Saturday, September 27, 2014

Classic Traveller, Two ships and no where to go

Some between session news...

Last night's session was a bit of an in-betweener. One player down and between mercenary tickets, so the PCs were milling around a bit deciding what to do. However they had a bunch of little scenes which I shall illiterate in no particular order.
They started in orbit of Stallone the planet where their ticket had been based. Having taken the Bertrum35 ship they saw no reason to leave behind the armed pinnace (snigger) that they shot down over the moss processing plant. So a recovery was set in motion and it was lifted up into orbit and mounted on the back of the Bertrum35 ship ready for transport to a port for repairs.

Everyone else was gathered up and they headed towards the sub sector capital (in the same system) Tircesoe. they even offered the Governor and his wife a free ride along with them. He'd decided that he had already lost his job and that the people on Stallone would never submit to his governorship after the war.

During the crossing one of their injured mercs  (Dita Abraham) called them down to sick bay and told them he wanted out of the unit. The pain and the hurt and the danger of dying was too much. They didn't want to lose Dita, so offered a promise of light duties during the next ticket and a bonus of 10000Cr. Hearing this from the next bed over, the injured Wirke decided that leaving the company was a good idea. Wirke was offered the same deal.

Private Zefim popped up to the bridge and demanded that they be given leave. The 35KCr in his pocket was burning a hole. He was told to tell the crew that they would all get a week off as soon as possible and that a rotation of leave would be in place after that. That put him at ease.

Once they arrived, the first thing to do was avoid the stampede as the troops left the ship, then decide what to do with Bertrum. The last session had left me a little confused as to his final fate. In the end the PCs were quite magnanimous and set him down on Tircesoe with enough money for a bus. Alive, even kicking perhaps, but not a happy man.

They visited their friendly local arms dealer and dealt with the resupply issue. They also tapped him for getting someone to fix up the damaged pinnace (hee hee). He was able to sort that out but the bill would be in the region of 1MCr. Two thirds of the profit from the last ticket in one fell swoop!

The PCs were fully aware that getting the captured Bertrum35 ship, now named the "Nimjin", into a dock for repair during war time would be exceptionally expensive and difficult, so set their hearts on cashing in the favour and letter of introduction to the sub sector leader.

They set off for his palace, got passed the guards and in to see a receptionist. They proffered the letter which she opened and examined. Then she took their contact details and said she'd be in touch.  They walked out of the palace wondering what to do next.

They decided they might make some money if they could sell the technology in the Aslan robots. Get someone to do the R&D and then take a cut of any profits. They called the arms dealer again and offered a demonstration of something to his advantage. He was more than happy to indulge some of his best clients! He soon arrived on board and was taken down to the hold. He didn't get it at first. Mind controlled robots were something beyond his comprehension. Then they gave him a try of the control helmet. He soon got carried away and had the robot dancing and  jumping around the place. He was delighted. He confirmed that he could handle this for the PCs, he knew people at the various weapons companies.

The next incident was a call from the unit's recruiting office. There was a man there offering a special job. He was invited to the ship and led in to meet the Marquis himself. The visitor  was doing a little verbal dancing until he was assured that he could speak freely without fear. The job he offered was bug-hunt. He represented a company called "Big Pharma" and he wanted some animals for research purposes. The animals could be found on an interdicted planet at the southern end of the sub sector. He was offering 10000Cr for a dead creature and 35000Cr for a live one, and wanted as many as 10 if they could be got. The PCs sent him on his way telling him to add a few zeros to the offer before they'd be interested.

A call came in from one of the sergeants that were on leave reporting that he was at the cop shop where three troopers were being restrained for being drunk and disorderly. Worse yet the Imperial press gang was on the way to bag them!

The PCs loaded up a bag with credit chits and rushed down to the cop shop. They managed to get the desk sergeant into a side room and offered him 5000Cr to "lose" the paperwork. He accepted the kind offer. They asked if he knew anyone who fancied joining a mercenary unit. He told them he'd let his friends know about the offer and that they should wait outside while he got to work on freeing their men. In just a few minutes the men were sent out the front but the desk sergeant was with too, he'd changed out of  his uniform and wanted to join up!

Another call from the recruiting office reported that there was a woman there looking for some men for a special job. She was shown aboard and introduced to the Marquis. She told a long and involved tale of a marriage to a man who only wanted her inheritance. A divorce had left her almost penniless, but she wanted her money back from the "bastard" who'd taken it. She was offing 50000Cr to get back the 4MCr that had been taken. They tried to negotiate a higher amount, but she wasn't having it, and was soon being led down to the exit. Just before leaving it was suggested that she might try the PCs other ship, where she might find some of the unit's off-duty men willing to spend their leave in helping her with her little problem. This was a pitch from the player to see if the away-team PCs might be interested in taking the job.

There ended the session, will the away team go for the job? Will a bigger job come along, for the unit entire? Tune in next week...

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Supplement 3 The Spinward Marches, a review

This is a review of the PDF version of the Spinward Marches supplement for Classic Traveller.

This is the first of the classic PDFs for Traveller that I've reviewed where it's not just a straight scan of the work. It's an improvement in presentation all the pages are crisp and clear.

So what is The Spinward Marches? It's a pregenerated sector of space, broken down into subsectors. That's about it. Let's be more specific. The introduction repeates what I just said then gives you a guide to reading a planetary UPP and then it's straight into the first subsector.

You get a title for the subsector, then between one to three short paragraphs about the sector, which may include a whole sentence about one of the planets. Then you get the planet stats, name , size, atmosphere etc for the planets in the sub sector. Next is a map of the  sub sector presented in the standard Traveller hex map format.

A note about these maps. Each sub sector map indicates the adjacent sub sectors but there is no sector map, so if you want an idea of how these fit together you'll need to write the names on cards and start arranging them puzzle fashion. Each map itself is very clear but suffers from a lack of helpful detail added in later products, namely bases and gas giants are not indicated. Xboat routes are indicated.

After all the sub sector details, the book gives you a rehash of the rules relating to interpretation of the stats. The final section is a index to the planet names throughout the sector.

Wow. I've mixed up opinions on this one. Lets start with my negative thoughts.

If this was produced today, I would dump on it. Who needs pregenereated sub sectors, when I can go to a web site and click a button and create as many as I want, especially when the map doesn't show all of the now expected details. As to the details for each planet, or rather the lack of them. Two sentences does not a sub sector make. To make this book useful it really needs to have some details for each and every planet. When you could fill books with details and background material on a single planet, two sentences for an entire sub sector is pretty useless.

This amount of open territory does give the referee room to move and create their own details...but if your doing that why would you need this book ,as opposed to clicking a button and generating your own sub sectors.


But this subsector has been used as a location to set many of the classic Traveller adventures and other supplements. Although you can easily transpose those adventures into another sub sector or even your own version of the Spinward Marches, it just seems better to have the real thing, the real Spinward to act as your context. It's just a feeling, just a confidence trick if you like, to make you feel like you're doing it correctly.

So in summary, a nice to have, but totally unnecessary.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Classic Traveller, 50 fun things to do in Zero-g

We left off last session with the PCs having just caught a glimpse of Bertrum35 soldiers along a corridor, and one was PC trapped in an air lock.

As an aside from the action, the players secondary characters (home-team) noticed that the Bertrum35 ship had started broadcasting a "this ship is under attack by pirates" message.

Back in the corridor shots were exchanged with two Bertrum35 employees. But no hits were scored. The lights in the corridor started flashing rapidly and the Bertrums disappeared from sight. The PCs, Jenkins and the Bear, knew that wasnt a good sign and waited for the the bad news. With the lights still pulsing, the gravity started rapidly cycling from 0 to 1.2 causing some endurance damage to the Bear.

