Playtest 1, Session 1, Part 1

My playtest of SaSS:R began this evening, and while lots of corrections need to be made, mostly for clarity, it went swimmingly considering we were down one regular player and one potential player.

It started off aboard a mercenary airship heading to a settlement to drive off a warlord. While one of our mech drivers with little experience in the field tried to read his mech’s manual, our resident poisoner watched the passing scenery. Not noticing the mini-airships setting up an attack run on their own airship, the whole party was surprised by the attack and rattled by the subsequent crash.

They rushed to their mechs, and drilled their way through the damaged hatch (with an actual drill) and found a swarm of miniature airships strafing their downed craft. The woman driving the Lynx tried a flying leap to hit the lowest of the enemy aircraft, but missed, as did the long-gunning mech and the drill-man was so embarrassed by his misses that he stepped back into the downed mech-hauling aircraft they had come from. Eventually, however, they dealt deadly blows that destroyed the leading attacker, and the warlord’s units broke off the attack and retreated–but not before firing a series of flares high into the air.

The players decided to head for the estate where their guild had planned on making a base, leading a truck filled with equipment and survivors of the crash behind them. They crossed paths with several sets of mech-tracks, but opted to stay focused and finish the escort mission before looking toward completing the ultimate goal of their job in the area. They stopped in a hamlet along the way, and, after freaking out all of the much-harassed locals, got some information giving them a rough idea of where the warlord might be operating.

Upon reaching the estate, they meet the man who contracted them, the mayor of the largest settlement in the colony, Pedro Moreno. They learn that the warlord’s men have been combing the countryside waiting for their arrival, and the players become determined to make a trip to the settlement to get an idea of what is really going on. From a priest they learn that rumor has it the warlord is trying to chase off the Spanish settlers, and from the one-room local library, set up in a small house, they find (and steal) a prospecting report detailing the fact that there are valuable untapped minerals in the area (which the locals never learned–the report was hidden behind many other books.)

Determined to find the enemy, the players set out toward the first of the sets of tracks they had found the previous day, bringing some horses in case they wanted to dismount and move more stealthily than they could in a giant mech. Using their skill in noticing the obvious, they located a small camp of the warlord’s men, including two mechs. Having approached the camp on foot, they decided to try and release the scouts’ horses in order to distract them so they could steal the enemies’ heavy equipment.The plan might or might not have worked, but was foiled by a catastrophic failure on the part of the least combat-capable of the party (the one whose mech has the drill) in stealthing. Falling head over heels, he landed in the enemy camp alone. He was fast in reacting, however, and managed to talk them into believing he was a land-prospector for some upcoming French colonists… colonists he did not know about before he started talking, and which was only possible because he was coincidentally French. One of the enemy mech drivers mounts up, and beckons Etienne (the player) to join him, and they head out to meet the warlord himself.

Meanwhile, the other two players in this scouting effort tried to enact the same plan as before, only to both catastrophically fail at stealth as well. Having tripped into the camp in much the same manner as their comrade, they hacked free a couple of horses and try to ride off, despite neither having the skill for riding horses. One of them again catastrophically fails in riding, and the horse goes wild, taking off with her in a random direction while she struggles to hold on for dear life. The other, Zhao, succeeds magnificently in riding back to their mechs.

Etienne hacks at the neck of the man driving the mech he is in, eventually killing and beheading him as he feebly tried to stab Etienne in return. After losing his cool and becoming rattled to the point of taking sanity damage, Etienne drives back to the small camp and charges through the largest concentration of raiders, while Zhao blasted into pieces the many of the remaining. The raiders surrender, leaving the players forty horses, rifles, and sabers richer, not even counting the two small mechs they grabbed.To be continued…

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