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USS Ayrton session 1: On the Goodnight-Loving Trail

1 July 2009

The kids and I have played our first session of the USS Ayrton campaign.

This time, I’m setting back and letting the kids run with it. They are LARPing, which works for me. I spent a lot of my early roleplaying years LARPing situations, and I find it a useful tool for inexperienced roleplayers.

The game started yesterday with the same presentation as my old USS Endeavor campaign: there’s a merchant ship — the SS Goodnight-Loving — under attack en route to Spike IV and requesting help.

I resurrected my oldest Star Trek character, K’ron Tharel, to be the Captain of the USS Ayrton. He’s an Andorian, and he makes for an interesting counterpoint between the Klingon envoy Gorm and the Vulcan medic/XO Vanisha. We watched parts of “The Andorian Incident” episode in Enterprise Season 1, so they had some clue what Andorians were? The kids were incredulous. “An Andorian’s our Captain?!” I explained that the main Androian Shran and Captain Archer developed a friendship over the course of the series.

I asked the kids who they thought would be behind the attack. They said, it’s Andorian terrorists. They further said that the Goodnight-Loving was carrying a nuclear bomb that could destroy a planet. I edited it to a neutronic bomb, a “planet-buster”.

We left with Cmdr. Vanisha to make a recommendation how to approach the situation.

When we resumed tonight, I asked my daughter what she’d come up with. Her first plan was what I expected, be friends and ask why they did it. But she quickly came up with the idea of infiltrating the ship and trying to re-take it from the pirates (maybe terrorists) that had taken it.

My son quickly chimed in, stating he knew a Klingon merchant on the planet and could arrange passage on his vessel. They took a group of security and the Chief Engineer and headed out.

They beat the Goodnight-Loving to Spica IV, got on the ship, and intercepted the Goodnight-Loving. The pirate captain said he wasn’t interested in trading, but when Gorm offered Vanisha as a “Vulcan slave”, that got him mildly interested. The pirate captain wanted more. No antiques interested him, but when Gorm mentioned dice, the pirate captain was hooked.

My son and I decided we’d roll 2d6; the first to roll doubles won.

They docked their ships and played in the airlock. “No tricks.” The pirate captain quickly won the first game. Gorm upped the ante with the ship’s dilithium. The pirate captain won in record time. Finally, they agreed to wager their ships, sans cargo and crew. This time, after about a dozen rolls, Gorm was victorious!

They agreed to exchange two crew each to prevent deceit. Vanisha and a security specialist nicknamed Gunny went aboard the Goodnight-Loving; the captain gave them two bruisers named Jones and Duke.

Being a puzzle, the next scene should logically be either a fight or a chase. I choose chase — the pirate captain is going to bold with the Vulcan “slave” as his prize…

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