The Aberdeen Job

An example Job for Firefly + Dogs in the Vineyard

And a worked example of my modifications to play Firefly using the Dogs in the Vineyard rules; It's quite simple (just 4 major NPCs), but I still think this would work quite well, even if I do say so myself!

"The Aberdeen Job"

1a) Benson Hibliss is the executive manager of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Refinery. The refinery is one of the few places that anybody can refuel without too much Alliance presence. And it also has a significant amount of lightly guarded tanks full of high-value Superdense Hydrogen Fuel Blocks which will fetch a handsome price on the black market...

1b) To keep the Refinery working at maximum output, Hibliss works his employees harder and harder, working long hours to keep up with demand. Mandatory unpaid overtime is put in place, causing fatigue and unhappiness amongst the workforce.

2a) The stress and long hours put upon one worker -- pipe-fitter Jake Dranner -- is getting to him, and he takes to drinking and drug binges. His work suffers and his relationship with his young wife, Xueyan, starts to suffer.

2b) There is an explosion at the Refinery, killing several workers and destroying the most recent batch of Superdense Hydrogen. Hibliss is livid at this loss of productivity, and the surviving workers are outraged. Dranner is overwhelmed with guilt -- it was his pipework that blew.

3a) Dranner decides to put his guilt squarely at Hibliss. It was his fault for demanding so much. Hibliss should be blamed for the explosion -- it was him who made us do all this work, after all! He's the one at fault here!

3b) Dranner's vocal outrage at Hibliss falls on several friendly ears on the refinery floor. He and a few others start quietly sabotaging production and intimidating other workers to join them in calling for Hibliss' arrest. Occasional beatings are dished out by Dranner and his cronies against those they regard as "suck-ups" to management.

4a) Naria Falconer, an ambitious self-serving shift supervisor, thinks things are getting out of hand, and requests external help from the Alliance. They agree to "help" in return for her testifying against Hibliss and her coworkers -- including Jake.

4b) Winter Starkos, Blue Sun executive, arrives at Aberdeen and takes executive control of the plant away from Hibliss "to stabilise the situation for the Alliance". She also uses her personal squad of purple bellies to arrest the "ringleaders", using force if required.

5) The Alliance soldiers fail to arrest Jake, as he is holding out in the service area of the refinery. To try and get his compliance, Starkos has his wife, Xueyan, brought to her. Starkos then shoots Xueyan in cold blood, broadcasting the whole thing to Jake.

Opening Scene:

You can either assume that the characters want to steal some valuable Superdense Hydrogen Fuel Blocks, or that their ship is running low on fuel and as one of the crew used to serve with Hibliss, this would be a good place to quietly get refueled without pesky Alliance attention.

 The game opens on the PC's detecting the broadcast of Xueyan's murder as they make a final approach to the Refinery's landing pad (which is just above where Dranner and his cronies are holed up) ready to steal -- or buy -- the fuel. Unfortunately, due to the explosion and continued sabotage, there is only a limited amount of fuel available until somebody gets the Refinery up and running properly again.

What people want from the PCs:

Winter Starkos, the Blue Sun representative of the Alliance wants retain control of the plant and stop any disruption of her plans. So obviously, she wants Jake Dranner and PCs killed or captured, and the workers rounded up and sent to prison. 

Benson Hibliss wants the PCs to get rid of Winter Starkos for him, so he can regain control over the plant. And then, he wants them to get out of his business and leave him alone.   

Jake Dranner is overcome with anger, grief and frustration. He wants the PCs to kill both Starkos and Hibliss in revenge for his wife's death. He also knows he is in an unwinnable situation, so he wants them to get him off-world and away from this plant. Also, some more drugs wouldn't hurt!

Naria Falconer wants the PCs to keep her safe from recrimination by the rest of the workers. If Jake found out, her life wouldn't be worth living. She also doesn't want them to find out that she was the one who brought the Alliance into this.


Blood Relations

Benson Hibliss used to serve with one of the PCs during the war, and Naria Falconer worked onboard a ship another PC crewed in the past as well. Let the players pick which relationship they want (i.e. "Who wants to have served with the manager of this facility during the war?") and then see how things play out


What the Alliance wants:

The Alliance wants production to resume as soon as possible under control of Starkos. This refinery is worthless as it is. If the worker revolt and that fool Hibliss don't make it through this, then that's no bad thing either.

What would happen next:

Jake Dranner would lead a doomed attack against the Alliance purple bellies, with predictable results. Starkos would gain control, and use Falconer to get Hibliss arrested on trumped up charges. Blue Sun would then control even more of the outer worlds and restrict movement by controlling the sale of fuel to non-Alliance vessels.