View Full Version : Big Badda Boom! (Help needed)

29 August 2002, 07:14 AM
So, my players were being held on an ISD. They were being treated as "honored guests" and had essentially free run of the ship for reasons I shant go into here. Then they decided they neded to destroy the ship because of a very very bad experimental project they uncovered.

Their own ship, a small freighter, had been taken aboard the ISD (a la the Tantive IV). They had their Techie (an NPC) go back aboard their ship and cause it to explode in some way, figuring it would at least cause a distraction. He set up what he could, disabled the relevant safety systems, and left behind his poor R5 to be the "triggerman" at the predetermined time.

The explosion did occur at the end of the last session, but I have yet to outline the extent of the damage. My two options for what the NPC did are:

1) Set the engines to Overload/Core Breach
2) Engage the Hyperdrive while still inside the ISD's hold.

My question is this: What kind of damage would each of these things do to an ISD? I have to expect that the Hyperdrive option would be very very bad. I don't want to vaporize the ship (since the PCs are still on it trying to escape in a stolen shuttle) but I do wan to cripple it. Also, which would be less likely to be detected beforehand by the ISD's crew? Would overloading a ship's engines take a while to build up, and thus be easy to detect/stop, and would the hyperdrives take some time to "warm up"?

Ships don't seem to have "auto-destruct" settings in the SW universe, so I don't think that's an option - someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm using d6, but am really just looking for conceptual answers, not a number of dice to throw.

Many thanks,


29 August 2002, 07:29 AM
Overloading the engines: The engines will take some time to "warm-up", first. This can be detected if your ISD crew is pretty diligent. Then you will have to override your engine's saftey features (Turn off pwer regulation cutouts, power overload cutbacks, other technical stuff, etc.), which will prolly be done already. Then you will have to increase power to the engines until they blew up. It is up to you to decide how fast that can be done.....but in today's things it takes a little while...so it will be a little time, at the very least, to throttle up the power into super-critical levels.
Hyping the ship: Ouch!! That is pretty rough and tough stuff. Feel free to be pretty darn dramatic with that one. There should also be a decent chance your PCs get seriously toasted from that one, IMHO. Hyperdrive collisions are about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times worse than those car test dummy commercials you see.

29 August 2002, 07:31 AM
Well, for number one, more than likely the ISD would blow into peices. (You mean the ISD's engines, right?) Oherwise, if it's just the freighter's engines that breach, I imagine the level the freighter was on would be destroyed and possibly a couple of levels up asnd down the ISD. Otherwise, the ISD would most likely still be funtional.

As to number two, I don't believe there is really any time needed to warm the hyperdrive up; the time that takes for ship to go into hyperspace is the navi comp calculating it's way through space. Ohterwise, I think it's intantanious. If it's the freighter's hyperdrive that go off, more than likely a large chunk- maybe not all, but at least a very good sized peice- of the ISD would be sucked through with it. If it's the ISD's hyperdrive misfiring, then the whole ship would go, but there would be absolutely no destination. And as Han said, it's very dangerous to jsut shoot through hyperspace without a planned route. Who knows what could be encountered: Hey! there goes that ISD. Ooo that had to hurt running into that sun... I think illistrates it pretty well.

29 August 2002, 07:32 AM
Hell, just let him have set it to lift up and take off through the ship. The bad guys either have to let it fly all the way through, thus venting the atmosphere (among other things) or destroy it. The time they take figuring it out SHOULD be enough for the pc's to get away. ;)

29 August 2002, 07:43 AM
All he has to do is set up a feed back loop in the power generators. Which is as simple as connecting the output wires into the input wires of the generators. That would cause a buildup in power, until eventually it would just explode. It wouldn't be detectable until it got to critical levels. Obviously it is in one of the hangars, therefore it has a strong possibility of blowing the atmospheric shields. Which in turn would suck all the livable atmosphere into space causing mass death throughout the ship, just like a hull breach. It would take a while for all of the oxygen to be sucked out, so the players would have a short window to escape, but the ISD would pretty much be toast. You can elaborate on this easily... Say that not only did it blow the atmospheric shields, but it also blew the power supply for emergency doors. Something crazy like that. Well, hope this helped.

