Time is the Hunter
Episode 05: The Chandrila Extraction Fiasco
After their rescue of the rebel agent known as "The Skywalker", who turned out to be a Togorian named Meow Skywalker, bounty hunter Jax Hunt (played by Irfan) and the amnesiac lady who then named herself Iris Helena (played by Ain) were taken aboart the VCX-100 frieghter Screeching Arrow to rendezvous with a Nebulon-B escort frigate at an unknown location in deep space.
The Star Wars Sourcebook hardcover made a great dice rolling platform.
After three days of being cooped up in the Arrow, Meow finally approached them with a mission.
"The mission is to travel to the Chandrila system in the Core Worlds, land at Nayli Spaceport, travel to Apartment 7C, Blackback Building to pick up a 10 year old girl named Wencie Kelauae, whose rebel sympathiser parents had been kiled by the Empire. The Empire is looking for her. Get to her before they do and bring her back here."
They accepted the mission.
Oh hey! Look! It's Jax Hunt's Relby-k23 blaster.
The Journey to Chandrila
Iris piloted the Screeching Arrow as Jax manned the navigator's console beside her. However Jax must have programmed the navicomputer badly because they flew too close to a hyperspace shadow of a black hole and something exploded, sending flames and sparks billowing in the main corridor behind the cockpit.
"Keep flying," yelled Jax as he headed aft. "I'll handle this." At the corridor, a wall of flame blocked him and the automatic fire suppression system was knocked out. He steeled himself and jumped over the fire, reaching for the damage control panel on the wall beyond it. He hit the manual button and the suppressor force field killed the flames.
"I wish we had an astromech droid," Jax said, studying the damage done by the overload explosion. He reported to Iris, "Our shields are dead. We'd better get them fixed before we get shot at."
In the meantime, Jax started cooking some eggs for a light meal while Iris fussed over him and told him he reminded her of someone, perhaps a son.
She could not really remember.
The Landing at Nayli Spaceport
Two hours later or so, they reverted back to realspace off Chandrila. The ship automatically greeted Chandrila's traffic control system and they were assigned Landing Bay 19 at Nayli Spaceport.
Iris guided the Arrow towards her berth. But 300 meters above it, the repulsorlift generators gave out and the ship plummeted downwards.
Far Afield: Episode 01
The Man From Counter Possession
On this slow lazy Sunday afternoon, after binge watching the new series Stranger Things which I had described elsewhere as "totally a Laundry RPG scenario set in America, where Black Chamber operatives in the Department of Energy attempt to contain their screw up in a small town in Ohio", I thought I would sit down with Irfan to generate a Laundry RPG character. And if I had the time, then I would run a short, simple scenario for him.
The Laundry RPG is based on Charles Stross's The Laundry Files novel series, which is a delightful mashup of unspeakable horror and droll British humour, where the world of espionage meets the Cthulhu Mythos. It uses the Basic Role Playing (BRP) system used by Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Pendragon and Stormbringer RPGs.
Irfan created a 25-year-old British grad student named Dustin Hopkins, a Capital Laundry Services operative from their Counter-possession Department, who is also a "thinker". Without a proper character sheet, we wrote everything with a pencil on a blank piece of paper, and will transfer the stats to a charsheet proper once I have one printed out.
The Taxi Ride to a Gate
Dusty Hopkins, a recently trained and appointed Laundry field agent, was travelling in a taxi near midnight when his Necronomiphone rang. He had been authorised to investigate a sudden burst of thaumic energy in the outskirts of London. He was given a GPS location on his phone.
Later, he was deposited by the cab several hundred metres away from a closed and locked gate. The gate was located along a fence that surrounded the grounds of a computer software company. A cargo container, converted into a security office, had been planted within the fenced area right beside the gate.
Hopkins drew his standard issue Glock-17 and made sure that the GPS had put him at the correct location. He sneaked up to the security office and peered into the windows facing him. It was dark within, and he could see nothing.
Time is the Hunter
Episode 04: The Privilege of Choice
A 1500th post special!
Last time on Star Wars Time is the Hunter, Jax Hunt finds himself being forcibly inducted into a bounty hunter posse bent on killing his mark, known only as The Skywalker in the abandoned structures deep beneath Spaceport Tower 214 in the Byblos system. Jax recently learned that The Skywalker was also helping to save young orphans of victims of the tyrannical Galactic Empire.
With the John Williams theme and all!
Surrounded by a colourful group of nearly 20 bounty hunters consisting of a variety of species, Jax Hunt faced their prune-faced Dressellian leader who wore a DL-44 blaster at his hip.
The leader barked with a smile, "My name is Kozener. And I lead this crew to claim the bounty on The Skywalker. But we will kill this Skywalker and claim 20 times the reward of the one posted through your House Benelex. Stick with us, and we will all be rich."
It took all Jax had to keep any hint of emotion off his face.
"Are you with us, Jax Hunt?" Kozener asked, his smile turning a dull shade of malice. Jax noticed that all the other hunters hands were hovering over their holsters.
"Yes," Jax carefully said, "I am."
