Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Character: Malta

This is my character in the Ozcroft campaign.  I already went over her stats and career path in an earlier blog, so this is just extra details.

Full Name:
Malta Klonk

Home Planet:




Crew Position:
Chief Engineer & Ship's Steward

Baron Ozwald Haff (Employer), Dr. Melinda Warren (Personal Doctor), Dreya D'Nalor (Crewmate), Lord Kendrick Meadowcroft (Employer), M.C. "Jester" Slate (Crewmate)

Malta was once a really good student who showed a lot of promise, but her adult life has been filled with career-ending clumsy mistakes.  Her job as a field researcher ended when she almost crashed a research vessel into a moon.  A few years later she lost a job and her eye simultaneously, while running with scissors to help her boss on whom she had spilled coffee... let's just say it was a bad day.  (More specific details in the "Character Creation" blog.)  She is now the engineer for a trading ship called the "Unchaste Harlot", where she hopes to never run into anyone from her past.

Fixing the Jump Drive

Personality, Mannerisms, and Appearance:
Malta has a petite build.  She has black hair, which she keeps cut short (with her propensity for accidents, having long hair around engines would be asking for trouble).  She is missing her left eye, and wears an eye patch.  He has a tribal tattoo on her right bicep from her drifter years.  Malta is clumsy, and can often be seen tripping over her own feet or dropping things.  Despite her past failures, she has an optimistic personality.  When she think she is alone in the engine room, she often talks to the engines, which she considers to be her only true friends.

Nicole De Boer (I added the eye patch)
Creating the Character:
No beating around the bush here:  I rolled horribly.  I crashed and burned on three careers.  Major disaster, minor disaster, major disaster.  After losing an eye in the third career, I figured I would quit while I still had all my fingers.

We were asked to pick a TV celebrity to inspire our character, in order to flesh them out and give each other something to picture.  I had trouble finding one at first.  Someone in the group suggested Molly Shannon, but she wasn't quite what I was looking for.  Being the ship's engineer and picturing a somewhat bubbly personality, I was wanting something closer to Firefly's Kaylee... but I dismissed that for being a little too "on the nose" (many people already consider Traveller the "Firefly RPG").  It was my wife who finally suggested Nicole De Boer, and it clicked the second she said it.  Personality-wise, she's still probably a little bit Kaylee, or maybe Amy Wong from Futurama.

Miniature: Human Engineer (Star Wars - Dark Times #29)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

About This Blog

For those just tuning in, I thought I'd take a moment to explain who I am, why this blog is here, and how to navigate the silly thing.  As it says in the upper right, this blog is where I post the recaps of all the gaming sessions I play in.  Additionally, this is where I express my own crazy thoughts about gaming in general.

About Me

Hi, I'm Matt, but my friends call me Maqtt (the q is silent).  I'm a gender-bending Sci-Fi geek who prefers technology to exercise. In other words, I'm every high school bully's greatest fantasy. I enjoy role-playing games, video games (RPGs, Action, Adventure, Fighting), reading (mostly science-fiction and fantasy), drawing, writing, watching bad movies, and generally messing around on the computer. I'm both a Starwoid and a Trekkie (that's Trekkie, not Trekker; don't make me hurt you).  I have a three cats, one spouse, and a corny sense of humor.

I came late to the RPG party.  I was more into video games when I was a kid, and I mostly favored action games.  I didn't even try computer RPGs until college.  The first actual "Dungeons & Dragons" brand product I played for any length of time was NeverWinter Nights for the PC.  I never beat the single player campaigns, but I really got into the online persistent worlds.  Eventually I built my own world called "Itropa", and hosted it for a couple of years.  While I had played a couple of random D&D games in my youth, I didn't get into an actual "pencil and paper" D&D campaign until 2008.  I have been enjoying D&D 4e since it was released, as both a player and a DM.  In addition to 4e, I've played small amounts of Traveller, Pathfinder, Gamma World, a few random sessions of older D&D editions, and the occasional odd game like Dungeon Crawl Classics.  But I still consider myself an RPG newbie - there's so much out there I want to try!

I maintain a more general blog here, where I rant about non-RPG-related things like movies, comic books, and political beliefs.  It doesn't get updated as often as this one, since most of my blogging energy is now spent recapping D&D sessions.

