A bit of a departure on Prepare For Boarding next. When I started the blog, it had been a fair bit of time since I had been part of a regular roleplaying group. My old group fragmented about 8 years ago, due to a variety of relationships developing; changing jobs; having children and in one extreme case; moving to Canada (thanks a bunch Chris). So we unfortunately our adventures in the Star Wars universe came to a rather abrupt end. Until a few weeks ago, when by some quirk of fate, our brave adventuring souls actually found ourselves together once again in Southampton. And the prospect of dusting off the campaign was brought up …
We are playing Wizards Of The Coast’s old Star Wars RPG: Saga Edition (now out of print). It used a fairly stripped back version of the old 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules that was more suited to the Star Wars universe and focused on intense bursts of action. Our Game Master had set out the scenario – our PCs were in the Corporate Sector (so neutral in the Galactic Civil War) shortly after the events of Return of The Jedi. The New Republic had been declared, but the Empire was still a significant force, albeit in retreat.
Our party consisted of Gungan medic Toc; Trandoshan mercenary Krokgar; Human gambler Casian; a Kel Dor corrupt lawyer Neb; a Human sharpshooter called Brooks; and my Human scavenger and tech specialist Jerex. And as ever, our adventure starts with the Gungan doing something stupid.
Our GM plunged us into a fire fight with some private security guards at a star port, during which Toc decided the best course of action was to try and break his way into a Firespray parked there to turn against the attackers (think Boba Fett’s ship). After only succeeding in electrocuting himself and triggering the alarm (whilst the rest of us dealt with the guards), we found this ship was actually the possession of a Hutt with a large and rather scary retinue. In exchange for not killing us on the spot, we were told to heist an ‘item’ from the corporate HQ of a nearby sector. And he even let us borrow the Firespray to get us there (the Gungan redeeming himself with a stonking Persuasion check).
Of course nothing is ever simple – the ship had a dead man’s switch hardwired into the navigation computer that would detonate if we tried to fly off the prescribed course. Jerex of course looked about whether such a device could be disarmed, but was rapidly dissuaded. Instead we reviewed the information we had been given by the Hutt. We found a brief overview of the corporation; the fact that what we were hijacking was an experimental drug and a 14 digit number that no one recognised.
Arriving at the planet, we concocted a story that we were representatives of an engineering and medical supplies firm that was looking to conduct business on the planet (plus bodyguards as a heavily armoured six and a half foot tall lizardman is difficult to pass off in the boardroom). Finding out that there was an unveiling of the drug in a few days’ time, we decided the best way to gain access to the drug was to try and infiltrate the party. After being redirected to the hotel and very helpful hotel owner (and some excellent persuasion – and a bit of bribery from Casian), managed to put us in contact with a local fixer that could get us ID and entry … for the right price of course.
After meeting the fixer and his converted battle droid bodyguard (of whom the group were immediately suspicious), and some hard fought negotiations, the price was set to provide us with IDs, suitable attire and passes to the unveiling. The fixer even threw his droid in to escort us (and if that didn’t set off alarm bells, nothing would). The droid even had a hidden compartment that would allow us to smuggle the drug out.
We had a bit of downtime between this and the corporate party, so the team went about their own pursuits. Casian, Toc and Neb decided to partake in some gambling, which naturally ended in a bar room brawl (when doesn’t it). Jerex took his time to try and access some public records on the corporation, coming out with a poorly scrawled map (great at the Use Computer check – less good with the Gather Information).
The corporate event was sufficiently swanky and there were several local businesses and dignitaries there. With Krokgar and Brooks pretending to the be our company bodyguards, they brought the party’s weapons through with them. Neb and Jerex cased the joint as best they could – noticing that there were lower level to the building that could only be accessed via a key card, as well as some possible Imperial’s present. Toc was able to get in the good books of a local noble Ithorian, who provided plenty of background the to the planet and companies provided you had the patience to listed. Brooks tried to watch the droid without bringing attention to himself (and utterly failed in the process). Finally Casian tried to ingratiate himself with Neuro Corp, a rival company that was here, in case they were trying anything ‘funny’ (also less than successful). It was after this, the presentation was set to begin.
