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[Scum and Villainy] [LFP] Let's have fun with spaceships and blasters ... in Space!

feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
edited November 2018 in Critical Failures
Hi everyone, your favorite flaky-DM here back in Critical Failures forum to spread the gospel of Scum and Villainy.

For those who don't know, S&V is an officially published "hack" of the Blades in the Darkness game by Evil Hat productions.
It's space-opera with heavy reliance on players and roleplaying.

It's a bit Firefly meets Han Solo and they go have a drink with the cast of Cowboy Bebop.

And it's all I really want to play right now, and my timezone doesn't really allow for easy in-person group acquisition at the moment (my IRL groups are all already booked with other games). So I wanted to see if anyone was keen on playing - I think 2-3 players would be ideal. 4 might be acceptable if they were *really* fun folks.

There is available from the Evil Hat folks a bunch of resources for the system available online for free - a simple search will set you on the right path there, and there's no need for the players to rush out and buy the book, as I have my copy already and there's not that much rules-wise that players need to worry about from the start.

Character Creation for those intrigued...

Once I have collected enough players, there'll be a bit of a session 0 where we sort out the characters and the ship (who is basically another character) to determine the flavor of our soap space-opera. There are three basic choices here (each come with a different ship, more suited to their particular themes):

Be crew aboard a smuggler freighter, free-booting for fun and profit.

Be hard-nosed bounty hunters aboard a well-armed ship, hunting Procyon Sector's most-wanted.


Be the fiery heart of the rebellion against the evil galactic hegemony aboard a Rebel Corvette, spreading hope to the systems you visit.

There are 6 character "playbooks" which are a bit like flexible classes in most other systems, they are:

The Muscle
The Speaker
The Scoundrel
The Mystic
The Mechanic
The Pilot
The Stitch (Doctor)
... all of which kind of do what it says on the tin.

Default says that you're human - and thats ok! But there's also the option to be a Xeno - and replace your class special ability with whacky alien powers unique to your species.

What to expect from me as a DM?

I like writing. I enjoy narrative. I like setting up crazy plot hooks and giving the players a fun universe to play around and fail in. I cheer for the characters - I feel my best when they're having really good "Die Hard" moments ... bloody shirts, broken noses, laughing in the face of their superior foes - and hopefully they win in spite of their failures along the way.

What I like in my PBP players:

I like reading. I want to feel that you're living through this character and really buying into the fiction. It's space-opera... that means action and drama to me. I want you to express yourself as best you can and really bring something new to the table. I don't mind if your character is heavily inspired by existing fictional characters ... but make them inspired!

Also, PBP has a lot of benefits - but the one drawback it has is that it's very easy for people to disappear for days at a stretch without warning - I really prefer to keep things moving, with a post a day if possible. We can hash out what works best for the group, but once a schedule is set into place, I really value players that respect other people's time.

Do I need anything?
I store all character sheets (for PCs, the ship, your relationships with the many different factions in the game) in a Roll20 campaign. Players will want to be able to access that for reference, but it's a free service that just requires registration. Also, I find Discord to be pretty useful as a communication platform - especially for resolving OOC chatter and whatnot... to keep our In-character thread here pristine and beautifully fictional.

Dice rolling can be done either via Roll20 or Discord dice bots - we can sort all that out when we have a feel for the group's preferences.

Ideally I'd like to have a concrete ending for this game - Scum and Villainy builds in an end-game clause that says that once you gained +3 status with a faction, you can run 3 back-to-back jobs to finish their agenda in the sector "winning" the game, basically and earning your crew a much-deserved retirement.

If the game goes well and people want more, we can always roll up a new crew.

So chime in below with a comment ...

Preferred theme/ship
Playbooks/classes that are appealing to you
and anything else you might want to add to make yourself stick out!
Good Luck, space cowboys!

Edit: I forgot to include the "Stitch" playbook - that's the ship's doctor role! How could I have forgotten?

feeddannow on


  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    I've never played the system, but I am a big fan of all of what you've written about the setting here. In particular "It's a bit Firefly meets Han Solo and they go have a drink with the cast of Cowboy Bebop." sounds like my kind of thing. And I've been itching for a good PBP game.

    I think playing as a Smuggler sounds like fun, so long as we're careful not to pick up any plucky idealistic youngsters who just lost their family to Galactic Hegemony Shock Troops. Especially if they're accompanied by an avuncular type with a knowing gaze and ideas about destiny.

    I'll sign on as Muscle, with Scoundrel as a backup option if anyone else really prefers to be the muscle. I can put more detail down once the crew roles are more nailed down (and I track down some more information on the game, but that's after work).

