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[Misspent Youth] Moon Pirates

Mechante_Anemone

9th-level Procrastinatrix
Validated User
We had our intro session of Misspent Youth on April 1, which means we created the Authority and three Youthful Offenders, and set up the first scene for Episode 1 by answering the friendship question, selecting Authority figures, and playing through the intro of Scene 1. However, it was getting late and we were too drained to tackle our first struggle, so the "real" play will begin next episode.

Since we were playing via VoIP, I set up a room on Vyew.com to host our characters' records, the case files, etc. The players created three young pirates from a lunar mining colony owned by Apex Frontier, a corporation that owns extensive mining rights for the Inner Solar System. The mode is "hard" scifi, the technology level is similar to that seen in Outland, Moon, 2010 -- or even UFO or the first year of Space 1999.

The YO are a tough-as-nails, violently angry orphan nicknamed Breaking Monkeys, an undersocialized but prideful hacker called Kaye, and a thrill-seeking bad boy with a pretty face called Hiro Suzuki; they conduct their illegal business on an old refurbished Moon hopper.

I framed Scene 1 with Commander Dane, the captain of Apex Frontier's space freighter Clarke as the Authority Figure. The Youthful Offenders were coming back, aboard their little Moon hopper, from a smuggling run when they saw the shiny bulk of the Clarke docked in orbit at the shipyard facility and surrounded by a flotilla of little tenders. Although quite recent and up-to-date, the Clarke was nonetheless being refurbished for some reason. Breaking Monkees, piloting the YOs' Moon hopper, laughed maniacally and decided to zoom through the cloud of little repair vessels to send them scattering like a flock of pigeons. Kaye, annoyed, smacked him upside the head while Station Control ordered the YOs to surrender their ship to the automated guidance system. I had a brief cut scene showing Commander Dane. We stopped there because we ran into the trad-game-vs-hippie-game discussion, and did not have enough time left to initiate a Struggle.
 

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Mechante_Anemone

9th-level Procrastinatrix
Validated User
Second session of Misspent Youth tonight (like all our games, it's been hard to schedule regularly.) We're slowly making our way through the first episode (scenes 1 through 3.) First, we talked a bit more about play styles and high-trust games; it can be difficult for players used to traditional RPGs to get in the mindset.

Scene 1. We picked up where we had left, with Breaking Monkees piloting at breakneck speed to buzz the Clarke. Although Kaye was annoyed with him and had to fight Station Control's attempts to override the hopper's guidance system, she secretly relished the chance to get a good look at the Clarke's refit, or rather to record it as they zipped past for later replay at a more useful speed. Apex Frontier Station Security vedettes pursued the YOs' hopper, but Breaking Monkees managed to ditch the pursuers in a canyon. They hid there long enough for Kaye to hack into their ID transponder to change the vessel code, since they had attracted the wrong kind of attention, and Hiro went on EVA to update the hull markings to match the new ID.

Kaye spotted a big red dot appearing on her sensor monitors -- an Apex Frontier Intercept Force cruiser was sweeping the area. Hiro barely had time to get in the airlock and start decon for Moon dust. Breaking Monkees took the hopper aloft, "flying casual" but the cruiser slowly swung around to ping the transponder and check the hull. Kaye received a call telling them to heave to and prepare to be boarded for inspection.

I called for a Struggle; the Authority's goal was to find something wrong aboard the hopper, any pretext to take the YOs in and question them. The YOs' hope was to find out more about the Clarke's mysterious refit and mission. The cruiser swooped in, took position immediately above and abaft the hopper, and deployed an umbilical to connect the airlocks. Hiro's player decided to stand up and rolled a 6; Hiro was still in the airlock, vacuuming Moon dust from his suit so he used hid convicion "Bad" (Means) to pop the vacuum's entire dust-filled filter into the cruiser's airlock as soon as it opened, fouling up the place.

The Authority claimed 7 and 11. The four armed agents that were in the airlock were not amused and reacted by activating the emergency purge system, then pushing through the umbilical to reach the hopper and angrily order the YOs out for inspection. Breaking Monkees' player stood up and rolled an 8. Breaking Monkees used his "Unrestrained Violence" M.O. to block the doorway to the hopper's cabin and start shoving the foremost agent, yelling torrents of abuse.

