Thursday, 16 August 2012

Chapter 7 : Last Stand at TK1075A, Part 6

"Oh, and hand me the black cap, will you,
I'll be needing that."
Following chapter 6 where the party infiltrated the Slodi asteroid to rescue Una Magnusdotir Hos, the group finally face Imperial justice for the charge of piracy. In conclusion...

"Ragnar Ivaldsson Long, you have been found guilty of the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences: you will be sent to the Tarkwall prison facility on Keanou for five years."

"Ansgar Padraigson Long, you have also been found guilty of the charge of piracy, you will go to prison for four years."

House Rules #3 : Bonus Dice

When rolling up a character, each player gets 6 bonus dice. Any time a  roll is made (during character creation or play) a player may use additional dice from his pool of bonus dice and take whichever 2 dice they want from those rolled to form the random portion of the task roll. Dice used are permanently lost from the pool.  Additional dice may be awarded in play for particularly good role play, insight, planning or ideas as judged by the referee.
"Magnus Olafsson Karlseffni, you to have been found guilty of the charge of piracy, as well as being culpable for the deaths of Eric Ormson Slodi and Derek Ormson Slodi. You will be sent to prison for the rest of your life."

This is obviously a miscarriage of justice as Sali Hasvirsson Hjalmir (aka Magnus Olafsson Karlseffni) didn't shoot Eric and Derek, it was Ansgar. But Imperial justice eh, what can you do? (Remember to use your bonus dice to improve your sentencing roll, obviously). be continued?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Chapter 6 : Last Stand at TK1075A, Part 5

In Chapter 5, the party were formally charged with piracy, Sali took part in a little home-grown judicial process and ended up slightly better off than his opponent and Ragnar approached Ling Standard Products to offload their tantalum.

House Rules #1 : Training and Experience

Learning Experiences
A learning experience is period of time where intense use of a set of skills take place. It can be a combat encounter, a bargaining session with a trader or a trek through a jungle for example. Driving down to the shops or a routine takeoff for example are not learning experiences, although it may be if this is the first time it’s done. After a learning experience tick any one of the skills used in the experience. This does not necessarily have to be one rolled during the period, but it has to be one that is appropriate. A weekly training session also allows ticking of an appropriate skill.

Experience Points

These are gained during play. One should be awarded for each learning experience unless the character made little or no impact on the situation. Significant actions should be rewarded with an additional point. Experience points can also be awarded through study. Award 2 + the effect of an End 8+ task for each week of study. If trained by another add the skill level of the teacher. These experience points gained must only be used for improving the skill being taught and should be noted separately. A teacher can train as many people as his skill level + Int DM. A teacher can study as well as teach but gets a –1 DM for each person he is teaching during that week. Certain types of study could use Int, Edu or Soc tasks instead.

Skill Total

This is the sum of all skill values currently held by the character. To gain a level in a skill the character needs to spend experience points equal to the current skill total + the new level of the skill to be improved. Only skills that have been ticked can be improved. Remove all ticks after spending the points.
There's six weeks to the start of the trial, and their lawyer, Valbrand Bjornson Kruhl, sends messages via a private x-boat courier to Biter to his legal contacts to try and contact any passengers of the Liner Selene to be witnesses in the trial. Ragnar grumbles about the expense but pays up.

Ragnar arranges a meeting with the local representatives of Ling Standard Products with whom he has made initial contact. He proposes to use the tantalum as part payment for a jump drive for the ship being constructed at Tyrfing Highport. After some negotiation they come to an agreement for a Class B Jump Drive in exchange for the tantalum along with some Ship Shares Ragnar and Sali have been carrying around since their mustering out.

Asking around the local belter community about
Una Magnusdotir Hos, gets some interesting news. The belters are reluctant to discuss her in detail, but eventually they get the information that Una was having a relationship with one of the Slodis.

In the weeks before the trial the party spend their time hacking into the asteroid's computer system looking for clues to the whereabouts of Una Magnusdotir Hos, extracting more tantalum and shipping it to Niflhel Station as well as doing some training.

Ragnar brushes up on his Broker skills, Ansgar learns more about mining and vaccsuit, while Sali spends his time working out with his broadsword.

After some weeks of mining, self improvement and computer hacking, the party finally manage to get into Una's email system.

They find a long series of communications between Una and Eric Ormson Slodi, a cousin of Dolf and Alvar. They are of a romantic nature and culminate with an invitation to Una to visit the Slodi asteroid which she accepts.

Ansgar breaks into the asteroids Outlook server
Reading between the lines in the the emails, the party reach the conclusion that Una is angling to get her families debt cancelled out and may be just leading Eric along.

