What's in the lake?

The PCs are on the world Gaulus (Gaulus Sector) and currently up in the mountains at a rough and tumble sort of frontier town. There’s a lake here with a rubbly shore. Nice, cold water. The town, Hell’s End, can be raucous at times. There’s not a lot of law and order, but not a lot of mischief either. It’s the home to a retired Umbaran pirate prince named Shann Fhear. He still has a crew, and together they bring a certain amount of order to the town, but he has no desire to lord over the place. The PCs are currently running a job for him.

One of the PCs is a Gungan and he wants to go for a swim and explore what’s down there.

But I have not given any thought to what might be in the water.

So, let’s have some ideas, shall we! What’s in the lake?

Monsters? Treasure? Nothing?

Submerged vessel. Maybe a crashed ship from a long time ago. Something that your Gungan PC can discover, but the air-breathers could help explore if they can get rebreathers to go down there. Then you can run a one-shot of exploring the ship and recovering whatever useful materials are there, maybe something that can help improve the town, if that matters to your PCs. Or maybe something linked to one of the PC’s obligations/motivations/backstories.

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I had a special lake at some point. During [campaign events] a massive swarm of kouhuns (or something like that) swarmed the area - I needed them to flee in a direction (and for once it worked). The players never wondered why (blaming it on dark side force stuff and moving on), but that could have been a ship, a dormant hive of some sort, that should not be disturbed … and wherein there is some kind of useful stuff, see jendefer’s post … :innocent:

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What is your campaign about? Can you use this diving mission to highlight or expose something relevant to your overall story? Perhaps whatever’s down there – sumberged ship or imobilized droid or discarded cache or whatever – carries some information on a surviving datacard or whatever, something explaining backstory for a certian character arc or plot point? Or perhaps you can use whatever’s in the lake to add context to the story’s bad guy/problem, like showing how the big bady faction is so powerful they took down an entire CR90 Corvette in the past, which crashed into the lake. Or perhaps a certain nemesis once fought a craxy-powerful droid on the frozen lake and won a while ago, which demonstrates to the PCs what they’re up against (and adds some tension to the upcoming showdown). Or… you could simply add a fun combat encounter to give the Gungan something cool to do :)

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A closed chest/safe with partly degraded symbols indicating danger. What could be inside? Is it worth the risk to open it?

If your players are brave/foolhardy enough to find a way to open it they find either;

  • broken vials which turn out to be samples of an ancient but deadly virus. As soon as the container is opened the characters are exposed and they have to race against time to find someone who can cure them before they get to the contagious stage.

  • A deactivated droid who seems harmless. Upon repair and reactivation it is friendly and helpful, but what does it get up to when it isn’t being watched?

  • A spectacular bejewelled necklace which must be worth a fortune… except nobody is willing to buy it, and in fact as soon as the characters try to show it to anyone they close the shutters and skedaddle. Now they have a target on their backs as a crime syndicate and all of the law enforcement agencies in the galaxy are gunning for them.

  • The mummified corpse of a famous philanthropist who disappeared several decades prior. If the group reveal their find they will eb famous and may even get a reward, but whoever put the guy in the box will be very unhappy.

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These are all great ideas! Lots of inspiration here.

@jendefer

I like the submerged (possibly crashed) ship. If it is intact, it could belong to the retired Umbaran pirate prince. Maybe it is his getaway ship if the heat comes down on him. If it is a crashed ship… is it older, or more recent? Was it the ship of some Jedi or something? The town has been there awhile, though, so probably nothing tied to the Clone Wars. A lot of possibilities there.

@GMLovlie

In the second session, they actually had a scuffle along the shore of the lake in which a mound of “devil ants” was discovered.

@Angelman

We just started the campaign recently and we have only had three sessions. The story thus far is that they stole some data on midichlorians from a nearby (couple hours ride on speeder bikes) research facility. The Umbaran pirate prince is pressuring them to go back to the facility and “finish the job” - wipe out all the personnel and blow it up. There is other research going on there besides the midichlorian stuff. Maybe something tied to the lake?

