The RPG Haven

What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.
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Author:  catty_big [ Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

flyingmice wrote:
I will hopefully dragoon you in once in a while!

It would be my pleasure dude :D. I'm on G+ so if you're running it over a hangout...

Author:  flyingmice [ Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

Actually, I'm running it over IRC.


Author:  flyingmice [ Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

The Best Laid Plans

In last night's Pigboats game, the USS Pike received a radio transmission from Fremantle while off the eastern coast of Mindanao. It was of course, coded, but when the signals officer decoded it, it turns out that part of it was still encoded. He brought it to the Skipper, who immediately recognized it as an ULTRA message.

Now Ray Campbell, the Skipper, knew about ULTRA, and how it could come to him for decoding because of a scene we played out before the Pike had left Fremantle. OTOH, it turned out that the persona playing Ray had completely forgotten all about it. Entirely. Like wiping a whiteboard with Windex clean. A tabula rasa. So, of course, I had to explain that ULTRA was extremely secret information obtained from highly confidential and reliable sources - which is what sub skippers were told. in reality, it was from intercepted and decoded Japanese messages, but that didn't come out until after the war.

The ULTRA message turned out to be orders to intercept an IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) task unit which included an aircraft carrier and a battleship along with unspecified other ships, in the Surigao Strait at approximately 22:15 the next evening, and sink or damage as many ships as he could.

Ray and Bob, the XO, laughed at this! With two torpedoes left in the forward tubes, and two loaded and one spare in the aft tubes, and all of them weak (but reliable) old Mark 10 steam torpedoes, they would make a pitiful showing against battleships and carriers! So, the started to get creative. First Ray asked if they had any non-torpedo warhead explosives aboard, but all they had was three pounds of plastique and a couple blasting caps. That wouldn't do much!

The rest of the night was a planning session between Ray and Bob, and I won't go into details. Ideas floated about - steal mines from the Japanese minefields and drag them behind the Pike to mine the strait. Drive the task force into the minefields. Capture fishing boats and load them with mines, then crash them into the big ships. Capture a patrol boat and do the same.We ended the session on our way to the Strait. Next week, the big bang!


Author:  flyingmice [ Tue May 07, 2013 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

Something Borrowed, Somethings Blew

In our Pigboats game Monday night, the Pike was cruising on the surface off of the port of Surigao in the northern peninsula on the island of Mindanao. It was midnight, and a steady, soaking rain was pouring from low, sodden clouds. Previously the skipper had charted the passage through the minefield of a small coaster. In the Skipper's cabin, an argument was raging. It was about stealing a patrol boat from the Japanese.

It wasn't about whether this was a sane, responsible thing to do. No, it was an argument over how to do it.

The XO, who would be doing the stealing, wanted to go into the port, kill the sentry, and slip onto the boat, hiding in the bowels of the ship until sundown, whereupon they would rise up and take the boat from within. he was worried about planes finding and sinking the boat out at sea, and felt this would give them the best possible chance of survival.

The Skipper, who would be cheering from the sidelines, felt the best thing would be to take the boat and race right out to sea. Planes would eb slow to respond at this time of night. Besides, it was night! And raining! They would never see the boat in the vastness of the Pacific!

No one discussed the practicality of actually capturing the Japanese boat. That was a given.

The argument was won, as is typically the case, by the one with the authority of the US Navy on his side, the Skipper. With that, the skipper called for volunteers. He rolled a leadership check, and got 6 of 6 successes. Everyone volunteered! It was going to be one of those ridiculous roll days! The XO selected seven hands, one of the rescued pilots - the pride of Texas and super swimmer, Lieutenant jg Bolivar Coyote Teahen. We rolled to see what the sailors and Coyote would have for Sneak and Blade. The sailors got a +1 for Blade and +3 for Sneak. Coyote rolled the max for both, +4. Rounding out the party were Lt. Carnegie, the Weapons Officer, and Lt Vaugirard, the XO

They paddled the rubber raft in over the harbor's minefield, going along the shoreline to avoid the armed trawler patrolling outside the mines. They then paddled north to the military pier, where to boats were tied up - a corvette and a frigate. There was a sentry walking the pier, smoking a cigarette, but Coyote made short work of him. The rest of the men then climbed up onto the pier, and directed by the XO, swarmed onto the Frigate.

