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[Pbp] Psychosis - Ship of Fools
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Darth Rabbitt
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Joined: 05 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I try to find my way to the buzzing station, or at the very least try to get a good look at it to see what's going on.
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Last edited by Darth Rabbitt on Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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angelfromanotherpin
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 7446

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SlyJohnny & Thaluikhain:
Sly:
Quote:
Your scavenging companion comes to loom over your shoulder as you calculate and log a course of deceleration. You confirm it, and other stations across the deck begin to chirp. Your other companion has found his station and done something to it, but is now looking around as if concerned.


Thal:
Quote:
You pick up one of the manuals to find the main pilot station, but you don't need to consult it. Your feet know the way. Your hands slide into position on the control keys as though into an old and comfortable pair of gloves.

The course comes through, and your station chirps to alert you, as do other stations across the deck. You depress the relevant thruster keys as far as they will go, and slide them into locked position. You don't feel anything, but you wouldn't. The thrusters have only a minute (but cumulatively significant) effect on something the mass of the Bounty, guiding it in detail. The real slowing will rely on the... you struggle to recall... nuclear pulse drive? In any case, your station can't access the main drive directly without permission from a different console.


Darth Rabbitt:
Quote:
You find the alerted station, which seems to be a navigation console. You have to guess a little at the readout, but it seems like some sort of large vessel's course has gone wrong somehow and needs attending to quickly. As you watch, the controls seem to operate themselves, and a new course is laid out in a graceful Newtonian curve. Other consoles across the deck begin to chirp, including the one you recognized.
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SlyJohnny
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Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 953

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"What's the problem?" I say, frowning across at my concerned companion.

I continue to man my station. 'My' station. Well, sure. Why not.
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Darth Rabbitt
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Joined: 05 Feb 2009
Posts: 6181
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I try to check who or what is changing the course and where they/it can be located. If the navigation console is too unknown for me to operate then I’ll head back to the familiar one and check there.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Need permission from another console to get the nuclear pulse drive to work" I say, looking for the correct console. But, I'm guessing it's not here.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SlyJohnny & Thaluikhain:
Thal:
Quote:
"Oh shit, is this really happening?" asks your captive.

You examine the buzzing consoles. None are as familiar as the pilot's station, but nor are they confounding. The third one you check is an engineering systems station, and it's being prompted to release the NPD. It seems like a series of safety and viability checks is all that's required. You think you can probably manage that.

Your scavenging companion leaves the nav station and comes to join you.


Darth Rabbitt:
Quote:
There's no sign of any operator. The large vessel – Bounty – seems to have had its controls transferred to the craft you're in, but you guess they could be mirrored and you're seeing the actions of someone on the Bounty's bridge.

You head back to the familiar station, which is announcing a request to release the main drive to the pilot controls. It seems like an odd thing to have to do, until you realize that the 'main drive' consists of a series of nuclear bombs to be launched in the direction of desired thrust, the detonation of which will provide that thrust in the form of shock waves.

'Large vessel' may be an understatement.

The process for releasing the drive is quite straightforward, you could do it easily.
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"Yes. We can make this work, with the backup controls here. Kid, look, I really think the Landers have it right here. There's no way you're going to survive in space indefinitely, without an ecosystem. The ship won't have been built to keep going forever, and eventually it will break. If this planet was chosen, it must be because it can support us."

I work my way through the manual, trusting my instincts but confirming my knowledge with what's written down. I run my course of actions past the other two, cooperating with them. We can work this out.

((Playing any relevant cards on this if it's a check))
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I pause for a moment before releasing the main drive.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Go through the safety checks. Safety is generally important when dealing with things with "nuclear" in the name.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Epilogue: Planetfall

The Bounty shudders as the first detonation begins the slow process of braking the ship. Although you still don't remember who you are, you know that you have accomplished the mission you were prepared for so long ago. Over the next few months, the great generation ship will be slowed enough to navigate into orbit around New Earth.

Fighting in the Life Zone ceases almost immediately when the first shock wave is felt. The Landers reveal themselves to the population at large, comforting the panicked colonists and explaining the steps that will lead to planetfall – the gathering of knowledge, preparation, orbit, and finally the Exodus. Most of the Councilors and their Sec troopers are captured.

Using a device called a Cerebral Stimulator, the last remnants of your hibernation psychosis are swept away, but none ever fully recover their lost memories.

