Friday, March 24, 2017

PARADISE FLEET - THE LONG WAY HOME - Part II

I was asked by my good buddy Lord Blacksteel whether or not I had ever run a campaign combining my love of Star Trek style space exploration with Anime style Giant Robot action. 

The answer was...er...is, yes. 

One such game came to mind, and I've decided to do a 'Campaigns I Have Known' series about it. You can find the first installment here:

PARADISE FLEET - THE LONG WAY HOME - Part I






As noted in that previous post, the campaign was run in a somewhat unusual way. It was actually split into two campaigns that ran roughly parallel and occasionally crossed over into each other. I've already covered the characters of the Main Story, a squad of Mecha Pilots serving as the scouts/forward observers of the Combined Operations Space Fleet, sarcastically nicknamed, 'Paradise Fleet'.





Art by Bohao Wong


Here now are the characters of the Side Story - A band of rebels, and renegades within the Fleet that believe Paradise Fleet's Upper Echelon Command is up to something sinister, and whatever it is, it is the reason for all the campaign's hardships. 


Characters: Side Story


Apollo 'Buzz' Byakko, Mercenary Mecha Pilot turned Renegade (played by Aldrin A.)

To supplement their security ranks, it was not unusual for the Corporation Alliance to hire mercenaries. Apollo Byakko was one such hired hand, a member of the White Tiger Mercenary Company. Apollo's homeworld was technically independent and neutral from the major interstellar powers. 

Sarcastic, cynical, and hard edged, Byakko nonetheless found a kindred spirit in Raiden Nekomata and when the latter jumped ship to help for a band of renegade freedom fighters, Apollo joined him. It was about the money any more. It was about finding the truth.

Byakko was a tall, handsome man of mixed Asian descent with black hair (worn somewhat long), and blue eyes. He was muscular, tough, and had numerous small scars from previous battles. He wore a powered armor Mecha Pilot Suit quite different from all the others. It gave him enhanced protection, strength, and stamina. The armor was mainly grey-green in color.

Apollo was a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, with martial arts training, and a mean right hook. He mainly relied on his assault rifle, and vibro blade however. 

He is a decent mecha pilot, with a very impressive robot, but unfortunately the mecha is destroyed really early in the series. Its major weapon was a series of powerful missiles mounted in the chest. In one of the first few battles, an enemy laser melted the chest doors shut as the missiles began to launch. Apollo had to eject as the warheads either hit, or tore through their bay doors, blowing up the robot. He then became the pilot for Haruka Daisuki's Crimson Noble for the rest of the series.

At one point in the story it appeared Apollo might be a double agent, secretly working with the Paradise Fleet Upper Echelon Command to capture the renegades. It was all a set up, and Apollo, and Raiden were able to prove his true allegiance. 

In the last episode of the series Byakko is killed defending Haruka from a hostile alien who was somehow connected to the conspiracy the group was trying to uncover. 

Apollo is named for the Greek God of the Sun, Light, the Truth, and Music, among other things. It is also the name of the US space program that landed the first man on the Moon. Lastly, it is the name of one of the main heroes of the series Battlestar Galactica, from which this campaign took many inspirations. 

Buzz is a reference to the Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The player, Aldrin Aw, was named for this American hero, and space pioneer, and uses the name Buzz to this day in his profession as a comic book artist.

Byakko is a Japanese mythological beast based on a real animal. The origin of the name comes from the Bai Hu of China, which is a white tiger.


Haruka 'Hime' Daisuki, Renegade Holy Noble Nation Mecha Pilot and Engineer
(played by Elisa ?)

(I don't recall her last name. Gomen nasai.)

Haruka Daisuki was the adopted sister of Reign Daisuki, and an heir to the Duke and Duchess of a minor world in the Holy Noble Nation. Her parents were killed in a battle against the Corporation Alliance, and as such she holds a major grudge against that government. When given to the Duke and Duchess, she had a small charm attached to her ankle that read, 'Hime', which means 'princess'. It remains her nickname throughout the series.

Haruka was dignified, and calm to the point of eeriness. More than once she was accused of being an android. In truth it took massive amounts of effort to keep her emotions in check. She approached things with nearly Vulcan logic, and was the voice of reason in her group more often then not. When she did lose control it was pretty frightening to behold. 

Part of her backstory involved a secret relationship with a Knight of the Holy Noble Nation who did not come accompany the Combined Operations Space Fleet on its mission. Once the Paradise Fleet was lost, this meant she refused any romantic advances from other character (PC or NPC) in favor of waiting to be reunited with her true love. This became the primary motivator of her action during the campaign.

Unlike her 'brother' Reign, Haruka was pale-skinned, with silver gray hair, and gold eyes (It's Anime). She was slim, fit, but not overly muscular, and very pretty. She was not especially tall, being around 5' 5". She was usually garbed in an attractive, slightly revealing outfit of red with white piping, and a red jacket/coat. When she was in her mecha, the 'Crimson Noble' she wore one of the elaborately designed HNN Pilot Suits. 

Although good with a sword, her specialty was [surprisingly] her accuracy with firearms. She often carried a handgun, a carbine, and a long, gauss rifle - a railgun - that could double as a sniper weapon. She was also good at field modifications to her weapons, as well as those of her teammates. 

In her mecha, Hime Daisuki often sat in the Weapon Operators seat, leaving the piloting to her teammate Apollo 'Buzz' Byakko. In addition to her mecha's special capabilities, and weaponry (the 'Twin Noble Force Field' and 'Twin Noble Force Wave'), the Daisuki sister had equipped her robot with a 'Force Buster Cannon' - a hand held, long barreled rifle that used a kinetic energy beam to hurl projectiles with unimaginable strength and speed.

Haruka is a Japanese female name meaning 'distance'. Her last name is Japanese for 'I like you a lot', or 'I love you', hinting at her long distance love affair. Her nickname 'Princess' is a homage to the character Princess from G-Force/Battle of the Planets, known as Jun in the original Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.


Kasha Ailuros, Renegade Jinhua Kinku Empire Mecha Pilot (played by Ana P.)

A Kinkujin (Wild Person) with panther/tiger DNA, Kasha was the daughter of the closet thing the Empire had to nobility. The eldest daughter of a highly honored warrior tribe, she was considered a dishonor when she went rogue to prove the Upper Echelon Command might have been responsible for the fate that had befallen the Combined Operations Space Fleet (see Synopsis coming up).

Kasha was driven, serious, and had little time for your bs. She got along well with her teammates despite this, as the sarcastic Apollo, the headstrong Raiden, and far-too-relaxed Haruka often got on her nerves. Still, she proved her loyalty to them, and they to her, many times over.

Ailuros was a tall, slim, muscular woman standing about 6 ft tall. She was covered in fine, deep red-orange fur, had long black hair, bright blue-green eyes, and cat ears at the top of her head. Unlike many cat Kinkujin, Kasha did have a tail. Her hands had retractable claws that aided her in climbing, and combat. She wore a Mecha Pilot Suit that had a distinctly Egyptian design motif, though her weapons and equipment were distinctly Japanese influenced. Her colors were white, gold, and blue-green. 

Kasha possessed heightened speed, and agility, as well as greater than normal strength compared to a normal Human woman of her size. She also had heightened hearing, and excellent night vision. Ailuros was an accomplished swordswoman, acrobatic, and good at a martial arts style that involved a lot of kicks (I can't recall the name of her style sadly). She carried a katana word, and a laser pistol taken from an opponent, though she rarely used it. 

Her mecha was the same make and model as the one used by Arges Bright (see Part I), a transformable robot that could switch modes between a starfigter, a humanoid, and a hybrid form. The mecha had low power, rapid fire laser guns in its head, and a laser rifle. Instead of the shoulder mounted beam cannons however, Kasha had a blazing plasma sword. She later got an upgrade that enabled her to surround her robot in a burning, sheath of plasma which would protect it somewhat as well as causing damage to anything that made contact with it. 

Kasha is the name of a Japanese cat demon, or spirit that gathers the souls of those who commit evil deeds. Its name means 'burning chariot', and is often depicted as a cat-like humanoid with a fiery tail. Ailuros is the Greek name for the Egyptian Goddess Bast.


Raiden Nekomata, Renegade Corporation Alliance Mecha Pilot (played by Nelson M.)

The son of a genetically engineered 'Big Cat' Kinkujin (Wild Person), and a Network Operator from the Corporation Alliance (Someone who coordinates operations inside the 'Net'), Raiden didn't fit perfectly into either world.

Raiden had a strong sense of personal honor, a very focused moral compass, and a serious issue with authority figures. When his service to the CA, and the Combined Operations Space Fleet ran counter to his personal views he became a renegade seeking to topple those who he believed had misused their positions of power.

Visually Raiden appeared to be a normal, very fit Human male of average height, and mixed Japanese and Latino descent. Closer inspection would reveal slightly pointed ears, and hazel-green cat eyes. His hair was dark brown, with areas of lighter brown, and a shock of auburn red in the front (sometimes falling over one eye - classic Anime). 

Raiden was usually garbed ih his Mecha Pilot Suit which looked virtually identical to the ones worn by Arges Bright, and Hiroto Theseus (see Part I). Nekomata's was mainly black, with fewer white sections, and more red markings.

Nekomata was very fast, and agile. While quite strong, his strength was no where near as impressive as his speed. He had excellent night vision, and a heightened sense of hearing. He was a skilled martial artist, a decent swordsman, and good with other traditional Asian martial melee weapons such as nunchaku, bo staves, and tonfas. He carried a handgun, a tanto blade, a collapsible billy club, and 'chucks'.

In his mecha he was a skilled pilot, good at both hand-to-hand, and melee, and decent with other armaments. His personal mecha had an unusual design, and some very unique weapons. It's overall look was that of a humanoid robot, but certain cat-like attributes adorned the design. In addition to a laser pistol, and shoulder mounted missile racks, he had a double bladed energy sword that could separate into two independent weapons (long before Darth Maul - this weapon was a favorite of the player. A number of his characters have had these over the years). 

Raiden is the name of the mythological Japanese God of Lightning and Thunder. It is also the name of a famous Mecha Anime series. Nekomata is one of the two most common Japanese mythological cat spirits, the other being the Bakeneko.


To be continued...

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2 comments:

  1. Now I know the players - I want a Part III with the plot! How did it start? How did it end? What did your two groups do in between and how much did they interact? It sounds like it had a lot of potential.

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    Replies
    1. Coming soon my friend. Coming very soon.

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