Encounters in Titan Base

By angelicdoctor, in Adventure: Operation – Shell Game

I was reading through this adventure last night and as I was going through the 'first episode', I was rather underwhelmed by its presentation. I found that the encounter hooks to be largely missing or where noted, rather uninteresting, for instance.

I would like to ask the forum posters here, particularly those who have read the material, to advise on what types of encounters beyond those included within the text you would create in order to make this section of the adventure more engaging for the players.

Thanks in advance. - AD

Edited by angelicdoctor

I didn't use Titan Base - I instead used a base I'd established in prior campaigns (going back to WEG 1E in spring 1987).

The hooks in Episode 1 are practically nil - AoR is mission oriented. Players don't "choose" to go, and there's no Carrot on a stick - they are sent, with clear goals and objectives, because they are part of a military force. One that allows a lot of latitude to the how, but not a lot on the if/will/won't.

Compare this adventure to, say, a 1 hour TV show in 5 chunks per aired show. Say, Stargate: SG1... (remember - each act is separated by a commercial break, and the teaser and act 1 are separated by the opening credits. Acts 1 and 5 are about 5 min each, 2-4 are about 12-15 each.)
Teaser - the arrival at Titan Base, and meeting the CO
Act 1 - the briefing and departure
Act 2 - arrival at the station, slice in and steal and erase the data, find the prisoners.
Act 3 - Steal the prisoners, the prototype, and start to flee - right into the fighters (Commercial)
Act 4 - hard slog, looking bad for a couple minutes, but Nighmare shows up to assist them just in the nick of time. As the jump... Commercial
Act 5 - getting back home, debriefing, and cue closing credits.

Ep 1 is Act 1
Ep 2 is acts 2-3
Ep 3 is acts 4 & 5.

An on the ball group should get through Ep 1 & 2 in a 4 hour session; a slower group, or one with extant issues to resolve before departure might make it into a full 4 hour play session for ep 1. Ep 2 can easily stretch to 2 sessions. Ep 3 is easily a session all by itself.

AoR can be run much like any of the following shows:

  • Stargate SG-1
  • Stargate Atlantis
  • Space: Above and Beyond
  • Babylon 5 (if you're based in a late rebellion era world that's openly alliance)
  • original Battlestar Galactica
  • Black Sheep Squadron
  • 21 Jump Street (Yeah, they were cops - but it was a lot more about the mission of the week)
  • The Closer (Again, it's about the mission of the week - tho in their case, it's always solving a murder)

All of them - the A plot is always some mission or local disaster. The B plot links to the characters and their motivations or duties.

There's no need to hook the characters into the mission or disaster - their uniforms are the only hook needed to explain their involvement.

The two cop shows listed would be comparable to Alliance Internal Security and/or Alliance Counter Intelligence - and both the ones listed have a character array that looks a lot like a group of PC's.

Now, what I added to Ep 1:

1 — they get jumped by an Imperial Patrol of ties on arrival. Dispatched.

2 — They spot a Y-wing drifting. It's a rebel from the same squadron. They swap astromechs and get him up and running again. (His is down.)

3 — they discover the guy they rescued is their CO.

4 — They fight an assassin droid which is after the CO - due to bad dealings with a Hutt. (this is a tie-in to a prior campaign)

5 — they fix their fighters and do some healing.

Edited by aramis

Fantastic write-up. Thanks for taking the time and effort to post it here.

I was considering adding some minor encounters here and there to liven things up, however. For instance, I am of the opinion that one should not let the transport of the rebel operatives go without some interesting minor events.

While onboard the transport ship to Titan Base, I plan on using one or both of the following:

  1. Deranged Droid - While entering the transport ship through the cargo bay, the PCs will encounter a binary load lifter with faulty programming. Instead of loading the cargo boxes into the craft, it is crushing them. The PCs will have to find a way to shut down or destroy the droid without themselves being crushed by its massive lifting grapplers.
  2. Sabotage - While the above is being handled, an Imperial spy or sabotage astromech droid will enter the craft unbeknownst to the captain or crew. Once in flight, this droid will set to work on disabling the hyperdrive, then locking out the main computer to all but itself and finally, shutting down the organic's life support system. PCs will have to work with an irritable captain (per the description in the book) in order to isolate the problem and deal with the droid on what could become a seek and destroy mission aboard a crippled starship.

Well, what do you think? I am working on such encounters next for while the PCs are at Titan Base, assuming they arrive safely and soundly, of course. ;)

I'm uncertain about your first idea, but I really like the second idea. It seems a little more organic and a load of fun.

I'm uncertain about your first idea, but I really like the second idea. It seems a little more organic and a load of fun.

Thanks! Yeah, I am thinking that the first encounter is simply a ruse to facilitate the sabotage droid to enter into the cargo hold undetected. The BLL is itself sabotaged and I am considering allowing a device to be uncovered somewhere in the hangar that is sending out broadcast signals interrupting the Rebel operator from re-establishing its link to the malfunctioning loader droid. This will give the non-combatant type PCs something to potentially do while their more militaristic colleagues try to confront one-on-one. My way of allowing more than one way to diffuse the situation. It is also a nifty way to start the story in media res .

Edited by angelicdoctor

While at Titan Base, of which I am going to use the map for the Tierfon Rebel Outpost included in the WEG Sourcebook (1st edition), I have created two simple side encounters:

  1. An X-Wing specific power droid has gone missing and it is crucial that it be found else Nightmare Squadron's Terril will not be able to have his fighter given maintenance. Where O where did it go?
  2. SAR! One of the base's airspeeders has not returned to base after a routine patrol mission. The pilot lost control of the vehicle, smashed into the side of a mountain. He ejected and now hangs perilously caught on one of the mountain's trees. Can the PCs find him before the Gundark does?

Check "Perlemian Haul", the adventure at the final product, is what Shell Game could be. Also look up "Dead in the Water - Galaxy Master kit". Both of thier story and structure is a good template for any capital ship takeover. They inspire you to make better of Shell Game's concept.