Tuesday, October 1, 2013

[Actual Play Report] Star Wars - Scum and Villainy, Session 5

Previously, on Nar Shadda, our heroes got caught between two rival gangs at a local nightclub where a birthday party for a notable member of one gang was happening. When the kitchen staff (all Rodians, who in my game are space-Mexicans) came out to serve the meal, all hell broke loose. The Rodians removed the tops of their serving platters to unveil guns, and started shooting everyone up. The PCs managed to set off a huge explosion, bringing down the roof, and barely made it out alive, and one of them did not.

After escaping Nar Shadda, Desca managed to purge the records of their bounty from the records of a few smaller planetary records, while Van Draal called in a favor to get the Black Pariah repaired and retrofitted with the ship weaponry they acquired on Acherin.

Over the next two months they managed a few low-paying jobs, one of which was delivering a shipment of spice to fence affiliated with Bib Fortuna. After they dropped off the spice on Akranis, they were pursued by, and escaped, from the feared Bounty Hunter Bossk.

Star Wars 

Episode 4
Scuttle Me Scuppers


Two months after the incident on NAR SHADDA, the crew of the BLACK PARIAH have struggled to make ends meet. With a price on their heads, jobs have been hard to come by, and BOUNTY HUNTERS are never far behind. 

A pirate fleet from the ZANN CONSORTIUM lies in orbit around the gas giant PUJOOL in the ANOAT SECTOR for refitting and repair. You docked with the Corellian Corvette GILDED HARBINGER this morning to purchase an astromech droid from a Neimoidian pirate named LANA KEEG. Thus far, it has been a rather boring day…

Breakfast on a pirate ship in hiding - what could go wrong?

SCENE 1 - Surprise Attack!

The pirate fleet consists of four smaller capital ships and supporting vehicles. The Gilded Harbinger has certainly seen its share of combat, but looks sturdy enough. Its decks and corridors are utilitarian, and the primary contingent of the ship are old Banking Clan battle droids left over from the clone wars. The officers are mostly a mix of Duros and Neimoidians, with a few other races sprinkled about. You've spent the morning in an officer’s meeting room with Lana Keeg, eating a spartan meal and listening to her drone on about Duros opera. The hallucinogenic oranges, reds and purples of Pujool’s vast bulk occupy all of the lone window in the room.

Lana Keeg (played by Helen Mirren) receives the credits from the crew, and signs the droid over to Desca. The droid, which she calls ‘Red’, is an R5 series astromech droid with a faulty motivator. They've tried fixing it numerous times, but they can’t seem to resolve the issue. Furthermore, the droid has a rather abrasive personality, and constantly feuds with the other droids on board the ship. Given the fact that a large percentage of the ship’s crew are Battle Droids, this has caused endless issues. Even repeatedly wiping the droid's memory hasn't made any difference, and now she just wants to be rid of the thing.

As they talk, Wulf puts his dirty boots up on an expensive ottoman, drawing the ire of Lana, a perfectionist. When Wulf makes a crack about the droid being equally filthy, Red replies with a vociferous stream of obscenities. Wulf and the droid nearly come to blows before Van Draal and Desca alleviate the situation.

The four criminals talk about possibly using this meeting to set up future collaboration. The Zann Consortium pirate fleet is currently striking at the Empire whenever they can. They are a remnant of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and are building their resources awaiting a return by their leader, Count Dooku, who is rumored to still be at large.The PCs can help by acquiring much of these resources for them, and they begin to flesh out how to make this alliance happen.

Suddenly, the corvette reels from what feels and sounds like a huge explosion! Klaxons roar, and red warning lights flood the room. As you get back on your feet, Keeg leaps to a computer terminal. “This is not how I wanted to spend the rest of my day,” she remarks, as her fingers dance across the control panel. “Lovely. ISD Exactor. 501st. You should make yourself scarce - this is going to get ugly.” Another blast shocks the hull, causing the lights to flicker. Across the hallway you can see laser-fire batteries arcing towards the ship.

Good morning! I hear you are serving breakfast! We'd like a table for 47,060 please.
Red immediately wheels towards the corridor. The harsh whistles and groans he lets out are easily recognized as profanity, even if you don’t understand Binary.

As the ship rocks from the turbolaser barrage, the PCs quickly decide to follow Red’s lead and make for the turbolift. They need to navigate down four more decks to get to the Black Pariah and escape.

SCENE 2 - Escape To The Hangar Bay

As the turbolift goes down, another direct hit causes systems to go haywire aboard the Corvette. The turbolift grinds to a halt as it nears the next level down, and the lights begin to flicker on and off intermittently. The doors half open, and the crew clamber out onto the Engineering Deck.

This dimly-lit corridor is flanked by tanks holding the ship’s tibanna gas fuel. Red pulls up a ship schematic, and directs the party to a service ladder at the far end of the deck. They make their way down the corridor, and another hit rocks the ship. A routing tube breaks loose and sprays Van Draal with supercooled toxic coolant. Luckily, he took the brunt of it and none of his companions were harmed. As the coolant begins to fill the corridor, they make haste to the safety of the ladder.

The PCs hastily scramble down the ladder to the Bridge Deck below. Desca falls, but Wulf’s bulk softens her landing. Moving from stern to bow, the crew hears screams and smells the odor of an electrical fire ahead. Stopping at in a maintenance room, Red unsuccessfully tries to active the floor’s fire suppression system. Van Draal takes a moment to fully don a fire suit, while Wulf and Desca put on masks. Rummaging through the remainder of the gear in the room, Wulf snags his oxygen tank on a shelf, discharging its contents and rendering it inoperable. Desca locates a liquid cable launcher and stashes it away.

The corridor leading to the bridge itself is filled with smoke; as the players approach, four short-circuited battle droids, rifles raised, step out of the burning hallway and open up. Wulf bounds towards them, destroying three and severely damaging another. The damaged droid's power battery is exposed to Desca’s next shot, and resulting explosion sends droid parts everywhere.

The bridge is a mess. The turbolift is sealed shut, and two beleaguered crewmen busy themselves trying to deal with the growing fire emanating from the wall. Wulf and Van Draal, wearing the proper gear, aim their fire extinguishers to help. Desca directs Red to a computer port near the entrance to the turbolift. Red tries in vain again to activate the deck’s fire suppression system, but in the process, he confirms that the aft turbolift is indeed operational.

Abandoning the plan to put out the fire, Wulf uses his vibroaxe to pry the doors open. He’s successful, but his vibroaxe suffers a fractured head. The remainder of the team pile into the elevator. One of the two crewmen continues to fight the fire, but the other follows along: “You guys have a ship right? Lets get out of here!”

SCENE 3 - The Deck of Death

Desca presses the button for the lowest level, marked TURBOLASERS, HANGAR and the turbolift goes down, interior lights flickering. A red light opens flashes, indicating a stop request on the next level down: DROID CONTROL. The turbolift slows and stops. The PCs are lifted off their feet as the artificial gravity on this deck is no longer functional.

The aft turbolift doors open onto what can only be described as Hell. At the other end of the long passageway that runs the length of the deck, a black wall of smoke slowly advanced. The only thing emerging from that fiery blaze were the cries of the dying. In front of the wall, desperately swimming aft in zero-g, desperate crew members focused their panicked eyes on their only escape - the turbolift now on their floor.

As the party floated to the top, Red - his feet magnetically clamped to the floor - calmly pushed the button to close the door.

SCENE 4 - The Shaft

You begin to hear a roar, growing stronger by the second, coming from every direction. The ship begins to vibrate, then shake, sometimes violently. You begin to realize that the artificial gravity on the ship is failing, and a new gravitational force is being applied to the ship. The aft section seems to be rotating to point to that new source of gravity. Suddenly, as the turbolift changes its axis, you realize something terrible - the ship is beginning to plummet into Pujool’s atmosphere!

"Well, lets look on the bright side. At least we'll die with a full belly."
As the ship groaned and shuddered, the doors opened. The lowest deck on the ship loomed above them, now a tall shaft. Debris tumbled into the turbolift, and the entire area was only faintly illuminated by the dim red emergency lights.

Desca was thrilled - the synth-rope launcher she acquired previously was now the perfect tool! After a few attempts to fire it securely to a high spot on the shaft above, Van Draal took it from her and planted the magnetic end securely. The two of them zipped up. Red, by virtue of his magnetic feet, climbed the wall effortlessly. Wulf grabbed onto the henchman - confused as to why they kept calling him “24” - and began to climb.

The going was tedious for Wulf - not made any easier by the fact that he was carrying someone and his companions were making their way, bit by bit, up the shaft. The hull was beginning to be torn apart by atmospheric re-entry, and they had very little time to get out on their ship before the whole thing was torn and burned to pieces. Upon securing himself to one of the walls, Van Draal noticed that the turbolift far below had gone back up again. It would not be long before they had company.

Doubling their efforts, the party continued to climb. The red light on the turbolift blinked shortly thereafter, and the doors opened to reveal a ragged band of weary pirates. “They have a ship” one exclaimed, pointing at the party, “lets get ‘em!”

Blaster fire bounced off the walls of the shaft. Luckily, the pirates were a terrible shot in this dim lighting. Van Draal secured himself in a doorway and squeezed off a shot; in the process, he lost his footing and nearly tumbled to his death. While he was lucky, his heavy blaster pistol was not, and it tumbled down, down, down into the open doors of the turbolift. Irritated, Wulf resorted to his standard problem-resolution technique, and dropped a grenade. the pirates looked on in horror as the grenade made the long fall to them, and scrambled to close the turbolift doors. No matter how many times they pushed the button, the doors were too slow in closing. When they finally did, the grenade was at their feet. The resulting explosion made short work of both the pirates and the turbolift as well.

