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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 17:
There’s Been A Murder
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
CAMERON: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Cameron, your substitute introduction reader this episode because Nick went on a business trip without recording it. Every other Thursday, our story follows a thief, a bounty hunter, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.
Hey y’all, you probably heard this update in the first bonus Jedi episode that went up last week, but just in case you missed that one, y’all unlocked our social goal! We reached 125 Twitter followers and we’ll be meeting our new blue Gungan friend, Web-Web Kebob, who by the way is a circus acrobat who loves Sabacc and making jewelry… just as soon as Nick can figure out how to put such a deep and fascinating character into the campaign. All of those marvelous traits were decided by listeners like you, which kinda feels like I’m doing a public broadcasting pledge drive announcement. Web-Web Kebob is brought to you by you, our listeners.
Anyway. We will be releasing more bonus Jedi episodes on off-weeks as well as our first ever blooper reel! Even though we’ve met our goal, come join the squad on Twitter at @Tabletop_Squad and talk to us about Star Wars. It’s one of our passions~
Okay, last housekeeping thing: These episodes were recorded LIVE AT GENCON. The squad made a pilgrimage up to Indianapolis and we brought our gear with us. The audio’s pretty clean, but you may notice we have a bit more of an echo than you’re used to. The room had different acoustics, and there wasn’t a ton that Nick could do about it. It’s pretty minor so hopefully it’s not that distracting.
Also, that wasn’t the last thing. (laughs) We had guests on the show! Drew and Aly from the Welcome to Warda podcast were with us in Episode 16 and they join us again this episode. Warda is one of our absolute favorite worlds and podcasts, and Aly and Drew are amazing performers and super cool people. You can find out more about Warda at welcometowarda.com or at @WelcomeToWarda on Twitter. Check it out.
Okay, now I’m actually done. Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoy the episode.
NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 17, back again. We’re still live at GenCon. We’re gonna go around the table and introduce everybody, our two special guests who have managed to stay with us for more than a session—that’s very exciting—and then we’ll jump right into it. Start off with Hudson.
HUDSON: Hi. I’m Hudson, and I’m a Devaronian pizza boy. (laughter) I’m a Gigoran slicer, actually a Gigoran slicer. You may continue.
NICK: Great. You had me panicked for a second there. I was gonna have to change the plot. Coming up next we got Laura.
LAURA: I’m Laura, and I’m playing Sabos- Wait, no.
LAURA: (laughs) No. I’m playing Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler, and everything’s gonna go great.
NICK: Yeah, everything’s fine~ Great.
LAURA: And I’m happy to be here.
NICK: Up next we’ve got Cameron.
CAMERON: (giggling) Hi. I’m Cameron. I am playing Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter. I know my script, and which character I’m playing.
DREW: Oh snap.
CAMERON: (smiling) So I’ma stick to it.
NICK: Shots fired.
HUDSON: I feel burned.
NICK: Yeah, you should. Wonderful, starting the team dynamic off strong.
NICK: Up next we’ve got Drew.
DREW: Hi! I’m Drew Mierzejewski, and I’m an actor and stage combatant, and writer, and creative in general out of Orlando. I do such things as the Warda—
ALYSON: TM, TM, TM.
DREW: –podcast, which comes out weekly on Wednesdays.
ALYSON: Oh yeah, it does, on Wednesdays.
DREW: Yeah, that’s me. I’m playing Jorus Kreel, a Human smuggler / Marshal for the outer rim.
NICK: Wonderful. Last but not least we have Aly.
ALYSON: Hi everybody. It’s Aly. I am Drew’s other half both legally and creatively~
DREW: And betterly.
ALYSON: Together we’ve created Warda which is an original fantasy podcast that is also an actual play, and we are also building a fiction library in that world, and we’re also building original RPG mechanics.
DREW: It’s like the Marvel MCU.
ALYSON: Yeah, it just keeps getting bigger.
DREW: Bigger and bigger.
ALYSON: It’s just getting bigger all the time. But yeah, that’s what we do.
NICK: Great! Welcometowarda.com and wherever podcasts are sold!
ALYSON & DREW: Yeah.
NICK: We love Warda, so you guys should definitely check it out.
LAURA: It’s great.
CAMERON: What character are you playing?
ALYSON: Oh yeah. I’m playing Imperial Inspector Sila Rowe. I feel like there’s a Frau Blücher moment where there’s lightning in the background.
(lightning crashing noises, whinnying, laughter)
NICK: Great! We’re gonna go ahead and jump right into it. When we last left off you were at a fancy party. Falx had invited the crew of the Afternoon Delight to protect him, because he was afraid someone was going to murder him at this party. Sila had seen several suspicious characters and was here pursuing a lead on a mysterious slicer who had been cracking Imperial systems. Jorus as busy trying to find some sort of a master thief with a seductive streak that he had heard from a friend of a friend may be at the party. The lights went out, shots were fired, and a regional governor is dead in the middle of the floor. We are going to jump right into it, but first a reminder: We are not going to reroll Destiny Points because we are still playing the same session, so we are currently standing at…
CAMERON: Four light side, three dark side.
NICK: We’ll have those sitting on standby, and here we go.
We’re gonna start with the camera aimed at that little stage that was in the back of the ballroom. Again, the ballroom has clear glass that looks down onto roiling lava pits below on the planet of Mustafar. The doors have all been closed, the crowd is panicking a little bit, and we see Regional Governor Falx looking kind of sweaty, a little panicked. You’ve never really actually seen him break like this. One of the stormtroopers that has been shot is draped over the podium, and he (grunts), thump-thump, tosses the body onto the ground and pounds on the podium to get everyone’s attention.
“No one is gonna leave this party until we get to the bottom of what happened. Stormtroopers have been called from orbit, but it will take some time for them to get here and they will maintain order, but before anyone is allowed to leave this murderer must face Imperial justice.” There’s a lot of harrumphing and tittering from everyone in the crowd.
With that, he nods to himself self-assuredly, steps back, and hops down off of the podium. You are all left to your devices to deal with this situation as you will.
LAURA: How long were the lights out?
NICK: About 15 seconds.
LAURA: Oh, so definitely enough time for hyped up Xianna to put her scanner goggles on, at least for the last few seconds?
LAURA: To maybe see which direction the shots came from, or anything like that.
NICK: Yeah. What an interesting fact you have unearthed, if you make me a successful Perception check.
LAURA: Oh, I’ll try.
NICK: At a difficulty of hard, but I won’t add any black dice because you are wearing scanner goggles, but it’s like your ability to quickdraw night vision goggles.
LAURA: They let me see in dark/obscured conditions.
NICK: yeah, go figure.
LAURA: That is one threat.
NICK: One threat you say… and the counter goes up to- Well, no, there is no counter. We’re gonna say that the threat is that the elastic on the goggles actually snaps as you try to quickdraw it.
LAURA: Oh. Yeah, I was imagining that I’m just shaky enough, I get twisted up in them, and I like pull it the wrong way and it starts pulling on my actual headgear, and the straps twist up into the headgear, and I have to pull it out and one of the straps snaps.
NICK: Yeah. It snaps, and it also gets tangled up, so that when the lights come on one of the goggles was over your eyes so you get a sharp flash, which being hyper sensitive as you are right now having taken a bump of impact in a crowded area full of people and law enforcement officials, that was a good decision, that hurts, that is extremely uncomfortable. Until you get those repaired you’re gonna have to hold them up to your face. They’re not gonna be as effective.
LAURA: Got it. Into the pockets they go.
NICK: Yeah. What’s going on from our law enforcement officials?
ALYSON: As soon as it goes dark, Sila would have called for Whist. In all of the shouting and screaming and whatnot, she would have immediately called for Whist. Presumably, now that the lights are back up and this announcement has been made, she turns to him and says, “What just happened?”
NICK: “It appears that the lights were cut, marm.”
ALYSON: “Yes, and?”
NICK: “And there are multiple casualties on the floor. I count four stormtroopers.”
ALYSON: “Any civilians?”
NICK: “Well, if you haven’t spotted Governor Silpin with his new vibro-appendage I’m a little worried about your perception.”
ALYSON: “Thank you for that, Whist. Of course I’ve seen Silpin.”
NICK: “As far as I can tell, he’s a civilian.”
ALYSON: “That’s not what I meant by civilian, but thank you for your input.”
NICK: “Always, at your request.”
ALYSON: “I need a complete scan of the room, vital signs of everyone who’s extant from this incident, I want a readout on Governor Falx, and tell me where Tarstin Moon is.”
NICK: Ooh. Okay. Make me a Perception check, but I’m gonna give you two blues because you’re using your sensor droid to figure that out. It’s gonna be hard.
ALYSON: That’s Perception, you said?
NICK: Yep, Perception, which you are very, very good at. You need three purple dice.
CAMERON: That’s a big handful of dice.
ALYSON: That’s three successes and one advantage.
NICK: Wonderful. I’ll let you think about the advantage. Here’s what happens. We get a camera shot of directly behind Whist which does kind of a Flight of the Bumblebee thing. He swooshes around the room, and he swooshes around the room closer, and then he starts buzzing people’s heads. You get a lot of crowd noise and people ducking out of the way. He’s being pretty obtrusive which is weird for him. Then he starts going under tables, and after a little while he comes back to you. “Good news and bad news, marm.”
ALYSON: “Go on.”
