Showing posts with label SW Sessions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SW Sessions. Show all posts

Friday, February 5, 2021

That's Not Star Wars, Ya Know

One of my favorite Star Trek episodes is Balance of Terror. It is a trope defining story about a Romulan warship using it's cloak to bomb the heck out of the Federation's outposts. It's actually a rewrite of the film "Enemy Below", but it was used effectively to establish a lot of lore within the series. Before this point, we didn't have cloaking devices, photon torpedoes, etc. It really wasn't Trek, but became Star Trek. 

So, yeah. That's not Star Wars. 

Neither is my Star Wars campaign, or so I have been told. The players are force adepts with no lightsabers. That isn't cool. I have been issued an order to get them lightsabers. 

Ok, fine. I see my mistake. For a couple of sessions, I proved that Star Wars can exist without Jedi and lightsabers, but the players are annoyed with this. I saw this coming and had a plotline where the characters build lightsabers from some junk they receive from a bounty hunter, La'ow Houd

I was told "no deal", that is also not Star Wars. Jedi spend zero screen time building lightsabers. 


In our discussion, I outlined the concept of La'ow and his desire to destroy a prison or at least free the prisoners. The players like this but asked "why us?". I explained they were the only rebels around. They asked "So, are we going to find help in the Prison?" 

Well, no. They would be destroying a prison that is too close to the capital, making the whole area a battlefield in a galactic war. At this point, we picked through a couple of episodes of Rebels, The Mandalorian and a scene from The Last Jedi, the casino bit. These choices were all parts where "Star Wars" stopped being "Star Wars". 

The players asked what makes the prison a bad target in a war? Wouldn't someone else simply bomb the snot out of it, satisfying the goals I laid out? And why does this bounty hunter have a sailboat for us to hang out on? Ooh. Wouldn't someone, the Rebellion or the Empire attacking the city serve the player's goals? Won't the sailboat be a good way for the party to escape that end? That was awkward, because they are right. 

By group consensus, we decided that the prison is on the edge of bay. On one side of the bay, the Droid Army is modifying a castle ruins to be a prison. That's what I had and I am all onboard with this.  

However, on the other side of the bay are a series of small communities. It's sort of a vacation spot, like the casino in The Last Jedi. These communities have this ugly wart of the prison in plain view and being an obvious target, that is not so hot for the locals. While the level of decadence is not ramped up like The Last Jedi, think the Poconos or Lake George rather than Vegas, there are some powerful people running around here. People who have access to lightsabers and other powerful weapons. People who might want to see this prison destroyed. People who might want a fight. Like the players.

The players are exactly right. I did want to investigate the lives of common people in Star Wars, but without some small details, it doesn't work. But with the player's feedback it can continue. So, "this is the way". 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Green-5 Stats for WotC Star Wars

Green-5 is a unique droid to the Tarkeren Campaign. He has been on his own for far too long, Green-5 is suffering from corruption. He has taken on some traits that are not helpful. 

He has this obsession with turning speeders into fighters, which is less useful than it sounds. He has also taken on the idea he should know medicine. For a tactical droid, this is even more questionable than the thing with the speeders. 

T-Series Tactical Droid Statistics
Medium 4th-Degree Droid Soldier 3

Force Points: 2
Initiative: +6; Senses: Perception +7
Languages: Basic, Binary, Zabrak, Rodian

Reflex Defense: 18 (Flat-Footed: 17), Fortitude Defense: 13, Will Defense: 13; Vehicular Combat
Hit Points: 30, Damage Threshold: 13
Immune: Droid Traits


Speed: 9 Squares (Walking)
Melee: Unarmed +1 (1d3)
Ranged: Heavy Blaster +2 (3d8)
Base Attack Bonus: +1; Grapple: +2
Attack Options: Quickshot (Heavy Blaster)

Base Stats:

Abilities: Strength 10, Dexterity 12, Constitution -, Intelligence 14 (Corruption. 10), Wisdom 14, Charisma 12
Talents: Battle Analysis

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Vehicular Combat, Weapon Proficiency (Pistols), Weapon Proficiency (Rifles), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons), Point Blank Shot. 

Skills: Initiative +6, Knowledge (Tactics) +7, Perception +7, History +6, Use Computer +7, Treat Injury +2, Pilot +1, Astrogation +1.

Droid Systems: Walking Locomotion, Heuristic Processor, 2 Hand Appendages, Internal Comlink, Vocabulator, Backup Battery. 

Possessions: Heavy Blaster, Electrobinoculars, Durasteel Plating (Droid Armor; +6 Reflex), Cape, Notebook, Pen.

Availability: Unique

Tankeren's Defenses

The Tankerenian armed forces are not really what they should be. They have aircraft like the ship below. I call it an H-Wing. In real world terms, it's like an A-10 or a SU-25. However, no conflict has reached the level of needing those machines. Unlike their real world counterparts, they owe their robustness to devolved fighter designs of the Republic. They are incidentally tough, but not as tough as a Y-Wing or B-Wing. 

The whole planet probably has 200 of them. Of those, 20 or so of them are outfitted for training, aerobatic groups and the odd civilian hobbyist. Of the remaining fighters, 30-40% are down for servicing at any given time. Tarkeren doesn't have much a fighting air force. 

