“Exploring the Unknown Region ain’t like dustin’ crops boy.”
The day started as many previous days had, flying around in your extraordinarily expensive exploration ship, scanning, investigating, noting things of interest, dropping Nav Beacons and shooting off to the next place. You were 60% of the way through the current mission. Only 6 more jumps and you were on your way back to Bespin’s Cloud City to pick up a nice hefty slab of creds and a well deserved ‘space-beer’ or two.
And then you entered, YU8938271.
A seemingly innocuous collection of numbers and letters.
How bad could it possibly be?
Unfortunately for you though, the phrase, ‘Wrong time, wrong place,’ came into play.
You essentially flew into a kind of Imperial hyperspace ‘bag’, and so, at first, the entire area seemed quiet, with no noteable features. Eventually though the ‘veil’ dropped and the nearby Imperial task force decided that they didn’t want you there or even alive for that matter.
A quick slap on the blue button of awesome saw the OP hyperdrive engines spooling up very quickly, but not before the Impies destroyed the scanning and exploration tech that your ship was essentially, hefting around the Unknown Regions. A few shots hammered into the main ship that you were all in and just as the first barrage of turbolaser bolts sped towards your ship, to ‘seal the deal’, you blinked out of the system.
When you came to, you all noticed that your ship was essentially held together by luck and a prayer. With an acidic fuel gas rising, systems failing, and oxygen running out, you did a pretty good job of running system and visual checks of the ship and its surrounds before making preparations to head out to the
HMS Taronga, “Mysterious Undiscovered Ship”. The Imperial tracer pod was found on the outside of the ship, and shot at… To no effect; and from a certain persons facial expression, I expected a, “But according to rule 5, sub-sector 14 point 9, it says that…” But it was left at the facial expression stage.
Jodo meanwhile, had a bit of a play with the Imperial tracer program, making one of the data pads go all squishy-melty, but still managed to haul a TBs worth of data and then, you left.
After some discussions around who should go first, and Summer deciding that kicking Mado in the @ss was a good answer, you sauntered onto the ship, with Mado up front. No one mentioning standard D&D RPG actions such as, “I’m going to check those crates,” or, “I want to explore that”.
There was no semblance of danger in the way you acted… That’s something I need to do something about… Oh yes.
So, with the GM calling out Perception checks (Yeah… I know I shouldn’t have) here and there, you meandered your way inside the ship and came across the computer station for the cargo container.
It was with a little trepidation that Jodo sat and tapped out a tune on the keyboard.
The computer thought the tune sucked and refused to disclose anything.
A few cracked knuckles and sarcastic references to some poor fella called Tarlo (See Pasta! Those computer rolls ain’t easy are they!!??) and that seemed to be the encouragement either Jodo or the computer, or possibly, both needed. Utterly defeated, the computer metaphorically, unzipped, dropped its trousers and bent over.
Nice roll there!
So with a coded message and reference to someone called, Rachel Rahn, the cargo manifest showing some delightful little fluffy pets, you set about checking out the rest of the place.
Heading out of the cargo container and into the ship itself, and with a few prompts from me on how much air you had left, you headed straight for engineering – good plan! In there was a very badly damaged droid, with a borked motor, dragging a dead Borgle Bat behind it. Trying to keep the smile off my face, I took great delight in reading aloud the designation, Dee Three Arrr Three Kay…
Then with an elated noise of recognition… Hadyn gets it! Having a damn good laugh, he exclaims, “DEREK!!! Ha ha ha. It’s Derek!!”
Ahhhhh, it’s the little things….
Then a very comedic session began – for me anyway. Jodo tried to shove his ‘dingleberry’ into the droid to get the information he wanted, and DEREK tried to make it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with that. Eventually, with Mado sitting on him, Jodo stabbing a hyper screwdriver into the gap between D3R3Ks body and head units, you managed to get the information you were after.
Oxygen was now getting VERY low (and that is one thing I managed badly… There was no story based sense of, you need to get this ‘lack of oxygen thing’ sorted FAST! The annoying thing is, I knew how to do it, and I completely forgot about it!).
With Jodo planting himself in Engineering to get a run down on the ship, the rest of you headed towards the bridge, with Summer RPing my ‘dropped ball’ about the lack of oxygen (thank you Lee!).
A strange stench was detected… And ignored…
Is there a ‘Poo-Monster’ in Star Wars? That could be fun!! Currently, growing in the “bowels” of your ship…
Jodo checked the Life Support system, and (hopefully) was expecting to need to run a repair, but the system was just switched off… Sometimes solutions really are that simple! He also discovers that to get the ship moving, some work needed to be done. It seemed that the ship’s personnel airlock was not sealed properly, and the cargo bay doors were still open.
You got notification of a strange noise from somewhere, and seemed to dismiss it and all continued up to the ships bridge.
