Previously, our heroes finally encountered some helpful people who gave them some food and directions to the nearest starport. However, Byzi decides to try their luck and claim a land vehicle...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
For a moment, 107 doubts Byzi’s claim that he’s a government official on an urgent mission. After thinking it over, he shrugs and says he’ll bring them to the starport himself in one of his facility’s land vehicles.
Once they’re in the vehicle’s cabin, 107 seems to have second thoughts and asks Byzi for proof that he is a government official. Byzi sticks out his wrist and asks 107 to scan him; it’s all there in his chip. 107 Doesn’t have a scanner. He says to never mind it for now; the guards will scan Byzi at the starport.
They drive, 107 operating the vehicle. Our heroes are in a pickle: of course, the land vehicle will get them where they need to be, but chances are 107 will deliver them straight to the guards there and have the guards scan them. Then, the game will be up. Byzi and Oberth discuss this conundrum in Lingo, a language they’re sure 107 can’t speak (since most Clones don’t). 107 Asks them to be silent, then begins to radio the starport to check up on Byzi’s claims.
Byzi takes out his blaster and shoots 107 in the temple, killing him instantly.
This was of course somewhat controversial: 107 had been friendly to them, and when they pushed their luck, he got suspicious. Then again, Byzi is a former spy gone paranoid; it makes sense for him to be ruthless.
There was some discussion on the moral implications of this act, but in the end the players decided that, since they are prisoners desperate to escape a prison world where they are made to fight other prisoners to the death, ruthlessness made sense.
Byzi stops the car and checks the navigation. The starport is a few hours’ drive away, and our heroes plan how to get there. They discuss several options, but an emergency medivac seems the most feasible: they’ll pretend 107 is wounded and needs to get on a transport to a medical frigate. They agree on this plan and bind 107’s head to hide the blaster impact. They put him on the flatbed with Liam next to him and continue toward the starport.
As they drive up to the starport, Byzi gets on the comms and claims he needs an immediate medivac. The operator on the other side of the line tells Byzi to drive straight up to the starport entrance. As they approach the starport--a walled facility--the heavy blastdoors slowly open. Two soldiers walk out, and the blastdoors shut behind them.
Byzi pulls up to the entrance and tries to bluff his way past the guards, telling them that every second wasted could mean this man’s life. The soldiers take their time, however; one listens calmly to Byzi’s claims, while the other climbs onto the flatbed to inspect 107. Of course, the soldier on the flatbed quickly notices that 107 is dead. Liam tries to bluff his way past, but the soldier is on to him.
Our heroes respond quickly and violently.
The starport was a big challenge. I had decided it had about thirty men on staff, each of them a little weaker than the players, although the guards came close. Since these men would be around the starport performing various functions, they would need time to get ready and find the source of the disturbance. They came in waves and would most likely eventually overwhelm the players.
The players knew that time was of the essence, so they focused on getting the blastdoors up so they could enter the compound to find and hijack a shuttle.
The first two guards they dispatched easily: Byzi used the Nightmare spell (see Core Rulebook, page 173-174), which does Mind damage and is always a good choice against brute enforcers. Liam simply cut his man down with his blade. As they discussed how to get the blastdoors up, two more guards appeared on platforms to either side of the gate and began firing.
This was where the shiftpuck they found earlier came in handily. A shiftpuck is a hockey puck-sized object that allows the last one who touched it to teleport to the puck’s location. Oberth used the Minor Telekinesis spell (see Core Rulebook, page 194) to move it over the wall without touching it. Liam, who had last touched the puck, then used it and appeared on the other side of the blastdoors. Once there, he spotted a shuttle on standby; if they can reach it, they’ll be safe.
This was of course risky. Five more guards appeared and engaged Liam. Still, Liam managed to operate the blastdoor controls. However, the doors opened slowly, and Liam had to withstand his foes a while longer. In the process, he suffered Vitality damage and was heavily wounded. With Liam exhausted and disabled, his enemies prepared for the killing shot.
At this moment, Oberth saved the day, ramming the vehicle through the doors. He managed to get the vehicle in between Liam and his attackers, shielding Liam, then gave the steering wheel a spin to try to ram them. There are no rules on ramming in the Core Rulebook, so I worked this out as a normal attack: Oberth made an Operate (control) skill check and had to beat the Hit Difficulties of those he tried to ram. Of course, I didn’t allow the guards to parry the attack, nor did I allow them a Defense skill check; personal body armor does little to stop a ramming vehicle. The attack dealt 1d+7 damage (7 being the vehicle’s speed at the time of ramming). A speed of 7 equates to about 100 km/h (about 60 mph), and most commoners don’t have a body level higher than 3 or 4, which means this would kill them even if the die came up a 1.
The attack was a success: it killed several wounded guards outright and heavily wounded a few others. Liam hops onto the vehicle, with Byzi firing out of the windows, and our heroes race to the shuttle. The loading ramp is down, and they drive right up to it. They suffer a few more minor wounds as they abandon the vehicle and rush into the shuttle...
In a daring raid, our heroes manage to outmaneuver or kill all the guards. They commandeer the shuttle, raise the ramp, and Oberth takes the controls. With a final blast of the engines, they leave the starport and head for the stars.
They are finally free.
This was the final session of our Monarchy campaign. It was a trial in two ways: 1) to introduce a few new players to the game; and 2) to test the Monarchy setting. As for the first part, it was a success; the new players enjoyed the game and are still playing today. As for the second part, the Monarchy needs a lot of work. There are a couple of things which do not yet sit right with me, but I’m sure much will be ironed out in the next iteration.
So, rounding up, I think we had a blast. I certainly enjoyed the colorful characters Liam, Oberth, and Byzi and am happy they escaped. Although I’m not sure if the universe is a better place for it...
As always, a couple of things.
The Core Rulebook needs rules for ramming attacks. I’m happy with working it out as a regular attack. Damage needs to depend on speed and mass, but it shouldn’t be too complicated.
Falling damage, despite my earlier misgivings, works pretty well.