Our Dawn of Defiance Campaign Log (Spoilers)

I've enjoyed other campaign logs on this site so much that I thought I'd post my own, now that I've finally got a proper group to play with.

EDIT: The group discussed in this post has since informed me that they only want to play once in a while. For the antics of my current group, start in Post #5.

It was extremely difficult to get everyone together, but after several scattered character-creation sessions, we had our first official playing session today. All my players are first-timers and, as you can tell from our party list, didn't worry too much about typical naming conventions for their characters:

Ahmed, male Mon Calamari scout. Our resident physical sciences expert.
Beedo, male Rodian scout. I created the character at the original player's request, but he couldn't make it and an unexpected arrival ran this character instead.
Carlos the Dwarf, male Duros scoundrel. The group slicer.
Oro, male Mon Calamari noble. The party doctor and damage controller.
Shazam, male Duros soldier. He amusingly somehow managed to roll higher starting credits than Oro.
Harrison Storms, female Twi'lek Jedi. This is her third name since the character was created.
Curtis, female Bothan scoundrel. Group mechanic and wants to become the group sniper as she levels up.

Episode I: The Traitor's Gambit, Day 1

The PCs arrived on Sel Zonn Station, quickly noticed four men loitering around the Promenade, and realized that these guys were all dressed exactly alike and had hidden comlinks. Some PCs wanted to straight-up ask these guys what they were up to, but Oro convinced them that wasn't a good idea. Instead, they made Gather Information checks and discovered that these men showed up on the Promenade every few days, always watching the crowd and whispering to themselves. The men were suspected to be Imperial sympathizers, but the locals didn't ask too many questions because that's a quick ticket to the spice mines.

To find out what the informants were up to, Curtis pretended she was drunk and loitered up to one of them. She rolled a 3 on her Deception check (and everyone knew it, much to their amusement); the informant rolled a 27 on his Perception check.

Curtis: "Oh, man...the Empire. They take all these taxes...and I don't have any money."

The informant gave Curtis a raised eyebrow, looked away and started whistling. The PCs assumed the whistling was some kind of signal, and Curtis began improvising a pro-Empire song on the spot. The PCs were spread out across the Promenade, and Shazam and Beedo were trying to sneak up on one informant to kidnap him for interrogation when Maya arrived, quickly followed by four stormtroopers who ordered the PCs to step away.

The PCs didn't know whether the informants and the stormtroopers were together; some of them suspected the whistling informant had signaled them, and Storms was afraid Maya might be evil. The others convinced her to "do the heroic thing" and attack the stormtroopers, though Oro initially decided to stand back and not give anyone a reason to shoot him, since he's probably the weakest player in the group, HP- and damage threshold-wise.

Due to horrible rolls from all sides and the large number of players, the Promenade Shootout encounter took forever. The stormtroopers quickly stunned Maya, but couldn't manage to hit anyone else. Ahmed grabbed Maya and dragged her under a table to protect her. Initially the PCs didn't attack the informants since they were only sure the stormtroopers were bad guys, but that quickly changed when the informants started shooting at them. In round two (after about ten minutes of real time), Carlos the Dwarf finally made the first kill on an informant, earning loud cheers and high-fives from his fellow players. Ahmed took out all four stormtroopers, who were still in formation, with a single frag grenade. The informants wounded both Ahmed and Beedo. Storms took out a second informant with her "flashlight-o'-death" (thanks, Christian_Jedi, the entire session I don't think I used the word "lightsaber" more than once ). Oro got trapped between the last two informants and couldn't move any direction without provoking an attack of opportunity. He tried to attack one informant, missed and flatly stated, "I'm gonna die." Both informants fortunately decided Carlos and Storms were more important targets, and missed them both. Carlos stunned a third informant to rescue Oro, while Curtis began searching the stormtroopers. Amusingly, Oro (!) finally ended the fight by stunning the last informant.

Ahmed and Beedo played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would get Oro's single medpac. Ahmed won, but Oro said, "I was thinking of using it on the woman who started this whole battle!" Storms was still unsure whether Maya was good, but the others insisted that if stormtoopers were after her, she was probably good. Oro strolled down to Delgas Medical Supplies (just reopening its blinds after the firefight) and bought eight medpacs from the shaken clerk. Curtis discovered the stormtroopers' equipment was mostly useless thanks to the frag grenade (much to Ahmed's dismay), although Curtis did salvage one medpac. The others used their mesh tape to tie up the stunned informants and argued about what to do with them.

The players thought that since they'd killed or KO'd everyone, they could hang out on the Promenade for a while. Then one of the stormtroopers' comlinks fizzed and a voice demanded, "Where are you? Status report!" Curtis picked up the helmet, rolled a 20 on her Deception check and claimed they'd found the woman and would report in soon. Oro revived Maya, who said they couldn't talk there and directed the PCs to her apartment. They took the stunned informants with them. En route, Oro spilled one medpac ("Epic failure!") while trying to patch up Ahmed, but then successfully restored some hit points on both Ahmed and Beedo.

At Maya's apartment, Shazam stayed outside to watch, though the only unusual thing in the area was a janitor's cart. Maya explained who she was, what had happened to her, and the importance of the situation with Switch. To calm Storms's doubts (which were starting to rub off on some of the others), Shazam came inside, scrutinized Maya and realized she was being honest. The PCs asked about the credits Maya had mentioned when begging them for help; she assured them that Senator Organa would reward them and promised to give them passage to Alderaan.

The players agreed to help Maya, but had trouble deciding what to do with the informants. Suddenly Oro remembered the hidden comlinks, much to everyone's alarm (and wishing they'd just left the guys on the Promenade), and the PCs quickly confiscated the comlinks; fortunately the informants hadn't woken up yet. Since they were still tied up and probably couldn't give Maya too much trouble, the PCs decided to leave the informants with her, even though she didn't think it was such a good idea. We ended there.

Large-group adaptations made: I doubled the number of opponents in the Promenade Shootout encounter to account for the extra players. As mentioned, it took forever because everyone was rolling badly, though none of the players got too terribly wounded, so I guess it was sufficiently challenging.

Comments: Before the playing session, I rolled initiative for each combat encounter in the adventure so we could get into the fights faster. Looking at how long this (supposedly) simple fight took, I'll stick to that for all future fights, because Initiative checks take forever and they really slow things down.

If you're playing with a large group, things simply take a lot longer with that many players, especially combat. My players wanted to go off on tangents and discuss a lot of stuff, especially when figuring out what to do next. I'm a "let's-keep-it-moving" type of GM, so this was frustrating. This also happened in my previous group, which was half the size of this one, but the effect increases quite a bit with more players. Overall, though, it seemed like everyone really had a good time. It's going to be several weeks before we can play together again, but I'll keep posting as we progress.
Check out the Eve of Destruction Campaign! My Eve of Destruction campaign log My group's misadventures in Dawn of Defiance Fixing DoD destinies Destiny Awaits! Ideas for using destinies in your campaigns How to hijack a Star Destroyer
Jedi_Unleashed's post
I've enjoyed other campaign logs on this site so much that I thought I'd post my own, now that I've finally got a proper group to play with. It was extremely difficult to get everyone together, but after several scattered character-creation sessions, we had our first official playing session today. All my players are first-timers and, as you can tell from our party list, didn't worry too much about typical naming conventions for their characters:

Ahmed, male Mon Calamari scout. Our resident physical sciences expert.
Beedo, male Rodian scout. I created the character at the original player's request, but he couldn't make it and an unexpected arrival ran this character instead.
Carlos the Dwarf, male Duros scoundrel. The group slicer.
Oro, male Mon Calamari noble. The party doctor and damage controller.
Shazam, male Duros soldier. He amusingly somehow managed to roll higher starting credits than Oro.
Harrison Storms, female Twi'lek Jedi. This is her third name since the character was created.
Curtis, female Bothan scoundrel. Group mechanic and wants to become the group sniper as she levels up.

Episode I: The Traitor's Gambit, Day 1

The PCs arrived on Sel Zonn Station, quickly noticed four men loitering around the Promenade, and realized that these guys were all dressed exactly alike and had hidden comlinks. Some PCs wanted to straight-up ask these guys what they were up to, but Oro convinced them that wasn't a good idea. Instead, they made Gather Information checks and discovered that these men showed up on the Promenade every few days, always watching the crowd and whispering to themselves. The men were suspected to be Imperial sympathizers, but the locals didn't ask too many questions because that's a quick ticket to the spice mines.

To find out what the informants were up to, Curtis pretended she was drunk and loitered up to one of them. She rolled a 3 on her Deception check (and everyone knew it, much to their amusement); the informant rolled a 27 on his Perception check.
more hidden post

Curtis: "Oh, man...the Empire. They take all these taxes...and I don't have any money."

The informant gave Curtis a raised eyebrow, looked away and started whistling. The PCs assumed the whistling was some kind of signal, and Curtis began improvising a pro-Empire song on the spot. The PCs were spread out across the Promenade, and Shazam and Beedo were trying to sneak up on one informant to kidnap him for interrogation when Maya arrived, quickly followed by four stormtroopers who ordered the PCs to step away.

The PCs didn't know whether the informants and the stormtroopers were together; some of them suspected the whistling informant had signaled them, and Storms was afraid Maya might be evil. The others convinced her to "do the heroic thing" and attack the stormtroopers, though Oro initially decided to stand back and not give anyone a reason to shoot him, since he's probably the weakest player in the group, HP- and damage threshold-wise.
hiding the last part of the post

Due to horrible rolls from all sides and the large number of players, the Promenade Shootout encounter took forever. The stormtroopers quickly stunned Maya, but couldn't manage to hit anyone else. Ahmed grabbed Maya and dragged her under a table to protect her. Initially the PCs didn't attack the informants since they were only sure the stormtroopers were bad guys, but that quickly changed when the informants started shooting at them. In round two (after about ten minutes of real time), Carlos the Dwarf finally made the first kill on an informant, earning loud cheers and high-fives from his fellow players. Ahmed took out all four stormtroopers, who were still in formation, with a single frag grenade. The informants shot both Ahmed and Beedo, bringing them down to about half and two-thirds of their hit points, respectively. Storms took out a second informant with her "flashlight-o'-death" (thanks, Christian_Jedi, the entire session I don't think I used the word "lightsaber" more than once ). Oro got trapped between the last two informants and couldn't move any direction without provoking an attack of opportunity. He tried to attack one informant, missed and flatly stated, "I'm gonna die." Both informants fortunately decided Carlos and Storms were more important targets, and missed them both. Carlos stunned a third informant to rescue Oro, while Curtis began searching the stormtroopers. Storms swung wide of the last informant, but managed not to slice Beedo or the table he was using for cover. Amusingly, Oro (!) finally ended the fight by stunning the last informant.

Ahmed and Beedo played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would get Oro's single medpac. Ahmed won, but Oro said, "I was thinking of using it on the woman who started this whole battle!" Storms was still unsure whether Maya was good, but the others insisted that if stormtoopers were after her, she was probably good. Oro strolled down to Delgas Medical Supplies (just reopening its blinds after the firefight) and bought eight medpacs from the shaken clerk. Curtis discovered the stormtroopers' equipment was mostly useless thanks to the frag grenade (much to Ahmed's dismay), although Curtis did salvage one medpac. The others used their mesh tape to tie up the stunned informants and argued about what to do with them.

The players thought that since they'd killed or KO'd everyone, they could hang out on the Promenade for a while. Then one of the stormtroopers' comlinks fizzed and a voice demanded, "Where are you? Status report!" Curtis picked up the helmet, rolled a 20 on her Deception check and claimed they'd found the woman and would report in soon. Oro revived Maya, who said they couldn't talk there and directed the PCs to her apartment. They took the stunned informants with them. En route, Oro spilled one medpac ("Epic failure!") while trying to patch up Ahmed, but then successfully restored some hit points on both Ahmed and Beedo.

