Thursday, June 3, 2010

GURPS Andromeda Incident: After Action Report

If I hadn't mentioned it before, I've dug deep into my Generic Space Opera material (G-Verse) again because I've decided to run a short campaign for the local RPG association. I've been enjoying my time with them, lacking in gaming (particularly with the slow disassociation of my Kansas group) and figured "Heck, why not?  I already have the military templates, let's give it a go!"

The game definitely benefits from the previous run-through (Frozen War).  The templates and loadouts have slowly tightened (making premades and NPCs definitely helped as well).  Knowing the ins and outs of Ultra-Tech GURPS combat also helps, though we didn't come to that right away.

Tonight was a "one shot" introduction to the game, meant to teach the players how to play, and to introduce them to the world, the storyline and the NPCs.  Everyone who played wanted to play again, including an old friend I never expected (he saw what I was running, attached himself at the hip, and now intends to be there for every session.  In retrospect, I should have seen this coming: He loves space opera, especially the "dark" stuff, and military games).

So: Andromeda Incident: Crash Course opened with a debriefing that introduced the world and the premise.  Each scene thereafter introduced an NPC or two and a key aspect of the game (How to fire and aim a gun, how to use first aid, how to fight in melee, and so on) as well as interesting NPCs: A tough tom-boy demolitions marine, a tempermental mechanic, a brooding doctor, an arrogant heavy marine, and so on.  Then, once everyone was set, we unleashed all hell as the orbital defense grid of the planet they were invading tore apart their ship.  The players had to choose which NPCs to rescue, with each rescue becoming more difficult and lethal, until the final set, wherein I informed players I would be actively trying to kill them.  They, of course, rescued all the NPCS without losing a character.  The bastards.

I had hoped to play out their rough landing and a short battle, but alas, we started late and while I got alot done in 3 hours, I called it quits.  We'll get more done later.  As I said, everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.  I probably should have played hard ball, but GURPS, IMO, works best when the GM makes quick calls and focuses on "roll & shout" style play, and I did so.  The result was spectacularly cinematic rather than grim and dark, but players had the sense of impending doom and, to be frank, it was Luck that kept them alive.

A success, but hardly surprising: G-verse usually works well.  I am surprised how many people wanted to play, and how vociferously they demanded another game.
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