NICK: “I’ve found Inspector Tarstin Moon.”
NICK: “And his life signs might be what you would call negligible.”
ALYSON: “Take me to him.”
NICK: Alright. He floats at head height and leads you over to one of the large tables off to the side. Do you want to flip the table or do you want to duck under and look?
ALYSON: She’ll drop to a knee and look under the tablecloth first.
NICK: Okay. Whist lifts the tablecloth with one of his pincer hands for you so you can see. You see that Tarstin Moon is also dead. He is shoved under a table by the wall, and that a pool of blood is seeping, it’s starting to soak into the underside of the tablecloth. You probably would have found him eventually. You can make me a Knowledge check of your choice for what was the cause of death. That could be Inner Rim, Outer Rim…
NICK: Ooh, Education might be good if you have that. I would do Education. That sounds like CSI-ing stuff. This will be average, so that’s only two purple.
ALYSON: Five successes and two threats.
NICK: Great. I’m gonna keep those threats in my pocket for now. I know exactly what to do with them (grinning). Five successes… I think Sila was particularly talented in the Imperial Academy with cause of death and analysis. What about that class spoke to her and made her an expert in that field?
ALYSON: To her, it’s like being able to look at a painting and understand the iconography in the painting.
ALYSON: Like, she understands, if it was a Renaissance painting she could look at that painting and know those are cupids, they’re attached to arrows, but they also symbolize this; this is a pastoral scene which symbolizes that; this is this nymph, this is that god, blah, blah, blah. She can just sort of see it all as one picture, and that’s what a crime scene looks like to her.
NICK: Alright. You’re gonna gain some knowledge here that I’ll have to politely ask everyone not to metagame with, because this is going to be a pretty big deal. A couple of things: The wound was made by the same knife that you saw in Silpin. That’s pretty clear. It’s a vibro-stiletto, it makes a really round puncture but causes a lot more bleeding than you would expect for the size. You’ve seen it a million times. People like to do it a lot. Using the iconography of the way Tarstin was shoved under here so quickly and the way the blood was spreading, he was the one that was stabbed first. He was stabbed more expertly as if someone made sure that he was going to go down and stay down, which is also why the blood is a little less, and he was shoved under the table very quickly as if someone was just trying to buy some time. With all that going on, you’re 100% sure that he was the primary target. The other one was to raise a stir and distract people.
ALYSON: Mm-hmm. “Whist.”
NICK: “Yes, marm?”
ALYSON: He had previously been floating above the room, and there wasn’t a lot of movement in the room at that point. People were milling about, but it wasn’t like everyone was taking an Austenian turn around the room. People were kind of stationed places?
ALYSON: What she wants from him is a little holo readout of what the bird’s eye view of that room looked like before the lights went out, or as close to that time as he has, because now people have moved.
NICK: Sure. I will give you at the time of the lights going out if you flip me a dark side point to give you that information.
ALYSON: Okay. Those advantages I’m sitting on…
NICK: You don’t have to spend those for that. You can keep those. So, Whist is able to give you two snapshots. Whist gives you 30 seconds before the lights go out, and you see that there is a purple Twi’lek that was near him as though they had a conversation. The Twi’lek looks nervous, and Tarstin looks unsettled during all that. As the lights are going out, the scene has shifted quite a bit as if there was a lot of movement right away. Tarstin was very near to this table, and Silpin, the regional governor with the cool mutton chops was standing right where his body dropped. You see a couple other things. you see that Regional Governor Falx was booking it. He was moving very quickly, and up until that point he had been a stately ship.
ALYSON: Moving slowly? Yeah.
NICK: Yeah, moving at the proper pace. With this one he was moving quick, surprisingly fast, almost as if it was someone who takes expeditions into the jungle for fun and knows how to move. He was moving towards the half of the room that had Tarstin in it. You also notice that a couple of Imperial officers that you don’t recognize were going for blasters at their hips as the light was going out, and that someone was messing with the lights, the Devaronian was messing with the lights, and that the two Rodians are doing something with their ears. Besides that, everyone else is very stationary, talking, posing at a party, but there’s a lot of movement that happened all at that point.
ALYSON: Okay. She stands up and she looks around. Now that the room has completely shifted into chaos, she’s looking for these people; she’s looking for the purple Twi’lek, she’s looking for the Devaronian and the Rodians, she’s looking for the officers that were reaching for their holsters.
NICK: Okay. I’ll give you where they are, and then we’ll jump to somebody else. The two officers are leaning up against the wall by the door that Jorus came in originally, the side exit. It looks like they’re securing the exit, kind of, but they don’t really look like they’re on guard duty. Their holsters aren’t latched, so they’re unlatched, and they’re looking pretty nonchalant, but you also notice most people with weapons have them kind of handy at this point.
ALYSON: Got it.
NICK: The Devaronian is in the corner losing his mind. He is sweating. He’s super nervous. The Rodians, it’s really hard to read a Rodian face because in Star Wars their faces are made of rubber, very deadpan, not really gesturing much, look very Zen-like. Falx is in the middle of the crowd talking to people. You see some members of the crowd he’s calming down, other ones you see him talk to them and they get more nervous, he’s like playing puppet master here with a lot of different emotions.
With that, Jorus, you have witnessed a murder, a surprisingly familiar one probably of a knife in the back. What is your response?
ALYSON: That old chestnut. That old space chestnut.
DREW: So, the lights go out, and Jorus goes, “Oh kriff…”
DREW: He hears the blaster fire, but he doesn’t move a muscle. He just stands there, and all we can see is the light of his felusian cigarette light up his face as he takes a deep drag on it. When the lights come back on he goes, “(exhales) I promised I wouldn’t do this again.”
DREW: He immediately walks over. I imagine that people are freaking out and stuff, what’s-his-bucket goes over to calm people down, so the first thing that Jorus does is he goes and he inspects the body.
DREW: Vibro-blade to the back, pretty standard, no imagination. I understand. What do I roll to see what I get from this body?
NICK: You could hit me with a Knowledge: Underworld. You could hit me with a Perception. I would say one of the Knowledge checks would give you more about the murder weapon, Perception would give you more about the way the body has fallen, maybe the situation going on with that.
DREW: I will go with the Perception then. That’s gonna be two yellows and a green?
CAMERON: Yes. You have three Cunning.
NICK: With your background, I’d say this is an average check. Like you said, it’s that old chestnut.
DREW: Two purples… and I have three advantages. Can I use a blue?
NICK: You can have two blues if you want to burn all of them.
DREW: I’ll get two of them. The advantages on this are the fact that one, it’s this old chestnut, and two, the vibro-knife is a knife that I’m familiar with. It’s the brand and style that’s used on the outer rim.
NICK: Yeah. For sure.
DREW: So, it’s three successes, and five advantages.
CAMERON: (laughs) The good roll.
NICK: So, it turns out that our Imperial Investigators are very good at investigating things.
DREW: It’s like it’s our job!
LAURA: What is it like as the listeners to hear characters who are competent?
NICK: (laughs) So, a couple of things: The way the body fell, this was a surprisingly expert stab, just once. Normally you see some nicking or some hesitation, just straight in. it went into a lung, which is why you didn’t hear any masculine screaming, and also why there’s as much blood as there is. Like you said earlier, some of your advantages were generated by knowing what the blade was, which means I get to tell you about that too. It is a Corellian vibro-stiletto.
DREW: Aw man.
DREW: And I pull out my Corellian vibro-stiletto, (laughter) just to make sure it’s still there. Yeah, it’s still there. Okay.
NICK: Yeah. There is a very noted foundry, bounty hunters really like to use them. Also, the aristocracy tends to use them, they like to use them as letter openers, but you have seen this done in succession-type shenanigans in the past. There was almost no struggle, but the way the body landed it’s like he was turning to try and look behind him and still got it in the back and dropped like a sack of potatoes.
CAMERON: Space potatoes.
CAMERON: yeah, spatoes.
NICK: Spatoes, that’s much better. (laughs)
DREW: Interesting. Interesting.
ALYSON: I’m a published author, so…
NICK: Yeah, you know.
DREW: I reach in and I pull out a handkerchief and I wrap it around the end of the blade, and I pull out the blade.
NICK: So, now that the vibro-knife is turned off… Ooh, another thing. Vibro-blades make a really high-pitch whining noise like a dentist drill when they’re turned on. These don’t. They are silent. How handy, for stabbing people.
NICK: This one, since it is off, makes a really gross ‘shplort’ noise as it pulls out.
DREW: I imagine it looks like- Have you seen those knives that are corkscrewed?
NICK: Yeah! (others ooh and groan) That’s how it is now. That’s way better. (laughs)
DREW: Yeah. It’s a corkscrewed blade that also vibrates, which is terrifying. Okay…
NICK: Oh, it’s like an immersion blender in people’s insides, it’s not good.
DREW: Oh yeah. So, I pull it out and I look at the length of the blade knowing the depth of the human body. I’m like, ‘uh, that’s lungs, that’s heart, and that’s why he fell so quick. Alright.’ I don’t care for the rug, I don’t care for any of this, so I just flip him over and I check his pockets.
DREW: I loot the body~
ALYSON: Is anyone coming to like make sure he’s allowed to do that?
LAURA: We’re not!
HUDSON: We don’t care.
NICK: I think the people who would’ve been most concerned about it were the stormtroopers who are dead, and Tarstin who is also dead, and you are elsewise already under a table.
