DM Screen 41 – Fear of the Spark

Throughout the majority of this campaign, there have been a couple of plot threads that had been around without being fully explored or explained. The biggest of these were 1) what the planeswalker tome actually said, and 2) what exactly the gems that the heroes had been collecting actually were. Seeing as this was the final plot arc, I wanted to get both of those answers out now, and this is the episode where it all happens.

Michael Jordan points over to a nearby overhang of rock, where some sort of small, open-top hover vehicle rests in the shade. “If you’re all the last members of the League that are going to be coming over from Grayskull, we should head into town. I already sent the other Leaguers ahead to the secret headquarters we maintain there, so we should be able to meet up with the rest of the team and figure out what our next step is.”

The heroes should pile into/onto the landspeeder. It has three rows of seats plus a cargo compartment in the rear. It’s fine if Dante and/or Stitch want to pilot it recklessly and end up wrecking it—the heroes have other ways of getting to Mos Eisley.

On the way, the heroes may have questions for Michael Jordan. He can explain everything he knows about Doom’s plans in this universe—not much, but he can tell them that Doom and the White Praetor are conducting a secret construction plan here. They’ve purposefully allowed the other four Praetors to direct Phyrexia in a different direction in order to keep their project here a secret. Apparently Doom developed the technology for time travel back in his home plane, and he’s been using that technology here to assemble resources from many different time periods, including soldiers. He’s toppled the previous Republic that was in place and set up the so-called New Galactic Empire, a massive war machine that serves as an extension of his will. The League has joined up with a group of rebels from this universe and have been aiding them in their efforts to push back against the Empire.

Your journey across Tatooine shows you an oppressively bright and hot wasteland. Occasionally you can pick out distant objects, including a large rectangular vehicle crawling slowly off in the distance or a herd of large furred creatures with huge curled horns that eye you suspiciously. After hours of travel, your vehicle comes up to the rim of a cliff overlooking a vast plateau below. Off in the distance, partially concealed by the shimmering heat rising off of the desert sand, is a city made of many low white or brown buildings. You can occasionally see the lights of vehicles coming down from the sky or taking off from various spots around the city.

“Mos Eisley Spaceport,” Michael Jordan says. “Not a great place, but it’s not too bad. I mean, it’s no Chicago. Anyway, the League have a base down there.” He points. “See that building there with a green dome? That’s where we meet up and make plans. We should be able to—”

Just then, there’s a sudden blooming of flickering orange light as the building Jordan was just pointing at explodes. This is followed seconds later as flashes of red laser fire begin to flicker up from the nearby streets and figures in white armor begin to pour in.

Jordan says, “Uh oh. Looks like we may have attracted some attention.”

Anyone looking closely can see that the other League members that just escaped Castle Grayskull (Lara Croft, Geralt, Godzilla, Roland, Demona, Fiver, Skeletor, and Bowsette) are currently pinned down and surrounded by a platoon of soldiers wearing white armor. Skeletor and Demona are combining their magic to put up a force field around the group, helping to block the incoming storm of red blaster bolts, but Lara, Geralt, and Roland are all sporting blackened burns from where a bolt got through. The heroes are fighting valiantly, but they are in an obviously desperate situation.

The PCs can take whatever strategy they’d like. Michael Jordan will point out that the League has a nearby hangar with a few ships docked there; the heroes might be able to use one of the ships to pull their buddies out of the fire.

Michael Jordan
F: Ty
A: Rm
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 76            Karma: 18

Basketball: Str+5 damage
Flaming Basketball (once per session): Str+10 fire damage, will hit all enemies in a line
Freeze Basketball (once per session): Freezes a target on a hit. The target can make Strength checks on their turn to attempt to break out. Any attack on them while frozen will break them free but also deal an extra 20 damage.
Explosive Basketball (once per session): Str+30 damage
Homing Basketball (once per session): +4 CS to hit, Str+5 damage
Ricochet Basketball (once per session): Str+5 damage. If you hit with this attack, you may make a second attack at -1 CS against another target. You may continue making subsequent attacks at an additional -1 CS each time as long as you keep hitting new targets.
Baseball (once per session): Str+5 damage, then you get a second attack at -2 CS on the same enemy as the ball flies back to you
Bowling Ball (once per session): Str+5 damage to one area

The Imperials have positioned themselves throughout Mos Eisley in their efforts to hunt down the League. As such, the heroes may find themselves attacked from alleys, rooftops, or apparently abandoned buildings, although the confident Imperials may also just attack from the street, arrogantly demanding the heroes’ surrender first. Once the PCs set their goal (helping their friends, getting a ship, etc), they should run into one enemy group en route, then another one at their actual goal. This should take care of the first two groups with Stormtroopers, which then can lead them to fighting an AT-ST and maybe even a TIE Fighter next.

Some possible groups they may run into include:
1d6+6 Stormtroopers plus 2 Imperial Officers
1d6+6 Stormtroopers plus 2 Stormtroopers on Repulsor Sleds
One AT-ST
One TIE Fighter

Because the heroes decided to split up during the session itself, I opted to go with the minimum numbers for each of the above encounters, more to keep things moving than out of any sense of overpowering the heroes with Stormtroopers.

Docking Bay: Whether with the other League members or not, our heroes should eventually get into a wide, low building with a large circular opening in the roof. Inside, they find a very large open space, empty except for a single gray ship resting on extendable legs. Its main body is about 25 meters long and roughly the shape of an arrowhead, with two large fins sweeping out to either side at the rear of the ship. (This is a GAT-12 Skipray Blastboat.)

