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Vondy

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Posts posted by Vondy


  1. I have a general head-canon for what informs my games. However, the main game I run has a significant alternative universe elements and is already resulting in diverging timeline. Our game started eight years after Order 66 and it is now 10 years after Order 66. With that in mind, my general head-canon is:

    Episodes I-III sans midicholrians.

    The Clone Wars

    Solo: A Star Wars Story.

    Rebels sans hyperspace whales.

    Rogue One

    Episodes IV-VI.

    The Mandalorian.

    I include elements from other materials that I like without feeling overly beholden to them. I tend to be circumspect about comic and video game content, however, because they have a tendency to be over-the-top and involve credulity breaking power ups (esp. video games). Some materials I like are:

    Dooku: Jedi Lost

    The Jedi Apprentice series

    Master & Apprentice

    Queen's Shadow

    Republic Commando: Order 66

    Ahsoka

    Lords of the Sith 

    Tales from the Empire

    Most Wanted

    The Guardians of the Wills

    Scoundrels by Zahn

    Allegiance by Zahn

    Splinter of the Minds Eye sans potential incestuous references.

    Inferno Squad from Battlefront II

    The Truce at Bakura

    The Courtship of Princess Leia 

    Tales of the Bounty Hunters

    Tales from Jabba's Palace

    Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina

    Rogue Squadron series.

    The Thrawn Trilogy by Zahn.

    Crackens Rebel Field Guide

    I didn't include the sequels (Episodes VII and VIII) because I'm not sold on the presentation of The First Order and Snoke thus far. I don't have enough information to evaluate how well they really fit into the themes and overall story of the first six episodes. I'm waiting to see if Abram's ties the disparate bits together in Episode IX before settling that in my head. I do think Leia taking so much umbrage to Mon Mothma standing down the alliance military that she created a splinter counter-insurgency / militia is a very in-character and makes a lot of sense. 

    And, despite the derivative plot elements (I could have done without another Death Star), Episode VII had a lot of good going for it. It did set up two important questions about Rey ("Who is Rey?" and "What is Rey?), introduced three leads that I liked, and had a lot of great scenes in it. I thought Han's death was also well-handled. Episode VIII was much more problematic for me. It had a few fantastic highs, but even more horrid lows, and left me feeling like Rian Johnson is utterly clueless about Star Wars. Still, Luke's final moments were... awesome.

    Like I said: we shall see.

     


  2. Just now, Donovan Morningfire said:

    Plus, the Raider can be used to help further the covert/clandestine, since as an Imperial ship (and assuming the PCs have the proper Imperial codes), they'd have a reason to be in area of suspected insurgent activity.

    Very true.


  3. Of course, a pair of Gozanti carriers with modified harnesses could deploy 4 A-Wings and 2 U-Wings, and a C-ROC could serve as a heavily armed logistics ship for establishing remote operating bases. But, hey, they aren't as tres sexy as a Raider.


  4. My players have recently obtained an Aggressor Assault Fighter with an "amenities package" upgrade. 

    Note: I raised my eyebrow when I saw the passenger capacity on this one in No Disintigrations. But, our party consists of two main cast (jedi survivors), two supporting cast (droid non-player characters), and 2 occasional "guest stars" so it should work as a conveyance-oriented plot device.


  5. 4 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

    I don't see why you couldn't have the Raider-II retrofitted to accommodate four A-Wings instead of two TIEs.  After all, it's not like Bail freaking Organa doesn't have access to top-shelf shipyards that can do the retrofit far more efficiently than anything a group of PCs on their own could accomplish.

    As for the U-Wings, I don't think you could get away with having them externally mount (I assume that's what you meant by "dock with") to the Raider-II,m but modding a GR-75 to accommodate a pair of those should certainly be viable, and likely still have room for additional small support shuttlecraft.

    What you've got listed in your notes is certainly viable, though you could possibly roll the first two GR-75s into a single craft, as those ships are fairly big (90 meters according to Wookieepedia), and I could see Bail not wanting this "fleet" to get too large.  Heck, you could probably drop two of the regular transports as I suspect most of the bases that they'd be used to set up wouldn't be overly laden with materials.  Remember that the Hoth base was for the central/high command of the entire Rebel Alliance, so they were going to have a lot of troops and materials that would need to be flown in and then evacuated.  It's probably more a Legends thing at this point, but most Rebel bases were fairly minimal and were designed to be abandoned in a hurry with the Rebels reluctantly accepting that if they had to evac, most of the gear and supplies at the base were write-offs, and that best they could usually do was purge the databanks and destroy as much of the military hardware that couldn't be easily taken with the evacuating Rebels.

    True, a group of 3 GR-75s wouldn't be much of a threat to even a single Imperial Star Destroyer, but then if there's only three such ships, they're more likely to slip under the Empire's notice or be dismissed as a small convoy, where a larger number of such massive transport ships might draw more (unwanted) attention.

    Thanks for your feedback. I think I will combine the GR-75 combat refit and pocket carrier into a single ship. And, the operating bases they would be setting up would mostly be temporary staging areas for commandos or a few fighters if they need a planet-side staging area or have to split their resources so 2 regular transports would probably suffice. This task-force's activities should be 90% clandestine and 10% covert. If they are engaging a Star Destroyer they have reached mission failure.

     


  6. 7 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

    Based on what we see in Battlefront II, I'd guess 4 A-Wings at an absolute max. It seems to only have one hangar, if it was two, I'd say definitely 4 if there were 2 hangars.

    Parking lifts: Oh, almost certainly. Especially with A-wings. That would be a very interesting method. You could probably hold 4 fairly easily like that, though launching would be delayed somewhat (and sabotage/Trheat/Despair could prevent the top fighters from launching because they can't be lowered 😈).

    I don't see any good spots for docking ships like that to the Raider, but I think a modified GR-75 would get the job done.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Honestly, an Arquitens would have been a better choice for a "one stop shop" for this mission profile.

    Here are my notes: 

    1 Raider-II Class Corvette. 4 RZ1-SR in “stacking lifts.” 1 infiltrator-trained operational intelligence detail.

    1 GR-75 Combat Retrofit. Serves as a the primary “ops center” and “mission control” for ground operations 

    1 GR-75 Pocket Carrier. 2 U-Wings. 2 combat search and rescue and special reconnaissance trained commando units.

    4 GR-75 transports. Loaded to establish temporary remote operations bases.

    Note: a naval trooper platoon is split between the 4 transports for base security, etc.

    Now I need to brainstorm a task-force name and call-signs!


  7. My player's characters have stolen an Imperial Raider-II Corvette for Bail Organa's nascent rebellion. It will be tasked with conducting deep reconnaissance and supporting operational intelligence missions.  Its support vessels will consist of 1 GR-75 Combat Retrofit, and 3 regular GR-75 cargo vessels capable of establishing temporary remote operating bases. I was going to have the Raider carry a modified version of the A-Wing trainer called the RZ1-SR. These would be equipped with whisperthrust engines, nightshadow coating, and an improved sensor package, but no missile tubes. A secondary role for these fighters would be clandestine insertion and retrieval couriers, infiltrators, intelligence officers, lone pathfinders, etc. All of the sources I have found on the Imperial Raider say that it has a hangar with a complement of "at least 2" TIE fighters. That is not... specific.

    • Would 4 of these modified A-Wings be unreasonable?
    • Could you employ fighter racks similar to modern parking lifts?

    A serious deficiency of this potential "task-force" is the inability to deploy combat search and rescue / special reconnaissance squads from space

    • Could you externally dock a 1-2 U-Wings to the Raider? 

    Or... Could you modify an additional GR-75 with its own hangar to deploy the U-Wings?

