Just wrapped up our first BUSTED CARS, RUST AND LOTS OF COFFEE kinda-alpha sorta-playtest! ft. Marco Caprile and Amadeo Meza as Lisa the Miner and Exabyte the Datacruncher. I’m really happy getting this thing out for a ride. Actual play:
ONE WAY TICKET FROM STOWN
Our freelancers start on the shtiest city of the shtiest asteroid in the whole Outer Rim. 2053R0 is a cold rock with no artificial atmosphere and low, cheap-ass gravity. Smack dab in the middle lies [M]ORd1N, AKA Shtown, a typical UniMECo work station populated by burnout corpo-slaves and the greedy businessmen that didn’t make the cut to work on a real colony.
We started play on a tram blazing through the iron-filled asteroid. Mia Yang, one of UniMECo’s bests agents, is giving them a NDA contract before debriefing the mission. Lisa pretends to read, but she’s already an employee, what can she say? Exabyte inspects it and signs with perfect, almost mechanical precision.
Miss Yang tells them that they’re heading to an abandoned mine, the first on the asteroid to be precise. It was shutted down and evacuated 20 years ago, the case filed and buried into oblivion. Now all former employees are either dead or far off so she needs a group of discrete, expendable freelancers to recover the logs and shed some light on the subject.
We reach the old tram station, powered remotely from Sh**town. Exabyte wonders if some rumours about the mine come to mind. Mia lends them one of her four bodyguards and tells them to power up the generators, hands them a storage device and some sensors in case they find valuable equipment. She’ll wait there: the tram is stocked with food for her and her escorts.
On the far side there is a door that leads to a forked transparent tunnel. Left the cafeteria, right the power generators. The Datacruncher fears getting hungry and they head for the cafeteria, but it seems to be sealed off.
On the other side the generators are completely dark. Rocky, the bodyguard, looks nervous. They give him a flare and head on looking for a terminal. No dice, these installations are just too old. Maybe there’s an operator manual nearby. Lisa rolls a Beginner’s Luck Ob3 Scout and succeeds, she finds a hidden locker: inside there are some oxygen masks, some helmets, a blowtorch, a big red button and, hey! an operator’s manual!
They have to pull up like a dozen switches… analogically. Exabyte rolls his Ob2 Techie skill and succeeds: the generators start powering up, filling the air with static. They go back, finding the cafeteria entrance open, and head into the lobby. Sterile and standard, it would almost be cozy if it wasn’t so abandoned. There’s the cafeteria, the elevator shaft, the dormitories and a locked wooden door. The datacruncher pushes them to the cafeteria, Lisa finds the cabinets stocked with dehydrated soups and gallons of water. They backtrack to the wooden door and unsuccessfully try to blowtorch it open (while invoking her Blue-Collar to get a check): Laborer Ob3 failure, the miner ends up jamming it worse. She invents an excuse about protecting the company’s property and they decide not to lose their fresh: Camp, minor inconvenience, the air feels stale and the oxygen faulty, if they were recovering, this wouldn’t be a good place to do it. The datacruncher invokes his instinct and looks through the Cloud for information about the abandoned mine powered by his Google Brain trait: Networker Ob3. Success, there are some weird, conspiracy-theorist looking articles about illegal AIs from before the Suppression still working on remote colonies. Weird.
They peek through the dormitories door, but it is sealed. It could easily be bypassed but it looks like the corridor on the other side has been breached. Probably depressurised. Also some weird fluorescent bugs are falling through the cracks.
Down the shaft they go. The miner detects that this mine follows an outdated “narrow ” model from the days when they were dug by exo-drills. A massive structure, the shaft has eleven levels, but the elevator can only access four. They descend screeching to the second level and find themselves on a flickering corridor. Deep inside the earth they walk through a small break room: left the laboratory, right the research room. Confident they walk right and find ten research terminals.
Exabyte takes one of the office chairs and starts downloading the data into Mia’s device. Ob4. He has done this a thousand times, invokes his Burnout trait and succeeds: it starts downloading the data logs, but there are two other terminals, one up the dormitories and the other, offline, two levels below. Meanwhile Lisa hears the disgusting cracking of mandibles behind.
This freaking fluorescent, foot wide bugs start pouring from the ventilation ducts with gastronomic intent. We start a drive off. Even under the Brave leadership of Lisa the freelancers are driven out of the research room, leaving Mia’s storing device behind. Rocky freaks out: “They wanted to eat my head, man!” The bugs broke their helmets. Things look bad.
They run into the laboratory. There are some valuable iridium, platinum and iron samples here, a complete chemistry kit and some notes. The characters start planning. They must reclaim the logs.
Being in a fully equipped laboratory, Exabyte decides to try his Chemist skill to unleash some fumes that would scare off the bugs. Ob 1. Success. We wrapped up the session there.
I’m really happy with the first session. I was focused mainly on character creation, skills and traits, and I think they were o-kay. At the player’s request I will try to have some equipment written next Friday.