New Campaign: Objects in Space

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Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2011, 12:32:23 AM »
And, just in time for me to make some Fronts...

WHAT HAPPENS TO IRRADIATED SEEDS

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2011, 02:38:03 PM »
Huh. I just googled "irradiated seeds", and it actually seems like it's a pretty common process for producing new strains of a given plant. Interesting!

Of course, that's under controlled laboratory conditions...

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2011, 04:39:26 PM »
Question for more experienced MCs!

How do you approach making fronts and threats that haven't really been introduced in the game yet?  Do you even try?

I went ahead and wrote up Legacy station as a front, with all the threats we've already seen: the failing hydroponic garden, the children, the council, Peppering, Anna, etc.  But then when I went to make another Front or two for the threats that are off-station, I got a little stuck and feel like I have less to go on.

Basically, I want to ask the players a bunch of questions like "How often do you get attacked by raiders?" "Is there anybody on the station that is a refugee from the moon?"  And I feel like, without those answers, it's harder for me to make up fronts and threats that'll feel real and "stuck in" as part of the shared setting.

My instinct is to stat up a threat or two that are out there, since most likely the PCs will be doing some off-station scavenging next session, but to leave the rest until we get a chance to explore a bit in play and I have a better grounding in what else is out there in orbit.  Is that crazy or a fair call?

I also find myself, after I drafted all the Fronts and Threats out, tweaking them and shifting them around a bit, since it feels like I didn't quite nail them properly the first time.  Now that I've done that, they look really good and I feel really confident about them.  I'm interested if other folks do that too.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2011, 05:37:27 PM »
Yes, think off-screen! That's great.

If you have a strong vision for a Front, run with it, of course. Go ahead and make that Moon front and idly think about what's up with it, time to time, as the on-screen stuff goes down at home. Hold on lightly until it actually gets on-screen, though. Be ready to revise, jettison, as needed.

If you don't have a strong vision for other Fronts yet, that's fine too. There's no rush. Ask questions, like you said, and see what sparks. The home front and the threats you already have will keep you plenty busy in the meantime.

If the PCs rush off to a "blank spot" on the map before you've prepped it, either scan the threats real quick and see what jumps out at you (that's what I do) or ask for a short break while you think it over. If you've been daydreaming your apocalyptica (I know you have) you probably have some unassigned imagery and personalities in your head that you can grab and run with in the moment.

And yes, I also revise threats all the time. Both to better reflect how I envisioned them to start, and in response to changes in play. Sometimes that revision happens only in my head and I never bother to actually change their write-up. But later, reflecting on it, I'm all, "Yeah, she totally turned into a grotesque there."

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2011, 12:17:49 PM »
Here's the love letters we kicked off the last session with.  More AP once my head stops hurting from too much beer and $1 tacos.

-----

Hi Grace!

So… Millions presented the garden situation to the Breeders Council – composed of everyone who’s successfully procreated – and you had +judgment last time, yeah?  That probably didn’t go very well for Millions. Or maybe it did, since you were there. Roll+hot. On a 10+, pick 2 things that DIDN’T happen, due to your smoothing things over; on a 7-9, pick 1. On a failure, all of these.

•   Millions began crying hysterically, in front of Peppering too.
•   The Breeders Council will reconvene later to decide on proper punishment.
•   Millions has been ordered to space all the “poisonous” food and plants.

Hugs and Kisses,
Your MC.

---

Hi Vladimir!

So… you and Grace had sex, right? Somewhere in the midst of the Maelstrom madness that hit when you emerged from your pod? But it hasn’t happened again and you’re not really talking about it, yeah?  I wonder why. Pick one of these:

•   It happened and was whatever it was. Both your sex moves trigger, retroactively.
•   In the midst of it, the Maelstrom rushed through you and you both took psi-harm.  Follow the instructions for that, but remember that this took place in the past, so whatever consequences have already happened, several days ago.
•   You woke up this morning and, addition to whatever vision you get from your past, you suddenly remember your encounter with Grace, clear as day, when before it was kinda foggy. Grace’s sex move suddenly triggers, but not yours, because you were too out of it at the time.

Hugs and kisses,
Your MC

---

Hi Trench!

You, Millions, and Corbett (one of the originals) are out in scavenger space looking for anything that might have live biological specimens in it.  Ask Vladimir if he’s agreed to come along, because Peppering REALLY wants him to go.

You were hoping to meet up with a scavenger crew that occasionally spends time at the station – Pellet, Balls, and Jakabaka – and enlist their help to check out some interesting debris that Fuse has been pinging signals off of. Of course, it’s just not that easy.

