Hi all! I'm working on the next session of my Star Wars: Force and Destiny game, which is this coming Saturday (Friday afternoon for you Americanians) and I'd like to ask for a little help with something cool (heh) to throw at them.
I introduced a massive ice cavern on an unknown ice planet full of skyscraper-sized stalactites/stalagmites that look as through they may actually be buildings. The players have taken to it like crazy and while I had other plans for this session, I want to go with what they love.
If it helps, I've done a summary of my PCs here; they're all still low-grade having only done three sessions so far. At the start of the session, one, the team's healer, is badly wounded; they're all aboard their ship, the Bin Chicken, just about to take off after having driven an Imperial captain and his contingent of stormtroopers off aboard the shuttle they arrived in.
I introduced a security bunker which allowed them to access and partly control a couple of squads of ice droids, which helped against the stormtroopers. To give them an excuse to to give them an excuse to stay, I think that some sort of tractor beam or other fancy gravity effect locks the Bin Chicken in place on the landing platform outside the cavern; she can't leave. (Why did it not lock the Imperial shuttle down too? Mysteries...) If the players return to the security bunker and check the console, they will be able to identify that the lockdown was commenced from some sort of master override from a main console further within the cavern and can't be overridden from where they are.
That's when they start hearing noises from further within the cavern. The echo makes it hard to determine, but Perception checks may indicate that it sounds like a series of electrical shorts, like several main power conduits have come loose and are shorting on another surface.
If Amnen and Ghronna, two characters who are old enough to have come up during the Clone Wars, happen to make the Perception checks, though, and roll particularly well, they realise the noises are something else, something familiar from two decades ago...
I'm thinking that, as the City in Ice has come alive for the players, it's also awoken a bunch of folks who went into cryogenic freeze hundreds if not thousands of years ago, including a contingent of Jedi. They are continuing a combat that started just before they went into the freezers about a desperate action that was about to be taken. Maybe they're arguing over moving the planet back into a closer orbit to thaw it out.
Another of the thawed contingent (perhaps even a different model of the ice droids they encountered earlier, an ancient protocol droid) accessed the security system and watched as the Bin Chicken crew ambushed the Imperials. They recognised the occasional use of the Force by the players (I think some of them used the Force in the fight) and realised they would be able to help stop the fight between the two sides; in return, the may be able to get access to medical equipment and supplies.
My aim here is not to have any obvious "bad" option for the players; i.e. no matter which way the players jump (assuming they even choose a side) I will have some interesting NPCs for them to interact with and some further challenges going on. I also want each side in the combat to have an option to break off and flee if the fight doesn't go their way and enough NPCs that each side can put an entertaining fight up.
Another element I introduced in the session before last was a mural in the cavern's entrance depicting a battle between two groups; some members of one group appeared to wield lightsabres, while the other group appeared to be defending a strange shape that looked like a combination of a thorn bush and a tornado. This Wild Shape is my idea for the Big Bad of the game, a malevolent entity strong in the Dark Side of the Force. They've not encountered it or its agents yet but have met an NPC who has and is scared of them.
A thought was to ensure each side had decent motives behind their actions; one serves the Wild Shape but out of genuine motives; the other knows the evil at the heart of the Shape and can't let it gain any advantage. It may be tricky to show that off, though.
I also want to put some pressure on the players to take some sort of immediate action. Maybe there's something on the other side of the fight that the players need right now. Medical supplies? Is the fight at the entrance to an infirmary?
Might there be holocrons (two of my player characters are a holocron-hunting partnership; one for knowledge and the other for money) or some other item of significance that my PC whose Motivation is discovery might want to check out? If so, what's about to happen to them? Are the combatants doing a lot of collateral damage with their blasters and lightsabres? Is there some sort of countdown to an event where the needed thing is at, i.e. a furnace starting or an explosive counting down? Is one of the combatants trying to destroy something that the other needs? A beacon that would otherwise summon aid, perhaps?
And maybe someone becomes desperate when the players intervene. It's a desperate moment for all involved; I have this idea that they all went into cryo at the end of a massive conflict with the Wild Shape that required hard choices; someone may be at risk of falling to the dark side.
What do you think?