Transcript: Episode 10 Sabacc in Business
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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 10:
Sabacc In Business
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
Note – Laura’s character Xianna’fan speaks in an accent. Most of her soft I’s sound like “ee,” and most of her TH’s sound like Z’s. Example: “this and that” = “zees and zat”
CAMERON: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Cameron, not your game master. Every other Thursday our story follows a thief, a bounty hunter, a fringer, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.
Thank you so much to GearedForMusic for leaving us an iTunes review. You saying that listening to us was like hanging out with your funny, nerdy friends in space made us smile. iTunes is actually the reason that I’m giving the intro today instead of Nick, your actual game master. GearedForMusic’s review took us to 13 reviews. When we reach 20, we’ll be releasing a series of flashback episodes that I ran featuring Karma’s twin sons. We brought in two of our best friends to play Jet and Juke Nailo, and we had a ton of fun recording this little side adventure. The best thing about the flashback episodes is that we’ll be releasing them on off weeks, so you’ll get double the Tabletop Squadron in your ears for approximately six weeks. I have the first episode edited and ready to go as soon as we hit that 20th review, and I would love for all of you lovely listeners to make me feel rushed to get the next two done.
A huge thank you to everyone who has left us reviews so far and said nice things about us and the show. The squad appreciates it more than you can possibly know. Anyway, I’ve talked enough. Thanks for reviewing, thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy.
Hi, I’m Lilit and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler. I was going by an old name during this recording and while we have left the audio as originally recorded, I would request that you use my current name when discussing the episode. Thanks!
NICK: Hello, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 10! I’m your host, Nick. Good to have you back! Nothing special.
(long pause, laughter)
HUDSON: Wait, what? Oh, okay. I get it. You can say good to have you back because you’re not referencing it as like we’ve been gone.
NICK: Some people may not know…
NICK: This show releases every two weeks, so we can pretend that we know our listeners and that we’re happy to see them. (laughter) This is going in the god damn episode.
LAURA: We are happy to see our listeners despite this being a purely audio medium.
NICK: Well that’s what the microphones are for. If you look through them you can see, like, ten.
STEVEN: Oh, I see it.
NICK: Yeah. See!
CAMERON: Mine must be broken.
NICK: So, we’re gonna go around the table—
LAURA: Is that why there’s a crystal ball in the middle of the table, so we can astrally view our listener?
NICK: Well, that’s a d1, actually. You roll it if you need a number between one and one.
CAMERON: Hmm. Alright, cool.
HUDSON: The villain from Mighty Morphing Power Rangers left it.
NICK: So, moving on! We’re gonna go around the table and introduce everybody real quick, starting with Steven!
STEVEN: I’m Steven.
NICK: Hi Steven.
STEVEN: I play Sabos the Togruta. Sabos a Togruta? He’s not the only Togruta.
NICK: Good work. Moving on. Cameron!
CAMERON: [through giggles] Hi, I’m Cameron.
NICK: Hi Cameron.
CAMERON: I’m playing Karma the Nautolan bounty hunter.
NICK: Great. And, Hudson!
HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson. I’m playing Tink, the Gigoran slicer who has the career skill of Technician.
NICK: See Steven, they remember specific facts about their character and relate them in a standard way.
STEVEN: Oh. … No, I don’t do that.
NICK: Yeah, obviously. And, Laura!
LAURA: Hi. I’m Laura. I play Xianna, a Twi’lek smuggler.
NICK: We got some experience last time we played, if you could just rattle off what you’ve spent any experience points on. We’ll start with Cameron.
CAMERON: So, for Karma, I bought a talent on my Assassin bounty hunter tree, Quickdraw. Once per round I can draw or holster a weapon or item as an incidental.
NICK: Does it have a limit on what kind of weapon?
NICK: So you could like draw a rocket launcher?
CAMERON: Sure. If I have one. I don’t currently, but…
NICK: Eh, I’ll get you one. Yeah, that’ll be fine.
CAMERON: Maybe we can fix that.
NICK: Let’s go to Steven.
STEVEN: Hi. I, Sabos, the Togruta fringer—
NICK: Hey! Good work.
STEVEN: Yay—spun, spent, did spend, spent, right? Spent 15 points on Rapid Recovery in my fringer tree which allows me, when healing strain after an encounter, to heal one additional strain per rank of Rapid Recovery.
NICK: Okay. So, continue to shoot Sabos. Duly noted.
LAURA: Got it.
CAMERON: Only with stun, though.
NICK: I’ll just—He’ll figure it out.
STEVEN: I haven’t got the crit one yet, sorry.
NICK: Okay. Laura.
LAURA: I am hoarding my points.
NICK: You have spent no points.
LAURA: I have spent no points.
NICK: Saving up for that shiny new talent.
NICK: Okay. Hudson, did you spend any experience points?
HUDSON: I’ve spent zero experience points this time, because I’m saving up for a shiny new talent on my talent tree.
NICK: Okay! How about the Destiny Roll!
CAMERON: Two light side.
STEVEN: Two light side.
LAURA: One light side.
HUDSON: One light side.
CAMERON: So we have six light side points!
NICK: Alright, so, we haven’t recorded in a while, just a peek behind the curtain. We’ve had some stuff happen and haven’t recorded in a while, worked our way through our back log, so we’re gonna give a little bit of a recap and make sure all of the players know what’s going on.
So, stepping back a couple of steps. You fled Unroola Dawn. You went to an asteroid and shot some people, and killed them, and then you went to Ithor, which is a planet with like hammerhead slow-talky guys. You landed on the planet, and you went and met the Ithorian Oracle, and gave them the Stone Breaker, further cementing your business relationship. You then went to the…
LAURA: The Gooberfish.
NICK: Yeah, The Gooberfish, one of the bars that is near the Oracle’s retreat, and you met with your contact. Karma is currently disguised as an Imperial something or other in a full cloak and robes, and it turned out that your contact was…
CAMERON: Felton Mox.
NICK: …was Felton Mox, a large otter of a guy with a beer belly. He’s a Selonian, and somebody who you may remember was your original bounty in Prologue 1. So, you talked to him a little bit. He was able to give you a small, gray plasteel box with something inside with instructions that it would help you to break the blockade, and he also informed you that he may or may not have lost another piece of the puzzle, the Rancore Protocol, and he tried very hard to convince you that you didn’t need him and that he was gonna go on his way and everything was good, but that’s about where we left off, you all grabbing him as he tried to leave and saying ‘no, we think we’ll hold onto you.’ You know that Kettle has the Rancore Protocol somewhere, and that she’s somewhere on the planet, and you know that Felton Mox is supposed to be your contact with local information who can help you, and you now have the little plasteel box with something in it.
Okay. We start our scene. You are standing in the late afternoon sun on the street of the Ithorian herdship, which is a giant floating city above a beautiful, pristine jungle way below. You can’t see it from where you are, but it’s there. You’re standing outside The Gooberfish. Tink has a big mitt on Felton Mox’s shoulder. He looks extremely uncomfortable, he’s sweating a little in the humidity and is trying to inch away from you, but he’s not going anywhere. You have just exited the bar, and it’s time to make a plan.
CAMERON: I forgot—I’m not talking.
HUDSON: Out of game real quick, would Felton know where Kettle is?
STEVEN: That was kind of my strategy was to tell him that [mumbled speech]
HUDSON: We should find an alley to rough him up.
NICK: Yeah, he knows where Kettle is.
HUDSON: Okay. Back in game.
HUDSON: “So, you’re gonna tell us where Kettle is, right?”
NICK: “You don’t really… You’re not gonna go after her, are you? That seems like a really bad idea. I wouldn’t recommend that.”
HUDSON: “I don’t think I asked for your advice, friend.”
NICK: He pulls at the collar that he doesn’t have, and goes “ewwehheww” and looks at your giant vibro-axe, and says, “Duly noted. Uh, yeah. She’s at a gaming room at the edge of the herdship. I could show you, I guess, where she is. And then we’re done, right? I can leave after that.”
CAMERON: Karma shakes her hooded head ominously, in a ‘no…’
NICK: Getting a real ghost of Christmas future vibe.
LAURA: “Do not worry about them. They are fine.”
NICK: ‘Oh. Yeah… ‘kay. Yu know, it’s weird, you all seem kind of rough and tumble. It’s strange for you to be hanging out with a high profile Imperial agent. That’s not normal.”
CAMERON: Karma nods. (laughs)
LAURA: “It’s not normal, but it is just how we do things. It works.”
HUDSON: “You haven’t gotten to know me. I’m actually a very sensitive soul.”
NICK: “Yeah, I can feel that, from that—Hey, hey, I think you’re grinding my bones together. Can you lighten up a little bit?”
LAURA: “Yes, yes, please do not break the captives.”
HUDSON: “Yeah. I shouldn’t do that at all. I thought my fur would provide enough, you know, kind of filter, buffer.”
NICK: “Yeah, uh, business partners. Just wanna clarify, business partners. Not captive. Same team.” He gives an optimistic double thumbs up.
STEVEN: “You don’t wanna know how I ended up with the fourth head tail.”
NICK: “You’re right, I don’t, because I imagine that is a story involving your conception.”
LAURA: Xianna does not handle this. “Wait. Okie. Have you always had it, or did you get it? How did you get it? And why is it a bad thing that you have it?”
STEVEN: I just point at the Imperialist, and be like, “Don’t mess with her.”
LAURA: “But what—Because the head tails symbolize virility…”
LAURA: “…would it not be better to have more? Because some Twi’leks have a third one…”
STEVEN: “… Yes.”
LAURA: “…and you know, they are considered sexier.”
STEVEN: “… No.”
LAURA: “So is it yes or no?!”
NICK: Someone’s been watching a lot of Senate hearings lately. (laughter)
STEVEN: “I try to be scary sounding with threats—Emperors, Emperor, Imperial!”
NICK: There it is!
LAURA: “I still do not understand what that has to do with your head tail.”
STEVEN: “I have head tails. Anyway, you’re gonna show us where Queen Kettle is.”
NICK: As you turn back to Felton, you can see he’s been slowly sidling. Tink’s arm is so long it’s just been stretching out towards an alley, but he hasn’t let go. He stops. “Okay. Fine. I’ll show you to the gaming room. It’s not that far. I guess I owe Sentinel enough that I can at least do that part of the job.” And you take off through the beautiful herdship.
The floating city is very nice. It looks almost organic in its construction. It’s very clean. You see not a ton of Ithorians, but all of the people you see pretty much are Ithorians. That tends to happen when there’s a blockade in orbit, but there’s not that many. Maybe you see a couple every block or so kind of walking around. It looks like there’s not a ton of population for the size of this city. As you continue you come to a dome that looks right on the edge of the herdship. There’s a low, waist-high wall that circles the edge of the city, and over that you can see the horizon, and a drop of like 8,000 feet, and then the jungle down below. You can see kind of the ebb and flow of trees but not necessarily like individual details. The dome doesn’t really have any features. The top third of it is all glass sky lights. The construction looks kind of similar to the pavilion that the orca? was staying in, just more permanent, and a revolving door, because I like those, so there’s one on this dome at the front. It is glass, but the glass gets opaque as it gets hit by the sunlight and starts to fade as it goes around, so you can’t see into the building, but you see it getting darker and lighter as it goes around. It’s very nifty.
Felton says, “Well, so that’s the gaming room. It’s just called the gaming room. It caters mostly to off-worlders, because the Ithorians aren’t really much for gambling. They’re a little more placid, honestly.” He looks at Tink and says, “Placid, not flaccid. Placid. It means calm, like you’re not being.”
HUDSON: “I know what it means.”
NICK: “Right. So, anyway. The gaming room’s right there, Kettle’s inside. I have guided you. Have a great day.”
STEVEN: “Why don’t you show us in?”
NICK: “Oh, you just walk through the doors. It’s not that complicated.”
LAURA: “No, you should come with us.”
CAMERON: The hood shakes no.
STEVEN: “I’m not familiar with these doors on my home planet. I think I need you to help.”
NICK: He seems so confused that he starts walking before he does anything, and is quickly at the doors and pushes through. Inside is, imagine a ritzy kind of casino look but it’s not that big, probably a couple thousand square feet, the size of a medium gymnasium. There are gaming tables around. I want everyone to provide one detail of this gaming room, this alien gambling den, starting with… whoever thinks of something first.
HUDSON: The trunk people are all playing baccarat.
NICK: (laughs) The trunk people?
HUDSON: I mean, that might be racist, I just don’t remember their real alien race name.
NICK: The trunk people are playing baccarat. It’s an alien—
HUDSON: They’re also drunk.
NICK: The drunk trunk people are playing baccarat, but it’s like space baccarat, so are there lasers involved, or…?
HUDSON: Yeah. It’s high stakes in like a life or death way, which you would never think of baccarat as being normally, but they’ve done it.
NICK: Okay. The back wall, you actually see that the dome protrudes over the edge of the herdship a little bit, and the baccarat table is over there, and they seem to be standing on little trap doors as they’re playing. Nothing comes from that, but those are there. That’s cool. Okay, what else?
STEVEN: So, it has like a fountain, except the fountain is a drink fountain, and the drink that comes out of it is Flame Out. It’s got a Flame Out fountain.
NICK: A fountain of Flame Out…
STEVEN: And it kind of sparkles and buzzes in the scary way.
NICK: Yeah. That sounds about right.
STEVEN: Slightly luminescent.
NICK: Eh. Sounds less and less appetizing.
LAURA: Sounds less and less like a Flame Out.
STEVEN: It’s flaming out.
NICK: It’s as though you can’t tell if the pipes can’t handle the alcohol content or if there’s a loose electric wire somewhere in the basin.
STEVEN: Right. They might be enhancing the look of the Flame Out fountain.
NICK: Yeah, and with a fountain of that particular type of drink, that means that the air has a spicy, minty smell just permeating the place. It starts nice. It gets old real fast.
LAURA: There’s a large Sabacc area, and all the little Sabacc machines are like gilded gold. They’re very pretty.
CAMERON: There’s a kickass chandelier that may or may not have aliens doing acrobatics on it in the center of the dome.
LAURA: It does.
CAMERON: I mean, it does.
NICK: What’s the name of the little rat guy from Jabba’s palace?
LAURA: Salacious B. Crumb? It’s not that.
NICK: There’s Salacious B. Crumbs wiggling around?
CAMERON: No. It’s not those. It’s not those, no. It’s like the Kushibans who are just doing flips and stuff in the chandeliers.
LAURA: Oh you—Xianna’s gonna get nothing done, you guys. (laughter) She’s just gonna be standing in the middle like, “Oh, there’s a chandelier. Look at that! Oh, look at them go!”