     


  8. Just finished watching Episode 5.

    It was solid filler episode and, as a fan of Spaghetti Westerns, I enjoyed that part of it a lot. Filler episodes are good when used appropriately because they serve as a down-beat and let you shift gears.  I didn't mind seeing Tattooine again as its the ideal backdrop for an Old West adventure. I will say, however, that they were doing a full-court press with the fan-service call-outs (I'm looking at you Dave Filoni!). Not so much that I groaned or raised an eyebrow, but considering how short these episodes are, I feel like that cut into room for dialog or a short scene that could have been used to drive character or plot, or to add something new. Even so, it worked well for what it was and the last scene before cutting to credits was clearly a set up for future content of some sort. I do like Baby Yoda, but I'm glad he didn't play a bigger role in this episode because the plot and dynamics were clearly set up for the Mando, Corellian, and the Assassin. They would have really had to force the issue to work The Incarnation of All That Is Good and Wholesome In Star Wars into this episode more and that would have probably felt contrived. Still, overall, I liked it. 


  9. 8 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

    One thing I found quite funny is that every single EotE campaign makes it to Tatooine at some point. (Something I have pledged not to do unless they really have to do something with Jabba)

    I decided to START our game on Tattooine to emphatically  underscore the fact that our campaign is decidedly AU. Ergo, "things are going to be different." Two of our Jedi survivors were seeking out Obi-Wan eight years after Order 66 and found his hermitage only to discover he was no longer there. Instead, they found a force-infused holo-disc embedded in the wall with a recorded message saying "It is no longer safe here. The Empire is closing in and we must move on. Do not lose hope and keep searching. The Force will bring us together." They did find him a short time later only to discover that the "we" was Obi-Wan, Padme Amidala, Sabe, and the eight years old Luke and Leia. They also discovered that Padme was a key adviser to and go-between for Bail Organa and his nascent resistance... which they have since been drawn into. Prior to that they made their living running cargoes out of Nar Shadda and had a working-relationship with Kaltho the Hutt.  I don't foresee needing Jabba or going back to Tattooine, but it was nice to kick it all off in an iconic locale.


  10. Here is Cal Coda, my long-running Jedi Knight character. In our game he was one of the last Jedi knighted before the Clone Wars erupted. He survived Order 66 and withdrew to a remote refuge planet where he lay down his saber and started a new life before being drawn into Bail Organa's nascent rebel movement. Our current year is 10 BBY. I'm not sure who the artist is, but the only edit I made was to remove his... mullet. Whaaaat?!

    CenterofBeing.jpg.90f6ecd5934fc65453583740b5df0060.jpg

     

     


  11. 4 minutes ago, Eoen said:

    Is that the with the Amish mobsters?

    Yes. The one where they were parodying the Harrison Ford movie Witness. At the end of the episode the father and daughter save Sledge by gunning down a bunch of bad-guys alongside him. When he asks them, "Hey, I didn't think you used guns!" the father, wearing shades, bandoleers of ammo, and holding two machine pistols shrugs and says "Eh, its the eighties!"


  12. 6 hours ago, Nytwyng said:

    Closer to being back on topic, maybe between Clone Wars, Rebels, and now this show, what we’re seeing is a bit of a mix, allowing all of the various interpretations to be “true.” The Traviss-style approach is a particular quasi-religious sect that adheres to certain fairly rigid customs and has become the galactic stereotype for all Mandalorians.

    Agreed. I would like to see a nod the notion that the Mandalorian diaspora is not a monolithic hive-mind. Different clans (or related clan-groups) may have different customs vis-a-vis their shared ancient traditions. The one-size fits all Sci-Fi Warrior Culture Guy (TM) gets really boring really fast. A real world example would be sectarian and ethnic divisions within ethnically-rooted Orthodox religious movements. Orthodox Jewish custom, reading of the law, and liturgy contains striking variations depending on which group you are dealing with. The same is true of the ethnic Orthodox Christian churches and various regionally-anchored Islamic sects. Ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jewry, Wahabist Muslims, and monastic Christian communities are all much more rigid than the wider cultural-religious communities they are yet a part of. They are also the first people who spring to many people's minds when they think of their peoples / faiths / etc. Traviss' Mandos could be regarded as "the ultra-orthodox" Mandos. That would give us plenty of room to reconcile the different canonical takes on Mandalorian customs. Clan Wren and the Death Watch (I'm looking at you Sabine and Bo-Katan!), would be a touch more relaxed. But, I don't think we'll see our Mando take his helmet off. He's very much "The Man With No Name" with the addition of "The Man With No Face, Either." Its his schtick.


