The Sunday before last ((I’m really getting behind on these posts, aren’t I? Sorry about that. I’m trying to catch up, but there is another demand on my time that actually has a deadline, so it’s getting priority.)) was the second installment of the Gammatoba mini-campaign. We were only one person short of a full complement, which meant six players clustered around the table.
When we’d left things last time, our intrepid mutant heroes had killed a strange giant beetle in a crashed flying saucer. They decided that bringing back a real flying saucer would be a great way to prove their worth to the Fort LoGray Legion, thus earning their stripes. To that end, they began exploring the ship, which proved to be much larger on the inside than on the outside ((As such spaceships often do.)).
Along the way, they rescued two prisoners of the aliens, who decided to join the group ((These are, of course, the characters of the two players who couldn’t make the fist session.)), and looted a nice pile of Omega Tech. They spent some times and Science checks on trying to figure out how they could get the ship back in the air, and found that there were two main problems: the engines and computers were both offline.
To my immense surprise, they decided to split up, one group going down to the engine room and one to find the computer core. I hadn’t expected this, so the big fight I had planned for whichever site they chose to investigate this session got split into two smaller fights in the corridors while they were searching for the engines and computers. So, each group got a bunch of robots that tried to electrocute them.
Running a combat with only half the players involved was sub-optimal, but not as bad as I thought it might be. The wackiness of Gamma World meant that most of the players stayed interested in the fight that they weren’t in, looking for the cool stuff to happen. That was an unexpected bonus; still, I tried to get through these two fights as quickly as possible.
That’s about when I realized that I didn’t have a good, thematic encounter left for the big fight of the session. I had a number of encounters that would have kinda worked, but they would have been out-of-place, and I really wanted to use them in other situations, like when the characters have to go out into Great City One looking for spaceship parts.
So, I stalled a little bit, letting the group in the computer room fiddle with getting the computers on, and finding out that they didn’t have enough power to operate at full capacity. They did have enough juice to give them a basic diagnostic of the ship and point them to the engine room, though, so at least I got the group back together.
By the time we got to the engine room, I had decided to throw a couple of orlens at the party ((Yeah, it didn’t make any better thematic sense than the encounters I had prepared, but orlens are cool, and I had them bickering with each other about how they should have known other people would be investigating the ship, as well.)). I hadn’t prepped a stat sheet for them, like I usually do, so I ran them straight out of the book, and that worked better than I had feared.
It was a pretty good fight, but the team is loaded down with Omega Tech, so it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be ((Something for me to keep in mind for the next session.)). The group managed to get the laser defenses operational, which helped them take out the monsters, and now they have a (broken) flying saucer. Next session is going to start with them trying to figure out what’s wrong with the engines.
Because this is a mini-campaign, I’m not bothering with experience points. Instead, I’m just letting the characters level up at the end of certain sessions, and I’ve decided that this session was one of them. Next session, the gang is going to be second level. We’ll see how that goes.