ALYSON: That’s right.
DREW: I feel like some people would come over, like ‘excuse me,’ and I would flash my badge with my hulled-out blaster. “Don’t worry, I got this.”
CAMERON: (feigned fawning) ‘Ooh! He’s a marshal~!’
ALYSON: (feigned fawning) ‘Oh! A marshal~!’
CAMERON: (feigned fawning) ‘Wow~!’
DREW: “… Ma’am.”
LAURA: Xianna’s like spinning around trying to figure out her googles like “Woo! A marshal~”
ALYSON: There’s like a montage of everyone going ‘ a marshal?’
LAURA & CAMERON: (oohing and awing)
NICK: So, you are looting his pockets. In his pockets you find some very nice… I think he has some snuff. I think he has a pouch of very expensive snuff in a box. Do you want to open that box up?
DREW: Oh yeah.
NICK: I would imagine so. You find some very small gemstones in it, which is interesting. You also find a cred-stick, some—
DREW: I’m taking that.
NICK: –yeah, some keys to his speeder.
DREW: I’m taking those too. (laughs)
NICK: No weapons, which is a little surprisingly, and then a note, a perfumed letter that’s been folded and refolded several times.
DREW: Is there any identification on him?
NICK: On him? So he has the Imperial bars, those little boxes and things that mark him as a governor which is… eh, they’re green. You never see that in the movies, so they’re green boxes to show that it’s a civilian position, and he has a data spike. It’s kind of like a USB plug that he could use to key into things.
DREW: Yeah. I take those as well.
NICK: Yeah. Great. No one’s gonna think that’s weird. That’s fine.
DREW: Yeah. (laughs)
NICK: You’ve thoroughly intimidated most of the people who would have something to say about it, or they’re otherwise involved. I think Falx turns from his crowd management and sees what you’re doing, and you see him flinch a little, and then he—
DREW: Oh. He gets the eye. He gets the Jorus Kreel, like he goes to move and Jorus watches him, and there’s this moment, that complete Western like (whip crack noise) to the eyes, to this noise, and the slight twitch.
NICK: Falx raises his finger, and he opens his mouth. He’s about 20 yards from you. “Yeah…” He turns around and goes back to what he was doing and kind of shakes himself out a little bit, leaves you to what you’re doing. That’s what you mostly find there.
DREW: Cool, cool, cool. So, I have his cred-stick, his keys, I have his data spike, his code cylinders, snuff box with gems which is interesting… Have I missed anything, or is that all of it?
CAMERON: Perfumed note.
DREW: Ah, the perfumed note.
DREW: Which I obviously open and read, out loud.
NICK: Oh boy!
ALYSON: To yourself, like (mumbles)?
DREW: ‘My dearest love…’ What is the date on this?!
NICK: This is from, gosh, about a month and a half ago.
DREW: Interesting. This is on paper?
NICK: Yeah, well flimsy in Star Wars, but yeah.
DREW: it’s on flimsy, and from a month ago? Is it well folded, and read, and folded and read, and folded and read?
NICK: Oh yeah. Yeah.
DREW: … What’s his first name again?
NICK: Cornelius. It’s gotta be Cornelius.
DREW: “Cornelius… It seems that we have come to an impasse,” and I’m reading this out loud. (laughter) “It appears we have come to an impasse. My heart is no longer my own. Though you were false to me, know that I was also false to you.”
NICK: At this point, I think a lot of the gowned women are starting to drift over, like ‘oh, interesting.’
DREW: As they come around, Jorus stands up a little bit more. (louder) “For we had but a brief season where we were together, and our lives were as one, but no longer for I have found another. Though she found solace in your arms she has found more solace in mine, and we have… Oh my. Uh…” (laughter) “We have burned with the suns of Tatooine, that we might be together is my only wish and hope. I can no longer find in my heart that you make it thump-thump much like she makes mine. For this Cornelius, I say onto you, farewell. Do not look for me, do not weep for me, for I am happy. Signed, your loved wife, Mazelda.”
NICK: Xianna, I think you overhear that letter.
LAURA: (laughing) Oh, I absolutely do. When he pulls the note, I smell the perfume off the note, and I do that complete Urkel, ‘Did I do that?’ (laughs) Then he starts reading it and she’s like, ‘Oh yes, that was me~ I’m…’ and she starts scanning the room, picks out Karma, and starts putting her hands in the air, like ‘uh, Karma! Karma! Um. Yes.’ And starts pushing her way through the crowd over to Karma and goes, “Okay. So, Karma…”
LAURA: “Um, uh, oh… Heh. I forgot why I came over here. Um…”
LAURA: “Oh! Did you do any of that, by the way?”
LAURA: “Okay. Just checking. I figured it was not Tink, and almost certain it was not me…”
CAMERON: (laughing) “I really hope it wasn’t.”
LAURA: “I mean, I do not have a knife on me. I do have a gun. But, oh, there might be some issues. Haha!”
CAMERON: (laughing) “Uh-huh? Why did you come over here?”
LAURA: “Okay, so issue one: Oh wait, no… Wait, no, yes. Issue.”
LAURA: “So… I did talk to a man at the bar about drugs a little bit. He did tell the stormtroopers not to let us leave the party…”
LAURA: “But- Ohh. Oh, but wait, he is dead, and some of the stormtroopers are dead… and no one is allowed to leave anyway, so that might not be an issue to begin with. Oh, but Silpin was definitely carrying a note that his wife, ex-wife, had written to him that may implicate me in the breakdown of their marriage.”
CAMERON: Karma’s just been staring at Xianna, kind of open-mouthed, as she meanders her way through sharing this information. She’s been twirling one of her head tails around her finger. “O-Okay… So, Silpin’s wife left him for you?”
CAMERON: “Have you seen her since that?”
LAURA: “(laughs) Oh, no! I was seducing her in order to steal from her. You know, like I do.”
CAMERON: “I forgot. Did you get arrested that time, or did you make a getaway that time?”
NICK: You didn’t get arrested.
LAURA: “Oh, no, I did not get arrested.”
CAMERON: “Oh, okay.”
LAURA: “Not that time, at least.”
CAMERON: “Okay. So…”
LAURA: “I mean, I have been arrested a few times so I am most likely in some system somewhere…”
CAMERON: “We checked that. You’re definitely in the system, but not for that one. Okay. Interesting.”
LAURA: “And I mean, Silpin is dead now, so…”
CAMERON: “Yeah, so that’s less competition, I guess.”
LAURA: “Realistically, no one knows necessarily that I am the person being referred to in the note… except Falx.”
NICK: I think we get a cut- Would it be safe to say, Jorus, that you were performing this note to see if a reaction happened from people?
DREW: Oh definitely, yeah.
NICK: I think it would be safe to say we get a cut of the (whip crack noise) Western thing of Jorus’s eyes again watching Xianna go ‘… Karmaaa!’ and like run across the room.
LAURA: ‘Space mom~!’
DREW: He goes, “That’s what I thought.”
NICK: (smiling) Okay. Continue.
DREW: He also puts the note out and one of the ladies takes the note, a bunch of the ladies are waiting to read it, some of the gentlemen too, because they’re around there trying to read it closer.
NICK: You hear one of them go, “Ooh, he really censored that.”
DREW: “Yes. Yes I did… Look at the back.” There’s this shot of Jorus over here to the left, to the right there’s a gaggle, and you hear a flip and a gasp.
DREW: But Jorus does start making his way through the crowd towards the purple Twi’lek. He does take out a little notebook, and in it he’s got “Red ?, Yellow ?, Green X, Purple… Circle, circle, circle.” (laughter) That’s what he’s on his way to do.
NICK: Great. Karma, is there anything specific you wanted to be working on right now? You probably have about two minutes before he gets across.
CAMERON: Well, so I’d been following Falx when the lights went out. It was 15 seconds you said that the lights were out, but was there a significant jump once he started moving faster and I started chasing him where when the lights came back on he was in a drastically different spot than I was expecting him to be in?
NICK: Yes. He was headed towards the middle of the room, but when the lights came back on he was much closer to the stage, so it’s like he ended up about 45 degrees off of where you would have expected him to be, like he had changed direction when it was dark.
NICK: There was gunfire. Obviously he must have taken cover.
CAMERON: Yeah, and continued moving, so that you’re more likely to get shot.
NICK: Hmm. Maybe. I don’t know if that’s how guns work.
CAMERON: (smiling) I think it is.
NICK: Okay great.
CAMERON: That’s how Star Wars guns work.
NICK: Sure. Absolutely.
CAMERON: Well, if they’re trying to hit you… (laughs)
NICK: Uh-huh. Yeah, for sure.
CAMERON: Yeah. Okay, so when Xianna ran over I had been watching Falx making rounds. He didn’t end up dead and he was concerned he was gonna die, so I’m watching him to see what reactions other people are giving him for if potentially he was supposed to be one of the targets that died. Since I’m doing that, I want to roll a Perception check and see if I see Jorus mark Xianna and start coming after her.
NICK: Ooh. Yeah, I think Perception is probably the way to go. We’re getting tangled webs now. I think you’re doing this Perception as Xianna is freaking out a little bit and kind of rambling. You’re listening with one ear, and on the other—Ooh. Do we get a (whip crack noise) to Karma?
CAMERON: Yes. (laughs)
NICK: (laughing) This is the theme of this episode now, just the tie-dye.
