View Full Version : Advice for my first real campaign...

Darth Rage
11 March 2002, 07:32 PM
Hey Dudes,

This is my first post so I'll try to get my question across clearly.

I'm about to start my first serious campaign. I've been play in another campaign for several months now and it's about to take a break for a while and I'm starting my own to replace it. I'm placing it in the beginning of the Rebellion era and instead of venturing away from the Star Wars timeline I'm going to have the players go through the storyline with the Rebel Alliance. While I will be using many missions of my own, and several from the Rebellion era Sourcebook, they are going to fight in the battles of Yavin, Hoth, and Endor.

With that said, I was looking for advice and ideas on plot twists and story tangents to go off on. I figure some may want to go to the Empire and some may try to take over the galaxy, which I too have tried, but other than that I want to be creative and always keep them guessing. So any ideas or advice from more experienced GMs is very welcome.

By the way I will not be allowing anyone to be a force user except for one that I will choose and secretly let him train further on into my campaign.

So thats where I am. Thank for the help.

Peace out "G"


PS: Sorry for trying to be cool with the "G" thing, but I'll keep working on it.

Lord Diggori
12 March 2002, 01:41 AM
One of the best and easiest ways I know to make lots of plot potential is to make a large supporting cast.

Sit down and make as diverse a bunch of NPC's as you can. Lots of them too. Give them all unique goals, personas, and quirks. Then place them wherever you want or need them. Each will be like an interactive story hook in themselves.

Random Axe
12 March 2002, 06:48 AM
Yeah, my advice is to get clear character-backgrounds for the PC's. Almost all of my stories are based around personal goals or desires that the players themselves inspire, or around creating obstacles for the party as they follow an individual PC on his own vision-quest or what have you.

You might consider storylines revolving around different Force-artifacts or Force-user NPC's that the party might meet. In the Rebellion era, there is always a need for information and espionage, so missions can be created around the party being sent on spy missions in Imperial or Corporate-Sector territory, as the Empire gets into developing wartime technologies or the like.

Ghost In The Holocron
12 March 2002, 07:59 AM
Regarding your storyline: Don't forget to throw in a hutt or two for good measure! (Now, I likely don't know what I'm talking about here since I don't run Rebellion Era and I don't have any Rebellion Era material at all with me! But things just seem more fun when the galactic underworld is involved.)

As to advice on running the whole thing: One of the conclusions from a "gm lessons" thread started sometime ago was this: Be prepared to wing it! -- and that's advice I've found very useful in my developing campaign. You might find it worth the bandwidth to look up the thread here (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?threadid=4162).

Good luck with your campaign!

12 March 2002, 08:27 AM
If you're running a Rebellion-era campaign, I would suggest watching the classic trilogy again and finding places to give your characters little "cameos." Some of the things I've used include putting the PCs in the Cantina when Obi-Wan slices up that fellow. I've also put them in the corridor in Echo Base when Han & Leia are arguing about the goodbye kiss. It makes them feel like part of the universe and they get a real kick out of it. (Unless your players are the kind of people who try to shoot Han Solo or something to kill continuity, in which case ignore this advice).

I also sometimes put my players in very similar situations to things that happened in the movies. Most of the time, they know exactly how to react, and have fun with it. This should be used sparingly, though, so the whole affair isn't a re-hash of the movies.

And I feel no Rebellion Era campaign is complete without a brief appearance by Darth Vader. I gave Vader a walk-on role during one of my recent adventures, where the Rebels had to infiltrate an Imperial base. They almost wet themselves :)

Incidentally, there's a two-part SW comic series called "Tag & Bink Are Dead" which is a take-off on "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead," featuring two bozos ending up in a bunch of peripheral situations throughout the classic trilogy. It's worth looking at (though the first issue is much better than the second).

12 March 2002, 01:41 PM
this has probably already been mentioned to you, but i will reiterate for posterity...

if the players can do something that will screw up the carefully arranged adventure (mission, plot, etc) they will do so without even knowing. if there are two clear choices, the players will most likely take the wrong one...

this is what makes being a gm challenging. lots of thinking on your feet and planning ahead. i tend to use a list of what needs to happen in the adventure and then play it by ear to make sure all the points are reached.

also pull stuff from character backgrounds. the childhood rival, former spurned lover and friends in need are always good plot hooks, but remember to make sure that it doesn't become their mission in life to rescue friends and loved ones from themselves every week (gets boring quick). a good way to do this is to try to get the random background charts from games like bubblegum crisis rpg and cyberpunk (gives a list of really good possibilities for all sorts of adventure ideas).

remember to maintain balance. if every adventure becomes too easy, then the players will start to lose interest and the game turns into a royal pissing contest (seen it happen). grab attention through creative use of "loose ends" that maybe the original trilogy left open. what happened to bespin after all was said and done? did anyone ever go to dagobah after yoda died? what about the wreckage of the first death star? talk about a mess to clean-up... i hear that fiction and comic books present even more loose ends and that you could use if you were strapped.

always good to give the characters a main villain. somebody that will pull the strings of the opponents that the characters are up against. this could be a moff, imperial governor (assuming that you use the rebel vs imperial idea) and then add a few unrelated villains (like a hutt crimelord that wants the object of one of their rebel-asigned missions) and their -admittedly small - host of minions.

and remember all the things that you as a player consider makes a good game. most likely your new players will have the same opinions and you should strive to meet the expectations you would have as a player. also ask for feedback from you players. at the end of a session ask how everyone feels about the game and what direction the players would like to see the game go. this can be the most crucial test of your ability as a gm as you may get some criticism you don't like. so long as it remains constructive (and question the basis for the non-constructive criticism if or when it occurs) it can be the most essential tool that you have to help you evolve into a good gm and storyteller.

hmm that is all i can think of, just remember that in star wars the bad guys are definitely bad and the good guys are definitely good.