NICK: Okay, so yeah. The whole thing is lit very nicely.
HUDSON: And it is lit, like—
NICK: It is lit, 420.
LAURA: And as we walk in, Xianna looks at everyone else and goes, “Oh, by the way, does anyone have like a gambling problem? (snorts and laughter) That we should watch out?”
CAMERON: A little late.
NICK: Sabos is looking a little nervous right now.
STEVEN: “Uh, no. I like—No. I like the home world just fine. Everything’s fine.”
LAURA: “Kay… because I kind of do. So, watch out for me.” (giggling)
STEVEN: “I don’t escape the home world to gamble. No, I mean, eh. We’re fine.”
HUDSON: “My only problem is I’m not gambling. That’s my gambling problem. Just kidding, I don’t have a problem at all.”
NICK: Oh boy.
LAURA: “I will probably be fine. Don’t worry. I’m sure I will be fine.”
NICK: What thoughts are going through Karma’s head as everyone admits that this is a dangerous situation for them?
CAMERON: She’s just shaking her head. She’s far more comfortable here than she was on Unroola Dawn, because this is the type of scenario she’s used to being in when trying to track people down. She’s often in bars and casinos and stuff, because that’s where the type of people that she’s after normally hang out. And she feels far more elegant than everyone else, and like she fits in better because of the cloak.
NICK: So, the camera pans around to the jingling sound of holo-slot machines striking jackpots. There are several Sabacc tables with golden Sabacc projectors in the middle. They definitely are projecting HD cards, because you normally see in Star Wars holograms are kind of woobly and look like their bunny antenna had been out of wack. These are all very crisp. It looks like you could almost touch them, but they disappear as people play them.
While most of the players are some assorted races, there’s probably 20 or 30 people in here, all the dealers are Ithorian pretty much. So, the ones at the Sabacc tables, each table has two or three people, you know that up to seven can play but they tend to like to spread out. So, Sabacc is—For the people who don’t know Star Wars… (snooty)
LAURA: Mm-hmm… (snooty)
NICK: Sabacc is sort of a mix between Poker, Blackjack, and Yu-Gi-Oh, as far as I can tell.
LAURA: Good description, actually. That’s about right.
NICK: You can build your own deck. It’s got some math junk in it, but it’s mostly Blackjack except when it’s not, and the rules change depending on which extended universe book you read, but the professional Sabacc people like to play with about three, as they think that gives them the best odds. It’s sort of like when people go to Vegas and they try to count cards because they’ve read the book about counting cards and think that they’re very good at it. It’s just a rule of thumb, it doesn’t actually really do that much, but that’s why there’s so many tables is people like to play low. You can tell that a lot of the seats don’t get used that much because people also have favorite seats, and we’re getting too into Sabacc. I just think it’s interesting.
So, some of the Ithorian card dealers look up as you come in and look at you before dismissing. Some eyes definitely stay on Karma for a while, because she is the first Imperial that has set foot on the planet since the blockade started as far as they know, so that’s real weird. You can see they have some questions.
Everyone except for Karma is feeling pretty solidly buzzed from the drinks that they had at The Gooberfish. You all had several. Felton Mox stands in front of you. He kind of shakes Tink’s hand off his shoulder and gestures grandly to everyone. His fur ripples with the motion. He says, “So, this is it, I brought you in. That’s great, right? I’ll, uh, see you later,” and he turns to try and leave again.
LAURA: Xianna was like looking up in the chandelier and is like, “Oh, yes, we are doing something. No, you cannot go yet. No.”
CAMERON: Karma walks over to Felton and links her arm through his.
NICK: He shudders a little, and then he gets like a look on his face as you’re standing there arm in arm. “This… is a weird feeling of space deja vu right now, standing arm in arm with you. Have we met before?”
LAURA: “So anyways… (laughter) Um, yes. Uh, Kettle? That is who we are–?”
NICK: As you bring that up, you can see that there’s a separate Sabacc table in a roped in area kind of towards the far back. It’s on part of the transparasteel floor that overhangs the jungle, and it has a little Chadra-fan dealer running the table. For those of you who don’t know, a Chadra-fan is a little bat person that’s like three feet tall, and doesn’t have wings, and is super cute. You can see it in New Hope. It’s the one that gets its drink from the bar with two hands and makes a cute little squeaky noise.
He’s wearing a green vest with a leaf pattern on it, and has one of those little green visor dealer hats on. He looks kind of torn as he deals out the cards. So, he’s setting out one set of cards for a human that is sweating profusely. His dark hair is matted down to his face and he’s gripping each card like it’s the only thing in the galaxy. The other set of cards goes to a strange insectile-looking creature with their back to you. They’re covered in scars and their wings are tattered. If you make a Xenology check you might know what this thing is. Except for Sabos, Sabos recognizes this thing.
CAMERON: What’s the difficulty on the Xenology check?
HUDSON: I’ll let you guys handle this one.
CAMERON: Sure. It could happen.
LAURA: I mean, I’ll roll.
NICK: Also, while they’re rolling, you may notice that some of our dice noises changed. We got cool little dice cups because our dice pools were getting too big, so thanks Kickstarter.
LAURA: I got a failure.
CAMERON: Yeah, so Karma got two failures and two advantages.
NICK: Okay. Is there something you would like to spend the advantages on?
LAURA: Wait, Hudson, why don’t you make Xenology rolls? You have a four in Intellect.
CAMERON: You’re smart!
HUDSON: Oh! You’re right.
LAURA: You do way better. I only have a two.
CAMERON: I have a two! You’re way smarter than us.
HUDSON: And I get to use this new fun cup.
LAURA: Xianna’s cunning, but she’s not smart.
HUDSON: What’s that, two advantages?
STEVEN: Absolutely nothing.
NICK: Complete wash! Okay. None of you recognize what this particular species would be, but you do notice that Felton is staring pretty pointedly at that table, like that’s where you guys need to go. Sabos, you recognize that as Kettle most likely. You don’t see Geonosians every day, but that’s definitely one of them, and those are pretty rare.
STEVEN: I didn’t see her from the back, though.
NICK: No, but it’s like—
NICK: So, it’s a large, brown insectile creature. There’s not so many of those out there. What do you guys wanna do?
LAURA: “Okie, Tink, give me your credits.”
HUDSON: “Your—My what?”
LAURA: “Your credits! You know, your money.”
HUDSON: “Oh, credits. Oh, uh, wait all of it?”
LAURA: “Most of them.”
LAURA: “So I can go to the table.”
STEVEN: While they’re doing that, I just walk up to the table and say, “Hi Queen.”
LAURA: “Oh, never mind. It appears Sabos knows her.”
HUDSON: “Wait, don’t you have cred—Never mind.”
LAURA: “I have some, but I need more for the gambling. I do not know what the buy in is.” (laughing)
NICK: So we get this nice top-down shot of the Sabacc table and Kettle playing cards, and it angles over to Sabos who walks up and greets her, and in the background we see Xianna and Tink talking about credits and elbowing each other, and then they just stop and turn to look at the scene.
As you say ‘hi Queen,’ the Geonosian tosses down her cards and says, “Well, Mr. Alto, it looks like we’ll be in touch,” and he hangs his head and stands up from the table before walking away. The human looks very distraught and runs his hands through his hair. Whenever the Chadra-fan dealer looks at Kettle he smiles real big and looks really excited, but then he’ll look back at the human who’s slowly walking away and look like someone just stole his vest and looks very sad, and he kind of alternates back between being happy for Kettle and sad for the human.
