Monday, December 14, 2015

Star Wars: Episode I - Escape from Mos Shuuta

Today one of my gamers GMed Star Wars for us. He ran a short campaign of d20 Star Wars for us back in the day. Similar plot - get a ship and get off of Tattooine. That campaign ran a few sessions, the last of which happened shortly after I moved overseas. It didn't continue for a lot of logistical reasons. But we had great memories of it. So when he mentioned this game, our instant response was, "YES, we will absolutely play any system for Star Wars if you run it."

Today, that's what we did, using Edge of Empire and pre-made characters in a starter adventure.

Gwen "Rash" Stefani - human smuggler (Tom)
Lowhhricks (or something like that) - wookie hired gun (Vic)
41-VEX (aka Droidberg) - droid colonist (me)
Name I Forgot - twilik bounty hunter (Mike)
Jonan Deuann - twilik bounty hunter (andi)

We opened with the Star Wars opening theme, as the GM read the scrolling text for us (I helped by moving the handout up and back.)

We started out en media res, running away from the orcs . . . ah, Gamorrean guards of Teemo the Hutt in Mos Shuula? Why we were running was in our backstory - all of us had some ties to one another and had been dragooned into the service of Teemo. We got together and escaped off-screen.

We ran into a Cantina. We split up into various booths and our wookie hid behind the door. Four gammorreans, armed with clubs (!) ran in. Our wookie attacked the last one and they wrestled around, while our two twiliks and our smuggler shot the other three down. The last one fled in terror.

We paid for some drinks and got some information - what's the fastest way off of this planet?

Turns out that was through some reptilian slaver dude's ship, the Krayt Claw, that was in town to take on cargo for Teemo's rackets. But it needed repairs . . . which the slaver foolish confided to the bartender. We bribed him and got the skinny on who we needed to contact.

That turned out to be a local junker. My brain turned his Star Wars name into "Earl." andi supplied Scooter quotes ("This is where the cars live!")

We moved carefully over, trying to avoid the attention of Teemo's men. Naturally, this worked but came with problems. Rash smashed into a poor Rodian lizard-on-a-stick vendor. We all tried to calm the man down and apologize, but he kept getting angrier. Finally, Rash stopped apologizing and said that Teemo sent us over to tell him that his lizard-on-a-stick is terrible and that he doesn't want it sent to his palace anymore. That crushed the poor man, who began to weep. His family began to wail, too. Nice. We walked away, and Rash was hit in the back by a thrown lizard, but we kept on to "Earl's" junkyard.

41-VEX is a negotiator as well as mechanic and doctor ("Not a moisture farmer or lava miner?" "No, that's the next model, the 42-VEX"), but "Earl" turned out to be a droid-hatin' old man*. He abused his R5 unit and sent it outside to get some work done while the group tried to negotiate for the one Hyperdrive Something Something Igniter (hereafter, the HDMI Cable). Turns out that he promised it to Trax the slaver for 1600, but he'd sell it to us for 2000. We didn't have 2000 (we were a few credits short - remember "paid for some drinks"?) and despite Rash's best efforts the best we got was Earl agreeing to let us bid against Trax. We said we'd go to 3000, so he should get Trax over here.

Meanwhile 41-VEX was outside with the droid. He beeped, I talked, and we came to an agreement. If he'd disable to HDMI Cable so it wouldn't work but could be easily switched back on, I promised he could come with us. R5 agreed immediately. I got to work on his restraining bolt and disabled it without making it appear disabled.

I went back inside and suggested, quietly, that we insist on testing the unit. When it failed, we could cut the price down as a "fixer-upper." And if Trax tried it, he might get angry and leave and we could ensure he wouldn't have the piece. And if he just bought it, it wouldn't work so he couldn't leave without us.

Next, we left and went to check out the starport. In the best interests of survival, we split the party. Heh. Actually, Dunan headed to a central tower to watch the town and act as a sniper.

 photo star-wars_mos-not-eisley small_zpsvhdglxuw.jpg
(IG-88 with a twilek headpiece on, which looks like Zula's from Conan the Destroyer. IG-88 may not be to scale.)

We went as two pairs to the landing bay where the Krayt Claw was docked. We ducked a Gamorrean patrol and made it to the bay.

Our other twilik snuck up to the side gate at the moment a person wandered up to the droids and attracted their attention. He opened the side door lock but set off an alarm, and closed the door and took off. He made it away before the droids could arrive.

(Around this time, we failed to notice the soundtrack had moved over to the Empire Strikes Back music. Well, we noticed, but we didn't realize this was a hint.)

