Sunday, 10 September 2017

Now in English! Even more monsters for Épées & Sorcellerie 2nd ed.

Presenting the most fearsome monster of them all...

Humans

Aristocrat
Hit Dice: 1-1
Attack: -1
Armour Class: variable
Movement: 3
Alignment: variable

This term refers to all the members of the rich leisure classes. As little inclined to combat as they are to effort, they generally call upon their bodyguards to assure their protection (2d6 men-at-arms or brigands, depending on the morality of the employer).


Barbarian, berserker
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 4
Alignment: Neutral

Completely obsessed by the frenzy of combat, these warriors rush toward the adversary without any protection save a shield and body paint. They fight with a +2 attack bonus against opponents of less than 2 hit dice. They fight to the death and never check morale. They are sometimes led by a Hero (1-2 on 1d6) or a Druid (3+ on 1d6).


Barbarian, warrior
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 4
Alignment: Neutral

These savage tribal warriors wear furs into battle, and are armed with sword, spear, and shield. Superstitious, they have a +2 morale bonus against normal opponents, but a -1 when faced with supernatural manifestations.


Barbarian, hero

Hit Dice: 4+1
Attack: +3
Armour Class: 10
Movement: 4
Alignment: Neutral

A barbarian hero has the same fear immunity as a 4th level warrior. There is a chance (10+ on 2d6) that they will possess a magic weapon.


Druid
Hit Dice: 5 [7]
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 4
Alignment: Neutral

A mysterious caste, the druids generally serve as priests amongst the barbarian tribes of the northern forests. They may cast spells as 7th level priests, but may use sorcerous spells as well priestly ones, and do not require a spellbook to prepare their invocations. They can transform into animals thrice per day.

In their capacity as spiritual leaders of their community, they are often accompanied (1-4 on 1d6) by a troupe composed of 5d6 1 hit die warriors and 1d6-1 heroes who fight as 4HD monsters.


Brigand
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attack: +1
Armour Class: variable
Movement: 3
Alignment: Neutral/ Chaos

This category comprises all types of individuals such as bandits, pirates, buccaneers, deserters, renegade mercenaries, gangsters, etc. Often organised in bands, they take their orders from an NPC (1-2 warrior; 3 priest, 4 sorcerer, 5-6 thief). Undisciplined, they suffer a -1 penalty to morale rolls if their chief or one of their lieutenants is not present to command them.


Normal Human
Hit Dice: 1
Attack: 0
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 4
Alignment: variable

This category designates the majority of the human population: peasants, artisans, shopkeepers, etc. They generally fight with improvised weapons, tools, or clubs. When faced with monsters or skilled fighters, they have a -1 penalty to morale rolls.


Man-at-arms
Hit Dice: 1
Attack: 0
Armour Class: 8 or 9
Movement: 3
Alignment: Law / Neutral

Men-at-arms are common soldiers, guards, or members of the militia. Their equipment is usually made up of a spear, a short sword, leather armour, and sometimes a helmet and shield. In the absence of an officer to command them, they suffer a -1 penalty to morale rolls.


Man-at-arms, veteran
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 8 or 9
Movement: 3
Alignment: Law / Neutral

Veterans are experienced soldiers, guards, or members of the militia. Their equipment is usually made up of a spear, a short sword, leather armour, and sometimes a helmet and shield.


Man-at-arms, sergeant
Hit Dice: 2
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 9 or 10
Movement: 3
Alignment: Law / Neutral

The equipment of a sergeant usually comprises a short sword or mace, a coat of mail, and sometimes a helmet and shield.


Man-at-arms, captain
Hit Dice: 3
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 10
Movement: 3
Alignment: Law / Neutral

The equipment of a captain usually comprises a long sword, a coat of mail, a helmet, and a shield.


Scholar
Hit Dice: ½ (3 hit points)
Attack: 0
Armour Class: 6
Movement: 4
Alignment: variable

Sages, savants, librarians, and other learned people living a studious life.


Noble
Hit Dice: 5
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 11
Movement: 2
Alignment: variable

Temporal lords of a domain, usually combatants, nobles generally go armed and accompanied by an escort of at least 1 captain and 2d6 men-at-arms.


Cultist
Cultists are members of a religious cult or secret society, generally worshippers of demons, ancient Chaos gods, or the spirits of dead sorcerers.

Cultist, guard (zealot)
Hit Dice: 1
Attack: 0
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 3
Alignment: Chaos

Cult guards are usually fanatics because of their religion or daily use of drugs. They fight to the death and never check morale.


Cultist, faithful
Hit Dice: 1-1 [1]
Attack: -1
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 4
Alignment: Chaos

The faithful of a sect usually attack in a disorganised fashion, using daggers, stilettos, or improvised weapons. When there are more than ten of them present, and led by a priest of the cult, they may unite their prayers for 1d6 rounds in order to cast one of the following spells up to three times per day: charm, fear, hold portal, protection from evil, darkness, sanctuary. If the cult leader is killed, they disperse automatically.


Cultist, sacrificator
Hit Dice: 2 [3]
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 3
Alignment: Chaos

These priests of the second rank officiate at the daily prayers and sacrifices of the cult. They cast spells as a 2nd level priest as long as they are accompanied by at least 10 faithful (see above). They may possess spell scrolls (1-in-6 chance) and make use of them. If the cult leader is killed, they disperse automatically.


Cultist, officiant
Hit Dice: 4 [5]
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 3
Alignment: Chaos

In addition to their power to channel the spells of the faithful (see above), the priests of a sect may cast 1d3+1 spells per day of levels 1 and 2 on both the priest's and sorcerer's lists. They may also be in possession of spell scrolls (1-2 on 1d6) or wands (roll of 3 on 1d6) and make use of them.


Cultist, grand master
Hit Dice: 5+1 [7]
Attack: +3
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 4
Alignment: Chaos.

The grand master of a cult is loathe to fight, and always prefers to send guards and the faithful in his place. The grand master of a cult may cast 1d6+2 spells per day, of levels 1-3, chosen from both the priest's and sorcerer's lists. They possess 1d3 magic items (scrolls, wands, or miscellaneous items) which they will not hesitate to use. They may also be endowed with certain strange powers determined by the GM.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Now in English! More monsters for Épées & Sorcellerie 2nd ed.

Additional monsters of levels 1-4.


Bugbear
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 3
Alignment: Neutral / Chaos.

This tribe of primordial giants are great hairy goblins, and much more bellicose than their ancestors. They move without making the slightest sound, which gives them a 3-in-6 chance to surprise their adversaries.


Carrion Crawler
Hit Dice: 3 +1 [4]
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 10
Movement: 4
Alignment: Neutral

These many-legged monstrous worms feast on carrion, but do not object to adding living creatures to their diet. Carrion crawlers can walk on walls and ceilings. Contact with the tentacles surrounding their maw causes paralysis.


Falcon Man
Hit Dice: 1
Attack: +0
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 4 / 6 (fly)
Alignment: Chaos

These humanoids possess the wings and head of a falcon on a human body. Excellent duellists, they can use a sword in flight. Their hollow bones do not allow them to wear armour. Their cities are built on icy mountain peaks. Some falcon men are true warriors, able to progress to 10th level.


Floating Eye
Hit Dice: 1
Attack: +0
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 12 (swim)
Alignment: Neutral

These strange fish possess but one oversized eye and a cloaca situated at its base. They often converge in schools of 2-12 individuals to hunt. Their gaze causes paralysis (saving throw allowed), which allows them to feed easily; larger fish devour the paralysed creatures after which the floating eyes consume the bloody leftovers.


Harpy
Hit Dice: 3 [4]
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 2 / 6 (fly)
Alignment: Chaos

Half eagle, half woman, a harpy is a bloodthirsty creature, always on the lookout for humans (or humanoids) to tear to pieces. In spite of their repulsive appearance (the bottom half of their bodies is that of a bird), a harpy attracts her victims by her charm and enchanting attributes. The men that she lures are charmed by her touch, before being killed and devoured. Any creature failing a saving throw against magic will move towards the monster, and its simple touch acts as a Charm spell.
 

Ixitxachitl
Hit Dice: 1 + 1
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 3
Alignment: Chaos

This race of evil manta rays lives in the shallows of tropical seas and assembles in colonies of 10 to 60 individuals, or sometimes many more. Their lair is often a reef of poisonous coral, which lets them keep predators at a distance. They themselves are immune to poison. The ixitxachitl have intelligence comparable to a human's, though their way of thinking differs greatly.

Their colonies are ruled by anti-priests of level 2-8, who poses the power of telepathic communication with other creatures, the which capacity they rarely use due to their bellicose nature. There are occasionally vampiric ixitxachitl, who are twice as powerful as their brethren and can drain levels as do wights.


Lizard Man
Hit Dice: 2+1
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 2 / 4 (swim)
Alignment: Neutral

These amphibious reptiles of humanoid appearance, organised in sometimes antagonistic tribes, make their lairs in wet places such as under-sea grottos or marshes. They are man-eaters, who make frequent raids on human settlements to takes as many prisoners as possible. Of limited intelligence, they are crudely armed with primitive spears and clubs.


Stirge
Hit Dice: 1+2 [2]
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 6
Alignment: Neutral.

These sinister birds with long proboscides are bloodsuckers that lurk in the darkness of caverns or savage places, looking for warm-blooded prey. After a successful attack roll, a stirge plants its proboscis into its target and begins draining blood, causing 1d6 hit points damage per round, until the victim is completely exsanguinated. At this point the stirge flies off to digest in its lair.


Strangleweed
Hit Dice: 4
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 9
Movement: 0
Alignment: Neutral.

This carnivorous aquatic plant is mostly found in a tropical climate. Having developed a rudimentary intelligence, this seaweed assembles in colonies which are hard to discern from normal kelp. Each colony is formed of 1-6 strangleweeds from 3-6 metres long (some even reach the surface!) which appear devoid of consciousness until a creature comes within their range. The weeds coil around their prey, trying to immobilise and smother it. At the beginning of combat, each strangleweed makes a separate attack roll; if it succeeds, the target cannot break off combat (and risks drowning). Combat then proceeds normally. The only way to be free of a strangleweed is to kill it.


Thought Eater
Hit Dice: 1/2 [1]
Attack: special
Armour Class: 7
Movement: 6
Alignment: Neutral

Thought eaters are small burrowing animals which bear a certain resemblance to prehistoric trilobites, and which bury themselves in about a metre beneath the surface, be it in a subterranean locale or the ground above.

These creatures are able to hibernate for many dozens of years without feeding, until someone uses magic within 30 metres of them, at which point they awaken and burst forth from the earth to pursue the reckless spellcaster and their companions. When the thought eater comes within 3 metres of a spellcaster, they consume one level of memorised spells per round and per thought eater. For example, a sorcerer loses 2 spells of level 1 or 1 spell of level 2 if a thought eater remains in range for two rounds. Once all memorised spells have been consumed, the thought eaters attack Intelligence, devouring 1 point per round per thought eater, beginning with the creature with the highest Intelligence. The target must be within 3 metres. Note that these monsters have no intelligence of their own, and are thus immune to this power.

When a thought eater has consumed 3 points of spells or Intelligence, it swells up and divides into two identical individuals through a spontaneous cloning process.Whilst drained spells may be re-memorised, points of Intelligence are lost permanently.


Tracker
Hit Dice: 4
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 11
Movement: 10
Alignment: Chaos

Created in ages past by a race of sorcerers, trackers have the body of a wolf with the head and talons of a vulture. Hunting in packs of 6-36 individuals, sometimes under the control of a maleficent entity, they can follow a trail by scent for days on end, regardless of conditions.


Wererat
Hit Dice: 3
Attack: +1
Armour Class: 8
Movement: 4
Alignment: Chaos

A wererat is either a giant rat that can transform into a humanoid, or the inverse. Very intelligent, they usually live in colonies hidden below the great cities of men, whose social structures they imitate. In humanoid form, they seek to infiltrate human society to carry out their plans.

In animal form, they can stand on their hind legs and use weapons in combat. If possible, they will capture their enemies and hold them for ransom.


Will-o-wisp
Hit Dice: 2+1 [4]
Attack: +2
Armour Class: 10
Movement: 6 (fly and swim)
Alignment: Chaos

Will-o-wisps are malignant nocturnal spirits that haunt deserted and dangerous places such as peat bogs, swamps, or cemeteries in the form of small pale lights of a greenish or bluish tint. They seek to attract solitary travellers, playing on their resemblance to a torch or lantern, and lead them into natural pitfalls in hopes of drinking up their vital essence. If they fail to lead their victim astray, they will attack directly, draining 1d6+2 hit points with each successful attack, or using their power to Charm (once per night). They are commonly found in groups of 1d3. Will-o-wisps, being demonic creatures, are immune to sorcerers' spells, but are vulnerable to the invocations of priests.

The wealth of previous victims rests in the natural pitfalls, from which these malign spirits never venture more than 100 metres.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Now in English! More spells and spellcasters in Épées & Sorcellerie 2nd ed.

