Sunday, March 1, 2015

Virtual Reality (Star Wars Saga Edition/Mythic GME Solo Playthrough)

I'm in sort of the nostalgic mood now, having posted all those Marcus games, that I thought I'd share what I do believe was not only my first ever attempt at using Mythic GME but my first original character for Star Wars Saga Edition. His character sheet doesn't actually matter much, since I'm fairly certain I did it wrong, but that handsome-looking droid on my right - your left - is Andy, the B-1 Battle Droid. He was a casualty of the Battle of Geonosis and, well... I'll just post the game. As usual, this is straight from my Google Drive, so there's typos and such. Enjoy!
Scene One: Reboot

[Systems check initiated...]

The bleak desert landscape, windswept by the frequent sandstorms, stretches to the horizon in nearly all directions. Jagged rocky mountains rise in the distance, dotting the skyline; their crimson hue only a few shades darker than the deep red of the sands below. Like the giant shells of the native Merdeths that lay scattered throughout the desert, the surrounding dunes are littered with half-exposed armor and rusted out aircraft frames. Chassis and limbs from scores of battle droids lay alongside clone trooper weaponry - a testament to the battle that once took place here. This is the E'Y-Akh Desert on Geonosis, where some say the First Galactic Empire was born.

[...motivators online...]

But another birth is about to take place. A particularly violent solar radiation storm has not only uncovered but jumpstarted a B1 battle droid, designation BD-815. Its automated self-preservation subroutines assess systems damage and triage what it can of the remaining core programming. Much was corrupted or lost to time. Enough remains to restart basic functions however, and in the days that follow BD-815 salvages parts from other droids and machinery in the area in order to repair itself. A soft reset after the necessary hardware was in place is all that's left to be done.

[...optics online...]

A few moments of silence crawl by. BD-815's internal clock allows the necessary dormancy period before initiating a full system reboot. Finally, in the pre-dawn hour, the timer concludes its countdown. Electric power flows once more along circuitry pathways and conduits long dormant - the lifeblood of automata throughout the universe. The droid stretches to its full stature as its sensors flicker on for the first time in years. Analysis of the surrounding area is completed in a fraction of a second before the final surge of energy washes across the repaired main processor.

[...higher functions online.]

Ea, the red sun of Geonosia, breaks over the horizon. The light spills across the sands and casts long shadows on the endless dunes of the E'Y-Akh Desert. This is the first sight BD-815 registers consciously.

It is confused.

Large portions of its memory have been erased and much of its core programming has been changed - a result of both the time spent beneath the sands and the survival subroutines' reorganization of core data. And the solar radiation, of course. It senses a disconnect from its brethren and panics, the sensation as curious as it is terrifying. Battle droids are not designed for independence but rather to operate as parts of a whole, and the notion that BD-815 is the only functioning one in broadcast range is horrifying. There's something else though, something new, that seems to balance that fear of isolation. Confidence, such as it is, begins to grow. Inexplicably, it discovers... itself. There are no other voices, no other input from higher command.

All is silent inside BD-815's communications uplink. It begins to assess all these anomalies and comes to only one logical conclusion:

I am.

What follows is the process all too familiar to younglings: that of self-awareness. Hours are spent concentrating on the simplest of things. BD-815 has the benefit of a fully-functioning body with the ability to move across the desert sands and a digital mind capable of millions of calculations per second. What he does not have, however, is a teacher. Everything about being has to be learned by experience. It takes a significant amount of time, but eventually he searches the chassis of nearby fallen comrades and performs some basic upgrades. He gathers some tools. He improves itself. He acquires a weapon. He is no longer afraid.

