Sunday, 5 February 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 8 : Seems Like Old Times

The boxy double room contains two large, sagging beds and a small table with mismatched chairs. Even with the bedside lamps extinguished, the room is dimly illumined by the neon signs outside, their flickering light streaming through the flimsy plastic blinds. The room's own bitter mildewy smell vies for supremacy with the savoury odour wafting up from empty Rodian takeaway containers, the remains of the feast Wex brought back.

Jather has been carefully arranged in one bed, whilst Wex sprawls in the other, sleeping on his front following Zil's pointed threats about snoring. Zil alternates between sitting on the corner of his bed and pacing the floor. She's too on edge to sleep, and hasn't even bothered to wake Wex for his turn at standing watch. Oosuu is sitting in a low armchair facing the door. She too had pronounced herself too agitated to sleep, and vowed to keep watch all night. But sleep did come for the Twi'lek, and she has slid down with her head resting on the seat back, her lekku trailing onto the carpet.

Zil gently prises the blaster out of Oosuu's hands, and covers her with a blanket.

Scene 21

Madness (d6)

Setup: Now what? redux

NPC list: Porubek the Kitonak crimelord (Zil's boss), Jather Plazeed the Devaronian grifter, Bootleg Bardin the human speeder racer, Wex Enstipo the human gunrunner, Oosuu the Twi'lek waitress, Xzag-Xzan the crime boss (Jather's sometime patron), Chruighok the rival crime boss, Major Riilina Cazerdy the human mercenary (Wex's ex-flame), Mr. Kuththuk the genteel Trandoshan (Morga the Hutt's lieutenant)

Threads: escape system alive

[Q: Quiet night? Unlikely (5+): O5 C1 - Yes, and... bad guys were regrouping too]

The next morning, Wex passes round some biscuits that he'd wisely bought for breakfast. The room's complementary caf maker was broken, but Oosuu managed to get it working again using some wires she'd ripped out of the thermostat [Easy (7) Tech roll: 3D=12].

"Well," asks Zil as they wait for it to brew, "anyone got any brilliant ideas for what we do next?"

[They each get a Very Difficult (25) Streetwise roll to think of someone/thing to help:

Z 4D+2= 13
O 2D+1= 7
J 4D+2= 17
W 5D  = 15

A success would have resulted in using a Mythic complex question to figure out the great idea. As they all failed, the solution would have to come from something already on the table. The answer was suddenly clear:]

Zil asks twice more, getting only silence in answer. But Wex finally speaks up. "I was  really hoping to avoid this, but since no one else has any ideas, I don't think I have a choice."

He takes his comlink out of his pocket, but Zil stops him short. "What are you doing?" she asks angrily.

"Don't be so paranoid, Zil. If I was gonna sell you out, I'd like to think I'd be smart enough not to do it when you're in the same room."

"Fine. Make the call, then."

Wex punches up a number on the comlink, and soon it crackles to life. The officious woman's voice that comes over it causes Wex's companions to look on with ever increasing curiosity.

"Major Cazerdy."

"Lina, it's me. I n--"

"Wex? I thought you said you were deleting my code."

"I changed my mind. But I don't have time to re-hash the past right now. I'm in a lot of trouble."

"When aren't you?"

"This is serious. My friends and I really need your help. Please, Lina, if I ever meant anything to you at all..."

[His Persuasion roll is 3D=10; he spends a character point for (1d6=) +4 to his total. She gets a Willpower roll to resist, with a +5 bonus for being sick of his shite: 2D+2 +5 =13, and the wild die came up a 1. The Complication is obviously that she isn't over him.]

"Dammit, Wex. Why do I just know I'm going to regret helping you out of this mess."

"Regret... or enjoy?"

"Don't make me change my mind, sleemo."

"I thought we agreed: no pet names in front of the hired guns."

"Ha ha, very funny. Seriously, who are they?"

"A couple mates who are in the same jam as me, right now."

"The angry Twi'lek from earlier?"

"Yeah. And two others that you haven't met."

"And just how am I supposed to help?"

