The Lost Brother – An OpenD6 Adventure – Ep01 Thetis 

Placing my thoughts here mainly to setup the game. I’ll be going for a weird/pulp noir adventure this time, completely freeform, and to see where it will take me. (meaning only Oracular inputs for the adventure, player driven style).
I’m thinking about Greece in the 30s. The protagonist will have a relative abroad they worry about (dead? missing? unknown?) and they’ll leave to find what fate befell them.
D6 system is quite simple, and I know it very well, so I won’t need to do much rules look up. I know D6 Adventure is meant for this, so I might try to use this as-is. The Attribute Names have changed from Star Wars, but except for Presence which took over Technical, they’re the same (Reflexes = Dexterity, Coordination = Mechanical, Physique = Strength, Knowledge – as is, Perception, as is).

I’ll be going with a male protagonist. Let’s call him Argyris Galatas. Maybe some ancestor was a milkman (Galatas=milkman in Greek).
Roll ranomly for his age: 17+1d20. He’s 21 years old.
Now I’ll go to donjon to get some inspiration for profession etc. After some failed outputs, I realized, I just needed to use the ‘Common’ profession to fit with the idea I have in my head.

Dwight Dorsey: Male Mechanic. Str 12, Con 10, Siz 8, Int 6, Pow 12, Dex 15, App 13, Edu 10, San 60. Dwight has trimmed blonde hair and dark grey eyes. He wears worn clothing and a flat cap. Dwight is searching for his lost brother.

That fits as an inspiration point.
Argyris Galatas, 21, Male, Mechanic. He has trimmed black hair and dark grey eyes. He wears worn clothing and a flat cap. Argyris is searching for his lost brother.
I’ll give him a Daring demeanor. I want something that will make him take action, to drive the story forward.
His motivation is Altruism. He always puts others before himself, and that’s why he wants to help find about his lost brother.
I used Septimus for the two above values.

Daring: You like to take chances and buck the odds. The prospect of failure does not concern you, only the thrill of cheating defeat one more time.
Altruism: You like to provide for the needy and underprivileged. In the Extent, your actions often take the form of doing good deeds for others.

I’m using BOLD to create a background
1. foreign relative overcome by fate
2. haphazard tavern overcome by favored skill
3. impassioned straying/lost overcome by counteraction

I’ll see if I’ll use them.
I’ll do some oracular questions now

Q: Does Argyris have more siblings?
A: Yes, and more than 2, he’s got 5 more siblings: 2 girls and 3 boys: 3 are younger and 3 are older than him: in order of younger to older its, brother, sister, brother, argyris, brother, girl, brother.
that’s a large family
now let’s find out the lost brother which one it is: brother, sister, brother, argyris, lost brother, girl, brother

Q: is the mother in the picture?
A: Yes, but, not the father
Q: Did their father die in the war?
A: Yes, their father died in the Greco-Turkish war, 10 years ago (let’s make current year 1932)

I’ll roll some ages for the family: brother 15, sister 18, brother 19, argyris 21, lost brother 24, sister 25, brother 27
I’ll get some names: Orestes 15, Stefania 18, Thomas 19, Argyris 21, Hermes 24, Georgia 25, Odysseus 27
I’ll get some more details from donjon now: okay I’ve rolled that Orestes and Thomas are also mechanics. Thomas suffered an accident and is in a wheelchair. Maybe they all work together in the same job. That would make sense.
Hermes is also a mechanic (but we concluded he’s lost) and Odysseus is a Farmer. Stefania works as a Typist and Georgia is a Secretary.
I’ll see if anyone’s married. Of all of them only Hermes is married. Stefania is betrothed. Hermes is married, but they’re not living together (he’s lost, abroad)
I’ll name the parents as well. Father’s name Konstantinos. Mother’s name Litsa. Herme’s wife’s name: Clio
They live in Macedonia, Drama

The year is 1932. The place is Drama, Macedonia region in Greece. Argyris, 21 is the middle child of the Galatas family of 7 children. The older one, Odysseus, 27, works the fields as a farm hand, while Orestes 15, and Argyris work as mechanics in the mechanized agriculture. His sisters, Stefania 18 and Georgia, 25 also support the family, working as typist and secretary at a law firm in town. They all live together, and this way they support their mother, widow to Konstantinos, hero of the Greco-Turcish war of 1922, and disabled brother, Thomas, 19, who suffered an injury during work as a mechanic and is in a wheelchair since. Only Hermes, 24, doesn’t live with the Galatas family. He is married to Clio Kontou, and has left to work as a mechanic at the merchant navy, so that he can provide for the family.

