Solo StarWarsD6 pt14: Frozen Moon

System: Star Wars D6 by West End Games.
Setting: Star Wars Era of the Rebellion.
Character: Royxand Handscul ‘Roy’, Corporate scout
Luca Delste, Smuggler
Kuna Desyk, Hacker
Solo Tools: MUNE, donjon
Books: Star Wars The Roleplaying Game Second Edition (West End Games), Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts, Pirates and Privateers, OpenD6 Space Ships
Homebrew Rules: D6Legends

In this session, I’m using a homebrew rules system to streamline the difficulty rolls. I explain everything in detail in my blog here.

Q: During the hyperspace trip, did Kuna attempt to hack the Red Rancor’s transponder code?
A: Yes, but without access to a starport, he can only fake an existing code. The ship will now register as The Clear Sky.
I decided against rolling for success here, since Kuna has plenty of time to hack the code.

During the trip, a heated discussion erupts between the trio.

“1700 credits it is, right? Kuna?” Luca brings a full pouch to the mess table. “Since you fixed our transponder code, I’ll take that as a payment for transporting you off the ticking time bomb that is Prine, and consider us even.”

Q: Does Kuna agree (unlikely)
A: No

“Not so fast-“. He replies. “I wanted to stick around Prine. Had no idea you were taking me with, until we got attacked by those Thugs. Since I saved your boy along the way, I want in.”
“In?” Roy asks.
“Those coordinates seem to hold something of value. I want a share, a third of what you find.” Kuna makes his proposal.

Q: Does he offer to join?
A: No

Luca thinks about it for a moment. “If you want a third, you will have to tag along with us, and forget about the 17 hundred. You’re either in the team or not.”

Bargain, Opposed, Luca/Kuna: 1/0.

“Alright.” Kuna says reluctantly. “I agree.”

A few days later, the Red Rancor emerges from hyperspace to their destination.
Roy and Luca man the cockpit, and Roy runs a sensors scan of the system.

Roy: Sensors: Scan: 5 Successes

I used the Planet Generation tables from the Galaxy Guide to Scouts, complemented by a couple system generation tables from the OpenD6 Space Ships. It’s the first time I’ve used those, so afterwards I discarded a couple results (concerning planet function, etc) that would enable meta-gaming and asked The Oracle instead.

According to my solo rules, I will be asking the Oracle up to 5 questions to find more about the star system.

Sensors show a yellow-white sun in the system orbited by one huge gas giant planet.
The gas giant is orbited by 2 large moons.
6 comets are detected orbiting the system.

Q: Do the sensors pick up anything else in the system (e.g spaceships, stations).
A: No
Q: Are there energy emissions from the moons?
A: No
Q: Are there any life form clusters?
A: Yes and, it’s a very big cluster located in Moon #1.
Q: Is there a suitable landing area in Moon #1? (Likely)
A: Yes

“I’m picking up a gathering of life forms on one of the moons. It’s very cold there and the atmosphere is barely breathable for humans. We will need accessories. I found us a suitable landing spot.”
“Point me there.” Luca says as he takes over the flight controls.
Soon the Red Rancor bursts through the purplish atmosphere of the moon.

Q: Is it day?
A: No, and the night has just begun

The Red Rancor lands without lights, to minimize detection, in a small crater on the frozen moon, near the destination.

Q: Are there masks for all?
A: Yes, and the Red Rancor is also equipped personal cold weather clothing.

Intervention:Entity Negative.
Who: Luca
Portent: Handmade Tonsillitis

Roy gathers his scout gear. He is glad that Karflo has provided him adequately to confront almost any survival situation. His scout armor is well suited for the cold hostile environment, and the breathing apparatus will be more than enough for the thick gassy atmosphere.
“Do you guys have cold weather gear? Breath masks?” He turns to his team.
Luca smiles with a grin and brings out two thick fur suits from a closet. He reaches down to a drawer beneath his seat and pulls out a couple breath masks. “Courtesy of the previous owner. Did some patching myself.”

Armed and equipped, the trio steps out into the cold.
Within minutes Luca starts coughing. They look at him. “The air.” He says with difficulty. “It stinks and burns.”
Roy points at his mask. “There must be a problem with your mask.”

Luca: Strength: 3 Successes

“I can keep up, boy. No stinking gas can stop me.” Luca says angrily.
Roy disagrees. “We should repair it, and then head out to scout. We don’t know for how long we’ll be outside and we can’t have you drop down poisoned.”

Persuasion opposed check. Roy (+1 bonus due to being right) vs Luca: 2/1

”Alright boy.” Luca sighs. “Can’t have you dragging my sorry ass back to the ship.”

They return to the Red Rancor and Kuna uses his toolset to fix the malfunctioning mask.