Additional material for Priests and Sorcerers

Priest


Three optional sub-classes:

Hermit


This variant of the of the priest is an adept of the ways of nature. Hermits live amongst plants and animals more often than amongst humans. They lose the use of priest spells relating to good and evil, but gain instead those sorcerer spells which concern flora and fauna. They repel plants and animals rather than the undead. Finally, they may not wear any metal armour, but gain a +2 bonus to stealth and survival in natural surroundings.


Cleric


This variant of the of the priest is a mystical zealot, part of a militant religious order known as the Church of Law. Clerics vow their lives to the fight against Chaos in all of its forms. Because of this, they lose the use of all reversed priest spells, but may repel undead and demons.

Required alignment: Law


Anti-Cleric


This variant of the of the priest is cultist, part of a sect which worships one of many demons, for whom they organise bloody sacrifices and depraved orgies. Anti-clerics have the goal of the final destruction of the Church of Law. Some of them infiltrate this order, passing themselves off as clerics, working secretly for the Church's ruin and all the while continuing to venerate their demoniacal deity. The anti-cleric can use all priest spells, including both versions of reversible spells, but loses the exorcism ability.

Required alignment: Chaos


New Spells


Level 2 Invocations


Silence

Level 2 / Range: 10x / Duration: Turns.

The priest and their party move without making the slightest sound. The priest can also use this invocation to make something else silent, and object or creature for example.


Level 3 Invocations


Anathema

Level 3 / Range: 1x / Duration: Rounds.

The priest's enemies within the zone of effect receive a -1 penalty to saving throws for every 4 levels of the caster.


--- --- --- ---

Sorcerer


Rule addition and new spells.

Elemental Forces (addition): The range in metres is equal to the sorcerer's level.

New Spells

Level 1 Spells


Shield

Level 1 / Range: Caster / Duration: Rounds.

A magical barrier between the sorcerer and his enemies grants armour class 11 against missiles and 10 against other attacks.


Ventriloquism

Level 1 / Range: 1x / Duration: Turns.
The sorcerer can cause his voice to come from somewhere other than his own mouth, for example a statue, and animal, etc.


Level 2 Spells


Mirror Image

Level 2 / Range: 1x / Duration: Rounds.
1d3 images of the sorcerer appear. They are indistinguishable from the sorcerer and copy his every move. Any successful attack upon an image dissipates it, but the others will continue to exist.


Message

Level 2 / Range: 1x / Duration: Special.
A mouth appears on an object (or its own mouth appears to animate) and speaks a message of five words per caster level. The message is determined by the sorcerer at the moment of casting.

The message may be delivered under certain conditions, for example, if someone approaches within a radius of five metres, if an elf touches the object, etc. The spell lasts until the message has been delivered.


Pyrotechnics

Level 2 / Range: 10x / Duration: Rounds.

Whichever form this spell takes, the caster must have access to a fire of some kind, be it a torch, blaze, brazier, campfire, etc. The caster may choose to create dancing lights, coloured and/or dazzling lights resembling fireworks, or else obscure the area with smoke. The extent of the spell's effects depends largely on the size of the fire used. The fire is extinguished when the spell ends.


Level 3 Spells


Conjure Shadows

Level 3 / Range: x10 / Duration: Hours.

The sorcerer can summon 1d6 shadows, who are bound to his service. The entities obey the sorcerer, but retain their own personality and do not always carry out their orders in the way that the sorcerer would have wished, especially if they are sent out of the the sorcerer's sight. These creatures cannot cross the area of a spell of Protection from Evil.


Level 4 Spells


Ice Storm

Level 4 / Range: 1x / Duration: Rounds.
The elements are unleashed in the area of effect. Hail pummels all creatures present, inflicting 5d6 damage per round (no saving throw).


Level 5 Spells


Contact Outer Entity

Level 5 / Range: Caster/ Duration: Special.

This formula permits the sorcerer to ask three questions of an Outer Entity (demonic, divine, it makes little difference. In a Swords & Sorcery context, the entity will most likely be demonic). It will respond, but usually in an elliptical, oracular, or coded fashion, depending on the extent of the questions.

Even though it will respond correctly, a demonic entity will try to twist its responses to lead the sorcerer into error. If it is offended, the sorcerer will become permanently insane (no saving throw).


Level 6 Spells


Conjure Demon

An additional variant of Conjure Djinn.


Telluric Shaping

Level 6 / Range: 10x / Duration: Turns.

With this spell, the sorcerer can completely transform the terrain in the area of effect (either on the surface or underground), flattening hills, opening fissures, collapsing caverns, etc. Whatever the sorcerer modifies, it requires a full turn to complete. The modifications are permanent and remain after the spell's duration has elapsed. They cannot be dispelled, only the spell itself may be.


Legendary Knowledge
Level 6 / Range: Special / Duration: Special.
By means of this spell, the sorcerer acquires knowledge of a magic item, person, or legendary place. It is up to the GM to decide what constitutes "legendary" status. The ritual necessary to cast this spell is sometimes very long: 1d6x10 days. The information obtained may be in the form of a riddle, a poem, etc.


Revulsion*

Level 6 / Range: 10x / Duration: Rounds.

Creatures flee from the sorcerer as quickly as possible until they are out of the spell's range. Another version of the spells deflects objects projected towards the sorcerer (like arrows or thrown weapons) back to their senders, reversing their course.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Now in English! Cultural Origins in Épées & Sorcellerie 2nd ed.

Optional rule: Cultural Origins

With this option, each character belongs to a great culture: Barbarian, Civilised, Decadent, Enlightened, Nomad, Primitive, or is instead of Unknown origin. The cultures determine the broad strokes of the character's origin.

The exact region, city, or kingdom from which the character hails is determined by the player, in agreement, of course, with the GM and his campaign. Each origin has traits which add detail and variety to one's character. This option works best in a world where the PCs are generally human.



Barbarian

Barbarians live in savage, hostile lands, such as craggy hills, mountains or inhospitable forests. Most of them worship austere, bellicose gods. The splendours of civilisation offer but little enticement for these rough and pragmatic peoples, but even so there are some individuals amongst them who feel an irrational attraction for the charms of civilisation. Their harsh lives prepare them very well for the life of an adventurer, a road that many of them do not hesitate to follow, tempted by the gold and jewels of the cities...

Hardy: Barbarians roll their hit dice twice and keep the better result.

Warlike: A barbarian usually leads a life of combat and furor. If the character is a single-classed warrior, all melee damage they inflict receives a +1 bonus. If the character becomes dual-classed, this bonus is lost.



