Basically like a regular dramatic task, but instead of 3 rounds, you get one. Truth be told, the incoming bandits were more of a hurry up and decide what to do with the truck's cargo thing, that's why I gave you ten minutes. I must have missed Burgurk's agreement, so that's on me. Otherwise I think Jingu just has to roll what he was going to do and then we can finish this up and move on with your new found treasure..
Illusion: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 121d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Jingu directs the people to cluster about closely, and then covers them in an illusion of more countryside, matching the rest of the vista.
Jingu covers the huddled masses with his strong powers of illusion as Burgurk helps to corral them and keep them calm. Though not a dog, as he has had to remind people on more than one occasion, his growls and shouting work to pen them in, like a sheep dog would.
The bandit vehicle comes to halt and two men get out. Looking around, they shake their heads. One punches the other in the shoulder. ”I told you we should not have listened to that old man. There’s nothing here.” The other one punches him back. ”Fine, but drinks are on you because you went anyway.” Within a few minutes of razzing each other, they get back in the vehicle, to the chagrin of the others, and drive off. You are left alone with the cargo.
After they leave and you determine it is safe, you check out what you have found. It is Trent that finally comes out of cowering and seems to stand a foot taller. ”Th..this is Northern Gun stuff!” He is excited. ”Do you have any idea what this is worth?!”
There are multiple crates of weapons and equipment, all fresh from a NG manufactory somewhere. You know it won’t take long for NG to send someone to find it, but you also know that the Legion could use some gear and some cash as well. What do you do?
”Agreed,” Deloso says. ”We pack it up and bring it back to the Leg..”
”Wait,” Trent pipes up. ”You mean you’re just going to give it to the Legion without even trying to make some money? Come on, you could retire on what this haul is worth, we’re talking like… at least a million credits. At least.” He looks to everyone as Deloso shakes his head. ”and,” Trent adds, ignoring the Captain, ”I can sell it for twice that.” He lets that hang in the air.
Deloso seems to be pondering the offer, but you can tell his sense of duty to the Legion will win out.
Taking it back to the Legion, along with all of the human and robot refugees will earn you some hazard pay (about 25,000 each) and maybe some promotions and reputation with the Legion. Keeping it will net you about 1 million credits after Trent does his thing. Of course there may be consequences down the line. There is an also a middle ground, if you choose to take that path. It is up to you.
I don't know what middle ground you're thinking of, but one possibility would be to have Trent sell *half* the weapons, and return the other half to the Legion. I haven't figured out yet where Burgurk stands on this issue in general...
Do reputable banks exist in this setting? I'd think that the Coalition might have a banking system, but it would be kind of hard for a Legion member to get an account. And we can't put our money in a Legion bank anyway, if it's ill-gotten. It's not like we could each carry around hundreds of thousands of credits.
And why would we net 1M if Trent can sell it for 2M?
These kind of issues not only come up so often, but by the nature of the setting see like they are bound to come up, that I feel like the Legion should have a policy for it. I've played in a few Savage Rifts games, and generally seen it handled one of two ways:
1. The Legion expects its troops to find or claim stuff, so it gives them first dibs on any equipment they can use personally, and a finder's fee for anything they turn in (usually a percentage/salvage value of the gear). This encourages the troops to turn in gear, instead of fostering a black market.
2. The soldiers are all considered a sort of independent contractor, and while part of a paramilitary structure, were in most cases expected to provide their own gear. Therefore, any stuff they claim in the course of their duties that is found, salvaged, or captured from legitimate enemies (EI, Coalition, Federation, Vampires, etc.), belongs to the team that captured it, and is theirs to dispose of as they see fit. This allows the Legion to buy gear they need from their teams, and avoids having it syphoned into black markets where it may end up in the hands of enemies.
