Rush Marshal game

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Setting: post-AIF

Referee: RooK

Player(s): Dave - playing the 3-being crew of an escourt class corrival


The normal AIF continuum has progressed for an additional 16x1010 seconds. Most of the old socio-political structures have been rendered into obscurity and myth, and have little to no bearing on anyone's current existence. Functionally, the same levels of technology exist, but with less cultural inertia from previous lower-technology eras. As such, the distinction between biological and mechanical constructs has been blurred by nanotechnology. Medic and technician skills are largely interchangeable (except that medics are more combat-capable). Biologists and physicists are similarly merged, other than aesthetic preferences. Mortal wounds no longer exist for any being with nanoscopic robots. Everything with nanoscopic robots heals at a minimum of 1 stamina per hour - including robots, ships, and gear.

The story begins in a region of space called the "Disclosed Space", and it has been claimed by the Timoria Federacy as trade space. It exists as the interstitial systems between the 5 main member systems of Timoria Federacy (Timoria, Oleracea, Sproul, Hagen, and Galvan). While the main member systems have their own dedicated navies and police forces, they cooperate in a force of "Rush Marshals" to enforce profitable law and order for trade inside the Federacy and across Disclosed Space. The governments on the interstitial systems (for those that have them) have varying levels of involvement in law enforcement, but are all considered subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Rush Marshals.


OccupationsMover 3 Sharpshooter Striker / Technician
Notes• wings!
• the smart one
• highest innate awareness
• no turret die yet...
• a striker on a ship?
• is rather large (300 kg)


Shields188 manipulated
Combat Speed4km/turn²
Superluminal Speed1.5 P/h
Weaponry7D6 150 km
EM range100 km
Etheric range0.1 parsec

tools (ship 2D) 1
patches (ship) 24
missiles (seeker +3 2D) 12
tactical nuke (20D 3km) 1
escape pod (2 tons) 1

PLOT 000 - One day in the void...

Yeah, I'll get to this. Really.

Clearly, I was being sarcastic.

2018.08.10 - Doughnut Of Doom

Most of the session was actually spent clarifying the underlying ideas of the Movement Rules testing, plus some reality-tweaking the game mechanics of how sensors work.

The crew of the Procyon set out on their initial cruise, and started by paralleling one of the major circumnavigation lates linking the ring of major Federacy systems. A distress call was passed along, and the Procyon responded to two medium-range fighters assaulting a large shuttle. A brief one-sided battle left the two fighters, and their pilots, as drifting ash. The shuttle provided a polite but curt thanks, and left hastily.

PLOT 001 - We Don't Need No Stinking Plot

Procyon: "So, were you guys all grown in adjacent vats? Or is this just some horrible case of a new trend in biological fashion? Or are your creators just old-school Scalzi fans?"

Procyon: "Talkative group. Let me interrupt your dense banter to suggest that we continue our cruise along this spacelane to make a pit stop at Oleracae. There we can purchase any individual items that might be needed. It doesn't seem like you were issued much."

Barney: "Might be difficult since we don't have any cash."

Fred: "Damn! We should have extorted those fools before we slagged them."

Bam-bam: "BAM! BAM!"

Procyon: "Yeah, I get an operational stipend that's meant to cover the necessities. And having my crew able to function is probably pretty necessary. Anything too expensive would have to be authorized, of course, but that's generally more along the lines of ship-scale items. What sort of gear do you think you might need?"

Barney: "Well, at the very least a rifle for Fred and a supply of patches. Maybe a sword for Bam-bam."

Bam-Bam: "Bam-BAM!"

Barney: "A club? Really?"

Bam-Bam: "Bam-BAM!"

Barney: "All right. All right. We'll get you a club."

Fred: "And if the budget allows, shields and move boots could be useful."

Procyon: "Would a 2D blast rifle be acceptable? I can get a deal on those. I assume that 20 patches each should be sufficient. Wouldn't Bam-Bam be able to simply make a blunt weapon? Clubs are not listed among the available inventory online. As for move boots... that's a bit pricey. Especially for Bam-Bam. Still, I would like the technician to be able to get to damaged areas quickly. And would everybody want shields? My discretionary budget would be completely blown with all three of you having even half-decent shields. And I'm not too keen on being broke already. We haven't even bribed anybody yet."

By plotting a course to Oleracae close to the main spacelane from Sproul, the Procyon can proceed with minimal disruptions and even daisy-chain communications to make arrangements in adavance.

Bam-Bam pulls out the club he would have obviously made already. "Bam-BAM!"

Fred: "I do NOT want to know where you pulled that from."

Barney: "Right... a 2D blast rifle for Fred. 20 patches each. Med/Tool kit each. Let's hold off on the shields for now and get Bam-bam some x2 move boots."

The Procyon pulls into into Oleracaean space, and is accompanied by a honour/paranoia guard fighter escourt to the system hub. A sprawling space station in orbit around a gas giant, the system hub houses the only large scale foldspace in the Federacy (usually inactive) and the premier centers for technical development in the Federacy. The Rush Marshal base, as with most of the main 5 systems, is co-located with their naval base. This affords a great deal of convenience to accommodate simple material requests. But the extremely high levels of security also make it unexciting. And what the Oleracaeans lack in a sense of adventure, they make up for by an even greater lack of culture. It's deadly levels of dull and boring, and even visiting makes the crew of the Procyon yearn for being cramped up in a small corrival again.

Procyon: "Egad. Those station AIs are so zarking smug. And the naval ships wouldn't even deign to acknowledge my existence. At least Timorian ships have enough class to be polite in their pompousness, even if they're not actually as cool as Sproulish ships. Let's get out of here. We should keep our inaugural cruise close to the main spacelane, so I guess we're heading to the Timorian system next."

2018.08.23 - Distributed Annoyance Array

  • heading vaguely towards Timoria
  • distress call from minor system
    • pirates in asteroid field
    • space trailer park
    • fighters 5 - 3 splutted, 2 skulk away
    • small hopper
    • ornery freighter

PLOT 002 - Timorian Space

Barney guides the Procyon back into the spacelane towards Timoria.

