KIds on Volturnus

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 17, 2013 - 6:20pm

So I got a chance to play SF with my kids yesterday. Here's a short synopsis. (The group consists of two dralasites, a yazirian, and a vrusk).

They left the Kurabanda village and started their journey to the pirate outpost. After three uneventful days, they reached the "Black Lake" as described by their Kurabanda guide. Wondering why it was called Black Lake, they ran an analysis on it and discovered the petroleum content. They decided it was either contamination from the pirates or a natural upwelling. They figured if it wasn't from the pirate outpost, they would be able to come back and locate the source and collect it. Tired of walking they spent the rest of the day constructing a raft and a rough sail of woven vines from the jungle.

In the morning they set out to follow the coastline down toward the pirate outpost. Towards evening on the first day they were attacked by a flock of 30 winged rippers. One of the boys decided he wanted to try to capture one to try to tame as a pet. So he was using his sonic stunner that he had acquired onboard the Serena Dawn to try to stun one and knock it out of the sky. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and missed every round the rippers attacked. His little sister, on the other hand, couldn't seem to miss. Despite her low skill with a laser pistol, hit on 7 out of 8 shots. After about 6 rounds of small bites and scratches from the rippers (enough to wear out the last of a couple skein suits) they managed to kill enough of the rippers to drive them off. As the creatures were flying away, the character with the stunner took one last shot and rolled an 02, finally hitting and knocking out one of the rippers. They quickly rowed over and retrieved it from the water. Now he has a very angry carnivorous bird he's trying to tame. He's been bribing it with the chocolate covered anchovies he found in the cargo hold.

The night and next day passed uneventfully as they made camp and then continued to paddle toward the pirate outpost. They came upon the dry canal but decided not to investigate. As soon as the pirate outpost was in sight, they made for shore and set up camp for the night being careful to stay out of sight of the outpost. "No fire tonight boys," one of them, playing the Yazirian techie (with an environmentalist skill) said.

In the morning they approached the pirate base and witnessed the robot come out and make it's patrol. As soon as the robot came out, the groups roboticist (the yazirian) decided he wanted to capture and reprogram it. When it went back inside, the yazirian ran up to the fence to ascertain if it was electrified (which he did) and see if he could turn it off (which he couldn't). He then retreated back just before the robot came out again. One of the boys had an idea, "Wood doesn't conduct electricity, we can use the raft to get over the fence." So after watching the robot make its patrol again they retreated back to their camp where the disassembled the raft and reassembled it into a longer ramp and carried it back to the outpost. Watching for the the robot, once it completed it's circuit and went back inside, they rushed up to the fence, laid the ramp up against it and clambered over it and into the compound. They then stood up against the wall of the building waiting for the robot to come out so that the Yazirian could deactivate it. And they managed to do this all without asking about, seeing, or being seen by any of the security cameras on the outside of the outpost.

When the robot came out, the yazirian made a DEX roll to try to reach in and open the access panel to deactivate the robot but he missed. This brought them to the attention of the robot who shouted "Intruders" and brought his laser rifle to bear but in the close quarters missed. Seeing what the robotocist was after, the vrusk managed to get the access panel open as the robot turned to fire at the yazirian. They won initiative on the next round and the yaz was able to deactivate the robot. While that was going on, the two dralasites entered the building to find themselves in the garage. They quickly dragged the robot inside.

At this point, the yaziran set to work on the robot while the others checked out the garage finding the jetcopter disassembled and in need of some repairs. Listing out the robots mission and functions he found that it was programmed to two circuits around the outside and then two inside and attack anyone without a Star Devil tattoo or insignia. He decided to change the "without" to "with" in the latter bit so that it would attack the pirates and not them. As he got to work, the dralasites proceeded into the next room, which turned out to be the store room. Along the way they unknowingly (no one looked and it was a silent alarm) tripped an IR beam alerting the pirates to their presence. Upon the discovering the storeroom the drals started opening boxes, while the vrusk went to cover the far exit.

Back in the garage, the yazirian was not having any luck with the robot. Try as he might he just couldn't get the new function programming to take hold. Determined to succeed, he continued to work at it. One of the drals opened a small crate and found a power beltpack which he quickly strapped on. The other dral, played by my 6 year old, opened a big crate and found a bunch of food. She was quite happy and started stuffing her pockets. The next round the first dral opened another small crate and let out a contented sigh. He had discovered 5 T-19 charges. As the teams demolitionist, he was been quite upset that he didn't have any explosives but that was now remedied. The other dral found a crate of powered milk and juices.