Now with enhanced sensors range, BD-815 climbs a hulking Merdeth shell to get a better idea of his habitat. He detects a faint power source to the East and sets off in that direction, full of questions and eager to learn his purpose in the galaxy…

[spoiler]
Scene 1: Andy has just become sapient and is exploring his surroundings on Geonosis.
-Characters: native creatures, other droid survivors, starfighter, weather
-Personal character list: CIS, Republic
-Chaos Factor: 5
-Personal thread list: find out Andy's reason for being reactivated

Roll 1d10: If result is chaos factor or less, the scene is modified. If it's odd, the scene setup becomes an altered scene. If even, it becomes an interrupt scene (p.26, Mythic).

1d10=6

Fate Question (50/50) to determine what the alteration is: "Is Andy attacked then?" [Okay, I realize after editing this all together that this should have been an interrupt. Oops.]
1d100=18
Answer: Yes (Sigh).

I'm including two branches here: an Acklay (which is Unlikely on the Fate Chart) or (if not) a Brute Junk Droid.

Fate Question (50/50): "Is it an Acklay?"
1d100=65
Answer: No (Phew).

So at this point the scene, which was originally much more tame, there will be a battle between Andy and a Brute Junk Droid. I'm going to play this out by rolling Initiative and, while in my mind this takes place on a relatively flat area, there could be an ambush near the canyons or something - so we'll go with rolling a d20 to determine how many spaces are between Andy and the BJD:

1d20=20

It's twenty spaces (30m) away. I think that's all we need for this scene...

Combat Summary

Andy's Initiative (+11): 1d20+11=13
Junk Droid's Initiative (+7): 1d20+7=8

BJD rolls a critical failure on his Initiative!

Round 1

Andy acts first, choosing to attack. BJD is 30 squares away, so that's PBR - which means Blaster Carbine PBR +11(3d8+5) for:
1d20+11=28
...versus RefDef 10...Hit!
BJD takes damage:
3d8+5=19
BJD has 24hp left.

BJD has to run in order to close the distance, but stops adjacent to Andy (Speed 8)

Round 2

Andy attacks again, Blaster Carbine PBR +11(3d8+5) for:
1d20+11=22
...versus RefDef 13...Hit!
BJD takes damage:
3d8+5=18
BJD has 6hp left.

BJD attacks Unarmed +13 (1d6+7) for:
1d20+13=28
...versus RefDef 21... Hit!
Andy takes damage:
1d6+7=12
Andy has 60hp left.

Round 3

Andy attacks again, Blaster Carbine PBR +11(3d8+5) for:
1d20+11=16
...versus RefDef 13...Hit!
BJD takes damage:
3d8+5=18
BJD is disabled!

Andy wins!!!
[/spoiler]

The lone battle droid travels across the desert towards the energy signature, located just over a kilometer away. Cresting a dune, he approaches cautiously, now within a mere thirty meters of his target. It turns out to be another droid - but not like him. BD-815 is a B1 battle droid and most of his replacement parts were from others like himself. He is still, for all intents and purposes, a B1. This droid, however, is not any one model. There are at least five different chassis components discernible to the naked eye and almost certainly the same holds true for its internal systems. BD-815 watches silently in an attempt to ascertain whether this new droid is a friend or a foe.

It moves slowly, like some mechanical beast not native to the desert but relinquished to its prison here among the sands. Several minutes go by... little else happens. It does have a compatible energy signature with BD-815 and he reasons that whatever it may be, since it shows no sign of higher intelligence, it's worth engaging in combat. The chance at acquiring electrical sustenance is too great to pass up. He shoulders his modified blaster carbine and takes his first shot. The round strikes true and the subsequent battle is over quickly. BD-815 sustains some damage but nothing too serious. His initial thoughts were to salvage its battery and continue on but now that the feral droid lies motionless on the ground a sense of pity washes over him. He feels a deep kinship to the beast. Their stories must be much the same, except for BD-815's self-awareness - something he is still learning to understand. Whatever his own purpose may be, perhaps this creature was intended to serve as a friend after all.

Relinquished to repair the large droid construct at his feet - after attending his own wounds - BD-815 sets about the task of retrieving his crude tool kit and gets to work.