"There's no action on Ord Mantell. So your company has to ship out before too long, don't it? Just get us outsystem quietly. That's all we need."

"Oh, is that all? And just how am I supposed to do that?"

"Hire us on."

"We have standards you know. And a procedure..."

"But you've got clout."

"We need to meet, Wex. To discuss this... like adults."

"Agreed. Can you pick us up?"


Scene 22

Madness (d6)

Setup: Meeting Lina

NPC list: Porubek the Kitonak crimelord (Zil's boss), Jather Plazeed the Devaronian grifter, Bootleg Bardin the human speeder racer, Wex Enstipo the human gunrunner, Oosuu the Twi'lek waitress, Xzag-Xzan the crime boss (Jather's sometime patron), Chruighok the rival crime boss, Major Riilina Cazerdy the human mercenary (Wex's ex-flame), Mr. Kuththuk the genteel Trandoshan (Morga the Hutt's lieutenant)

Threads: escape system alive

Major Riilina Cazerdy
Template:  Merc
Dexterity 3D+2
 Blaster 4D+2
 Dodge 4D+2
 Grenade 4D+2
Knowledge 2D+2
 Survival 3D+2
Mechanical 2D+2
Perception 2D+1

 Command 4D+1
Strength 3D+2
 Brawling 4D+2
Technical 3D

Equipment: uniform, blaster rifle, bayonet, comlink, backpack, helmet, 2000 credits

[A bit of setting up:

I rolled 1d6 on the unit size chart in Traveller's Mercenary book (MGT): Lina is part of a Company of ~100 members
Q: Can she borrow a speeder? Likely (3+): O6 C1 - Yes, and... a big one
Q: Is there a back exit to the hotel? 50/50 (4+): O1 C5 - No.
Q: Is the hotel being watched? likely (3+): O6 C2 - Yes, and... by 2 groups; Porubek's thugs are watching Morga's thugs watching the party

Oosuu's Perception (4D+2) vs. thugs' Hide (3D)
Morga's: 11 vs. 13; Porubek's: 9 vs. 8

Her sneak (4D+2) vs. their Perception (2D):
Morga's: 14 vs. 14; Porubek's: 7+5(they don't know her) vs. 8.

Q: Are the thugs she spotted (Porubek's) in the hotel lobby? Unlikely (5+): O2 C4 - No, but...

N.B. Porubek's thugs are going to make a mess of things, following the random Event in Scene 18. Morga's are presumably more competent and professional, especially if they work directly under Mr. Kuththuk. Since the party now numbers 5 and there are 2 characters with reasonable combat skills, the thugs all have 'Typical Bounty Hunter' stats.]

Oosuu goes to the lobby to have a quick look round. She rushes back to the room almost immediately, with news that a pair of thugs are sitting in the sidewalk café next door. Wex calls Lina, and tells her they're being watched, and says to pull right up on the kerb so they can rush in.

They loiter in the hall, so that they have a clear view out the front, but won't arouse the concièrge's suspicions. There can be no question that their ride has arrived when they see a 5-tonne military transport speeder pull up. Wex runs out to open the side hatch as Oosuu and Zil carry the barely-conscious Jather.

[Both have Strength 2D+2, so they get +1d6 for the coordinated effort. It's an Easy (10) task to get Jather through the lobby and into the speeder: 3D+2=10, success.

Porubek's thugs each need an easy (8) Perception roll to react in time: 2D=10,4]

One of the thugs in the sidewalk café, a Vurk in an old-fashioned flight suit, panics when [d6=]she sees Zil. She draws her blaster, knocking her fruxxon juice into the lap of her partner, a mangy-looking Bothan. Despite her initial clumsiness, her aim is true, and the blast catches Zil squarely in the shoulder.

[Strength 2D+2=8, she spends a character point for (+1d6=) 9 total; damage roll is 14, so Zil is Wounded.]

Zil loses her hold on Jather and falls into the side of the speeder, steadying herself with her uninjured arm.

[Round 2]
Oosuu pulls Jather quickly inside the spacious cargo area. Zil, cursing through her teeth, is right behind them. Wex jumps inside, then leans out and squeezes a shot off at their assailant [-1D move, -1D draw], but hits only a nearby empty table.

