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#1 Maelora

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 04:43 PM

(warning: long posts!)

 

A few people on another thread asked me about my own AoR/EoE campaign, so I thought I’d answer here.

 

Rather than just being about me, I thought I’d do a thread for it, canvas your ideas and ask players and GMs about alternative or non-canon games.  Which could include things like the players being Black Sun or Empire or whatever, possibly?  Or Sith or Jedi or something?

 

Why do something like this anyway? Well, when we decided to so a Star Wars game and I ended up being GM, I wrote down a bunch of things that I wanted to include, and my reasons for doing so.

 

My players and I had a few SW experiences in common: we all loved the original movies, broadly disliked the prequels,  and had mixed views on the EU.  I disliked the EU myself, finding it bloated and contradictory. I disliked the modern elements that borrowed from manga/anime rather than the original films, and which seemed to be an arms-race of ever-increasing power, with everyone trying to make the biggest, loudest, most-badass threat or character.

 

So high on my list was trying to capture the themes and feel of the original films, but present that material in new ways, and to an audience that was not seven years old any more! J

 

I actually like the movie characters, but SW is a film series about Lucas’ PCs.  I need my game to be about my PCs. A movie needs engaging characters for the audience to root for – an RPG needs these characters to be the PCs.  So above all, they must be the heroes.  If they do not rescue the Hot Princess, nobody else will.  If they don’t blow up the Death Star, nobody does. Their successes or failure will determine the fate of the galaxy.   NPCs should be cool, and support or hinder their efforts, but the game must be the story of the PCs.

 

As it is their story, the movie heroes and the movie antagonists have to go. I may use Luke in an altered role, especially if the PCs don’t recognize him… But they must make their own allies and have their own antagonists. They won’t merely be replaying the films, as fun as they were.  I wished to make a SW experience that was recognizable thematically, but different in content.

 

Having lived through the early 90’s RPG experience, and the emergence of all those ‘grimdark’ games, I wanted the PCs to be heroic, like Han or Luke.  This must emphatically NOT be ’grimdark’.  The heroes are heroic, and they should win… though victory will require effort, and even sacrifice.  Hard lessons will be learned. The Dark Side is seductive, but quick, easy victories must ultimately come around to bite you on the ass.  

 

That DOESN’T mean the antagonists should be dull and flat.  There is still room for moral quandaries, and for seeking out allies in unexpected places.  There will be Imperials who can be reasonable, even decent, or Alliance who have fallen to the level of their worst enemies.   

 

We are now adults, but the game shouldn’t be a cheap sex & violence fest either.  More mature plots can and should be done, but it’s also important to have fast-paced action thrills too, and recover our youth a little J

 

I wanted to get away from the Special Snowflake Syndrome.  The PCs should be like Han or Wedge; they succeed on their own merits, not because they have plot armour or author privilege or have a special surname or are part of a prophecy.  The Force is in ALL THINGS.  It’s not in the blood. Force-sensitives are rare, but they can be anyone. The players will mostly come from ‘ordinary’ backgrounds, though these should be cool and detailed, naturally.  

 

The game should keep its roots and influences – these should not be WH40K or modern anime. However, using themes and influences from other sources like Mass Effect (which steals shamelessly from SW anyway!) and ‘Firefly’ would be perfectly fitting and would benefit the game. Moral choices, shades of grey and eastern spiritual influences are all part of the original movies, however, and should therefore be part of our game.

 

Finally, the game should have strong thematic themes, clearly visible in the five powerful factions.  The Empire, high technology and endless disposable troops, ruthless and authoritarian. The Alliance, the rag-tag heroic underdogs, using their wits and limited resources.  The Fringe, ambiguous and acting as both allies and antagonists.  The Jedi and the Sith, representing mystic power and mighty forces – mirror images and flip-sides of one another, both ultimately flawed and too dogmatic. 

 


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#2 Maelora

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 04:43 PM

Okay, so much for themes.  What did I do to the SW universe?

 

Firstly, I wanted to divorce the Sith and the Empire, and Alliance/Jedi.  The Empire must be defined by its money, its navies, its technology, its faceless, endless hordes of clones.  And be embroiled in a damaging civil war.  We no longer need Evil Wizards, so Palpatine has to go. History’s greatest monsters were mortal men, and let’s stress that with the Empire. We have the perfect one in Wiluff Tarkin already.  

 

Vader is part of Luke’s PC story, so he needs to go, cool as he is.   Luke and Han can’t be around, for the same reason Alan Moore didn’t use Holmes or Dracula  in League of Extraordinary Gentleman.  Some characters are too big and iconic, and we want our own characters to breathe.  This still leaves lots of background characters – Lando, Leia, Ackbar, Fett, etc can all add colour without overshadowing the PCs.  Some like Jabba will be removed just to mess with the player’s minds, to let them know they’re not in Kansas any more.

 

So, what goes down?  At this point I’d like to thank Chortles on this very board, for his inexhaustible patience, cool ideas  and for cherry-picking the best cuts of the EU for me to use! Thanks buddy!

