Science Fiction Suns of the First Federation.
#1
Suns of the First Federation.

I’m going to use the “Suspicions” NPC Conversation and Story Engine with this play. Suspicions is available here: http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=2570...9068443539
 It’s a kind of an epic sci-fi theme. Anyway, lets see where it goes!

The First Federation had lasted for 6000 years, give or take a century. The fall of the Federation was not particularly violent; indeed it was quite gradual and lasted several hundred years. The thousands of worlds that once made up the Federation drifted away like fledgling birds taking their first flight, some of them forced out of the nest, some of them staying close to their mother for as long as they could before taking flight and forging their own way. Many of those societies struggled in those early years, there was the odd war here and there, there were confederations and mergers of similar groups and even some worlds disappearing from general knowledge completely. 

The Federation itself still existed of course, now just a few dozen of the old core worlds, consisting mostly of abandoned cities - the remnants of the diaspora at the fall of the Federation. A new galaxy had risen around these worlds, mostly peaceful, mostly stable. Hundreds of independent societies spread throughout the galaxy and even further afield into neighboring galaxies. 

In a lawless corner of the Confederation of Tau, on a small moon orbiting a dead world. Ky Kendrick faces a tough decision.

1. Ky is a criminal/outlaw
2. Ky is a trader/smuggler
3. Ky is a cop/security 
4. Ky is a rebel/insurgent
5. Ky is a dealer/hustler
6. Ky is a diplomat/government official

4 = 4[d6]

Suspicions:
1. Ky belongs to a group rebelling against the Confederation of Tau
2. Ky’s rebel group wants to restore the ideals of the First Federation
3. Ky is a bit of a renegade and acts on his own initiative

3 = 3[d3]

Ky is a bit of a renegade and acts on his own initiative

Suspicions Roll:

1 = 1[d6]

Your suspicion is ruled out. It’s not correct. This does not mean the opposite is true though.

(In this case I will assume the opposite is true). 
Ky has always done things “By the Book” since joint the rebel group “Free Tau Society”. He did not expect to find his subordinates organising to kidnap the local magistrate. Confronting his chief lieutenant about it was always going to end in conflict.

“Dane!” Ky screams, levelling his blaster at Dane’s head. Jetther Dane, and 3 of his co-horts are about to board a speeder, probably off to hatch their plot to kidnap the magistrate.

(Dane’s reaction on the NPC Reactions Table - I’ve used a -2 modifier)

-1 = 1[d6]-2

(I’ll take that as a 1 which means I have to roll again)

6 = 6[d6]

6. The subject disagrees or opposes what you
say but seems somewhat disinterested or distracted.

“Put the gun down Ky” Dane says without even turning to face him. “You’re not going to pull that trigger”
He’s right , it’s an empty threat. Ky has no intention to shoot. Dane and his followers continue to load their equipment and board the speeder. 

“Garthe?” He says to one of them, pleading with him to listen.

3 = 3[d6]

(The NPC is quite ambivalent. Roll 1d6)

6 = 6[d6]

5-6: The NPC trusts you or trusts that the situation will work itself out for the best. (I’ll interpret this as Garthe trusting Dane)

“Hey man,” Garthe replies, “it’s nothing personal, but Dane is actually doing something for the cause. I don’t want to sit on my arse all the time planning and shit. I want to be actually fighting for what I believe.”

And with that the speeder rises and flies off leaving Ky satndling alone on the landing platform. His leadership of this cell of the Free Tau Society has been thrown into doubt. Dane has effectively taken Ky’s position as commander of the group and Ky has been left without direction or purpose.
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#2
I’ll add to my list of Quest Suspicions

1. Ky belongs to a group rebelling against the Confederation of Tau - this is effectively true so I’ll remove it
1. Dane is now the cell leader. 
2. Ky’s rebel group wants to restore the ideals of the First Federation
3. Ky is a bit of a renegade and acts on his own initiative - This is False. So I’ll remove it.
3. Ky struggles with leadership and lacks confidence.
4. Events in the past shaped Ky’s persona, perhaps traumatic events.
5. Dane will seek and try to kill Ky to cement his leadership of the Free Tau Society
6. Garthe will betray Dane and side with Ky, seeking forgiveness.
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#3
Harm / Peace

‘Another?’, asks the bartender. Ky lifts his head slowly and waves her off with a half smile.
‘Sure thing mister’ she replies and bounces off to serve another customer. Ky’s head is spinning in several different orbits.
‘Damn shame, he was a good man’, someone says looking up at the holo-feed. ‘Fucking “Free Tau” scum have harmed this city. This was a peaceful place’.
The holo nets have been running ‘round the clock coverage of Dane’s disasterous raid on the council building in which the Magistrate was killed along with half a dozen others. Dane, Garthe and the other two escaped and are now presumably in hiding.

