The Gem Diving Incident Judge Report

It started with Marcus Pennik some time ago gathering individuals and doing a lot of research into Gem Diving, which is scooping raw Corusca gems from compatible gas giant planets. With the initial phase of the operation complete and the team assembled they loaded up into 3 ships and headed to Yavin IV. There were 3 people aboard Josh Rimworld’s Skipray Blastboat, 5 aboard Mord Orlan’s “Century Eagle” and 6 aboard Lyta “Crash and Burn” Miris’ Spark Mk. I.

The start was smooth with all 3 ships on open comms for improved communication between vessels. With a couple of side jumps out of the way the group drops out of hyperspace as far out on the rim of the Yavin system as possible. They creep in passing one planet after another making sure their sensors from all 3 ships don’t miss anything. Finally as they approach the sixth planet their scans encompass Yavin IV and to their dismay two Stardestroyers sitting in orbit of Yavin IV’s moon with one on either side.

Unsure of what is going on the group decides to play it safe and smart and back out of the system slowly. They end up waiting two days hoping that whatever attracted the two Stardestroyers has subsided.

Well after the two days they once again creep into the system and sure enough when they scan the moon of Yavin IV they now see the two Stardestroyers with some additional help; 2 Lancer Frigates, 2 Imperial Custums Corvettes and TIE fighters on patrol everywhere. Once again they head out of the system to talk. But instead of trying to wait out the Imperial fleet, they opt to do a precision hyperspace jump coming in at the gas giant directly opposite the moon and the Imperial fleet.

They decided to send in one ship at a time for 1 ½ hours of Gem gathering and then the next ship would switch off. The first ship to go was Lyta’s Spark Mk. I. They jumped in without a problem and began their Gem Diving operation. Playing it smart they did quickly set up an escape vector with jump coordinates, but it would take them 5 rounds heading straight out from the gas giant before they could plot their jump, due to the overwhelming gravitational forces of the gas giant. It took them a little while to attune their sensors properly for the task at hand, but they were finding small pockets of gems and gathering them up with maintenance bots specifically modified for the high pressures with the gas giant’s atmosphere.

At this time the group got a cutaway of the Imperials along with a Dark Jedi and Dark adept scouring the ruins of temple searching for something. The cutaway ended with the Dark Jedi’s statement, “We will continue to search all the way to the planets core if need be. I will not return to the Emperor empty handed!”

Well after 2 ½ hours the other two ship’s crews began to worry (once they split up I knew there would be communication break downs) and decided to both come in and see what the situation was. They jumped in without incident and learned that the other ship was doing so well they decided to stay. So throwing caution to the wind, the group decided to just have all 3 ships stay. The Spark Mk. I and the “Century Eagle” both went to Gem Diving now with bots from both ships. With both of these ships sensors focused down into the gas giant it was lucky they had Josh’s Skipray Blastboat flying cover with sensor sweeps, because sure enough the Imperial fleet got some errant blip on their sensors they could not explain (Judge’s note: the entire Imperial fleet was staying on active scans and depending on the situation needed anywhere from as low as 20 to as high as 50 to detect the group. They failed miserably whenever the number went below 30, but after enough rerolls – I gave them a reroll every time the group did another scan – they finally broke a 50 on one super lucky roll.).

So the Dark Jedi, Kamino Forscan, from the moons surface, directed one of the Lancers and one squadron of TIE’s to check out the anomaly. And he decided to return to his corvette and would check some things with the Force. Just before the Lancer and the squadron of TIE’s rounded the gas giant, Kamino, now aboard his hunter corvette, stretched out with a Sense Force. To his surprise he detected 4 individuals who were at least Force Sensitive. He could tell that two were together on one ship while the other two were on separate ships. At learning this he commanded his pilot to full speed around the other side of the gas giant in the hope that the Lancer might chase them right into his grasp.

This is when everything hit the fan. The Skipray blastboat detected the incoming Lancer and TIE’s already at attack speed on an intercept course. Josh sounds the alert and all three ships start their outward run. With the Spark Mk. I being the slowest, the blastboat took lead and the “Century Eagle” fell back to cover the Spark Mk. I. After 2 rounds the TIE’s start pounding the “Century Eagle” with combined fire. The crew begins returning fire with Marcus spraying into the formation to break them up. Initially this has limited success, but after a couple of the TIE’s get picked off, the formation does start to break up. But they got in a few combined shots that caused a little bit of damage to the “Century Eagle”.

By round 4 the Corvette comes into view to see that their prey is close to escaping. {As the judge’s conference to decide what a Dark Jedi would do in this situation, Matthew Lenzen comes up with a perfect delay.} Appearing before Josh Rimworld in the lead ship a Stardestroyer drops out of hyperspace right in his path, in fact, right where they want to jump from. Josh panics and takes evasive action with the Skipray. Lyta, who doesn’t see anything because Kamino only did Affect Mind on Josh, on the Spark Mk. I figures Josh evaded for some purpose and also evades. Mord, not to blindly follow anyone, takes the “Eagle” into a dive. Well the delay worked, but the group finally convinces Josh he is seeing things. Kamino attempts another Sense Force to find the strongest Force User amongst the group and fails. So remembering their were two together on the one ship he spends a Force point and tries to do a Force Travel to Mord’s ship and fails this too. It looked like the good guys were going to get away barely.