After a bit, Coyote reported ten formerly napping Japanese crew were now ex-IJN. The engineering crewman went below to start the engines, while the men singled up the lines. When the engines started, the XO ordered the last line taken in and the frigate shot away from the pier. As they shot away, they saw crew on the corvette beginning to man the ship and she pulled away to follow.

By this time, the frigate was halfway though the double dogleg clear path through the minefield. Mr. Carnegie manned the rear 120mm gun, and Coyote volunteered to operate the forward 120mm. What is his Gunnery skill? Let's roll! Jeebus! He has a mastery! Gunnery+5! Same as Mr. Carnegie! Lord! Like I said, one of *those* nights!

They both fired simultaneously at the corvette, Both were beautiful shots! Boom! The Corvette went down like a collander in a swimming pool. Whooping a rebel yell, Coyote turned his gun on the trawler outside. Boom! A Lucky Shot - the roll had two exact matched for the TN! the shell hit the depth charges in the back and the trawler went up like a lit cigarette in a fireworks factory.

"What should we name her?" asked the XO as the frigate accelerated to 30 knots and headed for the assigned rendezvous. "What about that WREN you like back in Fremantle?" answered Carnegie "Oh! Gal! Yes, as of now, she's the Galatea!"

Session ends!

Author:  flyingmice [ Wed May 15, 2013 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

A Simple Head Code

From our Monday night In Harm's Way: Pigboats game.

As the stolen Japanese frigate vanished into the night at a high rate of speed, Lt.Commander Ray Campbell's binoculars swept back over the anchorage of the port of Surigao. There, outside the minefield, was the burning debris of the armed trawler which had been patroling the entrance to the mineless double dogleg passage into the harbor. There, not far from the military pier, was the remains of the IJN corvette the frigate had knackered on her way out to engage the trawler. There, at the military pier, was a crowd of bewildered IJN sailors, wondering what the hell was going on, and no more military vessels. And there, bobbing lightly in the protective enbrace of the minefield, were three small coasters, the largest of 700 tons, and the other two of about 500 tons. He took the binoculars down from his eyes. There, behind the cigarette deck of the USS Pike, was the four inch gun. Ray grinned.

He leaned over to the voice activated mic on the bridge. "Mr. Rizzo and the deck gun crew. Take battle stations for surface action!" When Rizzo popped out of the bridge hatch, Ray said "We can't let Mr. Vaugirard have all the fun, can we Mr. Rizzo? Let's take out those coasters before we leave this place! The Jap navy has kindly left the harbor unguarded." Rizzo and his men got busy training the gun around.
The coasters had realized they were trapped, and were getting up steam and hauling up their anchors as fast as they could, but before they could move, a four inch shell exploded just under the stack of the bigger ship. BLAM! When the smoke cleared, she listed heavily to starboard and was plainly sinking. The other two had started their slow-motion dash to the minefield entrance.

The lead ship caught a four inch shell on her bow before she entered the clear channel, and slowed markedly, though she was not sinking. The other ship started negotiating the twisting passage. In between the first and second dogleg, Mr. Rizzo found the range. Bang! She caught a shell and was lightly damaged. Just as she was making the turn, another shell caught her square. KABOOOM! Her seams blew outward and the stack took flight as her boilers blew up. She sank in seconds, blocking the clear channel.

"That'll do, Mr. Rizzo! Secure from surface action!" The third ship was damaged, and wasn't going anywhere with the minefield channel blocked. The gun crew kicked the shell casings over the side and secured the gun before heading below. "Make course for Awasan Bay off Dinagat Island." That was the first rendezvous. The second was in the Surigao Strait just before the IJN task group got there.

The newly christened frigate Galatea swept into Awasan Bay. At first they cruised about aimlessly, then decided upon an anchorage - into the little bay near the tip of Hikdop island, near Limasawa. The steady rain poured down from the low clouds. "Who is good with radios?" asked Mr. V., skipper of the Galatea.

