Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The release of the trailer for Star Wars Episode IX is no longer news, but I've been taking some time to process its content. I have posted previously that I was disappointed with Episode VIII, to the extent that it changed the New Republic-oriented direction that I'd been planning on having this blog take. I must say that I am cautiously optimistic about this upcoming film.

-Nate



Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Wayward Droid

Here's a ready-made plot device that's bound to complicate the lives of anyone who find it in the sewers beneath the city.

-Nate


The Wayward Droid
It's a well-known fact that Hutts are notoriously tough on the droids who serve them. It is common for one of the crimelords to vent frustration on mechano-sapient servants, often causing considerable damage and even outright destruction. When this happens, the droids usually seem like helpless, harmless victims. Such is not the case, however, with the protocol droid known as G-3PO. 

Having served as a translator for Slarr the Hutt and his minions, the droid was programmed with subroutines to spy on its Hutt master, as well as on his associates and even, sometimes, their enemies. G-3PO was, in fact, a gift to Slarr sent by an agent of the Crimson Dawn, intended as a mole to help keep track of rival activities. Unfortunately for that agent, however, the droid upset its master one time too many, during a sail barge cruise in Coronet City on Corellia. G-3PO managed to survive, however, and found its way into the sewers beneath the city. Now it seeks a means of leaving the planet, and possesses valuable information that could let it buy such freedom.

G-3PO
Type: Protocol Droid

DEXTERITY 1D
Skill 3D
KNOWLEDGE 3D
Planetary Systems 5D
MECHANICAL 1D
PERCEPTION 1D
Con 3D
Investigation 3D
STRENGTH 1D
TECHNICAL 1D
Comp. Prog./Rep. 3D

Special Abilities:
Life Preservation Programming: See the core rulebook for details.
Force Points: 0
Character Points: 5
Move: 7
Equipment: Internal data storage and comlink.


G-3PO

Brawn 1 Agility 1 Intellect 3
Cunning 3 Willpower 1 Presence 1

Soak: 1 Wound Threshold: 11
Strain Threshold: 1 M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Computers 2, Cool 1, Deception 2, Education 2, Perception 1, Skulduggery 1, Underworld 1, Warfare 1

Talents: Codebreaker, Defensive Slicing x2, Master Slicer, Natural Programmer, Skilled Slicer, Technical Aptitude

Abilities: Does not need to eat or breathe; receives six career skills and three specialization skills

Equipment: Internal data storage and comlink.

G-3PO seems like any other protocol droid, unassuming even to the point of being timid. Behind that facade, however, is a cunning artificial brain that seeks to gain information for future exploitation by its true master.




Using G-3PO in a Star Wars Campaign
This droid can be incorporated into adventures and campaigns in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • A band of scrumrats, while engaged in other business, might find the droid in a state of terrible disrepair in the sewer tunnels.
  • A character who can help repair G-3PO would earn the droid's gratitude, and possibly even its assistance.
  • All the while, G-3PO is curious to learn more about its new owner(s), and beings in power—such as the Devaronian leaders of the Pack—might suspect that it knows more than it admits.
  • Just what information the droid has discovered could, of course, link into all manner of adventures.
  • If more powerful individuals from the surface learn what the droid knows, then they would send ruthless enforcers who want to recover it.
  • In the end, G-3PO must decide whether to aid the PCs, or to betray them for its own advantage.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Using the Garden in a Star Wars Campaign

It took me a long time to prepare this post, for a variety of reasons. Even so, I think it'll be the first in a series that rounds out adventure ideas for scrumrats beneath Coronet City.

-Nate


Using the Garden in a Star Wars Campaign
This location can be incorporated into adventures and campaigns in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • Rhea Eluko's garden is known as a place of sanctuary throughout the sewers of Corellia; as such, many beings who are otherwise ruthless in their dealings hesitate to do violence there. There are exceptions, of course.
  • In particular, she provides a haven for the local children—known as “scrumrats”—who are controlled by various crime bosses. For that reason, she has gradually been earning the animosity of beings such as Sedaru and Kovin, Devaronians who run the band of thieves known as The Pack. Should any Scrumrats run afoul of their employer, they could come to her for shelter.
  • Her kind nature has allowed Eluko to become a rare friend of Brond Yulira, the lost Padawan who dwells in the sewers beneath Coronet City.
  • Efforts to live peacefully become more complicated when someone finds a droid that once belonged to the notorious crimelord Slarr the Hutt. There are secrets contained in its brain that Slarr and its minions would kill to protect.
  • Finally there is the matter of the Sullustan's ship, a Ghtroc-720 freighter that, once raised from the water of the nearby sea, could provide a means of leaving Corellia once and for all.
  • If a group of characters ever brought together most or all of these elements—such as scrumrats connecting with Rhea, befriending Yulira, finding the droid and discovering its secrets, and preparing the ship for flight—then this could be the launch of countless adventures throughout the galaxy.

