Transcript: S2 Episode 18 Little Tink
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Tabletop Squadron Transcript – Season 2, Episode 18:
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
NICK: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Nick, your game master. Every other Thursday, our story follows a thief, a bounty hunter, and a slicer as they hunt for galactic treasure, staying away from a bitter rival and growing closer together.
Before we get into the episode, I want to thank Ryan Pothering for their patron-created NPC this week. Thank you, Ryan, for giving us Meelo Shmee. He went in some very fun directions and was a blast to play with. If you want to introduce an NPC for us to play with, that’s at the Build-A-Beru level on our Patreon. Check it out.
Music credit and content warnings are available in the show notes this week.
So now, let’s get into the episode.
NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 18, the dark night of the podcasting world! We’re not the podcast that you deserve, we’re the podcast that you need… and sometimes we punch clowns.
CAMERON: [laughing] What?!
LILIT: Who gets to wear tight underwear and leggings? Who gets to say “fuck Batman”?
NICK: I currently am doing all of those at once.
CAMERON: Who is being forced to drink Fernet-Branca?
NICK: [smiling] Oh yeah! … We don’t have time to go into the Fernet-Branca story. [laughs] That needs so much background to make any kind of sense.
NICK: Anyway, I’m your host and game master, Nick. Let’s all go around the table and everybody say who you are and who you’re playing today, and if you spent any experience since last time let me know, starting with Lilit.
LILIT: Hello. I am Dick Grayson and I will be playing Nightwing.
LILIT: No. I am Lilit, and I will be playing Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.
NICK: Have you spent any experience?
LILIT: Well, my XP box says nothing, so maybe.
NICK: Oh. That’s fair. Wonderful. Up next we have Hudson.
HUDSON: Ey! It’s Hudson here, and I’m playing Tink, a Gigoran slicer. I have not spent any experience points. I am hoarding them with a capital H.
NICK: Last but not least we have Cameron.
CAMERON: Hello. I am Cameron, and I am playing Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter. I am also hoarding experience.
NICK: Lovely. So, before we get started with the recap, let’s do the Destiny Roll~!
CAMERON: One dark side.
LILIT: One dark side.
HUDSON: One light side.
CAMERON: Yay Hudson.
NICK: Hmm. Alright. So, the last time that we saw the crew of the Afternoon Delight you all went on an adventure to the library. You researched many things. You found some very good information on the best way to care for loth-rats. You researched some tabletop RPG item stats. You found some romance novels. Oh, and you did manage to look into the Broken Force, the series of Force-centric items that you’d need to potentially overthrow the emperor and that you were tasked by Sentinel to go and track down. Oh, and you figured out that the spider librarian was actually a spider spy and not a librarian and had shoved a librarian under a desk. Alright, so let’s jump into it.
We open on the planet of Ithor. It is a dark green ball dotted with small seas. You can see the remains of wreckage floating in orbit. It looks like the Empire didn’t bother with an entire cleanup of the disaster in orbit but instead took the main carcass of the super star destroyer for refurbishment and left.
Ithor sits forlornly in space. The sensors pick up several large herdships, floating cities that house a majority of the Ithorian population, hovering several kilometers above the dense jungle of the planet. But there is one section of the atmosphere that is more blank, nothing floats above the jungle here, and below you can see large swaths of destruction barely beginning to regrow: the location of the herdship that was shot down during your last visit, the place where the jungle burned under imperial bombardment.
We see the Afternoon Delight snap out of hyperspace directly over orbit of this planet, and you all get a view of this destruction.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, the memories… That sounded way too happy.
CAMERON (as Karma): Whoa.
HUDSON (as Tink): Anyways. There are some memories here, and they’re not very good.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes.
CAMERON (as Karma): I’m glad the blockade’s gone.
HUDSON (as Tink): So uh, where should we start?
LILIT (as Xianna): Probably in the wreckage of the herdship, or we could go to a different herdship and see if anybody knows the Oracle.
HUDSON (as Tink): Ohh, that’s an idea.
LILIT (as Xianna): Because like, I don’t know what the Oracle did with it.
HUDSON (as Tink): In times like this, especially in the place we’re at, I think to myself… what would Sabos do?
CAMERON (as Karma): Um… probably pull out a fake ID.
LILIT (as Xianna): Nothing good.
HUDSON (as Tink): Let his head tails guide the way? That’s a good answer.
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh…
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, I am not going to do that, and you do not have head tails, so… how do you want to proceed?
HUDSON (as Tink): Well, if I had head tails, which I don’t… I think they would tell me to look through the wreckage of the herdship for there lies the answers. Maybe.
CAMERON (as Karma): [wincing] Okay~
NICK: We see Karma guide the ship down into the atmosphere. We get a swipe to the ship landing in the jungle. You all may remember that the mother jungle of Ithor is considered a no-trespassing zone by the Ithorians. Anyone who touches foot on the jungle is no longer allowed to leave. Do you do anything specifically to sneak down to the surface or do you just fly straight in?
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay, but look, if we wear stilts we are not technically touching the ground, okay?
LILIT (as Xianna): That is all I’m saying. I’m not saying we have to, I’m just saying it is a possibility.
HUDSON (as Tink): I’m actually really good at the floor is lava game, so I think I could go tree to tree.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, does that count?
HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh… good point.
LILIT (as Xianna): Going tree to tree, or are you not allowed to touch any of it?
HUDSON (as Tink): Karma, we gotta get down there unnoticed. Go really, really fast.
LILIT (as Xianna): [gasps] Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know! Does anybody know some Mandalorians? We call them up and we get their little jetpacks.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, so we hover?
LILIT (as Xianna): I mean, I guess you don’t have to be a Mandalorian to use a jetpack. We can just buy them.
