Wednesday, 6 June 2018

R. A. Salvatore and the Time Machine

My father brought me a box of my old books a few years back and there were a number of Salvatore titles therein. I've mentioned before on this blog that R. A. Salvatore was my favorite author towards the end of high school. I started working my way through his Cleric's Quintet this year and I just finished reading the second book, In Sylvan Shadows. I have two observations:

First off, this is really good YA fiction. Oh the DnD is about as Vanilla as it gets, but the characters, their struggles, and their relationships are so familiar, so relate-able for the book's target demographic of nerdy teenage boys. As an aspiring computer-Wizard, I related quite a bit with Cadderly, a Cleric-scholar who finds himself in dangerous adventures he doubts he can handle, as I navigated the Orc-infested woods of the Southern Californian public school system. Cadderly's run-ins with dangerous villains and attractive women who could definitely lick him in a fight, rang quite true to the experiences of my teenage self.

Secondly, I realized that I am utterly incapable read these books objectively. The Drizzt and other Salvatore books I read meant quite a lot to me during that formative period of my life, and re-reading them brings on powerful feelings of nostalgia and even loss. Since 1996-1998 were still the early days of the Internet, there is very little recorded from that period of my life, and even my school Yearbooks were misplaced when my parents split up in the early 2000's. As such, I'm going to let the rest of this post be a memorial to all that I loved during my High School years but that was lost to the tides of time:

I could make this whole post about my Mother, may her memory be a blessing. About how she didn't really get her nerdy, reclusive child, but she loved me anyway... But instead I'm going to focus on school, since anyway adolescence is that time when we tend to create distance ourselves from our parents and focus on the world outside of the family.

Woodbridge High
As for school, let's talk about Art Class. I started taking Mrs. Posvar's art class in High School in Freshman year and I continued taking it most semesters more or less until graduation, probably 5 or 6 semesters out of 8 in total. That class was the high point of my day, and I still have a few paintings and drawings from that period.

I made a friend, that first year, in gym class of all places. Tom Speed and I formed a bond over a common goal: surviving our mandatory Physical Education requirement, with it's assortment of Gorillas, Spastics, and Bizarro Gym Teachers. And we did survived, somehow--but then his parents moved away at the end of the year. To Texas or Arizona or some other barren wilderness, I don't remember.

I joined an Anime Club early on in my High School career. Twice a week during lunch hour, the Foreign Animation club would congregate to watch the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Japanese Ani-Manga. Whatever Rob, our manga-guru, was able to get that week. This wasn't such a social venue for me, but I loved it, and felt like I was getting away with something wicked-watching cartoons during school time!

My third year of High School, my brother got me into Magic: the Gathering. I bought a bunch of cards and would play with the Magic Club during lunch breaks when there was no Anime to be seen. I was really bad at Magic--I couldn't win a game to save my life, but I enjoyed the hobby quite a bit for a while. But then, just as I was just starting to suspect that I would never get good at this bloody card game, I got sucked in to The Loft...

The Loft

The Loft Club were half a dozen guys who would eat lunch together on the rear balcony("The Loft") of the science building, overlooking the football field(and in close proximity to the Magic Club and Foreign Animation Club). Tony, Jesse, Byron and Sam were all Seniors. There were a couple Sophomores who joined late in the year, a guy and a girl, whose names escape me after all these years, I'm sorry to say. I was the odd-man-out as the only Junior in the group. Well, it all started when one of these guys(maybe Sam?) invited me to come sit with them one lunch-period.  By the end of lunch, I was hooked!

These dudes were into nerdy stuff like computers, and Anime, and Dnd, but they were cool and confident and knew what they wanted out of life and lunchtime was always accompanied with an interesting conversation. Tony was the coolest since he was British(from Leeds) and his favorite author was R. A. Salvatore, so I naturally visited Barnes and Noble and got every Salvatore book I could find. Jesse was already a living legend in A. P. Computer Science since he had taken the course his Junior year and left an actual working physics game(written in Pascal) as a legacy for future students to play. Sam and Byron were a bit more approachable and we developed friendships outside of the Loft and kept getting together now and again in subsequent years. In any case, the Loft quickly became an important venue for me. It was the first place in this massive school of nearly 2000 students(probably in my entire K-12 education) where I felt truly ok with who I was, where I was accepted and understood by other like-minded souls. The Loft was a big deal for me, even if that period only lasted half a year or so.