Civilised

Civilised characters come from countries where the cultures are among the most advanced. They hail from great cities and towns with majestic towers and colourful populations. The cities are the ideal place to acquire skills, learn sorcery, or pick the pockets of one's neighbours...

Babble: Civilised characters receive a +1 bonus to all social interactions (haggling, bluff, persuasion, etc.).

City-dweller: Having spent a part of their lives embroiled in urban culture, civilised characters receive a +2 bonus to anything that touches upon knowledge or erudition.



Decadent

All civilisations, once their golden age is past, fall into decrepitude. The inhabitants of these empires in decline wallow in forbidden pleasures, organise depraved orgies, take all sorts of mind-numbing drugs, and worship strange demoniacal divinities to whom they make bloody human sacrifices. Slave merchants, fanatic priests, and corrupt nobles rule these impious lands with an iron fist.

Dark Secrets: All Decadent characters may use magic scrolls of any sort.

Presence:
Decadent characters may obtain double the number of henchmen.



Unknown

Characters of Unknown origin knows little, perhaps nothing, of their cultural and social origin. They have led (and will yet lead, you can bet on it...) the life of an outcast and a wanderer. Even though they haven't benefited from the teachings of a specific cultural environment, they have nevertheless acquired the instinct and intelligence necessary for a life of wandering and improvisation: they learn quickly and effectively. Moreover, these adventurers par excellence are often possessed of exceptional luck, which often leads them to believe they have a great destiny.

Luck & Instinct: The character may re-roll the dice (for whatever reason) a number of times per day equal to their level divided by 4, rounded up (one re-roll for levels 1-4, two for levels 5-8, and three re-rolls from level 9 and up).

Intelligence & Improvisation: An adventurer of Unknown origin learns quickly and better, receiving a +10% bonus to earned experience points.



Enlightened

A very few great civilisations rise above the others and obtain a quasi-divine status. Scholars, philosophers, sages amongst men, the members of such a civilisation have produced incomparable creations, study the great problems beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, have philosophised for centuries, and posses an encyclopedic knowledge. Their cities, which transcend reality itself, last for centuries, just as these great men have no awareness of time.

Longevity: Enlightened characters have a lifespan three times longer than normal humans.

Ancestral Memory: At creation, spellcasters have three additional spells in their  spellbook.



Nomad

Nomads, like barbarians, live in inhospitable country such as deserts or steppes.  They are not sedentary and drive their herds mounted upon their horses, which are the pride and basis of their culture. Nonetheless, their animistic faith spurs them on to the greatest caution when confronted with the supernatural and makes them very often superstitious.

Born rider: A Nomad may perform any action without penalty whilst mounted (combat, archery, even spellcasting!). Moreover, the character may begin play with a horse, if desired.

Traveller: Thanks to their incessant journeys, Nomads regularly come in contact with peoples of every origins, with whom they trade, talk -- or fight! They may thus know two supplementary languages.



Primitive

The most savage cultures sometimes produce adventurers, wanderers who prowl about the margins of civilisation. They often make savage and bestial combatants, but remain absolutely uncomprehending of the most subtle facets of civilisation, such as sorcery...

Savage: Illiterate and uneducated, a Primitive character cannot read nor write, regardless of Intelligence. Moreover, they may not begin their adventuring career as a Sorcerer. They may become sorcerers later as long as they have first learnt to read and write. Primitive characters have led a harsh life and have learnt to survive in savage, hostile environments (+2 bonus to track, find food & shelter, etc. in the wilderness).

Vigorous: A Primitive character has lived in extremely hard and savage conditions, and can bear up under things that would overcome a person raised in milder conditions. They receive a +1 bonus to saving throws against fear, poison, and disease.
 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Now in English! Thieves in Épées & Sorcellerie 2nd ed.

I've often thought I should translate the additional material in É&S 2nd edition into English, and Sophia's post today in an RPG group reminded me of this fact. It's a really fine game and I think everyone should try it, so to that end, I will translate bits and pieces when I have time (I'm working on 2 other projects right now which need to take priority).

So for now I present the fourth character class, The Thief.

(If you don't know about Épées & sorcellerie, you can get a  free PDF of the 2nd edition (in French), or a free English translation of the 1st edition.)

---

Thief

The thief can be an acrobatic burglar, an expert treasure hunter, an unscrupulous crook, a spy devoted to a just cause, a big-hearted brigand, an audacious smuggler and many other roles besides. Because of his meticulous training, he has several special skills, which go far beyond what an ordinary individual could do faced with the same difficulties.

Hit Dice
The Thief gains 1d6 additional hit points per level up the level 8. However, certain races stop gaining extra hit dice before this level.

Weapons and Armour
A thief can use all light weapons (one-handed melee and all throwing weapons) and armour (up to Chain Mail), but some of his particular abilities require certain freedom of movement. In this case, he may wear at the most leather armour, and must abandon any shield, in order to benefit from the special bonuses for these abilities. The Abilities concerned are: Sneak Attack, Reflexes, and Stealth.

Sneak Attack
When the thief manages to surprise and/or attack a target from behind, he gains an additional +2 bonus to attack. All damage caused is doubled. This ability is not effective against any creatures that do not have "backs" per se, nor against thieves of a equal or higher level.

Reflexes
The thief gains a +1 bonus to saving throws against traps requiring reflexes, speed, etc.

Manipulation
A thief is able to pick locks and disarm small traps, such as a poisoned needle in the lock of a chest or an alarm on a door), with the proper tools (+2 bonus).

Keen Hearing
The thief has developed better hearing than normal, being always on the alert. He is more likely than others to perceive suspicious or alarming noises (+2 bonus).

Stealth
A thief is generally more skilled than others at hiding in the shadows, getting lost in a crowd (by disguising himself, for example) or remaining unnoticed by all those who are not paying attention (+2 bonus). Some thieves take advantage of such stealth to pick the pockets of passers-by and the unwary (+2 bonus). In addition, when he is prowling about on his own, a Thief adds his attack bonus to the normal surprise chance (1-in-6). For example, a Level 4 Thief would have 2 chances out of 6 to surprise his opponents. Carrying a light source cancels this bonus.

Cunning
Beginning at level 2, a thief is able to use magic items that are normally prohibited. The thief must make a successful saving throw (10+) in order to use the object in question. A success indicates that he can use the object without risk. Scrolls and objects with charges require a saving throw for each use. If the saving throw fails, the thief is unable to use the object and may suffer damage. Nevertheless, this special ability does not allow the thief to escape the effects of a cursed object.


