Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving on Mars

So I got invited to to my friend's house for Thanksgiving. There were 7 of us. Her 3 children, ages 14, 17, and 21, and the middle son's girlfriend and her brother. Whole Foods has a wonderful Hickory Smoked Turkey Dinner for 8, and with some peach pie, ice cream and cookies for dessert, it was wonderful.

After the dinner the boys asked me to show them how to play my game, Elthos RPG. Now, I should mention that I've known them for a long time now, since they were little kids, and the whole time I've been talking about how I'm working on my game system. In the past few visits Xianda, the middle son, asked me if I would show them how to play, and tonight he asked again. None of them had played any Role Playing Game before but Xianda's girlfriend's brother, Hudson, had heard of D&D and was into the idea. So I told them all it takes is one six sided die, a pencil and paper, and we could give it a go. I explained the basics: one person creates a World, and the rest of the players generate Characters in that world and play adventures as those Characters. Xianda, who has never played any RPG at all, decided he wanted to Gamemaster. So I ran with it. We rolled Characters and co-created the World with Xianda, and then he took the reigns. What follows is the story resulting from our game.

The red dust of mars fills the long smooth corridors of the ancient Martian city. Only a small portion of the city is occupied by the last of the Martians. They have evolved minor telekinetic power over the eons, and this is a measure of their mental power.

The Two Colonies on Mars
Across the barren red wastes is a human colony run by Elon Musk. He has a space ship which transported the humans from earth, and has a Wormhole Tunnel through which he can transport non-organic materials to and from earth. He has a small colony run mostly by AI-Robots.

The humans, unfortunately, had used up the last remaining reserves of water from the region, and now both the humans and the Martians were starved of water. Things had gotten desperate. The Martians, played by myself, Vincent and Alica (Xianda's girlfriend), were not happy with the humans who had upset the balance of nature on mars. The humans for that matter were interested mostly in extracting raw materials from the planet for transport back to earth.

However, with his advanced technology and boring machine Elon (played by Xianda) discovered an underground river the size of the Hudson River 500 kilometers below the surface of the planet. This discovery sparked a rivalry between the two colonies. Both the Martians and the Humans wanted complete and total control over the river. We overheard a rumor that there were several renegade Martians who had sided with the humans and had plans to help them win the River War, which at this point was brewing, with harsh words between the leaders of both colonies.

I played Marius, a brilliant but physically feeble Reddit leader with a small but loyal following. Vincent played Priest Jack, an Outlaw-Priest (religion had been outlawed on Mars) who started the game in prison, having been previously convicted of "Criminal Religious Behavior". Alica played Marsia Steel, a very strong and very dexterous Fighter-Thief, who had plenty of smarts to go with her physique. On the other side Hudson, Alica's brother, played Mike, a tremendously strong, but incredibly stupid human. And then there was Elon Musk, played by Xianda, whose best friend in the world happen to be Mike.

The Martians went first. We learned from our underground sources on Reddit that one of the Renegades was a member of the Martian Senate, but we didn't know who, but the rumor was that he was in the Capital Building. First order of business was to free Priest Jack. Marsia disguised herself as a prison guard and used bluff to free Priest Jack from prison.

The 5 Characters
Meanwhile at the Human Colony, Elon was hanging out with his best friend, Mike, the super strong moron. Mike decided he wanted to go down to see the River and take a walk there. He was hoping to find a Martian so he could punch him to death. Elon, who didn't really like this plan, but consented, secretly placed a GPS camera on Mike, and down to the river he went. While there, he saw a Martian on the other side of the river, and not liking the look of him, tried to swim across so he could give him a punch. Unfortunately, he fumbled. and was carried downstream by the fast moving current. Elon, seeing this via the GPS-Cam, sent a team of Rescue-Robots down to save him, but Mike had already slipped far down stream and they couldn't find him. It looked like Mike would drown, but his great strength gave him a lot of Life Points so it seemed he might have a chance.

