Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 102
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    There are several games out there made specifically for playing Star Wars: Various editions of Star Wars d6, various editions of Star Wars d20, and the three versions of Star Wars funky dice. And of course all kinds of generic systems that you can use for a Star Wars campaign as well. They all have their own ways of setting up the attributes of characters and making die rolls for actions, but in any case the ultimate aim is to have adventures and stories that evoke the feel an dynamics of the movies.

    Most general advice for running games applies just as well to Star Wars as to anything else, but I also think that capturing the spirit of Star Wars requires using some different procedures and approaches for a campaign.

    I have a cool unused idea for a Knights of the Old Republic campaign that I want to give another try. And there's two big things that are currently on my mind.

    The first one is how you would approach making a campaign that deals with the Force in general and Sith Lords as antagonists in particular, that doesn't come down to hunting for some magical MacGuffin. It's an established standard for D&D campaigns, but it really doesn't feel like Star Wars to me. It's not in the movies or the books and comics I read in the 90s (not up to date on what came later), and I always thought it felt really lame when playing Jedi Academy. If you're playing Lando and Wedge type characters, fighting against a Darth Vader and defeating him to safe the galaxy just doesn't seem plausible.

    Very much connected to that is the question of how you would get a party of widely different characters together to go on a great adventure. You could always start with the whole party being Jedi or Rebel Soldiers and being send on a mission. But would it be practically doable to also have a great campaign with a party that is more like Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca, with perhaps the odd droid thrown in?
    I guess you could always make an agreement with the players that the first session will be a more or less scripted thing where they are brought together by the Forces of Plot, but that doesn't really seem very elegant.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    This podcast does something like that, admittedly in CLone Wars era. Easy enough to have them be on the same ship when 'event that kicks off the story'happens.

    Sith Lords do a lot of scheming. Thwart the scheme, not the person.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Sith Lords do a lot of scheming. Thwart the scheme, not the person.

    I agree with this; if you cannot face off against the Sith Lord, you have to thwart his plans, not him.

    I'd also look at establishing an emotional tie to the antagonist, and maybe have your PCs help define those... some reason they don't want to just drop a starship on his last known location.

    For the "How we got together", I am always a fan of "You are travelling with a caravan that gets attacked." So, everyone makes a character and you put them all on Space Bus, with a reason they are on Space Bus and going to Tattoodan or wherever you want things to happen. Then you have Force Associated With (but not actually part of) the Big Bad attack them. Driver of Space Bus is killed, and now it is up to the players, now in possession of Space Bus, to save themselves. In the course of doing so, they Bond, and learn about Big Bad, who is exerting pressure of Force Associated With.

    A big question, some of which comes down to the system you choose, is going to be "What is the Force like", both mechanically and metaphysically. Are you ninja-jumping everywhere? Do you struggle to call a lightsaber from across the room? What can a beginning character do? What can a master do? What can a lightsaber do, for that matter?
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-08-05 at 03:54 PM.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    That's really useful advice already. (But don't take this as encouragement to not continue with more.)

    My general idea is that the Sith Empress wants to learn the power that the ancient Dark Lord Marka Ragnos used to keep the other Sith lords from constantly backstab him and each other, so that she can finally go back to fighting the Old Republic without getting betrayed. She found some hints on Korriban but hit a dead end, but she hopes that perhaps the Jedi might have kept some records from the Great Hyperspace War that could be useful to her. So she has agents trying to get into remote Jedi archives like Dantooine and Alpheridies (and perhaps rediscovering the charred remain of Ossus after its star had been blown up in the Great Sith War).

    To foil that plan, the heroes would have to find that information first and destroy it (or get it to a super secure location on Coruscant or something like that). That really helps giving that idea an objective and a victory condition.
    And to get the heroes hooked, it probably will be pretty easy to come up with something about some sub-contracted agents failing at being secret, causing some disaster to the heroes and leaving a trail to their employers. Even if the heroes might not think that they are suited to preventing a new galactic war, they could still learn that some kind of heavy assault is planned to give agents an opportunity to break into an archive, which sounds like something more within the heroes' capabilities. And that can put them on the map as the major players are concerned.

    I also have the idea that simultaneously a giant medical corporation is secretly developing a bioweapon for the Sith, and some Dark Side cultists are planning to take over an autonomous planet on the border between the Republic, the Empire, and Hutt Space. Also to help the Sith Empire to prepare for a new war against the Republic.
    The idea here is to let the players have options between three different adventures (exploration search, corporate investigation, scoundrel conspiracy), which each can believably make no progress while the heroes are busy to be picked up later. But I am somewhat unsure if that might make things too complicated and confusing and lead to indecision instead.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Banned
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Star Wars is a tricky game to run. For most "Star Wars" is just the movies, and the movies are a special thing. The Star Wars movies present a Rule of Cool Fun Exciting Universe of Adventure That Makes No Sense.

    The whole Battle of Yvan makes no sense: Why, oh why, oh why, did the Death Star come out of hyperspace "on the other side of the planet"? If they came out ANYWHERE else, the movie would be over in seconds. Why did the Death Star not just blow up Yvan 4? Why did the Death Star have no CAP? Why did the Death Star not have an Escort Task Force(real WW2 aircraft carriers did)?

    And the Bonus Last Jedi: Why, oh why, oh why, did the First Order come out of hyperspace "over there" far away from the Rebel ship and not literally any other place closer? Why did they not just hyper jump closer instead of chase them in normal space? Why not send a couple other ships to jump around them and come at them from other angles to ;box them in'?

    Of course the answer to all of the above is that they are movies that present a Rule of Cool Fun Exciting Universe of Adventure That Makes No Sense.