One of those unspoken issues that the setting does not address is who is responsible for damage to equipment provided by players? If my Glitterboy gets busted up in action fighting for the Legion, the Legion better damnwell be paying for the repairs, or giving me the resources to be able to manage it myself. Essentially, if Josie has to pay for repairing Eslie, then he is going to consider any salvage he picks up his. Full stop. If the legion will fix her up, then the first option might make more sense.
Part of the setting background of Castle Refuge is that they have mysterious financial backing, and have tons of money, struggling more with finding places to spend it. All the cash in the world is useless if all the store shelves are empty, or people wont sell to YOU because of embargo or political issues. This being the case, it makes a lot of sense to me that the Legion would be happy to pay their troops fair value for any gear they manage to bring in.
Going with the in-game assumption that the Legion will fairly reimburse us for the goods...
"I suggest that we take everything and everyone back to Castle Refuge as quickly as possible. But then take a box or two of the good stuff back out with us, so that Trent can work his magic in the Black Market. I suggest that he keep all the money he can make on the deal. What do others think?"
Jace is already looking through some of the gear as he notices the team staring at him.
”Just wanted to make sure it wasn’t none of the good stuff, you know? Looks like your basic infantry kit. I am anything but basic.” He grins sheepishly and moves on. ”I think you’re right though. We take the lot back and see what the Legion will give us and take a little bit for our friend here to grease some wheels.”
●Likewise, I've little use for basic kit. Credits would be useful, no doubt. Are there any heavy weapons? I'm sure Josiah could make use of another weapon mount for his transport.●
An NG-303 Railgun would be a good mount for the hatch.
Apologies, I thought we were waiting on everyone to decide how much to keep and how much to give to the Legion. It sounds like Jingu wants to keep one or two NG-303s for Elsie, which is fine. That still leaves quite a bit left. If you want to keep a box or two, as mentioned above, that would net you about 50k in credits to sell to the Black Market to start picking up leads. The rest would be given to the Legion and after they sold it or warehoused it, your team stands to receive 800k in credits. If that’s workable for all of you, we’ll move forward.
Going to go ahead and move things along. Since we’re back at base, I’m going to pull Deloso from the group. That will leave Burgurk, Jingu and Josiah and Jace.
Finally, after another day and a half, you reach the outskirts of the Legion’s patrol perimeter and friendly soldiers greet you on the way past the checkpoints. The refugees with you, humans and robots, are thankful and when the base outreach personnel come to take them off of your hands, they pat your backs and tell you that you deserve a promotion.
Once you get cleaned up and have the quartermasters go over your newfound treasure, you find you have many good friends among them now, each of them excited to get you “whatever you need”. The Legion accountants are less happy transferring 800kC to your accounts, but they do so and you find yourselves quite a bit more respected among the Legion.
At least until Major Grimjack comes to debrief you. ”Heard you maggots did some good and brought a whole host of mouths to feed and guns to sell off. That’s real nice, but you didn’t accomplish your mission.” He looks at Trent pointedly. ”You need to get back out there and find out where those blue folk are going and why. Has this pipsqueak given you anything?”
Deloso stands up for your team. ”Yes, sir. We have a lead on where to find a buyer and Mr. Trent is going to make the deal and get us an in with them.”
Grimjack shakes his head. ”Espionage says the whole military approach ain’t working out so well, we need more discreet folk. Captain Deloso, you are being reassigned to lead a unit on the CS Missouri Border.”
Deloso goes to refuse, but a look from Grimjack backs him down. Turning to you, he says. ”Well boys, hopefully the four of you can get this whole thing figured out. I have a feeling in my gut that this is bigger than slavery.” He gives you a salute and after you return it, he gives you each a firm handshake. ”Good hunting out there.”
Grimjack wastes no time as he walks you to the briefing room. Lieutenant McDare is there, a refreshing sight in her uniform and tight hair bun, compared to Major Grimjack who looks like he would just as soon kill you as talk to you. McDare leads the briefing.