Fourth year was hard, because the older Loft guys had graduated and I was left with the two third-years to try and keep the glory alive. We kept meeting for lunch, first in the Loft itself, then later in a different location, but it was never quite the same.

a Model Gundam
But, fourth year I made another friend, a fellow Anime fan, a Junior, Garret Keta. Garret lived with his mother really close to school, like literally a block away in a neighborhood of tiny two-bedroom condos. He was 1/4 Japanese and his room was mostly full of model Gundams he had painstakingly build. He was a quiet, smart, sweet kid and we had a lot of fun hanging out together, playing computer games, and talking about whatever adolescent boys talk about. I'm trying, for the life of me, to remember if he had a little sister. Maybe. I can't remember- 1998 was a long time ago.

Well, like I said, we had a lot of fun hanging out together, but there was a shadow hanging over that house. Garret was sick. And though we never discussed it much, I got the distinct impression that it was the kind of sick you don't get better from. I think he only had a few years to live. We avoided the topic-what's the point of dwelling on that sort of thing. But there was a gloom in that house, a Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go sort of gloom, that manifested in Garret's occasional silences, his Mom's worried glances, his Dad's high-strung nerves during his frequent visits.

Garret and I lost touch when I moved-off to college. I tried dropping by once, but they didn't live there anymore. I've tried googling him, searching for him on Facebook, but to no avail. He probably died years ago. A nerdy kid like that would definitely have had an Internet presence, some massive website dedicated to Gundam models and other highly-specific Anime fandoms. Maybe he would have gotten into Warhammer 40K, he would probably have discovered it at some point. It's his sort of thing: lot's of minis to meticulously collect and paint and Conventions to attend in LA or San Diego. Heck, he'd probably be running his own Convention by now.

It just bothers me that I google his name and nothing comes up, not a thing. It's as if my friend never existed, like he's been swallowed-up by Time itself.

Well, now, this post will come up, with it's short record of who he was and why he mattered to me.

Anyway, that's the stuff that comes to mind when I read old Salvatore books. I guess reading really is a subjective experience. If you give In Sylvan Shadows to someone to read, they probably won't be struck by melancholy reflections on their long-lost High School days. They'll be like "Yeah! Ents vs. Goblins!" or else "Ugh, another Tolkien Pastiche!" But for me, this book is a Time Machine.

Monday, 4 June 2018

SW2020 Session 10: A Plan Comes Together


The Lineup
  • Art- Ithorian Force user, tech Rock gardener, healing(Avi)
  • Lucky- a Gran with many natural talents, good at dodging, explosives, stock market, interstellar navigation, leadership, pharmaceuticals(Lauren)
  • Jonah- a space fighter pilot with a revolver from some primitive planet. Han Solo meets Dirty Harry(Michael)

Last session left the party with a couple wounded Mandelorian Bounty Hunters and their craft. This session, Art used his force healing to patch them up and send them on their way with a stern warning not to mess with his crew again.

The party jumped to Squab System and ignored a small fighter craft heading down to the planet. They connected with a large shipping company. They hired a Heavy Freighter to transport several hundred thousand Insectoid Aliens from Yoberra to Hinda system in a week's time. Art and Lucky visited the office to make a 6000 credit down payment on the 20000 fee.

On the way, Art sensed a disturbance in the force. The two encountered two force sensitives asking about the First Order and a Lambda shuttle. They spoke to these two, but then attempted to mislead them and depart. But when they got back from the transport offices, the two were waiting for them.

The two turned out to be Jedi, Bora and Leila. They agreed to help the party with their plan to use the Yoberra as a super-weapon against the First Order. The party headed off to Yoberra while the Jedi agreed to scout out the First Order Cruiser's movements. They agreed to meet in a week's time when the transport would be ready.

The Space Ball jumped straight to Yoberra, only to find two ex-Imperial corvettes circling the planet. The party attempted to impersonate a university craft and order the corvettes away, but a fighter was dispatched to hush them up. When the heavily armed shuttle chased it away, the corvettes came in for the kill, but by then the party was landing, hoping to find help with the Yoberrans. They landed in the same spot as the previous session and waited to be drawn into the Yoberran tunnel system, as he Corvettes loomed closer...

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Pledge of Security

The Pledge of Security is an Arquitens-class light cruiser. It is the flagship of the Skor IV, the Squib home world. It's primary mission is planetary defense, however it may occasionally be called upon to protect Squib interests elsewhere in the system.



