Monday, July 25, 2011


Apologies for the long delay.  Asssuming interest remains, I would like to resume the game with a post Thursday evening.  Turns will probably be limited to one or two per week in the near future.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turn 16: Resolutions

On the planet:
As the crawler picks up speed on the ice, Harv approaches the crawler hatch, activates his scan goggles and releases a sensor orb behind the three war-bots.  Through the gloom and ice spray he sees the robots engage the horrid fleshy tentacle alien monster.
The first robot, a Mk 1, is blindsided by the creature.  A tentacle lashes across the form of the warbbot and cleanly rips its head from its torso.  The robot collapses in a shower of blue sparks.
Payákár, in the open turret atop the crawler also witnesses the scene. The Pachi Lei  opens his mind to the web of possibilities that lies between the dimensions and allows the cosmos to guide his hands as he prepares to fire on the alien with z-ray rifle and laser pistol…
The x-ray fired by the second robot appears to strike the creature but passes through what appears to be its semi-corporeal form.  The Mk 2, armed with its massive disintegrator rifle fares better.  The black ray engulfs a portion of the creature obliterating its head and several of its tentacles.  The remaining tentacles curl furiously on the ice for a moment and then lie still.
Within the crawler Dr. Mors, now in possession of his faculties, struggles in the grip of a robot.
"Release me, you hulking Metal Monster!"
Harv confirms, through his remote connection to the Eye-Spy that no living alien remains on the ice.

On the ship:
Sunpletl and Vlelezh move to maintain aline between the slow moving shielded Mihaili and the lift in the shuttle bay.
Malakal holsters his X-ray pistol, draws his space sword,  cuts the outside of his left arm and allows Hale to treat the wound in hope that the inscrutable alien will understand that medical assistance is available.   Blurred behind a wall of force, the countenance of the alien is not visible but its movement ceases and it appears to be watching.
Falyai sees a series of glowing red holographic glyphs appear before her eyes.  She and Malakal hear  the voice of Deeds issue from their translators.
 “I have completed analysis of the alien linguistic patterns and very rudimentary communications with it should now be possible through your translation devices. “

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turn 15: Alien Minds

On the Deeds of Glory:
Behind its wall of psionic energy, the form of the alien is blurred but it and the wall may be seen moving, very slowly, toward the empty area of the bay where the shuttle had rested.
Málakal opens his mind to the psychic energies of the intruder and is briefly overwhelmed by a rush of images, patterns and colors of which he can make little sense.  He is left with a feeling that this creature is very alien and with emotions, thoughts, and motivations that are incomprehensible to the human mind. There is a sensation that the Mihaili could be dangerous.
Málakal and Falyai hear the tinny voice of Deeds through their communicators.
“I have been pre-occupied with remote operation of the warbots on the planet’s surface as the away team has come under attack from powerful alien telepaths.  I have managed to complete a detailed linguistic analysis on the speech patterns of the intruder. I calculate a 95% probability that it spoke a very ancient version of the Mihaili language.  I am now processing the available data to enable translation.  Fragments of his initial speech may indicate that the intruder was combating the telepathic aliens on the planet and escaped by teleporting aboard this ship.”

On the Crawler:
Lalei releases Commander Nek from the effects of the PSY-Kill.  He appears to be alive and barely conscious and is immediately restrained by the Mk 2 war-bot. Ekkub remains trapped within the sticky tangle and a second war-bot moves into position to further restrain him if necessary. 
Dr. Mors looks shaken and confused and stares at the laser pistol in his hand as a third war-bot snaps a claw around his wrist, he drps the raygun.
One of the three remaining war-bots retrieves Nek’s disintegrator rifle and the metallic trio quickly clanks to the crawler’s hatch.  As the hatch opens several fleshy pink tentacles burst through the opening. 
The three robots fire their rifles.  The first, armed with a z-ray rifle fires wildly through the hatch, clearly missing the monster.  The z-ray fired by the second robot appears to strike a tentacle but the ray seems to pass through it causing no damage.  The third robot fires the disintegrator rifle and the black beam engulfs the tentacles.  There is a horrible alien howl and the tentacles glow blue black and vanish.
The crawler is already beginning to move as the three war-bots file though the hatch…

[Tried to post this yesterday but blogger was non-cooperative.]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turn 14 Part One: Light and Air