As the drals were opening the next set of crates the door to the room opened and another combat robot rolled in, having been sent there by the pirates. Prepared for just such an event, the Vrusk immediately unloaded a pair of laser blasts into it's body, putting a serious dent in its stamina, as the robot took stock of the situation. Completing opening the crates, the drals found 3 solvaways and 4 bottles of vitasalt pills. At this point they turned to face the new threat.

On the next round, the vrusk dropped his laser pistol and pulled out his machete, realizing he had a much better chance to hit the unsurprised robot with the melee weapon than with his pistol and took a swing, connecting solidly. Just then two of the pirates rushed into the room and began to attack as well. Our demolitionist drew his sonic stunner and fired at one of the pirates but missed, the other dral fired her laser pistol and, her string of good luck continuing, connected two shots to the robot. The pirates and robot returned fire but fate was on the side of the adventurers and none of the shots connected.

Meanwhile out in the garage, after several more failures, our roboticst finally managed to alter the robot's function to attack star devil marked characters. At which point he started dragging the robot toward where he could hear the fighting. One of his brothers asked him why he didn't just turn it back on and he said "It's just on the start of it's patrol outside, if I turn it on now, it will just continue with that and go outside and won't help us. If I take it in the other room first and then turn it on, it will see the pirates and attack them before trying to go outside."

Back in the storage room the PC's again won initiative, the dral blasted the robot with her laser pistol once again and the vrusk solidly connected, slicing the head of the robot and rendering it defunct. Our other dral missed once again with his stunner. His bad luck streak continued as one of the pirates connected with his laser pistol, dropping the dral's STA nearly in half. Our yaz decided that dragging the robot in was too much work and so decided to try to alter the other function from patrolling the inside and outside of the building to just following him.

On the next round the characters all got good hits in and the demolitionist dral managed to drop his target with the stunner. The other two got good hits in on the other pirate but not enough to take him out. Just as the round was ending, a third pirate entered the room and joined the fray. Once again all the pirates managed to miss (I was rolling really crappy). Lucky this time, the yazirian was able to quickly make the function modification without problems.

On the next round, he entered the storeroom with the robot behind him to be met with a laser blast from the new pirate, severely wounding him. With the addition of the combat robot and fourth character, the PC's quickly overcame the two pirates before they could retreat. They slit the throat of the stunned pirate and quickly looted them and finished ransacking the store room. Ready to enter the rest of the complex, we ended there for the evening.

On a side note, the yazirian is really excited about his new "pet robot". My print proof of Frontier Explorer issue 3 (the robotics issue) showed up yesterday and he had glanced through it. This morning I found him pouring over the "Programming Robots for Dummies and Dralasites" article. He had made a character sheet for the robot with it's characteristics, weapons, power, etc. and was looking at ways he could reprogram the robot to do what he wanted. Since the yaz had the robot, and the one dral had the winged ripper, my son playing the vrusk has claimed the jetcopter (even though he technically can't fly it). My 6 year old daughter doesn't really care. She was mainly just playing to be with her brothers.

More to follow shortly.  They are itching to play some more and finish up the outpost so we'll probably play some tomorrow (President's Day) if there is time.

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Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 17, 2013 - 8:05pm
Hah! I love the fact that your son was pouring over the programing article for Dralasites and dummies!

Also surprised to see someone find a use for the chocolate covered anchovies!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 17, 2013 - 8:14pm
Yeah I thought it was really funny when I came down this morning and he had the magazine out.  He was quite excited with all the ideas it gave him for reprogramming it.  He's reading over the actual SF rules for the robotics skill and the robot equipment right now.
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Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
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Ascent's picture
Ascent
February 17, 2013 - 11:10pm
Is he interested in roleplaying rolebots? Or just construct and direct them?
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
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TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 18, 2013 - 6:17am
Just constructing/programming them.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 18, 2013 - 8:41am
TerlObar wrote:
They are itching to play some more

They're not the only ones.

SF-1 is my fave of the AD modules, and reading that synopsis makes me want to play it again.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Karxan's picture
Karxan
February 19, 2013 - 10:42pm
By the way Tom, Happy Birthday! And that sounds like it was a lot of fun with the kids.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 22, 2013 - 9:41pm

So we got a chance to play tonight and finish up the pirate outpost.

