It is a time of civil war in the galaxy. The Imperial Security Bureau, tasked with suppressing sedition, investigates Rebel activity in the modest shipyards of NESSEM, a former Separatist world in the Expansion Region. Integree RENN HERKIN has been given up to two weeks to prepare a thorough report on the local insurgents.
Nearby, other worlds in the thin strip of space between the Inner and Mid Rim avoid notice. Lacking infrastructure, luxury goods, or precious resources, planets such as the Togruta homeworld SHILI provide no reason for Imperials to bother with them. And yet, having completed his assignment swiftly, it is to exactly this world that Renn heads on a much more personal mission…
In 2017-2019, I GM’d an Edge of the Empire campaign, Desert Rose Solutions, that produced characters who went on to feature in some of our Dicey Stories: JT, Renci Tosh, and Renn Herkin. At the time I was GMing, Renn was an NPC, one who was very active in the background. At one point, he was asked to undertake a task on behalf of Kash, a PC who had done some things to improve the life of Renn’s mother (and would eventually become his romantic partner).
Kash had been estranged from her parents since she was a teenager, and they believed her dead following her desertion from the Imperial Army. She wanted Renn to see how her parents were doing (health, finances, etc.) and find out if they were still at Shili University in the political science department. If so, he was to make a donation to the College of Liberal Arts there using a special account set up for one of Kash’s aliases. Finally, she asked him to retrieve something from her parents’ house, a bag of mementos hidden under the floorboard in her old bedroom.
One day, between game sessions, I sat down to figure out how well Renn’s little mission went. My brainstorming session soon turned into a solo RPG, as I pitted Renn in social combat (Genesys-style) against Kash’s mother and father. I’m sharing here my write-up of that experience. Although it is narrative to a large degree, I consider it a session report rather than a serialization, since it includes the Narrative Dice System rolls and how I interpreted them, which can serve as an example for social combat in action.
This mini-adventure takes place six months before our Resh Hour trilogy starts while Renn is still working for the Imperial Army. He is currently an integree with the Imperial Security Bureau, a position he acquired in order to help Kash take down an ISB agent who had been hounding DRS for most of the campaign, as well as to supply better insider information to the Rebellion.
Note: I abbreviate dice rolls using this code Y = proficiency/yellow, G = ability/green, b = boost/blue, R = challenge/red, P = difficulty/purple, and s = setback/black. When I give final dice results, the number before the comma is the amount of successes (positive) or failures (negative). The number after the comma is the amount of advantages (positive) or threats (negative). I mark triumphs with a T and despairs with a D; their values as success or failures are included in the number before the comma. For example, in (YYG RRRP → 0,3 DD) all the successes were canceled out by the failures and despairs, leaving only three advantages and two despairs to resolve.
Scene 1: Mohra (social combat)
Scene 2: Akaraak (social combat)
Scene 3: The Hunt (skill test)
Scene 4: The Heist (skill test)
Epilogue: Repercussions of a Despair