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kinnison

Beyond the Rim, thoughts (Obvious spoilers)

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Overall, the atmosphere of the Wheel was very underutilized. Any of the scenes could have taken place on any world with a moderate criminal element. Flying through the ship docks and doing some actual gambling would help differentiate the setting beyond GM description.

 

Having the PCs pilot through crowded docking lanes while dodging the Wheel's Z-95 security squadron would be cool.

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We played our second session yesterday. I'm slowly setting everything up for the beginning of BtR. After session 1 (where Reom had asked them to rescue a man named Roson - one of the NPC's from Scrapheap Point - who was working undercover undercover at Siener Design to 'acquire' new tech), my players finally returned to The Wheel. I used this session to introduce my players to the space station, as well as try to show them what life is like on the fringes of society.

 

Beware, wall of text:

 

So after docking at The Wheel, Reom was waiting for them with one of his droids. He had the droid take Roson to the medical facility, while he escorted the group back to IsoTech offices so he could give them their reward for their help in returning Roson alive and almost well. I introduced my players to Shira, who was pretty busy going over several datapads in her own office, but I gave them the notion that they had met her before. I also described Reom's office, pointing out that there was a pretty big picture of another Twi'lek, who my players knew to be Ropok, Reom and Shira's father. I explained that they knew that he went missing about 20 years ago, and that Reom and his sister took over the business.

 

Reom gave about 8500 credits to the group, of which every player received 350 (the rest is put into a reserve for ship maintenance, supplies and 'emergency cash'). My players are actually working for my Bothan Smuggler NPC, who in turn does jobs for Reom and Shira from time to time... so I explained to my players that they know that's the way things work (just to make sure that they wouldn't throw a fit about not getting the entire 8500 credits themselves :P ). When they headed back to the ship to divide the credits, I let them come across "Too Low" Talo (again, setting up future encounters), to which my Bothan made a remark "Hit anything lately?", and I let him explain how Talo got that nickname.

 

Anyway, after they each received their credits, I let them free to do whatever they wanted to do. (One of our players was a no-show, unfortunately, but I think I handled it well by saying that he took off to go about his own business in The Wheel. I'll ask my player what his character has been doing on The Wheel when we play our next session.) I kinda expected them to go off shopping with their new credits, but none of them actually did. The first thing they did, was go looking for a bar. I told them that they had somewhat of a regular bar they normally visit named The Blasted Asteroid, but with all that cash on hand, they wanted to go to a fancier place. I told them they found a bar that seemed to have more 'decent' customers, and asked them what the place was called. They came up with The Prancing Tauntaun. Heads turned when they entered the place, as they they looked 'scruffy', but soon everyone went back to their own business.

 

Our Human Slicer/Thief wanted to know if they knew someone in this bar, and after a successful perception check, I told her she did. I let her come up with an NPC on the spot. I asked her who it was she knew and what he or she did for a living. At first she reacted: "Err... aren't you supposed to tell me?". But I told her that she was the one who knew that character, not me. And it worked. She came up with an Arconan Smuggler (as she remembered from reading through the Unoffical Species Guide that they had a thing for salt). She gave him a name, and I told her that he was just sitting there at the bar, dipping his finger in a small jar of salt and licking it off. She sat down next to him, and after exchanging pleasantries, asked him if he had info for possible new jobs. And this is where I have to give a big thanks to kaosoe, as I had this Arconan tell her that he didn't really have any info about jobs, but that he was at The Wheel to participate in the annual Big Game Sharpshooting Tournament. The winner would take 5000 credits home. Easy money, right?

 

My players took the bait, as 2 of them decided to participate as well. The other 2 players just wanted to enjoy the spectacle. So I explained to my players that the Tournament took place in the Big Game arena, known throughout The Wheel as a form of punishment for tresspassing the rules. I told them that was the main reason why violence was pretty uncommon on the station, as offenders would be 'volunteered' as combatants... and that survival was not guaranteed. (I wonder how they will use this knowledge when the Yiyar clan tries to abduct Eyetee.) But every year, the arena hosts the Sharpshooting Tournament, and everyone can participate for a simple fee of 75 credits.