The Authority claimed 2 and the agents started yanking BM from the doorway and beating him up, while more agents poured in from the cruiser to deal with Hiro's disruption; the cruiser started a deep scan of the hopper and its electronic systems. Kaye's player stood up and rolled a 4. Kaye used her "Hacker" M.O. to siphon information from the cruiser even as it queried their own systems, piggybacking her intrusion onto theirs.

The Authority claimed 12 and the agents started dragging the YOs into the airlock of the cruiser and searching the hopper. Hiro stood up and rolled an 8 -- his own number. Since he had used his Conviction "Bad" with this number, he decide that the dust had fouled systems so badly aboard the cruiser (with Hiro doing his best to continue making things worse) that the agents, finding no immediate cause to arrest the YOs aboard the Moon hopper, contended themselves with thoroughly beating up the mouthy Breaking Monkees and left to return to base.

Kaye examined the data she had stolen from the cruiser as well as her footage of their approach of the Clarke and realized that the freighter was being equipped for a mission to the Asteroid Belt. We recorded the Kickoff, "The Clarke is headed for the Asteroid Belt."

(Continued next post.)
 
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Mechante_Anemone

9th-level Procrastinatrix
Validated User
Scene 2. Breaking Monkees' player picked the friendship question which Hiro asked of BM, "What did I do to make you trust me?" Answer: "Stood up to me even though I beat you senseless." He narrated a fast-forward: the YOs had managed to sneak their Moon hopper aboard one of the Clarke's huge cargo bays and hitch-hike their way out, but now a malfunction in the hopper's life support systems left them with dangerously low levels of oxygen. BM and Hiro were bitterly bickering about who was responsible, nearly coming to blows. An exasperated Kaye sent the other two outside to tap a line into the Clarke's atmospheric systems. Unfortunately, Hiro lost his footing and started tumbling into the microgravity of the cargo bay. He promptly caught the air line but the tugging caused microruptures that made it useless for oxygen.

Kaye suited up to join the other YOs and the three of them went in search of a replacement line. But they soon spotted a trio of workers in ship suits (not space suits) headed their way, pulling themselves along the corridor. Thanks to Kaye's quick thinking, the YOs hid in the EVA suit locker, among the empty suits. Unfortunately for them the ship crewmembers headed right for the locker and started pulling Kaye's arm (I randomized) instead of an empty suit. He realized his mistake and I called for a Struggle. The Authority's goal was to capture the stowaways. The YOs' hope was to infiltrate the freighter's crew.

BM stood up and rolled an 11, using his Uncontrolled Violence, and burst from the suit locker, grabbing a worker and swinging him around against the others in the microgravity. The Authority claimed 7 and 3. Two of the workers ganged up on him, while the third tried to reach for Kaye who was still among the spacesuits in the locker (Hiro was still hidden.) Kaye rolled a 9 and used her "Sneaky" Opportunity to hide further and have the worker grab an empty suit.

The Authority claimed 2 and the workers did something or other (sorry, it's late, I'm starting to forget details.) Hiro's player stood up, rolled a 9 thus winning but had to describe using Kaye's Sneaky Conviction. He described how she rose up behind the workers and cold-cocked them while their attention was on Breaking Monkees and Hiro. Then she strip them of their uniforms, placed them inside unpowered EVA suits and glued them into immobility. The YOs dressed in the crew members' uniforms and looked up ship schematics on a console.

We recorded the first Beat, a Reversal as "The YOs infiltrate the Clarke." We decided that the Question would be: "Will the YOs steal the Clarke?"

(Continued next post.)
 
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Mechante_Anemone

9th-level Procrastinatrix
Validated User
Scene 3. Kaye's player picked The Supervisor as an Authority Figure, and framed the scene as the YOs were surprised by his arrival, coffee and donuts in hand. He yelled at them that they should be on Deck 4 by now, repairing the broken fremostat. Breaking Monkees started mouthing off, but Kaye yanked him along, pulling one of his ear piercings.

The YOs made their way along the main axis of the ship from their location at the far end, thanks to the schematics Kaye had found. They noted along the way that the corridors became steadily busier, although certain entire cargo decks marked as off-limits to all unauthorized personel. These cargo areas were spun to simulate a low gravity equivalent to that of the Moon. The YOs reached the location they had been sent to on Deck 4 and started the repairs under Kaye's careful direction. They noticed that the next cargo compartment was filled with gear that would have fetched record prices on the black market of the Luna Colony.

