Aliens & Asteroids: The First Public Playtest, Pt 3

In the last post, John’s technician “Sean Samsonite” and his drone (the “S.S. Prototype 1”) valiantly headed down into the crater with the alien bits and pieces. And when he spotted the jar of green alien goo on a device with blinking lights, he got very excited. So excited in fact that he jumped on the box and examined it a while.

The Basic Inverse20 System Mechanic

It was at this point that we discussed a bit about how the system worked. Instead of with a system like D&D, you want to roll low in this system. For example, if the Target Number (TN) is a 12, the player would need to roll a 12 or under on a d20 to succeed. If he rolls the TN itself (i.e. a 12 on the d20), that’s a critical. If he rolls a natural 1 on the d20, that’s a critical success. And if he rolls a 20 on the d20, that’s a critical failure.

The basic die roll is a single d20 but a particular roll might be at an Advantage or a Disadvantage. If the character knows something or has a trait that may make the roll easier, it happens at an Advantage. If it’s particularly difficult for some reason, it would be at a Disadvantage.

Attributes are rolled at character creation. Each one is 2d6+6, so you have a target value between 13 and 18 you want to roll lower than.

Removing the Goo

The technician wanted to remove the jar of goo from the device, so I determined it was an Education check, which boils down to a targeted roll against his character’s Education attribute. He rolled a single d20 and barely passed, but didn’t have a brilliant idea on how to get the jar off, so he kicked at it to dislodge it (Athletics check at an Advantage, which he made handily). The kick knocked it slightly out of its socket and it began leaking goo.

Because he wasn’t thrilled about the leak, he rolled another Education check to see if he could figure out how to seal it. He barely made that check and decided to use one of the suit repair kit patches to try and keep the goo in the jar long enough to remove it from the device. That worked well enough that he was able to remove it the rest of the way, which caused all sorts of lights on the device it was attached to to blink wildly.

It was about that time that the marine with the binoculars noted that there was a lot of movement inside after he removed the goo. Apparently the green goo and the device outside had a definite influence on things inside the habitat. Even so, the tech wasn’t too concerned yet, so he headed over to examine the antenna — the 25 meter high pole wrapped with some form of glowing blue cord. The same sort of cord running from the ship to the antenna and from the antenna to the habitat.

So at this point, Samsonite decided to disconnect the antenna from the cord that was powering it. He grabbed his tools and went to work. None of his tools quite fit the connection, which was securely fastened to the antenna (sort of like trying to use a half inch wrench to work on a one centimeter bolt — it just doesn’t quite work). He couldn’t quite get it undone, though he gave it a valiant effort and a good amount of elbow grease with a failed Toughness check.

And about then one of the Greys came out of the habitat and combat began. We’ll cover that in the next post!

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