The group filed through to the presentation auditorium, where the CEO Ryaan, gave a promise of a new wonder drug with anti-aging and regenerative properties, as well as the prevention of cybernetic rejection. Ryaan stated that they were looking for investors, which meant that at the events conclusion Toc rashly approached him with the offer of 1 million credits if they could speak privately. When asking for proof of this level of investment, Casian managed to bluff his way into a private meeting, getting Krokgar and Jerex invited too. Neb and Brooks decided to stay at the party to keep an eye on the droid and look out for any issues.
Keeping an eye on the droid for Brooks was providing a more difficult state of affairs, as he watched him wander off and vanish in a turbolift to another part of the building. The opposite lift was also carrying the other members of the party to a lower level that contained the building’s labs and conveniently jammed the party’s comlinks (this was the point on of the party stated ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’). It was here Ryaan demanded to know who the party worked for. Toc tried to bluster his way through, when Jerex gave Casian an idea. Stepping forwards with possibly the ultimate 50/50 gamble, Casian advised that they were Rebel Intelligence sent on behalf of General Calrissian to keep the drug out of Imperial hands. Ryaan stated that he would happily hand the drug over to us, provided we had the correct ID codes to prove our story. As a number of armed guards filed in the room, Jerex remembered the code on the dataslate outlining the job, and entered it into the terminal as Ryaan demanded. After what seemed like an eternity (GMs love to drag that stuff out) the code was authorised and the party were handed a ray shielded container and instructions as to where in the building we drug could be located, along with the wishes ‘May the Force be with you.’
As the other group went about retrieving the drug, Brooks and Neb continued to keep an eye out for the droid, who did emerge from the turbolift and immediately wandered out of the party. Brooks gave chase, once again failing his checks to keep an eye out for the droid’s actions. However, he did eventually catch him talking to some Stormtroopers and pretty soon, twelve of them were heading into the party. Neb had taken this opportunity to scout out a back exit to the building and was already telling the rest of us where to go after we exited the turbolift.
The Stormtroopers entered the hall and demanded everyone freeze as they were under arrest. Our group took this as an opportunity to cause as much chaos as possible. Neb tried to direct their attention towards the members of the Neuro Corp party; Casian tried to bluff the Stormtroopers in that he was there to help; and Jerex, who had the drug in his possession, decided to pull a fire alarm. The large crowd scattered in the panic and Jerex mingle into the surge heading towards the rear exit, escorted by Krokgar, Brooks and Neb.
Casian found bluffing Stormtroopers less easy than he thought and instead took the approach that blasting them may work better. Both he and Toc were suddenly involved in a firefight, which Krokgar realising was a bit more fun than making your way to the exit, decided to join in with. As he started bludgeoning Stormtroopers, the two humans and Neb had a helpful protocol droid point out where there was a speeder waiting. They headed in this direction, only to be cut off by three Stormtroopers. Using the doorway as cover, Brooks and Neb were able to drop one each, whilst Jerex sprinted to the speeder and leapt in.
The situation worsened when the battledroid that betrayed the party arrived and pinned down Brooks with some shocking accurate firepower. However, this had given time for Jerex to hotwire the speeder and hitting the accelerator, drove straight at the droid and smashed it into the ground, where Brooks dropped it with a shot from his rifle. The final Stormtrooper did not last long from the combined firepower of the characters. Pausing only to sling the remains of the droid into the speeder, they drove off.
Back in the main hall, the fight was going less well. Toc and Casian had been blasted into unconsciousness, whilst Krokgar was wrestling with a couple of Stormtroopers that were attempting to pin him down and stun him. At which point, the three characters that had retreated to the back swung the speeder to the front door and re-entered the fight. The remaining Stormtroopers were eventually brought down and the PCs grabbing, their unconscious comrades, headed off towards their ship with their cargo in tow.
Of course this is not the end of the matter, but was the end as far as the GM was concerned until next week. There are questions over what the droid’s purpose was at the HQ. Why was it working with the Imperial forces? What had it removed from the corporation? How did the Hutt have a Rebel code? And what stupid thing will the PCs invariably do next?