My sci-fi storytelling game, DROP, is intended for tales of starship crew members descending to a planet, exploring a strange structure, then running for their lives. Turns out this works just as well in the past.
This session log is taken from a game of DROP in which we wanted to combine an Indiana Jones-like historical fiction story with something from the Cthulhu Mythos.
We agreed to be prisoners on a ship en route to Australia circa 1800.
- Ed the heavy: 180 pounds of pure muscle and a featherweight IQ.
- Harold Winter: A nebbish, bookkeeper who was guilty of fraud, forgery and embezzlement, and is probably the most nervous transportee on the ship…BUT some of his former colleagues are convinced he got a chunk of money, and has it on the ship with him.
- Birdie Malone: thief and con artist. Pretty great with a knife. Transported due to pregnancy.
- Ezra “Mac” Rannald: a mouthy religious fanatic, a Friend from Armagh with plenty of know-how.
Scene 1: Preparation
Unknown: The continent itself
Birdie is attempting to finagle some sort of greater comfort in the hold of the ship…BUT the rest of the occupants are getting pissed off with Birdie’s constant demands.
Ed cuffs people left and right to defend Birdie’s honor.
As Mac is tossing thru the gallery of the ship, the Lord God has seen fit to grant his blessing with two bottles of brandy, and flask of whiskey, a sharp knife, and a bit of hard tack and dried fruit. Thanking his Lord and Maker, he pockets these provisions and silently gives his thanks.
Harold, while skulking around on deck hears the crew looking out and yelling about something. He peers over the starboard wale and sees flotsam and jetsam floating around large rocks that the ship is perilously close to.
Scene 2: Arrival
Unknowns: Environmental hazards and other humans
Harold hears the crew breathe a sigh of relief as they clear the rocks…then suddenly the ship is lifted high and begins to break in two. The crew scrambles for the lifeboats, and suddenly everything is covered in water.
Mac, Harold, Ed, and Birdie come-to on a giant onyx disc in the middle of a desert. A few dead bodies lay around them.
Scene 3: Drop
Unknowns: Animal enemies and the nature of the complex
Spotting the trees in the distance, Mac decides that the best shelter and water will be there. Giving thanks to the almighty, and a nip from his acquired flask, he heads off…BUT, as Mac sips from his flask he finds himself with a mouth full of what tastes like blood. He spits it out violently.
Birdie gathers supplies and food from the dead bodies, and persuades the others to come find shelter with her…BUT Birdie doesn’t notice a small, bleeding wound on her leg.
Ed sees strange letters in the stone, which glow when blood drips onto them. He decides to head away with Birdie.
Scene 4: Exploration
Unknowns: Who will cause problems during the escape?
The group arrives at the trees to discover they’re a mirage, hiding a pool of blood and strange onyx trees.
The disc rises into the air to reveal a tower, which spirals open to reveal an egg.
Birdie begins contractions, which time to pulses by the egg.
Ed runs at the egg, nearing the zombies…BUT he stops, drops his stick, and joins the zombies in their dance around the tower.
Using their weight, Mac and Harold manage to snap off a large obsidian branch to go fishing for Ed the Large…BUT this causes the egg to change color and mutate into strange shapes.
Left by the others, Birdie manages to deliver. She drags herself up to try and look for a way out. She discovers a glowing portal and goes through to find a beach and the ocean on the other side. She turns and beckons to the others.
Scene 5: Escape
The egg cracks. Tentacles and misshapen arms burst out of it, randomly smashing the city’s buildings like toothpicks.
Harold runs away, not seeing Birdie…BUT skeletal onyx hands reach up out of the sand and drag Harold down.
Mac sees Birdie and drags Ed towards her…BUT Ed’s eyes open to reveal all-black pupils. He pulls Mac around and opens his mouth. Mac screams.
Birdie screams in anguish, then as the city collapses on the misshapen creature, she turns and runs towards the beach. She falls to her knees, exhausted, her newborn baby safely in her arms. Fade to black.
Bonus Director’s Cut Alternate Ending
Instead of fading to black at the end, the baby opens its eyes, revealing black pupils, and exclaims, “Thank you for freeing me!”
Enjoy that? Pick up DROP now at DriveThruRPG, and pay what you want.