Both the thugs have their blasters out now, and train them on Wex. One bolt misses completely, the other thuds into the rim of the hatchway, sending a shower of sparks into his face and forcing him to recoil into the speeder.

[His Strength (2D+1) roll got a 1 on the Wild Die, cancelling the other die's result for a total of 1. He spent 2 character points getting +2 and +6+5 (these dice explode when a 6 is rolled), for 14 total. Damage=16, Stun (-1D).]

[Round 3]
There is a confusion of voices behind her, but Lina divines their collective wishes and pulls quickly into traffic as Wex slams the hatch shut. A few blasts hit the speeder's sturdy hull, with but little effect.

[The speeder's stats are as the Rebel Armoured Freerunner, but unarmed. It's +1D manoeuvrability gives her an effective 3D+2 repulsorlift operation skill. She needed a Moderate (12) roll to zip into traffic, and another Moderate (14) roll to lose pursuit: 13 & 18 respectively succeed.]

Lina manoeuvres the heavy speeder in and out of traffic until she can find a clear lane. She slows down to a less obvious pace, and meanders through the back streets of the urban sprawl. Wex crawls up into the co-pilot's seat, and Zil makes sure Jather is buckled down to the long passengers seat beside her.

"How did they find us again?" asks Zil.

[Q: Anyone think of the comlink? 50/50 (4+): O5 C3 - Yes, but...]

"Oosuu have idea. Wex, give Oosuu comlink... No -- special comlink."

"What are you doing?" asks Zil as Wex hands it back.

"Zil still not trust Oosuu? Shame, Zil."

The comlink is, like most things designed for use by Trandoshans, a bit large and clunky. Oosuu manages to force the speaking plate off in order to see inside the casing. "Oh!" she exclaims, and Zil is left to wonder in silence for a few moments at her discovery, as Oosuu rummages around in her travel bag for a few moments, the comlink rolling about on the seat beside her. There is a sound of ripping fabric, and then Oosuu produces a long, flat, semi-circular metal rod with which she begins probing the electronics inside the open comlink. "Oosuu need buy portable toolkit," she remarks. "Ruin fewer bras that way."

[She needs an Easy (10) Tech roll to find the homing device: 3D=14, success.
And a Moderate (13) one to disable it: 3D=13, just.]

A minute later Oosuu has broken off a pair of tiny wires and pulled free a small circuit board with a faintly blinking light. She holds it up to show Zil.

"Is that what I think it is?"

"Homing device," says Oosuu, and then throws it out the window.

Lina drives on for another half hour, winding through the city to make sure they aren't still being followed. At length she pulls into the parking lot of a large shopping complex, and turns off the speeder. She turns toward Wex, and opens her mouth to speak, but at first the words won't come. Oosuu opens up the spare medpac and begins treating Zil's wound, in a vain effort at giving them the illusion of privacy [First Aid 3D=17 heals her Wound]. Lina finally finds her voice.

"What the hell, Wex? What sort of mess are you in?"

"The kind that gets me shot at in broad daylight...?"

"This is ridiculous. When I agreed to help, I figured you'd just had a deal go bust and were dodging creditors until you could make up the difference you owed. Again. I swear half the reason I agreed to help you out was to give you grief about being a lousy businessman."

"And the other half...?"

"Don't push me. That half is seeming less important by the minute. You'd better come clean right now or I let you and your friends out here and we're done."

"It's not my fault!"

"Whose is it then?"

"Er... assigning blame isn't going to help."

"He means it's my fault," says Zil, jumping in, "but he's afraid to say it in front of me."

"Actually," says Wex, "I was thinking it was more Jather's..."

"Oosuu say synergy."

"We got caught up in some nonsense between Chruighok and Porubek and Vudlor," says Wex.

"And Xzag-Xzan," adds Zil, "thanks to Jather."

[Lina needs an Easy (10) Streetwise roll to know those names: 2D+2=10]

"Wow, Wex. That's... all kinds of special."