"Excellent!" Kozener grinned as the others eased their hands off their weapons. "We'll need to work as a team as this Skywalker easily defeats anyone who approaches him solo. A five-man team reported that they succeeded in shooting him a few days ago, but soon after we lost contact with that team. You are to assist these two, the Rodian twins Dragillo and Dave. They will be taking the high position and wait for the attack signal."
Then Dragillo was dragging Jax down the corridor, exclaiming in Basic, "Let's go, rookie!"
In Splendid Company
The two Rodians and Jax left the main group and travelled down badly-lit, grimy hallways with exposed floor plates oxidizing in the musky air. Soon they were at a stairwell, Dragillo pointed upwards, "Go."
Jax complied, and several heartbeats later the twins followed up. From below, Jax heard Dave sneer, "It'd be a shame, eh, if you got shot in the back for accidental reasons. I suppose we both will have to share your portion of the bounty."
They cackled evilly.
Time is the Hunter
Episode 03: Deeper Undercity
Last time on Star Wars Time is the Hunter, a gunfight between bounty hunters accidentally activated a trio of Separatist BX commando droids from the Clone Wars. Malfunctioning, they began hunting for targets deep in the bowels of Spaceport Tower 214 on level Brown-212 in the Byblos system.
The three rusty droids fanned out with vibroswords drawn, their joints sparked when they moved jerkily. "Kill all Republic clone troopers." "Roger roger!"
Jax Hunt hugged the debris-strewn floor behind the engine of a Y-wing fighter. Beside him, a fellow bounty hunter - the Nimbanel named Tulon Tash - lay injured and semi-conscious after being shot by a rival hunter. Meanwhile the furnace behind both bounty hunters illuminated the chamber of scrap metal and discarded technology with angry colours.
Jax considered throwing one of the two grenades he was authorised to carry, but the droids were too far apart for it to be effective.
Flat in front of the furnace.
Then he had an idea. He grabbed the nearest piece of scrap he was able to - a keyboard from a control panel that was broken in half - and hurled it up above their heads and down the corridor to the right where it clattered out of sight.
The three droids jerked their head in that direction. "Probable clone trooper." "Investigate and destroy." "Roger roger." And then they were gone.
Jax searched Tulon for a medpac but found an unmarked datacard instead. He pocketed it for later inspection. It was imperative they leave quickly before the droids wandered back.
"Come on, Tulon." Jax supported the Nimbanel as they hustled toward the elevator doors down the left end of the corridor. Jax noticed comm jammers stuck to the wall of the corridor. They appeared freshly fitted. He studied the closest jammer but could not figure out how to turn it off (with a Technical skill failure 11/12).
Jax and Tulon were several metres from the closed doors when a mechanical voice behind them boomed, "Republic clone trooper! Destroy! Kill!"
One of the BX droids had doubled back.
I actually referred to the tables more than once this session.
Time is the Hunter
Episode 02: Stalk the Lower Levels
Last time on Time is the Hunter, Irfan played bounty hunter Jax Hunt who signed up with the Byblos chapter of the House Benelex Bounty Hunting Guild at Tower 214.
Jax Hunt arrived the next day at Abbit Mowba's office. The signs of battle from when Jax saved Mr. Mowba from a disgruntled bounty hunter the previous day were still there. But Mowba seemed distracted.
"Hi Mr. Mowba," Jax greeted the Aqualish manager.
"Jax," he stuttered. "I... There seems to be a problem."
"What is it?"
"There is a new mark. The bounty is right here on Byblos. In Byblos Spaceport Tower 214 itself. Way down dozens of levels in Brown-212. It's a difficult mark. I sent three bounty hunters after the mark. They should have returned yesterday evening."
"I'll take the bounty," Jax exclaimed.
"I usually do not send rookie hunters out after this kinds of hunts."
"I can handle it."
Abbit Mowba hit a sequence of buttons on his office table and considered Jax. "Okay. I'm out of datacards and my table is a mess. Go find the hunters I dispatched: Tulon Tash, Arbo Kee and Wex Ringthreader. They will have details of the mark on them. They should still be down at Brown-212."
Jax smiled at the Aqualish and headed out for his first hunt.
Paper miniatures standing by to be deployed. Not all were used by the end of the session.
Trying to leave Blue-772 was a chore. (Bureaucracy skill failure of 9 point from a Difficulty of 20 - Byblos was an unfamiliar locale for Jax.)
For some reason Imperial stormtroopers were patrolling the city. There was a squad of four troops menacing the northern blast doors of the main pedesterian thoroughfare through the city, right between the park - illuminated by the morning sun of Byblos through the outer transparisteel wall which revealed the vista outside - and the many levels of terraced office buildings and apartment blocks propped up against the opposite wall across the large space that was Blue-772.
Jax thought he would have no trouble going through the troops, but as he walked past the lead stormtrooper barked, "Halt!"
I figured it was time to return to the source from whence my interest of simulationist/narrativist tabletop games originated: Star Wars The Roleplaying Game once published by West End Games and run using the D6 system. It was the first RPG that I ran for Irfan once upon a time and we have never played it since.
I can't read the writing on the GM screen without my glasses now.
Irfan plays Jax Hunt, a young human bounty hunter who is on his way to get his House Benelex Bounty Hunters' Guild membership card from an agent/broker in the Byblos system.