Roll+cool.  On a 10+, you find Pellet’s crew and nobody’s shooting at you yet.  On a 7-9, you find Pellet and Balls, but Jakabaka’s missing and somebody’s shooting at you. On a failure, yup, you don’t know where Pellet and his crew are, but you’re hoping that’s them over there shooting at you. But it’s probably not. Are you in a ship of some kind, on jet scooters, or just floating out in space somewhere, having left your vehicle(s) nearby?

Hugs and kisses,
Your MC

*

Judd

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Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2011, 12:41:55 PM »
Jay,

I've generally used letters after a long time off the game when we need to re-connect quickly and get back into the groove.  Any particular reason why you decided to go with letters the second game in?

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2011, 01:01:33 PM »
I don't know Jay's reason, but I also use love letters when I want to jump around in time, or when I have a relationship I want to examine, as well as when we haven't been able to play in a bit. Vincent recently ran a great game that started every weekly session with love letters. But that's me. What's your reason, Jay?

*

Chroma

  • 259
Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2011, 01:18:14 PM »
Vincent recently ran a great game that started every weekly session with love letters. But that's me. What's your reason, Jay?

Whoa! There are MCs that don't start every session with Love Letters!?  

I try to have something for every PC, or a group of PCs, every session!  Even if it's something as simple as "Dear Chopper, things are going smoooooth."  They're often reminders of stuff that happened the previous session, long term goals PCs are trying to put in play, or unexpected options that come to mind after thinking about the session.  I hadn't thought of not doing them each session!
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2011, 01:22:50 PM »
For me, it was about getting a chance to examine some loose ends or consequences left dangling or unexplored. It also served, in practice, to remind folks of what had happened and kick off the action this time around, especially for the characters without "session moves" like Fortunes or The Past.  However, I did notice the love letter moves kinda overshadowed the session moves this time around, so I'm going to try to work better to integrate them next time.

Like, the Quarantine love letter (#2) probably should have been worded: "First, let's see what you remember from your past.  Blah blah.  THEN..."  Likewise with the Skinner+followers love letter (#1).

I really like love letters as part of MC prep because they really get me to focus on a couple of things that I don't do as much, namely 1) cutting straight to the meat of things (like skipping the council meeting and skipping the journey out to scavenger space), and focusing on what's happening RIGHT NOW, rather than thinking too far ahead in the future.  Both of those seem to be pretty critical aspects of MCing AW.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2011, 02:04:17 PM »
I aced my love letter roll, which actually made me a little sad. I wanted to start the session with someone shooting at me!

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2011, 02:24:48 PM »
Yeah, I probably should have worded the 10+ result on your love letter more interestingly. Next time!

Plus, it's not like you didn't get shot up later, like taking that fist-sized slug between your shoulder blades.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2011, 02:57:15 PM »
Should I stop reading this thread? Your talk about what your fronts are going to be ... I covered my eyes and said, "Better not spoil it for myself ... I might become aware of the names of the moves ..."

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2011, 03:08:03 PM »
It's up to you, Jamie.  I'm not worried about it. I mean, every NPC is a threat (or part of one) until you get advanced moves and take some of them as allies, right?  That's how the game works!

Honestly, it doesn't bother me if you know what my MC moves were after a session was over, but if that spoils the magic for you... it's your call.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2011, 12:34:25 PM »
Since our next session is tomorrow, I guess I better get on with this AP! My MC love letters are a few posts up, so let's start with those.

Grace nailed her roll (10+), so she managed to avoid Millions bursting into tears or the Breeder's Council ordering him to space half the food supply for being contaminated. Instead, the Council will rule on appropriate punishment once Millions returns from a scavenging mission to look for fresh seeds.

Vlad's letter gave him a bunch of choices and he chose that sex with Grace happened, and "it was whatever it was." Both their specials trigger and they trade questions back and forth (interestingly, we find out that Vladimir plans on returning to earth to complete his mission, whatever it was, and that Grace doesn't really enjoy life that much anymore, being so focused on everyone's survival). Grace also gets "skinner hold" on Vlad, which would end up being critical later.

Trench was disappointed that he rolled a 10+ on his letter (since Lukas wanted to be in a fight), but he, Millions, and Corbett found Pellet's crew without too much trouble. When Lukas turned to ask Jamie if Vladimir was there, Jamie waffled a bit and said he'd like to play out being asked to join the scavenging trip, if that was cool.  We all said sure and decided that Grace would be the one to ask him. Vladimir got a 7-9 on reading Grace (to see if she was lying about things) and Grace got a 10+ manipulate, so Vladimir marked XP and agreed to go scavenge, leaving his stasis pod locked but unattended.

Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2011, 12:51:33 PM »
I describe a giant ark of a transport ship floating amidst a cloud of its own debris, the top decks of the ship having been apparently blown out from the inside. Pellet's crew have parked their modified commercial space plane upside down on the bottom of the ark's hull and are carving into it with a blowtorch to attempt to siphon its liquid or pressurized gas fuel into their own small ship.

We decide that the scavenger crew from Legacy Station, nominally led by Trench, are in some modified escape pod that doesn't really fly very well and only really has room for three people, so Trench has opted to instead strap himself to the outside of the pod and ride along EVA. Corbett mans the pod while Trench, Millions, and Vladimir float over to Pellet's crew and "offer assistance," mostly in the form of Trench going aggro on Pellet to enlist their help looking for seeds.

There's a brief lull here as the fuel siphoning commences, so I make my MC move (put someone in a spot) and ask if anyone wants to read a charged situation.  Trench fails with a 6 and Vlad helps him to bump it up to a 7-9. "What should I be on the lookout for?" of course. Well, there's a dozen creepy dudes in scavenged metal armor fitted with samurai-style demon masks crawling down both sides of the ark's hull towards you, hooking onto things with razor sharp (maybe nano-sharp) finger claws and carrying space-modified rifles across their backs.

Trench points his axe at them and orders them to stop.  Instead, they draw their guns and open fire.  The battle begins. I suggest that, depending on what they want to do next, they may first have to act under fire.  

Trench says he's just going to go right at them, no caring that they're shooting, and wants to know if he can seize a solid tactical position by force.  Uh huh, sounds good to me.  10+, so he throws himself into the middle of them, decapitates one of them, takes no harm, fear-dismay-frightens them, and now they can't really shoot him effectively without risking shooting some of their own, as Trench is right in the middle.

Vladimir decides to act under fire to avoid getting shot. 7-9, so I say that the siphoning hose for the space plane is right behind him. That's Pellet's problem! Vlad dives out of the way and the hose gets ripped to fuck. A green gaseous substance starts slowly forming an opaque cloud, pouring out the hole cut in the bottom of the ark. Pellet, Balls, and Jakabaka run for their plane.

Vladimir then panics that he doesn't have his own assault rifle (which hasn't been modified for space yet), but decides to go aggro on a demon-dude to get him to give up his gun. 6, but Grace inspires him with memories of her (skinner hold) and he gets a 7-9 instead. He takes a bullet to the chest-plate of his spacesuit and can feel the divot scraping against the fabric of his suit, threatening to tear it, but gets the gun.

Next, Millions tries to go after them in a similar fashion but, not used to fighting in space, tries to jump on top of one and misses, floating over the whole battle and threatening to just keep on drifting until he hits something solid.

Pellet and his crew are now aboard their space plane and prepare to blow this popsicle stand. Pellet sets himself up in the turret they've installed in the top of the plane and swings its big fuck off gun right through the crowd of demon-faces guys, not really paying attention to Trench standing in the middle of them. DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF!! goes the fuck off gun, shooting slugs the size of fists.

Trench decides not to avoid the fuck off gun, but instead to act under fire to grab Millions before he drifts totally away.  Success, but 7-9! Are you really going to take a fist-sized slug for Millions? Trench says bring it.  I flip through the book and grab one of the vehicle guns from the driver's "My other car is a tank" move. And then, like the badass faceless he is, Trench takes 0 harm and totally aces his roll+harm suffered. Holy crap that guy is tough.

Vladimir declares he's provide cover fire for Trench, keeping the demon-faced dudes off his buddy. We decide that this is going aggro rather than the optional move for cover fire (since this is our first fight). 10+, but they decide to flee rather than do what he wants, so Vladimir lights them up with his newly acquired space-rifle. As a quarantine, he decides to do s-harm area, carefully shooting their air hoses, leaving them all gasping and struggling to fix their suits.

Victory! The demon-faced guys limp over the side of the ark and back down into the interior. Trench and Vladimir have a brief chat and decide to go after them. "Something valuable must be here, if it's worth guarding," Trench suggests.  Millions is embarrassed by his performance in the fight, grabs one of the demon space-guns that's floating next to a dead guy, and looks ready to shoot some dudes this time around. They tether their pod to the side of the hull and tell Corbett to wait and Millions to guard the ship.  He's not happy about it, but Trench tells him that the demon-faced dudes are likely to come back and he can shoot some of them then.