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Bjorn92

How to Fix my Mistake

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So here is the run down, my PC's have taken on a Bounty for these three Pirate Captains who have formed a nice little Niche. 

 

The first Captain was easy fight, 1 Rival (The Captain) and 6 minions. They beat him pretty easily, interogate/torture him to have him give up his buddies. Which Leads us to Captain #2, this was supposed to be tougher. 1 Nemesis, The Pirate Captain from the CRB, 3 Rivals, and 4 Minions. However, they spotted his bluff and instead of them going in to help a distressed ship venting atmo, they start shooting it to ****. They eventually hail them and suggest surrender, to which the captain agrees. The PC's have this whole planned out, they are going to walk them backwards with their hands in the air, Captain first. Only the Captain isn't the first through the door. Once the Pirate crew gets through the airlock, the guns on the pirates ship start to shoot at the umbilical. Then they stop and the engines kick on and the airlock starts to close. One of the PC's Jumps across to the other side, just before the pirate captain rips off the umbilical and jumps into Hyperspace. 

 

Now for a little background on the PC that jumped ship. He is an HK-50 Assassin Droid, except that his Assassination protocols are locked away behind this firewall because 4,000 years ago after he completed his mission his was set back to his protocol droid settings so that he could walk around unnoticed. However, they ship he was on was lost in space after its hyderdrive stopped working. So he has played this entire campaign on these Protocol Droid Settings( Smuggler Thief ), all the while knowing what was hidden back there but after 4000 years of floating in space his personality matrix is a little screwy. The big thing about the Assassination Protocols though is that one of the Primary objectives is to return to his Sith Master and report for his next assignment. And since his master is 4,000 years gone, that just leaves the Current Two. 

 

But back to my story, the pirate captain does a few micro jumps to obscure the trail and heads back to base to warn Captain #3 that we are coming. In flight, the droid who is not a combat oriented character, tries to avoid notice and Fails miserably on his Stealth Checks. The Pirate Captain notices the noise, and closes off the Cargo hold the PC is in and Decompresses it, not a problem for the droid who just waits till they get where they are going. Once at their destination, the Captain goes into the cargo hold and finds him. After a short interrogation, to which the PC can't pass a deception check to literally save his life. He lets slip that, yes he does not look like a protocol droid, and that he doesn't even know his original programming. (Which is a lie, and to which he fails another deception check.) So the Captain takes him into his base and has him shut down and checked for his original purpose. The slicer on base, passes the Daunting check to break through the firewall, and sees the original Programming. Captain #3 seeing the opportunity, has his memories wiped(Another Daunting Check and a Pass) and set to his original programming. To which the PC is now fighting for the Pirates, only until such time as he can find his true master, The Sith. 

 

Now then, knowing that the fight is going to be a hard one, the rest of the Party calls in a favor and has the Bounty Hunters Guild send in some reinforcements. 1 Master Bounty Hunter- CRB, 2 Journeyman BH, and 3 Amateur BH. Now the PC party is composed of a Gadeteer BH, a Outlaw Tech, Smuggler Pilot, and then the droid who is fighting for the enemy now. So not really that combat heavy. Up against them on the base, are 6 Rivals, and Two Nemesis. In the First Fight it is the 6 Rivals against the party and their reinforcements. I used the Pirate Crew Stats from the Lords of Nal Nutta Book. Should have been a rough fight, but nothing major. However, when we had to stop for the night, Only three of the Pirate Crew were dead, and the PC Pilot was out of the fight, the Outlaw Tech was severely wounded, all the Journeyman and Amateur BH were dead. So really you only had the two Bounty Hunter's still alive to fight, one a PC and the other a Nemesis in his own right. Up against 3 Rivals, 2 Nemesis( The Captains), and a PC who was forcibly turned traitor. I'm not sure they can survive.

 

I'm thinking that I might have stacked the deck a little bit with making the Crew Rivals instead of minions. In which case this is my fault, and so I am trying to fix it. So I am trying to think of ways to fix this without it being world or immersion breaking. 