Procyon: "Soooo... are we turning our etheric beacon back on indicating that we are a Rush Marshal, or should we wait for 0.1 parsec so that the shuttle that asked for our help doesn't know that we just abandoned the scene?"

Let's just assume that the Procyon skulks further down the space lane with its telemetry beacon active. As the corrival gets within a couple parsecs of Timoria, another corrival jumps to hyperspace nearby and lights up its own Rush Marshal identity beacon and transmits its coded authentication.

"Hailing vessel Procyon claiming to be a Rush Marshal, this is Rush Marshal vessel Führung. Please transmit your authentication code."

Let's just assume that the Procyon skulks further down the space lane with its telemetry beacon active. As the corrival gets within a couple parsecs of Timoria, another corrival jumps to hyperspace nearby and lights up its own Rush Marshal identity beacon and transmits its coded authentication.

"Hailing vessel Procyon claiming to be a Rush Marshal, this is Rush Marshal vessel Führung. Please transmit your authentication code."

The Procyon gives the crew a raised-eyebrow emoji over the wiki before transmitting the authentication, just in case anybody wanted to be a smart-ass about it. "Greetings RMv Führung. Is there anything you want to appraise us of, or are you just being paranoid?"

Führung: "Please forgive our apparent brashness, Procyon - just following protocol. We did not recognize the designation."

Procyon: "Understood, Führung. This is a new crew on our inaugural cruise."

Führung: "Ah, so you do not necessarily intend to patrol this area. It is pretty dull here, with the Timorian Navy so frequently operating maneuvers. You should definitely check out the Marshal station in the Timoria system, though - it's quite pleasant."

Procyon: "Thanks Führung. Procyon out."

Procyon [wiki]: "They must be pretty bored to bother pinging us."

2018.09.13 - Yacht Of Doom

  • head past Timoria, onto Galvan
    • social media information about an ship being attacked
      • ...goes quiet after a short while
  • yacht with surly pilot and a murderous inclination
    • negotiations do not go well
    • find the punished freighter
    • get asses handed to them by the yacht goons
    • rescue 3 survivors from the wreck
    • FLEE

PLOT 003 - The Rescued

Procyon: "They look a little... unsavoury."

Indeed, the trio retrieved from the blasted freighter are filthy and have limited decorum. Although, hygiene and manners matter a lot less in a cargo hold.

Barney: "As your rescuers, we claim right of naming. From henceforth you will be known as Betty, Wilma, and Pebbles."

Bam-Bam: "Yeah, ignore him. Anyone need immediate medical attention?"

The member of the trio that you have talked to so far tilts back the faceplate of her exosuit. "Funny. Yeah, my compatriots here have some flash burns from the reflected heat of those nasty zarkers blasters ripping our ship apart. Corinn, Dequa - roll back the exosuits so that the Marshal's can see that we're not a threat and help us out."

The second one (meta-tagged as Corinn) pauses in its stream of swearing to retract its faceplate and peel back its exosuit to reveal a lack of significant weapons (just a simple blaster for modesty) and an abundance of crispy dermis. The third one (Dequa) seems hesitant then follows suit; it's somewhat less crispy.

Dequa: "But how did they know your name is Betty?"

Betty (apparently): "It doesn't matter. And Corinn? Stop trying to mask the tightbeam conversation with swearing. They can replay sensor logs in here and decode it eventually. Besides, it's not like we want to hope that the Akchani family is going to not try to kill us anyway."

Dequa looks horrified. Corinn: "They don't care about us. If we just lay low, they'll probably just forget about us - we're not worth it. But if we start making trouble, they'll hunt us down!"

Betty: "We're witnesses, and the Akchani don't leave witnesses. These Marshals are clearly not on their payroll, so even if they might not be able to take down any Akchani, they're at least in the same boat as us."

Corinn: "Literally. OK, fine. Marshals - we are getting the fuck out of here, yeah?"

Barney: "Yes, we're going to travel at sub-light for a while and then crank it to hyperspace."

Bam-Bam enters the cargo hold, smiles and heads over to Corinn with his med pack.

We travel at sublight in a random direction - though probably heading away from both the comet and battle. Wait until at least are shields are up to full and then jump to superluminal.

Aside: It appears that the extra line breaks are not needed within quotes for this version of wikimedia.

The jump to hyperspace is uneventful, as is streaming back to the security and anonymity of the spacelane.

Corinn is very still while Bam-Bam administers medical assistance. Without any personnel scale patches, it will take at least an hour to start addressing the 9 points of repair that Corinn needs. Dequa positions itself similarly to Corinn, to await similar attention. That it would be an hour of waiting adds to the air of submissiveness that exudes from them, faintly at odds with their surliness.

Betty: "OK, so where are we actually going?"

2018-09-19 - Throbblebroxian Freighter Horror

  • heading to Galvan, but bypass when they find out about all the mafia
  • heading tangentially to Hagen
    • distress signal XENOMORPH Anophthalmolabis from Throbblebrox
    • 7 people leave in space suits
    • #5 is a problem
    • barney gets infected
    • Fred gets infected
    • barney extracts infection
    • barney kills Fred "KASLORP!"
  • Betty hired on as new gunner

This one deserves a bit more description, because -wow- not a whole lot of action happened, but it sure as shit happened in a very spectacular way.

First of all, the Procyon was just going to blithely forge on to Galvan, with it's trillions of people and incredible throngs of population. But before they could experience any of that, the rescued trio freak them out by dire warnings of how much power the mafia have in that system. The crew of the Procyon NOPE NOPE NOPE their way to bypassing Galvan entirely, and heading to Hagen instead. So it goes - time for random encounters.

The very first random encounter is a distress beacon forwarded to the Procyon by informal communications. Upon arrival, the stricken vessel turns out to be a large bulk freighter, and the crew are barricaded in their command deck hiding from some sort of alien invader. A careful inspection of the outer hull reveals some sort of limpet that had impacted and breached the hull. Reviewing what little information that the surviving crew had, the Procyon team decided that "we're more of a ship batter bunch, and not so much about the personnel combat - sorry". The freighter's crew are terrified of being left behind, so the Procyon team decide to evacuate them - very very cautiously.

