Levi was wandering around the corridors.
Who took my tricorder? Where is my tricorder? Did anyone see my tricorder?
No, this isn’t Star Trek, but Levi had watched all 853 episodes across 43 seasons of the television show as well as the 13 feature films. He bought his own tricorder from Amazon which he then brought with him for his long journey aboard the ISS Vanguard. It was just a toy, but it looked cool and actually lit up and made noises! [click the image to get your own]
Don’t worry, Levi… you don’t need your tricorder to find the Virtual Reality Concert tonite. We painted arrows right on the floor of all the corridors so when the Concert Bell goes off, everyone can just follow the arrows to the concert!
Mark Poulsen sometimes had to calm Levi down even though supposedly it was Levi’s job to calm people down! And all was well… ten minutes later Levi’s voice came through the system wide speakers throughout ISS Vanguard!
Levi here… the voice from the sky! Well, the speaker system anyway! Let me bless all of you right now (and then let me pass along a message)
Grace and peace unto you this day as Jesus Christ has delivered and rescued you.
=> Vanguard Blessing 19 (full blessing – printable PDF with clickable links)
And the special message is… Virtual Reality Concert Tonight! Just follow the arrows before your feet on the corridors! Who knows what you might see there?
[And the webmaster (aka Len) breaks in with yet another message: it seems that I botched up the initial banter about “who knows” and the video link I put into that original article never appeared correctly. My apologies! I just fixed it and you can see the corrected version of that page (queued to the right spot) here => Who Knows? The Shadow Knows … and now that you have seen the corrected version of this back and forth banter … let’s try it again now]
Who knows what you might see at the concert tonight? And you say “The Shadow Knows” and I reply “Lindsey Stirling” (and all you techy, spacey, geeks will enjoy the concert linked at the end of this article… I know I did when I watched it before ISS Vanguard launched)
Meanwhile … back to reality … er, back to the game!
ISS Vanguard doesn’t come with a tricorder, but it does come with a Planetary Scanner, though this model doesn’t light up and doesn’t make cool sounds.
While the Planetary Scanner appears quite simplistic (and it is), it is a fantastic touch that Awaken Realms added to the game. And being simplistic has its advantages here. It is simple to use! I don’t have the final version, but it is virtually the same… the artwork on the final is just a bit fancier:)
Here is how the Scanner works. I will show you using the Prototype 2 version (since that is what I have). It really is just a thin cardboard pocket that you can slide a “planet card” into! Here is the front:
Yes, there is good sized “notch” cut out from the top. Next, here is the back of the scanner (nothing cool, but you may as well see it):
Now … the cool part of the scanner!
Each planet in the Planetopedia has its own Planet Card. This card contains the mandatory briefing that you read just before deploying your Away Team (actually it tells you what log entry to read/listen to). But do NOT look at that log entry until you are actually sending the lander off on it’s trip down to the planet! No fair peeking either!
As you play through the campaign, you will find out that it really pays to be prepared before sending out your Away Team. And what’s more, to be prepared before even picking the crewmembers for the team. And before choosing your lander… and any lander mods (as per page 18 of the Ship Book)!
You need to choose to Scan or not to Scan BEFORE you choose crew, dice, Section cards, lander and lander mods. So … get out the Planet card but do NOT look at the back of the card. You should do this whether you plan do do a scan or not… You WILL need the card for the briefing log as your Away Team in the lander takes off to the planet, and you may as well see if you get a free scan (cost of zero). Just look at the front of the card (with the large energy icons on its three main rows) and place it into your high tech scanner:
Slide the planet card all the way into the scanner, only looking at the front! Now, inside that notch at the top you should see the cost to do the next (or first) scan. If it is zero, by all means do the scan :) Otherwise you first need to pay the number of energy tokens as indicated inside that notch! Once you have paid the cost (if any), slide the card UP until the next scan cost appears in the notch then STOP sliding the card. You only get to do one scan at a time! Now look at the back of the scanner to see what information the scan provides you.
