Project Aphelion Solo Play #039: Girls, Reunited

Who’s up for a treat? The brand new and reworked scenario generation system?

I am! It was literally just put together, and we’re taking it on the maiden journey.


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Actors 2.0

Again, this is a playtest. Remember when we started adding the Rating of the Offense Crew to the Threat Rating and faced the sad consequence of having to drop our elementals, because rating-per-rating they were causing more trouble than they resolved? Well, we fixed it.

First of all, we reworked how the ratings are calculated for the player Crew. It never sat well with us, that mechanically, a character straight outta chargen is treated like a R1 Actor, even though they’re rolling 3-6 dice for basically everything (instead of 1). So, from now on, every character that has an actual stat block and attribute dice is treated as a Lead Actor of rating = their primary attribute (the one assigned to the career). This means that Tomorrow and Tonight are R5 Actors and Chloe is a R6 Actor. Career Rating still provides the Clout, and the highest career skill counts as the Crew’s Focus where it matters.

Second, we created Support Actors, who are a part of the Crew but aren’t full characters – drones, autonomous bots, elementals, contacts taken ‘for a ride’. They count as +1 for the purposes of rating and are attached to a particular Actor.

The Background Actors are as they were – a convenient way of filling the Scenarios with balanced and easy to run opposition. Antagonists, bosses, and other important enemies are Lead Actors as well, get proper stat blocks etc. (exactly like we did for d’Venescu!)

After I played the Scenario below, we’ve changed how the multiple-people Crew Rating is calculated, and instead of adding ratings, we’re making the mean of them. This means that a Crew of R4 (3) is no longer a Crew of R2+1+1, it’s a Crew of three Actors with their mean rating of 4 (5+4+3; 4+4+4; 3+3+4 etc.). It gives the non-player Factions better Assets and removes the problem of R20 Crews. (It also means that our Crew is R6 (3), as we got [6+5+5]/3, rounded up.)


Scenario 025: Girls, Reunited

New Scenario Generation! We (well, Jakub did) have reworked the system from the ground up, hopefully making it both easier to use and creating more variety in the system. No more using physical modules for abstract purposes – there literally are modules for conversations and scientific discoveries. As the Scenario I’m about to play is mostly social, I very much look toward using the new system.


Scenario Generation

Payout: We’ve changed the ‘price point’ of acquiring/destroying Assets. Instead of paying for each rating separately (so R1 costing 1 and R5 costing 1+2+3+4+5=15), we’ve just changed it to R x3. It makes the destruction of low-Rating Assets slightly harder and doesn’t influence the high Ratings, plus is marginally easier to count. As we’re going to take over a R2 Asset, that means the basic Payout is 6; the one we rolled was 9, so we still have 3 points to account for, so my project/legwork math stays the same. They were supposed to go into our structured campaign, but we scrapped structured campaigns altogether, so we’ll just grab extra 3 points of intel of d’Venescu and call it a day.

Threat Rating: Here’s where the fun begins! The base TR equals Payout x5 reduced by the sum of the Players’ Ratings. This means we’re looking at 45 minus 5+5+6+2 (2 elementals) = 27. Legwork is now optional, repeatable, and reduces the TR by 10% of the basic value each time. We’ve already done it once (May 22nd), so I’ll cut extra 5 points from the number (10% of 45, rounded up), ending on TR 22. Doing the legwork, however, triggers the Scenario Complications, and each time it’s run, it skews the result towards the nearest extreme. While it does potentially create a bigger mess, having the complications trigger before going to the Scenario can be beneficial – you may want to take different gear with you, for example, knowing that pirates are about to raid your diplomatic meeting.

Scenario Rating: Payout + 1 per every 5 points of TR creates Scenario Rating – the basic delineation of how hard the Scenario is going to be. In our case, we’re looking at 9 + 5 (22/5, rounded up) = 14. Because we actually have some Fayette-connected intel from ages ago, we’ll cash that in and reduce the SR by 4 (once we collect Fayette, this intel will be pretty much obsolete, so we might as well spend it all). This brings the Scenario Rating down to 10. This means that the default Challenge of the Finale MT equals 10, and it’s also a basis for MTs of other Scenes.

Scenario Complications: 9v4=5 /10

Free Modules: 9 + 9 passages
Free Scenes: 9
Build Points: 5 (TR/5)

Now, for the new and cool things.

As I’ve mentioned, we now have rules for running non-physical Scenarios. What we’re about to play now, is called a Contextual Scenario, best suited for Social and Creative encounters. Unlike previously, we don’t have to sludge through specific, predetermined modules and pretend that we have to go through every step of the conversation to reach the conclusion. Now we can go straight for the Finale – it will just be a hard task. Every step we take on the road there, has a chance of making it harder or easier.

In this particular case, our job is to convince Fayette that leaving her hiding place and moving with Chloe to Best Western is in her best interest, as her father is already preparing a kidnapping.
As far as the Scenario is concerned, Fayette is the Scenario. We don’t create Actors for each of the modules, as we’re just talking  – no need to create artificial ‘talking points’ or ‘complications’ in each module. Instead, we’re facing Fayette as a R9 (Payout) Actor, who is rolling 9 dice, has skill, Clout, and Resistance equal 5 (half Payout) and soak and automarks equal 3 (half of the previous value). The Scenario Rating above the Payout (1 point in our case) means extra Actors on the Defense side – in this case, probably just a default Actor of Irene Woods.

Now, if we wanted to just go for the Finale, that would be rather complicated. As a R9 Actor, Fayette gets 5 Actions each interval and her Pools equal 18. Forget the classic shut-down of Stalling Tactics. Topped with standard Resistance of the Finale, we’d lose in about two intervals. But we can make our job easier by going through the extra steps. We will be generating the Scenario as we go.


Preparations

For the purposes of this Scenario, Familiarity equals 10, as that’s the Fam between Chloe and Fayette. It is a Society Scenario, so nice jewelry will come in handy, so will pretty clothes. Tonight has 2 soak and 1 automark from her pretty suit and Tomorrow has 1 soak and 4 automarks from clothes and jewelry. They both technically have 1 point of Res as well, but Defense has 5 Clout, so it won’t matter anyway.

We don’t have anything else to prepare; we’re taking the elementals with us for security, in case something unexpected happens, they’re not really conversation partners – but in case something happens, we’re at least a bit covered.


Playthrough!

T1: Scenario complications: 9v3=8 +5 = 13/10, 3 net.
Complications roll: median roll 8, moved +1 towards the closest extreme thanks to legwork = 9, -3 net = 6, no complications this time.

Module 1: Initiation. All contextual Scenarios start in here by default. We say hi. This is where each of the Actors spends 1 Action on an appropriate Action Card (Diplomacy for all 3 characters). We establish Familiarity (10) and the Focuses, SOPs, and Behaviors of the Defense.

Fayette: R9, Scientific/Warfare, Support, Aggressive Defense. MA 5, MP 18. Will spend all Actions, won’t TaB until MP =< 2. HOWEVER, this is a Social Scenario, and Fayette is not a Social character. As long as we stick to the Social, she’s effectively R3 (Tertiary Focus), with skill, Clout, and Res 2 and 1 soak and 1 automark. She keeps the 5 Actions and 18 MP. If we try to debate or shoot her – oh, the turntables. But there’s a reason we went there to negotiate, not fight.

Irene: R3 (default), Social/Technical, Marker, Balanced Defense. MA 2, MP 6. Will spend half Actions on objectives, won’t TaB until MP < half

After that, we’re testing the Resolve/Conditioning of both sides. The winner gets to affect the Finale Scene a bit. The automarks from pretty clothes don’t matter (they work for Social Main Tasks), but the ones from jewelry apply to all Social Tasks, so that’s something.
Tomorrow: Conditioning+1, 3v1=3 +2 automarks. PA TaB. MP 8/8
Tonight: Conditioning+1, 4v2=4. PA TaB. MP 7/7
Chloe: Conditioning+1, 3v1=3. PA TaB. MP 8/8
Offense total: 12

Fayette: 3v1=3+1 automarks. MP 17/18
Irene: 3v1=3+2 automarks. MP 5/6
Defense total: 9

Offense wins by 3 marks, giving itself 3 Clout in the Finale! Narratively, we compared… resolve and apparently, we are more convinced about getting Fayette into safety than Fayette is about staying where she’s at currently.


T2: Passage to Module 2. Just a chat, I suppose. As there are no delayed Scenes and the Complications have already triggered, intervals no longer matter, but we’ll keep them for clarity.


T3: Module 2. As we’re the Offense in the contextual Scenario, we get to lead the conversation where we want to – we’ll try to distract the Defense enough to steal away some of its Actions. Welcome to the Distraction Module! The Offense begins the Scene with a MT = Scenario Rating (10). If we win, we reduce the Defense’s Actions by 1 point per each 5 points of SR = 2. If we lose, well, right back at us.

Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v3=4 towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 6v3=5 towards MT. PA TaB. MP 7/8
Tonight: MA (3) Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v1=5, 3 MAs of Fayette’s wasted. MP 7/7
Tomorrow: MA Conjuring+1, 5v2=5 actions for the summon. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v3=4 +4 automarks towards MT. PA TaB. MP 8/8
Air Elemental: MA Confusion, 4v4=2 -2 soak. MA Confusion, 4v4=4 -2 soak = 2 MP for Irene (3/6). 3 Actions left.
Offense MT: 17/10.

Fayette: 3 MAs wasted. MA 3v1=3+1 automark = 4 against MT. MA 3v1=3+1 automark = 4 MP for Irene. MP 15/18.
Irene: MA 3v1=3+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v1=3+2 automarks against Tonight, -2 soak = 3 MP dmg. MP 4/6.
Offense MT: 8/10


T4:

Tonight: MA (2) Stalling Tactics (Con), 5v1=5, 2 MAs of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v1=5 automarks for Chloe’s next MT task. PA (2) TaB. MP 6/7
Chloe: MA Diplomacy, 6v3=4 +5 automarks towards MT. MA Tactics+1, 6v3=5 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 7/8
Tomorrow: MA Leadership+1, 3v4=3 -1 soak, extra 2 Res for Fayette against MT. MA Tactics+1, 5v3=3 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 8/8
Air Elemental: MA Confusion, 4v4=3 -2 soak = 1 MP for Irene (3/6). MA Confusion, 4v4=4 -2 soak = 2 MP for Irene (1/6). 1 Action left.
Offense MT: 25/10

Fayette: 2 MAs wasted. MA 3v1=3+1 automark = 4 MP for Irene (5/6). MA 3v1=3 against MT. MA 3v1=3 against MT. MP 12/18.
Irene: MA 3v1=3 against MT. MA 3v1=3 against MT. MP 3/6

Offense MT: 13/10 -> Offense wins! Fayette’s actions allowance reduced by 2 (to 3) until the end of the Scenario. Narratively, we’ve dropped the bomb about d’Venescu preparing the kidnapping and we’ve discussed the tactics we can apply when Fayette is safely in Best Western vs. the very limited options of protecting herself she can find under Irene’s care.


T5: Passage. We take a breath, the Defense doesn’t, because they operate on behaviors, and we’re not.


T6: As I said, we can pick modules, so we decide to go through Module 3: Read the Room. In this module, the Offense attempts to read the Defense, starting a Scene with MT equal to Defense’s Main Actor’s Resolve (9) +1 for each Actor helping out (so, a total of 10). If we are successful, we can reduce the Finale’s Challenge by half the Payout (from 10 to 5). I didn’t score a mark on my median roll, so we’re not spending any BPs here (yes, we got rules for procedural generation and all).

Tonight: MA Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v1=5, 1 MA of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v1=5 automarks for Chloe’s next MT task. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v2=5 +2 automarks towards MT. MP 7/7
Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v4=5 +5 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 6v4=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 8/8
Tomorrow: MA Diplomacy+1, 5v4=4 +4 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 5v4=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 8/8
Air Elemental: MA Confusion, 4v4=1 -2 soak = 0 MP for Irene (3/6). Last action, disappears.
Offense MT: 33/10

Fayette: 1 MA wasted. MA 3v1=3+1 automark = 4 MP for Irene (6/6). MA 3v1=3+1 automark against MT. MP 10/18
Irene: MA 3v1=3+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v1=3 against MT. MP 4/6

Offense MT: 21/10 -> Offense wins! We have discussed Fayette’s fears and worries and figured out what it is exactly that makes her tick and what doesn’t. Thanks to that, the Finale’s Challenge is only 5!


T7: Passage. Nothing special here, we’re just chatting.


T8: How about we see what happens next through the procedural generation? With a standard median roll, we generate Module 4: Initiation/Reiteration! Yes, it’s basically the same as the opening statement, which means we have a chance of generating more Clout for the Finale!  No marks scored = no BPs spent here.

Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1. MP 7/8Tonight: MA Diplomacy+1. MP 6/7
Tomorrow: MA Diplomacy+1. MP 7/8Fayette: MA Diplomacy. MP 9/18

Irene: MA Diplomacy. MP 3/6

Morale and actions spent – you see us slowly tiring Fayette out? That’s the plan! Now, for the Conditioning Rolls.
Tomorrow: Conditioning+1, 3v1=3 +2 automarks. MP 6/8
Tonight: Conditioning+1, 4v2=4. MP 5/7
Chloe: Conditioning+1, 3v1=3. MP 6/8
Offense total: 12

Fayette: 3v1=3+1 automarks. MP 8/18
Irene: 3v1=3+2 automarks. MP 2/6
Defense total: 9

And like that, here’s another 3 points of Clout for us in the Finale, up to 6 total. We all know it will come in handy. We’ve reiterated the reasons why our plan > their plan.


T9: Passage. TaB across the board, for everybody but Fayette, whose Aggressive behavior doesn’t see the point for such things like chilling.

Chloe: PA (2) TaB, 3v5=3. MP 8/8
Tonight: PA (2) TaB, 2v5=2. MP 7/7
Tomorrow: PA (2) TaB, 3v5=3. MP 8/8
Irene: PA (2) TaB, 3v5=1. MP 3/6


T10: Rolling again, and we find ourselves in Module 5: Boost Composure. Offense starts a MT with a Challenge equal to target’s Wit (9+1 for extra Actor). If we win, we get extra MPs equal to SR/5 = 2 for the rest of the Scenario. If we lose, Defense takes the cake. The median roll scored a mark (just 1), so we’re messing with BPs here – rolled a 3, so we’re actually selling one of the modules we have left – the Scenario now only has 8, but we have 6 BPs. If we don’t manage to spend them before the Finale, they will all be spent there.

Tonight: MA Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v1=5, 1 MA of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v1=5 automarks for Chloe’s next MT task. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v2=5 +2 automarks towards MT. PA TaB. MP 7/7
Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v4=5 +5 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 6v4=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 8/8
Tomorrow: MA Conjuring+1, 5v2=3 actions for the Summon. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v4=4 +4 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 5v4=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 8/8
Air Elemental: MA Confusion, 4v4=2 -1 soak = 1 MP for Fayette (7/18). MA Confusion, 4v4=2 -1 soak = 1 MP for Fayette (6/18). 1 action left
Offense MT: 33/10

Fayette: 1 MA wasted. MA 3v1=3+1 automark = 4 MP for Irene (6/6). MA 3v1=3+1 automark against MT. MP 4/18
Irene: MA 3v1=3+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v1=3 against MT. MP 4/6

Offense MT: 21/10 -> Offense wins! We have discussed Fayette’s fears and worries and figured out what it is exactly that makes her tick and what doesn’t. From now on, we’re looking at 10 MP for Chloe and Tomorrow, and 9 MP for Tonight.


T11: Passage. Nothing special here, we’re just chatting.


T12: Time to roll! Module 6: Flair. In here, we can either increase the Payout of the Finale (by up to 100% of the original) or generate ourselves automarks! We need to run a Scene with Challenge = Payout (9), and if we lose, Finale is going to get net marks worth of soak. And we get to use BPs here! And three at the same time! We introduce a global modifier for the rest of the Scenario. From now on, everybody’s working against +3 mod (which will mostly get eaten by skills, but not in all cases). No more easy rolling against difficulty 1! We’re left with 3/6 BPs.

Tonight: MA Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v1=5, 1 MA of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v1=5 automarks for Chloe’s next MT task. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v2=5 +2 automarks towards MT. PA TaB. MP 9/9
Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v4=4 +5 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 6v5=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 10/10
Tomorrow: MA Diplomacy+1, 5v4=4 +4 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 5v5=3 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 10/10
Air Elemental: MA Confusion, 4v7=2 -1 soak = 1 MP for Fayette (3/18). Out of actions, disappears
Offense MT: 31/9

Fayette: 1 MA wasted. MA 3v2=3+1 automark against MT. MA 3v2=3 marks against MT. PA TaB, 9v6=6. MP 7/18
Irene: MA 3v1=3+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v1=3 against MT. PA TaB, 3v6=2. MP 4/6

Offense MT: 16/9 -> Offense wins! We can go for a higher Payout (up to 16!) or give ourselves 7 automarks in the Finale. Go big, I say. The extra 7 points of Payout will come in the form of money, as Fayette (who is, SR-lore-wise, a millionaire) insists on covering at least part of the war expenses. Yes, this means the Resistance in the Finale = 16. I know. But the Challenge = 5, so coming in with 7 net marks would be wasteful.


T13: Passage. Nothing special here, we’re just chatting.