Further computer hackery gets access to Una's bank statements. As the Slodis claimed in their evidence to the judge, she has a deposit in her account of Cr 820,000 that ties into the date when the Slodis say they bought the asteroid, however two days later the same amount was paid out from her account to an unlisted personal bank.

The party decide to infiltrate the Slodi asteroid to search for Una. The asteroid plays host to many of the local belters interested in low class entertainment and provisions, so they talk to their local anti-Slodi belter friends and manage to find some belters who are planning to visit this week for various reasons. Sali will enter using his real ID as the Slodis know him as Magnus Olafsson Karlseffni. Ansgar and Ragnar borrow ID from some of their belter friends who assure them that the checking is not all that good. Sali gives them some quick infiltration hints, the most important being not to draw attention to yourself, and they set off to the asteroid in the company of booze-hounds and sexually frustrated miners.

The asteroid has a large enclosure (off limits to most visitors, although a view through a large plexiglass window is possible at docking control) and three sub levels built into the rock. The sub levels contain residential areas (for the extended Slodi Clan as well as visitors), retail centres and the processing cores for atmosphere, power and water.

Interior of the Slodi Asteroid
Sub Level 1
Sub Level 2
Sub Level 3
House Rules #2 :  Combat


Initiative is rolled at the start of combat ( 2D + Dex DM ), and then can vary throughout the encounter. Unlike the standard rules, this variation does not reset the initiative at the start of the turn, any changes due to reactions and recoil carry over. Hastening only acts as a +2 modifier to initiative rather than changing 

Two additional actions can affect initiative. A minor action can be used to increase initiative by 1, and a major action can be used to reroll initiative for the next turn. These actions simulate pausing to reassess the situation.

Martial Art Styles
When learning Melee (unarmed), the character needs to specify whether the martial art is Strength based or Dexterity based. 

Strength based martial arts allow the Strength Modifier to be used either as a positive DM to hit, or as a positive DM for damage.

Dexterity based martial arts allow the Dexterity Modifier to be used either as a positive DM to hit or as a negative DM for the opponent to hit.

Melee Damage

Melee damage is increased from the basic level by 1 point for each skill level. They also add the Strength Modifier to the damage rolled. A strength based martial art could therefore add twice the Strength Modifier to the damage rolled.

If the modifier to damage is 4 or higher, subtract 4 and instead roll an additional dice. For example a roll of 1D+5 would actually be 2D+1, 1D+9 would be 3D+1.

Increasing Damage

All attacks, both melee and ranged, can increase damage at a cost to chance of hit and initiative. By reducing the chance to hit by 1 and reducing current initiative by 1, the attacker can add a modifier of +2 to damage.

Sneak Attacks

Attacking an unaware opponent is easier, only roll 4+ to hit and add the effect number to the damage rolled. If this decreases the targets Endurance to zero in one hit, then the target is incapacitated.

The party make there way to the Slodi asteroid attached to two separate groups - Sali and Ansgar with a bunch of belters out for a night on the town, and Ragnar with a small group after supplies.

They pass through the lax security with little trouble and decide to split up to search the sub levels. Concentrating on the retail areas they enquire at hotels and bars to see if anyone has seen Una.

The deeper (closer to the asteroid exterior) they progress the more they notice the social level of the population decrease, and the more depraved the levels of entertainment.

After several dead ends they find a hotel that says Una stayed there for a while before leaving when her money ran out. The concierge at the hotel said she may have been seen in a seedy bar in Sub Level 3.

In the bar the party find a den of addicts and ladies of easy virtue. Bribing the bar keeper gets them the information that Una did come here and was one of the women of negotiable virtue, but left private employ and now works out of an establishment specialising in such activities.

As the party leave to go to the Virtue Negotiation Venue (VNV), they notice security guards questioning people. They keep low and after the guards have moved on Ansgar goes and talks to one of the questioned citizens.

Ansgar - "What did those guards want?"
Citizen - "They were asking about a women."
Ansgar - "Was it this one?", showing him a photo of Una.
Citizen - "Yes. They asked if I had seen her, or anyone asking after her. And would give a reward for information."
Ansgar - "Thanks."
Virtue Negotiation Venues of the future may
employ the use of Basic Pleasure Models
however the Slodis rely more on drugged victims
(because they are the bad guys or at least worse than the heroes)
Citizen (after a brief pause to allow Ansgar to offer some money to prevent him going to the guards) "...Well I'll be off then.", and walks off in the direction of the guards.

The party make their way to the VNV, and Ragnar asks after Una. After a little negotiating he is led to a room containing a somewhat inebriated Una. He complains to the management about the state of his intended paramour and while the Person In Management Position is checking his employee, Ragnar utilises his unarmed combat prowess to knock him out.

The party exit the establishment with the somewhat befuddled Una and make there way to Sub Level 2 without incident. be continued...