 

Any ideas?

 

TL;DR I made a group of bad guys too strong and I'm going to accidently TPK my group. I don't want that, need to fix it without breaking the game. Help?

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You could have one of the players flip a Destiny point to remotely activate a secret backup that was initiated on the protocol droid personality at the time of the data wipe — that could be a safety protocol built-in to the system.

Suddenly, the HK is now back to his previous self (well, mostly), and he can also help fight for the PCs. And he can do so from inside the group of Pirates.

Once the battle is over, how long does that emergency secret restore work? How corrupted were those sectors where the protocol droid personality was written into, after 4000 years of disuse? How much of his original HK droid programming might remain? Would there be a fight between the two personalities, or would there be some sort of a weird merging or multiple personality situation?

Lots of potentially interesting questions there….

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TL:DR, sorry, but some unexpected backup is a good option, unexpected backup could also bring new Obligation upon the group which is always fun ;) basically the party get the choice of "die now or live with new Obligation"

 

 

Edit; ok so I got curious and actually read your full post ...  :o  That was a bit of a fool move on your part in dealing with the HK droid and forcing them to change sides. IF i ever did something like that then i would set a Discipline difficulty for that HK player to revert the change, its not a mem wipe but a restraining bolt of sorts. Then every single round i would ask for a roll as an incidental to check if the HK has broken through the restrainer. I would also be throwing setback a plenty at all of his other checks as the droid fights against its own directives... its a PC for crying out loud! having something fun, challenging and funny happen is always the goal, but railroading a PC into fighting their own allies indefinitely is just not cool.

 

 

So now onto the solutions, backup. backup backup. A new group of Bounty Hunters,  2 groups of 6 minion squads of them. Don't have them do much, but use the squad rules from the AoR GM screen to provide a meat shield for your PC's. Perhaps a field medic is with them as well and patches up your downed PC's so they dont sit there with nothing to do.

 

Possibly let your Droid player completely rebuild their character at this point too, its probably the nicest thing you can do for them, and encourage a mixed social combat character to match the newly unlocked personality, Gunslinger/Scoundrel could be a good combination or Charmer/Gunslinger.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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Ok so I got curious and actually read your full post ...   :o  That was a bit of a fool move on your part in dealing with the HK droid and forcing them to change sides. IF i ever did something like that then i would set a Discipline difficulty for that HK player to revert the change, its not a mem wipe but a restraining bolt of sorts. Then every single round i would ask for a roll as an incidental to check if the HK has broken through the restrainer. I would also be throwing setback a plenty at all of his other checks as the droid fights against its own directives... its a PC for crying out loud! having something fun, challenging and funny happen is always the goal, but railroading a PC into fighting their own allies indefinitely is just not cool.

 

 

So now onto the solutions, backup. backup backup. A new group of Bounty Hunters,  2 groups of 6 minion squads of them. Don't have them do much, but use the squad rules from the AoR GM screen to provide a meat shield for your PC's. Perhaps a field medic is with them as well and patches up your downed PC's so they dont sit there with nothing to do.

 

 

Possibly let your Droid player completely rebuild their character at this point too, its probably the nicest thing you can do for them, and encourage a mixed social combat character to match the newly unlocked personality, Gunslinger/Scoundrel could be a good combination or Charmer/Gunslinger.

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Firstly you need to get them out of this sticky situation but you want to make sure the PCs still shine, I'd do this by having some more minion Bounty Hunters turn up, they can lay down suppressing fire to force the pirates to take cover behind some crates or barrels, and give the PC's the same chance.

Secondly I'd give the droid player back control over his character.

Perhaps a discipline check to overcome his new programming it could be a good chance for him to achieve a higher level of sentience and removing his need to return to the Sith, or the Outlaw Tech should be good with computers encourage him to remotely slice the droid and revert to previous settings or even just set the pirates as the enemy and worry about getting his personality back later.

Thirdly what else is in the room?

If it's a pirates base I'd assume they have things looted from ships, any fuel cells, cannisters of liquid nitrogen or high stacked boxed the players could use against the pirates to gain the advantage.

That's my 2 cents

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You could always Bender (ep 1 Futurama) or 3PO the HK droid as well.  I like the Destiny point idea as well.  The biggest thing to remember as a GM is that you can fudge dice rolls and set odds in service of the story.  The story is number one.

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Have their foes jumped by a rival group and hopefully your players recognise the opportunity to escape maybe emp the droid pc so it can be recovered too if their player wants to continue playing that character.

As its primary motivation is to return to its master and has a better chance leading your Pcs there than the pirates!

If the others query simply have the droid state it needs to find its former master but the attempted reprogramming forces him to seek out some former sites he was posted to regain that lost information the fact there might be treasure there is purely coincidental!

Edited by copperbell

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Why not have the Empire or sector rangers turn up and arrest everyone? They would in theory support the BH crew but unless this is an officially sanctioned bounty the Empire would not differentiate between the two groups, only that they actually came for the pirates.  The pirates will most likely run if the authorities come knocking and the PC droid might be left behind or powered down.  Perhaps the Imps are accompanied by Lord Vader, a Sith and the droid has a sudden change of allegiance.

 

After this Vader states "I have no use for a protocol droid, nothing can replace poor C-3PO" and tells the droid to go on his merry way with the rest of the bounty hunter scum.

 

Problem solved!

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Ok so I got curious and actually read your full post ...   :o  That was a bit of a fool move on your part in dealing with the HK droid and forcing them to change sides. IF i ever did something like that then i would set a Discipline difficulty for that HK player to revert the change, its not a mem wipe but a restraining bolt of sorts. Then every single round i would ask for a roll as an incidental to check if the HK has broken through the restrainer. I would also be throwing setback a plenty at all of his other checks as the droid fights against its own directives... its a PC for crying out loud! having something fun, challenging and funny happen is always the goal, but railroading a PC into fighting their own allies indefinitely is just not cool.

 

Well to be fair, the player and I have talked about this certain scenario happening for a while. He does have a backup of his memories on the ship, and it is more that he has switched to his own side but is playing a part right now he isn't fighting them indefinitely. However, having him have an emergency backup that could be triggered is an interesting idea. 

 

 

Why not have the Empire or sector rangers turn up and arrest everyone? They would in theory support the BH crew but unless this is an officially sanctioned bounty the Empire would not differentiate between the two groups, only that they actually came for the pirates.  The pirates will most likely run if the authorities come knocking and the PC droid might be left behind or powered down.  Perhaps the Imps are accompanied by Lord Vader, a Sith and the droid has a sudden change of allegiance.

 

After this Vader states "I have no use for a protocol droid, nothing can replace poor C-3PO" and tells the droid to go on his merry way with the rest of the bounty hunter scum.

 

Problem solved!

 

Oh I like that idea, and could work pretty well. I don't know about having Vader show up quite so quickly though, especially just for some pirates. I want to see how the PC interacts with the new change and don't want the Sith to show up quite so soon. 

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My recommendation is factions, factions, factions....

 

Have the PCs ticked off anyone (the droid specifically)?  If so, they show up in order to capture the droid -- wholly unaware that he's reverted to his native programming.  If the droid hasn't irritated anyone sufficiently, have someone notice him at their last port of call and get an archaeologist involved who wants to study the ancient Sith technology he's so obviously representative of.

 

As this is a group of pirates, it's perfectly reasonable that the Sector Rangers, Imperials and/or Rebels also get involved.  For extra fun, include all 3 groups!

 

Now everyone's shooting at everyone else and hilarity ensues!  Everyone (including the PCs) has bigger problems to worry about and it becomes about trying to survive and escape more than it does about capturing or killing anyone.

