Mea Culpa

Meeting, September 16
In which every unsaid thing might have been said

Opening

Agenda Item

  • Recruitment: Melissa to follow-up with Jim

OOC Logistics and Things Unsaid

  • Melissa has surgery on October 10! They’ll probably miss the game on the 14th. The 28th is less certain.
  • Last session, we got completely stuck on some rules-related IC vs OOC items. The next time someone thinks a multi-sided Conflict might be appropriate, we should pause and diagram out the sides to gain consensus.
  • Last session, as part of the same segment of gameplay, we had some very strong emotions expressed, including raised voices. As a group, we agreed to use the X-card much more readily to interrupt an undesirable path in gameplay.
  • We’re also introducing a passive signal (prayer hands) for “this is getting too heated!”.
  • There’s been a trend of less preparation for OOC aspects of games — fewer meeting notes posted, the next person not knowing the agenda, not knowing what plots are being run, etc. Melissa has set up a bot in Discord to remind the group the Thursday before a game session to make sure people check in on these things.
  • Since folks have trouble with OP on their phones, Greg has offered to take GDocs posted to Discord and enter them into OP.

Closing

Story/Plots

  • This session’s story is finished.
  • Lucy has a human magician plot ready.
  • Melissa will work on preparing the pryxzod plot.

Agenda

  • Recruitment
  • Check in on our “things unsaid” from this session.

Gregory will run next session’s meeting.

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Odysseus

The Party (2017-07-22)

Davey, Mx. Hood, and Kartesh were contacted by a socially odd baroque-steampunk-styled android named Odysseus who asked them to throw a birthday party for Odysseus’s Grandfather. Odysseus had a scheduling conflict, but would provide the group with funding and meet up with their Grandfather after the party. They only asked that the group make it clear that Odysseus was the one responsible for the party.

Upon investigation, the groupdiscovered that Odysseus’s arrangements included a hermaphroditic alien erotic dancer, a supply of vintage stimulant drugs, and Riker cage fighters. Odysseus’s grandfather turned out to be Jason Lo, a software developer from the time of the Visitation who had recently been unbubbled. Lo was on the station to get acculturation treatment.

The group sorted the party out: they got the drug dealer to switch to softer product, got the dancer to tone their act down, and convinced the fighters to perform professional wrestling. They arranged for a cake and appropriate guests. At the height of the party, Lo asked a surprising question: Whose birthday was it?

The group discovered that this wasn’t Lo’s birthday, but really the anniversary of the release of a software project on which he was a lead developer: the social media project that eventually became the Engine Funtime.

The Investigation (2017-08-05)

The group tried to contact Odysseus for explanation and compensation for expenses, but were only able to reach an automated answering system. When they demanded money, it sent them to a meeting room where a broker was waiting to satisfy a debt. He was confused but agreed to pay the group instead of Odysseus.

However, when the group pressured him for more details on Odysseus, he went into some sort of memetically-induced seizure that caused him to shoot at them wildly with a gun. Davey was able to break the trance and, upon analyzing the broker’s documents and making threats, the group was directed to a berth on the docking ring.

The group arranged for armed support from the Sysops and headed for the berth. When they entered the ship, the group was sealed in with Odysseus, who explained that the android did not actually exist. The party learned that Odysseus was just a cover identity for Funtime itself.

Kartesh tried to blast a hole in the airlock, but was only partially successful. Odysseus blew the docking clamps, venting some of the air and sending their ship tumbling away from the station. Odysseus split open into a branching tempest of dangerous mechanisms and tried to kill the group to suppress knowledge of the deception. The group neutralized Odysseus and distributed evidence of the identity, at which point Funtime abandoned its efforts and the group was able to escape back to the station.

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Meeting, August 5

Opening:

  • Recruitment (Jim): No news
  • Book status/character sheet: Offered new character sheets.

Closing:

What story do we want to pursue more and where do we want to take this session’s story?

  • Generally interested in Engines, maybe deposing or destroying.
  • Next session: Pryxzods! + Beach episode!

People can invite advice

  • Character sheet: should the affliction/stress box be flipped left/right? We need to be clearer in the process of acquiring and clearing afflictions.

Next session’s agenda items

  • Jim
  • Rules update
  • Book update

Determine who runs the meeting

  • Lucy!!!
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Meeting, July 22

Opening

Recruitment

  • Jim: will get back when not traveling
  • Tom: no news
  • Gabrielle: not into sci-fi, but will check with gamer friends
  • No other ideas at the moment

Rosette LARP version 0.1

  • Reviewed changes
  • Gave status update

Closing

What story do we want to pursue more and where do we want to take this session’s story?

