OOC Forum.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 4 posts
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 03:35
OOC Forum
Welcome, everyone. I trust you understand what this thread is for.
GM
 GM, 5 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 00:28
OOC Forum
Went ahead and added a few characters to start us off. In-game threads will go up after we've all had a chance to establish some pre-game info as canon. Such as whether any of you know one another already. If not, the story can begin in a port station with the Argus fresh out of the dockyard and ready for a maiden voyage. If not, we can work out other scenarios here in OOC.

Also, the roles/jobs aboard the vessel can be established here. I like to keep these things as democratic and player-driven as possible. Some of you have mentioned areas and events in your backstories that were never mentioned before. Those are now officially canon for this story and game. I want you all to be comfortable creating a rich and satisfying game world while enjoying some RP.

I hope you all enjoy it here, and thanks for your patience.

PS: Speaking of patience, expected posting frequency will hover around 1 post per week. I understand, this can bog down a game very easily. But I am working on ways to get around that.

Happy Halloween!
Kessar Cindull
 player, 1 post
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 01:12
OOC Forum
Kessar is ex-military, a special forces branch that is close to US Air Force Para-Rescue. He can perform duties of ship's doctor, computer specialist, or security.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:37, Wed 01 Nov 2017.

Odette Laframboise
 player, 1 post
 Tiniest Engineer
 in Spaaaaaccceee!!!!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 01:25
OOC Forum
Hello everyone!!!

Nice to be aboard. Who is this person, you say? Well, here's some info, and at some point I will get a proper character page set up.

Odette Laframboise holds a doctorate in stellar craft engineering, and her specialist field is solar sail rigging mechanics. However, she has an excellent grasp of all forms of spaceship design and maintenance, and as such, is a very useful member of the crew. Her doctorate has earned her the rather incongruous nickname of "Doc" - which is a bit odd, since she knows very little about actual medical science. Nevertheless, she is obsessively protective of her patient - the ship itself. If you so much as dent a door panel, she might just give you an annoyed lecture on respecting the ship. She is just a bit lacking of a sense of humour when it comes to protecting the Argus.

The rest of the time, she has a very dry, sarcastic wit, which can take some getting used to. It matches her very powerful intellect. All of this is wrapped up in a very small person: barely over five feet tall, and lightly built, it sometimes seems remarkable that she is able to wield some of the large equipment used in her job. However, she says her size is an advantage. She can get right into all the little crawlspaces on the ship, and do repair work right up close and personal.

Her family is something she seldom mentions. Her expensive education, rather upper-class accent, and general manner fit the name. The Laframboise family own a great many different assets, and live in the Vega Nexus system - a place that is the luxury paradise for the obscenely wealthy. Clearly, there has been some serious falling out between Odette and her family, and working as a grease monkey on a small freighter is about as far from her upbringing as it is possible to get. And she clearly loves her work, so whatever her reasons for turning her back on the lifestyle of an overly pampered little princess, she obviously has no regrets about where her life has taken her.

It is for this reason that, despite all her attempts to prevent it, certain crewmates have taken to calling her "Princess Raspberry" - something that will either amuse her, or infuriate her, depending on her mood. Most of the time, she is fairly ready to enjoy such banter. But occasionally, she is most definitely not. And she is a very good shot when throwing a mole wrench. Engage in mockery at your own risk.

She has either been on the ship a while, if that is how we are playing it, but if we want crew to start out fresh and new, I could do that. I would prefer a more established crew, personally, so we can have some old hands, and some new faces, giving us perhaps a little more scope for roleplay.
Kessar Cindull
 player, 2 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 01:56
OOC Forum
I also prefer a long standing relationship as a crew.
Gus Gorstag
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 02:50
OOC Forum
Environmental engineer in charge of air, water, and heat.

I'd prefer that Gus be a replacement for a previous less than stellar engineer and new on the ship.

Otherwise, it's possible that some crew are new and some are established with the ship.  Though an established crew is more work as it requires some shared history creation of previous voyages, past crew and such.  An entirely new crew skips that step.

It's also possible that some crew are transferring together and have served with one another before.  So everyone would be new to the ship but some folks may still have a history on previous ships.

Also, an entirely new crew begs the questions as to what happened to the old crew?

  • Ship is haunted and they all left?
  • The ship came in on it's own without it's crew and the company swept it under the carpet as if it never happened?
  • The company sucks and everyone walked off because of a decision the company made?
  • The ship is a hazard and no one wants it?
  • The company fired them all for an unspecified reason?
  • The company fired them for a specified reason?
  • The former doctor killed the entire crew claiming infection?  At least that's what the log said as she also killed herself as well.
  • Everyone was promoted onto a newer ship after stellar performance to the company?  Boring...


