Dawn of Defiance Down Under - A GM's Commentary

I've had it in mind to start an RPG for a while. It's been quite a few years since I last roleplayed face-to-face, most of my experience has been over the internet, and so I've had a hankering to go back to the more traditional style of gaming. Then in quick succession my friends indicated that Star Wars would be an agreeable campaign; the local Borders got in a copy of Saga Edition at exactly the time when I had a 50% off coupon; and the first Dawn of Defiance adventure was released. So be it, said I: a Star Wars campaign it shall be. And, seeing as this is my first campaign for a while, I thought it would be fun to post a thread discussing my campaign, like I've seen other people do on this site and others, and talk about what changes I'm making, what my players make of it, and what winds up happening.

The first step involved sitting my players down when I could catch up to them, and designing some characters. I decided to have characters designed independantly, one on one, because I feel that an unbalanced party is more fun than a cookie cutter one with one Jedi, one Soldier, one Scoundrel, one Noble, and one Scout. This way, the party would be better at some things and worse at others, and everyone would get to play what they wanted.

My initial problem was when one of my players declared, loudly and openly, that she wished to play a Sith Lord - her favourite character is Emperor Palpatine. Now, Dawn of Defiance isn't really suited to playing with Sith Lords, especially if you want to use the RPGA Campaign Standards. Furthermore, the Sith in this era are very well documented, and don't have an opening in their firm. Plus I have no wish to GM a Dark Side campaign whatsoever. After a little bit of discussion, we found an amicable solution: rather than emulating Palpatine by throwing lightning bolts, she'll try the Noble class and emulate Palpatine's political savvy. That way, she gets to be sneaky and deceitful and manipulative and underhand, and it's all for the team. After a perusal of the rulebook, Dall Kaf'kya, a Bothan Noble, was born. Kaf'kya's abilities tend towards social interaction, and also medical care, and we agreed that Dall was probably a member of a law enforcement group.

The second player's particular love is Clone Troopers. He likes the idea of the ordinary man achieving things, without the benefits of the Force. We discussed how a Clone Trooper would be a member of the Rebellion, and decided that this particular trooper had probably escaped while not fully indoctrinated (read, brainwashed) by the Republic. His character is as yet unnamed, but is a Human Soldier, specialising in armour use.

It took until the third player for somebody to want to be a Jedi, which surprised both him and me - we'd both expected everyone to jump at the chance. I impressed upon him how Darth Vader and the Empire are hunting down the Jedi, to make sure he was fine with this fact. I'm not sure whether or not there will actually be a 'random Vader table' to see if the Dark Side notices him when he uses too much power, but I've implied strongly to him that there will be and I'm going to let him believe that Vader coming to see what's going on is a possibility. He, for his part, is happy with this limitation. He's going to play a Human Jedi Padawan, also currently unnamed, who will strike a balance between acrobatic Yoda-style lightsabre fighting and force use.

The final player's character choice was a complete surprise. He asked me if he could play an accountant. After the initial surprise, I realised I couldn't see why not. The 'ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances' is a standard heroic trope - Luke Skywalker was only a farm-boy, after all. So he's going to be playing a Mon Calamari accountant, probably female, called Tralkpha. This is the only character so far not statted up, but she'll be a Noble with the Wealth talent, and I believe the idea is that she'll multiclass as she goes to take whatever feels natural at the time.

So the party is going to consist of two Nobles, a Soldier, and a Jedi. I guess they'll be good at fighting with two combatants and good at social interactions with two nobles, but lacking in skills such as piloting or mechanics. Once Christmas and New Years are over, and everyone gets back to town, we'll have our first session. Before then, if people are interested in me continuing with this, I'll post the character sheets once they're all completed, as well as talk about my preparations for the Sel Zonn Station sequence, the props I'm using and the changes I'm making!
Excellent start, please continue to give us updates as you start to run. Seeing other people's situations definitely helps GMs with their own games.

I had the same "Sith problem". One of my players wanted to play a Jedi character who was so angry at the Empire that it would eventually send him to the Dark Side. I explained to him that if his DSP level reached the Dark Side threshold, his character was mine, but he didn't seem to care. He won't be too happy when his first character shows up and tries to kill his second character, but that's no longer my problem.

My munchkin player also wants to play a Jedi, but has no background whatsoever. I also have a player who wants to play a Nautolan scoundrel, but is upset that Nautolans get penalties to both Int and Wis.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Excellent start, please continue to give us updates as you start to run. Seeing other people's situations definitely helps GMs with their own games.

I had the same "Sith problem". One of my players wanted to play a Jedi character who was so angry at the Empire that it would eventually send him to the Dark Side. I explained to him that if his DSP level reached the Dark Side threshold, his character was mine, but he didn't seem to care. He won't be too happy when his first character shows up and tries to kill his second character, but that's no longer my problem.

My munchkin player also wants to play a Jedi, but has no background whatsoever. I also have a player who wants to play a Nautolan scoundrel, but is upset that Nautolans get penalties to both Int and Wis.

i have sort of the same problem, only 1 of my players is not human because everybody doesn't like the negatives no matter the bonuses because it pigeon holes people to stereotypes for some reason. I don't blame them. I do have a character who is a wookie scout/scoundrel. she wanted to basically play chewbacca. none of the bonuses really help her but all the negatives affect her. she doesn't care cause she wants to role play and has a concept.

also as a note to the darkside thing i told my players upfront I am going to be a little relaxed on handling out DSP at the beginning so i can get people into the feel of the game, I will give out warnings, but i want this to be a fun good oriented game. But after the first session I will give out DSP for balant behavior and told them their character would become npc too if they reached darkside, and also use the rules you can not reduce your darkside points at all.

my gameing group usually plays World of darkness laarps or tabletop games so they are used to backstabiness and PC Killing. So I am running this game as a nice break from that.
My group wound up not minding the racial thing either. The Clone Trooper had to be human because, well, that's what Clone Troopers are. The Jedi was human because it's a nice generic race that's good for anything. The Bothan was because of the stat bonuses, and the Mon Cal was because the player likes Mon Cals - it was that or a Twi'lek, and the Mon Cal bonuses are better for playing an accountant. So a balance between looking at what race gives the best bonuses for the character concept, and race as character concept, which seems fair to me.
And the characters are all done. The first session will be in six days time, in which I hope to get through all of Sel Zonn Station. House rules of note: I don't care about encumbrance as long as it doesn't get ludicrous. People don't know a set number of languages - they either know their own languages, or they have Linguist and know a smattering of all the major languages.

Medium Mon Calamari noble 1
Destiny 1, Force 5, Dark Side
Init +6, Senses low-light vision, Perception +13

Defences Ref 12 (flat-footed 11), Fort 11, Will 16
hp 18, Threshold 11

Speed 6 squares, swim 4 squares
Ranged sporting blaster pistol +1 (3d4)
Base Atk +0, Grp -5

Abilities Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 17, Wis 16, Cha 9
Talents Wealth
Feats Linguist, Skill Focus (Knowledge: Bureaucracy, Perception), Weapon Proficiency (Pistols, Simple Weapons)
Skills Initiative +6, Knowledge (Bureaucracy) +13, Knowledge (Galactic Lore) +8, Knowledge (Social Sciences) +8, Knowledge (Technology) +8, Perception +13, Pilot +6, Swim +0 (can reroll; can always take 10), Treat Injury +8, Use Computer +8.
Possessions Sporting Blaster Pistol, R2 Droid, Credit Chip, Long Range Comlink, Datapad, 100 Datacards, 150 credits, 3000 credits in an inaccesible bank account.

Dall Kaf'kya
Medium Bothan noble 1
Destiny 1, Force 5, Dark Side
Init +2, Senses Perception +1

Defences Ref 12 (flat-footed 11), Fort 11, Will 15
hp 18, Threshold 11

Speed 6 squares
Ranged sporting blaster pistol +0 (3d4)
Base Atk +0, Grp -7

Abilities Str 7, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 16
Talents Presence
Feats Linguist, Skill Focus (Gather Information, Persuasion), Weapon Proficiency (Pistols, Simple Weapons)
Skills Deception +8, Gather Information +8, Knowledge (Bureaucracy) +7, Knowledge (Life Sciences) +7, Knowledge (Social Sciences) +7, Persuasion +13, Treat Injury +6, Use Computer +7
Possessions Sporting Blaster Pistol, All-Temperature Cloak, Surgery Kit, Medical Kit, Long-Range Comlink, Holster, 4 Medpacs, Binder Cuffs, Holorecorder, Credit Chip, 1000 credits.

"Cobalt" Nichos
Medium Human soldier 1
Destiny 1, Force 5, Dark Side
Init +8, Senses Perception +0

Defences Ref 16 (flat-footed 13), Fort 14, Will 11
hp 32, Threshold 14

Speed 6 squares
Ranged blaster pistol +4 (3d6)
Base Atk +1, Grp -3

Abilities Str 13, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8
Talents Armoured Defence
Feats Armour Proficiency (Light, Medium), Extra Second Wind, Running Attack, Weapon Proficiency (Pistols, Rifles, Simple Weapons)
Skills Climb +6, Endurance +7, Initiative +8, Knowledge (Tactics) +6, Treat Injury +5
Possessions Blast Helmet, Blast Vest, Blaster Pistol, 2 Medpacs, Short Range Comlink, 475 credits.

As-Yet Nameless Jedi
Medium Human Jedi 1
Destiny 1, Force 5, Dark Side
Init +4, Senses Perception +6

Defences Ref 16 (flat-footed 12), Fort 12, Will 12
hp 31, Threshold 12

Speed 6 squares
Melee Lightsabre +5 (2d8-1)
Ranged Sporting Blaster Pistol +5 (3d4)
Base Atk +1, Grp -6
Force Powers Mind Trick, Surge

Abilities Str 8, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 15
Talents Clear Mind
Feats Force Sensitivity, Force Training, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Proficiency (Lightsabres, Simple Weapons)
Skills Acrobatics +9, Knowledge (Galactic Lore) +6, Perception +6, Use The Force +6
Possessions Lightsabre, Sporting Blaster Pistol, Short-Range Comlink, All-Temperature Cloak, Liquid Cable Dispenser
once they get to felucia or even before that I think some of the encounters might take a toll on them. As far as I can see none are "Damage Heavy" which I am not saying is a bad thing, its just interesting because I have never seen a group without one guy saying "I dont care what I am i just want to PWN things!"
I've just finished the first session of the RPG.