It has a crew of 750 and typically carries:
Pledge of Security
  • 3 X-Wing T70
  • 2 Y-Wings
  • 2 Shuttlecraft
  • For dangerous missions, it may be escorted by two D5-Mantis Patrol Craft

The ship's stats are as follows:
  • Speed: 30MGLT
  • Hyperdrive: 3(10)
  • Hull: 2100RU
  • Shields: 2500SBD
Armaments:
  • Turbolasers: 8
  • Heavy Laser: 16
  • Proton-Torpedo Launchers: 2
  • Concussion Missile Launchers: 2

Captain Kurdeebledop

Captain Kurdeebledop is a sly tactician of the traditional school and a subtle leader.  His frail physical stature is made up for by a willingness and ability to outmaneuver his enemies, his allies, and even his fellow officers. He has spent years patrolling the Squib trade network, but would love to try his meddle in a major military conflict.

Stats:

  • Ref: 6
  • Int: 9
  • Body: 1
  • Tech: 6
  • Cool: 7
  • Emp: 6
  • Force: 0
Skills:
  • Oratory: 4
  • Leadership: 6
  • Social: 6
  • Education & Gen. Knowlege: 7
  • Navigation(Interstellar): 7
  • Hyperdrive Tech: 3
  • Pilot(Starship): 9
  • Fencing: 7
  • Dance: 8

Monday, 23 April 2018

On Sandbox Settings

One of the reasons it's been so easy to run a Star Wars Open Sandbox game is that there is so much material available on the Star Wars Universe. This is thanks to the Expanded Universe(now called Legends).

Since the first film was released in 1977, LucasFilm has produced numerous films, novels,  comics, books, computer games, and role playing games, with the requirement that the setting for these works be internally consistent. The result of this coordinated, multi-decade project is a fictional world comprising an entire galaxy of inhabited worlds, it's millennia-long history, and detailed descriptions of significant personages and technology. This provides a wealth of material for contemporary creators to build off of.

This is important for running a sandbox game pen and paper RPG. In a sandbox RPG, the Game Master has no idea what is going to happen in a session. The players' choices during a given session are ultimately what determines the direction of the action. The GM's job is to respond to those player choices in a way that is consistent with the game world, as well as just generally bringing the world to life for the players. As such, the GM needs a really strong grasp of the game world, it's current events, and each NPC's motivations. Being able to build off a deeply developed world, be it real or imaginary, helps the DM bring his own game world to life.

My WWII sandbox game All Zombies: Polish Resistance, had a similar benefit since there is tons of information about World War II Europe. Wikipedia and Google Maps provided most of the background for the game world and as GM I just had to choose a specific location, create NPCs, stat up weapons, and come up with the specifics of local events.

The process for a Star Wars game has been remarkably similar. I've gotten 90% of the background material from Wookiepedia, plus some of the local details from Tramp Freighters.

But recently I got stuck. The party has been looking to acquire a large merchant freighter, and while Star Wars wiki has articles on a number of them, these articles have minimal content and no gameable stats. This makes sense since the various official Star Wars games generally have you interacting with military ships, not boring old freighters.  As GM I could just make up some quick and dirty ship stats, but I'd rather use something with a bit more basis.

So I was feeling pretty stuck until I stumbled upon this list of complete stats for Star Wars Heavy Freighters.

What is this wonderful site, you may ask? It is a free, community-driven Star Wars MMORP with player-created content. That's right, where the Expanded Universe leaves off, StarWarsCombine picks up in order to provide a fully gameable Galaxy Far Far Away. Needless to say, this is a great resource for running a Star Wars Sandbox. In fact, I've already been using their Nav Computer tool for calculating hyperspace distances, without realizing what SWCombine was.

Needless to say, I'll be visiting the Combine again in the future for high quality Star Wars game content.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

SW2020 Session 9: Galactic Hustle


Picking up from last session, the party jumped from Yoberra to Rocrin system. They were quickly hailed by a passing space-yacht. After being harassed by a yacht last stession, they were worried, until they found out it was their friend Deeberjay, hitching a ride with friends and coming to join them.

The Lineup

  • Art- Ithorian Force user, tech Rock gardener, with force healing(Avi)
  • Lucky- a Gran with many natural talents, good at dodging, explosives, stock market, interstellar navigation, leadership, pharmaceuticals(Lauren)
  • Deeberjay- a spoiled young Ilay Squib prince with mad hacking ability(Art)

Deeberjay had some news for the party, who hadn't docked at any Airam ports in a while:
  1. The Squib Navy is mobilizing. A First Order Star Destroyer was seen jumping into Hinda System and has everyone in a panic
  2. Darakin University has put a bounty on the heads of the crew of Lambda Shuttle Space Ball, for some reason

The party first considered trying to capture the Star Destroyer as part of their plan to acquire a large ship and fill it with Yoberrans. Then then abandoned that plan and decided to dock at Skor II in Squab System and convince the government to supply them with a large ship. They finally decided on a third plan to land in Rocrin and see if a large ship was available there as part of the Squib salvage operation.