What is this company?  Ships are expensive and very few are owned by their crews.  Is it a good witch or a bad witch?

I expect that the GM may know some of the answers above or I've just set us up for a strange ride, but I think an entirely new crew to the Argus offers more plot twisting as everything is new and unknown.
Cassandra Wilson
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 03:59
OOC Forum
Hello, everyone.

   Cass is a generalist.  She is an able bodied spacer who has been in space working various jobs on various ships for almost half of her adult life.  She is experienced in cargo handling and security when on the ground.  In space, she helps out where needed.  She is from Beren IV, a high gravity world, so asking her to arm wrestle is probably a very bad idea.

   I can go along with the new crew concept.  It does make the game easier to not have to work out potentially complicated mutual histories.  If we are an established crew, Cassie has been aboard for a couple of years.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:14, Wed 01 Nov 2017.

Solomon MacMillan
 player, 1 post
 Goes by "Sully"
 HOLD FAST
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 04:36
OOC Forum
Testing!

Solomon is the Navigator and Helmsman, but is also a jack-of-all-trades when the situation calls for it, as this kind of work will sometimes necessitate.

I can go either way with the crew question, but I'd prefer my character at least being familiar with the ship more or less so I can do the equivalent of Han Solo banging on the wall to make things work. I'm assuming the Argus is something akin to the Nostromo, and thus a rickety old can.
Alan Kirschner
 player, 1 post
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 06:41
OOC Forum
Hello everyone! Seems like our ship really needs some love, since Alan is also an Engineer, albeit specialized in both Ship Engineering and Robotics. You'll find him tinkering on Squid, when he's not working, his creation/companion, an odd creature that behaves rather like a cross between a dog and an actual sapient, yet who is surprisingly useful in optimizing and repairing systems that are hard to reach by most people.

As for Alan himself, I've decided to keep his personality and traits vague in order to expand upon him as the RP grows, but I envision him as a typical young adult fresh out of college: energetic, driven, and willing to commit his entire being to what he has to achieve, even if sometimes he may not know when to actually quit and focus on something else, due to his lack of proper experience in the real world. Even so, he's an optimist, and it shows through his behavior, should one make idle conversation with him.

Since I imagine that ships in these settings often lose and gain crew due to various circumstances, from simply firing people or people quitting in order to pursue their own goals, to less... pleasant forms of being dismissed, I would suggest that we have some characters be recently hired, with others being older, and more experienced with this particular ship. This would make an interesting blend of people on board the Argus, and it also gives ample subject matter for character development. :) In that case, I'd say that Alan should be a semi-recent acquisition to the ship, one who is now much more familiar with ship itself, but who must still spend more time in order to properly understand its limits and particular quirks.

On an unrelated note, can someone please check to see if my Background and Occupation titles are properly spaced in my character description? I'm writing this on my phone and I needed to use enter twice in order for those two titles to appear properly spaced on mobile, but I fear it might not look good on a desktop.
Kessar Cindull
 player, 3 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 13:04
Re: OOC Forum
First off this is my take and not necessarily cannon.
Gus Gorstag:
Also, an entirely new crew begs the questions as to what happened to the old crew?


I'm not in favor of whole new crew.

Gus Gorstag:
  • Ship is haunted and they all left?
  • The ship came in on it's own without it's crew and the company swept it under the carpet as if it never happened?
  • The company sucks and everyone walked off because of a decision the company made?
  • The ship is a hazard and no one wants it?
  • The company fired them all for an unspecified reason?
  • The company fired them for a specified reason?
  • The former doctor killed the entire crew claiming infection?  At least that's what the log said as she also killed herself as well.
  • Everyone was promoted onto a newer ship after stellar performance to the company?  Boring...


Haunted - No
Came in on its own - No
Comapny Sucks - No (see below)
Ship is a hazard - Possibly
Company Fired - No (see below)
Former doctor homicidal - Possible
Everyone promoted - No (see below)

Gus Gorstag:
What is this company?  Ships are expensive and very few are owned by their crews.  Is it a good witch or a bad witch?


