Design Diary: Flying Pig Campaign 6

(Originally posted on www.dragonlairdgaming.com on Jan 21, 2007)

Well, we ended the mini-campaign on the 8th of January in pretty good style. The long arc of the opening of a new planet, Columbiana, came to fruition. I’d prepared to use the “El Dorado” from the core rulebook as the place where Bruno Franco had hidden his last bank haul. The idea was that the PCs would wake Bruno up, get him to deal, and they’d all go “liberate” the loot and Vinnie would be off the hook for the promise of C50,000 he made to the others to rescue Bruno.

Yes, I’d actually prepared. I knew the rough stats of the people on the El Dorado, I knew where the loot was hidden, etc. etc. What did they do? They kept Bruno sedated for days to keep him “out of the way” while they picked up the original thread of Columbiana and ran with that. Okay, cool, it wasn’t off in a completely unprepared direction.

Anyway, in the December session they made their way back to Persephone (where criminals were waiting to get revenge on the doctor), cut deals, and looked for another job. Persephone by this point looked like the Oklahoma border right before the Land Rush of 1889. They easily picked up several sets of passengers.

Unbeknowst to them, Adelei Niska was having trouble with the Columbiana data and code key they’d gotten for him. Two of his techs had stolen the code key and some unencrypted mineral surveys of Columbiana and were off to make their own fortune. So when the Flying Pig lifted off to sneak its way to Columbiana, another ship started tailing them.

On to the last session in January. The tailing ship was catching up to them and it turned out to be a gunship for bounty hunters. The hunters demanded that the PCs hand over Niska’s techs and the codekey. At the same time, two criminals after Dr. Jones’ head emerged from the “passengers”. With a masterstroke idea from the PCs, they took the codekey from the techs, and told the hunters they could have it back if the hunters would come on and “take care of” the criminals. Gun stand-offs, gun battles, screaming settlers in the cargo hold, all sorts of fun! In the middle of it, the PCs sniper had a leaky brainpan episode after seeing a spider (major phobia). He decided to depressurize the ship in order to get all the spiders out. Always conservative in his use of energy, Vinnie simply shot the sniper until the sniper was down (instead of wrestling him from the controls or something a little less potentially lethal).

The hunters left with the codekey, the techs were alive hiding in the settlers, the criminals were dead, and the pilot made some great rolls (with PP) to get on to Columbiana before the Alliance declared the planet open. The settlers jumped off at the first possible stop (to get away from these madmen), the techs went to their claim areas, and the PCs made their own quiet claims to three areas they’d ID’d before giving up the Columbiana data.

I wrote an epilogue for them to set the scene for whenever we would revisit the campaign.

Riley leaned back in the chair she'd appropriated from Vinnie and looked out across the town. In just days a small city of several thousand people had formed at the confluence of two major rivers on Columbiana. Official names would come later, but for the moment the rivers were apparently Pisser and Muddy and the town was being called New Dawn.

Riley was just pleased that they'd survived the last few weeks in one piece and that she could relax a few moments without another gun being put to her head.

Inside the ship, Beckie was rehabbing the engine, adjusting the shaft they'd just bought on Persephone. Although bullets had flown all around her, she'd gotten away without too many scratches. Dr. Jones was sleeping in his cabin again, self-medicated and recuperating after being shot in the leg by Niska's men, just to get him out of the way of their true target.

Jonas was moving around surprisingly well, though he was still using a hovermule stabilizer bracket as a crutch at times. Riley smiled as she remembered Jonas thanking Vinnie for saving his life from the spiders, when it was Vinnie who'd actually shot him twice to keep him from decompressing the whole ship. Of course, Vinnie could have just knocked him away from the controls, but the gun seemed the quicker course at the time.

Bruno was recovering well, though Dr. Jones still kept him sedated, so they'd learned nothing new from Vinnie's ne'er-do-well brother. Vinnie was still concerned about owing the crew C50,000 and was extra cautious around Earl and Dr. Jones, the more irate crew members. Maybe if Riley let Bruno wake up, there might be some of that bank robbery loot out there for the taking.

Earl had taken the shuttle to go check on their three claim sites. The claiming had gone well enough, but overloads and other irregularities in the Terraforming Consortium's orbital's systems had meant that a lot of claims weren't actually registered. Rumors were hot that folks were claim-jumping and smashing the computerized claimstakes of their victims. With no registration on the orbital, no one could prove any different.

What gave Riley most pause was the rumor casually sent her way that Niska "liked" her. What that meant she had no idea. She'd helped him recover the Code Key and allowed him to make massive claims all over Columbiana. He was undoubtedly set up to become a real power on the planet. Rumors were that he arrived aboard the Lotus Blossom, a casino ship he'd bought, and that he was making Columbiana his new home.

Sir Tibley had finally parted ways with the Pig yesterday. He'd thanked Riley for the trip, but the violence and danger had convinced him that spending his time in the wilds of a new planet was much safer than riding along with her.

And things were looking up for the Pig. There was going to be a lot of excellent jobs from Persephone to Columbiana and back for months. New settlers, crucial supplies to meet shortages, even tourists wanting to see "a new planet" might work.

She still had more than 35,000 credits in platinum locked away in the ship. Unfortunately, that money had baggage in the form of Persephone drug dealers who Dr. Jones apparently had double-crossed, and the job source, Ermano the Geek on Santo. Both had it in for Jones, and the rest of the Pigs by association. Two of the Persephone gunmen had tried to recover the drugs or money, but Niska's bounty hunters 'put them down'. But that wouldn't stop the rest of them. That baggage was the one thing making life difficult for Riley's vision of fat jobs on the Persephone-Columbiana trade.

While Beckie's Pappy hadn't wanted to come to Columbiana himself, preferring to make his profits supplying the settlers, he was already asking his niece to make quiet contacts on the new planet. He'd probably be a source of work as well, if Riley didn't mind moving dirty goods or contraband past the Alliance flotilla.

Riley realized that her eyes were closed when she saw a shadow pass over her. She didn't pull her gun since she knew Vinnie was lurking somewhere nearby and would scare off the riff-raff.

"Hello, someone said you might be looking for a hard worker?"

Riley opened her eyes and smiled at the tall drink of water standing over her. A 'hard' worker sounded like just the thing!

4 Responses to “Design Diary: Flying Pig Campaign 6”


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