The adventure began, as we all know, on Sel Zonn station. I did, however, change the time when it occurs. The adventure says it's a few weeks after Episode III. However, at that point in time, there are no Stormtroopers, and most people still believe in the Empire's propaganda. I delayed it to one year later on the advice of Wookieepedia. In the subsequent year, the Ghorman Massacre occurs, which is cited in the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook from West End Games as being the event which made Bail Organa start acting against the Empire. In this year, we also have Stormtroopers making their debuts. So I feel that late 18 BBY is the correct dating for the campaign.

I also changed the beginning of the adventure. If the heroes were approached by a random nobody who was being arrested by Stormtroopers, most people would just say, "I don't know you, I don't want any trouble here," and hand her over. Especially if they include a defective Clone Trooper and a Jedi Padawan on the run, who really don't want to be making a scene.

So, instead, all the players had a reason to dislike the Empire, and they were all stuck on Sel Zonn station, wanting off. The Jedi, Michael Dom and the Clone, "Cobalt" Nichos, were trying to keep on the run away from the Empire. The Bothan police officer, Dall Kaf'kya, had lost her job as a result of prying too much into Imperial corruption and was trying to go off-planet. The accountant, Nirrook, had his bank account shut down for auditing by the Emire because he's an alien, and has to get to a bank planet fast to sort his account out. As a result, everyone was poor and wanted money when they heard of an independant shipper, Maya, who wanted to hire some muscle for an easy job. Maya hired the heroes to help her retrieve her cargo from Switch - and then Stormtroopers burst in and tried to arrest/kill everyone. The heroes defended themselgves, and suddenly they're wanted by the Empire for high treason.

After the fight in the cantina, Maya revealed more information: how the cargo of foodstuffs was in fact an Alderaanian spy, and what happened in the Ghorman Massacre that makes opposing the Empire so essential. The heroes agreed to help, and Dall made a few Gather Information checks to reveal Switch's base. I added in that there was a gang war in the lower decks to foreshadow Ganga Lor a bit further.

Switch himself was a hoot. I portrayed him as a droid cross between the Godfather and Ernst Stavrold Blofeld, with a Mouse Droid on his lap instead of the famous cat. The players burst out laughing throughout this scene. They had a few issues with the deal about supplying information to him, but were willing to agree to it when Ganga Lor burst in with his thugs! The heroes hadn't done that well in the last fight, so I decided not to have Switch's henchmen be traitors. As it was, the Jedi almost died, and the other heroes managed to win only barely. It was, in fact, thanks to Switch's Twi'lek henchman that they pulled through. Said Henchman killed two of the thugs and then almost killed Ganga Lor with a single shot. The players insisted that this stalwart receive a name - the Galactic Campaign Guide gave a random name of "Polra'ckus" - and begged for him to be allowed to go with them, since he was more effective than any of the heroes.

The heroes then decided that going through Blue Deck was a bad idea. They felt that the aliens would stand out too much, and that there was too much risk of bumping into an Imperial Patrol. I'd been emphasising how the Empire was after them, to give a bit more tension, and they managed to evade a Stormtrooper patrol that came to sweep the lower levels. So they got Switch to provide space-suits for them, and they went around the outside of the station. I ruled that it'd take them aaaages to get there, and made them make Endurance checks. Everyone failed and took a hefty amount of condition track damage for their extended march across the station, but they made it to the docking bay.

Once they were there, they debated what to do, deciding that to go in with all blasters blazing was not a good idea. Instead, they moved in, and used Deception and Mind Trick to convince the Stormtroopers that they were maintainance, and that the docking bay had a coolant leak and had to be evaquated. They also sent Nirrook's R2 Astromech droid surreptitiously to do some damage. Everyone rolled impressively. The Astromech made a few explosions and clouds of weird green gas come out of a wall, Dall deceived them successfully, and then Michael's mind-trick tipped the scales. The Imperials evaquated, and the heroes walked in after they were gone and claimed their prize.

This was when the next of my big changes happened. I wanted to make a reason for the heroes to really, really not like the Empire, as well as end everything on a more dramatic note. The heroes got on to the Banshee, as the Stormtroopers reappeared, realising they'd been had, and opened fire. The heroes laughed at it, and exited the docking bay...

...and then stopped laughing as a Victory-class Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace directly in front of them.

The Star Destroyer launched its TIE fighters, and proceeded to demolish Sel Zonn Station. I emphasised how their favourites, Polra'ckus and Switch, were both dead as a result. Everyone in the cantina who'd fled when the blasters were drawn, all dead. Dr Fenn, dead. And a couple million other people, all murdered in the crossfire. The Empire really, really didn't want them to escape that station with the Alderaanian spy, and was destroying the whole station to kill them. (In reality, of course, the Empire just wants to make its efforts to stop the defection look convincing, and blowing up that space station sure convinced the players in a hurry!) There was a fight as the Banshee flew through the explosion, dodging chunks of rubble and evading TIE fighters. Nirrook helped with the piloting, while Nichos and Michael took the laser cannon turrets and returned fire for a while. The ship sustained heavy damage, but the heroes nailed a few TIEs, and when I felt it'd gone on long enough, the navicomputer finished loading the coordinates to Alderaan, and the Banshee escaped into hyperspace.

Other notes: I used Star Wars miniatures throughout, changing things around so that the miniatures I had would work. Most of my miniatures are from Rebel Storm and Clone Strike, so I used the following:

Maya was Mara Jade
The Imperial Informers were Bespin Guards
Switch was C-3PO
Ganga Lor became a Yuzzem
The thugs became an assortment of Twi'leks, Klatooinians, Aqualish, Nikto, and other random aliens.
The Repulsor Sled was a Speeder Bike.

For the scenery, I used the blank side of the map from the Rebel Storm starter, which I'd had laminated, and drew on it with a highlighter to sketch in the terrain. This worked really well.

I also used a few multimedia aids: I used the opening crawl, which had been created on this forum. It was of 'instant Win' and was VERY well received. I also created a soundtrack for the game, based mainly off A New Hope to give that sense of 'this is the beginning'. The tracks I used, in order, were:

Cantina Band #2 for the job offer.
Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga for the fight with Stormtroopers.
Mos Eisley Spaceport for gathering information on V14
The Moisture Farm for meeting Switch
The Battle of Yavin for the fight with Ganga Lor
Destruction of Alderaan for Blue Deck (not actually used)
The Trash Compactor for the Imperial agent (not used)
Imperial Attack for the battle at the docking bay (not used)
And from Empire Strikes Back, The Asteroid Field for the escape from the Star Destroyer.

I tried to keep the major Star Wars themes unused - so no Duel of the Fates or Imperial March. The Asteroid Field begins with a brief Imperial March, which was at the same time as the Star Destroyer appeared, and the music served to intimidate them as much or even more than the words!

Next session is in a fortnight.
This is awesome! Keep us updated!
You have some really innovative players! I love those guys!

I was clapping when I read the "Running the con, in The Docking Bay"

After a slight delay due to visiting relatives, we gathered around today for the second half of Traitor's Gambit! As with last time, I'll summarise what happened, what changed, and what aids I used.

The adventure began a few hours after the first one. I rushed through Alderaan as quickly as possible, knowing that one of the players had a limit as to how long he could be around for. The heroes discovered that they had been blamed for the destruction of Sel Zonn Station by the Empire. They really were feeling how evil the Empire was at this point, so when Bail Organa asked them to use the information from the spy they had rescued, they were happy to take part!

I skipped the Star Destroyer in orbit, which didn't really seem to add that much to the plot to me. Instead, the Banshee was forced to land outside of the considerable sensor range of the facility. I then also skipped the Survival checks to traverse the terrain. With no characters having the skill, there seemed little point to subjecting them to a string of roll after roll, which would have got very boring very quickly and advanced the plot not at all. I instead described how they'd been going for hours and had encountered various hostile terrain features, and then sprang the Felucian ambush upon them.

Once again, I changed the Felucian ambush. The heroes were supposed to encounter only four young scouts, who they'd gleefully beat up until Mandrake appears. This seemed pretty strange to me - why would the heroes chose to accept the "Oh, honest mistake!" thing and go with the guys who'd just attacked them to their village? Instead, a full patrol of Felucians attacked them. I hinted pretty heavily that they ought to surrender and be captured. As it was, the group was feeling quite powerful after their last fight and decided to attack. Fine by me - I'd increased the number of Felucians so they could win the fight. The heroes went down quickly, and when the Jedi was outnumbered, he finally decided to Use The Force for its weal/woe effect to discover if surrendering was a good idea. It was, so he surrendered, and the heroes were swept off to the Felucian village.

At the village, the heroes figured out pretty quickly that the Felucians hated the Empire, and proved with a quick bit of roleplaying and Persuasion checks that they were enemies of the Empire. They were oblivious to the hints that they should heal the sick Felucians, but Dall Kaf'kya's player immediately started drawing a connection between missing Felucians and the same scene in the Clone Wars animated series, which rather spoiled the reveal later on. They also picked up a crate of six grenades from Mandrake for destroying the facility, which they wound up using, but not quite as expected.

The chase scene worked pretty well. The players found the presence of kybucks that could run fast enough to catch up to a speeder bike awfully fortuitous, but chased along happily. In the ensuing battle, Michal Dom the Jedi decided to stay on his Kybuck, even after warnings about what it did to his Reflex Defence, and was taken down by a flurry of blaster fire. Cobalt Nichos fell soon thereafter, though both Speeder Bikes had been destroyed at this time. Dall Kaf'kya then decided to use the grenades - something she'd always wanted to do, since her miniature shows her brandishing a thermal detonator. The grenade handily disposed of the remaining Stormtroopers, but at this point the heroes were feeling quite battered, and were out of Medpacs.

Finally, the assault upon the Imperial Compound began. This was the biggest section that I changed. The facility in Dawn of Defiance appears to consist of only five rooms and about twenty people, with no rooms for them to sleep in, go to the bathroom, or any number of other practical things. It was too small to be impressive in my opinion. So I removed the entire thing, and replaced it with the standard prefabricated Imperial Base from the West End Games 'Star Wars Sourcebook'. This turned a dinky little prison into a terrifying Imperial fortress with over eight hundred Stormtroopers, twenty Walkers of various descriptions, forty TIE fighters, and an impressive set of defences. I then left the players to decide their own plans of entry for themselves. The immediate problem was an outer perimeter 'wall of death' fortification, which was heavily guarded. Here I decided that the same problems that have been messing with the Speeder Bikes have also made the fence less effective, and so the players knew they could force an entry through it with Michal's lightsabre.