    So, playing a Star Wars game, many players will want to play in such a universe. This can be very tricky for an RPG. With A.I., force fields and droids Star Wars should have perfect security.....but they don't. So when playing an RPG a player will expect that they can just 'make a joke' and walk right into the super maximum security base with ease. And when the GM has something reasonable like even a single guard droid they will flip out and feel like they are not playing "Star Wars" anymore.

    So you either need to run the game in a Rule of Cool Fun Exciting Universe of Adventure That Makes No Sense way or otherwise just let the players "win".

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    My general idea is that the Sith Empress wants to learn the power that the ancient Dark Lord Marka Ragnos used to keep the other Sith lords from constantly backstab him and each other, so that she can finally go back to fighting the Old Republic without getting betrayed. She found some hints on Korriban but hit a dead end, but she hopes that perhaps the Jedi might have kept some records from the Great Hyperspace War that could be useful to her. So she has agents trying to get into remote Jedi archives like Dantooine and Alpheridies (and perhaps rediscovering the charred remain of Ossus after its star had been blown up in the Great Sith War).
    From this summary I can tell that this is a very AU scenario. AU Kotor-era scenarios are tricky because they require a lot of buy in by the players into the highly complex lore of the era without any real understanding of what's different from the (Legends) canon timeline. if you're going to do this you need to keep things as simple as possible so the players are not required to try and learn a heaping pile of AU history and lore to follow what's going on.

    To foil that plan, the heroes would have to find that information first and destroy it (or get it to a super secure location on Coruscant or something like that). That really helps giving that idea an objective and a victory condition.
    Your first post said you didn't want to just have things boil down to a chase after a McGuffin, but that's what 'find the information first' boils down to, since the information is essentially a McGuffin, whether it's a data file or, more likely in a Kotor scenario, a Holocron. In general 'secret info the villain wants' always becomes a McGuffin, it's very difficult to structure such a plot otherwise.


    I also have the idea that simultaneously a giant medical corporation is secretly developing a bioweapon for the Sith, and some Dark Side cultists are planning to take over an autonomous planet on the border between the Republic, the Empire, and Hutt Space. Also to help the Sith Empire to prepare for a new war against the Republic.

    The idea here is to let the players have options between three different adventures (exploration search, corporate investigation, scoundrel conspiracy), which each can believably make no progress while the heroes are busy to be picked up later. But I am somewhat unsure if that might make things too complicated and confusing and lead to indecision instead.
    Asking the players to focus on three different and barely related subplots at the same time is unlikely to work. It also makes little sense in-universe, since why would you task a single team to handle three very different scenarios that require different skills? It makes much more sense to pitch the three ideas to your players and ask them which one they would prefer to do as a campaign and then develop subplots within the chosen overarching scenario. Making a bioweapon, for example, can easily be divided into: cutting off evil funding, preventing the villains from acquiring vital resources, and sabotaging laboratories and testing.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    You have big plans for an adventure. Don't tell the PC's any of that. Zilch. The Galactic Republic knows little of the plot if any at all.

    Star wars starts in the action. A plan is laid out then it goes belly up, chaos ensues. Somehow victory is arrived at.

    The plan: Start them off with a mission to set up a forward listening post on a distance uninhabited planet the GR needs to listen in on enemy communications. You could have a few Jedi/soldier to represent the GR, a tech monkey and droid or 2 to configure the equipment, a pilot and ship to get them there (a civilian contractor?). You could have 10 roles to fill. PCs and NPCs of the "crew." The mcguffin is still info. But they have all the parts to get it.

    the Hiccup: Oh, but there are pirates/smugglers den. Do you deal with them peacefully/jedi mind tricks/ force them off?

    Plan falls apart: Oh, 1 was a sith empire spy. They send out a distress signal. The whole plan goes belly up and now you are trying to escape/get info on who betrayed who. You have to escape and lay low now. You cannot just jump back to the GR. Instead you are now behind enemy lines with low fuel. Perhaps they learned something important and need a bit more investigation. The bare bones details of that initial plot hook, that s what they find.

    play a bait and switch with the Mcguffin. They had no idea what they were going to get. They still get info in the end but in a shape they didn't see coming.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    30.2672 N, 97.7431 W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagtime View Post
    Star Wars is a tricky game to run. For most "Star Wars" is just the movies, and the movies are a special thing. The Star Wars movies present a Rule of Cool Fun Exciting Universe of Adventure That Makes No Sense.

    The whole Battle of Yvan makes no sense: Why, oh why, oh why, did the Death Star come out of hyperspace "on the other side of the planet"? If they came out ANYWHERE else, the movie would be over in seconds. Why did the Death Star not just blow up Yvan 4? Why did the Death Star have no CAP? Why did the Death Star not have an Escort Task Force(real WW2 aircraft carriers did)?
    They could power the hyperdrive or the planet-destroying laser, but not both at the same time. They needed time to charge the weapon, so popping out right in front of the Moon they would still have to sit around and wait for the guys on the bicycles to peddle hard enough to power up the pop gun. Yavin 4 itself was a gas giant...hard to say what effect the laser would have on a giant ball of condensed gas, but a good bet is diffraction/diffusion. Why no CAP? The Empire didn't think their giant planet-blowey-uppy-ball had a weak spot and was overconfident. Just look at what happened to the Bizmark and you'll understand. (The same applies to Escort Task Forces..they overestimated their strength and underestimated the intel that the rebels had.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagtime View Post
    And the Bonus Last Jedi: Why, oh why, oh why, did the First Order come out of hyperspace "over there" far away from the Rebel ship and not literally any other place closer? Why did they not just hyper jump closer instead of chase them in normal space? Why not send a couple other ships to jump around them and come at them from other angles to ;box them in'?
    Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops, boy. You can't just bounce around willy-nilly, you need to plot a course. Plotting a course to surround a moving target while essentially flying in blind and expecting your target to be where you guessed it would be, and the area you arrive in to be free of anything else (like your target ship) is nearly impossible. Also, hyperdrives don't work over short distances. This isn't Star Trek, where you can use the "Picard Maneuver" and micro warp.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lagtime View Post
    So, playing a Star Wars game, many players will want to play in such a universe. This can be very tricky for an RPG. With A.I., force fields and droids Star Wars should have perfect security.....but they don't. So when playing an RPG a player will expect that they can just 'make a joke' and walk right into the super maximum security base with ease. And when the GM has something reasonable like even a single guard droid they will flip out and feel like they are not playing "Star Wars" anymore.