The poor lonely PC, Jocko, trapped in the airlock put away his axe, and took out his ACR and used its grenades to attack the inner door to the airlock. With a blast of smoke and shrapnel he wasted the door and freed himself. Once out he lead his team along the corridor heading for'ard in the same general direction as the other party. But at a corner he found a Bertrum standing in a doorway. This meant the Bertrum was standing in a room where gravity wasn't popping but Jocko had all of the discomfort of fluctuating gravity. This Bertrum was also wearing combat armour, the PCs toughest opponent yet. Jocko let lose with his ACR, but the gravity must have played havoc with his aim and the bullets flight as it was pretty much a wasted shot. The Bertrum had all of the advantages. With a steadied weapon he placed a shot from his rifle straight into Jocko (13 points of wound). Jocko staggered a little and in a manly manner waved his men forward to rush the Bertrum. The guy didn't stand a chance and was riddled with bullets.

Jenkins and the Bear darted past the corridor where they'd seen the Bertrums, heading for the bridge leaving their troopers to cover their backs and deal with the Bertrums,. A firefight was soon taking place behind them. They carried on along the corridor and started descending a ramp.

Jocko found a lift and decided to use it, perhaps thinking of reaching engineering or meeting the other PCs on the lower deck. Unfortunately the ship had other ideas, the lift locked between decks. He knew exactly what to do and started reprogramming the lift controls with his axe. Perhaps it was foolhardy, perhaps it was daft, but whatever it was, it worked! He soon got the lift under control and ascended back to his starting position.

Back on the ramp an anti-piracy device fired. I blister full of an oily substance exploded coating our intrepid heroes in a visor obscuring black yuky-fek. they set too using their capes to clear the visors.

Pretty soon they were joined by their troopers who had finished off the two Bertrums, and Jocko with his squad too.

The ramp lead down into a wide open space used for exercise, indicated by the weights and other equipment strapped to the walls. They noticed the air pressure rising again. Only one door leading forwards was available, and it was a secure edifice.  Everyone backed away as Jocko loaded up another HEAP grenade into his ACR.

When he fired there was the expected explosion, but also a secondary rolling explosion as the air in the room blossomed into flame. I, reasoning that the over pressured air would be oxygen rich. (Ship designers would obviously put more oxygen in when pressurising in case someone was suffering from asphyxia. Well that's what I thought anyway). This explosion blasted over out armoured heroes and took out one of their people in the process. The door was not destroyed but rather holed. Looking through the hole they couldn't seem much, just open space. They set to with their axes and eventually laid the door open.

Then the players started getting a little tentative, not wanting to be first in. I guess all their years of D&D must have left them expecting the big bad. Yet as they entered the elongated control room they heard a voice.

"You took your time getting here."

They didn't find the big bad, instead they found a sad-looking resigned old man sitting at one of the control stations. He turned out to be Bertrum, not a Bertrum, but THE Bertrum. He tossed Jenkins the keys to the ship and the conversation moved on.

It turned out that Bertrum35 has started out as a small mercenary unit with only 35 people in it, hence the name. They had grown over time and then fallen on bad times. A couple of bad mercenary tickets had led them into bad times. The PCs noted how the soldiers in the unit had been poorly armed, perhaps a sign that the unit had fallen on bad times.

They discussed back and forth on their private channel the possibility of ether killing or employing  the old man. His understanding of the mercenary business, they argued could be of use. Perhaps he could help in training up new troopers. But, came the counter argument, he might spend his time training up troops loyal to himself and that might lead to a rebellion within the ranks. When they tried to offer him a job, the man seemed more interested in just going home. Where was home? It was the planet Zapmanus, which the PCs pointed out was uncomfortably close to the Aslan invasion forces. 
In the end it was decided to simply dump him at the sub sector capital of Tircescoe.

Now the PCs had time to look at their newly acquired ship. When they shipped over their engineer for an inspection, the results did not make them particularly happy.

