The Battle of Garos IV
New Republic forces have been poised to attack the Imperial headquarters on Garos IV for weeks, and now the strike deadline has come. With the aid of Our Heroes, a New Republic invasion has been facilitated and will be carried out as background for this adventure. After the apparent death of High Inquisitor Tremayne following the destruction of the Imperial Information Bureau, Imperial Forces have begun to fall apart in organization. Though still being manipulated by a shadowy, as yet unseen leader, this minor breakdown is exactly the chance that the New Republic needs to run the Empire out of the Garos System.
Episode I: Stake to the Heart
Once the shields drop over Garos IV, the New Republic will launch a major offensive on the military, and ore processing installations on the planet. The setup for this begins with the characters on Eagle Point Base awaiting instructions. Read the following aloud to the players:
"After a few short hours of downtime, you are summoned to General Cracken’s briefing room. As you sit around the large oak table, you have a clear view of the space around the station. In the last few hours, starship traffic has increased a hundredfold. Every few moments it seems as though another capital ship is dropping out of hyperspace into the area. The occasional squadron of E-Wings or A-Wings will pass by on its hourly tour of the fleet, but generally activity is at a minimum.
Huge Republic- and Defender-class Star Destroyers loom over the smaller capital ships, Endurance fleet carriers and a variety of small combat ships pepper the starry background. The occasional shuttle will pass between ships, carrying personnel from one assignment to the next, the dark silence of their movements almost foreboding in a sense.
After giving you a few moments to survey the New Republic’s Fifth Battle Fleet from this observation deck, General Cracken enters and sits down at the head of the table, motioning for you to take your seats as well. Once everyone is seated, he begins with the briefing.
‘Since you all have been integral in getting us to this point in the operation, I thought it would only be fitting that you continue to see this through to the end.’ Turning his chair, he motions out the window. ‘As you can see, our Fifth Fleet is poised to strike into the heart of the Garos system at Garos IV. The Imperial Forces are not weak in this system, and I cannot stress to you the gravity of the situation here.
He points to a large Endurance fleet carrier docked with Eagle Point at its repair yard. ‘That ship we are currently docked with is the Tomoe. It is the ship that will be carrying troops down to the planet to secure ground control. Additionally, it carries a flight of K-Wing Starfighters which will take out any possible ground-to-space opposition.’
The point of the speech is not to impress the characters, but to prepare them for the request that Cracken is about to make. That ship’s commander recently became ill and is unable to command. They will be putting Captain Virgilio, former commander of the Sediam who was rescued in the Modified Pirates of Prexiar adventure.
The offers that Cracken makes to the players are as follows:
Any character with a light freighter, and any characters needed to man the weaponry on that ship, are requested to carry troops to the surface of Garos IV. Conversely, the characters are also offered the chance to go in behind Imperial lines and bring out a covert ops team, possibly with some injured members.
Jedi Characters may be offered a position as a tactical commander of the Tomoe for their Force-insight and natural combat skills. If that doesn’t strike their fancy, they may be asked to work as healers for the wounded or help go in and extract captured soldiers.
Any characters with personal fighters are offered two options. The first is escorting the light freighter on any missions, and the second is joining in the strike force as either heavy attack or an escort.
Any other characters may be offered either the chance to go behind enemy lines and help extract captured New Republic forces, or they can join in as a gunner on a K-Wing making the bombing run on the surface-to-air defenses on the planet.
Once the characters choose which assignments to take, the adventure can really begin. The battle rages on around the characters, with turbolasers flying and ships exploding all over the place. Major events in the battle will be noted at various points in the mission.
(Note to the gamemaster: due to the variety of objectives this part of the mission contains, only a barebones outline of possible missions. This assumes that gamemasters are pretty good ad libbers, so good luck.)
Any trips down to the planet require Moderate space transports or starfighter piloting rolls to try and avoid heavy enemy fire. Should for some reason the characters decide to head in without considering any air defense, they also have to dodge a barrage of laser fire, coming in with a successful Difficult roll against their above roles. Occasionally the gamemaster may wish to have the characters avoid capital turbolaser fire as well as TIE Interceptors from the Imperial Star Destroyers in orbit which respond to the attack on the planet.
