Content of the article: "What do you mean “Check to see which ship you are firing at” ?!?!"
So I run a star wars d20 game.
Being star wars, the players have a spaceship to fly around in. Being nerds, my players decided they wanted to fly around the star wars universe in a firefly class ship- in the Firefly universe freighters are unarmed and unarmored. That is very much not the case in Star wars, where it's normal for a freighter to be both shielded and have blaster turrets.
"Self" I said to myself "They need some kind of space combat ability. It's Star Wars. Space Battles are a part of the gig." So being a kind and loving DM who does not want my players to feel entirely helpless as their characters die screaming, I grab some pictures of the colonial raptor from the Battlestar Galactica reboot, give them a tweaked stat block similar to a Y wing fighter, and sub those out for the shuttles that normally dock on the firefly class.
In some early adventures they improvise adding some weapons to the firely, but it still has no shields and no armor.
One of our players has a rival NPC who has recently gone from being a somewhat shady but mostly legit business mogul to outright marauding and piracy.
So some NPCs contact his rival in our party for help when the rival's thugs illegally take over a mining operation in the outer rim using the 'heavy blaster discount'
Of course the party agrees to help in return for a reward.
So the players go to the mining facility and clear out the thugs in control.
Then they get a holocall from the rightful owners of the mining operation letting them know that reinforcements are on the way- both for them and for the pirates.
The players discuss among themselves and decide to boobytrap the mining outpost.
Then they fly up to the planet's north poll where ship sensors will have trouble locating them and wait.
Out pops a lightly armed and armored long range shuttle that can carry 15 passengers plus crew- way more people than the party can bring to bear.
So they decide to kill the interlopers in the air before they can land and launch the raptors.
But there's one thing they didn't do.
They didn't hail the transport to see who was aboard.
"Self" I said to myself as I reached for a quarter "What's a good DM to do?" The quarter answered.
The two fighters attack from behind and both roll near maximum attack with both their forward facing guns and their turrets.
They shred the poor transport before they can do anything, high five and then get ready to welcome their backup.
Then- and only then- does the droid ask if anyone hailed the transport to see which one it was.
And then out popped another lightly armed and armored transport.
Upon being hailed the pilots of the second transport said something along the lines of "Hail comrade, we are here in the service of our dark lord of evil!" The players had shredded their own reinforcements without hesitation or mercy
Of course the players played along with the NPC and offered to escort them in to land, just before all 3 ships closed in, disabled the ship and had the droid board the exterior of the enemy vessel and vent the pirates out the rear hatch.
being the polished diplomat that he is the noble who's rival sent the pirates called the NPC contacts and lied his ass off- only one survivor among the pirates, none among the reinforcements.
The NPCs asked when they would be able to speak with the surviving pirate- so the player lied his ass off again and said the pirate was badly injured, had lost a leg and they may not be able to keep him alive
so then the players had to go find a body and hack a leg off of a corpse and ensure it was properly mutilated to look as if it had died of injuries consistent with what the noble told the NPCs
Eventually, the day was saved, the NPCs were fooled and the party learned an important lesson that they might even remember.
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