They had a bad moment when the Supervisor reappeared, criticizing their slowness and clumsiness. Hiro tried to show off how hard he was working but instead managed to break a coolant valve, sending acrid and extremely cold gas into the atmosphere. The alarm rang and bulkheads started sealing off automatically, as the Supervisor nimbly stepped out. However, Kaye was ready for this sort of mishap and promptly rectified the situation. After a few moments while the air recyclers worked at maximum capacity, the air cleared of the acrid mist and the alarms ceased. Normal humans might have been poisoned by the fumes, but as genetically engineered lunar colonists, the YOs were merely inconvenienced.

The door reopened and the Supervisor smirked. He told themhe was now sure they were intruders; squinting at their name tags, he realized they were not part of the Clarke's crew. The YOs having acquired a bit of the wrong kind of fame over time, he figured them for the smugglers they often were and let them know he might look away if they made it worth his while. I announced a Struggle: the Supervisor's objective was to use the YOs and secure their conduit to the black market. The YOs decided that their hope was to blackmail the Supervisor.

Breaking Monkees stepped up, rolling 7 and using Outrage to try to intimidate the Supervisor. The Authority claimed 10 and the Supervisor started dropping names and showing that he could get their families and friends in trouble. Kaye decided to step up but rolled 10, thus losing the Struggle. I narrated how Kaye's poor social skills allowed the Supervisor to talk circles around her, figuring her for the brains of the operation and confident that the others would fall in line if he could just convince Kaye.

Then we called it a night and will continue on April 29.
 

Mechante_Anemone

9th-level Procrastinatrix
Validated User
April 29 session (sorry for the sparseness, found some of my notes from last spring):

Scene 4:
Hiro's player sets the scene with a Friendship Question from Breaking Monkees to Kaye. Sets the scene: The YOs are trying to move the three captured crewmembers to a safer spot before they're discovered. Hiro and Kaye are talking in favour of moving them to the cryo-locker where the Company keeps the "disappeared" Luna Colony convicts in suspended animation (as discovered in previous off-stage sneaking around), but Breaking Monkees says cryo-suspension is too dangerous and they could die. One of the three prisoners wakes up, scared of cryo-suspension and of the convicts, promises not to reveal the YOs' presence.

Decide the only option is to take over the ship! Kaye says she will look up ship schematics (current location, main bridge, auxilliary bridge); they try to come up with a coherent plan. Breaking Monkees claims he can seize the bridge by himself -- he just needs a couple of lengths of steel pipe. Breaking Monkees is talking about freeing the convicts from the cryo-locker, and starts collecting more pipe to distribute. But the convicts may not be ready to move, let alone fight, right when they are revived; Kaye examines the schematics and figures that they need about a dozen people. They'll lock the crew into their quarters as they capture them.

The YOs revive their three prisoners and take them to help decant the cryo-chambers. The prisoners are terrified and argue whether to help; Breaking Monkees gives them some rum he stole, in order to calm them down. Make their way down to the cryo-chambers level. Most of the lights are green, except an occasional flashing amber. Debate whether to thaw them all or only a few; decide to thaw them all.

Breaking Monkees bangs two pieces of pipe together and tells them to "Listen up! He's Captain Breaking Monkees! They're taking over the ship! For Luna!" A dozen people are revived enough and brave enough to follow him in his assault on bridge. Using Kaye's schematics, he heads to the main bridge, cracking any heads he meets along the way. Hiro follows along, herding the stragglers. Kaye tells the remaining prisoners to arm themselves, then heads for a computer terminal to access any doors or alarms the boarders may encounter.

Struggle: The Authority wants to recapture the convicts before they overrun the vessel and put them back in cryo-suspension. The YOs' hope is to capture the ship with enough able supporters to crew it. The Authority describes alarms, armed response. Breaking Monkees' player rolls a 7! Uses "Orphan," yelling "For mom!" and taking all his pent-up frustration and rage at the lost past, and wields his pipes at the enemy.

The Authority narrates meeting this assault with seasoned forces that reform and retreat in an orderly fashion to keep a bottleneck, prevent flanking, and start shutting bulkhead doors manually. Claims a 2.

Hiro's player steps up, rolls an 11 and declares he uses his "Thrills" conviction. Pipe straight ahead like a spear, diving acrobatically in zero-gee to jam his pipe through the opening of the bulkhead door to jam it open.

Authority claims a 12, narrates threatening recaptured convicts with repercussions, rattles off prisonere numbers.

