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Imperial Officer Motivation (DarkStryder Campaign Setting)
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LTAaripJasall
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject: Imperial Officer Motivation (DarkStryder Campaign Setting) Reply with quote

GM here, middle of DarkStryder campaign. Looking for some help with an Imperial officer's motivations.

The situation: The time period is during the imperial remnant around 8ABY, four years after the battle of Endor. We are deep in the unknown regions, about 2 months hyperspace travel in a straight line back to galactic civilization.

An Imperial lancer frigate and its support craft of three skipray blastboats have engaged the PC's FarStar. Imperial Warlord Sarne (the big bad) has sent this fleet to slow down and delay the players from catching up to them, but not destroy the PC's ship. The big bad wants to toy with them and eventually allow them to catch up and see what his evil plans are, in true evil villain fashion.

More immediately however, my players have destroyed the skipray blastboats, and disabled the lancer frigate. Owing to a heroic 42 on a persuasion roll, the players have convinced the Imperial Commander to parlay and discuss terms of surrender.

There are 300 imperial souls on board the lancer frigate. What are the captain's motivations?

I am looking for help and potential ideas.

I assume the commander is a Sarne Loyalist, someone who is trapped into the cult of personality of this big bad.

Originally I thought he might scuttle the lancer, in fear of Sarne discovering his failure, but with 300 crew on board, it might be more complicated than that.

I also want to honor my players incredible persuasion roll.

Is this imperial officer biding for time? Is he repentant and wants to defect? Does he see the error of his ways? So many ideas, and I am in decision paralysis.

Yours in gamemastering,
Aarip
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, social conflict!

So, with a 42 Persuasion, they're moving straight into "Sure"... unless the captain rolled a similarly heroic 30+ Willpower. The Captain, whatever his previous allegiance, is now ready to surrender. (If you want to make him less sure, have some of his officers make a counter-Persuasion roll, combining efforts to counter some of the PC's "damage")

My suggestion? Your Sarne Loyalist big bad has some logistical problems... the crew is keeping it together, may even be ignorant of the problems, but the Captain knows that stores and replacement parts are in short supply, and he's not going to be able to keep things together much longer. Plus, if I've found the right ship, with 300 crew, he's BARELY functional.

So, he surrenders, to get out from under the loyalist. He (and maybe his crew) want to go home, and will accept some sort of parole to get to do that.... they probably still have double the crew that you do. Let them go, and they swear they'll got back home... and they'll have to limp there, to be sure, on short rations.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, does that lancer, have any Compnor or ISB agent(s) on? They could try to STOP him scuttling the craft, OR Try to scuttle it themselves, if he 'surrenders it'?
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How fanatic is the ship's captain?
Also what is the nature of the onboard crew, is is crew alone, is there maybe forces on board to repel a boarding or to board.

I often take some motivation insprtation for imperial officers from actual "war documnetaries"
And with a not so far off comaprison to 1940s germany and the star wars empire, we could maybe look to how the old bad germans surrendered, their motivatiosn, their level of self preservation etc etc

Also as was mentioned, ISB, and other "such" powerful influences, are they present.

Does the captian maybe know something, that will make it easier for him to surrender, knowing of some sisnter imperial plan that may actually come to rescue him.

there are several ways to go about this, even the M ruling tht this guy will never surrender no matter the dice, that too is a posiblity and allowed by rules
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LTAaripJasall
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are good ideas.

I really like the idea of fanatics planted in the captains' own ranks who will try to cause trouble for the surrender.
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Grimace
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And remember, if there are any Imperial Stormtroopers on board, they're probably devoutly loyal to the Empire (and possibly the warlord) and will not surrender. They may even try to relieve the Captain of the Lancer Frigate if they know that he intends to surrender/defect.

Think of the Stormtroopers that were die-hard to the Client in "The Mandalorian" show's first season. Even though their armor was grimy and less well maintained, they remained devoted, viewing themselves as badass soldiers.

If there's no Stormtroopers, then the idea of "planted" ultra-loyalists aboard is a good idea.

As for the Captain's motivations. Perhaps he was "persuaded to listen", but is really "on the fence" in terms of ACTUALLY surrendering. If the PCs can't offer protection for him/his bridge crew, he might decline to surrender, yet still "honor" the talks and allow the PCs to return to their ship or whatever. Basically, you could convey the Imperial Captain as "honorable", even though he may still be loyal to the Empire.

Or you could convert that "loyal to the Empire" to be a literal "loyal to the Empire, but NOT to the warlord". So he may agree to cease hostilities to the PCs, and will leave the service of the warlord if the PCs will report the Frigate as "destroyed with all hands", that way they can hightail it away...a long way away, and that's one less Imperial ship for the PCs to face later.

Yeah, it's more choices, but hopefully it gives you some ideas.
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Ray
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All else fails, the boss might be like Moff Gideon... Twisted Evil
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray wrote:
All else fails, the boss might be like Moff Gideon... Twisted Evil


Now that opens doors, maybe the captain has a hidden agenda, maybe he was suposed to surrender, though not easily.

that opens a lot of fun doors I would Imagine
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a q.. How easily, did the darkstar (a corellian corvette) beat that lancer??
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LTAaripJasall
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was actually remarking on that (the ease at which the FarStar could thrash the lancer) during the fight. If you’re familiar with that encounter: the PCs are busy fending off some invasive plant monsters below decks. The lancer and three skipray blastboats show up to complicate matters, having traced the FarStar due to the plant monsters chewing up the comms array and blasting comms chatter in every direction which gives away the PCs position.

The actual space battle itself is a scale nightmare: you have fighters with capital scale weapons, and a capital ship with Starfighter-scale weapons.

This ends up with the lancer itself not actually being able to hurt the FarStar without its skipray escort.

I enacted the following to make it more stressful: for every round the players were still dealing with the plant monsters, I gave the Skiprays a combined attack run on the FarStar. This dealt a good amount of damage to the players ship and allowed me to make it feel very tense. They struggled to launch fighters and I paid close attention to the “cramped docking bay rules”, which only allows them to put a bird into space every 30s to 2 minutes.

By the time the PCs switched narrative focus from the plants to the space fight, I had declared the FarStar’s shields and weapons offline. They still destroyed the skipray blast boats with 3 X-Wings and a Defender. They were able to do enough called shot damage to the lancer’s various components to disable it and put it in the current quandary.

Easy encounter all in all, but I had to take the FarStar’s guns and shields out of commission to make it seem dire for the players.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't the lancer have done similar? Combine say six or even ten, of their batteries on one side, into a called shot at a specific system on the corvette? Wouldn't that eliminate most of the scale difference?
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LTAaripJasall
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a follow-up, we handled the surrender with minimal imperial in-fighting in front of the players.

In lieu of the imperial officer's struggles to get supplies, and looking out for his crew's well-being, he surrendered local star-charts and much needed plot background information on the warlord to the Players.

So this imperial officer bargained his crew's safety, and the ship limped off back to new republic space to surrender. I still hold the card in my back pocket of the Fanatic or loyalist agent on that cruiser in case the players choose to go back to have more adventures with it.
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