Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Trials of Nihilus - A Future Tales and Star War adventure

I've got a box full of Star Wars miniatures, but the SW mini rules really don't support solo play.  However, THW games do and with the story structure in Future Tales, I had just the set-up.  Bringing back a character I created in the old SW RPG, I decided to blow off some steam by creating my own continuity with the character,

In addition to the rules in FT, I also created an Add-on for using Star Wars characters, etc. in the game, including using the Force.  Adding to those, I'm using Ed's UIC table for challenges and interactions.  However, I'm keeping the opposed rolls for consistency as FT uses them for finding clues.

Finally, I added an ability for Force users called Force Skill.  When performing a Challenge or Interaction, Force users can choose to use the Force to aid them, granting a +1d6 on their rolls.  However, failing results in a -1 to Rep for the rest of the scene.

Now onto the adventure!

Some time after the Battle of Endor . . .

The abandoned star destroyer drifted through space.  Its lone inhabitant, a young man in his early 20's, entered the computer room.  He stood average height and was thin and bald.  In most situations, he could step through a crowd a be forgotten in seconds.  Of if he wished, he could pass through the same crowd and no one would forget!

This was the man once known as Thuun, the son of an Imperial governor who was assassinated not long ago.  Right after that, young Thuun, a stage performer, encountered a mysterious guide who showed him that he had an ability not of this world, and taught him to use it.

Kneeling before the hologram display, Thuun waited as the display lit up.  but instead of revealing a person, it only showed a bright light like a star.

"You have done well," a voice said.  "Thousands of years ago, a Sith Lord known as Darth Nihilus terrorized the galaxy.  But the Sith are no more so that task shall fall to you, Nihilus."

"Thanks," the young man said.

"Consider this your first trial," the voice continued.

An image appeared.  "This is Mas Sechar, the governor of the Imperial world Carsux.  Eliminate him so Imperial control of the world shall fall."

Thuun stared at the image and hesitated.

"Is the a problem, Nihilus?" the voice asked, now addressing him by his new name.

"Are we not on the same side?" Nihilus asked.  "Do we not have the same goal, to defeat the Rebellion and save the Empire?"

"The Empire of old cannot defeat the Rebellion," the voice answered.  "It must be destroyed so that something stronger can rise, destroying the Rebellion and the new Jedi."

Nihilus nodded.  "Then it will be done."  Standing, he wore a dark gray jumpsuit and robe.  Attached to his belt, along with the hilt of his black-bladed lightsaber, was a simple cloth mask that concealed his face completely.  Now he truly could choose to either be forgotten or the substance of nightmares.

Nihilus:  Human; Rep 5; Magic, Charismatic, Brawler; Lightsaber.

This story is a Find Person.  I've also decided the person, Mas Sechar, is also the Big Bad.  5 clues are required to complete this.

First locale:  Urban - Question.

Boarding his personal transport, Nihilus traveled to the planet Corellia.  Arriving in one of the cities, discarded his robes in favor of a normal jumpsuit and entered a club and sought out Orb Corana, a merchant known for successfully navigating both Imperial and free systems.

Calling on the Force, he looked into Orb's eyes.  "Tell me how you entered the Carsux system."

This turned out to be unnecessary as his opponent seemed perfectly willing to cooperate.  "With the fall of the Empire, the planet's defenses are completely disorganized.  While a large ship would be stopped, a freighter could slip right in unopposed."

"I see."  Nihilus thought for a moment and decided against using the Force for the rest of his questioning.  "And what can you tell me about Mas Sechar?"

"Not much," Orb answered, "but a Rebel pilot named Marda Clame originally showed me the route.  He'd know more than I do.  You can find him on the Rebel Ship Quasara."

Leaving the city, Nihilus decided to seek out the Quasara and Marda Clame.

Found 1 clue.

Next - Question; Space.

Note that the Rebel ship is much larger than Nihilus' freighter; it only looks the same size because it's still in the distance.  At least that's the excuse I'm giving!

Nihilus steered his ship through space until her located the Quasara.  Once a Rebel warship, it had recently been converted into a civilian transport, though members of the Rebellion still occupied the vessel.  Boarding the ship, Nihilus explored the halls in search of Marda.

Locating the pilot in one of the offices, Nihilus approached him.  "My name is Thuun.  Orb Corana sent me because he said you could give me more information on Carsux and Mas Sechar."

After showing Nihilus a computer model of the system and various recommended routes, Marda copied the information to a disk and handed it to the man.  "Just don't approach Sechar alone."

