spross is currently running the Thousand Suns RPG of Imperial science fiction. You can read the report on the events of the last session here by following the link.
SteveR and Tammy showed up at my place on time, so there was no delay in the game session. We chatted for several minutes about life the past few weeks, and talked about some of the current politics going on. Then SteveR got down to the game session.
Marko Rojas (JohnK) - Xenoarchaeologist
Maja Ma (Tammy) - Scout
Day 10, Month 7, 500 NK
After the port (such as it is) left us, Juri Han returned. He told Maja Ma that they had permission to take the Vesper to the site of the dig camp, but that they couldn't go faster than sub-sonic. Once back aboard the Vesper, accompanied by Juri, we set off for Vi-chan's Installation. During the majority of the trip (less than an hour), I packed my belongings and then went to the bridge to learn that we'd arrived at the site of the dig, and that sensor readings of the Installation were coming in.
It turned out that a ship landing area (that currently held a passenger vessel, an escort vessel, and a freighter) was some 80 metres from the pre-fabricated camp buildings, which lay some 20 metres from the first of the domes. The sensors confirmed there were 354 domes with the average size as noted in the report that we seen back on Savuul, but the sensors indicated that some 37 domes were radiating heat, although Juri told me that 14 of these had been explored. One of the domes (#34 as I learned later) had an odd power signature, but Professor Vi-chan's party couldn't find an entrance. The Vesper's engineer, Dorotea Kuznetzov, told me when I asked that it had a stronger power signature, and that she thought it might be a power plant.
Once the Vesper landed, Maja and her crew (Ji Ahmed, Dr. Ludoviko Janssens, and the aforementioned Dorotea Kuznetzov) stayed aboard to secure the ship and ready our belongings and the cargo for transport to our quarters and lab space, while Juri took Ariela and I to meet Professor Vi-chan. It seemed to be early spring on the planet. When I asked Juri what he could tell me about Vi-chan, he told me the professor has a keen intellect, but is pre-occupied with his work. Nothing I hadn't learned from Ifigenia Mkombe earlier. Juri has worked with Vi'chan for 2 years, and has been his student for 4 more as well, but doesn't seem to know much about the professor, though he did say the professor is more used to working with nobles and academics. Juri said that the biggest find so far had been in Dome #2, where one of the researchers (Hendricks) pressed some buttons, and brought up a bestiary of some sort. He also told me that the apparent power plant dome was Dome #34. Two other domes they hadn't been able to gain access to, Domes #20 and #42 were cold to the touch, approximately -100C and -40C respectively.
Before we could talk further, we arrived near the pre-fab settlement, and Professor Vi-chan approached us. (He's in his late 70s or early 80s, around 5'3" tall, rotund, has short, grey hair and is balding, a Chinese soul patch [beard], and grey eyes.) We introduce ourselves, and I introduced Ariela Ti Yang, and exchanged pleasantries. I asked Vi-chan about our accommodations and where they were, and he told me that we would be staying in the main compound of pre-fab buildings, and that I would also have a lab near to his. I passed this information to Maja Ma and the crew of the Vesper, as they were waiting to know where the belongings and expedition cargo were to go, and it was agreed that Juri and Ariela would return to the ship to show the others where the accommodations were and where the cargo was to be stored, while I went off with the Professor for a quick chat.
I asked Vi-Chan about his observations during the two years of their time on Selbin, and he didn't say anything that I hadn't seen or heard in the reports from Ms. Mkombe. When I asked him why I had come to the Selbin ruins, he said that he needed a new set of eyes to see what they'd been missing. He told me that the work would be a collaboration. We talked about Juri and Ariela, and I told him that this was Ariela's first fieldwork and that it would also be serving as a teaching exercise for my undergrad. He was agreeable to this, for which I was grateful. He said that he knew that I wanted to get unpacked and cleaned up a bit, as it had been a long voyage, but that he wanted me to meet some people first. With my taciturn agreement, he led the way to the main structure.
Vi-chan led me towards the structure (Building #3), and as we approached, I saw a lizard (deep green with a reddish head frill, about 1 metre long, 4-legged, with wings) clinging to the outside of the pre-fab building, and as it flew off, I asked Vi-chan what it was. Vi-chan said it was a pain in the ass, but that it was officially called a paraglideasaurus. He said that they ate the lettuce of the small community, tended to defecate all over the place, and that they were herbivores and nosy as heck. Someone called Lady Enif has had her mercenaries shoot at them. Vi-chan told me that Lady Enif was from Tallamatrix, but I know nothing about that planet. She considers herself a patron of science and has donated funds to the expedition, but is there merely as an observer.
We entered the structure, and I saw that it was the main administrative and communications hub for the expedition. I saw an Imperial Navy officer and a well-heeled woman with dark hair, and Vi-chan took me over to the two of them. The man was Captain Russell of the Imperial Navy, of the Department of Engineering, and the woman was no other than Lady Enif. I shook hands with both of them and exchanged greetings. At my inquiry, Captain Russell told me that he and his force were there to protect the colony and make sure there was no threat from the domed ruins. I learned that he has five techs with him, and the crew of the Falko. We agreed to meet up separately at a later time to talk about the dig site and other matters. Lady Enif told me that she would appreciate me calling on her if I had anything I might need her to help me out with, and I was gracious about that. Since Vi-chan had no other need for my services, I excused myself and headed outside. Via the unicom, I learned from Ariela where our accomodations were, and head in that direction.
Sunday's session of Thousand Suns was somewhat interesting and all, but I've been getting increasingly frustrated and stressed about the way SteveR runs games and the obvious lack of preparation for the gaming sessions that he's been running. There's a lack of consistency to some things (which Tammy and I point out, and changes are instantly made to continuity), the infodumps are situations where he tells us information and we scribble it down, and there's little roleplaying on his part and roll-playing on our part. Add the lack of game world flavour (and universe flavour, given that it's an Empire science fiction rpg) and the lacking and/or inability on SteveR's part to describe things, and... Well, the frustration is building. There's more to it than that, but I'm finding some of the game story elements engaging and some of them are just blah!.
Next week, we'll be taking Sunday off gaming as Tammy is working. I'll be glad of the week off Sunday gaming, to be honest. We'll see how things shape up, or don't shape up, as the case may be.