Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Takin' Them Characters For A Spin

Time to try out a game with some of those 5150 Fringe Space/New Beginnings characters  I rolled up (see the last post)... if you missed that, basically I'm working on an optional modification for New Beginnings that changes the flavor of characters a bit, and sorta introduces 'skills' into New Beginnings by using the idea behind Professions and expanding it.

Onto our feature presentation...


"No questions asked," Yosi said to the shady man across the table, "As long as things go according to plan and we get paid, we keep to ourselves."
The man nodded and put down his drink. "Just the way I like it. We can deal."


"So now we're hitmen?" Brian asked. "Gotta say, I didn't expect--"
Sarah interrupted him, "Don't worry, Doc, you can keep your bleeding oath. We'll do the killin', you just keep us from dyin'."
"Well I don't like it either," Samuel Fresco cut in, "normally I don't mind doing a little merc work, but a diplomat? That's a loud target. Gives us a bit more attention than I like."
"We need the coin and the plan is simple. Why is this even a discussion?" said Yosi. "What do you think, Dempson?"
Dempson didn't even look up from  the rifle he was cleaning. "Just point me at the target."
Yosi gave Samuel a look. Samuel broke under the pressure. "Alright, give us the details. Tell us about this guy."
Yosi put one leg up a chair, leaned down over it, and got into what the rest of the crew called "Drunken Old Spacer Expressively Telling a Story" pose.
"Oh great..." Sarah mumbled.
"Hush kid," Yosi snapped, "This guy, our employer, is the killing type. You can tell from his eyes. Calls himself 'Ha-Dam' He's got just about the worst scar I've ever seen, coming through his hair, across his brow, through his left eye, and down to his jaw. Anyway: the job is simple. There is a diplomat, Alicia Felani from Miszahi Inc, vacationing here at her summer home that Ha-Dam wants dead. All we got to do is be matchmakers; bring Ha-Dam and Felani together and we get paid. Ha-Dam can do the rest."
"Clearly 'Ha-Dam' doesn't want us to know his motives."Said Sam.
"You got that right. No questions." Yosi warned.

There was a moment of thinking.
Sam spoke first, "Okay, we'll do it. But I don't want to walk into this blind. Brian, look into possible reasons Ha-Dam would-"
"-The blood."
"... Brian?"
"Ha-Dam. Its from an ancient Earth language. Hebrew. The original language of the First Testament of the Christian Bible. It means 'the blood.'"
"So Ha-Dam is as nerdy as you." Yosi said with perfect deadpan.
"Very funny. The guy we're dealing with put thought into this."Brian said.
"Wait a second... Sam, this is personal for Ha-Dam. I've seen this before. Guys get personal with a job, they start using funny code names and such, trying to attach some kinda significance to it..."
"Like some kinda Romantic epic." added Sarah.
"You know," said Alex Dempson, "That happened to guys in the Star Army. Their buddy gets killed, next time they see action they're wearing a helmet painted like primitive war masks...."
Sam thought. "Okay, Ha-Dam sounds emotional. Emotional people are what we call people who get other people killed. We gotta be careful if we're doing this. Brian, hit the books... let's find out what made Ha-Dam Ha-Dam. Alex, we'll get some surveillance from the ship, analyze it, plan how we want to do this. Yosi, I want you to get friendly with Ha-Dam, try to find out more about him. Share some old spacer tales with him... he sounds only slightly uglier than you. Hm.... we need to find out more about this diplomat's defenses... rich folks never go vacationing on a back water world like this without an armed guard."
Sarah interrupted Sam with excitement, "I know! I could try to cut into the official port logs... they always track passengers. If we could find who she landed with, find out their history, maybe we can figure out what we're up against."
"Sounds good." Sam turned and started walking towards the cockpit. "Get to work everyone, I want to be out of the world by then end of the week."

"Alright, this is as high res as we can go... unfortunately we can't adjust orbit, either, or else we'll look seriously suspicious to the authorities."
"That's alright," Alex said, "I'll work with what we can get."
The Compound (North is up, South is down)

Compound just out of view

Some wilderness.. what a pretty spot to vacation in.

The Western edge of the 'map.' You can just make out a hill on the Northwest corner (by the white rock)

"Well, looks like we're gonna go in from the West... the ridge drops too sharply on the Eastern side of the vacation home, we'd have to scale our way up that,  and they'd see us coming... they've got quite a view!"
"Stay focused." Sam said sternly.
"Sit down, I'm just thinking. North and South are both too open... they'll see us a mile away. Unfortunately the Western side isn't great cover, either... we could've used more trees and hills. Then again this gives us a good option for sniper support... looks like there is a good hill to the West North West that could see nearly all of the area approaching the home. And... Yeah, those are two trucks parked at the home. Can't quite make out the exact model, but I'm guessing we're looking at a total of 30 residents at most... probably less, as those trucks were probably carrying supplies. They're pretty far from the nearest colony.
"I'd imagine they send patrols out West pretty regularly... no permanent encampments, which means all guards and servants are staying somewhere in the home, but they barely even need to patrol the other directions, they just need to keep a sentry a few yards from the house... things might be pretty difficult. We'll move at 17:30... They'll have night vision for sure, so night time isn't really a good option, and any earlier and everyone's eyes will be adjusted to the light.... Yeah, 17:30 should be good."