They have evolved this ship into a space fighter. The lines are more angular, the engines are bigger and the wings much smaller. Since the planet has a tiny space presence, these little ships are hot rods. They go from ground to orbit when needed. They are on par with an A-Wing in terms of speed, but lack missiles and maneuverability. They do have one advantage over most fighters, the pipe like structures are sensors so each ship acts as control ship. Maybe they have 100 of them.  

I showed this air speeder in my last post. It is unarmed, but a purpose build speed machine. It uses advance technology to perform more like a spacecraft than a speeder. It can reach orbit, but this is more of a stunt than a capability. Citizens of the Republic or Empire would be terrified at the power of this commercial speeder. But like I said, it's unarmed. These speeders are ubiquitous on this planet. 

Green-5 has transformed this air speeder into a power space fighter. It has heavy ion cannons for battle against capital ships, space for an astromech droid and powerful lasers. It can match TIE fighters in speed, Y and B-Wings for armor and has better weapons than both. It does lack missiles and photon torpedoes as the planet doesn't have the ability to produce either. 

The downside of this ship is, it is modification from air speeder to spaceship. That's expensive. Every fighter is a custom job involving droids and humanoids, which means that each one is unique. Also, it requires a humanoid droid or live pilot which means that Green-5, defender of the planet, does not have direct control of them once in service. Not enough droids are available to fly them, they type of droid required is not anything the Trade Federation has, so he needs Tankerenian pilots. 

So far, Green-5 has convinced the Lord and Lady to make 30 conversions. Half of them are still being assembled. He knows he needs 100 times that number to defend the planet against the Empire. 

Over the next couple of posts, I will stat up these ships. I hope you enjoy them. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tankerenian Speeders and Aircraft

I penned up some aircraft which are unique to my Tankerenian Star Wars Setting. 

For a warmup, I did a couple of open top speeders which are pretty Star Wars standard. Tankerenians are weird, they like fast vehicles, so these would only be found in cities and towns. They are small enough to fit inside a cargo transport so they are everywhere as a secondary mode of transport. 

What they really like are their skyspeeders, something like a cross between a cloud car and a snow speeder. They are insanely fast for 7 or more person vehicle. 

The Tankerenians only developed a vague sense of warfare and they do have some horribly antiquated fighters. They are limited to in atmosphere flight and are totally outclassed by even the oldest Republic designs. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Mom, Dad... I'm in prison, and I don't like it.

This morning, I busted out some pens and graph paper to come up with the next scenario for my Star Wars campaign. This post is somewhat applicable for other campaign types, as you can grab the maps for just about anything. The links below go to the worldbuilding and character information about this campaign, in case this is the first you are hearing of it. 

In my worldbuilding post, I mentioned many names. Bergel was the Neimoidian viceroy in charge of the planet but he is playing a very sideways game of "not it". He knows the Empire or the Rebels will be paying him a visit very soon and he doesn't want to be the guy in charge when it happens. 

He set up the Tactical Droid, Green-5 as the pasty when whoever arrives has an obvious target to kill. He ordered the droid to protect the planet and Bergel charged him to work with the leadership of the planet. Additionally, Bergel has a Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd keeping tabs on Green-5 and the leadership. His intention is to make sure that Green-5 puts up a bit of a fight, but not enough to get the planet glassed. Bergel is going to play the deposed leader card and say that Green-5 took over. 

Green-5 is pretty smart when it comes to tactics. He drew up a plan to kill everyone on the planet but since he's been ordered to work with the Lord and Lady of the planet this idea has been ditched. The Tankerenians are treating him like a living being which is causing him to wildy exceed his programing. He should have gone into safe mode a couple of times already but keeps lumbering on.  

In light of the riots and a party of unknown adventurers, he is in high threat mode. He has negotiated a plan to keep everyone safe. The Lord and Lady of Tankeren have granted him plot of land that contains a ruins. Green-5 started construction of a prison to incarcerate the rioters as he catches them. Currently, they are mostly held in place, which is very dangerous for his droids. They are not jailers or wardens. 

Bergel hates this idea. For one, the prison is far too close to the Capital making both a military target. Second, if anyone attacks the prison, it will be a bloodbath. This will cause the Tankerenians to fight with anyone that slaughters the prisoners. Bergel is an opportunist and has been exploiting the citizens, he doesn't mean to get them all kill or enslaved. This is exactly what will happen if the prison is completed. Someone will come to knock it out. 

Bergel is playing both sides. He set Green-5 on his course but also has La'ow Houd keeping eyes on him. La'ow has set his ship down near the prison site and has been evaluating the situation. He has a mandate to sabotage it any way he can. He doesn't have the means to destroy it himself, but he does know of a party of adventurers (click here for their character sheets) who might get the job done. In a perfect world, these adventures will do double duty: free the prisoners and destroy the facility. 

Last week, I posted some towers. I really liked these designs and incorporated them into the maps. When I drew them, I was thinking medieval towers but the slender design lends itself to sci-fi. 

The prison has 16 towers to jail prisoners. Green-5 is pretty sharp and he tried to eliminate as many problems with jailing people. Each tower is 6 levels or 22 meters high and 9 meters wide. They were carved right out of the local bedrock, so it should be impossible for prisoners to dig their way out. 

The bottom floor is the bathroom and showers. There are no windows on this floor. The next 4 floors are accommodations for the incarcerated. Each level does have a narrow slot window, but is far too small for an adult to crawl out of. The roof is for recreation. Prisoners are dropped off on the roof by a floating platform. There are no droid guards inside the towers.

The Tactical Droid has invented a variation of an oubliette, and the prisoners know it. Several smaller prisoners, mostly women and children have managed to get out of the towers and explore. They have not found a way to breach the walls, so they have not escaped. When they do figure out a way, they are going to destroy this place. This keeps the prisoners from fighting with each other. Wrecking this place is their game plan. 

I must apologize now for the orientation of the prison. The prison towers are on the south side of the map, which means that if I wish to continue this tour of the facilities, the maps will be upside down. 

South Ward (Prison Area)
In the map above, you can see the tower arrangements. The guns that point inwards are heavy stunners. The outward pointing guns are light and heavy weapons for taking down infantry and armor. The dotted lines are the gates. Imbedded in the ground are metal posts meant to stop vehicles while the gate doors slide sideways. They don't stop people, that's what the gates are for. At the bottom of the image are two ramps that lead to the fortress. 

As you can see from the arrangement, the towers block lines of fire. Green-5 believes that a force could come down the ramps and sweep up anyone trying to escape. He's never seen a prison riot before. 

The walls are hollow. There is a 1 meter wide and high tunnel through them, so Destroyer Droids can deploy from cover via secret openings. On the top towers of the prison side are two domes so that the Destroyer Droids can rally before rolling out into the yard. These tunnels are also how droids reach the weapon emplacements in the tower. 

The Command Section

The command area is much more reasonably designed. On the right bottom corner is the barracks area. Since only droids are station here, not much room is needed to store them. The towers along the perimeter have heavy weapons. The box like structures are missile launchers, however, they lob missiles upward. They cannot target anything inside the perimeter, not even the prison area. 

In the courtyard on the left are several faint pencil lines to mark where ships should land. This is also where the hovering platform is stored. These are not permanent marks and are moved, added and removed as needed. The faint pencil work at the top of the image is a duplication of the prison area so I can match the two halves of the map together. 

For the next session, La'ow will alert the players to the problem the prison represents to the people of this planet. He will be helpful, but not really helpful. The players will arrive before the entire structure is complete, they will see how the towers are constructed and gain useful recon information before making their assault. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

YT-3000 Type Freighter for Star Wars Campaign

My Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd needs a ship. I started working on a rough image for it. I'm trying to get some sense of proportion and I think I got that down. 

What is missing is details on the front view. A lot of those lines just don't mesh up. One of the issues is, I work in a place that doesn't allow electronics so I am working on paper and from memory. 

As you can see, it has lines similar to the Falcon, but it is not the hot rod that the Falcon is. It has only one gun turret, the radar dish is on the bottom in place of one of the gun turrets and it has a massive cargo hold in the back. I wanted to the ship to be reminiscent of the Clone War ships. To that end, the cargo bay has a massive wing like structure. 

Where Han tricked out his ship for speed, this one is customized for cargo. That cargo bay is designed for holding a sailboat. Weird, eh? 

Well it is the ship of a Neimoidian bounty hunter. La'ow is a technological bounty hunter, he uses data. The sailboat is proof against counter-technological attacks. It is also low profile. 

As a consequence, this freighter is not very fast or good in combat. 

On another note, my next build will be the Millennium Falcon by Bandai. See my Snowspeeder and At-ST builds at these links. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Stat-ing up the Neimoidian Bounty Hunter

I've picked a name for my Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd. I have also modified some rules to allow him to be a bounty hunter. According the rule book, they need to 1d10 vitality per level. That means only soldiers become bounty hunters. Judging by The Mandalorian, any boob with a weapon and drive can call themselves a bounty hunter. 

As a Neimoidian, he doesn't have a long tradition of bounty hunting. La'ow is a hunter of data which sometimes involves people. He observed the Mandalorians at home as a trade representative and spy. He has collected many items from Mandalor, but most of it is the not equipment of a hunter. He appreciates their arts and beliefs but doesn't try to emulate their combat style. 

Not all bounty hunters look like this. 
He does have some tricky items that the Mandalorians perfected, the whipcord, a smallish jetpack and the flame thrower. The whipcord and flame thrower are stock Mandalorian weapons in his gauntlets. The jetpack is a modified Tankerenian hoverpack for picking fruit. It can't exactly fly, but it can allow swift jumps and can save him from a short fall. 

He wears light armor which is similar to Rebel combat suits, although customized to his liking. He often wears a short cape and high riding boots in and out of armor. 

He has a light repeating blaster rifle and a heavy stunner. The heavy stunner is specifically designed to shoot like the LR blaster, but with no damage just the stun effect. He also carries a stun baton and sometimes uses electro-nets.   

