The Arioniad – Scene 4

Posted: 5 January 2010 in Arioniad

Arriving at Delphi, Arion and Dmitri need to get information from someone. I roll to check if the Big Bad is here: 1d6 vs: 3, so no. I roll for the time of day: 1, daytime. I roll 2d6 for the difficulty level of finding the quarry and get 5, 5. As I take the lower one, this is 5, which is reduced by one because Delphi is an Exotic location. I now roll 2d6 vs 4 (Star’s Rep): 1, 2 and pass 2d6, which means we find the quarry without incident.

Interior, day: The bridge of the Dolphin. Arion flips off a variety of overhead switches and the hum of the drives fades. Outside, we see a starport with little in the way of traffic, but what there is uses antigrav propulsion rather than wheels or tracks. The sun is shining, and all seems well with Delphi.

“Here we are,” says Arion. “Delphi Downport. So who is this guy you know here, and how exactly is he going to help?”

LTL doesn’t seem to have a means of defining the quarry, so I decide to use the CT Patron Encounter table again: 4, 6 gives me an émigré. I roll for his reaction on the CT reaction table and get 7, non-committal. I decide there is a 50% chance the quarry is male, which it turns out he is, and use the random name selector in MetaCreator (it’s right there on my desktop, so why not) to determine that he is called Timon. None of this has no game impact but does stimulate my imagination for the writeup.

Voiceover from Dmitri as the pair make their way through a narrow alleyway towards a staircase leading to an upper-floor apartment…

“His name is Timon, at least these days. I don’t know what it was before. I recognised the earrings on the muscle on Tainaron; they’re a Gimirri warrior clan. Timon had a falling out with the Gimirri leadership at the start of the war and moved here; maybe he can help.”

The pair knock on a door, and Timon opens it cautiously. He tries to slam it closed when he sees who is outside, but Dmitri is too fast for him and barges inside. Arion follows.

“What do you want?” Timon asks, with no great enthusiasm. “If the Gimirri find out I’ve been talking to you they’ll cut my throat. My continued survival depends on not drawing attention to myself.”

“Then you’ll want us gone quickly and quietly,” says Dmitri. “Listen: I was on Tainaron a week ago, and a pair of Gimirri warriors tried to kill me. I’m wondering why they might want to do that, and I think you can tell me.”

“You remember the last time you crossed swords with the Gimirri?”

“Schrodinger? How is he involved?”

“I hear things – a piece here, a piece there. I don’t have much to do these days but put the pieces together and sell the completed picture to people like you.” Wordlessly, Dmitri takes out his wallet, and starts counting high-denomination Credit bills into Timon’s hand. Timon beckons for more. Dmitri grasps him gently by the throat. “Okay, okay. We’ll call that a down payment.”

“We’ll call that done, or I’ll take it back and call the local enforcers.” Timon sighs.

“All right. You know Schrodinger is… ambitious. As an outsider, he’ll need something to give him leverage with the Council. He must think you know something. If he’s trying to kill you, it must be something he doesn’t want anyone else to know. What could that be?”

“I haven’t a clue. What else can you tell me?”

“How many more Credits have you got?”

“None. But my friend here has a large knife and a pistol for when that isn’t sufficiently persuasive.” Arion does his best to look tough. Timon gives under the implied threat.

“Schrodinger chartered a Free Trader on Tainaron last month. He’s fitting it with inflatable fuel tanks. I don’t know how or why.”

Now I roll to solve the clue. Again I first roll 2d6 for the difficulty factor: 3, 4 – taking the lower one gives a 3. The Star now rolls as many dice as his Rep – 4d6, getting 4, 4, 4, 6 and passing 0d6. The quarry rolls as many dice as the difficulty – 3d6, getting 4, 4, 5 and passing 0d6. Since we have the same number of successes, Arion rolls 1d6 vs 2 (his Star Power): 2, a success, so the clue is solved.

I now roll on the Advancing the Story Table: 1d6 + Rep (4) + number of clues solved (1) and get 6 + 4 + 1 = 11. I must get more information from another person. This will mean a travel scene to get to the next clue. A die roll of 6 and a starting location type of Exotic means I am headed for a jungle, desert, or icesheet of some kind – let’s go with jungle, I like the idea of a ruined Mayan-style pyramid in a jungle somewhere. How will we get there? A roll of 6 on the relevant table gives Tramp Steamer, and I have already classed the Dolphin as a Tramp Steamer for rules purposes, so let’s go with that. Is there an encounter en route? 1d6 vs 1: A 3, so no. And off we go to the next scene.

Arion chimes in.

“He must be planning to make an extended jump.” His eyes close for a moment as he visualises the starmap. “He wouldn’t need to charter a ship for most places, there are regular routes. It has to be more than one parsec away or he wouldn’t need the extra fuel tankage. He must be going to Cyrene. We’re faster than him in Jumpspace, if we hurry we can beat him to it.”

“Pleasure doing business with you,” says Timon. But Arion and Dmitri have already left.

Total elapsed time, including chewing the pencil and writing dialogue around the dice results, about an hour. Reflections: The theme of the game has shifted away from “Where will Arion get the money to pay his maintenance bills?” towards “What is the Eye of the Cat, and where is it?” I’m happy with that, actually, as resource management is the main component of my day job, and a game focussed on it wouldn’t be relaxing. Also, I need to finish the subsector map, as it is starting to play a major role in events.

  1. David says:

    Hi Andy,

    This little adventure is getting really interesting. I missed the name of the rules you’re using for the basic plot rolls but I love the way the dice rolls aid the story telling by making you answer questions or fill in details.

    I tried something similar during the MongTrav playtest period, using the encounter tables from MongTrav and CT to drive my character around my old CT campaign quadrant. Stuff kept happening and as I developed the story I ended up with a feud between two merchant houses, a pirate crew with the character’s mother serving as pilot, links to a couple of scenarios I’d written and all sorts of other fun stuff. Must write it up as it was also an interesting ‘road movie’ story as well.

    • andyslack says:

      I started out using Mythic from Word Mill Games, but from Scene 3 moved over to Larger Than Life from Two Hour Wargames. Both excellent games; I think Mythic leans more towards a storytelling type of game, and LTL more towards miniatures gaming, but that’s just my opinion.

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