Transcript: HK-67 Interstitial 1, part 2: The Black Parade
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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, HK-67 Interstitial 1, Part 2: The Black Parade
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
LILIT: Hello, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Lilit, your game master. 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.
This is the last interstitial episode before Season 2 begins. These side missions have been a blast, but we’re excited to get the crew back together. we will also have a recap episode releasing before the premiere so that you and your friends can get caught up on the crew’s adventures.
Music in this episode can be found in the show notes.
Now let’s get to the episode.
[old scratchy record player begins with carnival music]
LILIT: Hello and welcome to Tabletop Squadron. I’m Lilit, and I’ll be your game master for today. We are on Episode 2 of this HK solo adventure, not really solo, because he has a friend now. Minna, why don’t you introduce yourself?
[carnival music fades]
MINNA: Hi, I am Minna, and I will be playing Kessek the Trandoshan assassin.
LILIT: And where can people find you, in case they didn’t listen to that first episode for some reason?
MINNA: I can be found at @mynaminnarr on Twitter. I am also on The magpies podcast and the Compleat Discography podcast.
LILIT: And Nick.
NICK: Hi! I’m Nick, and today I will be playing HK-67, also known as Hank, and I am a droid assassin.
LILIT: Great. When we last left off you had just defeated three stormtroopers who had wandered onto the roof of the building to take a smoke break, and the destiny pool is currently at two light side and one dark side. So let’s pick up where we left off. What are you two doing now that you have some bodies to deal with? Or not deal with, either one.
NICK: Hank definitely just kicks one of the stormtroopers down the stairs and then walks back to see what else is happening on the street, like if everybody heard the commotion or not.
LILIT: Okay. I would say the start of the commotion was during a band going by. All the floats, if they are not right next to the band—or, there’s a few smaller bands, so if a float isn’t right next to a band they do have music playing but it’s not as loud as the actual instruments. So, a few people heard the tail end of the fight, but they’re just kinda looking up at the building. They can’t actually see any of the bodies because there is a raised lip to the edge of this roof.
NICK: HK’s head kinda leans over the side and makes eye contact with a couple of the people looking up, and he twiddles his fingers at them and says…
NICK (as HK): Nostalgic Quote: Ello~
NICK: …and then slides back onto the roof.
LILIT: [chuckles] Kessek, you probably more than Hank would know that even though your confrontation with these troopers wasn’t super noticeable from the street you probably would only have a few minutes before, one, other stormtroopers notice that there are some missing compatriots, and two, they put two and two together and notice that people are looking up at your building.
MINNA (as Kessek): Alright, let’s get out of here.
NICK (as HK): Do we have a plan? Do you know where to go?
LILIT: Both of you would have known the previous parade’s route. You do not know what the current route is. There are probably ways to find that out, though. You could also just follow the parade.
MINNA: Yeah. I think her plan was just to, you know, go through the crowd and burst out from the crowd.
NICK: Oh, hell yeah, I’m here for that. let’s do that.
MINNA: [laughs] She’s not a subtle—I mean, I guess she’s… I lie. She’s decent at stealth, but she is very much a quietly get to where you’re going and then just not be subtle anymore.
LILIT: Do you plan on doing that just in front of your current building or do you plan on going somewhere else to do this ambush?
MINNA: I think it makes the most sense for us to go a little bit down the street, just so we’re not directly in front of this building with dead stormtroopers.
LILIT: Yes. It takes you a few minutes to find a new spot at street level. Would you like to be truly in the crowd or would you like to be sort of in a side alley with a view of the street?
MINNA: I think in the crowd.
LILIT: The two of you make your way into the crowd a few buildings down and are able to get a spot right up against one of these parade barriers. Looking down, you probably have a few minutes before the Moff’s float gets to you just with how slow they are meandering down this road.
[quiet jaunty music begins]
NICK: HK leans both his elbows back on the parade barrier and looks towards Kessek.
NICK (as HK): Now that we have a professional relationship that has been baptized in blood, what is your name? Most people call me Hank these days.
MINNA (as Kessek): You could be a little quieter about that. My name’s Kessek.
NICK (as HK): Oh, it’s fine, you’re very intimidating. No one will bother us. Nice to meet you, Kessek.
MINNA (as Kessek): Nice to meet you.
MINNA: [smiling] She’s a little bit annoyed that you figured out her strategy for blending in.
NICK (as HK): You are very tall. The child behind you can’t see. Would you like to crouch down some?
MINNA (as Kessek): I don’t think that would help.
NICK (as HK): Sorry small child, you will not see the parade today.
NICK: And HK turns around to watch the route. [laughs]
LILIT: There’s a small Human child who’s like jumping up and down and eventually one of his mothers picks him up and puts him up on her shoulders and gives the two of you a head shake for not letting this small child see the parade better.
MINNA: [grinning] Kessek is immune to disappointed headshakes.
LILIT: This family, they do end up moving a few feet away to get a slightly better spot.
NICK (as HK): The joke’s on them. As an artificial intelligence I don’t have a conscience.
LILIT: [laughs] You get hit in the head with a piece of candy.
NICK: I take 4 wounds.
MINNA: No~! You don’t have enough wounds!
LILIT: It’s a soft caramel. Don’t worry.
NICK (as HK): I do, however, feel pain and can get embarrassed.
NICK: As he scrapes at the candy to try to get it off of his head.
MINNA (as Kessek): Why can you get embarrassed? That doesn’t make any sense.
NICK (as HK): Have you been hit in the head with a soft caramel candy right before assassinating an important political figure? It really ruins the mood.
MINNA (as Kessek): Shh… You don’t know the meaning of subtle, do you?
NICK (as HK): I’ve done subtle for quite a while. It got old. I’m trying something new.
MINNA (as Kessek): Lucky me, I get to be here for that experiment.
NICK (as HK): So far it’s going great.
LILIT: Yeah. The Moff’s float is about four or three floats away when HK gets a ping on their coms.
[music is replaced by simple phone ringing tones]
NICK (as HK): Standard Greeting: Hello. This is HK-67.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie. Okie, Hank. Okie. I know we are not supposed to be talking right now, but hear me out.
NICK (as HK): I’m sorry, I forgot to ask who this is. Who is this?
LILIT (as Xianna): This is Xianna. You know… your friend.
NICK (as HK): Oh, hello.
LILIT (as Xianna): Secondary user.
NICK (as HK): Secondary user, why didn’t you say so? We are not supposed to be communicating.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie, yes, but can you talk right now?
NICK (as HK): Oh yes, I am not busy.
NICK: [laughing] As we see Kessek in the background getting ready to just destroy all this stuff.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie, hypothetically, who is the asshole in this situation? One person asks the other person to move in. The other person does not want to move in but still wants to date that person, and the first person says something about toothbrushes, and then the second person says I only have one toothbrush so I cannot bring a second one over, and then the first person gets mad. Ugh… what?!
NICK (as HK): Xianna, I think what’s important to ask is which one of these persons are you? Are you asking for a toothbrush or refusing to provide a toothbrush?
LILIT (as Xianna): I’m not refusing to give a toothbrush, I just only have the one toothbrush.
NICK (as HK): If Nolaa has hurt your feelings by not advancing the relationship I would be happy to terminate her.
LILIT (as Xianna): No. No. Other way around. She wants me to leave a toothbrush on her ship, but I only have the one toothbrush, and I also don’t want to leave a toothbrush on her ship because commitment issues.
NICK (as HK): Oh, so you have hurt Nolaa’s feelings. Short Answer: yes, you are the asshole. Longer Answer: I should call Nolaa and see if she wants to put a contract out on you. It’s been lovely catching up, Xianna.
LILIT (as Xianna): [gasps, huffs] I don’t think it’s that bad. Please don’t kill me, HK~ [whines] Hank~!
NICK (as HK): I probably won’t. We’ll make it look like an accident. Click.
MINNA (as Kessek): Ready to go, Agony Aunt?
LILIT: I would say this conversation took just long enough that the moment you turn around is when the Moff’s float is in view and only one float away from where you are standing.
MINNA: Yeah. We’re gonna take a shot at the float two floats ahead.
NICK: So Kessek lowers her rifle and HK walks up and is doing that thing where they look weirdly organic, which doesn’t match the way their arms and joints are, and HK leans against the barrier as you’re lowering a rifle and people are scattering away from you.
NICK (as HK): Can you believe that? My friend was so inconsiderate of her girlfriend. You know, I always thought they were cute together, but I’m not so sure.
MINNA: [laughs] I think she ignores and just takes a shot.
LILIT: So you take a shot at the float two in front of the Moff?
LILIT: If you are taking shots at two in front of the Moff you will be getting the Plasma Refinery Association.
LILIT: Yes. It is mostly a group of older Humans wearing rather stuffy suits and dress outfits.
MINNA: Very floofy sleeves, rich colors.
LILIT: Very floofy sleeves, very high collars, hair styles that cannot be their real hair.
MINNA: Yeah. Yeah. It’s Naboo. [chuckles] So, what’s the range?
LILIT: They would probably be… Let’s go medium range, because they have started to pass you.
MINNA: Okay. One threat.
[classical movie humorous danger music begins]
LILIT: [laughs] You shoot, and the rifle bolt hits a large piece of decorative metal on the side of this float, and it’s hit at just the right angle and this piece of metal is just thick enough that it ricochets off and hits one of the patrolling stormtroopers off to the side.
LILIT: So this stormtrooper goes down. They are not dead, but they are shocked from being hit and was not expecting it. Now all of the stormtroopers are on alert and you have started to create commotion.
NICK: Quickly after Kessek’s shot HK is going to climb up onto the barrier and take a shot and try to hit the person driving the hover float.
LILIT: The float for the Plasma Refinery Association?
NICK: Yeah. That was the plan. Gotta make it stop.
LILIT: Their particular float is a droid in charge of it that is inset into the float.
NICK: That’s fine. I’ll kill a droid.
LILIT: Okay! [laughs] Go ahead and roll your ranged check for that and throw in a black die for range defense on this droid.
NICK: Okay. Hey, I actually went and read my talents, and I am going to use my Precise Aim maneuver to suffer a strain to remove any defense from this attack, so that’ll get rid of the black die, right?
LILIT: Yes it will.
NICK: Cool. Then, can I get a point for Quick Strike because the droid hasn’t done anything yet?
LILIT: Correct, the droid has not initiated anyone in combat yet. [chuckles]
NICK: [laughs] Okay. Now I will roll. I was like, oh yeah, I have talents to do things. That’s gonna be three successes and four advantages, so a crit as well.
LILIT: Nice! With that crit you can either just completely take out the droid and stop the float or you could roll on the crit chart.
NICK: I would like to take out the droid and stop the float, please.
LILIT: I figured. [giggles] So, you shoot right through this poor R2 model that has been inset into this float. Sparks go everywhere, and the float comes to a stop and drops down to the ground, shaking the float and everyone on it. At this point, I think we will roll initiative, because another group of stormtroopers has surrounded this float and have now pinpointed where the shooting has come from. This will be a Vigilance initiative check.
NICK: I got one success and four advantages.
MINNA: One success and three advantages.
LILIT: I am very sorry for my rolls. We are looking at three NPC slots, then the two PC slots, then a fourth NPC slot.
NICK: Can I spend all of my advantages that as the float crashes it explodes slightly and shoots a bunch of smoke everywhere to make it hard to see?
LILIT: You may. So, I will say the first round everyone will have a black die, as far as the stormtroopers, for obscured vision. The stormtroopers are up. Alright, this first stormtrooper managed to get a success, so they are going to hit Kessek with 7 points of damage.
MINNA: Hmm, so that’s 3. Seven out of 16 wounds.
LILIT: I’m sure it’ll be fine.
MINNA: Yeah, I think she grunts… Well, I guess there’s a lot of slots left, so I’ll let you figure out what happens next.
LILIT: We move to the next NPC slot, and the second stormtrooper goes ahead and fires at HK, and they miss and they hit one of the barriers, but there’s a third stormtrooper.
NICK: Alright. I would like to spend a strain to Dodge to upgrade the difficulty of the attack by one.
LILIT: Wow… They got a despair.
LILIT: They do not hit you, and have a despair.
NICK: They decide to go home.