CAMERON: (hums Western tune)
NICK: Yeah. So, game recognize game, I guess.
CAMERON: Alright. What’s the difficulty on that Perception check?
NICK: Would you say you’re trying to be subtle at all, Jorus?
DREW: Oh, Jorus is not a subtle man.
NICK: This would be easy.
DREW: He’s making a B-line. He’s like, “Pardon me. Excuse me. I need to be over there. Excuse me.”
NICK: This is the walk down the street in Tombstone with the coat flapping situation.
CAMERON: Alright. (laughs) Holy shit.
CAMERON: Okay. I got three successes and two triumphs.
NICK: Ooh. Okay…
LAURA: She knows the day he was born… the color of his mother’s eyes…
NICK: So, let me make a suggestion for these triumphs. Karma has a storied history as an experienced bounty hunter. Do you just know Jorus?
DREW: Oh… Do I know you? I definitely know you.
CAMERON: (laughs) Probably.
DREW: I used to be a bounty hunter in my young days.
CAMERON: Then yes.
LAURA: Ooh! I imagine you’re facing Xianna so you’re seeing the back, and then she kind of turns a little bit and you see the full face, and that’s when you do the little (whip crack) noise and you realize you know each other.
NICK: This IS a triumph, so it’s a good thing for you, so let that shape y’all’s relationship. Here’s what I wanna do. I want Karma—I’m taking the reins a little bit, but if you want to change your mind let me know.
CAMERON: That’s fine.
NICK: I want Karma to intercept Jorus because she recognizes this walk, and she puts things together very quickly, and I want y’all to talk out what’s going on a little bit. Before that, I’m gonna let y’all think about it a little bit… I wanna jump to Tink, because Tink has been doing stuff over in the background this whole time.
CAMERON: Okay. You said you were like 35?
DREW: yeah. I’m like 35, 36.
CAMERON: Okay, so we’re about the same age.
NICK: So you probably started bounty hunting around the same time.
CAMERON: Around the same time. Alright.
NICK: So, Tink, a lot of stuff has happened. There’s a droid that is not even trying to be sneaky a little bit, and there are some computer panels on the walls and some security systems, and there are a lot of suspicious, angry people. What would you like to do?
HUDSON: So… Where’s Whist?
NICK: Whist is… Ooh. I think Whist is currently hovering about five meters from Sila, kind of back behind her unobtrusively, and he is about head level. His comfort zone of floating is at like human height so that he can relate to people and things. He doesn’t get to very often, but he likes to.
HUDSON: I notice the droid and I think about it, and just think… I could just nab that, but it is audible, so it would notice and put out an alarm, so I’m not gonna do that. I look around. I see computer panels, you said?
HUDSON: Alright. I walk towards the computer panels. Do I see anyone guarding them?
NICK: Actually, interestingly enough, you see a Rodian who is actually wearing light battle armor, kind of like a pilot suit and has a blaster, and he’s leaning against the wall near the light panel. He doesn’t necessarily look like ‘don’t come over here,’ but there’s a dude with a gun standing by it.
HUDSON: Alright. I walk over and say hi to the Rodian.
NICK: He looks at you and kind of tilts his head a little bit. (oddly): “Hi.”
HUDSON: “All this that just happened, you know anything about it?”
NICK: “I don’t not know anything about this.”
HUDSON: Alright. Do I kinda like check to see—
HUDSON: Alright. Perception?
NICK: Yeah, perception would work, or Charm if you wanna just try and be friendly with this poor pilot. Why are all my NPCs a mess?
HUDSON: What’s the difficulty?
NICK: Easy. He’s not supposed to be talking to people. I did not cast him with speaking lines.
HUDSON: Ooh. Okay. That is one threat and one success.
NICK: Okay. You’re being very friendly and everyone else at this Imperial gathering has been really nasty, so it’s kind of like hanging out somewhere where no one speaks the same language as you and finally finding someone who speaks your language. “Oh gosh, I’m so glad to see you. I don’t know a lot about this. I was just hired to fly some people here.”
HUDSON: “Well friend, what if I said I understand you and I know what’s going on?”
NICK: “I would love an explanation. I was promised no one was gonna get hurt, and here we are, and I can’t leave.”
HUDSON: “Oh… Really? So this means you are involved.”
NICK: “I didn’t expect to be involved, uh, although I guess thinking about it bringing all these rough and tumble characters to an Imperial gala was not the best idea. They just said go to Mustafar. Mustafar is a mining planet. It’s where these kind of people hang out. Why were there so many Imperials?”
HUDSON: ‘Listen. You can calm down. I just need to do some checks, so just get out of my way real quick,” and I try to move him out of the way to get to the computer system.
NICK: Do you just like shoulder bump him?
HUDSON: Lightly, not like super aggressively.
NICK: Okay. he bumps out of the way. “Oh… Um, okay…” and walks off.
HUDSON: Wow. This was a lot easier than I thought it was gonna be to get the NPC out of there.
NICK: Yeah. He doesn’t wanna be here.
HUDSON: Okay. I go to the computer. Does it have security cameras that are dark vision?
NICK: No it doesn’t. You see two things. You see a security feed. These are industrial security cameras. They do snapshots every 15 seconds, and they are just straight color, so it’s not going to be able to see in the dark. Next to that panel you see the light controls, and there’s a data spike jammed into it.
HUDSON: Alright. I pull out the data spike.
NICK: Alright. You have a data spike.
HUDSON: I inspect it.
NICK: Alright. I’m gonna need a slicing check for finding out something about this here data spike.
HUDSON: By slicing you mean—
NICK: Computers check! Close enough. Eh, whatever, it’s just rules.
HUDSON: What difficulty?
HUDSON: Okay, so I have… Wait, those cancel… Alright, carry the two…
HUDSON: I have one success and four advantages.
NICK: Okay, so be thinking about those advantages. It is a pre-loaded program that will cut the lights for about 15 seconds. It’s one of those auto-run ones that you jam it in there and it’s gonna happen. It’s a nice program. It is a traceless program. Just to use some of your advantages for you, it is extremely sloppy that someone wouldn’t have pulled the spike out afterwards. If I can spend a few more of your advantages…
NICK: …you notice that Devaronian from earlier that’s been freaking out keeps looking at you, and when you pull out the spike you hear him go “aw kriff,” and then he just starts rocking in place. He’s having a little bit of a breakdown here.
HUDSON: I look over and see where Karma is.
NICK: Okay. I guess we’re jumping back to them now.
NICK: You see the marshal who you probably noticed before because he was making a show of himself, and he and Karma are about four meters away from each other walking straight at each other very purposefully. We’ll jump to them.
CAMERON: Okay. When I see him, I turn slightly to Xianna and say under my breath “Xianna, you’ve been made. Move.” And I like push her into the crowd and start walking towards him. (laughs)
LAURA: “What? What?! Okie. I am going to go find Sabos and Tink. Wait. No. Just Tink.”
CAMERON: (laughing) Karma looks crestfallen for a second and then continues walking towards Jorus.
DREW: So, as the Twi’lek moves Jorus tracks on the Twi’lek, so the eyes don’t meet Karma exactly until Karma is almost right in his field of vision, and she gets so close so suddenly that he reaches for his blaster… but then sees Karma and goes, “Well, kriff. Karma? That you?”
CAMERON: (cheerfully) “Yes! Hi!”
DREW: (enthusiastically) “Karma~!”
CAMERON: (laughs) They hug it out.
DREW: And they hug—Yeah. This big hug.
CAMERON: “What are you doing here?”
DREW: “Oh, you know, just working.”
CAMERON: “Same here. I’m not… I got hired to help not get one of the people who didn’t die killed, so I guess I did that good.”
DREW: “Well, well done, well done.”
DREW: “Well done. I’m here to just, you know, pick up somebody.”
CAMERON: (smiley) “Yeah. That makes sense. What have you been up to?!”
DREW: “Aw, you know, this, that and the other, a couple of scrapes but nothing too big. I went legit in the end.”
CAMERON: “(gasps) Nice!”
DREW: “Yeah, yeah, you know, benefits. Dental. And health.”
CAMERON: “Yup, that is helpful.”
DREW: “Yeah. It’s very nice, very nice to have.”
CAMERON: “Yeah. My boys are still on my parents’, because that was just way easier.”
DREW: “Oh yeah. Always good. It’s always good to do that. Yeah. I got married!”
CAMERON: “Oh! Congratulations!”
DREW: “Thank you! Thank you very much.”
DREW: “Yeah, it’s been nice, it’s been nice.”
CAMERON: “That’s great!”
DREW: “Yeah. Uh, hey! Hey, you wanna help me out?”
CAMERON: (laughs) “Sure!”
DREW: “Okay! So there’s a purple Twi’lek, alright?”
DREW: “Yea. So there’s this purple Twi’lek, alright?”
DREW: ‘Now, I’m not entirely sure yet, but she might be a thief of some kind, and I’m supposed to track her down and bring her in for a couple of things. Now, it might be… where did she go… that one, there. So, if you wanna help me, the reward, for old times’ sake we’ll go 50/50.”
CAMERON: “Do you want me to go chat her up, or…?”
DREW: “Yeah! Yeah.”
CAMERON: “You kind of have an aura going where like, I was seeing that you were getting a lot of attention as I was walking over here, so I may be a little bit more under the radar. Yeah?”
