Diaspora: The Precious Few, Session #4 is a game session report for Diaspora. We played around the table on .
At the conclusion of our third session, Joe offered to run the fourth session. So I took him up on the offer (See my “planning” thoughts regarding the 4th session). As I’ve also been writing up blog reports, I decided the campaign needed a name: Say hello to Diaspora: The Precious Few.
Honest Abe’s Station
The opening scene was on Honest Abe’s (Awesome Beard, Short, Alone in the Black) mining station. He was privy to some information concerning a salvage, and was willing to part with it, for a price. Timothy ponied up the cash, and while looking through Precious for his hidden resources he stumbled upon a stash hidden XX (a potent psychotropic drug). Immediately accusations flew, but it was quickly diffused by Martin’s impeccable charm. The presence of XX was a compel on Martin; which Jaron, Martin’s player, gratefully accepted. It also means, at least in my mind, that XX is on the ship and will possibly cause future problems.
Eventually, after a few purchases, they were off for the salvage of a Vulcan freighter and a Real New Mexico salvage ship. Given the previous session’s unfulfilled compel of not letting the innocent suffer, they were going to do a quick salvage and then head out for New Florida to inform the family of Alfred, the Precious' original pilot, of Alfred’s death.
One, Two, Salvage
Arriving at the salvage location, their sensors indicated that both ships had very likely collided; The side of the Vulcan freighter was blown open and exposed to space and the nose of the Real New Mexico salvage ship was badly damaged. There was a field of debris between the two ships. Joe, the referee for the session, sketched out a map, and they began their Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA).
Almost immediately a bunch of Space Shrimp Zombie Parts began attacking us. Fortunately Billy’s auto-fire cleaned them up rather quickly. A shriek came over the intercomm; There were animated body parts beating up against the hull. Mason and Billy, the only ones skilled in Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA 🔍), went and cleared the husks, instructing William to stay behind and guard the airlock. Joe compelled William’s collector aspect, and had William leave his post.
When Billy and Mason returned to the airlock, there was a swarm of zombie parts, and William was across several zones, fighting off a handful of zombies parts; Joe opted to give William an aspect of “Slop on my visor.” Again, Billy’s auto-fire cleared out a good chunk of them, but there were a lot more of them this go around.
Eventually, after some fist to cuffs, some spin against Timothy and Martin for their incompetent Micro-G skills, some maneuvers to “Flank Mason” and “Wrap the zombie up in the Umbilical”; the zombie parts were dispatched, and they salvaged some of the spare parts. I should mention that in order to avoid giving a zombie spin against Timothy, Matt free-tagged the final zombie’s consequence. Nevermind the fact that Billy was going toe-to-toe with the thing, and the zombie was tied up in the umbilical. Timothy is completely and totally not a fighter.
Bound for New Florida
With the zombies dispatched, the Precious few stripped the transponder from both ships, and replaced their transponder with the Vulcan one, With some salvage parts collected – alas no functioning slipdrive – they blasted out of the Real New Mexico system and into Exxon. Here, using Timothy’s bureaucracy, they spent only the most minimal amount of time in Exxon, before slipping into New Florida.
They opted to land at a research station, and with Timothy’s expert brokerage, they were able to make their maintenance check. While on the station, they picked up some grossly overpriced supplies, and performed a bit of computer sabotage. William hacked into the system mainframe, and created a record indicating that Timothy Heizerman was a diplomat from Exxon…Timothy now had diplomatic immunity, at least until it was subject to further scrutiny.
They needed to land on Little Tallahasee and needed to keep Precious away from prying eyes. They opted, via spending a Fate point, to rely on Precious' Cheeky A.I. to quietly orbit and wait for them while they took the interface vehicle to the surface. Landing on Little Tallahasee they were immediately approached by beggars and peddlers. Alfred’s family was a bit further away, so Billy, the all-around thuggish one, was tasked with staying behind and making sure that no one touched the interface vehicle. Billy didn’t notice that one of the peasants took a heat shield panel. Had he noticed, it is likely the scene would’ve been a mess.
