In preparation of the session, I had read the social chapter and felt like I understood it, but in practice and with hindsight, I would have benefited from a more thorough read through.
Last week, the third alpha test included an actual module for us to play. I was chosen to Guide a group of four other players, Jan-Hein, Rose, Rens and Cesco himself. In preperation, I had read the 5 page handout and made some notes, but I wasn’t sure if I understood the social mechanics well enough. The players were asked to make their own characters and came up with some unique builds. Rose made an Aikalaymeh dodge tank named Raya, for instance, who was focussed on Defense and Dexterity so she’d be really hard to hit. Getting hit would remain a problem for her though. Jan-Hein made a sneaky Orun hacker named Glitch. Rens made a human getaway driver, Ragel, who focussed on piloting and engineering. Lastly, Cesco had built himself a smooth talking high social guy named Jax, a Grenn Videte, or as the others players called it; that creepy bug guy. After Cesco held his introduction talk and my players had finished setting up, it was time to Guide.
The characters opened on a quiet parking lot, with the only other person there being a red Aikalaymeh in the distance, fiddling with his AR headset. The team felt uneasy as they stood around waiting for their contact, Laura Morn, to show. Not a single one of them trusted her, as they all knew better than to trust a hired gun from the Larthini Mafia, but it was the only lead they had. A week ago, their Wey-Llin partner, Shanda Ghilly, got grabbed by a bunch of Larthini goons and they were eager to get her back.
After ten long minutes, a large sphere-wheeled limousine pulled up. The door opened and an impressive looking Sunithan stepped out, gave the group a once-over and gestured for them to enter the car. He sat back down next to Laura Morn in the front of the massive cabin, followed by Jax on her other side. The rest of the team took place in the rear of the cabin, when suddenly the red Aikalaymeh joined them, still fiddling with his headset. He sat down next to Jax.
“So, it would appear that we have some information that you need. What do you have to offer in return?” Laura opened, flashing a calculated smile as the limousine pulled out of the parking lot.
Now, to be entirely honest with you, I was not prepared for the social back and forth that followed. The actual roleplay went pretty well, but figuring out which statements would require which kind of skill check, in the heat of role play conversation, made me scramble to either find the appropriate rules or I had to make it up on the spot. In preparation of the session, I had read the social chapter and felt like I understood it, but in practice and with hindsight, I would have benefited from a more thorough read through.
“It’s in your best interest to tell us what we want to know, miss Morn. Do you really think we would come to this meeting alone?” Jax bluffed.
“That’s cute. We know you’re alone. Zaluth’s our best tracker,” Laura stated.
“Fine, but we DO have powerful friends and it is NOT advisable to piss… them… off,” his chitin face plates flaring to emphasise his points, “if… you choose to help us however, we could put in a good word for you.”
A little startled, Laura composed herself, “That may be the case, bug, but as it stands, I have the support of the Larthini mob. You’re going to have to sweeten the pot considerably if I am to jeopardise my good standing with them.”
While this was going on, Glitch tried to get his hacking equipment out of a hidden pocket, something Jax noticed. He quickly attempted to cover for Glitch with an overly theatrical plea, complete with fake tears, unfortunately to no avail. Both the Sunithan, Dimizir, and Zaluth saw straight through the ruse. Zaluth smirked at the attempt, while Dimizir gave Glitch a stern look, but neither tried to take his equipment from him. Without skipping a beat, Jax jumped back into the negotations.
“And will the Larthinis look favorably upon this conversation?”
“How do you propose they’d find out?” Laura asked bemused.
Glitch held up a small recording device, “Like… this, maybe?”
“So, with that in mind, let’s get to it. Clearly you want something from us as well. Cut to the chase,” Jax said impatiently.
“Fine. Alright,” Laura inhaled deeply, “My… relationship with the Larthinis is not as hunky-dory as I made it out to be. I want out, for which I need capital. Get me capital, and I’ll tell you where you can find Shanda.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere!” Jax jubilated, “I happen to know of a certain weapons transport losing a couple of crates. I may also know where those crates are. Pretty sure they’d cover you capital requirements,” he offered her a digital exchange request over his personal device.
“Alright. You have yourself a deal,” Laura yielded, accepting the request and providing Jax with Shanda’s location.
Suddenly, Zaluth stood up, drew his sword and cut across Jax’s torso, through his armor.
“This was not the plan,” Zaluth calmly stated.
Of course, this isn’t how it ends. Tune into our posts for the conclusion soon!