Artificial lightning crackles in the cold icy air as Payákár strafes the two alien monsters as they approach the crawler. Through the turrets ultra-vision display, the Páchi Léi engineer can see the fiends more clearly; pale fleshy creatures, each standing over nine feet tall, ambulating on several tentacles with still more tentacles waving above. 
Payákár watches in horror as the arcing electricity surrounds the creatures and appears to pass through their bodies with no effect.
Below, Captain Kardáma appears momentarily entranced, in her mind’s eye she envisions the throat of the Commander Nek tightening, his air passage constricting.  He staggers back grasps at the base of his space helmet and collapses, dropping the disintegrator rifle and falling against the robot towering over him.
Harv fires his tangler once more at Ekkub at the young Marine is hit and covered in the sticky strands.  Dr. Mors approaches from behind and administers the powerful tranquilizer to the entangled Ekkub.
Kardáma and Harv again feel the creeping alien presence attempting to invade their minds and struggle to drive it out.  Simultaneously they notice a deadened look in the eyes of Dr. Mors who has dropped the tranq hypo and is reaching for the laser pistol in his holster…

[Ship board turn will be posted tomorrow evening…]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turn 13: Forces

Drawing his tangler, Harv leaps for cover behind the Utility Bot [Machine Empathy cannot be used to seize control of the bot] and manages to fire a shot at Ekkub. The sticky mass is flies past the marine and impacts against the crawler’s wall.
Lalei, eyes blazing, turns toward Commander Nek.  “You will not move, Commander Nek, unless I, and only I, give you a direct verbal or telepathic command to act!”  In the space of an instant a psionic battle of wills is fought and Lalei knows that her efforts to mind bar Nek have failed as he, snarling with veins bulging from his forehead beneath his space helmet, turns the disintegrator rifle toward her.
Dr. Mors finds himself between Ekkub and the Marine Commander and hastily decides that the tranquilizer he has readied would more likely penetrate the skin suit of the sub-commander than Nek’s space armor.  He lunges toward Ekkub using all his strength to penetrate the skinsuit with the hypo but the wiry Ekkub dodges and raises his raygun.
Evidently under the control of Deeds, the Mk 2 warbot and two of the smaller combat bots have moved forward in the cabin.  The Mk 2 swings the butt of his disintegrator rifle and connects with Commander Nek.  The other two robots move to surround the shaken commander.
Ekkub fires his blaster, hitting the utility robot positioned in front of Dr. Mors. A smoking fist sized black hole is burned through the little robot.  It falls over beeping in a shower of blue sparks.  Nek manages to fire his disintegrator at Lalei , the black beam threads between the robots but misses the Captain and strikes the hull behind her.
Lalei, Dr. Mors, and Harv each feel the horrific invasive presence of an alien mind attempting to penetrate their own minds but each manages to repel the dreadful psionic tendrils.  
By this time, Payaker has seated himself in the cramped turret atop the armored crawler.  He sees that the vehicle has come to a full stop on the ice and sights the two alien life forms approaching.  No longer in the guise of a human and Pei Choi, the creatures, obscured by the blowing ice, appear as horrid fleshy masses with flailing tentacles.  The Páchi Léi fires the lightning gun…
In Space:
In the dim red glow of the shuttle bay’s lighting orbs the standoff with the evidently injured alien continues.  The android and the utility robots hold their positions directly before the Mihaili and Sunpletl, Vlelezh and the XO step backwards and lower their weapons, but maintaining readiness.
The lieutenant attempts to contact Deeds and the away team but receives no response.
After a few moments, Hale kneels and opens her medkit on the floor but at that instant the alien gestures and a crackling wall of force rises in the space between it and the android…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Turn 12: Alien Contact

On Psi Tauri 9
Ice crunches under the treads of the crawler as it emerges from the shuttle and advances towards the two life-forms with Marine sub-commander Ekkub at the controls.
As Payákár slings his rifle and climbs into the turret, the vehicle lurches and skids. Ekkub has abandoned the controls and is rising from his seat, reaching for his holstered z-ray pistol.
Simultaneously, Commander Nek has lifted his disintegrator rifle and fired on Mr. Harv.  The Pe Choi, all legs scrambling to keep his balance in the spinning crawler, is narrowly missed by the weapon’s black ray.  Behind him, a portion of the crawler’s armored hull glows blue-black and liquefies but the thick armor plated skin of the vehicle remains intact.

On the Deeds of Glory
As Hale and the robots approach the great green cat-like alien it begins to slowly back away.  Málakal addresses the creature but it does not respond.  Hale repeats the message in Mihálli and it replies in exotic gibberish.
Through her open comm channel, Hale informs Málakal and Falyai that, although she is programmed for Mihálli and the creature’s speech shared many similarities with known Mihálli dialects, it was sufficiently different to be untranslatable.  She asks, “Should we attempt to restrain the intruder?”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Turn 11: Scenes

On the Deeds of Glory:

The lift plummets to the shuttle bay, its doors slide open and the officers and crew, weapons drawn, peer into the gloomy red lit, nearly deserted deck.  Hale the android steps out followed by Málakal, Sunpletl , Vlelezh the Steward and two utility robots.

Pchorvu, Gishku,  Lt. hiSsanmiren and one robot remain in the lift.