    So you either need to run the game in a Rule of Cool Fun Exciting Universe of Adventure That Makes No Sense way or otherwise just let the players "win".
    Um....no. Not even close. I don't even have the energy right now to point out everything what was wrong with that last bit. If anything you just said was true it would be true for every RPG in existence, and we should all just stop playing now and go learn calculus or something.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2020-08-07 at 12:37 AM.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Space Battles in Star Wars play out by the logic of World War 2 fighter planes and navies. The fact that they are in space and have computers doesn't matter. Fighters and star destroyers can not do what an advanced spaceship with futuristic automated computer control could do. They can do what a fighter plane and a battleship can do. Targeting computers are not able to automatically track targets and shot them. You still always need a person looking through the gun sights and pulling the trigger, with a high chance of missing.
    It's unrealistic and silly, but that's what you sign up for when you watch, read, or play Star Wars.

    What is critical to a Star Wars campaign is that the heroes don't stall. The action has to keep moving. Whether the heroes are winning or losing. What you really want to avoid are situations where the players try something, it doesn't work, and the heroes stand around having no idea what to do now. Failure is entirely acceptable. In The Empire Strikes Back, the heroes basically fail at everything they try. But failure does not result in the heroes getting stuck. Instead it always results in the heroes having to push forward even harder.
    When players fail to open a huge blast door, don't let them stand there and scratch their heads. Make a patrol of stormtroopers arrive, forcing the players to either quickly sneak away and come up with a completely different approach, or pick a fight that will raise an even bigger alarm. If getting captured is a possibility, the GM should make plans in advance for what happens when they do. The cell they are taken to needs to have ways to get out, or alternatively they are taken directly to meet with one of the villains. And then given a way to escape.

    I say the first rule for GMs is to always keep things moving. "If in doubt: Stormtroopers!"
    There's nothing wrong with scenes that are not action, but even then the players should be thinking "Nice talking with you guys and taking a rest, but we really need to keep going soon."
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Probably best to save the Stars Wars film discussions for Media section, because otherwise knowing GITP we will be here for a long time without being much help.

    I don't know a thing about the Old Republic Era, but I was able to follow the plot explanation just fine.

    Many Sith Lords warring with many Jedi, Adventuring party in the middle. Most players will expect to have to learn about the world anyway.

    If they're working for the Republic, have whoever is supervising outline a choice of missions. If they're just a well meaning crew of people, what they do will depend on the character backstories, hard to give them a choice. Maybe they stumble across an enemy archive or communications hub
    with breadcrumbs of all three missions?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Slovakia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Obvious advice is obvious: make sure you and your players are both on the same page. Some may want to play Han Solo smugglers, others heroic Jedi, others still space battles. All of these are tonally different and need some work to fit together properly. Also make sure you and your players want to play same kind of adventure - if you want to go "squad of soldiers and low-level jedi caught in a larger war" and they want "galaxy depends on you", you will both be frustrated.

    Also, make sure you and your players are aware that Star Wars isn't sci fi, if you try to mix real world physics and orbits and energy requirements, you will very quickly get some... weird results. Your space battles could very quickly become about exploiting the fact that you have FTL comms and pressing smart munitions into use (strap those droids into suicide spaceships/torpedoes) and that is just not a very Star Wars thing to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The first one is how you would approach making a campaign that deals with the Force in general and Sith Lords as antagonists in particular, that doesn't come down to hunting for some magical MacGuffin. It's an established standard for D&D campaigns, but it really doesn't feel like Star Wars to me. It's not in the movies or the books and comics I read in the 90s (not up to date on what came later), and I always thought it felt really lame when playing Jedi Academy. If you're playing Lando and Wedge type characters, fighting against a Darth Vader and defeating him to safe the galaxy just doesn't seem plausible.
    If you have time, give Kinghts of the Old Republic 2 a chance - it showcases what I'm going to suggest.

    The key here is that Jedi and Sith are ultimately not two empires or opposing sides, but two philosophies - and not mutually exclusive ones either. Grey jedi are a thing. Sort of.

    So, your best bet is to play that angle - look into Jedi and Sith creeds and think about how they would manifest in practice when dealing with issues, and don't play favorites. Sometimes, jedi way will fail horrifically, somteimes Sith will actually have a point. A campaign like this will need to be a bit more character-driven than your standard dungeon crawling fare, as I said at the start, make sure you and players are on the same page.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Very much connected to that is the question of how you would get a party of widely different characters together to go on a great adventure. You could always start with the whole party being Jedi or Rebel Soldiers and being send on a mission. But would it be practically doable to also have a great campaign with a party that is more like Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca, with perhaps the odd droid thrown in?
    I guess you could always make an agreement with the players that the first session will be a more or less scripted thing where they are brought together by the Forces of Plot, but that doesn't really seem very elegant.
    I mean, it's a big galaxy, and only major faction that is xenophobic is the Empire, so you can't exactly have aliens in their squads, at least not the regular ones.

    A bunch of people on a cruise liner IN SPACE, or a bunch of hapless passengers, maybe survivors of a colony, the possibilities are endless, really. From what we see in the prequel movies, humans and various aliens interact with each other without a problem most of the time, and all major factions are multi-species. Original trilogy is less so, real reason being the budget, in-universe reason being xenophobic Empire.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I think you have to approach the Force like you would alignment. There are multiple different interpretations that have evolved over the decades and any of them can work as well as the others. As GM, you just have to pick one, make it clear to the players, and stick with it. That becomes particularly important when you use rules with Dark Side points.
    Players should be able to tell themselves when they are starting to deal with the Dark Side before you bring up as GM that it could get them there. (But you still should ask the player to confirm before you lock in an action that will get the character Dark Side points).

