Monday, January 5, 2015

Parsing Imagination - The Last Parsec Disney Campaign - Session 1

Title Love

First I gotta send some love out to my long-time friend and once-upon-a-time gamer Trevor for giving me the title of this campaign.  I wanted to use either the word "Imagination" or "Tomorrow" but just couldn't come up with something that fit the mood and the setting.  In essence this is a campaign about digging into all of our family's favorite Disney moments and memories, and then shoving them right into Savage Worlds - The Last Parsec.  Initially I was going to go with Tomorrow's Imaginations or Imagining Tomorrow, but Parsing Imagination (playing a bit on the similar sounds of parse and parsec) is just awesome.  I love it Trevor, thanks for the help!

Getting in Character

Second discussion point before getting into the play report:  stuffies.  In our house we refer to the kids stuffed animals as "stuffies," a term we picked up from Playhouse Disney's Jojo's Circus.  If you've read my blog before, you know that my kids typically dress in character for our family games.  This worked fine for Cooper, who just happens to have a Buzz Lightyear jacket, complete with hood and laser arm.  Even my wife Jen, playing a dieselpunk version of Ellie from Up ("adventure is out there!"),  had no problem finding appropriate attire, including a "My Adventure Book" necklace I bought her for Christmas.  But for Carrie and Evie, playing Eve and Stitch respectively, it was a bit harder to dress up.  So I asked both girls to bring their stuffies to the table, and do their best to cosplay.  

As you can imagine, I was very impressed with my girls' creativity!  But I was more impressed with how the stuffed animals helped both girls stay in character during the game.  Yesterday I posted about encouraging role-play at the game table, and I should've mentioned the inclusion of props, specifically figures or stuffed animals.  For most of the session, whenever Evie or Carrie were talking to each other, or to NPC's, they held up their stuffie and tried to speak in character.  It was marvelous!  There actually wasn't much dice-rolling last night, since the session was more of an introduction to the campaign setting, which meant the Stitch and Eve plushes remained on the table for much of the evening.  

If you play roleplaying games with your kids as well, give this method a try and see how it works for you.  Alternatively, if you are already doing something similar, please leave a comment and let me know!  

Without further delay, here is the first play report for our Savage Worlds - The Last Parsec campaign!

As you can see from the background, Cooper only lasted about 40 minutes

Session 1 - Bowie's in Space*

*Read to the end of the Quotes section to be clued in to this reference

The world of Epcot, second planet from a bright and shining star named Fantasmic, is one of JumpCorp's shining jewels in the Milky Way galaxy.  Both a bastion of galactic commerce as well as a training center for new and adventurous employees, it is on Epcot, in the heart of Progress City, where our story begins.  As Fantasmic rose in the east, Ellie Fredrickson, Buzz Lightyear, and Stitch were still asleep in their temporary dormitory at Bravopartments.  A knock on the door forced Stitch to crack open his one eye and drag himself to the front door.  The door knocked again, and Stitch returned the knock.  It was early, but not to early to prank a visitor.  Even though Stitch was a raw recruit and new hire of JumpCorp, he didn't take to authority very well.  

When Experiment 626 finally opened the portal, an irate white robot flew into the room.  Eve, and agent of Quorra (who we'll meet later), was an incredibly powerful probe robot on loan to JumpCorp from the megacorporation Buy 'n' Large.  Today she was on a mission: retrieve the three new recruits and bring them to "the Captain".  Stitch woke Ellie and Buzz, and the entire team convened in the center of the dorm after quick showers.  The Captain's office on Epcot was in Juliet Office Tower, and the team was already late.  Each of the new teammates introduced themselves to the other during their short walk from Bravopartments to the nearby monorail station.  

The new JumpCorp employees, along with their robotic liaison, were just about to board the monorail to Progress City JumpCorporate Complex when Eve received a message from the Captain's secretary.  The Captain wanted his breakfast brought to him, and Eve was expected to know what this was. 

"Consider this your team's first mission," the secretary chirped. 

The team needed to figure out what the Captain liked for breakfast, since Eve couldn't recall.  Neither Eve nor Ellie could pick up a Grid signal in the monorail station, so Eve sped off to the nearest coffee shop.  Once inside, the probe robot hacked the JumpCorp Human Resources file network and revealed that the Captain enjoyed Cosmic Ray's tofu scramble regularly.  


Cosmic Ray's was located on the second level of the Carousel District, so the team returned to the monorail station for a quick jaunt south.  Just before the door to their car closed, however, Stitch heard his name being called and saw a large alien figure bounding towards the car.  Recognizing the alien, Stitch grabbed the door and in an amazing feat of strength, forced it open while Sonny Eclipse, the most famous lounge act in Progress City, pushed into the monorail car.  

Sonny thanked Stitch for holding the door, but reminded the small blue experiment that his debt was still not paid.  Stitch was a wanted fugitive from the Galactic Federation, a collection of alien worlds in control of several portions of the galaxy outside the Orion Arm. By the decree of the Grand Councilwoman, Stitch was placed in a cryoprison after becoming excessively naughty on Earth nearly a millennia ago.  During a recent prisoner transfer, Stitch escaped, and Sonny Eclipse just happened to help out with the caper. 

When the team arrived at the Carousel District, Stitch said goodbye to Sonny.  As the large alien walked away, Ellie commented, "He's like the Wayne Newton of Epcot."  

The Carousel District was a magnificent circular building, eight stories high and a kilometer in diameter.  The Carousel District's stores, restaurants, and theaters were located along the great building's perimeter.  As the day went by, the slowly rotating structure gave each business a different view hour by hour.  The interior was bright white, with brilliant lights illuminating every storefront and corridor.  

Yes, the Carousel District was like one, mammoth Apple Store.  

Finding Cosmic Ray's was easy, it was the most popular cafeteria style, counter service restaurant in the Carousel District.  Unfortunately, this also meant that the lines were incredibly long.  But this was no deterrent to this team of new JumpCorp employees!  A quick plan was hatched, and Stitch ran to one of the condiment stations an started spraying ketchup, mayonnaise, and hot cheese all over the place.  There was sauce on the counter, on the floor, on the ceiling, and even on Stitch!  

The staff at Cosmic Ray's was dumbfounded, and most of the patrons were staring in amazement at the small blue furry ball of chaos, who was laughing maniacally as more and more sauces found there way on the floor.  This gave Eve a chance to push her way to the front of the queue, tray in hand.  The tofu scramble was an easy selection, but the probe robot forgot to figure out whether or not the Captain preferred coffee, tea, or a strange Earth drink called the "Beverly."  Eve picked coffee, and asked for it "brown," not black.  

[GM's note:  my kids don't know how coffee should be "taken", and bickered for several minutes as to why coffee has its color.]

With the tofu scramble in a bag, and a hot coffee in a drink carrier, Eve flew towards the monorail station.  Ellie grabbed the sauce covered Stitch, and called to Buzz Lightyear to catch up.  Somehow the Space Ranger managed to get a hold of a cheese stick, and was munching away as he jogged.  

Even with the speed of the monorail as an asset, the team was incredibly late, but they didn't seem to notice.  As the car entered the Progress City JumpCorporate Center, everyone stared in awe at the complex around them.  A vast structure, full of offices, apartments, businesses, parks, and thousands upon thousands of JumpCorp employees, Progress City's magnificence was on full display.  Juliet Office Tower was no different, and as the team entered the building, their eyes feasted upon artifacts and treasures found throughout the galaxy.  Truly, working for JumpCorp was going to be a lucrative adventure!  

The Captain's Kalian secretary was noticeably irate by the time the team entered her office.  "The Captain doesn't like to be kept waiting," she insisted, and was even more appalled when she discovered that Eve returned without the Beverly.  "I don't know why we ever leased you from Buy 'n' Large," she quipped.

Even though his secretary was incredibly rude, Captain Eo himself was a polite yet commanding figure.  Adorned in a white sparkling jacket, layered over a rainbow t-shirt, Captain Eo greeted the team with his favorite pet perched on his shoulder: Fuzzball.  

[GM's note:  if you don't know who Captain Eo is, please watch this video.  Don't do it now, do it after reading the blog.  This is straight from the Captain Eo 3D show at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World.]  

Captain Eo told the new recruits that they scored so highly on their aptitude tests, and performed so well during their initial training, that they would be assigned to a ship immediately.  The vessel was one of the fastest and most maneuverable craft in the Milky Way, and could carry the team anywhere they wanted to go.  The Captain himself was preparing to depart, so before giving Commander Ellie her choice of missions to undertake, he asked that she take Quorra to the nearby star base, Imagineeria 3, where they would reconvene.  

Commander Ellie accepted Captain Eo's orders and the team followed the captain's technical assistant, Hiro, to the star port.  

Quorra.  Everyone kept mentioning the name Quorra, but "she" was still nowhere to be seen.  Hiro kept silent on the subject, until the monorail to the star port slowed to a stop.

"So when you meet Quorra, make sure you don't refer to her as "a ship" or "the ship" or as anything other than her name," the teenaged technician from planet San Fransokyo instructed the new JumpCorp employees.  After taking the elevator to the highest point in the star port, everyone stared in awe at the silver and blue lines of a fantastic starship.  

