Monday, January 29, 2018

GURPS Gamma World, 20th Homeland - Session 16 - Exploring the Princess

Sunday was session 16 of our Gamma Terra campaign. We picked up where we left off last time."

"Caveman" - demo/EOD
"Hillbilly" - medical specialist
"Love Handles" - demo/EOD
"Momma's Boy" - computer programmer
"Short Bus" - computer programmer

In reserve:
"Barbie" - demo/EOD (MIA)
"Fatbox" - demo/EOD
"Princess" - cryptographer/sniper
"Oinker" - demo/EOD

We started in our "base" in the ferry terminal in ruined Muskegeon. We spent a week on rest and recovery there and in the factory with the Little Thieves. Love Handles and Caveman worked on swordsmanship, Momma's Boy on archery, Short Bus on something (I can't recall what now), and Hillbilly on boating.

Our plan was to climb up to the "Princess," a Disney-esque orbital/atmospheric cruise liner hovering half above the docks. We geared up with our best NBC gear, had Love Handles (our carpenter) turn an old table into a liftable cradle, geared up with the climbing gear from the big box store we looted during Operation Top Hat, weather balloons, kites, etc. We all took some Protozol, which gave Short Bus double vision for a bit, so we put him on overwatch. (I'm not kidding.)

We basically lifted up a rope and grapnel with a weather balloon, eventually got it to snag on, and we climbed up and set the rope better and hauled up the rest of the group and the gear.

The ship was about as expected - listing slightly forward and starboard, and every exposed surface was covered with plants - and there was a big tree growing in the main deck pool. We immediately headed for the bridge. On the way, though, we found a colorful, passenger-areas-only deckplan of all fourteen decks. We snapped pictures with our tablets and proceeded to the bridge.

There we found that without power, the ship was dark and the doors closed. Hillbilly tried to pry open the door with his hands, but it wouldn't go - something held it shut. So he slid Hoopslayer up and down around the likely latching points to physically remove the door from the connection. That worked, and we slid the door open. Caveman would later at the twist of clamping on old spare wrenches to act as handles and to keep the doors from closing. We explored the bridge but it was dark, there were no "on" switches, and sitting in the captain's chair (Hillbilly) did nothing. We left and headed for the medical bay, which was on the way to the engine room (or where we suspected it would be.)

As we headed down the stairs, we heard scurrying cat noises, and then caterwauling. Momma's Boy decided to answer back in his own cat noises. They quieted and then responded. He answered back their query with a query - still no idea what kind of query. Eventually, though, the cats decided to jump us.

Two bobcat like things jumped Love Handles in the back and bore him down, failing to hurt him (mostly) but biting into his NBC suit and armor. He shot at one and it just blinked away - leaving bullet holes in the floor. He yelled "Bullets don't work!" into his comm gear. The other blinked away with him. Short Bus stabbed around hoping there were invisible, but not.

Meanwhile Momma's Boy confronted two along with Caveman. They jumped him, and he was grappled. But he put the "headlight" laser against one and lasered right through it. It fell, dying. The next one was killed outright by the laser. Hillbilly talked to Love Handles, who was in a room with a hole punched in the ceiling, a bunch of bones everywhere, cat smells, and mewling kittens. He'd been dropped off as food. He quickly left the room and locked himself in the nearest restroom. We eventually found him.

So we had a badly wounded teleporting cat. Naturally, Momma's Boy was going to use a healing stick pen to heal it. You know, because he heals everybody with our irreplaceable insta-heal consumables. Hillbilly had a fit, and pointed out that you can't "just heal it a little." It was going to get healed to the extent the pen could, and we'd have an angry cat on our hands. Eventually Momma's Boy saw the logic in not doing this, and just carried the cat around for a while before tossing it into the lair we'd found.

Hillbilly postulated the cats can teleport down, and normally hunt on the surface and teleport back with food. We'd prepared for wind-blown plants and flying things, and forgotten Gamma World is weirder than that, despite having dealt with teleportation early on.

Caveman eventually asked Love Handles about his mutation. He decided maybe Love Handles could teleport (or something), and he should try. He concentrated, and saw a clear vision of a patrolling robot. He told us, and we started in on him for having a "robot buddy" and "Telepathy (Robots Only)." We headed down the stairs. We heard the cats, but only in the distance. But then a few decks down we heard a robot voice speaking about "Delta Threat Level Detected." Hillbilly waved everyone back. Some of the group wanted to just go on and fight the robot if necessary, but Hillbilly veto'd that. No unnecessary fighting. So we went up and around and down via other stairs.

