View Full Version : Any advice?

22 September 2002, 06:59 AM
I've recently got back in to RPGs and at the moment im running a Play-by-forum D20 D&D game. I've got the Revised Core Rule Book orderd (it's due to arrive tomorrow) and i've got 4 players waiting to start.
As a roleplayer i look at the Star Wars universe and think "this could be one hell of a game" but i'm not what you would call a Star Wars fan.. im a child of the seventies so grew up with ep 4, 5 and 6. but the only film i have and kinda like is Attack of the Clones..
In comparison my players are BIG fans, and i meen BIG! and this is my problem.... is there enough info in the book for me (a none fan) to run a campaign, if not what advice can you all give me???

Chris Curtis
22 September 2002, 08:33 AM
The best advice, of course, is to go re-watch the movies. Eps 1, 4, 5, and 6 are all readily available on VHS/DVD.

The really important thing for a Star Wars game has nothing to do with you knowing all the facts about SW (though that usually won't hurt). What's important is for you to get the atmosphere, mood, and feeling right. Star Wars adventures simply have a different feeling to them than pretty much anything else out there.

I would also suggest that before you start designing the campaign/gaming, that you ask all of the players what kind of game they want. Use their answers to help shape what kind of missions they'll be on, who they get to interact with, and what kind of tight spots they find themselves in. You don't have to follow everything they say exactly, of course, but you'll be surprised how much they'll enjoy having a bit of input on the adventures and such.

Good luck, keyamon!

evan hansen
22 September 2002, 09:20 AM
As (almost!) always, Chris is right on the mark.

The key to running your game won't be the details of how a hyperdrive works or the name of one alien species of another -- it'll be the high-paced action sequences, the cinematic combat, the "feel" of the places your players visit, and the kind of epic drama involved.

With that, a few suggestions/thoughts:

-- I agree with Chris that watching the movies is a good place to start. Just ask yourself, "How can I convey this feeling of adventure and excitement to my players?" Once you answer that question, you'll find the adventure kind of unfolding before you.

-- I'm assuming that you'll be playing the d20 version of the game, and I can say that their rulebook is pretty big and covers a lot. You might want to just spend a half hour at your local gaming store reading through some of the details in some of the supplemental books. If you don't mind a little extra work, you can create a lot of that kind of information (NPCs, locations, etc...) on your own, but you can get the feel from it by just browsing the book (no sense buying it if you don't know how much you're going to enjoy it just yet).

-- Get your players to create really detailed backgrounds in a session or on their own *before* you ever get together to play. Take their sheets back and use the details in their backgrounds to create some good epic drama around the characters rather than just within the Star Wars universe. Since the feel and the sense of adventure are the real keys, generate it from the character templates -- then worrying about Star Wars details isn't as big of a deal.

-- Also use their templates to conduct some of your own research. If they use terms, planets, names, etc... that you don't know, take a couple hours and look it up on the internet.

-- After or while you watch the movies, visit starwars.com and look at their "Databank." It's a total crash course in Star Wars places and characters.

I don't know if that's useful or not. We're kind of working in vague generalities, but I think a lot of the first few adventures in any new game or system is entirely the "feel," so hopefully this helps you out a bit!

22 September 2002, 09:33 AM
thanks for the advice both of you, especially the idea of getting them to create really detailed backgrounds for their characters, i should think they would realy enjoy doing that and it i'll give me allot of info to go on..

22 September 2002, 09:38 AM
You're in a tough spot, not knowing Star Wars but having players who do. I would definitely watch the movies again, and try to figure out what gives them that characteristic Star Wars feel. There's so much information out there that it's staggering, so don't worry about learning specific facts (as evan hansen mentioned), that will come in time.

Try to draw a lot of source material from the movies. Use astromech droids, stormtroopers, and blasters. Making things up at a whim will only frustrate your players, because you'll probably end up inadvertantly contradicting some novel or little known fact.

As has been mentioned, learn about the characters, then focus the adventure around them. The Star Wars heavy themes will come later. When you come across a Star Wars term you don't understand, look it up, either in the databank or on TheForce.Net's encyclopedia, which is much more comprehensive. It won't take long before you'll have enough "facts" at your disposal to keep up with your players.

