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."

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