The Kessel Run #ifthiswereaTTRPG

This week’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post is all about the Kessel Run in Solo, A Star Wars Story. According to the film, the Kessel Run is an 20 parsec long (65.2 Light Years) Jules Verne-esque smugglers’ route which took hyperspace fuel called ‘coaxium’ from the mines at Kessel past the Imperial blockades.

In Solo, Han Solo and the crew are forced to “find a shortcut” within the Akkadese Maelstrom and the nearby black hole (and giant tentacle monster)-laden Maw. Carrying a huge volume of coaxium which, when it overheats, explodes, the Millennium Falcon crew must successfully navigate the maelstrom, Maw, and a well-timed injection of fuel in order to escape not only the Empire, but gravity itself. Rather than a film, today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post re-imagines this Kessel Run sequence as a series of crucial rolls played out around a table as a group of people playing a story.

The three “critical rolls” – using StoryTogether’s StoryNite system – of the Kessel Run sequence are:

  1. Electronics roll by Lando: hooking L3-37 up to the navicomputer
  2. Craft roll for Beckett to affix the coaxium to the hyperdrive in order to power the Millennium Falcon to escape the Maw’s gravity well
  3. Navigate rolls both the enhanced navicomputer (L3-37) and Han

Electronics roll by Lando: hooking L3-37 up to the navicomputer

In order for the Milennium Falcon to have a prayer of charting its way through the maelstrom, the best navigation charts in the galaxy, which reside in L3-37’s memory banks, need to be synced with the Falcon’s own navicomputer. Lando, loving both L3-37 and his ship, decides he’s the one for the job.

In a tabletop role playing game setting, the GM would look to the player playing Lando, knowing how much both the ship and the droid mean to them and say: “Well, it’s now or never. Give me an Electronics roll to attempt to sync L3-37 with the Falcon’s navicomputer.”

Of course, the player playing Lando would give a confident smirk and reply: “I would never let down the two loves of my life.” before rolling an 11 with their two, six-sided die. An incredible roll that empowers the Millennium Falcon to be able to chart its way through the sea of storms and debris in space.

Craft roll for Beckett to affix the coaxium to the hyperdrive in order to power the Millennium Falcon to escape the Maw’s gravity well

The second crucial roll of the Kessel Run sequence is Beckett’s injection of coaxium into the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive as it’s being sucked into the Maw’s gravity well. Under pressure, Beckett is able to withdraw the highly combustible coaxium from its container – while the ship is being jostled around – and inject it directly into the Millennium Falcon’s hypderdrive which gives the ship enough juice to break free of the black hole’s incredible ingesting force.

In a tabletop role playing game setting, the GM would look to the player playing Beckett and say: “Han isn’t exactly keeping the ship in a straight line as you’re all being pulled into the black hole’s immense vortex. This is your shot to get the coaxium into the hyperdrive. Give me a Craft role for the injection.”

“Alright.” says the player playing Beckett. “But don’t give him (Han) all the credit when we pull this off.” They roll: a 10! A crucial, crucial role that gives the ship the power it needs to escape the tremendous forces of gravity dead-set on pulling them in…

Navigate rolls both the enhanced navicomputer (L3-37) and, after the below, Han

With the navicomputer empowered with L3-37’s charts and the Milennium Falcon having the power it needs to escape The Maw, the ship needs to have it’s hyperspace pathing mapped out – or else it will zoom into something solid and, you know, cease to exist – and Han needs to thread the needle with the immediate trajectory as two carbon bubbles, the size of planets, collide right in their path.

In a tabletop role playing game setting, the GM would turn to the player playing L3-37 and say: “You may no longer be alive in the sense you’re used to but you still “live and breathe” in your own way in the Falcon’s navicomputer. Aware in your own right of the chaos going on outside the ship, you feel the commands come in for you to chart the way out of The Maw. It’s time. Give me a Navigate roll.”

“This is for droids everywhere!” says the L3-37 player as they roll their dice: another 11! An incredible roll that the table boisterously celebrates before calming down and looking to the player playing Han.

The GM looks to the player playing Han: “Well, this is it. The ship has the power and the proper course laid in – you just need to get them through that ever shrinking breach in the carbon explosions in front of the ship.”

“Best pilot in the galaxy stuff, basically.” replies a smirking Han player.

“Give me your own Navigate roll for all the marbles: the Kessel run in 12 parsecs!” says the GM as the other players look on, hanging on every word.

“Okay, no problem.” says the Han player, about as classically as you might imagine. They roll: a 12!! a critical roll. The table explodes in celebration – they’ve made it!

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