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Infiltrate an Imp Station ideas?
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JT Swift
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Infiltrate an Imp Station ideas? Reply with quote

I'm having my PCs take out one of those 'Tarkin' mini-Death Stars.
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tarkin_(superweapon)

The PCs will do a series of adventures to locate the plans, designers, and location of the battle-station. And then for the final story they have to take it out. I've got story ideas for everything except the final adventure.

I'm thinking an 'infiltration' style story [possibly disabling its shields or other defenses so it can be externally attacked, or possibly just having the team plant explosives on the reactor] is the most interesting way to approach things.

To this end I'm looking for any modules [D6 or D20] that have the set up for an 'infiltrate and sabotage a space station/ship' plot. Does West End [or WOTC] have any stories like that?

Thanks!
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the story involves infiltrating an Imperial Garrison rather than a space staion, I think you'll still find this useful: Adventure Journal 12, namely the short story titled Special Ops: The Art of Infiltration. It involves a Rebel Spec Ops team, led by a female Wroonian named T'Charek Haathi, who have to somehow find a way inside and sabotage an Imperial garrison and get back out alive. The thing is, Haathi is essentially a blue-skinned female combination of Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Doc Brown from Back to the Future, which is to say, she's awesome because all of her missions run on Indy Ploy, she's utterly carefree, has no respect for authority and can be as scatter-brained as Doc Brown. And yet, somehow her missions still get accomplished. And her teammates are each in their own way as crazy as her.

And the short story has D6 stats sidebars detailing the weapons and tactics they use. Even better, there are two other Haathi Special Ops stories in Adventure Journal 13 (Ship Jackers) and Adventure Journal 14 (Drop Points); while these two stories aren't about infiltration per se, they do detail Haathi's adventures as part of Rebel Alliance Special Operations and also have other D6 stats on stuff you might find useful.

At the very least, you'll get a kick out of reading the short stories.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF she's so blue skinned, how does she blend in on those imp facilities?
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Bren
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
IF she's so blue skinned, how does she blend in on those imp facilities?
Don't recall the story. Too lazy to put it off the shelf. That being said...

    1. As a prisoner
    2. As local contract help...janitor, cook, garbageman, etc.
    3. As an officer's girl friend
    4. As an imported expert...computer tech genius, weapons designer, etc.
    5. Wearing stormtrooper armor
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
IF she's so blue skinned, how does she blend in on those imp facilities?


I have to reread it again, but I think one of Haathi's teammates put human skin-colored makeup on her so she would look like a human female officer.

Oddly, enough, they were a 4-man team consisting of Haathi, two other human females and their sniper, a male human. Haathi even had multiple Imperial officer badges; how they got those, I don't know, but it was likely from a previous mission since they had them already at the start of the story. And how they managed to get fresh Imperial uniforms during the course of the story was absolutely hilarious.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend you break up the mission into a few different segments.

1: The approach. How will they approach? With stealth? With disguise? They will have to work out how to make a safe approach to the target.

What obstacles are in their path? A fleet of star destroyers? Some patrols of TIE fighters? What detection capabilities does the enemy have, and which ones do the PCs know about?

2: The breach. Once the arrive, how will they gain access? Stealth explosives? Mechanical/electronic breach ("picking" the locks/Hacking the security system)? How many different breaches will be required? And which intervening obstacles will impede them? This segment can be divided into multiple sub-phases, with unique challenges in each sub-phase.

3. The objective: how to destroy it? What is protecting it?

4. The exfil: how to get out? Suicide mission? What kind of alarms will go off? Will the Imps be more concerned with evacuating or trying to kill the intruders? Is there potential for them to save the station, or part of it?

When putting the mission together, keep in mind that in addition to the personnel operating the station, there will be a dedicated security force who will have a plan for protecting the station. There will be phases to the plan, with protocols for what to do each time the enemy penetrates another layer of defense.

For example, once the Imperials determine what the target is (based on the infiltrators route of travel and the specific security measures that they are targeting), they will begin to bolster their defenses around protecting that target. If one of the PCs has a high enough tactics skill, you may allow him a skill check during the planning phases to see if he has the savvy to plan a diversionary attack in order to make the enemy protect the wrong things.

