The Lucky Despot Casinoby Ben Wafer
|The Lucky Despot Casino is a moderately popular resort in the Inner Rim. Located in orbit around the red supergiant Draxin's Star in an otherwise uninhabited system in the Conheav sector, the Lucky Despot is positioned far enough away from the star to avoid the effects of the deadly radiation which emanates from it, but it is close enough so that gamblers on the expensive starboard side are afforded a breathtaking view of the violent solar activity on the surface of the star. The orbit of the Lucky Despot has been calculated so that it always remains between the star and the system's only planet, a relatively small gas giant called Draxin I. Due to its proximity to the immense star, the gases that form Draxin I are continually being siphoned off into the star, creating a picturesque swirl of pink gas connecting the planet and the star and, incidentally, passing through the point where the casino is located.
The Lucky Despot is built within a Death's Head Battle Cruiser, the only known ship to survive from the time of Xim the Despot, and the antique vessel, already lavishly outfitted, has been modified to be the pinnacle of luxury. The Despot is now almost entirely automated, requiring a crew of only 170 instead of the more than 40,000 required in Xim's day. Further, the hyperdrives have been stripped out along with all of the weaponry and much of the hull's armor, and the internal bulkheads have been removed in order to make room for vast viewports and huge gambling "pits". In order to offset this, the shield generators have been replaced with more modern ones. The fighter bays have been left in place and are occupied by a squadron of Gauntlets, one of Headhunters and one of Cloakshape fighters. These defense craft are augmented by two Corellian Gunships that protect the rich resort from any potential pirates.
Several luxury liners make regular stops at the Despot, and these, along with any private vessels to arrive at the resort, are met by small shuttles to carry any gamblers to the casino itself, as the space on the Despot is too limited to allow the ships themselves to dock. The casino is owned by a well-to-do Human businessman from Coruscant by the name of Lycon. Lycon spends most of his time on Coruscant looking after his other investments but can be found at the Despot every so often. On the surface of things, the Despot is very posh and entirely on the up-and-up, and Lycon works very hard to maintain this image. In reality, it is used as a transfer point for transactions between the Nestor Crime Syndicate, which also uses the casino as its financial headquarters, and Moff Lesbeat. Moff Lesbeat is the Moff of Conheav Sector, and the Nestor Syndicate is possibly the most powerful criminal organization operating in the sector. Lesbeat and the Nestor Syndicate have a sort of symbiotic relationship, with each buying services or favors from the other. The Moff and the Syndicate complement each other perfectly, since both are power-hungry yet also appreciate the use of subtlety. Indeed, the population of the sector as a whole doesn't even suspect the existence of the Nestor syndicate, and even the forces of law and order have only vague rumors to go on. As a testament to this, the identity of the head of the syndicate is unknown to all but the very highest-placed members. Even Moff Lesbeat has nothing more than guesses as to his/her/its identity.
The Despot is not a cheap casino to stay at. Shuttle fees are 25 credits per trip, and each shuttle is able to accommodate up to six passengers. Luxury liners get discount rates, of course. A room at the Despot can cost anywhere from 200 credits per night for the least plush rooms with two beds to 11,000 credits per night for the Queen of Ranroon suite. When not at the gambling tables, meals and drinks run about 2X-5X the prices that they would elsewhere. Most gambling tables have a minimum bet of 500 credits. With this price comes a few perks. The decor in the eight massive gambling pits oozes opulence yet is remarkably tasteful. Drinks, of course, are free while gambling, and each pit has a stage in the middle where performances of all varieties are constantly performed. Two recreation rooms are filled with pastimes of all sorts, from holochess to virtual fighter combat. In short, the Lucky Despot is a place where the exceedingly wealthy go to play and be seen.
Adventure ideas for the Despot are limitless. The following are a few possibilities: The PCs could arrive at the casino looking to make some highly-placed contacts and become involved in the sometimes cutthroat intrigue of the region's high society, more likely as pawns than as players themselves. Equally possible, the PCs could contact the Nestor Syndicate at the casino and become involved in any number of covert operations either for or against the shadowy organization. If the PCs are Rebels, they could arrive at the resort after following a trail that links the corrupt Moff to it in an attempt to discover the nature of Lesbeat's involvement with the syndicate or possibly to retrieve important alliance information stolen by the Nestor Syndicate before it reaches Imperial hands. Alternately, the PCs could just be at the Despot to relax and become caught up in any number of adventures involving pirate attacks, theft, disgruntled employees or anything that suits the GM's fancy.
Init -10; Senses Perception +7
Defenses Ref 11 (flat-footed 11), Fort 46; +11 armor
hp 600; DR 20; SR 230; Threshold 246
Speed fly 0 squares (starship scale)
Fighting Space 2x2 (starship scale); Cover total
Base Atk +0; Grp +66
Abilities Str 82, Dex 0, Con -, Int 14
Skills Initiative -10, Mechanics +7, Perception +7, Pilot -10, Use Computer +7
Crew 170 (normal); Passengers 9,000
Cargo 1,240 tons; Consumables 8 years; Carried Craft 12 CloakShape fighters, 12
Gauntlet-class starfighters, 12 Z-95 Headhunters
Availability Unique; Cost not available for sale