HUDSON (as Tink): But they have the cool ones.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yeah. They probably know how to use them, because I don’t really know how to use a jetpack.
HUDSON (as Tink): Are they made of rothguard steel or whatever thing they have?
CAMERON (as Karma): Beskar?
HUDSON (as Tink): Beskar!
LILIT (as Xianna): B-Beskar…?
HUDSON (as Tink): Beskar, that’s right.
LILIT (as Xianna): I don’t think the jetpack is.
CAMERON (as Karma): No, I don’t think they are.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh… Sorry, Roth Guard is actually a type of financial savings account. I just got it confused with beskar. I’m sorry.
NICK (as HK): Boss Man, I think you are thinking of Roth Guard IRAs.
HUDSON (as Tink): That’s it. That’s absolutely it.
LILIT (as Xianna): What is an IRA?
NICK (as HK): I actually can’t remember. Boss Man, is it an IRA or a 401K, and what’s the difference?
HUDSON (as Tink): I would say that an IRA is different than a 401K IRA depending on what kind of savings account you have. A 401K generally means retirement and a Roth IRA has post-tax distributions. So you give money to the Roth IRA and basically you have to pay taxes once you take the money out during retirement or pay a penalty if you take the money out early.
NICK (as HK): Boss Man, I just realized that I am going to live forever and therefore do not need to care about a retirement account.
LILIT (as Xianna): And I don’t pay taxes, so I don’t think those apply to me.
HUDSON (as Tink): You’re right, that’s true. You have a tax-free account by technicality.
LILIT (as Xianna): None of them are under any legal name, so I don’t think those names ever pay taxes.
HUDSON (as Tink): True. True.
NICK: So how are y’all getting down to the planet? [laughs]
CAMERON: Can I see any of the herdships on the ship’s sensors? Like, how far away are they?
NICK: The herdships are far enough away that if you do some fancy flying they won’t necessarily pick you up. They’re spread fairly evenly around the planet with an eye for privacy and peace and distance between them so that each herdship functions independently, and there’s been a hole in that net of ships for a long time, because one of these has been destroyed and they haven’t replaced it. So, if you fly just right you think you can skip between their sensor bubbles and get down to the planet undetected.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hear me out. Skydiving. We jump out, Hank just continues to run the ship, we skydive out, land in the woods undetected.
LILIT (as Xianna): Really, I think we can just pilot the ship down to the planet in a stealthy way, because we have the sneaky paint coat.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh yeah… Alright.
CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm. We could just wait until it’s dark and then we fly down.
HUDSON (as Tink): One day we’ll get to skydive.
NICK (as HK): Actually though, Boss Man, I did enjoy the last time we infiltrated a planet by hurling ourselves precariously down to the surface. Let’s do that again. Are you sure that you do not want to skydive?
HUDSON (as Tink): Not this time, Hank.
NICK (as HK): Disappointed sigh.
NICK: So, whoever’s piloting, Karma I assume, I need you to make me a hard Piloting check to dodge the sensors, but you can have two blue dice because of your sneaky paint coat.
CAMERON: Our night shadow coating?
NICK: Yeah, that sounds a lot cooler than what I said.
CAMERON: [giggles] One success, two advantages.
NICK: Awesome. So, you are able to pick up on the sensors as you cut the ship in towards the surface, pretty much the range of the nearby herdships’ sensing field, and they overlap but not entirely, and you’re able to skip down between them and you are pretty sure no one knows that you’re here. As you are coming in to land, you find a clearing just outside of the destruction and you’re able to come in and land somewhere covered but with a flat enough piece of ground for you to set down safely.
Up close you can see that the jungle has begun to regrow. Patches of purple and green fungus are growing on the fallen trunks of dense trees and small mammals duck out of sight into the underbrush. You can see bits of building and wreckage still poking up from the site.
CAMERON (as Karma): Ready to go exploring?
LILIT (as Xianna): Karma, do you have the bug spray in your bag?
CAMERON (as Karma): Actually I think it’s in my refresher. One second.
CAMERON: Karma leaves. Karma comes back with a big mom bag full of all sorts of necessary adventuring equipment, but mostly bug spray.
LILIT: Xianna reaches into one of her pockets, pulls out Creamsicle and holds her out while covering her eyes.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie.
CAMERON: Karma tilts her head.
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, I was thinking for—Okay, never mind.
CAMERON: And just sprays down Creamsicle who is now safe from bugs.
LILIT (as Xianna): Thank you.
NICK: Yep, Creamsicle is entirely protected from bugs now.
LILIT (as Xianna): I have not gotten Creamsicle all of her vaccines yet, so I should protect her with some bug spray just in case.
CAMERON (as Karma): With the number of planets we’ve been going to, that’s probably a very good idea.
NICK: So, do you head out into the jungle?
NICK: As you step down off of the ship you can see that this large swath of jungle has been mostly destroyed, and is starting to regrow, but you can see for a lot further in the direction of where the herdship came down than in the direction, say, deeper into the jungle. There’s a lot of debris and things scattered around. You can see bits of buildings still sticking up. What are you all looking for? This is essentially an exploded city, so how do you wanna try to track this stuff down?
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh, Tink, you have your little data pad scanner thing.
HUDSON (as Tink): I was just thinking that. It detects other scanners.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, the other one.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh…
LILIT (as Xianna): Do you think it would detect a Force signature? Karma, you read the book that had all the important information in it.
CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t think that they’ll pick it up.
CAMERON: I’m kinda picturing that the herdship fell in a way that large cruise liners do when they sink where they kind of come down intact. Obviously when it hit ground that didn’t continue, but the general outline of the city location-wise would still be fairly similar within the wreckage. Would that be accurate, Nicholas?
