Saturday, January 12, 2013

32 BBY: Invasion of Theed

The Invasion of Theed Adventure Game is something I’d love to run if I get my Star Wars RPG club up and running again.  Since I’ve moved schools I haven’t run the Star Wars RPG club, I’ve poured my energies elsewhere.  But maybe next fall I’ll run it for a semester and see what the response is like.  If I do, I’ll offer up this particular adventure game and see who is interested in playing a Phantom Menace campaign.  Even though this is a D20 system (a system I have yet to find compelling) this series made it seem easy to play.  At my last school I ran a Bounty Hunter campaign with the D6 sourcebook, No Disintegrations.  That was a heck of a lot of fun, and the students were totally into it.  It was a motley crew of pirates, smugglers, and hunters with unique backstories, each student developing their character’s own distinctive past.

Likewise, the principal characters in this series of adventures are equally compelling.  They are basically a crew of university students all studying at Theed’s Royal House of Learning. We meet again the Jedi Padawan Rann I-Kanu, the solider Garak, the scoundrel Arani Korden, and the Wookiee scout named Rorworr (The four main characters from the Smugglers of Naboo adventure).  Also entering Star Wars history again are Sia-Lan Wezz, also a Padawan, Deel Surool, Toba the Gungan scout, and Dane (a new character I have yet to come across I think), one of Amidala’s handmaidens in training.  Both Rann I-Kanu and Sia-Lan Wezz have been sent by their respective Masters Lo-Jad and Ali-Vor for further study and training.

Anyway, the Invasion of Theed Adventure Game ran through 5 quests, and interestingly, the last exploit did not culminate with the Queen’s arrival to capture the Viceroy – those events were contained in adventure 4.  I found the last adventure the most fun and interesting, mostly because it wasn’t a part of the regular narrative of The Phantom Menace.  In the last adventure the heroes are to either capture or drive off a dark renegade by the name of Savor Kibbs who is hiding in the wilds of Naboo.  Kibb’s is described as:

“…[a former Padawan] rejected by the Jedi Council but nevertheless possesses a powerful link to the Force…with a few dark side powers to call upon and a reconfigured destroyer droid in his arsenal” (24).
The three scenarios in adventure 5 running up to the encounter with Kibbs are deadly, and if playing through this entire adventure game and getting to the fifth quest I wouldn’t be surprised if some heroes do not make it.  The mostly deadly aspect of adventure 5 was scene 2 (even more deadly than the illusionary encounter with Darth Maul), where the heroes had to traverse over some quicksand.  First, to avoid the quicksand the heroes must make a saving throw of 15 (which is very difficult), and if they fall into the quicksand, their chances of escape grow increasingly difficult:

“Anyone in the quicksand must make a Will saving throw each round to avoid panic and keep from struggling.  The difficultly is 10 the first round, and it increases by 1 each round thereafter (11, then 12, then 13, and so on)” (27).
If they make it out of the quicksand alive, they move on to my favorite part of the entire adventure: the encounter in the Dark Grove.  In this encounter, the heroes must battle a mutated tangler equipped with shooting thorns and choking vines.  The reason I enjoyed this scene is because it reminds me a lot of the episode in The Fellowship of the Ring, where Frodo and crew are rescued by Tom Bombadil in the Old Forest.  Though the heroes in this adventure must save themselves, I find it interesting that such a forest exists on Naboo; the forest which brings to mind the “dangerous and mysterious forest” motif often found in literature, the forest that represents a place of emotional crisis and character development.     Once the heroes come out of this encounter, they may feel perhaps that nothing can stop them.

The Invasion of Theed Adventure Game was somewhat fun to read, but probably more entertaining and interesting if one were to play through it.  As with all the RPG sources I cover in this blog, if you have personally played this game, please, leave your story here in the comments below and tell me how it went.  I'm genuinely interested in hearing people's stories that have actually played through one of the RPG scenarios I’ve covered. 

For my next post I’m going to take a quick look at John Whitman’s The Phantom Menace, a small but surprisingly remarkable book, and then I’m going to look at two additional sources not cited in my post Handling 32 BBY: End Game, a new short story about Darth Maul found in the reprint of The Phantom Menace novel, and the short story Reputation, which takes place shortly after the invasion of Naboo.  Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment