Sunday, 21 January 2018

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 24: Escape from Spire Base

Meanwhile...Lina and Baprasta have been sitting on the floor out of sight in the Juggernaut's cockpit, anxiously listening to the comlink chatter, wondering if they are supposed to be starting the vehicle or not. When they get Zil's final order, Lina sighs. "I guess this was all for nothing. I was kind of looking forward to driving this thing. If Zil let me."

"I'm sure the barge will be fun," says Baprasta. "Colder, but fun."

They open the outer hatch and slide out into the snow. Lina crouches low and instinctively takes the lead, motioning for Baprasta to follow her. The Barabel is relieved to know that this Human knows what she's doing, and hopes she can keep from embarrassing herself in front of the professional soldier.

[B&L sneak L 2D+1=10, B 3D+1=20 (wild6+4)
Perception roll for Stormtrooper unit 3d=9]


The way is mostly clear. At one point a unit of stormtroopers crosses their path, but they conceal themselves amongst a collection of spare duracrete support pylons, and the imperials pass them by without a second glance.


Meanwhile...

Zil's band is trotting by a circuitous route towards the crystal sorting station. Zil and Wex, still clad in stormtrooper armour, take the lead. Oosuu and Dr. Ehks follow at a short distance behind.

[Q: Encounter? 50/50 (4+): O6 C3 - Yes, but... normal stormtroopers
Zil needs an Easy (10) Con roll: 3D=11]


As luck would have it, they round a corner right into a stormtrooper patrol. "They went that way!" shouts Zil. "You guys go left, we'll go right and cut them off!"

The stormtroopers charge off without a word.

[J runs (2x speed) 3D=8, ok
Q: Does he evade pursuit? 50/50 (4+): O2 C6 - No.

I rolled 1d6 for each group of PCs to see what order they'd arrive in, taking the results as rounds.

Timing:
Z,W,X,O round 1
B&L round 2
J round 4]


Zil's band rushes into the sorting station and out the other side without impediment. Lina sees them from her hiding spot, and she and Baprasta follow shortly thereafter. Zil leads the way, running quickly down the stone steps carved into the cliff face and onto the short dock.
The long, tapering barge by the dock is about halfway full of crystals. Two more barges are connected in a train before it, heaped to the brim with crystals and bobbing precariously in the swiftly flowing icy current. Three more barges empty are connected behind, secured out of sight beneath the rocky overhang.

The barge is longer than the dock, so Zil and her companions must trot carefully along the slippery, metre-wide rim to reach the second barge. The barge couplers are huge masses of interlocking metal and heavy-duty cables, each side jutting a metre out from its housing. Dr. Ehks skitters with ease over the coupler into the second car. Wex, Oosuu, and Zil aren't far behind him.

Red streaks of light flash out overhead from the cliff top -- blaster bolts! The sound reaches everyone's ears moments later, followed by the ever-increasing howl of fear coming steadily toward them. Then Jather appears, silhouetted by the yellow base lights, as he leaps at full bore over the top of the cliff. The laser fire lights up the misty air like a halo round the Devaronian, who is propelled down almost to the middle of the barge below. He sinks up to his knees in the pile of loose crystals, dazed but whole.

The four stormtroopers pursuing Jather stop at the cliff edge, as eight snowtroopers come into view, rushing down the stone steps to the dock.

[Jather spent his Force Point to run and jump over the edge whilst dodging. The force point DOUBLES all his die codes, but he has a subsequent -2D penalty to each for taking 3 actions.

Running (Easy)  (3Dx2=6D)-2D: 4D=18 vs. 10, success
Dodge (4D+2=8D+4)-2D: 6D+4=28 (stormtroopers unsurprisingly miss)
Jump (2Dx2=4D)-2D: 2D=6, fail, so takes full damage from fall

Strength x2(for Force Point):4D=16 vs. damage 3D=16, stun


setup

At this point it went into proper combat rounds. This was even more complicated than the firefight in the diner, so I used a map: 1 square = 1 metre. I scanned it and used Paint to move the combatants and show movement.

The PCs are all indicated by their initials, with an X for Dr. Ehks. 1-4 are the normal stormtroopers, 5-12 are the snowtroopers.

There are 6 barges total
1d6=3; #3 is 1d100=55% full
4,5,6 under overhang

The barges are 15m long, 5m wide at the backs tapering to 3m at the front. The barge rims are about a metre wide.

Movement:
-Easy (10) climb to get up from inside half-full #3
-Moderate (12) to move over crystals
-Moderate (12) Jumping roll (as part of movement allowance) to leap between barges
 or
 Easy (10) Climbing roll (full round activity) to climb over a coupler
-Barge sides are Easy (8) terrain, BUT any Mishap or Complication (a 1 on the Wild die) rolled whilst on them requires an immediate Easy (10) Dexterity roll to not slip off.
-the dock is safe]


Round 1

[Round 1]
Jather leaps to his feet and rushes to join his friends at the rear of the barge, but the stormtroopers atop the cliff have him in their sights. The blaster bolts fly furiously round him, shattering crystals behind and beside him as he runs. But the highly-trained stormtroopers are merely manoeuvring him into a crossfire. Jather collapses face first, wisps of smoke rising from his back.

Dr. Ehks is intent on getting to the droid pilot, and clambers across into the first barge. Wex and Zil fire at the snowtroopers as they advance from the dock onto the barge rim. Two of them are hit in the barrage, but their armour deflect the bolts, and they continue undaunted. Oosuu drops her heavy bag onto the crystals behind her, and squeezes off a lucky shot which catches a snowtrooper right in the visor. The trooper crumples; the others step over him without a moment's hesitation and return fire. Bolts sizzle  by the Twi'lek's head, and thud off both Wex and Zil's stolen armour. They are shaken by the force of the impact, but otherwise unharmed.

[J moves ~10m to end of barge, full dodge 4D+2=11 +range 8

2 pairs of stormtroopers fire on him 4D+1D= 19, 20 hit 2x
18vs9=Incap.
25vs7=Killed

X climbs to barge 1, 10, success

O fires, drops bag 3D+2-1D=12, hits #5, 16v7, Incap
W fires 4D=22, hits #4; 10vs.15, no dmg
Z fires 3D+1=21, hits #6  11vs.20, no damage

L scrambles across, climb 3D+2=15, success
B full dodge 4D+2=16

snowtroopers advance, firing -1D 2acts, -1D armour, +1D combine=4D
PC dodge (reaction)
6 L dodge 3D+2=15; att 3D=12 miss
7&8 Wex hit 14vs11=stun(-1D)
9&10 O dodge, 10 vs. 11 missed
11&12 Z hit 19 vs16, stun (-1D)]


Round 2

[Round 2]
Both Wex and Zil decide to put some distance between themselves and the advancing snowtroopers, ducking and weaving as they go. The stormtroopers on the cliff edge turn all their guns on Wex. A blast hits him in the stomach and he falls, almost rolling over the side. He catches himself at the last instant, and winces at the sight of his blood staining the snowy deck beneath him. Oosuu hesitates, then follows her retreating companions. She is certain that she can feel the heat of the blaster bolts whizzing past her lekku. Dr. Ehks makes it to the cockpit.

The snowtroopers are coming up towards the bow of the barge. One slips on the rim and tumbles into the ice flow, disappearing in an instant. The others continue unperturbed.

Baprasta had panicked, and was cowering against the side of the barge, hoping to remain out of sight. But the sight of poor Jather's demise and the relentless advance of the Imperial terror troops is suddenly more than she can bear. A sudden swell of heroism takes hold of her, causing her cold reptilian blood to run hot. She leaps up and charges straight at the nearest snowtrooper within the barge. Even an elite soldier of the mighty Empire can feel fear when an enraged Barabel is bearing down upon them. The hapless soul stands rooted in place as Baprasta scoops him up and in a single fluid motion hurls him right into the next snowtrooper behind him. There is a crunch of composite plastoid armour plating and bone, then the bodies fall into the crystals in a contorted heap. Some of the other snowtroopers have the presence of mind to fire at the Barabel. Some miss in their haste and panic, and some do not, but between the living Force driving her actions and the heavy scales covering her muscular form, she scarcely feels it.


[X run to cockpit 

W&Z retreat, full dodge
L get blaster from bag
O after Z, full dodge
L dodge (3D+2=18), get gun

ST 1-4 fire Wex +2D
hit 5D=18 3D=14, wounded; dx 1D+2=10 (Wild6) doesn't fall in

6-8 up to bow of barge, firing at L O Z
all miss, 8 rolls wild 1, fails dex, falls in


B spends force point
half move to #9, lift(grapple, throw at 10

-2D for 2 actions
Grapple : 10D=21, ok
Throw 4D+4=20, diff 15

damage 10D=34, vs6, dead
10 dodge fail 36 vs. 16, dead

dodge other two's shots: (8D+4-3D=)5D+4=13
1 hit: 5D=21 vs. 5Dx2=39, no damage]


Round 3

[Round 3]
Dr. Ehks jumps behind the controls in the cramped cockpit, sitting on the deactivated droid pilot's lap. He slams down the release lever, and the barge train detaches from its magnetic moorings with a lurch and begin to drift in the current.

The sudden shift throws everyone off balance. No one goes over the side, but most find it impossible to do anything other than try to keep their footing.

Lina stands with legs braced, and unleashes a short-range fusillade across the coupler at the two snowtroopers who have reached the bow. One of them falls, a smoking hole bored in his midsection. The other shrugs off the blasts as they ricochet off his chest plate.

Down in the barge, Baprasta's momentum carries her right into the next snowtrooper. She delivers a powerful uppercut, but the snowtrooper's armour proves harder to crack at this angle. He falls back wounded, but not yet out of the fight.

The stormtroopers on the cliff train their blasters on Baprasta. Bolt after bolt thuds harmlessly off her scales, until one hits her in a vital spot, and she drops.


[X detaches barges from dock

sudden shift requires Mod (15) dex roll to act this round

W fail
Z fail
O fail
L ok, fires at 6&7 10,12 hits
fail dodges
no damage, killed
B ok, atts 11 brawl; 20vs13, wounded

1,2 fire on B
B fails dodge 19vs 24, no damage
3,4 fires on B 17 vs. 29, Incap]


Round 4

[Round 04]
Oosuu stands her ground, blasting away at the snowtroopers, but ineffectually. Zil moves onto the crystal pile, away from the slippery edge. She drops prone to present a smaller target, and brace her E-11 for a better shot. Wex sees the wisdom in her actions, and crawls from the rim onto the pile beside her. Lina retreats a few paces backwards, firing all the while. The snowtrooper seems nigh impervious to the energy bolts splashing off his chest plate -- until he tries to take aim at Lina. The swaying of the barge throws off his balance as the blaster barks in his hands, and red bolts streak into the sky.