Jax wears a flak jacket body armour, a Relby-k23 on his hip and a modified helmet to protect his head. After some decades living alone and scrounging in the streets, bottom feeding, Jax had decided to pursue a career as a bounty hunter. Perhaps someday he would even be able to catch the outlaw who had murdered his family when he was a little boy.
Catch? No, kill perhaps. Someday.
Time is the Hunter
Episode 01: Point of Entry
Created by Peter Schweighofer.
A Taylander shuttle landed in one of the many gigantic hangar bays, a dot on the side of the colossal city named Byblos Tower 214. Among the passengers disgorged into the space bustling with people and cargo was Jax Hunt.
He left the hangar bay area and tried asking the locals where he could find Mr. Abbit Mowba who runs the local Benelex Guild office located at an area named Blue-772, but he was not savvy enough with the streets of Byblos to do so. (Streetwise skill roll failure, 8 on a Difficulty Number of 15.) After travelling for some hours through the vast hallways of commercial marketplaces, narrow corridors of residential areas and the local travel tube network, he found himself alone in a dingy, badly-lit street which did not have an external window illuminating it. (Irfan rolled Streetwise one more time, but failed with a 11 on a 15.)
But on the far end of the street is a heavy blast door marked Blue-772. He scanned the empty streets and saw nothing but tightly-shut doors, overturned crates and puddles of liquid created by hidden leaky infrastructural pipes. The smell was almost unbearable. (Perception failure of 6 on a Difficulty Number of 9!)
He had another block to go before he reached the blast door when a voice called from down a dark alleyway. A grimy-looking Devaronian appeared from out of the shadows. He said, "Hey. Do you have some spare change?" There was a beat-up blaster pistol in the Devaronian's hand.
"No," said Jax. "I don't have any money on me."
"I think you do. You people never have any money on you, but when we look, we'll find it."
A door behind Jax on the other side of the street opened and a Gran bounced out. His blaster pistol was pointed at Jax's back. Jax was outflanked. The Gran sneered, "We are going to eat well tonight. Search him!"
The Devaronian lowered his weapon and strode toward Jax, grubby hands going for his pockets.
Last time on Call of Cthulhu (back in June) our solo protagonist, the young Detective DJ Stark failed to stop whatever unholy occult occurence at Horton Opera House. Stabbed by cultists, blind luck caused a passerby to notice him and call for an ambulance.
The incident cost Stark another two weeks in the hospital, but he insisted on returning to duty quickly. Mr. Chao had all but disappeared, and there was no sign of the cultists in the opera house. There was no clue as to what the swirling bright light that he saw before he fell down the trapdoor.
At the end of his shift he was approached by his new partner Detective Alex Sim, a young Asian woman who knew of Stark's proclivities with investigating strange and unexplained things and getting into severe injuries. She warned him that she did not wish for her career to be jeopardised by such happenings. She said, "If anything happens that is even a tiny bit strange, I will report you and drop you like a bad habit fast."
Soon, Stark returned to the opera house for the first time since he was hospitalised. Armed with a shotgun and a flashlight, he crossed the two-week old police tape and scoured the building.
But he found nothing.
Everything that happened before this point was played when we were in Sitiawan a last month. We were interrupted then. We continued earlier today at home.
Without nothing to go on, Stark started to drive back to his apartment.
At a stoplight, the world shook violently. The quake caused the roads to shudder and the streetlamps to shudder and spark. A streetlamp beside Stark's car fell toward him. He hit the accelerator pedal and screeched out of the way safely. (36 out of 40% Drive Auto)
Last time (a year and 4 days ago in real time), despite being badly injured and walking on crutches, Detective DJ Stark (played by Irfan) succeeded in thwarting the scheme of the Cult of the Pale Nurses in their bid to summon the ultradimensional being Sharakh-Kheth from crossing over into our universe and utterly demolishing the Saint Agatha Medical Centre in Brisbane, San Francisco.
(Yesterday afternoon we continued the Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign to see how Detective Stark was faring. Polyhedrals and paperminis deployed, Irfan wondered what Lovecraftian creatures and machinations he would encounter in this session. It was six weeks later in game time...)
Stark had been back to work at his precinct for two weeks, getting quickly bored by a desk job. His phone rang. A familiar elderly voice could be heard.
"Mr. Chao," said Stark.
"I take it my handwritten manuscripts were destroyed at the Saint Agatha? No matter. Meet me tonight at nine. I will have something for you. You are worthy of it."
It was just after 8.00 PM and an overcast sky darkened the dusk. Finishing up some paperwork, he started to leave for Chao's restaurant.
"Stark!" his boss Greta Hack called him from her office. When he sat at her desk, she said, "Word is you're bored with your desk job? I'm putting you back on the streets. Here's your new case."
Stark picked up the case file. Caldwell Broome, 50 year old antique dealer, had been missing from his office for a week. "You'll meet your new partner, Alex Sim, a rookie tomorrow."
"Listen, Stark," Captain Hack muttered. "Everyone knows how you lost your last partner. Please make sure nothing happens to your new one."
"Sure thing, chief."