They landed at the Rocrin V spaceport, bought a monthly salvage license, and took their hovercar two days to the site of a crashed Imperial Heavy Cruiser. After inspecting the wreck, they realized that, while it was a very large ship hull, scavengers had already stripped it of all major systems and it would be a difficult project to tow it into orbit and bring it to a repair yard.

The party ended up excavating the lower decks over the course of a couple expeditions. They salvaged:
  • Medicines and medical equipment(which was later stolen by other salvagers)
  • An Auto-Doc medical unit
  • Stormtrooper armors and weapons
  • A working Tie Bomber(which almost got stolen by other salvagers)
They also sold off the Ore they have been carrying around for a long time. The entire expedition netted them upward of 50,000 credits, but they were no closer to finding a large ship for the Yoberrans. On their way back to their shuttle, the party were accosted by a trio of Mandalorians seeking the Darakin bounty on them. They told Deeberjay to leave since no Squibs were mentioned in the bounty. He pretended to comply, leaving and rounding a corner.

Lucky, who had first initiative, tossed a thermal detonator at the hunters. The subsequent explosion killed the large one in the middle and left his friend on the right shell-shocked on the floor. Art ducked around the corner and began to use his Force Reflex Boost skill. The remaining Mandalorian shot Lucky in the chest, leaving her stunned on the ground. At that point, Deeberjay snuck behind her and slashed her with the spare light sabre he had gotten from Art, leaving her bleeding and stunned on the floor.

The party tied up the surviving bounty hunters and took them and their ship up the gravity well and into orbit, with plans to head for Skor II.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Shipbuilding in Minor and Airam


With the party looking into aquiring a large ship, I need to figure out what shipbuilders are in the area. So far the game has taken place in Minos and Airam sectors or gridquares L20 and M20 on the galactic map. But where can I find a directory of local shipyards?

I started out with a list of major shipyards that I've heard of:

But these are all located in the Core Worlds. That is very far from our game and I'm not sure how to extend the sandbox that far. Besides that, it doesn't make sense to me that Outer Rim residents travel that far to commission a ship.

The next step I took was to look for a map or list of known Star Wars shipyards. I found this list of 130 or so: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Shipyards

After a bit of digging, I found a familiar name: Eriadu Manufacturing Shipyards. This is great since Eriadu is relatively close, in Seswenna Sector, gridsquare M18. It's also has an interesting political connection for our game since the shipyard is owned by House Valorum, ancient rivals to the Tarkin family.

The article on EM Shipyards also mentions a competitor which is even closer to the Airam, Sluis Van Shipyards, in Sluis sector, grid M19.

Both shipyards can be reached fairly directly via the Rimma Trade route, so that if the party decides to take that trip, the DM won't have an excessive amount of preparation to do.

Paradise System


Paradise System after the fall
Paradise System is the Home System of the Ugor. The Ugor fell from the height of their power with the destruction of the Gravity Well Projector they used to organize their system-wide junk yard. In short order, the system fell into dissaray and became, essentially, one big debris field.
However, in recent decades, an upstart young Ugor was able to acquire a new, albeit less powerful, projector and begin the painstaking process of organizing their system into layers and rings. His success has helped him consolidate his power and earned him a stable appointment as High Priest. The Squib have taken notice and feel threatened by this resurgence of their ancient rivals.

Paradise System Map
An Ugor(illustrative)

High Priest Zorkblag the Infallible's reign has seen growing influence throughout the galaxy with the Ugor acquiring key monopolies over certain types of salvage. They even solidified their grasp over the previously contested Nocto System with its valuable salvage rights. Every year, more and more "Pilgrims" visit Paradise to lay an offering at the temple and to fulfill their salvage needs.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Rude Awakening


The Rude Awakening is an EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate belonging to the planetary government of Nodgra V, under Admiral Rigell. The planet is home to Imperial survivors who lived through the fall of the Galactic Empire. Rude Awakening is that planet's largest military ship and is generally kept in reserve for defensive needs. It is captained by Captain Farah Atari.

