Sunday, July 4, 2010

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1 (Triumph Of Illusions), Scene 5, Part 2

Triumph of Illusions - mmm... sounds like a good episode title.

UA: (Speaking very slowly and with difficulty) Our prophecies tell of the Em-Yu-Late-Ore, a great ship that will help us find our home world which has been lost for thousands of years after an experiment with our cloaking technology went wrong. We have captured your ship as we believe it to be the one long prophesied. Please, you are our guests. We mean you no harm. When we have found our home world, we shall return your ship to you.

CB: Perhaps we can be of assistance? Return us to our ship and we shall do all in our power to assist you in this matter.

Is he convinced? Unlikely, Roll 34 = Yes.

UA: You would do this for us? I admit that that course of action would present us with the least difficulties. I will discuss this with the council. If it is agreed, please do not even contemplate escape. You have seen what we are capable of. You are no match for us.

A couple of the aliens come to take the bodies of the crew members away.

CH: Where are you taking them?

UA: You have no use for them anymore and we need to stock up on supplies.

CH: (In disgust) We do not eat our comrades.

UA: You do not? What then do you eat?

The Captain explains to the alien about the replicator technology. At the word replicator the alien becomes more animated.

UA: Rep-Lee-Kate-Ore. This is also spoken of by the prophets. It is said to cease all hunger and provide for the people. You will provide us with this technology.

CB: Our prime directive would not allow us to share this technology with you.

UA: Then you will all die and provide much food for us.

CB: We also have a 'council'. When we are back on board our ship we can discuss your need with them. What are your people called?

Complex question: Usurp business

UA: We are the Em-peq. In your language, the Usurpers, as we must take what we need in order to survive. You must understand that this is our nature. If your council do not agree to our demands then you will all die.

CB: Understood. May we have your leave to return to our ship with our dead crew mates and start repairs on our ship?

Em-peq Spokesperson (Previously Unknown Alien): As I said I must discuss this with our council. Wait here. Please enjoy our beautiful temple in the meantime.

The Em-peq leaves.

CB: (Aside) I think we've just managed to escape being eaten, number one.

Commander Horex growls threateningly.

End of scene. Update lists: Characters: The unknown aliens are the Em-peq (Usurpers in Federation Standard), 4 dead crew members; Threads, new: Convince Starfleet to share replicator technology or send help, Help find the Em-peq planet. Forgot to close the rescue freighter thread so I'll do that now; Chaos factor - started off pretty chaotic but the Captain managed to de-escalate the situation by the end: Move down to 5.

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 5, Part 1

In the hold of the Alien Ship (Altered scene):

Let's try a complex question from the 'Variations': What does the hold look like? Rolled: Praise/Advice... Uh? A library? A temple? Ah, so we are beamed to a temple-type area rather than a hold.
Are they going to sacrifice us? 50/50, Roll 34 = Yes. Are aliens present? Likely, Roll 59 = Yes. What do they look like (complex question again)? Rolled: Desert Good. Mmm... They are covered from head to foot in robes and wear religious symbols. Do we have our weapons? No way, Roll 30 = No. Do they have weapons? Near sure thing, Roll 42 = Yes. I'm imagining they have what look like a cross between staffs and cattle rods, and rather than rolling for that, I'll go with it.

The crew and passengers of the USS Emulator are beamed into what looks like a large temple area. It is dimly lit by glowing blue orbs on the wall. A low vocal sound, like chanting, can be heard echoing around the chamber and figures in long robes, wearing what appear to be religious symbols, are milling around, holding long staffs with the same type of blue orbs on the end. One of the aliens prods a crew member from the freighter with his staff and the poor freighter member receives a mild electric shock, which appears to be quite painful.

CB: (Loudly) What do you want with us?

Any response? Unlikely, Roll 85 = No.

We have quite a large force at our disposal, but surely they wouldn't have beamed us all together in one place if we could easily overpower them. Do the aliens outnumber us? Sure thing, Roll 35 = Yes. The crew of the freighter was about 10 and the crew of the USS Emulator is about 2d100 = 50. I got these numbers after a bit of research online. Have decided that the Emulator is a New Orleans class starship, the Galaxy had a crew complement of 430 so I halved that down and used the dice method above. I couldn't find any actual crew complement numbers online. So, there are 60 of us - so there must be at least 120 aliens, just in this room (a MASSIVE ship - thinking the size of one of those HUGE Romulan ships that seem to dwarf everything around them). I'm going to assume, because of this that this race is ship-based and not planet based (if it was planet based and could afford this many crew members then we would have heard of them by now, surely).

The Captain is ignored.

CH: (Aside) Captain, with your permission, if one of those aliens gets near again I would like to try to overpower it and gain one of their weapons.

CB: My thoughts exactly, number one. Lieutenant T'Ariara, gather all able personnel and pass on Commander Horax's plan. On my signal, we shall move in unison, each taking the alien nearest to him. Is that understood?

LT: Aye, Captain.

