Friday, May 24, 2024

Now for Something Completely Different

For awhile now, I have been focusing my hobby time mainly on miniature wargaming. As such, I have been exploring various solo-games that scratch the miniature wargame itch, since I haven’t got access to a large pool of fellow players. The game I have enjoyed the most is called Five Parsecs from Home (FPFH). In the Appendix, Ivan Sorensen (author of the game) specifically sites three of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies/tv-shows: Blade Runner, Soldier, and Firefly. Personally, I think Ivan’s musing on the latter is an understatement:

Most “space adventure” games owe a debt to this show. The worn-out look, and the premise of spaceships-as-freedom in the face of an overbearing government fits Five Parsecs perfectly.

Prior to my experience of playing FPFH, I would have argued that Traveller was the closest experience I have had to playing a game that felt like Firefly. In terms of RPGs, Traveller still holds that crown, but I would be sore tempted to figure out a way to use the combat rules of FPFH in Traveller or, at the very least, use the random tables in FPFH to help me Referee a campaign.

I am ready to start up a new campaign in FPFH, and wanted to try recording each Campaign Turn on the blog. My hope is that it pushes me to make the game more of a narrative than an excuse to put miniatures on the table and roll some dice. To that end, let me introduce my crew as whole:

Figures primarily come from The Maker's Cult and their Cyberzerker faction.

There are a couple of tables at the end of character creation called “Flavor Details.” I haven’t really used them before, because I already had a good idea about the crews I have played in previous games. I decided to actually roll on these tables because not only does it up the ante for narration, but virtually the entire crew comes from some kind of criminal background and I needed a better idea of how to proceed.

The crew met through “a common cause or belief” and can be best characterized as “hardened rebels.” This seems rather contradictory for a bunch of products of scum and villany, but their ship (Strange Alien Vessel) reminded me of another old favorite sci fi tv-show of mine: Blake’s 7.

Thus, the “criminal activity” of this crew is either trumped-up charges or a life that was forced upon them due to the overbearing bureaucratic nightmare of the Unity government. As such, the common cause of these hardened rebels is a desire to right some of the wrongs Unity has wrought upon the galaxy.

Next Up: Meeting Individual Crew Members

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