Month: December 2017

Hello listeners!

We will be taking a break over the next two weeks to celebrate the holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Wookie Life Day, etc.) and will not be posting a new episode during that time.

Prologue 4 will be out on January 4th, and will start the schedule of new episodes releasing every other Thursday.

Hope your holidays are great, and that no one makes you watch the Star Wars Holiday Special!

 

Laura, Tabletop One

Tabletop Squadron

(post has been backdated for chronological clarity. post date: 6/2020)

Word document download: Prologue 3 Dont Open The Box

PDF download: Prologue 3 Dont Open The Box

Read in browser:

Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Prologue 3:
Don’t Open the Box

Transcript by Harrison (Twitter: @unabletowhistle)

## Intro

[Cameron hums space music]

NICK: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Nick, your game master. For the past few years, my friends and I have been playing tabletop RPGs together and we decided to share our hijinks with you. For the first few podcasts, we’re doing small individual arcs for our characters so you can get a feel for them before they start bouncing off of each other in Star Wars. Enjoy.

[Cameron laughs]

##

NICK: Hi everyone! Welcome to Prologue #3 of the Tabletop Squadron Podcast. I am your GM Nick. With me today is Laura.

LAURA: Hello.

NICK: Hi Laura, how are you?

LAURA: I’m good. How are you?

NICK: I’m great! We’re going to kick this off. We’re going to see how you solve your things compared to how everyone else solved their things so far.

LAURA: Oh boy.

NICK: And who are you playing today?

LAURA: I will be playing Xianna’fan. She is a Twi’lek and has a very traditional Twi’lek name so that is all one word with an apostrophe in there.

NICK: Just one apostrophe though?

LAURA: Just one apostrophe. I didn’t want to get carried away.

NICK: Right. Everyone gets one apostrophe. I think that’s the Star Wars rule.

LAURA: Well, you have as many apostrophes as your species name has.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And Twi’lek has one.

NICK: OK. Do Chiss have two apostrophes?

LAURA: No, but Chiss are special little snowflakes and they get as many apostrophes as they want.

NICK: Great! Yeah, that sounds about right. So we’ll go ahead and jump right into it. And we’ll go from there.

##

NICK: You find yourself in the dimly lit apartment where you holed up for the night. There’s a vent wheezing warm air in the corner and a worn desk across the room. Otherwise, the room is bare. Outside a dusty window, you can see the edge of a neon sign. The incessant buzzing must have been what woke you up. In the center of the otherwise bare floor is a small box with a note scribbled on it in Arabesh.

So walk me through what Xianna does waking up in this empty apartment?

LAURA: Do I know that I was in this apartment?

NICK: Yeah, you holed up here.

LAURA: Yeah, OK. But the box is not familiar?

NICK: No.

LAURA: I think I would look at the box from a distance. Just kind of inspect it to make sure it’s not a thermal detonator or anything of that sort. And if it doesn’t appear to be blinking, I would cautiously approach it, prod it a little bit, then read the note. Or whatever the writing is.

NICK: Alright, from a distance, you see this is a gray, looks like plasteel box. Looks very cheap. Shoddily put together. Kind of like what we would think of as a Chinese takeout box but made out of gray plastic. That’s what you can see from a distance.

As you get closer to the box, you see that that little note on it scribbled in Arabesh says, “Open me.” The box is made of thin gray plasteel. It doesn’t have a hinge, but one of the connected sections is lighter like it’s been bent back and forth a lot.

LAURA: I just kind of stare at it. Poke it a little bit more. “Well, this is unusual.” And then I open it.

NICK: Alright, inside, you find bundled on a little bundle of tissue paper is a comm unit. One that’s designed to wrap around an ear-cone for instance. You think if you slipped it on, it would be pretty inconspicuous.

LAURA: I slip it on.

NICK: Great. It fits perfectly. A voice crackles to life and says, “Go outside.”

LAURA: “Um, excuse me. Who is this?”

NICK: “Not important.”

LAURA: “Um, you left me a weird little box in my room. I think it is important.”

NICK: “I’m kind of trying to do the mysterious overwatch thing right now. So if you could go outside.”

LAURA: “You telling me that you are doing that does not make you doing that.”

NICK: “Well, maybe I’m also trying to put you at ease by being slightly comic in my approach.”

LAURA: “You could have left a longer note.”

NICK: “Well, yeah, I guess my agent could have done that. Basically, I just needed to get in touch with you.”

LAURA: “There were many more ways you could have done that.”

NICK: “But this one is mysterious.”

LAURA: “Well, I guess you have that.”

NICK: “Thank you. I’m glad you approve of my approach. Basically, I’m trying to hire you for a job but without exposing my identity or business interest because you have a bit of a reputation I’d rather not get involved with.”

LAURA: “Which reputation?”

NICK: “I don’t want to go into it right now. But I want to make sure you have the skills that I need before I become associated.”

LAURA: “OK.”

NICK: “Great. So go outside.”

LAURA: “I’m not going to get shot, am I?”

NICK: “Not immediately.”

LAURA: “OK.”

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Then I walk outside.

NICK: OK. So you’re on the fourth floor of this building. You’ve been holed up here for probably three or four days. As you go out of the apartment, the hallways has one glow light hanging from the ceiling and is otherwise completely dark. You know that there’s a lift at the end. The hallway has shabbily peeling painting. Some trash. You can’t see very well.

You want to make me a Perception check please.

LAURA: I have scanner goggles.

NICK: Oh, do you?

LAURA: I do.

NICK: What do those do?

LAURA: I can see in dark/obscured conditions.

NICK: [laughing] Well, that’s going to make part of this way easier for you.

LAURA: And I definitely I would sleep in that.

NICK: Yeah, probably. OK. So you slip your scanner goggles on?

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: What do they look like?

LAURA: Oh, I haven’t thought about this.

NICK: Do they have three glowing dots?

LAURA: I imagine they’re slightly steampunky.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: With dark purple lenses. And they are two individual little lenses.

NICK: So are they like–

LAURA: Not one solid—So basically…

NICK: Like welder goggles that people use?

LAURA: Welder goggles similar to what Aphra wears.

NICK: OK. So they’re kind of big then?

LAURA: Yeah, they’re on the bigger side. Definitely full wrap around. They like suction to your face. Dark purple lenses. And there’s probably a little toggle on the side, some little buttons, because you don’t want to be looking in night vision with bright lights.

NICK: Yup, that makes sense. So as you slip these goggles down on your face, the camera zooms out and does a pan around Xianna. So what does she look like overall?

LAURA: She is a Twi’lek so she has two tentacle-like protrusions coming from her head. Don’t call them tentacles. I think that is considered a racial slur. They are lekku. They go down onto a little bit past her waist and has sort of a gray swirl pattern on the ends of them. She is about 1.7 meters tall, which is around 5’6”. She’s got purple eyes. She’s generally mostly purple.

NICK: Purple.

LAURA: Purple.

NICK: What’s she wearing?

LAURA: She wears—I’m assuming she put on before she left the house.

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: She wears a black trench coat that goes down to her knees with a belt. There are pockets on the trench coat but there are more pockets than you can see. It just looks as if there’s the two standard hand pockets, but there’s a lot more.

NICK: So the coat’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside?

LAURA: Yes, I have discovered that looking at the rules. The coat does not make sense. I can hide way more things in this coat than I should be able to.

NICK: OK. So you have a smuggler’s coat. Is that your only article of clothes? Do you have shoes?

LAURA: I do wear tall, black boots. A dark, very dark brown espresso leather headgear that Twi’leks typically wear. It just kind of goes around the ear cones, the lekku, and the top of the head. And also the scanner goggles. Anything else you cannot see.

NICK: OK. Great. So the camera does a slow circle around Xianna and kind of a like video game level 1 start motion and zooms into a first person view for a second as you click the goggles on for a second it makes the [powering on] noise, but just quietly enough that only you can hear it, not everyone can. And the otherwise dark hallway is illuminated in—I don’t know. Do you want to say it’s purple? Purple light?

LAURA: Maybe a little bit more blue. Let’s mix it up.

NICK: Blueish light? OK. And standing about halfway down the hallway in the darkest part of the hallway you see a Neimoidian and he is leaning against the wall. He looks very unsteady. He does look conscious, but he’s out of it. He’s probably pretty drunk. And he’s kind of lost in his own thoughts kind of fiddling with his own hands.

LAURA: Xianna very cautiously approaches him.

NICK: OK. As you walk towards the Neimoidian, he kind of makes eye contact with you and you feel that skeezy elevator eye kind of feeling. He’s mumbling to himself. You hear him saying things that are untoward, nothing that seems particularly relevant to you except for “Hey, she seems nice. Hey let’s bring her inside. I’ve got ideas.” That kind of stuff.

LAURA: I’m a Twi’lek. I hear that a lot.

NICK: Yeah, I would imagine so.

LAURA: I walk up to him and go, “Hello. Are you waiting for someone?”

NICK: “Uh… I think I’ve been waiting for you my whole life, darling.”

LAURA: “Well, probably not. Um, I mean someone specific?”

NICK: “Well, not unless you’re my drug dealer. I was waiting for him, but you don’t look like him.”

LAURA: “Well, what kind?”

NICK: “Ooh.”

LAURA: “No, no, I’m sorry. Are you trying to buy or sell?”

NICK: “Buy.”

LAURA: “Never mind then.”

NICK: “Are you trying to buy? Because I may have some things back in my apartment if you’re trying to get some.”

LAURA: “Well, if you have it right here, maybe. I am not going into your apartment.”

NICK: “Are you sure? Because I’ve got some glitter stim and some death sticks.”

LAURA: “Pretty sure.”

NICK: “You should really come into my apartment.”

LAURA: “I do not think so.”

NICK: “Um… fine.” And he tries to grab you. He’s going to make a roll. He’ll get two greens against whatever—do you have Defense or anything? Or do you have Brawl?

LAURA: I have a Brawl of one so no.

NICK: Ooh.

LAURA: I have Skulduggery or Stealth. I mean, I could do a straight Agility roll?

NICK: Yeah, you could try and do Agility to get away from this guy. It looks like you maybe should not have gotten so close to him. So what’s your Agility? Three?

LAURA: Three.

NICK: So he’ll roll two greens against three purple. Let’s throw that down and see what happens.  Oooh! He succeeded! With one threat.

LAURA: Oh no.

NICK: So he grabs you by the arm and you try to slip away, but he gets kind of a headlock on you and stars pulling you back to the apartment. The threat is your hands are still free.

LAURA: Oh, I’m going to reach into my coat, pull out my blaster, and shoot him.

NICK: OK. How much damage does your blaster do?

LAURA: Six.

NICK: Roll me an easy shot because he’s right next to you. Are you not trained in shooting at all?

LAURA: No, I put all my points into characteristics since you can’t really buy them in-game and I just figured I’d add stats as we go.

NICK: Great. Well, this is going to work out really well for you.

LAURA: I’m sure it will.

NICK: [chuckles] You missed the dice tray.

LAURA: It bounced out of the dice tray.

NICK: You didn’t hit him, did you?

LAURA: No, but I did get an advantage.

NICK: Great, he manages to slap the gun away from you. With the advantage, you don’t drop the gun, but you don’t hit him either. Did you have the blaster set to stun or not stun?

LAURA: No.

NICK: No, you were trying to murder this guy. So that kind of scares him a little bit. He manages to palm the door panel open. You see that his apartment is very similar to the one that you were crashed in except it’s got some piles of blankets in the corner. A couple of Neimoidians are unconscious on the ground. Looks like maybe an overdose, at least very high at the moment, not really into stuff. And he’s going to try and punch you in the face. So that would be two greens against the three purple again. Because he’s pretty mad that you just tried to kill him.

LAURA: Well, he shouldn’t have touched me.

NICK: I mean, I’m on your side with this. Oh, two success and three threats.

LAURA: [sighs]

NICK: So what happens is his Brawn a two so you take two damage. What’s your Soak?

LAURA: Two.

NICK: Great. So he doesn’t… Oh wait, two success so—

LAURA: Oh, I forgot. I have Defense. Both for range and melee.

NICK: OK. Well roll a black die then. But if he’s got two Brawn—another threat. Well that’ll still do what he’s going to do. So it’s actually you take two damage because it’s two Brawn plus the two successes. So that’s going to hurt. Then all of those threats are going to put it so he is drunk enough and out of it enough that he falls prone. Because that’s my favorite part of this system is that three threats equals falls prone.

LAURA: It is so easy to fall over in this system.

NICK: It is and fall damage is super dangerous. So he falls just flat on his face. And you are now standing over him with a gun. He does have some friends in the room, but they don’t appear to be paying attention. What are you going to do?

LAURA: I’m going to shoot him.

NICK: OK. Shoot him. It’s an easy shot. He’s on the ground, face down. And you can have a blue die because he is face down.

LAURA: How generous.

NICK: Yeah. I don’t like this guy, either, Laura. Hey! You hit him.

LAURA: One success, two advantages.

NICK: What’s your Crit rating on that pistol?

LAURA: Three.

NICK: Aw, bummer. OK, so you shoot him and it punches a hole through his back. Maybe hit him in the spine. You’re not paying that much attention. He goes limp. You took him out. He is done. So you are in a room with three unconscious Neimoidians and the voice on the comm crackles to life and says, “All I’m hearing is gunfire right now and you haven’t even gone outside yet.”

LAURA: “Don’t worry about it. I have this under control.”

NICK: “I’m not—”

LAURA: “Be there in a moment!”

NICK: “I’m not worried about you.” And it clicks off.

LAURA: I do a quick look around the room. What drugs are actually in here?

NICK: Make me a—you can do Streetwise or Skulduggery for finding someone’s drug stash. Up to you.

LAURA: I’m going to go with Skulduggery. What is that? Easy? Average?

NICK: Average.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: They’re pretty good at hiding drugs. They’ve been doing them for a long time.

LAURA: Well, that is five successes and an advantage.

NICK: [laughs] OK.

LAURA: I have lots of points in Cunning.

NICK: Yeah, so you find everything that they possibly have and it takes you under 30 seconds. So you pull a vial of glitterstim out of one of the unconscious guys’ hands. You go to the other guy, roll him over. You find six death sticks. You find some cans of Booster Blue under a ratty mattress. And on the guy that you shot, you rifle through his pockets and find one dose of impact.

LAURA: That’s what I’m talking about.

NICK: Space cocaine!

LAURA: I will take the impact and I’ll take the glitterstim.

NICK: Yeah, I mean, it’s worth money.

LAURA: It’s worth money.

NICK: OK. Write that down. And then you leave?

LAURA: And then I leave. Close the door very quietly behind me and then walk outside.

NICK: Alright. So you go to the lift. No one else tries to accost you. You go down four floors. The lobby of the apartment building that you’re in is basically just a small stairwell that leads to the lift. There’s no doorman or anything, which knowing your surroundings is not that surprising. And you go outside.

The cold air makes your breath come out in a cloud. You look behind you and see that the neon sign covering the windows of the apartment says, “Tatya’s Tatyas,” in painfully bright blue. You are in Coronet, the capital of Corellia. The sidewalk has a smattering of brown leaves from the sporadic small trees that line the road. Speeders pass 100 meters above your head. There’s a handful of human Corellian pedestrians, but no one pays you more than a passing glance. You’re on the rougher side of town and non-humans are more common here.

The voice comes through your comms again. “Good. Now I’m sure you have some questions—more questions, but there’s little time for that now. I have a job for you, like I said. It’s a difficult one but the pay is extremely good. The first step is to go to Zebwak’s Goods. Do you know the place?”

LAURA: Do I?

NICK: Make a Knowledge Underworld check.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: Do you have Knowledge Underworld?

LAURA: No, I don’t.

NICK: Bummer.

LAURA: Not yet. Again, characteristics, filling in skills later.

NICK: So this one’s going to be an average check.

LAURA: Average?

NICK: Yeah. Oh hey, you got it.

LAURA: Hey! Two successes.

NICK: Nice! Two successes. You actually know for a fact that Zebwak’s Goods, having worked with them before, is a front for a smuggling group. It’s about 5 blocks from you.

LAURA: I start walking that way.

NICK: As you start walking, the earpiece keeps talking. I guess you might consider him your handler at this point. Says, “Inside that shop is a particular box. It looks identical to the one that contained your comm unit. I need you to get that box from Zebwak’s Goods. Do not open the box.”

LAURA: “How do you want me to get the box?”

NICK: “That’s the part where this is an audition.”

LAURA: “Alright.”

NICK: “Procure the box. Try not to get arrested.”

LAURA: “And why do I not look in the box?”

NICK: “Just don’t open the box. Trust me on this one.”

LAURA: “Is there a head in the box?”

NICK: “There’s not—well… you know that’s not really important.”

LAURA: “So there is a head.”

NICK: “If you want to consider it a head, you just go right ahead and do that.”

LAURA: “How is that open for interpretation?”

NICK: “So there’s this alien named Schrodinger and his hypothesis was whatever you put in a box, so long as the box stayed closed, it didn’t matter what it was because it could be anything. B. Schrodinger.”

LAURA: “So if for some reason, I get arrested with the box, how much trouble am I in?”

NICK: “The box will put you in less trouble than the things I know are in your pockets.”

LAURA: “Well, they would have to find them in my pockets.”

NICK: “So I’m sensing a lot of resistance here. This is a test to do a job that is presumably not completely legal.”

LAURA: “You realize that I have done many jobs and most people just come up to me in a bar. Or slip a letter under my door. Or just straight up knock on my door and tell me.”

NICK: “So you should interpret this as if I’m taking this much precaution, how big a score is this going to be?”

LAURA: “Well, that is a good question to ask. How much credits am I looking at?”

NICK: “A lot. A whole bunch.”

LAURA: “Well, I can imagine quite a lot.”

NICK: [laughter] “Right, well, keep imagining and then multiply that by more than that. So go get the box.”

LAURA: “That is what I’m doing. It is five blocks away. I cannot get there immediately.”

NICK: “Great. Well, I’ve got things to do. Let me know how it goes.” Click.

So you continue down the street. As you walk, you think about the interaction you just had. You don’t feel any eyes on you. You don’t feel watched. But the voice on the comm is obviously aware of your progress. How does that make you feel?

LAURA: Uncomfortable.

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: The whole thing is odd. Probably not the oddest job Xianna has ever done, but probably up there.

NICK: Ooh, what is one of the oddest jobs Xianna has ever done?

LAURA: I imagine it involves a Herglic in some way.

NICK: [laughter]

LAURA: Haven’t figured out exactly how but I know a Herglic is involved.

NICK: Giant whale aliens. The best Star Wars race.

LAURA: That are very self-conscious about their size.

NICK: Yeah, there won’t be any Herglics in this campaign. That’s not going to come up.

Anyway, so you’re there. You get to the storefront. Zebwak’s Goods is a small storefront on the ground floor of a high-rise tenement. It looks like the building used to be luxurious but hasn’t been maintained in years. The carvings on the spire-like high-rise are covered in grime and have pieces missing. The display window of Zebwak’s Goods is obscured by durasteel bars.

Can you make me a Skulduggery check please?

LAURA: Can do. Average? Easy?

NICK: Average. Do it.

LAURA: Three successes and one advantage.

NICK: You can still get in through the bars. They’re fairly wide. You’re thin enough that you can sneak through so the burglary bars look a little pointless, but looking closer, you notice some electronics lining the inside of the window and it looks like a ray shield generator. For you listeners, that’s those scary red laser walls that Star Wars uses to hold space ships in. Anyone who tampered with that window would get a painful and maybe deadly surprise.

As you go in, a small bell rings and the inside of the shop is small and crowded with merchandise. You see a lot of used tools and ship parts. The occasional off-world artifact but nothing looks valuable. Behind the display counter, you see the proprietor of the shop, a Corellian man with a dark tan and red hair. He has a scar under one eye that tugs on the corner of his mouth. He’s wearing a white leather jacket with a black vest under it.

LAURA: I walk up to him and go, “Hello, I would like to talk about doing something business.”

NICK: “So you’re trying to do some business?”

LAURA: I kind of smile and wink at him a little bit.

NICK: “Ah yes, the secret signal: a wink.”

LAURA: “Everyone knows that the secret signal is a wink. I feel like it is pretty universal.”

NICK: “Yes, but this one gets you into the back room.” And he opens the door. The glass counter actually slides open to the side to let you through. There’s one of those bead curtains that leads to a really rundown-looking backroom that you can see from the outside and he walks next to that through a wall and you see that it is a hologram projector.

Do you follow him in?

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: The backroom is completely different. Whereas the front had dusty glass cases and chipped tile floors, this room is all brushed durasteel and onyx pedestals holding individual items. There are about ten things, most obscured by weirdly selective shadows. There are cones of lights coming down from the ceiling.