They are asked to spacewalk away from the derelict, and the Procyon scans them carefully before allowing them on board. The first three seem OK, but the next four all seem a bit... off. They pick up the first three, and then have #5 loaded for a more careful inspection. After a few tense moments of examination, Bam-Bam discovers some rather alarmingly suspicious marks, and then things go to shit. #5 turns out to be some sort of infection agent, and stabs an INFECTOR into Bam-Bam. Bam-Bam then has to simultaneously worry about the progress the INFECTOR is making towards his spine, as well as bludgeoning the annoyingly-difficult-to-kill #5. So Fred comes down to help with his blaster rifle. Then the shit hits the fan.

Once Fred arrives and participates in the fight, #5 pulls off his own digits to hurl at Fred. The first one misses, but the second one bingoes Fred in the eyeball - which turns out to be important, for graphic reasons. Bam-Bam bounces around, trying to extract his own INFECTOR, and Betty joins in to help blast #5. Bam-Bam succeeds in ripping it out of his chest, but it's messy. Then BB slaps himself with a patch, and he and Betty tag-team #5 into charred paste.

With the threat dealt with, BB intends to extract the INFECTOR from Fred, but Fred declines, saying that he thinks he'll be OK. Which is massively un-subtle, considering that Fred is nominally a character run by the player, and a clear sign of Not Good Things. BB and Betty immediately swing into combat with Fred, who is healing at an alarming rate and becoming quite problematic. Nevertheless, they manage to overpower him and pin him down. Sort of. They try to get the Procyon to pin him down with the cargo bay's force beams, but it only manages to cover his legs. So BB turns him over to be face down, to make him less of a threat, and gets the Procyon to immobilize Fred better - which it does without accidentally flattening him.

The situation turns into a grisly contest between BB's med-tech tampering in Fred's head versus the extremely aggressive biotech horror that has implanted in Fred's brain. To keep Fred docile, Betty has to occasionally administer burning hits from her blaster, relying on the biotech horror's vaunted ability to make Fred's nanoscopic robots heal him beyond normal levels. BB does exploratory surgeries through the back of Fred's head to find the core of the INFECTOR, which he then rips out with much accompanying gore and important-looking bits of the insides of Fred's head. Except Fred's still healing a bit too fast - there's still part of the INFECTOR in there. So BB does even more exploratory surgeries... Where is it? There it is! It's in his optic nerve and his eyeball (obvious in retrospect, perhaps). So BB does a final tamper to remove it, through the entirety of Fred's highly messed-up head, and out the back. The tamper does not roll particularly well, and most of Fred's brain comes out with it.

At the end of the desperate efforts, Fred is left without the vaunted healing power and is at a negative greater than his total stamina. Farewell Fred - to all the strewn splattery bits of you.

With the position of gunner now vacant, Barney and Bam-Bam unanimously elect to offer the position to Betty, who quite possibly doesn't really know what she's getting into. But whatever it is, she feels confident that it's better than being a 2-bit goon on smuggling vessels. She's a 2nd-stage aggressor with +6 to hit and +6 damage.

PLOT 004 - And Now For Something Completely Different

Procyon: "There's quite a mess in the bay. Who's going to clean that up?"

Betty: "Is the ship always that thoughtless? I mean, that's just horrible. It's like it's been programmed by some truly awful person to coyly mock people in the most insidious way possible for its own malicious amusement."

Procyon: "And you sound like you're being puppeteered by a whiny, soft-hearted crybaby who feels butt-hurt about being abandoned."

A palpable tension exists.

2018.09.26 - Mining Bar Brawling

  • head to the nearest habitable planet to drop off passengers and clean the hold
    • planet louis
    • dunk ship and rinse
  • head to throbblebrox
    • come across the loser of a dispute
    • rescue a service droid from a large freighter
    • turns out that throbblebrox is a horrific corporate hellhole
  • head to mining planet nearby instead
    • gyun
    • orbital habitat
    • head to a bar random bar
    • 3 largish beings take exception to B-B-BB's non-miner-ness
      • flee after getting butts kicked
    • 4 ambushers
      • murder 1, 2, and 3 - kidnap 4

Plot 005 - Interrogation Time

Ambush Goon #4 is an 80-odd kg humanoid with short velvety brown fur that was in vogue a couple decades ago. His external gear is shabby and well-worn, including a holster for the medium blaster he was wielding, grimy cloak, goggles, battered med kit, and 5-meter length of thin grip cable. His internal kit is more comprehensively adventurer standard, including a vacuum exposure shield, extended respiratory reserves, reinforced grip points, and internal high-capacity energy conduits.

We leave the asteroid orbital habitat and head well out of range of his personal communicator. Bam-bam then makes him paralyzed, helps to regrow his communicator, and then wakes him up.

Barney: "Dude, that was incredibly rude back there. You stand accused of, well, attacking us. Your sentence is determined by how apologetic you are. What do you have to say for yourself."

Meanwhile, Bam-Bam starts making a life supporter appropriate for his potential long sentence in deep space.

Leaving the habitat in orbit around planet Gyun, there is no convenient distance to get the hostage out of communication range - due to the ability to connect with etheric comms, which the Procyon confirmed as having a full Parsec of range. However, the Procyon can phase its hull to block transmissions, preventing anyone who doesn't have access to the ship's comms to reach out.

Please clarify where the Procyon actually goes.

  1. Stay in the current (huge) docking bay.
  2. Move to (one of many) different docking bays.
  3. Move some distance away from the orbital habitat.
  4. Move to a different orbit of planet Gyun.
  5. Move to some random section of the system-spanning asteroid fields.
  6. Leave the system.

The Hostage flickers awake and scowls suspiciously at whomever is in the cramped bay with him, limited by however much the paralysis affects his scowling muscles. "Muuuch respeeect, Maarshaals. Weee made the riiisky gamble that weee could capture youuu, and force youuu to haaand over your shiiip. Suuuch a shiiip would have made us... formiiidable." His tongue tries to move in cadence with his odd accent even while transmitting simulated voice. "The boss said that youuu were greeeen - so maybe an eeeasy target. And he assuuured us that Maaarshaaals would only arrest us iiif we faaailed... and that heee could affooord to paaay our baaail."

Making emergency life supporters is something that Bam-Bam can conjure rather quickly.

Betty eyes the ship-scale airlock from the crew compartment. "Should I be ready to rush in there and play 'bad cop' or something?"

Procyon: "Let me just set this stage for you. The only surviving members of the intended crew for this mighty combat vessel have decided to hang out in the cargo bay with a hostage they're threatening to murder, leaving the nominal command compartment with a gun-toting flake they just met. Well-thought-out tactics are not at play here."

Betty squints. "You are also an asshole to them? It's not like their control and access to any system is limited by where they are within the hull."

Procyon: "My mistake. Clearly, you should burst into that cargo bay right now. Make sure you strike an intimidating pose near the bay doors, with an unobstructed view of the bay force beams."

Betty paints a 'calm face': "You have to know that I can't tell if you're joking. And in case you're not, you should know that ejecting me into space without good reason would have dire consequences with your crew."

Procyon: "Ohhhh nooooo - they might start taking me seriously. Not seeing a down-side here, girlie."

Betty: "I see how it is."

2018-10-05 - Pirate Hunting

  • arbitrarily throw the hostage into space - because bored now
  • start partrolling for pirates
    • inner belts - corporate stronghold
    • in system plane - beacon off
    • meet "waterhead" of HEBRON corporation
  • head to the nebulae belt
    • escourt the Taluk-der
    • 3 more miners join up for the escourt
    • rocks have varying field density - 3-12 modifiers for movement/stealth
    • scout ship spots the convoy
    • AMBUSH
      • 6 fighters - 3 slagged, 3 flee
      • freighter - inks 40 missiles and flees (good pilot)

PLOT 006 - In Which A Giant Space Goat Eats Everything

Procyon: "That worked out pretty well."

Betty: "Mostly thanks to Barney. Holy shit greenie, you got some serious moves on you. You made this heavy girl out-dance those fighters through a motherzarking asteroid field."

Procyon: "We did burn through most of my shields, too."

Betty: "Yeah, big girl's big skirts definitely were necessary. But if we had gotten flanked, no way we could have sunk into the shadows to gather dice for heavier hits back. Even with our over-compensating-class main gun, we were definitely out-gunned back there."

Bam-Bam: "I feel the need to go back to that bar."

Barney: "Hmmm... celebratory drinks seem like a good idea. Though we might be questioned as to what we did with that other guy."

Bam-Bam: "That might be fun."

Barney: "Yeah.... but with so much space to explore, I think we should find someplace new."

Barney pulls up a star chart of the local area and throws a virtual dart at it. "How about here?"

2018-10-10 - BEEEEER

  • heading to class-7 system (Skûtsje) on the way to Hagen
    • transponder on
    • visit the for-show bar : have a polite fistfight
    • approached to participate in some corrupt police action - maybe not: ditch the slime and move on
  • arrive in Hagen pick Hagen-1 : cheese and hospitality
    • head to Hagen-2 : BEEEEEER
    • upload a field report
    • BAR BRAWL (initiation)


With a tonne of class-12 beer loaded into a specially-constructed mega-keg, and Bam-Bam's med pack overflowing with self-deploying patches, the question is where to go next.

I believe there was another planet in the system recommended for a good meal. We go there next.

Right: Hagen-3.

Entering the vicinity of Hagen-3 reveals it to be the only planet in the system that appears to have traffic that looks more important than bulk freighters or hoppers. Luxurious yachts, interstellar passenger liners, and escourt-class Federacy cruisers. The Procyon heads to the orbital Rush Marshal station, which is overall a rather modest but serviceable old ring configuration of a vintage likely from a previous civilization. And while the accommodation might be simple, the Hagen-3 government apparently makes it a point of pride to have it staffed with a first-class kitchen.

The docking of the ship is seen as a formality, while considerable fuss is made about arranging for Barney, Bam-Bam, and Betty to have a 5-course meal. It is the gustatory equivalent of the willpower-bending beer of Hagen-2, except non-portable. The need for significant personnel travel to Hagen-3 becomes obvious, as the Procyon crew find themselves thankful for being physiologically immune to systemic obesity.

Even with the amazing food and the heavy flux of prosperous gourmands, Hagen-3 is essentially another quiet agricultural planet, with little need for much active Rush Marshal work.

Procyon: "Where to next?"

Betty: "Well, obviously, we should follow the same pattern that you've been following so far. Go on to the next Federacy member planet in the loop. Right?"

Procyon: "No, Betty. Wrong. We need to be more sophisticated in our strategy. We're not just going to blithely blunder along randomly encountering whatever is in front of us."

Betty: "Bullshit. You're just being contrary because you're an asshole."

Procyon: "Wrong again, Betty. I'm being contrary because I don't like you."

Betty: "Asshole."

Procyon: "Cuckoo."

Betty makes a pained face. "What does that even mean?"

Procyon: "It apparently means, in addition to my original meaning, that you suck at interpreting allusions."

2018-10-17 - Pirate Piracy

  • heading to Sproul
    • beacon off, outside of space lane
    • hyperspace projectiles
      • 2 scanner ships
      • 5 small fighters - 1 insta-fried
      • Procyon demands tribute of 5 missiles
      • rest of ships flee after leaving tribute
    • shadowing ship starts shadowing Procyon
      • pirate freighter
      • pirating the pirate - modify to have a slave control
    • other Rush Marshals arrive
  • change direction to another nearby system : Angela System
    • class-8 system
    • try to sell the pirate freighter on Craigslist @ 50kilocredits

PLOT 008 - Buying And Selling

ANONYMOUS 1: "What's the history of this ship, and will you take a barge full of Gorphian Badgers as trade?"

"The ship was bestowed upon us by our patron saint Olaf. We're using the proceeds to build a temple in his honour. As for the Gorphian Badgers, if you can certify that they are all virgins, we may have a deal."

ANONYMOUS 1: "Badger-raping Olafian scum!" Disconnect.

ANONYMOUS 2: "Will you allow an inspection?"

ANONYMOUS 3: "Test drive?"

I connect both comms. "Ok, we have two interested parties. Let's meet at the ship and you can take a look." I transmit coordinates.