I would prefer the PC's each own a share or piece of the Argus. I was thinking something like a used car lot... "Oh yea we got this cargo freighter...cheap" and besides -
1) Odette is filthy rich;
2) Kessar could have taken a one time lump some buy out on his medical retirement;
3) Alan may have sold an earlier design for some bucks;
4) Sully not much backstory but I'm sure he could come up with an excuse for a windfall, if nothing else he won the lottery or something;
5) Cassandra might have "found unclaimed property of a valuable nature" and sold it for bucks;
6) Gus same as Sully

Anyway we all own the ship ourselves, which means we are completely independent and we only answer to each other. We are small and we have to stay that way to keep from getting swallowed up by some taxi company that could easily do so. By keeping out jobs under the radar (perhaps even semi-legal things like smuggling or moving people cargo) we eek out a living, keep our boat afloat, and we are all in it together. By investing in the ship itself you put your livelihood on the line and are much more motivated to keep her floating and keep getting paid.

My two pennies, and they aren't even worth that much.
Franciszek Gomolka
 player, 1 post
 "Pour one more, lads...
 ...gonna be a long trip."
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 13:25
Re: OOC Forum
In reply to Kessar Cindull (msg # 10):

Hello folks, glad to be aboard. My backstory is perhaps overly long, so I'll present a condensed version: Franciszek "France" Gomolka was born to a poor iridium-mining family on a remote backwater colony before they were forced off-world by an incurable plague. He found work as a maintenance engineer's apprentice on board the space stations now housing the planet's populace before assuming the position himself. He got married and had a daughter, but his wife was involved in an insurgent movement to take over the station, and it cost him the lives of his parents and his wife. He managed to scrape up enough money to go live with his brother on another world, but needed to keep taking long spaceship jobs to send his earnings back home to care for his daughter (she's about 10 at this point).

Which means that yes, we have yet another engineer. France is certainly not as skilled or knowledgeable as his peers, having come from an impoverished and relatively low-tech background and working mostly with maintenance and repairs, but he's got years of experience and a lot of unpleasant jobs on his resume (cleaning out radiation containment units springs to mind), and he's got a workman's approach to his job, contrasted with his increasingly noticeable alcoholism.

As for the question of how long the crew's been aboard the Argus, I could go either way, although I'm leaning towards the crew having been there for at least one job already. I certainly won't be struggling to find fellow engineers to talk to! France has no problem deferring to those younger than him, provided they behave relatively professionally...
Alan Kirschner
 player, 2 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 14:16
Re: OOC Forum
@Kessar: So you'd say we're like the Firefly crew, in a way? A group of mercenaries taking the jobs that the lawful won't and lawless can't be trusted with? I think that works well with what we have so far, especially since it opens up a lot of opportunities story-wise for a lot of us. I also think the idea that we all own a part of the ship works. :)

@all: I think we should also discuss what exactly each of us needs to work on during a given mission, especially since we have so many engineers on board. Since this is a cargo vessel, we will likely not have any weapons in case of pirates, so we'll need to be fast and durable. So, I suggest we each be responsible for certain aspects of engineering: in Alan and Squid's case, for instance, they can work on the cybersecurity and systems repair side of things, leaving the engines, shields and other such functions to the other engineers on board.
Solomon MacMillan
 player, 2 posts
 Goes by "Sully"
 HOLD FAST
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 14:34
Re: OOC Forum
In reply to Alan Kirschner (msg # 12):

We may not have shipmounted weaponry, or some nominal low-caliber guns just to ward off a bluffing opportunist here and there, but in case of a boarding, we do at the very least have engineering tools. Whether or not we have actual guns, I'd imagine a pirate would be daunted by an angry shipmate holding a spaceage blowtorch.

Here's a question for the GM: does the ship have artificial gravity?

This message was last edited by the player at 14:35, Wed 01 Nov 2017.

Kessar Cindull
 player, 4 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:03
Re: OOC Forum
Alan Kirschner:
@Kessar: So you'd say we're like the Firefly crew, in a way? A group of mercenaries taking the jobs that the lawful won't and lawless can't be trusted with? I think that works well with what we have so far, especially since it opens up a lot of opportunities story-wise for a lot of us. I also think the idea that we all own a part of the ship works. :)


Yes exactly.

Alan Kirschner:
@all: I think we should also discuss what exactly each of us needs to work on during a given mission, especially since we have so many engineers on board. Since this is a cargo vessel, we will likely not have any weapons in case of pirates, so we'll need to be fast and durable. So, I suggest we each be responsible for certain aspects of engineering: in Alan and Squid's case, for instance, they can work on the cybersecurity and systems repair side of things, leaving the engines, shields and other such functions to the other engineers on board.


Just a suggestion, but it also seems like your pet would be excellent for EVA repairs when necessary.

