Sunday, 10 February 2013

Scaling Escape from Mos Shuuta for 4+ players

Howdy All,

As some of you may well know, a week ago I ran the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game at GottaCon. The Beginner Game, as some of you may also be aware, it is designed to be played with the four pregen characters that are provided with it. Two additional pregens are available on FFG's EotE website in PDF format, but mostly for the option of providing a bit more variety as you're still supposed to play with four PCs.


Play with all six!

As I chose to run the game at the convention with six players; each player ran one of the provided pregens, and the pregens PDFs my buddy had printed off. I had to make a few adjustments to the adventure, Escape from Mos Shuuta, to scale and balance it out. For those interested in possibly running The Beginner Game with more than four players, here are the changes I made along with session notes:

Encounter 1: As a suggestion, try to limit the number of PCs that can attempt a certain skill check if they all attempting the same method of hiding. For example, in one game I ran, each player followed suit when one of them tried to be inconspicuous by sitting a table; or they all piled into the backstage during another. I'm not saying these are bad ideas, just that I think the intent of the designers was for everyone to try different methods of avoiding their pursuers. In-game reasons for limiting each option could be that there is only so much space backstage or in the storage closest, or that too many of the PCs posing as patrons (or bartenders) would be far too obvious. Another option aside from limiting the number of attempts, is increasing the difficulty by 1 for each additional PC attempting the skill check.

Encounter 2: Is fairly easy to adjust, follow the directions in the adventure book and provide a Gamorrean for each PC. As far as the preset initiative, split the NPCs into two groups and set them along with the 5th & 6th PC accordingly:
Successfully Hid: 1st PC, 2nd PC, 3rd PC, 1st NPCs, 4th PC, 5th PC, 6th PC, 2nd NPCs.
Failed to Hide: 1st PC, 1st NPCs, 2nd PC, 3rd PC, 4th PC, 2nd NPCs, 5th PC, 6th PC.

Encounter 3: Not much to modify here. If things turn violent, Vorn's not meant to be a fighter anyway. One thing I did note was the fact that it isn't clear for the PCs to proceed from this encounter to the Spaceport Control Facility. The idea I came up with was once they've acquired the HMRI, have them each make an Easy to Average Knowledge check. For those that succeeded, inform them that even though they now have the part and could go hijack the Krayt Fang, the ship would still be grounded by the docking clamps. The next logical step would be to proceed to Spaceport Control.

Encounter 4: To balance out a potential combat encounter, add two more Security Droids. Either add one to the pair guarding the entrance or in the lobby, and another in the control room; or stick them each in one of the other rooms, and have them emerge when there is a call for alarm. Also feel free to have a squad of Stormtroopers show up if the Overseer reports any suspicious or violent activity, although don't get too ahead of yourself and skip the Interlude before heading to encounter 5.

Encounter 5: Add an additional squad (minion group) of 3 Stormtroopers if things seem too easy. Or if you're feeling ambitious, have a total of 4-5 squads divided up into pairs.

Encounter 6: If you think it needs it, have another two Security Droids at the hanger. I personally didn't do this, as in both instances each pair of Trex's droids supported him adequately in combat. (Also, I have an additional reason; see next encounter.) Keeping the PCs busy with other threats also prevents from them all from ganging up on him. Having a squad of Stormtroopers show up is a great way to keep them busy! I found that Trex himself was a decent combatant for a party of six, provided you draw him into fighting from his ship to limit the number of PCs that can actively engage or shoot at him. During the playtest and the first game, it was a no-holds-barred slugfest between Trex and the Wookiee Lowhhrick; during the second game was surprisingly different: a one-on-one firefight with Oskara, who managed to score a Critical Injury on Trex with every successful shot!

Encounter 7: There are essentially four available crew stations: a Pilot, an Engineer, and two Gunners. With six PCs this means that two will be left out of the action of starship combat. Keep them occupied by dealing with another Droid or two of Trex's that just emerged from hiding! Things get tense when there's a fight both outside and inside the of the ship!

And that's it. I hope this helps anyone who'd like to scale Escape from Mos Shuuta up to 6 players. I've run this adventure 3 times now, and as long as you keep the game action-packed and cinematic, it'll run for about 4 hours, which makes it perfect for a one-shot or convention game!

One additional note is that obviously the Beginner Game doesn't have enough tokens for all the additional NPCs (let alone for Sasha or Mathus). As I'm a fan of Star Wars Minis, I took the time searching out and gathering the appropriate miniatures that I think best suited the characters from Escape from Mos Shuuta.



List of characters, appropriate miniatures, and the set they belong to:

PCs
  • Pash, Human Smuggler - Corellain Pirate [Bounty Hunters]; Corellain Security Officer [Legacy of the Force]
  • Oskara, Twi'lek Bounty Hunter - Mission Vao [KOTOR]
  • Lowhhrick, Wookiee Hired Gun - Wookie Commando [Clone Strike]; Wookiee Elite Trooper [KOTOR]
  • 41-VEX, Droid Colonist - 2-1B [Force Unleashed], Krath War Droid, [Jedi Academy]
  • Sasha, Human Explorer - Princess Leia, Rebel Hero [Universe]
  • Mathus, Human Technician - Elite Rebel Commando [Legacy of the Force]; Bail Organa [Revenge of the Sith]

NPCs
  • Gamorrean Thugs (x6) - Gamorrean Guard [Rebel Storm]; Gamorrean Bodyguard [Masters of the Force]
  • Vorn Tel-Ovis - Human Blaster-for-Hire [Bounty Hunters]
  • R5-K3 - R5 Astromech Droid [Champions of the Force]
  • Overseer Brynn - Old Republic Recruit [Legacy of the Force]
  • Spaceport Security Droids (x6) - Juggernaut War Droid [KOTOR]; Guard Droid [Legacy of the Force]
  • Stormtroopers (x6) - Sandtrooper [Imperial Entanglements]; Sandtrooper Officer [Imperial Entanglements]
  • Trex - Trandoshan Elite Mercenary [Dark Times]

May The Force Be With You ;{١