DREW: “Oh. Do you wanna pull a Corellian Shuffle? You wanna pull one of those?”
CAMERON: “Definitely. Yes. Let’s do that.”
DREW: “Alright. Let’s do one of those. Alright. You go chat her up, I’ll loop around. Alright. Here we go.”
CAMERON: “Alright. Okay!”
LAURA: So… Xianna would’ve been making her way towards Tink, maybe not all the way there by the time Karma catches back up with her.
LAURA: “Oh. Yes?”
CAMERON: (tone drops) “You’ve definitely been made.”
LAURA: “I mean, yes, I am the only purple Twi’lek, so…”
CAMERON: “Uh-huh, yeah, and he’s after you. He knows you’re a thief. He’s a very good bounty hunter.” (laughs)
LAURA: “Yes. Yes. Uh-huh. Okie. Um, so, problem, we can’t leave. What do you want me to do about that?”
CAMERON: “Uh, try and hide somewhere. Go to the bathroom and then just do something.”
LAURA: “I am a Twi’lek. What am I supposed to… I’ll just stand behind Tink.”
CAMERON: “Find a purple plant to blend in with. I don’t know.” (laughs)
ALYSON: (laughs) Oh my gosh.
CAMERON: “But I’m chatting you up right now, just know that.”
NICK: So, Sila, you’ve probably solved the mystery by now. What are you working on with the information that you have?
ALYSON: So, she studied the body of Tarstin Moon, she studied the readouts that Whist gave her, she stood up again and scanned the room herself, she’s got several options running in her head as possibilities. I would like to say with the advantages that I’ve stockpiled that she saw Tink go to the lighting panel…
ALYSON: She saw this yuppie search the other body—
DREW: I beg your pardon.
ALYSON: –and ruin, RUIN that crime scene that she didn’t even get to look at in its entirety.
DREW: Don’t worry, I took care of it.
ALYSON: And she also saw the purple Twi’lek flit over there, and then flit back over there, and then now she can see the purple Twi’lek talking to someone else.
ALYSON: She’s seeing these pieces starting to come together.
NICK: Mind palace.
ALYSON: yes, but one of the things that Inspector Sila Rowe really likes about solving these things is that there are so many possibilities, and she doesn’t like to spoil it for herself by flipping to the end of the book, so she likes to let them fall… like, she likes to let the moment die on its own before she goes ‘this is what happened.’
ALYSON: I think what she does is she stands up and says, “Whist.”
NICK: “Yes, marm?”
ALYSON: “I want a readout on Regional Governor Falx.”
NICK: “A new one?”
ALYSON: “Yes, an updated one, and compare it and contrast it to the last three.”
NICK: “By your command,” and he goes up high and does one straight down so it’s a lot less obtrusive. Are you looking for like body chemistry?
ALYSON: Yeah, and I wanna know what he’s done in this room in the last bit. He’s definitely been looking around and keeping an eye out, tapping his foot waiting for the stormtroopers to get there, but I’m assuming he doesn’t know I’m in the room.
NICK: No. I don’t think he’s noticed, or he may have marked you as someone he wasn’t expecting but he didn’t process all the way. He’s got a lot of plates in the air right now and you definitely use that to your advantage.
ALYSON: Mm-hmm. Cool.
NICK: Yeah. Make me a Perception check. This one’s gonna be hard, but you can have those two blues again because you’re using Whist. What a useful item I have created.
CAMERON: (laughs) How convenient.
NICK: So that’s three purples? Hard, yeah.
ALYSON: That’s two advantages and a triumph.
NICK: The way that’s gonna work is… Whist is unable to really get a read on what Falx’s deal is. Whist went for a pretty high depth scan trying to check footprint patterns and track his way through the room and what he was doing, and you have been experimenting with a really high level algorithm that can kind of calculate motive that way. It can’t handle this many people in the room, it’s not done yet, but with that triumph something else really useful and good can happen. I’m gonna leave that up to you. You can basically pull another piece of this puzzle in incidentally.
ALYSON: Whist, I want you to make yourself useful to the Gigoran.”
NICK: “Interesting gambit, marm. Did you have anything particular in mind?”
ALYSON: ‘Just be useful, and keep me posted.”
NICK: “Yes marm, by your command,” and he descends down from the ceiling where he was scanning. You know there is a particular head swivel thing that he starts to do when he’s frustrated and his algorithms aren’t working. Tink, you feel the telltale feeling of a droid setting down nearby on a repulser. “Hello, my name is Whist. I couldn’t help but see that you’re trying to do some computer technician work. I happen to be particularly suited to that type of work. How can I help?”
HUDSON: “Oh, I don’t need any help. Thank you.”
NICK: “Oh, no, I must insist. I am programmed to be helpful.”
HUDSON: I look at it and just kind of squint my eyes a little bit, very suspiciously.
NICK: This is obviously an Imperial droid.
HUDSON: Yes. Am I near a hallway?
NICK: Yeah. I think the light panels are near an offshoot that go to the bathrooms, which people haven’t really been using.
HUDSON: I look left, and look right, and regardless of what I see I grab Whist and run to the hallway.
NICK: I won’t even make you roll for that. I like that a lot. So, yeah, you just straight pull him into the hallway.
DREW: ‘Am I being helpful?’
ALYSON: I do feel like there is a little blip that goes off for her that he’s been grabbed. They’ve got proximity alert set up so that she knows what’s going on.
NICK: Oh yeah, on your com unit, which you can have actually on a cool wristband if you want.
NICK: A little distress light turns on because it’s the 70s, so there’s a little yellow lightbulb screwed in.
NICK: “Distress!” But yeah, you’ve got him in the hallway.
HUDSON: Yeah. I want to make sure- I knew that there would be a distress signal because I’m used to Imperial droids from my background, so basically, I may have to flip a point for this, but have a data spike that can shut off that signal and put the bot under my control.
NICK: Yeah, for a light side point you can, absolutely. That’s just in your bag of tricks?
HUDSON: Yeah. So I pull it out, stab it with the spike…
NICK: Ooh… Don’t make him flip that light side point. Flip me a dark side point instead. You think you grab that one, but instead you jab the Rancore Protocol into this droid.
HUDSON: Oh my…
NICK: Yeah. So, the distress light goes off, it turns off and you’re like ‘oh, I guess he’s fine,’ and then it goes (buzzing, pop) and it breaks, like through some overload. The link is totally cut. The droid appears to be deactivated right now.
HUDSON: I push the on button.
NICK: It turns on, it looks at you, and goes, “Filthy human, I’ll destroy you for this!” All the arms come up, and there are corkscrews, and blasters…
ALYSON: And like scissors, yeah. (laughs)
NICK: Yeah. A magnifying glass for some reason.
ALYSON: (smiling) yeah, yeah, definitely.
NICK: And we’re gonna cut away from you.
NICK: Jorus, what is the Corellian Shuffle?
DREW: So the Corellian Shuffle…
DREW: …is where one of the bounty hunters distracts the prey, and while they are being distracted the other bounty hunter gets behind them and then distracts them, and then the other bounty hunter that was originally talking to them takes the person.
NICK: Okay. Ooh, okay. So…
CAMERON: The reason Karma agreed to it is because she would be the person who grabbed her in the end, so she feels like she still has control over the situation.
NICK: (laughs) Okay. It’s really interesting to me that Xianna is the wounded gazelle in this situation, because that’s not normally how this plays out.
NICK: So yeah, I think we can pick it up right with… Jorus, I think you may overhear, ‘I’m talking you up right now,’ and then you’re right behind her. We’ll go from there.
DREW: “Excuse me, ma’am.”
LAURA: ‘Oh, uh… Ello. (laughs nervously)”
DREW: And so she turns around, and that is the cue for you to do what you’re gonna do. He goes, “I can’t help but notice that you seem to be out of sorts. Are you alright, ma’am?”
LAURA: “Oh, I am just fine. You know, just, there was a murder in case you did not see. I am just very nervous because of the murder, and I’m afraid I might get murdered again…”
LAURA: “Not again, not that I am getting- I have never been murdered. I am afraid that uh, what is, how uh… that the murderer will also strike again and that I will be murdered.”
DREW: “Here, have some water, uh, sit down…”
ALYSON: She’s like freaking out. (laughs)
CAMERON: Karma’s standing behind her and has binders in her hand and is trying, but Xianna is gesticulating so much…
DREW: “Ma’am, ma’am…”
LAURA: “Uh, yes, yes?”
DREW: “I just need you to calm down. I want you to put your hands behind your back. It just helps with the circulation.”
NICK: So, one thing I also want to throw in, you recognize some symptoms of she has very clearly taken impact which is like space cocaine, like recently.
DREW: (seethes) Okay, then it’s double circle…
LAURA: She puts her hands to her side and is kind of scanning the room to see if she sees Tink, and if Karma is still behind her.
CAMERON: Karma is still behind you.
LAURA: Would I see that Karma is now holding up binders?
NICK: I think the way the Corellian Shuffle is designed is that unless you completely turn around karma is very much in your blind spot, so I don’t think you’re gonna catch that.
LAURA: Okay. Yeah.
NICK: But when you look for Tink, I think from the hallway you hear like, pew-pew, pew-pew-pew, and Tink comes running out of the hallway with a gesticulating Whist going around the room and saying, “There’s been a murder!” Pew, pew-pew, pew-pew-pew!
