I finished my first run playtest of Lowell Was Right last night (Saturday). It started where the last session stopped, where the pilot of the jet airship they were flying in suddenly started screaming that he was going to crash. One of the PCs announced he could pilot it,, so they dragged of the screaming pilot and the PC attempted to fly the craft.
starting to get the craft under control when he felt a psychic attack,
which he managed to fight off. He felt something hard in the seat
cushion, so he took it apart. Reaching into a slit in the cushion, he
was again attacked, and again fought it off. Using another member of the
crew as a guinea pig, they established that the item was haunted by a
ghost - the ghost of a pilot who had died in a crash
it was a t
this point that they realized that the first crash - of their ship on
Mars - was not an accident. Someone was trying to murder them without
leaving a trace. This was the second time this ghost had been used.
they landed in Syrtis, they tried to think who could be the target -
The professional huntress? The Spaceliner steward who seemed too good at
pilfering things? The Ex- Boxer turned bodyguard? The only one who was
famous was the ex-football star turned action movie star - he was
beloved on Mars. But that couldn't be it! No one had the kind of rich,
powerful enemies that could do something like this. Finally one of them
suggested "What if the first attempt succeeded?"
immediately fell on the ex-bodyguard, whose charge had died in the
crash. His employer was Father Mackenroy, who was going to Mars to give
something to someone, and feared for his life - that he was the victim
of a vast political conspiracy. They still had Father Mackenroy's
When searched, the teiving steward found a false
bottom. There, inside a wooden box, was a gold cross, with martian
characters on it. When they asked their interpreter what it said, she
replied that it wasn't Martian at all, but martian script used to write
"Carolus Magnus Imperator Romanus". This was latin for Charlemagne,
Emperor of the Romans.
This was most likely a relic from the time
of Charlemagne, but they had no idea why it was so dangerous that
someone would kill to stop it. They decided to take it to the
Translator's professor at the University of Mars and Earth there in
He examined it minutely, and proclaimed it genuine. The
Movie star, suggested there might be more to it, and the steward took a
look, noticing a hairline seam along the cross. They opened it up after
finding the hidden latch. Inside was a crystal.
it, the Huntress began to speak in a voice not her own - using
Mediumship, she made contact with the intelligence within - a Martian
Ghost AI. The Ai told how Charles had murdered his brother and forged a
relationship with the martians, sending thousands of slaves them. In
return they eliminated opposition, and his rule widened. The pope made
him emperor of the Romans because of his good works and his enlightened
rule as well as his power.
They reasoned that it was some
powerful faction in the Vatican that was trying to stop the publishing
of this news - which could be used to argue against the infallibility of
the Pope. When they decided to deliver it to the original intended
recipient, the Translator revealed herself to be an agent of this
person. She would take the cross to her master. She showed them papers
written in what looked like Father Mackenroy's hand. The steward put the
cross into the box and handed it to her. She left.
had palmed the crystal, and they brought it to a newsreel agency, where
they were well paid for it. The truth went out.
game, I had no idea who the boxer had been guarding. Since I didn't know
who *he* was, I had no idea of what he carried. All I knew was he had
something someone else wanted, badly.! I called it the MacGuffin, of
course. it wasn't until the boxer rolled on random NPC tables to decide
who his dead employer had been that I could even *think* of what the
I made up the Charlemagne thing on the spot, while
I was telling it to them through the ghost AI in the crystal. I had
made up the ghost AI a second before. It worked - it held together well
enough for the game, and no one knew I had done it that way. Sometimes
life is good! :D
At the end of the session, they made up their
next Association, and their next world. They would be playing the
"Secret Service" of the League of Nations, and they would be playing on a
totally different Earth!