    (Unrelated: All the things that people praise about KotOR2 sound very unappealing to me. Just not my style of Star Wars.)
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think you have to approach the Force like you would alignment. There are multiple different interpretations that have evolved over the decades and any of them can work as well as the others. As GM, you just have to pick one, make it clear to the players, and stick with it. That becomes particularly important when you use rules with Dark Side points.
    The Force is best conceptualized as a system of natural law. In the Star Wars universe, the universe itself has moral principles, which are baked into the very base physics - the Force, after all, is a Force, and it's ultimate role is found alongside Gravity, Electromagnetism, and the Strong and Weak nuclear forces. When Obi-Wan says it 'binds the galaxy together' he's not being metaphorical, but literal.

    But yes, as a GM, you decide precisely what the natural laws are and its most important to simply be consistent with them. For the most part there shouldn't be any need to be particularly restrictive, the good guys can be fairly questionable without falling to the dark side (and if they aren't Force sensitive they can be downright malicious) while the self-reinforcing nature of the interaction between living beings and the Force tends to mean that any dark side oriented villains are absolute monsters (if you actually play either Kotor game or TOR down an all dark side route you accumulate a litany of horrors to your name that is absolutely indisputable).


    (Unrelated: All the things that people praise about KotOR2 sound very unappealing to me. Just not my style of Star Wars.)
    Kotor 2 was very deliberately taking a variant and extreme view of the philosophy of the Force, one that doesn't match most other sources (the works of Mathew Stover perhaps, but his position is also considerably far from the norm) and was largely repudiated in later works. Basically, if you wish to reconcile that view with everything else, Kreia is simply full of it.


    With regard to space battles, the best advice available for Star Wars tabletop is don't do space battles. All of the very best Star Wars games simply don't put the characters in cockpits outside of tiny mini-games. The needs of space combat simply don't match to the needs of a space fantasy adventure and the minute you put all the characters in ships it becomes a wargame (and generally not a very good wargame too). You can use space combat as a backdrop quite easily - many Star Wars adventures have the characters running through a ship or space station while a big space fight is going on in the background, and the film Rogue One does this particularly well during its climax at Scarif - but having the characters as pilots is a doomed enterprise.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The Force is best conceptualized as a system of natural law. In the Star Wars universe, the universe itself has moral principles, which are baked into the very base physics - the Force, after all, is a Force, and it's ultimate role is found alongside Gravity, Electromagnetism, and the Strong and Weak nuclear forces. When Obi-Wan says it 'binds the galaxy together' he's not being metaphorical, but literal.
    That's exactly what I mean.
    I think the Force is completely amoral, and that later writers who ran with that line of thought got the original concept wrong.

    Like alignment discussions, trying to find the true interpretation is futile as there is no factual reality that could be discovered. And that makes it necessary for GMs to pick one interpretation by which they will judge what is possible and causes Dark Side points in their campaigns. (You can of course include the players into the deliberation before making the choice.) The important part is really that players have consistency in how such things happen in each campaign and can plan their actions accordingly.

    I'm generally in agreement about space battles. While I think almost all systems allow you to play a character like Wedge Antilles, it's probably not a good idea unless every player plays a starfighter pilot. (And then the space battle rules are likely going to become the default combat rules. Having a starfighter RPG with space battles and barracks downtime could be fun.)

    Let's take a look at spaceship action in the movies:
    In the first one, we have Leia and Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon (maybe Chewie flying and Leia controlling shields), and Han and Luke each controlling a gun. Every character gets to participate in the fight in every round (not counting the droids right now). They are fighting against four tie fighters, a fight that probably shouldn't take more than 10 rounds in most systems. Perfectly fine encounter.
    Then we have Luke by himself with 23 NPCs attacking the Death Star with infinite numbers of Tie Fighters. It's only Luke fighting, Leia watching on, and Han and Chewie not even in the scene. (Their own fault for splitting the party.) This is really not ideal for an RPG encounter. But how much fighting does Luke actually do? I think he might shot two Tie Fighters in total and he has one moment where he has one on his tail and one moment where R2 gets hit by Vader. And then he makes his shot at the exhaust shaft. (Han also shows up at the end to take one shot at a Tie Fighter.) If we really want to have this battle as an encounter, we really don't need to track health or roll dice for those other 23 NPCs. (Maybe roll once when Wedge gets the Tie Fighter that is on Luke's tail.)

    In The Empire Strikes back, we have the ground battle against the Walkers. Maybe if the other players agree to play Dak, Wedge, and Wes Johnson (worst Star Wars name ever!) instead of their regular ones you could make this work. Make them take down two of the Walkers and call it a day. No need to roll to see what the rest of Rogue squadron is doing against the other four walkers. Two craft against two, with all four players making rolls? Why not?
    Then we have the Millennium Falcon in the asteroid belt, again being chased by only 4 Tie Fighters. Yes, back in 79 it was a huge pain in the butt to do these effects shot and making it only four seriously limited the workload. But the scene only needed four Ties to tell the story of the encounter. Adding 20 more Tie Fighters crashing into asteroids or, one gunner blowing up six of them in four seconds while the Millennium Falcon makes a loop would not make the encounter any more interesting. Only more confusing and fuzzy. (Man, I hate JJ's work.) But it's not even the Tie Fighters this scene is about. It's about trying to fix the Hyperdrive and surviving the asteroids.
    Oh, and at the end there's dodging Tie Fighters and a Star Destroyer while waiting for R2 to fix the Hyperdrive.

