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Penumbra Squad (Star Wars Pilots/Agents!) PBF

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A second Star Wars PBF based on the Cortex system will soon grace the forum.  You will all be part of a secret Rebel squad of starfighter pilots and agents operating in the time shortly after the Battle of Endor.  (Think Wraith Squadron, but far less lucky.)  General Cracken (not Starfighter Command!) will have many missions for you in the time to come, and perhaps other adventures will arise as well!  But things won't be easy.  The average lifespan of a starfighter pilot is rather short, and the risks for covert operatives is just as great.  However, those that succeed will find themselves accomplishing tasks that no others are capable of.  Will this group of people learn to work together to become a highly coordinated thorn in the Empire's side?  Or will they fragment and be crushed under the Empire's heel?

Rather than claiming spots, please simply post your character sheets and backgrounds, and I will select the most appropriate ones for the campaign.  Two spots are currently reserved, and I'm hoping for 4-6 players.  A significantly lower priority will be given to those who have been/are players in the other Star Wars PBF here.

Player Characters will start off as "Elites" under Cortex rules (54 attributes, 74 skill, and 8 asset):  please create a character that will be able to competently fly starfighters (one of X-wing, Y-wing, or A-wing), and also contribute to a covert operations team (running missions such as infiltration, sabotage, raiding, and information gathering).  If you take any of the strong, unusual assets (Talented, Force Sensitive, Cybernetic, etc.) or any non-military ability at high levels (d10+) your backstory needs to convincingly explain why they fit your character.  Keep in mind your GM isn't particularly fond of improbable coincidences or characters who are somehow better than the main characters of the Star Wars itself.

Interesting complications can lead to loads of plot points during the game.  And originality is valued highly, as long as it isn't ridiculous.  If you leave a gaping vulnerability in your character in order to pump up some other aspect of him/her, be prepared to suffer for it.  A cohesive set of stats, traits and skills along with a well written backstory will be looked upon more highly than a finely tuned, high powered character.

Some extras on top of the Cortex system specifically for Star Wars play:

Twi'lek race trait package:
Male (0): Ugly d4 (to non-twi'leks), Fragile d4, Enhanced Communication (lekku) d4, Fast On you Feet d2, Lighting Reflexes d2
Female (+4): Allure d4 (to non-twi'leks), Fragile d4, Enhanced Communication (lekku) d4, Fast On you Feet d2, Lighting Reflexes d2, Lightweight d4

Wookie race trait package (0):
All: Brawler d4, Formidable presence d4, Sure footed d2, Natural weapon d2 (claws), Tough d4, Anger issues d4, Impaired communication d8 (can't speak human languages), Gullible d6, Duty (can't use claws) d2

Feel free to play another species as well - put together a package that makes sense, as we haven't fleshed out trait packages for most species yet.

I'll bet you have: d4 - as long as you have a blaster holstered, you have the blaster drawn! Simply, if you are equipped with a weapon, drawing it takes you no time, unless GM deems otherwise.

Your mind powers will not work on me, boy: d6 - be it due to alien physiology, mental conditioning, or simply extraordinary will prowess, you gain +5 skill steps trying to resist Force enforced mind tricks

To be honest I wasn't going to have any Force using player characters - but if your backstory really dazzles me, here's how they fit in:

Force Sensitive (d2+): You were born with midichlorian count high enough to use the mysterious Force. You may buy Force Training skill as per normal rules. This asset has no direct influence on gameplay, but Force Training skill can not exceed it, so if you have Force Sensitive d8, you can not train yourself in Force usage above d8, until you improve your raw power, represented by this asset.

Force Training: It represents how well can you manipulate the Force, how much can you get of it, and how successfully you will be. Unspecialised, it allow for basic telekinesis, mind tricks etc. More complicated uses (Force Healing, Force Lighting and so on) require you to acquire a proper specialization for this skill. For the purposes of character creation, this asset is capped at d8, which is level of new knights.

Lightsaber Combat: specialization of melee weapon combat. Self-explanatory. Cannot exceed the level of Force Sensitive.