@Lazer

A closed chest or safe could tie in with jen’s suggestion above. Old Sith or Jedi loot might be neat but I hesitate to throw that sort of thing into the game this early on. Connecting back to jen’s suggestion, though, could be a crashed starfighter from long ago. Inside the still-sealed cockpit is the mummified remains of the pilot. The astromech droid is quite deactivated but might have some interesting navigational data still in its memory banks if the PCs could somehow get it. The chest/safe has the pilot’s personal stuff in it. Could be a very interesting datapad in there.

The PCs:

A Gungan warrior whose ultimate goal is to return to Naboo and help free his people from the Imperial work camps, especially his own family. (Hired Gun - Marauder, Enforcer)

A Gotal (former Imperial) scientist who has discovered he is Force-sensitive and is now performing personal research on it. As a scientist, he feel he needs to quantify it all. His faith is science. Breaking into the research facility to begin with was his own mission. (Engineer - Scientist, Force-Sensitive Emergent)

And a human pilot who is involved in the local jet pack racing circuits. His antics have led to him being in debt to the Umbaran pirate. (Scoundrel - Hotshot, Modder)

They collectively have no resources. The first session was just the scientist’s player curious about the system. So he created the character and the adventure grew out of showing him how the dice symbols work. In the second session, the Gungan player joined with his character (re-rolled new) from a brief campaign I ran a few years ago. And in the third session, another friend of mine joined in with the jetpack racer. So they have no group ship or cache of credits to split or anything like that. Maybe what’s in the lake can become that resource.

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While I’m not being serious, this is the first thing that popped in my mind when reading the title…:slight_smile:

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LoL Nice!

I’ll tell you what though, @Sturn , ruins along one edge of the lake is a cool thing. Ruins that are a lot older than the town. Like maybe monastery ruins.

Once upon a time, there was a monastery at the lake, and a town formed somewhat near the monastery a bit further down along the lake’s shore. The monastery has long been in ruins, but the town is still there. Its remoteness has sealed its fate to forever be a small, frontier town.

The ruins, of course, have been explored countless times, but maybe still something has been missed?

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Does that mean that you do not have a plan for the story you’re running? Well, then it’s really easy! Just pick a subject/theme/problem/faction/whatever in Star Wars that you want to explore over the course of a story arc and have the crashed ship forehadow/seed/or outright kick-off that plot.

Do you want to do a story on questionable medical research? Well, have a sunken ship sit at the bottom of the lake and let the PCs learn how it was downed (possibly as an inside job) to keep the mad scientists from carry their despicable research, and also include clues to where the ship originated from to allow the PCs to seek out the source of the evil.

Do you want some 5000 year old evil cause trouble in your story (possibly related to the Midi-chlorian research)? Have the PC find an old Sith tomb purposefully flooded by natives way back when.

Wanna explore some Umbaran issues? Have the pirate prince’s (Umbaran) rivals maintain an underwater listening post/researche base/outpost/whaterver in the lake, and let the two Umbaran factions clash with the PCs torn between them. (The pirate prince mistankenly believed the Midi-clorian facility to be the actual nemesis lair, when in fact it was just a decoy/innocent science base… or it was the front for the hidden facility at the bottom of the lake).

Basically, if you have no plan or vision for the game you’re running, just create one and use this opportunity to kick it all off :D

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@Angelman I don’t have an overall story arc in play yet. The whole campaign so far has just kind of started organically.

Using whatever ends up being in the lake as the kicking off point for a campaign arc is a super idea! They probably won’t have the time in this week’s session to dive right in, so I still have opportunity to think about it.

At this point, the old pirate prince is just a handy NPC to give them their current mission. Is he useful further? Not sure yet. Maybe he has other jobs for them. Not sure I want him to be a major player though.

I do have one idea for a campaign arc I was thinking about awhile back. Don’t know if I would use it here… There is an old Hutt who seeks revenge on the Hutt council for exiling him long ago. The campaign idea is to have the PCs work for this Hutt in his revenge plots. Eventually there is a point where the PCs would have an opportunity to switch sides. But I don’t know if this campaign is the right campaign for that campaign.

