Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tales of MaricopaCon 2013 VI: Star Wars Edge of the Empire - The Edge of Despayre

The Edge of Despayre is a prison break scenario.  First run as a New Year's Eve game in 2012, I tightened the focus, and rewrote the endgame to turn it from the intro to a short campaign into a self-contained adventure.  The truth is I've run prison break scenarios in just about every sci-fi system I've ever run, and while the trappings are different depending on the game, the basic plot is the same.

The inspirations for this particular scenario were the old Classic Traveller adventure Prison Planet, the Star Wars novel Death Star, and the d20 Modern Post-Apocalyptic setting Darwin's World.

The characters are an odd mix: the stormtrooper who realizes he's been fighting on the wrong side and years to escape; a political prisoners; con men; an ingenue; and a smuggler set up by his comrades.  They are then stuck in a prison camp full of some of the worst scum in the galaxy.

Effectively, in four hours, the players have to scrounge, trade for, or steal the needed equipment, and formulate a plan for an escape from Despayre, the prison planet that is home to the under construction original Death Star (the one that will eventually be destroyed by a farm boy from Tatooine).

In the meantime, while they are working on solving the main plot line, a variety of complications and sideplots threaten to derail them.  Their camp is run by a martinet commander who threatens to derail their escape plans.  The camp guards are a sadistic bunch who could care less whether the prisoners live or die.  Also, just to add to the festivities, there is a serial killer on the loose in the camp, and one or more of the characters may be the next victim.

Without doing a blow by blow synopsis, due to a combination of wise horse-trading, offers of sexual favors (yeah, the players went there...I just went along), and outright guile, the group managed to escape the world only to be chased by TIE Fighters, including a TIE Advance being flown by a great pilot who may, or may not, have had a Darth before his last name (I'll never tell).  The group managed to hold their shuttle together, singe a few of the Imps, and then, just before the inevitable weight of numbers began to tell, a small Rebel contingent, intent on attacking the Death Star, materialized from hyperspace to give the pursuing TIE Fighter wing something else to worry about.

We had a group of players for this game which included at least one player who was familiar with the Beginner Game, as well as at least one fan of the EU.  The game went well, and everybody had a great time.