View Full Version : A Dark Side Campaign: playing the fall

13 February 2002, 08:02 AM
My SW d20 game ended on Monday, and from the ashes a new game has sprung forth with fewer players and more enthusiasm... In doing this I may have unwittingly made a lot of work for myself.

After talking it out, we have decided to play a Dark side campaign, but the characters are going to start out as Padawan learners and go from there.

I have read the Dark Side SB and Moridin's Net guide and a few threads around here, and I was wondering if any of you had ever tried a campaign like this before? I think it might actually be a challenge to me as GM, because I have to deliver the story as if they were Jedi, but I also get to put the temptations towards darkness into the story.

In a way, I have to make a traditional SW game, but keep building in the potential for darkness...

Any thoughts or advice on this are welcome... I think I am going to start the adventure with the PC's master being brought back to the council for punishment after calling on the dark side while defending his students and himself on a remote planet. The council will be really hard on the Padawans and I will try to play up the alienation and rigidity of their code in everyday life...


13 February 2002, 11:13 AM
good start. my advice was going to be something along the lines of the establishment (the Jedi Order) causing the problem.

think back to grade school when you couldn't do things "just because i said so."

you could start with the padawans being alienated and really play up the isolation and hypocritical aspects of some of the other Jedi in the temple. maybe the padawan's masters gt replaced by a real hard ass that monitors every aspect of the character's lives and adheres so stirctly to the Jedi Code that bending it slighlty is seen as becoming closer to the dark side.

then imagine if they must go on a trip. after a few sessions with a master like that might be enough to set some people on the path to the dark side with no problem.

13 February 2002, 11:55 AM
I think that its a really good idea...
maybe the master is also upset at the jedi's punishement, and starts fiddling with the darkside himself? A master's influence can be a major factor in putting a padawan on a path to the dark side.

Donovan Morningfire
13 February 2002, 12:03 PM
From the sounds of things, you've already overcome the biggest obstacle, and that is getting the players to go along with the fall to the Dark Side.

Your best bet is to talk with each player, and try to learn what each character's strengths and weaknesses are. Then try to create situations where their strengths just aren't enough, as well as exploit the weaknesses, especially if they are emotional ones. Maybe there's a Padawan who just seems to allows be able to show up one or more of the PCs, leading to resentment, then to jealousy, then to anger, and so on. Or an especially cute Padawan/Jedi spurns a PC in such a way to seem almost spiteful.

Maybe instead of replacing the group's Master (I assume this takes place well before Ep1?), just have other Jedi treat the PCs poorly due to guilt by association. Maybe the Master is really unpopular due to his actions/beliefs, and this transfers over to the PCs, further alienating them from the Jedi Order, and thus paving the way for their descent down the dark side.

13 February 2002, 01:12 PM
I also like the idea of the Master toying with Darker concepts in his training of the younger Jedi. After all, Qui-Gon was passing down a bit of obstinance as if it was the will of the Force. And there was a bit of C'boath's teachings to Luke in one of the Zahn books (probably Last Command). It was fun to see how a Dark Jedi rationalized using the Force for their own twisted version of justice, and stuff like that.

14 February 2002, 09:33 AM
Build off of the characters themselves...their wants, desires, hates etc. For example one of our DSMs is a racist, stemming from various events in his childhood (ca the Clone Wars). This gets fueled by the Imperial Academy (homo sapien superiority) and you can imagine what happens when his father announces he's remarrying - a Falleen.

Go with the major sources of the DS - fear, anger, hate. Put them in situations where the DS "calls" to them, offering free FPs in exchange for DSPs (I think this was one of Moridin's ideas). If you're running a more immersive game play up the internal struggles and inconsistences of their actions (our DSM often hears about the evil's of the Empire against humans). The deeper the frustration, the deeper the anger.

When in doubt throw in an arrogant Jedi Padawan (who likely has a few DSPs himself) who goes to the extreme on Jedi holier-than-thou-ness. Use him/her to prod your characters, then recoil in horror "How dare you get angry? That's not the way of a Jedi..." And always use visions, DS premonitions, and even a DS site or two.

Good luck.

14 February 2002, 10:48 AM
GMing the Darkside is damn hard:

1) They don't abide by morals

2) They only care about themselves

3) When powerful, they answer to nobody

4) In the end, the have to die - most never switch to the Lightside

My last campaign, I GM'd five Darkside chracaters. That was hard. To contain them I had to give them something to strive for and protect/answer to. This turned out to be Grand Admiral Thrawn, they couldn't kill him becasue they needed his genius.

You have to give the DS chracaters limits in the form of something that will defintly hurt them if they kill it.

Also, to show the true problems with the Darkside, I made th DC's for any Darkside skill go up as they emersed themsevles in the Dasrkside. That showed how the Darkside will be your friend and first, but slowly hurt you and ask more of you.

Good Luck!

14 February 2002, 10:58 AM
a good trick is to trap in in an EXTREME darkside sight with LOTS of beasties for a few sessions... with that being the case they'll basicly be FORCED to call on the dark side... sortta like Exur Kun:)