Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"The Fog of War" - Star Wars: Riptide, Episode 4 Chapter 2

Episode 4 Chapter 2

The crew of the Riptide, at the behest of
Kara Pacha, has taken on a mission
to rescue the scientist Doctor Topas
from an imperial prison transport.

After securing the services of a twi'lek droid
programmer named Rhys March,
along with her experimental
communications jamming droid Jamm-bot 2.01,
they blast off on an intercept course
with the imperial transport...

The Crew of the Riptide
Evo Shandor - nautolan transport captain
Balin Lee - young human Jedi-in-training
Emily Wonder - human mercenary
Eggs Ledscramb - quarren bounty hunter
Rhys March - twi'lek tech-spec

The Riptide

Ambush in Space
The Riptide approached the imperial Gozanti-class transport on an intercept course. The Riptide had powered down almost all its systems in order to produce as low a profile as possible. It eventually came to the attention of the Gozanti's sensors and the larger ship dropped two of its four TIE fighters to intercept.

Evo pushed the throttle to full and shouted the order for Jamm-bot 2.01 to commence signal jamming. Jamm-bot was plugged into the Riptide's computer terminal and its hands were deftly moving over the ship's communications controls. The broadcast antenna began flooding local space with sub-space frequencies. The effect was a sound like heavy bass thuds and wah-wahs followed by modulated electronic wave-forms.

The two TIE fighters engaged the Riptide, but Evo ignored them. He pressed on and got close to the Gozanti. He was easily four times faster than the larger transport, so the Riptide closed quickly. The TIE fighters opened fire and the Gozanti launched its remaining two TIE fighters to deal with the attack!

Balin assumed a seated position in the center of the ship and closed his eyes. Reaching out with his senses, he began visualizing the space around the ship. He could feel the mind of each combatant. He could sense their intentions and predict their actions. He could reach out and manipulate each of the combatants, friend and foe alike, as if they were pieces on a holo-chess board. The Force flowed through the crew of the Riptide, guiding them, directing them, and coordinating their actions as if they were a single mind with multiple bodies.

The Gozanti tried to maneuver to keep its ventral arc facing the Riptide. Evo deftly countered while dodging TIE fighter blasters. Meanwhile, Eggs manned the shields Emily fired at the TIE fighters with the ship’s turbolaser turret.

Chaos Reigns
Balin reached out his hand as if to point at an unseen TIE fighter, then waved his hand as if to encompass all of them.  Two of the TIE fighters began firing on each other. The pair ignored the Riptide and engaged in a dogfight. The third TIE fighter began firing on the Gozanti. The fourth TIE fighter continued to attack the Riptide.
The Force is Strong in Balin
GM Note – Battle Meditation used to sew confusion among the ranks of the enemy, causing them to attack each other, but not preventing them from attacking you.

The TIE fighter attacking the Gozanti caught the transport by surprise and managed to score a direct hit on the ship’s power core! The hit likely would have destroyed the transport had Balin not concentrated on deflecting the attack at the last instant, turning a catastrophic hit into a merely crippling one.

GM Note – The TIE fighter kept rolling 6s on the Wild Die and scored a destruction damage result on the Gozanti. Since they wanted to capture the ship and rescue the prisoner, Balin spent a Force Point to change the Destruction result to a Heavy Damage result. As a result, the Gozanti would soon lose power.

After Emily had destroyed one TIE fighter, Balin turned his attention to the ship. He used the Force to confuse those on the ship. The guns on the ship were soon alternating between attacking the Riptide, attacking the TIE fighters, and not attacking at all.

GM Note – I figured the crew of the ship would start fighting each other, like a mutiny, so I would roll randomly to determine their actions each round.

Soon, all the TIE fighters were destroyed, but not without inflicting heavy damage on the Riptide. The Riptide had gone through all of its backup shields and the system now needed to be overhauled. In addition, the engines had been damaged.

Luckily, the Gozanti lost all power and began to drift and tumble through space. It had also taken damage to its engines and had lost its dorsal turbolaser.

The Riptide maneuvered to dock with one of the Gozanti’s TIE fighter access airlocks and the two ships were soon locked together.

Emily left the gun turret and Eggs unbuckled himself from the shield operator seat. The pair armored up and grabbed their weapon in preparation of boarding action. They gathered at the airlock, checked their power cells, and opened the hatch.
Evo Shandor

To Be Continued…

GM Notes
My original plan was to sent two waves of TIE fighters at the ship, allowing them to deal with each wave before the next wave, then deal with the transport. But Evo's player said, "Nope, we ignore the TIE fighters and get in close!" So I thought, "Okay. Oh well."

Without Battle Meditation, the Riptide vs. four TIE fighters and the Gozanti would have been very very tough, if not impossible. However, using Battle Meditation to cause confusion and animosity amongst the enemy forces was a brillian strategy! As a result, the battle was still challenging but not TOO challenging.

My only mistake as a GM was that I had nothing for Rhys to do. In retrospect, I should have given her communications rolls to make against the Gozanti, or allowed her to do "First Aid" style repairs on the ship. Rhys' player kept asking what she could do and I was kind of at a loss, and I felt bad about that. I'll be prepared next time.