We did it - we roleplayed. A veritable weight has been lifted off my shoulders as the hobby future of five adults seemed to be based on that one session of seat-of-my-pants gaming. But it worked.
I have to take my hat off to the guys for being very very flexible as I literally converted the Buffy version of Unisystem from a modern-day game into an Sci-Fi game, on the fly. Rules were being created on the spur of the moment, especially the ship-to-ship combat rules!! It sounds like hell, but to be perfectly truthful it's the sort of thing that I GM for! It was great.
So what happened? We have four characters - and I mean 'characters' - who form the crew of the Ship The Khanjar. In some ways, the ship is the fifth character!
The Captain is a minor noble of the Celestial Caliphate and sits firmly in the Sinbad/Han Solo role. The Pilot is a former Confed cyber-pilot who was rescued in his battered fighter along with his cybership controls...and it's attendent AI. The Engineer is apparently the most normal of them all, a former Imperial officer (but we all know that looks can be deceiving). The Enforcer is a mysterious woman dressed in the trappings of an ancient monastic order. Oh you know she kicks all kinds of ass. And the ship, well, thats a retired old frigate from a now defunct system navy thats been ... altered. Some things are hot on it, and some things are poor. Like I said, it's one of the characters. Add to that the Captain's faithful retainer, Tanner, and you have the crew of the Khanjar - ready for action and adventure on the Fringe of space.
We started in the middle of the action, with the Khanjar being flown down by some pirate fighters and a cruiser after nabbing a stranded Guild Tyran House Factor (a vip). They took a few licks, knocked out a couple of the fighters and then jumped out to their base at Point Damascus.
Upon arrival, they received note that their letter of marque had been activated and that they were needed for a recon job by the Empire to a system called Haxxar V recently conquered by the Confed. The Captain and the Enforcer delivered the Factor back to House Tyran where they met with one of the Guild Elders, Manson Tyran and received his boon, which they immediately cashed in to provide a legitimate reason for entering Haxxar V space.
Meanwhile the Engineer consulted his criminal (yes, like I said, more than meets the eye) and Naval contacts about the situation on Haxxar V, whilst the Pilot noticed some strangers eyeballing the ship.... and then those self-same strangers attacked the Engineer! Alone in a crossfire, he was in deep trouble until The Enforcer arrived and downed the oncoming attackers with ... well, professional finesse and grace under fire.
The team then left for Haxxar V to discover a couple of Confed Battlecruisers (one staffed by a relative of the Enforcer, from Guild House Decados - a stunning reminder of her former life) and a tight feed transmission showing slave capture and slaughter on the planet.
To be continued....
Doesn't seem like a lot does it? It FELT like loads! The establishment of four very different characters to a point where each of them could firm up and finalise their characters was a huge step forwards. Different elements, some of which were thought up there and then based on some of the wrinkles that the characters had brought into the game were blended together well. And the pace... there was pace a plenty! And more combat than I have had for a long time - including what could have been a meaningless combat (at the beginning) that just SO PERFECTLY set the tone for the entire game.
I was very pleased and indeed so were the players apparently, from the amount of feedback.
More later - but it would appear that the Good Ship Roleplaying is well and truly afloat again!