View Full Version : Help me run my PC's through a riot?

2017-07-02, 09:45 PM
Looking for some advice here.

I'm running a Star Wars Saga Edition game. the PCs are a group of scoundrels, and next session they are about to walk up to the spaceport where their ship is located only to find that the Empire has locked the whole thing down- no ships coming or going. (It will turn out they have a nefarious reason for doing this, which I don't want to get into here in case one of my players finds this thread.)

Originally I was planning on having them try to find a way to sneak in or talk their way past the guards. But then I thought that this might be a good chance to try out the mass combat system in CW campaign guide. It would stand to reason that having the empire shut down an entire spaceport would have a lot of people in an uproar, so I thought maybe I could have the PC's involved in a riot.

The thing is, the whole mass combat system really seems more useful for organized battles, when you can easily section off various squadrons, with a clear hierarchy of leadership, and all that. I could still lump random "rioters" into units based simply on location, but how do I express the chaotic feel of a riot, compared to a (relatively) orderly battle? The idea also seems to break down when you look at roles for PCs, and how they would "contribute" to the battle. It's gonna feel weird to explain the concept of having a "commander", "first officer", and all that, to set up the rules involved for a riot.

So I guess my questions are:
-What do people think about the SWSE mass combat rules, in general?
-Do people have any advice about using these rules, or somehow modifying these rules, to fit a riot?
-Do people have alternative suggestions for how to make a riot an exciting adventure?

Oh, one more important factor: it can't take too long... I have a lot of stuff I need to cram into this game session, so I'm hoping to keep this to like an hour tops, including explaining the new rules.

2017-07-02, 10:15 PM
So I guess my questions are:

-Do people have alternative suggestions for how to make a riot an exciting adventure?

I think a riot would have no organization to it and not work with most mass combat systems I am familiar with. Maybe if there was some sort of resistance movement that the players are involved with stage the riot but it sounds like the spaceport being shutdown just happened. I think you should you just design an encounter that has three possible outcomes:

1) The Players do not intervene and Stormtroopers massacre the rioters. Effect: perhaps some NPCs know the players did not intervene and think they are cowards. The Empire locksdown the station making it near impossible to get to the ship.

2) The Player intervene but do it poorly. Many rioters and many Stormtroopers die. Effect: Stalemate The Storm troopers pull back to one corner of the station until reinforcements arrive. The rioters pull back to another corner to lick there wounds. The Players are respected members of a new resistance but not considered leaders. The PCs MIGHT be able to sneak to the ship.

3) The Players intervene and do it well. The Stormtroopers get massacred. Effect: The Empire pulls out completely (for the moment). The players are considered heroes and gain an (ally, weapon, mcguffin, etc). The easily get to their ship.

Jay R
2017-07-03, 09:07 AM
I would handle tiny pieces of it as individual encounters.

The PCs are attacked by a few rioters.
A pickpocket tries to get a PC's money.
A stormtrooper is massacring innocents from behind right in front of them.
They have to push through a crowd.
A small child is getting trampled.


Mark Hall
2017-07-03, 09:55 AM
I'd be inclined to use a deck of cards, with different suits and values meaning different things. As they go through the riot, trying to do whatever it is they're trying to do, draw random cards to represent what is happening around them.

Assign the suits different categories... like Diamonds is looting, Clubs is Violence, Spades is Security Forces, and Hearts are Innocents.

Two of Diamonds? Someone is looting a droid dealership. Three of Clubs? Oh, look, you've got two Gammoreans beating the crap out of a Rodian. Eight of Spades? Small squad of security troops have secured this area for now. Ace of hearts? A little girl, crying for her mommy.

Face Cards represent special encounters. Those should be at least loosely defined, and be more relevant to individual PCs.

I agree, the mass combat rules are not going to be good for a riot.

2017-07-03, 02:37 PM
Great, thanks for all the suggestions! I think I can definitely work with that. Setting up a few small encounters using the riot as a backdrop seems like the way to go.

Jay R
2017-07-04, 09:50 AM
Yup.The crucial facts are:

Overly crowded.
People being jostled.
High emotions with short tempers.
Difficulty of swift movement.
Breakdown of order.
Breakdown of law.

[No, those last two are not the same.]