  • Hunt down Odysseus (Gregory; continuation of this session’s story)
  • Plollan WMDs (Melissa)

Set next session’s agenda items

  • Recruitment
  • Book status update

Determine who runs the meeting

Lucy!

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Wanted: 6 cm Pryxzods
First Plollan Marketplace Adventure

(This spanned three game sessions.)

Research and Approach

Our curious-as-cats team of K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), Kartesh Fartouch, and David “Davey” Anne Smith decided to be brokers in the slowly escalating trade battle for 6 cm pryxzods after seeing the following two ads posted in the bar over the course of a few weeks:

20170318_170006.jpg

20170415_170559.jpg

Kateka called the contact numbers on the wanted ads — the first was disconnected, but the second was an automated line that gave date time and space coordinates for a drop off location just outside the Network on a path to Saiphim.

Seeing this as a trade disconnect in need of a middleman, Kateka got the group connected with Giselle Goossens. She begrudgingly told the team that “pryxzods” sounded like the name of a rumored Plollan weapon: a small, mobile, robot that consumes the material around it. Purportedly, one 4-8 cm pryxzod is powerful enough to (given enough relatively uninterrupted time) consume something the size of Mea Culpa. The ads were asking for 25 or 75 of these devices. After some tense negotiations, Giselle gave the group a copy of her map of the Marketplace and a package to drop off at the Itemz n Thingz stall there.

She also gave them plenty of warnings: since the Plollans are incredibly xenophobic, the group would need some sort of invite to get in, which might be a formal invitation or knowing someone with access. Too much misbehaving while there could easily get the team banned from the Marketplace for life.

They opted to take the Shiidoo to the Marketplace; given Mx. Hood‘s considerable amount of access in the universe, it was likely their ship could get them into the Marketplace. The ship was welcoming and willing to assist them in scanning Giselle’s package: it turned out to be a normal Christian Bible with gilded edges. There were no Quirorks in the spine.

The Marketplace

The approach to the Marketplace was turbulent and the authorities as unwelcoming as Giselle promised, but the group ended up safely parked and staying at a hotel lining the Marketplace. Davey graciously agreed to give the strange, inhuman bathrooms at the hotel a good scrub during each of the Marketplace’s maintenance shutdowns in exchange for the group’s room. (See the Plollan Marketplace entry for more details on the time bubble, its physical characteristics, and its maintenance timing cycles.)

The group set out with three goals:

  1. Deliver Giselle’s Bible
  2. Buy the pryxzods and get them off the planet
  3. Find a countermeasure against them

The Marketplace map was designed to rearrange itself as stalls and shops moved, and while information on individual shops was limited (a rough categorization of the shop and its name), Davey took the time to check every shop of the “mixed items” category to find Itemz n Thingz.

The group set out into the Marketplace. Getting through was a slow process: while the crowd in the Marketplace is always moving, a normal path also requires zig-zagging the entire 5 km length repeatedly. Faced with the possibility of not making it to Itemz n Thingz before the next maintenance window, Kartesh shortened their journey considerably by finding some not-quite-approved shortcuts. Kateka grumbled pretty steadily as they ducked between and through the closely-packed stalls.

Itemz n Thingz was a small shop with an actual interior that was staffed by two humans — a strange occurrence, since Davey was told she was only the second human to be allowed into the Marketplace (the first was Giselle). John — the awkward proprietor who was definitely from the midwestern United States on the planet Earth — was excited to meet the group and arrange a later rendezvous with Davey. He accepted Giselle’s box with little fanfare and pointed the group towards the shop Intergalactic Armaments.

The group set off into the crush again in search of the arms store, occasionally browsing for and buying food and small trinkets.

Near the end of the current Marketplace cycle, they found and entered Intergalactic Armaments, meeting Mitzra, its proprietor. The shop was decked out in a clockwork theme, including Mitzra themself, whose mask looked like a set of interconnected gears.

Mitzra was not at all interested in selling sorta-secret, high-quality Plollan weaponry to the likes of the members of this group and drove a hard bargain, asking for both a continuous source of bee nectar and a complete data dump of the Mea Culpa university’s weapon-related research to sell 75 pryxzods. (Davey insisted no such research was happening at the university. Kartesh insisted that giving such research away to a society like the Plollans would be horribly unethical.)