Navigating This Blog

The Two Main Categories:
Most of my blogs have either the "Game Sessions" tag or the "Metapost" tag.  "Game Sessions" are the gameplay recaps, and these posts are probably only going to interest those in my group.  I use the label "Metapost" for pretty much everything else.  So if you just want to read my crazy opinions and reviews without having to scroll past the game sessions, just click "Metapost".

Other Sub-Categories:
Rants and Ramblings - Like most people on the internet, I enjoy shouting my deeply-held opinions on subjects I don't really understand.  These are my favorite blogs to write, and the ones most people seem to enjoy reading.

Reviews - What I think of specific RPG products I've played or looked at.  Not to be confused with useful information.

Characters - The backstories and other data for characters I've played or would like to play. 

Miniatures and Tokens - Mostly pictures of miniatures, and a couple of reviews of miniature products.

My Modules - One-shot modules I have written.

My Rants, Ramblings, and Reviews

My Thoughts on D&D Fourth Edition - My first impressions of 4e.

My D&D History - An in-depth explanation of my D&D credentials.

A Year-And-A-Half Later - A look back on my 4e first impressions blog, to see how much my opinions changed.

The Philosophy of the Healing Surge - My response to the critics who think healing is too easy in 4e.

The New Character Builder - WOTC changed the character builder to an online version, and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Perfect Game - What I would want out of an RPG.

Sins of the Dungeon Master - We all make mistakes; these are some I made when I was a DM.

Token Storage - I had a problem storing my tokens, and later reposted when I found a solution.

Are We Having Fun Yet? - Halfway through the ToEE campaign, I started to question a few things.

Part-Time Players - In-game explanations for players who miss a lot of sessions.

I Need A Hero - Should RPGs focus on heroic superhumans, or average people who just happen to get caught up in an adventure?

Essentials, Edition Wars, and Whiny People - My thoughts on Essentials, a controversial addition to D&D 4e.

ToEE: Afterthoughts - A wrap-up to our unfinished Temple of Elemental Evil campaign.

D&D 4e vs Pathfinder - Comparing things I like and hate about the two systems.

If I Designed An RPG - What I would do if I were to build an RPG from scratch.

Being a Little Too Elf Conscious - I whine about Elf life spans.

D&D 5e: What's Next? - My hopes for the next edition of D&D.

You're Having Fun Wrong -  I reminisce about hosting a NeverWinter Nights server, and complain about jerks who criticize other players' roleplay.  Also has screenshots of my Itropa module.

Other Reviews and Ramblings: Against the Giants (Novel) , Drizzt Thoughts, Alternative Miniatures, The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, Castles & Crusades / Central Casting: Heroes of LegendRace/Class Build List, Beholder Minis, Horse Minis, Exotic Mounts, More Exotic Mounts, Dragon Age, D&D Character Builder, Player's Handbook 2, Player's Handbook 3, Hybrids, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Zombie Dice, Beholder Minis, Gamma World, Wrath of Ashardalon and Zombies!!!

My Modules and Campaign Settings

So far I've posted three (well, two-and-a-half) modules, and a campaign setting.  But I am working on more.

Death By Chocolate - This is a fun little one-shot best run on Easter or Halloween.  It's about an old candy factory filled with chocolate-covered monsters.  The fun part is that it uses candy instead of miniatures, and players get to eat what they kill.  It's not designed with any particular campaign setting in mind.  I eventually ran the module using Gamma World, and posted a blog about the session here.

Zombie Cyborgs From Outer Space - Robots!  Aliens!  Flying Sharks!  This module takes place in a cheesy sci-fi world.  It was designed for my Itropa campaign setting, but it would work just as well in Gamma World, Shadowrun, or any other futuristic/cyberpunk setting.  If nothing else, check out this blog entry just for the pictures.  I love using 3D terrain and props in my modules.  When I finally ran the module, we only got about halfway through it, but I posted a recap here.

Itropa Campaign Setting - This is a cheesy sci-fi setting, based on the NeverWinter Nights module I made.  It basically involves taking D&D and reflavoring all the magic elements to be bad science, without changing any of the math.

The Sunken Temple of Pelor - This was a Forgotten Realms module that I intended to run for my Praktas campaign, but never got around to it.  Eventually I rewrote it as Zombie Cyborgs From Outer Space.  Don't bother reading this module if you've already read the other one; it's pretty much the same story but in a fantasy setting.