None of the PCs was any good. We rolled for the NPCs. Of course, once again, Coyote maxed out, as he had any time we made such a roll. He turned out to be an expert. If it weren't for the fact that every roll had been made in the open, the players would have smelled a rat!

Mr. Vaugirard sent Coyote down into the radio shack to try and make sense of the Japanese radio. The portable voice radio they had carried in had a range of no more than five miles on a good day, line of sight. Coyote messed around, and finally figured the thing out. He whistled Bonnie Blue Flag as he began keyping - being a pilot, he keyed in Morse Code but clear English: "Hey yall STOP Frigate Galatea anchor bay north east tip Limasawa STOP"

The radio operator, "Sparks", got Mr. O'Grady and brought him to the Radio Room. "Listen to this, Mr. O'Grady!" He handed him the headphones. O'Grady heard the message, repeated over and over: "Hey yall STOP Frigate Galatea anchor bay north east tip Limasawa STOP" He acknowledged it as Sparks got the Skipper. "What's going on?" asked Ray. "'Hey yall STOP Frigate Galatea anchor bay north east tip Limasawa STOP'" answered O'Grady. "Well, we know where they are now." Sparke mentioned theat it had come in plain English. Ray replied "Now, tell them to leave that area, and find another hiding place, and encode their next transmission. And make that sound angry!"

On the Galatea, Coyote got the message and brought it up to Mr. V. "I take back what I said about you being useful, gun monkey." drawled Carnegie. "Carnegie you can handle giving our next position in code right?" asked Mr. Vaugirard. Coyote scratched his head. "Y'all use some kahn o' special code? We allus jus' talk." At this point they realized they only had one copy of the codebook, back on the Pike...

Mr. V came up with a cypher - use the players' numbers from a baseball team, but key in the names instead of the numbers. The number of the player would be it's position in the alphabet. They were intending to use the Yankees, but there were too many retired low numbers. They switched instead to "Da Bums", the Brooklyn Dodgers. Coyote began laboriously keying the names in Morse, each name giving a letter, and spelling out where they would anchor.

When Sparks began writing down the message, he accused whoever was keying it of being drunk on captured sake, because it made no sense. O'Grady looked at the names on the paper as Sparks was writing them down. He furrowed his brow, and made a superb Cryptography check, figuring the cyphered message out, and brought it up to the Skipper. "They'll be in the strait between Unib and Sibinac"

Session over!

Author:  flyingmice [ Tue May 21, 2013 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

We Have met the Enemy, and He is Ours

From our Monday night In Harm's Way: Pigboats game:

At sunset, the Pike and the Galatea rendezvoused in a channel between two islands just off the Surigao Strait. Mr. Vaugirard went aboard the Pike to confer with the Skipper and officers. "Wanna have a look at my new love?" he asked Ray. The skipper looked her over. "What's her armament?" "120mm guns fore and aft, four twin 20mm and two singles, and two torpedoes in the deck tubes!" Bobby said proudly as he pointed each out. "No reloads for the tubes, but she'll do 30 knots!" Ray considered this. "Any extra munitions or explosives?" "Plenty of shells for the 120mm and 20mm guns," Vaugirard replied, "And thirty odd depth charges!"

He thought, then added "If we're going to do a suicide run, I'll only keep the smallest crew. A lookout, and someone to run the engines and fire torpedoes." The Skipper nodded. "Remember to take the rubber boat if you don't want to go down with the ship."

For the next hour, they plan their attack. They figure that the task group, which is going from west to the east, will tear up the Surigao as fast as it can. Problem is, the Strait is 14-18 miles wide, and visibility in the rain and dark is only about 3 miles. The Surigao is almost perfectly north-south. The task group wants to go east. At the top of the strait, where it widens out, is a fair sized island, Hibusong, about a third of the way across the strait from the north.

"My guess they'll either take the east channel here between Hibusong and Dinagat, or possibly swing north around Hibusong then east." said the Skipper, tracing the route with his finger. The XO agreed. "The Galatea can wait up here, north of Hibusong, and still be in great position, and the Pike can wait here, behind this cape on Dinagat!"

