Antarctica, Tricity, Tempest Dome. Population 500 million.

Antarctica, Tricity, Tempest Dome. Population 500 million.

Antarctica, Tricity, Tempest Dome. Population 500 million.

Tricity has three massive domes, each supporting many hundreds of millions of people. This is the largest city in Antarctica. Known as Tricity for the three domes. The three domes are known by their ruling corporation names: Tempest Dome, Halligon Dome, and the DevOne Dome. Hyperloops interlink inside and in between the domes, whisking massive amounts of people from station to station. Rich people can move their personal sky craft onto a hyperloop train car to get to where they are going after they disembark the hyperloop. Poorer do not have personal sky craft and instead use massive automated sky buses, that can house a thousand, these buses intersect throughout the domes.

Ice farmers make a living outside of the domes in the harsh arctic environment providing water to the billions and ensuring it continues to be produced for posterity.

Tempest Dome has an internal digital sun that is projected large on the inside of the dome. It moves across the inside of the dome and marks each day. The rich live on the inside of the dome up above the ground level.

The Characters:

Loch the chief exec from War Dog inc. a subsidiary of LM Global. The War Dog board directs Loch’s actions and Priscilla is the governing board member. Loch has a direct connection with her because he owes an obligation to her. The War Dog HQ building hangs down from the dome. Loch has a sky limo, some security staff, and a couple of department leads that he deals with routinely.

Kal is a medical cybernetics specialist. He works by subcontract through Dr. Travez the head cybernetics doctor at the LM Global corporate hospital. His specialization has brought him in on several high level jobs. He owes Dr. Travez because of the incident that made him contract something that is killing Kal.

Verix is the lead cybernetics and software engineer employed by War Dog inc. He has come up with a concept for a portable node, that will fly in the face of Halligon Corporation’s monopoly on node technology. It will allow someone to log into the veil from anywhere and not require a traditional node hub.

Halliday is a digital wares purveyor who sells art, music, and movies in the veil. He uses a cyberbrain to illegally merge minds with others and pierce the heavy neurochip encryption to illicitly record people’s thoughts and feelings. He sells these to exclusive clientele, at a premium price. He has a digital shop that he can move from node realm to node realm through some inexplicable means.

If anyone is interested I wrote up our six sessions for this game. We finished after six sessions.

For Gauntlet Con 2017 I ran The Veil: Cascade twice!

For Gauntlet Con 2017 I ran The Veil: Cascade twice!

For Gauntlet Con 2017 I ran The Veil: Cascade twice!

The First Session, “Dead Silence”, was one where we built a setting and we just improvised our way to a satisfying conclusion. Kind of an accelerated version of just playing a first session.

The Second Session, “The Green Zone”, is the scenario that will appear in Cascade itself, albeit with a much lighter overview with the time constraint. It is an emergent mystery that gives you a setup, a couple threats if needed, and just trusts you to work together to figure it out.

Both sessions were awesome and I enjoyed them for different reasons. As you can tell from the book I love emergent themes and world building brings that out well. On the other hand, pulling off a mystery where no one at the table knows who did it or why, is also so damn cool! All the players were fantastic.

I removed Giri/Obligation, I told the players to simply use moves as they came up instead of choosing them. We didn’t engage with Questions/Beliefs or the XP system; similarly, if they needed a specific cybernetic or piece of gear for fictional positioning, they just had it. In session one I had players choose gear and cybernetics and did not do that based on a player’s suggestion in session 1, and it sped it up very much. I think it’s a good example of running The Veil both ways: prepared scenario and from scratch.

I also scoured the internet for AP of The Veil and compiled all of it into one playlist, along with another for all the AP I’ve participated in as a player. Turns out it is a LOT of content. I’m very blessed to have played in so many games with so many players. I also saved Gauntlet Con playlists to my channel if you want to check out the many awesome games that took place, which, I highly recommend you do!!!

Here’s a link to the main channel’s playlist – simply find what you want there!

