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Aurin

Star Wars: Midnight Squadron [PbP] Shadows Over Veerstown [On Break]

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Episode 1

SHADOWS OVER VEERSTOWN

 

Turmoil spreads in the GORDIAN REACH.

In an effort to stabilize the region under Imperial

control, MOFF JAKOB KASS devised a resettlement

program where entire communities are relocated to

hard labor camps and detainees toil to fuel the

Imperial war machine.

 

However, the spark of rebellion flares on the planet

TORQUE; attacks against the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE

have become more and more commonplace. Moff Kass,

fearful of the repercussions from EMPEROR PALPATINE,

has ordered the settlement of  VEERSTOWN to be

destroyed in order to demoralize the rebels and

exterminate their foothold on the planet.

 

However, not all in Veerstown are ready to accept

this fate. Luckily, the Imperial forces brought several

transports, and one of these vehicles would allow these

would-be rebels to evade the Empire and survive to plan

their next move. Before they can escape the resettlement

camp,  however, they must deal with the Imperials

hot on their heels…

Edited by Aurin

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Torque Resettlement Zone 43, colloquially known as Veerstown, is a small shanty town set up on the outskirts of Torque Capital City, the planetary capital of the world of the same name and the seat of Imperial power in the Gordian Reach. Veerstown, like the many other resettlement camps, is comprised of sentients of all types. The bulk of the residents are farmers and colonists from a handful of worlds in the sector whose land was “purchased” by the Empire for strip-mining to feed the shipyards of Torque.  Others that have run afoul of the local government or the Imperial overseers have also found themselves levied with heavy fees. Left with few credits, many of these individuals end up in resettlement camps like this one, bound to a life of indentured servitude. Little more than a cluster of shacks and makeshift dwellings, Veerstown is nonetheless home to a large collection of beings without the resources to improve their station.

***

Mere minutes ago, Todak Nugi’s handheld holoprojector flickered to life. The holodisplay was grainy and prone to malfunction, but the scrap parts that he had used to assemble the device were in disrepair at best. At least it worked, sometimes. It had been ages since he had had access to new components and proper instrumentation. The blue translucent figure materialized from the small device. It was Maro Dunaste, an acquaintance from Todak’s past. Todak and Maro had been classmates at the University of Bar’leth. While not necessarily friends, the two had been friendly, and Todak had heard that Maro was stationed in Torque Capital City working for the Torque Transport Ministry. ”Todak – it has been years,” the blue, pre-recorded holoprojection begins. “When I heard that you had been detained in one of the RZ’s I could hardly believe it. But these days, one cannot believe everything that they hear from official Imperial communications. You are in grave danger. On orders from Sector Moff Kass, TRZ 43 is to be destroyed. Kass has dispatched the ISB to see the dirty work done. Gather your friends and love ones and flee. Your life depends on it.” The message complete, the holographic image fades out.

***

The moments following the holomessage had been a blur. The four companions – Todak, Ella, Div, and Tyco – step quickly into a dark alley between two of the shacks that comprise the majority of Veerstown’s dwellings. The Empire had arrived in force, just as Todak’s contact had warned. He had had barely enough to gather his friends before they were accosted by Stormtroopers. The group had fled before finding out if the Stormtroopers had meant to arrest or kill. Other than the troopers behind in persuit, nobody besides a grumpy Torq-cat witnessed the scramble into the alleyway. A quick look around reveals a few stacks of empty crates and a large trash bin. A rusty gutter pipe connects to the roofs overhead, and the other end of the alley isn’t that far.

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Welcome everyone! I'm excited to finally get started. The imperials are right on your tail. You need to decide if you are going to flee, fight, or hide?

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Div chews at her lip, tapping the fingers of her left hand against her thigh compulsively. She's finally getting the adrenaline kick she'd been waiting for, and she's utterly unprepared. Fishing the holdout blaster from the waistband of her work uniform, she turns it over in her hands a few times, shaking her head. The smuggled weapon was a nice bit of security, but right now it's feeling decidedly inadequate. "Call me a pessimist but I think we might be a bit outgunned here. Getting the hell out of here's our best bet, maybe swipe a speeder or something?" Glancing up and down the alley, she tries to piece together something resembling a plan. Planning was never her greatest skill, though. 

Making her way over to the pipe, she grips it and gives it a good tug, making sure it's sturdy. "Guess we could go up? Get a better vantage point at least, see what we're dealing with."

