GM Note: This scenario is tied directly to one of my PCs, one Wong Li Ming a gambler, having a “Deadly Enemy” Complication. While the specifics are for my own campaign, the outline and situation can easily be modified for anyone with a Deadly Enemy. The only part of the scenario that would be required is that the enemy in question has a public business. In my campaign he is a casino owner, but just about any sort of business would work hotel, banker, legitimate merchant like a jeweler, would all work, but they couldn’t be a hidden business like gunrunner. There has public clientele that would not condone obvious gunplay for one of the escape options to work. Other than that, feel free to modify to your campaign as needed.
Outline: PCs have had to travel planet of PC’s Deadly Enemy (in my campaign this is Persephone), the home of Darius Nightblade the casino owner that wants (insert PC’s name) dead. Obviously this name and occupation can be adapted to fit your own campaign. If PCs have Friends in High and Low Places, a cargo is still not immediately available. Using in person contact with Friends in Low Places it will take a Formidable INT + Influence to eventually lead to a cargo, but it’s going to be four days before this information is discovered. The same cargo can be located with Friends in High Places at the same difficulty in person, but jumps to Heroic if conduced via wave. The four-day delay cannot be changed regardless of rolls.
(Captured PC) has the choice of letting the crew know up front about Nightblade, or she can keep the information to herself, however, if she stays on ship and keeps out of sight, it is going to be impossible to keep this information from the crew. Despite her precautions, word gets back to Nightblade that (captured PC) is in town. Three days into the great cargo hunt, Nightblade waits until the bulk of the crew is out trying to hustle up a cargo, three goons show up at the ship for (captured PC). Only one other crewman is on the ship and based on how fight goes, this other PC calls the crew that the gambler has been kidnapped, or the two call to say they need help before more goons return.
Even with the knowledge of who to go to for a cargo, it will take a Hard INT + Bargain with a two-step penalty due to all the ruckus, will finally contract the cargo. The PCs have as long as it takes to load the cargo to rescue (captured PC) or as long as it takes to load the cargo, to hold Nightblade’s goons at bay, or to force a gunboat diplomacy stalemate to make the “legitimate businessman” to back off long enough for the Ghost to escape. This of course only makes Nightblade madder and makes his beef with (captured PC) even worse.
Situation one: (captured PC) captured. If she told them who was after her, they can always attempt to negotiate with Nighblade or raid his casino. If she didn’t tell them, they first have to fine out whom has her. A Hard INT + Streetwise will quickly discover that (captured PC) and Nightblade have a long-standing feud. Negotiations with the casino owner are fruitless. He will meet with them in his office, but she has to be a lesson to other gamblers what happens to those that try to skim the house. Money will not buy her freedom, as it’s the principle at this point and not the money.
Raiding the casino is the only real way to rescue (captured PC). Anyone with a good Hacking skill can tap into the casino’s impressive security with a Heroic INT + Hacking roll. A Success will allow her to open doors at will, while keeping the central security office from detecting the breech. A Failure will set off an internal alarm that makes the PC THINK she’s succeeded, but in actuality will lead to a trap. A Botch will sound an external alarm, leaving one choice…RUN!
A Critical success will not only neutralize the security system, it will also neutralize the casino’s internal cameras.
If the security is out, it will take three Hard AGI + Stealth rolls to reach (captured PC)’s holding cell. If cameras are out, this drops to an Easy task. If it is a trap, the rolls are easy until they walk into a corridor and four waiting goons at each end. It will take a Formidable INT + Disable Systems and a Formidable INT + Lockpick rolls to open (captured PC)’s cell door.
On exiting the room, a hidden failsafe alerts Nightblade directly of the escape. The casino owner tries to keep the response discrete, but immediately departs the floor to handle the situation personally. Hacker can assist with another Heroic INT + Hacking roll to keep the doors unlocked for the escape. Moving at top speed gets the PCs from the basement and close to the rear exit before Nightblade and half a dozen goons armed with pistols show up to block the escape. If any PC attempts to kill Nightblade, one of the goons dives in front of the shot and this gives Nightblade time to throw a flashbang to escape. The inadvertent result of the flashbang, is it allows the PCs to escape as well. The PCs could always choose to escape via the front doors once the alarm is sounded. This will take Nightblade by surprise and only require an Average WIL + Influence to bluff the crowd out of the way. Not wanting to alarm his regular clientele, Nightblade will not be able to use force to stop the PCs escape.