At Maya's apartment, Shazam stayed outside to watch, though the only unusual thing in the area was a janitor's cart. Maya explained who she was, what had happened to her, and the importance of the situation with Switch. To calm Storms's doubts (which were starting to rub off on some of the others), Shazam scrutinized Maya and realized she was too weak to be deceptive and was being as open as she would with her best friend. The PCs asked about the credits Maya had mentioned when begging them for help; she assured them that Senator Organa would reward them and promised to give them passage to Alderaan.

The players agreed to help Maya, but had trouble deciding what to do with the informants. Suddenly Oro remembered the hidden comlinks, much to everyone's alarm (and wishing they'd just left the guys on the Promenade), and the PCs quickly confiscated the comlinks; fortunately the informants hadn't woken up yet. Since they were still tied up and probably couldn't give Maya too much trouble, the PCs decided to leave the informants with her, even though she didn't think it was such a good idea. We ended there.

Large-group adaptations made: I doubled the number of opponents in the Promenade Shootout encounter to account for the extra players. As mentioned, it took forever because everyone was rolling badly, though none of the players got too terribly wounded, so I guess it was sufficiently challenging.

Comments: Before the playing session, I rolled initiative for each combat encounter in the adventure so we could get into the fights faster. Looking at how long this (supposedly) simple fight took, I'll stick to that for all future fights, because Initiative checks take forever and they really slow things down.

If you're playing with a large group, things simply take a lot longer with that many players, especially combat. My players wanted to go off on tangents and discuss a lot of stuff, especially when figuring out what to do next. I'm a "let's-keep-it-moving" type of GM, so this was frustrating. This also happened in my previous group, which was half the size of this one, but the effect increases quite a bit with more players. Overall, though, it seemed like everyone really had a good time. It's going to be several weeks before we can play together again, but I'll keep posting as we progress.

That's funny, my group of PC (also first time players) did some very similar things. We shifted the era to the rebellion era and the PCs will be working for
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Mon Mothma instead of Bail Organa
. We had a trio of Jedi PC who'd been in hiding since birth (one of the players has since switched over to playing a soldier instead) escorted by my NPCs, a Cathar scout, a Kel Dor noble, and an astromech droid/scoundrel (usually the droid and either the scout or the noble stay on the ship and I send which ever NPC will be most helpful).

One of the two female Jedi pretended to be drunk to approach the Imperial informants, but I had Maya stumble onto the promenade before she got a chance to fail her deception check ;)

The PCs were also hesitant to shoot at either side in the Maya vs. the Empire fight. The cathar shot at the informants when they drew their weapons and took aim at the "drunk" Jedi when she drew her lightsaber to defend Maya if anybody came to try to kill her after she'd been stunned by the Stormies. By the time the third Jedi got her turn, both the informants were dead or unconscious, but the third Jedi couldn't get to either of the troopers to use her "flashlight," so she used Force grip on one of the Stormtroopers. At this point, the stormtroopers had not yet fired on the PCs, and when her player specified that she wanted to choke the trooper, I gave her a DSP. I used this as an opportunity to introduce the group to DSPs, but I'm wishing I hadn't given her one for that use, because now they are all (overly) cautious about using Force grip. After all, one of the stormtroopers had fired on Maya and knocked her unconscious.

I just thought the parallels between the two groups were interesting.

One big thing that was different about our session, though is that the first fight took very little time. We got though the entire first part of the module (to the point of escaping Sel Zonn station) in our first session (about 4 hours of playing). Almost nobody missed and the first fight only took 2 rounds. I was scrambling to keep up, as I figured we'd get to the point where the PCs were finishing up talking to Switch and the Chevin & company busted in. At one point, we had to take a break so that I could reread the last section of the portion of the module that took place on Sel Zonn station. For next time, I've already finished prepping for all of part 2, and plan to have my notes ready for part 3 before we start.

I like the idea of rolling initiative ahead of time, but it will only save me a couple of rolls, as I usually group all the opposing NPCs into 1 or 2 groups to cut down on the number of rolls (for example, in the hanger fight, the ImpO had is own roll, the 4 Stormtroopers had 1 roll, and the repulsorsled had its own roll). Never really became an issue, though, because half the troopers and the ImpO were both down before they even got a turn.

Thanks for sharing, JU
I usually do it the same way, blackcat--usually stormies are on a different initiative count than their officers, etc, but that doesn't necessarily mean all the stormies are shooting at the same target. Usually I had each informant shooting at a different PC, plus with seven PCs there's just a lot going on! I probably shouldn't have been using gummy bears to keep track of everyone's position on the battle map--there are only so many colors and it got very confusing. At least nobody ate their PC's bear; we eventually switched to using extra dice. ;) My last group had a substantial collection of SW Minis, but since I've moved, I have to make do with what I have.

Incidentally, I've found that pre-making battle maps out of graph paper tends to work well for me; in my last group I would use a blank battle map (they were minis collectors, so they had several maps) and just use random objects to mark boundaries etc, but that could take several minutes before the fight could begin. Graph paper doesn't come cheap, but if you use scraps from one to build others, you can make it go farther.
*Sigh*...I am having major problems with truant players. The one truly dedicated player and I may need to find a different group. Stand by for updates...this may mean rewriting my first post.
New group! In this case, I only had two players (one new, one from the original group), so Oro the Mon Calamari noble returned, and his player also ran Shazam the Duros soldier from our last group (now considered Oro's bodyguard). The new player rolled up Greks, a male Trandoshan Jedi, and also ran Beedo the Rodian scout from our last group. The new player had D&D experience, but hadn't tried Star Wars, so there was much looking up of the rules as we went along. I will follow Xenocide's lead and simply describe the characters in terms of class so you don't have to keep the names straight.

So far, the Jedi seems to be the only one with a character background: during the Clone Wars, a Jedi stationed in Greks's home system for an extended period of time taught Greks a few things. The Jedi was killed in Order 66, leaving Greks with a hatred of the Empire and only basic knowledge of the Force (he doesn't have any Force powers).
Episode I (The Traitor's Gambit), Day 1

I started back at the beginning of The Traitor's Gambit. Because of the way the PCs had positioned themselves on the map, at the beginning of "Promenade Shootout" I had Maya come in from one end (where the noble, the soldier, and the informants were standing) and the stormtroopers come in from the other end to face the Jedi and the scout. The noble grabbed Maya and dragged her away from the informants, whereupon she crawled behind a packing crate and hid for the rest of the encounter. The stormtroopers managed to crit on the Jedi the first time they shot him, introducing the condition track mechanic. Nearly everyone took damage except the noble, who managed to hit the informants when the soldier couldn't. (Seriously, this player must be charmed.)

The PCs salvaged the stormtroopers' and informants' weapons and equipment and took Maya up to her apartment. The noble patched everyone up and Maya explained about the cargo and asked them to get it for her, promising them that doing so would save many innocent lives and that she could get them passage to Alderaan. The scout asked about the credits she'd promised and she assured him that Senator Organa would reward them.

The PCs didn't want to leave Maya alone, so they left the scout to protect her, went to an info kiosk and found out all they could about Bay V14. Seeing that the section was quarantined, they worried about security there. They learned that exhaust vents opened into the back of the bay, so the scout removed the air vent in a turbolift and the Jedi went crawling through the ducts to reach the bay, using his breath mask to avoid poisoning from toxic fumes, while the noble and the soldier stayed in the turbolift. Upon reaching the bay, the Jedi spotted Switch, his R5 unit, and four of his thugs, so he called in the others for backup. He crawled back through the vents and rejoined them.

Much to the PCs' surprise, the only thing between the main hallway and the quarantined area was a line of caution tape. After weaving through the dilapidated hallways, they reached the bay. The noble tricked the guards into thinking the PCs had an appointment with Switch, and the guards let them in.

Switch welcomed the PCs and offered them a drink; while looking through his selection, he found a bottle of common brandy, scolded his majordomo for putting it in with his fine selection, and tossed it aside, not seeming to care when it shattered against a packing crate. The PCs didn't mention Maya's name, merely saying they were there to pick up a cargo for a customer. Switch figured it out and told them they could have it for 1,000 credits. After some failed attempts to lower the price (they didn't want to be associated with someone like Switch, so they weren't interested in providing him with information), the irritated PCs paid up and Switch told them where to go. Just as the PCs were ready to leave and find another info kiosk, I sprung "Ganga Lor's Grudge" on them. I didn't like Ganga Lor's way-too-expository throwdown speech, so I substituted this exchange:

Ganga Lor: "Dealin' with offworlders behind my back again, eh? Think you're pretty slick, huh?"
Switch: "Who I deal with is my business, Ganga Lor. Now if you don't mind, we're conducting a business transaction and you're making a nuisance of yourself."
Ganga Lor: (laughs) "I'll show you nuisance. Turn him into a scrap heap, boys!"

The PCs were not thrilled about being caught in the middle, but figured they should help Switch. I used a single initiative roll for both Switch's and Ganga Lor's thugs, who happened to go first. Switch's thugs quickly knocked down two of Ganga Lor's, whereupon Ganga Lor yelled, "Blue Shadow Special! Blue Shadow Special!" The PCs had no idea what that meant, until the scout moved to get closer to Ganga Lor and provoked an attack of opportunity from two of Switch's thugs. Switch hid behind a packing crate and stayed there the rest of the fight, only occasionally sticking his head out to yell things like, "I expected this, only not so soon!" "Are you finished out there?"

The PCs had much difficulty figuring out who was the most important target and how to move without provoking attacks of opportunity or shooting into melee, and the battle became one of attrition. The noble wound up toe-to-toe with a thug and actually lasted about three rounds before finally going down. Slowly the thugs were whittled down, and the Jedi finally took down Ganga Lor when Ganga Lor panicked and tried to move away with both the Jedi and the scout adjacent to him.

By the end of the fight, the noble had been KO'd and everyone else had taken damage, in some cases pretty hefty. The angry Jedi and scout confronted Switch and demanded compensation. Switch insisted he had expected his thugs to turn on him, just not so soon. He explained what the cargo was, why it was important and why the agent had frozen himself in carbonite. He also called in Dr. Delgas to get the PCs treated for free. The noble's player was commenting on the current mess they were in and suggesting what they should do next, when the other player pointed out, "You're unconscious!"

When Dr. Delgas arrived, she took one look at the scene and suggested the PCs would be better off with a dip in a bacta tank rather than just medpac treatments. They agreed. For the sake of roleplaying the interesting parts, I just told the PCs they stayed at the medical center for as long as it took to get them up to full hp, which was about twenty-four hours. We ended there.

Comments: I discovered I really need to study the combat rules more; we had many attacks of opportunity and much confusion about cover and shooting into melee during this session. The battles seemed more balanced this time (Post #1 describes the madness of last session), and it was a nice change from my very first group, in which my bad guys might not get a single hit in an entire fight. My players seemed to have a good time; one later told me his roommate would like to join the game, so the group will change again next time; we'll just switch his character with one of the PCs from the old group.
The aforementioned player and his roommate came by today and rolled up a Duros scoundrel, who will be replacing Beedo. The Jedi also got some reworking in order to actually have Force powers.

Correction to the Jedi's backstory: he doesn't know whether the Jedi who trained him is alive or dead. I'll have to work this in somehow; maybe have a chance to rescue the other Jedi in Sword of the Empire, but surely I'll have to have him/her turn up before them. Could be more dramatic if Draco took him/her down, though.
You don't have to wait until Episode 9. Here's an idea, but in case your players read this, I'll make it a spoiler:

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Replace the Jedi from Episode 4 (I forget his name at this point) with your Jedi's teacher. He dies in that episode, which could create some nice drama for you.
Thanks, old_benn. Actually, while musing in another thread I came up with another way that I think I like better:
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I'll take the bounty hunter Vril Vrakth in The First to Strike and turn him into the Jedi's old master, who's fallen to the dark side and is trying to prove to Draco that he's worthy to join the Inquisitorius. During the fight, he'll say things like, "I sense you've been learning from a powerful Jedi. Break off the Jedi yoke. Embrace the dark side and learn the true power of the Force, as my mentor Draco did. Ah, you know that name? Valin Draco, the student of Jedi Denia, now a Jedi scourge himself?"