Level Experience Hit Dice Attacks Special
  1       0        1d6      +0
  2     1 500      2d6            Cunning
  3     3 000      3d6
  4     6 000      4d6
  5    12 000      5d6      +1
  6    24 000      6d6
  7    48 000      7d6
  8    96 000      8d6      +2
  9   192 000      8d6
  10  280 000      8d6
  11  340 000      8d6
  12  436 000      8d6      +3

Monday, 14 August 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 14: At home in the underworld

Back in the relative safety of their flat, our somewhat-subdued heroes are trying to drift into their usual routine. Lina is field-stripping and cleaning her blaster with uncommon rigour, Oosuu is sprawled on the sofa watching a holo-documentary on the life cycle of the Bantha and drinking the galaxy's cheapest beer, Zil and Wex are sharing a bottle of Ithorian brandy that Jather stole from the market. The thief himself is just returning from a sudden supply run. "I thought I told you two nerf herders that this was for cooking!" he says, snatching the bottle from Wex's hand.

"You did," says Wex peevishly, "but there's nothing else to drink."

"Oosuu said share beer," offers Oosuu over her shoulder.

"That swill's not potable," says Wex, "so I stand by my statement."

"Wex loss. More for Oosuu!"

"Fortunately," says the Devaronian as he places a bottle of bubbling green liquid on the table, "doctor Jather foresaw this little eventuality. Now, I'm going to bake us up something rich, so you lot can either start shelling these quozma nuts or get out of my kitchen. Anyways, what'd I miss when I was out?"

"We were considering our options," says Zil. "whether we stay put like we said, or keep running."

"And?"

"Morga's a clever Hutt. He understands the value of what we're offering, and that he can't afford not to deal if it's genuine. And I'm counting on my reputation to convince him it probably is."

"Is genuine. Oosuu already say."

"He'll check anyways," says Wex.

"It won't take much time to check, if I know good old Porubek," says Zil. "But Morga's probably going to wait a while to contact us, just to make us sweat."

"Think we're still safe here?" asks Jather.

"It's a good bet he knows where we live by now, or will soon," says Wex. "But what do we do about Lina?"

"I'm sitting right here, Wex!"

"You're just as much a fugitive from Ord Mantell as we are," says Zil. "Wex is trying in his own misguided way to keep you from having to deal with a Hutt. But you're safest if you stick with us, really."

"Thanks, Zil. I guess..."

"So we're resolved to all just sit here and wait," says Wex. "Anyone mind telling me how we're going to afford food and rent? We're skint."

"Oosuu get job, Oosuu suppose."

"Fixing blasters?"

"No tools! Oosuu wait tables. Again."

"I might be able to get us some quick money," says Jather. "But it's risky..."

[The PCs must wait 2d6=4 weeks for confirmation]

Despite everyone privately thinking it's a dreadful idea, Jather somehow convinces the rest that he can make them plenty of money at the local casino -- not so much that he attracts the attention of the local crime families or the Imperials they pay off to do business, but enough to pay the bills. Oosuu wishes him luck, but still marches out and gets herself a job waiting tables.

Zil doesn't want Jather to be left alone at the casinos. "Not that I don't trust you," she explains, "but if you win big you're going to be an easy target."

Jather readily agrees, but insists she has to look the part if she's coming along. It takes her two days to find a suitable evening gown that they can afford. When she steps out of her room in it for the first time, the others' jaws collectively drop at the sight of her strapless and sequinned splendour.

"Wow, Zil," says Wex, "you clean up good. Who'd of thunk it."

"That's a... very daring look," says Lina. "I could never pull it off. I wouldn't be brave enough. That skirt's slit halfway up to orbit!"

"Nice garter," observes Jather. "The red's a good contrast."

"I hope you lechers all realise," says Zil, "that I had Oosuu rig the garter to conceal my hold-out blaster. That's why I needed the skirt slit so high."

. . .

The casino that Jather has selected is a seamy and smoky affair, but with just the right veneer of class. It's full of the dregs of Phaeda's high society, second-rate gamblers fleeing their debts in the Core Systems, Imperial Navy officers who will never rate their own command, and all their associated arm-/tentacle-/pseudopod-candy (and most of this last on a per-hour basis). If Jather were a religious being, this would probably be the image of his heaven.

Zil does her best to be attentive and charming, all the while scanning the crowd for potential dangers, as Jather settles into a game of Sabaac.

[For simplicity, I used the Gambling tables in the catch-up section of Midkemia Press' Cities. Each week, Jather rolls 1d% + his 5D+2 Gambling skill; a mishap will result in a -10 total modifier.

For the first week, he bets 400 credits: 5D+2=35 (wild 6,6,4!)

But d%=33, for a result on the chart of "You break even, with no gain and no loss."]

Jather has an extraordinary run of bad luck. He doesn't lose any money, but try as he might he can't seem to make any. It's only his consummate skill that has kept him from losing more than he did. After three nights, he feels he must talk to Zil.

"I don't think this is working."

"Well, I didn't want to say anything," says Zil, "but I'm glad you noticed. What do we do now?"

"I can do this, I know I can. It's just... you're bad luck, Zil."

"What do you mean?"

"I just don't think you're working out, is all."

"Not working out? Come on! I can feel all their eyes on me when we walk in the place. I've gotten propositions from dozens of the men there. And dozens of women. And possibly that spherical thing with the wings, I'm not sure... It's not like I get off on the attention or anything. What more do you expect me to do?"

"Zil... you're a right stunner in that dress, but you scare people. Otherwise every single one of them would be falling at your feet. There's a fine line between femme fatale and off-world kick-murder squad -- and I think you've crossed it."

. . .

The next morning Zil and Jather start working on Oosuu to convince her to take Zil's place. Zil trusts her ability to spot danger a light year away, even if she's not particularly much use in a fight. But she admits that the Twi'lek would be far more decorative than either Lina or Wex.

Neither of them is prepared for her reticence, nor the vehemence of her initial refusal. Oosuu launches into a long, angry and mostly incoherent monologue, which may or may not be entirely in Basic, but of which the substance is "that all Zil think Twi'leks good for!!! (sic)"

Zil can't even reply before Oosuu has stormed out of the flat. A look of terror passes over Jather's face. Zil's not sure if he's more scared of having to go alone or with her. But then his expression brightens, as the gears in the Devaronian's brain turn over, and he runs out into the street after Oosuu.

Lina is trying to screw up her courage and volunteer, but deep down she knows what Zil will say if she does. She's almost found the guts to ask when Jather returns, grinning his crooked smile.

"She'll do it," he says. "I made her see reason."