I was going to ask you to do a Perception check, but if you just turn your goggles on, you can see everything.

LAURA: I’ll do a Perception check. I think it might be too conspicuous to just put goggles on in the middle of an interaction.

NICK: OK, great. So this one is an average Perception check. Ooh, you failed.

LAURA: Oh no. I did.

NICK: A failure and one advantage, is that what that is?

LAURA: That would be three advantages.

NICK: Three advantages, great. So you don’t see the box that you’re looking for but you see some other great items. You can even pick what they are if you want.

While you’re thinking about that, the shopkeeper turns around. He stands in the middle of the room. There’s a little raised pedestal that kind of looks like an auction block. He says, “So were you looking for something specific?”

LAURA: “Well I am actually hoping to sell.” And I take out the vial of glitter stim and hand it to him and go, “This is just a sample of the goods I am having. I’m just new to the area. Looking for a buyer.”

NICK: “So obviously you’re new here because we specialize in more interesting artifacts. That being said, how much of this do you have?”

LAURA: “How much do you need?”

NICK: “Well we buy in mass quantities, here at Zebwak.” [laughs]

Ooh, make a Knowledge check again on Zebwak.

LAURA: Underworld? I mean not that it really matters. They’re all the same for me.

NICK: Underworld, yeah. Zebwak’s Good.

LAURA: Average?

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: Two successes and one threat.

NICK: OK. You know that this guy is not Zebwak. Zebwak is not a real person. He is basically the illegal version of a corporate mascot. And part of the reason you were familiar with this and knew where it was is there’s Zebwak’s Goods on a whole bunch of planets so they kind of specialize on nicer worlds, more mid and core worlds that have seedier parts of town so not really Coruscant, because Coruscant either has super nice government or scary third world slum. But this is like red light district in a medium sized city and that’s their comfort zone. So you’ve dealt with them before. But yeah, this is not Zebwak.

That’s what you learn from that. Don’t worry about the threats. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

LAURA: It’s always fine.

NICK: Yeah, it’ll be fine. This guy says, “I guess I should introduce myself if you’re looking for a more permanent business arrangement. My name is Cecil Zonfarmer. I’m from… local. Yes, I’m from around here. For sure.”

LAURA: I hold my hand out in a very dainty manner.

NICK: Oh, he grabs it. Immediately. And he doesn’t kiss the hand, but he bows over it. He’s very chivalrous. It’s hard to say that after doing a Sean Connery accent.

LAURA: And I smile at him, go, “I’m Bila.”

NICK: “Bila, yes, I have not heard of you but you seem familiar.”

LAURA: “I’m very new.”

NICK: “Yes, if you have a crate or more of this glitter stim, it’s something we could deal with. If it’s just a few vials, you should probably go find a street pusher somewhere.”

LAURA: “No, I can do crates.”

NICK: “Wonderful. We pay below market rates, but you’re guaranteed under the Zebwak name of no problems.”

LAURA: “And you mention that you mostly deal with more interesting items. Like what? My stock sometimes changes seasonal.”

NICK: “A seasonal smuggler? That’s not something I’ve heard for sometime.”

LAURA: “Well, sometimes I like to get away for the winters.”

NICK: “You just go to a planet that’s in a different part of it’s rotation?”

LAURA: “Well, yes.”

NICK: “I suppose that makes sense. Well, some things that we’ve got—take a look around.” And he flips a switch and all the lights come on. It’s uncomfortably bright. You can see as he goes to flip the switch, he actually closes his eyes because your eyes have gotten adjusted to kind of half-light.

You see some very interesting things. You see a brace of thermal detonators that seem to be attached together somehow so that–

LAURA: Nice.

NICK: Something very bad would happen if you set those off. You see some—Actually you would recognize some Twi’lek like family totems that are all in a pile.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: If you look closer, you see a couple of them have blood on them.

LAURA: Not cool.

NICK: Not cool. You know, illegal. You see a weird red pyramid that’s off in the corner. That one’s not even on a pedestal. It’s like in an inset in the wall with a glass case in front of it.

LAURA: I’m sure it’s fine.

NICK: Oh, I’m sure that’s nothing important.

LAURA: That’s nothing important.

NICK: You see a—it looks like it’s durasteel, but it reflects the light weird. It’s like a hemispherical mask with two eye slits and some red line patterns on it and little stylized horns coming off the front. And you see… well, are there any illegal things in the room that you think would be interesting?

LAURA: Oh, I don’t know. I’d say weapons probably. I’m assuming some very illegal, modded weapons.

NICK: Yeah, there is definitely a disruptor rifle with a flechette launcher like duct-taped to the bottom of it.

LAURA: Sounds about right.

NICK: Nothing is labeled but this one has tape over the pedestal that says, “The Atomizer” on it. Cecil looks at that one pretty proudly as your eyes glance over. Says, “Yes, that one’s one of mine. I fancy myself a bit of a weaponsmith.”

LAURA: “It is very nice.”

NICK: “Yes, it lobotomizes all sorts of things. That’s why I call it The Atomizer.”

LAURA: “That makes sense.”

NICK: “Yes. Makes a lot of sense.” And so, in one of the less prestigious positions of this display room, you do see a little plasteel box. This one, while obviously being of the same design, is a little different in a couple of ways. It has a little latch on the lid that appears to be closed. It also has little bulges on it like it’s been hit from the inside.  It looks more battered than the one you saw before.

So as your eyes look over that one, Cecil watches you looking through the room. He’s kind of doing a tour guide thing at this point. He’s gotten the impression that you’re going to come back to sell some things and you’re not going to buy right now so he’s just kind of showing off. He says, “Ah yes, that box. It seems unassuming and to be fair, it’s one of our cheaper items, but for 10,000 credits you could take it home right now.”

LAURA: “Well, what is it?”

NICK: “We like to think of it as a mystery package. But it’s an interesting thing. But we promise that there’s air holes in it.”

LAURA: “The thing inside of it is alive?”

NICK: “Yes, it’s an animal of some kind. I don’t know what it looks like because when it was sold to me, my superior told me, ‘Do not open this box.’”

LAURA: “So is it to be sent to an enemy for them to open and it to kill them? Or are you just not supposed to look at the goods?”

NICK: “So generally, I don’t look at stuff. I’m just the salesman and everyone knows a salesman doesn’t need to know what he’s selling.”

LAURA: “I’m just trying to figure out how I might use it best.”

NICK: “Well, from the manifest it came with, it would be useful for biological testing or… you know, I’m not really sure. It’s more of a collector’s item. But I doubt it would kill anybody. At least, it wouldn’t kill a single person.”

LAURA: “Well, maybe not that then.”

NICK: “Hmm, too bad. Eventually we’re going to have to figure out how to feed the little booger.”

LAURA: “You said there were air holes? You just push little bits of food through the holes.”

NICK: “That’s a great idea.” And he turns around and starts scribbling on a little notepad. “Thanks for that. For that, I’ll take 100 credits off the price. 9,900 credits.”

LAURA: “Well, I was not thinking to buy it right at the moment. And I’m not quite sure I have a use for it whatever it might be. The Atomizer, though, that seems much nicer.”

NICK: “Ah yes, you have an eye for quality.” And he preens up a little bit. You can see when he smiles that the scar under his eye like tugs his cheek a lot further and he winds up with a very asymmetrical smile.

LAURA: While I’m in here, I want to be looking to see are there air vents? Is there another door?

NICK: That would probably be a Skulduggery check to case the joint.

LAURA: I can do that.

NICK: You mean that’s the thing you’re good at?

LAURA: Yeah! Average? Hard?

NICK: This one’s going to be hard.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: But if you pass it, you’re pretty much going to get everything. Well, you got it.

LAURA: That would be two successes and one threat.

NICK: With two successes, you see that there is an air vent. It seems to lead down from somewhere on a higher floor. Knowing the way this building is arranged, you could probably find a way to get in there. You also see that there is a security camera, but it sweeps the room and it sweeps the room pretty slowly. It’s like one of the gears that helps it go back and forth is kind of worn down so there would be blind spots. What else were you looking for?

LAURA: Is the only door from the front of the shop?

NICK: No, there’s a backdoor. So looking at it, the backdoor is at a weird angle. You think it probably leads somewhere else in the building, not just straight to an alley. And even if it did lead straight to a backdoor, you also see another one of those ray shield contraptions. So it’s doable but…

LAURA: Is the air vent in the middle of the room? Side of the room?

NICK: So it’s coming in from an interior wall. It’s at the joint between the wall and the ceiling.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: It looks to be about—well, it’s Star Wars so it looks to be about small person size.

LAURA: OK. So like eight feet off the ground.

NICK: Hmm… six? They’re kind of low ceilings.

LAURA: OK. That works.

NICK: It’s a rundown shop.

LAURA: I want to know if I’m going to have to roll for fall damage.

NICK: I mean, probably not. Even from eight, so long as you lowered yourself, you’d be okay.

LAURA: I think for the most part it usually starts at 10.

NICK: So everything will be 11 feet tall and we’ll see how long it takes someone to die.

LAURA: Yes. Not that long. Fall damage is super deadly here.

NICK: Yeah, it’s really bad. So that’s what you see in the room. The threat is that while you’re casing the room, Cecil Zonnfarmer sees that you’re doing that, but he doesn’t think you’re casing the room; he thinks you got bored. So he’s kind of deflated. Says, “Well, so we are open until 6 o’clock. Any time after that would be by appointment. I can, of course, meet you here at any time but you would have to let me know when you would want to meet here.”

LAURA: “And what time in the morning do you open?”

NICK: “We open at 10 am. I like to get my beauty rest.”

LAURA: “Yes, well, how late do you typically stay up?”

NICK: “Like I said, we close at 6 and after that, I go home. I don’t live in this part of town. As you know, Zebwak takes good care of us and I can stay wherever I want, so I stay in the middle class suburbs.”

LAURA: “Alright. So I’m guessing a meeting in the morning when you open might the best option.”

NICK: “Sure, if you want to sell us glitter stim in broad daylight, who am I to complain?”

LAURA: “Well, you seem opposed to a late night meeting. I’m used to meeting in bars and getting drinks and going onto the business. But if that’s not going to work for you…”

NICK: “I mean, if you’re trying to buy me a drink, I won’t say no.”

LAURA: “Well, I have to go back and do some of my own business. Coordinate some things. 3 am? Is that too late for you?”

NICK: “Nothing’s too late for me. I am legally required to be available 26 hours a day. Corellia has a 26-hour day maybe. I don’t know.”

LAURA: I don’t know either.

NICK: I don’t want to look it up. It’s probably 24 but that doesn’t sound spacey enough.

LAURA: They’re almost always 24.

NICK: Yeah, it’s kind of lame really. [laughs]

LAURA: Yeah… “So I will meet you… Is there a good bar nearby that you know of?”

NICK: “Well, we could just do the deal here.”

LAURA: “Well, that is OK.”

NICK: “Unless you’re trying to buy me a drink. I mean, I would just carry it here anyway.”

LAURA: “You seemed opposed to that so I guess I will just meet you here. At 3 am?”

NICK: “Yes. 3 am. I will make sure the goods are here. And I will give you 80% of the going rate on glitter stim, which is… I don’t know what it is.”

LAURA: An amount.

NICK: “An amount. It’s unimportant.”

LAURA: “That works for me.”

NICK: “Great, then I guess I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

LAURA: “Yes.”

NICK: “Dark and early. Sounds lovely.”

LAURA: “I think it will be great doing business with you.”

NICK: “Yes, it will be great doing business with me.”

LAURA: “Yes.” And then I walk to leave and assuming he’s going to somewhat escort me back out.

NICK: Oh yes, he walks with you. It’s a weird feeling walking out of a wall. It’s just light but still coming through masonry and stuff. And the way this holoprojector is set up, there’s some depth to it so for just a second, you get just a face full of brick and mortar. But besides that, you’re back in the shabby storefront of Zebwak’s Goods and you are free to do whatever you want.

LAURA: I’m going to walk out.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: Walk down the block and then circle back into the building and try to find where the vent came from.

NICK: Alright. Zebwak’s like the ground floor.

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: And then has like the kind of like the Brownstone walk-up to the residential side.

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: So you’re going up to the residential area?

LAURA: so I want to be seen leaving and walking away. And then kind of circle back a little bit and go up the stairs that anyone on the inside of the building or the storefront couldn’t see me doing that.

NICK: OK. So it’s tucked behind the staircase and Cecil didn’t follow to the door so he can’t really see through the right side.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: So you’re able to make it up and back into the building pretty easily. That’s not a problem.

LAURA: Good.

NICK: So when you go into the apartment building, it looks very similar to yours just bigger. This one was like a 30-story kind of spire tenement. There is a small staircase that leads to a lift and there’s also a little maintenance hallway that wraps around to the right of the lift and seems to disappear into like the mechanics of the building.

LAURA: I would assume it’d probably be more in the maintenance hallway.

NICK: You can probably make a Skulduggery check.

LAURA: I can do that.

NICK: Having done some vent climbing in your day.

LAURA: Average?

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: That would be three successes.

NICK: Alright. So yeah, you know that on the residential level, there’s air vents but it leads into a pretty confusing maze. You could go that way, but you also know that in the maintenance area, there’s usually like a main junction and sometimes if you’re really lucky, there’s a map of where the air vents all go for maintenance purposes. So if you go down the maintenance hallway, you can probably find your way through.

LAURA: That’s probably going to be where I go.

NICK: Alright. You know walk around the side of the elevator. You find yourself in… It’s probably 30 meters long this hallway. There’s a couple of closets on either side. When you look inside you see mops and tools. Nothing all that interesting.

And then walking further down the hall, you see one room that’s slightly ajar which, in Star Wars, means it’s broken because they have swooshy doors. So it’s about halfway open and you see some periodic sparks coming out of it. You also see some light coming out of the room. Want to make me a Perception check?

LAURA: Can do.

NICK: This one’s just easy.

LAURA: Four successes and one advantage.

NICK: So looking in through the room, even without your goggles turned on, you see there’s actually a maintenance employee in there. It looks like he jammed the edge of a hydrospanner in the door to get it stuck like that and he appears to be doing some sort of drug off of a shelf in there. But he is in there.

Behind him, through the crack in the door, you see the ventilation junction. It’s basically—it looks like a door but instead of a door, it’s got grating in front of it and you can hear the air whooshing by. It’s pretty standard. And you even see on the wall, a big blueprint that’s just vents and it has little notes on it like “Closed,” “Fan down,” “Running,” things like that.

LAURA: I walk up to the door.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: Knock a little bit and go, “Hello, um… what are you doing?”

NICK: “Wha? Ah, ooh, uh!” And he jumps a little and goes [sniff]. And  turns around and he’s got a little… What color is Impact? Is it blue? I always pictured it as blue.

LAURA: I’m assuming it’s white because I’ve just been assuming it’s cocaine. It’s just space coke.

NICK: Oh, I thought it was spacier, but that’s fine. It can be white.

LAURA: Well, I mean, maybe! I’ll look it up. I’m sure someone else has talked about this.

NICK: Maybe.

LAURA: It would not be the weirdest Star Wars thing I’ve ever googled.

NICK: I mean, that’s true. I’ve never actually read anything about Impact in the EU.

LAURA: I assume not blue, but I think that might just be because I don’t want to associate it with Booster Blue.

NICK: You mean the best drug?

LAURA: You mean sniffing paint?

NICK: Yeah, the best drug.

LAURA: No, Impact is the best drug.

NICK: OK, it’s one hell of a drug.

LAURA: It is one hell of a drug.

NICK: OK, he goes [confused sounds] and he sniffs his nose. He turns around and you see a little white stubble of white powder in his mustache. He’s a medium height Corellian man with like really greasy, lanky, shoulder-length hair and a glorious mustache that has little bits of white powder in it now. And he has a tool belt on and a dark green jumpsuit on that’s open to show a lot of chest hair and a gold chain and no shirt under the jumpsuit.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: And he says, “Oh, I was just—uh… what are you doing here?”

LAURA: “No, it’s okay. I was looking for one of my friend’s apartments and I think you might like to join us.” And I kind of reach into one of my hidden pockets and pull out a bag of Impact and kind of wave it while winking at him. And then put it back.

NICK: Make me a Charm–

LAURA: Charm? I do have Charm.

NICK: Yeah, make me a Charm check. It’s going to be easy and you’ll have a blue die to it because this guy’s not very smart and also you just waved drugs at him and he loves drugs so much.

LAURA: That would be three successes and one advantage.

NICK: Alright, so he doesn’t question you at all. He walks to the door and pulls the hydrospanner out and it goes shoomp into the wall, working perfectly fine now. He goes, “Well, sometimes I break the door so that it looks like I’m fixing the door but what I’m actually doing is Impact. Yeah, let’s go party!”

LAURA: “So I can give you the address of where my friends are and I will meet you there in a moment. I have to go get someone else first.”

NICK: “That sounds suspicious. OK!” And he runs out of the room, realizes he didn’t get an address from you and turns around and come back.

LAURA: I kind of like run after him like putting my hand up, like “Excuse me! I need to give you where to go.”

NICK: “Oh right! Yeah, I-I-I was just excited. Yeah, where am I going?”

LAURA: I give him a very random address that’s probably six blocks away.”

NICK: 432 Corellia Street.

LAURA: Yeah, 432 Corellia Street. And I just tell him to knock on Apartment #435. And he’s got to knock four times.

NICK: He nods to himself, turns to go, stops a few feet past, and goes, “I forgot all that. Let me write it down. What was it?”

LAURA: I write it down. I give him the fake address, the fake apartment number, tell him he has to knock four times, and when they ask, tell them Taureen sent you.”

NICK: “Taureen.”

LAURA: “That is my name.”

NICK: “Oh, well, it’s nice meeting you Taureen.”

LAURA: “Nice meeting you, too.”

NICK: And he goes to shake your hand and instead just snuffles at his mustache again. And he says, “Great, I’ll see you there.”

LAURA: “Yes, bye!”

NICK: And he turns and runs off. And you find yourself alone in the maintenance room.

LAURA: Yes, is there any way to lock the door from the inside?

NICK: Well, you did see that jamming a hydrospanner in a certain place does a pretty good job.

LAURA: So I do that.

NICK: There happens to be some lying around.

LAURA: Just in case he comes back.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And then I want to study the map of the vents. And what time of day is it?

NICK: It’s probably 4 in the afternoon.

LAURA: Probably should’ve asked that before I started this, but OK. So I want to study the map and then go into the vents, see how loud they are, see how long it takes me to get there, and then basically I want to wait until 6:30-6:45.

NICK: OK. Going into the vents… Make me another Skulduggery check for that shopping list of things. This one’s going to be average.

LAURA: Two successes but two threats.

NICK: [laughs] So the vents are pretty quiet so long as you step lightly. If you try to move quickly through them, crawling, you’re going to have some rattle noises. You find some weak points in the paneling that could drop you into who knows where but they’re pretty easy to avoid. You get to the grating at the vent and the display room is dark. You can’t see through the holoprojector at all so it’s pretty much just a black space.

Were you going to wait in the vent or were you going to go back to the maintenance room to wait? It takes you about 10 minutes to get from where you started to there moving slowly and quietly.

LAURA: I’ll wait in the vent and watch how long it takes the camera to cross the room. And just kind of jotting down all the other items there. Definitely going to be taking the Twi’lek artifacts with me. And just kind of figuring out what I can carry back and what I will risk carrying back as well as a bonus.

NICK: Right, so there were three Twi’lek totems. You could fit those in your jacket. Like they’d rattle around. You wouldn’t be able to close a pocket on it.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: Unless you used like your giant pocket for it. Obviously you could get the box pretty easily. You could take the gun if you wanted, but it’d be pretty hard to get it up the vent.

LAURA: I figured.

NICK: Same with the thermal detonator cluster. That’s pretty heavy. You could take the Twi’lek stuff, the box. I guess you could technically take that mask if you wanted to but you’d have to wear it to keep your hands free. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

LAURA: I mean, Xianna’s first concern is whether or not it would fit on her seeing as she has two protrusions coming out of her head.

NICK: Oh, right. Lekku are a thing.

LAURA: Lekku are a thing.

NICK: Yeah, that wouldn’t fit well. It’s like a hemispherical thing. It looks like it’s designed to wrap around someone’s head. It would pinch pretty bad.

LAURA: I have a utility belt that things can be attached to. Would there be any way to hook it on the back while I’m crawling through the vents and then get a box out of the maintenance room and make it look like I’m carrying stuff out?

