SH1.05: Laws of Inertia! Surplus heroes’ brush with pirates!

Prologue: a new handle for Giant (in 3rd-person voice)

[We got this via email over the week. It’s a good, logical and reasonably tactful way of handling a name mixup that kept happening. And it worked pretty well. I called Iceman by his old handle ‘Giant’ once this session and no-one misnamed BJ at all. Kudos to DB for this change.]

Giant hawked disdainfully and spat something truly nasty across the deck plating. This was the fourth time in half an hour that someone had called him “Big Jim” or called BJ “Giant” and even his unflappability had its limits.

“From now on,” he said, looking down at his icy skin tone and thinking about all those long, cold years in cryosleep, “you bastards can call me Iceman.”

“Him” – he jerked a thumb at BJ – “You can call any damn thing you please.”

“Oh” – here, he swung his laser charge pack up over his back – “and if anyone even looks like they’re thinking of saying ‘Ice Ice Baby’ just remember, I got a beam weapon now!”


[We begin the session with a backtrack. The GM wants to show us a bit more of how we left. Probably for when we go back to Pavanne again]


Get aboard!

We move fast as we can out the elevator and into the tunnel leading to our bay. Vixe! Cluster of Tukeras t-shirts with couple of tunnel guards. I start running formations through my head, then I see that the guards have the Tukeras bailed up. They ain’t disarmed them – I see a monofilament flicker – but they keeping them covered all right.

Guard: Guvnor don’t want no firefight, you g’wan through

We hustle on through to the Bad’n’Ruin and Choi waves. He’s clamping the feed back onto its bowser.

Choi: Hi! Just done… where you get the juice anyhow?

Widow: Git aboard!

Bex: Oh, there you are… I have some questions about transactions…

Widow: More boarding, less talking! Bridge in two for sitrep!


Bluffing the guvnor

[This mostly happens off-screen, as it only indirectly involves us. As a recap the plan is for Tils to present the guvnor with a choice of allowing Obelinda to resume normal trade, or engaging in station-to-ship combat and thereby face the navy, the IPA, or both.]

Pip makes her usual crazy-ass liftoff then flips the old crate over to nestle in by the old Fassault a couple klicks out. They get their hatch open right sudden and I get a bad feeling. Even so I OK them to come ahead, and they drop airsleds in to our cargo bay. I know Iceman is in a gun turret and BJ and Choi are in engineering.

Widow: BJ, you there?

BJ: Yeah go ahead

Widow: How about you get in that fancy suit of yours and just keep an eye on kon’yarr’

BJ: Uhh, meaning I need a weapon?

Widow: Hmmm I guess your blade is as good as we got right now

Then Choi gets antsy and I haul ass down to engines to keep him calm, leaving Pip playing with my comms. By the time I get back she’s got a channel open and I hear Tils making a deal with the guvnor, and Pip gives me the high sign. I keep watch on the unshipping, all goes well and I call BJ back in.



Pip flips us back down, and scratches off some more of our new paint. Wells appears with a bag. Bex goes out to talk to him. I ain’t cool with this even though he checks out a sangue bom but she’s the negotiator. But she comes back with 30k in the bag and a grin on her face and a plan to ‘invest’ our money.

Just to be on the safe side and keep our business out of everyone else’s business, I send BJ down – since he’s the EVA expert – over the decks to talk to Tils. He comes back and reports that our cargo is ‘in train’ and we should just stay aboard and not look for trouble.

So we sit. A few hours tick by. Wells appears and the sang’ oversees loading pods. We help, since we are bored. The whole of Bad’n’Ruin’s payload space is filled, including the boat bay!

Ja na, Pavanne!


Ship to ship

As we ready the Bad’n’Ruin for the first jump out of system, I pick up a mark on the edge of range. Same time, they hail us.

Pirates: Stand by to be boarded, we will take the pick of your cargo!

[There follows an awkward few minutes of attempted railroad and protests. Once we bring the situation back to where we as crew get a decision, it all goes smoothly.]

We have a six-way vote. It ain’t the Marine way to just grab ankles, so me and Iceman vote fight. Pip ain’t sure. Bex wants to keep her profit and BJ says fight.

Widow: Nuts.

Tako! Pip plots our moves as the yarro boosts closer, I counter their lame try at a lock, and BJ feeds power to the guns. Iceman blasts them! As they slide by they hammer our shields, then we hit theirs again, then they are so far off our vector we just pour sauce and leave range, and jump.


And so with our heroes in jump space, we leave them for now. We may have to miss next week and if so I will write up the second half then.

Ship to ship combat is similar to vehicular combat in d20 or Savage Worlds (minus bennies) with the important exception that inertia does not go away – there’s no such thing as “braking” and no friction to help with “cornering” or moving from one vector to another. Each move is a drift plus direction based move. For example, if your velocity would move you 2k per second, you move 2k per second that same way, even if you are applying thrust in a different vector.

The battle turn sequence is something like:

  • Edge is decided
  • Ship with edge decides where to put power, and makes any engineering check that means
  • A pilot check guides the craft to modify its direction and velocity
  • A sensors and comms check is made to lock in on the opponent and/or break an enemy sensor lock
  • A gunnery roll is made for guns or missiles, with various disadvantage or advantage allowed by power and sensor lock.
  • The opposing side takes its bound.

Armour checks are very much the same as personal combat – a high roll means your shields have absorbed the hit and have downgraded. More engineering power to shields helps, and an engineer can make running repairs to shields instead of putting power anywhere.

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