This is a retro-clone, using extremely terse rules. So three people rolled up three characters in probably three minutes each. There are only four character classes, plus three more races-as-classes.
White Star is about as OSR as you can get, I think. Nonetheless, we immediately broke away from 3d6 in order, because we’d already picked classes. We rolled 3d6 seven times, dropped the lowest, and arranged to taste. Then roll for credits (3d6*10) and my equipment-dependent character rolled a sucky 80 Cr. Ouch.
I named him Payne Stalk (Jayne Cobb . . . ), picked out a bare minimum set of stuff, and we all got to it. This is the character at the end of today’s game, having leved up after play.
STR 13 (+1); INT 7 (-1); WIS 11; CON 13 (+1); DEX 13 (+1); CHA 10
- Laser Rifle – 1 eCell
- Laser Pistol
- Ammo bandolier
- Light Armor
Really Short Game Summary
|Not really this guy. But too cool not to post.
We started out in a Cantina, and dealt with the owner of the place, a slippery gangster of ill repute, known for double-crosses and shady dealings. Still, we were desperate.
We were asked to go recover samples of a genetically altered food animal, some sort of avian bovine thing that grew to the size of a hippopotamus and could be tweaked to taste like just about anything. The samples were on a ship that had crash-landed a half-day out of town.
We asked if anyone else knew this. He hadn’t told anyone. Great, any knowledge that he didn’t provide? Well, maybe. But there’s 1,000 Cr in it for us if we succeed.
Fine, we rent transport from him (some sort of ground cycle which I cannot help but call speeder-bikes, though the feel of this game is more Firefly or Jakku) and bolt to the location of the ship.
We find it, see a glint of something reflecting from something in the distance. We feel our time is limited. We virtually sprint through the ship, but are eventually waylaid when we hear a dropped tool and footsteps behind. We lay in ambush, and more or less slaughter those trying to sneak up on us. Two dead (our first loot – an extra laser pistol, a laser rifle, and extra power cells), one fled in terror.
We continue, fight and kill some sentient space cockroaches. One of them bites Peter and reduced him to 0 HP, but he makes his CON save and doesn’t immediately die. We restore him with a medkit after the fight is over: 2d4 HP makes for some technomagical awesome.
Somewhere along the way we find a functioning computer terminal, and get a map of the place. It’s a map Tenkar found online, and looks nothing like a ship, but does spell out F**king Bull***t.
We locate the likely place where the cells are, and find a treasure trove – dozens of vials of the stuff. We take all of them, wrap them up in Peter’s sleeping bag for insulation, and leave.
To find that there are three more outside. Two muscle, one short guy who reminds us strongly of Tim’s character, Chicago Jones. He tells us to hand over the goods, because we know what he’s capable of.
Chicago Jones uses his “he shot first” ability and blasts the short guy in the chest instantly, taking him to 0 HP where he starts to expire. The “muscle” decide they’re in the wrong line of work, and beat feet out of there.
Searching the body gives us 650 Cr, a “pocket” laser pistol akin to a derringer, and a datacard with info on us, the speeder-bikes we rented, and a reward of 2,500 Cr for the stuff we were going to be paid 1,000 Cr for.
OK, two can play at this game. We immediately figured our shady bartender set us up. So we found some bullcrap samples of nothing – probably piss and mucus – and rigged up some false vials. We then proceeded to an exchange, where we got paid the full 2500 Cr in exchange for the vial of nothing, set up as a dead drop. We tried to ID the buyer but couldn’t.
We then went back to our original buyer, and offered up one of the many vials we had for the 1,000 Cr. He produced – naturally – the one we’d already given him as the secret buyer. He thought we were his kind of inventive scum, and after some mutual threats, he collected all the vials (he heard them rattling around in Peter’s sleeping bag) and we wound up paid 3,500 Cr in total.
All in all, a good quick mission.
I can easily see the appeal of games that take less than five minutes to make characters. West End Games’ Star Wars RPG is on that list, as are the various OSR derived “pick race, pick class, roll some dice, pick some basic starting equipment, play” games.
The system has nice flavor, and is quite minimalist. There are relatively few nods to genre in the rules mechanics, but there don’t need to be. One saving throw target, roll vs. armor class (with both descending and ascending variants – we use ascending), etc.
The play of the game and the combats are fast and relatively tactics-free. The best we can hope for (and we did succeed in this, twice) is to nail guys with a surprise round, and to luck out and win initiative.
We got a lot of fun out of the alignment system, which says that there are two alignments: “Us” and “Them.” That’s pretty clear.
The three of us worked well together, and it was great to get the B-Team playing again. We are going to try and game every third week, accelerating the rate of play as availability allows.