Here's a list of resources when you need to find what something is:
Unofficial Encyclopedia (very comprehensive): http://www1.theforce.net/cuswe/
TimeTales (a chronological history of everything Star Wars): http://www.theforce.net/timetales/
StarWars.Com Databank: http://www.starwars.com/databank/

Hope this helps!
<Edit> Sorry about the typos, they have been corrected. <Edit>

22 September 2002, 12:23 PM
if you don't know much about SW my advice. have the adventure take place on a planet or series of planets on the outer rim, ones you made up. simply put if there is something you don't really know, don't allow it to come into the picture

23 September 2002, 04:36 AM
I was faced with a similar situation. I was about to have a player join my group that was a huge Star Wars nut. I think she had every Star Wars book, every Star Wars dictionary, ever line of dialog in the movies memorized. It was kinda scary to talk to her, she knew so much and spoke of everything with an air that made you almost think she was talking about facts from an actual history instead of made up characters in a movie.

She never got a chance to play with the group, so while my tactic was good, I never got a chance to use it.

My tactic? Play in an era when nobody knows anything. We were playing 100 years before Yavin. The Republic was still strong and vibrant. The people who would be Palpatine's parents were just boyfriend and girlfriend in "highschool" at the time. The only person around that survives to see any of the movies was Yoda, and we all know enough about Yoda to play him out as an NPC if we have to, I think. So basically, all her knowledge was knowledge of the future, and as so, not pertinent to our game since it hadn't happened. And based on actions of the characters, may never happen (always in motion, the future is).

The other way to do it is to play in some Infinities campaign if the players are okay with it. Let's say Luke's attack on the Death Star missed. Maybe that Tusken Raider in episode IV kills Luke. R2-D2 doesn't get Queen Amidala's ship fixed and they're all killed in Episode I. Obi-Wan doesn't beat Darth Maul, it's the other way around. Dooku is actually more powerful than Palpatine ever realized and he kills Palpatine and actually gets his separatists to "seceed from the union" making a Galaxy with two warring factions, neither of them the Empire. There are an infinite amount of single, small changes to make to the campaign which will invalidate everything the players think they know.

Alternately, you could keep the changes a secret. The PCs meet Luke Skywalker and join his team. They are amazed when Han and Luke attack a civilian ship, but go along with it meta-game thinking, "Hey it's Luke, he knows what he's doing," only to see Luke's lightsaber is red right before he starts slicing up captured crewmen.

The point is, if you're really intimidated by their knowledge, strip them of it, or make what they think they know wrong. If they metagame, they'll get spanked but if they play it like they're supposed to, they could have a good time.

23 September 2002, 06:39 AM
hmmmm, interesting.. i think i would rather change aspects of the story than set all of our adventures on a home made planet, it would allow me to use allot more known settings and NPCs but would stop the players using their knowlage of people and places to their advantage. but we'll have to see, i should talk to my players and see what they think.

23 September 2002, 08:35 AM
I think thats a great idea, my GM when we where escaping from a star destroyer, described a YT-1300 as well as the other ships, so I grabbed it and only after had our FIrespray fired torpedo's in the hanger did a wookie growl from the rear of the ship. One of the players shot down the whole idea as being to contraversiol. But now its my turn as GM, and I plan on altering the events at Endor a bit. lets just say, the Empire gets a new emperor, and there will be a three way split of power. Isard loyalists-Skywalker/Vader loyalists, and the New Rebublic. Btw Leia has been assassinated by one of my PC's already

23 September 2002, 01:02 PM
If your players are BIG fans then I think you should try to avoid contraddicting the films.
Suggestions are:
- (as may one have already said) look at all the movies once to get the SW feeling

- carefully choose a good playing period such as either some years before the phantom menace, or few years before Episode IV to avoid colliding too much with the films, and still playing in a time you know well

- design an intriguing campaign so that the players will be much interested in it and won't complain too much.

- check on the Complete Unofficial Enciclopedia (someone has already posted the link to the site; download it, it's better) every name you take from the source books, to avoid some silly thing like DM: "you're in the middle of a desert on planet X ..." Player: "but planet X is completely covered by ice !"

good luck

23 September 2002, 01:14 PM
I apologize if this is listed above, but it is a good start, and very simple. Play one of the pre-made adventures. Heck, play several. Wizards' List of Mini-Adventures (http://www.wizards.com/starwars/archive.asp?x=archive,2#ADV) has many free mini-adventures out there that you can use with the core rule books. They cover most everything you'll need for the adventure, and you can use them while you get to be more familiar with the game and universe.

I hope that can help.


24 September 2002, 09:40 AM
thanks to you all, your advice has been a big help. :D