Monday, January 12, 2015

Parsing Imagination - The Last Parsec Disney Campaign - Session 2

Today's game features SPACESHIPS!!!

Achievements to Unlock

Towards the end of 2014 I came up with a very short list of tabletop gaming achievements that I'd like to unlock over the next twelve months.  Last year was a fantastic year in gaming for me and my family, and so there is a lot of pressure to make 2015 even bigger.  It's actually a pretty simple list, although I expect it to grow as the year goes on:

  • Play/game-master more of my games that I own but have never tried (especially form my giant pile of Savage Worlds settings and sourcebooks)
  • Run the Numenera super-adventure, The Devil's Spine, in its entirety
  • Try out some new role-playing games that I don't own (like Dragon Age, Fiasco, and 13th Age)
  • Introduce the last member of my close family to tabletop roleplaying games: my mother-in-law (aka Grandma)
  • Record an actual-play series and post it on YouTube
  • Start playing Crimson Skies (the miniatures game) again
  • Take #GetOutAndGame to the next level and go game-camping this summer (running an RPG whilst camping)
  • Go to Gen Con 2015 with my wife, Jen

Several of these items will take a significant amount of time, but there is one thing I've learned over the years about tackling lists.  If you knock out some of the easier tasks first, that feeling of accomplishment will help carry you through the more difficult tasks.  So this past Sunday, when my mother-in-law showed up with Dunkin Donuts for my three kiddos, I reminded her that the time had come. 

Grandma was about to play Savage Worlds - The Last Parsec.  

Quorra's Crew 

  • Ellie Frederickson, Commander, played by Jen (Mommy)
  • Eve, Probe Robot, played by Carrie
  • Stitch, Experimental Security Officer, played by Evie
  • Wall-E, Waste Disposal Robot, played by Cooper
  • Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger, played by Grandma

Session 2 - Pirates!  

Only minutes after Commander Ellie Frederickson piloted Quorra into a low-orbit around the planet Epcot, there was a loud clang that echoed through the forward part of the vessel.  A small square box had fallen from an overhead storage compartment, and when the commander gave the cube a closer examination, the box flipped over and revealed itself to be a robot! 

"Wall-E!" cried Eve, who was inspecting the kitchen. 

"Eve-ah!" exclaimed Wall-E in return. 

Distraught that his favorite robot friend had left Earth for Epcot, hitchhiked all the way across the galaxy to Epcot, and then played stowaway on board the JumpCorp vessel.  Eve assured Commander Ellie that her friend would be useful, but there wasn't time to argue as an immediate distress signal started to blare from the command deck. 

Already seated at the science terminal, Stitch selected the distress signal and played it for the entire crew.  It was Captain Eo!  Imagineeria 3, JumpCorp's nearby starbase, was under attack by a vicious gang of pirates!  The pirates sent seven starfighters to attack the base, supported by tug-vessels dragging asteroids.  One asteroid had already struck Imagineeria 3, knocking out the starbase's hanger bay, while another was en route.  Captain Eo was already engaged with the fighters, and destroyed seven enemies before his ship was incapacitated and left drifting in space. 

Captain Eo cried out in an almost musical tone, "Commander Ellie, you and your crew have to save Imagineeria 3 from the space pirates!"


Since Quorra was originally constructed as a racing yacht, the JumpCorp crew was able to reach the starbase within minutes.  The scene, however, was quite dire.  The starbase had several damaged sections as a pair of pirate starfighters continued their strafing runs.  Captain Eo's starship was located several thousand kilometers away, adrift but still engaged by a lone pirate vessel.  The most dangerous threat came from the two remaining tugs that were dragging a large, three-hundred foot wide asteroid for another collision with Imagineeria 3.

Commander Ellie asked for suggestions from her crew, which led to an endless stream of arguing between security officer Stitch and the scout probe Eve.  Finally the commander ordered her team to their stations and concocted a plan of her own.  Careful to stay out of the tugs' sensor range, Commander Ellie used the size of the asteroid as an advantage, and stayed right behind it until Quorra was only a few dozen feet away.  The commander kept her fingers crossed that Stitch's part of the plan would work.


In the forward airlock Stitch and Wall-E waited for the door to open.  Stitch carried a ukulele and a diamond bladed battle-axe while Wall-E carried a fire extinguisher and a ninja-sword. 