NICK: Hmm, the only thing you could probably tie that to, because it’s pretty much smooth, is you could tie a string through one of the eye holes or you could try to tie it to one of the horns, but it wouldn’t stick to the horns pretty well. So you could. It would be a little rattly. It’d be really hard to climb out silently with it on there, but you could do it.

So one of the things that you need to be thinking about, I’m talking about the weight and stuff, to get down to that level, because it is a floor down, there’s about a seven foot drop that you have to kind of like spider climb down so you can fit your hands and your feet and shimmy back down it. And you know you can get back down that way but it’s going to be really hard to do if your hands are full.

LAURA: What supplies and equipment were in the maintenance room?

NICK: So there were some standard hand tools. There were some lights. You think you saw a blow torch like a cutter. There’s a ladder.

LAURA: A ladder wouldn’t be super useful for a vent.

NICK: Probably not. You just asked what was in there, not what was useful.

LAURA: Yeah. Any rope, sheets, anything like that?

NICK: There’s probably some drop cloths. Yeah, there are. There’s some white sheets that you would lay down for painting.

LAURA: Alright, then I want to shimmy back up to the maintenance room and see if I can tie them together to make a long rope. You know the exact kind you make when you’re busting out of the window in some sort of sitcom or movie?

NICK: Yeah, I know that one pretty well.

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: It won’t be long enough unless you tear it into strips. It looks a little flimsy but it would probably be fine.

LAURA: So if it was about 4 when I started…

NICK: You’d have the time to do it.

LAURA: I’d have the time to do that. So I’m going to do that.

NICK: What are you going to tie it to?

LAURA: Is there another grate in the vent nearby the drop?

NICK: Not close enough that you could drop it down. The drop is close enough to where you start that that big door-like grate that if you set it sideways and tied it to that,  it would probably hold and it’d reach most of the way down to where you’d just have to hop a little to grab it again.

LAURA: I can work with that.

NICK: Yeah, it’s also going to be a little hard to climb a rope if you want stuff in your hands.

LAURA: Yeah, so being a maintenance room, are there any toolboxes or boxes or any extra little pieces of fabric or tarp that could be tied into a sack?

NICK: Oh yeah, you could make a sack out of some of the drop cloth. That’s fine.

LAURA: Then I would probably make a sack to tie it to the back of my utility belt for anything that can’t fit into my coat.

NICK: Can you make me another Perception check please?

LAURA: Easy? Average? Hard?

NICK: Average. Actually this one’s probably hard.

LAURA: So hard?

NICK: Yeah?

LAURA: OK.

NICK: Wow, so many threats.

LAURA: Oh no.

NICK: Did you not roll a single success?

LAURA: No, I just did. Sorry, this one was this one. But those cancel out.

NICK: Oh OK. From here, I thought they were all advantages and it was like, wow, three greens and a yellow and you roll only advantages.

LAURA: Everything is canceled out.

NICK: OK, so you don’t see anything.

LAURA: I don’t see anything.

NICK: The room seems fine. The lights appear to be working. The door is nice and jammed up. Should be fine. Everything’s great.

LAURA: Gonna be great.

NICK: Everything’s—look at this team! It’s gonna be great.

LAURA: I mean the best thing you can ever hear in a game is your GM saying, “It’ll be fine.” Oh boy.

NICK: Oh yeah, yeah. It’ll be fine. I’m actually realizing I say that to you more often than any of the other players.

LAURA: Yeah. Well, I mean, I say that to you a lot when I’m GMing.

NICK: Yeah, that makes sense. So you’ve done your preparations. You have a little sack. You’ve got a… [giggles] Little sack. You’ve got a rope that hangs down most of the drop so it should be easier to climb out. It gets to be around 6:30 – 6:45 as you finish up these preparations.

You spend a little time in the room, just looking around, seeing if there’s anything else useful. It’s not a terribly well-stocked maintenance room. They wouldn’t even have had those cloths except it looks like that your friend, the Impact head, probably would have been supposed to be painting but he hasn’t been, so the cloths are all spotless. He has not used them.

And it’s about the time when you were going to go do this little mini-heist so you’re down back in the vent near the grating. By the way, from observing the cameras, it looks like at the farthest point away, you probably have a minute to be in the room then back in the vent. Unless you want to mess with the camera.

LAURA: No, I think for knowing exactly what I’m grabbing and having a place to throw it all, I think a minute should be enough.

NICK: Mhmm. OK.

LAURA: Yes, assuming I’m going to throw the helmet and the box in the sack and stuff the totems in my pockets.

NICK: OK. Make me a Stealth check to do this quietly.

LAURA: Can do.

NICK: It’s just average. The camera does not appear to have a microphone on it so you don’t have to be that quiet.

LAURA: Oh boy!

NICK: Well, you passed. No, you didn’t.

LAURA: No, I didn’t!

NICK: Oh no.

LAURA: I have one advantage.

NICK:  Alright. The advantage is that nobody hears. The disadvantage is when you push the grate out, you thought that it was on a hinge and it wasn’t so the screws pull out of the wall and it falls and hits the ground. Makes a pretty clattery noise.

And then when you drop, you land on the grate and twist your ankle just a little. And you lose probably 10 to 15 seconds trying not to fall over, getting your feet back under you again. So you have less time to get this done than you did before.

LAURA: You said all the items are all on plinths.

NICK: Mhmm.

LAURA: Could I feasibly hide the grate behind one of those so the camera would not see it?

NICK: So not behind a plinth. They’re only about—the bases are only about two and a half feet wide and they narrow to about eight inches and then go back out again. So the grate would be visible. But you could put it like under where the camera is and it would never be in the arc.

LAURA: Yeah, I just kind of want to like quickly get it over there and do I think with the lost time that I could still grab all the items?

NICK: You wanted the totems—

LAURA: Totems, the helmet, box.

NICK: The box, and the mask? You could probably get two out of the three?

LAURA: Is the vent visible on the camera?

NICK:  No. Well, if someone was looking very closely at it, they might notice the grating was missing but it only catches the side of the vent.

LAURA: So I want to grab the totem and the box.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And then get back up into the vent.

NICK: OK. So you grab the totem and the box. It takes you about 30 seconds. Gives you about 15 seconds left. And you get back to the wall and you realize that the grate is about six feet above you. Make me an Athletics check to climb back into the vent.

LAURA: Oh boy.

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: Are the plinths movable?

NICK: Maybe. They look heavy. You could try that.

LAURA: How close is the vent to the wall?

NICK: The vent to the wall? Or the grating?

LAURA: So how easy would it be to parkour up versus straight jump? Like would that help at all.

NICK: Hmm, it’s in the middle of the wall so you could maybe parkour from the nearest plinth. It’d be a harder check, but you could use Agility instead to climb a plinth and jump across instead of just like Strength jump. But you would have to move the big heavy cluster of thermal detonators carefully to make space for you.

LAURA: Do I think I could stand underneath the camera and not be seen?

NICK: You think if you held your breath and sucked in real hard, it may only seen a little bit of you. You may get away with it. You could try and do a Stealth check to do that instead. Buy yourself some time.

LAURA: I think I’m going to do try and do that with the hope that no one is actively watching the camera. That this is more of a review thing. And maybe they just don’t notice that there’s a tiny little sliver of purple.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And I’m going to hold my lekku down.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Like flat to my head while I stand there.

NICK: OK. It’s going to be an average stealth. Oh no.

LAURA: Oh wow, I am not rolling well tonight. I did get an advantage.

NICK: Great. That advantage plus some of the other ones that we didn’t use right away will go into you’re right. It is a review thing. But as you’re trying to get to the wall and get yourself set so the camera can’t see you, you look up and see the camera’s already pointed at you. So it gets a good view of your face.

LAURA: I just stop and give a little wave to it. And smile.

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: And I go get the mask because they already see me. So that’s what I’m going to do.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: Then I’m going to attempt to move a plinth and get into the vent.

NICK: So you’re able to move the plinth to stand on to get out. It just takes a while and it makes that really horrible like desk on a tile floor at work noise that [desk screeching sound effect] and this whole time–

LAURA: I’m already too far in.

NICK: And this whole time you’re pushing it, the camera’s just following you. So there’s this zoomed out shot from the camera’s perspective and it says record and it’s just Xianna pushing it [desk screeching sound effect] toward the wall. And she stops and rubs her brow for a second then goes back to [desk screeching sound effect]. The camera just slowly pans with you. And you scramble up onto the plinth and back into the vent.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: Yeah, mischief managed!

LAURA: In a way.

NICK: In a way. So you’re able to get back out of the vent system no problem. You’ve got that set up to where it’s not a big deal. You’ve got everything stashed away. You get into the maintenance room and you go to leave…

LAURA: And what happens?

NICK: And the door’s actually broken. You go to pull the hydrospanner out and it does not open. You go to press the button and it still doesn’t open.

LAURA: Oh no.

NICK: So good job. You broke the door.

LAURA: So looking back at the vent graph, is there a vent opening from the one I just came from that goes to a different floor or a different room?

NICK: Yeah, there is. You could do that pretty easily. You have to take a pretty roundabout way. It takes you about an hour to get through because there’s a lot of big drops and ups that you can’t really do with your loot. But you manage to get up three or four floors higher than you are by stair stepping through the system. There is one scary point where you come to a big open chasm because Star Wars is full of those. And you stop on the edge and little bits of dirt fall down because this is Star Wars and you have to have that camera shot.

LAURA: Well yeah.

NICK: And you turn around and go back. And you manage to come out on the fourth floor and you see, looking through the vent, there’s groups of people kind of going in and out. There’s a lot of tenement dwellers and people sleeping in the hallways. You could just walk right past them with your stuff or you could try to be sneaky. You think you could probably make it through without being seen, but it won’t be easy.

LAURA: I mean, how easy would it be to get out of the vent without being noticed?

NICK: To get out of the vent, if you timed it right, it would be pretty easy.

LAURA: Yeah, so I think I want to time it right to get out of the vent without being noticed and then just want to quickly take the sack off of my belt then just kind of nonchalantly hold it in my arms as if I’m just walking somewhere.

NICK: Walking somewhere with a sack of stuff.

LAURA: Yeah!

NICK: So that’s an easy Stealth check.

LAURA: And I have four successes and an advantage because that is when I roll well.

NICK: Yeah, of course. So you’re able to get out, close the vent, and arrange yourself before anybody comes back in the hallway. There’s one guy curled up in a pile of trash next to the vent, but you’re so quiet, he doesn’t even move. You’re silent. A ghost in the night.

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: For this easy Stealth check. Then I’m going to say it’s a hard Streetwise check to nonchalant your way out of this building in one piece because most of these people know each other pretty well, but you can have a blue die because your stealth was so good, you were able to artfully arrange yourself so that you look like the kind of person who would be here.

LAURA: Alright. And what did you say the difficulty was?

NICK: Hard.

LAURA: Hard. Let’s see how this goes. Four successes.

NICK: Great. You walk your way right out. No problem.

About the time you make it to the lobby, you see the mustached maintenance guy on the way back in. He looks really bummed out, but you’re able to step into some shadows and he just walks right past you. He’s holding a hydrospanner. Says, “Well, I think maybe I had the wrong apartment. I’m not sure but man, this is a bummer,” and he [sniffs] again and heads back into his little room. And as you’re waiting there, you hear him press the panel and walk head first straight into the door with a clang.  “What? The door’s broken!” And you duck outside before he can do anything.

LAURA: Not my problem.

NICK: Yeah. As you go outside, you have a chance to examine this box. Like I said, it’s got a latch, it’s got a little eye hole on the bottom part with a hook that goes through that holds the lid on.

LAURA: I want to get back to my apartment before doing any of that.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And I would like to take a slightly more roundabout way, just in case anyone was watching or if there are CC cameras.

NICK: Mhm.

LAURA: Just so that it might be harder to follow my pattern.

NICK: So in this part of Coronet, the government doesn’t care so much.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: They don’t have the cameras here. CorSec does—well, it’s not the worst part of town. CorSec only comes through only once in a while. That’s Corellian Security for anyone who hasn’t listened to the first couple of episodes.

So you are able to get back. You’re pretty used to this area. You’ve scanned it before. You’ve only been here for a few days, but the first thing you do is look for escape routes and ways to move about unseen and you’re able to get back to your apartment pretty easily.

Yeah, so you’re back in your apartment. You have your stuff. The box has little latch on it. It has little bumps where it got pushed out. And if you listen really carefully, you can hear some scratching and a light mewling noise, like something on the inside is trying to get out.

LAURA: So there were mentions of little tiny air holes.

NICK: Mhmm.

LAURA: Can I look into them?

NICK: They’re like pinpricks.

LAURA: OK.

NICK: They’re very small. So you can get your eye up to it, but you can’t see much. If you use your goggles and press your goggles up, all you can see is like little splotches of white fur.

LAURA: Well, I set that aside and I look at the mask.

NICK: So the mask. You can’t really tell what its deal is. It’s completely smooth. It’s got the horns on it. It’s designed to wrap most of the way around the head and it’s got a red kind of vein pattern on the front. It looks creepy and when you touch it, your skin crawls a little bit. But besides that, it just looks like some expensive tribal artifact that they must have been selling.

LAURA: So does it look it has any sort of scanners built in or…

NICK: Nope! Looks like a piece of solid steel. Durasteel.

LAURA: Durasteel. What happens if I hold it up to my face?

NICK: So when you hold it up to your face, do you touch it to your face or just kind of look through the eye holes?

LAURA: Would it fit for someone who has lekku and ear cones?

NICK: Nope. So your ear cones wouldn’t get hit because it stops about mid-cheek bone, but the top part doesn’t really wrap around the lekku very well. You can kind of smush your face into it.

LAURA: I would just try to kind of hold it up and smush my face to see if anything turns on when I put it on. You know a lot of scanner goggles don’t activate until you put them on. Or seeing if it’s easy to look out of or is this mask decorative or ceremonial? How much can I sell it for?

NICK: Right. So you smush it a little bit into your face. It touches like your nose and some of your cheekbones. And the top part kind of pinches your lekku and you feel a sharp pain and a little warm spot where it cuts a little and you realize the top part was really, really sharp. And it gives you very extreme heebie-jeebies. But besides that, nothing happens. You don’t really want to keep this on your face.

LAURA: I put that down.

NICK: Yeah, it’s not a pleasant feeling.

LAURA: Looking at the Twi’lek totems? Because a lot of those are very specific to family tribes.

NICK: Hmm… do you recognize any of them? I would say, you recognize one of them. The other two, you have a good guess like within two or three tribes of what they are. Because they have more than one totem per tribe, right?

LAURA: Well, yeah.

NICK: Because it’s like the smaller family units have them, too.

LAURA: It’s usually per your family unit. So your immediate family has one but they’re often easy to link to the specific clan.

NICK: OK. So one is from Clan Luroon because why not? One is from Clan Syndulla and then one you recognize the family unit from. What one would that be?

LAURA: Do I get to pick or are you–

NICK: Yeah, you can pick.

LAURA: OK. What’s his?

NICK: It would be one that you would have a tie with.

LAURA: Yeah, what’s his?

NICK: Is this your boyfriend?

LAURA: No, I don’t have a boyfriend. Xiann does not like to use labels.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: But she does have a vaguely father-figure.

NICK: A-ha.

LAURA: Whose clan name is Olgkru.

NICK: Olgkru.

LAURA: O-L-G-K-R-U

NICK: Olg-kru.

LAURA: Olgkru.

NICK: OK, so yeah, that one is… I’m not going to say it’s his specific totem but it’s within the smallest circle of that and it’s the one with bloodstains on it so that’s a thing.

LAURA: Yeah, that’d concern me.

NICK: Yeah, you can be concerned about that. So that’s the totem and the mask. And you got this box.

LAURA: I kind of tap into my comm and go, “Hello, um, mysterious person?”

NICK: “Yes?”

LAURA: “I have your box.”

NICK: “Yes, I see that. I was perplexed as to why you decided to bring it back to your apartment instead of…”

LAURA: “Well, I do not plan on staying here after tonight. I think I have burned that bridge.”

NICK: “Yes, your stealth capabilities were surprisingly ineffective in this situation.”

LAURA: “I am having a bad day, you might say. Usually it is not quite this bad.”

NICK: “Well, the good news is if you take the job that you’re going to be doing, you won’t be here much longer. So it’s just more motivation to work with me.”

LAURA: “So how do you want to get your box?”

NICK: “Take your box to the coordinates that I will beam to your comm and we’ll handle it from there. It’ll be very straightforward.”

LAURA: “And maybe next time, you’ll give me the coordinates before.”

NICK: “Again…”

LAURA: “That might’ve been a better thing to do.”

NICK: “Trying to do that mysterious thing. I gave the coordinates to some other people and it didn’t work out so well. I wanted to see if you’d get the box first.”

LAURA: “So you just let me walk around for like 20 minutes with the box just going back to my own apartment?”

NICK: “Well, based on your profile, I assumed you’d call me and brag about it as soon as you were successful.”

LAURA: “You seem like the type who wants to contact me, not me contact you. And I may have taken some bonus items for myself.”

NICK: “Ah yes.”

LAURA: “Because again that bridge is already burned. Might as well.”

NICK: “Well, go to the coordinates and discuss this further.” [boop] The connection is cut but you hear a little Microsoft Sam voice give you an address and you know where it is.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: It’s kind of far. It’s like 5 to 6 miles away so you could walk but it’ll take you a while and it’ll take you through some of the bad parts of town or you could hire a taxi and just drive there. Or you could steal a car, I guess, a speeder.

LAURA: I don’t know how well it’s going to go for me based on how I’ve been rolling so I’m going to hire a taxi, but before I leave, while I’m in my apartment, I want to see if I have any bags or boxes to put the mask and totems in that might look a little bit less like a sack that I made out of a tarp.

NICK: So there’s—they’re flimsy, but there are like cardboard boxes that are open. There’s little bits of paper and trash in them. You could dump one of those out and it would just look like you cleared out your desk at a particularly interesting job. Put one of them in there. Or there’s some shopping bags, like plastic shopping bags, but with those, stuff would be kind of poking out.

LAURA: Yeah, well, I mean how much encumbrance would you say these totems or masks are? Because my hiding capabilities for this coat are based on encumbrance, not size.

NICK:  So I’d say… What’s a blaster pistol’s encumbrance? Like two?

LAURA: My quick trigger blaster pistol is one.

NICK: Yeah, so I’ll say these things are two then.

LAURA: Each two or total two?

NICK: The totems together are two and the mask is two.

LAURA: OK, I can then completely hide the totems in my coat.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: And I will put the mask in the box and any little like scrap papers I have will put on top.

NICK: OK.

LAURA: Well, it wouldn’t be paper but…

NICK: Flimsy.

LAURA: Flimsy. All the scrap flimsy on top.

NICK: The problem is just a really good adjective and now I can’t use it. It’s a bummer.

So great, you have your box of trash with a mask in it.

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: And your totems are hidden around your person. As you’re walking, the first time toward the door, they rattle a little bit like wooden wind chimes that clank together and you have to kind of stop and rearrange things and then they’re silent after that. So you go downstairs. You flag down a taxi. No problems there.

On your way towards the nicer side of town in this taxi, you pass by a burned down apartment building and you see a group of CorSec officers standing in a group outside the apartment and they appear to be arguing. One particularly large officer gripping a flechette launcher is hanging his head as if he’s being berated by a commanding officer who’s holding a megaphone.

And you see that scene and have just enough time to wonder about it before you go zipping by.

LAURA: I’m sure it’s nothing.

NICK: I’m sure it’s nothing. And the coordinates lead you to a squat and unassuming building in downtown Coronet. It is bordered by two large spire towers. There’s a door that’s a little more than an outline on the wall, but as you approach, a mechanical eye on a pole extends from the wall. It examines you for a moment then declares, “E chuta!” then retreats. There’s an awkward beat, then the door slides open.

Inside, you find yourself in a long hallway. There are more seamless doors on either side. As you head down the hallway, you hear someone knocking weakly on one of the panels. A protocol droid waddles down the hallway toward you just as you get even with that panel that’s getting knocked on. And he says, “Ah! Everyone is arriving in a timely fashion, I see. If I could just get your cargo from you please.” And he holds out his hands for the box.

LAURA: I reach into my coat and hand him the box.

NICK: It rattles a little bit and the protocol droid wraps his thumb around it and the box crushes slightly and he keeps it. And he says, “Please come with me.” And the droid leads you all way down the hallway to a door at the end.

The door slides back to reveal a warm, wood paneled room with a large conference desk in the center. Seated at the desk is a Nautolan woman who is idly fidgeting with a trinket in her head-tendrils and a Togruta man who has poured himself a drink. You seem to have come in in the middle of an awkward lull in conversation. The Togrutan shrugs and points to a comfortable-looking chair around the table. You notice there’s one other empty chair in the room.

