An investigator wielding her lightsaber in the shadows, cleaving to a Code that most think is extinct. A bounty hunter and skip tracer who always has the weight of her family, culture, and people on her back. A ‘retired’ combat analyst who has turned his programming towards solving mysteries. A small-town marshal on a big-city planet, trying to look out for the little guys. Meet the Party heads into the depths of an ecumenopolis in a Galaxy Far, Far Away to try something a little different, genre-wise: a Star Wars party of sleuths, vigilantes, and Private Investigators!
You can blame the idea that became this party on Beka Black from Tales from the Hydian Way; a few episodes ago Beka was talking about her own Skip Tracer spec Bounty Hunter, and that finally drew my eye to the build. Yes, I had bought No Disintegrations because why not, but Caleb Marrok is busy being an Outlaw Tech and Modder these days, so outside of idle reading I hadn’t paid it too much attention. Once I took another look, I got to thinking about what sort of campaign a Skip Tracer might find themselves in, and then what sort of party they might be adventuring alongside. The idea dawned: a private detective agency, making their living in the lower levels of a city-world like Coruscant or Nar Shaddaa!
This is a lot like the Colonists, Y-Wing flight, or Knights of Weik, a sort of proof-of-concept party designed to create and play in a particular type of campaign/genre. The genre in this case is, of course, mystery, with perhaps a distinctly noir flavor given the setting they’re likely to be in. If nothing else, I hope they give people a new idea for what kind of game can be played using FFG’s Star Wars system. Now, let’s see what they can do and what secrets they can unravel . . .
Mai Buphi, Muun Sentinel – Investigator/Shien Expert
Obligation: Oath 20
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 2, Intellect 3, Cunning 5, Willpower 2, Presence 2
Force Rating: 2
Wound Threshold: 17
Strain Threshold: 14
Defense: 1 Ranged/2 Melee
Abilities: Free Ranks in Knowledge (Education/Core Worlds), Deep Pockets
Investigator: Street Smarts x3, Keen Eyed x2, Uncanny Senses, Grit x2, Talk The Talk, Toughened x2, Reconstruct the Scene, Clever Solution, Unrelenting Skeptic, Sense Advantage, Sense the Scene, Force Rating, Improved Street Smarts, Dedication (Intellect), Valuable Facts
Shien Expert: Side Step, Conditioned, Street Smarts, Reflect x3, Toughened, Parry x2, Shien Technique, Counterstrike, Grit, Improved Reflect, Djem So Reflection, Defensive Stance, Saber Throw, Falling Avalanche, Disruptive Strike, Supreme Reflect, Dedication (Cunning)
Signature Ability: My City (Boost Skill x2, Reduce Difficulty, Cover Upgrade, Change Skill (Streetwise), Destiny, Downgrade)
Skills: Knowledge (Education) 1, Knowledge (Core Worlds) 3, Perception 3, Skulduggery 2, Stealth 2, Knowledge (Underworld) 1, Streetwise 3, Lightsaber 2, Deception 2, Computers 1, Resilience 1
Force Powers: Seek (Magnitude, Control x2, Strength)
Equipment: Crossguard Lightsaber, Armored Robes, Concealing Robes, Comlink (Handheld), 1625 Credits
Mai Buphi uses sharp eyes, street smarts, and the Force to ferret out secrets from the scene of the crime, and a lightsaber once she’s tracked down the culprit. Reconstruct the Scene lets her identify physical characteristics of someone at the scene, while Sense the Scene reveals emotional characteristics. She’s able to use her Cunning for much more, thanks to Talents like Shien Technique and Clever Solution. Once she has a target she can use the Seek power to track it. And with My City no individual, group, or establishment can remain hidden for long, while several of Mai’s own skills are boosted.