”Hi boys. All this changing around I am sure has you a bit confused, but that’s the Legion, always changing to make the world a better place. Your new friends you brought in from the outside may have more information for us, and we’re going to talk to them, but what we know is that the Faelerin race has a big secret and the Coalition want them for it. Rumor has it that an RCSG unit has been dispatched to collect more of them. We need to confirm that rumor and then find out what they want with the Faelerin. That’s where you come in. There is a CS held town about 200 miles north of here. You need to make your way there and make good with the locals. Intel says some CS transports have been using the place as a stopover. You can start your search for the RCSG group there. Your friend Trent can help you with that. We suggest leaving your Legion uniforms behind. Disguise yourselves as mercenaries or however you wish, but the whole idea is that none of this comes back here. Questions?”
Jingu look at Burgurk, and being unable to raise an eyebrow instead emits a short nervous buzz from his wings.
●Uh, sir? A Coalition town?●
He casts another, slightly more dramatic, look at his Simvan sergeant, the Juicer, and the old techno-wizard, and then kind of gestures at himself vaguely, ●We will do our utmost to accomplish any assignment, sir, but I feel the need to point out that we may not be the team best equipped to succeed on this kind of assignment.●
We've been wearing Legion uniforms this whole time? No wonder everyone wants to shoot at us! ;) Seriously, in my mind we've always been wearing "regular" clothes...
Jingu wears a TW Arzno Armour suit with active camouflage, so he doesn't cover it with anything. I imagine it has Legion insignia on it as well as a rank patch. Given the nature of the suit, the insignia are probably programmed into the colour shifting tech, as opposed to painted on. He can probably just adjust the settings and turn those marks off. Regardless, a couple obvious D-Bees, a Juicer (which is illegal tech in CS lands), and a Techno-Wizard are going to get exactly nowhere with CS citizens, and if they have a stalker squad or dog-boys, they'll smell magic in less than a second flat. Burgurk and I both wear TW Armour, and Josie will stink of magic.
Lieutenant McDare blushes at being called ‘sir’. ”I guess I wasn’t too clear when I said Coalition held. I mean to say that the Coalition has moved forces in to take it over. It’s populated by all kinds of D-Bees and rather than their usual tactic of just obliterating it, they are only keeping the D-Bees corralled. That’s why it got a step up on our important list. Normally, “ she pauses and you can see her try to compose herself. ”Normally they just destroy those kinds of towns.”
Grimjack steps in. ”What she is trying to say is that even though you’ve been doing fairly decent at looking like rough and tumbles, you still have some Legion stuff with you. That needs to go in your quarters and locked down. That also means that while you are out there, other Legionnaires may not recognize you, so be ready to deal with that.”
Deloso had you all disguised as best you could as mercenaries, but you still had your Legion gear and clothing that could identify you if found. They are allowing you to leave it behind and only take your personal gear. The town is full of D-Bees and the Coalition hasn’t destroyed it. This is why the Legion is very keen to get someone in there and figure out what’s going on.
Just to be clear, is this the same town that has the black marketeers we were looking for to get info on the blue folk in our last assignment (I think that was the plan), or did we fail at that by bringing the refugees and equipment back?
Since we're gearing up and such, have we earned an Advance as well?
After the meeting, Josiah goes out looking for the scrap he'll need to fix up the mount for the Rail-Guns he wants to attach to Elsie's roof. Once he's found what he needs, he spends the next couple hours cutting, fabricating, and welding, till he has an operational turret working for a set of tandem mounted NG-303's.
Repair: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 121d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Glad to hear you're better. More and more companies are blocking non-work-related web sites that get a lot of activity during work hours. They probably saw your activity and decided to nix it.
"I'd suggest we dress ourselves as vagabond mercenaries, wander thru the town talking to various merchants to make ourselves known, then after a day or two of that, decide on a plan of action."
For when you are ready.