This is where things started to go wrong.

The players decided to split up.

With one suit of Stormtrooper armour salvaged from the battle at the outpost, Nichos intended to disguise himself as a Stormtrooper and take Nirrook in as his prisoner, a la A New Hope. Their goal was to bluff their way to the the prison facilities, discover where Admiral Varth was, and rescue him. Meanwhile, Kaf'kya and Michal were going to plant explosives on the fence on a timer. Once the explosions drew attention, they intended to breach the fence on the opposite side with Michal's lightsabre, infiltrate the air ducts, and then make their way to the power core of the facility, where they'd use the remaining grenades to destroy the power core and by extension the base.

Nichos managed to bluff his way in successfully. His dice rolling was probably not quite good enough to let him in, but I made him sweat for it, and then let him have it. The two made their way to the extensive detention area. It was here that Nichos finally blew his cover irretrievably with some atrocious dice rolls. Shouts of "Boring conversation anyway!" were heard as Nichos and Nirrook whipped out blasters and opened fire on the four stormtrooper recruits opposing them...

..and missed. The return fire scored a critical hit and two regular hits on the defective Clone Trooper, who was dropped in a single round, leaving Nirrook facing all four troopers on his own. The players groaned, for Nirrook was the least combat effective of all four characters. In desperation, the Mon Calamari withdrew another of the grenades they had been given, and dropped it on the floor in front of him. The resulting explosion killed all the Stormtroopers, nearly killed Nirrook, and killed Nichos. With no Force Points remaining after he used his last one to survive the Stormtroopers' attack, Nichos was completely gone.

So was the computer terminal. Realising how bad things had become, Nirrook used his comlink to contact the other two as they crawled through the air vents. The Empire was now well and truly alerted to the presence of intruders, and that, combined with Nichos' demise, completely put an end to their original plan. Dall and Michal traced the comlink call to the detention cells, where Nirrook hid. Destroying the base was no longer an option: they simply had to find an operational computer in the detention centre, find Varth, and escape. They eluded several more Stormtrooper patrols, and encountered the mutated Felucians. I decided not to make this a combat encounter, as the heroes were battered enough as it was. Instead, the heroes debated briefly about freeing the mutants as a distraction, decided that the risk was too great, then destroyed them and all the information about them in an attempt to sabotage the project.

The heroes then went up a level to the next detention cell computer terminal, where they were pitted against another four stormtrooper recruits. This wound up being an incredibly tense battle, as the heroes were now completely out of healing, and had lost their most effective combat character. They took out the Stormtroopers, but more of their hit points dwindled away, and Nichos' death had really driven home to them just how much danger they were in. They hacked into the computer and discovered Varth's location in maximum security. They also discovered Inquisitor Draco's imminent approach. Dall then had the bright idea of hacking into the recognition codes for Draco's shuttle that would allow it to get past the defences for the base. After a quick comlink conversation with the Banshee, and some good rolling, they swapped the codes in the computer around, so that the computer would believe that the Banshee was Draco's shuttle. By the time that the Banshee came into visual range, it would be too late for the Imperials to react.

The players then went to Maximum Security, where they intended to use information from the message to bluff his guards into believing that they had arrived to escort Varth to Inquisitor Draco's shuttle. They were horrified to find guard droids instead of Stormtrooper recruits guarding him, but their Deception checks were good enough that I gave it to them. They then met Admiral Varth, who I gave a comical upper-class British accent which served to amuse the players greatly - and also, I think, completely drove any hint from their mind that he was a double agent. Humorous people can't be bad guys in disguise! I also had the guard droids stop them as they leaving, which REALLY freaked them out, as I intended. All the droids wanted was to wish them a pleasant day.

The heroes sped to the landing platform, desperately low on hit points and force points. There, they confronted Captain Vischera and his two mutant bodyguards. This really freaked the players out. They swapped some quick plans involving the remainder of their grenades, but decided against this when they realised any grenades would damage the landing platform so that the Banshee might not be able to land - and, more importantly, had a very good chance of killing them in the explosion too. They decided to have Michal use his lightsabre to distract the two mutants, while all three of them concentrated fire to take them out one by one. Captain Vischera, feeling overconfident, decided to sit the fight out. Michal was hit once, taking him down to three hit points only, and then avoided being hit a second time by only one point - a hit that would have killed him forever. With this done, they took out the first of the Felucian mutants. However, they were sure that they had no chance against the second, until Michal scored a critical hit, dropping most of its hit points. Immediately after that, Nirrook, the most combat ineffective character of all, also scored a critical hit, and those two hits dropped the monster. The players let out a large collective breath, and turned their attention to Vischera.

Vischera had his blaster out now, and pointed it at Michal. The players were sure they were doomed, when suddenly, the shape of the Banshee appeared directly behind Vischera. The evil Imperial commander turned around to stare directly at point blank range at one of the Banshee's laser cannons... Rescued by timely deus ex machina, the heroes boarded the ship with Admiral Varth and zoomed off, just as more Stormtroopers arrived and began firing pointlessly at the ship.

Against all odds, they had won.

I've got to go now, so I'll talk about music and models used in my next post.
I think I'm going to steal some ideas from this thread when I actually get my party involved in the DoD stories...excellent coolness all around.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Good one mate - sounds outstanding!!!

I love it when things are NOT a cakewalk. Excellent. Players who bleed for victory often saviour it.
I'm following this thread intently, as I'm about to take my group along the same path, and it's good to see the examples of the changes you've made, as well as their effect on the game. I also like to see examples of what the players might do.

In particular, I was pleased with your changes to the hook, involving Maya, and I'm going to do it with mine as well. I'm just not convinced that the players would all intervene to save the stranger as it is written. So instead, Maya will be a benefactor on the station, a good Samaritan who helps people in trouble on the station in return for some honest work - while feeling them out for her "other jobs". That will give a plausible hook that I will bake into the introduction and each of their character backgrounds. It always feels futile to role-play the "party meeting" where they "decide" to go off together, when really - there is no actual decision to be made. It's all very wink wink nudge nudge. If there's no real decision, then why not just do it offline? So I love what you did there.

I also was pleased with the choice NOT to have the Star Destroyer in orbit. My beef with the prior SW editions - especially the West End version - was that they would introduce plot elements and crisis that the players could not affect, but ask the GM to "act like the players where having an effect". I don't like "faking" an encounter in which a lot happens but players can't DO anything, and it sets up an expectation of passivity on the players' part, when in fact later on they may be expected to fight. In landing the craft outside of sensor range, (maybe coming in low), you've offered a more plausible explanation.

When I GM it, I will also add some kind of roof mounted anti-aircraft defence on the facility that the players will need to deactivate from the inside so the Banshee can land (otherwise, why not just land on the roof to begin with?). Intelligence on this part of the facility should be made available to the party BEFORE they go to Felucia, so they don't spend hours planning a hit that includes the Banshee. Alternatively, this could be bonus information that their guide reveals about the base. Or it could be information that they discover once IN the base, with the unuspecting Banshee en route (this might be an interesting escalation in the climax).

The decision to have the party overwhelmed by Felucians makes better plot sense, but I'm concerned about killing the party here. I'll have to hit them hard and fast - one or two rounds - to make healing available readily. Perhaps stun damage? Why would they want to take them alive though? If I do use that change, I'll also have some felucians on kybucks here, to make their later appearance a little less of an unlikely coincidence.

I'm less enamored by the decision to change the facility itself into such a massive operation. IMO, this thing should start small and build to something much bigger, so the players have a sense of mounting scale as they go. I don't like the idea that these 1st level wimpy characters are getting in and out of such a massive base, and that they end up fighting only recruits. It's too easy - and would telegraph the or it would simply make the players think you'd made a mistake. It's feasible that a craphole like felucia would have small garisons strewn around the planet.

LOVED the idea of switching access codes between the Banshee and Draco's shuttle. Another idea, once they've hacked the planetary Imp communications network, would be to spoof an alarm or breakout in a similar garison on the other side of the planet. Before I'd thought of simply chopping the Star Destroyer, I thought of doing that, to lure the SD over there and give time for the Banshee to get to hyperspace. As written, it seems odd that they didn't have to deal with the Star Destroyer on their escape from the planet.
Re: the Felucian ambush. It struck me as an encounter that absolutely had to be changed. As written, I just didn't see why my heroes would go, "Yes, random stranger who looks like a dirty Separatist! Let us go to the village of these strange aliens which just attacked us!" However, I'm not sure my re-write was much better. I hinted that the heroes might be ritually eaten, a la the Ewoks, and then displayed as anti-Imperial trophies, but it probably could have used a bit more work. Introducing the kybucks earlier, in retrospect, is also something that I absolutely should have done.

As for the Imperial facility being bigger: I couldn't see anywhere on the official map for the Imperials to sleep! Or to eat, or go to the bathroom, or hold their vehicles, or just about anything. And the idea that a prison facility, which is top secret and holds a highly important prisoner, should have such an incredibly minimal guard and be so easy to infiltrate. It just doesn't seem like the way the Empire operates. These are the guys who build Star Destroyers and Death Stars. "Subtle" is not in their vocabulary. In addition, the base I used, I made sure to mention, was a prefabricated base such as are carried by Star Destroyers, so it doesn't really represent that incredible an expenditure of time or resources to erect it. My players would have felt something was up if they had attacked the cabin-in-the-woods Imperial Base in the original plan. As it was, they felt it was all much more realistic, and bought the fact that they actually managed their rescue very easily (relatively). Plus it felt far more Star Wars-y to be infiltrating a massive facility to rescue a prisoner from under the Empire's nose.

