“Time to Get Paid!”
So with the “holy cr@p!” situation passed them (or so they thought), the 4 protagonists, Jodo, Summer, Xage and Mado began the session just after spluttering their way into a docking bay at the Pronus VI, a quarantine / trade station near Corellia and Duro.
With a message from their friend and boss Tanquar Otral still on their minds, and an Imperial check point between them and the seclusion of the space station, they weighed up their options.
After some discussion, Jodo decided to slice the station’s docking and quarantine security to lodge a record of their ship having been there the day before. And then the dudes and dudettes were off… Walking towards the Empire!
As a GM, there are times when you want to create emotions, be they, tension, relief, horror (that’s a hard one!), or happiness. Looking around the table when you were walking towards the checkpoint, as I casually described the guys in front of you having papers checked etc, showed me a range of emotions. I’ll let you decide which of you had which, but I saw; excitement, nervousness, concentration and apprehension – and yes I know two of those are similar. It was great!
The guard post was navigated with a mixture of good previous planning, great role-play and a pretty strong desire to go pee-pee – which was great; Jodo was immediately into character and channelling his inner ‘Crazy Eyes’ from OitnB. The Imperials were clearly on some kind of alert but your team apparently ‘ticked the right boxes’ and were allowed to make your way passed security. Seemingly, with no ill effect.
There was some discussion around where best to go, and although it felt a little cliché, in this situation and I’d imagine in real life (?), heading for a bar is typically a pretty good way of finding work that is of a… Riskier nature.
Two girls and two guys walk into a bar… Three of them actually go to the bar and one has a little looks around the place, noticing a head poke out from a booth as they all enter. The team’s ‘face’, Xage, decided to do ‘her thing’ and be a little more active and untraditional, making her way directly over to the booth that the ‘head’ was sitting at.
The remainder of this ‘scene’ was quite informative for me, but also confirmed a few things too.
Xage found a Zabrak woman (Tiiona Primarq) sitting at the table browsing through a few datapads that she casually angled away from Xage when she looked up. A conversation ensued, with both parties roleplaying the required ‘dance’ around what they both wanted to discuss. Eventually though, a meeting place was set for a potential ‘financially beneficial’ opportunity.
Meanwhile, back at the bar…
Summer looked around the place, ordered a beer and understandably a little concerned about the level of Imperial presence, had a chat with the barman. The typically direct form of communication from Summer clearly had the barman on edge, and at first the barman didn’t appear to know too much. Jodo however, noticed that the barman appeared quite nervous and that he kept casting subtle glances towards the end of the bar. Mado meanwhile decided to order a beer and wait to see if anything needed shooting.
There was some exposition at that stage where I added a little (too much?) flavour to the world due to there being an MMA equivalent match that evening between some of the more notorious fighters. While the (soon to be described) mission wouldn’t allow them to watch, it offered the potential for me to add some flavour to the world and Xage took that info and ran with it…
Xage came over to the rest of the party with the news, and noticed a non-descript, human male sitting near the end of the bar that seemed to be paying a little too much attention to either the barman or Summer’s conversation with him.
There was a brief discussion about finding some parts to repair the ship and a little conversation along those lines with a local Sullustan trader with promises of a meeting later that day but the mission was time sensitive, and the Sullustan had a match to go see!
En route to the pow-wow, a scrambled message came through from Tanquar, saying that he’d escaped Bespin, had stowed away on a ship… Hopefully the ship’s not headed to an Imperial base huh?! (Ooooo! Not a bad idea….)
The meeting with Tiiona Primarq proceeded well with the traditional (or so I’ve decided) Zabrak tea ceremony between new business partners and I enjoyed that everyone seemed so wary of the situation…
Too little trust in your GM or have you all played too much D&D?
There was some good discussion and negotiation, and a few oddities but all in all, the situation was resolved well.
