This week’s Battlestar Galactica game brought us up to the events in the miniseries and might help for those looking to run a campaign in a licensed or established setting where you want to use elements from the original work, but cut out on your own.

One of the nice things about Galactica‘s universe is the idea of a cyclical history — a Wheel of Time — in which different people across time act out roles in a story that is told over and over again with variations on the main theme. In this case, the player characters have replaces those main characters from the Moore version, and many of the trappings of the same setting are in place, but tweaked for this retelling of the story. Instead of Adama, we have Commander Pindarus — a younger man, but with many of the same traits. Apollo is replaced by “Lucky”, the commander’s brother in law. Roslin is still around, but she is replaced by Pindarus’ father, the acting defense minister as president after the Fall of the Colonies. Starbuck is still present, but many of the traits that would go to her in later seasons have been moved onto Lucky — he has prophetic visions and may or may not be an oracle. The XO is Athena — a tip of the hat to the old series — and she is a young, hyper-intelligent, tactical genius, but not a people person. Tyrol and other background characters are around as NPCs, but all have been tweaked for this iteration of the story.

We still have Galactica being decommissioned and retired. This is on Armistice Day — a major holiday during an election season. Half the fleet is on leave. The politicians are scattered around the Colonies politicking. Old man Pindarus and several minor government officials are on the ship for the decommissioning ceremony and opening of the museum. The ship is undermanned, many of the officers in non-essential positions having been transferred (like their gunnery officers…after all, she’s offloaded all but her point defense munitions, and only the PDS and a squadron of fighters are still with the ship to prevent piracy of the craft.) Dipper, the CAG, is taking the last of their fighter squadrons to Caprica, escorting the MinDef and other officials after they leave Galactica.

We did the reveal of the attacks differently. One of the PCs is watching the Armistice Day parade from Picon (17 minute delay) when the newscasters start talking about the fireworks display the fleet is putting on. Minutes later, they get the first reports of a fight between the Colonials and unidentified forces they think might be the Cylons. For the rest of the session, they keep getting dribs and drabs of information — all more catastrophic than the last. They did not abuse their out-of-game knowledge about the Command Navigation Program, figuring out the fleet was being hacked, but not knowing how. Pindarus (the CO) pulls the network that the museum set up on the ship, just to be safe, and orders his father’s ship back to Galactica.

About that time, Adar’s surrender comes through, but the Cylons ignore it. More reports of ships lost and nuclear attacks on the various worlds. The PC that had seen the initial attacks on the news, and who has all their family on Picon near the major military base, hears of the nuking of the city. Lots of characters angst.

Then the Cylons find them and Dipper takes the squadron to meet them, only to be shut down and destroy as in the miniseries. The PCs Lucky (in the MinDef’s old MK II from the war) and Billboard (whose MK VII had computer issues earlier and had to be restored to factory settings…no CNP) rush to meet the four Cylons. A good dogifght ensued and the Cylons were splashed. Shortly after the Case Orange reponse making Pindarus senior the president comes in.

They’ve queried a few of the military repositories and found them all under attack but one — Ragnar. They jump to the planet to rearm, then get into the fight or aid in rescue operations. Their first priority is also t get raptors out and gain intelligence they don’t have from the various colonies — at this point, they know they are losing, but the fight is not lost…

The night ended there. The main elements of the miniseries are present, but twisted here and there to provide better chances for the characters to have an impact. Overall the night’s pacing was good, and we wound up running much later than expected. Can’t wait to see what they do next…