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Fast Light 1 - Starforged Journal

Updated: May 15, 2022

Fast Light is a solo tabletop rpg play-through of Starforged, a game system by Shawn Tomkin. Set in perilous space, you take on the role of a spaceborne protagonist exploring the depths and mysteries of the galaxy.


This journal is the record of my playthrough written, primarily, from the perspective of the protagonist introduced below. The bracketed, bold text records the moves made and the results that impact the direction the narrative takes. It is important to note that Starforged relies on rollable tables, called oracles, to randomly generate outcomes, details, and narrative events. Oracle results are not recorded directly, but are included in the narrative itself.

Check out the established truths for this campaign here. It is not necessary to know these truths going into the journal as I do my best to introduce them as they become relevant to the story.


As for the character I'm playing, his stats and assets will be revealed as the story unfolds.

 

2/16/2022


INITIALIZING STATUS CHECK…


GRAYSON DACKERMAN “Grin” Health 5/5 Spirit 5/5 Momentum 2


TOTAL SUPPLY 5/5


LOCATION approaching Aurora, Sulaco Maze, Outlands

 

Grayson had only been on The Endurance for a few months, but he’d carved out a place among the crew. He was a hard worker and stood ready to help whenever he could.


It was abnormal.


Usually you’d have to push people to do their jobs, and they’d do it begrudgingly. Or if someone was eager to help out, they wanted something in return.


But not Grayson.


The crew had taken to calling him Grin, an adage to that old world’s saying “grin and bear it”. He bore it, the most laborious of tasks, and with a grin to boot.


Even the “hard to please” Captain of The Endurance, Doran Dykstra or D, liked the boy. He liked Grayson’s work ethic, his willingness to learn, and his handiness with machines.


Grayson put himself to work the moment The Endurance dropped out of the drift with an ear splitting moan. Sirens blared not even a millisecond later as the starship shook violently. Surges in electricity sent sparks flying as systems struggled to keep operating.


“WARNING. WARNING.” The virtual intelligence sweet cooed over the sirens. “BALEFIRE DETECTED.”


When The Endurance had dropped out of drift, she’d clipped the edge of a massive energy storm, a balefire. Systems had been shorted and the ship had sustained some scorching, but they were lucky not to have dropped in the middle of the balefire where it’s likely they would’ve been crippled entirely with no hope of escape. That is if the energy from the storm didn’t disintegrate the crew to ash.


The hauler regularly made trips between the settlements of Sulaco Maze in the Outlands. The last time they’d made the trip from Karma to Wellspring, stopping at Aurora along the way, there was no sign of a balefire.


So where had this huge star-sized balefire come from in the span of a few weeks?


Grayson worked efficiently to patch up the worst of the damage caused by the energy surges as The Endurance limped to a safe distance away from the balefire.


When he made his way up to the bridge to make his report, Grayson found Captain D studying the charts and sensor data. On screen, the little station of Aurora was off course. Some distance away was another dot, though not identified.


“What’s the plan, captain?” Grayson asked upon seeing the readout.


“Aurora is looking to evacuate the station and we’re bound to assist.”


Grayson studied Aurora’s trajectory, it was well on its way to plunging into the heart of the balefire and well beyond the point of saving. It was a small station with maybe two dozen inhabitants. The Endurance had more than enough space and probably enough provisions to accommodate them all.

“The station was hit when this,” Captain D pointed to the unidentified dot on screen, “appeared out of nowhere. The collision destroyed Aurora’s docks and handful of ships. Seems the balefire appeared at that same time, damaging most of the station’s systems too.”


“What exactly is it?” Grayson looked over the sensor data. “Is that… a ship?”


“It would seem so,” Captain D affirmed. “Though they’re not responding to any hails. It doesn’t have any readings like I’ve seen before either. But we’re on a timetable here. We need to get Aurora evacuated before the station enters the balefire.”


“What if there are people on this ship?” Grayson turned to the captain. “They could be on a timetable too.”


“We don’t have the resources to evacuate both Aurora and check out that ship right now. Our priority…”


“Have one of the shuttles drop me off along the way to Aurora and I’ll investigate it and rescue anyone in need.” Grayson locked eyes with Captain D, his determination clear.


[Grayson: I swear to investigate the unidentified starship and rescue anyone in trouble there. Rank: Dangerous.]

[Swear an Iron Vow

8, 8 vs. 6+4 = strong hit with a match

+2 momentum = 4 momentum

match: developed relationship + 1 tick on bonds legacy track]


“Very well,” Captain D agreed tacitly.


It was a rare person that would put themselves at risk out here for others, especially when they didn’t know what they were going into. Normally, Captain D would tell him not to risk it, that he’d likely get himself killed. But Grayson had proven to him that he could get things done.

 

2/21/2022


As the shuttle approached the derelict starship, the sensors started picking up odd readings. The starship design was also odd. It didn’t follow general conventions. Granted, most ships out here were cobbled together, this was a sleek design and all her parts were most certainly made specifically for her.


