Monday, April 25, 2016

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game - Session 2: Teemo's Job

NX-275, Arkanian Offshoot, Smuggler (played by Jojo, 11yo)
Miko Eiduno, Jawa, Bounty Hunter (played by Evan, 9yo)

When we start, I ask the kids what sort of jobs would they like to do in Teemo’s palace. Jojo tells me that she wants to work somewhere with animals, while Evan tells me that he wants to work in the workshop.

“The sullustan who works for Teemo assigns some jobs to you both,” I tell them. “Nix is assigned to work as a cleaner in Teemo’s ‘menagerie’, while Miko is shown the workshop and told to fix up his armor. Afterwards, he is to hang around Teemo’s main hall as one of the bounty hunters there.” The next couple of days pass quickly, with Miko restoring his shadowtrooper armor to working order, while Nix cleans up the endless poop in the Hutt’s menagerie. “It seems that visitors sometimes give Teemo rare and expensive animals as gifts,” I tell her. “It is no co-incidence that the menagerie is located right next to the palace kitchens!”

“Eww, gross!” blanches the kids.

On the third day, Nix is cleaning out one of the empty cages when a large alien sticks his head out from the kitchens. “You! Slave!” he bellows. “The stupid serving droid has broken down again! Take this dish up to Teemo’s main hall!”

Nix obediently takes the dish and carefully brings it up to the main hall. I tell Evan that Miko is already in the main hall which is filled with mercenaries, bounty hunters and gamorrean guards. No one pays the jawa in his shadowtrooper suit any attention.

“What about the curtains!?” asks Evan intently. “Are they up or down!?”

I look at him blankly. “Uh, curtains? What curtains?”

“You know, the curtains! The ones from Jabba’s palace when Princess Leia was un-freezing Han Solo, and then the curtains came up, and the bad guys were all hiding there!”

Wait, I know that laugh..
Ah, of course. “No, the curtains are all up right now. Nobody hiding behind them or anything.” Apparently, curtains are an essential item of subterfuge in any Hutt’s palace.

I describe the main hall to the kids. “There are mercenaries and gamorrean guards everywhere. A live band is playing music. And on a raised dais sits Teemo the Hutt, eating his frog snacks.”

The sullustan who works for Teemo appears next to him and whispers something into Teemo’s ear. The Hutt belches and announces, “I’ll talk to him here!” Immediately, a hologram stutters into place in front of the Hutt’s dais. “You can see that this is a hologram transmission of this guy!” I hold up a token showing a man in an imperial uniform.

Why do we deal with such scum?
“An Imperial officer!?” interrupts Evan excitedly. “I’m going to come out front and say, ‘This is Shadow Trooper 1158! Help - I’ve been stranded on this planet!’”

Okay, this will be interesting. I hand Evan the dice, “I suppose this is a Cool check to see how well you can convince the Imperial officer that you’re a real Shadow trooper!” Evan rolls the dice, and unfortunately, Failures reign supreme. “Just as you step forward to deliver your message, you step on someone’s foot! A reptile-like face snarls at you, and you see that you’ve stepped on the foot of a Transdoshan!” I get the kids to google up a picture of a Transdoshan:

“Uh oh, those guys!” mutters Evan.

The angry transdoshan shoves Miko back, and the jawa falls backwards on his butt. “Watch where you are going!” The lizard-like alien snarls a few words in his own language that the jawa does not recognise, but their meaning is obvious.

Meanwhile, the imperial officer speaks to Teemo, “Teemo? Is this channel secure? You and I must speak in private! I cannot afford to have this transmission over-heard!”

The Hutt laughs. “You impewials are all the swame! Sneaking awound with youwr secwet discussions! We Hutts hide none of ouwr business dealings from ouwr own people!” Everyone else in the room laughingly agrees.

The imperial officer seems agitated. “Very well. As per our... prior agreement, I am informing you that the… ‘package’... is currently in transit. On a smuggler’s vessel owned by one named..” As usual, I poll the kids for a name. Jojo suggests ‘Fin’ while Evan provides ‘Lou’. I mash them together. “Lofin. That is all I can say.” And with that the imperial officer ends the transmission.

