Saturday, September 14, 2013

Riot and Ruin

The galaxy is caught in a civil war. Although this fact might not be as apparent on the fringes of the galaxy and in the early stages of the Rebellion, it is undeniable. This is especially the case on those worlds that have seen heavy action between the opposing sides. Devaron is a good example of this, following the bombing of Montellian Serat. Other possible incidents include the First Battle of Jabiim and the Battle of Mos Espa. On planets such as it, cities that were once beautiful places have now been reduced (at least in part) to rubble.

Although this devastation is tragic, it also provides numerous opportunities for adventure. What is more, it also lets a GM use old maps as new and challenging settings for the PCs' exploits. Take, for example, an ordinary house, albeit one that has been involved in vicious fighting.

1. Living Room
Little remains of this room because it took a direct hit from a portable concussion missile launcher. After all, Rebels had holed up inside the house, and the Imperials weren't interested in trading potshots with them for a prolonged period. Now the outside walls have gaping holes in them, with little more than lines of rubble remaining. Part of this room's ceiling has collapsed, too, leaving the floor strewn with debris. This room counts as difficult terrain; the building's inhabitants don't generally use this it.

2. Kitchen
Although it once was the place where family meals were prepared and shared, this area now is where the current inhabitants have piled up the wreckage from other parts of the structure. This provides a glaring contrast, as chunks of pourstone, bent pieces of durasteel and other such things fill what was once a warm and inviting space.

3. Refresher
The facilities in this room no longer function, and the current inhabitants leave it be.

4. Stairway
An open doorway provides access to this area from the living room, with stairs leading to the upper level. Additionally, a door that survived the fighting opens onto the stairs that lead down to the basement.

5. Refresher
Like the one on the lower level, this area no longer functions. It has a hole cut in the roof, however, so that a makeshift rain barrel collects water when the weather permits.

6. Bedroom
There is a gaping hole in the floor of this room; as a result, the inhabitants don't use it. except as a lookout position because it has a few of the street. Even then, they take care to stay close to the walls, since the floor is liable to collapse.

7. Closets
The closet for the smaller bedroom (Area 6) stands empty, since that room is little used. The other one, however, contains the transmitter for what amounts to a long-range comlink that has been pieced together from scavenged parts. The inhabitants use it to keep in touch with other resistance groups throughout the city.

8. Master Bedroom
This room functions as a mustering area and command center. Inhabitants who are on duty hang out here, monitoring the comm system and ready for action. For this reason, the table from the kitchen area has been hauled up here, providing a place to play sabacc or share food and drink.

9. Utility Room
A piecemeal water heater has been patched together here from various components; it is patched into the local power grid. Connected to it is a food fixer that they suppy with whatever consumables they can scrounge or steal.

10. Quarters
Four sets of bunks, assembled from a hodgepodge of materials, fill this room. It is here, of course, that the inhabitants who are not on duty rest and recuperate.

11. Storage
The walls of this room are lined with shelves, which in turn are heaped with scavenged foodstuffs, tech components, medical supplies, weapons and the like. It is a motley assortment, but the inhabitants make due with what they have. The exact contents of the room are left at the discretion of the GM.

Ruins can contain all kinds of physcial dangers. For one thing, large stretches of rubble count as difficult or even impassable terrain. There's always the chance that a floor might collapse, causing falling damage. Recognizing this hazard likely requires a Perception check to avoid. Similarly, damaged electrical cables present the possibility of electric shock--especially if the local inhabitants rig them as a defense mechanism. These also require Perception checks to notice, and can be given a rating for doing damage just like acid or fire. In the same way, the locals could rig tripwires connected to grenades and similar nasty surprises to protect against intruders.

Using Ruins in an Edge of the Empire Campaign
Detailed here are some of the ways in which ruins can be used in adventures on the galactic fringe.
  • For one thing, these locations can present the opportunity for lucrative scavenging. The GM is free to populate them with any number of hazards, as detailed above, wild creatures, eccentric NPCs and, of course, valuables.
  • Should such ruins house refugees leading desperate lives, the PCs might be called on to provide aid in the form of material goods or services. This could include delivering foodstuffs and fresh water, medical assistance, technical skill, or the like.
  • Of course, should the refugees in question be Rebels, and the PCs are found to be aiding them, they could bring the wrath of the Empire upon themselves. In such a case the heroes might need to help evacuate allies from the location, or even stage a bold and innovative defense of the place.

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