Kuna: Technical: 2 Successes

He manages to get it working, but he had to disable one of the two filters. It’s going to be operational, unless Luca is under heavy strain.
“Next time, ask me to do the patching.” He says and he winks with his real eye as he throws the mask for Luca to catch.

I decide that since there were only 2 successes, the mask is going to give Luca a -1 to Stamina rolls.
1D = 3 hours have elapsed.

They head back out in the glacier.
It’s still dark outside, and the white glacier only makes walking more difficult. They move slowly towards the sensor’s designated point.

Since it’s a long trek, I decide to roll Roy’s skills on the following to see how they fared:
Climbing: 1 success
Survival: 3 successes
Hide: 1 success
Search: 0 success

With the following resolution mechanics:
0 – Automatic failure
1 – Ask the Oracle at disadvantage
2 – Ask the Oracle
3 – Ask the Oracle at advantage
4 – Automatic success

Q: Do they manage to reach their destination? (unlikely)
A: No, but they are almost there
Q: Do they beat the cold weather elements?
A: Yes, but it has slowed them down.
Q: Are they detected by others?
A: Yes
Also, since they automatically failed their search roll, we have an encounter.
Q: Are they human?
A: Yes

Since they are human, there must be a reason for them to be in the far reaches. Possible scenarios.
Rebel outpost.
Imperial secret base.
Forgotten colony.
Karflo lost outpost.
Portent: Protective selfishness.

I roll the Imperials. I have some ideas of what the Empire is doing out there and how Karflo and Viltro May be connected but I will be keeping them for the Oracle for now, to restrict meta-gaming.

Ambush by Snowtroopers. I will be giving the snowtroopers an advantage of 2 (camouflage, darkness). They roll 1 success for a total of 3.
Roy: 0
Luca: 1
Kuna: 0
They all fail to detect the snowtroopers and they surprise them.

From now on I will be enhancing the wild die as a narrative mechanic.
A total success result with a wild die of 6 will be a Yes, And and noted with a (+)
A total success result with a wild die of 1 will be a Yes, But and noted with a (-)
A total failure result with a wild die of 6 will be a No, But and noted with a (+)
A total failure result with a wild die of 1 will be a No, And and noted with a (-)

1D = 5 Snowtroopers

As the trio tiredly walks through the glacier, pushing on, they listen only to the sound of their footsteps, the snow creaking beneath their weights. Thick purple gas covers pockets of ground here and there. These are the places were the atmosphere is most toxic for humans.

Suddenly, as they turn behind an opening in the glacier, they meet with the wrong end of three blaster rifles. Engaged in their difficult trek, the group is caught unaware.
Imperial snowtroopers wearing cold assault gear are aiming at them. Two more are covering from afar.

“HALT!” The squad leader shouts. “Who goes there! Identify yourself!”

I roll the distances of the snowtroopers to the group.
First three snowtroopers: 60 meters
Last two snowtroopers: 240 meters

Luca reaches for his blaster rifle and the shooting immediately begins.

Note: The combat lasted a whole 16 rounds. I won’t be detailing the combat mechanics of each shot. Only important events and narrative to keep it in a readable state.

Round 1:

The snowtroopers surprised the group, so they act first.
They have a -1D to Dexterity (& Blaster) due to their armor.
I decide that their assisted targeting negates the darkness penalties.
I ask if there is moonlight (from the 2nd Moon) to see if the group will have partial darkness penalties.
Q: Is there moonlight?
A: Yes
Partial darkness penalty to the group, increases difficulty by 1.

The Snowtroopers and the team exchange fire, but they all miss.

Round 2:

Roll for Initiative. The team rolls a 15 while the stormtroopers a 1 and a complication!
In initiative I am adding the totals, and not counting successes. I am undecided yet as to what mechanic to use, and I want the extra detail, to avoid concurrent events.

The trio shoot at the snowtroopers but they miss. The imperials have some miscommunication and are confused. The squad leader order his two teammates forward, but only one follows. The other stays back and keeps shooting. Due to the great distance, no shot finds its target.

Round 3:
The two snowtroopers close the gap and are really close to the team. The blaster rifles are much more accurate now. During the shots fired, Roy is grazed by a blast. He feels a bit dizzy, but gets back to combat quickly.

Round 4:
The shooting continues. Luca barely stuns the squad leader. In a careful shot, the snowtrooper closest to the team hits Roy on the chest. The blast goes through and Roy is wounded. He feels the heat and pain of the wound, and worries if his adventuring days are over just as they were beginning.

