BCRnLoC First Actual Play

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 sh
tiest 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.

Stay cool :cool:

Second and last session inside the abandoned mine. Last Busted Cars, Rust and Lots of Coffee we left Lisa and Exabyte after a failed drive off against some weird space insects. They left behind their storing device with a big chunk of the datalog and were planning on taking it back with a bugspray the datacruncher crafted on the laboratory.

Our beloved freelancers camp. They have the spray and now is time for stage 2. The datacruncher rolls back his eyes and search the Cloud for info about these bugs: Clouder Ob 3, success. He finds some files hidden around the extranet, videos of necropsies and bug testing: apparently these “node bugs” travel through deep space, appearing randomly on asteroids, can detect spikes of brain activity, feed on gray matter and gain intelligence in large groups. Meanwhile the miner starts tinkering with the light switch, the idea is to force a short circuit and power off the level. Tinker Ob 2, success. She has frayed wires ready for contact. After hearing the info from Exabyte, Lisa tries to convince Rocky to be the bait to no avail (specially after almost getting eaten by the node bugs), so they update stage 3: Lisa powers off the level and, using the mercenary’s night goggles, goes for the USB storage device. Meanwhile Exabyte attracts the bugs with a flare and Rocky covers with the shotgun. Scout vs Nature, success: Lisa removes the device and they run for the elevator with covering fire.

The miner pushes down the mine shaft and proceed to level 3 (to Rocky’s chagrin). There is a metal mesh runway directly above level 4, they can see some machinery and piled boxes below. More importantly the walls are guarded by turret sentries. Fearing triggering a burst of gunfire they descend to level 4 and sneak through the boxes. Thanks to his ANSIBLE-wise Exabyte recognizes the machinery as servers and the boxes as refrigeration devices. He decides to have a better look, Scout vs the VI Turrets Nature, success (even earning checks with his Burnout trait) He walks inside and finds the skeleton of a lab coated woman holding a laptop. Surely that’s the offline terminal. Lisa tests her Networker skills to keep in contact with her partner via mobile. Exabyte reclaims the laptop and proceeds to get the hell out: Scout vs Nature, failure. A large screen powers up on the far side of the room and they hear voice coming from their devices “I wouldn’t do that.” Grind: Hungry and Thirsty.

There is a six-pixels smiley face facing them from the giant screen and their own devices. The AI has Exabyte cornered with turrets. Time to talk their way out of this. We start a Trick AI conflict (Charmer/Networker), the AI wants to keep them from reclaiming the datalogs, they want to distract it to remove the hard drive from the laptop and bluff their way out of the mine. The artificial intelligence argues that letting them leave with the data will lead to the termination of it’s existence. They argue that killing more people will only get UniMECo’s attention. We have a long, loooong conflict and the murderous AI wins with a major compromise: it wastes power reserves in arguing with humans and power offs for a couple of minutes, giving them a chance to reach the elevator.

They start climbing the emergency ladder, Health Ob 2, all pass. Hungry and Thirsty again, they empty their coffee thermos. The screeching elevator sound alerts them the power went on again. The platform raises at tremendous speed, surely the AI is trying to crush them. We start a flee conflict through the facility in level 1. They lose and end up locked up in the lobby, all doors sealed up.

“Powering off oxygen in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” The freelancers only have a couple of turns before running out, Lisa and Rocky took some air masks back in the generator room but Exabyte is f***ed, and there’s still one more laptop left to go. The datacruncher has a moment of clarity: using the terminals in the lobby to access the laptop on the bunkbeds behind the sealed door, bypassing the node bugs and the depressurized tunnel. Meanwhile Lisa blowtorches the door to the tram station. Clouder Ob 4 (he invokes his Burnout trait, he has hacked through local networks a thousand times), failure: condition Angry from trying to understand a 20 years old OS. They get the last logs and rush to blowtorch the door while there’s oxygen left. Laborer Ob 3, success, the freelancers escape to the tram station.

Another sealed door and no oxygen. Rocky shares his mask with Exabyte, helping on his Health Ob 2 test: success. The other oxygen tank is duct taped to the blowtorch to fire it up, Laborer Ob 3, failure: Injured, Lisa burns her hands and eyes when cutting through the metal. On the other side Mia is waving at them. The voice on the speakers “Depressurizing facilities in 5, 4, 3…” They rush inside the tram and return to [M]ORd1N. Mission accomplished.

Mia pays up: 3D of Cash for the datalogs and 1D for locating the research terminals. I tell them to write Rocky as an ally. Lisa recover from her injuries and Exabyte from his anger on the trip back.

We reach Town, minor inconvenience: the spacedockers are on strike, no leaving S***town tonight (not by legal means, at least). They take some bunkbeds and Lisa starts navigating her circles: she’s wants to recruit miners for her long term project, starting up her own mining company and fight UniMECo. Ob 2, failure. I save this one for later. Both freelancers take a Personal Business to find a way out of S***town. Exabyte circles up, Ob 3, a stewardess that can get him inside a spaceship by posing as one of the airline’s datacrunchers. The miner will be harder to accommodate: Scout Ob 3 to sneak inside the cargo hold. Success. They make a deposit to pay off their quota with all their cash. Resources Ob 2 for Exabyte and 3 for Lisa. The miner fails. We close the session with screens flashing Lisa’s face: “Wanted on [M]ORd1N for failing to meet quota and instigating a miner strike.”