Stark's Shenanigans Spills into the Streets of San Francisco
Edged by the Empire
Episode 10 Together Again For The First Time
Previously on Edged by the Empire...
It was International Tabletop Day again, and like last year we played Star Wars Edge of the Empire again. However we played not on a table, but on the floor.With the 15 XP carried over from the previous session, Irfan bought the Grit talent for his smuggler character Hondo Pash, increasing his Strain. The finale for the campaign that started on January 2013 with Escape from Mos Shuuta begins...
One Man Revolution
Radiation and stellar gases swamped the Shadda-Bi-Boran system from its primary star. A squadron of five Star Destroyers aided by numerous smaller corvettes and tenders manoeuvred themselves to surround a three-klick wide asteroid that sheltered a secret Imperial base that belonged to Admiral Keargan Kanu.
As the cordon closed in on the flat lump of rock, Admiral Kanu was surrounded by his newly-reunited family, from his estranged wife Doro Pash, their 21-year-old son the young smuggler pilot Hondo Pash and their 9-year-old daughter Yuzy Pash. The two astromech droids R2-8D8 and R5-K2 slid down the ramp of the YT-1300 light freighter Lava Jaeger, screaming their warning of the incoming Imperial fleet.
The paper miniatures ready for action at Shadda-Bi-Boran
Writhing in pain at their feet was Hondo's armoured and heavily robed shipmate and gunslinger Giin Lawquane. It was Giin who had called the Imperial fleet into the system to ambush them. Suddenly, Giin stopped screaming and fell unconscious. Kanu dismissed his troops who saluted the Admiral and hurried to the elevator of the main hangar bay. Two remained: a pair of black-armored storm commandos who immediately flanked the Admiral as guards, whom were introduced as Lieutenants Kildruun and Gundeep.
The Imperial fleet was preventing them from leaving and returning to Admiral Kanu's safeworld, where he kept the family of his staff and troops safe and before they planned to vanish into the Outer Rim away from the Empire's grasp.
Meanwhile, the large tactical hologram above them showed that shuttles and small transports were launching out from smaller bays on the asteroid base. Turbolaser cannons from the Star Destroyers fired on the small, fleeing fleet. A shuttle and a freighter were shredded into superheated debris before the surviving ships jumped to hyperspace.
Admiral Keargan Kanu turned to Hondo...
...and gave him one of the metal alloy cylinders from his jacket pocket. He said, "Take this rank cylinder. You would be able to access any computer and open any doors in this base with it."
Edged by the Empire
Episode 09 Adversity of the Unexpected
Previously on Edged by the Empire...
It's the first of January. Irfan didn't spend any of his 15 XP. He rolled up three Light Side Destiny Points, and triggered no Obligations with 99 on the percentile dice.
Ticket to Ride
A pair of grey Aratech 74-Z speeder bikes - modified to have no flight ceiling - flew westward from the city of Shoribus, the capital city of Kabal in the Mayagil Sector, on a personal mission. Smuggler Hondo Pash's sister Yuzy and mother Doro were abducted by his father, whom he recently learned was an Imperial Admiral named Keargan Kanu. To retrieve them, he would have to find Admiral Kanu. The only clue as to where Kanu might be is his secret weapon cache located upon the vast Skolaris Cliff.
As they passed over thick swamps with winding rivers and the occasional gargantuan trees that towered over everything else, Giin Lawquane, the armored mercenary and security officer in the other speeder spoke via his helmet comlink, "Bothth. What if Yuzy doethn't want to come back with uth?"
"I don't know what I'll do, Giin."
"You know. It'th been a while thinthe I conthidered anyone to be friendth. In fact, it'th been ten yearth thinthe I let anyone near enough for me to call them a friend. Hondo, I conthider you, my friend."
Two more 74-Z speeder bikes. painted dark red and piloted by droids, flew up from the swamp canopy in pursuit. The first droid fired his mounted blaster, but missed. This, of course, captured Hondo and Giin's attention.
Giin said, "You thee, bothth, I only do thingth like thith for my friendth." And he veered to the left then to the right, trying to skew the droid's concentration. Hondo's DL-17 blaster pistol was in his hand as he spun and fired. A red bolt struck one of the droid's arm which jerked down, pulling the handlebars downward. The droid's speeder dropped down and rammed into a large monolithic tree.
The remaining droid was unperturbed by Giin's riding and fired at Hondo and scoring a glancing blow. Hondo, still in control of his superficially damaged vehicle, aimed and blasted at his attacker. The droid's chest erupted in a miasma of sparks and smoke, but he hung on to his speeder.
The BlasTech EE-3 boomstick is a glorious boomstick.
Suddenly, Giin braked and came alongside the injured droid, his EE-3 blaster rifle unslung. The droid, still shaken by the blast, reacted too late. The point blank shot disintegrated the droid, a beat-up Z-X3, he noticed, and the riderless speeder spiraled down and crashed into a wide river beneath them.
The two sped on wondering why they were attacked.
Edged by the Empire
Episode 08 On The Trail of Dad
Previously on Edged by the Empire...
Irfan had 35 XPs, so he blew it on a couple of more Talents, namely a second Skilled Jockey, a second Galaxy Mapper and Improved Dead to Rights. He was free of any Obligations for this episode after rolling an 81. (His Obligation: Family is 30 and Giin's Obligation: Bounty is 20). Finally the Destiny pool was 2 light side and one dark side.
