I won it in a bet, officer, honestly! It's not stolen!

I won it in a bet, officer, honestly! It’s not stolen!

This week in Japan is Golden Week, a nearly week-long public holiday, and in honour of the fine weather my group did a two-day marathon of Star Wars role-playing using the Fantasy Flight Games system.

Our group was a good mix of five members:

  • Whitney (me), human soldier (medic)
  • Wargh, Wookie hired gun
  • RAPTOR-1, Droid bounty hunter (assassin)
  • Aleema, Twilek Jedi Sentinel (shien)
  • Jorus, Acrid[1] Hired gun

We started off running through a slightly modified version of the introductory adventure, then blasted into space and ran on an improvised adventure that rapidly went to hell through our intense stupidity. This was a marathon session so this report is a very quick summary of the main events.

Trapped on Tatooine without enough funds to get a ship, we needed work. We took a job for Teemo the Hutt, a notorious gangster from our local spaceport, Mos Shuuta. It being impossible to easily travel between spaceports on Tatooine, we needed his help. He asked us to head into the desert to find a lost droid of his that was being held by some Jawas, so we did. However on the way to find the droid we bumped into some Trandoshian slavers and killed them, releasing their slaves and putting ourselves in trouble. We found the droid at the Jawa crawler, which had been destroyed days earlier by the Trandoshians, and returned to Mos Shuuta with it [this took weeks in total]. Unfortunately, Teemo the Hutt was impatient with the time we took, and the Trandoshians were business partners of his; when we returned to town we found ourselves pursued by his henchmen looking to exact revenge for our “treachery” in killing his business partners and “stealing” his droid. We guessed he had hired multiple groups to get his droid, and intended to kill all the groups that failed.

Oops.

Surrounded by desert with nowhere to run, we soon realized we had no choice but to steal a spaceship and escape the port. Fortunately a Trandoshian slaver called Threx had arrived in town in a spaceship in need of repairs, so all we had to do was capture his spaceship and repair it and escape. We stole the part he needed from the local scrapyard and headed towards the ship. A helpful droid told us we would first need to deactivate the standard security clamps that hold all ships in port until their nominated release date; this would mean a trip to the spaceport and a spot of lying. We did this successfully but unfortunately in the process we tipped off a local to our plan, and he told some imperial stormtroopers.

Oops.

There followed a kind of hilarious chase through town during which we slowly killed all the stormtroopers. With little time before more came, we headed to the dock where Threx’s ship, the Poleaxe, awaited us, unclamped. Unfortunately we were met by four droid guards, which we killed, but in doing so we alerted Threx, who was onboard his ship. Desperate battle followed, and ultimately Wargh prevailed over Threx with a supreme display of Wookie rage. As RAPTOR-1 prepared the ship for take off, Whitney took the gun turret to kill some stormtroopers who were setting up a heavy blaster nest, and off we went.

We hit low orbit at the speed of plot, but we weren’t alone – four TIE fighters bore down on us as we raced for the jump point, and we didn’t yet have the hyperdrive converter thingamy slotted into place. Jorus and Whitney took position at the gun turrets, with Aleema and RAPTOR-1 piloting, and battle was joined. While RAPTOR-1 and Aleema cartwheeled and tumbled through the skies above tattooine and Wargh worked feverishly to install the jump-drive activator thingamy, Whitney and Jorus picked off the TIE fighters one by one. Unfortunately they didn’t destroy them fast enough, and their clutzy old ship began to take a lot of damage. Wargh managed to install the hyperspace warp-accumulator whatsit, but in the thick of combat Aleema was having difficulty determining a hyperspace path, and didn’t want to use the pre-loaded path. However, with the ship hull degrading and more TIE fighters inbound she decided not to waste any more time, and punched the hyperdrive for the pre-loaded path. They jumped, leaving the ruins of four TIE fighters scattered across a wide swathe of Tatooine space.

Decisions, decisions ...

Decisions, decisions …

Looting and planning

Once they were in the safety of hyperspace they searched the ship. The ship must have been in the middle of resupply, because although it had enough fuel it lacked significant supplies and most of the cargo had not been loaded. There was a large stock of empty food packets that were obviously designed for smuggling spice, a couple of thousand credits, and a life support system holding a mysterious plant of some kind, that was obviously not safe to simply open and examine and may even have been held in a special environment.

They also examined the droid, which they were supposed to have delivered to Teemo the Hutt had he not accused them of treachery and set out to kill them. It was a standard astromech droid, but it seemed to have had some kind of reengineering to fit it with large, powerful magnets so that it could be stowed on the outside of any spaceship, rather than stored in a standard astromech array. Obviously this would make it useful for smugglers, but why would anyone want to hide an astromech? Every spaceship had one, and there was never any reason to hide them. Mysterious…

The ship emerged from hyperspace within a day, and they found themselves on the Corellian way, where it intersects with the hyperspace path from the sector around Tatooine. This put them a short jump away from Ryloth, Aleema’s home planet, and also a fast series of jumps away from the Mid Rim. So now they had choices. They could turn around and go back to kill Teemo the Hutt, though his allegiance with the Empire and the presence of Imperial ships in the system made that plan seem a little reckless. Their ship was obviously designed for smuggling spice, so they could head to Ryloth and attempt to pick up a cargo to do a spice run. They guessed they plant they were carrying must be valuable to someone, and if they wanted they could try and find someone who could give them advice on it. The best option for that would be to find an Ithorian, and Whitney knew of a famous Ithorian xenobiologist[2] called Chutah Da, who was exploring the nearby Mid Rim on a herdship.

First they would need to get their new ship repaired. Aleema did not want to return to Ryloth, so they decided to go to Mon Gazza to use the starport there. This would bring them to the edge of the Mid Rim and near the zone of space where the Ithorian doctor was traveling, so they decided to try and pick up trade goods at Mon Gazza and travel from there to the trailing edge of the Mid Rim from the Corellian Way, to find this doctor. They hit hyperspace again.

This isn't going to work for anyone here

This isn’t going to work for anyone here

Mon Gazza: A wretched hive of scum and villainy

As soon as they arrived in Mon Gazza system their strange new droid sprung to life and began printing out a receipt-like line of ticker-tape, on which were printed numbers and ship codes. In a moment of recklessness, they decided to pursue this clue as soon as they had repaired their ship. Putting the receipt into safe keeping, they landed on Mon Gazza and negotiated port access with the local mining concern. Mon Gazza was very similar to Tatooine, a barren desert planet with little to recommend it except extensive pod racing contests and spice mines. It was as grim as the planet they had just evacuated.

As soon as they landed they found out that the port and all the community around it was in the grip of a local strongman called Xersca, who was guarded by a posse of stupid little insect-humanoids called Aqualish. After we caught him following us we visited his bazaar to have a chat with him about a mutually beneficial agreement, but during the chat he told us he had already stolen our cargo. This, unfortunately for Xersca, wasn’t exactly correct; he had sent two of his Aqualish, armed with rifles, to take the cargo, but as he was bragging about his cunning Wargh, who had stayed back at the ship to negotiate with the harbour mechanic, was beating them to death. Word of their unpleasant end reached us just as Xersca was attempting to extort us for the return of his cargo. We left him there in a state of puzzlement, with a parting suggestion that when he was ready to come to an agreement with us he could come and make an offer of payment.

Our initial success notwithstanding, we soon realized that hanging around this port was going to end in a big fight, and Xersca probably had resources he could call upon that he hadn’t yet deployed, so we decided to light out as soon as our ship was repaired. The mechanic, having witnessed Wargh killing someone who tried to cheat us, offered us a very reasonable deal on repairs, and we were able to leave after a few days. One of the Aqualish who had been sent to rob us somehow survived Wargh’s fury, but he had no useful information for us and was terrified of returning to Xersca, who he promised would kill him. We took him on board with us when we left, to act as watchman and guard when we were away from the ship. Botan the Aqualish Idiot, our first retainer!

The final act: A wretched hive of confusion and stupidity

With all the galaxy to explore and no particularly pressing goals, we decided to pursue the clues that the droid had spat out. Although we didn’t understand all the information on the strip of paper, we at least recognized a star location relatively nearby, and a code for a ship. We hit hyperspace and traveled to the destination.

At the destination we hit a star system with a seemingly unmarked spaceport floating over a distant planet. The spaceport hailed us and demanded our ship codes; we supplied the codes on the receipt, assuming that this was a shadow spaceport and that it would be dangerous to visit this spaceport without the right codes. Unfortunately the spaceship identified by these codes, the Green Arrow, was already docked at the spaceport, and so we had given our game away. Rather than streak out before we got into more trouble, we decided to bluff our way in – despite our bluffing powers being frankly terrible – and somehow convinced the traffic controller that there was some kind of error; we also managed to convince the man who met us at the docks that the other ship was an imposter.

This man gave us until the end of the day to sort out why this imposter ship had “the goods” that we were meant to be carrying, and to get “the goods” back or we would have to pay for them. We stupidly agreed.

This led to a confused and chaotic few hours on the spaceship, which ended with us entangled in a three way battle between a large gang of mercenaries and a small gang of extremely deadly pirates from the Green Arrow. During this battle we managed to get a couple of people killed, steal some kind of arm-mounted laser shield that seems like it might be worth a lot of money, and get the entire area of space station around Dock 67 completely trashed, probably somehow killing 20 or 30 people who were sucked into space during the explosive decompression that our stupidity caused.

Ooops.

Fortunately we got out safely, and were in hyperspace before the spaceport authorities could catch us. In the melee we managed to learn that the mercenaries attacking the Green Arrow were from Dash Corp mercenary group, and the goods belonged to some scary guy called Saba. Then we were out.

The universe is dark and full of terrors. It also, apparently, is full of idiots. Let’s hope we can do better next time …


fn1: Jorus was played by Little A, a Japanese occasional member of our group. The Acrid are a species our GM made up for Little A, which speak heavily-modified galactic standard, so that basically the only PCs in the group who could communicate with Jorus were those whose players spoke Japanese. Little A, with no real English background, did a great job of keeping up. I wish I could do so well in Japanese! In the end it didn’t matter because we created so much chaos that even in our native language no one knew what was going on. At least Little A had an excuse!

fn2: Somewhat remarkably, Whitney’s one rank in Xenobiology proved extremely useful in this adventure!

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