In addition to the armed response, there will be a lock down procedure (which will prevent both further access as well as egress) and there will be escalations within the defensive plan as the attack progresses.

Defeating security will either require absolutely defeating the detection measures (to include being spotted or ID'd by random Imperial personnel or higher functioning droids), as well as overcoming the physical security. Or else, they will have to win by force, avoiding contact with the enemy as much as possible, using tactics like security overrides to lock the Imps out of a room that they are working from or setting booby traps in their wake to delay the response force (once the Imps realize there are proximity mines or other explosives in their path, they will respond with MUCH more caution when approaching unknown, uncleared areas, SIGNIFICANTLY prolonging their response time).

In any case, the security force should absolutely have a plan A, a plan B (the most likely plan to be used), and probably a plan C, depending on how important the station is to the overall imperial mission.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I recommend you break up the mission into a few different segments.


Agreed. When i was navy, we always made plans in steps..

Naaman wrote:
1: The approach. How will they approach? With stealth? With disguise? They will have to work out how to make a safe approach to the target.

What obstacles are in their path? A fleet of star destroyers? Some patrols of TIE fighters? What detection capabilities does the enemy have, and which ones do the PCs know about?


Good call on what do the party know of.. Kind of hard to plan for something unknown!

Naaman wrote:
2: The breach. Once the arrive, how will they gain access? Stealth explosives? Mechanical/electronic breach ("picking" the locks/Hacking the security system)? How many different breaches will be required? And which intervening obstacles will impede them? This segment can be divided into multiple sub-phases, with unique challenges in each sub-phase.


+100.. Though "Stealthy explosives?" IMO that's contradictory.

Naaman wrote:
3. The objective: how to destroy it? What is protecting it?


Linked to that, "Do we have to get people OUT before blowing it? If so, where are those people at, what interference can we anticipate before blowing it. Is there an alert system that will trigger before the reactor goes boom? If so, and you disable it, can those pc's who might be force sensitive be in trouble??

Naaman wrote:
4. The exfil: how to get out? Suicide mission? What kind of alarms will go off? Will the Imps be more concerned with evacuating or trying to kill the intruders? Is there potential for them to save the station, or part of it?


Good call on that last part. "Can what we have done be undone in time to save the place? If so, is there a need for us to stay and prevent those forces being brought to bear??

Naaman wrote:
When putting the mission together, keep in mind that in addition to the personnel operating the station, there will be a dedicated security force who will have a plan for protecting the station. There will be phases to the plan, with protocols for what to do each time the enemy penetrates another layer of defense.


At at some points in your mission, rather than static defense interference (hacking a door, hacking a computer), you MIGHT be going against some of those forces (imp version of Network security officer, compares HIS computer programing skill vs the pcs).

Linked to that is "What are the imperials orders> Are they to kill any intruders? LEave enough alive to question? Take as many prisoner as possible?
If they do take prisoners, Do they give warnings to the enemy to surrender, or suffer lethal force? Do they store taken gear from prisoners in an easy to get to spot, so if the pc's break out its relatively easy for them to regain their gear?

Naaman wrote:
For example, once the Imperials determine what the target is (based on the infiltrators route of travel and the specific security measures that they are targeting), they will begin to bolster their defenses around protecting that target. If one of the PCs has a high enough tactics skill, you may allow him a skill check during the planning phases to see if he has the savvy to plan a diversionary attack in order to make the enemy protect the wrong things.


OR have a tactics roll off. Do the imps realize their own weaknesses, and counter what the pcs do to get in, or do the rebels spy the double bluff before it traps them??

Naaman wrote:
(once the Imps realize there are proximity mines or other explosives in their path, they will respond with MUCH more caution when approaching unknown, uncleared areas, SIGNIFICANTLY prolonging their response time).


I like the evilness there! And spot on, on how trapping things will cause response plans to falter..
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Do they store taken gear from prisoners in an easy to get to spot, so if the pc's break out its relatively easy for them to regain their gear?
I expect this would be the case because that is typical of space opera in general.