29 August 2002, 08:00 AM
Great suggestions. Thanks, everyone.

Dragonseye - I was talking about the freighter's engines/hyperdrive, not the ISD.

Scottyboy, I like the feedback loop idea.

My hope was to have something that would seriously disable the ISD but not vaporize it. Sounds like I could do it either way. I like the image of the ship cracking in half, but since half the party is in the front and half is in the back, that would cause serious GM headache for yours truly.

Of course, once they get off the ship in their stolen shuttle they still have the other 2 in the battle group to deal with before they're free and clear...

Thanks for the help,

29 August 2002, 08:42 AM
First of all, I'm going to disagree about what's been said about the hyperdrive. As I understand it, a starship in hyperspace (which the freighter will be in, given an instantaneous jump), that collides with an object will be destroyed, inflicting no damage on the object in realspace (see page 117 of 2nd Ed. R&E).

As for the blowing the frieghter up, it will cause some damage, but probably won't destroy, or even seriously cripple the ISD. Remeber that a landing bay is an inherently dangerous place to begin with, and that the design has to take into account ships smashing into the walls and conceivably blowing up. At high speeds, the damage will be even greater than that of a stationary freighter.

If the Imperials are actively scanning the frieghter, they might detect a building engine overload, and may or may not be able to do anything depending on how fast the ship is designed to start up. If the ship does explode, the Star Destroyer Captain will probably send a crew to repair the damage (largely superficial, except for damage to the expensive equipment and starfighters in the bay) then sent out the stormtroopers to find the PCs.

30 August 2002, 02:01 PM
Yup, that's why I addressed both since I wasn't absolutely certain. Thanks for the clarification.

To me, the easiest for them to survive would probably be the freighter's engines blowing, well, so long as they're not on that level.

Chris Curtis
30 August 2002, 04:23 PM
I agree with Jedi_Staailis that a landing bay would be one of the more protected places on the ISD. Even if you did completely destroy the transport, I don't think it would "cripple" the ISD, though that landing bay would not likely be usable for a long while.

I also agree with those who said that if anyone's paying attention, they'd probably notice a buildup of power in the engines. If nothing else, one of the maintenance bay techs would be likely to ask why in the name of Vader the transport's engines are on in the first place.

I also agree with Jedi_Staailis's statement regarding the transport being destroyed but not the ISD if it went to hyperspace. That would also assume, of course, that the mass shadow detector had been disabled, because if it hadn't, then the transport would never jump.

Our group did destroy a ISD from the inside once. For us, though, it involved smuggling a jury-rigged "suitcase" nuke onboard. We then placed it within the main fuel cell storage area, which (for us, at least) was relatively near the main power core. So when the nuke went off, the fuel cells exploded and caused enough damage to breach teh power core before the overrides could shut it down.

The ISD was essentially broken in half.

Unfortunately, something like that would have required forethought. In your situation, it doesn't sound like the players could have done anything like that since they had no clue they'd be doing this beforehand. However, perhaps they could still try to destroy the ISD's power core or something.

30 August 2002, 09:47 PM
Well everyone here is making very valid points. But I have an idea. You could just use the freighter blowing up as a distraction while your players go somewhere and do some sabotage that COULD cripple the ISD. Like go into the main engine compartment and "strategically" place a thermal detonator, or something to that affect. I think that it's safe to say that a freighter blowing up in their main hangar would cause enough of an uproar, to allow the players to get into some places they shouldn't be without being noticed. And just to be safe, have the droid distract whatever imperial personell is in the hangar at the time. Or just have the players go in there and silently kill all of them. Who knows. Once you're on a ship, there's a million different things that you could do to "cripple" it. The hard part's over, now it's just time to work out the details. Well, hope this helped.

31 August 2002, 08:41 AM
Scottyboy has the right of it methinks. That sounds the best way to disable the ISD. An explosion of the ship would do negligible damage to an ISD but a great distraction, mayhaps they happened to park it next to something els that might ALSO explode :D

As for the hyperdrive, doesn't a ship need to first reach the sub-light speed neccessary before a jump to hyperspace can be made? A disappointing detail I know (sounds exciting otherwise).

As I understand it, a starship in hyperspace (which the freighter will be in, given an instantaneous jump), that collides with an object will be destroyed, inflicting no damage on the object in realspace (see page 117 of 2nd Ed. R&E).