Mr. Rizzo volunteered to go with the XO on the Galatea. The extra munitions were packed into the nose of the Galatea, and the depth charges were set for the shallowest depth. The wheel was rigged so it could be locked into position. They got into position and waited.

A little after 1100, Galatea's lookout spotted the task group. "They're coming up the east channel, like we figured, sir! A destroyer in the lead, and something big following!" Soon thereafter the lookouts on the Pike saw them coming too. A flattop emerged from the dark as well. "That big ship's a cruiser, Galatea" radioed the Pike. "Wait for the battleship." The destroyer had swept past, and the cruiser was going by when yet another, even larger carrier loomed up astern of the first. "Message the Pike, Mr. Rizzo! We want a carrier!" "Pike to Galatea. Take the first" "Let's go!"

With a roar, Rizzo opened up the engines full throttle. The Galatea leapt forward riding a white bow wave. The Japanese made no attept to fire on her, just a lazy aldiss lamp query. The Galatea's path turned into a high speed curve. "Fire the torpedoes!" "One away! Two away!" With that, a few guns began to fire on the Galatea. "Let's go, sir!" Vaugirard lashed down the wheel and leapt off, diving into the water. The two torpedoes hit first. Boom! BOOOM! Huge towers of water leapt up the sides! The light carrier slowed. Seconds later, the Galatea hit in a huge fireball. KABLAAAM! Then the depth charges went off in a staggered, rolling water-hammer underneath the flattop - BaBABOOOmBABOOOM! The middle of the carrier lifted, her back broken, sinking.

Rizzo and Vaugirard screamed in victory as they clung to the raft. "WE DID IT!" "Top THAT, Campbell!" They paddled toward Hibusong Island.

The big fleet carrier had gone around the stricken light carrier to the east, away from the Galatea's deadly attack from the west. Consequently, she was perfectly silhouetted against the burning carrier from the Pike's position at the tip of Dinagat Island. Ray Campbell was at the TBT on the surfaced ship as she bore in at 19 knots. "Bearing 2 5 1, range 1 5 0 0 yards! Shoot when we have a solution! Prepare to go about!" "We have a solution! Fire One! Fire Two!" came from Yoder at the TDC below, and the Pike shuddered. "Bring stern tubes to bear!" shouted Campbell. "Right full rudder! Come about to 8 0 degrees!" shouted Yoder.

Campbell raced back to the aft TBT on the cigarette deck as the Pike looped around in the darkness. "Use same range! This bearing on my mark!" "We have a solution!" "Fire five!" shouted the Skipper. "Fire six! Combat reload our last fish in tube five! Yoder - head for the cape and dive to 200 when we pass it!" "Aye sir!"

SLAM! BAAAM! Two torpedoes slammed into the big carrier. Fire blossomed and lit the Pike in sharp relief. A shell screamed overhead - from the destroyer or the cruiser, he couldn't tell. There was the cape. BRAAANNNNG! BAAAMMM! Two more smashed into the carrier. Foom! Fire spread quickley before KABAAAAM! she exploded! "Dive! Dive!" He hit the klaxon as more shells screamed in.

For two days, Vaugirard, Rizzo, and Sanderson the lookout had avoided Japanese patrols, lying up all day, and scavenging the beaches of Hibusong Island by night. They ate crabs, fish, and mussels raw, and drank from clear-running streams after popping in their water purifying tablets. It was night, and they were scavenging a crab, when a soft hissing noise reached Rizzo's ears. "What's that?" he asked. "The radio!" shouted Vaugirard. "Listen to it!" "Hello? Hello?" shouted Rizzo into the small voice radio. realizing how unprofessional that sounded, he added "Frigate Galatea." "Enjoy your shore leave, gentlemen?" The unmistakable sound of the Skipper's New York accent was electric.

The arranged a rendezvous. The silhouette of the sub was frankly unrecognizable. It looked like bent and twisted steel that had survived a tornado. "What did he do to our baby?" said the XO softly. "What happened to the periscopes? The deck gun? The 20mm gun?" asked Rizzo as they were hauled aboard. " The Skipper answered "Dunno. Lost them somwhere. the Japs weren't too pleased with our shenannegans." The XO nodded. "They're petty like that. When you get beat up, you don't do it halfway." The Skipper grinned. "Your hand radio will be a major boost to our communications. I also don't think we can dive any more." The XO replied "That's going to be a difficult ride home."


Author:  flyingmice [ Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

See the Conquering Hero Comes

Our new player couldn't make the game Monday, so we played out the return to normalcy in Fremantle of the Pike's officers. Having insulted Captain Quigley's intelligence with wild talk about sinking aircraft carriers, he had just left in a huff, when the XO, Bobby Vaugirard, was assaulted from behind as he spoke to his skipper. The red-haired assassin was none other than Galatea, Bobby's WREN driver and current romantic interest, and origin of the name of the late, lamented frigate Galatea.

"They said you were dead! Don't you ever do that t' me again, you sod!" were her affectionate words. Bobby found himself trapped in pretzel logic in the ensuing word storm, and, panicking, made several verbal blunders, including asking for her number, forgetting she had already given it to him, and thus implying she wasn't worth remembering concerning such petty details. He escaped with his skin intact, while his Skipper watched from the sidelines, vastly amused.

The Skipper, Ray Campbell, left for Captain Quigley's office with his report, while Bobby dived into the mountain of paperwork that awaited him as a reward for his station as Exec. Quigley left Campbell to cool his heels in the anteroom, while he read Ray's report - undoubtedly to get Ray nervous - but that strategy failed as he read Ray's report that the Pike had indeed sunk two carriers in the Surigao Strait, along with many other craft he had known nothing about. The last he had heard from the Pike was acknowledging the receipt of the "Ultra" message that had precipitated the entire encounter, as the Pike's radio antenna had been wiped out along with most of her upper works by the vicious depth charging following the attack.

He immediately called Ray into his office and told him that the report was ridiculous, crazy. Ray backed the report as nothing but the truth. Quigley growled that if Ray's report were not completely backed up by his officers, Quigley would throw him in the brig and cashier him from the service. Campbell maintained the report was the simple truth, and his officers would indeed back him up. Quigley read further. "I see you recommended Vaugirard, Rizzo, and Sanderson (the three volunteers on the Galatea's attack) for the Medal of Honor... If what you write is true, that doesn't sound too excessive." He hesitated at the end, looked at Ray, then signed the report. When he looked up, Ray was still there. "What do you want, a parade? Dismissed!" Ray's parting remark that a parade would only be fitting earned him a "DAMN YOU CAMPBELL!" for his pains.

That evening, Bobby called Gal's number and began with affectionate remarks, only to learn that the recipient was Ginny, Gal's roommate. They ended up going out for dancing and Swan beers at a club in a double date with Ray and Ginny. While the other two were dancing, Bobby learned that Gal was a widow, having been married for three days last year before her new husband Jimmy was shipped out to die in Egypt. Bobby told her he was married, but he and his wife had not touched each other since the birth of their daughter years ago. He told her that when he got back to the States, he'd divorce his wife and send for Gal. Gal told him not to make promises. They were hazardous things in wartime, and they should just enjoy the moment. The night proceeded. All in all, a sweet session that was needed and wanted.

Author:  David R [ Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

Gleaming the Cube

Slowly getting back into gaming.

Ran a three part Star Frontiers game set on a prison planet, the PCs have to escape from. Actually the whole set up was ripped from Aliens 3. Not only had the PCs have to handle other prisoners who wanted off the rock with the only medical/supply ship available, they also had to deal with a gelatinous cube.

David R

Author:  flyingmice [ Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What we played this week and what we enjoyed about it.

David R wrote:
Gleaming the Cube

Slowly getting back into gaming.

Ran a three part Star Frontiers game set on a prison planet, the PCs have to escape from. Actually the whole set up was ripped from Aliens 3. Not only had the PCs have to handle other prisoners who wanted off the rock with the only medical/supply ship available, they also had to deal with a gelatinous cube.

David R

Hey! Welcome back, David! We've missed you! :D


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