Friday, 28 July 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 12: Keeping it classy

The next evening a more subdued band sets out into the city streets, steering well clear of the site of the massacre as they head across town to the cluster of spacers' bars by docking bays. There are a lot more bars than they had expected, so Zil suggests they split up to cover more ground; she and Jather will work up the left side of the street, Oosuu, Wex, and Lina can take the right.

Scene 5

Out of Control (d8)

Setup: on the trail of Void Vexxon

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, Void Vexxon the smuggler

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

[A Streetwise roll is needed to find an Infochant. The base difficulty is 10, increased by +10 for never having been here before (Jather) or +5 for having been but not having any contacts (Wex).

Rolls are--
Jather 4D+2=24, success
Wex 5D=12, failure]

Fairly early in the night, Jather gets a good lead from one of the bartenders, who indicates one of the patrons sitting alone at the end of the bar. The human woman wears a long turquoise coat of faux aklay-leather. She can't be more than 25, but the ravages of severe spice dependency have left her looking much older. Zil can smell the addiction coming off her as she leans in to get her attention. Despite her haggard appearance, she greets the strangers with a smile of genuine friendliness.

"The bartender said you're the girl to talk to if we need to find somebody," says Zil.

"My reputation precedes me! Who you looking for?"

"A smuggler who calls himself Void Vexxon. You know him?"

"Oh, sure. I mean, not socially or nothing. And I haven't seen him round for a while. Sorry."

"No big deal. There's half a million smugglers on this planet. Can't keep track of them all. But maybe you can help us with another matter. My associate and I need to open up the lines of communication between us and Morga the Hutt. Know anyone in his organisation?"

"I, uh, I might on occasion buy party favours off a guy..."

"Here's 50 credits. What will it take to get introduced to your guy?"

"He's kinda paranoid..."

"It's worth 250 credits more if you can get us a meeting." [Bargain: Zil's 3D=11 vs. the infochant's 3D=5]

The girl's eyes light up. "Come back the day after tomorrow. I'll have an answer for you then."

[Setup rolls were --

Augmented Reality Fixers&Facemen:
-Struggles with a debilitating narcotic dependency
-Electronics Handler
-Deep turquoise leather coat, friendly

human? 50/50=Yes, d6=f

Q: Does she know Void Vexxon? Doubtful (6): O6 C3 - Yes, but... not seen in a while
Q: Any clues to his whereabouts? 50/50 (4+): O1 C8 - No.
Q: Does she know someone in Morga's organisation? Likely (3+): O5 C1 - Yes, and... her dealer d6=m
Q: Will she actually get the meeting set up? 50/50 (4+): O4 C2 - Yes, and...]

Scene 6

Out of Control (d8)

Setup: still looking for leads on Void Vexxon

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, Void Vexxon the smuggler, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

[Streetwise rolls, difficulty 20/15 as in scene 5

Jather 4D+2=12 fail
Wex 5D=17, success]

The next night finds our heroes continuing their trawl through the spacers' bars by the port. This time it is Wex who gets a lead. His soundings of the demi-monde lead him eventually to the table of Madame Jozka la Louche, a noted brothel-keeper. The corpulent, aging Ishi Tib has a penchant for expensively-tailored suits and cheap costume jewellery. A gilded perfume aspirator full of sea water sits on the table next to her drink, and she spritzes her skin with it every five minutes as a nervous tic. She's drinking something syrupy with an umbrella in, and flags down the droid waiter for another whenever she reaches the half-way point.

Wex sends Oosuu over to make the first contact, trusting in the Twi'lek's harmless manner and general air of desperation to get the world-weary madame to listen.

[Setup via Augmented Reality--
-Disgusted by the work she does, she drinks to block it out
-Fat, confident, well-mannered, Mao suits
Ishi Tib

Q: Does she know Vexxon? 50/50 (4+): O4 C6 - Yes.

