Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Traveller Tuesday - S*** just got real

After stating that I wasn't going to do an update, here's an update.

Today saw a lot more combat.

The players, after "securing" the unconscious scientist (shot into unconsciousness last game) to a rolling chair to for easier transport, moved into the smaller lab room.

Inside, they found evidence of an explosion and some structural damage to the ship, but at first, that appeared to be all. As they slowly advanced across the lab, half way there, they began to hear urgent whispers - "quickly! quickly!", then soon afterwards, a huge swarm of rats irrupted from underneath the rubble to attack them. Simultaneously, a crazed scientist appeared from behind some cover at the end of the lab shouting "devour them my children!" and opening fire with a snub pistol.

The party was surrounded - rats along the flank, crazy scientist with a snub pistol at the head of the line, closed unpowered iris valve behind them. [Think Hannibal at Lake Trasimene, if you're a complete dork like me.]

The first turn six rats died from excessive shotgun and SMG exposure, then the rest split up with a half-dozen rats swarming each person in range, climbing onto them and biting them. The crazy scientist engaged two others with his snub pistol. He had taken up position very near to a "tunnel hole", but had some good, hard cover to shoot from behind.

The rat attack portion became a game of attrition - for simplicity's sake, I assumed a rat swarm got one attack per round, and players could melee the rats with either a weapon or their hands if they had no relevant weapon skill. A rat died on a 3+ wound, and extra damage could "spill over" to another rat. The "rat fight" got pretty ugly, almost dropping two players. As written, the rats should probably have stripped all of the players like piranhas, but my rats are not quite as nasty as the official ones, and they have a few other tactical advantages I won't go into here.
The gunfight side was equally nasty - the first round, the players didn't grab as much cover as they should have, but the closest player's cloth armor saved him from the first round from the snub pistol. The scientist's enhanced physique allowed him to survive three solid hits, and after a few rounds of lucky rolling the cloth armored character was suffering greatly. He withdrew from the firefight, leaving the army guy to finish the job. He obliged, plugging away with his rifle from around the corner. By the 4th turn, the scientist was worn down to the point that another solid hit would finish him off. He decided to evade and make a break for the tunnel, but the army guy finished him off with a final rifle round - the players' first human kill of the adventure.

Upon the scientist's death, the rats dispersed, leaving the players to ponder the strange mental reading data one of them had uncovered earlier in the lab computer's data....

And that's where we broke for the session. Two characters on their last breath before going unconscious or worse, another pretty beat up and two in relatively good shape.

I'm using a more forgiving version of healing than true CT - if you don't zero a stat, first aid will completely recover your wounds. In truth, the CT rules are ambiguous about how to handle slightly wounded characters, so I've decided to err on the side of Hollywood - unless you're actually knocked down, some "field medicine" will return you to fighting form.

On the down side, effective first aid takes a Medic-1 and 15 minutes with a medkit, so it would take their medic the better part of an hour to patch everyone up.

They're most likely not going to have that much time. :)