 

The gameshow host, a Toydarian by the name of Don Tongo, set the tournament in motion, introducing the 623 competitors. The rules were simple, everyone would be handed a stun-only heavy rifle, provided by Big Game's sponsor Blastech. Each round, a metal board would rise out of the floor, and competitors had 15 seconds to hit it, before it sank again. I let my players roll for each round (Ranged Heavy easy, medium and hard checks), explaining that many other competitors underestimated the pressure of being in a big arena and missing their targets. I gave it some flavor saying that one shot was way off, and hit someone in the audience. Our Human Politco asked if he could do a coordinations check to see if he could avoid it (who needs Dark Destiny Points when players ask to be put in harm's way?! :P )... and after failing, took the stun blast straight to the chest. I told him that cameras zoomed in on him, displaying his twitching body on big screens throughout the arena (and The Wheel), as the crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. Don Tonga made a remark "And that's why we use stun-only rifles, people! I only wish we came up with that idea sooner...".

 

Everyone who failed to hit their mark, had to return backstage. Our Togruta mechanic was being a jerk, and told me that he was going to trip one of these 'losers'. I told him he did, and that a rodian hit the ground face first. He laughed, the rodian not so much.

In a later round, the same player failed to hit his mark before reaching the finals, and was sent back with the others backstage. While he was sitting there shaking his head at his missed shot, he was approached by the rodian he tripped, accompanied by 2 others. They wanted to repay the mechanic in kind, as they cracked their knuckles. The rodian tried to punch the mechanic, but he was able to dodge the hit with a successfull coordination check. The rodian's fist smashed the wall with a loud *crack*. The rodian grabbed his broken hand in agony, and before anyone else could do anything, were pulled apart by Big Game security. (I plan on letting this rodian be part of the Yiyar... that's sure to be interesting.)

 

Our Nautolan Big Game Hunter was the only PC left in the tournament, and he made it to the finals, together with 4 other NPC's. Don Tongo quickly interviewed each finalist (Who are you, where are you from, what are you going to do with the 5k credits if you win?): Shorwarr, the Wookiee Big Game Hunter, 'Dead Rancor' Joon, a Duros famous for one-shotting a wild rancor... with a holdout blaster (he also came in second during last year's tournament), Jarro Zapal, a Corellian Treasure Hunter (I'm going to have him show an interest when rumors about the Sa Nalaor start popping up), the Arconan Smuggler our Slicer/Thief came up earlier, and last but not least, our Nautolan Big Game Hunter.

 

I told the 2 players in the audience that a screen appeared on their seat, showing the portraits of the 5 finalists. They could now bet on who they thought was going to win. The Thief/Slicer put 40 credits on the Arconan, the Politico (who had recovered from the stun blast) put 100 credits on his Nautolan partner.

 

But the finals were a bit different than the previous rounds. Up till then, they had only hit metal boards... and as Don Tongo said: "Board don't hit back." "Release the wasps!" he shouted, and out of a hatch in the ceiling, a dozen spherical droids came buzzing down. The rules were simple: hit as many of these droids as you can in 2 minutes. The catch? They aren't called wasps for nothing. These droids shoot their own little stun blasts. If a contestant gets hit, they are immediately eliminated. I decided that the check would be a Ranged Heavy with a once upgraded hard difficulty. Despair would mean getting hit by a wasp. My player had a single success, netting him 4th place... just above the Arconan who was hit by a wasp's stun blast. Shorwarr took the title (and the 5k reward, plus a surprise reward: a shiny new rifle... you can imagine the look on my player's face when he found out he missed out on all that :P ). 'Dead Rancor' Joon came in second... again.

 

The Nautolan PC ended up with a 'mere' 500 credits in prize money, with the other players losing their money for their bets.

 

They then went to celebrate in The Blasted Asteroid, where I had Catrinna (the NPC from the Sabacc modular encounter in Suns of Fortune) approach the Nautolan, congratulating him on his 4th place and inviting him to meet her client, a business men of some renown... at least according to her, during a friendly game of Sabacc. With the prospect of getting some interesting information on possible new jobs, he accepted. She told him she would set it up for next evening, and would meet them at Ordo's Den.

