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Cannibal Halfling

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time

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A new column on the Mad Adventurers Society gaming website, Adventure Log is a series which will relate the adventure, triumphs, and shenanigans of actual tabletop RPG campaigns. The ups, the downs, the insane player plans that should get everyone killed but instead somehow end up saving the day, all shall be included. At the same time, I hope to pass on whatever wisdom I happen to gain as a I GM these campaigns, whether that is in the form of advice in an effort to avoid pitfalls or tips and tricks to improve your own games.

 

The reason I'm posting about this here is that the subject of the first Adventure Log series is going to be Age of Rebellion: Living on Borrowed Time. Acting as a sequel to an Edge of the Empire game of the same name, Living on Borrowed Time will follow that very same ship, full of former fringers and devoted Rebels, as they fight against the Galactic Empire while the Rebellion itself teeters on the edge of destruction.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Prologue tells the story of what the old crew of the Borrowed Time got up to when they were living on the Edge of the Empire, and I talk about lessons I've learned about creating a 'sequel' RPG campaign.

 

Want to hear what another group of maniacs manages to get up to, and maybe pick up a few pointers along the way? Then give Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time a look, and let us know what you think! All comments, questions, and other assorted feedback are welcome here or on the site itself. Thanks for reading!

AgentShades, AceSolo5 and zsavk like this

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It was supposed to be, if not a blue milk run, at least a relatively stealthy mission.

 

A shame that got blown out the airlock about the time the first TIE fighter got blown up.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part One  sees our intrepid band of idealistic ne'er-do-wells and full-blooded Rebels start their first mission together with an unexpected and unwelcome bang, and I talk about ways to make sure your first session makes for a good first impression.

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The Empire may know that there are Rebels around, but only one TIE Phantom pilot knows which Rebels.

 

It's a race against time and the Imperial Army to keep the Borrowed Time's identity from getting out.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part Two sees our crew flashing back to a briefing with a certain Rebel General, before picking up where we left off as they try to catch the one Imperial pilot that got away, and I talk about how you can use flashbacks to fill your players in and enhance your story.

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It's time to meet up with the Antarian Rangers on Toprawa and get down to business: blowing up Imperial installations, stealing top-secret Imperial fighters, and firing up some local rebellions!

 

Of course, to get a rebellion going you need recruits and weapons. The Borrowed Time brought the weapons. The downtrodden Toprawans might just be able to provide the recruits, if the crew can get to them.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part Three sees our gang of cunning miscreants finally get to catch their breath, take stock of their objectives, and pull a few fast ones as they take the fight to the Stormtrooper Corp in an effort to spark off a rebellion. Afterwards, I talk about when letting a player use a Signature Ability might not be the best idea, and how to gauge the use of these powerful options.

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Catching an Agent of the Imperial Security Bureau is quite the accomplishment. But what kind of information can you get out of him?

 

Sometimes knowing more just makes you more nervous.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part Four has our prospective galactic saviors interrogating not just their captive spy but their own allies, as they try to see if there are more spies in their midst. After the fact I talk about letting player ideas turn into red herrings or plot curves, and touch upon showing your players what your bad guys are up to.

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The rebels of the Borrowed Time continue their campaign on Toprawa, putting recently-gathered intelligence to good use to strike at an Imperial processing facility responsible for some the Empire's latest technology.

 

But not everything is going to go the crew's way this time.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 5 features rebels lying their faces off, rampant vehicle theft, and plenty of explosions. However, their actions on Toprawa and those from the smuggling days have caught up with them, and a dangerous new foe is on the hunt. Afterwards I talk about how to hit your players where it hurts without killing them, and look at one way a GM can handle a large number of players.

Edited by Cannibal Halfling

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Having taken some losses and gotten the measure of their latest enemy, the Borrowed Time rebels still need to rally their allies and complete their mission on Toprawa. It'll take some patience and some careful planning.

 

Or they could just go all-in on the attack. That'll work too, I guess.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 6 has 'cunning' plans, clever disguises, deliberate over-acting, and a poor Politico who suddenly can't seem to lie his way out of a paper bag. Leaving our heroes about to reach the climax of their first mission together, I talk about how far ahead you should - and shouldn't - plan your campaign.

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The rebels of the Borrowed Time can't lie their way out of trouble this time, but thankfully one crewmember has a Diplomatic Solution to their problem! Once that's done with they have a TIE Factory to destroy, and some TIE Phantoms to steal before the Imperials can get them off-world.

 

However, one rebel is on his own, and he's being hunted . . .

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 7 sees our band of freedom fighters reach the explosive conclusion of their mission to Toprawa, while an agent of the Empire hunts one of them down. As the smoke clears, I'll address how to approach a player habit that is getting their character in trouble and putting a dent in group cohesion.

Edited by Cannibal Halfling

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Have to admit... I've been loving reading these! Sounds like a great game! I've also got a player that likes to go off on their own & whilst it's not caused any major problems yet it definitely does cause division within the small party! I think that chat may be looming!

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The Borrowed Time and her crew of misfits return to the Alliance after a job well-done, having survived the crucible of Toprawa with the old scoundrels and the new comrades forged into a team. It's time to get debriefed, send their recruited Rangers and stolen materiel on their way, and rest for a while before their next assignment.

 

Unfortunately, that rest is interrupted in the middle of a hyperspace jump, and our team finds themselves Dead in the Water . . .

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 8 finds half of our crew trapped on a ship where the biggest danger is the nearby stellar phenomena. The murderbots on board aren't much better. Did I mention someone turned off the air? When we leave our heroes still stuck in that mess I'll address some ways to use published adventure material in your game, even when you're GMing your own story.

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The Borrowed Time crew reunites aboard the Alliance Intelligence frigate Shadow Raptor, which has come down with a horrible case of murderbots and an alarmingly short amount of time left before getting sucked into a black hole. Sure, the crew who were already on the Raptor have turned the air back on, but there's still the little matters of the bridge, the engines, and the spy causing all of this.

 

"Living on Borrowed Time" has never quite seemed so apt a name . . .

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 9 gets the crew back together and then sends them racing to opposite ends of the Raptor in a desperate race against time and the Empire. After a somewhat statistically unlikely but quite exciting ending, I go over some ways to create tension and a good sense of challenge for your players, without resorting to just making enemy combatants more deadly.

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Having survived their escapades aboard the Shadow Raptor, the crew of the Borrowed Time are thanked for their service to the Alliance - and promptly given more work. Liberating the galaxy from an evil, oppressive Empire isn't a gig that allows for much downtime, it would seem. Given a choice of objectives, the crew decides that the threat of the Inquisitors is something that can't be left to fester.

 

The rebels set out to protect their fellow prey, and turn the tables on the hunters . . .

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 10 sees the old hands of the crew introduce the new ones to the seedy underbelly of The Wheel as they try and gather information on the elusive red blades. After dealing with the results of their search, I discuss putting player characters in situations outside of their primary specialty, and when you might want to keep the dice gods from interfering in what's going on.

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The crew of the Borrowed Time have successfully traveled to the The Wheel, found a young Force sensitive girl and her parents, and fended off the Inquisitors that came for her. The job's not done yet, though. They still have to get off the space station with themselves and their new charges intact, and at least one Inquisitor isn't willing to let them escape so easily.

 

It's time for a bloody showdown, a Round 2 against a certain Mandalorian . . .

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 11 throws our Rebel friends right into the mess as they fight to end a threat that managed to get away last time. After the last blaster shot, I discuss a number of ways to keep a Recurring Villain alive long enough to get the big payoff of their defeat, even in the face of players determined to end all foes in their first encounter.

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Having made it off of The Wheel with their new passengers and a few spoils of war, the Borrowed Time checks in with Alliance High Command for new instructions, only to be told to lay low at a hidden Rebel base for a while. They could probably use a little time off, and there's no swarms of murderbots to interrupt their rest this time.

 

They'll have to enjoy the break while it lasts.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 12 finds the Borrowed Time team safely stashed away from the action, which each crewmember doing their own things to rest, recover, and keep busy. Then we take a look at how downtime can be helpful for the rest of your campaign, and ways to make sure the downtime is enjoyable.

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Break time is over as the crew of the Borrowed Time and their allies find themselves with their backs to a wall, cornered in their own base as a swarm of Stormtroopers charge in and Imperial capital ships hover overhead. It's going to take every weapon, explosive, and dirty trick the rebels have to prevail over their attackers and survive the Battle of Bolthole Station.

 

And then they'll still have to figure out a way to escape.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 13 simplifies things with the Empire bringing its might right down on the heads of our rebel band, with the rebels having to prove their worth while outnumbered and with no easy way out. Some new Mando-crafted toys come out to play, and a dark figure pulls strings on the other side. Win or lose, I'll then discuss how to make a smooth transition both in and out of the game after players have to take their leave from the table.

