Inspired by "Missed Chance" by Michael A. Stackpole, Star Wars Adventure Journal #7
A note from the author: This adventure was written specifically for my campaign. It depends on the party having a ship, and upon a previous adventure which was published in Star Wars Adventure Journal #7 called "Rebel Escape." I feel sure it can be adapted to fit in any campaign, or as a standalone adventure.
A New Republic undercover agent, sent into the heart of the last Imperial government outside of the Core, has recently brought information to the New Republic which reveals a potentially dangerous situation. Deep within the Garos system, the last remnants of the Empire, led by High Inquisitor Tremayne and the mysterious Lord Brandl, struggle to hold on to their territory amidst increased New Republic activity. They have discovered new technology which, when used as a weapon, poses a serious threat to the peace and tranquillity of the Galaxy. After the courier returned safely to the New Republic, she pleaded with them to go in and rescue the man who actually hacked into Imperial Files to obtain this information. It is with this premise that the adventure begins.
Episode I: Into the Heart of Darkness
The characters in the party have just safely delivered a courier to the New Republic who claimed to have information critical in planning the invasion of the Garos system. The station to which they brought her is called Eagle Point Base, and is the staging area of the impending New Republic invasion of the Garos system. The characters have all been sent to be debriefed in the hopes of obtaining something more. The details which the undercover agent brought to the New Republic was sketchy at best, and at this point they are looking for any leads which might reveal more of the Imperial plot. Begin by reading the following aloud to the characters:
"After several hours of debriefing (one would almost be tempted to call it interrogation), the New Republic Intelligence commander on the base has determined that you know so little that it wasn't even worth their time to talk to you. However, he says that you might yet be useful, and that you should report to his office at 0600 hours tomorrow morning. Until then, you are to have free run of the civilian portions of the station, but may not leave Eagle Point Base under any circumstances."
Inside Eagle Point Base's civilian section can be found a wide variety of shops and wares. Of course, the typical arms and equipment dealers are abundant, cantinas and restaurants scattered here and there, but behind all this there is much, much more. Inquisitive PC's may find an information broker who can give them details concerning the Imperial operations in the Garos system, some rather sketchy information concerning Tremayne and Brandl, and even reveal what the New Republic's plans are for invasion. Should the characters care for current events, the Holonet News Service broadcasts around the clock here, with both trivial and important news.
At 0600 hours, the characters make their way into the office of the NRI head on the station. After the have all been seated, the Officer tells them of their mission. In order for the New Republic to obtain the files which the courier brought to the base, a slicer (someone who hacks into computer networks as a profession) named Ghent had to find the files on the Imperial Intelligence Network on Garqi. However, within moments of slicing into the network, Imperial Agents had traced the intrusion back to Ghent's terminal and arrested him only moments after he passed on the information to the courier. Now, Ghent is in custody and must be freed, because the information he possesses could be potentially dangerous in the hands of the Empire.
What the Officer doesn't tell the characters is that Ghent is a member of Talon Karrde's organization, and if he is not freed, Karrde's information network would no longer be at the disposal of the New Republic. Despite the fact that the New Republic claims not to have any involvement with outlaws, NRI owes many valuable tips to Karrde's organization. If the characters should fail to free Ghent, one of their major sources of information inside and around the Garos system will be silenced.
Read the following aloud to the characters:
"The NRI Officer pauses, almost giving the characters a sour look, then continues. 'Accompanying you on this mission will be one of our independently contracted couriers and an excellent pilot.' At this he pauses, and a young woman, perhaps 21 or so, steps forward from the back of the room. Though she is young she seems weary, perhaps a little battle hardened but still possessing the look of youth, however tired. Immediately, you recognize her as the courier whom you delivered here from Garos IV 'Meet Daiya Janders, your assistant. Should something go wrong, she will immediately head back to New Republic territory and signal our assault group to destroy the prison to prevent the information any of you may have from falling into the wrong hands. If everything goes according to plan, she won't have to do a thing. If not, she'll give you some good cover fire.'
