New Campaign: Objects in Space

  • 47 Replies
Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 07:44:10 PM »
Every good space station has a hatchet. According to science.



  • 330
Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2011, 07:56:39 PM »
Duh. I mean what are you gonna murder you're crewmates with when they turn on you? A gun? And risk a hull breach?


Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 08:50:47 PM »
If it's Mir, a Hammer and/or Sickle.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2011, 10:13:14 PM »
Watch the anime PlanetES. One of the best ever and all about a fairly realistic portrayal of living in space.  Not apocalyptic space but I'm sure it will have some gems of inspiration.



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Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2011, 10:59:24 PM »
This campaign concept is splendid.



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Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 04:38:18 AM »
What a great idea for a campaign! And just in time for it, MIT Press just published Nicholas de Monchaux's Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo on how Playtex seamstresses sewed the 21-layer Apollo spacesuits, and other fascinating tidbits.

Axes we already know well and love wisely.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 12:03:16 PM »
The first session was rad! Lots of interesting things came up immediately because both our Quarantine and our Skinner-with-Followers (we all started with one advance) tanked their start-of-session rolls!

Playing the Faceless is way fun; mine is a quietly crazy hybrid of Sam from Moon and a Big Daddy from BioShock.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 12:18:36 PM »
Andy's work got busy at the last minute, so we roped in Cy, who'd played in the only other AW game I ran, a one-shot at PAX last year.  I'm aiming it for it to be a game that's easy to wander in and out of, modeled a bit on John's "Iron Coast" game.  So maybe Andy (or Eric, who runs Gamma Ray games) will show up next week.

Character creation was fun.  We ended up with:

Trench, Lukas' gender-concealed faceless, who had been originally sent up to conduct experiments on a fancy new pressure suit but then, due to the apocalypse, abandoned on a small orbital lab for 20 years before being found by the space station Legacy. Trench has the "Norman" move, in the form of the lab computer that he spent 20 years talking to and apparently still talks to sometimes (though nobody else can hear it). Also, he never takes the suit off. Ever.

Specialist Vladimir Gregoryan, a Russian quarantine whose stasis pod has only been recently recovered from space. He's only been out for a few days and his brain was completely overwhelmed by the psychic maelstrom. Specialist Anna Tamaskovitch (riffing off "Tammy") lost her mind when she emerged from stasis and Trench tied her up and locked her in his old lab (now incorperated into the station) so she wouldn't harm herself.

Grace, the skinner-with-followers (we decided to start out with 1 advance, since we'd all played some before) who is functionally in charge of Legacy and runs the breeding program that's produced roughly a dozen healthy children. Like Trench, Grace is also an "original" (born on earth) and is just over 50 (the apocalypse taking place roughly 30 years ago). Trench doesn't participate in the breeding program but stays partially because he loves the children.

We kicked it off with the session moves and they were fun. Two failures.

First, Grace's followers got +disease and +judgment.  I narrated one of the children, a 7yo girl named Newton, getting sick at breakfast.  When Trench took her to the infirmary, Newton's mother, Rice (an original) was on duty and quickly went to confront Grace about the food -- grown hydroponically on the station -- being poison. Rice demanded, kinda out of nowhere, that they try to make it to the moon.  Grace hypnotized her (skinner move) with her calm, quiet, compassionate leadership but promised to do something about it.

Then, I asked Vladimir what they tried that failed (past move). He said that they'd built underground bunkers to try to shield people from the beginnings of the psychic maelstrom and that he was in charge of them when they failed and everyone fell into madness and violence.  So he was remembering that when he woke up and went to  talk to Specialist Tamaskovitch.

Vladimir hacked his way past Trench's electronic lock (7-9 act under fire), but set off a silent alarm that sent a signal to Trench's suit. Anna was mumbling semi-coherently about being in the wrong place and wanting to leave, so Vladamir read a person (success) but also was required -- as a quarantine who failed his initial psychic maelstrom roll -- to open his brain (failure).  He saw what Anna was seeing, a jet-black storm rolling across the surface of the planet far below, beneath the poisoned atmosphere. The storm ripped two questions from his mind: 1) what do you plan on doing now (return to earth to complete his mission), 2) was going into space voluntary or were you ordered to (he felt compelled to do it). As MC, my move was "inflict harm" (as established), so Vladimir took s-harm and passed out, floating there next to Anna with the door now unlocked and open. Later, on the bus home, I smacked myself for not making it psi-harm, but I forgot all about that in the moment. Next time.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2011, 12:57:30 PM »
Forgot to mention: Vladimir's successful reading of Anna let him figure out that she would stop harming herself or freaking out if he promised he was going to take her away from the station. That's important later.

While that was happening, Grace and Trench went to talk with Millions, Grace's eldest son (22), who was in charge of the converted hydroponics garden. Millions tried to insist that everything was fine, that the plants were all doing well, but Trench read a person and wasn't buying his bullshit.  When pressed, Millions admitted that at least half the food was of low quality and quickly deteriorating. The seeds that he harvested from each subsequent batch of plants had gradually gotten weaker and weaker. Unless they could get fresh seeds from somewhere, the food supply was in trouble.  He'd known about this for a while, but gambled that the deterioration was slow enough that he could stop it. Too late now.

