Space…the final frontier. The mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no-wait, I am being informed that we are talking about the wrong Star Noun here!
Joking aside, I am a firm believer that the Star Wars Universe has a vast potential to tell stories of different genres. The original Star Wars was born out of a desire to make an updated retelling the serials of the 1930’s and 40’s, of which there was a slew of westerns, swashbucklers, even noir mysteries, but probably one of the most famous update of these serials was another George Lucas project, the other trilogy that he is famous for, the most famous Action Archaeologist, Indiana Jones. As it so happens, Star Wars is absolutely chock full of single biome planets, abandoned temples, strange creatures, hostile natives and an ever present lingering group of fascists looming over the horizon. On top of that, there is the Unknown Regions, a vast regions of space that are uncharted on the hyperlanes. All of the tools for stories about exploration and colonization, and offers the chance to look hard the effects of those on the planets you visit. This cocktail actually is a great mix to harken back to Gentleman Adventurer tropes of Alan Quartermain, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days and Herge’s Tintin, but perhaps with an extra hundred years of hindsight to explore some of the ramifications of that your characters are doing. One eye on the past, and one eye on the future? That sounds like an excellent mix for exploring the great beyond!
Without further ado, here are our intrepid explorers:
Mary Kirney: Human Explorer/Archaeologist
Obligation: Debt 10
Emotional Strength: Curiosity
Emotional Weakness: Fear
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 2, Intellect 4, Cunning 2, Willpower 2, Presence 3
Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12
Abilities: +1 to 2 non-Career skills
Talents: Well Rounded (Leadership, Ranged (Light)), Researcher
Skills: Cool 1, Leadership 1, Knowledge (Education) 1, Knowledge (Lore) 2, Knowledge (Outer Rim) 1, Knowledge (Xenology), Ranged Weapon (Light) 1
Equipment: Blaster Pistol, Commink, 50 credits
Mary is fresh out of the University of Coruscant, one of the premier academies for xenobiology. However, “premier” has also meant incredibly expensive. Riddled with debt, she has searched for any kind of way to use her new degree and to pursue the ranks of academia. Eventually, she settled on an expedition to the Unknown Regions, where they would be able to chart hyper lanes and report on the xeno fauna that is found on these worlds. She is raw, but has a wide breadth of knowledge, but in particular there is one thing she wants to chase: the rumors of ancient temples and creatures defy expectation.
Rex Kennedy: Human Explorer/Big Game Hunter
Obligation: Obsession 20 (+10 for 2500 credits)
Emotional Strength: Enthusiasm
Emotional Weakness: Recklessness
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 3, Intellect 3, Cunning 3, Willpower 2, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 14
Strain Threshold: 12
Abilities: +2 non-career skills
Talents: Forager, Outdoorsmen, Toughened
Skills: Cool 1, Knowledge (Outer Rim), Knowledge (Xenology) 1, Ranged (Heavy) 1, Stealth 1, Skullduggery 1, Survival 1, Vigilance 1
Equipment: BlasTech LBR-9 Stun Rifle, Thermal Cloak
Rex got into Xenology mostly as an excuse to have a respectable profession to his passion: the hunt. It initially was meant to be a vacation, thought up by rich Coruscant patriarchs as a well to get their son outdoors, only to find that Rex became obsessed. The excuse to travel into the Unknown Regions and hunt strange new species seemed the perfect way to indulge his whims, and as a result was the one who managed to pull the strings to get this adventure off the ground. The effect has had him “go native” as Courescant elites put it, taking on a bit of affectation of the Outer Rimmers, and he has actually managed to learn some practical bush skills in the process.
Elwyn Kyrie: Corellian Human Tech/Modder
Obligation: Betrayal 15 (+5 Experience)
Emotional Strength: Ambition
Emotional Weakness: Arrogance
Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 4, Intellect 3, Cunning 2, Willpower 2, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12
Abilities: +1 to Piloting (Space)
Talents: Signature Vehicle, Larger Project
Skills: Astrogation 1, Computers 1, Mechanics 1, Gunnery 1, Piloting (Planetary) 1, Piloting (Space) 2
Equipment: Nomad Greatcoat, Tool Kit, 50 credits
Elwyn was once known as a shining star at the Corellian University, eager to search after the legendary path of the Outbound Flight. However, he found his reputation smeared by a fellow classmate, and his research about the proposed Astrogation path. The classmate turned it over to the Empire, who seemed very interested in the project and Elwyn was labelled a Jedi sympathizer and found himself in the dregs of academia. Mary’s project is the only chance he’s had to get out into the field since, and with luck they’ve managed to peel off a project ship to work with, a HWK-290 that he now has free reign to tinker with.
Calan Tin: Duros Seeker/Navigator
Force Rating: 2
Obligation: Bounty 20 (5 XP +1000 credits)
Emotional Strength: Independence
Emotional Weakness: Greed
Characteristics: Brawn 1, Agility 2, Intellect 3, Cunning 2, Willpower 3, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 12
Abilities: Piloting (Space) +1, Free Advantage on Astrogation checks
Talents: Shortcut, Planet Mapper, Uncanny Senses, Force Rating, Planetary Hopper
Skills: Astrogation 1, Piloting (Space) 1, Piloting (Planetary), Ranged (Heavy) 1, Survival 1 Vigilance 1
Equipment: 8 Gauge Scattergun, Wilderness Survival Kit, Korormondian Half-Vest, 100 credits
Unlike the others, Calan didn’t come from any cushy academia. His degree is from the school of Hard Knocks (into objects, whilst coming out of hyper) coming from a long line of Duro fringers who have explored the unknown. While without any kind of formal schooling, Calan has an undeniable knack for finding routes into the unknown, often resorting to saying that he knows plenty of “family secrets”, a mystical approach of speaking to the universe, the method of which has been passed down from generation to generation. Calan’s skills have begun to attract the wrong kind of attention. After all, there are rumors aplenty of the Empire snatching up people with his kind of talents, just as the Jedi picked away promising children centuries before. A long trip into the Unknown Regions with an air of legitimacy about it seems like the perfect way to take the heat off.
HWK-290 Light Freighter “Technical Difficulties”
Hull Trauma Threshold: 18
System Strain Threshold: 18
Shields (Fore/Aft): 1/1
Hyperdrive: Primary: Class 2, Backup: None.
Sensor Range: Short.
Ship’s Complement: 1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot.
Consumables: 1.5 Months (with expanded passengers)
The squad was formed with base character creation using the Core books of Edge of the Empire, Force and Destiny, Enter the Unknown and Savage Spirits. The ship selection was taken from the asset rules of Force and Destiny
How They Interact
Mary resents the kriff out of Rex. She had to bust her butt to get this far, scraping by on the bare minimum to graduate and even be able to venture out on a foray like this. Worse than the fact that Rex comes from money is how much he seems to take his advantages for granted. However, it’s because of his family connections that she has been able to put this together, even if he is considering it more like a grand adventure than an academic excursion, so she’s been forced to bite her tongue, at least for now.
Mary sees a lot of herself in Elwyn and doesn’t like it. The man has a similar temper, and he knows how to nurse a grudge from infancy to moody adolescence, and worse, his fall from grace is an ever present reminder that her position is incredibly tenuous. That said, she actually likes the man, Force take it. His enthusiasm for the project is palpable, especially the HWK-290 they have jokingly dubbed the “Technical Difficulties” and it’s a boon to have that excitement bleed into the project as a whole.
A Duros navigator is a boon, but Calan certainly is a strange one. Mary knows enough about Astrogation to know that he shouldn’t be able to play as fast and loose as he does with some of the calculations, but his gut instinct hasn’t steered them wrong yet. They do both seem to have an eager interest in some of the ruins they’ve run into so far, but Mary gets the feeling that there’s something about it that Calan isn’t telling her. One day, those secrets might get them in trouble.