Again, he pauses, the same sour look crossing his face. 'The first part of your mission is to rendezvous with one of our top field agents on Garqi. Daiya knows who he is, and will be able to identify him once you encounter him. First, you will need to sneak past Imperial Customs.' Nodding to the character who owns the party's ship, he continues. 'Your ship's transponder has been set to identify you as a cargo ship carrying supplies to the Imperial Garrison on Garqi. However, this transponder is not foolproof, and should the customs agents discover that it is false, be prepared to fight or talk your way out of the situation. After that, meet your contact at the Lazy Mynock cantina. If there are any questions, ask Daiya. Good luck, and make sure you launch by 0800.'"
After their dismissal, the characters can either launch immediately, or make a short trip to one of the local establishments. Either way, Daiya urges the characters to make haste. Her gear has already been stowed away in the cargo bay of the characters' ship, and she is anxious to help out her comrade.
Once the characters make the jump to lightspeed, Daiya gives them a little more background on the mission. She answers any questions they may have, save for who their contact is and what the critical information was that she brought to the New Republic. She can, however, tell the characters a little about Tremayne and Brandl, and does so should the PC's think to ask any questions about where they are heading. She tells them that Tremayne is now the de facto head of the Imperial Forces in the Garos system. A former disciple of Darth Vader himself, Tremayne has a reputation as a ruthless Inquisitor and powerful commander. He has, however, been known to go into fits of rage with insane savagery. As for Lord Brandl, very little is known about him. What is known is that he holds a position of power at least equal to Tremayne. He holds a certain animosity for the High Inquisitor, and possibly even disrespect for the Empire. One thing is for certain, he has not been since in public for as long as anyone can remember, and all other information has either been deleted from Imperial Records, or was never there.
After a while, the ship's computer informs the players that they are about to drop out of hyperspace, and that everyone should assume their command posts. As soon as the characters' ship reverts to realspace, the ship must make a broad sweep around the planet in order to avoid detection by the Imperial II-Star Destroyer Interrogator. The Interrogator is here because High Inquisitor Tremayne is preparing to remove vital information from Ghent by force. A Difficult space transports roll is necessary to avoid detection by the Star Destroyer. Should the roll fail, the Interrogator closes on the characters' ship's position and queries the characters for informtion. The Security Officer aboard the Interrogator must be convinced of the validity of the ship's mission to Garqui. Roll 4D+2 forgery for the ship's falsified transponder against the Security Officer's Perception roll.
Interrogator Security Officer: All stats are 2D except: Perception 3D+1, alien species 3D, bureaucracy 3D, blaster 3D+2. Move: 10. Equipment: comlink, hold-out blaster (3D).
Once the players convince the Interrogator that they are a legitimate shipping vessel, they may land at the desired landing zone. Should the players fail to convince the Security Officer, he may either put up an advanced alert on the planet and attempt to apprehend the characters there, or he can bring the Interrogator to bear and attempt to snare the character's ship with the ship's tractor beams. The GM may choose which best fits the party, but it is preferred that beginning characters face the stormtroopers on the planet as opposed to an Imperial-II.
Once having landed safely (or not so safely) on the planet, the real adventure begins. The players head out into the street in search of their contact at the Lazy Mynock. However, after obtaining a landing site and paying the appropriate fees, they are informed that High Inquisitor Tremayne is on the planet and that as a result, Imperial Presence has stepped up considerably. They would be advised to watch their step here.
Since the cantina is a sort of out of the way establishment, a Moderate search roll is necessary to find the cantina. Should the characters fail this roll, they must ask for directions, attempting to be discreet as much as possible. Any drastic course of events will call down a group of stormtroopers on the characters, something which they definitely do not want. Otherwise, they find their way there.
Episode 2: Preparing to Strike
Once inside the cantina, Daiya escorts the group to a particular table, stating that this is where they are to meet their contact. A while later, a young man, perhaps in his mid twenties, comes to sit beside the group and begins to chat. After a while, it is evident to the players that this man is their contact, though he gives no outward sign of it. Any character making a Difficult Perception roll will notice that a patron at the end of the bar has taken a sudden interest in Daiya (or one of the female PCs, should there be any). The contact introduces himself as Nejaa Halcyon, and asks if they can go to somewhere more private to continue the discussion. As the characters get up to leave, the man at the end of the bar slips up behind Daiya (or the PC) and gropes her in a very personal manner. The end result is that the patron and the female he touched start a fight, which soon spreads to encompass all the PCs, Nejaa, and four of the patron's cronies.