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The alternative is that droid is dead. He failed his checks and got reprogrammed and that to most droid is no different then being killed. The droid is no longer the droid your friends are looking for and instead has reverted to his previous programming. Memory wipes are not something to be taken lightly and sometimes players make the wrong choice and end up climatically having to pay for it; it's like Zuckuss and 4-Lom, when the latter got his memory damaged the friendship that had been fostered were lost in an instant, in this case the droid PC could be a reoccurring nemesis and thus the best idea might be a form of compensation for the player for his loss in providing the rescue.

 

Alternatively this means at the moment unless another squad was to arrive this instant, the bounty hunters will probably have to leave their friends behind to escape, dramatically raising the stakes. Allow the displaced PC's to play temporary bounty hunters, the pirates making such a mockery of the guild has caused a escalation in response and immediately the new impromptu fleet sets sail for a decisive battle with the pirates. Issue is the bounty is now dead or alive.

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I agree with Lordbiscut. The droid is now an NPC and the player should be making a new character. The moral of that story is that you should not jump onto another ship by yourself when that ship is leaving. Especially if you are not a combat oriented character. Making him a recurring Nemesis is also a good idea

 

As for the rest of the group, they can run away. The Guild will be pissed about such a failure, and may want some recompense for the dead hunters (more obligation). The players now have someone they really dont like, motivating them to come up with all sorts of ways to go after these pirates.

 

This isnt a problem that needs to be fixed, as there is no requirement that the players always get to win. This is an opportunity to have a much longer, more detailed interaction with these opponents, as the players track the pirates down and haul them off to justice.

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I think you also have great opportunities on your hand. The crew is in a desperate situation and you have this droid character in the spot light. I think the droid character must NOT become a NPC. that should only happen if it's the result of the player willingly taking actions in that direction.

 

For the droid player, I think he must be allowed to retain control of his character. I would allow to do discipline checks to regain control. May be daunting check at first and then lower the difficulty incrementally. Being an assassin droid does not force him to obey the pirates. You can set this up in a way that what's is happening around the droid will influence the dice roll. For example, seeing one of his friend being shot at would get one boost die. May be the pirate captain will swear and say "By the name of XXX" where XXX is the Sith Master name, how will the droid react?

 

I think there is a way to build the situation so that each player would see that they should do everything possible to help the droid freeing itself from the pirate's grasp.

And then when it happens, let the assassin droid shine, let him be an instrument of destruction against the one trying to block him from reaching this old Sith master.

This would put the other player in a nice situation, they should help their old droid friend find his Sith master. May be he is dead, may be not, that is another story to tell.

 

I would encourage the player to use the destiny points, they can get free medpacks, they could find a place to hide in the ship while the droid is trying to free itself (think Terminator), they could have an asteroid hitting the pirate ship and everyone falling to the ground....

 

So I would advise not to throw this story out of the window, do something epic out of it.

 

I think that when Luke and his friends were on Bespin they were also in a very bad situation. They were betrayed, they were fighting against Boba Fett and Dark Vador at the same time ! Look what came out of it, Luke lost a hand but learned something very important, Han was captured and it became even more epic.

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Another possibillity (if not the mentioned Destiny Point) is to let you players use a Triumph.png for "Something Lifesaving happens"

 

"Since the HK-50 had stored his Memory Backup a board the Ship of the players and this is near enought to communicate with the HK-50, an former programmed automatic syncsignal of the ship sends an Upload to HK-50 returning his personality.

 

HK-50 needs one whole round to reboot... and is back to himself.

 

Another Triumph.png can be used for:

"The Pirates are not all so bound to theire captain at it seems. Suddenly to Piratedressed guys jump in the Room (1 Nemesis and 1 Rival) and start firing at the Captain and his men. it seems someoneelse wants to claim the title of captain and use the Bountyhunters as his opportunity to start his mutiny."

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Pirate number 3 double crosses pirate number 2, opening fire with ion cannons on the pirate ship and the gunfight.

The droid pc goes to sleep and any weapons more advanced than slug throwers stop working. Pirate number 3 recruits any surviving pirates and hands their captain over to the party saying "I've spared your lives, now you work for me" and they gain obligation to the man they are hunting.