So, Kettle sets her cards down and cracks her neck, which makes a really hollow popping noise. She looks up at you. “Ah, Councilman Sako. What a pleasant surprise.”
STEVEN: “Yes, it’s been… ages, it seems.”
NICK: “Yeah, it’s been about… three days, I think, at this point.”
STEVEN: “A lot happens in three days as you might know.”
NICK: “Really? You’ll have to tell me about that sometime.”
STEVEN: “Absolutely. So, you got through the blockade too, huh?”
NICK: “Oh, blockades are really more of a formality for someone like me.”
STEVEN: “(chuckles) I understand.”
NICK: “It turns out they are until you get down on the planet when they take it real seriously. Sometimes you get, well, inconvenienced.”
STEVEN: “I couldn’t imagine.”
NICK: “Yeah. It’s actually convenient that you’re here. Maybe with your political clout, Councilman Sako…”
STEVEN: “That’s exactly how I got through the blockade.”
NICK: “Yeah, well, maybe you can help me get out of this particular situation.”
STEVEN: “I actually think we’re looking to have you help us get out of this situation as well, so this seems like a very mutualistic situation.”
NICK: “How fortuitous. You’ll have to introduce me to your friends.” She looks around to the rest of the group.
STEVEN: “Yes. Absolutely.”
LAURA: “Hello~!” Xianna waves at her.
CAMERON: Karma and Felton have floated over.
NICK: She nods to you regally.
HUDSON: I scrunch up and look suspicious.
CAMERON: Scrunch up what?
CAMERON: Like, just your whole body? You just like shrink?
LAURA: Like your little face?
HUDSON: Like a slight tense up.
NICK: Kettle nods to you all, and sees Felton, and goes, “Felton, what are you trying to do bringing muscle on me? You lost fair and square, and it’s time for you to go do your part of the bargain,” and she looks very disinterested in him.
He says, “Well, look, hey—“
STEVEN: “Oh, he’s not here for muscle. He’s actually a very lovable creature.”
NICK: “Oh, well—“
STEVEN: I say pointing at Tink.
NICK: “Oh—Uh, yeah. I thought you were talking about me. That would’ve been…”
STEVEN: “Oh, no.”
NICK: “No. Obviously not, right? Uh, no, Kettle, I’m just here to introduce my new friends, uh, business associates. Really just some people I met in a bar. We’re not really associates… You’re right, I should probably go work on that thing—“
NICK: “—that you told me to do…”
CAMERON: Karma does not let go of his arm.
NICK: “…but I can’t seem to be rid of them.” He smiles real big. “So, yeah. I guess we could play some cards, maybe, or go to a business room, or do something…” and Kettle just waits to see what you guys have to say.
STEVEN: Is there a VIP room available? Like, you know, big bets, away from listening crowds.
NICK: The Chadra-fan perks up and starts to look eagerly between you all, and Kettle says, “Well, this is basically the big bet area right here. You can tell from the velvet rope and the nice floor windows, but we don’t have those crazy trap doors.”
STEVEN: “I’m okay with that.”
NICK: The camera snaps over real quick to the baccarat table You see an Aqualish which is like a big walrus person go (roars) and then there’s a red buzzer noise, and the floor jiggles a little, and they all look real nervous but it doesn’t give away, and then the camera snaps back to you.
LAURA: “Oh no…”
NICK: “Yeah. The designers of this game room really like the idea of high stakes, meaning more than just bigger numbers, but the Ithorians aren’t real big on raining gamblers down upon their sacred jungle, so it’s pretty rare. We have that mostly turned off.”
STEVEN: Well, uh, I invite my acquaintances to have a seat, and it feels kind of weird inviting the Imperial to have a seat because I would think the Imperial would invite us to have a seat, but I invite everyone to have a seat at the table with Kettle.
LAURA: Xianna sits pretty quickly.
NICK: Cool, so you all sit at the table. The Chadra-fan eagerly starts dealing out cards. Let’s say it’s 100 credits to get in on this.
STEVEN: (deep inhale) “Give me a sec…”
LAURA: (laughs) Sabos.
STEVEN: “Okay. I can play a game or two.”
NICK: So, it’s like 100 credits for playing through the scene, it’s not gonna be per hand.
STEVEN: Oh. I can play that.
CAMERON: Karma can’t.
NICK: Ouch. Are you gonna try to get credits from someone else to play with?
CAMERON: No, Karma’s just not playing.
NICK: Okay. You’re just gonna stand in the background?
CAMERON: Holding onto Felton. We’re just standing ominously to the side of the table.
HUDSON: I’ll play.
LAURA: Yeah, Xianna puts in credits.
NICK: Okay. You toss the credits in. A little mini mouse bot, probably like three or four inches long with what looks like a snow plow on the end, comes out and scoops your credits off into a slot and goes away, so it makes the little meepy droid noises, and then digital—except it’s Star Wars—so like analog displays pop up with your credit count, and the Chadra-fan starts to deal out cards.
Kettle says, “Oh, so your Imperial friend…” If she had eyebrows she’d be wiggling them. “You Imperial friend won’t be playing, and I know Felton can’t afford to play, but this is a friendly game. What brings you to my end of the herdship?” And you start playing cards.
STEVEN: I look at Xianna.
LAURA: I looked at Sabos, in this face of like, well he knows her, so… Also, I kind of forgot what we were doing. (laughter) Did you see the chandelier in here?!
STEVEN: I excuse myself for a second to go get some Flame Out, and I come back. “As you might know—”
NICK: Wait, wait, wait. You can’t describe something fun like that and then just move on.
NICK: As you run over to the fountain the smell gets stronger.
STEVEN: It does.
NICK: Your eyes start to water a little bit.
STEVEN: It reminds me of home.
NICK: A green Twi’lek, she’s not very tall, she’s even a little shorter than Xianna, because Xianna’s what, 5’6”?, 5’?
LAURA: I am 1.71 meters.
NICK: What does that mean in English?
LAURA & CAMERON: 5’6”.
NICK: Okay. So, she’s shorter than Xianna. She’s probably about 5’ flat. She’s green, and she’s got a waitress outfit on, and she grabs a copper mug and scoops some out and takes a cloth to wipe the edge so that it’s dry. She tells you, “The high rollers don’t pay for drinks,” and she hands one to you.
STEVEN: “Oh. Thank you very kindly.”
NICK: So, you have your booze.
STEVEN: I do.
NICK: You head back to the–?
HUDSON: “Hey! Can you get me a–?”
STEVEN: “Flame Out?! Absolutely!” I get my Flame Out and just bring it to him, then I go back and ask if they have a bigger glass.
NICK: The Twi’lek cocks a tattooed eyebrow at you, because fun Star Wars fact: Twi’leks don’t have eyebrows but the females often tattoo them on to make people not freaked out about not having eyebrows, and gets two mugs and does the routine of scooping it out and shrugs.
STEVEN: I apologize and point at Tink, and then I think she understands. He is large.
NICK: She doesn’t really seem all that engaged.
NICK: Professionally polite is how I would describe her.
STEVEN: I take both mugs and keep them to myself as I sit down.
NICK: (laughs) Okay.
HUDSON: Where’s my drink?
STEVEN: I gave you the original one.
NICK: He gave you the first one.
HUDSON: Oh, sorry.
STEVEN: I just got more of it.
