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

Streetwise 4D+2
Survival 4D+2
Bargain 5D
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.

Type: Devaronian Enforcer

Blaster 4D+2
Dodge 4D+2
Melee Combat 5D+2
Survival 5D
Brawling 4D+2

Special Abilities:
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Blast helmet and vest, blaster pistol, truncheon, comlink

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.

Type: Devaronian Con Artist

Blaster 4D
Dodge 4D
Streetwise 6D
Bargain 4D+2
Con 5D+2

Special Abilities:
Force Points: 1
Character Points: 5
Move: 10
Equipment: Clothing (functional and fancy), blaster pistol, comlink, datapad

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

Dodge 3D+2, Lightsaber 3D+2
Survival 5D+1

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


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

Dodge 4D+2, Melee Combat 4D+2, Pick Pocket 4D+2
Streetwise 3D+2
Con 4D+2, Hide 4D+2, Sneak 4D+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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Sewers of Corellia

It has been altogether too long since I posted a gaming-related article to this blog. I was looking to focus on the era after Return of the Jedi and leading up to The Force Awakens in a series called "New Republic Intelligence Reports," but I was disappointed enough in the mishmash plot of The Last Jedi that I lost inspiration for doing so. After watching and enjoying Solo: A Star Wars Story, however, I've found a new direction in which to steer things. Here, then, is the first post inspired by that film.

The Sewers of Corellia
I admire anyone who can crawl their way out of a sewer.”

-Dryden Vos, Agent of Crimson Dawn

Beneath the sprawling construction facilities on the planet Corellia lies an unseen world of squalor, desperation and crime. It is inhabited by orphaned children and other beings who seek anonymity or who have no other options, along with those who seek to exploit them. There are criminal organizations, such as the White Worms, as well as loners who desire nothing more than to be left alone.

The Tunnel Network
For the most part, the tunnels start out narrow—with pipes perhaps half a meter in diameter, from individual buildings, that empty into meter-wide ones. Those, in turn, dump into broader tunnels (pictured, above) with walkways for inspection and access from the surface via ladders behind locked doors. Those tunnels converge at junctions, broader chambers with higher ceilings that pour out into three-meter-wide passages, ones that usually dump out into a processing plant or even into the nearest body of water. 

When these tunnels are inhabited, the flow of sewage through the area is, of course, ended. Sometimes clean water is allowed to flow through, at least in some of the tunnels. That is especially the case when beings who prefer wet climates are present, such as the Grindalids who run the White Worms organization. For the most part, side tunnels become sleeping quarters, with the mouth of each tunnel serving as a crude bunk. Junctions, then, can be used as meeting spaces, with underlings gathering along the catwalks to be addressed by superiors from the floor below. If need be, tunnels can be sealed with junk and other debris in order to limit access. 

Note, too, that scrumrats (as the orphans-turned-thieves are most commonly known) and their employers are renowned for protecting their territory using traps. These can be more defensive in measure, such as sensors that trigger an alarm, or they can be crafted to harm intruders, such as by stringing a live electrical across a passage or through a pool of water. Of course, the scrumrats are also known to hoard the valuables that they steal, providing some incentive for those who dare venture against them. While portable wealth such as cash and jewelry is most common, technology is also highly prized—and information might be the most valuable commodity of all.

Using the Sewer Tunnels in an Edge of the Empire Campaign
This network can be incorporated into adventures and campaigns in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • Characters who start out their careers as scrumrats could grow up in these tunnels, either living on their own or working in the service of an employer.
  • While the sewer tunnels can often provide access to building on the surface, keep in mind that the entrances and exits to those tunnels are usually sealed with mechanical or electronic locks, and often protected by other means as well. 
  • During a storm, tunnels that are fed by drains on surface streets can become flooded, endangering all who are downstream from them. 
  • Those who are motivated and capable could stage an uprising against draconian employers, perhaps while the spoils from a particularly lucrative heist or caper are available for the taking.
  • Visitors to Corellia might find that scrumrats steal something of value, and thus have to pursue the thieves into the tunnels.
  • This could even happen when Rebels are meeting a contact who carries important information, only to see it stolen.
  • When the tunnel's inhabitants start disappearing, it is up to someone—a scrumrat or even someone from the surface—to find the cause and deal with it. This could be a case of kidnapping, or perhaps a dianoga has come to live nearby.
  • Rebel characters could find that the sewer system is a good means of gaining access to, and then sabotaging, the factories that produce vehicles and other materiel for the Imperial war machine. Of course, altruistic beings who see the difficulty of the scrumrats' lives could be motivated to ad them against those who exploit them. After all, capable and discreet beings of any age could make good recruits for the Alliance.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story