Darth Rage
12 March 2002, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. I will definately use it.


Reverend Strone
12 March 2002, 03:41 PM
Here's some ideas tied into the events you mentioned wanting to get your guys involved in that you might find useful or not:

1. When Leia doesn't show up on Alderan with the famed General Kenobi, a team (guess who) is dispatched to track down the Tantive IV and find them. They follow the ship's flight path and discover wreckage from the battle over Tatooine. Following sightings of the Star Destroyer they eventually track it to the DS and are challenged by Tie sentry ships. With their ship damaged, the team are forced to put down for repairs somewhere, but their presence is detected by local Imperial agents. There's a chase and extended game of cat and mouse while they try to find parts, repair the ship and get back to Alderan with the news of the DS and Leia's capture, all the while dogged by the Imperials.

Of course, Alderan isn't there anymore, so the climax of the adventure would see them fly to their second contact point on the moon of Yavin, only to arrive in the middle of the DS assault. General Dodonna orders them into the fight to help provide cover for the the X-wing exhaust port mission.

2. As the Rebellion Cell under General Rykein move into their new base on the iceworld of hoth, they discover that the T-47 speeders will ned extensive modifications to deal with the extreme cold. A team (guess who) is sent to locate and secure a special tech who is a rebel sympathizer on Nar Shadda, who can be of great assistance in this matter.

No one has heard from the tech in a wee while, so the mission becomes a search. It turns out the little creep has run up quite a gambling debt to a local Hutt crimelord and now there's a price on his comb-overed head. The team must find and extract the tech before the bounty hunters do in the dingy backstreets of Nar Shadda where he's gone to ground.

3. During the Battle of Hoth and mad scramble to escape the Imperial assault, a group of Rebels (guess who) are somehow left behind and forced to flee across the frozen planet to an abandoned smugglers' base where an emergency craft will allow them to escape offworld. along the way they must cope with Imperial pursuit and capture teams, natural hazards and environmental dangers, and then the discovery that the supposedly abandoned smugglers' base ain't so abandoned after all.

4. It has been discovered that a mole has infiltrated the Bothan Spynet. A team (guess who) is sent to make contact with a group on Bothawui and track down the mole. When the culpret escapes Imperials turn up and it becomes a race to extract the loyal Bothan spies and escape with the valuable information one of them carries about a new Imperial superweapon being built in orbit of one of Endor's moons.

5. In advance of the attack on the DS2, an Imperial listening post in the Moddell sector has to be disabled or the fleet's approach will be detected. A team of Rebel commandos (guess who) is sent to take out or disable the base in any way they can.

When they get there they meet heavy resistance. Their orders are to carry out their mission and then hightail it back to Endor join the attack.

Hopefully something here sparks an idea?

The Admiral
12 March 2002, 05:13 PM
As a slight aternative to the fine ideas above, one way of finding fun stuff to do around the main films is to figure out ways the party may have caused some of the incidental carnage that dogs the main heroes.

How do they manage to set Devastator on the Tantive 4?

How did they manage to need to point to a perfect stranger in the Mos Eisley cantina and tell Ponda Baba that he was the one who called his mother a walrus?

Why did they need to retract the bridge over the chasm of the Death Star just as the sound of running feet approach?

Magnetically sealing the trash compactor had to be someone's idea,,,

Who managed to get a great deal on some 'slightly defective' lifeform scanners, and sold them off to the troops at Echo Station?

How did they manage to set off the explosion that nearly drops a ton of ice on top of Solo?

Why did they think they could get away with nicking part of the Falcon's hyperdrive?

Under exactly what circumstances could it be possible for a party to need to hide a giant space slug in an out-of-the-way asteroid belt?

Did that dodgy equipment deal include defective X-Wing scanners?

Something had to cause that final trapdoor to open in the Bespin vents,,,

Is it absolutely clear why the party kept setting traps on Endor?

12 March 2002, 07:11 PM
2. As the Rebellion Cell under General Rykein move into their new base on the iceworld of hoth, they discover that the T-47 speeders will ned extensive modifications to deal with the extreme cold. A team (guess who) is sent to locate and secure a special tech who is a rebel sympathizer on Nar Shadda, who can be of great assistance in this matter.

Just for accuracy, it's Rieekan.

Reverend Strone
12 March 2002, 07:42 PM
Thanks Thrawn. I typed that one about four times and just couldn't get it to look right so in the end I just gave up.

Correct spelling noted for future reference.