Tuesday, 16 June 2020

ODD Sci-Fi #2: A Quick Meet-and-Greet Job (Part 2)

ODD Sci-Fi played 15 Jun 2020 (online session)

Second session of an on-going campaign.  Jason (Pvt Hudson) couldn’t attend.  RFED and Barney joined: character creation happened (which takes about two minutes in this lovely, simple system).

Game Master

Scamp Padmore
Captain of the Bastion.

Chauncey de Vere
Swindled tycoon/ former politician/con-woman.

Crimson Stain
Reformed assassin.


Mutant muscle. 
Captain ‘Patch’

Disgraced starship captain.

La Toya

The escaped convict formerly known as ‘Wacko’.
Chuck Jerrit
Miner with a friendly face and prosthetic limb.

The Crew of the Freighter Bastion

Clockwise from top left: Scamp, Hudson, Chauncey
La Toya, Patch, Crimson and Hock
  • Scamp Padmore – A former test-pilot. Genetically and mechanically engineered from animal stock (mostly mouse in Scamp’s case) and treated as expendable. He is captain and owner (having stolen it) of the Bastion.
  • Chauncey de Vere – Con-woman and the crew’s ‘Face’. Her greatest con was to be elected President of a remote colony - which made her immensely rich until she had to leave in a hurry.
  • Crimson Stain – Reformed assassin. His last, uncompleted job was to kill Chauncey: he often expresses regret for not carrying it out.
  • Hockjoint – Mutant muscle. Many Mutes can pass for Norms: Hock can’t. A standard mook from the knees up, he can’t do anything to hide his massive chicken feet. Partly to draw attention from this (and partly because he likes the heft when he grips it) he carries an unfeasibly large weapon.
  • Captain ‘Patch’ – disgraced starship captain. He is haunted by the fact that his ship, its crew and his eye were all destroyed by a large space-dwelling xenomorph due to his negligence. No-one knows his real name.
  • La Toya – a former monkey-smuggler who escaped from a desolate prison colony using a stolen body. Only has a passing acquaintance with reality. 

The crew has a debt of 10,000 credits to Jacob’s Ladder, a Mercenary/Security Group.

The crew has accepted a contract from a collector of alien artefacts.  He is willing to pay 2,000 credits if they bring him a linga – a two-foot high crystal carved with alien glyphs – recently discovered on the mining colony of Morbus Fracastorii.  Their contact is Chuck Jerrit a miner and small-time smuggler.

On arrival, the crew find that Chuck is missing: it turns out he’s been arrested.  While trying to track him down they encounter their great rival, Barnett Kale, who has the jump on them and seems to be in cahoots with the Sheriff’s office.  After evading the deputies and battling local wildlife, they discover that the best chance of completing their job is to find Chuck’s partners, who they track to Elliott’s Cantina.  As Chauncey makes contact and deputies move in to intercept her, Hock started a brawl as a distraction.

At Elliott’s Cantina

Having finished battening down the ship [which prevented them from attending the last session – obviously], Patch and La Toya arrived at Elliott’s Cantina just as a large man was thrown through the plate windows and the brawl spilled out onto the street. 

Patch and La Toya quickly took in the situation.  Hock’s diversion seemed to have worked: Chauncey (still wearing Scamp in his fur stole disguise) was able to leave with the smuggler Tommy Booth.  Crimson was busy polishing off as many neglected drinks as he could and keeping above the affray, but Hock was in the midst of it.  La Toya joined Chauncey and Scamp, and Patch went to Hock’s aid, drawing his ceremonial officer’s sword to ensure that this remained a mêlée and not a fire-fight.  Nevertheless, Hock was knocked out cold as an assailant smashed a bottle over his head.  With the undercover deputies now flashing their badges and guns, the brawl dissolved as quickly as it began.  Hock was dragged over to one side and handcuffed.  Patch stayed at the bar to see what he could do to help.

Crimson joined the others at the monorail station, where more members of the Wendigo Security Division were arriving.  La Toya attempted to delay the departure of the train, first by telling the driver that there were creatures on the line and that she – as an animal ambassador – had to protect them.  When neither this nor her attempt at seduction were successful, the driver raised the alarm and summoned the deputies.  Ironically, by being taken into custody La Toya achieved the necessary delay.  Tommy now urged Chauncey, Scamp and Crimson to join him in a dash down the monorail tube before the next train and they succeeded in reaching Shaft 1, the next stop.

In Custody

"No man left behind.
Not again!"
Hock had now been brought onto the train, where he was put in a carriage with La Toya (by now also ‘cuffed).  Patch followed and protested their innocence as innocent victims.  The deputies seemed to know better than that, and questioned them about their connections with Chuck Jerrit, Tommy Booth and Cornelius Heal.  Despite their denials, they were told they were being taken down the line to the Sheriff’s Office.  As Patch again protested, two deputies moved in on him.