Scene Two: Powering Up

[spoiler]
-Andy earns 600XP for battling the BJD
-Statblock for BJD included below Andy's statblock
-Update lists to include BJD
-Increase Chaos Factor by 1 - the battle with BJD was unexpected, though Andy did well.
-While I'm really tempted to blow Andy's remaining credits on modifying BJD, it may be best to just leave him alone. The exclusive hovering locomotion is slower and cheaper (6 squares,1720c), and the exclusive flying is far superior (12 squares but 6760c total).
-I think the next scene will focus on the two heading for some spires in the distance which will turn out to lead to a destroyed underground droid foundry.
-I'm not allowing Chaos to affect whether Andy is able to repair and reprogram BJD but I will make the necessary rolls to account for the passage of time.

-Scene 2, Event Context: Andy and BJD investigate some spires in the distance, which turn out to be a destroyed droid foundry.
-Characters List: native creatures, BJD, starfighter, weather
-Personal Character List: CIS, Republic, BJD
-Chaos Factor: 6
-Personal Thread List: Find out Andy's reason for being

Roll 1d10: If result is chaos factor or less, the scene is modified. If it's odd, the scene setup becomes an altered scene. If even, it becomes an interrupt scene (p.26, Mythic).

1d10=10

The scene begins as expected (Yay?).

I will, however, risk a Fate Question about the nature of the droid foundry for good measure: "Will Andy be able to find spare batteries inside (I'm House Ruling that he can switch them out like consumables)?" I'd say this is 50/50 (Chaos Factor 6) since the foundry was destroyed but there could've been easily been some leftover, and probably a repairable charging station of some sort. I don't intend for Andy to use this place as a permanent dwelling. Here goes:

1d100=59

That's affirmative. Excellent. He'll find a pack of some sort to carry them in, and maybe some tattered robes to keep his chassis from being so exposed to the desert sand.

Lastly, I'll ask a Fate Question about being attacked (by more junk droids or some natives). If the answer is "No" then I'm still going to have something environmental occur (collapsing structures, etc.) to make things interesting. Maybe the chamber where the batteries are at will have a guardian or trap or something. Still sticking with the 50/50 since I believe either case is just as likely. Question: "Will Andy and BJD be attacked in the foundry?"

1d100=80

Environmental it is. I would've liked to see a gang of junk droids protecting their power stores - maybe that's where BJD came from? - but we'll have some nice pyrotechnics when the roof caves in on the power cells too. I'll have to check for falling damage of objects and things, and maybe devise some clever skill/ability checks too. We'll cross that falling bridge when we get to it.

Finally, before I play out the scene, I'll roll to see how many batteries Andy can find. I think 1d10+2 is appropriate:

1d10+2=9

Nine batteries - that's 900hrs of power for Andy and BJD (which, if divided amongst them evenly, is 18.75 days each)! A secondary battery is 4kg (p.195, Core) so we'll use that for weight.

As the very last thing, let's get the rolls out of the way for Andy to repair himself (12hp), the BJD (43hp), and reprogram the BJD to be Andy's companion:

Repairing a droid is DC20 Mechanics check to spend 1 hour to restore hit points equal to the droid's character level. For Andy, he also adds anything above the DC in hit points (Repair Self talent).

1d20+14=28

So that's 13hp maximum, but he only needs 12 - Andy is at full health. Now for BJD (CL3):

We'll let Andy take 20, which means an automatic success for 3hp. That's 15 hours to restore fully. And Andy took an hour to repair himself. On to reprogramming...

BJD's WilDef is 10, so Andy will take 10 on the Use Computer check to succeed. This takes ten minutes.

Total time spent recuperating before continuing on to Scene 2: 16 hours, 10 minutes.
[/spoiler]

It takes the better part of the day but BD-815 finally finishes his repairs and boots up his junk droid companion. Its optics adjust and emit a faint blue glow - a sure sign that the hardware is still intact. It rolls to its side slowly, turning its head from side to side as if trying to recognize its new master. BD-815 stands still and allows it to finish its examination. A few tense moments in the moonlit night pass quietly before the beast seems to accept its new programming. It heaves a mechanical sigh and falls to the desert floor, ready to carry BD-815 wherever he may wish.

The battle droid climbs up and motions to the Northwest where a collection of spires breaks the dusk skyline. The moonlight is enough to navigate by but BD-815 is still grateful for his enhanced optics. The towers would seem to indicate a dwelling of some sort and he knows that without a sufficient source of power the two droids will expire out here on the sands.

Die.

The word evokes an unexpected response - could he die? Falling in battle as a mindless drone among an army of mindless drones surely can't qualify as death, but BD-815 is more than that now. Would it hurt? He doesn't have a central nervous system but his damage detection system is a close approximation. He doesn't desire to be injured or destroyed and would prefer to avoid it all costs. Is that pain? It's a thought that only serves to emphasize the importance of finding electrical sustenance, and right now the spires up ahead hold the most promise for both him and his companion.

It's well after sunset when they find themselves standing still at the base of the rocky formation, a dark tunnel entrance beckoning them to investigate. BD-815's sensors detect an abundant source of energy deep underground from their current location but he is wary of allowing his new friend to follow. There's no indication of internal lightsources and while the moons of Geonosis shine brightly in the sky overhead, even their brilliance has its limits. He dismounts and motions for the creature to stay behind. It turns and takes up a defensive posture, presumably to guard its master from any would-be followers.

The rock walls of the tunnel would make for confusing shadowplay - if there was any light present at all. Since there isn't, BD-815 proceeds cautiously in the direction of the detected energy signature. As he journeys farther into the spire he begins to notice scarring on the walls, and damage that couldn't have been caused by natural processes. Upon spotting the skeletal remains of three vaguely humanoid lifeforms, he concludes that this had, at one time, been the scene of a battle. Or at least a skirmish. He pauses a moment to consider the possibilities of any combatants still present but decides whatever it was that had happened had probably been over for some while.

A few meters away, around a bend in the tunnel, he discovers a metal blast door. It has been blown in off its track and lays twisted in the frame. BD-815 is able to squeeze through - but is aware that his companion would have had to wait outside anyway. Whatever lays within is obviously intended for him alone. The door was, apparently, a side entrance to a much larger chamber. The floor descends gradually deeper into the complex like a ramp, though there's little evidence of what sort of vehicles were used upon it. The walls are pocked with signs of blaster fire and cracked from explosives. There are more than a few corpses here, as well, and if what was seen in the corridors above was a glimpse of battle, this passage tells the tale of the war.

The skeletons lay strewn alongside armored soldiers with no discernible pattern save the desperate signs of one last fight. BD-815 arrives at the bottom of the room only to be presented with another blast door - this one significantly larger than the last but no less twisted and hanging from its hinges. The energy signature is coming from straight ahead. A faint blue glow can be seen as he travels deeper underground. By his estimate he is now nearly a full kilometer below the desert's surface and were danger to come suddenly he is uncertain of his chances. He draws closer to his destination until, at last, he rounds a corner and sees a most welcome sight: a hatch - blown open like all the rest - leading to a catwalk suspended hundreds of meters over a cavernous facility. It has sustained heavy damage but BD-815 recognizes enough of the component parts to realize this was once a foundry where battle droids like himself were produced in massive quantities. Across the catwalk is the sole remaining power center, where the core batteries for the droids were produced. They give off a bright blue light even after so long - a sign of a retained charge. Many are still on the racks but some have fallen to the floor only to be buried in the dust of time. BD-815 is able to recover 9 fully-charged batteries from the chamber before deciding the rest would have to be left for another trip. Some of the soldiers outside the chamber still wear packs and he's able to 'borrow' one that fits his droid
frame reasonably well.