It has a crew of 920 and typically carries:
  • 10 Tie Fighters
  • 4 Tie Fighter/fo
  • 2 Tie Fighter/sf
  • 4 Tie Bombers
  • 4 Shuttles
  • 75 troops

The ships stats are as follows:
  • Speed: 40MGLT
  • Hyperdrive: 2(12)
  • Hull: 448RU
  • Shields: 900SBD
  • Tractor Beam Projectors(2)
  • Armaments:
    • Turbolaser batteries(12)
    • Laser cannons(12)

Captain Farah Atari


Captain Atari is strict, by-the-book officer whose intelligence and reliability have earned her the highest command in Nodgra's military.

Stats:
  • Ref: 4
  • Int: 8
  • Body: 4
  • Tech: 2
  • Cool: 7
  • Emp: 9
  • Force: 0
Skills:
  • Interrogate: 5
  • Oratory: 7
  • Leadership: 3
  • Social: 4
  • Education & Gen. Knowlege: 4
  • Navigation(Interstellar): 7
  • Dodge/escape: 1
  • Handgun: 2
  • Pilot(Starship): 7

How will the Rude Awakening react to a First Order Dreadnought entering it's system? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Miro Sen

Miro Sen is one of Kylo Ren's Knights of Ren. He is a large, lightsabre-wielding brute with little personality. Kylo uses Miro for missions that require brute force, rather than more subtle ingenuity. No one knows Miro's background but he came to Kylo already a formidable power in the Dark Side.

Unknown to others, Miro Sen is actually the latest identity of Irek Ismaren/Lord Nyax. After apparently being killed by Luke Skywalker and his allies, Irek laid low for a number of years. He is nearly immortal, being more machine than man, including his brain. He was resuscitated and fit out with a new cybernetic body by Grand Master Snoke and now fights with the First Order.


Stats:
  • Ref: 9
  • Int: 7
  • Body: 8
  • Tech: 4
  • Cool: 7
  • Emp: 5
  • Force: 8
Skills:
  • Endurance: 8
  • Strength Feat: 8
  • Resist Torture/Drugs: 4
  • Mathematics: 8
  • Shadow/Track: 6
  • Dodge/Escape: 9
  • Melee: 2
  • Fencing: 3
  • Handgun: 2
  • Rifle: 8
  • Pilot(StarFighter): 5
  • Drive(Hovercar): 4
  • Climbing: 6
  • Force Jump: 9
  • Phase: 7
  • Telekinesis: 5

Emergent Order and Insidious Fen

Emergent Order














Emergent Order is a Harrower-class dreadnought belonging to the First Order. It has a crew of 2400 and can carry up to:
  • 95 starfighters
  • 32 bombers
  • 35 shuttles
  • 7300 troops
The ships stats are as follows:
  • Speed: 15MGLT
  • Hyperdrive: 2(10)
  • Hull: 1520RU
  • Shields: 3200SBD
  • Hyperspace Tracker
  • Tractor Beam Projectors(3)
  • Armaments:
    • Turbolaser batteries(8)
    • Quad laser cannons(2)
    • Ion cannons(4)
    • Proton torpedo tubes(4)
    • Concussion missile launchers(4)

Moff Reginald Tarkin


The ship is captained by Moff Reginald Tarkin of the infamous Tarkin family from Eriadu. The Moff has been training in secret for this command for the past 4 years, but this is his first operational mission.

Stats:
Moff Reginald Tarkin
  • Ref: 8
  • Int: 8
  • Body: 9
  • Tech: 2
  • Cool: 8
  • Emp: 3
  • Force: 0
Skills:
  • Interrogate: 1
  • Oratory: 4
  • Leadership: 8
  • Social: 8
  • Education & Gen. Knowlege: 5
  • Gamble: 2
  • History: 2
  • Navigation(Interstellar): 7
  • Stock Market: 2
  • Dance: 6
  • Dodge/escape: 1
  • Handgun: 4
  • Pilot(Starship): 6

Insidious Fen

Insidious Fen


The Emergent Order is currently hosting Insidious Fen, a Knight of Ren. A former bounty hunter, he is twice as deadly now that he has found the Dark Side. What is his mission? And is Insidious or the Moff really the one calling the shots?