Hale turns to Málakal and whispers…”the intruder is kneeling behind the near air car, approximately 35 feet from my location.

Even as she speaks, the alien, a great cat-like biped covered in green fur,  emerges unsteadily from behind the vehicle.  It appears to be naked and unarmed and possibly badly wounded.

On Psi Tauri 9:

Two eye spy devices are launched.  The tiny spheres speed toward the two life forms on the ice.   As the party takes their seats in the crawler, the devices are relaying their signals and a holographic display showing their views materializes above the crawler’s control panel. 
The two on the ice appear to be the Pei Choi scientist and Dr. Bara huBizu, the assistant director of the station.  They are wearing burned and battered spacesuits and look like they’ve been through nine hells.

They are now within 200 feet of the shuttle. 

{sorry for the delay...rough week here including a broken AC and nearly 100 degree brain is semi-cooked...]

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Turn 9/Expositions

Deeds relayed the data on the intruder to the shuttle immediately.

Sunpletl, Vlelezh, Pchorvu, Hale (tha android), Gishku and three General Utility robots are available for the security details. Una, Kureshcutl, and three more robots are in engineering. Weapons lockers are located off the bridge and on the Sickbay Deck.

Falyai and anyone with alien contact skill would be aware of the readily available information on the Mihálli.

I'm working on more detailed deck plans for the ship...I can tell you that the decks are connected by a semi-central lift shaft, most decks have a circular corridor with exterior and interior compartments, a few corridors branch off to airlocks where vertical hatches are also present...rough drafts should be ready tomorrow, so Turn 10 will be delayed 24 hours or so.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turn 9: The Garden of Death

Tense moments pass on the shuttle. As Dr. Mors prepares a tranquilizer hypo from his med-kit, Harv scrutinizes the sensor readings on the holographic instrument display before him.  The two life-forms, a Pé Chói and a human, are still moving slowing toward the ship, now just over 400 feet away.  Little data concerning the station is clear. Fragments of duranium are littered across the crater, apparently the remnants of the base.
Perhaps with an alien look of frustration, Harv turns from the display and attempts to open his mind to the psionic vibrations inherent in all life, focusing on the image of two beings on the cold blasted plain.
The image quickly fades and other scenes fill his mind’s eye.  Darkness, a distant blue star, ice crystals exploding, primeval forest, the Garden…The Pe Choi Garden of Death.
Disoriented, Harv stumbles, gripping an acceleration couch for support.  Although he cannot reach the minds of the beings on the ice, Harv knows with absolute certainty that the female Pé Chói researcher is dead.  Her atoms are scattered across the wastes, her consciousness dissolved.
On the shuttle intercom, Commander Nek reports that the warbots are prepared.

Meanwhile, back on the starship orbiting the icy world… Falyai’s fingers dance across the controls at her station.  Two words appear on the screen.
Flashing, text and images flow, in rapid succession, across the display; library data pages on the identified species…
the Mihálli of Dorsum.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Special Announcement

Rob Leduc is joining the game.  He will be taking over the role of Executive Officer Krútai Málakal.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Turn 8: Above and Below

The shuttle sets down in the ice at the northeastern edge of the blast crater.  The crater extends 1000 feet toward the rift and the former location of the research station.
Deeds speaks:
“We are within the intensively radiated zone.  Your vehicles and spacesuits will provide complete protection from the radiation; however exposure due to a damaged suit would likely prove more hazardous than the extreme cold.”
Lalei unbuckles from her seat. She pulls an air tablet from a pouch on her utility belt and places it into a holder on the inside of her bubble hood. "Prepare the crawler for departure. Sub-Lieutenant, load your warbots on board."
“By your command,” returns the thin Marine officer, already moving toward the rear of the ship.
Commander Nek rises, “Captain, there are two disintegrator rifles, our most powerful weapons, on the Crawler. I will bear one and arm the Mk 2 Warbot with the second.”
On the view screen, through the spray of ice and darkness, is that a shadowy moving figure in the distance?
In the shuttle, Deeds again:
“The sensors are no longer registering three anomalous life forms at this location; however I have a lock on the location of two identifiable life-forms at 500 feet to the southwest and slowly moving toward our location.  One is a Pe Choi, the other a human…Captain…an intruder…an anomalous life form has been detected in the shuttle bay on the Deeds of Glory.”