La'ow has a variety of tools for breaking into systems without a droid. He also has a couple of holographic projectors which stick to surfaces. One of them will project a distortion over his body, so he can appear as a holograph. He must set this up first, it doesn't work on the fly as it requires specific viewing angles to work convincingly. 

At great expense, he managed to get his hands on two lightsabers which he had on display in his sailboat. No, he did not kill Jedi or Sith. He bought them from some really dangerous people. He does not use them as he is unskilled. He has a variety of trinkets from Mandalor, Jedha, and Coruscant which are made of kyber crystals. La'ow thinks they are object de art and it has not occurred to him that they could have any other value or purposes. 

Statistically, I have decided that Neimoidian's have a +1 Dexterity and Charisma, and a -1 to Strength and Constitution. They receive a bonus rank of swimming and the bonus feat Cautious. La'ow is an 8th level Noble and 4th level Bounty Hunter. As an isolated Noble, he can only call in favors from Bergel and Green-5. He is not well known on this planet. 

His ship, the Gallant, is a heavily modified YT-1300 transport. It is not fast, stealthy or very combat-effective. It does have great hover and low speed maneuverability so he is able to deploy his cargo from the starship to the water.   

The cockpit is located between the mandibles and the dish is located on the bottom, in place of one of the guns. The top of the ship has a gun turret and a 12 meter tall sail like cargo bay in the rear. The turret cannot shoot backwards because of the cargo bay. There is a nasty surprise at the top of the sail, a mine launcher with 5 mines.   

The ship is much slower than other YT-1300's as a quarter of the engines are missing to allow the Gallant to carry the large sail shaped cargo bay. La'ow owns a staysail ketch and needed the modified design to carry it. The cargo bay is large enough to enclose the whole boat with the masts and 4 sails deployed. The whole boat is 12 meters long and is crew by light droids. While the ship does have crew quarters, La'ow often sleeps on his sailboat.  

Here is a test image from my phone of his ship. Sorry about the lightness, it's a photo of a pencil drawing taken under fluorescent light at night. 

Like I said, this bounty hunter is non-standard. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Adding complexity to a Star Wars Campaign - World Building

I'm running a Star Wars campaign on the very distant planet of Tankeren. I need to know some stuff about Tankeren to create this setting.

The map was created using The Planet Map Generator by Torben Mogensen. Tankeren is largely Earth-like, just a bit more arrid on land owing to the equaralterial nature of the land masses. The map really isn't that big, its only for show. 

What about the people? Here is what I know so far: 

  1. Tankeren was a member of the Republic. 
  2. The inhabitants are tribal in nature divided by waves of colonization, there were no native inhabitants.  
  3. Tribes revolve around each wave of colonization.  
  4. The population is heavily mixed up with all species having at least some presence on the planet.
  5. There is no majority species. 
  6. The Separatists had no problems seizing the planet. 
  7. The planet is agrarian, but has a lot of technology. 
Ok, so these people have loose alliances and don't do the representative government thing. What did they have prior to the arrival of the Separatists? A mess. What can I flesh out from these details?

Quite a few things actually. 

The planet is divided into 36 10° zones that
absolutely no one uses. 
Each tribe has an area called a Glide and two leaders called The Bearer and The Breaker. These are short hand terms for "The Cup Bearer" and "The Bread Breaker". Traditionally, the Breaker is a woman and the Bearer is a man, but that's all ancient history. It really doesn't matter who leads in the colonists opinion.   

Ok, what is a Glide? Initially, tribes controlled the land they lived on. But since these people were always technologically advanced, it made little sense to limit the tribes area based on where the houses were. They were also highly mobile using their TNK-101 transports to get around and as supplemental housing. 

A TNK-101 transport, civilian model.
The standard of a Glide was defined as how far a TNK-101 transport could safely glide in a disaster as per the specification booklet. It's about 603 KM (375 miles). This solves the problem of islands having one tribe per isolated landmass. Anything outside of the circle is deemed wilderness and the wave like nature of colonization caused many ribbons of wilderness between most settlements. When Glides are physically adjacent, a large landing strip and tower is built at that contact point. These facilities are used as data control points and as a site for celebrations. They are not militarized. A real world comparison would be an industrial park next to an airport. 

A map of the planet with the Capital Glide marked in red. It is to scale.

The Bread Breaker handles all issues of societal logistics; the distribution or trade of goods, the establishment of Glides, or anything else having to do with logistics. The Cup Bearer is responsible for all areas of social norms; agreements, contracts, honor, law, etc. Notice there is no chief executive or commander in chief. These roles would be taken on by either the Bearer or the Breaker as they saw fit. 

A Glide is the smallest area of control, while a Shield is the next level up. The Shield (or Continental Shield) is ruled by a Shield Breaker and Shield Bearer, who represents everyone on that Continent. The highest and least used part of government are the two Lord(s) and Lady(ies), two people who represent the planet to outsiders. These positions are alloted by tradition, economic power and in the past, might of arms. In almost all cases, anything higher than the Cup Bearer or Bread Breaker is a useless institution, having little to no local control of the Glides they represent. These high level institutions are run by the first waves of colonization and have little in common with the average person. They tend to get into fights among themselves which thankfully rarely trickles down to the citizens of the Glides. 

