Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Table Talk: That One Time I Got a Job Offer From a Sith Lord

Before we get started on this second installment of Table Talk, I have a few announcements to make. One is that this series is not just for me. No matter how long I've been gaming, I have a finite number of cool stories to tell. As such, please send in your own stories, and I'll be happy to put some other folks in the spotlight.

Secondly, Improved Initiative is now on Patreon! If you want to see this blog keep doing its thing, or if you'd like to see even more updates, then please leave your two cents over at The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page. Seriously, even tiny donations will make a difference if viewers leave them regularly.

With those things out of the way, I will now explain just what in the hell this title is actually about...

A Long, Long Time Ago...

Yes, it was that kind of job.
I shall start with a confession; I don't like Star Wars. I've seen the films, I've discussed the stories, but despite the richness of the worlds and characters there is something that stops me from ever being a real fan. Namely it's that I cannot stand Jedi, and I find them extremely boring as protagonists. It's a personal quirk of mine, but it's one that made a Star Wars tabletop game a very hard sell when it was first proposed. My DM at the time had been playing an obscene amount of Knights of the Old Republic, and the rest of the group slowly persuaded me to give it a try. I consented, on the condition I would not be railroaded into playing a Jedi, or dealing with them in any way, shape, or form. Everyone agreed with those terms, so I picked up my dice and threw together a character.

Once it was all said and done we had a crew of smugglers made up of a gunslinger by the name of Kurt Newblood (the DM allowed me an outmoded set of slug-throwers, much to his regret), a human pilot, and a Twilek scoundrel acting as our ship's engineer. I was feeling pretty good about the campaign, and the body count I managed to rack up over the first few sessions only increased that positive feeling. A half dozen goons, a couple of combat ships (the natural 20s were plentiful during ship-to-ship combat), and I'd even managed to plug two sith lords. As games went, it was one of the more satisfying experiences I've had as a player.

A Darkness on the Horizon

The game had been running strong for about a month or so when our DM told the group he had another player who was interested in participating, but who simply couldn't make our game times. We asked who it was, but our storyteller never told us this person's name. He was referred to only as "a guy I know at work", referring to our DM's job as a truck stop cashier. This mystery man was a big Star Wars enthusiast, and had offered to take over the role of our villain. For every session we had, our storyteller would convey our actions to the mysterious commander. He would relay his orders, and then set up the bad guys' plans for the next session. We thought this was a great plan, and so we agreed.

An Offer I Couldn't Refuse

And really, why would I want to?
While this campaign was going on I was attempting to balance school and work. My job decided to play the role of jealous mistress and demand I leave my education though, so I had to find a more understanding position. While making the rounds I decided to hit up a security firm a few towns over. I grabbed my good friend, who was playing the Twilek, and we decided to make a day of it.

At first everything went just as expected. I asked for an application, and was passed a clipboard along with a Bic. I took a seat, filled out the paperwork, and handed it back through the glass. I thanked the secretary, adjusted my tie, and was in the middle of making lunch plans with my friend when the door opened and I was asked if I had a moment for an interview. Surprised, I agreed and followed the secretary back into the offices.

The room I was shown to was very clearly a higher-up spot in the company. There was a broad desk with a brass name plate, a window view, and hanging on the wall was an old military field jacket along with some other mementos that looked like they'd been taken out of a combat zone rather than bought on Ebay. Sitting behind the desk, fingers laced over his stomach, was a man with shoulders carved from rock, and a sloping belly that looked like spring steel instead of fat. A craggy face and a short crew cut told me he was here to talk business. So I took a seat across from him, and put on my best "I would like to work for your company" expression.

He started off easy, asking me who I was and what I was doing. I told him I was going to school for a criminal justice degree, and I wanted a job that was connected to the field while I was making the grade. He asked how I'd heard about the company, and I told him I'd gotten the address from some guards I'd met at a truck stop. He asked if I wanted to work armed or unarmed, and I told him that while I had my permit I didn't have a weapon yet. When that changed though, I would like to transfer to armed security.

He nodded and leaned back in his chair. After about twenty seconds of contemplative silence he asked me a question that I typically dread hearing from potential employers. "So, you know Rob?"

I told him yes, I knew Rob. He nodded again, and pursed his lips. At that point I was expecting to be dismissed with a half-hearted we'll call you if we have an opening, but instead what he said was, "So, what did you think of the ambush at the space port?"

I goggled, and he grinned at me. "You... you're the Sith commander?" I demanded.

"Guilty as charged," he said, standing and offering me one, massive hand over his desk. "When can you start?"

The moral of this story my friends is that you should never, ever let someone tell you that gaming is a waste of time. It's a communal activity, and if you're willing to pick up a new system, or game with some folks you don't know, there's no telling the doors you might be opening up.

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1 comment:

  1. Of course, from then on, every time you were called into his office, you had to say, "What is thy bidding, my master?"