While Billy was keeping an eye on the aircraft, the others were meeting with Alfred’s family. Like most families in New Florida’s poor district, they were a large extended family, and Alfred’s family was overseen by Grandpa Shiny Cane, an elderly man who had a most interesting and quite shiny cane; He also had a problem, his wife was missing, and Mason was again compelled to not let the innocent suffer. The Precious Few were on the case.
With the bad news broken, and the request for help compelled, William, Martin, Mason, and Timothy returned to the aircraft. They noticed the heat shield panel was gone, but there wasn’t much anyone could do. Given that they were going to be dirtside for a bit, they went back to the police station to find a better place to park as well as dig up some more information. At the parking garage, Timothy Hizerman took the opportunity to pose for pictures as a diplomat of Exxon.
They soon discovered lots of others were missing as well. They went down a few paths looking for clues; Martin turned to an old lover, who was now an obvious XX addict…Dead end. William wasn’t able to pull any patterns from the database of missing people. Eventually, they opted to go to a pawn shop to look for any personal effects.
Prosthetics at the Pawn Shop
Grandpa Shiny Cane’s wife didn’t have any personal effects, though, Matt opted to chip in a Fate point to say that she did have a prosthetic leg; Given as everything in a New Florida is re-purposed, the prosthetic leg showed up in pawn shop. Through some interrogation, and flaunting of Diplomatic Immunity, as only a nasally screaming accountant could do, they were able to get access to the pawn shops security camera.
Panning through the camera, they came to realize that the Ice Cream company was abducting people. The problem being, the Ice Cream company was a government entity. Looks like the ice cream was probably for the people and of the people. Not wanting to go up against another government, they opted to return with their findings. William, also asked to check out the cane. Turned out it was a T4 artifact, likely some kind of ignition device. Grandpa Shiny Cane, a refugee from New Memphis, said he found it in a swamp.
William had to have it to study, and Timothy purchased the shiny cane in exchange for a huge house on Orlando, the garden world of New Florida, for the entire family, along with a large enough nest egg to secure their position. The wealth check resulted in 3 boxes of stress on Timothy’s assets stress track (looks like the referee is going to keep pounding that stress track).
During the examination of the artifact, Joe compelled Billy to have a transmitting chip in his head, after all he had spent time in prison in Exxon. Billy accepted, and it appeared the chip was implanted near his spine and was transmitting something. As the session wound down, they were looking for a competent surgeon that could be hired to take care of Billy’s chip; But, with only a few minutes to go, and a stress track that both Joe and I wanted tested next session, they closed the session without having a surgeon hired. Looks like Timothy’s going to have to help out…Or worse yet, Billy’s going to have to scrape up some cash.
- Space combat is terrifying. One physical consequence, and you need to patch your suit; A non-trivial action for most of the crew of the Precious.
- Without Micro-G or low-recoil weapons, your options in low gravity become greatly reduced.
- Using maneuvers to gain a future bonus is lots of fun; My character was out of range, and could choose to draw a weapon or move to engage. I instead chose to make an opposed check to wrap the zombie part in my character’s tether.
- I really liked the combat zones; As we were playing, we realized that there were too few zones. The result was the flechette pistol looked to be amazing!
- I really like the idea of spending a Fate point to weave something into the larger narrative; Billy, using his Former agent of New Florida, spent a Fate point to create a friendly former co-worker.
- Compels are so much fun; I was really hoping that Billy would’ve been compelled, via loves the sound of gunfire, to open fire on the crushing mass of impoverished beggars seeking to salvage anything from the ship.
- In the case of Martin and Billy, who have some gloriously terrifying aspects for Compels, dropping below two Fate points is certain to create a whole lot of mayhem.
- Once there is even the smallest asset stress, it makes sense for the followup session to pound home on that stress track. Much like, if the spaceship has a serious consequence, don’t let up, make them earn the removal of that stress condition. By challenging the character with explicit failure/complications, success is all the sweeter.
Procedural To Dos
- In-game, record the Compels that are offered as well as the overall response.
- Using a larger index card, create an Aspect list that all players can see for tagging and compelling.