After looting the rooms and the bodies of the dead pirates, they turned their attention to the door to discover that it was locked with a contact recognition lock. Just about then the intercom on the room came to life and Willy "Whiz Kid" Malone called out to his comrades to see what was up as the sounds of fighting had died down. Pulling a "Han Solo in the detention block" one of the PC's answered back, trying to sound like one of the pirates, that the robot had malfunctioned and that they had it under control. He rolled an 18 for the bluff so I let it go.

Our demolition dral, named "Upgrade" (a Ben 10 creature, he was named several years ago by a then 9 year old), grabbed one of the dead pirates, dragged him over to the door, and pressed his thumb against the contact recognition plate. The door recognized the print and opened revealing a video camera right outside the room looking at the door. After dithering for a moment trying to decide how to get by unnoticed (they were convinced that there were quite a number of pirates hiding somewhere as they hadn't yet seen any of the ones that got away from the fight with the Kurabanda), our yazirian, Zomboy (remember 9 year old giving the name, this is the twin of the one playing the dral), took a pot shot with his laser pistol, hitting the camera and activating it's albedo screen. At that point, the intercom came to life again asking what was up. They responded that they were still working on the robot as it was still malfunctioning. Now Willy could see into the room and there were two dralasites, a yazirian, and a vrusk – definitely not the three human pirates. He pretended to go along with it and told them to bring the robot back for repairs in an attempt to draw them out into the field of fire of the armed cameras in the halls.

Thinking Willy had bought their bluff once more, three of them headed out into the hall leaving the other dral, Envirolena (named by the at the time 12 year old daughter who isn't playing anymore since she wants to play a Fantasy RPG, not Sci-Fi), behind to guard their backs. They stepped out only to be immediately fired upon by the laser gun at the other end of the hall. It hit Upgrade but only for a few points of damage (bad 5d10 roll). At that point Zomboy rushed the camera and took a stab at it with his spear but missed. Upgrade ducked through a door into what turned out to be the common room to get out of the line of fire. The robot, named ST37, followed Zomboy but since he didn't have any specific orders, didn't fire. The vrusk, E'mkz (E=mc^2, named by an 8 year old but modified by me) followed along as well but didn't fire, being armed only with laser weapons and suspecting that this one was shielded as well. The laser blasted Zomboy but he had looted the albedo screen from one of the pirates and so was protected (although his screen lost 8 SEU of power).

On the next turn, Zomboy nailed the camera with his spear and it became inoperative. Upgrade moved through the common room to the door on the other side (into the radio room) only to discovered it was locked so he set to it with his axe.

At that point Zomboy ducked into what turned out to be the barracks and began rifling through the chests of drawers. E'mkz ran around that room to the other door into the radio room only to find it locked as well. The laser gun over the door to the reactor took a shot at him but missed. Frustrated with the locked door, he took a shot at it with his laser gun but it didn't do much. On the inside, Upgrade had managed to hack through the lock and get the door open and entered the radio room.

Zomboy continued to rifle through the pirates' belongings as Upgrade inspected the radio room and E'mkz tried once again to blast the lock to little effect (he only had the laser pistol set to 1 SEU). The laser gun got luckier this round and blasted E'mkz for about 20 points of damage.

The next round just as E'mkz was about to take another shot at the door lock, Upgrade opened it from inside. Zomboy exited the barracks room and started walking around to where the others were. The laser gun fired at Upgrade but missed.

Upgrade headed to the door to the lab only to find that it was strongly reinforced and he set to it with his axe once again. (It's funny but after all that time pining for explosives, when he finally had some and a perfect door to use it on, he forgot about them completely). The other two rushed up to try to disable the gun camera but both failed (Zomboy with his spear and E'mkz trying to loop his whip around it and yank it off the wall).

This continued for a three rounds as the two were unsuccessful in trying to disable the camera and Upgrade continued to try to hack through the door. The laser gun fired once at Upgrade and missed, shifted aim to Zomboy and hit but the only effect was to drain 5 more SEU from his powerpack, and then shifted to E'mkz and missed just as Zomboy finally speared the thing.  As Zomboy took out the camera gun, Upgrade busted through the door and entered the lab to find the dead Edestikea. Taking quick stock of the lab, and determining that there were no pirates, he joined the others as they entered the generator room.

They looked around and then Zomboy and E'mkz, technicians, shut down the generator plunging the compound into darkness. Turning on their flashlights, they headed to the last door that was down some stairs to the underground computer room. Once again, Upgrade attacked the door with his axe until he busted through. As he stepped into the room, Willy who really had no place to go and had been waiting for them, fired at point blank range with his sonic stunner scoring a direct hit on Upgrade. Unfortunately for Willy, Upgrade had taken the sonic screen off of one of the dead pirates and the blast had no effect.

