Main Page: Starfall
The Rebels finally reach the engine control core. But their plan to turn the self-destruct program against Kolaff fails due to an unexpected development. The battle to escape the core proves deadly, and time itself turns against the Rebels when they discover yet another clue by accessing the Star Destroyer’s damaged computer banks.
Cut-Away to Attacking Fleet Edit
INTERIOR: ATTACKING FLAGSHIP, BRIDGE.
The camera slowly pans across a battered Mon Cal Cruiser, zooming in to look upon the bridge. Sparks fly from a freshly-welded control panel as crew members bustle in and out of the frame. The shot finally comes to rest upon the stoic figure of Captain Torrie, commander of the fleet that attacked Subjugator. A Medical Droid bandages a bloody wound on Torrie’s right arm.
“Repair status,” orders the captain.
“Almost there, sir,” an aide responds. “Power is up to 50 percent in the remaining ships, we have basic sublight drive capability, and all but one ship have minimal shields.”
“No discernible improvement,” replies the aide, “She seems almost dead in space.”
A sturdy smile creeps across the captain's face as he engages the fleet-wide comlink.
“Task Force Starfall, this is Starfall leader. Prepare to attack. I repeat, prepare to attack.”
INTERIOR: SUBJUGATOR ENGINEERING SECTION AND A SMALL GROUP OF REBELS.
The Engine Control Core Edit
The Rebels reach the end of a corridor, marked by a closed Blast Door. The door, once opened, empties into a control station of some kind. But the chamber is vacant and all of the equipment here has been destroyed. Another door, however, brings them face-to-face with the engine control core. Read the following aloud:
The floor ahead of you ends and you find yourselves upon a small metal ledge, looking out upon a huge cylindrical shaft that surrounds a pulsing power column. Energy streams criss-cross the shaft, crackling between the column and power conductors in the shaft walls. These deadly, dancing beams create a ballet of many-colored light. Across from you, midway through the shaft, the power column splits in two. The top half continues upward as far as you can see, the bottom half drops into the bowels of the Star Destroyer. Between the two halves, a solid beam of energy sparkles with unimaginable colors. At this juncture, a circular platform provides access to a central control console. Three grey-clad technicians busily work the controls, changing the mix of colors in the beam.
Walex Blissex gleefully announces to the heroes that they are looking at the engine control core. All of the energy provided by the ship’s power cells and created by the ship’s engines passes through the core. From here, it is directed to various power stations throughout the ship for use. Blissex explains that he must get to the control console if he is going to be able to alter the self-destruct order. To get there, the heroes will have to repair the Control Panel that extends the connecting bridge while Blissex gathers tools from the damaged control station. See “The Bridge” below.
The Bridge Edit
A successful DC 21 Mechanics check allows a Rebel to repair the controls, and a following DC 19 Use Computer check allows him or her to operate the controls that extend the bridge. Regardless of whether or not the Rebels are clad in Imperial uniforms, they are allowed to approach the platform without being questioned. This is simply because the personnel currently on the platform are too thoroughly engrossed in their work to pay the Rebels much heed.
Crossing the bridge is not as easy as it looks. The bridge is only one meter wide, with no railing. In addition, the pulsating light can have a dizzying effect. Have each Rebel crossing the bridge make a DC 16 Acrobatics check. Failure does not result in a deadly fall, but rather a close call, with bits of loose equipment falling from the clumsy character and plunging down into the surging energy below.
As the heroes near the end of the bridge, they hear the all-too-familiar sound of a Mouse Droid merrily beeping behind them. It scoots back the way it came, and the heroes have one chance to stop it before it disappears through the door. Even if they do destroy the Droid, the violent action causes the technicians to take a good look at their visitors and sound the alarm. Either the MSE-6 or the Technicians alert Kolaff to the location of his quarry.
Event Five: Another Computer Clue Edit
Sometime during this episode, while the heroes are working the computer console, they may decide to get an update on the condition of the Star Destroyer. A hero must make a DC 24 Use Computer check to get into the information network this time. If the Rebel succeeds, give them “Computer Monitor #2,” below.
This provides the group with a further update on the time they have left, as well as revealing that the fleet that attacked Subjugator is from the Alliance. It also reveals, if the heroes examine the information closely, that the Alliance fleet will be in attack range again- the exact moment that Subjugator has been set to explode! Kolaff’s insidious trap should become clearer, and this should provide the Rebels with further motivation to either stop the explosion or somehow warn the fleet before it gets too close.