Going back to the BOLD waylays. One thing about these prompts is that one should interpret them very freely.
So for the first part ‘foreign relative overcome by fate’, to me it’s pretty simple and it ties well with the above storyline. It’s the story of his father (=relative) who died in the war (=foreign lands, overcome by fate). For sure this marked the life of young Argyris.

Now I need to place some stats for Argyris

Reflexes 3D (Brawling 4D, Dodge 4D, Sneak 4D)
Coordination 2D+2
Physique 3D (Stamina 4D)
Presence 3D (Persuasion 4D, Willpower 4D)
Knowledge 2D+1
Perception 4D (Repair 5D)

I will use the Strength Damage calculation from OpenD6 which is 3D/2 Round Up: 2D
Funds: 3D

Equipment: Hammer, Mechanic’s Tool Kit, Lighter, Backpack

For the second part of the BOLD waylays we have ‘haphazard tavern overcome by favored skill’. That’s quite odd, but I’ll do what I can. As a teenager, Argyris used to hang out with his older brothers at the local tavern, ‘Maro’s Tavern’. The locals still talk about Argyris’ expertise one day when they smelled a gas leak, and they all ran out. The young man found the leaking connection using soap, and repaired it. Thankfully there was no open fire in the kitchen at the time.

As for the third part of the BOLD waylays, ‘impassioned stray/lost overcome by counteraction’, I’ll gracefully use it to kickstart my story.

So I want to deliver the starting knowledge that Hermes is lost, and of course this is going to be through a letter.
Q: Is the information delivered through a letter?
A: Yes
Q: Is the letter addressed to Clio?
A: False Presupposition.
I can’t think of a False Presupposition, so I’ll just reroll.
A: Yes.

I’ll need to reconsider my Oracle. I’ll be using the Recluse base with d20 instead of d6, which reduces the odds of a False Presupposition from 1-in-6 to 1-in-20. Now to add MUNE Interventions, so whenever a ’20’ is rolled we’ll have an Intervention. I’ll be using the Mythic Descriptors for MUNE Portents.
I think that’s a good mashup of Oracle engines.

Wednesday, March 30, 1932, Drama, Greece.
It’s late afternoon and Argyris has returned with his brothers from work. He can smell the bean soup his mother, kyra Litsa has cooked for them, from the outside of their hovel. As he enters he shouts ‘Mom, we’re home’ but he sees his mother in the kitchen which also serves as a living room, sitting at the table, next to his sister in law, Herme’s wife, Clio. There’s tears in her eyes, and Litsa is trying to comfort her, holding her dearly. A letter lies open on the table.

Q: Is the letter written by Hermes?
A: No, and it’s written by his captain.

Argyris takes the letter waiting for them and reads it.
“Dear Ms Kontou.
My name is Kelvin Pembroke, I’m the captain of the ‘Iris’, where your husband Hermes Galatas served as Second Mechanic.
I am writing this letter for no good reason.

Q: Does it say where did Hermes go missing?
Actually scratch that, tt does say where, I just need to find a way to roll it randomly. A random country generator did the trick
Q: Does it say if Hermes behaved strange lately?
A: No

Hermes went missing when we made port at Singapore. We waited him for the entire shore leave, and even two more days. I write to you this letter from Singapore, the British police station. I’ve notified Hermes Galatas as missing, and informing you of this status.
May you find solace in knowing that he always spoke fondly of you.
Kelvin Pembroke
Captain of the Iris”

And that’s how the adventure begins. Argyris is Daring and Altruist, both of these kick in now. Combine this with the ‘overcome by counteraction’ from BOLD, and we’re set.

‘Some writer’s freedom here. After the fact I realized that the letter would be in english or whatever other language, but most probably not Greek. It would be most likely that she’d ask for the local teacher to translate it for them, but instead of going back and rewritting the scene and adding a teacher just for the translation’s sake, I’d call it probable that the captain found another Greek sailor from Iris and asked them to write the letter instead.’

Argyris turns to his mother. “I’m leaving for Thessaloniki tomorrow. I’ll go find him.” She puts her hand to her mouth to cover a gasp.
“Don’t worry Clio.” He turns to his sister-in-law. “Hermes is no deserter or coward. Whatever happened to him, I’ll find out. He’s alive and I’ll bring him home, or there will be hell to pay for whoever did him harm.”

Q: Does anyone try to change his mind?
A: No

His brothers don’t stop him at all. “Argyris, we’ll take good care of mother. Worry not. You get Hermes back here. We’re with you on this.”

Q: Does his family offer gear and food for the trip? (Likely)
A: Yes

The next morning Argyris boards the train towards Thessaloniki. His mother has packed him spinach pie, olives, cheese and bread for the road.
Odysseus hands him over a gift, curled in a cloth. “This was father’s.” He says as he gives it to Argyris carefully. “The road ahead may be treacherous. You may need it.” Argyris nods, and peeking in through the cloth, he sees a bayonet. He covers it up quickly and packs it with the rest of his things.

I’ll add Bayonet (+1D+2) and Week’s rations to the equipment.

Q: Is the trip with the train as expected?
A: No
I’ll roll on TWENE:
Increase simple element

Thursday, March 31.
The train trip to Thessaloniki is tiresome. The train was busier than usual, and there was little room to sit. Argyris reaches Thessaloniki by nightfall, exhausted, his body stiff.

Now Argyris will go to the port, for two main reasons. He wants to learn whatever he can from other seamen about his brother and Iris and also to book passage, as a mechanic if possible to Singapore.
I’ll roll Perception to see if he can find any information.
Perception (4D): 22! with Critical. In general, as I did in the past, I rule that the Wild Die will also have some narrative effect, and not only mechanical one.
So I’ll call that it is Likely that he learns something.

Q: Does he find out anything about Hermes and the Iris? (Likely)
A: No, and the ship never made port in Thessaloniki. Seems Hermes must have changed ships between ports.

After a sound sleep, Argyris heads over to the port of Salonika. Seagulls abound, their cries are covered by the ship horns. Sailors and seamen, dirty with coal on their hands and faces, load and unload cargo ships.
He finds a group of older sailors and asks kindly if they’ve heard of Hermes or the Iris. But none of them do. He mingles with them easily, he’s not a rich boy or anything, and he uses his position as mechanic and the brother of a sailor to quickly gain their trust, so they all ask around their friends, but they all come empty. Some even ask to the port authority, and they learn that Iris doesn’t make port in Thessaloniki.
Disappointed by this complete lack of information, he knows that his only bet is to head to Singapore. Without knowing the language or anything, he hopes he’ll learn quickly.
Using his new connections, he soon finds a ship that heads there.

It’s a ship sailing under a Greek flag, called Thetis. Captain is Dimitris Papaspyrou. I’ll go to UNE to place a conversation.
The Conversation mood is Friendly. NPC bearing is Promise. The NPC Focus is Flaws.

He finds the ship ‘Thetis’ is written on the prow with big bold black capital letters. He finds a sailor at the ladder.
“Heard you’re looking for a mechanic. My name’s Argyris. Galatas.” The sailor nods. “Kostas. Follow me.”
“That’s a big ship. What’s the tonnage? Are you going to the Far East? Singapore?”

