Monday, June 3, 2024

Five Parsecs From Home: Campaign Turn 3

Note: I am going to lean a little more into mechanics with this post, because the mechanics played such a key roll in determining the narrative of this Campaign Turn.

Having just been reprimanded by Maggot for being duped into making him an assassin and tool for the corruption rampant within the Unity government, the rest of the crew has decided to rally around what brought them together in the first place: their common belief that they can make a difference.

Over the course of character creation and the first two turns, the crew has gathered several Rumors and Quest Rumors. The former determine whether or not Quests are available as options during Campaign Turns and the latter determine how close you are to completing the Quest. I rolled that a Quest was available for Turn 2 but decided to opt for the Sector Government job because it had good pay, allowed the party to automatically avoid an unplanned fight with K’Erin Outlaws (a Rival), and there was a time frame within which the job had to be completed. The narrative consequence of Maggot being unavailable this turn happened due to a post-battle roll.

So, the crew is going to pursue the Quest this turn and their pre-battle choices reflect this. The major occurrence during this preparation stage was what I am going to call the “accidental” recruitment of Pint:

While in game I chose to use Wither’s pre-battle turn to recruit a new crew member so I had five characters to go on the mission, the result of the rolls provided for an interesting way of describing how that came about. Pint is a modified human called a Hulker. The game describes them as

Bulging with muscles and rage, these Human gene-mods are perfect for hauling, crushing, and breaking. Or hauling things that need to be crushed or broken.

Additionally, Hulkers are unable to grasp the more technical aspects of the game. For example, they cannot have Technician, Scientist, or Hacker as Classes and their Combat Skill cannot be applied to shooting, only brawling.

The planet that the crew is currently on has a trait called “Technical Knowledge” which allows a +1 on all Repair rolls. Thus, it didn’t make much sense for a Hulker to be present. So I rolled up a Motivation from charcter creation. This isn’t normally done with recruited characters, so there was no mechanical benefit. I was just looking for some narrative clarity. The result was Loyalty. This suggested that Pint was on this world because of his loyalty to a company, a contract, or a person. Since he was available to join the crew, that means this loyalty was abused.

Narratively, I imagine that Wither committed a random act of kindness, buying a meal for what looked like a down and out guy who had been shafted by the system. This triggered Pint’s need for loyalty, which he immediately shifted to Wither. Like a stray dog, he started to follw her around. Initially creeped out by this, Wither tried to lose him in a crowded bar; however, in her hurry to get away from Pint, she bumped into the drink of someone who was perfectly happy to enetrtain themselves with some fistacuffs. It was at this point that the “accidental” recruitment happened. Pint caught up with Wither and assessing the situation declared that anyone wanting to fight Wither had to have a conversation with his fists first, because Wither was his friend. Thus, Pint was now officially part of the crew whether or not anyone wanted it.

The mission for the battle of this Campaign Turn was Defend. This seemed odd until I rolled up the opponent: Security Bots. Thus, I interpreted that the mission as a raid on a secret government facility. In process the crew had to hold their position long enough to download the information they needed to find out the location of the final step of their Quest. In addition, there was a Deployment Condition (Brief Engagement) that suggested that they further had a limited amount of time before overwhelming reinforcements arrived.

It was a rough battle. The Security Bots have a high Toughness and an Armor Save. So, they survived several hits. On the flip side, our crew also got hit several times, but their Toughness proved to be enough. In the end, the superior weapons of the crew proved too much, punching through the Toughness of the Bots when weapons with less damage would not. Pint proved his worth by going toe-to-toe with one of the bots for a couple of rounds, finally getting the better of the exchange on the last turn. Thus, the crew got what they came for.

Satisfied by what the crew accomplished during the turn, Maggot is now motivated to get back to what the crew does best; however, in the post battle part of the turn, Cinders was put into the Sick bay and will not be available next turn. Apparently, he was doing some upkeep on the ship and something went catastrophically wrong. The ship took 1 Hull damage in process.

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