Skin Deep


While off loading cargo, a disheveled woman in grease stained overalls on the unloading crew trades a few quips with a male PC that has "Ugly as Sin" or "Portly" as a Complication. He responds cleverly with an Average INT + Performance and she makes it obvious she’d like him to buy her a drink later. If he scores a critical success she’ll invite him for the drink.


When he shows up at the locale she recommends, cleaned up and no longer in coveralls, she turns out to be a knock out. The two hit it off immediately and while the PC is surprised that this attractive woman is paying him any attention, he ceratinly doesn't mind and she doesn't seem to care about his appearance. The woman turns out to be the daughter of the shipper and will be a passenger for the trip to the delivery point tomorrow morning.


En route, the PC gets several attempts to impress the woman with INT + Knowledge, INT + Cooking, and INT + Performance rolls. The travel time is six days with the character getting a roll in each skill per day. Keep a running tally of the successes and failures. Each roll has a target rating of Hard. As long as there are more successes than failures, the woman is very enamored of William by the time they arrive. If there are 12 to 14 successes she is completely smitten with the PC. If by some miracle there are 15 or more successes, well, let’s say it is an enjoyable trip. If somehow there are more failures than successes, she will still find William interesting, but reserves closer contact until she gets to see him in a more social setting.


The cargo is live horses and they will require feeding (milk and hay three times a day by beautiful women), and mucking daily to keep healthy. The opportunities for humorous additions abound and the GM is greatly encouraged to add to the trip with descriptions of the waste product gathering process. The PCs will also get a chance to observe character’s and the woman’s interactions as she shows the crew how to care for the animals. Each PC involved with the care of the horses has to make an Average INT + Animal Handling to properly keep the livestock fit.


Once at the destination planet, during reentry, the ship is rocked by an explosion and the Pilot has to make a Formidable AGL + Piloting roll. The port alluvial dampeners have suffered a major blow out and the ship is extremely difficult to control. A success allows the pilot to stay on course for the main port. A failure forces the pilot to set down immediately in the complete boonies. The mechanic needs to make an Easy INT + Mechanics roll to diagnose the problem and know the ship will require parts to repair.


Acquiring the parts will depend on if they ship reached the port or had to set now in the middle of nowhere. If in the port, the parts are common enough, but will have to come from the local scrap yard. This will take at least a day of carefully picking through the mounds of junk to locate. This will take a Formidable ALE + Perception to locate rolled every four hours, OR a maximum of 36 hours after staring, AND no less than 24 hours after starting. Once located, the large parts are stuck under a pile of crushed hover cars and this will require a Hard INT + Mechanics to free and no less 12 hours of work. Thus it will be no less than two days to obtain the parts and one additional day install with a Hard INT + Mechanics roll.


If the PCs have to set down out in the boonies, the replacement parts will be a day’s drive to reach the port and buy the parts, a day’s drive back to the ship and a day install the parts with a Hard INT + Mechanics roll, thus either method will keep the ship stranded for three days.


While the Mechanic and at least one other PC are preoccupied with the ship repairs, the horses have got to get to the buyer’s ranch. Regardless if in the boonies or in the port, the ranch is a three day ride. Since this adventure is primarily light hearted, the drive should be a simple affair with only daily Average INT + Animal Handling rolls for each rider. The woman is an expert with controlling animals and easily keeps the group on course. The GM is free to add an encounter with rustlers or with a stampede to liven things up for the drive if adding adventure is desired.


On arrival at the ranch, regardless of successes, the woman will invites character to meet the family. All INT + Influence, INT + Knowledge, INT + Cooking, and INT + Performance rolls have a target (two steps above Hard). Despite anything PC does or any rolls he makes, the meeting does not go well. Successes make the extremely awkward dinner slightly less painful, while failures only make the meeting worse. Afterwards, the position of the family is clear in his mind, despite profuse apologies after the meeting by the woman for her families’ behavior, the PC knows why the meeting went so bad, his appearance doesn't fit in with theirs and he is thus unworthy.


Once the horses reach the ranch, the ship arrives a few hours later to return the rest of the crew to the port to acquire a new cargo. During the time it takes to find a cargo, the woman does not try to speak to character. He buries himself in his work and even with the captain’s hints to try and patch things up he does not try to contact the woman. Unfortunately, a replacement cargo takes several days to locate forcing the heartbroken PC to stay on planet. Optional bar brawls and drinking sprees are up to the GM and PC to try and fill the time.


Winning an opposed INT + Influence roll with character will talk him into contacting the woman. She is not home when he calls, but her younger brother reveals what the actual situation is all about. The woman, while not rich, she does stand to inherit a tidy sum of money in addition to keeping her fairly substantial position with the family business if she accepts an arranged marriage. She has been trying to avoid this fate and it is the fact that the PC is a lowly itinerant spacer that her parents disapprove of him and not his appearance. 


Later that night, the woman arrives at the ship and demands to speak to PC, storming onto the ship uninvited regardless of any attempts to stop her. She wants to know why he has been avoiding her. This of course confuses character as he thought it was the woman that was avoiding him. It turns out the family has been running block and keeping the two apart. The PC has two choices at this point. He can ask her to come with her knowing she will be cut off by her parents or he can break both their hearts and send her away to preserve her inheritance.