Friday, March 9, 2012

Episode 2: Revealed

A: Turian, B: Salarian, C: Asari, D: Krogan, E: Quarian
It's Mass Effect.

We played the first of two sessions last night of the formerly a mystery, sci-fi-skinned Pathfinder game set in the Mass Effect universe. I've been tinkering with this idea for a few months now and was delighted when we settled on this week (the week of the new game's release) for the first game. Folks showed up, characters made, got the reveal on the setting, and then dug into equipping, refining characters, and finding out more about the setting.

There was a pretty major hitch there, though. One of the major reasons I wanted to run this was because I always thought the codex entries (largely voice acted encyclopedia) in the various Mass Effect games (and some other Bioware games) were a rich way to present tons of in-world information. So I was very pleased to find that the Mass Effect Wiki included a significant volume of those codex recordings. With personal computers like omitools in the Mass Effect universe, giving any major player access to that database, I figured I could turned that whole site into a giant, awesome player handout. Adding in the projector we have at the office and my laptop full of displays, schematics, terminal interfaces, crew logs, etc, we had the set up for an appropriately high-tech game. One problem. I couldn't get an internet hookup in our meeting room. So after all of this, no access to the Mass Effect Wiki. Lame.

The set-up this time around
Fortunately, I could get a connective via my iPhone, and running the codex entries for all the races and some major topics like Cerberus and biotics worked. Add additionally, since all of the players also had iPhones, I just told them to look up the codex entries on the wiki and Youtube and use their phones like the omnitools their characters' had been provided. That worked, serviceably, but ultimately the integration was not what I'd hoped for. Cest' la vie.

All that said, once we got past the preamble the technical snafu largely faded into the background. Our team of Cereberus operatives revived their cryptic mission details, landed on 2175 Aeia and set to work infiltrating the research base there, one already compromised by Blue Suns mercenaries. From there, high jinx ensued--though I have to give them credit, the team was largely more commando about things than I'd anticipated.

Captain Eiger, Human Gunslinger (James Jacobs)
* Played a human! Humans get to be captain!
* Showed off his keen piloting skills, buzzing an alien jungle and making a feather soft landing.
* Sniped a sniper through the sniperscope with his darling sniper rifle "Lana."
* Manned the laptop/computer terminal multiple times, tinkering with files, schematics, and reading hacked e-mails.
* Contributed the rules for tech, weapons, armor, future gear, etc, from his massive and awesome Unspeakable Futures post-apocolyptic Lovecraftian horror game. Couldn't have had a game without these!

One of the Station Schematics
Sathar Vrusk, Turian Monk-Zen Archer (Rob McCreary)
* Instantly memorized the entry for turians and totally threw himself into the race's personality and mindset.
* The crew gun bunny, eager to help himself to the Blue Suns' Elanus Risk Control Services Banshee assault rifle.
* Immediately picked up on and made a beeline for the industrial power loader.
* Discovering the etymology of the Venus flytrap mid-game.
* Voted most likely to mutiny.

Cerise 7, Asari Bard (Erik Mona)
* Composed the team Cerberus theme song: "Three heads, are better than one..."
* Quickly got into the detective element of the story and picked up on quite a few of the more subtle clues hidden in the data and on the bodies recovered so far.
* Uncovered or solved such mysteries of the plasticized eyeless corpses, why the mercenary "Cat Man" got his call sign. Oh, and "No one clones a fatty."
* Always kept an eye on the heirloom family length of rope.
* Totally going for a Gender Equality in Gaming Award with his portrayal of his first-ever female character.

Debates... in Spaaaace!
Gippy Consuelo, Salarian (James Sutter)
* Demolitions expert and total commando guy. In front, has a plan, and blows stuff up... even if that stuff is delicate manufacturing equipment.
* Sneaky lizard who also uses his biotic powers to punch in mercenary heads from a distance.
* Full of cagey ideas for setting off motion-detecting turrets (even if they're not there). The flashlight trick was pretty brilliant.
* The rich Latin accent is a nice touch. Makes me imagine that he's playing Rango.
* Commando lingo!

Talos, Quarian (Andrew Vallas)
* Utterly destroying nearly every hacking and tech check thrown his way. No passcode or security lock out stands in Talos's way.
* Attempting to rig the Blue Sun's dropship to remotely self destruct and Sathar's motion detector to not pick up machinery (so another innocent factory machine doesn't get firebombed).
* Figured out that the station is emitting a communications jamming screen.
* If it's been a clue and in a computer, he's found it.
* Giving tit for tat with our mouthy turian.

And the whole thing wrapped up with the PCs opening a secured door and coming face to face with a station receptionist or low tier coms officer... with no eyes!

So that was the first one. I'll put my notes for the adventure and the tons of handouts I generated for this up after the second, concluding session. I think I'll also put together a list of important links to the Mass Effect Wiki for any of my players who want to dig into a bit more with relevance to the adventure. But for now, its time to figure out when we're playing next, and to see if our lethal crew can survive the terror of the Planet of the Eyeless Receptionist!

1 comment:

  1. My friend and I are creating a mass effect game kinda like d and d