If you decide to have a loyal astromech companion, it will cost you only d6 in Assets for a Novice-level sidekick (rather than the usual d12), as everyone else will get a generic astromech for free.
A custom, modified starfighter will also be available for d6 in Assets, but how this works has not been fully decided yet.

This campaign will include new, experimental game mechanics on top of the Cortex system especially for space combat.  These will be detailed as they are finalized, and are subject to change if they suck.

PM for a link to the Cortex rulebook if you're interested but don't have access to it yet.

O'kay, I'll try to act in this one, hope better than in the previous.
I'll use the same character sheet as in previous, just with few modifications of skill and story. If this is oak-ay, I'll post it, else I'll create a new one.

Alia'Redora 'Ios'

'We have won. Great. I hope that somebody has an idea on what to do now?'
Agility: d12
Strength: d4
Vitality: d8
Intelligence: d8
Alertness: d12
Willpower: d8

Derived Attributes:
Life Points: 14
Initiative: d12+d12
Endurance: d8+d8
Resistance: d8+d8

Allure: d6
Lightening Reflexes: d6
Athlete: d6
Fast on your Feet: d2
Steady Calm: d6
Unbreakable Will: d6
Talented (acrobatics, dance): d2
Enhanced Communication (lekku): d4

Aloof: d4
Addiction (ryll): d4
Duty (Alliance): d6
Memorable: d4
Rotten Luck: d4
Lightweight: d4
Fragile: d4

Athletics (acrobatics): d12
Athletics (climbing): d8
Discipline (concentration): d10
Guns: d6
Performance (dance): d12+d2
Pilot (fighters): d12
Pilot (ship guns): d10
Unarmed Combat: d2
Covert (sneaking): d8
Drive: d6

Plot points: 6

Physical description:
Standing 165 cm tall, Ios is rather short as for a lethan (that is- red skinned twi'lek. Her slim figure, and interesting, exotic physique makes her rather attractive individual- no wonder, though, she is a former dancer, after all. Her lekku are covered with ornate tattoo- once again, it is a sign of her old profession. She is usually seen wearing her flight suit with top half rolled down, revealing plain, mundane t-shirt worn underneath.

Contrary to what one may think, Ios life was not eventful, nor very interesting. Born into the middle-class on Ryltoh, she grew up relatively peacefully, only unusual thing was the she grew addicted to ryll, local mild drug, and she did not quit it later. Since she displayed great agility and reflexes, along with natural capacity for fluid movement, she learned to dance, as many other twi'lek females do.

She became quite a skilled dancer, and spent most of her adulthood dancing in various cantinas all across the galaxy. She had the luck to never be enslaved, even the lekku tattoos, usually, associated with enslaved ones, because of being very, that is very painful to acquire (lekku are very sensitive, so the tattooing process is simply tormenting), she got on her own request, to make herself more attractive. This later led to her being mistook for a slave, by the way. 

To Alliance, she got shortly after the battle of Hoth. The reasons of the joining where quite clear- Ios got bored with routine of her life, and simply wanted to make it a bit more colourful. Also, she never really liked the Empire, and maybe wished do actually do *something*. However, she was never really devoted to Alliance cause, and she never believed that toppling of the Empire is possible. Even after the battle of Endor, she is still having doubts.

Oddly, Ios never had good relations with people. She was- and is- aloof to an extreme, silent and not very friendly. It is not due to some trauma or something, just a fault of her character.

Little more can be said of her. She enjoys being tight, cramped spaces, what makes her ideal for piloting and A-Wing and likes dancing. Even after joining the Alliance, she sometimes does it, just to 'not get out of shape'

Tavel Darjin

"Some kid could bullseye womp rats? Big deal. I could hit a Jawa. I'm not stupid enough to turn off my flight computer, either."
Strength: d6
Agility: d10
Vitality: d8
Alertness: d8
Intelligence: d12
Willpower: d10

Derived Attributes:
Lifepoints: 18
Initiative: d10+d8
Endurance: d10+d8
Resistance: d8+d8

