Love your Ailabiens :D
Thank you! I had far too much fun writing that response.
dying star? Dead Suns AP? Can't have any correlation.
Lenny brings up the scientifically precise star maps that the elves had decorated their walls with. Looking over some of your photographic records of the Temple (as all good Starfinders and Starfinder-Liaisons have), you remember that there was an unknown constellation present in the display: a perfect circle made up of 12 stars. You recall Dr. Solstarni droning on about this at one point.
Ailabiens 21:2's understanding of the prophecy does seem to line up with the elves' constellation. Perhaps the cultists headed wherever the elves did...
Behind you, the sarcesian lays his drawing down with tender care. It appears to be a detailed artistic rendering of the Skreesire devouring him. He then finds one of Davrin's business card and begins embellishing it with circular doodles.
Not having any better idea of where to start, Pippimi rolls outside and starts looking for circles of 12 stars in the sky. She takes a folding chair out with her and sets it up next to the ship. She pops back inside and grabs a lemonade. And a nice sunhat. And a paperback novel with two crimson-scaled vesk on the cover, titled 'Flames at Dusk, Part 2: Everflame', which she sets down next to her lemonade in case she gets bored.
Cheekily still letting you guys decide where to go next :>
I think it's time to visit that constellation and see if it is, in fact, the portal that Dr. Solstarni theorized is was. That's where the cult wants to find this super-weapon, right?
Lenny scratches his head, thinking it can't be that simple.
Davrin similarly scratches his head. But he (intentionally) fails to remove his hat first. Grinning somewhat self-mockingly, "Well, I'm all out of ideas! Not that I had that much in the first place. So I guess that's as good a idea as any."
is the constellation not a path, or you're just looking for more votes?
Zulu chimes in. "Yes, perhaps something in that constellation will trigger scanners. Though that is a quite large area."
Looking at their newest hitchhiker Zulu just shakes his head at their groups amazing tendency at taking in stays and wanders back to his science lab.
Clank is entirely in favor of dropping off the Sarcesian where they desire. "Seems as good of an idea as any."
Unfortunately... the constellation has no known coordinates. :(
The group decides to get into the starship and head to Taualuga to drop off the sarcesian and figure out what to do next. The starship door closes, everyone gets into position, and you pull off from the asteroid. In just a few seconds, you are back in the peace of space. Stars float around you, the asteroids a few hundreds of miles apart, and you shed the tension and fear that was pervasive on the asteroid. But then... the science officer's screen lights up with two heat signatures! It seems that two starships just jump-started their engines on the back of two nearby asteroids!
AMBUSH!!! The engineer is up and Davrin, give me a Piloting roll.
Yeah, sadly we didn't get a specific location for the constellation back on Castrovel - I think the star maps in the Temple of the Twelve showed it in a particular location in the sky, but its no longer there. So we need more info to work out exactly where it is!
Pippimi perks up. "Battle stations? Why? Who attack now? Cult all gone!" She rolls towards her seat in the turret and begins booting up the controls for the ship's heavy laser cannon battery!
I believe we decided to have Clank man a gun and have Zulu do the science engineering thing?
"Oh ho ho, thought to get the jump on us, did you? Not so fast!"
Piloting: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19 (Maybe they are so fast after all...)
At the engineering station, Zulu diverts power to the engines to give Davrin an upper hand in the beginning of the encounter, not yet knowing what they are encountering.
Engineering, Divert: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34
probably swap to science and scan after this round, assuming Clank is running a gun
Hooray! Starship time! It's been about 800 years since we had one of these. And, as a nice happy welcome back...SURPRISE ROUND! (I didn't do this yesterday because I wanted everyone to enjoy those ships waiting just behind the asteroids for a moment.
The two dots move along the science officer's screen, around the asteroids and into view. You recognize those ships! It's two Eoxian Necrogliders! Photo on Slide 2.
They dodge and weave Evading through space, coming right towards you!
Kaboom @ Front Arc: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Damage @ Front Arc: 4d8 ⇒ (6, 4, 5, 1) = 16
Kaboom @ Front Arc: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Damage @ Front Arc: 4d8 ⇒ (3, 8, 8, 8) = 27
Laser fire spews out of the front of their boneships, some of which Davrin is unable to dodge. The lasers light up your shields, hitting significantly harder than you remember from the last time you battled a Necroglider...
Piloting Check: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
The two gliders dance off back towards the asteroids.
They move first! So, everyone (Except Zulu, sorry!) can take their actions for this round. I'll sort it all out later. Lenny, if possible, make two rolls so we have your next round's actions!