(Game note: just used a ton of different skills... They did okay... didn't find out as much info as they could've. Mostly these things affect PEF resolution and such. Its fine that they didn't do that well, though, as the other guys can all work as well, and together they can get a pretty good picture of what they're up against).



Brian read through his notes.

Yes, it was obvious, now.

Ha-Dam was clearly a reference to the go'el ha'dam, the avenger of the blood, in ancient Judaic law. The idea was that if someone was killed, then someone in their family, their go'el ha'dam, would avenge their death justly. Ha-Dam was probably getting revenge for a family member or very close friend who had died.

So, what about this Alicia Felani? Miszahi Inc. is a fairly large megacorporation, so there is no hint in their operations that would explain Ha-Dam's motives. But Felani, as a diplomat, has openly worked with a pretty small number of groups. She seems to mostly make deals with private security organizations (or pirates... most of the deals seemed routine but the one with Rackham & Rogers coincided with the end of said organization, and was the only deal made between the two groups), government policy makers (mostly with regards to law enforcement), and the shipping department of Miszahi. Brian isn't sure how this all comes together, but its likely that Ha-Dam's motives are the result of one of these deals, as Alicia has a pretty clean private life.



"Here, have another drink." Yosi patted Ha-Dam on the back as he pushed yet another mug of beer to the scarred assassin.
"Sure thing! So as I was saying..."
This was too easy, Yosi thought. All I need to do is get him to talking about those scars...
"You know," Yosi interrupted him, "I've been living on ships all my life... 35 long years of struggling on the roughest frontier man has ever known. But I ain't got any scars quite as beautiful as that, mate."
"You can say that again. Hell, you're practically a greenhorn compared to old, er, Ha-Dam here." Ha-Dam took another drink. "You ever been spaced? Thats how I got these scars. Practically no one survives it, for obvious reasons. I was lucky enough to have my suit on. My goddamn brother was on the same ship, toughest sonuvagun I ever known... even he didn't make it.
"Ever since then I've had no name but Ha-Dam... goddamned Gee Pee (Gaea Prime) don't care, to them I'm dead. They blew that ship up, saw the little bodies flying out of the cracked hull in pieces, and called the whole ship dead. No one survives that.
"Well I did.
"Roger's gotten his, now she'll get hers."


Sara looked at the list of names. It was the passenger and cargo list for the MIV (Miszahi Interstellar Vehicle) Profit.

Adam Aaronson
James Cal-Jeerah
Alicia Felani
Gin Forest
Captain Lee Frost
Ben Hadermann
Erik Jager
Ben Lin
Sergeant Bowen Merrick
Charles Mezrah
Emily Vulf
Major Max Zorrah

Two Trucks

Foodstuffs (inspected and clean)

She couldn't get through to more detailed information on any of the individuals listed, but the frequency of high ranking former military officials meant that probably at least half of them were guards.


"So here's what we've got," Sam announced to the assembled crew, "Ha-Dam wants to avenge his brother's death, which he blames on Felani for... not entirely known reasons, and so has hired us to assist in taking her down.
"We're approaching her vacation home from the West at 17:30 with the goal of reaching the home without being detected... if we do make contact with any patrols, we'll try to take them out silently.
Due to the weather, we can't interfere with their communications.... it'd be too suspicious, and would give us away. If we are detected, we'll switch to plan B and try to jam their comms. Ha-Dam will provide sniper support... if we find it necessary, Alex will spot for him, but the current plan is that we act as a ground team that reaches the target building, extracts Felani, and brings her to Ha-Dam. Rest up: We have 3 hours."


"In position."
"Alright Dempson, I'm providing overwatch... I'm at the agreed upon position, approximately 100 yards North of you." Ha-Dam's voice came clear through the radio.
"Alright, we're moving."
Alex readied his weapon. "Okay, everyone stay about 20 yards behind me... I'll signal if I see anyone, we don't want to be caught."

The crew moves from cover, waiting for the stealthy Alex to signal for an advance.

Ha-Dam's voice came back over the radio, "We've got four mercs patrolling out in the brush about 150 yards North East of your position. They can't see me, or you, but I'll keep an eye on their movements."

Suddenly Alex saw something green moving in the tree line in front of him... another Merc!
The Merc was all alone, and didn't look like he was focusing on patrolling... he was just walking about. "Why would a Merc be patrolling all by himself?" Alex wondered.

Alex, surveying the landscape around him, decides to head north for a moment, to seek better cover. He heads towards the forest north of his position. The crew follows him.

Alex's military instinct kicks in, and he watches the forest for a moment, making sure his flank is clear before heading East again. It was a good thing he did: 4 Mercs walk through a path in the trees just a few yards North of Alex. Alex lies still behind a bush. He knows that if he moves the Mercs will see him. He must wait for them to pass.

The rest of the crew sees his reaction, and huddle up behind their own bush.
"We've got to keep moving." Sam says. "Dempson knows what he's doing, and Ha-Dam will provide support if things go wrong."

Meanwhile, the Merc of to the East walks up the path towards the vacation home. The Mercs that Ha-Dam is currently scoping out remain in place, apparently talking about something rather funny.

Noticing that the Mercs have looked away for a moment, Alex quickly signals to Sarah to keep moving East.

The crew heads straight East, hoping to stay out of view of the Mercs to the North by following a slight ridge, while avoiding detection from the East due to the small woods blocking sight from the vacation home.

The Crew sprints to the small woods, into the path that leads up to the vacation home.
"I think we're going to have to make some noise... there isn't any cover from here on out. Our best hope is probably to confuse the Mercs by starting the attack at their home, and then letting Alex and Ha-Dam hit them from behind." Sam said.
"Why do that?" Sarah responded, "I could try to jam their communications and then we could attack silently... any remaining Mercs at the base will know what's up, but at least we'd buy some time for the guys back in the wilderness."
"Sounds like a plan."

Finally, the Mercs near Alex Dempson moved... and they started heading East, back towards the home. "That was a close one!" Ha-Dam said over the radio.
"Damn straight."
"Wait a minute," Ha-Dam continued, "they're all moving... the other group I'm watching is also moving back towards the home. Those guys are doomed if we don't make a distraction."

"Is it working?" Sam asked Sarah.
Sarah nodded. Yosi stepped away from Sarah, having helped her with his knowledge of electronics.

"Alright," Ha-Dam said, "Fire in three, two one-" The laser made a slight 'FWIP' noise as it recharged from the shot. The Merc point man clutched his bleeding gut and fell to the ground, badly injured. The Mercs, unable to determine exactly where the shot came from, run for cover.

Meanwhile, Alex opens fire with his silenced pistol on the lead Merc of the team that had just passed  him. With his years of training at taking single, well placed shots, he sends a single bullet through the head of the leader and then dives back behind cover, hoping to prevent detection.

Though the Mercs, facing away from Alex,  are unable to return fire immediately, one of them spotted him. "Shooter behind the dark green bush west!" the Merc cries, as the squad dives behind trees, bushes, and stones.

Sam and the rest of the crew, not yet knowing of Alex and Ha-Dam's actions, break from the treeline and assault the compound.
They see a woman in her late 30's walking down the path just North of the woods and carrying a pistol, as if heading for a hunt; the Merc who had been on his own stroll stepping up towards the ramp leading to the main door of the home; Alicia herself, waiting for a middle aged man to come down the ramp, presumably to follow the other woman on her walk.

This scene was quickly ruined by the emergence of an armed band of desperadoes popping out of the woods.

The woman fired at Sam, hitting him in the gut. "Ah dammit..." he grunted as he clutched his bleeding body and fell to the ground.
Yosi sprayed bullets at the Merc as the Merc started to run for the trucks, looking for cover. The Merc seemed to trip as a bullet grazed his leg, sending the Merc to the ground for a moment.
Seeing Sam go down, Sarah shot the woman, hitting her gun arm. She fainted from the pain.
Brian shot his rifle at the shocked middle aged man on the ramp. the bullet hit him right in the stomach, and the man started to slowly, painfully bleed out.
Alicia ran behind one of the trucks and drew her pistol.

When no one had fired for a moment, Sarah ran over to Sam. "Brian, get over here, he's bleeding bad!" Brian quickly patches up Sam's wounds, greatly increasing Sam's chance of survival.

Yosi marched up the path, shouting at Alicia and the wounded Merc.
"Reach for the sky! Drop your weapon- I SAID DROP IT!" -- The Merc frantically pushed his rifle away from his body.-- "Ms. Felani? Drop the pistol right now or the man bleedin' his guts out over there on the ramp ain't getting medical attention."
"Don't hurt my brother!"
"Ms. Felani, I know a bargain when I hear one. I promise you we will help this man if you just drop your pistol... though you best do it right now."
Alicia threw the pistol away from the truck and stepped out with her hands in the air.

Brian ran over to the injured man and gave him medical attention, but was unable to stop the bleeding.
"We have to get Mr. Felani to an emergency room if he's gonna live."
"Alright, let's get moving then." Yosi said.
As they moved down the hill, the Mercs in the gunfight with Ha-Dam and Alex Dempson gave up the fight. When an employer tells a Merc to stand down, it tends to work. The Mercs packed up and headed back for their trucks, planning to leave-- they're contract was clearly up. Sarah and Brian carried Alicia's brother on a stretcher while Alex helped Sam limp back to Ha-Dam's position.

When they got there, things got ugly quick.
"Who's that?" Ha-Dam said, pointing his pistol at Mr. Felani in the stretcher. "Her brother," Yosi responded.
"Perfect." Ha-Dam calmly shot Mr. Felani through the throat.
"What the-?!" Alicia shouted.
"Its me, Alicia. Jared Rackham." Ha-Dam said as he trained his sites on Alicia's head.
"But... you were dead!"
"Join the club." He squeezed the trigger.


  1. At first I thought I'd do pictures. Then I got too into the game, so.... just enjoy the written bits.