Quickly crossing the room and clearing out of the doorway, Upgrade swung his axe and connected solidly with Willy's torso. Zomboy rushed into the room and ordered ST37 to blast the pirate with his laser rifle only to find that Willy was wearing an albedo suit. E'mkz finally turned up the power setting on his laser rifle to 5 SEU and fired two shots but missed with both of them.

On the next turn Willy fired at Zomboy but missed and Zomboy, using his machete, and Upgrade, using his axe, finished of the luckless pirate.

With the pirates all cleared out, they reactivated the generator and did a thorough sweep of the outpost, reading the notebooks in the lab, hacking the computer to get the information on the the Edestekia village and pirate base, and the information about the first Volturnus mission. They fixed the radiophone and the jetcoper, finished fully reprogramming ST37, and recharged their power packs. E'mkz, the team's medic, performed surgery on himself and Upgrade to get them back up to nearly full stamina and Upgrade went and recovered his captured winged ripper that they had left out at their camp outside the base. It tried to bite him (it's a captured carnivore after all) but he gave it some more food to attempt to win its trust.

XP was awarded and Upgrade purchased an Animal Handling skill (a Bio-Social skill, details of which will come out in issue 4 of the Frontier Explorer) and Zomboy increased his Robotics skill to level 2. Now they are plotting their assault on the big pirate base. They discovered a map in the outpost computer showing the terrain between the outpost and the base and are very glad they will all fit in the jetcopter as it would otherwise be a very long walk.

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Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2013 - 2:46am
I think Upgrade is a perfect name for a dralasite, well perhaps a nick name.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 23, 2013 - 11:00am
TerlObar wrote:
12 year old daughter who isn't playing anymore since she wants to play a Fantasy RPG, not Sci-Fi

Welcome to my world, that desribes my wife perfectly. She tired of SF so the only gaming I do anymore is D&D. Which I still consider fortunate, D&D is a far cry better than no gaming at all.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
August 14, 2013 - 6:59pm
My kids want to stop playing Star Frontiers and start playing D&D.  Oh well.

As you say, better than no gaming at all.

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
August 14, 2013 - 7:13pm
Random idea: What if the kids from the Dungeons & Dragon cartoon landed in Volturnus instead?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 15, 2013 - 12:45am
Malcadon wrote:
Random idea: What if the kids from the Dungeons & Dragon cartoon landed in Volturnus instead?
Well they probably would have limited it to 3 of them to represent the 3 PSAs and given them a yazirian and a dralasite sidekicks, the yazirian would bicker at the dralasite for his corny jokes and stupid comments for comic relief.

there kids would have been played straight but at the end of the show the dralasite would make a corney comment and everyone would have groaned then briefly laughed a little and fade to credits. It would have been a jock, a geek and a girl. the jock would have represented the military PSA, the geek the tech and the girl the bio-social psa.

In this case the girl would have been treated as elves, dwarves and halflings were in basic D&D: as a special class. Boys can be many different things hence the jock and the geek getting some class diferentiation but the girl is just good to look at and smart and there for the boys to keep safe. the geek has no hope of getting with her either.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

area51games's picture
area51games
April 10, 2014 - 7:36pm
MY KIDS ARE NOW GROWN. 19 AND 21 AND IN COLLEGE, but when they where younger I would run adventure for them as zero level character as them selves spending the summer in Grayhawk. the city visiting friends and such. they got in some trouble and explored a lot of the city- later they would play older characters but they knew Grayhawk inside and out. I would here them tell stories of thier adventures in grayhawk as thier summers away, when there frinds who heard these stories found out it was DnD game one was heard to say I wish I spend my summers in Grayhawk.

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
October 22, 2014 - 1:25am
My kids really enjoyed Volturnus before we finally ended up switching to D&D.

One of my favorite moments: they nicknamed the Edestekai "the peanut people".  The name stuck.  I don't think they ever memorized their correct name.  Every time I'd say the Edestekai, they'd reply with, "Who?"  "You know, the peanut people"  "Oh, OK."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
October 22, 2014 - 10:46am
bossmoss wrote:
they nicknamed the Edestekai "the peanut people".

LOL easily related as one of my groups dubbed them "Mr. Peanut". One of the players even rendered one with a top hat and monocle.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
October 23, 2014 - 2:02am
Awesome!

iggy's picture
iggy
November 28, 2014 - 10:03pm
Got a good llittle adventure in with my kids for Thanksgiving.  The adventure is written up here:
http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/8493
-iggy