Sunday, May 19, 2013

Incident on Outer Reach

Outer Reach, the scummy hive of wretched villainy, in the Dramune System, the Frontier.  These are the wanderings of a band of jaded mercenaries, on a continuing mission to get more cash, bigger guns, seek out new enemies and kill them.  

It is a time of great unrest.  Rebel forces, striking from a hidden base, have been a thorn in the side of Governor Cohaagen Tulving.  And there are two groups of rebels, the Rebels, and the Techno-Warriors, who have a small army of combat robots and a handful of 50m tall (yes, Godzilla-sized) robots as well.  And of course, the Sathar have landed!  Not to mention all the criminal elements on the planet.

This is what happens when I pull out a set of adventures I made for Star Frontiers roughly 25 years ago, and run it for my current group of players.  We spend a few days actually getting them familiar enough with the rules to make their characters, and discussing any special needs they might have.

Justin - Krueger, a 7 1/2' tall human techie, former Techno-Warrior, with a bracing exoskeleton (flavor only) because of his frail physical condition.  Had all tech skills plus demolitions and environmental.

Jeremy - Z.E.D., an AI robot (actually full conversion cyborg, think robocop without even the lips, just half a human brain inside a robotic shell).  Combat specialized (Beam, Projectile, Melee weapons, plus Environmental) and packing a bladed gauntlet (sword) and needler pistol.

Rick - Mason Hawke, a human ex-military sniper, with his mouth sewn shut and a neural-interface robotic hawk mounted on his shoulder that talks for him (again just for flavor, and everyone calls a parrot).  Purely a military man (Projectile and Melee weapon skills only).

Dean - Sister Pompeius Izabelle Giulius, 9-year old Bene Gesserit human, just beginning her training in all that Bene Gesserit Jazz (Psycho-Social and Martial Arts skill, plus some special rules for using Intuition as a "power pool" for increasing chances to perform certain actions/rolls) wearing Tibetan monk robes and light-up Hello Kitty sneakers.

Dean actually wasn't able to make it, which may have been a good thing, considering how things played out with the three hard-case mercs that went on the adventure.  Or maybe her calming influence would have changed the dynamic?  Who knows?  

So the PCs decide to hire on with the autocratic governor who controls the mining operations to put down the rebellions, mostly because they assume he's got the deepest pockets.  Gov. Tulving's underling sends them on a mission to track down the hidden Sathar base so the government forces can roll in and wipe them out.  The only real lead they have is that the Sathar arrived during a battle between the government forces and Techno-Warriors that destroyed the city of Glaxon.

Finding some Glaxon refugees after a bit of computer searching, they learn from a refugee that they need to pacify that there are potentially many hypnotized Sathar agents around, and that a Pan Galactic Corporation research facility, Pwason, was shut down but people have reported seeing activity there.

Before going to the research facility, they stop at a military munitions factory and manage to con the commander into loaning them hover cycles and giving them more ammo (but not the rocket launcher they'd hoped for).  Heading to the Pwason Facility on the cycles, they run into an ambush of soldiers (they were Rebels, but the party gunned their engines and left them in the dust rather than stopping to find out).  

They scout out the Pwason facility for a day, watching the eight scientists going about their day doing SCIENCE!!! stuff.  At dinner time, Krueger goes to the lab building to snoop around while ZED and Mason lob doze grenades into the dining hall window.  All but one of the scientists are knocked out, and she opens fire with a shotgun.  She manages to resist needler anaestetic the first time, but after getting a burst shot from Mason, ZED's needlers put her under the second time.

Krueger is meanwhile investigating the scientists' work, finding some strange unknown types of genetic experimentation going on.
Mason decapitates the human woman who resisted, and leaves the corpse there for the others to see when they wake up bound.  The first to come around is a female Vrusk, and Mason takes her into another room while ZED watches over the prisoners.  Mason then tries to get her to talk by telling her that he and ZED saved them from an attack, but waking up tied up next to a dead and disfigured companion and seeing the "rescuers" not untying the other prisoners, she's suspicious and uncooperative.  Mason, with help of Krueger on the chronocom, tricks her into revealing her false PGC contact, Bobward Strumm.  Krueger checks, there's no record of such a man working for Pan Galactic.  Still, the Vrusk refuses to cooperate, so Mason kills her.

The party radios into the military to send some troops to pick up the prisoners.  When they arrive, the medic uses Telol (truth serum) to get them to talk, and lo and behold, yes, they are hypnotized Sathar agents, and reveal the location of the hidden base.  

Mission success!  (sorta)

Anyway, the team took the Sathar agents' armory and got paid by Governor Tulving.  Hopefully I'll be able to run a couple more of these games over the summer.  It was nice to play Star Frontiers again, and while I had to look up more rules than I thought I would, we didn't really have any hitches as far as the rules went.

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