Wednesday, November 26, 2014

At the Ready

Ulla Pirim settled into the cockpit of the X-Wing fighter, fastening the five-point harness for the acceleration chair as he surveyed the control console. All systems seemed to be functioning normally, since no red telltales were illuminated. Satisfied, he pressed the stud that activated his subspace comm.

“Tierfon Base Command,” he declared, “this is Blue Five, activating repulsorlifts.”

“Roger that,” a familiar voice responded. “We're ready for you.”

“Then here we go.” Pushing forward on the throttle, Pirim eased the starfighter out of its stall in the underground fighter base. In his mind's eye he could already see the distinctly-shaped TIE fighters that lurked in space beyond the planet's atmosphere, with the unmistakable wedge of an Imperial star destroyer hanging in the void behind them. Pirim saw himself shooting out of Tierfon Base's hanger, streaking out to meet them, opening up with his four wingtip-mounted lasers and perhaps even the proton torpedoes. It would be a pitched battle, one filled with desperate maneuvers and shots both lucky and unlucky. He didn't know whether or not he would survive it, nor did he expect to do so.

Slowly he steered the X-Wing past the last of the stalls in Tierfon's spacious hangar. Then, after a quick pivot, he let the craft settle back onto its landing gear and then hit the combination of switches that put the starfighter into standby mode.

“Tierfon Base Command,” he announced, “Blue Five is in the ready position.” Satisfied, he ran a loving hand over the ship's controls, and then popped the canopy and exited.

“Roger that,” Command responded. “Thanks, Pirim. Over and out.”

Ulla Pirim
NPC Starfighter Technician (Minion)

Brawn 2 Agility 2 Intellect 2
Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 2

Soak: 2
Wound Threshold: 5
M/R Defense: 0 / 0

Skills [Group Only]: Computers, Mechanics, Piloting (Planetary), Piloting (Space), Ranged (Light).

Talents: None.

Abilities: None.

Equipment: Rebel Alliance uniform, datapad, toolkit, Light blaster pistol (Ranged [Light]; Damage 5; Critical 4; Range [Medium]: Stun setting).

Ulla Pirim is one of the many beings who provide support services for the Rebels operating out of Tierfon Fighter Base. He is primarily tasked with helping to maintain the X-Wing fighters and other vessels stationed here. Although he dreams of being assigned to one of those ships and taking the battle to the Empire, he knows that such jobs are best left to others; instead, he takes pride in knowing that the vessels are ready when needed. Ulla is a bit of a hero worshipper, and loves to hear the stories of starfighter pilots and Irregulars in the base's common room.

Making Tierfon Base Feel Like Home
The character presented above is a good example of how NPCs can be used to create a sense of familiarity in an Age of Rebellion campaign. For example, pilot characters could each have their own technicians who support them, ones who might comment on damage to vessels after a mission or ask to hear tales of derring-do. Similar NPCs could include the crusty quartermaster who assigns equipment and laments about lost gear; the medic who patches up the PCs' wounds; a commanding officer who offers commentary about a mission that went awry; and even rival pilots and members of other teams.

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