The glam band/pop detective troupe Bang Bang Bang solves a case sort of, visits a TTI bioship, gets the best montage EVER, and maybe gets shot at!

Episode #32, 2.0 Actual Play!

Show Notes: Coming soon!

As a work-in-progress we’re mapping out a valentine’s day episode…well, around there anyway, with Texas Furry Fiesta running on February 10, it’ll be tight! The current plan is an NSFW episode, “20 questions about HSD love, sex, and relationships (that you were afraid to ask)…possibly with some input by the game’s author. We’ll see how that goes πŸ™‚ Want to get a question on the list? Post to the episode-planning channel of our new RFD Discord Chat or drop us a note!

The original videos for this can be found on HSDTV–part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4! The podcast episode has been trimmed for pauses and voice levels πŸ™‚ This week’s technical difficulties: Ashtaar’s microphone died the death, and he’s on his celphone, which…well, it’s hit or miss…

Show Notes:

♃ 06.47 β€” so the weird monoliths from the previous episode? Cooling system. That makes sense…I’m not sure I BELIEVE it, but it makes sense…

♃ 10.20 β€” There are a lot of upgrades for your firearms, but very few for melee weapons…the strobe band is a particularly awesome one, as it basically turns a melee weapon into a flashing raver club. Obviously, Luka needs this in his life.

♃ 12.16 β€” a low-calorie alternative to “get a clue” checks: writing up police reports. Clever strategy to get characters to re-watch the clues they missed. And…we miss a lot of clues. If they aren’t spray-painted magenta with sparkles, we miss ’em.

♃ 14.45 β€” Sev addresses the odd reactions Ayo has been getting as a lateral, when the local IRPF is governed by a cigar-chomping lateral snake…

♃ 16.50 β€” The plot thickens! The three bodies were all Pulse contest winners, much more competent than we were…even in our heads… At 27.17 Sev tries to suggest that we probably weren’t awesome enough to legitimately down whatever killed these guys. I personally disagree, we’re just differently awesome.

♃ 36.34 β€” Aaand back to the underground as we return to maintenance to where the Pulse ship “Victory” originally docked, to find out why three of its passengers are dead…

♃ 39.55 β€” Plot continues to thicken. The murders may have been a conspiracy to steal a McGuffin, and we meet one of the thieves…and (40.35) the McGuffin’s owners, a TTI Bioship looms into view! The thief immediately turns himself in. Mallion (42.55): “I had no idea police work was this easy!”

♃ 45.40 β€” a little bit about the philosophy of the “tool/circumstance” mechanic, which is at least in part to get the players focused and creative in how they interpret their character’s actions.

♃ 52.10 β€” Nice little bit just after this point where Sev discusses the Bioship interacting with its environment, a bit like a kid with ADHD, moving continually from thing to thing. Neat.

♃ 58.00 β€” Getting ready to board the Bioship. There’s a lot of nice description for the next 30 minutes or so!

♃ 1.01.53 β€” Meet the captain! Poor NPC, having to deal with the party πŸ™
1.03.30 β€” When a hyena grovels to another hyena of higher status, they sometimes bow and crawl toward their superior on the back of their front paws, which is all kinds of awkward-looking. This is called “carpal crawling.” Now you’ve learned something, and knowledge is power.
1.07.30 β€” This was my favorite line for Luka so far. “We’re with the Bang Bang Bang Pop Detective agency. We’re here to promote our new case!” I think we successfully establish ourselves as lovable buffoons.
1.10.40 β€” ThisΒ may be the bridge? Neat description of the bioship’s viewscreens and sensor array. And attention span.
1.14.28 β€” The comedy stylings of Bird and Bird, TTI laboratory slaves, shortly follows! One of them is a fan of Bang Bang Bang, so you know they’re intelligent and cultured folks.
1.21.41 β€” A bit more suggestion of how this particular Bluesky is set up: a cylinder with a central microgravity area. At least a bit over a mile wide, at 1.26.02 Sev suggests 1.5 miles wide, as the tracker our party is playing with has a half-mile range and it’ll take four passes to get everything. Assuming a radius of .75 miles, and a length of at least five miles, that gives us an area of about 27 square miles, give or take. There’s probably at least a few layers of inhabited space on most of the station’s surfaces, we could probably safely double the inhabited area since MarsCo likes to build up and down.Β  If the station was an O’Neill cylinder, it would comprise two cylinders in counter-rotation, to keep it oriented properly on the sunβ€”I don’t think we have evidence of that second cylinder yet, but you could also put heavy things like a generator, instruments, dock and port, large fins, etc. on a smaller cylinder with enoughΒ  mass to keep the primary living area cylinder balanced. Down the center of the primary cylinder is a shaft that helps stabilize shipping vehicles and idiots with selfie sticks and harnesses. From what else we know about Blueskies, they can take a fair bit of damage without being compromised, so we can imagine that the shell is probably fairly thick (I was guessing a quarter of a mile), and has a lot of compartments, corridors, usable areas, and such that can be compromised without pulling all the air out of the central cylinder.

For scale comparison, if the walls of the station were 1/4 mile thick, that’s around the height of the Empire State Building, a 102-storey skyscraper. The floors are not going to be quite that thick, but if you’re designing a dungeon-type environment in Longbow or the broken bluesky in the Quad, we couldΒ very conservatively build out 10 habitation levels with minimal environmental support, 10 industrial levels, and 5 levels of structural support, airlocks, and etc., giving the bluesky potentially as much space as a modest city…27 square miles, 25 levels, that’s something like 625 square miles, and I’m estimating down. Regardless, that’s an area about the size of London.

♃ 1.27.10 β€” the party finishes a v-e-r-y brief montage of sky-tram shots, and narrows their search down to an industrial neighborhood. After this, there’s a fair bit of journey time as the scanner leads us on a game of hot/cold to find the McGuffin.

♃ 1.36.00 β€” Some random chatter about Luka, a canine, trying to break open a door, which is worth unpacking. Each species/family in HSD 2.0, at least as of 1/16/18, has three skills that they are either quite good at or quite bad at–in the case of Canidae, those are Expression, Athletics, and Sabotage. You pick one of these as a “boon” skill (meaning you get to roll 1d12 on the first of your dice with that skill, and the others are “fault” skills (you roll 1d8.) Luka has Athletics for his Boon, spent some points later to buy off his fault in Expression (he’s a performer, after all), but never bought off his fault in Sabotage. “Simplify” and “Complicate” is the second die in the D+D+modifiers roll. Obviously, I’m inclined to roll Athletics whenever possible, since it’s 2d12+mods. His overengineered stick gives something like a +8 to the skill modifiers for smashing and jumping and bouncing checks, I paid a little extra to have it enhanced as both a weapon and a tool.

♃ 1.46.06 β€” The party rounds the corner and into a firearm ambush. As it’s variously 11:00 pm and 1:00 am, we break for the night, and spend a few minutes discussing the system. Opinions, the perception checks are just different enough from the other checks to cause some confusion, at least on this early run-through of the game. A few of us are feeling like the rolls have been a bit too successful, but the game’s low level, with a typical difficulty of 18. But this may be perception bias. 1.49.30 begins a short discussion of difficulties on different rolls.

With thanks to Whines, our audio engineer!