AOR: The Intelligent Tree Whisperers


The Intelligent Tree Whisperers

It was mid-semester break. Although the students are on a week-long break, we teachers still have work to do. So we set up a Tabletop RPG Workshop for any teacher to join, stretch their imagination and communication skills and have a bit of fun. So I ran an Age of Rebellion roleplaying game session for my colleagues using the Beginner Box material.

Dramatis Personae

The Seven Samurai?

The Seven Samurai?

  • Fal – a Human ace pilot who once lived on Ryloth in the same city as Oskara. (Nana)
  • Lorick – a Wookiee hired gun, whose family was taken to be science experiments and slaves to build Imperial cities. (Shih Min)
  • Oskara – a green-skinned Twi’lek bounty hunter, whose home city on Ryloth was bombed by the Empire. (Farah)
  • Pashten – a Human smuggler, who was rebelling against cruel Imperial taxes. (Faten)
  • Reyhana – a Mon Calamari engineer, whose people were oppressed for being non-humans. (Noriha)
  • Vendri – a Duros spy, a former agent for Empire, who also rebelled against the Empire’s anti-alien policies. (Saf)
  • VEX – a Droid colonist whose heartless Imperial creator rejected her love as a daughter. (Sri)

It was a new day at Defiant Core, an Alliance base constructed out of an old derelict Separatist starship – a Recusant-class destroyer named Nova Defiant –  that had crashed and was hidden in a huge cave on the planet Innton II. Cave reminds Fal of the cave she hid in on Ryloth. Lots of civilian refugees. Colonel Karr, a 50 year old human, of Defiant Core called for volunteers and Fal, Lorick, Oskara, Pashten, Reyhana Vendri, and VEX answered.


The new volunteers arrived in a meeting room, which had a circular table with a central holographic projector. Fal spotted Oskara for the first time and yelled, “You left me ten years in that cave on Ryloth!” Her old friend said, “I’m sorry I didn’t know. I’m glad you’re here.” They were glad to be reunited after so long.

Soon the meeting was in session. Karr told them that Defiant Core was running low on (not food) the explosive baradium. All task forces stationed there were away, so the volunteers would have to go. He provided them a pouch of 15,000 credits to be given to a weapons dealer named Chromo in the city of Taxo Bay on Fest, in the Atrivis Sector.

From "Strongholds of Resistance"

From “Strongholds of Resistance”

First, their task was to travel to the old wilderness Trading Post 200 km away and find a space transport there to go to Fest. They are given a speeder truck with an open back. Because how the Trading Post inhabitants regarded the rebellion was unknown, they decided to be discreet.

As they left the meeting room, Colonel Karr said, “Before you go, what’s the name of the team?” They thought for a moment.

Fal muttered: “Intelligent…”

Reyhana said: “…Tree…”

VEX decided: “…Whisperers.”

And thus the Intelligent Tree Whisperers were born. “Alright, Intelligent Tree Whisperers, good luck and may the Force be with you.”


Fal drove them there on a speeder truck, with Lorick riding shotgun beside her. Others on the flatbed enjoying the wind in their hairs (except for VEX and Vendri.)  Suddenly it started to rain and everyone in the back was getting wet. Fal activated the convertible roof saving everyone’s hair (except for VEX and Vendri).

I'm behind the screen

I’m behind the screen

Driving past a cliff, Fal noticed a mudslide coming down towards them. She gunned the throttle, but failed to overtake the colossal wall of mud and debris (thanks to a Piloting failure). It slammed into the truck, the mud taking the entire vehicle for a violent ride. The truck crashed into a huge debris (Another piloting failure). The front windscreen shattered and mud flowed into the truck cab.

When the mudslide stopped flowing, the team tried to repair the truck. At first Reyhana tried to fix the truck (with a Setback dice because of the mud) but was only able to clear the mud from the engine (a failed Mechanics roll). Then VEX helped (without the Setback dice as no more mud is present, and gets three Successes and one Threat) and the truck’s engines hummed to life although the truck’s air-conditioning system was wrecked beyond repair.

Soon, they approached the Trading Post,  a small settlement by a lake. Fal headed for the landing field. As soon as they arrived, the truck’s repulsorlift died and it collapsed onto the ground, thick smoke emanating from the engines.


There were a number of freighters on the landing fields. Some were being refuelled, some reloaded, one was taking off and soared up into the cloudy sky. Another was touching down at the far side of the field. The team could see diverse inhabitants working across the landing field.

The closest ship was a G9 Rigger-class freighter. Her captain was another Twi’lek like Oskara, but with green instead of blue skin. The man was completing his transaction, signing on a datapad, and about to lift off. Vendri thought of looking for a bar or a cantina, but Oskara approached the captain.

From the episode "The Lawless"

From the episode “The Lawless”

“I’m gonna need your ship. What will you take for it?”

“This is my livelihood, man. I live on this ship! I have cargo to carry to Ord Mantell and I have three days to reach there!”

VEX calculated (with two Astrogation successes) and told him, “You only need half a day to reach Fest and another day to return!” Then Pashten argued this point (getting a Triumph in Negotiation). Ultimately the captain agreed to their suggestion. He said, “Perhaps I’ll even get additional freight commission on Fest.”

As the G9 Rigger named the Angry Antelope lifted off and headed for space, they realised that they would be sharing passenger space in the cargo hold with 30 live gornts. Yay! It’s a petting zoo.


6 hours later, as they spent time with the smelly gornts while having coffee and lepat pisang in the enclosed common room, it felt as if the ship was being buffeted by turbulence. Everyone wondered what was going on, but they were in an enclosed common room under the cockpit deck. Suddenly the turbulence stopped. Peeping out the common room, they see the Twi’lek captain rush outside down the ramp. They had already landed. Why was he fleeing the ship post haste? Was there a threat? Had he betrayed them all? Oskara set her blaster carbine to stun, but the captain had disappeared out of sight.

New Bakstre is in the solo adventure demo in the 1987 rulebook

New Bakstre is in the solo adventure demo in the 1987 rulebook

Fal and Lorick climbed up to the cockpit. The cockpit door was locked, so they asked VEX to come and break the door lock. (With a Moderate Difficulty and four Green Dice, VEX rolls one Success and one Advantage.) When the door slid open, they saw out the forward viewport that they had landed in Taxo Bay. They were on Fest! Suddenly, Fal sheepishly said, “Oh wait. I forgot I have a lock pick.”

Everyone booed her.

 They all went down the ship and saw that he was with his little children who had come to meet him from Taxo Bay. The captain told them they had three hours to do their work. VEX and Oskara considered abducting one of the captain’s children as insurance. VEX tried to convince him (Deceit roll with 3 Threats), but the captain and the kids laughed at them.

They headed into Taxo Bay. It was only 2 hours after sundown and the night was alive with loads of pedestrians and speeders, illuminated by dozens and dozens of multi-coloured holographic shop signs.


Lorick suggested they should head to a bar to look for Mister Chromo. Vendri led the team through the streets (Streetwise success with 3 Successes) and five minutes later she had discovered a seedy cantina in an alley in a basement of a building.

There was a bar in the middle of the cantina with tables and chairs around it. Pashten walked up to talk to the bartender (played by Jungkook from BTS, by the way) and ordered some tortilla. She charmingly asked, “Do you know a Mister Chromo?” (but with a Charm failure of 3 Successes and 2 Threats).

The bartender said, “If you wait for two hours, then Mister Chromo will be here.”

Should we all mango or should we womango?

Should we all mango or should we womango?

The team discussed and decided that they had no time. VEX said, “Time is money, man.”

The bartender grinned, “Yes. I agree.” He was holding out his palm.

VEX snapped, “Seventy-five credits. Take it or leave it.” To which the bartender retorted, “Nothing less than five hundred.” The transaction occurred and Pashten obtained Mister Chromo’s address:

23 Jalan Mempelam 3.

The bartender warned them with a sly smile, “But if he’s not ready for your arrival, then it might not end well for you.”



I think someone stole my whiteboard marker from this meeting room

I think someone stole my whiteboard marker from this meeting room

Splitting into two groups, one group would stay in case Mister Chromo came to the cantina. The other group would travel to Jalan Mempelam 3 to Chromo’s house. The cantina team consisted of Vendri, VEX, Pashten and Fal. Meanwhile Lorick, Oskara, and Reyhana made up the away team.

Lorick led the away team but (with a Streetwise failure) accidentally led them to a huge pit of scrap metal and a dead end. Back in the streets, Oskara called up Fal on the comlink to update them, and suddenly, a massive, elderly, green-skinned female Twi’lek appeared out of nowhere.

“Oskara!” a loud voice boomed. “This is where you’ve been since you disappeared ten years ago?”

Oskara’s eyes widened. “Mom?”

Once upon a time, Oskara came home late and her mother scolded her so viciously that she ran away from home. But before they could reconcile, the Empire had bombed her city and she never saw her mother again.

Oskara thought quickly and then pleaded, “I’m sorry, Mom. Let’s forget the past. Can I have some money? I’m in big trouble.” Threateningly, she came so close to Oskara’s face that she could see her mother’s nose hairs.

After a moment (and a Success in Charm), she embraced Oskara, yelling, “I haven’t seen you in a long time! How much do you need?”

Nervously, Oskara said, “Twenty thousand credits.”

“NO PROBLEM!” She drew the cash from her fanny pack and transferred it to Oskara’s fanny pack. Then at a street cafe, she ordered drinks, gornt chops with a side of karas for everyone.

After that they exchanged contact information and promised to catch up at a later time.


Back at the cantina, everything was quiet, until someone rushed through the door down from the streets, sweating and breathing hard. The civilian went to the bar and asked for help. The bartender said, “We’re not in the business of helping.”

We have to go to Fest but Ryloth is on the board instead

We have to go to Fest but Ryloth is on the board instead

Then another person entered the cantina, wearing an Imperial officer’s uniform and wielded a DH-17 blaster pistol. The civilian raised his hands. The officer bellowed at the man at the bar. “Ah, Mister Cracken. I have been looking for you for a long time. I suggest you come with me… this way.”

The cantina team sat at their table quietly, holding their breath while the officer gloated over Cracken, “We will have your rebel friends soon enough.”

At this, Vendri got up, spun and fired in less than a heartbeat. Her blaster rifle spat a blue stun bolt and the officer fell unconscious. The Duros leapt for the door, pulling Cracken along with her. “You’re coming with us!” The others looked at each other for a heartbeat, then rushed to follow her.

(Each having Successes in Vigilance,) Pashten and Fel noticed Imperial stormtroopers searching the street above and alerted the others to their presence. They decided to hide in the crowd to evade the troopers. Vendri and VEX (rolling Skulduggery Successes) helped Fal and Pashten (who failed their Skulduggery rolls) to hide among the evening crowd (by using their extra Skulduggery Successes). Cracken appeared to have dropped his fearful facade and with great confidence also weaved among the people around him.

Soon they were far enough away from the troopers to make a sprint for the spaceport.


These herd animals are waiting for the team in the Angry Antelope

These herd animals are waiting for the team aboard the Angry Antelope

The away team reached the dull-grey brutalist mansion at 23, Jalan Mempelam 3. Two burly guard droids as tall as Lorick watched the door. They insisted that the team identified themselves. Upon announcing themselves the “Intelligent Tree Whisperers”, the droids cheerfully welcomed them, opening the doors.

They invited the team inside where a party for rich folks was taking place. There is a chocolate fountain. Vendri eyed the fondue table. Food was plentiful. There was fish and karas. Karas masak merah. Karas with cheese. Karas salad. Reyhana started stuffing food into her pockets.

Soon, Mister Chromo (who was played by Leonardo Di Caprio in The Great Gatsby) swaggered in to meet them in the foyer. A guard droid followed him pulling a hardshell travel bag on wheels. He greeted them and told them that not only the baradium is coming with them, but he himself needed the team to extract him from Fest. “Take me with you. This party is a distraction for me to escape the Empire.”

Oskara negotiated with him, “If we are to extract you, then the baradium should be free.” (She rolls a Negotiation Success!)

Chromo smiled, “I agree. The baradium will be sent to your ship, but we have to leave now.”


The cantina team was still en route back to the Angry Antelope when Cracken said, “Why did you help me? They were after me, and now they’ll be after you too.”

I am going to miss meeting room A-G-4

I am going to miss meeting room A-G-4


The team introduced themselves as undercover rebel operatives. “Why are they after you?”

“I found something important that could threaten us. This encrypted datacard has a recording that might save the Rebellion. When they discovered I had it, they’ve been chasing me ever since. We need to decrypt this card before something catastrophic happens to our safeworlds.”

Soon both teams were back at the Angry Antelope. The Twi’lek captain was kissing his children goodbye as he was about to depart. He reported, “A package was delivered 5 minutes ago by a tall droid. Who are these two?”

VEX quipped, “Extra baggage.”

Chromo said, “I can pay for passage!” and gave ten thousand to the captain. The Twi’lek was happy to have the extra payment even though he did not acquire any cargo transport commissions.

They closed up the ship. The ramp was retracted. Fal headed to the cockpit to help  the Twi’lek captain plot a course through hyperspace. She also requested Chromo to escort her to the cockpit. He asked, amused, “Why should I?”

“Because we have six hours to get to know each other.” (She rolled her Charm successfully… after three tries! I allowed it because it was hilarious. Sue me!) They both went arm-in-arm, smiling up to the cockpit.


As the Antelope took off, Cracken – surrounded by gornts – handed the team the encrypted datacard. Reyhana the tried to slice it, but failed. Even more, the security systems added an extra layer of protection on the card. She called VEX who helped to slice and they both succeeded.

A hologram file was activated. It was the officer Vendri had stunned in the cantina. He told a second person whom they did not recognise,  “Since we know somebody is coming for you, it’s time for someone else to take your place.” The second person seemed distraught and afraid.

Sector map of the Outer Rim and the Antelope deckplans

Sector map of the Outer Rim and the Antelope deckplans

The officer fired his blaster, killing the unknown man, then gestured offscreen, “Take his place.” Someone else walked into the holographic recording field. This third man was familiar to them. This very person was at that moment upstairs in the cockpit with Fal.

The third man sneered and said, “I’ll find out where the rebel safeworld is.”

When recording ended, they knew they had to save Fal from her new boyfriend the Imperial agent.


VEX looked for anything that could be used to covertly poison “Chromo”, (failed Medicine roll) but she was unable to find any on the ship. She cursed the Bureau of Ship Services for being so good at their job with regards to crew safety. Vendri suggested they throw him off the ship.

Then Lorick, Pashten and Vendri decided to sneak up on him and attack him. At first everyone was peaceful. The hyperspace tunnel spiralled ahead of them out the forward viewport. Suddenly, there was a loud ugly crunch as the Wookiee smashed Chromo’s head in (with a Critical Injury known as Disoriented). Though he was still conscious, he was too dazed to take action.

As Fal and the Twi’lek captain were both surprised by the attack, Vendri fired her blaster rifle – this time not on stun – (getting a Damage of 13) the bolt blasted a sparking hole through his chest. The Imperial agent fell dead, smelling of satay.

Fal yelled, “Noooo! Why did you-”

So many ripe targets nearby. Sullust. Eriadu. Belsavis.

So many ripe targets nearby. Sullust. Eriadu. Belsavis.

Without a word, Pashten pulled the dead Imperial agent to the airlock and spaced the corpse into the void. When it was over, they all explained to Fal what had just happened.


Cracken said, “You ladies are really good. You said you are the Intelligent Tree Whisperers? I foresee a good future for you in the Rebellion.”

Soon, the Antelope reverted from hyperspace and Innton II filled up the space before them. They had returned to the Triton system. The ship descended towards the Trading Post for a landing, and the team considered the future they will have as operatives of Defiant Core…

To be continued?


  • The team wanted to steal the Antelope. I had to remind them that if they did there is a chance Imperial authorities would hound them back to their safeworld.
  • The players of Oskara and Reyhana are veterans of our Laundry RPG campaign.
  • Here is a compilation of Instagram videos from some of the players.

Posted in Role Playing Games, RPG Actual Play, RPG One Shots, RPG Teaching Plays, Star Wars and tagged , , , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.


  1. This was quite a sight to see! While such table top RPGs often find a particular type of player, younger, male and white. To see the diversity of players really getting into this game and playing it, it’s a thing of beauty. I love to see these type of players getting into a universe and game I enjoy. It says a lot about the fandom and gaming in general. It’s not just for certain people, but it’s something practically anyone can enjoy!

    This was delightful to read. You guys made my day!

  2. I enjoyed reading this immensely! I love the coffee breaks with snacks and Leonardo Dicaprio becoming Fal’s boyfriend. And all the details like the brutalist mansion, which sounds like sucha Star Wars thing. ★★★★★ and looking forward to a sequel!

    • I hope they’d want to continue. But they’ve expressed wanting to play a fantasy RPG next. Should I run D&D or The One Ring or BareBones Fantasy? Or something OSR-flavoured? Decisions!

  3. Hey Hish, I also really enjoyed reading that write-up, and I think it’s so funny that even among a group of teachers, players will be players and some are inclined toward being “Murder Hobos” lol — eg: waning to kidnap the G9 captain’s kids. I also really appreciated the little details — like being close enough to see mother’s nose hairs, etc.

    Re: tips for noobs, the only thing I can really think of is something I only really started doing myself in FFG: use the narrative dice “creatively” rather than just adding a boost or setback, or rather than just upgrading a roll when flipping a destiny.

    • Glad you loved our little adventure. Teachers, students, if you get a group of ladies together to roleplay, they go full on murderhobo mode for some reason. But they do roleplay well. Not to mention the choice of actors appearing as NPCs. Leonardo Di Caprio in the article above. Vin Diesel in the attached link in this comment.

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