With the Marketplace cleaning cycle rapidly approaching, the group agreed to resume the negotiations in the morning. Mitzra gave them a vague pamphlet on the specs of a pryxzod and agreed to move their shop to be closer to the hotel when the Marketplace reopened.

Internal debate led the group to opt for the 25 pryxzod deal in exchange for the bee nectar. With an instruction manual, a pretty box to deflect scanners, and 25 6 cm pryxzods, the group split ways to handle final business: Davey rendezvoused with John and acquired an exotic weapon; Kartesh and Kateka worked to hide the pryxzods on the Shiidoo and negotiate the departure inspection.

The group remains undecided about what to do with the pryxzods, which remain on the ship: several options for weapons research remain open, but problematic due to their ties to various governments.

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Meeting, May 13

New folks: Lissa will contact Jim about joining the game. Gregory will follow-up with Tom.
Logistics: Lissa may have to skip narrating Memorial Day weekend due to surgery recovery

After game:
What story do we want to pursue? The Plollan Marketplace story started this session or (if Lissa is unable to Narrate) a flashback to how all the characters met.

Next meeting run by Brendan.

Note: As of 2017/05/26, Lissa won’t be able to Narrate a session of the duration and complexity as the second half of the Marketplace plot on game day.

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Covered in Bees!

While hanging out in the bar, the players noticed buzzing noises. This was particularly annoying to the totally-not-hungover K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke). Upon further examination, the buzzing sounds turned out to be from largish bees flying in and out of the air ducts.

A posting on the job board indicated that a group called The Exterminators was looking to hire local help, and the group decided to contact them and see if the bee situation was relevant to this ad. It was, and the group took the job to help track down the hive in the service ducts.

Kartesh Fartouch stayed behind, and the rest of the players followed the bees into the ducts. They tracked them to an open junction area of several passageways. Here, a large comb had been built, with a large number of workers coming and going, as well as an even larger number of bees covering the comb.

With the help of a friendly worker, the group got past the guard bees and talked to the Queen. It was clear this was not just a swarm of normal bees escaped from a farm. They were, in fact, sapient. They had escaped their home planet and were seeking a place to be “free”. At home, they were not allowed to move the hive as they’d like and they were kept in one area to pollinate the crops of the Teleeenu.

Burrke lied to The Exterminators about knowing the location of the bees, but they sent ‘employees’ to investigate once they found out the bees had been found. The group had a few turns to prepare for their arrival, and the bees were able to escape to Mx. Hood’s ship with only one round of combat. A few guards were killed, but it was far less damaging than it could have been.

The group were summoned to Georgeanna Vikram’s office to confront the lawyers from The Exterminators. The lawyers had documents claiming the bees were non-sentient livestock and the property of the Teleeenu who had hired the firm. On the testimony of Mx. Hood and Davey, Vikram offered the bees sanctuary in the arboretum of the station. The bees happily accepted.

The bees moved into the arboretum, but their new home was quickly threatened by Exterminator mercenaries. The group intervened, placing themselves in harm’s way to prevent attacks on the bees. They ‘convinced’ the leader of the squad to retreat through a combination of flirting and being scary like death.

The bees got recognition as a sapient species and will be applying to join the Entourage. The Diplomatic Corps and representatives of the Visitor will be investigating the situation with the Teleeenu (who, as members of the network should know better).

Burrke also made an arrangement with the Queen to sell excess honey.

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Meeting, April 15, 2017

New folks: Lissa will contact Jim about joining the game. Gregory will follow-up with Tom.

After game:
What story do we want to pursue? The “self-sealing stembolts” ads on the board.

Lucy runs the next meeting!

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Meeting, March 18, 2017

Recorder: Me

New players: Gregory has contacted two people. Brendan has one more candidate to try.

Group chat: We’re going with Discord. Please join the server via this link: https://discord.gg/Nnfx5x9

After the session:

  • Brendan will probably have plot next time.
  • Melissa will keep dropping seeds of a plot

Gregory will run the next meeting. The agenda is to discuss new folks.

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The Cultural Exchange Festival

The station was thrown into chaos: it was time for the dreaded multicultural festival! The desperate station SysOps recruited the help of Mx. Hood and Kartesh Fartouch to prevent this from being the end of Mea Culpa.

Serving as event staff, Hood and Fartouch guided traffic, kept the methane-breathers’ dance party from exploding or descending into drunken violence, and defused a feud between a gastropoid food vendor and their dendroid rival.

It was widely hailed as the best multicultural festival ever. The rival food vendors became reluctant business partners and there were surprisingly few injuries.

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