Friday, October 19, 2012

Session Log

Back in Mora system, a breakdown in the chain of command causes a near-revolt on the Death Rangers' ships causing many of the hirelings to demand to leave. Those that can't get along with those who were the original finders of the Death Ranger and founders of the exploration group are allowed to leave. However, in an attempt to prevent such a mass exodus again, a movement by the former merchant Roland McGintley convinces all the others to at least appoint a chain of command and perhaps put into place the framework for a corporation to accept investment and pay out to the founders on a regular basis.

Reginald Stuffington is elected to be the chairman of the board of directors, which he appoints. The board is made up of Dorkon T. Hunter, Colonel Gun Lee, Doc Spurlock, and Roland McGintley.

The board then deliberates on whether or not to take over payments of the Festivus or buy Dorkon's stake out altogether. The decision is made to lease the Festivus in three-month periods automatically renewed unless a change is made by one or the other party. The lease will be for the cost of bank payments on that vessel. Should Dorkon decide to leave the venture without at least one month notification in advance, he would forfeit any claim he might have on the Death Rangers venture itself.

The next order for the board is to hire more help to replace the crew who left in frustration with the failure of leadership. Yes Paul, Roland McGintley, Finn Jacobs, Joe Warbler, Doris Starling, Bianca Tool, Sherlock Sweets, Monkey Fisbeen, Francine Betts, Bruno Finley, and the outspoken and inappropriately named Beefcake Habib all take positions running the two Death Rangers ships. Jax"The Remedy" Toyvoid, Elbert Moon, Andrew Jackson, Argon Krakowski, and Ox Gomez are all recruited to be the personal armed ground force of the Death Rangers.

The final point of order for the newly elected board of directors is to appoint officers for the two ships as well as for the armed ground force. Captain Dorkon is appointed captain of the Festivus, the leased vessel, and the newly hired Beefcake Habib is voted in as the captain of the Death Ranger. Despite being infinitely more qualified, Roland McGintley is voted in as Captain Beefcake's XO much to his chagrin. Colonel Lee is appointed the Colonel of the ground forces.

The decision is made to travel toward Tureded to uncover the source of the space monsters, but there is a concern that the Death Ranger and the Festivus have a different jump rating and a different security clearance. Rather than stick together, the two ships will make their way to Fosey meeting in two weeks' time. The Festivus takes a spinward path along the rimward edge of Mora sector to their destination, while the Death Ranger ventures coreward to return to the pirate base at 457-973 and investigate the scene of the crime.

The Death Ranger arrives at the pirate base after completing a jump-3 and depleting its fuel supply completely thanks to orders given by Captain Beefcake. They find two ships near the Gas Giant. A 800-ton mercenary cruiser and a 400-ton scientific ship. The two are engaged in a heated argument about whether the science vessel may proceed to complete their "gender studies" on the prime planet in system or not. Captain Beefcake immediately orders the Death Ranger to engage the Mercenary cruiser, prompting XO McGintley to replace Beefcake Habib as the captain immediately at gunpoint. Habib meekly retreats to the lounge under the watchful eye of "The Remedy". The mercenary cruiser lights up its turrets and pounds the science vessel to pieces. The Death Ranger joins the fight in support of the science vessel, but quickly realizes that the cruiser's computer and weaponry are advanced enough that it can't win the fight. After taking some damage including destroying the triple missile turret, the Death Ranger escapes the fight. Before leaving 457-973 the Death Ranger (as the John Smith) alerts the local defense forces within 457-973 that the mercenary cruiser is lurking within system. The Death Ranger jumps out to Loneseda.

At Loneseda, the Death Ranger finds the planet blockaded by two warships. They refuel at the gas giant instead and jump to Fosey.

At Fosey, the Death Ranger is immediately intercepted by two close support escort ships. Before being able to maneuver to escape (because McGintley is such a bad captain) The Death Ranger takes some more hits from these two mercenary ships bent on revenge from the events at Natoko months earlier.

