Well, best laid plans are sometimes blasted to tiny particles by turbolasers. In the previous play report, I talked about how a big action scene was skipped (though plenty of other action still took place). This time around, things got down right methodical.
We had two new players join the group, while one from the previous session was unable to attend. That character (Hera) was on a "side mission" for Daelu. Her astromech, was conveniently left behind to assist in the mission.The new PCs included:
- Thall Joben from the DROIDS tv series! He's a speeder racer, which woulda' been PERFECT for the previous game. But whaddya gonna do?
- A Mon Calmari first mate. I can't recall his name while I write this, but he's sort of a technical dude (starship repair and gunner) who's well versed in bureaucracy. So pretty much like a GM certified mechanic, I'd imagine.
The new players added a great dimension to the game in the way of strategy--especially when it came to determining how to approach the base. This is the "figuring out how they're going to pull the job" part of the adventure.
PLAYER PRO-TIP: If you spend a session on investigation and strategy when the big action scene was supposed to go down and you don't play for another month, you've just given the GM more time to think up more nastiness to revisit upon you on your next session. Game wisely!
Of course, this is all in jest. I did ramp up their timeline--instead of a week in game-time, they get 72 hours to get their gear and get on with the mission. A quick side trip to see if they can find out find out the source of the cargo vessels.
Anyway, blah, blah....
- The PCs were given the layout of the base, per some of Daelu's Bothan spy brothers. Since the last session, he's begun getting more of his pals on board with the rebels. The Bothans are building their spy network.
- The plans confirmed that the base is heavily protected, though some of the Empire's signature vehicles like the walkers aren't present due to terrain and giant vines. Instead there are several squads of jungle scout troopers and speeders.
- The facility is essentially a super secure IT building for the Empire, housing the plans and beaming a constant stream of updates through a secure channel of linked probe droids. The data is easier to manage and now protected by killer robots. If one should self-destruct or be taken out, it drops off network and the Imperials are immediately alerted.
- So the PCs, fearing detection decide to test the cloaking device and do a scan of the gas giant's system and check out the moon the base is on.
- Melaku (the gas giant) has a weirding field of electromagnetic flux. Several large iron core asteroids have been towed into place by the Empire and fitted with sensors. Their high metallicity ends up reflecting the gas giant's field back into itself. It's one giant E/M blanket. Any ship that flies inside the orbit of these satellites--and doesn't have a cloaking device--is immediately detected by Imperial sensor scans. The entire field magnifies sensors!
- The jungle moon, where the base is located has a single centurion probe droid that acts as majordomo for all space transport to and from the planet. It actually travels back and forth between the base to relay data. Any transmission from the droid would be likewise picked up by those big reflectors on the other moons and the Imperial armada would be there to take care of any unwanted guests.
- They do a flyby of the moon to get a close look at the base, which looks to be exactly as the plans they've recovered.
- So how does the base relay it's real-time holonet code of the DS plans to Imperial contractors? A hyperspace transmitter! Works on the same principles as a hyperdrive, but it's beaming info directly to a network of probe droids hidden in hyperspace that then relay encrypted data almost instantly. It's the transmitter's control computer--a sentient A.I.--that needs to be hacked to get the code.
Bothan brandy makes Lobot's circuits all tingly
- The computer core is split into 3 "personas" and it takes 2 to get a complete code. Communicating with the cores requires a protocol droid with unique modifications. Only 3 known individuals are said to know how to make the upgrades. One is one is dead. One is on Coruscant. The other is on.....BESPIN!
- Thinking (correctly) that there wouldn't nearly the Imperial presence on Bespin as Coruscant, our heroes depart for Cloud City.
- Dalelu says it might be a good idea to bring along a little "incentive" so Chin Duo loads a crate of his best Bothan brandy in case they need to grease the wheels in negotiations.
- When they're introduced to the city's administrator, LANDO CALRISSIAN, the gift make for smooth introduction and he agrees to lend out the services of his assistant, the top A.I. expert in the quadrant: LOBOT! The cyborg makes the necessary mods to "Spare" so he can talk to the cores.
- Calrissian says he wants in on whatever the PCs find. He needs leverage with the Imperials should they decide to interfere with his Tibanna gas mining operation. He lets them know that the Imperials have indeed built this "superweapon" they keep hearing about and intend on testing it...in the next 48 hours!
- NEXT TIME: The team is off to Melaku to begin their mission, now with a working cloaking device and a suped-up protocol droid.
- Hopefully, the intelligence they've gathered is correct....
|SPAR-3 gets an upgrade|
So I failed to deliver on the "Big Damn Heroes" aspect I'd managed in the previous game. The "exciting conclusion!" is postponed for one more session. But I assure you, the PCs are now painted into a very tight corner, so it's do or do not (there is no try!) for Part 3.
And if they live through that session, I have an even more exciting "bonus" adventure, so it could stretch to a forth session. We'll have to see because we're now running into scheduling issues with the next few SNSO events.
We've got a "make-up" game for this coming up, with the exact date and time to be decided. But I'm looking forward to throwing the players into the deep end with a combat-heavy session!
UPDATE: Part three has yet to be scheduled. Stay tuned for the thrilling (for real this time) conclusion!