Monday, June 27, 2016

Pirate Attack! Demo Version

Back on International Tabletop Game Day, I arranged to run some Edge of the Empire. I was expecting a four-hour slot, much like at a gaming convention. It quickly became apparent, however, that what would have been more appropriate is a one-hour demo event. With that in mind, I put together and edited material from my Pirate Attack! posts into the following short PDF.


Pirate Attack! Demo Version PDF

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Church of the Force Shrine

Following the end of the Clone Wars, the destruction of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, access to knowledge of the Force and the lore of those who studied it became quite limited. The Empire persecuted those who showed interest in or sympathy toward the ways of the Jedi. Even so, adherents that came to be known as the Church of the Force managed to pursue their inquiries in secrecy, even creating safe havens where like-minded beings could gather to share their discoveries. One such location is a cave hidden behind a waterfall on the planet Barab I. 

The Waterfall
Deep in the jungle of Barab I is a place where a strong but narrow stream plunges over a vertical wall of rock. The water cascades down into a small pool, what seems to be a place to rest and refresh oneself. What most visitors don't recognize, however, is that the place harbors a secret shrine to the Jedi and the Force.

It takes an average Athletics check with one setback die to climb the rock wall next to the waterfall—while there are adequate handholds, the surface is slippery. Those who succeed can reach a ledge of rock behind that leads behind the water and into a small cave.

This place was once the hideout of a Jedi who survived Order 66 with help from the local Barabels, a Human male by the name of Ritsam Mit-Sanij. While this Jedi Knight was eventually found and killed, he managed to leave behind a holocron that he'd prepared along with some other personal items. Later a Barabel hunter named Aurakh discovered the place. That individual now resides in the cavern, recognizing its importance and revering the honorable ways of the Jedi warriors. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Facility Personnel

Presented here are stats for some of the personnel who can be found in the secret facility. 


Research Facility Personnel
Detailed below are some of the characters who might be found in this facility.

Jiru Dow (Rival)
Brawn 2 Agility 2 Intellect 4
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 1

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

Skills: Coercion 2, Computers 3, Core Worlds 2, Discipline 2, Education 3, Lore 1, Mechanics 1, Medicine 4, Negotiation 1, Outer Rim 2, Perception 2, Resilience 2, Xenology 3

Talents: Cyberneticist, Eye for Detail, Improved Overcharge, Overcharge, Toughened, Utility Belt

Abilities: Free rank in Coercion

Equipment: Clothing, tool kit, datapad, comlink

Jiru Dow is an irrascible Arkanian, a genuius when it comes to blending technology and medicine, if not a very pleasant being. He is amoral when it comes to scientific research, valuing any possible discoveries more than what they might cost in sentient life. He is also egotistical, and hates it when “lesser minds” question his methods or results.

Staff (Minions)
Brawn 2 Agility 1 Intellect 3
Cunning 2 Willpower 3 Presence 1

Soak: 2
Wound Threshold: 5 each
Strain Threshold: NA
M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills (group only): Brawl, Computers, Education, Mechanics, Medicine, Melee, Xenology

Talents: None

Abilities: None

Equipment: Clothing, datapad, comlink, stun baton

These Humans assist Jiru Dow in his research, and can also act as security guards when necessary. They are trained to respond en masse to problem situations in the facility. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Secret Research Facility

Admittedly, I drew up this map for an Aliens scenario. Even so, I think it has good potential for Star Wars, too. 


Secret Research Facility
Hidden in a remote location on a backwater world is this small research facility. It could be used for any number of wicked and cruel purposes, depending on the needs of the campaign. 

1. Landing Field
This area is open to the sky above. The rock has been cleared of debris, exposing solid ground; four landing circles are painted on it.

2. Ring Tunnel
Running the circumference of the landing field, this tunnel provides access to the different parts of the facility. Heavy doors lead into it at the four cardinal compass points (marked with 2s on the map), and lighter ones open into the interior rooms. The tunnel also provides a simple but effective means of exercise for employees.

3. Mess Hall
The hub of downtime in the facility is this area, where off-duty personnel can take their meals, have a drink, carouse, and perhaps play a hand of cards or some other game. There are plenty of tables and chairs in the main room, along with a bar counter. There are also private rooms available for more intimate gatherings. Behind the bar is the fully stocked kitchen and food storage area.

4. Individual Quarters
Unmarried members of the facility staff have their own dormitory-style rooms, with beds, desks and cabinets. At the end of each hallway there is also a large bathroom.

