If you don't mind, I'd like to use this thread to recount my game experience with the Beginner Box.
Possible spoilers for non-GMs. Please stop here if you are only a player!
I am an experienced Star Wars GM and player, having started with Revised Core Rules and several campaigns using Saga Edition. I read through the Beginner Box, and expecting my players to be … creative … I planned to utilize sections from Long Arm of the Hutt as information and options. The group consisted of four players taking the roles of the standard four included with the box, though the other two downloaded characters were available.
We established some slight adaptations to the starting scenario, with the Smuggler already sitting in the cantina in his cups (still starting with 2 strain from intoxication), and the Bounty Hunter off-screen until the player arrived, who would be tasked by Teemo to collect the escaping droid and Wookiee once on-screen.
Cue the music, and off we go!
The runaways duck into the cantina, knowing they can find a pilot there, hopefully someone they know. Lo and behold, they re-unite with the Smuggler, taking to a secluded booth for quieter discussion. A band of Teemo's Gamorrean guards shows up, scan for their quarry, and move along after an unsuccessful cursory inspection, and no sell-outs brought attention to the player's presence. The Smuggler charms his way into the Twi'lek dancer's dressing room and outside through a back door (improvised by GM on a roll, because it made sense for the situation). While in the cantina, the players had overheard some hangar bay techs discussing not only the need of an HMRI for the Krayt Fang, but also the imminent arrival of an Imperials Lieutenant named Harkin. Needless to say, the Smuggler expected his due was approaching.
The Smuggler figured that with his busted ship in the Slagyard, the junk shop would probably have the necessary part. They navigated the alleys and, after a quick stop in at the Offworld Traders for some all-temperature cloaks, one for the Smuggler and two for the Wookiee … billed to Teemo, of course … the party slipped into the junk shop, nearly noticed by the Gamorrean patrol from earlier. The players schmoozed with the contemptuous shopkeep about contending for the ship part but head into the yard all the same, seeking out the HMRI. The droid medic chatted with the R5 astromech droid and established a common goal, promising to remove the restraining bolt for assistance locating the ship part … and sabotaging it for use on the Krayt Fang.
Why, you might ask? Because the Smuggler in his deviousness decided he wanted to stick it to the Imperial Lieutenant by stealing his ship instead!
The proprietor knew something was amiss with their excited, yet hushed tones and chummy behavior with his good-for-nothing droid, so he triggered an alert to Teemo. Enter the Bounty Hunter! But what's this? The hunter and the prey were … friends? A job is a job, right?
Let's make it look that way, at least. Wookiee, I'm gonna put these binders on you … now shoot a hole through the Smugglers new cloak … stun the Smuggler senseless … knock out the shopkeep … and remove the restraining bolt from the R5 … disable it and then adhere falsely to the medical droid! Wookiee, who will be my prisoner encumber yourself with the Smuggler slung over his back, and march! The R5 tagged along, pretending to belong to the Bounty Hunter.
While meandering through the streets towards Docking Bay Besh, the Bounty Hunter and the bounties encounter the Gamorrean patrol. They are wary and follow the party as an escort, until the pigs are tricked into investigating a dark alley. Proceeding around a corner, just before entering Warehouse Besh, a Lamda-class shuttle was spotted descending towards the nearby docking bay.
Once inside the warehouse, the Smuggler was revived in seclusion and informed about the arriving Imperials. He suggested that if they were fast enough, they could disable the power to the docking bay through maintenance tunnels connected to the warehouse, considering that any potential lock-down or security feature would be hindered, if not removed as a threat. They successfully located the maintenance shaft without drawing attention from the labor droids or any of the organics on staff. R5 located the conduit and assisted its counterpart to disable the power.
Power dimmed. A hum whirred. Klaxons sounded.
The players dashed toward the hangar and threw open the maintenance doors set into the floor of the bay. They each threw a stun grenade, disorienting several Imperial Stormtroopers. The Wookiee then tore off one of the doors to use as a makeshift shield, which did little to block a lucky ricocheted shot by one of the troopers. For a few moments the players were pinned down in their makeshift foxhole.
With the Wookiee roused and raging, the party charged out, blasting every which way at white suits of armor! Within moments, only one Stormtrooper barred their entry to the Lambda and called for backup, but a last uncaring shot removed him as a further threat. As the party headed up the boarding ramp, reinforcements were entering the hangar bay. Inside, four of the five shuttle crew members remained and were prepared to defend the ship … until the Wookiee exerted his rage against one of them, thoroughly incapacitating a tech. Some extra coercion allowed the players to secure the ship under their control.
Just before takeoff, the Smuggler looked out through the forward window, locking eyes with Lieutenant Harkin standing in the command room, and waved. As they ignited the engines and lifted into the skies, threats of retaliation were overheard through the comms, answered with comments to drop off the ship somewhere safe and fully fueled, and then closing the channel. The Smuggler hoped his luck would hold out long enough to figure out what he was really going to do.
Soon, a squadron of TIE fighters screamed by, loosing several warning shots across the bow before settling into an escort formation. The Bounty Hunter took the gunner seat, while the medical droid was set at navigation. The Wookiee delighted in roughing the surviving crew into escape pods and prepared to jettison them with aid from R5. A forward blast removed one of the four TIEs, and a series of evasive maneuvers forced them into a formation aft of the stolen Imperial shuttle, but they followed without difficulty. A lucky aft blast teetered one TIE into another, destroying both in a brilliant blaze. The Smuggler opened a channel to warn of incoming crew members in escape pods, which were promptly released. The last TIE evaded the pods, but that was all the time the impromptu navigator required to initiate the hyperdrive!
If we were to continue the story, this would have been quite the opening act!
We reviewed the plot as it was designed to proceed for a normal adventure.
All-in-all, it was quite fun, and combat was fairly simple, save for some issues with how grenades were supposed to work and locating stats for the Lambda shuttle.