Models that I used: The Nikto from Clone Strike was the closest thing I could find for the Felucians. I was thinking of using Myconids from D&D, but when I saw the models, they were simply too comical so I decided not to. All the Imperials were represented appropriately. Captain Vischera was an Imperial Officer and Admiral Varth was Grand Moff Tarkin. (Note: My players observed that Varth, as an Imperial officer, ought to have an English accent. I gave him a very humourously aristocratic British accent, which made them all laugh a lot. And they all accepted him instantly, because funny people can't be bad guys, right? :p) The guard droids were played by some Dark Troopers, and the mutant Felucians were unfortunately also Dark Troopers because they were the only thing with the right base I have. I wanted to use some Stormrage Shamblers from D&D Minis, but the local store didn't have them.

Music I used: Lando's Palace from Empire Strikes back for Alderaan. Mos Eisley Spaceport from A New Hope represented the exploration of Felucia. The Hologram/Binary Sunset from A New Hope was used while the heroes were negotiating for their freedom, and Luke And Leia from Return of the Jedi was for when they were generally doing some roleplaying in the village, after they'd won their freedom. I would have used the Speeder Bike music for the Kybuck scene, but it gets far too Ewoky, so I used Zam The Assassin/The Chase Through Coruscant from Attack of the Clones instead. For the Imperial Base, I used The Death Star/The Stormtroopers from A New Hope for the sneaky bits, and Wookiee Prisoner/Detention Cell Ambush from A New Hope for the fighty bits. Finally, I used The Rebel Fleet/End Title from Empire Strikes Back for the scene on the Nebulon B at the end. I got comments from the players throughout about how much they liked the music and how they felt it really added to the experience, so while I'm not convinced with all my selections, I definitely recommend assembling a soundtrack! The highest praise was for The Rebel Fleet at the end. I kept running the RPG and dragged it out deliberately until the moment when the credits would roll, and I got a round of applause for the timing here. Easy to do, and really gave a good effect!

Finally, the player of Cobalt Nichos has decided on his new character. While still nameless, the new party addition will be a Wookiee Soldier/Scout specialised in pulling people's arms out of their sockets! I'm looking forward to seeing him in action!
Re: the Felucian ambush. It struck me as an encounter that absolutely had to be changed. As written, I just didn't see why my heroes would go, "Yes, random stranger who looks like a dirty Separatist! Let us go to the village of these strange aliens which just attacked us!" However, I'm not sure my re-write was much better. I hinted that the heroes might be ritually eaten, a la the Ewoks, and then displayed as anti-Imperial trophies, but it probably could have used a bit more work. Introducing the kybucks earlier, in retrospect, is also something that I absolutely should have done.

The problem with being ritually eaten is that the PCs have to be captured, which I'm rather loathe to do, as the players don't like that kind of thing. It may work in movies, but not so well in RPGs. I might encourage the PCs to use stun weapons (heck, all of mine bought some, especially the two Jedis) by reminding them that these are not Imperials, so that the scouts are not killed, and then give them a bonus with the chief for not killing them. If they decide to use lethal force, I'll just have the one guy interrupt the battle.

As for the Imperial facility being bigger: I couldn't see anywhere on the official map for the Imperials to sleep! Or to eat, or go to the bathroom, or hold their vehicles, or just about anything. And the idea that a prison facility, which is top secret and holds a highly important prisoner, should have such an incredibly minimal guard and be so easy to infiltrate. It just doesn't seem like the way the Empire operates. These are the guys who build Star Destroyers and Death Stars. "Subtle" is not in their vocabulary. In addition, the base I used, I made sure to mention, was a prefabricated base such as are carried by Star Destroyers, so it doesn't really represent that incredible an expenditure of time or resources to erect it. My players would have felt something was up if they had attacked the cabin-in-the-woods Imperial Base in the original plan. As it was, they felt it was all much more realistic, and bought the fact that they actually managed their rescue very easily (relatively). Plus it felt far more Star Wars-y to be infiltrating a massive facility to rescue a prisoner from under the Empire's nose.

I think the size of the fortress was intentional; remember this was all a setup. The PCs can speculate all day as to why it was so easy, but if the fortress was too big all but the silliest of heroes would even attempt such a feat, and feasibly most of those should fail.

My players observed that Varth, as an Imperial officer, ought to have an English accent. I gave him a very humourously aristocratic British accent, which made them all laugh a lot. And they all accepted him instantly, because funny people can't be bad guys, right? :p)

You're not the only one to mention that making the guy likable shattered any notions that the guy is a traitor. I will definitely have to try that.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Re: the Felucian ambush. It struck me as an encounter that absolutely had to be changed.

I'll throw the players a clue I read in another game synopsis. As the players approach the area, they will see ruined Scoutrooper armor and bodies hanging on pikes. That should tip off that the locals aren't friendly to Imperials. A smart party might begin the fight on stun instead of kill. It also provides an opportunity for a "Face" person to attempt a diplomatic resolution- since they've just been through a string of combat encounters. I'll see if I can provide suitable carrots for sparing the Felucians.

As for the Imperial facility being bigger: I couldn't see anywhere on the official map for the Imperials to sleep! Or to eat, or go to the bathroom, or hold their vehicles, or just about anything. And the idea that a prison facility, which is top secret and holds a highly important prisoner, should have such an incredibly minimal guard and be so easy to infiltrate.

I might add a couple rooms to the end or something. This kind of thing would almost certainly be overlooked once the sneaking and shooting starts. Maybe this is a small workplace and the larger base is somewhere else? I'll include as part of Organa's briefing that their intel indicates the prisoner has been transferred to an "out of the way" backwater garison on the planet - while en route to somewhere else - thus making it a unique opportunity for a pickup.

It just doesn't seem like the way the Empire operates. These are the guys who build Star Destroyers and Death Stars.

True, but the heroes are still only little, remember. We'll get to the big stuff later. And if the AT-ST is blowing holes in the walls, I think the heroes will still get the point. Unlike Leia's unlikely escape from the Death Star, we don't want the heroes to suspect anything is wrong yet. Granted - if your players bought it, then who can argue with that? I do think other players have also bought into the smaller complex though. If it's a wash either way, I'll start small and build to bigger as the adventure escalates.

Making Varth likeable and funny is a great idea.

Music: An excellent idea that we always use as well, carefully choosing by mood. You should also look for some lesser known John Williams tracks. Dracula 1979 is good.
I ran the Felucian encounter a bit diffrent as well. My heroes rolled ridiculously well on some perception checks so they spotted the felucians in the shooms before the attack. I descibed them as young looking.. Adolencent types, also the force user after a check senced they were connected to the force. So when the fighting started my heroes did not want to kill them, so they set thier weapons on stun. This impressed the chief when it came to it.
Great post keep em coming..
We finally had our third session today. We'd all been a bit busy in between sessions, so this one was our first session without music! Unfortunately, this session wound up being short enough for it not to matter... one of the players arrived quite late, and then events in the session meant that we hit a natural stopping place when we'd run out of time.

The players watched another animated title sequence made by someone or another on this forum - I forget who, but it was awesome and we all loved it. They then spent a long time on the Resurgence, getting information from Admiral Varth. Since Nirrook's character concept was 'accountant', I made him roll an Accounting check to investigate Varth's bank accounts, rather than have Varth just give a huge chunk of expository text. In a depressing start to the adventure, he completely blew the role and had to use Force Points and the aid of another character to pass. However, he did in the end successfully backtrack through dummy corporations and subsidiary bank accounts to trace the credits to Darga the Hutt, who was supplying them with an unknown product, known as Commodity 17121984 (and nicknamed 'fish patties' shortly thereafter!) They then spent a while planning and equipping themselves from Nirrook's ludicrous bank account with grenades and medpacs. I also gave them an option. Since Cobalt Nichos died in the last adventure, his player had made a new character, the Wookiee Gaarbecca. The players were allowed to pick whether they wanted to meet Gaarbecca in a quick and boring way right now, or a fun dramatic time-consuming way later on. They picked the latter, so I decided to insert the Wookiee into their encounters on Cato Neimoidia.

The heroes arrived on Cato Neimodia and headed for a bar, to try to find more information about Darga's whereabouts. With a few rolls and a healthy bribe, they discovered that Darga dwelt in one of the ruined palaces nearby, and that Warrick Raden was his dogsbody in the city. They then left the bar and ran into Kessra's swoop gang outside, heckling a Wookiee (Gaarbecca). The Wookiee, not wanting trouble it couldn't win, was just ignoring the abuse. The swoopies then tried to intimidate the heroes into paying them a shakedown 'protection' fee. The heroes looked at each other, then Michal stepped up and tried to pull a, "We're not the droids you're looking for," moment on the bikers.

He rolled a 1.

The Swoop Bike gang suddenly realised they were confronted by a Jedi. Since the devestation of Cato Neimodia was, as I'd already stressed, caused by Jedi, this made them very upset. They all drew their blasters instantly, and combat was joined. A grenade badly damaged two bikes, and then a raging wookiee ripped them both to shreds with Cleave. Nirrook failed to do anything in particular. And the Jedi... got hit by a volley from everyone in the face, then miserably blew his Acrobatics test on the next turn, failing to get the +5 bonus from Acrobatic Strike, and drawing an attack of opportunity. He went down fast. The Wookiee rampaged into a third speeder bike and began gnawing on it, but now everyone focused on him and blew him to kingdom come. Dall Kaf'kya levelled a Blaster Rifle and took out another bike in two turns with a crit and then an autofire for safety's sake. This made her the third target, and she was dropped. Nirrook fled back into the bar. The angry swoop bikers went after him and then shot him repeatedly.

We were flabbergasted. Against the very first combat encounter in the adventure, my group had suffered a TPK. In retrospect, they had used their brains far more than they'd used their brawn, and they had tended to get very badly hurt each time they needed to use brawn, and got through on the skin of their teeth. This was the first fight where they'd been forced to just slug it out toe to toe, and they'd had their butts handed to them.

At this point Nirrook's player had to leave, so I described quickly how, after they all recovered (yay Force Points!) they all awoke to find themselves shackled, stripped of all their equipment, and prisoners of the biker gang. Nirrook, Dall, and Gaarbecca were shortly to be sold as slaves, and Michal was drugged out of his mind while the bikers awaited a representative from the Empire, so they could claim the standing bounty on a Jedi Knight...

And that's where the session ended. If anyone wants to suggest ways I can bring the plot back to where it should be, it'd be appreciated. I have a few vague ideas, but nothing definite.