LILIT: They can fall prone.
LILIT: Do you want that? Would you like that?
NICK: Sure. Yeah.
NICK: So like, tactically that’s not super helpful, but as the show person, yes!
LILIT: So, this stormtrooper shoots but the shot goes wide and they unbalance themselves and they step back across a piece of shrapnel from the float and trip and fall backwards, falling prone, [dramatic bass noise, music ends] and in this process they let go of their blaster and the blaster tumbles a bit away from them underneath a float. This third stormtrooper is now without a gun. With that, we are now to our first PC slot.
NICK: So, the barrel on the bottom starts to spin up, HK jumps onto the barrier that he had hidden behind for cover when he dodged, and he’s surrounded by smoke and the flames of the float in the background, and he says…
NICK (as HK): Gleeful Statement: Suppressing fire.
NICK: …and just starts to lay down just a curtain of blaster bolts. He’s not aiming, it’s like slung at the hip, and is just peppering this whole thing. The crowd is screaming and ducking away and running. The people on the float are trying to climb into it and also surrounded by fire. It’s just a big old mess. I will roll to do that… Ooh, so we have three successes and two advantages, so that would give the stormtroopers two black dice on their attacks or anything they’re trying to do while they are being suppressed, which I’ll just do for the foreseeable future I think. [laughs]
MINNA: So they now have three black dice?
LILIT: And with that, we are at the next PC slot, so Kessek, what are you doing?
MINNA: How close are they?
LILIT: They are at short range.
MINNA: I’m gonna use my maneuver to engage with them, because that’s a better move.
NICK: You’re in no risk of getting shot by HK either. As the blaster bolts are swiping back and forth there’s always this very noticeable gap whenever it’s near Kessek and then it starts again.
MINNA: Plus. … Damn, that is one failure and three advantages. I know this feels like a disadvantage, but since her actual thing was to attempt to draw more stormtroopers out this way instead of over by the Moff’s float I almost want it to be reinforcements are coming for the stormtroopers. [laughs]
NICK: [laughs] You are such a Blades in the Dark player, but that’s a good thing for you.
MINNA: We’re doing a heist.
NICK: I ain’t afraid. Let’s do it.
LILIT: So, I was already planning that the end of this round the floats behind the Plasma Refinery Association ones were going to start redirecting, so we can say that at the end of this round the floats will begin to redirect and some of those troopers will reinforce and join the group of stormtroopers you are currently engaged with.
MINNA: I think what happens is that she wades into combat, and she doesn’t manage to hit any of them because they duck, but one of them is like [grunts] and radios for help.
NICK: I mean, damn, have you seen Kessek? I’d radio for help.
MINNA: [giggles] And you with your suppressing fire.
LILIT: The stormtrooper that is on the ground, as they are trying to reach their gun, does radio in.
LILIT (as stormtrooper): We need reinforcements!
LILIT: You can see a group that was guarding the very last float peels away and starts coming your direction. We are at another NPC slot. You know what, I am going to move another dark side point. I’m gonna upgrade this check… and it didn’t matter. It’s a wash. So, this fourth stormtrooper takes a shot and completely misses. It bounces off one of the barriers. This is when you notice that the other parade floats are starting to turn down a side road and move out of the way and that other group of stormtroopers have arrived and they are going to join the initiative in between the two PC slots. We are back up to the top with more troopers. One of them manages to hit you, HK.
NICK: Even with all those black dice?
LILIT: Yes, even with those black dice. Things just kinda cancelled out real weird down to one single success. [laughs]
LILIT: So that is only 6 points going your way.
NICK: Yeah, let’s keep the damage at that manageable level, please. [laughs]
LILIT: Yeah, your Soak is…?
NICK: Four, so that’s not too bad, because I have armor.
LILIT: The next slot, as anticipated, does not hit anyone. They had fallen, so they are spending their turn grabbing their blaster, trying to squeeze underneath the float, grab their blaster, and then get back out and up, and that is how they are spending that turn, which does bring us back to a PC slot.
MINNA: [laughing] I have a very stupid idea.
NICK: Do it! [laughs]
MINNA: Can I grab the one who’s on the ground and use him, like throw him into another stormtrooper? Like, just grab him by the ankles and whip him into another stormtrooper?
LILIT: [smiles] Yes. We will say that as they are standing up, like, the way they are standing up is that they’re kind of side-back is to you and you are able to walk over and just reach up underneath and pick them up and throw them to your side so that they hit into another trooper.
MINNA: [giggling] How do I roll this?
NICK: A large improvised weapon.
LILIT: This would be a Brawl check.
MINNA: Yes. Okay.
LILIT: So depending on how the Brawl check goes we’ll see whether or not we roll improvised weapon for the stormtrooper that gets hit with the other stormtrooper. Actually, they would both probably take improvised weapon damage.
LILIT: Let’s see how this Brawl check goes.
MINNA: We have a lot of light side. Should I use one?
NICK: Yeah, probably.
LILIT: Yep, I will flip that from a light side to a dark side, which brings the total pool to two dark side, one light side.
MINNA: So then it’s one success and two advantages, so with one success it’s… yeah, 6, and then I have two advantages.
LILIT: for those advantages I’d say you can spend one of those advantages so that both troopers take damage.
LILIT: The stormtrooper that had been thrown is knocked out. They are not dead, but I am gonna remove them from the initiative. Then, the stormtrooper that was hit has taken some damage.
MINNA: I’m gonna spend the last advantage to give a blue die to Hank.
NICK: Good idea.
LILIT: In the commotion the stormtroopers are now very distracted having seen one of their colleagues picked up and thrown into another one, so they are slightly distracted. We are now at the new group of stormtroopers, and let’s see how they roll. They rolled a lot of blank dice, so… they pretty much do nothing. All of their shots go wide. They don’t hit anything, and they aren’t even able to provide any distractions or advantages.
NICK (as HK): Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Suppressing fire. Suppressing fire.
LILIT: [laughs] We are now back to a PC slot.
NICK: I think HK, after getting his fill of that, tosses his rifle up over a shoulder and his hand snaps out of the way revealing the tip of a little rocket embedded in his arm, and he looks to the large group of stormtroopers clustered really close together around Kessek, and then he looks at their target which all the other floats were kind enough to move out of the way… and he looks at Kessek, and he looks at the float… but I don’t know who to shoot at. [laughing] Who should I shoot at? I only have one missile.
