Since the previous two sessions effectively served as prologue or backstory, now I’m going to change up my approach. Everything that is not specific to the game or setting will use the One Page Solo Engine by Inflatable Studios.
We’re pushing forward in time several months as well. We’ve discovered a bit about Zato: he doesn’t like dangerous physical conflict very much, although he can be impulsive. He may feel a bit betrayed by the Rebel Alliance, even if he has no particular love for the Empire. He’ll still be looking over his shoulder for a bounty hunter or similar. We’ll give him some starting equipment (1k credits, a pocket computer, and maybe a droid of some sort, similar to the Tongue-Tied Engineer template). Finally, from the previous (short) adventure, he’ll get three skill points, which is the minimum. Two of those will go to Con and the third in Bargain.
Zato is working under a false ID in a new location. He’s known here as “Daro Tona”, living on Spira (detailed in The Best of the Star Wars Adventure Journal, “The Spira Regatta”, pp. 61-72). Spira is a vacation world near the Inner Core, mostly ocean with scattered islands. Ataria Island has the main passenger spaceport and features lots of tourist traps, including a gorgeous casino in a tower built into a cliff side. The casino itself is actually in the portion beneath the water surface and looks out into the water.
Perhaps ironically, Zato is working for the casino as computer security. He’s still working a side hustle, passing information on casino guests who might make especially good marks over to underworld friends.
To start, One Page Solo Engine tells me to roll on the Plot Hook Generator:
After that I roll a Random Event:
To set the scene, Zato is at the bar in the Aspre Plunge, having drinks with a coworker he’s hoping to spend more time with.
So, here’s where I make a mistake. I don’t think enough about what the “something broken” is, or any of that. I just focus in on the scene, which can work but ended up leaving me floundering a bit. I’ll have more to say in the conclusion, but it’s worth calling it out now.
The “hostile force” opposing Zato in the scene is Regenald Hanniper Snopps III, a rich and especially-useless playboy from a politically-powerful family. (He’s an NPC listed with this location in the SWAJ article.)
But who is our coworker?
She’s a security specialist with me and participates in the side hustle (fraud ring). If she’s trying to restore social status, maybe she’s from Alderaan (unlikely)?
d66 => 6-4, Yes. We’ll roll up a name, “Millu Rinko” (female). Is the equipment related to her job (likely)?
d66 => 4-1, Yes but... What kind of thing is it? Q♦︎ - Exotic / Technical (mental, operation). It’s a scanner for identifying individuals, “but” most people do not recognize it when they see it.
Snopps is ignoring Zato as he tries out the worst pickup lines and tactics on Millu. He’s clearly quite wealthy, and equally clearly something of a fool. Is it working (unlikely)?
d66 => 6-3, Yes, surprisingly.
Zato definitely doesn’t like the direction this is going, so he’ll try to embarrass Snopps a little. He’ll wait for him to say something dumb (which doesn’t take long at all) and Con him into insulting himself before he realizes it.
3D+2 vs Easy => 11 vs 10, success. How does he react (Action Focus)? J♣︎ - Protect / Physical. The Imperial playboy fluffs his hair and clothes, then tries to go back to ignoring Zato. Does Millu pick up on what’s really going on (likely)?
d66 => 3-2, Yes.
Let’s roll a pacing move: 4 Advance a Threat. Is this threat related to being a fugitive (likely)?
d66 => 4,4, Yes. Who is it? 8♠︎ - Specialist / Mystical. Perhaps this is some kind of inquisitor, and that Devaronian rescued by the Rebels was more special than Zato understood! What’s the Inquisitor’s goal? 8♥︎ - Protect / Social, yes, they’re looking for a “treasonous Jedi”. But we drew a Joker in that, so we’ll roll a Random Event as well:
The Inquisitor wants to talk to Zato, who nudges Snopps a bit to emphasize his own importance and make Snopps aware of what’s happening.
But then the Inquisitor calls out the name “Zato”, not “Daro” as he’s known here, and both Millu and Snopps get an odd look. This could be trouble.
At this point, I decide the Inquisitor needs a bit of mechanical heft and find a character sheet. Now I have some skill codes and Force powers if needed.
So the Inquisitor wants to know if Zato has any idea where the Rebels are. The casino goes quiet and lots of people scurry away. Snopps tries to diminish Zato a bit: “There’s no way this Kowakian monkey-lizard knows anything.”