The snowtroopers in the half-empty barge trot up to join their fellow on the bow. One, though still reeling from the Barabel's punch, makes the short climb, as the other slips on a patch of ice and slides back down. The stormtroopers upon the cliff edge turn almost as one and run down the steps to the dock, before the barges are swept away by the current.

[W&Z move onto crystals, drop prone
L backs up 5m (half-move = free action, no roll), fires
7 dodges 5D=19 vs. 3D=17, hit : 16vs13, stun (-1D)
O fires at 7, miss

7 fires at Lina : 3D=8, wild1=mishap, Dex roll 1D+1Dboots=11, doesn't slip

11&12 advance, climb up side: 3D-1D(2actions)+1Dboots; 3D=13,8
one makes it, other slips back down

1,2,3,4 run down stairs - Easy (7) move rolls: 7,12,9,10 all ok ~14m to get to bottom of steps]


Round 5

[Round 05]
Two more snowtroopers fall under the relentless hail of energy blasts. Only one snowtrooper is left standing. He finally manages to scale the side of the barge up to the bow, and even gets a few shots of his own off once atop it. He thinks not of his fallen comrades, only the inevitability of Victory for the Empire.

The four stormtroopers leap from the dock into the empty fifth barge. They too think of nothing save Victory.

[L fires at 7 hit; dam 22vs7, mortal
W fire at 11 hit; 27vs7, killed

12 climb ok, fires at L (dodge) =miss

1,2,3,4, jump into barge #5
Easy (10) jump: 7,10,17,14, one fails (slips but no damage from fall (Strength 4D=28(wild) vs. Damage 3D=9)]


Round 6

[Round 06]
As the barge train gains momentum in the ice river, bodies on the rims begin to slide off. Two disappear over the side into the swift current, one plops down into the half-empty barge. The firefight continues, but instability and constant motion causes the blasts to streak away from the action altogether. Oosuu decides to get onto the crystal pile lest she be pitched overboard. A lucky shot hits the snowtrooper in the shoulder and he nearly goes over, but stands rooted to the spot with fanatical determination. Ignorant of the pain, he fires back at Lina. His bolt grazes her temple. A lesser soldier might collapse, but Lina's training and fortitude are the equal of any Imperial. She grits her teeth against the ringing in her ear and shouts back with inarticulate defiance.

[L fires at 12, 12 dodges 3D=15! L miss
W hits 12 (5D -1D armour -1D wounded=16(wild 6+3)), wounded (NB  I often forget that Wounds drop one prone... even when I remember earlier in the fight!)
Z miss
O miss

12 hits Lina 3D+2=8, spend chr pt +5=13 vs. 5D=19, Wounded

1&2 help 3&4 climb up to rim of #5]


Round 7

[Round 07]
Bolt after bolt splashes off the snowtrooper's armour. Each one knocks him back a step, and he falls senseless into the half empty barge. But whilst he is vanquished, the remaining stormtroopers are eager to fight. They have all climbed up onto the bow of the fifth barge, four grim silhouettes against the receding lights of Spire Base and the barge's own dimly glowing work lights.

[L atts 12, hit, stun -1D
W miss
Z hit 13vs12, stun (-2Dtotal)
O hits 21vs13 wound2

12 prone, -4D actions = hors de combat

3&4 help 1&2 climb up to rim of #5]


[Round 08]
Their numbers are now even, but the stormtroopers are still fresh to the fight, and possess superior tactics. Lina shouts to her companions to concentrate fire on the left, but her words are swallowed up by the rushing wind, and unheeded. Lina hits her target, whose armour takes the brunt of the blast, and her companions fire ineffectually all round the others.

The stormtroopers concentrate on both Lina and Oosuu. Lina takes a blast squarely in the chest. She falls to her knees, tries weakly to raise her blaster again, then topples forward into the crystals. Oosuu feels energy bolts tear into both arms, and lets out a yelp, nearly dropping her blaster before she realises that they only tore through the padding in her sleeves and not her skin beneath.

[N.B. Lina wanted to use her Command skill, but I ruled it impossible under the circumstances, so I didn't penalise her -1D for the action)

(random targets 1d4=)
L fires at 1 (range Medium) 15, just hits; 13vs11, stun
W fires at 3 miss
Z fires at 4 miss
O fires at 4 miss

1&2 combine at (1-2 O 3-4 L 5 Z 6 W)
O dodge 13, 15 diff ; 16 hits 2D+2=16(wild6+5) vs. 17 stun

3&4 fire L hit 3D+2=10, spend last chr point for +4; 14vs24; Incap.]


[Rounds 09-11]
Oosuu panics and flops gracelessly onto her stomach as blaster fire continues to streak over her head. Wex feels a twinge at his heartstrings when he sees Lina collapse, and silently vows revenge. He and Zil begin to pick off the stormtroopers with deadly tenacity. Bolt after bolt slams into their composite shells, throwing up showers of sparks. One falls, then another, then a third. Oosuu recovers her senses and adds to the barrage. The final stormtrooper drops forward onto the coupler and slides off into the ice river.

[{Round 09}
O full dodge +11
W hits 3; wild 3D=19 (wild6+6+2): 17vs10, incap
Z hits 4; 20vs7, mortal

1&2 combine fire at Oosuu, miss

{Round 10}
Wex hits 1, wounded
Zil hits 2, Incap

1 miss

{Round 11}
O hits 1, incap.]


Oosuu and Zil rush to check on Lina as Wex crawls up to the cockpit. He isn't ready for the news, even though he's sure of what it will be. "Is it over? Are we safe?" asks the scientist.

"The fight's over," says Wex, "but we're far from safe yet."

"I turned the pilot droid on," hazards Dr. Ehks. "It seemed the best course of action. But it will just take us to the processing plant downriver..."

"Switch it off," says Wex. "Let me drive for a while."

[Q: pilot droid a problem? Unlikely (5+): O4 C2 - No, and... just drives.

Wex needs an Easy (10) Mechanical roll to pilot it; 3D=11, ok]


Wex trades places with the Xexto, and steers the barge train on a straighter course through the ice river. When Zil's voice crackles over his comlink, telling him that Lina is in bad shape but alive, he let out a sigh of profound relief. He hadn't even been aware that he was holding his breath.

Then Zil turns to Oosuu. "We're not done yet. We need to leave Lina here for now -- she's safe enough. We need to check on the others. And..."

"Oosuu remember Phaeda, Zil. Not need explain; Oosuu not show mercy."

Their relief to find Baprasta alive is tempered by the sight of Jather's smouldering corpse. Zil tells Wex the news over the comlink, and says that whichever one of them isn't driving should bring Oosuu's bag back and help collect supplies. "I want some of the snowtrooper armour," she explains, "and as much of their gear as we can carry."

Dr. Ehks scrambles back with the bag. Zil has him empty the contents into the river and start filling it with the snowtroopers' armour and supplies as she and Oosuu go back over the empty barges to deal with the stormtroopers. Zil is almost startled at the Twi'lek's sang froid as she blasts away at the fallen enemies.

Wex pilots the barge train to a halt, stopping where the riverbank is mostly exposed crystal and ice. "It'll be harder for them to track us if we get off here," he says over the comlink.

They use the safety lines to hoist their unconscious friends onto the crystal shore. Oosuu is the last one on the barge. She goes back to the cockpit and reactivates the pilot droid, ordering it to continue to the processing station. As it pulls out into the river, she shoots it, then leaps out onto the bank [Jump easy (9) 2D+2=10, ok]. The barge train is swept off by the current, and starts to founder as it rounds a bend too sharply and careens off the crystal bank.

Oosuu watches it go, and utters a strangely lilting threnody for the lost Jather.

Next post: The frozen wastes!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 23: Breakout

It's almost time for breakfast when Zil makes it back to her room. Oosuu rolls over when the door opens, and blinks at her sleepily. She's about to says something lascivious, but stops short when she sees her friend plod listlessly inside.


Scene 19

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: Zil makes her plan

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance / love interest), informant, Imperial commander, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer


"Zil, what wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Zil come home smelling like other girl again and Oosuu not tease. That how serious Oosuu know it is, Zil."

"I don't want to talk about it right now. I really just need to talk to Lina."

"Lina not good relationships..."

"No, not like that. We need to move forward on this extraction, and I need her tactical advice."

"Oh. OK. But Oosuu still here if Zil need lekku to cry on."

Zil spends the next two days in deep, if furtive, conversation with Lina. She spends the next two nights with the Lieutenant, but always slinks back to her own room before the wake-up klaxons sound. Oosuu finds she doesn't like having the room to herself -- there's no electronics to tinker with like when she had her own flat -- but she doesn't begrudge Zil her time away, and is happy that she and her 'special friend' seem to have worked past whatever quarrel had brought her such distress the other night.

Zil, for her part, has worked out the plan, and informed the rest of the roles they will play: she and Wex disguised as stormtroopers will escort Oosuu up the spire to grab Dr. Ehks, whilst Lina and Baprasta secure a vehicle and Jather finds the controls that extend the force-bridge. What could possibly go wrong?


Scene 20

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: the plan unfolds

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance / love interest), informant, Imperial commander, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

At Zil's signal, Lt. Haldee summons two stormtroopers to her quarters. They fail to notice the Barabel lurking in the shadows. When the door slides shut Baprasta comes right up behind them and lays them out flat, her powerful fists crashing down on the very top of each one's head.

[B Hide 3D+1=14 vs. their search 2D=10

Brawl 6D-1D(2 actions) = 19, 21
Damage: 5D=23 vs. 3D=10 mortal wound
 5D=21 vs. 3D=11, incapacitated]


"I hope you didn't crack the helmets," says Lt. Haldee. "Zil, Wex, you can come out now."

They come out from the bathroom. Baprasta is already removing the stormtroopers' armour for Zil and Wex to don. Baprasta helps Wex get suited up, whilst Lt. Haldee assists Zil.

"I always hate watching you get dressed, Zil," muses the Lieutenant. "It means you're leaving me."

Wex mouths the words "I told you" to Baprasta. Zil flushes a bit, then changes the subject.

"I hate to ask," says Zil, "but..."

"Don't worry about me," says Lt. Haldee. "The report I'm about to transmit will implicate the base commander in this affair. You workers were not the focus of my investigation, having been checked by the Bureau already. For all we know, Trefftun and the commander recruited you to do the Hutt's dirty work after you got here. As long as you don't get caught, there's more than enough evidence to get the Commander sent down on corruption and subversion charges and this incident hushed up. I'll have to play woman-scorned, but hopefully I'll get myself sent to track you down. I won't find you, of course -- not officially, if I do find you. I hope I find you, Zil."

