Play Spaceship Zero!

Last night Taylor, Mike Jackson, Nathan, Marlo and I played Spaceship Zero (Web of the Space Bee). It was my playtest for the Cloud City gaming convention this coming weekend. Some of the bits went pretty much exactly as planned, but as always, lack of proper pacing is my downfall. We probably would have gone for another 2 hours (after the prescribed 4 hour block) to finish the scenario properly at the rate we were going, so I’m going to have to make sure I don’t dawdle on periphery when I run it next time. Marlo said that this adventure and the last one (Bring Me the Head of Dr Quisling) were her two favourites so far, so that’s good, and it looks like I’ve made a SSZ convert out of Mike.

8 Replies to “Play Spaceship Zero!”

  1. Sounds like a goodie! Unfortunately, Bev. didn’t do the play test, planning to play at the Con, but the game is full. She’s doing Denzil’s game instead, so Catman won’t be able to lick himself inappropiately to save the day!

  2. I plan to run a “Spaceship Zero” game at ConQuest/Avalon 2005, out here in the Bay Area, California. Wish me luck!

  3. The scenario is, alas, still under development. I have yet to decide whether I will make it a continuation of an already-published scenario, but the plan is to set up the adventure so that the players (slaves, perhaps), embroiled in their own problems (with Hydronauts or some as-yet undetermined aggressor), meet up with the crew of Spaceship: Zero, who help as best they can, eventually revealing to the players the horrible secret of the BTL drive’s power.

    The risk is, of course, making of SZ a deus ex machina, but then, a machine that can reboot the entire universe is the very picture of a deus ex machina.

  4. I’ve got a basic plot now. I’m sending the SSZ to the other side of a black hole, disabling their Bendall Field generator in the process, and embroiling them in a local conflict in order to get what they need to get back to Universe 2. I plan to use the iconic characters from the rulesbook (more out of laziness than anything else).

    If you have any cheat sheets or other gaming aids which might make the game run more smoothly, I’d love to see them, if possible.

  5. Well, I’ve recovered from Con-Quest sufficiently to give you a note as to how the game went. I blanked on adding in the extra damage from the to-hit roll, so the first combat suddenly became very brutal very quickly once I had realized nobody was getting their bonuses.

    I managed to fit in one bout of “Zero Time,” and we only had a few hiccoughs before the players got what it was about and narrated everything like a radio drama.

    Our crew: Captain Stackhouse, the Doctor, the Pilot, Pickles the Cat, and Gearbox.

    Funny moments:
    – The substance I had set them up to need to get home (Compound F) was redubbed “pickle-anium” after Pickles, who had worked out the chemical composition they had needed.
    – Captain Stackhouse would always insist on using the ship’s PA, even when the entire crew was crammed into Station 1.
    – Gearbox failed to properly rig up a filtration system to extract xenon from another planet’s atmosphere, so the engine started knocking and pinging, forcing him to vent possibly toxic foreign atmosphere directly into the ship’s environment.

    All told, the rules worked in a pretty straightforward manner, especially for one player who admits to being impaired as far as game mechanics. I’m a staunch D&D player, but I am considering making SSZ the game I run at conventions going forward. Thanks for all of your help when I started to panic.

  6. I’m starting work on a ZM screen for SSZ, but I wanted to know if you had already developed one, or if I could get a copy of the text from the book so I didn’t have to scan or retype it. It would only be fair for me to share the resulting document.

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