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kinnison

Beyond the Rim, thoughts (Obvious spoilers)

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As for strain, it was easy to narrate during the failed checks through the brush to get to the site, Many of the characters were very unfamiliar with this environment and I just kept playing on that, the team did use a DP to have a torch available to smoke out the bugs....they still got one player but no real damage just more of a nuisance.

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Our group is finishing up episode 3 this Thursday. 

 

A few things that I ended up doing a little differently:

 

ISB got the tracking device on the PCs ship, they didn't think to leave a guard, or scan before departure. 

 

Our Wookie cleaved a Yiyar gang member in two in the cargo bay during the droid kidnapping...and the rest of the PCs managed to drop Yav with stun shots just before Security arrived. Yav's crew grabbed him and dragged him aboard their ship. One rodian rolled a despair, and tripped over the grav sled as the ramp was going up and the Nighflyer blasted out of the station leaving him and IT-3 behind.

 

PCs rolled well on their jump to Cholganna, so ended up in the nebula cloud, fixed their sensors rather quickly and descended towards the planet to scan for debris. They found the pod fairly quickly, but after hearing the description about how they had to access it, IE no landing next to it, or lowering people down to it, they completely bypassed it. I tried dropping the hint a few times that they still had that as an option and they ended up not ever biting. 

 

They found the Engine section first, landed by the lake and decided to have the mechanic rig a jetbike engine to the boat/skiff. Hilarity ensued. They got to the engine section, were set upon by an arboreal octopus which they dispatched without too much trouble, and proceeded to search the wreckage....there wasn't anything to find here, so after they spent all that time searching, I had them find a small lock box on one of the submerged levels. This was all thought up on the fly, so when they said they were going to pry it open, I quickly came up with 'Republic era data crystals' which I explained were like 5-1/4" floppy disks in a flash memory era, so they (and I) have yet to determine what is on them.

 

They returned to their ship just in time to see the Yiyar's ship making a high scanning pass over the area. They moved to engage, and got owned. No pilot specs in teh party, and its a base-model yt-1300...that combined with bad rolls, I was forced to have the ship disengage before they shot down the PCs (only 3 Hull Threshold left!). Some more scanning revealed what could be the rest of the ship, which they examined and were of course ambushed by cyber-nexu in the hull. They left IT-3 on the ship with their NPC slicer so I was unsure what to do about the homing beacon. 

 

I ended up having IT-3 activate it anyway, and as soon as the PCs took out the last cyber-nexu, they were comlinked by the slicer telling them they had visitors at their ship....Session ended there.

 

Next session started up with them meeting Harsol and his backup on the reevos, just as Yav anf his gang landed...right next to their ship. Harsol leads them all to the camp and the negotiations start. The Politico in our group is a charm bot and ended up knocking all of his rolls out of the park.  Since Yav and friends did so poorly in the negotiations, I had them attempt to break into Cratala's lab the night before they were all supposed to leave. The Smuggler in the group is the observation bot, but ended up utterly failing the roll to hear the break in form their quarters....but he rolled a triumph....so, I said "You don't hear anything unusual, but you suddenly have the irresistible urge to empty your bowels...the arboreal octopus sushi you had that night just didn't sit right."

 

So he runs out side, drops trou, and sees some commotion over by the lab. He recognizes the rodians and trandoshans and tosses a stun grenade at their feet. A split second later, a stun grenade rolls in from behind him and bumps into his boot. Hilarity ensues. The wookiee grabbed the trandoshan's head and shock gloved him into unconsciousness. Harsol comes out, they round the rest up and lock them into the Nexu cage. 

 

Just when they are about to leave, guess who rumbles over the camp...yep, the ISB and the Imperial Scout troopers on the Deep Dark. probe droids descend on the masses and aren't too difficult to dispatch, so I have one crawl down the middle of the main gates and self destruct...blowing the gates apart and collapsing one of the guard towers....Speeder bikes arrive and ride right into camp. Wookiee tackles the sgt, knocking him from his bike...they brawl on the ground until the trooper gets a crit on the wookie with a vibro-knife....wookiee already has a crit, and with viscous 2 he rolls severed arm! The troopers are eventually pacified and the wookiee is stabilized. Session ends there. 

 

Will add the rest in an edit...this is taking a while to write ;)

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I used the Yiyar clan on Cholganna to get the survivors to trust the PCs.  Both groups got taken to the Camp, and then the PCs uncovered a kidnapping plot to grab Cratala.  They provided information to Harsol and laid a trap (risked their own lives) to prove their sincerity. 