All but two turret were out of commission, the jump drive was built for Jump-2 but was currently only able to manage Jump-1. The hull of the ship turned out to be old, really old. Suffering stress and fatigue in places. This ship was no priceless gem, but never the less, a hugely valuable acquisition. A ship capable of entering combat, and transporting troops.

It was decided to make this the command ship of their fleet (two ships). Repairs would need to be done and they considered cashing in the one favor with the sub sector leadership that they still have to spend. I pointed out that commandeering a space dock this close to the Aslan front during a time of war was a big "ask".

So ends their first mercenary ticket. They've suffered one death and three serious injuries to the members of the unit, plus 1 PC has had a major wound. Now all that's left for me to do is, whip out the calculator. Damaged kit. Weapons expenditure. Sundry expenses, spares, repairs etc. Then integrate their new recruits into the unit. Will they have made a cash-profit on the first ticket?

Edit: finished working out the money for this ticket:

1.4 Million profit on the Stallone ticket.
Payment 3000000Cr
Expenses 172450Cr
Profit 2827550Cr
Owners Share 1413775Cr
Individual Share 35344Cr
Ships crew share 35344Cr
PFC's share 35344Cr
Cpl's share 106033Cr
Srg's share 141377Cr

With that amount of money in their pockets, they'd better give the men some time off!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alien Module 2: K'Kree

This review is for the PDF of a classic Traveller alien module as bought from DriveThruRPG. The PDF is a scan of an original printed copy, so the edges of printed pages appear along the edges of the PDF, however the text throughout is clear and easy to read. The book has colour covers and a black and white interior in the standard Traveller format.

The objective of this module is to give you the ability to include the K'Kree race in your Traveller game, be that as NPCs or as player characters.

The K'Kree are aliens. In some respects they appear like centaurs of earth legends but in reality they are nothing like men with the body of a horse, they are very different.

The book itself explains that the K'Kree are very different from people in looks, society, and thought processes.They are descended from herbivore herd beasts and that simple fact means they do not think like people. In fact they think in terms of the herd, the family or the race. This fact is amply provided for in the rules by making the choice of playing a K'Kree a serious change from the normal RPG trope of playing a single character! The K'Kree are so different that instead of playing a single creature, if you're playing K'Kree, you're actually playing a group of them, up to fifty strong.

They like open spaces, therefore space ships, buildings, vacc suits, and vehicles play havoc with their minds. Their ships are huge open spaces, wrapped in steel. They don't have houses. They have a strict caste system that they are happy with! There are no individuals rebelling against the caste system, individual thoughts like that don't occur to them. Imagine playing that mind set. The herd is all, you serve the herd, you ARE the herd.

Don't get all power hungry thinking playing fifty K'Kree gives you Fifty laser wielding soldiers. It doesn't, you'll have a patriarch, servants, wives, maybe a body guard, clerks, cooks etc making the majority of those fifty, and the loss of one is a loss of yourself. Very different to normal play.

Oh, and they are strictly vegetarian, rampantly so. Within their empire they have either killed the meat eating races, or forced them into vegetarianism.

So what's in this 44 page PDF?
  • Diagrams showing comparison between man and K'Kree.
  • Introduction
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Society
  • Military service
  • Language generator,
  • Character Generation
  • Star ships
  • Weapons
  • Encounters
  • Patrons
  • Integration guide for using the extended Traveller books such as Mercenary with K'Kree
  • Worlds
And then it's on to the adventures. A couple of well put together adventures finish off this book. I won't go into detail, but they highlight aspects of K'Kree character, one where you play K'Kree and another where you play humans interacting with them. The scenarios put forward are very interesting and I'd love to play both of them.

In summary: Very good book, buy it.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge, solitaire

A cinematograph in which I speak forth on the subject of solitaire play with the above mentioned game.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Classic Traveller, Carrot or Stick

The last session had the PCs returning to town from "the dig". In fact they had just been overflown by a large vehicle heading towards town.

Tonight's session started therefore with the rain. Considering the planet only had a wisp of atmosphere, this was something that should not be happening. The dust-wipers on the vehicles were turned on but only moved an inch or two before gumming up. Seconds later all of the vehicles in the convoy ground to a halt with engines and motors complaining. The PCs concluded that the "rain" wasn't what it looked like. A vehicle door was opened, a corporal stepped out to investigate. There was a descending mist that was very sticky. The corporal ended up glued to the door of the vehicle but otherwise unhurt.

Using their uniform capes as protection from the rain, the rest of the troop exited the vehicles and headed into town on foot. They found that the sticky substance caused the soil to clump up on their boots but the capes kept the worst of the glue off.

In town they discovered the fight they heard last session was ongoing. A couple of Bertrum troopers were keeping the heads of the guards (guarding the Bertrum prisoners) down, while another group were doing-something to the PCs robot. They also noticed the town hall had been flattened by the landing of a large Bertrum shuttle on top of it. At the foot of the shuttle's loading ramp a couple more Bertrums stood guard.

The PCs wasted no time. Weapons flashed and erased the Bertrums shooting at the guards. The Bertrums were surprised and never really got the chance to return fire. More guns blazed and those at the foot of the ramp were wasted. The robot was activated and in a clumsy pirouette layed out the four Bertrums who were trying to interfere with it.

The PCs raced onto the Bertrum shuttle to make sure it was clear and wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. They found it empty. It was only now that they went back to the convoy to unstick the poor corporal!

Gathering up the wounded Bertrums they herded them into the saloon-cum-guard house and called down their doctor from their ship. They then proceeded to work their devious mind games upon the prisoners in a bid to get them to change sides. A huge Joining-Up bonus was offered plus a few other benefits.

I had thought about this situation before the game started and had thought to have 1D of the Bertrums be ready to join them, they are all mercs' after all and money-is-loyalty. Yet as the players talked I thought that the 10K joining-up bonus was worth another 1D. The convincing arguments of promotion, equipment (the Bertrums were using very old equipment), and a bar-in-every-room was worth an additional +3. So they made a SOC roll to convince them, succeeded, and scored 12 on the 2D+3, garnering themselves another 12 experienced recruits.

The recruitment drive out of the way, their minds turned to the Bertrum destroyer-class vessel overhead. Could it be taken?

They gathered up all of the troops they could, including the converts and some of the Stallone police-thugs loaded them all into the Bertrum shuttle and headed for the ship. The docked with it without any issue, soon overcame the three digit entry code and moved into the ship. They found themselves in a central corridor and split up going in opposite directions. In a very short time alarms sounded indicating they had been detected.

As they moved about the ship a couple of interesting incidents took place. The air pressure increased, the gravity turned off and an air lock opened itself to vacuum. Against the explosive decompression the PCs survived, fortunately still wearing their vacc-suits and having the strength to hold in place until the locks sealed themselves again.

They moved further into the ship, and found a man with a bandaged leg and a rifle confronting them. A swift fire was exchanged leaving the man seriously wounded. He was quickly dispatched as the PCs passed him to explore further. 

As I said, the party was split. One PC found himself separated from his squad when a hatch closed behind him. He tried to open it, even resorting to a boarding axe and attacking the seal. This must have been very tricky in zero-g!

Here the session ended with the lone PC trapped, and his squad being observed by a just emerged Bertrum. The other PCs are also being observed from a side corridor by another two Bertrums.  Next session will open with an exchange of fire!

The following graphic is a screen shot from Roll20, which we're using for the map work.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Getting the Ogre out

 Tonight I finally got round to playing the pocket edition of Ogre. Here's the set up.

Look at that innocent looking little fellow at the bottom of the map. Almost cute! He's not though. he crawled up the map edging a little to the right and started blowing away my guys like they were popcorn. The infantry on the left got left behind the first line of infantry were run down. The tanks behind them put up a bit of a fight, some even being disabled but they ultimately couldn't do much.

