Before we get into the recap, I’d just like to take a moment to point out that you should always skip “International” trailers. I’m not sure why, but the international trailers always seem to reveal even more of the movie than the US domestic trailers. I bring this up because of the Star Wars international trailer release and the fact that my GM and I both agree on this point. So again, skip international trailers. Now onto the session recap!
We started the session back at our spaceship.1 Bringing Cal up to speed, we decide to head back into town, La Carra, to locate Tarth Onasi, the local Rebel recruiter. Ulaa, the Twi’lek teen hanging around, explains she’s met with Tarth before and offers up a location other than the bar we were to meet him at. We hop in the stolen militia speeder and head into town with everyone.2 Manage to pass the security checkpoint with some solid lying from Cole and a mind trick from Liv. Aquila decided to take one of the swoops into town separately.
We meet up at an old converted storage facility. We have some initial difficulty opening the door but manage to get in after a bit. Inside the building, there are crates, a small desk with incriminating papers. Aquila picks up on some blaster scorch marks around the door and finds a blaster clip that clearly likely belongs to militia members. There’s also a small pouch with an ID card and some credits.
At some point we picked up some tails and we’re able to get some information that Tarth was likely captured by the militia last night and taken to the Imperial compound outside of town. We formulate a plan that will involve Cole, Liv and Phae acting like militia members and bringing Aquila, Cal and Ulaa as prisoners.3 To do this we’ll need some black clothes. We radio Phae to see if she can acquire some. And then Liv, Cole and Aquila go to find some more.4
Earlier, Cal and Liv were unable to lose their tails. This worked to their advantage as Liv was able to distract a pair of militia men following her so that Cole and Aquila could get the drop on them. Worked perfectly both men were down before they knew what was happening. Disguises acquired, we headed off to the Imperial compound.
Arriving at the compound, we get a quick overview. The compound is a newer structure, hastily constructed. There’s a gate which is the only entry point and is flanked by two towers with sentries. Several buildings surrounding a landing pad where there’s currently a shuttle parked. We identify ourselves and our “cargo” and pass through the gate without issue. We park the speeder and get a lift to take the “unconscious” prisoners into the detention block.
Inside the commander center, we’re stopped by a secretary. After some brief identification and explanation about a dead radio, she explains that she’ll have to inform the station commander. We try to dissuade her but I ended up using some force points to get us past this scene.
Next, we arrive at the detention block. Guys inside ask us to swipe our ID cards. Fortunately, we picked a few of those up off the guys in town. They let us in. Two guards. One who gets up from his station to open up the cell. And one playing a game of sabacc. Liv moves over to the card player and chats him up a bit. The other guard opens the cell containing Tarth and everyone springs into action.
Cole gets the drop on the guard opening the cell and gets him into a fist fight by putting him into a headlock. Liv lifts and pushes the table towards the other guard but he gets out of the way quickly. I’m getting better at combat and after the first few misses, I start setting up maneuvers/advantages for the other characters. The camera in the room gets disabled and the guards are dropped but not before one of them triggers an alarm.
Cole hops on the intercom explaining that Tarth tried to attack the guards as they were trying to put in other prisoners but that everything is fine. But, a small group of guards are sent down anyways. We setup another ambush at the door. We mimic the procedure well, the doors slide open and another round of combat begins. Cal and Cole take some shots. Aquila and Liv finish off the two guards in front. The third guard turns and runs and starts screaming and everything goes to hell.
At this point, I’m out of Fate points and low on Force points. The GM asks if anyone has any aspects about running. Liv’s trouble is in fact, Always on the Run, which he compels, along with one of Aquila’s aspects. From my perspective, this was a great compel and one that I intentionally set up and prepared for. Liv is skittish. She’s a Jedi who’s been hiding and moving for most of her life. And her time spent with Cole, let’s her feel comfortable leaving him behind because he’s capable of handling himself. So as we execute this chase scene, Liv has to move the full distance she can cover by her Athletics checks. So, unfortunately for everyone else I roll high the entire time. Liv is out of the command center in like three rounds. Everyone else is lagging behind, Cole is trying to keep the rest of the group together while Cal struggles running at all.
So, Liv tears out of the command center and into the open compound. The GM had thought we would leave the same way we arrived. But ever since he mentioned the shuttle and four Z-95s, Liv had other ideas. She surveys the field but she’s moved so fast nobody suspects much from her. She darts onto the shuttle and starts firing it up. But some poor fool thinks he should check out what this chick is doing on the shuttle. Poor guy never stood a chance. He boards the shuttle and asks her what she’s doing. She flies out of her seat, ignites her lightsaber, slices him in half, powers down the lightsaber and clips it on her belt before he realizes he’s dead.