Rude Gang Leader: All stats 2D except: blaster 3D+1, brawling parry 4D, dodge 3D, melee combat 4D, melee parry 2D+2, intimidation 4D+1, streetwise 5D. Move: 10. Comlink, vibroblade (STR+1D+2), blaster (4D).
Gang Members (4): All stats 2D except: blaster 2D+1, brawling parry 3D+2, dodge 2D+2, melee combat 3D, melee parry 2D+2, intimidation 3D, streetwise 3D. Move: 10. Comlink, vibroblade (STR+1D+2).
If the gang leader sees three of his four gang members fall, he draws a blaster. Despite the cries of the bartender to take it outside, he begins to fire (somewhat haphazardly) into the crowd, hoping to hit the PC's. Otherwise, he simply uses his fists or a vibroblade.
Once the characters make it to the safehouse where Nejaa leads them, he slips inside and, after a quick scan of the room for hidden listening devices, begins to give them their next instructions. In order to infiltrate the base, the characters must pose as Imperial preparing to transfer Ghent from the planet to the Interrogator. To do this, they must complete three tasks. First, they have to ambush a squad of Imperials making their daily rounds in the city. This means getting uniforms undamaged, and disposing of their former bearers such that they cannot cause any trouble. Secondly, they must falsify Identifications so that they can pass security checkpoints in the prison. Thirdly, they must break into the Imperial Information Bureau and falsify orders for themselves inside the computer network. Only once these three things have been done can they safely rescue Ghent.
In order to obtain the uniforms, the characters must formulate a plan for capturing a security squad. Nejaa Halcyon can tell the players that once every hour a squad patrols their particular sector, and that each squad contains two officers and four stormtroopers. It is up to the players to decide how they will obtain the necessary uniforms, and once a plan has been made, they must carry it out successfully. Nejaa offers tips and pointers occasionally concerning Imperial procedure, and Daiya periodically offers some assistance in the tactical aspect of the attack, but it is up to the PC's to formulate (and execute) their attack.
Imperial Squad Leader (2): All stats 2D except: Dexterity 3D, blaster 5D, dodge 5D, grenade 4D, bureaucracy 4D, repulsorlift operation 4D, Strength 3D+1, brawling 4D+1. Move: 10. Blaster pistol (4D), comlink, datapad, survival pack.
Imperial Stormtroopers (4): All stats are 2D except: blaster 4D, brawling parry 4D, dodge 4D, brawling 3D. Move: 10. Stormtrooper Armor (+2 physical, +1 energy, -1D to Dexterity related actions), blaster rifle (5D), blaster pistol (4D).
In order to obtain false identification, the players must contact a local forger named Bryn Gibbs and request that he make them some Imperial IDs. To do so, they must find a way to gain an audience with the forger; his work is good, the best on the planet, but it is incredibly tough to see him. Nejaa offers the idea that they slip back into the Lazy Mynock (or perhaps a similar establishment on the seedier side of town) and make a few queries. It is known that Gibbs operates out of the Lazy Mynock, but the character may not be welcome there, depending on how their previous fight went. After making a few inquiries, they finally find one of Gibbs' contacts and try to set up an audience. The characters must convince Gibbs' contact that they are suitable clients; whether this involves appropriate con, bargain, or Persuasion rolls is up to the GM. The players might offer a bribe, beg, threaten, connive, whatever in order to set up an audience with Gibbs.
Gibbs' Contact: All stats are 2D except: Dexterity 3D+1, blaster:hold out blaster 4D+1, Perception 5D, hide 4D+1, sneak 4D+2. Move: 10. Hold out blaster (3D), comlink, landspeeder.
Once the characters convince the contact to take them to Gibbs, obtaining the forged ID cards is a fairly simple matter. Gibbs is more than happy to help them, but charges a hefty sum (1000 per character at first, but can be brought down by a bargain roll). The characters receive their forged documents within the hour, but just as they are receiving their ID cards, a squad of stormtroopers burst in and attempt to arrest the characters and Gibbs and his associates. Gibbs' associates flee the scene immediately, one being gunned down just as he makes a break for it. The characters can choose to fight or run, but should Gibbs be captured, he squeals to the Imperials that they are members of the New Republic, and the local governor puts out a city-wide alert for the characters.
In order to falsify the orders, the characters are required to slip into the Imperial Information Bureau and hack into the prison's files. For this, all that the characters need to do is offer cover for Nejaa Halcyon to get in, make the change, and get out. Use the following map as a guideline for the layout of the Information Bureau:
A: Lobby, security checkpoint 1 (1 Army Trooper)
B: Security corridor, checkpoint 2 (2 Stormtroopers)
D: Computer core (2 Stormtroopers)
E: Spare parts, supplies
F: Programming stations, information and data entry, reserve troopers and personnel.
The characters' goal is to make it safely to he computer core, where Nejaa alters their orders. They must either fake their way in (depending on which other parts of the preparation they completed), fight their way in, or a combination of both. If anyone fires a blaster, alarms sound immediately, and stormtrooper reserves head in from section F. Nejaa needs a total of four rounds to complete this hack, during which time the characters must ensure his safety, as well as that of the other members of the party.
Once all three preparations have been completed, the characters may make their rescue of Ghent. Use the following map as a guideline for the prison facility.
A: Main Entrance and corridor
B: Storerooms, supplies, etc.
C: Administrative offices, officer's lounge, guard locker rooms.
D: Cell Block One (minor criminals, political prisoners, etc.)
E: Cell Block 2 (felons, enemies of the state, etc.)
F: Isolation (major criminals, mass murderers, etc.)
G: Interrogation room.
Ghent is being held in the Interrogation room, but if the characters managed to obtain the proper forgeries, they should have no problems in reaching him. However, once they begin to make their exit, in walks High Inquisitor Tremayne preparing to interrogate Ghent. As soon as he sees the fake Imperials (i.e. the PC's) escorting the prisoner away, he draws his lightsaber and commands the characters to stop what they are doing immediately. It is that this point that Nejaa too draws his lightsaber, much to the Inquisitor's (and probably the characters') surprise. The two begin to duel, and this gives the PC's several options. Killing Tremayne is not one of them, as he and Nejaa continue to swirl and dance as they fight. The only requirements are that Ghent survive and that they make it out of the prison. However, the main hallway is practically flooded with Imperial personnel, making escape that way almost impossible.
Eventually, the characters see Nejaa fall, and Tremayne's blade swipes down towards him the instant before a shower of sparks blocks their view. As soon as they clear, all the character see is Tremayne sheathing his lightsaber and making his way out.
Note to Gamemaster: Stormtroopers have not been placed on this map so as to make this adventure adaptable to all skill levels of characters. A GM should use her own discretion when placing enemies so as to make it challenging but not impossible for the characters.
Episode 3:Second Coming
Outside the building the characters find an open topped landspeeder, which will carry up to six of them. Any of the others are forced to take the Imperial Speeder Bikes which idle behind the building. As soon as the characters are off, Ghent tells them that if they will take him to the site where he left his ship, he can retrieve some secondary information concerning the Imperial project on Garos IV.
The area in which they are traveling starts out as a typical open plain, but progressively more difficult. Any maneuvers made require a Very Easy repulsorlift operation roll, and get more difficult as the terrain changes. After 5 rounds, the plains end and it becomes a rocky, barren terrain, increasing the difficulty to Easy. Then after 5 more rounds the rocks get larger and start to frame a well worn path, increasing the difficulty to Moderate. After 5 more rounds, the characters begin to enter a canyon, where the walls only provide a little maneuvering space, making the it a Difficult matter to maneuver. Finally the characters enter a narrow corridor after 5 more rounds, in which maneuvering is a Very Difficult task. Modify the difficulty numbers taking into account the complexity of the maneuver, etc.
While the characters try to make their escape, HoverScout vehicle and three scout troopers pursue them in their escape. Should the characters dispose of the scout troopers before reaching at least the Difficult terrain, another pair joins the fight. The HoverScout cannot follow the characters into the Very Difficult terrain, but the scout troopers do. If the characters successfully escape the pursuers, they make it to Ghent's downed Z-95 without further difficulty.
HoverScout: hover vehicle operation 4D+1, missile weapons 4D+2, vehicle blasters 4D+2. Maneuverability 1D, Move 70, 200 kmh, Body Strength 3D. Weapons: 1 Heavy Blaster Canon (fire control 1D, damage 6D), 1 Laser Canon (fire control 1D, damage 6D), Concussion Missile Launcher (fire control 2D, damage 4D).
