Posts Tagged ‘Microscope’

The Aizium stockpile…

Posted: December 24, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_ImageIt had been a while since LL and I had played a session of our sci-fi Microscope game so we sat down on Christmas Eve to explore its history a bit more. This has been, by far, the most popular series on our blog, thanks mostly to the shout-outs by Microscope designer Ben Robbins on his Ars Ludi blog and Twitter feed. Thanks, Ben, and thanks for giving our setting a name: “Psionic Scream”.

If you haven’t been following our history so far, you can read previous sessions one, two, three, and four as well as a discussion of moving this setting over to TSR’s old Alternity role-playing game.

As part of that move, we wanted to explore a bit more about early human colonization of the galaxy: what was travel like before the discovery and exploitation of jump gates, what were the first human colonies like, and so forth. Accordingly, I opened up the session with the focus (our seventh in the game) “early human colonization”. LL followed that with the “P2X-1138 Wormhole”…something that won’t make any sense even to our avid readers until some of the following history is revealed. So, read on!

  • Early human colonization – After humanity began its slow expansion beyond Sol, establishing a few colonies by slower-than-light (STL) travel, and before it discovered and began using naturally occurring jump points, it invented slow faster-than-light (FTL) drives. We’re not sure how fast these drives could propel a ship but we do know that human colonization and trade expanded exponentially in the wake of their introduction.
    • The outer worlds initially faced massive raiding and piracy. New FTL drives created an opportunity for trade but also for piracy. Pirates in slow FTL ships could hit a world or large transport ship and be off before authorities could respond: communications still traveled at the speed of light.
    • The merger between Marquette Consolidated Industries, a heavy industrial concern, and Nakamura Ordinance, an arms dealer, was intended to take advantage of new opportunities opened up by the advent of slow FTL travel. It planned to establish corporate colonies and trade routes. Nakamura’s government connections gave the new mega-corp a leg-up on its competitors.
      • Young Omar Nakamura was called into a meeting with M-N’s board of directors. His grandfather, the chairman, told him that he would be taking over off-world colonization operations – and that he would have to take a leave of absence from the Terran Confederation Navy (TCN), in which he had just received a commission to Lieutenant JG.
    • Marquette-Nakamura Corporation established the Redemption series of penal colonies. Redemption-7 on P2X-1138, a “death world”, is the last of these; established to mine an unknown (at least to the public) mineral found there. (It had to happen, amirite?)
      • R-7, and the entire planet upon which it was sited, was destroyed in massive explosion which left an unexplainable stable wormhole in the place of P2X-1138. M-N staff scientists theorized quietly that the large quantities of mined and processed Aizium, awaiting pick up, exploded. This may have caused a chain reaction that somehow reached the vast veins of untapped Aizium that riddled the planet. Even the M-N scientists were baffled by the resulting wormhole – in theory it should have taken much more mass to create even a fleeting wormhole, let alone a stable one.
        •  A message capsule was found many years after the colony’s destruction. In it was a message from Clinton Gardener, former R-7 corporate compliance officer, stating that he had decided to overload the colony’s power plant, causing it to go critical, rather than allow the colony to fall into the hands of rebels – and reveal R-7’s sinister secret. This explosion is likely what set off the chain reaction in the Aizium.
      • Scientists flocked to the site of the P2X-1138 wormhole, as it came to be called, to study it
        • The ten ships working and running patrols in the area gained valuable experience dealing with astronomical hazards and anomalies. Many breakthroughs in navigation and sensor technologies resulted.
        • One of the experiments on the wormhole causes it to release a tachyon burst. Encoded within that burst was a signal. At first it appeared to be simple background noise but some clever filtering and enhancement brought out the details: a visual transmission recording a massive space battle. More shocking was the astrographic evidence that the battle depicted occurred (or would occur?) here at P2X-1138. The transmission was severely degraded and the ships involved could not be identified
        • The wormhole was initially stable but the scientists soon realized that it was rapidly degrading and the Terran Confederation Navy and its partner corporations, including M-N, spent immense resources to try to stabilize it.
        • Unknown to most, the P2X-1138 wormhole had a deleterious effect on psions. Humanity as a whole knew nothing of psionic phenomenon at this point, though certain individuals, corporations, and government agencies may have.
          • Petty Officer Jessie Vanhoy, a crewman aboard one of the TCN ships had, from a young age, been able to read minds. He had kept the true extent of his ability secret from his family and others, having been mocked for his claims as a child. He found that his ability did not work at all after his ship arrived in the system and resumed after it left. The loss was accompanied by intense migraines, for which he sought treatment in the ship’s infirmary. The medics were unable to do anything for P.O. Vanhoy.
        • Civilian scientific vessels were suddenly requested to depart, without explanation, the vicinity of the P2X-1138 wormhole and the TCN blockaded the system – a quarantine that is still in effect today. Coincidently, P.O. Vanhoy disappeared from his ship. None of his shipmates could give an account of his whereabouts…though several did report having seen two men in suits aboard ship. They were wearing proper identification badges and were able to answer security challenges, but no official log of their visit could be found during a later investigation.
  • Much, much later, following the so-called “Psion Revolt”, there was a dramatic increase in the birth of humans exhibiting psi powers. Until that time most humans developed psionic abilities after travelling through jump points. Nobody was sure why, but these children came “on-line” immediately following birth. They also exhibited an innate link with their psionic siblings.
  • And, later still, during the “Psionic Suppression” period: The Psion Revolt spurred widespread paranoia among non-psions. Once the capabilities of Blank-White-Curtain/Compound Omega became known to the public at large, via the court martial of Admiral Omar Nakamura, corporations and wealthy private citizens began to seek the material for their own protection. The mineral was rare but, suddenly, supplies of it began to appear on the black market, at a very high price. The crates containing it were marked with the logo of the now-defunct Marquette-Nakamura corporation and the cryptic notation, “Aizium; R-7, P2X-1138”. Coincidentally, the Free Human Front began freely spending money on weapons, ships, and other essentials shortly afterward.

