Hal Brex, Part 1

This is the first part of the solo actual play I mentioned in yesterday's post. It was played using the Oracle and ideas from "The Players Guide To Solo Roleplaying", the Cepheus SRD, the GM's Apprentice Sci-Fi Deck, a bunch of D6, a notebook and a pencil. I've included the non-fiction details of how the game was played as italic text for those who enjoy that stuff. I have also tried to take a "fiction first" approach in describing the decisions characters take and then shifting to mechanisms for resolution. Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you want Part 2.

Hal Awakes

Hal woke to the sound of a flash-bang. It was downstairs, distant, but it woke him. Grabbing his watch he saw that it was 2.50am. He fastened the watch strap and began the process of getting dressed. Outside the loud hailer boomed:
“Citizens, this is a police raid. Remain in your unit. Do not try to evade. We have a warrant to search this tenement and you are instructed to comply. Any citizen not inside their unit will be considered hostile. Remain in your unit.”
Hal wasn’t going to take any chances.

Which floor is Hal on? Rolled 2d6 = 11. Ok.
From his background, Hal is an ex-Agent – Was he a city police detective? Feels unlikely – rolls No, and… he was from a rival agency. Drawing from my GM Apprentice Deck, I check the Vice entry and see he’s ex-Fraud Squad for the Planetary Authority.
Are the Police seeking Hal? 50/50 – rolls Yes. Holy crap. Wonder what they think Hal did.
Does Hal realise he is a likely target? Seems Likely – rolls Complication.

Hal was running the possibilities through his mind when suddenly the door blew off its hinges in the main room. How could they be this far up so quickly? Hal was barely able to put on his Jack and grab the auto pistol before he heard them.

Are the invaders hostile? 50/50 – rolls No, and… they are here to get him out.
Does Hal know them? 50/50 – rolls No.

I need a random name. Three on the next card – 1d3 = Hisham.

The voice wasn’t familiar to him. Hal stood next to the bedroom door, still closed, gun in hand. He tried to calm himself. Regulate his breathing.
“Hal Brex? We need to move you. My name is Hisham and I am here to get you out. The police are moving up, quickly.”
“How do I know I can trust you?”
“I don’t think you have a choice, Hal.”
Thinking it over for a minute, he nodded to himself.
“I need to grab my go-bag, behind the desk. I am coming out armed. Any wrong moves and I’ll shoot.”
“Acknowledged. I will get the bag but you need to move, quick.”
Hal went to the wardrobe, pulled back the shirts and grabbed out the hunting rifle. Picking up the two clips of rifle ammo to stash in his trouser pockets, he went to the door. Pausing to listen, he could hear movement in the room and smell the smoke from whatever they used to blow the door. Hal opened the bedroom door sharply and stepped out.
Hisham was a man in his thirties with an old army-style jacket and black trousers. He had a pistol in a side holster and was lifting up Hal’s go-bag with both hands.
“Holy crap, man. What have you got in this thing?”
“Cash, compass, lock picks, my blade. Lots of cash,” grinned Hal.

Going to set up a countdown timer on the police arriving. Let’s have 4d6 with each action, complication, delay, or fail meaning we roll them to reduce each die on a 4+. This will be how many floors down they are. Right now, I am saying they are four or more floors away.

Hal grabbed the bag and slung it over his shoulder. Hisham went back to the door to check out the corridor.

Are there people in the corridor? Unlikely – rolls No, and… the route to the stairway is clear.

“Let’s go,” said Hisham. Moving quickly, he was heading towards the stairwell. Hal decided to follow, largely because he didn’t seem to have too many options.

Counter roll = 1 die less. The police are three floors down.
Are they using the stairs? Likely, rolls Complication.

With a crash, the window at the end of the corridor near to the stairwell exploded into fragments as an armed police officer swung in from the roof above.
“Shit,” yelped Hisham.
Hal’s entire focus narrowed as he took in the scene. The armed officer was on his feet, gun coming up quickly towards Hisham. It was more of a reaction than a decision.
Hal fired the auto pistol.

Personal Combat scene. For speed, I am going to assume Hisham is Mr Average (777777) with Pistol skill, wearing Jack, and carrying an Autopistol. He is not surprised, so Initiative 12.
Hal is Dex 9 for a +1, giving him Initiative 13.

Because I haven’t prepped any stats for Police, I will give them average attributes too and assume an Autorifle, Mesh Armour, and relevant skills. Cop rolls for Initiative (2d6+Dex bonus) an acts on Initiative 6. I am assuming he has a buddy behind him on the ladder. I did some rolls and the corridor is 18 metres long from Hal’s door to the window and adjacent fire exit stairwell. Hisham is 1.5 metres closer than Hal to the cop.

Hal aims the autopistol at the cop and shoots.

Short Range is an Average task, with +1 for aiming. Hal is +1 for his skill and +1 for his Dex. As always, he needs an 8+. Rolls 2d6… scores 12+3 is a hit! It’s also an Effect 7 hit. Rolls 2d6 damage, scores… 7+7 = 14. The cop’s Mesh gives armour value 5, so 9 goes through to his End, and 2 through to his Str.

The roar of the Autopistol fills the corridor and the cop is struck clear in the chest, knocking him back as the impact blows through his Mesh armour and blood sprays outward. Hisham curses as he draws his sidearm and shoots at the same cop.

Hisham has +1 for skill, rolls 8+1 to hit for 10+1 damage. That lands another 6 points through the poor cop’s armour. He’ll take that on the Dex to avoid unconsciousness. The cop is now seriously wounded because all three characteristics have taken damage. Is he knocked prone? Seems likely, rolls No.

The cop outside can be seen moving to the window as his mate falls against the window sill. The wounded cop shoots at Hisham, the nearest hostile target.

Cop has 1d3 skill = 2. Autorifle can fire 4-round burst for +1 to hit and 1d6 damage. The cop is +2 for skill on an average difficulty shot and he is effectively crouching in the open. Rolls 12, effect 4, hitting Hisham for 4d6 = 19 total. Hisham’s Jack will cover 3 points, but 16 damage puts him to End 0, Str 0, and Dex 5. He’ll be unconscious.

Bullets rip through Hisham’s body and blood sprays everywhere as he jerks around from the impact of four bullets. There is a brief moment of stillness before Hisham pitches forward in the corridor, unmoving. Hal gasps with the shock as his ally drops.

I have two situational questions:
Are the Lifts disabled? Seems likely = Yes, and… it’s really obvious that the power has been cut plus the doors are closed.

Does Hisham have any more of the explosives he used on the door? 50/50 = No.
We roll the Countdown dice = 2 more go, leaving 1 die until the cops arrive from below on the stairs.

Hal fires at the cop on the ground and steps backwards to take cover behind the wall at the corner, 1.5 metres behind him.

Rolls 8+2 to hit, effect 2. Scores 9 damage total. The extra 4 points punch into the cop reducing his Str to 1. Still conscious but I think he’ll go prone now. Means he can’t attack.

The Autopistol rounds bark into the slumped form of the cop and knocks him down. The man’s cries echo almost as loud as the gun. Hal ducks back out of sight as he considers his options. The corridor behind him runs along the outside of the building with three windows but Hal knows there is no ladder there because the cops are using the fire exit window.

The second cop climbs in through the window, crouches near his compatriot and radios: “Alpha Team, this is Eagle. Man down, repeat man down! One hostile neutralised but target is armed and resisting.” He then aims down the corridor, seeking to pinpoint Hal.

Is Hisham part of an extraction team? Seems likely = Yes, and… they are working a secondary plan of extraction. Looking at the sketched map of the floor, I have an idea…

Like I said, let me know if you want me to post Part 2. Game on!


  1. This reads like u really enjoyed playing it.
    It can’t move quickly enough as a reader… like the start of a Bond movie.
    Yes, it’s fun.
    Yes, please share more.


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