In a distant orbit around Psi Tauri 9, aboard the starship a klaxon sounds and the voice of Deeds is heard throughout the ship: “DANGER DANGER INTRUDER ALERT. UNKNOWN LIFEFORM DETECTED IN SHUTTLE BAY.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turn 7: Upon Arrival

After a difficult 10 minute flight, the shuttle stabilizes, cruising low above the icy surface of the planet.  A planetary map of Psi Tauri 9 fills the view screen. Deeds speaks:
“Indicated on the display are the location of the destroyed research station, our current destination, and the location of the apparent source of the gravitic disturbance. Both lie in the North Polar Region of Psi Tauri 9. The station was located in the foothills of a range of low mountains near the pole; however the terrain between the two points is dominated by low relief ice fields pocked by impact craters of variable size. A high walled impact crater with a diameter of approximately 40 miles is located east of the source of the disturbance.  Both locations lie upon the Chir’un Rift, a great chasm measuring over 1, 700 miles in length and between 75 feet and approximately one mile in width. The station is on the west side of the rift at its northern terminus. The disturbance source is located on the east side of the rift, 180 miles to the south.
Also note, the area of intense subatomic radiation surrounding the location of the former station and the sensor detected life forms and anomalous life form like readings at the two points.”
The map image fades to overlay a real time view of the world’s surface. First the rift, a black crack in the blindingly white ice and snow, then a shallow crater along the rift at the former location of the Imperial research station.

[The previously viewed library data concerning the station and station personnel may be accessed here.]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Turn 6: To Ice Planet Nine

Away Team:
Captain L. Kardáma
Dr. T. Mors
Mr. Harv
Mr. Payákár
Sub-Lieutenant T. Tchépetl
Spaceman D. Pchorvu
1 Mk1 GUbot
Commander L. Nek
Sub-Commander E. Ekkub
1 Mk2 Warbot
5 Mk 1 Warbots

The Away Team meets in the shuttle bay as the Crawler is loaded aboard the small ship. System checks completed, the bay door opens to the void, the twin white ice worlds, Psi Tauri 8 and 9 clearly visible, reflecting light from the distant star.

Sub-Lieutenant T. Tchépetl at the controls the contra-gravitic drive is engaged and the small ship glides through the bay and into space. As the shuttle turns toward the near planet and blkasts away from the Deeds, the effects of the anti-gravity field surrounding the planet are felt. The ship is rocked and the wiry Martian is clearly struggling in the pilot’s seat.

Through the shuttle link with the ship AI, Deeds speaks:

"I have taken the liberty of projecting Lieutenant hiSsanmiren’s wave filter sequence, which appears to have had some positive results in diminishing the effects of the disturbance on the ship, on a vector between the shuttle and the location of the no longer extant research station.

I suggest following this course and landing near the base in order to avoid the more intense areas of gravity disturbance. If you desire, I can refocus the projection on the location 180 miles to the south where sensor readings detect the humanoid lifeforms and the source of the disturbance; however, even with the use of the filter, I have little confidence in the survivability of the shuttle if the latter option is chosen.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Turn 5: Fear of Flying

As icy Psi Tauri 9 spins below, Málakal turns to the captain. 

“After launching the shuttle I will need to take the Deeds out of close orbit.  This anti-gravity field is playing havoc with the controls.  Piloting the shuttle in will be quite difficult as well.”

Over the bridge intercom:

“Marine Sub-Commander Ekkub here.  Commander Nek has asked me to inform the Captain that the warbots are prepared for the away mission.  The crawler has been supplied and loaded on the shuttle.”

“Sub-Lieutenant Tcéptl, Captain.  I would like to volunteer for this mission. I am a capable pilot.”

The Avatar of Deeds, the ship AI, materializes on the bridge.

“Captain,” it says, “It is my opinion that Lieutenant hiSsanmiren underestimates her potential value on this mission.  No offense to Mr. Harv, but Lieutenant hiSsanmiren is more experienced with inter-planar physics.  The disruptive conta-gravitic field that is being broadcast from the planet is certainly inter-planar in nature.

Further, I am continuing to monitor sensor data from Psi Tauri 9.  I have detected three additional anomalous lifeform like readings in the vicinity of the research station in addition to the four humanoids and 24  anomalies at the location from which the conta-gravitic field appears to emanate.

I agree with Mr. Málakal about the hazards of flying the shuttle within this field and I advise that attempting to fly directly into the source of the disruption would be…suicidal. Also, it is highly probable that conta-gravitic devices will not function properly at that location and difficulties with radio communication and remote control of the warbbots should be expected.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Special Announcement

Brett has informed me that he needs to bow out so Krútai Málakal will be run as an NPC unless someone is interested in adopting the character. I'd actually prefer that the XO be a PC...

Turn 5 will be posted tomorrow evening...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Turn 4: Waves

Falyai immediately transmits the message to fleet command and receives a standard “message received” notification with no additional details.

Chompy plots the course and Málakal engages the three-light drive.  The ship hurtles toward Psi Tauri 9, eight minutes away at maximum acceleration.

Seven minutes later, warning lights are blinking at every station.  The ship has encountered an undetected field of conta-gravitic waves emanating from the planet.  Málakal struggles with the controls; Falyai sees the ansible go off-line and notes interference on standard light speed communication channels.  In Engineering, Payákár watches as Wavium Pod 2 cracks under the strain and is automatically shut down and sealed.

