Sunday, November 29, 2015

Alpha Blue session report (part 1 of 2)

Ok, let's dive right in because I still have ridiculous random tables to forge.  As you can see, no less than Harrison Ford was present, guiding us on our way.

What can I say?  It's always nice to have a celebrity at your game table.

Last Saturday was the first chance I've had to run Alpha Blue, an RPG and campaign setting with scenario seeds up the wazoo.  The book is about 95% completed, so it was kind of a playtest while also being my chance to use the material I've been writing for the last few months.

At this point, I don't have a regular gaming group.  However, I do have regular gaming buddies, a slew of great players that come to the table when they're able.  We're all adults with busy lives, after all.  These guys were so pumped to take a shot at Alpha Blue, they invited guests.

So, there were 9 players.  I'm not going to go through each and every one, but picking out a couple here and there.  Character creation went pretty well.  There are quite a few tables, some big, others little.  As I mentioned to the group, coming up with the color palette alone took me a couple hours.

A character sheet is still in the works.  Glynn Seal of +MonkeyBlood Design is still conjuring it from the great beyond.  However, he was able to get me the files for the space station mega-map and medium-sized transport ship.  The station mega-map is composed of 4 separate maps.  It's super big and detailed and exactly what I wanted... even though I didn't really know what I wanted until Glynn pointed the way.  The ship, Blue Flamingo, is pretty much what I saw in my head.  Thankfully, it's also what Glynn saw in his head, too.

Since I had the files a couple days in advance of the game, I submitted them to my local copy shop.  The mega-map was so huge (177mb) that I couldn't even go through their online system for ordering.  I had to email them the dropbox link so they could download it and get it printed... and then laminated.  My wife is still shaking her head over the extravagance, the expense, the sheer superfluous frivolity of having such things designed, made, and paid for.

It was all worth it, says I.  Just looking at my 17" x 22" map of the ship and 34" x 44" map of the space station was enough to make my fucking day.  When I saw them there at the checkout counter... I almost wept.  It was that beautiful.

Anyways... back to +Tim Virnig's character - Sugar D.  Below is exactly what Tim wrote on his "character sheet".

Sugar Johnson, known to his friends as "Sugar D", a human bounty hunter [and diplomat] who wears a skin-tight gold velvet uniform with the company logo of CyberSnatch Ltd.  He was hired to recover rogue cyber companions from hackers that are trying to turn hos into housewives.  Also known around the universe for single-handedly bartering a peace accord in the great pimp wars of 2191.  He wields an ultra-glaive!

I went around the room at each stage of character creation, having players roll for various things like occupation, weapon, and alien mannerisms / cultural differences.  It took a full hour to get all 9 PCs ready to go.

Learned something from that experience.  I had "mutant" tucked away under a sub-table that was pretty much forgotten about as soon as I mentioned it.  Now, playing a mutant is just as prominent as playing an alien.

Star Wars, to the best of my knowledge, is the closest I've come to Game Mastering a sci-fi RPG.  Obviously, it's more space opera or even science-fantasy than hard sci-fi.  So, running this session was really new.  Instead of calling upon my vast GMing experience with dragons, wizards, and elves... I had to draw from all the awesomely cheesy sci-fi TV shows of a misspent youth and adulthood.

Tomorrow, I hope to have part 2 posted.  Stay tuned!

Before I go, here's a quote from Tim:  "Venger has done it again!  Alpha Blue is another installment from the king of gonzo gaming.  Equal parts 70's sci-fi exploitation flick and late night cable television.  His simple game mechanics let the story shine with lots of random tables to take the gonzo to the next level. I can't wait to run this myself with my own discerning adult gamers!" 


This is part 2.

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