Satana Ordo, Mandalorian Bounty Hunter – Skip Tracer/Operator
Obligation: Family 20
Motivation: Reputation is Everything
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 4, Intellect 2, Cunning 4, Willpower 2, Presence 3
Wound Threshold: 15
Strain Threshold: 16
Defense: 1 Ranged/1 Melee
Abilities: Free Rank in Ranged (Heavy)
Skip Tracer: Bypass Security x2, Hard-Boiled x3, Good Cop x2, Rapid Recovery x2, Toughened, Expert Tracker, Street Smarts x2, Bought Info, Improved Street Smarts, Nobody’s Fool, Informant, Dedication (Cunning), Soft Spot, Reconstruct the Scene
Operator: Grit x4, Galaxy Mapper, Shortcut x2, Overwhelm Defenses x2, Full Throttle, Planet Mapper, Debilitating Shot, Skilled Jockey x2, All-Terrain Driver, Offensive Driving, Let’s Ride, Dedication (Agility), Improved Shortcut, Hindering Shot
Signature Ability: Always Get My Mark (Increase Effect x2, Destiny, Increase Range, Change Skill [Underworld], Reduce Difficulty, Takedown)
Skills: Ranged (Heavy) 3, Piloting (Planetary) 2, Piloting (Space) 2, Streetwise 2, Vigilance 4, Knowledge (Underworld) 3, Negotiation 2, Cool 2, Skulduggery 2, Perception 2, Astrogation 2, Gunnery 2, Survival 1
Equipment: Mandalorian Armor (Tracking System [Vigilance Mod, Survival Mod) Micro-Rocket Armor Mount [1 Additional Rocket Mod], Enhanced Optics Suite [Vigilance Mod], Vacuum Sealed]), “Precision-X” Marksman Rifle, Explosive Micro-Rockets x2, Jet Pack, Surveillance Tagger, Comlink (Handheld), 50 Credits
Satana Ordo is about as skilled a detective as Mai, but instead of Force abilities and a lightsaber Satana wields connections, tracking skills, and Mandalorian firepower. Hard-Boiled keeps her on her feet, Bought Info gains intel at a price counted in credits, and Informant connects her with exactly what it says on the label. When the hunt leads to a speeder or starship chase she’s more than capable of catching up and crippling the target’s ship thanks to talents like Shortcut, Debilitating Shot, and Hindering Shot. Most interesting is Always Get My Mark, which grants Satana the power of the Lucas Wipe, changing the scene to drop her right on top of her quarry.
RA-K3, Droid Diplomat – Analyst/Advocate
Obligation: Servitude 20
Motivation: Injustice (Slavery)
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 2, Intellect 4, Cunning 2, Willpower 3, Presence 3
Wound Threshold: 11
Strain Threshold: 18
Defense: 0 Ranged/0 Melee
Abilities: Increased Cybernetic Cap, Extra Career Skills, Extra Specialization Skills, Inorganic, Mechanical Being
Analyst: Researcher x2, Knowledge Specialization (Warfare) x4, Codebreaker x2, Technical Aptitude, Valuable Facts, Supporting Evidence, Grit x2, Improved Researcher, Encoded Communique, Know-It-All, Natural Programmer, Stroke of Genius, Thorough Assessment, Dedication (Willpower)
Advocate: Plausible Deniability x3, Nobody’s Fool x2, Grit x4, Confidence, Discredit, Supporting Evidence x2, Twisted Words, Improved Plausible Deniability, Encouraging Words, Blackmail, Contingency Plan, Interjection, Dedication (Presence)
Signature Ability: Unmatched Insight (Discern Motives, Increase Number x2, Frequency, Leverage x2, Secret, Destiny)
Skills: Charm 2, Knowledge (Core Worlds) 2, Knowledge (Lore) 2, Knowledge (Outer Rim) 2, Knowledge (Xenology) 2, Leadership 1, Knowledge (Education) 2, Knowledge (Warfare) 3, Perception 1, Negotiation 1, Coercion 2, Deception 2, Computers 2, Brawl 2, Vigilance 1
Equipment: Cybernetic Arm Mod V, Laminate Armor, Shock Gloves, Slicer Gear, Sleeppack x4, Comlink (Handheld), 975 Credits
RA-K3, more commonly referred to as ‘Rake”, is an RA-7 droid with every relevant fact, every surprising insight, and every key phrase a team of investigators could need. Both of his specializations focus on helping his allies, whether it’s with Analyst talents like Valuable Facts and Supporting Evidence or Advocate ones like Encouraging Words or Interjection. Several Analyst talents also make him a passable slicer. With ranks in every knowledge and social skill, one might think that RA-K3 doesn’t have any time to spend on the front lines, but a few modifications and some dedicated programming let him pack a surprising punch. Finally, Unmatched Insight lets him become immediately aware of the emotional states, basic histories, and even a secret about others when he needs that information the most.
