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Hoth - Before the Battle

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Well, I've finally brought my AoR group to Hoth - something I'd promised them a while back.  I didn't want to throw them straight into the Imperial attack, so I had them sent out to search for a lost patrol - one that had been ambushed by a pack of Wampas.  The session went well, and I wanted to give them a little more to do at Echo base before the Imperials make their grand appearance - so, I was wondering if any other groups had ideas they could share.

 

I do have Strongholds of Resistance and I've read the Echo Base entry - the two suggestions in there for additional stories are dealing with Wampas (don't think I want to do that again, at least, as a primary focus) and a supply run (I don't really want to send them offworld now that they're at the base).  I was hoping other people might have some suggestions.  Any thoughts?

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Unwelcome neighbours. A band of pirates has set up a base nearby. They don't appear to be aware of Echo base yet but they need to be dealt with otherwise they might inform the Empire.

 

Man against the elements. A patrol hasn't reported in and the party need to form a search party to look for them. The team need to pit their wits against the extreme conditions that the planet has to offer if they are going to locate and rescue their comrades.

 

Frozen in time. A long range sweep locates a crashed Clone Wars era spaceship. What treasures could it's frozen holds contain.

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Ah, hmm, remember the Snowspeeders weren't ready yet the night Luke doesn't return, forcing Han to take a Tauntaun instead.  Maybe some key parts were missing and the party is out getting them.  They return successfully in time to send out the Snowspeeders the next morning to rescue Solo and Skywalker.  That way your party become part of the events we see onscreen.

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Sounds like your group is going with it better than mine did. We were playing Edge of the Empire and I had the group drop off some cold weather gear as a favor from their boss to the Rebellion. One of them wanted to leave IMMEDIATELY. He is Pro-Empire (the player, not his character) and he was completely metagaming the fact that he knew the attack was coming.

What I had planned for them to do was head out during the beginning of the battle to check on one of the outposts. The outpost would be being overrun as they'd arrive. I had 5 minion groups of snowtroopers and a single AT-ST (if that got dropped quickly, I'd reinforce with another). They had access to an E-Web, a minion group of Rebels and one of those Tower infantry cannons as well as a rocket launcher.

It would have been a pretty good fight

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You've already had a trek outside. Perhaps a session inside the base so it isn't knew to them when the attack beings?

 

Do they have the confidence or rebel leadership at the base? Perhaps some intrigue as they are pulled aside and asked to investigate allegations of an Imperial mole that has weaseled himself/herself/itself (could be a droid) into the rebels. He could turn out to not be an Imperial agent at all; someone with a score to settle against him that made false allegations. If he is an agent, then you might have to explain why the agent hasn't been able to send a message off world. Perhaps he just arrived when the PCs did after getting a ride onto a shuttle headed to the base (somehow replaced the actual new rebel recruit). The agent hasn't been able to procure access to any comms so he could report where the shuttle took him. Him trying to gain access to the rebels' one holonet transceiver could be what the PCs end up thwarting?  If he's not caught by the time of the attack, you could have him trying to sabotage the ion cannon or at least reveal its location to an Imperial assault group (a battle we didn't see on screen). The PCs are there trying to stop him when an Imperial raiding party drops in to destroy the cannon before it can zap any Star Destroyers.

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Perhaps a murder mystery? If base personnel start going missing or show up dead, the obvious assumption would be an Imperial agent. But that could easily prove to be a red herring after the players have had some time to lose their minds searching for an Imp, only to eventually find their way onto the trail of, well, almost anything you can think of.

- A rebel commando who's seen too much and lost their mind.

- A depraved smuggler making some scalp-money on the side.

- A serial killer hiding amongst the ranks.

- An undocumented emergent who has been corrupted by the Dark Side.

- A sophovoric life form capable of disgusing itself as its victims.

- An improperly reformatted droid suffering from multiple personality disorder.

etc, etc

Of course, if you like plot twists with your plot twists, it could always turn out to have been an Imp all along, using one of the above (or even the PC's!) as a patsy...

Edited by Azraiel

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On the subject of murder mysteries above, Hoth in a blizzard is a perfect setup for a closed box type mystery. Murder on the Orient Express takes place I believe while the train is snowed in for example (you're in a cargo convoy carrying supplies and a ***** array of passengers to a forward intelligence station codenamed Eista Nbul. A wealthy young gentleman adventurer who has a commission solely for the money he gave to the rebellion is found dead onboard even as you are marooned by a sudden blizzard).

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These are some great ideas - thanks, all.  I do like the idea of keeping them inside the base for a session or two, now that they've been outside.   Might see if I can find a way to introduce specific features of the base that they'll later have to defend when the battle starts.

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So, there’s a major blizzard coming, and the base will have to be locked down for a couple of days.

Gives you time to go investigate some of those more remote parts of the base that no one ever goes down — or returns from.

Where are the Wampa cages again?  And what about the things that feed on Wampas?

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If you want to mess with your players to some extent, I'd suggest having each segment you include have some sort of hook suggesting this could be the Empire's big arrival. The first one or two they should be genuinely concerned, thinking the Empire are here; the third, they'll probably be a bit annoyed that each one you pull back. The fourth they should go out assuming they're just going off on another wild Wampa chase, and instead encounter an AT-AT landing barge.

It's what I'd do, anyway.

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