Big Damn Gaming Session

Synopsis of this weekend’s Serenity RPG session.

What Has Gone Before:
Back in the summer, we had a single session of a Firefly/Serenity RPG, using D20 Future as the basis. Here’s what happened: The Icarus is a Firefly-class transport, crewed by:

  • Willem () – The Captain. A former Shepherd, who lost his faith and worked as a covert assassin for the Browncoats during the war.
  • Jules “Hoshi” Beckett () – The Mechanic. Wealthy young miss with a penchant for engines.
  • Aida () – The Pilot. Soars like a Leaf On The Wind, etc.
  • Leda () – The Badass. Former Companion who quit the guild and took up weapons during the war.

The Icarus is on Persephone (I think…it’s been a while), and gets hired. An aging Chinese man, willing to pay a lot of money to get him offworld, no questions asked. He says he’ll give them the coordinates of his destination once they’ve broken atmo. The crew figures out that the man is Simon “Apocalypse” Chow, a former Major in the Browncoats who has a reputation as a legendary gun-slinger. He boards Icarus with just a single valise, and a cat (Orange Tabby). Sets up in the guest quarters, and the Icarus makes for the Black.

Once they hit space, they go to ask Chow for the coordinates, only to find that he’s dead…apparently of old age. They search the valise, and discover a data disk. Meanwhile, Aida notices that they are being expertly trailed by another vessel. Willem puts the disk in the ship’s computer, only to discover that it contains a virus which wipes the drive. The Icarus goes completely dead. The trailing vessel narrowly avoids colliding with the now-crippled Firefly, and gets the hell out of Dodge, because they’ve been spotted. The crew decides to worry about that later, as the Icarus is being drawn towards a small moon by it’s gravity, and unless they can get the power up, they’ll explode rather spectacularly when they crash. As Aida and Jules formulate an extremely dangerous plan, Willem and Leda search Chow’s belongings and discover a second disk hidden in a secret compartment in the valise.

The crew re-starts the computer from back-ups, and in an extremely foolhardy, but damned heroic, manuever, cold-starts the engines and manages to get back on course just in the proverbial Nick of Time. A search of the second disk reveals a set of coordinates in deep space, and a video file from Earth That Was: Daffy Duck from the Looney Tune “Ali Baba Bunny” saying “Uh…Open Sasparilla? Open Sassafrass? Open Septagenarian?” An extremely rare relic of ancient earth culture.

They arrive at the coordinates to find an immense asteroid field. After much hemming and hawing, Willem decides to broadcast the Daffy Duck video file in the direction of the field, and the crew is stunned when one of the asteroids moves under thruster power to reveal a “path” into the asteroids.

…and that’s where we ended.

What Happened This Week:
We pick up the action months later, right where we left off. Characters are now converted over to the Serenity RPG rules.

Aida does some ridiculously good flying, and weaves the ship through a very narrow winding path that has been cleared through the dense asteroid field. They come to a “clearing” in the center of the field…an area that has been artificially cleared to make room for a Skyplex.: a kit-bashed space station built on the frame of an old Browncoat frontier defense station, welded-together cargo-containers with atmosphere processors stuck on, a makeshift mechanic’s bay similar to those used by cutters, and 4 equidistant docking gantries, currently holding 4 other ships of various sizes. They receive a wave from the Skyplex, asking who the hell they are. Willem, perhaps unwisely, tells them. They’re directed to dock.

The Icarus docks, and the crew musters in the cargo bay to leave, along with Chow’s body on a gurney. (Jules has adopted the cat, which is sleeping soundly in her hammock most of the time) The doors open, just in time for Willem to be punched in the nose and stagger back. “Welcome to Hole In The Wall,” says the puncher, standing there with three armed men. Willem rubs his nose. “You always did hit like a girl, Fiske.” At this point, the players threaten violence over the fact that they’ve just had ‘s Deadly Enemy thrown at them. Fiske was Willem’s superior in the war, who sent the assassins out on covert missions. Bucking the stereotype, this Browncoat is truly villainous — a cold-hearted sociopath who, after the war ended, continued to send his men on suicide missions. When he ordered Willem to bomb a market on Ariel, Willem quit. Fiske has always considered this desertion and cowardice.

After a few tense moments, where it looked like Willem’s mouth might get them all shot, the crew turns the body of Chow over to Fiske. Nobody knows why Chow needed to come here — he’d been there before (Hole in the Wall was run as a black-market hideout, where outlaws could do business and avoid Alliance patrols, etc.), but hadn’t been there in years. Now that Chow had died, there seemed to be no answers forthcoming. Suddenly, the entire complex rocks with an impact.

The crew follows Fiske up to the CIC (what everyone else but Fiske calls the Bridge), where another Hole In The Wall-er, a woman named Anabelle, tells them that an explosion on the outer perimeter of the asteroid field sent shockwaves into the field which resulted in a few asteroids hurtling into the clearing…one of which impacted with the Skyplex. They can’t risk using active sensors and giving away their position, but as near as she can tell, there’s a ship outside the field, firing into the asteroids. Fiske goes postal, accusing the Icarus of leading someone right to them. Willem, insulted, assures everyone that there’s no way that they would have been stupid enough to be followed.

Naturally, at that point, the Skyplex receives a blanket broadcast from an Alliance cruiser. “Attention, you in the asteroids. We know you’re in there. You have five minutes to come out, or we’re launching a nuke.” Willem sputters his innocence, pointing out that there’s no way they could have missed such a gorram huge ship following them. Jules realizes that the small ship that had shadowed them initially might have been a scout for the cruiser….or that they might have been carrying a bug of some kind. Anabelle asks the Doc (the medic for Hole in The Wall) to check Chow’s body for any signalling devices. Jules realizes that it might be the cat, and goes to retrieve the cat from the ship, as the clock counts down.