NICK: It’s spread out, so like the general outline is about the same, but it’s bigger than the herdship was. Like, it broke apart on the way down but still landed in the general outline, so think more like a chocolate crinkle cookie more than a chocolate chip cookie.
NICK: Cracked and pieced together puzzle kind of situation.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hank, can you access a map of the city before it was ruined?
NICK (as HK): Sure. … Let me go find one.
NICK: HK walks back up into the ship and comes back down a few minutes later.
NICK (as HK): Map downloaded. Great idea. Now I know where I’m going.
LILIT (as Xianna): Should we maybe check the places that we knew the Oracle hung out in?
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. There was like that center gardeny-type place where we first met them.
NICK: Can I get Perception checks from everybody, please?
CAMERON: Okay… What difficulty?
HUDSON: I have a triumph with no success and a threat.
LILIT: I have two successes and three advantages.
NICK: Wonderful. So Karma, you are very engaged in the conversation that the group is having about where you would wanna start looking for this artifact. Xianna, you notice that there is someone hiding in the bushes nearby. Looks to be a Sullustan with a brown and yellow flight suit, so it blends into the trees, kind of. The Sullustans are the ones that have duck bills for cheeks on either side. There’s a Sullustan that helps pilot the Millennium Falcon when Lando flies it.
LILIT: Nien Nunb.
NICK: Yeah! Nien Nunb’s the best. I’m sure that this Sullustan is also cool. You can see that there is someone in the underbrush holding a blaster, but it doesn’t appear to be pointed at you. Tink, you don’t see that, but something good happens. What would you like for your random luck to result in?
LILIT: Give us the high ground.
HUDSON: We have the high ground.
NICK: You have the high ground. Okay. You’re on a slight rise, so this person hiding in the bushes is at a disadvantage if they decide they want to shoot you.
LILIT: Xianna looks down to where this person is and just gives a big wave.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, ello! Ello person in the bushes!
NICK: There’s a long pause, and then awkwardly you see this Sullustan stand up and you get a little bit better look at them. He waves kind of awkwardly at you all, and looks down and sees that he’s holding his blaster and holsters that and kinda holds his hands up.
NICK (as Meelo): Um… permission to come aboard?
LILIT (as Xianna): We are not on a ship, so…
NICK (as Meelo): Well you’re right next to a ship. Can I come up the hill that you’re standing on? I don’t really want to shout through the woods. You never know when something might hear.
CAMERON (as Karma): Sure?
NICK: So, he trudges his way up the hill. It takes a long time. It gets a little awkward how long it takes, because there’s a lot of undergrowth and he gets his flight suit hooked on bushes and stuff a couple of times. You see that this Sullustan is a little overweight, is average height, is wearing a brown and yellow flight suit that’s been torn and patched over and over again. It looks like it’s sewed together with vegetable thread. The repairs have been done unprofessionally. He’s wearing dark goggles to protect his eyes, because you know that Sullustans don’t like direct sunlight, and he has birthmarks on both of his cheek flaps that make it look like he has two mustaches, so he has like dark lines on them. He seems pretty friendly as he walks up.
NICK (as Meelo): Well, I haven’t seen anyone who didn’t shoot first in quite a while. My name’s Meelo Smee. Nice to meet you.
HUDSON (as Tink): Good to meet you. Do you mean us harm?
NICK (as Meelo): No. Quite the opposite, actually. I would love to help you in exchange for getting the hell off this rock.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm. What skills do you have? Do you have a resume, CV maybe?
LILIT (as Xianna): Well we are not taking him on as a full-time gig.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, but this is an important part of our mission.
CAMERON (as Karma): Is it?
HUDSON (as Tink): Well…
NICK (as Meelo): So I’ll admit, when the entire city I was on crashed down around me amidst turbo laser fire and destruction, I did not manage to keep all of my important documents. Sorry about that. My name’s Meelo. I am a pilot. I am a pretty good one. You don’t look like you need one, and honestly I’m not asking for full-time crewship here, just… my ship’s a little blown up and I don’t wanna be here anymore, and I can’t ask the Ithorians because I’ve set foot on their jungle so they don’t want me to leave if they figure out I’m here.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, weird rules those Ithorians have.
NICK (as Meelo): Eh, it’s not that weird. Their whole existence is based around the jungle, so they care about it a lot. A lot of planets that just let people come down to the surface willy-nilly get really messed up, so I understand them being protective. It’s just very inconvenient for me. I’ve been here… oh my gosh, almost a year now.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh wow.
CAMERON: Karma had been doing math in her head trying to figure out exactly how long it had been since the herdship had gone down.
NICK: Almost a year.
NICK (as Meelo): But hey, I know that this looks like a really dandy vacation spot, and…
CAMERON (as Karma): Does it?
NICK (as Meelo): Well, I was being mildly sarcastic, because there’s actually several dangerous creatures around. Why don’t you come back to my hideout and we can talk a little more somewhere safe?
CAMERON (as Karma): Works for me.
CAMERON: Karma hits a button on the ship clicker and the door closes and it goes (boop-bwoop).
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, locking the ship, smart move. That’ll keep anybody from stealing it.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yes, that is the goal.
NICK: So, do you follow this stranger back to their quote-unquote “hideout?”
CAMERON: Yes, but Karma has her hands on her carbine and is carrying it in front of her.
NICK: Okay. You can tell that Meelo is extremely excited to be talking, and even though he says it would be best to get out of the open he’s talking a lot and very excitedly, not about anything important, about the weather and whatever he’s found to eat recently and how he’s been surviving which is mostly by scavenging. He leads around the perimeter of the herdship and you find broken off and a little separated from a lot of the destruction is one of those landing pads that you all used your first time visiting, and there’s a ship broken on top of it, and you can just make out the paint that says Crate Dragon on the side of the ship.
