Monday, March 09, 2015

Our first campaign in The Strange, pt.1

Posts have been few of late. I'm not sure why. There just hasn't been much to talk about lately. Nonetheless, our gaming group has been busy delving into Monte Cook's new Cypher gaming system. We started with Numenera, but have recently switched to The Strange. For the uninitiated, The Strange is a multi-genre game that harkens back to the classic TORG game of the 90's. The title of the game refers to an ancient technological marvel created by a hyper-advanced alien race from the inconceivably distant past that permeates the universe. Thought to have originally been intended as a means of intergalactic travel, the Strange has decayed into a dark energy network that is capable of giving birth to pocket dimensions called recursions. Typically, these recursions are anchored to an inhabited world and derive their reality from popular fictional or mythological sources.

Our group is currently running through The Dark Spiral [spoiler warning] with some added material from other sources. We started out with five agents; Soderstrom, a mysterious Swede with a troubled past, Wilcox, a gung-ho ex-military NCO and unofficial leader of the team, McNulty, a disgraced ex-cop who's not afraid to bend the rules, Holbein, a former military sniper and all-around glass-half-empty kind of guy and Sinclair, a Canadian writer and philosopher who acts as the voice of reason. We are operatives for the Estate, a secretive private organization that monitors and investigates the Strange to protect the Earth from the many dangers that lie in wait. Our first assignment together involved investigating a drug dealer in Seattle named Leroy Cain who has been selling a mysterious drug called Spiral Dust which seems to have an unearthly origin. Pretty quickly, we were able to determine his home address and decided to stake out the place. We found Cain's car parked out front and someone inside, but despite repeated attempts to gain entry, the occupant could not be coaxed into opening the door. At one point, McNulty and Holbein tricked their way into the apartment next door which was occupied by two college kids playing video games. The young guys were clearly stoners and McNulty suspected they might be customers of Cain's despite their protests to the contrary. They applied a little bad cop/worse cop on the college kids to coerce their cooperation and get them to try and gain access to Cain's residence, to no avail.

Some time later, the sole occupant of Cain's apartment, a woman named Janice Cordell, left and headed toward a nearby car. Sinclair intercepted her and, posing as a police detective, placed her under arrest. Returning to Cain's apartment, we found a picture of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV show which we determined to be a focus used to translate to a recursion based on the series. Realizing that Cain had gone there, we followed, taking on classic character types from the show. McNulty became the pilot/navigator, Soderstrom, the science officer, Wilcox manned the weapons console, Sinclair became the engineer and fittingly, Holbein became the redshirt, a character who repeatedly died and was replaced by another. Each of his deaths, however, was beneficial to the rest of the party. We pursued Cain through a Federation ship that was fighting off a boarding attempt by Romulans. After successfully bypassing the automated defensive systems of the ship, we fought a pitched battle against the Romulans who were attempting to seize the engineering section. We were successful in defeating the Romulans and taking Cain back to Earth. He revealed his source of Spiral Dust to be Lydia Nance, owner of a small gift store in Nederland, Colorado called the Dreaming Crystal. We're off to the Centennial State.


1 comment:

Obiri said...

The red shirt was a great idea. Very funny and it played out well.