NICK: Xianna, after watching this whole thing, you see her kind of put her hands on her hips and cock her head to the side in mild annoyance at the whole exchange, but she doesn’t do anything.
NICK: So, Kettle’s been holding cards this entire time. “So, are we playing or what?”
STEVEN: “Yes. I apologize, Queen. I play better with drinks.”
NICK: Alright. I want a gambling roll out of y’all.
CAMERON: Is that Skulduggery?
NICK: Yeah, I’d take Skullduggery.
STEVEN: Oh will you?
LAURA: Can do.
STEVEN: Will you take… yeah, well… Streetwise?
NICK & LAURA: No.
STEVEN: Uh… Negotiation?
STEVEN: Okay then.
STEVEN: How about Astrogation? (laughs) So, just Skullduggery, huh? Okay.
HUDSON: What’s the difficulty?
NICK: Let’s do average.
HUDSON: Might I go first?
NICK: Yeah, go ahead.
HUDSON: Two successes and a threat.
STEVEN: I got a success, without Skulduggery. Hell yes.
HUDSON: Oh snap.
CAMERON: Oh shit!
LAURA: Ohhh snap! Okay, so it’s two triumphs that are not cancelled by anything, plus two more successes… Yes.
NICK: Two triumphs and two more successes?
CAMERON: Yes, so four successes total, and then also two triumphs.
NICK: Oh boy. Okay, and then if someone could roll me a hard check against just three greens, please.
CAMERON: A success.
STEVEN: Fall prone.
CAMERON: … No, they cancel.
STEVEN: Oh. I didn’t see that bottom one. Okay, yeah.
LAURA: Mm, fall out of the chair!
CAMERON: It was three threats, but it is also three advantages, so it’s just one success.
NICK: Okay. Thank you.
CAMERON: You’re welcome.
HUDSON: I start to get a little nervous because my hand was bad, so I drink my drink pretty fast.
NICK: Okay. You start pounding away on this drink. You guys have made some small talk, and after the first few hands Xianna makes an extremely aggressive bet and you all go for it, and Kettle has a very contemplative look on her face, and then she goes in on it too, and she just mops the floor with you. You have a Purple Conundrum, one of the best hands in Sabacc as far as anyone knows.
LAURA: Well, I build up a fake tell. I assume that’s what I do, is I probably hustle a little bit and I do a few hands where like, oh I twitched my eye a little bit so it makes it seem like when I do the high bet that I’m bluffing, and then I’m not.
NICK: Nice. Kettle nods with respect to you as your counter goes way up and everyone else’s goes down. Nobody’s out, but there is a definite disparity. That could be one of the triumphs. Is there something as far as outside the game you would like your other triumph to do for you?
CAMERON: (gasps) I have a thing that I was wanting to do…
LAURA: (whispered) What?
CAMERON: Okay. I was trying to figure out if I would do a Skulduggery or Stealth check to try and get my binders on Felton, because I have the ones that are individual bracelets and then I can do something to magnetize them and they go together, so I have one of his arms, but he’s very into the game now and doesn’t notice me do it.
NICK: Sure. Yeah. Are you binding him to you or just his hands together?
CAMERON: No. I’m just—He’s getting a bracelet that he can’t remove on both wrists.
NICK: Is that how you would like to spend your triumph, or do you want her to roll for it and you want yours for something else?
LAURA: No, so, we’ll do that, and what I want to happen is I can see her starting to get like the prep ready. I can see her surreptitiously pulling a binder down, and so then what I do is, I think I’m probably sitting next to Tink, and I spill his drink and make a big scene over it. “Oh no, Tink, I spilled your drink! … Oh, haha, that rhymed.”
HUDSON: “I was gonna get another anyway.”
LAURA: “Oh no! We will get you a new one.” And I try to flag down the Twi’lek waitress from before.
STEVEN: I slide one of mine over.
LAURA: “No, we do not want Your drink. We want a New drink. I want that Twi’lek waitress. Hello~! We need some new drinks, and maybe a towel of some sort, or maybe a cleanup droid. Please?”
HUDSON: “Oh hey, hey, could you get me a Green Extermination?”
LAURA: “I do not know what that is. Also, you are all wet with the drink.”
HUDSON: “Things always dry on me.”
CAMERON: (laughs) Ew.
LAURA: I’m still flagging the waitress down.
NICK: Yeah. The waitress pointedly doesn’t make eye contact with Sabos. She flounces over. She’s got, I’m picturing like the beer maiden German waitress outfit on her, but space, so like a sticky-outie skirt, a very cleavagey top with straps that go aside the shoulders, and she comes over and leans down towards you and says, “What can I help you with?”
LAURA: “Hi. Well, first off, there was a drink that got spilled.”
NICK: “Oh yeah, I see that.”
NICK: “You know, it always seems to happen to whoever loses the hardest. Isn’t that interesting?” She titters away behind her hand.
HUDSON: “This whole thing’s a scam.”
LAURA: “No it is not. I just beat you.”
LAURA: “He would like… He called it a Green Extermination. I do not even know if that is a real drink, but he wants one.”
NICK: “I think we can make that happen. Would you like anything?”
LAURA: “Yes. I would like a Starship Juice, please.”
NICK: “Starship Juice? Oh, that’s one of the specials of the house,” and she flounces away. If this was animated there would be little boingy noises as she goes. She’s much happier talking to you than she was to the others.
LAURA: Because I smile, and say thank you.
NICK: Yeah, and as she walks away she winks conspiratorially at you.
LAURA: No, she doesn’t wink. She Twi’lek winks.
LAURA: Which is, she does a little lekku move that we know is our equivalent of a wink, because we can like somewhat use them to communicate.
NICK: Ooh, I like that a lot. Ooh! She also has the suits of Sabacc cards tattooed on her lekku.
CAMERON: Oh cool.
LAURA: Aww, yes.
NICK: That starts at her forehead and goes back, so those look very neat. You get distracted by that for a second. Yeah, so she goes away and gets a drink. While that’s all going on, Karma very quickly slips the binders onto Felton. He doesn’t notice, until she starts to go by and you can see him—
CAMERON: I didn’t magnetize them. I just have them on there so that if he tries to run I can make his hands jump together.
NICK: Okay, so he doesn’t notice at all, he just has heavier bracelets, which means he does slap her on the butt as she goes by, and the waitress turns around and in one fluid motion plants a fist into his solar plexus, which is a pretty satisfying thing because he’s kind of paunchy, and he doubles over groaning.
LAURA: “That is what you deserve.”
CAMERON: Karma laughs. She tries not to, but she can’t help it.
NICK: The Twi’lek waitress gives a lekku twitch that, I don’t know if Karma can read lekku, probably not.
LAURA: Probably not.
NICK: But she gives one that’s like the equivalent of the jaunty salute, and she keeps going. Felton, who’s head is down by his knees, you can tell he’s trying to breathe and having trouble. “I just—I’ve always had a thing for tentacles. (groans)”
LAURA: “Don’t we all.”
STEVEN: I turn around and look at him, like look at my head tails. (laughter)
CAMERON: The camera slows and does a slow motion shot of Sabos’s head tails flinging over, and it does like the star, slightly glittery…
LAURA: Oh! There’s absolutely the anime sparkle!
LAURA: And then like little roses appear on the corner of the screen as he stops.
CAMERON: Oh yeah. It’s gorgeous.
NICK: And then the camera snap cuts to Felton’s face twisted in pain and mesmerized disgust as he stares at Sabos, and then we get back to the game.
