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John Anderson
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A 40-something gamer & NHS minion living in London
A 40-something gamer & NHS minion living in London

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The Black Rose

One element of playing a science fiction game with a space ship within a sci-fi game that treats inter-system travel beyond its scope and thus largely hand-waves the issue, is coming up with fair and consistent rules that fit the setting and the Burning Empires rules.

We had the situation last night of Petoj, still on the Black Rose, having to manoeuvre the ship out of the path of an assault shuttle. unskilled at helm and being crucis-less we came up with the following (further thought out during the day).

Navigation (Per)
In addition to the rules on page BE237
Crucis is required for a Navigation test for Hyper-Expansion (HeX) and Sublight Expansion (SeX) travel. This means the ship is limited to conventional thrust unless they have a navigator with the Crucis. While in HeX or SeX, the ship is effectively on autopilot travelling the route determined by the navigator.

The navigator is not required to be ‘plugged in’ for the entirety of the journey and can connect at any time there is a problem. Usually, they will be connected when working out the route, and when leaving distortion-space at the end of the journey, and when entering/leaving port.

Helm (Per)
In addition to the rules on page BE233
Those without the Crucis may not test navigator for HeX or SeX travel, but may test Helm or Pilot for conventional thrust manoeuvring only, at double obstacle penalty. If the skill is being learnt, it suffers a double double obstacle penalty.

edit: clarified Helm additions

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The crew of the Black Rose
597 HE
Scarphe. Day 3.

No game for 3 weeks unfortunately (holiday)

They were fucked.

A simple job. Merissa would infiltrate her family's commercial estate outside Scarphe Main, steal the painting that would reimburse the ship after the bungled smuggling job. Diego would secure the exit, and Petoj would provide overwatch from the Black Rose, high in orbit between scarphe and the gas giant that dominated the system.

Then the alarms went off, missile batteries were identified, mil-spec comms and signals towers and search patterns identified and fast-response Anvil troops started landing around them. This was not an ordinary commercial outpost of a fallen Noble family and things were going very badly.

Merissa discovered her old confidant and Steward in House Ameyre, had been exiled to Scarphe to catalogue the family's possessions. All for being "too close" to Merissa and her betrayal of the House. Now Merissa was being guilt-tripped into not betraying the house any further by stealing from them, and to make contact with her estranged father. All the while the Iron-lead Anvil 'protection' detail of the old steward was just outside the door.

Petoj, so wrapped up in his research of the vaylen that he didn't notice the numerous alerts as assault shuttles moved across the planet's surface, homing in on Diego who was near their shuttle, and towards The Black Rose. Petoj, with help from a linked Merissa eventually tore himself away from his research and managed to manoeuvre the ship away from the assault shuttle, hiding deep within the gas giant. He hides while the anvil-laden assault shuttle searches for the unarmed Black Rose.

Diego, discovering an abandoned comms station within the destroyed orbital artillery battery on the planet's surface, somehow manages to repair it. Seeking to strike fear into the criminal Syndicate he decides to live broadcast across the planet his involvement in the deaths of the corrupt corporate security. Instead, his words are twisted by the corporation that runs Scarphe, and has his face broadcast across the planet taking sole responsibility for the murder of the security officers early that week.

He then had a fireteam of elite House Amerye Anvil troopers land in his lap. He is limping away into the darkness of the tunnels, seriously wounded after a bitter firefight, bleeding out, the remnants of the anvil team hunting him down.

Below. The Black Rose's Index 2 Sinawasa Intrasystem Shuttle 
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The Black Rose.
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The Black Rose
597 HE
Scarphe, a shitty little ore extraction planet run by Armitage-Bauer, the Karsan League

The situation for next week...

The Sinawasa Shuttle dropped rapidly through the thin atmosphere of Scarphe. The searing acid-rain laced winds, shaking and throwing the small craft violently as Merissa dove down towards the inhospitable land below. She kept fighting the elements to keep the ship on target, a destroyed civil war ground to orbit artillery emplacement. Within she had been assured by her contact, lay the old abandoned tunnels that would covertly taker her to a commercial base of her Noble family. Her plan, to infiltrate the facility alone, steal the art work and get out. This planet wasn't going to cost her money, and if she could piss of the family at the same time...