Thursday, December 14th, 109 PA (2395CE). 727 hours. 37 Degrees F, Cloudy. Southern Missouri, about 70 miles from destination, near Falcon, MO (Ava, MO)
You spend some time preparing yourselves for your journey into CS held territory. While they claim most of old Missouri, the CS and the Legion both know that it’s still a lot of frontier land, full of fadetowns, bandits and monstrous beings best left to the imagination. You put away your Legion uniforms and check Elsie for any markings that could be used to identify you as Legionnaires. Satisfied with your work, you move out as soon as you are able.
You spend the first day traveling out of Legion territory and into the wild lands. Since there are no real roadways, especially out here, the going is slow, but productive. You make good time and end up far inside CS territory before you have to come to a stop. As Josiah slows Elsie down, you realize that the world around you has started to change. The once green trees have started to change to a more violet color. As they do so, they start to move of their own accord, gathering around Elsie like a herd of hogs during feeding time on a farm. Elsie will not be able to continue further until something is done.
What do you do?
Or has he? Making a Smarts roll for Common Knowledge, apply modifiers as needed...
Smarts & Wild: 1d6 ⇒ 61d6 ⇒ 1
Smarts ACE!: 1d6 ⇒ 3 = 9
What if anything does he know about these things?
Psionics: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 81d6 ⇒ 1
Jingu reaches out mentally, looking for sentient presences among the trees (Presence Sense). Whether the trees themselves have some sort intelligence, or someone is herding them, he casts out a net, looking for the minds that might be out there.
"Whattayou think, Elsie? These trees friendly, our should we try out your new gats? Be a shame to waste friendly dryads, but they're usually shyer than this bunch."
Josiah flips on the optical sensors, and scans the trees for heat signatures.
Was trying to remember the max altitude of "Hover Vehicles" in Rifts, and I remember from the source docs, Rifts was very flexible with that term, often allowing vehicles to "Hover" at altitudes of a few hundred feet.
Found the Entry from the original Palladium version:
Ground & Air Hover Truck/Cab Only (no cargo): 375 mph (600 km) maximum for the truck and cab portion without any cargo container attached, but maximum altitude is 1,000 feet (305 m). Note: Speed is dramatically reduced by the weight of the cargo carried.Ground Pulling or Carrying Cargo: Typically hovers 2-5 feet (0.6 to 1.5 m) above the ground, especially when hauling heavy cargo or wheeled cargo containers. Big Bertha cannot hover higher than what the cargo containers in tow allow.
Water: The powerful jets and hover system of the Big Bertha cab and empty cargo containers skim atop the surface of water up to 187 mph (299.2 km/162.4 knots). If all containers are sealed airtight, she can travel underwater at an impressive speed of 90 mph (144 km/78 knots). Maximum depth tolerance is 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Speed is much slower, but impressive when hauling cargo (see below). Note: Travel on the surface and underwater is only possible if Big Bertha is in good working order. Losing more than half its main body M.D.C. makes underwater travel dangerous; reduce maximum depth by half. Likewise, losing six of its undercarriage hover jets reduces speed by half.
Hauling Cargo Under 450 Tons: 125 mph (200 km) maximum. Half that speed (62.5 mph/100 km) on water, one third that speed (41.7 mph/67 km) underwater.
Hauling Cargo More Than 450 Tons up to 850 Tons Maximum: 60 mph (96 km) maximum. Half that speed on water (30 mph/48 km), one third that speed (20 mph/32 km) underwater.
I would presume Josiah would keep her close to the ground (2-3 meters), unless they were in a big hurry, as hovering hundreds of feet in the air would leave you very visible and vulnerable to all kinds of ambushes and SAM attacks. Therefore, it would still make sense that the trees closed around them, and the upper boughs are hemming them in. It might not be a case of cannot go over them, but since it would break branches, and or scratch the paint (or might give Huorns a chance to grab on or damage her) Josiah would be cautious about trying it.
Burgurk has certainly heard of trees becoming mobile, especially if they are not originally of Earth, but the multitude of reason that could be naked it difficult to pinpoint, though the mention of fae folk seems to point you in the right direction. As Jingu expands his senses though, he can only pick up on a singular entity other than his companions and he does not feel any sort of malice from it, merely curiosity.