LAURA: And Xianna’s just like, “Oh… Huh. Oh, found Tink. (giggles) Hello~!”
NICK: Tink goes running into the room.
CAMERON: Karma gets distracted by the droid that’s shooting.
DREW: Jorus also gets distracted by the droid.
LAURA: Xianna tries to meld back into the party while Jorus is distracted by Tink and them. If you need me to roll Stealth or Skulduggery, or I have Streetwise!
NICK: I’m thinking that’s a Stealth to do an Assassin’s Creed here.
ALYSON: Oh yeah!
NICK: I would believe that your critical injury to your foot may affect that a little bit.
LAURA: Oh, yeah, it will.
CAMERON: Can I give her a boost die for adding more distraction towards the droid, because I’m right next to him?
NICK: Okay, yeah, take a boost die.
LAURA: What would be the difficulty?
NICK: We’re gonna say hard. Jorus is a tough cookie. Space cookie.
DREW: … Spookie?
CAMERON: (laughs) Yup.
ALYSON: You heard me.
DREW: Oh, wait, wait… What kind of space cookie is Jorus, do you think? Like, oatmeal, chocolate chip?
CAMERON: Like oatmeal raisin.
ALYSON: With walnuts.
DREW: I accept it.
LAURA: That would be three successes and two advantages.
NICK: Okay. Is there anything you want to spend the advantages on?
LAURA: When I get back into the crowd I want to see the green Twi’lek, and Falx is like right behind me, so I’m far enough away from Jorus and Karma that they won’t hear me and Falx, but that I don’t have to travel that far to run into him.
NICK: Okay. I think you meld back into the crowd and Falx is right there. You hear, “Whoa!” and you bump him, and he spills his martini into a lady, and it’s the yellow Twi’lek.
“Well I never!”
“Oh, you’re fine, sweetheart!” And then he turns around and goes, “Ah, Xianna! Everything appears to be going swimmingly as I am not yet dead.” In the background… Pew, pew-pew, pew, pew-pew-pew!
ALYSON: ‘There’s been a murder~’
NICK: A lot of the crowd is screaming and ducking under tables and jumping out of the way. Falx and a few of the others seem very nonplussed by this, for instance the scruffy Imperials by the wall are just kind of nudging each other. You see that most of the people with weapons visible see that Whist is only shooting up and instead see this as fun. The people who are ducking out of the way are people who are not used to gunplay.
NICK: Except for Tink who’s just sprinting across the room right now.
LAURA: I would like to link arm-in-arm with Falx and do the hand into my pocket, gun poking into his side, are you happy to see me deal.
NICK: “Oh wow. This really escalated, didn’t it?”
LAURA: “yes. So um, did you have anything to do with this? You know, the murders and the shootings? The pew-pews? You know.”
NICK: “I don’t really know why I would admit one way or the other, to be honest.”
LAURA: “Well, I mean… Eh. You might as well. No one is going to believe me.”
NICK: “Ooh, that’s true. I didn’t think about that. I honestly trust you and respect you as a professional.”
LAURA: ‘Oh thank you!”
NICK: “yeah! Put the gun a little higher. That rib’s a little bruised. If you could…”
LAURA: “She pushes it more into the bruised rib.”
NICK: “(groans, seethes)”
LAURA: “You do realize you are blackmailing me, so… heh.”
NICK: “Well I mean, it seems a little uncouth to complain about being blackmailed when you have a gun on someone.”
LAURA: “I mean, you already heard me saying we should just let you die, or murder you ourselves, so…”
NICK: “Yea. I really overestimated the good will from our last meeting, come to think of it.”
LAURA: “I mean yes, you know, have you met me? (laughs) So, did you murder them, by the way?”
NICK: Um… Roll me a Charm check. I’d love to just give this to you, but I feel like some sort of roll needs to be in order there.
NICK: Unless Intimidation is something you would rather do.
LAURA: Oh no, I am not intimidating. What would be the difficulty?
NICK: Hard, but I think a gun to someone’s side is probably two blue dice.
CAMERON: Do you wanna flip a light side point?
LAURA: Eh, no. Psh.
NICK: Don’t give them ammunition.
LAURA: Three advantages. I probably should have flipped that point.
NICK: “I am not going to admit one way or the other, but—“
LAURA: “Okay, so yes.”
NICK: “—I will tell you that the bounty hunting gentleman over there, well I guess he’s a marshal now, but he definitely wants to arrest you.”
LAURA: “Okie. I already knew this. Can you give me like information I can use right now?”
NICK: “Those scruffy Imperial-looking gentlemen definitely shot these stormtroopers. I heard them talking about it.”
LAURA: “Okie. Did you hire them?”
NICK: “I can neither confirm nor deny!” He smiles really self-assuredly there.
LAURA: “So… So yes.”
NICK: “I can neither defer- (gibberish)”
LAURA: “(sighs) Oh my goodness.”
CAMERON: He’s been drinking too much.
LAURA: She would like to let go of the blaster and grab a pair of binders, and slap them on him, and I’m assuming that will be an Agility check of some sort.
NICK: Eh, I’ll just let you do it. I think it’s interesting.
NICK: While that’s going on… Sila, your droid has been freaking out a little.
ALYSON: So, the little yellow alert goes off like he’s in distress, and she goes, “huh,” and then it (makes noises) and explodes, and she goes, “Hmm…” (laughter) Then, the next thing is Tink running back in with Whist behind, ‘there’s been a murder~’ and pew-pew-pew, and the Imperials giggling about it and the people being like, ‘Oh! Woo! Oh my gosh. Blah, blah, blah,’ and Tink is like ‘Ahh!’ running through. (laughter) Sila goes to intercept but also has one eye towards Falx and sees the purple Twi’lek again. She makes some calculations, shifts some of the puzzle pieces in her head, and goes for Tink instead. She intercepts them, walks directly towards Tink so that he has to step around her as he’s fleeing, and reaches out and says something to Whist to the effect of, “Authority Override 016.” She’s reaching for that data spike.
NICK: So, you give the override, and Whist says, “Yes marm,” and half of his arms go limp, and then he starts to power up again. When you wrap your hand around that data spike you actually get a very powerful charge. Something people might see, a powerful shot comes out of the robot, it makes a pretty impressive light show, it goes around Sila, and it actually outlines a thin barrier around her like some sort of personal shield. Anybody who’s been dealing with the outer rim or anything know that’s super rare, extremely expensive technology that shouldn’t exist. It flickers for just a second. The spike actually just drops to the ground between you all, and Whist drops to the ground as well. You see—gosh, it’s Star Wars—so there’s no screen, but you see a bunch of cogs start to spin and what you recognize as his reboot situation.
ALYSON: Mm-hmm. She picks up the data spike and turns immediately to Tink.
HUDSON: “Was that your droid?!”
ALYSON: “Do you have a moment to speak with me?”
HUDSON: “Uh… I need to catch my breath.”
ALYSON: “Over here?”
HUDSON: “Uh… Sure?”
ALYSON: She does what Xianna basically did, links arms with him holding the data spike in her other arm and leaves Whist to reboot in the middle of the floor, and drags Tink across to a corner.
HUDSON: “I’m a little flustered here. What do you need?!”
ALYSON: “What do YOU need?”
HUDSON: “I need to get away from the murder droid, but I guess you deactivated it.”
ALYSON: She waggles the data spike. “Is this one of yours?”
HUDSON: “Really… Wait, no, yes! Really! It’s not really mine, no, not at all.”
ALYSON: “It came from you.”
HUDSON: “No it did not.”
ALYSON: “You put it in the droid.”
HUDSON: “Nooo, that droid had it in there.”
CAMERON: (laughing) It seems like you’re lying.
NICK: I would like a Deception check versus Sila’s Perception.
HUDSON: Yes, I was waiting for that.
NICK: Oh gosh, what’s your Perception? It’s gonna add to his difficulty. This is gonna go really bad.
ALYSON: I have three little things filled in on Perception.
CAMERON: (laughing) So it’s gonna be three reds and a purple.
NICK: So it’s gonna be a purple and three reds versus your Deception which is a green and a yellow.
HUDSON: Yeah, probably a light side point there.
NICK: You can try. I think this ship has most assuredly sailed.
CAMERON: Do it. Yeah. Upgrade something.
HUDSON: So, I upgrade this to a yellow?
ALYSON: Do I have to roll too?
NICK: No. In contested rolls the one person’s stats…
ALYSON: It’s against the skill? Okay.
NICK: You get to be the negative ones.
ALYSON: Got it.
HUDSON: Oh my.
NICK: Oh good.
HUDSON: Seven disadvantages, two advantages.
CAMERON: So five threats?
HUDSON: Five threats is what I meant. Yeah.
NICK: Wow. Alright.
NICK: Here’s what we’re gonna do. Wonderfully enough for the roleplaying that kind of comes to a dead end, nobody will admit anything, everyone’s very stubborn about it. Tink, you fall prone. (dramatic bass noise) You are perspiring a little, you just straight slip. He falls out of your grasp. He just prat falls hard. You roll to get to your feet, and I think you’re just at a complete disadvantage right now. Would you like to spend any of those disadvantages to make your situation easier to interrogate at this point?
ALYSON: yes. I want proof that he’s the one I’m looking for. I know he’s the one I’m looking for, but I need proof because paperwork.
NICK: (laughs) What do you think that proof looks like, that you’re StarDestroyer1?