Q: Does he answer?
A: No

Kostas just smiles. “You sure ask a lot of questions young man. Let’s me take you to the captain. You’ll talk all you like.”
After a while they reach the captain’s quarters.
“Captain, this young man says he’s a mechanic. Wants to go to Singapore.” Kostas says, and the captain nods.
When it’s only the two of them left, the captain asks. “Name? What are your skills? Where did you learn?”
“I’m called Argyris Galatas. Graduated practical lyceum. Worked as a mechanic for agricultural machines and train equipment in Drama. My brother is a ship mechanic and he taught me a thing or two.” Argyris answers.
“What’s Singapore to you? why there?” he asks.
“I want to find my brother. He was last seen there on shore leave.” Argyris responds.
The captain leans forward. “What’s your worst flaw? The sea will bring out the worst of you at times. What will we see?”
Argyris thinks it over. “Can’t say for sure. People say I dive in danger without thinking first.”
The captain sits back. “Bravery is good. Even at sea. But it can also be the end of you. Be careful Argyris. Or you might end up missing like your brother.” He pauses for a moment. “Welcome aboard the Thetis Argyris. I’m captain Dimitris Papaspyrou. The First Mate will show you around. Pay for a Junior Engineer is 800 drachmas per week, paid in american dollars.”

Doing some search for that time period and looking at some atlas, I think it’s likely the Thetis will set sail for Aden and then Singapore.
Q: Does Thetis go to Aden and then Singapore? (Likely)
A: Yes

Using some distance calculators and an average speed of 15knots, I estimate that it will take the Thetis 7 days to reach Aden, and another 11 to reach Singapore.

Q: Do the days to reach Aden pass by unexciting?
A: No. Something happens. Let’s find out when.
6th day, 22.00 hours. The night before they reach Aden.
Q: Is Argyris on shift?
A: Yes
I have no clue as to what it is, so I’ll roll for a portent in Mythic: Change Representative.
A mutiny!
We’ll find out the why later, but for now, we need to play out the scene. I assume that the mutineers don’t trust Argyris enough to have him join their plans, but nevertheless this is a Solo RPG, so I’ll ask the Oracle.

Q: Do the mutineers try to include Argyris to their plan before it unfolds? (Unlikely)
A: No

Argyris is in the engine room. Checking the pressure gauges and making the necessary adjustments as ordered, when two sailors enter.
Rough fellas, they approach menacingly.

Let’s roll Perception see if Argyris realizes something’s off.
Perception (4D): 10. Argyris is too focused on his job to get the hint.

They surround him. “Kill the engines. Now.” Says the taller dude.
“Are we in Aden already? captain said we’re not due until tomorrow.” Argyris asks naively.
They smile. “No, but it’s time to kill the engines boy.” He repeats and rubs his knuckles.

So, Argyris has no warm feelings towards the captain, but he’s an Altruist, and Daring. He does stupid things, like the one he’s gonna do right now, and use his hammer to take a swing to the sailor.

Argyris: (4D): 14
Sailors: (2D): 14!
Two wild dies for the sailors!
But in ties, the highest characteristic goes first, so Argyris gets his chance.
He won’t attempt to parry, he want to strike hard his foe.
Argyris: Reflexes (3D): 14. Success.
The sailor won’t try to parry it. He’s hit. Damage (3D+1D): 18. Resistance (2D): 25!!!
Sailor 1 jab at Argyris: (3D): 14: Hit. Damage (2D): 10. Resistance (3D): 20.
Sailor 2 jab at Argyris: (3D): 7: Miss

Round 2
Argyris: (3D): 10: Hit: Damage (4D) : 17: Resistance (2D): 5: Incapacitated.
Sailor 2 jab at Argyris (3D): 7: Miss

Round 3
Argyris (3D): 7: Miss
Sailor 2 jab at Argyris (3D): 6: Miss

Round 4
Argyris (3D): 12: Hit: Damage (4D): 12: Resistance (2D): 6: Wounded.