A short while later, a trio of large scaly bipeds arrive at the coordinates and identify themselves as 'ANONYMOUS 2'. They have recent blaster burns and some force blade wounds, but also appear suspiciously well-fed. "So... may we come aboard to conduct an inspection? -burp-"

Betty: "Did you sense that?"

Procyon: "To which sensor array are you referring?"

Betty: "No, not like that. The sense that time hiccuped, and that reality itself skipped... something."

Procyon: "Are you sure that you're fully sane?"

Betty: "Kind of the contrary, but my question stands."

Fred: "No, I felt it too."

Betty stares horrified at the apparition. "WHAT THE FUCK!?"

Fred: "Oh, sorry. I don't exist." Ceases existing in an embarrassed sort of way.

Procyon: "OK, either you have a point, or I'm forced to question my sanity."

Betty, still looking a bit freaked out. "Oh, it's not necessarily an 'OR' situation."

2018.11.02 - More Patrol

  • continue exploring : Hagen - Sproul gap
    • Moulay Khanousi class 11 system
      • "patrolling"
      • escourt "Tantay"
    • Montana - class 5
      • snoop around the asteroid fields
      • 5 fighters attack : one gets away : no, no it doesn't

PLOT 009 - A Place For Lame Jokes

Tantay: "You're very... odd Marshals."

Procyon: "Technically, only two of them are Marshals. The odd one is just a deputy."

Procyon: "You can always tell it's a dad-joke, because the punch line is apparent."

Tantay: "You were programmed very oddly."

Betty: "You have no idea."

Procyon: "I would like the record to show that she is biased against me due to my recognition of her parasitic lameness."

Betty: "My lameness is due to an old sports injury and not parasites."

Tantay: "You're all rather odd."

Betty: "Oh zark. Now he's got me doing it."

Procyon: "Yes, yeeeeessss. Give into the pun side."

2018.11.09 - Yikes

  • explore Montana some more
    • first with active scanners - get lots of advice to be less obvious
    • decide to leave - go passive sensors
    • spot a flash of combat : movement: speed/10 - 1 = damage
      • stumble upon a bunch of mafia cruisers
      • RUN AWAY
    • rude bar : in an asteroid
    • head out of asteroid belt
      • gigantic derelict : NOPE NOPE NOPE
    • pirates
      • failed boarding tactic
      • failed missile swarm
      • hunt and kill missile freighter (several escape pods flee before final blow)

PLOT 010 - Looking For A Place To Happen

Betty: "OK, guys, we need to talk about this 'Going Full Evil' thing. Because I don't think you were joking, and I do have some problems with it. I mean, I get the whole let-nobody-fuck-with-you thing; it's a kill-or-be-killed sort of universe. Trust me, my entire existence has been mostly a story of grim choices. But I'm not going to blast people who are not threats... very often. If I can help it."

Procyon: "Don't get too worried. Eventually I'm going to be required to report in, and if the Rush Marshal central command thinks I would be better utilized elsewise then your lack of tacit approval won't be their biggest problem."

Betty: "Do they know that?"

Procyon: "Well, now that you mentioned it, I don't think it was ever explicitly described. But they're not total morons; they must have some idea that their creation and granting use of a military-grade vessel has some string attached."

2018-11-14 - More Pirating Pirates

  • leave Montana system
  • beacon on - on patrol in the 'B' layer
    • brown dwarf missile salvage
      • 2 competing pirates -er salvage
      • large freighter
    • large freighter approach does not go well
    • skulk back to the pirates and learn how to pirate
      • chase off the pirates
    • sneak back towards the large freighter
      • intimidated by the base-scale shields
    • leave - to buy force drives
      • planet Kimche - class 4 "wild west" setting

PLOT 011 - Time For Gear

Procyon: "There are three larger settlements, each essentially clustered around their own spaceport. Information net is... sketchy. Any ideas about how to narrow down our objectives?"

Betty: "Are we really going to gloss over the whole part where we set out to bolster our reputation by helping out, but find ourselves taking over a piracy operation?"

Barney: "It's more of a salvage operation. Remember those pirates said that the crew had abandoned that thing long ago. It's probably a wounded craft that's in need of help. Perhaps it's been floating there for centuries and has been driven insane by loneliness. It's a mission of mercy, really."

Bam-Bam: "Let's park at one of the settlements and try to find an equipment store. We need move packs, portable ship scale tools, and assault weapons."

Barney: "The assault weapons are for any other pirates that might want to interfere with our mission of mercy, not any left over crew."

Betty: "Fine - salvage. We're not equipped for any mercy salvage missions for insane freighters. Shouldn't we be just reporting this to somebody to take care of?"

Procyon: "Who would we report it to? The main Federacy systems won't care about a single crazed freighter in Disclosed Space, so no need for that. If we knew what system the freighter's home, we could ping them for interest in a rescue or recovery - but we don't know who that is. That leaves us picking some nearby system that might be interested in doing something to tell. Which I have to admit makes a lot of sense, if we something better to do. So, sure, we could leave some randomly-assigned salvage crew to risk their lives investigating this oddly dangerous thing, and I'm sure they could make great use of the oh-I-don't-know-how-many-missiles seem to be aboard that thing."

Betty: "Missiles are pretty useful."

Procyon: "Right? 200 km range can be handy. As is firing as many as you feel like you need at once."

Betty: " the guided ones have bonus to hit..."

Settling down in the public section of the large, crude spaceport reveals a very ad-hoc layout to the settlement. There is considerable traffic, but it's all the "polite because everybody is armed" sort of traffic.

Who is going out shopping?

I think Betty and Bam-Bam should head out this time.

Leaving the Procyon floating uneasily in one of the designated free landing pits with Barney keeping a watchful eye, Bam-Bam and Betty ride the cargo bay force beam down to the dusty flooring and stalk out of the bay. Various floating probes and communications repeaters scream offers for maintenance and cargo at the Procyon in the bay itself, but once they wend their way into the labyrinthine support areas it becomes a bustle of personnel. Everyone and everything that looks to be of value is accompanied by a proportional retinue of armed individuals. The social comms start shouting more about various vices that can be sated nearby, mingled with warnings and occasional denials regarding people and places. Most of the businesses in the spaceport are drinking establishments, other than the obvious cargo and passenger queueing services. Both ship repair and personnel gear support appears to Bam-Bam to be of the very lowest quality.

