A drunken pilot and Force user. A Trandoshan hired gun. A computer-slicing Jawa. A betrayed Intelligence agent. An addicted thief. A Mando weaponsmith. A bounty-hunting droid. This Meet the Party might be bringing us another crew from a galaxy far, far away but they’re definitely from a long time ago. We’re shipping out with the crew of the Borrowed Time once again, but in an entirely different style: as characters in the d6 System for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game!
One aspect of the original SWTRPG that I glossed over during my review and during the System Split comparing it with the modern day Narrative Dice System was the ability to create your own character template from scratch, something NDS has no equivalent to. I could do a Meet the Party using the templates in the book, sure, and I could get them pretty close . . . but the chance to take the creation rules out for a spin was too tempting.
Folks have asked after the Edge of the Empire days of the Borrowed Time, so that’s who we get to meet. There are some familar faces, and some that parted ways with the crew before Bas, Shikte, The Wookiee, Bee’f, and Verjylla came aboard. There are some backstory bits I never got to in the Adventure Log, as well.
Character Template: Force Adept Smuggler
Description: Not everyone who can use the Force walks the straight and narrow, even if they’re not of the dark side. Cole lied, stole, and drank his way across the galaxy, a smuggler’s smuggler. The dark nips at his heels, but at the end of the day he’s no Sith, and he’s more than willing to stick it to the Empire. And maybe make some credits along the way, of course. Whiskey costs.
- Blaster 4D+2
- Starship Piloting 5D
- Gambling 3D+1
Equipment: The Borrowed Time (IV), Blaster Pistol, Bottle of Whiskey, Lightsaber, 250 Credits
Quote: “Trust in the Force, sure, but I fly better this way. Trust me! *glug*”
Connections: Cole ‘recruited’ Patience on Corellia over the course of a high-stakes sabacc game, and maintains a grudging admiration for the man’s ability to ‘breath sideways’. The pilot wouldn’t admit it, but his purpose in life may just be to frustrate Teek by banging up the ship.
Character Template: Trandoshan Bodyguard
Description: Born on Coruscant, Nak got a start on fighting the Empire early with a local resistance group. It didn’t end well, or cleanly. With lost lives on her conscience, Nak struck out for the Rim on her own, eventually falling in with a crew of ne’er-do-wells. Now that crew’s fallen in with the Rebels, and Nak is looking for her second round with the Empire to go better than the first.
- Blaster 5D, Brawling Parry 5D, Grenade 5D, Melee Parry 5D, Melee 5D
- Starship Gunnery 5D
- Brawling 6D
Equipment: Blaster Rifle, Vibroaxe, Grenade x2, 250 Credits
Quote: <“Fire in the hole!”> – Translated from Dosh
Connections: Nak was hired as a bodyguard of sorts for Cole, and while he isn’t precisely her boss any more she does try to keep him alive. Nak and Sky’la are often two voices of pragmatism on a crew of equal parts eccentrics and schemers.
Weemateeka, a.k.a. “Teek”
Character Template: Jawa Slicer
Description: Teek won’t talk about why he’s not on Tatooine any more, but the favorite story among the crew is that he sliced a rival sandcrawler’s control system and pitched it into the Great Pit of Carkoon, after which he found life off-world safer. Now he serves as the crew’s slicer and, because nobody else can be bothered, mechanic.
- Blaster 4D
- Technology 5D
- Astrogation 4D
- Sneak/Hide 3D
- Comp. Prog./Repair 6D, Droid Prog./Repair 6D, Starship Repair 6D
Equipment: Blaster Pistol, Pocket Computer, Tool Kit, Pile of Scrap, 360 Credits Standard
Quote: “Shumeneez un toyneepa!” Translation: “Show me the credits!”
Connections: A Jawa off of Tatooine is usually looking for someone to hide behind, and Nak fits the role perfectly. Teek and Sky’la share a role as the crew’s break-in sentients, Teek dealing with computerized defenses and Sky’la dealing with more mundane security.
Character Template: Ex-Imperial Intel
Description: The man now going by the name Patience Johnson used to be an agent of Imperial Intelligence – not that anyone on the crew knows that. He served well, but the Empire burned him all the same. Having barely managed to escape a certain planet before its destruction, Patience spent some time turning his skills towards sheer survival on the edge, until he found a crew that could use some civilizing and could help him get some revenge.
- Bureaucracy 6D, Cultures 5D, Streetwise 5D
- Bargain 5D, Command 5D, Con 6D
Equipment: Holdout Blaster, Wardrobe of Disguises, Comlink, 1000 Credits Standard
Quote: “Hello! Where do you want these caf machines? (Psst. Teek. Slice into their computers.)”
Connections: Patience’s role is often to get others into the right place, and none appreciates that more than Lear, who was heard to remark ‘finally, someone who can be charming!’. Caleb and Patience both come on the ship at Corellia, and there’s a shared (if different) bewilderment at how crazy their lives have gotten since,
Character Name: Twi’Lek Thief
Description: The twin curses of the Twi’Lek people, spice and slavery, both came to haunt Sky’la. Her addiction to the former racked up debts she couldn’t pay, and so her family fell victim to the latter. She’s turned to thievery to feed her addiction, free her family, and maybe just maybe find some redemption along the way.
- Dodge 4D+1
- Starship Piloting 3D
- Hide/Sneak 6D, Search 6D, Con 6D
- Security 5D+2
Equipment: Blaster Pistol, Lockpicks, Comlink, Dose of Spice, 250 Credits Standard
Quote: “I can do this. Just need a hit . . . no! No. I can do this.”
Connections: Sky’la and Cole share a surprising amount: each has an addiction that has shaped their life in some way, and Sky’la is the only one Cole allows to copilot. Patience actually helped Sky’la to buy some of her family out of slavery (although they sold off some of Cole’s whiskey to make up the credits, which didn’t go over well).
Character Template: Mandalorian Weaponsmith
Description: It’s a heck of a thing to be from a family of bounty hunters and yet have a bounty on your head, but that’s Caleb for you. His own brother sent him on the run to take control of the clan, and Caleb was on his last legs when he ran into the crew. His new clan is a strange one, but they’re good, and they’ll have the best weapons Caleb can make, buy, or steal for them.
- Blaster 6D, Dodge 5D
- Survival 4D+1, Technology 4D+1
- Starship Gunner 3D+1, Repulsorlift Op. 3D+1
Equipment: Heavy Blaster Pistol, Bounty Hunter Armor, Comlink, 250 Credits Standard
Quote: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons might just be a match for your normal blaster, but not for one of mine.”
Connections: Nak was the member of the crew who ‘recruited’ Caleb, and the two have been battle buddies ever since a shootout with Stormtroopers in Coronet’s Blue District. Coming from a family of weaponsmiths, Caleb can often be found tinkering on weapons with Lear.
L3-4R, a.k.a. “Lear”
Character Template: Bounty Hunter Droid
Description: A former law enforcement droid, recovered and repaired by a Rodian bounty hunter. After the Rodian was killed by Black Sun, Lear set off on his own, a free droid bringing in criminal scum for credits . . . and looking for a little vengeance along the way.
- Blaster 8D
- Alien Races 6D
- Search 5D
Equipment: Blaster Rifle
Quote: “Targeted and firing.”
Connections: Lear had stowed away aboard a freighter to collect the bounty on its owner, only for Cole to have stolen the ship. The two have been together ever since. Teek provides Lear’s maintenance, and the droid teaches the Jawa marksmanship.
Thoughts and Observations
One of the neat things is that almost everyone uses the same sort of math – 18 dice distributed across your attributes, and 7 dice for your skills. One thing that’s not explicitly stated, at least as far as I can tell, is that you can ‘split’ a die up: a +1 added to a code is 1/3rd of a die, and a +2 is 2/3rds. All of the character templates in the core book split dice like that, but you don’t have to, so some of the crew of the Borrowed Time didn’t.
Even the Aliens presented in the Star Wars Sourcebook, when converted to player characters, follow the 18+7 format. The Twi’Lek and Jawa both appear there, but I wanted to stick with creating templates, hence the ‘Thief’ and ‘Slicer’ monikers. The only exceptions to that math are droids, who have 1D in each attribute but can add 12 (or 18 if they’re a player character like Lear) to 1-3 skills. Droids also spend dice on equipment and armor. Basically, droids can be ridiculously min-maxish.
Jumping off from that point, though, is an interesting comparison: I mentioned in my System Split that the ‘heart’ of both d6 Star Wars and the Narrative Dice System version are very similar, and that comes through again here. Humans are the baseline, no surprise there. Non-humans could have very similar stats, but can reach greater heights in exchange for more lows elsewhere. And droids are for the min-maxers. These three sentences apply to both systems, furthering my belief that you can’t go wrong with which game you choose to play, just different.
In another system our band of misfits say some farewells, meet some new faces, and Live on Borrowed Time in an Age of Rebellion. What kind of adventures might they face in this system? As always, that’s for you (and your dice) to find out!