After all, does anyone expect that the captured Jedi is going to permanently lose their lightsaber because it is rooms and rooms away in an evidence vault...or is it far more likely to be found in a personal effects draw right in the Detention Center? Of course there is also the option that the villain is wearing the lightsaber on his/her belt as a trophy which the Jedi will snatch at a dramatic moment.
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JT Swift
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THANKS! This is all very helpful!

I was hoping for a module just so there could be some unexpected 'plot stuff' mixed in with all the dungeon crawl. But I think I've come up with a good one...

They infiltrate the partially completed battle station to disable its defenses - so the Rebellion can hit it with X-wings and blow it up.
BUT when they get there they find its full of wookiee slave work gangs.
Do they blow up the wookiees? Or find some other way to take the Tarkin?

I also plan to rip off a few elements from the original "To Take the Tarkin" comics too.

I just figured their must be a WEG module [or at least a well fleshed out hook] for a plot line that - effectively - shows up in 6 out of 8 Star Wars films. Apparently West End is a lot more creative then most Star Wars film writers!
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:

After all, does anyone expect that the captured Jedi is going to permanently lose their lightsaber because it is rooms and rooms away in an evidence vault...or is it far more likely to be found in a personal effects draw right in the Detention Center? Of course there is also the option that the villain is wearing the lightsaber on his/her belt as a trophy which the Jedi will snatch at a dramatic moment.


I've done it before. But then i don't play the enemy stupidly.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Bren wrote:

After all, does anyone expect that the captured Jedi is going to permanently lose their lightsaber because it is rooms and rooms away in an evidence vault...or is it far more likely to be found in a personal effects draw right in the Detention Center? Of course there is also the option that the villain is wearing the lightsaber on his/her belt as a trophy which the Jedi will snatch at a dramatic moment.


I've done it before. But then i don't play the enemy stupidly.
But would you expect to see that in a movie or novel?

Playing stupid is a very common feature of all Star Wars movies (and space opera in general). If your NPCs are never stupid then tonally, what you are playing isn't space opera like Star Wars.

Look at what we see. Architects and engineers are routinely stupid in all movies. Exhaust port* without baffles? No hand rails on the bottomless pit inside the Emperor's throne room? Really? In all the prequel stuff (movies, cartoons, novels, etc.) the Jedi Council are shockingly naively stupid. How oddly convenient that a vast Clone Army was started years before the Republic even considered fighting a multi-front war? But did no one wonder who paid the Kaminoans for their years of work before the war? Anyone...anyone...Bueller?

And does no one even listen to what Palpatine says? Or check one statement against another or against reality?
Does no one notice the oily, gloating way in which he says so much of what he says?)

* I give the novels in and around Rogue One credit for trying to answer this in the context of a paranoid, Imperial culture where visible failure is sometimes lethally punished and where the upper ranks of the Empire are more concerned with advancing their status internally and how things appear to the Emperor, the Court, and Vader and much less concerned with external success. The Rebellion is a nuisance and an excuse to wear spiffy gray and black uniforms with shinny knee boots, and to get medals.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imperial engineering and its No OSHA Compliance tendencies have long since been ruthlessly mocked and lampshaded ever since ANH. That's nothing new or relevatory, of course. We all knew that. I'm not sure that it's a required or necessary trope of Space Opera so much as it is that Lucas thought to include it in ANH and it just stuck in the Star Wars franchise. Then again, ANH was such a genre-busting movie that no one could quite figure out what genre it was supposed to be. Did ANH actually create the Space Opera genre or just codify it? (I really don't know the answer to this question; I'm honestly asking.) If it's the former, then perhaps Lucas really did intend for the No OSHA Compliance trope (even if no one called it back then) to be part of Space Opera as a genre. If the latter, then perhaps Lucas only intended No OSHA Compliance to be a thing for Star Wars rather than Space Opera in general.

While Star Wars has no shortage of "stupid" villains, I still remember one scene (I think it was in Darksaber) where a flashback occurs where the Emperor is pissed about the destruction of the Death Star and summons Bevel Lemelisk (the Legends version of the designer of the Death Star) and ruthlessly executes him by throwing him in a pit of flesh-eating beetles then using a Force artifact to resurrect him in a clone body. (It's hinted that this isn't the first time that the Emperor has killed and resurrected Lemelisk for a failure.) I mention this to say that the destruction of the Death Star wasn't Palpatine's fault so much as Lemelisk's, but while the Emperor wanted and needed to punish Lemelisk, he couldn't kill him (permanently) because the man was still an engineering genius and Palpatine still needed him.

