View Full Version : New GM, same problem...

1 June 2002, 01:18 PM
Hello there people. My group recently decided to play Star Wars (D20), and I have (just as recently) discovered this most wonderful site. I'm rather disappointed that I didn't know about it earlier, but I digress. My problem here is this: I'm the GM of this group (Mainly because I've forgotten more about Star Wars than 90% of my group has ever learned), and I'm having trouble coming up with story ideas. I've only just begun GMing, so I'm sure it'll get better in time. However, I'm trying to come up with adventure/campaign ideas that the characters might actually *choose* to do, as opposed to doing simply 'cause that's all I've got prepared, y'know? Lemme give you a little background into the group.

The game is set roughly 8 years after RotJ. Thrawn has come and gone, and the Jedi Academy is in full swing. The group consists of a Fringer (who is also the pilot that has access to a transport) that was once a Tie Fighter pilot in the Empire. There's also a Soldier/aspiring Bounty Hunter (former Stormtrooper) and all around deck-hand of the aforementioned transport, who hapened to be one of the few survivors of the destruction of the Second Death Star (he was stationed on it). There's a Scoundrel demolitions expert (former Imperial BlackOps), who found herself without a job when the Empire went kaput. Finally, there's a new Jedi, who's the apprentice of one of Luke Skywalker's first Jedi students.
The characters have recently tracked down the treasure of an old space pirate ('cause they're usually broke, so now they've got a little cash). Hidden among the treasure I put a Sith Holocron. I've played in adventures the GM put a Sith Holocron in it, and he just sucked horribly at portraying the Dark Side and temptation and such. I'm hoping I can do a bit more justice to the whole thing. We shall see. They've just stopped off at the Jedi Academy to talk to Skywalker about what this "little crystal pyramid" is. And from here I'm kind of at a loss. I've already got some plans for the hackneyed Dark Jedi to come-a looking for this little gem, and I was also tossing around the idea of having them hook up with the New Republic to track down Imperial Remnant soldiers/officers/bases, etc. They've also made not-so-nice with a crimelord in their recent acquisition of pirate treasure.
Now, I don't really know how I can get them involved in *wanting* them to hunt down the Remnant, or really much else. As I said, I'm exceptionally new at GMing. I'd greatly appreciate any help/tips/hints/tricks, etc.

Your newest addition to the Holonet

P.S. I apologize for the length of this post...I get carried away sometimes. :)

1 June 2002, 02:07 PM
First of all, welcome aboard, MrKenpoJr! Secondly, your post wasn't that long, so no need to apologize. Finally, on to some ideas: :)

First off, after reading the bit on the character's backgrounds, I think you'll find it hard to get your players to "go after" the remnants of the Empire. If anything, you may find them wanting to JOIN what's left of the Empire. So if I were you, I'd steer clear of that particular plot line for the immediate future. Maybe later you'll get some ideas on how to include the Imperial remnants into an adventure and then you see how well your players respond to working with (or against) people that their characters had previously worked for.

Second, I would be hesitant about having the PCs immediately turn over the holocron to Skywalker. Chances are, since it's Sith, Skywalker will want it so that his young and impressionable students don't get led astray by the Dark Side. There's a couple ways you could potentially lead your players into other adventures with the Holocron. First, you could have the young Jedi get sudden and abrupt urges to NOT turn the holocron over to Skywalker. He/she gets visions of terrible things happening to Master Skywalker, so fearing that the Force is trying to tell him/her something, the PC keeps the holocron hidden, thus thinking that he/she is saving Master Skywalker. Another idea is to, before the PCs hand over the holocron, have it magically create a star chart hologram in the air. Make it seemed really advanced, scrolling from the current system they are in to other systems far away, then zooming in to show a close up of a interesting looking planet (maybe there are odd rings around the planet, or a glowing "X" lights up on a location on the planet. That alone might spark an interest of exploration with them, where they discover something...the origin of the holocron, the owner of the holocron, a vault containing lost secrets of the Sith, a vault containing a forgotten evil (ie. it's a trap, as the holocron senses the precense of Light Side Force and "defends" itself)...whatever.

If you do this, you could use that Holocron as a stepping stone for several more adventures. If you have them show it to Skywalker, realistically he'd probably say "Thanks" and take it away from them...maybe sending much more skilled Jedi to investigate.

Third, the Crime Lord whose toes were stepped on by the PCs. I'd certainly use this thread in the future. Who knows how many times thugs from the crime lord will show up to trash the PCs place of residence or how many times the PCs bank account will be hacked trying to syphon funds away. For a deeper idea, you could have one of the crime lords "minions" actually be an old pirate from the original pirate who hid the treasure. Maybe this guy knows of some other "old pirates" and they want revenge...or maybe they just want to know where the PCs found out about the treasure, so that "leak" can be plugged. The PCs may be thinking they're dealing with common thugs from the crime lord, but little do they know they're actually dealing with hardened "retired" pirates who preyed on shipping during the dangerous days of the Empire (or even before). Maybe there's even more hidden treasure out there, and the PCs don't realize that they've got a clue on where other stashes may be hidden, but the Crime Lord (or retired pirates) know, and they want that clue back!