Mmm... how to handle combat? I can't possibly fight 60-120 battles. I will have to go on the probability of this plan succeeding. So outnumbered makes it difficult but the crew of the Emulator are the heroes and this is an action adventure. Let's decide on Unlikely (just below 50/50). So, is the plan successful? Unlikely, Roll 87 (Oops) = No. Is anyone hurt? Has to be, Roll 78 = Yes. I will assume that of the 50 crew available, about 30 could fight so I'll roll 1d30 (using an online custom dice roller) = 4. Is anyone killed? As there are 4 people injured I give it a 25% chance which translates to Very unlikely (but remember chaos factor is 6 - here goes), Roll 4 = Exceptional Yes (Oh dear, oh dear...). Is any of them a main character? 50/50, Roll 93 = No (Phew!)

At the Captain's signal about 30 crewmen and women jump out at the nearest alien to them, attempting to overthrow their captives and take their weapons. A short battle ensues but it is clear that the crew of the Emulator are no match for the mysterious aliens who promptly dispatch 4 crew members, instantly killing them. The Captain orders the immediate surrender of the Emulator crew.

How do the aliens respond? Roll, Lie/Art. I'm finding this interpretation thing difficult... What could that possibly mean? Ah ha...

Unknown Alien: (Slowly, with difficulty) We mean you no harm, creatures of I suggest you do not try something like that again. We could have destroyed you all but have left four of you dead as an example. Please take your time, you are free to wander these halls and admire our beautiful relics.

CB: Mean us no harm? You have nearly destroyed our ship, have captured our crew and have killed some of us. What do you want with us?

Complex question, Roll Triumph Illusions. I'll have a think about that one, in the meantime I must go and have some dinner.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 4

Captain's Log, Stardate 44085.8. The USS Emulator has responded to a distress signal from a freighter in the Deneb system. They are being held in a tractor beam by a ship that we have only just recently encountered. These aliens have not yet talked, or attacked, so although we have some theories as to their intent, we cannot be absolutely certain.

(Modified scene - again, the 'I dunno' rule applied - although I'm not entirely satisfied with that).

Ensign Shelley: We have arrived at the Deneb system, Captain.

CB: Red alert. What's the status of the freighter, Ensign?

Damaged? 50/50, Roll 2 = Exceptional Yes

ES: They have sustained heavy damage. Their hull is buckling and their life support is failing.

CB: (Over the comms) Transporter room, get a lock on the crew of the freighter and beam them aboard.

Transporter Chief: Aye, Captain. But we'll have to lower our shields.

CB: Make it so, Ensign.

ES: Aye, Captain.

Do the aliens take advantage and fire at the Emulator? Sure thing, Roll 91 = No (Wow, wasn't expecting that!)

CB: Do you have them, Chief?

Very likely, Roll 85 = Yes (just)

Transporter Chief: We have the last of them, Captain.

CB: Well done Chief. Sheilds up! Red alert. Can you get a weapon's lock on them Ensign?

From previous experience I increase the difficulty to Very unlikely, Roll 58 = No

ES: They are phasing co-ordinates as before, Captain.

CB: Get us out of tractor beam range, Ensign and open hailing frequencies.

ES: Aye, Captain.

Do we get out of the way fast enough? 50/50, Roll 100 = Exceptional No (Oh, dear!)
Do they fire on us? Sure thing, Roll 73 = Yes. Does it hit? Sure thing, Roll 14 = Exceptional Yes (Oops!)

The ship shudders from the impact of the tractor beam and a second later the crew are sent flying from the successful barrage of quantum torpedoes hitting the hull of the Emulator.

ES: Sheilds are down and we have sustained heavy damage, Captain.

CB: Get us out of here!

ES: Aye, Captain!

Do we escape? Very unlikely, Roll 32 = No.

ES: Propulsion systems have failed, Captain. We are dead in the water.

CB: Hail them!

Do they respond? Very unlikely, Roll 13 = No.

ES: No response, Captain.

I had to have a think about what the aliens would do next, not knowing much about them. I had to go on the assumption that they want us as food so I assumed they would try to beam us into their hold. Do they? Very likely, Roll 62 = Yes. Are they successful? Sure thing, Roll 79 = Yes.

Seconds later the crew and guests of the USS Emulator are beamed into the hold of the alien ship.

End of scene. List updates: Characters: Crew of the freighter, Transporter Chief; Threads - Escape the aliens, Repair the USS Emulator; Chaos Factor - utterly chaotic - moves to 6.

Musings on the system so far...

I'm really enjoying this!

My only idea was to command a starship in the Star Trek universe and begin with responding to a distress signal.

The combination of the Mythic system and how it sparks your imagination is invigorating. I really had, and have, no idea where this is going to lead. I didn't know the aliens would be after food or that they'd have cloaking and phasing technology.

BTW, I'm not using the Star Trek RPG rules, just the Mythic System - letting that decide on the outcome of any proposed action. Seems to work so far.

Right, let's go and rescue this freighter!

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 3

On the bridge of the USS Emulator (Roll 10, unaltered scene):

Ensign Shelley: Captain, we have just received a distress call from a Freighter in the Deneb system. They are being held in a tractor beam by a ship that matches our previous encounter.

CB: Set a course for the Deneb system. Maximum warp. Engage!