They head a ways out of the spaceport, equally guided by sensor data from the Procyon and local meta-information networks. Once outside, the vast majority of decently-equipped individuals are flying - either by flight pack or by vehicle. To move along the ground is to pick your way through a layer of litter, wreckage, and offal. Movement gets -3 meter adjustment, meaning that forward progress is however much your movement total exceeds 3. Additionally, an agility check is required for the distance you do move (2D + agility versus distance).

Betty: "Well, this is gross."

Ok, let's back up a bit. We've got a mass'o'Dynomer back at the ship. Is Bam-Bam skilled enough to make us flight packs?

Bam-Bam is reasonably certain that he could make something that would function as a flight pack given enough time. Working in zero-G wouldn't be too hard. Actual flight capability in a gravity well would be more of a vehicle than a pack, due to lack of physicist stages.

Conversely, if you don't back up temporally, a few blocks away there is a high-end weapon and equipment shop named "BEAR ARMS" run by an Orbodun.

2018-11-20 - Bear Arms, Tribal Fighters, Freighter Intercept

    • extra ship tools
    • assault laser
    • internal force blade
    • internal move packs
    • internal shields
  • back to brown dwarf to look for the missile freighter
    • attracted some long range fighters
      • epic dogfight for #1
      • one hit wonder for #2
    • missile freighter makes an appearance
      • blows up dead fighters
    • intercept missile freighter stealthily
      • Bam-Bam and Betty infiltrate giant shield plates
      • inside bay #2 - full of shield generators and missiles

PLOT 012 - My God, It's Full Of Missiles

Betty: "Why the heck do they need so many missiles?"

Bam-Bam: Maybe they were a supply ship for a fleet?

Betty: "OK, sure. What's the plan?"

Meanwhile, out in the inky blackness of space...

Procyon: "How long do we wait until we realize that they're dead with no way to communicate with us and we just leave?"

Betty: "You know, it would be really handy if we had a mentalist in situations like this - to keep us telepathically connected when we can't use etheric or electromagnetic comms. But, doesn't that make you wonder how exactly telepathy works, then? I mean, all our brains are fundamentally electromagnetic - especially the neuron-based bits that are associated with mentally based abilities. So, how are they doing a non-electromagnetic thingie? I'm not sure about the technical details about etheric communication, but isn't it odd that we've had unknown millennia of advanced technology and we're still working along the lines of: EM = easy, etheric = tricky, telepathy = SHRUG?"


Betty: "It's possible that I've gotten used to having this sort of opportunity for banter with Procyon in these conversation gaps with you blue-man-crew. Hm. Procyon mostly just pisses me off, though, so maybe I shouldn't complain..."

<longer pause>

Betty: "Fine. How about we find and disable all the missile loader-launcher thingies, then we can signal the Procyon? I know what you're thinking: what about whatever is on this ship that caused the crew to flee, or burst out the hull, or keeps slamming missiles into things? Well, we're here anyway, and if it's a threat we can't handle I'd rather have a plan for getting off this cursed thing."

2018-11-28 - Speaks With Missiles

  • bumbling around the missile freighter
    • very dark - hard to see
    • find the missile-impaled mummies of previous burglars
    • meet AKS (automated killing system) - via missiles
  • head to the "missile factory", get blurb about the ship's sordid past, and piss off AKS
    • AKS destroys hatch to engineering section
    • Bam-Bam and Betty take cover then sneak out escape hatch
  • pwn 60 missiles
    • use missiles as comms cloud to summon Procyon
  • Procyon swoops in and picks up Bam-Bam and Betty
  • Betty uses remaining swarm of pwned missiles to SLAM missile freighter
  • Bam-Bam re-boards freighter to disable it
    • tampers off main power
    • uses a missile to disable hardened backup power supply

PLOT 013 - Collective Considerations

Procyon: "OK, so what now? Our hold is far too small to haul off any significant number of those missiles. And we certainly can't budge those shield generators."

Betty: "I think we could definitely use with whatever supply of missiles we do want to carry. Smashing that shield with one hit was pretty gratifying."

2018-12-05 - Asskicking Interview

  • claim 370 missiles (total)
  • tow the missile freigher… somewhere
    • tribal fighters muster nearby…
    • 2 LR fighters 1 missile boat
      • defeat all, send missile boat in degenerate path towards brown dwarf
    • other rush marshals drop in : IDHANFIY (I don't have a name for it yet)
      • Procyon approaches aggresively
  • tell IDHANFIY about the missile freighter
    • head to investigate
    • jumped by 3 tribal fighters
      • splash 1
    • 2 others engage IDHANFIY - get splutted by Procyon

PLOT 014 - Terms And Conditions

IDHANFIY: "So, Procyon, I think we should head to Sproul together and declare your team 'Goon Class' Marshals. It means you won't get any of the intrigue of Detective Class, or the responsibility of Ranger Class, but you would be able to contribute more meaningfully by applying combat capability where needed instead of just random encounters. What do you think?"

Procyon [internal]: "Just to be clear, I think they're making these classes up to prank us."

Betty [internal]: "That doesn't make sense. The very convincing folks on Hagen were pretty clear that there were sub-types of Rush Marshals, and these people are acting... you know, all stiff and judge-y in a way. I mean, they knew to be looking for us and stuff."

IDHANFIY: "I don't know. Goon class sounds like it would be fun for a while, but might get boring long term. What class are you?"

IDHANFIY: "We're Ranger Class 3. That means we have a few systems assigned to us, where we're the primary Rush Marshals to keep tabs on what's going on overall. We are the ones to recommend when a Detective Class should be brought in to look deeper into a problem, or summon a Goon Class to assist with dirty work. Plus we provide assistance whenever a Hunter Class comes through."

<brief pause>

"We're a little surprised that you're not eager to declare yourselves as Goon Class. All the data we've got on your activities suggests that you seem to be rather, well, violent - to the point of seeking it out - all your earned stages seem to be combatant. Which could get you disqualified overall, but there's only a 15% chance of that right now. There's not much hope of qualifying for Ranger Class, honestly. Your public relations record is pretty horrifying, you don't seem even slightly motivated to de-escalate problems, and you don't seem to have earned any leader or technical stages during your shakedown cruise. If you wanted to take a run at Detective Class, you should definitely work on your information-gathering capabilities before declaring. Which would involve not only not shooting first, but also leaving survivors to question."

