Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Rocket Ride

I recently ran a game with a very strong group of players, and I thought I'd relay that experience here. The game was called "Rocket Ride" and is based on a song by Tom Smith. This is a great song about the joys of old-school sci-fi. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics

I want a shining tower of glass and steel,
A rubber jumpsuit and a freeze-dried meal,
The will to survive, the need to explore,
The love of adventure, who could ask for more?

Who couldn't love that?! Anyway, so based on this, I ran my rocket ride game. It was an impromptu meeting of the Amber gaming crew, and included Mike (visiting from GA Tech), Chris and Leslie, Andi, and Keith. I posted a future of the 1950s, complete with finned rockets, smart heros, and the drive for the future.

We started with the premise that all the characters were employees of a corporation that was trying to make the first space trip. That right, in grand Heinlein style we had corporations beating the government to space.

The players began by thinking of characters. And we had all the old great sci-fi tropes out in force. We had "Captain Dr. Thruster" the high-flying leader and pilot. We had the boy-genius "JET - John Edward Thruster, nephew of the captain", guaranteed to get captured by the bad guys, his intelligent dog companion Sirius, the russian food scientist "Red", and the eccentric mathematician / computer scientist.

We started with the first launch of the "Liberty Rocket" (the name of their spaceship) being interrupted by the presence of the Evil Galatic Sector Lord. After arranging a darring escape from Earth with the help of the Air Force, they went to the homeworld of the Sector Lord to see what they could find out about him. Of course, it was full of communists (who else?). There was a beautiful princess (the sector lord's daughter) to woo as well as a revolution by the capitalists to help.

All in all, it was a light-hearted romp through the 1950-based future. And of course the heros came out on top, evil was vanquished (but lived to fight another day), and Captain Thruster got the girl.