Her crew were not as enthusiastic as Merissa. Diego, the tough ex soldier, ex League security was starting to feel uneasy about his captain. The fuckup in the warehouse; 5 security officers dead - screw 'em they were as corrupt as fuck, the contact dead, the crew wanted in the system for murder, and now a burglary. In all this, the Syndicate seemed to be directing the Security onto the deal. Something wasn't quite right... He'll be there for merissa, but's he's watching her.

Petoj on the other hand seems to relish sitting alone on the bridge of the Black Rose. He has things to think about; the vaylen they had been unknowingly smuggling, the presence of the Circle's Inquisitor to take those said vaylen off their hands, and the temptation of the Archive, hints but nothing concrete. Gossamer threads...



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Trading Rules for the crew of The Black Rose.

The current debt on the aged Mercator Black Rose is a monthly Ob4 test. It started as Ob2, but the players decided to upgrade some tech on the old ship. The aim is that by the end of a month in-game, the players will have accrued enough credit from jobs to mitigate the interest payment. Any debt left come payment time will be either ignored by the players (and the consequences that will have) or they will have to make a Resources roll to cover the shortfall.

They now have a semi-modern flight suite to counteract the fact the ship handles like a drunk mukhadesh, low-index sensors & signals decks & an engineering bay with half-decent gear to keep the ship flying. They also decided to buy a Sinawasa Intrasystem shuttle to take up valuable cargo space which will make filling the cargo bay with enough stuff to pay off the loan that much harder (Bargaining +2Ob).

The trading rules are there to provide choices for the players. It is the legal route of filling the Black Rose's cargo bay such that a profit is returned, and can be done in a single roll by heading down to the Exchange and fighting it out on the floor for the best contract, or played out through hunting down leads and rumours about what's big at the moment, and reaching out to contacts to give them an edge.

This is of course the low-risk option (even a failed roll will reduce the loan payment for that month by -1), and doesn't cover the high-risk-high-reward type of jobs that characters love. The Ob is either lower in that case, or the reward higher. It will depend on the intent of the players.
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The crew of the Black Rose, a 250-year old Mercator, were at the subterranean goods warehouse on the shitty little Index 1 mining world of Scarphe at the agreed time. The smuggled box on a barely-working grav-loader next to them, the crew stood in front of their contact Henrique.

Marissa, the 30-year old heir to a once great noble house, on the run from an arranged marriage, wants Henrique to tell her where the fixer is. He's got some serious questions to answer about two Syndicate men who are now dead.

Petoy, the rogue psychologist scientist, hunted by the Circle of 10000 for his experiments, knows the smuggling job is off. He knows vaylen are involved, and it looks like Enrique is the prime suspect. Petoy's wants him to tell him about the Varachi Archive.

Diego, the 28-year old ex soldier, ex League Security Officer, wants Marissa to see he's not a fuck-up even though she kept him in the dark about this job, and the police that just showed up? They're corrupt as fuck, but Diego knows how to deal with that at least.

This is the situation the crew of the Black Rose find themselves in after character burning. More next week. 
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Karsan League subsector map for a possible BE game. It will be using the BE rules sans infection and with a modified faction turn system from SWN for a traveller-esque game. The Vaylen will be a faction within the game.
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Can I just start by saying this is NOT a call to arms. Rather a show of support.

I can't access my RPGnet account right now , otherwise I'd post directly to the OP, but in all my many years BWHQ & +luke crane have always delivered & have done so with excellent customer service, honesty & an obvious desire to get its product to its fans.

I used to love/loath the old pre-order chaos and website-crashing-mayhem "system" we had before, and have found the new-fangled kickstarter thing can't compare on the nail-biting-did-I-get-did-I-not front, but the delivery side has always been the same; patience child. IT shall arrive.

This I have no problem with. IT has always arrived, in pristine condition (BE is a whole different level of A+ customer support post). This is a level of trust I have in only a few companies & individuals.

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Now that is an adventure location. :)

Am I reading this wrong?

Characters who have taken harm only take -1 forward if a first aid roll is 7-9. If they don't seek medical assistance, they don't get the -1?
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