The ship had sustained massive damage from the collision with Aurora station. There was no way it would be going anywhere anytime soon. Really, there was no way it would be saved from the balefire.


[Gather Information

10, 7 vs. 6+3 = weak hit

+1 momentum = 5 momentum]


“This is…” Grayson started, studying the ship’s design closely, “This looks like it was meant to be attached to an even larger ship.”


“Never seen that before,” the shuttle pilot remarked. “I mean, I’ve seen one of the original generation ships that made the trip to the Forge, mind-blowingly massive, but never one that could be broken off into sections and flown separately.”


“Right.” Grayson stared at the images of the starship. The unfamiliar design made it difficult to pinpoint an entry point. Given that they were short on time when it came to evacuating Aurora, Grayson didn’t have the time to find a proper entry point either.


Instead, he marked a decent spot on the exterior hull for the pilot. It was near the area where there was impact damage from where it had collided with Aurora. Then Grayson double checked his suit and kit, standing before the airlock. When the door opened, the surface of the unknown starship obstructed his view of anything else.


Grayson took a deep breath in and out. Then he stepped out into the void. He glided towards the starship taking in the views around him before his mag-boots found the hull and secured him to it.


Grayson began a slow, practiced walk along the hull until he found what appeared to be a breach in the hull.


[Undertake an expedition (+wits)(+gearhead)

8, 2 vs. 2+3+1 = weak hit

+1 progress = 2 boxes

Suffer -1 momentum = 4 momentum; -1 supply = 4 supply]

It took time to work his way through the breach in the hull. He had to use his tools to make the hole wide enough for him to fit inside. The process burned through some of Grayson’s fueled and battery-powered tools. But he finally gained entry to the ship.


He found himself in engineering where the water processing took place. A haze lingered in the atmosphere giving the space an eerie feeling.


A dormant utility bot floated in the chamber with gravity generation being off. Grayson watched as the bot drifted and without warning, it’s form distorted, the metal pinched and a section of it sheared off. The sheared off section started flaking and caving with decay while the other half seemed pristine.


Grayson let out a long, slow breath. He’d heard of temporal distortions before. Nasty business to get caught up in. He didn’t much like the idea of suddenly aging to his imminent demise or to before he was born. Thankfully, the distortion seemed to be visible with the haze floating through it.


With no one in sight, Grayson moved forward, closely keeping watch of his surroundings.


[Undertake an expedition (+wits)

8, 5 vs. 5+3 = weak hit

+1 progress = 4 boxes]


Grayson found his way out onto a catwalk overlooking a hangar bay. He couldn’t help but marvel at the beautiful ship resting there. It was a multipurpose starship, sleek looking, with a spectacular paint job. It was primarily pearlescent white with blue and dark steel details. The blue streaked down the side like a lightning bolt.


However, Grayson’s admiration was short-lived. The fact that this ship was still here and there were no signs of life as of yet, was a bad sign.


On top of that, the path out of engineering was sealed tight. Systems had locked down, probably in response to the impact with Aurora, that is if the ship hadn’t encountered something before that point.


Grayson took a moment to examine the mechanics of the door.


[Secure an advantage (+wits)

6, 4 vs. 4+3 = strong hit

+2 momentum = 6 momentum

+1 on next move]


Sure enough, the make was familiar. Though the ship had seemed largely foreign up until this point, this was definitely some classic human engineering. Grayson pulled out a few of his tools to loosen the door.


[Face danger (+wits)(+gearhead)

2, 1 vs. 4+3+1+1 = strong hit

+1 momentum = 7 momentum]


The door budged quickly under Grayson’s expertise. Before making his way into the next area, he looked back again at the ship in the dock. Yeah. That was his plan off of this derelict, once he’d checked for survivors.


[Undertake an expedition (+wits)

6, 4 vs. 6+3 =strong hit

+1 progress = 6 boxes]


Grayson followed a wide corridor and soon found a chamber with pods lining the walls. They could be stasis pods, Grayson thought, so he entered the room to examine them more closely.


[Explore a waypoint

9, 5 vs. 5+3 = weak hit

+1 momentum = 8 momentum]


There were, indeed, people inside the pods. Grayson hurried to find the control panel for the stasis units. The statuses of the individuals popped up on screen, all negative of life signs.


“Damnit!” Grayson slammed his hand against the nearby bulkhead.


He turned his attention to the nearest pod, the corpse inside looked charred. They all looked burned.


Grayson stopped before each pod, taking a moment to pay respect to the lives that were lost. These people had gone to sleep, expecting to wake up and continue their lives, only to never wake up again.


Grayson froze in front of one pod in particular. Light shimmered across the surface as power was still feeding it. A girl in her early twenties rested there with her eyes shut. Golden blonde hair cascaded around her. There were no burn marks on her body. She looked alive, asleep, but alive.


Grayson’s eyes were drawn to the display on the case of the pod. Her vitals read that she was alive.

 

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