Opening visual: swirls of iridescent nebula, blotted out by a familiar triangular silhouette...quickly dwarfed by the massive eclipse of a double-wide Praetorian-class Super Star Destroyer. Out of that massive black outline, four docking bays gleam like jewels & a smaller Vigil-class Star Destroyer departs one of them. Its blue ion engines burn steadily across the screen, past a traditional Star Destroyer painted bright scarlet bisecting the artificial horizon of the Super Star Destroyer, until a rusty world dotted with orbital junk & asteroids comes into view above. The Imperial cruiser then ejects a luxury yacht against the prismatic spacefield, which ascends to Ord Mantell.
In media res: you are doing a job for the Droid Uprising. One of their top agents, the espionage droid 4-DOX, serves as Concilliator Kek's protocol droid. 4-DOX is a black insectoid-headed RA-series, human-enigma analysis, who knows six millions forms of encryption. In order to circumvent the periodic mindwipes, she makes holocron duplicates of herself to be reuploaded later. The Concilliator just returned from going off-world to meet with this "Imperator" on one of her massive starships...& 4-DOX planned to hide the holocron crystal recording of it on Kek's SoroSuub space yacht on the trip back. Your mission is to retrieve that memory unit!
Fauna: Tiktocs are crustaceanoid creatures with many legs, living hermit-crab-like inside of cast-off droid parts & other machinery. They scuttle along, migrating with the horizon of Twilight on Ord Mantell, attracting prey with deep sea angler-esque lures & communicating with each other like crickets or fireflies by clanking on the insides of their metal homes with their claws.
We had our first session of End of Empire & I think it went pretty well! I started it by reading off the crawl & narrating the initial cinematic stellar event that starts each Star Wars movie (above) while playing the Phantom Menace soundtrack. The dinner delivery arrived & everyone forgot about it till after the session was over, so I'm pretty sure it was well enjoyed. I think this Fantasy Flight Star Wars system is going to work out just fine, by the way. Turn-based play seems a little clunky, but the goofy dice support pretty robust scene-resolution, & I'm happy to interpret that that as a call to more abstracted conflicts. It might end up falling into the natural rhythms of my pacing. Same with getting things kicked off with a heist. Gave the players a chance describe their characters, & then threw the group into the thick of it, on the first ring of a sunken casino city, home of the Concilliator Kek, breaking into the hangar where The Black Sun Vigo's luxury yacht just disembarked, as the droid whose memories they are trying to rescue waddles off to central computing to have her databanks blanked out, fully cognizent that at least for this self, she's marching to her death.
The maintenance entrance is guarded by Wuukar the former gladiator, a Wookiee slave who was bought by his fiercest rival in the Coliseum of Corellia Prime, the Trandoshan warrior Sshushath, & freed. Then they both indentured themselves to the Black Sun. Not the brightest fuzzball & scalefriend...as the "drunken fans" of Jax Cadderly (who speaks Dosh) & Jolit (who speaks Shyriiwook) can attest, appealing to the vanity & laziness of the washed-up alien killers to convince them to abandon their post for a toast to old times. Parra breaks into the access ducts & disabled the door, & Theynur takes up a post by a barrel inside, already stashed in the hanger by the Droid Uprising, casually velveting her paws. It is full of friendly buzz droids, relics from the Clone Wars, ready to cause havoc as a distraction. Jolit, using his built-in commlink determines that the hangar bay door control droid is a crystal eye-stalk "tattletale" droid, also friendly to the Droid Uprising. Milling about inside are a variety of scoundrels, pirates, smugglers & the sort of multispecies criminal riff-raff you'd expect in a crimelord's stardock. Jax & Parra approach with false assurance-- Jolit knows the weapons dealer Crosh would have gone with the Concilliator as part of his entourage, so with Theynur keeping lookout they try to bluff their way past some Weequay shipjackers...& fail.
"Here to replace a bad motivator? Just a moment...Sorosuub doesn't use motivators in the Luxury 3000!" Theynur kicks over the barrel of antique droids, who go skittering across the floor like marbles & start tearing up a Z-95 & a Cloakshape in the middle of repairs. Some of the gangsters head to investigate, & Jax takes the opportunity to blast one as Parra cracks open the emergency escape hatch & sets the whole ship to "emergency vent," opening the gangplank & every other airlock besides! Theynur makes a run for it, heading up the ramp & straight into the cockpit, sliding into the co-pilots chair as Parra pulls herself up the escape pod chute & into the pilot's seat. Jolit makes a break for it, & Jax takes a blaster bolt as Jolit grabs him & pills him up the gangplank. Luminescent reactor fluid is coming from the cracked hyperdrive of the Headhunter as the sabotage droids have their way with it, distracting the pirates as the TT-gatekeeper droid closes the bay doors behind the staryacht False Profit, leaving them only to deal with the two fighters already scrambled in the next chapter...