Session I: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
This is the campaign diary for the first session of my beginning Warp Shell-campaign Stars in my pocket like grains of sand. If you want to meet the crew, head over here: MEET THE CREW.
The campaign diary will be part text and part pictures, because I find that more accessible.
Space: The Final Frontier
After centuries of intergalactic wars between Genos and the mysterious Xill, it was the latter that suddenly called for a truce. The Geno, atlhough wary, agreed to meet and discuss the way forward. As a consequence of these diplomatic meetings the Federation of Planets was established and peace seems to prevail.
We start our adventure aboard the AGON, a heavy weight cargo ship of the still very young Federation of Planets. It has been rumored that the AGON was once a prison station used by the Xill to send torture their enemies in working camps or to send them into the mouth of the Devourer, the dark beyond the stars. Fairytales, say some. Horrible and true, say others.
Nowadays, the AGON is bustling with life and energy. Torton musical prodigies trying to write the next intergalactic opera, Kitt in search of enlightenment, androids that have found there purpose in the gastronomy, a few geno and our heroes.
On the promenade we meet Axis in dialogue with his ever-loyal servant Nekure. They have been sent to oversee that the blood tithe reaches its destination. Their task lies ahead.
In the bowels of the ship, away from prying eyes, somewhere in a dimly lit corner, we find Greg, a sharkoid mechanic sitting on the ground fixing an electrical toothbrush.
Not far from Greg’s hiding place in the engine room Elliot Joy, a geno mechanic does her usual inspection round. The machines are working as they should be. Everything’s fine.
Some decks above a silver-haired geno scientist writes something in pen on a clipboard. “Paper is patient”, he thinks to himself, while looking at the creature floating in tank in front of him. The nutrient solution in the tank engulfs the Xenomorph, but it knows: its time will be soon.
On the squat-and-gobble deck, a young man queues into one of the fast food lanes. His hair is spiky and blue, his eyes are heterochromatic and shimmering in weird colours and when the fast food bot asks him what his order will be, he shows his smile revealing a little advertisement inlay on one of his teeth: “I’ll take the Age of Burger-menu, the puffed gelatin bites and this”, he points to his teeth, “This gets me a bucket of Frn-Blobb-Energy free of charge!”
Then suddenly it happens. Axis and Nekure are the first to see it. A planet comes in sight. But there’s something else. A ship appears! It’s massive! And what is this? It looks like some sort of arthropod? What is this? Slow vibrations go through the AGON then something in the engine room explodes. Fire. Screams. A small crack begins to form in the Xenomorph’s tank. Gilbert nearly spills his energy drink. Axis and Nekure see the ship fire and then everything turns dark.
Cave of the Reptoids
Our heroes awaken in a cave. They have been caged and all their gear is gone. Reptoids patrol to make sure the prisoners do not escape. In hindsight it would have been better to invest in more sturdy cages.
The Xenomorph bashed through its cage in no time and took one of the reptoids down (rolling a natural 20 to start the evening off right!). I let everybody roll iniative. After one round I start a TIMER and roll a 4. I tell my players that they have 4 rounds until reptoid reinforcements arrive (they take all reptoids down before the timer runs out).
Axis grabbed a bone from a pile he could reach through the bars of his cage simply opening the lock with a precise jab. After that he freed his servant Nekure. Since the two of them stood right behind the table with all the gear they took their stuff and were ready to fight.
Greg smashes his cage and frees the other mechanic Elliot. His attempts to choke a reptoid to squeeze information out of it go very poorly. For the reptoid that is. (I shouldn’t have let them roll BASIC damage on a 5 HP enemy). The reptoid goes limp in Greg’s grip and is thrown to the ground.
In the meanwhile, Gilbert squeezes through the bars of his cage and somehow manages to do that.
The party is free, they mostly have their weapons and they make short work of most of my poor reptoids. The last of the reptoids tries to flee but is stopped by Axis who shadowleaps in front of him. They pin him to the ground in an attempt to restrain him, but the reptoid pulls out a ritual dagger, screams “For Kuthan!” and stabs himself in the heart.
After the fight, they investigate the cave. They free three geno prisoners that have been held in cages north from the bridge.
Gilbert is fascinated by a large cluster of red crystals and harvests a lot of it. Greg and Elliot find their gear and some energy drinks which they also take. Greg puts his can of energy drink in his jaw and chews on it. Meanwhile Axis and his servant try to make sense of a computer terminal that shows some kind of map. The Xenomorph feasts on a reptoid and gains the ability to speak. It circles the other party members for some time and discovers a hole in the upper right hand corner of the cave. Approaching the hole the xenomorph finds out that it’s actually a big jaw; like a well with razor-sharp teeth.
Gilbert also collects his gear and is alarmed by the fizzing sound of an opened can of Frrn-Blob energy drink.
Hilarity ensues while Gilbert, Elliot and Greg try to wrestle the can of energy drink out of each other’s hands. (My players spent their hero coins just to win their opposing DEX checks). In the end, Gilbert wins and gets to have a few gulps of the sweet tachycardia-inducing beverage.
After some time the party assembles around the terminal and find out that it’s a map of the surroundings with convenient markers for their location, three jamming stations and a crash site (which they suspect to be the place where they can find the remains of the AGON). They upload the map to their own devices, inspect a mysterious glyph on the ground which seemed to have functioned as some kind of teleport device and step out of the cave. Eliott urges the three geno prisoners to follow them and stay close-by to be safe.
If you’ve made it this far, take a hero coin to replenish your stamina! That’s the end of session 1.
I am using Foundry ver. 0.8.9 with the Index Card RPG system ver. 1.2.4 and some modules that I can share in a separate message if anyone is interested. The maps are either made by me using Dungeondraft or by 2-Minute-Tabletop. The assets used are the ICRPG World Cards, TARGET-styled D4 TIMER made by @Seran (you can find them here), the ICRPG Online Play Assets and the Warp Shell Map Kit Assets. I asked my players at the end of the session what they wanted to do and will prep the next session (which is on the 5th of February) accordingly. Feedback as always is appreciated. Take care, all!