Friday, August 6, 2010

Accidental Rebels - a new d6 Star Wars campaign!

Having some time off with the family led me to thinking about how to include the youngest Apprentice in a game of some kind. I decided to try out d6 Star Wars as an option and he was very excited to play a Star Wars game. So for this campaign we have 3 players at the moment - Apprentice Red (who has some D&D under his belt now but has not played Star Wars RPG's of any flavor), Apprentice Blaster (same), and Apprentice Who (no RPG experience of any kind, other than seeing the family play).

I have books for every edition of Star Wars RPG's and I seriously considered using Saga at one point but I fell back to the d6 version because I think it's better as an introductory game and I have never run a d6SW campaign. Plus it will be good to let the Apprentices see a system that doesn't use classes or levels. So I handed the boys their own copies of the rulebook (I'm a big believer in having multiple copies of a core book at the table, especially when it's a new system) and told them to make up their characters. We ended up with:

Apollo Greenblade, minor human Jedi - A former padawan, he is journeying across the galaxy for knowledge of the Jedi when he is forced to use his lightsaber to defend himself at the wrong time and is captured by the Empire. He is placed aboard the VSD Subjugator for transport to Lord Vader.

Brog Dragonslayer, human cyborged pirate - part of a too-successful pirate operation the band had the misfortune of falling into a trap and being ambushed by the VSD Subjugator. Brog's ship was destroyed but he got to an escape pod in time.After the massacre he was picked up and taken prisoner, charged with piracy.

Rrog Starflyer, wookie smuggler - His latest run went bad and while attempting to escape his ship was tractored and brought aboard the VSD Subjugator where he was imprisoned for smuggling. 

We are using the 2nd edition rules - the 2nd edition revised and expanded rulebook is a thing of beauty and it's 14 years old! -  and the game is set during the classic rebellion era. I explained the basics about difficulty numbers and the wild die and we were off!

All of the PC's have been captured by the Empire and find themselves in separate detention cells aboard a Victory Class Star Destroyer, unaware of each others existence. A series of explosions rumble through the massive ship, then the lights go out. The PC's start breaking out but only the wookie is successful. He eventually frees the other prisoners, including an aged human named Walex Blissex who seems to know a lot about how this ship works. 

Before more than cursory introductions can be made though, 4 guards approach, coming down the corridor. The wookie, the Jedi,and the old human quickly hide but the pirate cannot find a good spot. The guards open fire and 2 of them break into a run, planning to secure the escaped prisoner. The pirate takes cover in an open cell. The guards take one step more than they should have, and find themselves face to face with an angry wookie who pounds one of them to the ground then turns on the second. The Jedi goes prone and grabs the blaster pistol from the fallen guard, opening fire down the hall. The pirate jumps out of hiding and engages the two covering guards in hand to hand while the old man hides. The pirate manages to grab one of the blaster pistols from one of the guards and starts shooting, as does the Jedi. The wookie pounds a second guard senseless and closes in on the more distant pair. The battle ends quickly with 4 dead or wounded guards and 4 armed and dangerous escaped prisoners.

Determined to find their personal effects and get off of this ship (as the explosions continue) the band advances back down the detention corridor to the control center. This is still manned by 2 guards so the Jedi and the Pirate provide covering fire as the Wookie charges. The battle is quickly over as it appears no normal guards are capable of standing up to the wookie in close combat. 

The consoles appear to have partial power and the group soon figures out how to open the storage lockers and quickly recovers their gear. Blissex, having assisted in this walks down a short corridor to try and get the turbolift open while the PC's try to figure out how to escape from the ship, settling on Rrog's YT-1300 as their best chance.

A cry from Blissex brings the PC's running as they see the old man lying on the floor while a hovering black interrogation droid floats over him, the open turbolift doors  where it presumably appeared from. Energized by the recovery of his lightsaber Apollo leaps and slashes the droid with his glowing green blade, nearly cutting it in half. Rrog walks over and stomps it, just to make sure. Blissex is unconscious but alive - looks like the wookie is going to have to carry him. Checking the open turbolift doors, Brog sees a shaft running up and down but with no lights and no hum of repulsorlift modules, it's clear the power is off. Looks like climbing up or down is the only way out of the detention block..

DM Notes:

This was a lot of fun though I could feel the rust shaking off with every move. I was encountering rules questions right from the start - I want to grab the gun out of the guard's hand as he goes by, I want to use 2 blasters, does the -1d for multiple actions affect damage? Does the -1D for wounded affect subsequent STR rolls to resist damage? All kinds of questions and I ended up just winging it for most of them when it became clear I was not going to find them rapidly in the book. 

The Wookie was played by Apprentice Who, the youngest of the boys. This was his first RPG session every and he had a blast beating on things, and with a STR of 5D and a brawling skill of 6D he is a monster in close combat. I think it's important for a character to be good at something specific, especially with a new player or a new game, and he is really good at breaking heads. 

As some of you might recognize, we are using the classic adventure "Starfall" as our kickoff. I think it's a cool adventure with a clear starting point and a clear goal, and multiple ways to achieve it. I don't like to assume that characters are automatically experienced members of the rebellion - I like that association to come naturally if it comes at all. So I scrapped the starting situation and the script and rearranged it as written above. If they get away, especially with Blissex, they will probably be picked up by the Rebels and offered a position, but they don't have to accept it. I think it works better that way.

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