...but mostly it was the best of times.
My sparse posting of late has been due to a memorable 'long-weekend' vacation and visit from several of my old college buddies. I say 'memorable', because I've never had a weekend quite like this. We had an awesome time hanging out, playing rock band, eating out and (of course) playing Star Wars. My local friends Sharon and Philip joined in and I had an absolute blast.
And then on the other hand...
My air-conditioner went out. In Florida, in August, this is a problem. A big problem. An expensive problem, as it turned out. And on the same night THAT happened, I began to experience a tooth-ache. This is a pain I have never really encountered before. It is excruciating in a way I had never imagined. Between painkillers and several emergency dentist visits I got the pain under control- but the situation is still not solved (still waiting for the rest of my root canal).
So, yeah... as awesome of a time as I had, I can only lament the fact that it could have been so much more fun without the bad luck on my part. I'm just glad that my friends are understanding and I hope I didn't ruin their vacation too much with my misfortune. Truth be told, they were very supportive, which helped make what could have been a really terrible situation manageable.
As far as our Star Wars game went, we had a great time. The adventure was set one year after our last (run during January of this year). Here we had the Republic finally at peace- and looking to help keep the Empire from falling into the chaos of civil war (since Pellaeon was on his death bed).
The adventure began with the characters accompanying Chancellor Leia Organa-Solo to a 'summit' on the planet Bastion within the Empire (aka the 'Imperial Remnant'). The adventuring group consisted of (in alphabetical order):
Adrienne Olin: Jedi and New Republic Intelligence Agent (played by Sharon)
Arianne Volar: Jedi and Admiral in charge of New Republic Naval Intelligence (played by Steve)
Horatio S. Flynn: Former Pirate, Current Emperor of the Nagai, Hero of the Battle of Korriban, etc., etc., etc. (played by Todd)
Rick Oman (aka Mandalore): Former mercenary turned leader of the Mandalorian people (played by the other Steve)
Shagg: Youthful Wookiee Jedi and protege of Adren (played by Philip)
At the party, they rubbed shoulders with various Imperial personages. Arianne exchanged barbed insults with Admiral Daala. Adrienne hung out with Han Solo at the punch bowl and talked 'shop' with all the various Imperial pilots eager to meet Solo (a living legend). Horatio decided to hang out with the caterers, smoking, sneaking drinks and food and commenting on how awesome his life was. Yes, much fun was had by all. That is, until word arrived that Baron Fel (the chosen successor of Admiral Pellaeon) had disappeared while on patrol of the border with the New Republic. Leia and the NR delegation beat a hasty retreat as the Empire gears up for civil war- with Daala on one side (rumored to be backed by Sith) and officers loyal to Pellaeon on the other.
Leia asks 'our heroes' to investigate Fel's disappearance- both to clear the NR of any wrongdoing and to (if possible) recover the Baron before war breaks out again. Investigating the wreckage of Fel's flagship, the group rapidly determines that foul play is involved (much to nobody's surprise). A few leads later and the group finds themselves headed to a prison tower on the former (but now mostly abandoned and ruined) world of Byss, deep in the Galactic core.
What follows from there is an infiltration of the prison tower (actually based upon the 'Stars End' facility from the Han Solo/Corporate Sector novels). This turned out to be one of the most interesting adventures we've had in a while- and a bit odd, as well. The group actually PLANNED quite a bit of it, including an exit route. This is not something my group was known for. In my long-running campaign, my group's tactics could really be considered 'cowboy' at best- run in, shoot things up, run out again. But here, Mandalore (played by the other Steve), came up with a pretty good outline for a plan- and along the way, the other players executed it really well- improvising when they had to.
There was VERY little actual combat throughout the whole thing- which was VERY wise on the part of my players, considering the odds they would be facing.
Also unique is the fact that the players didn't actually CONFRONT either of the 'main villains' in the piece- at least not directly. Lady Lumiya, the Sith in charge of the Prison, was a constant background threat, but the players were INCREDIBLY careful about NOT using Force powers in order to not draw her attention. And so they never DID encounter her. Admiral Daala actually arrived at the prison during the middle of this all- but amusingly enough, the closest she came to encountering the players was inhabiting a toilet stall next to one of them (Adrienne)- who had actually gone into the bathroom to AVOID the encounter. Of course, there was the obligatory passing of the TP beneath the stall, but other than that? No contact!
I really, really wish I had taped that last evening's Roleplay, because there really were some awesome moments- and a lot of funny moments in and out of character. Horatio really hammed it up while disguised as an Imperial Doctor, playing the 'arrogant prick' angle to the hilt. Adrienne made a giggle-worthy comment about "Finding Nemo" when the group unwittingly stumbled upon Admiral Ackbar being held prisoner. Arianne played up the whole 'in-joke' of her always bringing Ackbar his coffee. And... crap, see! I'm already forgetting all the other awesome moments! If any of my buds are reading this, please feel free to add in anything I missed...which is a lot.
In the end, the group managed to escape with Fel AND Ackbar (who had disappeared- presumed dead- about a year prior). Again, it was an awful lot of fun. Makes me look forward to the next time we get to play.
Lets just hope the next time avoids failing Air Conditioners and ailing teeth.