Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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SS Placeholder: Endgame

Note: At this point, you should assume all the trigger warnings for the SS Placeholder game. This week’s writeup hits on transphobia and racism, along with our usual complement of sexism, piracy, violence, etc.

This recap covers the final 2 weeks of the Space Race campaign.

We had an early start, but spent a good amount of time recapping after a 2-week absence.

We made it to Paragon station, where Alain apparently teleported part of the station/asteroid into our ship, nearly shortening the captain’s height by about a foot. He leaped out of bed and went barreling for the med bay to find Kiray and some drugs (paranoia when he’s not indulging his addictive personality).

The party proceeded to charm its way into the cargo hold of an actually-competent space “pirate” (formerly an engineer) who was salvaging the wreckage. We convinced him that there’s a lot of money to be had if he transports us to the coordinates where Ricky Serrano is hiding out.

He agrees and we get underway. Shenanigans ensue. Alain gets Bubbles working on “some project” involving the wreckage of Paragon Station.

On the eve of facing our dooms with Ricky Serrano, Kiray and Angel have a little chat about Alain and, tangentially, Captain Steele.

A werewolf offering dating advice to a fish in a machine suit who likes a cat-man in a gas mask while a small cat robot possessed by a ghost eggs her on. I just want to point out the absurdity of this scene. (from Tyler)

Continue reading SS Placeholder: Endgame

SS Placeholder – now Pony Express

Note: The adventures of the SS Placeholder are very much not in line with social justice or safe spaces or whatever. We’re really clear about this– our characters are utter degenerates in all senses of the word. The Captain is pretty much Zapp Branigan, mostly Id and Ego walking around sometimes wearing pants. Alain is the most sane of us, and yet we’re learning that he has no problems with cold-blooded murder. My character Kiray is the only female on the crew and therefore has a unique uniform with a “regulation” amount of mandatory midriff exposure. This has led to at least one harassment lawsuit in the past, and yet she continues to work on this ship….

We change Kiray’s spacewalk suit to something more rawr.

These people are tremendously broken. You know how a lot of people are uncomfortable with sex in their RPGs? In this campaign, we use it as a comedic device. Somewhere along the way, Kiray changed an aspect and became “Lieutenant Cock-block,” and decided that no females are allowed on board without her approval… and she doesn’t approve anyone the Captain might be “getting with.” Hm…. wonder why.

Incidentally, every one of us calls it “my ship.” Allow me to put words in our mouths:

  • Captain Steele: It’s my ship because I’m the captain, goddamnit. Now do what I ordered, would you?
  • Alain: It’s my ship. I built it. I repair it. If I wanted to, I could buy it outright. It’s mine in all the ways that matter.
  • Kiray: It’s my ship; this is my territory, my den, and woe to anyone who tries to mess with that.

I don’t remember where we left off from the tales of the SS Placeholder, but in recent weeks, we have aided the Capp (fish-people) in their war against the incompetent Drakens, visited a K’Ten homeworld… and our engineer Alain inherited a planet.

In the process, we angered enough people that it was finally time to change our ship’s registration, so we’re currently the Pony Express. For now.

Continue reading SS Placeholder – now Pony Express

SS Placeholder: Monster in the House

Last night’s Fate Accelerated game was extremely fun, silly, over-the-top…. and then it went intense and dark, almost in an instant. The tone change was done well, I thought, and the end result was a “monster of the week” adventure that worked really, really well.

We had previously received a communique with a falsified source purporting to be from Space Race, but actually from somewhere else. In it, a red-haired space babe (“space babe” is almost a character class in this campaign) in a corset wanted to hire us to transport something, by way of specific coordinates. We discuss the job and decide it’s worth the risk.

Continue reading SS Placeholder: Monster in the House

SS Placeholder Shenanigans, part 2

futuramaNotes from the SS Placeholder Fate Accelerated game from last week, wrapping up our Innabelle 5 delivery of a giant land shark with a forehead-mounted laser. 

Arrival at Innabelle 5, contacted by the spaceport traffic control. Kiray learns this is a resort planet, so changes into her bikini (mandatory uniform for female crewmembers of the SS Placeholder when visiting resort planets… or so the Captain told her on her first day), and gets her inflatable beachball. She preps the truck and loads the shark onto it. Catburg, Jr. comes on board to take delivery of shark and gun. Catburg is depicted as an adorable kitten, being one of the cat-people races.

A plant-man arrives and talks about an escort job back to the mansion, taking Catburg, Jr. back to his father’s house. We agree, for a price. This is an overland joruney through a safari planet, after all.