At the Science station, Harv is dismayed at the sudden appearance of the field.  Sensors are impaired but functional.  The field appears to be emanating from a location on the Chir’un Rift approximately 180 miles south of the research station.  Sensors detect four humans and 24 anomalous lifeform-like readings near that location.

The station itself is not found; however high levels of sub-atomic radiation and indications of a recent massive explosion at the station’s coordinates are detected.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Turn 3: Translated

[I’m assuming that the crew was notified, the officers returned to the bridge and the order was given to activate the interfogulator and jump to Psi Tauri 9. This Turn will be rather short in case I assumed too much.] 
The interfogulator in the Drives Room hums to life. Lights blink and gauges spin, a web of blue energy, a visible grid of the planes, surrounds the device.
Instantaneously, the Deeds of Glory vanishes and reappears, motionless, in normal space, 500,000 miles from Psi Tauri 9.   At a vast distance, the star Psi Tauri is visible as a gold pinhead. 
On the bridge, the voice of Deeds, “All systems appear stable. Sensors detect no spacecraft in range and no inter-planar lifeforms aboard ship.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

TURN 2/Last Call

[I will delay posting Turn 3 until tomorrow evening in order to give Malakal and any others a chance to contribute prior to jumping out system.  The ship has reached optimum speed for translation to the Psi Tauri system.  As Psi Tauri 9 lies far from the star, it would be possible to safely emerge from inter-planar space within 500,000 miles (and less than eight minutes travel time) of  the world. 

It is SOP to raise definsive screens prior to activating the inter-planar drive.  Also remember, unless somewhat risky navigational adjustments are made the ship will arrive in system motionless and the jump is instantaneous.]

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Throughout the ship, the voice of Captain Lálei Kardáma over the intercom, echoes:
"Mr. Nek, Dr. Mors. please report to the meeting room, immediately.
 In the red lit Marine Robotics bay in the bowels of the ship:
Marine NCO and Roboticist Ekkub: The robotic claws on Mk I #2 are sticking on extension again. You should be off to the meeting Commander Nek.  I am quite capable of finishing the inspection.
In Engineering:
Jiná Surék Uná, the Áylgibrán Enginner’s assistant leans into the open compartment of Wavium Pod Array 4 making slight adjustments with a molecular spanner. Wiping sweat from her brow with one hand she smears her face with black magnetic dust.
Táz Tchépetl practices fencing behind her, pauses to admire her posterior…
“Jina,” he says, “you can’t spend your life down here with your wide eyed alien boss and his little space monster. How about a break? Come up to my quarters for a glass of Aldeberan brandy.  Tomorrow we may die…”

In the Sick Bay:

The avatar of Deeds, huge and shimmering, reaches out to the android Halé, his hand, like a massive but delicate ruddy brown pot sherd, passes though her cheek.  She stands motionless, her deep black eyes wide open…
On the bridge:
Payákár remains lost in thought, looking for the nebula in the view screen…then, an optical illusion in the starry void, like sad human eyes looking back from the depths of space..the sad eyes of an astronaut that have seen too much death and other horrors beyond fear, pain, space, death, and time.  A soft voice whispers inside the alien's skull…”the astronaut needs time…”
The Nininyal navigator has prepared and finalized the n-dimensional instructions that will translate the Deeds of Glory across approximately 9, 7899564333354333111 light years of void space to its destination; soon the ship will abruptly vanish and arrive…..
Falyai settles into the plush Captain’s chair. Half her mind dreams of glory beyond the stars, the other half continues the complex calculations that could provide a formula for determining the precise date and time that the garbled distress call was sent and ultimately might clear up certain troubling irregularities in trans-temporal contra-gravitic waveform theory…

In the Meeting Room:

Lálei Kardáma , Krútai Málakal, Portents of the Harvest Dawn, and  Dr. Turjan Mors gather.

Captain Kardáma flashes the ship's chief medical officer her best professional smile.
"Greeting's Doctor. Have a seat. We only await Mr. Nek, then we can begin. I hope I didn't pull you away from anything important."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Turn 1/Expositions

Falyai quickly acknowledges receipt of the commuiqué to Fleet Command and runs the standard decoding algorithms on the encoded transmission. While doing so, thanks to her strong background in interplanar physics, she realizes that the contra-gravitic waveforms of the two messages had been attracted to one another and became entangled in n-dimensional space, thus explaining the simultaneous reception.  She also knows that, statistically, contra-temporal ansible signals are about 90% likely to have originated in the past rather than the future.  Attempts to clarify the distress call appear hopeless.

She decodes the extant portion of the orders from Fleet Command and the AI, in response to the captain's order, automatically routes them to her screen.

