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Additional Quickstart Material

Published on 18.05.2017

We developed the Equinox Quickstart Set with the goal to get you playing fast and without much preparation. The rules presented in the set are tailored to the included Pink Mushrooms adventure and the group of sample characters.

There are bound to be questions, and we want to take this opportunity to give you some additional advice and examples we couldn’t fit into the book.

Featured in the Downloads section of this site is a set of printer-friendly versions of the sample characters. Printing these on Letter-sized paper will leave enough room for your own notes. There’s also a cheat sheet for the gamemaster, summarizing the most important bits of information needed to run the adventure.

Let it play

The Equinox Quickstart Set contains a brief introduction to the game world and a rough version of the rules. You can’t do much wrong when running or playing the game. The rule of thumb is: be creative! Paint the picture in the way you like it best and use the freedom given to make the game reflect your vision of the setting.

For example: during the adventure, the characters pilot a run-down shuttle equipped with a gun turret. What ammo does that turret use? Energy bolts, bullets, or junk and juice? How many shots does it have? No matter what your answers are, it will work!

 “Because the navigation system in Pevek’s shuttle was not working right, the Pilot used an egg timer to remind him to correct the course every now and then. Not to mention all the age of all the other sensors, which were reminiscent of a periscope.”

–Dammi

The same is true for the adventure: Pink Mushrooms is basically a list of different locations the characters can visit. These locations are only briefly described, with the details determined by you. Pevek’s house is even completely up to you—turn it into something cool! The presented order of the locations suggests that they have to be visited one after another. That would work, of course—but you don’t have to stick to it. The pirates can arrive on the asteroid before the characters and can even be inside the farm when they arrive. Pevek could offer a different deal to cross Tarak Lar. The gamemaster should let the story emerge and go with it as it unfolds. Adapt whenever you can—the journey is the reward.

 “The shuttle chase became more of a stock-car-race in our game. They rammed and damaged each other multiple times, until they had no choice but to drop down on the asteroid. They even tried to use their transport hooks like fishermen, attempting to entangle the opposing shuttle."
–Dammi

Hacking the Set

Equinox gives players a lot of options for character development and advancement.  The sample characters included in the Quickstart Set are bloody beginners. They can’t do much. That’s especially true when powers and spells are used. Most of them come with a Shielding Rating of 1. The pink asteroid has a Mystic Energy Level of 3 though—tempting the players to use their powers and spells with more Energy than their characters can handle.

You can simply increase the Shielding Ratings by +1 if you want to make the characters more powerful. You could even allow the players to spend a pool of 2-5 points on Skill and Shielding Ratings for simple customization.

Don’t shy from adding new locations and scenes to the game. Freedom Rock even offers a list of local personalities for this. As written, the adventure only utilizes a gang of Ghostbringer Pirates—their boss, Yarva Glethu, is only mentioned as background. The Breakers gang controlling the area around Tarak Lar’s workshop is commanded by Morris Capos. Yarva and Morris are rivals—depending on what the players do, you can easily bring these and other characters into play. A confrontation with the Breakers (or Tarak Lar) would also summon Jared Montis. Kevin Wooster would likely be interested in the pirate’s agenda, because that would allow him to raise the Protectorate’s attention. Dayrin McPher, on the other hand, would do anything to prevent this from happening. Richard O’Harold presents an alternative to Oyo, and Scraff is likely to be found in the market—use him to add more color to the scenery. All this can be used to create new locations and encounters with ease.

Using the Rules

The following examples show how the rules of the Equinox Quickstart Set work. The examples are just relevant cuts from longer scenes.

A Sample Attack

Gryger: I aim with my Regon Blaster and shoot one of the pirates—twice. The pirates are at Medium Range, directly in my line of sight. I’ll reserve my last Action Point for dodging.

Gamemaster: The pirates have light cover because of all those tall mushrooms, so they have a Minor Advantage. Roll Agility + Shooting, I’ll counter with my Defense. The cover grants me a bonus die.

Gryger: Okay, that would be 7 dice for me. [rolls] A 26 and match of 3. The second shot is a 28 with a match of 4.

Gamemaster: [rolls] Only a 22, also with a match of 3. Your first shot hits the pirate and also splits the mushroom behind him in half. The other pirates scramble to get out of the firing zone, hiding behind the next mushroom. [rolls] 15. The second shot hits him directly in the chest. How much damage do you cause?

Gryger: My Regon Blaster has a Damage Rating of 7.

Gamemaster: The pirate wears light armor with an Armor Rating of 4. So you cause two Burning Wounds and two points of Exertion. He falls to the ground, screaming in pain.

A Sample Spell

Deisal: I want to Stun the two pirates up on that ledge. I’ll cast the spell using one of the blankets from the shuttle as ingredient. What’s the mystic field level here, more than 1?

Gamemaster: Three, actually. Your Shielding Rating for this spell is only 1 however, so you’ll receive a Wound if you cast it on a higher level.  Both pirates are at Short Range, standing next to each other (at Point-blank Range).