Alain teleports the rental SUV through our delivery truck on Day 1. We’re heading into a more dangerous area. The truck is out of gas, so Alain and Kiray go investigate. They realize one of the fuel tanks disconnected from the truck, so they head off to recover it. Alain gives Catburg Jr. a box to play with while discussing the situation with the captain. This keeps the kid occupied until we return. The Captain makes the plant-guy pass out (drugs, yo) as a distraction from our troubles… something about not wanting him to know we’re stranded in the middle of dangerous territory.

Sidebar: We create a new ship aspect: cameras everywhere. It turns out, each of us has our own security system installed in the ship. The Captain’s is for voyeuristic purposes, Alain’s is because he’s nosy and needs to know everything, and Kiray’s is because she thinks she’s the security officer.

We fix the truck and get underway. Take a mid-day nap. Plant-guy wakes up and demands answers. We wake up and get moving again– Kiray gets a snoot full of stimulants and becomes kind of, um, puppyish.

Alain drives the truck with the land shark, Kiray, and the plant guy. Capt Steele takes the Escalade with Cat Jr. and the beachball.

Three large land sharks sneak up on us and attack! Kiray climbs onto the top of the truck and fires wildly while Jr. fires on one shark and hits. Kiray tumbles to the side of the truck but holds on. Alain runs over one shark on the side of the truck. Another comes up, and Kiray leaps onto it and punches it into submission. Capt. climbs onto the side of the Escalade and fires at the wounded shark.

The plant guy hyperventilates, sending pollen everywhere, distracting Alain and causing him to sneeze. Alain tries to send the plant guy through the wall, but fails. Badly. The truck goes end over end in a spatially inertial wreck. Alain has lost his phase device and it looks like the land shark might have gotten free. Alain is hanging kind of half in half out of the bottom of the truck (if you’ve ever seen a bad 3-D modeling job in a video game, you know what I mean).

Kiray pulls Alain out of the truck, defying physics itself to do so.

The captain takes a ‘roid ball and grabs the land shark to throw into the cage. He then hits it with a downer, and falls asleep in front of the cage door (Aspect: fails upwards).

We arrive at the mansion and reunite Catubrg Jr. and Sr., and Jr’s bros. The plant-nanny is snarky and tries to undermine our authority. Kiray throws the beachball at the plant-nanny and knocks it over, humiliating it.

We join the party and enjoy food and drink. It’s lovely. Captain gets drunk on champagne.

We toast to Junior. Alain is still trying to figure out how he still has legs.

We return to our ship.

Pirate girl is hailing us, we put her on, mute her. She yells a bit, then looks smug. We stream video game porn of a pirate girl to her viewscreen, then log off. Alain records her audio, and then her reaction, which is to stare agape, then blush furiously.

We call the home office, Tabitha Winns. She agrees to funnel more jobs our way, reluctantly and without even looking at our numbers. Alain rats out Capt. Svennie’s attempted sabotage. He may have been sabotaging more than our ship, and is getting employment elsewhere. Capt. Steele suggests our poor numbers in the past were due to this. Either way, we’re still employed.

Kiray listens to the pirate girl’s recording, who has been waiting for us for a day and a half! Very upset, etc. Then she’s saying that obviously, we’ve accepted her offer to work for her, and get “top position on the ship,” and “some kind of punishment.” And all we have to do is say yes to get the best position in the ship.

In retrospect, we seem to have sent her a stream of the best “position” on the ship, which she ordered shut down.

Incoming: Someone bounced a job off Space Race’s servers to make it seem like it’s from Space Race. It’s a job offer coming in, if it’s worth our time…. Hm… maybe.

The SS Pla Cehol Der Launches!

Our lead-in: After blowing up a sun and failing to deliver sunscreen to Mr. Valentine the vampire, we’re in danger of losing our commission with Space Race.

coverbitLet’s review the crew:

  • Captain Ryan Steele (the third e is silent…but deadly): Zapf Branigan, if Zapf were an international pop star before having a major, public meltdown over his bandmate and now nemesis, Ricky Serrano, who has now turned into an uber-cool pop icon/space pirate.
  • Alain Pryde: navigator cat-person with phasing and zero sense of direction. Alain always pays his debts.
  • Kiray: the “muscle” of the team, an ex-con who is also a werewolf… governed rather arbitrarily by the many moons of Saturn. Not that it matters, but I have determined that Kiray looks like some horrible fanservice version of an anime girl, so she has pink hair and her crew “uniform” is mostly see-through. Except the corset. The corset is not see-through. Capt. Steele picked out the female crewmember uniforms, of course. And there’s only one female crewmember on the SS Placeholder.

Our boss contacts us with our next mission. It’s a straight A-B shot, go to Paragon Station, pick up a package, and deliver it to Innabelle 5. It’s a delivery from Catburg Jr. to Sir Catburg: both of whom live on Innabelle 5. Oh, yeah. And Captain Steele? We’re going to be restructuring soon, and the bottom-performing 30% will be cut (a quick math test shows that this means one ship in the fleet… ours.)