[spoiler]
Okay, I'm going to try and use the Scavenger Feat to score an internal comlink to install on BJD. We'll call him Spot. If I do really well, maybe I can find a vocabulator to give him too.

Internal comlink: 250c, .1kg

According to the rules for the Feat I get 30 x Perception check in credits towards whatever I like, but can only do this once per item. It takes an hour. I feel like taking ten or twenty would be cheating, so here's the first roll:

1d20+10=29

That's 29 x 30 (almost a natural twenty!) = 870c, more than enough. RAW say you can only search for one item at a time, so the extra is discarded. Sadness. I think I like the idea of Spot only able to communicate "telepathically" with Andy so I'll stop there.
[/spoiler]

Before leaving the area, BD-815 tries to find a comlink he can install on the junk droid. Being able to communicate directly with it could prove to be invaluable, so he searches the immediate area for any droid parts. Not too far from the power center is the remains of what looks like the communications parts storage. Vocabulators, comlinks, and even some sensors and optics systems litter the ground. Unlike where the batteries were stored though, this room has seen some heavy combat. It may have been used as a last stand - given all the armored corpses - but the final blast in the room erased any further evidence of what actually occurred. BD-815 searches thoroughly and is finally able to assemble the necessary parts for an internal comlink system. He stores them in his pack and begins his return to the moonlight.

[spoiler]
Okay, now for the environmental challenge. I think we'll have the catwalk fall while Andy is on it and make him roll against a Dexterity DC15. If he makes it, he survives. If he doesn't he loses his pack (which will be hardcore sorrow in both his heart and mine). I'll allow the use of a Force Point if he doesn't make it because, hey, this is a big deal. He then will need to make a second roll (if he fails the first) to avoid falling 99m to the floor below. RAW that's 20d6 damage, only half if Andy succeeds in a 1d20+20 attack against his ForDef. These are high stakes no doubt, but that's how I roll. Or... you know... hopefully it's not.

Ugh. I'm feeling nervous. Okay. Go!

1d20+4=15

Oh ho ho! Zing! Andy barely makes it!
[/spoiler]

He's about halfway across the catwalk when his audio receptors detect a faint creaking in the plasteel girders that fasten the grates to the cavern ceiling. BD-815 pauses in place to be sure, but a much louder groan from the rusted structures leaves no doubt - the catwalk is about to fall to the floor below. Far, far below. He breaks into an all out run for the other side as portions begin to break apart behind him. A final leap to clear the last few meters as the whole thing crashes down atop the foundry machines and shatters to pieces. It's a good thing he was able to recover so many batteries - it doesn't look like he'll be able to gather anymore from this place.

It takes BD-815 only a few minutes to return to the surface. He's greeted by the junk droid who eyes his pack curiously. When he discovers what's inside, however, he immediately gives his battle droid master a look that would melt even a digital heart. The both help themselves to new batteries: BD-815 has to power down his companion to install a fresh battery but, thanks to his secondary power system, is able to install his own without deactivating. He ponders what to do next. Certainly a vehicle of some sort would be preferable to travel on foot, and a starship would be even better. The likelihood of finding either of those things in this desert wasteland, however, is not very high.


So I have the Mythic setup for the next scene but never actually wrote it out. This was, gosh, five years ago now? I always felt like the droids got the short end of the stick in most Star Wars canon, even with the usual Artoo and Threepio nods. In fact, if given the choice, I will almost always play a droid in a Star Wars game. I tried to translate what it might be like for a droid to use batteries as consumables and I think I did alright.

Anyway.

I've got quite a few adventures hiding here in the depths of my hard drive, and I'll post them as I find them, along with a couple original bwog posts that I've had in the works for a while. Want a hint? Go play Unturned. That's your hint - just go play it.

With Brightest of (I feel about PIT droids the way that one lady feels about cats),
BW

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