Grace tried to read Millions and failed. My MC move was "tell them the possible consequences and ask," so Millions begged Grace not to blame him for this or tell the children that he'd been feeding them food that wasn't good for them.  He wasn't sure if he could take that.  Grace said that he had to take responsibility in front of the adults of the station, but didn't say anything specifically about the children. She agreed that he could present the situation at an upcoming "council meeting."

Trench then went to find out what was happening in his lab, arriving to find Vladimir unconscious in Anna's "cell" and Anna nowhere to be found.  He slapped Vladimir awake and opened his brain (asking his lab computer) where Anna was. She was in the airlock, clearly, trying to get away. Trench used his magnetic boots to run in that direction, with Vladimir floating through the station, pulling himself along, trying to keep up.

Anna had already closed the inner door and was randomly pushing buttons on the control panel inside. Vladimir, having already proved his ability to hack electronic doors, went to work on this one (7-9 act under fire, again), but got help from Trench ripping the panel cover open. As MC, I said that they got the inner door open, but that Anna had finally found a correct button sequence and the outer door was preparing to open, threatening to space at least half the station. We noted with a grin that this wasn't exposing Trench to harm, retribution, or cost (as he'd succeeded in his helping roll), since he was already in a pressure suit. While Vladimir promised he would take Anna back to earth with him, which she responded well to, Trench went aggro on the airlock controls with his axe (10+), which did what he wanted and stopped their sequence.

[Later, on the bus home, Lukas and I chatted a bit about going aggro on inanimate objects and the difference between them doing what you wanted and sucking up your harm, but I venture that it worked pretty well in practice.]

Finally, Grace went to talk to "the person she had to worry about most" if this 'go to the moon' movement ever found its footing. I decided this was Rice's husband, Peppering, an original and the father of Millions (with Grace). Peppering was not a scientist but a corporate spouse -- working for the sci-tech company financing the  station -- who'd finagled his way onto the original mission as an administrator. We decided he wasn't actually part of Grace's followers, considering the breeding program her business and beneath him. He liked to think he was in charge, even though Grace was the real power.  Peppering had always been disappointed that Millions was only amounting to being a "farmer" and would never be a real leader.

Grace told Peppering that maybe they should go salvage for more seeds, making it sound like this was Millions idea and that he should be involved in the mission in some leadership capacity. Peppering warmed to this, under hypnosis, but implied that Millions was a bit soft and he'd feel better if Trench accompanied them.  Actually, he suggested (giving Grace something he thought she wanted), if they could convince the "new guy" (Vladimir) to go too, then Peppering could use his background in the military-industrial sector to break both himself and Grace into Vladimir's stasis and see what was of use to the station.

And, on that note, setting up the next session in a couple different ways, we wrapped.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 01:16:13 PM »
It's really great. The faceless talking to his spacesuit computer but really tapping into the maelstrom (and his crazy) is great. I'm assuming he's male but there's always the possibility of a Samus reveal.

For me, it's like watching a really good science fiction show - the audience rapidly becomes aware that there's a whole ton of crazy going on. The juxtaposition of hard sublight-speed science and the psychic maelstrom makes it both real and transcendent at the same time.

There are so many science fiction movies and shows that start out great and then turn crappy (Sunshine, Dante-13, Event Horizon, Battlestar Galactica) ... but I have confidence we'll hold it together. I know the psychic maelstrom isn't going to turn out to be a metaphor for hell or anything religious - it's just the psychic maelstrom, yo.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2011, 01:30:36 PM »
I also love how Grace seems really nice, reasonable, and willing to talk out any problems that anyone has, but she's really hypnotizing the fuck out of anyone who she thinks might be endangering the station or challenging her authority. Rad and scary.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2011, 01:42:29 PM »
Forgot to mention. When Millions first showed up, I suggested off-hand that he was probably named, like Abraham, to be the father of a great nation, repopulating humanity. He was both the firstborn and one of the few males, since Grace's breeding program intentionally tries for female babies (though it probably took a few to get that right). In retrospect, the name "Millions" was probably Peppering's idea, rather than Grace's, which explains so much!

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2011, 03:47:09 AM »
Awesome. So much great stuff!

And yeah, no, don't roll to go aggro on stuff. You just do it, or act under fire if there is any.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2011, 12:41:25 PM »
AW in space sounds awesome!  I love taking a premise, and upping the weird of it, putting the world in a place alien but where the humanity is still familiar.

The Faceless with the astronaut visor is so cool.  And the Russian Quarantine, or the Skinner with followers.  All the characters sound particularly creative and super fun to play.

The custom moves are amazing - I particularly like giving yourself over to the black void - inducing space madness in a way more specific than the opening up to the Maelstrom.

Other playbooks I could see working - the Chopper with his gang of thrust-sleds, all done up in pressure suits; the Hardholder with a hydroponic ship; The Hoarder stowaway. 

Well done guys.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2011, 04:29:05 PM »
Whoa. So cool! Gonna steal this idea - can't stop thinking about cannibals storaging their food in the void.