Stats:
  • Ref: 9
  • Int: 4
  • Body: 4
  • Tech: 8
  • Cool: 8
  • Emp: 9
  • Force: 4
Skills:
  • Endurance: 6
  • Strength Feat: 5
  • Interrogate: 4
  • Intimidate: 5
  • Resist Torture/Drugs: 6
  • Streetwise: 1
  • Sentient Perception: 1
  • Riding(Tauntaun): 6
  • Seduction: 4
  • Mathematics: 5
  • Shadow/Track: 1
  • Wilderness Survival: 4
  • Dodge/Escape: 3
  • Melee: 4
  • Handgun: 5
  • Heavy: 3
  • Martial Arts: 5
  • Pilot(StarFighter): 5
  • Drive(Hoverbike): 4
  • Climbing: 8
  • Force Jump: 9
  • Phase: 1
  • Telekinesis: 6
  • Read Mind: 1
Equipment:
  • Light Spear(3d10)
  • Heavy Blaster Pistol(3d8)
  • 4 Thermal Detonators

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

SW2020 Session 8: Befriending the Buggers


This session picked up where last session left off, exiting hyperspace into Yelsain System. Their destination: the mysterious planet Yoberra II in search of that world's little-known inhabitants!

The Lineup

  • Pigman- a Gammorian beater/scavenger/heavy machine user/starship pilot(Avraham)
  • Art- Ithorian Force user, tech Rock gardener, healing(Avi)
  • Lucky- a Gran with many natural talents, good at dodging, explosives, stock market, interstellar navigation, leadership, pharmaceuticals(Lauren)
  • Jonah- a space fighter pilot with a revolver from some primitive planet. Han Solo meets Dirty Harry(Michael)
  • Malcolm- this tough spacer-lady is a hyperdrive wiz with a blaster(Gittel)
  • The Wookie- a wookie turret gunner, butt kicker(Joshua)
  • Snortbert- Gammorian who swore fealty to The Wookie(NPC)

The party made their way to Yoberra, jumping to Squab, then Rocrin. On the way, they encountered a space yacht which they scanned and found was secretly armed. Upon contacting and provoking it, the pilot threatened them "You already got one of ours, but we'll get you in the end!" before speeding off. The party chose not to pursue them.

From Rocrin, they made the jump to Yoberra system and flew around the planet a bit, scanning it. They found life signs but no signs of technology. They ended up landing where the desert meets the jungle and exploring. Jonah stays on-board the ship with Snortbert while the rest of the party went into the jungle with Art clearing the way with his lightsabre.

As soon as the party was out of sight, the ship began to shake and sunk beneath the sand, much to Jonah's chagrin...

The party encountered the Eight Legged, insectoid Yoberrans gathering flowers and hunting Yoberran Jungle Boars. The createred did not seem overly intelligent, but a group of six was observed using force powers to stun a boar. The party followed them underground through one of their tunnels.

Jonah was also overpowered by many Yoberrans and brought to meet the rest of the party.

They encountered a cavern with about 100 of the Yoberrans and now were able to communicate. The Yoberrans created a hovering light source with the force and expressed curiosity about the party. They invited the party to increasingly large groups of Yoberrans who become more and more expressive and intelligent. In a group of around 10,000 Yoberrans, with Force-lights zooming around the room and the party being levitated in the air, the Yoberrans told of their grand galactic history, their being pushed out of system after system by other races, and their retreat to this secret planet. They admitted to having stolen small observation craft which they use to keep away outsiders.

The party described the First Order's rise and the Knights of Ren's search for the Force-Using Yoberrans. The Yoberrans agreed to help the party in combatting the First Order if a large enough ship could be brought. With 100,000 Yoberrans on a ship, they could wield enormous  Force-Power against the First Order's fledgling Navy.

The party was sent-off in peace with a ton of Yoberran Flower Mulch, which has powerful medicinal properties.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

SW2020 Ship Combat


So we covered ship combat briefly in a previous post, but now that the party has had a few space battles, let's give some more details.

Initiative

Turn order of the different ships is determined at beginning of combat. Each ship's Pilot rolls initiative as 1d10+REF+Pilot Skill

Movement

Each ship has a maximum speed measured in MGLT. This is roughly how many Meters per Second the ship travels, so each round, ships can travel their MGLT speed x3 meters

Object Size

We'll be talking about the size of things a lot, especially in regard to how hard it is to hit. Here are the general size classes:

  1. Missile
  2. Fighter
  3. Freighter/Shuttle
  4. Corvette
  5. Light Cruiser
  6. Cruiser
  7. Heavy Cruiser
  8. Super Cruiser

Missiles

Long Range

If ships are at long range, they can easily get a missile lock on one another.

