The Arioniad – Rules Change and Scene 3

This thread has died on the vine a bit, because fine though it is, Mythic isn’t really what I’m looking for in a game system. Possibly I am too much of a gamist, and it is too much of a narrativist system. Anyway, it joins a pile of games which I can see are good, but which I don’t think I can game master well enough to do them justice – this pile includes Amber and Vampire: The Masquerade, amongst others.

However, Santa brought me Two Hour Wargames’ Larger Than Life, which I think will fit the bill for the Arioniad (and also for a solo Warhammer 40,000 game, still at the concept stage, tentatively entitled Ordo Hereticus). So, I’ll convert Arion and the plotline and see where that takes us; the 1950s style science fiction which inspired Classic Traveller isn’t far removed from pulp fiction.

Under Savage Worlds, which I used for characters and combat, with Mythic as a GM emulator, Arion looked like this: Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Healing d6, Notice d6, Piloting d8, Repair d6, Shooting d6. Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 7, CV 76. Hindrances: Heroic, Loyal: Friends. Edges: Ship. Gear: $25. Kevlar Vest: +2/4, Glock: 2d6, Knife: Str+d4.

Working through the overview on p. 58 over a large scotch, I convert Arion as follows and decide that the scoutship Dolphin is his Co-Star to add some SF flavour.

Star: Arion, Rep 4; Star Power 2; Profession – Pilot; Employer – Self-Employed; Love Interest – not yet defined; Primary Attribute – Brains; Other Attributes – Brawn, Bravado; Recruiting Points 4; Advantages – Strong Willed; Disadvantages – Runt; Weapons – pistol, knife; Brawn Skills – Fighting 2, Melee 2, Piloting 2; Brain Skills First Aid 4; Bravado Skills – none; Recruits – see below.

Co-Star: Scoutship Dolphin and repair swarm; Rep 4; Primary Attribute Brains; Brawn Skills – Piloting 2; Brains Skills – Repair 4. (I only passed 1d6 on the recruiting table, so have no recruiting points left for others.) I decide the Dolphin has Larger Than Life and Cheating Death as befits its status, but not the full pack of Star advantages. I thought about declaring the Dolphin as Arion’s home as well, but that causes trouble I’m not ready for yet with the recruiting and Going Home rules.

The shadowy nemesis in earlier episodes I decide to call Schrodinger, since he may or may not have a cat. Dmitri I decide is an Extra, and closer to a Private Eye than anything, so we’ll use that entry, which gives him Interrogate and use of the Enforcement Crisis Table.

Now on to the Story (p. 29). Rolling 1d6 = 5 on the Person, Place or Thing table gets an 8, which is reduced to 7 because of Arion’s career. 7 is “Retrieve an Object.” Who is the Big Bad? Rolling on the table on p. 29 yields a 6, followed by a 2 – a King Beast. Interesting; that suggests the shadowy figure is some sort of shaman or witch doctor. Checking the Big Bad’s Rep on the next table I roll 2d6: 1, 1 vs 4 = pass 2d6: The Big Bad has one Rep less than I, namely 3. His Master Plan is on the next table; 1d6 + Rep (3) = 5, “Steal Treasure”. However, if the mystery opponent is a shaman, he must have Rep 6. Hmm. I’ll go with Rep 6 for the moment, so Schrodinger will be a real challenge, but keep the master plan as rolled.

Big Bad: King Beast, to be confirmed (but probably some kind of giant cat; possibly invisible, as in Forbidden Planet). I remember some improbably large pouncer animals being generated at random in Classic Traveller, so we’ll go with that.

Big Bad’s Shaman: Schrodinger (and possibly cat), Rep 6; Star Power 2; as he is not the Big Bad he gets half his Rep in Skills – tentatively, I’ll make his Primary Attribute Bravado, and give him Intimidate 6, Hypnotism 6, and Social Chameleon 6. I’m not sure if as an Extra he should get this, but maybe that will become clear in play; I’m half minded to make him a recurring villain, in which case he may well be the Big Bad himself in future.

I now roll on the Advance the Story Table (p. 30). 1d6 + Star’s Rep (4) + number of clues solved so far (0 – Arion is clueless at this point) = 2 + 4 = 6. Get info from someone in a story advancing scene, namely what is the object he must retrieve? It seems easiest to say the object is the same as the treasure Schrodinger is trying to steal. I break from LTL to roll a random cargo on the Classic Traveller Trade and Speculation table and get 45 – tools; I decide this is some kind of ancient artifact which grants control of the King Beast, and decide it is a fist-sized emerald sphere known as the Eye of the Cat.

To advance to the next Story Scene I need a Travel Scene. I decide Arion is currently in an Exotic location (because of the mercenary hiring-hall aspect of Matapan), and roll 1d6 on the Where To Next table (p. 31) – a 4, so Arion and Dmitri must go to another Exotic locale. Obviously they will go by means of the Dolphin; that seems most like a Private Plane to me, but from the tables on pp. 32-33 it will be easier to integrate with the rules if I treat it as a Tramp Steamer. Maybe the next Star should be a Free Trader Captain rather than a Scout – shades of Firefly!

I now roll 1d6 to see if we have an encounter en route, and get a 6, so we arrive without incident. I haven’t got a suitable name for the destination yet, but imagine Schrodinger’s men arriving at the landing pad just in time to see the Dolphin disappearing into the distance towards it.

This has been a bit dry and gamist so far, I will use a more in-character voice for the tale going forwards.

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