Will Garthe try and contact Ky?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

Will Dane contact Ky?

(Very Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

Decrease / Travel

‘I need to leave this place’, Ky thinks to himself. The Free Tau Society have become too unpredictable and chaotic. They are effectively a mob of undisciplined ruffians, out of control and dangerous.

‘Hey aren’t you that Free Tau guy?’, someone says from across the room. Ky knows it’s directed at him.
‘No you must have me mistaken for someone else”, he replies.
‘Yeah sure you are. You ran with Jetther Dane, that guy on the holo feed, right?’. This could get ugly.

NPC Introduction Reaction:

1 = 1[d6]

(The NPC is not happy. They are angry with you or with something else. It’s very hard to get something out of them. If they are reacting to something it’s in a very negative way. They get angry, sad, confused, etc depending on the context. Subtract a -2 a -1 on any General Conversation or any Questions you ask.)

People in the bar now begin to take notice.

‘You fuckers can take your revolution and stick it up your god dammed arsehole!’ The man says. Ky still has his back to the man, his right hand slips carefully inside his jacket where his blaster is hidden.

‘You don’t know the truth of it’, Ky tries to stall the man and perhaps reason with him.

NPC In Conversation Reaction:

2 = 4[d6]-2

The NPC is not entirely happy or a little annoyed. Roll 1d6

5 = 5[d6]

5-6: The problem is the NPC’s. They are having a bad day or are upset about something not related to you.

‘Don’t mind him’, the bartender says, ‘He’s a grumpy old bastard who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut’
Laughter erupts in the bar and the man backs down, though several suspicious eyes still look my way.

Ky keeps his hand near his blaster though. ‘Thanks’, he says to the bartender.

NPC In Conversation Reaction:

7 = 6[d6]+1

6. The NPC agrees with you 100% or they are very happy with your news or opinion. If there is a romantic link then they feel great emotion towards you. If they are a friend then your friendship is strengthened greatly. Their level of trust in you is very strong.

‘I’m Calla by the way”, she says.

“Nice to meet you Calla, I’m Ky’
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#4
Time to update my suspicions list:

1. Dane is now the cell leader.
2. Ky’s rebel group wants to restore the ideals of the First Federation
3. Ky struggles with leadership and lacks confidence.
4. Events in the past shaped Ky’s persona, perhaps traumatic events.
5. Dane will seek and try to kill Ky to cement his leadership of the Free Tau Society
6. Garthe will betray Dane and side with Ky, seeking forgiveness.
7. Calla is attracted to Ky
8. Ky is not interested in Calla
9. Calla supports or is involved with Free Tau

I might roll on a few of these to keep the story moving.

6 = 6[d9]

6. Garthe will betray Dane and side with Ky, seeking forgiveness.

5 = 5[d6]

5. You think your suspicion may be true, but you’re not sure. You need more information or evidence. You can add a +1 to any further rolls on this matter,

2 = 2[d9]

2. Ky’s rebel group wants to restore the ideals of the First Federation
I’m going to make this a 50/50

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Ky is leaving the bar when his communicator blinks. He glances and sees a message from Garthe: “Need to talk. Somewhere secure.”
He puts it down and see’s Calla leaving the bar, her shift finished. She wanders over to where Ky is standing.
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#5
The alleyway is lit by pulsing cyan lights. Sectioned prefab panels line the walls of adjoining buildings. Cigarette smokes wafts from somewhere. A group of dancers strolls by from a nearby nightclub, probably borgs from the look of them, glowing eyes and the hum of servo motors. Calla gives a little chuckle as they pass.

Suspicion: 9. Calla supports or is involved with Free Tau

6 = 6[d6]

6. Your suspicion is confirmed. You were correct in your assumptions. This does not mean the opposite is false though.

Does Calla know who Ky is?

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

‘Look, I don’t know who you are, but I know you’re Free Tau. Which cell?’ She asks.
‘No cell, well...not any more’

‘What do you mean?’ Calla looks puzzled.
‘That was...well they were my men who went rogue and killed that magistrate.’ Ky tells her.

