So, after my game ended last night, I decided I had to post a rundown for everyone here. It's one of those games that will go down in our group's history.
I was very excited to have purchased the Beta book at Celebration this year, and my group was excited to play because they know how much I love Star Wars and knew I'd come up with a great idea for them to try out the system with. They weren't wrong, I'm happy to say - everyone was very excited by the concept I threw on the table.
My group is made of people who often think "outside the box," and as a result, our games tend to go a little haywire. It makes for fun Thursday nights, but can also be frustrating to GM. Standard storyline preparation tactics don't usually work for the group because, frankly, they don't care about your storyline! Keeping this in mind I knew I wanted an episodic series of adventures that was fun and quirky.
Thankfully, Wookieepedia is always there to back me up! My idea was that all my guys would be a group of smugglers that hide their escapades under a reasonable facade - they're a band! What kind of band? I tell you, I couldn't make this up if I tried. I'm not that witty. I give you, the kind of music Max Reebo plays. What's the lead instrument? THIS THING. Comedy. Gold.
So, I work with my guys to make a few pre-gens to their basic specs. We've got a twi'lek lead, a droid technician, a wookiee drummer, and a human bassist. Our group's intermitent player opted to play a wookiee groupie (who has shaved herself hairless, for some reason).
A quick note about the system and our response to it: I did most of the work with the system. I had issues with the dice stickers, so I bought the Android app and did the rolling myself. I really enjoyed it, and it seemed to make the game fun without bogging us down. The players liked the concept, and were looking forward to getting the beginner box so they could all roll their own dice and such. I give it a 4/5 right now, just because I want more than just smugglers. Looking forward to buying the pretty official book when it's released.
Session the first was a bit of a bust in terms of turnout. Work and life got in the way, and only my lead and droid showed up. So, on the spot I decided that they'd played a heavy set the night before and partied hard with their groupies. The rest of the band was passed out cold, and the precious lead instrument was stolen by one of the missing three groupies! This particular jizz-box was important because it had a secret compartment that held valuable spice belonging to the lead singer. He wanted it back.
The players had to go all over Mos Espa to find the groupies and figure out who had the box. First stop, the Rodian Noodle Bar on the edge of town where one of the girls worked as a waitress. This particular bar has a brutish cook, and when the droid didn't order any food (obviously, since he was a droid) things got out of hand. The noodles ended up all over our poor "Mr. Robot." (His name was actually TV-4U, but Mr. Robot annoyed both the character and the player, so nobody could resist needling him.)
The waitress manages to give our heroes the slip, however, and the lead singer ends up riding an angry Ronto through town trying to catch her speeder bike, demoloshing things as he goes. He ends up getting bucked off into a womp rat breeding pit.
Next, the starport, where the Ithorian groupie worked security. She has a particular dislike for our lead. She's a bit of a punk rock girl, and has pierced her face. Consequently, the lead singer said out loud that she looked like a shoe. He ended up getting searched, forcibly, by a Gamorrean.
Last, to a bar in town owned by one of the groupie's girlfriends. The lead has, of course, romanced said girlfriend. Shotguns and angry boyfriends ensue. Finally, the players are pointed back to the spaceport because the waitress (who had slipped them at the noodle bar) is apparently trying to get into their spaceship. She's not, actually; she's just spray painting obscene things on it in anger because she can't get into the box.
With the box recovered and the girl in spaceport security custody, the droid decides he's had enough of the lead singer's guff for one day and tases him into unconciousness. (Player on player violence is really common in my group…)
Session the second had all our players present. They've managed to secure a job to take some crates to Nar Shaddaa and deliver them to a mysterious contact. They're getting a fair cut of the payment, and are not to be asking any questions. The crates, once loaded onto their ship, turn out to have some kind of animals in them. Loud, creepy animals.
I fully expected this to go poorly. I figured someone would open the crates. I'd prepared for that. I hadn't prepared for them to use the droid to guard the crates and actually not ask any questions. Consequently they make it to Nar Shadda in one piece, have some basic roleplay, and ultimately get extorted by a Hutt. They sell the Hutt the creatures instead of the guy they were supposed to meet, and make off with their profit. Unfortunately, the creatures somehow escape and kill the Hutt, and the players are blamed by the Cartel. Now, they're wanted men!
They opt to fly to Ord Mantel.
Session the third has them landing on Ord Mantel. Their goal here is to find a new ship, or cobble one together, at the military grade junkyards that litter the planet. They opt to use the droid to try to gain entry to the junkyard - they want to claim he's broken and look for "new parts." Unfortunately, the junkyard is off limits due to an infestation. This deters them not in the slightest.
In a stunning series of successful charm and bluff rolls, and some excellent roleplay, the lead singer and the human bassist end up convincing our poor lonely junkyard guard, a Nikto named Stan, that they can help cure the junkyard's Gizka infestation. Because they're actually expert Gizka exterminators.
Thus, they enter the junkyard. They casually drop their "broken" droid onto a pile of debris and head with Stan to the most infested part of the yard. Turns out, the Gizka are coming from an old Trandoshan frieghter that was used to haul live specimens. During their walk, the guys have convinced Stan that there are different breeds of Gizka - sometimes called Gizma, because my human bassist player kept saying it wrong and we rolled with it - and that there are "king" and "queen" Gizkas, so called because they have what appear to be little crowns. (Tears of laughter during this.)
Stan's completely convinced. He's ready to help exteriminate what could be an infestation of epic and deadly proportion. He's been told that they grow in size the more they eat, and if they keep reproducing that soon all of Ord Mantel will be devoured in a Gizka Apocalypse! He sets up watch on the top of the hill of trash surrounding the freighter. My players go inside. This is a tactical error - Gizka aren't the only things that have taken up residence in the junkyard.
Three giant, angry, mother Horranths burst from the cargo hold and begin to attack everyone. Stan turns out to be one heck of a soldier and takes one down all on his own. The two "exterminators" barely manage to dodge the first few attacks. The human bassist ultimately leaps on one and kills it with a shot through the back of the skull. The final Horranth is killed by our returning droid - who's been busy hacking the patrol droids around the junkyard and has arrived with three under his command.
Stan is promptly told to get the hell off Ord Mantel, because those were King Gizkas and they've clearly been eating one another and growing to epic proportions. Poor Stan, he's convinced he's going to die so he goes home to call his mom. He inadvertantly also convinces the rest of Ord Mantel that everyone is going to die in a Gizka Apocalypse.
The players steal the Trandoshan freighter and make good their escape, heading to Bespin.
Session the fourth begins with the players telling me their plan on Bespin is to perform a benefits concert for the survivors of the Gizka Apocaylpse, and keep all the proceeds. I'm totally on board with this - it's way better than what I had tentatively planned.
Their first order of business is to deal with the docking authorities. They've hacked their ship to give it a new name and to label it as belonging to GTFO - the Galactic Terrestrial Fauna Organization. (They were thinking they'd pose as a sort of World Wild Life fund for some reason that I can't remember now.) So they get through that process and are told to speak to Lobot about seeing Lando to setup the concert.
At this time, one of the players places an Ad on the Galactic News Network for the region claiming that Lando and Bespin have put a stop to their concert plans, and are refusing to help give relief to the surivors of the Gizka Apocalypse. The thought behind this was to spark outrage, thereby making the concert a big counter-culture push.
Lobot has them arrested when they go see him because the droid (currently being played by the girl who usually plays the wookiee groupie due to the regular player being absent - this was with the regular player's blessing) tries to blackmail Lobot into submission. On their way to the lockup, they run into Lando. Lando likes this idea about the concert and has them held in their ship until he can suss things out with Lobot.
Lando, being Lando, is wise to their con when he finally shows up. He turns the tables on the group, offering them a small cut of the profits for the show and telling them he'll give them over to the authorities (since there are bounties on their heads) if they don't comply.
This is where things go weird.
They try to take off with Lando on the ship. Being Lando, he's prepared for hijinks and has applied magnetic locks on the docking bay so the ship can't take off. They seal him in, and he tells them he's got security snipers standing by to take everyone out through windows and the hull. He expects their surrender to his plan, and is amused by their antics. At this point, the human bassist casually exits the ship with his hands up in surrender. He's cutting his loses with this group.
The lead singer starts up the ship in an attempt to break away from the magnetic grapplings. The droid decides enough is enough and jumps for Lando, intending to kill him. The wookiee tries to stop the droid. The wookiee fails. The droid guts Lando. The snipers, who have been watching them with heat sensing goggles, shoot and kill everyone on the ship. The ship overheats and the engines explode. Bespin begins to go down in flames.
The human bassist manages to survive, only to spend the rest of his life and a member of a Nar Shadda Chain Gang.
This game was the best money I spent at Celebration VI.