Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gunfight at the OK Spaceport

Violence erupted at the OK Spaceport today when a gang of smugglers refused to surrender to a squad of Titan Rangers.

Two Judges were slain and a third is in critical condition at this time. One Goblin was killed, three wounded and three more including the leader of the bunch were taken into custody.

Judge Esqueza, the sole member of the Rangers to escape any injury had this to say: "This is the fate that awaits all perps, regardless of race, creed, or species. The Law applies to all citizens equally".

Lundigard Huggins, Goblin activist and leader of the Goblin Sentient Alliance was quick to charge the Rangers with "reckless use of lethal force". A march is planned in honor of slain Goblin, Ragbot Shagrat. "We will march on the Acadamy of Justice so that all citizens of Titan may know of the Judges' heavy handed tatics", Huggins was quoted as saying.
This was a pretty straight up fight using Two Hour Wargames new 5150 Star Army rules.

Now the new rules are clearly aimed at lager military conflicts similar in scope to Warhammer 40K sized games. However that did not stop me from immediately subverting that approach and applying it the principles to a law enforcement themed game.

The set up was drawn from whole cloth. Three Goblins were busy loading cargo at the rear of the shuttle. The leader and another ganger were busy in the cockpit running pre-flight checks. There were two Rep 4 Goblins posted as sentries, one at each entrance to the shuttle.Each sentry had an assault rifle, while the other goblins mostly had pistols (stats taken from the original 5150).

Two teams each of two Judges started play in the warehouses in the foreground of the photo. All Judges were Rep 5 and armed with Lawgivers capable of firing multiple types of projectile.

Esqueza and his partner emerged from the right hand warehouse and spent most of the game being pinned down by the sentry located by the cockpit and then the Goblin leader himself. The officers were outgunned and continually force to duck back. When his partner was killed, Esqueza switched to Hi Ex round and stunned the sentry allowing him to charge the cockpit.

Meanwhile Judge LaRoca and her partner emerged from the left hand warehouse. LaRoca lost her partner early on but manged to drill the sentry at the rear of the craft, who failed his In Sight test and did not get a shot at her first.

LaRoca then made her way up through the shuttle towards the cockpit putting several goblins out of the fight and causing others to surrender. Finally her luck ran out though and the Goblin gang leader shot her dead.

This coincided nicely with Esqueza's charge that took the fight out of the remaining Goblins who promptly surrendered.

Judge LaRoca will be awarded the Medal of Justice, First Class for her willingness to put herself at risk. continually putting herself in harm's way while using the minimum necessary force required to prosecute the arrest.

Judge Esqueza faces review in light of his having resorted to Hi Ex rounds in a commercial spaceport.

Finally I used the Hishen reaction tables for the Goblins (and would use the Grath for Orcs). The Judges used the Star Army tables in light of their genetic engineering and rigorous training.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Passenger 135: The Take Down

Judge Roy Baen’s request to follow up the “Green Meanie Massacre” on Luna was granted.

So while Judge Esqueza remained behind to soothe the  ruffled feathers of the Goblin-Sentient Alliance,  Judge Baen caught the first shuttle to Luna 1.

After an uneventful flight, Judge Baen was met at the spaceport by Luna’s Judge Barret and the two got straight to work.

Turns out Luna Justice was unable, or unwilling, to lend much assistance pointing out that it was the “full Earth” during which violent crime on the Moon was always on an upswing. However Judge Baen was given full access to Luna Justice’s computer and surveillance network.

Checking the terminal cams for the date of Passenger 135’s arrival, Judge Baen was treated to a close up look of the suspect, a dead ringer for Oliver Poole, the missing Titan exo-archaologist. There the trail went cold. There was no record of Poole’s activities or residence in Luna colony. 

Judge Baen quickly entered a digital image of Poole into the Luna surveillance camera net. Face recognition software as often a long shot, but the images recorded of Poole’s arrival were perfect for the task.

Within minutes Poole was located entering the space port, heading for the shuttle to the big Meg.

Having his suspect head off world within hours of his arrival on Luna struck Baen as quite a coincidence, and the Judge didn’t believe in coincidences. 

