and resupply stations and submitted that with her requests to Ted. She cycled some of her weapon mounts from secure to fire and back, a Unnerving fidget like habit of her's. Battle would be coming, it wasn't war, but something about the anticipation made her steam engine rev up.

Bridge

Reclining in his chair and dozing while his feet were kicked up on top of a console, Anders looked like he might as well be dozing, but he still managed to listen in on the conversation around him.

"Oh, wow, this all sounds bad.  Out of gas, out of food, and light-years from anywhere."

He mulled over possible solutions to their predicament.  A friendly merchant vessel might lend them what they need for the short term.  And there were always alternatives to being friendly and asking nicely, such as being friendly, asking nicely and not giving them a choice in the matter.

But then again...  "Fixing all that sounds like work!  We should just go ahead to the redezvous."

Engine Room

The gaunt technopath shuffled around the place like a like a whispy borged-out ghost, muttering both directives and words of encouragement to his army of tiny mechanical drones.  There was always something that needed to be done, something that required the mechanic's attention, something to keep him...distracted from his troubled thoughts.

...He didn't want to of course.  Indeed he'd only reluctantly agreed to joining with the war-mech's mutiny was because it had promised the coup would be bloodless.  But he would have likely been left with no alternatives regardless.  He'd heard talk.  Intimations.  Rumors that the captain was catching on to what exactly he was.  He was not going back.  He'd jettison himself out of the airlock first...

But now wasn't the time for that.  There was work to do.  They were low on supplies and, while he had no helpful contacts to speak of, he could try to stretch what fuel they had left to keep the ship moving at least a little longer.  And even if they managed that fiasco, Hodge'll still have his hands full trying to find a way to spoof a transponder code to keep the Feds off their exhaust trail.

Ausana Sector
Colonial Space, Confederation Cruiser in Sector


Now that everyone has done an intro and answered my questions, any of you who wish to can post freely without worrying about the "one a day" pace.  But I will need a decision on where you are going to go.  You can post your vote here or just let me know elsewhere, and I'll try to match the majority.  The options that characters have suggested are:

Tosche Point:  A colony on the moon of a nearby gas giant, popular in the area for its rustic debris-belt racing.  Your pilot has intimated that it would be the easiest destination to reach on your limited fuel reserves.

Horace Station: A helium-3 mining operation orbiting a massive gas giant in the cold and unforgiving red dwarf system designated LG71228B.  A miserable place with a bad reputation, but a good place to find those of a criminal bent.

Rendezvous with the TCS Valiant:  The Valiant is a Confederation cruiser, a powerful warship that is acting to enforce Confederation authority in the Ausana Sector.  The Dark Horse was scheduled to rendezvous with it in the next few days to recieve orders.  At the moment, it is probably not yet aware of the mutiny.


TCS Dark Horse - Confederation Corvette
Stolen!, Experimental Systems, Make Some Noise, Rocketship on Rails, High Energy Plasma Exhaust, Incredibly Checkered History
100MJ Particle Beam Array
, K-7 Arc Beam Turbolaser Turret

Weapons -2, Shields +2, Sensors +0, Engines +4
       b b b b
Conditions: Low on Supplies, Registration of Mutiny

Cockpit

The big man looked at Anders with stark disbelief.  Was he even sane?  But so long as he wasn't actually trying anything stupid, it didn't much matter.  Itztli shrugged, pulling the trajectories from the computer through the near-field.  Of course he knew better than to touch.  "Well we'll need something to pay Unnister with before we head to Horace, assuming we don't find any alternatives, not to mention such minor things as buying food and fuel.  Assuming your friend at Tosche can point us at something profitable."

Cockpit

"You're kidding, right? The exhaust isn't all that bad unless we wind them out. A soft hand saves fuel and our asses."

Itzli gets an appreciative look, not only because he keeps his hands to himself but because clearly the man has a functioning brain. "Yeah, Kinko should have a good ear to the ground for stuff we can do. I'm sure there is someone we can threaten into making smarter life choices for cash. Now if you're all done yammering in my space I'm going to start getting one of our problems resolved. Maybe we can find a basic logistics course for our quartermaster when I enroll our mechanic in Ship Maintenance 102." 

She turns away from the boys, text scrolling backwards across her goggles as she lays in a careful, fuel saving plot to Tosche Point. A tight line here, a coast there, a full power blast for so many seconds...

Bridge

Anders blinked back sleepily at Itztli.  "What?  It's not like our mutiny is automatically known to every ship in the Confederacy."  

He sat up in his chair stretched out his legs.  "Meeting up with the Valiant and getting the supplies we're supposed to receive would actually buy us the most time to try and change our transponder codes.  It's the last thing they'd expect pirates to do.  Are we calling ourselves pirates, yet?  Let's call ourselves pirates." 

He grinned as he leaned back in the chair again, cupping his hands behind his head.  "All we need is a believable fiction.  There are protocols for the events in which a captain is unable to perform their duty, after all.  Sure, it'd probably be easier if we still had the Captain on board and make her drink two bottles of rum, or something, and present her in a case of dereliction of duty, but hey, we can think of something and fake some documentation to back it up."

He shrugged and seemed to give up on the idea.  He wasn't going to push an idea, no matter how fun scamming the confederacy sounded, if nobody else wanted to take a risk.

"But sure, Asteroid racing sounds fun, too.  Let's go to Tosche Point."

Cockpit

"You know, I actually like that plan, but I sure as momma's a blonde not going to try scamming a cruiser without enough fuel to run away if she smells trouble."

The family photo taped to her console shows that yes, in fact, the mother of blue haired (and goggle clad even then) Daria is, in fact, a platinum blonde.

I'm getting some questions about the mutiny so I thought I'd turn them back on you guys.  Those of you who haven't had a chance to comment on it yet, at least.

Anders, what was your role in the mutiny?  Why did you support the mutiny?

Ted, you not only didn't support the mutiny, you didn't expect it apparently.  What do you think this lot might do to you?

Itzli, was the mutiny as bloodless as Saidria promised Hodge?  Or were your less-savoury mercenary skills called for?  Are the other crew aware of how much you "contributed"?

 

Maintenance bay

she calls up communication to the Bridge and pipes right to a loud speaker "Based on current situation I recommend we hit horace station, its highly unlikly that they are aware of the munity, less so then the Valiant, also we can claim its a suprise inspection, point out that the valiant is in system, throw our weight around and essentially take what we want by calling it contraban, or nessicary, or at the least haggle them down on prices for things we cant outright claim as black market goods"

Bridge

"Ohhh, if fuel's your only worry, we can just drift into the trade lanes and buy some fuel before going to to meet the Valiant.  We could take it by force, but, you know, buying it would probably cause less commotion until the whisle gets blown on us..."

Anders thought back to the mutiny and his part in it.  He always seemed like a lazy layabout and he was for the most part, but he 'avoided work' by hanging out with the the crew, listening to them, telling funny stories, and doing his best not to give an order unless it was expected of him. 

As for Captain Glatkowski, well, he didn't hold any particular love for the woman.  She was often drunk, overly harsh, and strict about all the wrong things, as well as a coward.  But her slip-shod management of the crew allowed for him to conduct himself in a manner he felt most comfortable, whereas a proper captain would more than likely have reigned him in and/or drummed him out.  Hm.  She was definitely a poor judge of character, given himself and a number of the other crewmembers.

He had been planning to lodging a formal complaint aboard the Valiant, of which nothing was likely to have happened, except possibly backfiring on him, because Glatkowski really knew how to work the system.  But things got out of hand when Saidria heard about what the former captain had planned for her.  Rather than get dragged down with her as a possible sympathizer, he got out in front of it.  When the time came, as a junior member of the command crew, Anders was ultimately able to rouse his captain out of her room and escort her to where she would be marooned. 

A pity they hadn't just thrown her in the brig, but hindsight and all that.

He listened calmly when Saidria called up.

"That sounds fun, too, Saidria, thank you.  Horace station is rather rambunctious, so they probably don't care about the mutiny either way.  Unless we try to take their stuff, I'm guessing.  If they fight us about it, well, that's why we have you."  He gave a sloppy grin and nodded.

"Without the captain and her various command codes - and you know there are some - it's going to be awful hard to convince them of anything," Itztli said sourly, strolling out of the cockpit.  He didn't even comment on Saidra's suggestion - it wasn't likely he could get Unnister to do them a favor if they started out by scamming Horace station.  He also didn't mention the Confedration marines that the cruiser would be expecting to contact and wouldn't.  They hadn't been aboard officially anyway...