Q: Does the sailor surrender? (Likely – they’re just mooks)
A: Yes

His hammer finds the man right in the chest, but despite the strength of the blow, the tough sailor doesn’t feel any pain, and throws a punch at Argyris, which lands on his belly. Thankfully he had just flexed his muscles in time, and took the brunt of the blow without losing his wind. The other seaman tries to punch Argyris from behind, but the closed quarters of the engine room don’t help him find his target.
Argyris swings his hammer once more at the sailor in front of him, and as he tries to avoid it, he bangs his head on a valve and knocks himself out. Argyris turns around just in time to avoid yet another jab from the other sailor. They punch at each other, but they miss, and Argyris calculates his next strike carefully. He swings his hammer, hitting the seaman at the arm, brusing him. Unable to lift his arm for the time being, the sailor yields. “Stop stop! Have mercy please!”
“What is going on in the ship? Why did you try to jump me? Why shut down the engines?” Argyris asks, waving his hammer above the sailor man.
“We’re taking over the ship. The Second mate is taking over the bridge with some men, and we were to take over the engines.” He answers.
“How many are the mutineers?” He asks.

Let’s say the ship has a complement of 20+1d20 = 27 crewmen. Barring the captain, the first mate and Argyris, who are not mutineers, and the two sailors and the second mate who are, there may be 21 more mutineers. They wouldn’t make a move unless they were at 2/3 or more. So I’ll say that from the remaining 21 men, 1d8 may be loyal = 8. So it’s 17 mutineers in total of 27.

“We’re a dozen and a half. Ship is ours.” The mutineer says.
Argyris punches him and knocks him out cold. He needs to decide how to proceed.

I think first, he’ll try to sabotage the engines, and then take a lifeboat away.

Argyris: Repair (5D): 16.

The young mechanic closes the gas valves, reroutes all steam to the exit points and then removes the valve cranks.

Q: Does he have his bayonet with him? e.g. in his toolbox?
A: No, and he’ll have to go to his quarters to get it.

I think Argyris will try to get it, since it’s a family heirloom, given to him, and maybe the only thing he has left of his father.

Q: Are his quarters far away?
A: Yes

Okay so he’ll have to sneak past the most of the ship.
Argyris: Sneak (4D): 18!

As graceful as a cat, Argyris moves through the ship corridors in the dark of the night, avoiding any possible sightings from the mutineers. Finally he reaches his quarters. He wants to get his things and try to escape the Thetis on a lifeboat.

Q: Is there anyone inside the quarters?
A: Yes, and it’s more than one.
Q: Is is mutineers?
A: Yes, and, it’s two of them, searching through his things.

Argyris will try to con them.

“I killed the engines. Stefanos asked me to tell you that he needs you on the bridge. He needs some extra hands there.” He says with persuasion as he steps inside the quarters.

Argyris: Persuasion (4D): 9
Sailors: Willpower (3D): 8

Startled, the two sailors turn and look at him. At first they’re quite jumpy, and approach with intent. But as they step next to him they smile and laugh.
“Got ya!” The sailor says as he passes him by.
Once they’re out of sight, Argyris breathes a sigh of relief. He puts his things in his backpack, grabs hols of his bayonet, blade looking down, and steps out, to the nearest lifeboat. It’s only a matter of time before his ruse and his sabotage has been uncovered.

I rule that there’s a lifeboat nearby. It’s supposed to be near the crew quarters after all, but he’ll still need to avoid any suspicious mutineers.

Argyris: Perception (4D): 17

Q: Is there anyone near the lifeboats?
A: No, and, it’s a clear path.

Argyris: Sneak (4D): 11

Argyris makes haste to the lifeboat. His footsteps are heard on the deck, but there’s noone around to listen. He puts his backpack inside, jumps in and releases the locks. The chains unhinge and the lifeboat drops to the sea with a loud splash and the rattle of metal. Without wasting anytime to see if anyone took notice, he starts rowing as far away from Thetis as he can.

Session Summary

Yes! That’s what I love about player-driven solo roleplaying. The protagonist tries to achieve a goal, and the oracle puts obstacles all over the place! Now there’s a whole new adventure thread just by a single hook. So many questions! Why is there a mutiny? Will the mutineers go after Argyris? Will he make it ashore? Is the land safe?
All of this and we’re not even close to his brother disappearance in Singapore! At least he has his father’s bayonet with him. Let’s hope the lifeboat has some decent supplies stoked inside.