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Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time has a new home at Cannibal Halfling Gaming!

 

The Mad Adventurers Society is closing its doors at the end of the year, but the story of the Borrowed Time crew will continue, and Part 14 will actually be coming out this Friday. I'd like to extend a huge thanks to Fiddleback and the rest of the Mad Adventurers for the past two years, and encourage folk who have never heard of the Borrowed Time to check out the archive and catch up on all the crazy adventures before we get started on the next one.

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The Borrowed Time crew and their allies might have made a (mostly) clean getaway, but now have to face the fact that they're on their own, cut off from the Alliance until they can re-establish contact. The good news is that they've got a few ideas on the books that will let them continue the fight against the Empire in the meanwhile. For now, at least, they are their own commanders, and they decide to return to an old haunt to make a recruitment pitch.

 

They say you can't go home again, but maybe you can pull off a visit with fake transponder codes and a few good lies.

 

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 14 visits some old hangouts and some old friends, while our rebel band tries to make some new friends before the Imperials can get to them first. Once the party has seen what their choice of objective brings them, I talk about how giving your players a multiple-choice adventure can help with player input, session planning, and even the plot!

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As the Borrowed Time's list of compatriots and allies continues to grow, the team decide to cause a little trouble for the Imperial war machine. It'll let the Empire know that not just Inquisitors need to be worried about the rebel band, and they might just be able to get back in touch with the Alliance and come out of the cold. Not only that, but they might get to take care of some of their logistical and personnel issues, too.

So they decide to walk into the local police station to cause trouble. Because of course they do.

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 15 takes us to the planet of Sullust and gets our rebel friends embroiled in a home-grown fight that's almost more corporate war than civil war. After we see how well their lies hold up and find out just what a space banana can do, I explain how giving your players some creative power in the game world and the people in it can get them even more invested in the story you're trying to tell.

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The Battle of Hoth has left the Alliance scattered across the galaxy and High Command silent. The crew of the Borrowed Time and their allies will keep the Rebellion going by themselves if they have to, so it's off to Thyferra to rescue a stranded Rebel SpecOps team and get their hands on any resources they can grab.

The Inquisition hasn't forgotten about our heroes, however, and the Beast is on the trail  . . .

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 16 is a session of cantina espionage, grand theft bacta, and one really big explosion. While the gang tries to make their escape while burning debris is still raining from the sky, I address some ways to handle a player who's still in the game even when their character is down for the count.

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The crew of the Borrowed Time is scattered across Zalxuc City, their pilot is in a bacta tank with one less leg than he woke up with today, and the Mandalorian is driving the speeder truck full of bacta, bugs, a crying Bothan, a confused security droid, and an angry Trandoshan.

It's a good thing they stole the truck instead of renting it, because they certainly wouldn't be getting their deposit back . . .

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 17 sees our ostensibly successful rebels trying to seal the deal as they race for the spaceport with their stolen cargo to escape from the planet Thyferra. After Caleb gets his speeder truck license revoked for reckless endangerment of himself, I talk a bit about . . . well, writing an Adventure Log of your own, and what it can do for both GMs and players who decide to write one!

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Things have been going well for the crew of the Borrowed Time, the odd loss of a limb aside. Perhaps too well. As they try to strengthen the ranks of their ragtag fleet they plan an ambush for Imperial forces and a duplication of their biggest job from the crime days, but time may finally have run out as there happen to be traps within traps.

Honestly, I have no idea how they're going to get out of this one.

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 18 has false information, boarding parties, and an all-out fleet engagement. Just as things take a turn for the worse I talk a little bit about what can happen when players don’t realize they’ve taken a turn for the worse, and what to do to make sure they’re not completely blindsided.

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The crew of the Borrowed Time is scattered across three different ships. An Interdictor cruiser is keeping them from jumping away to safety. An Imperial Star Destroyer is bearing down on them, carrying a dangerous enemy and sending reinforcements ahead. There's no doubt in the minds of the rebels: if they don't get out of here soon, it's all going to be over.

Sometimes you need to put all your eggs in one basket. Or one Interdictor cruiser, as it so happens.

Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 19 has more Inquisitors and Inquisitorial Stormtroopers than the Borrowed Time really cares to deal with at once, exploding corvettes, and some tricky Force powers. After we see who lives to fight another day, I ponder some thoughts about the use of miniatures and props compared to theatre of the mind, in Star Wars and elsewhere.

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