NPC Reaction:

0 = 1[d6]-1

4 = 4[d6]

4. The subject disagrees or opposes what you say but is calm and is willing to talk it out with you and perhaps even compromise.

‘Look that was pretty damn stupid. What were they thinking?’ Calla says. She is not angry, just concerned.
Ky just looks down, stupefied. He knows it was his own leadership failings that led to Dane’s mutiny. He has no answers he can give her without looking like an incompetent fool. Luckily she offers him a second chance.

‘There is a cell of Free Tau meeting tonight’, she places her com terminal on his and flashes him the location. ‘Be there’

And with that she’s gone.

Now Ky has a choice to make. Contact Garthe or meet with Calla’s cell?

1-3: Contact and meet Garthe
4-6: Follow Calla’s instructions and meet with her cell.

5 = 5[d6]

‘Garthe can wait’, Ky thinks to himself. ‘I owe him nothing’
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#6
The side of the building flickers with images of teenagers laughing and enjoying life. Ky has no idea what it’s advertising and wouldn’t be interested if he did. The wall continues for half a block. Many pixels are missing leaving large black squares and graffiti covers much of the screen. The street is bathed in pulsating light from the projections often making it hard to discern the landscape ahead. A homeless bum reaches out for food from his squat on the sidewalk as the image of a smiling teenager enjoying synthetic meat dances across the screen behind him.

Ky shakes off the bum who has grabbed his ankle with his dirty hand. A military defense cannon mounted across the street atop a civil defense tower follows the commotion. The operators must be having a chuckle as they watch their monitor from who knows where.

My passes a street cart selling replacement body parts wrapped in shrink wrapped plastic packets. The vendor, a droid of some kind looks suspicious, even for a robot. Ky’s been looking for a new set of kidneys but he’ll give this place a miss.

He looks around for the location he’s been given and spots a small laneway, almost hidden amongst the food carts and discount kiosks lining the street. A large hooded man stands about 2 metres down the alley under a humming air-con compressor. Water is still dripping from a broken drainpipe after this morning’s rain. Ky casually walks up the man and raises his wrist. The hooded man scans it. ‘Follow me’, he says.

Pulling open an access panel behind a generator stack, Ky follows the man through a narrow passageway lit only by neon tubes under the floor grid. I looks like a service tunnel, probably a couple of hundred years old. There seems to be people watching from alcoves and hiding places - people scurry about as they walk down a small stairwell into a larger room.

This place has a bleakness and dullness about it. Blinds cover the windows, almost all the way down. A strip of light comes through. It is somewhat smokey and light beams punctuate the air from soft glowing fixtures behind the walls. . It is constructed of hexagonally arranged blocks. Many people sit at terminals and in side rooms. None of them notice or even care about Ky, they just go on with their business. A figure walks up to him, it’s Calla, though she’s wearing a tattered wrap with several jack cords strapped across her chest. She also has some sort of insignia pin which may indicate rank. Several of the other are wearing them too. Another figure walks up; male, tall, their face concealed by a reflective oval mask. Ky notices text streaming across where his eyes should be. His plastic wrap top is printed with strange typography in a language Ky is not familiar with and tattoos seem to be brand logos of implant manufacturers.

Calla speaks. ‘Ridern this is Ky. The one I told you about’

Introduction Reaction:

4 = 4[d6]

4. The NPC is neither here nor there. They seem OK but you’re not sure how much you’ll get out of them. If they are reacting to something, it’s pretty neutral.

‘Indeed’, he says. Ky is getting nothing from him.

NPC Questions:

4 = 4[d6]

1 = 1[d6]

4. They get to the heart of the matter. They ask you directly about what they are after. Roll 1d6
1-3: You make small talk. Roll again.

‘Mr Ky’, he starts, ‘We represent the freedom of all Tau. We want to know how you can help us?’
Ky mumbles something about fighting the good fight but does not really convince Ridern of his worth’

6 = 6[d6]

3 = 3[d6]

6. Roll 1d6
3. The NPC is angry at something and draws you into the conversation.

‘So how do you think, Mr Ky,’ Ridern continues, ‘Your undisciplined and foolish attack is going to help our cause?’

“Hey I had nothing to do with that...’ Ky is cut off
‘But they were your men!’ Ridern screams at him. Ky is silent, he has no answers.

Calla walks up beside him. She smiles and produces something in her hand. Then Ky’s whole world goes black...
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