Short Range

If ships are at close range, dogfighting, roll your pilot skill 1d10+REF+Pilot Skill to see if you can manage to get a missile lock. Your opponent makes an opposing skill roll to see if he can avoid giving you a lock. If he succeeds, you wasted your turn trying to get a lock.

Avoidance


The pilot is going to have to do some fancy flying to avoid the missile. Roll 1d10+REF+Pilot Skill.

Avoid Missile Roll
  • Small Ship(fighter) vs. Proton Torpedo: 15
  • Small Ship(fighter) vs. Concussion Missile: 20
  • Medium Ship(Freighter, Shuttle) vs. Proton Torpedo: 20
  • Medium Ship(Freighter, Shuttle) vs. Concussion Missile: 25
  • Large Ship(Corvette+) can't avoid
Note: Gunners can also attempt to shoot down missiles.

Guns

Fixed Guns


If ships are engaged in a dogfight then they can attempt to shoot one another. To fire, the pilot should roll 1d10+REF+Pilot Skill for each gun

Turret Guns


If ships are engaged in a dogfight then they can attempt to shoot one another. To fire, the gunner should roll 1d10+REF+Turret Gunner skill

Gun Target To-Hit Roll
  • Target is 2+ size larger 10
  • Target is 1 size larger 10
  • Target of same size 15
  • Target is one size smaller 20
  • Target is two sizes smaller 25
  • Target is three sizes smaller 30

Damage

  • Ships have points for shields. Once those are gone, we go to hull damage
  • Ships have points for hull
  • Each hit that puts hull points at 0 or less damages some critical system(at random)
For example:
  1. Pressurized Hull
  2. Power Cells
  3. Power Distribution
  4. Radiator Fins
  5. Ion Drive
  6. Atmospheric Control Surfaces
  7. Hyperdrive
  8. Nav Computer
  9. Sensors
  10. Communications Antenna
  11. Cloaking Device
  12. Weapon Systems(roll one)
  13. Shield Generator
  14. Life Support
  15. Heating
  16. Astromech Droid
  17. Cargo Bay
  18. Cockpit
  19. Crew Compartment
  20. Turret Gunner Compartment

Monday, 12 February 2018

SW2020 Personal Combat


So this is a rules clarification post. SW2020 combat is, of course, based on Cyberpunk 2020's Friday Night Firefight system. Nevertheless, whenever the party enters combat, I always forget how it works and have to open up CP2020. So consider this a quick cheat-sheet for how combat works.

Initiative/Turns


At the beginning of combat, all participants roll intitiative as 1d10+REF to determine turn order
On your turn you can perform 1 action i.e. Move, Attack, etc.

Movement

You can move 3x your MA in meters

Firing Guns

If you fire a gun, you must roll your skill with the relevant type of firearm (10+REF+SKILL+Modifiers), against the To Hit number for the target's range. If you roll the target number or above, you hit!
Note: target is prone or firing from behind cover gives -4 to attack roll

If you have an automatic weapon firing a 3 round burst, roll 1d3 to see how many hits you scored.















Grenades


Rolling to hit with grenades is similar to guns except that range=BODYx10m . On a hit, roll 2d10 to determine direction and number of meters away from the target where the grenade explodes. On a miss, distance is 10+d10m.

Melee


For a Melee attack, roll 1d10+REF+Relevant Skill vs. your opponent's 1d10+REF+Dodge Skill. If you beat their roll, you hit!

Doing Damage


For each hit scored:

  1. Roll 1d10 for the body part that took the damage. 
  2. Roll for damage
  3. Subtract BTM, Armor, Cover SPS
  4. Mark down damage
  5. Roll death save/stun save vs. Body


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Star Wars 2020 Session 7: University Blues

Darakin University
We're picking up from last time at Darakin University on the planet Dorcin. The party had just convinced Professor Skoff to give them the location of the mysterious Yoberra system.

The Roster:

  • Art- Ithorian Force user, tech Rock gardener, healing(Avi)
  • Lucky- a Gran with many natural talents, good at dodging, explosives, stock market, interstellar navigation, leadership, pharmaceuticals(Lauren)
  • Deeberjay- a spoiled young Ilay Squib prince with mad hacking ability(Art)
  • Jonah- a space fighter pilot with a revolver from some primitive planet. Han Solo meets Dirty Harry(Michael)
  • Malcolm- this tough spacer Woman is a hyperdrive wiz with blaster(Gittel)
  • Roy- NPC scavenger from Nocto II(NPC)
The professor took the party, via train, to the University's spaceport hangar. He asked them about the First Order and Rebels, and whether they would take him to his Rebel contacts on Yelsain to hide from the First Order. They boarded a light freighter, converted to a Research Vessel. Jonah stayed outside to guard the ship while the rest of the party climbed aboard. Professor Skoff started transferring the coordinates to Deeberjay's Astromech unit.