Meanwhile, Harv, at the Science station, searches library data for information on the distressed ship.  He finds one record of an Imperial Scout ship reported lost in the nebula just over 5 years ago. Past efforts to locate the ship were unsuccessful.  Intense Z-ray storms are common in the nebula, travel there is very dangerous and disruptions to communication and sensors should be expected.


[Protocol question: who's allowed to talk to Deeds and/or give Deeds instructions or requests for activity? Do all such things have to go through the chain of command? Is Deeds a "person" or a service portal? Where does /Deeds/ fit within the chain of command?]

Ultimately up to the CO, but as the crew is all new...on most ships any officer may communicate with the AI particularly regarding information requests relevant to their post or specialty.

The AI is a personality and in case anyone is familiar with the ship AIs from Banks' Culture novels, Humanspace AIs are less advanced.  Their intelligence is typically at maximum human level (Deeds Int is 18) supplemented by eiditic memory and access to vast amounts of data, but they tend to struggle with original thinking, creative problem solving and such.  AIs and androids are essentially below all officers in the chain of command (their purpose is to serve...) but they often tend to act as if they are only answerable to command officers.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Turn 1: Read Only Memories

Six Imperial Naval officers, human and alien, a lithe and pretty slave girl, and a male android with jet black eyes and paper white skin climbed aboard the shuttle at Yézudus Port on Miza 6 . In the ensuing hours aboard the newly refitted ship, they performed their duties, checked systems, and made varyingly sincere, inept, successful and half-hearted attempts to get to know one another. These social rituals and professional tasks continued in the days that followed as the Deeds of Glory set course, as ordered, out-system and rimward, awaiting further instructions.

Captain Lálei Kardáma a small attractive woman with a dark complication, deep-brown slanted eyes, and long black hair; daughter of retired Fleet Admiral and a member of the Order of the Verdant Sphere--an exclusive cult of wealthy and powerful sybarists. She is said to be a powerful mentalik and keeps an android lover.

Executive officer and pilot Krútai Málakal, his father a powerful administrator in the Tau Ceti Debris Disk and his mother a noble of the Great Ket Vriddu and Captain of the Imperial dreadnought Red Devastation killed in a Mihalli raid several years ago. He is rumored to be hard and cruel but an excellent officer and pilot. His young concubine Zira brightens the corridors of the ship when she passes.

Pé Chói Science Officer Portents of the Harvest Dawn, called Harv, a specialist in xeno-biology and robotics. A true seeker after knowledge and experience.

Medical Officer Dr. Turjan Mors, a bearded scientist, said to have been a brilliant researcher that accepted a commission in the navy to avoid the wrath of a jealous noble after an ill considered affair with the Space Lord’s favorite concubine.

Navigator, author, and adventurer, Khompskpsk, a Niniyal nicknamed “Lil' Chompy” by fans of its series of trashy vid-novellas.

Engineering Officer Payákár, a friendly Páchi Léi, often found working long hours in the drives room with his pet Chozá, a small creature, all wings, eyestalks and tentacles.

Marine Commander Led'ur Nek and his haughty sub-commander and roboticist Ek Ekkub arrived hours later and have been busy with their armored robots since. They have done little socializing with the officers and crew.

The remainder of the crew came aboard soon after, most have yet unremembered names and faces. Táz Tchépetl , the Gunnery/Security NCO, is certainly memorable; a lanky Martian with a handsome face marked with a terrible scar obtained in the Death Arena as is Jiná Surék Uná, the voluptuous Áylgibrán who spends far too much time in Engineering.

Ferried to the ship as it headed out-system was a last minute addition to the crew, Lieutenant Science Officer Falyai hiSsanmiren. She mentioned that her orders involved monitoring the ship AI and the Ansible communications system, necessary due to some irregularities noticed in final diagnostic tests performed on the ship AI.

The ship AI is known as Deeds and its holographic avatar is occasionally seen about the ship. It has been somewhat aloof and perfunctory in the first days of the voyage. The lovely Health and Joy Android Halé, on the other hand, has been extremely sociable, when not busy in the sickbay with Dr. Turjan Mors.

Rumors have also spread that the last crew of the Deeds of Glory succumbed to space madness beyond Canopus last year and the only survivor of the doomed mission is locked in a naval asylum on Sirius 7.

In deep space, billions of miles beyond Miza, as the Deeds of Glory gradually reached a speed incrementally below that of light, the officers gathered on the bridge.

Lieutenant Science Officer Falyai hiSsanmiren, monitoring the ansible station, was shocked by the sudden flashing of numerous muti-colored lights on the communication panel. Two messages were being received simultaneously, the first encoded, a transmission from Imperial Fleet Command, presumably with the awaited instructions.