LAURA: “Where did you get the alcohol? I would like that as well please.”

NICK: There’s a decanter and some crystal glasses on the middle of the table. You can reach it very easily.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: So you can pour yourself a drink.

LAURA: Well, yes because today did not go that well.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: A drink is needed.

NICK: Ba-naaa~! The end.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider logging into iTunes and giving us a 5 star review. 5 star reviews help new listeners find the show. You can find more about Tabletop Squadron on our website: tabletopsquadron.com, or on our Twitter and Instagram: @tabletop_squad.

The Star Wars: Edge of the Empire role-playing game is property of Fantasy Flight Games and Lucas Books. See you next time.

(post has been backdated for chronological clarity. post date: 6/2020)

Word document download: Prologue 2 We Got Ourselves a Hostage

PDF download: Prologue 2 We Got Ourselves a Hostage

Read in browser:

Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Prologue 2:
We Got Ourselves a Hostage

Transcript by Harrison (Twitter: @unabletowhistle)

## Intro

[Cameron hums space music]

NICK: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Nick, your game master. For the past few years, my friends and I have been playing tabletop RPGs together and we decided to share our hijinks with you. For the first few podcasts, we’re doing small individual arcs for our characters so you can get a feel for them before they start bouncing off of each other in Star Wars. Enjoy.

[Cameron laughs]

NICK: Hey, so the good news is we have a name for our podcast now.

STEVEN:  Tabletop…

NICK: Tabletop Squadron! We didn’t have a name before. Made the first episode kind of weird. I’m fully expecting to record over this but I’m not worried about it now. So welcome to Tabletop Squadron. This is Prologue #2 out of 4 before the main campaign starts. I am your game master, Nick. And with me today is Steven. Say hello to people, Steven.

STEVEN: What’s up, people?

NICK: Yeah, that’s obviously how you speak.

STEVEN: It kind of is.

NICK: And Steven, you are playing the character…

STEVEN: Sabos Niks.

NICK: Sabos Niks. And tell me a little bit about Sabos.

STEVEN: Well, Sabos is Togruta, but he is a unqiue Togruta. He’s got four head-tails so he’s a little bit odd. But he wasn’t from the Togruta homeworld. He was actually a colonist. He was just a little bit different. He thought a little bit differently, didn’t really fit in with the Togruta group.

NICK: OK, so a Togruta loner is what you are.

STEVEN: Well, not a loner necessarily. No Togrutas are loners. Just we’re not the same as the main world Togrutas.

NICK: OK.

STEVEN: We act a little bit differently.

NICK: Different. Alright. So let’s jump into it.

##

NICK: You are standing in front of a three-story civic building. It is made of white stone and covered in intricate but eerie carving. You are there to meet councilman Sacko, a local politician for the Spora district for the city of Coronet on the planet of Corellia. He reached out to you recently expressing interest in developing a trade agreement with your colony. Would you like to go inside?

STEVEN: Yeah, let’s walk in and talk to Sacko.

NICK: Alright. So you walk in. It’s a white granite facade all through the building. It’s very sparse. There’s a desk with a receptionist and they motion you to a lift and it brings you up to the third floor. The entire third floor is a penthouse office for this guy. It’s very nice, but this guy is kind of small time. He’s a council member for a small district of Coronet. It shouldn’t be this nice. This guy has more influence than his rank would suggest, you gather from it.

So as you walk in, you see councilman Sacko. He stands up behind the desk and says, “Ah! I’m glad to have you here.” And he looks at his desk computer real quick.

STEVEN: “Sackos! Sabos!”

NICK: “Sabos!”

STEVEN: “You can drop the S if you want to. Sacko, Sabo.”

NICK: “Yeah, yeah. Right.”

STEVEN: “Buddy!”

NICK: “What a weird coincidence.”

STEVEN: “I know, right?”

NICK:  “Yeah!” So standing in front of you is a human because you’re on Corellia. He’s a tall guy with dark hair, goatee, and he’s wearing like politician’s robes, so kind of like the flowy big sleeves with lots of extra cloth wrapped around.

So he welcomes you and pulls you down to a seat and says, “So, well, Sabos, you are next on my agenda. I was told you had some skills that I could use and that you were trying to create a trade agreement. What was that name of your little colony again?”

STEVEN: “Ah, you mean Osaron.”

NICK: “Ah, yes, Osaron. Well, actually, I don’t know why I said ‘ah, yes.’ I have never heard of it before. Is it near anything I would?”

STEVEN:  “Not really. It’s not too far away from the Togruta homeworld.”

NICK: “OK. Well, great. So you’re trying to get some trade started. And as a small district representative, there’s only so much I can do. But I can get your foot in the door with the right people for sure.”

STEVEN:  “That would be wonderful. As you might know, I assume you’re a well researched man, us Togrutans on Osaron are kind of a hunter-gatherer people, but we specialize in weaponry.”

NICK: “Oh.”

STEVEN: “Now that’s not a threat.”

NICK: [nervous laughter] “Right…”

STEVEN: “That’s not a threat. We’re just a little bit different than the cliquey social groups over on the Togrutan homeworld and those weird artists on their own colony. Kind of developed a more primitive lifestyle. Some of us are looking to venture out, though.”

NICK: “Would you count yourself amongst that group?”

STEVEN: “I’m here, aren’t I?”

NICK: “That’s a fair point. So you’re looking to trade in weapons.”

STEVEN: “We’re very good at weapons. We’re looking to trade in more conventional supplies.”

NICK: “OK.”

STEVEN: “To kind of bring up our standard of living.”

NICK: “Makes sense. Well, Corellia creates a lot of those things and I’m sure we can open some sort of agreement on that line. We have need of your resources and what you offer and I’m willing to deal. I can turn the city council in your favor, but I’ve been kind of tied up recently with some other business.  If you take care of this for me, I will take care of your colony.”

STEVEN: “I could definitely take care of your business. What type of business was that that I need to take care of?”

NICK: “You already said you would! Ha!”

STEVEN: “Oh, I certainly will.”

NICK: “Well, you’ve had some reputation with other people that have dealt with somewhat of a fixer. Someone who just makes problems go away.”

STEVEN: “I can indeed.”

NICK: “Well, this is one of those.” And he hands you like a scroll and it’s sealed with green wax but the wax has been broken. You can make an Investigation check to look at it if you would like.

STEVEN: Yes, Investigation is Perception.

NICK: Oh, is Investigation not a skill on this game? Damn. I was looking for…

STEVEN: Astrogation.

NICK: No, not Astrogation. Let’s see… Perception will work. Yeah, so you get a yellow and two greens. And this is a hard check so it’s going to be three purples.

STEVEN: Purples. Do I get any of the blues?

NICK: Nope! You’re in a well-lit, comfortable room. Unless you’re on like drugs that enhance your vision.

STEVEN: I am indeed not.

NICK: Bummer. And you have an exact wash.

STEVEN: I don’t see a damn thing.

NICK: The seal has been scratched up enough when the letter was open that you can’t make out what was on it. I’m sure that won’t matter.

STEVEN: “Seems like a good scroll. I’ll take it.”

NICK: “Well, you may want to read the contents first.”

STEVEN: [chuckles] “Of course, of course.”

NICK: He sits back and pops a cigarillo in his mouth and lights it while you read through the letter.

The letter reads: Sacko, a mutual friend recommended you to me for your services. You have a reputation as a shrewd negotiator and a quick businessman. I need you to go to the enclosed address. There you will find a contact of mine who will bring you to the location of the deal. It will be marked in the usual manner. Tell them you need a bouquet. They will lead you on. After you’ve secured the goods, please bring them to the enclosed location nearby.

And after you finish and you roll up the scroll, Sacko says, “Yeah, the deal’s a little vague, but I’m sure you can figure out the details.”

STEVEN: “Well, as you know, independent thinking isn’t necessarily one of our strong suits with us Togrutan people. However, I am a specially skilled Togruta being from an independent-thinking colony.”

NICK: “Well, that’s good. That’s part of the reason I’ve enlisted you in this endeavor.”

STEVEN: “And I’m here.”

NICK: “And you’re here. Honestly, I don’t really like to buy into that specist thing about well, ‘Oh, all Rodians are bounty hunters and all Togrutans are just herd animals.’ That seems against what we go for here on Corellia. Independence. And self-sufficiency.”

STEVEN: “Strange.”

NICK: “I don’t think so.”

STEVEN: “It’s a strange quality among my people.”

NICK: “And that’s fine.” Cool. So you have the letter. Do you have any questions for him?

STEVEN: “Could you elaborate on this bouquet?”

NICK: “Oh, yeah. So the bouquet, from what I read in the letter, that’s just a signal phrase to tell…”

STEVEN: “Well, I assumed.”

NICK: “The thing you’re probably more curious about is them being marked in the usual manner. Usual manner is a green orchid that they’ll have stitched somewhere into their clothes.”

STEVEN: “I’m glad you specified. I was just assuming, blood like usual.”

NICK: “Oh! Blood, yeah, no. [nervously stutters] That’s—uh–so Corellia—you may not—have you been to Corellia before?”

STEVEN: “This is my first time on Corellia. It’s a quaint little planet you have here”

NICK: “Yeah, well, it’s like the third most developed planet in the Inner Rim.”

STEVEN: “I mean, one could say.”

NICK: “Yeah, I don’t know. Being from the untamed plains of your colony, I could see how you wouldn’t have much of a sense of scale. But this planet is pretty law-abiding. We have our own police force and military. It’s called CorSec. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Corellian Security.”

STEVEN: “I have.”

NICK: “Yeah.”

STEVEN: “This is what we structure our training after.”

NICK: “Wow, then it must be pretty good because they don’t put up with things so walking around with blood may not go real well on this planet.”

STEVEN: “I mean, everyone’s a little different.”

NICK: “I wouldn’t… If you were bleeding, you probably don’t want to be seen by the police.”

STEVEN: “No, you run into the forest.”

NICK: “Right. Well, the forest is across the lake that surrounds this entire city. So I hope you’re a good swimmer.”

STEVEN: “I don’t believe I am.”

NICK: [laughs] As you suddenly look at your character sheet…

STEVEN: Yes, the character sheet does not reflect swimming.

NICK: [laughs] It would be Athletics. Do you have Athletics?

STEVEN: Negative.

NICK: Oh, so then no, you are not a good swimmer.

STEVEN: Togrutans aren’t known for being especially strong.

NICK: [laughs] Oh yeah. They’re really not.

“Alright, so any other questions for him?”

STEVEN: “I think I’m good. I’m going to look for a green orchid.”

NICK: Green orchid, alright.

STEVEN: “Then I’ll pick the flower and bring it back as part of the bouquet.”

NICK: “So I can’t help but read into some undertones. I just want to be explicitly clear: Please don’t kill anyone involved in this negotiation if possible.”

STEVEN: “Oh, no, this is a no-kill negotiation.”

NICK: “OK. I’m not saying that things might not get rough. This is on the darker sides of things, but if you could avoid shooting any messengers or preferably civilians. I can’t help but notice you have an extremely large rifle on your back.”

STEVEN: “I think I understand where you’re coming from.”

NICK: “No, I mean there’s a literal gun on your back.”

STEVEN: “Oh, it’s common on my homeworld.”

NICK: “Oh OK. I thought we were talking about something else there for a second.”

STEVEN: “Oh, my fourth head-tail?”

NICK: “Oh, it’s a literal head-tail? I’ve heard Togrutans talk about the fourth head-tail before but it wasn’t usually… [giggles] OK. Well, I’ll be seeing you when this is over. Buh-bye!”

STEVEN: I do the head-tail flip.

NICK: You flip your head-tails haughtily.

STEVEN: Yes.

NICK: On your way out

STEVEN: All four.

NICK: So the address you get for the meet-up spot is only a couple of blocks away from here.

STEVEN: Oh, it’s on the same planet.

NICK: Yeah! This is all local stuff.

STEVEN: Oh this sounds wonderful.

NICK: So, yeah, it’s actually walking distance. So you head down the streets. If you could make me a Perception check please.

STEVEN: For sure.

NICK: Let’s make this one average.

STEVEN: That would be a two purple.

NICK: That would be a two purple.

STEVEN: I got a victory.

NICK: You got a triumph. That’s good.

STEVEN: Triumph, that’s the one.

NICK: Yes. Three failures, a triumph, a success, and an advantage.

STEVEN: I have a success in there.

NICK: So you fail because your failures outnumber your triumphs. Triumphs are worth the triumph and a success so you wind up with a triumph, a failure, and an advantage, which is a weird Cameron-style roll. So you don’t see the thing you’re supposed to see, but you get a triumph.

OK, so as you’re walking down the streets, you’ve got your hands in your pockets. It’s like a brisk, early winter day, so your breath’s kind of fogging. What are you wearing?

STEVEN: I have a standard padded armor.

NICK: OK, so like what does that look like?

STEVEN: Oh, you know, kind of a black vest.

NICK: A black vest, OK.

STEVEN: With some black pants.

NICK: Black vest, black pants.

STEVEN: Black boots.

NICK: Black boots. Are you shirtless under your vest?

STEVEN: Oh indeed. Togrutans are often depicted shirtless.

NICK: Oh cool, neat. So you’re pretty chilly then. Is your colony a warm place?

STEVEN: That’s a very good question.

NICK: [laughs] Now’s the time to figure it out.

STEVEN: Now’s the time to figure it out. My colony’s a very neutral place.

NICK: OK, so it has four seasons.

STEVEN: I’m not sure four. It has two.

NICK: Two and a half seasons?

STEVEN: It’s got warm and cold.

NICK: OK, so you’re walking down the street–

STEVEN: Sometimes our head-tails sweat.

NICK: [chuckles] Gross. That’s not an image I needed. Ugh.

So you’re walking down the street and you glance around, just your hunter-finder instincts going off. It feels like you’re being watched, but you can’t really find anything or anyone specifically acting suspicious and as you’re going, there’s a speeder-bus that lands and it lands perpendicular across the street and it blocks off all of the foot traffic. And traffic starts to backup. I wouldn’t worry about it. But if someone were following you, they would have a hard time doing it because there’s a bus in the way.

So the address leads you down an alleyway into a bar just on the edge of the respectable part of town. A tall dark man in a wide apron is polishing a glass behind a bar.

STEVEN: Ah!

NICK: You look around the room and see several tables with people huddling over drinks. The table in back has the chairs pushed back and abandoned drinks scattered over it. As you look at the room, a woman with dark curly hair shoulders past you.

“Excuse me, handsome, but I’ve got somewhere to be.” You see her draw a pistol as she heads further down the alleyway.

Looking around the room, you see the bartender and a couple of drunks. You don’t see your contacts. What would you like to do?

STEVEN: I’ll go talk to the bartender.

NICK: Gonna go talk to the bartender? So you walk in. The bartender is polishing a glass with a dirty rag. Says, “Well, how’s it going there?”

STEVEN: “Going pretty good. My first time visiting. What was her deal?”

NICK: “She’s a little high strung. Got showed up by another one of the patrons. I imagine she’s probably about to bite off more than she can chew.” He like chuckles to himself a little bit and goes back to polishing the glass.

STEVEN: “Bite off more than she can chew, you say.”

NICK: “Well I wouldn’t worry about it too much.”

STEVEN: “We’re a nosy people.”

NICK: “Oh are you? I don’t get a lot of Togrutans in here.”

STEVEN: “We’re pretty far away out on the Outer Rim there.”

NICK: “Yeah, well, she upset a friend of mine. I think she’s going to go find out when you get into confrontation with that kind of person.”

STEVEN: [chuckles] “I understand.”

NICK:  “She’ll be fine.”

STEVEN: “I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

NICK: “One way or the other.” He sets the glass down. “But enough about my former contacts. What can I get you for?”

STEVEN: “Well, I’ll have—well, what do you humans drink?”

NICK: “We have a tendency to go for things of the alcoholic persuasion. We’ve got—”

STEVEN: “I’m familiar with the alcoholic persuasion.”

NICK: “We’ve got Corellian beer. We’ve got Corellian whiskey. We’ve got mixed drinks.”

STEVEN: What was the lady having?”

NICK: “Oh, well, she was drinking nothing particularly interesting, but that friend of mine was drinking a fallen star.”

STEVEN: “A fallen star? That sounds unique.”

NICK: “It’s certainly fancy. You sure you want one of those?”

STEVEN: “Well, what does one of those run?”

NICK: “I don’t know. Like 5 credits.”

STEVEN: “Does it have any unique properties?”

NICK: “I mean, it’s alcoholic.”

STEVEN: “Sounds fine.”

NICK: “Alright.” He pulls out—he looks mildly irritated and you see why as he starts doing it because he pulls out 6 different bottles of liquor and three different shakers and he starts mixing them together.

STEVEN: [chuckle]

NICK: It’s a complicated beverage.

STEVEN: “I didn’t realize when you suggested it that it was such an involved drink.”

NICK: “No, it’s fine. Just remember to tip your waitstaff.” And he winks at you.

STEVEN: I will.

NICK: He starts mixing this drink and you get it and it’s in a glass that looks like a blooming flower and it’s like very sparkly fizzy and as you smell, it smells kind of like stimulants so it’s a pretty fancy, fancy drink.

STEVEN: “I enjoy my stimulants.”

NICK: Great. You have some sips of that.

STEVEN: I make sure to tip him another 5 credits.

NICK: Yeah, that would be smart. He nods to you and says, “Well thank you. I appreciate your appreciation as it were.” [chuckles]

STEVEN: “For sure, do you happen to have any time to lend your ear? This glass is very curious.”

NICK: “Oh the glass? It’s a traditional Corellian beverage glass for the fancier drinks.”

STEVEN: “I understand. this almost reminds of something I was looking for. Do you know anything of a green orchid?”

NICK: “A green orchid? Hmm. Green orchid…” And he looks around the room and he thinks about it. “Oh, you mean like that?”

And a guy comes walking in the door and he has a green orchid on his vest.

STEVEN: “Yeah, it’s a very pretty symbol.”

NICK: “Well, I don’t know a ton about that symbol. You may want to ask that guy.”

STEVEN: “I might inquire with the fellow. I appreciate your patronage—no, I appreciate my patronage to you!”

NICK: “Yeah. I appreciate your patronage, too.” Finger guns.

So the guy who walked in he’s a blond guy with black vest and pants with a white shirt. So similar to yours but with a shirt on.

STEVEN: “I like your vest,” I turn around and say.

NICK: He’s leaning up on the bar next to you and he looks up at you. The bartender like waggles his eyes at you and scoots further down the bar. And the guy in the vest goes, “Oh, thanks. You’ve got a nice vest, too.”

STEVEN: “I sure do. It looks like yours.”

NICK: “Yeah, hey, I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but I’m not really into aliens so…”

STEVEN: [chuckles] “I think you have the wrong idea, sir. I’m just here for the bouquet.”

NICK: “Oooh. Ah, that was awkward. I’m sorry.”

STEVEN: “Just a little small talk.”

NICK: “Yeah.”

STEVEN: “Sorry, this is a very good fallen star.”

NICK: “Oh yeah, you had one of Gerfrederick’s best, huh? Those are pretty good. I’m a fan.”

STEVEN: “As you might know, this is a little bit different from the ales we drink on the Togrutan homeworld and especially over on Osaron.”

NICK: “Oh so you’re…?”

STEVEN: “It kind of hit me right up in the head, if you know what I mean.”

NICK: “Yeah, I’ve been hit in the head enough to know myself. So you’re from one of those colonies, huh?”

STEVEN: “Yes.”

NICK: “What do you even do up on a colony? I’ve always lived in a city myself.”

STEVEN: “Well, it’s kind of a rural place. And those Togrutans that either don’t fit in or that are elected to go to a colony or are born on a colony of course end up on a colony. I was a little bit too, oh, unique to fit in on the Togrutan homeworld.”

NICK: “Interesting. Well, rather than any further questions, let’s go!”

STEVEN: “Let’s do this.”

NICK: And he turns and walks out the door. So the man nods to the bartender and heads down and out of the way. As you walk outside, you hear some indistinct yelling and a speeder crashes at the end of the alley. It begins to smoke and you see two armed men climb out of the speeder. The contact says, “I think it’s time to be going. There’s an air speeder down the other way.” And you all run.

STEVEN: Yes.

NICK:  So you run to the end of the alley and there’s another guy in a—it’s like a four-seater sedan speeder. It’s the Ford Taurus of Star Wars. Whatever that would be. And he slides in the back with you and he says, “Let’s get going right now.” And you are in the speeder on your way to where you were going. And he says, “So you don’t really strike me as the type who would do these sort of deals on a normal basis. What brings you here?”