Friends at the Table’s Twilight Mirage is still going and still really great.

Friends at the Table’s Twilight Mirage is still going and still really great.

Friends at the Table’s Twilight Mirage is still going and still really great. Lots of world building and characterization and great production values with each episode.

About to start GM,ing a game over on the RPG talk discord, #pickup_apocalypse_world channel.

About to start GM,ing a game over on the RPG talk discord, #pickup_apocalypse_world channel.

About to start GM,ing a game over on the RPG talk discord, #pickup_apocalypse_world channel.

Really excited for this. Got a Maori Honed, an amnesiac Architect, a meglomanic for a Catabolist, an Honoured starting with a thermal grenade launcher and a PI Empath.

All on an island chain with stuff ranging from natural caves to tax exile super-cruise ships. And slums, lots of vertical slums…

The Intercontinental Group of Awesome, a playgroup I’m in, has played three sessions of The Veil out of four…

The Intercontinental Group of Awesome, a playgroup I’m in, has played three sessions of The Veil out of four…

The Intercontinental Group of Awesome, a playgroup I’m in, has played three sessions of The Veil out of four scheduled. I’m pretty happy with the story we’re telling so far.

The main inspiration for the setting is a video game called VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. The game is set in “Nirvanna”, another bar mentioned in the game.

The Experience Manager is Dax, an Architect, played by Paul Edson.

The main bartender Voxel, an Empath, played by Jan van Zon.

One of the bouncers is ill/Boy, an Apparatus, played by Alex Prinz.

The bar’s accountant is Pawn, a Dying, played by Julia Nienaber.

There’s a mix of small stakes drama at the bar itself with big corporation vs. “the people” conflicts impacting their daily lives. I’m loving the characters here most of all, but I’m also enjoying how the game works on emotional states.

This Sunday is the “big finale”, and I’m hoping we bring a number of the moving pieces to a satisfying conclusion. I have faith we will, this group is tops.

Hey all!

Hey all!

Hey all! Gauntlet Con, an online Con is coming in October. You should SEE the list of games, it’s incredible. I’ll be there, come play with us/me/everyone/not yourself.

Originally shared by Richard Rogers (orklord)


Fraser Simons Running Games at Gauntlet Con

Fraser Simons is a cyberpunk enthusiast working on the second book to his game, The Veil. He’s an avid gamer, both analog and video. And looks forward to realizing more game designs he’s currently working on.

During Gauntlet Con, Fraser will be running The Veil: Cascade.


Find out more about Gauntlet Con here:

First “real” episode after the world building episode just dropped.

First “real” episode after the world building episode just dropped.

First “real” episode after the world building episode just dropped. I am excited as heck to listen after the world building episode.

First episode of FatT’s Twilight Mirage just dropped.

First episode of FatT’s Twilight Mirage just dropped.

First episode of FatT’s Twilight Mirage just dropped.

The Reach — Episode Two

The Reach — Episode Two

The Reach — Episode Two

Come to the Garden

Previous episode:

Episode 0:


Situation: After Drop Troops surgically landed in the city, a majority of Districts have gone dark. Corporate arcologies have put themselves on lockdown, automated traffic has come to a standstill and there are reports that gangs of Devis are creeping up from the industrial Downlows, Surge City’s bottom.


Emet Kessner — The Honed

Belief 1: People are in danger, and as the honed I must aid them. I will save people from the disaster that fell upon the city.

Belief 2: The Mayor of the city is a horrid corrupt person whose mere rule is pain to his people, if I see him close, I’ll punch him.

Belief 3: Enhanced humans can never hope to be as perfect as me and my kind. We are better in everything.

Dr. Veleris Grant — The Catabolist

Belief 1: The city is in chaos, I now have the opportunity to go out and get some cyberware without getting noticed, I seek out a battle ground for some good junk

Belief 2: Dealings with the Yavlin are considered uncouth by many; to keep it a secret I will have to create an illusion emitting implant, and investigate how to manipulate the Yavlin in to a more acceptable appearance.

