Saturday, July 16, 2011

Battlestar Galactica RPG

The DM for the Wednesday night Labyrinth Lord group was away in Florida seeing family this week so another of the players stepped up and ran a session of the Battlestar Galactica RPG.

Like its sister game, Serenity, BSG uses the Cortex system (you add dice together to hit a target number, and the dice scale depending on how good your character is at something) and is published by Margaret Weis Productions.

I have the Serenity RPG, almost had a playtest group for it,  but couldn't find enough players willing to commit to once a week and signing non disclosure agreements. The cortex system is good for what it does. Not my normal cup of tea, but not something to complain about either.

We ran pre-rolled characters for this session and the GM had nifty table tents with pictures of various TV and Movie actors with character names at the bottom that he uses when he runs this as a convention game (which he did at Origins this year). My suggestion was to add their call-signs as well.

The mission was to extract Defense Minister from Caprica about 36 hours after the Cylon attack began.

Our team consisted of 3 marines, (a combat medic, recon specialist, and a meat shield with a D12 in brawling skill); a female Viper pilot that was a looker with a special bonus to charming the guys and was our mission leader; a Raptor pilot, second in command; and an intel specialist.

Each character began the game with 6 plot point markers, which appropriately in this instance were actual spent brass cartridges. Some from .22 ammo and some from .308 (if I recall correctly). These could be spent to add scaling dice to a roll or buy info, or change some minor plot element. You could also earn more of them for doing something very in character, or getting a chuckle from the GM, etc.

The mission began simple enough with the Raptor jumping into orbit at a junk cluttered LaGrange point to scan for activity and then a jump into the atmosphere of Caprica. Despite trying to hide while scanning, two Cylon raiders at least one of which was a heavy raider spotted our arrival from a good distance. Then our jump into atmo went a bit wrong and we arrived at 18,000 feet instead of 10,000.

Never take a combat medic's advice for a landing site. Sure the chalet had a helipad that gave us direct access. Sure we could potentially be in and out before those pursuing raiders arrived. Riiight.

Then there was the matter of the Minister's security detail. Our group was more diplomatic than the convention group. Instead of duking it out with fellow humans, our Captain talked her way in to see the Minister.

The medic and the Raptor pilot were left to guard the Raptor. That went really well. -ahem-

The pilot decided he needed a prolonged break away from the ship to eat an apple and "Doc", well he knows nothing about Raptor consoles, but his sense of impending doom ability did alert him to the blinking red light that had not been blinking before. Over the short range com he suggested that "Pirate" come see to the ship and cut off his extended pee break.

Turns out there was a missile about 20 seconds away with a lock on the Raptor. oops! They both ran. Then the Captain suggested ECM and counter-measures. Too late. Scratch one Raptor and our only known means of escape.

Not long afterward a heavy raider landed and offloaded 8 of the metal Cylons. Death toasters.

The party and the security detail had managed to get the Minister and his guest out of the compound and into hiding in the woods. And thanks to a happy little pill, calmed and controlable.

The two other marines along with our intel guy "Spooky" and our Raptorless pilot managed to board the heavy raider while the toasters were hunting in other sections of the chalet and grounds cleaning up some of the security detail that were left to fight.

Nobody could figure out how to fly it or make anything happen with the raider. It became necessary to rig some grenade triplines in case some toasters started coming back, which they did and promptly two of them were scrap metal.

More Cylons responded to the blast and soon the party was blasting away while mostly avoiding injury.

After the 8 toasters were neutralized everyone decided to make a break in the two SUVs parked in the compound, but not before Doc pumped a morphine and other drug cocktail into a major "vein" in the raider. No idea if it worked or not.

The party and our objective drove to a base about 10 miles away hoping to find something to get us into orbit in time for extraction. We ran into more Cylons, but we did find a replacement Raptor to get us off-world.

A fun session and not a bad system for a one-shot or even a campaign if that is your objective.

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1 comment:

StevenWarble said...

The Cortex Plus system used in Smallville and Leverage is way, way cooler than basic Cortex in Serenity and BSG.