    Then in Return of the Jedi we have Lando, Nien Nunb, and Wedge Antilles taking on the entire Imperial Fleet. About 90% of the whole battle consist of basically circling in a holding pattern while waiting for the shield to be deactivated, meanwhile taking shots at Tie Fighters that don't matter because there's an infinite number of them. This is exactly the kind of space battle that you really should not try to emulate in your campaign.
    After the shield is down, the three fly inside the Death Star to blow up the reactor and than fly out again. Pursued by a small number (probably four) of Tie Fighters. I think this would actually be a fun encounter to play. Not exactly a battle, but more like a vehicle chase scene. You even get Lando failing a piloting roll and the Millenium Falcon loosing its sensors as a consequence.

    Space Transports really are the perfect kind of spacecraft for a party of PCs. They allow every player to participate in the encounter. You can always have a third character manning a third gun to support the other two, even if those other two gunners end up getting all the kills because they have much better skills. And you could also always throw in some minor fire on board that one of the noncombatant has to extinguish before it causes further damage to the ship or crew.
    And I'm with the movies that having four attackers is probably a really good base line for the vast majority of space combat encounters. Maybe increase it to six occasionally, but after that it probably gets boring. If you really want to have a huge battle, find a way to isolate one small segment of the fighting that falls within this scale. Once the players have won this little private skirmish, the overall outcome of the battle should become clear.
    While the RPG books love their list of capital ships with their huge amounts of hit points and shields, and the large numbers of enormously powerful turbolasers, I don't really can't think of any situation where you want to use them. I can see how it could be fun to command a Calamari cruiser against two Carracks and a Nebulon-B frigate, but that's just not the kind of situation PCs ever find themselves in. Characters who command capital ships don't go on what is usually considered to be "adventures".
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Emerald City, Oz
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Having run many Star Wars games, across different eras, regions, and game systems...the one piece of advice I think most important is Scale. Decide on the scale of your campaign, and stick to it. The dark side will tempt you to escalate, don't. It will get silly very fast.

    If they are commandos, or jedi knights, or smugglers, or princesses...find their level and run with it. There is plenty of galaxy for them to watch the Big Bad fight the Heroes, and maybe even help out a little, without getting themselves curbstomped.

    Eh, whatever...need more sleep...
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
    ~ Ernest Hemingway

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Really a matter of opinion here, but I think when people want to play Star Wars adventures, they want to play something that is like the movies. Or at least the books, or the videogames. Of course you could play a bunch of regular people in the Star Wars galaxy, but would that feel like the Star Wars works that made you interested in the setting in the first place?

    I think Star Wars campaigns should make the PCs to be heroes. They don't need to be Luke Skywalker, but they should at least be Kyle Katarrn.

    If you really want to play a regular soldier or technician, there's no reason why you couldn't. But when you sit down to play a Star Wars campaign, does that really sound more exciting than playing big heroes?
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Really a matter of opinion here, but I think when people want to play Star Wars adventures, they want to play something that is like the movies. Or at least the books, or the videogames. Of course you could play a bunch of regular people in the Star Wars galaxy, but would that feel like the Star Wars works that made you interested in the setting in the first place?

    I think Star Wars campaigns should make the PCs to be heroes. They don't need to be Luke Skywalker, but they should at least be Kyle Katarrn.

    If you really want to play a regular soldier or technician, there's no reason why you couldn't. But when you sit down to play a Star Wars campaign, does that really sound more exciting than playing big heroes?
    OT Star Wars is a deliberately generic fantasy epic that happens to be set in space. In that context, yes, the PCs essentially have to be large-scale heroes, because that's the operative mode of the work in question.

    The Old Republic/KotoR Era is somewhat more questionable, because that time frame is significantly less generic. It's not built upon a synthesis of intended to be universal 'monomyth' thematic elements, but instead it's built out mostly of gradually accumulated and layered lore produced by various writers working within their personal soapbox of a pre-existing framework (ex. KotoR I resembles Mass Effect immensely because the same guy was heavily involved in writing both things). The massive timeline presentation which preceded the launch of TOR is a prime example of this - it's literally a synthesis of lore from earlier sources organized, re-emphasized, and occasionally retconned to fit the new game's specific context.

    So scale, and in fact entire genre can vary. The Mandalorian, for example, is a western, not an epic (so far anyway) but its far more specific than the OT ever was because it draws upon a huge body of lore.

    You can certainly have big epic storylines, but you don't have to. In TOR, for example, out of the eight class stories the principally epic ones are the Jedi Knight, the Jedi Consular, and the Sith Warrior. The Imperial Agent's storyline is much closer to a spy thriller, the Sith Inquisitor's storyline is about advancement in a shockingly cutthroat political organization (whose ultimate outcome actually serves to weaken the empire in its struggle with the Republic, at least temporarily), and the bounty hunter, commando, and smuggler stories all lean more into pulp action tropes than the epic mode.

    Pulp action, in particular, is a common method of storytelling for Star Wars, and has a long pedigree. The Kotor comics story run (the one with Zane and Jarael), in particular, could easily be described as a pulp series, as could more recent productions like Dr. Aphra.

    So it is important to determine whether you're running an epic (it need not be the epic, the Jedi Consular is still essential to insuring the defeat of the Sith Empire even though the Jedi Knight actually 'kills' him), or whether you're just romping around the galaxy pulp style.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Emerald City, Oz
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Ran a campaign that led to an alternate timeline where Vader fathered an entire generation of powerful force users in secret, planning to use some of them to help him overthrow Palpatine. Leading to the discovery that both pc force sensitives were Skywalkers.

    In another the team stumbled across a 'pleasure' planet that immediately dragged them into a series of rediculously over the top events that were subsequently broadcast across the sector as entertainment. Doing the deep booming voice of the Entertainment Director as he described what the players were doing next was a lot of fun, even when it had the players cringing...