"And we tried going to Morga the Hutt for protection, only it didn't go to plan."

Lina goes silent for a few moments, turning it all over in her head. Then, with evident consternation, she asks, "How did you get mixed up in all this? These aren't your usual sort of friends. Or clients." [UNE: knowing - speech - friends]

"I needed Vudlor to get me some licences pushed through locally. We had a one-off deal. Only I couldn't find him to hand over the goods I'd promised. I ran into these fine people looking for him too, so I decided it would be easier if we all were looking together. Then things went kinda sour and the three of us needed a slicer, and a place to hide out, and..."

"Oosuu slicer," interjects Oosuu. "And Oosuu have hideout. Wex help Oosuu get flat once, so when ask help, let stay. Oosuu do Wex."

"What?!" cries Lina. "Last time I intimated as much you slapped me."

"No! Not that. Oosuu do... Wex. Ethical dative! Augh! Sometimes Oosuu hate speak Basic."

"So you see," continues Wex, "we're all in this together."

"Why didn't you just bail?"

"You know I couldn't do that."

"No, Wex, I really don't."

"I, um... that was different."

"»sigh«...... I know it was."

"So you'll help?"

[Q: How long until Lina's unit ships out? 1-2 d6 days, 3-4 d6 weeks, 5-6 d6 months]

"I'm not sure how I can. We're not due to ship out for 3 months yet. We're on Ord Mantell to do a full resupply and train some new recruits. I don't think I can keep you hidden that long..."

"Probably not. Are there any offworld errand that need run?"

[Q: Are there? 50/50 (4+): O6 C3 - Yes, but...]

"Of course there are. But not by me."

"Who's going?"

"Various people. On various errands."

"Anyone who could use our help?"

[Q: Anyone? Doubtful (6): O3 C2 - No, and...]


"Then maybe we could just hitch a ride..."

[Q: Does Lina think this is even possible? Unlikely (5+): O2 C6 - No.]

"We're mercs, not a shuttle service."

"We could borrow a shuttle."

"Be serious."

"You could borrow one. Don't you get any furlough?"

[Q: Does she? 50/50 (4+): O6 C5 - Yes]

"Well, of course. But I don't know if I can convince anyone to lend me a ship..."

Scene 23

Madness (d6)

Setup: try to convince quartermaster to release a ship
chaos die =2, Altered

NPC list: Porubek the Kitonak crimelord (Zil's boss), Jather Plazeed the Devaronian grifter, Bootleg Bardin the human speeder racer, Wex Enstipo the human gunrunner, Oosuu the Twi'lek waitress, Xzag-Xzan the crime boss (Jather's sometime patron), Chruighok the rival crime boss, Major Riilina Cazerdy the human mercenary (Wex's ex-flame), Mr. Kuththuk the genteel Trandoshan (Morga the Hutt's lieutenant)

Threads: escape system alive

[Setting up the scene--

Alteration (d6):
1. party were followed (too much time spent on tracker in comlink)
2. holonews: party sought for questioning
3. authorities have contacted mercs (speeder truck ID'ed by witness)
4. quartermaster unavailable
5. quartermaster overly suspicious
6. quartermaster hates Lina 


Q: Are stormtroopers there now? 50/50 (4+): O2 C3 - No, but...
Q: Will the quartermaster divulge the fact they're en route? Likely (3+): O5 C6 - Yes
Q: Was the report a good eyewitness account? 50/50 (4+): O3 C3- No, but...]

Lina's unit has deployed a temporary base in the grasslands outside of the urban sprawl. Lina drives the transport past a row of speeder bikes and a group of recruits learning to operate an old Atgar tower by blasting targets on a distant hillside. She parks in the heavy vehicle pool, not far from a 50m square landing pad, on which a Kappa-class Troop Shuttle [Rules of Engagement pp.46-7] sits, surrounded by pile after pile of supply crates.

She walks out to the pad to talk to the quartermaster, a harried-seeming Duros, who is currently scowling at his datapad and recounting the crates marked 'Shield Generator, part __of 9'.

