Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Storytime: Why I am no longer allowed to use explosives

I've gotten caught up in schoolwork again. Luckily, I have something on a related topic I wrote in order to share with a friend about a year ago. This is my first experience with an RPG and took place when I was in junior high. Both my brother (the GM in this story) and the other player in this game are in the current Star Wars campaign I am writing about in this blog.

We were playing the old West End Games Star Wars RPG. My brother was GMing for the first time and making most of it up on the spot. My friend and I were playing bounty hunters. We met our contact, got the assignment, and decided we needed more firepower. So, we of course went shopping.

The shop had pretty much everything we could ever want... except they were selling something the Imperials deemed illegal... and someone tipped the local authorities off. A group of 6 stormtroopers burst in and the shopkeeper opens fire. The attackers were little too strong. The shopkeeper and my friend were hit early and lay on the ground dying. My character jumped through the door way into the storage room and used the doorway for cover. As to what happened next...

me: "Do they look injured at all?"

GM: "You can't tell. They've got armor."

me: "Is there any kind of grenade back here? Like a thermal detonator? Or maybe a whole crate of them?"

GM (happy to have an out): "Yes! There's a box right next to you!"

me: "Cool! I pick up the box and throw it at them!"

GM (after a brief pause): "You what?"

me: "I throw it at them. Did I kill the stormtroopers?"

GM: "The box?"

me: "Yes, the box! Did I kill the stormtroopers?"

GM: "Did you arm any of them?"

me: "No."

GM: "No, you did not kill the stormtroopers."

GM (on my next turn): "Well, the box didn't work. What do you do now?"

me: "I shoot the box!"

GM (pauses and blinks a couple of times): "You... shoot... the box?"

me: "Yeah! I shoot the box! That should make the grenades go off! Did I kill the stormtroopers?"

GM: "You need to roll to hit."

me (after I roll): "Did I hit it? Did it kill the stormtroopers?"

GM: "Yes, you hit it."

me: "Woohoo! Did I kill the stormtroopers?"

GM: "Yes, you killed the stormtroopers..." (I start celebrating) "... and the shopkeeper..."

me: "Huh?"

GM: "... and Ryan and yourself."

me: "What? How?"

GM: "That was a box. A box of THERMAL DETONATORS! You leveled the whole building!"
me: "Is there any chance I survive?"


"Oh... oops."

Since then, the only destruction I've caused in a city is accidentally lighting a building on fire with a flaming arrow in my first D&D campaign. I doubt that character would be warmly received should he revisit that city.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Session 3: Jailbreak

Bishop Nabool too had a message upon his return. This one contained instructions on how to contact an unnamed individual about a job offer.

"Ah, Mr. Nabool," everyone's favorite Bothan said. "I have a job for you."

"I figured as much."

A map appeared in the projection. "I need you to drive to this location. An aircar will be provided on the listed date."

The date flashed on the screen. Ah, the day of the big parade. Nice cover, thought Nabool. "And?"

"And wait for further instructions. I will pay you 2000 credits. I'll pay you half in advance."

"Most of my weapons were confiscated. I'd like you to replace those."

"I trust you still have something?"

"I have a light repeater."

"That will do."

The message terminated. Well, now to give my current employer the bad news.

The face of Grogga the Hutt appeared on screen.

"Grogga. I just wanted to let you know I've gotten a better offer and will be moving on."

"Oh. I am... disappointed to hear that." A protocol droid translated from off screen.

The link suddenly terminated.

Oh no. What have I done?! Angering a Hutt is generally considered to be a very bad idea.

Pro tip #1:
Always make sure your back story is available in written form just in case the player and the game master disagree on what was in it. The player intended to be working for a small-time criminal and not no that person's boss. The GM did not understand that. In order to keep the game moving, the GM went with what he understood in order to avoid backtracking and replaying the sequence.

Pro tip #2:
Never contact a crime boss to tell them you quit. They will be... disappointed to hear that.

Bishop laid low for the rest of the week. The car arrived as promised on the appointed day. Upon arrival, Bishop looked around noting the nearby bank and a couple of other prime targets. He was a little surprised to be involved in a job so close to the detention center. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion in the distance and the area shook. Lights flickered as and died.

In the jail, the backup generators quickly kicked in. A couple seconds later, another explosion disabled them as well. The containment forcefields on one of the lower levels died. A single red light appeared, accompanied by the skittering of spidery legs.

"Ah, Yossa," Shiv's voice intoned from the droid.

"Well, what's your plan for getting outta here?"

"Retrieve your atlatl."


"In good time."

Yossa and the droid took off down the corridor. The other prisoners, having been kept in a weakened state much longer, did not keep pace with the pair.

"Do the guards have the day off or somethin'?"

"There was a fire drill before the lights went off."

"A fire drill?"

"A fire drill."

"I don't even want to know what you're up to."

"You are wise beyond your years."

Yossa skidded to a stop and whirled on the droid. "Patronize me again and I'll smack you!"

The bot did not even stop. "Noted."

They arrived at a dead turbolift. After what felt like forever, they emerged in an empty hallway. No guards were in sight.

"We need to find the evidence room." With that, the droid skittered away.

"'Da hell?" Yossa looked down the other way, seeing nothing of note. "Can't hurt."

ASP-707 booted up. A strange bot was climbing on him. Only voice and optics are functional. A quick diagnostic test verified nothing had been added to his programming.

The small bot spoke. "Next directive: collect all our weapons and proceed down the hall."

"Next directive is my own."

A sigh emanated from the other bot.

Controversy arose for a second time as our GM sliced into our droid character's CPU. There are drawbacks to playing a droid.

The droid completed the repairs on ASP-707 quickly, then hopped to a locker. "This is the one you want."

They met the Gungan in the hall. "Directive fulfilled," Shiv's bots said in unison. "Let's free your future colleagues."

"Do it yourself," said Yossa. Footsteps echoed further down the halway.

"I... need assistance," Shiv said reluctantly.

"They're the ones that got me into this mess!"

"I know where the warden is."

"You got me there. I owe him a good beatin'."

As those two set off, the second bot turned to 707. "Will you follow?"

707 raised his arm. A cloud of flame burst forth. He slowly stalked down the hallway after Yossa.

Two levels down, they found a control room. Yossa spotted the warden and dashes down the stairs. As he rounds a corner, he finds the warden waiting for him with his back to the wall. Yossa skids to a halt as the smiling warden raised his baton, showing the Gungan a wide array of buttons as he pressed one. Sirens erupted.

Yossa raises his atlatl and fires. The warden smiles again as the projectile harmlessly strikes an energy barrier. Again, the warden smiles and presses a button on his baton. Two small sections of wall slide upward and a single creature walks out. A sand tick the size of a human fist emerges.

"'Da hell?" Yossa says. Suddenly more pour out of the hole and begin crawling all over the energy field, unable to penetrate it. When Yossa moves to fire again, the ticks swarm toward him. One bites him as he flees. The sand ticks pursue.

After several attempts, 707 slices into the the computers in the control room and disengages the pressure-locked cells on the levels holding Banniss and the Rodian.

"Hi, guys! Dis way!" Yossa says as he runs past his compatriots, pausing briefly to flip a blaster pistol to Banniss.

After donning a large, black cloak he pulled from the evidence room, 707 walks slowly out of the control room, flaming sand tick stragglers as he goes.

The Rodian slips on the final flight of stairs, striking her head and tumbling to the bottom. She doesn't get up. Yossa and Bannis hop off the staircase just in time to avoid being struck by her body. A squad of twelve stormtroopers await them in the lobby.

Editor's note:
Bishop does know Huttese, but Grogga insists on always using a protocol droid to translate.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Introducing: Yossa Fel

My apologies about the lack of post last week. I had two large papers due. That also precluded the next session from making it through the editing process in time. Session updates will resume next week.


Yossa Fel is a 34 year old Ankura Gungan. He grew up among his people and served in the Grand Army, achieving significant rank and prestige. He also married and while he has no children as of yet, he is very close to his wife. He doesn't talk about his past at all with anyone, because he's been banished. The great war hero Yossa Fel is not allowed to return to his people, but his wife could not leave her responsibilities to join him. Their solution is to send journals back and forth, so that at least they can share that much. Since his exile, he has been making a living as a mercenary, selling his prodigious skill with his atlatl to whomever offers legitimate work. Even despite all that has happened, Yossa still has a strong respect for the law, although he suspects with considerable frequency that imperial law isn't worth the trouble to follow. He'll generally come across as gruff and a tad mean, but can you blame him?

Yossa is known for his skills with a Gungan atlatl.