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Anyone play/GM? I'd be interested in reading your stories if you do.


I've been running Dark Heresy campaigns for over a year (for those who don't know, it's an RPG set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe), and it's a load of fun. However, I'm running out of novel ways to kill my acolytes and I'm open to suggestions.


A model that I did for one campaign where we had a Sister of Battle





I also play a fair bit of M:TG (modern and pauper formats only, never was interested in standard and I'm too poor for EDH), and I'd love to have a place to share decklists. Here's my current r/w pauper list:


4x Oppressive Rays

4x Lightning Bolt

4x Martial Glory

4x Titan's Strength

4x Dragon Mantle

4x Madcap Skills

4x Akroan Skyguard

4x Skyknight Legionnaire

4x Viashino Firstblade

4x Wingsteed Rider

8x Mountain

8x Plains

4x Wind-Scarred Crag


100 percent average every time, all the time.

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I'm lucky enough to have had three great RP experiences.


Although they were time consuming and aren't really my thing any more (that's not a referendum on the hobby, I'd just rather do other stuff these days), I have no regrets. It was improv acting, put into words, and no less legitimate than any other art form.




The Ambrosia Software "Escape Velocity: Nova" Bar Threads


Yes its a corny title but so is "Guardians of The Galaxy". Even if it isn't quite a proper tabletop like the next two, I am putting my (and the rest of the ASW'ers, at least two of which were professionals) best foot forward here. The premise of these threads was kind of like Ross Scott's video about that gas station in space, only in a freeform, Play-By-Post setup where all these crazy subplots would sort of weave together. The twisted creativity, intelligence, humor, dedication, and artistry displayed here made for a surreal combination--it was like reading some kind of Terry Pratchett novell that could quantum mechanically reform itself to be about whatever you wanted, but still be funny.


Threshold Station (2011-2014)

Colosseum Station (2008-2011)

Warbird Station (2006-2008)

Paint Station Prime (2005-2006)


My username was 'fishloaf'. I was a low-tier writer, but don't miss anything by Ragnar0k, Krugerwusp, or mrxak, those guys are the shit.




Serenity Game: I ran a Serenity/Firefly-themed game back in 2010, when there wasn't much else going on for me. I was lucky enough to get some incredible players, all of whom I still keep in touch with. Unfortunately, GM-ing is a labor of love for all but a lucky few and as such, I eventually had to give up and focus on resuscitating my failed career.


That game forum is a shizaster nowadays, so below are some summaries of how the IC sessions went:


Jim & John's Prelude


This was the game's inaugural IC session, and showcased how Captain Jim Tyber (a caricature of Star Trek's Jim Kirk) met his future best friend John Michaels (aka 'Kenneth MacLeod'). This thread is just one example of L0g41n's great initiative in gaming. You really will enjoy playing with him:


Kindred spirits, Jim and John became friends at an Alliance military POW camp despite being on opposite sides of the proverbial fence. Both were unapologetic libertines who had joined their respective causes under coercion, and both were disliked by their comrades.


It all started with a pick-up game of poker, part of Jim's master plan to befriend and intoxicate the Alliance guards and secure his unit's escape. Thanks to his charisma and no small amount of raided alcohol rations, they managed to involve almost the entire Alliance security detachment, bored from the endless weeks of armistace negotiations that kept them stuck in this awful war.


Unfortunately, Jim's plan unraveled when two of his browncoats enacted their own, ham-fisted escape plan, and clumsily alerted the entire facility before getting killed--their stories would later be inflated into a harrowing legend of post-surrender resistance and earn them a place among the lore of Big Goddamn Heroes of that period.


Drunk and forgotten, Jim lost all of his poker winnings and any hope of escape. He was later court-martialed for his conduct by a combined tribunal of Independent and Alliance officers, and dishonorably discharged. True to the Jim Kirk motif, however, he did manage to secure some purple tail.


John Michaels was censured, but had it little better upon being discharged from duty.



Dean's Prelude


This was the second IC session, and tells the story of the high-spirited mechanic Dean Webb, and how he introduced the Captain to his future ship:


Jim and John kept in touch and, with their past disgraces leaving them few other options for gainful employment, decided to become spacers. Upon arriving at the classic start-up world, Beylix, they met a hot-tempered gambling addict called Nineball and one evening later, they had won enough poker money to buy their own ship.


The dishonored veterans went to a disreputable ship vendor called Leeroy and Lewis Shipworks, which "specialized" in refurbishing salvaged vessels. It so happened that the very overqualified Dean was working there as a maintenance technician. Tired of being punished for his Cassandra-like warnings about the spaceworthiness of L&L's ships, Dean made a snap decision to introduce Jim and John to his pet project and the yard's only sound vessel, a decommissioned firefly-class blockade runner called the Ranger. Dean went one step further by overstepping his authority and quoting them a ridiculously low price that was sure to get him fired, on one condition: Dean would get to join their crew.


By coincidence, just as the three men had formed an agreement and were secretly touring the Ranger, Dean's porcine boss Big Bobby was taken captive by some old enemies. In a twinge of conscience, Dean convinced his new friends Jim and John to help rescue Bobby from the clutches of the vengeful one-eyed man and his thugs.


Outnumbered and way outgunned, the best they could manage was to create a diversion by stealing One-Eye's unattended mule and then blast off. They later found out that Big Bobby had made good on this distracton and survived.



Bambi's Prelude (Best Session!)


