Monday, June 6, 2016

Majestic Stars Session 1

The quote of the evening
Who was your boss?
The husband of the women I slept with.
Was your boss the Iguana guy?
No I don't sleep with Iguanas.
I am not judging.
We had our first session of the Majestic Stars campaign. I am using a modified Fantasy AGE ruleset. There are no classes just a single level progression chart. Everybody starts off with 10 points to spend on attributes. The attributes are Charisma, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, Psi, Strength, and Willpower.

Instead of focuses we have skills. If you don't have the skill, you can use it but you are at -2 on the roll. One point will get it at +0, another at +1,  and so on. Every character starts with 3 points to spend on skills.

The races are Belter, Human, Kang'rits, and Saurian. Each character picks a race and gets two rolls on the benefit table for that race.

The talents are pretty the same but been reworked to reflect the science fiction genre of the campaign. There is now a pistol and rifleman style. As there are no classes the prerequisites have been adjusted so that you have to focus on the same attributes as you had too when there was classes. During character generation you get 3 points to spend on talents or skills.

I created a system of Psionics that I will present in a later post. It has five areas; Augment, Control, Empathy, Healing, and Telepathy. Each has four specific discipline that are learned the same way talents are.

January 5th 2425
The Crew
Luc Fer - a man with connection who has arrived on the Artemis Station to make his own mark. He also a psionic.
Carl LeRoche - a belter and a corrupt cop working as station security. 
Mikael Sharp - a human medic yearning for adventure.

Luc Fer has one last job to do, to hand deliver a data wafer that is the one half of a one use code pad. Each time a message is exchange the encryption key is discarded and the next one is used. Both data wafers have to be synced so they both start at the same key. It is one the few pieces of data in the 25th century that is moved by hand.

Luc Fer was met at the gate by Carl LeRoche. LeRoche was given an off the book job by his boss to escort Luc Fer to his contact, Thaddeus Vanlith. While heading to the lifts, LeRoche was accosted by a drunk Astroguard medic who want to use the security as a demonstration of the effect of living in low gravity. LeRoche was having none of it and hit him once with the stunstick and left him quivering on the ground.

When they arrived at Vanlith's office to deliver the wafer a thug stepped out with a shotgun. Both Luc Fur and LeRoche won initiative. The ensuing fight was short and brutal between Luc Fer psionic and LeRoche's aim. 

Inside they found Thaddeus Vanlith battered and beaten. LeRoche calls his boss who dispatches medical assistance. Luc Fer decides his job is done, drops the data wafer, and leaves.

Mikael Sharp arrives and starts stabilizing the surviving thugs. LeRoches is looking through Vanlith's files and find that he was working on a deal to trade a lot of colony supplies and 100,000 credits (a hefty sum) in exchange for genetic information. Mikael happens to see the genetic reports and manages to download a copy for himself. He explains that the genetic information is about the NPTN gene which is the primary gene that controls psionic ability in humans. Only that this gene is definitely non-human. Also found was a calling card for C'Treni a Saurian visiting the station on a six month cultural exchange.

The everybody splits, Luc Fer secures an apartment, LeRoches reports back at the office working on the paperwork and also planning what to do next with the information. Mikael gets everybody to the trauma center and does some research and finds out where C'Treni has been staying. Also fine some files that are meant to be turned over to Luc Fer.

Sharp goes the police station and meets up with LeRoche, together they decide to find Luc Fer at his new apartment. After talking about what been found  they all decided to head back to the apartment to look at what else they can find.

And that where the session ended with 300 xp awarded.

The Good
Well I am finally managing to run a campaign with my own original science fiction setting that I have been working on forever. It started with me using the Universe RPG map and plotting out a future history. Universe didn't have a firm background and I decided to make one. Later I used the stellar data from 2300AD (which went out to 60 light years vs. 30 light years of Universe) to expand my work. However compared to Traveller, Babylon 5, and Star Trek, I never got a sense of what I was going to do with the setting.

I felt in all but one important aspect my Fantasy Age science fiction adaption worked rather well. There are some gaps and weak points, but I can smooth them out with enough actual play. The combat wasn't as DnDish as I thought it would be. 

The OK
Well I got the party together in a semi-plausible way, but it was weak really weak. Next time I will have everybody work together to come up with the reason of why they are a time.

The Bad
The first level ability of Control is a +2 bonus to Charisma skills for the next ten minutes. That is probably a bit weak compared to the other psi abilities. I will probably change it to a one sentence command that takes place if the target fails a willpower test. I will need to get some feedback on this.

For all the work I put into everything, the players didn't get a good feel of the setting. One thing that was a bit "out there" is the fact that advances in fabrication technology has made many material goods effectively free. However, the good stuff still costs money. Anything involving any type of service still costs money. And that didn't come across well. So the players were wondering why people did anything at all?

The above was directly related to me running out of time to make all the things I normally do for the Majestic Wilderlands. One of which is a half to one page briefing on various bits of setting information.

The Future
Next time I should have more background info prepared and with the latest fixes for the rules. I am still weak on equipment and working on coming up with items. The big challenge here is that I am doing essentially an urban campaign, in a brand new setting, using the science fiction genre which I don't often run.


Doc Savage said...

Is Belter a shout-out to Traveller?

Robert Conley said...

Actually more of shout-out to the Expanse