NICK (as Meelo): Well… home sweet home. This is where I’ve been hiding from all of the scary predators and scary people who come down here. Why don’t you come inside? Maybe we can work something out. I’m sure you came here for a reason, and maybe I can help you with that in exchange for getting the heck out of here.
HUDSON (as Tink): I like your ship name. Your ship is janked, though. I’m sorry, it’s just kind of messed up. I think it was due to the destruction from a year ago.
LILIT (as Xianna): I feel like that is implied. This whole situation is that the ship went boom with everything else.
HUDSON (as Tink): Ah.
CAMERON (as Karma): I think that’s why Meelo’s wanting a ride with us, as there are no operational ships down here at this point.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah. Turns out ships are really good at flying, not so good at falling, and it was quite a fall. The good news was I was in the ship and it protected me, I didn’t die, but I did spend the first couple of months trying to fix it. Unfortunately, like your big hairy friend there said, pretty jank at this point.
HUDSON: I walk up onto the ship.
NICK: Cool. So, as you walk into the ship Meelo scurries after you, and on the inside you can see that the ship itself used to be a medium size freighter that was just kind of boxy shaped, not particularly fast but lots of storage, and almost the entire thing is just a hollowed out cargo bay and you see boxes and boxes and boxes. The name that you saw on the side of the ship, Crate Dragon, is spelled C-R-A-T-E.
Inside there’s just tons and tons of boxes and they’ve been stacked to make places to sit, and you can see blankets tossed over a series of boxes in a bed, and some of them are open, and there’s lots of little bits and bobs and tchotchkes and things that look like they’ve been salvaged from the wreckage and that are hanging up there. Kind of picture WALL-E’s little hangout from, uh…
HUDSON: WALL-E? [laughs]
CAMERON: [laughing] From WALL-E?
NICK: …from WALL-E, but bigger. Yeah.
NICK (as Meelo): Well, welcome to my home away from home. You know, I’ve led you here, and I’ve introduced myself, and you all haven’t said who you are or even what you’re doing here… It would be nice to get a little bit more give out of the give-and-take that’s going on right now. I know I don’t talk to people a lot… Ooh! You’re probably hungry.
NICK: He dives into one of the boxes and comes out holding two big baggies of purple and green fungus kept in two separate bags.
NICK (as Meelo): This stuff, turns out, is edible. It’s pretty good if you wanna try.
NICK: He starts setting it out on top of a box.
LILIT (as Xianna): Thank you, but uh, I have a bag of Spunyuns, so I am okay.
NICK (as Meelo): Ooh, are they flaming hot? I’ve had a craving for flaming hot Spunyuns for like ten months.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, they are just the regular ones.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, never mind then.
HUDSON (as Tink): I’m full. I don’t need any food. Thank you.
CAMERON: Karma donates some granola bars and oranges to the pile but does not partake in the mushrooms.
NICK: He sees the granola bar and oranges, and you can see him staring at those, and he looks at you, Karma.
NICK (as Meelo): Can… I try some of those? I’ve been eating mostly fungus for a long time.
CAMERON (as Karma): Take as many as you’d like. This is a community eating table.
NICK (as Meelo): Yes!
NICK: He rips an orange in half and just starts shoving it into his face and is thrilled, you can tell. After the first orange he starts munching on a granola bar and is visibly trying to keep himself calm.
NICK (as Meelo): So, um… most of the people that I find down here are here to hunt illegally or here to try to scavenge something out of the wreckage. That’s basically what I do to keep my time going too is scavenge things out of the wreckage. As you can see there’s some cool stuff around here. Is that why you’re here? Can I maybe help you find something? I’m really… You gotta understand, I really wanna get off this planet. I’ll do whatever you need to help you be successful. I’m 100% trustworthy, I promise. I just don’t want to be here anymore.
HUDSON (as Tink): Well, I could start with introductions. Hi, I’m Tink, a Gigoran slicer.
NICK (as Meelo): Aw, great! Thank you for providing both your name, your species, and your occupation!
NICK (as Meelo): I’m Meelo Smee, a Sullustan smuggler pilot.
NICK: He holds out his hand to shake.
LILIT (as Xianna): One of these days I am going to explain to you all the importance of fake names.
HUDSON (as Tink): What if Tink is my fake name and I’ve been playing the long con on you?
LILIT (as Xianna): No, because I know your name.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh…
LILIT (as Xianna): And I know Tink is just like a nickname that is officially connected to your real name.
HUDSON (as Tink): You’re right.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, you have a good point. My name is Meelo Smee, and I’m a Sullustan legal pilot, who does legal piloting things.
LILIT (as Xianna): No. No.
LILIT (as Xianna): You already told us the real name. We know now.
CAMERON (as Karma): It’s very convincing.
NICK (as Meelo): What are you gonna do, leave me marooned on this jungle planet? Whatever, it’s fine. I was just trying to be cool.
LILIT (as Xianna): But we are here to scavenge, for a very particular item.
NICK (as Meelo): Ah, now we’re talking. Tell me a little more. Maybe I’ve seen it. Maybe it’s somewhere in the Crate Dragon.
LILIT (as Xianna): I think it was in a briefcase, or maybe they took it out of the briefcase. I don’t know.
CAMERON (as Karma): No-no-no, this one wasn’t the briefcase. The briefcase was empty. That’s what Falx gave us. This was in a crate… Yeah.
LILIT (as Xianna): It has been so long. So it is either in a box or not in a box.
NICK (as Meelo): Okay, we’re off to a great start.
CAMERON (as Karma): It’s like a stone tablet type thing about ye big…
CAMERON: Karma holds up her hands in roughly the size of a data pad.
