Saturday, January 30, 2016

White Star B-Team, Session 1 - Chicago & the Flying Cow

After a gap of many months, we reconvened the B-Team. Since Erik Tenkar has been on a White Star kick, we played White Star. I'm now playing in three active sci-fi games and in one that's on hiatus, and running one fantasy game. I might need to nickname this blog Science Fantastic.

Sadly, though, this session our friend Tim "I rolled a 1" Shorts was replaced by an impostor who rolled really well. Sadly? I meant luckily. We'll miss the original Tim but those were some timely 19s and 20s by the new one.

For a look at the game through Doug's eyes, check here: S&W B-Team White Star

And for Tim's: I Shot First

Prior to play, we rolled up characters - 3d6 rolled seven times, arranged to taste. I got 14, 13, 13, 13, 9, 8, 4. I chose to dump the 4, but it would have been frelling funny to keep it. Instead I put my low stats in STR and CON and made my guy an old man, new to adventuring and new to being a Star Knight. Why a Star Knight? Because I doubt I'll get to be a Jedi in Darth Milk's Star Wars game.

I rolled low on money, and sank it all into camping gear. Much mock was made of my sleeping bag, flashlight, rope, etc. but they were different makers in the game.

Payne Stalk, human mercenary (level 1) (Doug Cole)
Chicago Jones, human scoundrel (level 1) (Tim Shorts, supposedly)
Velo Kalavas, human Star Knight (level 1) (me)

We started in a bar call the Bloody Leech, named after its bloodsucking original owner. No, really, his race drinks blood. It takes all kinds.

A scummy gangster whose name I can't remember (Velo couldn't be bothered, apparently) hired us to retrieve something in a downed ship a half-day's speeder bike ride out of town. We were all either broke or nearly so, so after some tough negotiations we agreed to a ridiculous deal where we got paid a solid amount of money but needed to rent needed gear from the gangster. Being broke, we took it. We needed to get to a ruined ship, retrieve some bovine-avian mix DNA and anything else of similar type we could find.

We took our speeder bikes out to the plowed-in ruins of a ship. It had burrowed itself down, leaving little but some gun-shot wreckage on the surface. Strange, our employer said it crashed due to technical issues. I guess multiple hull breaches from gunfire is a technical issue.

We split up, leaving Chicago at the bikes and Velo and Payne circled from opposite ends to examine the ship and then meet back at the bike. While that was going on, Chicago saw a glint of light in the distance. He also accidentally stomped the brakes and accelerator the wrong way and flipped his bike. He despite the embarrassing flip he saw enough to decide someone was watching us.

We left the bikes and went inside the darkened and ruined ship, which was apparently a F*ing BS-class freighter. Of course, it was dark. But - haha - I had a flashlight. I got mocked for my hobo-load of belongings but I had a flashlight. We had some flares on the bikes, too, but hey, I readied a flashlight and my laser sword, and we headed in.

Although the power was mostly out, we managed to work out way through most of the doors with lots of low rolls and one by cutting it open with my laser sword.

The watchers that Chicago spotted finally made an appearance, trying to sneak up behind us. But Payne was watching the rear, backed by Chicago, as I swept the room we were in with my flashlight. The sneakers didn't make it far - a quick flurry of shots left two dead and another ran away.

We quickly looted them and divvied up their weapons (a laser pistol for me, rifle for Payne, and a spare energy cell for each of us, plus daggers for Payne and Chicago) and continued on.

We found a computer terminal and against all odds Chicago got it working (roll a 6 on a 1d6). He was able to locate our target.

We worked our way across the ship, but blundered into a pair of giant intelligent space cockroaches! Thanks to Payne's good initiative rolls and Erik's typically bad ones, we got the jump on them. Payne shot and missed with his rifle, I charged and missed with my laser sword, and Chicago blew one away with his laser pistol.

The cockroach attacked back, biting me with a 20. Erik chose double damage - 3, which became 6, and dropped me to 0 HP and I dropped. I made a save to not be dead.

The next turn the roach took a bite at one of the others, but quickly went down in a rifle shot from Payne.

Lucky for me, I had a med kit. Lucky? Velo is prepared! Payne applied it to me and I was healed back up.

We made it to the storage area and extracted all of the DNA sample vials. Lucky for us, we had a sleeping bag to double as a vial storage bag.

We headed out, and outside the ship we met a trio of humans. A small guy and two hired goons. The small guy demanded our vials, in return for our lives. Chicago Jones, though, is a scoundrel, and he had a special power that once a session gives him a chance to shoot before initiative is rolled. He made the roll, and then shot the mouthy small guy and blew him prone and bleeding out. We eyed his muscle. They eyed their boss, and said, "See ya!" and took off.

We made it back to town.

There, we got into some intrigue. Chicago had pulled a black market hiring chit off the mouthy dude we'd killed, and had a friend of his run the details in return for 400 credits - most of what we had advanced to us from our gangster patron. We found where the rendezvous was and sent Chicago.

He made the trade in a restroom, handing over a vial we'd re-labeled as the real deal and got a credit stick in return.

Then we headed to our original boss. Of course, it was he that made the trade with us. We haggled a lot, with Chicago pressing very hard for more. In the end, since we hadn't taken sufficient precautions to stop a violent attempt to take our stuff, we settled for 2500 (the restroom trade) and our original 1000. He was played, but took it in stride, and we took our money and left.

Our employer chose a very strange approach - 1000 to us, 2500 to the guys who'd take it from us. Probably would have made sense to promise us 2500, but 1000 to the guys who'd take it away. If we succeeded, he'd be out 2500. If the second group did, he'd be out 1000. The way he did it, it seemed like he'd be out 2500 unless we succeeded and he was weighting the scales to the guys who'd cost more. Serves him right to be out 3500 instead.

Good session.


- We got a remarkable amount done considering we started an hour later than we used to and talked for about as long as we usually do. It was good to chat with Doug, Tim, and Erik before we got rolling but also to get things rolling.

- The Swords & Wizardry roots of White Star are pretty apparent in the way we leveled up with loot. I didn't really expect that, but it's fine.

- Tim is a heck of a good scoundrel.

- I feel less heroic than helpless (or hapless) in combat sometimes. I got lucky - critically hit but not killed outright, and I made my 15+ save to stay alive. But it's tough to be a melee guy with light armor in a game where your options are "hope you don't get hit" and "make sure you roll high when it's your turn." Still fun, but I'd have been sad if I'd died off. Velo Kalavas is fun - crotchety old man, but also a knight of the sword, and a solid character. I'm looking forward to eventually getting enough XP to level and get spells, er, meditations. I'll post his stats when I have time to write them up in a nice format.

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