We still don't really have a table for a tabletop game so we play on our moving boxes.
On his homewold of Blue Nirvada, the young smuggler Hondo Pash, the captain of the Lava Jaeger has discovered that both his parents, long thought to be dead, were still alive and appeared to be mortal enemies. His mother was Doro Pash and his father, the Imperial Admiral Keargan Kanu. Upon Hondo and his armoured mercenary guard Giin Lawquane rescuing his aunt Zosy Pash from Imperial agents, Zosy revealed that it was a trap to capture Hondo. However, when the trap was sprung, Admiral Kanu captured Hondo's 9-year-old sister Yuzy instead, making the jump to lightspeed in a Lambda-class shuttle in space...
Snow swept through and over a black caldera - known as Obsidian Island - that formed a ring-like atoll on the glistening icy, white plain surrounding it as far as the eye could see and the blizzard would allow to see.
Three figures walked through the snow in the open streets of the city in the inner rim of the caldera. Hondo, Giin and Aunt Zosy headed for the Lava Jaeger after admitting local Trandoshan police officer Klikwask - who was badly injured during Zosy's rescue - in a bacta tank at the public infirmary.
"What do we do bothth?" Giin's eeriely modulated voice said through his full helmet.
"We have to find Yuzy."
"I'm going to track Yuzy's comlink."
Edged by the Empire
Episode 07 I Was Young When I Left Home
Previously on Edged by the Empire...
Irfan did not use any of his 15 XP to upgrade his character Hondo Pash. He rolled Destiny Points for the PC and the two main NPCs, who are basically auxiliary PCs anyway.
Blowin' In The Wind
Recently departed from the port of Silverlake in the Naboo system, the Lava Jaeger flew into Blue Nirvada's atmosphere, a frozen ocean world orbiting a blue dwarf star in the Tarabba Sector.
However, there was a vicious snowstorm along their flight path toward Obsidian Island, the hometown of Captain Hondo Pash and his 9-year-old sister Yuzy Pash where they grew up. The armoured mercenary gunslinger Giin Lawquane in the co-pilot seat with the BlasTech EE-3 blaster rifle slung on his back asked, "Do we wait it out?"
Hondo took a second to ruminate, then decided, "Let's go in." The YT-1300 light freighter plunged into the maelstrom of ice and snow. Buffetted by incredible bursts of wind, Giin was thrown off the co-pilot station. Astromech R2-8D8 rushed to help with the controls, but a tremendous downdraft slammed down hard onto the Lava Jaeger. Hondo was unable to control the ship which then crashed into the snow-swept ice fields beneath. The ship skidded on the plains.
Giin Lawquane is floored.
Artoo beeped a warning: They were skidding at high speed towards a large patch of rock that rose above the ice field. Hondo fired the ship thrusters to bring the ship to a stop before they crashed into it. Damaged, they decided to wait out the storm. Yuzy served everyone meiloorun-flavoured ice cream.
Earlier this week, Irfan gamemastered his first RPG session with his friend at his friend's house.
He had took my printed out copy of BareBones Fantasy, created his own pregenerated characters (asking me a few questions along the way), drew a simple terrain map and filled it with opponents.
His friend Fikree, I was told, named his pregenned human spellcaster William Jester. Irfan's own GMPC is a dwarf named Hector Zorin, a warrior with a greataxe, a battleaxe, and a warhammer.
The Simple Scenario
Because I was not present to witness the game being played, I interviewed Irfan for details of what went down in the session.
William and Hector were scouting the woods near the town where they lived because travellers had been disappearing there.
Near a rocky hill surrounded by thick trees they spotted a cave entrance that was guarded by a lizardman.
Photo of the artifacts used in the event!
They decided to attack. (Initiative order resulted in lizardman first, Hector second and William last.) The lizardman stabbed Hector with his spear (causing 11 Damage). Hector swung his greataxe but missed. William used his spellcasting power to hurl a fireball at the lizardman (using the Offensive Strike spell inflicting 7 Damage on 10 Body Points. 3 BP left).
The lizardman lunged once again, but his spear failed to stab Hector once more. Hector's greataxe sliced the lizardman in two (with 10 Damage) ending the battle.
They decided to explore the cave passage and discovered a crossroad that continued forward and also branched left and right. The passage ahead had a large cache of gold, which was freshly mined, apparently by the lizardmen. There were no lizardmen seen except for two guards waiting at the left and right passages.
Hector and William attempted to sneak past them. (They rolled Scout skill for stealth, but they both failed.) Lizardmen noticed their approach, readied their spears and attacked. (Initiative order: Hector, William, then the two lizardmen.)
Hector had his battleaxe ready but failed to strike a blow on the attacking lizardman. William's fireball blasted second lizardman into fiery bits (with 12 damage, 2 more than needed to kill him).
The first lizardman then succeeded in piercing Hector's body (inflicting 11 Damage, leaving 18 BP left; Hector was a tank - I saw Irfan roll Strength 60, then augmented it by 10 because of his dwarf characteristics). Hector retaliated with his greataxe, but missed. William's fireball attack also missed!