STEVEN: “Well, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the deal is. I’m very capable. I’m just helping out a friend.”

NICK: “Interesting. Not really sure what this deal is specifically. I’m just kind of the between guy. But I hope it works out for you. You seem nice.”

STEVEN: “I appreciate it. I’m just looking to better my people back on Osaron.

NICK: “Yeah, well, not sure how doing underworld dealings…” As you look out the window you see you’re going to the worse and worse parts of town. “Not sure how doing underworld dealings will help with your colony, but I hope that works out for—you don’t grow drugs on your place, do you?”

STEVEN: [chuckles] “Oh no, but you know, it helps to stay connected with the right people and every now and then, you have to get your hands a bit dirty.”

NICK: “Oh OK. Now you sound like the kind of people I’m used to picking up.”

STEVEN: “So you pick up a lot of politicians?”

NICK: “Well, maybe. I really can’t say.”

STEVEN: “I see.”

NICK: And he just kind of like awkwardly clutches his hand together as you all continue on the ride. By the time, the speeder slows to a stop, you find yourself deep in what should be the red light district. It really looks like it. There’s a lot of people on street corners,  either holding little baggies of unidentifiable  stuff or not wearing much clothes depending.

The speeder stops in front of a low dark building with strobing lights coming from within. As you step to the door, a huge man with slabs of muscles blocks your way. He looks you up and down. “You’re here for the bouquet?”

STEVEN: “I am.”

NICK: “Great. Well, head on in.” And he steps off to the side.

STEVEN: I walk inside enthusiastically. I think I’m picking up flowers.

NICK: [laughs] As you enter the building, there are bright flashing lights and music. A narrow hallway. You see dancing in several rooms to the left and right.

STEVEN: “Ah, flashing lights. Conducive to flower growing.”

NICK: [laughs] At the end of the room is a beaded curtain. As you pass through, you find total silence. The music cut off as if someone flipped a switch. Sitting comfortably on a couch in the otherwise bare room is a Geonosian. A Geonosian is like the weird bug people from Episode 2. She is of average height. She has brown, wrinkled skin and crisscross scars and one of her wings is tattered. Her head is kind of like bean-shaped and her eyes are kind of stuck out to the side on stalks. She’s fiddling with a strange tube with a green light at the end. You see what might be a trigger mechanism. The tube beeps and the Geonosian shakes her head sadly before looking up at you.

“So, Sacko. You finally gave up on that high and mighty attitude of yours and you’ve come to deal.”

STEVEN: “Yes, yes. I’ve come for Sacko.”

NICK: “Right. If you want the goods, I want proof you can keep CorSec off my back for the next few weeks while things fall into place. Either you pay us the 10,000 credits or you offer me something else.”

STEVEN: “Proof?”

NICK: “Yeah. So either you pay us so that we can deal with it, or you prove that you can keep CorSec off our back.”

STEVEN: “Well, what do I need to do to prove that I can keep CorSec off your back, huh? I’m a pretty well-connected man as you might know, me, Sacko.”

NICK: “Yes, you, Sacko. Obviously. With the way you are referring to yourself, you must be the person Sacko.”

STEVEN: “Yes.”

NICK: “Right, well, to be honest, I was hoping you would have just brought the credits. It’d be easier.”

STEVEN: “Credits are a little bit hard to come by these days.”

NICK: “I guess since you’re making a deal for us to pay you, that would make sense. Well, tell you what. So you don’t have any ideas on how to prove this, huh? So if I come up with the suggestion, it’s not going to be fun.”

STEVEN: “Oh, I wasn’t looking for leisure.”

NICK: “Well, that’s good. I’ve got a couple of associates holed up down the streets. They’re currently boxed-in by some CorSec people in a standoff. Get them out of the building and get them back here. I don’t care who you hire to do it.”

STEVEN: “Are you not a CorSec person yourself?”

NICK: “Oh, I think you might want to consider me the opposite of that.”

STEVEN: “I see. Now your associates, could you describe them to me?”

NICK: “Well, yeah. They’re both Corellian. There’s a short guy with gray hair. He goes by Mouse. He’s got a tattoo of a Sarlacc on his right shoulder—that’s a pit monster with teeth. And there’s a bigger guy that they call Morak and he’s pretty—he’s the big bald guy.”

STEVEN: “Mouse and Morak.”

NICK: “Mouse and Morak.”

STEVEN: “So Morak is such a big feller, how are two small CorSecs keeping him in?”

NICK: “No, it’s a squad of CorSecs, but you know, being big just makes it easier to get hit by a blaster. They’re two of my best pushers but they’re not the smartest guys.”

STEVEN: “Oh, it’s a squad of CorSecs.”

NICK: “Yeah. The building’s surrounding. We’ve got sort of what you might call a hostage situation going on.”

STEVEN: “Is there anything your people are wanted for? I always try to prefer the negotiation attempts, if you will.”

NICK: “Well, I mean, you could try that. It’d be pretty difficult to do, but I don’t really care how you go about it. They’re not wanted yet. If they get caught and searched, they probably will be.”

STEVEN: “I understand. I’ll protect their persons.”

NICK: “Also if they get identified, they will be since they did shoot at some police officers just a minute ago.”

STEVEN: “That might do it.”

NICK: “Great. Well, go do that. Hire whoever you got to hire to get it taken care of.”

STEVEN: “Alright.”

NICK: “I know you, the esteemed councilman Sacko, wouldn’t do anything yourself.”

STEVEN: “I, the esteemed councilman Sacko, indeed do not do anything myself.”

NICK: [laughs]

STEVEN: “I might even hire a Togrutan.”

NICK: “Yeah, that is kind of weird that you’re a Togrutan, isn’t it?”

STEVEN: “Councilman come in many different forms.”

NICK: “Yeah, well, whatever.”

STEVEN: “It’s a diverse day and age.”

NICK: “I guess. I didn’t ever really bother to look at who you were so that’s fine.”

STEVEN: “Nor I you.”

NICK: ‘Well, that’s good. Because it’s pretty hard. I’m pretty identifiable here, you know, with my personage.”

STEVEN: “As am I with my fourth head-tail.” I flip it around and stroke it.

NICK: She goes, “Ugh! You can’t just wobble that thing at people.”

STEVEN: “I apologize.”

NICK: [laugh] “Great, well get going. Marty out front will give you a ride down the street to where this is.”

STEVEN: “Thank you.”

NICK: “I’ll have him send you far enough away that you can walk in or buy a phone if you’re calling people.”

STEVEN: “That sounds fine.”

NICK: “Great.”

So you head back out. As soon as you cross through the curtain, pounding music is still going. She stays in the room. And you head back out and Marty, the scrawny guy with the green orchid, is sitting by the car and goes, “Oh wow, you’re back already?”

STEVEN: “Yeah, that was pretty good, wasn’t it?”

NICK: “I mean… what did—never mind. I don’t need to know.” And he puts his hand up to his ear where he’s got an earpiece in and says, “Yes ma’am. Yes ma’am, I’ll take him. Well, get in the car. Tell me where we’re going.”

STEVEN: “Guess we’re going to the building that she had specified.”

NICK: “She seemed to think you’d be going back to your office.”

STEVEN: “Well, I’m going to, well you know, see if I can get this handled.”

NICK: “Alright. She just wants this done. Doesn’t really care either way.”

STEVEN: “I understand.”

NICK: So you drive down the street. This time Marty is driving. You realize that he’s not the best pilot. Like maybe there’s a reason he’s the guy that walks into the places to get people. He’s kind of swerving. Cuts people off a couple of time. Stays way too long at a green light. People honk at him. It’s not great.

But he sits you down probably fifty yards away from a dilapidated, it looks like an apartment building. There are several police speeders. They’re green and white painted in CorSec colors. There are two in the front and you see the lights of at least one more in the alleyway behind this building and there are several CorSec officers. They’re wearing body armor and they have blaster pistols out and pointed. One of them has a bullhorn and is yelling, “Come out! There’s no reason to stay in there.”

And you hear someone from inside say, “Come and get us, coppers!” And there’s like blaster fire from inside the window. But it doesn’t go outside the window so it’s like they were far back in the room and they shot the wall. They didn’t actually clear the window sill.

So there’s that standoff going on. The building has alleys on either side and to the back. And a main street out front. There isn’t like a cordon set. It’s just the two cars and everyone else is just finding new ways to walk. This is the worst part of town so people know how to stay away from active police fights.

STEVEN: Is there an officer in control of the situation?

NICK: You would probably assume the guy with the megaphone is the one in charge.

STEVEN: Yeah, I’m going to walk up to the officer with the megaphone speaking Togrutan.

NICK: [laughs] OK.

STEVEN: Just saying, “Officer,” over and over in Togrutan.

NICK: “Sir, this is CorSec business. Please stand back.”

STEVEN: “Oh, do you speak Basic?” I say in Basic.

NICK: “Clearly, sir, I speak Basic.”

STEVEN: “I’m sorry. This is my first time on this here planet.”

NICK: “That’s great. We’re in the middle of something, sir.”

STEVEN: “I think I might be here for what you’re in the middle of.” I show him my very official Osaronian diplomat ID.

NICK: [laughing] OK.

STEVEN: “I think I’m here for the same characters you are. We have an issue with him back on Osaron.”

NICK: “Right, I don’t see how you would have jurisdiction here, sir.”

STEVEN: “Well, you understand I’ve just been sent to collect these two evildoers who have also done evil on Osaron.”

NICK: “Right, well…”

STEVEN: “I don’t have jurisdiction. I’m just trying to negotiate a deal.”

NICK: “Alright, well, here’s where I’m coming from.”

STEVEN: “Sure, I don’t doubt your jurisdiction. I see your blaster.”

NICK: “Yes, I do call it Jurisdiction.”

STEVEN: “Your megaphone.” [chuckles] “Well I call mine Bob.”

NICK: “Oh, what a great—Yeah, how did you get a permit for that? That is–”

STEVEN: “I’m a diplomat.”

NICK: “Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense, I guess. So I’m an officer of the law.”

STEVEN: “Indeed you are.”

NICK: “You’re coming into my backyard. And you’re telling me that you want to take away my perpetrators.”

STEVEN: “I’m just saying if they’re causing a problem, I could probably help you out.”

NICK: “And how exactly do you purport to do that?”

STEVEN: “Well, we just have orders that we can take him back in maybe a different state if you catch my drift.”

NICK: OK, go ahead and roll me either a Charm or a Deception.

STEVEN: Can I do a Negotiation?

NICK: Yeah, you can do a—well, if it’s Negotiation, you have to offer him something.

STEVEN: I’m offering to fix his problems. I’m going to extract the perpetrators from the building.

NICK: OK. OK. Roll me a Negotiation. Let’s see how this go.

STEVEN: This’ll probably be hard, huh?

NICK: Yeah, we’ll say it’s hard.

STEVEN: Seems like a dumb thing to ask but I’ll give it a go.

NICK: Walking up to a police officer and saying, “Hey, can I take that guy you’re shooting at?”

STEVEN: Yeah.

NICK: Yeah. Wow, you succeeded.

STEVEN: It’s weird, isn’t it?

NICK: Yeah, with two threats. OK. I’m surprised.

STEVEN: “If you just allow me into the building, I think I can probably help you out.”

NICK: “Alright, we’ll let you into the building, but—” One of those threats is going to be, “you have to take Officer Schmidty with you.” And there’s a giant guy with a flechette rifle that shoots—it’s basically like a space shotgun.

STEVEN: “I can do that.”

NICK: And Schmidty goes, “Just get me the shot.”

STEVEN: “Schmidty, pleased to meet you.” I offer him one of my head-tails to shake his hand.

NICK: He does not do that. Because that’s weird.

[laughter]

STEVEN: I apologize and reach out with a hand instead.

NICK: He very questioningly shakes your hand and says, “Sergeant, are you sure about this?”

And Sergeant says, “Well, you know…”

STEVEN: “Why else would I have come all this way to your fine planet?

NICK: “Yeah, why else would this diplomat have come all the way to our fine planet but to try and get two drug dealers out of a building?”

STEVEN: “I’m just trying to resolve your issues.”

NICK: Schmidty says, “Yeah, makes sense to me.”

And the sergeant gets on the bullhorn and says, “Perpetrators, we have a negotiator coming up. A Togrutan. Don’t shoot him please.”

And they like stand back and let you go to the front door.

STEVEN: “Yeah, it would be fine if you didn’t shoot. I’m really not even here to shoot anybody. Not sure about Schmidty, but trust me, I’m good.”

NICK: “Don’t tell them about me and Jurisprudence.” [cocking sound]

STEVEN: “Oh, Schmidty is what I call my head-tail. I apologize.”

NICK: “Uh… That’s uncomfortable.”

STEVEN: “Just the fourth one.”

NICK: “So this is going to be the joke we make the whole time, huh? It’s like a head-dick joke?”

STEVEN: “I believe so.”

NICK: “Roger, I’ll try to keep it in play.”

STEVEN: Let’s walk through this. What floor are they on? Are they on the first floor?

NICK: They’re on the third floor.

STEVEN: The third. Is it a three story building? Well, let’s walk into the first floor.

NICK: OK. The first floor. It’s a pretty empty building. It’s abandoned so where normally you would expect a small entryway and then a bunch of apartments off the first floor, it’s actually just an open space. It looks like there was a fire in here at one point. The staircase does appear to be mostly intact and leads pretty much all the way up. The location you would expect the lifts to be is pretty just hollow tubes all the way up. It looks like on the second floor some of the rooms are more intact and on the third floor most of them are. Probably why they went up there is because there was more cover.

STEVEN: Well, I’m just going to wander around and look while doing so. Just wander around, look at the shaft button. “Mhmm, mhmm.” Kind of observe nothing. But I’m going to use the time to try and get in Schmidty’s head. So I’m going to do a cool. I’m going to try to be a little bit cool.

NICK: OK.

STEVEN: You know, “How’d you get on the force? Tell me about that nice gun of yours? You can see I’ve also got my weaponry.”

NICK: “Oh, you mean Jurisprudence?

STEVEN: “Oh, is that Jurisprudence?”

NICK: “Yeah.”

STEVEN: “His was Jurisdiction.”

NICK: “Yeah, Jurisprudence.

STEVEN: “Jurisprudence.”

NICK: “You have to use her prudently. It’s pretty important.”

STEVEN: “Is that a shotgun blaster?”

NICK: “It’s a flechetty? Flechette?”

STEVEN: “Yes.”

NICK: “Is that how it’s pronounced? Flechette? Probably, I don’t know.”

STEVEN: “We Togrutan are pretty trilly so I’m not really sure.”

NICK: “We’ll just call it flechetty for now.”

STEVEN: “That’ll work.”

NICK: “Yeah, Jurisprudence. Yeah, been on the force for a while. Generally show up in these kinds of situations.”

STEVEN: I’m still walking around looking up elevator shafts.

NICK: “So are we gonna go up there?”

STEVEN: “I mean, they’re not shooting at us right now, but I’m trying to make sure we have a good understanding of the best way to get out of here if we have to get out fast.”

NICK: “Well, I guess that makes sense. We’ve got stairs. We’ve got—”

STEVEN: “We do have stairs. We’ve got those elevator shafts. Those are interesting.”

NICK: “Yeah, looks like…” He leans over. “Looks like there’s a basement down there, though.”

STEVEN: “What did these people do? They had some drug problems on my colony. Was that the same issue here?”

NICK: “Oh yeah, two-bit pushers. Drug runners. Dealers.”

STEVEN: “I wonder if they hid anything in the basement.”

NICK: “You know they might have.”

STEVEN: “Let’s go to the basement.”

NICK: “O-OK…”

STEVEN: “I think we should go to the basement.”

NICK: “OK, let’s go.”

Roll me a Charm or a Deception.

STEVEN: I have neither. I’m Cool. Can I Cool my way in to thinking we can go to the basement?

NICK: Sure.

STEVEN: That seems reasonable. I’m trying to be a police officer on the force.

NICK: OK. Schmidty’s not that smart so this’ll be an easy check. Are those all advantages? Oh no, you have a success.

STEVEN: A couple of advantages.

NICK: OK. So the success and two advantages means it does work. You guys go to the basement. You can use those advantages for any extra scene painting stuff you want, for anything extra you want him to do.

STEVEN: Yes, so here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to go down. Yeah, I’m going to hear a noise very convincingly.

NICK: OK.

STEVEN: Alright, so we walk down the stairs. “Shit, I think I heard something.”

NICK: “Yeah! I think I heard it, too.”

STEVEN: “I hope nothing in this basement is rigged to explode. What if they’re trying to destroy the evidence? They did that back… Threw it out of their ship.”

NICK: “We’d better back out of here and get the bomb squad.”

STEVEN: “Oh no, not that type of bomb. They’re not trying to blow anyone up. I think they’re just trying to destroy the evidence.”

NICK: “Oh.”

STEVEN: “You know, like dye packets and things.”

NICK: “OK, so that makes a lot of sense.”

STEVEN: “What if their evidence is credits?”

NICK: “Oh?”

STEVEN: “What if they’ve hidden tons and tons of illicit credits.”

NICK: “You’re right. We should go secure any valuables first.”

STEVEN: “That’s right. So here’s what I propose. I’m going to go check out what that noise was. You make sure there ain’t nothing that’s going to get out of this basement.”

NICK: “Alright, I’ll guard the basement.”

STEVEN: “Well look—bro. Bro. Look around. Make sure no credits are disappearing.”

NICK: “Oh, of course. If anything were to…”

STEVEN: “And I’m going to go check the first floor again.”

NICK: “If anything were to be found, of course I’d report it to the evidence locker immediately.”

STEVEN: “And your name’s Schmidty?”

NICK: “Yeah.”

STEVEN: “Sabos by the way. If you hear anything, I’ll be just a floor away. Yell.”

NICK: “Alright, Sabos. I’ll give you a call.”

STEVEN: “Perfect.”

NICK: And he goes barreling down the stairs. [shotgun cocking noise] “Yeah, credits!” And he’s peeking above and below everything.

STEVEN: Alright, well I’m going to use this time to haul ass up to the third floor.

NICK: [laughs] OK, so you go pounding up to the third floor. Up on the third floor, it actually is pretty much standard apartments. A bunch of the doors are fused open and there’s black wiring hanging down because remember, this is Star Wars so they’re not wooden swingy opening doors. They’re all swooshy doors. Towards the corner to the right hand side, the side that’d be facing where the most police officers were, you see a door that’s only about half open. And you hear some indistinct grumbling on the inside.

STEVEN: I’m going to go through the door.

NICK: OK. So you poke your head through. You see Mouse and Morak. You see them leaning up against the wall. They both have blaster carbines in their hands.

STEVEN: I come in, just my hands up. “I’m the Togrutan.”

NICK: They point their guns at you for just a second.

STEVEN: I show them my head-tails. “I’m the Togrutan.”

NICK: “OK, so why are you here?”

STEVEN: “Do you mind if we step away from the windows for a little bit? We’ve got a little bit of different business to take care of?”

NICK: “Well, I mean, that sounds nice and all…” This is Mouse talking.

STEVEN: Mouse.

NICK: “That sounds nice and all, but how do I know you don’t have a whole squad of CorSec out there in that hallway?”

STEVEN: “Are you familiar with the bouquet?”

NICK: “Oooh!”

STEVEN: “I was sent on behalf of one of your compatriots.”

NICK: “Right.”

STEVEN: “Really I needed to prove to her that I was capable of taking care of some problems. You happen to be the problems, being surrounded in this building and all.”

NICK: “The queen called us problems?”

STEVEN: “No, no, no, the problems are the CorSecs outside.”

NICK: “OK, that’s good. Because normally when she has problems those people end up on the bottom of the lake.”

STEVEN: “That’s the plan for the CorSecs outside. Our plan for you is to get out.”

NICK: “Well, lead the way, Mr. Bouquet.”

STEVEN: “Well, I might have gotten in here via a little bit of deceive some CorSecs per se.”

NICK: “OK.”

STEVEN: “So I’m not sure they’re necessarily going to be happy to turn you all over to me.”

NICK: “Probably not.”

STEVEN: “I think I have a plan.”

NICK: “Very confidence-inspiring.”

STEVEN: “Well, here’s what y’all are gonna do. I’m gonna walk in front of y’all and y’all are going to pretend that I’m your hostage. Something went terribly awry. Blasters pointed at me—put them on stun, though. And don’t shoot me.”

NICK: “Don’t shoot you? Alright.”

STEVEN: “And we’re gonna walk out and see if we can get out that way. See if we can use a little bit of trickery to convince the officers they don’t want a dead Togrutan diplomat on their hands.”

