Smalltown Blues . . . .
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Or, there's got to be more to life than this.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: 1-player [+] Solo [+] Actual_Play [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. RPG Item: Stars Without Number: Free Edition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1035]
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
January 2018
I have been teetering on the edge of some solo rpging for quite a while now so the new year seems a good time for some commitment. I fancy something sci fi but have repeatedly become bogged down by the enormity of it all. There's also been that common problem of where to start.
Anyway, this morning I had a bit of a lightbulb moment realising if I start my characters small (and pretty ignorant) then I and the setting can grow with them. I have looked at Stars Without Number before, being drawn to the clarity and accessibility of the writing and now realise there is a growing base of supplementary material. There is also the decades worth of rpg books on the shelf upstairs that go all the way back to a box of little black books.
I need to be able to visualise what is going on so will unashamedly draw on the familiar.
Ok, so the starting scene is a couple of young people working in partnership running a single vehicle delivery and transport business from a small town on a fairly arid low to medium population world. There is a starport somewhere on the planet but they have never been there although they realise that some of their work may originate from there. I think I have a slightly less arid Tatoine in my head so think moisture farmers, Mos Eisley etc.
They are not very worldwise and only have an extremely basic understanding of the sector they live in.

Lets see what jobs come their way . . . .

Apart from Stars Without Number I'm looking to be consulting:
The Cepheus resources
Gamemaster's Apprentice
Story Cubes
My bookshelf upstairs
Anything else that takes my fancy

This month (January 2018) my aim to flesh out the characters and their world view. February should see them picking up a (maybe interesting) job.
If this works out I will set up a Geeklist to record progress.

Update 22nd Jan
I've been having great fun with this, more reading than doing but I'm adding ALONe and CRGE to sources. Also discovered Ironsworn which is very slick and well presented.

Anyway the background is coming together.

This month (January 2018) my aim to flesh out the characters and their world view. February should see them picking up a (maybe interesting) job.
If this works out I will set up a Geeklist to record progress.

Plenty, nice name for a planet but a bit of a sick joke. Geographically not the most interesting, semi arid, small oceans, low mountains, primitive ecology. About a hundred years ago a supposedly reputable geological and mining survey caused the Reality Company to invest in colonisation. Thousands moved to the planet only to find that the company had been scammed, there was no precious jewels hoard. The company were very quick to point out a limited responsibility clause to the colonists and waved them goodbye. The vast majority of those seeking a new life had been members of an anarchistic personal responsibility movement and stayed on Plenty, determined to forge their own little utopia. A common enough story and this time it seems to have worked. Some very basic terraforming, frugal living and an unusual sense of community with a single starport and a number of large towns.

Yantu and Philbert, third generation colonists, twins, early thirtes, talented, personable, irresponsible, slightly dodgy citizens of Plenty . . . . . . and very bored.
Yantu: engineer and general techy geek,
Philbert: driver, wannabe pilot, fast talker with fantasies of being a space cowboy.
They have a family business based around delivery, storage, power cell maintenance and array management.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. RPG Item: Stars Without Number: Free Edition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1035]
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
February 2018

So, getting near the end of the month and time therefore to post an update on an experimental solo adventure I started in January. I have managed to avoid completely disappearing into the black hole of investigating more interesting resources, but only just. Been a fascinating journey using mainly CRGE and the GMA Sci Fi cards in a very loose fashion. I've learn several things. One is that it is possible to just let it happen! I might think I can see how the story will unfold but it is fascinating how the systems will carry the story forward in unexpected directions. Also for me there is quite a gap between scribbling progress in a notebook and turning it into something legible for posting here.
Overall I am most pleased about managing to get a bit pulpy and not too hung up on hard future science.
To make sure I actually progressed the play I stopped planning and just posed some questions, rolled some dice and drew some cards. If the cards didn't 'speak to me' I drew another.

Started with a sector and a couple of character sheets:

And picking up from where I was in January

Yantu: engineer and general techy geek,
Philbert: driver, wannabe pilot, fast talker with fantasies of being a space cowboy.
They have a family business based around delivery, storage, power cell maintenance and array management.. data centre monitoring. Weather station maintenance (fits with the driving around). The mobile nature of their work has sometimes brought them into contact with the small but lucrative sub-economy of the planet. One of the drivers for them wanting to get offworld is they have recently unwittingly crossed a local gang.

They are bored
They need money!
Things are catching up with them
Aspiration - They want to go offworld


○ Resnick, a friend and business associate at the distribution depot has messaged to say there is a special job.

