Attended: Alex, Brad & Owen
Covers events on Stardate 53001.
(insert player logs here)
Returning from a technical support mission on Klaestron IV, the Red Dwarf diverts to investigate an unusual energy signal, and finds debris of several ships. Before the crew (Commander Hagen, Ensign K’voDleH and Ensign Four) can determine what it all means, a warp core malfunctions rapidly devolves into a disastrous explosion, evidently destroying the whole ship.
Even so, the three Starfleet crew are surprised to find themselves standing in an unfamiliar place, with purple sand underfoot and heavy mists all around. Exploration of the area reveals others present: A Vulcan (eventually revealed to be a Founder in disguise), a Jem’Hadar, a Karemma, a Romulan and a Breen. A mysterious voice from a glow in the sky adds to the confusion, insisting that those present should “dig the sand, build the tower”.
The Starfleet crew manage to overcome inherent mistrust and miscommunication among the others and organise the digging out of 9 golden blocks and their assembly into a column. This triggers their return to the Red Dwarf, and the return of the others to their own re-assembled ships.
This one was thrown together in a rush, when Shaun was unavailable to run his scheduled game, and too many others were absent for me to run an episode of Peaceful Occupations instead. I thought it all up on the drive to DeeTwenty. Brad didn’t have his own character sheet available, so he borrowed Jay’s Number Four and did an adequate impersonation.
The main hook, the “you’re all dead and the afterlife is dull and confusing” was something my friend Arran once improvised for us in an ad hoc systemless game, c.2000, and I found it conveniently abstract and disconnected from the main plotline to cram in at random. The other elements sort of fell into place quite easily: The “everyone has to learn to work together” bit is fairly conventional Star Trek fare, the purple sand came from spending my afternoon playing Kerbal, and the cubic meter gold blocks came from Minecraft. The mist was intended only as a way to keep the environment finite, but Brad commented that is was reminiscent of Myst (where it was used for the same purpose).
The NPCs were mostly bland cardboard cut-outs. The Founder-disguised-as-Vulcan was slightly interesting, because I thought it was perhaps too obvious that the other two Dominion characters were blindly following a Vulcan for no clear reason. I also wasn’t entirely clear how to portray the Founders’ post-war attitude, but the promise from the player characters at the end of their word that the others would be allowed to go free seemed like the sort of thing that Odo’s influence would count a lot for.
The Romulan (Subcommander Tivoth) became a female-to-male transvestite on a whim, partly because Alex pressed me to see what interesting secrets he could dig up with Hagen’s telepathy, and partly because I’d recently watch Eddie Izzard’s Executive Transvestite bit. We considered the idea a little bit, and it did seem an interesting if slim possibility, given the apparent minimal gender differences in both Vulcan and Romulan culture.