Following the incident at Fosey, McGintley steps down as captain and Yes Paul is appointed the new captain by a unanimous vote between the board members on the Death Ranger. The Death Ranger is repaired to the best of the engineering team's ability. Beefcake Habib is demoted to sandwich-making duty for the remainder of his cruise.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Continuous Thrust Travel Time Calculator

Hey, I found a website to calculate how long it would take to travel "in system" using conventional engines. It even has the time to get "100 diameters" from an earth-sized body as well as small and large gas giants. Find the link here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Gaming

Here is a new OSR sandbox-style post apocalyptic game that caught my eye today. Have a look at this review at Grognardia and comment on whether it would be of any interest to play.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Interactive Sensors Display

I had considered creating a Web-based version of the Star Trek Interactive Sensors Display for several games. If I were to create one for Traveller would you guys use it?

It would basically allow the GM to "program" a science reading into a website (either in advance or on the fly) then allow the Science Officer player read and interpret their sciencey-findings to the other PCs.

I would be happy to make one in my spare time, but I wanted to get some buy in from you all before hand since it would require the GM to either do some science prep ahead of time or have a computer at the table.

Furthermore, this problem could also easily be remedied just by giving the Science Officer player a note. Perhaps it is overkill?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rhylanor Subsector

Here's a link to information about the subsector. I'll make sure to do some research about the history of the Universe so we don't end up showing up at the wrong place with a Sword Worlds ship again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kings of Orion - Review

Just a quick discussion of the previous campaign:

  • I liked the credits/"richie" based economy. It was an attempt to move away from the "boon" economy of the previous Knights of Orion campaign while keeping the feel the same and minimizing bookkeeping. I would do that again in subsequent modern/future campaigns.
  • I love starting in the middle. Each episode started "in medias res" with the PCs in some sort of fight. It just gets everyone focused on the game that much quicker. It also serves as a sort of aid to help guide the action.
  • The rules for equipment worked well. Removing all armor-piercing from guns and replacing it with extra damage worked like a champion. Anyone who didn't wear armor was basically dead from the high-powered shooting anyway. It all worked so much quicker and easier.
  • The armor piercing for melee weapons worked out, too. My only wish was that I could get PCs into powered armor by the half way point in the campaign, and my pacing didn't work out that way. My making melee weapons the favored method of "cracking the shell" on powered armor, and making powered armor rare and special it made melee combat relevant even in the futuristic age.
  • I still enjoy writing dramatic opening interlude playlets. At the very least, it gives players a glimpse into the dynamics on the "bad guy" side. It makes the game more of a movie IMHO.
  • The "dark secrets" didn't work so well. It fractured the group and resulted in a train wreck around session six. It was interesting to try, and I liked how it added a "second level" of roleplaying to the table, but in actual play it was too distracting.
  • I had too many leads. We didn't get to things like "Why is there a span-kee on Wellfleet?", "What's up with the vampires on Wellfleet?", "Why is Wellfleet haunted?", "What's up with the Confederation of Sleestak?", "How can we use all the house diplomats to transmit messages to their respective houses?", "What is up with the cult of Slag-Bah?", "How was the Tower of Infinity created?", and "Where are all the machines?" -- I guess when it comes down to it, we don't have enough time at the table to go sniffing after mysteries only on their own merit. In the future and mysteries I set up will have some sort of bait to them.
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Traveller Wiki

    In preparation for the new campaign, I've created a new wiki on the Lords of Hack site. Feel free to make entries on the Traveller wiki. You should have received your logins by email. I plan to bring a computer to the gaming table for our Traveller adventures, and I'll be updating the wiki as we go.

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Lord Grover Back-up Plan

    We never did tell Andrew our back-up plan for Lord Grover.  It turned out he was pretty cool and was willing to cooperate with us, but we were perfectly prepared for him to be a jerk.  If he had shown us the slightest jerkiness, the slightest bit at all mind you, we were just going to kill him and frame Lord Boothe.  We even had a fake "note to his friends" all written up that said he was afraid Boothe was coming to kill him.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012


    Have any of you tried this Hexographer program? It is pretty awesome! So awesome in fact that it makes me want to get back into the Dawn of Worlds world-building game. If I set up a wiki and a way to share hexographer files, would anyone be interested in contributing toward creating a fully-formed fantasy world of our own making just over the Internet?

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Session 7 - Epilogue

    I feel bad that this campaign has been so splintered. With me having to cut sessions short, and dropping weeks due to vacation and illness things just haven't gone quite as planned. However, I suppose an 8-session campaign isn't bad.

