Hello everyone, welcome. Today I am sharing a short interlude game I participated in within our Starfinder Game. In all honesty, it wasn’t really necessary for the players but there were a few plot hooks seeded in there and just a little bit of the GM reliving past glories and messing with his DnD players, of which I am not one. They were convinced there was an OverGnome, a campaign villain from a previous campaign. There was indeed an OverGnome. Whether he is a villain remains to be seen.
I include the Dramatis Personae to let you know who was present, but it was a mercifully smaller group than session 2. Didn’t take as much of a role this time as I felt I monopolised a lot of the conversation, when there was conversation, in the previous game. It is only right other players get the spotlight. Though I did have a moment.
Saross – A Damiya Lashunta Solarian, Male, played by me
Hugh – Human (Or Half Human, Half Prosthetic depending on perspective) Technomancer, Male, played by Chris
Lilo – A Korasha Lashunta Mechanic, Female, played by Simona
Twitch – A Ysoki Renegade Soldier, Male, played by Amalie
Connor – An Android Envoy, Male, played by Alexander (the youngest at the Table)
Skritt – A Kasathas Soldier, Male, Played by Simon (Alexander’s Dad).
We were returning to Chaval’s place having completed our job for Noals, and our path took us near where Lilo had told us the Gnomes went after she received her not entirely cryptic message from an anonymous benefactor. There was a gnome on guard duty by a door and as we watched a smaller partially concealed door opened allowing some gnomes to come out. Lilo and Twitch being our most vocal negotiators made their approach and tried to gain access to the exclusive club the gnomes had just exited. This caused a fair amount of confusion, but a few bluff and diplomacy checks later the gnome guard was convinced that Lilo and Twitch were actually representatives of the group helping O.G.M.
I should make a confession here. O.G.M came up in the previous session, but I didn’t include it in the previous write up as it was running long. Our Android, Connor, had O.G.M stamped on his entry documents, whilst when we visited Noals, he was playing cards with three gnomes all wearing badges that said O.G.M. And when Twitch had asked about it, he was unusually cagey ( for reasons I am still not entirely clear about). The previously mentioned confusion arose when Lilo and Twitch identified the location as an exclusive club. It was not a club, exclusive or otherwise.
So, we were allowed into a gnome sized tunnel and crawled to an entrance door and found a secure keypad. There was a discussion within our group about how we might defeat such a conundrum. My first suggestion was the one we chose. We rang the doorbell and identified ourselves as “The Representatives”. We were allowed in and found ourselves in a reception area with the O.G.M logo emblazoned behind the gnome staffing reception. We were informed that we were in the local headquarters of OverGnome Mechanics, much to the excitement and panic of those players who have met an OverGnome before. We were given a tour of the facility.
The first location we toured was a room where a new power supply solution for drones was being tested. A central hub generated energy and sent energy arcing toward the drone in a sort of energy tether that powered the drone. Not quite knowing why we were on this wild gnome chase I decided to ask some questions about power distribution and if the tether (my word not theirs) could be disrupted. The gnome engineers confirmed that the tether could indeed be disrupted by something physically blocking it, or a significantly powerful signal but they were working on ways to overcome signal jamming. I nodded sagely (and rolled poorly on the bluff check, so everyone then knew that my character’s sum total tech knowledge is what end of the toaster you put bread in).
We moved on to the next chamber, led by our guide Jeff. In that room there was a ring with shimmering liquid across its surface standing in the centre of the room. Yes, it was a Stargate Reference. We could see a number of gnome scientists working around the portal, taking readings and then taking notes. Then a giant claw reached through the portal and grabbed one of them and dragged it back through. The gnome screamed somewhat, but Jeff simply hit a button that brought a blast door down.
“Perhaps we should move on,” he said.
“Aren’t you in the least bit concerned about your comrade?” I asked.
“Oh no, stuff like this happens all the time. It’s the nature of science. But we have a cloning facility and in the event of death we can simply download ourselves into a new body. After all, the soul isn’t real!”
