View Full Version : Main Chracters - Yes or No?

17 January 2002, 08:19 AM
I have a question for you all...

In my campaigns I have incoperated from time-to-time primary characters from the SW movies. In fact, Lando Calressien (sp?) was slain by one of my heros.

Is this a wise move?

I have been incorperating main characters frequently in my missions and have found that they have an exciting effect on the mission. There was even one occurance when Lea Organa Solo was nearly assasinated by one of my players.

Now that this campsign is coming to an end with the probable fall of Coruscant and the destruction of the New Republic, the heroes will un-doutbly encounter many of main characters from the movies.

This is not counting the fact that they (the heroes) are already working directly under the command of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

What do you think?

Have you encorperated major characters as primary targets / allies?

Chris Curtis
17 January 2002, 08:33 AM
Well, eventually it will all come down to you and your players. If you're both comfortable having "main characters" appear in your games and even be affected by your players (i.e. assassinated, etc.), then that should be all you need to know. If it works fine, keep using it.

In the campaign I play in we occationally have brief cameos by main characters. Normally this involved running into Solo in a rebel hangar or seeing Leia at a formal ball/reception -- things of that nature. We've never done anything to really affect those characters, they're mainly used as a sort of eye-candy.

I think one of the problems with integrating main characters into a campaign where they might really be affected is that it means you really have to stray from the established SW timeline. That's perfectly fine if that's what you're intending to do.

However, if you weren't meaning to go off into an "infinities" timeline, then doing things that severely affect main characters can have the effect that you won't be able to incorporate events that occur in various novels or other sources.

17 January 2002, 09:28 AM
Personally, I'm a big fan of continuity. It allows me to use the movies to highlight the story, and if we obviously stray from established continuity, to me it ceases to be truly Star Wars. After all, the movies are what started it all, and if you throw that away, well, it just doesn't have the same feel to me.

However, if you do like straying from continuity, by all means do so. Using main characters can certainly help emphasize that this is not the traditional Star Wars universe you're playing with. Obviously, these characters are evil. However, remember that the main characters should put up quite a fight, not simply be run over by the characters. Next time one of your characters takes a pop at Han Solo, remember that Chewbacca is probably going to be pretty pissed. Not to mention Organa's Noghri bodyguards, New Republic personell, etc. Unless, of course, you want your characters to run all over the mains. Sounds like your campaign is pretty different from mine, though.

17 January 2002, 09:39 AM
It's your campaign . . . you can do whatever you want with it. I've been toying with the idea of a dark-side campaign that would start prior to E1, and last until we deemed necissary, but the background would be that Anakin was never trained as a Jedi, and therefore was free to marry Padme (and still have two beautiful twins) . . . but then of course, the Emperor would have had a different (or none at all) right hand man . . .

The Jedi might have been more numerous and had more of them in hiding, and/or resisting . . . it could also make a good Light-side campaign too (I see that now). But by changing just one tid-bit of history, the whole universe would get thrown out of whack.

17 January 2002, 09:43 AM
You can really go in any way you wish. I am all about the players having fun. If your players want to kill Lando, that's fine if you want to run that. Plus you seem to be running an Imperial campaign, so that changes things a bit. Plus, if you are running in the New Republic timeline, then you are not deailng with the true Lucas-told story anyway. So on this era there is more freedom than in others. It's not like you are changing the movies.

Donovan Morningfire
17 January 2002, 11:25 AM
I'll admit to having used cameo appearances in the past, notably Mr. Fett as an advesary. For me, it depends on timeline. If it is during a period covered by the movies, then the mains have a high level of script immunity. Sounds like your planning more of an Infinities-type campaign, so sticking to the movies or EU is of little consequence.

Your using most of the mains as potential advesaries for your characters (I'm a little reluctant to call them heroes), so it seems that worrying about sticking to the script as it were is a moot point. Unless your planning on having Luke open a super-sized can of whoopass some point in the future :D

Talonne Hauk
17 January 2002, 10:07 PM
If you and your players are having fun, that's all that matters. After all, it's not like you can't play another campaign under totally different circumstances.
In my campaign, though, I won't have my players meet the big time characters. I'll mention the big-timers every once in a while, to show the players they are a part of that universe, but I want my players to become big-timers in their own rights.

Jak Knife
18 January 2002, 06:00 AM
One of the ways I have used "main characters" is my players where actual stoled the plans of the Death Star from the rebellion agents. They didn't mean to, they just thought they were stealing a brief case. When they opened it up, they got a big surprise. Soon afterwards they contacted their rebel contacts and set up a meeting to turn them over. In a fade away i told them how they disrupted the normal chain and cause Leia to be intercepted by Vader. Through this I showed them their action do have effects on the events but I used them to explain movie developments.

18 January 2002, 09:32 AM
Ha - the onyl difference in my campaign is that many main charcters will be killed. Thus, all of the books after the the movies will have no meaning.

Oh well, we will end by then anyway - they are about to go after Coruscant with Thrawn and his crew.

Aaron B'Aviv
18 January 2002, 05:29 PM
If you are crossing paths and changing the course of main characters' lives, be prepared to ask yourself, "what do these changes do to change the story?"

Lando had important contributions to the Thrawn trilogy, appearing at the Battles of Nkllon and Sluis Van and Wayland... in fact, without Lando, there would've been no battles of Nkllon and Sluis Van... How would Thrawn have crushed the Republic without those mole miners? And would Talon Karrde have talked to Han if Lando hadn't been there?

The loss of main characters changes things in big ways, and your story will flow much better if you can show your players how much the galaxy changed because of what they did. Besides, it'll make them feel good and lull themselves into a sense of false security, which you can use to take advantage of them. Muahahah... oslt

Emperor Xanderich II
19 January 2002, 07:07 AM
We have used the main characters a coulpe of times. My character has had his mind probed by Darth Vader, his prosthetic hand blown off by Boba Fett. We spoke to Luke and Han. I killed Lira Wessex, heh heh.

The one character we've never met it the Emperor- thankfully!

In all, main characters can add a bit of flavour to a campaign, if used correctly. If they're there all the time, they loose there special status as Rebellion icons, or evil villains.

They make your SW adventure more, well, STar Warsie!:)

19 January 2002, 08:15 PM
I like to stick to the continuity, which includes most of the stuff that's been published (I have my own vision of Star Wars, so there's some stuff I exclude :D ). It helps give me a body of source material and the game always feels Star Warsy.

I very rarely have main characters make appearances, and the appearances are usually just cameos. My players know about my opinions on continuity, so whenever I toss in a main character, they know that he/she is invulnerable. About the most the PCs can do is cause injury.

I also have occasionally given cameos to high level characters I've retired. That tends to work better than main characters from the books and movies.

20 January 2002, 05:20 AM
Personally I prefer to keep continuity of the movies. I generally play in the classic Rebel Era (can I add that I've been referring to the different SW times as Era's eg.Rebel Era, Jedi Era etc. long before WOTC did).

We have agreed that if the continuity is seriously messed up, then so be it, the campaign will continue. Now the problem arises. We rotate GMs. I have also told the group that just because Darth Vader gets killed in their adventure, in MY campaign he will still live. I say this because I had a guy when he was GMing once kill off a published NPC I had been using just so I couldn't use him again. P****d him off big time when I carried on using him stating that his adventure did not affect my campaign continuity.

When I do use major characters like Han, Luke & Vader I try to let it be in a non-combat situation. Eg. Vader turns up during a Sector House meeting on Procopia in the Tapani Sector as an Imperial observer.

The one character we've never met it the Emperor- thankfully!
I did have my group meet the Emperor once. At the time they were nobles of Tapani acting as undercover bodyguards to a Tapani Lady. This Lady was chosen for an improptu visit to Coruscant to represent House Pelagia. The meeting is underway with several high ranking Imperial Dignatories when the Emperor himself joins the meeting (keeping up the appearance as a frail old man). Now one of the PC's, was a Pelagia Knight, Sir Suker, who owns a shipyard in the Tallon System. Without a word from the PC the Emperor thanks Sir Suker for volunteering the services of his shipyard for Star Destroyer production, at minimal fees of corse. It was so funny seeing the look on the players face. What could he do? Tell the Emperor to get stuffed? :p

Jan Tolbara
20 January 2002, 10:02 PM
When I was running my New Republic-era campaign, I had the main characters show up from time to time. Some of the characters were more involved with the party than others. For example, my character (switched to an NPC when I took over as GM) completed his Jedi training under Luke Skywalker before the academy was built.

Like many of the others stated before, it depends on whether you want to stay with the main storyline or not. I was able to have the characters interact with them in such a way that it didn't change the main storyline. A lot of what they did with the main characters was minor events that didn't affect the primary story or was mainly trivial background stuff.

However, one instance transpired where they helped convince Leia to try to rescue Luke from the grips of the "resurrected" Palpatine (during the Dark Empire series). Another incident that took place soon afterward is where the party actually took out a star destroyer in orbit over Mon Calamari during the attack by the world devastators. By taking out the star destroyer, they disrupted the security system for the computers that controlled the devastators long enough for R2-D2 to hack in and shut the devastators down. In those events, they helped shape the main storyline rather than watch it take place. The players really enjoyed those sessions.

Leeder Krenon
21 January 2002, 02:46 AM
Do what feels right.

Aslong as you are confident in your ability to Gm a plausible future then go for it.

Personally although I enjoyed the Y. Vong stories, I found them to be very unstarwars with melted Jedi and unfortunate horrible tortures graphically detailed. A future without Vong or Ysal. creatures would suit me fine.

As it's pointed out above if things become unworkable you can just start a new campaign by killing off theses Darkside Characters who are doomed to ultimate failure anyhoo.

In the Group I play in, we have met Fett twice but fortunately he has never had a contract on us so we're pretty much of no consequence to him.

Luke has assisted us a couple of times (early luke) flying with Wedge and the Republic on special ops missions. We've also seen the Falcon a couple of times too (at Mos Eisley at the time of ANH :). We even did an adventure whereby we took out an upcoming Crime Lord and gave his skiff barge to Jabba. :)

these sort of occurences make you feel part of the Universe without disrupting Canon source material.

