Game Prep: The Verge, 1×02

Second actual play session is tonight and my original plan has altered somewhat since I started working on the overall “season” outline. Originally, I’d planned on going into a modified “High & Dry” adventure (and I still may) after the PCs untangle themselves from the mess they got themselves into last week, but now, the intent is to go into “Marooned on Marduk” instead.

Before we get there, though, the PCs are basically about to get gunned down in the street by some criminals because Baefre talked some smack to a street-captain (or, more accurately, didn’t let the guy’s insults just roll off his back.) At least two players have already latched onto a way out of this – Basildon is home to one of the Twelve Families, so the “criminals with a sheer patina of respect” is ubiquitous, even among the lower classes; the PCs did see a pair of prostitutes have a knife duel over who could have that corner, after all. So those players were already planning on having their characters interject with a “Whoa, whoa, whoa, this isn’t how we do things!” which eventually leads to an actual duel between Baefre and the dude who was insulting him. At the nearby dueling center.

This has the potential of ending very bloody for Baefre since: no armor, no dodging, both sides get full aim (+6 to shot if they go for guns!) and initiative determines who goes first (which sucks for Baefre as he has a -2 DM to init.) Ilik (the psion PC) had already mentioned trying to hit the guy with some psionic mojo, in which case, I’ll probably give that guy Bane on init. The OPPONENT is 777743 with Gun Combat (slug)-1 and Melee (blade)-0, should it matter, and they be using a Shot Pistol (1 actual shot, 3D damage) so … theoretically, we could have a corpse on our hands (which would certainly be a surprise to everyone … but I did warn them that the Safeties were off in this campaign.)

After this is resolved (however it’s resolved), the PCs will need to get dirtside to continue their investigation … although this may be delayed by medical treatment, depending on the results of the above. Shuttles will run to Nyx about twice a day, so PCs will have to waste some time … which gives them plenty of time to get into trouble and for me to work in a data dump about the situation in the system:

    • In local Nyxian news, discussions between the ruling houses of Malik (Shia) and Nelson (Sunni) have officially broken down and there is every indication that their long-simmering conflict is about to flare up once more. Travellers to either world are warned to exercise caution. Even the vile (remember, this is local news) Lord Cherkasov has joined Lord Basildon in urging Malik & Nelson to return to discussions, though neither has gone so far as to ask for PKF involvement.
    • News reports out of Elpis indicate that their Ministry of Defence has officially executed Admiral James Yandex after having found him guilty of failing to ‘do his utmost’ in a recent engagement against pirates who attacked World Assembly-aligned assets in the Belt. 
      • All of the PCs have been at least peripherally aware of this trial – Yandex fought an inconclusive engagement with several pirates over a really rich asteroid, and then elected to return to Elpis to repair the three ships in his squadron instead of pressing his advantage; as a result, there wasn’t anyone present to defend when the pirates returned, killed a bunch of people, and absconded with several billion credits/pounds worth of material.
      • Yandex’s defense was that he was obeying orders but according to the vid-captures, he walked to his execution with his head held high and scoffed at the notion of accepting a blindfold.
      • Some of the news reports are pointing to the historical precedence being followed: ADM John Byng of the British Royal Navy was executed in 1757 for not doing his utmost in the Battle of Minorca during the Seven Years War back on Earth.
    • Local news is also reporting that the Confederacy has officially sanctioned the United Kingdom of the Taareh the involvement of three of their kings in a plot to assassinate the Secretary General of the CHW. There is rampant speculation that the Peace-Keeping Force in Moros will be withdrawn completely but no actual evidence indicating that to be the case whatsoever.
    • In other news, the SpaceFarer’s Collective has officially filed a grievance with the Confederacy over a Moros law that forbids any corporation from owning more than fifty percent of any asset in the Belt. This just looks like another example of the ongoing lawfare being waged by the SFC against the duke which has been going on forever and no one expects this to come of this.

At this point, only the first news item – Malik & Nelson issues – will matter as their conflict replaces the Oghma raiders in the original “Marooned on Marduk” adventure. Also, the vargr passenger in the original adventure is obviously going to be swapped out for a regular lawyer dude.

Following the crash, rather than it be raiders who are on approach as per the original adventure, it will be unknown parties … who take fire from the ground. And now the PCs know that they’re basically in a contested zone of Nyx that has a bunch of partisans in the area. The ‘not-raiders’ retaliate by shooting at anything that moves … including the crashed shuttle, so PCs (and passengers) need to get the hell out there ASAP.

The garinaembreight I’m probably going to replace with the moorwen from the Jim Cavizel Outlander movie (which was basically a retelling of Beowulf anyway) and the locals that the PCs encounter will probably be those partisans who took some potshots at the approaching craft. I sort of envision them as 1980s-era Afghans with everyone else in the Families standing in as the Russians … which is appropriate since they’re all Russians. These locals just want to be left the hell alone but the Families keep encroaching on their turf.

We’ll see how far we get into the adventure…