Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Palm Con Far Trek Report Part 3:

The Game now has three players - Brad: Captain Church, Nigel: Helmsman Gregg, and Salvatore: Communications Officer Ciano.

The scene begins with the Captain and Helmsman Gregg returning to the Bridge of the Xenophon. I tell them that the Doctor is tending the severely injured Red Shirt Jones, and the Engineer is now and NPC.

Captain Church requests an update on the Klingons, and puts the Ship to Yellow Alert. As the NPC Science Officer I paraphrase the info on page 10 about the Klingon vessel and her Captain. I also tell them that their shields are up, weapons HOT but not locked, and that they are scanning Tannos IV.

Captain Church requests a hailing frequency be opened with the puQmo' taj. He then introduces himself, and asks why they are here. As the Klingon Captain D'kar I answer with questions of my own! We do as we please Captain Church! What are your people up to here in the Tannos system anyway?
We had a little roleplay back and forth, ending with the Klingon Captain beating Captain Church's Diplomacy roll by + 5 and ending the transmission. (I figured if the Klingon failed he would continue the conversation, otherwise he cuts comms, because Brad did a great job RP'ing)

Captain Church realized that the Klingon scans would be as inconclusive as thier own and would be beaming planet side shortly. He decided to beat them to the punch, and with the info the party had pulled from the base logs they triangulated the dig-site location and beamed down first.

The Landing party this time was Capt. Church, Helmsman Gregg, Comms. Officer Ciano, and NPC Red Shirt Smith. All armed with Phasers, set to Heavy Stun only by Captains orders.

For the Crystal mounds I used a set of four LED Ice lights from Christmas a few years back. You can set the to a single color of red/blue/green/purple or to slowly rotate colors or to blink madly through rotation.

The Landing party approached the crystals and began Tricorder scans. With Investigate rolls they determined these were the source of the Shears that were emanating from the planet, as well as the theta-radiation distortions that teleported Jones earlier.

The party moved within 1 square of the crystal (Red one in picture) and I set it to blinkey mode, and described the floating panes of glass. Mr. Ciano tempted fate and reached out to touch a pane! I had him teleported away! He made a TN 15 test to stay awake, but was hurt and barfing! The Captain called him on his communicator, then had the ship locate him by his signal. They found him on the night-side of the planet, Mr. Ciano could still see the portal was open from his side and jumped back through! The party figured this is what must have happened to the rest of the Survey team and now knew how to try and locate them.

At this point the Klingons arrive, having traced the landing parties communicators. Captain D'kar, Lt. Klagg, Lt. Kral and a Klingon Red shirt, appear with disruptors drawn. "I knew you were up to some kind of weapon test down here!" sneers D'kar.
Captain Church proceeded to Roleplay the HECK out of this encounter. As he related everything that had happened to the crew of the Xenophon up to this point, Gregg positioned himself to have Line of sight on Klagg whom he noticed was itching to blast somebody. Brad made an excellent Diplomacy roll and he got the suggested +3 bonus for RP as well. D'kar agreed that perhaps they might work with the Klingon Science officer Kral to figure out what was happening.
In the process of talking Church moved towards the Klingons with his palms raised getting within 1 square of the Crystal (the green one in the picture), I turned the crystal on to blinkey mode and described how it was now surrounded by ragged floating panes of glass!

At this moment I had the Klingon Red Shirt disappear in a "POP" with a strangled cry!

I secretly rolled a TN 15 test for the Klingons to stay cool, which they failed, and Klagg fired on Church who beat Klagg's attack roll and dodged away. The disruptor shot however struck the crystal and caused the shock wave which blew everyone off their feet!

Phaser fire and disruptors were flashing everywhere! Helmsman Gregg took out Klagg with a heavy stun shot!, D'kar severley wounded Red Shirt Smith, Mr. Ciano hit D'kar with a heavy stun but failed to the Klingon captain down. Church got the drop on D'kar and disarmed him by kicking the disruptor from the shaken Klingon's hands. Kral related that the damage to the crystals by the battle had started a chain reaction that was building to exponentially and the ships in orbit were urgently calling both captain's reporting severe shears and they could not maintain orbit!

In the confusion D'kar dove for Klagg's disruptor and blasted Kral for not joining in on the fight and being weak like the humans. Church had his party as well as Kral beamed up to the ship as things were getting worse planet side.

Back on the Bridge, Helmsman Gregg expertly piloted the Xenophon away from Tannos IV using the technique he perfected upon arrival at Warp 2, with the Klingon vessel following close behind them.

The crystals destroyed themselves in a massive implosion of gravimetric energy, D'kar vowed that captain Church and the crew of the Xenophon had not seen the last him before warping out. Doctor Randallia related he was unable to save the Klingon Science officer Kral, but that both Red Shirts Jones & Smith would recover from their injuries.

The Captain then set the crew to the task of locating any survivors on the surface of Tannos IV, which would be easier without the interference of the crystals. In the end, only 4 of the survey team had died from exposure after being teleported to random locations upon the planet, and Dr. Randallia was reunited with his friend Geologist Stewart.

The adventure ended here, everyone loved it. Salavatore thanked us for a great Star trek adventure and left to join a panel at the Con. Both the Captain and the Helmsman asked if there was more, and I suggested we try a Ship to Ship battle. They agreed and we broke to have lunch and then come back for a match between the Xenophon and the PuQmo "taj!!

Some of the cool players that made the game and day great!

Far Trek Palm Con 2016, Part 2!

Adventure report Part 2:
At this point in the game I only had 4 players - Brad: Captain Church, Nigel: Helmsman Gregg, Randy: Dr. Randallia, and his son Oren: Engineer Joseph Oren. All other crew were NPC's.

The players all made their TN checks to remain at station when the first shear hit the ship. The NPC science officer is asked to scan and confirms what hit the ship and that more are coming and they are emanating from Tannos IV itself, he also relates that shields will NOT reduce the effects.

The crew scrambles rolling Investigate & Engineering checks to work out the Gravimetric distortions, they survive a second shear with only minor hull damage from buckling ( i played the sound effect of disruptor hits to simulate hull damage). I then relate to them how the shears are like ocean waves in space and they are sailing directly at them. The Captain and the Navigator get the hint and proceed to ask about other ways to Navigate through. Helmsman Gregg gets the spotlight and rolls a total of 17 to steer the ship into orbit without suffering any more ill effects.

Once in orbit the Captain requests that Engineer Oren set repair crews to work, has Comms attempt to hail Madsen's Hope and he congratulates Helmsman Gregg on an excellent job piloting the ship.

Once it was determined that atmospheric interference was rendering scanner and communication almost useless the Captain decided to beam down. The neutrino beacon was located and locked on to.

The landing party consisted of the Captain, Helmsman Gregg, Dr. Randallia, Engineer Oren, and 1 Red Shirt: Ensign Jones. The party is outfitted with communicators, phasers, a medical tricorder ( the Doctor), and a standard tricorder (Engineer). I did prompt this allocation by asking the Captain player how he would equip his landing party.

Madsen Hope settlement is pictured above. A couple of aquarium plants, two plastic bowls from the $1 store with a few stickers, a clear plastic dome, and two Reaper Bones Starship Generators.

I asked the Captain to place the figures for the Landing Party on the table where he would like them to beam in. (I then played the sound effect of transporter materialization, followed with the space wind sound effect). The party immediately scanned for life signs and found none within range and proceeded to the habitat with the dome on top, after asking if there was a difference between the two. (I changed Madsens Hope to be a Geological Survey Team of 20 members.) The party moved into the main hut and looked about for clues. The Captain ordered Red Shirt Jones to stay on guard outside (perfect!), they found Head Geologist Stewart's bunk and a picture of him and the Doctor from school. Engineer Oren went outside to check the generators so they could have power for the admin computer. The Captain and the Doctor related their concerns about the missing personnel, they and Helmsman Gregg were investigating the old food etc. and determining just how long everyone had been missing.

Outside Oren waved to Red Shirt Jones, then set about getting the generator running, which he did with little difficulty. Oren returned inside with the others and Gregg used his computers skill only to discover the odd damage and Electronics checks were made to recover the records. ( I opted to drop the time-limit suggested in the adventure, and opted for success gets info, failure and "event" happens then give the info.) I had Gregg make a Computer check and Oren make an electronics check to get the records. The info from Records Search page 11, were paraphrased to them as though I were Geologist Stewart making Log entries.

Then the Red shirt screamed!

The party bolted outside phasers drawn, only to discover Jones was gone!?!?! The Captain tried calling the missing security man by communicator, the Dr. did a life signs scan at maximum ranges, while Oren and Gregg searched the other building. The Theta-band radiation was discovered. The Captain then called the ship and had them pinpont Red-Shirt Jones by his communicator. This was a great idea by the player as on page 8 under Eye of the Storm - communicator signals can be locked on to from the ship for Transporter purposes. So within moments the missing man was located then beamed back to the settlement. Much to the horror of the party,(sound effect - dramatic que) the man had suffered severe trauma and needed immediate attention or would die! At this moment the ship called and relayed the fact that a Klingon ship was inbound fighting the shears. ( I changed the ship to Klingon D-5, but used the stats in the adventure). The Captain requested the entire landing party be beamed back up to the Xenophon.

At this point the Father and Son playing the Doctor & Engineer said they really liked the game but wanted to go walk around more and return later, I thanked them for playing and they left. We decided to take 5 and continue the game.

I was feeling really good at this point, the system was working brilliantly, everyone loved the simplicity and commented about how "Original Series" the game feel was.

Upon return from the break we had been joined by a new player. He had chosen to play the Communications Officer - Mr. Ciano. We placed all the figures at their stations on the bridge along with a few NPC's and started the scene with the Captain and helmsman Gregg coming out of the turbo-lift!

Stay tuned for Part 3!
Here is an adventure log of the FAR TREK game I ran at our local Convention in September 2016. This is also posted in the G+ community for Far Trek as well, but I wanted to put it up here on the World of Eroc Blog for all those who may not browse the G+. 

Palm Con 2016 Adventure report Part 1:
I ran the adventure "Be not Afraid" from the Danger of Peace booklet, I used the Xenophon crew as Pre-gens but only the Race, stats / skills / talents. I left the names blank and added no personal background info. My friend asked if he could be the Captain and created his own character, I allowed him 12 skill points (no skill above +3), and 3 talents of his choice. He created a Human with a 3 Charisma and zero in all other Stats (he chose point build). He took Inspirational Speech as a Talent and put it to good use, he was a great diplomatic leader and left the bulk of the physical action to others.

The Landing party picture shows the initial players, from L to R they are:
Dr. Randallia Chief Medical Officer, Helm Officer Nigel Gregg (the players real name), Red Shirt Security Ensign Jones (NPC), Captain John L. Church, and Chief Engineer Joseph Oren.

The Xenophon information from Appendix II on page 18, was read aloud to everyone so they understood the "cursed" history of the ship. Which, after reading the Captain gave a talk to the crew and told them how he believed they would overcome this and prove the worth of the Xenophon.

I played the Star Trek intro music then handed a printed out copy of the "Captain's Log" from the beginning of Act 1 page 7 to Captain Church to read aloud as the music faded.

I then asked how they would like to enter the Tannos system. Would they Warp directly to Tannos IV or would they enter on impulse at the edge of the system and make their way to the planet?

The players agreed that entering the system on impulse would be okay, and give them time to have a "Bridge Scene". I then placed the figures on the Mega-bloks bridge and we had everyone introduce themselves.

I was asked what they knew about the Tannos System and I handed out a hard copy of Appenix I - the Tannos system profile. As the group looked this over I rolled randomly and determined that the Doctor was an old friend of the Geologist Mr. Stewart. I informed the player of this and he turned to the Captain and said, "You know I will be pleased to see my old schoolmate on Tannos IV, we have not spoken to each other for some time."

That was when the first Gravimetric wave hit!! "Boom!" I exclaimed, then I asked everyone to lean hard to the left, then Hard to the right, I played the "Red Alert" sound effect! The captain asked for a ship status and that shields be raised!

Stay tuned for part 2!