Oosuu must roll her Persuasion against Madame Jozka's Willpower to get her to talk. 4D+2=19 vs. 3D+2=15]

Wex watches Oosuu with interest, Lina looks on with barely-suppressed antipathy; why does Wex always drag her to places like this? After a few words are exchanged, Oosuu turns round in her seat and waves at Wex to get his attention. He takes a step towards her, but stops short as Oosuu points significantly at the madame's drink. He stops by the bar and pays for another two to be sent over.

"Yes, I know Void Vexxon," sighs the Madame in reply to Wex's question. "I wouldn't normally divulge the names of the clientèle, but there is some business one could do without. He frequents the saltwater bath house where I run my business."

"So, has he been there lately?"

[Q: Has he? Likely (3+): O5 C2 - yes, and... ought to be there now
Very Difficult (25) persuasion roll to get her help: 14, wild=1, complication]

"He's had credits to throw around, so yes. He's probably there now, come to think of it."

"Perfect. Maybe you could get us inside so we could--"

"Absolutely not! I can't have you going in there and causing a scene. My people might get hurt. They have it hard enough..."

"Not go inside," interjects Oosuu quickly. "Wait in street, follow Void when leaves. Not worry, Oosuu not cause scene."

Scene 7

Out of Control (d8)

Setup: staking out the bath house

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, Void Vexxon the smuggler, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

Oosuu and Jather stake out the bathhouse, loitering at opposite ends of the street. Everyone else waits nearby, whiling away the time at an all-night eatery in the consumption of questionably nutritious food and excessive amounts of caf.

Oosuu and Jather mingle with the crowds, doing their best to fit in and remain inconspicuous. Still, they have a long time to wait. It's nearly three hours before Void Vexxon emerges from the brothel. Jather has long since fallen asleep on an obliging bench, but fortunately Void heads down the street in Oosuu's direction.

She spots him strutting off homeward, and begins her leisurely pursuit. She tries to call the others on her comlink, but there is no answer. She tries Jather, also to no avail. She assumes they're all having too much fun to answer their comlinks.

She is, of course, completely wrong. Zil and Wex have gotten into a blistering row about who's in charge of their outfit. Lina gets tired of listening to their vitriolic back-and-forth, and barks at them like naughty soldiers [she made a Difficult (20) Command roll]. Wex is surprised to hear her seemingly take Zil's side over hers, but when Zil is about to speak again Lina cuts her off abruptly. Both of them go quiet and sulky. Lina does her best to maintain her composure, but she is secretly terrified that Zil might knife her in her sleep.

[This scene started with more dice than narrative:

First, Oosuu & Jather need Moderate (12) Hide rolls to avoid encounters.
Skill for both is 4D+2; rolls of 15 & 18 both succeed.

They have to wait 1d6= 3 hours for Void to come out, requiring Easy (10) Stamina rolls to not give up: Jather 2D=6, failure; Oosuu 2D+2=9, failure.

A failed Stamina roll can always be re-tried with a Willpower roll at +5 Difficulty:
Oosuu 4D+1=18 success; Jather 3D+2=12, failure

Q: Which way does Void go? 1-3 goes J's way, 4-6 O's: 4!
Q: Does he have points in Search? 50/50 (4+): O2 C5 - No.

Oosuu's Sneak 4D+2 vs. Void's Perception 3D: 11 vs. 9, she's not detected.

Q: Is he heading home? Likely (3+): O6 C5 - Yes
O calls rest to follow
Q: Any obstacles? Certain (2+): O5 C2 - Yes and... one BOLD Waylay for Oosuu, one for rest of PCs

rest PCs first: Party - Power Play - legendary
Solution: the authority
Q: Do they miss the call? 50/50 (4+): O6 C7 - Yes.]

Oosuu's Waylay: Factional - army - corrupt (stormtroopers)
solution: avoidance (both Oosuu and Void needed Stealth vs. Perception rolls to avoid the Imperials, and Oosuu needed an additional Search vs. Perception roll not to lose her quarry. She had a -1D to both rolls, but against her best attribute it wasn't a problem.]

Some Imperial petty officers are leading a patrol of stormtroopers through the spacers' quarter looking to shake down the populace for petty bribes. Both Void Vexxon and Oosuu instinctively melt into the middle of the crowd to avoid the authorities' attention. Oosuu doesn't let the smuggler out of her sight, and he never notices her following him. He cuts suddenly into a dark alleyway. Oosuu has been following at quite a distance; she almost has to run to keep from losing him.

[Q: Can she catch up before he leaves alley? 50/50 (4+): O1 C5 - No.
Q: Does he end up in an empty street? Unlikely (5+): O6 C8 - Yes.
One last Sneak vs. PCN as she comes right up behind: 13 vs. 9, she has Surprise]

He's out the other side of the alleyway before she can catch up, but the street beyond looks deserted. Oosuu pads quickly up behind the oblivious smuggler, and presses her blaster (set to stun) between his shoulders.

"Not scream, not run. Go alley now or shot."

"What?" gasps the startled smuggler. "Speak Basic!"

"Alley now. Not kidding. Bounty dead or alive. No witnesses. Choose fast."

[Her Intimidate (2D+1, +5 for gun) vs. his Willpower (2D+1): 17 vs. 14 (wild dice both came up 6)]

"Okay, okay!" says Void, raising his hands. "Don't shoot. I'm going, I'm going."

Oosuu grabs his coat and follows. Once in the shadows of the alleyway, she shoves him face first against wall. "Bounty have blaster?"

[Q: Does he? Certain (6): O4 C5 - Yes
Q: Does he try anything stupid? Unlikely (5+): O4 C8 - No]

Void nods affirmatively. Oosuu presses her gun into the back of his neck. "Pull out slow, drop on ground," she says.

He removes the blaster from under his coat very carefully, and lets it fall from his fingers. Oosuu stamps a foot on the clattering weapon to keep it from getting away from her.

"Look," says Void pleadingly, "whoever you are, we can sort this. No need for violence. I can pay you whatever you're looking at for my capture -- not all at once mind -- but I got a big score lined up. I'll split it with you! You could even help out, get yourself a full share. I need resourceful people on my side." [UNE: scheming - agenda - future action]

"Shut mouth. Oos-- um... quiet now. Not want hear lies. Calling backup now. No moving."

Oosuu punctuates her words by pressing the barrel of her blaster harder into his neck. She fishes out her comlink with her free hand, and tries the others again.

[Q: Does she get through? 50/50 (4+): O6 C1 - Yes, and...]

"Sorry we missed you before," comes Lina's voice through the comlink. "The children were bickering."

"Have bounty gunpoint," says Oosuu. "Waiting in alley now. You come. Fast. Hey bounty, where alley?"

"What?" says the irritated bounty.

"Friends come now, pick up. Give directions."

"Are you serious?"

"Not lie. Twi'lek know if lie. Is easy. Twi'lek so subtle."

[Rolling her Con (4D+2) vs. his Alien Species (3D+1): 15 vs. 10, sounds believable
Q: Does he try to lie anyway? 50/50 (4+): O6 C2 - Yes, and...

his Con (4D) vs. her Perception (4D+2): 12 vs. 19]

Oosuu holds the comlink so Void can speak into it.  He starts to tell Lina roughly where they are and how to get there, but Oosuu cuts him off sharply.
"Why you lie? That way stormtrooper checkpoint. Pass 10 minutes ago. Next lie Twi'lek shoot!"

[Q: Is he sufficiently chastened? Likely (3+): O5 C8 - Yes.
Q: Any problems before others arrive? Likely (3+): O1 C5 - No.]

Void Vexxon hasn't survived this long without learning when to stop pushing his luck. He tells Lina which side streets to take to avoid the Imperial checkpoints, and is visibly relieved when Oosuu shuts off the comlink.

"Bounty sit. Face wall! Twi'lek sit. Friends come soon."

"Can we talk to pass the time?"

"Twi'lek prefer not."