Tiiona had heard that there is a ship that seems to be unmanned and adrift at the edge of Unknown space and wants the PCs to check it out and ransack the thing for any valuable loot. After some further negotiation on their cut of the loot, Tiiona reminded the PCs that the mission was time critical and that other people could find the craft at any time and if that happened, their money making potential takes a nose dive, and any agreed ‘cut’ was pointless.
Finding out that your ship was “in the shop”, Tiiona said she would provide a craft but understandably didn’t trust you with it entirely, and introduced you to a co-pilot / nanny who would accompany you on the mission – Praid Talvalin. Praid was quite delighted to be in the company of two lovely ladies and wasn’t exactly slow to say exactly that.
The deal was set in motion.
Xage remembered the proposed meeting with the Sullustan and rather than risk a potential relationship issue, she contacted him with apologies. Nicely done… Here’s to the benefits to not drinking too much while playing RPGs! Cheers!!
With a spring in their step, the party split up, (*sharp intake of breath*), with Mado wmphatically stating that there was no way that he was leaving his carbine behind! The girls went to the ship with Praid (hubba hubba!), and the boys went to recover their weapon (hubba hubba). *heheheh*.
Unbeknownst to the team, a certain ‘Lady’ had discovered that the ship that was supposed to be bringing in goods for her, had arrived and not made contact with her; she was… Ever so slightly, peeved. And Mado and Jodo walked into the hanger to discover the ‘Lady’ (Rachel Rahn) and two droids sniffing around the airlock.
Working their way a little closer, under the guise of ‘working cargo’, they overheard an angry tirade from Ms Rahn involving opening the ship NOW, the ineptitudes of the nearby Stormtroopers and the ‘black and white’ stupidity of the droids.
I had a little metagame planned here that I was hoping to engage in but Mado was too reserved… L The plan was that Mado would engage Rachel in conversation and have to roleplay an interesting conversation. That being, that in true racist Imperial fashion, the ship’s original occupants were all Rodian, Mado is Rodian, so she would assume that he was part of the crew. A difficult but very entertaining conversations would ensue, etc etc. Best laid plans…
As it went though, the conversation between the characters was interesting, there was Xage and Summer desperate to be a part of the situation, but weren’t even on the spacestation, and that left Jodo and Mado playing part spy, part conversationalist, part cargo operator. After a few, “Are we there yet?” type questions from the girls, Summer parked the ship and made her way directly over to ‘her’ ship, Xage in tow and Praid staring out the cargo hatch conflicted as to whether his tastes ran to Twi’Lek, Corellian or Human or just a foursome.
The art of ‘answering questions without answering questions’ came into play and ended up with the already irrate Ms Rahn, getting increasingly p*ssed off with everyone for not doing exactly what she wanted, and not knowing everything she wanted to know. (Feel free to change the name Rachel Rahn to your ex-girlfriend’s name…) Eventually, Ms Rahn spat the dummy, invoked Imperial Authority and boarded the ship.
The droids began a general search while Ms Rahn walked straight to where her stash was hidden. The droids discovered a dead body, wrapped in plastic, and pieces of an Imperial Scout Droid…
Let the games begin…
Stories and half truths were bandied around over who discovered what, how it happened, and that, “If this ship had been found, then where was the ship they used to discover it?” Ms Rahn checked with Customs & Immigration on the records for the ship, the validity of the salvage claim, and a few other things but with a combination of good role-play and some supporting dice rolls, the team (somewhat miraculously) swerved to avoid a potentially very nasty situation.
With some relief, Mado grabbed his weapon, and after promising it that he’d not leave it alone again, stroked it and followed everyone back to the operational ship and the clearly distracted Praid.
After some discussion with Praid over how he met Tiiona and some other discourse, the hyperspace trip ran its course and the PCs dropped into an area full of asteroids and ship parts of all shapes and sizes, with a mysterious dark freighter looming in the background bearing obvious asteroid impacts but little other damage.
With debris bouncing off the hull, the team did a quick scan of the freighter and discovered no life signs onboard…
Deja vous? *heheheheheh*
With some true expertise, Summer managed to navigate the ship a little closer to the freighter until the potential for damaging the ship was just too high and the previously minor debris impacts would have quickly become far larger and more damaging. Time for a little space walk!
I’d given a cursory amount of thought to how to do this and came up with a few methods but when in doubt, simple is best. ‘X’ sectors to travel, every success gives a sector’s progress; there was some negotiation over what to do with advantage, threat etc, and all was good.
Summer, obviously was actually born in space (part Minock?), and she skipped and danced her way through the asteroids, with a series of pirouettes and triple flips that would put most pro dancers and ballet masters to shame. If only the others found it so easy.
Watching Jodo “make his way” was as amusing as watching someone play the 80s game Frogger while purposely aiming for the cars and the gaps between the logs. At one point he had so many boost die from other players, they made up 50% of the pool! Luckily for him though, he seemed to avoid (for the most part) too much strain being added.
Meanwhile, Mado and Xage had some difficulties and decided to head-butt a few crates and asteroids that were in their way, but eventually made it to the ship’s damaged bulkhead.
Moving through the ship a little and reaching an area with breathable atmosphere, the team popped off their zero G suit helmets and breathed a sigh of relief. A few of you had already reached the lower halves of your Strain thresholds, there was an air of nervousness…
Which was nice!
The scenes they came across were odd. This ‘freighter’ had quite a few “not particularly freighterish characteristics”, such as having large numbers of crew cabins, and lounges, multiple dining and recreation areas, but the over-riding feeling was that the crew had all left in a hurry; there were partially written letters, half full cups of coffee and a few plates of untouched food. Marie Celeste, anyone?
The ship’s computer was reactivated by Jodo, and after some peculiar sounds (thank you, Syrinscape!) the computer, clearly confused, asked who was onboard, naming a few of the previous crew…
Very few of you (one?) jumped on the proverbial bandwagon but with a decent bit of roleplay, the computer seemed satisfied and continued chatting. After asking a few questions about crew numbers, what had happened, what was the ships mission etc and receiving some confused answers, the team gave up on the computer and continued through the ship.
Continuing the search, the team came across some very large droid bays, workshops, communications rooms and a few other techie areas; all of them with an absence of computer tech. This didn’t seem to raise much concern, but Jodo did manage to scavenge a few items for his growing ‘droid part collection’ – maybe he’ll sculpt something for the prow of the ship! Sorry, Summer’s ship.
A little further along and the team came across a large medical facility… A very large medical facility. Checking through the area, the weirdness continued. There wasn’t a single piece of any medical equipment or supplies left, it had been completely stripped. Going through into a large side room, the team found a very large Bacta tank, that had, evidently, been smashed open from the inside. The bacta tank had been approximately 6-7 meters high and around 3-4 meters across, and while there was no trace of bacta, there were the tell tale, tubes and linked machines that bact systems were connected to. The machines, once again, were purely shells, with nothing inside of their casings. Mado picked a piece of the broken glass up to have a look and was surprised that is was not only 10cm thick but had been constructed of strengthened plexi-glass. This had been no standard bacta tank!
And then, things got weirder…
I passed around some ‘notes’ with some instructions on them, and had the guys react / describe what was written.
All of a sudden the team were diving for cover as Stormtroopers were firing at them, loud footsteps were heard, ships warning klaxons were sounding, more blaster fire but this time, in the distance, and then, a very strange looking creature simply ‘appeared’ in front of Mado – all teeth and anger. Shortly after this, Summer ‘saw’ a large creature throwing Stormtroopers around the room, crashing into bulkheads and walls, bodies twisted and snapped.
Jodo squatted down, hands over his ears, and pulled his zero G helmet back on; and seemingly trying to click his heels together! With the zero G helmet back on though, the visions and emotions around them, slowly subsided. The others followed suit, chatting about what they’d seen and what the hell was going on.
