Friday, July 21, 2017

Pirate Panic

After being sucked through a black hole, Zina and Zach stumble across a battle. Zach decides to aid the larger ship.

Our heroes' ship rushes into battle. Zach shoots but misses.

He comes alongside the larger ship. A large hole has been blown in the ship's side. A swarm of armed men rush from the smaller ship through the breach.

Donning a helmet and grabbing a ray gun, Zach exits the scout and boards the larger rocket. Zina reluctantly follows. In the first compartment, they confront a huge, brutish warrior.

Game Note - I lack proper figures so I improvise with meeples and tokens. Here is an example:

The heroes fire at the brute but miss. It charges Zach, who dodges a blow from the monster's powerful fists. Zina shoots, and nearly hits Zach!

The brute continues swinging at Zach. He dips and dodges, avoiding the blows. Meanwhile, Zina finds her aim and blasts the enemy. It barely flinches.

Finally, the brute lands a blow on Zach. He staggers and fall. As the brute leans over, Zina aims carefully. Her blast strikes the brute squarely, and it falls to the ground.

 Our heroes exit into the hallway and run into six pirates armed with blasters. In the ensuing firefight, Zach is hit twice but the pirates are scattered. After receiving first aid, Zach leads the way toward the bridge, fighting off some strange alien creatures that look like a cross between a yapping poodle and a lizard.

As they near the bridge, the heroes come across a lioness-like humanoid struggling with three sword-armed pirates. The one furthest away is bellowing orders to the rest of the crew. Must be the captain, surmises Zach.

The pirates knock the lioness to the ground. Zach and Zina open fire, taking out the pirate minions in a single fusillade. The enraged captain charges Zach. Zach dodges the captain's blow, grabbing a sword lying upon the floor. Zina shoots the captain, then Zach strikes him with his sword. The captain charges past them and flees back to his ship!

"I hope you are OK" Zach says to the lioness.

"Lt Hunter," Zina retorts, "I doubt that this alien species can speak out language."

"I am well, brave warrior." the lioness states with a slight bow. Zina jumps in surprise. It won't be the last time that the Slipstream catches her off guard.

Suddenly, there is a loud explosion! The ship rocks, shakes, and begins to yaw. Zach races to the bridge. The bridge crew is dead or unconscious so Zach takes the controls.

"No!" he screams as he checks the viewscreen.

"What?" Zina asks as she follows him onto the bridge.

"Those darn pirates blew up our ship!"

But he has no chance to wallow in misery. The ship begins to plummet toward a nearby rocky planetoid.

"We're going to crash land!" Zach announces.

Screaming toward the ground, the rocketship careens off a large hill.

Zach manages to right it and avoid another hill.

He puts the ship down but cannot stop it. The ship crashes into a rocky outcrop.

Zach and the lioness are thrown forward and knocked senseless. Zina begins to administer first aid,

Then she begins to hear a loud crashing. It sounds like large rocks banging together.

What terrors does this strange fragment hold? Find out next time!

Game Note
The plot point adventure in the Slipstream book is a straightforward fight against pirates. I tweaked it a bit to turn it into a simple dungeon crawl, Four Against Darkness style. Here is my map.

I used FU for the rules. I must say that I am souring upon them a bit. The BUT and AND options don't really work for my solo games because I just want to roll dice to come up with the result. I actually create the narrative details as I am writing up the report. I also feel that 4AD does a better job of providing a little granularity to the encounters. I'll continue to use FU for the 6  by 6 challenge but will probably move on to something different when I'm done.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Into the Black Hole

Introducing the Adventures of Zina and Zach

50 Years Later

The Federation scout ship drew closer to the mysterious black hole, which seemingly appeared out of nowhere a few months prior. Professor Zina Marks studied her instruments as she tried to analyze the enigma.

"Can you get closer?" she asked the pilot, Lt. Zach Hunter.

"Not unless you want an inside view of the hole." he quipped. "I'm already struggling to keep us in position!"

Zina scowled. Zach's flippant attitude grated on her stern professionalism.

Suddenly, alarm bells went off.

"An Imperial destroyer has warped into the system." Zach announced. "It's heading right for us. Let's get out of here!" He began to rev up the rocket engines.

"Hold!" commanded Zina. We are here on a lawful, peaceful mission. They have no right to interfere."

"Professor. the Imperials don't have any respect for rights. We need to go!"