Praktas Campaign Setting - Set in the Forgotten Realms, this is the area I used during the sessions I ran.  The location names and map layout are very similar to the Itropa setting.  Deal with it.

My Miniatures and Dice

I'm not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy taking pictures of my miniatures.  I don't sculpt or paint my own minis, so it's a little weird for me to be photographing them - you can see the same things in a WOTC product catalog.  But I do like showing off my collections, so here's some of the pics I've taken.

D&D Minis - A huge post with lots of pictures of my miniature collection.  Unfortunately I was still getting used to a new camera at the time, so some of the pictures didn't come out as well as they could have.

Star Wars Miniatures - Another large post, focusing on my Star Wars minis this time.  I had found the right settings on the camera by then, and I took a lot of the pictures outside where I had better light.

HeroClix and HorrorClix - I haven't played much of these, but I love the minis.

Dice - Pictures of my dice.

More miniature photography can be found in my posts about Maynard the Minotaur, Undead In Their Natural Habitat, Alternative Miniatures, Orcus, Horse Miniatures, Exotic Mounts, More Exotic Mounts, and Beholder Minis.  There's also some neat pics in my Modules blogs.

My Characters

Every time I roll up a new character, I write a backstory for them.  Most of these backstories are pretty light; after all, it wouldn't make sense for a character with no XP to be an experienced dragonslayer.  But at the very least I like to explain what sort of family they came from, how they came to be whatever class they are, and what made them leave home to start adventuring.

My Characters: Past, Present, and Future - A list of characters I'd played on NeverWinter Nights and D&D, and characters I hope to play in the future.

Dervish - Human Weapon Master, NeverWinter Nights

Sillia Aylomein - Human Bard, NeverWinter Nights.

Brynwyn Elswyth - Elf Arcane Archer, NeverWinter Nights.  This is one of my favorite backstories.

Aria Thatcher - Half-Elf Bard, Scarred Lands campaign.

Talindra Seryth - Razorclaw Shifter Avenger, Artifact Hunters campaign.

Kryla Bloodfang - Dragonborn Sorceror, ToEE campaign.

Calla Noble - Human Knight, ToEE campaign.

Vex Corman - Half-Elf Monk, Unlikely Heroes campaign.

Dalia Lockwood - Human Ardent, Unlikely Heroes campaign.

Flora Oakwillow - Hamadryad Seeker, Unlikely Heroes campaign.

Malta Klonk - Human Engineer, Traveller campaign.

Terri Bolton - Human Mechanic, Rifts 2112 campaign.

Danica Branford - Human Inventor, Gurps campaign.

My Campaigns 

Here are all the campaigns I've played in, though I'm leaving out a lot of one-shots and such.

Looking For A Group
6/22/2013 - Now
System: D&D Next / 5e Playtest
DM: Rusty

Barad (Jeremy) - Dwarf Paladin
Flip (Trevor) - Halfling Rogue
Golag Bonesmasher (Bryan) - Half-Orc Ranger
Halfbeard (Cliff) - Dwarf Fighter
Keyleth Siannodel (Matt) - Elf Druid
Tamel (Andrew) - Elf Ranger
Zuul (Graham) - Half-Orc Paladin

Rifts 2112
11/24/2012 - 3/23/2013
System: Savage Worlds
DM: Rusty

Emma Snow (Star): Medic
Jim Bagg (Cliff): Military Reserves
Sgt. Malcolm Reynolds (Ted): Active Military
Terri Bolton (Matt): Mechanic

7/14/2012 - 8/18/2012
A sci-fi game using the Traveller system.  This is the first pencil-and-paper campaign I've gotten to play in that wasn't in a medieval fantasy setting.

System: Traveller
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Baron Ozwald Haff (Greg): Pilot, Navigator
Dr. Melinda Warren (Star): Medical Officer
Dreya D'Nalor (Chere): Pilot
Lord Kendrick Meadowcroft (Ted): Purser
M.C. "Jester" Slate (Cliff): Pilot
Malta Klonk (Matt): Engineer/Cook

Ship: The Unchaste Harlot

Unlikely Heroes of Darkmoon Vale
7/16/2011 - 7/7/2012
This began as a Pathfinder campaign, but later turned into a D&D 4e campaign. It follows a group of adventurers in the town of Falcon's Hollow.  The story is over for now, but we might revisit these characters again in a future campaign.