If he’s with them, Michael Jordan takes this as a good sign. “The other ships that the League had are gone, but it doesn’t look like they were destroyed. Hopefully this means that at least some of them were able to get away.”

If, at some point during this push, Mordin ends up the target of a significant amount of damage, he seems instead to disappear.

Mordin, you clenched your eyes shut in anticipation of a likely fatal impact, but instead the sensation you experienced was a sudden and dramatic shift of sensory input. It’s still fairly hot out, but not nearly as hot as it was, and the air feels much more humid. The sounds of desert wind and laser combat have been replaced with the sounds of life: bugs, birds, and tree leaves shifting in the wind. You open your eyes and are nearly bowled over when you find yourself surrounded by thick jungle foliage. You are definitely no longer on Tatooine, and your friends are nowhere to be seen. You look around quickly and come upon your next major shock—a short distance away is a single adult triceratops watching over a small group of her hatchlings as they graze on low shrubs.

Mordin, you think back over the last few seconds and realize that, just before you found yourself unexpectedly taken back to Jurassic Park, you felt something inside you… spark.

For those who don’t know, planeswalkers from Magic: the Gathering are said to have a “spark” inside them that gives them the ability to travel from one dimension to another. I knew I wanted to have one of the main PCs end up being a planeswalker, and I eventually decided that, after all the science vs. magic arguments he had been having with Nico, Mordin was the perfect choice.

Mordin will be able to planeswalk back to Tatooine when he’s ready. At some point, he may realize that he’s a planeswalker and, therefore, will be able to decipher the tome that the group has been attempting to crack for a few years now. Inside, he can find a few key facts, including:

  • The location of the final gemstone. It doesn’t name the plane, but it does describe a location in the multiverse that Mordin finds himself instinctively knowing how to reach. Apparently this gemstone was to be kept in a monastery and protected by a group of powerful monks until needed.
  • The fact that “gemstone” is a not-quite accurate translation of what these things are. Mordin believes that a much closer translation would be “container.” In fact, if he inspects the gems, he can find a slight seam running around their equators. He can open them, revealing that each one contains a ring set with a colored stone. The emerald contains a gold ring set with a green stone designed to resemble a globe; the ruby contains a silver ring with a red stone carved with a flame; the diamond contains a gold ring set with a blue stone with three squiggly lines carved onto it; and the sapphire contains a gold ring with a blue stone with a wave emblem carved into it.

The heroes should be able to jump aboard the ship and escape Tatooine, with enemy contacts lighting up on their long-range sensors, including several huge wedge-shaped ships giving chase from the edge of the system. Once they’re safely away (probably jumping to hyperspace in the process), a light begins blinking on the main control panel, indicating that they’re receiving a direct transmission.

A small, flickering blue holographic figure forms in midair before you. Despite the relatively low resolution of the image, you can immediately recognize him as Elijah Snow. “I can’t tell you how thankful I am to see your ugly faces,” he says. “Our Tatooine headquarters was hit by Imperials a few days ago and most of the League got taken prisoner. Only a handful of us managed to escape, but we left the Mynock behind just in case anyone else from our group happened to jump to Tatooine in the meantime. When I saw that the ship had been activated, I was hoping it was you and not some Imperials that had found it. What’s going on over there?”

Snow will explain that everyone is on an extreme time crunch at this point. Their intelligence indicates that Doom has very nearly finished construction of his ultimate weapon which he can use to destroy universes. Snow recognizes that finding the final gemstone (or ring, as the case may be) may indeed prove critical to defeating Phyrexia, but they also need to start mounting an attack on this superweapon in the meantime, a task made more difficult given that most of the League have been taken captive and they don’t have many resources at this point. Snow acknowledges that the five PCs are probably the most experienced and competent heroes that the League has at this point—he suggests dividing them up and having each of them take a different team of the remaining Leaguers on specific missions in order to set up the League’s final push against Phyrexia. “With you leading us, we just might stand a chance of winning this thing once and for all.”

At this point, I let the players know what the five missions were going to be—they spent some time assigning leaders to each group from the usual core five characters, then decided which League side characters they wanted to assign to each group. We’ll be talking about these side missions in the next few DM Screens—I leave you now with the enemy stats used for this episode.

Stormtrooper
F: Ty
A: Pr
S: Ty
E: Ty
R: Pr
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 22

Blaster Pistol: 15 damage

Imperial Officer
F: Gd
A: Pr
S: Ty
E: Ty
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Gd

Health: 26

Blaster Pistol: 15 damage
Direct Fire: All Stormtroopers within visual range have +1 CS to hit and +5 to damage

Stormtrooper on Repulsor Sled
F: Ty
A: Gd
S: Gd
E: Gd
R: Pr
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 36

Blaster Cannon: 25 damage
Drop Net (1 use): Make an Agility (Ranged Combat) check; if you succeed, all targets in one area are grappled

AT-ST
F: Pr
A: Gd
S: Rm
E: In
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 84

Multiple Actions: As long as it has both a pilot and copilot, the AT-ST may fire its main Blaster Cannons and either its Light Blaster Cannons or its Grenade Launcher every turn
Blaster Cannons: In damage
Light Blaster Cannons: Rm damage
Grenade Launcher: Ex damage to one area

TIE Fighter
F: Gd
A: Rm
S: In
E: In
R: Gd
I: Gd
P: Gd

Health: 120

Laser Cannons: Am damage

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