NICK: “OK. I’m not a great actor, but Morak here’s very convincing.”

He just nods solemnly at you.

STEVEN: “You seem a very convincingly sized fellow.”

NICK: He cracks his knuckles.

“Alright.” They point their blasters at you and say, “Move it, scumbag!”

STEVEN: “Alright. Also, let’s keep it quiet on the first floor.”

NICK: “Alright, quiet on the first floor.”

STEVEN: “Just trust me as I’m going out.”

NICK: “Got it.”

STEVEN: “And then we need to start playing as we leave the door.”

NICK: So we’ll do one of those side swipes to you’re standing at the front door of this apartment building with Mouse and Morak pointing guns at you.

STEVEN: “Shh, shh!” I tell them.

NICK: And they’re coming down the front stoop heading outside and the–

STEVEN: “Schmidty? Everything fine down there?”

NICK: “Oh yeah, everything’s real good.”

STEVEN: “Perfect. Keep looking.”

NICK: “Alright, I’ll keep looking.”

STEVEN: “I’ll be down in just a minute, Schmidty.”

NICK: “Sounds great.”

And as you walk outside–

STEVEN: “OK.”

NICK: Yeah. As you walk outside, the sergeant has his bullhorn. You’re about 30 feet from him. And he turns it on and–

STEVEN: “Sergeant, don’t shoot!”

NICK: “Well, we’re not gonna shoot but you don’t appear to have fetched them particularly well. Where’s Schmidty?”

STEVEN: “Schmidty’s helping. He found some evidence.”

NICK: “Great, but you’re currently being held hostage.”

STEVEN: “Togrutans aren’t the strongest of fellows.”

NICK: “Yeah, you’re sure not strong,” says Mouse.

STEVEN: “Yeah, well, I thought I’m a skilled negotiator.”

NICK: “Clearly your negotiations have not gone that well.”

STEVEN: “I would concur. Now these two fine gentleman, large gentleman–”

NICK: “Yeah, I’m real large!”

STEVEN: “Say they don’t mean me anything harm, but they need to go talk to an acquaintance first. And I don’t want to die and I don’t think you want a dead Togrutan diplomat either.”

NICK: “No, to be honest, I’ve been thinking about it since you went in there and this whole thing seems like a bad idea.”

STEVEN: “I—uh, yeah, this was a bad idea. He’s big.”

NICK: Morak just nods solemnly and puts the blaster up against your head and kind of like dinks you in the back of the head with it. You get a glance and see his gun is absolutely not set to stun. Actually on the gun it has “Stun” and I guess it would say “Kill,” but the Stun setting is Xed out. And it says like “Sissy” on it.

Moose says, “So this is how it’s going to go. You’re going to let us walk off down the street and you’re going to give us a 15-minute head start or we kill this guy. And then we kill all of you.”

STEVEN: “Don’t kill me.”

NICK: “And all of your friends.”

STEVEN: “Officer, I assure you, they won’t be hard to find. They are– [laughs] Turns out they’re a little bit…”

NICK: “Yeah, we’ll be following at a safe distance.”

STEVEN: “15 minutes.”

NICK: OK, roll me a Negotiation.

STEVEN: “Just stay close on me, coppers, as close as they’ll let you but don’t shoot me.”

NICK: “Hey, stop giving them ideas!” says Mouse.

Easy Negotiation since you’ve spent this entire scene setting this up. Yup, so it just succeeds.

So the sergeant waves everybody to holster their weapons. He takes his blaster and says, “Sorry, Jurisdiction.” They say, “15 minutes,” and he winks broadly at you.

STEVEN: “Sarge, Schmidty was last on the third floor.”

NICK: “Right. We’ll go fetch him and we’ll be having a strong conversation about what it means to work with a partner.”

STEVEN: “Yes, yes, his teamwork was not very good. He let me down.”

NICK: “That’s really disappointing. Schmidty’s usually so on top of things.”

STEVEN: “He seems like a very capable, physically capable officer of the law.”

NICK: [giggles] Mouse says, “Shut up, hostage!” and hits you in the head.

STEVEN: “Ow!”

NICK: And starts shoving you down the street.

STEVEN: We can go to the car.

NICK: You’re right. So as you’re going, you about a block and everyone’s watching you and you actually notice that there’s like a sharpshooter that’s been set-up on the roof and you can see a laser sight at the back of Morak’s head. You turn a corner and the car is right there. And you see your contact from before and he’s like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what you did, but get in the car. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”

So you speed off and then there is–

STEVEN: “Mouse, Morak, good acting. Morak, that was on kill.”

NICK: Morak just nods at you and hits you in the head with the gun again and keeps it pointed at you.

STEVEN: “So to be clear, I was the one that got you out of this situation. Just saying.”

NICK: Mouse like looks at Morak, looks at you, and is like, “You know, Morak’s usually a good judge of character.”

STEVEN: “He looks like a judge of character.”

NICK: “Yeah, he doesn’t trust you very much.”

STEVEN: “I mean, isn’t it natural not to trust someone who looks different than you, me with my four head-tails.”

NICK: “Look, I don’t really need a lecture on being accepting of different people, but that whole plan was pretty sketch. I’m very surprised it worked.”

STEVEN: “Do you know how hard it is to get a squad of CorSec off your back? In that part of town? With two people that look like y’all?”

NICK: “Yeah, and we’re still working on it.” You look around and there are like three CorSec squad speeders chasing you.

STEVEN: “Ugh!”

NICK: And your original escort, the green orchid kid, goes, “Alright, well, it’s time for me to earn my pay.” And he punches it. There’s a harrowing montage of cutting around corners, and flying under bazaars, and through lines of laundry hung out across alleyways. Both side view mirrors get knocked off of the speeder on the way. But he manages to lose them and then swing back to the club.

You walk in and there’s the tall guy who asked about the bouquet. And you say, “Yeah, yeah, the bouquet.” You walk in and you make it all the way to the back where the queen is. You bring Mouse and Morak with you.

She goes, “Well, Mouse and Morak, what a surprise. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting that to go as well as it did. I expected y’all to end up dead, which is kind of what I sent him to do, but great work. I don’t have to train up any new people.”

STEVEN: “I wouldn’t exactly say it went well, but we are here.”

NICK: “Yeah, well, Mouse, you and Morak go away. I’ll deal with y’all later.”

“Yes ma’am.” They walk off. They go out the beads and as soon as they hit the part where the music starts playing, Morak starts to bob his head to the tunes and they take a hard left into one of the dancing rooms. So they’re going to enjoy what time they have left.

Your business associate says, “Well, this probably won’t be the last time we deal together, Sacko or Sacko’s representative, I suppose. I was thinking about it. I don’t think you’re Sacko.”

STEVEN: “Sacko never does his own bidding.”

NICK: “Yeah.”

STEVEN: “I’m pretty close.”

NICK: “Yeah, I’d imagine. He’s definitely sent someone who was good. Doesn’t even look like you used your gun. That’s impressive.”

STEVEN: “The gun is cool.”

NICK: “Here’s the deal. Take the box. Deliver it to the location. We’re good. We’ll take care of things Sacko needed. This is the last step. No problem.”

STEVEN: “Where is the location?”

NICK: You had it on your little note.

STEVEN: Oh yes!

NICK: It was another thing. So you had to pick it up and bring it somewhere else.

“Now take this and get the heck out of my office.”

STEVEN: “I will.”

NICK: “By the way, for the next time that we meet, my name is Kettle.”

STEVEN: “Kettle.”

NICK: “They know me around here as The Queen.”

STEVEN: “Queen Kettle.”

NICK: “Yeah. No. Just Kettle, or The Queen.”

STEVEN: “Ah, I see.”

NICK: “It’s one of those like name in quotation marks kind of things.”

STEVEN: “Yes, The Queen.”

NICK: “Yeah, that’s good. I like that a lot. Now get the heck out of here.”

STEVEN: “Yes, Queen.”

NICK: You leave and take a taxi to wherever the next place you’re going is. So this is actually back toward the nicer part of the city. The building that the coordinates or address leads you to is a low one-story building nestled between two high Corellian towers. As you approach, a robot eye on a stick pops out of the wall and it looks at you, looks at the box you’re carrying and says, “E juta.” And then slides backwards in. And the door, which is really more of a square seam than anything else, slides open.

You find yourself walking down an unadorned, durasteel hallway. A silver protocol droid that appears to be carrying a portly Selonian greets you. A Selonian is like an otter person-type thing. It says, “Oh, hello, sir.” He takes the guy and tosses him bodily into a nearby room and codes a key on the wall and it slides shut. “It’s good that you’ve made it. By the item you are carrying, I must assume you are Councilman Sacko. Wonderful that you carried out the master’s request. As he hinted, this was an audition for a job. If you come with me, I can introduce you to the rest of your team.”

And so he leads you down a hallway and a door slides open. You find yourself in a warm, wood paneled room. There’s a Nautolan woman sitting in a chair, wringing out her head-tendrils. As she turns to look at you, she squeaks in her leather chair. She nods to you and gestures for you to have a seat.

STEVEN: “Yes, Nautolan.”

NICK: And that’s where we’ll end it. Ba-naaa~!

STEVEN: Sweet.

NICK: Yeah, so there. That was good.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider logging into iTunes and giving us a 5 star review. 5 star reviews help new listeners find the show. You can find more about Tabletop Squadron on our website: tabletopsquadron.com, or on our Twitter and Instagram: @tabletop_squad.

The Star Wars: Edge of the Empire role-playing game is property of Fantasy Flight Games and Lucas Books. See you next time.

(post has been backdated for chronological clarity. post date: 6/2020)

Word document download: Prologue 1 Making New Friends

PDF download: Prologue 1 Making New Friends

Read in browser:

Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Prologue 1:
Making New Friends

Transcript by Harrison (Twitter: @unabletowhistle)

## Intro

[Cameron hums space music]

NICK: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Nick, your game master. For the past few years, my friends and I have been playing tabletop RPGs together and we decided to share our hijinks with you. For the first few podcasts, we’re doing small individual arcs for our characters so you can get a feel for them before they start bouncing off of each other in Star Wars. Enjoy.

[Cameron laughs]

NICK: Hello. I’m Nick. I’m going to be the game master. Star master. I’m sitting at the table here with Cameron.

CAMERON: Hello.

NICK: Hi Cameron, how are you?

CAMERON: I’m doing well, Nick. How are you?

NICK: That’s good. Thanks for coming all the way out here.

CAMERON: It was a long a trek.

NICK: Yeah, that traffic you know?

CAMERON: Oh yeah.

NICK: It’s rough. Tell me a little about your character before we get started.

CAMERON: Alright, so I’m playing Karma Nailo. She is a Nautolan bounty hunter. She’s green and has many head tentacles. She’s in her late 30s. She’s got a couple of kids who are off on their own doing their own bounty hunter adventures at the moment, so she is still adjusting to being on her own again, and having to do all the handy skills that they had developed over the years—having to do those again.

NICK: Sounds good. Well, I’m sure we’ll hopefully learn a little bit more about that here in a minute. Let’s get into it.

##

NICK: Before you is a wooden door. It was once painted green, but little of that remains. The grain is dark and exposed. It’s an old door. It’s probably been here longer than most of the buildings in the area. There’s a control panel next to it, but the lights are out. In flaking chalk is an inscription in Aurebesh that says, “Just push.”

CAMERON: I push the door.

NICK: Walking into a dark bar, you have Karma. So give me a description of Karma.

CAMERON: Karma is wearing a lovely metallic gold evening gown, which goes very nicely with her green skin tone and really sets off her eyes. Her hair-tentacles have a bunch of gold kind of like arm-bracelets but on tentacles instead all throughout her hair and they are—the tentacles are all up in an elaborate basket-type weave on her head. They’re kind of in-and-out in a Nautolan form of an up-do, but kind of picturing it ends up looking more like Tangela.

NICK:  Alright, Pokemon reference #1.

CAMERON: Pokemon reference #1. But all of the gold bands seem to be attached to each other and that’s what’s holding the tentacles in place. She looks ravishing.

NICK: Of course.

CAMERON: Yes. Very slinky.

NICK: Sounds good.

So the door creaks open to a familiar scene. There are low dark wood tables with people hunched over, drinking whiskey and staying quiet.

A couple in the back corner are standing close, whispering to each other.

At the bar, you see a tall dark human man. He’s bald and wearing a white apron. He uses an old rag to dry the inside of a glass he’s holding with a ringing motion.

There are two other people at the bar. One, an old man with a beard has his face in his hands. You’re not sure if he’s conscious. But no one seems to be bothering him at the end of the bar.

The other person at the bar is a thin woman. She has a medium tan, short curly hair, a heavy blaster pistol on her hip, and sits on a stool near the bartender. She’s the only one who turns to look at you as you push open the door.

The bartender leans in and says something to her. She eyes you again and slides to the far side of the bar. The bartender waves you towards them. “What’ll you be having?”

CAMERON: “I’ll take a sparkling star.”

NICK: “Sparkling star. Your favorite. Coming right up.”

CAMERON: “Thanks.”

NICK: So he busies himself making the drink. It involves at least three shakers.

CAMERON: [snickers] Of course.

NICK: And four or five bottles of alcohol. Space-cohol.

CAMERON: [snickers] I think it’s still alcohol. It’s fine.

NICK: No, that can’t be right.

CAMERON: Not everything has to be space

NICK: I hope it’s space–

CAMERON: Space-cohol.

NICK: Space-cohol.

CAMERON: So Karma’s at the bar. Kind of leans sideways a little bit and rests one elbow on the bar and kind of surveys the room nonchalantly. And very elegantly.

NICK: As he finishes making the drink, he slides you a thin stemmed branching glass that looks kind of like a flower to you, and says, “I owe you so I figure you could appreciate this hot tip. The mark I called you about is named Felton Mox. He’s a drug-runner in Coronet. And CorSec–” That’s Corellian Security.

CAMERON: Ah, okay.

NICK: “–has been after him for months. He killed a CorSec officer.”

CAMERON: [gasp]

NICK: “And they’re desperate enough to put a bounty on his head. I know it’s probably not your usual game but I heard you’re starting over. He’s coming in later tonight to meet someone. That’d be your shot.”

CAMERON: “Lovely.”

NICK: He looks you in the eyes and says, “The bounty is 4,000 credits alive, a thousand dead.”

CAMERON: “And delivery to where?”

NICK: “CorSec headquarters, of course.”

CAMERON: “Of course.”

NICK: “Just a few miles from here.”

CAMERON: “Sounds easy enough.” I take a sip of my drink.

NICK: Is it delicious?

CAMERON: It is. And it’s very sparkly.

NICK: Yes, it’s more sparkles than beverage. That’s all the hydrogen they filter through it. Makes it bubbly. So you know that normally, you’d give a 10% finder’s fee to a bartender who’d give you a call like this, so that’s part of the reason he was making eyes at you. The bartender goes back to polishing his glass and says, “So how have you been doing since you split up with your partners?”

CAMERON: “It’s been an adjustment. You know that you get really used to having people at your back and then they’re not there anymore. You can kind of find yourself in some situations.”

NICK: “Yeah, I know how that goes. Times are tough.” You get the feeling that this is like his canned response to most people who tell him about their problems.

CAMERON: “Thanks for always really listening to me, Freddy.”

NICK: “Oh, you’re welcome. Jerfrederick Douglas is everything about customer service.”

CAMERON: “Oh yep, that’s what I tell everyone.”

NICK: And the bartender turns and walks away. He sets the glass down and starts rooting in a cabinet for another one.

And as you’re sitting there, the thin woman from before slides her way back over to you and says, “So you’re a friend of Jerfrederick. You don’t look like a regular here. What brings you by?”

CAMERON: I’m just stopping through. Getting some work done on my ship.

NICK: You see that her hand is sitting comfortably on her hip, right by the blaster. “Really? You know, most people don’t come to the Leaning Eagle just when they’re waiting for maintenance. You’ve come a long way from the ship depot.”

CAMERON: “Like you’ve mentioned, I’m a friend of Jerfrederick’s.”

NICK: “Yeah.”

CAMERON: “So it’s worth it for this.” I hold up my very sparkly flower glass and take another sip.

NICK: “I mean, the sparkling stars are good. I don’t know if I’d come all this way.” And Jerfrederick looks down the bar at her and kind of glares at her. She gets the message and kind of backs off a little bit.

CAMERON: “You know, it’s the company, too. It’s always just so pleasant here.”

NICK: “Oh, I know exactly what you mean.” And you her hand wrap pretty firmly around the grip of her blaster and then she looks pointedly at a sign that says “No shooting” on the back wall in shining neon.

CAMERON: Karma just kind of looks her up and down and it’s not as noticeable as it would be for someone with pupils since she just has the expansive, black galaxy eyes. So she moves her head a little bit more than one would normally to look her up and down. And then just kind of looks at herself very pointedly as she does not have a weapon. Kind of to make it to appear she does not need one. And does not look intimidated and takes another sip of her drink.

NICK: She seems pretty nonplussed, but knowing the laws of where you’re at, she backs down a little bit. She goes back to her corner of the bar away from you and motions at Gerfrederick and says, “I’ll have a sparkling star but make it a double.” And he rolls his eyes and pulls out of all the drinks that goes into this and starts making the drink.

So after a while of you sitting around. You probably get through half of your drink.

CAMERON: I am sipping slowly as I do not want it to affect me.

NICK: Yeah. Well, a sparkling star, half of the ingredients are stims so you’re not to the point where you can see sounds.

CAMERON: [snickers]

NICK: But it definitely gets your heart racing. I wonder how many hearts Nautolans have. Like seven?

CAMERON: I believe only one, but I don’t know if they have ears.

NICK: I don’t think they do.

CAMERON: So seeing sound, I don’t know if that’s any different than how I normally experience life.

NICK: I think they’re like Togrutas where they have the like vibration sensors.

Felton Mox pushes through the defunct door and enters the Leaning Eagle. He’s a bulky Selonian. Selonians are like otter-looking aliens. Imagine like furry, ottery type people. He has a bit of a belly and hitches up his belt around his sagging waist as he walks into the bar. He goes to a table towards the back and sits facing the door. He glares at the amorous couple in the corner until they get uncomfortable and leave. After that, he seems to relax a bit. He continually fidgets and sweeps the room. You can feel his eyes linger on you before he goes back to his observations. What do you do?

CAMERON: When I feel his eyes lingering, I shift slightly so I stick my hip out more.

NICK: Yeah, you can feel the temperature of the room go up a couple of degrees.

CAMERON: Lovely.

NICK: You’re working it.

So, the mark is in the bar. Whatcha doing?

CAMERON: Did he look armed as he walked past?

NICK: Oh, yeah, he has a heavy blaster on his waist as well. A big, old honking pistol. As he’s fidgeting, he pulls out a blaster power pack and sets it on the table and starts idly flicking it so it spins on the table.

CAMERON: Have I noticed a difference in the curly-haired woman’s behavior since he walked in?

NICK: Well, roll me a check. Roll me a Perception check. This’ll be probably red and purple.

CAMERON: Red and purple. I am pretty cunning so… Oh. Oh my goodness gracious!

NICK: That’s very interesting.

CAMERON: Fascinating. Alright, so I have two advantages and a triumph and a despair.

NICK: Great. Awesome.

CAMERON: The success and the failure cancel out.

NICK: Yeah. That sounds really good. So I’m gonna take just a second in case anyone who’s listening to this hasn’t played Star Wars: Edge of the Empire before. There’s a custom set of dice. There are green dice and yellow dice for skills, for your abilities, so they have advantages and successes on them. And there are purple die and red die which are bad things so they have failures and threats.

CAMERON: Threats.

NICK: Yes, threats, thank you. Threats on them. Then there are blue and black die for like boosts and minuses, but basically what you’re trying to do is you build a pool of dice based on your skills and what the situation is. And they cancel each other out and whatever you have left is either success or failures, threats or advantages, so you can fail something if you get failures, but you can get advantages, so you can fail what you’re trying to do, but find something else extra.

Then on top of that if you are using yellow and red dice, you can get super good successes or failures which are called triumphs and despairs, which sort of operate outside of everything else. And they have like extra super good effects.

So that’s a very interesting roll.

CAMERON: But I fail triumphantly and despairingly.

NICK: So you can’t tell if—man, you rolled dice weird.

CAMERON: [laughter] I know. What happened?

NICK: So you can’t tell if she’s changed at all. She seems to just be sitting there, drinking a drink, making small talk with Gerfrederick. The advantages you can see that Felton Mox has more than just his heavy blaster. He also has his vibroknife that’s under the table. You see it’s sticking out of the boot.

Is there something you want the triumph to be for?

CAMERON: I’m trying to think of something.

NICK: I’ve got the triumph. Don’t worry about it. I’ve got the despair, too, so we’ll go from there. But yeah, you can’t tell with her what’s going on.

So you look at curly hair lady and she appears to be talking to Gerfrederick and doing her own thing. And you feel, even though you were pretty careful with drinking the drink, Gerfrederick seems to have put a lot more into it than he normally would because he likes you and you’re feeling a little light-headed. It’s a little bit harder to focus than usual.

CAMERON: Great. I set my drink down and kind of push it away from me a little bit. “Alright.” I’m kind of leaning on the side of the bar to make the side view very appealing. And while pretending to be totally disinterested, just keep like flashing looks at Felton. I’m just like in the way that it looks like I don’t want to get caught looking at him. But then if he does notice, I look down quickly. What color would I blush? I’m going to blush a little darker green.

NICK: Yeah, I think that works.

Felton notices what you’re doing and eventually, he pulls out a datapad and he starts tapping away at it. And a little while later, a little indicator lights up under the bar and you can see from Jerfrederick. He walks over and he presses some buttons and he looks down, shrugs, and walks over to Felton. And you see them whispering for a little bit. Jerfrederick doesn’t bother to cover his mouth or anything so you pick out the words “Lady,” and “Nautolan,” and “Drink,” and “Lucky,” and Jerfrederick just like keeps trying to get him to back off. Saying it’s whatever. He finally throws up his hands in mock despair—he’s not a great actor—throws up his hands in mock despair. And walks back behind the bar and starts mixing a drink. This is a half sparkling star, so it’s only like two kinds of alcohol and some fizzy water. It’s not nearly as fancy. And it’s in a tumbler.

CAMERON: It’d have to be a falling star.

NICK: Ooh.

CAMERON: Ooh, yeah, because it’s less sparkly.

NICK: Yes, that’s better.

CAMERON: A lot more alcohol, though.

NICK: Yes, the falling star is just straight space vodka and some sparkling water and they drop a cherry in it that sinks to the bottom. And when it does, the syrup kind of streams off it and leaves a cool streak through the very clear glass. And he sets it down gently in front of you so as not to mess up the contrail, as it’s known in drinking circles.

He says, “The gentleman over there wanted me to make you a drink. And asks if you would join him.”

CAMERON: I look at Gerfrederick while he’s talking to me then glance down at the drink. Blush again. And kind of like side-eye in a flirtation way, not like in a judging way, just kind of looking out, sigh like “Aw,” over at Felton’s table. And then just kind of like nod toward Gerfrederick, as if we’re not friends. I’m just accepting a drink from this random bartender that I don’t know.

NICK: He goes back to polishing a glass with a dirty rag and just nods at you and turns away, but you can see him watching you in the mirror behind the back of the bar.

CAMERON: I’m going to pick up the drink and saunter over to Mr. Felton’s table.

NICK: OK. As you get to the table, he stretches back and puts his arm on the back of the chair. You can see that he’s pretty comfortable, spread out, but he looks a little wary of you, but not in a way that it seems like he’s threatened by you, just like he’s not sure how this is going to go.

He says, “Well, couldn’t help but notice you’re here in my bar. It’s my favorite place. I know everyone who stays here.”

CAMERON: “Yeah, I’m just stopping through.”

NICK: “What brings you to Coronet?”

CAMERON: “Visiting family, then had some ship problems. My ship’s in the yard right now, getting repaired. One of the yard workers recommended this place. It was kind of a trek, but drinks are very good. And I’m liking the company so far.”

NICK: He like leans back and you can see him puff up and stretch his shoulders. He’s like, “Well, most of the scum and villainy around here aren’t much to talk to, but I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, sweetness.”

Roll me a Deception check, because you’re lying to this dude.

CAMERON: [laughs] Noo. Oh dear, I don’t have Deception skills.

NICK: Uh-oh.

CAMERON: Whoops! What’s the difficulty?

NICK: It’s average, but you have a blue die and a black die. The black die’s because you’re kind of drunk and the blue die is for reasons you can probably get out of him eventually.

CAMERON: Reasons.

NICK: Yes!

CAMERON: He’s got a thing for tentacles.

NICK: Uh…

CAMERON: I mean, what guy doesn’t?

TOGETHER: What guy doesn’t have a thing for tentacles?

CAMERON: Exactly! I succeed with an advantage.

NICK: Nice! No problems there.

He nods to himself. He nods to you. And he takes a swig of a Corellian whiskey and he kind of looks down for a little bit and says, “Well, I mean I’ve had some bad experiences with Nautolans before. But I sure hope you’ll join me.” He pats at the chair next to him.

CAMERON:  Important question: is this a booth? Or is this a normal table?

NICK: I’ve said chair twice so–

CAMERON: Okay.

NICK: It’s a table. It’s back against the wall so it’s wall, chair with him in it, small round table, and there’s a chair next to him and two chairs on the opposite side of the round table.

CAMERON: I’m-a go and sit next to him

NICK: As he wanted.

CAMERON: Yes, that is the chair that he patted.

NICK: Uh-huh.

CAMERON: I walk over and slide into the chair. Set my drink down. And I’m not going to drink it because I’m learning things again.

[both laugh]

It’s been a while since I’ve had drinks while on the job. Normally, I don’t like to show my boys that it’s an okay thing to do. Because you need to be responsible. Still getting back into the swing of things.

However, I am going to reach into the glass and fish the cherry out. Which I assume still has the stem on it.

NICK: Oh yeah.

CAMERON: I’m just going to put that into my mouth and eat that.

NICK:  OK.

CAMERON:  And eat that. And just kind of play with the stem.

NICK: OK, are you like trying to tie a knot with it?

CAMERON: No, I’m more using it to accentuate my lips, not using it in a look-how-skilled-my-tongue-is-type of way.

NICK: Great. That’s good. He looked like he was about to go into a speech about how cool he was and what a top player he is and he gets very distracted and just kind of ends up trailing off. Starts with, “Well, you know, in this city, I’m a pretty big… deal… and… you know. Rancors… and…”

CAMERON: “Rancors? Fascinating.”

NICK: “What? Yeah. Oh yeah! They call me the Rancor of Cor—oh stupid! Why did I…? Gah!”

He’s pretty–

CAMERON: I giggle adorably.

NICK: He kind of smiles to himself, but he still looks pretty concerned with how this is going. It isn’t going great. He doesn’t know what to do at this point.

CAMERON: Then I’m going to drop this stem back into my cup but having removed the cherry, it looks like I’ve drank some of it.

NICK: Mhmm.

CAMERON: Because the liquid drops.

NICK: Mhmm,

CAMERON: That was my goal.

NICK: Great! So what’s your plan for this guy?

CAMERON: So I’m trying to get him comfortable with me through listening to his inane conversation and saying things like, “Rancor! Fascinating,” which always works with the men.

TOGETHER: Whether they’re talking about rancors or not.

CAMERON: Exactly! Like, “I hear you’re called the rancor.” It just always works.

NICK: Rancor? Fascinating.

CAMERON: Basic goal: trying to get him to kind of come back towards the table. Not be thinking about his weaponry at all anymore. Just very focused on me and how attractive I am and how much he wants this to work.

NICK: Great, so roll me a Charm check to make friends with the jerk drug dealer.

CAMERON: What is the difficulty?

NICK: Average and you can have a blue die because you have described the situation very well. Your Charm’s only a two?

CAMERON: Yeah! I’m not charming. I do not have the Charm skill and my Presence is a two.

NICK: Oh OK.

CAMERON: Nope. I fail with two advantages.

NICK: OK, so the advantages are he’s pretty comfortable with you but not in the way that you want. So he’s getting kind of like aggressively flirtatious. He keeps like accidentally brushing your leg with his hands and keeps leaning in closer. You realize he’s definitely pre-gamed before this. He’s pretty drunk and he’s just getting more and more up in your personal space talking to you. And so you keep trying to engage his interest and get him to be kind of self-indulgent and rather than talking about himself or kind of like relaxing, he’s instead just making it all about and getting all up in your business.

CAMERON: Alright, so I would like to, at this time, take a look around the bar and see if anyone beside Gerfrederick—since Gerfrederick knows that Felton is my mark—look to see if anyone else is paying particularly close attention to us at our table.

NICK: Sure, go ahead and roll a Perception. I need you to do it twice. Once at average and once at a red and two purples.

CAMERON: OK.

NICK: So once with a red and once without a red.

CAMERON: Doing the red first. Alright, so I succeed. I have two successes but three threats.

NICK: Two successes but three threats. So you notice the drunk man at the bar with the beard has been looking through his fingers at you this entire time so he’s not unconscious. He’s just been sitting there very quietly. He hasn’t had anything to drink since you got there. He hasn’t sipped the drink next to him. The threats are he saw you see him, so he knows that you know that you know, you know?

CAMERON: Alright, now that he is kind of like looking up slightly, do I recognize him at all?

NICK: I don’t know. Do you? He’s a bounty hunter.

CAMERON: Then yes.

NICK: Yeah, so you’ve probably heard of him. This is Fozzik Squee.

CAMERON: Squee?

NICK: Squee. He’s kind of a low-ranking bounty hunter. A 4,000-credit bounty would be pretty much upper end for him. He especially likes working around Corellia. He used to be a member of CorSec, but got kicked out for being an alcoholic and overly violent with interrogations. So you’re kind of on his home turf.

CAMERON: Alright. I’m not particularly concerned as my skills are obviously superior.

NICK: For the non-red.

CAMERON: Two advantages.

NICK: Yeah, so your alcohol is wearing off.

CAMERON: Well good.

NICK: And you feel a little more with it. Really ready. Everyone else just seems to be just bar-goers.

CAMERON: Cool.

NICK: Hanging out on a Thursday.

CAMERON: Great bar crowds on Thursdays.

NICK: Yeah, Thursday. It’s like the new Friday.

CAMERON: Yup. Alright, having noticed that Felton’s not small and likely would be difficult for me to surreptitiously carry out of this bar full of people, I’m going to re-engage in whatever conversation he’s been having while I’ve been looking around the room.

NICK: “Well, like I was saying, I really do enjoy jizz music.”

CAMERON: “Oh yes.”

NICK: “I really think it speaks to the Corellian underculture. If you take a good bump of some impact, you can really get into the groove.”

CAMERON: “Oh, that’s amazing. I’ve never considered using impact specifically with jizz music.”

NICK: “Yeah, jizz and impact go hand-in-hand.”

CAMERON: “So do you have any music we can listen to? Maybe back at your place?”

NICK: “Uhh…” So as you said that, you can see him looking at his datapad. He looks kind of disappointed. “Well, no, I don’t have any—oh! At—yeah! We could do that. We could make that happen.”

And he stands up immediately and drops some credits on the table and kind of does a half-hearted salute to Gerfrederick. And starts to lead you out of the bar. He puts his hand around your waist and as you walk, it starts to slip a little bit lower. A little bit lower. And you can see he kind of looks up at you.

CAMERON: Oh, he’s shorter than me?

NICK: Yeah, he’s shorter than you. Well, how tall are you? I imagined you were like six foot.

CAMERON: I don’t think so. I think I’m probably–

NICK: What’s average Nautolan height?

CAMERON: See, I was looking and it actually doesn’t say.

NICK: How tall would you like to be?

CAMERON: I would like to be like, let’s say 5’7”. A lot of my height currently is my head tentacle up-do.

NICK: Right. So he doesn’t look up at you then. He looks down at you. He’s like 5’9”, 5’10”. He’s not that tall.

CAMERON: And I’m not wearing heels. I’m wearing sturdy, sensible shoes.

NICK: Sturdy, sensible shoes.

CAMERON: But my dress is long enough that you can’t tell. So it doesn’t throw off the outfit.

NICK: So you’re wearing like Tom’s or something.

CAMERON: I mean, I’m probably like wearing my boots.

NICK: You’re wearing your boots.

CAMERON: Yeah.

NICK: When you walk, do they clomp?

CAMERON: No!

NICK: Oh OK. That’d be funny.

CAMERON: I’m going to invoke my stealth skills. They do not clomp when I walk!

NICK: OK. He squeezes your butt on the way out. Do you do anything?

CAMERON: No.

NICK: OK. You get to the door. You push your way through the door. If you glance behind you, you notice that Fezzik Squee drops a credit chip on the counter and stands up and turns to go. He grabs a big coat and wraps it around himself. Puts on a floppy misshapen hat. Starts to stumble his way out of the bar.

CAMERON: Alright, so seeing this, I speed us up slightly. Kind of giggle and fall into the side of the building once we’re out the door and walked a little bit down.

NICK: Let me describe what outside the bar looks like. As you exit the bar, you look into the Corellian night. You’re in Corellia’s capital city of Coronet. It’s famous for its sweeping spires and its capital building as well as its galactic-class university. What is less known is the seedy underbelly of the city including a literal underbelly. A tunnel system carved under the streets by the Selonian thousands of years ago.

It’s cold outside. A stiff wind rustles your head tails and your breath comes out in a cloud. Small flurries of snow fall around you. The street is wet and glistening from the street lights above. The small alleyway that leads to the bar leads to busy streets in either direction. There’s another smaller alley off to your left, going around the back of the bar. There’s also a heavy grating against one of the walls, disappearing into a tunnel.

As you collect yourself, you have probably a few seconds before something happens.

CAMERON: Cool, so I’m aiming towards the side alley that goes to the back of the bar, pretending to be more drunk than I actually am, so giggling and just that, “This is just so spontaneous that we’re actually doing this. It’s hilarious.” Then I kind of falls sideways into the alley so that he has his hand on my butt, he’s kind of drawn with me.

NICK: “Whoa!”

CAMERON: Then I want to slam his head against the wall.

NICK: OK. [laughs] Roll me a Brawl attack and have a blue die because this guy is super not expecting to get punched in the head.

CAMERON: So Melee difficulty is always two. Is Brawl always two as well?

NICK: Melee range attacks.

CAMERON: Hey!

NICK: Oh geez.

CAMERON: Alright, so that is four successes and three advantages.

NICK: Cool. Were you trying to knock him out?

CAMERON: Yeah, so my goal was to knock him out so that I can pull in through the back door of the bar.

NICK: Oh you’re trying to re-enter the bar.

CAMERON: Through the back, because that’s where I have my gear.

NICK: Oh OK.

CAMERON: Because I’m in a formal gown right now. Like I don’t have my gun with me or anything. Though I suppose I have his gun right now. But I’d rather have be warmer.

NICK: OK. So you start dragging him to the back of the bar. You hear some footsteps coming out of the bar, kind of stumbling, then you hear someone say, “Shit!” under their breath, and start looking around.

You just barely make it around the corner before they get to you. Felton is very heavy and as you’re dragging him through the wet streets, he’s starting to soak up some water and he’s getting heavier.

As you get around the corner, the supply entrance is open already. It’s the backroom of the bar. It’s probably 10 feet by 10 feet. There’s some mop buckets. There’s some crates and cleaning supplies, a couple of cases of alcohol and a small metal briefcase that when you open it up has all of your gear in it.

So describe what Karma’s action gear is.

CAMERON: She pushes a button on one of her tentacle bangles and all of her tentacles just drop down. They fall to a little bit above the small of her back and are kind of in layers with the ones starting at the top of her forehead being slightly shorter as they go down the back than the ones that start at the base of her neck.

She slips into a mostly black suit of body armor that has gold accents on it. And then pulls on a red kind of headband/bandanna-type scarf that pulls up over her forehead and it has a small chain of charms hanging down on it that ends in the Gemini zodiac symbol. Then kind of just like shakes her tentacles out so they fall with one coming over each side of her shoulders and the others just kind of like falling behind her. Then reaches back in the case and pulls out a blaster carbine.

NICK: Alright. Nice rifle.

CAMERON: And hooks it on her back.

NICK: Great. So you’re armed. You’re ready to go. You’ve got an unconscious bounty with you.

CAMERON: So I’m going to remove his vibroknife from his boot. I saw it earlier. I’m going to attach it to my belt. Then also take his blaster, attach it to my hip.

NICK: Alright.

CAMERON: Then put a pair of binders on his wrists.

NICK: Are his wrists in front of him or behind him?

CAMERON: We’re going to put his wrists—we’ll do behind him.

NICK: Behind him?

CAMERON: Mhmm.

NICK: OK. So are you dragging him? Carrying him? What are you doing?

CAMERON: So I put my dress back into the suitcase folded nicely. Close the clasp. I’ll come back for it. Then I’ll attempt to hoist him up. And we’ll see how it goes.

NICK: You want to make me an Athletics check?

CAMERON: An Athletics check.

NICK: And actually before you do that, the door behind you bursts open and a bearded, alcoholic smelling man in a big coat and floppy misshapen hat—you may recognize him as Fezzik Squee.

CAMERON: Squee!

NICK: Steps into the room. He has his hand in the pocket of his coat, but you can see something pressing the inside of the pocket, probably like a gun. And he says, “Now you should probably be leaving my bounty alone.”

CAMERON: Because I’m a bounty hunter and because my marks are worth more alive than dead, my gun is already set to stun.

NICK: OK.

CAMERON: And so I flick around and then realize my gun is on my back and I’m going to shoot him with Felton’s gun and we’re going to see if it’s set to stun or not. [chuckles]

NICK: Alright, roll me a Cool check with a red and a purple difficulty to see if you can quick draw on this guy before he can quick draw on you. You can have a blue die because he’s kind of drunk.

CAMERON: Cool. I’m not very cool. Hey! But it works. Two successes and two threats.

NICK: OK, so you draw on him and you shoot him and you plug him right in the chest. One of your threats is that the gun was not set to stun and you punch a pretty good size hole in his chest. It doesn’t kill him, but he’s not in great shape. He falls to the ground.

The other threat is that he manages to get a shot off and he is also not set to stun. And he hits Felton in the shoulder.

CAMERON: Uh-oh.

NICK: And you feel like you were—you were still holding him with one hand when you started to draw, and you feel the bolt go through him and he kind of shudders with it. That’s probably not good. He’s starting to bleed a little. It’s not great.

CAMERON: Rough buddy.

NICK: He moans a little. “Uhhh!”

CAMERON: Kay, so did–

NICK: So, yeah, you shoot Fezzik Squee. He drops. You hit him in the gun shoulder and he drops the gun and he’s clutching at his shoulder. And he says, “Now, you may think you’re gonna get away with this, but I can tell you my partners are coming and this bounty than you are, lady.”

CAMERON: “Sorry, buddy, I was really hoping it was set to stun.” And I switch it to stun and I shoot him again.

NICK: “Wait, I got a–” [impact sound effect] He falls unconscious.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: He is out. So you’ve got your unconscious and bleeding mark and your unconscious and bleed competition.

CAMERON: Cool. I’m going to go over to Squee and grab his shirt and tear a piece off of his shirt. And just wrap Felton’s shoulder to try and put some compression on it so he doesn’t bleed out before I get him.

NICK: You want to make me an easy Medicine check.

CAMERON: An easy Medicine check.

NICK: To see if you can do a bandage correctly.

CAMERON: Sure. I’m reasonably intelligent. Uh, yeah. So a success and an advantage.

NICK: OK. Yeah, you wrap up his shoulder and things seem hunky-dory.

CAMERON: “Accidents like this happen all the time. Sorry.”

NICK: He’s half-conscious, but he’s not gonna put up a fight or anything.

CAMERON: Alright, now his blaster—does he have a blaster carbine as well?

NICK: Who?

CAMERON: Felton. You said he had a heavy rifle.

NICK: No, a heavy pistol.

CAMERON: A heavy pistol? OK.

NICK: Squee had like a light blaster in his pocket.

CAMERON: OK.

NICK: Felton had a heavy blaster pistol on his waist that you already took from him.

CAMERON: Cool.

NICK: And then you shot Squee with.

CAMERON: Cool. Alright.

NICK: Yes.

CAMERON: Cool. I’m going to remove Squee’s pistol from him as well. I’m not going to take it, however, because that’s just rude. You don’t take other bounty hunters’ guns. But I’m going to hide it in a crate.

NICK: OK.

CAMERON: So he’s not going to know where it is, but I didn’t take it.

NICK: Yeah, fair enough.

CAMERON:  Then hoist Felton up again and start trudging. And supporting him in a way that looks like I’m trying to help a drunk friend down the streets.

NICK:  OK. So his legs are dragging more than they’re walking. He’s very out of it, but you can kind of keep him pointed upright. He mumbles some things to himself. “Price of impact down 4%.”

CAMERON:  “Oh dear.”

NICK:  “Rancor of Coronet.”

CAMERON:  “Rancors? Fascinating!”

Karma is continuing whatever conversation he is having so it looks like they’re just having a conversation while they walk down the street even though it’s mostly nonsense. She does learn a lot about the impact trade.