This was a side thread that started alongside Chapter 2, and was meant to keep L0g41n and Wizard of the Coat busy while the rest of the group escaped from an Alliance patrol boat. It tells the story of how Bambi left her promising career in the Companion's Guild to join the Ranger:


Jim, John, and Dean left Beylix on that warm, dusty afternoon having finally achieved their dream of being ship-owners, free to sail the Black without answering to anyone. But before long, the harsh reality of life in space had reared its ugly head as the Ranger suffered a spate of breakdowns and the Verse's good ol' boy economy proved difficult to penetrate.


The owner of a rapidly decaying ship and on the verge of bankruptcy, Jim was grasping at straws to find work and had taken a potential client out for drinks in hopes of making friends. Although the client soon admitted that he had no interest in doing business and simply wanted some free beer, a new opportunity came up to replace it.


A crew of slavers had been lurking around town for several days, and when a suspisciously generous stranger came in and announced all drinks on him, it soon became clear to that the slavers meant to fuel the drunkenness so as to prey on the tipsy stragglers as they went home. Very well organized, the slavers had lookouts stationed through out the bar, and sweeper crews prowling the streets for the unwary.


A sultry, alluring woman approached Jim with a proposal: help her "dispose" of an enemy to the Companion Guild by getting him captured by the slavers, and she would make it worth his while. Jim offhandedly nicknamed her 'Bambi', which she gladly adopted as her new favorite, alias.


Jim, however, reacted to the news of slavers in the bar with reckless heroism, and immediately embroiled himself in fight with the four slavers in the building. Despite enlisting the short-lived help of another future friend named Roxy, Jim immediately became a punching bag. After completing her assignment alone, Bambi reluctantly joined the bloodied Jim in the fight, and unleashed her full lethality on the slavers.


An undercover deputy name Clive Stafford had known about the slavers and happened to be staking out the bar. Despite being the only law enforcement official for a hundred miles, he finally chose to reveal himself at this moment and broke up the fight, taking everyone involved into custody.


Back at the tumbledown sheriff's office, Clive intimated that Jiangyin's governor had succumbed to lobbying and was planning on disbanding all the public law enforcement in favor of corrupt contractors. Desperate, Clive had hatched an insane plan to score a high-profile victory that would utterly derail claims that sheriffs lacked efficacy in the face of crime--he would apprehend the entire slaver crew and rescue every captive aboard.


Jim, young and reckless, immediately volunteered to assist and Bambi, who's plans had changed, reluctantly joined as well. Clive gladly deputized them, and their first encounter was fast in coming--one of the slavers sweeper gangs was fleeing town, prompting a high speed chase that led them straight to the slaver's hidden vessel. Between Jim's driving skills, Clive's shooting and a daring stunt where Bambi leaped onto the slaver's mule and engaged them hand to hand, none of the retreating slaver gang made it back to the ship alive.


Not to be satisfied, Jim drove the mule at top speed inside the slaver vessel's open cargo bay just as it was launching, and proceeded to storm the vessel in mid flight. While Bambi chased a fat, hairy mechanic around the upper deck in an ill-fated effort to make him sabotage the ship's flight, Jim and Clive heroically fought wave after wave of bloodthirsty crew. The attack culminated in an exchange with the hard boiled Captain himself, brandishing a rocket launcher. In an all or nothing quickdraw, Jim finally silenced the explosive barrage.


The remaining slavers gave up soon after, and Clive survived despite being an NPC to return home in victory. Sadly, Clive's heroism did not become the high-profile event he had hoped, and the Jiangyin law enforcement was not spared during the budget cuts. Out of a job, he and his family were forced to become migrant ranch hands and live in obscurity.


Jim's story ended a little more brightly. Not only did he manage to once again sample the beauty of the female form with Roxy, but he also gained a new crew member with Bambi, who had been disgruntled with her previous life for a long time.


Bambi's first act as the ship's ambassador was to nurse a violently ill John back to health. Her second act was to find Jim a job, and secure him a line of credit in order to begin repairs on the ailing Ranger. Despite all this, it was her soon to be legendary eggrolls that won her a place on the Ranger's crew.



Alek's Prelude


This was a side thread that started in the middle of Chapter 3, and recounted one of Alek's war stories in a way that the stoic, emotionally damaged gunman never could. Even though it doesn't quite tell how he got onto the Ranger's crew, it served pretty well as a tour of his character:


Alek was a sniper stationed on the moon Sturges. Tasked with staking out a friendly base who's commander was suspected to be hoarding their limited supplies for sale on the black market, Alek had remained in the field right up until the famous naval battle had started.


The story began with Alek on board an old-fashioned helicopter that was shuttling him to his unit's evacuation zone, where they would then flee the planet. Unfortunately, Alek was one of the last personnel to be recovered, and by this time the Alliance had made several landings on the moon in search of a rumored Indy shipyard--Alek's helicopter had a chance encounter with some enemy tracked armor, and was damaged to the point of making an emergency landing. With a punctured fuel tank pouring flames into the cabin, Alek's first battle was with a fire extinguisher.


Upon landing in a stream, Alek and the chopper's crew were forced to run to the nearest roadway, beset the whole way by these horrific robotic missiles called SEEKERs, and one man was lost. Finally, they managed to arrange a rendezvous with an Indy truck convoy bound for the fabled shipyard itself.


Seemingly home free, Alek's objective now was to help launch as many of the half-built ships as possible and thereby recover at least some of the Independent Faction's investment. However, upon arriving, the situation muddied when an Indy cleanup crew, charged with recovering any secret documents, had landlocked every ship in the vicinity and then fled the planet, thoughtlessly stranding both the Indy personnel and the shipyard's many civilian employees.


Alek was now given a special assignment-- while the shipyard personnel began distributing the massed civilians via truck among the many vessels, Alek would take a jeep and four soldiers to go topple the local radio tower and thus disrupt the landlock signal. The hope was that this would secure their escape.