UPDATE: Darrell reminded me about this! When you are low on Energy tokens, you can assign any crewmember to reduce the cost by 1 (see page 5 of the Ship Book). So, if you are out of Energy tokens, you can assign one of your available crewmembers (but not the last one in a Section) to “scouting duty” and that will cover the 1 energy token cost of most scans. Remember that the crewmember then is no longer available and is “resting”.
The first scan should give you information that will help with the landing itself. For example, it might warn you that you might want to have more armor on your lander! This is why you must choose to do the scans BEFORE choosing your lander and lander mods. You then can choose to adjust your plans based on this scan (or not).
After you did the first scan you often (but not always) will have a new “COST” showing inside the notch area. Some planets may not have any further info available and there would be no cost shown. Once you pay the cost in energy tokens (1 or 2) you then slide the planet card UP slowly until the next (3rd) cost appears in the notch and then STOP sliding the card (you haven’t paid for that 3rd scan yet). Now turn the scanner over to read the results of your 2nd scan, which will advise you on what die icons you may need the most as well as what events you might encounter on the planet (see Biome icons on page 46 of the rulebook).
Now you still might have an option for a 3rd (and final) scan. Check if there is a cost showing in that notch on the front, and if so another scan is possible. The final scan will advise as to possible dangers you may face on the planet. This might suggest what dice icons you might need when facing these dangers as well as what category of Danger Die you may need to survive! As before, you must first pay the cost in energy tokens before sliding the planet card up another notch. Then flip over the scanner to read about the possible (probable?) dangers:
If you do these scans, you have information that will help you in getting ready for your upcoming mission. Perhaps you can choose crewmembers that have a conversion ability for one of the die icons the scans said you’d need. Or the events and dangers suggest that you might want to choose a higher ranking crewmember so that you can get more dice and better Section cards. Or maybe a crewmember with a skill for dealing with Danger dice.
Meanwhile, back on the ISS Vanguard, Levi was all smiles sitting in the back of the Mess Hall. Virtually everyone (pun intended) was here! All the crew came! But he wanted to stay in the background and enjoy the show… let Mark do the honors with Klara!
Thank you all for coming for the show tonight. And it is quite a show. It is a recording of a Virtual Reality Concert from way back on August 26, 2019. I did get to watch the concert live on my computer but was not in the fortunate few who watched it live with 3D goggles! However, the experience is still phenomenal as I think Klara will agree.
Well, Mark … kind of, but as a VR junkie, it just is not the same on a flat screen. However, that IS all that we have right now, so, yes, it is a very good representation of what was a true virtual reality concert that Lindsey did decades ago in the year 2019. I hope everyone got my email earlier today that included a short article published back then about Lindsey’s concert and how it was accomplished. Here is a key sentence from the article:
Equipped with a full body-tracking suit, The Wave VR syncs a musician’s movements in real-time with an avatar loaded into a digital concert venue. => Source
Yeah … Lindsey herself actually was in a small room performing in a full body suit. Everything that you will see on the screen tonight is actually her avatar. Once in a while they will show you the REAL Lindsey in her small room in a small window at the bottom right corner of the screen (picture in picture). As your resident VR junkie, I can confirm what Lindsey says during her conversations throughout the concert … it gets awfully HOT inside those full body suits! VERY!!!
OK, Klara… I think we are ready. Everyone sit back and enjoy the 2D version of the 3D show … and everyone in the real world … if you can, cast this onto your large screen TV for the full effect (click the Watch on YouTube button):
This is a 35 minute concert, but she performs the concert twice. The second time is not just repeating a recording of the first time, but a whole new performance (of the same material).
And your free bonus … You can view (or print) the full eBook (over 400 pages) of prayers for Lindsey if you wish:
=> Full Lindsey Stirling eBook
Click => Full 3 Column Site
You can also use any available crew to reduce the energy cost when scanning by 1 per crew member assigned. (scouting, see the ship book).