System: Pathfinder/D&D 4e

DM: Rusty

Final Party:
Derp DuDerp (Cliff): Long-Surviving Half-Elf Bard
Flora Oakwillow (Matt): Fire-Fearing Hamadryad Seeker
Keyanna (Chere): Scantily-Clad Half-Elf SorcererLo-Kang (Ted): Frequently-Immobilized Warforged Barbarian
Marrick (Greg): Dwarf Knight and Big Bag of Hit Points
Star (Starr): Undead-Smitin' Eladrin Paladin

Previous Party Members:
Adrilar (Greg): Elf Sorcerer - Killed in Kobold Ambush
Dalia Lockwood (Matt): Human Ardent - Killed by a Cold Rider
Davor (Ted): Half-Orc Sorcerer - Killed in Kobold Ambush
Glynnyn (Tamara): Elf Druid - Must have gotten lost in the woods
Moxie (Michael): Half-Orc Fighter - Killed by Snidely
Nementah (Ted): Wilden Druid - Killed by scythe trap, ghouls, and festrogs
Ranell (Michael): Halfling Barbarian - Left to pursue a music career
Teddi (Ted): Dwarf Warlock - Murdered by opium dealers
Snidely (Greg): Halfling Rogue - Killed by Durp
Vex (Matt): Half-Elf Monk - Killed in Kobold Ambush

Important NPCs:
Thuldrin Kreed - Vile leader of Lumber Consortium.
Payden “Pay Day” Teedum - Kreed's right-hand man.
Kabran Bloodeye - Noseless Half-Orc, head of the Thieves Guild.
Laurel - The town herbalist.
Druingar the Glintaxe - A long-dead Dwarven hero.
Merlokrep - Kobold King who has trouble staying dead.
Jevra - Our group's ward, she is a teenage orphan and werewolf. Now deceased.
The Kids (Kimi, Mikra, Jurin, Savram, Hollin, and Ralla) - Spunky children/teenagers who have helped us out of a few scrapes.

The Temple of Elemental Evil
3/19/2011 - 7/9/2011
This was a 4e conversion of the classic Greyhawk module.  We managed to get more than halfway through temple, when our gaming group disbanded due to time constraints.

System: D&D 4e

DM: Rusty

Final Party:
Artimus a.k.a. "Artie" (Rick): Revenant Hexblade
Balthazar a.k.a. "Phredd" (Ted): Half-Elf Bard
Calla Noble (Matt): Human Knight
Inphy (Star): Half-Orc Slayer
Joanna Winters (Jesse): Human Archer Ranger
Jerry (Nick): Human Cleric
Kossack (Cliff): Minotaur Fighter
Malagar (Bryan): Drow Thief

Previous Party Members (Living):
Durbin (Jesse): Dwarf Battlerager Fighter
Kryla Bloodfang (Matt): Dragonborn Cosmic Sorcerer
Nyx (Bryan): Halfling Thief
Pixie (Leigha): Gnome Wizard

Previous Party Members (Dead):
Ashira (Jesse): Dragonborn Battlemind - Death by Ghast
Krusk (Rick): Half-Orc Monk - Killed by Ghouls
Razz of the Three Moons (Jesse): Githzerai Swordmage - Gnawed to death by Gnolls

Artifact Hunters: The Avatar of Torm
10/2/2010 - 3/12/2011
While we considered which system to use for our next long-term game, we changed DMs and played through this short Forgotten Realms campaign.  It lasted 11 sessions.  We were on a mission from the church of Torm, and worked to eradicate followers of Bane.

System: D&D 4e

DM: Nick

The Party:
Amarat (Tamara): Elf Rogue
Anna Bella (Leigha): Halfling Monk
Gavail Pontiff (Ted): Eladrin Wizard
Julien (Dane): Kalashtar Cleric
Marek the Silver (Rusty): Dragonborn Paladin
Morigan McBane (Jesse): Human Artificer
Talindra Seryth (Matt): Razorclaw Shifter Avenger

The Scarred Lands
5/22/2010 - 9/25/2010
As Praktas petered out, I had to find a way to get my D&D fix.  I used Pen And Paper Games to find a new group.  This campaign used D&D 4e's rules, but was set in the Scarred Lands, a third-party setting where the Gods fought a war with their children.  This campaign lasted about 10 sessions.  After the last two original party members were killed, the group felt it was time for a change.

System: D&D 4e
DM: Rusty

Final Party:
Aria Thatcher (Matt): Half-Elf Bard
Blast Flashing, Jr. (Nick): Gnome Warlock
Cecil (Dane): Githzerai Swordmage
Shade (Jesse): Drow Rogue
Thorfin (Ted): Goliath Fighter

Previous Party Members:
Alek Corman (Ted): Half-Elf Paladin
Dornn (Adam): Minotaur Cleric
Gorn (Jesse): Half-Orc Ranger
Paige (Leigha): Half-Elf Sorcerer
Pyro (Daniel): Changeling Sorcerer

Important NPCs:
Captain Garret - Dwarven Captain from Burok Torn.
Duvall - Dwarven Runepriest who hosted us in Burok Torn.
Elmore - Bandit who owes us a favor for letting him live.
Goran - Dwarven God, with scars on half his face.
Horiza - Merchant, friend of Blast.
King Thane - Dwarven leader of Burok Torn.
King Virduk - King of Calasta, is besieging Burok Torn.

Important Locations:
Bareth Marn - Failed Dwarven Kingdom.
Burok Torn - Dwarven Kingdom.
Calasta - The kind-of-evil kingdom where we started.
Hedrad - Home of the worlds second largest library.
Lave - Capital of Vesh.
Mansk - Fishing village on the way to Skykeep.
Trela - Small village where we attended the carnival.
Vesh - Where we took the Amphora.

2/21/2009 - 3/6/2010
This is the first campaign I ran as a DM.  It started out as a practice game (hence the name) to teach us how to play 4e.  It continued as an alternate game for the nights that our Tantris DM had to cancel.  Once Tantris ended, I ran a few more Praktas sessions until too many complications kept the group from meeting.  I tried to give Praktas an overall continuity, but a lot of our sessions were months apart, so it's really more like a series of loosely-connected one-shots.

System: D&D 4e

DM: Matt

Final Party:
Drew Baker (Bryan): Human Tempest Fighter
Damakos Redhorn (Rick): Tiefling Rogue
Tirah (Misty): Deva Wizard.
Dorath (Bryan): Goliath Fighter.

Previous Party Members:
Daalan Raan (Bryan): Elf Ranger - Killed by Nathar's Henchmen
Ghargoff Bloodmaster (Rick): Dragonborn Barbarian - Died fighting alongside Daalan

3/7/2009 - 10/10/2009
This was the first continuous campaign I played in.  Even though we were using 4e rules, it was very different from the average 4e campaign.  We didn't use miniatures or battle grids.  We usually only had about one battle per session, and those rarely took more than ten minutes.  It was very roleplay-heavy, and we really got into our characters.  Unfortunately it only lasted 9 sessions before the DM had to move to another state, but we did manage to leave it at a good stopping place.

System: D&D 4e (no miniatures)

DM: Matt 2

The Party:
Nara Cavell (Matt 1): Human Cleric of Pelor
Rolan Daan (Bryan): Elf Rogue
Rhogar Burnscale (Rick): Dragonborn Fighter
Lia Moon (Misty): Elf Wizard

Important NPCs:
Astor Josel - High Priest of Temple of Pelor in Tantris.
Thram Hammerfist - Bartender, Rolan's contact for jobs.
Drake Ironbreaker - Barkeep of the Bleeting Goat, Rhogar's favorite fighting venue.
Lord De Rais - Head of the "House of De Rais". Deceased.
Thordius - Lia's master.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Books: Against the Giants

Last year when I was playing in the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign, I decided to go all-out by playing the computer game and reading the novel as well.  The book was a bit forgettable, but it was nice to read something that felt like an actual D&D game.  Previously the only D&D books I'd read were the first 20 or so Drizzt books.  Those were fun and all, but lets face it, they don't really feel like D&D.  Drizzt is more like a super hero than a character you'd roll up in D&D, and I can see why many gamers don't like the influence he's had on munchkin players.

But the ToEE novelization was different.  It didn't have any break-out characters who had abilities beyond their class, just the normal RPG mainstays you might see in any tabletop party.  I wouldn't call it an important work of fiction, but there are worse ways to pass the time.  So with that attitude in mind, I recently picked up "Against the Giants" by Ru Emerson.  I was actually impressed.  Okay, it still wasn't a masterpiece by any standards, but it really captured the feel of D&D and I enjoyed that a lot.  It was also a light read - I don't get to read often so books usually take me forever, but I managed to finish this one in about two weeks.

I think it was the little details that enthralled me the most.  While the action scenes were adequate, I preferred all the dungeoneering aspects - searching for traps, using noise-blocking spells to keep the fights from attracting reinforcements, preparing food, finding spots to hide for long rests, choosing spells to prepare, and so on.  There are varying motivations among the party members - vengeance, duty, treasure - which results in the occasional in-party conflict.  For example (slight spoiler), at one point the party has a huge disagreement over whether to kill a helpless enemy, and it reminded me of some of the best moments I've had in my own groups.  So while Ru Emerson might not be one of the best writers I've ever read, I'd love to have her as my DM.

My only real gripes with the story came when I start to think of it in terms of game mechanics.  I kept trying to figure out what level the group was.  They definitely weren't newbies:  They were able to take out a lot of giants with little difficulty, and the party wizard had a wide variety of decent spells.  But the main character, Lhors, was a farmboy with some training but no real combat experience.  He had the background of a level 1 character, but he managed to take out a giant with one hit fairly early in the book.  (Must have rolled a crit.)  It was believable enough in the book, but it shows exactly why it's problematic to think in gameplay rules.  Even when playing the actual game, a good DM will nudge the rules aside now and then for the sake of a good story, so I have no problem with the author taking these dramatic liberties.

Also, I hate to nitpick, but the book also had a lot of typos.  Sometimes I think I should have been a proofreader, because typos just really stand out to me.  So it's a personal beef; knowing that I'm catching things that other people were paid to catch (and still failed).  But that's just me.

Anyway, if you like D&D fiction and want a quick read, there's worse books you could try.  It might not be particularly memorable, but I found it more entertaining than any of the Drizzt books.  Next up, I'm reading the Tomb of Horrors.  I think I could get addicted to the novelizations of classic Greyhawk modules.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ozcroft: Interrogation

Stardate: 2012.08.18
GM: Rusty

The Crew:
Baron Ozwald Haff (Greg): Captain, Navigator
Dr. Melinda Warren (Star): Medical Officer
Dreya D'Nalor (Chere): Pilot
Lord Kendrick Meadowcroft (Ted): Purser
M.C. "Jester" Slate (Cliff): Pilot
Malta Klonk (Matt): Engineer, Steward

The Session:
Short session today.  When we left off, Jester was in the forest being chased by pygmies, and his professor companion had been eaten by a giant venus flytrap.  Jester managed to cut down the flytrap and free the professor, who fell unconscious from his injuries.  Jester then fired his weapon at the pygmies until the survivors fled.

Elsewhere in the forest, Kendrick and Ozwald called Jester again on the communicator.  They asked him to fire off a flare, and saw that Jester was about six miles away.  One long hike later, the foursome prepared to leave this strange jungle.  Ozwald opened the jack-in-the-box portal generator, and allowed the others to go through first.  As Ozwald tried to jump through the portal, a vine grabbed his leg.  He spent a few minutes cutting through the vines as the entire forest seemed to come alive.  Finally he freed himself and jumped through the portal.

The party finally reunited in the underwater dome, where we licked our wounds and headed back to the submarine.  On the way, we asked the professor more about this ancient research lab, the "toys" we saw, and the jungle.  He believed that the jungle was on Pscias 3, a planet 4 sectors away.  Jester in particular was very angry with the professor for all the trouble we'd been through, but the professor admonished us by saying, "Any idiot knows not to mess around with ancient technology."  Just for that, we charged him 100 credits for the sub ride back.

We reached the docks, and found our ship's boat surrounded by constables.  We were taken in to custody by the Malorative Society (the planet's colonizers) for a debriefing. Our interrogations required a few diplomacy rolls, and when those went badly we had to make endurance checks to resist torture.  Kendrick rolled so well that he was treated like royalty, while Jester had electric eels attached to places where eels should not be.  Malta proved surprisingly resistant to torture, to the point that we wonder what she does for fun in her spare time.

