Sunday, August 8, 2010

Traveller D6 with Mini Six

We wanted to see how scale worked in Mini Six from AntiPaladin Games so we sat down and in about 10 minutes had our characters and ship statted up and ready to go.

Our characters are heads of their own small mercenary company. Mitchell Conners is a persuasive guy who has no trouble backing up his mouth with a pistol. Jane O'Hare is slick with a stick. Her piloting is top notch. Everyone wants to be under her wing when the flak is pinging.

Since it's expensive to move a bunch of men around in their battle suits the PCs arrived alone in system to ensure that the sponsor punches the merc ticket and to reconnoiter for the company's arrival.

Planetfall was cake with no problem and was extremely uneventful even though full scale civil war is breaking out. Amazingly the data sphere is still operational on the planet which made it quite easy to update personal navigation systems.

The Rhino's hatch swings down revealing a beautiful sunny day. It's hard to believe that the trip here wasn't for vacation. But there's no traffic. At all. Weird.

Out of the corner of their eyes the PCs see 4 men stepping into the street straight on their left. From under their coats weapons are being raised. Three have heavy pistols and one has a carbine. Mitchell sees Jane caught a bit flat footed so he tries pushing her behind a car for cover but he's not quick enough. She catches a bolt that staggers her backward. Mitchell too is clipped. Cover is so close but everything seems to be moving in slow motion. The PCs draw their weapons and fire but completely miss because of the confusion. The men return fire again hitting Jane pushing her to the Incapacitated wound level. Amazingly she's able to stay on her feet but is already rendered 100% combat ineffective. Luckily Mitchell pulls her to cover behind parked cars. For a few moments the tables are turned. The hit-posse find themselves standing in the middle of an empty street.

We so lucked out that our characters weren't killed in the first or second volley of gunfire. Relatively poor rolling saved our bacon.

Mitchell takes a crack at the bad guys aiming for the guy with the carbine and takes him out!

The damage roll was amazing. It beat the carbine wielder's soak by 19. Out.

There's no time to celebrate because there are still 3 armed men out for blood. The car that the PCs use for cover begins to disintegrate in a hail of gunfire. Mitchell hunches and tows a staggering Jane down the line of parked cars hoping to lose the gunmen before they manage to put together intersecting fire on their position.

What luck! An empty building. The PCs lumber into the building hoping to make it out the back before the bad guys can make it around and cut them off. Mitchell kicks the back door open dragging Jane right into two of the thugs. He pulls up his pistol and with two shots dispatches both of them. Jane stumbles back into the wall so Mitchell helps her to a seat amongst some alley trash where she redraws her pistol and shakily holds it on the doorway. Mitchell looks around for a makeshift weapon and finds a pipe. He stands by the doorway waiting for the 3rd thug to step through. After all there were only two shots fired. Maybe he's curious.

Sure enough the third bad guy steps through the door. Mitchell swings the pipe but being wounded could not generate enough force to knock the bad guy out. Serious confusion reigns in the alleyway for the next 20 seconds.

More than once Mitchell strikes the huge man with the pipe but the impacts barely have an effect. The big man swings his fist and it lands right on the kisser. Mitchell staggers (stunned) back from the blow. He pulls himself together and raises his pistol as his opponent raises his. Both combatants are standing finger tips beyond arm's reach. Someone's fate is about to be sealed.

I rolled Mitchell's initiative and won!

One shot. The big man crashes back into the doorway.

Suddenly not only the alley but the entire city block is surrounded by armed men and military vehicles. Ugh. We're done for.

It's our sponsor!

A medical team rushes to Jane and begins treatment. A medic begins to cut away Mitchell's mesh jacket causing him to wonder if he's got the cash for a new one. Within what seems like seconds they're escorted to a tracked APC. The rear door closes dark with a whine and a clank. So much for the beautiful sunny day.

At the end of the session we checked for healing to see how long it would take. Mostly to determine story line impact but also to see how it works.

Actual game play was right around 50 minutes. From character creation to wrap-up was a whopping 1 hour.

We never did get to test out scale but that's what tomorrow is for. Oh, yea. We also used Mythic.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I was wrong about D6

A long time ago in a junior high far, far away...

I played WEG Star Wars with my good friend Rick Demnovich. It was a fantastic experience. I still remember the great story lines and my love for the books. Then my family moved. Being unmoored from my first ever group I slowly drifted away from gaming. Twelve years went by.

Every now and then I'd pick up a book and flip through it. Most often it would be an old Palladium Robotech or WEG Star Wars title. I didn't know any gamers and I couldn't manage to really wrangle anyone around me to play. But I couldn't part from those old things.


I began fencing at the local YMCA and little did I know that it would be chock-full of gamers. Where am I going with all of this? Well, upon introduction to other people who played I quickly became part of a group. I jumped back into gaming head first and discovered all kinds of different games (including LARP) that came out while I wasn't paying attention. Once the landscape was surveyed for what-was I began to to explore the indie game frontier. I had and still have a lot of fun with those discoveries. In fact, I'm still not done standing on my tip-toes trying to take a peek over the gaming horizon.

While doing some reconnoitering I saw that D6 was going to be released under an open license and I shrugged, writing it off as a has-been - just another artifact from my early days of playing roleplaying games. You see, more than once I did try to go back to the games that I loved but I could not reconnect with the experiences that were in my head and my heart. Granted most of these attempts were cursory and the experiences of old likely idealized but I said to myself, "At least I tried." So many games and so little time and all that.

The other day over at I ran across Mini Six. I took a peek and was shocked. It contained the system-essence of those fond Star Wars gaming memories but it also fixed many of the things that inhibited my return to D6.

Last night my wife and I sat down and played a session in an ad hoc fantasy setting using the Mythic GM Emulator. The only D6 gaming material used is in the PDF, which by the way is very usable on an iPod. Danged near everything fit into my noggin at the same time. And we had a blast.

I really appreciate how material from varying genres is presented; modern, sci-fi, pulp, fantasy. The mix of brevity and wide applicability is very potent. I also consider it a lesson learned on design and content and the love of a game.