That's all I can think of right off the top of my head. Hopefully it will help give you some ideas. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions. Being new to GMing isn't an easy thing, so don't feel that any question is too stupid to ask.

Once again...welcome aboard!

1 June 2002, 05:31 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome. Already I've been able to find countless possible uses for much of the information here. :)

First off, after reading the bit on the character's backgrounds, I think you'll find it hard to get your players to "go after" the remnants of the Empire. If anything, you may find them wanting to JOIN what's left of the Empire.
Well, I actually considered the 'hunting down the Remnant' part before they all told me their backgrounds. I was considering trying to work it back in, but as you say, it seems very likely that that won't happen immediately.

If you have them show it to Skywalker, realistically he'd probably say "Thanks" and take it away from them...maybe sending much more skilled Jedi to investigate.
I was thinking more along the lines of Luke wanting it for himself, kind of reminiscent of Dark Empire: Learn about the Sith to destroy it from the inside...again. I mean let's face it: for all his vaunted Jedi powers, Luke's still just a skirt whining about his power converters and Tosche station. ;)

Third, the Crime Lord whose toes were stepped on by the PCs. I'd certainly use this thread in the future.
Well, this seemed to me the most logical next step. There's always the opportunity to make the PCs (intentionally or otherwise) thwart the schemes and machinations of this fella, thus causing the tried-and-true bounty hunters to become involved.

I thank you for your quick response. Again, any additional insight would be humbly appreciated.


1 June 2002, 10:36 PM
Well, I can think of a couple of things - hope they help.

Thing 1: the Sith holocron. Grimace had a good idea with the Holocron not wanting to have itself turned over and showing your Jedi horrible visions. Another possibilty is that they don't give it to Skywalker himself, but a member of the Academy on his behalf. That person succumbs to the dark side and your Jedi, being somewhat responsible for the creation of a Dark Jedi/Sith, needs to track him down and deal with the situation. The big question is: do they *know* it's a Sith holocron? (both Player and PC knowledge). One thing to be careful of - do not let this dominate the game. If you do, the other players may feel like they are playing second-fiddle to the Jedi - they need their own time in the spotlight as well.

Thing 2: the crime-lord. You can do some subtle, behind-the-scenes stuff where he makes their lives miserable while fulfilling his own aims - setting them up to disrupt his enemies' operations, etc. It's even better if they don't know it is a crime-lord they PO'd - in that case he can ruin their lives while presenting a friendly, sympathetic face to them.

Since most of your PCs are ex-Imperials, it stands to reason that someone could find out about that and go after them - think of the post-WW2 Nazi-hunters. It could be particularly poignant if the hunter was a Survivor (native of Alderaan) - force the PCs to face their past crimes, as it were.

I think lastly you need to ask your players what they would be interested in.

2 June 2002, 08:29 AM
personally I think you've got the workings for a nice "dark sider" campaign..

It wouldn't be hard to seduce your jedi char to the dark side, and then have your PCs try and reeistablish a REAL empire.. a sith empire :)

evan hansen
2 June 2002, 04:51 PM
hmm. This plotline might one that you want to develop in a very free-form manner. If you try to plan it, you may find yourself in very hard situations. A group that has ex-imperials and Jedi in it together is bound to be a little off. most bounty hunters are very self-serving. You may find them wanting to sell the Holocron or keep it themselves. The Jedi might get in conflicts with them.

Now, that's entirely fine. But, just be aware it's a possibility, and you may have to allow your players some latitude.

Actually, BrianDavion had a decent idea with the Dark Sider campaign. I might do it almost as two campaigns though. Almost like the two trilogies in Star Wars.

First, everything is good. The group works well together. Maybe have this Sith Holocron start out as nothing of too great importance, but adventures from now, it pops back up as something very important. Everything is fine. But slowly the Jedi gets tempted to the Dark Side, and the group sways into some evil-ish things. At the end, the Jedi character could be redeemed and the campaign could end on a happy note. It's kind of a good dramatic storyline.

Otherwise, I think Grimace had some excellent suggestions (as is usually the case). I might even expand on the Crime Lord thing. Maybe you could have either the Holocron SEEM like it's the focus of the mission, but then have the crime lord be the real enemy. kind of a red herring. or, you could do the vice versa.

And to echo Grimace again, welcome aboard, and keep asking questions! (Otherwise I might actually have to do work at work. *wink*)