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Shooting Stars 10/2/04: successful play!

Started by jeffd, October 06, 2004, 07:07:01 PM

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I've posted about this game before, mainly about the dysfunction I've encountered in it.  Namely here and then again here

Briefly:  Shooting Stars is an RPG premised around a sci-fi TV show that's roughly a cross between Firefly and Joss Whedon's Buffyverse.  Slayer in Space!

Well, last weekend's session was extraordinarily successful, from my point of view.  Brief plot synopsis coming:

We had earlier been hired to "liberate" some vaccine from a Confederation convoy on behalf of one Churga Mengh, a businessman on an independent world.  Turns out that the Superdyne vaccine was actually a set of six experimental plasma rifles - we're talking personal artillery tear through a small starship hull here.  

After much hardship, we decided it was time to get paid.  Of course knowing the illegal nature of the cargo, we determined that there was no way that Mengh was going to even pretend to be honest with us - if we just delivered the guns he'd have us quietly rubbed out.  So we arranged to meet in the middle of nowhere, hopefully to avoid being screwed.

Slight wierd part 1:  Once we came up with the plan (which took longer than it probably should have - several players didn't want to get paid at all and just make off with the guns, others were just not going to be happy with any plan).  I tried to cut directly to the rendezvous, but our GM wanted to narrate process - jump to the rendezvous point, get into position, clear space on Spike's shuttle for the guns (he'd be off a ways so Mengh couldn't just kill us and steal the goods).  The shuttle part was especially wierd - 10 minutes of negotiating over how small the shuttle was and how there was no room really for two people and the guns.  Really made me scratch my head as it seemed quite pointless at the time.  Finally they unloaded Spike's blood supply and made off.

Well, we got screwed.  First he shorted us money (so we kept one of the rifles).  This was nice - standoff between myself and Mengh in the airlock joint between our ships where he actually backed down!  As we went to leave, a corvette showed up at the jump point - Mengh's insurance.  We went on the offensive, attacking Mengh's pleasure barge.  Unfortunately he had a few cloaked fighters with him.  Fortunately my character is a badass pilot - Mengh backed down eventually.  We got away - paid less, but carrying a nice bit of personal artillery along with Mengh's parting shot "You haven't seen the last of me!"

"Do people really say that outside of the holo-dramas?" another character quipped.  

After we got to safety Spike loaded his blood back on his shuttle - this time the GM had a character make a perception roll to notice the descending timer on the side of his container (it's a large thing, about six feet by four feet, four feet high).  Spike demured that it was just a timer indicating how much battery was left.  "Gotta keep it cool to keep it fresh!"

Well, Spike then makes like he's leaving.  Doesn't say goodbye.  One of the characters delays him, and as they talk the timer dings - the container opens.  Apparently blood's not the only thing inside - so is Spike's old love, Drusilla.

Here's where I realize why Jim was so obstinate in negotiating over the cargo space in the shuttle - he wanted to draw attention to the container.  I think this could have been done more deftly - in a real TV show we'd have seen the camera linger on it for a few moments, telling us it has some significance.  I wish Jim would just narrate that - it would heighten the tension amongst the players/audience instead of leaving us scratching our heads.

Anyway, Spike indicates that it's been fun but now that his Lady's awake they have killing to do.  We protest that he has a soul and he acknowledges that - but he's a fool for love and people with souls can still do bad.  Spike escapes (we don't want a fight in tight quarters), and as his shuttle departs my character makes a genuinely tough decision, ordering April up to the turret to blast the shuttle to bits.  Tough decision because he genuinely liked Spike and didn't want to have to kill someone who was a friend - but this whole "protect the universe from evil" thing that the Slayer has going is running off, and after learning Drusilla and Spike's reputation, I wasn't about to let them get away.

Of course they do - a stolen cloaking field lets them.  We depart to a world where I have to kowtow to another possibly ensouled Vampire who had warned me off of spike earlier.  Of course I told him to piss off - Spike was a friend.  

Overall, a great session - other than the bit I mentioned about scene framing.  I let the GM know that this is exactly what I wanted out of life - present us with a situation and let us react instead of being dead-set on having certain endings.