NICK:  Yeah. I mean, mostly in grumble. It’s more about the money side of things than about how you sell or buy.

CAMERON: Oh yeah. But if I had impact to sell, I’d know how much to sell it for.

NICK:  Yup! Absolutely.

CAMERON: But I don’t.

NICK:  This guy was clearly an economics minor at Coronet University.

So your ship is parked at a small shipyard built a few kilometers from here. And the CorSec facility where the bounty is supposed to be is about five kilometers in the opposite direction of your ship. Where do you want to go?

CAMERON: We’re going to head towards the bounty office.

NICK:  OK. So as you head towards one of the busier streets.

CAMERON: Because I think I lied. I don’t think I have a ship.

NICK:  Oh.

CAMERON: I took a space-Uber. [laughs] So I don’t have a ship here.

NICK:  You don’t have a ship.

CAMERON: No.

NICK:  I figured you had like a rental.

CAMERON: I’ve just been using space-Uber or space-Lyft depending on which one will come get me faster.

NICK: Faster response time.

CAMERON: Yeah, and which one’s cheaper.

NICK: OK. So as you start heading toward the front of the bar, you are blinded by a spotlight overhead. Speeders have been hovering 20 meters above you and you hear an audio speaker click on with a hiss of static. “Toss down your bounty and you can go!”

CAMERON:  I kind of just look up.

NICK: As you’re squinting into the light, you hear a [blaster cocking and charging sound effect] of a blaster being charged.

CAMERON: I’m going to—are we on one of the main roads? Still in the alley?

NICK:  You’re still in the alley that leads to the bar. You’re about 100 meters that leads to the busy streets.

CAMERON: OK. Are there any other doorways off of this alley besides the one that leads into the Eagle?

NICK:  So there’s the doorway into the Eagle. There’s that back tunnel where you left. There is a door probably 50 meters down that you passed on the way in. It was boarded up. It looked abandoned. Then there’s the passageway, the grated gate that leads into the tunnels below the city.

CAMERON: I’m going to kind of throw Felton down in the direction of the grate. And then, like you do in Star Wars, I’m going to shoot the grate out. [chuckles] Because that’s how grates work with blaster shots.

NICK:  Yeah!

CAMERON:  Yeah.

NICK:  Yeah!

CAMERON: And I’m going to dive in first. And then I’ll pull him in behind me.

NICK: So you throw him at the grate. Shoot the grate. Pew pew!

CAMERON: Pew pew!

NICK: And then pull him in behind you.

CAMERON: Yeah.

NICK: Make me a ranged attack to shoot the grate and we’ll just blend it altogether into that.

CAMERON: Three successes and a threat.

NICK:  So you shoot the grate. It blows open. It won’t be any sort of impediment at all. But the enemy is going to get a shot off on you. I need you to roll me a two-green attack against two purple and a black. Because you’re moving moving and it’s hard to see and they don’t want to shoot Felton.

They fail the shit out of that.

CAMERON: Five failures and three advantages.

NICK:  Great. Their gun doesn’t go off at all! You hear a ka-chuk noise and that’s it and you don’t know what that is.

CAMERON: “Ah, forgot to charge your battery pack.”

NICK:  Yeah, that’s what happened. So you dive in with Felton into the tunnel. And behind you with the loud speaker, you hear, “What? How they got into the sewer tunnel? Don’t know what we’re gonna do about that! Ah the speaker’s still on? This is—Land the ship! No, not over there. Land the ship.”

And you can hear the ship flying around behind and the crunch of something grazing the side and some more cursing as it clicks off with the feedback loop. You’ve got a little bit of a head start.

CAMERON: OK. I’m going to pull up Felton again.

NICK:  Let me describe the tunnel for you.

CAMERON: I pull him up and look around the tunnels. What do I see?

NICK:  There you go. Yeah, so the tunnels on the inside of the gate are stone tunnels but not like cobbled or paved. It’s like carved through bedrock. There’s a probably 10-to-20-foot wide in different places river flowing through it with about a three-foot wide walkway on either side that you can walk on. The ground is slick and muddy. A little treacherous to step on. The water doesn’t look dirty, but it doesn’t look inviting either. It’s like that black, inky, oily look that you get from water with no light on it because it’s very dark in here. Even if you shine one of your glow lights on it, it still just like kind of absorbs the light. But it is flowing and flowing away from you.

The tunnel goes forward for about 20 meters then forks left and right. And you know from your time in the city before that it pretty much grates everywhere. You can get to pretty much anywhere from these tunnels. So whatcha gonna do?

CAMERON: Based on my knowledge of where the drop point is above me, I’m going to head in the direction toward it underground, pulling Felton along.

NICK: OK.

CAMERON: But I’ve moved my heavy blaster and I’m holding it. It is set to stun.

NICK:  OK. So as you’re pulling Felton along, he starts to kind of regain his feet and he’s going with you. He struggles against you and you press your gun into him so he doesn’t do that.

CAMERON: “Hey, buddy, there’s people after you that are trying to kill you. If you could come with me please, that would be greatly appreciated.”

NICK:  “I mean, that’s nice of you and all, but it didn’t really feel like it when you shot me.”

CAMERON: “First of all, that was not me. That was Squee. He is a kriffing terrible bounty hunter.”

NICK:  “I mean, good enough to get the drop on you.”

CAMERON: “But he shot you.”

NICK:  “Yeah, but…”

CAMERON: “He missed me so I mean, there’s the skill right there. You’re his mark. You’re probably not who he was trying to shoot.”

NICK:  “Why are you even doing this? I never hurt anyone.”

CAMERON: “No, I know. But see, so…” We’re still walking down.

NICK:  Yeah, as you’re walking.

CAMERON: “See, so recently, my kids set out on their own, so I’m kind of taking on you lower bounties to get back to into the swing of things and you just happen to be one of the unlucky ones who had me come find you.”

NICK:  “Wait, so you’re a bounty hunter too?”

CAMERON: “No.”

NICK:  “Oh. You implied that you’re a bounty hunter just now.”

CAMERON: “Well, I’m trying to be one.”

NICK: “What do you mean ‘try?’ OK. I’m very confused. I’ve lost a lot of blood.”

CAMERON: “Yeah, you’re adorable when you’re confused.”

NICK:  “Well that’s nice of you. Wait—wait!”

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK:  “I’m trying to get through… so where are you taking me right now?”

CAMERON: “I don’t really understand these tunnels at all. So we’re going this way.”

NICK:  “Oh…”

CAMERON: “Because people who were shooting at you are behind us.”

NICK:  OK. Roll me a Deception. You can have a blue die because he’s mildly convinced.

CAMERON: What’s the average?

NICK:  He’s not a smart man. Wow, Cameron.

CAMERON: I don’t roll good. It’s a failure and three advantages.

NICK:  “So you’re clearly lying to me right now, but I have a huge headache and you maybe haven’t shot me.”

CAMERON: “Your shoulder probably hurts, too, huh?”

NICK:  “I mean, yeah. I think the headache is like a tension headache from the shoulder pain.”

CAMERON: “Ooh, yeah, it could just go like right up your neck. I can see how that’d be really uncomfortable.”

NICK:  “I mean, if you want to rub my neck a little bit, maybe it would help relieve it.”

CAMERON: “Honestly, at this point, I think I would just do more damage because you got shot really high up on your shoulder so it’s basically your neck. So I think that would just hurt worse actually.”

NICK:  “I got shot in the neck?!” And he starts to panic a little bit.

CAMERON: “Buddy. Buddy. It’s fine. I tied it up. Still technically shoulder classification but it’s high up there and all those muscles  connect, you know. Or I assume they do for you.”

NICK:  “I’m a Selonian. We’re like otter people.”

CAMERON: “Yep.”

NICK:  [giggles]

CAMERON: “But you know, I haven’t—not many of my course back on Glee Anselm covered all anatomy so it was mostly just Nautolan. So I’m guessing if you’re set up like me, all those muscles connect up there.”

NICK:  “Mostly about head-tails, huh?”

CAMERON: “Oh, yeah! Years of study about head-tails.”

NICK:  “Head-tails. Like a year per tail.”

CAMERON: “And really—that’s like—yeah, so 14 years. So fun fact: 14. It’s also really the Twi’leks who prefer to call them head-tails. For Nautolans, you can call them tentacles or tendrils. It’s all really the same.”

NICK:  “Oh.”

CAMERON: “I don’t know why Twi’leks have such an issue with tentacles. I think it sounds way more fascinating.”

NICK:  “Tentacles. You know, I’m kind of into tentacles.”

CAMERON: “You know most guys are!” We continue down the hallway. [laughs]

NICK:  Can you roll me—good point, shit. Can you roll me a Perception check please?

CAMERON: Yeah. Difficulty?

NICK:  Hard. With a black die. Because you’ve been talking.

CAMERON: Oh my goodness gracious.

NICK:  You’re bad at this game.

CAMERON: That’s just one failure.

NICK: One failure.

CAMERON: Everything else cancels out.

NICK: Alright. So as you’re limping down the corridor, you’ve gone several kilometers. You figure you’re pretty close to the coordinates that the bar-friender—bar-friender? That the bartender Gerfrederick gave you.

CAMERON: That’s what you call friendly bartenders: bar-frienders.

NICK: Yeah, bar-frienders. It’s like Tinder but for people who just want to hang out in bars.

CAMERON: And you want a really good bartender to listen to you.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Bar-friender.

NICK: So you and Felton are limping down the corridor. Water is sliding by silently. You’re talking about tentacles. Feeling like you’re really bonding with this guy.

CAMERON: Um…

NICK: He feels like he’s really bonding with you.

CAMERON: There you go.

NICK: And you feel the familiar sensation of a blaster nuzzle being pressed into your back. And Felton lolls his head back over your shoulders and you hear him say, “Well, that was pretty sneaky. I’m impressed. I’m just gonna sit here.”

And he leans against the wall and slides down and you see a streak of blood go up behind him. He’s been bleeding a little more than you figured he would. The bandage didn’t quite seal all the way because he’s furry so it kind of wicked the blood away and kept the flow going.

CAMERON: Yeah, not having any hair, I did not take that into account.

NICK:  Yeah, your mark is sitting on the ground, slowly bleeding, and there’s a blaster pressed into your back. And you hear a familiar voice saying, “Well thank you for getting him most of the way here. But I think I’m gonna go ahead and take over if you don’t mind.”

CAMERON: “Oh, hello.”

NICK:  “Hi. I’m gonna need you to cross to the other side of the tunnel please so I don’t have to shoot you.”

CAMERON: “Like across—across which direction? The water?”

NICK:  “Across the water to the other wall please.”

CAMERON: “Oh OK.” I step away and walk toward the water. How wide is this water?

NICK:  It’s only like three or four feet here so you can take a step toward the water but you’re pretty much right next to the water already.

CAMERON: Cool, so I take a step towards the water and then prep to jump and then spin and shoot her.

NICK: OK, so that’s going to be a Cool check against a purple and a red.

CAMERON: I should really work on how cool I am.

NICK: It’s really useful for this kind of situation.

CAMERON: Yeah. I am quite vigilant.

NICK:  Nope.

CAMERON: Nope and two threats.

NICK: So she’s going to get to shoot you first, so it’s two green and a yellow versus average. Oh, she—no, she got it.

CAMERON: Two successes.

NICK: Two successes. So you’re going to take 6 stun damage as she plugs you in the back.

CAMERON: So I take 1 stun damage.

NICK: Oh man, you’re slick.

CAMERON: I soak 5.

NICK: Wow! You are stronk.

CAMERON: I am stronk.

NICK: So you whip around, your head-tentacles splaying out really cool in bullet time, and you go for your gun and she sees this—

CAMERON: I already have my gun in my hand.

NICK: Oh, well you whip and you start to—

CAMERON: Because I was holding it to him.

NICK: Ah! And you start to point it at her. And you see her eyes widen and she pulls the trigger. It hits you in the shoulder but you’re combat suit absorbs most of it. It stings a little. And you can do a thing.

CAMERON: I’m-a shoot her.

NICK: OK.

CAMERON: That is three successes and an advantage. So that is 12 stun damage.

NICK: OK. Well that hits her in the chest. She’s wearing the same kind of undercover operator clothes that she was wearing in the bar. It’s like a leather jacket. Underneath, you see there’s some like ablative plating so it hits. She staggers back pretty far and she shakes her head, then she lunges at you and tackles you. And you guys both plunge into the river and start to float away. She’s going to try and punch you.

So that’ll be three greens against two purples.

CAMERON: Two greens against three purples?

NICK: Three greens against two purples with a black die because you’re underwater.

So you’re floating through the current. It’s moving a little faster than you expected. She’s got you by the neck of your suit and she’s going to try to punch you in the face.

CAMERON: Nope. Two failures.

NICK: Yeah, so you sink to the bottom. It’s deeper than you would expect. It’s probably like 20 feet deep. You go straight to the bottom because you’re both armed and wearing heavy clothes. And she rears back to punch you, and with surprising speed for a creature that is 20 feet underwater, you just grab her fist and stop it. And just shake your head at her and smile a little bit.

Whatcha gonna do?

CAMERON: I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to sit here and hold onto her because I can breathe underwater, and she can’t.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: So I’m just going to hold her until she stops moving.

NICK: Hoo!

CAMERON: Not dies! Just passes out. And then we’ll all swim back up to the top.

NICK: So do you just have her by the front of her clothes too?

CAMERON: Yep.

NICK: So she punches at you a few more times. It either glances off or you just bat her hands away and after 10 or 15 seconds, she tries to push away from you. And you don’t let go. And she tries to push away from you harder, and you don’t let go. She’s starts kicking against you and swim.

CAMERON: I just smile at her.

NICK: Yeah, she obviously starts panicking and flailing. It only takes about 30 seconds with the amount she’s moving around. She passes out with a “Bloop” of air.

CAMERON: Alright, I grab her and swim up to the top and pop above air.

NICK: Yup. You pop right up.

CAMERON: I kind of toss her onto the side.

NICK: You’ve drifted maybe 10 meters down the river because you were sitting on the bottom. So you pop up. I’m assuming the same side as Felton.

CAMERON: Yep.

NICK: And you toss her onto the side. Felton hasn’t moved. He looks over at you and points with one finger and goes, “Hey! You were under there for a little while.”

CAMERON: “I was.”

NICK: “Hey, I like the way you talk.”

CAMERON: “Water’s kind of my thing if you know what I mean.”

NICK: “I do know what you mean. So are we still headed to my place or what?”

CAMERON: “Oh definitely.” So I’m going to rifle through chicky bird’s pockets.

NICK: OK. You find the heavy blaster she had on her waist. You find ten credits. And you find a data-stick.

CAMERON: Cool. So I’m going to take the data-stick and the credits, and I’m going to toss the blaster into the water because you don’t steal other people’s blasters!

NICK: You just toss them where no one will find them.

CAMERON: Hiding them, though, is fine. She could if she swam down there. It’s heavy. It just sinks to the bottom. It’s going to be right there, if a little bit waterlogged. She’ll need a new battery pack, but it’ll be fine.

She doesn’t have any like stimpacks or anything?

NICK: No. She was traveling pretty light.

CAMERON: I was going to stimpack Felton.

NICK: Well, no, she doesn’t have any.

CAMERON: OK, cool. I saunter back over. Or actually, did she have binders with her?

NICK: Yeah. She had a set of binders.

CAMERON: OK. I’m going to put her in her binders but I’m going to put her hands in front of her so that she can get herself out of it.

NICK: OK.

CAMERON: But just so it slows her down a little bit to try and maneuver around with it. And I’m going to help Felton up to his feet and, “Alright. Come on. Let’s get going.”

NICK: “Back to my place. I feel like our conversation was a lot more intense not that long ago but I can’t really remember why.”

CAMERON: “We were talking about tentacles.”

NICK: “Oh yeah! You know, I’m kind of into tentacles.”

CAMERON: “You know, most guys say that.”

NICK: So you continue down the tunnel. It doesn’t take that much longer to get there. There’s a spiral stone staircase that leads back to the street level. And you find yourself in front of a dark, non-descript building. It’s got no windows. It’s between two much taller spires. Corellia is one of those places that has  the thousand-meter towers that go up crazy high in the Star Wars universe.

But this building is stuck between two of those. The bases are probably 3–400 meter wide each on the big buildings. This building looks like it’s maybe 40 meters wide. It’s low. One story. Just kind of goes back.

If you didn’t see the door and hadn’t been told to report here, you would have expected it to be a generator station or something. There’s an unmarked door that’s basically just a seam in the wall with no labeling on it.

CAMERON: Walk over to it and I rap on the door.

NICK: Clank-clank. A little circular indentation opens up and a robot eye pokes out and looks at you.

CAMERON: “Oh, hello.”

NICK: And it says, “E juta? Ooh-ah-ah-ah.” And it pulls back in. Star Wars references, guys! The best!

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: The best! Anyway, the eye thing looks at you both and then pulls back into the wall and then you hear [thrumming sound effect] and the door slides open.

There’s a stainless steel, sparsely lit hallway leading back into the building.

CAMERON: I kind of hoist Felton up a little bit higher. “Alright, so we just have to pick up my keys before we go.”

NICK: “Oh yeah! I was gonna say, this doesn’t really look like my place. Although, we’re close! We could just go right—we could get your keys later.”

CAMERON: “Well but no, see I want to get there early when they open tomorrow. So if I have them, when I sneakily slip out the door tomorrow morning, then I don’t have to stop here and can just get going.”

NICK: “Right. Makes perfect sense.”

CAMERON: “Yeah.”

NICK: Alright, so you walk in. There’s a—the hallway system branches. But only one of the routes lights. So you follow the lights and you come to another nondescript door. And it slides open. And you find yourself in a warmly wood panel room with a boardroom table and leather chairs. And as you walk in, from an opposite door, this one wood panel and very nice, it slides into the wall, and a silver protocol droid walks through and says, “Ah yes, Mr. Felton. I’ll be taking him if you don’t mind.”

CAMERON: “Do you have your own binders? Because I need these back.”

NICK: “I don’t suspect that Mr. Felton will be a problem.” So the droid touches the binders and they pop up and he hands them to you.

CAMERON: I slide them back up my head-tentacles.

NICK: [laughs] What a great accessory.

CAMERON: Yeah! They’re so useful.

NICK: And the protocol droid says, “Mr. Felton, this way.”

And Felton says, “Hey, I’m just trying to stay with the lady. I feel like we could do a lot with this table.”

And the protocol droid says, “Oh no, that won’t do.” And he pats him on the shoulder and you hear a loud ZAP! And Felton like locks up and the protocol droid basically grabs him from under each elbow and just lifts him slightly off the ground and shuffles him out of the room. And the door slides shut.

So in this room, like I said, there’s a board table and four leather chairs. There’s a decanter of Corellian whiskey and four tumblers with ice cubes already sitting on a runner in the middle of the table. Do you make yourself comfortable? Do you stay standing?

CAMERON:  I just wander around the room looking at the décor. This is a lot of wood. I’m used to spaceships. Not a lot of wood on spaceships so it’s really pretty.

NICK: It’s very pretty but then at the same time, fairly plain. It’s just the paneling. Not a lot of decoration so comfortable, yet utilitarian seems to be how I would describe the room.

CAMERON: I walk around a little bit then go over to one of the chairs and fwomp into it.

NICK: As you fwomp into the chair, it’s very comfortable.

CAMERON: I squeak a little bit because I’m a little wet.

NICK: Yeah. [audibly cringes] Well, you find yourself steaming a little. The room’s pretty warm so you’ve been drying as you walked a little but you’re still a little soggy.

CAMERON: I flick my head-tentacles a little to like dry out between them.

NICK: And as you squeak into the chair, a voice clicks on the intercom system. “Thank you for completing your task so handily. I’m afraid the bounty for Mr. Mox is less than our mutual friend made it out to be. I will transfer the 750 credits to your account, of course. I have no need for them. In exchange, I can offer you something else. A chance at a job—a real job. One that would benefit from someone of your experience. Please wait here until the rest of your team arrives. Thank you.”

And the intercom clicks off, leaving you alone in the board room.

CAMERON: Hmm. I lean back in the chair and cross my legs and say, “I guess Gerfrederick didn’t need the money.”

NICK: Ba-naaa~!

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. Please consider logging into iTunes and giving us a 5 star review. 5 star reviews help new listeners find the show. You can find more about Tabletop Squadron on our website: tabletopsquadron.com, or on our Twitter and Instagram: @tabletop_squad.

The Star Wars: Edge of the Empire role-playing game is property of Fantasy Flight Games and Lucas Books. See you next time.

Scroll to top