Teemo snorts. “Lofin? Hmm.” He beckons to his sullustan aide. “Get Lofin on the line.” And soon, a hologram projection flickers on again, and this time it shows…

“...A fat, bulky alien,” I say hesitantly. This is what I probably find hardest in running a Star Wars RPG: coming up with interesting NPCs. I’m no longer in the realm of elves, gnomes and dwarves, and instead have to think of droids, wookies and “God knows what that thing is, but it was in that scene from Episode 6”.

Evan helps out. “How about those aliens with the tentacles on their chins? Quarrens?”
By the tentacles on my chinny-chin-chin!
“Those aren’t fat at all,” points out Jojo. “They are all pretty lean.”

“Well, this one is,” I declare. “A fat, bulky Quarren appears in the hologram. ‘Greetings, Teemo,’ he intones. ‘To what do I owe the pleasure of your transmission?’“

“Ah, Lofin,” croons Teemo. “I am so disappointed to know that you are in the area, and you have not bothered to stop by my palace!”

The quarren looks uneasy. “I’m afraid I am in a bit of a hurry. I won’t be near your system for long.”

“But surely you can spare some time to check out what I have to offer,” says Teemo. “I have just had a fresh stock of.. slaves!”

“He’s going to sell me again!?” exclaims Jojo feeling incensed. “I stand up and shout, ‘You’re not going to sell me again!’” The angry arkanian offshoot is hurriedly silenced by some guards. One put his hand over her mouth, and gets bitten as a result.

Teemo looks annoyed, but Lofin laughs at the sight. “If she is one of the slaves you intend to sell, I’d be interested to buy her!” The quarren’s eyes narrow. “But I truly do not intend to stop over at your palace, Teemo. Instead, if you want to trade, you can meet me here at this moon.” A display showing the coordinates of a lonely moon appears.

Teemo snorts. “Vewy well, but I am unhappy with your lack of twust!” He ends the transmission and looks around the room. “Well, is anyone gwoing to volunteer to meet Lofin at this moon?”

I turn to Evan. “You know that transdoshan whose foot you stepped on? He steps forward (on his good foot) and says, ‘I will deliver the slave, great Teemo!’”

Teemo glances at the transdoshan. “Captain Trex! If I wecall from last time, you were supposed to bwing a shipment of cordite for my gwandmother’s birthday! And you lost it!”

“Cordite?” frowns Jojo. “Isn’t that something to do with explosives or gunpowder? What’s Teemo trying to do bringing cordite to his grandmother’s birthday!?”

“That’s a story for another day,” I tell her sagely.

Captain Trex scowls at the reminder. “And this is the perfect chance for me to redeem myself, O great Teemo.”

Teemo chortles. “Vewy well, Trex. You will bwing the slave to Lofin, and you will bwing that one with you too.” He points at Miko who is just behind Trex, and the crowd laughs at Teemo’s choice.

“I punch Trex!” says Evan.

“He’s all the way in front of Teemo,” I remind him. “You’ll need to get closer to do that.”

Evan opts to hoist his blaster carbine menacingly at the transdoshan instead.

The transdoshan looks angry and unhappy at the same time, but he nods. “Very well, great Teemo.”

The Hutt sits back. “And when you meet Lofin, you will kill him and his cwew. Wetrieve the ‘package’ from his cargo hold, and bring it bwack to me.”

The kids consider this. “Ooo. He really wants that package,” says Jojo.

Evan says, “I ask Teemo if we can look at what it is when we get it.”

“Of course not!” I reply.


At this point, I pull out the large glossy layout of a ship from the box. “Trex actually has a pretty decent ship. This is his ship, the ‘Krayt Fang’.”

The Krayt Fang
A ship can only be as decent as what its captain cares to be. Trex has not bothered to keep the ship clean at all. Junk, half-eaten food and empty cans roll about the floor. “And when you open the fridge, you hurriedly close it again when the smell hits you.” I tell them.

“Hey Jojo look!” Evan points excitedly at the crew messroom. “There’s that hologram chess-board like in the Falcon! Let’s play a game of holo-chess!”

“Unfortunately, the holo-chess game is busted too,” I tell him solemnly.

“Man, this ship sucks!”

Trex fires up the engines, and I tell the kids that they see that he needs to request the Control Tower to release the locking clamps from the ship before he can fly it off. Soon, the ship blasts off into space, and jumps into lightspeed once they are clear from the planet’s atmosphere.

The journey takes several hours. Through that time, Trex just scowls at the two of them whenever he sees them. At the start of the journey, he snarls at them both, “You two keep out of my way! In my ship, only my rules apply. If you cross me, I’ll throw you out the airlock!” He spends most of his time at the cockpit.

Meanwhile Nix and Miko explore the ship. I tell them that they can access almost every room, except for the last cargo area in the ship. “This cargo area is secured with a simple electronic lock,” I tell them. “You suppose could open it with some luck.”

Nothing like some curiosity to whet the appetite for exploration. But the kids don’t seem to be biting today. “No, leave it,” says Jojo. “We just wait for Trex to get to that moon.”

Somewhat surprised at my kids’ sudden respect for other people’s property, I continue the adventure. “Finally, the ship comes out of lightspeed, and you see that you are near a small moon.” I admit I was tempted to burst out with ‘But that’s no moon!’. “You see that there is another ship here orbiting the moon. No doubt this is Lofin’s ship.”

Lofin’s ship is a big, clunky cargo hauler with angular lines and large double thrusters. As the Krayt Fang comes close to dock with the other ship, Trex comes to the both of them. I tell Jojo. “He throws a blaster at you.”

Jojo says, “At me? Are my hands tied?”

“What? Why?”

“Because if they are, I’ll do this.” She stands up and pretends trying to clumsily catch the blaster with her hands tied before dropping it, much to our amusement.

“Yeap,” I say. “Your hands were definitely tied.”


Captain Trex snorts, un-ties Nix and hands her the blaster. “You might as well make yourself useful,” he growls menacingly. “Since we’re going to be blasting Lofin’s crew.” He glares at both Nix and Miko. “And either of you try any stunts that I don’t like, I’m throwing you both out the airlock!’” This is possibly the only threat the transdoshan knows.

The two ships dock against each other with a clank. The intercom buzzes and then Lofin’s voice comes on, “Ah! Captain Trex! I see that you have been assigned to bring the slave to me!”
“Yes, Lofin,” growls Trex. “Let’s get this over with. Open the hatch door and we’ll hand her over to your crew.”

“Crew?” The quarren snorts. “I fired my whole crew sometime ago. Useless good-for-nothings they were!”

“I bet he’ll not be thinking that soon!” says Jojo gleefully.

“And so I replaced my crew. With droids!”

With that, the hatchway connecting the ships opens up. They can see a loading bay and four security droids with blasters waiting there.
Lofin’s ship
“Deliver the slave to my security droids!” commands Lofin.

Trex nudges Nix, and the three of them walk across the passageway connecting the two ships. “What about payment, Lofin?” hisses Trex. “How shall you settle this?”

“Payment?” laughs Lofin. “You can tell Teemo that he can expect no payment from me! In fact, you won’t be able to, once I order my droids to blast you all!”

“Well, that’s a co-incidence,” remarks Jojo. “We were just going to blast all his crew too!”

“That’s the underworld of crime in the Outer Rim,” I tell the kids. “Everyone’s backstabbing everyone.”

Quick as a flash, Trex tosses something which rolls and skitters on the floor towards the droids. It looks like a round, blue-glowing metal sphere.

“An ion grenade!” guesses Evan. “Isn’t that right, dad?”

“Yeap, it sure is.” The ion grenade rolls right into the midst of the four droids before exploding into a brilliant display of lightning surges. The droids all rattle and gabber uncontrollably before collapsing where they stand. Trex, Nix and Miko enter the loading bay and inspect the area.

