View Full Version : Moving from Ep1 to Ep2 - Ideas please

13 September 2002, 04:16 AM
My group and campaign got started as soon as SWRPG came out. Episode 1 was new and fresh and they adventured through the Battle of Naboo and a few episodes beyond that.

Now, Episode 2 has come to the screen. New enemies, plots, Clone Wars, et al. I can tell that my players would rather be in that era, and I would to.

So that is the dilema. The characters are all around level 3 with solid backgrounds, enemies, and allies. I would like to move the campaign to a time area during Episode 2, but it is ten some odd years away! I am looking for ideas on how to move the campaign while still maintaining a state of realism in character. My ideas:

1) Time travel. The characters fly too close to the Maw or something. The gravitational stuff throws them forward in time. This really doesn't sit well for me. Its Star Trek, not Star Wars.

2) Give each player a certain number of experience points or levels to account for the time period. Have them/me make a skeleton background for what they were doing. This doesn't sit too well either, mostly because I have never done anything like that.

Any other ideas or suggestions on the above 2?

13 September 2002, 04:26 AM
Here is an evil way to get your players to the future. The current nemisis lures them into a trap on his secret asteroid base - a giant freezing chamber! He cackles (or growls) in triumph as he hits the switch and everything goes black...

Almost 10 years later, an asteroid mining crew discovers the group and sends them to Corusant for unfreezing. Bingo, Ep II era with no level change required.

And the tension will be real. The players don't know if they are to be executed (so you can start a new campaign) or captured and tortured. Be sure to use overwhelming force so that they must surrender and be frozen or they can fight back and die - you have to give them options, even if they suck.

And a further benifit is that you can take the enemies from 10 years before and do all kind of interesting things. Certainly they have gained a few levels over the years. Of course some will be even bigger threats now, but what if one has reformed and they have to work with her - or for her!?!

13 September 2002, 04:34 AM
You could work large amounts of time into a mission, like having them be deep cover agents somewhere. That takes years to get into the culture before you can even begin to commence covert operations. That could eat up ten years right there. Ten years of buying grocieries, running to the corner station to fill the tank on the speeder, mowing the grass, you know - high adventure. Of course you wouldn't make them play it out, just say that they spent eight years working their way into the culture.

Are they bad guys to some degree? Smugglers and the like? Those types frequently can spend five to ten years in a Republic Correctional Facility on some remote planet banging away on big rocks to make little rocks. They get into trouble, try and save a few credits by getting a cheap lawyer - or none at all - and whap! It's now ten years later, they have new suits and 50 credits as they get released from the penitentiary.

A bad battle might leave them in a coma.

Getting caught by the bad guys might leave them frozen in carbonite (where have I heard that one before?).

A bad fall, knock to the head, certain poison, or some other GM trick might leave them with amnesia that goes away years later. They've been living out their lives in the mean time, but they don't remember any of it.

They could join the military on some backwater world only to find out the term of enlistment is ten years rather than the two they thought when they signed up - then it turns out nothing interesting ever happens there and they fly a desk for ten years.

You could have them all disband and go home, start a family, do all the regular things, then one day they get a transmission from an old colleague looking for a ten year reunion. They all get together and decide (after quite a bit of Corellian ale) to go on one last adventure before hanging up their spurs.

There are plenty of things you could do, besides the ones you mentioned (the time travel thing sounds like Star Trek more than Star Wars in my opinion) like just adding some experience to them all and moving them forward (maybe 2,000 XP per year, which seems to be about the rate that NPCs advance in the rule book from what I've been able to tell looking at the age vs. XP table).

Last, but not least you could do what I probably would. I find one of the best things with RPGs is rolling up new characters. Unless your PCs are really, really attached to their characters, roll up some new ones. They get a chance to play a new type of character, you don't have to worry about how to advance the game ten years, and you could even bring their old PCs in from time to time (with grayer hair and more wrinkles of course) as NPCs in the new game. Of course, they wouldn't be killed, but nothing makes a player's face light up (in my experience) than seeing one of their old characters still around in the world, or seeing that something they did ten years ago is still around and affecting their current situation. A little consistency there really makes the universe come alive.

15 September 2002, 04:11 PM
I went with your option number two, and it worked just fine. I gave the PC's some feats and skill points for the time inbetween movies and it worked just out great.

15 September 2002, 04:12 PM
I went with your option number two, and it worked just fine. I gave the PC's some feats and skill points for the time inbetween movies and it worked just out great.

17 September 2002, 12:00 PM
I'm going with that option too. The players are to come up with a rough idea of what they have been doing in the intervening time, and details will be worked up as needed. But mostly, they have been non-adventuring.