LILIT: Ooh… I will say—So, the stormtroopers would be, if you’re aiming at the group, they would be short range. The parade float is moving into long range.
NICK: Okay, because it’s like leaving?
LILIT: Yeah. They’re making a turn away perpendicular from the street you are on.
NICK: Okay, so before they get out of sight I’m going to use my maneuver to move, and then I’m going to spend a strain to double move which brings them back to medium range, and then… I guess what I’ll do is I’ll double move to run after the float.
LILIT: And take that strain?
NICK: Yeah, but I’ll fire back behind me with the rocket towards the group. [laughs]
NICK (as HK): Come on, Kessek. We gotta go.
NICK: I’m gonna roll to attack just as many stormtroopers as possible with this rocket. Also, I’m sorry if I kill you, Minna.
MINNA: That’s fine.
LILIT: I doubt you will.
NICK: Probably not, but this is going to do a lot of damage.
LILIT: There is one single light side point still available.
NICK: Yeah, I’ll flip that.
LILIT: Ha-ha, and that brings us to three dark side points.
NICK: I ain’t ascared. Okay, let’s see how this goes. A single success is all I got. Oh, and one advantage. So, this rocket does 6 damage and Burn 2, so I just throw a whole bunch of napalm all over the street.
LILIT: Okay. I’m going to say that with that damage and that Burn that you effectively are taking that secondary group of troopers out of the initiative. They’re still alive, however they are much more concerned with the fact that they are on fire.
NICK: Yeah, I would be too. That makes sense.
LILIT: There are still three troopers up and about, though. With the end of HK’s turn, we are at one of those troopers. They will be aiming at Kessek, and… just a whole lot of advantages.
LILIT: Well, they’re gonna use those advantages to create an opportunity for the next troopers to have a better shot at you, giving them a blue die, and that is the end of this round. I will say that the smoke is no longer there, so we’ll be removing those dice. Kessek, you are still there, and this trooper is going to shoot at you.
MINNA: I think while HK’s running away Kessek is like:
MINNA (as Kessek): I’ll hold them off.
LILIT: Just as you say that, you get hit with 8 damage.
LILIT: They rolled some good successes in there.
NICK (as HK): My mechanical brain means that I will be unable to forget your sacrifice.
NICK: As he’s like running down the street. [laughs]
MINNA (as Kessek): Thanks?
LILIT: The second stormtrooper takes a shot at Kessek yet again, and does nothing. It is a complete wash.
LILIT: Their rifle doesn’t even fire, just, something happens and they don’t even get a shot off, but that does bring us back to a PC slot.
MINNA: I think now that HK has implied that I’m going to die here if I stay, they’re just gonna… You know what, she’s not so committed that she wants to die in this, so… I’ve got 11 wounds out of 16. How do I get out of here? Let me think.
LILIT: There are enough side alleys, and there’s not much of a crowd anymore, but you probably could maneuver through some side alleys using Stealth or Streetwise.
MINNA: yeah, I’m gonna go that route I think.
LILIT: Yeah, and get any troopers that follow you off your tail, and then meet back up with HK.
MINNA: Yeah. What is that difficulty gonna look like?
LILIT: I would say it is an average difficulty, because there’s really only three troopers left and they’re wounded and their charges are now driving away, so as much as they want to get these enemy combatants their job is still to protect someone.
LILIT: But I am going to flip a dark side point to increase that, so it’ll be one purple, one red.
NICK: Can she have a blue die because of all the smoke and chaos and stuff everywhere
LILIT: I’ll say you can have a blue die for the chaos. The smoke has dissipated enough since it’s been over two full rounds.
MINNA: Three successes and three threats, so I successfully evade them, but what happens that’s bad? Three threats is pretty bad…
LILIT: Yeah, you are able to evade them, however the way you had to move through the alleys to lose them meant you had to move slightly away from where the floats were headed so it will take you longer to meet back up with HK.
MINNA: Sounds good.
LILIT: Now that that initiative is dropped, HK, what are you doing?
NICK: So, this float is scooting away from me. My original plan was to blow it up, but I’m a big softy and I blew up Kessek to save Kessek.
NICK: I think what I’m going to do is wait for as this float is going away… it’s still shielded, so I’m gonna try to shoot a street sign or a balcony or something to try to drop something really big and heavy through the shield onto the float and try to break the shield.
LILIT: You know what I’ll give you?
LILIT: I will give you that a lot of news stations are obviously covering this event, and there is a floating droid much like those probe droids floating up that has had cameras installed onto it so that it kind of has the appearance of an insect eye. It’s just covered in round little cameras so that it can get all sorts of different camera angles on it. You could shoot that out of the sky, and you figure with some basic maths that you could probably get it to go through the shield and hit someone.
NICK: Okay. Yeah. That sounds good to me. I’m gonna do one move action to keep chasing after this thing. Hopefully that’ll bring me to the cross-street that it’s going down so it’s not too far away. What range does that put me at?
LILIT: I would say that puts you at short range.
NICK: Wow. Okie-dokie.
LILIT: These floats don’t move super-fast even when they’re cranked up to their highest setting, more from a safety standpoint of these aren’t just floats that are modified hovercrafts or anything, these are built-for-parade floats, so they are very top-heavy, so if they were to go too fast they would probably just fall over.
NICK: Cool. HK jogs up, drops to one knee, we get the view from his perspective so the vision is all red-tinted and has lasers and targeting markers everywhere on it, and HK says…
[humorous action music begins]
NICK (as HK): Regretful Statement: Sorry buddy.
NICK: …and then shoots this big, heavy droid out of the air. Oh, by a whole bunch. Five successes and one, two, three, four advantages.
MINNA: Oh my god.
NICK: This is the one thing I’m good at, Minna! [laughs]
MINNA: It’s real good.
LILIT: Yeah. You didn’t even have to destroy this droid. I mean, the droid is pretty much just hovering slightly above where the shield is, because it’s following this float very closely, so you are able to hit it at just the perfect angle that shoots it down into the shield, and you are able to just cock the Moff right on his head. One, he is conked on the head and remains on the float, and two, conked on the head, falls off the float. You get to call red or blue for falling off the float.