Stay cool :cool:

Third Busted Cars, Rust and Lots of Coffee session. We started off slowly but got really interesting by the end. This time we were joined by Sebastián, who played an Orc Merc, completing my first batch of character classes.

The players had blazed through all my notes last session, so this was all improv. No worry, TB town tables have my back. We started off with Lisa on the cargo ship being suddenly awaken by the desperate barking of a dog. She tries to calm the pooch down and it leads her to a blinking PDA. It says: “DARWIN SPIKE DETECTED” in bold red, with a picture of the eponymous professor and the address of some guy named Dr. Dawson.

The freelancers reach Anchor, one of the largest spaceport towns on the Inner Rim, home of free speech, trade, corruption and crime. Anchor customs are rotten to the core and Lisa has the opportunity to sign in with another name to avoid S***town authorities, but it takes a Resources test too high for a broke miner.

Our beloved duo rejoins on the station. Marco knows that researching the PDA info would take a Personal Business, so he has his character hand out the device to Exabyte. Both are almost completely broke, so they have to tinker around their accommodations. Lisa is a local and has a place and a friend here, so she will crash on her friend’s couch and leave the keys of her apartment to the datacruncher. In town a crazy fad has taken over and all people are wearing this LED like fluorescent makeup. They walk past the prophets, madmen and recruiters that fill Anchor’s spaceport and go on separate ways: Lisa goes visit her friend Bob and Exabyte will look for a quick gig in town and then to Dr. Dawson’s place to return the PDA.

The datacruncher rolls his Networker skill against Ob 3 and succeeds: we roll on the gig table and he earns enough to buy a little something something. No cash but a cool Ob 3 item from the gear list. Walking from the gig he catches a glimpse of a bright yellow thermal suit on display and can’t refrain from buying it.

Next stop Dr. Dawson’s place. Tery the orc merc’s there. Doc is a good man who offers free checkups for mutants on his home clinic. They talk about Tery’s parents and whatnot until the bell rings. A guy dressed on a bright yellow thermal suit is asking for him, probably a junkie in need of treatment.

The Doctor asks Tery to stay, just in case, while he talks through the door chain, reaching for a baseball bat. Exabyte presents the PDA and Dawson freezes. He lets him in and our datacruncher and orc merc finally meet.

Dr. Dawson is clearly disturbed. He confers being part of a secret society that’s researching Earth’s dark secret. “What if I told you that evolution is a virus?” He and some fellow scientist believe that evolution is a symbiotic, degenerative DNA-altering virus intentionally released on Earth by someone or something, and that serious evolutionary jumps are triggered from time to time: Darwin Spikes.

Dawson sends them on their way, gives the datacruncher 2D of Cash for his troubles and announces that he will be receiving a call from his associates. Tery, sensing the chance of a paid job strikes a partnership with Exabyte and joins the party (exchanging some raunchy compliments/full on insults with Lisa).

Meanwhile the miner crashes in Bob’s place. He’s a down on his luck accountant and broking advisor that looks like a burnout cross between Kevin Smith and the red staple guy from Office Space. Tery returns to his parents, eager for the adventure and the chance to buy some drugs to resell on arrival. Exabyte sleeps on Lisa’s home.

Phone rings, the Doc’s associates give a time and a place: Petrol Station, a gas station 75km East of Anchor. Walking on the sun-blasted asteroid is not a good option, so Tery rolls an Ob 2 Circles test to find Fabricio, a mutant getaway driver. As they’re about to leave the orc bumps into Margo, a friend of his and also a drug dealer: she’s bleeding from the shoulder and clearly disturbed. A mad datacruncher snapped during a deal, floating around and shooting lightning all over the place. She asks if she can count on him to take care of the freak and they strike a deal.

They roll their Resources, I believe Exabyte and Tery succeed, but Lisa fails (I don’t remember the condition). And we jump to Adventure Phase.

The freelancers are driven on a reinforced ford falcon through route 4 and cross paths with a gang of ten choppers, clearly road pirates. Fabricio pushes to next town, dropping Tery, Lisa and Exabyte on the station’s cafeteria.

There’s only a teenager on the counter and an old guy sitting in a table with a suitcase (I think i described him as a shy and stressed out version of George R. R. Martin).

They surround the nervous old man and Lisa asks “Have you ever heard of a Darwin Spike?” He nods and gives out the assignment: there was a Darwin Spike detected on a freighter, they need a team of freelancers to capture whatever/whoever triggered it for them to research on. He takes out three tickets and forged IDs, ready to infiltrate the spaceship.

Tery and Lisa fill their coffee thermos at the expense of the old man while Exabyte runs a quick search on the subject, Clouder Ob 4 failure: he finds some unconnected articles that show the septuagenarian as a prestigious university professor named Thomason (a contrast from this nervous trainwreck sitting on the cafeteria). Before reaching any substantial information his concentration is broken by the loud noise of motorcycles. Four road pirates are staking out the cafeteria.

Tery goes try on some cheap sunglasses and tries to pick up the snarky clerk to no avail while Lisa, knowing that if they call Fabricio they run the risk of getting ambushed by the choppers, tries to hitch a ride from the truckers outside the cafeteria. As she opens the door the pirates start throwing slurs trying to pick a fight (but apparently wouldn’t start a skirmish inside Petrol Station). Lisa bites and they start screaming at each other. The bikers, seeing how she wouldn’t throw a punch (which is logical, considering she’s unarmed), move some meters outside the gas station and keep on screaming there.

Lisa bites again and now Tery joins in, trying to intimidate them: Pusher vs Pusher failure: the bikers call to two more comrades hidden behind the cafeteria, that come charging on their bikes, flailing balls and chains. Exabyte joins in. We start a fistfight, no murderous intent.

They lose without even making a dent.

Our freelancers wake up on the side of the road, Injured with most items and cash gone. Of notice the orc’s rifle and the miner’s pike are missing. “They stole my pike! That’s everything I have!” Professor Thomason is gone too.

Exabyte tries to reach Fabricio the driver, Networker Ob 1, but fails. A six pixel smiley face flashes on their mobiles “I found you!” they write the AI from [M]ORd1N as a new Enemy.

Time to walk back Anchor. The sun-blasted waste takes an Ob 2 Health test. Exabyte has an automatic success, no roll, since he’s wearing a thermal suit. Tery fails, leaving him Exhausted. Lisa takes Angry instead (she already had Angry but I think she took it off on a camp I’m not remembering).

We wrap up the session going Town again (most high class citizens are now using chrome finery, apparently fashion changes quickly in Anchor). They have to help Margo with her datacruncher problem and board the freighter to investigate the Darwin Spike.

Stay cool :cool:

I almost forgot! Last Friday’s Busted Cars, Rust and Lots of Coffee session. A Townie one but with a cool Personal Business in between. Memory is a little hazy, but I think it went like this.

Exabyte crashes with Tery’s parents and his six little brothers. They make a living fencing stolen goods. The site is really cramped and uncomfortable, but its free. Regardless he cannot recover unless he brings something to the house. Time to look out for a gig, Networker Ob 3 fail, we roll on the table minus the MoF. He scores a sh**ty job as a clerk for a cover business. 1D of cash and marks Angry, but recovers after spending time with the mutant family.

Tery wants to find a job fighting illegal boxing matches. Ob 3 Networker test failure, table - MoF, he scores a 12! Which leaves him at 11, cool gig: choose between meeting a new Friend or 2D of Cash. Knowing they will be fighting with a datacruncher later on he decides to make a new friend: Jackie, a bare knuckle fighter.

Lisa gets in the gig action too, Ob 3 Networker failure -MoF, she’s stuck monitoring heavy machinery for UniMECo, buys another pickaxe which leaves her on the red, adding an extra lifestyle.

Tery goes for Margo, since he promised he was going to help her deal with the datacruncher situation next time he was on town. Unarmed after the encounter with the road pirates, the orc tries to bum a weapon from her friend but there’s no way she’s lending her sawed off. The mercenary, being a mercenary, pushes forward and asks for an advancement on his payment, Margo rebuffs again, all she got was stolen by the mad datacruncher. After dealing with it, he will get a share of the drug money. Personal business.

The party reaches the unfinished building the datacruncher calls home. Tery sporting a lead pipe, Lisa a pickaxe, Margo with her sawed off shotgun, Jackie two brass knuckles and Exabyte wielding his newfound telekinetic powers. The 20something stories building is inhabited from the first to the twelfth floor, the remaining still under construction. Margo had arranged with the workers to access through a service elevator.

Time to plan: Tery, Jackie and Lisa on the front, Exabyte on the back, all take cover behind columns while Margo confronts the freak with her shotgun. A huddled creature, covered with rugs, nylon sheets and whatever she could find to shelter from the freezing temperatures.

“Yo! Asshole!” Margo calls her attention. Drive off conflict. The datacruncher rises, eyes blazing with static energy. We script and the best timed Feint vs Maneuver action completely blasts my disposition. Tery appears from behind a column with a lead pipe swing directly to the face. An arch of electric energy sends the pipe flying through a wall.

“You don’t understand, I need this!”, the datacruncher is desperate and broken. “Get the f*ck out of here.” Margo reclaims two bricks of cocaine and two XXLCD and turns them into 4D of cash for each.

They’re all Hungry and Thirsty, so they all go grab a bite. Exabyte refills his coffee. Lisa, after seeing Tery in action, gets a lead pipe for herself. Tery gets another rifle. Lifestyle: successes all around. Time to go offworld, infiltrating the space frigate to find out about this all Darwin Spike thing.

We roll for their false IDs. Tery gets cleaning personal, Lisa is part of the crew and Exabyte a flight assistant. End of session.

Stay cool :cool: