The skiff your cage is mounted on finally begins to slow after you have passed countless dunes, and again you hear the whirring of gears, this time from each corner of the cage. Once again the floor beneath you falls away, dumping you rather unceremoniously onto the sand far below. The skiff turns and begins flying back the way it came, though the trail it was leaving in the sand is washed away by the winds before you can get much of a bearing. You notice, however, that there is a single storage locker embedded in the sand nearby.
The storage locker is unlocked and inside the players will find only a few pieces of equipment: a single holdout blaster with no ammunition, a thermal detonator with no trigger, a bottle of water and a broken scanner.
You don’t really feel any better equipped since you’re unable to use the majority of the equipment you found, but at least you’re still alive and you have an idea what’s coming. It seems the best course of action would be finding some kind of shelter, at least for the moment – after all, the twin suns of Tatooine are less than forgiving out here in the Dune Sea. Taking a few moments to look around, you don’t see much as far as caves might go, but out of the corner of your eye you think you can see something poking up out of the sand at the crest of a dune. Crawling up the rather steep climb, you discover what appears to be the treads of an old Sandcrawler – even more interesting, they still seem to be attached to that Sandcrawler.
Studying the area a bit more, you can see a flat plane sticking out of the dune further past the treads, durasteel clanking beneath your boots as you approach the edge. Looking over the edge, you begin to understand – you’re standing on the main hatch of the Sandcrawler which is buried upside down in the sand. Peering into the darkness below, you see what appear to be branches or leafless trees around a circular hole in the ground. Something about that hole seems very dangerous.
The players can look around some more if they like, but the fall over that edge is pretty treacherous. The hole at the bottom is actually a Sarlacc, which they would do well to avoid, though if they wish to try climbing into the Sandcrawler through the main hatch it will be possible if they take some care. They can also perform a perception check around the treads in order to find an already extended staircase leading to the underside hatch, which will also take them into the Sandcrawler.
You find it more than a little pleasant to be away from the sun-baked sand outside, but truth be told it doesn’t seem much better in here. The air is stale, warm and dry, the smell of oil still clinging to the walls. It’s a little disorienting, seeing everything upside down and just a little on its side, and you can’t help but wonder how this Sandcrawler ended up in this predicament. Still, it’s buried deep enough in the sand to have been here for a long time. Answers may not be evident, at least not immediately.
Looking around, you see lots of debris littering what was once the ceiling of the main cargo hold – some ship parts, droid parts, even whole droids that no longer seem to function. Littered amongst the parts are empty Jawa hoods and harnasses – closer inspection reveals bleached bones, some of which have teeth marks. These Jawas are long since dead.
If the players want to search the room for anything of use, they may find a few old blaster packs with a limited amount of ammunition and parts that could be scraped together to fix the scanner. It isn’t absolutely required for them to continue, but as they venture deeper into the old Sandcrawler it may become useful. If they want to see if they can find something more valuable, look at your loot table and have them roll for it.
Once you’ve concluded there’s nothing else for you in this main chamber, you begin to suspect there might be something if you venture deeper. It isn’t easy to get to, but there is a hatch near the top of the room that looks to lead further into the vehicle. You find a ladder or sorts beneath a lot of the debris and although it’s a bit shaky, you make it up into the adjoining hall. What used to be the ceiling here is, too, littered with debris, mostly rocks and sand. You do come across a few closed doors but they seem to be jammed shut in such a way that you can’t open them at all. Stepping through the next archway, you enter what looks to be the main engineering section of the Sandcrawler. The smell of machine oil is even stronger in here, though all of the gears and machine parts are bone dry.
If you had enough time and the proper funding, it might be possible to get the thing up and running again. Although the reactor was likely stripped out a long time ago, the housing is still in good condition. Odds are good, though, that no one would be interested in funding that kind of work, save perhaps the Jawas, and if they could have salvaged this Sandcrawler they probably would have without just stripping the parts.
If the players look around here, they may find the part needed to repair the thermal detonator they have on hand. There are also sufficient parts here to repair the scanner if they have not yet done so. Again, if they wish to find something of more value, refer to the loot table as before.
Heading down to what would have been the top level, you enter another hallway. This one is lined with conveyors, some of the belts hanging from above, and there is a stairwell that looks to lead into what might be living quarters. The other hatch leads out of the hall and towards the front of the Sandcrawler.
If they players decide to explore the living area, they’ll find a few more bottles of water and perhaps some personal items the Jawas may have left behind. Refer to the loot tables and give a few rolls. Otherwise there is not much of consequence in the living area. In the machine shop, however, they will find enough weapons to arm themselves. They will have to ration their ammunition for the moment.
Stepping into the last section of the Sandcrawler, you enter a fairly large alcove that had been converted into a trophy room before the massive vehicle tipped over. The items mounted on the walls and hanging above your heads are not what most would traditionally consider treasures, however – most would probably call it junk. There appears to be the remains of an escape pod from a Corellian ship, a few battered pieces of useless Stormtrooper armor, a Krayt Dragon fang, and the battered body of an old assassin droid.
Passing through the trophy room, you come into another multi-level section with stairs at the fair end. Above you there are multiple computer consoles and a variety of sensor arrays, some small enough to fit on droids, others large enough for capital ships, all tied into the Sandcrawler’s computer system. There is no power so there’s no way of knowing if any of them work, but it’s remarkable to see up close just how clever the Jawas can be, how successful at reconstituting old parts. The next level appears to be the navigation room – there are old maps pinned to the wall around a much larger viewscreen, likely where they planned where they were going to next. The final level is the control room. A smaller room off to the front of the Sandcrawler holds a few seats and a large computer panel overlooking the front windows – the cockpit. Despite the sand covering most of the view, it is possible to see deeper into the hole at the bottom of the dune – those branches are not branches at all, but tentacles.
Searching the control room once more, you find what was once the nest of a large Krayt Dragon. There are numerous empty shells littered along the floor, along with what you can only guess is droppings due to the smell. It is not entirely abandoned, however – curled up in the center is a very young Krayt Dragon, and it appears to be sleeping. The nest is made up of old Jawa robes and droid parts. There may be something of use in it, though it’s difficult to know without examining up close.
The players can try to sneak around to investigate the nest, but if they fail their stealth check they’ll definitely wake the sleeping Krayt Dragon. They can attack it if they like, or they can even try to temporarily tame the creature. If they do fight and the battle is going too much in their favor, another Krayt Dragon could arrive by bursting through the underside of the nest from the hidden cave entrance below. No matter what, once they have dealt with the Krayt Dragon and study the nest they will find that entrance and discover survival gear hidden inside, along with the remains of a handful of Jawas. There will be enough food and water for them to survive, as well as a communications device. They can use this device to try to contact someone off-world, which may be successful – or they may simply intercept a message from Darth Vader announcing his arrival in the near future. They will also find some special loot. If they decide to get the scanner working, they will be able to see that there is a ship waiting for them outside the Sandcrawler. If not, they will have no warning.