"Why is that?" Nihilus asked.

"He may look like some boring governor, but he carries a vibro staff that he knows how to use.  He also, on his belt, has a force field that protects him for threats."

I added those to explain his Big Bad Star Power.

"Thank you"  Boarding his ship again, Nihilus studied the information on the disk.  He would have to make another stop in a nearby system so he could join the convey entering the system and slip in unnoticed.

Gain 1 clue.

Next - Search - Off-Planet - Barren.

Nihilus took his ship into hyperspace, but the ship trembled and entered real space again.  Examining the systems, he noticed the faulty nav computer emitting smoke.  Looking over the star charts.  He noticed the planet Tattoine was nearby.  Better land there and find a new computer.

Unfortunately, the nav computer had also interfered with his sensors.  He was able to land, but he couldn't find any close-by settlements.  He would need to set out on foot and locate the settlements himself.

The Search for this scene is locating a town where he could purchase a new computer.

Keeping his cloak close to him, he traveled the desert for several hours.  His binoculars finally located a settlement in the distance, but he still had far to walk.

Then he heard a weird screech.

Desert Skimmers, as they were called.  Two of these lizard-like creatures raced forward to flank the man.  Keeping calm, Nihilus pulled out his lightsaber and the black blade came to life.

Leaping forward, he swung his blade, slicing the beasts down.  With no more foes nearby, Nihilus finally located the town of Mos Espa and entered the town.

Gain 1 clue.

Next - Rural - Question.

Exploring the town, Nihilus encountered numerous individuals wandering around, though few took more than a moment's notice of the cloaked man, probably because he resembled a simple wanderer (and they couldn't see his lightsaber).  A few of the inhabitants eventually pointed Nihilus to Borga the Hutt, who specialized in selling ship parts.

"I need a nav computer for my freighter," Nihilus said.

"I have a few left over," Borga replied in the Basic language.  "How will you pay for it?"

Knowing mind tricks were useless against the Hutt, Nihilus produced a series of gems from his master's collection.  "Is this enought?"

The Hutt's eyes widen.  "Very much so.  Here, this is the top of the line.  Great doing business with you."

Gain 1 clue.  

Next - Off-Planet - Urban - Search.

Travel Scene!

As Nihilus again trekked through the desert toward his ship, he sensed danger approaching.  Unlike the Desert Skimmers, these opponents chose a more subtle approach - an ambush!

Normally this travel scene would be a space battle or something similar, but I'm keeping it on-planet because I really want to fight Sand People!

Force Skill - Sense - Pass 2d6.

Two Tusken Raiders, aka Sand People, approached from the front while two others attempted to flank him.  Two of them were armed with their gaffi sticks while the other two loaded their slug thrower rifles.

Normally, a roll for How Many would result in no more than 3 opponents, but I increased it to 4 because I really wanted to fight Sand People!

The 4 opponents continued to sneak forward, concealing themselves with the hills.  For a moment, Nihilus considered using the Force to instill terror in the beings, but that would only be a temporary solution, and they might return with reinforcements before he reached his ship.

And also because I really . . . well, you know.

The two on his flank leaped forward and to both sides of him.  Igniting his lightsaber, Nihilus attacked without hesitation.

Striking down both foes, he now turned his attention to the to before him who had their rifles pointed at Nihilus.

The Sand People attempted to maneuver Nihilus between them, and both fired their weapons.  But Nihilus deflected the blasts, sending them into the sand.

Lunging forward, he struck at the closest opponent, slicing right through the creature's weapon and arm.  It collapsed to the ground, blood pouring into the sand.

The lone opponent, showing remarkable courage in the moment, opened fire.  Dodging the attacks, Nihilus leaped forward, landing right in his opponent's face.

A lightsaber swing later, the battle was over.

Reaching his ship, Nihilus installed his new computer and set course for the Onoli system.

A day later, Nihilus reached the Onoli system.  Entering the capital city, he searched for the shipping docks.

He finally reached the docks and found a droid salesman who was already shipping droid parts to the planet Carsux.  The merchant allowed him to help with shipping the parts and thus joining the convoy.

Gain 1 clue.  

Final Scene.  And as the Big Bad is also who I was searching for, I skipped rolling on the Final Scene table and instead just went to the scene itself.

The convoy entered Carsux without problem, and slipping out of the group, Nihilus landed his ship just outside of the Imperial base.  Sneaking into the base, he found himself in a maintenance station.

