Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 102
  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    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?
    It really depends. Most scoundrel stories, in Star Wars and otherwise, involve the scoundrels becoming caught up in events that go beyond the limited scope of their current operations - which are usually 'make enough money to keep going and feed the vices' - and into a greater sphere where they are ultimately forced to make a choice between money and doing the 'right thing.' This is extremely prevalent in Star Wars and features heavily in the early Han Solo stories (both in the Legends EU and in the movie Solo), in a number of comics about scoundrel types (the Kotor comics run and the Legacy comics run in particular), and several books, including the eponymously titled Scoundrels. It's also pretty much the core story of The Mandalorian. It's also worth noting that if you have a scoundrel type character who does not choose to do the right thing when the chips are down the stories can get brutally dark. Examples in Star Wars include the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy (Legends) and the Dr. Aphra comic line (Disney, but surprisingly really good anyway).

    One of the tricky things about a scoundrel campaign is the issue of money. In most great scoundrel stories the crew occupies a sort of Schrondinger's financial space where they are somehow continually one failed mission away from having to sell their essential assets (usually a ship) and give up the life and also one big score away from being set for life (Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, and many other prominent 'space western' scoundrel tales lean into this trope hard). This can be rather difficult to manage in a tabletop setting without some pretty brutal interference in the PCs finances and a lot of high-handing GM actions to snatch the payday away at the last moment - traditional scoundrel serials are full of successful missions where somehow the crew goes home empty-handed anyway.

    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.
    While Jabba is a solid archetype for scum and villainy in Star Wars, the opening third of RotJ is not a good example of scoundrel campaigning, save perhaps as a final climax. It's an extended series of action set pieces in which Jabba's criminal empire, which is hundreds of years old, is collapsed by the actions of the Heroes of Yavin (and Lando). It's nothing like the slow grind of freighter captain or bounty hunter life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall
    Antagonists would be a mix of other criminals and law enforcement... be they local customs agents or the ISB.
    The law, regrettably, is one of the more underdeveloped aspects of Star Wars, which is why scoundrel stories in Star Wars always seem to pit criminals against each other or against semi-legal institutions such as the Bounty Hunters Guild. While this fits with the source material, especially the Kurosawa films (and Star Wars did Seven Samurai in both TCW and the Mandalorian), it does have some issues. A useful antagonist with a law enforcement adjacent focus is a mercenary force hired as a security firm - the Regulators on Makeb in SWTOR are a good example, since they're essentially a fully equipped private army hired by the Hutts to keep people from messing with their stuff.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I feel laws in most periods don't really matter much. The laws of the Empire are inherently unfair by design to work against whatever heroes you might be playing. Imperials can arrest you and confiscate your stuff for whatever reason seems convenient right now. There certainly is an Imperial law that covers that sotuation and make the heroes be treated poorly.
    In the remote areas, laws are a farce. What goes as authorities are simply the biggest local gang of thugs, who can afford giving everyone a badge and a uniform. They don't enforce the law, they extort people for personal profit.

    There are of course civilized planets not fully controlled by the imperial military, but those are individual unique cases that heroes aren't going to visit often anyway. In those cases part of such planets' unique character are laws that seem random and silly to outsiders.

    In any case, specific rules of what is allowed or not don't really seem to serve much purpose in Star Wars to me.
    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

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    The easy way is probably this.

    Delivery job from Faction A, interference from faction B, delivery to faction C. How this goes will set up how your players view or are viewed by the factions involved. Some of them might give more employment, others might become hostile or put a bounty on them.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    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?
    To be honest, I wouldn't.
    Firefly was a scoundrel campaign, but the players were a diverse mix of scoundrels and non-scoundrels for a reason.
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  5. - Top - End - #35
    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 Misereor View Post
    To be honest, I wouldn't.
    Firefly was a scoundrel campaign, but the players were a diverse mix of scoundrels and non-scoundrels for a reason.
    Really, everyone WAS a scoundrel, to one extent or another, just for very different reasons.

    Jayne was simply a bad person
    Mal wanted to live outside the laws of the Alliance
    Zoe was actively fighting the Alliance
    Wash was content to live as a scavenger and smuggler
    Simon and River were semi-normal people wanted by the Alliance
    Book was an Alliance officer who left in a cloud of disgrace
    Inara was "respectable" and a companion, but she was also quite willing to take part in crime (Trash) and help spring them from the authorities (The Train Job)
    About the least scoundrely person is Kaylee, who just wanted to fix engines and get out in space.

