Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5c.5 of my “Vortex” space opera campaign, which we played via Skype and an online dice roller on Sunday, 5 August 2012. We’re using Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer and Bulldogs.
In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but environmental degradation, population pressures, and internecine conflict persist. The rediscovery of mystical abilities and open and official First Contact with galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Can heroes rise to the challenges?
- “Hector Chavez” [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, former spy and communications expert/engineer of the Appomattox
- “Jasmine” [Sara F.]-female Martian Felinoid (Synth, “Uplifted” tiger), former professional pit fighter and onetime crewmember of the Appomattox, now apart from the grifters in “MarSoupAiL” and with boyfriend Darcy
- “Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus” [Josh C.]-male Terran human cyborg, former sniper for the North American Aerospace Marine Corps. and eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.; onetime crewmember of the scout ship Blackbird
- “Jax” [Robin H.]-male human from the Asteroid Belt, vain space pirate and pilot of the Slipstream and Gryphon
- “Orion Starchaser” [Geoff C.]-male [blue humanoid alien] outcast, irrepressible mystic and adrenaline junkie
- “Dr. Srinu Pahul” [Byron V.O.]-male Indian Terran “near-human” (bioengineered) xenobiologist, shadowed by scandal and confident in survival skills
- “Jim Delaney” [Robert A.S.]-male Terran “near-human” gambler and psi
Jasmine and Darcy wait at the Hadriaca Paterna terraforming station before going to meet a contact in the Synth Liberation Front at a nearby domestead. Jim Delaney and Orion go to the Red Butterfly Casino in the capital of Hellas Park. Hector Chavez discreetly follows.
Jax visits a bar in New Shanghai, the largest colony in the Mars Confederacy. He talks with smuggler Harry Chu and regales fellow pilots with tales of his exploits. However, when United Solar Nations troops arrive, Jax shifts his focus to more legal jobs.
Still hoping to avoid his former employers at Black Box Security Co., Chris keeps watch aboard the Gryphon, despite radio interference. Dr. Srinu Pahul goes to pick up the non-sentient servant robots that he and Jim had ordered.
After Jax buys a round of drinks for the soldiers, Lt. Max Tevis invites the pirate to an informal race. Jax accepts and later takes the Slipstream to the canyon site to check out the winding course in advance.
At the Red Butterfly, Orion gets into a staring contest with Shocho, the omnipresent holographic avatar of the ruling Tenryu Party. The alien wanderer then goes to take in a live performance at a nearby theater. Jim joins a poker game with the following people:
- “Eddie Padjem” [Beruk/Non-Player Character]-male Terran (Indian) human with military experience
- “Thuvia” [Sara/N.P.C.]-female Martian Felinoid (lynx-like humanoid) scout, wary of humans
- “Purkdak” [Josh/N.P.C.]-male Martian human businessman with investments from Earth
- “Brun” [Geoff/N.P.C.]-male Ursoid (“Uplifted” bear) gambler; not smart, but friendly
- “Erlik” [Robin/N.P.C.]-male Martian cyborg with bionic hand; doesn’t like small stakes or Terrans
Jim chats up his competitors. Thuvia and Purkdak are reticent, but Eddie draws them out by talking about Earth’s megacorps and crowded arcologies. Brun surprises Erlik with a strong hand during Texas Hold’em. Former spy Hector expects trouble but is unable to contact Chris.
Meanwhile, at Valles Marineris, Jax meets Lt. Tevis and other racers and spectators. They check out various vehicles, including tricked-out hoversleds, ornithopters, and dune buggies. Jax chooses a maneuverable hovercycle.
A band of five Canids (“Uplifted” canines) bursts into the Red Butterfly Casino, draws machine guns, and orders everyone to hand over their valuables. Hector slips behind the bar and scopes out the scene. Eddie tries to use misdirection and sleight of hand to draw a weapon but is spotted.
Jim drops to the floor and uses his technopsi to take control of a dealer robot. It leaps toward one unluckly Wolfen, distracting him. Cyborg Erlik smacks another bandit with a chair but is shot in return. Two other raiders blast more of the dealer droids, and one wings Eddie.
Mighty Brun hurls a table at the bandits. Upon his return from the theater, Orion merely watches the brawl, telekinetically shielding Jim. Thuvia sneaks up on a Canid and pounces, as Purkdak bravely grabs a gun.
Hector aims at and hits one of the remaining bandits. Eddie’s attempt to kick over a table fails, but he manages to take out one Wolfen. Erlik trades blows with a “Synth” (synthetic humanoid) and is slain.
Other gamblers in the hall panic and try to flee. Brun picks up a Canid and rams his head into the ceiling. The Ursoid then smashes his opponent down into a table. Lynx-woman Thuvia knocks out the Wolfen closest to her, and Purkdak hits another.
Brun jumps onto the bar and charges at the last two bandits. Unfortunately, none of them — or Erlik — survive to be questioned by local authorities. Brun gives his contact information to Orion and asks for help getting offworld.
Hector hacks into the security network. He observes that the Canids had state-of-the-art weapons, but poor tactics. Hector takes a helmet and a gun for later analysis. As the police arrive, Orion and Hector escort Jim back to the Gryphon.
Jasmine and her boyfriend Darcy go to the Lucky Badger Saloon, where they meet Olun Gor, a Garth (“Uplifted” gorilla). Olun says that the United Ecumenical Movement has been rumored to be kidnapping “Synths.”
Those missing include the brother of Jasmine’s reptilian former crewmate Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, a Tauroid named Meson, and Olun’s girlfriend. Jasmine agrees to ask her companions for aid in rescuing them from the U.E.M.’s temples on the moon Phobos.
Back at the Gryphon, Hector and Chris are wary of getting involved, but Orion and Srinu are eager to help. Jax and Jim prefer to take on paying missions, and the pilot wants advanced technology such as a cloaking device.
But first, Hector notes, they must deliver their cargo of terraforming equipment to a recipient in the Martian outback. In addition, Jax is set to participate in a canyon race….
I hope that all of you have had a good week. Byron, I hope your family vacation went well, and Rob, we’ll miss you at tonight’s (Aug. 12) “Vortex” game!
Beruk, Josh, and Sara, I’m glad that you were able to make to Jason’s cookout and final “Glassworks” superhero session (for now). I also hope that you’ll be able to make it to Brian’s second Dungeon Crawl Classics demonstration and our upcoming return to the “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign!