My Star Wars RPG game

I thought that I would share my campaign so that others can use elements that they like in their games. We have just finished up our fifth game and I hope to get the details of those game posted here in the next couple of weeks.

I started working on this several months ago, making notes and figuring out what it was that I wanted to run. The guys I game with range from players who have gamed since the very first D&D game (he has every printed D&D book ever made) to a player who has never played a RPG in his life.

I started with having them get together and rolling up their stats as a group so they could meet each other, discuss character ideas and to inform them of when the game was taking place. They then worked out their characters
and history and I let them know where their characters were at just before the game was to take place.

I made a quick reference sheet of the their characters:

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/CharacterStats1web.jpg)

Before the game started I got the maps ready and covered them so they wouldn't see what they were getting into. I found this map on the web and highlighted the location of where they all were for a reference:

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/GalaxymapAdventure1.jpg)

I made an opening scroll in the format and style of the movies in quicktime that I played before we started to get them in the mind set. Here's that text:

Episode I

ORDER 66

The CLONE WARS have
engulfed the galaxy in
conflict. During the final
days of the war, even parts
of the agricultural planet
of TAANAB have become
a battle ground.

Forces of the SEPARATIST
ARMY have recently been
using the planet as a
fueling depot due to the
planet’s location in the
inner rim territory of the
galaxy. Now the ARMY of
the REPUBLIC is attacking
in the hopes of cutting the
enemy’s supply lines.

Unfortunately for both the
citizens of TAANAB and
spacers who have stopped
there while traveling the
nearby hyperspace lanes,
they are now caught between
the two warring forces. As
the CLONE WARS draw to
a close, a new power is rising
and a new conflict is about
to begin......


I chose Taanab because I always loved that line from ROTJ, it's location in the middle of the galaxy and the fact that it hasn't been over used in the EU. Below is the recap of what took place during the game. Notes on how the game was run are highlighted in purple.

Episode 1 Order 66

Adventure 1-Escape from Skeen

Part 1 Before the Battle

The agricultural planet of Taanab has found itself caught up in the war between the Republic and the Separatist. The Separatist recently started using the planet as a re-fueling depot due to it's location near a major hyper-space lane. In response the Republic has sent troops to cut off those supply lines.

Using the background of the characters provided by the players and the notes of what I wanted to run I then worked on a way of gettting them all together that would make sense. By pairing up a couple of characters before they all met helped make their first encounter together more real.

Cluad Malhuret is a human Trauma Technician that finds himself on Taanab after serving in the Doctors Beyond Frontiers organization. The war has caused him to mistrust both sides of the conflict. At the same time the Gand named Xextuss has left his home world to begin training as a Findsman when his ship is attacked by raiders. He barely escapes to the planet surface as his fellow Gand are killed and their ship destroyed. The two meet in the streets of the small city of Skeen as the Taanab Planetary Civil Corp starts a mass evacuation of the population of the city before the upcoming battle. They decide to try to find their own way off the planet.

I paired the player with the most experience with the player who had none together to help him learn the ropes. Where one had a solid idea of what he wanted his character to do, the other didn't even know how to use the core mechanic. All the players helped him along and made it easier for me to focus on running the game.

Meanwhile the Bothan known as Ar'Ryn Krats is working for the Republic in the office of Special Committee of Antiquities (SCoA) that was personally created by the Supreme Chancellor. He is a Finder, a person who tracks down artifacts that have been looted during the war and sends them back to Coruscant to be sorted and returned. During his travels he sent to investigate a container found by some clone troopers who's contents they couldn't identify with their scanners. Believing it was some historic scrolls missing from the planet Gyndyine, they leave it in his care and depart on their transport. When he opens it up he discovers an unusual creature that has a form of mind-linking telepathy that Ar'Ryn gives the nickname of "Grem". Ar'Ryn then uses his contacts to try to figure out what and where this creature came from and the trail leads him to a Duros "exotics" merchant named Vens Tiggic who has a shop on Taanab.

I have gamed with klecser and nimzomitch for years and they both really enjoy the challenge of playing unique characters. nimzomitch wanted to play a race of creatures that he made up entirely, that didn't talk and would be more of a sidekick in nature. Klecser wanted to play a character driven game so I worked with both to create a more extensive background that we could all work from.

The Pau'an Jedi padawan O'dian Solari's Jedi master, the Kith Xarrex is assigned as General to Clone Commander Dust's troops for the assault on Taanab along with the Caamasi Jedi Master Eh'klic Ianin and her human Jedi padawan Dallen Hurst. Before they leave Coruscant Xarrex retrieves something in a large sack from the vaults in the Jedi Temple. He spends the entire trip in his quarters with the object. Once they land on the outskirts of Skeen he sends O'dian Solari back to the transport to retrieve the the sack with instruction to take it to the outlaying shops away from the where the main fighting will take place. On his way up the hills, O'dian Solari looks back in time to see his master shot down by Clone Commander Dust and the other clones he was suppose to lead. Fleeing from clones sent to kill him, O'dian Solari makes his way towards the shops.

Because of the nature of the time period I wanted to play I had to figure out how I could have a first level Jedi fit in to the story and still have a way for him to develop his Force abilities. As you will see below there are ways to do this.

Part 2 The Battle Begins

Having made their way to Skeen and knowing that Vens would not leave his wares to be looted, Ar'Ryn and Grem enter Ven's exotics shop. The Duros there panics when he sees Grem and has a massive heart attack and dies before they can get any answers from him. Blocks away Cluad and and Xextuss are making there own way out of the city when they are spotted by some battle droids who mistake them as mercenaries working for the Republic. They try to elude them on the side streets and dive into a shop, that shop being Ven's. Cluad immediately tries to revive the Duros but it is too late. Through the other door O'dian Solari enters trying to evade his pursuers.

This is the point where the maps were uncovered and the minis were brought out. The players at this point all started in the same room indicated on the below map maked with the the "A". These maps are by jedicartographer and were in his first map pack. It is two maps laid side by side so that the combined to make one large map.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Adventure1Map.jpg)

The droids chasing Cluade and Xextuss try to enter the shop (Location 1) and the Jedi padawan quickly displaces them. Realizing that they are all in danger, the group decides to work together to make their way to a shop with a speeder and escape the city together. At that time the other set of doors opens to reveal the clones chasing O'dian Solari (Location 2). The group flees past them as Cluade takes the fight in the front of the shop to the droids.

The blue line indicates the path the party took while the first green line is the path that Cluade took

I try to be as prepared as possible when running a game so that things don't slow down once the action start. To help speed up battles I made an Encounter Sheet where I write down important stats before hand. I didn't save the sheets from this adventure but for this battle it was level one Battle Droids & level one Clonetroopers straight out of the rule book. A blank version is below.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/EncounterSheet.jpg)

The heroes make their way past them, fighting droids in the street and dodging shots by the clones. Several small droids fly around the area opening doors for the clones and are quickly taken down. The heroes fight their way to the interior of another building as explosions go off all around them filling the streets with smoke.

I put the small flying droids in there to be a distraction but as you will see later they actually became a large element in the game that I hadn't planned to begin with.

Keeping players on their toes and mixing things up is one of the best parts of running a game. For this battle I had large weapons fire from the fighting farther in the city striking the streets they were in. I used steel wool shaped into fire and spray painted red and rubble pile tiles from the Galaxy Tiles to block parts of the street and to indicate destroyed walls.

Never pass up an element to make things interesting when possible. During the battle I rolled a one with an attack by a battle droid and said his weapon jammed. Using my best droid voice I had him say something along the lines of "This weapon is malfunctioning" and had him look down the barrel of his own gun to see if something was blocking it. Nimzomitch, who had stayed in the shadows the entire fight said his character was going to use the Force to pull the trigger at that moment. None of the other players knew that he had any force ability and he rolled a twenty and blew off the droids head.

With having two of the players together at the start also paid off in role-playing ways when Shawn had his character backtrack to check on Cluade and get into the middle of a crossfire. Shawn who had never rpged before started to play off of the limited background he had and making choices based on his character.

I gave the heroes a small break after they got past the clones and droids and had regrouped before they moved on. There was another round of fighting coming and I wanted them to be prepared before it happened.


As they try to reach a shop with a speeder to escape, a large, heavily damaged crab droid breaks through the wall and attacks. The heroes finish it off, along with several more droids and pile into a modified troop transport.

The second branch of the green line indicates where the O'dian and Claude fought the Crab droid (he busted through the wall at the point indicated at point 3) and the blue line indicates where the rest of the party fought more droids including the droid commander. I used the Crab Droids stats as a start but adjusted them to fit with the level of the players. By having the droid be damaged it connected it to the larger battle going on and gave a reason why it wouldn't be in top form.

Having cool props can make a game much more interesting. Being the goal of their run through the city and playing a key piece in the next part of the adventure, I decided that having a physical representation of the troop cart was needed and modified a Hoth Troop Transport to represent it.


IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Transport1.jpg)
IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Transport2.jpg)


Part 3 The Chase is On

Once they are out of the city the O'dian opens the sack and finds an ancient box with an unusual lock. The Bothan's expertise in antiques allows him to estimate that the box itself is incredibly old and priceless. The O'dian falls into a trance in an effort to figure out the complex lock while the other look on.

Sometimes people's schedules just don't match up. In this case DreadPirate had to leave for work but the rest of the group wanted to play on. The element I had planned for how he was going to continue learning the force involved him being able to open the box. So I gave the player the puzzle pieces to work one and just had his character go into a trance.

Here's the elements to the puzzle, this is the front of the lock:


IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/HolocronReliquaryLockTraysm.jpg)

These are the lock pieces:

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/HolocronReliquaryLocksm.jpg)

I printed them out and cut out the cirles and laid it on top of the "tray" piece of the lock as such:

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/HolocronReliquaryLockPuzzle.jpg)

I place them on there randomly and explained that by using the Force he could rotate and move them in any location. Dread left, taking the puzzle pieces with him to work on. Elements like this are fun to work up and paper is a cheap item that really can be used in a lot of ways.

They don't have long to wonder what is happening to the young Jedi, as the reach the outskirts of the city they come across Republic and Separatist scouting patrols. Using the transport as battling ram against the speeders and firing the mounted guns, the heroes fight off the scouts in a daring chase.

For this part of the game I laid out the blank side of the Clone Strike starter map and placed a 1/8 thick piece of glass that I had cut to a little over the size of a standard map. As the chase went on I was able to draw terrain elements and quickly wipe them off. This kept the pace of the chase quick and made it really feel as if it was a scene from a Star Wars movie.

After a harrowing fight and close escape the heroes ride off into the plains of Taanab heading for a settlement large enough to find transport off the planet and away from their pursuers.

During the game I also like to use visual aides to help the players know what I'm talking about and save time on descriptions. Searching the web I found these images that suited my needs. For the images of the location, I printed them all on one sheet of paper and then I cut them out individually. While playing I just showed them to the players to help them get an idea of their surroundings.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Landscapeimages.jpg)

For important NPC it helps to have an image or a mini for the players to see. This helps them to envision that NPC and helps to avoid confusion. I like using many races and try to find images that capture the NPC as much as possible.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Episode1NPCs-2.jpg)

After the session ended I figured out XP and I gave bonuses not only for combat but XP awards for key rpging moments. I then email them the break down of the experience along with a summary of the game (what you just read above without the gaming notes). I also include a list of important NPCs and places as well as a jpeg of the NPC sheet used during the game.

Important Locations so far...

Taanab-An agricultural world, near a major hyper-space route, that has not been a part of the Clone Wars until the end of the war. A common stopping place for many spacers traveling the nearby hyper-space lane.

Skeen-is the second largest city on Taanab and is 350 km Southwest from the capital city of Pandath. Because of the agricultural nature of the planet the city does not have individual living spaces and the buildings are surrounded by fields instead of urban sprawl.


Important NPC so far....

Kith Jedi Master- Xarrex
Male/Kith/54
O'dian's Jedi master. Has precog abilities.

Jedi Master-Eh'klic Ianin
Female/Caamasi/42
Dallen's Jedi master. Known for her battle expertise

Human Jedi padawan-Dallen Hurst
Male/Human/19
Trained with O'dian

Clone Commander Dusk
Male/Human/15 (30 in clone years)
Known for always finishing missions no matter what the cost in troops. Was the commander of Oppo Rancisis' clone troops until he was killed by Sora Bulq. He currently has received new clone troops to refill his ranks due to the fact that 93% of his previously troops died. He is very skilled pilot, combat/melee expert and an expert marksmen. He is considered a legend among other clone troopers who have nicked named him "Clone Commander Death" because of the high causality rate of his troops. Xarrex has just been assigned as his new general.

Vens Tiggic
Male/Duros/63
An exotics merchant in Skeen who says he has information of the origin of Grem. Not very likable and deceptive.

My players have found the recapping email with the list of places and NPCs to be really helpful. It is a quick reminder and saves me the time during the game of having to do it. The players are able to keep track of who the NCPs are and figure out what their character is going to do in the next game.

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this and that it comes in handy for your own games. As I said before we have five finished so as I have the time I'll post those details and elements to this thread.

Next time.....
I'll post the solution to the puzzle along with what's inside the box (I'm sure you all know what it is). We'll find out what happens to our heroes and what to do when a player misses an entire session.

CLICK ON THE ICONS TO GET MORE INFORMATION

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I'm working on getting my files set up as PDFs and to a host site for download, including the opening scroll movies.

CLICK ON THE ICONS TO GET MORE INFORMATION

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Please feel free post questions and comments. Let me know what parts you find helpful or if there is anything that doesn't make sense.

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I gotta admit, I'm pretty envious of those who get to play with you. All those custom mini's must make the mat look beautiful. Nice use of puzzles as well.
I gotta admit, I'm pretty envious of those who get to play with you. All those custom mini's must make the mat look beautiful. Nice use of puzzles as well.

Envious? I just feel inadequate now! ;)
Great work! The amount of extra effort you put into the game will payoff big. I also use a lot of visual aids and sound effects. I run a program called RPGDeck during my sessions, using it for the background soundtrack as well as to play sound effects I have recorded from the movies and Clone Wars show. It was so great to see the look on the players faces when they first rolled a natural 1 and suddenly they heard an actual battle droid voice say, "What a terrible shot!"

Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!
Awsome job! Now that is something that I have not seen in a long time, a GM that actually cares about his players. The last couple of GMs that I had only cared about mini combat, and the rule book. Those games had Zero fun. I wished I lived in NE so I could join your group. Seems like it would be a blast. If your looking for something to add more spice to your maps, check out http://www.hirstarts.com/. These molds can be expensive, and time consuming to build, but they totally worth it. Well, keep up the great job as Game Master, and I hope you and your group have a long, thrilling fun filled campaign!

MTFBWY!

R2builder
I'm working on getting my files set up as PDFs and to a host site for down load, including the opening scroll movies.

I'm looking forward to what you came up with for your opening crawl. I did the best I could with PowerPoint, but there are some unavoidable limitations.
I'm looking forward to what you came up with for your opening crawl. I did the best I could with PowerPoint, but there are some unavoidable limitations.

I found a program that does 90% of the work for you but I just got a new computer at home and I need to get Quicktime pro to use it to it's fullest. Once I get them remade using that I will get them up. So far I have been using the first half of the program and taking the files it creates and making the final scrolls using both Flash or iPhoto. When I post up my final files I'll put a link to the program as well.

Thanks everyone else for your kind words.

I started GMing when I was sixteen playing the box version of D&D with the Elmore covers, Marvel Superheroes from TSR and WEG Star Wars rpg. That was nearly half my life ago. Since that time I took several long breaks from playing and in the past couple of years pre-painted minis have really changed the amount of minis available since the lead mini days. I figured that if I was going to run a game I wanted to make it the best one in case it is the last one I run for a long time and to take advantage of the collection minis I have obtained and made over the past couple of years.

When I went to run this I really wanted to make the experience as full as possible both from a judges perspective and from the players'. With the exception of the guy who never rpged before, all the players have had years of experience playing and I wanted this game to be one that really would push them as players as much as I'm pushing myself. I have never been the type of GM that is "out to get" the players but let the risks created in the game be their opponent and let them know that there will most likely be a character death or two depending on what they chose to do.

Another aspect is that I really want them to feel that they have a choice in where the story goes. I hate the feeling of being railroaded when I play an RPG. This first five part arc is structured to follow a path but I wanted it to make sense, establish the feel of the universe they find themselves in and to introduce the major themes and NPCs. I never want them to feel railroaded in what choices they have but also want to be prepared for where the game is headed next. Now that we have finished the first arc they are at the point where they are completely in control of where they go next.

I hope to have the second session up sometime this week.

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Many people start their games with characters at a higher level to give the players more options but I wanted to start from first level so that the challenges would be more intense. After the first session everyone had leveled up so between games I had the players make the adjustments with the exception of hit points. Again we rolled those as a group using a house rule I came up with.

Instead of rolling just one die for hit points I had them roll the number equal to the level they are now at and pick the best. Since you get Force points at this time, they could decide to re-roll one of the die by spending a force point. So at second level they could roll up to three times and pick the best roll. This worked really well and we continue to use this system.

I didn't create an opening scroll for this adventure. Every session having an opening would be a bit too much and I have found that a scroll every two to three sessions works best depending on the story. Since they were on the same planet as last time there was no new galactic map. I did however update my Character Reference Sheet with the changes they made to their characters.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/CharacterStats2web.jpg)

Below is the summary of the session, again with notes on how the game was run highlighted in purple.

Episode 1 Order 66

Adventure 2-Raiders of Kellos


Part 1 Arrival in Kellos

Because of the damage taken in the chase the transport breaks down in the early morning hours but the curious, strange creature simple called Grem somehow manages to get it running again. Apparently because of the stress of the battle and the smoke from the explosion he inhaled, the Bothan slips into unconsciousness.

It is important that players fill certain roles that fit your campaign. In mine, I let them know beforehand that it would be important that at least one character be able to do each of the following--pilot, heal the party, slice computers, act as mechanic, have a heavy gunner and no more than one true Jedi. They did a great job splitting up the duties and I wanted to make sure that the skills they picked did not go to waste. Having the transport breakdown in the middle of no where gave the mechanic character a chance to shine.

Because we all have other obligations and the fact that klecser lives out of town, I knew that there would be times he or others could not make a regular session when everyone else could. This session was one of those cases so I used the events of the last session to explain why his character would not be around to help. Some people don;t mind others playing their characters but I find that diminishes the rpg experience more than just giving a valid reason why the character can't be active.


The heroes do what they can for Ar'Ryn as they drive past three story harvest droids working non-stop in the fields. Having solved the lock on the ancient box in the his meditative trance, O'dian comes to as the sun begins to rise and they see a small town in the distance.

Dread had solved the puzzle on his own but decided not to open the box in front of the group.

Just as they pull into the town, located hundreds of miles from Skeen, the transport completely breaks down. The towns people have rifles pointed at them from windows through-out the town. The leader of the town, a young, pretty human named Sarri Karrde walks out to meet them and asked their business. A crusty farmer and mechanic, named Ret Guchat, continues to accuse them of being raiders and that if they don't leave they will be shot. Sarri calms everyone down and asks them to come in for breakfast.

The tension was really pushed up by the players' reactions at this point. Having NPCs at odds with each other helps make them believable and gives the players clues to what is going on. I unveiled the maps at this point which consisted of two Rebel Storm Ultimate Missions Mos Eisley Maps placed end to end.

They meet the Gotal pilot of the transport shipping the town's harvest off planet, Dni Nhak who goes by the nickname of "Dink" ; Quassh Neetakka, nickamed "Qua", a pregnant Rodian who was recently widowed when her own town was raided; and Corra Dawn, a young, Twi'lek, orphan whose family was killed five years ago by raiders and is being raised by Sarri and the rest of the town, named Kellos.

I like to make use of the different races of aliens. It gives the campaign some flavor and makes the adventure feel more like Star Wars. Having the motives and possible actions of key NPCs figured out before hand helps speed things along.

The heroes are forth coming about who they are and what they are escaping but don't mention that O'dian is a Jedi. Sarri explains that they are a farming town and are on edge ever since they got word from her father Kennic and her brother Talon about how their grain supplies in her old home town were attacked just days ago once the harvest was in the processor and they fear that once the harvest droids are done loading their town's processor that the raiders will attack their town next. For the past two and half weeks all the towns around them have been hit as soon as the crops are brought into the processor.

The reason for the attacks is that the raiders are working for corporate farming companies from another planet and by destroying their crops it helps to raise the prices and gets rid of competition. In the past, the Taanab Planetary Civil Corp have prevented raiders but with them in charge of the excavation of Skeen the towns have had to defend themselves. She tells them that the crops should be completely in the processor (condenses the grain to maximize freshness and condense it for shipping) in the next three to four days. It takes two days for the processor to complete the batch and another day to load it in the freighter.

Sarri offers them a choice--if they help defend the processor they will take them to the where they want to go--the next large city or they can ride with the freighter to the planet of delivery. In addition they will pay them for helping load the freighter. The heroes agree to help and Sarri puts them in charge of planning the defences since none of the townspeople have any combat experience.

Sometimes having a clear cut choice for the heroes to make can lead to party unity. At this point I gave the players a printout of the town with notes on what everything is. This wasn't a dungeon crawl or city explore adventure so I didn't want them to feel that they were wasting time having to figure out every nook and building.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/MapofKellos-2.jpg)

Part 2 Preparing for Battle

Cluade goes to work right away collecting as much medical supplies as possible and setting up a triage facility with the help of Corra. This seems to put the young orphan greatly at ease. Her past experience losing her family to raiders had her skittish on the point of fleeing but having something to do has gives her a sense of calm.

O'dian uses his charm to help sway Ret into using his fix-it shop and helping to remove the mounted guns on the transport and making tripod guns to be placed on top of the silos holding the grain.

Grem begins collecting cable from the junk piles that the towns folk had set up as a barrier and begins crafting a net. The towns people see what he is doing and take up the work. He tried to mind-link with a really old Duros named Tannak who runs the town's bar/cafe to communicate that he wanted to create some explosives to place on the out-side perimeter. However at the sight of Grem the Duros freaks out and flees the other way.

Xextuss talks to Qua about her recent experience with the raiders and not only gets a better idea of what they are facing but helps her in her grief. While talking with Dink, Xextuss gets suspicious of his intentions since he refuses to use his ship for recon or to defend the town but instead of jumping to conclusions he instead asks Sarri about him. She informs Xextuss that Dink is an old family friend from her old home town and although a bit crass is very trust worthy. Dink then explains to them that the raiders will attack the ship so he has it safely hidden and if there is no ship then defending the silo processors will not matter.

I had planned that the preparations that the players made before hand would greatly influence the outcome of the battle. If they didn't calm Corra down before hand she would have fled and possible died. If they didn't take precautions to protect the non-combat able citizens like Qua then they would have possibly been killed or taken hostage in the battle. If they didn't win Ret to their side he could have possible turned traitor in the middle of battle. they did a great job and made solid plans which paid off big time for them in the later fight.

At dinner that night the heroes talk to the towns people and give them directions and insight about the rest of their plans. They organize the people into groups to fulfill certain duties. After a long day of escaping and planning the heroes finally get some rest except O'dian who finally opens the box to reveal a Jedi holocron. The image of his late master Xarrex is projected and he informs his former padawan that this holocron has been passed from master to apprentice for several thousand generations and that he can use it to continue his instruction in the Jedi arts, to seek out others who can use the Force and to learn how to hide his Jedi abilities from those that are hunting him.

At this point I had Dread show me his solution which was correct. I had him make an additional Use the Force check to open the hidden latch on the inside and the box open to uncover the holocron within.

The solution is to put the odd color symbol on each dial to the left and arrange them so that they symbols line up to match one another. When completed there is a completed circuit in the middle of the design. Here's the answer key:


IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/HolocronReliquaryLockSolution.jpg)

With an object this important for the further teaching of the Jedi in the group I wanted to make an actual prop. Here's the paper model I designed that can be printed on cardstocked and easily assembled.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/TheXarrexHolocronsm.jpg)

Just cut the white section away and fold it along the the lines. Cut slits on the flaps for the tabs and either tape or glue it closed. When finished you will have something that looks like this.

IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/TheXarrexHolocron3D.jpg)

The next day the heroes continue the prepartions when Cluade lets slip that O'dian is a Jedi but the town people have no reason to distrust him at that time. Grem finally mind links with Sarri and communicates his idea of creating explosives which they get started on right away. Xextuss trains as many people as he can in weapons use. They rearrange the junk piles to better defend the silos and to block access from the side streets.

Letting players create their own drama is a great tool for GMs. Never let those moments go to wate. Again, these preparations really helped determine the final outcome.

They take a break for lunch in Tannak's bar when the holoprojector comes on with breaking news. The witness the speech by Palpatine declaring the formation of the first Galactic Empire, himself the Emperor, of the supposed betrayal of the Jedi against the Republic and how the Clone Wars are coming to an end. Then the local holo-feed news goes on to describe the battle in Skeen. Using holo-footage from inside Ven's shop as well as from the probe droids the sequence is cut in an improper order to show what appears to be O'dian attacking the Duros in the shop, the Duros dying and then being helped to escape by the rest of the heroes. The report goes on to say that that the Jedi is wanted for murder and the rest for questioning. They only one not appearing in the report is Grem who had hidden during the encounter. The report is followed by an interview with Clone Commander Dust who promises to bring them to justice.

When I decided that the players would be framed up it occurred to me that I had those droids flying around helping the Clonetroopers in the first game and could go back and use them as recording devices. They weren't planned that way at the start but really lent them selves for that use.

By having more than just the Jedi being wanted by the EMpire it helps create another group bond and pushes up the danger for the group. Since it is really hard to have the EMperor and Vader throwing down against low level heroes it is useful to tie their actions from the movies into the player's story. It makes a connection to the villains, gives them an appearance and reminds the players that they are part of a larger story. Having the minor villain also make an appearance ties him to the Star Wars myth and when the players face him it will make that confrontation that much more enjoyable.


Fearing the reaction of the towns people the heroes try to explain the truth but fail. However Sarri and Dink both speak on their behalf and the towns people have all come to trust and know the heroes for how they really are. Tannak points out that the Duros in the video is not Vens but his younger brother and that it is typical of Humans not to be able to tell one Duros from another. Before any more can be said on the matter the alarm that the Raiders are attacking sounds and everyone races to prepare for the fight.

This is a case of not letting the dice always decide the outcome. The players rolls on their persuation checks were 1s and 2s. But the characters just spent the last two days showing their intentions and winning over key NPCs and that was what really mattered more so than their awful rolls.

Here is a revised map showing the preparations that the players made.


IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/MapofKellos-2B.jpg)

The "A" and "B" indicate where they placed their home-made webs. The purple line is the netting they made and had pulled by lift droids. The brown squares are where they blocked off side streets with junk. The blue squares are where they used junk to make barricades. The "C" is the location that set up a triage.

Part 3 The Raiders Attack

As the battle starts the net traps work great and takes out a couple of bikers. Xextuss leads the front line in battle taking out the few survivors before they can reach the silos. Grem instructs the gunners on top of the silos and stops many of the raider on foot. O'dian leads another group to stop the attack from the other side of town. Unarmed, Cluade entered the battle to perform field medicine, saving the life of one of the towns people.

Unlike the first session which was one battle after the other, this session was a slow build to just one fight. And unlike the first session where the fight was a long chase this fight was a defensive one. By making the fights have a purpose (the first to flee danger and this one to stop an attack) it keeps the battles fresh.

Each player had one key NPCs and 5 regular NPCs to move and shoot with as they pleased. This makes the players think in a group dynamic,gives them more options and lets the characters actually lead in the battle.

I really enjoyed the fact that DJ played up the non-combat side of his character and poured all his effort in to his character's healing role. Diving into battle to save people unarmed is a pretty heroic action for a character to make.


After several waves of attackers, the leader of the raiders rides his swoop in for one final attempt to destroy the silos. Using the force O'dian pulls him from his bike to him. Cluade continued to remove the injured from the battle field. Xextuss leads his group to cut off the leader's escape and scored a massive hit on him. Grem closes off his other possible escape and his group finishes off the remaining raiders. The leader does not go down easily as pulls out two vibro knives and scores serious cuts on the Jedi. Finally the group battles the leader into unconsciousness and lock him and the other living raiders up.

During the course of the battle each player had a stand out moment to shine. This won't always happen but it is something I try to shoot for. The first wave came from the spot indicated by the "1" on the map. Each following wave came from the opposite and a different corner. There was a skiff that dropped off raiders on foot and as each biker was destroyed I used the steel wool flames indicate it and to add to the battle. The "2" indicates where the Cluade was saving a wounded townsfolk with gun fire flying over his head. The "3" is where the final fight took place with the leader of the raiders. Below is the Encounter Sheet I used for this fight.

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An impromptu celebration breaks out and the group are treated like the heroes they are. Some party more than others, some try liquor for the first time and a well earned victory is celebrated. The heroes spend the next few days recovering, healing the injured, and loading the harvest onto Dink's ship, the Sweetness. They are given gifts of appreciation, Cluade gets a surgery kit and med paks, Xextuss is given the leader of the Raider's swoop bike which Ret will repair, Grem is given a modified blaster and ammo, and O'dian is told that his secret of being a Jedi is safe with all of the people of the town. Sarri thanks them for all their help, tells them that they should think of Kellos as their home away from and to visit them soon and often.

With that the heroes board the Sweetness and prepare the the next leg of their adventure......

Not all players are in it to see there character go up levels and instead are more interested in items their character can use. When appropriate I try to tie special items to the adventure, wether they find them or they are given as a reward.

During this time Cluade also hits it off with Sarri. When players have their characters make personal connections to NPCs that is always good. Connections like this can be used for adventure hooks and for great rpg moments.

I used the same galaxy map and image of the planet from the first session but used a new NPC image sheet. If I can't find an image that matches what I have in mind I find it useful to use an actor that best represents them.


IMAGE(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ironlightsaber/Episode2NPCs-2.jpg)

In the time between sessions I sent them their experience along with the recap from above. We all use gmail so it helps the discussion move along and keeps things in order. I include jpegs of all the handouts and list an update of important locations and NPCs.

Important Locations so far...

Taanab-An agricultural world, near a major hyper-space route, that has not been a part of the Clone Wars until the end of the war. A common stopping place for many spacers traveling the nearby hyper-space lane.

Skeen-is the second largest city on Taanab and is 350 km Southwest from the capital city of Pandath. Because of the agricultural nature of the planet the city does not have individual living spaces and the buildings are surrounded by fields instead of urban sprawl.

Kellos-is a small agricultural town located about 450 km south-southeast of Skeen.

Important NPC so far....

Town Leader- Sarri Karrde
Female/Human/23
Likable and surprisingly young leader of the town of Kellos. Brash, witty and intelligent. Father is Kennic Karrde and warns her of the upcoming attack. Has a little brother named Talon.

Space Pilot- Dni Nhak "Dink"
Male/Gotal/53
Pilot of the freighter Sweetness. Somewhat gruff but enjoys a good laugh. Not a fighter but will if needed. Appreciates hard workers.

Farmer-Ret Guchat
Male/Human/45
Dismissive farmer who doesn't trust any outsiders. Also runs a "fix-it" shop in town.

Farmer-Quassh Neetakka "Qua"
Female/Rodian/29
Pregnant farmer who lost her husband to raiders less than a three weeks ago in the near by village of Avevac. Very brave.

Kid-Corra Dawn
Female/Twi'lek/12
An orphan who is being raised by the whole town. She stays with Sarri. Her parents died in a raid on the town Balic five years ago.

Next Time
I'll post the stats for the Sweetness and we'll see what happens when a player joins in late. It might be a while before the next update as I have to plan for our next session.

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try adding some leftover still functioning battle droids
Outstanding composition IronLightsaber!

For battles in the streets (you may already have props for this), I regularly employ different dynamic environments. These represent the everchanging battle field in our games. It doesnt require much more than a few tiles or layered map variations.

An example using your great maps might be.
At a predetermined time or in responce to a stimulus- you may have a silo damaged and fall. The fall may be an immedieate thing or it could take sevral rounds. Some players would be aware of it while others have no Idea. You may need to relay the event to half of the party on little post-its. (to avoid spelling out events to those who may have no applicable perception of such an event)

But what you get is possible cover / improvised weapons if you can maneuver opponents into the kill zone / tactical advantage to a group / and a viable representation of the age old "the best laid plans.."

I love it when the party has psychological constants redefined (good and bad ones in moderation or I suppose I would be creating sketchy players) by a shifting environment. Walls collapse- floors give way- random pop shots from near by craft or roof top snipers- and even the most organized task force running into alittle bit of Murphy's Law.

One minute we are indoors out of the rain and reloading, next thing you know-an explosion rocks the building and a refresher explodes sending the party back out in the rain to rinse off.

A taste of tactical change is all I dare imply to an already well thaught out scenario.

I tend to use these methods most as comic relief, an A.D.D. refocusing device, and consolation prizes for well thaught out ideas followed up by terrably inadaquate Dice rolls (which seem to go along way to help players recognizing "their" impact on the Universe).

Otherwise..hats off Ironlightsaber. I love it!

As before, when you game with game with a larger party it is sometimes not possible for them to make it to every game or players might come to the game after a couple of sessions have past. In our third session a player who had hoped to be there from the start finally made it to the game and his character had to have a good reason for joining the part


Without changing too much of his backstory I was able to get Admiral Pallaeon's character in the game right away. Sometimes it is unavoidable but it is not fun for a new player to sit there for most of a game session waiting to join in so the sooner you can get them into the action the better. Instead of having his pilot character be stuck in the city of Skeen at the start I just worked it that Dink had helped rescue him from a previous encounter with the raiders the party fought off the last session. His character guarded the ship while Dink helped the heroes in the last game and Dink had arranged before hand that he would help him pilot the transport. So as the game started his character was introduced to the party and they were good to go.


This session started with a new scroll marking the next Episode of their adventure:


Episode 2 Dark Deal on a Darker Moon


The new GALACTIC EMPIRE
has amassed immense power
in the short time since it's creation.
The final days of the CLONE WAR
against the SEPARATIST are coming
to a close and will soon leave
the EMPIRE in complete power.


The BATTLE of SKEEN on the
planet TAANAB still rages on,
both on the ground and in space.
Both sides have intensified the conflict
and many civilians have died.
Being equal in force there is no sign of
who will win the conflict.


In the small town of KELLOS
a small group of heroes on the run
are saying their final good-byes and
are preparing to leave the planet
aboard the transport ship THE SWEETNESS
for their next destination....


After watching the scroll we were ready to start. The scroll gives a nice recap and setting of the mood and at the start of the game they were still planet side so they could make any last minute additions and role-play their goodbyes.


Episode 2 Dark Deal on a Darker Moon


Adventure 3-Journey to the Hutt Moon


Part 1 Leaving Taanab


The group finishes getting The Sweetness loaded and saying their goodbyes to the towns people they have helped and lived with for the past several days. They are joined by Nix Felleaon, a spacer who lost his fellow crew members and the ship he was serving on to the same raiders the heroes just defeated. Like them, Nix is helping haul the grain in return for passage off Taanab.


After Dink gives them a tour of the ship and introducing them to his R4 unit Y9 (which he calls Whiner and who helps run the ship's high functions in deep space) they update the computer with METOSP info for the jump to take them to their destination. The METOSP informs them that because of the current battle over and in the city of Skeen air space is restricted to military ships only.


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At this time I handed out the character sheets for the ship and gave them a chance to look them over and ask any questions. I found this ship character sheet on these boards and it is are really helpful.


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Shortly after take off Dink has to hand the controls over because the instruments indicate that the hold doors are open and he has to go to the back of the ship to check on it. Once they leave the atmosphere of the planet they see four Republic V-Wings coming in on an intercept course.


Knowing that they are not suppose to be even in the air, Nix opens fire before they can shot down. O'dian and Xextuss man the guns while Cluad assists in the cockpit. Ar'Ran comes out of his semi-coma and begins to help by rerouting power to the shields. During the intense fight the life support systems begin shutting down and the unusual creature Grem jury-rigs it, saving everyone's lives.


To me space combat is a huge part of Star Wars but talking to many players I have found out that many games do not have it as an element at all. I don't have any of the SSB figs and while talking to a fellow minis player I found out that he had a bunch of the pocketmodel ships that he didn't use anymore and, for the most part, even assembled. So for five dollars I bought his collection, put them together, kit bashed several custom ships and painted the bases black. 


 


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I then bought a huge piece of black poster board and splattered white paint with a toothbrush on both sides to create stars. One one side I splattered more stars and on the other I used red and purple spray paint to create some nebulous clouds. I borrowed an large straight edge from Nimzomitch and marked out 1" spaces on one side and 1.5" spaces on the other. I then used a silver Sharpie marker to draw a grid. It came out really well and with the pocketmodel ships I have the most important elements to run any space fight-ships and place for them to fight.


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It's important that in space fights that everyone has something to do. By having them create their characters with set duties in mind it helps avoid anyone feeling left out. Throwing in things like the life support going on the fritz and making the NPC unavailable to pilot his own ship helps to add to the drama and give the players a chance to take control.


Space combat can seem daunting but it really plays well with this system. I toss out some stuff that I knew we wouldn't use and don't care for the scale they use for the capital ships compared to the fighters, so I altered it for our use. I kept the battle pretty straight forward so that everyone could get the hang of the differences and not bog it down too much.


At the same time I didn't want it to be too generic and wanted to tie it in to what was happening in the larger picture--so I added the capital ships in the distance and added the threat of more attackers coming at them.


When things look darkest for the group, more trouble arrives in the form of four Separatist Droid Star Fighters. A pair of V-Wing peal off the battle to fight them and are quickly blasted out of the air. The final V-Wing engaged with The Sweetness is destroyed and the crew prepare for a new fight with the droids when they shut down for no apparent reason.


I try to have the events of the movies and EU timed to what is happening with the game. At this point one of the players figured out the reason why the ships had shut-down--Annikin had just taken out the Separatist leaders and shut down all the droids.


Dink is quick to suggest that they can haul them in, wipe their memory and then sell them for a nice profit to be split seven ways. The group agrees and a quick plan is put into action. Working extremely well together, the group makes a four person daring space walk and load them into the empty cargo holds as Grem assist pulling in a ship with the Force and Ar'Ryn and Y9 quickly wipe the droids' programming. After a celebratory drink of vintage Corellian ale they make their first hyper space jump together.


I had printed out a full size, gridded map of the ship and used some Droid Starfighter minis I had made from a model kit for the space walk portion. The players did an amazing job figuring out how to best get the ships into the hold and worked as a tightly trained team. This section of the game was much more fun to play than I had hoped that it was going to be.


The path to their next destination involved two jumps, the first takes four days and the second takes two. During the second jump the action cuts away to the newly built Darth Vader being address by the Emperor. He is informed that he is forming a group of force powered assassins to be known as the Emperor's Hands who will not know of the existence of each other or be fully trained as Sith.


Other minor force users will be used to create an institution known as Prophets of the Dark Side who's purpose will be to instill fear and control over the masses. A final group will become the Inquistorius and this group will be formed by Jedi who are captured and turned to the Dark Side and their purpose will be to assist Vader in hunting down other Jedi and Force users and turn them over to the Dark Side or to kill them.


The Emperor and Vader then prepare to leave for the system of Dyspeare to meet with Tarkin and view their largest secret project.


Much like the timing of having the droids shut down, I wanted to include the scene of Vader being built so it made sense in our game's timeline. Like the hologram announcement in the second episode, I used this as a chance to have the Emperor appear. Because the Heroes will most likely never see these two in person and since they are the biggest baddies during this period; having scenes like this help the players tie their adventure to what it going on in the rest of the galaxy even if they are not there.


Part 2 Arrival on Nar Shaada 

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The Sweetness arrives at it's destination of Nar Shaada, which is the moon of the Hutt planet Nal Hutta and is known through-out the galaxy as the place of vice and corruption. Dink lands in the Corillian sector and informs them that it is the safest section on the planet. He says they can leave their gear in his ship and can stay on board for the night since he won't be heading back until he resupplies tomorrow and heads back to Kellos.


He tells them to check out the shops and ship lots in the area, try their luck in the casino and that he will meet them later that day. He drops them off and goes to unload the grain and then to find a place to sell the recovered ships. He gives them R4-Y9 as a guide and assurance that he will meet them later.


At this point I passed out a map of the fan made Nar Shaada with the rooms covered with indicators of how high the building were. I placed the actual map on the table and blocked off the gantry from the first section to the other end with steel wool fire. This forced them to explore the area in a circle and let me control what they encountered and when.


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When using locations it helps to have several descriptors and to make comparisons. Where Tanaab was quite, clean and rural, this new place was loud, dirty and urban. Nar Shaado is also a good place for people on the run to get lost so it fit in with what the heroes had going on in their adventure. I chose the Corillian sector because it sets up a future game adventure hook.



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O'dian makes the suggestion to keep the droids as escort fighters but Dink informs him that he is not a smuggler, just a simple hauler, and that he will be returning to Taanab alone. The group then enters the market center and work their way through the sector. Cluad, Xextuss and Odian make their way to The Gundark's Den, a strip bar full of seedy characters and strong drinks.


After being disappointed by the cost of his weapon of choice and not wanting to risk pick-pocketing, Nix tries his hand at the casino and does rather well.


Ar'Ryn and Grem go to the Holo-Net center where Ar'Ryn attempts to contact his office of antiques only to be informed that with the creation of the Empire that his department has been taken over, his boss imprisoned and that he is to turn Grem over to them and turn in the Jedi and the rest of the group for their actions (made up actions that is) during the battle of Skeen to Imperial forces. Ar'Ryn throws them off the trail saying that they are on Corillia and makes a hasty exit from the Holo-center.


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klecser saying they were on Corillia is funny in the fact that unknown to them they would soon be on the that planet. While the other players were in the bar I made sure to describe some of the other patrons and have them make note of it because of how it would effect their players later.


The group gets together and Ar'Ryn informs them of his recent contact with the ISB. After all they have been through --the Battle of Skeen, defeating the raiders in Kellos, Cluad tending to Ar'Ran while he unconscience (even with their early differences), and the trials they went through on the way to Nar Shadda--the group decides to throw in together, protect each other and avoid the new Empire that seems corrupt and power hungry.


For making it known that they were now a group that were going to travel together because they chose to instead of being thrown together they received a Destiny bonus to their rolls for the rest of the encounter.


Dink shows up and lets them know that he has unloaded the grain and has started to arrange the sale for the Droid Star Fighters. He has a claim ticket on a datapad and says that who ever holds it has the authority of the claim. He is to meet his contact at The Gundark's Den and, like most things on Nar Shaada, the Hutts have their paws in this business. He asks that they watch over the deal and cover his back, which the group agrees to do. Dink sends Odian and Y9 back to the ship to guard it.


Here's a case of a player having to leave before the session is over. It timed out nicely and we just had the character guard the ship. Not too inventive but it solves the problem nicely.


Part 3 Good Deal Goes Bad 


The group enters and stakes out places in which to watch over the deal. Dink enters and begins negotiations with an Andronian, shortly after the deal begins a Feeorin enters that Cluad, Xextuss and Odian saw in the bar earlier. He quickly exits and before the group can react the stun explosives that were planted earlier by the Feeorin go off knocking everyone in the bar out.


The heroes recover in time to see the Feeorin shooting the Andronian, grabbing the data pad with the claim ticket and fleeing from the bar.


I gave the players the chance to find the stun grenades before hand but failed perception rolls and the descriptions of what their characters were looking at and for made them miss them. It helped to start the chase in a different way than the previous one and having players fighting off debilitating effects is always fun to watch.


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The heroes waste no time as they give chase. The Feeorin's fellow brutes are waiting outside the doors and give fight as he flees towards the catwalks. Xextuss blows a hole through the head of his closest attacker, Cluad and Ar'Ran give chase and take down several more and Nix fights his way through while taking some massive hits.


Grem makes a daring jump across the gap from the walkway to the catwalks cutting off the Feeorin's escape. He throws the Feeorin back across as an air speeder arrives to help the thieves make their escape. Their assistance is too late as the group quickly deals with the Feeorin and Grem takes down the speeder.


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It's cool to see players making better group choices in battles as well as making insanely heroic attempts. There was plenty of both in this fight and I reward players with extra XP for really pushing their character's limits and doing bold (and dangerous) moves.


After checking on Dink and the Andronian, who are both safe thanks to a blast vest, the group is invited to the office of the bar and left alone for a minute. Dink informs them that the fight can only increase the value of their sale.


The Andronian returns, introduces himself as Tibor and says that he is aware of who they are and that his employer would like to speak to them. A holo-projector produces the image of an extremely old and hairy Hutt. He speaks in Huttesse in a gravely voice which Tibor translates.


He tells them that he is Zorba Desilijic Tiureone, currently wrongly imprisoned on the planet Kip. He thanks them for stopping the assassins sent by a rival "businessman" trying to harm his second in command. Since his imprisonment his competition has tried to cut into his business by any means possible. He can't pay them a reward for it since they are not bounty hunters or part of a guild but will compensate them for their troubles. Also he will give them a good price for the scrap ships they have.


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But he has another proposition for them------he can not get into many details because of where he is at, in case his rivals are listening, but he can tell them that he was suppose to have some workers arrive several days ago but the crew he sent to retrieve them has not shown up.


He would like them to find out what happened to that crew and retrieve those workers. At this point Dink informs them that he has already been hired for a job and that he needs to return to Taanab to bring back supplies and can not partake in this venture. Zorba states he understands and in that case he is willing to help the group out even further.


If they do this job for him he will not only get ahold of that footage to clear their names (the Jedi will still be wanted), pay them for the earlier services but he will offer them 9000 each in trade for a total of 54000 credits to use to buy a ship from one of his used-ship yards in exchange for the scrap with no strings attached and no further obligations to work for him in the future.


Ah, the "offer they can't refuse" meets the "deal with the Devil". This adventure and the next is basically the backstory of how they get their own ship. If the ship is to be any good then the players should have to sweat for it. Dealing with shady crime lords, deals that seem too good to be true and the offer of a better reward "if they just do one more small job" is all part of the set up to how they will get their ship and provides a back story that can be mined for further tales down the road.


The group agrees and plan to meet Tibor the next morning. They head back to The Sweetness to stay one final night aboard. Dink wishes them good luck and tells them to beware because deals with Hutts are usually always in the Hutts favor but this looks to be an honest deal, mainly because Zorba is in jail. He also advises that once they are done not to work further for Zorba no matter how legit the work seems to be......


A little warning and some fore-shadowing can go a long way with players, if they listen to it. Another thing is asking the judge questions through NPCs. It is funny but the players had not asked Dink a single question on where it was that they were going when they left Tanaab and again they asked no questions where they were going when they started to deal with the Hutt. After the next adventure and the mess they get into that never happens again.


Important Locations so far...
Kellos-is a small agricultural town located about 450 km south-southeast of Skeen.
Nar Shaddaa-a crime ridden moon of the Hutt planet.


Important NPC so far....
Space Pilot- Dni Nhak "Dink"
Male/Gotal/53
Pilot of the freighter "Sweetness". Somewhat gruff but enjoys a good laugh. Not a fighter but will if needed. Appreciates hard workers.


Droid-R4-Y9
--/R4-series droid/15
Droid on the ship Sweetness. Has a strong link to the computer on Sweetness so much so that it is basically a part of that ships higher functions while it is flying in space.


Former Administrator of Special Committee of Antiquities (SCoA)-Lacon Gennac
Male/Adarian/58
Competent and knowledgeable in his field.


Current Administrator of Special Committee of Antiquities (SCoA)-Wullf Yularen
Human/Male/36
Just recently the the admiral in the Republic Navy, under the command of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, and now a member of the newly created Imperial Security Bureau that now oversees the SCoA. Capable but operates under misguided orders.


Black Sun Merc Leader-Rin
Male/Feeorin/32
Mercenary for the Black Sun. Uses excessive force to get jobs done quick. Explosives expert. Has grayish-purple skin.


Mercenary-Tibor
Male/Andronian/??
Second in command of Zorba Desilijic Tiureone. All business.


Crime Lord-Zorba Desilijic Tiureone
No sex/Hutt/976
Curently serving a sentence of 45 years on the planet Kip for illegal mining. His imprisonment however is very lax and he views it as a vacation. Cunning, crafty and very old.


Next Time
It is time for an old fashion dungeon crawl but in Star Wars style. The group gets in over their heads all in an attempt to get a good ship from a bad crime lord...

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I'm working on getting my files set up as PDFs and to a host site for down load, including the opening scroll movies.

Hi, just wondered if you were any further forward with this? As has already been said, I'm very envious of your players!

Cheers, Mark
No, been really busy but it is something I still hope to get to soon. Been busy planning and working on the game lately, in fact we are playing episode 8 tonight.

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Very nice notes and extra material.

Prom
With the start of this fourth adventure we had two players missing due to scheduling conflicts. It happens, and when it does it is important to make adjustments to the challenge that the adventure presents the heroes. In this case I had planned a classic "Dungeon Crawl®" adventure so I only had to reduce the number of opponents that the group would run across to balance it out.

At the start, while going up in the early adventures, I try to have the players advance one level every adventure or every other adventure. With people missing some games it's hard to keep them all at the same level but with the structure of advancement they will soon all be at or near the same level. As they go up in level I plan to have them advance more slowly to about a level every three adventures. Here's their stats at the start of this adventure:

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Episode 2 Dark Deal on a Darker Moon

Adventure 5-The Gamorrean Complex

Part 1 Welcome to the Jungle

Since this was the second part of the next episode I didn't create an opening crawl but just gave a quick recap of what happen last and jumped into the game.

Dink bids farewell to the group and tells them that they made a great crew and he hopes to see them soon. They met up with TIbor and after loading supplies into his ship they take off for their destination. After a three day jump they arrive at Gamorr, a jungle planet that is homeworld to the Gamorreans, the only sentient species on the planet. After flying by one of the stone cities built by the porcine race, the party arrives many kilometers away at a temporary outpost of the crew who were suppose to collect members of a Gamorrean tribe that has pledged their loyalty and who work for Zorba the Hutt.

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I again used some images found on the web that I printed out and cut out individually to help in the description of the location. Having the locales have different climates, flora and fauna helps the players keep track of where they have been and where they are. So in the first adventures they were on a rural, plains type place, the second location was a dirty urban location and now they found themselves on a humid, dense jungle world. All of them were different and helps ground the adventure in that classic Star Wars mode.

After disembarking they see that the previous crew's ship has been destroyed, that the members of the crew have been beheaded and that there are also several dead Gamorreans. One group of Gamorreans have been hacked up and had their heads removed while a different group, which has darker olive skin tones and tribal tattoos, have only been shot. It appears that the fight between the original crew and this other group of Gamorreans took place a week or more ago do to the decomposition that has already taken place. Looking around the temporary structure they notice three small empty cages and that the communication relay is damage but repairable.

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I set up the Endor Bunker map from the Attack on Endor set and place figs whose heads I had cut off to make other customs and Gamorreans on their sides where the red Xs are. I used a different sculpts of Gamorreans and placed them on their sides where the purple Xs. Where the 1 is I described as holding pens that Grem could smell a strange scent but were empty. The 2 indicates the location of the communications relay. The 3 indicated where on obvious trail coming out of the forest was.

Not wanting to leave his ship unprotected and also to try to get the communications relay working again, Tibor has*Ar'Ryn and Xextuss stay with him and orders the others to track down the surviving Gamorreans pledged to serve Zorba and to bring back any survivors. After getting some survival equipment off the ship the rest of the party follows the several days old trail left by what appears to be nearly two dozen or more Gamorreans, those that they have to rescue and those that have taken them prisoner.

Of course the two players who couldn't make it were picked to stay behind with the ship. This explained why they wouldn't be there as well as made sense in the story.

The heroes make their way south for several kilometers of thick, dense jungle when they come to a 30 meter cliff face. Grem careful climbs up and realizes that the lift at the top has had several key pieces removed to keep others from using it. Using vines and rope the rest of the party makes it up the cliff and continues on.

I had the party make several skill checks to keep following the trail and even more when it came to climbing the cliff. Use of skill checks for other things besides combat or information gathering is a way to enhance the location and to remind players that every skill is useful, not just ones that help in combat.

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This is another great fan made map by armorgear that I used to represent a specific area of the jungle that the players were at when it was getting late on the planet and the sun was setting. Instead of having the move square by square and slowing down the game I find it best to just use spot specific maps when needed. I placed the glass sheet over the map and drew a river to one side, indicated which way it flowed and said that the walls represented on the map were actually thick growths of trees that were impassable. The players studied the map and decided the best place to set up camp for the night.

Several hours since the start of the trek had passed and the sun sets, so they make camp for the night. Being aware that the jungle is full of predators, they keep a watch. It is a good thing that they do for in the middle of the night they are attacked by Masstiffs. After a ferocious fight, the heroes deduce that these creatures were most likely the beast that escape from the pens at the outpost site and that the previous crew were probably transporting them from a previous location when they stop at Gammor to pick up the Gamorreans.

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Setting up camp, keeping watch and getting attacked in the middle of the night is classic D&D rpg stuff. All the players in the group are well familiar with it but it had been a long time for many of them and my self to actually play something like that out so it was really enjoyable. The fight was dramatic and fast paced and help tie the trek in the woods back to the landing area with the use of the escaped guard Masstiffs.

Reasoning that they might run into more danger the group decides to fully rest before heading out in the morning. Contacting Tibor and the rest of their party with the comlink provided, they find out that the other party too was also attacked in the night by some of the planet's other predators and that Tibor suffered a broken arm but otherwise they were OK. The group then heads out, following the trail further into the jungle. They soon come to a river and the trail disappears. Using the Force, Odian deduces that the Gamorreans headed upstream towards some small mountains.

When prepping for this adventure I took some D&D dungeon tiles and worked out the entire layout of the stronghold. After several set-ups I finally got the one I thought offered all the elements I wanted to include and then took a picture of it. I printed this out and had it handy when the time time came for them to explore the structure. This is a great time saver and a great reference during the game.

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Part 2 Into The Complex

Following the stream for several kilometers they find the trail again as it leads to a clearing at the base of the mountains. There is a large door at the foot of the mountain and they observe a Gamorrean guard with the dark skin color and tribal tattoos leaving. Grem quickly makes his way to the open door as the guard passes and the others come up with a spur of the moment plan on how to enter. Cluad flings open the door as Odian uses the Force to throw a guard into a Force wirlwind, and Nix pretends to be a powerful shaman.

OK, sometimes players make really bad plans and they suffer for it. This is one of those time. Rushing in and pretending to be a wizard is not the best of plans but it did get the adventure inside started really quickly.

The room is actually a great hall that the Gamorreans use as a general living and sleeping area. Several grunts rush forward as a guard starts firing with a heavy blaster rifle from behind a water trough.

This took place in the area marked with the 1. Unlike the image the water trough and other elements were actually two squares down from the wall so the Gamorreans could get behind them for cover.

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Trading shots and trying to avoid damage, the group manages to take down several of the grunts. Odian takes some powerful hits and drops to the ground, while Grem uses the Force to pick up a large cauldron that is filled with a soup made from several severed heads and uses it to knock down the guard and dump the disgusting, boiling brew on a fleeing grunt. Once the room is cleared of enemies, Cluad begins emergency first aid on Odian while Nix collects the heavy rifle.

It's the first room and already one of the heavy hitters of the group is seriously hurt. That is the result of rushing in. I never try to kill any players because I don't see RPG games as a GM trying to "beat" the players. Instead I set up the game and let the events unfold as they happen. Having a healer or tools to heal is always an important part of any good party and this proves that point.

A stairway leading downwards is the only way out of the room, so the party makes their way down it after they recover as much as possible. At a small landing the stairs turn and head further down. Noticing that the liquid from the disgusting soup disappears at the bottom of the second stairway, and that the ceiling doesn't descend like in the first half of stairs, the group makes a careful inspection. Using his dark-light vision, Odian sees a grunt waiting to dump a large bin of rocks on anyone passing below his hidden ledge. Calling on the Force, Odian pulls the guard down from his perch. The guard attempt to grab onto the bin of rocks but it is too late. He falls first and the bin tips over after him. He hits the ground as the rocks fall down on top of him, which in turn kill him. The group carefully work their way pass the rubble and come to a closed door.

Dungeon crawls are great because it enhances the feeling of not knowing what is just beyond or on the other side of the door in front of you. As the plays enter each section I lay out the tiles that define the area and describe to the best of my ability what the plays can actually see but I don't give away hidden things unless they actively search for them. Having had the snot kicked out of them in the first room the player took a lot more care in actually exploring the stronghold and it paid off every time they did so. Where section 1 was a large room, section 2 was a hallway. Having a mixture of both give the sense of an actual built building instead off just random rooms thrown together. With that the heroes prepared to enter section 3

Staying back in the hall for cover, Odian decides that instead of rushing in, that trying to sense what lies beyond with the Force is a better course. Once they determine what lies beyond, they push the door open to a trophy/battle training room that has mounted heads on the wall and a large fur rug that covers the entire middle of the room. Two grunts rush up the sides of the room to attack the party with vibro-axes while avoiding the rug as a guard fires another heavy blaster at the end of the room. Next to the guard is the largest Gamorrean anyone in the group has ever seen. He has embellished tribal tats, wields a vibro-chain and has several severed heads hanging off his back. The party fights off the grunts and guard but before they can take down the headhunter he flees the room.

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Varying up the enemies encountered helps avoid the feeling of game being only "enter room, kill everything, grab booty, go to next room, repeat". For a special mini-boss like this I decided that having a custom fig to represent it was important.

Playing the enemies so that they are not just objects that move in one way and attack in the same repeated fashion but are actual characters themselves that use tactics, have a sense of self preservation and use the environment and weapons to the best of their abilities will make players respond in the same manner.


Nix and Odian enter the room taking care not to walk on the carpet as Cluad guards their back of the party and picks up the other heavy laser rifle dropped by the guard. Grem runs across the room, on top of the carpet, and almost falls to his death into a hidden pit a couple of meters deep and with a bottom lined with spiked wooden poles. He quickly jumped out of the way and continued to the door.

A rug over the pit is a classic trap that the player even joked as being too obvious to actually be there. Sometimes the simple things are the bast. :P

Reaching out with the force once again to see what laid ahead, Odian senses nothing nearby so the party enters into what turns out to be a hallway.While Cluad, Nix and Odian head to the left to a closed door, Grem goes the opposite direction to open the door at that end. As the door in front of the three burst open revealing the headhunter and a fresh guard, the door in front of Grem is opened by yet another grunt. The party falls back into the middle to start fighting off both sides. As the grunt nearest Grem falls to blaster fire by Nix the guard is taken out by Cluad and Odian. Following the first guard, a second enters thru Grem's door but the small creature has backed up to the doorway leading to the trophy/training room.

By having more than one way to go the players have to make choices and leaves areas for them to worry about.

Before the guard can attack, Grem calls on his unusual connection to the Force and lifts the guard up and drops him down the pit with spikes he almost fell into earlier. Meanwhile, Odian takes several hits from the headhunter and is about to have his head added to the hunter's collection when his destiny kicks in and a killing blow barely misses it's mark. As the other heroes help the Jedi finish off the massive Gamorrean, Grem checks what is beyond the door he attempted to open. Room 5 He finds a spiral, roughly cut stair case and after exploring a short distance he determines that no further guards are coming from that direction and joins back up with the party.

Inventive play is always fun to see. Using the pit trap to take care of the Gamorrean was something that the group talked about well after the game was over.

The party enters the room from which the headhunter came from Room 4 and see that it leads to another hallway Room 6. Both ends have several turns and the party heads together to one door. Again sensing what is beyond the door, Odian determines that there are a few more enemies on the other side. The party burst into what appears to be an altar/throne room Room 7. In the center of the room is an altar with the remains of a Gammorean captive, who looks to have been sacrificed to the tribe's deity by having his head removed. There are two Gamorrean shamans/guards that the group quickly takes out. Before they can catch their breath a large female Gamorrean chieftess burst in from the opposite side of the room wielding a vibro-spear.

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All the players are huge Star Wars fans and a large part are fanatics (as am I), so when preparing for adventure I do a lot of research on wookiepedia for background information. This is important so that what you invent elements that they don't conflict in a major way with what the players have read, seen or know about the Star Wars universe. With the Gamorreans, they have female leaders and I wanted to make her the major boss of the dungeon and made a custom fig to represent her.

Nix and Cluad take shots at her, while Odian and Grem avoid her attacks. Odian uses the Force to lift her off the ground and pin her to the wall but she in turn throws her spear at him, which he in turn cuts in half with his lightsaber in mid flight. Taking a final massive hit drops her and Cluad quickly tends to her so she will not die.

Entering the room Room 8 she came from they find the holding pen Room 9 containing the captured members of the other Gammorean tribe. They free them but before they can stop what happens next, the freed prisoners extract their revenge on the fallen chieftess. With the freed prisoners in tow, Nix explores the last room Room 10 they didn't enter and finds a store room with furs and other Gamorrean items. Grem checks out the spiral staircase Room 5 again and when he reaches the top he finds a lookout tower and the missing pieces to the lift located at the cliff in the jungle.

Players tend to want to get their hands on everything they can. In this case they wanted to collect the Gammorrean whip chain and spear. Having an explanation instead of just telling them no is always wise. Telling them that they felt evil to the touch, were rusted, and seem ungainly in non-Gammorrean hands did the trick.

Part 3 A Warm Welcome Back

The party makes the trek back through the jungle to the outpost over the next two days without incident. Using the missing pieces they are able to get everyone down the cliff in short order. With the help of*Ar'Ryn and Xextuss, Tibor has the communications relay working again and they help loading the Gamorreans on to the ship. The quarters are cramped with so many aboard, several fights break out amongst the Gamorreans but no one is seriously hurt. The smell by the end of the three day jump is almost unbearable but somehow the group of heroes make it through.

As the enter the sky above Nar Shaadda the traffic is heavy and air is dirty. Suddenly, three small fighters start shooting at them. Tibor is not able to fly his own ship because of his broken arm so Nix deftly pilots his way through the traffic avoiding most of the damage. The rest of the heroes do what they can during the battle, manning guns and boosting shields as the fighters close in and try to cut them off while they use the traffic lanes to try to pin them in. 

To keep things simple and since this was only the second space battle they player were in, I just used the same stats from the ship Sweetness (see above post) for Tibor's ship. Unlike the first space battle I placed ship mins in horizontal and vertical lives across the map to represent the flight lanes. This provided a challenge for them to fly around and through. The battle was quick and different enough from the previous one that it remained exciting.

Over the com they pick up that the attackers are thugs of the Black Sun trying to disrupt the business of Zorba once again. Having learned much from the first air battle against the four trained and battle seasoned pilots of the Imperial V-Wings, Nix and the crew are more than a match for the three thugs. In short order they are taken out and they land safely back in the docks of the Corellian Sector. Tibor tells them that they can stay in Zorba's hotel above the casino, get cleaned up and some rest, that he will have food sent up and that he will contact Zorba and meet with them tomorrow. With that he leads the new batch of Gamorreans away for their life of near slave labor.........

Important Locations from this Episode...

Nar Shaada-The moon of the planet Nal Hutta. Known as a center of vice, corruption and crime through-out the galaxy.
Gamorr-The home world of the Gamorreans that is mostly dense jungle with a few stone, small cities.

Important NPC this Episode....
Mercenary-Tibor
Male/Andronian/??
Second in command of Zorba Desilijic Tiureone. All business.

Next Time So now they have done the dirty work it is time for the players to finally have their own ship. What kind of clunker will they get? What lies on the horizon for our adventures and what is their fate in this Dark Time galaxy? Find out next time.....

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Wow, this is gorgeous. I don't suppose you'd mind if I used some of it for my game would you? My game starts at the time Anakin is a teenager, so its going to be a while before the war ends yet, but this is excellent for an adventure for them.
Not at all. It's the reason why I have put all of this up. Just pick and choose what you want to use and do with it whatever you like.

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Thank you very much.
My god this is AMAZING! That glass board idea is very cleverand i intend to use it myself.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
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Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)

Started working a wiki page for this campaign. I hope that when it is done it will be a great resource for my players to reference and also help other players and GMs with their games. It can be viewed here:


community.wizards.com/wiki/The_Horizon\'...


 


This thread will still have all my notes and art in one location so people can follow along.

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I should mention that although this only has the write up to the fourth game the wiki has the story breakdown by adventure through the ninth. So if you want to know what has happened you can get a sneak peek there. Wink

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Wonderful work, Iron - your players are very lucky! Smile

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Star Wars: Tapestry
 - a play-by-post campaign for everyone... good OR evil!

Ran into problems when I went to make some minor corrections to the posts of adventures 3 and 4. Once I attempted to edit the old post from the old boards ll the spacing and returns disappeared and all the images became links. So I ended up basically completely rebuilding those two posts so that they appeared correctly. Now that it is done I plan to finish the prep work on the fifth adventure post and get that up soon.

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This fifth adventure is the climax of the opening story arc. I wanted to have the players achieve certain character and plot points going into this final adventure of opening. 


 


The first adventure was a way to get them together as a group that made sense and have both regular and transport combat. The second adventure was to get them to work together as team and achieve a goal that benefited others and not just themselves. The third adventure was to introduce the players to space combat and have them decide if they were to planning to be a group for the long haul. The fourth adventure was to introduce dungeon crawling elements to the players, have the characters develop even more personalities and to have the team work together to achieve a group goal.


 


That goal was to earn a ship and in this fifth adventure they receive just that. But I didn't want to have the adventure be only about getting a ship but to have the threat of the Empire come crashing in on them and make it clear who the real enemy of this campaign is going to be. They fought Republic clones in the first adventure, heard they were wanted by the new Empire in the second but hadn't faced this threat yet. That changed with this adventure.


 


To mark how special this adventure was I made an opening scroll to set the stage and give a quick recap to the players. 


 


Episode III



DESTINY'S EDGE



With the CLONE WARS


over, there is only one


power in the galaxy-THE


GALACTIC EMPIRE. With no


resistance to stop it, the


new EMPIRE is spreading


rapidly.



Already many planets are


suffering under this new


regime. Garrisons,


detention centers and


prisons are appearing


everywhere in order to


stop any resistance to THE


NEW ORDER.



Returning from the jungle


planet of GAMORR, the


heroes are unaware of this


increase in IMPERIAL rule.


Having fulfilled their part of


the bargain they now find


themselves back on NAR


SHADDAA hoping that the


crime lord ZORBA keeps his


end of the deal...


 


Episode 3 Destiny's Edge


 


Adventure 5-Toward the Horizon


 


Part 1 Closing the Deal


 


As they land, the group notices a fire at the far end of the dock and once on the ground a much larger Imperial presence. The Empire is checking the IDs of everyone entering the port but not leaving. Fortunately Tibor has the paperwork in order so the heroes do not need to show any IDs. They are told by Tibor that rooms above the casino have been reserved for them while they wait for contact by Zorba. They gladly take the time to wash off the sweat and stink from the last adventure and then begin looking over the ships in Zorba's used lot.


 


Unfortunately the ship available for the amount they have in trade leave a lot to be desired. Most are worn down transports and shuttles that have seen too much action from the war. The used lot salesman is a shady Verpine named Col Septin who seems very upset that they are getting a ship off his lot for only trade and not real credits. While they wait for Zorba, Ar'Ryn and Nix begin working on the paperwork needed to secure the ship.


 


I wanted the ship to be well earned by the players so that they would feel that they really deserved it and would make a connection to it. The basis of the entire fourth adventure was working to not only clear their names but to hopefully get ahold of a decent ship so they wouldn't be stuck trying to catch rides and earn passage. The opening of this adventure was about making them jump through hoops to the point that the players feel that they are on a goose chase and that they might not get a ship worth what they are putting in. 


 


During this time they find out that most good, used ships go to auction first and if they are not sold there then they are sent on to the used lots. When an auctioned "dropped" ship arrives on a used lot it has to be sold at a set price for one business day before the lot can mark it up for a profit; however most lots avoid this by only accepting "dropped" ships at the last minute of a business day--making it impossible for customers to buy these bargains. Their trade is no good at auction but it doesn't matter since the Empire has now started to use the the auction yard as their own landing field.


 


Besides having to deal with a slimy used ship sells man and the barriers of paying all the fees I wanted them to see a glimmer of hope. By having the lots get auction ships that do not sell gave them that brief moment of hope but having the Empire take over the auction lot and the fact that used lot owners never put those ships up quickly crushed it.


 


Finally, they are asked to return to the back office of the Gundark's Den to talk to Zorba. He introduces them to a hologram of his son Jabba, who is on route from Tatooine to help run his imprisoned father's business on Nar Shadda. Zorba goes on to inform them that the original holo-vids in Skeen have been destroyed but a rough copy was found and has helped to clear the names of all but the Jedi who is still wanted by the Empire. He instructs them to pick out a ship and once that is done to then talk to his son about further work....if they are interested.


 


The appearance of Jabba at this point fit really well. It give players who only know the Star Wars movies a line to what they are dealing with and it makes sense in the narrative and the context. Plus this put the players in a bind--they don't have the ship in hand yet and if they don't take the offer they could see it slip away.


 


The group decides to see if they can find out when Col's lot is up for a "dropped" ship to improve the quality of their future ship and arrive at the lot to see Col arguing with a Security Chief of the Planetary Rangers. The ranger has a ship that was on it's maiden flight to it's buyer and when the buyer took the ship he was attacked by pirates who spaced him. Before the pirates could escape with the ship the rangers captured them without incident. Col tries his best not to take claim to the "dropped" ship knowing he could make a fortune off of it if he were able to process it as normal. The Ranger gives him no choice and the patry snatches it up. Ar"Ryn funds the need licenses and the party takes complete legal possession of the ship, the Horizon's Edge.


 


The wild goose chase ends because the players didn't take Jabba's bait and paid attention to the set up of the selling of ships. At this point I passed out the hand-out of the ship's stats and drawings of what it looked out and the players felt that the run around was well worth it. I went into a high level of detail so the players would know that this is a ship that they will have a round for a long time. 



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I found the deck plans in a popular thread on the Mess Hall board and reworked it to fit my idea of the perfect ship for the rest of the campaign. I wanted something like the Falcon that could also have smaller ships attached to it. This way it could serve as mobile base of operations for the heroes.


 


When they finish at the B.O.S.S. office Col appears to tell them that the ship is now sitting at the dock for them but that they did not pay for fuel or hyperdrive matter. He slyly informs them that if they want those items they need to work for Jabba who is waiting for them at the "Gundarks Den". Cluade points out that dealing with the Hutts again is tempting fate but with no other option they head back to the Gundark's Den. 


 


By having no way off the planet the players realize that they didn't avoid the trap of getting mixed in with the Hutts but I didn't want to railroad them into working for them. To open it up I used a EU character that would set the tone of what they were dealing with.



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On the way, they are approached by a tall Falleen who introduces himself as Prince Xizor. He is accompanied by the Feeorin they tussled with before, who is now wearing a robotic cast on his left arm due to the injuries he recieved in their last encounter. Xizor tells them he represents the Black Sun and the heroes recent interactions with the Hutts is very displeasing, interfering with their business goals and he recommends that they do not help the Hutt's with any more business or Nar Shadda will become a very unfriendly place.


 


The heroes decide to leave well enough alone between the Hutts and Black Sun and head to the docks to come up with a better way to get the needed fuel and to examine their ship.


 


Part 2 Passengers in Need


 


Walking down to the docks they see a small group of people standing in front of their new ship. A male in the party introduces himself as Ran Li'sib and a female in the party as his sister, Channa Li'sib. They are stranded Corelians who need passage home. After a hasty deal arranged by Nix, the Coreilians agree to buy the fuel and hyperdrive matter for the ship and to pay them 3000 credits when they reach home safely. The party prepares the ship, it is quickly fueled, the passengers board and they are on their way.



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This is clearly a nod to A New Hope when Luke and Ben hire the Falcon. Besides laser swords, blasters, robots and spaceships, another element that I have always felt made Star Wars feel like Star Wars is that characters are not what they always first appear to be. This can be seen with Yoda in ESB and Padme at the end of TPM.


 


They are not in the air long when they are again attacked in the space lanes. Wether the attackers have been sent by a displeased Zorba and Jabba, the Black Sun or if they are after their passengers is not known but the group jumps into action. Cluade and O'dian race to the turrets while the rest do their best in the cockpit. Ran, Channa and some of the other passengers rush to the cockpit to help out. Cluade notices that they seem very familiar with the ship, wether if it is from being familiar to the Corelian design or from a lot of space travel it is not clear.



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Any time the party takes to the air is a good opportunity for space combat if it fits the story. In this case it was perfect as it picked up the pace of the game and it gave the players a chance to see the NPCs in a different light. 


 


During the fighting Nix asks the passengers if they are in some sort of trouble and gets an unexpected rebuttal from Channa asking if they are. The fighting is furious but their new ship preforms like a dream and it is quickly over. After they safely make the first jump and the settle in a bit more, Grem and O'dian discover that there are hidden components in the front of the ship but can't make out what it is hiding as Nix continues his questioning of Channa. She asks them about their background, tries to figure out if Ar'Ryn is part of the spynet (ruffling his fur a bit in the process) and after she feels comfortable she reveals who they truly are.


 


She is Arrianya Bel Iblis, the wife of Senator Garm Bel Iblis, who had worked hard to keep his homeworld of Corellia out of the Clone Wars. While on Nar Shadda giving aid to orphans and to collect info on the now ended war, their ship was destroyed on the dock, killing several of their crew. This was the fire that they saw at the start of the adventure. 

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They sent for another ship from Corellia and she had her pilot pretend to be the buyer as to not attract attention to her. Unfortunately, when he went to pick it up at the space dock he was spaced by pirates and the heroes bought her ship. In order to stay hidden they had to wait to see who would buy their ship and hope that they could get passage back home on it. 


 


Her father had designed the ship and it is the only proto-type of the ship ever made. Since the ship is rightfully theirs now, she then shows them what lies hidden in the the secret components in the front of the ship. The cockpit has a secondary transponder with a false ship ID and as well as a first class holo-net receiver. She shows them how the ship is modular and how it can be reconfigured.

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I wanted it to be clear that their ship was truly theirs and that their passenger was a NPC of some importance. During this period of the Dark Times it is important that they feel connected to the battle against the Empire but not have the party interact too much with established EU characters to avoid the trappings associated with them. Having her be the wife of a person that is fighting the Empire indirectly allows for a larger canvas of story.
 


While showing them the variations of the ship she receives an emergency transmission from her husband's Chief Aide, Sens Leikvold Midanyl.The young aide informs Arrianya that Garm is on Coruscant trying to free his fellow senator Fang Zar, who was openly opposed to the Emperor's rise in power, as well as a member of the Delegation of 2000 (Senators who openly asked the Supreme Chancellor to return the extraordinary powers at the end of the Clone Wars, lead by Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Padme Amadala). Fang Zar was arrested by the Empire under direct orders of the Emperor and Garm is working to have him released to Bail Organa. Sens goes on to inform Arrianya that on their homeworld wide spread protest has broken out due to the announcement by the Diktat of the Corellian Sector, Dupas Thomree, that he has made a deal with the Emperor to retain the power to govern the sector with little Imperial mandates in return for paying taxes, supplying war material and homage to the Emperor. The protest is not surprising given the history of Corellia being fiercely independent and having worked hard to not involve themselves in the Clone War.


 


Politics can be tricky in a RPG but can really help if used right. This info not only sets up what is going on in the larger galaxy but sets the stage for what the heroes are about to get into.


 


The news hits Arrianya and her crew rather hard but they still go out of their way to help the heroes learn as much as possible about their new ship and make the trip as smooth as possible. When the ship is making it's final in system jump, Arrianya receives yet another emergency holo-message from Sens. They have intercepted an Imperial message that ISB teams have placed themselves in the crowds of protestors and are planning on starting riots so that Imperial Commandoes can infiltrate her husband's office in the capital city will the cities security force is distracted. It is going to be an attempt to find information so that the Emperor can charge Garm with treason, put him in prison as well and get rid of yet another Senator who opposes his power openly.


 


Turning to the heroes she asks if they will help her stop the Commandoes. If her husband is imprisoned then there is no question that an execution will follow. This will cause the chances of freedom in the galaxy to become even less. If they do not want to risk their lives she would understand and asks that they drop her and her crew as close to her to their government building as possible and she will pay what is owed for the passage there when she finishes with the Imperial invaders...that is, if she survives.


 


The heroes waste no time and offer her their aid.


 


It was important that the heroes choice to do the right thing was theirs to make. Besides being a big step to their characters' development it also give the players the feeling that their choices in this game matter and have a large impact on the galaxy at large. 


 


Part 3 Battle in the Bel Iblis Building


 


Because of who she is the METOSP office grants them permission to fly through the now restricted zone over the capital city of Coronet on Corellia. They see a splendid city with soaring towers and beautiful green spaces, along with throngs of people surrounding the government building who have just started to riot. They are able to enter an underground hanger from a couple of kilometers away and fly back to the basement level of the building. With the exception of Xextuss, who stays to guard the ship, the party makes their way into a darkened hanger.


 


As with the other locations I wanted the players to feel that the location fit in the Star Wars universe. By having one urban setting follow another one I was able to show that where the Hutt moon was dirty, noisy and level after level of building, that this setting was elegant, clean and much different.



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Xextuss's player couldn't make it to the game so he was just tagging along everyone else. Since the game is about to shift gears this was the logical place to have him drop into the background.


 


For the next part I wanted to be the type of fight that was similar to the Death Star hallway battles in ANH. I had built a bunch of 3D paper craft walls and never finished building then. I dug those out and constructed several varying room shapes, keeping in mind the pieces I had and the action I wanted to have take place. I described the building as having a large main plaza with lower levels as shops and business services. Then the next main section containing business and governmental offices. The top level was the Bel Iblis executive level with a medical bay. There was also the underground hanger with concealed exit and an accessable roof that contains both the communications dish as well as anti-aircraft weapons.


 


The security systems in the building kick in, shutting down access to certain elevators, over-riding certain doors, turning off lights and starting up the anti-aircraft turrets on the roof. The first door they encounter is locked down but fortunately an old R3 unit, R3-Z8, is in the underground garage. He was left behind to repair the secondary hyperdrive of Arrianya's ship that was since destroyed on Nar Shadda. After he shows a rough holorgram layout of the building, made from just his memory of the hallways he quickly unlocks the door and joins with the party to help (Shown on map with a 1).


 


I think that almost everyone loves R2 and by default most droids. I wanted to have a robot that was vital to the mission and also give it a personality. By having an R2 unit I could also control how fast the heroes progressed by locking doors and having the droid there to unlock it when needed. That also made it a risk to the party and they were sure to keep it as safe as possible.



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They enter a darkened room with a large bay window across from the door they just entered and with doors that even Z8 can't override. They have to climb up a service shaft to reach the first floor (A to B). There they see CorpSec officers trying to keep the rioters from getting more out of hand and an Imperial Troop Transport taking off from the plaza area between them. Then they see some Imperial commandoes heading through a doorway across from them and several Stormtroopers providing cover. They are carrying anti-surveillance gear which shuts down any cameras in range and helps to over-ride doors and consoles.



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I used a gridded map and placed the glass on top. Then, looking at photos of the sets up that I had set up well in advance, I was able to set down whole rooms as the explored. I drew lines to indicate walls and other features as they battled their way through.



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Ar'Ryn leads the charge as Nix and Odian take out the troopers in front. Grem and Cluade work to take out those that flank them (1-4) and they work their way around several corridors and rooms. As the troopers fall their armor kicks in a disintegrator that effectively removes any trace of their presence. Arrianya and her security Officer Mar Antilles, who had pretended to be her brother, provide support and guard Z8. She tells the group that her husband's office is on the penthouse level and it is where the Commandoes must be heading. Before they can reach the elevators the group is jumped by a pair of Clone Assassins welding arm vibro-blades. After a fierce fight they get to the elevator (C to D) and take it to the highest level they can reach.


 


The doors open about three fourths of the way up the building, on an open-air business level with a large transpara-steel structure in the middle of it. Down below the riot is finally broken up and the plaza in front of the building is cleared out. Several shots are traded back and forth through the gaps but the Commandoes reach the single elevator on the other side of the floor. As the heroes rush across they are blocked off by Storm Jet-Troopers (1-3) but after a few exchanges of fire they take off for the penthouse level as well. Finally Z8 is able to over-ride the elevator and they arrive on the penthouse/medical level (C to D).



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Having an open air level worked really well. Having drop offs and enemies being able to drop out of sight and pop up else where is a lot of fun and keeps the party on their toes.


 


As a pair of Commandoes provide cover fire the other two are hacking the computer in Garm's office (3) as the heroes arrive. As the heroes close in on them, the Commandoes make a break for the express elevtors and that is when the heroes see a creature resembling a Chadra-fan but with what looks like two long bows straped to his back run up to the Commandoes. At the sight of the creature, Grem goes into a fearful rage. The Commandoes give the creature the data-pad with the stolen information and blow out the decorative cover on the ventilation shaft (2). The two objects on the creatures back turn out to be wings and it dives down the shaft back towards the basement.



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Durning this part one of the players mentioned that they felt that there was a room (E) not explored while fighting in this part. The Sith mutated Chadra-fan was an element added to throw the heroes a curve ball and go back to the theme of a wild goose chase. It's hard to do but if done well it can really amp up the chase.



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I had a whole roof level planned but with this much fighting the heroes were badly wounded and time was running short. Instead of cutting back on the big ending it is better to cut an unneeded level.

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This was a fun level and the pits made for an very Star Wars fight.


As Nix gives chase to the Commandoes in the other express elevator, Cluade fires down on the creature. The other heroes pile into the opposite elevator and Z8 finally over-rides it and takes the party back to the basement. Nix blows up the elevator (2) with the Commandoes and arrives in the basement in time to see the winged creature (enters from a hole above H) passing the data-pad to a red clocked figure. The dark Jedi uses the force to blow out the bay window (1) and make his escape in a T.I.E. proto-type starfighter (I) as the rest of the heroes are entering the basement. There are several Shadow Troopers cutting off the chase and the party makes short work of them with the exception of one that runs down into the underground hanger. Xextuss makes sure that he doesn't escape. Meanwhile, alone with only four shots left, Cluade is left to face an foe with extensive combat training and more fire power. After a game of cat and mouse, Cluade is able to take down the Commando with only one shot to spare.


 


With this adventure being the end of the opening story arc I wanted a large battle that was unique and had a purpose. I wanted it to lead to the introduction of a minor recurring villain and a revelation of some significance. Od'dian's player feels that it could be a minor NPC from the first adventure who was heard of but not actually in the game.



The stand off with Cluade was great. As everyone else was back to the start encountering their first baddie with a lightsaber and seeing the first Imperial TIE Prototype, he was left out of the action. After that fight/flee was finished I jumped to a quick one on one battle with Cluade. I have players keep track of their ammo and this is one time it payed off. I asked how many shots he had left and it turned out he was down to four. Shots were fired and Cluade was the only one still standing at the end with a single shot left. 


 


The heroes are disappointed for letting the Empire agents escape with the stolen data for only a short while. After they are healed Arrianya shows them that there is a secret computer room behind Garms office with all sensitive information that the Commandoes did not reach or hack into.

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She couldn't let them know about the secret room before the battle in order to deceive the Imperials into thinking that they were after the right target. With thanks for saving her husband from certain imprisonment and for getting her safely home she gladly pays them, refuels and restocks their ship, as well as repairs the slight damage they took when leaving Nar Shadda.


 


A NPC with social power and connections can be a great asset in a campaign. It can provide resources that the heroes would not other wise have access to. After all the heroes had gotten into this mess trying to get fuel, so getting free fuel as a minor reward makes sense. But after a major arc it is import that the heroes feel justly rewarded, as will be seen in the next write up. Power NPCs can also provide information for adventures and be hooks for adventure themselves. 



The can also add a huge level of emotional power if used correctly. When making Arrianya Bel Iblis and her followers I researched Garm Bel Iblis and realized that there was no mention of his wife at all except a few lines, including one of how she dies. She will be a key NPC for a while but her fate is sealed. It will be interesting to see how the players role-play that event when it happens.


 


Pointing out that the Republic had a clone army ready right from the start of the Clone War and now the Empire has equipment ready for their army just shows that all of his was planned by the Emperor before hand. She tells them that with this new corrupt government there needs to be those who oppose it and the heroes agree. Although her husband can not directly work with them, they both would like to support the heroes in any efforts they make to help create the backbone of what will eventually become the Rebel Alliance. She asks them if they would be interesting in helping find out more about the T.I.E. proto-type and that she knows of how they can get ahold of some star fighters if they are interested in that....


 


At this point the party had achieved the three main goals of the first arc. They got together and formed a group on their own, they obtain and mode of transportation and they were clearly taking on the Empire. At this point I offered them some possible choices of where their heroes could go next and asked them if they had any preferences. I tried to keep the rails of the story loose so that the players could add to it but close enough at hand to keep them moving towards this goal. In the next arc it would be much more wide open and the rails would be shoved much farther out.


 


 


Important Locations so far...


 


Nar Shaada-The moon of the planet Nal Hutta. Known as a center of vice, corruption and crime through-out the galaxy.


 


Gamorr-The home world of the Gamorreans that is mostly dense jungle with a few stone, small cities.


 


Corellia-The capital planet of the Corellian Sector. Known for it's starships and the fierce independence of it's people.


 


Coronet-The capital city on Corellia. It has exquisite beauty from it's buildings to it's green spaces.


 


Important NPC so far....


 


Mercenary-Tibor


Male/Andronian/??


Second in command of Zorba Desilijic Tiureone. All business.


 


Crime Lord-Zorba Desilijic Tiureone


No sex/Hutt/976


Curently serving a sentence of 45 years on the planet Kip for illegal mining. His imprisonment however is very lax and he views it as a vacation. Cunning, crafty and very old.


 


Ship Yard Sellsmen- Col Septin


Male/Verpine/27


Rude, short tempered and shifty. Always looking to make some credits off of any deal.


 


Black Sun Soldier-Prince Xixor


Male/Falleen/22


Cunning, evil and power hungry.


 


Diplomat-Arrianya Bel Iblis


Female/Human/43


Wife of Senator Garm Bel Iblis. Elegant, beautiful and very direct. Concerned about the welfare of those who others have forgotten. Traveling under the name of Channa Li'sib


 


Security Officer-Mar Antilles


Male/Human/36


Cor-Sec officer in charge of Arrianya's protection. Level headed but can be too blunt. Traveling under the name of Ran Li'sib and posing as Arrianya's brother (they are really cousins).


 


Droid-R3-Z8


--/Droid/5


Dutiful, independent and head strong. Shows no fear or that it doesn't care what danger there is.


 


Chief Aide of Senator Garm Bel Iblis-Sens Leikvold Midanyl


Female/Human/24


Smart, direct and informed.


 


Senator of Sern Sector-Fang Zar


Male/Human/83


Imprisoned Senator who was part of the Delegation of 2000. Arrested at the very start of the Empire. 


 


Senator of the Corellian Sector-Garm Bel Iblis


Male Human/43


One of the leading voices against the new Empire. Kept Corellian Sector out of the Clone Wars but could not stop bloodshed from happening.


 


Diktat Dupas Thomree


Male/Human/46


Recently made a deal with the Emperor to govern the Corellian Sector with little Imperial mandates in return for paying taxes, supplying war material and homage to the Emperor. This action starts wide spread protest on Corellia and the other worlds in that sector.


 


 


Next Time...


Have ship will travel. Before the next adventure the heroes have a short rest to heal, gather info and plot their next move. 


 


During the break between this adventure and the next I had sent this survey to the players and asked them to provide as many answers as they felt. It was good feedback and helped me craft the next arc more to their like and balance the game better to the different play styles and wants. The survey appears in whole below.


 


SWRPG Review


 


Now that we have completed the first major story-arc of the campaign I would like your feed back on the game so far. I'll use your responses to help craft the game more to your liking.


 


1) What part of the game so far did you like best and why?


 


2) What part did you like least and why?


 


3) Is there something Star Wars-like that you feel has been missing so far?


 


4) Is there anything in the development of your character that you thought would have happen by this point that didn't? If so what was it?


 


5) Which adventure did you like the best and which one the least? Why? (1-Battle of Skeen   2-Raiders of Kellos   3-Journey to the Hutt Moon   4-The Gamorrean Complex   5-Toward the Horizon)


 


6) Is there anything you would like to see in further adventures?


 


 


On a scale of 1 to 10 with one being low and ten being high please rate the following:


 


Judge's understanding of the rules-


 


Judge's fairness of rulings-


 


Judge's balance of character influence on the story-


 


Judge's balance of player participation-


 


Clarity of story-


 


Adventure balance of story and action-


 


Use of maps, props and other game aids-


 


 


Please add any other comments or suggestions:

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*speechless*

I'll just be honest about it. I'm not one third the GM you are.
I have been doing some MASSIVE work on the wiki to this game that includes
-updating the summary of the game up to the 11th session (and a bonus solo adventure)
-a complete over-haul of the NPC listing that includes notes on appearances, history in the game, organization, category or group affiliation and image
-listing of ships with info and images
-listing of major event with images and info
-some of the players have even included more info on their characters including the build of the character

There is still some major things I need to get up to it, such as the listing of planets & locations and a few NPCs  listings. 

Check it out and let me know what you think--
community.wizards.com/wiki/The_Horizon%2...

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The wiki looks great! I'll have to go back later to read the whole thing, but I really like how it looks.
Children believe what we tell them, they have complete faith in us. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words: "A long time ago...." (Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast) Winner of You Build the Character #12, YbtC #22, YbtC #24, YbtC #28 and YbtC #35 Winner of You Make the... Contest #8
The wiki looks great! I'll have to go back later to read the whole thing, but I really like how it looks.



Thanks! Cool

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So with the first major arc finished and some time between games I was able to look over the surveys and get a better sense of what the individual players wanted more of. Talking to the players I also figured out what changes and additions they wanted to be made to their main ship, The Horizon's Edge. 

When planning this next arc I included more elements that pertained to individual player's taste and updated their ship's stats and look. Since the first arc had to have direction so the players could get familiar with the gaming world they were in the second arc was much more open. After finding out what direction they wanted to go I had to plot out where they were headed and where the main story was leading and make sure that the two were fused together in a sensible way. As always, my notes on the development of the adventure and comments on the session are in purple.

Episode 4 Wheel of Fate


 


Adventure 6-The Wheel of Fate: Part 1


 


Part 1 Preparations for the Next Leg


 


Although this is the start of the next arc I didn't give an opening scroll. There was too much background info to fit in three paragraphs and it was better suited as a recap tool at the start of the following adventure.


What started as a brief stay for the heroes on Corellia turns out to be an extended one at the Bel Iblis Manse. This gives them time to get to know Arrianya better and she shows her gratitude for their recent help by putting herself and her people at their disposal. She gives Ar'Ryn R3-Z8 as a gift and apology for her treatment of him when they first met. She informs them that although they have used the Bothan spy net many times in the past they recently had an encounter with a Bothan informer that almost cost her and her husband their lives and had to be sure that Ar'Ryn was not part of another attempt.



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The engineers and mechanics that helped build the Horizon's Edge are put to work to make the changes that the heroes request and include armor, hidden compartments and an entire medical bay with a medical droid and Bacta Tank. They also wipe any info pertaining to the Bel Iblis from R3-Z8 but keep all the information that he has gained over the years about mechanics and anything that pertained to his core personality. At the same time they completely over haul him and Ar'Ryn bank rolls several new upgrades. The heroes take this time to supervise the overhaul to their ship as well as become more familiar with all it's aspects, the new equipment and to train.

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Even though the ship was pretty sweet before, by having the players give input on the final design and make modification to their liking, it helps establish an even stronger connection for the players to the ship. This way when the ship is in danger they have more to lose and the tension is amped up. At this time I passed out the updated ship stats.


 


It is during this time that Sens Leikvold Midanyl leaves to help Garm in releasing his fellow Senator Fang Zar from an Imperial prison. The two of them take him to Alderaan where he was granted temporary political asylum by Bail Organa. Shortly after their arrival, much like on Corellia, wide spread protest against the new Imperial regime breaks out and Zar decides to head to his homeworld of Sern Prime.  While Bail and Garm try to control the protestors, Darth Varder arrives having tracked down Zar's location.  Sens shows them a holo-feed of Vader confronting Zar as he tries to leave the planet. Vader throws his lightsaber at Zar as he tries to escape aboard the ship the Drunk Dancer. He died shortly after. Garm has return to the Senate to lead a protest along with Bail and Sens returned to inform them of the events that have occurred.



This information helps to show that the Empire is affecting things while they are as well. If the heroes feel that they are the only change in the gaming world then they will get complacent and feel unstoppable. Even thought the players only heard of Senator Fang they realize that he is connected to the people they deal with and that his death impacts those close who were close him and now who are close to them. Plus anytime you can have a major villain that the heroes might not ever face do something bad and have them know about it is a good thing for the game.
 


Arrianya is grief stricken and tells the heroes that the evil of the Empire must be stopped and that she will help them track down the TIE Prototype using all of her intelligence sources. After a few days she calls them together and informs that using the limited holo-vid they had of the ship escaping from their encounter that her engineers have determined that the ship had to have been designed by Raith Sienar who previously lead the Santhe/Sienar Techologies and has formed a new company called Sienar Fleet Systems. As a young man he had used a cover name and had actually worked at Corellian Engineering Corporation, Baktoid Armor Workshop, Incom Corporation and even the Trade Federation. He used this time to steal design secrets and then return to the family business with them. Her agents investigating Raith Sienar note that projects he is currently working on match several design elements of the TIE Prototype.


 


There is no trace of the TIE Prototype at any of the SFS development labs so it must have been created at a secret facility. This is where the trail turns cold. Although Sienar has an apartment at the luxurious 500 Republica on Coruscaunt, where the information on it's location might be, it is too heavily guarded to risk a break in. There is a possible way to get the information of it's location though. 

Having a key NPC supply this information helps create the feel that they are interacting with someone with more powerful connections, adds flavor to the game by making the info given seem more valid and enforces the idea that they are part of a large story.


 


She gives them a brief history about a possible lead Simon Greyshade. Over ten years ago, Senator Jheramad Greyshade was trying to pass a Finacial Reform Act to curb the senatorial corruption that was destroying the Republic. He was thrown off of 500 Republica as a warning to senators who were going to vote for the measure, which did not pass and caused the start of the Separatist movement. Jheramad's cousin Simon Greyshade took over his senate seat because the voters thought he had to be as honest as his cousin. They were wrong. Simon has become one of the most corrupted senators ever. Simon has close ties to Raith and if he doesn't know the location of the secret lab he will know how to get it.

Details about NPCs that the players may or may not interact with is important because smart players will try to gain as much info before heading in and having reasonable, thought out or researched background info will make the NPCs seem more alive.


 


He is a known gambler, womanizer and money hungry. She informs them that if the heroes can find some sort of leverage on him then they might be able to get the location of the lab out of him. With the end of the Clone War he has taken an extended leave from the Senate and is currently at the Wheel. The Wheel is a giant space station located in the Besh Gorgon System which is part of the Hapes Cluster. The Hapes Cluster is unusual because it is surrounded by the Transitory Mists, a nebula that cuts it off from the rest of the mid-rim systems. Ships must fly through the nebula in order to reach the Hapes Cluster and can not jump there directly. 



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Besides being the largest center for gambling, entertainment, pleasure and decadence, The Wheel is important because it is and has always been completely neutral in all galactic affairs. There is a ban of any military ships with in it's region. The Wheel also boost it's own military force and has strict measures to prevent weapons from being brought on board. Even with the restrictions, many people find ways to obtain or smuggle in weapons.


 


With those details, Arrianya suggests that the heroes go to The Wheel and try to get the info needed to find the lab. Wether they try to infiltrate Simon's penthouse suite and steal the info from his computer, bribe it out of him, gamble him for it or whatever method they decide, The Wheel is their best chance at getting what they need. She warns not to give him any details of who they are as he will no doubt be looking to make a score from that info. She suggests that they go in undercover and have a good background story to gain entry to the station and position themselves as best and as close as they can to their mark.  



So now the players have the setting and the mark. They could have go many directions at this point but they players agreed that finding the location of the TIE Prototype was more important than the other choices they could have taken, such as raiding and gaining a group of starfighters, going back to Kellos and making a base or the options I gave them and the ones they came up with themselves.
 


After much discussion they decide to go in with as light as a cover as possible, that way they can gauge the area and create what they think will actually work best. They decide to have Ar'Ryn travel to The Wheel separately and join them there. This way they can establish a better cover and also to throw off the trail if anyone is looking for the whole group to be traveling together. She she alters their fake documents to help with the cover, even giving them additional credits to help with what every story they decide to use and to provide Ar'Ryn with transport there. The credits are linked to the fake IDs and will only work on The Wheel. With that the heroes prepare to depart from Corellia.

Going in undercover is a great way to give the players the sense that they are entering a dangerous situation. It also lends itself to giving them money that they can only use in a set way and not retain after the adventure. The reason why Ar'Ryn was traveling to The Wheel separately is because the player was not at this session and since he couldn't "just wait at the ship" like in the past there had to be a logical reason why he wouldn't be active during the next part. By having him arrive separately it added to the element of needing to sneak into the location and actual helped in the development of their cover story in the next session.


 


Before they leave Cluade gets contacted by Sarrie who tells him that they have built a center in Skeen and she thinks that it is a detention center for people who opposes the new government. She goes onto inform him that several people in Kellos have had family members and friends in Skeen disappear. More alarming they were visited by Clone Commander Dust who is still looking for all of them but the locals in Kellos played dumb and pretended that they never heard or saw them. Cluade tries to convince the party tht they should change plans and go to Kellos but the other heroes feel that finding the source of the TIE Prototype is too important. Hoping that everything is OK on Tanabb, Cluade joins the rest of the party.


 
As the heroes departed on the next leg of their adventure I wanted to remind them that they still had other ties as well as start laying in the ground work for a much further adventure. By giving out a small bit of info about the detention center they are aware that it is starting to exist, that they will probably have to encounter it sometime but not really know what the impact to them it will really have. Plus it gives a player a chance to shine as it directly impacts what his character would want to do and be at odds with the rest of the group. This is fun to role-play but not overuse. You don;t want your players constantly fighting over what the best route to take. That can seriously slow down the story and might make players feel too much at odds with one another which is never good.

 


Part 2 Flight in the Storm and the Rescue of Trask 1 


 


Leaving Corellia, they make the jump to the outside of the Transitory Mist nebula. On the way there Grem checks the hyperdrive and other systems as a precautionary measure. Xextuss works with the new R2 unit to make sure it is functioning correctly and doesn't have any hidden motives. Cluade familiarizes himself with the Med Bay and the 2-1B droid, finding out about it's personality and skills. 


 


Odian meditates with the holocron and is instructed by the image of his master that he needs to start self directing his training. The Jedi begins work on the Sorsu style of lightsaber combat with the help of a Mirialan Battle Master from 300 years ago named Genthallis Unduli. Odian also is instructed by the image of Bastila Shan in the use of Battle Meditation.

Spending time aboard the ship should be more than just hyper space jumps and combat. Each player will have a good idea of what they want to do with the time onboard and it should be played out as needed. A little goes a long way and too much will derail the story and bog it down. 
 


Pacing is really important to a game. If you are playing where you are just going from one encounter that is a fight to the next encounter that is a fight then your pacing will be less of an issue. However it is sometime best to build up to a faster pace. The first part had a lot of info with very little player input except asking questions and indicating what they were doing during the downtime. The section of them traveling on their ship gave them some more time to add even more input and make decisions. The tempo picks up and as the rest of the adventure unfolds that speed only builds.


Nix pilots the ship through the jump and then pilots the short distance to the nebula. Because the nebula is constantly shifting and has huge electrical storms, it can not be jumped through and any jump near it must account for this. Before they enter the think clouds of the nebula they decide to take up emergency stations. The clouds are incredibly thick and limits visuals to just a dozen meters. The electrical storms wreck havoc with the instruments and shields, Grem and Z8 do their best to keep them working and stable.

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Hubble images are great for helping to set the mood. A simple picture can do a lot for players in making sure that they are all on the same page. Space adventures can be more than simple combat. During these times it is important that all players have something to do so they can make their impact on what's going on. Giving the players the feel that they are on a small ship entering a dark, foggy night in unsettled waters really amps up the tension and makes them aware of how perilous all space travel really is.


 


Suddenly a giant creature appears in front of the ship and Nix has do some fancy flying to avoid it. It resembles a Shyrak but on an immense scale. It is part of a large herd passing through the thick clouds and with the help of Cluade in the co-pilot chair they are able to avoid several. They finally reach a small clearing in the clouds and are able to see slightly further to the next bank of clouds. Carefully plotting their course they make their way around more Mega-Shyraks and are about to head into clouds when they hear a garbled transmission. Not being able to make it out they plot their course as best they can to get closer to it's source. Cluade cautions them that it could be a trap and the rest prepare for the worse.



I had set up the gridded space map with the glass on top and drew the clouds of the nebula as they encountered them. This gave the sense that they could be traveling into anything and showed how limited thier vision was inside of the nebula. I wanted to use figs that I never play in the minis game and made sense in the rpg context. The Shyraks fit the bill and by using them on the space map it really help show the size I wanted to imply them to be.

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I set up a map of the how I wanted the passage to be with locations of where they would encounter the Shyraks. There is an episode of the Clone Wars where they have a similar situation and viewing that can help you enderstand how to best convey the sense that the players could fly right into a massive creature and end their adventure in a second.
 


They make it through more clouds, dodging more Mega-Shyraks, and make it to another clearing in the clouds. Xextuss works on improving the reception with the help of Z8 when they get a lock on the transmission. A panicked female voice speaking basic is issuing a distress call for help and which is followed by urgent calls in two different languages by two male voices. Xextuss responds to the mayday call and they find out that it is coming from another ship in the nebula called Trask 1. They have been caught in some sort of gravity well which occurred shortly after their pilot collapsed unconscience. They tried to help him but he is need of dire medical care. Once again Claude cautions that this could be a ploy by pirates.

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Passing through another cloud bank they see the smaller ship listing and drifting toward a thicker cloud bank. Feeling more and more confident in the pilot's seat, Nix is able to bring Horizon's Edge in so that both ships docking ports are near each other. However because of the electrical interference they realize that they will have to space walk in order to hook up. Grem, Xextuss and Odian gear up and leave the safety of the ship.



Building on the situation of the clouds limiting their vision and the herd of Mega Shyraks passing close, a possible rescue is the last thing that the heroes would want to do but when presented with it they have to do it. The first space walk (Adventure 3) was a huge hit with the players so I wanted to add that element to this adventure but I didn't want it to be exactly the same.

I had printed off a full size version of the Horizon's Edge in parts, cut and taped those parts together and then colored it by hand. I also printed a color version of the Trask-1 that was to scale and cut it out. With the ship and skyrak minis on one half of the table, I set up the full size shps at the other end. This gave the players both an field of play on the lager scale as well as close up field to manage things on.

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With large bolts of electricity arcing around them, the three work together to attach the smaller ship. As soon as the ships are together the hatch inside The Horizon's Edge opens up and the collapsed body of a male Sullustan is pushed up into the hero's ship. A clearly upset second Sullustan follows frantically talking in his native language. A human female and male Bith follow him into the ship and they look nearly as stressed as their friend. Cluade and his medical droid quickly rush down the hall with their patient and lock out the rest of the group from the Med Bay.
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So now all the players have something important to do-Nix is piloting the ship, Cluade has his hands full with a medical emergency while Grem, O'dian and Xextuss are outside the ship trying to hook up the smaller craft. Everyone knows where their character is at and what they are doing. Now it is time for the adventure to ramp up to the top level.


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Part 3 The Battle and Escape From the Bull Mega-Shyrak


 


During this rescue the two ships have been drifting closer to the dense cloud bank and before the crewmates can enter the airlock several large tentacles grab the ship. They realize that the gravity well that was pulling the ship in is actually being generated by a Bull Mega-Shyrak who now wants to destroy the ships. Xextuss and Grem brought no weapons with them but Odian ignites his lightsaber. 

20,000 Leagues Below the Sea is a great book & movie and was the direct influence of this part of the adventure. Old woodcuts of ships being attacked by giant squid show a classic tale and this is the sci-fi version. In order for it to work I had to make it believable that the heroes would find themselves in the situation. Nothing 

So the direction of the other Mega Shyrak was that of them moving away from the Bull who is looking for a mate. The gravity well that trapped the Trask-1 was a natural phenomenon produced by the male to pull females close. The dense clouds provide the reason why the ships didn't avoid the creature to begin with. The medical emergency provided the reason why the heroes wouldn't take more time to investigate the area before moving in to help. Players want to feel that they would not end up in a bad mess without having gotten into it themselves.
 


I used Sculpty to create the tentacles and the clouds they are coming out of. Rolling out coils, I sized them to the printout of the ship and figured out where I wanted them to grab ahold of it. After baking them I painted them at the same time as I painted the custom I made of the Mega Bull Shyrak so that the colors would match. I placed the custom next to the ships so they could see where it was in location to the rest of the general area and place the tentacles on the large map.

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One of the creatures appendages wraps up Xetuss as he tries to get to the closest docking entrance. Nix tries to use the ship's weapons against it but the creature is so large it is hard to tell if it has any affect. Grem nimbly makes his way to the airlock being too small to attract the creature's attention and begins hatching ideas on how to get his friends aboard before they all die.



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When I went to figure out the stats of the creature I first decided what I wanted it to be like and built from here. It has a lot of options like the Sarlacc so I started with it's stats and made changes from there. I wanted to include separate stats for the tentacles because it made sense that they would be attacking different parts of the creature during the encounter. I also wanted there to be a limit of damage that the creature would take before it would decide that messing with the ships was not worth it's time.


Odian finds himself wrapped up and being dragged away while onboard Cluade uses everythhing at his disposal to save the Sullustan's life. It appears that the pilot of Trask-1 suffered some sort of internal organ failure which in turn began poisoning his blood. Using what hey had on-board his crewmates tried to treat him but misdiagnosed and actually worsen his condition. Cluade fights against time to figure out the best course of action and treats the blood poisoning first as the ship is rocked by the grip of the massive creature.



Since the encounter with the massive space creature was going to take several rounds I wanted the challenge faced by the medic to be just as intense. I had figured out the different conditions that were affecting the pilot and set up CLs and the oder that would be best for Cluade to treat them. By picking the wrong condition to treat it would make the CL even harder. This gave the player something to think about and plan while the other players battled for the ship.


Xextuss fires his jet pack to full thrust and gets Nix to open the back hanger door. With some fancy skills he makes it inside with the tentacle still wrapped around his body but because the Bith, who was trying to help but more in the way than anything, is not suited up for space Grem can not open the hold doors to reach him. Before Nix can shut the door, Xextuss is torn back out into space by the creature.

People get in the way in emergencies and by having the NPC be part of the problem added to the challenge going on. Having the heroes think that they are getting away only to be pulled back out shows that they are in a bigger mess than they wanted to be in.




O'dian's arms are pinned to his sides but he is able to cut the tentacle slightly with his saber. The creature quickly lets go and the Jedi makes it back to the outside of the ship. As he next prepares to cut the Gand loose while Cluade works to remove the pilot's organ that has caused all the trouble in the first place. With 2-1B and his skills he makes short work of getting the organ out and the operational incision closed.




Still firing the ship's guns, Nix realizes that he can not fly away without leaving his crew mates behind but decides to use the ships thrusters as a weapon. Almost as if he is one with the ship he is able to pilot the ship so that it doesn't harm the other heroes and sends a blast directly at the Bull Mega-Shyrak.



When a player comes up a a great idea that throws a wrench into your plans it is best to let the player have their moment of glory. Nothing kills the joy of a good game than to denying a player a chance to shine. this was a great move and as a reward I let the player name it and add it to his starship maneuvers for future use.


The pain caused by the blast makes the creature release it's hold for a second but it then it quickly grabs ahold of the rear half of the ship. In the instant that it lost it's hold Xextuss is able to get away and he and the Jedi are able to board. Having gotten the Bith out of the way Grem is able to close the docking doors and seal his team mates inside the ship.




Cluade is able to counter the effects of the pilot's team mates treatment and gets the Sullustan into the Bacta Chamber to treat the rest of his minor wounds and help him recover from the sever system shock he just went through. At that moment Nix gets the all clear that everyone is aboard and he throttles the ship's engines to full blast, hitting the creature full blast once again and escaping it's gravity well.

With the ship clear of the creature and the pilot saved the players had won the battle. They were able to take stock of the damage they and the ship received and meet the people the rescued.




They make their way through the rest of the Transitory Mists and enter the massive clear center of the nebula. They rest of the way has to be flown and it will take twenty hours to reach The Wheel. The rescued passengers are quickly informed of their pilots condition by Cluade who then goes on to treat Xextuss for the grave wounds he received. Grem sneaks on board the Trask 1 and looks around to assess the their damage and finds musical instruments.



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They use this time to get to know the passengers of the Trask 1. The human female is Bell Dupree and is the lead singer of a classical blues band called "Bell and the Blackhole Hearts". The Bith is very friendly in a humorous and very curious way; he plays the eletrosax in the trio. The final band member is the Sullustan Nip Tivv, who plays the red organ, and is a twin brother of the pilot Nit Tivv. 




Exhausted the band head to their ship to rest. Odian, Grem and Xextuss rest after the ordeal during their latest space walk and their dreams are vivid due to passing through the nebula's clouds. Claude tends to his two patients as Nix pilots them closer to their waiting fate on The Wheel....... 

At this point I handed the three players slips of paper with what their dreams entailed, this gave them the option of sharing their insight if the chose to. All three chose not to and it made the rest of this story arc the harder for doing so. Below is the text that each received and the reasoning behind it.


Grem


While resting during the final leg to The Wheel you enter a deep sleep. Due to passing through the highly charged nebula clouds you have a vivid and intense dream.


 


You find yourself crawling through what seems to be duct work by yourself. You have the feeling that you have done this before but this is a different location. However, there is a familiar scent, from a time before you met the rest of the party, that you just can't shake. It gives you the sense of deja-vu and makes you feel unsettled.


 


The ducts lead to an elaborate electrical lock of a kind you have never seen before. You get the feeling that you need to figure out this lock and pass through the door because what ever is one the other side is important for helping your new friends, who you now feel are in extreme danger.


 


Not knowing what you did to open the door, you pass through and start hearing a familiar voice and the scent becomes stronger. It it joined by a second voice that you have not heard before. 


 


You reach a vent cover and can see one of the two creatures talking. It is the one you don't know. Something about this human is wrong. He seems colder than space, his eyes have the look of death and his head reminds you of a human skull. He looks up and sees you. Before you can react, walls drop from the ceiling of the duct and trap you. Terror fills your senses as you can find no way to escape.


 


You wake up feeling disturbed and unrested.

This is foreshadowing of waht the player will being doing in the next adventure. There are hints to his background and an important NPC they party will encounter. 


O'dian


While resting during the final leg to The Wheel you enter a deep sleep. Due to passing through the highly charged nebula clouds you have a vivid and intense dream.


You see four figures standing in a group wearing what looks like tattered Jedi robes. One of them is taller than the rest and their face is covered by a cloth mask. The other three you recall seeing before in the Jedi Temple. They were young female padawans, no older than fifteen. The masked Jedi proceeds to cut down padawans quickly with their lightsaber.


The dream fades to black and you find yourself walking down a highly decorated hallway with the rest of your party and while they go one direction you find yourself falling back and taking a different route alone. 


Again the dream fades to black and you feel yourself pulling backwards into space. You realize that an enormous shape is forming in the darkness and you are but the size of a small bug compared to it. You begin making out details and you realized it a figure dressed completely in black with an elaborate helmeted mask. You recall that you have seen him before from the holo-vid of him attacking Fang Zar. It is the Sith Lord Darth Vader. You hear the sounds of his breathing as he reaches out his hand and completely encloses you into a final darkness.


You wake up feeling disturbed and unrested.



This gives some background info on upcoming villains as well as plays on the threat of Vader hunting down Jedi, something that should be ever present to any player running a Jedi in a Darktimes campaign.

Xextuss


While resting during the final leg to The Wheel you enter a deep sleep. Due to passing through the highly charged nebula clouds you have a vivid and intense dream.


You see your father completing his Janwuine-jika ceremony which you know is impossible since you were not even born yet.  Seeing your reflection you realize that you are seeing these events through your dead grandfather's eyes. After the ceremony your clan of Gands go hunting for gornts. 


You notice that one of the gornts gives off a soft white glow that only you can see. The gornt heads off into some tall reeds but you are able to still see the faint outline and track it down.


You awake feeling like yourself again but puzzled.



This gives the players some background info on his species, which is important if the player is playing a race they do not really know much about. It also gives a preview of an ability that they will have that comes into play during the next game.
 
Important NPCs & Locations-

All the NPCs and locations can be found at the Wiki for this game now--
community.wizards.com/wiki/The_Horizon\'...


Next Time-
So they made it through the nebula, what awaits them at The Wheel...

 

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