The Currents of Space – Interlude

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The incidents in ‘The Currents of Space 2.6’ seems to have thrown up a few issues and queries. I’m going to run through my notes on a case-by-case basis.

As a FtF/ PBeM, I’m actually quite lenient; in 11 years of FtF with the current group, I’ve only had 5 PC deaths (and one of those was Ben’s retired Bard, killed in Montage, so not really my fault.)

Playing solo, in ‘The Currents of Space’; I tend to let the dice tell the story and only meta-intervene when I have to.

The HOSTILE universe is exactly that; it is unforgiving and dangerous. Reference ’Alien’, ‘Aliens’, ‘Alien 3’, ‘Outland’ etc. for a body count. Also, real-life mining, oil drilling, shipping and production are all high-risk professions.

1) The Shelter

A couple of die rolls indicated that they were in an emergency shelter near to the port and that it was overcrowded. A roll for available spares gave a Spares Level of 4.

I rolled d6 for how long the storm would last; the roll was 6 weeks (exceptional). I treated the shelter as being a star ship and rolled for a malfunction each week; starting at 11+ with a DM -1 per additional week. The poker game was just some fluff and skill rolls.

On week 5 a malfunction happened. I’ve just acquired ‘Crew Expendable’ (the latest from Zozer Games), so I rolled on the Ship Malfunction table. The result was ‘Life Support Failure’.

Oops. No-one in the shelter has the Starship Engineering skill. Achernar tried; the Spares level helped but dropped by 1 each failed attempt.

SOLO has a possible BAD outcome of Death. I didn’t want to kill another PC, so it had to be some NPC’s.

In ‘Aliens’, Vasquez and Gorman killed themselves when escape seemed impossible. In the SOLO rules; one example had the ship’s navigator commit suicide. I really didn’t see that this would upset some readers; I apologise for this and have edited the text.

2) Rachel’s plan

This was doomed to fail from the start; she has no real expertise in this sort of thing. Again, the PLAN resolution threw up a BAD outcome of Death.

I didn’t want to kill Etamin or Rachel (as she is the new PC); but I needed to give Rachel a motive for joining the group. That’s why Mason was along; but there was a 1:6 chance he survived. He died; so Rachel needs to get off-planet before the gang catch up with her.

The use of the nerve gas by Etamin came from the expedition; I ran this first and Etamin only used one canister. Growing up on the streets and running with various gangs has given him various skills.

3) Capella died whilst part of the crew of the “Oppenheimer”, as Bellatrix said, the false papers were not intended to stand up to that sort of level of scrutiny. The obvious thing is for the “Oppenheimer” to message Crown via the Hyperwave.

How did I feel about playing this out? – a question I’ve been asked.

I can’t answer it, really. I like my characters; I think I know how Achernar, Bellatrix etc. tick.

Do they have a charmed life? – NO.

Like GoT; my characters can die; I let the system dictate. Achernar nearly died in the mud-shrimp attack that killed Capella; they all could have died in the emergency shelter from CO2 poisoning.

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