Josh’s Skipray Blastboat makes it to the exit vector and jumps to hyperspace. Mord’s “Century Eagle” makes it to the exit vector and Mord decides to wait for Lyta to catch up (remember she is in the slowest ship) before jumping. This gives Kamino another round in which he spends another Force point and makes his Force Travel to Mord’s ship. And then Lyta’s Spark Mk. I makes it to the exit vector and she jumps to hyperspace. As Mord reaches for the hyperspace lever, he is grabbed from behind by Kamino Forscan and dragged out of the pilot’s chair (dramatic effect of enraged Dark Jedi on a Force point).

Now is when it gets ugly. Kamino drags Mord into the lounge area and calls the rest of the crew to the lounge “or else”, but he only knows there are two others on the ship. Both Marcus and Jenden try the hide from the Dark Jedi tactic and succeed. Jenden slips into the cockpit and engages the hyperdrives. This obviously alerts Kamino that he missed someone and calls for that person to come to the lounge, which Jenden does at this point. Kamino launches into an interrogation of those present – “Where is the Mask? What have you done with it?” and so on. The players have no idea what he is talking about and this just starts making him even angrier. During this time Marcus is sneaking out of the gunwell and slips up behind Kamino to do a “Silent Strike” maneuver to knock him out. Unfortunately for Marcus, Kamino with Danger Sense up detects Marcus’ approach. And just as Marcus is about to strike, Kamino spins on him grabbing Marcus’ head (for dramatic effect) and attempts Inflict Pain (which he fails – so much for the dramatic effect). On the next round he gets off the Inflict Pain on Marcus.

At this point the ship comes out of hyperspace and the other two ships realize something is wrong. While onboard the ship, Aldonza (Julie) shoots Kamino and hits causing him a Wound (his Strength sucks even with a Force point). Kamino starts getting mad and begins throwing around Bolts of Hatred. Some connected with their targets, some missed and Aldonza bravely intercepted a couple going at Jenden.

Now as the fight is heating up Scott Rowe points out to me that he has an anti-intruder system setup in the lounge area in the form of overlapping stun grenades. But just as he is about to hit Kamino with these multiple stun blasts, which he couldn’t possibly resist all of them, the Skipray Blastboat helps out by shooting the “Century Eagle” with an ion blast. This unfortunately disabled the ships power including the trigger for the anti-intruder system.

Things started looking hopeless about this point. Even Kamino was worried due to already being Wounded and alone against 5 of the most obstinate Rebels that there are. {At this point, as Kamino, he has limited options to get out of here. He has to flee and return to the Emperor empty handed – Not a good idea. Or he has to capture one the entire group and make it back to the fleet.} Kamino opts to do a Force point and Dark Side point and puts up Lightsaber Combat. The plan was to hit each of the 5 with a maim instead of kill. Kamino would actually stabilize the players and then either using the comms or the Force call for the fleet from Yavin IV. Getting desperate Mord Orlan, over the open comms, asks the other two ships to fire on the “Century Eagle” to destroy them and prevent the escape of Kamino. {You should have seen the shocked looks on Matthew’s face and mine.}

{At this point thanks to other GM intervention I remembered to warn all those that would be shooting at the “Century Eagle” that there are 4 other “innocent” PC’s that have not asked to become martyrs at this point. If you kill them, you get one Dark Side point for each. I was hoping this would lead to some other solution. Perhaps one of the five PC’s surrendering to Kamino with “I will give you what you want just let the others live”, etc. Kamino would have Force Traveled away with the one PC and then would need to be rescued at a later date. Heck there were 4-13 other people present who I am sure would have been a part of the rescue. Or all 5 could have surrendered and that would have led to an even bigger rescue plan. Afterwards I was told the PC’s didn’t think the surrender would work because Kamino threatened to turn the Force users and kill the others. But if he wanted them dead, he wouldn’t have been interrogating them for so long. Again the dramatic license of idle threats (bad guys never threaten to throw you into jail – that is too boring) may have led the PC’s down a treacherous path. Anyway the rest of the players started getting mad at me for trying to prevent them from killing the other PC’s. Most claimed that killing another PC shouldn’t get you a Dark Side point. If turning PC’s in for bounties gets you Dark Side points, killing them sure will. So I opted to allow the group to decide in character over the open comms to tell the other ships to shoot or not. And again shocked by the outcome all four of the others in turn asked to be shot.}

The other two ships opened up on the “Century Eagle” blowing it to pieces. Unfortunately for Kamino, Force Travel takes two actions to use and so would not be fast enough to get him out of the explosion.

The net effect is that 5 PC’s died and with the death of Kamino the Force Encounter numbers were raised by 5 for the last two slots on Sunday. Now I how to come up with the name of Kamino’s replacement for the next con where the Force Encounter numbers return to 25 and 35. And as Matthew Lenzen has said several times, “I didn’t see that one coming.” Upon examining Kamino’s actions, I believe we ran him just as he should have been. And quite honestly as much as Kamino was failing rolls, the 5 PC’s could have tore him up if they worked together instead of little pot shots here and there. Being Wounded already and with the number of actions keeping him busy, his rolls were pretty low. All in all the entire group walked into the middle of mess that they had no idea about and paid the price.

Stephen Tucker
Unfortunate Witness to Five Martyrs

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