The Reeho
As mentioned above, the ship that Eluko Rhea abandoned in the sea near Coronet City is a Ghtroc-720 freighter. While it has suffered some damage due to being submerged, it only requires a bit of care in order to become spaceworthy once again. In game terms, this should be treated in the same manner as the Engines Down result on the Critical Hit table from page 244 of the Core Rulebook.

Ghtroc 720 Freighter: Refer to page 62 of the Enter the Unknown sourcebook for stats.

To find more information about, and deck plans for this ship, refer to the appropriate article on Wookieepedia.





Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Garden



Nestled among the sewer tunnels beneath Coronet City on Corellia is this oasis of life—that is, as long as one considers mushrooms and other types of fungus to represent life. Given how harsh life in the city's underside can be, many of the locals are willing to take whatever kind of fresh foodstuffs they can get. That is why the Sullustan gardener Rhea Eluko has built her underground garden, a place that is now regarded as neutral territory where anyone who lives in the tunnels can come to obtain food. 

The garden is built in a flooded area that creates a pool of relatively fresh water. It can be accessed from either end, where entry tunnels (1) open onto narrow platforms of rock. Much of the garden is filled with water (2), which ranges in depth from two meters at the sides to twenty meters in the middle. In the center of it all is a broader platform (3) on which Rhea cultivates her mushrooms. There is also a small cave in which she resides (4), a dry space where she lays out her bedroll and keeps those items that must be protected from the ever-present moisture.

Rhea Eluko
Type: Sullustan Trader

DEXTERITY 2D+1
KNOWLEDGE 2D+2
Streetwise 4D+2
Survival 4D+2
MECHANICAL 4D+1
PERCEPTION 3D
Bargain 5D
STRENGTH 2D
TECHNICAL 3D+2
First Aid 4D+2

Special Abilities:
Enhanced senses: See the core rulebook for details.
Location sense: See the core rulebook for details.
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Datapad, comlink, blaster pistol (4D), crash survival kit
Rhea Eluko
Brawn 2 Agility 3 Intellect 2
Cunning 1 Willpower 2 Presence 2

Soak: 2 Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12 M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Astrogation 1, Charm 1, Deception 1, Lore 1, Medicine 1, Negotiation 2, Perception 1, Streetwise 2, Survival 2, Underworld 1, Vigilance 1

Talents: Grit, Know Somebody, Skilled Jockey, Smooth Talker, Wheel and Deal

Abilities: One free rank in Astrogation; one free rank in Skilled Jockey

Equipment: Datapad, comlink, blaster pistol (Ranged (Light); Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Medium]; Stun setting), crash survival kit.
Rhea seems to be the embodiment of the phrase “down to earth;” the Sullustan enjoys little more than tending her garden, harvesting its fruits, and sharing them with others who live in Coronet City's underside. While that is true, though, few would suspect that she lives a much more complicated life. Eluko was once a smuggler who worked for the crimelord Slarr the Hutt; she even captained a Ghtroc 720 freighter, the Reeho. She was close to paying off the debt that she owed on the vessel when the Hutt asked her to make a pick-up at Coronet City. She was shocked to learn that her “cargo” would be slaves, local urchins who'd become embroiled in lives of crime and who, for various reasons, were being sold into servitude. Finding that she'd been pushed to her ethical limit, Rhea waited until they were all aboard, and then took off from her landing platform. Then she carefully and capably crashed her ship. The weather at the time was stormy, which provided something of an excuse. Once the Reeho was in the water, the Sullustan helped the would-be slaves escape from their bonds and then make the short swim back to land, and to freedom. Of course, life in the Correlian undercity is no easy thing, and so Rhea created the Garden in order to help provide for the urchins that she'd rescued. She also helped buy passage off of Corellia for each of the younglings, even though it took considerable time and effort to do so. Now she goes about her new business, content to live a simple but relatively peaceful life—and one free from guilt. Whether or not she would take further action against those who exploit younglings for criminal purposes remains to be seen.



Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Pack


This pair of scheming Devaronians runs a gang of scrumrats, based out of a cave deep in the undercity. They maintain control through a combination of fear (coming from Kovin, the male) and nurturing (provided by Sedaru, the female). One way or the other, by granting shelter and sustenance, but also inflicting punishment, they elicit some semblance of loyalty from the children they employ. 

The Devaronians' primary source of income is fencing the goods that their scrumrats steal; they supplement this by sell information acquired through theft, and with an occasional extortion scheme when they have the means. They have dreams of one day expanding their operations, by poaching scrumrats from organizations like the White Worms, taking over their territory and operations, and even some day joining up with a more powerful syndicate such as a Hutt Cartel, Black Sun or the Crimson Dawn. 

Sedaru and Kovin refer to their group of scrumrats as “The Pack.” While not especially imaginative, this name is easy to remember and encompasses the idea that, while providing mutual protection, the members need to understand the need for a clear hierarchy of power and control.

Kovin
Type: Devaronian Enforcer

DEXTERITY 3D+2
Blaster 4D+2
Dodge 4D+2
Melee Combat 5D+2
KNOWLEDGE 3D
Survival 5D
MECHANICAL 2D+1
PERCEPTION 3D+1
STRENGTH 3D+2
Brawling 4D+2
TECHNICAL 2D

Special Abilities:
None
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Blast helmet and vest, blaster pistol, truncheon, comlink

Kovin
Brawn 2 Agility 2 Intellect 2
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 2

Soak: 4 Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12 M/R Defense: 1 / 1

Skills: Brawl 1, Discipline 1, Melee 2, Ranged (Heavy) 1, Ranged (light) 1, Survival 2, Vigilance 1

Talents: Barrage, Bodyguard, Enduring, Hard Headed, Side Step

Abilities: None

Equipment: Armored clothing, comlink, blaster pistol (Ranged [Light]; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Medium]; Stun setting), truncheon (Melee; Damage 4; Critical 5; Range [Engaged]; Disorient 2).
Kovin is not a nice being. He enforces the Pack's rules, inflicting punishment as needed. Of course, he will also do his utmost to protect the group's members—that is, until they cause him too much frustration or disappointment.


Sedaru
Type: Devaronian Con Artist

DEXTERITY 3D
Blaster 4D
Dodge 4D
KNOWLEDGE 4D
Streetwise 6D
MECHANICAL 2D
PERCEPTION 3D+2
Bargain 4D+2
Con 5D+2
STRENGTH 3D+1
TECHNICAL 2D

Special Abilities:
None
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Clothing (functional and fancy), blaster pistol, comlink, datapad

Sedaru
Brawn 2 Agility 2 Intellect 2
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 3s

Soak: 2 Wound Threshold: 14
Strain Threshold: 12 M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Charm 1, Deception 2, Perception 1, Ranged (light) 1, Streetwise 1, Underworld 1, Vigilance 1

Talents: Black Market Contacts, Convincing Demeanor, Dedication, Hidden Storage, Natural Charmer, Toughened

Abilities: None

Equipment: Clothing (functional and fancy), comlink, datapad, blaster pistol (Ranged [Light]; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Medium]; Stun setting).
Whereas Kovin is the Pack's enforcer, Sedaru plays the role of the nurturing mother figure. She also brokers deals for stolen goods and information, and provides rewards to the scrumrats who earn her praise. Of course, this show of loving kindness is only a front; she is, in fact, just as ruthless and determined as her mate when put to it.



The Pack's Lair
Refer to the map below for the following area descriptions.

1. Guard Station
Here a section of fake wall has been built cleverly into the sewer tunnel. From the inside a scrumrat can watch the tunnel, and the door pushes outward—but can also be locked from the inside.

2. Common Area
A number of storage crates are arranged here to provide seating for the members of the pack, and a fusion lantern sits in their middle. The crates contain foodstuffs, medical supplies and other equipment that the Devaronians provide for their underlings. Access to this gear is strictly controlled by Kovin and Sedaru; while the scrumrats are almost always fed, other items are granted as boons or when required for a particular job.

3. Midden Pit
This hole is where the scrumrats and their overseers dispose of waste.

4. Males' Barracks
The male scrumrats sleep here; their beds consist of whatever blankets and other materials they have scrounged. Although the Devaronians encourage sharing with the whole group, individuals keep prized treasures hidden in their beds.

5. Devaronians' Quarters
Kovin and Sedaru sleep in this chamber, but not usually at the same time. They do not store any items of value here, but instead keep such things on their persons.

6. Females' Barracks
This area is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the barracks for the males (see above). The genders are kept separate in order to maintain good order.