As I mentioned, no music for this session. I did use miniatures for the single encounter. This time, I didn't have the models I needed. A Rebel Commando on a Speeder Bike served for Kessra. For the Swoop Bikers, the Gamorreans, and Denia, I saved pictures of the models (or of Denia's picture, in her case) to the computer, resized them so they were two centimetres wide, then printed them off. I had two of each picture adjacent to each other, so when I had them done, I folded them over, making them double sided, and then placed them into the slots in Games Workshop's circular bases. This was a vastly cheaper and more efficient method of getting the models I needed, and I highly recommend it. For the Swoop Riders, who are too big to fit a slot-base, I simply stood them up as they were - their greater width made them stand up perfectly, and I spread the tabs apart so they filled up four squares.

So, how do I get this back on track? My current ideas are:

- The Jedi wasn't drugged enough. He uses the force to cleanse his system, and then to telekinetically free himself from his cuffs. He then escapes and frees the others, and they get straight back into the adventure after they escape the swoop gang's headquarters.

- The crew of the Banshee heard about the fight and goes looking for the heroes. Sirona O'keefe and some mercenaries bust them out of prison.

- The heroes get sold as slaves to Darga the Hutt for use in the Sarlacc Project. Hey, at least they've successfully entered Darga's palace! Now they just have to find the information they need, rescue Master Denia, and escape, before the Imperials come to collect them. The most interesting option, and the one that diverges the most from the original plot. However, it doesn't solve the 'Michal taken away by Dark Jedi' plot, though that could be a VERY cool sub-plot if he does get captured by a minor Inquisitor, who then tries to turn him to the Dark Side...
- The Jedi wasn't drugged enough. He uses the force to cleanse his system, and then to telekinetically free himself from his cuffs. He then escapes and frees the others, and they get straight back into the adventure after they escape the swoop gang's headquarters.

I would suggest this choice, it keeps the adventure moving forward with the least deviation. Besides, getting pwned sucks, but getting revenge can make up for it, plus escapes are iconic Star Wars (well, I guess rescues would be more so, but I'm sure you get my point).

As it sits, you're not really off the rails yet, once the PCs escape they can continue with the mission as usual, they've only picked up a complication (and if Kessra survives the escape, it give a good motive for her later encounter if they wipe out the gang escaping).

For the escape, having the jedi wake up early is a great opportunity for escape; he could cleanse his system, or perhaps the gangsters miscalculated his body mass and didn't give him a big enough dose (they don't strike me as consumate professionals). After that, an application of move light object or mind trick can get them out of any restraints and get the ball rolling.

In a game I'm running I did much the same; jedi wake up, jedi move light object (lightsaber), jedi open cell: Let the chaos ensue...

There are other options too, maybe Dall talks a guard into loosening the restraints (then knocks guard within reach of a raging wookiee), or the wookiee may have the strength to break his restraints (I bet they don't even oil them once a month :P). Maybe give the conscious PCs a couple chances before waking the jedi to try his thing.

After they're free they can take care of the gang members. If you're scared of another TPK, don't have all the remaining gangsters in one location, split them up into a couple of encounters.

I'm sure you can take figure it out; your game looks to be going well, and is a great read.
He who should not speak...
Having had a bit of time to think about it, I think I'll try combining a few options.

Obviously the Jedi is the hero with the best chance of busting loose. If he manages to detoxify the drugs in his system, suddenly he'll become a hell of a lot harder to hold, and will have a decent chance of busting himself out if he's smart. Now, of course, a Jedi Padawan might not be able to spontaneously manifest the Equilibrium talent - but if Master Denia's mind is seeking a bit further afield than just the Hutt's palace, she might well be able to help him out, and that WOULD do the trick. Of course, Michal will be so drugged up at the time when she assists him that he wouldn't realise what was going on, but I could definitely foreshadow Denia's involvement at that point, which is good since she is the focus of the entire adventure, really.

Denia's exertation will knock her subconscious force use out for a while, but once Michal is in control of himself, I think that a mini adventure involving him freeing the others and them busting out of the swoop gang's base is definitely feasible. While I'm at it, I think I might also imply that the swoop gang is answering to SOMEONE (aka, Darga's Neimoidian advisor Demos) who is in charge of offering Michal to the Inquisitorius. This sets up Demos a bit earlier too, and explains why he's decided to turn Denia over to the Empire (he promised them a Jedi, Michal, who's now escaped, and Inquisitor Draco is upset he's not getting a Jedi).

Of course, there's also two other options of 'what if' which I'll keep as back up story lines. Firstly, Michal could botch his Use The Force rolls to escape captivity. If this is the case, I think I'll suggest that he failed because it's hard to find peace and serenity under the circumstances... but other emotions might be easier to access.

And if the heroes fail completely, then Michal will get sold to the Inquisitorius, who'll try to turn him to the Dark Side, while the others become slaves in Darga's palace and have to try to finish the mission and escape before they get sent off as slave labour to the Sarlacc Project.
I gotta say I love this thread. I am going to be starting DoD next month, and I am loving all the ideas for alternate things to do.

As for you current situation, I'd use the Jedi idea first, and then if he failed his checks, I'd go with the Banshee idea.

All in all, it sounds like you guys are having a blast. I hope my group has as much fun.
It might involve some tailoring on your part, but perhaps you can sell them to the Darga the Hutt as gladatorial combatants, destined for slave labour eventually. If they win though, maybe Darga is impressed enough let them visit the court.

What's mainly important in Wretched Hive is that the group is present in Darga's palace, and that they play games and engage in espionage. The can do that as slaves or gladiators as well, and you can likely use a lot of the original encounter material without altering it too much.
Just a couple quick questions:

1) When the first player died, how much damage did he take? It's alot harder to die in Saga these days from my reading of the rules.

2) I think I can pretty much see why your guys got TPKed

'now everyone focused on him'

Until they get a few levels under their belt, if you have groups of enemies play the 'concentrated fire' game your PCs are going to die/fall down alot. 9 times out of 10 there are always more bad guys than there are PCs, which means more shots coming their way.

At this level of play unless one of your guys was a tricked out combat monkey (if your jedi had deflect, sf: UtF it might have helped for example) there is just nothing they can do.

Biggest thing I'd say there is remember to play the baddies at their level of intelligence and tactics, not yours. Is your average swoop gang really going to be that methodical? (Though I can see them all opening up on the Jedi, just cause 'oh ****, Jedi')

Still, looks like a fun campaign, I like many of the changes you've made.
I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was pretty much - he took blaster fire that dropped him, and he spent his last force point to stay alive. Then Nirrook dumped a grenade, everyone took a pile of damage. It beat everyone's damage threshold, and since he was already on 0 and had no force points left... oblivion.

As for the swoop gang, I played them as they'd act. Mostly they'd attack whoever was closest to them. However, when the combat started, they did go, "Oh crap Jedi!" Then once the Jedi was down, the Wookiee had started raging and ripped up two bikes. They can attack the psychopathic Wookiee, or the ineffectual Nobles...

The main problem is that with two Nobles, there's only two people who can contribute meaningfully to a battle.
And at last another session happened! This time around, Gaarbecca's character was unable to attend (ill) so the wookiee was under GM control. This session also began with resolving the unexpected cliffhanger from last time. My first plan for this was to have a whole dungeon crawl in the swoop gang's base, but given that it is just a side encounter, I abstracted the whole base and cut it down to the essential encounters, and that seemed to work really well.

To start off with, some 'behind the scenes' stuff. My players don't know this.

The swoop gang, which was unaffiliated with Darga, remained independant because it was being used by Igren Demos as his own private information source/agents. When they captured a Jedi and three aliens, they called Demos, who told them to execute the four of them immediately, not wanting any variables to interfere with his own plans. However, Kessra got greedy and disobeyed Demos - she contacted the Empire, and told them that the Vipers wanted to collect the bounty for a Jedi Knight. They also intended to sell the other three as slaves. Demos, however, discovered their perfidy and decided to use the resources of the Hutt to destroy them.

Anyway. I decided that the Vipers worked out of the ground floor of a gigantic Trade Federation warehouse/docking bay complex that had been ruined and abandoned during the Clone Wars. The three non-Force Sensitive characters were cuffed and dumped in a shipping crate with a few bits of ancient mouldering rotting fruit, and then abandoned - not a big concern. The Jedi was kept in a converted cell (previously the refresher unit in a Neimoidian's office) several storeys up, cuffed, drugged, behind a basic forcefield, with a guard outside 24-7. These guys were taking no precautions.

When the adventure started, Michal suddenly regained lucidity as the drugs left his system. He felt a 'mysterious presence' reach him and suddenly vanish as the drugs faded (which led to an amusing quote from Nirrook's player: "Why does he get to feel strange presences in the toilet while we sit around in rotting fruit?") Michal then dropped into a Jedi trance, regaining his lost hit points and feigning unconsciousness, before using Mind Trick to convince the guard to open the door and then go to sleep. The DC for his actions were all quite high, and I introduced him to a new house rule: gain a Dark Side Point, get +1d6 to an Use The Force check. He declined, using every Force Point he had left instead. I was proud of him.

Once he'd got the door opened, Michal read the guard's mind, got the code for his cuffs, removed the cuffs, took the guard's blaster, and left (reactivating the forcefield first). He then sensed the others in the Force and headed for them, stealthily avoiding every patrol on the way. Once he freed the others, there was a brief discussion about escaping by jumping out a window (several storeys up!) before the players decided to sneak into the swoop gang's garage, steal bikes, and escape.

However, the party managed to bump into another guard, and this time they didn't do anything to keep the guard restrained after they Mind Tricked him. So after they left and the Mind Trick wore off, the guard raised the alarm, and Kessra and her thugs entered the garage at the same time as the players did. A fight ensued, and the players decided to run for the hills. At the same time, Igren Demos appeared with a small army of Gamorreans. Since the swoop gang had betrayed them, he'd decided to wipe them all out instead. The players managed to convince the Gamorreans that they were on the same side, and then the combined forces of players and Hutt employees wiped out the swoop gang with ease. Kessra, however, escaped.

The players then talked to Demos, and asked him if they could get a job working for the Hutt. Demos decided to accept while he figured out how best to deal with them, and the party went to meet Darga the Hutt. After some brief toying with offering Dall Kaf'kya in a Princess Leia style bikini as a slavegirl to Darga and infiltrating the palace that way, they offered themselves as mercenaries, and the Hutt agreed to keep them around and see how their relationship went.