Josiah knows that he could certainly boost the engines and hover out of there, but not without damaging the trees and possibly Elsie herself.
To his companions Jingu reports ●I sense only one presence out there, and it doesn't feel hostile; more curious. The trees themselves don't seem to be sentient.●
●I suggest one of us try to make contact? I can reach out to the mind telepathically if you wish, but I'm not much of a diplomat.●
Boost Persuasion: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 101d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Persuasion: 1d8 ⇒ 21d6 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + (4) = 10
Jingu reaches out with his mind, sending his thoughts towards the presence gently, knowing that language shouldn't be an issue, given the pure meaning of thought.
●Hello tree herder. I am Jingu. We are just traveling though this area, and do not mean harm to you or anyone else. Would you like to come meet us?●
As Jingu makes contact with the entity, there is a wave of calm that washes over the entire group. You suddenly feel safe in your environs and that absolutely nothing could go wrong.
A slight pressure pushes back to Jingu. "Metal hurts us. Machines take us."
The trees seem to slow and rather than closing in on Elsie, they simply surround the hover truck.
You can attempt to resist the calm by making a Spirit roll. It isn't harmful, but if combat ensues, you will be considered Hesitant in the first round.
Spirit: 1d8 ⇒ 51d6 ⇒ 5
Arcane Protection/Extra Subjects: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 81d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
With that raise, magic/psionic users will be -4 to affect us.
Jingu pushes the influence out of his mind, and then erects a protective barrier to fortify his mind, and those of his squad.
●We can take the metal and machines out of your forest, but we will need you to give us enough room to move. The vehicle can move up, like a bird, but the boughs of your trees are blocking us in.●"
Dammit, didn't mean to hold things up. I posted a response the day of, and have just been waiting for the response. Didn't realize the post had been eaten...
Persuasion: 1d8 ⇒ 61d6 ⇒ 1
Happens to me sometimes too.
Jingu sends back a clear telepathic message that your intentions are good and soon, the trees start to relax their restraint of Elsie. Jingu then gets an image of the ‘metal machines’ the tree beings are worried about. He recognizes them instantly. Coalition UAR robots. The image shows them using their lasers to cut down the trees and collect them in hover trucks.
I usually just use the front Forums page, as it only lists your threads if you hit Focus, and it lists new posts like this: (1 new)x
Unfortunately, if you were the last one to post, it doesn't show a new post, as obviously you wrote it, and have therefore seen it. If the post didn't take for some reason, it will still show the name of the last person that did, but I've gotten into the habit of only looking for the (1 new)x notation, and didn't look to see that I wasn't the last person that posted.
Jingu forwards the image to his companions so they can all see.
To the presence he asks, ●How many of the machines are there? How far from here are they?●
To the team he says, ●This will be tricky. If we're headed to a coalition town undercover, we can't exactly walk in fresh after wiping out a bunch of deadboys. Do we radio back for instructions, leave the trees to their fate, or do something else? If we bypass the forest and camp nearby, I could swing by after work and sabotage the equipment. I could probably put the operation out of commission till they can replace the bots.●
You said there was only one presence here; was it a controlling entity like a Dryad or an Ent, or is it more like the grove is a single organism with a collective intelligence?
●They can't say how many bots there were. Some of the images show at least three together, so I would assume no fewer than three, but it could be more. How should we proceed●
"How would the Coalition know that we wiped out a bunch of DeadBoys? If there's little to no risk of that, I say we attack them now. Otherwise, tell the trees that if they let us go, you promise to come back soon and at least disable their machines so they can't work for a while, and that we'll all come back as soon as we can to wipe them out."
Responding to Bergurk, Jingo sends, ●That presumes we get them all, that there are no escapees or witnesses, and they send no transitions describing the attackers. There are quite a few ways an attack could come back to bite us.●