You’re lucky it wasn’t an Imperial Zero-G assault team – which, incidentally, originally it was going to be but then I remembered how cool those recon droids were!
At the bridge door, the old “glowstick toss system” of exploration was used (much to Lee the GM and Lee the player’s annoyance – that made me chuckle) and ultimately D3R3K had done a damn fine job of cleaning and repairing / jury-rigging the systems and controls.
The little guy was a bloody star!
…and you let him die…
You just sat there and let it happen…
With the bridge cleared by brave Mado, Jodo calling out items to fix, and Summer marching to her throne, Xage headed back towards engineering to help out with the issue of the airlock. Mado meanwhile, hears the strange noise from the cargo container and sets off to investigate.
Jodo and Xage team up well and sort the issue of the un-sealed airlock.
Mado spots an Imperial Recon droid in the container.
Summer starts an indignant conversation with the new arrivals, and ‘plug and plays’ the Astrogation computer; to great effect I might add.
With the Acklay’s pincer removed from the airlock door, and the sound of blaster fire in her ears, Xage bounds off to the cargo container to help out while Jodo searches for another console to access engineering after the last one cr@pped itself.
The Impie droid realised very quickly that it will not be able to compete with one heavily armed Rodian, let alone it’s Twi’Lek friend, and takes the only logical option, the Italian warcry… And runs for the exit and safety of deep space.
A quick comm link message to Jodo and he manages to overide the cargo containers safety system restraints and crashes the cargo container’s door down, pinning the droid in the durasteel door.
Xage makes a quick shot, misses, but makes the Droid jerk violently to the left and then Mado nails it with a stun shot, disabling it.
Meanwhile, the, ‘It’s mine! No it’s not, it’s mine!” conversation…
…continues in the cockpit, with the YT-1000 firing a badly aimed “warning shot”, and Summer bringing the sub-lights on and jinking the Hauler behind the remains of the Eldritch Light.
A little like hiding an elephant behind a mars bar, but there you go.
The Rodians crew of the YT-1000 fire the ventral quad cannons at the Wayfarer ‘Nexus’ and absolutely obliterate the Eldritch Light. However, the manoeuvre bought you the time you needed and (unbeknownst to you) helped disguise your escape trajectory.
With a sigh of relief, and (hopefully) feeling of pride for what you’ve achieved, you settle in for the 12 hour hyperspace trip to Pronus VI. After a bit of R&R you decide to search for the hidden cargo container listed in the ship manifest, and after spending four hours looking for it and almost giving up, Xage discovers it hidden away at the back of a sub-storage area.
There was no noticeable lock mechanism, and after much head scratching and fettling, Jodo manages to open the box. Inside are 14 suspension tubes with semi-opaque, viscous, black liquid inside.
The voices in Jodo’s head go into full on SCREAMY SHOUTY mode, telling him to get as far away from this as possible, don’t look back and never EVER go near them again.
The team, (less one member who sits with his hands on his head, eyes tightly closed), investigates further and believe that the contents are blood, but they’re not sure from what.
Shortly after that discovery, and with some skilled piloting, the ship pops out of Hyperspace close to Pronus VI… Luckily not quite close enough for a penalty fine… But CLOSE!
After docking the ship, there was a lot of discussion about what to do next, and as the decision was made to phone the boss with the news, Jodo received a panicked com-call from Tanquar – which he handed over to Xage (why?). Tanquar basically begged for rescue but dropped few hints on being careful about it.
As the group glanced out the window of the ship, a group of Stormtroopers were seen at a hastily erected immigration point at the docking bay’s exit.
And that was that. Perfect point to stop.
A Few General Comments…
- Everyone was ‘getting back into it again’, remembering rules etc, and that was to be expected.
- In future, do have a good look over your character sheets and note a few things down that could help jog your memory… For example, I have a sheet with me that shows all the PC’s top three skills, the “3 adjectives”, Stats and a few other details.
- Regardless of how well you know your character, have a good look over it before you come, and check up on anything you don’t understand. You are extremely lucky (trust me) to have 2 GMs that are eager to help you, use that ‘facility’ to check up on skills or items that you don’t understand or are unsure about between sessions. Don’t leaving it till you’re sat at the table ready to play. Remember the old saying, Proper Previous Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
- Don’t lose sight of the amount of time and effort that Lee and myself have, and will continue, to put into these adventures. We are certainly not looking for praise over what we do, we do it because we enjoy it, but bear this in mind, as a GM, we have to know:
- the overriding storyline (and how it’s being changed as your progress through it);
- all the NPCs you meet;
- the mechanics and potential outcomes of the situations you get into;
- details of the planets / spacestations you visit;
- details of the ships you come across; and
- the ability to ad-lib a PCs off track adventures.
In turn, we expect you to know your own character.