Stellar Drifter 54/30/30/30
Clank settles into a gunner seat with a sigh. "More of these guys?" He aims for whichever Pippimi is going for.
heavy laser attack: 4d8 ⇒ (2, 4, 8, 6) = 20
"Ooh, zombogliders. Like bony blast from past!" Pippimi spins the turret around. "Speaking of blast..." She fires at the Orange glider!
Taking a +1 computers bonus. Keep in mind that we're got 3 more of those to go around.
Heavy Laser Cannon damage: 4d8 ⇒ (1, 4, 7, 1) = 13
IIRC Lenny is terrible at starship...
Lenny takes the captains chair and smiles.
You've got this Davrin! Maneuver tightly and don't let them get behind us!
Piloting, DC10: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14 +2 to Davrin, hoping it helps
You can encourage another member of the crew to give her a bonus to her action. This works like aid another, granting a +2 bonus to the check required by a crew action if you succeed at a DC 10 check using the same skill. Alternatively, you can grant this same bonus by succeeding at a Diplomacy check (DC 15). You can’t encourage yourself.
Roll to use next round: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Maneuver DC22: 1d20 + 16 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 16 + 2 = 35
"Hold on to your horses!" Davrin pilots the ship straight towards the asteroid on the right practically on a crash course, but in the last moment spins the ship around. This effectively keeps the further ship behind the asteroid, while bringing Stellar Drifter's front to the aft of the the near ship.
"What's a horse?" Zulu mutters as he grips the engineering panel and scans the readouts.
"Bastards!" Zoran yells when it is revealed to be eoxian crafts and proceeds to open the comms.
"You made a big mistake. We are going to make sure your stay dead this time you filth." he says activating an open weapon console.
Gunnery: 1d20 + 3 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 3 + 3 + 1 = 21
Zoran Damage: 4d8 ⇒ (7, 3, 2, 7) = 19
...Well... That settles it.
Davrin's suicidal maneuver works out perfectly, landing you directly behind an eoxian ship. Three of you pull on the triggers without mercy, sending a massive amount of laser fire into the rear of the necroglider. KABOOM! The nercroglider's rear engine explodes in a wave of negative energy, splashing out in concentric circles. Thankfully, Davrin easily dodges them. Holy cow. Y'all do a lot of damage. The author did not expect your mad well thought out upgrades.
The second eoxian ship doesn't fire it's lasers, unable to see your ship.
Davrin Piloting Check: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
Eoxian Piloting Check: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
Unsurprisingly, Davrin flies circles around lone ship. Desperate, the ships comes straight at you! As it flies right past your starboard, you catch a glimpse of a lone skeletal pilot lying in repose with two digital cables plugged into it's eye sockets.
Eoxian Piloting Check, DC 17: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
They move first! So, everyone can take their actions for this round. I'll sort it all out later. We'll give Lenny's bonus to Davrin again.
Stellar Drifter 54/30/30/30
Orange Necroglider 42 damage
Pippimi puffs and preens at the Blastwerks-branded laser batteries doing such good work. "Hmm hmm! Pippimi ready to give good Yolp review to Starship mod-build division. This even better quality than expect!"
"Though also, team very good, very accurate!"
She spins the turret around to fire once more. (Taking +1 computers bonus again)
Heavy Laser Cannon damage: 4d8 ⇒ (4, 3, 4, 1) = 12
"Ooof, that serve right for letting smug get too big!"
Happy to see one enemy ship.vanish from the sensors, Zulu continues working the engineering station as scanning doesn't seem necessary with crack shots like his crew.
"Diverting power to forward shields."
You heard the man divert: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26
"Oh, you like it close, don't you?" Davrin smirls as he pilots the ship to swing around, coming right to the ass... uh aft of the enemy ship.
evade, DC17: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31 +2 AC/TL
Attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
heavy laser attack: 4d8 ⇒ (1, 2, 2, 5) = 10
Clank tries to go for a flashy finish, but his shot likely flies wide.
Zoran zones out as he attempts to fire at the crafts again with a crazy look in his eyes.
Gunnery: 1d20 + 3 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 3 + 1 = 12
Back. Looks like you've used my "bad captain" bonus for this round.
Well... that was a very different round.
Davrin skims the ship around, nearly plunging into the eoxian's aft. The crew cheers, still celebrating the first explosion. Unfortunately, the celebration as well as the sharp turn take a real toll on accuracy. The barrage of lasers head off into the vacuum, within a few hundred yards of the necroglider's wingtips.
