View Full Version : Return of the Sith: Preparations for a Knights of the Old Republic campaign

2018-06-07, 06:49 AM
I want to start a new game in two months using the REUP edition of the Star Wars d6 system, set in a slightly altered timeline 25 years after Knights of the Old Republic. I already got some solid ideas and would love to hear what others think of it so far and how I might expand on it before the campaign starts.

The Setting
The Republic fleet send to destroy the Star Forge never returned and soon rumors spread that Darth Malak had been replaced by Darth Revan. However, Revan's rule didn't last long and he was presumably killed during his failed invasion of the Republic when his ship was destroyed in battle. The remaining fleet immediately retreated back into Sith Space. Various Sith lords started to fight among each other but also destroyed the Jedi Academy on Dantooine. Neither the Republic nor the Jedi were in any shape to invade and destroy the remnants of the Sith Empire, but over the years news spread of a new Sith Empress who has taken charge of the Sith Fleets and worlds, and that she is focusing more on fortifying her domain than expanding it, at least for now.

If you are using the map of the galaxy, there are really only three interesting regions: Sith Space with Korriban, Yavin, Mandalore, and Kashyyyk; the Core with Corruscant, Corellia, Duro, and Alderaan; and Trade Federation Space with Tattooine, Ryloyth, Rodia, and Sullust. I'm obviously focusing on the most interesting worlds around Sith Space.

The main worlds of the Sith Empire are the capital Ord Radama, the main trade hub Toprawa, Ruuria with its great universities, the restored ancient Sith shipyards at Ch'hodos, and of course the tomb world Korriban. Yavin and Felucia are also within the territory of the Sith Empire but considered irrelevant wilderness, and the Empress is still working on restoring the valuable farm world Telos 4 that Darth Malak had needlessly destroyed.

The headquarter of the Republic Fleet in the Region is on the industrial planet Ord Mantel and the main Jedi academy is located on the Miraluka homeworld Alpheridies. Also important to the Republic in the region are Arkania and Ithor, which are the two main producers of biotechnology in the galaxy.

Other interesting planets nearby are Onderon and Dxun, which have the Tomb of Freedon Nadd; Kashyyyk and Trandosha, Cathar, Mandalore, and Dantooine and Ossus, that both have ruins of destroyed Jedi academies. And Ziost, the capital world of the ancient Sith.

Current Events
There are three big things going on, all of which the players can get tangled up. I got all of these ideas simply by brushing up my knowledge of the planets in the region. Thematic connections seemed to pop up all by themselves.

Mysteries of the Sith
The Sith Empress knows that she is in a very dangerous position. Given the Sith history of the last 100 years, it is only a matter of time until one of her apprentices will overthrow her. Shortly after Revan disposed of Malak and the Jedi were in chaos, she explored the tomb of Freedon Nadd on Dxun and learned that the ancient Sith Lord Marka Ragnos had ruled unchallanged and the ancient empire was destroyed soon after his death by infighting. Whatever power Ragnos had used to keep the other Sith Lords in line could also be the key to keeping her empire together. On Dxun she also found her first apprentice, a mandalorian taung warrior who had been half ripped apart by the beasts of Dxun after they had been defeated by the Jedi on Onderon during the Great Sith War. (wink wink) He managed to remain alive for long enough to make it to the tomb of Freedon Nadd, where he was kept from dying by the Dark Side for fifty years. Now he is more machine than man and a powerful master of the Dark Side.
Going to the Tomb of Marka Ragnos didn't reveal anything useful, but she is hoping to find information about the location of the planet Ziost where his fortress was located, or what happened to his successor Naga Sadow. (He did go into hiding on Yavin 4 after the destruction of his empire and build the temples there.) Clues about Ziost or Yavin 4 could be found in the Jedi ruins on Dantooine and Ossus.

Wookies and Krath
The Sith Empire always needs slaves, and they really like to have wookiees. So they have arranged for trandoshan slavers to hunt woookies on Kashyyyk and transfer them to Czerka Corp on the remote planet Saleucami, from where they are transported to the Sith Empire. The government of Saleucami does not allow it, but Czerka gets help from Krath cultists among the local nobility who are supported by the Sith to take over the planet.

