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View Full Version : Star Wars RPG -- about my campaign, in fact (need help, please read)



surfmonkey01
29 May 2002, 07:17 AM
Hiya, folks... it's the new guy! I'm planning on starting my Star Wars d20 revised campaign this weekend, and I was hoping I could run my general outline past you fine folks. I still need advice on a few areas. I'm trying to use as much of the advice from Steve's (from RPG.net) infamous article, because he really does make a lot of good points in there. At any rate, here's my general outline, with a few other ideas and questions at the end...

Star Wars: Dark Tides (shortly after RotJ era)

Opening sequence:
- Transport ship containing PCs is boarded by pirates

Scene I:
- Briefing by New Republic intelligence

Scene II:
- Modified version of “Gun Nut” adventure
- PCs are to retrieve an R2 unit believed to have vital data

Scene III:
- En route to rendezvous, PCs set upon by bounty hunter seeking droid

Scene IV:
- Information for droid decrypted, new mission assigned

Scene V:
- PCs sent to planet under control of the Imperial Remnant to investigate
- Outpost is hidden in an asteroid field

Scene VI:
- Investigation of installation
- Remnant forces are trying to construct an army using lost technologies – battle droids and dark troopers

Scene VII:
- One of the Remnant leader’s aides is a Dark Jedi with plans of his own
- Double-crossing occurs

Scene VIII:
- Final confrontations occur

Conclusion:
- Aftermaths, accolades, hints of things to come

Other things I was thinking of toying with are Jensaari, the glove of Darth Vader, and Kyle Katarn (as the group's Jedi's master). One thing I'm having a really tough time hammering out is what level to put the group at. And, of course, I'm open to any other ideas, comments, or suggestions you might have. Thanks, all.

evan hansen
29 May 2002, 08:38 AM
Other things I was thinking of toying with are Jensaari, the glove of Darth Vader, and Kyle Katarn (as the group's Jedi's master). One thing I'm having a really tough time hammering out is what level to put the group at. And, of course, I'm open to any other ideas, comments, or suggestions you might have. Thanks, all.

Well, being a D6er, I don't know much of anything about levels. :-) So I can't help you there. Also, it might be more helpful to us trying to find ideas for you if we had a better idea of who was in your campaign, why you want these characters, why they will care about this mission, etc... Information about the PCs, especially their motivations as far why they're even on this mission, would help a LOT.

Here are some thoughts I had about other things:

1 - Are those scenes very rigid? It seems like you have a lot of great story ideas -- ideas that are conducive to players both fighting and investigating. If there's one thing I've discovered in RPGing, it's that fighting and investigating cause more variations on storylines than anything else. So be aware that: (a) the dice rolls might not go the way you want and weird things could happen in all these fights, (b) people might try to dig deeper into things they shouldn't be worrying about once they see who their enemies are, (c) investigations often head 180 degrees from where you intended them to go. So, just be careful. You might consider loosening your plot line a bit in the middle to allow for flexibility.

2 - You might not want to be so quick to use all thse cool surprises. Make the story cool, and tuck one neat tidbit in there for them (the Dark Jedi seems it in this case), but don't let them have bounty hunters, Dark Jedi, and the glove of Vader all in 3 hours. I think it's nicer, from a player standpoint, to be able to look forward to exciting things every game. You don't want them getting used to the idea of having exceptionally cool things because then they lose some of their luster overtime. I'm not saying that you should dull games down to make other games seem better, but I'm definately saying that you shouldn't try to cram Dooku, Vader, and Thrawn into one adventure, when 12 adventures would more than do it.

Please do give some more details about the backdrop for this story, why it will happen, about the PCs, etc... I think more suggestions specific to your game are possible as a result.

Lord Diggori
29 May 2002, 11:40 AM
Well Surfmonkey, figuring out the level can be very easy. The level of the adventure could be whatever you want as long as you set DC's and number/level of opponents per encounter accordingly.

I would have to say though that given what I can make out of the plot this would fit well with levels 5-9 or so [not for greenhorns]. In general keep the challenges easy at first then gradually increase them to feel out the group's strengths.

Storywise, I dont know what's going on:

Why use that particular opening sequence?
What happens at the briefing?
What is the "Gun Nut" adventure?
Why are bounty hunter droids after them?
What double-crossing occurs and how does it set up the final confontation?

surfmonkey01
29 May 2002, 11:46 AM
I apologize that everything seems so incomplete. I try not too keep too many rigid ideas on paper, because as I've been reminded, players deviate from the plot quite often. The outline was the easiest way for me to keep track of my big ideas, I doubt they'll all go off like that. I happen to excel at improvising, which is what I expect to do quite frequently. I'm not sure what most of the PCs are playing yet, but I know that one of them is going to be a Jedi Consular. Also, there is a possibility of a medical droid. The adventure is designed to go over several sessions, kind of a mini-campaign. I hope this clears up some of the issues you were having, sorry if things aren't specific enough for you.

Lord Diggori
29 May 2002, 11:54 AM
I'm a big improviser myself so I know it's hard to commit to final decisions when you're try'in to be fluid.

My story ideas take the form of cool scenes that I know will be going down no matter how the players decide to get to them. These ofcourse get modified based on what the PC's do but I try to preserve their feel.

What scenes like this do you see in your story?

surfmonkey01
29 May 2002, 12:16 PM
I see a chaotic scene looking for the droid, I see a badass asteroid field chase, and I see a HUGE multi-front battle at the base. More or less, anyways.

Ravager_of_worlds
29 May 2002, 12:23 PM
A few ideas-

if those bounty hunters are after the droids, are they working for the 'bad guys'? how about having them show up later-

or that dark jedi, have him pop in earlier, maybe helping the characters at one point and obstructing them the next, since his plans don't coincide with the people he's working for?

