This is one of my favorite RP moments, hands down. Credit for the idea goes to Rick Oman's player, Steve 2, but credit for execution of the plan goes to the entire group—especially Harry Hugganut. The real irony here is that what is perhaps the best con that the party ever pulled off was dreamed up by the guy who had the maybe the worst con skill in the group.
The mission was to capture an Imperial Moff. The group managed to infiltrate the Imperial base without too much trouble, but getting near the Moff was going to be tricky. Fortunately, they learned he was planning a trip that day. His shuttle was determined to be the target. Oman had, prior to this, rigged up a simple device that looked like a hand scanner. It had all sorts of lights and controls and alarm indicators—most of which were controlled by simple pressure on the device's handle. Essentially, when you pulled the trigger, the device made noises and lights—ominous noises and ominous lights.
After 'acquiring' some Imperial tech uniforms and hazardous material suits and gear (including several large containers and push-carts), the team proceeded with its scanning of the Imperial landing pads- including (surprise surprise) the Moff's personal shuttle. Utilizing their (fake) 'Omega Particle Detector', and some awesome con rolls from Hugganut, the party was able to convince the increasingly nervous guards that the whole area was contaminated and had to be 'treated' now before it grew to dangerous levels. The real kicker (as I recall) was something like "Do YOU want to take responsibility for the Moff's personal shuttle being contaminated!?" I remember laughing as the whole party began to chime in, calling out as they discovered pockets of 'contamination' here and there. Needless to say, the guards let the party do their thing.
Once aboard the shuttle, the party quickly 'subdued' the two pilots. Oman and Hugganut changed into their uniforms while the unconscious imperials were drugged and changed into the haz-mat suits (which had full-face covering, of course). And so, the decontamination team re-emerged—mission accomplished—only two of their number had been overcome due to prolonged exposure. This was (in retrospect) the weakest part of the deception. Afterall, the guards COULD have just switched the Moff to another shuttle. But a few good con rolls (made by Arianne, I believe) assured the guards that the shuttle itself was now safe and Omega particle free. Whew.
All that was left to do was to wait for the Moff to arrive. While the rest of the party quietly escaped the base, Oman and Hugganut posed as pilot and co-pilot. The Moff boarded (unfortunately with his bodyguard squad), the shuttle lifted off and made its hyperspace jump (to a rebel rendezvous). One raging, point-blank gunfight later, Oman and Hugganut captured the Moff—though they destroyed the shuttle in the process. Thankfully for them, the good ship 'Deus Ex Machina' arrived to find the shuttle and rescue the rebels and their captive. Mission accomplished.
As a post-script to this adventure—In the wake of the capture of the Imperial Moff (Parlan as I recall) a flash memo went out from Imperial High Command to the entire military—"Re: Omega Particles: THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS OMEGA PARTICLES! Anyone claiming to be scanning for them is to be detained or killed on sight!"
THE ART OF THE DEAL
Continuing in the trend of Con's being pulled off by people with crappy Con skills, Bob the Tusken came up with this one...The Party was sent by New Republic Intelligence to participate in an underground auction for some cutting edge technology. The auction was being held by a crime boss who had 'acquired' the technology. The setting was a starliner flying through 'neutral' space. Representatives from the Empire and several criminal factions were on hand as well. Of course, this combination of hostile parties all in one place led to all kinds of mayhem and treachery. Ultimately, the party gained control of the prototype shield belt (a personal shielding technology) and its schematics. Unfortunately, the belt had been destroyed in the process of acquiring it. It was then that Bob the Tusken showed a very devious side to his usually 'noble-barbarian' thought process.
The Imperial negotiators, though thwarted in their own attempt to steal the shield belt, were still onboard—and still had their money—several million credits worth. Bob's idea was simple: con the Imperials into buying the destroyed shield belt. First of all, the party pulled several key components out of the belt—just to make sure that even if the empire DID reverse-engineer the belt, they'd be missing key information. Secondly, they approached the Imperials with the deal. Though wary, the Imperials agreed to meet.