T14: Procedurally generated Module 7: Poise. The Offense starts a Scene with MT = Payout. If we win, we can reduce the Finale’s Resistance by net marks. Oh my. We get to send 2 more BPs here, on an even higher global modifier! Now everybody’s facing +5 mod, and the skills won’t cover that much. Getting harder every minute, but thankfully, not only for us.Side note: am I just copying and pasting the routine of the characters, adjusting difficulties and rerolling dice? Yes, I’m testing the scenario modules now and I can’t be bothered coming up with new tactics. This is faster and gets me statistically important results.

Tonight: MA Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v2=5, 1 MA of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v3=5 automarks for Chloe’s next MT task. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v4=4 +2 automarks towards MT. PA TaB. MP 9/9
Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v6=2 +5 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 6v7=4 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 10/10
Tomorrow: MA Conjuring+1, 5v7=2 actions for the summon. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v6=1 +4 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 5v7=3 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 9/10
Air Elemental: Idle.
Offense MT: 27/9

Fayette: 1 MA wasted. MA 3v4=3+1 automark against MT. MA 3v4=0 mark against MT. MP 5/18
Irene: MA 3v3=1+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v3=3 against MT. PA TaB, 3v6=1. MP 3/6

Offense MT: 17/9 -> Offense wins! We cash in 8 net marks, reducing the Finale’s Resistance by 8! This means it will be only 8, and we come in with 6 points of Clout we collected along the way, so wee!


T15: Passage. Nothing special here, we’re just chatting.


T16: It’s Module 8, the last we have, so were going to go for Module 8: Showdown! Time to play the Finale. Let’s see: thanks to the Flair Module, we have a Payout 16 in here, so 16 points of Resistance, reduced by 8 thanks to the Poise Module = 8. Thanks to our Initiation and Reiteration Modules, we come into it with 6 points of Clout. The Challenge, thanks to the Read the Room Module, is only 5. We came in here with an extra BP, and it gets spent on, funnily enough, raising the global modifier to +6 (it isn’t even the most probable option, I just happen to roll sevens.)

Tonight: MA Stalling Tactics (Con+1), 5v3=4, 1 MA of Fayette’s wasted. MA Ace in the Hole (Negotiation+1), 5v4=1 automark for Chloe’s next MT task. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v7=1 +2 automarks towards MT. PA TaB. MP 9/9
Chloe: MA Diplomacy+1, 6v9=2 +1 automarks towards MT. MA Leadership+1, 3v3=3 Clout for Tomorrow’s Diplomacy. MA Diplomacy, 6v9=1 marks towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 9/10
Tomorrow: MA Sorcery+1, 5v2=4 towards MT. MA Diplomacy+1, 5v5=4 +4 automarks towards MT. MA Negotiation+1, 5v9=1 towards MT. PA (2) TaB. MP 9/10
Air Elemental: Idle.
Offense MT: 20/5

Fayette: 1 MA wasted. MA 3v5=3+1 automark against MT. MA 3v5=3 marks against MT. MP 3/18
Irene: MA 3v4=2+2 automarks against MT. MA 3v4=2 against MT. PA TaB, 3v6=1. MP 2/6

Offense MT: 7/5 -> Offense wins, with 2 net marks! We have convinced Fayette to join our Faction!


Wrapping Up

Payout: 16 (6 to take over the R2 Scientific/Warfare Asset, 3 points of d’Venescu’s intel, 7 points of pure cash as we’ve been running a war for Fayette and nobody ever paid us). The structured campaigns exist no more, but for my reference, we’re at 94/100 of the main plot.

Rep: +16. Thanks to that, we score extra 6 points of general use Influence. I should probably start spending it – I have 27 now. Oh wow. So influential. Much importance.

Familiarity: with Irene, we get a 1/2 to raise Fam to 8. This Scenario was not false-flagged, which means that d’Venescu (who was just running a project to kidnap Fayette) has just learned about our existence. Our initial Familiarity with the blood mage equals 4. He doesn’t know exactly who we are yet and has no idea that it was us who has caused him so much trouble, but I expect the relationship to deteriorate. Quickly. As our project was very much against his plans, we’re at 1/2 to lower Familiarity to 3.

Skill Learning:
Tomorrow: Diplomacy +8, Conditioning +2, Conjuring +3, Leadership +1, Tactics +1, Negotiation +5, Sorcery +1
Chloe: Diplomacy +8, Conditioning +2, Negotiation +6, Tactics +1, Leadership +1
Tonight: Diplomacy +8, Conditioning +2, Con +6, Negotiation +6

Scenario Consequences: Median roll 4+2 = 6, no consequences.


