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Thread: Strategic level campaigns

  1. #1

    Default Strategic level campaigns

    Do any Star Wars products out address the idea of running a campaign at mid to high level with the players runnng corporations or empires of their own?
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    Force unleashed has some rules for creating organizations, I think. And galaxy at war sort of addresses military orgs as well. Not sure if that's exactly what you're looking for though.
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  3. #3

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    Force Unleashed has rules for creating organizations, but not anything on what to do with them after creation...like how to expand and grow them.

    Things I'm looking for...how/when do other people join a player's organization? How does this differ from attracting minions? Do any feats/skills/abilities affect it?

    If the organization is large enough to dominate a city, what are the implications for income and transportation for PCs?

    If the organization is system-spanning, what sort of military resources are available?

    If the organization takes root on a resource-poor planet (desert world, ice world, asteroid, etc.), how does that affect its growth rate vs. being on a jungle world vs. Naboo?

    Etc., etc.

    I'll look to see if any of the military bits are covered in Galaxy at War.
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    Hmm, I see. Most of that will be homebrew. I can't think of anything I've seen with rules like that (except for some minor rules in GAW about gear, which may be what you're looking for as far as military resources go, at least at character-scale). An easy thing to do would be to make a minimum statline requirement for your orgs based on how they operate. Since I think I saw you mention a Sith Empire, to join up maybe you could require force sensitivity, or a certain number of force powers, or a dark side score, etc. kind of like treating the org like a PrC.

    Military hardware on an organizational level can be as easy or in depth as you want it to be. Assign a credit amount to each size ranking for an org and rule that they have thatch available to them at any given time. This may or may not represent their total force disposition (for example, for an org than owns a system but nothing outside of it, it could represent everything they have, but for the Republic, it would represent only a fraction: just what they feel like throwing at a problem).

    Or you could make your own system up where you rule on what sort of resources each planet might be able to contribute (Tatooine is poor or 1 or low or w/e, Dantooine is medium, Kuat is high, etc) and give them access to resources based on their overall organization score.

    As far as city control, I would imagine it would be akin to the mafia controlling Chicago during prohibition. As long as they don't ask for anything completely outlandish, odds are they can make a persuasion check or somesuch and get it.

    Hope any of that helped in some way :-)
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DentArthurDent View Post
    Hmm, I see. Most of that will be homebrew. I can't think of anything I've seen with rules like that (except for some minor rules in GAW about gear, which may be what you're looking for as far as military resources go, at least at character-scale). An easy thing to do would be to make a minimum statline requirement for your orgs based on how they operate. Since I think I saw you mention a Sith Empire, to join up maybe you could require force sensitivity, or a certain number of force powers, or a dark side score, etc. kind of like treating the org like a PrC.

    Military hardware on an organizational level can be as easy or in depth as you want it to be. Assign a credit amount to each size ranking for an org and rule that they have thatch available to them at any given time. This may or may not represent their total force disposition (for example, for an org than owns a system but nothing outside of it, it could represent everything they have, but for the Republic, it would represent only a fraction: just what they feel like throwing at a problem).

    Or you could make your own system up where you rule on what sort of resources each planet might be able to contribute (Tatooine is poor or 1 or low or w/e, Dantooine is medium, Kuat is high, etc) and give them access to resources based on their overall organization score.

    As far as city control, I would imagine it would be akin to the mafia controlling Chicago during prohibition. As long as they don't ask for anything completely outlandish, odds are they can make a persuasion check or somesuch and get it.

    Hope any of that helped in some way :-)
    It's food for thought, and I appreciate the reply.

    Re: Sith Empire, I was thinking more along the lines recruiting for, rather than joining, such.

    I.e., if we (the characters) want to start our own Sith Empire (we're playing in the KOTOR timeframe, after Revan has disappeared and his Empire is fragmenting; we're trying to grab what scraps of it we can), how does one adjudicate our attempts to do so? How does that interface with the Organization system presented in Force Unleashed?

    I.e., what's involved in taking over a city? Just kill enough of the leadership and/or soldiers defending it (i.e., a military defeat)? Okay, but how many is "enough"? And what then does control of this city get us, in terms of recruits and materiel for the ongoing conquest?

    How do we know how many Sith wannabes/flunkies flock to join our Sith-Empire-du-jour?

    That's what I need to get a handle on.

    Are there such rules in any other RPG that I could adapt? Birthright dealt with this sort of thing, didn't it? Been ages since I looked at any of that. Wonder if I still have a few of those books stashed away in the back of the closet somewhere, or if I sold 'em off. Hmm.
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    You might consider looking into a different system which has some source material on the topic and convert it over. GURPS probably has something on the topic. But I think Dent is right that this will mostly be homebrew.