PLAN
Go to the depot for work pickup and meet Resnick, sounds interesting but then again they are a bit desperate!

Do they make it to the depot without incident?

They get in the truck and head into town. Philbert for the pickups. (These tend to be items too large, fragile or valuable for the delivery drones) Yanto to physically investigate some anomolous monitoring readings from the data hub. These may be caused by rats gnawing cables. She will also accompany Philbert on the dropoffs as the route planner shows him going near a couple of weather stations due for maintenance.

Resnick intercepts them on the road in to town. They go for coffee.
He is really nervous. Wants a favour. He will route some deliveries near the town water supply up in the hills. Can Yantu please check the control room?
Will the twins do it?
They ask for more details. He is reluctant to expand, muttering about old friendships but says he will improve their rates for jobs if they will do this. He adds that if they ‘find’ anything interesting maybe they could store it at their place.
Philbert is always up for adventure and intrigue so agrees without question. Yantu isn’t so sure, she likes clarity.
They cautiously agree, they need money! Resnick gives Yantu the access codes for the control room and a timeslot when the monitoring cameras will be deactivated.
They start to realise there might be serious stuff going on here and push him for more info. “Look, if you find anything up there I just want you to hang onto it for safekeeping, right?” They hesitantly agree. This may all end in tears Yantu thinks.
Continuing to town and picking up the day’s delivery jobs is uneventful. The packages their business relies upon are either too valuable or too large to be lifted by the drone fleet. )It is also illegal for some commodities such as livestock to be dronelifted.) So she can accompany Philbert, Yantu postpones her tasks in town thinking she will come back later in the day.
Sure enough as they make their drops they find themselves approaching the area of the water reservoir.
They make it up to the gates without incident. However when they get there the gates are not properly locked which is most odd. Yantu lets herself into the control room while Philbert gazes across the water. These places are always so spooky. The large expanse of water strangely out of place in the landscape and he feels creeped out. Yantu calls him in. At first glance all seems in order until she notices moisture around one of the pumps. Bending down to take a closer look she spots a large metal briefcase with a single unblinking red light glowing next to what is obviously a sophisticated lock. Is this why Resnick has sent them up here? They stash it in the back of the truck, lock the gates behind them and head back down to the plains. They decide it’s best not to try and contact Resnick.
Yantu wants to get back to town to check the data centre. The rest of the parcel drops are uneventful.

They stop by home to drop off Philbert with the case. Yantu makes him promise not to tamper with it then heads to town.
Does she make it without incident?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. RPG Item: Stars Without Number: Free Edition [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1035]
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
March 2018

Continued from February, I will link it in a bit.
Yantu gets to town ok but as she goes about her work keeps looking over her shoulder, feeling she is being watched. Although she’s usually pretty good at getting these hunches right she ends up shrugging it off as paranoia and finishes up as quickly as possible so she can return home.

As usual she sets the autodrive for the journey; not like Philbert who had this archaic habit of driving the vehicle himself. On the journey she checks the planetary news (nothing odd) and also using her tablet scours her usual sources for some clues on opening the briefcase. She finds some interesting information that will definitely be useful.

There is an almighty collision and the truck careers off the road and comes to a halt. The door is thrown open and she is dragged out by a couple of men. She resists, does she get away? No, but she puts up a damn good fight.
She is dazed, they are shouting at her then bundle her into another vehicle. Bound and blindfolded she lies on the back seat as they drive who knows where. They are threatening, their accents are not local, offworld probably. Bumpy road to a deserted building. They question her about her activities for the day. She can imagine what they are interested in and wants to give nothing away.
Does she hold out?

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . . .
After Yantu left for town Philbert stashed the case and busied himself with his chores. The yard alarm goes off indicating the arrival of a visitor. The well dressed stranger introduces herself as Sarah. She comes straight to the point, says she knows about the briefcase and must retrieve it. Philbert starts suspicious but it doesn’t take long to be convinced that she is genuine. She says there was no time to waste and that Yantu is probably in danger. The contents of the briefcase are some very sophisticated alien tech that must not fall into the wrong hands. Then a message comes through that Resnick is missing. She does not comment, just stares at Philbert. Locating Yantu using tracking is easy for Philbert, but worrying. Her insistance on personal security precautions meant he could track her whereabouts and sure enough she wasn’t where she should be and even more worrying she is not with the truck. He leaps into his speeder with the woman in tow.