It's been a while since I posted on this blog. For a few months I intended to have it focus on the time period after Return of the Jedi and leading up to The Force Awakens, but my dislike of The Last Jedi brought that to a halt. Happily, I really enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story, and am feeling some fresh energy and new direction.


Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story
I really enjoyed watching this film. It was by no means perfect, but it did a good job of telling a scoundrel-oriented story in the Star Wars universe, one that entertained throughout and that introduced some intriguing new elements for the galaxy. Presented below are some of what I see as the pros and cons.

Here's what I liked.
  • There were some great action set pieces, including a number of chase scenes, the train robbery that's been featured in some of the trailers, and a number of cool battle.
  • The film does a good job of showing some moments that have been hinted at in other films, such as Han meeting Chewie, the Kessel run, and when Han and Chewie acquire the Millenium Falcon.
  • The acting is solid; I grew to like Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, and loved Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Other actors were at least good, but usually better than just good.
  • There were some nods to old Expanded Universe material, including references to the StarCave of ThonBoka, the Osseon System and the Sharu.

Here's what I didn't like so much.
  • Because the film doesn't deal directly with the struggle between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, the story doesn't have that same kind of gravitas. I think of moments like the end of Rogue One, when truly heroic actions are being taken and moments important to the future of the galaxy are happening; that's not the case in this story.
  • That's about it, really; I can't find fault with much else.

Here are some questions that remain for me.
  • The appearance of SPOILER toward the end of the film raises big questions about Crimson Dawn and how they tie into the growing conflict throughout the galaxy; I hope we have a chance to explore that more.
  • In the same way, the film shows a moment in the development of the fledgling Rebel Alliance; I'd like to hear more about that story, too.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review of The Lost Jedi


This review contains spoilers for The Last Jedi. You are warned.


Review of The Lost Jedi
This movie had lots of positive elements. Even so, there are other aspects of it that were unsettling or even disappointing. Presented below are some of what I see as the pros and cons.

Here's what I liked.
  • There was plenty of action. Even though the film ran longer than any previous Star Wars movie, it didn't seem to lag at all.
  • The script provided plenty of humor, too. Some of it seemed a little goofy, but for the most part it made a nice contrast to the drama.
  • As others have mentioned, the story also provides a number of genuine surprises that helped keep it entertaining.
  • I am intrigued by the scene that takes place on Canto Bight at the end of the film. That provides some potential for interesting development.
  • It was cool to see Luke and Leia interacting again.

Here's what I didn't like.
  • Poe stages a mutiny that ultimately fails, but it doesn't matter, because someone else's actions render his efforts unimportant.
  • Finn and Rose go on a mission to Canto Bight that ultimately fails, but it doesn't matter. Once again, some else takes care of it. Combined with the previous comment, this doesn't make the heroes of the Resistance seem very competent.
  • The greatest act of heroism is committed by a character introduce in this film, and who dies in this film. That worked in Rogue One because I grew to like those characters in spite of their flaws. It doesn't work here, because for most of the movie I wasn't sure if she was really a hero.
  • Two of the intriguing questions left by The Force Awakens—that of Rey's parentage and the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke—are ultimately dismissed. Snoke is dead now, and, if Kylo Ren was telling the truth, Rey's parents were scavengers who traded her for drinking money.
  • Luke spends the first half of the film arguing why the Jedi Order has to end. He hesitates when it comes to burning down the tree that contains the first Jedi teachings, but Yoda's Force spirit seems to go ahead and make that happen. Even so, by the end Luke has changed his mind.
  • Instead of developing one or both of the potential relationships for Finn (Rey or Poe), we add another character and have even less resolution.
  • In the end, we're left in the same place we were at the end of Episode VII, so it feels like this movie didn't really add a whole lot to the story. Many people disliked George Lucas's work in the prequel trilogy, but it's hard to deny that they added meanigful developments to the story.