    And every pure scoundrel campaign can absorb one non-scoundrel.
    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.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Scoundrel status depends heavily on context and relationship to the law. Specifically how strong the legal regime holds. The stronger and more restrictive the law is, the less one has to do to be classified as a person operating on the margins of the law or outright outside of it. To use the Firefly example, the crew of the Serenity drifted back and forth from completely legitimate traders in the outlying colony regions, to dubious freebooters further in, to outright thieves and robbers on Alliance planets.

    Star Wars has a similar gradation. The law is generally very strong in the Core and Colonies (there are some exceptions, like Corellia), modest in the Inner Rim and Expansion Region, weak in the Mid Rim, and outright absent across much of the Outer Rim (or merely a front, Nar Shaddaa, for example, does have a police force, but it's just enforcers for the Hutts in a different uniform).

    Many characters, transposed from one region to another, move back and forth from 'scoundrel' to 'not-scoundrel' accordingly, because their everyday activities vary in legality depending on where they are standing. Bounty hunting is a nice example. On some planets it's outright illegal - prior to the Clone Wars someone like Jango Fett could be arrested for just landing on a world like Chandrila or Alderaan, while out on Tatooine he becomes part of the quasi-legal regime that upholds a measure of public order.

    It's worth noting that, during the Imperial Era, the law is about as strong as it's ever been during the history of the galaxy (partly because no one's ever really bothered to depict a Republic Golden Age), and much, much stronger than it was under the spectacularly corrupt and utterly toothless Republic during the decades immediately preceding the Clone Wars. Now, the Imperial regime is both illegitimate, massively corrupt in its own right, and absolutely morally bankrupt, but it is strong. Imperial ships can be found anywhere and Imperial captains generally have a fairly low tolerance for chicanery that doesn't directly benefit them. Life on the fringe becomes much more difficult from 19 BBY to 0 ABY, when the rise of the Rebellion takes a good bit of the pressure off.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Emerald City, Oz
    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.
    I would run an all-scoundrels campaign in the rebellion era as agents for the rebels. Much of the rebels equipment was stolen or salvaged imperial tech, someone had to acquire it. The shuttle Han and co. flew to Endor? Someone had to steal it. Go back to the movies and decide what the rebels needed for each major action, have the players acquire it, and then run a clip of the resulting section of the movies so they know what they contributed to the cause.
    "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

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Really, everyone WAS a scoundrel, to one extent or another, just for very different reasons.

    Jayne was simply a bad person
    Mal wanted to live outside the laws of the Alliance
    Zoe was actively fighting the Alliance
    Wash was content to live as a scavenger and smuggler
    Simon and River were semi-normal people wanted by the Alliance
    Book was an Alliance officer who left in a cloud of disgrace
    Inara was "respectable" and a companion, but she was also quite willing to take part in crime (Trash) and help spring them from the authorities (The Train Job)
    About the least scoundrely person is Kaylee, who just wanted to fix engines and get out in space.

    And every pure scoundrel campaign can absorb one non-scoundrel.
    I tend to think of those as personality types, not classes.
    Kinda like an Assassin campaign, where not everyone plays the Assassin class.
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Yes, as it should be. It's Star Wars, not Dungeons & Dragons.

    Characters are people defined by personality, not by special abilities.
    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 - #40
    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 Misereor View Post
    I tend to think of those as personality types, not classes.
    Kinda like an Assassin campaign, where not everyone plays the Assassin class.
    Yes, but not every Star Wars game uses classes, and "scoundrel" is just a word. Since this is not edition specific, pointing out that everyone is some kind of scoundrel doesn't have anything to do with class, and everything to do with who they are.

    Ad res, the strength and legitimacy of the law is entirely down to setting. For example, in a Rebellion-era campaign. no one but the Empire really questions Lando's legitimacy as the Baron-Administrator of Bespin (that we see). When Leia and Han arrive, they have air traffic control and, while they're a bit aggressive, both of them treat that as being fairly normal. But in the OT, we are otherwise never in places with legitimate authority... Tattooine is Hutt, the Death Star is a military compound (so, while they might be "legitimate", no one interacts with them from a position of civilian authority), and Yavin is the same. Hoth? Dagobah? Endor? None of those do they interact with authority as civilians, so we don't see any sign of legitimate, civil, legal authority.

    Now, in the PT, we see more civil authority. On Naboo, it is contested (in TPM; not so in AoTC). On Coruscant, it is not. ST? No place we go really has a civil authority, except Canto Bight... and they don't really interact with them at all. So, you can write a place with strong and competent civil authorities... but, then, what is there for the players to do but be badguys?
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-08-25 at 08:05 AM.
    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.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    How scoundrely they want to be is up to the players, not the GM.

    Build your factions, let the players loose in the world, and let them pick a side. Know what each faction wants, which will influence how they treat the players. If they want to run spice, that'll bring them into conflict with rival dealers and such. If they want to hunt bounties for the Empire, that'll bring them into conflict with the bounties and their allies. And so on.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Doing sandbox campaigns like this is certainly an option. But I think with Star Wars, many people would expect, for lack of a better term, a more cinematic adventure. Something where there's a clear villain and established victory conditions that have to be chased.
    Rebels fighting the Empire could go on basically forever, and making a living as smugglers has no end point at all. Instead of working up to a conclusion, such campaigns generally go downward until people don't care to continue anymore.
    The classic movies are about resolving the situation between Luke and Vader. The prequels are about the Emperor becoming the Emperor (though the protagonists think it's defeating the Separatist). And you get this with almost all Star Wars stories. The Heroes usually have a task forced on them that they have to deal with one way or another. Not having the option to fly off somewhere else and start something new is an aspect of Star Wars that I consider to be quite central.
    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 - #43
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Yes, but not every Star Wars game uses classes, and "scoundrel" is just a word. Since this is not edition specific, pointing out that everyone is some kind of scoundrel doesn't have anything to do with class, and everything to do with who they are.

    Ad res, the strength and legitimacy of the law is entirely down to setting. For example, in a Rebellion-era campaign. no one but the Empire really questions Lando's legitimacy as the Baron-Administrator of Bespin (that we see). When Leia and Han arrive, they have air traffic control and, while they're a bit aggressive, both of them treat that as being fairly normal. But in the OT, we are otherwise never in places with legitimate authority... Tattooine is Hutt, the Death Star is a military compound (so, while they might be "legitimate", no one interacts with them from a position of civilian authority), and Yavin is the same. Hoth? Dagobah? Endor? None of those do they interact with authority as civilians, so we don't see any sign of legitimate, civil, legal authority.

    Now, in the PT, we see more civil authority. On Naboo, it is contested (in TPM; not so in AoTC). On Coruscant, it is not. ST? No place we go really has a civil authority, except Canto Bight... and they don't really interact with them at all. So, you can write a place with strong and competent civil authorities... but, then, what is there for the players to do but be badguys?
    Interesting...
    Because how scoundrelly was Han really?
    Besides having a backstory as a smuggler and meeting Luke in a bar, what was so scoundrelly about him? He might as well have been played by an eccentric down-on-his-luck spaceship-restoration afficcionado who sells rides on his completed projects. As far as storytelling goes, the scoundrel part seems to be mostly about flavor, and not essence. Of course that flavor makes all the difference in story telling,, and especially a role playing game, but as far as mechanics were concerned, it didn't really matter...

    Reverse that contention, and you have my objection to a "pure" scoundrel campaign. People can be non-scoundrelly, whether by class or self-identification, and still play in a scoundrel campaign, but forcing everyone to roll up a scoundrel could quickly become boring. You need a little variety in your cast.
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I would say Han and Lando are the default reference frame for what the world scoundrel means in a Star Wars context.
    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 - #45
    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 Misereor View Post
    Interesting...
    Because how scoundrelly was Han really?
    The only reason we really use the word "scoundrel" in Star Wars is because that's what Leia called Han.
    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.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The only reason we really use the word "scoundrel" in Star Wars is because that's what Leia called Han.
    But we all recognized the stereotype. :)
    -
    What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
    -

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Looking over to the villains, what's a good way to set up antagonists? What are decent threats for the players to deal with that aren't quite another Death Star?
    Rebels at least have the long term goal of overthrowing the empire, and if your campaign is set later, New Republic soldiers are still pushing back the Imperial Remnant.
    But without that commitment, I feel that usually the easiest solution would be to get on a ship and head for greener pastures. One way to get around that is to have a villain who would follow the heroes. Jabba has decided he wants to punish Han and pay a lot of money for getting him.That's a threat that follows you around anywhere. But it's not something you can use for every campaign.
    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

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    The Rebellion was always about taking out Palpatine... you had to remove him from power to have actually "won". But, with a scoundrel game, you may be looking at multiple villains, and multiple ways of "winning".

    Let's say these are the big groups that have influence on the players:

    A) Moff Ferkin, who leads the Imperials in this area.
    B) Gonzo the Hutt, who is in charge of the Hutt crime syndicate, including a lot of smuggling
    C) Scar, head of the Black Sun in the area, which tends to handle slavery and mercenaries

    Now, the three of these have reached a degree of equilibrium... the Moff's customs people take some bribes from Gonzo and Scar, but bust them occasionally, and also sometimes bust someone else on their suggestion, breaking up their competition. Gonzo and Scar would like to move in on each other's territories, but it would be expensive to take out their competition (especially as both could get outside help), so they've kind of carved up the illegal activity between them, and occasionally use Moff Ferkin to screw over their opposition.

    Then comes the nerf in the grenade shop, the player characters, looking to carve out their own fortune in this landscape. Upsetting the balance of power in any direction will break this fragile equilibrium, and depending on the agregate of who the PCs are, what they want might be very different. Someone might be Rebel-leaning, and want to damage the Imperials. Someone might be abolitionist and a freed slave, and want to damage the Black Sun operations (while avoiding Scar). Someone might be just out to make some money smuggling medicines, and that might be something that Gonzo is getting in the way of... and they can all wind up on the same ship, a Firefly-class transport, along with a merry cast of other misfits and near-scoundrels.

    So, my method is to set up the current physical and political geography. Know what the landscape looks like BEFORE the party wrecks it, so you can figure out what the results of wrecking it are likely to be.
    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.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    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?
    Personally, I wouldn't (*).

    Star Wars is quite good at pitching faction avatars against each other. We simplify a major conflict by focusing on some select basics. Like communist/fascists empires having a nearly endless supply of warriors, while their agile, liberal enemies/rebells sport highly trained and intelligent commando troops.

    (*). Stuff like the Empire or First Order can't exist without a criminal underbelly. Now maybe you remember the original Solo trilogy, explaining his background. Quite cool, but more a session zero than an independent scenario.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Ah, yes. My favorite piece of advice, now provided by several people: "Give up your aspiration."
    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 - #51
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Ah, yes. My favorite piece of advice, now provided by several people: "Give up your aspiration."
    What did you expect?

    The beauty of Star Wars is that it pars down a complex conflict into a direct confrontation of avatars.

    Viewed as a RPG setting, we have one central conflict and everything is connected to it. To exaggerate a bit, in the New Order/Rebels era, you can't simply be Space Pirates with your own Nebulon-B, you are leaning to one side, therefore preying on the other side.

    Star Wars without the central conflict is, well, not much more than Paizo Starfinder: Fantasy in Space.

    Going further: Lando, Han and quite a few others are depicted as scoundrels that the Empire created by being what it is. Heck, watch Cowboy Bebop!

    Star Wars without that central conflict? Not much left there. Might be an entirely different matter talking about Megatraveller.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I disagree with Florian entirely. While some of the big stories will be about those cosmic clashed, they often form the backdrop of much smaller stories.

    Take, for example, Solo. While the Empire is certainly involved in the story throughout, as is the nascent Rebellion, the struggle is actually much smaller... Han and Lando trying to get the money to keep Vos from killing them. The Empire is THERE, the Empire is occasionally part of the opposition, and Han ultimately sides with Enfys over Beckett, but those are not really central to the plot... they're part of the setting.

    If you are setting a scoundrel game in the Rebellion era, the Empire and the Rebellion will be part of the backdrop, but they do not need to be a focus of it; plenty of folks will go about their lives without it having much impact on them. Scoundrels may run afoul of the law (i.e. the Empire), but their main competition will be other scoundrels. They may occasionally work for the Empire or the Rebellion... not because they agree with them, but because those entities are paying.

    Star Wars may be GOOD for that, but there's no reason you have to have that. You can have a crew trying to keep their Turtle flying by hook, crook, and the occasional go-and-look, without needing to run with any of the big boys.
    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.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I disagree with Florian entirely
    Im just being honest.

    Star Wars is either the central conflict or an extremely bland space fantasy setting that could be done using Starfinder any day of the week.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    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 Florian View Post
    Im just being honest.

    Star Wars is either the central conflict or an extremely bland space fantasy setting that could be done using Starfinder any day of the week.
    Perhaps, but if you're doing it in Starfinder, you're not doing it in Star Wars, and setting matters.

    If you're doing it in Star Wars, you're doing it with Sullustans and Mon Cals. I get to play a Wookie or a Rodian or a Twi'lek. I can take a load of spice to Tattooine, get in a fight with a Gamorean, and then blast my way out of Mos Eisley spaceport. And I might be able to do those actions in Starfinder, but I wouldn't be doing them in Star Wars... and Star Wars has been a place I've lived in my head since the late 70s, whereas Starfinder is something I occasionally see mentioned on the message boards.

    Your argument of "You might as well be doing it in Starfinder" doesn't carry weight when someone wants to be in Star Wars. I mean, you could be doing all of those Starfinder things in Star Wars... why are you bothering with Starfinder? You could be playing D&D, why bother with Savage Worlds?
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-08-29 at 03:32 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.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    I just made an important realization about how Star Wars ticks.

    I've been thinking of Star Wars as fantasy instead of science fiction for a long time, because of how it is all about wizard knights, swords, princesses, evil sorcerers, dark magic, and so on.
    But I just now realized that Star Wars actually doesn't have any futuristic technology. All technology in Star Wars is really 1940s technology but reimagined in space.

    Starfighters are fighter planes, except in space. Star Destroyers are battleships, except in space. Blasters are firearms and cannons, except they look like lasers, and lightsabers are swords, except they are lasers. Hover cars and speeder bikes are just cars and motorcycles, except that they float above the ground with no wheels. And the death star laser is just an atomic bomb.
    The Expanded Universe later added the holonet, but it's a very 1990s internet which people basically go access in internet cafes and use it to send emails. Comlinks aren't cellphones but tiny radios.
    I think the same principle is the reason why blue milk has always been a meme that never go away. It's not milk from a cow. It's space milk that comes from a space cow.

    When it comes to dealing with technology in a Star Wars game (and really when creating any Star Wars content), I feel the reference frame should always be "was there something equivalent in 1945?"
    And that goes for the civilized planets in the Core Worlds. Remote backwater planets can easily be like remote communities in Africa or Asia (or even Europe) 70 years ago. Electric light and running water might not be guaranteed, even when there's a spaceship docking back at the edge of the village. Remember how Luke's uncle shouted at him to come inside because he's going to turn down the generator for the night? Boy's got a hover car and space binoculars (and robot servants!) but they get their electricity from a generator that they turn off when they sleep.
    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

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    If you want a definitive end point and don't want the crew to be able to up sticks, the easy way is to have your campaign's main villain have a personal grudge against the crew for some reason. So decide who your villain is, and then have the players do something that really annoys them.

    They ruin a ceremony that was supposed to impress/intimidate the populace(if it's the Empire)
    They break a protection racket by supplying aid to a planet that is blockaded.
    They find a secret rich vein of spice and out its location to the villain's rivals.
    They boost a really important shipment that is payment for a debt.

    No matter where they run, the bounty hunters find them, or locals interfere with their operations. The only way out is to bring down your villain, so that becomes your campaign goal.

    You said you can't use that for every campaign, but I thought you just wanted the one? If this becomes ongoing,

    it's a good place to start. For future campaigns, your crew will have established contacts and useful NPCs that they will be less likely to leave behind.

    What kind of game do you want to run, are your players the rats at the bottom of the pile or the kind of people that are going to bring down the Empire?

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    But I just now realized that Star Wars actually doesn't have any futuristic technology. All technology in Star Wars is really 1940s technology but reimagined in space.
    Star Wars does have some have some explicitly futuristic technologies though. The biggest one being, of course, the one that Lucasfilm trademarked: droids.

    For example, Owen Lars owns a 'farm' on Tatooine (it's actually a small scale atmospheric harvesting plant, but whatever). There are three actual humans working there: Owen, Beru, and Luke. At the same time, there are something like two dozen droids. Luke calls himself a 'farmer' but his actual job is much more like 'droid maintenance technician.' This is analogous to a mid-sized ranch in the 'Old West.' Owen and Beru are the farmer and his wife, Luke's their child, but all of the farm hands and assistants are machine life. The lowest level of labor has been outright replaced.