So-Var Leet
21 January 2002, 10:46 AM
What can I say? Lando got in my way, and because I got him, Trawn won the Sluis Van battle.

Not that it makes any difference now, in the last sesssion all of our characters were killed off in a firey explosion after our shuttle went out of control and hit the Imperal Palace.

What really jerked my chain was that I rolled a "1" on my Trensfer Essense check. I wanted to inhabit the Imperial Palace and torture the citizens of Courscant for all eternity. MUAHAHAHA.

Maybe you should ask my esteemed GM what the alterted story line was ...

21 January 2002, 08:28 PM
Our group has handled the whole main characters in a different way, they're part of the rebellion but not part of Mon Mothma's group. They've allied with Garm Bel Ibilis and are working on the other side of the galaxy from the movie action.

We had a unique problem of being 6 months after Yavin and my Jedi is currently better trained than Luke, the 2 of them meeting has the potential to interfere with Luke's path, so we just made sure the two will not meet for a LONG time. Also it's not the Emperor or Vader after my Jedi it's High Inquisitor Tremane. So we have a powerful Darkside user to pursue and attempt to lure him, without compromising the main storyline.

Also, we at one point intercepted a transmission to the Death Star to destroy Dantooine so we raced there to warn them and evacuate people (one of the characters had family there). We were on the hind end of space, but with an amazing feat of astrogation, which left our tech freaking out that I just fed the numbers into the system without consulting the nav computer. and a trip a wee bit too close to a quasar, we got to Dantooine to learn that the Death Star had been destroyed by some hotshot pilot from Tatooine named Luke Skywalker about a week before we got there. We at least got to feel that we got to impact the main storyline and rush to the rescue. :)

25 May 2006, 05:08 AM
I myself have done a couple of adventures where main characters gave the players their mission assignment. While running a Special Forces Campaign, the PC's got put under the command of Lieutenant Paige before. They've had mission briefings by Admiral Ackbar, had Han Solo and Chewbacca accompany them on missions before. But I agree, its up to the players wanting them.
From my experience with doing main characters in adventures, they tend to fluctuate things.

25 May 2006, 09:59 AM
Jaden, I had a similar problem with a Jedi character. He had to disappear for a few years because he felt like it was Luke's "destiny" to defeat the Emperor. Afterward he came back, but we still wonder why he's never been seen in any of the EU materials... what were those authors thinking, not using my character? :)

25 May 2006, 11:24 AM
If you saw him, at least his stats everyone would know why. The books would get boring quite fast.

To say the least he is too good for his own good.

25 May 2006, 11:36 AM
Well I forgot to mention my opinion here. I think that using "Main Characters" is a good idea sometimes. In our current campain we just ran into Luke and Leia. We just talked with them, they sent us on a mission for the Alliance is about all, but it was nice to have some interaction with the characters from the Movies. I think that their use can add to the feel of Star Wars and making things Cinematic for the characters.

Mack Jace
25 May 2006, 02:14 PM
I generally don't like to use the Main Characters full on; at least not all the time. If I use them it's sort of indirect, like the PC's seeing one of the MC's for a sec, or even getting orders from someone under their command. I don't really like the idea of changing history, at least not on purpose.

25 May 2006, 03:00 PM
Aw, come on, Tonyx, he isn't that good... okay, well, so he is. So what? That wasn't my point anyway. ;)

We did just play an adventure, though, where the characters met Luke, Leia, and Mon Mothma. Of course, that's because my character's goal for the whole campaign had been to meet Luke Skywalker, and he'd pretty much been chasing him all over the galaxy. Finally caught up to him... and Leia and Mon Mothma happened to be there as a bonus.

25 May 2006, 03:19 PM
i include 'guest stars' alot, and involve them in my campaign, but usually i dont let me players affect the overall plot of starwras (e.g. assination)

25 May 2006, 04:00 PM
In TAOD, canon characters have made up a good deal of the PCs...but seeing as TAOD starts five years after the Vong and relatively ignores Dark Nest and future stuff, there aren't really any continuity problems.

When Joiner King came out, I tihnk every post-NJO eraed camapign went Infinities.

25 May 2006, 06:43 PM
In an ongoing (-ish) HoloNet PbP game, I had a character stationed on Hoth run across a man and woman in the ice corridors having "some sort of lovers' quarrel." (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?postid=231301#post231301) And I'm pretty sure the player had NO IDEA who they were...

But I won't name names. It might embarass Night who says ni. Ooops...


But yes, I agree with those who've said that occasional run-ins to movie characters is a plus to SW rpg. In fact, I think that any RPG based on a movie or television adaptation MUST have the occasional "main character cameo."

If I ever get my long-desired and never-played LotR game off the ground... man, there'll be some cameos there, I tell ya... [lapses into daydreams]

25 May 2006, 07:26 PM
And what precisely was she supposed to know? :D

2 June 2006, 04:52 AM
LOL:D :D :D :D :D :D :D