There are 4 Shields: East, West, Southern and Islandic. They were colonized in reverse order. 

As the Separatists took control of Tankeren, they realized the political situation was more complex than anything they encountered before. Green 5, the lead tactical droid came up with a battle plan to take the planet Glide by Glide called Green Glass Glider or G3xG5. He's a little haughty about his role on the planet. The idea was the droid army would be able to focus on one Glide at a time and this would probably result in a total depopulation of the planet, like a Glassing event. 

Green 5 is currently in charge of the droid army and directed by the Lord and Lady of the planet. They are trying to make the droids more like a police force, which doesn't work very well. It doesn't help that the Lord and Lady have different points of view. Green 5 is flummoxed by the wild, independent nature of the citizens. He spends a lot of time preventing his droids from entering combat situations. The current rioting is baffling to him because the rioters only attack droids if no other target presents itself. 

Green 5 has some conflicting programing due to the fact that Viceroy Bargel has ordered Five to take instruction from the leaders of the planet and to stop taking orders from the Viceroy. Green 5 doesn't see Bargel's organization as a separate power and the hapless droid often reports to Bargel as a matter of course. When he doesn't, he often shares information with Bargel's bounty hunter.  He has no idea that Bargel expects the droid to get himself and his robotic brethren killed when the Rebels or Empire arrives. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Session 001 - Character Rewind

I forgot to post character sheets. It's Sunday and I am working on my Neimoidian bounty hunter, but I would like to share the player's initial sheets.  

These are photocopies of a character sheet I had on hand and I rewrote what the players did on their sheets. There are mistakes, either one of the players didn't write in languages or I missed it. 

In either case, these are available by hitting the Pregenerated Characters tabs above or from the links below. When the players share their updated sheets, I'll load those, too. 

Just to recap, there are 5 player characters. Nonin is a Devaronian force adept with a blaster. Talhana is a Zabrak force adept, also with a blaster. Malta is Rodian scoundrel and dreamer, with a tiny holdout pistol. Dex is a human handiman and fringer with a sporting blaster. And lastly is Lidda. She is a twi'lik solder with more weapons than anyone else. Click those links for the individual PDF files. 

The characters have made it to level two, but I wanted to show their initial stats from Session 000.  Click the link for a recap. The short of it is, all of the characters have far more equipment and funds now. 

These characters the players created are forcing me to change up the scenarios in Invasion of Theed. In dumping the players on a different home planet, the scenarios can't play out as described. That one I knew. The second change followed by an adjustment was the players wanted to be in a place like the worlds in The Mandolorian. Since they made that choice they changed their minds. They want lightsabres now. Not too hard. The final change I have to make is the final villains can't exist on the players homeworld for a variety of reason, but the primary is, as played the characters would see these villains as heroes. That just won't do. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Aftermath - SW Session 001

"It's not Star Wars without lightsabers," she said. 

True. My campaign doesn't support lightsabers, so I am plugging in an event that allows the players to get their hands on lightsabers. I'm nothing if not adaptable and amendable. Plus, little wacky. 

I'm going to add the kookiest bounty hunter in the Universe. The characters' main antagonist is the former Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Bergel. Bergel is a Neimoidian, who avoids conflict and physical combat like the plague. He has a small band of security sentients and bodyguards. One of them is a Neimoidian bounty hunter. 

What? A Neimoidian bounty hunter? That is so against type, it's insane. 

Yes, it is. This bounty hunter will have to embody the traits of both a hunter and Neimoidian. He will be specialized in taking creatures alive or collecting information. This fits best with his species's tenancy to avoid conflict. He overwhelms his opponents with gadgets and technology to take the fight out of them. He would probably render medical assistance to those he takes before he turns them over as a bounty.

Since bounty hunter is a prestige class in the WotC Star Wars set from 2000, I will make this character much higher level than the party, which means he will have to be amediable to the player's goals. Since he is so "extra", he will have a massive amount of skills the party hasn't seen in one person yet. They aren't going to be able to outfight or outsmart him. At least, initially. 

In true bounty hunter fashion, he has trained on Mandalore. But not to be a bounty hunter, he was there to set up a trade alliance. He gained a lot insight on Mandalore as to what it means to be "independent" on a global level. This is a useful piece of knowledge for Bergel to have access to. The Tankeren are independent like the Mandalorians, but not as hostile. The Mandalorians called him "enchanting" and "charming". Coming from Mandalorians, those are not complements. However, he did make contacts, friends and a few non-violent enemies. 

He has a noticeable lack of Mandalorian armor and weapons. But he does have a ton of gizmos and gadgets that the Mandalorians use. He doesn't really care to kill. Two of these items are lightsabers that he doesn't use. A few of the other oddities use Kyber crystals, like an energy shield, net and entagler cable. In fact, he has a whole collection of Kyber crystal jewelry that he found interesting. This stuff is of low value on this planet as they don't have that tradition of The Force.  

In some part, he will be based on Obsidian Maw. He is cocky but calm about his skills and goals. He will announce his intentions truthfully because he believes in what he is doing. Everything he does seems to come out of nowhere, verging on magic tricks because he is an ambush hunter. He is vehicle to grant the party what they desire. 