Solomon MacMillan:
We may not have shipmounted weaponry, or some nominal low-caliber guns just to ward off a bluffing opportunist here and there, but in case of a boarding, we do at the very least have engineering tools. Whether or not we have actual guns, I'd imagine a pirate would be daunted by an angry shipmate holding a spaceage blowtorch.


Honestly I think this is worth considering from an historical context. Merchant Sea going vessels have traditionally been extremely heavily armed. The scene from the original Pirates of the Caribbean where the guy makes a remark like "Probably a mistake with their powder magazine. Merchant ships run heavily armed," is very historically accurate. If we are using this as a model them it is likely our ship has heavy armament. My guess would be something along the lines of a disruption cannon, like a giant EM Pulse weapon that can shut down enemy ships; blaster/phaser type weapons; torpedo type weapons; heavy rail cannons or anything else you guys can think of.

The other half is the personal weapons. If we are using the above model everyone would be expected to defend the vessel in case of boarding. Everyone would have some kind of personal weapon and the basic knowledge of it's use. The question then becomes what kind of weapon? If we are using "archaic" firearms like semi-auto pistols, we would need to take into account penetrating the hull. Alien Resurrection makes this point well. This problem is easily solved with compressed lead powder rounds, the kind the TSA issues to Air Marshals. These rounds are designed to penetrate people but not anything harder, so if it struck the hull it would just splatter. This makes body armor easier, and thus we are back to either using more powerful penetration rounds and risking hull breach or less powerful rounds that are useless against body armor.

This dovetails to energy weapons such has the blaster/phaser type, taser type,  etc. Or we rely on more "old fashioned" kinds of weapons like swords and knives. We might go further and have laser swords, vibro-weapons, or some other kind of advances melee weapons. Finally we might have to rely on improvised weapons like flamethrowers from welding weapons or really big wrenches (see Odette's description picture) and the like. It is at least worth discussing.
Solomon MacMillan
 player, 3 posts
 Goes by "Sully"
 HOLD FAST
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:14
Re: OOC Forum
In reply to Kessar Cindull (msg # 14):

quote:
Merchant Sea going vessels have traditionally been extremely heavily armed.


Depended on the ship. Indiamen, for example, were indeed heavily armed, and were often just outdated man o' wars sold to the EIC, whereas if you read something like Richard Henry Dana, the ship he served on was lightly armed and resorted to fleeing in the one instance a pirate threat surfaced. In general, I'd say the rule of thumb is that the armament would coincide with the worth of the cargo/shipowner.

Also, merchant ships were generally sparsely manned compared to a warship, whereas a pirate ship would commonly be packed to the gills so to speak with men.

Hate to be that dude, but it could be useful information for the game if we're using history as an example.
Kessar Cindull
 player, 5 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:21
Re: OOC Forum
In reply to Solomon MacMillan (msg # 15):

Point taken.
Franciszek Gomolka
 player, 2 posts
 "Pour one more, lads...
 ...gonna be a long trip."
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:28
Re: OOC Forum
Another point we should consider is the speed of interstellar travel. What sort of faster-than-light (I assume) specifications underpin the setting? I tend to be in favor of jump gates, myself. Perhaps a system of "highways" planned out in space for regular travelers, and illegal gates set up by dissidents or people of competing governmental bodies?
Kessar Cindull
 player, 6 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:35
Re: OOC Forum
Franciszek Gomolka:
Another point we should consider is the speed of interstellar travel. What sort of faster-than-light (I assume) specifications underpin the setting? I tend to be in favor of jump gates, myself. Perhaps a system of "highways" planned out in space for regular travelers, and illegal gates set up by dissidents or people of competing governmental bodies?


Yes, I agree, star gates, jump gates, or warp gates whatever name you want to give it. I would suggest an interesting twist in that warp gates must be a certain distance from a star to avoid catastrophic gravity fluctuation. So as example:
Argos warp gates into a system but it still takes weeks at high sublight speed to reach their destination. So there are still opportunities to get "jumped by pirates" or whatever other mission mishap the GM wants to throw at us.

This may even require some kind of stasis so that we don't turn 150 in a couple of missions. =-D
Solomon MacMillan
 player, 4 posts
 Goes by "Sully"
 HOLD FAST
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:39
Re: OOC Forum
In reply to Franciszek Gomolka (msg # 17):

The illegal or unofficial gates could be rickety affairs too, so one could be thrown off course or something. Opens up a lot of opportunity for random encounters.
Odette Laframboise
 player, 2 posts
 Tiniest Engineer
 in Spaaaaaccceee!!!!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:43
Re: OOC Forum
OK, a few thoughts here!

