Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Old Asteroid Mine

For those who have the ability to harvest it, asteroids can provide a source of considerable mineral wealth. For that reason, there are tens of thousands of these catacombed rocks drifting through space. One fairly typical example is described below.

The Mine
Approaching the asteroid mine is a feat in and of itself. To do so, a pilot must first navigate the field, avoiding collisions with rocks big and small, and then match a ship's trajectory to the tumbling motion of the asteroid. Each of these requirements is handled through a Piloting—Space check, with the difficulty determined by the GM. Success allows the pilot to park the ship and attach via a landing claw, while failure causes damage as mentioned above.

1. Entrance
A six-meter-wide hole provides access to the asteroid's interior. At the GM's discretion, this could be covered with a camouflage tarp that requires a hard Perception check to be identified as a fake. Given the narrow nature of the opening, ships are forced either to hover nearby (a daunting challenge given the movement of the asteroid) or to dock with it, as detailed above.

2. Main Chamber
This broad chamber is almost twenty meters in width and depth, and it has a ceiling that rises to fifteen meters in height. The floor is covered in a fine rock dust, allowing characters to make hard Survival checks to determine if others have passed through the area recently. Additionally, the floor of the chamber is strewn with broken power-drill bits and similar debris from when the mine was active.

3. Tunnels
These branching passages could hold all sorts of surprises, as detailed below. Given the lack of air in them, no sounds can be heard. There is less dust here, too, meaning that tracking individuals requires a daunting Survival check. Beyond that, the things they might contain is left to the discretion of the GM.

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

Soak: 2
Wound Threshold: 13
Strain Threshold: 13
M/R Defense: 0/0

Skills: Astrogation 2, Computers 3, Cool 1, Deceit 2, Mechanics 3, Perception 2, Pilot 2, Ranged (Light) 2, Skulduggery 2, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Vigilance 1

Talents: Bypass Security

Abilities: Inorganic, Mechanical Being

Equipment: Integral blaster pistol, hidden storage compartment, standard R2 unit features

One possible inhabitant of the old asteroid mine is R2-D4, an astromech droid that was left behind when some of the asteroid's previous visitors departed without taking a head (or dome) count. This unfortunate mechanosapient, whether it be from exposure to neutrinos without the benefit of an atmosphere or long times for processing without other sentient interaction, is now a little... not... right... in the CPU. In game terms, whenever the droid suffers a Despair result, a malfunction occurs. Resolve this issue by rolling d100 and consulting the following table.

d100 Result
01% - 25%
R2-D4 acts normally.
26% - 50%
R2-D4 does nothing but babble incoherently in Binary. (The GM can have some fun making up nonsensical statements from the droid, perhaps sprinkled with an actual clue to an important secret in its memory banks.)
51% - 75%
R2-D4 attempts a Brawl attack against itself, an easy task that is sure to incur damage.
76% - 100%
R2-D4 attempts a Brawl attack against the character nearest to it.

Using the Asteroid Mine in an Edge of the Empire Campaign
This location can be incorporated in a campaign in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • The PCs could use the mine as a rendezvous point for transferring illegal cargoes or other such illicit business.
  • Alternately, the PCs could find something that somebody else has stashed here, something valuable or important enough that it tempts them to take it.
  • The place could be just filthy with mynocks.
  • If it is actively being mined, the PCs could be nearby when an accident occurs; they are called upon to stage a rescue.
  • If they manage to find it, the droid R2-D4 could pose a threat, or could become an unpredictable companion.
  • This unfortunate droid could provide hooks for other possible plots, since it could have been stranded on this rock since the Force only knows how long. This could include secret criminal Rebel, or even Separatist information.

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