That kills two birds with one stone--you bring back the old master and learn the relationship between Denia and Draco, which apparently the PCs won't find out unless you come up with a way to tell them.

Then I'll probably bring Vrakth back in Sword of the Empire...I guess that means I'd have to write out his Trando apprentice who vows hatred of the PCs for killing his mentor, since I think having two incidences of didn't-we-already-kill-this-guy in one campaign is too much. Or maybe I'll have him be at the head of the mercs in The Gem of Alderaan, blaming the PCs for his failure to be accepted into the Inquisitorius--epic duel on top of a runaway train, anyone?

Hmm, I sense a possible Redemption destiny here...too bad the player's already got Rescue...maybe I can talk him out of it...
The Traitor's Gambit, Day 2

The party has changed once again. The creator of the Duros scoundrel dropped out, leaving us with two players again but giving us his character sheet, and the Jedi got some serious reworking, so here's the revised party list:

Oro, Mon Calamari noble. The party medic with an insanely high Perception check.
Shazam, Duros soldier. Oro's much-needed bodyguard.
Kadlo, Duros scout.
Traken, Ithorian Jedi. As the player put it, "He's got the same backstory, but he's a totally different character!" :D

The group headed up to Blue Deck and got plenty of sneers because they were all aliens. The noble spotted Skig Banos and remembered him from the Promenade. The Jedi mind-tricked Banos into going into the nearest bar for a drink, where the noble gently, then more forcefully, persuaded him to spill the beans about the Imperials in the docking bay. The Jedi bought Banos a strong drink to keep him there for a while and the PCs left.

Upon entering the docking bay, the PCs actually made it a short distance before the Imperial officer yelled at them and the fight broke out. The party spread out and quickly took down half the stormtroopers, though the Jedi failed his attempt to Force grip the officer. One frag grenade took out the stormtrooper pilot and the scout jumped aboard the damaged but usable repulsorsled. In the process of trying to get a clear shot at the officer, the scout picked up the entire party and smashed the last two stormtroopers with the sled. With the officer cowering behind packing crates, screaming into his comlink for reinforcements, the PCs prepared to zoom out of the docking bay aboard the sled, although they really didn't know what to do once they got out, especially since the Empire would really be after them now. They thought they shouldn't have left Maya alone.

Just then, Maya called the PCs and asked if they had the cargo yet. When the Jedi confirmed that they did, they heard Maya shrieking into another comlink, and she told them Captain O'Keefe would come into the docking bay to pick them up. The PCs steered back inside and quickly were confronted by the first of several waves of stormtrooper reinforcements. This first wave critted on the scout, resulting in our first Force point spent to avoid death. Knowing they still had several rounds before Captain O'Keefe would arrive, the rest of the party started to take cover behind the sled. At this point, Captain O'Keefe called and frantically told the PCs they had to unlock the magcon field so she could get in.

Jedi: "Oh."
Noble: "Tell her she'll have to wait."

The still-standing PCs all finally got behind the sled and took potshots at the stormtroopers as more waves arrived. There were several natural 1's rolled, leaving those stormtroopers frantically trying to replace their power packs in the middle of the fight (I use the rule that a natural 1 on an attack roll = out of ammo). The Jedi deflected all attempts to shoot him and frequently used the Move Light Object aspect of UtF to pelt stormtroopers with their fallen comrades' blasters. Once the noble had revived the scout, everyone jumped back on the sled and zoomed over to the control room, with the stormtroopers following them. The Jedi jumped off the sled and killed seven stormtroopers with his first use of Force slam. The soldier easily took down the last stormtrooper. The noble got to the control room and unlocked the magcon field; more stormtroopers arrived just before the Banshee landed (I said, "Imagine a giant ship right here." One player promptly grabbed one of the books and put it on the map. We all agreed that worked). This final wave critted on and nearly killed the soldier; again, a Force point saved him. The scoundrel dragged him into the ship, with the Jedi bringing the carbonite block (which they'd been towing around the whole time because I forgot to have the stormtrooper release the cable) and the noble bringing up the rear.

While in hyperspace, the soldier and the scout healed up. Upon arriving on Alderaan, the heroes were taken to a balcony with a buffet and a magnificent view of Alderaan. Senator Organa arrived with Maya, who claimed she'd stolen a shuttle and escaped the station after she realized that she should've been on the Banshee with the PCs. (I had planned for Organa to tell the PCs that Maya had safely gotten back anyway, but since my players had worried aloud about her, I had her turn up in person. My players found this a bit too convenient, but went along with it.)

The PCs accepted the assignment from Organa, but decided they first wanted to buy more weapons and get some battle droids to serve as cannon fodder, if nothing else, after the beatings they'd taken on Sel Zonn Station. I told them they couldn't get any of this stuff on Alderaan since they were pacifist, and Gather Information checks suggested going to either Geonosis or Nar Shaddaa. The PCs thought they'd have better luck on Nar Shaddaa, but Captain O'Keefe flatly refused to go there, asking, "Do you have any idea what you'd be getting into?" She suggested trying Tatooine instead.

On Tatooine, the PCs asked around and got the name of Creekhr. In the process they got into a one-round brawl with a pesky Jawa and his clan. After being reminded of what his Force slam could do to stormtroopers, much less Jawas, the Jedi tried and flubbed an attack with his Ithorian bellow instead (which, as the other player pointed out, got the attention of everyone within half a block). A badly rolled grenade attack almost knocked down several Jawas, and as soon as their turn came up, they fled.

Creekhr barely opened the door before demanding the PCs leave their weapons outside. The Jedi mind-tricked him into abandoning this idea. Creekhr turned out to be a one-eyed Togorian arms dealer with a mangled ear, a serious limp, and a tail that had been broken in several places and never set properly. (The players considered healing him, but when I pointed out that they'd have to make him friendly enough to do it, they gave up the idea.) He sold the PCs some grenades but told them the Imps had rounded up all the battle droids on Tatooine and destroyed them after the war, claiming you couldn't find a droid on the planet for less than 12,000 credits.

The PCs knew I was desperately trying to keep them from obtaining the three battle droids (read: three extra PCs) they wanted, but they persisted. Creekhr, after being persuaded to have his memory jogged, offered them a fourth-degree droid brain and a battered ASP-7 labor droid body. After persuading him to lower his price a little, the players debated for a little while before buying both the brain and the body. Captain O'Keefe barely managed to surpress her guffaw when they brought the thing back to the Banshee. During the trip to Felucia, the scoundrel rigged up the new droid brain, fixed up the labor droid's body, and replaced one of its hooks with a hand so it could actually hold a blaster.

When they dropped out of hyperspace, Captain O'Keefe noticed some strange energy fluctuations coming from the planet. As she headed for the prison facility, she suddenly spotted the point-defense cannon on the roof and abruptly changed course, crashing the Banshee into a mushroom and smashing up its front end before finally landing. The PCs were concerned that they'd been seen and that someone would find the Banshee before they got back. This opinion was shared by Captain O'Keefe: "They may not have seen us...probably did." She said she'd clean up and repair the Banshee and told the PCs it should take them about a day to get to the prison.

The PCs trekked through the jungle, and after a few near-misses with an exploding fungus bloom, a razor mushroom (which sliced up the noble a bit), and a sinkhole, they found a suit of scout trooper armor hanging from a mushroom. They heard noises coming from the lake up ahead, but didn't know exactly where they were coming from or who was making them. The Jedi move object-ed the armor down, whereupon I asked who was going to wear it. It was quickly determined that the Jedi and the noble couldn't fit in it (being Ithorian and Mon Cal, respectively), so that left the two Duros (Duroses?). At my suggestion, Shazam took it since his player had been longing for armor for him. Since it was getting late, I had the players level up, and we ended the session there.

Comments: I used several enhancements from the Enhancing DoD thread for this adventure, and I liked what happened. In retrospect, I probably could have just let the Banshee arrive on its own without making the players open the magcon field, since they'd already faced much more opposition than the module had outlined. I definitely should've put Maya on the Banshee, but I didn't think of that till later, and fortunately my players were good enough to go along with my improvised explanation for her escape.

As you can see from the Tatooine side quest, I'm not very good at GM'ing on the fly, and my players saw right through my attempts to prevent them from getting battle droids, though they did recognize I hadn't planned on this part of the adventure. Like I mentioned above, I didn't want three extra PCs in the party because that means a lot more work for me, but I appreciated the players' creativity in getting around me to get at least part of what they wanted. This entire incident led one player to comment that they should stay on the beaten path from then on and not pursue any more side quests, which I felt bad about.

If I had to do it again, I would've had Captain O'Keefe simply land out of sensor range and let the PCs hike in. No one had mentioned landing on the roof, so I don't think I needed the point-defense cannon deterrant, and I didn't think about the implications of the Banshee being spotted until the players brought it up. I hung up the scout trooper armor to hopefully prevent a massacre when I spring "Felucian Hospitality" on the players at the beginning of the next session.

All in all, a good session. Many natural 20's rolled (especially by the noble--he probably had six of them the whole night), although the noble seems to have partly lost his charm in combat. My favorite part was watching the "Frozen Goods" encounter unfold, especially the whole zooming-around-on-the-sled dynamic.
Session Planning: When I ran the "Felucian Hospitality" encounter for my last group, it was more or less a "one hit, one kill" type of fight, which is not fun at all. To make a more interesting fight with more interesting opponents (and also to demonstrate that the Felucians are good guys, at least probably not on good terms with the Empire), I redesigned a couple of the scouts as Felucian shamans-in-training, one of whom is starting to walk the path of the dark side. I'll use these guys as two of the scouts and use two of the scouts as written.

Cobarr, lightsider:
Medium Felucian nonheroic 4
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
Languages Felucianese
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Defenses Ref 11 (flat-footed 10), Fort 12, Will 12
hp 11; Threshold 12
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed 6 squares
Melee skullblade +5 (1d8+2) or
skullblade +5 (2d8+2) with Mighty Swing
Base Atk +3; Grp +5
Atk Options Mighty Swing
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +9): Force blast (bonus),
Force disarm, move object, negate energy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 14, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 14
Special Qualities breathe underwater, low-light vision, natural
camouflage, Force blast
Feats Force Sensitivity*, Force Training, Mighty Swing, Skill
Training (Use the Force), Skill Training (Stealth), Weapon
Proficiency (simple weapons)
Skills Perception +9, Stealth +8, Use the Force +9
Possessions skullblade, loincloth, warning horn
*Felucians gain Force Sensitivity as a bonus feat.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Force Blast—Once per encounter, as a standard action a Felucian may
make a Use the Force check as a ranged attack roll against any target
within 12 squares and line of sight. If the check result exceeds the
target’s Reflex Defense, the target takes 2d6 points of damage.
Natural Camouflage—A Felucian can choose to reroll any Stealth check
to sneak, using the better result.

Cobarr’s Tactics
Cobarr is more cautious than the rest of the scouts. He uses the Force for defense so he can get close to an enemy. If a hero damages one of his allies, he’ll use move object to pick up the hero and drop him or her on another hero, or Force disarm to deprive the hero of his or her weapon.

Naman, developing darksider:

Medium Felucian nonheroic 4
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
Languages Felucianese
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Defenses Ref 11 (flat-footed 10), Fort 12, Will 12
hp 11; Threshold 12
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed 6 squares
Melee skullblade +5 (1d8+2) or
skullblade +5 (2d8+2) with Mighty Swing
Base Atk +3; Grp +5
Atk Options Mighty Swing
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +9): Force blast (bonus),
Force lightning, kinetic combat, negate energy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 14, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 14
Special Qualities breathe underwater, low-light vision, natural
camouflage, Force blast
Feats Force Sensitivity*, Force Training, Mighty Swing, Skill
Training (Use the Force), Skill Training (Stealth), Weapon
Proficiency (simple weapons)
Skills Perception +9, Stealth +8, Use the Force +9
Possessions skullblade, loincloth, warning horn
*Felucians gain Force Sensitivity as a bonus feat.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Force Blast—Once per encounter, as a standard action a Felucian may
make a Use the Force check as a ranged attack roll against any target
within 12 squares and line of sight. If the check result exceeds the
target’s Reflex Defense, the target takes 2d6 points of damage.
Natural Camouflage—A Felucian can choose to reroll any Stealth check
to sneak, using the better result.

Naman's Tactics
Naman’s hatred of the Empire threatens to drive him to the dark side, and he’s more aggressive than the other scouts. He focuses on what he considers the most dangerous opponent, opening up with kinetic combat and maintaining it for as long as possible. When he’s forced to give that up, he uses the Move Light Object aspect of Use the Force to recall his skullblade and begins moving in, using negate energy so he can close with as many targets as possible and use Force lightning.


I'll also be using old_benn's suggestion about entering the prison via a waste disposal chute rather than the loose grate--it's just that much cooler and more realistic.
I'll also be using old_benn's suggestion about entering the prison via a waste disposal chute rather than the loose grate--it's just that much cooler and more realistic.



I'm glad to have contributed to the DoD community! It always feels good to have somebody use your ideas.

I'll be interested to hear if your players act as worried about the disposal chute force field as mine were. They thought it might turn back on while they were climbing in. It was definitely something I wasn't expecting, and it was hard for me to suppress my amusement.
The Traitor's Gambit, Day 3

Another player joined the party, rolling up a Twi'lek scoundrel (who we forgot to name). This was our longest session yet, spanning about five hours, because I didn't want to have to both finish this module and start the next one in our next session.

I sprang "Felucian Hospitality" on the players right off the bat. Naman the developing darksider flubbed his telekinetic combat attempt, dropped his skullblade into the water and was quickly gunned down, as was another Felucian. Cobarr the lightsider flubbed his Force blast roll, though the Jedi was able to sense both attempts to use the Force. The entire battle lasted less than one round.

I pulled out my Sean Connery imitation (which my players were fortunately kind enough to accept) and had Mandrake gallop up on a kybuck with a shout of, "Peash! Pleash, shtop fighting! It's all a mishtake!" (yes, shamelessly stole that introduction from my fellow posters). He was a bit confused and wary when he saw the soldier wearing scout trooper armor, but when he realized the wearer was a Duros, he explained that "Folks 'round here don't take too kindly to scout troopers. They've done 'em too much harm." Mandrake and the noble both tried and failed to revivify the two downed scouts, much to Mandrake's distress. Mandrake explained why the Felucians don't like the Empire and told the PCs a bit about himself.

At the village, when Mandrake found out why the PCs were on Felucia, he gave them his bomb and asked them to plant it, which the PCs agreed to do. (The scoundrel's player had to leave at this point, so we said he "got bit by a bug and didn't feel well, so he went back to the Banshee.")

The players felt bad about killing the scouts over a misunderstanding, so they asked how they could make it up. The chief recognized the Jedi's Force-sensitivity, but when Mandrake explained the noble's offer to look at the chief's arm, the chief got defensive. Instead, he led the heroes to the sick children. The noble couldn't identify the disease, but was able to heal the kids.

As the PCs left the kids' hut the next morning, Mandrake was waiting for them, smiling for the first time, with the chief and the other Force-shaman-in-training, who was going to be the PCs' guide to the prison. As they were preparing to get underway, they heard a speeder bike outside the village and went to investigate. They witnessed the scout trooper trying to fix his bike and then zoom off in a cloud of smoke. Mandrake offered them the kybucks and the chase began, minus the droid, who we determined couldn't ride because he didn't have a heuristic processor. (I forgot to have Mandrake join them, so I had to explain that later. See below.)

Almost every character flubbed at least one Ride check, but due to me not keeping track of penalties very well, they all got to the jungle outpost at about the same time. The scout troopers on bikes engaged the PCs immediately and were quickly taken down. The players claimed one bike was sunk in the swamp, so I let that stand. After the scout troopers were down, it took a while for the PCs to cross the rest of the battlefield and take down the stormtroopers. The noble had barely gotten on a riderless speeder bike when a lucky stormie shot KO'd him (even with range penalties). The others took down the stormtroopers and were unsure what to do next. Their kybucks seemed to know which way to go, so they waited till the noble had come to and patched himself up, then took the sole working speeder bike (the third one crashed into a mushroom and exploded) and the wet one to fix up for later and went back to the village.

The village seemed deserted with the ground a bit torn up, much to the players' worry. The Jedi sensed the Felucians were in their huts and the players were afraid they'd all gotten sick. The Felucians, however, started coming out as the PCs walked through the village looking for Mandrake, and the Felucians seemed perfectly fine (I had meant for them to be hiding because of the scout trooper, but I guess I didn't make that clear). The PCs found Mandrake resting in a hut; he'd tried to mount a kybuck and join the chase, but the stirrup had broken and he'd thrown his back out. The PCs decided to heal up and dry out the wet speeder bike and then go to the prison. There was considerable debate about what to do with their droid; despite references to Luke and Leia in ROTJ, the stats for the stolen bikes didn't specifically say they could carry passengers, and their other options were to tie the droid onto the back of a bike (above the very hot exhaust fumes that might melt it), or dismantle the droid, each carry some parts, and put it back together at the prison. Neither sounded like a good idea, so they eventually decided to leave the droid behind.

The next morning, the PCs mounted kybucks/bikes and followed their kybuck-riding guide to the prison facility. They saw the stormtroopers and cannon guarding the front door and heard more bikes and the AT-ST in the area. Then the heroes smelled something incredibly foul, and the guide led them to a contaminated stream, as per old_benn's idea. I described the radioactive sludge falling down the chute and pressing the power plate to drop the force field.

Then the PCs did something I had only lightly considered: they decided they didn't want to risk touching the sludge and didn't want to climb up the chute. However, they also didn't think assaulting the cannon at the front door was a good idea. So instead, they really surprised me: they sent the noble and the soldier to wait for a signal on one side of the prison with speeder bikes, while the Jedi and the scout snuck up on the AT-ST. The Jedi hid in the undergrowth while the scout crept up underneath the walker and used his cable launcher to get on top. After several rounds of duking it out with many blaster bolts in a confined area, he KO'd one pilot and wounded the other, who surrendered. (I ruled that the funky communications problems still applied even this close to the base.) When the Jedi arrived, he mind-tricked the conscious pilot into rescinding his call for reinforcements, and the PCs then stunned and tied up the pilot.

The new walker pilots then headed over to the front of the base and exchanged hits with the E-Web, blowing it up in two or three shots. The Jedi sent the signal via telepathy since their comlinks weren't working, and the noble and soldier arrived on speeder bikes to mop up the gunner and five of the six stormtroopers (I combined this encounter with "Defense Turret Controls" since they were so close together location-wise). One stormtrooper got away into the base, so the scout was left outside with the AT-ST while the others headed inside.

The Jedi and soldier took point as they and the noble entered the base, and they entered the medical bay first. There they found the panicked surviving stormtrooper from the last battle, who was wildly talking to the researcher. The monsters were already released and the battle began. The medical droid stubbornly kept attacking the Jedi as ordered until the Jedi sliced it in half. The stormtrooper and the researcher were hard to hit since they had taken cover behind a crate. After the PCs had wounded the monsters once or twice, the Jedi took them both down with Force slam. The noble, having learned his lesson about getting into the thick of a fight, used much of this time to hack into the bay's computer and find maps of the entire base. He was able to slice the cameras in the detention block and figure out what kind of opposition they would face. The Jedi's player, who nearly sliced a bacta tank on a missed attack roll, suggested taking a tank with them, but the noble's player pointed out it was way too big to carry.

The PCs completely bypassed the communications center and went straight for the detention block. Even with some confusion about doors opening and closing, they made fairly short work of the guards and warden droids. They then released and armed all the prisoners with weapons from the detention block and the medical bay. They explained to Varth who they were and who had sent them; he thought they were part of Alderaan Security and they more or less let him believe it.

When the PCs took the turbolift up to the command center, they quickly realized how outgunned they were, especially when two of the freed prisoners were killed and Admiral Varth was KO'd before any of the PCs got a turn (much to their dismay). I played the Imperials as not knowing Varth was supposed to be "taken alive," which fits with the fact that only he and Draco know about their plan, and since the PCs never went into the comm center, they never found the message from Draco anyway. The soldier quickly set the timer on Mandrake's bomb, threw it into the command center, and pushed the "down" button on the turbolift. The PCs revived Varth on the way down, ran out to the AT-ST and the bikes, and got aboard. The last surviving prisoner took one bike and hightailed it into the jungle. The PCs got about a hundred meters away when the prison exploded, and Captain Okeefe arrived almost immediately thereafter. "That is you, isn't it? What've you been doing?"

The players stopped back at the Felucian village to pick up their droid, and they sensed the chief's approval when he greeted them. Mandrake was still recovering from his hurt back and accepted the PC's offer to take him with them, saying he missed modern medical facilities. The PCs healed up en route to the Resurgence (although we all sort of forgot we had Mandrake with us) and accepted Verana's offer to keep them on. We ended the session with leveling up. The noble took the Wealth talent, and I suggested they'd better invest in a ship of their own with that many credits to throw around.

Comments: Once again, I've underestimated the capacities of my players. I also overestimated the Felucians' ability to use the Force, so my attempts to have them use Force powers in the "Felucian Hospitality" encounter fell rather flat. I was glad the players showed remorse about killing the scouts, and I was also happy they went along with my Sean Connery impersonation.

I should have kept better track of the penalties etc. during the chase. Due to each player running two characters (I only have two players), we had each player act for all their characters at once instead of sticking to the initiative order, which was part of the problem. The "Jungle Watch Outpost" fight turned out to be a bit of a joke. Note to self: don't have scout troopers on speeder bikes charge the players on their first turn; they shoot as badly as their stormtrooper counterparts and they're only slightly more durable. ;) However, it did take some time for the PCs to get across the battlefield and take down the stormtroopers.

I realized after the fact that I should not have talked about the sludge falling down the chute--I had barely thought about what could happen as a result. I've been trying to run this as a play-by-post for my brothers and sister back home, and in that one I had just told them they could hear a walker in the background, so we could reduce the number of checks and the amount of back-and-forth time (there has been zero progress in the PbP, by the way). I did the same thing here, but the noble has a +16 modifier to his Perception check, so they would've heard the walker anyway.

The theft of the AT-ST was a real curveball. Fortunately the scout was on his own against the pilots for a couple of rounds, which made things interesting. I wasn't sure how to deal with this original approach, so I improvised. I don't know why I didn't throw everyone at them at once; I figured the researcher would be too cowardly to attack the PCs, and I guess I thought the guards would stay to, well, guard the prisoners, while Vischera would take a "we'll get them when they come up here" approach. I should've thrown the comm officers at them too.

As you noticed, I didn't get to run my flying escape because the players decided to bypass the roof. To simplify things, I decided nobody tried to disarm the bomb. I had not expected Admiral Varth to go down, and I was glad he has a high damage threshold. This was a heavy factor in the PCs deciding to just chuck the bomb and retreat. (One player later asked me, "What would you do if he had gotten killed?" I had to admit I didn't know.) I will definitely have to throw in roleplaying encounters with Mandrake, Varth, Verana, and Okeefe at the beginning of the next adventure so the players can get to know them better, as the module suggests. I definitely need to prepare better for next session.
Wow! They did a frontal assault on the prison?! I assume that you're going to run the Imperials at least semi-intelligently? If so, every imperial in the base is aware of the PCs presence and is coordinating the interior defense.

If I were the Imperial commander (I forget the name of the leader on the top floor at the moment), I'd probably keep everyone that's already on the top floor there for my own protection, but with grenades readied to be thrown into the turbolifts as soon as they open. I'd command everyone on the lower level to open their doors (so the moment anything happens, everyone is aware of it), and take up positions with cover to blast anyone coming in the front door. Everyone would be ordered to stay away from the front door (to avoid letting the AT-ST blow them away).

Essentially, as soon as the PCs enter the building, they're going to have to face 3 encounters worth of badguys at once: the enemies in the medical/experimentation room, the prison, and the communications room will all attack at once.

Not to mention that the communications room should be sending an alert to the Star Destroyer in orbit. They should send fighters for support, if not a shuttle of troopers.

I think your players should be taught a lesson about why the rebels don't do frontal assaults against the Empire.
Then the heroes smelled something incredibly foul, and the guide led them to a contaminated stream, as per old_benn's idea. I described the radioactive sludge falling down the chute and pressing the power plate to drop the force field.

If you really want your players to take the chute, I think you'd be better off describing the sludge as being dried (not recently dumped), and not use the word "radioactive" (how would they know if it was radioactive anyway?). I let my PCs make a mechanics check to see if they identified and understood the purpose of the pressure plate and the chute as a whole. That way, I didn't need to have them witness a waste dump to understand it all, which meant they didn't have to deal with wet sludge.

Granted, some groups might not want to risk even dealing with dried sludge. But I think the odds are better that way.

Just a thought for future runs.
Good points, old_benn. If you look at my finished session log, you'll see some of the reasons I did what I did, although many of them no longer seem very bright. I don't think I used the word "radioactive" to describe the sludge, though I may have used "toxic," but you're right, I should've gone with the way you did it.

I also went with Nefandus's suggestion and didn't even have the Star Destroyer in orbit, so having them call the SD for reinforcements wouldn't have been an option. Yes, I may have to teach them a lesson, but they definitely deserve points for creativity. Next time should definitely not be so easy, though.
Well, although I would have gone with a more realistic Imperial reaction, your actual results were probably much more "heroic". The players probably felt pretty good about busting in and busting out again. And that's not a bad thing.

But I'd be careful in the future. Your players might sub-consciously have "learned" that they can do things the direct way. Not the best solution for a guerrila organization.

It sounds like it was fun though!
Also, I notice that the PCs tossed the bomb into the command center. Per the module, the PCs were supposed to place it in the communications center. Now, for cinematic reasons, I would have done the same thing you did, and allow the bomb to destroy the facility even though it was in the wrong place. But I'd be interested to hear how that went down in your game. Did you tell them to put it in the communications center and they just screwed up? Or was that piece of info just not told to them?
I believe I originally had Mandrake tell the PCs to plant the bomb in the communications center. By the time we got to the prison (and had to retroactively decide they had the bomb with them, since we'd forgotten the scoundrel had taken it from Mandrake, the scoundrel's player had had to leave, and I didn't want to spend the time going back for it ;)), none of us remembered for sure whether it was supposed to be in the communications or command center. I went with command center partly because I figured it'd be more dramatic to set the bomb on their way out, rather than having to go back down and set it and then go back up (after all, they never even entered the communications center).

At the beginning of the next session, I plan to have Captain Verana show the PCs that bounties have been placed on their heads, or at least they have Imperial warrants out for their arrests (yes, no one may have survived the prison assault, but there's enough footage on Sel Zonn Station to identify them). I imagine the PCs will want a ship of their own, given the noble's newfound Wealth talent, so this will be interesting when they have to get their BoSS license. If they hitch a ride on the Banshee to go to a starship dealer, I may impound the Banshee, since even the leftover scout troopers on Felucia could probably identify it as the ship leaving the exploding prison. I also plan to throw a low-level bounty hunter or three at them so they'll take this stuff seriously, and hopefully they'll realize they need to keep a lower profile.

Any tips on how BoSS works?
Well, I don't know specifics about BoSS itself, but if they already have prices on their heads, they'll obviously need to get some false IDs first (if they intend to purchase the ship through legal suppliers).

But you might want to be careful about being too nitpicky about IDs and the ship's ID. I think it's fairly safe to say that everywhere they go, they're going to end up causing trouble. That said, their ship will be registered as part of the warrant out for their arrest. So they'll have to have a new transponder made for their ship virtually every time they go somewhere. That's going to get pricey.

It might be a good idea to just hand-waive it, and say that the Alderaanian Resistance has a great tech crew who gives the ship a new transponder whenever they need it.

Otherwise, they'll never be able to land anywhere without getting impounded.

Just my 2 creds.
Page 11 of SotG has some basic info on BoSS, though some of the source material from the older editions of the SW RPG might have more info (or you might also check Wookiepedia). My impression is that BoSS is independant of the Imperial Bureaucracy or any other significant government influence, so the PCs being wanted may not have that significant of an effect on their ability to register the ship with BoSS as long as they acquire the ship through legitimate methods.

I don't know if that really answers your question, but it might be a good starting spot to look for more info if you need it.
Thanks, guys. That gives me some good ideas.

Session Planning: Since the module suggests giving the PCs time to get to know the important NPCs (Verana, Varth, Okeefe) better, I've drawn up another RP'ing encounter for each of them, and one for Mandrake since he ended up coming with them. I'll detail those in the session report.

I've decided not to have Captain Verana tell the PCs about their arrest warrants; I'll let them find out the hard way. This is tricky to do in the module as written--if the PCs don't take the side quest (see below), then about halfway through their time in the palace, I'll have Darga ask the PCs to come to a private audience, where he asks them about their dealings with the Empire (through his own private dealings with the Empire, Demos found out about the PCs' wanted status and hinted at it to Darga). Darga's curious about what the PCs could have done to have earned the Empire's wrath, he wants to make sure he doesn't jeapordize his business with the Imperials, and of course he's interested in what he could get out of this situation. If the players can convince Darga that the Empire has no reason to be after them, he concludes that Demos must have been passing on rumors. If the PCs fail, Darga dismisses them, and the PCs should be worried that he might sell them out when the Imperials arrive. To prevent them from leaving at this point, I'll probably insert more messages from Denia and remind the PCs that if they leave now, they won't find out what they need to about the Sarlacc Project. This should also give them added pressure to impress Darga in the remaining encounters. The Imperials won't know that the heroes are wanted (that's not their department), but this will make their visit that much more interesting.

Side quest: If the players do try to go ship shopping (we've talked out-of-character about ship prices and they don't have enough for the even cheapest used ship in the book, even with the noble's Wealth talent), I'll send them to Ryloth to look for something. If they do end up buying, a legit dealer will tell them they need to register with BoSS; an illegit dealer will simply sell them out to the Imps. When the BoSS employee runs the PCs' IDs (if they use their real ones; fake ones cause no problem) through their system to see if they'd been registered with BoSS previously, they'll find out the PCs have Imperial warrants out for their arrests. If that happens, the PCs will be escorted to a waiting room and watched closely (and as clandestinely as possible) by BoSS security until Imperial agents can arrive to take them into custody. If the PCs figure it out and try to escape, security will try to stop them and broadcast their last known location to the Imps. In any case, cue chase back to whatever ship the PCs used to travel to Ryloth. If, however, the PCs don't go ship shopping at this time, I'll have to save this side quest for later.
Episode II (A Wretched Hive), Day 1

The scout's original player actually turned up this time, although the scoundrel's player couldn't make it, so we still had a party of four for this session (Jedi, soldier, noble, scout), plus their droid who, back in Session Two, was dubbed "The Project."

After some confusion over and fixing of the scout's hit points, I explained that the PCs had been on the Resurgence for several days and that Captain Verana wanted them to not mention Senator Organa's name, though we did remember that the PCs had previously told Varth that Organa had sent them.

When the PCs left their quarters in the morning, Captain Verana found them and asked them to investigate some kind of problem in the medical bay involving Mandrake (who, for those who haven't read my previous posts, threw his back out when attempting to join the kybuck chase in the last adventure and accepted the PCs' offer to take him along when they left Felucia). The PCs found Mandrake arguing with the 2-1B medical droid, daring the droid to jab him with the syringe full of sedative that it was holding. He insisted he felt fine and didn't want to stay in the medical bay anymore, but the droid disagreed. The PCs managed to convince Mandrake to stay put and follow the droid's orders, although they could not persuade the droid to reduce Mandrake's medication, since the droid insisted it was following its programming and there were no other doctors or droids on board (the players seemed a bit skeptical here). The PCs stayed and chatted with Mandrake for a little while, then went looking for ex-Admiral Varth, since they were interested in the information he had and were sure it was important. They found Verana and Varth and listened to Varth's speech about the Sarlacc Project.

After receiving their assignment, the PCs took The Project down to the droid repair bay and, after a loooooong discussion (the noble believed The Project would be cannon fodder in their first fight and the party wouldn't have time to repair him until much later since they'd be on the move so much, plus he wanted to save up for a ship), upgraded The Project to include a nice translator package, a heuristic processor, some internal storage space and a launcher. The noble claimed he would do the saving for the ship, and the Jedi definitely wanted to put his credits into the droid, since his player is also running the droid. The PCs also modified their stolen speeder bike so it wouldn't be recognizable as an Imperial speeder and decided The Project would ride it. The extra RP'ing encounter with Captain Okeefe didn't quite go as planned (the players weren't listening when she explained that she was looking for droid parts because Crash had lived up to his name), and since the players seemed in a hurry to move on after upgrading The Project, I skipped over my extra RP'ing encounters with Varth and Verana.

After landing on Cato Nemoidia, the PCs were accosted by the Vipers. The PCs recognized Kessra's demands as plain extortion, so the Jedi mind-tricked her into withdrawing her demand, whereupon the Vipers left without a fight.

Bad rolls meant the PCs couldn't get any information about Darga or Raden, but I did allow them to meet the bartender, Krett, mentioned in the Sample Citizens section. He sent them to Vigro the speeder repairman, saying Darga sent someone there every month for "protection money." On the way, the PCs passed Desson the laborer trying to rebuild Zarra. Vigro was reluctant to talk about the protection money, but after some persuasion he told the PCs where to find Raden.

When the PCs arrived at the warehouse, Raden spat fire, insisting that Darga would only deal with people he knew. The PCs asked how they might get to know Darga; Raden simply shot back, "You don't," and ordered his thugs to attack. The battle was tricky with the excavation droids attacking in melee and the thugs firing mostly from behind cover. The PCs frequently had to retreat from melee range and/or take cover behind buildings, drawing the thugs toward them. Raden took off through the warehouse after a couple of rounds. The Project fired from the speeder bike until he rolled a natural 1 and the blaster cannon broke, which caused both dismay and laughter on the players' parts. The soldier finally figured out his weapon was autofire only and then used it to good effect. To the players' dismay, the Jedi's Force slam didn't actually knock anyone down, but it did weaken the thugs so the PCs were able to quickly mop them up with blaster fire and frag grenades after that.

The droid headed Raden off at the other door to the warehouse and circled him in a tight, fast pattern until everyone else caught up (technically, he could've escaped during the fight, but I didn't want that to happen). Raden surrendered, now much less defiant, and agreed to take the PCs to Darga's palace. However, the PCs didn't trust Raden as a pilot and insisted on piloting his speeder themselves and having him give directions instead. They flew by Darga's palace, but stopped in an abandoned building for the night so they could heal up and fix their speeder's cannon.

A lengthy debate about strategy then ensued. The Jedi favored having the scout do some reconnaisance, but the noble really didn't want Darga to be tipped off that they were coming, and the scout wasn't too keen on the idea of getting killed if he were discovered by himself. Some players favored simply tying Raden up and leaving him behind, but he kept insisting that they couldn't get into the palace without him, again because "Darga don't deal with nobody but people he knows." Then the idea came up to tie Raden up and take him along, but the players realized that bringing in Darga's bound employee would instantly tip off Darga that something was wrong. Eventually they decided to take Raden along, unbound but watched closely, and have the Jedi mind-trick anyone who tried to make them leave their weapons at the door.

The Jedi was able to sense a Force-user (Demos) in the vicinity when the PCs entered the palace, but I left it at that and the Jedi didn't attempt to investigate, which was the effect I had hoped for. The PCs stated they would like to make a business deal with Darga. He invited them to make themselves at home, had Raden dragged off to the dungeons, and had the PCs sit on his dais during the feast so they could talk. The PCs gave him their real names (or first names only, if they had more than one). Darga mentioned he was expecting more visitors in the next few days, but didn't say who, and suggested the PCs might be able to help him with that. They agreed. Afterwards, the PCs asked around (the scout wandered over to a game of sabacc but left when the players got annoyed with him looking over their shoulders) and figured out that the visitors were Imperials, but that nobody else knew precisely when they would arrive. The PCs decided to stick around.

During the night, the Jedi heard a whisper of, "Help me." He wondered if it might be a dark Jedi. In the morning he was able to sense the presence of a Force-user in the dungeons and attempted to communicate with this being; he was able to sense that the being was a lightsider and that he or she was very uncomfortable and somewhat confused. He led the other players down towards the dungeons (they ignored the loud Nemoidian opera and the off-key singer accompanying it in one of the rooms they passed) and into the anteroom full of guards. The Jedi mind-tricked the leader into letting them pass, but the other guards were clearly itching for a fight (I really didn't want the players to try this yet, though the Jedi protested that if he mind-tricked the leader, the others should follow the leader). After a minute or two of persuasion from the other players and myself ("Do you really want to wear out your welcome already?" "We should wait for the Imperials"), the Jedi agreed not to try busting his way in right then. The PCs went back to their room, again ignoring the Nemoidian opera, and a servant soon arrived to summon them to Darga's court.

Thinking this might be the Imperial visit, the players hurried up to the throne room. Darga welcomed them, and phrases floating around the crowd included things like, "Wonder how long he'll last?" Raden was dumped onto the floor in front of the throne, looking a bit worse for wear, as though he'd not had a pleasant night. Darga made a speech about traitors and informed the PCs that they were going to perform the execution. Despite brief talk about simply doing it, the players tried valiantly to come up with an alternative. None of them thought of involving Raden in a fight, but the noble (whose player tends to merely describe his actions in third person) really got into his speech about how it would be better to let Raden languish in the dungeons without light, without hope for a few weeks, that that would be a better example than having Raden's head on the wall. After an impressive Persuasion check roll (aided by some of the other PCs), Darga agreed to the noble's proposal and the guards dragged Raden out again, not seeming to care when they smashed his knee into the door frame on the way out. The crowd seemed disappointed, but got back to their business. The noble figured this way Raden was more likely to be alive if the PCs tried to rescue Raden later, provided he was worth saving. The PCs did not notice Demos's attempt to scrutinize them, though they did get a good look at him for the first time. We stopped there.

Comments: I felt like we were a bit less involved in the story than we were in previous sessions, but the noble's player was glad to have a chance to shine in the areas he's good at (especially since he was almost killed twice in the last adventure). I think my descriptions are getting better. The Jedi's mind trick is worrying me a bit, along with his attempt to rescue Master Denia right away; thankfully he agreed to wait on that. I may have to reduce the number of messages from Denia during their stay in the palace.

I'll have to throw in my extra RP'ing encounters for Varth and Verana in later sessions. Varth will present the PCs with his medal that he received for valor at the Battle of Coruscant as a token of his gratitude. Verana will be competing against the heroes in one of his crew's favorite games. Given the two different tones of these encounters, I think I'll throw in Varth's encounter between A Wretched Hive and The Queen of Air and Darkness, during the PCs' brief stopover on the Resurgence, and perhaps Verana's encounter will come at the beginning of Echoes of the Jedi.

I also recently was introduced to an RPG called Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies, which focuses more on roleplaying than rollplaying and is very enjoyable. I'm going to try incorporating some of that play style into my sessions, namely the rule that, whether the players succeed or fail at something, they get to describe how and why they succeed or fail. I can forsee this having complications, though, so I'll probably need to retain some veto power and remind the players of complications and failure reasons that are written into the rules (such as alarms going off when they fail a Mechanics check by 5 or more, etc).
Don't let your Jedi player intimidate you about your ruling on the Mind Trick effectiveness in the Guard Room. You were right. MT only works on one person at a time. Any other observers get a Perception check to realize what's going on (granted, Gamorreans don't have a great Perception bonus, but anyway). Anyone who notices that their leader is getting Mind Tricked should definitely respond with hostility.
I'd thought it'd only work on one person at a time, and I figured the guards wouldn't agree with their leader's sudden change of heart (or mind, rather). I didn't realize the bit about the Perception check, but fortunately this time the other players were on my side! (That or they just know when not to bite a plot hook.)

Session Planning: I plan to run the module largely as written from here, aside from the extra private meeting with Darga. Here's the tentative order of events, if we count Day 1 as the day the PCs arrived in the palace:

-Gladiator matches: rest of Day 2
-Encounter with Gome (?): evening of Day 2
-Visit from Six Six: evening of Day 2
-Slavers: morning of Day 3
-Droid racing: rest of Day 3
-Meeting with Darga: evening of Day 3
-Battle with slavers: night of Day 3
-Imperial visit: morning of Day 4

The players may not encounter Gome at all because they keep ignoring his off-key singing every time they pass his room. I think I'll have them level up after the visit from Six Six.

If the players don't get the point from their meeting with Darga, I may have one of the Quarren surrender and explain that Darga ordered the PCs' deaths because he wants the Imperial reward on the PCs' heads. Of course, Darga didn't give the order and will deny this, probably making a speech about investments vs. immediate payoffs, etc.
A Wretched Hive, Day 2

Only one player could make it today, so only the Jedi and the droid were involved in this shortened session.

Since the PCs prevented Raden's execution last time, the crowd was disappointed at being cheated out of the spectacle, but Darga said, "You'll still see blood today," and kicked off the gladiator matches. The Jedi sensed the dark Force-user in the room, but didn't know it was Demos. The Jedi bet 1000 of the noble's credits against Darga on one of the Gamorrean guards in the first match, and thankfully he broke even. Darga then suggested the PCs try their hand in the arena. The Jedi was worried that his lightsaber would give him away, and nobody else had anything he could use proficiently. For the fun of it, he agreed to fight.

The Jedi and the droid took on the three Gamorreans named the Karg Brothers. The Jedi used the Force instead of a weapon for almost the entire fight, giving a reduced-strength bellow each time to cover up what he was really doing. The guards tried to spread out and catch the PCs in a pincer movement, getting slightly banged up and dinging the Jedi in the process. Due to several natural 20's when activating his powers, the Jedi kept Force slamming guards prone and missing his attacks of opportunity when they tried to get up. He managed to kill two guards this way, though he was eventually forced to use his lightsaber when they got to melee range, and the third guard chopped the droid in half. After being knocked prone again and avoiding an attack of opportunity, the last guard tried to run and got Force grip**** to death.

That night, the PCs got back together and fixed up the droid (we never did come up with a reason why the other PCs weren't there), and the Jedi told the others what he'd sensed. Six Six paid a visit and gave them the file. They decrypted it and found out what Demos had been transmitting to the Empire, but they told Six Six they hadn't quite cracked the file yet, so he left. The Jedi thought it would be prudent to keep the information to themselves for the time being. He also finally got annoyed with the painfully high-pitched opera music coming from down the hall and whoever was screeching along with it, so he stepped outside the room and let out a bellow that rattled switches on the walls. The music stopped for a minute, then continued at a lower volume with the screecher singing hesitantly, as if he or she didn't want to know what had made that noise. :D

The next morning, the slavers arrived. The Jedi's player took the noble briefly in order to suggest that the slavers return the slaves for a fifty-percent refund...and rolled a natural 1 on his Persuasion check, letting slip some of his opinions about the barbarity of slavery before the other PCs could hush him up. This earned them a moment of dead silence, a you-did-not-just-say-that look from Darga and dagger-glares from the slavers. (I forgot to run the encounter with the Twi'lek poisoner.) Finally, Darga grudgingly gave the slavers what they wanted, sent Six Six off to arrange things, and invited the slavers to stay. The noble beat a hasty retreat.

We spent the rest of the time leveling up the droid, who is now a Soldier 1/Noble 1, a fact that greatly amuses the Jedi's player. The droid also picked up some majorly heavy firepower so that he now has a missile launcher installed in the middle of his chest. I can't wait to see what happens when we hit Episode 8. :evillaugh

Comments: As I mentioned before, I tried to let the player describe the effects of his actions a little more, though I kept forgetting and stepping in to describe things. It seemed to work okay, although he had trouble coming up with descriptions of Star Wars effects. The battle seemed well-balanced, and the droid's fate was rather amusing. Fortunately the Jedi did not try busting Master Denia out this session. I think I'll forgo the encounter with Gome since nobody seems annoyed enough to go yell in person at the off-key singer. ;)

I tried writing out some of my descriptions and dialogue beforehand, so I think I did better there, but took too long to do so. ;) Still working on the balance there.
A Wretched Hive, Day 3

The scoundrel's and scout's players couldn't make it today, so tonight's party consisted of the Jedi and the droid (run by the same player), the soldier and the noble (both run by another player).

We started the session with leveling up. The droid's player gave his beloved would-be cannon fodder a 20 SR shield generator, which I allowed, not realizing what was going to happen later.

After the fiasco with the slavers last session, Darga mentioned that he hoped the PCs raced better than they neogitiated. He turned out to be right; the droid racing went very well. The noble took Darga's droid, and I let the PC droid's player roll for the Quarren and Gamorrean. Demos rolled a natural 1 on his first Intelligence check and crashed right out of the gate , getting slightly fried as a result. After a tight final lap, the noble pulled off the win.

After the race, the players went to explore the palace some more, starting near their room. Frequent mention was made throughout the session of rescuing the imprisoned Force-user, and they remembered there was also a darksider around. Getting annoyed with the screecher again, the Jedi gave another bellow, this time popping open the door to Gome's room. Hunching over his computer with the speakers about a foot away from his ears, Gome protested that the Jedi would shatter his speakers, but the PCs decided to simply move on. They found the secret turbolift and the soldier managed to reactivate its corroded control panel, but failed to get the turbolift working again (getting an "Unauthorized entry detected" message whose repercussions I, fortunately for the PCs, forgot to play out).

That night, the slavers and assassins attacked. Both the noble and the soldier were hit and badly banged up while still asleep (the noble was -2 and the soldier was -1 on the condition track before they got their first turns). The battle became slightly epic, with the PCs losing many hit points but using their area attacks to good effect, finally KO'ing one assassin with a missile attack and KO'ing the Wookiee with a Force slam shortly thereafter. The noble went down from a poisoned vibroblade stab, leading to much confusion about taking damage after being knocked unconscious (does anybody know any official clarifications on that?). The droid and Jedi came off with mainly dents and bruises thanks to the droid's shield and Draw Fire talent. The droid shot the second assassin and the last one surrendered, as did the Twi'lek, who was in the process of being Force gripped at the time and could only drop her vibroblade and raise the hand that was not clutching her throat.

After patching themselves up, the PCs interrogated the terrified assassin, who stammered that Darga wanted the Imperial price on the PCs' heads, pointing out that one PC was a Jedi--would Darga really pass that up? (I did this partly because I forgot to have the meeting with Darga earlier that evening, plus I'd been leaning towards having both the meeting and this confession anyway.) The players realized the assassin was sincere and thought they were going to have to blast their way out of the palace. They were seriously discussing such plans, wondering why in the worlds no one had come to see what all the noise was about, when Six Six happened along and asked if everything was all right. Upon seeing bodies, blaster marks and explosion damage and debris all over, he insisted the PCs come discuss this with Darga. They weren't too sure about this, but since the Jedi searched his feelings and got a good feeling about it, they went along.

