Friends in Need
Return to normal cargo hauling – Rim - Refuse rebellion and while on a cargo normal run encounter Reavers attacking a freighter, barely escape, but save a new wealthy contact.
After parting on bad terms with the Neo-Browncoats, the crew makes landfall on the next planet they can find. Much of the Rim is still in uproar and normal shipping is heavily disrupted. Tapping into Friends in Low Places or a Difficult INT + Streetwise will find that while no one is willing to risk shipping a cargo in these tough times, except for those jumping on the Rebellion’s bandwagon. However, there are several people on planet that are desperate enough to want any transport out of the chaos of the Rim and to the relative safety of the Border planets.
Since word on these travelers is more the ‘friend of a friend’s cousin’ sort of information, being able to actually track down paying passengers is going to take maximum effort. GM must contrive to get the best pilots off the ship as part of the sweep to look for the fares. If nothing else comes to mind, the Mechanic can discover that the waste extraction system has suffered a pump blockage and its going to require some nasty work to clear. The ship is going to stink and to fix that it will require a sealed system purge. The mechanic will be in a space suit to avoid the worst of the smell and due to the nature of the work, it is important that no one else is onboard to breech already checked sections of the ship.
As the crew spreads out through the town and are scattered, all at once there is a bone chilling cry…REAVERS! The PCs look out and see a raiding party descending on the town. The screams of the inhabitants only serve to punctuate the terror the PCs feel as they start moving toward their ship. However, a strong force of Reavers is between them and their ship. An anxious call to the ship finds the mechanic frantically powering up the ship. The PCs are driven back by three times their number of Reavers and have to helplessly watch the mechanic run for it and leaving them stranded on the planet.
The mechanic will have to make a Hard AGL + Piloting roll to maintain a low altitude escape run. Normally running from Reavers is a bad thing, but with so many raiders hanging from the rappel lines, the Reaver ships can not pursue, which is what the mechanic spotted and why he ran. NOT because he was a coward.
As the PCs see their ship disappearing in the distance, they have to organize the terrified locals into some form of coherent resistance. This part of the adventure can be a grim and detailed as the GM wants, or it can be told Storyteller style to speed things up. Gist is the PCs use leadership skills to rally the inhabitants and manage a spirited if failing defense. As things sound their grimmest, they get a signal from the mechanic. He has broken contact with the Reavers and is ready to make an extraction. The pilot is going to have to make a Hard INT + Influence roll and the Mechanic a Hard AGL + Piloting roll to successfully get the ship in place.
The Reavers will swarm to prevent the escape and their ships are not occupied this time either and will also move in intercept. Fortunately, the three ships crowd each other for the chance to disable the prey and prevent a clear shot for a few critical seconds (three rounds). If the mechanic can make a Formidable AGL + Piloting roll, he can jockey the ship around taking advantage of the Reaver’s disarray and extend the hover time to five rounds.
The PCs and NPCs on the ground are going to have to make a Hard AGL + Athletics to vault onto the cargo ramp. They will each have to make an additional above roll to evade Reaver gunfire against the basic Reaver’s AGL + Guns roll, thus the move to freedom is automatically a multiple action for that round. An Average INT + Knowledge roll will devise suppressive fire and reduce the Reaver’s accuracy by half rounded down. No more than three people a round can make the attempt to jump onto the ramp. For each person over three, increase the difficulty of the AGL + Athletics roll by one step. (IE five trying in one round bumps the task up to Formidable for each person making the leap that round). However due to the size of the ramp, no more than six can make the attempt at a time. As long as the jumped doesn’t botch, anyone already on the ship can assist pulling one person aboard with a Hard STR + Athletics. If the jumper does botch, the roll becomes Difficult and a second STR roll is needed to pull the person aboard based on their weight.
Once the Reavers are in firing position, it will take standard piloting rolls to evade their fire. The EMP grapplers can fire once every three rounds and dodging is exactly per the Dodge rules for personal combat, using AGL + piloting versus the Reavers AGL + weapons skill. The Reavers will pursue and a Hard INT + Knowledge will figure the only escape is to do a Hard Burn in atmo to hit the Reavers with the ship’s backwash and force the Reavers to be too busy avoiding the ground to follow.
The mechanic has to make a Formidable INT + Mechanical Engineering roll to prep the engines for the abuse and the pilot will have to make a Difficult AGL + Piloting to control the ship during the climb through the atmosphere at such a speed. However, their tactic will work. The Reavers will be disrupted and the ship escapes. Figure two or three NPCs make the leap in addition to the PCs and one of them will be Harvey Killian. He is a wealthy businessman that was stranded when the Rebellion broke out. He is extremely grateful and offers triple standard passenger fare as payment on arrival at Beaumonde.