Recurring characters are awesome for a gm to use- i love the look on my players when they realize... white trenchcoat, black sunglasses, what?? Not this guy again! Run!

:D

scourgicus
29 May 2002, 03:35 PM
Several thoughts...

OPPONENTS and TIMEFRAME

If you're going to go with the "official" (don't hit me! no canon fights please!!) timeline, the Imperial Remnant may not be a Remnant. Grand Vizier Sate Pestage ran the Imperial govt for about 6 monthes after the Emperor's death, before being outed by Ysanne Isard. Coruscant didn't fall to the NR until 7 ABY (I think), and Isard was still in charge until around 7.5. If you accept the Crimson Empire comic books Carnor Jax (a renegade Force-using Royal Guard) was in command shortly thereafter, but was killed after a short reign. Thrawn took over roughly around 8 ABY until his death in 9 ABY. Supreme Commander Pellaeon commanded the Imperial Remnant from there on (and as far as I know is still in command as of Star by Star).

So depending on when you're doing this you could have different types of opponents...

Pestage - anything goes, including some of the cooler baddies in the DSSB (D20).

Isard - as Director of Intelligence Isard could throw pretty much anything. Assassins and bounty hunters seem her style.

Jax - mostly Stormtroopers, but would probably have access to Dark Troopers. Jax gained his control thru being on Byss (before it was destroyed) and may have had access to most of Palpatine's records. This one may work best for you, and would certainly explain the presence of a Dark Jedi.

Thrawn - Noghri, clones, and tons of intrigue. This one could be fun.

Pellaeon - he seemed pretty quiet, but there's no saying someone from the Empire couldn't work without his knowing it, just look at SOTP/VOTF.

If you're going with the lost tech theme, which is great, I would suggest Jax, or better yet, Thrawn era. By the time Thrawn arrives on the scene, the NR is pretty well in charge of the galaxy and the Imps are pretty restricted to their spot on the NJO map (at least that was my impression).

Unfortunately, anything before Pellaeon means no Jedi Academy and no Jedi characters. In our NR era campaign we started around 15 ABY and it worked pretty well.

ADVENTURE or CAMPAIGN

I'm pretty sure you're never going to fit your outline into one session. What you have there looks more like a 2 or 3 session adventure - especially with lots of good roleplaying or character investigation/misdirection. Its something you may want to consider.

Definitely go with recurring characters. And remember, not all baddies are necesarily Darth Mauls...some hide in the shadows and are never brought into the light, no matter how bright the lightsaber. Its the Thrawn's and Xizor's that really spice a story up.

Good luck. Hope it goes well.

Jedi_Staailis
29 May 2002, 04:04 PM
By the time Thrawn arrives on the scene, the NR is pretty well in charge of the galaxy and the Imps are pretty restricted to their spot on the NJO map (at least that was my impression).

I disagree. In Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future, many characters wonder how the "returned" Thrawn could do anything with so few resources, arguing that even his genius would never be able to stop the inevitable. With the peace treaty at the end of Vision of the Future, the borders are more or less fixed. This implies that the Empire controlled significantly more territory when Thrawn came to power than what is shown on the NJO map.


Other things I was thinking of toying with are Jensaari, the glove of Darth Vader, and Kyle Katarn (as the group's Jedi's master).

While you're certainly within your right to thrown continuity out the window, I've found that things generally run more smoothly if you keep with what's been established. The events of Jedi Knight don't take place until 1 to 1.5 years after Endor, and afterwards Kyle puts down the lightsaber, and the Force, until the events Jedi Outcast, some nine years later. The Jenesaari might work, I'm not very familiar with them. Check out the Net Guide on SWRPGNetwork (this link (http://www.swrpgnetwork.com/entry.php?id=1394)), for stats and lots more. As for the glove of Vader, I'd be wary of mentioning anything that leads back to that awful book series. :D


especially with lots of good roleplaying or character investigation/misdirection
This really is key. Combat related adventures, regardless of how they are presented (chases, searches, gunfights, sneaking around, etc.) get old quickly. However, if you can make interesting characters, even the most simple things can be captivating. This may sound ludicrous, but almost all "great" literature is so because of the characters.

Lord Diggori
31 May 2002, 07:56 AM
"I see a chaotic scene looking for the droid, I see a badass asteroid field chase, and I see a HUGE multi-front battle at the base. More or less, anyways."

Good, these are three nice scenes in your mind. These are the things you defintely want your players to remember, the highlights.

Actually these are more like chapters since many individual scenes can be spawned from these three images. In your first post scenes I-IV are all based on this droid search chapter. The NR briefing sets it up, the bounty hunter competition is a nice twist, and there's a decryption resolution. This first segment is tight enough and you need no more help here, in my opinion.

The second image is little harder to incorporate since a asteroid field battle is sure to alert the base and therefore prevent infiltration and investigation. If they battle the Imp's they'll have to do something real slick like making it look like they where destroyed or hiding out in a large rock until the heat dies down. This is dangerous territory. I'm assuming the players are all using the same ship, if it gets blown up the campaign is over.

If they do manage to get in undetected then it's simply a matter of revealing more things. Laying clues can be tough I know since the players may not see the connections you have made between clues. I advise calling for Int and Wis checks if they get lost to help flesh things out without being too obvious. Also I'll recommend a few clues that the Dark one is planning to double cross, just enough to make them curious. This will set up the final battle and the stakes involved.

The final battle can be set up many ways as long as the main bad guys are in the scene. You may want to start things off with the Jedi double-cross or wait until the players really need it to divide their enemies. It's up to you depending on the strengths of your party.

Everything else is pretty simple to run with the combat and how you want the ending to go. Good luck Surfmonkey and let me know how it turns out.