Kaye stands up, rolls an 8, uses "Pride." Kaye overrides the PA system to give a rallying speech for the colonists' benefit, stinging their own pride and galvanizing them into action.

Authority claims 3, narrates captain depressurizing compartments around them to trap them; a few escaped convicts are trapped and killed.

Breaking Monkees' player steps up, rolls a 7! Uses "Outrage", blasts his way through everything until he reaches the bridge. Burts onto the scene, grabs Commander Dane by the throat ans bangs his head into the switch to repressurize the vented compartments. Narrates beating the captain senseless on top of the console, looking around triumphantly. Looks around and yells: "Mine, now!" A low-ranking crew member looks at him in surprise: "Wilford? Wilford?" It's Breaking Monkees' mom! With her help, he rallies part of the crew to their cause.


Scene 5:

Sophie (GM) narrates post-victory relaxation, red proximity alert announcing rapid attack craft from the CAPP. The Clarke (renamed the Freedom) is armed only with a minimal point defense laser turret meant to deal with Moon hoppers, plus the fusion mining torch usable at very short range. No shields or other cockamamie space opera weapons. Breaking Monkees goes into evasive action and Kaye deploys her custom ECM.

CAPP crafts: ECCM, acceleration, armed, can tow, multiple targets. Hail the Clarke/Freedom, tell them to surrender before they get hurt or someone they love pays the price. Breaking Monkees answers: "I've got three words for you: Substantial. Dollar. Value. Mess with us and everything goes."

One craft detaches itself from squadron and sends a shot across the bow.

Breaking Monkees asks Kaye what is the location of the least valuable cargo: It's Cargo Bay 5. Breaking Monkees tells her to jettison it! She hits the button and the cargo is spaced. Breaking Monkees tells the CAPP squadron leader that if they don't back off, everything valuable will be spaced, never to be recovered again. Some crew members are alarmed by the events; Breaking Monkees' mom starts berating him. Hiro snickers.

CAPP crafts box the Freedom, staying away from chaff. Chatter on comm and tight beams.

Kaye figures she can rig some mining explosives to act as mines and drop them. A few shots hit the vessel without causing much damage. BM tells the CAPP leader he plans on ransoming the ship. The next shot hits near the engine, attempting to disable.

Struggle: Authority's goal is to recapture the Clarke with minimal damage. YO's hope is to capture the CAPP crafts. CAPP vessels start shooting in coordinated fashion to disable Clarke, losing accel/decel.

Kaye stands up, roll a 4. Uses "Smart" to reroute systems give the ship back as much manoeuverability as possible, fires the automated point defense laser to keep the CAPP craft at bay, and tweaks the electronics of the mining charges to give them a bit of guidance, damaging the closest CAPP craft.

Authority claims 7 and 8; narrates rotating the damaged craft away, then fire hitting to isolate connections to starboard engine 1 and hitting precious water and atmosphere reprocessing filters, vitally needed on Luna.

Hiro stands up, rolls a "Oo!" 6, uses "Pretty." Gets on comm link to rally the troops with his charismatic smile and pretty face, staving off a small mutiny, even among the former APEX Frontier crew.

Authority claims a 12, narrates crew members who had been secured in their quarters making their move and breaking out.

Breaking Monkees stands up, rolls 11, uses "Unrelenting Violence." Heads to meet the mutiny in brutal and exemplary fashion to get the attention of those still on the fence. This time, it's personal! Breaks legs, shatters bones, etc.

Authority claims 12, narrates CAPP shooting to do more than minimal damage rather than risk losing the entire ship.

Hiro stands up, rolls a 9, uses "Thrills." Takes control, heads straight for the CAPP craft and spins the Clarke/Freedom around to hit them with the drive plume.

Authority claims 2, narrates CAPP crafts scattering to escape prolonged exposure to radiation. Commander Dane sees the events, decides to head for the closest engine room to blow it up.

Breaking Monkees rolls an 8! Uses "Orphan," sells out to win (to "Helpless.") Runs out to catch up with the captain to have a desperate battle. Reduces Dane to a pulp, leaving him cripppled or dying, then looks up to see his mother looking on in horror. Breaking Monkees bursts into tears.

Beat: Apex Frontier sampled and synthesized the colonists' genetic code at a distant facility, creating an embryo bank.


Scene 6:

Only one Friendship Question left (Kaye to Hiro.) Sets the scene as Breaking Monkees just returns to the bridge after the incident as he's trying to make light of it. Kaye is much more concerned about it but has little time to deal with it. Hiro makes a stupid insensitive crack about it to "Wilford," and everyone is surprised that there is no immediate retaliation. Hiro looks at Kaye rolling her eyes angrily and asks plaintively, "What?" Breaking Monkees sits at the piloting station, wordlessly, and Kaye sends Hiro for repairs.

During damage control, the CAPP craft crews try to break away from their assigned positions.

Struggle: Authority's goal is to recapture the ship. YO's hope is to ransom the ship.

Kaye rolls a 10, uses "Electronics and Hacking" to override the CAPP vessels' guidance systems.

Meanwhile, Authority claims 7 and 5, and describes how some previously somewhat friendly crew members have been scared by the violence and decides to side with the Company again. Someone starts purging the databanks on the stolen genetic codes.

Hiro rolls a 4, uses "Pretty," turns on the charm and appeals to their better selves to convince them not to do this, saving enough of the information. "Are you humans or equipment?"

Authority claims 12, narrates freed convicts worried about their family members still prisoners, not sure that this is worth the risk.

Kaye rolls an 8, uses "Pride" to get on the PA system to address everyone on board with a rousing speech. "This is your moment!" she concludes. Then cuts the switch and mutters: "Stupid people!"

Authority claims 2, narrates most damaged CAPP craft trying to ram the Clarke.

Breaking Monkees rolls a 10, narrates reaching over to flip a switch on Kaye's console to activate a sequence she had pre-programmed, which takes control of the craft to guide it right in front of the fusion torch. Breaking Monkees vaporizes the craft, as the pilot screams in terror over the comm.


Scene 7:

BM's player picks Authority Figure, the Supervisor, who's been picked by the officer to negotiate separate ransom arrangements as they are all from wealthy families. He picked Breaking Monkees as the dumbest, tries to negotiate with him as he doesn't care what happens to the rank-and-file crew. Hiro shows up just as Breaking Monkees is choking the Supervisor in anger. Hiro tries to stop him, Breaking Monkees hits him with the Supervisor. Kaye intervenes, gets the full story. Hiro tells Breaking Monkees: "Have you never negotiated? That's his offer. Your counteroffer sucks!" Breaking Monkees turns to the Supervisor, knees him in the groin. "THAT's your counteroffer!"

The Supervisor wants them to negotiate with some of the other corporations for an alliance and funding.

Kaye: "Sir, you need to shut the fuck up."

Breaking Monkees' jaw drops, then he cheers: "Fuck yeah."

Cut to a smugglers' meeting spot on the Dark Side, where the YOs have taken their moon hopper to meet with their contact, Kim Sawyer, a thin, rather androgynous albino. When the YOs were first starting out as pirates, Sawyer provided them with a safe house until they set up their own base.

Struggle: Authority's goal is to convince YOs to ransom the Clarke. YOs' hope is that Apex Frontier doesn't immediately find out their plans. Sawyer tries to convince YOs to return the Clarke to Apex because they've bitten off more than they can chew.

Breaking Monkees rolls 8, uses "Tough" to give his spiel: "We're NOT in over ou heads, we're just where we need to be. We can deal with this, we're tough, we're resourceful, we can do this."

Authority 7 and 2, narrates giving Breaking Monkees a look of grudging admiration. Explains that the Company is central to all their business

Hiro rolls 12, uses "Wants to be more than a pretty face." Tries to convince Sawyer that they can create new markets, new colonies; show ambition.

Authority rolls a 3, narrates Sawyer looking pensive. Says not gonna stand in their way, but doesn't want to be their stand-in.

Kaye rolls a 5, uses "Sneaky", knows about Sawyer's tie to two daughters, Sarah and Jane; deviously brings their welfare into the debate. Confidential voice, tells Sawyer they have a ship that can get family out from under the company's thumb, to a better place."

Authority claims 11, Sawyer winces as Kaye brings up daughters. Asks what THEY will put on the line -- dying is easy but risking your family?

Breaking Monkees rolls 8, winning on his own conviction! Takes his knife, runs it down his arm and draws blood. Says he will risk *everything*. "What about you? Will you leave your family in the dust hear? You can come with us or rot on this ball of rock."

Sawyer blinks, then shakes Breaking Monkees' bloodied hand. "You guys are insane but I'll be insane with you." Breaking Monkees claps him on the back with his unbloodied hand.


Aftermath: Convert monopoly on travel to blockade runner.
 
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