Their first challenge was executing some captive swoop bikers from the Vipers. This turned out to be the hardest encounter of the lot. The Jedi flat refused to commit murder, Nirrook felt uncomfortable with the situation, and Dall was willing to see them get killed but was squeamish about doing it herself. They wound up ringing up Gaarbecca's character to consult about what to do. He recommended trying to convince the Hutt to sell the bikers into slavery (which would at least spare their lives) but the players were leery. In the end, they rolled a dice, and went with refusing to cooperate. Michal told the Hutt that they were not executioners, but warriors. The Hutt shrugged and then got one of his Gamorreans to do the deed. The players had failed the first challenge, but felt morally clean about it.

Since we were running out of time at this point, I skipped to the negotiations with the slavers next, instead of the gladiatorial fight. This turned out to be a very short encounter. Dall successfully intimidated the slavers, and then Nirrook easily spotted the Twi'lek slave attempting to poison Darga. An easy success for the players.

And that's where we left it!
Cool, it sounds like you handled your little complication well, and you managed to work in a introduction into Darga's palace (of all the encounters, it seems the Warrick Raden encounter gets the worst reception; your encounter feels a little more star warsy [SOE seems to think its a real term :P] and sounds exciting)
He who should not speak...
It was more just that I only have so much time per session, since one of my players has to leave, so I didn't want to waste too much time getting to the planet. I felt that my way of handling it was a little clumsy (if I were a dumb Gamorrean, I'd just shoot everyone in the room, especially if they were on bikes, even if they tried to tell me they're on my side...) but it was the best way to get things back on track quickly.
I've just finished the first session of the RPG.

Next session is in a fortnight.


Excellent summary. I'll be running our first session on Sunday, and i might make some changes based on what you had here. Such as more incentive for the party to help Maya, which is actually bothering me now. Maybe i'll say that she approached them earlier about help, and while waiting for her to arrive, she is assaulted and nearly killed by the informants. When the PC's run to help her, they're blindsided by a squad of troopers.

I thought that was really cool how the Star Destroyer arrived....but...i just have to say, that was pretty ruthless of them to kill hundreds of people, Imperials and OFFICERS too. Maybe a rogue commander?

EDIT: How long did that session take you? I'm planning on a 3-4 hour session Sunday and planning to end it after Ganga-Lor's fight. That should be ample time. They might possibly make it past the Blue Room to the docking bay, but i want to save the repulsor sled fight for a major encounter. Unless they somehow cleverly circumvent it like your players did.
Models that I used: I wanted to use some Stormrage Shamblers from D&D Minis, but the local store didn't have them.

Music I used: Lando's Palace from Empire Strikes back for Alderaan...

Oh, great idea for the shamblers! I have two or three of those. I also have an old Reaper metal shambler that would make a regular felucian. See, if i hadn't read this thread i would never have thought about the minis i actually own to use.

As for the music, i have for many years tried to make specific scenes to music. Sounds like you're doing a bang up job. I don't have quite as many soundtracks from SW as you do, but i can supplement it with lots of others. I use RPG soundmixer and it's the easiest thing in the world to queue up the next sound, whether sweeping orchestral, or blaster, or a tauntaun, at the touch of a button. I don't think my players even understand how much time and effort i put into the music/sfx side of our games. That's why i love to run pre-fab adventures; let someone else worry about story/plot/stats, let me do the fun fiddly stuff. I can modify the written adventure as needed.
The Star Destroyer: Yes, it was ruthless. Yes, they murdered probably millions of civilians, as well as a lot of their own people. Yes, they did it all just to try to stop six people from escaping (well, actually, they were pretending to try to stop the six people from escaping, but they don't know that yet :P) The Empire is evil. Blowing up Sel Zonn Station reminds the players that these are the guys who will blow up Alderaan for no better reason than to demonstrate that their Death Star works. It makes the players, and the characters, really have first-hand experience about how nasty these guys are, and gives them a great motivation to stop them.

Each session takes about 3-4 hours, depending on when everyone arrives. The second session took a bit longer: one person had to leave early, but everyone else really wanted to know what would happen next and to finish the adventure! And the third one was a bit shorter, because we got distracted playing card games first.

The music was great. Unfortunately it was just too time consuming to organise and I'm too busy to keep going with that, so music has been indefinitely suspended. When I have some more spare time I'll start doing soundtracks again.

Next session is this weekend! Hoping to finish A Wretched Hive, though I wouldn't be surprised if we need two more sessions on it! And I'm starting to lay some plans for the break between Queen and Echoes. More on that next time.
A bit of a delay in reporting sessions. On Sunday we finished off A Wretched Hive!

The adventure started back up again with another challenge: the droid racing! (I swapped the order of the challenges to vary the types of encounter that the heroes would face a bit). Nirrook volunteered to use the helmet, and then they sent Gaarbecca to stand behind another competitor and start growling... This was quite a bit of fun, as the players enjoyed the threat of brain damage for some reason. After some freakish rolling, Nirrook wound up frying his brain, and a Gamorrean guard won the race! Dall broke out her surgery skills and almost accidentally gave Nirrook a lobotomy in the process, but managed to fix him up handily. Nirrook's player seemed vaguely disappointed that he wouldn't have permanent brain damage...

Next, the group discussed room allocations for the night. Dall took one room, and the boys all bunked together in the other. Very significant, as it turns out!

Shortly thereafter, a Neimodian servant summoned them to the gardens, where the party was ambushed by Kessra. The battle was pretty tense, as Kessra proved a very nasty foe, and the kreehawks scored a few critical hits. Nirrook's player offered advice: he'd decided to sit out the encounter while he recovered. Once the fight was done, they then had only enough time for the Jedi to question Kessra as to the location of his lightsabre before Igren Demos showed up.

What ensued was a diversion from the published plot, but it tied into the previous diversion nicely and made the players really start to respect Demos, as well as focus the adventure more on Demos as a villain. (As written, he spends a lot of time in the background). In the original script, Kessra enters Darga's palace to get revenge on the players. However, since in my version she'd been betrayed by Demos, she wanted revenge upon him as well, and had sent a holopad to him also asking him to come to the gardens. However, Demos was too wiley (and too Force-sensitive) to fall for that, and had shown up after the heroes finished the fight with a gang of Gamorreans. Kessra had one last trick left - a thermal detonator in her pocket. Knowing she was dead no matter what, she armed the detonator and intended to take Demos to hell with her. Everyone dived for cover when they realised she had a detonator, except Demos - who simply raised an eyebrow as he used the Force to switch the detonator off. After a minute, when no one was dead, he reached into her pocket, removed the 'faulty' detonator, and had her marched off. The players were very impressed!

After the fight, the players also discovered something that had been dropped during the fighting - the hand-held holo-comm unit which they'd seen Kessra talking with Demos on during their escape from the swoop gang. Returning to their rooms, they realised that the unit had in its memory recordings of all of Demos' treachery, revealing him as the secret mastermind behind the swoop gang and indicating how he intended to overthrow Darga and take over. They raced to see Darga, only to find that Demos had Mind-Tricked the guard outside Darga's door into refusing them entry, because the Hutt wanted his rest. The players got quite worried when they realised that Demos had outmaneouvred them, and Michal the Jedi decided to sit outside the door with the holo-comm to wait for Darga. The other players returned to their quarters to sleep.

During the night, then, Demos sent his assassins after the players. Realising that Kessra didn't have the holo-comm, he had gone back to look for it, and now thought (correctly) that the heroes had it. Knowing how incriminating it was, he sent three Quarren assassins after them to kill them in the night and destroy the holo-comm unit. The Quarrens rolled beautifully for their stealth roll and entered a random bedroom undetected - as it happened, Dall's. Alone, and having failed her Perception check, she remained sleeping until one of the Quarren calmly shot her in the head.

The coup de grace was (thanks to a Force Point) not lethal, but Dall was instantly out of the fight. There was no way for the other two to get to her in time with both doors shut, so I faked a dice roll and said the Quarren had forgotten to shut his door, and then that when Nirrook and Gaarbecca emerged, they distracted the Quarren enough that he would focus on them before finishing Dall off. Meanwhile, Michal sensed the disturbance through the Force, activated Surge, and moved at blurring speed towards the others. Nirrook and Gaarbecca tore the first Quarren to shreds, and then the other two Quarren emerged, catching them in a crossfire. Both of the two went down, but fortunately managed to hang in until Michal arrived. In one of the most stylish moments of the adventure, Michal moved at Surge-enabled speeds, activated Battle Strike and Acrobatic Strike, and then scored a critical hit, bifurcating a Quarren in a single hit. Much fun was had in describing just how badass this must have looked. Michal and the last Quarren then traded blows for a long time. The Quarren won, and would have killed Michal - I ruled that the blow was a miss, but that the holo-comm unit, with all the party's evidence, was destroyed instead. Michal did not need any more help, and killed the last quarren. We then got an absolutely hilarious impersonation of an evangelistic faith healer as Michal used Treat Injuries on the entire party. "I say BROTHER! Do you belieeeeeve in the Force? Say Hallelujah!" And so on.

Once the players managed to stop laughing, Nirrook used his Wealth talent to hire the Hutt's bacta tanks and get everyone back up to full health. I mentioned how, while the group was recuperating, they had missed the gladiatorial fight and failed their second challenge, which the group was very happy with. They didn't want to be ripped to shreds again.

The final challenge with the Imperials came, and the party breezed through this challenge, discovering the tibanna gas - slave trade in the process. They also had a chat to Sixsix, and learnt that Switch and Polra'ckus had survived the destruction of Sel Zonn Station, which made them all very happy. They also got enough information from him that they felt they should try to prove that Demos was a scheming villain. First, though, Michal left the palace to reclaim his lightsabre from where Kessra had hidden it.

When he returned, I found myself in a slight quandry. I'd developed the 'strange voices' plot line, and everyone guessed that there was a Jedi Knight from the Clone Wars in the palace dungeons. However, they felt that their primary mission was to get more information about Sarlacc Project, and their secondary mission was to expose Demos. Freeing Denia, they felt, was only a third place priority. I also felt that the reclaimation of Michal's lightsaber was a fairly major plot point and should move the scenario straight into the endgame, so I fiddled with the plot again. I'm not sure how much I like this change, seeing as it was completely on the fly, but it was definitely necessary to keep the plot on track. While Michal was gone, Demos launched a coup against Darga, driving him out of the palace and taking over. The heroes reunited in the middle of a veritable civil war. This changed their plans. They fought their way to the main computer and then downloaded the documents on to a datapad, wiping the system behind them. With that done, they then headed to the dungeon and freed Denia, before returning to the palace proper. Their plan was to go to the communications centre and signal the Banshee, and then escape ASAP, knowing that if they tried to escape any other way, then Demos would finish gaining control of the palace and then act overtly against them and kill them.

