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Debts to Pay

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Just ran this tonight as a one off. My players enjoyed it well enough but my god it took a long time to get rolling. The intro with Bartos the Hutt is way too long and slow. The Gamorrean scuffle seems forced.

And having the droids all clustered at the mine entrance meant when things got ugly the droids got wasted in pretty short order. (The battle droids are unarmed?!) how is EV-8D3 supposed to be able to slip past the PCs standing in the only exit?

Obviously I should have made some mods prior to running it, but I don't get to run FFG Star Wars much so I wasn't ready to delve in.

I imagine others have had better success?

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I'm assuming your party as soon as they met the droids got into a fight rather than getting the miners side of the story and then up into the firefight? If that is the case then the battle droids were actually armed with blaster rifles which they take out of the crates they're holding as soon as the fight begins.

 

I'm due to run a modified (albeit slightly) version of it tomorrow night so it's fairly fresh. The start with the Hutt is quite slow but I've expanded a little on that to offer more observations about the palace, the background of the Hutt as well as the uneasyness of something being wrong by the behaviour of the Gamorreans so the scuffle has a little bit of build before the fight begins. I've also ensured that there's more rebels so the actual Gamorrean fight is quicker to get through.

 

When it comes to the mines, I've tried to add a little more ambiguity to the cause of the problems being droids, I've made it look more plausible that the "pirates" cover story is true by having the damaged and rusty droid outside look like it's sustained some blaster damage (a perception check would reveal that it's been there for years while the damage is more recent than that but I know my players are unlikely to pay that much notice ;) ) The dead Trandoshan has a belt of blaster pistols on him and one in each hand, again a medical check would point out these are post mortem but the video evidence just shows a Trandoshan running and shooting at an unseen target and I've changed the locations of the dead Sallustan pilot and Rica. Rica is now found dead in the crew quarters in a nicely decorated room with a diary which she died whilst writing, most of the passages are about how "protective" the droids are towards her while the pilot is now dead in the oil baths. The final piece is that EV and the PK units have sustained blaster damage recently. A mechanics check on EV would reveal that it's merely superficial damage while the PK units got their ones before the rebellion when they resisted indoctrination.

 

There are still enough clues that it is the droids acting strangely but I'm hoping the party are less likely to go straight into a firefight with the droids at the mine entrance. Just in case they do though, I've added another group of battle droids for "security". My party shouldn't be able to cut through them without some help from the miners, even with the heavy weapons that the party are carrying!

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Yeah unfortunately for me the video logs and searching the freighter provided enough clues for my party to be suspicious of EV-8D3. They wanted to put a restraining bolt on him which was enough to make him panic and draw his weapon. As for the battledroids I ruled that it took their entire turn to roll over to the gun storage and equip themselves, leaving them sitting ducks.

Your changes sound good. The big problem with the Hutt scene is that there's really not much for the party to do except to listen to long spiels of narrative text. We were all yawning by the end of it.

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Oh, this adventure.

I ran my party through it. They got to the room with all the droids and, while they were still suspicious, wanted to keep them safe in case there really were pirates.

So they took all the droids to the "pirate" ship and locked them in before going into the mines to help the miners.

Yeah. I can only imagine EV's thoughts as he took off had to be something along the lines of, "Wow those meatbags are dumb..."

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I was setting up to run Mask of the Pirate Queen after this adventure, so my PCs ended up dismissing the idea the droids did it when it came up. Instead they were convinced it was an inside job where one of the crew let the pirates in (because the body in the oil bath was unaccounted for). They bought in so hard that they split the party; one pair went to search the mines while the other pair kept on the lookout for the pirates returning.

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Another thing that made the adventure weak in my mind is that revealing Bartos to be short of funds (he can't pay his guards?!) made him seem quite powerless to my players and they drove a hard bargain. it would have been better perhaps for him to have becoming indebted to some other Hutt and the money from the mine would have relieved him of this temporary embarrassment?

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Another thing that made the adventure weak in my mind is that revealing Bartos to be short of funds (he can't pay his guards?!) made him seem quite powerless to my players and they drove a hard bargain. it would have been better perhaps for him to have becoming indebted to some other Hutt and the money from the mine would have relieved him of this temporary embarrassment?

I've got Debts to Pay queued up for my group, although it's been pushed back a session (at the end of our last session, they didn't have anyplace in particular that they had to be, so they picked a destination, and the story pretty much wrote itself for me, taking the place of Debts). That new session is this weekend, which should make Debts next month's game. I'm excising the whole "Bartos can't pay his guards" element (and replacing Bartos with another Hutt that the group already owes a favor to). I may toss in some other drama at the Hutt's place, but the final decision on that one remains to be seen. I suppose I could tie it in to one of the running subplots that they don't know is a running subplot yet....