Deisal: Okay, I’ll cast it at Energy 2 then. I need an Action Point to increase the Range to Short and another Action Point to set the Duration to Energy Rounds. Two rounds should be enough to get up on that ledge and disarm them before they regain consciousness. So, four AP in total.

Gamemaster: Right, so you roll Tenacity + Command. Neither of them sees you forming the spell, so the Target Number is 9 (Tenacity × 3). However, the ledge makes them harder to observe as well, so you have a Minor Disadvantage—subtract one die from your pool.

Deisal: No problem, I’ll just take a point of Karma to even that out. [rolls] Man. Just a 12. No matches.

Gamemaster: That’s still enough. Both of them drop to the ground, Unconscious. You receive a Wound and a Point of Exertion. I’d suggest the Headache Tag for the Wound.

Deisal: My nose is bleeding! I should really increase the Shielding for this spell! Shalanur, Gryger—take their weapons!

A Sample Maneuver

Jorvan: I want to fly a maneuver, which takes us to the other side of the asteroid before the pirates get there. My goal would be to camouflage ourselves right when we get there, so that they’ll lose us.

Gamemaster: If you want to use the Cloak power for this, you better make sure your shuttle isn’t moving.

Jorvan: Okay, will we have enough time to make a landing? I could use my Burn power to get us there faster.

Gamemaster: Sounds good. With your Rating, the burn only holds for a round, but that might just be enough: you’ll fly one maneuver to get behind the asteroid, and another to land—that’d be two Action Points each, using up all AP you have at your disposal. To cloak the shuttle, you will need another two AP before the other shuttle gets its turn. You’ll have enough if you use Afterburner for your first maneuver. To activate, roll Engines + Interface!

Jorvan: …and Maneuverability + Piloting for the landing. What do I roll for Cloak?

Gamemaster: I’d say Hull + Deception. This will also cost you two Points of Exertion. But that’s all just the theory. Now we roll the dice and find out what actually happens!

A Sample Negotiation

Tarak Lar: What’s up?

Nedayen: Hi! We’re looking for a shuttle and have heard you’re renting some?

Tarak Lar: Nope. Not at the moment. [turns away]

Nedayen: Uhm … When do you expect to have one available again?

Tarak Lar: Dunno, doesn’t look like it right now. [turns away again]

Nedayen: What about those back there in the workshop? Will those be available after repairs?

Tarak Lar: Not mine. Go away now. You’re getting on my nerves. [turns away yet again]

Nedayen: [to the gamemaster] I guess he doesn’t like me. That kind of behavior will ruin his business!

Gamemaster: I don’t think it’s personal. But yeah, Tarak is annoyed.

Nedayen: I’d like to use my Oblige power so he does me a favor.

Gamemaster: Roll Presence + Networking to activate and use that power. You are at a Minor Disadvantage because he’s annoyed, so you will subtract one die. Your Target Number is 18.

Nedayen: Hah, no problem. A 27 and a Match of 4! “My dear Tarak Lar, we cannot let this stand. Your good reputation is in danger! We urgently need a shuttle today for a quick diplomatic mission.“

Tarak Lar: Hrm. Okay, listen up. I’m not only getting you a shuttle, but I’ll also rent it to you at no charge…

Attack and Defense

Attack and Defense Tests can be handled with different Attributes. The most common are Agility + Shooting and Agility + Fighting. For shooting at large distances, a keen eye would be more important—so you might use Awareness + Shooting instead. On the defensive side of things, you’d pick a suitable Attribute + Skill combination for actively dodging an attack (like Agility + Athletics). If your character is unaware of the attack, use his Passive Defense: the Attribute Rating × 3.

Find the most common combinations for the sample character’s Attack and Defense dice pools listed below. The values for all enemies and villains are already included in their game stats (for physical conflicts, anyway).

Nedayen

Attack (Fiery Cricket): Agility + Shooting 4D

Defense (Physical): Agility 3D (Passive: 9)

Defense (Social): Presence + Insight 5D

Defense (Mystic): Tenacity + Perception 5D (Passive: 12)

Gryger

Attack (Regon Blaster): Agility + Shooting 7D

Defense (Physical): Agility + Athletics 6D (Passive: 12)

Defense (Social): Presence 2D

Defense (Mystic): Tenacity + Perception 4D (Passive: 9)

Shalanur Nok

Attack (Stick Stick): Agility + Fighting 5D

Defense (Physical): Agility + Athletics 6D (Passive: 12)

Defense (Social): Presence 3D

Defense (Mystic): Tenacity + Perception 6D (Passive: 12)

Jorvan Karukvy

Attack (Raan Gun): Agility + Shooting 6D

Defense (Physical): Agility + Athletics 6D (Passive: 12)

Defense (Social): Presence 3D

Defense (Mystic): Tenacity 3D (Passive: 9)

Deisal

Attack (Raan Gun): Agility + Shooting 4D

Attack (Throwing Knife): Agility + Dexterity 5D

Defense (Physical): Agility + Athletics 4D (Passive: 9)

Defense (Social): Presence 3D

Defense (Mystic): Tenacity + Perception 6D (Passive: 12)