Scene 8

Out of Control (d8)

Setup: bring the bounty in for a reward

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, Void Vexxon the smuggler, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

Oosuu hasn't long to wait before Zil, Wex, and Lina arrive. Any lingering animosity has been stowed so they can get on with the night's work. Wex suggests they repair to Void Vexxon's place. Zil tells Oosuu to put her gun away, but cautions Void to walk ahead of them very slowly to lead the way, for he'll be riddled with blaster bolts if he even thinks about escape. [Intimidation 5D=29! no problems out of him.]

As she follows Void Vexxon into his flat, Zil can't help but exclaim, "Hey, Oosuu, I think you guys went to the same decorator!"

"Wex, why Zil such bitch?"

"Give her a break, Zil," says Wex. "At least her walls weren't covered in naked Twi'lek dancing girl holos."

"I kinda don't think she needed any," says Zil.

"Unlike a certain person I know when we first got together," adds Lina.

"Everyone shut up so I can call Lt. Nomu," says Wex.

[Q: Will Lt. Nomu come to the flat? 50/50 (4+): O4 C1 - yes, and... immediately.
Q: Is there a problem with the bounty? likely (3+): O3 C1 - Yes, and...

1. no reward
2. everyone arrested
3. tries to escape
4. rescue attempt
5. other bounty hunter(s)
6. roll twice

Also, Void tries to Con the PCs to let him go: 4D=17 vs. W6, Z17 fail]

Wex makes the call, and Lt Nomu says he will come to meet them right now. Lina is looking increasingly more uncomfortable by the minute, so Zil suggests she and Oosuu go look for Jather, since he hasn't been answering his comlink. Once the scary Twi'lek has left, Void Vexxon tries to appeal to his remaining captors.

"The Empire is using you! You can't trust any deal you make with them! You'll both be arrested with me. This is going to go down very badly, just you--"

"Shut up or I'll make you glad to be interrogated by the Empire," growls Zil.

Void Vexxon takes the hint.

Lt. Nomu soon arrives with a squad of stormtroopers, some of whom are carrying high-powered scanning gear.

"Thank you for finding my brother's hiding place," says the Lieutenant. "We'll soon know where he's stashed his illicit merchandise on this miserable little planet. Then he won't dare tell mum I've been demoted for conduct unbecoming and stationed on... Phaeda."

"That's the blackmail?" asks Wex incredulously.

"Well, no one on this world would care about any corrupt deals an officer makes. Speaking of which, I can't get you the money after all. But I erased every record of you arriving on the planet, so no one can pin the stolen ship on you, provided you keep a low profile for the rest of your stay. If I were you, I wouldn't stay here long though... Sorry, that sounded like a threat. I don't mean it that way -- this place just wears you down."

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 11: Welcome to Phaeda

The Kappa-class shuttle sets down in docking bay 49 on the edge of Phaeda's spaceport. The bay looks very much the same as any other on a minor Outer Rim planet, a dingy open-topped dome made of poorly maintained plasticrete. The shuttle's ramp opens, and Wex leads his crew down into the open air. After the stale atmosphere in the shuttle, Phaeda's air is mostly a disappointment; there's not enough industry on this planet for it to be truly polluted, nor enough regulation for it to be truly fresh. The sky is brown and hazy in the late afternoon sun.

Scene 1

Madness (d6)

Setup: Chaos die = 4, Interrupt (was: arrive at Phaeda)
Interrupt: Close a thread - ditch ship - Usurp / Military

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy

Threads: ditch ship, make contacts, sell datapad

[This adventure follows right on from the previous one, but to make things easier to track, I started over with Scene 1. The Chaos level remains at Madness (d6), as the world is still against our heroes. The NPC list has been completely cleaned out. The 4 NPCs in the party have all graduated to PC status now. The rest of the NPCs were local to Ord Mantell. I'm keeping Morga the Hutt (i.e. his operation) on the list and adding an enemy (TBD) to deal with random Events.]

A young Imperial lieutenant in a rumpled uniform walks into the docking bay, followed by a squad of stormtroopers. He takes a good look at the ship and her crew before addressing them. "Do you have a licence to fly that ship, citizens?"

"We're the owners," says Wex.

"That's a military vessel. You all look like civilians."

"We bought it surplus," offers Jather. "Needed a cargo vessel, and in the outer rim that means it's got to be armed." [Jather's Con (6D -1D for wounded): 5D=20, sounds legit.]

"Is there a problem, officer?" asks Zil.

"Civilians shouldn't be in possession of military grade ships -- even surplus. I'm afraid we're going to have to impound it until you have all the proper licences. And pay all the fees. If not, we'll be confiscating it for the Imperial garrison's use. Can never have too many troop transports, even older models such as this."

[Wex needs a Moderate (15) Law roll: 4D=17, definitely sounds fishy.
He'll try a Moderate (14) Con roll to sound breezy: 3D=18 (Wild 6+1)]

"We were thinking of getting rid of it, actually," says Wex. "This particular vessel makes it too hard to be taken serious as a shipping concern, as it turns out. Perhaps we could save you -- and us, naturally -- all the  annoying forms to fill in and let the Empire buy it off us. It's an old ship, so I wouldn't expect much. Just a few thousand credits."

"So little? What's wrong with it?"

"Paint's a bit scuffed, but other than that it's a solid ship. You won't find anything out of order. It's just... well, there's no cargo lifters. We're tired of having to carry all the freight up the ramp. Unlike your stormtroopers, the cargo won't walk itself inside!"

"Buying a ship in such an... informal arrangement isn't quite how the Imperial Army likes to operate..."

"We'd rather you had it than anyone else. And if you can help us seal this deal, we'd feel honour-bound to give you a nice finder's fee. Say 40%."

[Q: Is this even possible? 50/50 (4+): O6 C3 - Yes, but...
Wex's Bargain 4D+1 vs. the Officer's 2D, +5 for weirdness: 16 vs. 15]

"I'm afraid I won't be able to allocate more than 2000 credits from our budget."

"Fine by me. What do you say, crew?"

"That low price, Captain," says Oosuu, putting her hands on her hips. The rest don't feign protest at all. Wex turns back round to address the officer.

"Sorry," he says, "Twi'leks are rubbish at maths. Just ignore her. We'll take it."

They shake on the deal.

[Q: Can the money be gotten quickly? Unlikely (5+): O1 C1 - No, and... 2D6=7 days]

"I'll be in touch when the money is ready."

"Of course, Lieutenant...?"


"Pleasure doing business with you, Lt. Nomu. Here's my comlink codes."

Scene 2

Madness (d6)

Setup: set up housekeeping

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad (I removed 'ditch ship' even though the thread is not quite played out. If the money doesn't show, they won't be getting it back anyway.)

"The first thing we need," says Zil. "is a base of operations."

"And some supplies," adds Wex.

"Oosuu hungry again," says Oosuu.

"I almost hate to ask," says Jather, "but how are we going to pay for any of this. My credit balance is a bit... underwhelming."

"How underwhelming?" asks Zil.

"550 credits."

"You're better off than me; I've only got 135. All those bribes on Ord Mantell really added up fast."

"Oosuu have 50."

"I got 600," says Wex.

"Lucky for you lot, I just got paid," says Lina. "I was on my way to the bank when Wex called."

All eyes turn to her expectantly. "How much?" asks Wex.

"2000 credits."

"Is that all?"

"Is that all? It's my salary! Most of our money comes from mission bonuses. Besides, it's more than you lot all put together."

"Hey, now, don't get your panties in a bunch. We're all in this together. I'm sure this is all just a temporary state of affairs, and we'll be flush soon. But until then..."

Everyone agrees to swallow their pride and chip in where they can. But even so, Wex manages to get Lina to pay for more even than her fair share, and she can't ever seem to ever tell him no. Zil is disgusted by it, but bites her tongue as she's desperate. Oosuu is very disappointed in Wex, and resolves to take him aside later for a lecture. Jather is either oblivious or apathetic.

[As a simulationist gamer, I did keep careful track of every last credit spent on the PCs' character sheets. It's not terribly exciting, so I won't summarise it in Traveller-style accounting segments, but I will note the expenditures. I went by the price lists in the original (1987, 1st ed.) Star Wars Sourcebook.]

