Deepnight Update

Our Deepnight Revelation campaign has been running for about 18 months now, and since there wasn’t a game this week (and won’t be next week), I thought it was time to do a post on where things are and how they’re going. It’s also a chance to catch up on some book work and background details for the campaign as well.

In terms of in-game progress, we are 1,700 days (~4½ years) into the mission, bringing the current date to 1111-326. The Revelation has reached the Near Side of Yonder (sector -13, 2) and has pretty much reached the end of the first campaign expansion book – Riftsedge Transit. Most of the time so far has actually been prior to this book, covering the journey from the Islands, across the Trojan Reach and through the Spinward Extents, with this book only covering the last 4 sectors.

The campaign started with 5 players, but we are now down to two. This has definitely had an affect on how the game runs, since there’s a lot more pressure on both players to get involved and be active within the game. My own feeling is that this is harder in the Deepnight campaign where the game isn’t being driven by individual characters, but by the mission objectives as a whole.

The Deepnight itself is still doing okay, though has picked up a number of minor failings over the years. These are likely to get worse over time, and I’m not sure what sort of state she will be in by the end. I’ve simplified the checking for failures to every three jumps, which is about once a month. They still have enough supplies to get most things fixed, but without a high tech shipyard at some point failures will start to take their toll and be difficult to fix. As it is, the current problem with their jump drive could do with some spare parts that can only easily be made in a large factory. There is hope that the Alikaia can help with this.

Ship morale is more or less okay. The players have been good at ensuring there are events to keep everyone occupied, and there is active training going on to keep skills up.

In terms of what has been going on aboard the ship, this was a good chance for me to sit down and think about what some of the NPCs have been up to.

Shandra Vledden gave birth to a baby girl on 1111-021, and currently seems to be in a more or less stable relationship with the father, Miyek Estaavi. The child, named Ashza, has caused a bit of a split amongst the crew. For most, it has actually been a morale boost and some are even volunteering to help out in caring for the child. For others it has caused some resentment, either because they see it as an unwanted distraction from the mission, or because they don’t see why Shandra was allowed to keep her child when they aren’t permitted to have children. This was an event I had meant to keep track of, to bring it up in game when it happened, but I never had time to calculate the birth date so it got missed.

Raix Delvaan has been continuing to manage the ship’s museum, collecting trinkets from crew members who visit worlds to build up a physical record of the journey. Since leaving the Hennlix Nebula, a small group have started meeting here on a weekly basis, telling stories of what has happened aboard the ship in the previous week. They are being documented by Piotr Chiaramonte.

Piotr Chiaramonte as been acting as a sort of journalist over the last few weeks, interviewing people in his spare time to put together a ‘true history of the expedition’. Whereas Raix has been collecting artefacts, Piotr has been collecting stories. Some find his questioning intrusive, though others welcome it.

Lt Jana Irekia was given charge of Red Team, a group tasked with running through simulations of worst case scenarios and presenting her findings to the bridge team on a weekly basis. The team numbers half a dozen at the moment. They have recently started plotting an engagement with the Alikaia, in case first contact at their homeworld goes badly.

Sir Alixe Vanaadi has been managing ship defences, though there has been conflict between her and Commander Zumaru Rimulimmi, the senior tactical officer, who views Vanaadi as stepping into her territory. Officially, the split has been with Sir Vanaadi handling the hardware and Cmdr Rimulimmi handling the tactical deployment and training, but there has been overlap and the younger officer is quite happy to take responsibility for as much as she can.

Authin Kohaku has been running weekly wargaming sessions in one of the larger dining areas. For a while they took up a lot of the ship’s 3D printing capability to print out some models, but have mostly settled into a routine now with set armies. There are have two dozen people who play intermittently, with a core of about half a dozen. The most common scenarios are ihatei versus imperial marines, though there are a few who prefer playing out the Fourth Frontier War or the Solomani Rim War. Authin himself has a very nicely painted army of ‘human irregulars’ under a Prince Richter who defend their world against numerous Aslan invaders.

After it was started by the bridge crew, others have taken the idea of regular sporting competitions to heart and have formed a number of zero-gravity ball teams. Annalysse Evalii, one of the stewards in the operations division, has taken leadership of one team Big Red Hamsters. Sorven May, one of the engineering technicians has formed the Wrench Wonders. Amben Schoca, one of the pilots in the flight division, leads the Rude Vikings. There are some other teams, but these three are the most notable, regular and competent.

Lt Commander Alash Ragiislu is the senior astrogation officer, and has recently been trying to push for more long range scanning. Stellar density is lower than expected in this area along the edge of the Great Rift, so a lot of jumps need to be jump-3 or jump-4, which means if a world turns out to be non-viable then they will have to turn around and find a different route, wasting valuable time. A deeper understanding of possible routes further ahead will be useful. One of the bridge team, Ana Zaashu, has been tasked with helping him with this endeavour.

Mikinn Galeka is one of the engineering leads, and has been overseeing maintenance of the Revelation’s small fleet of ships. There have been issues with one of the 200t scouts. the I Mean It This Time, and its main drive has been playing up. He’s suggested taking the ship out of service and using it for spares since it can’t be reliably fixed. The I Mean It This Time has been used quite heavily since it was the favoured ship of some of the science time, so ensuring usage is evenly distributed across the other ships will probably help them last longer.

The campaign is still progressing, and I need to prepare for the next stage (The Near Side of Yonder) which will cover the next half a dozen sectors. I will probably abstract most of this, and quickly bring things up to the point where the ship needs to be looking for a route across the Great Rift. I have the sectors mapped out, though will need to fiddle them a bit to match some of the set pieces in the campaign. I would like to wrap the campaign up sometime next year, so we need to get through each of the chapters relatively quickly.

Samuel Penn

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