This week I got to playtest Revenant’s Hack in the sci-fi sandbox I am developing. I was joined by three players from the Free Kriegsspiel Roleplaying discord. Here is a brief recap of the events that took place.
Character creation went fast for all players involved. There isn’t that much to do in Revenant’s Hack besides distributing 2 points over 3 stats. However, I also tested out a skill list which they got to distribute 4 points over. Besides the stats, I also asked them “Why did you die and wake up in a cryogenics correctional facility?” which sparked a brainstorm about why these characters were in their predicament.
It turns out that Terry died in a car crash, allegedly escaping from law enforcement. Silas apparently shot Malik, but it was unclear why this happened. Discovering their past becomes a mystery that they would like to uncover, but due to their cyberbrains being installed in new bodies, their memories are vague and unreliable.
In the course of a few minutes, it seems like the players got a good feel of their characters.
The players are told that they are enlisted in a probation program. They are asked to head to the neighboring world of Taphos to recover a derelict government ship. The ship, also known as the Raker, was last seen at Maxwell’s Outpost. The crew had abandoned the ship and returned to Stemma without it, but due to the logs they returned with, that crew had been arrested. With few other prospects, the players accept the mission and head to the starport. They are told they are on the world of Stemma. Beyond the viewports, they see sharp contrasts between favelas and futuristic skyscrapers. Military checkpoints are ubiquitous and
They stop for a coffee at the orbital side of the starport, discussing their situation. While this part of the summary is short, the players also frequently asked questions about the setting. I described the world with a mostly hard sci-fi veneer, including things like space elevators and the absence of artificial gravity.
The players end up boarding the Redoubt, a simple transport ship that is bound for Taphos. While in transit, they read up on facts about Taphos and work on their skills. Silas encounters a person by the name of Tobias Alcantar, who apparently lives at Maxwell’s Outpost. Out of politeness, Tobias invites them over at his place, should they ever come by.
The session ends after roughly 3 hours of play. The next session will start as the Redoubt exits hyperspace near Taphos.
The game was off to a good start thanks to the players being creative and curious. The session was slightly rail-roady, so I tried to compensate by dealing some agency to the character background stories. The result was a band of characters with a rag-tag scoundrel feel, including some hints to betrayal.
Otherwise, the session was essentially a “cold start”, with the players not necessarily being oriented in the setting I made. I tried to take it slow, but not overwhelm the players with details. I am looking forward to the next session, where the options for the players will open up more. Taphos will be a whole world as a sandbox. The players will have to figure out where the Raker is, which will require some investigation.
The Revenant’s Hack as a system was not really “tested” that much. Not a single dice roll was made. Given the Free Kriegsspiel nature of the game, I consider it a win.