Wednesday, February 22, 2012

...yawa raf raf yxalag a ni ,oga emit gnol A

The game that I'm going to be running on Saturday is a Star Wars game set in a "mirror universe", a concept that is actually much more familiar from Star Trek (although Buffy also used the concept to good effect). The idea is that things are much the same, but subtly skewed. In particular, the moral axis of the setting is skewed, so that what was once good is considered bad, and what was once bad is... well, worse, actually.

Unfortunately, I have found that while such a setting is enormously fun to envisage, and actually quite easy to develop as a concept, actually coming up with a single adventure to fit the setting is really surprisingly hard. The problem is not in coming up with an adventure, as such, but rather with coming up with one that is distinctly a mirror universe adventure, highlighting the major 'fun bits' of the setting.

Sometimes I ponder just how bizarre a life I lead, when these are the sorts of challenges that vex me.

Anyway, I think I've come up with something.

The characters I'm going to be using are a mix of the familiar and the new. The basic premise of the plot is that the characters are escorting the young and idealistic senator from Naboo, one Palpatine, to his new post on Coruscant. Officially, he's travelling in style, but this is of course a decoy. In fact, he's travelling on the Millennium Falcon, under the command of the mighty Captain Chewbacca, a disreputable space pirate if ever there was one.

The PCs, then, number five, although it looks like only four will be used (I don't know which four). The first of these is a disgraced ex-Jedi by the name of Maul, who acts as bodyguard for the senator in the hope of restoring his honour. The other Jedi is one Jane Kenobi, a near-clone (designation Omega Batch 1) of the deceased padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn. The three new characters are a sleazy Ortolan scoundrel/musician, a trigger-happy Rodian mercenary (they always fire first), and a bored soldier who dreams of seeing real action.

To reflect the twisted morality of the mirror universe, I've given each PC a reason why they should betray the rest of the party... and a reason why they shouldn't. I have no idea what they'll choose to do, which should be interesting.

Anyway, the adventure will open with the Millennium Falcon departing Naboo and entering Hyperspace. But it turns out Coruscant is not their destination...

Act One: Point Nadir

It seems that Chewbacca is running a job on the side, and so he takes the Falcon to the space fortress Point Nadir, a hive of scum and villainy if ever there was one. There, he delivers a shipment of deathsticks to Gardula the Hutt, a gift from his boss Jabba.

While in Point Nadir, the party have an opportunity to mingle with the scum, and perhaps engage in some villainy. In particular, various opportunities for betrayal raise their heads. Oh, and there's a bounty hunter...

As they leave, Gardula drops a bombshell - forces of the Alderaan Protectorate are in the process of bombarding the Wookiee colony on Endor, where Chewbacca's mate and children live. Naturally, the idealistic Palpatine wants to rush off and help, and Chewbacca is likewise keen to go (although as an exile, he is honour-bound not to step foot on the moon). But, what will the PCs decide?

Act Two: Endor

This act is, of course, entirely optional. If the PCs refuse to help, Chewbacca will reluctantly set course for Coruscant. But if they do that, there will be consequences, as he won't provide any help later.

Anyway, if the party go to Endor, this act is a simple rescue mission: Chewbacca drops them at a landing zone, they have to race through the forest evading both armies, and 'rescue' a near-feral Wookiee she-warrior in full battle regalia. Having extracted their target, they then have to race to their extraction point, and hope to goodness that the Millennium Falcon hasn't been shot down in the interim.

(There are various ways the PCs could make this easier for themselves. Notably, they could hire some mercs on Point Nadir. Of course, the danger with this approach is that that creates greater opportunities for betrayal...)

Act Three: Coruscant

So, the Millennium Falcon finally makes it to Coruscant. However, word of their cargo has leaked out. On approach, an Agent Ackbar of the port authority comes on the radio and apologetically redirects the Falcon to a different landing platform. (Agent Ackbar because... you know... It's a Trap!)

Anyway, the Falcon sets down, and it met by their contact, the sister and handmaid of th Queen, Kordé Amidala. She is flanked by guards clad in the livery of Naboo's allies, the Alderaan Protectorate.

But, of course, her betrayal is sudden and inevitable. We then proceed to a big set-piece battle featuring airborne skiffs (filled with troops from Haruun Kal, and led by Depa Billaba, the padawan of Jedi master Mace Windu), several floating platforms, possibly some 'rescues' by self-serving mercenaries, whatever final betrayals the party members want to spring, and potentially a high-speed chase through the skies of Coruscant.

Which should be fun.


I honestly have no idea where all of that is likely to go. There's a real good chance that the party will very quickly implode and wipe themselves out, or they might just cut through the plot in an instant. Either way, it should be fun. I hope.

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