Kaboom @ Rear Arc: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Damage @ Rear Arc: 4d8 ⇒ (6, 3, 7, 8) = 24
The eoxian seems similarly distracted, his shot going straight into the asteroid.
Davrin Piloting Check: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (10) + 16 = 26
Eoxian Piloting Check: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Eoxian Piloting Check, DC 17: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
And though Davrin is able to outfly the eoxian pilot once again, the smaller craft manages to get extremely close to your hull in a risky flyby move.
They move first! So, everyone can take their actions for this round. I'll sort it all out later.
Stellar Drifter 65/30/30/30
Orange Necroglider 42 damage
Pippimi spins the turret the other way and lines up another shot. "Not time to get complacent! Time to explode other bone ship!"
She fires once more (with computers bonus of +1)
Heavy Laser Cannon dmg: 4d8 ⇒ (8, 4, 4, 7) = 23
"Hmm hmm! That better!"
Deciding the shields looked fine after the enemy craft missed, Zulu shunts power to the engines, hopefully helping Davrin pull a fight ending manoeuver.
Divert to engines: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (14) + 14 = 28
Firing again! Clank takes another shot!
Attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
heavy laser attack: 4d8 ⇒ (3, 5, 1, 2) = 11
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Piloting, aid Davrin evade (Encourage): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Yeah Davrin! Up-up, down-down, left-right, left-right, make it count!
Lenny continues talking to himself in the captain's chair.
"Come on, you guys! I laid that out perfectly for you! Oh well, here we go again. Let's play tag!" Again, he brings the ship on another tight turn (though not as tight as before), bringing Stellar Drifter right to the tail of the lone enemy ship.
evade, DC17: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (12) + 16 = 28
Lenny, I think Davrin doesn't need the encourage. Davrin would automatically succeed at evade. I'm just rolling for fun. :)
i’ll shift encourage to the lowest gunner Roll next round.
And... 1 more damage than necessary! Goodness!
Davrin brings in the ship right behind the eoxian vessel where Pippimi and Clank light it up! The lasers chase forward, smashing apart the rear end of the necroglider! It explodes in a KABLOOM of negative energy! The sphere expands outwards, splashing onto the asteroid.
You cheer, and Zulu makes his way over to the scanner. Two incredibly small dots remain on the material scanner, no heat signatures. They are slowly floating away from the wreckages. They appear to be... skeletons?
"AHA! That should send a message." Zoran cheers from his seat before taking some time to calm down.
When Zulu pulls up the scanners he starts thinking back on having some salvage from these ships might have been a clue. It doesn't bother him for long.
"Should we scoop them up and see if anything of note survived? Especially if they survived." he asks the others.
Pippimi hops out of the turret to roll over and squint at the main screen. "Hmmm, find hard to believe all that laser and explosion not enough to vaporize skeletons... Maybe this trap?"
The whole fight *had* seemed a bit too easy.
Probably not a trap. I don't expect we'll find anything though.
"Well, only one way to find out! Aren't you curiousity bones tingling?" If there are no dissent, Davrin pilots the ship towards the skeletons. Or so it seems.
"Hmmm, find hard to believe all that laser and explosion not enough to vaporize skeletons... Maybe this trap?"
As much as I, and other GMs, tend to forget it, the rules do say that bringing a ship down to zero merely disables it. So, they probably just hit their ejection button!
As Davrin slows the ship down and glides over to the first destroyed vessel, those with engineering expertise remember a key fact about Death's Head Necrogliders. They don't have drift engines. So, how did they get here? When did they get here? During the day you were on the asteroid?
Questions racing through your mind, you pull the pilot into your airlock with a light tractor beam. The skeletal figure stands lightly in the lock, glaring at you with empty eye sockets. His basic pilot's suit is faded from use but Zoran can still make out the patch on both shoulders. Slide 2! The patch is emblazoned with the symbol of the corpse fleet. Everybody gets a second chance at attempting to recall information about the Corpse Fleet using a difficult individual Culture check!
Leaving him locked away for a bit, you fly to the second disabled ship. Once you get to the humanoid shaped dot on your radar screen you see that you are too late. It appears that the second skeletal pilot ripped his own skull from his neck. Both pieces of the pilot now float alongside each other, motionless. Now he's dead-dead. That resolved, you turn to the lone soldier in your airlock. You can do whatever you want! If someone wants to lead on a Social check, others can Aid. Currently he is, unsurprisingly, Hostile.
My houserules (which I forgot were houserules) are to play it as 0HP = Explosion = "You better have escape pods kid". Feels like more drama that way. Also, it lets Starship Combats be a bit shorter since ships at 25% HP tend to surrender.