Rex wishes that Mary would take things less seriously. There’s no point in worrying about whether they’ve spent every waking moment finding something, the entire point of the trip is discovery, and an adventure rarely follows a linear path but he’s willing to at least try to appease her if it means keeping the peace so she leaves him alone during the hunt. She’s a right mess in the bush, all full of book learning and none of the practical experience. She isn’t all bad though…he has a bit of a sweet spot for her, even though he isn’t keen on mentioning it. She’d likely tear him a new one.
Calan is a bit of an odd duck, but hey, non-humans are strange ones in the view of most Core World humans. Duros are supposed to be the best guides and navigators in the galaxy though, so it isn’t that odd to hire one on for the help even if his customs and habits seem foreign and strange.
Elwyn is all sorts of alright. It’s nice to have at least one male Coreworlder with them, and they both share an enthusiasm for drink and sabaac that helps wile away the idle hours. The man is a bit obsessed with his ship, but Rex is in no position to talk, what with his own hobby. The friendship has a practical consideration as well. Rex’s parents had told him to always appreciate someone who has been abandoned by the establishment: they become desperate to strike back at it if you give them the chance.
Elwyn likes Mary enough, but has a feeling that he’ll like her more once she gets some of the shine knocked off of her. She just feels that she’s so right about everything, and he more than anyone knows how that conviction can turn from a strength to a liability. She is whip smart though, and has a charisma that makes her easy for him to follow.
Rex can be a bit sleemo with some of his core world homogenized views, but is somehow a lovable guy and rarely means offense. Not that he intends it in order to give it, but Rex is just plain fun strangely enough. Both of them have seen some things in the outside world, but Rex manages to play it off like one big game, something that Elwyn is envious of. The man’s entrenched status among Coruscant patriarchs gives the trip more legitimacy in the eyes of people back home, and that has led to sparks of ambition even as Elwyn has tried to keep them tamped down.
There is something about Calan that triggers Elwyn’s bantha poodoo meter. Yes, Duros are legendary as navigators, but the Duros seems to come at problems from a completely different angle than any other Calan has met, including other Duros. He’s brought the issue up, but no one seems to be taking it seriously. At the end of the day though, Elwyn trusts Calan with his (and it is his) ship. Well, at least long enough until Mary gets enough weather under her belt to do better.
Calan wishes he didn’t have to hide so many secrets from Mary. She honestly seems open minded and interested, and she might be a real font of knowledge to explore more of the family secrets. However, they are indeed Family Secrets, and he better be darn sure that she is ready to face the consequences of doing so. His family has been hunted by the Jedi and Empire alike for them, and it’s not paranoia when they actually are out to get you.
Rex, however, is someone Calan has zero problems keeping secrets from. Calan has met his type plenty of times, and Rex seems easy enough to manage. The trick isn’t that hard, it’s more the indignity of letting the human make incorrect assumptions about Duros without bothering to correct him. It may be grating, but the man is more cunning and dangerous than the others seem to realize, and Calan has zero problems letting the man waste his hunting instincts on a search for wild game, women and booze. Heck, Calan will buy it for him if it prevents Rex from hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Force users.
Elwyn might be a bit of a grouch, but Corellians are fellow adventurers and travelers, and he has one darn fine ship. Elwyn still seems a bit tetchy about letting Calan be his navigator and co-pilot, but has been slowly ceding ground. It’s understandable though: the Technical Difficulties is his baby, and the affection a Corellian has for their ship is legendary. Calan certainly can’t argue with the results. The HWK-290 is an older model, but the TD runs well and is a fine ship.
It’s really hard to have a definitive stopping place for this crew. After all, space is a Big place. However, they are limited a bit in terms of their traveling capacity without needing to get more supplies, meaning that if they want to travel deeper, they would have to find a place to resupply Scarcity will be as serious an enemy as hostile natives, or rival explorers. In the end though, the arm of the Empire is ever present, especially if the crew winds up stumbling over a little place known as Exegol.