Baprasta puts the bodies in laundry sack. Zil and Wex look out into the hall to make sure the coast is clear before Baprasta heads off towards the laundry to hide her burden. Zil doesn't look back as Lt. Haldee's door slides shut. She doesn't have to; she knows she watched her go.

"Let's go find that technician," says Wex.

"Good," thinks Zil, nodding. "He's staying in character."

[Q: Does Baprasta encounter anyone en route? 50/50 (4+): O2 C6 - No.
Q: Will the bodies be found before morning? Unlikely (5+): O2 C5 - No.
Q: Any problems retrieving Oosuu? Doubtful (6): O4 C3 - No, but... trouble getting into workshop for tools
Trouble (1d6): 1-2 need Con roll, 4-6 need Security roll: 1d6=4
O easy (10) security roll: 3D=11, Success, but wild die =1, complication]


Wex and Zil march into the cafeteria looking for Oosuu, although they know she isn't there. One of the technicians helpfully says he saw her in the holovid viewing room, adding a sarcastic "I hope she's not in trouble." Zil and Wex go off to find her there.

"Oosuu Fortuna!" barks Wex, startling the six beings watching the holofilm. "You need to come with us." Oosuu sighs, and follows them from the room. When they get to the workshop, the door is locked. Oosuu has to hack the passcode, though it isn't hard to guess, as only four numbers on the filthy datapad have greasy fingerprints.

But just as they are about to go inside, an Imperial officer comes down the corridor. "And just what are you doing?" he asks.

[Wex makes a Moderate (12) Con roll: 3D=8, spending a character point for +1d6=5, success]

"The commander has a leak in his shower," says Wex. "He says this creature is the only one who can fix it properly. If you can believe that!"

"These aliens must be useful for something. Carry on, troopers."

Once inside, Oosuu throws a selection of tools in a bag, and the three of them head towards the turbolift up the Spire.

[Q: clear path to spire? 50/50 (4+): O1 C4 - No, but...]

They've hardly gotten halfway there before another junior officer comes down the corridor towards them. He is about to ask them their business when Oosuu cuts him off.

"Oosuu need fix Officer Kaarde shower. Officer Kaarde say Oosuu get arse in gear, or punished. Please not in Oosuu way, Oosuu not want in trouble."

[She makes a Con roll; base difficulty is Moderate (12), +5 since she has no authority: 17 vs. her 4D+2=18]

"I have no idea what you just said," says the Imperial. "But if Commander Kaarde summoned you, I won't get in your way. Carry on!"

They reach the turbolift without further interruptions. When the door slides shut, Oosuu turns to Zil. "Keep getting stopped. This not going to work."

"Why didn't you say so before?"

"Oosuu did say so before."


Meanwhile...

Outside a light snow is falling. The lights from the base shine yellow in the misty night air, illumining the scene with a diffuse glow. Baprasta, Lina, and Jather emerge from a disused service hatch, which the strong Barabel closes gently behind them. Lina checks their comlinks for perhaps the fifth time, and then they separate. Jather slinks off towards the force bridge control box, whilst Lina and Baprasta head off to the vehicle pool. They wind their way through a maze of outbuildings and machinery, trying to stick to the shadows. Lina hears every step of their heavily booted feet make a deafening crunch in the freshly fallen snow. They come upon a single stormtrooper patrol, but the troopers are too deeply engrossed in their conversation about the new BT-16s to notice the two women rushing across the vehicle lot behind them.

[Moderate (12) Sneak rolls to get out to vehicle
L 2D+1=4, spend 1 character point: (+1d6=)6+6+5exploding!
B 3D+1=12

Easy (10) Hide rolls to work unobserved:
L 2D+1=10
B 3D+1=16]


The stormtroopers march out of sight, as Lina and Baprasta clamber into the waiting juggernaut. Lina removes the plates beneath the main controls at leisure; she's ready to hotwire the juggernaut on Zil's signal. "I wish we could turn the heating units on," says Baprasta, slumped low in the co-pilot's seat. "I feel like it's going to be a long, cold wait."


Meanwhile...

Jather pads through the snow to the plasteel booth which houses the bridge controls. He's about to get inside out of the snow when a stormtrooper's voice calls from behind him. "Hey you! What are you doing over there?"

[Moderate (12) Sneak rolls to get out 4D+2=17
Moderate (14) Hide to stay concealed 4D+2=11
Very difficult (23) Con roll: 6D=21, fail]


"Oh! Hi. I'm, uh, just out taking in the night air. It gets so claustrophobic inside."

[Q: Alert sounded? Likely (3+): O1 C2 - No, and...]

The stormtroopers aren't having any of it, but neither do they particularly care why he was out of the base. They march Jather back inside at gunpoint.


Meanwhile, up in the spire...

"Lab this way," says Oosuu.

[Q: Challenged? 50/50 (4+): O6 C1 - Yes, and...
officer & 1d6=2 stormtroopers]


When they are not 10 metres from the door to the lab, an Imperial officer briskly rounds the corner, two stormtroopers struggling to keep pace behind him. He halts abruptly, and holds up his hand for the rest to do the same. Zil and Wex do their best to snap to attention but the Imperial hardly notices, as he is too busy looking down at Oosuu with evident distaste.

"Where are you taking this... Twi'lek?"

"The atmosphere recycling system in the lab is playing up again," says Wex. "Dr. Ehks requested this technician to come up and look at it."

"I wasn't notified. I'll have to clear it."

In a white blur, Zil rushes forward, grabs the officer by the collar and shoves her blaster under his chin.

[Zil's Dex 3D+1 vs. his Pcn 2D to do it quickly enough: 11 vs. 6, ok
Moderate (15) Intimidation 5D=18]


"Tell those two to put their hands in the air and face the wall," says Zil, "or I'll tell them myself through a hole in your skull."

"Do as she says!"

Oosuu takes the Imperials' weapons as Wex covers them.

"You'll never get away with this!" sneers the officer.

"That's what they all say. Now open the lab door."

[Q: Any heroics? Unlikely (5+): O1 C3 - No, but...
How many people in the lab? 1d6=3]


The officer swallows hard, but does as Zil commands. Zil shoves him through the door. Oosuu and Wex prod the stormtroopers through at gunpoint. Dr. Ehks and two of his assistants watch the intrusion with fear and consternation.

"Dr. Ehks," says Zil removing her helmet, "we've come to get you out of here."

"What?"

"Dr. Ehks being rescued!" chirps Oosuu.

"I knew there was something different about you!" exclaims the scientist. "There was no way you'd come here just as another worker." [UNE: prejudiced - partiality - last scene]

"Oosuu mostly not liar. But explain later. Must escape."

"What about those two? asks Zil, indicating the assistants.

[Q: Do they want out? 50/50 (4+): O3 C3 - No, but... they don't want to get involved at all
+Event: NPC action (Imperial commander) - Mistrust / The mundane (see below)]


"Please don't hurt us!" shrieks one of the assistants.

"No, I mean, are you coming or not?"

"I, uh, don't think--"

"Fine," says Zil. She adjusts her blaster's setting and stuns the two lab assistants. Then she turns to the officer. "They're not involved. I don't want them in any more trouble than they need to be. You, on the other hand, are a tool of the Empire."

She switches her blaster back.


Meanwhile, down in the base...

When Jather is brought back inside, he finds the base in commotion. He catches a human by  the arm as she is hurrying down the corridor. "What's going on?" he asks nervously.

"The commander has called a special workers meeting. Mandatory, if you hadn't guessed. I think he feels we need to be reminded that we work for the Empire or something." [the random event from above]

[J needs Very Difficult (25) Con roll to avoid raising suspicions: 6D=21, spends last character point for +1d6=6+3(exploding), success]

Jather turns to his stormtrooper captors. "Zil wanted to get a pazaak tournament together for old time's sake. She probably went into that one barracks room where the loudspeaker doesn't work so as not to be interrupted. I'd better go fetch her and the rest so they don't miss the meeting."

"You do that, worker 17. And tomorrow I'd better see that you've reported the faulty loudspeaker to technical."

"Yes, sir!"

Jather runs off towards the barracks, and slips back outside at the first opportunity. 

[Difficult (18): 4D+2=11, wild die=1, complication]


Meanwhile, up in the spire...

Oosuu grabs a few extra tools, and puts them along with the stormtroopers' belts and weapons in her bag.

"Dr. Ehks, how far are your quarters?" asks Zil.

"Not far... why?"

"You can't go out in the snow dressed like that. You'll freeze to death."

"I see your point," says the Xexto.

[Q: Get to X's quarters? Unlikely (5+): O6 C2 - Yes, and...
Q: Get out of spire without a fight? 50/50 (4+): O6 C3 - Yes, but...]


As if by some miracle, the way to his quarters and back to the turbolift is entirely clear. Once in the lift, the six-limbed scientist begins hurriedly putting on his snowsuit. When the lift is about halfway down the spire, Zil activates her comlink.

"Lina, get the transport fired up -- Jather, get ready with that bridge!"

[Q: Can Jather respond? Unknown: 1d6=5, Unlikely (5+): O6 C3 - Yes, but...]

The Devaronian's breathless and panicked voice shouts back almost immediately, "Not now Zil!"

Jather was seen when he ducked outside, and is currently being pursued by [1d6=] three stormtroopers. Jather sprints over the ice like a tauntaun, but the stormtroopers slip and slide with every step. Two fall face first into the snow. The third sees Jather about to round the bend, and drops to one knee, firing off a fusillade from his blaster. The red bolts streak past the Devaronian's head as he disappears from sight.

[The pursuit is the complication from the Wild die, above.

{Round 1}
Easy terrain-
J all out movement (speed x4): 3D=6,6,6+4, success!
Stormtroopers High speed (speed x2) :2D= 6 mishap, 10 ok, 3 mishap
2 stormtroopers fall over
last one halts

{Round 2}
J move & dodge:
Move 2d=9, slightly slowed
dodge: 3D+2=11
st shoots 4D=8(wild 1) missing

- - -

Q: Stormtroopers waiting at the bottom of the lift? Likely (3+): O5 C5 - Yes.
+Event: PC negative - Zil - Control / Liberty]



Meanwhile...

The turbolift has almost reached the bottom of the spire. The four nervous beings within are all training blasters on the doorway, fearing a firefight might erupt the moment the doors open. The lift stops, shudders a moment -- then begins rising.

"Blast!" swears Zil. "They're really on to us!"

But Oosuu is already digging into her bag of tools. She rips open the instrument panel with a prybar, then attacks the wires inside with a pair of cutters.

[O needs a Moderate (12) tech roll for manual control; 3D=12]

The turbolift grinds to a halt. Zil glances at the readout above the door and grimaces. "We're 254 metres up the Spire. What now?"

