DayTrippers Hangout Session 1: "The Pilot and the Pastor"

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This is PART 1 of the inaugural hangout session of DayTrippers. GM'd by Tod Foley, starring Abstract Machine as Pastor Cletus Purcell and Nikos Carcosa as Frank Frass. Note that Hangout technology is not 100% yet, and due to technical difficulties viewers are advised to consider "the end" to be around 2 hours 5 minutes, when Frank gets back to the ship. Part 2 does not exist in video form. It's a cliffhanger!

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For those playing along at home, the planet and the mission were randomly determined using the Generators in the DayTrippers GameMasters Guide. The planet looked like this...

KABAKA MARU
GRAVITY: 1.20 G
ATMOSPHERE: Dense Air (Nitrogen/Oxygen)
PRESSURE: 1.3 Earth atmospheres
WATER: Mostly landmass, some 30-40% standing water
CLIMATE: Temperate
PRECIP DL: 4
BIOSPHERE: Sentient lifeforms (galactic hominids)

...so I made up a HISTORY: The planet suffered a collision with an unknown cosmic body some 20,000 years ago which destroyed most indigenous lifeforms, leaving only small and scattered tribal societies in a harsh environment.

The X Industries Compound looked like this...

THE X.I. COMPOUND
A Beach/Delta in dry condition, with sandy/powdery terrain.
Biodiversity is low and stable – two or three lifeforms.
The weather is currently high wind/pressure shift.
The predominant colors are shiny yellow-orange and fading/gradient blue.
Unusual Feature: Cave/Tunnel/Opening.
Nearby Object: dizzying bank.
This place is used for: Domiciles/Dwellings/Habitation.

...and the Shashara forest looked like this...

FOREST VILLAGE
A Liquid Pool in struggling condition, with spongy terrain.
Biodiversity is high and volatile.
The weather is currently gentle flow or wind.
The predominant colors are blue and violet.
Unusual Feature: Mineral Deposit.
Nearby Object: flickering pool.
This place is used for: Domiciles/Dwellings/Habitation.

I put those rolls together with some of my favorite stories and movies: "The Potters of Firsk" by Jack Vance, "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, and the movie "Zardoz".

The monsters were not statted until the moment they entered play; because (in DayTrippers style) the TCV of the encounter depends on where we are in the narrative structure. However the illustrations of the monsters were assembled beforehand.

The ship was designed for the mission. Since I knew there was a good chance of vehicular combat occurring, I found a ship image that matched my idea and then statted it using the Ship Construction rules in the Core Rules book. The ship costs 103M, and looks like this:

Scimitar CE3 Recon Vessel
Construction Quality: Standard
Capacity 4
Tonnage: 6
Reinforced Hull +1
Slip Capacitor
Powersource: 300 mW (30 hrs)
Aerodynamic Design
Atmospheric Engine +2
Airlock
Automated Probe
Automated Repair System
Exterior Spotlight
Grappler & Winch
Landing Gear
Longrange Scanner
Ships Computer Mk 2: Name “Sparky”
MG Firing Program +1
UpVector Radio
Cabins: 2
Cargo 2m cu
Medical Response Tank
Viewport

The adventure was written (if that word can be used) within a 4-hour period, earlier in the day. Once I knew the NPCs and what their goals and capabilities were, I didn't plan any ending. That's how you write a DayTrippers adventure. :-)

1. FRANK ON THE STREET. Out of money, out of doors, and haunted by a terrible recurring dream, Frank visits an OMG Kiosk. He asks "Is it possible to get stuck between slips?" The kiosk, after dosing him with mood stabilizers to relieve his anxiety, tells him "What you're missing is God." Frank leaves the kiosk, and soon after gets a text from the mysterious and powerful X Investments corporation: "Potential Job".

2. CLETUS ON THE PHONE. Cletus gets a message from Blanche Regarde of X Investments and contacts her. She has a job he's particularly well-suited for, and needs him to sign an NDA. He also gets a message from his fourth soon-to-be-ex wife, Angora (previous wives: Lydia, Bethany, Simone); she wants the house. He tells her she'll have to take it up with wife #3.

