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Bounty Hunter Missions for Star Wars Edge of the Empire

November 8, 2015

bobasamIt is time to get serious about this bounty hunter campaign for Edge of the Empire. Scarefest was an absolute blast. I ran a really fun table of  the Order 66 podcast‘s Ice Station Zulu, which features the fear check mechanic, and was highly appropriate for a Halloween-themed convention. It is a great time to be a Star Wars fan, and there were several gaming buddies I spoke with afterwards about creating a steady game at our Friendly Local Gaming Store, the Wyvern’s Tale. With this in mind, it’s time to detail my plans on creating a round-robin GM, drop-in/drop-out campaign for Star Wars Edge of the Empire.

In previous articles, I detailed my inspiration from the non-RPG book The Bounty Hunter Code which I would recommend picking up, at very least until Fantasy Flight releases a proper Bounty Hunter sourcebook (They must be saving the best for last). We also went over building a bounty hunter guild office as a “home-base” for the campaign. In this installment, we will explore building an adventure that can be completed in a nice 3-4 hour block.

Some interesting twists when it comes to bounty hunter missions: most pay more if the target is captured, rather than killed. Also, bounty hunters live by a code (on paper, anyway).

1) People don’t have bounties, only acquisitions have bounties.

2) Capture by design, kill by necessity

3) No hunter shall slay another hunter

4) No hunter shall interfere with another’s hunt

5) In the hunt, one captures OR kills, never both

6) No hunter shall refuse aid to another hunter

Screen shot 2015-11-07 at 10.30.06 AMIf you have designed an adventure or two, your head is already spinning with the possible plot hooks in just the bounty hunter code. Entire missions could be crafted around any one of these. The book goes in to a lot more detail about each one, and includes little footnotes from prominent hunters like Boba Fett, Greedo, Bossk and Dengar.

As bounty hunters are law-enforcement officers of the Empire, it would be common to target members of the Rebel Alliance, and less common for bounties to be issued for Imperials. Beyond that, there are plenty of possible acquisitions that fall in between, such as corporate bounties, private bounties, members of the Black Sun, and Hutt Kajidics.

For this article, I’ll detail the main plot points for a fairly straight-ahead bounty with a twist. I would suggest starting small, but allowing for some player-agency on how easy/difficult the mission is based on their choices. While the guild benefits the hunters with steady work, dues must be paid, and specialty equipment rented. It is best to include a variety of encounters, or at least allow encounters to be completed in a variety of ways between space/personal combat, social encounters, and investigation/knowledge skills. For your NPCs you’ll also want a nice mix of lots of minions, a few rivals, and usually one nemesis, who in most cases would be the acquisition. Beyond adversaries, also consider encounter locations, and try to make them memorable as well as potentially hazardous which allows for setback dice and creative narrative use of the setting by the PCs.

imageFor this mission, the PCs will travel to Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler’s Moon. Nestled in the heart of Hutt Space, it is a haven for the lawless, and those wishing to evade the Empire. Lords of Nal Hutta has a detailed run down of this particular location, but a brief entry can be found in the Galaxy chapter of the core Edge of the Empire book. I would encourage providing the hunters with a few potential leads, and let them explore in any order they wish. If you like, you can reserve the acquisition for the last scene (regardless of location) or have the target in a set location, and introduce some complications for egress once the team has captured (or killed) their quarry. The following scenes could be completed in any order, and Keth *could* appear in any of the locations.

For GMs, I highly recommend picking up the new adversary decks, which makes picking and tracking potential baddies very easy. I will be referring to them heavily throughout this example.

Acquisition: Keth Corcer

Crime: Arms smuggling and industrial espionage

Bounty: 5,000 credits alive, 2,000 credits dead, 500 credits for each intact prototype rifle returned

Employer: Blastech Arms

Optional Equipment Rental:Blastech LBR-9 Stun Rifle 700 credits (2800 if damaged/lost), Starhawk speeder bikes with sidecars (Fly Casual) 250 credits (2,500 if damaged/lost)

Dossier: Keth Corcer has been running shipments of weapons all over Hutt Space for years, but recently, he and his crew were able to capture a shipment of prototype E-11S extreme range rifles that were being delivered to a factory to ramp up production. He operates with impunity in the den of galactic scum that is Nar Shaddaa. Recent intelligence from trusted Infochants indicate he has been spotted at the Orange Lady in New Vertica, and is believed to operate out of the warehouse district there. (Use Rebel Cell Leader stats and picture)

swc10_6945_thefalsereport_cristibalanescuScene I (Orange Lady): This is your typical dive bar. Nearly unlit, except for the neon signs advertising cheap inebriants. The bartender is a muscular Aqualish known as Hopper who may provide some information, for a price. 300 credits will get the team the ID of the warehouse Keth normally operates from (Excellent Charm/Negotiation rolls may modify this). Coercion for this infomation only raises the hackles of the bartender and the security guards (use hired thug stats). If this is the last place they check, Keth may be here with a few members of his gang (2 swoop gangers, and 3 minion street toughs). Otherwise, the party may be able to locate black marketeer, a one-eyed Klatoonian named Horus, if they start asking after long range rifles. The black marketeer will charge a similar price as the bartender for information leading to the rifles or Keth. (If negotiations go sour use Black Marketeer stats, with a similar crew as Keth above).

Scene II (Warehouse 33 Xesh): The warehouse is about the size of a large starship hanger. There are piles of crates, and a few hoverlifters for moving cargo. There are two loading bays on the west wall, large enough to accomodate heavy speeder trucks. There is a man-sized door in between the two garage-like bay doors, and there is a fire exit on the south side of the warehouse. There are very few windows that haven’t been blacked out or boarded over. There is dim light inside in the middle of the day, and only the scant glow of irregular streetlights filtering inside if approached at night (one setback die on sight perception checks during the day, three at night). If Keth is here, I would suggest providing the PCs one long range shot him, with appropriate stealth rolls (ideally with the stun rifle). Otherwise, the black marketeer will be here with the gang, and will be less likely to negotiate, and on their guard, unless a very clever negotiation/charm strategy is used by the players. (Use stats from Black Marketeer, swoop ganger, and street toughs.)

Scene III (Chase or Imperial Entanglements): Ideally, after the first round or two once the party has found Keth, he should try and make an escape to a waiting speeder truck (Trast A-A5 from Edge core book). From here, he can take shots at the party with his prized E-11S from any range (likely trying to disable/damage the PC swoops/speeder). When the PCs get close enough, any surviving gang members who jumped on the truck can take shots as well. It may take a round or two for PCs to either get to their swoops (if they chose to rent them, see Fly Casual) or force-ably procure transportation from the locals (use X-34 from Edge core rules). This may set up an awesome chase sequence through the “streets” of Nar Shaddaa, which will likely attract the attention of local Hutt security forces (use Corporate Sector Authority security police).

If the PCs roll really well in one of the previous scenes when they first meet Keth and are able to capture him in either the warehouse or the Orange Lady, I would encourage the GM to include an Imperial encounter. In either scene, just as the PCs are gathering their acquisition have an ISB officer arrive, accompanied by half a dozen scout troopers. (Use Imperial Intelligence Agent, and Scout Trooper.) She will be furious that the bumbling bounty hunters have ruined her month-long operation on Keth, and demand he and his contraband be turned over to her. Convincing her otherwise will take a pretty awesome series of charm checks, and probably a good ploy from the players. Maybe an arrangement can be struck, if she “let’s this one slide” the hunters would owe her a favor. Being in the ISB’s pocket is a dangerous place indeed! Triumph would mean she let’s the party go, but will warn them to tread lightly. Success means she will require a favor from the hunters. Failure means she will require something much more (5 point obligation to the ISB). Despair means she will not allow them to leave with Keth or the rifle (which may result in combat and further implications for the party’s hunting license).

Hope you all had fun reading this one, and can use it as a guide to start your own public play bounty hunter’s lodge at your Friendly Local Gaming store. Good hunting!

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