Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG Actual Play: Episode 1 - Attack of the Moans

A Ben Roberts Production in association with Darren Hardy Films
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


Episode 1 - Attack of the Moans

It is a dark time for the Rebellion.  Although the Death
Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel
forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.

Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by
Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth.

All of which makes fuck all difference to the four chancers currently pissing about at the
other end of the galaxy.  But even from the smallest seeds mighty flowers can grow.  And weeds.
Yeah, it’ll probably be weeds.  Seriously, you don’t know these guys…

In view:   Against a backdrop of a thousand shining stars, the blue and grey planet Merisee looms (temperate, industrialised, famous for it’s gay bars)

The camera pans down to a nowhere-near-as-cool-as-a-YT-1300 ship flying towards the planet’s surface.  Emblazoned on the side in meteor pocked lettering is The Empty Vessel.  A name shrouded in mystery, much like the ship itself.  Does it refer to one of the artifacts that captain, Max, keeps onboard?  An alien chalice that once drunk from obliterates your soul?  Or does it refer to the ‘curse’ which clouds the ships history, specifically the fate of the previous crew... never found?  Whether it is this or any one of a number of legends, such as Ed’s wife choosing the name because everyone was spending so long on trying to come up with something cool that the campaign was in danger of never starting, I guess we’ll never truly know.

As the ship prepares to land, 2B/N2B, the ship’s astromech gives out a series of beeps and whistles.

Max: Okay, I know we’ve only just started, but that’s already really annoying.
2B/N2B: But I downloaded this R2-D2 soundboard app off the interweb especially.
Festel: Look on the bright side, at least he’s not playing inflammatory holoclips about the Gravin being a prostitute.
GM: It’s a plot device designed to keep players in check.
Festel: Did it work?
Everyone else laughs at the utter preposterousness of that question.

In order to keep up the appearance of being a Jedi, one of the last remaining in the galaxy, Festel Barr announces that he’s going to Force Meditate in his quarters and leaves the galley.

Ciirtobuck: He’s doing what?
Max: He’s going for a shit.  Landings always make him nervous.
2B/N2B: What are we doing here again?  Err, I mean, <beep, whistle, whistle, long beep>
Max: I’m serious, stop doing that.  We’re here to track down a priceless artifact.  One of my contacts informed me that a large stone tablet of ancient origin was sold to a collector in the capital city recently.

GM: That’s how you deliver plot, Roberts, you worm.
Festel: Well, if I had holovids to…
GM: Nobody cares!

Ciirtobuck: And?
Max: And there’s a carving on it that could be a stellar map.  This could show the way to other sites of great archeological import.
GM: <Oh no, when he said he wanted to be an archeologist I thought he was joking.  Still at least I know the singing Wookie character was a pisstake>
Ciirtobuck: Can we stop off at the cantina when we land, I want to do some wookie-oke
GM: <Oh… fuck… >

Ciirtobuck: Waaaaaarrhhhh.  Arrrggggghhh…

Festel runs back in, hurriedly zipping up his trousers.

Festel: Did we land on a cat!?
2B/N2B: No, Ciirtobuck’s just recording his demo tape.
Max: How was the “Force Meditation”?
Festel: It required substantially more force than usual.
Max: As long as you managed to guide it in this time.
Festel: That was one time!  Besides, that’s what you get for having a crappy Mk II sonic suction toilet. It’s like squatting over a Sarlacc Pit.

The Empty Vessel lands at Docking Bay 94 and our intrepid crew disembark.  First off the ramp:

Max Baum
Career: Archaeologist, Captain of The Empty Vessel
Race: Corellian Human (different from other Humans in that they have an air of superiority, what with owning the Capital Planet of the galaxy and being all smug and shit - they’re like Space Tories)
Skills: Piloting
            Conning Investors Out Of Their Savings
Equipment: A Ship that isn’t the Millenium Falcon
                        Space Cigarettes
        More junk than Bargain Hunt (which should be the ship’s name if you ask me)

Closely followed by his partner/employee:

Festal Barr
Career: Pretend Jedi (so a relatively short career really)
Race: Does is matter?  I mean, who picks a character class that has a standing KILL ORDER on them!?
           May as well have tattooed a swastika to his forehead whilst wearing a t-shirt showing kittens
           being chainsawed in two
Skills: Who knows, let’s hope “Staying Alive” is one of them
Equipment: A bunch of body gadgets designed to mimic Jedi powers, including a tiny holdout blaster
                        hidden in his sleeve to imitate Force Bolts (?).  Anyone wanting to see how well that idea
                        worked out should skip straight to Page 6 - How We All Got Dicked Until Tom Stopped
                        Eating Sandwiches

Talking of whom:

Ciirtobuck (no relation)
Career: Ex-Terrorist/Club Circuit Singer (and the character class cliches just keep on coming)
Race: Wookie
Skills: Pulling People’s Arms Out Of Their Sockets Then Re-Inserting Them Anally
            Convincing People He Can Sing
            Making Sandwiches
No-Skills: Singing
Equipment: Pate
                        Demo tape

Finally joined by the red and white Astromech:

Career: Being Good At Stuff Cos Everyone Else Is 1st Level And Useless
Race: Dustbin
Skills: Cooking, Cleaning, Splicing, Dicing, Dancing, Beeping, Flashing, Whirling, Weeding, Everything
Equipment: A bunch of iPhone soundboard apps

But wait, what shadowy figure from yonder ramp breaks?

Career: Unknown
Race: Classified
Skills: A mystery
Equipment: Hidden

2B/N2B: ?
Max: What is it?
2B/N2B: I thought I saw something behind us?
Festel: I too felt something.
Max: What?
Festel: I don’t know?  It’s like a thousand ginger hairs all cried out at once and then were silenced.
Max: Well, whatever it was it’s gone now.
Ciirtobuck: Maybe it will come back?
2B/N2B: <looks at Space Facebook> That appears to be a definite probability.

To hurry the plot along, 2B/N2B splices the docking computer’s recent itinerary and finds that the Stone Tablet was delivered a week ago by Ace Trading, primarily because he’s got Level 3 in Computing, whilst the rest of us have to make do with Level 2 max in our skills.  Anyone wishing to see how that makes a difference should skip to Page 6.  

Meanwhile, Ciirtobuck and Festel head to a generic cantina, The Slaughtered Nerf, for information.  Festel soon makes contact with a local crim by the name of Jarek Quix to inquire about the Stone Tablet, except Ciirtobuck has decided to impress the local crowd with some Wookie Karaoke.  Unfortunately its a difficult crowd and despite belting out such hits as No Sleep Till Bespin, Lando Of Confusion and X-Wings Of A Dove, the response is muted.  Philistines.

Back at the ship Max uses some of his Cthulhu RPG expertise by reading some dusty old holobooks on the planet’s history.  Caught off guard the GM has to create some colourful history on the fly concerning an ancient battlefield .  Unfortunately he crits his Bullshit The Players roll who immediately head off for the legendary site of battle in their speeder bus type vehicle and proceed to waste about an hour of real time digging lots of holes for relics.  Understandably the owner of the land, Ferr Armer, isn’t best pleased.  Festel decides to use his ‘powers’ to dissuade the farmer from calling the cops.  It’s around this time that Festel realises his Deception skill (his highest ranked skill) is about as useful as a rancid turnip in a meteor storm that has...

2B/N2B: I agree <beeeeeep, whiirrr, doople, dooooo…>
Max: For the love of Space God!  Shut him up or shut him down.  Or better yet, shoot him in the head.
Anyway dear readers, lets us fast forward this debacle and get to the almost action.

The party arrive at Port Agra where Denalla Tor (the buyer of the Stone Tablet) lives in a gated community called Ocean Tranquility.  Security is tight.

Ciirtobuck immediately begins casing the joint and formulates a plan to infiltrate Tor’s luxury apartment.

Ciirtobuck: You notice how the community is surrounded by water?  We can use that to our advantage.  We can commandeer a boat if 2B/N2B forges some passes for us, then using my demolitions skill I can create a limited explosion to gain entry to the lower access gate; we then move up the floors, 2B checking the area for security sensors; Festel can deal with any humanoid guards enroute and Max can persuade the lady to sell us the item.
Max: Or we can ask the gate guard to let us in.

Max and Festel approach the guardhouse as the others look on.  After a few minutes they walk back to the group.

2B/N2B: What happened?  Is the guard going to let us in?
Festel: Err, no. I ‘asked’ him but the Force was strong with him.
GM: Well, he was a zero level guard so had a hefty -3 to his saves.
Max: We did manage to speak to Denalla Tor though.
2B/N2B: And did you manage to secure an appointment with her?
Festel: Err...

Max looks away in embarrassment.

2B/N2B: I guess the Force was strong with her too?

Festel: Look, who’s to blame is meaningless at this point.  Besides, there’s an old Jedi saying that fits right now: “Sometimes its best if you just charge in without thinking and fuck their shit up”

The party retreat from the area.

A short while later, a speeder bus type vehicle arrives at the gate.  On the side is a large piece of canvas with the words “Dave’s Cleaners” on the side, stuck on with space glue.  It barely covers the symbol of the speeder bus hire company logo.

Driver of innocent looking vehicle: We’re here to clean Denalla Tor’s apartment.
Guard: Well the schedule says the cleaning is due.  Usually it’s not for another 3 days, but the itinerary updated itself about half an hour ago.  So that’s all perfectly regular and not suspicious.
Co-Driver: May we go in then please?
Guard: Sure. <turns> Raise the gate… Wait a second, don’t I know you?
Co-Driver (with big moustache, glasses and a cowboy’s hat): <affecting higher pitched voice> I don’t think so.

Having gained access to the community, the ‘cleaning company’ disembark.  As it’s worked out so well in the past and in all horror movies ever made, the party split up to investigate.  Ciirtobuck finds the kitchen and begins what can only be described as an epic sandwich building project.

Downstairs, Festel, Max and 2B find the vault.

Festel: How are we going to open that?
Max: Can’t you Force your way in?  Ha, ha, see what I did there.
Festel: For your information, my old master told me that “Size matters lots”.  And as you can see, this is a very big door.

At that moment, the vault door opens.

2B/N2B: Ahh, got it!
Max: It’s entirely possible we’d still be trying to get off the ship if he weren’t here.

Before any more quips can be made a Security Cleaning Droid trundles into view.

Festel: Everyone take cover, I’ll handle this.

WELCOME TO PAGE 6 - The Phantom Non-Menace

Festel: Okay, I somersault over 2B and into cover.
GM: 2B is to your right against the wall.  And do you have Acrobatics?
Festel: Okay, I dive into cover.
GM: Make a roll against your Agility.
Festel: … ahh… err, I trip and slide headfirst into cover, banging my head a bit.
Max: I’m walking to the side of the door and having a quick smoke.
2B/N2B: <beeeeeeep, weeeee, doo doo>
Max: Just because I’m having a fag break doesn’t mean I won’t sell your metal ass to some sadistic Jawas.

The Security Cleaning Droid opens up with some pretty hefty vacuuming power.

GM: Festel, what’s your armour?
Festel: The Force is my ally, it is also my armour.  It’s all around us, binding…
GM: You’re hit for 5 points of vacuuming damage.
Festel: Arrgghhh!  I’m down to half my hitpoints.  Help!
GM: <oh shit, this is one of the ‘warriors’ of the group>

Festel then lets rip with some Force Bolts.

Festel: Eat Force Death motherfucker!  Okay, that’s one and half points of damage.
GM: <checks the droids armour, it’s strength 5>
GM: Errmm, the bolts rock it back on it’s heels a bit and it’s name badge comes off.
Festel: YEAH!  You want some more huh!? Do ya, do ya!?
Max: Ciir, come in.  You are required in the vault.  Repeat, come down and rescue us please.  And can you bring some more cigarettes with you?
Ciirtobuck: ...zzzzchhhzzzz…
Max: Say again, over.  All after “Sandwiches”

GM: Okay the droid is firing again.  Festel you’re hit again.
Festel: Ciir! Ciir! Help me!  This things about to attach some more nozzles to his vacuuming gun.  Darren, if I see him switch to “Tiled Floor Vacuuming Mode” I’m making a run for it.

At that point Ciir runs in like a hairy blur.  The wookie vaults over 2B, a mighty sword in one hand and a cheese and nerf sandwich in the other.  With one hit he decapitates the cleaning droid.

Festel: Good thing I wore him down for you.
2B/N2B: I beeped vigorously in his general direction.
Max: Don’t forget my smoke rings.

All of which had roughly equal effect.

What happened next isn’t clear as the author went home crying because his character was so utterly rubbish.

To be continued…

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