Finally they let us go.  We sold our submarine, making a tidy profit, and left the planet.  Next up, the Knorbes system.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ozcroft: The Missing Jester

Stardate: 2012.08.11
GM: Rusty

The Crew:
Baron Ozwald Haff (Greg): Captain, Navigator
Dr. Melinda Warren (Star): Medical Officer
Dreya D'Nalor (Chere): Pilot
Lord Kendrick Meadowcroft (Ted): Purser
M.C. "Jester" Slate (Cliff): Pilot
Malta Klonk (Matt): Engineer, Steward

The Session:
The session began in the Heffry sector, where we bought some small vehicles to sell elsewhere.  Next we jumped to Forboldn, sold the vehicles, and bought a submarine (again to hopefully sell in the next sector).

Ozwald and Jester went out drinking, and were approached by a man offering them a moving job.  They were hired to deliver some lab equipment for a professor named Scrafandapalous Stephanopoulos Snuffaluffagus something-or-another.  Ozwald, being a bit of a layabout, paid some beggars to do his portion of the work.  When Jester, the professor, and the beggars reached the lab, Jester dropped a box.  The box started to vibrate, someone yelled "No!", and everything went black.

Ozwald went to the lab, but found the entire floor was empty.  He then started asking around town about Jester's whereabouts.  He found some of the beggars' friends, but they didn't have any useful information.  Meanwhile, Jester woke up to the sounds of chanting.  He was tied up, along with the professor and the beggars.  It appeared that they were about to get cooked by a primitive tribe.  He asked how they got here, and the professor answered, "You must have dropped the teleporter."

Ozwald let the rest of the crew know about Jester's disappearance.  We tried to contact Jester's communicator, but got no answer.  Then we took the ship's boat out to try contacting Jester from other points around the planet.  Still no luck.  We went and alerted the officials, who deputized Kendrick and modified our ship with some better sensors.  (We're supposed to give the sensors back once we find them.  We'll see.)  Unfortunately, the new equipment still couldn't locate Jester.

Next we went to the professor's apartment, raided his safe, and started reading his notes.  Apparently he had discovered some alien tech in the ocean.  So we unpacked our submarine, hired a sub pilot, and took it to the area the professor had indicated.  There, we found a large underwater dome.  After we docked, we found that gravity was reversed inside the dome.  The dome's corridors went in multiple directions, and gravity would orient itself based on the direction of the hallway.  There were several doors to choose from, which would open in an iris-pattern as we approached them.

Meanwhile, in the jungle, Jester untied himself and fired a warning shot at the tribal chief.  While the natives pondered his boomstick, Jester and the other prisoners ran for their lives. 

Back in the dome, we explored some of the rooms.  In one room we found some round mats on the walls, which we could sit on due to the room's manipulation of gravity.  In another room we saw some holes on the wall.  We theorized this might be some sort of alien restroom, and left quickly before Ozwald could experiment with them.  (Given Greg's tendency to discover perversity potential in the most innocuous of places, we didn't want to give him any obvious ammo.)

Down another corridor we saw a door that was wedged open.  The room was in shambles, with what looked like alien toys scattered on the floor.  Ozwald picked up what looked like a jack-in-the-box, and turned the crank.  When the lid opened, a bubble floated out.  Inside the bubble we could see a jungle.  We decided to check out one more room before examining the bubble box further.  In the final room we saw a large chair set in a gyroscope, with an attached helmet.  The helmet looked like it was designed to read brainwaves, but the sensors weren't located where they would be for a human.

Back in the toy room, we made the bubble appear again.  Wanting to see if it was a portal or just a viewscreen, Ozwald picked up a toy off the floor - a small "army man" shaped like a centaur - and threw it at the bubble.  The toy landed in the jungle, then turned into a real centaur, who ran off into the forest.  While Ozwald pondered this, Kendrick shoved him into the bubble.

Ozwald found himself standing in the jungle.  They threw in another centaur, and Ozwald tried to talk to it.  It wouldn't listen, and attacked Ozwald.  Ozzy drew his gun and blew the centaur's head off.  When it died, it turned back into a centaur, but with its head still gone.  Kendrick joined Ozwald in the jungle, while the rest of us stayed in the toy room.  They found that they could now reach Jester on the communicator, but they weren't close enough to hear each other's gunshots.

Meanwhile, Jester and the professor were still on the run from the natives.  The beggars had already been picked off, and the professor ran into a giant venus flytrap.  Jester started cutting the flytrap's stalk in hopes of freeing the professor.  And that's where we ended the session.