Or the droids backup was stored in the ship's mainframe, emergency protocols kick in and awaken it. The pc plays the ship for the encounter while his body is controlled as a NPC. Should tip the scales back in the party's favour.

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I think a new faction might take the opportunity to attack. Imperials, rival pirates, a different group of bounty hunters. But since your PCs went in against a superior foe and were getting beaten I would most likely try to show them the value of a strategic retreat. I think that might be a more valuable lesson than to have them get backup to beat the baddies. They gambled and lost. Let them live with the consequences. 

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I think a new faction might take the opportunity to attack. Imperials, rival pirates, a different group of bounty hunters. But since your PCs went in against a superior foe and were getting beaten I would most likely try to show them the value of a strategic retreat. I think that might be a more valuable lesson than to have them get backup to beat the baddies. They gambled and lost. Let them live with the consequences. 

 

This really. If the players never ever suffered loss for their actions then it would be a boring story. Sometimes they have to retreat and that things are not turning out well, failure shouldn't necessary be the end, sometimes the party simply fails to do what they set out to do, their droid companion is lost and the players, having lost a lot of bounty Hunters to pirates have to beat a hasty retreat. The pirates, having fallen under extreme assault lately decide to beat a hasty retreat to Ode Mantel, and thus leaving a link directly into the Pirate queen and giving a very personal motivation to go on that quest. A quest of revenge against Pirate Captain 2 and 3, and if defeating the PC's don't grant them name and status? I don't know what will. 

 

Don't punish the player for losing his character and give him something equal to the lowest exp in the party but on the same note sometimes people's stories come to an end and in this case, the droid returns to his core programming and thus one story comes to an end and a new one begins. Of a party with a personal grudge against the pirates that evaded them twice.

Edited by Lordbiscuit

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Another idea would be to talk to the player and see if it’s okay to have the droid be an NPC for a few months, where the HK unit demonstrates just how effective it is by rising in the ranks of the pirates through murder, assassination, and various plots. He comes back as a BBEG in the not-too-near future, and then the party have the opportunity to rescue him and restore his backup.

In the meanwhile, the player would need to have another character, and I’m sure you could work out a compromise as to what that might be — perhaps a pirate that got captured or otherwise decided to leave the that life and “retire”, but now has all sorts of useful intel that can be used against them.

When the HK comes back, if the party is successful at restoring his previous programming, then it could be up to the player to decide which character he wants to move forward with, and the other one could become an NPC that works with the party, or die gloriously in battle saving the party, or whatever.

But I think the key here is to talk to the player and explore the kinds of options that might be available to you, and see what you can work into the story.

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If the players retreat they still have the droids backup memory, restore it to another body... he acted like a protocol droid, give him a body to match. It's a fitting "reward" for his stoopid actions.

Getting his original body back can be a plot arc, merging his memory with the modified programming in his body could unlock his hidden assassination programming.

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I am confused on why defeating the Party would result in a TPK, it would certainly result in capture of the PCs by the Pirates. Remember when players exceed their wound threshold than that results in them passing out they are not dead until a 151+ is rolled on the Crit. Table and even then they can be brought back with Force Power. I think the likely Pirate response is to use them as slaves or sell them off as such, unless the PCs escape that is... I don't see a mistake I see an interesting story unfolding.

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Alternatively, and this seems like a fun role-play way to do it. Yeah his old body has been re-purposed to a killing machine, and let him know this, but not the other players, the player should be on your side here. Have his backup placed into an R2 unit or medical droid. Just not a protocol droid or assassin droid, that's too easy. Tell them his old self has been programmed to follow the orders of the pirate captain and a few of his seconds. It's been equipped for death and maiming, good times.  

 

Make sure he knows that his old droid self has a restraining bolt, just in case... Also it has been programmed to attack with extreme prejudice against the pirate's enemies, in a smart but tactical way. No suicidal banzai runs. Provide the player the reprogrammed bodies new skills, wounds/strain/etc, on a real character sheet. The droid for all purposes will look and sound like it's old self, and why shouldn't it.

 

Next and don't tell the players this, the body has been modified in a number of ways.

 

booby-trapped against tampering (see below)

transponder beacon installed, but it doesn't broadcast, it's a passive device that will update it's location once at a major to medium population hub, dark space dock, imperial location, etc as needed by you the gm. As I said passive. no signal every emits from the body. it's like an RF chip, and unless you know what frequency you're looking for it should never really be found unless some major tear-down is preformed, and even then it may be over looked, a DAUNTING level test.

 

Built in mine to be remotely detonated if need be by the pirates, similar to a larger frag grenade say 10 DAM, but all the other stuff the same.

 

The anti-tamper device could either trigger the mine or release a stun toxin and broadcast a remote signal to the pirates, etc.  Get creative here.

 

What I've provided is some layers that allow you as the GM to have reasonable in-game reasons to be able to track the players travel, remotely disable some players, etc. 

 

The big thing here is making sure the droid player can play bad robot for you in a convincing manner. really have them play it up, like 3PO in the scene where it's head was attached to a battle droid. "Die Jedi SCUM!" 

 

Even let them spend Dark Side tokens. You may just tell the player that they are floating in some kind of computer matrix, looking for a way out, and the better they play the bad robot the sooner they can return to normal, or what they thought was normal. Have them make some rolls to slice their way out of the matrix, it will suck if they don't have an computer use to slice with. You might even have a PC slicer find the droid players backup somewhere within pirates holonet as well as a power-downed droid they might be able to slice together. This should take a number of turns to complete, a few rounds to find the back-up, with a the right roll noting the power-downed droid. then a few rounds to slice it together.

 

KSW

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I am confused on why defeating the Party would result in a TPK, it would certainly result in capture of the PCs by the Pirates. Remember when players exceed their wound threshold than that results in them passing out they are not dead until a 151+ is rolled on the Crit. Table and even then they can be brought back with Force Power. I think the likely Pirate response is to use them as slaves or sell them off as such, unless the PCs escape that is... I don't see a mistake I see an interesting story unfolding.

 

Winner winner chicken dinner!

 

I kept thinking, as I read the long post, why does anyone have to die (well, aside from the droid at this point - and even that's negotiable). Capturing them and throwing them into the slave pens to toil away on the Captain's Teka Nut farms or being forced to battle for their new master's pleasures in The Arena are perfectly acceptable outcomes - and open the door to eventual slave revolts and uprisings.

 

So yeah, drop the hammer on them!

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based on that idea, we can take a leaf out of The Empire Strikes Back: they escape narrowly, the droid is captured and need to be freed, they learn something chocking: rumors are that the Sith master is still alive.

 

The rumors will explain why the Droid does not stay with the pirates but free himself.

 

(Actually the other players could just try to convince the Droid that his master is alive and that they will help him locate him. That could be enough to turn the droid against the pirates... until he understand that the other players are winning time).

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I am confused on why defeating the Party would result in a TPK, it would certainly result in capture of the PCs by the Pirates. Remember when players exceed their wound threshold than that results in them passing out they are not dead until a 151+ is rolled on the Crit. Table and even then they can be brought back with Force Power. I think the likely Pirate response is to use them as slaves or sell them off as such, unless the PCs escape that is... I don't see a mistake I see an interesting story unfolding.

 

Winner winner chicken dinner!

 

I kept thinking, as I read the long post, why does anyone have to die (well, aside from the droid at this point - and even that's negotiable). Capturing them and throwing them into the slave pens to toil away on the Captain's Teka Nut farms or being forced to battle for their new master's pleasures in The Arena are perfectly acceptable outcomes - and open the door to eventual slave revolts and uprisings.

 

So yeah, drop the hammer on them!

 

 

Oh, I really like this idea!! I will have to incorporate this.

 

Because you are right, they stormed into a fortified position who knew they were coming and prepared for it. They walked into a trap, and now it springs. They shouldn't expect to win at everything just because they are PC's. 

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