Thinking, thinking, thinking…

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Cool stuff :) If you want to turn this into the Vengeful Hutt story, you could have whatever’s on the bottom of the lake be tied to the reason for the Hutt’s expulsion from the council. You could either kick it off immediately (by, say… letting the PCs recover something of personal value to the Hutt dude but which wouldn’t be very valuable to others, and have the PCs track the Hutt-owner down for a slavage reward which leads them to start working for him), or you could just foreshadow a Hutt-plot in the future by having a ship (or whatever) be downed in the lake and the PC discovering it was a Hutt craft and go: “Hutt’s here? That’s weird… whod’a thunk it?”. Then, X sessions down the line when the Hutt-plot kicks in, the players finally realize how it all ties together.

…or something ;)

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I have an idea of what’s in the lake now! Going with some of the ideas you guys threw out here and tying it to the “old Hutt revenge” arc, which I am tentatively calling King Hutt.

In the deepest part of the lake, over by the ruins of the old fortress, is the wreckage of a starfighter from long ago. It is an older Hutt design; nothing in service currently. It was shot down by unknown assailants about 150 years ago. Amazingly enough, the cockpit is still sealed and the mummified corpse of its pilot, a Sakiyan, rests within.

It may take a little ingenuity to get into the cockpit with out just instantly flooding it. Maybe the PCs will care about that, and maybe they won’t. It will also take some doing to raise the wreckage out of the water if they want to do it covertly. Maybe they would seek out help from the retire pirate Shann Fhear, but you know he’ll want something in return.

Among the pilot’s personal effects are old Republic credits dating back 150-200 years (that should help date the crash). There will be an old blaster pistol - nothing crazy or special about it. I might look through the gear lists and put a couple other items in the pilot’s belongings as well. However, the best item is an ardos disk.

The ardos disk is very interesting. They’ll have to ask around to learn what an ardos coin is, and they’ll learn it can be highly valuable and highly dangerous to have one. A bit of research will show that the Hutt kajidic symbol on the disk is unknown. The PCs will have to do some deeper research to learn that it is the symbol of a Hutt lord who was exiled in disgrace from the Hutt Council and that the existence of this Hutt has seemingly been virtually erased. They may need to go see an actual Hutt.

There is also a key, or partial key, or partial map or something to a Hutt throneworld. The exiled Hutt’s throneworld and treasures. The PCs won’t just be able to head out to the Dead Road, though. They’ll need information and support.

We’ll see how they pursue it from there. If at all. You know players! Heck, they might not pursue it all and just dump the ardos coin on the first black market they find.

Thoughts?

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Be prepared with some ideas for checks regarding the PCs investigations. If they wish pry open the cockpit, what difficulty for a Mechanics check? More difficult underwater. Knowledge checks for the coins. Perception check difficulty to spot the starfighter. Be prepared for what to do if they try to hook a cable from a ship or speeder to pull the ship up (as in, will their landspeeder have the power, what check that should be, etc) so you don’t have to pause and think about what is possible. Does hooking the cable up successfully require a Mechanics check? Then Pilot to pull the starfighter out of the water? Those sort of things.

This discovery scenario has a wide range of skills that can be tested, plus mystery, thus I like it. I highly doubt your players will ignore it. It’s got the hooks, I would just scribble some notes for various things they may attempt.

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Thanks, @Sturn !

Being prepped is always great advice. All of those ideas and checks are good things to be ready for. Players will always come up with cunning plans, and it is a fun challenge to have answers in place.

I’m glad you like the hooks!

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Sounds cool :) Perhaps the cockpit can launch out of the ship like an escape pod, allowing the PCs to juryrig the thing to separate it from the ship and take it to the surface.

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Perhaps you should take a look at the Boonta Blaster from GaG, and I would guess it’s in Lords of Nal Hutta as well. While unremarkable in its stats, Boota Blasters have significant narrative elements, especially for Hutts. Perhaps it’s something your Hutt villain is after.

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Two words: Muur Talisman