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My players have really made a (fantastic!) mess out of this adventure. Since they started it with about 275 XP each and there are six of them, I 'tuned it up' to make it harder. Here are some highlights:

 

The Yiyar clan stole the droid because one of the PCs was being followed by a trio of journeyman bounty hunters. When the fight broke out, the PCs decided it was more important to keep one of their own safe than to stop the Rodians.

 

The exploration of Cholganna went according to plan, with the PCs arriving first (Yiyar left first, but the PCs have the faster hyperdrive).

 

When the Imperials appeared, I substituted 12 Pathfinders (from AoR Beta) to represent ISB Enforcment troops (basically a FBI HRT team) and six of the probe droids. No speeder bikes. The Skywatcher is an ISB ship, not a scout vessel.

 

The probe droids appear and create a panic. Yiyar clan and their Trandoshan mercenaries (I added three to the five Rodians) escape into the jungle as the PCs help the Retreat. One droid downed and one damaged before the probe droids retreat. PCs come up with a plan to get to their ship (and to try and steal the Yiyar's ship too).

 

ISB has taken up positions near the ships and booby trapped the hatches. Half of the PCs encounter a squad of four ISB Enforcers firing from concealed positions. They run for it and escape, but not without suffering many Wounds and a few Criticals, and get to their ship - where one of them is caught by the booby trap and is incapacitated, Too bad it was the pilot...

 

The PCs' ship takes off just as the Skywatcher moves to intercept. PCs' ship is a superior vessel, but isn't being manned by the better crew (only one untrained pilot and gunner!). They still do OK and drive off the Skywatcher but not before taking considerable damage (more then the Skywatcher, but it doesn't know that they used the last of their concussion missiles and didn't want to risk it). The PCs take their ship back towards the Retreat.

 

Meanwhile, the other half of the group is making a run on the Yiyar ship. They notice the booby trap and make use of it to blow the hatch. So far, so good. They move in to get the vessel started and have to fight off a boarding action of four ISB Enforcers. The boarding action was brutal with many Destiny flipped. The PCs take out three of the Enforcers, but lose one of their own (down with 22 Wounds [WT 16] and 5 criticals!) and lock themselves into the bridge. They begin flying the Yiyar ship only to notice that an escape pod jettisons. A moment later there is an explosion in the engineering bay and the ship begins to crash (propulsion is out). The PC flying the ship makes an amazingly successful roll against RRPPP with 4 setback dice and puts the ship down without any further damage (although it is snared in the foliage)!

 

So right now three of the PCs (only two conscious despite stimpacks) are back at the Retreat with their damaged ship (which will require repairs before being spaceworthy). Three of the PCs (only two conscious) are in the crashed Yiyar ship in the jungle well off course from returning to the Retreat.

 

Nine ISB Enforcers remain in the jungle. They have the Skywatcher in orbit. It is already calling for reinforcements. The Enforces know they only need to delay the repairs of the starships for a few days and then help will arrive.

 

The Yiyar clan and it's mercenaries are also in the jungle trying to figure out how to survive (and maybe still profit from) this situation.

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We just got through the POD portion. Only three players were there that night and two went to explore the pod, the third stayed behind to guard. I did not use the green bugs here, as the spoiler was out on Wookiepedia, but used this as an opportunity for the arboreal octopii to attack. I made me a bit nervous as there were attackers against 1 PC.  The octopii got a successfull stealth check and I gave 2 of them a free attack. One against the I3-PO i had be automatic grab and the second rolled against the player (no successes on 3 advantage).  The player was able to take them out (with a little long range assist from another PC).

 

I wasn't sure how the combat was going to work out I was afraid it was going to mean the loss of a PC....He only took one hit...but it took out almost half of his hit points.    When they go to fight the nexu, it will be scary...good thing they have a wookie with a vibro-ax.

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We just got through the POD portion. Only three players were there that night and two went to explore the pod, the third stayed behind to guard. I did not use the green bugs here, as the spoiler was out on Wookiepedia, but used this as an opportunity for the arboreal octopii to attack. I made me a bit nervous as there were attackers against 1 PC.  The octopii got a successfull stealth check and I gave 2 of them a free attack. One against the I3-PO i had be automatic grab and the second rolled against the player (no successes on 3 advantage).  The player was able to take them out (with a little long range assist from another PC).