photoWow. You can’t make that stuff up. Well, actually, you can…if you play Microscope!

We’ve got five sessions of the game under our belt. As you can see in the picture at right (click for a larger image), we have amassed quite a large collection of cards. We tend to write short descriptions on the front and then a much more detailed narration on the back, but sometimes our details fill both the front and back. We had initially thought about using half-sized note-cards for the game but rightly concluded that they wouldn’t really be large enough. I guess the only solution is to get a bigger table!

So. We ended up not learning all that much about technology with this session after all…but we learned a lot more about the twisted socio-political situation that drives our “Psionic Scream” setting. I sometimes feel as if LL is trying to drag us toward the light but I just can’t turn my head away from the massive potential for linking things together into conspiracy theories. Did Nakamura know about Compound Omega from the start? How much did the government know about psi before those abilities became wide-spread among humans, conferred by travel through jump? What’s happening “now” at the P2X-1138 wormhole…and when was that fleet engagement? In the past? In the future? Nobody knows. But I guess we’ll find out a little bit more the next time we play!

NB: Almost forgot that I wanted to credit the awesome PULP-O-MIZER folks for the tool that let me create this issue’s cover. What a great app! LL discovered it and sent me the link…I fear I could disappear down that rabbit hole for quite some time.

Et tu, Bertrus?

