On Saturday I finally ran my first Starblazer Adventures session. As I’ve detailed in a couple of posts here on the blog we used the Mass Effect universe as a background and the player characters where employees of the Exogeni Corporation.
The adventure started in Geneva. The player characters have been summoned to the local Exogeni representative who had a new job for them. Their mission was to take the scout ship Aurora, travel to the Mithril system and check out if the planets in the system are suitable for exploitation.
On the ship that has been parked on the Geneva space port, they met their crew consisting of a female human engineer, a Turian navigator and a human cook and cargo specialist that I called a “steward”. The flight was mostly uneventful until the ship suddenly received a distress call.
The SSV Icarus, a System Alliance science vessel was calling for help. The ship’s engines were failing and it has been caught in the gravity well of a gas giant, slowly spiraling to certain doom. The players decided to change course and help the Icarus’ crew.
Some of you might actually recognize this setup. That’s because I used Daniel Swensen’s one-sheet scenario “Orbit Five” as a basis for my adventure. It was actually no problem transferring the scenario to the Mass Effect universe. I changed the visitor into a Geth-like robot creature (perhaps another agent of the Reapers, who knows?) but I basically ran the adventure as written.
My players actually suspected from the get go that something was wrong on the Icarus and cautiously explored the ship. Things went pretty smoothly and when they realized that the crew was dead they decided to abandon ship using the Icarus’ shuttle. That was when I decided we need to try out Starblazer Adventurer’s combat rules and let the visitor attack them. Combat was pretty quick and the players made good use of their character’s stunts and aspects. We ended the adventure when the adventurers safely returned to their ship.
All in all I am quite happy how the session went. Everyone obviously enjoyed the rules, even though we still had some problems really making use of all the options FATE offers. But I am sure we’ll get the hang of it in no time.
But we realized that we have two other problems: a) it’s almost impossible to schedule another game anytime soon and b) the Mass Effect universe lacks a lot of details that the GM has to fill. The first problem was solved by splitting the group into two. The one group will meet on the weekends and the other will meet during the week. We hope to play at least one or two times per month from now on (with each group). I really hope this works out.
We also decided to drop Mass Effect as a setting. I am not exactly sure, what I am going to run for the now two groups, but it will probably not be Mass Effect again. One idea was to run a game set into the Traveller universe or something of my own design. I still have a couple of tricks up my sleeves. 😉