Once I have his sheet made up, there will be the small matter of getting him into the hero's sphere of influence. I have few tricks up my sleeve to bring in some of that classic Star Wars feeling into this game. One of the better bits about Star Wars is the host of gray characters who don't fall under the categories of good or bad. This hunter will be yet another of those people. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Tankeren TNK-101B (Star Wars Campaign)

For my Star Wars Campaign, I need a standard ship for a single planet. I have started with a rough design for a transport modified into a warship. There are only a handful of these warships around. They are vastly outnumbered by the standard food hauler version. 

I have not designed any landing skids or jacks yet. This ship would launch like an X-Wing, rising until the main engines kick it up to speed. 

The ship's dimensions are: 11 meters tall (taller with the landing jacks), 34 meters long and the body is about 10 meters wide. It has stubby wings with a span of 22 meters, mostly to keep the hot engines away from the body of the ship. 

At the bottom left is the nose door. It folds down to accept cargo. Directly above that door is an observation station with black windows. This location is the controls for the simple loading crane located in the fore cargo bay's roof. Next, there is also a man sized door port and starboard. The monstrous can-shaped engines mounted on top of the wings about 5 meters away from the body of the ship, so people can board through the side doors while ship is being readied. 

The fore cargo bay ends even with the back of the engines. There is 4 meter long hall that gives access to rear cargo area. This hall also gives access to the densely packed avionics in the waist of the ship's first level. 

The rear cargo vault is meant for food transport and the whole rear cylindrical area can be pulled right out the ship and connected to "shore power" to keep the food fresh. The ship can fly without the cylindrical vault, but it makes the ship "tippy". Pilots tend to fly by repulsor power in this situation, usually no faster than a speeder. In this mode, the ship feels very sporty. There are other variations of vaults to haul other materials, but this is most commonly used as a reefer ship.  

The second deck, the one with the crane controls, gives access to the gun spaces. There is a shower and bathroom on this level, plus a kitchenette and sitting area.   

The top deck has crew quarters behind the control space. The black area on this ship is a wraparound window which gives a breathtaking view or great lines of sight for the gun turrets. The gun turrets are great by local standards and poor by everyone else's standards. Sometimes, ships only mount one or two guns instead of all three. Shielding is just ok. 

You would think there would be a bomber variant and there is. Typically, a decommissioned food vault is filled with rock and dirt and dropped on ground targets. It's devastating. Even at low speeds it the vault can rip through city blocks of buildings. 

There is an actual sleeve-like unit built for bombs, but since most of the warfare on the planet is tribal in nature, there is little need to use something that can drop 100,000 kg worth of explosives on anything. They haven't met the Empire, yet. 

Tankeren missile technology is nearly non-existent, so no variant has missiles. 

The original 101A lack weapons and smaller porthole style windows, instead of the large wrap around window. All of the space saved by not having the turrets allows for an ample living space on the ship. This is by far the most common configuration for the TNK-101. 

While this ship is somewhat smaller than the Falcon, it is configured for family style living and seems very spacious by comparison. Most transport pilots don't own homes and simply live in the ship, either with family or a very cliquey crew. It is bigger than most houses.

The ships handling characteristics can only be described as weird. When hovering on repulsors, it handles like a dream, it's able to make centimeter adjustments easily. At full speed, the ship can barely turn or roll. Acceleration to top speed is incredible, but it can't go as fast as a warship, fighter or even a standard YT transport. Removing the rear cargo vault makes no difference except to make the ship feel off balanced. At low speed, it's fun ship to fly. At orbital speeds, it's like riding a dewback with a jetpack. 

I need to fix the side view of the wings, but to do that I need front and top views. Each view will be used to adjust and improve the other views making this a more complete ship. Then surface details can be added. 

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. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Session 001 Setup - Automatic (Detention) for the People

This next session needs some modification. 7 battle droids, starting at a distance were no threat to the players. Also, the event description from Invasion of Theed won't make sense. 

The players will still be doing a prison break as per the boxed set events, but I am changing the scenario up in true Star Wars fashion. The characters have two land speeders they stole in Session 0, plus 7 blasters from the droids they fought. They are properly gunned up, but have no other equipment. 

The theoretical bad guy Bergel, is a former member of the Trade Federation and a Neimoidian. The boxed set describes a jail with two Neimoidians out front, watching droids take captives. I am changing this. Bergel has sent two representative Neimoidians to get the rioters out of prison. "For the People," they say. The droids can't process the thought and call for instructions. 

Vidda, a city representative shows up to also represent "the People". Vidda is being followed by a rioter, Manro who is also claiming represent "the People". Since all four of these people are unarmed and acting rationally, the droids want to hand over the rioters, but can't figure out who should get them. 

The droids are baffled. Vidda should have control of the droids as a representative of the Republic, but Manro and the Neimoidians actions have confused them. These citizens are unarmed, so the droids have broken into two groups, a pair with holstered weapons arguing with the sentients and four battle ready droids guarding the parameter. The droids are trying to figure out who is really in charge and who needs to be arrested, which is flummoxing every living being. The droids plan on arresting two or more people then hand all of the detained people over to the last sentient. 