    It's your game.

    Make it as mundane, epic, space fantasy, realistic, and/or fun as you like.
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."
    ~ Ernest Hemingway

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Really a matter of opinion here, but I think when people want to play Star Wars adventures, they want to play something that is like the movies. Or at least the books, or the videogames. Of course you could play a bunch of regular people in the Star Wars galaxy, but would that feel like the Star Wars works that made you interested in the setting in the first place?
    Of course, the question may become "Which movies"?

    Sure, there's Luke and Leia and Rey and Finn, but there's also Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, or Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor. Sure, there's "Revan, Savior of the Galaxy", but there's also "Revan, Swoop Track Champion". You could be telling a story about Obi-wan Kenobi or Hondo Ohnaka... all Star Wars, all different.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I don't consider Han and Lando to be regular people, though. They are still very extraordinary action heroes. They are both at the very top of the league in which they are playing, sparring with Vader and Jabba and getting away with it.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I don't consider Han and Lando to be regular people, though. They are still very extraordinary action heroes. They are both at the very top of the league in which they are playing, sparring with Vader and Jabba and getting away with it.
    I was leaning towards Solo, the movie, as the example of adventures that might happen with them.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I was leaning towards Solo, the movie, as the example of adventures that might happen with them.
    Solo is somewhat unusual though because Han spends pretty much the entirety of the movie in way over his head and it's only his gradually emerging Han Solo -ness that allows him to survive it's events at all (this is also true, though to a lesser extent, of Lando). Dryden Vos, the film's nominal villain is a big time player. He's head of Crimson Dawn which, at that point in the Disney Canon timeline, is a top ten galaxy-spanning crime syndicate, and reports directly to Maul, who is the #1 crime boss in the galaxy at that point in time (a spot Jabba usurps/retakes following Maul's death in Rebels) with control over several major syndicates at the same time. So while it's a heist film, it's still a high-end heist film, with the characters being the kind of people who, if you transported them to the Fast universe, could totally join Dom Toretto's familia.

    Most Star Wars protagonists are at least pulp heroes (Star Wars draws heavy inspiration from the pulp era, particularly Flash Gordon, so this is not surprising) and are distinctly larger than life even if they aren't the stars of an epic galaxy-spanning crux of history.

    However, because the Star Wars galaxy, is a galaxy you can be engaging in some pretty big-time pulp heroics at a surprisingly small scale compared to the galaxy as a whole. Not for nothing has Star Wars run at least two episodes based directly on the 'train and save the village' plot of Seven Samurai (also a major inspiration), one in TCW and one in The Mandalorian. Consequently, in some ways setting scale is a matter of geography. Is your story about the fate of the whole galaxy? Or is it about a Sector, or a single star system, or a single planet, or even a single city. All are viable options for a campaign.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I've decided that since I am planning on starting a Star Wars campaign with a completely new system that I've never run, I probably should start with something fairly compact and simple. I got a general idea already, but nothing really specific yet:

    The campaign takes place in the months before The Empire Strikes Back, a good while after the dissolution of the Imperial Senate, the destruction of Alderaan, and the destruction of the Death Star, when the Rebellion is turning from small underground actions to full out civil war. I want to base it on the Expanded Universe how it was when I got into it during the 90s, like in Shadows of the Empire, Heir to the Empire, and the Jedi Knight games. Which I also think makes it most accessible for players who aren't super deeply into Star Wars in general. (I also don't really know anything about all the Clone Wars storylines, so I'll just be ignoring their existence.)

    The idea that I have is that the campaign begins in some unremarkable sector in the Outer Rim in the region between Malastare, Sullust, Ryloth, Rodia, and Tatooine. (Which happens to be smack where Naboo is, but I want to keep it to the 90s EU.) The sector had previously off the radar of the Empire, but now that "the regional governors have direct control over their territories", the local Moff has great aspirations for it and himself. He removed the inefficient and corrupt local government official and replaced it with loyal Imperial officers.
    That is making the locals very unhappy. In particular scoundrels who now get their ships stopped and search much more often and carefully, making their job much more dangerous. And the officials that used to not really care about what they doing and where happy to leave them alone for small bribes keep getting purged, and the buyers of smuggled goods getting arrested. The local population also gets quite angry as all kinds of Imperial taxes are now actually getting collected and unregistered weapons confiscated. The Moff also decided that several planets with valuable resources are now Imperial property (always have been), and the local human settlers have to pay outrages fees to get their land claims officially registered and recognized. Alien settlers just get relocated to nearby crappy desert planets.
    This results in a sector where loyalty to the Empire is low, sympathy for the Rebellion quite high, and the Imperial forces still have not gained full control.

    The heroes start as scoundrels with no love for the Empire, who have been under increasing pressure for the last year, and whose situation it becoming more precarious by the day. My idea is to begin with a number of close calls with the Empire, as other ships are getting seized just before the heroes want to dock to pick up contraband, their contacts are getting arrested, and they are in the wrong place at the wrong time when Imperial soldiers raid bars to arrest wanted criminals. Getting new jobs becomes more difficult, which makes accepting jobs for the Rebellion look more appealing. That's as far as I would want to push the players along. If they want to keep it at that or eventually join the Rebellion as full members should be left open to them.
    Giving the time period and the context, I really like the idea that the moff is corrupt in his own way, hiding tax money from Coruscant, and setting the new government up to be loyal to him personally instead of the Empire. Which would be just the kind of situation that Mara Jade would be looking into. The heroes would not be able to tell who she is (though I wouldn't make much effort to keep players familiar with her from figuring it out), but could learn that the moff is being investigated by his superiors, and providing her with evidence could be one option to take him down.