“Utinni ability!” declares Evan. “I search the room! Utinni!”

“Utinni works on scrap,” I tell him. “Where’s the scrap here?”

“Trex just destroyed those droids,” he points out. “Those droids ARE scrap now, aren’t they?”

I suppose they are. I let him roll the dice, which come up favourably. “The blasters and equipment on the droids are all pretty much shorted out by that ion grenade. But you do find four grenades which look like they still work because they don’t use electricity.”

We discuss what sort of grenades these should be, and decide that they must be some sort of stun grenades that break and release a stun gas when thrown. “It makes sense,” I tell Evan as he notes them down. “Stun gas doesn’t work on droids, so these droids must have had them to use on organic beings.”

The kids inspect the two doors, and reason out that the door heading towards the front should lead to where Lofin is, while the door leading to the rear of the ship should be where the cargo hold is. Trex remarks, “We should secure Teemo’s ‘package’ before finishing off the rest of the droid crew.” The Transdoshan strides towards the door leading to the rear of the ship and presses a button to open it. The button gives a dull click, and the door stays closed.

“Just great!” snorts Jojo. “Nice work, Trex! Your ion grenade shorted the door out too!”

The transdoshan grunts as he taps the dead electronic lock a few more times. “I’ll get this open. You guys go ahead and finish off the rest of the droids.” He heads back into his ship, and returns with a blow-torch. As he starts working on the dead door, Nix and Miko inspect the door heading to the front of the ship. It looks like it is still operational.

“Oh! Is it all fuzzy, like this?” Jojo puts her palms side-by-side and demonstrates a faulty sliding door.

“Pretty much,” I tell them. The door slides open just about half-way before failing. Nix and Miko squeeze through and head into the corridor that turns into a T-junction. They decide to take the corridor leading to the front of the ship, and run straight into two security droids standing at guard.

I get the kids to roll for Initiative, and despite having better dice than the droids, the droids go first. “Those droids must have been waiting for you two to come around the corner! They both open fire with their blasters!” I roll a few Hits on Miko, plus several Advantages. “Ooo, that means something happens to the droids’ advantage! What do you think happens?”

Evan thinks a bit. “How about, one of the shots activates the ‘open’ button on my suit, and it opens up!” We laugh at the idea, and go with it. To Miko’s dismay, his shadowtrooper armor suddenly decides to open up, dumping the startled jawa on the ground in front of it.

Nix gets hit badly by the other droid’s blasts, and receives 7 damage, even after reducing Soak. Badly injured, the arkanian offshoot fires back with her blaster, but only scorches the door behind the droid as her shots miss.

I tell Evan that despite being dumped out of his armor, Miko is quick enough to dislodge his blaster carbine from the shadowtrooper suit. The jawa fires back at his droid, and blasts it to bits. The remaining droid and the kids exchange blasts for another round before Miko’s blaster carbine finally blows off the droid’s head, leaving the rest of the body still standing there.

Evan wants to take the droid’s weapons, but is disappointed when I tell him that the droids’ blasters are attached to their arms. “Besides, they aren’t as good as your own blaster carbine.”

“When I get back to Mos Shuuta, I want to upgrade my blaster carbine to a DLT-19X,” he says to me. “It’s a blaster that does one powerful shot, but takes a while to reload.”

“Mm hmm,” I nod. Some sort of laser shotgun, I suppose. Better remember to google that later.

After Miko gets back into his armor, the two of them enter the cockpit area of the ship. “There’s no one here,” I tell them. “Control panels line up the walls, and there’s an empty pilot seat, but you don’t see anyone here at all. On the speakers, Lofin’s voice sneers, ‘Hahahaha! You cannot find me! My ship has secrets that only I know! Leave my ship before I initiate the self-destruct! Hahahahaha!’”

“Yeah, well that’ll blow you up too,” retorts Jojo. “I’m searching the control panels for a Mute button!” The arkanian offshoot searches the control panels, and I get Jojo to roll some dice for Perception.

“Unfortunately, you don’t find a Mute button. But you do notice that although there are buttons and controls on every panel, there’s one panel here that doesn’t have anything on it.” I point to a section of panel next to the pilot seat.