Xil Bret, Falleen Colonist – Marshal/Gunslinger
Obligation: Responsibility 20
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 4, Intellect 2, Cunning 2, Willpower 3, Presence 4
Wound Threshold: 16
Strain Threshold: 18
Defense: 1 Ranged/1 Melee
Abilities: Free Rank in Charm, Beguiling Pheromones
Marshal: Hard Headed x2, Grit x2, Street Smarts, Toughened, Durable x2, Good Cop x2, Bad Cop x2, Quick Draw, Point Blank x2, Unrelenting Skeptic, Improved Hard Headed, Improved Unrelenting Skeptic, Natural Marksman, Dedication (Willpower)
Gunslinger: Grit x2, Quick Strike x2, Rapid Reaction x2, Lethal Blows x2, Improved Quick Draw, Toughened, Call ‘Em, Dodge, Sorry About The Mess, Confidence, Guns Blazing, Spitfire, Natural Marksman, Deadly Accuracy (Ranged [Light]), Dedication (Agility)
Signature Ability: Insightful Revelation (Reduce Setback x2, Add Boost, Destiny, Additional Skills, Reduce Difficulty, Increase Effect, Duration)
Skills: Charm 2, Deception 2, Negotiation 2, Streetwise 2, Coercion 2, Ranged (Light) 4, Vigilance 2, Cool 2, Knowledge (Outer Rim) 3, Discipline 1
Equipment: “Nova Viper” Blaster Pistols x2 (Paired), Smuggler’s Trenchcoat, Forensic Kit, Bioscan, MCI-100 Magnacuffs x2, Comlink (Handheld), 1275 Credits
Xil Bret brings words that are often as sharp as they are comforting and a pair of blaster pistols that are hard to describe when they’re drawn so quickly. He’s talented in the social sphere, but Good Cop and Bad Cop make him particularly skilled when he’s backing up a fellow investigator. Many of his other Marshal talents keep him from succumbing to staggering blows, the lies of others, and the like. Once he dips into Gunslinger he’s more than capable of handling an encounter that’s turned violent. Finally, Insightful Revelation grants him knowledge of his situation that can’t be attained any other way.
This gang of hard-boiled heroes was created using the Force and Destiny core book, Endless Vigil, Friends Like These, No Disintegrations, Desperate Allies, Far Horizons, and Fly Casual. I gave each character 900 XP to work with, not counting their species XP, which give them all 1000 in total give or take. I also gave them 15,000 credits to work with, to represent the gains of a decently successful career in the shadows.
While in the past I’ve used Morality as my mechanic for mixed-game parties, for this team Obligation seemed to more fit the bill. Mai, RA-K3, and Xil all went in for +10XP, while Satana went for an additional 2500 Credits (Mandalorians do so love to accessorize).
An interesting thought: as you will be reading shortly, these characters assume that they are living and working on a planet like Nar Shaddaa, Coruscant, or Taris-before-it-got-leveled, and further operate under the idea that they’re living in the time of the Empire. Justice is hard to come by, Mai is hunted, and everyone is struggling not just for themselves but the people around them. You could, however, try something different. Perhaps they live during the time of the Old Republic, while Mai is a member in good-standing of the still-existent Jedi Order who has put together a team of ‘civilian’ investigators to help her efforts. Perhaps they’re not based on an ecumenopolis after all, but travel across the galaxy. As always, it’s up to you.
Who They Are
Mai Buphi might be, so far as she knows, the last living member of the Jedi Order. It may be that there are others who, like herself, survived the purge and went so deep into the shadows so as to never be found, but Mai has never discovered any trace of them that didn’t end in death. In a galaxy gone dark, someone has to cast some light and stick by the Code. It’s a constant balancing act between being a Jedi in more than name and staying alive, with a single mistake being all it takes to send Mai tumbling down like all the rest. It’s still an act she refuses to stop performing.
Satana Ordo grew up into a galaxy that only remembers Mandalore as a devastated planet, Mandalorians as ineffective pacifists or blood-crazed supercommandoes, and Clan Ordo as . . . well they don’t tend to remember Ordo in the first place. Satana’s family has stuck by the old ways and clung to their honor, and as the only child of her generation still alive she is expected to live up to those standards . . . and surpass them. She didn’t expect to fall in with her current crowd while pursuing her own legend, but it’ll certainly make for a good one.
RA-K3 served in the Grand Army of the Republic as a combat analyst, and during that time managed to accumulate a wide variety of knowledge and a few personality quirks; he was never wiped, his commander valuing input from ‘Rake’ more than security protocols. When the Empire took over, Rake made a run for it; he knows that if the Empire were ever to reacquire him, he’d at least be destroyed, at worst wiped clean like many of his fellows and set back to work. He’s hardly the only person with a boot following his neck, and his chosen distaste for ‘slavery’ grants the word a broader definition than usual. He’s quite pleased to put his superior mechanical intellect to the task of solving people’s problems and mysteries.
Xil Bret used to be the duly-elected peacekeeper of a small colony out on the rim. Him and the rest of his people ended up refugees when the planet was gobbled up in a feeding frenzy of Imperials, corporations, and syndicates, and their travels eventually brought him here. He’s not elected any more, and the colony has been subsumed into the local populace, but he’s still got his pistols, his gear, and his sense of responsibility. Until someone whose authority he actually recognizes tells him otherwise, which isn’t likely at this point, he’s still on the job as far as he’s concerned.
How They Interact
Mai respects Satana’s skills (she’d be a fool not to), but as they’ve tracked down quarries and brought a measure of justice to the galaxy she has developed concerns over Satana’s motivation. Reputation for reputation’s sake seems hollow to Mai. RA-K3 is the first being to really make Mai think about droids’ rights, and while she hardly needed more on her plate she’s grateful to the droid for expanding her point of view; late night intellectual chats don’t hurt. Xil is practically a Jedi himself, just without the touch of the Force and the lightsaber. Their relationship is much like that of those Corellian Jedi and their CorSec counterparts . . . aside from the lack of legal authority (and Corellians) of course.
Satana thinks of Mai as quite brave, considering the Muun’s heritage and her continued devotion to its tenets. She doesn’t often understand a lot of what Mai is going on about, but ‘When Things go Gizka-Shaped Follow The Jedi’ has worked as an emergency plan so far. Rake is a gift from her ancestors; if they didn’t already work together as part of the same team/company/rabble, he’d be at the top of her informant list. ‘Listen to the Droid’ is the best pre-hunt idea she ever had. Xil’s priorities might not entirely line up with her own, but Satana empathizes with Xil’s commitment to what he views as his people. ‘Get Back-to-Back With The Falleen’ remains the default tactical move when the blaster bolts start flying.
Rake thinks of Mai as someone quite like himself: a living relic of a bygone age that the current powers-that-be would love to wipe out. Whenever Rake picks up one of his pet projects (Satana calls them ‘charity works’), he knows he can depend upon Mai to be there to help. Satana is a bit of a wild card. She tends to act based off of her emotions or what she feels a ‘real’ Mandalorian would do. She does seem considerate of his advice, though. Xil isn’t quite military, but his staunch adherence to what he thinks of as his duty fits the bill close enough for Rake’s tastes. He tends to think of Xil’s priorities as one really long escort mission.
Xil still doesn’t entirely believe that one of his partners is a full-fledged Jedi, and more than once he’s thought that he might be in over his head. He greatly values the trust that Mai shows him, though, and he’s determined to keep her alive. In another life he might have been hauling Satana in and giving her a talk about ‘reckless endangerment’ before confiscating half of her gear (or more likely getting shot while trying to). Luckily that’s not the case, and she’s only that kind of partner that makes him feel ‘too old for this poodoo’. Xil often finds himself wishing he’d met RA-K3 back on the colony; the droid makes ferreting out clues and bits of data so much easier. Rake can be a little odd, though, especially for an RA-7 droid; Xil certainly won’t try arm-wrestling him again.
As they discover clues, gain valuable insights, and track their quarries, what sort of cases will our heroes take? What mysteries will Mai, Satana, Rake, and Xil be trying to unravel? Will the Jedi Code, Clan Ordo, the Empire, or their responsibilities to the people drag them down? As always, that for you (and your dice, and the Force) to determine!
Like what Meet the Party has to offer? Want to see ready-to-play characters for a system and/or setting of your choice? Let us know @HungryHalfling, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or here in the comments! And remember, Patreon supporters get first dibs!