TIE Interceptors: Starfighter, starfighter piloting: 6D, starship gunnery: 5D. Maneuverability: 3D+2, Space: 11, Atmosphere 435, Hull: 3D, 4 Laser Cannons Fire Linked (Fire Arc: front, Skill: starship gunnery, Fire Control: 3D, Space Range: 1-3/12/25, Atmosphere Range: 100-300/1.2/2.5, Damage: 6D)
If the Jedi chose to take command of the Tomoe’s tactical station, they should be given a choice in the following dilemma: the Imperial Star Destroyer Judicator is about to turn its turbolasers on the planet of Garos IV itself. In doing this, they hope to not only take out New Republic forces on the ground, but also to make the planet so uninhabitable that it will be useless to the NR. However, the Republic-class Star Destroyer Shining City is under heavy attack by the Headsman, an Imperial-II class Star Destroyer. If they choose to abandon the Shining City and go after the Judicator, the two ships exchange fire for a while, and eventually they break off their attack and head for the edge of the battlespace. However, the Shining City is unable to stand up to the assault and explodes in a brilliant flash of flame and metal. Should they go after the Headsman, they are able to drive off the Star Destroyer, but only after taking heavy damage and nearly incapacitating the ship. The Judicator has free shots at the planet, and any characters down there, and wipes out most of the K-Wing squadron on an attack run. The Jedi may remember that the Judicator was heavily damaged on its underside, and should he or she send starfighters to attack the underside of the ship, they can do the same thing that would have happened id the Tomoe had gone after it, and also save the Shining City.
On the planet, characters may have to fight against Imperial Stormtroopers in their efforts free hostages or send in the shock troops.
Imperial Stormtroopers (6): 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).
After the preliminary missions for all the characters are complete, the second part of the battle can begin. Two medium transports, the Inquisitor and the Hutt and Run lift off from the back side of Garos IV. The Interrogator, which has thus far done no more than loose a few fighter squadrons, turns and heads for the transports, apparently to see them safely off. General Cracken comes over the comm and states that it is urgent that those transports not escape. At this point, should the Judicator or Headsman have been damaged thoroughly enough, they either become disabled (should the Jedi have thought to use Ion Cannons) or explode into thousands of bits of electronic parts.
The problem is this: the Resolve still has a clear shot at the planet, and should too many ships be committed to the chase, it will open fire on the planet. As it is, the Imperial TIE Interceptor squadrons are keeping most of the starfighters and a few capital ships busy, so a fighter-only attack is out of the question. The characters may use any tactics necessary to stop the ships, but keep in mind the following: the Interrogator opens fire on any ships getting too close, and the ore inside the transports is highly unstable, so that any explosions will cause a chain reaction, creating a blinding "cloaking wall" behind which the other ships may escape. Regardless of the character’s tactics, the Hutt and Run escapes, and the Interrogator seems to.
Episode 2: Mutiny Aboard the People’s Ship
The tide of battle seems to be on the New Republic’s side with little doubt otherwise. The Interrogator has pulled out, and either the Judicator or the Headsman has been destroyed. General Cracken orders all forces to concentrate on the remaining Imperial Star Destroyers, as the Vengeance has not yet joined the battle.
However, when the Jedi character gives the command for his ship to turn on the remaining Star Destroyers, a great amount of Force is displaced in the area around him. At first, nothing visible happens, and the ship begins to head for the combined attack on the Star Destroyers. But when the Jedi gives the order to fire, they begin firing not on the Star Destroyers but on the New Republic Fleet. The sense of danger is overwhelming and should he reach out to the minds of the bridge crew, he will find another presence controlling their forces of will.
There are several ways that this can be dealt with. The obvious one is by hacking the crew to itty bitty pieces, which is definitely not recommended. However, under the mental manipulation, the bridge crew will not just sit by and let him take over, so they may try to use their sidearms. However, there are other alternatives to fighting.
For one, the Jedi can try to get a message off to NR High command explaining the situation. If so, he must go elsewhere in the ship to do so. The bridge crew will not allow him to take command of any bridge station, but may allow him to leave if he can make a Difficult command roll.
Another alternative is signaling any of the members of the party and having them come to the rescue. Perhaps they can disable the ship in some way, or at the very least can come and rescue the Jedi.
The key to this episode is creativity, because there is no set way to deal with this problem. However, GMs should warn the Jedi that these men are not all in their right minds and that killing them would be the same as killing innocents, so they should definitely beware.
Typical Bridge Crew Member: All stats 1D+2 except: Dexterity 2D, Knowledge 3D+1, Technical 4D+2. Move: 10. Blaster pistol (4D), comlink.
Wrapping Up the Adventure
Award character points as follows: creative ways of solving the capital ship dilemma is worth 3 character points, succesfully rescuing hostages gains 5 points, stopping the Tomoe from doing too much damage without killing the entire bridge crew gains 8 character points. Also, award character points for good non-combat roleplaying.