The lizardman thought he would finally be able to kill Hector, but fortunately the dwarf deftly dodged the spear thrust. Then Hector used his warhammer to strike the lizardman's head and slaying him (for 18 damage).
William Jester said, "Can we claim the gold now?"
Hector replied, "Yes." And the session ended.
I asked Irfan what his plans were for the game. He said, after the lizardmen disappeared, travellers were still going missing, so William and Hector will have to investigate further. He hopes to continue the adventure in the future.
I was pleasantly surprised that he was able manage a game session with a solo player. I remember he was very reluctant when I asked him once. Obviously, he needs to work on his worldbuilding skills so I'll be trying to teach him how to do that. (Why are the lizardmen there? Are they really evil? Why hasn't anyone else discovered the cave and the gold within?)
Last night, Doug came over to run a game for Irfan and I before he had to move, and it would be more difficult to meet up at nights regularly.
We played Golden Sky Stories for the first time. Set in rural Japanese township (not unlike a films like Tonari No Totoro) Golden Sky Stories is a tabletop roleplaying game where players take the role of magical animals called henge who are able to change into human form.
It's a great game to be played with children because there's not a single iota of violence, or situations that put the player characters in dire peril. It's all to do with making friends with other henge or little children in a small township in a rural Japanese countryside.
In fact, if you can grasp the situations in Tonari no Totoro where characters experience wonder and express their likes and dislike in childlike ways. The characters are never in any physical danger and there are no villains.
Task resolution is not achieved by rolling dice, but with points that you use to activate your powers, or increase your characteristics to beat a target number or your opponent's characteristics. It's like GUMSHOE's resource management system without rolling any d6s.
Whatever you need to do can be defined by four characteristics: Henge, Animal, Adult and Child. You also have points in Dreams, Wonder, and Feelings. Dreams allow you to create and strengthen connections with other characters. You also spend Dreams to transform into your human form or partial human form. Wonder allows you to activate your magical powers. Feelings are the points you need to increase your characteristics to beat high target numbers.
We generated characters quickly. Irfan was Kamineko the grey sleepy cat who lazes all over the town of Hitotsuna. I played Kuro, the black rabbit who lives in the town school, who thinks he's a dog.
Kuro was digging up (or trying to dig up bones) in a field outside of town when he came across Kamineko who was trying to sleep on top of an old abandoned shrine. Kuro invited Kamineko to help him dig for bones, but the cat henge refused to help the manic, identity-challenged rabbit henge.
Suddenly Kuro discovered that there was another henge in the shrine. It was a fox who identified herself as Suzune. The shrine was hers!
After a conversation that led to Suzune to bash her head on the side of her shrine because of Kuro's insistance that he was a dog, it began to get dark. Kuro and Kamineko thought it was time to get back home and transformed into their half-human forms (by spending Dreams.) Then it started to rain!
Kuro transformed back into his rabbit form and hid in the shrine. But Suzune convinced them all to huddle together under a big tree.
Kuro noticed something strange. There were no clouds in the sky and the full moon was bright. Kuro used her Please power to act cute, rub against Suzune's legs to get her to submit to his cuteness. Suzune began to weep. She said she was lonely and no one had come to her shrine for many, many years. Kuro promise that he and Kamineko would come every day to visit her so she wont be lonely.
Immediately the rain stopped. Suzune was happy, bade her new friends farewell, then waited for the next time Kamineko and Kuro would visit.
After that, we created new Connections and Irfan spent Dreams to strengthen the non-player character Suzune's connection with him.
Irfan had some trouble adapting to the whimsical and childlike aspects of the game, probably because he was more used to firing blasters in Star Wars and using an axe in BareBones Fantasy, but in later talks he appeared to be able to grasp the concepts better. Perhaps he would be able to game better should we play it again.
Many thanks to Doug for running Golden Sky Stories for us!
Edged by the Empire
Episode 06 Family Obligations
Previously on Edged by the Empire...
Obligatory opening crawl!
Before the game began, no Obligations were triggered. As before, even if there was only one player, I considered all three main characters as player characters so three Force Dice were rolled, resulting in a Destiny Pool of 3 Light Side Points and 1 Dark Side Points. Irfan finally did some character advancements with the 60XPs he had been saving up, purchasing the Dead to Rights Talent and upgrading skills like Melee, Piloting (Space), Gunnery and Stealth.
The YT-1300 light freighter Lava Jaeger and her crew, Captain Hondo Pash, his kid sister Yuzy Pash, their armoured hired gunslinger Giin Lawquane and the astromech droids R2-8B8 and R5-K2 arrived at Naboo where Imperial Star Destroyer Obdurate was patrolling. Hondo informed them of their cargo of computer parts from Christophsis bound for Silverlake a port city on Naboo.
As they approach the lakeside city after a pair of Z-95 Headhunters fly past their freighter and ignoring them, the weapons lock klaxon blared. Giin - stationed at the top turret - said over the comlink, "What ith going on?" A missile was streaking toward them from the city outskirts. Hondo told him, "Hold on!"
After spending one Preparation maneuver, Hondo's Piloting (Space) roll succeeds with a Triumph as net results show!
The Lava Jaeger jinked, the missile missed and Giin (with an extra Boost dice from of the Triumph) blasted the missile out of the Naboo skies.
Last time on Call of Cthulhu (almost two years ago in realtime), Detective D.J. Stark played by Irfan (the youngest Call of Cthulhu player ever? I have no idea) killed his partner who turned out to be a ghoul cultist and prevented an entity called Sharakh-Kheth from emerging from its universe into ours. However he was badly injured - lots of broken bones - and was hospitalised.
Three weeks later he was moved from intensive care into a shared hospital ward at Saint Agatha Medical Centre in Brisbane, San Francisco, located all the way in Firth Park Canyon.
Doctor Geisler was his doctor. His wardmates were three other elderly men Beck, Dolce and Nunez. The ward had one window that had an iron grill installed. Stark could see trees outside from the third story of the hospital.
Doctor Geisler looking at Stark at his bed. Beside him and by the door is Beck. In front of Beck is Dolce. In front of Stark is Nunez.
In the morning, Eleanor Stark a professor of linguistics and mother to D.J. came to visit. She mothered him, telling him that Dr. Geisler had told her that he would be released after a week. He would be undergoing physiotherapy every day in the meantime. Before she left, Eleanor gave him a package addressed to him and hastily wrapped in brown paper that she found at his house.
Once left alone, he unwrapped the package. Inside was an old book with yellowing pages. But before he could continue reading Beck called out to him to introduce himself. Dolce joined in. Nunez, the oldest of them, did not. He was awake, sitting up but appeared catatonic. Beck said, "Mister Nunez here was fine when he first got here. A few days ago he woke up and never spoke again. Just looks into space."
Stark began to study the book from the package. The cover had ornate Chinese characters with "Chao Manuscript" lightly written in English with pencil. He thought, It must have been sent by Mister Chao. Everything had been written in Chinese. Some sections had handwritten translated English notes. He began reading some of the translated passages. "Spells"? "Impose Will For A Short Time" (The Mental Suggestion spell from the rulebook)? He spent all morning and noon trying to understand the passage.
At 3 P.M. the physiotherapist Salazar arrived with a pair of crutches for Stark. Together they left the ward, passing by the nurses' station, some storage rooms and an empty pediatrics ward. While hobbling past Doctor Hagen's office - the hospital's Operations Director - he saw the man at his desk talking animatedly into his phone at his desk. There was a computer on his desk, a closet behind him, an aquarium tank on the wall.
Finally they reached the Physiotherapy ward.
Stark returned to his ward by 5. Soon it was dinner time. Yay, hospital food.
At 8 P.M. while family members were visiting the others Stark tried studying Chao's book some more. Beck's granddaughter came over with a plate of pie which Stark graciously accepted. Stark noticed that Nunez's only visitor, his daughter, was in tears trying to coax her father to respond to her to no avail.
Then, Nurse Cutler entered the room. She was there to take some blood from Stark. Stark (successfully rolling his INTx5 for Perception) noticed that Nunez began trembling, his eye wide with absolute fear. He allowed the head nurse to do her job and leave. Nunez ceased trembling after she left the room.
Lights were turned off after visiting hours.
Stark heard a sound and woke up. According to the wall clock it was 11 P.M. In the shadows, he saw Nurse Cutler standing over the sleeping Beck. She produced a large, unusually archaic-looking needle from her apron pocket and appeared to be taking his blood. Stark thought nothing of it and returned to sleep.
For International Tabletop Day today, Irfan a quick game of Edge of the Empire for Irfan. Then, Farid and Cikma came a-visiting and Farid joined the game.
Edged by the Empire
Episode 05 First Day on the Job
Previously: Hondo Pash and his little sister Yuzy Pash had finally freed themselves of the crime lord Teemo the Hutt. With their newfound friend the armoured bounty hunter Giin Lawquane and two astromech droids R2-8B8 and R5-K2, they began to carve a life for themselves in the spacelanes of the Outer Rim Territories with their YT-1300 light freighter Lava Jaeger. The first stop in their quest for their first freight job: the planet Rodia.
Formerly the Krayt Fang, the Lava Jaeger soars away from the Tatooine system.
The ship set down in Landing Bay 4 in the small town of Port Trammel on Rodia. (Music played: "Approaching Rodia" by Kevin Kiner from Star Wars: The Clone Wars for atmosphere. You can find the mp3 at his website.)
Hondo is met by 32-VEX, the starport authority droid who welcomed him to Port Trammel. Hondo had 375 credits. After port fees, he now had 345 credits.
32-VEX asked, "Are you here for business or pleasure?"
Looking at his wallet, he said, "Definitely business. I'm looking for a freight jobs with my ship."
VEX informed him, "Although we're a small settlement, we do have requirement for offworld shipping. Feel free to ask around. Have a nice day."
After the droid left, Yuzy came running down with her walking staff, followed by Giin and R5-K2. The nine-year-old chirped, "Okay, Hondo. I'm off to go buy some food and provisions for the ship!"
Hondo was surprised. "Wait! We don't have the money to spend!"
"Oh," she grinned cheerfully. "I swiped 200 credits from Teemo's palace before we left. We'll be fine."
Giin shrugged. "You want me to go with her, bothth?"
"Yes. Protect her. Please."
"See you in three hours," said Yuzy with a smile. And then R5, Giin and Yuzy was out the landing bay doorway.
Man, I need a better gaming table.
Irfan began a playing a new game today: Palladium's Robotech RPG. Sila had a copy back in our teenage years. I played less than her friends and her did because I was away from home for most of the time. We were totally into Robotech. Sila taped every episode for me to watch when I'm back from boarding school. We bought and read as many of the Jack McKinney novelisations as we could.
And 25 years later Irfan is now playing it. I'm running it. I admit I was curious to see how the system feels like when I'm now 40 years old.
He rolled up an RDF Veritech pilot named John Barnes, named after Troy Barnes of Community, played by Donald Glover.
Actual play report follows:
January 7, 2009
RDF Nouakchott Base
Flight officer Barnes was an F-22 fighter pilot, assigned to the Robotech Defense Force base outside Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania. His usual missions were flying patrol sorties along the West African coast. He had been training in a VF-1 simulator for months, but he had never seen one before...
A flight of three new fighters landed at the base early in the morning. They had livery of dark blue with light grey highlights. The Nouakchott base insignia was painted on both its tailfins. Although it resembled the obsolete F-14s, it had modules that fit onto the fuselage strangely. He knew what they were. It was time to see them at work.
Squadron Commander Shiryo Kikue ordered Barnes to fly the new VF-1J on a northwest heading at ten thousand feet and engage an F-35 in a mock aerial combat sent from RDF Gibraltar. The base had a dozen Destroids - ground-based mecha - assigned to it that was used to patrol the coastline and the wastelands surrounding the city, but this was the first time Veritechs were assigned to Nouakchott.
Barnes made himself comfortable in the VF-1J's cockpit and familiarised himself with the "thinking cap" helmet. Just after sunrise, the fighter was airborn.
Edged by the Empire
Episode 04 Return to Mos Shuuta
The Star Wars RPG adventure continues from the previous session with Act 2 of The Long Arm of the Hutt free downloadable adventure (PDF download, low res version, 2.4MB). The story arc concludes with "Return to Mos Shuuta", but the module has been extensively modified to account for a lot of changes that took place in the course of several sessions.
Irfan rolls the Force Dice and gets 3 Dark Side Points.
Kaliklak Hive, Geonosis
As Teemo the Hutt's agent Zasvid the Brizzit was being taken away from Archduke Poggle the Irredeemable's audience chamber in Kaliklak Hive on Geonosis, Hondo Pash the captain of Lava Jaeger, the Twi'lek Numa of the Nabat Militia and the astromech droid R2-8B8 considered their next move. For his transgressions against Teemo's less-than-savoury enterprise on Ryloth and Geonosis, the Hutt planned to abduct Yuzy Pash, Hondo's sister at Mos Espa on Tatooine.
Because of his badly injured arm (Critical injury: Crippled Arm) Hondo spent the night in a bacta tank courtesy of Archduke Poggle. The next morning, after Hondo was decanted from the tank, Numa and he geared up for the mission to Tatooine.
Archduke Poggle gave permission for R2-8B8 to join their company and bade him farewell. Lava Jaeger took off and Hondo made a success jump to Tatooine. (Astrogation 1 success)
Some time ago, I ran BareBones Fantasy RPG for Irfan. The campaign is set in the default setting: the Keranak Kingdoms! Late afternoon yesterday, we continued the game with him playing the halfling spellcaster-warrior Jake Hastur and I running the human scholar-scout Finn Riverwyld. We stopped by sundown and resumed the game this morning.
Last time, Jake and Finn were commissioned by Duchess Lyla Keranak of Kingsbridge to look for her missing brother Captain Kane Keranak, or at the very least return his signet ring back to her. The duo travelled to the Island of Netharak where he was last seen. After having rested in Mr. Bonewall's house at the fishing port of Dronak, Jake and Finn geared up and set out northwest to where Kane was last seen headed.
Not the real cover of this game, but a bear does appear later in the game.
The duo headed into the thick jungle.
By noon, Jake had almost wandered into a river with foul black water but Finn with his superior scouting skills stopped the faux pas. Then a large, slimy tentacle burst out of the water. They both hastily retreated toward separate directions, but the tentacle hunted after Finn, who promptly hid in thick bushes beside a fallen tree. Jake hid up a slope by tall trees and bushes. Before the tentacle found Finn, Jake cast a lightning bolt (29 from Offensive Strike 56%) that blew a hole midway down the tentacle, spilling its black blood.
Finn used the distraction to roll under the fallen tree trunk and scramble up the slope toward Jake. As the flailing tentacle smashed up nearby flora in pain looking for prey, Jake's second lightning bolt hit, severing it where the bolt struck. The tentacle withdrew rapidly into the river. Finn thanked Jake as they resumed their journey.
We never did find out where the tentacle came from.
They were halfway up a heavily-forested mountain when night fell. It was raining heavily. Jake cast a spell to push away the rainclouds away from the mountain. Finn set up their tent and a fire and began dinner.
The night passed by without incident.