Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Star Wars Campaign Log, Part One

Our team versus Dark Jedi Gelman

I was talking with a friend about Star Wars books and then I got to looking through some posts I had made at my old blog about our old Star Wars campaign. My friend Eric ran it and it's some of the most fun I've ever had in a quarter century of role-playing. We played the worst team of Rebel operatives, ever!

Since there is certainly nothing more entertaining than hearing about someone else's role-playing campaign, I now present our Star Wars campaign log.
Part One: Muppets in Space

Our heroes got captured in this session. At one point, after we got captured, the mission commander asked "How did this happen?" and I offered, "Because we ran this mission like a bunch of muppets?" He had to agree. We weren't even the semi-competent muppets like Scooter, Bunsen Honeydew or Kermit. We were like Doctor Teeth, Rizzo the Rat and Beaker. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was playing Lloyd. He's a force-sensitive android based on Bishop from Aliens. He looks like Miguel Ferrer. He was designed to look like a younger version of his creator, who is on wanted posters all over the galaxy, and also, apparently, a porn star. We also had:
  • A rogue stormtrooper (a character that seems somehow obligatory for Star Wars RPGs) - (Bob)
  • An Ewok "with no neck" (Jay)
  • A slacker jedi. (Marino)
  • A bounty hunter using the identity of a dead, notorious bounty hunter. (Butch)
  • A random mercenary named Shadow. (Jay's son)
On a previous adventure, Butch's bounty hunter had placed a listening device in an imperial base in the Minos Cluster, and the rebel alliance was mining that for information. We were sent to blow up a supply depot that had been located with that information. The supply depot was located in a hospital that had been taken over by imperials, and we had to get into the secure section to blow it up.

So we land on the planet, but not before the Ewok manages to flush himself down the ship's toilet. He also chewed the upholstery off the co-pilot's chair. (Sadly, the Ewok is the group's best pilot.) We got passcards from our contact ( Zorak from Space Ghost), and split into two groups to sneak into the hospital. Lloyd, the storm trooper, the jedi and the merc were disguised as doctors, and going through the doctor's entrance, and the bounty hunter and the Ewok were claiming that the Ewok was wounded and required medical attention.

Both groups ran into trouble: For some reason, Lloyd was radiating energy, and he was setting off the scanners that detect weapons. The security checkpoint asked everyone to wait while they got handheld scanners.

Meanwhile, in the patient entrance, the bounty hunter was trying to sneak his Ewok through, to no avail. The plan, such as it was, was to blast the Ewok repeatedly with a blaster set on stun. We wound up shaving his ass too. I'm a little fuzzy on why we needed to do that. But whatever. The problems with this plan were A.) The hospital was several miles away and a stun blast only lasts a few minutes, so every couple minutes, the bounty hunter was pulling the Ewok into an alley to stun him again. B.) When they finally got to the hospital, the reception droid refused to acknowledge an Ewok as a sentient being. It suggested the bounty hunter take him to a veterinary hospital instead. C.) Things deteriorated further when the Ewok woke up, grabbed the hunter's blaster out of his holster, and shot the droid in the face.

Meanwhile, we were trying to bluff our way through, to no avail. It was like the scene with Han in the control room (" Uh, everything's under control. Situation normal. "What happened?" "Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?"[ winces] "We're sending a squad up." "Uh, uh, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a minute to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous." "Who is this? What's your operating number?" "Uh..." [ shoots comm]), except we weren't as slick as Han. They get the handheld scanners, and a guard starts scanning Lloyd, whereupon the scanner blows up in his face. In the confusion, we slip through.

I think that this is about the time that I observed that we were playing something that should be a rollicking adventure game like an episode of Mission Impossible written by Umberto Eco.

Meanwhile, the bounty hunter and the Ewok had been captured by a bunch of storm troopers. The Ewok woke up. The storm troopers blasted him with stun bolts.  They found the bounty hunter's fake ID. He was pretending to be Jodo Kast, a notorious bounty hunter who had been impersonating Boba Fett. "Jodo, huh? We've got somebody who'd like to meet you." And they drag him off to an operating room where he encounters a man in Mandoralian battle armor, the kind worn by Boba Fett...or Jodo Kast. There had been some discussion previously that Jodo Kast might still be alive, and he apparently did not take kindly to the man who had tried to kill him stealing his identity.

Both Bob and I realized at about the same time that this wasn't Jodo Kast, the second rate imitation. This really was Boba Fett. Butch caught on a little later. The Ewok woke up. Fett stunned him. Now, Boba Fett hated Jodo Kast. But Butch didn't know that. He thought they were friends, or, at the very least, partners. So when Boba Fett growled, "So you're the one who killed Jodo Kast," Butch was like, "No, not me!" "So you were friends!" "Well, not so much friends, but we worked together." At one point, to the horror of the rest of the group, he asked Boba Fett "Have you ever been to the Rebel base on Rigel?" (Butch thought he was giving him the location of a fake Rebel base, but he got confused, and gave him the location of a real one.)

 Eventually, Boba Fett decides to leave him alive, because he decided that Butch did him a favor by killing Jodo Kast. "If I have a mission that I can't take, you're going to do it for me. Also, you might want to run." And with that, he armed a thermal detonator and threw it into the room. Butch grabbed the Ewok and bolted from the room, just in time.

Our group saw the explosion from elsewhere on the wing, and figured that if there was an explosion, then our guys were probably there. We all hooked up, then tried to figure out how to get in the secure wing.  Somebody slipped us a keycard. "What luck!" We thought, "We must have a man on the inside!" The keycard got us through the blast doors, which closed behind us. A voice announced over the loudspeaker that "You are probably one of the 17 Rebel teams using information acquired from the listening device planted in the Minos Cluster." The mission commander said that we should advance deeper, and blow up the supply depot. I said, in light of the announcement we just heard, that I didn't think there was a supply depot. We bickered for a little while, until a cyborg jedi and a bunch of black armored storm troopers showed up.