Meanwhile, it was becoming clear that Booth thought that the crew were on Morbus Fracastorii as part of a Luciferium smuggling ring.  He insisted that the best course of action was to go through the mineshafts and over the surface to Morbustown, where they would be able to go to Jerrit’s apartment and retrieve the goods.  He was unaware that we had already lifted them when searching the apartment.  Crimson insisted that they needed to deal with Jerrit.  Booth couldn’t understand why (because of the on-going ‘arrangement’ they had with the Sheriff Dalton) but Jerrit has been arrested and taken in for questioning.  He was adamant that everything would be sorted out soon and return to normal; however, he flatly refused to go anywhere other than the safety of Morbustown.  Crimson, Chauncey and Scamp determined that the best thing was to somehow get inside the Sheriff’s Office.

As this discussion was happening, events on the train were about to get hairy.  Seeing that Patch was about to be arrested, Hock decided to make his move and attempted to deploy a frag grenade.  Hampered by his handcuffs, he fumbled this and only managed to blow a hole in the floor of the carriage.  In the ensuing fracas Patch was able to barge one of the deputies out of the hole to his death, and knock another out.  But both Hock and La Toya were also knocked out of action.  As the train pulled into the Sherriff’s Office station, Patch jumped down and tried to hide under it, but unsuccessfully.  Although now armed, he was completely outnumbered, and raised his hands in surrender.

Smug bastard

To make matters worse, just as Patch was being subdued and the wounded La Toya and Hock dragged onto the platform, their rival Barnet Kale stepped out of the Sheriff’s Office with two of his crew.  From the very large package he was carrying and his smug expression as he got on the train, it was clear that he had achieved his goal and obtained the alien artefact.  The sneer was only wiped off his face as he realised that the departing train was for Morbustown and that he’d have to get the return service to reach Gallicus Spaceport.

"I'm the law around these parts!"
The prisoners were then treated to some rough justice and a monologue from Sheriff Dalton.  After a token beating, Dalton told them that he was in a very good mood, having just completed a profitable deal (his four deputies smirked at each other).  He wasn’t going to kill them on the spot: instead he was going to ship them off-world to so they could be tried for smuggling and the murder of a deputy.  Going by-the-book for once would gain him some kudos at Wendigo Corp HQ.  Throughout this encounter, Dalton periodically licked a liverish-looking piece of meat which seemed to have some narcotic effect on him.  The three were then taken to join Chuck Jerrit in the lock-up.

Showdown at the Sheriff’s Station

The world is not yet
Scamp, Chauncey and Crimson had now arrived at the Sheriff’s Station.  Crimson used the last of the pilfered Luciferium to fashion an explosive device, rigged to go off when the next train from Mobustown arrived.  Chauncey (with Scamp’s able assistance) now proceeded to perform a remarkably exotic dance.  When she had finished she had three credits in the hat at her feet and everyone in the Sheriff’s Office (apart from the Sheriff himself and the two guards downstairs in the lock-up) had retired to their bunks.

Mad as a box of frogs, right
 to the end
They then made a frontal assault on the Office.  Hearing this, La Toya, Patch and Hock made their move.  La Toya distracted and knocked out one of the two guards, but was killed in the attempt.  Patch grabbed his dropped key-card and Hock his shotgun.  Between them they overpowered the other guard and freed themselves and Chuck Jerrit.  [At this point Chuck was promoted from NPC and Barney began to play him.]  Upstairs, Crimson had killed the Sheriff and the crew had defeated Wendigo Security’s planetary operation.

Looting the Office turned up 1,200 credits (obviously what Kale had paid for the artefact) and a box of fine cigars.  In addition, Chuck was able to identify Dalton’s narcotic meat as a valuable Terranomorph gland and the crew recognised his Star Badge as alien tech.

At that moment Crimson’s booby-trap went off, disabling the monorail system.  Chauncey took an emergency vehicle and headed to the spaceport to retrieve the Bastion. The others went out for a face-off with Kale.  Given that the crew had had the pick of the Sheriff’s Office armoury, the ensuing gunfight was short and brutal.  With moments, Kale and his lackeys were lying dead in the dust, his dude duds soaked in blood.  Scamp retrieved the alien artefact and Hock took Kale’s pair of pearl-handled pistols as trophies.  Within minutes Chauncey arrived in the Bastion, crashing through the dome to land in the town square. 


The crew were split as to how long to stay on Morbus Fracastorii.  With local security neutralised it was possible to strip the warehouses of everything of value; but this was bound to incur the lasting enmity of the Wendigo Corp and a high bounty on their heads.  In the end Scamp cast the deciding vote, and we left with the considerable rewards already gained.

The new recruit
Chuck was recruited as a replacement for La Toya:  as we raised ship he asked “What about my wife and child?”

Loot and Debt
  • 2,000 credits for the completed contract
  • 1,200 credits from the Sheriff’s Office 
  • The Terranomorph gland – a Xenomorphic Oddity (Effect: when licked gives +8 to strength, but -3 to DEX and CHA.  One lick remaining). 
  • The Star Badge – an Alien Tech Oddity (Effect: unknown) 
  • Pair of Pearl-Handled Pistols – a Warped Item Oddity (Effect: when used normally deals d6 damage, but when the wielder sings a song singling out a particular target it deals d10 damage against that target for the rest of the session)
The crew had a starting debt of 10,000 credits to Jacob’s Ladder; the death of La Toya raised that to 11,000 credits.  From their rewards, they paid off 1,100 credits, leaving an outstanding debt of 9,900 credits.

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