How did you run... Escape from Mos Shuuta/Long Arm of the Hutt

Often I see questions from GMs for tips and tricks for how to run certain modules. I thought it could be a fun/useful discussion for us GMs to have a thread here for each FFG module (and other fanmade ones as well). Tips on running the module as written are encouraged, but I also think it is great to see modifications that people made either to spice things up or to adapt it to their PCs.

I’m going to start this effort with Escape from Mos Shuuta & Long Arm of the Hutt. Feel free to start a thread for any module you ran!

Play time

My group of 4 PCs did these two adventures back-to-back over 6 sessions, so around 25 hours of play.

  1. Escape from Mos Shuuta
  2. Dealing with issues aboard the Krayt Fang
  3. Meeting Nyn and fighting bounty hunters
  4. Dealing with Drombb
  5. Geonosis
  6. Return to Mos Shuuta
Incorporating the pre-gens if your players aren't using them

In the final act, I had some of the pre-gen characters present in Mos Shuuta at various locations so that they could either provide aid or make deals with the PCs. It was nice to have them as additional well-rounded NPCs to incorporate into the story line. Vex agreed to provide information on Teemo’s B1 plans in exchange for the PCs helping him and Pash get out of Teemo’s clutches, while Oskara met up with some of the other PCs at the cantina and signed-on for their raid. All three of those became long-term NPCs in our campaign, dipping into and out of the main storyline. When some of my players were out of town, we even did a side adventure where one of our main PCs did a mission with Vex and Pash.

Fleshing out the Twi'lek angle

When I was prepping this module, I did a lot of looking around for info on how other people ran it, and one idea I saw was for fleshing out the Twi’leks. I cast B’ura B’an as an older fellow who had the respect of the New Meen community as an overseer but was more of an idea person at this stage in his life, while Nyn Kablo was the action-oriented type. B’ura B’an could inspire people, but Nyn was the one planning and conducting resistance actions. If the PCs can get B’ura B’an back to the mine and get rid of Drombb, the Twi’leks can take charge of their own future in New Meen, operating the mine to their own benefit (and giving the PCs a smuggling gig). Nyn included fixing up the PC’s ship (including some transponder shenanigans) as payment for help at the mine. The mechanic who did that work also became a signficant recurring NPC for us (eventually marrying Nyn!).

On the advice of someone (sorry, don’t know who you were!) I added Nyn’s lieutenant Novus Passik, who was secretly in Teemo’s employ, being promised a position of power once Teemo controls New Meen. He planted a bomb in the speeder the PCs would be using. This gave someone for the PCs to be able to blame later and retain a positive relationship with Nyn, as she was not under suspicion once they determined he was to blame. In our game, Novus Passik escaped so he was able to be the villain in a later adventure.

Long Arm had a huge influence on the rest of our 18-month campaign. New Meen ended up being my players’ base of operations and they grew it into a proper town with a desert resort (and droid day spa). Nyn became really good friends with some of the PCs and they later rescued her in one episode and helped her do a mission in another (plus attended her wedding).

Dealing with the Bounty Hunters

The bounty hunters were sent by Teemo, so it makes sense some of the PCs might know some of them, if they’ve all been working for Teemo for a while. I allowed some social checks at the start of this encounter for the PCs to try to sway any of them. In our case, one of them was persuaded that going after the Lylek for the prestige of being a big game hunter was a better calling in life than continuing on as a bounty hunter. It set up that NPC to recur in our campaign several times, whenever big game hunting became an issue, and it helped provide a social component to something that could’ve been just a shoot-out.

Handling the social scene on Geonosis

One thing that helped me GM Long Arm was to make my own little note pages for each of the NPCs on Geonosis after reading through that whole section. Some of the information about them is scattered across multiple pages, but by putting my notes for each of them on one half-sheet each, I had an easier time dipping into that character when they were approached during the party. I also used that little sheet to take notes on who talked to the NPC and what the general tenor of the conversation was, so that I had material to bring those NPCs back into the campaign several arcs later where they fit a niche I needed to fill. Anatta and (Ota, for that matter) was contacted somewhat regularly by my players to buy information as our campaign went on.

This scene is also a great one to swap out existing NPCs for ones from your PCs’ backstories (or to use these NPCs to fill roles that exist in those backstories). I had a PC with Black Sun connections, so at the party, I had Maru Jakkar remind him of his obligations and that he was a small fish in a big pond. This spurred that PC to resolve to take firmer steps for getting rid of that obligation.

Finale

Be open to deviating from the module in the final act to allow whatever plan your players come up with to work. My group decided to sell Teemo out to Jabba, so they had to sneak in and sabotage the guns in order for Jabba’s group to use the landing pad. Then there was a narrative shoot-out in the throne room between those two groups, during which my PCs were trying to get Pash and Vex out of the palace safely.

Incorporating Player Obligation rolls

One way I handle Obligation in modules is little side-quest type things. During Long Arm of the Hutt, in the session the PCs returned to Mos Shuuta, we had an obligation trigger which was an Imperial entanglement of one of the PCs. Since there was known to be an Imperial officer present in the town, she went a little out of her way to find him and blackmail him into altering her service record. It fit easily into what everyone else was doing, but it did require some unanticipated creativity on my part as the GM. It was worth the inconvenience though, as that started a domino chain that shaped the entire campaign. (That Imperial officer even got his own “spin-off series”.

Where to go next/before

As far as follow-on adventures, there was a fanmade one called Hunter and Hunted designed to immediately follow it. I haven’t run that one myself, since my players chose a job offer that led to the fanmade Enemy of My Enemy. That was juicy enough to cover 3 sessions, and introduced some villainous NPCs who would haunt our campaign for the next year.

I wrote a sort of prequel to Escape from Mos Shuuta that was designed as another way to introduce people to SWRPG (incorporating some Genesys features). It is not super-polished, but if you’re interested in taking a look, it is Crawl Before You Walk.

What advice do you have? What modifications did you make for your group?

3 Likes

I would also enjoy reading what others have done with these two adventures as well. Specifically, I’d like to how some of you may have filled out the content a bit more for PCs coming into it with a bit more experience.

Aside from the adventure itself, how has the place of Mos Shuuta served you?

I’m a player, and we played through Escape from Mos Shuuta and Long arm of the Hutt a while ago. Some of these I cannot answer, as I have not read the adventures, but I can reply from a players perspective at least. But our GM might have altered or removed parts.

Play time: Escape from Mos Shuuta took us two sessions, three to four hours each. Mind you, we play via Roll20 and two of us (out of three players+one GM) never played via Roll20 before. And two had never played FFGs Star Wars RPG, while me and the GM has played a coulple of sessions with another group and had a better grasp of the rules. We’re all seasoned gamers and rollplayers though.

Long arm of the Hutt took us seven or eight sessions, of similar length. As a gaming group we’re generally slow and want to explore “everything”, play out scenes that might have been resolved by one or two dice rolls and also pursue our characters individual goals and interests. So other groups might get through these adventures much faster.

We didn’t use the pre-gens, and they were not incorporated at all by our GM. We knew we wanted to play a longer campaign, and all players agreed it would be more fun to create our own characters for the game.
As players we read through some of the pre-gen characters background just to get a feel for how our back stories could look to fit with the adventure. So we used the pre-gens as inspiration at least.

I don’t know anything about the Twi’lek angle. Our GM might have dropped, changed or re-written a part.

We had some scuffles with bounty hunters, and we got a bounty obligation as a group.

The social scene on Geonosis was one of the best sessions during the adventures. We spent like one and a half session at the party. We got the information we needed almost instantly from the Geonosian (I’ve forgotten the name) but stayed at the party and talked to almost everyone. Engaged in some drinking and games etc. Good times.

We infiltrated Teemus palace and while we dug up some dirt on him, we decided to go in guns blazing. We freed some gladiators to help us, and in the end we shot the chandelier above Teemu and he was killed.

During Escape from Mos Shuuta and Long arm of the Hutt we didn’t roll obligation. The GM felt the adventures were fast paced and didn’t leave time to get interesting obligation results. So we didn’t roll.

After these adventures we’ve played through Trouble Brewing (from the EotE Core rulebook) and now we’re just starting Beyond the Rim.

My advice (again from a players perspective) would probably be to do something where a social character could shine in Escape from Mos Shuuta. I know it’s a beginner adventure so it’s probably focused on action, but if I was GM I’d put in some encounter were social skills would be the focus.

As a group, while creating characters, we picked the Wayfarer transport as our ship, so our GM made the Krayt Fang a Wayfarer instead.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

This is an excellent adaptation. Not just NPCs can be swapped for things more interesting to your players, but also rewards.

This is something I agree with. The module was designed to hold everyone’s hand through some ground-based combat and some space combat, but doesn’t do the same for social. Granted, when EotE came out, it didn’t have the fleshed-out social combat that Genesys included in its core rulebook. I think that might be buried in a career supplement somewhere. One place I can think to expand in that direction is having the PCs deal with the starport overseer to get the Krayt Fang released.

