Obligation: Clint-E (Family)
I wasn’t particularly thrilled with how this session went. This was on me. I was not into GMing that night and the game suffered because of it. Also, I wasn’t 100% on some of the rules, so I kind of glossed over some parts that probably shouldn’t have been glossed over (more on this later). However, the rules the group and I did have down were able to carry the game despite a flakey GM. This is a sign of a strong system, and something that’s going to keep me coming back to FFG’s Star Wars.
Anyway, because of family commitments, Felgru’s player is bowing out if the game. So, instead of taking the players’ advice that the Rodian exploded on impact from his jump, I hand-waved the wounded Felgru slinking back to the speeder. Clint-E’s Family Obligation came up again and I decided to just let the standard Strain threshold penalties stand. With the climax of the combat the droid would be stressed out trying to protect his “family” (the crew) and we wouldn’t need any further wrinkles to the story. After some Force Point rolls heavily favoring the Dark Side, we were ready to pick up where we left off.
With the camp in a drugged-up brawl, Fernando sneaks off to check out the old Trade Federation mining equipment. What he’s able to deduce, with sufficient successes and advantages, is the Fed mining operation was shut down because they ran into a local life form that was more trouble than it was worth. A silicon-based living volcanic ash cloud lurked beneath the surface. Naturally, the player wants to add to the chaos and wake the creature up. There is now a rampaging fiery ash monster burning gangers.
Meanwhile, the Gamorrean bodyguard managed to catch up to Luscious and Gand, pulling Gand off in a tumble. The bug and the bodyguard now square off, and it’s soon apparent the Gamorrean is too tough for the smuggler. It’s the fight between Indiana Jones and the German mechanic; the guy’s way too much to take out in a straight fight, Gand needs to use the chaos of the situation to get away.
Luscious struggles with Trollo the Toydarian, as the neurotoxin didn’t completely take out the small gangster. Trollo squeezes free, only to be picked up and bashed against the ground by the Trandoshan. With their target knocked out, Luscious makes a run for the end of the gully. He’s blocked by the Gang Leader, having circled in on his swoop. The Leader had previously failed to gain control of his men, so he was going after the crew on his own. Since Fernando set the swoops on a delayed power drain last time, I ruled any Threats on the Leader’s role would cause the bike to shut down. A straight success meant it was still up and running.
(One regret was I failed to name the Gang Leader and the Gamorrean. I really like the Apocalypse World rule of “name everybody” and I think it would have given the NPCs an extra dimension. As it stood they were shallower than I wanted them to be. Plus, it being Star Wars, they would have names because they would have action figures.)
At this point the ash cloud is burning gangers, meaning they aren’t getting coordinated minion attacks on any of the crew, and Clint-E has climbed down to take on the Gamorrean himself. It’s a brutal fistfight between the two. Gand has caught up to Luscious and fires his blaster at the swoop. This is where things broke down. I thought I understood the vehicle rules well enough, but this simple action stymied me. The swoop didn’t have any armor, how did it soak damage? Did it just take all of the damage from the blaster shot? This lead to me flipping back-and-forth through the vehicle chapter, grinding the game to a halt. Eventually I just said the heck with it and ruled that the shot had indeed taken out the swoop, and it was now sputtering smoke and drifting to the ground.
Luscious then takes this opportunity to attack the swoop with his vibroaxe, rolling spectacularly with numerous Advantages. I had encouraged the players to contribute on deciding Advantages and Threats’ interpretations and almost as a whole they decided this meant the swoop exploded. This was probably outside of the rules’ scope, but several factors played into me going along with it:
• It was getting late and we needed to wrap things up.
• My fuzziness with the vehicle rules meant I couldn’t counter with a stricter interpretation.
• One of the game’s GM advice is to not let combat drag too long.
• They were very excited about it.
• It was cool.
The Gamorrean still had 1 wound and the Gang Leader was untouched. Playing out every knock-down, drag-out step of the combat would suck the life out of it. So the swoop explodes in one of those action movie fireballs that knocks everyone off their feet, but doesn’t do any real damage. The villains are in no condition to keep fighting, and the crew is able to make their escape and collect their bounty.