With that thought in the back of his mind, Judge Baen ran down to boarding gate flashing his badge to cut through the crowds.

When he arrived boarding was already in progress. Claxon’s sounded as the Judge used his helmet mike to call in an urgent request that the shuttle suspend boarding operations.
Rounding he corner to the gangway Baen spied his quarry about at the far end.

Baen shouted “Halt citizen Poole, I am the Law!”

With one motion, Poole rounded and went for his gun.

Despite Poole’s cyber reflexes the Judge was faster and hit his mark. Poole
shrugged off the hit to his chest and fired back missing.

The Judge threw himself to one side and hit Poole with another shot to the chest, this time inflicting a wound.

Poole raised his gun to fire and Judge Baen fired again, hitting Poole in the gun arm. With that Poole slid to the ground.

Judge Baen did what he could to save Poole but his suspect bled out before the med teks arrived.

A search of Poole’s belongings turned up a photo of a juve and a data slate from six years back.
The data slate contained a news article about a young girl felled  by a stray bullet when Green Meanie allegedly put a hit on a rival ganger. Further research would reveal that the juve in the photo and in the article was one Eliza Ridgefield, Poole’s niece.

Poole’s brief case tested positive for traces of the explosives used in the “Green Meanie Massacre”.

Further digging revealed how after his family’s loss, Oliver Poole aka Passenger 135 embark on a regimen of martial training and cyber upgrades apparently in preparation for avenging his niece.

And so the case of the “Green Meanie Massacre” has been solved and justice served for no citizen may take the Law into his own hands.

Then again, there is no such thing as coincidences...

While long on story and short on action this campaign morphed into a sci-fi variant for Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory (or SGS for short) tentatively titled Space Cowboy. 

Future games will use the campaign rules from SGS to get right to the action.

I'll post the modifications used to the blog as I go. At the moment this consists of rules for armour and sci-fi weapons and I'll get those up in the coming days.

Hope you liked the story and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Passenger 135 : The Investigation

The Titan Rangers assigned Judges Baen and Esqueza to investigate the messy death of Willfred Jones. Murder on this scale, 10 Goblins shot or blown to pieces, was unusual in a colony where artifact theft and smuggling were the big time rackets and only the occasional Dark Star killing was the norm.

In the wake of Jones’ death tension would build. For one thing his rackets were up for grabs. For another the death of so many goblins might ignite a powder keg. There had always been anti-Goblin sentiment amongst the colony’s largely human population with incidents of “Gobbo bashing” one of the more charming crimes confronting the Rangers. Some of the Goblin population had become increasingly militant. Understandable? Perhaps, but from a Justice Department viewpoint potentially criminal.

Arriving at the feature the exo-archeologists had dubbed “The Monastery”, Baen and Esqueza got down to business. The lab techs would follow up with a complete sweep of the scene but a  few clues had emerged. The killer worked alone it would seem, using a high caliber pistol and explosives. What data slates had survived the blast had not been tampered with and the techies would be near salivating at getting a chance to have a go at them.

It was Judge Baen who made the most startling discovery; a suitcase full of Umpty worth thousands of creds on the street. The suitcase had been forced open, but the contents had not been disturbed. Well robbery certainly wasn’t the motive then. When the lab techs arrived they were able to estimate when the attack occurred. Unfortunately the techs weren’t able to come up with any trace of the killer’s DNA.

Based on the nature of the crime, the apparent lack of theft of contraband or data, and the meticulous manner in which the perp had covered his tracks, Baen guessed the killer was a professional brought in from off world. A quick check of arrivals and departures at the  space port was in order.

En route to the space port, the Judges received word that Lundigard Huggins, former Jones muscle, turned community activist, was planning a protest march to the Prometheus district in response to the slayings. That would all be well and good if the Prometheus district wasn’t the heart of Hubert Ving’s territory. Any such march, of peaceful intent or not, was likely to end in bloodshed. In an effort to dissuade Huggins the officers took a detour to the Goblin’s current base of operations:  “The Goblin-Sentient Alliance”.

In the end they were able to persuade Huggins to at least delay his march to the give the Rangers time to investigate the murders. Huggins made no secret that in his opinion Hubert Ving was behind the massacre as the opening move of a bid take over all of the colony’s rackets.