"Quiet, Zil," grumbles the Twi'lek. "Oosuu not finished yet."

Oosuu shears through a handful of wire together, and with a sickening lurch the turbolift's brakes disengage. It begins falling, and picking up speed. Oosuu grabs the wires, and holds the ends together, applying the brakes in fits and starts to control the speed of descent. She stops the turbolift 20m from the bottom.

"Too dangerous go in base," says Oosuu. "Oosuu think get out here."

Zil and Wex force the doors open as Oosuu shoulders her tool bag. One by one they clamber out of the lift and slide down the icy crystal spire, twisting along its length so as not to land on the roof of the base. Dr. Ehks moves like one born to it, his six limbs steering him down to a graceful landing. Wex lands hard and seems a bit wobbly. Luckily the deep snow at the bottom cushions all their landings.

[They needed Easy (10) climbing/jumping rolls:

O 9
Z 11
W 5
X 15 (has +1D racial bonus)

3D damage from fall:
 O 2D+2=14(wild 6+1)vs11, no damage
 W 2D+1=8 vs. 11, stun]


"Why Oosuu always land on arse?" says the Twi'lek.

"Come on," says Zil. She offers a hand to help Oosuu up, and they all set off running. As they sprint along the grey metal sides of the base's outbuildings, Zil shouts into her comlink. "Jather, where the hell are you?"

"Being chased by stormtroopers through the snow," comes the breathless reply.

"What about the bridge?"

"No dice!"

"We'll try it then!"

[Q: Can Zil's band get in sight of bridge w/o encounter? 50/50 (4+): O6 C5 - Yes.
Q: Guarded? Likely (3+): O6 C2 - Yes, and...snowtrooper unit]


Zil leads the others on a new trajectory, and they take cover behind a stack of old supply crates. The bridge control booth is barely visible some 50 metres ahead through the misty darkness and swirling snow. "Well?" asks Zil. "Is it clear?"

"Snowtrooper guarding controls," gasps Oosuu. "Oosuu count six."

Zil swears under her breath and angrily jabs at her comlink switch. "Change of plan, everyone.
 We're getting out on the barge!"


Next post: A battle on the ice river!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 22: Secret Imperial Projects

The overseer bursts into the cafeteria with a pair of stormtroopers, disrupting the mid-day meal period. The workers fall instantly silent, but are soon relieved when he addresses the now-hushed throng.

"Who're today's shift technicians? The atmosphere recycling equipment's broke in the lab again. Come with me to get your tools, then these boys'll take you up the Spire."

The cafeteria instantly returns to its normal mealtime routine.

"Oosuu not hungry today anyway," says Oosuu, rising from her seat. "Baprasta like red ones? Have Oosuu protein packs."

Scene 15

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: Chaos die =4, Interrupt (was: planning infiltration of Spire)
Interrupt: Move toward a thread (mission) - Expose / Technology

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

Oosuu and the other two techs collect their toolkits, then the stormtroopers escort them through the security blast doors at the rear of the base, and into the turbolift. Oosuu pays especial attention as one of the troopers uses a datacard to activate the lift itself. The trip up the spire takes nearly two minutes. Oosuu can hear the soft thrumming of the inertial dampers as the lift changes speed.

The lift doors finally open to reveal a poorly-lit hexagonal corridor with dirty floor gratings; this could be practically any base or space station in the Empire. The stormtroopers escort the workers down the long corridor and towards another security door. The farther they proceed, the stronger the smell of burnt plastic fills the corridor. An Imperial officer stands waiting, covering his nose with a handkerchief. "You took long enough," he says, then punches in a code to open the security door.

Oosuu, perhaps having watched too many cartoons, was expecting a sterile white room with test tubes and bubbling liquid. The laboratory that greets the astonished Twi'lek's eyes is instead a maze of strange machines, computers, workbenches, wires, and assorted bits of junk lying about. As she looks round to take it all in, a Xexto scientist -- in a reassuringly cartoony white lab coat, complete with hand computer sticking out the breast pocket -- scurries up to the lead technician.

"It's happened again. I think the particulate matter from the crystals shreds the insides of the gas separator. I've requisitioned an upgrade, but with the bureaucracy here--"

"Blaming the Empire for this scum's shoddy work isn't going to get you a reprieve," says the officer. "You're already behind schedule, Dr. Ehks."

"Then I suggest you let them get started without further delay, Commander."

The officer gives no reply, but turns sharply on his heel and stalks out of the lab. Oosuu and the other technicians get to work, each on a separate section of the air recycling machinery. Dr. Ehks paces nervously in his lab, going to each technician in turn to see how they are doing, and trying not to get in their way.

[Oosuu makes some die rolls for the scene--
Moderate (12) Tech roll to fix her section: 3D=12, ok
Difficult (17) Perception to see anything interesting: 4D+2=21
Difficult (17) Starship Weapon Repair to understand what she's looking at: 4D=21

Q: Does she get to talk to Dr. Ehks? Unlikely (5+): O6 C1 - Yes, and...
UNE--
NPC Relationship: friendly
Conversation Mood: sociable
prejudiced - dislike - recent scene]


Oosuu is sitting cross-legged on the floor next to a yawning access hatch and surrounded by a careful (to the Twi'lek's eye, at any rate) arrangement of the insides of several oxygen reclamation cylinders. Dr. Ehks steps cautiously through the (to the Xexto's eye) massive debris field to get a look at what she's doing.

"I haven't seen you round here before," says Dr. Ehks.

Oosuu takes the hydrospanner out of her mouth to reply. "Oosuu new, come in last group."

"I see. You're the only new tech?"

"Oosuu think so."

"Everything going well down at the base? I heard there was already an accident."

"Bith die. Fall in river, swept away. Oosuu friend Wex tried to save, almost die too."

"This always happens when they send us new workers. Production almost halts whilst they try to integrate, and someone always ends up hurt. They should train the whole lot of you together before you come, and this wouldn't happen."

"Oosuu suppose."

"How's the recycler coming?"

"Almost done. Not Oosuu specialty, but fix ok. Oosuu better with lasers," she says, gesturing with an ion drill towards a fixture of experimental equipment which lies half concealed beneath an oily grey tarpaulin.

[Difficult (20) Persuasion roll to get him talking more pointedly: 4D+2=22]

"You know what we're making there?" asks the scientist.

"Is obvious, Oosuu think. Oosuu not work on ship blasters for a while, but insides all look same. Even when out of housings and spread over tables," she says, pointing at various piles of metal and circuitry. "Plus, Oosuu get barge loading duty, see what size special crystals rejected, what size kept."

"My word. How ever did you end up here?"

"Twi'lek gotta eat."

"You could be somewhere else. Somewhere they might appreciate your skills."

"Listen Oosuu talk. Most think Oosuu not have skills."

"More's the pity. Look, perhaps I can help you out. I can't just pull you up here to work in the lab -- security is maddening around here, you understand -- but I can put is a good word here and there. Maybe get you a better position somewhere." [friendly - aid - future action]

"Oosuu appreciate that. Nice have new friend."

[Q: Any fallout? 50/50 (4+): O6 C5 - Yes.
Separate / Jealousy - problems with other techs]


Dr. Ehks
Template: Xexto scientist
Dexterity 4D
Knowledge 3D+1

 Bureaucracy 4D+1
 Scholar: physics 7D+1
Mechanical 3D
 Shields 5D
Perception 2D+1
Strength 1D+2
Technical 3D+2

 Computer 4D+2
 Starship Weapon Repair 7D+2
 Starship Weapon Engineering (A) 2D
Special: +1D bonus to all climbing rolls
         +1D bonus to all Perception rolls
          made to determine initiative.



Scene 16

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: planning infiltration of Spire
Chaos die =1, Altered

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

[Q: How is the scene Altered? Excitement / Misfortune
Q: Misfortune for whom? (1d6): 1-2 to PCs, 3-4 to others, 5-6 to both
1d6=4, others
Q: What? (1d4): 1 crevasse, 2 monster, 3 avalanche, 4 industrial accident
1d4=4]


The next day finds our heroes all out on the ice mining crystals. Zil is preoccupied by thoughts of her evening with the charming ISB agent, and decides to quiz Oosuu endlessly about her trip up the Spire to push those thoughts to one side.

But Oosuu's interrogation is interrupted by the sound of a blast. One of the laser drills has exploded, seriously injuring a worker.

Once again the shift is called to a halt, the injured rushed to the infirmary, the rest to mandatory safety training. Some stormtroopers interrupt the training to take Oosuu and some of the other techs in for questioning. Oosuu is fully exonerated after several hours of cross-examination. Zil is relieved to see her trudge into their room two hours after curfew and flop face first into her bunk without a word. Zil listens in the darkness to the Twi'lek's breathing become softer and more even as she drifts into sleep.

[This scene was more dice than action:

laser drill explodes; damage 5D=10 vs. Strength 2D=6, wounded

Q: O blamed by other techs? 50/50 (4+): O5 C2 - Yes, and...
Q: Was it one she worked on recently? 50/50 (4+): O6 C6 - Yes
+Event: Remote event - Malice / Power (revealed in scene 18)
Q: Was it her fault? Moderate (12) Blaster repair: 4D=14, No.
Q: Exonerated? 50/50: O5 C2 - Yes, and... tampering discovered]



Scene 17

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: finish planning

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

"Hey, Jather," says Lina, "I didn't know it was your birthday."

"Uh, it's not."

"But... but I just saw Oosuu with an armload of sweet protein packs she'd saved up for the party."


"Zil wants us all to meet, but she needed an excuse to allay any suspicions about what we're up to."

"Oh."

"Hopefully we get everything planned in this meeting. Otherwise Zil might hafta turn 29 again."

- - -

Fake party or not, Oosuu has managed to festoon Wex and Jather's room with colourful streamers made from wires she's looted from the machine shop's waste pile, and has convinced Baprasta to make a banner with letters inscribed on the backs of old work orders. As all her friends arrive, Oosuu hands out the protein packs she's been saving for just such an occasion, then they find seats on the beds in the narrow room.

"So," says Zil to her assembled comrades once the squabbles over who gets which protein flavours have died down, "I have an idea how we're going to do this, but it will require outside help. Fortunately, I seem to have acquired some, but I thought I'd ask your opinions on it first."

"Oh! This Zil special friend?" asks Oosuu with a malicious smile.

"She's not my special anything, she's ju--"

"Zil come home late smelling all like other girl perfume. Also--"

"Hey!"

"Now this is an interesting development," says Wex. "Do tell."

"Shut the hell up, both of you," growls Zil. "We've got work to discuss."

Wex's next comment dies on his lips.

"Oosuu know what Oosuu smell," mumbles the Twi'lek.