Edited by Tom Cruise

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Tycho stepped into the alley, searching for a way to slow their pursuers while Div scouted. He knew that they had no business pulling blasters on a fully equipped squad of Imperials. The pile of crates before them wasn't much, but it would have to do. 

"Ella, can ya give me a hand?" Tycho asked, as he began to use his wrench to try to jimmy the crates so they would collapse in the doorway. 

P1230479.JPG

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The last few days had been truly awful for Ella’asaren. For someone used to living on a starship, constantly travelling, being stuck on a planet for so long was weird and unpleasant. And cold. So very cold. To add to that, she was still worried about her siblings, he head still filled with questions. How had the Imperials known where they were supposed to drop the cargo? Did one of the crew betray them?

Right until she ended up in Veerstown, Ella had been convinced that the new pilot, Tycho Manin, had been an Imperial spy and that he had betrayed them. It was the only logical conclusion, the rest of the crew had been on the Stardancer for years. And then she had arrived in Veerstown and on the second day she ran into the Sullustan pilot. He’d been sentenced just like her, eliminating him from the list of suspected.

Ella was glad to see a familiar face, and soon got to know his closest friends in this Imperial hellhole. Ella had taken a liking to Todak, the clever Chadra-Fan who helped her fix the power supply on the old thermal cloak that Hartol had given her. She also fell into an easy rhythm with Div, spending her evenings discussing swoop racing and starships with the daredevil woman.

When Todak told her that the Empire was planning to do something horrible in Veerstown, Ella gathered up her meager belongings and ran with the group. Everything happened so fast. People were shouting, there were sounds of blaster fire in the distance and multiple Imperial ground vehicles were inside the camp. When ordered to halt by a patrol of Stormtroopers the four friends did the only rational thing. They ran.

Ella ran with the rest of them, but she soon realized that she wouldn’t last long. Living on a freighter, running over long distances had not exactly been an option and now she found herself breathing hard after only a few dozen meters. There was no way she’d be able to outrun soldiers, even if they were carrying the white armor and blaster rifles.

Thinking quickly, Ella comes to a conclusion. “Quick, we need to hide, get them off our backs and then find a way out of here. They will be able to coordinate with other patrols to corner us off, we can’t outrun them.”

She looks at Div’s small blaster pistol. “Where did you get that? Oh, never mind that now. It won’t do much good against so many armored soldiers, we can’t win a fight against them.”

When Div makes her way to a rusty gutter pipe that leads to the rooftop ahead, Ella remembers something her father once told her, when he taught her how to hide in the air vents above the main floor of the Stardancer. She had been worried that she’d be spotted through the grating, but her father told her to remain still. “People almost never look up if they are pursuing someone. The best way to hide is above them.”

She looks at Div. “I’ll give you a boost up, see if we can get out of sight up there,” she says.

 

I think our best option is to hide and let them pass us by. If Div wants to climb up the pipe Ella will hopefully be able to provide unskilled assistance, adding a boost to any Coordination check required to climb. Hopefully Div can then lend a hand when Ella follows![/quote

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Todak's large ears twitched as he looked back the way they had come, listening for the pursuing Stormtroopers.  His wide nostrils flared as they took in the scents of the alleyway.  "You speak wisdom Ella’asaren, and I am more suited to concealment than athleticism.  Nevertheless this wall is no cyperill tree, it is a relatively greater challenge for me than for large creatures such as yourselves.  If you can assist me I will join you in concealment on the summit of this building; I have superlative senses and can assist in keeping track of the Imperials.  However if running becomes necessary then I may slow you down or fall behind as I am of relatively diminutive stature.  Logically it may be better for all of you to leave me behind, in which case I will utilise my modest proportions to hide in one of these containers. If I am discovered at least I can distract them form further pursuit of the rest of you."  Todak looked up at the others hopefully.

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"No one gets left behind." Tycho grunted, miffed at Todak's suggestion. Todak could have sneaked out of Veerstown on his own, but instead he had tracked down his friends. They weren't about to leave the Chadra'Fan to the wolves. Tycho had learned long ago that loyalty to your comrades was the only thing worth fighting for. Now, his pilot brothers were gone, and it was only his fellow prisoners that remained. 

"Here, if you can't make it, we can pull these crates up to make the climb shorter. Once we're up, I'd be you can put those tools to use and snap that pipe off, in case our pursuers try to follow."
 

What I wouldn't give for a speeder right now, Tycho thought. Maybe there is one parked in the outskirts. Or maybe one of the Imperial dropships will be left unguarded. If they Imperials really had left an empty ship in their haste, Tycho relished the idea of playing 'em for Gamorreans and slipping by while the bucketheads weren't looking. 