A little further into this nightmare ship and the team were in yet another galley area (?!), but this time with some kind of semi-airlock door on the far side. While the other three checked around, Summer approached the door and grabbed the handle, and in the nick of time, noticed a strange ‘haze’ in the room beyond; almost as if there was a gas or heat present. With some very quick agreement from the others, Summer carefully backed away from the door and they found another route.
Finally reaching the ship’s bridge, they were greeted with… A bridge with no one in it.
As Summer leapt onto her usual throne, Mado searched the room, and Xage and Jodo spotted a small staircase in the corner and headed down the stairs to a computer room door.
At this point the ship’s computer shirped up again and told them that the computer room was full of radiation and that it would be dangerous and potentially lethal for them to enter. Jodo and Xage peered through the small window in the door, and after getting a shock from the door control when trying to touch it, they noticed that the room beyond’s contents were not visible from the outside as there was some kind of panel just in front of the door, obscuring their view.
With their wrist computers showing zero signs of radiation and no other signs of trouble either, Xage and Jodo cautiously opened the door and entered the room; at which point the ship’s computer stopped speaking.
Checking the computer room Jodo and Xage found nothing, no cables, no chips, no circuitry, no nothing. The room had been completely stripped of all technology.
Confusion ensued, ‘Where was the ship’s computer voice coming from?’ and other general WTF commentary. Mado had meanwhile spotted some strange egg shaped glass or crystal objects resting on the floor of the bridge, up against the ship’s forward view screen.
Continuing his search, Indiana Mado spotted a dark coloured box partially hidden under a computer bank on the side of the bridge and carefully checked it out. Inside were a collection of strange looking computer chips that he didn’t recognise.
Interrupting the scene, an urgent and slightly panicked message came in from Praid who was in the waiting cruiser, “Imps in system!! Going silent!!”
A chorus of, “Again?! What’s with these guys?!”
‘What’ indeed? Hehehehe, why were they there..?
A quick check of the ‘eggs’ by Jodo revealed that the eggs had some kind of multi coloured twisted strands of crystal inside. Jodo, feeling brave, picked one of them up and immediately collapsed on the floor, brain feeling like it had exploded inside his skull. He had visions of being in an escape pod, but this time with far more clarity than before, and he realised that the escape pods on this ship were remarkably similar to the escape pods on this ship.
With some caution now, the others discussed what to do, should they take the eggs or leave them?
A huge asteroid impacted the ship, shaking the entire bridge, and making the ship creak and groan. Xage lost her footing and fell into the collection of eggs… Given Jodo’s painful discovery, there was some anxiety over what would happen but Xage suffered nothing more than slightly bruising her pride and butt cheek. With this seeming to act as a catalyst for action, (and hopefully worried that the Imperials may destroy their ship and in turn, their way out of the place), the team gathered up some of the eggs and bolted for the exit.
Reaching the breaching /entry point and staring into the asteroid field, the team noticed that the huge asteroid that had recently hit the ship, had careened through the asteroid field and a good sized semi-clear route through it.
A couple of good perception rolls revealed that there were 3 TIE fighters in system, and that Praid was trying to hide “his” ship behind some of the debris, constantly jinking this way and that to stay hidden; apparently, not just a pretty face!
The comms to the ship were still offline…
The TIE fighters were splitting up to check around the debris field, their lack of shields stopping them being able to enter it.
Strain levels are VERY low.
Can the team risk another trip through the debris field to, a now moving ship?
Do they have any choice?
Will they think to use a GROUP SKILL CHECK to achieve it?
Will the TIE fighters spot them?
Will I ever bring this session report to an end?!
A Few General Comments…
Another enjoyable session.
You all got into your roles to a far greater degree, clearly you now have a clearer view of your roles / strengths.
You worked as a team to a deeper level this time, partially as the situations allowed / necessitated it, but also because you seemed to want to. Well done.
To be honest there are not really any big deals to raise here but a few things I noticed, to a minor degree were:
- As in real life (pffffft!), there are always those that will see solutions will see solutions to a problem quicker than others. That’s great, but be careful of ‘stealing the limelight’ from the other players too often. Remember that it’s everyone’s adventure.