I plan on giving them an equal number of Xp to account for the years. Any suggestions on how many I should hand out? I was thinking enough for everyone to go up a level and a half

19 September 2002, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by Flarestorm
Any suggestions on how many I should hand out? I was thinking enough for everyone to go up a level and a half

You can do what I did - look at the starting age chart and compare it with the values of XPs listed in the chart that shows ages if you want to start at higher levels. From that you can work up what the RCR has as a guideline for XP per year. I did this study already but I don't have the information with me.

Alternately, you can get a quick guide based on what level of game you want to play. In my world, 20th level characters are so very rare you may live your entire life and never meet one. A 15th level character is pretty hard to come by too. Most adventurers who don't meet a bad end would maybe make 10th-12th level or so by the time they're too old to keep at it. So I would use 2,000 XP per year.

If an adventurer starts at age 18 and plays until he's 65, at 2000 XP per year he would retire at 14th level. At 3000 XP per year he'd retire at 17th. At 4000 XP per year he'd be 19th. More than that and you hit 20th level earlier and earlier. If you want to power game, give them 4000 XP or more per year. If you want to play a mid-level game, then maybe it's only 2000 XP per year, or less.

Just remember, don't average the XP per year already handed out. Behind-the-scenes experience shouldn't even be close to in game experience. If their behind-the-scenes adventures were so exciting and great, they wouldn't be behind the scenes, would they? You could always take your average XP per year so far and divide by 5 or something to give you a rule of thumb.

I wouldn't focus on level so much, focus on XP. If a 1st level team took a year off, would they come back halfway through the second level? At least. If a 17th level team took a year off, would they come back halfway through the 19th level? Not very likely. Figure out how many XP you want to give, not how many levels. If you give away 5000 XP per year and it doesn't affect their levels, so be it.

20 September 2002, 07:30 PM
I had this kind of situation playing AD&D with my friends.

Each PC set out with a different search for information, trying to fix about the onsetting wars.

We spent about a year far from each other (one was traveling with a band of rovers, another was sneaking his way into the gangsta's guilds in the capital, the third was roaming the northen mountains and my priest was talking with the winds, on top of a HIGH mountain).

The result was more information, longer hairs (for my priest), and one more level for everyone, counting the standard rate of encounters in the setting, but we all were about 5th-6th level.

If your characters are higher level, you should simply put them half-way to the next one.


Tony J Case, Super Genius
23 September 2002, 12:06 PM
I got one for you - although it is time travel, its not Star Trek. Use the real world physics of time dilation - the faster an object goes, the slower it ages in relation to the rest of the universe.

So, give 'em a big ass battle somewhere along the outer rim with an enemy ship. During the fight, the hyperdrive phase transition engine takes a hit. Their hyperdrive engines can still propel them at the speed of light, but it CANT make the transition into hyperspace.

Of course they're far enough off the beaten path where any distress call sent will not be picked up (or the entire communications array was fraged too). The only way back to civilization is if they pop on the damaged hyperdrive and limp to the nearest civilized world.

When they arrive - poof! It's 9.75 years later on the eve of the clone wars. No muss, no fuss.

23 September 2002, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Tony J Case, Super Genius
I got one for you - although it is time travel, its not Star Trek. Use the real world physics of time dilation - the faster an object goes, the slower it ages in relation to the rest of the universe.

I normally don't make pointless posts just to stroke someone's ego, but man, oh man, that's a fantastic idea! I just couldn't restrain myself from saying so.

25 September 2002, 09:52 PM
If the PCs are a little more shady, have them try to steal Alderaan`s warfrigate "Another Chance" (and all the weapons therein) just before it goes into hyperspace....
and have them get stuck on it.
She only leaves hyperspace after every (you decide...maybe 5 years) few years...
hence the poor buggers are stuck on the warship, in hyperspace for maybe a decade or two...you choose

26 September 2002, 11:31 AM
I am running a campaign in a similar time frame , and the inevitable happened - ep2 came out. and thus it was time to switch gears.

As it turns out my players were very excited to simply post me the stories of what they did while on a short hiatus from the "limelight" .

it was very cool and really added to character development.

the players gained XP by a poll of the other PC's and my self , as to how much they thought a story was worth XP-wise . i would get the results and average them out to a final xp amount.

so you could say they got what they put into it.

26 September 2002, 11:55 AM
Depending on what level they are now, maybe they Did NOTHING in the intervening years. THey 'retired' from it all, but with the start of the clone wars, were brought out of retirement.....