The party resumed their long climb up towards the stern of the corvette. Desca and Van Drall zigzagged their way up with the synth-rope launcher, 15m at a time. Wulf spotted a computer terminal that had wrenched from the wall and was now dangling by a bundle of power cables. Slinging 24 onto his back, he used it to climb. His and 24’s eyes widened in terror as, halfway up, the cables started popping loose, one by one. The whole thing gave way, and Wulf managed to latch onto a doorway. Unfortunately, the sudden stop was too much for the opportunistic henchman, who tore loose and fell. He screamed as he plummeted, and ended his life in a sickening crunch at the bottom.

Eventually the crew made it up the majority of the shaft, into what used to be the Medical Bay. Exhausted, they took a moment to catch their breath before continuing up to the blast doors above and into the hangar. Suddenly some exterior structure tore loose from the ship with a horrific ripping sound,resulting in a small breach of the hull. Pujool’s toxic atmosphere came flooding into the lower-pressure interior, accompanied by fire. They scrambled up the computer stations and walls in a rush to make it through the blast doors. All, that is, save for Red. Ignoring the furnace the room was quickly becoming, the droid rolled over to the breach. Debris flew about him, and his claw appendage snagged a large sheet of metal from the air. He slammed it over the hole and, shortly thereafter, sealed a weld to end the threat. Meanwhile, Van Draal hacked into the blast door controls and got it to open.

SCENE 5 - The Hangar

Once you manage to get the door open and push aside all the debris that has fallen onto the brand new floor, you let out a sigh of relief, as your ship is still attached to what is now a wall by docking clamps. Under normal conditions, the floor opens beneath the ship and it drops out; now that floor is a wall. You aren't quite sure how this will work. As you speculate, you can hear parts of the ship being ripped away as you plummet deeper into the thick alien atmosphere of the gas giant. You then notice verbiage all over the place stating “WARNING - DEPRESSURIZATION ZONE.”

The hangar was unbearably hot. The lights were out, save for the faint red emergency lights, which meant that the room did not have full power. Far above them on the new ceiling, the PCs spotted a computer terminal labeled MANUAL DOOR CONTROL. Desca suddenly realized, to her horror, that this meant they would not be able to wirelessly link into the hangar bay controls and remotely retract the docking clamps as well as open the hangar doors from the safety of the ship.

Thinking quickly, the PCs came up with a plan. Desca securely attached the synth-rope to Red while Van Draal climbed into the cockpit. They opened the Black Pariah’s cargo bay doors and activated the ship’s magnetic field. Wulf wrapped himself in whatever he could find attached to the back wall of the cargo bay and held on to the other end of the synth-rope. Desca joined Van Draal while Red wheeled up the wall to the manual terminal.

Red released the docking clamps and Van Draal powered the ship up. Engines ready, Red manually opened the hangar doors. Immediately the room exploded in blinding 1000 degree fire as Pujool’s atmosphere forced its way into the hangar. Wulf could barely hold on as Van Draal plowed the Black Pariah out of the plummeting capital ship. Seared and nearing his melting point, Red retracted the synth-rope and got to the safety of the magnetically sealed cargo bay. Moments thereafter, the synth-rope dissolved from the heat.

SCENE 6 - Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire

Finally free of the burning ship, the crew of the Black Pariah watched it break apart and dissolve in flames. Van Draal could barely keep control of the small freighter a midst the 300 km/h winds of the planet. Thinking quickly, he realized that the ionized atmosphere would shield the little ship from the sensors of the tie-fighters behind them, and, at a minimum, make it difficult for the Exactor to spot them. He throttled the engines and dove deeper into the blinding violent could, and set a course for a super-massive storm just ahead. Entering the maelstrom, all hands worked desperately to keep the ship in one piece as it was swatted around by the fierce winds of the storm. After what seemed like an eternity they neared the other side of the storm, but just as they were set to be free of it, the ship was hit with lightning, completely melting its shield generator. The Pariah limped out of Pujool’s atmosphere on the other side of the planet battered but not broken. Fearing detection by the Star Destroyer, Desca rapidly plotted a course for the first system she could think of, and the freighter leaped into hyperspace, bound for the Tatoo System.

1 comment:

  1. (I played Desca in the above scenario: for more info about the game, check out this site: https://sites.google.com/site/starwarsahiveofscumandvillainy/ )

    An excellent recap to an excellent adventure. As mentioned previously, that was my absolute favorite RPG session so far using any system.

    Well done. :-)