Halifax | Episode 1 | The Halifax | Alien RPG
Notes from MU/TH/UR
Welcome to Alien RPG: Episode One. I was a bit nervous so please go easy on me. Although I have played plenty of tabletop RPGs, it was my first time running a campaign. This was also my first time playing Alien RPG. I felt like I got a little more comfortable after an hour in. I think I will feel much better in the next episode.
Everyone else did great. I thought everyone did a great job getting comfortable with their character and the dynamics between them came through naturally. We ran into a couple of snags with game rules and mechanics. There is so much to remember.
I ran into some technical difficulties. I had to edit those out of the video. Ann’s laptop kept overheating and kicking her off. There were some audio issues. For some reason the audio was low (even after adding gains in OBS to raise the audio levels) so I did the best I could to fix them.
Other than that, I say that our first episode went well. I look forward to future episodes.
An Update from MU/TH/UR:
This is the first episode of a story-driven series set in the Alien universe. It’s also my first time directing a series. The truth is that Halifax starts off a bit rocky and it takes a few episodes to find a rhythm. However, I encourage you to stick with it.
If you are a fan of science fiction, horror, and survival themes, you will find that Halifax: Precious Cargo betwixt Dragons and Ghosts hits all the marks.
Years spent in hypersleep, your life passes by with little impact on your body. However, you sacrifice any hopes of retaining family or friends back home because they continue to age normally. By the time you get home, your toddler may be approaching her teenage years. You’ll say things like ‘Hello, my love’ and ‘I have missed you so much. You’ll kick your boots off, relax, catch up, have a good dinner, sleep in a cozy bed with the one you love, wake up, have a nice breakfast, get dressed, say your goodbyes, walk out the front door and wipe the tears from your face as you make your way back out into the known universe, also known as the Stars of the Middles Heavens. Most space truckers know better than to have a family of any kind and those who do usually find creative ways to keep family close by.
Earth serves as the center point of the Stars of the Middle Heavens. You’ll find Earth in the SOL sector within the Core Systems, the first ring of the known universe.
Let’s talk about Earth for a minute. Earth had been brought back from the brink of environmental disaster by a little terraforming at home, Earth is an eclectic array of densely packed centers of urban decay and beautiful green vistas. While some still linger, most radiation zones from past conflicts have been cleaned up and pose little threat. Earth is far from a safe place to live, however. The United States Oil Wars have taken their toll on North America. The recent Australian Rebellion against the 3WE ended swiftly with the nuclear strike on the Outback’s capital, Canberra. The cost of living on Earth is extravagant, and those who aren’t rich are confined to metropolitan ghettoes. Earth has become a world for no one but the corporate and government elite and those who would serve them. Still, the seats of power for the 3WE (Three World Empire), the UA (United Americas), and the UPP (The Union of Progressive People) are all located on Earth.
The Stars of the Middle Heavens
The Frontier resides on the outskirts of the Stars of the Middle Heavens. To reach The Frontier, you’ll have to leave Earth and the Core Systems and travel through the Outer Veil, the next ring of territory beyond the Core Systems. Here you will find a lot of colonized planets, mining installations, and terraforming projects. Each government has a stake in the Outer Veil. However, many planets have been stripped of resources and left behind a barren waste.
You still have a ways to go to reach The Frontier. About 6 – 10 parsecs out or about 72-120 days in hypersleep (depending on which direction you are heading) and you’ll reach The Outer Rim where The UA has made their name. They found planets that supported life without terraforming so colonizing planets became easy and expanded quickly. The UPP pulled their resources and made a large claim out here, too. The 3WE fights to make their claim but remain highly reliant on Weyland-Yutani’s expansion efforts. You’ll find peace and conflict out here as well as many military installations.
Add another 3-5 parsecs or 96-120 days in hypersleep and you have finally reached the edge of The Frontier. You could say that The Frontier is the wild west, a term you have heard used in classic films from hundreds of years ago. The more danger you are willing to risk, the better rewards you will find. You’ll find some neutral zones out here where you can pick up supplies or try to make a name for yourself. You can find mining hubs such as Thedus or the famous Solomons, the hub where the Nostromo left to return home only to be led down a deadly path that resulted in a blown-up commercial towing spaceship and Officer Ellen Ripley asleep in deep space where she was eventually rescued by space marines 57 years later. Only rumors remain after that incident.
And there you have it. You have made your way through each of the known territories where expansion, power, and rumors continue to fuel alliances and conflict. None of that really concerns you too much though. You want to make money to save up for a favorable retirement somewhere out here amongst the stars. You are space truckers making a living aboard The Halifax ship working for W-Y or Weyland-Yutani. You are:
- Helen Troi: First Officer
- Craig Moore: Second Officer
- Elliot DuMont: Pilot
- Ward Foley: Medic
- Russell Cook: Chief Engineer
- Megan Chambers: Engineer
- Ace: W-Y standard issue android
From here on, when I say ‘You’, I mean the entire crew of The Halifax.
You have run jobs together for years. You are friends, some more or less than others, that get along well enough to get each job done with perfection. You are known through the stars, where it counts, for the outstanding work you do. W-Y tends to keep you busy as you are never without a job or two or five in line. You find this welcoming as some space truckers wish for the luck you possess.
You spend a lot of your time away from The Frontier but you have been there from time to time. You move cargo from one place to another. Sometimes you’ll pick up cargo from Earth (usually W-Y provided cargo) and make the delivery on some other planet or space station. Other times you’ll pick up cargo from one location and deliver that cargo to a different location. Cargo varies from raw materials like ore, parts for starships or colony construction, livestock or people, medicine and the list goes on. The cargo usually doesn’t matter just as long as it’s safe and gets you paid.
Risk versus Reward
All the years that you have worked together and then the unexpected happens. W-Y sends you on an unusual cargo run. The job is located in the Outer Rim Territories. No biggie but then everything becomes complicated. The cargo run begins and ends in The United Americas territory. Further down the rabbit hole, the entire job takes place in the Crestus Prime Cluster, an area deemed classified by all governments.
You haven’t turned down a job yet and the cargo seems to be routine so there are no initial indications pointing to any kind of suspicion. You also think that the opportunity could get you ahead. Maybe you can get a promotion and pick up higher paying jobs like this one, $74,000. That’s unheard of since you are already in the Outer Veil. You take the job but you will have to be careful. You will be going into United America’s territory.
You wake up from hypersleep in the Crestus Prime Cluster without a hitch. After you feed yourselves and perform post-hypersleep assigned duties, you proceed to land.
You land successfully. The boarding ramp opens and Helen exits and is greeted by Administrator Lance. He welcomes you to Gamma Systems (1) and informs you that the loading process will take a day. You are asked to remain in or near your ship during your stay.
You open the cargo docks and the local colonists begin to load cargo onto Halifax. Some time passes by.
The rest of the day goes by and when fatigue begins to set in, you settle in for the night aboard Halifax. The next morning, cargo loading begins once again. Around noon, the cargo is fully loaded, the cargo bays close, the boarding ramp withdrawals and Halifax takes off.
You begin your journey to Delta Systems (7). Your destination is less than a parsec away so you decide to stay awake. You’ll be there in about a week.
After about a week’s time, you are able to see Delta Systems (7) with the naked eye so you begin to prepare for entering the atmosphere and landing to deliver the cargo. Russel, Ace, Craig, and Megan prepare the cargo in all four bays. Helen, Ward, and Elliott are on the bridge prepping the ship. Your ship’s speed has slowed down considerably.
While slowly approaching Delta Systems (7), a heavy rumble occurs on the bridge. Alarms and sensors trip. The bridge door seals itself. The bridge team calls down the cargo team but there is no response. The bridge team sees a flash of light out of the corner of their eyes so they look outside of the bridge window to see debris floating in space. The flash of light seemed to be caused by something that looked like a small explosion accompanied by lightning.
From this point forward, when I say ‘You’, I am referring to the bridge crew.
Panic sets in. You go over the ship’s diagnostics. The good news is that your ship remains functional but the entire ship, save the bridge, has become a vacuum. You send out a distress call which is immediately answered by Delta Systems (7). They inform you that they will send out a rescue boat. However, before the rescue boat reaches you, a message comes in from W-Y.
The rescue boat is able to dock and the rescue team makes their way to your bridge. They are wearing compression suits to protect themselves from the vacuum. They give you food, water, hydr8tion pills, Naproleve and compression suits. You are instructed to set a course for Earth and then use the compression suits to make your way to the cryo station on your ship and enter hypersleep for the trip home. You are also given a sheet of paper with instructions on it as well as a marker and printouts.
Let’s Go Home
The rescue boat leaves. You take time to recollect yourself, eat, hydrate, and prepare for the short journey to the cryo station. Once prepared, ready, and suited up, you make your way.
The journey is slow to avoid complications but you are able to make your way without any issues.
Helen follows the instructions given to her by the rescue team. She uses the marker to write a message on each hypersleep chamber. She then tells each member to enter their designated chamber with their compression suits still on. They are to take their helmet off once the chamber is sealed and pressurized. Before the chambers close, she takes a sheet of paper and lays it on each member’s chest. Helen then proceeds to prepare her own chamber the same way she prepared the others. She starts the hypersleep process, the chamber’s seal, and then pressurizes. Everyone falls asleep and the journey home begins.
Part 1 – Almost Home
You slowly wake up from hypersleep. Your vision is blurry and your thoughts are fuzzy. You take a few moments to orient yourself. As you look around, you realize that you are waking from hypersleep. The shield of your chamber has not opened as they normally do. However, you notice there is a message written on your shield.
The shield says:
‘Do not panic. Read the paper on your chest.’
You find the paper lying on your chest. The paper reads:
‘The ship has suffered massive damage. The bridge is the only safe area on the ship. There is no air throughout the rest of the ship. You need to put on your helmet and activate your compression suit. Once complete, knock hard on the chamber shield in order to be let out by Helen, your ship officer. She will already be suited up, out of her chamber, and ready to let you out. Await further instructions.’
Helen waits for everyone to prepare themselves. She hears the knocks of her crew members. She lets them out once they are all ready. You need to make your way to the bridge.
When you reach the bridge and decompress, you will be able to see Earth with the naked eye. You have made it.
The first order of business will be to eat, hydrate, check logs, perform maintenance and prepare the ship for landing on Earth.
Upon landing successfully, you will be escorted by Titanic Westwood to W-Y headquarters. Titanic will mention that Kate Parkers and various other W-Y representatives will want to meet with them tomorrow. In the meantime, the crew will be assigned individual rooms where they can clean up and rest.
Listen to the Halifax Podcast
The Halifax Podcast features audio extracted directly from the video recordings of our sessions. You can watch an episode on YouTube and continue the story on the go or you can mix it up in any order you deem fit. Regardless, you won’t miss a word no matter how you decide to enjoy the Halifax Alien RPG campaign.