We came up with a plan - two of us would go to station control and get a flight plan logged for "our" ship. Then we'd go and get R5 and the HDMI Cable (if possible) and go back to the ship. Our other two would monitor the situation at the landing bay.

41-VEX and Rash went to the station, since VEX has a pretty good basic computer ability. We left the wookie and the other twilik behind since they could handle trouble and sneaking better.

We headed to the control station and went in - there were guard droids but we weren't being hunted by them, we're just legitimate travelers. As we walked in, we admired a great view of Tattooine. And saw a three-winged craft coming in for a landing. Imperial Shuttle! Oh, no. That was why the music changed . . .

We grabbed a terminal and got to work. A few good computer rolls (lots of success and advantage) and we had a new flight plan, ready for a signal from 41-VEX, that overrode Trax's flight plan. We also checked the Imperials, and again got a lot of information. Eighteen storm troopers here on a routine patrol, probably unrelated to our troubles with Teemo the Legitimate Businessman.

Next up, our friend "Earl." But as we went, Dueuann spotted Trax and a droid pushing a hover-cart (no wheels in Star Wars) away. So we showed up angry.

41-VEX found R5 outside and got ready to leave.

Rash, though, went inside to complain. He asked what happened to our bidding war. Trax paid 10,000, Earl said, straight to his bank account. "No cash?" said Rash. "Nope." "Too bad, then your life isn't worth anything." Rash drew his pistol and fired, hitting poor Earl.

But not well enough. Earl drew his gun and shot back, sizzling Rash. Rash shot him - this went on for three turns, until Rash was wounded several times and Earl dead. Rash quickly looted the man and the shop, grabbing a holdout blaster, 600 credits, and some stim and repair packs. We got out of there before the now-patrolling storm troopers came by.

We hustled to the bay, and then went in the side door - this time, 41-VEX on the alarms. I couldn't disable them but I was able to claim some Advantage, and granted a blue die to the next guy. Nothing. But our twilek did managed to disable the alarm. In we went.

Rash walked up to a droid with R5 in tow, and said, "We're here with Earl's R5 to install the HDMI Cable." The droid guard asked for a passcode. Rash said, "I don't know anything about a passcode, I was just told to bring the R5 here to install the HDMI Cable." He did well on Deceit and the droid escorted him along. We snuck behind. Once they started to confer, we snuck onboard the ship and closed the door.

41-VEX guarded the door, and the others moved into Engineering and found Trax and his droid. A short, sharp fight ensued. Our wookie was injured, which drove him into a rage - nevermind that in general Yetis Hate Lizardmen. Er, Wookies Hate Transdoshians. Point blank shooting and melee and a few rounds equaled a destroyed droid (41-VEX wept for the slain Killbot), Trax dead, and the ship ours.

We quickly filed our flight plan and manned the cockpit and guns. R5 was in Engineering. We took off, making many, "Too bad we had to leave a man behind" and "No, wait, there are five of us - VEX, a twilek, a wookie, a human, and R5" jokes.

The droids shot at us as we took off, because people do that all the time in Star Wars. As we did this, Deuann started to open fire on some flammables in town, trying to start fires and cause explosions and whatnot. He didn't succeed (or she, he might be as he, I can't tell from the picture or figure) but it did cause a distraction.

We swung by, opened the ramp, and he jumped on, still firing out the door. We took off. Someone suggested shooting the Imperial Shuttle. More of us decided that was a really unnecessarily bad idea.

 photo star-wars_not-millennium-falcon small_zpsxswx95mx.jpg
Our ship, as we flew off in a hail of ground-based laser fire and droid-blaster fire. Note the False Hope die depicting one of its seemingly six blank sides.

But as we got into space, we heard the roar of fighters - two pairs of TIE fighters!

Rash took command, pretty much yelling out random things Han Solo tells people to do. It all has game effects. I jammed their communications (it took two tries, but helped). Our wookie and one of the twilek manned the guns and started shooting. No one got cocky.

It was a pretty brief fight, since the TIE fighter is pretty flimsy. They hit us once, I think, but didn't inflict any real damage. One, two, three, four - all the fighters went down. The last one got its wing clipped and it spun off in the distance and exploded.

The tie fighters destroyed, we set a quick destination for a tropical vacation planet and punched it to hyperdrive.

(I did joke that I'd just set a course for the other side of Tattooine, to Beedo the Hutt's side of the planet - much nicer, that guy. He's a legitimate businessman, too.)

In hyperspace, we checked the now-renamed False Hope and found 6000 credits worth of salable loot. We decided to spend it on our vacation, and figure out what to do next. We weren't pleased with being attacked by the Empire . . . perhaps the Rebellion will be in our future?

And with that, the session ended. Our GM rolled the closing credits music as we sat back and talked XP and new characters.

Good game, fun session, and great presentation.

* That sounds even more like Scooter.


Star Wars names always get me. Mos Shuuta? Or whatever? My brain kept making that "Mos Shuya" because I used to teach a student name Shuya. Teemo? Teemo the Hutt? Aren't those cigars? This led to Beemo the Hutt, Rutt the Hutt, and so on. Great SW names are pretty funny. You know them when you hear them.

The dice were less of an obstacle than I thought they might be. In fact, in a way, our total inability to determine the odds meant we just did stuff that seemed reasonable and hoped. The blue "bonus die" came up blank so often, and was so useless most of the time we earned them, that andi dubbed the it the "False Hope" die. We called it that all game, and decided we HAD to rename our Corellian-class freighter from the lame-lame-lame Krayt Claw to False Hope. So, False Hope it is. But yeah, dice. They weren't terrible. It was kind of a pain to count successes, failures, triumphs, despair, threats, and advantages. And spend Advantage and deal with Threats. Imagine every roll you make is a possible need to choose and describe effects even if all you care about is "Did I or didn't I?" It was tough and we chose lots of very basic defaults to get around that.

One critical element here? Music, sound effects. Our GM had every sound track and sound effect on cue, so when the Empire arrived in-system, he'd transitioned to the Empire Strikes Back theme. Fights had fight music and blaster sound effects. Our space battle had roaring tie fighters. We managed to fit in Star Wars quotes. Vic got into this with a wookie soundclip archive. It was all good. I'm pretty sure our GM has a Star Wars related tattoo near his USMC tattoo, so he takes his Star Wars seriously. Or to put it better, he puts in all the effort you'd want to make it awesome and enjoyable - yet "fun at the table" trumps "canon" utterly and completely. He's a good GM.

Me, I can't wait to interact with folks from the movies. Even peripherally. I don't play Star Wars to not meet or hear about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, etc. I expect to have some kind of encounter with Darth Vader and we alerted our GM that Lando-related sound effects would be a good idea to have on queue.

The Shopkeeper was a tougher fight than anyone else. Typical. Served Gwen Stefani right for going all Angel Eyes instead of staying Tuco.

Also, I hear that Stormtroopers have good armor. I call shenanigans on this. I saw the movies. Storm Troopers go down in single blaster shots from any blaster. Boo, hiss! This is RPG logic (and internet logic) run rampant - if the movies don't show us how things really work in Star Wars, I mean, what the heck. They're the source material.

Which, by the way, influences how I play. I made a lot of decisions based on, "We're in a Star Wars movie!" Not "I'm a realistic inhabitant of a galaxy far, far away and we're going to live in this gritty reality." Movies for the win! How long will it take? One scene! Won't they shoot us down? No! We'll shoot ineffectively at each other as we fly off. "We can't open the doors in space!" "Yes we can, if we have those little masks. We just need to watch for mynocs." Hell yes. There is air and sound in space. Suck it physics, this is Star Wars!

We all earned 15 XP because we totally went off the rails of the starter adventure and did better stuff. Some of us are keeping our pre-gens.

Me, I just can't get into a droid. I'm tempted to go for an IG-series droid, especially since the only Star Wars action figure I kept and didn't give away to my niece or my friends was IG-88. But they're "humorless." That's not me. We made endless robosexual jokes and I made all sorts of Roberto and Bender and Hooker Bot jokes. I'd need a humor circuit. And a cheating unit. But as fun as being a ruthless but humor-filled droid might be for a short time, I'd need to be more Bender/Calculon/Claptrap/Marvin than Star Wars droids. Right now, I am perusing a borrowed copy of Empire and Rebellion and thinking of what to do. There is some "you should prime yourself for jedi powers" thing going, and that is tempting. We'll see. Because we'll keep playing.


  1. I still remember the first time one of my fellow PCs (I don't think it was me) shot a stormtrooper in WEG d6 Star Wars, and the result was "he's lightly wounded," and he shot at us back. "his armor makes the difference!" We were all like "BULL-SHIDO!" They drop in one shot. Always! As surely as Luke whines about going to Toshi station!

    So I feel your pain.

  2. We played Star Wars weekend too! GURPS Star Wars! May the Force new with you!

  3. "Me, I just can't get into a droid. I'm tempted to go for an IG-series droid, especially since the only Star Wars action figure I kept and didn't give away to my niece or my friends was IG-88. But they're "humorless." That's not me."

    You might consider a model more like the OTHER assassin droid in the galaxy...


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