Belief 3: People have free will and choice, someone should never be forced/forbidden to get cyberware(removed), I wil defend choice. Once I am presentable I will seek out Sarah Kessner.

Andronicus Philotheos — The Seeker

Belief 1: The garden and its followers are my responsibility; I need to understand the factions within the system better. Therefore I will research the Ni Tai Mercs and look into why Skyler Addison asked for asylum.

Belief 2: The loss of contact with Dr Veleris Grant concerns us greatly; I need to secure the Yalvlin.

Belief 3: The needs of the faith go before my own; I will do whatever is necessary to strengthen our stronghold in the Maenalu system, so that no human will be left behind when we transcend.

We get this great interview of Emet as he is being rushed by reporters, only as he is finishing up, his connected device buzzes (miss on Potential): It’s his venerable father, Dov Kessner, the patriarch of the family and the Kessner Mining Corp./Fleet.

With a dry acknowledgment of his deed saving these kids, he then goes to let him know that he expects him to extract himself from the situation, collect his cousin (who they can’t reach) and head to the city’s space elevator. The Kessner family is heading home, he wants no entanglement with the local politics of “these people”.

A horizon stretching meadow, we see Andron, clad in full vestement, approaching a group of others of his order. He exchanges ritual greetings, sits and they talk. He passes little figurines containing memories he shares. He asks if truthfulness and honesty will serve him better should he pursue them. One of the others tells him a tale relating to his situations, a violent revolt on a station, with a lesson to not throw his allegiance to any side lightly but to look out for the common people. (success on Communion; +answer, +insight, +1 cred)

We pan up, high and see the lush green is but part of an island floating in the clouds among a handful of others.

Dr. Grant aches as he collects himself, the damaged scout mecha had set him down and is moving, drawing one leg after itself at the end of the valley. With the security to the power node that the spire is breached, he decides to investigate to better understand what the mercs’ objective is.

With the Yavlin, that is a bulge replacing his left shoulder/upper arm underneath his cloak, and his good hand he interacts with the exposed terminal: apparently this spire is shut down, down to the lowest levels of the city. This means power is out in an entire network, not just one district. But it is not damaged, it is just… in a complex series of dependencies, to restart this one you’d need to be at one of the other spires that have been attacked.

It all seems like a ploy to cover up an entirely different operation. An expensive one and one that’s been done without regard for the consequences (success on Lift the Veil).

Thinking for a moment, he calls up a contact in good standing (success on Links): Koda Shune, CTO of C-DISC Inc. (Chiba Department of Infrastructure for Surge City), a man out for his own who previously achieved good success with research Dr. Grant gave him access to, for the use of construction workers enhanced by specialized industrial cybernetics.

He strikes an easy deal: the info on the shutdown spires for a claim of first salvaging rights and some specialized AR tech.

The call is cut short by a bang from way back in the streets, a flash of light and the sound of automatic gun fire.

You do what you are told to do when it is your dad telling you to, even if you can’t keep yourself from whining to him. But it’s no use; and what is more frustrating, with the bike confiscated… Emet’s got to walk back. Traffic is either completely stuck, or on this highway almost deserted. Automated public transportation refuses to carry anyone.

And now he’s got even a group of hunched peeps clad in dirty rags climbing up on the way and pointing towards him (miss on Lift the Veil to find the way home).

With his curiosity he approaches to greet them… until they very obviously try to surround him. He lunges into a sprint as they try to close the circle, sliding underneath the swings of some extended batons, breaking out of it.

But not before one of them fires a taser gun at him, its hooks burying itself in his jacket and frying his com-device (taking a risk to breaking free).

With this momentum, he vaults off of a lamp post and makes a leap onto a an outside structure of a building over a gap off of the high-way. First shots ring out and miss, he slides down some steel piping to gather more speed and then pushes off.

Landing with an elegant roll on the concrete on a crossing ramp below he can also see the zip lines used by those thugs to get up above: these must be these pitiful people the city calls Devis.

