Category Archives: GURPS: S³M

GURPS Space: Steel Ships & Space Marines

S3M 1×01: “Spoilin For A Fight”

Dramatis Personæ

Begin in media res with the Crew assembling at the offices in Hard Vacuum to discuss matters with Anson. There, we discover that the Starport Authority Closure Commission (SPACC) is once again threatening to close down Tamborro Station and a “Save the Station” organization has sprung up with Anson planning on participating. Their hope is to “clean up” the station and get it declared a historical location so the SPACC won’t (or can’t) close it down. Tulk, being a suspicious sort, decides to start investigating this group.

Ted announces that they have “visitors” (despite the front door being locked) and the Crew find themselves suddenly facing down a handful of armed punks, all wearing the usual security-spoofing gear. None of these punks seem particularly competent, which is especially notable when they don’t even bothering patting down the Crew, all of whom (except Zennith) are armed. AJ’s bad luck flares up once more, though, and one of the idiots happens to notice that he is carrying a las-pistol; there is a great of shoving and threatening and posturing, with AJ on the verge of attempting a disarm maneuver (despite it being very unlikely to succeed) but Tulk interjects himself into the situation, dazzling the thugs with a startling amount of bullshit that actively confuses them (since, after all, victims of an armed robbery aren’t supposed to be this indifferent to the would-be thieves!)

As the Crew (plus Anson and Ted) are threatened, a second group of thugs appear, also demanding the cash. This group appear to be spacers rather than local lurk-rats and are better armed. A tense stand-off ensues which Tulk (taking advantage of a half-hearted idea espoused by newly hired JoJo) complicates by insisting the Crew had already given the money to the lurk-rats. More shouting and threats transpire with most of the Crew cautiously trying to move out of the field of fire; AJ actually advances toward Anson and Ted, planning on trying to protect them when the shooting starts since he’s wearing a nanoweave bodysuit and they don’t appear to be armored.

Tulk sees his chance and takes it. As he shifts behind one of the lurk-rats (who happens to be holding a laser pistol), Tulk discreetly draws his hold-out las-pistol and takes an under-the-arm shot at one of the spacers while simultaneously shouting out something that makes it look like the lurk-rats are attacking. It works. Almost at once, the bar is crisscrossed with lasers and bullets and shotgun slugs. The Crew dive for cover (wisely) except AJ who tackles Anson and Ted to the ground before drawing his pistol. Once satisfied that they’re not going to get caught in the crossfire, the Crew draw their weapons and engage an already confused situation. In seconds, all but one of the lurk-rats are dead or grievously wounded (most to the shots of the spacers) and two of the four spacers are downed (one of whom is straight up dead thanks to Calista scoring some lethal vital strikes with her modified heavy laser pistol.) The remaining two spacers wisely flee and AJ gets the sole remaining uninjured lurk-rat to drop his weapon and surrender … before Tulk can start shooting any would-be survivors.

The current plan is to interrogate their prisoner (while JoJo triages the injured) before summoning the authorities to take the lurk-rats into custody. It strikes all of the Crew strange that two different groups of would-be robbers hit the same place at the same time…

Player Notes:

  • We spent most of the session finalizing some character elements (some additional background stuffs, equipment, etc.) so really, nobody expected to get a lot done. Since so much time was burned with that sort of thing, can’t really judge the effectiveness of the characters yet.
  • I (Rigil) had Fantasy Grounds running on my laptop and used that to quickly identify everyone’s modifiers for ranged combat which worked out better than I’d expected.
  • Some of the initial setup was pretty unclear. For example, I didn’t entirely realize we were still in the bar until it was explicitly stated – thought we were being ushered out of the bar – and we didn’t realize we were initially in the bar’s office before the lurk-rats appeared. A little more descriptive flair at the beginning would be helpful.

S3M Campaign Introduction

Steel Ships & Space Marines is my homebrew, mash-up GURPS Space setting, that has developmental history going all the way back to 1990, when I made my first purchase of GURPS (then, Third Edition). If you think of it as a mix of Firefly, The Expanse, Mass Effect, and Aliens, you’ll be in the right ballpark. This campaign is a continuation of a couple of one-shots in this setting, specifically, The Sabo Affair, which ran in 2005, my first run in GURPS’ Fourth Edition. The story starts around seven months after those events, with a few new characters and minus a few old ones. It was a long time coming, and we were all glad to see its inevitable (despite the delay) return. See the Wiki for more information about the campaign, in general. (This is the first of my campaigns to benefit from the existence of a proper wiki site.)

The Player-Characters

AJ Trent
The Pilot/Captain
Played by Rigil Kent

Calista Moss
The Gunner/Loadmaster
Played by Lab Rat

“JoJo” Jotaro
The Medic/Steward
Played by Frito

Steve Tulk
The XO/Purser
Played by Magman

Zennith Moss
The Engineer
Played by WxMan