STEVEN: I turn back around and try to hit him with the head tail as I turn back.
NICK: He’s like 20 feet from you.
STEVEN: I try. It doesn’t work.
NICK: Okay. They fling out. The Chadra-fan is practically vibrating. The thing about being a Sabacc dealer is you don’t actually touch cards because it’s all holographic, so you’re mostly just touching a keypad and then working as the craps dealer kind of announcer of ‘this is here’ and ‘you were worth 20 points, hooray,’ but he doesn’t really talk, he just squeaks a little. Everyone seems to be having a good time. Nobody’s out. When he looks at Tink he looks a little anxious like he wants you to be happier but he can’t figure out how. The Chadra-fan presses some buttons and starts to deal a new hand, and Kettle as she’s picking up her cards kind of looks sidelong at Xianna and says, “That was some fine playing there. You seem to have some experience.”
LAURA: “Oh, you know. I play cards here and there.”
NICK: “Yes, clearly. So, you’ve come to the gaming table, currently wiping the floor with me, and normally this is about the point where someone says what exactly they want. I don’t normally get approached just for fun and games. If you’re with Felton you probably need something. He rarely has anything to give. He’s more of a taker, that guy.”
STEVEN: “That makes sense.”
NICK: “So what are you here for?”
STEVEN: “So, you know the blockade exists…”
STEVEN: “…and it might not be the…” I look behind me and see the Imperial and talk quieter. “…might not be the best thing for the planet.”
LAURA: She’s at the table.
CAMERON: I’m standing like right behind you.
STEVEN: I’d say it anyway.
NICK: No, I said you were like ten feet back.
CAMERON: Oh, okay. I didn’t realize I was that far away.
NICK: If you’re not playing you have to be outside the ropes.
CAMERON: Oh, okay.
LAURA: Okay. So you’re probably like right at the ropes, so we could talk to you, but if we whisper you won’t necessarily hear it.
NICK: Plus, that lets you be a little more imposing, because you get to be like mysterious in the distance. Yeah, so.
STEVEN: Anyway. “So, you know, it might not be the best thing for the planet here, and I understand you might have a device, the Rancore Protocol, or an object that might help us defeat the blockade.”
NICK: At that, Kettle nods to herself. “Ah.”
STEVEN: “Well, Felton was supposed to have it, we understand.”
NICK: “Yes, he was, wasn’t he.”
STEVEN: “But he is a little bit, uh, loose-fisted.”
CAMERON: “Useless.” You hear from the other side of the rope. (laughs)
NICK: Kettle stops and cranks all the way around to look behind her. She’s in the middle seat, so she cranks all the way around to look at you, makes eye contact with Felton who’s finally starting to straighten up a little, and goes, “Yeah, useless,” and turns back. “This is making a lot more sense. It’s interesting…” and she’s fiddling with the cards in her hand. The Chadra-fan is waiting for people to start making their moves. “It’s interesting how many things from Coronet City are ending up coming full circle, isn’t it?” And, if I could get another Skulduggery roll from everyone as they play another hand.
LAURA: Can do.
STEVEN: Sure. Average or hard?
NICK: Yeah, let’s just do average. It’s more of a competition thing.
STEVEN: Alrighty. I get two successes and a threat.
LAURA: So, two failures, but three advantages.
LAURA: Yeah. I rolled the worst you absolutely could on these dice. It wasn’t…
CAMERON: Kettle has one success.
HUDSON: One failure, two advantages.
NICK: Is there anything you all would specifically like your advantages to get used on? The way we’re doing this gambling mini-game, obviously successes and failures are how well you’re doing. You can either use your advantages to manipulate something in the room, do something outside the game, or they can count towards what your Sabacc total winnings are going to be, but they don’t do very much compared to successes. So, if you have advantages, now would be the time to say if there’s something you wanna spend them on.
LAURA: Could I spend mine to where I’m not winning anything, but I’m kind of folding because I know my cards aren’t right, so I’m losing a little bit of money, but I want to try to set myself up a little bit better so I can just have like a blue die on my next roll.
NICK: Yeah. That’s what I was gonna—(goofy) So, mechanically!
LAURA: (goofy) So, mechanically! Can I get a blue die, please?
NICK: Yeah. You can have a blue die on your next roll.
HUDSON: Can I do that as well when I’m playing my hand so that I can maybe do a little better?
NICK: You only have two advantages.
HUDSON: Ah, that’s true.
NICK: Hell. Okay. You get one blue die. Xianna can have two blue dice.
NICK: So, you all do the Botanelli’s Sabacc defense and set up for a later hand. … It’s Sabacc. I can make up whatever the heck I want.
HUDSON: We count Sabaccs.
NICK: Four Sabaccs make a trick.
LAURA: Five Sabacc. They’re not plural.
NICK: (laughs) Okay. So, the cards lay down, and Sabos actually comes out with the win. Tink and Xianna do very poorly, but yeah, they’re playing defensively, whatever that means in cards.
STEVEN: “I’ve never gambled before, guys.”
STEVEN: But I say it in a way where you’re pretty darn sure I’m serious.
LAURA: “I actually have no idea if that is true or not. No idea.”
NICK: Kettle is playing really consistently. She’s not losing much money, but she is very clearly evaluating you all, more than she’s focused on her own hand. Sabos makes a pleasant win. He is still in the negative because everybody lost so much money to Xianna on that first hand, but you’re no longer worried about getting knocked out of the running, as it goes. You win. Your analog counter goes up. I’m picturing like old alarm clocks with like the flippy cards. There’s one of those set in the table in front of you and it changes. Extremely 70’s. The little mouse droid that collected your credits does a little victory lap and does a little (small trumpet noise), and then goes back into a little baby garage set into the wall of the table for the mouse droid.
Kettle looks at you and says, “Well, Councilman Sako, that was particularly impressive.”
LAURA: “Tink. Our friend, you know, Sako.”
LAURA: She nudges Tink a little bit under the table.
STEVEN: I just, I look at Kettle and say, “It’s a hard word to pronounce in their language, I think.”
NICK: “What, Basic?”
LAURA: “Well, no. You see, he speaks Gigoran, but the translator turns it into Basic, and sometimes it has difficulty with some words.”
STEVEN: “—says Sa-ko, sits, harded… Sako.”
NICK: “Oh, so you weren’t referring to the fact that his name is actually Sabos, and that he was impersonating someone when I dealt with him originally.”
LAURA: “Oh! You know that? Okie, then never mind. Yes, we know that.” (laughs)
STEVEN: “Well, of course she knows that.”
LAURA: “We are just confused, because he doesn’t seem to know which one he actually is, so it’s… you know, confusing.”
NICK: “This is interesting data. So, Sabos, which one do you think you are?”
STEVEN: (deep inhale) “I… Well, most recently I was… Well… I don’t know.”
LAURA: ‘He has gotten too far into the con! He does not know who he is anymore!”
STEVEN: “Because most recently I was actually some Imperial officer that got me through the blockade, so I’m actually pretty darn confused what I am right now.”
NICK: “Duly noted. You know, I’ve worked with some front men before who have had similar issues. It’s an interesting choice in crew leader, (snickering) but if that’s the way you choose to do business, that makes sense.”
HUDSON: “Where’s my kriffin’ drink?”
