Running Alpha Blue
isn't like running any other RPG.
The Bold Dungeon Space Master has to initiate handjobs and move combat along without it getting all tactical and strategic. He's got to remember which PC likes to be whipped, which one has X-ray vision, and who's the drug addict.
Earlier this afternoon, I ran a one-hour (90 minutes, as usual) demo game of Alpha Blue on Roll20.
Just like last time
, I had all the players list 7 words or phrases to describe themselves. Actually, some of the players were having a difficult time coming up with 7. Since this was a quick one-shot, I told them 5 would be plenty.
a charming and well-connected lizard man private eye drug addict.
a beautiful human pilot sharp-shooter and brawler ex-military.
a cyborg techie hacker pilot who wears a cloaking device cloak and has an X-ray eye.
a gigantic alien who's loyal, quiet, and likes animals.
The crew of Lady Luck has been hanging out at The Blue Oyster on Alpha Blue for the last few evenings. Tonight is no different. The spacers walk into a scene right out of Mos Eisley's Cantina. Life forms everywhere - drinking, talking, flirting, and doing god knows what in the azure shadows!
Lube McFly heads straight for what interests him - a blue-skinned humanoid female. For anyone taking notes, this makes the BDSM's life easier and the game is usually more fun for that player because he's pursuing his own agenda.
Holly Hardbody just sits at the bar looking around, having a drink.
Trigger gets insulted by a trio of assholes sitting at the bar.
Grodor either stands there doing nothing or sits at the bar waiting for something to happen. As I've mentioned in Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss
, being proactive helps everyone (the GM, the player, and the other players, too). There's nothing wrong with being a wallflower, but you probably won't get much "screen-time."
Trigger uses his cloak to... cloak himself and tricks the assholes into fighting some big badass alien. A barroom brawl ensues!
Lube wanders off with the blue girl (we never came up with a name for her, so I'm going to call her Zura) where they smoke a hookah. The hookah comes in three different varieties: mild, medium, and "fuck you up." They choose the last one, obviously.
Holly gets hit on by some slimy green bug-eyed alien. She brushes him off. She gets hit on by a shiny dark insectoid droid. She brushes him off, too, content to sit at the bar and finish her drink. So, she doesn't get much "screen-time," either.
Meanwhile, Lube gets a handjob from Zura as she tells him she's looking for a pilot with a ship. She's supposed to deliver something to the planet Verrada. Lube tells her that won't be a problem, promising to introduce her to Holly after she finishes.
Zura asks one of her girlfriends to help out. The human woman leans in. Zura asks Lube if he wants to give her a facial, jizz on her tits, in her mouth, or wherever. Lube asks for her to wear glasses and cane him while chastising him for being a "naughty newt."
Trigger uses his X-ray eye to see beneath the clothing of everyone in the bar. Seeing an opportunity for roleplaying and getting into the Alpha Blue
spirit, I (the BDSM) tell Trigger that he sees a hot, gray-skinned, humanoid female with head tentacles who looks like she's enjoying his penetrating gaze. The two flirt with each other. She starts massaging him with her boobs. He decides they should do it right there on the bar.
Lube attempts to shoot his load 20 meters away at a singer onstage. I rolled; he failed. His jizz hits a robed dwarf in the back of the head. The dwarf notices, but doesn't know who did the deed. Lube and Zura walk up to Holly and talk to her about going to Verrada to exchange blue crystal for credits.
Trigger finishes inside the gray girl he was screwing for an additional 6 temporary Health.
Zura flirts with Grodor, and Holly flirts back with Zura - but before they can go back to Lady Luck, three Federation troopers enter The Blue Oyster. They're looking for Zura. Once they spot her, the troopers start firing.
Everyone dives for cover. That's a smart move, and normally it would give the attackers disadvantage. But we were running out of time and this combat was coming late in the day. I improvised, saying the bar was made of cheap plastic and their laser fire was incinerating everyone's cover.
By the end, all the PCs and Zura took a bit of damage. The troopers were dealt with. The PCs headed back to their ship.
The funniest bit was Lube ordering a creamy white drink from the bartender (now that The Blue Oyster was in shambles) and telling him to send it over to the robed dwarf. "Enjoy another!"
Once aboard, Zura opened up a pouch and spilled its contents on the console - several large crystals. Zura was going to cut them in for 10% of the take, but Lube negotiated 15%... as long as they provided her with armed support during the exchange.
Ending the session, Lube McFly purred, "Blue girl, I think you're going to lead me into all kinds of naughtiness."
Everyone had fun, as did I. BDSMs shouldn't expect his players to grok Alpha Blue straight away. There's a learning curve. The focus is interaction (as opposed to exploration and combat), so players who prefer that mode of play are rewarded while those preferring the other two might enjoy the game less than they would a RPG geared towards exploring and fighting.
There's a chance we could pick up where we left off... never can tell.
p.s. BTW, there's 17 hours left to back Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars