Episode 01 Trial Run
It was way back in 1989 when I received my first tabletop RPG, the first edition Star Wars The Roleplaying Game and the Star Wars Sourcebook by West End Games. I read through the rules and thought, let’s try this out. I didn’t even start with “Rebel Breakout”, the introductory adventure that came in the book. I took a school exercise book and created a maze of corridors and rooms and thought, “Okay, this’ll make a great Imperial space station interior.” Actually the map wouldn’t make a lick of sense as a military installation, but it was my first try.
Sila decided to be a bounty hunter and rolled up a player character whom she named Shanna Toarinar, and she went on to play Shanna for another ten years in realtime thereafter. And the campaign would go on for many years until I was able to fill out a sourcebook using story elements from different sessions.
Shanna was a bounty hunter who wore dark combat fatigues, grey flak armour, arm greaves and shin guards. Her parents were killed by Imperial stormtroopers when she was five and now she only hunted Imperial targets.
Shanna arrived at a secret Imperial space station orbiting the planet Sirsee. Deciding that she would have better luck hunting and killing Imperials, she had decided to join the Rebel Alliance. But as a trial of her skills, she was given a mission to retrieve a stolen prototype A-wing fighter. This fighter’s computer had encrypted plans and schematics for a new X-wing extended range variant. The A-wing was located on this station.
She arrived at the station hidden on a Lambda-class shuttle. Although she succeeded in sneaking off the shuttle as it was refuelling, a remote sensor in the hangar bay registered her motion. Klaxons blared and the station went to full alert status much to her annoyance.
A scout trooper spotted her immediately and tried to stop her, but she put a bolt on the scout’s chest armour via her long, slender custom blaster rifle. She slipped out of the bay, crept throughout the cramped corridors and reach a blast door. A bored stormtrooper was guarding it. She sneaked past him and crossed the blast door threshold.
Beyond the door was a large trunk hallway. There were quite a number of pedestrians, most of which were Imperial personnel and droids. Shanna jumped into a XP-38 landspeeder parked nearby and opened up the throttle. She steered the speeder even deeper into the station.
Scout troopers in another XP-38 began to pursue her and firing at her down the trunk hallway. A sharp left turn was approaching. Shanna swerved, scraped paint off the underside of her speeder. As the pursuing XP-38’s driver made the turn, she spun and fired a stun bolt which hit the driver squarely on his chest. This caused a massive traffic accident, but to her relief Shanna was no longer being pursued.
Suddenly the hallway came to a dead end. Shanna hit the brakes and stopped the vehicle before it crashed. Before the station’s security forces arrived at the scene, she quickly found a ventilation hatch and made her escape into the bowels of the station.
Soon she found her way to a ventilation hatch. It was in a corridor on the opposite side of a door that led to the A-wing fighter bay according to her map. She surprised the stormtrooper guard by kicking out the hatch and blasting him with her rifle. The trooper fell, but she believed she had little time before backup arrived.
The door opened to reveal to her the A-wing positioned on a launch catapult in the small bay. Another door at the other end of the bay slid open and a squad of stormtroopers rushed in with blaster rifles blazing. Shanna laid down her own cover fire as she sprinted for the A-wing.
Before long, she was in the cockpit and sealing the canopy. A moment later, the A-wing had launched out of the bay and into space. As Shanna calculated the hyperspace coordinates to the hyperdrive, the sensors warned her of a fast incoming TIE fighter. The enemy fighter closed in and fired its cannon. Shanna juked her ship to avoid being hit.
For a few heartbeats, it was all Shanna could do to prevent her own death. Suddenly, she activated the braking thrusters. The enemy fighter swooped past and in an instant was in the A-wing’s cross-hairs. Shanna fired her red bolts that tore the TIE fighter into a ball of fiery debris.
The sensors alerted Shanna to the launch of a full flight of TIE fighters from the station, but by that time the hyperspace calculations were complete.
A single pull of a lever, and the A-wing safely jumped into hyperspace.
Shanna travelled with her ship to Tierfon Outpost and met a commander of a Rebel strike force who marvelled at her skills and welcomed her into what would evolve into the Strikeforce Enteague.
How simple was this scenario? I discovered that it was easy and fun to run this game system. Very short prep time, and very cinematic rules.The session was basically a classic dungeon crawl, and the vehicle that appeared were the few that was featured in the Star Wars Sourcebook. The very next session, I ran “Rebel Breakout“.
I miss those days.