“I need you to pay a visit to someone who’s trying to shake me down and put a stop to it, permanently. There’s six IRD plus expenses in it for you.”
New Hope City Spaceport, Late March 2987
Anderson wants Arion to Confront Kinali. That takes us straight to the Confrontation encounter on pages 34-35, and as we already know who the target is I pull the stats from the Criminal Element table on page 58 – of the various criminal tables in that section, this one looks the most like Kinali as I envisage him. All of Team Dolphin are going, and the dice tell me there are four in the opposing team.
“You said you had something for me,” Kinali says. “Something from my list. Weapons.”
“Yes,” Arion says, drawing his pistol. “These ones.”
Both sides pass 2d6 on the Action Table (p. 71) and Arion gets the Advantage, so Team Dolphin acts first. I decide to go in descending order of Rep this time.
Arion opens the festivities by firing twice at Kinali, hits twice and kills him outright – a good start (+1 IRD). Mr Osheen fires his SMG at the zhuh-zhuh opposite him, hits three times, and blows his head off (+1 IRD). Cori fires twice at the remaining zhuh-zhuh and once at the netrunner sitting next to Kinali; the zhuh ducks back into cover, dragging the netrunner with him. By the time Dmitri clears leather, there’s no-one for him to shoot at.
That ends the first activation, so everyone takes a Will to Fight test. Team Dolphin stays put thanks to Arion’s Free Will, and the opposition pass 2d6 so carry on. Everyone is now in cover, as shots have been fired. We cycle back to the action table, and this time the enemy activate and recover from duck back. Unfortunately this consumes their turn, so Arion and company open up again.
The zhuh-zhuh merc and netrunner pop back up, sliding eyes and gun barrels over and around corners. Dmitri has been waiting for this and fires at the zhuh.
Dmitri passed 0d6, so the zhuh returns fire. He can only shoot at the person who fired at him, so Dmitri takes all three shots. The zhuh passes 2d6, and as the same roll applies to all shots in this edition of the game, Dmitri is hit three times. The zhuh rolls 3, 3, 5 for damage; all non-military characters wear soft body armour, which applies a +1 to the damage roll, so Dmitri gets 4, 4, and 6. The 6 is an Obviously Dead result; I check to see if hits are applied sequentially, as if so the first hit would take him Out Of the Fight, but the rules are clear (p. 25); all hits from all shooters on the same target are resolved simultaneously. Had he been a Star, as he usually is, he could have used Star Power to soak the damage, but for this season he is a Grunt, so can’t use that option.
Dmitri’s shots go high as a burst from the zhuh’s SMG riddles him, and he collapses across a table. The netrunner has no gun so peers fearfully out from behind her cover, looking for a way out.
That ends the second activation and triggers another Will to Fight test. Arion holds his team steady as despite the casualty they are obviously winning. The enemy also carry on by passing 2d6. Activation passes to Team Dolphin; Arion passes 2d6 and hits the zhuh twice, Cori passes 2d6 and hits the netrunner three times, Osheen passes 1d6 and because the zhuh is in cover he returns fire at Osheen. The zhuh passes 1d6 too, so Osheen returns fire at him, this time passing 2d6 and hitting – one of the damage rolls bumps up to 6, killing the zhuh (+1 IRD).
Arion opens up on the zhuh-zhuh with cries of grief and rage, and Mr Osheen joins him with a more phlegmatic approach while Cori – who hasn’t noticed Dmitri’s blood splattered over her jacket in the chaos – fires at the netrunner, killing her. Osheen and the zhuh-zhuh are playing whack-a-mole with each other, popping up long enough to fire short, controlled bursts, then dropping out of sight into cover. At length, the zhuh zigs when he should’ve zagged, and Mr Osheen puts him down.
Cori runs to Dmitri’s side, but there is nothing she can do for him now.
Later, having presented the commlink footage of the fight to Captain Anderson, Arion is paid. The crew don’t feel much like celebrating.
Dmitri is dead.
Arion has 8 Increasing Rep Dice (2 from combat, 6 from completing the mission) and rolls well enough to increase his Rep to 6.
Cori has 3 IRD from combat and interactions. She also increases her Rep. (I had planned to bump her People skill, but given combat is lethal and decided by one’s Rep, and Arion has just gone up one Rep point, Rep seems like a better investment right now.)
Mr Osheen has 1 IRD from combat. He does not advance.
I reset the IRD for the survivors to zero.
- Arion: Rep 6 Star, Ship Crew. People 4, Savvy 5. Hard as Nails, Quick Reflexes. B2, ship (the Dolphin, a Trader). IRD 0. Lifetime Rep 7.
- Coriander: Rep 5 Doctor. Pep 4, Sav 3. Free Spirit. A3. IRD 0. Lifetime Rep 6.
- Dmitri: Rep 4 Investigator. Pep 3, Sav 4. Smooth. B2. IRD 0. Lifetime Rep 1. KIA.
- Mr Osheen: Rep 5 Grath Mercenary. Pep 1, Sav 2. Rage. A3. IRD 0. Lifetime Rep 4.
Image credits: Counters are made from those in 5150 No Limits Maiden Voyage, battlemat is a section of Pinnacle Entertainment’s Pine Box Businesses map, labels and tags applied in Roll20.
The rally between Mr Osheen and the zhuh-zhuh shows something that happens fairly often in this game; fire triggering return fire like playing ping-pong with bullets. Firefights in 5150 feel very chaotic and fast-moving, and figures can get a lot of shooting in during a single turn.
It’s astonishing how attached one gets to these little collections of statistics. Dmitri has survived countless encounters since 2008, but sooner or later, everyone’s luck runs out. RIP Dmitri, but due to the way the metastory works, it’s possible he could return next time the campaign resets.