The last was said with a lot of enthusiasm which I assumed was him trying to convince himself as much as me.
“So, how does the backup work?”
“Oh that is easy. We all have neural jacks and we do an upload prior to any major task and immediately after we have made a major discovery.” He made a reiterating comment about the soul not being real.
“But it is possible for one of your people to die in an accident without having a recent backup?” I was curious.
“It happens and sometimes even causes them to repeat the same accident with similar results. More often than not, when we are uploaded into a new body we unconsciously avoid the same mistakes.”
“What about multiple copies? Have you ever made multiple copies of one individual to work on a project? Or even multiple projects?”
Jeff looked at me with a scowl. “No, of course not, that would be unethical!”
I considered this and then asked, “Why?”
“Because you can only have one of you!” Jeff could see he was getting out of standard tourguiding territory. Unfortunately for him I didn’t care.
“Surely you aren’t talking about souls here? You already said they don’t exist.”
He was adamant, “You can only have one copy…”
So was I. “But each upload would simply be one copy of a new, unique individual. With a shared past but a unique future.”
Jeff paused to think for a moment and then stammered, “We’re going to have to talk about this some more.”
There was a massive thump and the blast door that had dropped over the window into the Stargate room buckled slightly under impact. “I think we should move on…”
The gnomes and our group agreed. I may have inadvertently have planted the seeds that starts a Gnomish Clone war…
The next room was a giant suit of armour with mystical writing on it. I was able to translate the writing and understood it to be some form of enhancement to strength and weaponry. A gnomish scientist placed a branch in its open arms. The arms did nothing. A goblin was lowered from the ceiling and suspended in front of the armour. Its outstretched hands clanged together crushing the goblin. Apparently the suit responded in a similar fashion to various creatures often associated with mischief, mayhem or evil. (This was the GM’s character from a DnD game, found on a junk planet).
We passed a small non-descript room with a small door, which Jeff 12 told us was the private work shop of OverGnome Tinkerspark, the 73rd OverGnome. We carried on to the last workshop area, the area that Hugh our Technomancer was waiting for. It was a room of new prosthetics. Hugh, being obsessed with upgrades drooled at what he saw. Prosthetics of every kind, for every limb.
“What limbs can you upgrade?” he asked.
“Oh all of them…We are just trying to make the best version of you possible.” Jeff 12 made his comment about there being no such thing as a soul, but didn’t seem so convinced this time.
Hugh was excited as he was keen to upgrade literally every part of his body but had been unable to do so before this point. He was still a ways away, but this gave him hope. This more or less concluded the tour and Jeff 12 took us back towards reception.
The door to the OverGnome’s chamber was open and a voice yelled out to Jeff 12, “You, get in here. I need your help!”
Jeff 12 ran in and we remained outside looking at one another. We heard, “OK, hold it there. Now, don’t. Move.”
This was followed by drilling and a yelp. I decided to venture in through the still open door. A very old gnome whom I took to be Tinkerspark was hanging pictures of various gnomish heroes, whilst Jeff 12 was nursing a hand wound.
“Would you like me to kill you? Jeff 13 wont have a wounded hand.” I thought my offer was generous, however Jeff 12 declined and in fact recieved medical treatment from Hugh. The rest of the group entered and we convinced Tinkerspark we were his allies, Working for Noals.
His workshop was a mess as you might expect with junk strewn everywhere. In the centre there was a giant thing with a tarpaulin draped over it. We could see robotic feet. We weren’t allowed to look under the tarpaulin but various more observant party members found the plans for what was clearly underneath.
Yes, the GM loves various Gundam series and to be honest I had assumed that this is what it was (though I guessed Mechwarrior rather than Mobile Suit Gundam Wing).
We left on good terms having not killed Jeff 12, though he did have to leave our party on the way back to reception as the creature in the stargate room was getting out of hand. I look forward to meeting Jeff 13.
We crawled back out of the access tube and I began to wonder why our anonymous benefactor had shown us this facility. Hopefully we will find out soon.