ES: Aye Captain.

CH: (Aside) More food?

CB: Indeed. Seems like our foe are hungry, number one.

End of scene (I saw no point in playing the trip to the Deneb system (BTW please don't email/comment telling me that the Deneb system would take 2 weeks (or whatever) to get to - I'm just having fun!)). List: Characters: Ensign Shelley, Freighter in distress; Threads: Rescue the freighter - new; Chaos factor - remains at 5 (see previous post).

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 2

In the Situation Room, Captain Baker, Commander Horex (Klingon Executive Officer), Lieutenant Jenks (Helmsman), Lieutenant T'Ariara (Vulcan Chief of Security (Female)), Lieutenant Vasquez (Science Officer):

Modified scene: 'I dunno' rule applied.

CB: What have you managed to find out?

Humanoid? Very likely, Roll 22 = Yes, Random Event Generated, Focus Roll 31, Introduce New NPC, Event Meaning Action: Ambush, Event Meaning Subject: Food

LV: Very little Captain. A, so far, unencountered Humanoid species. Our scans revealed some remains of humanoid bodies in a refridgerated storage area.

CH: You mean for food?

LV: Very likely, Commander.

CB: Anything else?

LV: They have cloaking and phasing technology.

CH: We already know that. Weapons?

Phasers? 50/50, Roll 59 = No. Torpedos? 50/50, Roll 34 = Yes. Quantum? 50/50, Roll 18 = Yes. More powerful? 50/50, Roll 73 = No. Less? 50/50, Roll 72 = No.

LV: They have Quantum Torpedos, similar to our technology but no phasers.

CH: So they planned to blast us out of space and retrieve our remains?

Likely, Roll 81 = Yes.

LV: That seems to have been their intent, Commander.

CB: Do we know where they came from?

Very unlikely, Roll 82 = No.

LV: We have no way of determining that, Captain. There was no warp trail to follow in the area.

CB: What about the Izar system itself? Is it inhabited?

50/50, Roll 37 = No

LV: There are no inhabited planets in the Izar system, Captain.

CH: Could the planet itself be cloaked or phased?

Very unlikely, Roll 40 = No.

LV: It would be very unlikely for that to be the case, Commander. That sort of techology would require extreme amounts of energy to maintain.

CB: Do we know where the ship is now? Or where they were headed?

Now? V. unlikely, Roll 33 = No. Headed? 50/50, Roll 2 = Exceptional Yes

The comm signal goes: 'Captain to the bridge!'

End of scene. List update: Characters: as above; Threads: non new; Chaos Factor - I just purchased the Mythic Variations supplement and the theme for this seems to be Action Adventure, so I'm going to increase the Chaos Factor to 5 and not let it go below that from now on.

USS Emulator, Season 1, Episode 1, Scene 1

Captain's Log, Stardate 44085.7.

The USS Emulator has responded to a distress signal in the Izar system but upon arriving at the expected co-ordinates there is no sign of the ship that is in trouble.

Captain Baker: Yellow Alert. Scan the area Mr Jenks. Any sign of them?

Odds 50/50, Chaos Rank 5, Roll 16 = Yes.

Lieutenant Jenks: I am picking up a faint signal. The ship appears to be cloaked.

CB: Hail them.

LJ: Hailing frequencies open.

CB: This is the USS Emulator. We are responding to a distress signal. Please respond.

Any response? Somewhat likely, Roll 9 = Exceptional Yes.

The ship suddenly jerks with impact.

CB: Red Alert. Status Mr Jenks.

LJ: We are caught in what appears to be a tractor beam of some kind.

CB: Shake her free Mr Jenks.

Is he successful? Unlikely (they seem to be of superior technology so far), Roll 58 = No.

LJ: I am unable to disengage the tractor beam, Captain.

CB: Can you pinpoint the ship's co-ordinates?

Likely, Roll 85 = No.

LJ: They seem to be altering co-ordinates at irregular intervals. I can't get a lock on them.

CB: Okay. Maximum reverse. Let's see if we can brake free with some force.

Unlikely, Roll 18 = Yes.

LJ: We're free Captain.

CB: Get us out of here. Maximum warp. Engage!

Do they pursue? Sure thing (it was a trap, they going to let us go?), Roll 60 = Yes. Can they keep up? Sure thing, Roll 38 = Yes.

LJ: Captain, the unknown ship is on a pursuit course and is matching our speed.

CB: Damn them! Okay, Mr Jenks, find a nebula and drop out of warp within it. Let's see if we can hide.

Can we hide? 50/50 (We don't know enough about these aliens yet), Roll 2 = Exceptional Yes.

LJ: The alien ship has continued its course and has ignored us. It is extremely unlikely that they will be able to find us now.

CB: Well done Mr Jenks. I want an analysis of any data that was collected during that encounter. Let's see what we can find out about them.

LJ: Aye, Captain.

End of scene. List maintenance: Characters: Captain Baker, Lieutenant Jenks, Unknown Aliens; Threads: Respond to distress signal - closed, Find out about aliens - new thread; Chaos factor: Although the situation was unexpected, the Captain was in control, Chaos moves to 4.