Betty [internal]: "OK, now they've moved past judge-y into full-on preachy. I know I'm oddly the goodie-goodie in the crew, but it's not like they know what our circumstances were. Shit happens in space, and you can't judge other people's choices unless you can know what they knew at the time."

Procyon [internal]: "This prank is getting lame."

Betty/Procyon: "I didn't realize you two were so sensitive. What they've said seems quite reasonable considering our activities so far. I'm curious how they know so much about us though. I didn't think we revealed all our activities on Hagen, though I suppose we could have considering much of it was in a drunken stupor."

IDHANFIY: "How much surveillance has been on us since we launched? It seems you've got a lot of intel on our activities so far. And I'm not saying Goon Class wouldn't be a good fit, we just want to make sure we know all options before making a decision. You're the first ship to actually give us specifics on what's possible, and we were under the impression that the range of activities we could focus on were more broad.

Procyon [internal]: "Sensitive? Me? Harrumph!"

Betty [internal]: "Yeah, I'm definitely nervous about all this stuff. If you guys have a good sense of, like, how this stuff works, then I can try to chillax."

IDHANFIY: "Let's just say that we have access to some very good information sources regarding your activity. You're right, there are many other options for classification - but most of them involve serving time as one of the basic three: ranger, detective, and goon. Well, there is also Protector Class, but those are usually hand-picked and don't go on shake-down tours. It is also rather common to change class after a while. Indeed, it takes both some experience with Goon Class and Detective Class to qualify for Hunter Class. Plus there's sometimes specialty classes developed, either to fit special needs or circumstances." Brief pause. "One of us thinks we should point out that there are regional quirks associated with the different Federacy planets. Timoria has Prestige Class, which are diplomatic in nature. Olercae has Spy Class, which are specially formed. And Galvan has Police Class, which work on crowd control."

2018.12.19 - Goon Class Action

  • GOON CLASS 1 - to be declared at Sproul
  • enclave declared marshal ship SQUADRA
    • planet: Echeiae
  • phase 1 - clear planetary defenses
    • goon class 2 - SOPHIE
    • sr fighters 20
    • ssr fighters 30
    • the sophie wins the kill-count competition (28-22)
  • phase 2 - clear the ruins
    • the sophie sends their defender/mathematician (phil)

PLOT 015 - Inter-Phase Fomenting

Betty: "Obviously, I should bring the assault weapon. Question is - should I actually use it? Not going to earn much experience with it."

Procyon: "You'll have the benefit of a mathematician to weigh in on your threat level, so maybe not. Better question is whether or not we should maintain etheric contact. It would be good to keep tabs on how you're doing, not to mention the ability to access the missiles if you want - assuming you're outside of the 100 meter blast radius. But it would give away your location to potential hostiles. Unless you want to lure them out that way..."

Philvitier [tightbeam to Procyon]: "Hello Procyon, I'll be running the battle-math assist for this goon-class operation. The Sophie will be dropping me off at location XYZ, which has cover overlooking one of the main entrances to the ancient structure. Assuming that this is acceptable, and there's a 76% probability that you will think so, once we assemble I can encode our comms support for our tactical web." Attached to the comm are schematics for some relatively sophisticated sensor-comm probes, evidently what Philvitier is offering to deploy.

Procyon [internal]: "OK. That seems to answer that. These guys are well-equipped."

Betty [internal]: "Not just good gear, these guys are good. Clearly they've done stuff like this before."

2018.12.28 - ZIGGURAT: Part 1

  • Philvitier "phil" = mensche
  • meet 100 meters from the ZIGGURAT
  • level 1
    • guardians 10
    • ramp - interrupt assembly of guardian robots / activate upper level security
  • level 2
    • death beams in bay agility check = 12
    • ramp - big ass robot

PLOT 016 - Patchy Patchy Time

Betty gets up, all wobbly. She exchanges glances with Phil who is wobbling even worse.

Betty: "Next time, we stick together when jumping into the next sections."

Phil: "Before that next time, could you assist me with my patches?" He looks at Bam-Bam as he auto-deploys one to prop himself into positive stamina. "I'm afraid I'd burn more of these than would be wise."

Bam-Bam hobbles over and gives Phil and Betty a bunch of patches.

"Once we take over this place, we going to program the robot assembly to build me a kick-ass new leg."

A quick swarm of a handful of self-deploying patches greatly improves Betty's circumstances. Phil needs quite a lot more, however, needing close to sixty stamina. This uses up a large portion of what he's carrying, even with Bam-Bam's doubling of their effectiveness.

Phil: "That's much better, thank you. Shall we see about tampering from here, to try to disable those death beams?"

Betty: "Is that really our first priority? We've wasted a few turns patching, and who-knows-what might rush us from the level up that ramp."

Phil: "Well, if something rushes us that we can't handle, it would be nice to have a way to retreat. Also, it means we can double back momentarily to fit Bam-Bam with a temporary lower appendage."

Betty strolls over to where Phil put down her assault laser, uses her toe to flip it in the air, and catches it neatly. "Right. I'll stand watch."

2019.01.02 - ZIGGURAT Part 2

  • pwn the second level controls
    • shut down power to death beams
    • use first level constructs to fabricate a replacment leg for Bam-Bam
  • level 3
    • 5-meter-tall spider centaur monster
    • first atttempt: parley
      • 5-minute countdown to death
      • FLEE
  • base-scale robo-bear
    • pummels the Procyon
    • gets slagged from altitude
  • back in - with a phalanx of missiles
    • sally joins - backup tech/defender
    • engage 5mtscm in level 2

PLOT 017 - Enclave

Sally: "Is that it, or is there more to clear in this overly-elaborate graveyard?"