Checking arrivals and departures at the space port was a bit of a disappointment. The list of possible suspects gleaned from the space port was daunting. As it happened the murders occurred the same week as the antiquities fair at the Titan University Exo-Archaeological Society (T.U.E.A.S). The list of possible suspects gleaned from the space port was daunting. Judge Baen thought it best to start by seeing the organizer of the fair, one Dr. Oliver Poole. 

…Who had gone missing just after the fair. A quick check of Dr. Poole’s quarters came up empty. Everything was gone. Cleaned out. Dr. Poole was last seen after the fair, before the murders. There was ample time for Dr. Poole to have reached the space port and caught the Luna run. After the murders.
Clearly Dr. Poole was now a person of interest.

This part of the game was played out entirely on paper using the Mythic RPG .

I'm not a hardcore RPG player, thinking of the RPG more as a means of linking skirmishes together rather than as the end in itself. That having been said Tom Pigeon has put together an excellent system for solo/co-op play with no need for prior preparation or a Game Master. Just keep your imagination open and let the game be your guide.

Not exactly sure where to take the story next but have a few ideas. Feel free to comment with your own (polite! : ) ) suggestions below.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Passenger 135 : The Hit

Passenger 135 reclined his seat and took another sip of his synthi-tini. To
the casual observer he was just another well to do businessman on the
Titan-Luna run.. Cybered up perhaps, and sporting the silver hair now
fashionable in some circles, still not very remarkable for all that. None
suspected that only 4 hours ago he had ended the run of Willfred "Mean
Greenie" Jones.

The first two sentries had died before their faces could even register
surprise. The second pair faired a wee bet better, one even managing to
lower his shotgun before the silenced slug put him down.

Passenger 135 kicked in the door of the "conference" room, momentarily
making eye contact with Jones and then...he hesitated. Jones lost no time in
calling a warning to his associates before ducking under the table.

The associates, five Goblins with criminal records a near match to Jones'
own, screamed in range and went for their guns.

Passenger 135, took some fire from an assault rifle as he slid the briefcase
into the room, noting with some displeasure the bits of masonry specking his

The explosion killed all but Jones, who lay wounded and panting on the
floor. Their eyes met one last time as 135 put the pistol to Jone's head.

No one was likely to mourn "Green Meanie" but more than a few were likely to
try and take his place as leader of the cartel.
Scene of the crime.


And so it began. Not at all sure where it is going though. Justice
Department will be pleased with Jones' removal, yet must be wondering who
did it and what the loss portends. Certainly a power struggle is in the

And what of 135? Who and why? Was it a contract, vendetta, or power play?

Here is how this game came to pass:

1. Been reading a bunch of Judge Dredd novelizations on my ereader.
2. Got some lovely Gretchin to supplement those plastic ones with the
shotguns. They were still out on the table waiting for a permanent billet.
3. Postie brought the Ziterdes Ruined Monastery.

Now so far as I know the Judge Dredd world does not have goblins but, and I
cannot stress this strongly enough, EVERY story is better with goblins. : )

So...decided that the a notorious band of smugglers and chump dumpers was
having a council in the ruins.
They would be interrupted by a very grumpy cyborg. Used a figure from the
Rackham AT-43 ONI faction toting a pistol and a briefcase as Passenger 135.

Jones, the crime lord, was a Rep 4 with two pistols.
All the other goblins were Rep 3 with whatever they held ranging from
pistols to shotguns to assault rifles.
135 was Rep 6 with subdermal plating and enhanced reflexes. He was toting a
silenced BA hand gun and a bomb (Grenade).

Rep 6 would still fail any reaction tests on 6's but made him a very deadly
Subdermal plating reduced the impact of weapons hits by 1.
Enhanced reflexes gave anyone reacting to him a -2 Rep penalty when testing.

He actually got shot a couple of times but was able to shrug it off, so Rep
6 in itself is not as huge a benefit as you might think although he did do
for 10 goblins. The bomb helped a lot there though.

Didn't use any charts or anything so the game was probably a mash up of Six
Gun Sound:BoG, CR3.0 and 5150 but it was great fun.

Next Up: The Investigation