Thursday, 10 September 2009

Lady Blackbird Actual play - Escape from Sorrow

If you haven't heard of Lady Blackbird yet, well... click the link. It's an awesome little indie game/scenario that is designed to play out differently with every group of players, and just generally rocks my socks off. I may be blogging quite a bit about this gem in future.

Starting with how our particular team of intrepid players handled it

Session 1: The Escape from Sorrow

This first session was a while ago, so I'm a tad hazy on some things.

We start, as per usual, in the Brig of the Hand of Sorrow. The Brig is, in the case of our game, a large room with cages suspended from the ceiling and a single bored guard doing sudoku in the corner. Whispered plans are thrown back and forth until Captain Vance finally gets sick of it all, grabs Naomi's arm, and teleports the both of them behind the guard. Vance motions to knock him out. Naomi snaps his neck, and gets herself the first XP of the game (we used red poker chips to track XP and white ones for pool dice). Vance starts ordering Kale to do things. Kale does them. This nets them both XP. Everybody finds this highly amusing.

The party decide that the only way they can escape is to shut down the auxiliary power couplings in the engine room, and thus prevent the ship from steering, deploying fighters, or tracking its guns. Vance don's the deceased guard's uniform, and pretends to be assorting the prisoners to the aft brig. The few troopers they bump into on the way fall for it completely.

Once the group reaches the engineering section, they split up. Vance now pretends to be showing Captain Hollas' sister (as played by Lady Blackbird) around the engine room, and Snargle and Kale sneak off to to engineer's locker room to get some disguises. This is temporarily hampered by a huge Samoan-looking engineer who just got out of the showers, and greets them asking why he hasn't seen them before. Kale thinks quickly, and shacking the engineer's hand, explains that he's been in the infirmary since the last port.

"Oh, you know how it is. Port town girls. Contagious diseases. That sort of thing"

While the Samoan engineer quickly goes off to wash his hands, Snargle and Kale help themselves to some engineers' uniforms and go mingle in the engine room.

Seeing them signal to her, Lady Blackbird creates a diversion. Putting on her hautiest noble voice, she loudly berates the goblin chief engineer for the "Deplorably filthy" state of the engines, the engineers, and his own outlandishly huge mustache. As the chief engineer and his mustache wither under her scorn, Kale sets about magically shattering a few essential parts for the auxiliary power couplings. Alarms sound, and as the engineers stop watching Lady Blackbird with a mixture of terror and amused fascination, our heroes make this exit.

They make it most of the way to the forward docking bays when them bump into trouble... specifically, Captain Hollas and his two robot bodyguards. They give chase until Lady Blackbird unleashes a mailstorme of magical power, frying the robots and blowing Hollas down the corridor and out of sight. As the alarms pick up a notch, the group hurry into the docking bay.

Now, the bay is like a big hanger. Most of the ship's fighter compliment is stowed here, as is the Owl. All of them are stowed by being attached by chains and pulleys to the roof, and are accessed by a series of suspended walkways. The actual entrance to the bay is in the form of large, round hatches under each docking clamp. When a fighter (or other ship) deploys, it literally drops straight down. Or it would... if the doors were open. They're closed. And the auxiliary power, which is neede to open them, has just been shut off. There is a backup local generator, but it's on the bay floor, a dozen meters below.

Oh, and the fighter pilots who were having a tea break here just noticed Our Heroes. They draw their electrical swords and advance.

Naomi gets stuck in, Vance grabs a lightning sword and faces off against the wing leader, Commander Crane... who, we learn in a flashback scene, was a constant pain in the butt for both Vance and Kale when they were in the imperial navy, years ago.

Snargle hooks up a fuel line to the Owl, and starts doing pre-flight checks, whileKale starts clambering down the stairs towards the backup generator... Lady Blackbird decides to take a faster route and user her new Fly spell. She fails miserably and crashes to the deck below, badly hurting her leg. Snargle and Kale catch up with her, and together the three of them start the generator, and jam it in the on position, just as a group of imperial marines burst in at the other end of the bay, and start firing. The two retreat back up the stairs, as the marines advance and try to stop the generator.

Vance and Crane has fought each other to standstill. At which point Naomi, having finishes with Crane's buddies, walks up behind him and snaps his neck. Vance is a bit peeved about this, but has other things to worry about... the marines are charging up the stairs towards lady blackbird! He slices througha hydraulic cable and swings onto the stairway, placing himself in the path of the marines and two experience points.

Performing a gallant fighting retreat, the group reach the top of the stairwell, and Naomi breaks the supports, sending the marines falling... through the now mostly-open docking bay doors, below. Everybody piles into the ship, and Snargle releases the clamps as the other marines stop the generator. The Owl plummets out of the Hand of Sorrow, only marginally damaging the port side engine, and leaving Captain Hollas furiously waving his fist out a veiwport as they fly off into the Blue.

Session 2 write-up coming soon...

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