- "Attention, please. I am Captain Vedij of the privateer Far Orbit. I am in need of an experienced crew. Anyone here who has experience with capital combat ships, starship weapons or boarding actions is welcome enough. We are also in need of technicians and general space hands. I have the ship's Articles here. Form a line to declare yourselves and sign."
- ―Captain Vedij recruits
Preparing for War is the first roleplaying game adventure scenario that was published in Timothy S. O'Brien's The Far Orbit Project, a 1998 supplement to West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. As one of the eight scenarios released in The Far Orbit Project, it follows the adventures of the Far Orbit, an Alliance to Restore the Republic privateering frigate, as it operates against the Galactic Empire. Preparing for War tells how the Far Orbit went to the space station known as StarForge Station to take on crew members and sign an agreement with the Alliance.
Locating StarForge Station
In 0 ABY, part of the crew of the Imperial EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Far Orbit have mutinied against Imperial control. Led by Captain Dhas Fenoep Vedij, the ship proceeds to the Mid Rim's StarForge Nebula, the location of the space station known as StarForge Station. There, the crew of the Far Orbit will negotiate with members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic on the matter of becoming Alliance privateers. Once at the nebula, the Far Orbit searches with the help of an Alliance chart for the space station, which continuously moves to avoid being caught by the Empire. From there, one of two paths can be taken.
The first possible outcome is that despite the difficulties of finding the moving StarForge Station in the nebula, the Far Orbit manages to locate the station before six hours have elapsed and before the station's defense ships find it. There is another ending that can occur: After six hours pass while the Far Orbit searches for the station, a quartet of BTL Y-wing starfighters from the station come across the frigate. Hanging back at the rear of the ship, the pilots ask for clarification on the frigate's business with the station and, after being convinced that the frigate's purpose in the nebula is legitimate, lead them to the current location of StarForge Station.
Signing the deal with the Alliance
- "Perhaps two of you would like to see what's available?"
- ―The Ithorian, to the group of privateers
When the Far Orbit makes it to the station, the crew of the frigate is shuttled over, and they are met by StarForge Station security personnel, who inform the newcomers of the rules. While the other crewers are let free to roam, six of the mutineers, including Captain Vedij, go to the Lean Nuuti Bar and Grill leisure hall, the location of their meeting with members of the Alliance. There, they order flangth and Shasa ale with ootoowergs, the signal for which an Ithorian Alliance member is waiting. He approaches the group and, after informing them that there are no ootoowergs in stock, asks two of them to seemingly step back into the kitchen to see what else the Lean Nuuti Bar and Grill has. In reality, the two, one of whom is Vedij, are going to negotiate with the Alliance. Meanwhile, four alien thugs approach the remaining crew members and, after insulting them, start a fight with them.
Outcomes of the fight
There are three possible endings to the fight; the first is that one of the two sides win, and the losing team buys the others drinks from the Lean Nuuti Bar and Grill. Another outcome is that neither side wins the fight, and the aliens buy the mutineers drinks to patch up relations between the two sides. The last possible outcome is that Captain Vedij, after finalizing the agreement that will allow the Far Orbit to become a privateering vessel for the Alliance, comes back in time to see the fight. He orders his men to stop, and the fight ends. He then takes them to go find rest quarters on the station.
Meanwhile, some of the crew members shop for supplies at StarForge Station's market of sorts. There, among the vendors, reside the stores Just Armor, Starwind Chandlery, Weezo's Gun Shop, and the tattoo parlor Nuyu's. At the market, the Far Orbit's personnel acquire a variety of items for the frigate and themselves, including ship supplies, weapons, and armor.
Taking on new crew
The next day, Vedij puts out a call for new crew to help run the Far Orbit, and after a fair-sized group gathers at the recruitment place at the station's docks, Vedij tells them of the privateers' goals and what they need in their crew. The individuals who apply for a berth come from a variety of species and backgrounds: the applicants include the bloodthirsty killer Kanarak; a spacer named Swifty Yonsen, who has a fierce reputation; the Gamorrean Gruk; a Falleen aristocrat named Xad; the gunhands Katiz Xemir and Cemma the Younger; the Tiss'shar pirate Pao-Neh-Lo; the Sluissi engineer Napvansa Tadavv; and the Human Mii Heswop, a nitwit.
The officers and higher-ranking crew members then accept certain individuals based on their talents and skill sets, as well as their performances in a series of tests. These tests include fighting off simulated Imperial TIE/LN starfighters while flying a Nebulon-B frigate and an unarmed combat test, in which the top five contestants are accepted into the crew. Another test involves the hopefuls showing off their marksmanship skills as they have thirty seconds to score five hits on a moving target. The last test has the applicants try to plot an emergency navigation course in a minute on a datapad. Once given a berth, the new crew are shuttled over to the Far Orbit. After the Far Orbit has received enough crew, the ship departs StarForge Station.
Turmoil among the crew
Due to the differences between the Imperial mutineers and the alien crew members whom the Far Orbit just took on, conflict soon begins to occur between the two sides. One or more of the following can occur:
- Soon after leaving the space station, a fight breaks out in the Far Orbit's galley over food matters. As a result, a brawl occurs between the two sides.
- Kanarak, a bloodthirsty killer, thinks of all Humans as weak and powerless. Thus, he begins to kill all the Humans aboard the vessel soon after the Far Orbit departs StarForge Station.
- Gruk, a hulking Gamorrean, engages a Human in a duel and breaks the man's back. In response, a number of Humans decide to take out their revenge on aliens with clubs, which in turn causes isolated beatings to occur on both sides.
- Due to the friction between the Imperial mutineers and the fringe Humans, a career pirate officer challenges a mutineer officer to a duel in which killing is avoided. Vedij agrees to this, as this will be the end of a series of scuffles between the two sides.
- After an important alien crew member offends a group of Human speciesists, the same crew member is killed with a stabbing weapon. As a result, tension rises between the alien and Human sides.
Preparing for War is the first of eight roleplaying game adventure scenarios published in 1998's The Far Orbit Project, a supplement to West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. Written by Timothy S. O'Brien, The Far Orbit Project is a sequel of sorts to the previous publication Pirates & Privateers, carrying on that book's theme by following the privateering vessel Far Orbit in its adventures against the Galactic Empire whilst in and around the Core Worlds' Ringali Shell. Twelve pages long, the adventure scenario's illustrations were done by Joe Corroney. The first adventure scenario in the book, Preparing for War, is followed by the scenario The Hijacking of Shipment 1037.
Fringe characters, who are controlled by the players enacting the scenario, start off on StarForge Station and can join the Far Orbit's crew for a multitude of reasons after seeing the mutineers in the Lean Nuuti Bar and Grill; the non-fringe player-characters are the ones who were present for the mutiny aboard the frigate and play Preparing for War from its beginning. The fringe characters can also shadow the mutineers if they wish. If the fringe player-characters join in the fight on the side of the privateers, Vedij will personally ask them to accompany the privateers on their missions against the Empire.
All the adventure scenarios that follow Preparing for War are based on the assumption that the Far Orbit is an Alliance-allied vessel. As such, certain outcomes in this scenario's events that the player-controlled characters can choose to have occur are considered non-canon, while others are considered the canon choice. Of the two options that can occur when the Far Orbit is looking for the station, either one fits with the general story of the frigate, though since the option in which the Y-wings find the Far Orbit first is more likely to happen, according to the scenario, this article considers that outcome canon. Another possible option that can occur is that the players have the Far Orbit fire upon the starfighters with its weaponry array. However, as this completely dooms the mission because StarForge Station will have nothing to do with the frigate anymore, this article deems this possibility non-canon. As for the fight in the Lean Nuuti Bar and Grill, all of the outcomes fit with the general plot of the scenario, so any of them fit in the interest of continuity. Additionally, that fight can turn into a brawl if the fringe player-characters join in.
The players of the scenario determine which non-player fringe characters can join based on the applicants' performances. However, since Kanarak and Gruk are featured later on in the adventure scenario in certain plot twists, this article assumes that those two were among the ones chosen. During the period of turmoil between the aliens and the Human crew members, a mutiny is possible but quite unlikely.
The frigate Far Orbit was first mentioned in the 1990 The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook and made its first appearance in Preparing for War. It went on to appear in The Far Orbit Project's other adventure scenarios and was mentioned in some later works, such as The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Notes and references
- The Far Orbit Project
- The Far Orbit Project is set a few weeks after the Battle of Yavin, which corresponds to 0 ABY, according to The New Essential Chronology.
- According to Scum and Villainy, StarForge Station falls within the Mid Rim region of the galaxy.
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 256 ("Far Orbit")
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 45 (TUR2, Turbolaser)