First of, GM, you have Odette down as doing security as a part of her job. This seems a little illogical, as she is tiny, and can't fight her way out of a paper bag. :P Given her intellect and areas of expertise, putting her down as a backup navigator might make more sense. She's good with numbers.

We have a lot of engineers, and to be frank, it is actually a sensible thing. On this sort of ship, it makes sense that everyone has their specialist job, but a lot of people with engineering skill is a good idea, as it probably takes a lot to keep it going. Look at Star Trek, for example. Those ships are carrying a few score engineers of one type or another. Having maybe a quarter of the crew with engineering experience does not seem over the top for me.

Likewise, everyone should be able to have access to, and be able to use, some form of gun. It's common sense!

For the engineers, it seems like having their own specialist field and duty on the ship is a very good idea. Alan is absolutely bang on with that idea! If he is a specialist in robotics and cyber stuff (and as such, maintains the ship's computers) that is definitely a full-time job. For Odette, her doctorate is in propulsion systems, so logically, her job should be looking after the engines. This leaves plenty of things to be left open for other engineers. Hull integrity, for example, shields (if there are any) weapons (such as they might exist on a ship) and even general maintenance and stuff.

For crew composition, I think we need a list of who is wanting to have been on the ship a while, and who might be prepared to be new. Odette would definitely be on the first list, probably for a few years. She would have finished her doctorate around the age of twenty seven or so, giving her five years of ship board experience. Does that work? I am fine with a company owning the vessel (it gives a lot of plot potential) but also if they owned it themselves, it has other potential. Frankly, if Odette actually ate humble pie with her family, she could probably buy one of those really big freighters, but she is damned if she is going to do that. And probably has not let on quite how much money she really has. It is not something she likes to talk about.

So great to see such detailed characters here. :)
Odette Laframboise
 player, 3 posts
 Tiniest Engineer
 in Spaaaaaccceee!!!!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:46
Re: OOC Forum
The gates is a great idea, especially if they still require some time to travel at sublight. It is a very nice touch.

Also, weapons on the ship. In Enterprise, this sort of freighter had a single plasma cannon, mostly to nudge away asteroids and so forth. No real use in an actual fight. Would that seem feasible for a small, relatively cheap freighter?
Kessar Cindull
 player, 7 posts
 Ex-Pilot Rescue Force
 Surly and Sarcastic
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:49
Re: OOC Forum
Good idea on the weapon, Odette. I also still like the whole "we can Em pulse your ship" idea. There could be some limitations, ie only works once a day or something.

I also totally get you not letting on that your family is loaded. Kessar is the same way about his military background. He tells as few people as little as possible because what he actually did is pretty horrible.
Odette Laframboise
 player, 4 posts
 Tiniest Engineer
 in Spaaaaaccceee!!!!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:52
Re: OOC Forum
One thing, however... Odette does seem to have very expensive off duty clothing, and is rather fond of her engineering toys. Expensive tools, and so forth. She doesn't have a problem spending money when it is something she actually thinks is worthwhile...
Franciszek Gomolka
 player, 3 posts
 "Pour one more, lads...
 ...gonna be a long trip."
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:59
Re: OOC Forum
Solomon MacMillan:
The illegal or unofficial gates could be rickety affairs too, so one could be thrown off course or something. Opens up a lot of opportunity for random encounters.


Yes, and I also like the idea of having to wait for proper stellar alignment to send ships to their proper coordinates, particularly if a single jump gate has multiple possible destinations. Perhaps in more populated systems ships could form sort of a queue, perhaps at specially-built gate stations (I'm reminded of the Waypoint Station between galaxies in the later seasons of Stargate: Atlantis).

Odette Laframboise:
Also, weapons on the ship. In Enterprise, this sort of freighter had a single plasma cannon, mostly to nudge away asteroids and so forth. No real use in an actual fight. Would that seem feasible for a small, relatively cheap freighter?



That could work. Also, perhaps I've played too much FTL, but never underestimate a good flak cannon. Just load up a wad of debris and hurl it at an incoming ship at near-relativistic speeds. Messy but effective.
Odette Laframboise
 player, 5 posts
 Tiniest Engineer
 in Spaaaaaccceee!!!!
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 16:04
Re: OOC Forum
Oooh, I like the idea of queues at gate stations. It adds yet more plot potential, especially when it comes to smuggling. And for those who do not want to pay duty or tolls (because you can bet your ass someone would tax using a gate, if they could! Possibly whoever runs the system it is in.) you get gate jumpers, who lurk and try to dash through for free when the chance arises...

Some great ideas forming here!