Alright, we're ready to be moving on.  From what people have said here and elsewhere, our first stop is going to be Tosche Point.  The contact on Tosche Point is Daria's friend Kinko.  Because of this, I'll be working a brief scene with Daria to set up the job, and then we'll be off to the first challenges, the "meat" of the game.

Tosche Point
Established Colony, Asteroid Belts, Gas Giant Moon


Daria's excellent piloting brings the Dark Horse safely to Tosche Point, with just a little fuel to spare.  There's no sign of the Valiant in the system, but the colony's nav-buoys are surely keeping record of your transponder frequency as you fly in. 

Orbiting a gas giant with spectacular rings, the moon of Tosche Point is a well established colony that benefitted from its independence and remoteness during the war.  Without a doubt, Tosche is the most civilized world in the Ausana Sector, but compared to Confederation space that isn't saying much.  Everything is a little bit backwater and rustic, with only minimal orbital facilities.  While a nice place to visit, you probably wouldn't want to live here.

The system's multiple gas giants made quite a mess during the system's formation, leaving many of the star's orbits filled with dense and dangerous asteroid debris.  As a result, Tosche Point has become a center of the dangerous colony world sport of Belt Racing, drawing tourists from several sectors away for the big races, and greatly enhancing the little colony's economy.

After Daria gets in touch, you're cleared for landing at Kinko's drydock, settling down safely onto the large moon.  There seems to be plenty of room, with only one other ship landed at Kinko's place, and it doesn't look in particularly good shape.


TCS Dark Horse - Confederation Corvette
Stolen!, Experimental Systems, Make Some Noise, Rocketship on Rails, High Energy Plasma Exhaust, Incredibly Checkered History
100MJ Particle Beam Array
, K-7 Arc Beam Turbolaser Turret

Weapons -2, Shields +2, Sensors +0, Engines +4
       b b b b
Conditions: Low on Supplies, Registration of Mutiny

Tosche Point
Established Colony, Asteroid Belts, Gas Giant Moon


There's a great huge man waiting when your group exits the Dark Horse.  With a shaved head and handlebar moustache, and arms covered in luminescent tattoos, he looks like some kind of dangerous space-biker more than anything.  He doesn't look particularly glad to see you, eyeing the Confederate call numbers on your ship suspiciously.

When Daria gets close enough, he grins suddenly, and wraps her in crushing bear hug, lifting her right up off her feet.  "Daria!" he says in a voice that's half-growl, but all affection.  "Out in the ass-end of the galaxy where you belong, eh?"  He lets the pilot down, but not without a rough nougie.  "What are you doing flying around in that Confed piece of garbage?"


TCS Dark Horse - Confederation Corvette
Stolen!, Experimental Systems, Make Some Noise, Rocketship on Rails, High Energy Plasma Exhaust, Incredibly Checkered History
100MJ Particle Beam Array
, K-7 Arc Beam Turbolaser Turret

Weapons -2, Shields +2, Sensors +0, Engines +4
       b b b b
Conditions: Low on Supplies, Registration of Mutiny

Tosche Point
Established Colony, Asteroid Belts, Gas Giant Moon

Daria, despite being a pirate now, or at least a mutinous scoundrel (though really, she'd much rather just have turned their lousy excuse for a Captain into a brig troll in exchange for a new one, and the XO too), is still a professional flightomancer. Despite her nerves at the idea of dragging an old friend into her new line of work she still took the time to secure her station and lock out the ship's controls, occasionally pushing up her goggles onto her forehead to get a clear view of a readout with her own eyes, rather than just the HUD's relayed text. 

A quick redo on the twintails, a little tug on the old uniform tunic to keep it neat... and down she goes to meet him. 

"Well shit. Guess maybe business isn't as hot as he made it out to be..." She shakes her head as she hits the bottom of the ramp, then squeaks in surprise as she's hauled off her feet and into a crushing embrace. "Ah! Kinko, dammit, you're worse than my dad!"

She's laughing about it though, after the initial shock, and gives him a high elbow jab to the ribs when he delivers the noogie. "This piece of shit is my piece of shit, so watch it Mister. As for what I'm doing here, well... even after the war was over they still needed pilots who knew their ass from their big toe, and it isn't just anyone who can toss a heap like this around like it's a Viper in an interceptor squadron."