"No, let me speak to them."

Suddenly, the Imperial rocketship let loose with its blasters. The scout ship was struck, damaging the engines.

"I'm losing power! I can't maintain my position; the black hole is sucking us in." Zach announced as he struggled with the controls. Zina raced to the engine room and tried to repair the damage. But it was too late. In a flash, their ship was sucked into the void.

The black hole was like a tunnel, with swirling lights outlining the boundaries. Within the tunnel asteroids and meteors whirled about.

Zach tried to reverse course, but he could not get enough power from the damaged engines. "Professor! Hurry up with those repairs!"

Zach managed to avoid one meteor, but another struck the ship. Alarms rang out.

"Now we have a hull breach! Get on it!" Zach commanded. Technically, Zina was in command but when it came to operations of the ship, his word was paramount. He liked these opportunities to boss her around. He just wished it was under better circumstances.

"Blast it!" Zach cursed as a meteor whizzed by his viewport.

Then another one glanced of the rocket. More alarms!

"I can't make any progress with the repairs if you keep damaging the ship." Zina commented.

More meteors approached.

But with some fancy flying, Zach avoided them.

Then suddenly, they were out of the tunnel and in a new area of space. It glowed with the soft hue of ambient radiation.

"Strange." Zina announced as she glanced at her instruments. " We're not in a vacuum. There is a thin atmosphere."

"Ship of the port bow!" Zach declared as he too checked his instruments. He set course. Soon he made visual contact.

"It's under attack!" Zach said as he saw a smaller ship grappling the larger. Armed men wearing breathing masks swarmed through a breach in the hull.

"We need to help!" declared Zach as he rocketed toward the battle.

"No!" commanded Zina. "We can't get involved!" But Zach ignored her. Instead, he energized his atomic blasters, aimed at the smaller ship, and squeezed the trigger . . .

Will Zina and Zach defeat the attacker? Find out next time!

OOC Notes:

  • I'm now taking a different approach to my Slipstream campaign as I switch to RPG style with my new characters. I will be jumping back and forth between battles and RPG adventures, but in both cases I will be using the FU rules.
  • I am beginning Death Clouds, a ten "episode" plot point campaign provided with the Slipstream rules. The campaign assumes that the characters already live in the Slipstream and are on board a merchant ship that is attacked. I wanted my characters to come from outside the Slipstream so I added some backstory, which I played out as narrated above. Instead of being on the merchant they will come to its rescue.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Say Goodbye to the Sunstone!

Although Queen Anathraxa's minions had overrun the Temple of the Morning Sun, some Templars had managed to escape with the Sunstone. The evil Queen ordered an immediate pursuit.

The Templars had loaded the Sunstone on an electric cart and were fleeing down the road to a waiting rocket ship.

Notes: The part of the electric cart is played by a chariot (with a yellowish base). I quickly improvised a rocket with some wood pieces. A meeple acts as the rocket's derrick.

Two companies of Templar knights and a band of Seers formed a defensive line against the primals rushing down the road.

More primals appear. The Templars are locked in combat while the Sunstone flees.

Primals cut down the Seers and the cart is temporarily stuck. At least the Templars on the right were victorious.

The primals begin chasing the immobile cart.

But the victorious Templars catch the pursuing primals from the rear. The Queen's minions don't stand a chance. The cart is mobile again and rushes towards the rocket.

Now the Templars face off against primals and the Queen's Handmaidens.

The Templars succumb to the enemy numbers.

Zephyria, centurion of the Handmaidens, waded through the field of dead or dying Templars. As she passed, she heard a laugh. Surprised, she looked around. A wounded Templar smirked at her.

"Why do you laugh?!"

"You're too late." the Templar stated. At that moment, Zephyria could hear the blast of a rocket's engines. She looked up and saw a ship lifting into the sky.

"Say goodbye to the Sunstone." the Templar said, his voice faltering as his blood trickled through his numerous wounds.

Zephyria screamed in anger, then turned on the Templar. "You shall pay for your insolence!"

The Templar laughed. "If the Maker is for us, what can you hope to achieve?"

In anger, Zephyria plunged her sword through the Templar's heart. She snorted in derision. "Your Maker did not save you from my death stroke!"

Yet her victory felt hollow. for now she had to report the Sunstone's escape to her queen. She looked upon her fallen foe. How was it that his face looked so content?