3. X INVESTMENTS OFFICE. Negotiations between Cletus and Blanche begin. Cletus gets Blanche to agree to shared footage of all video shot on the mission. She'll have to talk to the higher-ups about shared branding; but the company must come out looking good.

4. THE JOB. Frank talks to his friend Donnel Farfas, who assures him that a job for X Investments will be a well-paid one. A driverless car takes Frank to the X Investments office where he signs the NDA and negotiates for 12M. Blanche describes the job: one of their regular pilots, a man named Trypto Kalivich, has gone rogue. He refuses to return home from his weekly mission to Kabaka Maru, and claims to have "found God". We meet Helmut Ziko of Tragic Media, producer of "Art Fag" and camera operator appointed by Blanche. Cletus and Helmut talk about God and Art, and the possible subjective realities of Trypto's experience. Blanche is embarrassed. She is under heavy pressure to keep this trade agreement in operation. The locals, you see, have no experience with metal of any kind. The company is trading relatively valueless metal items such as cutlery and folding chairs in exchange for a substance which is making them millions of Megas per month. The export - code name KABAKA X - is a liquid with unusual microbial properties, used by the locals for lighting oil. Experiments have shown that a miniscule amount of KABAKA X is effective as a cheap anti-foaming agent in processed food products such as Sardacian HamLoaf - their biggest client and a most demanding one. Remember: You're under NDA.

5. THE SCIMITAR. They are shown the ship. "The Scimitar" is a lightweight exploratory vessel retrofitted with computer-assisted outboard machine guns. They enter, meet Sparky the friendly ship's computer, and prepare for the slip out.

SCIMITAR CE3 RECON VESSEL
Construction Quality: Standard
Capacity 4
Tonnage: 6
Reinforced Hull +1
Slip Capacitor
Powersource: 300 mW (30 hrs)
Aerodynamic Design
Atmospheric Engine +2
Airlock
Automated Probe
Automated Repair System
Exterior Spotlight
Grappler & Winch
Landing Gear
Longrange Scanner
Ships Computer Mk 2: Name “Sparky”
MG Firing Program +1
UpVector Radio
Cabins: 2
Cargo 2m cu
Medical Response Tank
Viewport

6. KABAKA MARU. the crew debarks on Kabaka Maru, a near-featureless plain of wasted sandy rock with a few scattered forests and large standing bodies of water.

KABAKA MARU
GRAVITY: 1.20 G
ATMOSPHERE: Dense Air (Nitrogen/Oxygen)
PRESSURE: 1.3 Earth atmospheres
WATER: Mostly landmass, some 30-40% standing water
CLIMATE: Temperate
PRECIP DL: 4
BIOSPHERE: Sentient lifeforms (galactic hominids)
HISTORY: The planet suffered a collision with an unknown cosmic body some 20,000 years ago which destroyed most indigenous lifeforms, leaving only small and scattered tribal societies in a harsh environment.

The X Compound is inside a mountain face, on the other side of which live the local cave-dwellers, the Kabaka. Go inside, meet Malachi, who informs them about the situation and shows them some maps. Trypto has been leaving the compound for several hours at a time over the last few weeks. The Kabaka have a strange custom of holding one hand to their behinds while pointing at earthlings with the other.

7. THE FLOWER FOREST. The crew heads for the nearest forest, where the Shashara people are said to reside in a natural state, untouched by "the company" and its metal trinkets. Here, a strange oily-water trains down from the tops of the flowerlike trees, a hundred feet above the mossy forest floor. The groups encounters a "Banki" - a dog-sized crab-like monster - and Helmut's lower leg is severed by its attack. Frank shoots it and drives off its companions. They encounter a small group of Shashara people, including their Chief, Bombu.