Yantu is drawing energy from her anger with Resnick and her stupid brother for getting them into this. Eventually she becomes despondent and starts to weaken . . . . when salvation arrives! A window shatters and all she remembers before passing out is a white gas filling the room. When she comes to she is slumped in the back of Philbert’s speeder and on the seat beside her is the briefcase tightly clutched by a strange woman. Sarah introduces herself and says they don’t have much time. The twins need to make a decision. They will no longer be safe on Plenty. They can stay and take their chances or she can arrange new lives for them on a different planet.

Surprisingly Yantu is keener on leaving than Philbert but she and Sarah manage to persuade him. They return to their home to grab some possessions before leaving with Sarah.
They drive for a long time to another town, ending up at a large suburban house. They meet Lyal , a technician who is very interested in the briefcase. He and Yantu go off into a huddle. Yantu then declares she may be able to open it, but there is a risk it may blow up.
Shall they risk it?
Sarah agrees to trying and they send Yantu and Lyal out to a large empty garage to work.

They work for hours and feel close to success but can’t quite manage it. Yantu’s earlier research helped steer her in the correct direction. At least they prove Yantu’s theory is correct that the lock requires a specific frequency combination of radio waves to open. It is actually several locks and while they believe they have cracked two there seems to be a final one remaining. The main barrier to success is now more a matter of available equipment and enough time.
The following morning Sarah approaches Yantu with a proposition. We are very impressed with your skills, she says, and would like to offer you a job. Yantu asks if that is just her, or her brother too?. Sarah says her organisation can use both of them for their very important work. She has found herself short of research staff so it seems their present situation could be mutually beneficial.

Next episode . . . . .



the story will continue in a new setting and with a new system. FATE really does look interesting for solo and I may get another episode in this month even.
One of the unfinished threads is where is Resnick in all of this? Is he a goodie or a baddie? And what about Sarah for that matter. Quite exciting as even the GM has no idea yet!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. RPG Item: Fate Core System [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:28]
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
April 2018

April 2018
Yantu and Philbert have finally escaped Plenty and as often happens the journey at least is a bit of a letdown. The cramped and unpleasantly smelling ship is not the stuff of dreams. Sara is about to introduce them to Rodney Snell, their new teammate for the expedition. He is huge, physically intimidating and doesn't look at all friendly. Philbert makes his move to assert himself as leader by thrusting out his hand and firmly grasping Rodney's offered response. "Pleasure to meet you Rodney and you certainly look like a guy I want on my side" he says with a big grin.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Influence skill test for on Overcome action. Philbert (Influence 3)and Rodney (Influence 1) both roll a 2 meaning Philbert succeeds without any cost.

Rodney looks relieved that there is someone who is up for the decision making, he's not much of a leader. Yantu says Hi in a nonchalent way and inwardly rolls her eyes at her brother.
Sarah goes on to explain their upcoming mission.
At their destination, the planet Kakapo, venture miners have discovered an area blocked by a so far inpenetrable forcefield. Quite simply they are to breach this and determine what it is guarding. The technology is not known to humanity. Yantu is quietly excited. She has also spotted an exit from the common room that she believes leads to the science, enginering and cargo area. "Ok if I take a wander around Sarah?" Without hesitation Sarah looks her in the eye and replies that this is really not a good idea as there is a lot of special equipment that could be hazardous. Rodnet pipes up that he will be taking them through the comms and field equipment they will be using. Yantu nods agreement and smiles sweetly but is inwardly pissed off and thinks she may try for a wander around in down time.

When everyone has settled down for the rest period she assesses whether she has gathered enough information on the onboard surveillance and sensors to enable her to snoop around undetected.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
She tries an Overcome Action using her Notice skill (fair +2)
The success difficulty will be high. Call it Passive Opposition of 4. Yantu rolls -3 for a total of -1 which is a fail. She then spends a Fate Point and invokes her "Give me one more try" aspect. Taking +2 wont get there so she rerolls the dice: -4! Even worse so she is not going to manage this


She sighs, no way she can pull this off without setting off alarms and getting in trouble.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
ABS12 Solo Engine

Nothing much happens on the rest of the journey, but they do get to know the equipment available to them. Encrypted communicators, some high quality mini-comps, sample gathering gear and some mobile analysis kit.

Kakapo is described to them as red and barren but at least with breathable atmosphere. The only port has the same name and also doubles as the only town. Its sole function being to support the corporate mining operations.