The d6 represent PEFs between Nihilus and Mas Sechar.  The first one immediately entered the station where Nihilus was located.

Two Imperial technicians entered the room.  "Hey who are you?" the first one asked.

Knowing it was far too early to battle opponents, Nihilus called on the Force.  "I am Admiral Gram.  Carry on."

"Yes sir, Admiral," the two saluted and left.

Next, he encountered three storm troopers guarding a hanger.  "You will let me pass."

FAIL!  -1 to Rep!

"Intruder!"  The three all attacked without hesitation.

Luckily, Nihilus still possessed plenty of fighting ability.  Igniting his Lightsaber, he assaulted and quickly took down all three opponents.

With the foes vanquished, Nihilus took a deep breath and stepped into the hanger, where he sensed his adversary awaited.

Ad this point, I figured all opponents would hear the sounds of fighting, so I resolved all PEFs right there and then.  Fortunately, only one resolved as contact, but then added minions for Mas Sechar.

Nihilus stepped through the doorway to find Mas Sechar preparing to enter the shuttle.  Flanked by storm troopers and Imperial personnel, he ordered the group to attack.

Knowing that he was outnumbered, Nihilus slashed several nearby fuel hoses to keep the shuttle from taking off right away.  Then, sucking laser blasts, he slipped back into the hallway.

The first few storm stroopers raced through the doorway, but Nihilus struck them down, using the Force to lift them up and smash them into the floor (Damage spell).

A heavy trooper approached, armed with a rocket launcher.  Nihilus knew there was no way he could deflect that with his blade, so he'd have to strike first.

Calling on the Force, he held his free hand out, and the trooper was lifted up and smashed against a computer console.  It exploded in his face and he fell to the ground, just as a trooper with twin pistols attacked.

The trooper fired, but Nihilus deflected the bolts right back into the trooper's chest.  With no more opponents remaining, the dark sider stepped again through the doorway.

He found Sechar and a technician standing near the shuttle's ramp.  The tech raised his blaster, but Nihilus sent him flying.  No only Sechar remained.

Stepped down from the ramp, Sechar pressed a button on his belt, and a glowing bubble surrounded him.  Leaping forward, Nihilus swung his blade, but his opponent blocked it with his staff.

Backing into the terminal, he again blocked the dark sider's assaults, but his own strikes were also met with equal failures.

Out of no where, Sechar swung his staff low, sweeping Nihilus' feet.  Nihilus hit the ground and rolled aside (Star Power) and away from his foe.  Calling on the Force, he pushed Sechar away, but his opponent was protected by his force field (Star Power).

"Who are you?"  Sechar asked.  "I'm trying to save the Empire."

"No," Nihilus replied, literally adding Force to his voice (Dazzle), "it cannot be saved.  You have failed and will be replaced."

Thrown off guard by his opponent's words and voice, Sechar hesitated.

And that's when Nihilus struck.

Knowing the staff aside, he stabbed straight forward, his blade cutting into his foe's throat.  Sechar's eyes went wide, then lost all focus, and he collapsed.

His mission complete, Nihilus slipped out before more troops arrive.  Leaving the system, he leaped into hyperspace and returned to his base of operations.  While he had succeeded in his plans, he did make some glaring mistakes and would have to practice more caution in the future.

Nihilus gained Increasing d6 for completing the story, defeating the Big Bad, and defeating opponents.  He gained Decreasing d6 for failing with his Force skill and using Star Power.  Rolling his remaining Increasing d6, I got a 6.  

Nihilus is now Rep 6.  Hopefully this will help him more in his next trial.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Return to Salem - High Moon AAR Part II

Here is part 2 of my High Moon campaign.  With Kara attempting to return to her home in Salem, MA, she must first travel through the old west.  Can she survive?  We'll see.

Having decided she cannot return to the small town from which she was kidnapped, Kara decided the best course of action would be to return to her original home in Salem.  Two centuries ago, she was forced to flee after her home, but those who had threatened her were long gong, and hopefully no one remaining would recognize her.

For this game, I'm using the Ride the Trail encounter.  In addition, since she's making a trip from point A to B, I'm using Battle Board rules, resolving the PEFs one after another.

Knowing this was going to be a long trip, and not having a horse, Kara transformed into a crow and began flying through the woods.

Kara succeeded with her Transformation spell, and under the rules, she can travel an unlimited distance this way.  However, I'll still resolve PEFs; she just won't have to actually interact with them if she doesn't want to.