I agree with Jedi_Staailis assessment here. Otherwise we'd see sacrificial Rebel Pilots Hypering into the nearest ISD on a regular basis. Since we don't we can take this assumption to be true. ;)

Nova Spice
31 August 2002, 07:31 PM
Here's my take on a worse-case scenario for the two options you just put forth.

Worst Case Scenario (Powering up Engines):
-Landing Bay is shattered sending personnel flying through (the now defunct) magcon field.
-Next level is blown to bits along with the landing bay supervisors and their offices.
-Power is knocked out for levels above, below, and beside the landing bay.
-Possible destruction of one of the ISD's ten tractor beam projectors (depending on the importance of the landing bay).
-Rescue squads detached to search for any survivors, while stormtrooper/navy trooper squads attempt to secure the area.

Worst Case Scenario (Hyper-Jump):
-Landing bay incinerated instantly, killing all technicians, mechanics, and personnel in surrounding sectors above, below and beside the impact point.
-All levels in the path of the ship are gutted causing atmosphere leakages, massive hull damage along the impact vector, and loss of significant amount of life.
-Power is disabled for half the ship along with shield generators, life support, weapon batteries, and communications across the impact vector.
-All personnel ordered to abandon ship immediately as stormtroopers secure the remaining landing bays and coordinate an evacuation.

Anyway, that's my take on the situation. Although, you could do as
scottyboy said,and just have the explosion be a distraction for the heroes to take advantage of during the next session. Sounds interesting and I hope the adventure turns out well! ;) :D

3 September 2002, 03:20 PM
Heres what you do: turn off all safeties, and set the power core to overload (turn it up above maximum). Then leave. It will explode on its own. In response to the comment about hyperspace collisions, they are only as bad as realspace ones( I will not try to explain this, just trust me).A power core detonation would make a very big explosion, probably completely vaporizing the ship.

4 September 2002, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the help everyone. I've decided (with my game a little more than 6 hours away) to go with the power core overload scenario. It provides a distraction, creating a number of small hull breaches, rocking the ship, interrupting power briefly, and rendering that and the nearby TIE hangar useless for the time being. The PCs had intended to only use this as a distraction to get to a shuttle bay at the other end of the ISD and get the heck out of Dodge anyway - I think believing they would destroy the ship was wishful thinking.

Anyway, many thanks.


4 September 2002, 09:41 AM
Hey no problem, I'm just glad you got the answer you were looking for. Whether I gave it or someone else. Have a good time with it man!

5 September 2002, 10:12 AM
Okay, maybe this is a different question, but why are you making this decision? Shouldn't you PC's be deciding what they want to be doing here? I would tell them as much about the ship as they would know or be able to find out, and then ask them to be specific about how they're going to detonate the ship.

I like the idea of melting down the power core. And I have to agree it's going to do some serious damage, but nothing on the magnitude of destroying or crippling the ship. An ISD is MADE to take punishment, right?

If the PC's decide to try to put the ship into hyperspace, I wouldn't be too hesitant to let them all be killed. It's one thing to mess with chemical reactions and stuff, but messing with different dimensions is a whole different barrel of monkeys. If they don't understand what they're doing, then they deserve to die - or at least get pretty close.

In my experiences, sometimes the outcome of a situation depends on science that we don't really know (like how hyperspace works, what the exact composition of a light sable blade is, etc), I just make an agreement with my PC's as to how they things work and then tell them the now predictable. I would ask your PC's how they think hyperspace works, and then come to a compromise on something. And go from there.

The Anarchisto

5 September 2002, 12:47 PM
I realize the decision has been made and the session is over by now, but this got my juices flowing and I wanted to bounce an idea of the venerable Holonet:

I'm assuming that when the hyperdrive engages it puts out a lot of power rather instantaneously (that *pop* as the ship takes off). Now, depending on how volatile Star Wars ship fuel is (whatever it may be), why not dump this energy directly into the fuel cells? It would be more like attaching two power leads from a nuclear power plant to a car's gas tank (vs. revving the car till it explodes). No warm-up time and much more of the energy transferred into the actual destructive force of the fuel cells exploding.

I know this wouldn't destroy/disable the ISD, but at least it might damage a couple more decks.