CAMERON (as Karma): …and it has buttons on it.
NICK (as Meelo): Huh.
HUDSON: I’m rolling Perception to see if it’s actually just in his ship somewhere.
NICK: I’m gonna say this is a daunting difficulty, because this is a smuggler ship and everything’s hidden in boxes.
HUDSON: A triumph with no success and a failure.
NICK: Either he knows about it and it’s gone or you find something unrelated that’s very useful. It’s up to you.
HUDSON: I think I find something that’s very useful.
NICK: Okay. What would you like to find?
HUDSON: I find a Gigoran action figure with an axe that is like just the cutest little action figure and it looks like me.
NICK: Okay. So as Meelo is trying to get a little bit more information out of the three of you about how he can help, you start to dig around in some of the crates, and what you see is that actually most of the boxes are full of additional boxes.
NICK: They’re nested smaller and smaller. Some of them have four or five of the same size box stuck inside. Most of the time if you open a lid or look into an open box you just see more boxes, but in one of them you manage to go a couple layers in, and yeah, you find this little action figure that looks like you.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hey, I found this in these Naboo nesting boxes. We got the little action—Look at this guy! Look at this guy.
LILIT (as Xianna): I am very happy for you, Tink, but that is not helpful right now.
HUDSON (as Tink): Maybe it will be. Maybe it holds a secret ring that can tell us where things are.
CAMERON (as Karma): Um…
HUDSON (as Tink): I’ve been watching too much TV.
CAMERON (as Karma): I was about to say that. [laughs]
LILIT (as Xianna): I think you have.
NICK (as Meelo): Wow. That’s part of the original cargo, actually. I forgot that was in there. You know, all the boxes, it’s easy to lose things, which I guess is kind of the idea. But hey, you know, if you get me out of here you can keep that if you want.
HUDSON (as Tink): [gasps]
NICK (as Meelo): I missed the delivery, so… I don’t really have a use for it.
HUDSON (as Tink): Sounds great. We will get you out of here.
NICK (as Meelo): Aw, thank you. Can we shake on it? I would just really like a commitment to get me out of this jungle. It would make me feel a lot better.
HUDSON (as Tink): Sure, but you have to shake the action figure’s hand too.
NICK (as Meelo): [chuckling] Okay.
NICK: He shakes the action figure’s hand very seriously with one finger and then grabs your hand. Your hand is a lot bigger than his, and y’all shake, and you can see he visibly relaxes.
NICK (as Meelo): Well, I feel a little bit better with that commitment. So, you’ve hired yourself a guide. You’re looking for a stone tablet… that’s either in a box or not in a box and has buttons on it.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yes. Last known location would be in whatever building the Oracle hung out in.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, that big greenhouse thing?
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, that big one in the center.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah. Ooh… ooh, really? Are you sure?
CAMERON (as Karma): Yes?
NICK (as Meelo): Uh… You haven’t been down onto the surface, have you, before?
CAMERON (as Karma): Nope, just landed.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah. I didn’t know if this was your first time. Some people make return trips. So, here’s the thing… That herdship going down opened up a path for people to come and land in the jungle without having to talk to the Ithorians at all, because they don’t normally like it.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yes, I had noticed.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah. I saw some of your approach vector, it was pretty fancy flying, but here’s the problem. The people who figured that out are very, uh… scary? Like I said before, they come down for two reasons, either they’re looking for loot, and they tend to find it and they’re willing to kill anybody that gets in the way because they’ve already done something that’s generally just disrespectful to the culture, or they’re looking to big game hunt. There’s a particular kind of creature down here, it’s called a molsoom. You ever heard of a molsoom before?
HUDSON (as Tink): I think I’ve eaten that before. Is it like an oatmeal-like substance? Sure.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, molsoom is like that dark sticky syrup that comes from sugarcane production. You know, you use it to make cookies.
NICK: You can roll me Xenology if you wanna know if you’ve actually heard of a molsoom before.
CAMERON: Can we all roll just to see?
HUDSON: What’s the difficulty?
NICK: Hard, because this is a very specific thing.
CAMERON: A success and a threat!
HUDSON: Four failures, three advantages.
CAMERON: [laughs] Wow.
NICK: Tink, you have no idea what that is. You actually believe Xianna’s story about it being an ingredient for a special type of cookie. Karma, you have actually seen a molsoom before. You didn’t know where they were from. The threat is that it almost killed you once. A bounty that you were working to capture had one as a pet and you wandered into its pen instead of the bounty’s office.
CAMERON: I hate when that happens.
NICK: Yeah. You don’t really remember very clearly, because it was a long time ago and the poison kind of affected your memory from that time.
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, those are those giant bug dragon poisonous monster things… right?
NICK (as Meelo): Oh! I thought you said you hadn’t been here before.
CAMERON (as Karma): I haven’t. I unfortunately encountered one elsewhere.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh. Well, then you know that’s the main reason I wanted you all to come back to the Crate Dragon, because at least I can shut the door here. Those things are bad news. The kind of people who hunt them do it because it’s a challenge and because their fur is actually really pretty and it’s very rare, so you can sell it for a lot of money. But long story short, kind of a roundabout way to say it, there’s a really big molsoom that made its nest in where the greenhouse used to be. Not all the plants died when they landed, like they were nestled in the crash, and this big old honkin’ giant one moved in. Really, whenever it wakes up and goes to hunt it’s best to just not go anywhere near it. It’s a scary little thing.
CAMERON: What is the size on these?
NICK: So normally you would know that they’re like tiger sized.
NICK: This one’s bigger.
HUDSON (as Tink): For a creature like this, it sounds like what we need to use is logic, reasoning and a bribe to get them on our side.
CAMERON (as Karma): Um…
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, and I have three grenades left.
CAMERON (as Karma): The grenades could work if we get it out of the greenhouse, but I’d prefer not to throw the grenades into the greenhouse since I’m pretty sure that’s where the doo-wopper is, whatever it’s called.
NICK: So I can tell you, if you remember, the greenhouse was like really big. It was bigger than a city block. That was where the Oracle lived.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm. I could use my vibro-axe to entice it to run away if it gets injured.
NICK (as Meelo): I think that’s called stabbing.
HUDSON (as Tink): I think it’s called a lot of motivation.
CAMERON (as Karma): [chuckling] Oh…
NICK (as Meelo): Sounds like your friend here, who still hasn’t introduced herself, and only Tink introduced himself but that’s fine…
CAMERON (as Karma): Hey. The conversation continued after that point and there was never a good time for me to do an introduction, so I didn’t. So this is your fault!
NICK (as Meelo): Okay. Hello! I’m Meelo Smee. What’s your name?
CAMERON (as Karma): Hello. I’m Karma, a Nautolan bounty hunter.
NICK (as Meelo): Thank you so much. And you ma’am, who reminded me that fake names are a good idea in this society?
LILIT (as Xianna): Well… [huffs] I mean, I guess I am Xianna.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah you are!
LILIT (as Xianna): Because nobody else is ever going to use fake names.
NICK (as Meelo): Great, and what’s your species and occupation?
LILIT (as Xianna): I am a Twi’lek. I don’t know, what is my occupation? I mean, are we employed? Are we contractors? Are we full-time? Are we…?
HUDSON (as Tink): Did you fill out a W4 or a 1099?
LILIT (as Xianna): No. No, none of them.
CAMERON (as Karma): [laughs] Or a W2.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, then you’re neither a contractor nor an employee.
LILIT (as Xianna): Am I just like freelance?
NICK (as HK): I believe that we are an LLC, Afternoon Delight Depot.
HUDSON (as Tink): Well if we’re an LLC that means that you likely get a W4, unless you’ve decided to be independent of our LLC. [chuckles]
LILIT (as Xianna): I never filled out paperwork, so maybe I’m a freelancer who just sometimes works jobs for you?
HUDSON (as Tink): That is a 1099. We have figured it out.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay. Again, I have never filled out any of this paperwork. I guess I am just like a thief? A smuggler of some sort. You know, scoundrel-esque activities.
NICK (as Meelo): Someone after my own heart. Wonderful. Well it’s nice to meet you.
NICK (as HK): And I am HK-67.
NICK (as Meelo): Okay, that’s fine, robot who’s been standing there quietly most of this time. That’s cool. Stay out of the way.
CAMERON (as Karma): You’re gonna wanna be nice to the droid.
NICK (as Meelo): Okay. Thank you so much for introducing yourself.
NICK (as HK): You’re welcome!
NICK (as Meelo): Alright, okay, yeah. I’m seeing the large blaster rifle now.
CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm.
LILIT (as Xianna): He will murder you.
NICK (as Meelo): Ooh, that’s concerning.
LILIT (as Xianna): He thinks it is a very fun activity to do.
NICK (as Meelo): So, your friend here… Anyway. Karma – nice to meet you again, now that we’ve got that settled – says that she’s met a molsoom before. I don’t think she’s met a molsoom like this one. Normally they’re about the size of a baby bantha, maybe big enough to fit in the cockpit of an X-Wing. This molsoom is a lot bigger. It’s like maybe full bantha size.
CAMERON (as Karma): Goodness.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah, and it’s just as fast.
CAMERON (as Karma): As a bantha?
NICK (as Meelo): No, as a normal molsoom.
LILIT (as Xianna): As an X-Wing cockpit?
NICK (as Meelo): Yes. Well actually, yeah. If one was to look statistically at the speed assigned to it, it would be on ship scale rather than foot scale, but that’s a weird meta thing that may not get included in the episode.
NICK (as Meelo): So I don’t mean to discourage you all from going and trying to check that greenhouse, it’s just gonna be really dangerous.
LILIT (as Xianna): Well like I said, I have three grenades and at least one gun, possibly more, who knows.
LILIT (as Xianna): Tink, you have your axe, and Karma has her carbine rifle blaster, and we have Hank. I feel like we will be fine.
HUDSON (as Tink): What do you think, Little Tink?
HUDSON: Then I turn to my action figure.
HUDSON (as Tink): [small, high-pitch voice] “Well Tink, I think there’s no task too big for the Afternoon Delight to take on.”
NICK (as Meelo): Wow. That started cute and then got really scary really fast.
LILIT (as Xianna): You will get used to it.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, with just Tink in general? Is that like a thing that… happens?
CAMERON (as Karma): Maybe.
NICK (as Meelo): Oh…
LILIT (as Xianna): Sometimes, you know, possibly.
CAMERON (as Karma): Back to the giant monster. The danger is kind of par for the course with this employer. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a mission that the odds weren’t wildly stacked against us, and this one actually seems like the most even odds at this point.
NICK (as Meelo): Okay!
LILIT (as Xianna): So do we want to go into the greenhouse and then when we meet the creature we meet the creature, or do we want to try to lure it out into the open first? Like, the fight is on our terms. You know what I mean?
CAMERON (as Karma): Meelo, what’s the area around the greenhouse like wreckage-wise? Is it open or is it fairly rubbly?
NICK (as Meelo): It’s a mixed bag, really. Some trees didn’t get destroyed in the crash. Most of them did. There’s some rubble. There’s some flat spaces. It’s kind of in sections, so if you were looking for some favorable ground you could probably find some. I tend to stick to the rubble because it’s got more hiding places. The last set of hunters that came here were real mean. I don’t think very many of them made it, but I spent a lot of time hiding, because they kept trying to shoot me saying something about the most dangerous game of all being Sullustans. I don’t know what that was all about.
CAMERON (as Karma): Hmm. Weird.
NICK (as Meelo): I can assure you that the most dangerous game of all is actually molsooms, turns out.
HUDSON (as Tink): I believe it. I think we should fight it on our terms, on our turf. Now what’s our turf?
CAMERON (as Karma): I think we’d have to go over to the greenhouse area to figure that out, Tink. I don’t think we’re gonna be able to choose from over here. We’re gonna have to go scout it out.
NICK (as Meelo): Well, if you all head further into the wreckage, it’s pretty obvious from here, you’re just gonna need to cross this last little green belt that separates the Crate Dragon from the main site, and then the greenhouse is still partially standing, so it’s gonna be the tallest thing you can see, and it’s right in the middle, so that should be pretty straightforward. You all can scout around, take down this big scary monster, look for your stone tablet thing with buttons, and then just grab me on the way out.
HUDSON (as Tink): [whining] You’re not coming with us?
NICK (as Meelo): Oh, I sure would not like to.
HUDSON (as Tink): What if we need your support?
NICK (as Meelo): In what way? You’re the ones that pointed out how well armed and good at fighting you are. I’m a pilot. This blaster’s mostly for show. It doesn’t even have batteries.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm.
LILIT (as Xianna): I don’t know if they run on batteries, but sure, why not.
CAMERON (as Karma): [chuckles]
NICK (as Meelo): So anyway, yeah, I’m not much of a fighter. I would really, really rather not get involved in a molsoom hunt, especially since the last group of people I saw wandering around there I don’t think they all made it, and I’m very funny and likeable, I would be the first one to go. I’ve seen the holos.
CAMERON (as Karma): You also just said that you don’t have any weaponry skills, so that does kinda track.
LILIT (as Xianna): Honestly, I don’t feel like we need him. No offense, just it does not seem like you would be any help in a fight.
NICK (as Meelo): None taken.
CAMERON (as Karma): And it would really suck for you to have met us and gotten a ride off the planet to then get eaten by a giant whatever-they’re-called.
NICK (as Meelo): Yeah.
CAMERON (as Karma): Mals… Mols…
LILIT (as Xianna): Molasses.
CAMERON (as Karma): A large molasses. [laughs]
NICK (as Meelo): molsooms, yeah.
CAMERON (as Karma): molsooms.
NICK (as Meelo): You said you’d seen one before.
CAMERON (as Karma): I have, but for some reason this name is really difficult for me. It’s just not sticking in my head.
NICK (as Meelo): It really would be good for me to not die, and the way I see it is if you all don’t manage to take it down maybe you hurt it bad enough that it dies and then at least my life here has been improved.
CAMERON (as Karma): Fair.
HUDSON (as Tink): I tend to agree with this, but I think we need to hear out Little Tink. Little Tink, what do you think of all this? “Well, what if we have the spirit of Sabos that comes and just fills Milo with energy and leads him to victory?”
LILIT (as Xianna): [groans] Okay, no. No, I am done with this.
LILIT: Xianna just starts walking out the door.
HUDSON (as Tink): “Okay, well I guess I’m just gonna agree with everybody here. Thanks, uh, thanks everybody.”
NICK (as Meelo): Hey, you know what, you can keep that action figure. I don’t want it anymore.
HUDSON (as Tink): “Yay~!” Alright, me and Little Tink are gonna go on so many adventures.
CAMERON: I’m gonna have nightmares.
NICK: So, do the four of you head out into the herdship?
CAMERON: Let’s roll out.
NICK: I think we need a roll of some kind to determine where you would set up the ground and then y’all need to figure out how you would lure it to that ground, so like a Survival check. We’ll roll it into being able to do it sneakily too so you don’t accidentally set it off too early. It’s probably a collaborative thing.
HUDSON: Can I roll Stealth then?
NICK: So I think for setting an ambush that really feels like Survival, doesn’t it?
CAMERON: Wouldn’t it be Cool?
LILIT: Would it be Skulduggery? It’d be Streetwise.
NICK: I could be persuaded that it’s Cool since Cool is specifically used for ambushing.
CAMERON: Sweet, because that’s better than my Survival.
NICK: But it can be collaborative, so people can at least add blue dice.
LILIT: So we cannot use Stealth?
NICK: I would say you can use Stealth to help, but the actual, like, how good of an area are you going to have is gonna have to be Cool or Survival, but if you do a successful Stealth roll you can use that to make sure that you don’t accidentally wake up the molsoom ahead of time.
CAMERON: Yeah. I would say the Stealth, because you’re more likely to triumph.
LILIT: I can add a blue die to all Stealth checks equal to my rank in it. Three successes.
CAMERON: On the Cool check I have two successes and four advantages.
NICK: Wow. Okay. So Xianna, explain how you coach everyone through not making enough noise to wake up a big scary predator, and then all of y’all describe what your ambush looks like and what the plan is, because you’re successful. You’re able to basically set this up to be as beneficial as possible for you and you don’t make any noise.
LILIT: Xianna shows everyone on the forest floor where patches of green plant and moss and stuff are.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay. If you step on the green plants it is soft and will not make as much noise. If you see over here there are like twigs and dried leaves, those are crunchy, crunch-crunch-crunch. You step on those, it is loud. Green means go. Okay everybody? You step on the green.
HUDSON (as Tink): No cronch.
LILIT (as Xianna): No cronch. You do that and you be quiet and you stand behind these trees, and if you go this way and you approach from a 60 degree angle from where you are…
LILIT: And just does a lot of technical stuff showing everyone exactly where to go and which trees to hide behind.
NICK: Xianna’s really aware of the direction of the wind and things like that.
CAMERON: The direction of the shadows.
NICK: Yeah. There’s a lot more to it than you would think, because Xianna makes it look so easy, but there’s actually a lot of engagement and conscious thought that goes into it. She is very good at this.
HUDSON: So, we go through and bust out some ballet moves, some pliés and flambés and other jumpies.
CAMERON: [laughing] Neither of those are jumps. One of them is not ballet. The plié is not a jump!
NICK: There’s different kind of locales surrounding this greenhouse. You can see that bits of the walls of the greenhouse blew open in the crash so there isn’t like a main entrance anymore, it’s more of a canopy, but arrayed in a circle around it there are flat areas, there are rocky rubble areas with high ground, there are some areas with cover and trees. What is your ideal ambush situation?
HUDSON (as Tink): Y’all, when do we throw the grenade to do a distraction so they run a certain way?
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, we would have to make sure that we have the high ground so that the grenade does not roll back at us.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, that’s right.
LILIT (as Xianna): [gasps] Maybe somebody can get up into the trees! That would be me probably. I’m good at climbing.
NICK (as HK): If you put me somewhere tall I can shoot well. That might be something to consider.
LILIT (as Xianna): Or we just put you at ground level.
NICK (as HK): Either way, I do tend to get hit a lot more than you would expect for someone who’s mainly focused on sharpshooting.
CAMERON (as Karma): That is true.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. Maybe we just put you on top of a tall rock.
HUDSON (as Tink): What if I get on your shoulders or you get on my shoulders so that we have a gun shooty and a swingy axe? Close range or long range, doesn’t matter, we’re an ultimate fighter.
CAMERON (as Karma): I’m pretty sure your feet would still be touching the ground.
NICK (as HK): Boss Man. Memory check. Have we tried this before? I remember this not working. I feel like this is a tactic we have done multiple times and it always goes poorly, but surely with your large amount of intelligence and tactical acumen I must have some sort of fragmentation in my memory because you have not failed at anything.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, you are not wrong, HK. You have tried this before and it does not work.
HUDSON (as Tink): Statistically it has to eventually.
LILIT (as Xianna): No… that is not how that works.
CAMERON (as Karma): [exhales]
LILIT (as Xianna): We put Hank on top of a big rock so he is up a little bit.
HUDSON (as Tink): That’s fine I guess.
CAMERON (as Karma): So Tink, there could be a very specific situation where it could work, but normally we’re gonna want HK remaining stationary and solid so that he can shoot well, and we’re gonna want you to be able to move around freely as you are a melee fighter.
HUDSON (as Tink): True. I need room for summersaults, jumps, slashes…
CAMERON (as Karma): Precisely, all those pliés.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, yeah.
NICK (as HK): Do not forget the flambés.
CAMERON (as Karma): [defeated] Yup.
HUDSON (as Tink): Ah, thank you.
NICK: So, you all are able to find a stretch of wide ground that has cover around three quarters of it, like low bushes and things that you can hide in. It’s got some higher rocks. There’s some trees nearby to climb. It’s basically a kill zone, and it’s near to the greenhouse. Is there any other details to this area you would want to add?
CAMERON: In the hole in the greenhouse, the area that we’re next to is one where most of the wall is blown away and there’s not a whole lot of plants immediately on the inside of the greenhouse so that nothing can sneak up to the edge of the greenhouse to then jump out.
NICK: Yeah, so there’s an approach…
NICK: …and it’s cleared out in a way that you’ll be able to see it coming. You’re not gonna be surprised. As you all are quietly whispering in this ambush spot and talking through what you’re going to do, HK cocks his head to the side.
NICK (as HK): Wait, hang on. How do we get the big scary monster from in there to out here?
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh, I know!
LILIT: Xianna just fires off a few blaster rounds at the hole in the wall.
LILIT (as Xianna): That should do it. I’m going to go climb a tree now.
NICK: There’s a long pause… and HK looks at Karma as Xianna shrugs and starts walking towards a tree.
[action rock music begins]
NICK (as HK): I do not think that worked.
NICK: Then you hear this horrible clicking roar, and the trees inside the greenhouse start to shake and the glass starts to rattle, and you can hear a beast charging towards the outside.
CAMERON: Karma turns to HK.
CAMERON (as Karma): Are you sure?
NICK (as HK): Okay, so maybe I spoke a little too soon. It was quiet for a second.
CAMERON (as Karma): Do you wanna get on your rock?
NICK (as HK): I would like to get on my rock.
NICK: We see HK start scrambling up.
CAMERON: Karma goes and takes cover behind a tree.
NICK: Tink, where do you set up?
HUDSON: I squat behind a piece of rubble where I can sneak around behind them as they’re running, hopefully, if they go down the path I’m expecting them to, and slash.
NICK: Cool. So we see you all approach your spots, and this huge terrifying creature approaches the hole in the wall, and you can see that it’s pushing trees out of the way, and it’s bigger than you even imagined, and the last thing we see is the molsoom, massive and terrifying, as it charges through the gap and out into your ambush. That’s gonna be the end of the episode.
CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider leaving a review on your podcast listening app of choice. Reviews will help new listeners to find the show, and every time we get one the squad gets warm fuzzies.
If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites, Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Hot tub hangout, which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.
Xianna’fan is played by Lilit Penrod. They can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.
Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.
Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.
Our game master is Nick Robertson, and you can find him on Twitter at @alias58.
Our intro song is Space Jam by Pablo Ribot.
Additional music by James Gunter.
Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram at @Tabletop_Squad and join our Discord and share all your cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find a link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.