They spend the first night in a miserable spaceport hostel [-50 credits]. The next day is spent finding a flat; the one they get is cramped, but survivable [500cr/month, paid in advance]. Everyone needs some changes of clothes -- nothing flashy, and certainly not haute couture, but the expense adds up fast [75cr x2 sets each x5characters = cr750]. Lina is already down to 700 credits!

Oosuu convinces Wex to stock their larder. He buys 100 credits worth of cheap food [about a week's worth] and raw ingredients. Jather throws 100 credits at a supply of cheap liquor.

Lina sets down a rota of household chores [needing a Moderate (15) Command roll: 4D+1=23, success]. She also drafts a semi-comical list of 'flatmate regulations', and with stunning success; even Oosuu begins putting dirty laundry where it belongs. Jather offers to be the official cook in exchange for not having to clean. They've all witnessed what he can do with meagre materials, and readily agree.

[Q: Any events the first week? 50/50 (4+): O2 C5 - No.]

They take a few days to get their bearings and find a decent local [-100 credits] where the beer isn't too watery. Jather spends most of the time in bed until his wound heals [Natural healing takes 3 days, and requires a Strength roll (against a table): 2D=10, fully healed].

Scene 3

Chaos: Madness (d6)

Setup: meet Lt. Nomu about money
d6=4, Altered

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

1 doesn't have money yet
2 has less than promised
3 can't get money
4 won't get money
5 needs favour
6 arrests PCs

Near the end of the first week, Lt. Nomu calls Wex. "Hey, Wex," he says, "we should meet up. I know a great place that does pan-Trianni cuisine. Live music, too; it's really great. Bring your friends, I'll reserve a table for tonight."

[Q: Does he sound suspicious? Unlikely (5+): O6 C4 - No, but...
Moderate (15) Perception roll to detect the edge in his voice: 3D=7, fail]

"It'll probably be just me," says Wex. "Not sure where everyone else is off to. Probably the holo-plex again."

"Their loss. See you at 20:00 Imperial Standard Time." »click«

"You think it's a setup?" asks Zil the moment Wex turns off his comlink.

"No. Sounded pretty legit, honestly. I think your paranoia's just starting to rub off on me."

Oosuu decides she will shadow him and watch the restaurant from a bar nearby, just in case. Zil says she will call at an appointed time -- if he doesn't answer they'll know it's a set up.

[Alteration 1d6=5, he just needs a favour.
Oosuu's Stealth 4D+2 vs. his Perception 2D: 14 vs. 6, she isn't noticed

Thanks to a mention in the Lone Wolf community, I discovered the Augmented Reality PDF, which is a collection of random tables for cyberpunk gaming. Mutatis mutandis, it's been a godsend for this adventure.

To determine the nature of Lt. Nomu's favour, I used the Mr. Johnson Job Generator #1: People (there was a 50/50 chance for people/things). I rolled: Needs to... find... smuggler. Cyberpunk takes little effort to convert to Star Wars.

Q: Will Lt. Nomu use leverage to get Wex to agree to the job? Likely (3+): O2 C3 - No, but...
Q: Does he offer an explanation? 50/50 (4+): O5 C6 - Yes.]

Wex has only been out as far as the Corporate Sector once, but as he steps into the restaurant he is immediately struck by just how non-Trianni it all seems. None of the patrons are Trianni, to say nothing of the staff, and the band is playing a decidedly Mid-Rim blend of synth-wail and Bothan skrive. The hostess who takes him to Lt. Nomu's table is wearing a ridiculous get-up that is probably supposed to be a Ranger uniform.

Lt. Nomu is sitting at his table alone, nervously playing with the silverware. He forgets any sort of pleasantries, and gets right down to business. "Look, I, uh, need a favour and I don't know who else to ask..."

"Ask away," says Wex.

