Mea Culpa

Meeting Feb 18, 2017

Recorder: Gregory

On the topic of finding more players, Luxy has a candidate, Brendan might; Lissa and Gregory will pitch it to D&D folks.

On the topic of what language characters speak: There is a lingua franca for Mea Culpa and the entourage called “Hospeak” or “Hospie.” There are automatic translators for most known languages that are nearly instantaneous, but they are not universal translators for every language, and some nuance is lost.

We chatted about how to make the LARP more active and LARPy. Light costuming might be an option, as would standing more and making more rooms available.

After the session, we said that we like the ideas of investigating Tanya Billings, finding out more about the extinct species and their situation, and dealing with all these alien babies we’re collecting.

Next session’s meeting will be run by Brendan. Agenda: discuss new people more.

Meeting: February 4, 2017
Recorder: Lucy

This game was Ben’s last one. Fare thee well, Ben! We decided that Myra will remain as an NPC.
We discussed finding some new players.

The plot this week was Greg’s plot about the Coil separatists.

Agenda items for next meeting:
Finding more players
Common vs. English

Greg will run next meeting.

Meeting 2016-12-10

Recorder: Melissa

Rules Changes

We reviewed the rules changes posted in the forum. The rules changes were accepted, but one question remained open: do we want to allow immunity to Edges/Strain on multiple defenses?

People also spent time updating their list of Edges and Resources.


As decided last schedule, game is cancelled on December 24. We will meet on January 7.

Additional Players

The group will start to think about potential new players for the game.

Plots for 2017-01-07

  • Gregory’s action plot “Null Delta-V”.

Agenda for 2017-01-07

  • Lucy will lead the meeting
  • Review additional rules changes (answer above question about multiple defenses, and review the clarification of “Incorruptible” and several Edges)
  • If made, review and use a new character sheet
  • Discuss any candidates to join the game.
The Silver Scream

At the end of the previous session, Kartesh Fartouch, K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), David “Davey” Anne Smith, Myria Swan (background), and Mx. Hood returned to Mea Culpa to find that things weren’t the way they left them. Security was raised in various areas. Station personnel posted in public areas, and some were even armed with stunners. Burrke did some looking and found that defensive weapons were being more commonly purchased on the grey market, Mx. Hood found that attendance issues were happening at the University, and Davey spent some time getting to know Victor the Riker who turned out to be ‘keeping the peace’ in the bar from disruptive humans. Apparently while they were gone, something had instigated the humans on the station to be more violent towards non-human species.

Doing some digging, the group found that there were some spouts of violence, but also apathy. The stressful emotions and intermittent violence throughout the human population was leading to the various species self segregating to protect themselves. It seemed that the disruptive emotions were from the humans and directed at non-humans. A check of the ’Net confirmed that these issues seemed limited to Mea Culpa. Myria left the station to meet back up with the leviathan that was rounding Sol.

Starting with a medical angle, the rest of the group headed to one of the med bays to find a large group of Humans and Coil with some medical needs. It was uncovered that the territorial humans in an Inter-species league of basketball got into a fight with the Coil who came to practice on the courts as well. As they got a hasty appointment to talk to a psych doctor, Kartesh’s calming magic triggered another riot in the medbay. The group got their appointment information and fled with only minor injuries. The doctor turned out to be another Riker who had been brought in to help the psychological issues due to his experience with wartime psychology. Discussions with him lead to the realization that something had messed with the human ‘uncanny valley’ response and much of what was going on now was just systemic exposure to aggression in a confined area. The doctor recommended finding the initial cause, warning that it wasn’t a single exposure, but a series of smaller ones that lead to where the station is.

Heading to Sys Ops, one of Davey’s friends was willing to give them time on the computers and access to files, but seemed to be dealing with after effects of the med bay riot. Pulling up the files Sys Ops had gathered on suspected events and the list of all things connected, the group applied various ideas toward finding the pattern. The issues seemed to be in the weeks before Halloween, reaching a peak then. As the group sorted through information, a report popped up that Station security wanted to talk to the group regarding their involvement in the riot. Realizing they were running out of time, they grabbed data and quickly slipped away before anyone pointed out where they were.

