Monday, October 3, 2016

Alpha Blue: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star

Saturday afternoon I ran a short session of Alpha Blue, Venger Satanis' silly, sexy sci-fi RPG, for a group of three players at my local game store - I'd been expecting more but had an exodus of players within the last 24 hours before game.  It happens.  As it stands, our dramatis personae was as follows:

  • Alkar Mull, medic-turned-bounty hunter
  • Zorgo Bonesnapper, 4' tall lizardman and pimp
  • Astroduke-in-Exile Nedra IV, interstellar conman and swindler
Given that Zorgo was played by my sister, Nedra by her boyfriend, and Mull by a 14 year old, I jettisoned the sexual elements of Alpha Blue and just went for silly.  

The adventurers were in the process of passing through customs to get into Alpha Blue when a ship came careening in, bouncing off the deckplates of the landing pad skidding to a stop just feet from the wall.  The hatch blew off but no one emerged, so the three decided to check it out for themselves.  They found the pilot, Blake Rogers (according to his Spacer License; Zorgo helped himself to the 300 credits in Rogers' wallet) still strapped in, stoned out of his gourd on plutonium nyborg, surrounded by empty gallon-size ziplock bags.  "You know your perspective's fucked so you just gotta let your hands fly like you're sober," he mumbled to Zorgo.  

Checking the rest of the ship, they discover he was carrying a cargo of O-Rings destined for the robotics plants on Astrotech V.  Deciding these had no value to them, they called Med Bay to have Rogers sobered up and go on their merry way.  

A few hours later, they get called to the captain's deck; the captain, a fat, shirtless guy with a nose ring and a three-foot blue mohawk surrounded by empty bottles of Old Space Granddad, absent-mindedly picked at his belly-button as he laid out the situation.  

"So, like, you guys remember that guy that came in stoned, right? Rogers or whatever? Like, there's some unfriendly dudes outside looking for him, and nobody knows where he went - he checked himself out of Sick Bay an hour ago."

Flipping on the view-screen, he shows the adventurers an enormous alien battle-cruiser outside; a
picture-in-picture screen showed the captain of that ship to be a Brain Bug - a hippo-sized mass of pulsating grey-matter, with a wet, sphincter-like mouth surrounded by eye-stalks.  Dozens of mind-controlled humanoid slaves surrounded the Bug, operating the ship and massaging the folds of its oversized cerebellum.  

Speaking through one of its slaves, the Bug demanded that Rogers and "the information he carries" be turned over at once - if he is not delivered within one Standard Galactic Day, the Bug will drop a polynuclear warhead on Alpha Blue.  

"It'd be cool if you guys could find Rogers," the captain said, "and I could like, give you a reward or whatever."

Checking the Med Bay, they learned that Rogers was heading for the bar level, and Zorgo pulled up a listing of all the nyborg bars in Alpha Blue, turning up three.  They split up, each checking one of the bars.  Alkar Mull found Rogers up to his eyebrows in snortable powder, running up a tab longer than he was tall.  

Sobering him up, they learned that the Brain Bug had been chasing Rogers for some time, demanding the location of something called "the Loc-Nar." Zorgo recalled that this was a fabulous, legendary jewel that had passed from tyrant to tyrant, conqueror to conqueror.  While Rogers had never heard of this thing, he did vaguely recall clipping a derelict space-yacht; maybe that's what the Brain Bug is after?

To find the yacht, they'd need to check Rogers' ship's black box.  Unfortunately, the ship had already been dismantled and taking down to Reclamation.  The Reclamation Supervisor, a 3' tall carroty alien, was very susceptible to bullying, however, and gave the adventurers free reign to search for the black box in the scrap-heaps.  

Just as Nedra laid hands on the black box, the Brain Bug fired a "warning shot" that disabled the station's gravity well - with the gravity turned off, the adventurers (and all the scrap) began to float around the room.  "Swimming" through the air and pushing off against pieces of scrap, they manage to make their way through the halls to the docking bay.  

Plugging the black box into Zorgo's shag-carpeted space ship "The Shaggin' Wagon," they figure out where the space yacht was and which direction it would have likely drifted in.  Transmitting the wrong coordinates to the Brain Bug, the adventurers hired a slightly larger ship than the Shaggin' Wagon and took off the salvage the yacht themselves.  Before leaving, they turned over Blake Rogers to the captain - the new captain, a man with a cat for a head (a full cat, not just a cat head), who explained that the old captain had choked on vomit and died.  

[Aside: I was really disappointed that no one got the Spinal Tap reference and questioned whose vomit it was that the captain had choked on.]

They found the yacht, "The Temptress," with little difficulty, entering it through a hole in its side; Zorgo immediately began dreaming about converting the yacht into a new base of operations for himself.  Inside, they found a half-dozen freeze-dried rich jerks, and began helping themselves to the jewelry still worn by the corpses.  In the hands of one, Zorgo found a green glowing gem the size of a Space Grapefruit. He grabbed it.

Immediately, the gem woke up, identifying itself as "the Source of all Evil in the Universe, Eternal and Imperishable." Mull replied sarcastically, and got zapped with a bolt of electricity from the sphere.  The sphere mused that the gathered adventurers were too weak to serve it as anything but bearers, demanding to be taken to a greater power - the Brain Bugs, the Krylon Protectorate, or the Knights in Black Satin, all would do.  When the adventurers continued to dicker, the Loc-Nar decided to give them another demonstration of its power, reanimating the six freeze-dried rich jerks as Space Zombies and ordering them to attack.  

The adventurers made quick work of the zombies, at which point the Loc-Nar declared that a greater power had come for it, and began to float out the hole in the side of the ship.  The Brain Bug battle-cruiser had arrived, and the Loc-Nar was making a beeline for it.  

Nedra jumped to the controls of the yacht, managing to pull enough juice out of its old batteries to charge the thrusters.  Maneuvering the ship around, he set it on autopilot aimed directly for the bridge of the Brain Bug cruiser.  Setting the thrusters to fire, the adventurers escaped back to their own ship, where Zorgo immediately failed to make the jump to Hyperspace.  The yacht impacted the cruiser, setting off a chain reaction of explosions.  Trying again, the adventurers managed to escape to light-speed just ahead of the expanding explosion, heading back to Alpha Blue for some much needed R&R.  

I never know how to gauge the length of a session in a new RPG, and this was no exeption; I'd anticipated two and a half hours of play and we were done with the adventure in an hour.  Everyone had a good time though, and it gave me a palate cleanser before the very dark session of Call of Cthulhu I'm running tomorrow, so it's all good.  


  1. The green glowing sphere today and then Call of Cthulhu tomorrow? Nice. The Heavy Metal Gods must be with you! Thanks for the Alpha Blue session report. Glad everyone had fun.

    1. I'm normally almost exclusively a CofC GM - I ran Alpha Blue as a palate cleanser because I realized I haven't taken a break from Cthulhu for a year, and figured I better recharge those batteries before Halloween.