"How?" asks Zil.

"I told her that we were counting on people to think all that about her, so they won't think that she's there to keep an eye out for trouble. And that if she were just a floozy, we wouldn't have asked her to do the job."

"Well, yeah, that's sort of the whole point."

"We know that, Zil, but she's upset that you didn't say it up front. So I told her you were sorry and you'd do her chores from now on to make up for it."

"You what? Fine. But who's going to go to the casino with her after I've killed you...?"

. . .

Oosuu insists on waiting for her first paycheck before buying, as she puts it, her disguise. Being that she is their only current source of income, no one puts up any argument. She tells Jather to buy a fresh pack of Sabaac cards and practice against Zil, Wex, and Lina whilst she's working; she'll have her money in 5 days.

The fated evening finally arrives. Oosuu steps out of her room to show the others her ensemble. They've become inured to the Twi'lek wandering nonchalantly about the flat in her underwear, and so are wholly unprepared for the deliberate presentation of her ample charms. She looks beamingly over her stunned companions, but there is a certain malicious cast to her smile.

"What think?" asks Oosuu. "Remember, Zil say look tawdry."

"Wh--what?" protests Zil, stumbling over her words. "I... I never..."

"Zil think it."

"No. I didn't... I mean... um... you..."

"Oosuu face up here, Zil."

. . .

Jather has soon declared Oosuu to be his good luck charm. The first night they're out, they come home 3000 credits richer, having set out with a mere 300. His winning streak continues, but he does his best to keep it to a modest level to avoid the wrong sort of attention. Solvent or not, Oosuu refuses to give up her job. She convinces Jather that he needs to take Zil out as backup sometimes, and also Lina, whose jealousy was beginning to turn into resentment. Jather is more than happy to oblige her, but he never seems to win as high when he's out with the other two. Wex, for his part, is happy to sit round the flat and be a parasite.

[Q: Anyone get in trouble during this time? 50/50 (4+): O1 C2 - No, and...]



Scene 12

Chaos
: Average (d10)

Setup: meeting Mr. Kuththuk (redux)

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

[Q: Is Morga willing to deal? Likely (3+): O3 C2 - Yes, and...

At the start of the scene, I made Language rolls for each PC to see if they know Huttese. Diff. = Moderate (12) for the three criminals: Z12, J20, W12, they all know it. Lina needed to roll a 15; 2D+2=10, she doesn't speak it.]

Four weeks pass by in a strange blur, and then one morning Zil receives a communiqué from Mr. Kuththuk, telling her that a meeting with the great Morga has been arranged. The evening sees them arrive at a closed art gallery. Zil enters the passcode they've been given and leads her friends inside, where the nattily-dressed Trandoshan is there to meet them.

He leads them towards the back of the gallery, pausing several times to admire a painting or comment upon a piece of sculpture.

"...and it's too bad none of you can see into the infra-red. The pigments in this piece really stand out! But I'm afraid we haven't convened to discuss the finer points of art. So let's get down to the business at hand, shall we?"

[Wex's bargain roll: 4D+1=18 vs. Mr. Kuththuk's 6D+2=20]

"We made our offer," says Wex. I'd say it's worth enough to secure a clean slate for all of us. What do you think?"

"My good Mr. Enstipo," says the Trandoshan, "whilst I agree it is a most tempting offer, I'm not in a position to make the final decision."

"Then what are we here for?"

"Why, Mr. Enstipo, I would have thought that obvious. You are here to present the merchandise for inspection, and then discuss terms of sale. The great Morga never buys something of this nature sight unseen. Call your associate and have the piece brought for inspection."

"Sorry, we're not letting you take it away."

"Oh, Mr. Enstipo, don't be foolish. It is not I, who will be receiving the piece. It is the great Morga himself!"

A thug at the back of the gallery presses a button, and a partition slides open to reveal the Hutt lounging in the back room on a sled-like throne.

"Wex, make call," says Oosuu gravely. "Oosuu talk."

"I hardly think--" says Zil.

"Not in way Zil. Oosuu fix."

Wex is already making the call as Oosuu walks forward, stops a distance away from the Hutt's and makes an elaborate, formal bow. She rises and addresses Morga in Huttese, and all trace of her accent vanishes.

"O most illustrious and esteemed Morga, as renowned amongst the pitiful stars of the rest of the galaxy as you are amongst the myriad brilliant suns of Hutt Space, we do most humbly, most reverently, and most gratefully thank you for this audience which you have bestowed upon us. It is our supreme hope that this list of disgraceful traitors which we shall place before you anon shall be a worthy gift for your eminence. Indeed, we thought of none other to whom we might offer such a token, for surely there is none other so astute and masterful. Whilst many would comprehend its value, none other could employ it so ingeniously, nor possess resources great enough to exploit it to the utmost. It is our deepest, most fervent wish that you look smilingly upon this our gift, and deem us worthy of your favour."

[Her Persuasion 4D+2=21 vs. Morga's Willpower 5D=13]

Lina soon arrives with the datapad, and hands it immediately over to Wex. Wex hands it to Oosuu, bows respectfully (he hopes) at the Hutt, and slinks back to the others. Oosuu enters the passcode, then kneels before the Hutt to present the device, raising it up with both hands over her bowed head.

[UNE--
NPC Relationship: friendly
Conversation Mood: helpful
friendly - celebration - treasure]

The slavering Hutt looks over the datapad gleefully. He motions with his stubby arm for Mr. Kuththuk to come take it from him.

"Rise, little Twi'lek," booms the Hutt. "You have certainly found me a worthy prize. As I am great, it pleases me to show mercy when mercy is merited. I accept your gift, and the slate is now clean. But that is just with me! Before I tell Chruigok that your group's capture is not a favour worth a Hutt's attention, there is a task I would have you do..."

. . .

The great weight of being hunted by a Hutt having been lifted, they are all laughing and joking as they make their way back across town towards their flat, but Oosuu is uncharacteristically sullen.

"Oosuu, what's up?" asks Zil.

"Oosuu have bad feeling about this."

"About what? We're in the clear. And we have our next job all lined up."

"Hutt job. Oosuu not like work Hutts. Oosuu finish job, Oosuu run."

"They're no worse than any of the other crime lords."

"Oosuu not agree. Zil do what want. Oosuu finish, then Oosuu out. Oosuu only got job to save necks."

"And pretty handily you did it!" exclaims Jather.

"Oosuu," says Zil, "I'm sorry I ever doubted you. That was quite some speech. I... I didn't know you were so fluent in Huttese."

"Oosuu from Hutt Space. Not speak much Basic there. Speak more Tespeen."