NICK: Oh geez.
LILIT: We’re gonna roll a chance cube.
NICK: Ahh! I’ll go with red.
LILIT: Okay. Oh, so while the Moff is hit on the head with this droid, one of his attendants is able to hold him up and he remains on the float.
LILIT: You had a 50/50 shot, but blue came up.
NICK: Oh well. I still hit someone in the head with a droid. I feel pretty good about that.
LILIT: The poor droid does roll off the float and enough of the cameras are still working that you can see they have, the cameras that have a good angle of you are all selected and turned on.
LILIT: So there is now some lovely footage of HK. I mean, you don’t know whether or not this droid is recording live or if they are recording to a database inside of them for later use.
NICK: And honestly, HK’s so focused on what he’s doing he probably would note that and then just keep going anyway.
[humorous action music fades]
LILIT: So now that this Moff has been conked on the head and the float with the Queen is now moving by you, you can see that most of the people on the floats have now been brought inside the float. There’s a small compartment for them to go into. They are starting to move into this little sheltered area. The Queen’s float moves past you and away, but up next is the Royal Naboo Security Force’s Veterans float.
MINNA: Oh… boy.
LILIT: [laughs They take a look at you and they all pull out blasters. They remain on their float, but they are going to attempt to shoot you as they float by.
NICK: I would like to upgrade the difficulty of their check by one please. [laughs] I’m using Dodge. Gonna leave that light side point for Kessek to rescue me, but HK definitely says…
NICK (as HK): Panicked Statement: Oh kriff.
NICK: …and dives behind a pile of trash.
LILIT: They’re retired and they’re a little bit older, but they still have some great aim, and a few of them are able to hit HK just right at the center of mass, throws him back , and HK powers down for a little bit. Kessek, you are able to reach HK as he’s powering down.
MINNA: I drag him into the nearest alleyway.
LILIT: Pretty easy to do that. Most of the troopers are more concerned with following the floats and protecting, and there’s just enough pandemonium going on that they do not see where you dragged HK. If you would like to flip a light side point, your last one…
MINNA: Yes. I think what this looks like is that she kind of drags HK into a shadowy alcove and fumbles through whatever stuff HK has on them and finds the droid repair kit, and then there’s just grumbling under her breath as she tries to fix them, and there’s little sparks as she touches wires.
LILIT: You’re also able to find two stim packs which would work on you.
MINNA: Oh hell yeah. I like it. Pulls off the caps with her teeth and injects them.
LILIT: So, two stim packs back to back would give you 9 health.
MINNA: Sounds good. I’m at 2 wounds now.
NICK (as HK): Fading Statement: Kessek, is that you? I see a light. I can see the creator beckoning me forward.
MINNA (as Kessek): Stop being so dramatic, Agony Aunt.
NICK (as HK): Look, I died. I’m pretty sure, I mean, I’m not an organic but I was really dead there for a second. I’ve seen a lot of death. That was not good. Not a fan.
MINNA (as Kessek): Good thing you’re not organic.
NICK (as HK): You know sweetness, I’ve never agreed with you more in my entire life, and my life’s been pretty long.
MINNA (as Kessek): Do not call me sweetness.
NICK (as HK): Don’t call me Agony—Actually, I kinda like Agony Aunt. You can call me that. I’m good with that. So, I got him, right? Moff dead? Success? We did it?
MINNA (as Kessek): Negative.
NICK (as HK): Ugh… Disappointed sigh.
LILIT: So this repair kit is able to do some quick patches to bring you back up to some amount of health. Not everything is repaired, and you will need to see a mechanic at some point, but you are up and running and would be able to continue this mission. From some of the windows of buildings around you, you are able to hear the holo-news on, and you can hear newscasters announcing that:
LILIT (as newscaster): Despite these terrible assassination attempts, the Queen and Moff still plan on giving their speeches at the royal palace to show that you cannot keep the Galactic Empire down.
MINNA: [groans] Sorry, that was me, Minna, in discomfort about Naboo being pro-Imperial, even though I know it is, or at least some of it is.
LILIT: You would know that the palace isn’t terribly far, but it would still take you 10-15 minutes to get down there.
NICK: Unless we steal a car.
MINNA: A speeder!
LILIT: You could steal a car.
MINNA: I kinda wanna do grand theft speeder. That sounds like fun.
NICK: Yeah, let’s steal a speeder.
MINNA: Can I look for a speeder that looks hijackable?
LILIT: Let’s go with a Streetwise roll for that. I would say it’s going to be average difficulty. This area is no longer on high alert, but there are obviously still some people milling about.
MINNA: One success, one advantage.
LILIT: Okay, yeah. You’re able to find a small two-person speeder. I will say the advantage is that it’s at the other end of the alley that is opening out into a different street, so stormtroopers would not see you at all.
NICK (as HK): Kessek, maybe it’s all the blaster wounds, but what makes a speeder more hijackable than others? We walked a while to find this one.
MINNA (as Kessek): It is in a good location. It is a model that is, well, not that difficult to hotwire, so it looks like our best bet.
NICK (as HK): I tend to specialize in murder, so learning more about theft is a great way to expand my horizons.
MINNA (as Kessek): You can’t really get far in assassinations without breaking some other laws.
LILIT: So, you are able to get into this speeder and zip through the streets on the way to the palace. It’s not that difficult. Most pedestrians have either moved inside for safety or have relocated to the palace. As you start hitting resistance from a crowd you can see that the Moff, the Queen and her handmaidens, and a few other high-ranking officials are lined up at a podium on the staircase leading up to the palace. How do you want to approach this situation?
NICK: I will say since the very beginning I’ve been hoping to do just a really, really long sniper shot to kill this guy. [laughs]
MINNA: Yes. I feel like that is actually our best bet at this point.
NICK: Did you say that the podium is shielded, Lilit?
LILIT: Right now it looks as if things are being set up. You’re a little too far away to see if they have any light shielding. Very heavy shielding, you would definitely be able to see that blue shimmer, but some lighter shields are faint enough that from this distance you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you spend some time, and say, a roll, to figure that out.