[GM Note: I just want to be 100% clear hear, that these are the exact pieces of equipment that Evie and Cooper took with them on this portion of the mission.  Cooper actually insisted that Wall-E was a trained Ninja]

When the door opened, Stitch engaged one of his experimental "powers" of environmental protection and leaped across the gap between ship and asteroid, while Wall-E took his fire extinguisher and gently propelled himself out of the vessel.  Stich and Wall-E both snuck around to the other side of the massive asteroid, and found the tether points where the tugs were connected by cable to the stony object.  Stitch carefully pulled himself up to the tug, and then tapped on the cockpit window.  Once he had the attention of the pilot, he pulled out a ukulele and started to strum, albeit very quietly given the lack of air.  The pilot fell for the taunt.  He put his helmet on and climbed outside of the craft to take care of the little blue experiment. 
Wall-E's plan was a bit more direct.  He used the fire extinguisher to come up alongside the tug, and then smashed the cockpit glass with his ninja-sword.  The pilot flew through the glass, screaming as he tumbled out into space.  Wall-E then boarded the vessel and took a look at his partner to see how he was doing.  Stitch was engaged in a zero-g melee with the other pilot, who was wielding a stun baton.  Grabbing the tug's controls, Stitch pointed the nose of the ship towards other vessel and let loose with a barrage of machinegun fire that dispatched the last remaining pirate.  Stitch saluted his robotic side-kick and then grabbed his tug's flight stick.  It only took a few moments to plot a new course that would take the asteroid on a path away from the starbase and out into space. 

After picking up Wall-E and Stitch from their respective tugs, Commander Ellie piloted Quorra towards Imagineeria 3.  Again the radio squawked, and Captain Eo's voice echoed through Quorra's interior. 
"I'm a goner, Commander!  Don't try to save me.  You have to save Imagineeria 3!  It's a hard choice, me or the starbase, but you have to make the right one."
Commander Ellie gritted her teeth and shouted into the comm, "I choose both!"
Splitting the team, Commander Ellie ordered the valiant space ranger Buzz Lightyear to fly out and save Captain Eo while she and Quorra took on the pirate starfighters engaging Imagineeria 3.  Both Wall-E and Eve offered to accompany Buzz on his portion of the mission, and the space ranger carefully tethered both robots to his suit of power-armor.  In a flash Buzz jumped out of the rear airlock and blasted his rocket pack in the direction of Captain Eo.


Buzz, Wall-E, and Eve reached the Captain's damaged vessel very quickly.  Captain Eo's inoperative ship tumbled out into space, still harassed by a pirate starfighter and a stream of laser fire.  Eve carefully aimed her blaster-rifle-arm at the enemy fighter, and let off a few shots knocking out the craft's shields.  Buzz then grabbed Wall-E and threw him at the pirate starfighter.  Wall-E clanged across the front of the enemy vessel, but quickly grabbed hold and pointed his fire-extinguisher at the cockpit glass.  It only took a single quick spray to blind the ship, making it a sitting duck for Buzz Lightyear's laser.  The space ranger fired several bursts of hot laser death, and without shields there was little the enemy starfighter could do but explode into a million fiery pieces. 
Commander Ellie engaged in a dance of death with the last two remaining pirate starfighters.  Despite being twice the size of her opponents, Quorra was loaded down with advanced sensors, an experimental faster-than-light (FTL) drive, and a pool.  This left little room for strong defensive systems, like a shield or deflector array.  The commander had to rely on Quorra's agility, and so far Ellie was having a hard time locking the racing yacht's light particle accelerators on her two opponents.  Still shaking the vacuum off of his fur, Stitch raced up to the missile control systems and decided to unleash a little carnage himself.  Laughing maniacally, Experiment 626 lobbed a missile at one of the space pirates, the impact shattering the vessel. 

"Security Officer Stitch, please be advised that those missiles cost JumpCorp $50,000 a piece," Quorra calmly relayed to the little blue ball of terror. 

"Oh... oops... oh well!" Stitch replied, loosing a second missile towards the last remaining fighter.  Impact! 