HUDSON: Oh, okay, the one that she’s after.
NICK: Mm-hmm. Remember, because you left that signature in a bunch of star destroyers that suddenly had bad things happen to them.
HUDSON: Oh man. Yeah, I actually keep a small notebook, like a little diary on me, and it has my signature on it like on the leather part that I’ve etched out for some reason, because I’m real cocky.
LAURA: Oh yeah.
NICK: It says StarDestroyer1 on it?
NICK: Oh gosh.
ALYSON: So you fall prone and you’re like ‘blegh,’ and she sees it slide half way out of your pocket or whatever. Is it your fancy belt that it pops out of the pocket of?
ALYSON: Cool. Yeah. She reaches down with her gloved hand, picks up the notebook, looks at you… “Nice belt.”
HUDSON: I grab the data spike and run.
NICK: Okay! Now we’re getting into the fun part. (rubs hands together) A lot of things happen at once. This is the part of the mystery where everything goes bonkers. A couple of things happen. Stormtroopers land outside in a carrier ship. You can see them, you hear them, it rattles the windows. This is one of the very big military ones. Thirty stormtroopers pop up and they start lock stepping up that walkway into the room. As soon as they hit the door, the Imperial officers with the loose guns freak out, flip a table, and start shooting at the stormtroopers.
NICK: (laughs) yeah. Falx laughs a little, breaks free from Xianna, and just starts to book it out of the room. You’re running for the door. The party is over, ladies and gentlemen. What do we do?
ALYSON: Sila sees the shooting start and sees Falx start to run. She takes after Falx and hits a button on the wristband for Whist to follow so that they can go get Falx.
LAURA: And Falx is in binders.
NICK: Oh yeah. He’s definitely doing the run, like he’s got his arms together and he’s kind of wiggle running, but he’s surprisingly fast, again, like someone who does jungle excursions as a hobby. He takes off down that hallway towards the bathrooms. Whist is close behind him, and Sila is physical test jogging, like the speed that she has to in order to pass the yearly exam, but she knows Whist has got it. They’re out, they’re gone, we’re gonna come back to that scene. I really like that a lot.
NICK: What is everybody else doing?
DREW: Okay, one, taking in that there’s now Imperial officers shooting at stormtroopers. That’s not my job. My job is the Twi’lek, so I’m gonna chase after the Twi’lek. I’m going to pull out of my pocket my communicator to press for my ship to come to where I am.
NICK: I have a question. Those ships I described earlier are all fair game if you like one of those, or you were late, so what is your Nightrider style ship?
DREW: There is a… It’s my personal modified U-wing.
NICK: The VW bus of Star Wars.
NICK: It’s got those wide kind of spatula fins on the front that can snap in and out for speed settings. It’s got the short body on the back. It looks like a tuning fork of a ship. What does the paintjob look like?
DREW: It is painted red and yellow, but like a maroon and a mustard yellow, and the highlights are white, so it’s those three colors.
DREW: It’s uh… Ah. Of course I’m gonna call it this. It’s called the High Noon.
NICK: That’s a good ship name.
DREW: It’s got ‘The High Noon’ on the side.
NICK: Does it have a pin-up girl painting on it?
DREW: Oh yeah, definitely.
NICK: They ALL do. Ours does to.
DREW: But she’s modestly dressed, and she’s reading a book… (laughter) and she’s got spectacles, but she’s very attractive, and it’s in a pin-up pose.
NICK: Man. Okay. You call your ship, you’re running after Xianna and Karma. Tink, I’m imagining you hit the door, manage to barrel through the stormtroopers, we’ve got a Wyatt Earp situation, laser blaster all around you but they’re like burning holes in the sides of your fur but you’re not getting hit. You’re through the formation. They’re kind of ignoring you because your axe is on your back luckily and not in your hands and there’s people shooting at them. you start to go down the walkway. Karma and Xianna?
CAMERON: I was standing next to Jorus when he took off after Xianna.
DREW: Oh, and real quick, Jorus yells as he runs back, “It’s alright Karma. You’ve been out of the game a while. I know. It’s alright!”
DREW: “Don’t worry. We’ll get her!” As he runs out.
CAMERON: Psh. I already turned in this bounty. I’m not worried about it.
LAURA: Xianna hears this and is like, “Wait, what?!”
CAMERON: Karma gets on the coms. “Yeah, Xianna, run. I’m not gonna chase anymore.”
LAURA: Xianna’s so confused. Falx just broke free. She’s not really sure what the green Twi’lek’s doing back here. She really hopes she’s not the actual murderer. I mean, that would be crazy. She sees Jorus coming for her, and she’s going to make a B-line for the bar and try to get on the other side of that to also avoid any stray laser fire.
NICK: Okay, so you’re running for cover rather than the ship.
LAURA: Yeah. I think at this point going for cover would be easier than getting to the ship, because there’s officers outside the doors?
CAMERON: And she can’t leave until we get there. (laughs)
LAURA: I don’t fly… Karma has the keys… (laughter) Our ship has keys, I guess.
CAMERON: I ba-bwoop it every time I get off, so there’s gotta be a key fob.
LAURA: Well yeah, because there’s Imperial officers outside the door there’s no way I’d get past all of them to get to the ship.
LAURA: So I’m going to get behind the bar and actually pull out my blaster and hope that maybe something good will happen. I don’t have grenades, do I?
NICK: Oh gosh.
DREW: Oh goodness.
CAMERON: (laughs) Don’t throw a grenade in here.
LAURA: No, I just have bantha cakes.
NICK: This is a ballroom!
LAURA: I do have four bantha cakes in case anyone needs snacks!
NICK: Great. Okay. (laughs) We get a really cool shot of Xianna, I think at this point your cloak has blown free, and underneath she’s wearing a trench coat. It’s a very Blade Runner looking one. It’s very tubular. It’s got lots and lots and lots of pockets on it.
LAURA: You only see a few pockets. It HAS a ton of pockets, but you can only see a few of the pockets.
DREW: Oh, okay.
NICK: Some of your associates like these kind of smuggler’s coats. You know that there’s probably a bunch of stuff in there that is not common. So, we get a cool shot of the boy Duke slide over the bar, glasses go everywhere, and Xianna’s down behind it. We’re gonna go to Karma next. What are you doing?
CAMERON: I’m gonna go assist the stormtroopers, but I’m gonna come up behind the shifty officers who flipped the table and start chucking them over the table.
NICK: (laughs) Um, we don’t need to roll for that. You grab one of them by the scruff and by the pants and just chuck them over. Before they hit the ground they are peppered with fire. Only stormtroopers fire that accurately. That guy’s done.
NICK: And then you grab the other one. He goes, “Hey! What are you doing?!” And he goes to swing at you. Do you chuck him over too?
NICK: Alright. You toss him up and it’s like skeet shooting, the guy’s just peppered and he’s down.
CAMERON: Was that it back behind it?
NICK: Yeah, it was just the two guys.
CAMERON: Alright. I do finger guns at the stormtroopers and walk off.
NICK: Okay. The stormtroopers go, “Well, that was really helpful. Uh… Thank you, ma’am.” We get a shot of these formations. They got the line kneeling, the line standing behind it, they’ve got the firing line, and they all kind of look at each other and shrug. You hear the armor clacking, and they start setting up perimeter around the room. You can tell they’re looking for whoever’s in charge.
DREW: “Trooper, that’s me.”
NICK: “Oh, uh… Right away, sir.” It’s one with a shoulder pauldron, it’s got red and black stripes on it because they’re on Mustafar and they’re color coordinated, and he lock steps over to you. “Secure the perimeter!” He comes up to you and says, “What exactly is going on here?”
DREW: “Jorus Kreel, Marshal, outer rim. Here’s my security codes.” And I hand him the governor’s security codes.
NICK: Yeah. You can see, it’s hard to read a stormtrooper, but his head cocks a little. He doesn’t report to Marshals usually, but he takes the cylinder that you had taken from Silpin, plugs it in, and the whole thing lights up. It’s basically every security clearance, listen to this guy, he’s in charge. “Oh… Uh, right away, sir. A pleasure to meet someone of your stature. What do you need us to do?”
DREW: “There’s a purple Twi’lek behind the bar. I want you to secure her.”
NICK: “Right away, sir.” And they all turn and start shooting at the bar.
DREW: “No! No! Don’t kill her!”
NICK: With that, we’re gonna jump to Sila real quick. I think that Whist has caught Falx on a walkway outside. It is out of the comfort barrier that they have, so it’s roiling hot, there’s ash, smoke and sparks flying everywhere, it’s very the end of Episode 3. His clothes are singed, he’s sweating and breathing heavily, and Whist has him around the legs. Falx is doing that dragging thing when a toddler holds onto it, trying to get further away, and you catch up to them there.
ALYSON: “Regional Governor Falx.”
NICK: “Oh, uh… I’m afraid we haven’t been introduced.”
ALYSON: ‘No, we haven’t. If we had you would’ve made sure that I wasn’t at a party that you were committing a murder at.”
NICK: “Yes, well, since you don’t have an invitation I’m sure you’ll see yourself out.”
ALYSON: “I’m sure you’ll see yourself out wearing those binders that someone put on you for me.”
NICK: “Oh… What exactly are you going for here, uh, Inspector, was it?”
ALYSON: “Imperial Inspector Sila Rowe.”
NICK: You see him physically blanch at the name drop, and he drops a lot of the pretense that he’s had this whole time. “Ah. Things seem to have gone a little topsy-turvy, haven’t they?”
ALYSON: “I should say so.”
NICK: “If you could have your droid release me I think we could talk about this in a more civilized manner.”
ALYSON: “I think, I can have my droid drag you back inside where you have a cooler head, and then we can talk about it.”
NICK: “Well, see, the thing is… Those stormtroopers, while accurate, are not particularly specific with the things they bring down, and I would rather not have additional holes added to my person at this time. I have a personal shuttle around the corner. I could escort you to your next place.”
ALYSON: “It’s very hot out here, Regional Governor. I suggest you talk quickly before you get too warm.”
NICK: “Hmm. This sounds like some sort of intimidation check, doesn’t it?
NICK: Coercion! That’s the stat.
ALYSON: Okay, yes, vocab. Good.
CAMERON: Yes. (laughs) I was like, that is not a word on here. What is it called?
ALYSON: I super don’t have that~
NICK: You can twist it any other way if there’s something you would like to do.
ALYSON: I do have Negotiation, and there’s Streetwise too. I don’t know what you think is better.
NICK: I think a Negotiation would work here, probably, but you can have two blue dice because I know you still have some advantages in your pocket, and also he is at an extreme disadvantage at this point.
NICK: It is going to be hard. Yep. He has three Willpower. I gave this guy stats. You could flip a dark side point to upgrade that green to a yellow if you’d like. You should make it, statistically, that would just make it more likely.
ALYSON: Burn ‘em if you got ‘em.
CAMERON: That’s just a wash.
CAMERON: Yup. That’s nothing.
NICK: Eh. Ooh. My NPC lives to fight another day. So, here’s what we’re gonna do. I am going to flip a light side point actually, and Falx is going to monologue for a second.
NICK: “Well… I guess the only thing I miscalculated was your presence, my dear. Surprising… I don’t know how that happened, except if I invited you. Did you find your hacker friend?”
ALYSON: ‘I did.”
NICK: “Hmm. I noticed you went after me instead of him. I don’t expect your superiors will be particularly happy about that.”
ALYSON: ‘Don’t worry. I have what I need.”
NICK: “For now. They’re surprisingly slippery. Here’s how this is going to go. I’m going to get on my ship. I’m going to leave, and you’re not ever going to find me.”
NICK: “Yes. See, I believe my time with the Empire is probably officially over seeing as I just killed a regional governor and an inspector who was on my tail, and that ship is pretty much over. Now, I will say that I was trying to burn some of my associates at the same time, and that might be why I invited several members of the law attempting to hunt them. I’m a little disappointed in how that worked out, honestly, but I’m going to get on my ship, you are going to go arrest the people who will get you promoted, and I’m going to disappear into the outer rim never to bother you again. How does that sound?”
ALYSON: Alright, flip one of those suckers. She holds up the recording device…
ALYSON: …clicks the button. “That sounds fine. Whist!” And Whist is gonna shove him over into the fucking lava.
NICK: Yes! Yeah~
NICK: So, Whist drops back. You see he has a little tick that you’re not used to. Some of his lights are glowing red instead of the usual yellow they have.
ALYSON: Mm-hmm. Okay.
NICK: And his voice sounds different. He says, “Extrapolation: I just hate you organics.” And he shoves him. We get the slow-motion shot of him wide-eyed and falling backwards.
ALYSON: With the bracers on his hands still?!
NICK: Yeah. It goes straight back, it’s like he wanted to do the arms outstretched pose and couldn’t—he’s very dramatic—and he falls back, and there’s a moment of quiet, and explosion of lava comes up, and then a Lambda class shuttle rises up from below the walkway and he’s kind of splayed on the windscreen. He hits his elbow even with his arms bound together on the screen. “And I think that’s my cue to leave.” And they fly away.
LAURA: He’s so extra…
ALYSON: So, she watches him fly off, her expression shifting imperceptibly, then she looks down at Whist. “What happened to your voice?”
NICK: “I’m not sure at all what you mean, marm.” And he’s back to normal.
ALYSON: “Hmm. We have a lot to discuss, Whist. This was a very educational outing.”
NICK: “I look forward to learning more from you.” We’re gonna do a swipe cut.
LAURA: I would like to… When the fire first starts, Xianna does do the thing where she pops her head up, gets shot at, ducks back down, but then reaches up onto the bar, grabs a bottle, and pulls it back down with her.
NICK: (laughs) Okay.
LAURA: I want to flip a light side point and have there be a door around the corner of the bar that I can crawl to and hopefully get into that room without Jorus noticing me from the position he’s at.
NICK: Okay. Yeah. We get the shot of the stormtroopers all firing and Jorus going ‘no, no, no, I need them alive!’ Karma, you see that going on. Do you walk nonchalantly to the ship figuring that she’ll make it there? Are you gonna try to help your friend?
CAMERON: Karma throws a casual salute at a couple of the stormtroopers and just walks past them, because well she helped them so they’re just gonna let her leave now, and walks out the main door. Instead of heading directly towards the Afternoon Delight she heads around to the side that the bar would back out to and sees if there’s a door over there to try and come in from the other side to get Xianna. I don’t know if that is the door, if she finds the door and is like ‘ah-ha, I can help,’ and Xianna’s like ‘oh, hello’ and walks out.
NICK: Yeah. You walk hands in pockets, just casually over. There’s a lot of gunfire inside.
CAMERON: Hands in cloak.
NICK: Hands in cloak. You can hear through the walls Jorus yelling at the stormtroopers. They’re very enthusiastic about shooting.
DREW: They are very enthusiastic. They’re good boys. They do what they can.
NICK: “We mean well, sir.” Then, you walk around to the side, there’s a door, and you go ‘huh…’ and then it goes BANG and Xianna comes action rolling out, but not with a gun, with a bottle of whiskey in one hand. She holds it up triumphantly, and y’all make a break for the ship. I think Tink is in the cockpit flipping switches, but he doesn’t really fly regularly, so the hot tub is on, there’s some strobe lights going, it’s a very It’s My Birthday scene.
LAURA: Oh yeah.
NICK: Karma slides into the cockpit, flips the switches down, and the ship goes quiet and then lifts off and starts to go. Jorus, I think we get a scene of you looking over the bar with all the smoke and the shattered glass and everything, and you see the door kind of cracked.
DREW: “(heavy sigh and groan)” He sees that, looks over, he jumps over the bar, looks around the corner, and he opens the door, and he can see the ship going. He sighs, looks back at the troopers, and goes, “Drink your fill, guys.” He shuts the door just as the High Noon comes down, and it doesn’t even land. It’s kind of on this hover as the side door opens and he rushes to it to jump in. his pilot is an Ewok by the name of Jubs, (laughter) and he’s this grizzled, old Ewok whose got scars and tattoos, but the tattoos are just like burns in the fur in different designs. He’s got this grizzly, almost Wookie-looking beard, and he’s got a Wookie-looking bandolier on him. Jubs was raised by Wookies.
NICK: Oh okay, great. We need a whole podcast about Jubs.
ALYSON: You got it!
DREW: He goes in and goes, “Jubs! Jubs, I want you to follow that shuttle. You got that, Jubs?” He rushes up as the ship begins to take off and he jumps in the co-pilot seat. We see on his side, because he doesn’t fly, Jubs flies, because Jubs is a freaking amazing pilot… We see there’s a picture of a woman, he looks at the picture, kisses the picture, and goes, “Don’t worry, Erma. We’ll find ‘em.” It says ErmaKreel, birth date such and such, death date this year.
NICK: Jubs looks at you and goes, “Yub nub!” (laughter) And they take off. The final shot we get is the High Noon pulling up out of atmosphere and the Afternoon Delight is just ahead, and in the Afternoon Delight we get a shot in the cockpit of proximity sensors going off. Jubs flips some switches in the cockpit and pounds a button and we get just 90s anime amounts of rockets coming out of this U-wing and they’re all arching at it. The proximity alert gets louder and louder and louder. Tink is in the engine room preparing to repair whatever horrible disaster is about to happen, (laughter) and right before the missiles hit Karma throws it into hyperspace and snaps away, and all the missiles hit and there’s a huge explosion.
DREW: It jumps back to Jorus in the cockpit, and he goes, “(sighs) … Drinks?”
NICK: “Jub nub!”
NICK: That’s the end of the episode! Ba-naaa~!
(cheering and clapping)
NICK: Oh boy. That was so much fun, y’all.
CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show and will make the squad feel special when we read them.
Sila Rowe is played by Aly Grauer. She can be found on Twitter at @dreamstobecome
Jorus Kreel is played by Drew Mierzejewski. He can be found on Twitter at @worldstoforge.
Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.
Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. You can find him on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.
Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.
Our game master is Nick Robertson, and you can find him on Twitter at @alias58.
Our intro song is Space Jam by Pablo Ribot.
Jorus’s theme is Glueworm Evening Blues by Lobo Loco.
Sila’s theme is Albinoni’s Concerto for 2 Oboes in F Major Opus9 no3, 2 Adagio – performed by the Advent Chamber Orchestra.
The “dramatic letter” song is The Gate of Evermore by Livio Amato.
The “there’s been a murder” song is Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3, 3 allegro performed by the Advent Chamber Orchestra.
Additional music by James Gunter.
Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram at @tabletop_squad. See you next time.