Back at the University, they worked through the data looking to pin down the events. Davey reached out to one of her buddies who was really into Halloween and got some pictures of the big happenings that night. One of the movie posters gave her a chill that thrilled her, but Kartesh and Burke felt it was something deeper. Kartesh remembered that humans liked to scare themselves with the memories of the magical creatures they used to have on Earth. They realized that modern movies affected multiple senses and included subsonics and subpsionics. The movie poster was of the most popular movie this Halloween which turned out to be the body snatching horror film “They came from outer space”. It was designed to trigger human fears that ‘aliens’ were coming for them. The students who made the film seem to have outdone themselves and caused some sort of cascading reaction in the humans who watched the movie, leading to either mental exhaustion and apathy, or heightened paranoia, territorialism, and xenophobia.

Checking the ‘upcoming movies’, they found that the students were planning another horror film for Christmas: “Silent Night”. The group determined that they need to make a better movie of their own to counter the student’s production. By then the requests from Station Security had caught up to them and they made their way eventually to explain their side of what happened at the med bay. The station appreciated their information, especially when Mx. Hood gave their theory about what was happening on the station to cause the violence. The station said they would look into it.

(OOC key note: when we left, the party was planning to make their own movie to ‘top the box office’ and restore the normal balance of the station. I want to confirm that is the plan for next game, as opposed to trying to stop the students. They are very different plots to build and while I can do either, I love the idea of trying to build a movie.)

Meeting 2016-11-27

Recorder: Gregory


We resolved to cancel game on December 24.

Meeting Minutes Posting

We resolved that the volunteer recorder for a meeting should post the minutes by the end of the weekend containing the meeting. Other attendees are encouraged to remind recorders if it’s not done.

Galactic Economics

We discussed possibilities for economic systems in the setting.

Galactic-Level Economics

  • There is no uniform Network-wide currency; governments and equivalent entities make deals on a case-by-case basis (or an ongoing basis between two or more frequent trading partners).
  • Narrators are welcome to make things up as appropriate for story.
  • There are certain accords within the Network involving particularly dangerous trade: weapons of mass destruction, totalitarian mind control, and so on. What exactly is contraband isn’t well-defined, and enforcement is unreliable. When punishment does occur, it’s by races and entities of overwhelming power.

Individual Entities’ Economies

  • Humans/Engines: a socialist/communist work credit system under a command economy; the Engines manage resources to avoid extreme shortages.
  • Coil: a reputation-based economy where people seem to understand who “deserves” resources; backed by Coil instincts and cultural conventions that outsiders have trouble figuring out. The Coil claim that it’s advanced economic theory but there’s no good place to learn it in the Solar system. Aliens have been known to learn it in the Coil home system.

Mea Culpa’s Economy

  • The basic needs of authorized residents are met: simple, palatable food; lodging; oxygen, water, and other metabolic inputs; basic news and entertainment media.
  • Members of the SysOps, the Institute, and official government representatives are automatically authorized as residents. Anyone not in those groups requires sponsorship from someone in those groups, and sponsorships are limited by available station resources.
  • Residents receive a stipend of Apologies, a currency used to acquire things from station systems that go beyond basic needs (such as donuts). Apologies are tracked by the station and used as a trade currency among businesses on the station.
  • People on the station without authorized residency are helped to find sponsorship by SysOps. If they are unable or unwilling to find sponsorship and can be caught, they will eventually be forcibly exiled in as safe a way as possible (although accidents and cruelty can occur). Some people manage to stay on the station without sponsorship indefinitely.

Post-Scarcity Economy

  • Labor scarcity is helped by automated but not intelligent robot systems. Labor scarcity in places with open trade, like Mea Culpa, is handled mostly through the Network. With the infinite diversity of life, you can find someone to competently administer your sewer systems.
  • Resource economy is more volatile. Shortages in a substance are mostly handled through the gray market on a case-by-case basis, but sometimes there are widespread shortages in a place.

Rules to Review and Revise

  • Defenses being always boosted feels very strong.
  • We’d like a way to have long-term consequences (beyond a scene or a game).
  • We’d like clarification around narrative powers (Incorruptible, Silver Tongue) that might look like attacks.
  • We will review and better-codify Edges .