1 Like

I totally agree, in Long Arm of the Hutt there are plenty of social situations that cannot (or should not) primarily be resolved by combat, like on Geonosis for example. I just feel that Escape from Mos Shuuta should offer at least a few oppurtunities to use social skills.

At the same time I get that it’s an introduction, that should take about an evening to play through and the focus is to get into the action swiftly. Our group that have played roleplaying games for years and years so we’re probably not the primary target audience.

The second scene is an entirely social encounter, getting the parts from the junkyard owner. The Overseer could also be talked to if players want to. However it’s true, the module is more shooting heavy.

That is true, I had forgotten about that part. It’s about five months ago since we played through the adventure.

It was a very short encounter (for our group at least). As I recall it, we got there, got the parts we needed and moved on quickly. Could be that we could have stuck around and had more of a social encountner, but I think we pressed on super quickly as we felt “hunted”.

1 Like

Oh, yeah! I totally forgot about that one… it’s been two years since I ran this module. Shame on me for forgetting, though: my players took pity on that droid and liberated it. It became my GM presence in the crew. I actually swapped out the one in this module for the astromech from Trouble Brewing, since that was the one shot we’d played to get comfortable with the system. The droid had clearly fallen on hard times, so my players connected with it right away.

2 Likes

Thanks for this @jendefer. We just started a few months ago and I’m still running Long Arm of the Hutt for my group. Next session is Genosian Negotians. I thought we might be late to the game, esp with FFG’s forums shutting down. It’s nice to see recent posts and especially all the ideas in this topic.

I had some concerns about the Duke’s party, keeping my non-social characters involved. Nice to see that @k7e9 loved that encounter the most.

2 Likes

We are three players and our group only has one social character, a Bothan Charmer, me and the third player play a Twi’lek Modder and a Wookiee Heavy. While I have Presence 3 (beeing a Twi’lek) I have almost no social skills.

So our Bothan took care of the social business with the duke. The Wookiee and I engaged in numerous other activities that didn’d directly involce our social skills, like games, drinking, we had a dart-throwing contest (with some friendly betting) and we obviously interacted with some of the NPCs at the party.

So my advice @Filbert66 is to have some activities for the characters that are less socially inclined can be part of. :)

3 Likes

Wish I knew that when I first ran this adventure! That’s awesome. (I started GMing with this, unfortunately my take wasn’t that successful on this chapter)

1 Like

Giving credit where credit’s due: the source for this idea was Nashable’s advice in the thread about Long Arm on the d20radio forums, another discussion that could be mined for ideas on this topic.

2 Likes

One errata to Act 2 on Geonosis: the adventure was written before it became canon that the Imperials killed everyone on the planet. So if you are trying to stay somewhat aligned with canon, what do you do?

I took the suggestion from Legends of the Galaxy to insert an Imperial presence around the planet, “searching for survivors”, which is generally how you hand-wave that there are some natives back (having hid off-planet and now returned, maybe with a queen). Makes for a nice optional encounter (if they roll poorly on Astrogation) and makes it clear why the Geonosians dislike the Imperials. Could even go so bad that they owe some Favor obligation to the imperial officer who still lets them go! Nice hooks for later.

3 Likes

In the alternate solution box, the writers suggest that evidence of building droids will raise Jabba’s ire. Why is that so bad? Because it is now frowned upon by the Empire, whom the Hutts are loosely aligned with? Doesn”t seem like a reason to imprison Teemo over. Any ideas to justify the narrative?

Initial thoughts… One take would be that Jabba would view it as Teemo over-reaching his “allowed” authority, that this droid army would be a threat to other Hutts. Another explanation would be that resurrecting Clone Wars weaponry could draw undesired attention to Hutt activities, that even if some of them are “loosely aligned” with the Empire, the Empire might have to come put a smackdown on something that serious.

2 Likes

Thanks. Reasons then:

  1. Draws unwanted enforcement Empire attention to all Hutts, who normally like to operate behind the scenes.
  2. Could be viewed as an aggressive ploy to “take over” another Hutt’s business.

I think I’ll add a flavor that Teemo has been known to make small attempts to do #2 in the past, such that any hint of building a larger force results in preemptive smackdown by the Hutt clan.

With the other point against Teemo of spying on Jabba, one could add that the past history of moving against a Hutt’s operations was directly against Jabba’s operations, say in Mos Eisley, or maybe the supplies in/out of there.

2 Likes