Having been freed from prison, Jack now prayed to the Gods to learn who the renegades were, and had a vision of one in a bar in the center of the city. Marsia headed there with Jack to apprehend him, and with her great strength and dexterity she was able to accomplish it. She brought the renegade back to Marius' Tower in the center of the city and we interrogated him. Marius used his powerful mind, Jack sprinkled holy water on him, and Marsia menaced him. Finally we got a confession, and were informed that the second Renegade was on his way to the Human Colony with some sort of information, or something. Marsia was sent to apprehend the man if she could find him. Marius got on Reddit and told his followers to keep an eye on her and provide help if she should need it. They replied that they would be ready. Luckily, Marsia tracked the Renegade to the shore of the river on the Human side. But across the way were Elon's Robots searching for Mike. They spotted both the Renegade and Martia, and so they asked for help searching for Mike, which was Elon's primary concern at that point. The Redditers, who were summoned to help Marsia in this tense situation, refused (a bad reaction roll) and so Elon's Robots took some potshots at them (another bad reaction roll). A skirmish began across the river. Meanwhile Marsia captured the Renegade and took him back to Marius's Tower. He was interrogated but tried to claim he was the only Renegade. Under the force of more holy water and interrogation, he confessed and gave up that the third Renegade as none other than a high ranking Senator named Boba.

As this was happening, Mike emerged on the Martian side of the river, down to 2 Life Points (from 12) and surrendered to the Redditers who transported him back to Marius's Tower as well. When Marius found out it was Elon Musk's best friend, he realized he had a decisive bargaining chip. He went to Mike and offered him rest, food and comfort, and said he would take good care of him because he was their guest. Mike liked this and so he adopted a friendly attitude.

Character Stats
Elon Musk         Human 
ST: 6             Level: 2
WS: 6             Life Points:   12
DX: 3             Mystic Points: 12  
Marsia Steel      Martian 
ST: 6             Level: 2 
WS: 5             Life Points:   12
DX: 6             Mystic Points: 10   
Mike              Human
ST: 6             Level: 2 
WS: 1             Life Points:   12
DX: 2             Mystic Points:  2  
Priest Jack       Martian 
ST: 2             Level: 2 
WS: 4             Life Points:    4
DX: 6             Mystic Points:  8  
Marius            Martian 
ST: 4             Level: 2 
WS: 6             Life Points:    8
DX: 1             Mystic Points: 12  
Marius then tried to arrange a meeting with the head of the Senate, but there was no hope of that because as a captain of the Redditers Marius had no credibility. So Marius extracted written confessions from both of their Renegade captives, and Marsia bribed a local celebrity to try to make an arrangement to meet with the head of the Senate, but that failed, and we wound up without any money (another unlucky reaction roll).

Meanwhile, Elon, who found out that Mike had been captured by the Martians, declared open war on the adjacent colony and was preparing his troops, and beginning to transport heavy weapons through the Wormhole Tunnel.

A last ditch effort - Marius called Elon on the phone and asked if the rumors of war had to do with his friend Mike. Elon at first denied it, but after some further conversation admitted it was, and Marius offered to return Mike in exchange for stopping the war before it began. Jack, however, mentioned that this seemed like it might turn into a problem for them because the Senate had not been informed. Marius, on the other hand, argued that getting the Senate involved would be sure to turn into a political battle, and thus their chance to stop the war would be ruined. Marius had this conversation with Elon on the line, and then mentioned to him that the real problem is that both sides want the River for themselves, and that this greed was likely to get everyone killed. So in exchange for Mike, he arranged to stop the war and got Elon to agreed to share the River, and also confirm the Conspiracy of Senator Boba.

They then took the signed confessions via the Celebrity to the head of the Senate, and once this happened Senator Boba realized that Elon betrayed him, and his two co-conspirators were captured, and so he fled the city with his small army of loyal retainers, among whom were a top tier group of Champions. He planned to take over control of the river himself. After this happened, Marius explained the entire story to the head of the Senate, who then gave Boba's Senate seat to him, and so Marius was in a position to negotiate with ex-Senator Boba. He argued that Boba should accept an Amnesty and in exchange abandon his plan and return to the city. He agreed.

However, his small army decided that things did not bode well for them, and so they went to Elon Musk and offered their services to him. Elon, suddenly excited to have an advantage, accepted them, and launched a small tactical nuclear weapon at the Martian City. However, the Outlaw Priest prayed for the bomb to be diverted, and the Martians were granted the extra Telekinetic Power to force the bomb to veer off course. It landed between the two colonies, exploded, and destroyed the river. And so both colonies perished of radiation and thirst.

The End.

Well, we almost saved the world. :p

What a lovely Thanksgiving treat that all was! Everyone had a great time, there were a lot of laughs, and my Elthos RPG rules turned out to be light weight enough to wing this entire game without any problems at all. Sweeeeet. :)


No comments: