Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Alien Ship : Our Last Best Hope

The Alien Ship
Our Last Best Hope

It was Gamer Meet night (those in the Philippines who want to attend, just join either this Facebook group, or this Google Plus Community.) and I headed to Eastwood to run another one-shot game for whoever was present.  The game ended up being Our Last Best Hope with two players trying it out for the very first time.  This meant I get to be a player too! Woot!  After a quick discussion on what the game is like, we started on mapping out the particulars for the set-up.

 To prep for the game, I had with me the black and white six-sided dice, the index cards and markers to write stuff down, and a bunch of glass beads that can be used as Story Tokens.

The Crisis was:  Alien Ship headed to Earth.  And given how we all loved Macross/Robotech, we decided it was a massive alien vessel like a Zentraedi warship.

The Limit was: We were the only ones who knew about the incident.  Taking a slightly sci-fi twist, we were space based scavengers that had a ship and some tech to scrap any old satellites and other machinery still in orbit that were no longer being utilized.  We noticed the ship's approach and knew it was only a matter of time before others on Earth did.  We wanted to nab salvage rights.    Supposedly the characters did NOT know about it being a threat at the start.

And the Plan:  To fly into the ship and take control of it.  If we cannot control it, to rig the ship's power supply to destroy it and save the Earth from having a continent-sized vessel slam into it.

Yes, we really were feeling a tad anime-inspired for this game.

The crew was:
Captain Jim: Engineer who had brought his Lucky Rabbit's Foot with him and left behind his dog, Yoshi.  He had secretly slept with Doctor Wu's wife and was afraid of getting infected by some alien pathogen.  He liked how Badger kept him sane and found Doctor Wu infuriating.  I played the Captain (and Supply Officer) and had drawn, "Die when I refused to listen."

Doctor Wu: Doctor who had also secretly slept with Badger's wife.  I failed to remember his other stuff, and sadly he was to be the first one to die in the game. He was played by Justin, who supplied some of the other pictures in this post.  He had drawn, "Die fixing a Mistake."

Badger: Soldier who had brought his secret expertise with him and left behind his shameful past.  He secretly had killed lots of other people before during his younger age.  He would die helping a friend.  He was played by Carl.

We did not have a Scientist to help us.   We had a Highly Maneuverable Ship, Narcotics and Robotic Exoskeletons with Servo Arms as Assets.  And the game began.

The opening scene began with M.I.M.I.C. informing us that ship came into view.  I called the two for a meeting and informed them we were going to fly to the ship, go inside and look to see if we can control its systems.  We relished at the thought of becoming wealthy, scavenging a country-sized vessel of alien tech.  After informing them of the mission, Doctor Wu got infuriated and walked out.  Doctor Wu had his opening scene with Badger, as the two went to the Narcotics area to grab something to calm down.  The threat began as the Company suddenly attempted to initiate a remote sequence to send the ship back home! Bad rolls lead to the Doctor very early opting to die to save the ship.

Meteors strike the vessel, M.I.M.I.C. later malfunctions, and at some point we lose a lot of very valuable air as a rupture happens in the cargo area where the possibly infectious alien material is kept.  I face my fears and thankfully, seal the rupture before things get worse.

The Complication hits, and we lose the Narcotics supply, forcing me and Badger to reconsider our plans.  The attempt to pilot the ship fails, so we resort to rewiring the power supply of the alien vessel to prep it to self-destruct.

Badger and I learn later that an intruder had found its way into the ship!  An alien security robot entered the vessel and used its alien tech to appear as anyone the viewer happened to be thinking of.  Badger found himself staring at the late Doctor, then later, the faces of people he had killed in the past, and finally the face of his wife.  In hopes to help him, I tried activating the air locks to open, and he eventually dies helping me, a friend.

Alone in the vessel, M.I.M.I.C. informs me that the ship is running out of power, and at that point we realized there were a LOT of black dice still and just enough white dice to equal it.  Wanting to have a successful ending, I order M.I.M.I.C. to shut down all other systems save for communications.  With the remaining air supply, I record a quick message explaining what we three had tried to do, then commanded M.I.M.I.C. to send back to earth a final transmission containing my message as well as all data logs existing of the last 24 hours.   As the transmission completes, I execute the self-destruct sequence and die.. refusing to listen to M.I.M.I.C.'s warnings... as the ship explodes.

The story ends with the people of the Earth horrified to see a sudden explosion in the night sky.  News quickly spreads that there was such a dangerous object that remained undetected and so close to the planet. An Extinction Level Event would have unfolded if it had not suddenly inexplicably exploded on its own.  Then our transmission was received and all over the world news outlets broadcasted the video clips and final message of our vessel as I explained what we had done to save the world.

We are remembered as heroes, even if none of us where there to see it in the end. To quote Carl, "It's the dysfunctional and the underdogs who end up saving the planet...Just like in the movies."


Both players were not accustomed to this sort of a game.  Both found it very fun and admitted to now being eager to try other games as well.  I promised to run more stuff in the coming weeks.


In a wonderfully touching move, I received a box of Gigi's Cupcakes as a "thank you" for running games.  I admit that this gesture was very sweet and much appreciated and I do hope those who read this blog consider thanking their own GMs in a similar manner someday.  It feels very good to know the hard work of getting a game prepped, or in the case of this one, teaching a new game and mindset to approach it, is appreciated.

So yeah, I got home with a dozen yummy delectable cupcakes to share with my partner, Rocky.  I guess saving the world tastes even better when you got cupcakes to enjoy in the end.  Heheheh!

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