"Here's the thing: I'm being blackmailed by a smuggler calling himself Void Vexxon. The reason isn't important, I just need it to stop. Now, I know your ship's stolen--"


"You offered to sell it to me for 2000 credits. How could I not know?"

"Oh. Um. That was not my finest moment."

"Look, I don't really care. The ship will be impounded one way or another. But if you help me out I can make sure the records are falsified. I'll even give you the full 2000 credits if I can get it. But I need you to bring Vexxon to me. Quietly."

"Dead or alive?"

[1d6: 1-2 dead, 3-4 alive, 5-6 doesn't care]

"Alive! What do you take me for?"

"Sorry, it's just the usual thing you ask in these sorts of favours. And most of my crew aren't assassins... Zil'd do it though, no question."

"That's... reassuring. I hope it won't come to that."

"Me too."

"Excellent. I'll get to work on losing some datafiles. I guess you can consider that your advance for the job."

"I've had weirder. Pleasure doing business with you."

Scene 4

Out of Control (d8)

Setup: d8=3, Interrupt (was: on the trail)
Interrupt: Ambiguous event - Cruelty / The innocent

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, Void Vexxon the smuggler

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

Wex staggers home late that night, and passes out before he can explain the favour they need to do for the good Lieutenant.

The next morning, Jather cooks up his justifiably famous 'Dr. Jather's Hangover Special', which does put Wex to rights. He explains what they need to do, and shows them the holo-picture of Void Vexxon the lieutenant gave him, along with a list of hangouts and possible contacts. Vexxon isn't the sort of character one runs into in daylight hours, so they make a vague plan and wait until evening to head out on his trail.

They finally set out into the city at sunset. The streets are lively with a mixture of beings going home from work or just opening up their taverns and stalls for the evening crowds. As the day's shadows lengthen, streetlamps are coming on, competing with the flashing neon signs to light the market squares and byways.

They are all in good spirits, being both relieved to be out of the flat and elated to be actively doing something for a change. Oosuu is excitedly babbling at Jather about all the colourful things she sees in the market stalls, Wex and Lina are actually laughing over old times, and even Zil has dropped her characteristic aloofness and is just enjoying being out with her mates.

But the crowd abruptly thins out, and several beings push their way through as they hurry towards a side street. Zil stops her friends short, and they all go as quiet as the rest of the crowd who have stopped to look. In front of one of the stalls in the now-empty street, a family of [2d6=] six Grans has just been accosted by a unit of stormtroopers. It seems that the stormtroopers overheard [d6=] the father saying something unkind about the imperial occupation of their world, and stopped to give him a citation and an impromptu civics lesson. The Gran continues to speak his mind, and his wife joins in the argument before the terrified eyes of their children. Then bolts of crimson light flash out, and in the next instant there are six smoking bodies on the pavement. A stormtrooper turns and orders the onlookers to disperse; he does not need to repeat his admonition.

"Oosuu need drink," says Oosuu flatly.

"Let's start a tab," says Jather. "I'm good for it."

"I vote we start working tomorrow," says Zil.

One hundred credits later, they've almost forgotten what they witnessed.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Too many games...

I seem to be bouncing from game to game lately, and starting new ones without continuing current campaigns. I hope to have something turned from raw notes into a polished, postable entry soon, but in the interim here's a summary of what I've been up to...

Wanting to play some old (2nd ed.) Runequest, I went and bought the PDF of Snake Pipe Hollow off Drivethru. I don't like playing modules from the screen, so I printed it out, half-sized to save paper and also see more text all at once. It's also convenient to mark off hit points from the enemies and treasures looted right on the page. Since I didn't need a computer for the module, I went completely analog and took all the session notes on paper too, which is always freeing, but doesn't help with posting later.

Sometimes it's fun to just roll up a bunch of classic Traveller characters using just the basic character generation rules (little black books, Traveller book, etc.) and send them off into a random subsector to seek their fortunes. I'd also been wanting to try out Zozer's new Solo rules for Traveller Cepheus Engine. And I found an inexpensive copy of the original German rulebook to play with.

I also seem to have re-started my solitaire Call of Cthulhu LARP...