"Here's the thing," says Zil, pointedly ignoring her, "she's apparently ISB, but she's working some other angle too. She's all about us getting Dr. Ehks out of here, but she wants us to consider giving him over to a third party instead of Morga."

"Wait, are you serious?" says Wex. "The ISB want us to betray both Morga AND the Empire?"

"Like I said, she's working some other angle."

"Have you lost your mind? Just how pretty is this friend of yours?"

"Maybe this is some internal poodoo," hazards Baprasta. "The Empire isn't exactly one big happy family."

"I still think it's a set-up," says Wex.

"I thought that too, at first," says Zil. "But she knows who we all are -- who we really are -- and why we're here. And who sent us. With that sort of knowledge, she doesn't need a trap. She could have us shot as spies just like that."

"If she's really ISB, she could do that regardless," sighs Lina.

"If that's her game, she would have done already," says Jather. "There's nothing to be gained by waiting."

"OK. Fine," says Wex. "So then what is her angle? Who's this third party she wants us to give the doc over to?"

"She hasn't said yet. I think she's sounding me out still."

"Is that what they're calling it now?"

"Wex, knock it off."

"I'm not joking any more, Zil. You want us to consider trusting your new ISB friend and betraying Morga for her for the benefit of person or persons unknown. Am I the only one that sees a problem with this?"

"I don't really know Morga or nothing," says Baprasta, "but I'll do whatever the rest of you decide. So I abstain. We are voting, right?"

"If Zil friend can help against Hutts, Oosuu say swap allegiance."

"Even if it means getting in bed with the ISB?" asks Jather, who then quickly adds, "Sorry Zil. Poor choice of phrasing."

"Oosuu think yes."

"Maybe we need to find out what she can offer us," says Wex. "Decide if it's worth our while."

"Um," says Baprasta, "what if we don't help her? Would she turn us over to the ISB?"

"I'm pretty sure she wouldn't," says Zil. "Look, if it will make you all happy, I'll find out what assistance she proposes to offer us, both during and after the mission. I'm sure she'll be in touch with me again soon."


Scene 18

Chaos: Madness (d6)

Setup: Zil talks to the ISB (double-)agent

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance / love interest), informant, Imperial commander, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

[N.B. This scene revolves round the Remote Event (Malice / Power) from scene 16.

UNE--
NPC Relationship: neutral
Conversation Mood: neutral
prejudiced - reputation - flaws]


"You wanted to see me?" asks Zil.

"Zil, come in," comes Lt. Haldee's voice.

"It's dark in here."

"Don't touch the light. My head can't take it."

Zil steps inside, and feels for the switch behind her. The door slides shut, and Zil stops short, waiting as her eyes slowly adjust, feeling the humid darkness close round her, prickling her skin. She takes a slow breath of the spice-scented air and searches the gloom for Lieutenant Haldee, until she can just make out her shape curled up on one side of the settee. Zil takes a step forward, and her nose wrinkles at a sour, pungent note.

"You've been drinking," says Zil.

"Nothing escapes you, does it?"

"Well, I don't have your ISB training, but..."

"Come here. Sit. There's another glass on the side somewhere. And another bottle. Bring it, would you, Zil? I seem to have spilt most of this one."

Zil fetches a glass and a bottle of something dark and amber, then goes over to sit with Lt. Haldee on her sofa. The other woman's eyes are dry, but Zil isn't so heartless that she doesn't know why they're so red and swollen. Zil pours and waits for the Lieutenant to say something, but she just sits and looks over towards Zil, absently swirling the liquid in her newly filled glass.

"What's going on?" asks Zil softly.

"Mmmm... no. Not yet. First I want to know if you've thought about my question."

Yeah. I mean, no, not much. Been busy with other things, like planning this kidnapping. Or whatever."

"I could help you, Zil. I want to help you. But I need to know who you are first."

"Sounds like you've read my file, anyways. What's more to know?"

"You're a mercenary, Zil. You sell your questionable service to the highest bidder, and woe betide those who get in your way."

"I guess..."

"But there's more to you than that, isn't there, Zil?" [UNE: knowing - account - the character]

"If you say so."

Oh, drop the tough girl act for a moment. You're never so fierce as when you're looking out for your friends. You had a chance to cut any one of them loose before you came here, and you didn't, and you even got your new friend along. And Wex -- he was a hair away from being sent off to the waste processing plant when you intervened on his behalf."

"He's useful: a good pilot. Something we might need in an escape."

"Useful, sure. Fine. But what about Jather?"

"Jather has his moments."

"I've met him, Zil."

"He has hidden depths. He's just out of his element here, but when--"

"You're defending Jather to me. Why do you care what I think of him?"

"I don't, it's just... oh. I see what you're doing."

"ISB, Zil, remember? I'm good at getting the truth out of people."

"Fine. So the truth is I'm not as hard as I make myself out to be. So what? Why do you care?"

"Because I think underneath it all you're a good person. Or you want to be." [prejudiced - belief - current scene]

"I really don't understand you. What's this all about?"

"I want to show you something, Zil. This hasn't gone public yet, so you have to promise not to tell anyone. There will be an official announcement later. I don't know when. Maybe soon, maybe... maybe it will take some time to filter out to the Rim."

Lt. Haldee leans forward and reaches for something on the low table, her hand snaking between the bottles and beneath her discarded officer's jacket. She produces a small holotape player and places it between herself and Zil on the cushion. She goes to activate it, but her finger hesitates over the switch. Once activated, the shimmering, somewhat flattened and grainy image of a blue planet appears. It takes Zil a moment to realise that what she's actually looking at is the surreptitious recording of a 2D viewscreen.

"Alderaan," whispers Lt. Haldee.

"There's voices on the tape," says Zil, "but I can't make them out. Turn up the sound."

"No. Just watch."

Zil glances up to see Lt. Haldee sitting with her eyes closed, but decides against asking why. She watches the shaky holo-recording with increasing bewilderment as nothing is plainly happening; the jewel-like planet just floats serenely against the starry background of space. Then there is a green glow at the bottom of the image, and a bolt of energy streaks out towards the planet, which seconds later explodes in a brilliant fireball. The recording abruptly ends.

"That... that can't be real," she gasps.

"It is, Zil."

"How...?"

"A super weapon of some sort, a mobile battlestation. I don't have the particulars. It doesn't matter."

"The whole planet..."

"This is why I need to know, Zil."

"Know what?"

"That you're the right sort of person."

"To do what?"

"To fight against them."

"Who?"

"The Empire."

"You're ISB..."

"I'm a double-agent for the rebellion, Zil. I thought you would have worked that out by now."

"I didn't think..."

"I will help you, Zil, here, on Mygeeto. I'll help you get Dr. Ehks away, even if you do just slink off back to the Hutts. Just to strike a blow at them, for what they did. But I hope you will consider what you're doing, and do the right thing in the end. The Alliance could use you, Zil. You and your friends."

"I'll have to tell them something. They'll want to know why I'm suddenly going soft."

"Not about this. Not yet."

"I think if they knew... I'm sure I could convince them somehow. I should go talk to Oosuu. She can persuade the others better than I can."

"Don't go, Zil. Not yet."

"We have to get moving--"

"Zil, I grew up on Alderaan."

"You..."

"Just stay with me a little while."


Next post: Zil's plan unfolds!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 21: Part of the Rebel Alliance and a Traitor

Meanwhile... Trefftun summons Zil and Lina to his office on some minor pretext involving their transfer papers.

Scene 12

Chaos: Out of Control (d8)

Setup: mission briefing

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), target, Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission

"Zil," says Trefftun, once the door is shut and locked, "you know why you're really here. Riilina, I expect Zil's told you who I really am."

"It's just 'Lina'. But yeah, Zil said."

"Gotcha. As a merc I thought your tactical experience would be of some benefit. I'll leave it to the two of you to brief the rest. The task that the great Morga the Hutt wishes you to perform is pretty straight-forward: get someone out of this place. Dr. Straiisgo Ehks is the lead crystallographer on this project. He left the Corporate Sector when he got a grant to work here from the Imperial University of Advanced Physical Sciences on Coruscant. The Empire must believe his work has great military applications. The Corporate Sector want him back, and the good doctor would rather be back home than here. You need to find a way to grab him and get him away from here. If you can grab his research too, so much the better, but don't waste time getting it if you have a chance to escape with Dr. Ehks."

"How do we get off the ice fields?" asks Zil.

"Steal a ship? I dunno. This is your task, not mine."

"So where are we taking him?" asks Lina.

"Nujeenakder City, in the equatorial region. Once you're there, look up Vordroon's Import/Export at the spaceport. Call up and ask for "Triibo", and tell him you have an offworld delivery to be made to a Mr. Kuththuk. Triibo will arrange a meeting, and get you and Dr. Ehks offworld."

"So do you have anything to offer to help us out?"

Trefftun opens his desk and produces a small plastic console the size or a large datapad.

"I've got you a present: a vintage Pazaak-Master 3000. But if you start a new game, and press these 5 keys in sequence..."

He demonstrates, and the holographic cards change into an architectural drawing.

"...you get a rough schematic of the base atop the spire. Press any other key and it goes back to your game."

"Jather will love this," says Lina.

"Just so's he doesn't run down the power cell before we've made our plans," replies Zil.

"I ship out in three days," says Trefftun, "so if there's anything else you think you need from me, now's the time to ask. I don't think I need to tell you not to tarry -- nor remind you that the Great Morga looks unkindly at failure."


Scene 13

Chaos: Out of Control (d8)

Setup: Chaos die =3, Interrupt (was: planning infiltration of Spire)
Interrupt: NPC action (Imperial commander) - Praise / Attention
Q: Praise a PC? Likely (3+): O3 C5 - Yes; 1d6=Wex

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission, rebel's offer

The Imperial Commander himself is waiting in the infirmary as Wex is discharged.

"Just the man I wanted to see," he says, striding across the room and shaking Wex's hand. "I can't believe you risked your life like that for a fellow worker -- and an unpopular one at that." [UNE: inquisitive - scepticism - last scene]

"It, uh, it just seemed the right thing to do," says Wex. "I didn't really think about it."

[Con roll: the difficulty is Easy (10) since that's pretty much what the commander wants to hear. 3D=13, success.]

"You're a good man, Wex Ralter. I've got my eye on you. The Empire can use men of your resolve and decisiveness. We'll talk again soon."


Scene 14

Chaos: increased to Madness (d6), since things are getting confusing

Setup: rebel contact

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), Dr. Ehks (target), Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, overseer

Threads: mission

Zil wasn't sure how to start on their task, so she has had everyone spend a few days taking notes on movement within the base and around the work parties, especially when the snowtroopers are involved. But her lack of any good plans is starting to give Zil sleepless nights.

