Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fragments – Session 2: Guruphon Meltdown

Session 1 happened Friday, August 23, 2011.

This campaign uses the Hero System, 5th Edition, with much Traveller material grafted on.  I am making use of the Hero Traveller books published by ComStar Games.  Sadly, these books went out of print when Mongoose Publishing purchased the rights to produce all things Traveller.  They are doing good things, so no hate mail.

The Company:
Maxwell Sloan (male human, communications and sensors specialist)
Nomen Fire-eyes male human hybrid, negotiator)
Oscar Dougray (male human, salvage expert)
Ro Owen (female human, team security expert)
Braddock Grar, Lector (male Low Waldi, archivist)

The Crew:
Echo Salazar (female human, ship’s captain)
Ted Yahn (male human, ship’s navigator)
Albertha Trufin (female human, ship’s engineer)
Quinton Picknell, Doctor (male human, ship’s doctor)

Maresfield Trade Representative
Deadra Pagenkopf (female human, governmental trade liaison)

Week 2, Day 1: Evening
The away team quickly got Max into the medical bay on board the Just Lucky, where Dr. Picknell went to work.  The doctor performed some minor surgery on the bullet hole in the thigh and stitched up the foot wound.  After that, he applied a set of smart bandages and Max was in functioning condition (if not exactly fully healed).

This was a good thing as Guruphon Station was powering on and Max was the primary sensor technician on the ship.  Now that power is running on the station, Max was able to identify the station power plant, the main computer cluster, and locate which cameras and weapon mounts are still active on the station.  He also determined that there were three security bots still active, one guarding the power plant and two on the computer cluster level.  The power plant was giving off odd readings and the team called in the Ship’s Engineer, Albertha Trufin.  Albertha looked over the readings and stated that the power plant is unstable and she’s surprised it has not detonated already.

After some planning, the away team returned to the station on the Iron Pig, while Captain Salazar adjusted the orbit of the Just Lucky to beyond the horizon of Guruphon to protect the ship.  The team’s plan is to use the emergency shutdown panel to shut down the power plant and then cut their way through the deck above them into the computer cluster and secure the station computer core.  To facilitate this, they bring two cutting lasers with them.  To shorten their approach, they are entering the main structure through a breach on the side.  Sensors indicate a ship’s boat was rammed into the station here, but it does not reach into the power room.  Probably.

Oscar flew the Iron Pig back over to the station and parked it adjacent to the breach caused by the ship’s boat.  Ro made her way over into the station and anchored a slip line so the less dexterous members of the team could safely navigate the four meter gap between the station and the Iron Pig.  The rear thruster pods were facing directly at the entry point and much of the surrounding structures were somewhat melted.  This made the team nervous, but Max assured them the sensors showed the boat was out of fuel.  Probably.

Back on the Just Lucky, Ted was running the ship’s sensors, but at this range the best he could do was keep the away team updated on the relative positions of the active security bots.  This was good enough for them, initially, but while the team was looking around for a way forward, a security bot showed up and took shots at Grar.  One of those shots hit Grar in the head, knocking him unconscious.  Max pulled Grar back and applied slap-patches to seal Grar’s suit while Ro agilely moved forward and burned the bot down with her laser rifle.

While Max pulled Grar back to the Iron Pig for emergency medical treatment, Ro, Nomen, and Oscar explored further.  They determined the ship’s boat had crashed through the station gravatics machinery, knocking out artificial gravity throughout the station.  An adjacent room once housed the station life support plant, but this room and the machinery in it were thoroughly trashed.

Once Grar was patched up with some smart bandages, he and Max returned to the exploration.  Deciding to let those more adapted to it explore, the Low Waldi took one of the laser cutting tools and started cutting off rear panels of the ship’s boat.  Oscar also jury-rigged one of Nomen’s seismic sensors to detect vibrations in the station hull, providing a form of early warning if either of the two remaining bots started approaching.  At the end of this period of time, Gar could see into the cargo area of the ship’s boat and discovered it contained crates.  Fishing one out, he found it contained 10 bars of processed red gold!  The team took the time to cut off the back of the ship’s boat (the thruster section) and moved it and the eight crates of red gold to the cargo area of the Iron Pig.

Returning to exploring the station, Ro discovered an auxiliary parts storage room.  This turned out to be full of repair parts for security bots.  The team paused exploring again to salvage the entire room of parts.  At this point they had been active for over 16 hours and two of them had gunshot wounds.  Exhausted but pleased with the salvage they had acquired, they returned to the Just Lucky.  If the station detonated while they rested, the ship would be safely over the horizon with everything they had come to get.  If it didn’t, they could return and resume looking for access to the power plant room.

Week 2, Day 2
After some much needed rest, the away team returned to the station in the Iron Pig.  Sensor readings taken over night indicated that the power plant was unstable and getting worse.  They had maybe four hours to shut it down or get to a safe distance before it detonated.  It would take an hour to get to the station from the Just Lucky.

Grar took a quiet moment during the transition to mind scan the planet to verify there were sentient beings on the surface.  There were, but the team chose to delay attempting contact.

They were able to gain entry into the power plant room after another 30 minutes of searching.  They found that the reactor control panels were damaged from the ship’s boat crashing into their back.  The critical emergency shutdown panel was partially ruined.  Oscar set to work jury-rigging it to some form of functionality.  This took another 30 minutes to accomplish, but was ultimately successful in shutting down the power plant.

With the immediate threat neutralized, the team started cutting through the ceiling to reach the computer cluster.  With no power to the station, the security bots maintain the patrols they were last ordered to perform and did not interfere with the extraction of the computer core.  The core was returned to the Just Lucky and set up in to test for Virus infection.  This took Cyrano the rest of the day.  While he did that, the rest of the team returned to the station and salvaged anything of value they could remove from the station.  Ro eventually hunted down the remaining security bots, cutting them down with her laser rifle.  All of the bot remains were taken back to the Just Lucky for later use.

Week 2, Day 3
The core is tested and it is heavily infected.  Cyrano uses the McGuffin to wipe it and reinstall a basic operating system.  He does the same to the bot processor cores.

At this point the team decides they have more than enough to make the trip profitable and order the captain to take the ship back to Maresfield.  Several hours later the Just Lucky is far enough from the gas giant Guruphon orbits to enter jumpspace and makes the jump.

*End of Session 2*

[I’ve implemented some basic timekeeping in order to provide a better sense of continuity.  As this is going to be a short campaign, I’m not getting fancy and I’m just counting from the beginning of the campaign, Month 1, Week 1, Day 1.]

[Also, Cyrano Steel’s player was out of state for a few weeks and he missed this session.  This was moderately awkward as he had some needed skills.  I ended up subbing in the Ship’s Navigator, Ted Yahn, under the assumption they were skills he could reasonably have.  The sequence of him testing the station computer core is something he had stated Cyrano would do if the chance became available, so I ran that for him.  It was late and we were looking to wrap things up, so this was just stated and it was done.]

[Guruphon Station let me set player expectations as to what kind of devastation they could expect as they explored the space lanes.  It also allowed the securing of a critical piece of material, the red gold.  I had quickly realized that making the McGuffins as rare as I had caused significant story issues and there needed to be more of them.  I had originally planned on the red gold being available in the crashed ship’s boat, but if the players did not cut into the boat or ignored the station, they could have secured some on planet, it just would have cost them.]

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