Over the following months, the colonists become accustomed to the periodic shudders, knowing that each one brings them a step closer to New Earth. Under the tutelage of the Landers and yourselves, they train as technicians, pilots, administrators – all the roles required for a successful colonization. The plans to thaw and culture the plant and animal embryos stored in the gene vaults begin to be realized.

The Bounty orbits New Earth in December of 2158. Remote sensing and robot vehicles report a suitable biosphere and many potential landing sites. On March 1, 2159, the CTC #2, called Antares, from which you initiated the landing, touches down on a dry lake bed near the equator on New Earth.

The first act of the colonists is to bury an old man named Noah, who passed away two weeks before the Bounty reached its destination. An olive tree is planted on his grave.


And that's the lot. Thank you all for sticking with it through confusion and delays and miscellaneous difficulties. Questions, comments, and criticisms are all welcome. I'd be particularly interested if you'd share your experience of the shifting 'realities' and your process of suspecting/realizing what was actually going on.

edit: Also, if you'd like to add some narration regarding your character's personal epilogue, I'd like to read it.


Last edited by angelfromanotherpin on Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thaluikhain
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Joined: 29 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How much did the decisions players made really affect things? For most of the game I had no idea what I was doing or why, could I have made a wrong decision without realising it and not reached the ending? While it was explained in hindsight, at the time it seemed I was being railroaded along a story that didn't actually have a story. OTOH, I do like the idea of trying out new and inventive ideas, and that means sometimes there will be ideas that don't work that well.

Towards the end, it was obvious that we were supposed to land the ship safely, however, in character I don't see why I shouldn't expect to be randomly deposited in some future time again. Alternatively, the way the settings suddenly changed in some respects but not others, my character could perhaps have interpreted things as going from destroying the Sister's farm to destroying the colony ship. So I didn't do much at the end.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
How much did the decisions players made really affect things? For most of the game I had no idea what I was doing or why, could I have made a wrong decision without realising it and not reached the ending?

The book is pretty forgiving of people going wildly off course early on; there are lots of opportunities to make it back to the main plotline. The downside is that it can feel railroady if following the main plot isn't your preferred goal. I think it's a fine line to try to walk.

At the very least it's possible to royally screw up and die. I think it's also possible to become unable to tell friend from foe and wind up working at cross-purposes. I actually loved it when your character KO'd the G-Men (Landers) in the noir setting and then just went walkabout to explore. I could totally see a player that was more injured in the late game try to change sides in order to survive, which isn't really supported in the book, but I'd have run with it.

The book actually contains a flowchart of the various scenes which is pretty elaborate (I'll try to scan and post it). The branching paths do get fewer the further you go and drop away entirely by the endgame. If anyone decided to not follow the hints and try something else, I'd have had to come up with my own content. But, if someone decided to sabotage the landing or blow up the Bounty or use their resources to bribe and blackmail their way into becoming king of the ship, again, I'd have run with it.

Quote:
While it was explained in hindsight, at the time it seemed I was being railroaded along a story that didn't actually have a story.

I think what happened was that your character unlucked into too many early reality shifts for the common threads to be apparent. The broad strokes are present in (almost) all of the settings: an oppressive power structure with violent goons, a resistance force, a quest to some destination that will fight the power, and so on. Recognizing those strokes is part of the puzzle, but your WW2 and Noir experiences were too brief to establish enough of the elements.

Quote:
Towards the end, it was obvious that we were supposed to land the ship safely, however, in character I don't see why I shouldn't expect to be randomly deposited in some future time again. Alternatively, the way the settings suddenly changed in some respects but not others, my character could perhaps have interpreted things as going from destroying the Sister's farm to destroying the colony ship. So I didn't do much at the end.

I think that's a pitfall of the scenario. The confusion is intentional, but it does seem like it could easily lead to disengagement and paralysis rather than fun dramatic misunderstandings. I was hoping it might lead to a cool end-scene where the PCs fight over their fundamentally different interpretations of their psychoses, but that obviously didn't happen.
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SlyJohnny
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Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I loved it. It's weird, you need to get switched around (or at least see others get switched around) to realise that there are common elements and that a lot of the setpieces are just psychotic window dressing, but a lot of times when you get switched, you're disorientated and the only thing that makes sense is going with the flow.

I downloaded the PDF of the second (and last) adventure in this series, and it has a slightly different system, in that you get switched around by cards less, but you switch psychosis every time you move in to a different type of area (like going outside or going inside a building or being captured). That seems like a good way to do it, as if it happens while a player is transitioning areas alongside NPCs, they'd be more likely to join the dots with regard to a continuity of some elements.
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