The crew of the Spitfire needs some cred quickly or they’re going to run up debt. What jobs are available?
Catch a Noble’s escaped pet and deal with it on the transport back.
Assuming we’re still on Aketi, the noble must have been out on a safari. That gives us a starting area for the search. Some sort of tracking mechanism will be needed (the plan) and of course we should ask for some information on the pet itself.
These aliens are a type of mammal. They have two arms and two legs, with a long, useless tail. They have two eyes which sit low in their sockets and can often make them appear to be cautious. Their eyesight is fairly good. Their long mouths and tiny noses often make these aliens appear to be composed, but looks can be deceiving. Their ears are quite long and their hearing is astonishing. They also have horns covering their face. Their skin is elastic and strong. It’s covered in nothing but a few hairs on their hands. Their skin colors are mostly grey and silver, which tend to become darker as they age. The males are usually more humble than their female counter part and their colors are darker. The females, however, are usually heavier.
I rolled a random animal species name as well and got “Pixy Saola”. This isn’t quite the same as a saola on our world, but animals not being the same has never stopped humanity from recycling names before. FNG even has a pet alien name generator and it came up with “Moozlers”. I’ll drop the
s. Moozler belongs to Horatio Conwyn, who “lost” his pet when he came back from safari without really checking.
How do we track it? We’ll make a few fortune rolls. Does it have some implanted beacon?
1d => 3, no. Will the owner have some DNA sample we could use?
1d => 1, definitely not. Lord Horatio is not a particularly responsible pet owner, but I think we kind of guessed that already.
So we’ll have to use the Way, which is potentially dangerous here with lots of beasties on this planet that are attuned to it as well (or even exist partially within that indescribable energy field). That probably means Cosmo trying to track while Snaps drives the rover. That’s enough for a plan (Arcane).
For the actual engagement roll, we’ll get help from our crew contact, Jezri, who can send us a full zoological profile of this creature and any others already catalogued in the area. Everything else is pretty even, so
2d => 4, Risky.
We already identified a significant risk here (Way beasties), so we imagine the rover rolling up into the area where Horatio last camped.
Cosmo sighs and closes her eyes. Usually when she opens her mind to the Way, she’s focused on its cosmic nature or working with Ur artifacts. So this attunement will be Risky / Limited by default. She’ll go ahead and push for Standard effect:
2d => 4, which we interpret as reduced effect and a complication. She can feel Moozler’s presence in the area, as he isn’t native and the jungle doesn’t quite know what to do with this creature. We’ll start a 4-segment clock, “Moozler Found”, and put one tick on it. But we’ll also start another 4-segment clock for “Way Beastie Attracted” with a tick on it like the first one.
Snaps brings the rover to a stop and tries to quiet his own mind, making it easier for Cosmo (1-stress assist). She’ll try again, pushing once more for effect:
3d => 5, which will lead to 2 ticks on both clocks. They can feel something in the jungle. Yes, one of those somethings is Moozler slightly to the north, but something hungry also awaits. Snaps prepares to calm it (he’ll protect against consequences if the beastie’s clock fills), and so Cosmo steps out of the rover to have a deeper connection to the Way. As noted earlier, by default we’re treating this attune at Risky / Limited:
2d => 4. Moozler is up in a nearby tree. But whatever else is in this area is agitated and we should fill that clock - but Snaps will resist with Resolve (effectively putting a sort of calm into the local Way). He rolls
1d => 2 - 6 = 4 stress, but that clock is still at 3/4.
Cosmo scrambles over to catch Moozler, taking a chance, so it’s Risky / Standard. She could lose the target, or the beastie might come crashing through the foliage, or she could even fall and get hurt.
1d => 6, we do it and get an extra gambit.
Like the dog who caught its tail, Cosmo isn’t quite sure what to do here.
Actually, we’ll flash back to when she rigged up a small cage for transport. That’s Controlled position, with Standard effect, and this will give us a sense of how sturdy this cage is. No stress for the flashback,
2d => 6, the cage will work fine. We have the pet in custody.