    It was rewarding to get back into the swing of things. I loved Marlon's character jumping from platform to platform on the skyscraper opening scene as well as Dave's inspired piloting of the Mavorian jump craft. Grodd became awesome comic relief, and Bob served as the counterbalance and foil.

    We'll end this campaign next session, wherein I have a few more secrets to reveal. It will start out with a struggle for the Tower of Eternity, and end with the defeat of Templar Wrathbone at the hands of the player characters.

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Session 7 Prolog

    I hope Dave feels better soon. In an effort to continue to keep you guys involved in this quickly unraveling game, I would like to share the Prolog I had created. Enjoy!
    Narrator – The Narrator
    Bo Juke – Heir to House Juke
    Templar Wrathbone – The leader of the Templars of Lothar
    Admiral Jarvis – A scientifically inclined officer in the service of House Lothar
    Panthro – Cat man adventurer and former Knight of Orion

    Narrator: The original Kingdom of Orion is in flames. House Otto and House Mason are at one another’s throats. The Confederation of Sleetak is chipping away at the edges of civilization, making inroads against all the other royal houses. Proud House Juke is nearly defeated by House Lothar, their single core world protected by a thick blockade of warships.

    Bo Juke: Sheeee-oot! Good thing those shooty guys can’t just teleport past this blockade. We’d we cooked for sure!

    Narrator: Meanwhile, somewhere within Lothar territory a mysterious space station is being fixed up. Within it, the Templar Wrathbone surveys all the work going on. Technicians rush about making adjustments to imposing looking machinery, while commanders bark orders to soldiers and pilots marching back and forth. Coffin sized pods filled with men, women, and children held in a painful state of suspended animation are wheeled off ships by the dozen.

    Wrathbone: Admiral Jarvis. I’m becoming impatient. The promise of this space station has not been completely realized. I’m sick of only using it to support our Mavorian allies with their terrorism. I want to use it to crush everyone who resists our rampage of awesomeness! When will the station become fully operational?

    Admiral Jarvis: Well, as you can imagine the power required to operate the “Flying Dutchman” is unique. Psionically powered equipment is touchy and capricious at best. You would best be advised to back off!

    Wrathbone: What did you just say to me?

    Admiral Jarvis: Ahem. I’m doing my best, sir.

    Wrathbone: I understand that we should be able to harness the raw souls of these sentient beings and force them to serve as a power source whether they want to or not. Why is that not happening?!?

    Admiral Jarvis: I assure you it is not for lack of brilliance on my part.

    Wrathbone: I don’t want to commit the bulk of my forces crushing the Juke fleet. I want to teleport past them, and wreck House Juke from within. The “Flying Dutchman” should be able to do this. Why can’t you complete Von Blinken’s vision?!?

    Narrator: Admiral Jarvis swallows hard and looks Templar Wrathbone straight in the…facemask. Admiral Jarvis: My Lord. The Rakashans had a more detailed version of Von Blinken’s plans, but they were encrypted and stolen by that hacker. I need those plans! Get them for me. Our sources indicate that he was recently captured on Chilbert. We have pictures and some of his equipment and henchmen. Some say he was part of the Knights of Orion. Find the knights, and we find the hacker!

    Wrathbone: Finally! I’ll see to it. Continue your work. I’ll get you the Rakashan’s plans.

    Narrator: Light years away, floating weightlessly in a nameless unmarked freighter, Panthro has had the time to make out the encoding on the plans he stole so long ago that forced him to change his name and hide his identity. Flushed with success, he opens the schematics and starts glancing through the plans. This space station described within not only has the ability to teleport itself instantaneously light-years through space, but it runs on the souls of sentient beings. Panthro opens a final schematic, displaying the entire space station from its command deck, to the spinning gravity section, to the reactor end where the psionic power of sentients is harnessed for power. Panthro croaks out loud to no-one…

    Panthro: This thing looks exactly like Wellfleet.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    New Characters

    Next session, we'll have a few new characters for Marlon, Bob, and Jason. If you three could give a sentence or two about your characters and what drove them to decide to pledge themselves to the Order of the Knights of Orion I could really use that to introduce them effectively in the next episode. Feel free to share here!

