Friday, December 6, 2013

The Shipwreck

For a number of reasons, the planet Tatooine sees more than its share of wrecked spacecraft. Some attribute this to a larger-than-normal amount of pirate activity in the system, while others claim that it is due to the odd conditions caused by the binary stars. Whatever the case, these wrecks provide a chance of winning valuable plunder for those locals who are able to take advantage of them. For a GM looking to add a challenging and intiguing adventure, they also provide an excellent opportunity.

In order to set up this scenario, it's important to answer a few questions.

1. What kind of ship is it?
Here again, Wookieepedia is a GM's best friend. The site has plenty of deckplans for ships, providing a map on which to base the exploration. To see a gallery of them, check out the Technical Drawing category.

2. Why did it crash?
This question begins to add the elements of a backstory for the scenario. For example, was it caught in a sandstorm or shot down by pirates? Perhaps somebody connected with the voyage sabotaged the vessel, perhaps in an effort to murder someone aboard it or prevent that being from accomplishing a particular mission. In any of those latter cases, the ones responsible for the crash could come along later and try to finish the job. They might arrive while the PCs are salvaging the vessel, forcing them to stage a defense, or they could come along after the scenario has developed further.

3. How do the PCs learn about it?
The PCs can be dragged into this situation in many different ways. Perhaps an associate of theirs learns of it, such as the Jawa trader "Dibs" Nkik. Another option is to have this occur while they are traveling through the desert; every character should make a Perception check, and the one with the highest result is the first to notice a vessel streaking through the heavens. Of course, the PCs might not be the only ones, and the GM could have potential rivals or enemies make similar checks to determine who has the jump on whom.

4. What kind of cargo is it carrying?
Needless to say, the goods being stored aboard the vessel have a major impact on the situation. For one thing, they provide the PCs with a possible source of profit. What is more, selling such goods could provide further plot hooks. For example, trying to sell a load of glitterstim would require some finnagling, while foodstuffs would be easier but less lucrative. Livestock could present a particular challenge, while scrap and parts could be used for a project on which the PCs are working.

Cargo / Value
Cloth / 10,000 credits per metric ton
Foodstuffs, typical / 10,000 credits per metric ton
Foodstuffs, fancy / 20,000 credits per metric ton
Foodstuffs, rare / 50,000 credits per metric ton
Fuel / 50,000 credits per metric ton
Livestock, typical / 5000 credits per metric ton
Metal ore / 2500 credits per metric ton
Water / 25,000 credits per metric ton
Special items / GM's discretion

5. Are there any survivors?
There's always the chance that some of the ship's crew members or passengers survived the crash. This provides at least one additional difficulty, and perhaps more than that. After all, survivors could make a claim on the wreckage. If any of them was responsible for the crash, said individual could seek to prevent others from discovering what happened. That being might have ejected in an escape pod before the crash. On the other hand, survivors who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time could be injured inside the wreck, or could have set out across the desert in hopes of finding a settlement--adding another problem to the situation.

6. What kinds of hazards are aboard it?
There's always the chance that other complications have arisen. For example, the wreck could have upset a nest of womp rats, leaving them in a mood to defend their home. Alternately, passing Tusken Raiders might become interested in the crash. Damage to the wreck could present other obstacles, such as the possibility of electrocution due to a short-circuit, a compartment filled with acrid fumes, or the like. Find the stats for the appropriate creature, or refer to the "Environmental Effects" section in Chapter 6 of the core rulebook to find guidelines for this latter kind of danger.

Using the Shipwreck in an Edge of the Empire Campaign
Many of the ways in which the shipwreck can be used in adventures on the galactic fringe are detailed above.
  • This could be a good way to introduce an important NPC into a campaign, as suggested above.
  • Some of those specific items present their own adventure hook, as the PCs seek a market or means for selling them.
  • Depending on how this is resolved, another interested party could follow up on the matter and be displeased about the PCs' involvement.

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