Once they find his Z-95, Ghent plugs in and begins to type at his datapad. After a few moments, he informs the characters that a system-wide alert has been put out for their capture, and that their ship is now being investigated as a possible criminal ship. They have not, however, managed to break into their ship, and for now that secret is safe. Read the following aloud to the characters:
"After a moment, he pauses, and his brow creases. With a few more keystrokes, Ghent looks up at everyone and speaks. 'I know you've all come this far for me, but I think I can get you some more detailed information. You see, the Information Bureau where you snuck in to change your orders is where the records of the Imperials' mining operation on Garos IV is. Tonight, they are changing out the security codes on the system. If you can get me in there before midnight, I might be able to catch the system just as the codes are being changed and obtain full information on the plan.'"
If the characters agree, then Ghent gives them all a wide grin and thanks them. Here the characters must once again form a plan for getting into the installation. This time, they won't have the help of Nejaa or Daiya; she must stay behind to repair Ghent's Z-95 Headhunter. Once the characters come up with a plan, they can execute it on the Imperial Information Bureau.
Z-95 Headhunter: Maneuverability 1D, space 7, atmosphere 400, 1,150 kmh, hull 4D, shields 1D. Weapons: 2 Triple blasters (fire linked, fire control 1D, damage 3D), concussion missiles (fire control 1D, damage 7D)
If the characters get in a fix, they can try to call Daiya for backup. She may be able to get there in time; however, she suggests that she try to repair the ship and make a strafing run on the garrison which supplies stormtroopers. If the characters support her plan, she repairs the ship, and assists the characters as planned. If they would rather she come to their aid immediately, the Z-95 is lost and she doesn't make it there in time to make a difference anyway.
Once they break back out, they characters can either fight their way through the streets, or try stealth. Once they reach their ship, they find it guarded, but not as heavily as expected. Four stormtroopers guard the main entrance, with another two at the hatch of the ship. There is a back door, but breaking in requires a Difficult security roll, or a Very Difficult computer programming roll. Or, if innovation strikes the characters, some other way.
Episode 4: From the Jaws of Defeat
Inside the ship, the characters find everything to be in working order. A Difficult Perception roll notes that a small gray box sits quietly near the hyperdrive motivator, and a Moderate sensors roll notes that the computer has identified a foreign object on board. This object prevents the jump to lightspeed; however, it is rigged with a tamper-resistant bomb, and will explode if not removed correctly. It takes a Difficult Perception roll to notice the bomb inside, a Moderate demolitions roll to diffuse it, and an Easy Technical roll to remove the device.
Garqi's own defenses were destroyed in a previous episode, so once the characters blast their way out, it seems like clear sailing. After five combat rounds (or until the players find the box, whichever comes first), the Interrogator sweeps around from the far side of the planet, converging on the ship at full speed. Ahead of it is a full Squadron of TIE Fighters, weapons primed and ready to go. If Daiya got the Z-95 working, she loops around to engage the enemy, hoping to give the ship some distance. She fights well, and takes care of 3 TIE Fighters before they even come close to the characters' ship. After a few rounds, an Easy sensors roll reveals that a starfighter, X-Wing class, is in hot pursuit. The characters need only survive a few rounds before the X-Wing joins the fray, downing 4 TIE Fighters without a scratch. If the characters still haven't found the box, the pilot (who identifies himself as Corran Horn) alerts them to its presence, explaining the bomb and how to diffuse it.
TIE Fighters (12): starfighter piloting 4D+1, starship gunnery 4D. Maneuverability 4D, space 10, atmosphere 415, 1,200 kmh, hull 2D. Weapons: 2 Laser Canons (fire linked, fire control 2D, damage 5D)
Oddly enough, the Interrogator does not join the fight, even if all its starfighters are destroyed. Anyone making a Very Difficult Perception roll, or a Moderate sensors roll, will figure out that the reason is because Tremayne and his shuttle are just now arriving at the Imperial II-class ship. The characters are fed coordinates by Daiya once more, and they make the jump to lightspeed.
Award each character 5 points for completing the adventure. Award appropriate points to any character showing particular innovation in non-combat situations (such as planning and sneaking into the prison).