Not soon enough they arrive in Kakapo orbit and immediately prepare to take the landing craft down with Rodney. We don't have an office down there, Sarah tells them, but see Clara Chen at the Main Supplies if you need anything. She'll also sort you with provisions and a vehicle. The discovery site is about 40 miles from town but there is a minehead compound within a few miles. You really need to get there asap. Rodney is sweating profusely as they strap into the lander seats. Philbert slaps him on the back and says it's good to finally be off. He grins greenly, sharing that he used to be a marine and landings bring back bad memories.

The descent, on autopilot of course, is uneventful.The port smells of beer and piss and there isn't much beyond the port. A couple of shops, accommodation blocks and a noisy entertainment area - everything else is heavy mining support. They stow their gear and head to the recreation area.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yantu wonders if there is anything useful to be learnt by braving the place. I used the Plot Generater in ABS12. Rolled 'Learn', so I guess there is


Clara Chen spots the newcomers and introduces herself. Philbert swoops in as usual but Yantu cuts him off and tells him to go get the drinks then settles into a corner with Clara for some girl talk.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yantu is going to use her Empathy skill (average) to make the most of Clara's boredom as an Overcome. As part of the Empathy action she will burn a Fate point to invoke her Doesn't Suffer Fools aspect. Philbert returns and realises what she is doing which enables him to spend a Fate pointto assist with his Trust Me aspect. Clara is not opposing them so as long as they don't upset her she will be happy to share what she knows. A total roll of 5 against a static opposition of difficulty 2. A Succeed with Style '- so success with additional benefits.


When Philbert returns and the conversation gets round to business Clara shares the local rumour that the Government is very interested in the discovery and is sending a team.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I used the GMA SciFi cards here.

Apparantly they think the force field is protecting an alien holy relic. The twins are confused, aren't we the Government team? Heck no says Rodney. We're sort of bounty hunters after the loot. Sarah always spins this line about us being official but that's only because we contract ourselves to carry out salvage, a sort of Government service.
Oh right says Philbert, well as long as we get paid I'm up for it. Rodney laughs, not much choice really now is there 'Boss' as Sarah is your only ticket out of this hole.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
More GMA cards

Clara continues, another rumour is that it is an arcane portal to somewhere. Hmmph snorts Yantu, unexplained science has always been called magic. Ok everyone, (Philbert organising again),no time to waste, we need to meet at dawn to make the most of the light tomorrow. Yantu and Rodney finish their drinks and leave to get their heads down. Philbert stays in the bar, he has a mission, to find a dark portal provider, this someone who can give him an untraceable anonymous comms link -he wants to find out what has happened to his old friend Resnick.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. RPG Item: Fate Core System [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:28]
Kristabelle Du Bast
England
Southampton UK as well
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Waving a few credits soon gets him the private link he's wanting, from a morose miner at the end of the bar. Now to see what's up with his old buddy Resnick. Settled down in a side booth he logs in to a game they've played together for years. Resnick isn't online but has left him a message. "I'm ok, lying low. If you left town with that Sarah woman you are in deep shit, be very careful and get out! And look after that fab sister of yours". He leaves a short mesage saying they are working for Sarah but ok.

Taking a stroll around the airfield he takes stock of the ships on the concrete. 2 heavy haulers down at the refinery end, a corporate cruiser and a space beaten tramp called the Carpe Dium. Heading back to the bar he shoves a few more credits and a drink at the miner to find that the tub's owner is a guy called Will Larson, and luckily he is propping up the other end of the bar. [successful Info check].

Philbert engages him un conversation (buys more beer). Calls himself a freelance trader but it transpires that he's actually a retired city banker playing at star captain. He's just dropped off a special delivery but now has a big problem. His copilot/navigator has walked out and now his nav software needs an upgrade  and he hs no idea how to do it. Philbert offers his sister'services . . . . In exchange for a ride out of town. He also bigs up his own skills and says he can copilot. They both agree on this deal and set a departure date for about 3 days time. Will is hoping to pick up an outbound cargo. Philbert turns in, feeling a bit more in control and quite relieved.

Meantime Yantu logs in to the port network before retiring. She messages Sarah thet all is well and they will depart in the morning. She casually checks the ship's registry and finds it is owned by a shortterm leasing corporation.

As for Rodney, he decides to have one last drink and ends up in a drunken scuffle with a port employee before they both pass out.

In the morning they rendezvous with Clara and load their gear onto the transport she provides. Philbert will share his plan with Yantu asap.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.