In Plain Sight d6
Born Behind The Wheel d6
Attuned To Technology d6
Photographic Memory d8
I'll Bet You Have! d4

Amorous d8
Insatiable Curiosity d6
Smartass d4
Predjudiced (Galactic Empire) d4

Athletics(Dodge) d8
Pilot(Starfighters) d12
Pilot(Ship Weapon: Laser/Ion) d10
Tech(Slicing) d12
Tech(Advanced Sensors) d8
Covert(Sneaking) d10
Covert(Disguise) d8
Guns(Blaster Pistol) d8
Perception(Hearing) d10
Mechanic d6

On Person:
Macrobinoculars(Normal,Heat,IR,Sonar) with shoulder strap
Custom Datapad(Slicing)
Light Grey Trousers with Black Inner (Lightly Worn)
Light Grey Shirt with Dark Brown Inner (Lightly Worn)
Dark Grey Vest with Light Brown Inner (Lightly Worn)
Matte Black Multipurpose Boots (Worn)
 -Custom Built Dampening System (Sound)
Chest Mounted Holster
 -Fits one blaster
 -Also fits Custom Datapad(Slicing)

Physical Description:
Tavel Darjin is just over 177 centimetres in height. His dirty brown hair is worn short, for convenience. His clothing is mostly light and dark greys, nearly all of which can be turned inside out for a quick change of colour. His worn boots are a matted black which conceal their special nature. He wears these both in and out of flight uniform. Any scars or markings that life may have left him with are faded and nearly unnoticeable - the way he likes it.

Life for Tavel Darjin is like watching a holoprojector flick through slides. Ever since he has had a memory, it has been near perfect. The past events of a day lie clearly before him. Often he will dream about them. Most will fade to a dull memory within a day or two. Those will take a few minutes of thought to bring up. There are a few memories though, that will stay with him.

He can remember the colour of the eyes of the female employee who kicked him out of the orphanage for breaking into the other kids lockers and personal data files one too many times. They were a bright green that he found oddly distracting, even at age six.

He can remember the password of the shipyard foreman whose identity he stole to try to add himself to the roster of employees allowed to ferry ships. Who the hell uses "imperialdogs" as a password, anyhow?

He can remember the tight curve of the singlet worn by the attendant of the crime boss who took him in when he got reported to the authorities of his attempt. It pinched her breasts together in a way that made him wonder if they were real. (They were.)

He can remember the chair he was sitting on when he finally sliced into the Imperial Database successfully. The pain of reading information on how his parents really died was only marginally offset by the comfort of the chair in the crime boss's private office. His security was definitely in need of improvement.

He can remember the date that he sentenced the crime boss to death by turning him in. Anyone who worked for the Imperials was going to die eventually, no matter how much they taught you. He celebrated it every year, calling it his "Day of Freedom".

He can remember the horrible smells that emanated from the first starfighter he piloted. The exhilarating feel of the craft and how much it felt like home was well worth it. He would later recall thinking that infiltration and bounty hunting for the Corellian military is as good as any career. Such recollections would always make him chuckle, as only the highest ranking military operatives knew he joined at barely ten years old.

Finally, he can remember the feel of the dry parchment the first Alliance operative he met used. Such low-tech methods confused him slightly until he saw the allure of not leaving any trace on the holonet. That he hadn't thought of such ideas first intrigued him.

Tavel's parents were killed by Imperials simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Up until the age of two, Tavel had always sat in his Dad's lap at the cockpit, nearly piloting the ships himself. Once in the care of the government, he quickly learned to break into things that were secure - physical and electronic - without getting caught. Eventually he was, though - and all the past cases were linked to him.

Finding himself on the street, he longed to get into space without really knowing why. This lead him to attempt to put himself on an employee roster so that he could at least just dock newly created freighters. Sadly, six year olds don't normally do this work, and he was caught. The employee who (should have) sounded the alarm happened to also be in the employ of a local crime boss. Seeing talent in the boy, he was taken for training.

One week before his tenth birthday, he turned the crime boss in to the Corellian military, earning him the respect of some high up officers. He managed to persuade them to allow him to pilot a starfighter, and after winning a few dogfights in the most broken down ships they could find they started giving him some real equipment and training.

He never advanced into the upper military ranks, as intelligence agents aren't allowed to do so. As a compensation he was given training in whatever manner of stealth and sabotage that caught his eye. After he turned twenty one, they even insisted on training him with a blaster - there's no use being totally defenseless while you're stuck at a computer terminal.

At twenty five he entered the service of the Rebel Alliance - a lucky thing too, as a good portion of the female members of the Corellian military had filed complaints against him for his advances. Not that he hadn't tried with the others, they were either just used to it...or gave in.

After a few successful missions with the Alliance, they started to figure out just how useful it was to have a man of his skills around. Apparently he was going to be assigned to a new squad. He hoped there were women on this one...

Tavel is usually open, and doesn't mind small talk. He tends to have good relations with most males. Females either don't know him, hate him, ignore him, tolerate him, think he's cute but bothersome, or have slept with him. More time spent with him usually moves them further along the list, as well. He likes to know how things work (perhaps too much) and prefers to fix the starfighters he pilots himself. He's been known to modify them as well. Having near perfect memory tends to leave him a bit mentally fatigued at times. When there are dark circles under his eyes, his wit can be a bit more piercing than usual.

Advanced Robotic Combat Ship (ARCS, or Arksie)
"I've seen the death. Now nothing can frighten or surprisen me" Spoiler: Stats (click to show/hide)Life Points: ?(actually 20, but it's a ship, some kind small)
Plot Points: 6

Derived Attributes:
Initiative: d12 + d8
Endurance: d12 + d8
Resistance: d12 + d12 + d4


Agility: d10
Strength: d2
Vitality: d12+d2
Alertness: d8
Intelligence: d12
Willpower: d8


Combat Ready : d10;
Danger Sense : d8;
Enhanced Movement : d12(perfect fly);
Enhanced Senses : d?(I don't know which will fit better, d8 or d12);
Immune : d8;
Constructed :


Amnesia : d4;
Dead Broke : d12(Actualy NO money);
Duty : d12;
Impaired Communication : d10(the only way to speak is radio);
Impaired Movement : d12;
Nonhealing : d12;


Pilot(X-Wing) : d12+d12;
Guns(X-Wing Turrets) : d12;
Heavy Weapons(x-Wing Proton Torpedo) : d12;
Tech(Communication Systems) : d12;
Tech(Computer Programing) : d12;


No actual inventory, all built-in:
Space Database;
Galactic Map;
Halph-spere Laser Cannon;
X-Wing "Inventory";

Spoiler: Story (click to show/hide)
A pilot had a fatal heart desease. He was dying in the hospital in the age of 40. Medics predicted him 4 days of life. His final wish was: "Hope I could be with my ship forever after death". Medics tried to complete the wish. Besides, on that planet was secret Rebel Mind-Science Laboratory. The hospital informed laboratory with this wish, because they were researching some kind of project which consists of "new" pilots. Actaly, they were developing immortal pilot. They took pilot's brain, and put it into some kind of device, which reads mind - electromagnetic impulse, and does corresponding action. The device was put into modified X-Wing, which was specially recomplected to be piloted only with him. A very complex machine was created, and the revard was impressive. A full self-learning ship, which flies like a very skilled pilot, but senses all like a machine. It was called Advanced Robotic Combat Ship, or Arcsie. It was sent to a secret Rebel group, like a very skilled pilot. But actualy, he was far beyond VERY skilled pilot. But not everything is perfect, Arcsie has much to learn of his new ways of living, and during the transplantation, his mind was affected and some of the memory is now lost.

Spoiler: questions (click to show/hide)After all answered, I'll delete this.
My PM's are not working, so I post my questions here.
First, about the traits. They don't seem to balance perfectly. Maybe someone could help me.
Second, about the skills. The same, but some more balanced.
Third, if this COMPLETELY don't fit into the game, note the reason, i'll try to correct it. If nothing can be done, I'll work another.

Please send a PM with answers, the Inbox is still working.


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