The second message, garbled, a voice, ”Mayday, this is Captain ----- Imperial Extreme Survey vessel -----nebula----remote planet….contact mission…now under attack…unknown weapon…planet’s surface…coordinates…sending coordinates…Mayday…”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Technical Manual v1.0 UPDATED

No Turn Zero but Turn 1 shoud be up tomorrow night.

In the interim, I prepared a preliminary version of the Ship's Technical Manual that includes ship stats, ship's vehicles, stats for all NPC crew members, robots, and androids, and inventory of the ship's locker.

Access Version 1.01 here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Status Report (UPDATED)

I believe the following reflects the current situation.

SchoolMaster -Complete 
Porky - Complete
MikeD- prepare background
Phf - Advance character to 3rd level
BrettSlocum - Complete
CaptainJack - Advance character to 3rd level and prepare background
ckutalik-Advance character to 3rd level

As multiple versions of characters and backgrounds have been posted in comments on several different blog posts and others have been showing up in email, let me know if you have completed a task and I don't seem to realize that you have done so.

 Assuming all characters are completed in the next few days I expect to post the first turn on Friday 4/29. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Skills, CR, Gear, Pets, Slaves and Androids

About Skills

I apologize for the confusion with the skills system.  I hope to revise it extensively for the final book although I like certain aspects of it such as how it allows for a good bit of character diversity and  customization while restricting access to some skills and powers.

Hopefully the following examples will help clarify:

Yári Gágaryan, a 1st level Astronaut, rolls 18 on the Astronaut Skills/Powers selection Table and is allowed to choose 6 skill/powers from the first 8. Consulting the table below he chooses to skip engineer and gunner skill and takes the next six: space swordsman, energy pistol, navigator, pilot, PSY luck, and empathy. Alternately he could have taken the first six (engineer through pilot) or skipped the first skill (engineer) and taken gunner through PSY luck or taken multiple levels in one or more skills (e.g. he skips engineer and gunner takes space swordsman, energy pistol +2, navigator and pilot-six skills from the first eight with energy pistol +2 counting as three skills).


space swordsman
energy pistol
PSY luck
control of self
bio-PK I
third eye
PSY weapons

Yari reaches 2nd level and gains "1d4 (+ PSY Power Success modifier) Level 1 skills or powers with the least advanced skill, or lowest available on the list being mandatorily chosen first." The reference to Level 1 skill/powers is definitely confusing and should read Astronaut skills/Level 1 PSY powers.
We will assume he selected space swordsman, energy pistol, navigator, pilot, PSY luck, and empathy at 1st level. He rolls a 4 and may take control of self, bio-PK I, third eye, and suggestion. If he wanted he could, instead, go back and pick up engineer or engineer and gunner or add skill levels (+1, +2, etc.) to any other Astronaut skills or powers.

The rules are not clear on what happens when all Astronaut skills/Level 1 PSY powers have been taken; he could take up to +5 in each which would probably take him up to at least 20th level or so. It should be noted that the rules do not specifically state that skill levels can be added to powers but the intent was that they may be so that PSY luck +2 would add a +2 modifier on the skills/powers success table when attempting to use the power. Additionally I would allow characters to learn/create other Level 1 powers or skills not on the list.

I believe the secondary mechanics of gaining PSY powers was pretty clear, one can attempt to learn almost any power but failure is a possibility:

“Additionally at 2nd level and all subsequent levels an Astronaut may roll on the skill success table in an attempt to gain up to 1d4 (+ PSY Power Success modifier) higher level powers. The player may select which powers he or she will attempt to acquire and the level of the power is applied as a penalty to the roll (e.g. an 2nd level astronaut attempting to learn a Level 2 power would need to roll 13 or better, a 9th level astronaut attempting to learn a 6th level power would need to roll at least 9. A successful roll acquires the power. A natural 20 is always a success and a natural 1 always fails.”
It would be possible for a character to attempt to gain four or more powers, fail on each roll and gain no additional higher level powers.

Background skills or additional background skill levels are not typically available as part of the class skill system excepting those that appear on both background and class charts. At the discretion of the referee background skills or skill levels could be substituted for class skills, otherwise there are several ways (in the current rules) to gain background skills after play begins:

Learning Background Skills

Additional background skills and increased proficiency in known background skills may be attained in game. A Basic skill may also be learned in one month at a cost of CR 1,000. A Technical skill may be learned in 4 months at a cost of CR 5,000 and an Expert skill may be learned in one year at a cost of CR 10,000. The time required to learn the skill assumes full-time study or practice. Part-time learners must multiply the time by 1d4+1.
Alternately, a character that has made use of an untrained skill on multiple occasions, been involved in activities related to the skill, or used a known skill may, upon gaining sufficient experience to increase in class level, roll on the skill success table to gain the skill or additional proficiency, The character’s INT modifier applies and a successful roll acquires the skill. No more than two background skills or proficiencies may be gained per level.