8. THE CHIEF'S HUT. Frank takes Helmut back to the ship's medbay while Cletus and Bombu have a long conversation. The chief tells Cletus the legend of the "god time, when the godhead spoke to us." Many generations have passed since then, and the gods have been silent. Now, Bombu tells Cletus, it's the "New God Time" - the godhead has begun to speak again. He has been paying tribute to the god Tinktaramen, who tells him to "prepare for war" - first against the Kabaka, who he calls slaves, and then against the company. Frank returns.

9. CLEARING IN FOREST. The group goes to see Tinktaramen, the godhead. More Shasharr join them as the party progresses through the forest. Tinktaramen turns out to be a giant stone head sticking up out of the ground in a clearing. The Shashara make obiences, and the head speaks inside everyone's minds: "What are you doing here?" Frank is freaked out; he takes this question in an existential way. There is a tingling sensation in his head, he doesn't know if the others feel it. The natives begin pulling them back. "Run away!" As they flee, the head rises up out of the ground, hovering above the trees.

[This is where the video ends. The session continues...]

10. ONBOARD THE SCIMITAR. Frank takes the ship up. It's starting to rain. Helmut will be in the medbay for several hours. Sparky scans for lifeforms within walking distance of the compound and finds 4 locations: The Forest, the caves near the Compound, the Compound itself, and another set of caves on the west side of the valley across from the Compound. Frank decides to fly to the first set of caves.

11. EASTERN CAVES. Frank and Cletus visit the Eastern Kabaka Clan, source of the Compound's workforce. The chief there, Toktari Muaba, says he is tired of Trypto coming around asking for more workers; they told the company long ago they have given them all the workers they will give.

12. WESTERN CAVES. Frank and Cletus visit the Western Kakaba Clan, who say they know nothing and have no interest in talking to "company men". As they are leaving, a gigantic creature enters the valley. The Big Monster Battle ensues. The ship is nearly lost down the ravine as the beast's limb comes crashing down next to it. Frank dangles from the open door then scrambles inside, where he tells Sparky to shoot the thing. After a few shots the beast falls. The chief, now thankful for their intrusion, suddenly has info. He says his scouts have seen Trypto going to the Forest every week.

13. X INVESTMENTS COMPOUND. Back at the compound, they run tests on the oily water. It contains Kabaka fecal matter and assorted xeno-elements. On hearing Toktari's story, Malachi says Trypto never approached the Kabaka as far as he knows; it was the previous guy who established contact, before Trypto and he were hired.

14. OUTDOORS. Cletus heads to the forest. There is an army of Forest People approaching, led by the giant floating head. Cletus evades sight. Frank takes the ship up. Malachi seals the compound doors.

15. THE FOREST. Back in the Shashara forest, Cletus is discovered and harbored in the flower of a tall tree by Kubru (he is the son of Toktari, a runaway, now living as a lone hunter in rebellion against the inequities of the trade agreement). They talk. Kubru has seen Trypto approaching and entering the God Head three times. Cletus, who is beginning to put this all together, promises it will be a new deal if Kubru comes back with him.

16. OUTDOORS. The Big Ship Battle. The Head approaches the mountain. It is flown clumsily, as if its pilot was unfamiliar with it. It fires its laser eyes at the Scimitar, which takes 1 hit of damage to the hull. Frank and Sparky respond with machinegun fire into the mouth and eyes of the head. The first shot does little, the second penetrates the translucent eyes and sends the head crashing to the ground. The unconscious body of Trypto is found inside, strapped into a pilot seat with a strange headpiece connecting him to the Flying Head's control systems. Cletus returns with Kubru. The Kabaka celebrate his return. Malachi opens the doors again. There is talk of a new agreement now that Trypto is gone. The Kabaka call Cletus the "Company Man".

17. BACK ONBOARD THE SCIMITAR. Time for the slip home. The Scimitar is loaded up with KABAKA X. Helmut is healed. Trypto is in critical condition but will survive. In debriefing, we learn that this is not the first Flying Head to have been discovered on a far-flung planet. Their origin is a mystery, and they are many thousands of years old.

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