The most crucial part of the plan was going to be the 'test' of the belt that the Imperial were sure to demand. And so it was that Bob the Tusken (disguised as an Anomid, I believe) donned the belt and when the Imperials demanded a test, their leader was allowed to shoot bob with his blaster. While the rest of the team (again with Harry in the lead) provided the con rolls, Bob provided the ultimate 'proof' that he belt was functional. Utilizing the Force ability 'Absorb/Dissipate Energy', Bob was able to hold off several blasts (as I recall, he used a force point or two to help him do so). The Empire was impressed- and convinced. They handed over the money and took the belt. They really had no other options as the 'muscle' of their group had mostly been taken out during their earlier attempt to take the belt.
The party beat a hasty retreat- even as the lead imperial donned the belt to test it on himself. Moments later, screaming in pain from the blaster-wound he'd just sustained, the Imperial sent his men after the party. But it was already too late. They'd vamoosed with the credits. Millions of them.
The party returned to the Republic not only with the schematics, but with all the money they'd been given to negotiate with—plus all the money they'd swindled out of the Empire. Needless to say, their superiors were impressed. So impressed that they gave the party a percentage 'finders fee' (though, as I recall, Hugganut had already taken a small 'fee' prior to handing the credits over). This amounted to hundreds of thousands of credits per person. Thankfully, my players being who they are, they didn't spend it all on super-weapons or armor. No. Hugganut and Oman went in together to buy a luxury yacht. Bob? I.. honestly don't remember what he did with his money. Probably something selfless, as he is totally not into worldly goods.
Some might say that Bob's plan was a bit morally ambiguous—but honestly, that character's motivations were pure. He wanted to help the Republic and hinder the Empire. He accomplished both.
ADREN VS. BOBA FETT
Though not a 'caper' like the previous entries, this RP moment still makes me giggle (in a very game-mastery way). It happened during Adren's online RP with me (since she wasn't part of the original Vermillion gang). Adren had run-ins with various feature characters and tough guys before (usually in social settings) but her first real combat with one was when Boba Fett tried to bring her in for her bounty. Yes. THE Boba Fett. By this time, far past Endor, Adren was pretty bad ass (as all the Jedi in the game were getting). Going into it, I was a bit nervous about how Boba would fare, one-on-one against a Jedi. I stacked the deck a bit by thinking through a few anti-Jedi tactics—basically a lot of area-effect type stuff (flamethrowers, grenades, nets, etc.)
Fett finally caught up to Adren in a big inner-city garden-park type area. What ensued was a truly titanic duel—and surprisingly enough to me, a rather one-sided duel at that. Fett pummeled Adren from one side of the park to the other. Though I give a lot of credit to my own tactics, please also note that Adren really doesn't like killing people—especially people who weren't trying to kill her. Thus, her primary concern was escape rather than attack—and Fett took advantage of that.
Ultimately, the duel found its way into the machinery room of a nearby building. There, in exhaustion, Adren used her Telekinesis not against the elusive Fett, but rather against a gigantic air-conditioning unit on the ceiling. She tore it down on top of him. The resulting deluge of machinery buried the hunter, allowing the exhausted Jedi to limp away. Yeah. She probably could have dug through the wreckage to find Fett and kill him while he was incapacitated—but that just isn't in Adren's nature. Again, I have to give a lot of props to my players. They really seem to 'get it' in situations like that. A dead enemy may be the more pragmatic approach, but it's certainly better for the drama of the story to let 'em live to plague you another day. Plus? Well, Adren's player didn't mind her character getting beat up if it was a cool story.
ARIANNE VS. A1
A1-TO was a surveillance drone owned by Harry Hugganut—and often voiced by his player, Rick. When he was voiced, it was always very much akin to 'Johnny-5' from the Short Circuit movies. "NO DISASSEMBLE!" was something A1 always screamed as he ran away from combat. As a joke, Harry programmed A1 to always refer to Arianne as one rank lower than her actual rank—whatever that may be at the time. That was funny. But what was hilarious was Rick's unerring ability to always remember this joke every time A1 responded to Arianne. It would usually go something like this:
A1: Yes, Major!
Arianne: That's Colonel!
A1: Yes, Major!
Arianne: Hugganut, get yer damn droid fixed!
Yes, sophomoric humor, but man, it still makes me giggle.
I have a lot more of these stories, but I'll continue them in another post. For now? Enjoy.