The Arioniad, Scene 1

“Scene” makes more sense than “episode” for Mythic, so let’s go with that.

Since the original setup, I’ve had a couple of thoughts; firstly that with $25 in his pockets and monthly operating expenses of many thousands, even with the Scout Service fronting fuel and maintenance, Arion needs a lot of cash, fast. That’s a classic trope of the genre so we’ll let it be. Secondly, that Arion needs someone or something to do all that grungy maintenance aboard ship, and something is more science-fictional; so we’ll have a robot about the size of a large tarantula on his shoulder, part of a maintenance swarm that does the minor repairs and cleaning aboard ship, which acts as a commlink to the ship. Otherwise, realistically, he’d be spending 24 hours a day just fixing broken bits. Goodness only knows a house is bad enough for that, and it doesn’t have to fly or be airtight. Should it become necessary, say in a boarding action, the maintenance swarm will be treated as a Savage Worlds swarm, but it won’t leave the ship as that would jeopardise its primary objectives; so outside, Arion needs to fend for himself.

Before I begin, I must set up three lists: Important NPCs, plot threads, and Chaos Factor, which measures how much in control of the situation Arion is.

  • NPCs: Scout Service (they must be important to Arion because they have lent him a multi-million Credit starship). No-one else at the moment.
  • Plot threads: Make enough money to keep flying. 
  • Chaos Factor: Starts at the default of 5. Normally one would roll against the Chaos Factor at the start of a scene to see if the story dives off in an unexpected direction, but since there is no expected direction at the moment I won’t bother.

So, Arion is sitting in a starport café when a man bursts through the door with a gun. In Mythic, the scenario is driven forward by asking yes/no questions, setting a likelihood of the answer being “yes”, and then cross-referencing a percentile dice roll with that likelihood and the current Chaos Factor on the Fate Chart, which is the core of the system.

The first question on Arion’s mind is most likely “Does this guy want to shoot me?” I have no basis for deciding that currently, so I assign a probability of “50/50” and roll the dice, for a score of 69 – “no”. OK, that’s a good start. (A roll in the lower range would mean “yes”, the upper range “no” – really low or high rolls are extreme yes or no answers, respectively.)

  • Does Arion know this person? (Unlikely, I decide; that gives a 35% chance of a “yes” answer.) I roll 71, no.
  • Is this person running away from someone else? (50/50). Roll 36, “yes”.
  • Is he scared? (50/50) Yes.
  • Is he wounded? (50/50) No.
  • Does he ask for help? (50/50). Yes.

The door crashes back on its hinges and a wild-eyed fellow steps into the café.

“Help me!” he cries. “They’re after me!” (Arion has the Heroic hindrance, so he can’t restrain himself; he has to help people who look like they’re in trouble.)

“Ray,” he calls to the bartender (“Ray, the guy that sells me beer” from the Simpsons version of “Do Re Mi”), “You got a back door to this place?”

  • Does he? (Very Likely – most of them do) Yes.
  • Will he let them use it? (Very Likely – a gunfight in his café would be bad for business) Yes.

Ray nods and points to one corner. Turning to the newcomer, Arion says: “Come with me if you want to live.” (Another genre trope, those of you playing trope bingo may now drink a beer.)

  • Will the fugitive follow Arion (Very Likely) Yes.
  • Are the pursuers close on their heels? (Likely) Here I roll 13%, which since it is in the lower fifth of the “yes” range means “extreme yes”; they’re bursting in right now.
  • Do they come in shooting? (50/50) No.
  • Do Arion and the fugitive get out of the back door before the pursuers see them? (Unlikely, because they’re in hot pursuit) Yes.

Arion and the stranger run for the back door and dive through it. While it’s still swinging shut, two hard-looking men in formal dress burst in through the front door and scan the café.

“Anyone just come in?” they want to know.

Ray shrugs. “Nobody here, is there? What can I get you?”

  • Do they follow through the back door? (50/50) No.

“Must’ve kept running,” says one to the other. “That way!” And with that, they take off out of the café and down the street.

Meanwhile, walking down the back alley and trying to look inconspicuous, Arion says: “My ship’s over there. Let’s get you out of sight, and then I want to know what this is about.”

That sounds like as good a point as any to end the scene. I now update the lists and Chaos Factor:

  • NPCs: Scout Service; add Dmitri, the bloke with a gun (he’ll need a name soon, and that’s the first one that came to mind); add people chasing him; add Ray the bartender.
  • Plot threads: Make enough money to keep flying. Find out who is chasing Dmitri and why. 
  • Chaos Factor: 5. Arion is no more or less in control than before, so no change.

Lessons learned: I think Mythic will be the most portable of these solo games, since as long as I have the Fate Chart, the Savage Worlds Test Drive, and some way to generate random numbers, I can play pretty much anywhere. The weapon of choice for trains and hotels, then.

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