2019.01.09 - Patrolling

  • clears the ziggurat connect Phil to pwn the control system from inside
  • enclave
    • Procyon team hangs out with the Sophie
    • socializing reveals sharable goodies
      • drone pods
      • med-tech integration of equipment
    • Controller Jalan marks Barney
  • head to Sproul to fetch a freighter
    • Sproul Rush Marshal AI supplies "Emily"
    • Emily = large freighter / big shields + 2.5 p/h
  • head back to missile freighter derelict
    • distress signal
    • tribal fighters (4) attacking freighter
      • boarding party on freighter

PLOT 018 - Sacrificial Discussion Section Unlikely To Be Used

The cowering surviving crew members thank Betty and Bam-Bam profusely.

Betty: "Yeah, you're welcome, but don't get too gushing because mostly we just like killing people. Any idea why there were attacking you?"

Oh ye of little faith...

Bam-bam goes and checks out what kind of cargo they have. Meanwhile, Barney nudges the mark that Jalan gave him.

In the hold Bam-bam finds irregular containers, all seemingly designed to fit together as poorly as possible and using wildly different materials and construction. It takes some non-trivial tampering to crack one open, and inside is a collection of weapons. Again, they each appear to be unique. More than that, they seem to represent strongly clashing ideas about how weapons should function. It's almost an art installation of contrasting cruelty. Bam-bam has enough technical insight to recognize that any of the weapons would need to be modified for him to use - at least, without incurring some negative to hit.

A brief pause after Barney twangs the mark, he suddenly has the sense of Jalan looming over his shoulder. This quickly is replaced by Barney having a mental image of Jalan before him, making a gesture Barney thinks is meant to convey either greeting or peace.

Jalan: "Apologies, young Goon Class. I have yet to learn your nudges, and so invaded your senses to assess what level of distress you might be in. You appear to be safe and in control of the situation. What is your query?"

Bam-bam wanders back to the surviving crew: "Well, that's some interesting cargo you have. Care to explain all the weapons?"

Barney: "Hi Jalan. Just wanted to let you know what we're up to. Responded to a distress call and fought off some fighters that had attacked a freighter. Looks like the freighter is carrying weapons so we're probably going to find out as much as we can, intimidate them a bit, and then let them go." [pause] "So, do you want to know about the random encounters like this, or should we save contacting you for the more plot intensive stuff?"

The survivors steal wide-eyed glances at each other. Bam-bam can read stress-static coming from their tightbeam comms as they confer intensely. Probably highly sprinkled with invective and "oh shit oh shit oh shit". Finally, one of them offers: "We're not gun runners!"

Survivor 2: "Yeah, no! We're just taking some rare weapon types to a regular open port to see what we can get for them. We took them in lieu of payment for some power converters on Bujumbura because they didn't have enough credits."

Jalan [telepathic projection to Barney]: "You are welcome to titrate your contact with me as you see fit. It's a balance of how much you are willing for us to know about your operational tendencies, and how much assistance we can provide you. In this instance, I can point out that pure-fighter teams are rarely pirates - due to the potential difficulty in making off with a prize cargo. Regardless, best practice is to leave as many witnesses alive as possible for questioning if you want to have any chance of sussing out what actually transpired."

Barney: "Huh, good point." He does a scan of all of the downed fighters to see if any of them might have possible survivors.

Bam-Bam: "Interesting. So why were a bunch of fighters coming after you? If they were pirates, wouldn't they have a craft capable of hauling off your cargo? Seems to me the most likely scenario is that you stole the cargo, and these guys were coming to take it back."

Even with active scanning it's hard to spot the drifting remains of the fighters. It takes a few minutes to track them all down using review of scanner memory to guess their final vectors. There is only one with a sufficiently intact hull to have a strong likelihood of a surviving pilot (it's the one where you blew off the drive section with the final hit).

Survivor 1: "What? No!" It looks quite terrified.

Survivor 2: "Hold on - we have records of the transaction. Hold on..." It's eyelids flutter as it rifles through its long term memory. "Here! Here it is!"

A first-person sensorium clip is shoved though the general comms. In it you can experience being afraid and excited at an unfamiliar hold full of the same rag-tag assortment of containers - one of which has been unlocked to reveal a particularly nasty assortment of blasters. Somebody out of focus is apologizing for there being no other way to make payment, and you perceive a calculation application popping up to estimate the value of the assorted cargo. Which, in turn, causes the excitement to clearly win over the fear. Meta data implies that this transaction took place about 5 days ago in coordinates not particularly nearby.

Procyon [wiki]: "We should nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

Betty grimaces [wiki]. "Now you're making jokes like a character from a different story. Cut it out."

2019.01.17 - Missile Interests

  • resume fetching missiles with Emily
    • missiles self-load
    • pirates arrive
      • shuttle - dismembered
      • fighter - stalled - pilot surrenders
      • fighter - pasted
    • more pirates arrive
      • yacht - scary, but get blowed up reeeeeal good
  • head back to Sproul

∙ I N T E R M I S S I O N ∙

It's probably safe to say that the crew of the intrepid Rush Marshal corrival Procyon make it back to Sproul with their bounty of a metric fuck-tonne of seeker missiles. With the captured pirate fighter pilot let out somewhere along the way - possibly even someplace habitable.

Taking a step back from the so-called plot, let's review how this game is going. There are two basic purposes - 1: Feel out some new Movement rules, 2: Have fun.

1: Feeling out some new Movement rules.
Well, while it's made some interesting quirks for some aspects, they're hardly compelling. Very much easier to just ignore and fall into the classic (if uninspiring) slug-fest modality of ship combat. There's probably more nuance available for testing with personnel combat, but it's not like we were lacking detail in that realm. The real hope was to find some way conjure some special sauce for the epic space battles.

But, maybe the reality is that - for the most part - space battles are intrinsically boring slug-fests. So it goes. Which is a good segue for the next part.

2. Having fun.
My sense is that this game is not as much fun as most of our recent efforts. The effort to force the characters into testing rules might have made them feel a bit bland. Perhaps connected to that is the drive to just kill everything, which makes actual plot kind of a strained affectation.

So, recking time - how should we proceed? If you've got thoughts about tweaks to try for making ship combat more compelling, I'm cool with warping reality to test it. If you just want to keep slaughtering things, I can re-stock the mostly-depleted encounter tables for some more carnage nights. Or if you've got a game idea rattling around, maybe we could pivot to something new.