As he scans where to go next, and the first ones trying to make their way down here, he hears the screeching of an engine: a flashy sports car turns a corner, passes him and comes to a sliding stop. Through a lowered window, a quite surprised Sarah Kessner give him a questioning eyebrow (that whole thing: partial success on Parkour, choices: Escape an enemy and avoid all harm; Escape an enemy and avoid all harm).

With Emet giving a cheeky wave from the car at the chasing Devis, we see Sarah punch the throttle (she has stumps for legs).

They exchange a round of quibs, as is the family fashion among peers, but Sarah appears a little pre-occupied, multi-tasking something on a console as she evades the question where she’s headed.

Though it’s apparent that it’s not the Space Elevator, and that it’s a shame about her phone—she must have lost it in the confusion (note: not having a neurochip is a family/culture thing).

As Dr. Grant is creeping along the alley wall, he gets the text message from Sarah: “Hey! U remember the family trouble of mine? Yeah, I need a place to stay… can i count on u?”

Checking on his situation before he replies, he makes out that a unit of TAA security has managed to surprise the scout mecha and has brought it down.

Approaching an officer and using his just procured license for first pick of salvage, he agrees to Sarah’s request and asks her to pick him up.

Just after this exchange he gets a call from Andron, slightly apprehensive he picks up. With his memories of his past with the Dr. back, Andron is immediately concerned, seeing him with his eyes missing and the bandages.

In the ensuing conversation, where Andron openly brings up his concerns about the Yavlin he gave him for safe-keeping, Dr. Grant manages to placate the Seeker nonetheless. He’ll join him soon at the Garden administration buildings.

(Andron’s probing is a clean miss with interferenece from Dr. Grant who wants to hide what happened with the Yavlin, basically letting him probe the surprised Seeker. Andron still gets some insight into Grant which helps establish a basis of trust through his Piercing Gaze.)

As Dr. Grant emerges from the wreckage of the mecha, having scrounged valuable junkware that is to serve as his eyes replacements, Sarah and Emet pull in on the scene.

There is an awkward scene of Dr. Grant maneuvering to the right side of the car, Emet getting out to let him into the back seat and realizing who they are picking up.

A couple of pointed remarks, questions and realizations, Emet asks Dr. Grant if he can help him out, as he needs to get in touch with his father. Sarah ignores to comment on this and Emet informs his father that their trip is going to suffer delay (a “miss” on the Refute roll) but he promises to bring Sarah back with him.

We get the aerial shot of the Garden’s administrative building, temporary housing erected in its courtyard. The place is bustling. Andron has been organizing, using the reserve of power cells to display a beacon promising refuge.

City counselor Skyler Addison has led part of her constituents here: people from lower levels of the street, who while having all of their needs met by technology, live in very packed and dull housing, their Maslow’s pyrimad topped off by a life in the Digisphere. They had to flee as gangs of Devis started to rise up out of the depths as the power failed.

There is a meeting in one of the meditation rooms in the basement that’s been converted into a situation room.

Next to the present Skyler Addison, Andron and another Garden Caregiver, the nervous Raphael Bentzen, we see Sarah on her hoverchair leading the blind Dr. Grant in, followed by a very out of place feeling Emet.

Andron leads the pooling of information. A major point of contention becomes when he openly drops the information that the captain of the attacking mercs stationed herself right here in the Garden: Caregiver Bentzen has serious concerns for the people’s safety, especially as Counselor Addison gets agitated. She needs to report this information, everything else would basically mean treason. Bentzen warns that this place would become a war zone. Dr. Grant urges her to keep this to herself, for the safety of everyone gathered. She turns back to the AR display.

As Andron reads the room during this (success on analyze), he notices the strange bulge where the Dr.’s left arm used to be (what’s out of place?), takes stock of the Counselor and of Emet (how are they vulnerable to me?). He recognizes that Addison is genuine in her concern and dilemma; and to get Emet involved he’ll need a concrete task of helping people.