She thumps her chest with a grin. "Of course, I'm not just anyone, eh? Anywho, Kinko... we have a bit of a snag, see. A little, um, misunderstanding in the personnel management department, and now... okay, I'll be straight with you. We're out of fuel, and supplies, and, um, short one C-A-P-T-1, if you get my meaning. Help out a friend?"

Now time to see if an old friendship is stronger than a new life.

Kinko's face darkens as Daria tells her tale.  "Hell girl, you really stepped in it this time, didn't you?"

He eyes the Dark Horse again.  "I can give you a new paint job, for all the good that'll do, and maybe a small spot of fuel, but that's about all I can offer.  You know I'd do more if I could, but..."  He gestures at the somewhat run-down shipyard.  "Put all my eggs in one basket, you see, and I'll be lucky to keep this place afloat another year as is."

He turns towards the other ship parked at the yard, walking towards her.  "Put all my savings in this bastard to win the Trevali Cup tomorrow, and the damn thing catches fire during an engine test!"  He shakes his fist at the damaged ship, furious.  It's about the same size as yours, though with a civilian design.  "Prize money for that race would've paid my rent for the next year, with more than enough left over to stock your corvette."

He stops, eyeing the Dark Horse yet again.  Kinko is no fool, and he's undoubtedly noticed the Horse's over-built engines.  "Is she fast a fast one, your ship?"

"Yeah. Life's never simple when I'm involved, remember? I think you said that, or maybe that was Deker, I got you two mixed up sometimes." She smirks as she drops the name of his old school days shop class nemesis. Then she just shakes her head. "God and stars, Kinko. I figured you were exaggerating a bit about the shop, but just how long have you been scraping by? I'd have made it out here ages ago... paint, a sniff of fuel would go a long way to helping, if that's what you have."

When he points to the deathtrap sharing a slip with her own bedraggled steed, though, she scrunches up her face. "Kinkooo, you weren't going to try actually flying that thing a race, were you? You can't fly out of an open spaceport, you were going to race that piece of crap through the belts? Honestly, you boys..."

And then she catches his last question, and the grin splits her face. "Oh yes. Yes Kinko, she is very fast. But, um, she's a hog when she's at the stops. That might be why we're in the predicament we're in, with the fuel reserves. But... are you thinking what I think you're thinking? A little paint... a 'little sniff' of fuel... and a year's rent for you?"

Kinko shrugs, still studying the Dark Horse.  "Well she's the right size for the race, and I know she's got the best damn pilot in the sector."  He grins himself.  "And I've got enough fuel for the race itself, no problem.  Hell, even second place would make a huge difference, get you to the next sector at least.  If you think you can handle the toughest belt this side of the galaxy, that is..."

"Hey. Hey!" She pokes him in the ribs again, shaking her head with a mock-glare. "What's this 'pilot' nonsense. I'm the best damn flightomancer in the whole galaxy. Count me in, I'll whip your little race like the backwoods brat it is." 

Oh yeah. Problem: solved. 

GM POST


Thank you, PF.

I am rushing this all a bit right now, for the sake of getting to the mechanics of the main game.  Normally you would have more than one contact available, and you would pick one of a few job options and decide how you want to proceed.  In this case, the only real way to proceed is "running the race".  This will let us get acquainted with the basic rules and dice rolling mechanics for getting through challenges, as well as giving us a chance to calibrate how difficult challenges should be.

Any job will consist of a series of challenges, obstacles you need to overcome to move on to the next part of the job.  In this case we are keeping it simple and linear.  You have three people to race against, and when (if) you have filled all their progress bars (one way or another) you win the race.  There will be a total of four challenges, which must be completed in order.

First Leg: Nip Skeezik, a friendly Seruvian merchant
bbbb

Second Leg: Vestine Bowman, a violent and dangerous woman
bbbbbb

Third Leg: Sabotage!  Something will go wrong with the Dark Horse.
bbbb

Fourth Leg: Felix William Bryce, spoiled heir to a Confederation barony.
bbbbbbbb

 

The length of the difficulty bars is just preliminary, we'll adjust them based on how fast we fill the first couple.

