It is now day time in a busy area of town. I have to get to the parking garage at the opposite end of the table. Between me and there, lie 4 PEFs and a line of sight obscuring building. The PEFs are evenly distributed, so I opt to go left, round the front of the building.
This is now a great example of how things don't go well...
The first PEF resolves as police, just the usual security, not Stormtroopers. Fine I think, no problem. I pass my interaction check and they leave me be. But no, not so simple. I almost forgot that Police will automatically assess you for suspicious behaviour. The Law Level for that time of day and the fact that it is an important area of town (this is my own modifier based on those given in the game) mean they easily roll more successes (in this case meaning 1-3 on a die) than I do (using the table for suspicious behaviour). First, they check me for warrants. I have not committed any crimes so they don't arrest me, but they will now question me about why I am there and what I am doing. Probably they are extra vigilant following recent vehicle thefts!
[An aside before continuing. THW games use a core mechanic of 'passing' dice. You have a target number, often your REP, and roll (usually) two dice. Each one that scores the target number or less counts as 'passed'. So you normally can pass with 0, 1 or 2 dice for varying degrees of effect. For example, a REP 4 character rolls a 5 and a 2. The 5 is higher than his rep, so fails. The 2 is equal to or lower, so passes. He counts as 'Passed 1d6' for whatever check he was making.]
I use the "Investigation and Arrest" table to find out what happens. I roll two dice against my REP of 5, so need 5 or less. They roll against a Level 2 crime rating, needing 2 or less. I roll badly, 3 and 6, so I pass with 1 die. They roll well, 1 and 2, so they pass with 2. A difference of 1 die in favour of the police mean they take me in for some proper questioning. This is bad. I could potentially go to jail for a crime I didn't commit!
Fortunately, a quick roll on the 'Questioning' table goes in my favour and they drop the case against me. This is a relief as I really didn't want to end up in court! On the downside, they did haul me off the streets while I was trying to carry out my investigation. This wastes time and now I have to return to the place during a different time of day, which can have a knock on effect depending on where you are. I'm fortunate in that the timer doesn't start ticking until I find the first clue and the Factory District is fairly stable in terms of it's law level. But still, it was a close shave I didn't need.
I head back and try again. I quickly encounter a mechanic, but to no effect, so we both carry on our way. The next encounter is a bit more risky.
Approaching the side entrance of the car park I encounter a medic. Would have been nice to get him on my side for future, but he's too busy with whatever he's up to. I enter the car park and quickly find the security footage I am after. Heading off the table, I check for another travel encounter and end the scenario.
Great, I've found my first clue which is good, but now the clock starts ticking. I check what I need to do next... another clue. What fits my story? I see someone in a mask steal the vehicle, but the footage also shows a landspeeder slowly moving around the lot. Maybe casing the joint? I'm going to check that out. Research shows it is likely to be near a bar in the commercial district. I don't really have much choice but to head of immediately due to the time constraints. This is what I meant before about the knock on effect of being hauled off for questioning by the police. The area I am heading to has a Law Level of 3 during the day, but now I am heading there in the 'Late' part of the day it drops to 2. There are fewer PEFs (3), but a much higher chance of more appearing out of nowhere and surprising me. So because of the inconvenience earlier I may be in for a rougher ride now.
This game is interesting in how it can throw unexpected occurrences at you and how they can have a knock on effect for future encounters. 'Wargamers' may be dismayed at the lack of actual conflict so far, but that is more than covered by games using the core 5150 rules. This expansion is all about the investigation, the story around it and what happens to you along the way. Sure, the deeper I get into things the more dangerous it will become, certainly when I start to question possible suspects. But for now it has thrown up a few surprises and tense moments, really making it feel like an investigation game rather than a skirmish wargame with a PI theme.