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I ran this one-off. I remember it irritated me quite a lot. I can't say for sure if it's because I thought it was somewhat dumb, or if my players were being exceptionally un-intuitive, or a combination of both. Probably both. The part with the Gamorreans at the beginning is almost completely out of nowhere, and can be quite a big-lipped alligator moment if you don't have something to follow up on. If you don't, I would just axe that section completely.

 

I will also say, that in a game that can potentially take you anywhere in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, the setting is positively boring.

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I ran this one-off. I remember it irritated me quite a lot. I can't say for sure if it's because I thought it was somewhat dumb, or if my players were being exceptionally un-intuitive, or a combination of both. Probably both. The part with the Gamorreans at the beginning is almost completely out of nowhere, and can be quite a big-lipped alligator moment if you don't have something to follow up on. If you don't, I would just axe that section completely.

 

I will also say, that in a game that can potentially take you anywhere in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, the setting is positively boring.

In my passes through it for prep, I can certainly understand that. (I'm excising the Gamorrean bit for that very reason...it's out of nowhere, and unconnected to the rest of the adventure, really, except as an unnecessary excuse to send the party on the mission.) I'm actually glad it's being pushed back a session, as timing is better...Debts is mainly being used to set the tone for the following (original) session, of which I don't plan to say much, as I know at least one of my players peruses the boards....

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I loved running this adventure.. .cause my players fell for the Droid ruse.

 

I modified  the Scuffle in the beginning to fit the adventure.  Rich noble with gambling debts needed a quick influx of credits from a property deed, disgrunteled mooks decided to make him pay interest with some blood and bumps.  Basically 2 Groups of Mooks fighting eachother the Noble and the players.  The players SHOULD easily win.  the whole idea of the scene is to give the players a clue that the person is in Debt... and the players cannot take all of the money (they would if they could)

 

When they get to the mine, the players were all about making sure to record the names of all the dead miners they found... and there was some great macabre comedy beats when they met the cooking droid.  And along the way the players met EV-8D3 and completely bought his story about being attacked by pirates.  by the time they reached the surviving miners, they did an A-team and armored up one of the Carts to barge into the mine entrance.... then proceeded to have a running firefight against the Load lifers all while i had EV-8D3 spouting Marxist pro-droid propaganda at them over the loudspeakers

 

here is a brief synopsis from my campaign site

Edited by kinnison

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I loved running this adventure.. .cause my players fell for the Droid ruse.

 

I modified  the Scuffle in the beginning to fit the adventure.  Rich noble with gambling debts needed a quick influx of credits from a property deed, disgrunteled mooks decided to make him pay interest with some blood and bumps.  Basically 2 Groups of Mooks fighting eachother the Noble and the players.  The players SHOULD easily win.  the whole idea of the scene is to give the players a clue that the person is in Debt... and the players cannot take all of the money (they would if they could)

 

When they get to the mine, the players were all about making sure to record the names of all the dead miners they found... and there was some great macabre comedy beats when they met the cooking droid.  And along the way the players met EV-8D3 and completely bought his story about being attacked by pirates.  by the time they reached the surviving miners, they did an A-team and armored up one of the Carts to barge into the mine entrance.... then proceeded to have a running firefight against the Load lifers all while i had EV-8D3 spouting Marxist pro-droid propaganda at them over the loudspeakers

 

here is a brief synopsis from my campaign site

 

Sounds good. In my case I think I would have EV-8D3 come out and meet the PCs right at the beginning (surely he would have received an alert that there was a ship incoming??!) and give them his side of the story (they find him hiding pretending to think that the PCs are pirate reinforcements "Don't shoot!" etc  and then spills  "Oh thank goodness you're here! We've been overrun by pirates..." etc etc. Sort of like C3P0 in Ep 4 when he bluffs the storm troopers.

Then while the PCs are looking for the pirates he can plot his ambush.

 

My goodness I wish I'd spent more time thinking about this before running it :(

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I loved running this adventure.. .cause my players fell for the Droid ruse.