NICK: As you say that, the Twi’lek woman comes back and sets your Green Extermination in front of you. It’s a very large glass. That’s the only descriptor I’m gonna take, you can take the rest, but it’s a very large glass, and the table actually pops a little side table out so that you have somewhere to set it because the lip of the table isn’t big enough. She sets it down with one hand. She’s a very good waitress, because this is a big thing, she takes it off, loses no balance with anything, keeps the other more normally sized glass. She sets your Starship Juice in the set coaster and she brushes against you a little as she does it. She looks at you and says, “Oh, well I hope you’re doing well.”
LAURA: “Oh yes. Thank you.” I tip her. What is an appropriate tip for this place? What have I seen people tipping?
NICK: So, are you going for an appropriate but generous amount, or like an obscene amount?
LAURA: I’m going for a flirtatious amount. Whatever a flirtatious tip is—So, more than normal, not like crazy extravagant, so I guess our equivalent of like a 40% tip. I don’t know if 20 is the normal Star Wars amount.
STEVEN: A flirtatious tip is like 80-100%.
NICK: Oh, no…
LAURA: No no no. (laughter) Having waited tables, it’s just a bunch of business dudes…
STEVEN: It’s an old dude? Yeah.
LAURA: ……who like, have the company card and just know they can and are feeling generous.
NICK: It’s probably like 30 credits. That’s a solid amount.
LAURA: Yeah. I tip her 30 credits.
STEVEN: That’s a big tip. The buy-in at the table was 100, at the higher roller table?
NICK: We’re using the 100 for that. The table is less of a high rolling table and more of an exclusive table. It’s also because if I set it at actual high roller numbers you guys wouldn’t have been able to play.
STEVEN: Eh, maybe a hand.
LAURA: That’s why I asked for Tink’s money.
NICK: Also, Xianna is still sitting on a lot, so I imagine you’re paying out of your winnings.
NICK: Like, flipping her some—I guess it wouldn’t be chips. You press a little indicator on your flip board of numbers and it goes down 30, and her tray beeps at her. She looks and she goes, “Oh, well thank you. Is there anything else I can get you?”
LAURA: “Uh, no thank you.”
NICK: She does a little secret lekku move, that—
NICK: –means whatever you want it to mean.
LAURA: (giggles) Xianna smiles at her.
NICK: And she bounces away. Do any of the rest of you notice this whole thing going on?
HUDSON: I’m just happy that I got my drink. I mean, she brought it over, right?
NICK: Yeah. You have your own special extra-large coaster for your very large drink.
HUDSON: I don’t tip. I just tell her that the tip was included with hers.
NICK: She looks at you, rolls her eyes, and just moves on. She’s in a good enough mood now that most people’s hijinks aren’t gonna get to her. So, describe your beverages!
HUDSON: I’m drinking a Green Extermination, which is a green, cinnamon flavored drink with some red ice cubes in it, and in addition some red floating what looks like little candies.
NICK: Huh. Sounds interesting. Xianna, what is your beverage?
LAURA: Oh, well I ordered the Starship Juice. It is very strong, but also very fruity, and since it’s a tiki drink it almost certainly comes in a cutesy little carved tiki glass. It looks like—Ooh! So it’s carved to look like a little loth-cat, and it has an umbrella on the top, and a colorful straw.
CAMERON: It’s a loopy straw.
NICK: A Luby’s straw?
LAURA & CAMERON: Loopy!
CAMERON: It’s a straw that has loops in it.
NICK: I was gonna say, last time I went to Luby’s the straws were not that special.
LAURA: No, it has at least two loops in it.
HUDSON: That’s usually called a curly straw, right?
LAURA: Or curly straw, yes.
HUDSON: No. Crazy straw! Crazy straws!
CAMERON: Crazy straws! There you go. It’s got a crazy straw.
LAURA: It’s got a pink umbrella. It’s pink.
NICK: That’s the important part.
NICK: Okay. Your waitress friend has left. “So, the Rancore Protocol…” Kettle says, as the table starts to reset. The way the game has been going, you’ve played several hands, you’re not rolling for every hand, but there’s probably one more big climactic hand coming. “It’s an interesting piece of technology. I have no real use for it. It turns out, I’ve had it analyzed, and it’s still encrypted. If I could get it back to Coronet I think I could probably have someone break it up, but here on Ithor my resources are a little more limited than I would like. Wonderful people, the Ithorians,” she says, as an Ithorian in a pit boss kind of sequenty blazer and pants walks by, and he slowly nods his big hammer head and then continues on, “but not necessarily the most technological. They value nature a little too much. So, I might be able to part with it. You would just have to make it worth my time. It is a resource. I did win it.”
HUDSON: “Why don’t you bet it on this game?”
NICK: “Wow. I hadn’t really thought of that. I was going to charge 20,000 credits for it… but maybe we could make that happen. We won’t even bet it on this game, we’ll bet it on this last hand. Now, you’re gonna need a bigger ante, though.”
STEVEN: “How about if we make it more interesting with say, an Imperial code cylinder?”
CAMERON: (laughing) The hood head tilts.
LAURA: Xianna’s head tilts, like ‘What…?’
CAMERON: And then like, the head considers it.
NICK: “I mean, it would really—Do you have it with you? I’d love to see it.”
CAMERON: I do have it on me.
LAURA: “I think so. I mean, we will bet it.”
NICK: She turns around and looks at the cloaked figure of Karma and just imperiously gestures, and does the ‘give me’ hand sign. “I’m not going to take it. I just need to see what level it is.”
STEVEN: “Oh, it’s a… Sure.”
LAURA: “It is a code cylinder.”
STEVEN: “It’s the… it’s the best.”
NICK: This is the one you all already modified, right?
STEVEN: It’s the bigly-est code cylinder.
CAMERON: Uh, we didn’t modify it.
STEVEN: Yeah we did.
NICK: Didn’t you use that to get through the blockade? You used it as part of your passcode?
CAMERON: Oh yeah.
STEVEN: Yeah. It’s a very important intelligence officer code cylinder now.
LAURA: Now it’s pretty important.
CAMERON: It is now, actually. Yeah. It has very high clearance.
NICK: So, do you hand it over?
CAMERON: Yeah. I take it out of my jacket and hand it over.
NICK: So, it’s a cylinder.
NICK: The fun thing is this one’s obviously been bootlegged a little bit. There are some wires sticking out of one end that are crossed over to the other, and the casing is not sealed all the way. It’s like when somebody tries to play with an iPhone and doesn’t open it right, and it mostly goes back together but not all the way. She’s looking at it, and she goes, “Oh, okay. It’s a petty officer cylinder that is actually very important now. Interesting. Yes, that would definitely take some off the ante. I’d take that into account. The only thing about it would be, I’d also want to know who made this, because I may have some more work for them later on.”
HUDSON: “Do you think it’s a good job?”
NICK: “Yeah, actually. It’s good work. There are some things we could do about the cosmetics of it, but once we have that underway I think we could use this to make a pretty lucrative business.”
HUDSON: I look happy, but I’ve also been drinking, so I look a little glazed eyed, and I say, “You’re not part of the conspiracy, are you?”
NICK: She looks at you very seriously and leans forward. The Chadra-fan also leans in. his ears are all perked up.
LAURA: We all lean in.
NICK: She goes, “It depends on the conspiracy, but not the one you’re thinking of.”
NICK: Yeah. She nods to you self-assuredly.
HUDSON: “Okay. Just, right now, things are just everywhere, man. I, they’re all watching us, and we’re all just asleep. None of us are awoken…”
LAURA: “Tink, Tink… Are you on drugs, or do you need to be on drugs?”