 

(Our Mechanic, still sour for getting booted before the finals, decided to dump the party and visit The Dancing Twi'leks lounge... just to get his mind off of things, you know. Too bad for him then, that the waitress recognised him from the tv screens, and mockingly asked if he wasn't the one missing his shot by a mile. He pushed the waitress aside and ran out the lounge in tears. :D )

 

So we ended the game with the Nautolan and his date, our female Slicer/Thief in this case, entering Ordo's Den... a Pawn Shop where Catrinna had told them they would meet. One of my players casually remarked that a pawn shop seems like a strange place to meet. ( :D )

 

And that's about if for yesterday. :)

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Thanks, we had a blast. I still have to get used to GM'ing, I tend to talk faster when I'm nervous... and if you don't have that many sessions behind your belt yet, GM'ing can feel quite daunting. Especially because you want to give your players the best experience possible.

 

I'm starting to get the hang of it, though. I was especially proud of letting one of my players come up with the Arconan smuggler, and then using him later on even though I had no idea that he would exist at all. Or when another player tripped someone, and I came up with the idea of using that character later on. Those things kinda gave me a kick, I was letting my players create the world with me and that was really awesome.

 

I have to say that reading these forums really help in upping my creativity. Or give me information on the lore behind Star Wars. I would have never come up with the Big Game Tournament if Kaosoe hadn't mentioned it. So a big thanks to everyone for contributing on these boards in such a positive manner. It's quite refreshing. :)

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I have to say that reading these forums really help in upping my creativity. Or give me information on the lore behind Star Wars. I would have never come up with the Big Game Tournament if Kaosoe hadn't mentioned it. So a big thanks to everyone for contributing on these boards in such a positive manner. It's quite refreshing. :)

Hey, no problem. I think someone else mentioned it first on the boards. After that, I looked it up on Wookieepedia along with a fair synopsis on what Han et al did on the Wheel so I can allude to it in my game.

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By the way, one of my players is playing a Politico who has a whole backstory with an Imperial Captain. Long story short, the PC's parents were killed by said Captain, and while he is trying to stay off the Captain's radar, he still wants revenge. So while on The Wheel, the PC paid Waroon Dak (the Infochant in the Blasted Asteroid) for any information he could find on this Captain.

 

My plan is to have it so that the Captain is promoted to Moff, and now I want to get an idea on how dangerous it is to ask for intel on this person. Do you think that the information can be obtained care-free, or is there a real risk of drawing the Moff's attention, and consequently risking capture? And how do you determine this? Do you roll a skill check for Waroon to see how succesful he is in obtaining the info, with a despair meaning that he's found out? Or do you simply, as a GM, put that character in danger?

 

Considering the history the PC and the Moff have, capture would probably mean death. Unless the other PC's try to break him free (in which case, they may all end up dead).

 

Waroon has asked for at least 2 weeks before he can probably dig something up, so the PC's will likely be on Cholganna or Raxus Prime by then, but I want to figure out if the Empire will be waiting for them should they return to The Wheel afterwards. The Moff will most likely strike a deal with Master-Com: allow the Empire to apprehend the PC or risk a full scale sweep of The Wheel (which is bad for business).

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I highly doubt the Imperials keep the existence of Moffs a secret.  They are basically Governors of entire sectors, high ranking political figures and commander in chief of sector resources.

 

The difficulty would be the level of information you would need.  For example: KNowing where his residence is would be easy, knowing he hires a Defel assassin would be difficult, but knowing he likes little boys and tortures them would be daunting to impossible

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The Politico paid the Infochant for any information he could find, so I take it the Infochant has to make the check? Or maybe I should do several checks, starting with easy and upgrading each time he's succesful, until the first failure... just to see how much he finds?

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The Politico paid the Infochant for any information he could find, so I take it the Infochant has to make the check? Or maybe I should do several checks, starting with easy and upgrading each time he's succesful, until the first failure... just to see how much he finds?

 

You could make checks for him, but for this type of behind the scenes stuff, just come up with just the right amount of information for the Infochant to find out and give it to the player at the next opportune time.

 

You don't want to give the PC everything, because filling the gaps could be a potential adventure.

Edited by kaosoe

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Alright, I'll do that. Now what about the Moff possibly finding about someone trying to get intel on him? Does it seem possible that he might discover that?