This was Quorra!

Once on board Quorra, a soft feminine voice greeted the team and gave them a quick tour of the interior.  Along with an state-of-the-art drive core, Quorra also contained luxurious accommodations for up to ten passengers, including a self-serve kitchen, dining area, private showers, and even a pool!  When Ellie asked Quorra if she was a computer, the ancient Isomorphic Algorithm scoffed and stated that she was a fully sentient operating system, however the ship was the truest expression of her form.  

Ellie assigned the team to their respective positions in the vessel and sat behind Quorra's control panel.  The commander pulled down her aviator goggles, grabbed the flight stick and engaged the throttle.

"Adventure is out there…" Commander Ellie Fredrickson whispered, as she lifted Quorra off of the landing platform and headed out into the black.  

Quorra - Inspired from the Kintaro by 0-hr art & technology


Daddy - "JumpCorp will pay you $5,000 per month."
Evie - "Per person?"
Daddy - "Yes."
Evie - "Wow, we're rich!"

Stitch - "Hiiiiiiii." 
Eve - "Eve." 
Stitch - "Stitch!"
Buzz Lightyear - "What should we do today?  How 'bout we go outside and run?"

"Buzz Lightyear is back… with a cheese-stick!" - Cooper didn't spend much time at the table, but when he was there, he was prepared.  

Carrie - "So, we're at the Carousel of Progress?"
Daddy - "No, you are at the Carousel of Progress City!"

"I grab my breakfast… in a cup!" - Jen reminiscing on Wall-E

"You need to shush your mouth, before I say the 'other words'…" - Eve to Captain Eo's secretary.  

"Is that David Bowie?" - Evie, upon seeing the picture of Captain Eo (played by Michael Jackson)

Is David Bowie playing Fuzzball or Captain Eo?

Character Builds

In case you missed my first post about the blending of Savage Worlds The Last Parsec with Disney Animation, here are the builds for my family's characters:

Ellie Fredrickson - Commander

A Cloned Human from the world of Epcot, Ellie's original DNA came from an adventurous woman who lived in the 20th century.  She commonly proclaims "adventure is out there!"  Played by my wife, Jen.  

  • Attributes:  Agility: d10,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d8,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Ace, Luck, Charismatic, Great Luck
  • Hindrances:  Curious, Stubborn, Big Mouth
  • Skills:  Piloting: d10, Shooting: d8, Fighting: d6, Persuasion: d8, Knowledge Computers: d4, Knowledge Navigation: d6, Notice: d6
  • Signature Gear:  Laser Pistol, Molecular Knife, An ancient book titled "My Adventure Book."

Eve - Probe Robot

An energetic construct on loan from Buy 'n' Large, Eve was created in the great ark-ship the Axiom, and served several centuries helping with cleanup operations on Earth.  Played by Carrie.   

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d8,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d4,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Construct, Geared Up
  • Hindrances:  Owned (out of Interface Zero 2.0), Pacifist (Minor), Loyal (to the ship)
  • Skills:  Notice: d8, Intimidation: d4, Investigation: d6, Knowledge Biology: d6, Knowledge Computers: d8, Shooting: d8, Repair: d8, Tracking: d6, Stealth: d4, Fighting: d4
  • Signature Mods:  Flight, Sensor Suite, Armor

Stitch - Experimental Security Officer

Eventually becoming naughty enough to get arrested by the Galactic Federation, Stitch was placed in a cryo-prison and forgotten for centuries.  Recently he performed his "great escape" during a botched prisoner transfer.  Played by Evie

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d10,  Vigor: d8
  • Edges:  Arcane Background: Supers Power (Environmental Protection)
  • Hindrances:  Wanted (Major), Mean, Phobia (Minor - Water)
  • Skills:  Fighting: d8, Throwing: d6, Healing: d6, Shooting: d6, Piloting: d6, Repair: d4, Survival: d6, Taunt: d4
  • Experiment 626:  Built as a new alien species.  Wall Walker (+1), Toughness x2 (+2), Small (-1).  

Buzz Lightyear - Space Ranger

The magnificent galactic hero of Earth, after defeating Emperor Zurg, Buzz decided to join JumpCorp and travel "to infinity and beyond!"  Played by Cooper… keep in mind that Cooper is only 4.  

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d8,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Rich, Geared Up, Martial Artist, Brawler
  • Hindrances:  Overconfident
  • Skills:  Shooting: d8, Fighting: d8, Notice: d6, Repair: d6, Survival: d6, Stealth: d8
  • Signature Gear:  Light Power Armor, Mods - Flight, Weapon Mount.  Yes, I gave my son's character hundred thousand credits worth of gear. 

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