When told that some of his slaves had tried to kill the PCs on his orders, Darga insisted that whenever someone makes a name for himself down there, others try to use it. He told the PCs they were investments, not immediate payoffs, and told them he would increase security on their rooms because "I must protect my investments." The PCs realized that whoever gave the order to kill them, it wasn't Darga. Darga announced that he'd received word that the Imperials would arrive the next morning, so the PCs decided to rest until then.

The next morning, the PCs arrived in the throne room before the Imperials did, and Darga explained how he wanted them to help. The PCs didn't say a word during the Imperial presentation, and when Darga sent the Imperials out of the room, the PCs adamantly advised against accepting the Imperial security retinue. The noble's player (an accountant in real life) really got into this part, because he also was concerned that the costs of extra production wouldn't be worth the increased payments. But when Darga mentioned that only small opportunities would be lost by devoting more resources to the Imperial contract, the players went along with the increase in production and the 20% payment in biological resources. Darga called the Imperials back in and relayed his decision--exactly what the PCs had suggested--and the PCs recognized that they'd seen the liason before in Bail Organa's palace. The noble's player didn't think that an Imperial visiting Organa was a big deal, since he hadn't started the Rebellion in earnest yet, but the Jedi's player disagreed.

After the Imperials left, Darga had Six Six present the PCs with the key cards as a token of his gratitude, but I don't think the players got the hint. People were getting tired, so the PCs left the throne room and we ended there.

Comments: I really need to come up with a better way to keep track of extra things I want to throw in or easily forgettable details, as you can see from the things I forgot.

I don't think the players are getting the hint that the Imperial price on their heads is real; I need to come up with a way to drive it home to them. I think I'll throw a bounty hunter at them at some point before they leave Cato Nemoidia; I'd like to have it before they leave the palace, but I'm not sure how to best make that work. I'd like it to be ambiguous as to whether Darga sold them out or not. Maybe the Jedi's master could be the bounty hunter, and this could be the first indication of him being alive; balancing such an encounter would be tricky, though, since he's so much more powerful than the PCs. A good chance to introduce space combat before The Queen of Air and Darkness, maybe? Or to get some use out of the Vipers (who the PCs never fought, thanks to a mind trick)?

I was pleased at how the droid racing went; there's a lot of pressure and danger in this adventure, whether in fights or trying to impress Darga, so I wanted this to feel lighthearted, and I think it worked. Of course, it helped that Demos fried himself on his very first turn. :D

I was also pleased that the "A Knife in the Dark" encounter turned out the way it did; I spent so much time having my bad guys whomped by the PCs of my first group that it was most refreshing to have the bad guys do some real damage. I think I was playing the bad guys smarter this time, which helped, although we had to do much book-consulting so I could figure out what all the talents actually did.

Next session will have several big fights, especially if the players don't figure out what the key cards are for, so if both fights turn out anything like the single one we had tonight, that may be long enough for a full session.

Both the noble's player and I are concerned that the shield generator may be game-breakingly powerful, though the droid's player is reluctant to change it. The noble's player has pointed out that the droid went from getting chopped in half last session to being practically untouchable this session. Not sure what to do about that, because I don't want any hard feelings. This player is pretty easygoing, so I may be able to persuade him to change it.

Some great one-to-three-liners from tonight:

"I'm a doctor, not a..." -noble, down -2 steps on the condition track and stuck in a room by himself with an assassin and the Twi'lek poisoner, explaining why the noble didn't carry grenades.

"I don't make the rules, I just abuse them." -droid's player during one stage of the debate about his shield generator.

"So you took the medical kit off me in order to cure the poison?" -noble's player to droid's player, during discussion of what medical equipment can be used for what purpose.
"Are you complaining?" -droid's player.
"Yes." -noble's player, sarcastically.

"Great, our host wants to kill us." -noble after interrogating the assassin.

"It's a plot hook. I find it unsettling." -droid's grinning player, in response to the noble's lack of concern over the Imperial agent previously being in Organa's palace.
I've been working on getting the party Jedi's former Master into the modules. Here are the stats I've got so far:

As of The First to Strike:
Medium Zabrak Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 2/scout 1
Force 8
Init +6; Senses Perception +7 (may reroll, must take second result)
Languages Basic, Zabrak
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Defense Ref 24 (flat-footed 23), Fort 24, Will 25
hp 90; Threshold 24
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Speed 6 squares
Melee +12 lightsaber (self-built, 2d8+7)
Ranged +10 heavy blaster pistol (3d6+5)
Base Atk +9; Grp +11
Atk Options Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike
Special Actions Block, Deflect, Evasion, Quick Draw, Redirect Shot
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +18): battle strike (2), Force shield, Force slam (2), move object, negate energy, rebuke, rebuke
Force Techniques: Force Power Mastery (battle strike)
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Abilities Str 14, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16
Special Qualities heightened awarenes
Talents Block, Deflect, Elusive Target, Evasion, Redirect Shot, Shii-Cho
Feats Force Sensitivity, Force Training (3), Powerful Charge, Quick Draw, Rapid Strike, Skill Focus (Use the Force), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, pistols, simple weapons)
Skills Use the Force +18
Possessions binder cuffs (3 pairs), blaster pistol, code cylinder, comlink, datapad, electrobinoculars, holster, lightsaber (self-built), pocket scrambler, dark robes, sensor pack, survival kit, utility belt, voice amplifier (can be heard clearly from half a kilometer away)
As of The Gem of Alderaan:
Medium Zabrak Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 2/scout 5/bounty hunter 1
Force 8
Init +8 (may reroll, must take second result); Senses Perception +9 (may reroll, must take second result)
Languages Basic, Zabrak
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Defense Ref 31 (flat-footed 30), Fort 29, Will 31
hp 119; Threshold 29
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Speed 6 squares
Melee +16 lightsaber (self-built, 2d8+9)
Ranged +14 heavy blaster pistol (3d6+7)
Base Atk +13; Grp +15
Atk Options Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike
Special Actions Block, Deflect, Dodge, Evasion, Powerful Charge, Quick Draw, Redirect Shot
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +20): battle strike (2), Force shield, Force slam (2), move object, negate energy, rebuke, surge
Force Techniques: Force Power Mastery (battle strike)
————————————————————————————
Abilities Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 16
Special Qualities heightened awarenes
Talents Acute Senses, Block, Deflect, Elusive Target, Evasion, Improved Initiative, Redirect Shot, Shii-Cho, Skirmisher
Feats Dodge, Force Sensitivity, Force Training (3), Powerful Charge, Quick Draw, Rapid Strike, Skill Focus (Use the Force), Skill Training (Survival),Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, pistols, simple weapons)
Skills Survival +14, Use the Force +20
Possessions binder cuffs (3 pairs), blaster pistol, code cylinder, comlink, datapad, electrobinoculars, holster, lightsaber (self-built), pocket scrambler, dark robes, sensor pack, survival kit, utility belt, voice amplifier (can be heard clearly from half a kilometer away)
Froth's backstory:
Ban Froth was a Jedi Knight who was separated from his apprentice during Order 66 and was later captured, imprisoned on Coruscant, and tortured by the Inquisitorius. Froth managed to escape his cell, stole a lightsaber and attempted to escape. Feeding on his rage over the death of his apprentice (a death which, unknown to him, had never occurred), the destruction of the Jedi, and the tortures he had suffered, Froth killed multiple guards and several novice Inquisitors as he fought his way through the prison, only to be confronted by Draco as escape seemed within his reach.

Rather than attacking the exhausted, wounded Jedi outright, Draco explained that he had walked Froth's path and knew its pain. Froth could not hope to find a new life beyond the prison walls, not with the Jedi hunted throughout the galaxy as betrayers of the Republic and enemies of the Empire. The Force would always be with Froth, even if he ignored its touch, and one day his enemies would bend it to their will and use it to find him. On the other hand, by taking the dark side as his ally, Froth could still harness the Force to fight the enemies of the lawful order, but this time his efforts would bring him power he never dreamed of, power the corrupt Jedi had concealed from him, and would bring lasting peace to the galaxy as he helped to wipe out the true instigators of the Clone Wars. Broken, Froth accepted.

Draco now assigns Froth various missions to "test his worthiness" to join the Inquisitorius and push him further into the grip of the dark side. Relishing the power he has gained through the dark side, and never again wanting to experience the helplessness of Inquisitorius imprisonment, Froth is determined to prove himself worthy.
I plan to have Froth first appear in place of the bounty hunter Vril Vrakth in The First to Strike, where he'll try to convince the party to join him. I'll keep the Trando apprentice, Koorst, as written (with Froth concealing his Force-sensitivity and true purposes from Koorst), but he'll actually be on the ground on Nizon repairing his and Froth's crashed transport, rather than circling outside the asteroid belt as the module indicates. This way Koorst can swoop in for a pickup at the end of the fight so Froth can escape (a la Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars movie at the end of her duel with Obi-Wan).

Then I'll have Froth and Koorst turn up again in The Gem of Alderaan, wanting to settle the score with the PCs. Koorst now knows who he's really working for, and he and Froth both hope that by capturing the PCs before reporting to Draco again, they can forestall Draco's wrath over their failure on their last assignment. They instigate the mercenary attack by convincing the mercs that Organa was a major sponsor of legislation that severely cut the Empire's funds available for hiring mercenaries, leading to the termination of the mercs' Imperial contract. Knowing the PCs' sense of noblesse oblige, Koorst and Froth kidnap Lady Aldrete to draw the PCs to them. There needs to be a moment in there where Froth is unable to do something evil, such as killing Lady Aldrete, even though he's threatened to do it. I think I'll let the PCs kill Koorst, but Froth will escape again.

Finally, I'll have the PCs run across Froth again when they infiltrate the Citadel Inquisitorius in Sword of the Empire. Prior to the adventure, when Froth returns to the Citadel and reports his latest failure, Draco is concerned over Froth's moment of mercy, concerned enough to put Master Denia on the back burner for a short time while he takes a good hard look at his protegé. Draco orders Froth to assist him in torturing another Jedi, but when Froth finally breaks down during the interrogation and begs Draco to stop, Draco realizes that Froth doesn't have the stomach to be an Inquisitor. Disgusted, but still thinking Froth might have some use, Draco tosses Froth in a cell and has him tortured as well. By the time the PCs arrive, Draco has been so busy with Master Denia that he hasn't yet decided what to do with Froth, but Froth knows the corridors of the Citadel and can help the PCs find their way through, even though he won't be in any condition to help them fight. I have yet to convince the Jedi's player to switch to the Redemption destiny, but the option will be there if he decides to do it.
I don't think the players are getting the hint that the Imperial price on their heads is real; I need to come up with a way to drive it home to them.

Have them not only have to face a bounty hunter, but then have them find a datapad on the bounty hunter's body. On the datapad, have a file stating "the job", i.e. who the BH was hunting (the PCs) and how much the bounty is for each of them.

That ought to drive it home.

For me, I'm having that happen in Ep3:QoAaD (replacing the fight with the Wing Guard on the 3 circular platforms; I always felt that encounter would cause more problems than it was worth). And while your intent is to drive home the fact that the Imps want them, I am driving home the fact that Darga is very angry with them. While coming up with their plans, my players thought there was the possibility that Darga might not know that it was them who freed Denia and made a mess of his palace.

I'm having the datapad on the BH specifically state that the bounty comes from Darga, and that the bounty for the Jedi is substantially higher than the bounties for the others (because he made his Force sensitivity known in Darga's presence).

If nothing else, it will make my PCs start using false names. Thus far, they've been using their real names to check into hotels, etc. because they believe that nobody can link them to their past disgressions. Not anymore!
Thanks, old_benn. I considered throwing Froth or Koorst at the PCs as they try to leave Cato Nemoidia, but these villains are too powerful for even a party of four to six (depending on how many people show up) fourth-level PCs, plus I don't want the recurring villain thing to get old. I don't want another combat encounter, either, because we have two or three fights left in the module as written, depending on how the PCs try to get down to the dungeon.