    It really comes down to how "real" you want it to be. Think of starting a company: there's the paperwork, the budget, attracting clientele, advertisement, taxes, overhead costs, profit margins, meetings and trainings, loans, property tax, payment schedules. . . that what would ACTUALLY happen if you were trying to create some sort of empire, but with military logistics mixed in as well. I don't think going into that much detail would be very much fun, but we can simplify it down and let a good deal of the paperwork and board meetings happen "off screen" (though board meetings could be kind of cool, depending on what you were discussing).

    It also depends on whether you are trying to make an empire out of an existing bureaucracy (a coup) or trying to carve out a new state from existing ones (insurgency). Either one will have its own challenges. A coup will involve consolidating enough power within the existing government (usually the military) to keep those who oppose you in line. An insurgency will be some sort of actual combat (military or economic) with the goal of subjugating the people who live in the territories you conquer. Either way you are likely to encounter resistance from both the population and those of the old government (though if the old government was oppressive, corrupt, or in a poor economic condition there will be some who defect to your side if you can offer them something better). Frankly, I'd suggest reading up on modern political revolutions (Mali, Libya, China, Vietnam, Iran, etc.) to get an idea of how these kind of transitions happen. This could take up a good deal of game time in and of itself.

    As for taking over a city, it really depends. Was it previously politically stable? Are there social cleavages in the society? Are those who rule oppressing the working class? What kind of society is it? Is your new order radically different from the old one? Are you malicious city-taker-overers? How brutally do you repress the opposition? If you are preserving the existing bureaucracy and have the people with power on you side (police, military, officials), it will be very hard for the populace to form a cohesive resistance. If you are making an entirely new one, be prepared for a lot of chaos and things-not-getting-done for a little bit. If there is a cohesive resistance, it'll be very, very hard to maintain order (think Syria). Again, some historical examples might be illuminating. Look into how the Soviet Union subdued its empire.

    As to how many want to join, what's in it for them? Why would people join? Power and glory? Personal/religious conviction? Prejudice or hatred? Honest desire for reform? And how well does your new empire deliver? If potential acolytes wanting to create a new Sith society see a warlord/revolutionary DOING that, they'll start to flock to to him.

    But in the end, keep all of these ideas simple enough that the game is still fun. I would think that these things should be HARD, maybe even frustrating at times, otherwise they won't feel epic and rewarding. But keep things doable, both for yourself and your players.
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    Even on a macro-scale campaign where "fates of many lie in the balance" I suppose PCs still need to undergo personal and exciting challenges. One of the last adventures I ran for my longest campaign is where my first player who plays a bounty hunter has now become the security administrator of her homeworld. During the New Republic peacetime, she had to meet someone and complete a purchase of a wing of TIE fighters for planetary defense. That became an adventure all by itself.

    If I were to continue with the campaign, I'd do other things like - off the top of my head:
    1. A construction of a ground-based military port receives a vocal backlash from local homesteaders. However, they discover that the homesteaders have been armed with military-grade weapons by an unknown entity.
    2. Another administrator (say the education administrator) attempts to recruit the PC and her team to run defense for a new Sector Educational Conference but the education administrator is a traitor to the government allowing an unknown attack on the conference
    3. Freighters to and from the planet are being attacked and investigators are disappearing one by one causing the PC and her team to inspect a deep space defense station. There they are attacked by the unknown force, pirates who claim to be invited to the system by an administrator.
    4. Following clues from the pirates, PCs hunt names of traitors within the government. They discover it to the the Offworld Mining Administrator and the Farming Administrator. PCs are given a chance to stop them (and perhaps the assassination of the Administrator General of the system).

    I could run games with PCs having an election campaign, or them sitting in their office signing paperwork and conferring with their staff on administrative matters, or getting their staff to ask for quotation for whatever projects the office needs, or brainstorming the planetary budget for the next fiscal year, but it's Star Wars, and as I said it still has to be personal.

    It's more fun that you have to do double back flip as shurikens pass you by and you fire with two hands back at your assailant after* you've briefed your staff for the next day's meeting with a foreign dignitary and you've already signed all the documents.

    * or during, lol

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fingon View Post
    You might consider looking into a different system which has some source material on the topic and convert it over. GURPS probably has something on the topic. But I think Dent is right that this will mostly be homebrew.
    Didn't D&D have some stuff on running castles and kingdoms and such? It'd probably be easier to adapt than GURPS. Now, if I could just remember which of the 37 million books it was in....
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    Wanna-be musician Fingon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCegorach View Post
    Didn't D&D have some stuff on running castles and kingdoms and such? It'd probably be easier to adapt than GURPS. Now, if I could just remember which of the 37 million books it was in....
    I think there was a city building one, and a stronghold building one. I don't remember a kingdom one for 3rd edition. AD&D might have had some.
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    As I recall, both first ed and third ed had castle building guides, and some basic info on the structure of a feudal kingdom.
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    I'm looking through d20 products now; Fields of Blood, Empire, and The Book of Strongholds and Dynasties. So far, I think I like Fields of Blood best for what I'm interested in.
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