"Never heard of it."

"Tespeen pretty. Highly inflected."

"We could all just speak Huttese amongst ourselves if you prefer."

"Oosuu fine speak Basic."

"But if it's easier for you--"

"Oosuu speak Basic all time. Understand fine, understood fine."

"Yes, but, you were so eloquent, that--"

"Wex, why Zil so thick?"




--- --- --- ---

Thus ends the second adventure. It was much shorter than the first, so I set the base Character Point (XP) award at 6.

Lina had a bit of a lacklustre performance, so only gets 5. Wex did a few important things, so gets the base award. Oosuu, Jather, and Zil all had some stellar moments, so earn 7 each.

There will be (2d6=) 11 weeks between this and the next adventure, so there is plenty of time to improve/train skills.

Expenditures:
O 10 total; 3pts blaster to 3D+2; 2pts stamina 3D
W 11 total; 5pts streetwise 5D+1; 4 blaster 5D
Z 11 total; 4pts Sneak 4D+1; 3 starship gunnery 3D+2
L 11 total; 4pts Command 4D+2; 4 blaster 5D
J 10 total; 4pts Dodge 4D+2; 5pts Gambling 6D

to be continued...

Friday, 4 August 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 13: The criminal element

Jather is up at dawn the next morning gathering fresh produce from the market stalls as they open. His kitchen virtuosity dispels any bad feelings left over from his dereliction of duty the night before. Lina starts getting nervous as the afternoon wears on, afraid the infochant won't call back. Zil and Wex both have to keep reminding her that the junkie can't be expected to be an early riser.

Scene 9

Chaos:
Average (d10)

Setup: waiting for the man

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

She finally does call Zil, and tells her they should all meet up at a club tonight, and she'll introduce them to her guy.

[I rolled on the Musical Style table in Augmented Reality (p. 38) to determine what kind of club it was, and by extension, who can pass the dress code.
Anthemic NeoPunk = dresscode not in force]

The Separatist Alliance is a night club built in a converted droid foundry on the outskirts of the city. In truth, the foundry closed its doors well over a hundred years ago, and even then it never produced anything more dangerous than 3rd-class agbots, but the owners reckoned they were starting a dance hall and not a history lesson.

Our heroes arrive after nearly an hour of travel on three separate repulsor-buses, and join the queue to get in. Zil, Wex, and Jather have all brought hold-out blasters...

[Hide skills vs. bouncers' Search (3D)
W 3D=14 vs. 13
Z 3D=16 vs. 4
J 4D+2=11 vs. 10]

...but none of the bouncers patting them down find anything suspicious.

The dull thrumming they heard from the queue outside becomes a roar once they pass into the building. Spotlights flash and criss-cross in patterns. Beings from all over the galaxy mingle in a great and heaving mass. Some of them are milling about between the occasional tables and vinyl settees, some are dancing to the distorted and frenetic sounds of the opening band. Lina hates it, Oosuu wants to join the dancers, Jather finds it bewildering, whilst Wex and Zil are reminded of their misspent youth.

Wex, Lina, and Oosuu pretend not to know Zil and Jather, in order to discreetly keep watch for any hidden dangers. Oosuu insists she has the best vantage point from the dance floor, as she can look in 360 degrees without raising suspicions. She has run off and is pushing her way through the throng before anyone can raise an objection.

Wex notices Lina looking fidgety. "You don't like this place?" he asks.

"It reminds me of my little sister's holotape collection."

"C'mon, this song's a classic! Though there's not usually a Gamorrean on vocals..."

[Q: Anything up? 50/50 (4+): O1 C3 - No, but... plenty of shifty-looking beings about.]

Zil and Jather make a circuit of the club looking for the find infochant. They spot her turquoise coat from afar as a spotlight briefly plays over it. She's sitting hunched over the bar with a forgotten drink before her. It takes a moment for her to register Zil's hand waving in front of her face, but she snaps back to the present and she greets Zil and Jather with a friendly, if somewhat rictus-looking grin.

Zil makes an effort to be polite, but rushes quickly through the exchange of pleasantries. "Your guy here yet?" she says abruptly.

"He is," responds the infochant. "I'll make an introduction. But first, I believe there was the question of my fee...?"

"Afterwards. If this is a trap, I'm not paying."

"Why would it be a trap?"

"We're dealing with a Hutt's organisation."

"Oh. Right."

"I don't think she'd set us up," Jather says to Zil. Then turning to the infochant, "Did you even tell your friend who we were?"

"How could I? We've all been keeping our names out of it. I just said that you haven't been here long and you have a deal to make."

"Here," says Zil, "have 100 credits, then, to show I trust you. You can have the other 150 in a few minutes, as I don't think we'll be talking much today. Just setting up a further meeting."

"Ta. Follow me."

[Q: Where is the meeting? (1d6) 1-2 back room, 3-5 dark booth, 6 toilet; d6=3

first impressions: Furtive and on edge, unkempt, tattoos (Augmented reality p. 19).
He has 1d6-1=2 hangers on, bodyguard (d6=human, d6=f) and his (d6=)boyfriend

UNE--
NPC Relationship: neutral
Conversation Mood: guarded
scheming - agenda - rewards]

The infochant leads them over to a large, dark booth in an alcove on the back wall where her dealer is waiting. "Hey Frag," she screams over the music, "these are the people I told you about."

'Frag' is a bit scruffy looking, wearing ragged spacers' leathers with the arms ripped off and dark sungoggles. He also seems a bit sketched. His boytoy sits beside him, immaculate and glittery, and is intently running a finger along the tattooed patterns covering Frag's arms. On his other side sits a muscle-bound woman in a bright yellow party dress. She has an ugly, oversized clutch bag on the table before her, big enough to conceal a Blastech DL-44, were one that sort of person.

Frag hands his boy a pile of credits and sends him to the bar. His bodyguard gets up and stands by table, motioning for Zil and Jather to have a seat.

"So, you want in with Morga the Hutt," says Frag, cracking his knuckles.

"Don't worry," says Zil, "we aren't looking to muscle in on your racket."

"What are you looking for?"

"We have a certain matter to discuss. And an item to offer as consideration for said matter."

"That tells me all of nothing!"

"We have unfinished business. If Morga gets wind of the offer, he'll know what we're on about."

"What's in it for me? I'm not exactly running a charity, here."

"We'll kick back a portion of the profits. Or you can take 500 credits and be done with it."

[opposed Bargain rolls, Zil's 3D vs. Frag's 2D +5 bonus: 10 vs. 14]

"500 credits? That's pathetic."

"For delivering a message? I'd say it's more than you're worth."

"Now you're pushing it..."

"Let me make myself absolutely clear. We have unfinished business with a Hutt, whose attention we first need to get. You know someone who knows someone who's got his ear, or thereabouts, so you're our messenger. The message can either be communicated by you telling them for us, or else be written in your blood on a wall somewhere for them to find. Personally, I'd take the 500 credits..."

[Zil's Intimidate (5D) vs. Frag's Willpower (2D +10 for upper hand): 22 vs. 18]

"Yeah, OK. 500 credits to make a few calls is a good deal, I guess. Where do I find you?"

"How bout I give you my comlink number and you call me?"

"Sure. Great."

"Make sure to mention the name Vudlor Taf. I'm sure we're not the only people with unfinished business."

"Fudlar Tav. Got it."

"Close enough. Keep in touch. Let me know how you get on."

[Q: Any problems that night? 50/50 (4+): O2 C1 - No, and...
Q: Does he get word through? Likely (3+): O6 C2 - Yes, and... 1d3=1 day later]


Scene 10

Chaos: Average (d10)

Setup: first contact

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad


Around sunset the next day, Zil's comlink flashes, and she answers.

"Yeah?"

An unmistakable Trandoshan's voice replies, "This is Mr. Kuththuk. With whom am I speaking?"

"This is Zil."

"Ah, Ms. Lhahon. This is a pleasant surprise! I presume Mr. Enstipo is with you, and his charming friend Ms. Oosuu."

"We're all here."

"Mr. Plazeed as well?"

"Of course. We're in this together."

"My, you certainly are! A somewhat surprising turn of events, but there you are. I take it this conversation is between us all."

"We're all listening," says Wex, as they all crowd round the kitchen table.

"Good," continues Mr. Kuththuk. "Then I will make this offer: hand over Ms. Lhahon to me and the gracious and grateful Morga the Hutt shall forgive the rest of you. A clean slate all round, and potentially some work for Ms. Oosuu, as previously discussed."

Zil goes tense with fear even as Wex shouts, "No deal! We've come this far together and we're not about to start backstabbing one another now."

"Oosuu agree!"

"Jather? Jather!"

"What do you take me for?!" says the offended Devaronian. "What Wex said. We're in this mess together."

"I see," says Mr. Kuththuk. "Your loyalty is to be commended, although that does still leave you in quite the predicament. But then you presumably had some sort of offer to make. I'm all auditory organs, as they say."

"Morga prizes loyalty," says Wex. "What if I told you we knew that not everyone in his employ was, in fact, loyal?"

"I would say that is an unfortunately common blight in our line of business. But you have a name? More than one, I would hope. And proof?"

"We've got a datapad with a list of imperial informants and spies in all the major operations on Ord Mantell...

[Q: Including Morga's? 50/50 (4+): O4 C8 - Yes]

...including yours."

"I see. And you're certain of its authenticity?"

"Oosuu crack security," says Oosuu. "Not fake."

"A slicer as well as a technician! Dear lady, there may very well be a job offer for you if we can put all this unpleasantness behind us. I will contact the great Morga and see how he wishes to proceed. Until tomorrow evening, then. Good night."


Scene 11

Chaos: Average (d10)

Setup: meeting Mr. Kuththuk

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

The meeting is arranged for the next evening in a public park [Scarlet Heroes random location=Splendid garden]. Lina reluctantly agrees to sit out the meeting as she has never before met their contact. They leave her in a nearby café and head into the park, where they find Mr. Kuththuk sitting on park bench in front of a bubbling fountain. There are no goons obviously lurking nearby, but there is lots of vegetation to conceal them.

"Ah, my friends," says the Trandoshan, "I'm so glad you could make it. I don't suppose you have the datapad on you? No, of course not. You're not amateurs, after all! Please, sit. The basin rim is cold, but I had my associates dry it off for you. I told them to go admire the scenery so we can talk like civilised beings." [UNE: friendly - comfort - power]

"Has Morga made a decision?" asks Zil.

"He's certainly considering it. But we'll need more to go on than just your word, I'm afraid."

"I can offer you the list of Porubek's people who were named. He gave me the datapad to deliver, so he must know what's on it. See how the people on this list are doing, or if anyone's seen them lately..."

"I quite understand. Transmit the list to me, and I'll have it looked into. This could take some time."

"Of course."

"You won't leave Phaeda...?"

"No. Not until this is settled."

"I must say, I'm surprised you came here of all places. An excellent hiding spot, I must confess; we'd never have found you here had you not contacted us first. Why, it's the happiest of coincidences I was anywhere near Phaeda when I got the call. Well, I'll be in touch at the first opportunity. Enjoy your stay here, if you can."

Friday, 28 July 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 12: Keeping it classy

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

Scene 5

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: on the trail of Void Vexxon

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"He's kinda paranoid..."

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

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

[Setup rolls were --

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

human? 50/50=Yes, d6=f

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


Scene 6

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: still looking for leads on Void Vexxon

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"So, has he been there lately?"

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

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

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

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

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


Scene 7

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: staking out the bath house

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

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

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

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

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

[This scene started with more dice than narrative:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What?" says the irritated bounty.

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

"Are you serious?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Can we talk to pass the time?"

"Twi'lek prefer not."


Scene 8

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

Setup: bring the bounty in for a reward

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

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

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

"Wex, why Zil such bitch?"

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

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

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

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

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

1d6:
1. no reward
2. everyone arrested
3. tries to escape
4. rescue attempt
5. other bounty hunter(s)
6. roll twice


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

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

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

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

Void Vexxon takes the hint.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 11: Welcome to Phaeda

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

Scene 1

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

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

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy

Threads: ditch ship, make contacts, sell datapad

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

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

"We're the owners," says Wex.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They shake on the deal.

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

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

"Of course, Lieutenant...?"

"Nomu."

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


Scene 2

Chaos:
Madness (d6)

Setup: set up housekeeping

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

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

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

"And some supplies," adds Wex.

"Oosuu hungry again," says Oosuu.

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

"How underwhelming?" asks Zil.

"550 credits."

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

"Oosuu have 50."

"I got 600," says Wex.

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

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

"2000 credits."

"Is that all?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scene 3

Chaos: Madness (d6)

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

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ask away," says Wex.

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

"Really?"

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

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

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

"Dead or alive?"

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

"Alive! What do you take me for?"

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

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

"Me too."

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

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


Scene 4

Chaos:
Out of Control (d8)

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

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

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad, find smuggler

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

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

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

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

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

"Oosuu need drink," says Oosuu flatly.

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

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

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