I think what I'll do is set up a kind of a puzzle. When the PCs return to their docking bay after escaping Darga's palace, the Banshee will be waiting for them, and Crash (or so they think) will welcome them over the intercom, telling them to make themselves comfortable because they have a long trip back. Assuming the PCs do so, the Banshee locks down, trapping them and shutting down the ship's intercom system as the Banshee takes off. As it turns out, a Bothan bounty hunter named Crem Vri'bek and his reprogrammed MagnaGuard droid, Mac, have hijacked the Banshee and are trying to deliver Captain Okeefe and the PCs to the nearest Imperial garrison to collect the price on their heads (courtesy of the surviving authorities on Sel Zonn Station and Felucia). The PCs will have to break through the lockdown, fight their way to the cockpit with Vri'bek and Mac turning the ship's systems against them, defeat Vri'bek and Mac, shut down the Banshee's sabotaged nav computer/hyperdrive, and find and release Captain Okeefe and Crash (who are locked in the hold). If Vri'bek's motives don't come out in dialogue, I'll have him carrying a datapad as old_benn suggests.

Of course, if the PCs aren't able to shut down the nav computer/hyperdrive, they may drop out of hyperspace above an Imperial-controlled world, making things all the more interesting...

Okay, here's our bounty hunter friend:


Crem Vri'bek CL 7
Medium Bothan soldier 6/scoundrel 1
Force 8 Init +12; Senses Perception +11
Languages Basic, Bothese, Huttese, Rodese
----------------------------
Defense Ref 25 (flat-footed 23), Fort 22, Will 21
hp 54; Threshold 22
----------------------------
Speed 6 squares
Melee knife +7 (1d4+4)
Ranged flamethrower +10 (3d6+3) or
Ranged blaster pistol +10 (3d6+3) or
Ranged stun grenade +10 (4d6+3 stun)
Base Atk +6; Grp +10
Atk Options Devastating Attack, Precise Shot
Special Actions Disruptive
----------------------------
Abilities Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 8
Talents Armored Defense, Devastating Attack (flamethrower), Disruptive, Improved Armored Defense
Feats Armor Proficiency (light, medium), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (flamethrower), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Skill Training (Gather Information), Weapon Proficiency (pistols, rifles, simple weapons)
Skills Gather Information +7, Initiative +12, Mechanics +10, Perception +11, Pilot +12, Treat Injury +11
Possessions battle armor (+8 equipment bonus to Reflex Defense, +2 equipment bonus to Fortitude Defense, maximum Dex bonus +2) with integrated flamethrower in right gauntlet, blaster pistol, comlink, datapad with bounty information, extra flamethrower chemical cartridge, holster, medpac, security kit, stun grenades (2), tool kit


All I can say is, ouch. Mac will be your regular MagnaGuard from the core rulebook, except reprogrammed to have Mechanics and Use Computer instead of Climb and Endurance.

Of course, if the PCs aren't able to shut down the nav computer/hyperdrive, they may drop out of hyperspace above an Imperial-controlled world, making things all the more interesting...

Actually, this may be the SAFEST outcome. I don't remember where I read this (it's certainly not in the rulebook), but I thought that dropping out of hyperspace unexpectedly (i.e., not at the programmed destination) was really bad. Bad for the structural integrity of the ship itself, and also bad because even if the ship survives, you now find yourself in an unknown location. I think it was back in the d6 days that it took the nav computer something like an entire day of processing to figure out where in the galaxy you're actually located. And only then can you try an astrogation check to try another jump. Not to mention that the astrogation check will be very difficult because you're not starting from any known point.

You may not want to deal with all this, and your players may not notice the difference if you gloss over these details. But I thought I'd mention it in case you have any hard-core SW geeks (like me ;)) in the group.

Thanks. I was thinking of the Clone Wars episode "Jedi Crash," in which the nav computer gets programmed incorrectly and Ahsoka, Bly, Rex and Aayla Secura have to get creative to keep from hitting a star. The nav computer is "completely fried," so they shut down all power to reset the coordinates, which apparently turns off the steering, the medical bay's life support equipment, and the cockpit gravity (aside from the chairs), and they "[cut] it awfully close." Maybe it was close enough to the original coordinates not to cause a serious problem, although the characters didn't seem to be able to prevent the ensuing crash on a nearby planet; then again, the ship was already pretty badly banged up and almost hitting a star didn't seem to help, so maybe they could have done something if they had an otherwise working ship. Anyway, after thinking about it, it seems like Vri'bek and Mac would already have the nav computer programmed (they had plenty of time while waiting for the PCs to come back), so it's just a matter of getting far enough out of the planet's gravity well to make the jump. If the movies are anything to go by, it seems like it doesn't take more than ten minutes, if that, to go from a planet's surface to a hyperspace jump point, so I think I'll just have the jump happen at a sufficiently dramatic point that's not too soon to stretch belief. To make things even harder for the PCs, I plan to have Mac oppose any attempts the PCs will make to bypass locks, override controls, etc. so they have to beat not only the DC, but his Mechanics/Use Computer check. I think I'm going to change the Banshee into a Gallofree Yards Maka-Ekai L4000 transport, since I actually have deck plans for that in TFUCG. The PCs' goal will probably be to get up to the bridge, so I imagine things will happen something like this:


  • Lockdown initiated, com system and most lights shut down except for emergency lighting

  • Opposed Mechanics check or use lightsaber to get out of locked rooms

  • Repeat as necessary to get all PCs out

  • Mechanics check to start up lift tube, or lightsaber a way in

  • If PCs are in the shaft but not the car, Mac may try to drop the car on them

  • Opposed Mechanics checks to keep car moving, or lightsaber a way out

  • Locked doors everywhere -If PCs prove persistent, knockout gas released into ship's vents; gravity turned off; sinks and pipes shooting water, oil, etc. at them; doors shut while they're still in doorways--anything nonlethal to slow them down

  • If PCs make it to top deck, or when ship jumps to hyperspace, Vri'bek and Mac will come deal with PCs personally

  • Two possible outcomes:

  • A) PCs defeated & imprisoned on Banshee; if PCs don't find a way to escape, they're transported to Imperial-controlled planet and deal with repercussions as they come

  • B) PCs defeat Vri'bek and Mac and find datapad

  • Use Computer/Mechanics checks from cockpit to override lockdown, restore com and lighting

  • Nav computer has been locked on, shut down all power to reset coordinates

  • Stuck in middle of nowhere for a while so nav computer can figure out where they are and where to go from there

  • Repairs probably needed--hull, engines, nav computer, hyperdrive, lift tube, lighting, any damage from fighting

  • May need to call Resurgence for pickup

  • Find and rescue Captain Okeefe and Crash somewhere in all this mess

However things turn out, it should be enough of an inconvenient and dangerous mess to encourage the PCs to keep a lower profile. If the players don't get it, I'll have Verana lecture them. :D

you want a deckplan for a baudo here you go http://www.colonialchrome.co.uk/Ships/Generic/G_HYT_Baudo.htm. This should help you in that respect. This link apparently doesn't work, go to colonial chrome and enter the starships section it'll be under starships. It will be in the 4th line of ships from the top 6th one to the right. They have at least 3 more designs for that particular ship.
Spiffy site for deckplans, thanks for sharing.
Yeah well, I didn't like that only about 1-10% of the ships actually have plans and this site used to have a few threads about deckplans. Your welcome, although I know that isn't the only site for deckplans, I'd suggest looking around the net for other sites as well. Your welcome by the way.
It's nice for an encounter - a deckplan - but I don't see a need for one for every ship. How often are you going to be battling in character scale combat in your own ship?
Thanks, Jarveiyan. The plans were very helpful (and thanks to that site, I even figured out what the bounty hunter in one of my homebrew campaigns will be flying).

Probably not very often, Nefandus, but it's definitely more appealing if you already have a deck plan from which to make a map instead of having to come up with something halfway realistic on your own. After all, in Star Wars you usually only see starships from the outside, so there's not a ton of source material to draw on.
How often are you going to be battling in character scale combat in your own ship?

Well, I fully anticipate character scale combat in the PC's ship when the pirates attack in Ep.4. They will probably salivate at the idea of counter-boarding the pirates' ship.

But other than that, it probably won't be needed (unless your players get creative during the campaign ).

But other than that, it probably won't be needed (unless your players get creative during the campaign ).

Creative like my AT-ST-hijacking players, you mean?

Anyway, question for you more experienced gamers out there: I've had one person, possibly up to three, express interest in joining the game.  Here's the composition of our party right now:


1. Ithorian Jedi
2. Mon Calamari noble
3. Duros soldier
4. Duros scout
5. Twi'lek scoundrel (almost never can come)
6. Labor-droid-turned-battle-droid


The only people who've been consistently showing up are the two players who are running 1, 2, 3 and 6, so more often than not, those characters are the adventuring party.  I think to avoid making more work for myself by letting the party get even bigger, once we get more players I'll ask those with multiple PCs to choose one to keep playing and drop the other.  Any suggestions on how to make this a smooth transition?  We're only a few encounters away from the end of A Wretched Hive.

Okay, one of the interested players mentioned in the previous post has statted up a Sullustan pilot/ranged combatant to join the party.  Our next session will be this Saturday, barring any wrenches being thrown in our plans. 


Session planning: I'm thinking I'll run the rest of the adventure somewhat as follows.


  • Recap, reminding them of their mission and the Force-sensitive being they keep encountering, and emphasizing the key cards Darga gave them at the end of the last session.

  • Have Darga offer them positions in his organization (to give them the hint that it's time to get moving).

  • I may have totally made this up, but the key cards from Darga give the PCs access to the secret turbolift that leads directly to the dungeons below (or, as old_benn suggested, to Darga's private entertainment suite above).  If the PCs don't take the turbolift down, they'll have to fight the guards the Jedi previously tried to mind-trick.

  • I'll have Warrick Raden down in the dungeons too.  When the PCs first arrived in the palace, the noble managed to convince Darga not to kill Raden, and he mentioned that the PCs might try to rescue Raden later if he were worth it.  To oblige the noble, Raden knows where Darga might go to ground (as the PCs haven't found that out from any other source), but other than that he can only confirm that Darga's trading with the Empire, though Raden doesn't know exactly what.

  • Instead of having another fight with lots of Gamorreans, I think I'll change the "breaking-out-of-the-dungeons" encounter to have just the Gamorrean jailers and their...CL 5 pets.  These things normally guard Darga while he sleeps, but he's leaving in such a hurry that he doesn't have time to take them along, so he orders his guards, who are also the critters' caretakers, to take his pets down to the dungeons and use them against the PCs instead (which explains why the jailers weren't with all the rest of the Gamorreans in the first fight).

  • Like others have done, I will keep Master Denia at -10 on the condition track so she doesn't steal the show in the fight with Demos.  NPC allies hiding behind packing crates during fights is turning out to be a trope in our group. 

  • I'm going to change Draco's message up a little bit, having him give an ETA and warning Demos that "I want them alive--both of them."  This ought to give the Jedi a hint about keeping his powers on the down-low.

  • The reprogrammed Crash will meet the PCs when they return to the Banshee, and commence bounty hunter fun.

I'm kind of confused about what the PCs are supposed to learn from this adventure.  It seems like the gist of it is that Darga's trading lots of tibanna gas to the Empire, and he may be getting "biological resources" as well as money in return.  The gas is being used for the Sarlacc Project, so that's Darga's connection, but the PCs don't know why the Empire wants the gas. 


By the time the PCs finish Episode III, they should know that in exchange for the gas, Darga's getting used-up slaves (biological resources) from the Empire.  But the PCs don't know that these slaves worked on the Sarlacc Project until sometime in Episode V, and they still won't know what the gas is being used for until the end of Episode VI.  I wish there was a more solid connection between the slaves and the project than Master Denia "sensing a link between them," but oh well.  My players are pretty good at biting plot hooks when they see them.


It seems like there should be a better way to do this, but I really don't want to rewrite a whole module.

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