 

If it's important to your story that the Moff finds out, heck yeah. Otherwise, wait until your player rolls a Despair on a check made to gather information on the Moff. Currently he is using an Infochant to do that for him, but there is only so much that an Infochant can do before the PC will have to start asking around himself.

 

The Moff sounds like a good BBEG, so you definitely don't want to throw the Moff in their faces too soon, but I think he should slowly play an adversarial role in the story.

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Yeah, the Moff is definitely BBEG material. Almost every player in my group has created his own BBEG in his backstory, so I need to see when to let which BBEG shine. And while I don't want to use them too fast, I also have to make sure that the other players don't get the feeling that their BBEG is MIA.

 

I have to say that I underestimated the sense of time in a campaign. I thought that, after 2 sessions, we were just getting started... but these 2 sessions have taken use over 2 months, making it feel as if we've been playing this game much longer that just 2 sessions.

 

But I'll take your advice, and let the Infochant dig up limited information on the Moff. Maybe I can use him as a bit of a credit drain, should the PC press him for more info. I wasn't sure how much an Infochant would charge for gathering intel, but I decided on a 'hefty' price of 650 credits, simply because the person he is investigating is a high-ranking Imperial. (The Infochant raised his eyebrow when he heard his 'target' was a captain of the Empire).

 

Thanks again for the assist.

 

I'm really looking forward to next sunday, as it'll be our 3rd session. I wonder if they'll be on their way to Cholganna by the end of it. :)

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Hey guys, I need a bit of help. I may have gotten my players into a situation where they won't really be able to progress past the end of Act 2.

 

What happened in todays session was the PCs went to their ship after gaining the survivors' trust. They were escorted by two survivors and a battle droid, and they went on the reevos. When they got to the lake the bridge section was in, they saw the Imperial ship hovering over their ship, which had been left on a high rock outcropping right next to the bridge. What I had expected to happen was for the PCs to return to the Retreat with their escort, but instead one went back, one immediately ran into the Sa Nalaor to try to get back to the bridge, and the other two climbed the cliff up to their ship.

 

The medical droid (who went back to the Retreat) had a history with the Imperial forces, and tried to convince the people they'd be better off surrendering and that the Imps wouldn't hurt them (except Cratala, who would still rather die than serve the Emperor). Through some good Leadership roles, he's basically become leader of the survivors, and Harsol's killed himself after realizing that his people no longer trust him and that he can't protect them.

 

The smuggler (who went into the Sa Nalaor) got most of the way through before being ambushed by an injured cyber-nexu and taken past his wound threshold. I didn't want him to die there so I had a scout trooper sniper come by to save him from being eaten.

 

Once the mechanic and the marauder/slicer got to the top of the cliff, they were noticed by the Imperials still at their ship (the Imperial ship flew off towards the Retreat by that point) and were captured, and stripped of their weapons.

 

Essentially, we ended with the Imperials landing at the settlement and bringing the three captured party members. A few troopers and Ossnan went inside to negotiate, and they brought the mechanic in with them. The medical droid is inside with the rest of the people, basically ready to surrender. Cratala has locked herself in the cyber-nexu cage, and we ended right as Ossnan walked up to talk to her, with the two outside being bound and accompanied by seven scout troopers.

 

I'm in a bind here, understandably. Things just sort of got out of my control once they split up. I didn't really want things to get this bad for them, but logical steps kept leading towards this. I don't know how they can get out of this situation alive without being taken with the Imperials, but even if they can then escape from captivity, they'd have lost their ship, Cratala would probably be dead, and they would have no way of getting to Raxus Prime.

 

Anyone have any ideas how I can salvage this in a way that makes sense? They already fought off the Yiyar clan in a fight at the ship's vault, which they managed to get open. I'm okay with them not getting any of the wealth in there, though  :P .

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The Deep Dark cannot relocate all the survivors and players at once. Have the Deep Dark leave with Ossnan and a few troopers escorting Cratala (the real prize).

 

Give the players a few days to get out of their situation, overpowering the remaining minion troopers and getting their ship back.

 

This can all lead to future adventures where Reom wants to rescue Cratala. 