Does the Inquisitor do anything in response (likely)? `d66 => 1,1, No but…” I’ll roll a Pacing Move, 2 Reveal a new detail. So Detail Focus: 5♥︎ - New / Social. “I will inform your father of your socializing with potential allies of Jedi traitors”. Snopps goes pale and flees the scene.
But Zato doesn’t know where the Rebels are! He’s pretty sure they left him to die anyway. “All I know is that they said something about Lageid in SpecOps. They said it like a name!”
How does the Inquisitor react?
6 Extraordinary, they’ll clear my warrant. “You have served your Empire well today.” Kark, I just didn’t want to die at the hands of this Inquisitor.
Is Millu disgusted (likely)?
d66 => 2-6, No and... she’s impressed.
So the plot is that my own self-respect is broken? I don’t really know what to do with this. (Again, if I’d just taken a few minutes to think through the results of the Plot Hook Generator and set a more appropriate scene, I could have avoided this.)
For suggestive material, I’m going to roll up a random bit from the Star Wars Sourcebook for SWRPG 1e. I get a random page number, 28, which has information on TIE Bombers. Then I roll a pacing move: 6 Add a Random Event to the scene. We’re not really in a scene right now, but I could use it to set one.
Do I receive a communication about some slicer community? No, that doesn’t have anything to do with TIE Bombers. Some Sienar engineers are coming here? Maybe it’s a recruiter from Sienar (the corporation that builds the TIEs), asking if Zato’d be interested in a job. But this takes me further into the Empire, and that’s not necessarily what I want for the story.
Can I find a Rebel contact here? I’m checking with my local criminal contacts here with Streetwise, which means
5D vs Difficult => 15 vs 20, no. I’ll roll a Failure Move, 1 Cause Harm. The only way this makes sense is some social harm. Let’s roll up a new NPC using Peter Thompson’s site again.
I got some job or promotion he wanted, and now he could report me as a Rebel sympathizer!
Our little business group is meeting in a house in Ataria City. Zato (“Daro”) asks if anyone had any contacts in the rumored underground, and Pan starts in with the accusations. No way will Zato talk him down like this. Does he have any leverage (likely)?
d66 => 2-5, No, so Zato will just have to lean on the fact that they’re all committing crimes together. He leans in with his most threatening smile, and Millu leans in as well as she’s on his side about this. ((What are the help rules in SWRPG? I can’t find them immediately, so for now that’ll just be +1D, share in the risks and results.)) “If I go down, I promise you will too.” This lowers the difficulty of a Command roll, meaning
4D vs Easy => 14 vs 10, success, and Pan shuts up.
Later, we set a scene with Zato checking on the Holonet. He knows how to find Underground forums, which is fairly risky but he knows how to cover his tracks. He’s in his own apartment, late at night. A complication arises, 2 An obstacle blocks your way. What kind of thing is it? 5♠︎ - New / Mystical. Zato’s own cowardice is all that’s in the way. As much as he wants to find these people, he knows the risks. Despite his fears and anxiety, he decides to do it anyway, but this is an Altered Scene. 4 Add a Scene Complication, another one. 4 An NPC acts suddenly.
Millu appears behind me. “You’re up late. Come back to bed.” Zato’s cowardice wins after all.
This is the first time I’ve used it, and I find it really handy to have so much stuff on one double-sided piece of paper. The handling of NPC reactions and inclinations is a bit weak, although the Oracle (Focus) tables are pretty good. Surprisingly, I had difficulty finding online playing card generators with a 54-card deck (including both Jokers) as well as continually drawing from the same deck. I’ll ask around in some communities. And the suggested alternate method to use only dice is a bit of a problem, as it was “roll a d12 for the rank and a d4 for the suit. On a 12, flip a coin to see if you use the Q or K”. But that effectively means that both the Q and K results are half as likely as anything else.
But mostly I should have spent more time with the results of the Plot Hook Generator right at the beginning and thought about what broken thing we’d be restoring, for example, and that might have helped me pick some other powerful organization.
Next time, I will either convert Zato to an NPC with lots of depth or else let him join Sienar and try to become a mole. And we’ve not actually made a Computer Programming roll yet!