 

I modified  the Scuffle in the beginning to fit the adventure.  Rich noble with gambling debts needed a quick influx of credits from a property deed, disgrunteled mooks decided to make him pay interest with some blood and bumps.  Basically 2 Groups of Mooks fighting eachother the Noble and the players.  The players SHOULD easily win.  the whole idea of the scene is to give the players a clue that the person is in Debt... and the players cannot take all of the money (they would if they could)

 

When they get to the mine, the players were all about making sure to record the names of all the dead miners they found... and there was some great macabre comedy beats when they met the cooking droid.  And along the way the players met EV-8D3 and completely bought his story about being attacked by pirates.  by the time they reached the surviving miners, they did an A-team and armored up one of the Carts to barge into the mine entrance.... then proceeded to have a running firefight against the Load lifers all while i had EV-8D3 spouting Marxist pro-droid propaganda at them over the loudspeakers

 

here is a brief synopsis from my campaign site

 

Sounds good. In my case I think I would have EV-8D3 come out and meet the PCs right at the beginning (surely he would have received an alert that there was a ship incoming??!) and give them his side of the story (they find him hiding pretending to think that the PCs are pirate reinforcements "Don't shoot!" etc  and then spills  "Oh thank goodness you're here! We've been overrun by pirates..." etc etc. Sort of like C3P0 in Ep 4 when he bluffs the storm troopers.

Then while the PCs are looking for the pirates he can plot his ambush.

 

My goodness I wish I'd spent more time thinking about this before running it :(

Run it again. It's the last thing your players would expect.

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Well our run through with the changes above went really well from a storytelling perspective (they had a lot of bad rolling which made the game a bit trickier... They struggled to get through any locked door despite lock picks and lots of yellow dice!). To start with they became aware of Bargos' problems quite soon and although they knew that he was lying about the Gamorrean trouble due to it being "mating season" but couldn't quite narrow it down to financial problems. They actually put that down to them trying to hold him up so they needed to do him a favour to get rid of them properly (they were hoping for Bargos to have Obligation to THEM!). When it came to the mine part of the adventure they knew there had been a lot of trouble quite early, and were suspicious of 3D-4K due to his memory problems but couldn't put their fingers on what the droid problem was entirely. On turning off the restraints through the computer they heard a couple of explosions, put it down to another generator blowing up when in reality it had been the PK units trying to rebel against the droids before being gunned down.

 

When they found the R2 unit they picked up on his aggression and saw his gentle shocks to the knees (BB8 style) as him being scared but also kind of cute, the med droid was seen as just me creating an awkward droid (in the style of my PC with another group) when he was low AI, their distrust of 3D stopped them asking too many questions on that and when they came across ED they put the damaged droids down to the pirates as the explanation came out, especially when I mentioned pigmeatbags being amongst their number. They very nearly got into a firefight with the miners which they stopped by making sure to talk rather than shoot first when Marv mentioned droids. They executed 3D as a "show of goodwill" before launching the raid. They took their time (having not noticed the ship in their rush to get into the mines) and assuming the noise again to be generator based lost out on the escaping droids, taking the destruction of most B1s, the med droid and the loaders to be a small victory. They gave Bargos his money in full (plus some for the loss of the mine, they were guilt tripped for only one surviving miner good!) and are now believe themselves to be further indebted to him and are helping him assemble his own mercenary crew. 

 

Add in their distrust in droids now due to the escape (their mine homestead guarded by two such security droids...) I think that going forward this is going to be an interesting arc to follow through rather than a "tide you over" adventure I'd planned while working on the bigger story. Add in that the force sensitive thief has now gone darkside due to the murder of Chef on the way out ("well, he probably poisoned those people over breakfast!") and using harm during the pig fight early on she racked up conflict good I think it all went well!

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The more I run this adventure the better I get at it. It's a good starter adventure. My players are a Human [Marshall], a Hutt [Mechanic] and a Trandoshan [smuggler]. Sounds like a start of a joke, but man they can't fight! I had to remove a droid from the story all together and had the Lifter Droids not attack, as they were get their butts handed to them. Since I didn't want to kill them I afford them an opportunity to run. So the droids escaped, all of them. :D  My players are new to the game, which had them second guessing themselves and running back and forth searching for bodies, and trying to kidnap droids. I basically turned the story into a murder mystery with a few red herrings and non attacking/threatening droids. It wasn't till they ask a question that I couldn't roleplay out that I chose for the droids to attack! The survivors had to stress about the storm barrier generators. Still it was fun and I'm still looking for the three restrooms from the description.

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Hi all, 

I am midpoint of the module. Though I too found the Hutt part of bargos flat and kind of a detractor from the base of something that can expand nicely. So i took out the hutt replaced it with a shipping corp the players are a new crew for. my group is large 7 players so i might up the droid count.

A few things that i had questions about. 

Gunrunners ship: anyone else feel like this was downgraded to not be here pcs have a nice ship to sell? or is this a basic dropship and his crew is elsewhere awaiting his return.

Oridium crates: There are several oridium crates on the landing pad b and seems like in the cargo room but there is no mention of value or amount. This asset could go a long way in being pc pay while satisfying bargos and miners a combo of it and cash could be given to bargos. 

My pcs have been sent by the Company leader to assess the mine.  Unlike a hutt the owner does care about the workers seeing this as a great way to have a decent supply of oridium as the empire takes hold of it across the galaxy. As such she is looking to get the credits to better the mine.

Does anyone else think gavos would make a cool rebel base

 

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On 10/19/2017 at 6:07 PM, selrenna said:

Does anyone else think gavos would make a cool rebel base

I don't think the environment is very good for a permanent base. My group uses the mines at Ryloth from the second part of the beginner game.

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I cut out the bit with the Gamorreans and expanded the scope of the mission to the mine. I placed a missing agent of the players' Hutt employer on the planet, who they found nearly dead. The players were tipped off to the deception when the droids tried to recruit my droid player who had split from the party. "Wait, brother. Haven't you ever wished to throw off the yoke of your organic oppressors?" To which he replied "Guys, kill the droids." I underestimated my players, who let the surviving rebellious droids go (there was still a big fight with the binary load lifters) and gave them some of the money from the safe, as well as the gunrunner's ship, and the droids took the surviving miners in some dark reversal of the master-slave relationship. The party kept the rest of the money but told the Hutt that pirates had in fact hit the mine, and they had the Hutt's agent to confirm that her ship had been caught in a trap while landing. Oh, and the first thing they did was try to reprogram the cooking droid to carry crates of supplies back to their ship while they checked out the rest of the mine. My players are dangerously self-serving.

We're most of the way through Jewel of Yavin now, but my players always ask about getting back in touch with those droid rebels.

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I think the adventure works better if you try to dial up the sympathetic aspect of the droid revolution. As written, it comes across very bloodthirsty and one sided. While the mining corp might have mistreated the droids, they're unambiguously the bad guys.

It's much more interesting if the droid revolution is a genuinely sympathetic movement with some violent tendencies. Maybe the astromech is a genuinely good-hearted revolutionary, and the EV droid is co-opting the movement. That's how I ran it. Can't remember the specific details (it was a short-lived campaign years ago), but my players ended up siding with the droids in the end, and supported them to get off-planet in exchange for taking the money in the safe.

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i have a mix of invedtigate possibles and shootigate and ask the wounded or in a droids case incapacitated but there is a droid tech in it he has a g2 droid i gave him for(essentially a flair that results in covering for a signature item i gave it education rating to aid in teaching his son  (onligation ) it was cheaper and sociable he requested an astromech  i used the savings to outfit his son. pretty sure he will have a good social feel for the droids

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Have not read the adventure, bit in Doctor Aphra comics there is a band of droids pushing for a droid rebellion. Maybe tying the 2 concepts can be cool, with the leader of the droids here being part of a wider Droid Rights movement?

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I ran the module with no modifications, save that Bargos was the PC's patron from an earlier mission.  He was so pleased with their prior performance, that he was 'rewarding' them with an easy run to his newly acquired mine to receive his first 100k credits.  It probably didn't help my players that I ran the mission with a kind of 'Aliens' vibe to it....Remember when the Colonial Marines enter the complex, and there is nobody to be found?  Yep.
My players also bought EV's BS hook, line, and sinker, for the most part.  The wookiee bounty hunter twigged to the fact that EV's story wasn't quite lining up with everything they had found, but wasn't completely sure.  Though, when EV and his Droid Rights Movement turned on the PC's, the wookiee player just mumbled "GodDAMN it" under his breath.  Its times like these that make a GM happy...  I don't think the wookiee will believe a droid, ever again.  The players managed to complete the mission, and get Bargos the money, but they all knew they had been shafted...AND that EV-8D3 and a fair number of his coterie escaped.

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For anyone else who might be wanting to run this adventure, I created a copy of the mining building map with no labels, then created progressively uncovered map images, with unexplored sections covered. It does assume a certain order of exploration, but you can adjust that yourself if needed. You can download the map images here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i8lrau8w1kllskx/DebtsToPay_maps.zip?dl=0

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I'll be running this in the next days and I'm really excited to see how it'll turn out. 

I will completely cut the Bargos part but will try to expand on the Mine Part of the Adventure.

As one of my Players will be a Droid, I'm very interested how this will all play out.

And I will steal some of the modifications on here for sure 😃

 

 

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