    Thoughts on the ship: I've been thinking about a highly modified GR-75 in the Star Wars RPG (if I had a group to play with). Pull out about half of the cargo capacity and replace it with a small two fighter sized hanger, along with additional power generators for the engines and some after market upgrades for the weapon systems (it's the fringe, it gets dangerous out here and we don't exactly have backup against pirates or raiders). Maybe, space permitting, some larger quarters for the crew for those long haul missions. That's where my mind goes when thinking about a Star Wars style smuggler ship, just, anything that's not a slightly modified Millennium Falcon design.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    The smuggling ship is called "The Stardancer" - and it looks like this, by default:


    (Excerpted from the free pdf available on the company's website)
    This freighter has seen some miles, but with a loving engineer
    and some illegal modifications, it’s become a fast little ship that’s
    equipped to get places it’s not supposed to and carry things it
    shouldn’t. False ship papers or a fake transponder will make transit
    much easier, and converting some cargo space back into crew
    quarters will make the ship much more comfortable on long hauls.

    When you play the crew of the Stardancer, you earn xp when you
    execute a successful transport or smuggling operation. Keep your
    eyes peeled for odd jobs, small thefts, and recovering lost items.

    What kind of contraband do you usually carry, and what will you
    not transport?

    That said, mechanically - the aesthetic of your ship can be whatever you like within reason and within agreement of the party.

    Ships in this game really are like a character, complete with advancements... and enemies and allies that get shared with their crew.

    ... Also @see317 , I can't wait for someone to want to play a Mystic (Totally not-Jedi) who use the Way (totally-not-the-force) to book passage aboard the vessel!

    Scoundrel's are a really fun "class" because they *generate luck*. Most people only earn luck by rolling vs. risky situations and getting a 6 (a success) without having spent any luck ... Scoundrels can generate luck on risky AND desperate actions - and they can do so even when they've already spent luck... so they get encouraged to spend their luck willy-nilly to get them out of pickles. *Space* pickles.

    Muscles are also pretty awesome, with their special ability allowing them to duke it out with while groups of goons much more effectively than any other class.

    feeddannow on
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    This sounds like fun. :D

    We should definitely be smugglers.

    I'm thinking ... huh ... Mechanic, maybe? Or the Stitch, that could be fun, too. I'm thinking either one might work as a "underappreciated genius in their field" who is out to make some quick spacebucks in order to pay off crippling spacecollege loans. Likely from unsavory types.

    I like the idea of "We took a smallish bulk freighter and ripped out half of it, turning it into a mechanical monstrosity." I mean, that's pretty much the Falcon, but we could build for toughness instead of speed ...

    Elvenshae on
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Elvenshae wrote: »

    I'm thinking ... huh ... Mechanic, maybe? Or the Stitch, that could be fun, too. I'm thinking either one might work as a "underappreciated genius in their field" who is out to make some quick spacebucks in order to pay off crippling spacecollege loans. Likely from unsavory types.

    Don't you worry about that! Debt is a very real system in this game ;) And a particularly useful one at that.

    I mean, there are plenty of factions that might lend the money to an up-and-coming engineer to get their qualifications... with strings attached, obviously. There's the labor-union-esque "Cobalt Syndicate" that runs smuggling and extortion rings... the Counters Guild, who maintain the galactic currency network... or maybe he earned a "Scholarship" with the Guild of Engineers that he hasn't repaid by toiling away in some forgotten mineshaft somewhere, greasing regulators.... the options are nearly limitless. There's something like... nearly 40 fleshed out factions that you can interact with in many different ways.


    feeddannow on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I'd be down, though I haven't played before either- so unsure if that is an issue. If it isn't: Smugglers or Bounty Hunters seem cool.

    Would be leaning toward a Shadowy Mystic with a past they are running away from or at least trying to forget :hydra: Thinking ex-Syndicate (so basically Jedi Vicious -though not nearly as "evil" O_O ) or Cult...

    Egos on
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    @Egos - no experience? No problem!

    Ok - so far everyone seems interested in Smuggling the most, so I'll start a little prep in that direction.
    We have (thus far) a tenative Muscle, Mechanic, and Mystic - a most auspicious and interesting group of scum and villainy, to be sure!
    ... you guys picked all the playbooks that start with "M"... huh.

    I have some links hiding out in the spoiler below...

    Here's the link to the Roll20 game -
    I don't think we'll ever use it "live" as this is a Play-by-Post game, but it is a handy place to store all the graphical elements of the game, the countdown clocks, character sheets, and that sort of thing.

    The link to our Discord server - It's easier to grab my attention there for short questions, and we can keep all the OOC stuff there, keeping our game thread nice and pretty. I like pretty threads. They please me.

  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    Blades in the Dark, but Star Wars on a spaceship? Sounds like a hoot!

    But you've got your three players, and you're out of M-classes (unless you can stretch "Medic" out of the Stitch), so I'll bow out and read from the side.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    Hi @Bursar ! Feel free to jump into our Discord - with online games, I never cut off applicants until I can really confirm people are *actually* going to play. At the moment, 2 people (one from this thread and one from my own personal other games) have "confirmed" that they're going to play on the Discord channel (by showing up and talking).

  • feeddannowfeeddannow Registered User regular
    Alright, looks like we've filled up - but keep an eye on this space in case of future developments.

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