Commander Ellie connected Quorra to one of Imagineeria 3's auxiliary docking points, while Buzz Lightyear towed Captain Eo's vessel to another.  It would be quite some time before the starbase's hanger was operational, but at least the one-million souls on board were safe from danger.  Captain Eo was quick to pass on his commendations to the team, and even gave them their choice of next assignment: Eris Beta V or Leviathan.

Eve and Stitch looked at each other and asked if Leviathan was the planet with the lacerauns.  When Captain Eo confirmed that it was, both crewmates convinced Commander Ellie to take Quorra to the jungle planet for their next assignment. 

[GM's Note:  This last part actually happened between Carrie and Evie.  When I told the girls that Leviathan was the world that featured dinosaur-like creatures they both screamed out "DINOSAUR PLANET".  Should've seen that coming!]

Carrie's drawing of Buzz dragging Eve and Wall-E


Cooper:  "Why are there space pirates, dad?"
Mommy:  "Because they're naughty, Cooper."

"I'm the pilot right?  I think I'm gonna overrule their plan."  - Jen was done listening to my daughters' elaborate scheming.  

Cooper:  "I'm gonna jump over and climb across the chasm, get my sword, and kill the bad guys!"
Me:  "Where did Wall-E get a sword!?!"  
(GM's note:  At this point, it was determined that Wall-E had a ninja-sword)

Carrie:  "Grandma, you need to go save Captain Eo!" 
Grandma:  "I am NOT saving Captain Eo!"
(GM's note:  My mother in law doesn't seem to like Michael Jackson, and I insisted on doing the King of Pop's voice whenever the players were interacting with their senior officer.)

"He looks like Christ the Redeemer standing there!" - Jen commenting on the Buzz Lightyear figure as it stood before the space pirate vessel.  

"Leviathan is coming, huh?" - Jen makes an Agent Carter reference following the girls' decision to head for the planet Leviathan for their next mission.  

Quorra (top) from 0-hr art & technology


After spending some more time going through the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion this week, I thought it fitting to put some real stats and figures together for our party's vessel (and NPC) Quorra.  What's great about Savage Worlds is how easy it is to customize a vessel to fit your needs!  The last sci-fi game that I fell in love with was TSR's Alternity, and if you've ever tried building a ship in that system you'll know that it could take a considerable amount of time.  Had to work out size, durability, and energy consumption… it was a real pickle for a lazy GM!  But in Savage Worlds its just a matter of working how many modifications a given design can carry.  

Piece of cake!

So here's Quorra, in all her glory.  Originally built as a racing craft, even though she's been packed with advanced electronics and sensors, she's still nearly as fast as a snub-fighter.  Quorra is capable of defending herself, with some light armaments, but lacks any kind of shielding.  Her only additional defense is a counter-measure system to keep missiles and tractor beams from giving her a hard time.  Quorra is also packed full, with no additional room for modifications.  If her crew wants to add something else, they're going to have to trade!  

Medium Starship:  Size: 8,  Acc/TS: 65/800,  Climb: 2,  Toughness: 25(6),  Mods: 25 (All slots used),  Crew: 1 (with 8 add'l passengers),  Cost: $26.55 million.  Current Operating Costs: $830 per day.  

Notes:  AMCM, AI, Atmospheric, Crew Space, FTL Drive, Speed x4, Missile Launcher, Galactic Sensor Suite, Targeting System.


  • 2 Light Particle Accelerators  
  • Missile Launcher, 8 Heavy Missiles

Stuffies in hand and ready for the action deck!

Character Builds

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 Grandma.  

  • 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. 

Wall-E - Waste Disposal Robot

This little "Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class" was quite distressed when his favorite robot, Eve, went off to work for JumpCorp.  So he stowed away on Quorra to be with his friend.  Played by my 4 year old son Cooper.  

  • Attributes:  Agility: d8,  Smarts: d6,  Spirit: d6,  Strength: d6,  Vigor: d6
  • Edges:  Construct
  • Hindrances:  None
  • Skills:  Notice: d6,  Fighting: d6,  Repair: d6,  Taunt: d6,  Knowledge Computers: d6,  Knowledge Planetology: d6,  Locksmithing: d8,  Stealth: d8,  Throwing: d8
  • Signature Gear:  Fire Extinguisher and a Ninja Sword (still shaking my head over this)

My son's character sheet and customization.  Quite proud!


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