MINNA: What kind of a roll would that be?
LILIT: Perception, and especially because you are still currently at ground level and there is a crowd ahead of you, because they are up on the large grand steps going up you would be able to see them a little bit better, but going up to a second or third story building would give you an even better vantage point.
MINNA: And probably a better sniper shot, I would guess.
MINNA (as Kessek): We should find a better vantage point.
NICK (as HK): Agreed.
LILIT: There are plenty of buildings to choose from. you’re able to find a clothing store that has different departments on different floors, and you can easily get up there without much notice, and you are now on a third floor and you would have a great vantage point, although you are at long range.
NICK: That’s fine. So, I guess HK uses his scope to check out the podium and look for any additional defenses.
LILIT: If you are looking for all defenses and if there’s a shield and everything, I would say this would be an average check. If you just wanna look for whether or not there’s a shield, that would be easy.
MINNA: How is your Perception?
NICK: I’m decent. I’ve got 2 in Perception and 3 Cunning.
MINNA: Oh, same.
NICK: We could work together.
MINNA: Yeah, we can work together, but we have the same, so I don’t know how much that would help.
NICK: I mean, it would add a blue die. We can do it as a team.
MINNA: Yeah, let’s do that.
NICK: Team spotter kind of thing. We have got… two successes and two threats.
LILIT: You are able to see that they have a very light shield up. With how faint it looks it appears to be one that is meant to stop handheld blaster fire from a rather short distance. It would protect if someone came up and tried to do a short range blaster shot, but a heavier rifle would probably be able to go through that. you notice that most of the stormtroopers are focused a few steps down and are lining up more to prevent the crowd from going up, so there’s not really any stormtroopers right around the Moff and the Queen. However, with that threat, there are other officials up with them, and from where your vantage point is there is some sort of senator standing right in front of the Moff.
LILIT: So you would have to shoot through this other official or hope that they move. You can see that despite it being scheduled that the Moff was gonna give a speech it appears as if the Queen is going to be giving one instead.
NICK: I mean, I have no problem shooting through people. That will just make the shot a little harder.
MINNA: Yeah, or you know, shoot the senator and when they fall follow with a second shot very quickly that gets the Moff.
NICK: Yeah. So, after HK and Kessek have gotten a pretty good view of what it is—I’m also imagining we’re amongst a bunch of mannequins wearing fancy Naboo clothes. [laughs]
LILIT: Oh, if you want to, we could say that is storage and it’s just a whole bunch of mannequins lined up and so you are amongst the mannequins leaning out a window.
MINNA: [laughing] Of course that’s what we are.
NICK: Yeah, I like that. That would be creepy to most people. It’s not to HK.
LILIT: You even have a little bit of benefit, because if anyone looked up you might be able to blend into the mannequins a little bit.
MINNA: [laughs] A droid and a Trandoshan.
NICK: It’s a big mannequin.
LILIT: There’s probably no lights on, and with it being a capital city, while most of the population of Theed, Naboo’s capital, is Human, there’s obviously other species that are around. There are Gungans, they’re not super prevalent in Theed at this point, but there’s plenty of other alien species that come in and visit, so there’s an assortment of non-Human mannequins for their small sections that have non-Human sized clothes.
LILIT: So you might be able to, from someone looking at the ground level, you might blend in if you’re not moving too much.
NICK: HK, after looking at this overview, looks to Kessek and says:
NICK (as HK): Kessek, my newest and closest friend, I think we can do the shot from here, but I would appreciate having a spotter. Would you assist?
MINNA (as Kessek): Happily.
NICK (as HK): I’ll let you have 100% of the pay as long as I get to ventilate this stinking organic.
MINNA (as Kessek): Then I will reciprocate, my newest and dearest friend.
LILIT: In this situation, is the plan that Kessek will shoot the official in front of the Moff and then HK will shoot the Moff, assuming the official drops?
NICK: Well, I was thinking if we have Kessek calling out range and sight and everything that it would give me some bonuses…
NICK: …and HK would try to either through-and-through both of them or shoot one and then the other really quickly.
NICK: I have kind of a wombo-combo of talents, although I actually do like the idea of Kessek take one out and then HK hit the one behind…
MINNA: I could do that as like a sighting thing… [laughs]
MINNA: I think both of those sound good.
[dramatic music begins]
LILIT: If you were both looking down your scopes with the idea of one shot to the official, a second shot to the Moff, and you were both scoping, you would essentially both be able to call out distances and angles. You would be able to see the wind and everything. You wouldn’t necessarily have to have one person entirely dedicated to that.
MINNA: That makes sense.
NICK: Okay. Cool.
MINNA: I think Kessek has the first shot and you get the kill, basically.
NICK: Okay. Works for me.
MINNA: Are we essentially doing an aim maneuver? Is that what that sighting through the scope thing is?
LILIT: Yes, it would be aiming. You would both get a boost die for aiming, and then I would say you would get one setback die for the light shield.
MINNA: So I can actually reduce that with one of my things.
NICK: Yeah, same.
MINNA: So I’ll take a strain to get rid of that setback die, but other than that, yeah, my talents don’t help me.
LILIT: Alright. You are both able to remove that setback die from the shield, but you would both have a boost die for aiming.
NICK: I’m gonna take another boost die for quick Strike, because the Moff hasn’t done anything yet, and then I’m also going to be doing a Targeted Blow. Do we have a light side point to flip?
LILIT: You don’t~
NICK: Oh, never mind, I won’t do that then.
MINNA: You know, I also have Quick Strike. [laughs] I will do that also.
NICK: Okay, so we’ll be rolling the same thing then.
LILIT: Then I will be flipping one of these dark side points to up the first shot, so upgrade the difficulty. One of those purple will become a red. I will say an unexpected gust of wind right as you go to make the shot.
MINNA: Wish me luck.
NICK: So, we get to see HK and Kessek both amongst all these mannequins, laying down with the rifles scoped on these politicians, and HK says:
NICK (as HK): Whenever you’re ready, sweetness.
MINNA: Two successes and one threat.
LILIT: I’m gonna say unless you really want to kill this official damage isn’t gonna matter.
MINNA: It would be 10 damage, but I do have a stun setting, so I’m happy stunning this senator.
LILIT: Yeah. You had your gun on stun, and the senator goes down giving HK a clear shot to the Moff. I will say that threat will come in the form of another black die. The gust of wind whips around and comes from the opposite direction back which would throw off some of your calculations.
NICK: Okay, that’s fine. Ooh, that was a very good roll. I got four successes and two advantages, so I would like to flip a destiny point…
NICK: …the last one, to use my Targeted Blow, which lets me add Agility damage, so that’s 4 additional damage. The sniper is 5, so that’s 14. That’s 18 damage, Pierce 1. That’s pretty good.
MINNA: Holy cow.
LILIT: As is tradition, this Moff is an older man and not particularly sturdy, so that much damage takes him down. You get a perfect chest shot, and he goes down, and based on where you hit him and how hard you hit him you wouldn’t even have to check to see if he made it.
[dramatic music fades]
NICK (as HK): Kessek, you should check your weapon. It appears to be malfunctioning. I could’ve sworn that was a stun shot.
MINNA (as Kessek): We did this clean in the end.
NICK (as HK): Seems like you left an opportunity on the table to kill more organics, but… eh, I don’t intend to be critical of your style.
MINNA (as Kessek): The goal here was not to kill more, it was to kill a specific individual. We have accomplished that goal.
NICK (as HK): You say jorgan fruit, I say jargon fruit.
NICK: HK is breaking down his rifle and getting ready to run.
MINNA: [whispering, smiling] Nobody says jargon fruit.
NICK: [smiling] You can’t say tomato-tomahto in Star Wars.
MINNA: [smiling] I know. Let’s call the whole thing off.
LILIT: The Moff goes down, and chaos ensues. The handmaidens surround the Queen and they are ushered back up into the palace. Someone is dragging the lifeless body of the Moff off to the side, and the crowd is scattering away from the palace, which means that there are now lots of stormtroopers coalescing onto that spot, but crowds are coming your direction. You would be pretty able to get down out of this building and, as long as you hide your weapons and everything, blend into the crowd.
MINNA: That sounds like a plan.
[classical music begins on a record player]
NICK: HK will just, like, he was breaking down his rifle. He’ll scatter the parts through some alleys as they leave the area and he’ll go pick them back up later.
MINNA: [giggles] I think Kessek—so she slings her sword and her rifle across her back most of the time—so I think she just steals a cloak from this store room and throws it over those.
LILIT: Good. It’s a very nice cloak, in season, it has some great embroidery on it.
NICK (as HK): Surprised Statement: Oh, that’s a great idea. Is there one in my size?
NICK: And we get a quick montage of HK selecting a cloak, too.
LILIT: I mean, there would definitely be ones that would fit you. HK isn’t a massively huge droid.
NICK: No, he’s very average size, actually a little small.
MINNA: Kessek has the vibes of like, your dad or boyfriend waiting while you try things on in a store.
LILIT: I kind of like the idea of Kessek holding some part of the gun, just awkwardly holding a piece of the gun out while HK is trying things on.
LILIT: HK also selects a lovely coat. It is more of a winter coat, and it is spring now, but it still fits.
NICK: We walk outside into the crowds as the crowds are fleeing, and HK says:
NICK (as HK): Oh no. What a tragedy. I personally will be affected for my life. This is so sad. Oh no.
MINNA (as Kessek): Laying it on a little thick, aren’t you?
[classical music ends]
LILIT: You disperse into the crowd, and you might want to consider laying low for a little bit just because of the number of recording droids that were following the parade that may now have your photos… but until they begin looking for you, you would be able to make your way somewhere more secure before arranging payment.
NICK: It’s probably HK and Kessek on the outskirts of town waiting on a pickup by a cargo speeder or something.
NICK: And HK says:
NICK (as HK): So, anyway, like I said, I got what I wanted already, so I guess you’re entitled to the 10,000 Credits.
LILIT: Well, so Nick, it makes it sound like HK went ahead and called their contact, like, out of just, already…
LILIT: …that that contact is already on the way?
NICK: Yeah. Sure.
LILIT: Okay. Flipping one of my dark side points. Your contact shows up right as you are saying that, and Kessek, you would know that your contact had offered you double that.
LILIT: Twenty thousand.
MINNA: I think that there is a beat and then just a stun blast hits that contact.
LILIT: So, it is an enclosed hover craft that pulls up, and one of the front doors open, and a Human man walks out, and right as they are getting out, Kessek, you shoot them square in the chest and they go down.
NICK (as HK): Oh, kriff yeah, Kessek. Are we hurting more people? I’m down for that.
MINNA (as Kessek): I had a better offer, so clearly your negotiation skills need some work. I’m going to collect the reward. Feel free to collect the glory from this guy when he wakes up.
NICK (as HK): Okay. [uncertain] I guess I’ll tell him I scared you off in betrayal and stuff so he’ll owe me one… Maybe he’ll give me more work.
LILIT: As this happens, the back window to the speeder rolls down and a slightly older Chiss man leans out the window and goes:
LILIT (as Chiss): Well, that was not very polite.
MINNA: [laughs] Is this the actual person who made the offer?
LILIT: Kessek, you would recognize this as the actual person who gave you your offer. You were told his name was Yarbada, a slightly older Chiss gentleman with very short hair and the standard blue skin, red eyes, and he goes:
LILIT (as Yarbada): Oh…
MINNA (as Kessek): Ah, Yarbada.
LILIT (as Yarbada): So, yes… Well—
MINNA (as Kessek): I thought he was competition.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Oh, no… That was one of my attendants. I will have to hire a new one now.
MINNA (as Kessek): He’ll be fine.
LILIT (as Yarbada): I hope you don’t mind if I take that out of your pay.
MINNA (as Kessek): How much?
LILIT (as Yarbada): Oh, I would say… bringing it down to 15,000?
MINNA (as Kessek): Seventeen.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Sixteen. It is so hard to find good help on such short notice.
MINNA (as Kessek): Sixteen-five, and no one finds out it was you.
LILIT (as Yarbada): [sighs] Sixteen-five it is, and that is mostly just because I would rather not get out of the craft. I did not put on regular shoes, you see.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Still in my slippers. Did not think I would have to do this.
MINNA (as Kessek): Next time you might want to set up a signal that this is your man. Bounty hunters can be jumpy.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Well, this is the drop-off point. I figured you would assume it was the person doing the drop-off.
MINNA (as Kessek): Never make assumptions. Assumptions get you killed.
LILIT: Yarbada leans a little bit further out the window.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Ah, yes, the droid!
NICK (as HK): You know what they say about assumptions; they make a gundark out of you and me.
LILIT (as Yarbada): You are both here. Huh. Well, good for you. I am only paying once, though.
MINNA (as Kessek): We already agreed on a price.
LILIT: HK, now that you have a better view of this man, you would know that you were also hired by a Chiss.
LILIT: You went through a few more in-betweens, but you did eventually speak with the direct hirer through holo-vids.
NICK (as HK): Grazy’arbad’askufuku, how come you hired more than one hunter? Did you not have confidence in either of us? I am disappointed.
LILIT (as Yarbada): It’s not that I didn’t have confidence, it’s that I really wanted him dead, and I just wanted to have a little extra insurance that he would not make it through the day. I am surprised you didn’t run into anyone else also going after the same target. I think I hired four in total.
NICK (as HK): Well, that’s concerning.
LILIT (as Yarbada): It is concerning. Was the initial attack with the droid hitting him on the head and all of that also you?
MINNA (as Kessek): Of course it wasn’t. It was some other amateurs that you hired.
NICK (as HK): Yes. Who would make an amazing shot like that?
LILIT (as Yarbada): Oh… Hmm.
LILIT: You can see he smiles a little bit once HK says that.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Of course. Ugh, it is concerning of where the other two went.
NICK (as HK): If they show up I’ll be sure to put them down. Don’t worry.
LILIT (as Yarbada): No matter, but like I said, I’m only paying once. So, sixteen it is.
MINNA (as Kessek): Sixteen-five, we agreed.
LILIT: [laughs] You can see he smiles and does a little chuckle.
LILIT (as Yarbada): Ha-ha, yes, well you cannot blame me for hoping you would have forgotten.
LILIT: He snaps his fingers and another attendant gets out of the other side of the front and brings you over a small credit stick, the kind that has like whatever amount you put on it, not the physical credits. Star Wars is weird with their money.
LILIT (as Yarbada): That will have the sixteen fifty loaded onto it. It has been a pleasure working with you two, and if I do ever need another perfectly legal job done again I will contact you.
NICK (as HK): Thank you for doing business with HK Assassination LLC. Please leave us a five-star review on the holo-net.
LILIT: He just quietly stares at you and rolls up the window in silence before he just goes:
LILIT (as Yarbada): No… I will not.
LILIT: The hovercraft drives away slowly.
NICK (as HK): That guy kind of sucks.
MINNA (as Kessek): Yeah, he’s not my favorite to do business with, but he does pay.
NICK (as HK): Well, it’s been good. We should do this again sometime. If you ever need somebody ventilated give me a call.
NICK: HK hands you a little business card with his com number on it.
MINNA (as Kessek): I’ll think about it. It was useful to have somebody who doesn’t want to get paid along with the ride.
NICK (as HK): I mean, sometimes I take money, but I just got the cool grappling hook and the nano-blade, so I don’t see much use for it right now. You know, droid’s don’t eat, so that really frees up a lot of expenses.
MINNA (as Kessek): Are you telling me you did this for fun?
NICK (as HK): I wouldn’t say “fun.” Deep-seated enjoyment? Inherent validation, maybe?
MINNA (as Kessek): Fun.
NICK (as HK): Fun…
MINNA (as Kessek): Okay then. Good to meet you. Go sort out your friend with the… girlfriend issues.
NICK (as HK): Yeah, I should probably… Well, we’re not supposed to talk right now, but hopefully I’ll see her again. I think I’m pretty qualified to give love life advice.
MINNA (as Kessek): You’re… qualified?
NICK (as HK): I thought my advice was good. Did you hear my side of it? I thought I was doing a great job.
MINNA (as Kessek): I mean, you were doing a great job, I was just… I’m not gonna ask any more questions.
NICK (as HK): You’d be surprised how often people who talk to me say things like that.
MINNA (as Kessek): Well, I’m gonna go find my ship and get out of here before anybody takes any more interest.
NICK (as HK): I have a ride hidden in a swamp on the other side of the planet. I’ll head that direction, but… it’s been good.
NICK: HK holds out a hand to shake.
MINNA: [laughs] I don’t think she does a traditional handshake. I think she does the hand grasp thing.
LILIT: [laughs] So, Kessek grasps HK’s hand, and you do notice that this droid’s hands are way too small for his body frame, almost as if you could call them baby hands.
MINNA: [squeaks and squirms with joy]
LILIT: You give him a few firm handshakes, and you silently turn around and you part ways.
MINNA: She has so many more questions than answers.
NICK: [laughs] As HK walks off into the wilderness outside of the city he says to himself…
NICK (as HK): I am so injured.
NICK: [smiling] …and just walks off.
MINNA: [yelps, laughs quietly]
LILIT: And that’s where we’re gonna end the episode.
LILIT & NICK: Ba-naaa~!
LILIT: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. A special thank you to our patron, GyaradosSkullfucker, for the Chiss NPC Yarbada who appeared in this episode. We also forgot to give a shout-out to Solicitor6 for their NPC Chundi Sandal who appeared in the first Tink Interstitial episode. If you would like your own NPC to appear in an episode, you can back us at the Build-A-Beru $10 level on Patreon at Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron where you can find other reward levels such as on-air thank-yous and secret archives.
If you’ve enjoyed our show, please consider logging into your podcast listening app of choice and leaving a review. Ratings and reviews help new listeners find the show and decide if the show is right for them.
Your game master was me, Lilit Penrod. I can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.
HK-67 was played by Nick Robertson, and he can be found on Twitter at @alias58.
Kessek was played by Minna. She can be found on Twitter at @mynaminnarr.
Our intro song is Space Jam by Pablo Ribot.
Outro music performed by James Gunter.
Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram at @Tabletop_Squad, and join our Discord at bit.ly/TabletopDiscord. We have a wonderful community and we’d love to chat with you. See you next time.