Returning to priming the shuttle for departure, the rest of her companions start to make it out of the command center. Phae kicks Liv aside to get the ship going. So she heads back to the ramp to check on the others. Cal has kick half of the severed body off the ramp and onto the ground. This is bad for Liv (and the rest of the party). Liv has been very careful not to leave survivors or evidence of her Jedi-ness. A nicely cauterized, half of a body in the middle of an imeperial compound is going to give that away.
Meanwhile, Cole, Tarth and Aquila finally get out of the command center. Aquila sees the Z-95s and makes a dash for them. Tarth has taken a beating and is slowed a lot at this point. The compound is coming alive, blaster bolts flying all over the place. Aquila takes a few shots as does Tarth. Deciding that the enemy fire is too much, Aquila turns around to head towards the shuttle but she’s got some distance to cover. Seeing that Cole and Tarth are going to make it to the ramp but it’ll be a few seconds, Liv decides to jump down and pull the other half of the body up to cover her tracks.
A brief aside about Fate points and compels before we continue. Fate points are the currency of doing cooler things or helping your success rate. Compels are ways to earn more fate points. Players can refuse compels if they seem out of line or the player just doesn’t want to deal with the new obstacles by paying the GM one of their Fate points to drop the compel. Above, the GM compelled some aspects that referenced running and made the chase more interesting. Two of the characters won’t stop and wait up for the rest. Cool. I, and Aquila, were out of Fate points so we had to accept the compels. But I would have accepted it anyways. Liv running out on the group would make things more difficult but not to the point where failure was guaranteed. Now back to the scene.
And this is where it gets worse. Liv, Phae, Cal and Ulaa are on the shuttle. Tarth and Cole are close. The compound is firing blasters all over the place, even a pair of stormtroopers are activating. Aquila’s already absorbed a moderate consequence and some stress. The GM does a quick Fate point check. I’ve got one, Aquila has one, everyone else is tapped out.
The GM offers a compel to Aquila, she won’t make it to the shuttle this round. Ouch. Now, this will complicate things for the party, we have to wait around another turn and deal with another volley of blasters. Tarth, Liv, Cole and Aquila are the only targets. Liv and Cole can absorb some shots but Tarth and Aquila are beaten up pretty bad. Plus, Aquila’s detour to the Z-95s has put her in another zone that will take an entirely different volley.
Aquila accepts the compel and dooms herself. I’ll reiterate that she could have refused the compel because she was sitting on a Fate point. Now, refusing the compel could have still led to the same conclusion we’re heading towards, but it would have involved one less blaster volley focused solely on her. The first volley goes. A few hits get spread out but everyone’s fine. Aquila closes the distance but takes a mild consequence. One more turn and she’ll be on the ship and we can get out of here before the Z-95s even get primed.
But the dice gods can be cruel. Or maybe they’re just vengeful. The final blaster volley fires upon Aquila. Three bolts will be close enough to warrant defense rolls.
Aquila’s first defense roll… [-] [-] [-] [-]. She spends one of her two Fate points to get a re-roll. [-] [-] [-]. Yikes. Somehow, some way, the first shot is off-course and Aquila manages to duck out of the way.
Second defense roll. [-] [-]. She again spends a Fate point getting it to a zero. But the shot connects filling up all of her physical stress boxes.
Final defense roll. [-] [-] [-] [-]. Down she goes.5
The ramp closes and the shuttle takes off. I ask to reach out using my force sensitivity to see if Aquila’s alive. The GM compels Liv’s Ice Queen aspect to prevent it. The Fate point won’t help because we’re just about wrapped up. But I accept the compel anyways as I feel the mystery off Aquila’s status is more interesting narratively.
Cal finally learns how to pilot a ship and we escape the rest of the blaster fire and the compound before they can get much going and we end the session.
The GM rewards us with a skill point. But we all can’t stop talking about Aquila’s death.6 It was a combination of poor decisions and bad rolls. But I feel as if it was entirely avoidable. Or at least, there were several decision points that could have led to a greater chance of a positive outcome. Regardless, the session was a blast. I’m getting better at the combat system and I’m feeling more comfortable with Liv as a character and her aspects. We’ve tagged most of them at this point through the three sessions.7
Overall, I’m really digging Fate. The pacing, narrative sequences and action are fun. I need to work on understanding my Force powers a bit better and work out some ideas on character growth for Liv. But I’m happy with where she is. My comprehension of the rules is getting pretty solid and my mastery of combat is getting better. I do think I need to work on getting better at describing my actions instead of describing my skills. But that’s mostly a comfort thing and since I’ve only played a grand total of three sessions, I’m willing to give myself some time to adjust.