Fiske and Willem argue about what to do. Willem is in favor of evacuating the station and using the other escape routes that Anabelle tells him about (only one of which would hide them from the assumed position of the cruiser), while Fiske is in favor of luring the cruiser in and detonating the station reactor.

While the argument ensues, Jules deals with the fat, wheelchair-bound Doc. They discover that Chow’s body was transmitter-free….but that the cat’s collar held a signalling device….and that the cat also has, according to the scans, some “non-specific human tissue” within it’s body….”Something like a bundle of stem cells”, the Doc says.

The time runs out.

No nuke comes. The crew surmises that the Alliance was bluffing, because they obviously don’t want to destroy what they’re looking for….which, given what Jules has discovered, might be the cat. However, more shockwaves pound through the asteroid belt, sending more asteroids hurtling through the previously safe clearing. It appears that the Alliance cruiser is moving into the field, blasting the rocks out of their way. Jules and Aida go to the Icarus and get it ready for departure, taking the Doc with them. Leda and Willem go back to the CIC, hoping to convince Anabelle to evacuate the station.

While this is happening, Fiske sneaks aboard the Icarus, kills the Doc (to prevent Doc from revealing his presence…but mostly because he’s a sociopathic git.), and gets the drop on Aida in the cockpit, telling her to take the ship out of the asteroid belt. Willem and Leda, still aboard Hole In The Wall, watch in horror as their ship takes off without them.

Back on Icarus, Jules, in the engine room, asks Aida via the comm what’s going on. Aida says “We’re leaving. Stay where you are.” — which signals to Jules that something is wrong. Grabbing a bow (similar to Inara’s in Serenity), she sneaks out of the engine room. She discovers Doc’s body and heads towards the bridge.

Willem and Leda hit upon a plan. They’ll get Annabelle to pilot a shuttle over to Icarus, and, using space suits, Willem and Leda will jump the gap between the vessels and enter Icarus via one of the passkeyed airlocks. They launch from the station, hot on the heels of their hijacked ship. Meanwhile, more asteroids are shooting through the clearing every minute, as the Alliance vessel continues its relentless approach. Willem and Leda watch as an asteroid strikes one of the other ships escaping from Hole In The Wall, vaporizing the vessel.

Back on Icarus, Jules is approaching the bridge, but makes a slight noise, which Fiske hears. He goes to investigate. At that moment, Aida throws the Icarus into a gut-wrenching spin which overloads internal gravity, throwing Fiske to the deck, right in front of Jules. Jules fires her bow, catching Fiske in the throad and seriously wounding him. Unfortunately, Fiske fires his gun and hits Jules in the gut, using her pain as his chance to scramble past her and into the rest of the ship. Jules staggers into the bridge, shutting and sealing the door behind her, so that she and Aida are safe. She drops, bleeding profusely, to the deck.

As the shuttle containing Anabelle, Willem and Leda approaches, getting ready for some hairbrained heroics, they are stunned to witness one of the Icarus‘ shuttles launch and high-tail it out of the asteroid field through the escape route. Rather than chase Fiske, Willem orders Annabelle to dock in the newly-available shuttle berth, so that he can see to his crew. The Icarus, at the deft hands of Aida, BARELY (and I mean barely…she hit the roll exactly) makes it out of the field and away from the Alliance cruiser.

Willem carries the wounded Jules down to medical, and despite a bare minimum of medical knowledge, performs a nearly hour-long surgery that begins her healing process.

Naturally, it’s only after he finishes this heroic effort that the crew discover that Annabelle was a combat medic during the war.

…and the Icarus flew off into the Black, towards another adventure.

17 Replies to “Big Damn Gaming Session”

  1. You forgot the most important part, the notes I slipped that read:

    Assfuck Bitchtard
    Punch me in the nose whore
    I fucked his sister, three times
    He watched the films.

  2. lol. now say it all in spanish.

    OH, I found some spanish phrases you HAVE to learn. One says, “I love you and I suffer” and the other is “Watch out! We’re being spied upon!” I have them written down. I’ll try to remember to send them to you.

  3. You were gonna do what??

    Sheesh. Crazy pirate. It’s a good thing your not a black, middle aged, single mom, nobody would follow you anywhere!


  4. It’s a good thing your not a black, middle aged, single mom, nobody would follow you anywhere!

    Thanks for reminding me. I just posted a friends-only link to that, so you guys can see for yourselves.

  5. How’s the system, and is the book well written? I know various people who picked it up at GenCon, but I’ve not yet heard a review on it one way or the other.

    BTW, it was cool to be able to talk and trade past GenCon/gaming industry stories on Saturday. Thanks for humoring me in my potentially word-slurred inebriance. ;)

  6. How’s the system, and is the book well written?

    The system is the same one they used for Sovereign Stone, and it works well.

    The book is very well written (in ‘versal dialog style, even), but my main gripe is that the organization is ASS. Stuff scattered throughout the book, and no index to easily find stuff.

  7. okay, first: homgguh! to the ship logo…that kicks ass!!

    second: yay for the continuance of gaming summaries. I loved when you did this for our LOTR game and had hoped you would for this, especially after last night’s game. That had to be the best gaming session of any system I’ve ever been a part of.

    You. Rock.

  8. I dislike the format of the skills system. It’s highly relative. I mean, situational….

    BTW, GM Skarka, I have to say…you rock as a GM. GREAT scenario. I’m trying to figure out a way to adapt it to my group.

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