Emet feels quite out of place, among all these adults trying to discern the situation, he is busy worrying how to get Sarah out of here and why she is here in the first place.

As Andron engages Emet to ask if he might be able to procure help with dwindling resources through his father, Dr. Grant uses the opportunity to get a quiet word in with Sarah.

He suggests that it might be the safer option to bail, if they can. She whispers firmly to him that this is her chance to get away. If she leaves she’d be back on 9-month tour flying a mining ship through the hazardous courses of the outer rings—not that much safer.

With no clear course set, the meeting disperses as Dr. Grant is the first to leave, he’s got some work to do on himself, finally.

This leaves Andron behind with Bentzen and Addison. The counselor pushes her dilemma on him, again. As he shows her that in the end this will need to be her own decision. She rebuts that she is seeking guidance. They share a long look and Andron lays out his thinking to her, how he feels the people close to one are the ones we can really care for. She slowly nods, it’s clear she also understands this that he will be on her side to achieve this (success on sway, option Andron “needs to give a piece of his heart”).

This triggers the Seeker’s special move: they each have a hold on each other now, to get a guaranteed help or hinder on each other.

And he has an answer to his question.

“We gotta talk”—Sarah knew this was coming, so they find one of the few private spots, some cooling storage room. As she turns to Emet she braces herself for him to say what he needs to say. He wants to know what they are doing here, wanting her to lay it out plainly. She fesses up: she is going to get cyberlegs.

Emet is taken aback and tries to grasp with that she seriously would want to alter her body.

Full success on a probe roll.

He realizes Sarah is plagued by the feeling that no one will ever understand her; “what I wanted more than anything since being a girl is to run, feeling the wind in my hair”.

And that she wants him to just let her go her own course.

He is getting exasperated: “If you do this, you won’t be the same person anymore; you’ll be different, not the Sarah I know.”

Emet squats down to her eye level.

She turns herself away from him, closing up.

The player’s last question is “How could I get you to not do this?”; she is determined, Emet can prevent her from doing this, now, by doing [Humanity harm]:

“Sarah, they like to put me forward as the exemplar specimen, as the Honed. But in truth, it is you who is perfect.”

Sarah breaks down into a silent sob and when he touches her shoulder, she twists, slings her arms around him and buries her face against his chest.

I think as the credits roll, we see the blurry images in the background, Grant with the Yavlin doing active surgery on his own eyes (full success on Junkware; +magnification, +threatassessment, no negative tag but harm).


Thoughts & Reflections

Uhm, well. That ending. Ooph.

I think I am still processing this session. There was not much action but a lot of drama.

If the first session was about seeing the characters in action for the first time, this was all about seeing what their relationships look like. It’s a good basis for the future, I feel.

Oh, one note on mechanics: It’s tricky to root the beginning of session move Potential in the fiction, somehow. Currently, thoughts come to mind to have flash backs/scenes where we see the Honed training (or having family issues, depending on the outcome).

Haven’t spoken with the respective player about this, yet. Might be a bit cheesy?^^ (someone brought up the workout scenes from Arrow).

Comments & questions welcome.

Previous entry:

Previous entry:

Previous entry:

The Reach – Episode 1

Memories and Meetings


Drop Troops of unknown origin and for an unknown purpose fall on Surge City. A sprawl on Maenali II, a dry hot dominantly industrialized planet that is under the thumb of the overly powerful Sahl Consortium.


Emet Kessner — The Honed

Belief 1: People are in danger, and as the honed I must aid them. I will save people from the disaster that fell upon the city.

Belief 2: The Mayor of the city is a horrid corrupt person whose mere rule is pain to his people, if I see him close, I’ll punch him.

Belief 3: Enhanced humans can never hope to be as perfect as me and my kind. We are better in everything.

Dr. Veleris Grant — The Catabolist

Belief 1: The city is in chaos, I now have the opportunity to go out and get some ‘ware without getting noticed, I will seek out one of the impact zones.