When the heroes got to the communications room, they then encountered Demos holding his conversation with Inquisitor Draco. Basically, when Kessra had captured the party, she'd wanted to turn Michal in to the Empire for the bounty on Jedi. Demos had ordered her not to (afraid that his own Force-sensitive nature had been discovered), but she'd defied him and done it anyway, which was why Demos had turned on her and had her group wiped out. Now, Draco had got in touch and wanted the Jedi that was promised to him...

The final battle occurred. Michal and Gaarbecca tore through the Gamorrean guards, while Demos threw things at them with the Force. The players realised that the Trandoshan bodyguard was an impossible foe to beat due to his huge hit points and two uses of Second Wind: however, they used some fairly clever tactics with delaying initiative and combining powers to knock him to half his health, and then had Dall demand his surrender before he had a chance to catch a Second Wind, taking him out of the fight instantly. Even so, I was forced to use a deus ex machina (Master Denia recovering sufficiently to heal Michal at the moment he was about to die) and have Demos flee the battle.

Once the battle was over, the Banshee arrived and flew all the heroes away to the Resurgence! The end!

In my next post, I'll discuss the current plans for the adventure between Queen of Air and Darkness, and Echoes of the Jedi...
Okay, I got busy and the discussion of the adventure between QoAaD and EotJ didn't happen. That's not too bad, since the release of Echoes wound up changing all my plans anyway.

In any case, today we had another session, beginning The Queen of Air And Darkness.

This session started off with Nirrook shouting everyone all the equipment they needed after losing all their gear in the previous adventure. The party wound up going on a ten thousand credit shopping spree, which barely dented Nirrook's assets. Wealth is a really powerful talent.

After a lot of shopping, the adventure started. The party headed to Bespin, where they immediately messed up the first encounter.Confronted with people asking them to leave their shiny new armaments on the ship, the party panicked and Michal Dom tried to Mind Trick a security officer into letting them bring weapons into the city. A very bad idea, since Mind Trick only affects one person and there was a crowd watching. The guards freaked out about there being an evil Jedi (hurrah for Imperial propaganda!) and the rest of the party had to calm them down. They managed to get off the 'Jedi' charges, but were subjected to a completely random full body cavity search by customs. Incredibly embarassing things make a great punishment for failure!

After this humiliation was over, the party entered the city and began the search for Darga. They didn't get a good result for Gather Information, but I gave them a Current Events update, which they quite enjoyed for the sense of how lots of stuff was going on around them: Queen Apailana of Naboo had been killed by the Empire for harbouring Jedi traitors. (See Battlefront 2 and Wookieepedia for more details.)They rolled pretty miserably in an attempt to access landing information from the main computer, even after bribing the guards into helping them. However, Gaarbecca had the idea of trying to find where Darga was getting his tibanna gas from and tracing it from there, which sent the whole party straight down to the Parliament of Guilds and meeting the Ugnaughts. The party negotiated a deal with them quickly, then headed into the bowels of the city, improvising some weaponry on the way.

The Ugnaught battle wound up being a lot of fun. With an enraged Wookiee on their side, the party was able to do a fair bit of damage, and then they took the blaster pistols off the fallen bodies to augment their combat abilities, while ignoring the Mynocks altogether (since the 1d4 damage they did was almost inconsequential, and the exploding corpses proved somewhat more hazardous). One moment of note came when Dall Kaf'kya decided to basically execute an Ugnaught which had been grappled by Michal with his own blaster, and then did a little dance when she killed him (the Ugnaughts were proving something of a pest). I ruled this as Dark Side Point-worthy, and the players agreed.

The party killed all the enemy, and then headed back to the Ugnaughts, where they got the critical information from the Ugnaughts. They then decided to infiltrate the Yerith Bespin Hotel (since there was still a week to go until the tournament). Michal Dom tried to get hired in the kitchen unsuccessfully, while Nirrook and Dall posed as a honeymooning couple and Nirrook bought them an apartment for a week (after buying himself an admission into the Sabacc tournament - Wealth is a wonderful talent!) Gaarbecca was treated as a nonsentient pet by the hotel staff (more Imperial propaganda) and, angry, decided to return to the ship to wait.

At this point, Nirrook and Dall encountered Kithriss. Suspecting his involvement in the Sarlacc Project deal, Dall decided to trail him while Michal got Gaarbecca for backup. Nirrook's player had to leave at this point, so, since the Mon Cal is somewhat useless in a fight usually, his character stayed at the hotel.

Unfortunately, Dall failed to avoid being noticed by the Threlin sisters when she followed them, and the sisters set up an ambush for the Bothan. Dall got maimed horrifically in the ensuing fight before Gaarbecca and Michal could show up: one of the sisters Grappled and Tripped her, and the other one shot her in the head, dropping her. Michal and Gaarbecca pretended to be bystanders and called for the police, then tried to escape with Dall's unconscious body. With some amazing rolling, the Threlin sisters gunned Michal down as he attempted to escape, and Gaarbecca's rolling was so terrible that he was unable to stop them. The Wing Guard arrived, stunned both sisters and the Wookiee, and took everyone into custody.

However, Dall Kaf'kya failed her Constitution check to regain consciousness, and then rolled horribly with a Force Point to modify the roll.

Dall Kaf'kya was dead.
This session started off with Nirrook shouting everyone all the equipment they needed after losing all their gear in the previous adventure. The party wound up going on a ten thousand credit shopping spree, which barely dented Nirrook's assets. Wealth is a really powerful talent.

Sorry about the loss of a PC. Always hurts.

About the Wealth Talent: Yes, it is. Add it to a Noble with an 18 Wisdom, and a level of Scoundrel with the Gambling Talent, and it can get out of hand, easily. +6 is fairly powerful, and he may well opt for a couple more levels of Scoundrel to get it up to +8 before the sabacc game...

Then again, the money in my campaign is a bit inflated right now, since 3 out of the 4 current PCs all have the Wealth Talent...

But the Wealth/Gambler made some fairly large but wise bets. We are in the second half of the second adventure, and one of the character's talked Darga into having Raden face off in the arena, instead of shooting him out of hand.

It became a single combat, that PC vs Raden, with everyone in the team betting on the PC. After a bit of a struggle, the PC won, so they all collected on the bets.

The PC group then decided to participate in the arena against the pre-set team, and they bet on themselves with the whole sum.

This was a much longer battle, and had its moments, but the PCs managed to pull out a win. It wasn't defined as a stun-only duel, but only one of the downed fighters had to expend a Force Point to survive, and that was actually one of the Gammoreans, when he was taken out with a critical hit.

End result: One of the Nobles initially wagered 5,000 credits, and walked away with 20,000. Unless they get totally blind-sided by the assassin sub-plot, they shouldn't have any problems getting as many of them as want to play into the sabacc tournament when we get that far.
I got a little bit busy, so didn't get around to posting the next session. However, we had another session since then, so I'm going to write them both up now. The campaign is going into sessions every week, because I'm going on a holiday soon and want to finish the first three adventures, plus an original adventure to fill in the time jump a bit.

After Dall Kaf'kya's untimely death, I decided to offer her player the chance to play a specific character. I'd decided to eliminate Captain Moro from the adventure, and replace him with Polrac'kus, the killer mook from the encounter with Switch. I find it's a good idea to make popular NPCs recur every so often. Dall's player jumped at the chance to play the Twi'lek, so between sessions I hashed up some appropriately badass looking stats for him. However, she only wants to play him for this adventure. I decided to allow her to use any race, not just those in the rulebooks, so Dall's new character, to be introduced in the intermediary adventure, is to be an Ortolan Jedi Padawan who abandoned the Jedi Code after Order 66 and is now living as a scoundrel.

The session began, therefore, with a message being delivered to the party's ship. The group moved out to meet Polrac'kus, leading to loud cheering from the players when they realised who the new party member was. Pol'rackus offered them Switch's deal, which the party accepted on the spot. They then began to plot how they would infiltrate the tournament, and what they'd do to get revenge for Dall's death against Baron Kithriss. The answer to the latter turned out to be 'nothing'. Jedi Michal Dom didn't want to do anything, as he felt Revenge was not a proper Jedi emotion. Nirrook and Gaarbecca, on the other hand, were just too frightened by Dall's murder to want to risk anything. And so Baron Kithriss was allowed to escape. At least, as a result of the party's alliance with Switch to rig the tournament in exchange for aid with their mission, I was able to give the players some of the information that they missed out on via Switch's intelligence network.

As for entering the tournament, Nirrook and Polrac'kus were to take part. Since each participant was allowed one friend, Nirrook decided to take Gaarbecca with him as a bodyguard. Polrac'kus, who by now was having a thousand Chuck Norris jokes made about how manly and badass he was, picked up women as required to be his escort. Michal signed up for Security. That got the entire party into the tournament.

Once the heroes were in, they quickly deduced from meta-gaming that one of the participants was obviously Darga's contact, and suspicion fell immediately on Lady Fioro. Vorn Zaday was dismissed immediately from suspicion as 'too obvious'. The party had a chat to Lieutenant Arandis, but decided not to socialise in general, which surprised me. I also had both of the participants make Gambling checks each day to see if they stayed in the tournament. Polrac'kus lived up to the players' expectations when he rolled several 20s to stay in the tournament, while Nirrook, with no gambling experience, barely managed to scrape through both rounds. (We joked that Nirrook, an accountant and statistician, was probably frantically calculating the precise odds at every step of the way and gambling the exact number of credits to get the maximum projected net profit...) I also made a point of showing how every day, Baron Kithriss and his two bodyguards came to watch the tournament. Dall's player ground her teeth.

