I ran my first game of Lasers & Feelings last week. The scenario I rolled up was: zombie cyborgs seek to bond with an alien artifact which will bring about a war/invasion. I was scared of having to improvise the entire scenario beyond that sentence, but actually it went great – the players’ actions prompted me to come up with ideas I’d never have done otherwise, and the desire to have a complete story by the end of the (90 minute) session kept things moving forward, and kept me finding new ways to allow the players to save the world. The hardest part was probably combat: it’s hard to get away from thinking in terms of rolls to hit. Actually, combat should be played out quickly, with single rolls covering large chunks of the action rather than individual attacks.
Here’s the session report written by one of the players, Tom Baker:
From the personal log of Science Officer T J Turing23:
As our Captain is currently in a coma, and in the absence of a sufficiently qualified Fist Officer, I am preparing to take over command of The Raptor. The only Officers on board currently are Stan Frenk, our emotional Engineer, and Dr Lovebeam, who is a competent physician, but somewhat dangerous. I have activated my swearing subroutines in order to more effectively integrate with these oddballs.
We spotted a ship falling out of orbit towards an unexplored planet, and decided to persue, bringing the Raptor into orbit, to be close enough to transport across to the vessel, which we have identified as an older Consortium cruiser. Scans revealed movement throughout the ship, but no actual life signs.
On arrival at the ship’s Transporter Room, we were assailed by several entities, who seemed to be some kind of hybrid cyborgs (still wearing out of date Consortium Uniforms). Our phasers were enough to deal with them quickly, and we headed for the bridge (deciding that this was more important, given the rapid descent of the ship, than trying to harvest energy crystals for the Raptor’s energy guzzling Warp Drive).
We passed the Med Bay, where we found another unconscious Cyborg, and an unconscious Human who had evidence of interrupted surgery. ~I attempted to interface with the cyborg’s tech to find out what was wrong, but was immediately attacked by malware in the bot, and only saved myself from infection by quickly unjacking.
We managed to revive the human, but only for long enough for her to say “ Don’t let them get there” before expiring.
At the bridge, we found more cyborgs piloting the ship towards a crash landing on the planet’s surface. Incapacitating the monstrous hybrids, I took the Helm, and managed to avoid a total wipe out, and we managed to crash land the ship. While the Cyborgs on the bridge were dealt with by now, we soon realised that two parties of six cyborgs had left the ship and were now making their way towards a large alien building.
Following them, I determined that this was an abandoned alien spaceport, and the cyborgs were heading towards a large military ship, armed with a massive bomb. Hoping to find a ship to destroy the bomb-ship, we entered a cruise liner, whose crew and passengers were in suspended animation, but swiftly left when we realised it would have no weapons.
As the bomb ship launched, we beamed up to the Raptor, and considered our options. We had barely enough fuel to apprehend the ship, which we now realised was on a course for Earth. Beaming back to the spaceport, we commandeered a military freighter and leapt to pursue the bomb ship. We approached close enough to beam on board, and found our way to the alien bridge, where we managed to jettison the bomb, and destroy it safely.
We will perhaps never know exactly what alien virus infected the crew of that ancient Consortium ship and turned them into cyborgs, but they’re all dead now, so problem solved. I believe.