If the PCs escape via the rear, Nightblade will never in life forgive (captured PC). He will have a permanent, if unofficial watch set for her and the Ghost on Persephone. He will arrive within an hour of either’s return with a dozen goons to kill on sight.
If the PCs escape via the front door and humiliate him in front of his customers, the insult is now so personal he will in addition to the above steps, he will set a €200 bounty on (captured PC) and a €40 bounty on the rest of the Ghost’s crew. The entire crew now has the Complication: Deadly Enemy.
Situation two: (captured PC) not captured. If the two crewmen can drive off the initial three goons and signal for help, the rest of the PCs have a choice. They can immediately flee and lose out on the cargo completely, or they can stall hoping to find and load the cargo before Nightblade can return with more goons. The easiest way to escape is for (captured PC) to take the shuttle and hide in system. This gives the crew a very healthy twenty days to locate a cargo before they have to rendezvous. However, Nightblade will make life very difficult for the crew of the Ghost. Anyone found outside the ship in groups smaller than four will be set upon by three goons. These are just local toughs and will fight hand to hand only. Word will spread around the starport about the nature of the Ghost’s crew and the attempts to hire a cargo will suffer a FOUR-step penalty to any skill used. This makes the chance to hire a cargo nearly impossible. Combined with vandalism, leg-breakers, and sabotage, it quickly becomes too expensive to stay on the planet. Each vandal attack causes 2-20 credits in nuisance damage, the leg-breakers cause the medical expenses, and the sabotage causes 20-200 credits in more serious damage. Posting guards can prevent this damage, but result in any crewman standing watch to have a one step penalty to skills due to fatigue, but each night there is a 50% chance that leg-breakers will drop by forcing a hand-to-hand confrontation. Gunplay will result in being bound by law.
In spite of this harassment, it will take no less than four days to even locate a cargo in addition to the penalties to actually be hired. If the first cargo falls through, it will take 2D3 days to locate another cargo with the same penalty. It depends on how much the crew is willing to spend in damage, time, and fatigue if they want to try and stick it out. However, they still face the twenty-day deadline before they absolutely have to leave.
Situation three: Forcing a stand off. This is a very dangerous option. Persephone is a border planet that has a large enough Alliance presence that direct assault will bring down more hurt than the PCs can handle. A subtle raid on the casino to kidnap Nightblade using the same rules above for rescuing (captured PC) can reach Nightblade’s office undetected. It will take a Hard AGI + Athletics to prevent the casino owner from triggering an Emergency Signal Ring. If successful, the PCs will have to make three Formidable AGI + Stealth rolls if the cameras are active or three Average rolls if they are disabled to escape undetected. Failing any will result in a confrontation with a half a dozen pistol armed goons. Any shots at Nightblade will result in a goon diving in front of the shot, but allow Nightblade to throw a flashbang to escape. Again the inadvertent result of the flashbang, is it allows the PCs to escape as well. The PCs could always choose to escape via the front doors once the alarm is sounded. This will take the casino security by surprise and only require an Average WIL + Influence to bluff the crowd out of the way. Not wanting to alarm the regular clientele, Nightblade will tell his men they cannot use force to stop the PCs escape. The PCs can then force Nightblade to free a captured (captured PC). This situation is so volatile that staying on planet to find a cargo is now not an option. They make the exchange, Nightblade for (captured PC) and immediately escape.
If the PCs humiliate Nightblade in front of his customers and employees in this manner, the insult is now so personal he will in addition to posting a permanent watch for the ship and crew, he will set a €1000 bounty on (captured PC) and a €500 bounty on the rest of the Ghost’s crew. The entire crew now has the Complication: Deadly Enemy.