At this point, the heroes got the message from Silas Draver, asking them to come to meet him at the docking bay. After briefly considering splitting up, the party decided to move down en masse. They could remember what happened the last time they split up. Polrac'kus waited outside the landing pad to keep watch while the other characters found no one was waiting for them. At this point the Wing Guard came running in to arrest them. Nirrook and Michal both wanted to flee, but Gaarbecca charged in to buy them time to escape and no one wanted to leave him behind. Polrac'kus waited until the Wing Guard went past and then followed them, arriving a round after the fight began.

This turned out to be an interesting battle. Gaarbecca got taken out very quickly by combined fire from the Wing Guard and one of the patrol droids. Michal, meanwhile, used Surge to jump off the platform on to one of the droids as it was flying past, despite the fact that if he'd failed, he'd be dead. He then managed to steer the droid back towards the landing pad as he fought with it, almost killing it with his lightsabre. Unfortunately for him, the Droid managed to dislodge him, and he fell to the platform 30ft below, unconscious. Nirrook switched his blaster rifle to Autofire and in a horribly unexpected display of competancy decimated all the remaining Wing Guard in a single round, before being taken out by one of the battle droids. This left Polrac'kus against the two killer droids. Because of positioning, he'd be able to deal with them one by one, but the first one was uninjured and about to charge...

Polrac'kus proceeded to roll a 20 on every attack roll. We all gaped as the brain-tentacled Chuck Norris utterly demolished the enemy single handedly, without losing a single Force Point or Hit Point.

And that was the end of the session.

The next session began with the players having recovered from their injuries and returning to the tournament. I taunted Michal a bit by saying that rumour now said that a Jedi fugitive had murdered some of the Wing Guard last night, and that a destroyed patrol droid had a very garbled recording of the Jedi jumping on it... Pulling out your lightsabre in Cloud City is not a good way to avoid attention. However, I didn't have anything happen as a result apart from rumours, which were just a reminder to him to be more careful in the future.

The last day of gambling before the finals took place, and once again the players decided not to socialise, and instead to just watch the other participants and see if they were acting funny. None of them were, of course, so this was fairly unsuccessful. So we had Nirrook and Polrac'kus roll to see if they got into the finals, and to everyone's horror Polrac'kus failed his roll abysmally! The veritable superman was eliminated from the tournament, leaving the accountant who only learnt the game two weeks earlier as the party's last contender. The party then attempted to install Switch's software into the computer, and succeeded, but had been unsuccessful at changing the programming so that it would benefit Nirrook instead of Polrac'kus, so the effort was wasted.

For the finals, I decided to break the day into multiple rounds. In each round, an incident would happen (Creeska using a skifter, Arandis and Fioro doing the exchange, etc.) and after each round, all participants would make a gambling check. The winner would get +2 to the next round's gambling check, the runner up would get +1, the third place +0, the fourth place -1, and so on. In addition, the gambler with the lowest total would be eliminated from the tournament. This kept the final round a bit more drawn out and interesting than making it the result of one roll only, and the players were able to see who was winning.

Nirrook finally decided to talk to people at this point. He talked to Lady Fioro, but her snooty attitude aggravated him and he decided to talk to Vorn Zaday next. For whatever reason, the players took a mild liking to the Neimoidian lady (probably because, unlike the other competitors, Zaday is actually quite a nice person) and hoped she'd win. Since at this point she was the clear favourite, there was a pretty decent chance that she would.

However, when the final dice were rolled, Zaday and Fioro tied with a 19. And Nirrook's total... was 20. The Mon Calamari accountant was the winner of the Sabacc tournament! Everyone cheered, and I quickly calculated that he'd receive 50,000 credits for his efforts, with another 50,000 for Switch.

At this point, Silas Draver attacked. The party burst out laughing when the Sabacc tables started attacking, feeling that this was utterly ludicrous, but they soon got into the fight, and it proved to be a highly entertaining one, as well as the first fight in which no party members got rendered unconscious for once! I set out models throughout the casino to show how every single person present was taking part in this huge firefight, then cleared away the excess models and rolled initiative. Gaarbecca immediately charged Draver's goons and started cleaving his way through them, while Michal Dom used Acrobatic Strike and Battle Strike to unleash some gun-fu upon the goons. Polrac'kus began blasting away. Nirrook grabbed Vorn and ran for the cover of the bar. The two hid behind it, and began a drinking game that had all of us in stitches. Both characters quickly became completely smashed. Towards the end of the fight, Silas realised he was doomed and made a dash for the door. He was flanked by Gaarbecca and Michal, the latter of whom made a running jump between one of the attacking gambling droids and the table it was suspended above, successfully making a DC 40 jump check! (Surge is a fun power). Polrac'kus then killed Draver and the PCs proceeded to destroy the Sabacc droids, aided by two incredibly drunk gamblers who started hurling empty bottles of Corellian Whiskey. Frighteningly, both Zaday and Nirrook managed to hit a sabacc table with their thrown bottles, and the 1d6 damage that I ruled a bottle would do was enough to destroy both their targets!

After the match was over, Nirrook and I decided that Zaday had given him an invitation for the night at this point, and that the two were now in a relationship. Nirrook also offered to hire Zaday to join the Alderaanian rebellion, and she accepted. The rest of the party interrogated Fioro and learnt what they needed to know from her. It was at this point that the session ended and everyone levelled up in time for the climax of the adventure!
We finished Queen of Air and Darkness yesterday. There was less role-playing in this session, and a lot more combats, so it seemed we got less done than we had other days, even though it was a longer session.

The party headed down through Cloud City to find Darga the Hutt and intercept the transaction. They were intercepted by a group of corrupt Wing Guard and Stormtroopers, who attacked the heroes. The Stormtroopers caused a lot of damage with autofire, and took Nirrook unconscious, but Padawan Michal jumped across a huge chasm to land on their platform, diverting their attention from the rest of the group. With Deflect and Absorb Energy, he was impervious to their attacks, and he quickly mopped them up. Meanwhile, Gaarbecca charged the Wing Guard, who got a few good shots at him before he used his Cleave feat to summarily destroy them all.

The party continued to Darga's hanger, where Michal accidentally alerted the enemy to his presence. The party stayed outside the hangar and tried to snipe the enemy to death - however, with only the npc Pol'rackus having an effective ranged attack, this strategy proved quite ineffective. (The party also tried a very amusing combat move to begin the fight - Grenade Shockball! Vorn Zaday threw a grenade at Michal, who had a readied action to use his telekinetic force powers to slam it into the room much further than he could throw it, to try to take out a cluster of enemies. Unfortunately the range was just too great, but it was an interesting idea!) The party was being slowly whittled down due to their incapability to get all the heroes active in the combat. Pol'rackus, to everyone's horror, was taken down by a volley of blaster fire, as was Nirrook.

At this point, Michal suggested that the party fall back and let the enemy follow them. Bad idea! The enemy had no intention of doing anything of the sort, and instead the pilots began to move towards their Z-95 Headhunters while Darga squelched his way back to the Glorious Chariot. Michal realised he'd stuffed up very badly and then activated Surge, spent a Force Point to boost its effects, and then moved at ludicrous speeds, running across the entire battlefield in one turn. He got to the Glorious Chariot before Darga did and then shut the door, blocking off his enemy's escape route. En route, however, he drew an attack of opportunity from Darga's bodyguard droid, which took him down to six hit points only! The party was terrified - if Michal was killed by the droid, then there would be no chance of victory. In desperation, Gaarbecca grabbed Nirrook's blaster rifle and then ran into the hangar, and fired. He missed by a mile, spent a Force Point... and rolled a 6, hitting exactly! He then rolled exactly enough damage to finish off the bodyguard droid, saving Michal and the party from an untimely end.

Michal then headed for the cockpit, to try to find some sort of surface-defence laser to use against the bad guys (while avoiding the copious amounts of Hutt slime that coated the ship's interior). Gaarbecca, meanwhile, asked if he could spot the docking bay's control terminal! No one had any idea what he wanted, but after two turns he rolled a high enough perception to find one. At the same time, Darga had taken control of the Glorious Chariot's computers with his slave-circuit, opening the door to allow all six remaining pilots to enter the ship and go after Michal. The Jedi Padawan realised his chances of survival were still incredibly slim.

At this point, Gaarbecca succeeded in his Use Computer check on the docking control computer. He'd re-wired the fire extinguishers in the docking bay to consider the Hutt a target! Foam sprayed out from everywhere, soaking the enfuriated Hutt. Sensing an opportunity for some fun, I then made a roll before gleefully announcing to the party that Darga had dropped the slave-circuit controller when he was hit by the foam and had subsequently rolled on it, destroying it! And, because this sort of thing is a GM's prerogative, I made another roll and declared that in the process, Darga had done accidentally what he'd been threatening to do: he'd activated the Glorious Chariot's self-destruct! Michal and the pilots abandoned their fight and sprinted outside, battling through the slime and the foam-spewing fire extinguishers, to get away from the ship before it exploded. Michal and four of the pilots made it. Darga, however, standing just outside the ship, didn't. The Glorious Chariot exploded in a massive fireball, roasting the Hutt instantly - and then both were extinguished by the clouds of foam.

Darga was, of course, alive enough to give his last minute gloat, advancing the plot to the final encounter. He died in mid-laugh. ("Ho. Ho. H...erk!") The party headed into the Z-95 Headhunters, except for Gaarbecca, who was picked up by the Banshee and manned the Banshee's quad laser cannons. At this point, I decided to skip the fight against the Cloud Cars, because we were running out of time and that fight doesn't really contribute to the plot at all. We went straight for the space battle against the TIE fighters. This battle proved fairly amusingly one sided. The TIE fighters were completely and utterly outmatched, and the party chewed through them in quick succession. They were tied down for long enough that the Star Destroyer came near and began firing on them, but it never hit. Then, with the Shackles of Nizom almost at the gas hauler, the party concentrated their fire on it. Vorn Zaday rolled a critical hit that took 1/3 of its hit points away in a single volley. Overall, however, the party was just not able to do enough damage to save the day - until Captain O'Keefe made a brave choice. The Banshee had been hurt quite badly by the TIE fighters, and so rather than let all the slaves die, she rammed the Banshee into the gas hauler, destroying both in a fiery explosion while the crew evacuated in escape pods.

With the slaves saved, I then sped through the message from the Shackles and the Assiduous. The first chapter of Dawn of Defiance was over!
I love this thread gonna start GMing DoD in a month or so and this thread is not only interesting reading but tons of help as well
keep it going :D
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