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Dark Secret

    Don't forget! In addition to the three experience points that everyone gets from the previous session, you may all gain an additional one by successfully naming one or more of the other PC's "dark secrets".

    Next Session

    Next Savage Worlds game, Sunday March 25 4pm

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Adventurer Conqueror King

    I bought a really cool game named Adventurer, Conqueror, King that should dovetail nicely with what the Lords of Hack are doing in the badlands. I would love to share it with you guys and see how we might use it for building strongholds in the badlands.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    No Game

    Just a reminder, there is no game scheduled this weekend. However, I would like to put together an interlude episode using Screen Monkey later on next week for those interested. Post back here with your availability and we'll schedule something.

    Meanwhile, our games will return on the regular two-week schedule (3/11/2012).

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Web Comics...

    For some time now I've read a great many web comics on a daily basis. Some are good, some not so much. I thought I'd post a few here that have relevance to our current Savage Worlds campaign.

    Darth & Droids

    Darth & Droids is about a group of gamers playing through several extended sci-fi campaigns, with greed and blood-thirst mixing with the humor. What makes it extremely funny is that the players are playing through all the Star Wars movies (starting with the prequel series), and the person who makes the comment is basically just editting it together with word balloons. Funny stuff, but you should really read it from the beginning.

    Servants of the Imperium

    Servants of the Imperium is set in the Warhammer 40k universe, and the story follows an inquisitor named Lord Severus Hunt. With a team of goofy (yet incredibly violent) individuals, he tracks down aliens and heretics throughout the human universe. It's art style is very similar to the Order of the Stick.

    Schlock Mercenary

    Schlock Mercenary follows the adventures of a space mercenary company as it goes about it's job, centering mostly on a Sergeant Schlock, an amorphous blob creature with a penchant for carrying around a gigantically overpower plasma pistol. This comic has been around for a long, long time, and the creator has an extensive array of things to buy in his shop (including a calender showing some of the axioms of a successful mercenary, my favorite being the merc captain dressing down Sergeant Schlock with a city in the background burning, and the line underneath says 'FIRST pillage, THEN burn!').

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Trolling for 5th edition

    Scrolling through various websites like I am oft want to do, I came across this little important tidbit.

    Basically, Wizards of the Coast is gearing up for a 5th edition of dungeons and dragons after maybe four or five years (they are planning on releasing it in 2013) of 4th edition.

    As for myself, I have to say I'm incredibly 'meh' about this whole thing. I got excited about gaming again after so many years, that I spent (what was for me) way too much time and money on a system that I hadn't really played before. By the time I realized I didn't actually like 4th edition, I had already bought half a dozen books, which also coincided with the time that our group actually stopped playing 4th edition (and we, as a group, haven't looked back since...though I think there are a few Lords of Hack that play it in other groups).

    The only thing that's got me even the slightest bit interested is that Wizards of the Coast is actually looking for input from players. As much as our group disliked 4th edition, there were a few things we actually liked. I think we all liked that there was always something for everybody to do, other than swing a sword or throw a dart. But I believe our basic consensus was that it just didn't feel like the D&D we were all so familiar with (and I, personally, felt it played a lot like World of Warcraft).

    I'll be interested to see how this turns out, I might even participate in their input session at some point, but I could happily do without it. I think we like to modify things somewhat, and I never felt that 4th edition allowed that too easily.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Kings of Orion - Political Map of the Galaxy

    The Kings of Orion game is set against a brewing interstellar civil war that has torn the Kingdom of Orion to bits. In order to reflect the changes that go on "behind the scenes" away from the play we do during games I've created a kind of "political" map of the known kingdom featuring "neighborhoods" of planets. You can see the neighborhood of Orion in the center of the map, marked grey since it is being held in neutrality by the Pope. All around Orion the planetary "neighborhoods" have basically chosen sides and are just beginning to struggle in the first steps of war. The Quanset cloud is also shown positioned right between Juke and Lothar space. The size of the "neighborhood" also describes how civilized/important that section of space is to the Kingdom.

    I'll continue to bring this map up and display changes as the war rages on during the campaign. With any luck, the player characters should have a hand in redrawing this map to their own liking.