Arioniad 158: Berengei’s

Berengei’s, New Hope City; Day 001

It ought to be raining, to set the right leitmotif, but it doesn’t rain much on New Hope, not even near the planet’s largest, and so far as Arion knows, only, body of fresh water. The spaceport is on the edge of the lake, and Berengei’s is on the edge of the spaceport. It’s a low-rent area, but after the first few tries people learned better than to try anything with an easily-enraged genetically uplifted gorilla. Berengei looks up from polishing a glass with a rag, nods, and grunts a welcome at Arion as he bellies up to the bar. Privately, Arion suspects that Berengei only polishes the glass for something to do with his hands, since he has a perfectly good ultrasonic dishwasher under the bar, and it always seems to be the same glass.

“Any luck?” rumbles Berengei, in a bass so low-pitched as to verge on the subsonic. The bar’s quiet, so he has time to make conversation with a regular.

Well, has he had any luck? Let’s make a Networking roll using Persuasion (SWADE p. 133); d4w = 2, failure.

“Nothing,” Arion admits, gesturing at a bottle. “Two fingers of the usual, please. Leave the bottle where I can reach it, it’ll save time later.”

“Not flying tomorrow?”

“Don’t know where to go yet. You put the word out?”

“Sure. Mr Osheen should be easy to find, he’s not illegal and he’s not hiding – the question with him is whether you have the prior commitment, or someone else does. You said Cori was hiding, so I figure I need to be discreet, and if she doesn’t want to be found, well…” Neither of them mention Dmitri; he’s dead, as far as either of them know.

If I were using 5150 this would be a good time to resolve a PEF, but since I’m sticking to SWADE, let’s use an Encounter (p. 144) – I think New Hope City spaceport counts as dangerous, if not outright lawless. Diamond 3; as it’s not a face card or higher, there’s no encounter. Let’s switch to One Page Mythic and Discover Meaning with a couple of percentile dice rolls. 79, 43: Obstacle, Expectations. I know what that is…

“Anyone new in town? Offworld hard case from Gaea, maybe?” Arion asks. He knows that there are deeply unsympathetic people whose job it is to hunt down rogue psions and terminate them, and given what Karagoz told him, he half-expects one to be on Cori’s case already.

One Page Mythic again; Ask the Oracle, and since we don’t know the odds, they default to 50/50. Does Berengei know of such a person? 60%; no.

“There’s nearly a hunnert thousand people in the city,” he rumbles, “And I got a bar to tend to. How would I know?” Arion shrugs.

“It was worth asking.” An idea strikes him; he’s one of Cori’s known associates, and it’s not hard to find out where his ship is parked or where he drinks; if one of the rogue-psion-hunters turns up, he’s likely to start by tracking down Arion. “Has anyone asked about me lately?”

1PM again, 50/50: 88, no.

Berengei shakes his head. “I’ll let you know if anyone does. What you doin’ now?”

“Now, I think I’ll finish that bottle. Then I’ll go back to the ship and get some sleep. Then I’ll ask around the spaceport; be good to know if they’ve been seen a jump or two away without having to check each world myself.”

GM Notes

This season is an exercise in minimalism, which I why I’ve gone for One-Page Mythic and Savage Worlds; the former is by definition only one page, and the core rules of SW can be explained in half-a-dozen pages plus a character sheet – that’s what the Test Drive does, although admittedly that is all about Deadlands and I will pull in elements from other parts of the main rulebook.

One aspect of this is only statting up things that are absolutely essential, and in this episode that is basically Arion; it’s traditional to reset him to zero at the start of each season. This time around, Arion starts off like this, and I’ll give him an advance every five posts, starting at episode 165 for no good reason. The optional Wealth rules are in force to save on bookkeeping.

  • Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigour d6, Wealth d6.
  • Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d4, Electronics d6, Fighting d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Piloting d8, Repair d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Survival d4.
  • Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (1)
  • Hindrances: Heroic, Impulsive
  • Edges: Ace, Alertness
  • Gear: Commlink, leather jacket, Glock 17, knife.

I have the vague idea that Mr Osheen should be a construct, while Cori is a psion and Dmitri is a spy/investigator/PI type, but I’ll worry about that when Arion finds them.

Continue reading...