Arion, Episode 47: Space Truckin’

Deep Space, March ’01

With the start-of-month involuntary encounter resolved, Arion now heads back towards New Hope. Reading page 26 of 5150 No Limits I see I need to check for encounters – more on that below. Page 43 states in the description of hauling passengers (the current job) that there will be one PEF per ring travelled (that’s two in all), resolved using the Contact in Space rules on page 35. A few dice rolls determine:

PEF1: Slaver, Zhuh-Zhuh registry. That must be fake as slavers are always a Razor captain leading a Hishen crew. Fortunately the captain is only Rep 3. Looking at page 37, none of the situations listed apply, so we turn to page 29 and use the procedure for Friends or Foes; rolling 1d6 plus number in group gives me totals of 9 for Arion and 7 for the slaver (assuming the captain has the maximum possible group size, i.e. her Rep). As neither side has twice the other’s score, this sends us to page 70 and Talk the Talk. Nobody has an attributes that will affect the dice roll. Arion has Rep 6 now so is guaranteed to pass 2d6; the Razor rolls 6, 1 vs Rep 3 and passes 1d6. Arion passes more d6 so gets a “favourable result” and an extra increasing Rep d6.

“Uh oh,” reports the Dolphin. “Hishen slaver abaft the starboard beam.”

“What?” asks Arion.

“Over there,” says the Dolphin, projecting a flashing graphic on the inside of the bridge. The comms screen lights up with an incoming message; the video feed shows a Razor in the slaver’s command chair, surrounded by small, grey-skinned Hishen crew.

“Unidentified trader, cease accelerating and prepare to be boarded. All lifeforms aboard are now my property.” The razor speaks so quickly it’s hard to follow, eyes darting everywhere.

“Umm, no thanks,” Arion replies. “I already belong to her,” he nods at Coriander. “I don’t think she wants to sell me.”

“Let me think… ah, no,” Coriander says. “He’s the only one who can fly the ship.”

“That’s not strictly…” begins the Dolphin, but catches Cori’s expression and continues smoothly “My concern, is it. No.”

“Look,” Arion says. “Our ships are roughly the same size, you have bigger guns but trust me, I am a much better pilot. We could fight, but it wouldn’t be profitable for either of us. So let’s not, eh?”

The razor considers this for noticeably less time than a basic human would before replying.

“Agreed. This time.” The screen goes dark.

Arion looks at Cori and raises an eyebrow.

“Only one who can fly the ship? Have I no other value to you?”

“Not in front of the AI,” she responds.

PEF2: Trader, Gaea Prime registry, Rep 5 Basic captain. According to page 37 these acknowledge the Dolphin (a Trader) and move on unless I do something about to stop them. Let’s leave them be, shall we?

New Hope, March ’01

Back to page 26 again… It’s easier to resynchronise with the published campaign if I assume we rolled a 1-3 for campaign movement, ending both movement and the month.

The passengers and crew of the Dolphin tramp down the landing ramp and say their goodbyes.

“Didn’t talk much, did they?” asks Coriander as the two passengers fade into the darkness around New Hope City Spaceport.

“The less you tell people, the less likely it is you’ll have to kill them,” Dmitri opines.

Arion looks at him. “I am going to assume you’re not speaking from personal experience there, Dima.”

Character Updates

The crew as a whole has 8 increasing Rep d6; 11 for the job, -3 for upkeep on the ship. Arion has an extra increasing Rep d6 from the encounter with the slavers. Arion rolls 123455666 and increases his Rep to 7. Cori rolls 12222346 and becomes Rep 6. Dmitri gets 23333566 and Rep 5.

  • Arion: Rep 7 Spaceship Crew, Quick Reflexes, Resilient. BAP2, P1, melee, SBA. Lifetime Rep: 14.
  • Coriander: Rep 6 Doctor, Free Spirit, Smooth. A3, melee, SBA. Lifetime Rep: 15.
  • Dmitri: Rep 5 Investigator, Logical, Smooth. BAP2, P1, melee, SBA. Lifetime Rep: 13.

As the author says, there is no upper limit on Rep, but there is “Obviously Dead” as a combat result.

GM Notes

I am wondering whether it would be better to treat Coriander and Dmitri as Grunts for Rep purposes; it doesn’t make sense that the ship costs more to run because they are on board.

This is a consequence of me treating the two followers as additional Stars, which is not how the game is meant to be played. For further study.

Either way, it seems to be a lot easier to increase Rep in No Limits than it was in Fringe Space. Next time, we’ll return to the published campaign.

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The Guvnor
Staff member
I am quite fascinated by these solo SF engines. One can generate sooo much setting in SF games once you know what you are doing & solo seems a great way to explore it.