Round 5:

3 complications this round. Luca has a successful shot to the squad leader, but he suffers a complication. I decide that its a suddenly empty blaster clip, whereas it should have lasted much longer.
The third snowtrooper (the one who was confused and didn’t follow) missed his shot and suffered a complication. I ask the oracle (wanted to be fair) if his missed shot hit his teammate who went forward, and got a Yes.
The fifth snowtrooper suffered a complication to his missed shot as well. I decided that his power pack overloaded and his blaster rifle short-circuited. He will have to switch to his sidearm.
With their men down, I ask the oracle:
Q: Do the snowtroopers send a distress signal?
A: No

Luca hits the squad leader flat in the chest. As he makes the shot, he notices that his clip is empty. ‘Strange’ he thought he was certain he had a full clip.
Roy tries to avoid getting shot, jumping to the ground and rolling.
Kuna follows through with a shot to the squad leader, his blast, bringing him down. One less snowtrooper to worry about.
The snowtrooper who didn’t move forward misses Roy, and by mistake, he hits his teammate who is in front. The friendly fire in the back downs the snowtrooper instantly. The other two stormtroopers covering their rear, miss their shots, one of them suffers a major short-circuit, disabling his blaster rifle.

Round 6:

To avoid combat dragging forever I will be asking ‘If anything unexpected happens’ every 5 rounds.
Q: Does anything unexpected happen?
A: No
Q: Do the snowtroopers send a distress signal?
A: No , but they may soon (turns to likely)
During this combat Roy was hit, and I decided to use 2 CPs to save him. It was a good call, because he still got incapacitated.

In the heated exchange of fire, Roy sees a blaster shot coming straight towards him. In an inhuman feat, he manages to turn his body in the last minute and instead of receiving it to the face, he is hit on the shoulder. The wound is great though, and the pain leaves him down. Unable to move any further.
The shooting continues while the last snowtrooper tries to get in range for his blaster pistol.

Round 7:

Q: Do the snowtroopers send a distress signal? (Likely)
A: Yes, and it’s an ion flare.
I roll 30 minutes time for anyone (?) to arrive.

The shooting continues with a lot of missed shots. Roy writhes in pain on the ground. The snowtrooper closest to the team draws an ion flare and shoots it upwards to the darkness, illuminating the region, and signaling everyone nearby.

Round 8:

Another complication! I decide that the ‘confused’ snowtrooper (the bozo who failed to follow commands and shot his friend) doesn’t store the flare gun properly and it ignited the rest of the ion flares on him. Short-circuiting everything and causing diminishing stun damage per round.

As no one seems to hit anything, the snowtrooper who signaled with the flare, fails to secure his flare gun in the belt properly. All the ion flares ignite at once, stunning him and short-circuiting his gear in a flashy display of electricity.

Round 9-14

Q: Do the snowtroopers retreat?
A: No, and they press on.

The long distance accounts for further missed exchanged shots. At the end, the snowtrooper with the blaster pistol gets in firing distance.

Q: Does anything unexpected happen?
A: No

Round 15:

The stunned snowtrooper regains consciousness.
Q: Does he retreat?
A: No, but he remains confused, trying to realize what’s going on.
Luca receives a shot and I used 3CPs to counter it, so he just got stunned.

The stunned snowtrooper slowly comes together. But he just sits there, not doing anything. Confused.
The snowtrooper with the blaster rifle

Round 16:

Q: Does anything unexpected happen?
A: Yes, and will roll twice on TWENE

  1. Decrease major element
  2. Decrease simple element
    I decide that the elements are the snowtroopers and the glacier.

The continuous noise of battle causes an echo which leads to a massive collapse of a part of the glacier, engulfing the snowtrooper to the rear.
Kuna manages to hit the snowtrooper with the blaster pistol, incapacitating him.

Q: Does the last (bozo) snowtrooper make a run for it or surrender?
A: He makes a run, but is cut off by the collapsed glacier.

Luca heads over to Roy who can’t move at all, to see his condition and how to help him.
In the meantime Kuna captures the last snowtrooper, who unarmed and unaided has no chance but to surrender.

Session background: A big fight in this one. Now, in retrospect:
What I liked: The quick resolution of the homebrew success mechanics. Definitely keeping this one.
What I disliked: The long stale fight rounds. Sure, there were chaotic complications and unexpected events, but I need to find a better way to run combat than “I shoot, you shoot.”
What I won’t be doing the same: The successes to oracle mechanic (fail, disadvantage, Oracle, advantage, success). It’s redundant. I’m rolling more dice and asking more questions, when I could just interpret the results of the number of successes.
What I will be doing the same: The narrative wild die mechanic. The combat didn’t help much, but this feature looks promising and I intend to build up on it.
What was the most difficult?: Meta-gaming. I got hold of a lot of information during planet generation that was GM knowledge only. Lesson learned, next time I will be rolling on tables as the information becomes apparent. Also the story of the Imperial Secret base. I needed some information to work with and send the snowtroopers, but until the story is revealed, nothing is set in stone, and I am willing to change such GM info. Who knows where The Oracle will take me?
As a side note I want to state that the character sheets of Roy and Luca are uploaded to the links in the beginning of the post.