I managed to slow but never stopped the beast. I concentrated on taking out treads rather than weapons, hoping to get a win by stopping it before it could get in range of the CP, but I just couldn't inflict enough hits. This may be all down to my bad initial placement. As you can see from the picture above, I set up too far up the board. I didn't appreciate how little terrain actually effects the game and tried to put my troops in "safety". What I should have done was set the troops as far down the board as possible and moved forwards to engage the beast as soon as I could. Time is everything when you're shooting treads!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Classic Traveller, The Real Mercs!

We left the last session with missiles in flight and that's were we picked up the session. Bertrum35 had been given an ultimatum to abandon the planet or the base the PCs had discovered, would be obliterated by the missiles they had already launched. Bertrum35 replied with a simple terse message.

"Bertrum35 will withdraw from the identified base on Stallone"

A little table discussion resulted in a decision that the reply was insufficient as it didn't mention a complete withdrawal from the planet Stallone. The missiles plowed into the base. A huge explosion, vehicles tumbling through the air, dust, flame. A hole in the ground. A line had been crossed, the Marqi's troops had moved away from the usual game of manoeuvring that mercenaries play.

A call from the planetary governor, currently hiding on their ship, advised them that an explosion at the planets largest moss refinery needed to be investigated. If the refinery was put out of action then the industrial profits would be seriously set back. The players set out for the refinery. They split up into three parties, but also made a call to their tax collecting parties on the far side of the refinery to rendevous at the site. This meant they were able to converge from four directions at once. ( It also meant I couldn't blow up half refinery while they looked the other way.)

They found one building a smouldering wreck but coudn't see any cause. They started moving into the complex and soon came into contact with three parties of Bertrum35 troops that were planting explosives. An attempt to cow one group by a display of plasma beams didn't have the hoped for effect as the other PCs were leading their troops on a blood crazed frenzy of death!

Each of the three PC groups maneuvered into the complex using the buildings and terrain for cover and started plinking away at the bad guys. The bad guys for their part returned fire but the rifles they were using were proving ineffective at penetrating the PCs armour. They soon started falling back and converging towards one part of the complex. Sadly for them the PCs kept taking them out one by one.

With a group of police to back him up one PC blasted away at the Bertrums with a grenades but pulled back from that tactic when it set a building on fire.

A ship was seen coming in from the north. It was soon identified as an armed transport. It landed  outside the complex and the Bertrums made a run for the loading ramp. Some made it into the ship only to be mowed down by a PCs FGMP15 which blasted in through the loading ramp causing secondary explosions within. A second shot a few seconds later, again through the open ramp, put the issue to bed. The troops inside started running back out from the smoking ship, it obviously wasn't going anywhere.

With their fellows dropping all around them and their escape craft burning, the enemy mercs gave up the fight and put their arms in the air. They and their wounded were rounded up and put into vehicles for transport back to town. People were requested from the town to ride out to the refinery to put out the fires while the heroes rode back to town with their "guests" who they started treating exceptionally well, even to the point of "storing" them in the town saloon. There was a hope that these men could be turned, that is to abandon Bertrum35 and join them.

A panicked call from the PCs men stationed at the dig soon sent the PCs out that way. They arrived to discover one of their mercs, Sergeant Nina Poldi seriously injured. Oh, and a volcano-like uprushing of dirt and dust from the dig hole.

The story emerged that when the chief archeologist had opened one of the boxes provided by the PCs  the ant-like stone statue of an alien had come to life, walked through the wall bursting the dome, killing many inside and smashing through Nina who stood in its way. It seemed that the ant-like alien had come to life and gone down the hole and woken up its buddies before starting some kind of emergency evacuation/clean-up procedure.

The PCs decided there was nothing they could do here and headed back towards town as darkness fell. As they neared the place, a ship zoomed low and fast over their heads towards town, and seconds later the mercs they had left guarding the Bertrum35 prisoners were heard on the radio. Someone or something was attacking them!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Monday, September 01, 2014

3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars, session report

Last night was my first game in quite a while of 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars, and my first time GMing it with remote players. Three brave players dared the adventure with me, and all of them newbies to the system.

We started the session in a Google Hangout. This gave us the audio visual link, and then I opened up Roll20 where I had what they call a "campaign" set up to play. I normally just roleplay in the Hangout, without board and without minis, but 3:16 has an abstract map that is core to the play and without visuals I thought newbies would be struggling.

So I set up a Campaign in Roll20 with the range map on screen and counters for each of the players characters.

I'd also set up a series of "HandOuts", these are documents that I could flash on-screen for the players. I had one for a rules run-through, one for each rank detailing weapon choices and one for the domination results table (as I can never remember how that works).

We met up in the Hangout, I posted a link to the Roll20 campaign into the chat box and everyone joined me over there. Thus we had Roll20 in one window and the Hangout in another. It is possible to open Roll20 within the Hangout, but when I've tried this I found the Roll20 window is far too small and cramped.

We had a couple of problems the first of which was that one player was suffering a lot of interference. Fortunately one of the other players knew what was happening and advised that we should all turn off the audio/visual setting within Roll20. Once they were turned off the sound settled down nicely.

Then I tried to show the players the handouts I'd made and run into another problem. This time it was what I'd not-done within the settings of the handouts. Again another of the players stepped in and put me straight, telling me where I'd gone wrong. What I'd not done was set the "In Players Journals" to all players. This had to be done for all the handouts. It's a neat feature allowing handouts to be shown to some or all players. Sadly I didn't know that at the time and so no one could see it for a few minutes.

I'd previously posted a link to an audio introduction (the link) for the game into the Hangout and I checked that everyone had listened, thus I was able to avoid reading a long boxed-text.

The adventure was Mission 1 from my published campaign Death Bringers. In this mission the players are set to battle aliens within the rings of planet, so no gravity, no up, no down and lots of fun.

I like this mission because it's an unusual. There are living sentient ice-rocks within the rings, that can throw themselves at the good guys.

Hilarity ensued. The Sergeant only had an Non Fighting Ability of 4, the highest of the bunch, so anything they tried not related to fighting was like watching the three stooges at work. Feet were frozen to an asteroid, ropes caught around codpieces, and being stuck head first in a giant snowball with legs kicking in the vacuum.

The story eventually moved on. From battling moving space rocks, they bussed over to a moonlet and battled sentient ice-trees that threw ice-trunks into their ranks. Then it was time to find the L.T. who had disappeared. Turned out he had been captured and dragged down a tunnel. They found him in the centre of the moon a prisoner of a blobby beast. Three vivid incidents here have stuck in my mind.

A trooper punching his fist onto the end of an ice-spike.
A corporal ripping a massive living vein from a cavern wall.
A sergeant being bloodily blinded by an impact with his face plate.

From here they returned to the 3:16th capital ship and discovered that the 3:17th had crowded on board as their ship had been taken over. The heroes rearmed and headed over to 3:17ths ship to clear it out. Things didn't go well. For the first time ever in a game I've played, the aliens got an ambush, which they followed up with further hits. The PCs were about to die when a Strength was used that ended the scene and saved all their lives. There ended the game.

Sadly I brought the session down a bit at the end. On Sunday nights I have a strict two hour window for playing and I had to rush the players through what should have been the climactic ending thus ruining the pace. I'd been so wrapped up in the game that I'd lost track of the time. If I'd been concentrating I would have cut that last encounter and built up the previous one into the climax. If we'd had one more player and one less encounter, it would have been timed perfectly. Hopefully that's a lessen learned.

I really enjoyed getting back into 3:16 and if the opportunity comes up again I'll be playing again and hopefully some of these players will come back, they were brilliant!
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.