That illogical path is par for the course when it comes to battle droids. 

The characters will roll in on this mess directly from their last encounter and tip the scale from confusion to gunfire, in typical Star Wars fashion. 

Here is the starting map. 

On the far side of the map are the party's two speeders. On the near side of the map are the droids and sentients. The four droids on the perimeter have cover from 3 columns, while the other two droids are in contact (arguing) with sentients. 

I have left the prisoner tokens off the map as the players can't see them. There is supposed to be weapons cache inside the prison, but I am swapping it out with supplies the party needs. All weapons inside have been taken from the rioters and should be returned to them once they are free. Off board are reinforcements for the droids, plus the cache and supplies have a few surprises for the players if they get inside. 

Obviously, the characters shouldn't come in guns blazing. We'll have to wait and see how they react to this scenario. 

End of Session 0 - Combat

Set up
Session 0 ended in a shootout. The party was ejected from the bar and into a riot on the streets. All sentient and sensible citizens fled when the heavily armed party arrived leaving only droids. Invasion of Theed comes with a great map and tokens. 

The adventure book is broken down into sections describing each encounter, complete with a mini-map to describe how the real map should be configured. In this encounter, droids are advancing and firing on the players. Each square is 2 meters and blasters have a range of 10 squares. Normally, ranges are straight meters.This is the one difference between the Star Wars core book and this boxed set. It's ok. 

Initial party formation.
The characters start off in a boxed in area, at the limits of blaster range. Since the party knows about the riot, they come out the door weapons drawn. They are able to see two speeders and 4 of five droids. Invasion of Theed has wonderful character sheets and rule recaps to assist the new player in running the game. While simplistic, the rule cover everything from movement to cover. The columns and walls block fire and allow a defensive bonus if one hides behind them. 

Lidda starts off on point with her huge blaster rifle. Nonin and Talhana have blaster pistols while Dex and Malta have lighter weapons. The main difference is range. 

In watching the movies and TV shows, the Droids have a rifle like weapon, but they have the same stats as a pistol. Make sense considering their size.  

Round 1 movement
In these basic rules, characters can move 10 SQUARES, not meters and shoot. If a character stays in place or takes a 2 meter step, they can use that move action to shoot twice.  

Because I allowed the players to generate their own characters and select their own equipment, they have some issues with the basic rules. Lidda has a rifle with a range of 40 units. Malta and Dex have a range of 4 and 8, while Talhana, Nonin and the droids have a range of 10. If you are counting squares, know that we goofed up the ranges by using squares for meters. 

Lidda, Nonin and Talhana get the first shots:

Round 2
The party downs two droids and damaged a third. Malta and Dex realize they are out of range, in either meters or squares. Oops. So they don't get to shoot, even though they were planning on it. 

In round two, Dex and Malta freeze. They have cover from Lidda, but Lidda is the droids primary target as she takes a knee and rips off two shots a round. 

More droids fall as the characters chew them up. The droids have a +2 to hit, but don't hit anyone. Again.

The event calls for 2 droids to remain hidden until the characters reach the speeder, but I decide that they investigate the gun fire in round three. Dex and Malta take cover by moving to the column in the middle of the map while everyone else stays in place. 

Round 3

 In round four, everyone gets a shot to devastating effect. 

The adventure book suggested a running battle, but because we weren't careful with ranges, the characters wiped the floor with the droids. Very often, it came down to having 2 shots per round and no movement vs. move then shoot. 

I will keep this in mind for the next encounter and change the event accordingly. 

This whole event was supposed to be in session 1, but it was over in just about 10 minutes, which is far shorter than it took to write this post. I will streamline my photos in the next post. For this first post on combat and movement, I think the maps and tokens were the star of the recap. I won't be posting a round by round synopsis in the future. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Star Wars Session 0 - A Comedy of Characters

This session was a rehash of the Battle of Theed boxed set. The individual scenarios will stay the same, but the background, leading stories and locations have been changed to a different planet. We'll see how that works. 

The Party is a classic five man band, held together by camaraderie as opposed to being thrown together in typical Star Wars fashion. Their friendships started by a mistake. A young Rodian scoundrel, Malta had a passion for history and drive to be a Jedi Knight, like her storybooks. An oddball, to be sure, but she rapidly became friends with a human Fringer name Dex and his force adept associate Nonin. Nonin is an insightful Devarnian, who tends to blend intelligence with his force powers. He uses these abilities to keep his best friend, Corporal Lidda out of trouble, or at least jail. He also is able to score good day jobs through his charm and Dex's contacts at the bar. Corporal Lidda is a Twi'lek soldier of dubious wisdom. She is a hot head and tends to take offence at anything and everything, which explains her severance from the military. The team does their best to keep her out of trouble. 

The final character has just met the group within the last year or so. Talhana, a Zabrak force adept, has suffered the same misconception that outsiders have with the group. She believed Malta was a powerful force adept leading a band of force users, rather than scoundrel storyteller. In fact, she has only recently discovered that Nonin has any ability to use the force. 