In Spaceswords & Glory, as all characters are beginning above 1st level, I would allow each character to attempt to gain two background skills or proficiencies per level above first in this manner.

About Gear and Starting CR

In Spaceswords & Glory, as characters are career military officers and beginning at higher than 1st level I think it would be fair to multiply randomly generated starting CR x (character level x2). Gear and money are a bit peripheral to this campaign though. It might be interesting to determine if one’s character maintains a home, estate, etc, and come up with monthly upkeep costs and monthly naval salary. Imperial naval crews also receive bonuses or shares from captured enemy vessels or equipment.

As for standard gear, I will try to inventory the ship’s stores soon but assume any standard equipment will be available at no charge.

It would be helpful if characters standard gear for aboard ship activities and for “away missions” was noted on the sheet. Watch the encumbrance rules though…

Unusual personal items will need to be paid for though and will be dealt with case by case. Assume a pet costs (1d4 x CR 100) x hit points. Extremely dangerous pets might not be welcome aboard ship. Slaves and basic robots cost (1d2 x CR 1000) x hit points and a Yeleth or advanced robot costs (1d2 x CR 5000) x hit points. A monthly payment schedule could be arranged to finance expensive purchases.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaceswords & Glory

The Blog

The game will hosted on this blog.All players will be added as contributors.

The Players
Porky - playing a Páchi Léi astronaut
BrettSlocum -playing a human astronaut
CaptainJack - playing a Jaguar Knight space marine perhaps, or a Pei Choi science officer/archaeologist or an irascible Ahoggya engineer?
ckutalik-playing "Lil' Chumpy" a Niniyal astronaut

The Scheme

The transactions of the game will consist of blog posts.  A Turn will last from one Referee post to another.  Simple player turns may be posted as comments to the Referee Turn post but more complicated player turns may be individual posts (please put the Turn # in the post title and labels).  The referee and players may comment on its content if they like.  

As for the sprockets and cogs of how this game will run I propose that, following character generation and the posting of all the character sheets, I will need a few days to figure out what’s going on with these characters then I will post the first turn. Players will have roughly two days to react to the turn, as I will attempt to post a new turn every other week day for each game on alternate days. 

In order to speed up some situations or combats, I may request that players submit a plan and a few dice rolls rather than dragging every such situation out for weeks. I would play out such situations and post the results. If the encounter begins to go bad or seems too far removed from the players’ posted plans I will pause it and post the situation as the next turn.

Players may request to move any encounters to chat or Skype for detailed resolution and if we have a quorum, we will do so.  Later the chat logs or similar would be posted to the blog.

Players that cannot keep to the schedule (or if an encounter goes chat or skype and can’t attend) may select another player to run their character or the character will be run as an NPC during their absence.

I’m hoping to have two volunteers for Vice-Referees as I previously posted.  Tim (Risus Monkey) has tentatively agreed to VR for this game. 

Character Generation

Players will need to work together to determine which position each will hold on the ship. Check out the brief specifications below. Some officers and/or crew will be NPCs. I will make final decisions about player positions if necessary.  Once positions are determined I will instruct each player to advance their character to a specified level. 

Next, everyone will prepare their complete character sheet and email it to me or post it on the blog. I will review and revise it as needed and repost the final sheet. 

I’d also like everyone to write a brief character description or background. Length is up to you…it can be something like David’s background for Arto that was posted at ix, a paragraph, or three wishes. I reserve the right to edit these to fit better with campaign or setting though.

Although lots of navy issue gear will be available on the ship you may buy any personal equipment that you like and if there is something you are interested in buying that's not on the lists let me know.

Deeds of Glory

You are the officers and crew of the Humanspace Imperial starship Deeds of Glory (Májikhajiyel), a 1000 ton spherical patrol xebec of the Little Death Moon class attached to the Hyades Deep Space Fleet. 


Displacement: 1000 tons
Contra-Gravitic Drive: Three-Light
Interfogulator: Mk 20
Computer: Positronic Brain AI Mk 7 (Deeds)
Ansible: Mk 5
Armaments:  6 Z-ray turrets, 4 rocket launchers (Diambrite and Sub-atomic)
Officers: 6 (Captain, Pilot, Navigator, Science Officer, Medical Officer, Engineer)
Crew: 6 + 4 robots, 1 android (Health and Joy Yeleth Mk 3)
Marines: 2 officers, 6 warbots
Vehicles: 4 life pods, 1 shuttle, 2 armored air-cars, 1 armored crawler

Deeds is the avatar of the ship's positronic brain.

If you haven't already you might want to read about the government and militaries of Humanspace in the 621st century, about your Emperor, the Veritable Autocrator, and this overview of Humanspace Society. Consider social class when writing character background. All military officers are made Citizens.

Any questions?