Belief 2: Dealings with the Yavlin (=alien omni-tool that integrated into his body) are considered uncouth by many; to keep it a secret I need to find a way to conceal it in all realities.

Belief 3: People have free will and choice, someone should never be forced/forbidden to get cyberware(removed), I will defend choice.

Guide Andronicus — The Seeker

Belief 1: The garden and the people in it are my responsibility; I will personally talk to the ‘guest’ and convince it to leave peacefully.

Belief 2: The loss of contact with Dr Veleris Grant concerns us greatly; I need to secure the Yavlin.

Belief 3: The needs of the faith go before my own; I will do whatever is necessary to strengthen our stronghold in the Maenali system,

so that no human will be left behind when we transcend.

Begin of session moves

[Potential]: As Emet grabs his leather-look vibrant red jacket, passing a concerned concierge as he runs out of the hotel to swing himself onto his flashy Gou-Mang PowerBike, he’ll only have one humanity to use for saving people.

[Communion]: Miss! One of the wants is +memoryloss as the Faith of Unbound Humanity has tech to share and store memories. And as Andron’s apprentice rips him out of that Digisphere meditation to save him from the incoming drop on his garden, some memories are left behind for now.

[Question]: What or who, if anything should I renounce?

Andron, our ancient Seeker, sends his apprentice to collect the people adjacent to the Garden so they can be cared for as he himself tries to discern actual threat levels. Turning to what must have ruined the center of his Garden of Guidance he is faced with a perimeter of “keep out” barriers, set up in mixed reality, shielding whatever is happening on the inside.

After [analyzing] the situation he is sure the dome itself won’t come crashing down from the damage but the AR barrier is not just blocking view, it also has counter-measures to be mindful of, should he try to pass through it.

He also realizes, he apparently set himself a reminder to get in touch “after meditation: the Dr, contact id here” but can’t recall who this person is and what thing of importance of his they got. For now he let’s it stay blinking in his peripheral vision.

Meanwhile, Emet races off on his hover bike, heading towards the nearest impact site. Not caring for the automated traffic systems that are wrestling with the emergency situation. As he turns a corner, he sees he is heading right towards a wall of flame, a platoon of some Corp Security falling back from it with their wounded.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Emet punches the throttle to skip the wall of flame that’s been caused by some incendiary munition. Mastering the [risk] without flaw, he is presented with a chaotic scenery behind it: several wounded huddling to one side, a 20m tall Mecha lobbing incendiary grenades into several streets to prevent direct chases, fire all over, heavy black smoke billowing out of one of the apartment complexes where a grenade has gone astray.

As he lets his hover bike float to the streets, closing his eyes to take in alarms, calls for help and desperation, [analyzing] where his help is needed the most. His concentration is disrupted, though (a miss!), as one of the black-clad sec guards calls out to him, declaring his intention of confiscating his bike.

By now, Dr. Grant is in the streets, concealed and even without eye sight (his cybernetic eyes were rejected by the Yavlin), he might be the one with the most grasp on the situation: Relying on his altered neurochip, he uses anything connected to the Veil to navigate the streets—which turns out easier to do with all ad-blockers turned off, walkways and all traced neatly by AR. He has his goal set as he managed to get a beat on a Drop Trooper Mecha that was damaged by a botched landing. Gotten a [lift of the Veil] by hijacking two public observer drones giving him additional video feeds to track it by foot.

Emet decides to play ball, especially seeing a young woman desperate to get into the apartment complex. In part also because he cannot id the “cop” who is holding up an AR badge as he is lacking any interface to perceive it.

As that one is speeding off with his bike, he kicks down the door, startling the young woman. She falls back, in tears, and incoherently pleads that two kids are still inside.

He rushes into the smoke, only to re-emerge 5 seconds later: what apartment number are the actually in?

Nine stories up he is sure, there is a good chance to save the kids. It’s the other wing of the building that is actually on fire and its security measures are holding it off for now from spreading. It also makes him pause as the apartment door sealed itself with hardened foam.

