The Rings, Episode 2: Colleagues
Cas walked towards the tram heading towards the hangars. “Cas Neros!” barked a voice from behind him. Cas turned and saw a large uniformed man with a sinister looking cut across their left cheek.
“Draav.” Cas hesitated not knowing what someone from the Xenohistory Service would want with him. “How’s the Service treating you?”
“Well last week my ass was buried in a sandstorm bigger than a Unkii’s droppings but eventually our team discovered an handful of new Glyphs.” Cas did his best to hide his interest. “Glyphs” were a form of alien hieroglyphic writing found among the discovery sites scattered throughout the galaxy. “And what are you up to?” asked Draav.
“An associate has lost contact with a team of employees, thought I’d lend a hand.”
“This is what you do now? Odd jobs? Never understood why you left.”
“Just want to help where I can, Draav. Send my regards to the others.”
Draav nodded, gave Cas a lazy salute, and boarded a tram heading to the Xenohistory Service Command quarters.
Cas thought about his connection to the aliens and the odd sense of power that flowed through him when he was near certain relics. No one in the Xenohistory Service could know unless Cas wanted to be turned into a science experiment.
His tram ride to the hangars was uneventful. His flight out to Leaon was equally dull as the space lanes were empty and the route avoided any possible asteroid belts. Leaon being so remote and rural meant there was nothing to greet him on arrival but an automated landing beacon guiding his way to the starport field. It was evening now on Leaon and not an ideal time to go trotting off into the swamplands.
Cas stayed on ship and prepared his equipment for the next day. Late in the evening he decided to make himself an espresso. Walking into the ship’s galley he ran into a humanoid shaped robot with the designation “r4-1PH” written out on their chassis.
“Hi Ralph, still fixing the environment control systems in here?”
“Yes. I only require another hour to finish the repair.”
“Excellent. When you are done try to pull up whatever maps you can find in the ship’s library for the habitable planets in this sector. Just in case we don’t find what we are looking for here.”
Cas sipped his espresso and begin to reread the employee data files.
After you create the “Opening Scene” in a Larger Than Life/Future Tales story you move on to a Travel Scene. This is really just like a typical wilderness hexcrawl random encounter setup you might find in a Dungeon & Dragons game but abstracted in the usual Two Hour Wargames (THW) way. For each node of travel you roll a d6 and on a 1 you’ve got an encounter to deal with. For the 5 nodes I had to traverse there was only 1 encounter I had to deal with and that was at first connection. Future Tales told me the encounter would not be with the “Big Bad” or their minions but instead with an “Enemy Military.” I made the “Have you met them before?” test from 5150 New Beginnings (another THW title) and scored a 9 - it was an NPC I have run into before and it was a positive interaction. It made the most sense to me that this was someone from the Xenohistory Service - who aren’t necessarily “enemies” but I think Cas’ “psionic” powers are likely frowned upon in this galaxy. For this encounter it was a Confrontation that initially might be resolved with a social interaction (known as “Talk the Talk” in THW lingo.) Both Cas & Draas (whose various features I fleshed out with some rolls on the new Mythic Magazine Volume 18 character feature descriptor tables) rolled the same result on their interaction checks which left me with a result of “They give you a warning and leave or Pleasantries! Characters exchange pleasantries and nothing more.” Again, this made sense with the established fiction.
I knew from the beginning I wanted Cas to have a robot companion. I created one using the random Robot tables in the Future Tales book. For time of day on arrival in Leaon I just used the 1d6 Day (low) or Night (high) roll found in all THW games.
It is funny to read through the Future Tales mechanics because they are all over the place. Sometimes you are rolling a dice pool equal to your Rep and looking for 1s, 2s, or 3s. Sometimes you roll under your rep. Sometimes… and so on and so forth. Things are really all over the place. Larger Than Life 3rd edition feels much better in this regard. I will say again that the story generation tools in Future Tales are very very good for I want and they’ll be a part of this game for the foresable future. Anything thing else is up for experimentation.