Friday, March 3, 2017

Alpha Blue session report - First Time's Free

I do love the chance to run Alpha Blue, and a virtual 60 minute game (that invariably lasts 90 minutes) with a couple of enthusiastic players is just what the space doctor ordered.

In Alpha Blue, all that cheesy awesome sci-fi from the 60's to the 80's (no reason why you can't go all the way to 2017, though) is alive and well - a melting pot of TV shows, films, literature, RPGs, video games, and even cosplay photos on the internet.

I only had one player, who goes by Niven81, but he more than held his own.

First, we went through character creation...

Name: Akier

Species: Human

Gender: Male (straight and likes women in uniform and red-heads)

Profession: Bounty Hunter (just under the Federation's radar)

Something Special: Noble (rich, connected, and has some nifty gadgets)

Prior Experiences: Akier's native dome was bombarded by heavy artillery as ooze marauders attacked, but thanks to his animal cunning, he managed to survive the Kur-gash incursion.

Attire: Outre (weird space pajamas) in sky blue, magenta, and tan hues made out of alligator with elbow patches.

Weapon: Vorpal chainsword

The Adventure: First Time's Free

GM:  You've been living on Alpha Blue several weeks.  Not many individuals could afford that (except prostitutes and successful high-stakes gamblers), but you can.  Wealth has its privileges.

Moments ago, a little red light on your communicator blipped.  It only does that when someone is searching the Alpha Blue computer registry for your name, specifically.  Even though you've been keeping a fairly low profile, someone has found you.  But you have no idea who they are or what they want.

Akier:  Well, being that I'm wealthy, I am sitting at a private table entertaining one of the contractors of this fine establishment with grand tales of my adventurers over some rather cheap scotch.

"Then I used his own grav-booster to propel him and me - hanging onto his third leg - through the glass ceiling and into the vacuum of space..."

GM:  The contractor seems impressed.  You casually look around, seeing that more and more lifeforms have filtered into the club.  It must be happy hour.  Your private table gives you a good view of the establishment.  There are plenty of humans, aliens, working girls, spacers, and even a few robots.

Akier:  I take a sip of my scotch, looking at all the newcomers and keeping my eyes open for any that might pique my discerning interests... especially redheads.

GM:  You see one or two pretty redheads among the crowd.  Just as you're considering making some kind of move, a female alien approaches your table.  There's a laser velvet rope barring her way.  The alien whispers something to one of the club's bouncers and he deactivates the laser, allowing her to pass.

She stands in front of your table, waiting to see your reaction.

Akier:  I cock an eyebrow at the bouncer's actions, take a larger pull on my whiskey and turn to the contractor.  "It would appear that I've some business to attend to, my dear.  Sorry to say we must part company... for now."

I then offer the newcomer a seat and motion toward the whiskey, inviting her to partake.

GM:  She sits down and begins to speak.  The sound coming out of her mouth doesn't sound anything like what you're used to.  However, you have one of those expensive little translators attached to your lapel.

She says, "My name is Akoona Lata.  I seek an alliance with you to bring down House Draconis.  In exchange, I will give you anything that is within my power to grant.  I am not rich, but am a good warrior and skilled in the many arts of pleasure."

Akier:  Do I know anything about House Draconis, or can I find anything out easily?

GM:  They are a distant and occasionally rival noble family.  They deal in everything unsavory, from drugs to arms to slaves.

Akier:  "House Draconis... hmmm."  I say thoughtfully and take a drink.  "They are powerful and I have returned some of their lost property in the past.  Tell me, Miss Lata, why would I want to make such powerful enemies?  Well, I would... so the better question is why would you, my dear?  And why should I trust you not to stab me in the gibblies?"

GM:  She replies, "Most noble Akier, House Draconis has taken nearly a hundred of my people from our home planet only hours ago.  The Draconis ship is docked here at Alpha Blue.  Very soon, they will leave to go back to the Draconis system and it will be too late for me to save my family and friends."

Akier:  I swish the scotch around and stare at it for a moment, thinking it over.  After a few moments, I down the rest and look at Akoona.  "We should get to work... but first, what do you know about the traditional uniforms of 20th century human high schools?"

GM:  "I know nothing, my lord.  But I am also a fast learner."

Akier:  "Excellent, my dear.  Research it while I figure out what to do and consider it your armor.  I would recommend the Finnish or Danish routes of study myself."

GM:  She nods in compliance.

