Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Session 001 - Spiraling Dice

Invasion of Theed is a basic game engine. 90% of the information inside is geared for combat. Each encounter is broken down into three sections: pre-combat, combat, and post combat. The players are encouraged to use non-combat skills outside of combat, but every encounter defaults to combat for success. There is no way avoid it as stated.  

But I changed the setting, so the encounters had to change. This encounter was still a jail break. The characters were to suborn a couple of Neimoidian guards to get the codes to open the jail. They'd fight off some droids and rescue the prisoners or be captured. 

In this campaign, the lead Neimoidian Bergel is an antagonist but not a physical threat. He has relinquished control of the droid army to the leaders of Tankern, the name of the planet. Those republican leaders ordered the droids to quell the riot. As bad as battle droids are at warfare, they are even worse at policing, public policy and PR. The droids were holding people prisoner that the leadership didn't want imprisoned. Since this is a classic republic, there is no chief executive, only a person nominated for given tasks. The droids can't handle this, they want someone to be in charge to give them orders. 

My players were rolling from their last encounter directly into this one. They were still itching for a fight and not much time has passed since their last encounter with the droids. 

However, they gave themselves an excuse to stop and take a breather. They are rummaging through the speeders they stole in the last encounter. They have found a medkit, a toolbox, some tarps, painting supplies and a couple of cloaks and blankets. 

While the main party was doing this, Dex and Malta crept closer to the jail to scope out the place. Since Bergel has the most knowledge of the droids, he sent two representatives to order the droids to release the prisoners. Unfortunately a Republican Representative named Vidda showed up at about the same time and made the same demand. The droids are confused by the lack of combat and leadership. They don't know what to do and keep calling for help. 

Malta and Dex hatched a plan and returned to the speeders to fill everyone in. 

The nice thing about this group of players is they want to make use of non-combat skills. Some of this exceeds the rules in Invasion of Theed, so we are supplementing with the core rulebook. The party dressed Malta and Dex up as medics and made up Nonin to look like a wounded rioter. Malta and Dex have tiny blasters and planned to sneak them into the prison with the medkits and tool box to bust everyone out. Nonin was unarmed. Lidda stayed with one speeder to snipe targets if things get out of hand. Talhana's part was to use her speeder as a barrier between the droids and the side door. 

As Dex and Malta approached, a fourth "representative of the people" showed up. He is a rioter named Manro. For the player's benefit, I was rolling d20s for each party negotiating, whoever got the highest number has the droids ears for that round. It's a mechanic for the player's benefit so they could jam themselves into the conversation by backing different opinions. 

I'm not doing a blow by blow like the last time. Here is the initial map setup. The player's speeders are at the top and everyone else is in front of the jail at the bottom of the picture. 

The droids were pretty easy to fool. The Dex, Malta and Nonin wanted to get into the jail, which the droids were perfectly happy to do. They claimed to be "medical assistance". The droids flustered at this because they were calling for "assistance", but didn't mean medical assistance. I made Malta and Dex roll to keep their weapons hidden and they succeeded. The droids fixated on the tool kit, but Dex claimed they also repair droids. 

I used that to both help and confuse the party. There were 4 security droids off map, the jailers called them in and asked Dex to provide that assistance. He reluctantly rolled to repair one of them and satisfied, the beefy security droids marched off map to take up their hidden positions again.  

The three adventurers made their way into the jail and once the door closed, set about freeing themselves and everyone else from their cells, providing medial assistance and recovering the rioter's weapons. One problem the party had was they have no communication gear. There are some communicators in the jail, but the characters outside didn't have any and no way to pick them up.  

The force adepts are not powerful enough to use the Force to communicate. I deem that the force-sensitive feat and alter feat is good enough for the adepts to know if a party member is in the area and their general state of being, hurt, angry, etc. This is done on a DC 15, where a failure indicates the character knows they have failed. It's kind of the wrong power for the job. Since the characters were looking right at the jail or know the direction back to the speeders, they can detect their friends and the people right outside the door. 

After a great many die rolls for computer use, disable device and first aid, Nonin, Malta and Dex got the side door open and gave the signal. Lidda started blasting away as Talhana brought the speeder over. There were too many people to ride in the speeder, so Talhana switched places with Dex and he used the speeder as moving cover for the prisoners. 

The four people in front of the jail decided to enter and lock the door to get out of the fight. They are unarmed anyway. The droids are in no position to stop them. The party engages in a running gun battle with the hidden security droids and makes good their escape. 

The text indicates the jail holds a weapons cache. Since the characters are all gunned up already, I changed this 8 comlinks and 8 medpacs. Basically what one would find in a police station, sans the weaponry and armor. Droids don't have armor and store themselves with their weapons on their backs.  

The party decides to leave the city and hide in the countryside. To that end, they trade one speeder to the barkeeper from the first encounter for access to their rooms and some gear. The speeder is worth 6000 credits. Lidda demands some light armor, while everyone else sticks to the basics. Of note, they have 3 datapads, three electro-binoculars, a couple of tool kits, and their smaller personal belongings from their apartments. 

The barkeeper is not the nicest person and is already mad at the party, so he short changes the party and intends to dump their remaining belongings outside. The party intimidates their former landlord into forking over 1,500 credits with all of the gear and extract a promise for him to store their belongings they can't take. This will be a hostile work relationship in the future, but the deal seems to be pretty even. What the party got for the speeder was rather minimal, considering they are protecting goods that have no in-game meaning. 

This session went exceptionally well, I particularly loved the attention to detail the party put into their plans and the fact that they took an interest the last adventure so that they remembered that they had stuff in their apartments. Leaving the city will create some problems for me, I may have to create a different one off adventure to get them back into the city. 

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