One morning Zil is trudging out of the cafeteria when Lt. Haldee glides up and accosts her.

"Zil! You've been avoiding me."

"No, I..."

"I was hoping to talk to you for a bit."

"Sure. What about?"

"Not here. My quarters. Dinner time."

"Uh, yeah, OK. Sure."

- - -

That evening, Zil makes her way to Lt. Haldee's quarters. When the door slides open, the mingled scents of ambrosial incense and savoury food -- real food -- waft out in to the sterile corridor, propelled, it seems, by the soft, sultry music. Candles provide the only light within, and Zil hesitates as her eyes adjust to the dark. She isn't sure if she should enter, or flee. The whoosh of the sliding door at her back tells her that her feet have made the decision for her. One of the shadows coalesces into the form of Lt. Haldee, clad in silk and holding a goblet of wine.

"Relax, Zil, I don't bite," says Lt. Haldee. "This is all for show. The rampant gossip should deflect any suspicions. But the food and wine are real enough, and better than you're likely to encounter on this miserable snowball for some time, so please, let's not let it go to waste."

Zil seems momentarily paralysed, so the Lieutenant takes her by the hand and leads her over to the table. She sits her down and removes the cover from a plate of food, a richer feast than Zil's ever before eaten. She pours Zil a goblet of sweet, rich wine, from which Zil drinks greedily; her mouth has never felt so suddenly dry.

Zil watches Lt. Haldee swan over to the other side of the table, and take her place opposite. She uncovers her own plate, closes her eyes, and breathes deeply of the steaming, spicy repast.

"So you see," says Lt. Haldee, "even though I'm quartered down here in the labour camp, my job does have some benefits."

"And just what is your job?" asks Zil.

"You like to start right off with the tough questions, don't you? Let's start with the obvious: I am a mid-ranking security officer assigned to this operation."

"There's more?"

"Mmmm. To both of us. I know why you're here, Zil."

"I... I see."

"How do you like working for a Hutt, Zil?"

"A girl's gotta work for somebody."

"Indeed. But you don't have to work for just anybody, do you?"

"In this instance, I kind of do."

"But if you had to choose? If you could choose?"

"My last choice didn't exactly end up so well. Sort of propelled me into this one."

"You don't seem the type to let other people have much hold over you."

"This is a temporary arrangement, as far as I'm concerned. Once we square our accounts with the Hutt, I'll see if he's got anything good on offer, and if not then move on."

"So you'd join his organisation?"

"If I can prove my value to him, it could be a lucrative arrangement. And it's not like I have any other prospects."

"Are you certain?"

"Where is this leading?"

"How do you feel about the Empire, Zil?"

"The same way most hardened criminals do."

Lt. Haldee's laugh rings out, and Zil is determined not to let it get to her. But she can't help but want to hear it again. Maybe she should play the fool, keep her laughing... if only she trusted herself not to fall into the trap herself. But when the laughter fades, a more serious cast comes over the woman's face. She replaces her goblet by the side of her plate, then puts both hands on the table, leaning forward to address Zil again.

"I'm not going to report you for disloyalty, you know. Don't be so evasive. I just want to know, personally."

"All right, then," replies Zil, swallowing hard. "I don't want to work for the Empire."

"I'm not recruiting for them. I just want to know, why a Hutt but not the Empire?"

"It's more honest, I guess. No one can accuse a crime lord of ulterior motives."

"No, I suppose not. What if I were to say that I know a third party who could use your services?"

"When I'm done here?"

"Not exactly. Extracting Dr. Ehks and handing him over to agents of this third party. Instead of to the Hutt."

"You're kidding, right? Only an idiot betrays a Hutt like that. Those tiny little arms have a long reach."

"And the Empire doesn't?"

"The Empire doesn't know our real names. We can disappear from their scopes when this is over. Morga, on the other hand--"

"Zil Lhahon, Wex Enstipo, Jather Plazeed... need I go on?"

Lt. Haldee straightens in her seat, and takes another sip of wine. The smile on her face says 'you may have gotten me to tip my hand, Zil Lhahon, but I caught you peeking down my décolleté'.

"So what is this choice you were hinting at?"

"I have no interest in exposing your mission to the Empire, even if you choose not to work for the 3rd party."

"I don't understand."

"Zil, how do you sleep at night?"

"Better, now that I'm only sharing a room with Oosuu. She just pouts quietly, and doesn't whimper like Meeg used to or thrash about moaning in her sleep like Lina."

"So defensive. That's not what I was asking."

"I don't know any better answer than that."

"Maybe you don't. Think about it, though. We can have dinner again, and you can give me your answer. Just don't move on Dr. Ehks until we've had a chance to speak again."

"How do you know so much? Just who are you?"

[Q: Does she tell anything? Unlikely (5+): O6 C5 - Yes; 50% for either answer]

Lt. Haldee pours some more wine, and swirls it round in her cup as she considers how to answer, how much to reveal. She brings the goblet halfway to her lips then stops short, having decided.

"Alright: I'm ISB, Zil."

Now it's Zil's turn to laugh. "You're joking," she says. "You're not joking?"

"Not at all. I've been watching Trefftun for some time now, and I can trace his affiliations all the way back to Morga himself."

"But... wait, if you're ISB, why haven't you moved against him already. Or against us?"

"I told you, there is an interested third party."

"So you're crooked?"

"If you like. Not everything revolves around money and power, Zil."

"Now I really don't understand."

"Have a think, Zil. We'll talk again. For now, let's just enjoy the rest of this dinner. Are you not going to eat the zlonks?"

Next post: Oosuu meets the mysterious Dr. Ehks!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 20: Spire Base

The twenty chosen workers are transported halfway to their destination in fast speeders, whose windows have been covered so the passengers can't see out.

The speeders put down in a snow field, where a 10-wheeled Juggernaut awaits to take the workers the rest of the way, since repulsorlift vehicles are prone to being blown over by gales which plague the area. Even the aptly-named Juggernaut does not venture here casually -- the observation tower has been removed lest the winds rip it off. The immense vehicle is heavy enough to stay on ground, and ride over rough, broken terrain in a more-or-less straight line. Still, it's a bumpy ride.

After five hours, the Juggernaut rolls briefly to a halt. After an expectant minute, it once again rolls forward, but very slowly. All the jostling suddenly ceases as the behemoth rolls over a force bridge. It then comes to another stop, and the order comes to disembark. They've arrived.

Scene 11

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: transport to new site & settling in

NPC list: Trefftun (contact), target, Lt. Haldee (ISB agent / double-agent for the Alliance), informant, Imperial commander, love interest, Inzoyln the Bith blackmailer, overseer, Baprasta

Threads:
mission, deal with Inzoyln

[NB: Barabel Shockboxer is a character template I probably never would have chosen to play on my own, but I really liked what happened with Baprasta. Her personality congealed really fast, too, so I had her graduate to full PC status at this point.]

As the hatch opens, Zil feels a wave of biting cold assail her. She remembers not to breathe deeply at first, as they had been instructed, and watches with amusement as those who did not heed the warning fall to their knees with the shock. Luckily, Baprasta is there to catch Jather. Zil clambers out of the vehicle into eddying whirls of snow. The grey dusk is illumined by yellow spotlights overhead, which grant Zil her first glimpse of the base, a series of bunker-like low buildings on a island in the midst of a swiftly flowing ice river. Zil then notices several of the other workers stop in their tracks and stare in rapt fascination. She follows their gaze up and is herself momentarily stunned. The base is situated at the foot of an immense spire of solid crystal, which rises one kilometre straight into the sky. Zil can just make out a metal structure clinging precariously to the top of the spire.

Zil watches a sliver of light appear in the main barracks' durasteel wall, and turn into the outer door. A lone figure emerges and yells to be heard above the gusting wind, "Welcome to Spire Base!" The figure waves the workers on inside. Zil notes that the outer door is nothing so much as an airlock -- needed to keep the heat inside in such a frigid place.

The inside of the base is much more spartan than the last but also much emptier; the new arrivals bring the total number of miners up to a mere [20+(2d6x4)=] 56. As the workers were selected specially, they are given relatively more freedom. They are housed only two to a room, and even allowed to chose their bunkmates without restrictions. Zil grabs Oosuu without a second thought. Wex and Jather are already squabbling over which of them gets the top bunk. Lina had been fervently hoping that Wex would want to room with her; she does her best to hide her disappointment and smile when Baprasta asks if she'll be her roomie.

Despite the relative freedoms enjoyed by the workers, the overseer impresses upon them that this is a high-security facility. Indeed, stormtroopers patrol the inside [12 in the worker's base, 24 atop the spire], and two full snowtrooper platoons [25 each] are stationed here. One is inside and one out on manoeuvres at any given time.

The workers' routine is much the same as before, save that special crystals are being recovered and passed to a science team in the laboratory atop the Spire for their research. Not all the crystals are equal, so after sorting the rejects -- which form the bulk of the take -- are loaded on droid-driven ice barges and floated down river to nearest processing station. The crystals that pass the inspection are sent up the spire to the lab via pneumatic tubes. Each worker spends every third day on sorting/loading duty. Oosuu and the other techs are assigned only when things need fixing.

[I wasn't sure where to start the action in the first scene, so I made a quick table:

Start
-----
1. opportunity for revenge
2. Inzoyln pulls a stunt
3. environmental hazard
4. rebel contact
5. mission contact
6. random event


I also made a weather table, but didn't use it very much.

weather
-------
1. clear
2. cloudy
3. overcast
4. light snow
5. heavy snow
6. blizzard


For the first scene, I rolled d6=1: opportunity for revenge. Which necessitated a third table:

Opportunity
-----------
1. crevasse
2. ice flow
3. machinery
4. avalanche
5. storm
6. angry 3rd party


Opportunity: 1d6=2

d6+1=3 workers sent to barges to oversee lading
I, + 2 random PCs: O, W

This probably should have begun a separate scene, but the actual arrival required no dice rolling...]


The first fortnight passes without incident, as the new workers get adjusted and the old guard complain about having to explain everything over and over. Oosuu had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Zil that they should let the Inzoyln matter drop, but Zil insists that she is a loose end since she knows they're here on a job for Morga, so cannot be allowed to snitch on them. Zil has both Jather and Lina explain it to the Twi'lek, who agrees to follow whatever plan the rest of them devise, and with a minimum of pouting.

An opportunity is not long in coming. One frigid day, when [1d6=4] the snow is falling lightly but steadily, Oosuu, Wex, and Inzoyln find themselves on sorting/loading duty. The actual sorting is done in a dirty duracrete & plasteel outbuilding, which is heated to a balmy 5 degrees Centigrade by the presence of the myriad spectrometers, laser-probes, fixed densitometer arrays &c &c that are required for sorting. But someone must be outside (in the -20 degree open air) to supervise the loading of the barges themselves; this task has unsurprisingly been given to the new arrivals.

All the rejected crystals travel from the sorting area on a clanking conveyor belt, from which they drop down into an open-topped barge. The 'supervisors' are each given a sturdy metal rake with which to smooth out the pile of crystals and make sure none go over the side. They must also tell the droid barge pilot when to advance when one barge is full, so the next in the train can be filled. The barge droids are too stupid to do anything except pilot down the ice river and back.

Wex, Oosuu, and Inzoyln trudge out beside the conveyor belt and carefully descend the 6m stone steps down to the short, icy dock. The train of barges bobs dangerously in the rapid, freezing current. One by one the workers clamber up onto the side of the barge and jump down inside. The crystals inside are deep enough that Oosuu's waist is at the level of the barge's rim.

Hour by hour the crystal floor rises. Inzoyln keeps her distance, little realising that Wex and Oosuu have concocted a deadly plan. When the barge is nearly full, Wex gives Oosuu the signal. She keeps lookout to make sure no one is watching -- mostly just the droid pilot -- as Wex moves towards Inzoyln, poised for the kill.

[Oosuu: Moderate (15) Perception roll to ascertain if the coast is clear: 4D+2=18, success.
Q: Coast clear? Likely (3+): O3 C2 - Yes, and... droid pilot out of sight
Wex needs a Moderate (12) Movement roll (Dexterity) to get close, 2D+2=11, fail. Inzoyln needs same to increase distance: 1D+1= 9 (wild +2), fail]


Inzoyln sees him coming, and tries to back up. Neither of them is able to make much progress on the unstable and shifting pile of loose crystals. He finally scrambles over to her and gets in close, dropping his rake and grabbing hold of Inzoyln's as she tries ineffectually to fight him off. He shoves her back with all his might. She plunges over the side of the barge and is swept away in the rapidly flowing ice.

[Wex's Brawl 3D+1 vs. Inzoyln's Melee Parry 1d+1+10(armed vs. unarmed): 16 vs. 15; damage 2D+1=12 vs. 1D+2=4, Incapacitated]

Oosuu clambers over to Wex [no move roll for slow movement] and gets the safety line from the side of the barge. Wex attaches the end to his belt, winks at Oosuu, then jumps into the river to 'save' Inzoyln.

[He needs a Moderate (15) Stamina roll not to pass out from the shock of cold: 2D+1=10, fail.
Oosuu needs an Easy (10) Strength roll to pull him back in: 2D+2=16(wild 6+4)]


Wex blacks out the moment he hits the frigid water. He's barely in the river for half a second before Oosuu frantically begins pulling him back out. She deposits her unconscious friend on the pile of crystals and sprints along the rim of the barge to pull the emergency conveyor stop and sound the alarm.

Oosuu is in tears when the other workers come running to see what is the matter. Wex is turning blue -- bluer than she is! -- and won't wake up. Oosuu babbles incoherently at the others about an accident as they all help carry Wex back into the base. The shift supervisor has called ahead for a medical droid, and Wex is whisked away to the infirmary.

[Wex takes 4D cold damage before getting inside: 2D+1=7 vs. 4D=17, Incapacitated.]

He spends the next [4D=] 15 hours recovering in the bacta tank. Oosuu spends what seems nearly that long being quizzed by the overseer, executive, Imperial commander, and Imperial liaison about the incident. She tells them over and over, unwaveringly, that Inzoyln was standing on the barge rim when she lost her balance and fell in. Wex tried to save her but was nearly carried off by the current himself. Luckily she managed to throw him the safety line, which he was able to clip onto his belt before passing out.

[Her Con roll 4D+2=18 vs. the Overseer's 3D=16 and the Commander's 4D=14, success.
Q: Any real fallout? 50/50 (4+): O1 C8 - No.]


Oosuu's very real terror at Wex's brush with death softens even the Imperial commander's heart. They believe her story, and write up their various reports accordingly.

Oosuu is relieved when the medical droid interrupts the meeting to report that the patient will live, and is expected to make a full recovery. She is less relieved to find out that all workers will be attending a mandatory half-day workshop on the importance of safety procedures. But such are the wages of sin, she reflects.

Next post: secret factions are revealed!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 19: Secret Meetings

The stormtroopers lead Zil through the base to the office of a civilian analyst who arrived with the new overseer. Special Executive Trefftun is a Human, and despite his worn and tired-looking features cannot be much older than Zil. His desk is covered with datapads and half-drunk cups of caf. He motions for her to take a seat as the stormtroopers leave.

Scene 10

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: d8=4, Interrupt (was: Investigation)
Interrupt: Move toward a thread - survive wait - Expose / Goals

NPC list: contact, target, ISB agent, informant, Imperial commander, rebel agent, love interest, Inzoyln the Bith blackmailer, overseer, executive, Baprasta the barabel shockboxer

Threads: survive the wait, deal with Inzoyln

[NB. the stormtroopers at end of the last post were actually from this scene, but made a better cliff-hanger than a beginning.]

"Sorry for the overdramatic means of getting you here," he says, "but this is ostensibly an interview to ascertain your suitability for special duty, in light of your somewhat tarnished reputation. In truth, you will necessarily be deemed suitable, so we can get you in place for the task which you have been sent here to perform. I am, of course, in the employ of Morga the Hutt -- don't worry, I sweep this office for bugs daily, so we may speak plainly. Also, before we get down to business, Mr. Kuththuk asked me to convey his well-wishes, and enquired especially after the health of your 'charming Twi'lek companion'."

"Tell Mr. Kuththuk that Oosuu is doing fine," says Zil. "And keeping out of trouble."

"He'll be glad to hear it. I'm sorry this took so long, but you wouldn't believe the bureaucracy on this planet. Getting all of you in place was trivial, getting me in position took considerably more of the Hutt's resources than we had initially anticipated. You've no doubt heard the rumours that certain trustworthy and valuable workers were going to be tapped for a special project."

[Easy (10) Streetwise: 4D+2=18, success]

"I'd have been embarrassed to hear it here first."

"Quite right. The five of you, of course, are under consideration, and the ultimate decision is in my hands as the special analyst. So tell me, Zil, are all your people still up to it? Oosuu's made quite the impression getting assigned as a tech. But the other three... Jather's record is undistinguished -- I've met him, so that's probably a plus. Riilina applied for technical but didn't pass the test. And then there's Wex: barely adequate performance."

"He was hurt, but didn't want to go to medical in case he didn't come back in time. Or was reassigned. We all need to go on, together."

"Fine. I'll make the assignments."

"And I want one more," adds Zil.

"Of course. I was just getting to that. Whoever you like, within reason. Just so long as you're not putting together an army."

"Just one is all I need: Baprasta."

"The Barabel? She was already flagged for consideration by the overseer. Excellent employee file: a few disciplinary notes for fighting, but that's to be expected. No one else?"

"That rather depends..."

"On?"

"On the nature of the special project. And the mission, of course. But if there's a chance to, ah, lose one of the recruits in an accident..."

[Q: How many are being selected? 1d6x10=20
Q: All from here? 50/50 (4+): O4 C5 - Yes
Q: Is the special duty especially hazardous? Unlikely (5+): O5 C7 - Yes]


"Well, it is more dangerous than typical surface mining. It's in an even more remote part of the planet, and the terrain is a bit unforgiving: broken rock, high spires, and ice rivers."

"Sounds perfect. in that case, I want Inzoyln. But none of her new friends that just arrived."

"Just as long as you realise your mission comes first."

"I do. Or I would, if I knew what it was."

"All in good time."

Their meeting concluded, Zil is released to walk back to her bunkroom by herself. It's after evening curfew, so the lengthy base corridors are empty, and her feet seem to echo in the stillness.

[Q: Does she make it back to her room ok? 50/50 (4+): O6 C6 - Yes.
+Event: NPC action (rebel agent) - Trust / Leadership

The rebel agent is a... (random template from Heroes & Rogues=) Imperial Intelligence Agent (p.51)
So, a double-agent in the ISB -- updating the NPC list accordingly
1d6=f
Personality: Alluring, Persuasive
1d6: 1-3 Already here, 4-6 Just arrived; 5

UNE--
NPC Relationship: peaceful
Conversation Mood: neutral
knowing - effects - last action]


Then Zil hears someone behind her, their even footfalls just out of step with her own. Zil glances over her shoulder to see Lt. Haldee, one of the newly-arrived Imperials, walking towards her. She moves with a willowy, almost ethereal grace, looking more like a holovid actress than an officer of the Imperial Army. Zil has never seen her up close before, and is surprised to discover that she must be in her late forties, though the laugh lines in her face seem to be her only real concession to aging.

Lt. Haldee matches pace with Zil, and addresses her in a soft, low voice.

"Did he really send a whole unit of stormtroopers just to invite you in for a routine meeting?"

"I guess he thought I wouldn't come quietly," says Zil.

The Lieutenant's mellifluous laughter causes her nose to scrunch up in a fashion which even Zil finds adorable.

She takes a moment to compose herself, then continues. "You don't strike me like a woman who reacts well to being pushed around, Zil."

"I'm not. But I'm not stupid either."

"No, of course you aren't. I've noticed the gang you've put together. And how most people round here defer to your lot. And what happens to the ones who don't."

"We don't make the trouble. We just look out for one another."

"And that's why your people respect your leadership. You're not on some power trip, just trying to keep them all safe."

"Ssssshhhh. You'll ruin my reputation as a megalomaniac."

That laughter again. That smile. How can such alluring charm belong to a career Imperial? She must try not to appear flustered. But that voice is hypnotic...

"I hear you're under consideration for the special duty," continues Lieutenant Haldee.

"The analyst wanted to have a word about my suitability, in light of my 'tarnished reputation' as he put it. But he seems to have decided that I don't pose a threat, so..."

"Good. I'm glad to hear it. I'll be going on to the project site with the selected workers, and I'll be keeping my eye on you, Zil. Keep up the good work, and I just might have a proposition for you." [UNE: scheming - proposition - the character]

Lina and Oosuu's joy at seeing Zil return to their room is matched only by their relief. Zil is a bit cagey at first, but finally tells them the analyst just wanted to make sure she was suitable for the upcoming special duty assignments. She can't say any more about that meeting in front of Meeg, and she's still too shaken by the other encounter to mention that one at all.

Next post: Our heroes are sent to a secret installation!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 18: A Gathering of Forces

Baprasta retreats back to her bunk to think things over, whilst the others find Wex and Jather. Zil gets them summarily up to speed, then takes Jather with her to go confront Inzoyln. Jather's the most conniving swindler she knows, and she trusts him to smell another con a light year away.