Pippimi rolls up to near the skeletal soldier and checks it over for any weapons, paws patting and tugging at armor to find pockets. She also keeps an eye out for any convenient datapads or credsticks. If/when she doesn't find any, she hops up onto a nearby table and puts two pairs of paws on her hips as she points at the skeleton with another paw. "Pippimi guessing skeleton not want to talk and spill whole plan. So Pippimi offer deal. Deal sound good?"
Diplomacy (aid): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Culture: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
"Unmistakable who this filth belongs too. I wonder if it knows my name yet?" Zoran says sharing any more information he can recall about the Corpse Fleet.
Turning to the others he shakes his head.
"Last thing we want is it taking the easy way out so watch it carefully. I will offer it a chance but I am just as happy if it declines." he tells the others and walks up after Pippimi holding his cane and pistol in hand.
He moves in close putting his face to the ear of the Corpse Fleet member. He breathes deeply for a few moments if only to let him feel that Zoran is still in some ways alive.
"We may offer you a deal but after what the Corpse Fleet did to me you would be wise to wake it quickly.... I want to know more. A lot more. You are but one member of the Corpse Fleet...I would gladly let you go if it meant you can lead us to the ones involved with this...so I can kill every single one of them." Zoran growls in his ear before turning the creatures head so he can look into the void where eyes would be. He stares for a time and grits his teeth as the pain from gripping his pistol so tightly grows then suddenly relaxes his body turning to walk away.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (13) + 13 + (4) = 30
Culture, corpse fleet: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
So, just what were you two doing out here?
Diplomacy, aid: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Pippimi acts the good cop to Zoran's bad cop. "Not only let go, but Pippimi throw in free Blastwerks product sample to bring home! Ta-da!" She holds a Qwik-Build azimuth laser pistol up in her paws.
"Pippimi just want to know who your leader! And if leader like gyres and exploding magnificently?"
Yeah, I usually play 0HP is an explosion... except when convenient for plot reasons. :)
Lenny recognizes that symbol. Some of his regular gym rats told him that the Corpse Fleet is an exiled offshoot of the Eoxian Navy that’s made up of powerful admirals and captains who roam the universe in starships forged from bone and steel. Officially, the government of Eox condemns this rogue organization.
The sight of the enemy soldier sparks Zoran's memory. He remembers that the Corpse Fleet formed when powerful and disgruntled members of the Eoxian Navy could not stomach their world’s adoption of the Absalom Pact. These naval officers deeply believed in the same sort of Eoxian superiority that once led the planet to destroy civilizations that refused to acknowledge Eox’s power—including the worlds known as the Twins, the shattered remnants of which now form the Diaspora. The twins were, many centuries ago, the home world of the Sarcesians. Although Eox’s government and ambassadors to the Pact Worlds make a grandiose show of denouncing the Corpse Fleet, rumors claim that some of the powerful Eoxian rulers known as bone sages still clandestinely communicate with the exiles, and perhaps even secretly aid them with their work to promote Eoxian supremacy. The general population on Eox seems largely ambivalent—perhaps suspiciously so—toward the exiled fleet. Got them all this time!
The pilot doesn't move as Pippimi pats him down, knowing he is outnumbered and outgunned. Unfortunately, he has no valuables on his person. He stands stock still as Zoran approaches him, twitching slightly at the borai's breath on his bony cheek. His throat rattles, then he speaks. "Aye, I'll deal with you. Even if you work with... breathers." His eye sockets pan over the group, noticeably passing over Zulu and Zoran. "We were dropped here a week ago, off the freighter. They left us, promising they'd return once their mission was complete. No time frame, we can last a long time on our own." His bony cheeks stretch and his jaw opens to reveal a bony mouth in a facsimile of a smile. "Our orders were to kill anyone leaving the planet. Much harder to escape when the asteroid is at your back." When asked about the freighter's mission, he chuckles with a bony grating noise. "Like they would tell a common pilot. I've only been working with them for 200 years, since I was recruited on Eox. They still have trust issues. All I know is we're looking for something that will help end the war forever. Something that will bring about the downfall of the... breathers." He stares at Lenny, hungrily. "We came here a week ago, the specialist team spent a few days on planet, then they left. No word on where they went."
"Left a bunch of the team on the rock, cut to pieces." muttered Zulu, remembering the laser trap.
Pippimi nods vigorously at Zoran's addition. "Pippimi already know skeleton hate breathers, that not new info. Maybe give team location of Corpse Fleet base, so team can go and give piece of mind?"