I don't think the Emperor qualifies as a "stupid villain" as such; if it weren't for the Rebels making contact with the Ewoks, his plan to destroy the Rebellion would have gone off without a hitch. And again, it it weren't for one single design flaw on the Death Star, the Rebellion would have been destroyed at Yavin. It's not so much that the Emperor is stupid, it's that one single flaw that he couldn't have foreseen ruined his plans only two times in his life. Before Yavin, his plans succeeded without fail.

But yes, the Jedi Council was particularly scatter-brained not to wonder about where the Grand Army of the Republic came from and how it happened to drop into their lap at just the right moment. I can't argue with that.

As for noticing how Palpatine talks and not noticing that he's a corrupt bastard, well, corruption flourishes when it's abetted by multiple people. Just look at politics today: numerous politicians don't care about the norms of democracy as long as they can get their own agenda passed. And there's even one passage in the Imperial Sourcebook that lampshades Palpatine's corruption on page 9 that lampshades how people simply don't care about Palpatine's corruption. I thought it was a monologue by Ars Dangor, one of Palpatine's lickspittles, but it's actually anonymous. The nameless politician in this sidebar talks about how people cheered when Palpatine named himself Emperor (and we got to see that in RotS) and how his followers know he's corrupt but follow him anyway because it serves their own interests. But this politician doesn't just follow Palpatine because of his own interests; he follows Palpatine because he thinks he's right about how political corruption is the natural state of politics. Left, right and center, this politician sees Imperial officers inform on their superiors for the barest chance at a promotion; sees slumlords exploit their tenants for a payoff; sees gangsters sell people into slavery for money; and sees the Emperor aiding and abetting it all for his own gain and is fine with it. Many people stayed loyal to Palpatine not just because it served their interests but they were convinced of what Palpatine effectively demonstrated to them: that the dark was stronger than the light. It made them terrifyingly loyal to him.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And as rogue one hints at, that 'design flaw', was NOT a flaw, but generated as a booby trap of sorts.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Did ANH actually create the Space Opera genre or just codify it?
Not even close (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, E.E. "Doc" Smith...the list goes on). Star Wars just introduced space opera to newer generations. Nor do I think Lucas intended something novel with Star Wars anymore than he intended something new with Indiana Jones. Both harken back to the cliff-hanger movie series of the 1930s and 40s.
Regarding NOOSHA (pronounced no-oh-sha) the New Order Occupational Safety and Health Administration the pervasive lack of railings. You are right that it isn’t a necessary feature of space opera though it resembles the pits and trap doors that were a staple of a lot of pulp stories and the exploding Death Star is in keeping with stories going back at least to the lost city tales of folks like H. Ryder Haggard. (The plucky explorers generally escape the lost city just before it is destroyed by a cave in, volcanic explosion, or flood of lava.)
Quote:
Before Yavin, his plans succeeded without fail.
His plans only work because no one around him notices the rather obvious contradictions, inconsistencies, and loose ends. And because Anakin has the emotional intelligence of a lonely 8 year old.
The novels more than hint. They explain. Galen Erso intended this as a trap and his trap wasn’t discovered because of the political vulnerability and colossal egotism of his handler and the political games and informer culture of the Imperial administration and military.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
And as rogue one hints at, that 'design flaw', was NOT a flaw, but generated as a booby trap of sorts.


I prefer this explanation (warning some adult language) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agcRwGDKulw. The whole intentional design flaw thing in R1 just makes the Rebellion look like a bunch of blundering fools dependent on luck.

The thing that blew up the DS was Tarkin. This is the guy who's response to anything is "blow it up". Capture Bail Organa, his closest advisors in order to wring valuable intelligence from them along along with any actual data the might seize? Nope, blow up the planet! Capture the Rebel base for the same reason? Nope, blow up the moon. Follow sensible if dull military doctrine and deploy fighter picket/screen for your super slow mega capitol ship? Nope, might slightly delay you for a few minutes before you can blow up a planet.
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