While this was happening, a couple heavily armed characters began approaching the ship. Jonah ran aboard to warn the party. The gunmen demanded the Professor surrender to them immediately. Jonah fired up the ship's engines and attempted to crush the two assailants.

One was crushed, the other fought a cat and mouse battle with the party before eventually being cut-down by Art's lightsabre. Their terminal identified them as bounty hunters who were ordered to bring the Professor to Nodgra V. Deeberjay tried unsuccessfully to discourage Spaceport Security from arriving. 

The party left the professor in his ship and made haste for their shuttle. They successfully bluffed the approaching security team. The space port was on lockdown so Lucky jammed the hanger entrance while Deeberjay hacked the hanger bay doors. The party took off in their shuttle. Once they were safe, they took the opportunity to argue about whether they should have brought Professor Skoff with them.


While heading for their jump point, three A Wings came out of hyperspace and fired warning shots. They announced:

"Lambda Shuttle Space Ball, cut your engines and prepare to be boarded!"

After attempting to flee, the party eventually won the fight and made the long jump to Yelsain.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Star Wars 2020- Session 6: Dirty Harry in Space


So, after about 8 months, we're picking-up our Star Wars-Cyberpunk 2020 mashup off from where it left off.

The Roster:

  • Art- Ithorian Force user, tech Rock gardener, healing(Avi)
  • Lucky- a Gran with many natural talents, good at dodging, explosives, stock market, interstellar navigation, leadership, pharmaceuticals(Lauren)
  • Candy- a pretty Mon Calamari princess who swings a mean plasteel sword(BC)
  • Deeberjay- a spoiled young Ilay Squib prince with mad hacking ability(Art)
  • Jonah- a space fighter pilot with a revolver from some primitive planet. Han Solo meets Dirty Harry(Michael)
  • Malcolm- this tough spacer Woman is a hyperdrive wiz with blaster(Gittel)
  • Roy- NPC scavenger from Nocto II(NPC)

Hanging out on Myloc IV, the party ran into their friend Deeberjay from Session 3. They were also in need of a new pilot and a hyperdrive techie, so they picked up two Human crew members. They decided to follow up the First Order-related lead about the Yoberra from last session:

Yoberra- find them and report on them. Can they be used to our advantage? An academic knows how to reach them(Emiel Skoff, Darakin University, Dorcin, Dorkin System, Minos Cluster)

The party didn't have a hyperlane to Minos in their Nav Computer, but Deeberjay suggested they they could find one on Skor II. The party made a direct jump to Squab from Myloc, avoiding mishaps with a sufficiently high check by Malcolm.
Minos. Dorkin system is 10 hours
Hyperspace travel from Adarlon

Once on planet, Deeberjay managed to use his hacking skills to find data on the lane from Squab to Yelsain. He also found some papers published by Professor Skoff. He couldn't find a sector map of Minos though.

Art, Deeberjay, and Jonah went to a trading post in hope of obtaining a map. When the busy attendant asked for 200 credits, Jonah shot him in the knee and grabbed the data cube. Chaos ensued and the trio made their way quickly back to the space port. While trying to figure out how to get past the checkpoint, Art was pulled into an alley by a shady-looking Squib who offered to take him to "Naked Squib Ladies". Jonah shot him in the head and Art smeared the blood onto Jonah to make him appear injured. They trio talked their way past the checkpoint and the party took off in their salvaged Lambda Shuttle.

The party jumped to Yelsain, Travin, Adarlon, then Dorkin, mostly avoiding distractions on the way, except from some bizarre dispatches to a Pergator Freighter.

They ignored a small space yacht loitering in the area and landed on the moon with the University. They took a train to the Xenobiology deparment, and threatened a droid into taking them to the professor.

Darakin University

The party began interrogating the Professor about the Yoberra. He denied any involvement with the First Order. He told them that the Yoberra are Force sensitive in a way utterly unique in the known Galaxy. He referred them to his papers, discouraging from disrupting a sensitive primitive culture. When Jonah threatened him, he agreed to give them the coordinates of Yoberra system.