[I have wanted to play something in Jack Vance’s “Planet of Adventure” Tschai setting for a long time. Now I feel I have the tools I need to try something. I will use my simple Solo Grail system, which is basically a solo hack of Archipelago III and makes extensive use of the cards includes in that game. For the setting, I will mostly refer to a simple Tschai sandbox (Adventures on Tschai) that was originally written by Steve Winter and Forrest Johnson for the Traveller RPG and published in The Space Gamer magazine in 1981]
The setting is defined by the following Elements (that will be used to interpret the Fate Cards):
- news of Titania or of the Earth
- the Pnume and Phung
- the other alien races (Chasch, Dirdir, Wannek)
- human peoples of Tschai
The two scouts Eve Reith and Titania Waunder are sent in a small ship to investigate the surface of an unknown planet. Their mother ship is destroyed by a mysterious missile.
When the small ship crash-lands on the planet, Eve breaks a leg in the impact and loses her senses.
[I rolled a random location for the crash, and found it happened near the Western extremity of the Isle of Vord, in the Southern hemisphere. I drew a Fate Card for Eve and got
“Something important is stolen from this character by someone connected to the element you own [the other alien races]”.
Aliens took away Titania and the scout small ship.
I rolled on the Space Gamer tables to determine who found Eve, and I got the Pnume]
When Eve regains consciousness, she finds herself in a small room with artificial lights and no windows. Her leg has been medicated. For several weeks, she is cured by a man hooded in black who also teaches her the basics of the language of Tschai and a few basic facts about the planet. The hooded figure, R2714, which Eve calls Robert or Bob, tells Eve that, when she recovers, she will be involved in an ongoing Pnume research program known as “Foreverness”.
[Session 1 starts when Eve has just recovered the use of her broken leg]
Round 1: R2714 “Bob” is visiting Eve in her room: her leg seems to be healed and Eve is ready to join the Foreverness project. The leader of the Pnume guardians is in a nearby control room.
An alarm siren starts and a speakers announces a Dirdir attack. Bob leaves the room, telling Eve that he will be back soon. Eve rushes to the door and tries to dodge Bob and reach the corridor. Is she successful?
“No, and …someone or something dear to you is harmed, lost or destroyed”.
Bob locks Eve in the room and leaves. She will never see him again.
The Pnume guardian leaves the control room. Does he meet the Dirdir now? “Yes”
Can he defeat them? “No” – The Dirdir move on towards Eve’s room.
Round 2: Eve screams for help, hoping that someone will unlock her door. Is she succesful? “Yes” (now Eve has a failure in Round1 and a success in Round3: she has a 50% probability of winning the final challenge in Round3 or 4).
A Dirdirman unlocks Eve’s door, but the Pnume guardian manages to reach him. Does the guardian win the fight with the Dirdirman? “Yes”.
Round 3: Eve attacks the guardian. It’s her chance to run away from the Pnume! Does she defeat him?
“Yes, but …your success will cause great personal harm.”
She puts the Pnume out of combat and grabs his sword, but she is injured.
Is it her leg again? “No and” she has received a serious wound from the Pnume’s sword. She is bleeding copiously. She barely manages to find the stairs and reach the surface.
Next session: will Eve escape the Dirdir?