But mischievous Moozler will be a handful in the rover! How well does Snaps do on the drive back? We’ll first just make a fortune roll using his helm rating to see how much trouble we have on this return trip (sort of a mini-engagement roll). That’s
2d => 4, so a complication has arisen. Did Moozler get loose? Another fortune roll using the state from Cosmo’s cage.
3d => 4, no but he’s still drawn the attention of some creature around here.
Whatever kind of attention that is, we don’t want it, so we’ll try to keep it from following us. Cosmo attunes to the Way once more, this time from a Controlled position as we have Moozler and are driving back to Base Camp One and with Limited effect:
2d => 4, we hesitate. She’s just not comfortable interacting with the Way like this, and we decided to do something else instead.
Snaps pours on the speed, crashing through the jungle at a breakneck pace, trying to lose whatever is following us. He’ll spend a gambit on this helm roll and try to tick back that complication clock. Since he has potency from Ace Pilot,, we are at Risky / Great:
2d => 3, the driving takes us right past this beast’s lair! The clock fills and that thing is right on our tail!
What’s this thing like? It lives partially in the Way, which reminds me of displacer beasts from D&D, but I’d rather not pull in that sort of lore here. Instead let’s say it’s feathered… like that crazy bird in the movie “Up”. How large is it? We’ll make another fortune roll using Aketi’s Weird rating (1):
1d => 3, so not very large. But it’s phasing in and out of our reality as it flaps along and runs behind our rover, blinking ahead from time to time.
Cosmo pulls out a blaster pistol and opens up a hatch. She’ll try to discourage the creature. From Jezri’s info, she knows it would be extremely difficult to kill even if she hit it, so we won’t do that. Instead, she just wants it to back off. The blaster shots are a form of communication, I guess, so this is a command at Risky / Standard, plus a push (+2 stress):
2d => 5, we do it with a complication.
As we’re reaching base, our blaster fire has alarmed the perimeter guards and they’re closing the gates!
Snaps guns the engine. If he can make it in, we’re done with the job. But if he doesn’t, we’re locked out and might even damage the rover. We’ll call that Risky / Standard, but as usual he has potency on piloting stuff, so we’re at Risky / Great. He pushes himself (+2 stress):
3d => 6, we skid into the base just under the gate. Moozler is home!
This is a small job: 4 cred. I don’t know whether there’s a relevant faction, so we’ll ignore that part this time. Instead, we’ll add a crew contact: “Horatio, a noble”. Our upkeep is just 1, so we’ll back that back (clearing the Skips track), put 1 cred back into the ship’s hold, and the crew will get 1 each.
The only heat here is in the jungle so we’ll just see if there are any entanglements with our existing level.
1d => 2, “Unquiet Black”.
An alien or Way creature finds its way on board. Acquire the services of a mystic or exterminator to destroy or banish it, or deal with it yourself.
This makes lots of sense. That bird made it onto our vehicle, I guess, and we’ll deal with it soon.
I thought about pushing this to the next session as it was getting late, but nah.
He’s a little stressed, but not too much. This was barely even a job! He’ll keep working to find somebody associated with the Lost Legion. This time, he reaches out to his old NCO, Mav, and carefully probing his politics. That’s a fortune roll based on Consort,
0d => 1, we can’t really get a read on it, so only 1 tick on the clock.
Related, he continues to work on his social skills and train Resolve.
She really pushed herself this time, interacting with the Way in a manner she never has before and making strange new connections. She’ll indulge her obsession with the weird,
1d => 3 stress cleared as she begins to look at the connections to life around her in new ways.
And then she keeps studying her new drone design,
1d => 1, so we’re just at 3/8.
The next job is going to be tricky:
Extract a Guild member from the local Guild HQ.
Good luck, indeed.
I also learned a few things. First, I had a bit of difficulty keeping up with Snaps’ stress; he’s actually at 6/9 and should have indulged. That might complicate things next time. I’ll also use the Starforged tables more, although I do love FantasyNameGenerators.com.
The clocks felt better this time. Modeling this one as racing clocks matched the fiction well and drove lots of fun complications. Yes, that means this weird little bird might even stick around!