 

I wasn't sure how the combat was going to work out I was afraid it was going to mean the loss of a PC....He only took one hit...but it took out almost half of his hit points.    When they go to fight the nexu, it will be scary...good thing they have a wookie with a vibro-ax.

There's a huge difference in this game between being taken out of a fight (exceeding WT or ST) and losing a PC (death by critical). The former happens quickly and fairly frequently while the latter is pretty rare unless opponents have the Lethal Blows talent and/or weapons with the Vicious quality.

 

As an example, our Technician has WT 16 with Soak 6. During the boarding action, he was shot twice with blaster rifles and took a direct hit from one frag grenade while being caught with the Blast of two others. After all of that, he was down with 22 Wounds and picked up 5(!) Critical Hits, but he's not "lost" to us.

Edited by HappyDaze

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Well, being pulled up into the tree canopy was more of my concern, not so much the damage but being knocked out, ensnared and carried to a lair to be eaten... :)  Thanks though for the clarification.

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Well, being pulled up into the tree canopy was more of my concern, not so much the damage but being knocked out, ensnared and carried to a lair to be eaten... :)  Thanks though for the clarification.

Sometime you eat well, and sometimes you're eaten. I feel that the occasional PC death in a campaign isn't necessarily something to be avoided.

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I just had thought regards to exploring the Sa Nalaor and my do this for my game....

 

Say the players need to get to the bridge as the goal......to do so requires them making X number of rolls (perhaps set, perhaps it is number of players +2, whatever). Have a list of generic obstacles in a list that the GM places when a threat is rolled. Perhaps a list based on various level of threat. One might be...narrow choke point take 1 strain for each silloutte size of your character...one might be closed bulkhead door, use athletics to overcome, one may be...weakened floor roll to keep from falling through, if you fall take 10 damage and add obstacle  rolls to the get back to where you are at...one may be you found the nexu triplets.

 

For advantage, those could be spent as finding something that will help in the next obstacle challenge....or even finding equipment...that may, once cleaned and repaired...be quite useful

 

Thoughts???????

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I'm not fond of rolling to see what encounter happens. Invariably there are certain encounters that are going to be meaningful and id like the group to focus on them. Having a number or rolls determine what the next number of rolls is going to be might work better for a GM-less system, but not (IMO) for a cooperative narrative experience.

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It kinda comes down to this..what is given in the book for this section is about worthless...5 room descriptions. I thought about looking at some deck plans and going down that route but that I a lot of work for what amounts to mostly nothing. I thought with some random bits that the GM could then add some narrative to... kinda like dungeon  world...but I think you may be right...just set the encounters and make it happen.

 

Let me turn this around to you guys...what individual room/event/obstacles do you think would be interesting? 

Edited by azato

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This ended rather poorly for my players when the went to negotiate a better deal with Reom at the end of the adventure. Result of the roll: a failure with three Despair and three Advantages.  Still not sure how I'll rule on it, but right now it's looking like Reom will not be paying them any extra (despite them bringing Cratala and her staff to them) and will likely try to cheat them out of what he'd previously agreed to pay them.

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This ended rather poorly for my players when the went to negotiate a better deal with Reom at the end of the adventure. Result of the roll: a failure with three Despair and three Advantages.  Still not sure how I'll rule on it, but right now it's looking like Reom will not be paying them any extra (despite them bringing Cratala and her staff to them) and will likely try to cheat them out of what he'd previously agreed to pay them.

 

Is it one of those cartoon dad deals where Reom hands the players a stacks of credits and slowly starts taking credits out of the stacks as he lists of various "fees"?

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More likely Reom will refuse to take in the cyberdoc and her assistants as he views them as too hot in the face of the Imperial forces that are hunting for them. Additionally, he's upset at the attention and grief that the chacters brought him with their shootout on the Wheel. He was paying them a basic "go, see, return, report - and keep it all quiet mission" and they bungled it up terrribly through their actions (some were not their fault and many other were their fault) and the multiple Despairs on the Negotiation roll means that he weighs these negatives more strongly than the potential gains from taking in Cratala and her team.

 

My tenative plan for the end results:

1) Reom refuses to pay them the remainder of the previously agreed upon fee. He doesn't ask for any of the up-front money back (nor does he try to get back the 2000 credit his assisant gave them upon arrival at Raxus), but he makes it clear that they're not getting one more credit out of him.