Again, the PEFs (represented by the d6) are not set up by actual distance, but just to show I'll be resolving them one after another.

As she flew through the woods, Kara glanced down at saw movement below.

A were wolf ran under her.  Despite the creature being known for its uncanny sensing abilities, it didn't seem to notice her.

I decided not to interact with it.  But since it resolved as a lone character, I chose to resolve the next PEF and see if the two linked together.

The second PEF resolved as two Gunman.  Taking the Friend or Foe test, I learned they were Foes and decided they were Outlaws.

"There it is, the monster?"

Two men emerged from the brush behind the werewolf, and it spun around to face them.

"It changed into a monster," one of them said.  "Now we can kill And skin it!"

Taking the Friend or Foe test for the werewolf, I got Friend.  Normally you don't take this test for creatures, but since we're both creatures, I chose to.

More outlaws, Kara thought.  Dropping to the ground, she resumed her human shape.

"Look," one of the outlaws said, "another of those things."

"I bet them hides'll sell real good."  The other grinned.

Going first, Kara fired a Damage spell.

Raising her staff, Kara said, "Oh I don't think so, gentlemen."  Her staff began to glow and suddenly vines dropped from the trees and grabbed one of the men by his arms and legs.  His partner rolled out of the way as the fir man was pulled up into the trees.  His screaming stopped only after blood fell to the dirt, landing on his hat.

While the spell hit both men, I scored an OD on the first and Duck Back on the second.  Now it's the werewolf's turn.

Baring its fangs, the werewolf lunged forward and lunged at the man.

It passed on the Charge table, so the outlaw couldn't fire, but then it scored Evenly Matched on Melee.

Kara watched the werewolf attack the man, swinging its claws and roaring.  Then she heard a clang sound and the creature backed off, surprised.  She then realized the man had used his gun to pistol-whip the beast.  Rushing forward, she stepped in to help.

As the outlaw had sucked back, it couldn't act that turn.  Rolling again, Kara and the werewolf again attacked.

Raising her staff again, she fired a magical bolt that struck the man in the chest.  Bouncing off a nearby tree, he collapsed.


I then rolled for the werewolf and got a female.

Turning to Kara, the werewolf changed back to a human form, in this case, a young woman.

"Thank you," she said.  "My name is Francesca.  A few nights ago, something attacked me in these woods, and I thought I was dead.  But then I woke up without a scratch and returned home.  Then tonight as I was gathering water from the well, those men tried to have their way with me.  Suddenly I turned into that beast.  Not knowing what happened, I ran."

"I'm Kara and they looked like a gang I had dealt with recently.  Tell me Francesca, is this town close by?"

"It's not far," she answered.  "I'll show you how to get there."

The third PEF resolved as Pass 1d6.  Well I couldn't end the game just yet, so I resolved a fourth, using 3d6 and it passed, resolving as more Gunman.  And once again, they were Foes.

Just then, three men rushed up, wearing similar sashes to the two outlaws, probably the same gang.

"Look," one of them said, "they killed Wilbur!"

"Where's Otis?" another asked.

Looking up, the third covered his mouth and pointed.

"You'll pay for that."  The three outlaws, pointing their shotguns, started forward.

The first Outlaws was Rep 5, the second Rep 4, the third Rep 3.  All 3 had shotguns.  Luckily we went first again.

"Not tonight, gentlemen."  Raising her staff, Kara whispered some words.  Suddenly, tree branches lowered and impaled the men before they could blink.

OD on the Rep 3 and 4.  OOF on the Rep 5.

The leader, lying bleeding on the ground, reached for his shotgun, but Francesca stepped forward and kicked it away.

"You demonic-"  He collapsed before he could finish.

After another hour, they reached the well.

"Here it is," Francesca said.  "However, too many people saw me change so I can't return."

I wanted to keep Kara alone for her adventures, so I decided not to recruit her.

"I understand," Kara said.  "There is a village a few hours west of here.  They're a kind, caring people, and I'm sure they'll make you feel welcome."

"Thank you.  I only hope they face less danger from outlaws like the ones who attacked us."

Kara smirked.  "Oh I don't think you have to worry about that.  Good luck."

Kara had rendered 5 foes OOF/OD.  I didn't count the Interaction with Francesca as Kara had helped her first.  Rolling 5 Increasing d6, I got 0 sixes.  Kara does not improve her Rep this time.

As the other woman vanished into the woods, Kara passed the well and observed her new surroundings.