The gang is boarding in the apartments over the bar. Exactly how many apartments they have is unclear as Lidda and Dex are co-supervisors and caretakers of the upper floors. They seem to have between 2 or 4 rooms and access to every empty apartment, but often share space to save money or stay out of trouble. Nonin and Talhana take day jobs whenever they can, leaving Malta as the only character without a job. She does have money and the gang believes that she is an accomplished pickpocket but has yet to catch her doing it. As a group, they tend to pool their resources to keep Malta out of their pockets. Malta is often the primary contributor to the gangs fund pool, much to everyone's chagrin. 

Despite all of confusion, the team generally gets along just fine with each other. It's other people, with that same misconception that give the gang trouble. As a result of session zero, they've been fired and kicked out of the bar and apartments. 

As far as equipment goes, no one has armor and everyone has a blaster. Dex has a sporting pistol, Malta has a holdout pistol, while Talhana and Nonin have regular pistols. Lidda, the fiery one, has a blaster rifle and a heavy blaster pistol. The gang is not all about melee weapons but has a variety of axes, knives and clubs or prybars. Lidda has one of each, because why wouldn't she? 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Session 0 - Young Bargel Plays It Safe (SW - WotC)

The setting of this adventure is the planet Tankeren, a far flung planet slightly more popular and populous than Tatooine. It is a temperate world where no sentient life evolved. The citizens of the planet are a wide ranging collection of species that arrived in waves. The planet has been inhabited for thousands of years by this motley crew. Tankern is an agrarian world and IS fairly tribal in nature. Most communities are like Mos Pelgo on Tatoonine, except on a larger scale. 

Tankern was a member of the Republic, but they often forgot that fact due to their local-looking, tribal nature. When the Viceroy Bargel of the Trade Federation arrived, not much changed. 

Viceroy Bargel was directed to take the planet then set up a base for the Separatist forces. The Tankerns didn't care. After "conquering the planet", which involved watching his droids enter every city to little or no notice, Bargel's Base was built. No one complained when he actually named it "Bargel's Base" and declared the surrounding city "Bargel Prime". 

Then everything went wrong. He was ordered to stand his army down as the Clone Wars ended. Ever the diplomat, Bargel declare a holiday: "Separatist Day" while ordering his droid army back to base. Over the next decade or so, the Viceroy hatched a plan to take over the planet's economy for his own purposes. 

It is now 5 years before the Battle of Yavin. 

A local republic has sprung up on Tankeren and Bargel's droid army has been largely shifted his Lucrehulk-class battleship in orbit. The machines have been replaced with flesh and blood assets, mostly from the skilled trades and business community. Bargel has nary a warrior in his outfit, save a small group of thugs, a modest security network and bodyguards. 

The Republic of Tankeren has control of a good many of the Trade Federation's droids as a police force. They hardly do anything at all. Tankeren is not without conflict but the conflicts are limited to tribal skirmishes which rarely end in bloodshed. Such things are beyond the ken of the droid army and few arrests are made. Most of the citizens are farmers, well armed farmers, but still farmers. They escaped the fall of the Republic, the Clone Wars and only heard vague stories of Jedi and Order 66. There is some disquiet at the rise of the Empire, but they have yet to encounter any Imperial Forces. 

The former Viceroy, has been converting his Lucrehulk-class battleship back into a trade vessel. It is a hub of global trade for the planet, specializing trading in the gobi fruit, a nutritious staple of the Tankeren diet. He hopes that it will find it's way to other systems as an exotic good. Bargel has almost entirely divested himself of his army and his relationships with the Trade Federation. His former warship is a sitting duck for Imperial Forces or anyone else who means to take the planet. Bargel has cultivated this situation, building several space and ground stations to take it's place. He hopes that the sacrificial offering of his ship will appease anyone who drops in to bomb the planet. 

Empire, Rebels, Tankerians, whoever, can have the planet. He just wants to be their grocer, middle man and wholesaler. That's much safer than taking a stand against anyone. 

In the introductory session in this campaign, the players are in The Capital city of Tankeren. The planetary Republic has just voted on changing the name of the base and capital from Bargel Prime and Bargel's Base to something else. They just can't decide on what. For now, it is just The Capital. Since Bargel plans to retire safely, he has been lining the pockets of electors to push them into making his name disappear. Not completely, he doesn't want a mystery to attract attention. Just low key would be nice. Bargel Prime and Bargel's Base were fine in his youth, but now is the time for a new name so he can slip into his planned role as a historical footnote as a little known fruit seller in a galactic empire.  

Unfortunately, the vote didn't end well. Conflicting proposals over a new name sparked city wide riots and general strike in The Capital. Bargel is dismayed to find his droids being deployed to the surface by the city's leadership. He isn't sure what caused it, fires, looting or the strike, but all world wide communications are down. He cursed the day he set up the network with the Capital as the data hub. 

Bargel is in the dark, as much as the characters are. 

After an egregious faux pas suggesting the name "Danker" for The Capital, the barkeep has kicked party out on the street. The rioters were mixing it up with the droid's police action. While Jedi are legendary creatures on Tankeren, force adepts are not. Two of the party's members are recognized as being One with The Force, so the rioters have faded back so these two and their friends can use their witchy ways on the droids. 

All the party needs to do is steal a speeder or ship and get out of this mess...