- Remember to keep player knowledge and character knowledge separate.
- While staying in character came far easier to you this time (grats there!), do consider whether what you want to say or do is also within your character. There were a few instances where you did or said certain things that I really don’t think your character would have done / said.
- Don’t be afraid to jump in and do something, there were a few times when I literally had to slap you in the face with something to get things happening. I don’t want to kill you off, and a wrong move here and there will make things not only more natural, but far more interesting! Get stuck in.
Things You Missed / Almost Missed.
Gambling on the outcome of the MSC match could have led to some interesting RP. I know you didn’t have much to stake, but even so… It might have almost been construed as in character for some of you to give it a go as well.
- There will be other MSC matches coming… But probably not with the same level of detail as before!
There could have been ways to ‘sneak’ off the ship at the beginning rather than go through the Stormtroopers… Not necessarily a great option, but an option nonetheless.
There was a link that should have been made with a few things on the ship, and subconsciously they may have but I don’t’ want to say more on that… All things in good time.
It’s hard to come up with others… Which is good!
Being “In Character”.
Nothing more to add here that I haven’t said above but some individual highlights for me:
Xage’s use of the MSC match details and participants in conversations, loved that.
Summer’s constant insistence on “MY SHIP”, while it does remind me of my kids arguing, is great!
Jodo playing the ‘looney tunes card’ situations were good fun… Very entertaining.
Mado’s “There’s no way I’m leaving this place without my gun!” commentary was great. Keep it up!
Errors I Made.
I should have thought through the space walk scene a little more, but given where I was when I came up with it, and that it was the afternoon of the day we did played, it’s not too surprising. What I could have done was added 1 Threat as 1 Strain and 1 Advantage to remove 1 Strain.
In future, if we’re in a situation like the above and you have a good idea for how to use a dice roll in a better or more flavourful way, please suggest it.
Still need to use the Bonus and Setback die more often… And not just so you guys can use your talents!
“Mum, if you could only see me now!
I’m currently floating in a half destroyed cargo bay looking out into deep space watching some TIE fighters circle! Not more than half an hour earlier I was subjected to a nerve gas on this abandoned spaceship that made me see all sorts of shit that wasn’t there. Holy fcuk!
I have to be honest though, this is much more of a rush than jumping around the galaxy scanning rocks. Although mentally, I’m at the end of my rope right now, so I hope I can keep it together and get out of here. Doesn’t look good right now though.
Luckily I’m with a good bunch of guys! We got through a lot today, had a couple really close shaves with some Imps. Never good! Looks like we need to get out of another one……..”
“Lots of space in space. Engine room feels good. Computer room good ideas. Good voices. Space jump stupid idea.
All dead, computer dead, computer ghost not the host. Air strange, noisy place, nothing to see, everything to feel. Memory jump, bad escape, answers more questions.
More Imperials, more problems. Another f*cking space jump.”
“Station was infested with Imperials. Couldn’t get away from there soon enough, especially that Rachel Rhan and her escort of stormtroopers. Need to be discrete and not draw too much attention.
What an impressive cargo ship as I haven’t seen one like that before. We can all take some tips from Summer and her space walking abilities, and we definitely need a long rope for Jodo.
Wow, I have a massive headache from that crazy gas and everything seemed so real; the footsteps, the smells and the 3 legged alien was right in front of me, I am sure of it.
Too many flasks of Rodian ale with a feed of Karstag ribs after the hunt still did not come close to the effects of that crazy gas.
Did I really hear the phantom ship computer talking to the team or was that the crazy gas talking in my head.
Those small eggs with internal crystal are quite unusual so I wonder what they are and what is their purpose.
Imperials are here again, they are everywhere, why do they keep turning up with intent to blast us beyond the Outer Rim. Time to make our escape …”
Nothing was sent in from Summer’s player.