At the Controls Edit
Once given clear access to the controls, Walex Blissex goes to work. First, he begins to turn various dials, changing the colors in the beam. The energy patterns in the shaft flux and change as the old man works, drowning the room with a new flood of dazzling color. Once finishing this, he slowly turns to the large computer console on the power column. The once-confident Blissex hesitates, looking nervously around at the heroes. Taking a deep breath, the old man meekly addresses them:
“I’m afraid I’ve been misleading you, my friends. My refusal to operate computers thus far hasn’t been entirely by choice. It’s just, well... I’ve never learned to use one. There. I’ve said it. You see, for years my daughter and others have done all of my computer work for me. Covering for a stubborn old fool who’s simply been too proud to admit his ignorance. I am truly sorry. However, there is still hope. If I can have the assistance of one of you, I should be able to... talk you through the sequencing.”
Drying his moistened eyes, the humbled engineer explains that there are a total of six steps required to alter the self-destruct sequence. For each step, the hero chosen to operate the computer under Blissex’s direction makes a Use Computer check. To add a bit of life, before each roll have Blissex explain that step and even coach the programmer. For example:
“That was brilliant, my boy! Now we’ve got to polarize the primary intercoolant trans-flux capacitors!”
Starting with DC 13, the checks become harder with each new step, increasing in difficulty until finally reaching DC 34 on the fifth step. The Blissex can Aid Another to achieve these checks, just keep in mind that it is the hero who must perform the action. After the fifth step has been achieved, Blissex jumps back from the screen in disbelief:
“I don’t believe it! Surely this is impossible! Someone has set a self-destruct sequence that only I know! I built it into the ship’s design as a failsafe option but never revealed it to the builders. It is a self-destruct option that cannot be altered. To tamper with it further would result in the Star Destroyer’s immediate destruction! But who could possibly have set it? Why, other than myself, the only being in the galaxy possessing the knowledge and ability to perform such a feat is... my daughter!”
Before the Rebels can contemplate the significance of that revelation, “The Trap” is sprung. Go on to the next section.
The Trap Edit
At this precise moment, eight doors opening on this level of the control core slide wide simultaneously. A wall of Stormtroopers stand in each doorway, effectively blocking off all exits from the room. The painfully familiar voice of Captain Kolaff echoes through the huge shaft:
“How very disappointing. Just when I was beginning to think that you might have a micro-bit of soldier in you after all, you play directly into my hands. (Yawn) Bantha herders... Very well. Here is your next, and quite probably last, lesson. I call it ‘Dying.’”
Stormtrooper Tactics Edit
As Kolaffs bellowing chuckle fades, the Stormtroopers open fire. There are six troopers at each entrance, but only two can fire at a time. The rest busy themselves with extending the remaining bridges. Four of the six that arrived at the door the heroes entered by begin to make their way across the already-extended bridge immediately. Once the other bridges are extended, the remaining Stormtroopers slowly advance, leaving two in each doorway to guard against escape. These troopers must make the same DC 16 Acrobatics check that the Rebels made earlier to keep from stumbling on the bridges. They battle to the death.
Creative Escapes Edit
Moments like this tend to bring out the best in players, and no doubt heroism and drama will abound. As Gamemaster, you should encourage creativity. Try to use everything you are given here to play- up the drama. Wounded Stormtroopers plummeting down into the energy field, the mocking voice of Captain Kolaff echoing over the ship-wide comlink, dramatic near misses on the Rebels, etc.
The heroes can work the bridge controls from the console, but they must make DC 21 Use Computer checks to stop the extension process. They can only attempt to stop two bridges in a round, and it takes three rounds for the bridges to fully extend. On the fourth round, the Stormtroopers will begin to cross, except for the one group that started across the heroes’ bridge at the beginning of this encounter.
Certain unorthodox methods of escape should become obvious to the heroes right away, such as using rope to swing to a lower doorway. If a character attempts this, a DC 19 Acrobatics check is necessary for success. If the hero fails, have that same character make a DC 14 Initiative check. Success on this roll means that the Rebel came up short of the mark, but catches the doorway ledge as the rope swings back to the console platform. Failure indicates that the unfortunate Rebel slams into the wall, loses his grip, and plummets into the energy field to their doom.
If the heroes are in trouble and seven combat rounds have passed, use “Walex’s Suggestion” below.
Walex’s Suggestion Edit
Walex snaps his fingers and shouts, “Of course!” He grabs one of the more technically-oriented Rebels and explains:
“We can change the energy field created by the criss-crossing beams! You must manipulate the computer just so to alter the energy into a repulsorlift field. Then we can leap into the shaft itself, using it as a turbolift.”
While he quickly explains the process to the hero, the other Rebels must continue to hold off the Stormtroopers. Using Blissex's Aid Another Action, the hero at the computer controls must make a DC 24 Use Computer check. Then Blissex moves to the edge of the platform and nonchalantly dives off, disappearing into the energy field below. Blissex and the heroes must make DC 14 Swim checks to maneuver through the now-safe field and reach a door a few levels below. The Stormtroopers don’t immediately realize what is happening. They assume that the Rebels are committing suicide instead of risking capture. The Rebel group gets away again.
Regardless of how the Rebels escape this ambush, move on to Episode IV: A Dangerous Trek.