    With Star Wars being based on old movies, I think this situation would work great for an Italo-Western style: The railway is coming to the frontier, big companies are moving in and push around independent family farmers and store owners, the law is getting enforced more consistently, and the native population has already been displaced. Imperial propaganda makes it sound like they are bringing order and civilization, but for the frontier people there's nothing to cheer about it.
    Tatooine is nearby, where Jabba is still the big criminal mastermind at this time. And not far away is Falleen, the homeworld of Prince Xixor, who also is still alive at this point and the leader of Black Sun, another major crime group. Talon Karrde has a base on Rishi, quite close to both Tatooine and Falleen. Wookieepedia tells me that Booster Terrik was released from Kessel shortly after the Battle of Hoth, but I think there's no harm in releasing him a year earlier, so I can have him in a campaign at the same time as Lando Calrissian is still running Cloud City. It's the Who-is-Who of early EU scoundrels.
    I'd also like to do stuff on Malastare, Sullust, Sluis Van, and Bespin, which are all major or at least well known industrial centers. Organized crime and heavy industry very much lends itself to Noir, which is one of my favorite movie styles.
    Given the time and the focus on scoundrels, I think Jedi could be left out of this entirely. It also means I don't have to bother with special rules about the Force while getting used to a new system. I also am not terribly interested in big military operations in RPGs myself, so I would have anything Rebellion focused have to deal with undercover spy work and sabotage instead of fleets and armies in major battles. (At this time the Rebels can't really openly conquer territory yet anyway.) Spy stuff is also super common in Noir in addition to organized crime, so that all goes together very well. Italo-Western and Noir. Sounds like a winning Star Wars formula to me.

    Unfortunately I still don't have a solid idea for an actual story. As I see it, there's already five (or six) different factions with potential stakes in the area: The Imperial Moff, the Rebel Alliance, Jabba's Cartel, Black Sun, and the "good scoundrels" (and Mara Jade). With three crime groups involved, there would have to be something quite valuable about the sector. Making it the same thing that the Moff is trying to profit from would probably be a good move. I was thinking about having the heroes start out as independent, but I think it would also be fun to have them have a working relationship with either Talon Karrde or Booster Terrik. Not as their boss, but trusted business partner they trust to not stab them in the back. That way they could make more than cameo appearances, but would not have to be an additional party in whatever Jabba, Black Sun, and the Moff are fighting over.
    I think the end goal of the campaign should be to have the Moff removed and replaced with someone who is corrupt in a way that is more favorable to smugglers and acceptable for the Rebels. And the path to get there should be through cloak and dagger shenanigans, not a big final battle. But I feel these are still all peripheral things. What's missing is a major central conflict around a specific focus.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The idea that I have is that the campaign begins in some unremarkable sector in the Outer Rim in the region between Malastare, Sullust, Ryloth, Rodia, and Tatooine. (Which happens to be smack where Naboo is, but I want to keep it to the 90s EU.)
    Looks like you might want the Dalchon Sector as your base. That's the sector immediately between the Arkanis sector (which contains Tatooine) and the Gaulus sector (which contains Ryloth) on the Corellian Run. It doesn't have many notable worlds assigned to it, the most significant one might be Orvax IV, a noted center of the galactic slave trade (appears in the Dark Times comics).

    I think the end goal of the campaign should be to have the Moff removed and replaced with someone who is corrupt in a way that is more favorable to smugglers and acceptable for the Rebels. And the path to get there should be through cloak and dagger shenanigans, not a big final battle. But I feel these are still all peripheral things. What's missing is a major central conflict around a specific focus.
    Since I just mentioned Orvax IV, I'll toss out this idea: a Moff who tolerates Spice smuggling and takes his cut of those profits is generally superior from the Rebellion's perspective (and almost certainly that of the players) than a Moff who tolerates and takes his cut of the slave trade and orders all dissidents shackled and shipped off to bondage on Kessel or Zygerria. Slavery is technically illegal under Imperial law, which makes it the kind of thing Mara Jade (or some other Emperor's Hand, you don't have to use the galaxy's favorite redhead) could string a Moff up for getting too deep into. Likewise you could easily put Jabba - who supports spice smuggling because he controls the local spice triangle worlds - up against Black Sun, who are more interested in the slave trade and its capability to support absurd construction projects backed by the wealthy nobles of the core and the Empire, which is also using slaves to build various massive superweapons (you could easily have a tie-in where you say that crippling the galactic slave trade sets back development of the Death Star II a few critical months).
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Composer99's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Is there some resource there that the Empire has suddenly become very interested in? By that point there might be a big uptick in demand for unobtanium Khyber crystals. (*) For crime syndicates that have the wherewithal to swoop in, grab some, and launder it to sell to the Empire, there could be an incentive to get involved in the sector.

    (*) Minor spoiler, just in case:
    Spoiler: Khyber crystals
    Show
    They're used to power the Death Star superlaser.
    ~ Composer99

    D&D 5e Homebrew:
    Character Options: Fighter Remix, Paladin Oaths, Ranger Remix, Sorcerer Remix
    Playing the Game: Using Ability Score Variants
    New Subsystems: Combat Manoeuvre System, Weapon Generator
    Monsters: Yogg-Saron

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I've decided that since I am planning on starting a Star Wars campaign with a completely new system that I've never run, I probably should start with something fairly compact and simple.

    *That's no snip, it's a space station.*
    You have a funny idea of "compact and simple."

    I really feel like this thread is hugely overthinking this, for the most part.

    To me, Saga Edition did a great job using the core classes to identify the basic Star Wars experience in a thematic sense (I haven't played other systems to compare, but I haven't needed to).

    It's star wars, so you have jedi nonsense going on.

    It's intrinsically political, so you have nobles that represent government officials, crime bosses, and corporate officers.

    It's a war, so you have soldiers.

    The galaxy is largely unexplored, so you have fringe dwelling scouts mapping new lanes.

    Crime is just as important as government, so you have scoundrels.

