Freak Debris: a sci-fi Whitebox variant mashup campaign

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Freak Debris: a sci-fi Whitebox variant mashup campaign

Postby geordie racer » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:32 am

We're two sessions into a new sci-fi campaign, set amongst the far colonies of the distant Terran empire. We're rotating Referees and aiming at a Firefly vibe (but with more gunfighters/samurai in the mix) and seeing where it takes us. It's human-centred but there are non-intelligent alien lifeforms on every planet - influenced by classic Traveller encounter categories (pouncer, herbivore etc)

We've drawn upon rulesets based on Whitebox:
- Whitestar
- Starslinger - classes
- Blood & Bullets - classes and scenario generators
- Backswords & Bucklers - tavern trawling idea
- Ruins & Ronin - classes and weapons
- Savage Swords of Athanor - the first session used the hex descriptions and freatures with Whitestar but we changed to a less 'sword & planet' concept as we drew on the other rulesets and rerolled characters.

The characters:
Callico - a 'man with no name' type - zen calm
Miss Dubois - a Coreworlder xenobiologist - feisty
Big Al - robot (mech) - grumpy
Elijah Baines - snakeoil salesman - 'foghorn leghorn'

Session Two

The crew of the Rusty Buzzard are contacted by an old space navy colleague Jeremiah who contracts them to escort him to a badlands planet to exchange a weapons shipment with a local criminal in return for his son who is held hostage. En route to the planet they are buzzed by the local law but the crew talk their way out of iit.

The exchange takes place on a muddy plain at dawn in the rain, then Jeremiah is shot by his son and it all descends into gun/sword with the crew using the cargo crates as cover - Big Al opens one of the encrypted hover crates to discover it contains cryogenic pods. Miss Dubois and Big Al are wounded but the 6 criminals are defeated, all killed, including the son. The crew are left muddy and confused with 20 pods and too many questions (and corpses) in the driving rain.

From my point of view (Elijah) it was a generic Shadowrun-type scenario and besides sweet-talking the law I didn't rock as far as using my class skills but the Referee Stephen Laidlaw really laid on the tension and atmosphere, so it worked our well, with some good banter between the characters.

(more to come re rules)
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Re: Freak Debris: a sci-fi Whitebox variant mashup campaign

Postby merias » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:39 pm

That sounds like fun - I've tried for a similar Firefly-feel with another whitebox-based game, X-plorers. This sounds like you're taking the best bits from lots of games. I'm not familiar with Backswords & Bucklers - what is the 'tavern trawling idea' ?
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Re: Freak Debris: a sci-fi Whitebox variant mashup campaign

Postby greyarea » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:07 pm

Sounds awesome.
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Re: Freak Debris: a sci-fi Whitebox variant mashup campaign

Postby geordie racer » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:12 pm

merias wrote:I'm not familiar with Backswords & Bucklers - what is the 'tavern trawling idea' ?


In B&B the author suggests using a tavern as a base of operations for hearing rumours and meeting with patrons who may offer the characters jobs. There are brief tables to generate type of job/complications/rewards. Following that are example rumour tables.

We've used and adapted them over time and in play this led to 'procedural pub crawling' with reaction tables and pub minigames e.g. cockfighting, bare knuckle fights, folksinging!! etc so going on a tavern trawl can become an adventure in itself, sometimes with overlapping and conflicting jobs, and adds a bit more flavour to the usual visit to the pub.
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