The civilians, long disgruntled and furious about being left to the Alliance's tender mercies, far outnumbered the handful of trained soldiers ushering them along, and what began as a small argument soon erupted into a growing riot. Alek nearly lost his weapon and was injured in a scuffle, but thanks to some quick action by his troops, they managed to secure a jeep before the crowd destroyed it.


Alek's joyride was interrupted by an attack from an Alliance skiff, who proceeded to attack the nearby trucks as they shuttled civilians out to their escape vehicles. Alek finally put his rifle to use by picking off Alliance troops as they rappelled to the ground, before one of Alek's squad shot the gunship down with an anti-vehicle rocket.


Like many war stories, Alek's adventure concluded somewhat anticlimactically as he reached the radio relay tower and quickly disabled it. The final shot was of the first vessel lifting off from its launch cradle for the first time, and taking to the stars...



Session 1: The Bazaar


This was the first chapter of the game in earnest, and was generally freeform so that the players could establish their characters firmly in mind. It was much more fun with meet-n-greet assumed sometime in the past:


After delivering a load of unenthralling beans to Concorde station, Jim, John, and Bambi decided to explore the station in order to secure more work and have some fun. Almost as soon as Jim descended into the chaotic lower decks, he was pickpocketed by an elderly man, but managed to stop the crime with a timely body slam.


Moved by the poor man's pain, Bambi took him to the Ranger for an examination with the medic, Alek. Although the old man miraculously escaped Jim's attack without any broken bones, they found evidence of his violent history, which he soon explained over a bowl of soup. With this discussion cam some tantalizing hints about a thriving industry involving clipped pharmaceutcal plants, but the old man's repeated warnings eventually deterred them.


Eventually, Dean concluded his repairs of a hydraulic system and was the one who found work in the form of an electronic bulletin board system. Using some slightly unscrupulous methods, Dean managed to beat the rampant bots populating the board and secured a delivery as well as a high class passenger fare. As luck would have it, both jobs were bound for moons in Persephone's planetary system.


This coincided nicely with a third job offer: two twins, Fanty and Mingo, had contacted Jim with a vague job offer and the promise of 5000 platinum should they come to Beaumonde and carry it out. After burning up the phone lines (so to speak) with his friends, Jim acted on the positive things said about the twins and accepted the job.


Jim, John, and Bambi decided to celebrate these new jobs by bar-hopping at Concorde's many watering holes. Bambi met an old friend from the Companion house, and Jim managed to seduce a beautiful older lady. John, unfortunately, struck out with the vacationing sorority girls he was eyeing.


The three later regrouped at the legendary taco truck Pineapple Zigadaba's, where John's shoe immediately fell victim to a self-destructing burrito, Jim and Bambi's frustrated love interest erupted into argument, and Zigadaba himself indulged in plenty of eye rolling. They concluded the night by purchasing a hangover cure.


The next day offered a horrible surprise: Jim's cougar from the night before turned out to be one of the Ranger's passenger fares, and married to boot. Because of the high-class nature of the fare, Bambi took control of hosting and proceeded to twist the situation in order to further torture Jim. Jim responded by giving up his place as Captain and posing as a simple cabin boy, allowing him to hide.


Because the Ranger's course permitted, the crew sailed for a scant three days before stopping at Beylix to fuel up. The goal was to iron out any technical problems before crossing the interstellar gulf and also to meet their friends on board the Quickdraw. Surprisingly enough, the notorious homebody Dean decided to join in on the bender and, on a lark, Jim and John decided to drag the terminally shy Alek along too.


At first, everyone had fun--Jim and Nineball picked up with their usual razzing while Dean tormented the strict teahouse owner and John made a second attempt at chasing tail (and disappeared for the rest of the night). Jim tricked Alek into running afoul of the teahouse madam's rules and earned him a place on the wall of shame, a sign of camaraderie that gave the socially anxious medic a small moment of relief. That's when jealousy reared its ugly head.


Nineball had been fruitlessly trying to court his pilot, Lynn Owens, for months, and resented how strongly she had bonded with Alek over just three visits. When Jim slyly coerced Nineball into gambling his future attempts at Lynn (and losing), the two friends parted acrimoniously.


For their part, Alek and Lynn shared a good book and for once, their respective weaknesses were covered: the high-spirited Lynn eased Alek's crippling shyness, and Alek's used his literary skills to help the dyslexic woman enjoy the elusive beauty of the written word.


The next morning, John returned from a slightly less romantic encounter with a pained gait and a hangover. Zig's hangover cure immediately proved its worth again, and just like that, the Ranger was airborne.

http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=87199 ; http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=90137


Session 2: Negotiations & Love Songs (Sad Story...)


The Ranger made the nineteen day voyage across the interstellar gulf without incident, which was a welcome surprise in light of ship's penchant for spectacular breakdowns. The only noteworthy setback was in being stopped by a patrol boat as they passed Londinium and receiving a citation for obscured markings.


When they finally arrive at Bellerophon to drop off the Prynnes, it was not a day too soon--Jim, nerves frayed from nearly a month of fear and torment, was so desperate for tail that he even risked approaching Hester a second time, a move which very nearly earned him a beating when caught in the act by Bambi.


Unknown to Jim was that the Prynnes, despite all appearances of being on vacation, were in dire straights and had staked their fortunes to the sale of their software firm to Jacob Wells, their guest. Wells, a hard, miserly man, recognized their desperation and was bending them to the most unconscionable, greediest terms he could get away with. Over the voyage, a sympathetic Bambi had taken the Prynne's cause to heart and focused all of her companion training on trying to counsel and analyze Wells. On the verge of success, Bambi was not about to let Jim's raging libido ruin her hard work with an unseemly incident.


Jim and Bambi finally dropped off the Prynnes at a picturesque little fishing town on Bellerophon, and were rewarded with the news that Wells had finally agreed to some fair terms and the sale was going through. As the three guests literally walked off into the sunset, Jim and Bambi were able to relax for the first time in weeks. This is when Bambi revealed the cruellest part of her month long joke on Jim.


Back on the Ranger, the mood was a little darker. An Alliance patrol boat had taken an irrational disliking to the Ranger's shoddy appearance and had boarded the vessel for inspection. John, Dean, and Alek scrambled to stash the crew's many pieces of outlawed gear, but to no avail: an Alliance trooper discovered their fedband scanner, thereby providing the troopers with justification to tear open the cargo, turn the ship upside down, and otherwise bully the hated spacers.


As if this weren't enough, when the Alliance sailors opened the cargo crates, a horrorstruck crew discovered that they had been duped into smuggling illegal plant clippings an not a donut machine like they had been led to believe. The crew was now facing life in prison and the loss of their ship.


Things improved when the ship's commanding officer arrived to take the three crewmembers into custody--the officer was a cheerful but somewhat inept woman who John proceeded to woo before they had even left the Ranger. During their questioning, John and the officer schmoozed and it became clear that she was more than a little disgruntled with her position, a mentality that John used to convince her to drop all the charges and let them go.


It was not to be. As soon as the officer gave that order, the second in command relieved her from duty on the grounds that her actions violated Alliance law. The officer, being fairly inexperienced, collapsed into such a state of panic that Alek decided to knock her unconscious. He would later learn that this head trauma proved fatal.


The patrol boat was, in fact, something of a training vessel and understaffed. Between this and Dean's cleverly opening the weapons locker, the three gave a good account of themselves and managed to capture the vessel's bridge, where Dean once again proved his worth by completely erasing the patrol boat's electronic data, and any record of their capture along with it.


Alek and John's gunnery skills allowed the three to retake their vessel, and it just so happened that Jim and Bambi were returning at that moment. The Ranger detached from the patrol boat and, weaving between the smoky streamers of Alliance missiles, managed to jet to safety.



Session 3: The Highest Bidder


This session began on a sour note. Although the Ranger had escaped the immediate danger, there was no hope of making a true getaway with every Alliance vessel within radio range on high alert, and to request landing clearance would be to plainly announce themselves.


John's solution was to make an old fashioned, unpowered free fall, much like the ancient spacefarers on Earth-that-was, in the hopes that their reentry would be mistaken for a meteor. To add to the confusion (and his own fun), John threw in an extra twist that he would make this maneuver upside down.


After a hectic ride, they landed on Beaumonde in a remote toxic waste dump, where the electromagnetic pollution was so severe that no sensors would detect them and even waves would be difficult to patch through. The crew spent the rest of the afternoon repairing broken furniture and bottles tossed around during the freefall landing.


Sadly, the cargo delivery became a moot point when the compromised cargo crates self-destructed in an uproarious blaze of built-in incendiary charges. The crew now officially hated clippers, and Bambi decided to call in a favor with the old man on Concorde, to see if he could shed some light on these mysterious hun-dan in need of some justice.


At the very least, however, their plan to work for Fanty and Mingo was still intact. The loss of their cargo, although unfortunate, was a secondary one. Almost as soon as they went to the Maidenhead, however, a long shadow fell over the plan when they spotted Fanty and Mingo talking to one of their arch-enemies, Lefty. One-Eye and his vindictive thugs couldn't be far away. They left.


Fanty later contacted the crew personally, and asked them to meet with him behind Mingo's back. Fanty chose this opportunity to display his twisted sense of humor involving holography and a very, very unfunny scare-joke, before getting down to business.


Fanty revealed that he and Mingo had heard about the Ranger being cited near Londinium, which was enough for Mingo to completely give up on the crew and hire One-Eye instead. Fanty, disliking what he saw in One-Eye and wanting to teach his lately domineering brother a lesson, announced that he was going to hire Jim anyway.


The job turned out to be lifting the famous artpiece Fragments of Destiny from an upcoming auction on Bellerophon (of all places), and Jim was to get it before One-Eye did. Fanty left them with 200 platinum as a sign of goodwill and a favor for their troubles: he would furnish the crew with new identities and clear the Ranger's record, all but negating their misdeeds on the patrol boat. After some negotiations, they accepted.


Deciding that the Ranger was too conspicuous to return to Bellerophon thereby, the crew contacted some recent acquaintances they had made at a bathhouse incident, the crew of a ship called the Earplug. The session closed with Jim offering the Earplug's owner a portion of the take in exchange for a charter of their ship.



Session 4: The Art of Subterfuge (Hack-n-slash session, storytelling dropped sharply as I lost interest :( )


This session found the crew edgy as they made the necessary arrangements to pull off their daring caper. After weeks of research, practice, and honing their preparations to a tee, the big day came and all that work brazenly went out the window when the antagonists did the unexpected.


Unfortunately, this marked the end of my tenure as GM for the game, as an untimely bankruptcy put me keenly back in touch with the real world. The game continued without me (such awesome players) for a year or so, but I don't know much about what happened to the characters.



People Met


Corporal Flint: Hard nosed watch supervisor in charge of the Alliance detachment guarding Jim's captured unit.


Private Cook: Second watch supervisor, and the man responsible for first introducing alcohol and bringing the party to critical mass. Was executed by firing squad for his actions.


Robert Tulson and Kelson Parrish: Two knuckleheads in Jim's unit who's ill-timed rampage ruined Jim's plan to intoxicate the Alliance troopers. Both men were killed, but they soon lived on as legendary figures in the post-surrender resistance of Browncoat lore, thanks to some embellishments on their stories.


Big Bobby: An unscrupulous, spherical salesman at Leeroy and Lewis Shipworks. Was taken captive by some former associates, and only owes his escape to some quick thinking on Jim and John's part.


Lefty: A young man who, along with his sister, caught Big Bobby off guard by posing as a married couple in the market for a ship. Lefty's real name is unknown, and is only called as much because he lost his right arm to gangrene after being shot by Jim.


Sis: Lefty's sister, who's wandering eyes were how Jim and John originally got involved with their foiled kidnapping attempt. Real name unknown.


One-Eye: An imposing, one-eyed man with long platinum hair, first seen when Lefty and Sis had cornered Big Bobby and accompanied by three thugs. One-Eye proved to be the most athletic of the bunch when he very nearly chased down a mule-riding Jim and almost vaulted the Ranger's closing cargo bay door. He was wearing a prison jumpsuit at the time and in addition, it is speculated that he might have been the Ranger's previous owner. By chance, the PC's have foun themselves in competition with One-Eye's crew recently.


The Tagger: A vandal who chose this moment to sneak into the shipyard and cover the nicest ship with a graffiti mural bearing his signature, JP-rice.


Old Man Trahn: A homeless codger on Concorde Bazaar's lower deck who's new pickpocketing career was cut short by a body slam from Jim. A sympathetic Bambi later took him in, where he revealed that he used to be a Tong enforcer during the station's heyday, and filled them in on the history of that trade.


Pineapple Zigadaba: The grumpy owner of a taco truck that roams Concorde's lower decks, selling the Verse's tastiest mexican food and some fantastically potent hangover cures.


Hester Prynne: At first, nothing more than a beautiful cougar that Jim had an uproarious one-night stand with. The next day, however, Jim discovered to his alarm that Hester was one of his next passengers, along with her husband Lars, for the next month.


Lars Prynne: Hester's husband and the owner of a software company, who was attempting to sell his enterprise to the surly Jacob Wells and treating him to a fishing trip along the side. By surrendering his place as captain and walking on eggshells, Jim managed to avoid Lar's attention and kept the secret of his antics with Hester. At the end of the journey, however, Bambi revealed that Lars was impotent and practiced open marriage with Hester, and didn't care either way what Jim had done.


Jacob Wells: An angry, defensive man who's business deal with the Prynnes was on the verge of collapse when they first arrived on Ranger. Thanks to Bambi's counseling and attention, however, she convinced him to begin breaking his nasty view of the world and eventually, he bought the Prynne's company.


'DoppelGangster101': The Concorde Bazaar System Administrator and a twitchy drug user who demanded reparations for Dean's electronic vandalism. Known for his cracked-out behavior and spontaneous rhyming.


The (not-)Donut People: The company which hired the Ranger to transport what they claimed was a dismantled donut machine to Beaumonde. A surprise cargo inspection by the Alliance showed that the cargo was, in fact, illegal clippings from pharmaceutical plants nearby Greenleaf.


Madam Hua: The formidable owner of a teahouse/pool hall on Beylix. She is notoriously protective of her shop's wood floor and has a strict no shoes policy. Violators are beaten senseless, forced to mop and polish the floor by hand, and then have their picture taken for commemoration on the Wall of Shame.


Jaime "Nineball" Ninez: Captain of the scrap-vessel Quickdraw and considers himself the Ranger's "Godfather", as it was his largely careless gambling that financed its purchase for Jim and John. Later became friends with Jim, and they meet for drinks on Beylix whenever possible.


Jersey: Quickdraw's first mate and possibly Nineball's brother. The smarter of the two.


Eugene "Jolly Brown Giant" Jensen: Quickdraw's mechanic, and a family man who constantly brags about his little kids. Known as the Jolly Brown Giant.


Lynn Owens: Quickdraw's dyslexic pilot and Nineball's unrequited love interest, who only has eyes for the bashful Alek. She and the medic read together whenever possible.


Sandy Birch: An athletic Wren pilot and John's new girlfriend. Worked him over painfully last time they met.


Cadet-Sophomore Alice Remington: A cheerful young lady from a prestigious core family. Haplessly thrust into the Alliance Navy and given command of a patrol boat long before she was ready or qualified, she happened to be the arresting "officer" that took Alek, Dean, and John into custody after the crew was found to have illegal plant clippings and other contraband on the Ranger. She was accidentally killed during the escape.


Happy, Sore Loser, Tattooes, and Freeloader: A trio of slavers and their accomplice, respectively. They served as the spotters for a slaver crew bent on sweeping a Jiangyin town for drunks to abduct and sell, but were defeated in a fight with Jim and Bambi. Sore Loser was later killed during a mule chase, Happy and Tattooes executed by hanging, and Freeloader is serving a sentence of life in prison with hard labor, no parole--fittingly, he lives like a slave.


Roxanne "Roxy" Wheeler: A chance ally when Jim, in need of a reason to pick a fight with Happy, chose to "defend" her. Although Roxy was beaten senseless in that incident, she later proved her formidability in thwarting a slaver's last stand while Jim was away. Roxy remains friends with Jim to this day, and has a major soft spot for him despite her Red-Sonya demeanor.


Clive Stafford: A skilled and determined deputy with an unfortunate habit of fumbling under pressure, Clive was a part of Jiangyin's anemic law enforcement right up until the department's closure in 2512. Clive was somewhat irritable and not well-respected by the public, but fearlessly tackled his job of enforcing the law in the county's half-dozen far flung towns, and did not complain about the lack of support. In fact, with the aid of just two civilians, Jim and Bambi, Clive managed to take down an entire ring of human traffickers in his jurisdiction and rescued 40 people.


Captain Serious, Yuck-yuck, Leadfoot, Porky, Bold, Tinkles the Pilot, et al: These were the remaining slavers that Jim, Bambi, and Clive faced during their frenzied battle to redeem the Sheriff Department's reputation. Leadfoot and Yuck-Yuck were both killed during the mule chase, while Bold fell to his death after being knocked unconscious and then tumbling out the cargo bay of an airborne ship. Serious, despite arming himself with a man-portable artillery weapon, was killed in the firefight. Porky, Tinkles, and three other henchmen surrendered, only to meet their demise at the end of a noose.


Longshirt and Big Bolt: Two Tong thugs belonging to Beaumonde's "Long Road" group, whose job is to keep skilled factory workers from emigrating to the Rim. A favorite tactic of theirs is to hold the worker's children in a sort of human escrow until they agree to stay.


Roger Cupp: The acting Captain of the freighter Earplug. A former Browncoat who shares some of Jim's recklessness but not a lecher. They met while preparing for a possible fight with the Tong thugs, and have already formed a strong friendship.


Khaled Al-Seehan: Cupp's friend and first mate. Very imposing and a little grumpy, but also more level headed.


Rikken Feir: Genial old codger and owner of the Earplug. Is also Dee's father, but is fairly offhand about it and would prefer that she found her own career.


Power Tool: A successful yet lonely man who devotes himself to upper management at his firm on Beaumonde. Has proven to be a true asset for Bambi's efforts to infiltrate high society, hence his moniker.


Fanty: One of the two twins and the first appearance of a character from actual Serenity canon. Fanty has chosen to hire Jim against his brothers wishes on the ground that Jim is more competent than the alternative. In addition to this conniving, Fanty has also shown himself as having a slightly twisted sense of humor.


Deirdre "Dee" Feir: Rikken's daughter, who lives in constant shame of her brief but iconic career as an adult film actress. Having wrapped up her identity in being a member of the Earplug's crew, she is something of a nuisance as she constantly angles to inherit the ship and become its Captain, despite her lack of spacing skills.


Ned the Nose: Demented pilot of the Ranger II and a nervous, nasally archetype provided as one of the enemies in the Fragments of Destiny module. Put up a very inopportune display of resistance in the cockpit before Jim finally lost patience and finished him off, thus gaining control of the vessel.


Jacob "Fatty McChubChub" Kroger: Rotund mechanic of the Ranger II. Contributed next to nothing to the firefight aboard the vessel.


P'Doub: A mononymous pop-star and cheap Borat reference. Judging only from his playful arrogance, it would be easy to take him for just a talentless, flavor-of-the-month hack good only for courting record labels. However, behind all the glitz is an accomplished musician who takes pride in his craft and before stardom, excelled in many instruments and vocal ranges. The music he publishes under his real name is intensely moving, with the sorrowful gravitas of unrequited love.


P'Fake: A high-caliber freelancer who styled himself as P'doub and, under this guise, attended the Sihnon Fine Arts Society Gala with the aim of silencing the elusive Bambi. Although he offered more resistance than most, Bambi prevailed with no meaningful injuries.


Mioshi: A former colleague of Bambi's during her time as a Companion guild operative. She specialized, even among the legendarily adaptable Companions, in disguise and infiltration. Although her current motive is unknown, she used to harbor an inexplicably intense jealousy toward Bambi and made a special point of copying her every move and decision to a tee. Also encountered Bambi at the auction.


Mickey "Pignose" Sundas: A former comrade of John's, remembered mostly for his cutthroat ambition and porcine features. Still a member of the Alliance Security Forces, he unexpectedly contacted the crew to blackmail them, demanding the hard-won Fragments of Destiny in exchange for his silence about their misdeeds.


Organizations Encountered


Alliance Security Forces: A sanitized term for the state military, meant to project an image of unity and protection. To better suit its peacekeeping and enforcement mission, the Alliance military has shrunk to just a fraction of its wartime strength, but remains the preeminent armed force in the 'Verse. The Ranger has certain ship-architectural code violations that make it a favorite target for enforcement patrols, and it was one such incident that led to the disastrous boarding incident. Even though the crew prevailed, it was because of some astronomical flukes and the confrontation should not be repeated.


The Clippers: A group of people operating out of planet Greenleaf, who make their living by stealing the trade secrets of pharmaceutical companies there. Chief among their exports are stolen samples of specially engineered medicinal plants that represent millions of credit's worth of research. The clippers' had their heyday before the Unification War and have quieted down since the vigilant Alliance moved in, but they are still said to be among the Verse's most lethal outlaws. The Ranger unwittingly smuggled a shipment of clippings on their voyage to Bueamonde.


The Long Road Tong: One of Beaumonde's "functional" Tongs--these groups establish their jurisdiction over a certain trade or social function, rather than a geographic area, allowing multiple groups to peacefully coexist in a region. The Long Road specializes in public welfare programs for Beaumonde's many low-paid disadvantaged laborers, and operate many schools and clinics to serve them.


Although the group is fairly benevolent, one of the Long Road's biggest concerns is in making sure that skilled factory workers do not emigrate to the Rim. Due to the exchange rate between credits and plats, there is no competitive wage low enough to prevent this, so Long Road enforcers do their best to insinuate themselves into every family's business so that they can spot movers and quickly intimdate them into staying. The Long Road derives its name from a Chinese figure of speech for a dangerous undertaking that should be avoided--in this case, attempting to leave the smoky, polluted world of Beaumonde.


Places Visited


Concorde Bazaar Station: A skyplex orbiting the lush world of Greenleaf, Concorde Bazaar has a rich history dating back to the early terraforming days. The station has outlived its original purpose, and now thrives as a tourist destination hawing its folksy depiction of the Rim to vacationers from the Core. Concorde is sometimes called the "Sihnon of the Rim" or "Eavesdown Docks in a Box" because of this, but in reality, the station's culture is unique and anything but iconic.


Beylix: Yes, the junkyard planet. It is also the headquarters to United Reclamations and hundreds of other scrap dealers with varying levels of repute, including the place where it all began, Leeroy and Lewis Shipworks. Because the crew has so much history and friends here and its convenience as a stopping point, Beylix is the closest thing to a terrestrial home.


Bellerophon: An entire planet converted into a gated community. As the home of the Alliance's rich and powerful constituency, Bellerophon is one of the most zealously patrolled worlds in the entire system. Layer upon layer of satellites and fighter patrols saturate the airspace, and even those who present the seven different authorizations needed to land are harassed and threatened at every turn. Luckily, other than dealing with the rich landowners, there is little to miss--Bellerophon's climate is geared toward providing long, glorious, dry summers and as such, is basically uninhabitable without a skymansion.


Beaumonde: The center of manufacturing and industry on which modern civilization depends. Beaumonde's pollution is so hopeless that the Alliance simply threw up its hands and decided to concentrate all the heavy industry there with lavish tax breaks, making Beaumonde both the verse's workshop and its garbage can. The result is an upper atmosphere thick with noxious clouds that occasionally descend into the troposphere and interfere with the terrestrial weather--when this happens, it rains caustic toxins that can cause painful chemical burns and even blindness.


Aberdeen: A lesser known border world possessed of great wealth, Aberdeen is a success story and represents the hope of Alliance idealists everywhere. It was nearly lost to terraforming malpractice in the early days and for decades afterwards was dogged by wildlt seesawing weather, but with the combination of Core technology and frontier persistence, the planetary govenment finally declared themselves sustainable and soon the immigrants poured in. Today, Aberdeen enjoys a nearly ideal economic profile, with a happy middle class, lavish wealth for the ambitious, and an underclass small enough to be ignored.


[GM's Note: This is in stark contrast to the Aberdeen found on Earth-That-Still-Is, where Curt Cobain originated.]





Armored Core Game


Armored Core was a series of mecha-sim games for the Playstation 2 and 3, where you pilot a three story, heavily armed anime-style mech. Unlike MechWarrior and its more earthy, tank motiff, Armored Cores are nimble, fighter-jet like machines, parrying back and forth like giant knights on a post-apocalyptic hellscape.


The game was made by From Software, the same developer who brought you Dark Souls. This should give you and idea of the difficulty level. I was unspeakalby terrible at the games, and there was a massive disconnect between how the cutscenes and lore depicted my skills and my actual graceless, grinding, trench-warfare performance in game. That said, I was fascinated by the universe, and readily fleshed out the austere lore for a Maptool game in 2011.


I made a custom game system that was tailored for Maptool macro usage--its biggest strength was in (eventually) being fast paced. Making an attack roll only required one input from the attacker, and maybe one from the defender, so you could get back to what this meant for the story more quickly.


The campaign journal linked above is all that survives of it. Inside you will find some summaries of how the game sessions went. This game was also a lot of fun and boasted a considerable amount of player talent. Unfortunately, I still hadn't pulled myself out of my no-account deadbeat lifestyle and I was heading for a second financial seppuku in as many years, so eventually the effort became unjustifiable. But still, good times.

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I am still a huge fan of Shadowrun. (4th Edition)


I used to GM, and have a few detailed (and extremely fun) campaign outlines, but I suck at actually being the GM. (I just have too much fun trying to make my characters do weird things, and then freaking out the GM when I get critical rolls to do nearly impossible things)


My last session of GMing:

Last session I GMed, I had our group based out of an abandoned warehouse, and we had a fairly high paying mission to find information about a project, then destroy the project. We started by breaking into one of the main buildings owned by the company that was doing the project, and stole information about where and what the project was, then headed to the lab. The lab was an underground facility, and was heavily guarded, but we made it in and out with only a few injuries. We got a piece of unknown experimental tech, (a vest that could teleport a single individual, but would also make him mentally into Gollum after a few trips, "my prescioussssss vesssssst") a lot of guns, and a ton of heat. We never got to finish the campaign, but it was supposed to go through, and turn my own character (which was massively OP because I build them that way) into the 'Gollum' so that the others would be forced to kill him, and I could start a new character. (it would've taken 2-3 more sessions for that to happen though)


Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Very interesting stuff going on there. For me and the people I run games for, it's more of a social gathering (as most of us are already friends), but I wish I had more of an opportunity to explore the creative storytelling aspect of it.

(By the way, ragnar0k had lots of gems in there. There's lots of subtleties in this one, which I love)

It has been my experience that death loves stupid people.


BTG, what's your player's consensus on DM/GMPCs? I've never personally done one, but I've played with people who used them, to varying degrees of success.

100 percent average every time, all the time.

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(By the way, ragnar0k had lots of gems in there. There's lots of subtleties in this one, which I love)


Indeed, Ragnar0k is absolutely King Shit at using wordplay to make a point. My favorite: "I was cutting corners like I worked at a circle factory"


I feel kind of bad for the guy, he's done all this great work and never gotten paid for it. I wish he'd publish a book or something.

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BTG, what's your player's consensus on DM/GMPCs? I've never personally done one, but I've played with people who used them, to varying degrees of success.

Everyone was fine with it until we assaulted a 5 story building, and I cleared the top 3 levels before anyone even got into cover on the first floor... Everyone assaulting behind me was sprinting to keep up with my massive killing spree. I made 11 out of the 15 total kills, and all but 2 of them were before any other weapons were fired. That's when the consensus shifted to my character needing to stop being so powerful.


Apart from being overbuilding the character because I do that sort of thing, I had no issues. (I never showed any bias for my character, I just had way too much build time in it)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Storytime inbound, prepare yourself for HERESY:


The Story So Far...


Our crew of seasoned acolytes have been sent to the war-torn shrine world of Veneris. Their mission: to investigate reports of Imperial Guardsmen witnessing the appearance of... something during a battle with the ork invaders. They reach the surface by grav-chute, and immediately assist in pushing back a breakthrough in the imperial battle lines. One Commissar Vorgan (the seniormost remaining official in this area) watches as the inquisitorial demolitions experts fry some grots with a few well-fired RPGs. Once the firefight ends, the guardsmen at this firing position are called to reinforce another unit. Metallus (our resident Adeptus Mechanicus member) gets into an altercation with the Commissar when he tries to "requisition" a squad of Guardsmen, and frags Vorgan in front of everyone. Panic ensues, but Father Cain Deepforge (our Ministorum cleric) manages to find at least a few of the fleeing Guardsmen who are willing to assist them. Metallus casually picks up the dead Commissar's com-link, announces he is in command of the Guardsmen in this section, and uses his techpriest voice synthesizer to cause a feedback screech over the vox, deafening the local command structure.


The musclebound feral-worlder (who can barely speak), Metallus, and assassin Wrax go forth into a demolished habitation block as they make their way to the shrine where the incident occurred, while Cain, our silent Psyker, and the demolitions expert are lead by the guardsmen to an encampment inhabited by deserters, where some guardsmen who witnessed the event are staying. They make it there, where they find all the witnesses covered in severe wounds, and all the conscious ones are gibbering unintelligibly.


Our first group makes it partway through the hab-block, but picks up motion on his Auspex just inside of one of the bombed out buildings. Our feral-worlder breaches the building, and is immediately shot with an antique las-lock, held by some orphans who have been hiding out inside for the past few months. He simply shrugs it off, and Metallus manages to calm them down (despite having an absolutely terrifying appearance and voice). Suddenly, they hear Orks moving through the narrow alleyways below. Wrax manages to switch on his stummer, but Metallus accidentally punches a hole through the wall which attracts their attention.

"Ey, 'oo's dere?"


Metallus responds, playing back a recording of the ork's voice: "Ey, 'oo's dere?"


"youze mucking about up dere, o wot? Dere's 'umies ready for a rite krumpin' if ya come wiff us..."


"...mucking about..."


"Dat's not right orky, dat is... Aw zoggit, we'ze wasted enuff time talkin' already... bloody git..."


Had to end after he fooled them, but hopefully I'll have another storytime posted next week.


100 percent average every time, all the time.

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If anyone's into board games, I recently got into playing one called Smash Up and it's super fun.


Sadly, my RPG group wasn't able to meet this week, but hopefully next week I can get another storytime posted.


longwinded magic discussion incoming:


Alright, even though I'm guessing not a whole lot of people here are into the whole board/card game "scene", and I may be mostly talking to myself here, but lately I've been on a bit of a M:TG bender where my deckbuilding philosophy is based on 4 rules:

1.) Nothing above 'uncommon' rarity.

2.) No infinite combos/other unfun bullshit. As much as I love winning, having friends is better.

3.) Use as many cards from the Innistrad block as I can (seriously, I love the art and lore from this set).

4.) Keep each deck thematically homogeneous.


Here's a few of what I came up with:





Mostly just based this one around a cool guy named Demonic Taskmaster (finding nonrare demon cards is a real bitch)




Get him pumped with stuff like Ring of Xathrid and Predator's Gambit






And then he proceeds to beat my opponent in the face until dead.






The title is basically what it sounds like. Angels abound. Stuck a set of Lone Missionaries in there,




coupled with a few Emancipation Angels to bounce him back to my hand (so I can get the extra 4 life in when I send him back out)




which especially helps if I have an Angelic Accord out, cause 4 is the magic number.




But mostly, it's just about getting to 30 life so my Chalice of Life can transform.






I used to have some Dawnglare invoker in here (and she really saved my ass a few times), but I figured she didn't fit with the theme enough to keep it in the deck.









Basically, Goldnight Commander gets everyone super pumped up (this guy is insane),




especially when I can get my Isochron scepter imprinted




with either Raise the Alarm




or Cloudshift for when I get my Evangel of Heliod out






Once I've got a load of tokens out, I can pretty much cast my Seraph of the Masses for free




100 percent average every time, all the time.

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Alright, even though I'm guessing not a whole lot of people here are into the whole board/card game "scene", and I may be mostly talking to myself here, but lately I've been on a bit of a M:TG bender where my deckbuilding philosophy is based on 4 rules:

1.) Nothing above 'uncommon' rarity.

2.) No infinite combos/other unfun bullshit. As much as I love winning, having friends is better.

3.) Use as many cards from the Innistrad block as I can (seriously, I love the art and lore from this set).

4.) Keep each deck thematically homogeneous.

Here's my decks...


One massively OP poison deck. (seriously, I could make an unblockable, untargetable, unkillable 10/10 in 3 turns)


A white anti-vampire/anti-zombie deck.


A blue/green minor-counter/minor-mill/super-creature deck. (one card starts with X counters, and doubles them each turn)


A pure colorless artifact deck.


And I've disassembled decks that have beaten $2000 decks, just because they don't win as quickly or completely as I want. (and I've spent $100 total on all my decks, and thousand or so spare cards)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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