Avast, me hearties!
A pirate’s life is in store for ye upon the dreaded Firespray System Patrol Craft! The mere sighting of its elephantine silhouette fills the hearts of soft-bellied, lily-livered core world tourists with palpable dread. Presented here are the tools your Crew desires to pave the way to a pirate-ical life of plunder, while at the same time allowing your Galaxy Master the opportunity for more dynamic starship encounters and added threats that will slap into place any cocky, upstart Crew.
Of the three starting vessels in Star Wars Edge of the Empire, the Firespray seems, at first glance, to be the worst of all possible choice. It’s weapons are ineffective, it’s cargo hold is meager, it’s crew accommodations abysmal, and its Hull/Strain thresholds worrisome. While the vessel does have a tractor beam, to negate Evasive Maneuvers, and a high Speed, allowing for Gain the Advantage, the boost in offensive capabilities here don’t quite add up to just having the bigger guns that its counterparts do. With all these bad stats, you might ask,
“why would the game designers put this worthless ship as a choice?”
I say to you that it is, in fact, the best ship one can choose. Here is why: boarding parties.
Imagine the scene:
A bulky, slow freighter blasts out of orbit from the nearby opalescent world of Ord Mantell, a shining jewel of the galaxy. It’s fat cargo holds are full to the brim with exotic delicacies and advanced technological wonders. Soon it jumps through the void and into hyperspace, reemerging back into our dimension in some backwater, no-name star system on the outskirts of the Outer Rim. The captain smiles to himself, thinking about the great profits to be made in selling this material off to the dust-covered rubes digging in the dirt down on that planet.
But oh. Oh no. Something has appeared on the radar. Space pirates.
A Firespay roars its blazing engines into life. The pursuer easily outruns and outmaneuvers its prey, quickly closing the gap onto the freighter. Shots are fired from both, a hail of blasters back and forth. The freighter’s turret-mounted weaponry trying desperately to hold off the attacker for enough time to allow an emergency escape. Thoughts of dropping the cargo into space cross through his mind, but the captain worries that it will do no good.
No solace shall be found today. A concentrated, cloud-like beam issues forth from the Firespray, holding its prize still like a hawk gripping a rat in its talons. The freighter captain struggles at the controls, but cannot escape.
With no where to turn, the freighter is held helpless as the Firespray closes the final gap and comes into contact. A soft shudder ripples through both vessels as they make gentle, physical contact. Automated steel clamps latch down, holding the starships tightly together. Trandoshan thugs aboard the Firespray tightly grip massive hand-to-hand weapons while a cunning human scoundrel kneels down to work with a blowtorch and other specialized tools, forcing the airlock door open.
Knowing the end is near, the captain turns to his first mate and orders an automated self-destruct sequence.
Boarding Action (action)
While your starship is within Close Range of a starship that cannot take maneuvers, make an Average (dd) Athletics, Mechanics, or Skullduggery check. On a success, the starship’s airlock portal is forced open, a clear path is presented between the two starships, and both starships travel together as they are held together by docking clamps until released.
Boarding actions are fun, but dangerous. Galaxy Masters must use care and caution when introducing this new House Rule into their campaign. A sharp group of players can turn this option into an unstoppable advantage by capturing a veritable fleet of starships. Use dropped cargo, automatic self-destruct mechanisms, anti-intruder traps, counter invasions, and just plain difficult-to-kill freighter crews to give your own Crew pause. Force them to think strategically, plan out attacks, and make them work hard for the coveted prize. When it all comes together, they will feel that much more satisfied knowing that they took the path of high danger and were subsequently rewarded with high profits.