Monday, August 19, 2013

The Flophouse

Not all beings can afford a starship of their own, and many of those who travel about the galaxy lack a permanent place of residence. Because of these two factors, there's a strong market in spaceports for cheap, short-term housing. That's where the flophouse becomes important. This cheap, prefabricated structure provides a secure location for beings to store some of their belongings and rest through the night--provided, of course, that nobody else disturbs them.

Although the features of these locations can vary, what follows is a typical such establishment. It is run by Slarr the Hutt as a legitimate business front, with the added benefit of making a tidy profit. The building has a main entrance, one that is always left unlocked, along with an emergency exit out the back. Immediately inside the entrance is the office, which consists of space enough for two employees and their desks. They are protected by thick transparisteel windows with slots for passing money and key cards back and forth. Two employees are present at all times. Should a being be interested in such things, they generally have about 200 credits in cash in the office at any given time. Of course, these beings are also armed with blaster pistols that they can fire through the aforementioned slots in the case of trouble. Generally they set weapons to stun and then summon the authorities if it becomes necessary.

The rooms themselves are simple but functional. Each boasts a relatively comfortable bed, along with a cabinet for storing clothing or personal items and a desk. There is also a small refresher unit in each room. Beings who seek facilities for preparing meals had best check out a higher-quality establishment; most of the regulars pop over to a local cantina for food and drink. The rooms cost twenty credits per night.

Should it become necessary, one must make an Easy Skulduggery check in order to bypass either the front entrance, emergency exit or the door to a particular room. This difficulty increases to Hard for the door to the office. What is more, although the flophouse employees generally operate under a strict "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, they are not immune to the influence of cold hard credits. In this way, should a being need information about an occupant of the flophouse, a suitable bribe could do the trick. Of course, they are also armed with blaster pistols in the event of trouble, and the cover of the fortified windows adds a setback die to any attacks made against them.

Flophouse Employees (Zeebo and Quiril, for example)
Brawn 2 Cunning 2 Presence 2
Agility 2 Intellect 2 Willpower 2

Soak: 3
Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12
M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Brawl 1, Computers 1, Mechanics 1, Negotiation 1, Perception 1, Ranged--Light 1, Streetwise 1

Talents: None

Abilities: One rank in each of two skills

Equipment: Heavy clothing, blaster pistol, datapad, comlink

These nondescript, bored employees do little more than hand out key cards for room and collect money in return for them. Given the "Don't ask, don't tell" nature of the establishment, they generally don't need to do much else outside of the occasional repair and cleaning out rooms when guests are done with them.

Using the Flophouse in an Edge of the Empire Campaign
Detailed here are some of the ways in which this establishment could become involved in adventures on the galactic fringe.
  • If the PCs are tracking an enemy, the trail could lead here.
  • The PCs might just be staying at the flophouse, keeping to themselves, when violence erupts between two other groups of occupants.
  • When an influential being becomes involved in bad business, the chance to do some spying and blackmail arises. The PCs could be hired to provide evidence of such misdeeds, or to eliminate existing evidence.
  • Of course, if the PCs themselves are involved in illicit activities, they could be the targets of such spying.

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