Story Notes

  • “Hydra” (complex) plots are fine as long as the Narrator for them communicates about their complexity and status.
  • As justification for the player characters being involved in stories, they’ve developed a reputation for problem-solving; the bartender at the bar is a sort of information broker that will point people their way.
  • We’re welcome to put in Story Seeds that are specific to our characters (a request to be hit with a certain sort of plot).

Plots for 2016-12-10

  • Ben will finish his Halloween plot
  • Gregory may have a short actiony plot
  • Lissa has a soft plot
  • Lucy may have an investigative plot

Agenda for 2016-12-10

  • Ben will run the meeting.
  • We’ll sum up the rules discussion that we have on the forums.
That's a Vorae

While traveling back to Station from the Encounter at the Buoy, Kartesh Fartouch, Mx. Hood, K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), and Myria Swan detected a signal from an Entourage ship that they found to be abandoned and circling an extremely planetoid. Thanks to Mx. Hood’s knowledge of the Entourage and the alien species traveling in it, they were able to ascertain that the ship was a missing vessel belonging to the Vorae. They hailed the planet and spoke to some of the Vorae, who claimed to be in grave danger from certain forces in the Entourage.

The party arranged an in-person meeting with the Vorae in the cargo bay of the ship in which they were traveling. At this meeting, the group heard the strange tale of the Vorae, most of whom were currently embedded in the metal-rich planetoid below gestating the next generation of Vorae. This process would take most of the next solar year, and no gestating Vorae could be moved in that time. The two Vorae who came to the ship, Kav Whelpid and Vin Whelpid were worried that some parties within the Entourage wanted to eliminate the Vorae because they knew of plans to move the Entourage on to its next destination. Whether this move would be premature or politically motivated is still unknown.

The group was able to befriend the Vorae, thanks to some diplomacy and persuasion. The Vorae remain in their hidden location and are friendly to the needs of the group.

Encounter at Buoypoint
Yeah, buoy!

This session started with Kartesh Fartouch, K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), David “Davey” Anne Smith, Myria Swan, and Mx. Hood (background) out at the Saiphim buoy on Prtttt’tttt’s Osmosis with Olufunmilayo, the extracted Coil Soul and some fruit as cargo. (See Death by Exanguination, Part 2 for backstory.)

Prtttt’tttt made contact with the Saiphim easily and negotiated the trade of fruit. The party, however, was interested in technology that would preserve and save the life of the Soul currently on life support. The buoy relayed communications to a Saiphim ship, the bridge/control center of which was occupied by a motley assortment of Saiphim:

  • In the center was a very large, hirsute Saiphim wearing an outfit of straps, some of which bore tools. This Saiphim was the one that negotiated with the party.
  • At various workstations were a few human/Coil-sized Saiphim, some of whom also wore the strappy clothing, some seemingly nude.
  • At one workstation was a gathering of small, armored Saiphim (like Olufunmilayo); some were perched and working at the station, some were piled into the workstation’s bowl chair, seemingly inert.

After some awkward, impatient negotiations, the Saiphim agreed to give over a portable laboratory for the party to use in exchange for 10 Saiphim being permitted to live on Mea Culpa in perpetuity. (They agreed to follow station societal rules with regards to biological sample collection.)

Three human/Coil-sized and six additional tiny Saiphim joined Olufunmilayo on the Osmosis. One of the small Saiphim (named Udo) is some sort of leader, although it’s unclear if it’s just of the small ones. They have pheromone markers and visible striping. Once the group returned to the station, Mx Hood registered the Saiphim collective with the Entourage officials, and they’ve taken up residence in a single apartment.

Death by Exsanguination, Part 2
A Wee Little Chase

Continuing the last session’s story, David “Davey” Anne Smith, K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), and Kartesh Fartouch resumed the hunt for the Saiphim. They leveraged a hand-held chemical sensor and a rough epicenter for the attacks to determine the likely location of a home base for the Saiphim on the station.

Then the chase was on.

The Saiphim led them on a merry one through the ducts of the station, dropping gas mines behind it. They first laid eyes on it when Davey was able to get ahead of it: this particular Saiphim was an arachnid about the size of a teacup and completely covered in body armor.