5. Family Quarters
Those team members who have families can enjoy these quarters, which boast small but functional kitchens, multiple bedrooms and even a private bathroom. 

7. Med Center
In the event of illness or injury, personnel can be treated here. There is a waiting room in the front, along with four rooms for recovering patients. Toward the back of the area is an operating room, along with the doctor's desk, another bathroom and a storage closet. 

8. Laboratory
Transparent cages—ones that are as strong as steel, however—line two sides of this room. Between them are rows of workstations interspersed with examination tables. This is, of course, where the scientists working for the facility's backer do their work.

9. Comm Center
More workstations line the walls of this room. In the back of it is the database mainframe that connects all of the facility's systems to the satellite uplink which keeps them in touch with the outside world and the rest of the galaxy.

Using the Secret Research Facility in an Episode VII-Era Campaign
This location can be incorporated in a campaign in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • The First Order could be using it to develop biotoxins that only affect non-Human species, thereby given them a weapon to use indiscriminately against their enemies.
  • It might serve as a base of operations for some of the Knights of Ren, a place where they study the nature of the Force and plot to eliminate all traces of the Jedi Order.
  • The facility might lie in ruins, overrun by native wildlife but containing secrets discovered during the Galactic Civil War, the Clone Wars, or some time earlier.
  • A Hutt could be bankrolling it in order to discover newer and more addictive forms of spice.
  • It might contain an illicit and scandalous secret project undertaken by the New Republic, the Rebel Alliance or even the Old Republic.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bloodline Review

Yesterday I finished the newest addition to Star Wars literature, the novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray. This one had me excited for a while, for multiple reason. For one, I quite enjoyed Gray's young-adult-oriented Lost Stars. For another, this is the first adult novel since Aftermath to deal with the time period between Episodes VI and VII, and this one is a lot closer in time to the events of The Force Awakens.

This novel did not disappoint. While it's not the most action-packed entry in Star Wars literature--along that line, I think it's hard to top any of Brian Daley's Han Solo novels--this one held my interest throughout the story. There are some action scenes, but they take second place to the drama that comes from political intrigue. Although that might not sound so exciting, it really was. It was interesting to see some of the machinations in the New Republic Senate that lead up to the formation of the First Order and the Resistance, especially as they directly affected Princess Leia. I can't say too much without spoiling things, but secrets are revealed that have heavy ramifications.

Perhaps most importantly, Gray does a good job of capturing Leia's character. Her voice--internal and when used to address other characters--rang true to what we know of Leia from the movies. She has some good interaction with Han, too, in scenes that help to explain their situation in Episode VII. There are some new characters, too, who are likable without overshadowing our main protagonist. Finally, the novel includes a foldout political poster that captures the spirit of the novel well. All in all, Bloodline sets the bar high for any other books set in this time period.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Special Modifications (P)Review

This one's a little late, but c'est la vie. Presented here is a preview of what people can expect to find in Special Modifications, released this week by Fantasy Flight Games.

Page 1: Crawl

Page 2: Credits

Page 3: Table of contents

Page 4: Short fiction

Pages 5-9: Overview of technicians in the galaxy

Chapter 1 (Pages 10-41): “Expert Artificers”
This section provides more information about smuggler backgrounds and obligations; three new species--the Dug, Besalisk and Mustafarian (with two varieties of them); three new specializations--the Cyber Tech, Droid Tech and Modder; more technician motivations; and two new signature ability trees--Inventive Creation and Unmatched Calibration.

Chapter 2 (Pages 42-63): “Tools of the Trade”
This chapter introduces more than a few ways for using tools as weapons, along with some new armor types. There are also some new cybernetic enhancements and slicing tools, along with lots of new modifications for weapons and armor. Rounding out the chapter are half a dozen new vehicles and even more new vehicle enhancements. 

Chapter 3 (Pages 68-96): “Ingenious Creations” 
The focus of this chapter is running Edge of the Empire campaigns for technicians. That includes suggestions for creating technical encounters during adventures, guidelines for how they can earn a living, and extensive tables for building new items.

All in all, Special Modifications seems to be a very solid addition for players who wish to portray these characters, giving them lots of options for handling their own business and helping their companions do theirs.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Force Awakens Beginner Game from FFG

This please me. It is appropriate for May the Fourth to pass on FFG's announcement of a new beginner game boxed set for The Force Awakens; this seems to indicate that the company has a good future relationship with Disney/Lucasfilm. 

The Force Awakens Beginner Game