I tried to write the narrative for this Scenario, but no matter how I started, it all devolved into the following:

  • Tomorrow doesn’t give a rat’s arse about Fayette and if it weren’t important for Chloe, she probably wouldn’t move a finger to help;
  • Tomorrow knows it’s not Fayette’s fault that she was hiding in perfectly civilized conditions while Chloe was stranded with ALOHA, forced to organize terrorist attacks while barely surviving; she knows, but it doesn’t help all that much;
  • Tomorrow prefers breaking into secret labs and fighting bug spirits to talking to people she doesn’t know;
  • Having Fayette makes Chloe happy, so Fayette needs to be picked up and safely delivered to Best Western;
  • Tomorrow can play nice, friendly, and supportive for an afternoon.

You know how the conversation went: swimmingly. Imagine a beautiful, heartfelt meeting of two lovers separated by bad luck and enemies for over a year – the first touching of hands, the long embrace, the teary-eyed kiss, the long, long conversation and intimacy that is going to happen that afternoon and continue into the night.

We will not be privy to it. I’m not in the mood.

Fayette Vann is d’Venescu’s daughter and an NPC from Ivy & Chrome SR adventure: a twenty-two year old human, rather shy, but with beautiful, spunky personality once she gets over that shyness. She’s short and blonde, she used to study Mesoamerican History, but the reality of life pushed her more into the medical direction, especially over the last year spent under Irene’s wings. She’s happy, Chloe’s happy, I’m sure they’ll feature heavily in the future narratives. After all, we still have a blood mage to dispatch.

Let’s just continue with the playtest, shall we?


The Consequences

Yes, we didn’t roll any extra consequences, but that doesn’t mean out actions don’t change anything.

  • We have a new R2 Scientific/Warfare Asset. Came with own money, which is good, because we’ll have to pay for her upkeep.
  • We have interrupted d’Venescu’s project of kidnapping Fayette, which means his R2 (1) Warfare Asset is free to do new things starting on May 24th.
  • We haven’t covered our Scenario with a false flag, which has caused us to come in contact with d’Venescu. Our Familiarity is currently at 4 (low-neutral), heading towards 3. He doesn’t know it was us who have caused him all the grief before, but we’re about to cause him more, so there’s that.

The Next Steps

D’Venescu is currently busy trying to get some money for his Faction, otherwise he won’t be able to cover his monthly bills. We really don’t want him to get that money, but he’s too far ahead of us to interrupt his Scenario. However, why don’t we do the ugly thing: assume he’ll gain the cash and then steal it from him?  This sounds like something we (well, Tomorrow) would 100% do.

It’s May 24th.

First of all, we’re giving Chloe and Fayette three days off, because of obvious reasons. They haven’t seen one another for over a year. This fills Chloe’s monthly ‘shore leave’ requirements. We’ll get back to Chloe on May 27th.

To pull off the heist, we need stealth deployment. For that, we’ll send Tonight on a project to secure the use of Aztechnology’s Intelligence Center, which is a Project with Challenge 1 and difficulty of 1, so it’s all sorted on May 24th. We pay half the monthly upkeep to use the Facility = 500c.

Our structured campaign to take down d’Venescu’s Faction is no longer a thing – we didn’t lose anything, it is now just a project in which we have 17/30 points scored. The change means a couple of things:

  • We don’t have to run separate Scenarios/projects to make progress.
  • We don’t have to run the ‘stage finale’ Scenario – once we get to that 30/30, the project is complete and the Faction Rating is reduced.
  • We can work on the project in the meantime, scoring marks anytime we have the time for it (although every break means we need to redeploy Assets, triggering another deployment cost).
  • The project works like any other – which means that if it isn’t stealth-deployed or false-flagged, it is in the open and the target Faction will react to it, deploying its strongest Assets to try and interfere. It is also, obviously, hostile, and creates an automatic drop in the Familiarity.
  • The targeted Faction will also retaliate by starting their project of reducing the offending Faction’s Rating.
  • Other Factions can still contribute to the project, just like Aztechnology did with those 17 points we have scored.

Because of all of the above, we will use our Ghostworks to false-flag this project as Aztechnology-run. As all of the points in it are scored by Aztech, it’s not cheating, it’s a retroactive fix.