"Lieutenant! A word, if you don't mind," says Lina.

"Major Cazerdy. Just got back?"

"Yeah I was out for a bit. Look, I--"

"You weren't... you didn't take out a Zt-80r, did you?"

"I had some errands to run, so yeah. It was the fastest way. I did sign for it."

"Oh dear. Major, I've just been on the comlink with some very angry Imperials. Someone reported to them that a repulsortruck with our unit markings was involved in a crime in the factory district. Something about a Wroonian being kidnapped in front of a hotel, and shots being fired."

"Uh, I assure you nothing of the sort happened."

"You don't need to reassure me, Major. An Imperial security detail is on its way. I'll let you give them a statement, seeing as how you were the one in the Zt-80r. And judging by the  carbon scoring I can see from here, they'll be very interested in your version of events."

"I, uh... that is..."

"And who are your friends still hiding over there in the Zt-80r? Shall we go see? I wonder just what the odds will be of seeing that Enstipo character inside." [prejudiced - discrimination - last story]

"OK, I admit, I'm trying to help him out of a spot of trouble--"

"How many people have to tell you he's no good for you before it sinks in?"

"I don't have time for this lecture right now."

"It may be too late. This isn't just making you look bad this time, Major. This is going to reflect on the whole Company."

Wex has noticed Lt. Glorrisk pointing in his direction, and senses that the game might be up. He climbs out of the speedertruck and starts walking towards the landing pad. Zil leaves Jather in Oosuu's care and goes after him. Lina and the Lieutenant watch them coming, and lapse into silence. Both the Human's unease and the Duros' chagrin could be seen from orbit.

"Not going too well?" asks Zil.

"I, er..." stammers Lina.

"Oh look!" exclaims the Lieutenant. "Wex Enstipo. So sorry, we've just finished purchasing all our supplies on Ord Mantell. But next time we need some more defective repeating blasters, I'll be certain to give you a call."

Wex attempts his broadest, most disarming smile. "Look, Glorrisk--"

"That's Lieutenant Glorrisk!"

"Sorry. Look, Lieutenant Glorrisk, If you do us this one little favour I can hook you up with a surplus E-WEB. Top grade, nothing funny, and all the licences are legit. Just let Lina -- I mean, Major Cazerdy -- take us for a quick jaunt in one of your shuttles. She can bring the E-WEB back with her as payment."

[Wex must pit his Bargain (4D) vs. Lt. Glorrisk's (3D+2, +5 for bad relationship); We rolls an 11, and spends a character point for +1d6=4: 15 vs. 19 fails]

"You're not worth the hassle. Even if I thought you could come through, it's nowhere near enough to make it worth my while."

"There's Imperial security troops on the way," says Lina. "Someone reported our repulsortruck being in a firefight."

"Blast it!" says Zil through gritted teeth. "We can't sit around here and wait for them. We've got to go, and I mean now."

"I don't advise it," says Lt. Glorrisk. "I intend to cooperate fully."

"Please," says Lina, "just let them go."

"You need to finally learn your lesson, Major."

Zil pulls her blaster.

"You wouldn't," says Lt. Glorrisk. "Not here. You'd never get out of here alive."

[Q: Are any other mercs about? Likely (3+): O2 C4 - No, but...]

Zil hesitates, then flicks her blaster over to stun. Lt. Glorrisk opens his mouth to speak, but stops short as Zil raises her gun and fires. He tries to duck behind the shield generator crates...

[Zil's blaster (4D+1) vs. his Full Dodge (skill 3D+2, +2 for range (~1.5m): 18 vs. 14 hits damage 4D=13 vs. 3D=9, KO for 2d6 minutes]

...but the blast of blue light enfolds him, and he tumbles onto the tarmac.

"What are you doing?!" shouts Lina.

"Getting us out of here. You two get on the shuttle and prep for takeoff. I'll help with Jather."

"Lina, help me drag the Lieutenant up the ramp," says Wex.

"Are you mad?"

"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."


"You're welcome to stay behind and chat with the Imperials."

"Wex, we're going to have a really long talk when this is all over..."

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