Saturday, 25 November 2017

Survival horror in the Star Wars universe

Episode I faces off against Episode VII?
Due to work commitments I've not been able to get any regular gaming done over the last couple of months. It is the penalty of trying to build your own business empire that the usual nine to five work metrics go straight out of the window, and most of your creative energy ends up being poured into work. At that point, you tend to want to become the beneficiary of the creative energies of others when it comes to gaming.

I've been getting my roleplaying when and where I can, usually parachuting in as and when the rare opportunity presents itself. I've consequently ended up playing a bit of D6 Star Wars recently. But it's been a funny old game, and not something you'd expect from Star Wars; then again, you makes of it what you will. And that's not to say that it's not been fun, because it has.

Survival horror? In Star Wars?

Why survival horror? In this case it seems the characters have all stumbled onto an Imperial black research project in the Astaroth system. It is two years since the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star and the rebels are now on the run from the Empire. The bulk of the plot has been driven by an urgent need to stay alive and escape from a perilous situation.

I'm playing Gendar, a cyborg pirate who was working under the now false assumption that the rest of his crew, and their pirate vessel the Amber Scar, had been captured (more of that in a future post). Gendar was making a run for it, to Tatooine, when his ship collided with an asteroid field that was not meant to be there.

In this case it was the remains of an Imperial research facility in orbit around the planet Astaroth. It had just recently been destroyed by, as someone senior tried to cover their tracks. Gendar and some other random arrivals, including a Force sensitive Ithklur called KwiKwae, a Mandalorean mercenary called Dell Nova and a fugitive Imperial librarian from Coruscant called Wilhelmina, had to explore the ruined base in an effort to locate transport, supplies and oxygen without becoming totally irradiated. In the process we picked up a survivor, an Imperial scientist called Klarin Estovar, and discovered that the facility was infested with nanites that were able to operate as semi-intelligent swarms in zero-G and homed in on power sources.

I've not been able to play on a regular basis, but suffice to say, the plot has moved on, with an Imperial shuttle being used to transport the group to the planet's surface, where they have located a crashed Old Republic cruiser, itself also infested with nanites.

The Poseidon spaaace!

The game has taken a turn to classic survival horror, with the characters searching the ship level by level, hunted by various nanotech creations, including the animated bodies of dead crew, risen from cryogenic pods. In terms of feel, it is a mash up between The Poseidon Adventure and Aliens.
Estovar with her little nanite buddies

We've now discovered this ship has been down here on Astaroth for over 60 years, from before the time of the Clone Wars. Estovar is the progenitor of some kind of forbidden technology project that she has been working on with another scientist, Doctor Severin (now dead in a fight that I missed).

Estovar betrayed the group and was killed in a fight with the characters - actually knifed in the guts by Gendar. I say killed - she was saved by the damned ethical Ithklur and the timely application of bacta tanks (and is now in a coma). Plus apparently Estovar may know something about Dell Nova's missing wife. Heck, Gendar just wants to get out of here alive. It's survival horror right? Coming out in one piece is the primary objective.

Next up: escaping from the ruined ship before its reactors went critical, with a Jedi, yes a Jedi hermit, determined to keep us from getting off the planet because she was afraid we were infected with nanites. She has been on Astaroth since the cruiser belly-landed here, working to stop Estovar from exporting her evil creations to the rest of the galaxy.

Luckily Helena Volt, the said Jedi, has been persuaded - with some difficulty - that the group is actually trustworthy enough to be allowed off-planet. This was negotiated because Volt wanted off Astaroth and we had a shuttle. She can't fly.

Things have moved on a little since the departure from Astaroth, and it remains to be seen whether the survival horror nature of the game will change, now we're away. We shall have to see. It's been fun so far. Finally, here's a bit of Cthuloid survival antics courtesy of The Force Awakens:


  1. I am jealous that you're playing Star Wars d6. I have fond memories of that game.

    1. Not an awful lot of it. Seems quite simple apart from the Force powers which are a bit fiddly. I might play some more while in Croatia.

    2. Yes, I think the big flaw has always been the way the Force is handled.