Nix gives the panel a kick, and the whole panel collapses in. Inside, they see the fat, bulky quarren squashed into the tight hidden compartment with a microphone in hand. He blinks surprisedly at them, “Hahah-oh.”

“End of the line, buster,” says Nix pointing her blaster.

I ask Evan what he wants to do, and he states that he’s blasting Lofin. I do hesitate a bit - Lofin is a nasty piece of work, and certainly wouldn’t be taken alive, but this was pretty cold-blooded. I decide to roll with it, “You blast the quarren and the whole compartment explodes! Nix is thrown back from the blast, and a red light suddenly fills the whole room! An automated voice speaks, ‘Self-destruct initiated. Five minutes to self-destruct.’”

Jojo decides to run back down the corridor, and head towards the new door that they’ve not gone to. The loading bay she comes to has a couple of escape pods there. “The door leading to the cargo hold is also open.” I tell her. She decides to check out the cargo hold.

Meanwhile, Evan decides to race back to where Trex is, and arrives just in time to see the transdoshan abandoning his attempt to open the dead door, and run through the bridge back to his ship. “So long, suckers!” he sneers as he closes the door behind him.

“Why, that stinking coward!” mutters Evan. He decides to run back to where Nix had gone off to.

Nix enters the cargo hold. “There’s piles of cargo boxes everywhere, but one in particular stands out. It’s a metal-and-glass cargo pod. Something is glowing blue from within it!” Thankfully, the cargo pod can hover magnetically off the floor, so the arkanian offshoot pushes it with her to the escape pods.

Miko arrives just in time to see Nix pushing the cargo pod. “I don’t think we’ll all be able to squeeze into the escape pod with that,” he says after measuring up the size of the cargo box.

“You could open it up and take out what’s in there,” I mention. The kids decide to do this, and I describe to them, “Inside the cargo pod, you see a curious flat transparent cylinder that is about the size of a bedside table. In fact, there seems to be a small alien being frozen inside. It doesn’t look happy at all.”
Unhappy small frozen alien!
“There’s buttons along the rim of the cylinder,” I tell them.

“We do NOT touch the buttons!” states Jojo hastily. The two of them take the large cylinder and squeeze into the escape pod. Miko punches the launch button, and the escape pod blasts off into space. The two of them watch as Lofin’s ship gets further away before it explodes in a spectacular flash. However, before the flash even subsides, their view is blocked by the menacing shape of Trex’s ship, the Krayt Fang.

“I’m going to blast you both for being so annoying,” snarls the transdoshan over the comlink.

“Does this escape pod have any controls?” asks Evan. “Can we fly it away?”

“Not really,” I tell him. “But perhaps you can try negotiating with him?”

Jojo gets the idea. “Well, you might want to re-consider blasting us, because we’ve got that package that Teemo wants!”

There is no reply on the comlink. However, there is a sudden ‘clank’ as a tractor-beam locks onto the escape pod. The pod is hauled into the Krayt Fang’s front loading bay which closes up once they are inside. The two of them exit the pod in time to see Trex glaring at them from the loading bay’s entryway. “I’ll give you two one more chance,” he growls. “But if you cross me again, I’ll throw you both out the airlock!”

“Seriously dude, you need to work on some better threats,” replies Jojo.

And with that, we close off our second episode with the Star Wars closing score.

Adventure Notes:
This adventure was played over two half-sessions. My main idea was to introduce the kids to Trex and the Krayt Fang. I felt it was important that the kids learn to loathe the scaly transdoshan.

Afterwards, I did feel rather concerned about the cold-blooded killing of Lofin, and asked Evan why did he blast the quarren, to which he replied, “Because Teemo told me to.” I suppose that makes his character ideal bounty hunter material. And a possible plot hook for some encounters with the Dark Side.

Plot Hooks: Imperial officer working with Teemo. What’s in Trex’s restricted cargo hold? What’s in Teemo’s cylinder?

No comments:

Post a Comment