This series follows the trials, tribulations, successes, and failures of a fairly inexperienced GM who has recently picked up the hobby after a long time away. It aims to assist new GM’s by examining what worked, didn’t work, and what failed miserably as he spins up new campaigns, modules, encounters, and adventures for his friends and family in Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion/Force and Destiny system.
A couple weeks back a reader reached out to me and asked if I would cover a specific topic in an upcoming column. Ronny Kilén asked:
If it was possible I would like to see a run through of how to run a imperial blockade, preferably a few examples of different scenarios. From Minor blockades to major ones.
Blockades make for pretty fantastic games, adventures, and encounters. They have a large bit of strategy and tactics along with narrative flair, and let’s be honest, they just feel like Star Wars. Sadly, as I think about it, I have yet to run a blockade situation in any of my campaigns. That sparked a great idea in my head to put together several different adventure seeds and scenarios with which people could pick up, customize for their games, and drop in their campaigns. So, without further ado, here are a few ideas I’ve come up with. These are generic enough to work within your own game. See what you think:
The Malastare Missile Crisis
The Empire, led by a powerful admiral, has begun to seize a Rebel weapons facility once hidden on the surface of Malastare. Once discovered by the Empire, the Imperials blockaded the planet and began to take control of the factory, ensuring that none of the weapons could get off the planet. The Rebellion desperately needs the weapons already produced by the factory and within several warehouses on site. Several Star Destroyers and cruisers circle the planet with multiple fighter wings ready in case someone tries to run the blockade.
Adventure Idea #1
The PC’s and their party must run the blockade and get to the surface… recover the weapons… and get them off-world. The PC’s can attempt a stealthy approach and try to get past undetected, perhaps with a stealthy ship, the cover of asteroids, or a diversion elsewhere along the blockade. The trick is a big enough ship to get the weapons off must break through, or one on the surface stolen once they arrive.
Adventure Idea #2
Your PC group is actually on Malastare when the blockade occurs and they are stuck on the surface with no immediate way off the planet. The team must charter, steal, or buy a freighter to get the weapons off-world. Next, they must intercept the weapons before they are loaded onto an Imperial cargo vessel. Once acquired, the team needs to get past the blockade and into hyperspace somehow before being disabled or destroyed.
Adventure Idea #3
Your group is part of a special forces insertion team. Rather than being the main force to run the blockade and retrieve the weapons, the PC’s job is to infiltrate a single Star Destroyer and attempt to disable it from the inside, creating a gap in the blockade that can be breached. The group then needs to get out or eject an escape pod to the surface to get out with the main force.
Locked in a City
The GM should choose a large city that is normally loyal to the Empire. Current political climates and pressure from the people have caused a rift between the city and the Imperials. As a result, the Empire has blockaded the city, halting all trade and travel in and out, or severely hampering it. (Think East and West Berlin.) A large military force and fencing surround the city while the people living inside are cut off from business, travel, and loved ones. Some trapped outside, others inside. Hover tanks, AT-STs, AT-ATs, and plenty of Stormtroopers line the city limits.
Adventure Idea #1
On the planet is a hospital with several critically ill patients. Due to the blockade, badly needed medical supplies and medicine have not been delivered for weeks. As a result about a dozen patients are in critical condition, including one of the PC’s relatives. The PCs need to get the patients somehow smuggled out of the city to another medical facility off-world or somewhere else far from the city. Perhaps a medical location has been set up waiting for the patients’ arrival.
Adventure Idea #2
You could reverse the idea above and have the PCs be a unit that needs to get the supplies delivered to the hospital. They’d need to get in so the Empire doesn’t know they’ve gotten through the blockade, so as not to retaliate against the hospital later on. The group would need to be snuck into the city or break past the blockade with force.
Adventure Idea #3
Create a Mass Combat scenario using the rules in Lead by Example from the Age of Rebellion line. Your job is to lead a Rebel force to forcibly remove the blockade and liberate the city. Your group may want assets from inside the city as well as Rebel help from the outside. Your group’s job is to eliminate the ground forces, eliminate the Imperial commander and force a surrender or wipe them out. They should also worry about the Empire calling for reinforcements.
Adventure Idea #4
On a smaller level, your PCs could simply need to smuggle their family/families out of the city. Perhaps they’ve been flagged by the Empire or the ISB for treason, and they are in hiding. The PCs’ job is to sneak them past the blockade to a Rebel transport ready to take them to a safe haven. Perhaps this is the adventure seed to join the Rebellion for your group.
Those are just a few adventure seeds based on a couple overall ideas. I would love to hear about reader ideas and such for a good blockade adventure. I really need to get one of these into my Age of Rebellion campaign very soon! Let me know your ideas and leave me comments about your blockade adventures!