Home > Between the Lines, Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > Between the Lines: “Name on the Bullet”

Between the Lines: “Name on the Bullet”

A few weeks ago, Marisa posted a staff request asking that I try to kill her.

Okay, more accurately, she told me that she wanted to play the Hitman event card she had picked up. Well, I hadn’t tried to kill one of her characters since the old days on Chiaroscuro, so I figured – what the heck!

I finally found the time to run the event last night. The first obstacle that I faced, however, was who would want to kill Marisa? Some other players, sure, but what enemies had she made on the NPC front since her arrival aboard Comorro Station? Not very many. But last night’s event came within a week of the excitement on Kamsho (see “The Fate of Zof Annak”) and I realized that both Marisa and Tiana Ryoleli are human females with rather outrageous accents. So, the premise that I ran with was this:

Two Gankri hitmen are hired by whoever tried (and failed) to kill the crew of the Laughing Fox to assassinate Tiana Ryoleli. The problem for the Gankri, though, is that all human females look alike to them (and it doesn’t help when the woman they find sounds like Tiana was described). So, through a case of mistaken identity, Marisa found herself targeted as part of the larger story arc. I considered this a winning idea because it plays to the approach that I’ve wanted to take with the Shattered Mirror arc: Big events may be in the offing, but smaller events are where the earliest repercussions are felt.

The second obstacle that I faced was the location of the event: Inside the tradeport of Comorro Station – a living, sentient starship with a history of using tangler weapons to neutralize hostile intruders. Immediately, I knew that energy weapons would be a no-go. Edged weapons would be tricky. So, I went the old reliable “build a weapon out of bamboo-like segments” plan so that the Gankri could shoot a poisoned dart at Marisa from the cover of an abandoned stall in the tradeport.

This plan was almost immediately foiled by Umishi, a Lyiri with hypersensitive hearing. Had she succeeded on her dice rolls, the two assassins would have been discovered. However, the assassins matched her rolls and went undiscovered. This was just the beginning of Umi’s struggle with the dice during the event.

One of the Gankri crept out from the hiding place to approach Marisa, distracting her for his partner. He asked if she was Tiana Ryoleli. Naturally, she insisted that she wasn’t and made it no secret that she didn’t care much for Tiana. (An added bonus of this event – if these two characters didn’t hate each other enough already…more conflict to come!) The dart-shooter fired the first dart, narrowly missing Marisa *and* his partner. The second dart struck home, though.

Both Gankri managed to get aboard the levimodule and escape before anyone was wise to the source of the attack. Umishi tried to catch the scent of the Gankri, but was unable to do more than discover the disassembled blowgun in the empty stall. Marisa managed to withstand the effects of the toxin for a good while, thanks to some scary lucky dice rolls. She also started waving a knife around at Umishi and Grey as they tried to help her get to the medical center. Umishi finally managed to grab the knife away, but then Marisa had her hands on an arrow from the quiver on her back. It took Umishi scoring a hit with a psionic ability known as Somnolence to subdue Marisa long enough to deliver her to the clinic where she could be stabilized and treated.

Not a huge event in the great scheme of things, but it has the potential to create more adventures down the road – and to involve more people in the broader story arc.

Edited to add: This link to the event log.

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  1. Rarrie
    February 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    “Not a huge event in the great scheme of things”

    It’s the old “stone in the pond” effect, though: the splash might not be much, but the ripples can travel far. 🙂

  2. February 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Rarrie :

    “Not a huge event in the great scheme of things”

    It’s the old “stone in the pond” effect, though: the splash might not be much, but the ripples can travel far. :)

    Quite true! That’s my hope.

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