Akier:  Looking at the rest of the bottle of scotch, I decide to pocket it and stand to leave.  Is there a central computer terminal I could use in my private quarters?

GM:  Yes, there is.

Akier:  I will head there then with the intention of finding out what I can about where the House Draconis ship is docked.

Oh, I would like to look around first to see if I can spot anyone who looks dependable from that batch of people who came in earlier.

GM:  You notice a short, silver robot who looks quite dependable.

Akier:  I approach the robot with a lot more swagger than I would normally have, and introduce myself as Octavious Septimus Sextimus the Fifth.

GM:  "They call me X19-8B.  What can I do you for?"

Akier:  I give a nod as if the robots's name is of grave importance.  "Nice to meet you, X19-8B.  May I call you X19?

GM:  "Yes.  May I reciprocate by referring to you as 5?"

Akier:  I smile at the small robot.  "All my friends do, X19."  I give a quick look around and whisper in a conspiratorial tone, "Is there anywhere we can speak man to... er... robot?"

GM:  The robot walks with you out into the corridor.  No one is around.

Akier:  I give another look and then ask.  "Tell me, are you aware of the underground sex-bot slave trade?  No, probably not.  You see, there are folks about who kidnap poor, honest female robots and forcibly reprogram them into sex-bots."  Putting my hands up, I continue.  "Now, that's not me.  I wouldn't think of doing that to another sentient in a heartbeat, but... some would.  Some on this very station."

GM:  "That's terrible," the robot replies.  "Where can I find one of these underground sex-bot slave traders in order to bargain with him?"

Just then, Akier hears a voice behind him.  A voice from the recent past...

"You shouldn't have run out on us back on Nebulon Minor, Akier.  Especially not after you slept with my sister."

Akier:  One of these days, I need to stop trying to play a hustler.

GM:  You remember your ex-partner's redheaded sister as he fires his blaster at your torso.

BTW, you are 1st level and have 25 Health.

[I roll 2d6.  Would have been 3d6, but I took one off because of Akier's personal shielding unit.  My results are a 2 and a 6.  That critical success (the 6) means 3d6 damage.  I roll embarrassingly bad, lucky for Akier.  He takes a mere 5 points of damage.

Akier:  "You know I don't have time for this today, old chum."  I pull my vorpal chainsword and point it at his head.  "I would rather things not go snicker-snacker, but they will if you don't kindly back off."

GM:  Your ex-partner, Greely, backs off.  Lowering his blaster, he takes a step back and turns as if to leave.  "You should have killed me when you had the chance, Akier."

He swiftly turns around and shoots at you again.

[I roll another 2d6 and the highest result is a 5.  I roll another 2d6 to determine damage and it's not looking good for the nobleman.  I roll a 5 and 6, then another 6, then a 2... totalling 19 damage.  Akier has 1 point of Health remaining.]

Holy shit!  He caps you right in the face!  By the way, once per session you can double your dice pool.  I strongly suggest you take advantage of that now before it's too late.  If you survive this encounter, you're sure to acquire a badass facial scar.

Akier:  As I attack with the chainsword, I say to the silver robot, "X19 old bean, I tell you what.  4 days VIP treatment on my credit if you help me kill this wanker."

[He rolls 6d6 and gets two 6's, good for 4d6 damage.  Unfortunately, he ends up with an uninspiring 11 points of damage.  X19 isn't made for combat and he only does 3.]

GM:  Your ex-partner fires again.

[I roll 2d6 again and my highest result is a 6, so I roll another 3d6 for damage.  Since Akier only had 1 point left, I probably didn't need to even roll, but I was curious about the results.  Sometimes, you just can't look away from the car crash.  I ended up with a total of 20 points of damage.]

Akier:  Is there an Alpha Blue version of a Doc Wagon?

GM:  Assuming you want to be stitched back together, yeah, it can be done, but not cheaply.  Akier's available funds are siphoned into the account of the cyber-surgeon on duty.

Akier receives "I can't believe it's not organic" synthetic flesh.  There's no tissue rejection, but he will have horrendous scarring and an electronic eye.  It'll be 5 weeks of rest before he will fully recuperate.


Niven81 told me it was a great game and that he'd like to keep playing.

So, that's it.  Not as much sex as I was hoping for, but you can't always get into every aspect of a game in 90 minutes.

Going forward, I'd like to keep scheduling Alpha Blue sessions online.  Until a better platform comes along, I'll keep using Roll20.


p.s.  I've got a Kickstarter running throughout March.  It includes an Alpha Blue scenario, among other things...

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