We eventually found the engine room and Reactor B. It was off, but intact. We couldn't figure out how to activate it. We barely managed that with instructions in the past, and we had none here. We eventually found our way to the Enchanted Garden Restaurant . . . and it was full of heads.

Android heads, in a big flat heap. Some torn off, some sliced off neatly. We dug around and found an intact head . . . and some human skulls (in the end, we found 14 human skulls and 930 android skulls.) Our techs, Short Bus and Momma's Boy, hooked it up to a battery and spoke to the head, which we nicknamed Bishop because he's a talking decapitated android.

"Bishop" told us the ship had been carrying a full crew, but had a reactor leak in some kind of shockwave, and it came to Muskegeon and emergency-disembarked the passengers. The ship also had a military cargo on board for classified reasons - a Type 93A Killbot from "Project Decapitator." It was a military unit designed for riot/insurrection suppression. It clearly felt the need, and suppressed the crew effectively.

We asked about it, and found it was armed with a liquid-metal arm, a 2mm flechette cannon with about 15 seconds of ammo at full auto, and heavy armor that it described as "bullet proof." Presumably proof against better guns than ours. We got bishop to tell us where its recharge station was, and we worked out way down there, avoiding the cats and robot.

We found the charging station. Momma's Boy and Caveman wanted to try to take command of the Killbot, but the rest of us voted for a simple shutdown. That worked. We were divided on trying to program it, or telling it to detonate its internal thermite charges and ruin itself. We left it off, in the end.

From here we basically looted the ship. We:

- avoided the cats by taking the long way around their area.

- used the Killbot's logs to identify where it put the bodies. There were in a large move theatre. Sadly, in heaps, not all seated in rows in some macabre fashion.

- used the deck plans to locate the captain's room, the purser's room, and the wealthiest cabins. We found an 8-shot revolver 7mm slugthrower and 50 rounds (Short Bus took it), a few thousand domars, a woman's driver's license and ID (jackpot, we can get a car now), some nice clothing, a low-level Intel/Cybernetics ID card, and some other doodads.

- gathered up the batteries, the intact heads, and brought them to the android bodies. We got five running, but eventually might get two dozen or them or so up and running once we can swap parts and get them repaired at the factory.

Then we climbed down with our loot, rested, took a trip to the factory, dropped off androids, swung by Colonel Jezza and spoke with him (they had their in-programming mech up and running, now), and then headed back. We did one more android sweep.

We had one terrible event, though. Someone kicked a hollow log by mistake during a hike across the area. It spewed out clingy white spores that filled mouths, throats, and lungs. Hillbilly had his gas mask on, since Hillbilly always has his gas mask on during travel, but everyone else took damage in the 8-16 range. Ouch! We burned up red pens and, at Hillbilly's insistence, green anti-disease pens, on all four of the wounded.

We left off with an offer from Colonel Jezza to bring us on a raid against the Purists. It's a soft target, with a lot of androids we can get, but it might reveal us to the Purists. Since they have tanks, robots, androids, air power, and "even satellites for all we know" according to our best source on them, the original 20th Homeland letter, we were concerned. We narrowly ended up deciding not to go and raid them since we have things to do before we want to reveal our presence and our intentions.


Hillbilly also "leveled up" as this was his 16th session, and I rolled Enhanced Parry (All). Not bad.

Hillbilly is really obsessive about NBC gear and gas masks, and won't explore without them. This has paid off several times, although the irony that he's one of two mutated members of the group is still kind of painful.

Sample Killbot Program:

20 GOTO 10

Caveman pointed out that we might be trackable with our chips. That's a good point - the Purists might know about us. That's not the same thing as knowing we are hostile to them, however. Tough choice - fun adventure with the ability to loot the Purists and grab needed androids, or avoid basically declaring war on a superior power we don't know enough about and before we can finish setting up the area to release our friends from the bunker. For now, we're thinking no.


  1. You guys really need to find a way to do without† your Stick-Pens of Heal/Cure/Regen/Anti-Everything... or find some facility that can make more.

    Now that would be a true source of power...

    † Like finding alternative methods for chelation, anti-disease drugs/herbal remedies, a surgeon bot, etc.

    1. Very true. But we don't have a lot of control over what we find, only where we look. And we've assiduously been searching all medical-related places we have heard of.


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