Scene 7

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: interview with Inzoyln

NPC list: contact, target, ISB agent, informant, Imperial commander, rebel agent, love interest, Inzoyln the Bith blackmailer, overseer, executive, Baprasta the barabel shockboxer, Yarishe the Chiss tech (Oosuu's "rival")

Threads: survive the wait, deal with Inzoyln, Yarishe's gambit

[Q: Is Inzoyln alone? Doubtful (6): O2 C4 - No, but... only one friend]

They find Inzoyln playing cards in her room with one of the new arrivals, a Gran who constantly chews on a plastic toothpick like a hood in an old holo-serial.

"Can we talk in front of your friend?" asks Zil.

[Q: Can they? Likely (3+): O3 C2 - yes, and... in on it]

"Of course we can," says Inzoyln. "Why wouldn't we?"

"So [d6=] he's, like, your underling?"

"Of course. Sent by... my esteemed employer."

"He does know who that is, doesn't he? Only you seem a bit cagey."

"Morga wouldn't like it if his name was overheard," says the Gran.

"I gotta ask then," says Zil, "how come... His Eminence wants Baprasta taken out?"

"Why do you care?" snaps Inzoyln. "You know, second guessing a Hutt is a sure way to end up next on their list. You're not the only group of thugs that showed up on this planet." [hostile - destruction - power]

"So what do you have against Baprasta?"

"What? Nothing. These are just my orders."

[Con: Inzoyln's 4D+1=15 vs. Jather's 5D=29]

"You're full of it," says Jather.

"Watch your step, kark," growls the Gran.

"You dare question the word of a Hutt?" says Inzoyln.

"No," says Zil. "Just yours. I heard you were peeved at Baprasta for being smart enough to want nothing to do with you."

"So what?"

"So I'm giving you a chance to come clean and back down off this charade. If not, maybe we should ask our real contact to confirm your employment status, seeing as we've just met 'em."

[Zil's con vs. Inzoyln's: 3D=12 vs. 4D+1=16]

"You're bluffing," says Inzoyln. "None of the new intake will go anywhere near you. I've had you watched."

[Q: Has she though? 50/50 (4+): O4 C5 - Yes]

"Come on, Zil," says Jather. "This is going nowhere. This is just a poodoo slinging match, and the smell is really getting to me."

"You're right, let's get back to the others. I feel the need to be surrounded by a higher class of scum right now. Just remember Inzoyln: Baprasta's under my protection now. She so much as loses a scale and you'll have me to answer to for it."

[Zil's Intimidation 5D=15 vs. Inzoyln's Willpower 3D+1=20(wild 6) -- it's not over yet]

 - - - - - -

"So Jather, you're sure she was lying."

"I'm a coward Zil. I'd have stopped you if I thought you were really talking shit to one of Morga's lieutenants."

"So how'd she know about it, then?"

"Must have overheard one of us talking."

"I gave strict instructions to keep quiet."

"Don't get mad... I think one of our bunkmates may have overheard me and Wex."

"I'm well past getting mad, Jather! But we need to have a meeting, all of us in private."

"That'd be hard...unless..."

"What?"

"If Baprasta does want to throw in with us, then we could sign up for one of the gymnasiums: three-a-side torfa-ball."


Scene 8

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: d8=3, Interrupt (was: three-a-side torfa-ball)
Interrupt: PC negative - Oosuu - Vengeance / Dispute

NPC list: contact, target, ISB agent, informant, Imperial commander, rebel agent, love interest, Inzoyln the Bith blackmailer, overseer, executive, Baprasta the barabel shockboxer, Yarishe the Chiss tech (Oosuu's "rival")

Threads: survive the wait, deal with Inzoyln, Yarishe's gambit

Yarishe
angry Chiss technician
Dexterity 3D
 dodge 4D
Knowledge 4D
 streetwise 5D
Mechanical 2D
Perception 2D

 search 3D
 sneak 3D
Strength 3D
Tech 4D

 blaster repair 5D
 droid repair 5D
 repulsorlift repair 5D
5 character points, 250 credits


Oosuu has slept well for a change. Better, in fact, than she has since they came to Mygeeto. She's happy that the murder plot was called off, and she got a nice new friend to boot. And even Zil seems less terrifying, at least for the moment. Today's shift in the maintenance area has gone well too. Even Yarishe has been, if not pleasant, at least civil. She's not even perturbed at the end of the shift, when she finds there's still an order token in the pocket of her coveralls. She doesn't mind that it will make her late for dinner -- nothing's going to spoil her mood today!

[Yarishe's Sneak 3D=9 had beaten Oosuu's Perception 4D+2=7 (wild 1); she slipped the token into her pocket.]

Oosuu goes to the maintenance racks to see what the errant token will bring her, and finds a beaten-up cutting laser lying on its side with most of its outer panels stacked in a heap beside it, exposing a mass of wires and circuitry. "Oh, well," she thinks, as she goes to pluck it off the shelf...

[Yarishe has rigged it to explode when moved. Blaster Repair 5D=25; it will do 5D damage. But Oosuu gets a Difficult (18) Search roll to notice the trap: 4D+2=31 (wild 6,6,5). Easy (10) Tech roll to disarm: 3D=14. (all extrapolated from Cracken's Rebel Field Guide)]

...and her hand suddenly freezes. She can see the ignition button housing lying beneath the cutter, with wires leading suspiciously back to the fusion power assembly directly, rather than the beam intensity chamber as they should do. She peers into the cutter's innards, and is none-too-surprised to find that the overload regulator has been bypassed. "Nice try, Yarishe," she mutters, "but not blow up Twi'lek so easily." Oosuu fishes a pair of wire cutters out of her coveralls and snips the wires. When she lifts the tool off the housing, the ignition button pops up with a frustrated little click.

Oosuu dumps most of the laser cutter onto the scrap heap, but she fashions the button housing and tripwire into a necklace before heading straight to the cafeteria. She flounces up behind Yarishe and taps the unsuspecting Chiss on the shoulder.

"Oosuu thank Yarishe, present very pretty. Oosuu wear always!"

[The deliberate provocation calls for opposed Persuasion and Willpower rolls: O 4D+2=24 vs. Y 4D=10 (Wild 1 = complication).
She attacks (1d6): 1-2 unarmed, 3-4 grab chair, 5 tray of food, 6 hidden knife]


Yarishe wheels round to stare down at the Twi'lek. Her hands ball into fists, her red eyes narrow, and her jaw clenches so hard for a moment, that she cannot give voice to her rage. Then in a moment she springs, and in a blue blur snatches up the nearest chair and swings it at Oosuu's head. Oosuu ducks without thinking. The chair swishes over her head, and Yarishe loses her grip. The chair clatters away across the floor between other astonished workers.

[Oosuu won the Initiative, and made a full Brawling Parry, adding 3D=8 to the attack's Difficulty number (8): 8+8=16.
Yarishe grabbed the chair and attacked, so -1D for two actions, but +10 for attacking an unarmed opponent: 3D-1D+10= 13 (wild = 1; complication = loses grip)
Q: Does it hit a bystander? Likely (3+): O1 C6 - No.
Oosuu's friends can reach her in 1d6-2=0 rounds]


Baprasta runs up behind Yarishe and grabs her, pinning the Chiss' arms to her sides and lifting her feet right off the ground. "No fighting," growls Baprasta. "Didn't you read the regulations when you signed on?" Yarishe struggles against the Barabel's crystaliron grip, but soon realises she's outmatched.

[B's Brawl 6D-10(grapple)=13 vs. Y's Brawling Parry 3D+3=10; STR 5D=15 vs. 3D=12, pinned.

Q: Is Yarishe cowed? Likely (3+): O5 C8 - Yes.
Q: Does she get in trouble? Likely (3+): O5 C7 - Yes.
Q: Does Oosuu and/or Baprasta get in trouble? Unlikely (5+): O6 C3 - Yes, but... other PC has a chance to defuse it.]


One of the serving droids sounded the silent alarm when the fight started, and already a unit of stormtroopers are rushing into the cafeteria. Most of the workers are scurrying aside, but some stand frozen, or with their hands raised. The stormtroopers ignore them and head right for the obvious epicentre.

Jather abruptly interposes himself between Baprasta and the stormtroopers. "This brave Barabel ran to stop the crazy Chiss from hurting anyone," he says. "I don't know what even happened. One minute she was eating, the next she just flipped out for no reason."

[Moderate (15) Persuasion: 5D+2=12 (wild die =1!)]

"Aliens," sighs one of the stormtroopers. Then Yarishe, Oosuu, Baprasta, and Jather are all escorted to the brig.

[They all need to make Persuasion rolls to be exonerated:

Jather- Easy (7): 5D+2=11 "Next time just mind your own business."
Oosuu- Easy (10): 4D+2=23 (wild 6,6,4) "Just please be more careful."
Baprasta- Moderate (12): 3D+1=15 "Very noble of you, but you should've let security handle it."
Yarishe- Difficult (20): 2D=5... sent down (close thread, remove from NPC list)]



Scene 9

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: three-a-side torfa-ball

NPC list: contact, target, ISB agent, informant, Imperial commander, rebel agent, love interest, Inzoyln the Bith blackmailer, overseer, executive, Baprasta the barabel shockboxer

Threads: survive the wait, deal with Inzoyln

There seems to be no fallout from the incident with Yarishe, save that the Chiss herself is shipped off to one of the waste-processing facilities.

Jather signs up for one of the gymnasia, and a few days later his friends assemble to have a private discussion. Zil and Wex explain everything that has happened so far to Baprasta, who insists she still wants in and isn't going to change her mind.

[Q: Has B ever been involved with Morga? 50/50 (4+): O3 C6 - No]

Baprasta in turn tells them her story, how she left the shockboxing circuit almost 12 years ago after a bad spice addiction ended her career and later nearly killed her. She has been clean for almost three years, and wandering the Rim. She came here to get back in shape and avoid temptation. As far as she's aware, she's never been involved in any capacity with Morga the Hutt.

Their immediate collective problem is Inzoyln. Zil says they can either take her out in and "accident" or figure out what she's up to and make sure she gets caught -- without any of them having to snitch. The latter option is preferred, even by Zil, but she convinces them that expediency will necessarily be the deciding factor. And they still need to find out what Morga wants them to do.

In the midst of all this, they do manage to play some torfa-ball. Zil and Wex are overly-competitive and nearly spoil it, Jather and Oosuu are comically inept, and Baprasta and Lina are just happy for the workout.

Afterwards, when they open the gym doors to leave, they find a unit of stormtroopers standing on the other side.

"Zil Darklighter, you need to come with us."

Next post: Zil faces the Empire -- alone!