  13. On 11/30/2019 at 12:28 PM, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

    As far as arguing as to whether the Micro-Rocket is actually a Whistling Bird launcher, I think he's right on that one and that point hasn't been proven either way, though I certainly see better arguments on the "it's not" side.

    Definitionally-speaking, it wouldn't be complete crazy-talk to assert that conceptually Whistling Birds are just a custom Mandalation variation of micro-rockets.

    They wouldn't be compatible with a standard micro-rocket launchers and function somewhat differently, but they are, when all is said and done, micro-sized rockets.

    Not all rockets fit into all launchers in the real world, either. 


  14. Episode IV Thoughts

    Overall: I enjoyed the episode a lot. I love Spaghetti Westerns and Chanbara and this series has woven those Star Wars inspirations in nicely. Hello Seven Samurai / Magnificent Seven. I give it 8/10.

    Format: I like that they aren't locked into filling X minutes per episode as it keeps the writers from writing necessary filler scenes. On the other hand, I found myself wanting a tiny bit more development. Lucas' penchant for tight editing and using terse scripts that don't explain anything is well known, and Filoni (an executive producer) has worked with him extensively, but series aren't movies and I felt like 1-2 more lines about the early New Republic or the Mandos wouldn't have been out of place.

    Corano: She did a workmanlike job and its always fun to watch her fight. She has the stature and muscle to dispel any notions of "waif fu." Her chemistry with the Mandalorian was also good. She's improved year by year as an actress. Since an unresolved complication was introduced for her character (a bounty) I don't doubt we'll see her again.

    Related: I'm not convinced Episode IV was stand alone episode. We see our Mando and Cara Dune part ways at the end, but then we zoom in on Baby Yoda on the back of the "wagon" as they head into the woods. Just as the resolution to Episode I came in Episode II, I'm wondering if something else will happen on this planet before they leave in Episode V. We could just see a cut to a new world, of course, but they still had to get back to their ship when this one ended.

    The Walker: The Walker was just straight-up awesome and it was good to see it treated as a serious piece of military equipment with terrifying firepower. 

    Helmets: I don't think there was ever a question that Mandalorians do take their helmets off. You end up with a ludicrous set of logical extremes if you assert otherwise. They strike me as clannish and insular rather than rigidly impractical. The only questions I have is "when do they take them off and in front of whom?" Based on his previous exchange with the forger I would conclude "never in front of an enemy." Based on this episode I would add: "never in public or in the presence of outsiders." I postulate, in their private places, Mandos remove their helmets around kinfolk, fellow warriors, or intimate friends. For a Mandalorian to remove their helmet in front of you would likely be a great honor and a sign that they considered you extremely worthy or "one of us."  

    Our Mando: I don't believe our Mandalorian is a wholly reliable example to extrapolate Mandalorian customs from. Its clear he is driven by deep dark childhood trauma and he linked his putting on the helmet to putting his old life behind him and starting a new life with his foster people. Yet, despite this, his previous life haunts him. Trauma survivors tend to build walls to protect their psyche. The helmet is a mask and a shield from himself more than the people around him. Also, people who undergo transformations in identity (adoptions, political or religious conversions, cultural naturalization) often strive to be exemplars. He is likely more rigid than many "native-born" Mandalorians would be. This provides one heck of a character arc if the writer's want it.

    I'm looking forward to Episode V.

    Addends...

    Music: I'm re-watching the episode now and they cut in with the Mando Theme with way more emphasis in this episode as he was landing on the planet. This is good. It showcases and anchors it more. Its growing on me and adds a little heroic flourish that Star Wars needs.

    Baby Yoda: is the incarnation of all that is good and wholesome in the Star Wars universe.

     


  15. My understanding is that the transponder is linked to a specific drive signature and is not so easy to change. You would probably need to bribe an bureaucrat with access to the Imperial ship registries or engage the services of a slicer who can alter the necessary data (if you don't have one in your group itself).

    Options: Retrofit a new drive and connect it to a clean registry. File a new registry and attach you current drive signature to it. Swap registry entries with another ship, even better if you can do it with the registry of a hated foe. Find a black-market dealer to sell your ship to and get a new one.

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