2) Reom refuses to take in the cyberdoc and her team. He tells the PCs that they can either take the refugees off of his ship when they leave or he's just going to shove them into an escape pod and drop them on the next inhabited planet he passes. What happens to the refugees is not going to be his problem.

3) Reom makes it clear that Isotech will no longer work with the PCs or the organization to which they have ties (Black Bha'lir), which is going to cause grief with the lead character's Dutybound Obligation that was used to pull them into the addventure.

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That's a real bummer for the PCs though with that roll and all that heat I can understand Reom.

If your looking for ideas the Despairs could "be used for later" meaning Reom sends them on a wild goosechase or mission impossible to get rid of both the PCs and the heat. At least I vaguely remember the CRB mentioning something about postponing the effects of certain rolls.

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I have a group of players that understand that sometimes failure happens despite their best efforts. OK, one of them can't stand to lose, but she's the odd one out. We have a strong adherence to playing the dice as they land, so fudging is strongly frowned upon, and in this case the players would feel cheated if three Despairs didn't totally screw them over.

 

This isn't so different from what happens to Han at the end of Scoundrels, so it's very much Star Wars to us if failure is an option that actually shows up now and then.

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On the bright side, for the three Advantages, Reom will authorize the IsoTech technicians aboard Iso-One provide repairs to the PCs' starship (along with a little cosmetic alteration). He will also have IsoTech's slicers provide new transponder codes and faked licenses for the ship and crew too. After that, it's, "Get off my ship and never contact me, my sister, or IsoTech again."

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This ended rather poorly for my players when the went to negotiate a better deal with Reom at the end of the adventure. Result of the roll: a failure with three Despair and three Advantages.  Still not sure how I'll rule on it, but right now it's looking like Reom will not be paying them any extra (despite them bringing Cratala and her staff to them) and will likely try to cheat them out of what he'd previously agreed to pay them.

 

Or...the dispairs are ISB has frozen all his assets and is after both him and the player party...in other words...He would love to pay them (advantage) but can't (dispair). Maybe it is a big IOU and everybody is on the run.

 

I guess it depends on how you want to handle Reom.

 

Or perhaps Reom, dies and his sister will not honor bad deals her brother has made.

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This ended rather poorly for my players when the went to negotiate a better deal with Reom at the end of the adventure. Result of the roll: a failure with three Despair and three Advantages.  Still not sure how I'll rule on it, but right now it's looking like Reom will not be paying them any extra (despite them bringing Cratala and her staff to them) and will likely try to cheat them out of what he'd previously agreed to pay them.

 

Or...the dispairs are ISB has frozen all his assets and is after both him and the player party...in other words...He would love to pay them (advantage) but can't (dispair). Maybe it is a big IOU and everybody is on the run.

 

I guess it depends on how you want to handle Reom.

 

Or perhaps Reom, dies and his sister will not honor bad deals her brother has made.

 

I went with Reom and IsoTech breaking off all contact with the PCs and their patron. Reom did relent and agree to pay them the remainder of what he'd promised in the initial job offer. Unfortunately, this didn't stop the Smuggler PC's Dutybound 10 Obligation from increasing to 15. She's considered something of an embarrassment to her organization right now, and she's feeling a lot of guilt about letting them down.

 

They did manage to get a Hutt that they sometimes work with (not for) to hide Cratala and her team, but they had to accept a Favor 5 Obligation from him. It likely would have been higher if he had known who the refugees really were. The PCs are worried about what might happen when the Hutt realizes what he has on his hands, but they went for the quick answer for now.

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It kinda comes down to this..what is given in the book for this section is about worthless...5 room descriptions. I thought about looking at some deck plans and going down that route but that I a lot of work for what amounts to mostly nothing. I thought with some random bits that the GM could then add some narrative to... kinda like dungeon  world...but I think you may be right...just set the encounters and make it happen.

 

Let me turn this around to you guys...what individual room/event/obstacles do you think would be interesting? 

 

I agree with you on this. I'm all for narrative tools, but for the love of Jabba, give me a freaking map. As a general rule ALL of the maps in this adventure are worthless -- from the unlabeled tiny view of The Wheel, to the tiny already marked map of the crash sites on Cholganna to a complete lack of a map for the wreckage of the main hull. 

 

I'm digging around for maps I can use, but how have others solved this? 

 

Jaime

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When the characters are taken to Captain Harsol's settlement...did you disarm them? This doesn't seem to be addressed (at least as far as I could see) in the module.

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