- From time to time in the game, LOOK AROUND YOURSELVES, check things out that I tell you about or that you want to check.
- There were a number of times last night when I was describing important aspects of what was happening or what you could see, and you’d start conversations midway through.
That’s annoying and disruptive.
- Bonus Dice, think if there are any ways you can give your characters Bonus dice to add to your rolls… I need to do the same with the Setback dice.
That wasn’t supposed to be a sermon, but there it is.
Things You Missed / Almost Missed.
1. You could have put out the ‘small flames’ inside D3R3K’s shell, that would have enabled you to keep him and repair at a later date (possibly with parts of that Imperial Scout Droid).
2. The odd code that popped up on the computer at the first part of scene one with the busted up cargo canister with the nasty substance inside it. No one asked what it was so it could be checked later.
3. I touched on this above, but on a few occasions, it seemed like if I ‘drop info on you’, without a code as a prefix or suffix, you didn’t see it as important… When I’m talking in game, I’m usually doing one of 4 things:
- telling you what you see/hear/smell;
- answering queries that you guys have asked me;
- passing on information; or
- asking for more of that downright awesome biltong that Hadyn brought!
What I’m saying is that as the GM, if I’m talking to you, please listen.
Being “In Character”.
Yes, it’s hard. Especially after a long break… But that’s not where I’m going with this, so read on.
Hadyn made an interesting comment after play last night about not knowing whether Lee was in character when he was being, shall we say, ‘less than chirpy’. This made me think that we need to have a system in place to make these situations understandable.
My opinion has always been that EVERYTHING you say at the table is in character unless you specifically say, “Out of character, what’s a Gundark,” for example.
Some of Lee/Summer’s comments during play were quite terse and almost obnoxious (and I believe he enjoyed making those comments a little too much! Hehehe), but they were also completely in character, were fully warranted by the situation that you were in. Seriously, 7 or 8 minutes of air left and you’re still faffing around exploring other areas of the ship!?
Also, please understand that a comment made ‘out of character’, takes everyone out of character.
While there will always be things/concepts/items/creatures that you don’t know about, keep the questions succinct and informative, so the information can be responded to quickly and we can get back in character as fast as possible.
The odd comment here and there is fine but please keep an eye on it.
Errors I Made! Yes. Mmmmmm!
1. A lack of tension on you all running out of oxygen;
2. Not using the Setback dice enough (at all!);
3. Being forced to contrive reasons for you having to re-roll certain things because I made a stupid decision to hide said ‘thing‘!; and
4. The 1 man ship that was hanging out of the cargo bay door!!! WTF happened to that?!?! (Seems you’ve got yourselves a 1 man ship! Not in an operable state yet but nonetheless…)
“Shocked and annoyed- I’m in this game to get my stake and get a ship that works. I don’t expect to be shot at by Imperials when doing nothing wrong.
Also, a little concerned at the ability of my team to prioritise – I mean who interrogates a droid before switching the AC back on!?”
“We’re all a bit angry. Being aboard a technically awesome ship and getting to tinker with it was awesome and had certainly quietened the mind for a time. Having those f*cktard rule monsters ruin our ship and put us all in danger has highlighted how much I dislike them.
The strange substance on the ship has unnerved me a little, but with everything that’s happened in the last few days, I’m just glad to be alive.”
“Dear Mum. Had a bizarre day today! Think blown up ship, the Empire and some dead monsters. Try and piece that together. Oh but I can tell you that Summer was her usually snappy self again. And by snappy I don’t mean witty. Anyway I’m sure we’ll be BFF’s in no time. Yeah right!
On a more serious note, things on board the Eldritch Light have taken a bit of a ‘plot twist’. For one we’re no longer on it as it doesn’t exist anymore really. It’s a long story which I hope to share with you soon, I just hope my team’s up for it so I can get that opportunity. I’m sure we’ll be fine once we start clicking!”
“I was distracted in our usual game of Sabacc while in Hyperspace; this time on the way to Pronus VI.
What an intense set of events. The Imperials tried to rub us out. I wonder what was at YU8938271. Must be seriously valuable as they don’t want anyone to know.
Lost the ship, shame as it had some great tech. I am actually glad that those boring exploration jobs are over.
Team clicked nicely together to secure another ship, get it operational, neutralise an Imperial droid, and play hide & seek with a YT1000 to make the jump without loosing another ship.
I haven’t felt that rush in a while. What is in those are suspension tubes, what is that black liquid. It was hidden well. Must be valuable.
I look over at Jodo, he is looking at his cards and talking to himself again, he is going to take a while.
Xage is also distracted and in thought playing with her Lekku instead of her cards. Summer as usual is in the bridge, she is not interested in our game of Sabacc.
I shift a card from a 4 to -3 without Jodo & Xage noticing, that makes -22, that will surprise them when they wake up and pay attention.”