Actual Play – Burning Proxeria (1/29/2010)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean, Travis, Eric, and Kristin
System: Burning Empires

We started our Burning Empires game last night. Well, we started it two weeks ago but I didn’t know how to write an AP report about world and character burning. Here is the world we made:

Phase 1: Infiltration

It’s a wicked cool world with lots of very selfish (or at least self interested) individuals driving after different goals while ostensibly fighting off a common enemy we don’t even know about yet. Good times. So here’s how the Infiltration started.

The business magnate Gorrey, a man who fosters the image that he built himself up from nothing, was doing what he always does… following the money. Trade manifests, tariffs, embargos on strange products. Individually innocuous, but collectively they spoke to a silent hand working against the welfare of Proxeira…

In another office, this one palatial, the Lord Treasurer Gaius wraps all the little details of his treason in bow of red tape. For every discrepancy that made Gorrey suspicious there are two more created to confound, confuse and misdirect humans from the Treasurer’s goal, destabilizing the quarantine on Proxeria thus opening a gate for his brood.

Maneuver 1:

Human goal: Find one of the shipments that has been stalled by Giaus.
Vaylen goal: Get a small ship of hulled humans on planet.


Scene format: (H/V) – indicates Human or Vaylen scene, followed by who “bought” the scene and what kind of scene it is (Color, Interstitial, Building or Conflict)

(H) Gorrey (Color): As it opens we see Gorrey speaking to his shareholders as they nod dumbly to his speech. As we reach into his mind Gorrey sees all these nobles before him, lambs before the slaughter. Someday, I’ll rule this place. As the camera backed out we saw seismic activity shake the surrounding areas but the Gorrey compound rests safely, cushioned by his Grav Press technology.

(H) Locke (Color): Locke is returning to Proxeria for the first time in almost two decades. In a small civilian shuttle we see him and another figure under a blanket. Beside them is a British parliament wig. Locke shudders as he climaxes and the porcelain beauty beneath the sheets release a perfectly timed moan. Far too perfect to be real. She slips from the covers and whisper sweetly “You cousin sends his regards.”

Locke gives the woman a withering smile. It’s all part of the game, my cousin is getting blackmail on me before I even touch planet side. Well played Arlis. An evening with one of his escorts is just the beginning, it’s little compared to what I did to get off Dunsurk. If they every find out how I extorted my way off the planet, now THAT would be blackmail.

(V) Kesling (Interstitial): Kesling is seen at work, which far and away resembles a throne room more than an office. He also has a wig by his side, far more contemporary, however, than his cousins. Kesling calls his friend and trusted servant, Constable Misha. “My friend, we have visitor arriving today. He is my cousin. Please make sure he is comfortable.”

Mishas face did not have a hint of expression “If he is your cousin, I will defer to him as I do to you, my lord.”

Kesling smiled “As much as I wish my cousin, and the new Hammer Lord, to be comfortable, he should also be observed. He’s spent a decade in the void. You know what that could mean.” With that Misha was dismissed.

(H) Roderick (Color): In the spaceport nearby a civilian ship flies in hot, blazing by the buoys that indicate all traffic should be traveling an idling speed. The ship lands with a bump and skid but is otherwise fine. Rooster exits, followed by the grumbling Privateer Roderick. He holds a reader and we can see the headlines “Return of the noble war hero, determined to rid Proxeria of derelicts.” Roderick mutters to himself about damn nobles always making life more difficult.

(H) Misha (Color): As the constable leads a contingent of Squad 113 to the spaceport to receive Baron Locke, Misha passes by a delegation of the Kerrn leaders. The Kerrn constable approaches his people to hear the goings on of the Kerrn but they turn their noses up at him and walk by without a word.

(V) Gaius (Color):
The treasurer is looking throw paperwork when he turns his attention to the image that appears on his desk. He watches the scene as Duke Kesling send Misha to go pick up the Hammer Lord from the spaceport.

(H) Gorrey (Conflict): Gorrey had tracked down the manufacturer of a revolutionary mining laser, a short, calculating man named Hike. The opening starts like this. “Hike, you’re going to sell this to me at cost or you’ll never sell it at all.” Versus “I’ll sell it to you, but my fee is having my name next to yours. Gorrey-Hike enterprises.” The middle goes like this “You’re a weasel!” “I’ll eat your for breakfast.” The end went like this (both sides lost) “No deal”

(V) Kesling (Color): The duke sends out invitations to important figured in the area to gather in court and receive the new Hammer Lord.

(H) Locke (Interstitial):
Locke tries to push his lordly weight around and summon Gorrey, but the businessman is not impressed. At first the two seem quite at odds until Locke says the magic words “My ships need more fuel”. A glint in Gorrey’s eyes and an understanding nod from Locke made the two fast friends… at least for now.

(V) Gaius (Interstitial): Gaius summoned his go to man Captain Roderick to inform him of a shipment from the Karsan League that would need his attention. The goods were not important per se, but the people they were being confiscated from were.

(H) Misha (Building): Misha approached Locke and Gorrey at the court and informed them that the constable had a “security” issue that required their attention. Something that couldn’t pass through the treasury. Locke agreed to aid under the pretence that more security was good, but was suspicious of Misha for working around the treasurer (even if the two were at odds). Gorrey consented as well but only if the security devices were branded with his name. And so the “Gorrey Ahto –Sgurdee” was born. With it Misha spied on Gaius and found out about the assignment he had given Roderick.

(H) Roderick (Building): What started as simple introduction between two who lived just a little outside the law turned into an agreement. Gorrey would aid Roderick in arming his cruiser in exchange for Roderick’s services as a privateer. What neither knew was just how expensive it is to mount artillery on a civilian craft.

(V) Octavia (Color):
A small contingent of Karsan League vessels break from orbit and land in the Spaceport.

(H) Gorrey (Interstitial): Gorrey approached Misha over com asking for the constables aid in developing a reliable, accurate, cheap, long range laser assault rifle. Misha seemed agreeable until Gorrey offered to test the stun setting on her insubordinates.

(H) Locke (Building): Locke had heard stories of piracy but he needed hard numbers before presenting a case to the Duke. Hammer Master Edward was reported to have files on pirate activity in the area so he called Edwards to court. Unfortunately for Locke, Edwards is part of the old guard and served in the military long enough to know about his debacle in the Eight Years War as well as the rumors of him being a Darikhan sympathizer. Edwards was insubordinate enough to call his Hammer Lord a dandy (which, by all accounts is totally true) in front of the Duke, for which he earned a stern dressing down from both Duke and Baron. Though the Duke maintained that after war our resources were recovering, Locke pointed out the many places they had left undefended by not covering all ports and earned the Duke’s support in fueling the fleet.

(V) Octavia (Interstitial): As Locke left the Duke’s quarters he was shouldered “accidentally” by a blue… oh wait, it was actually the Anvil Lord. It’s hard for Locke to tell them apart. She made it very clear that he wasn’t wanted here and that he shouldn’t get to comfortable. He made it pretty clear he wasn’t threatened by the dirt that she was. She probably should have challenged Locke to a duel, but right outside the Duke’s chambers wasn’t the place to do it.

(H) Misha (Interstitial): The constable approached his Duke. “We might have an enemy in Giaus”. To which of course her lord replied “Good friend, your years as a worm hunter have made you paranoid. You’re seeing ghosts in shadows. But if you insist, you may look into this.” “I will look into this Lord.”

(V) Gaius (Conflict): Firefight baby! Roderick, with his now retrofitted ship shot a volley of lasers across the hull of the ships Gaius had warned him about. The fight was brief “ummm… we surrender” Gaius, finding pirating, er, privateering much easier now that he had weapons on his ship, boarded the vessels and took all of their cargo, as per his orders. The Karsan League merchants were understandably besides themselves but made no effort to stop the daring swashbuckler of space.

Maneuver Resolution:

Both sides scripted assess and versus rolls were made. We got spanked. The embargoed goods were not found and a small contingent of Vaylen made it planet side. Good times ahead.

What rocked

  • It’s Burning! Seriously, just getting back into a Burning anything game is fun. I really love the system and the dynamics it creates.
  • For my character, I love all the hate and disrespect that goes his way. As far as I can tell, Gorrey, Roderick (though from a distance), Captain Edwards and Anvil Lord Octavia all think he’s a useless dandy, or worse, a traitor. Will he surprise them or play into their preconceptions… I don’t know yet. We’ll see.
  • The duel of wits between Gorrey and Hike was hilarious. Though neither won, the verbal abuse that came out of it was great. The end result of now Gorrey has someone in his way is also great as he has mentioned his “mud pits” and I know the player wants to see them become real in the game. Looks like the first victim has been found.

What socked

  • The scene economy take some getting used to. I felt like there were several scenes that should have happened for a good story, but didn’t because we wanted to peruse our beliefs. It’s cool, it’s what the game is about, making those hard choices, but it’s awkward at first. Specifically I don’t feel like my character ever really arrived in Proxeria. He was on a ship, then he was on planet but as the new Hammer Lord he probably should have had a more “conspicuous” arrival.
  • I got my beliefs kind of mixed up. I approached the duke with piracy issues when I should have been talking to him about the rebels, and talking to the treasurer about the pirates. It’s not a big deal but I would have made a persona and gotten to change a belief if I didn’t mix it up.
  • The Firefight was a weak for me as the Duel of Wits was cool. Mostly it’s because it was over in one volley and I didn’t really get it. Making someone make a steel test (in any kind of conflict) is brutal and it seemed really easy to do.
  • We spent a long time in the beginning finishing up character burning, which was important but it also meant that between that and setting our phase objectives and our maneuver objectives and scripting and all that, it took a long time to get started. Add that to people being tired and the game ran really late. On the flip side, if people had said “you up for another maneuver” at 1:30 in the morning, I would have said “Hell Yeah!”

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