We get underway. Alain puts the Placeholder on auto-pilot and he and Kiray kick back and watch lesbian porn, while the marvels of the universe float past them through the galaxy. We decide that this is how Alain and Kiray spend most of their voyages, and that we’re meticulous film critics of this particular genre.

We arrive at Paragon Station and decide as players that it’s an ongoing “thing” that officials at space ports always want to know what our ship’s real name is, since “Placeholder” is such an unlikely name. In this case, I explain patiently that it’s Venutian: “Pla Cehol Der.”

Frax, the company man for Space Race on Paragon Station, gives us a crate with a laser-mounted mechanical land shark inside it. Capt finds a passenger, Nova Jane, a red-headed space pirate babe. She has a need, that only the Captain can fulfill.

Our rival Captain Svennie is investigating our hull when Alain checks up on it. He was trying to plant a bomb on the hull. Alain shoots it out of his hand (Flashy) and then aims at his head. He flees, guards come running, and Alain goes over the Incident Checklist with the station Drakons.

We contact Catburg Jr., who it turns out also wants a gun for his laser land-shark hunt birthday present, and the Captain offers to provide one…. for a price. Hey, we gotta turn a profit on this run, right!

Meanwhile, an owl infestation interrupts the Captain’s seduction plans for Nova Jane. Bubbles (the samurai janitor) is summoned to clean up the “penthouse.” (We have determined that “PENTHOUSE” is written in crayon over the normal “Captain’s Cabin” signage.) It’s going to be a running gag, of course, that the captain is always trying to seduce space babes, but always failing, even with the most willing of partners.

We’ve also determined that Captain Steele is terrified of Kiray, after seeing her hulk out just once, so the on-board sexual harassment is just a function of a hostile workplace environment and not actual unwanted attention, per se.

We arrive at an asteroid moon station called Hephestus for Captain Steele to buy a gun. I go find Shakes McGillis to get me into the underground boxing ring, who is a human who used to arrange books (gambling) for prisoners, back in the day. After some wheedling, I convince him to get me into the ring. I also discover that Kiray’s prison nickname is Kay.

I throw the first match. A space pirate comes over to chat me up and make a side bet. We make a deal using the Captain’s personal bank account and the ship as collateral in the fight. An assessor is sent to evaluate the ship’s value. She’s hot. Also a redhead. Still on board when the fight starts, because she’s a huge fan of music… except when he starts playing it in hopes of seducing her, she goes ga-ga over Serrano and raves on and on about Steele’s rival. This does not go over well, and he gets annoyed.

We also arrange it so that, if I lose, there will be employment opportunities for us with the space pirates. The way I see it, this is win-win. 

Alain makes a side bet against me, using Nova Jane as collateral. Out of character, I mention that I’m not sure Kiray would be okay with human trafficking, but since she herself is not a free person (parolee)…. anyway, we’re not slavers, so I oughtn’t have worried. Slavers have to be marginally competent, remember?

An enormous Drakon nick-named “Godzirrah” shows up to fight me. We decide to run this as a contest, which means the first person to get a high roll out of three will win the match. On the first round, I move in and leverage his “Godzilla” aspect (invoked for a +2 to beat him) to tear his tail off. “What? It’ll grow back.” The audience goes wild, but Godzilla pounds me into the floor, cracking it (tied). Finally, I werewolf out and use my brutal strength to lift him and piledrive him through the cracking floor, into the mechanical steamworks below. The crowd goes utterly apeshit and I win. In the audience, a pink-haired young pirate captain girl gets pissy over this and starts bitching at Alain about it– apparently, she’s the captain we would have been working for if we’d lost. Bullet dodged, eh?

Alain goes to the bank to collect his winnings, and we mull over the problem of Nova Jane being enslaved. Kiray suggests we book it as fast as possible, before they can find her. Alain is pressured by a collector for the slave Nova as payment, and he leads the man off somewhere where there’s a wall where he can phase through. Unfortunately for our debtors, Alain’s guy is really gullible and kinda dumb. Alain offers him a drink, they ring up a big tab and then Alain drops him through the floor before taking off. We get the assessor off the ship before making a very speedy departure from the asteroid.

The Hephestus collectors try to capture us, but Alain sends bombs over to their ship, thereby paying his debts as the bombs are collectively technically of equal value to the slave. It’s the best kind of correct.

Alain gives Captain Steele the good news about his bank account, under-reporting the amount wagered and won during the fight. We decline to inform Nova about her unintentional slave status.

The pirate girl comes online and monologues at us for a few minutes, but we have her on mute. The captain flashes her with his sparkly iridescent speedo and slight paunch. We speed off into the galaxy, on our way to Innabelle 5!

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