Monday, February 17, 2020

Star Wars: The Ice Planet Pha using Tiny Frontiers

I ran my second one-shot where the players are Imperial Storm Troopers using Tiny Frontiers and set in the Star Wars Galaxy.

The session opened as the Interdictor the Troopers are stationed on, the Inferno, had rendezvoused with Vader's Super Star Destroyer, the Executor, and Admiral Thrawn's Star Destroyer, the Invader

It had been nearly a month since their mission on Boontu and the scuttlebutt had it that Project Menagerie was something Vader had been keeping under wraps and the Emperor had sent Thrawn to find out what was so important to his Apprentice.

The Troopers work directly for the twins, Uriel and Ariel Gonzaga, who head up Project Menagerie.

Apparently, they had a new lead and were heading to the Outer Rim to the ice-planet Pha.

There were some concerns because Pha had been the site of a fairly massive Droid construction facility for the Separatist Army and not everyone was sure it had been shut down.

The Troopers had more important things to deal with than Droids however and they headed for the coordinates that the Twins had given them. There was a strange radio interference within about 5 miles of their destination so they took to speeder bikes. As they were close to hitting the radio-free zone a warning being sent out was cut off. Dav began to head out of the zone to finish the message when two str'owls, giant owls, attacked them. The firefight was fairly short and the tracker that was added to their group, Payt, convinced them not to kill one of the str'owls as it fled on foot.

As they moved on, it became apparent that their coordinates were around a large ridgeline that dominated the frozen tundra.

The team stopped about 100 yards from a large cave on the east side of the ridgeline and used optics to determine that there were several large, bipedal creatures living in that cave.

Meanwhile, from the west a trio of bundled up humanoids where wind-skiing toward them. The trio introduced themselves as Gurney, Viticus, and Lora, natives to Pha (imagine Tusken raiders living on Hoth). They attempted to do some trading with the Troopers and revealed that the cave was the lair of several wampas (shocker, right?) and that droidekas, leftover from when the Droid facility was active, still patrolled this part of the tundra.

After a bit of talking and trading a roar was heard from the cave and the trio headed out back to the east. The trooper decided they'd rather try to distract the wampas than to battle them if at all possible. This led Dav and Mik to drag the carcass of the dead str'owl towards their cave and then to book it out of there. The wampas caught the bird's scent and four of them went out to start enjoying their meal.

The Troopers headed to the mouth of the cave, concealed their bikes then headed in. After, a few hundred feet the cave divided with one tunnel heading the right and another to the left. At this time, Mat noticed a scanner built into the right side of the cave, just before the right-hand tunnel but was too late to stop it from scanning them. Within a few minutes, a spherical droid came flying down the right-hand tunnel and was destroyed fairly easily. Payt installed a portable camera at the beginning of the right-hand tunnel and they followed it until it led to a large blast door. After a few minutes, the Troopers bypassed the door and entered a ship, based on some preliminary data, Dav belived it to be a Mandalorian Reaver Class destroyer that was used, primarily, over 600 years ago. 

As they followed the corridor they came to an area that had two apparent statues in Mandalorian beskar and corridors allowing them to continue straight on with red tile on the floor, to the right with green tile on the floor, and to the left with blue tile on the floor.

They chose the right and soon came to another door that they were able to bypass. Within the green chamber, they found four bacta tanks, one had a wookie, one had a trandoshan, one was empty, one had been shattered, the bacta long evaporated, with a small skeleton lying in front of it, and a large control center in the middle of the room.

The Troopers soon realized the wookie and trandoshan were being kept alive and began then began to explore the databanks of the terminal. Soon, they discovered that this vessel's name was the Carnifex and that it was owned by a legendary Mandalorian known as Myrmidon Lhao who disappeared with a precious Mandalorian artifact as he fled Talos the Devourer. It was at this point where the terminal demanded the appropriate passcode.

The Troopers had a boosted data uplink they had installed immediately upon entering the room and quickly contacted the Inferno for help. They were soon surprised to discover they were talking directly to Ariel who had several very pointed questions about the layout of the room. Based on her questions she gave them a passcode that worked.

It was at this point that Payt's camera revealed three wampas entering the tunnel leading to the Carnifex and the Troopers began trying to formulate a plan. Using the terminal they watched as the wampas headed for the red tunnel and as they passed the mandalorian "statues" followed them to a door that began an automated unlock sequence.

Ariel saw the activity on the cameras as well and urged the Troopers to prevent those creatures from entering the room at the end of the red corridor.

A major firefight ensued and they discovered the wampas attacking them were actually droids Things got dire when Mik went down and Dav took a major wound, using sheer willpower to stay on his feet.

Ariel began screaming at them as one wampa and the Mandalorians gained entrance into the red room. Dav asked her to calm down and Mat used this time to patch up Mik and Dav both and they watched as the empty bacta filled and a clone began growing.

The Troopers took a tactical position in front of the red room and discovered the strange relief of a Mandalorian surrounded by four Mandalorian "statues" and the last wampa.

Ariel informed them that thermal detonators were not an option because that relief is what she needed. After another intense battle, the Troopers claimed victory. They searched the blue corridor, which led to the Carnifex's cockpit and after an exhaustive search found the hilt of one of the energy swords that they were attacked with on the last mission.

Ariel and Uriel were uncharacteristically excited when they reached the Carnifex and asked Dav to kill the growing clone. The Twins even took the time to explain that the location of the Carnifex proved their theory and that Lord Vader would very excited for their findings. They also explained that they were solving the mystery of a strange being discovered forty years ago.

They promised metals for the Troopers.

Out of game, I'm not sure about the TinyD6 system. On one hand it is perfect for a fill-in one-shot and is great with a setting like this to add some specialization to the Storm Troopers, I'm not sure, for instance, if White Star would do that as well.

However, it almost feels like TinyD6 is somtimes merely a dice game and it has a pretty large whiff factor.

In all fairness, I might not be at my best as a Game Master and that could have some effect on my criticisms. While I freely admit I'm rusty, I've felt this way after three sessions (one Tiny Dungeons and two Tiny Frontiers).

What does that mean?

It means I might run the next one-shot using Stars Without Numbers or an OSR-inspired system I've been developing.

I don't which way I'm going to go, but I do know I want to try a different system next time.

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