Biotech Smuggling
After Malak destroyed Telos 4, the Sith Empress needs to restore the planet to feed her worlds. For that purpose she has kidnapped Ithorian scientists who worked for the big biotech companies on Ithor. The scientists were able to smuggle out a message to Ithor, reporting that they were using suspicious amounts of Adascorp equipment from Arkania. If it could be proven that Adascorp is secretly trading with the Sith it would greatly benefit the Ithorians, who are the main competitor in the biotech business. But being very honest and peaceful, the Ithorians won't make such accusations without proof.
Both planets also happen to be close to the fleet headquarters on Ord Mantel, though I don't have any immediate ideas how to make this relevant.

I really like the first two plot hooks. One is a setup for planet hopping treasure hunting, the other is a multifaction dark side conspiracy mess.
The biotech smuggling idea emerges very naturally from Ithor and Arkania being in the general area of Telos 4 and Adascorp always having been entirely corrupt. But industrial espionage and corruption don't really scream swashbuckling adventure to me. Given that it involves Adascorp and the Sith there's still lots of room for shoting, but I am still not entirely thrilled by it.

Campaign Considerations
This setup has interesting things going on for Jedi and Scoundrel characters, and a mixed party of both. It even works for parties working for the Sith, which then would be trying to make the plans suceed instead of fail. I don't see much potential for a military campaign with this setup, though I guess individual Republic commandos on a special undercover intelligence assignment could still work as party members.
There are no scripts, but easy to grasp goals: Find Ziost, stop the Krath from taking power on Saleucami, and expose the Adascorp smuggling.

Not quite sure how to introduce the players to any of it, though. I have the vague idea of starting with a ship transporting Jedi to an investigation but crashing after being shot down. First goal is to make it to a spaceport and then somehow running into hooks for the three ongoing conflicts. I think that is the difficult and also most important part. They don't have to bite if instead they decide to pursue another goal that I can build on. But I really don't want them getting stuck in a cantina and waiting for the script to kick in.
While all three hooks work for a party of all scoundrels, two of then involve Dark Side force users. The Sith artifact hunt pretty much requires Jedi in the party and I don't see why an all scoundrel party would be much invested in a political power grab on Saleucami. Not having run a full Star Wars campaign yet, how much do Jedi in a mixed party tend to hug the spotlight?

2018-06-07, 06:53 AM
Never played SW d6 myself but a friend told me Jedi are incredibly bound with their options if they don't want DS points. Basically interacting with ANYTHING living gives you DS. Remember that Mind Trick Obi Wan did in Episode 4? Yea, dark side.

2018-06-07, 07:15 AM
Not in REUP. Jedi only gain Dark Side points if the use the Force for evil. There are very few powers like Force Lightning that are always evil in any circumstances.
However, using the force trivially lowers your force point pool, which you can only increase by using it exceptionally heroically. That's a nice way to keep Jedi from using the Force all the time for any problems.

2018-06-07, 09:56 AM
It's been a long time since I played d6 Star Wars (long ago enough that we were playing in the gap between movies 7 and 8.) And in that era "Jedi" character are severely leashed by the fact that they aren't really Jedi, just wannabes.

That having been said, being a Jedi is incredibly skill intensive under d6, enough so that, unlike in the movies, they're never going to outshine a non-Jedi in their area of speciality. The scoundrel (or whatever) pilot/hacker/marksman etc is always going to be better than the Jedi, so any game that gives them a chance to strut their stuff will be fine.

As for your campaign ideas, they all sound good. If you want to go with the biotech one, you can always spice it up by having one of the Adascorp guys be one of those genius-imbecile types who was trying to make extra money on the side and line his pockets by selling his pet project monsters to the Sith as war machines. It will, of course, go sideways ala Aliens 4. Or Girl Genius. (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091007#.WxlHeopKiUk)

2018-06-07, 11:32 AM
True, simply selling the Sith working decontamination devices would be way too unambitious for Adascorp. Their company culture seems more like Aperture Science.

2018-06-08, 03:20 AM
That having been said, being a Jedi is incredibly skill intensive under d6, enough so that, unlike in the movies, they're never going to outshine a non-Jedi in their area of speciality.

Personally I would prefer the concept of "force sensitive" rather than Jedi in any given mixed group anyway. It just ... keeps the spotlight a bit away from the force sensitive guy. I base my opinion on how I would DM such situations.

If you have random Republic citizens seeing a Jedi is a once-in-a-life-time experience and some people might hate you, some might fanboy over you, others might fear you (because you are a spooky space wizard who could probably kill them then and there). If you are force sensitive, you can RP to the individual character much much more. This is a soldier that just seems to know where the enemy aims before they do. This smuggler just has an extremely convincing personality - and why does he always wave with his arm?

That said, if someone is hell bent on playing a Jedi, let him do it. I'd limit it to one Jedi per group though - or the two Jedi have to intertwine their backstories somewhat. Because I can't see the council "accidentally" shoving two Jedi in the same group. They are carefully assigned.

As for Jedi per se, I like my "savant" classes (like D&D paladins, e.g. Brotherhood of Steel Knights) to have some sort of apprenticesship. They are not knights, not even jedi. they are force sensitive and have to do [insert plot here] to qualify for jedi training. Of course they get what they need for their mission trained beforehand.

2018-06-12, 02:05 PM
I've been spending some time thinking about how a campaign should be planned less as "a typical adventuring party, but in the Star Wars setting" and more like "emulating the style of the movies". You probably could do dungeon crawls and heists in a Star Wars game, but that's a way in which seasoned players would see it when looking for a change of scenery. If you were to introduce Star Wars fans to roleplaying games, it probably wouldn't be at all what they were hoping for. You'd really want to attack Death Stars and fight Darth Vader, not do the common day to day chores of a nameless scoundrel.

One great piece of advice someone gave me a while back for running Star Wars games is to make the players big damn heroes! Not necessarily savior of the galaxy chosen ones who win galactic wars all by themselves. (Though that's also an option when you want to play really close to the style of the movies.) But the normal gang of smugglers or rebel soldiers would be hopelessly outmatched if they ran into a group of storm troopers half their own size. Stormtroopers are the meanest and deadliest regular soldiers in the galaxy. But Star Wars protagonists are easily going to get away without a scratch from a group of stormtroopers double their size. Star Wars protagonists aren't just heroes in their own personal stories. They are the heroes in the personal stories of everyone they interact with. For that, they don't have to be amazingly powerful, just have an incredible ability to get away with and survive crazy plans. Getting captured, stranded, losing their stuff, or failing to prevent a horrible disaster is always an option, but serious injury or death can only be expected against arch villains.

Another realization I had, but had since then forgotten, is that in Star Wars you never go to visit places. You always go to visit people. "Lando's not a system. He's a man." Luke visits Yoda, not Dagobah. They try to save Han from Jabba's Palace, not from Tattooine. Star Wars has lots of interesting looking places, but they are really just stages for encounters with much more interesting characters. When you prepare a campaign map, what you need is not a star map showing the planets, but a relationship map showing all the major NPCs and their relationships.
If the relevant NPC (scientists, managers, informants, sith agents) are sufficiently quirky and memorable, I think even exposing illegal technology sales can become quite the exciting adventure. (But I think it's still probably a big improvement to have the decontamination machines only be a clue that Adascorp is working with the Sith, but their main business is something much more dangerous and out there.)

2018-06-21, 02:47 PM
Okay, I got a brilliant and wonderfully evil plan for Adascorp:

Step 1: Make a secret deal with the Sith to develop a weed from hell that can destroy entire ecosystems or agricultural regions in a matter of weeks by turning all native plant live into compost. Make it grow so fast and big that it can only be contained by orbital laser bombardment.
Step 2: Make it resistant against all herbicides, except for an obscure weedkiller called Opperative White.
Step 3: Acquire the only factory in the galaxy that produces Opperative White.
Step 4: Profit! Unlimited Profit!!!

It's being developed on Telos 4 because there's also a major research project going on working on restoring destroyed ecosystems after orbital laser bombardments. What is better than a superweapon? A superweapon whose effects only you know how to reverse. But Adascorp is smart, they know not to trust the Sith so they have a sneaky little plan to get more stupid rich even if the Sith don't pay up.
I think I am calling the Adascorp manager in charge of the opperation Monsanto Adasca. :smalltongue:

Not only is this a dastardly evil industrialist plan, it also is a nice setup to have hidden research labs full with dangerous chemicals and also groundskeepers clearing up between experiments with flamethrowers. And the solution to end this threat to the galaxy might be raining down hellfire on it.