And then it was off again with the aid of its tiny, tiny jet packs, darting through one of the larger cafeterias and more ducts, heading for the trading ship docks.

The team managed to get ahead of the Saiphim before they got to the docks, and calmed them down enough to engage in some rudimentary communications. Olufunmilayo was on a mission to collect a variety of genetic samples from the races in the Network. They deeply regretted the deaths they’d caused, which helped the group be able to make a tentative agreement to voluntarily collect the samples on their behalf, especially from Kartesh’s race.

Olufunmilayo remains on the station, and has the Soul they extracted in a life support container. They don’t have the means on the station to extract it without killing it; they need the resources of a Saiphim medical facility.

Death by Exsanguination
Walking the Bloodless Trail

David “Davey” Anne Smith, K’t’k’prrk (Kateka Burrke), and Kartesh Fartouch got wind of three recent deaths on the station from exsanguination, a singularly strange way to die. Asking around in the off-campus bar reveals that the victims were a Coil and two hybrids, seemingly unconnected to one another.

Davey uses her dubious, yet strangely reliable powers of seduction to get the group access to the morgue area of the medical bay. The doctor on duty shows them the two most recent bodies, revealing that each victim has a puncture wound of a circle with a dot in the center that doesn’t match known medical hardware used within the Network.

They also learn that the Coil victim, Fzz’t, is missing their soul, and it was likely extracted from their ear. There’s a slim chance that the soul is still viable, although what to do with it if it’s recovered alive remains to be seen.

The group is thrilled when they learn that the doctors have some samples of a fluid left behind on the bodies. Kartesh determines that it’s some sort of saliva (or equivalent), but the medical bay’s labs are backed up for weeks. They appeal instead to Professor Eeeeeert, who agrees to analyze the sample under one condition: if the culprit is of a new or relatively unknown race, she wants a biological sample when they’re caught. She’s willing to settle for some tissue, but if things go badly, would prefer a body. The group hesitantly agrees to the terms, and Eeeeeert sets about her analysis.

The doctors also reveal that there were living victims of the blood sucker, and the group sets off to talk to Esme, who works in security. She was working in a security control booth in one of the massive shuttle bays of the station, and confirmed that she was found to be dozing on the job one shift and woke with the mark on her neck. The group scoped out the control booth and determined that whatever accessed Esme did so from either a small ventilation shaft or under the main door.

Prof Eeeeeert provides an early result of her analysis: the creature in question has a whopping 724 chromosomes, and that there was no documented race in the Network that matched the sample. She encouraged the group to talk to people about “fringe” races — ones the Visitor doesn’t have official dealings with yet, but who might be traded with in low volume or that are in the diplomatic queues.

The group talks to traders next, and get some idea of possible races that are secretive in their dealings and generally strange to work with: the Saiphim, the Plollans, and the Mestromians. (Each race’s wiki page has what is known about them at this point.)

When Prof Eeeeeert provides a phenotype sketch, it shows a spider-like creature, suggesting that the Saiphim are the blood drawers.

The captain of the trading ship The Osmosis admitted to having brought back a Saiphim for what was to hopefully be a temporary stay, but they had no evidence it left when the trader returned to the Saiphim. All communication with the Saiphim happens at a buoy off the Network, so the trader doesn’t how to contact a Saiphim on the Station.

The party is currently deciding how to pursue the Saiphim. Two established options are to continue to hunt for the one on the Station or to visit the buoy itself.

OOC: Session Minutes

Agenda items:

  1. The creation of a Player Attendance wiki page for folks to note upcoming absences.
  2. The start of a thread on economics in the forum. We’ll discuss this in person in the first November session. Please dive in on the forums.

IC questions:

  • Are there teleporters in game? We decided that if so, they’re very rare, selective, expensive, or dangerous. Perhaps a few races have developed them, but they haven’t spread into common use in the Network.

Closing notes:

  • We’re welcome to pursue Lucy’s EB Corp plot threads in downtimes on the forum.
  • There will be no game October 15, since many of us will be out of town.
  • There are currently no agenda items for the next game.
  • Gregory will be the next session’s facilitator.

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