    This activity, the essential elimination of most forms of manual labor for organic sapient beings has profound impacts on how Star Wars society works. Impacts that, admittedly, no one has really grappled with in detail in the history of Star Wars, in large part because it is so complicated. In fact, in order to allow Star Wars to even exist as a universe the EU authors later drew in protections for organics in the primary storytelling space - armed conflict - by saying droids weren't as good at soldiering as organics for some reason (usually something about improvisation in chaotic environments). When the Prequels came out this became explicitly codified.

    There are a number of other advanced technologies found in just the films too including:
    Cloning
    Bacta (more of a fantasy substance than a technology really)
    Prosthetics with effectively perfect biofeedback
    Force Fields (don't get used a lot but they're there)
    Universal Translators (Threepio is annoying, but his primary ability is impressive)

    That's just off the top of my head and without getting into the EU at all. Advanced technologies are there, but you're right that Star Wars is anachronistic in many ways. It's just that, in addition to certain technologies being designed so that war functions like one of the world wars, Star Wars is held back culturally. The Empire is the culture based on the most recent Earth equivalent and it draws primarily on a certain 1930s regime. Most of the other cultural inspiration is even earlier. The Clone Wars vintage Republic, for example, is very much aristocratic in the fashion of the late 19th century. Many of the characters in the halls of power on Coruscant would be perfectly at home on the set of Downton Abbey. And once you leave the Core and move to the Outer Rim, it's the Wild West or the chaotic end-of-the-Shogunate period in which most of Kurosawa's films are set. You could have any number of Western protagonists played by John Wayne walk down the streets of Mos Eisley and they wouldn't look out of place at all. And the converse is also true, see exhibit A: Nico Okarr.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    But I think you will agree that even though droids are an amazing technology, their existence apparently doesn't have any actual impact on society at all. You got these super advanced machines, but they still mostly do just the same things that a humanoid laborer would do. I would say droids also fall under "manual laborer, except shiny".

    I admit, the prosthetics are amazing. But again, they are such perfect replications that they are indistinguishable from original limbs. They are a convenient way to have cool moments to chop off hands but then continue like nothing ever happened three scenes later.

    Star destroyers with hyperspace engines and hover cars are hugely advanced technologies as well, no question about that. But my perception is that their existence doesn't seem to have any real impact on society, and their potential applications are almost never really considered.
    Star Wars has the potential and technological capabilities to completely revolutionize how people live, but a major part of the Star Wars setting is that people don't do any of that. They still continue to go about their lives like people in the mid 20th century. Which is also the reason why there has really been no progress since 4,000 years earlier.
    Which really isn't that revolutionary a thought. Even the Disney movies get that right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    You said you can't use that for every campaign, but I thought you just wanted the one? If this becomes ongoing,
    What I meant is that I don't want to use that one.
    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 - #59
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    @Yora:

    You are correct. Tech doesn't play any role here and you could well watch Star Wars/300/Rise of an Empire side by side and not care for the difference between short sword and sandals and stormtroopers with blaster, because there isn't one.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Running Star Wars campaigns advice thread

    In some of the WEG d6 material, there were distinctions between the various Imperial agencies that were played up.

    ISB was highly variable as a threat, often hobbled by being part of COMPNOR and thus being as interested in enforcement of Imperial orthodoxy and being saddled with political appointees and Imperial fundamentalists -- Alliance special ops referred to them as the Imperial Sunbathers and Birdwatchers.

    Imperial Intelligence was a much more professional and consistent threat, but viewed with less trust by political hardliners because it had evolved from the intelligence apparatus of the Republic.

    Imperial Customs was in a complex entanglement with the Navy and COMPNOR, and varied between honest agents, the thoroughly corrupt, and more Imperial hardliners.

    Local/planetary law enforcement was all over the place, and still handled a lot of the "small stuff" (ie, anything not a threat to the Empire, such as traditional theft and murder...)

    And so on.


    Playing those agencies and priorities off against each other, distracting them with their rivalries and setting them up to pounce on each other (the corrupt customs officer becomes a distraction for the intelligence agent who has been hounding your trail) could add some depth to an underworld / scoundrels campaign.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

Posting Permissions

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