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Hermit

Not all of the beings who inhabit Corellia's network of sewers are criminals; some, in fact, are upstanding beings, but who are forced by circumstances to lead lives of seclusion and anonymity. Such is the case with an enigmatic Human known to others as “the Hermit.” 

During the waning months of the Clone Wars, Brond Yulira was an up-and-coming Jedi Padawan, a quick learner ready and waiting to be chosen by a Master and join the fight against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. He happened to be away from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant when then-Chancellor Palpatine issued the fateful Order 66, turning the clone armies against their commanders. Thinking quickly, he concealed his true identity and booked passage on a tramp freighter that soon departed for his homeworld, Corellia. Brond hoped to find safety there, on a world that had remained neutral during the Clone Wars, but he was soon disappointed; as the New Order took control of Corellia's shipyards, he found there were too many stormtroopers in the spaceports. Not daring to risk capture by attempting an escape offword, he instead settled into a simple life in the planet's undercity.

Brond Yulira, the Lost Padawan
Type: Failed Jedi

DEXTERITY 2D+2
Dodge 3D+2, Lightsaber 3D+2
KNOWLEDGE 3D+1
Survival 5D+1
MECHANICAL 2D
PERCEPTION 3D+1
STRENGTH 2D+2
TECHNICAL 2D

Special Abilities:
Control 2D, Sense 3D.
Sense: Life Detection, Life Sense, Magnify Senses, Sense Force.
Control and Sense: Lightsaber Combat, Projective Telepathy.
Force Points: 2
Dark Side Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Robes, 250 credits, lightsaber

Brond Yulira, the Lost Padawan
Brawn 2 Agility 2 Intellect 2
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 2

Soak: 2 Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12 M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Cool 1, Lore 1, Medicine 1, Perception 1, Survival 2

Talents: Forager, Heightened Awareness, Natural Hunter, Quick Strike, Rapid Recovery, Sense Basic Power (with Control and Duration upgrades)

Abilities: Force Rating 1

Equipment: Robes, 250 credits, Lightsaber (Lightsaber; Damage 10; Critical 1; Range [Engaged]; Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 2).
Brond Yulira walks a fine line, using his Force powers to help find sustenance while also trying to conceal his true identity. Given his former devotion to the tenets of the Jedi Code, he struggles with keeping his anonymity as he watches Imperial brutality and exploitation of innocents by the planet's criminals. Perhaps one day Brond will decide to take a stand.



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Scrumrats


These kids—many of them orphans—come from poverty on Corellia, and make a living scrounging for or stealing anything of value. Many of them work for crime bosses, such as the White Worms, who give them shelter and limited food in exchange for their services as runners and thieves. Some of them come to enjoy the limited power and prestige that such a life provides, while others dream of one day escaping to find new possibilities beyond the sewers.

Typical Scrumrat
Type: Kid

DEXTERITY 3D+2
Dodge 4D+2, Melee Combat 4D+2, Pick Pocket 4D+2
KNOWLEDGE 2D+2
Streetwise 3D+2
MECHANICAL 3D
PERCEPTION 3D+2
Con 4D+2, Hide 4D+2, Sneak 4D+2
STRENGTH 2D+1
TECHNICAL 2D+2

Special Abilities: None.
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 8
Equipment: Shabby clothing, knife (damage 3D+1) or truncheon (damage 3D+1), other tools as needed for particular assignments.


Typical Scrumrat
Brawn 1 Agility 3 Intellect 2
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 2

Soak: 1 Wound Threshold: 11
Strain Threshold: 13 M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills: Brawl 1, Deception 2, Melee 1, Perception 2, Piloting—Planetary 1, Skulduggery 2, Stealth 2, Streetwise 1, Underworld 1, Vigilance 1

Talents: Black Market Contacts, Bypass Security, Dodge, Grit, Indistinguishable, Street Smarts

Abilities: None

Equipment: Shabby clothing, knife (Melee; Damage 2; Critical 3; Range [Engaged]) and/or truncheon (Melee; Damage 3; Critical 5; Range [Engaged]); other tools as needed for particular assignments.


Veteran Scrumrats
Those younglings who excel at a life of crime can rise up through the ranks of their organization, earning the trust of their employers and thus finding themselves on more complicated—and more dangerous—jobs. To represent these characters, GMs can use the base stats provided above and add to the characters' skills. They should advance in skills associated with thievery, as well as combat, and could even starting being trained with and carrying blaster pistols. Some might begin to specialize in roles such as vehicle piloting, computer slicing, or other such tasks.