Meanwhile, the Villain

Interfering with this project automatically receives the highest possible priority in the Faction (they need to protect themselves from this regression, nothing else is more important). This means that this automatically becomes the new job of the only Asset d’Venescu has available, which is his R2 (1) Warfare Asset. The Asset gets deployed on May 24th, costing d’Venescu 1,000c (leaves him at 2+3,575c), and it is rolling 3v4 each day until it scores 30 marks (potentially, about 10-20 days). Because I won’t just let him succeed, I’ll be rolling for each day when it matters. For now, he’s going to get (2+1+3+1+3) 10/30 marks by May 28th, which is when d’Venescu probably finishes his money-making Scenario, and then we’ll see what’s up. Keep in mind, they think they’re working against Aztechnology here (or at best, against us hired by Aztech).

D’Venescu’s project for the Payout 10 Scenario is finished on May 25th. Let’s play it. The rules for quick resolution aren’t final yet, but they’ll do for now.


R5 (1) Crew: 5 dice, 5 skill, 3 Resistance, 3 Clout, 2 soak, 2 automarks. Scenario Payout 10.

Legwork: 5v1=5 +2 automarks. 5v1=5. 2 net (finished by May 27st).
Threat Rating: 10v8 = 4 (-2 soak) = 2. 10v8= 3 (-2 soak). Total = 3TR 2-1 = 1
Challenge: Payout + 1 = 11.

R5 (1) Crew needs to score 11 marks. D’Venescu is rolling 5 v 6 – 5 (skill) + 10 (Payout Resistance) – 3 (Clout) = 5v8, and starts with 2 automarks. Scenario rolls 10 v 6 – 1 (number of Actors) + 3 (Resistance) = 10v8, and gets hit with 2 points of Soak each interval.

T1: Offense: 5v8=3 + 2 automarks = 5. MT 5/11. Defense: 10v8=1 -2 soak = 0. MT 5/11
T2: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 7/11. Defense: 10v8=3 -2 soak = 1. MT 6/11
T3: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 8/11. Defense: 10v8=5 -2 soak = 3. MT 5/11
T4: Offense: 5v8=1. MT 6/11. Defense: 10v8=3 -2 soak = 1. MT 5/11
T5: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 7/11. Defense: 10v8=4 -2 soak = 2. MT 5/11
T6: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 7/11. Defense: 10v8=5 -2 soak = 3. MT 4/11
T7: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 6/11. Defense: 10v8=3 -2 soak = 1. MT 5/11
T8: Offense: 5v8=0. MT 5/11. Defense: 10v8=3 -2 soak = 1. MT 4/11
T9: Offense: 5v8=0. MT 4/11. Defense: 10v8=5 -2 soak = 3. MT 1/11
T10: Offense: 5v8=1. MT 2/11. Defense: 10v8=3 -2 soak = 1. MT 1/11
T11: Offense: 5v8=1. MT 2/11. Defense: 10v8=0 -2 soak = 0. MT 2/11
T12: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 4/11. Defense: 10v8=2 -2 soak = 0. MT 4/11
T13: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 6/11. Defense: 10v8=4 -2 soak = 2. MT 4/11
T14: Offense: 5v8=3. MT 7/11. Defense: 10v8=2 -2 soak = 0. MT 7/11
T15: Offense: 5v8=2. MT 9/11. Defense: 10v8=2 -2 soak = 0. MT 9/11
T16: Offense: 5v8=3. MT 12/11. Defense: 10v8=2 -2 soak = 0. MT 12/11 -> Offense wins, with 1 net mark!


On May 28th, d’Venescu has scored his 10 coveted Resources, which brings his Faction’s Resources to 12+3,575c. A vastly different situation than a day before, isn’t it? Would be a shame if something has happened to them, eh?

He has also generated positive consequences for himself, of magnitude 10. Rolled a 6, so: A Faction appreciated your efforts and proposed a Think Tank Project with Payout equal magnitude. If caused by a hostile move, the target Faction’s most hostile competitor appreciated it.

Now, because before that we didn’t have any details about d’Venescu’s Scenario (as they were irrelevant), let’s figure out what has happened. He has no way of generating money on his own, so it had to be either a beneficial or a hostile Scenario for/against another Faction. Median roll haven’t scored a mark, so it was a beneficial Scenario (any other 50-50 method works as well, of course). He didn’t run a project to find any new Factions, so he needs to pick a Faction from between the ones he already was in contact with. By the power of the algorithm, he goes with Dzitbalchen, as his Familiarity with the dragon is the highest (6, now raised to 7 for a beneficial Scenario). Whatever d’Venescu did for the dragon, the dragon has gifted him with 50,000c – and appreciated it enough to suggest a new project with Payout 10. Maybe it was just a ‘you can’t pay rent this month? I got you, bro’ moment between them.

This means that after completing the Scenario, d’Venescu is going to get busy running a project running a project with Dzitbalchen. Looking at what has happened, both the dragon and the blood mage have a vested interest in destroying Aztechnology – their project will add marks to d’Venescu’s project to reduce Aztech from R4 to R3 (currently at 10/40). They have no way of hiding the project, so Aztechnology will know and will retaliate/interfere. He’s paying his 2,500c deployment costs (leaving him at 12+1,075c). He gets to roll Dzitbalchen’s dice (3 instead of his secondary-focus 2), rolling 3v1 and scoring 12/10 marks in 4 days (by June 1st).

I think we might as well let his bodyguard do his thing for the three days left in May, scoring (1+1+1) 3 more marks, bringing his interference project to 13/30 by the end of the month.

This basically concludes d’Venescu’s business in May.

Let’s see what damage we can cause.


Meanwhile, Aztechnology

Last we left off, Aztech was running a series of strikes against Dzitbalchen, ending on 25/30 points in their structured campaign. As there are no more structured campaigns, that means they’re running a project, and it makes 100% sense to just finish it before somebody can interfere. They’re only missing 5 points, and they score them with their R4 (1) Crew within (4+4) 2 days, completing the Payout 30 Project on May 24th with 3 net marks (and good for them, because I rolled a 1 on consequences and they’d get themselves 30 points of ouchie – probably a pissed-off-dragon attack; with net marks, it’s a 4 and no consequences, so Dzitbalchen just grumbles angrily in the background).

This means that on May 24th, Dzitbalchen falls to R2, which means that D’Venescu only gets to roll 2 dice on that think tank, which means he scores 10/10 marks on it by June 2nd. A small retcon, but that’s the price we pay for having parallel timelines. We’ll get back to d’Venescu when the time arrives. 

After that, I think they should give their main Asset some time off – until May 29th, when d’Venescu and Dzitbalchen start working on the project against Aztechnology, which triggers the highest priority of interrupting the project by any means necessary, using their strongest Assets (d’Venescu didn’t use his strongest Asset, because if he did, he couldn’t pay his bills, and the game would be over for him). They have a choice between interrupting the project or simply eliminating the Assets, and as I don’t want to decide, I’ll roll – they didn’t score a mark, so they won’t go for the Asset elimination, just a normal interruption. They put their R4 (3) team of paramedics to the task, who roll 4v2 and score the necessary number of marks (40) in 11 days (by June 8th, killing the project completely, unless d’Venescu manages to finish it before that.)

Meanwhile, the R4 (1) magician takes care of Resource generation for the Faction, as the exclusive growth behavior dictates. The project run against Aztech also triggers retaliation, but this month, Aztech has already put the points towards destroying d’Venescu and they just took Dzitbalchen down a peg, so I’d say it can wait until the next month.


Meanwhile, Us 

As I’ve mentioned, it’s May 24th. Chloe and Fayette have a day off, a Tonight is getting the Intelligence Center arranged. Tomorrow gets a day off too. 

On May 25th, Tomorrow starts working on that Scenario project – we want to rob d’Venescu just enough to force him into hard choices; he’s going to have to pay 7 Resources for his monthly upkeep in a couple of days, and we want to steal that money before he does. This means we have to finish the Scenario in 7 days, from project to execution. Realistically, that means we have 5 days for the project, which means we can’t go for more than Payout 10 without spending extra Resources – and we still need Aztech to cover it with stealth deployment, so… Payout 8, just to be safe? It will get d’Venescu down to 4 Resources – not enough to pay for himself – and his bodyguard is not much of a threat. That will be fun. Tomorrow scores 8 marks in 4 days, and by May 28th, the Scenario is ready for generation.

Tonight catches up on her missing 3 days off on May 25th-27th, then runs her Income 2 Scenario, winning through pure math and adding +2 cash Payouts to Faction resources. As I didn’t play it, consequences roll is a straight one, with no net marks, and it ended on a 7, so no consequences either.

Once they’re done being cute, Chloe and Fayette focus on the project of destroying d’Venescu, rolling 2v2 and generating 10 more marks in the project over the next 5 days (by May 31st), bringing the project to 27/30. It will continue in June. 

This obviously means that the Scenario will be run by Tomorrow, Tonight, and the elementals – just like the old times. We’ll go with a Social/Infiltration Scenario, probably, with physical modules. I have so many new options in the ScenGen to test and play with :3.

But that – in the next episode. 

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