Posted: December 3, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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golemtechLL, PL, and I continued our P-A fantasy Microscope game on Monday (you can read about the first session here). We continued PL’s “School of Magic” focus and then I chose to focus on “Bertrus”, the Betrayer of the School of Magic, when my turn as Lens came along. We finished up with LL taking the Green Lantern Lens ring and choosing to look across the sea from Conusa to the distant land of “Begendlund”, apparently the home of loathsome meddlers with entirely too many teeth. Here’s what we learned about our history during the session:

  • Begendlund colonized the continent known as Oztrailus, half-way around the world from their own land. (PL)
    • The Begendlund “First Fleet”, under the command of Ruhtra Pillihp, arrives at Oztrailus and establishes a gnomish penal colony at Nyuoz Whales. The gnomes incarcerated there are criminals of the worst kind (What gnomes aren’t?) and face hard and short lives taming this new and wild land. (MA)
  • After the gnomes of Gnomeleska drove off the golems, but before the decline of gnomish civilization, we saw a much younger Bertrus…and learn that he is, in fact, a gnome. After the gnomes’ golem problem was solved he began to secretly delve into golemtek. In the course of his tinkering he managed reactivate an inactive self-replicating golemtek core in his lab. The device began to pull together pieces of, well everything, in his lab to create a new golem…and another, and another… (MA)
    • To escape the madness he had unleashed in his lab, Bertrus fled up the stairs of his tower to his waiting gnomish airship and flew away from the city. He watched the fall of his towers as raging golems tore them to the ground and then turned their anger toward the city beyond. (MA)
  • Before the golems began raging across the lands of Conusa, there was a period known as the School of Magic, during which the Founders established schools devoted to teaching the magical arts in many lands across the Irth. (MA)
    • Early on, high-dollar backroom funding from an unknown source sponsored archaeological expeditions to uncover lost magical knowledge and artifacts. Some of these finds later informed and inspired the formation of the School of Magic. (LL)
    • We learned of the reappearance of the Dark Arts because of one of these digs. A cache of magical tomes and artifacts disappeared from one of the sites and was never found. (PL)
    • We learn how Bertrus became involved in the School of Magic. We see him standing in a darkened, well-appointed room. A sinister voice is speaking to him from the shadows, saying, “Go! Help them establish their school. Learn the Dark Arts and bide your time. The end draws near!” (MA)
  • Begendlund begins subversive activity in Conusa. Watching from afar, the meddlesome Begendlund begins working to suppress the new moves to discover lost magic and establish formal schools for its study. (LL)
    • Sleeper cells from the mysterious Begendlund organization known as EMI Sect are activated and begin a campaign against magical reawakening in Conusa. (LL)
    • Sect agents find and revive inactive golems in Conusa and use Stone Hedge Magic to “re-mission” them, sending them out to seek users of the Dark Arts and golemtek. (LL)
    • Begendlund’s interference was later discovered and it didn’t sit right with many people (PL – Legacy “Anti-Begendlund Sentiment)
  • When he learned of the fall of the School of Magic, and how it had happened as a result of Begendlund’s meddling in the affairs of Conusa, the Emperor of Nordland summoned his War Council and advisors. Wearing his spiked Helm of Power and wielding his Spear of Destruction, he gave a mighty speech, “Begendlund will pay for its act of destruction! We must let the rest of the world know of this treachery!” (PL)
  • After the golems take Nyuork and sack the School of Magic, and presumably after the underground offensive against the golems by the Mad-Hattanites, Bertrus takes control of Mad-Hattan. (PL)
    • He did this by using his knowledge of the Dark Arts to summon the “Others”. These unknown, perhaps unknowable, creatures hunted the Mad-Hattanites in their own tunnels. It’s rumored that the Others didn’t kill them…but, instead, somehow dragged them back to their own world for reasons unknown. (LL)

Oh, yes, we are quite mad.

The return of the golems

Posted: November 26, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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golemBack to the Microscope. LL and I invited PL to join our Monday session to start a new game of Microscope. We had a lot of fun with our previous sci-fi Microscope game (read about it here, here, here, and here) and will certainly continue it but wanted to try something new. In our discussion of the Big Picture we decided to take LL’s suggestion that we work with a fantasy world. It took us a while to come up with the rest but we finally settled on post-apocalyptic, a genre of which we are all three quite fond. We ended with the following Big Picture statement: Refugees struggle to rebuild after the apocalypse in a fantasy world. Not really all that inspired, as it’s sort of a knock-off of one from the rulebook, but let’s see where it takes us.

For Palette, PL kicked us off with “no elves”. I quite liked that, having considered opening with “no gnomes” myself. We went from there, ending up with a Yes column containing: “magic with consequences” (LL), “out of control golems” (MA), “gnome scientists” (LL), “primitive firearms” (PL), “secret masters” (MA), “geography the same as Earth” (PL), “alien races” (LL). Our No column contained: “no elves” (PL), “no gods” (PL), “no supermetals” (MA), “no sentient plants” (PL). It’s an odd mix but I think we can make it work.

For our Bookends, we chose a dark Start period called “Fall of civilization” and a dark End period called “Fall of civilization”. Sort of sets the tone, doesn’t it?

Then we started playing with our First Pass followed by a turn with LL as the Lens (she chose “golems” as the focus) and the start of a turn with PL as the Lens (he chose the “School of Magic”). We’ll hopefully finish up that turn and get to me this coming Monday. In the meantime, here’s what we learned about our history:

  • Sometime after the fall of civilization there was a period when gnomes flourished in our world. The center of their civilization was a frozen land called Gnomelaska (see what we did there?) Sadly (or not), gnome civilization collapsed at the end of this period. (PL)
    • At some point the gnomes were having a problem with golems. They managed to kick them out of Gnomelaska by some convoluted plan involving the construction of a transit system that brought in reinforcements. The “Hurried Ones” arrived just in time. Fearless and seemingly impervious to the cold of the region, they helped the gnomes push back the golems.
  • Golem armies raged across the lands of Conusa, streaming from the frozen northwest across the continent. (LL)
    • In the western part of the continent the golem armies sacked the dwarven outpost of Corado Springs and left a garrison there before moving on. They began expanding the dwarven mines in the nearby mountain. (MA)
    • Later, the golem armies reached Nyuork and attacked it. They were supported by rock-heaving, rolling golems and rock-dropping, flying golems. They conquered the city and began building…something. (MA)
      • Even so, the Mad-Hattenites fought on, waging an underground war against the occupying golem army. They were mostly miners and the chemicals that they used for ore separation had caused madness among their ranks. They proved difficult to fight because of their tenacity and seemingly random tactics. (LL)
      • During the attack we learned something about the golem’s motives in a scene that played out at the School of Magic, located in the city. As the golems pounded at the gates and bombarded the school’s buildings, a group had gathered for safety in the main gathering hall.
        • The school’s headmaster, Lord Mandro, was distraught and realized that it was, in retrospect, probably a bad idea to have gathered so many magicians together in one place.  (PL)
        • Williwiggens, a gnome and the school’s top student, worried that there might be no graduation this year…and, thus, no valedictorian position. (MA)
        • Bertrus, one of the school’s professors, pondered the success of his plans to attract golems so that he could study them further. (LL)
        • Williwiggens is casting about in distress, observing the world through magically enhanced lenses and notices the aura of dark magic Bertrus exudes. He (she?) tugs on the headmasters robes and Lord Mandro wakes up from his daze, looking around at those gathered. He senses it too and confronts Bertrus who, in true evil villain style, admits to dabbling in the dark arts. He knew all along it would bring down the wrath of the golems, whom Bertrus hopes to study and eventually control.

And that’s it for now. I’m just going to put it right out there that we all know this is pretty whack. The “same geography as Earth” thing got us right into kooky (courtesy of yours truly) and we just kept on going. It’s a fantasy world gone haywire and, by the looks of it, this things going to go just about as gonzo as Gamma World. I think I’m really going to like it! Tune in next week for an update.

Moving from Microscope to Alternity

Posted: November 19, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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LL and I kicked off our sci-fi Microscope game with the idea that we would be building a setting that we could explore in depth with a more traditional role-playing game system. Tonight we talked through some of the material we have created so far and how we might bring that content into an RPG setting.

As we played through the first four sessions (which you can read here, here, here, and here), creating the history of our setting with Microscope, we had a stack of Alternity books sitting beside our play area. Alternity is a generic sci-fi RPG published by TSR in 1998, prior to its merger with Wizards of the Coast. The game was innovative for its time and includes some interesting and playable mechanics. Though out of print it is still supported by an active fan community, headquartered at I’ve had the Alternity books sitting on my shelves for years but have never played the game, though I’ve wanted to do so for some time now. LL recently picked up a used set (in pristine condition, I might add) for a song. We both think the system might be a good match for our setting.

Characters in Alternity belong to one of several generic character professions (similar to classes in D20) that determine what skills they’re good at and how they progress as they gain experience. The basic professions can be used to build just about any normal character you’d expect to see in a sci-fi story: Combat Spec, Diplomat, Free Agent, and Tech Op.

The game also includes rules for integrating psionic powers, using a specialty profession called the Mindwalker and several “broad” and “specialty” skills devoted to psionic specialties. The psionic broad skills include Biokinesis, ESP, Telekinesis, and Telepathy. Each broad skill contains several speciality skills; e.g. ESP includes Clairaudience, Empathy, Navcognition, and several others. If you have a broad skill you can use its associated specialty skills at a default level, provided they don’t require training. A character with the ESP broad skill can use Empathy untrained but not Navcognition, for instance. If you also purchase a specialty skill you can use it more proficiently than the default level.

In our Microscope history we determined that certain humans gain psionic powers after travelling through jump space. We don’t know why, they just do. Alternity has a great way to implement that: any normal character (i.e. non-Mindwalker) can be declared a “talent” and purchase one psionic broad skill and two psionic specialty skills. They won’t be as adept at psionics as a Mindwalker, but they’ll have some ability with it. So, where do Mindwalkers fit in? Well, we’re pretty sure that humans won’t be able to be Mindwalkers until the Retreat era, when they have the opportunity to get together with other psis to train and study. We’re not sure yet if the TWSBG or amoth have any Mindwalkers.

We didn’t do any work on defining our setting’s three main species in Alternity. I think, however, that we might be able to file the serial numbers off of the T’sa and use them for TWSBG. As described in the Star*Drive campaign setting, they’re a pretty close match. No idea about the amoth at this point.

Alternity uses “Progress Levels” to denote a campaign setting’s predominant level of advancement: PL5 is the “Information Age”, PL6 adds fusion power and more advanced space exploration, PL7 adds more advanced power generation and gravitic manipulation (and FTL travel). The progression continues through to the indefinite PL10 “Far Future”. It seems likely that our setting is somewhere in PL7, perhaps with PL8 power (as defined in our Microscope Palette).

We’re not yet sure about technology in our setting, because we really haven’t delved deeply into technological specifics. We haven’t even really touched on things like medical technology, personal weapons, computer technology, and a host of other specialties that make an advanced civilization tick. Here’s what we *do* know about our setting’s technological level so far:

  • Starship propulsion
    • Slow STL: We assume that all of the major species can move around at reasonable non-relativistic velocities, but we don’t yet know any details about how they’re doing it, how fast they can go, etc.
    • Fast STL: We know that the TWSBG had accomplished near-lightspeed space travel, through their use of the kind of generation ship that destroyed the amoth home-sphere. Humans may have used similar technologies to settle their first colonies. The amoth did not have, or did not employ this technology.
    • FTL: Humans definitely had the ability to travel at some multiple of c, and used that ability to expand to colonies some distance from Earth. The TWSBG may also have this capability as well, though we have not seen this in our history yet.
    • Jump: Humans and TWSBG both use natural jump points to travel instantaneously from system to system. The amoth have acquired this technology from the TWSBG. We don’t know how this works yet but we think:
      • Jump points are naturally occurring weak points in space, leading to some sort of higher-order dimension that can be traversed by a starship that can “activate” the jump point. We are assuming that passage between jump points is bi-directional, though this hasn’t been firmly established by our history.
      • There may be any number of jump points within a system. We don’t know if jump points can occur in deep space. We don’t know if it’s possible to tell where a jump point emerges without traveling through it.
  • Starship weaponry
    • We don’t know much about this topic at this point except that a fleet of light cruisers is well-armed enough to destroy a pretty large mega-structure (as the Omega Fleet did at the Retreat).
  • Communications
    • We think FTL communications is impossible without psionics. That limitation would also seem to preclude FTL sensors.

And that’s about it, really. One of the reasons we didn’t play tonight was my growing-but-vaguely-formed fear of “overworking” the setting. After talking over how to bring it into Alternity, however, I realize that there’s an awful lot we don’t know yet. Looks like we need to play a few more sessions to go back in and explore some of these missing details. Interestingly, LL and I were loathe to speculate much about things we hadn’t specifically covered either in the history itself or the Palette. We could certainly just make stuff up…but it seems somehow more fun to discover it with Microscope.

The Nakamura Legacy

Posted: November 12, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
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The destruction of the Retreat

In the fourth session of our sci-fi Microscope game we exposed more background on Fleet Admiral Nakamura’s distrust of psions and where that led. If you need to catch up, read sessions one, two, and three. LL and I each took turns acting as the lens. My chosen focus was Fleet Admiral Nakamura, LL’s was The Psion Revolt.

Here’s a summary of the new history we created during this session:

  • During the Consolidation Wars, then Rear Admiral Omar Nakamura was commanding Task Force Altair, charged with bringing wayward border colonies into line. During the Siege of Neu Essen, the T.F. had largely destroyed the colony’s defenses and Admiral Nakamura was preparing to order the landing of troops to secure the colony.
    • As he spoke to his T.F. commanders via holo-presence from the bridge of his flagship, T.C.S.1 Heinlein we watched a final salvo being fired from the colony. The incoming fire struck the cruiser T.C.S. Asimov and penetrated its bridge, killing its captain and several other officers.
    • We learned some details about the psion that caused the destruction of Neu Essen: Asimov’s psionic navigator, Ensign Lucy Pietro, was engaged in a romantic relationship with Asimov’s captain. Her uncontrolled psionic reaction after his death resulted in the total destruction of the Neu Essen colony.
    • Back aboard the Heinlein, we see the hologram of Asimov’s captain wink out as status boards go wild and the explosion of Neu Essen lights up the bridge. Nakamura shouts for information from his crew and commanders, “What just happened? Goddamnit, who fired? What the hell just happened to the colony?” As information comes in and he assimilates it he issues an encrypted order to his fleet commanders telling them to keep all shipboard psions under close surveillance from this point forward.
    • The investigation of the destroyed colony turns up DNA remnants of the dead colonists and visitors. Among the casualties is John Nakamura, a member of the Separatist movement, who was visiting Neu Essen at the time. He was survived by his wife and infant daughter, Allison.
    • Despite what amounted to treason against the Terran Confederation, Admiral Nakamura loved his son dearly and had hoped to bring him back to the light of reason. After John’s death, Nakamura held a memorial service aboard Heinlein and invited several officers, most of whom had known John from childhood.
    • Later we learn that Nakamura around this time made a personal log recording that included the statement, “I don’t trust psions, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy.” (MA: Sorry. Had to be done. Amirite?)

Consolidation Wars-era holo of Rear Admiral Nakamura aboard T.C.S. Heinlein

  • After the construction of the Retreat, Nakamura has put into effect the Omega Order and his forces are secretly seeking a source of the Omega Compound, the psi-negating substance known to those-who-survive-by-going (TWSBG) as white-blank-curtain.
    • The scouts find an asteroid field rich in Omega Compound in an uncharted system and initial mining operations begin. After a quantity of the substance has been gathered and refined, Nakamura’s experts tell him that they can construct a starship using an alloy of Omega and standard hull materials to create a design that is proof against psionic detection and attack. A group of amoth engineers, now part of the conspiracy, have created designs that can elude TWSBG sensors. Nakamura orders the construction of a light cruiser designated CLX-0001, the T.C.S. Lamar, designed to these specifications. The Lamar is built and commissioned and its test cruise is a stunning success.
    • Nakamura institutes full-scale mining of the field, via a number of front corporations that are actually owned by the Terran Confederation government. In addition to Omega, the companies extract billions of credits worth of other ores, making the operation a resounding success…and a secret the corporations are willing to keep.
    • With Omega production running at full-tilt, Nakamura commissions and staffs a small but powerful fleet of Omega-shielded and TWSBG-stealthed warships.
  • An unknown, at the time, force attacked and destroyed the Retreat. The attack was a complete surprise and the facility was a total loss. Later we find that Fleet Admiral Nakamura and his collaborators were behind the attack.
    • The destruction of the Retreat wracked the minds of psions throughout the Known Worlds. All had visited the Retreat and had become interconnected with the galactic psi community…and its destruction caused what had become a tightly woven tapestry to disintegrate into broken strands. Many psions went insane, others devoted their lives to figuring out what had happened and, when they learned it was a deliberate act, to finding out who was behind the cowardly attack.
    • Psions throughout the Worlds just walked away from their lives. The first hints of this came as law enforcement agencies synched up on a sudden spike in missing persons reports to realize that all involved were psions. By then it was too late to stop the exodus as most had already gone underground. The Confederation, TWSBG, and amoth civilizations suddenly lost a mass of essential personnel in the areas of navigation, communications, and other vital roles.
    • From hiding, the psions continued their search for the Destroyers. When they found a co-conspirator they often took matters into their own hands.
      • Fleet Admiral Nakamura’s role in the incident was first learned by a psion called Tanner Bruce, who chanced into an encounter with Nakamura’s former adjutant on a world called Dessan. Captain Liam Stevens knew the full details of the plot and after Bruce caught a hint of Stevens’ guilty subconscious he went deep, probing for the information. Stevens did not survive the “interrogation”.
    • TWSBG psions began to suspect amoth involvement and tried in vain to wade through the minds of amoth they could reach. The amoth, due to their genetic memory and ancestral voices, have a natural defense against psionic attack and probing. The TWSBG psions, who had always simply maintained surface contact previously, tried to pry information from their amoth subjects and paid for it with their sanity.
  • The psions re-emerge, present their case, and Fleet Admiral Nakamura and his co-conspirators are brought to trial and convicted. The excerpt from Nakamura’s personal logs is heard across the Worlds by a now-sympathetic populace.
  • Later, the Psionic Suppression began. We don’t know much about the period yet but we do know that a key figure is “Colonel” Allison Nakamura, grand-daughter of Omar Nakamura and daughter of John Nakamura. She leads the Free Human Front against psions throughout the worlds.

Allison Nakamura, after graduation from the TCNA at Ganymede

1 – T.C.S. stands for Terran Confederation Starship.

And, there you go. Another exciting episode of our “Psionic Scream” sci-fi history game. You know, as much as LL and I try not to think about the story when we’re not playing, it’s inevitable that it crosses our minds and we think of some item or other that we’d expect to see emerge in the game. What is amazing is that, once were playing the game, most of that falls by the wayside and we take the history in directions neither of us ever expected.

Sure, I introduced Nakamura thinking he’d be a bad guy and that he might hate psions or maybe even all aliens for some reason. I never expected, however, that the reason for his hate might be the death of his son (combined with true fear of the power of psions). I do not think that when LL introduced the Psion Revolt focus she expected me to give Nakamura up so easily (I turned Stevens in to Bruce and brought Nakamura before tribunal). As the final move of the game, I introduced the “Nakamura Legacy” legacy and the Psionic Suppression period.

I’m interested in seeing how our little war between psions and normals turns out. I’m also interested in what the TWSBG are going to do about their amoth problem. Did the amoth sell them out? Did the TWSBG deliberately destroy the amoth home sphere to create a client race? Who knows? I guess we’ll find out as we develop our history further.