With an exceptional feat of strength [using his one humanity] he rips out the door and it goes clattering into the hallway behind him. The kitchen wall has started to bubble but he does find the kids in another room: hooked up on VR and with tubes in their veins feeding some sort of sedatives.

This sight sets off his anger as he tries to decide how he wants to deal [miss on analyze] with this, he feels the cold nozzle of a gun put against the back of his head.

A twist of the body, a grip onto the threat’s arm, a bend against the joint, the gun goes clattering and yet [neutralizing] his attacker fails (another miss!) as a second one busts a bat into his face, sending him flying back against the window, making his consciousness give. Just as the district in background goes dark as well.

Out of this darkness emerges the silhouette of Dr. Grant, as we’ve cut to a dark alley in a restricted, mostly AR-less zone: he has followed the damaged scout to one of the Spires that are power nodes that cut the city vertically. It’s moving across the wide gang-way toward it, pulling one leg after it.

Dr. Grant is feeling elated now, this is a great opportunity, the Mecha also has his sensors damaged, making it vulnerable [Wrench in the Gears] to be approached unnoticed from one side. And there is a clear path, 4m to cross the alley, feeling along the walls, a gap of 3m, along the railing. The most difficult part, up a ladder with only one arm, should bring him level with the machine’s head, still to the blinded side. But the things seems to interface with the Spire, head lowered.

Jumping into action, he makes it but had to [risk] that later its owner might be able to reconstruct footage of him (partially success). Using the drone to give him vision, zooming in tight on the sensory parts, the Yavlin’s antennae emerge from the his clothing and wielding a particle scalpel, Dr. Grant tries to [scrounge] directly from an active mech.

So, engulfed in concentration, he is taking in utter surprise as his torso is gripped in the hard armored good hand of the robot. Caught and lifted off of his feet, the mech cocking its head taking in this strange interloper.

This is when Andron, upon having reassured himself that his apprentice is on task, decides to give this Dr. in his contacts a call, after all, they might need one soon, depending how much more mayhem is going to go down.

We get a strange exchange with Andron trying to navigate that he doesn’t know who he is reaching out to and with Dr. Grant sending the video feed of the drone back to illustrate his predicament. He goes right away to [lean on] the Guide to help him out of this situation, having been the one to fix his cybernetics up when he arrived in system.

This pushes Andron to pass through the AR barrier to find out what is going on inside, he navigates the [risk] of feedback easily but gets an incoming call for a different kind of help (partial hit).

As he looks out behind a boulder, over the crash site: a heavy mecha has set up some kind of in field command center, two drones covering it as it’s busy.

This is when city counselor Addison pings him for help; she’s a got a group of her constituents needing shelter and asks for sanctuary for them. Andron quickly agrees, Giri is now owed both ways, instead of being erased.

He then steps out, to approach the Drop Trooper with arms open. Immediately spotted by one the drones, the mech points anti-personnel weaponry at him, loudspeakers urging him to get lost.

Yet, Andron calmy approaches closer, asking what it is doing in his Garden. Noticing that the mech is actually painted with a sign resembling his old order. This is juxtaposed with a rather a disparaging attitude and a slow loss of patience by whoever is speaking to him.

But as Andron insists that he wants to ensure the safety of those people and showing his face behind mask and Veil, a projection of apparently the pilot appears in front of the hunched over robot’s chest. She assures him, if he keeps out their way, no one will get harmed. He’s also got his [Answer] to his [Question]: he will renounce his claim on the Garden to the Ni Tai Mercs for the safety of his congregation.

Andron seems ostensibly satisfied but then turns back once more, sending the recording of Dr. Grant caught by one of her company over. Her curiosity peaked, a four-way call is opened to Vitali the scout pilot and Dr. Grant. Andron, with insurance of Dr. Grant’s non-malicious intentions, manages to [sway] the Captain to let him go.

The call closes and Andron and Cpt. Wakeman exchange names, he now owes her Giri for this favor while having fulfilled his to Dr. Grant.

Emet comes to, hearing an argument between his two attackers who have apparently realized who he is. And that there might have hit a jackpot if they could ransom him off to his father. He gets a good sense of his situation [analyze], he is still in the apartment only minutes later.

Rather non-chalantly, Emet sits up with a smile, even though he has hands and feet tied in zip-locks. He challenges their “ridiculous idea” and wraps them up in a conversation, using their strife and nervousness to [divert] their attention to get his hands free.

He tricks them well enough, they don’t notice how he manages to free his hands and he gets an opening as he leads them into an argument where there is a moment when they are fixated on each other.

It doesn’t take a second thought and Emet leaps to his feet of his sitting position, goes for the more dangerous threat, the one with the gun to neutralize them both: disarming her, pivoting and sending her flying into the other one.

[Dismayed] by how quickly this situation got turned around and at the sight of the gun in Emet’s hand now, the thug with the distorted voice grabs one of their loot bags and takes off. The woman on the floor, fully expecting to be shot, shuffles back on her ass but Emet just gives her a warning and she can’t scramble away fast enough as she realizes her chance.

Disassembling the firearm and scattering the pieces, he turns back to the kids. No patience now, he rips them out of their VR and pulls them out. Shocked and still under the sedatives, they are drowsy and inanimate.

We see him emerge from the smoking building, carrying them under each arm and passing them into the care of their older sister [+2 humanity for saving them, yay!]. The place now busy with emergency drones and personnel.

And the reporters with camera drones.

End of session: Beliefs!

The Honed got into trouble and out of it by being physically dominant and saving people whose way he despises. [2]xp

The Catabolist got into trouble for the daring stunt of trying to scrounge junkware from an active mecha. [2]xp

The Seeker got challenged on keeping people of the faith safe and on recovering the Yavlin he entrusted to Dr. Grant. [1+1]xp

Next episode:


Thoughts and reflections

My main aim of a first session like this was to spotlight what the characters are about and what they shine at.

It was really a shame, though, that the Catabolist rolled a 6 on his [scrounge] move. There might have been a +1 forward that we missed from an [analyze] that would have bumped him up. The player also kicked himself for not using his receptivity drug for a bonus.

But hey, the scene was great that came out of this.

I do wonder how things will go with the Honed being a playbook so focused on physical feats and saving people. And the other two being aimed much less at violent conflicts. The Seeker has the means—we haven’t seen how cybernetically amped up he is—but his faith is dogmatic, peaceful and about morality.

I also failed to get my players to use the [probe] move which I was hoping for. I will need to entangle them more in interpersonal stuff but this beginning session they brushed past NPCs and weren’t taking much interest in them:

The Honed simply let the cop take his bike, basically went past the crying woman “your predicament is the object of my purpose”-like. Using situation and physical ability more than interest in the looters and their motivation/background to overcome obstacles.

The Catabolist was never really in a position to, this session.

The Seeker had interactions but they were too aloof/too interested in keeping things ambiguous, which is cool as it says much about the character. Yet, the whole Cpt. Wakeman projecting a video feed was there to enable a deeper interaction.

There was also a lot of stuff happening, so something was bound to fall by the wayside. And it is certainly not too late to engage people on the basis of what has happened.

So, I’m not too worried about this. And I get that players need to find a feel for their characters, too, before they can engage other NPCs in more depth.

Same goes for Beliefs, from my experience with Burning Wheel. They need a session or two to get rolling and intertwined as we get more comfortable with the world and story we are exploring.

I’m looking forward to how they shift from the first session, now.

The Final Question

I don’t feel ready to settle on this, yet. But I feel the question the story will revolve around will have to do with “what is the next step for humans?”

Emet has strong (conservative) feelings about this; Andron is angling for a large scale readiness for as much of humanity as possible; Grant is all about the merging with an alien lifeform and tech.

So there are options and I am wondering how they will solidify in the actual action and narrative that happens on-screen.

Also: Myth of Progress, anyone?

Here is the Giri Map at the end of the session: