Arion’s Log: New Hope City, late September
We’re settling in nicely; no trouble yet, and Cori persuaded us to rent an apartment in the middle income district, said it would be more comfortable than the Dolphin. We still have 7 blocks left in the bank, so no funding problems yet. Dmitri and I are going out to the public and relational area to see if we can find more contacts; Cori didn’t want to come out, probably because it’s raining hard.
This is the involuntary encounter for September. Using the rules on p. 105, I first roll 1d6 and get a 2; since we’re not on the run and there is no warrant out for our arrest, this means I roll on the Involuntary Encounter table – a 4 there means a Chillin’ Encounter in the pub & rec area. I’m using a few more rules this time, so check for the day part by rolling a die for each part and taking the highest score; it’s daytime. I also roll for inclement weather (1 = yes), then on the inclement weather table on p. 113 and discover (1 = terrible) that it’s really bad – no ECM, LOS is 12", and a score of doubles when Fast Moving means you slip and fall.
I check the Pub & Rec section on pp. 79-80 and learn that the area will have one street, 8" wide, running through sections 4-6, with 1d3 buildings on either side. Rolling for these and their locations, I get buildings in board sections 2, 3 and 8. I randomly select these by rolling 1d15 on the list of buildings for the Industrial part of town, and get a grocery store (for which I will use the coffee shop sample map on p. 73), a garage (map p. 77) and a church (map to be made up if I need it).
Page 113 tells me that at this time of day the law level in this area is 3, and p. 114 that there will be two PEFs on the board to start with. I decide not to use the optional rules for PEFs in buildings (p. 77) until I know the rules a bit better. I do check whether any PEFs are in vehicles (p. 114) and learn that none of them are.
On p. 128 I learn that this is the only encounter type which Grunts and Co-Stars might sit out, so I roll 1d6 vs Rep for both Coriander and Dmitri; Cori rolls less than her Rep so stays home.
I decide that we’re still looking for contacts, so the encounter will be a success if we make a positive impression on either of the PEFs. And with that, we enter the board. I’m still using Hex Mapper Pro on the iPad, this time with a square grid at one square = 1”. Grey is road, orange is buildings, green is open ground.
Activation: Arion only, PEFs don’t activate. Arion and Dmitri can see someone up ahead through the rain, and have LOS as soon as they enter the board, so I resolve PEF2 immediately. It’s a pair of Basic police (I see I was doing it wrong last time when police came in threes) and the dice say there should be Contact; but since there is no outstanding Warrant for our arrest, they will ignore us.
We move 8" into the table down the middle of the road.
Activation: PEF 1, Arion. PEF 2 stays where it is, watching.
"Dmitri, why are those cops standing there getting wet?"
"How should I know? Traffic duty? Not smart enough to come in out of the rain?
"Yeah, well, neither are we, you’ll notice."
PEF2 moves towards the closest player group. Arion and Dmitri carry on down the main drag, which brings us into contact with PEF1, so I resolve it as three Zhuh-Zhuh Dropouts. They want to make contact; fine, so do we. I roll on the Dropout page in the QRS and get 4 (Rep 3, unarmed), 9 (Rep 4, pistol) and 2 (Rep 5, BAP). I decide the tactical group leaders should roll the Pep challenge dice. Arion rolls 13365 and scores 3 successes the Zhuh-Zhuh leader rolls 14422 and scores 3 successes. Under normal circumstances I’d let that lie and walk on, because combat is deadly in THW games, but if I do that I’ll fail the encounter, so I haul out Arion’s bonus dice (p. 7) and roll all 5; 36641 gives me another two successes for a total of 5. I beat the Zhuh-Zhuh by 2 and get a Minor Success; we exchange pleasantries but nothing else.
"Hey, Basics, got any spare change?" Arion blinks in surprise.
"I have no way of knowing. I might need it later, then it wouldn’t be spare."
"Hah! You’re funny." They walk off.
"Actually," mutters Arion to himself, "Rita Rudner was funny, I just have a good memory. And a lot of time in hyperspace with not much else to do, at least until recently."
Activation: Police, Zhuh-Zhuh. Arion does not activate.
The cops move towards the nearest building. The Zhuh-Zhuh split into two, with ZZ1 going off on his own.
Activation: ZZ1, cops, Arion. ZZ2 and 3 don’t activate.
I decide to take one last try at making and impression, so Arioni and Dmitri move up to the cops and initiate a contact – the player group can always start something. I’m going a bit off-piste here, but decide to go straight to the contact rules counting the police as LWC (since otherwise they won’t react at all). I now notice I didn’t roll them up earlier; I do so now and get a 5 (Rep 3) and a 9 (Rep 4) on the police generator. All police have Big Ass Pistols. Amazingly, the Rep 3 has Pep 5, so he will go – I decide the cops will use their best skill. I also realise I’ve been using Arion’s Rep (5) not his Pep (0). Hmm, maybe Dmitri (Pep 4, Smooth) better take the lead on this one.
Dima rolls 22443 and gets 3 successes. The cop rolls 26525 and gets 2 successes. A minor success; no impression made here. My only other option is to start a fight, and I’m running out of time today so I call the session instead.
"This is a bust," says Dmitri.
"Yeah," says Arion. "You want to pick up some beers from the shop before we head back?"
"Sure, why not."
Although the encounter was a failure, neither Arion nor Dmitri lost any Rep or Skills, which is unusual for me; and while checking the rules for that on p. 141, I found how I should be recruiting Grunts. It’s all good. Even as early as the second game, I found I could run most of it from the QRS sheets in the back of the book, and processing PEFs was much, much faster in this second game. I may not need to pre-generate PEFs playing solo after all, although I think I would if running 5150 for a group.
Month End Processing
This is on pp. 139-140. First, Arion has had one successful encounter this month, so gains his Rep in fame points; he is now Fame 5; however, he also failed one, which costs him 5 points. Net fame at month end is thus zero.
I’ve already done character improvement, so it only remains to see if the group stays together. Arion rolls Rep d6 and gets 26411, three successes. Looking back at the earlier posts, I figure Dmitri has been with the group at least 9 months, and Coriander maybe a month or two less, so Arion gets an extra 3d6 to hold on to Dmitri, and 2d6 to keep Coriander. These roll 262 and 11 respectively, giving him 5 successes for Dmitri and 5 for Coriander.
The two costars now roll Rep d6 each. Cori gets 64655 for no successes, Dmitri gets 3456 for one success. In both cases Arion has at least twice as many successes, so the costars stay in the group and don’t have to take this test again. Excellent.