It’s taken longer than I expected to get to this point – actually starting the Deepnight Revelation campaign for real. The PCs have had plenty of things to do before that, but the purpose of this session was to actually kick off the first steps of the mission.
Since the first stage of the mission begins in the Imperium, what I want to do is to showcase the changing environment as the ship moves from the civilised and stable systems of the Imperium, out into the border worlds and towards the uncharted wilderness. So there’s going to be a bit more of a political and social aspect to the game at the start, with stopping by worlds in order to show off the might of the Imperium to neighbours, and also talk up the mission to those in the Imperium who have funded it.
So I’ve got a few social events planned, with the intent to play them out as little mini-games which give small bonuses and advantages to the crew if they’re successful.
As described in the previous session notes, I’m also going to go into quite a bit of detail for the process of jumps and refuelling, in order to give the players a chance to agree to the day to day operations of the ship. Once things have moved on, then I’ll abstract this away so we don’t have to bother with it.
Once again for this session we were down a player – but a different one this time, so we were able to quickly finish off the Chief Mission Officer. She is Melusine, and chose the Elite Recruiting option for her division. So all the divisions have a +1 to their DEI. Khadashi and Madeleine said goodbye to each other, and it was time for the ship to depart.
1107-086 : The Mission Begins
The mission start date is 1107-086, with the overall aim to reach Tobia by 1107-225. Their first set of orders are as follows:
You are to head to Jokelyn, where you will be able to refuel at Jokelyn IV, a Saturnian type sub-Jovian.
You are to head to Rampart and dock at the Naval base around Rampart Alpha I. You are due to arrive here by 1107-105.
You are to receive Lord Leon Sivas aboard the Deepnight Revelation. He will be representing the Imperium throughout the mission, but won’t be in the chain of command so will be there in an advisory capacity only. He will probably expect some pomp and ceremony when he comes aboard.
You are to attend the Governor’s Ball at Rampart Naval Headquarters. It is being held in honour of Lord Leon Sivas and the crew of the Deepnight Revelation, to provide a farewell celebration. The press will be there, and it’s a final chance to gain acceptance from the local nobility that the money being spent is worthwhile. It will be hosted by Dame Juliphimli Kirjir Rashasazalu and Admiral Idku Rusanidas. Turn up, be polite and try not to make a fool of yourselves.
The first thing that the players wanted to do was to try and find out about the three notables that they’d be meeting. I allowed them SOC check for the nobles, and a Tactics (Naval) check for the Admiral.
Lord Leon Sivas
Lord Leon Sivas represents the interests of the Imperium for the mission. He is a noble diplomat from Cyril in Reft, and doesn’t have much experience with science or exploration.
As a Baron, he managed a large profitable estate along the coastal countryside. Recently his wife and two children were killed in a flyer accident, leaving him feeling at a loose end. His rather previously combative nature in the Imperium court also meant he had few real friends to fall back on.
Admiral Idku Rusanidas
Admiral Idku Rusanidas is in charge of the Naval base at Rampart.
He fought bravely during the Fourth Frontier war, serving in one of the ill-fated BatRon units, and was one of those who argued very vocally for changes to Naval doctrine after that war.
None of them had heard of Dame Rashasazalu, so she obviously wasn’t that important.
Meanwhile, whilst the command crew were sorting out last minute details, Khadashi was down in the ship’s canteen when he heard a woman call out his name – it turns out to be Vania, one of the scientists from the Deepnight Endeavour who he’d shot in the back whilst trying to save her from an infected shambler. There is some back and forth, but they end up having breakfast and sharing war stories. I figured that it would be interesting to give the lower ranking characters some links to other members of the crew. They were also able to find out what happened to Dr Jaria Kleine, who’d they suspected of being infected. It turns out that after the rescue ships arrived, she tried to take one over and ended up being spaced.
Pulling away from the dock at Egurgadi, one of the bridge team leads made a (very) successful piloting check and the launch went about as smoothly as they could have hoped. The adventure as written says to use CEI checks for this, but CEI is so much lower than actual skills it seems to be doing the ship a disservice. Assuming that the primary pilots have +1 from DEX, and +2 from a Pilot (Capital Ship) skill, then they’re looking at +3 (or at least +2). Making a DEI check, even with the DEI of 8, you’re still looking at only +0. This is a big difference when rolling 2d6 and needing to get 8+
Next up was astrogation, which they squeezed through, but the engineering check to jump was a great success, so they Deepnight transitioned to jump space smoothly.
Next, we went through the operations to be performed after arriving in a new system – and the XO decided that he wanted the flight crew to practice recovery of scouts ships to try and come up with a plan that would allow effective surveying, but also improve their chances if they needed to suddenly leave.
During Jump, one of the PCs, Imelda Thatchet who was admin officer made her subordinates practise getting all the paperwork done correctly, and Zanobia began setting up base psychological profiles for the crew, though she gets a bit of push back for that.
1107-93 : Jokelyn
They arrived at Jokelyn / Reft / 3229 and performed their standard survey and went in to refuel. Refuelling was slow, it taking 3 attempts to fill their fuel tanks, so the XO decided more training was required there.
1107-102 : Rampart
The plan at Rampart was to head directly to the Naval base and refuel there, but the XO wanted more practise on refuelling at gas giants, so they instead headed to a local gas giant before heading into the base. They did better this time, and still got to the base by their due date of 105 without having to rush anyone over to the Navy Base on Kirkiimekki Kamarsukhar’s boat.
They provided Lord Sivas, Dame Rashasazalu and Admiral Rusanidas with a welcome aboard ceremony, which went very well (so I gave everyone boons on their skill checks at the upcoming Governor’s Ball).
At the ball itself, each character had a chance to try and socialise with one of the factions present – Nobles, Navy, Corporate and Academic. They could either try dancing (with DEX + Art (Performance) or Athletics (Dex)) or carousing (with SOC + Carouse).
- Khadashi – the corporates with carousing
- Melusine – the academics with some dancing
- Kirk – the nobles with carousing
- Captain Kishasaa – the navy with dancing
They all succeeded, so all gained a small bonus for the mission, either knowledge about something or a gift. The original plan had been one for each PC, but since we were down a player, the Captain stepped in to socialise with the Naval representatives.
Nobles: A one-time Political advantage that can be used in either Reft or Trojan Reach sectors. The player gets to decide the exact nature of the advantage at the time it is used, but could be some information they know, or a weakness in the opposition.
Navy: A one-time Military advantage that can be used in either Reft or Trojan Reach sectors, as for the Political advantage.
Corporate: An extra shipment of supplies, which provides a one-time boon on a Morale check.
Academic: Some extra equipment, which provides a one-time boon on a science or investigation check.
It wasn’t as detailed as the party I did for Pathfinder, but the crew won’t be hanging around here for as long, so having a big complicated social game probably wouldn’t have been worth it.
Finally, they got to hear some rumours about what they are leaving behind, and where they are heading.
It is known that a Solomani expedition headed rimward from Solomani space a couple of years ago. Destination unknown, but it was a small fleet of half a dozen explorer craft, all significantly smaller than the Deepnight. Believed to be 2,000t Tenzig class explorers.
There is activity along the Hierate border in the Outrim Void. Several clans seem to be gathering ships together into fleets. It doesn’t affect the Imperium yet, but ignoring it could have long term consequences.
The Imperium has moved a couple of fleets up to the Vargr Extents, there is talk of a highly charismatic leader organising together some of the packs. This is drawing much needed resources away from both Aslan and Solomani borders. It was the Vargr Problem that caused the First Imperium to fall.
There is a lot of political manoeuvring going on in Ilelish Sector, Archduke Dulinor Astrin Ilethian is complaining that Imperium society is too conservative, and not reacting to the changing needs of its population. He is of course talking nonsense.
We have a strong relationship with Serendip Belt, which could destabilise the Islands. We need to start acting friendly towards the other polities of the Islands as well to shore up anti-Imperium feeling.
One of those is a hint towards something that will be happening (much) later whilst the Deepnight is away on its mission, the others may or may not play into things during the campaign.
After the party is finished then they should be ready to head out in the direction of Tobia, stopping off at Amondiage, New Home, Neubayern, Serendip Belt and Zuflucht along the way. Some of these are places that some of the PCs have been to before, albeit in a much smaller ship.