    There you have it. Five critical elements every Star Wars game needs. Jedi voodoo stuff, political intrigue, tons of pulp action combat, increasingly bizarre alien cultures the further you get from the civilized amd regimented core, and a powerful, thriving criminal underworld always taking advantage of the chaos and keeping the good vs evil war from becoming a strictly two sided conflict.

    As for starship combat, I have always run it that piloting a starship is as common a skill as driving a car. Every competent adult can do it, though they may have trouble with specialized equipment and capital ships still need a huge crew to operate them. You want a skilled pilot for doing things beyond traveling from A to B in a safe and reasonable manner and parking.

    As for the combat rules, I like using modified chase encounter rules. Fits Star Wars pretty well.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The first one is how you would approach making a campaign that deals with the Force in general and Sith Lords as antagonists in particular, that doesn't come down to hunting for some magical MacGuffin. It's an established standard for D&D campaigns, but it really doesn't feel like Star Wars to me. It's not in the movies or the books and comics I read in the 90s (not up to date on what came later), and I always thought it felt really lame when playing Jedi Academy. If you're playing Lando and Wedge type characters, fighting against a Darth Vader and defeating him to safe the galaxy just doesn't seem plausible.

    Very much connected to that is the question of how you would get a party of widely different characters together to go on a great adventure. You could always start with the whole party being Jedi or Rebel Soldiers and being send on a mission. But would it be practically doable to also have a great campaign with a party that is more like Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca, with perhaps the odd droid thrown in?
    I ran a prequel campaign a decade ago, based on the standard SW recipe:
    - Slightly boring business as usual
    - Something terrible happens
    - Characters must rise as heroes to restore balance
    - The story must contain a few moral conundrums, and at least one chance to fall to the dark side

    Regarding your first question, the campaign was set at the beginning of the Mandalorian Crusade, a couple of years before the Knights of the Old Republic computer game (and featuring several minor NPCs). That allowed me to use the Mandalorians as very obvious and very cool bad guys, while keeping Revan, or at least his underlings, in my back pocket for a later reveal.

    As for your second question, the campaign started on the planet Telos, which at that time was an agricultural and monastery world where failed Jedi apprentices were sent, in addition to being a major naval base (both planet and naval base were later destroyed by Darth Malak). By GM fiat, I declared the players failed apprentices in the same group, and incidentally setting them up for being hunted by both sides once they escape, at least in the begininng of the campaign.


    The campaign basically ended up being a few into-adventures not directly related to the main plot, but foreshadowing it.
    Then they fought the mandalorians for a few adventures.
    Then in the begining of another adventure they were knocked out by a dark cloaked figure who told the present Mandalorians to "deal with them" (capture-escape adventure)
    Finally discover that mysterious and very obviously non-Mandalorian bad guy (Revanite Sith) was using Mandies in his evil plans for entire sector, setting up remainder of campaign.

    The group split up shortly after that, but I think the campaign had a solid premise. I was looking forward to tempting my players, using the imperfections of the Old Republic as bait, but unfortunately never made it that far.
    Last edited by Misereor; 2020-08-20 at 05:24 AM.
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Question to everyone? How would you approach an all scoundrel campaign? No Jedi and Rebel soldiers. Just space cowboys whose activities range from questionably legal to all out criminal?

    What would conflict look like and what kinds of antagonists would the heroes be dealing with? And what element from the original movies and the EU would you try to build on?

    I think the go to reference would probably be the first third of Return of the Jedi. Jabba seems to be the archetype for scum and villainy in Star Wars.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Question to everyone? How would you approach an all scoundrel campaign? No Jedi and Rebel soldiers. Just space cowboys whose activities range from questionably legal to all out criminal?

    What would conflict look like and what kinds of antagonists would the heroes be dealing with? And what element from the original movies and the EU would you try to build on?

    I think the go to reference would probably be the first third of Return of the Jedi. Jabba seems to be the archetype for scum and villainy in Star Wars.
    Take my love,
    Take my land,
    Take me where I cannot stand
    I don't care, I'm still free
    You can't take the sky from me


    Antagonists would be a mix of other criminals and law enforcement... be they local customs agents or the ISB. I think mining Solo and the related EU properties would be good... The Hutts, the Black Suns, and similar groups. I'd make Bounty Hunters figure into it, perhaps even some of the old "Guild Bounty Hunter" stuff I noodled about on the 'Pit.

    Lots of conflict would be about getting a job and keeping your crew running. Keeping one step ahead of the organized crime who wants to destroy you, use you, or absorb you (think Niska in Firefly), one step ahead of the law, and making sure that you're able to live with yourself.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Take my love,
    Take my land,
    Take me where I cannot stand
    I don't care, I'm still free
    You can't take the sky from me


    Antagonists would be a mix of other criminals and law enforcement... be they local customs agents or the ISB. I think mining Solo and the related EU properties would be good... The Hutts, the Black Suns, and similar groups. I'd make Bounty Hunters figure into it, perhaps even some of the old "Guild Bounty Hunter" stuff I noodled about on the 'Pit.

    Lots of conflict would be about getting a job and keeping your crew running. Keeping one step ahead of the organized crime who wants to destroy you, use you, or absorb you (think Niska in Firefly), one step ahead of the law, and making sure that you're able to live with yourself.
    This exactly. Every day becomes navigating the balance between rags and riches. Every job testing how far to the Dark Side will you go and what lines you refuse to cross. Every relationship is fraught with the danger of getting betrayed, either by handing you over to authorities, or getting you killed so they can take your stuff.

    Firefly is a great balance point between goofy antics and thrilling heroics, but Solo is a great movie to pull from if you want to keep the tone lighthearted while exploring the same themes.

    But I think most TTRPG players told they're gonna play a Star Wars Scoundrel adventure would actually want the biggest inspiration to be The Mandalorian.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •