THOT Audit (OSR)
This scenario for Alpha Blue clocks in at 16 pages, minus 1 page front cover and 1 page editorial, leaving us with 14 pages of content. The pdf comes with a .PNG map of a cargo freighter, which comes in four versions – a full-color version with background, a full-color version without a background, and a b/w-version, and no as well a version that is fully player-friendly and unlabeled. I really applaud that!
All right, as always, this is an Alpha Blue supplement – in case you didn’t know, the game is based on 70s scifi-porn parodies, and is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of these movies. As such, this supplement obviously does contain drawn/CGI’d nudity in the artworks. If themes of sex or sexuality make you uncomfortable, then this obviously is not for you. Rules-wise, Alpha Blue is a very rules-lite game that uses Venger’s VSd6-engine of d6 dice pools. I’ve reviewed all supplements for the game so far. If this type of thing is not for you, then this module won’t change that, but if your main gripe with the game so far, like me, were the incomplete-feeling adventure-vignettes that make up a bulk of Alpha Blue’s content so far, then please, do continue reading.
All right, as always, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.
All right, only BDSMs (Bold Dungeon Space Masters) around? Great! So, the module begins with the federation cracking down on sex workers, not just to end “exploitation”, but also to make them pay the draconian taxes the corrupt government imposes on its citizens. Thus, Alpha Blue’s girls are called to audit…and instead of complying, they are calling for a full-scale revolution! Until yesterday, Beeblebox Prime was a neutral territory, a safe zone for sexworkers – and today, it’s at a tipping point. Half in favor of the Federation, half in favor of the boiling anti-Federation resentiment – the government is calling it Breastix, and the cities are filled with yellow-vested citizens. Yeah, you don’t have to be a rocket-scientist to note that, funnily enough, the visuals employed here take basically the visuals of the alt-right in Europe and beyond and flips them to the other side of the political spectrum, which I considered to be kinda funny, really.
We begin this module with a 6-entry background story of how your PC may have been affected by the THOT audit. (THOT, btw. – acronym for “That Ho Over There.”) The introductory read-aloud text paints the picture how the PCs got into the kerfuffle at the start of the module: They tried to get out of Beeblebrox Prime, saw a freighter, and then, the ship was targeted by surface-o-air missiles…only avoiding atomization due to it containing Blue Sky (lol for Breaking Bad allusion), the purest form of crystal ultra-amphetamine in the galaxy. Federation hailed: Prepare to be boarded. A Federation ship got past the photon torpedoes, and now, the PCs have to stay alive until their buddies show up – two hours, and it’s kill or be killed! Note that, the PCs don’t know what else is on the ship, courtesy of trying to get off Beeblebrox Prime ASAP.
Thus, they may not have noticed the utterly stoned galaxy hitchhikers – on a mission from Templar Oz, they should warn the local planetary bishops of the audit, for the clergy uses internet girls to remain celibate. *snicker* The audit may, ironically, ruin the church. In the mess hall, a decadent THOT investor banquet’s going on, and a random table allows for different strategies to use in face of the audit. The ship also contains a premium sex-chat with a d12 table for sets and fetishes. There just may be an undercover agent waiting here, fyi.
Folks swallowing “Pills from the Red Planet” (like Princess Meridian, the girl on the cover) get advantage on combat situations for an hour…but disadvantage for an equal amount of time after that. The pills come with proper costs noted and don’t require MeowMeowBeenz to purchase, just fyi. This is further complicated by a pleasure-replicant on her trail. Said replicant ma ybe met at the ship’s glory hole, just fyi – and yeah, 6 random entries there.
Magenta-hued ladies are somewhere on the ship, and so is a Virtual Reality Amplifier mohawk’d punk turned real attempting to take control of the ship with his crew (would have been nice to know how many members of his crew there are). Fully stated klyngons make fun of the first episodes of the latest grimdark (and oftentimes, nonsensical) Star Trek series, and there is an anthropomorphic watermelon with a giraffe-like neck, who also happens to be a telepath. (Douglas Adams reference included.)
Ladies stuck in engineering, preparations for a clone-orgy, lobotomized drones piloting the ship (now there things turned grim quickly…), but more funnily, there are two fully stated folks in the disco longue, a notorious gambler, and a lady that can stun targets by showing off her Haley Joel Osmond tattoos.
The Federation troopers, the main antagonists, can be easily slotted in whatever place the PCs are exploring and they actually have names and individualized statblocks (one of them having vorpal caltrops!), which was a pleasant surprise to see. The pdf also comes with a default nameless NPC statblock (nice – though that would have made sense in the core book), and the appendix contains a table of d12 different, color-coded alerts. The module also covers a d6 table for when you’ve had sex with an alien that’s not your species…and the module expands the powers of female PCS. Basically, you get a random table that represents how well you prep your looks, etc. – and how you can use that to make folks do whatever you want. This ties in with Battle Star: Trek Wars’ table that lets you determine how pussy-whipped you can make a target, just fyi. I generally like this, though, again, if there’s a revised version of Alpha Blue at one point, this should probably be in the core rules.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a very nice two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has no bookmarks, which is borderline, but still something that may be stomached at this length. The pdf does come with a printer-friendly version that features white backgrounds, but leaves the artworks in color – kudos for the inclusion of that version. The cartography is rather nice and the inclusion of a proper player-friendly map for VTTs and guys like yours truly, who suck at drawing, is a big plus.
Okay, so here’s the thing: This is Zoltar Khan Delgado/Venger As’Nas Satanis by far best Alpha Blue scenario to date. It does have the beer and pretzels style gameplay, but it’s no mere vignette – is has the stats and represents a fun, sandboxy environment, and one that dares tell a longer story – or at least, I hope that we’ll see the whole audit angle develop further. It is vastly better structured than previous modules released for Alpha Blue, and it can be pretty much run as is without requiring that you fill in a ton of stuff. This represents an overdue evolution I’ve been waiting to see, and the inclusion of abilities for the ladies made this a supplement that renders playing them in Alpha Blue more interesting. So yeah, this easily is the best scenario penned for the game so far. This is impressive and hopefully a shape of the things to come. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars +seal of approval.
You can get this cool little module here on OBS!