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The Deep Dark cannot relocate all the survivors and players at once. Have the Deep Dark leave with Ossnan and a few troopers escorting Cratala (the real prize).

 

Give the players a few days to get out of their situation, overpowering the remaining minion troopers and getting their ship back.

 

This can all lead to future adventures where Reom wants to rescue Cratala. 

I was thinking something like this. Either this exactly, or have Ossnan call for backup to get them all out (which the book says takes about 10 days) and then just leave the PCs there once all the survivors are gone, since they didn't actually commit any crimes (here) that the Empire would take them in for.

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You could also have the Rodians (not sure if they are relevant in your game still) show up and in the chaos they are able to escape with Cratala on their ship. Might have to spend some destiny points to do this though.

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Another option is have the cyber nexu (singular or plural) unleashed on Ossnan by Cratala. His troopers will go to his aid. Giving the players an opportunity to overpower the imperials. Between the B-1 battle droids, the survivors, cyber nexu and the players the imperials should be in a position to be overwhelmed as their speeder bikes (the real danger) won't be of use in the retreat. To spice it up a bit have a few troopers in the sentry towers as snipers targeting the nexu survivors or the odd PC.

 

Another option is if one of the players can try to dupe the imps into believing the auto blasters are online.

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The Rodians were pretty soundly beaten, only Yav and the two who waited on the Nightflyer made it out alive. I had the cyber-nexu come in at the same time as the Rodians to make the fight more interesting.

 

The survivors have already surrendered and lay down their weapons, aside from Cratala. One of our PCs convinced them that they'd all die if they try to fight (medical droid who had gone back to camp, his motivation and Obligation are both to avoid the loss of live wherever possible). I think I've decided to just have the PCs left on Cholganna once everyone's been evacuated, and I'll speed up the evacuation timeline so there's not such a huge stretch of time between Yav escaping and the Yiyar attack on Raxus Prime.

 

I do like the idea of the nexu causing enough of a panic for the PCs to gain control, but with 7 troopers just outside the gates still on their bikes, I don't much like their odds of getting out.

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Remember this is your game. You don't have to be super strict with the rules. If you can make the narrative grand enough you can explain/make anything happen for the better/worse.

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Veruca, for the big game tournament, how many rounds of rolling did you have the players do to get to the finals? Also, what stats did you use for the other 4 contestants in the finals?

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We had a session yesterday, and it went better than expected. Cratala let the cyber-nexu loose on Ossnan, but he and the scout troopers made short work of it, while the Retreat crowd looked on in awe and the PCs didn't intervene. They then cooperated with the Imps for the most part, helping them get back to the vault when asked and receiving a bar of precious metal as reward (as well as getting away with keeping two of the five they had hidden in other rooms just in case).

 

However, Cratala and her research are firmly in Imperial captivity. Our medical droid, who had previous connections to the Imperial agents and was instrumental in gaining their trust, was allowed to visit Cratala while she was being held on the Imperial ship and had to make the difficult decision between accepting her request for a merciful end and pissing off Ossnan and company, and leaving her to her fate. He chose to leave her so they didn't get taken along too, but it wasn't an easy choice.

 

They also got taken back to their ship and the mechanic fixed up the (considerable) damage the Yiyar did to their piloting console and navicomputer, and we left with them waiting for Imperial reinforcements to come and take the survivors offworld.

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I was able to use Map of the cargo level in book for a Map of the Adventure. I blew it up and gave some names to places. I have yet to use it, but it seems like it will be good to have just as a reference point for players

 

Would you be willing to email me your file of the map of the cargo level?

 

Ian

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So this seems like the best place to post this question.  For Momocon next year I want to go further now that I have a better handle of the game.  I want to run this over a two day period (8 hour block) and don't want to waste time with generating characters at the start of the game.  So does anyone have an idea of what Pregens would be good for this campaign.  I am looking for four core class/specialization and two additional so like the beginner game I could run up to six players.  Thoughts?

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In conclusion, my assessment is FFG did a great job on what they put in and what they left out, requiring me to fill out the rest of the details. I ginned up an epic trek through the Cholgana jungles. I ended up with a Star Wars experience very much to my liking.

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