He said he sensed two Jedi and said he would turn them both to the Dark Side. There was considerable discussion about this, because, while we had one person who was obviously a Jedi, nobody knew that Lloyd was the second. He summoned our Jedi's lightsaber to him, Force Choked the mouthy merc. The Ewok woke up just in time to hold up his hands and say "No stun!" before the party all got blasted into unconsciousness. We faded to black and waited for the next installment.

We were the alpha team. Two characters who couldn't make it for this session will probably need to rescue us. Imagine an alcoholic Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China channeling Han Solo, and "a Gungan version of Paris Hilton". I think we're pretty well screwed.

Part Two: Star Wars as it was meant to be played

When we finished this session, Butch accurately and succinctly summed up our achievements by saying: "Well, the rebel base was compromised, so I went to a club and got lots of lap dances, while the Wookies hung out at the bar and killed Sullustans."

That about sums it up.

Since our main characters had been captured in the previous session, we had all either rolled up new characters or played ones we'd used in previous campaigns.

Butch played Captain Morgan. I later learned that he looked exactly like the guy on the bottles of rum.

Frederick played Kord, a Trandoshian like Bossk, from the Empire Strikes Back. He's a warrior, and like the rest of his species, flies into an uncontrollable, homicidal rage at the site of Wookies.

Marino had Wozzie, a Wookie.

I had Lumpy, another Wookie. Heh.

I kind of liked Lumpy. He was a Wookie sociologist. He lived on one of the Outer Rim worlds, and for the past 30 years, he'd been working on his dissertation. Now that he's finally got it completed, he returns to the galactic core only to find that the Empire has replaced the Reublic, and Wookies are no longer considered people.

Anyway, we were all flying in Captain Morgan's spaceship. We were supposed to go to a rebel base, where our relatively inexperienced characters would be paired off with veterans for training purposes. Anyhoo, when we emerged from hyperspace, we saw a bunch of TIE fighters swarming around. Morgan immediately takes evasive action and starts barrel rolling the ship around while Kord opens fire.

The fight goes on for 45 minutes of real time. We just couldn't hit them. Finally we just outrun them and jump to hyperspace.

We wind up on a Cowboy world. Kord rents a speeder to meet with his contact, and the rest of us go to a bar and make trouble. We're joined on our bar hopping by a little Sullustan, a tiny little alien. One of them had been Lando's co-pilot for RotJ. He's yucking it up with the rest of us. He's approached by three aliens, who say something along the lines of "So, you've found someone to hide behind, instead of paying your debts!" (An amusing footnote about Lumpy is that he's got a C-3P0 level ability in languages, but since he's a Wookie, his vocal cords aren't set up to do anything more than growl. So while he can understand all these languages, he can't speak any of them.) The Sullustan replies, "That's right! And you'd better back off unless you want them to beat you up."

I provide a quick translation to the rest of the team. Wozzie steps forward. The alien pops some kind of claws out of its glove. Wozzie bops the Sullustan on the head. The Sullustan collapses comically, like the albino in the Princess Bride. We check him. Ooops. He's dead. The alien retracts his claws. We all have a quick conference, the aliens take what they were owed and leave the rest in his pockets. Captain Morgan spends the money on lap dances from a Twi'lek in the bar.

We take the body back to the ship, dress it up in Kord's clothes and leave it in his quarters. He is not amused to find it. Heh.

We head to another planet, and we're pulled out of hyperspace by pirates. We jettison the Sullustan's body as a distraction, and then make a run for it.

Part Three: I forgot to take notes for this one

Unfortunately, I failed to write down notes for this session. Lumpy and company are on the Mon Calamari homeworld, where we have intercourse with some Quarrens and kill somebody in a bar. Again.

Part Four: Quickly, to the Bacta Tank!

We didn't accidentally kill anyone in the bar in this session, and I was kind of disappointed. I was hoping for a hat trick. Here's what happened. Bob's Jawa Jedi had a vision. We did some research, the Jawa got run over by a floor cleaning robot, and we learned that the Jedi holocron of his vision was on the Imperial High Inquisitor's medical ship.

Frederick's character, a bounty hunter named Kord, got a job as a bodyguard on the ship. He ordered some Bacta tanks and the rest of the crew pretended to be a delivery crew for those Bacta tanks. We didn't actually have the tanks, but the ship's manifest said we did, and that was good enough to get us on board.

So we snuck around for a while, until we got to the restricted wing, where the victims of experiments were housed. (The commander of the ship was Commander Gelman. After the game, Eric explained that if you reversed the syllables, the name would be (Dr. Josef) Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor on whom the character was based.)

We encountered some zombie Wookies, which is cool. Eric implied that the adventure was based in part on something on which we had collaborated earlier. I don't know specifically where he's going with this, but I think it's going to be really awesome. Anyway, we encountered the Dark Jedi Gelman. He was in the middle of a depraved experiment. We looked at each other for a moment, and I said, "Can anyone sign for these Bacta Tanks?"

A fight broke out. He hit Kord really hard and almost killed him. We finally managed to take him down, and Kord was in pretty terrible shape. Bob rushed him back to the ship.

Bob: I put him in a Bacta Tank! 
Eric: (Blink) You don't have one. You were just pretending to, so you could get on board.
Bob: Oh. Right.

We left the zombie Wookies behind and brought as many people as we could on board the ship, but they had radioed for a Star Destroyer. And that's where we broke for the night.

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