My next post will set the stage and then we will launch into the first challenge.  Your job is to tell me how you are contributing to winning the race, as discussed in the rules on the Campaign Page.  Make sure to list the skill you are using, and the ship system you are using with it.  I'll roll some dice and report the results.

Remember there are many actions you can take to help the Dark Horse win the race.  While actions such as piloting the ship are obvious, you could also help by making adjustments to the engines, or working the ship's defences against small asteroid impacts.  If you're having trouble coming up with anything let me know, and we will work it out.  Feel free to collaborate with each other, as well.

Remember there are a couple of special actions you can take:

  1. Teamwork Bonus: Instead of putting your roll towards the progress bar, make a roll to grant a +2 bonus to another character's actions.
  2. Create Advantage: Use your aspects and roll for success to place a new aspect on the scene or the challenge
  3. Flashbacks:  There's a full day between Daria's meeting with Kinko and the race.  There might not be anything you can do during the race, but you may have found some way to gain an advantage during the day leading up to it.

We're going to play this using TURNS.  You get to take one action during a turn.  You can post more often if you want, but you can only affect the game mechanically ONCE.  We move on to the next turn after every player has made an action.  I'll make sure to announce turns so you know when you can act again.  If a challenge is cleared before you have a chance to act, the turn will NOT change, so you will be among the first to address the next challenge.

Actions will be executed in the order that makes the most sense, rather than the order they are posted.  So if the pilot has already announced her piloting actions, you can still do something to give her a bonus before the dice are rolled.

None of your actions are set in stone before the dice roll, and you can always change your mind.  I will be sure to inform you of the risks your action is exposing you to (in this case, usually damage to the ship).  Once I have posted dice results however, it is too late to take anything back.

I will probably post dice results every couple of posts, rather than waiting for everyone.  That way if a challenge is cleared quickly, the people who haven't acted yet will be able to start work on the next, without anyone's turn being "wasted".

Alright, anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask.  Let's see if this whole play-by-post system actually works, shall we?

The Asteroid Race
Asteroids!


The day of the Trevali Cup has arrived!  The Dark Horse is in orbit with her competitor ships just outside one of this system's many asteroid belts.  Nearby, a couple of rustic liners carry an audience eager to witness the race, though most of it will be watched on screens, transmitted from a series of sensor buoys scattered through the belt.

The race consists of a complex circuit through the belt, checking in as you pass sensor buoys to confirm you have followed the correct path and not tried any sneaky shortcuts.  So long as racers approach each designated buoy in the correct order, they are free to pick their own path, and they will need to, as the dense and violent belt is in a constant state of change.

There are a few rules, and breaking any will result in disqualification

  1. No firing upon fellow racers (though you may fire upon asteroids, and if the debris should happen to interfere with a fellow racer, these things happen)
  2. No firing upon the sensor buoys
  3. No leaving the asteroid belt

Other than that, there's not much you can't do to win the race.  First one to return to the liners wins.

You have three competitors in the race, whom you may have had a chance to meet and speak with.

Nip Skeezik is captain of the Daring Venture.  A Seruvian merchant with a lifelong passion for belt racing, his ship is impressive for a tramp freighter but not really built for the race.  He's friendly and sociable, always happy to make new friends.  He's here to have a good time, and maybe drum up some publicity for the Venture.  You get the impression he isn't all that concerned about winning.

Vestine Bowman commands the Harpy.  She is a vile and unpleasant human, a mercenary and, some say, a pirate and brigand.  She has no interest in making friends.  You are her competitors, and thus you are nothing more than meat (or slag iron, in some cases).  The Harpy is a monster of a ship, heavily armed and thick with armour, though it doesn't look particularly fast carrying all that extra mass.

Felix William Bryce is owner and captain of Mercury's Thunder.  Heir to a Confederation barony, he is a true aristocrat, thouroughly rude and boorish to lower-class peasants such as yourself.  While others got here through talent or sheer pig-headedness, Bryce got here through money, fielding a tricked-out pleasure yacht sporting massive state-of-the-art engines, sleek and beautiful.  He has publically dedicated his assured win to the glory of the Confederation, a demonstration for the colonists of what wonderful things Confed can bring them.  You suspect he's really not interested in any glory but his own.


The Asteroid Race - First Leg
Asteroids!


When the starting signal sounds, you're ready to run, plunging into the asteroid belt with abandon.  Felix Bryce blows immediately into the lead, the engines of his overbuilt yacht burning bright blue in the void as the nimble vessels weaves and bobs a clear path through the rocks.  Bowman's Harpy is hot on his heels, running in a straight line, just smashing right through any asteroid that gets in her way, like a terrible rampaging juggernaut.

Before you can deal with those two, you'll have to get out ahead of Nip Skeezik and the Daring Venture.  Skeezik is running the race far more cautiously than the others, and shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

 

Nip Skeezik - Daring Venture
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When you take an action and roll successfully, the number by which you rolled over the action's diffculty will be added to Nip's progress bar.  If you fail your roll, the number by which you rolled under will need to be absorbed by your ship as shields or consequences.  Note that the scene has the aspect Asteroids! which you are free to use as well as your own aspects and ship aspects.

You may post in any order and as often as you want, but you may take only ONE action until every character has had a turn.  I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.


TCS Dark Horse - Confederation Corvette
Stolen!, Experimental Systems, Make Some Noise, Rocketship on Rails, High Energy Plasma Exhaust, Incredibly Checkered History
100MJ Particle Beam Array
, K-7 Arc Beam Turbolaser Turret

Weapons -2, Shields +2, Sensors +0, Engines +4
       b b b b
Conditions: Low on Supplies, Registration of Mutiny

Flashback to the day before.

Anders went for a walkabout, chatting amiably with just about anyone he passed by, giving out smiles and nods at the very least.  Every time he came upon a gathering of people chatting, he'd ease himself into the conversation and listen in.  He seldom had to bring up the race himself, as it was the most talked about piece of gossip around.  He kept his ears open, let the people talk, and was eventually told just about everything he wanted to know.

He kept on meandering without apparent direction until he hit upon a bar.  With his usual stooped shoulders and hunched walk, he went in and talked to some Seruvians, easily mixing in as his posture revealed himself as someone that was accustomed to dealing with people that were only two feet tall on average, having been Raised by Seruvian Space-Merchants.   Anders was always looking down so he could talk to someone looking up, and that made it easy for him when he came upon Nip Skeezik to start up a conversation.

After a few drinks and a couple stories shared between them; Nip describing some of the sights he'd seen and near misses he's had, and Anders telling a few tales from his time on the Seruvian Space-Freighter Dauntless Wager among other, Anders broached the subject of the upcoming race.

"You know, Nip, I've been thinking about this race.  An' you're right, you got me pegged correctly; I have been scouting out the competition.  I'm from the Dark Horse.  Make no mistake, like her name sake, she's going to come out of nowhere and take home victory.  But... Well, you seem like a decent fellow and all...  Call it a flash of insight, but I think you're just aiming to give it a decent showing.  Oh, sure, give it your best, an honest try and all that, nothing less can be asked!   However, the Daring Venture just isn't fast enough to overtake Mercury's Thunder, and from what I hear, the captain of the Harpy plays dirty pool."

"What am I getting at?  Oh.  Well, you know, the Dark Horse has speed to spare and is tough enough to take whatever dirty tricks may come her way, so let us help you by clearing a path.  Our pilot is so hot, she calls herself a Flightomancer!  Try and follow along in our wake and you're guaranteed a good showing as we race along the floating rocks.  As a bonus, we'll take the most risk, leaving the Venture looking good and ready for business the next day, and business is what's important, right?"

I should mention very briefly that it's important you tell me what you're trying to do (create an advantage, overcome the challenge, etc) and what skills you want to roll for.  In this case I can pretty much guess at it but not all future cases will be the same, so it's important to get that "OOC info" into your posts.

Thanks for using a flashback Shush.  This is an excellent example of a "zero stress cost" flashback, simple conversation.  I'm assuming (until you confirm) that you want to roll on Charm to Overcome (ie fill the progress bar).  Skeezik is a shrewd little Seruvian with a competitive streak, but you wouldn't be costing him much, so I'm going to set the difficulty for this roll at +3.  You face minimal risk if you fail, Skeezik isn't the sort to hire thugs to break your legs for insulting him.

Correct.  For formating, I'll put them at the bottom of my post with my modifies from now on in bold.

Like so: Charm +3 to Overcome.

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