STEVEN: “I think his translator is malfunctioning.”
HUDSON: “No, no. I’m as clear-minded as I’ve ever been.”
LAURA: “Are you sure?”
HUDSON: I take another giant drink. “I just, just need some assurance right now, guys.”
NICK: Kettle sits back in her chair. At this point you all have your cards for this last hand, because for whatever reason they’ve been dealt out before you finished deciding what you’re betting, but whatever. She nods and says, “Green Exterminations will do that to you.”
NICK: “Yeah. I’ll take the code cylinder, probably another 1,000 credits. That seems like a fair trade for a piece of code I can’t use right now.”
STEVEN: “And, winner takes all.”
STEVEN: Yeah. That’s how betting works.
NICK: She pulls out a computer spike. It looks like a talon, it’s curved which is weird, and it has a lot of exposed circuitry on it. Tink, you would recognize this as the spike that you used to collect the Rancore Protocol a few days ago. She tosses it into the middle, and she also places the code cylinder, and you all I guess pool your credits and put them in the middle so it adds up to 1,000, and then the mouse droid comes out and hits the pile of things and just goes (small struggle noise), because it’s too much stuff and it’s too heavy for it, so it’s wheels start spinning and you can see it put little tiny divots in the felt of the table. The Chadra-fan looks real concerned and scoops up the mouse droid and the bets and helps it get back to its little garage.
LAURA & CAMERON: Aww.
NICK: It like shakes its head nurturingly. It likes its mouse droid. Then, the hand is dealt, and you all play your final shot.
HUDSON: Who has the best dice?
LAURA: I am rolling two yellow, two green, two blue, and I think I’m gonna—
HUDSON: And we’re gonna flip a point.
CAMERON: Flip a light side, Laura.
HUDSON: Yeah. That’s what I was gonna suggest.
LAURA: So now I’m at three yellow, one green, two blue.
HUDSON: We roll Skulduggery when we gamble?
NICK: Mm-hmm, against average.
STEVEN: I’ll just roll for the fuck of it. Oh, cool. I’m gonna lose.
LAURA: So that is three successes, and (counts) seven advantages!
NICK: Gee whiz.
STEVEN: I just got an advantage.
HUDSON: Um, I have an advantage.
LAURA: Eh, you tried.
NICK: That’s it?
STEVEN: Oh fuck.
CAMERON: Uh, Kettle got five successes and a threat.
NICK: Yes! Ha ha!
CAMERON: I’m sorry guys. I rolled good that time.
HUDSON: Ooh. We can just take it and run.
NICK: No. it’s in the little garage.
HUDSON: Oh, it is.
NICK: It’s almost as if I thought that might happen. So, what happens is, you all start laying down cards, because Sabacc is actually—you don’t just necessarily lay down a hand, you start anteing each other. Immediately Tink and Sabos play cards that cancel each other out and they’re just out. There’s nothing you can do. You did The Fool’s Gambit. You can make you lose in three parsecs. Star Wars.
LAURA: Ha ha.
NICK: Kettle and Xianna start playing back and forth very quickly, and I think you end up tying. I’m assuming you would use your advantages to try and win the bet.
LAURA: Yes. I would use all seven of my advantages.
NICK: So, yeah. You end up having the exact same hand for some reason. The interesting thing is that the cards that you have, there’s only one in the deck, so somebody’s been cheating but it’s not sure who because the cards are identical. The Chadra-fan looks confused, and then starts to go to press a security button, and Kettle says, “No, no, it’s okay. We’re gonna do one more, but if you lose I’m gonna need a special favor as well.”
LAURA: “Mm, what kind of special favor are we talking about?”
HUDSON: (whispered) It’s sexual.
NICK: No it’s not.
NICK: Well, it might be. You don’t know. Don’t judge. “A special favor like a business favor, you know.”
NICK: “Something that might take advantage of your talents. You never know.”
HUDSON: “She loves my talents.”
NICK: We’re gonna do one more, but flip a dark side point because Kettle’s gonna get an upgrade. You can still have one blue die Xianna
NICK: As the cards are starting to deal the Chadra-fan looks real embarrassed and motions for Sabos and Tink to leave the area because they’re out of the game at this point, so you guys have to go an stand outside the velvet rope because you lost. What Kettle does is pulls out a little piece of flimsy and writes a little IOU on it and signs it and puts it in the middle, and hands you a piece of flimsy to do the same thing, Xianna.
LAURA: I definitely write like a little IOU, and I make like a little heart at the end. Or! I don’t remember what the aurubesh letters are for IOU, but I feel like one of them can be turned into like a little heart. That’s definitely how Xianna writes stuff.
NICK: Great. As you’re writing that up the waitress comes back with just a glass of water and puts it next to you. Roll me a Skulduggery check, please. This one’s easy.
LAURA: Three successes.
NICK: Yeah. She hands the glass of water and her hand brushes against yours. You feel the tell-tale nudge of an Alderanian palm sleight of hand technique, and as she pulls her hand back she winks at you one more time and there’s a clone card, which is how you cheat at Sabacc.
NICK: It’s a card that’s basically a wild that you’re not allowed to use and can get your ass shot if you use one.
LAURA: Yeah. (laughs)
NICK: So, you get a blue die to your roll because your waitress friend has helped you out. That’s what the blue die was.
NICK: She backs up real quickly, and Kettle is looking at her own cards and does not notice.
NICK: Yeah, so, go ahead and roll one more time. Did you upgrade Kettle’s?
CAMERON: Kettle got one success.
LAURA: Um, a triumph with its success, another success, and one threat.
NICK: Okay. You win pretty handily. The threat is, you feel like there were some moves that Kettle could’ve done that looked like really obvious newbie mistakes that would have made it a lot closer, that she made that make you start to feel like maybe this was on purpose.
LAURA: Oh no.
NICK: But yeah. The whole big pile, the little garage door on the table opens up, and you just hear a little high pitched machine whining as if little tires are pushing against this big pile of stuff, and the Chadra-fan looks embarrassed and pulls like a craps hook and pulls the stuff out towards you on the table while the mouse droid bumps against the craps hook trying to push the stuff towards you.
NICK: You end up with 1,000 credits, that’s just your winnings. Whatever you have now is 1,000. Sabos and Tink, you get the 1,000 part of the money back, so you didn’t lose that ante. You get that back. Out of the hundred that you guys anted, Tink gets 10 credits, Sabos gets 15. You guys didn’t do great at cards. Out of the 100 you anted you get that amount back. Xianna’s in the money, apparently, so that’s cool. You also get the Rancore Protocol, your code cylinder back, and you get a little piece of flimsy that says IOU signed by Kettle.
CAMERON: I’m gonna grab the cylinder again.
NICK: Kettle sits back and goes, “Wow. It looks like now I owe you a favor.” And that’s where we’re gonna end the episode.
(all make dramatic noises and Star Wars tunes)
CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show please consider logging into iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show.
Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.
Tink is played by Hudson Jameson and he can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.
Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.
Sabos Nix was played by Steven Schroeder. He… does not exist on the internet.
Our game master is Nick Robertson, and you can find him on Twitter at @alias58.
Our intro song is Space Jam by Pablo Ribot.
Additional music by James Gunter.
Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram at @tabletop_squad. For real! We’re real people and we wanna talk to anyone who listens to the show. Reach out! See you next time.