Death On The Outpost Moon

Clone Wars Episode 5

Cody and friends

Cody and friends

This week, the GM decided to try out a one-shot scenario. He assigned no-name clone troopers for the players. A sergeant and a bunch of rookies who were tasked with housekeeping of a listening outpost on a Rishi moon. He made it clear that they were the first to know if a Separatist invasion force was on its way to sneak up and bomb the crap out of the clone trooper production world of Kamino. The outpost was descibed nicely by the GM: it was a small drab gray installation with a landing platform and large communication dishes, perched at the edge of a rocky cliff filled with holes.

Initially the players did great in giving each trooper a distinct personality despite their common appearance. They picked out quirky names for their PCs like “Sergeant O’Niner”, “Cutup”, “Echo”, “Hevy” and “Fives”.

Then, a meteor storm occurred. Someone rolled a shields skill to raise shields around the listening outpost. Easy enough; the meteors slammed harmlessly against the invisible barriers.

The GM asked Hevy on monitor duty and the NPC deck officer to roll their Perception attributes with a +2 bonus to Hevy for using special equipment and a +5 bonus to the deck officer for, you know, being outside and having electrobinoculars. To answer the players if they succeeded or not, the GM had the blast door open. In stormed a bunch of new battle droids, looking exactly like a Baktoid-manufactured B1 battle droids, but they had truncated snouts, glowing eyes and dark armoured bodies. Their leader also wore a sword in a scabbard on his back.

Baktoid DX-series commando droids

Baktoid DX-series commando droids

The DX- series commando droids swept in, blasters shooting at the two sentries in the entry hallway. With a surprise penalty to their rolls, the NPC troopers fell quickly like sack of potatoes. The player playing Sergeant O’Niner saw his chance at glory and declared that Sarge runs down the flight of stairs into the entry hallway firing his weapon and dropping some droids, employing a Force Point. However, there were too many of them and a dodge roll failed horrendously. Several blaster bolts struck the PC, who also failed his damage rolls. Incapacitated, the droids moved in for the head shot, killing him instantaneously.

The player threw a hissy fit, of course. The GM argued that the dice was arbitrary. But the player had a couple of hours to kill and no place to hang out. OK, the GM decided. Commander Cody was coming for an inspection and the former Sergeant O’Niner player could play him when he arrived.

Meanwhile, the other players decided to run for their lives. An Easy Technical roll allowed them to find a ventilation shaft to flee in. The GM rolled the droids’ Perception and they failed to spot the closed vent grille. The GM declared that the ventilation shaft led downward and the PCs popped out on a ledge on the rocky cliff. As the players thought of their next move, the GM asked them to roll Perception again, which caused the players to grumble. There were lots of ones and twos. But the GM declares that Hevy heard something.

The reason why the GM was alternately smirking and shaking his head became apparent soon. A gigantic worm-like creature was poised to strike at them. The GM rolled a random target check and the Rishi eel attacked Cutup. With a surprise penalty and more ones and twos on the dice, the eel swooped down and grabbed Cutup. His damage roll put him at wounded twice. He failed his roll to break out of the maw and the eel slithered at high speed into another hole. Blaster bolts from the surviving troopers weren’t able to overcome the eel’s Strength plus its armour bonus.

Look! Look at where I'm pointing!

Look! Look at where I’m pointing!

When Cutup’s player said he did not have any other place to go to, the GM relented and told him Commander Cody was coming with Captain Rex, and he could play Rex when they arrive for their inspection tour… which was about to happen.

As the players of the surviving troopers took a break and hunted for soda in the fridge, the GM told the former players of Sergeant O’Niner and Cutup that Cody and Rex’s Nu-class attack shuttle was about to land. They roleplayed the communiqué between Rex and a DX droid. Although the players knew of the droids, their willpower roll against the droids’ con roll was a disaster. They weren’t allowed to act on the players’ knowledge and will have a surprise penalty.

Thankfully, the other players interjected and argued with the GM that they should be able to signal Rex and Cody. Although their comlinks were jammed, they fired a warning flare. Rex’s player quickly used a character point to augment his blaster roll, allowing him to overcome the surprise and drawing weapon penalty and shot the droid in clone armour that greeted them at the door. They discovered the ambush, but the surprise penalty was gone. Lots of droids fired at them and pushed them back toward their attack shuttle. Then, a droid threw thermal detonators at them with a character point boosted grenades skill roll.

They used both their jump and blaster skills in the same round, each move taking a minus 1D penalty, as the thermal detonators exploded and destroyed the shuttle, thanks to at least lots of dice coming up with sixes in the damage rolls. (Apparently the GM ruled that three thermal detonators amounted to 6D starfighter scale damage.) Thankfully Rex and Cody’s jump and blaster skill rolls succeeded and their DC-15 rifles’ ascension guns fired cabled which saved them from the long drop below. Slowly, they lower themselves onto a ledge on the cliff wall below where they are finally meet with Hevy, Fives and Echo, who brief them of the situation.

The players realized that this had to be a prelude to an invasion at Kamino. The all-clear signal was still broadcasting. They planned to retake the listening outpost, shut down the all-clear signal and warn the Republic fleet of the impending invasion. Rex’s player used his con skill to act as a commando droid wearing a clone trooper to get the blast doors open. He uses a decapitated droid head to get a +5 bonus to his con roll when the droid inside insisted he removed his helmet.

They rush in, and in less than a dozen combat rounds, destroyed all the commando droids. However, they discovered that the all-clear signal was hardwired for broadcast, a modification by the Separatist droids; and there was a Separatist invasion fleet in orbit and they were sending down a C-9979 landing craft. There was only one way to go. A quick Technology roll by Hevy, Echo and Fives revealed to them that there were liquid tibanna tanks on the base, used to heat them during the cold winters. Blowing them all up would destroy the base, shut down the all-clear signal and the nearest Republic fleet would come running to investigate.

Z-6 rotary blaster

Z-6 rotary blaster

As the landing craft regurgitated its load of B1 and B2 battle droids by the dozens, the clone troopers geared up with weapons and brought the liquid tibanna tanks to the control room. But the difficulty of rolling the demolitions skill was too high. Even Rex failed his roll. Hevy tried his luck with the demolitions roll, attempting to connect the remote detonator with the explosives, while the others fled via the ventilation shaft. Hevy knew that if the all-clear signal wasn’t shut off, Kamino and his fellow clones being grown and trained there would be dead.

He closed the ventilation grille so no droid could notice their escape route, but then he was beset by droids from the front and back. Hevy’s Z-6 rotary blaster took down many of the fragile B1 droids, but soon he ran out of juice in his ammo pack. He ran for the liquid tibanna, but he failed a combat dodge. He fell, wounded on the deck as droids surrounded him. The GM, playing the droids, asked, “Uh, do we take prisoners?”

Hevy’s player said, “I don’t.” He rolled his demolitions skill again with a lower Difficulty Number since he wasn’t remote detonating it. He succeeded, and the liquid tibanna tanks exploded destroying the main structure of the installation, killing Hevy and snapping off the landing platform, hurling the C-9979 down into the deep, dark chasm.

The all-clear signal inoperational, a nearby squadron of six Venator-class Star Destroyers plus support ships arrived to face off with the Separatist fleet. Their surprise lost, the Separatist fleet retreated, jumping into the safety of hyperspace. The Star Destroyer dispatched LAATs to investigate the explosion and spotted Cody, Rex, Fives and Echo, who were promptly rescued.

Hevy’s player made the GM promise that the character points he would have received for this scenario could be used in the generation of his next character.

Posted in Star Wars, The Clone Wars Review, TV and tagged , , .

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

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