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It sounds like we are all climbing to the roof to hide and get a better view, giving each other a hand and using the crates for boosts. Should we each roll athletics, or can one person roll for the group with us giving boosts? If we have extra advantage, we can potentially knock the crates down or break the pipe to prevent pursuit or confuse anyone following us. 

 

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Yeah, and if we run into trouble (and, let's face it, with Brawn 1 and no ranks in Athletics, Ella just might...) Ella actually has a rope by some weird quirk of fate. The problem is, I don't think we have time for that at all. In fact, getting all of us up that pipe will be stretching it, I think...

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Climbing up the drainage pipe is an average (2P) athletics check. The first person up receives one boost (for using the crates) while the subsequent folks will receive two boosts (one from the crates, a second from the help, per Tycho's suggestion). The high ground will provide cover for those who make it up the piping and will potentially avoid detection. For Todak, hiding requires an average stealth check to hide in the alleyway.

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"Alright, I'll get myself up there then pull you lot up." Dusting off her hands, she takes a firm grip on the pipe, wrapping her legs around it and starting to clamber up.

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Climbing pipe: 2eA+2eD+1eB 1 failure, 3 advantage
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She doesn't make it far, though, falling down when she's less than half way up, not doing much but wasting time. "**** it! Don't have time for this." She shakes her head, looking around for other options.

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Thinking I might spend those advantages on tugging loose some of the guttering in the fall to make the climb easier for the next person who attempts? Can't think of much else right now.

 

Edited by Tom Cruise

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When Ella'asaren sees Div fail to climb the pipe she realizes that they will never have the time to climb up there, one by one, before the troopers come around the corner. Seeing Todak scramble to hide in the alley, Ella follows his example. She looks at several crates before finding one that is on it's side with a small crack open in the back, facing the wall of the building. A larger person would never fit in there, but the slim Twi'lek has little trouble squeezing into the empty box.

As she looks at the box, she gets Div's attention. "Get up there," she half-whispers at her friends. "Todak and I will never make it up. We'll have to hide and hope they pass us by." Without waiting for a reply she removes her bulky Thermal Cloak and gets into the crate. 

Ella will attempt to use Stealth to hide from the troopers. I fear we may be rapidly running out of time...

Stealth to hide from Stormtroopers: 3eA+2eD 2 successes, 1 threat
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Hey! Success!

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Todak started to worry; seeing Div struggling to climb the walls he knew he would never be able to make it.  His rising panic was allayed by Ella's calmness and simple instructions, "Todak and I will never make it up. We'll have to hide and hope they pass us by."

"Yes yes, I will conceal myself post haste!" he said and quickly pulled out a tool from his belt.  With well practices ease he neatly cut through he fastenings of the top of the crate, discarded the packing materials inside and shut himself in the crate.  The neatness of the job made it almost impossible to tell the crate had been opened.

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Stealth to hide from Stormtroopers: 3eA+2eD 3 successes, 2 threat
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I think I've worked out how this dice website works from seeing the rolls the others have made (please correct me if I've messed it up), but I don't actually know how you work out Advantages and Threats in a PBP game, I've only ever played live before.  I threw in the thing about packing materials as something you could base a threat on, although given the Stealth roll was successful I'm not sure exactly how you might use it in a manner other than discovering him.

 

 

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Realizing escape might no longer be an option, the Sullustan sprinted across the alley and leaped into the trash bin. He dove headfirst, without a though for his body, cutting his sleeve as he dove. The smell of rotten rycrit stew buffeted him as he landed, and it was all he could do to avoid vomiting. 

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Deception to pretend to be dead: 4eA+2eD 4 successes
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Proposal for Div's advantage: Can she have slipped off the roof and landed on her back, with a little bit of the roof collapsing on her, obscuring her from sight?

He kept quiet, hoping the troopers would pass by without incident. As he waited, his body began to slowly sink into the garbage and rotten stew. Eh, at least there's no dianoga, Tycho thought.

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I’m fairly new to the ruleset as well, but tend to play fast and loose, so we’re all figuring it out together! And please correct me if I get something wrong… For threats and advantage in a PbP, I find it best to offer suggestions right after rolling. The easiest thing to do is reduce or take strain, or pass a boost / setback. For example, the two threat from Todak hiding could either take two strain, or add a setback die for him attacking from here given his poor angle, or something like that, anyway.

For Div's advantages, I didn't want to obscure her from view (since that was the goal of success). I did decide that the advantage made the Impies underestimate Div as a threat, and split the minion group.

