Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rifts 2112: The Cataclysm Begins

Game Date: 11/24/2012
Campaign: Rifts 2112, Session 1
System: Savage Worlds
DM: Rusty   

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

The Session:
This was the first session of a new campaign.  Our characters are members of a FEMA team in Atlanta.  Shortly after Midnight, there was a large thunderstorm and an earthquake.  Each of us was contacted individually and told there was an "All In" alert.  As each of us headed to the FEMA headquarters, we discovered that there was no cell phone reception, and it was raining ash.

We arrived at HQ and were briefed by Melissa Miller, a geologist and FEMA's second-in-command.  They were still trying to piece things together, and weren't able to tell us much. Half of the satellites were down, and it was hard to get any clear information.  There had been an earthquake in the Bahamas, creating a 100 foot tidal wave that left Florida underwater.  Yellowstone had erupted, and there was lava from Oklahoma to Salt Lake City.

FEMA sent out teams in different directions, to find out more.  Our team was ordered to head for Charleston, NC.  We piled into a Humvee, but soon discovered that a lot of the interstates had collapsed.  We made do with back roads.  On the way, we discovered that the our compass no longer pointed North.  Eventually we reached a spot where trees had fallen over the road, and had to clear them to continue.  At this point we had an interlude (a Savage Worlds roleplay mechanic) where Emma told us a tale of woe.

When we could go no further by Humvee, we left the land vehicles behind and hitched a ride with some boats in a nearby river.  They took us through some flooded areas, finally letting us out in a life raft.  We floated through a submerged town, occasionally passing flood victims sitting on their roofs.  Unfortunately we couldn't help them, as our boat was too full.  When the water finally got too shallow, we left it behind and continued on foot.  Finally we reached a checkpoint in Sherman, SC, where some people had congregated to help those who needed it.

The Shermanites gave a car that we used to drive to Columbia.  Over the course of all these stops, we picked up a few bits of information here and there, some of them conflicting.  At one point we heard that the President was safe in Denver, but elsewhere we'd learned that Denver was destroyed.  We saw some shapes floating against the glowing blue sky, which might have been vehicles.  We also learned that Charleston was gone, which put a bit of a damper on our mission.

We slept at Columbia's capitol building.  Someone woke up Jim to point out something in the distance.  There was a mushroom cloud in the direction of Atlanta.  We also checked our compass again, and found that it was off by about 30 degrees.  Also, we learned about the blue lights in the sky:  they are static fields of energy crossing through North Carolina, about three miles high, stretching from horizon to horizon.  Some sort of barrier, maybe?

It was time to think about our next plan.  We were supposed to head for Charleston, but we knew it was gone. We couldn't return to Atlanta, because it appears to be gone as well.  Our current plan is to head East, and find a boat to explore in that direction.  We ended the session there, so Rusty can have time to decide what we find in the East. 

I like the story so far, and look forward to learning what's happening to the world.  Note, just in case there's any confusion: "Rifts 2112" is the name of the campaign, but the system we're using is Savage Worlds.  I'm hoping the campaign's name will make more sense once we find out what is causing this worldwide cataclysm.

This was the second time I've played Savage Worlds, but the first time I've actually created a character for it.  The character creation process wasn't bad at all; it's one of the more intuitive ones I've come across.  Sure it took a while to make my choices, but that's just because I've never looked at the book before.  Once I've played a few Savage Worlds characters and know what all the options are, I bet I could build a character in five minutes.

I wasn't feeling well today, so I pretty much stayed in the background.  That's okay, it just means I have a little more time to flesh out my character's personality before I do anything that cements it in-game.  I think I've got all the attributes and skills where I want them, but I want to pick hindrances that really make sense for my character's personality. 

Creating the character:  Going in, I had no clue what I wanted to play.  Cliff and Ted already had military covered, and Star had a medic, so Rusty suggested a couple of roles that hadn't been filled yet.  I chose mechanic, at the risk of playing a character similar to the one I played in the Traveller campaign.  But other than similar occupations, I don't think they're going to be all that alike.  I'm picturing Terri as being more of a tomboy.  Hopefully she'll be a lot less accident-prone than Malta was, but that's really up to the dice.  In my head I'm seeing "Lesbian Robin" from How I Met Your Mother.  I named her Terri because I wanted a unisex name, and it was the first one to pop into my head.  The surname Bolton came from thinking about mechanical words, which led me to "nuts and bolts", which became Bolton.  Just in case you wanted to know more about my thought process.

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