For the last session, I mentioned that the Zero-G training the players had decided to force on the crew was going to be of benefit. At the world of Chelisor (actually an icy moon of the local gas giant), the locals were just about to start a Zero-G Racquet Ball tournament, and invited the crew of the Deepnight to take part.
I hadn’t fully worked out the rules I was going to use for this, but came up with something as the players discussed what they wanted to do. There were going to be up to three matches they’d contend in, needing to win the earlier matches to go on to the next round.
Each match would have three rounds, with whoever won at least two out of three winning the match. Each team would roll 2d6 each round, adding a general quality bonus. One of the participating player characters would get to make a skill check in that round, which would give a chaining bonus to their team.
There were three skills to select from – Vacc Suit (for movement and control), Tactics (for coming up with a plan and executing it) and Melee (for playing dirty).
In the first round, they were up against a basic team with an overall skill of +0. The Traveller’s team had +1 from the extra Zero-G training, and +1 from their Zero-G sports training, for a total of +2. Zanobia also made a good leadership check to encourage them all, so I gave them another +1, for a total of +3.
At the last minute, they decide to bring in some cheerleaders, which the local teams don’t use, so I allowed them a chance to take a boon on one of the rounds.
For the first match, first round, they went fully aggressive, with Shinzaro leading with a successful Melee check. It took their opponents by surprise, and they easily won. Then Khadashi used a Vacc Suit check to ensure they took full advantage of the Zero-G environment, and they won the second round. In the third round, Shiiguma came up with a cunning plan – which totally failed to work, and they lost.
However, they’d won overall, so were through to the second match, against a team with +1 skill.
They sent Alfred out to do some ‘background research’ (and maybe mind reading) to figure out what the other team’s plans were. I allowed them to have a second boon for one of their rounds because of this.
In game two they opened up with a Vacc Suit check, which gave them a bonus and they won the first round, then won the second round playing aggressively, and again lost with Shiiguma’s special tactics. But overall, it was a success.
For their third and final match, their opponents had brought out their own Cheerleaders, which cancelled out the boon the Travellers were getting from theirs. Alfred still gave a boon, and Dr Nekuna was asked to work out tactics based on the physics of the game. Unfortunately, he got distracted by one of the cheerleaders on the opposing side, so was missing for most of the game.
Zanobia also provided the team with ‘energy drinks’, which gave them a further +1 – as long as they didn’t get caught. Which they didn’t.
For their final match, they were against a +2 team, who also got a special boon in one of the rounds. This time they managed to win all three rounds. In the final round, the opposing team lead seemed to be very distracted. Afterwards, during the celebration party, Dr Nekuna came to Zanobia seeking some medical help – he had a broken and bloody nose and some bruises. Apparently the cheerleader had been the girlfriend of the opposing team lead, who hadn’t been at all happy.
There was a lot more thought and detail put into the match than I was expecting, but the players had a good time running with it. It also help the crew’s morale both in terms of taking part and winning. They left Chelisor on good terms, and with lots of information about the route ahead. Possibly I may have made the opponents a bit too easy, but I had wanted to make sure that the player’s had a chance and preferred to err on the side of letting them win, rather than stomping all over them.
From Chelisor, they headed to Scheron where they refuelled from the ice belt there. After that it was Stome, then Hydrax and Amujan. Eventually, on 1110-092, they came out of jump at Point Demnan, around a large gas giant. They picked up the transponder signals of the two ships Varikuur and Black Orchid, but there was no sign of the second supply freighter the Silver Nemesis. As they refuelled, they realised that the transponders they had picked up were quite weak, and probably running on emergency power.
There were no replies to their radio transmissions, so obviously something was very wrong.
Something I just realised as I started writing this up, was that we still had the issue of Albrinn Moss to sort out. We’d completely forgotten about him, so presumably he’s still sitting in a brig somewhere. With the loss of contact with the scouting party though, the PCs will have something else to worry about next week.