 

Everyone falls into place seconds before a squad of four soldiers wearing white plastoid armor – the Empire’s elite Stormtroopers – round the corner into the alleyway. The lead trooper immediately surveys the situation. He looks to the trash bin, then to the crates, without noticing anything out of the ordinary. The red-shouldered trooper points at Div, out in the open, dangling from the broken drainage pipe. His voice crackles, sounding almost inhuman coming through his armor’s speakers. “You two, get that one. The others must have continued on. We’ll find them.” The squad splits, with two Stormtroopers enter the alley, approaching cautiously towards the ginger-haired youth. “Warning, do not resist. We will fire.

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We can now roll initiative. Those of you who successfully hid are able to use cool or vigilance and receive a boost for getting into a hiding position. Div - you'll roll cool (with no boost).

Initiative for Stormies: 3eA 1 success, 3 advantage
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Tycho laid in the garbage, listening to the activity outside. Div was in trouble. It sounded as if some of the troopers had caught her, though their was no sound of the rest of Tycho's allies. Maybe an ambush was still possible. 

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Initiative (Cool) for Tycho: 1eP+1eA+1eB 1 success, 2 advantage
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Can I spend my advantage to draw my slugthrower?

Tycho tried to ease his homemade pistol out of his jacket as quietly as possible, doing his best to keep the muck around him out of the fragile mechanism. He had crafted the barrel out of a re-calibrator that had snapped off one of the machines in the engineering shop. The firing mechanism had been more tricky, but with Todak's help he had constructed a working chamber and trigger from salvaged parts. The slugs that he had found weren't designed as bullets. They emitted a loud pop on impact, which Tycho suspected might actually serve to disorient a target even if they weren't powerful enough to get through plastoid armor.

Well, here goes nothing, Tycho thought. This human better be worth it. 

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Vigilance/Cool for initiative (same roll either way): 2eA+1eB 3 successes
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How are we doing initiative in PBP?  Are we still using the standard interchangeable player slots rule?  I've rolled well but I'm not sure Todak would be the first to start a fight.

Todak's large ears flicked inside his crate, listening and triangulating.  He could tell that Div had not made it into hiding and now she had been spotted.  He tensed himself, he knew the crate lid would come off easily if he kicked it, and he was currently well concealed, he could definately get the drop on the Stormtroopers.  But what then?  He wasn't a fighter, he didn't even have a weapon.  Quietly he fingered his tool belt and selected his largest hydro-spanner.

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Ella strings together whispered curses in her native Twi'lek tongue. She peers out of her hiding place, her face obscured by a dark shadow cast by the box. Div is in trouble. Lots of trouble. And they are practically unarmed. She looks around for a weapon, anything, but comes up with nothing useful. The best she can do is a broken, short and thin plastic stick. And that would be hard-pressed to kill even the pale-white cockroaches that infest the camp. She grabs it anyway, clutching it tight in her hand. She watches the troopers approach with apprehension. How would she be able to help her new friend?

 

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Cool for initiative in the alley: 4eA+1eB 2 successes, 6 advantage


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Boy are we in trouble... Two pea-shooters against two stormtroopers, with two more in the vicinity and lots more where that came from! I think I have a plan for Ella to contribute something to the fight, but that will depend on how the Stormtroopers act. I would therefore prefer to take a slot late in the initiative order. Makes sense for Div to take the first slot...

 

Edited by Kymrel

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Do you intend to use maps at all?  I'm unclear from your description if we are facing a pair of Stormtroopers in the alleyway with another pair waiting at the end, or if the second pair have moved away and it's just two we face.  

 

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Since we have a few spots before the troopers go, I'll go ahead and go. Unclear if my slugthrower can even penetrate their armor, but at least it will get them off Div.

Gonna take two manuevers to aim (for two strain) and an action to fire. Do I get any additional bonus as the troopers don't see me inside the trash bin? They are at short range so the difficulty is just one purple, right?

 

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I'm not usually one for maps (you don't want to see me draw) but I'll do my best to be better at the descriptions to orient you. You're facing two stormies, the other two peeled off (so you won't have to worry about them). In this instance, I actually do have a map! This is just to help you get the gist, but the two white dots are the stormtroopers and the four blue dots are you guys.

MS_-_01_-_Alley_Map_-_annotated.jpg?1489

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@aclarkbr90 - you can't use the initiative advantages since they are "used" in determining initiative order. It's short range; one maneuver to draw the slugthrower, one to aim, and then fire.

 

Edited by Aurin

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