 

About 20-30 years ago, the Jedi and Sith (of which the latter are many, not two) begin to cease hostilities to face a new and growing threat they see in visions.  (Behind the scenes, these two Factions will be revealed as cosier than most people realise, both flawed visions of a single society). This threat isn’t determined, but is likely a reworked Yuzhan Vong, who are  now invulnerable to normal technology but terribly vulnerable to Force powers.

 

Plans are made, and a dark plot is hatched. Resentful of their most powerful member, the Sith agree to sell him out.  The Jedi agree to abandon the Old Republic to those who would dominate it.  Dark bargains are struck.  The rising Tarkin agrees to betray Palpatine in exchange for the others leaving him alone. (Why do the Jedi do this? They likely see a mere human as the lesser of two evils – defeating Tarkin on their return will be easier than defeating Sidious).

 

Anakin is killed early on – he falls to the dark side early, tries to ravish Padme, who disembowels him and cuts off most of his face. He escapes, castrated, and now wearing a hideous mask and breathing apparatus... For years, the Sith and Jedi hunt him;  he brings down many, but eventually is captured by the Jedi (or Sith, nobody knows!) Inquisitors, and horribly tortured to death.  By the time he expires, they know every bit of his master’s plan.

 

So when Sidious calls down Order 66, it backfires horribly.  Tarkin now has the real codes and cancels it, while withdrawing the clone armies to himself.    Swarms of angry Jedi decapitate Sidious. His head is delivered to Tarkin, who now declares himself Emperor, denouncing Palpatine as an Evil Wizard and claiming emergency powers to protect the galaxy from the Sith.  The Sith and Jedi abandon the galaxy to face a greater threat on the distant Far Rim.

 

Left to swing in the wind, the remnants of the Old Republic refuse to accept Tarkin as Emperor. While ‘rebel scum’ remains an Imperial insult, they do not see themselves as ‘rebels’, but see Tarkin as the usurper.  Seven races (of which humans are but one) form the Alliance of the New Republic, formed to combat Tarkin’s xenophobia and megalomania.

 

Alderaan’s destruction happens earlier now – Tarkin has planned this for ages, and about six months into his reign, uses his new shiny Weapon of Mass Destruction to blow up a Core World (Leia and her real father, Bail, are thankfully elsewhere). Tarkin intends this to be his crowning glory, but it drives entire worlds and species into the arms of the Alliance, and begins the toxic civil war that will eventually slow the Imperial war machine to a standstill.  

 

The calendar is restarted about now – Tarkin starts it from his coronation, the Alliance starts it from the destruction of Alderaan.  Alderaan becomes their symbol, and the rising phoenix becomes the official symbol of the Alliance.  About now, Monobrow Boy becomes the highest-profile casualty of the ‘Bad Company’, an Alliance cell of misfits and straight-up terrorists.  His unibrow becomes their trophy and banner, and wins them lots of kudos from Alliance Command, to the extent that they will ignore many of their unsavoury activities in the years to come.

 

Twenty years after Alderaan, the game begins. 

 

(Luke is about 30 here, older than in the films, already powerful and exploring both sides of the Force. His natural parents are murdered by the Empire, but he reins in his anger to watch and wait… He is certain the Jedi and the Sith are wrong in their approach, and remains in the galaxy seeking a third way…)

 

The Empire is riven by civil war.  Tarkin is older, and unwell, now paranoid and bitter.  He rules by fear, and by the Death Star, hated now even by many other Imperials.  Four factions have arisen – the Tarkin loyalists, and those kept in line by his Dark Side acolytes, who worship him as a god.  Then there’s the pro-alien faction, who disagree with Tarkin’s xenophobia and have Thrawn as their reluctant poster boy.  Then there’s the Sith loyalists, who see him as weak, and want the Sith running things – these are ruthlessly hunted by Tarkin’s own fanatical Emergents (which is ironic, seeing as how he hates and fears the Force).    Lastly, there is a ‘Lawful Neutral’ faction, under the reluctant Wulff Yularen, who believe that while the Empire could be a good thing, a paranoid and murderous Emperor is not. This faction is naturally the one that keeps its head down the most.

 

An attempt to destroy Tarkin’s hated weapon occurs at Yavin – it’s a disastrous failure and the Alliance’s first serious setback. Mercifully, the Death Star is later sabotaged from within, momentarily rendered incapable of firing.  It is now hated by most of the Imperials as well as the Alliance.  Tarkin frantically works to get it functioning again.  

 

The Alliance and Project Emergent – when the Jedi left for distant stars, they left their youngest with the Alliance, those who had not yet made Padawan. The Sith did the same with their young, entrusting them to Tarkin, knowing full well he would betray them.   The Alliance now had a small group of talented Force Sensitives, left to swing in the wind by the Jedi betrayers. Some of the Jedi – now known as Exiles – refused the Exodus, breaking ranks to remain in the galaxy. Some hid – Tarkin detested the Jedi and made a point of trying to wipe them out.  But a handful stayed true to the New Republic, training the next generation of Force-sensitives in a wholly new tradition.

 

This became the Emergent Project. Trained without the weapons of the Jedi betrayers, the Emergents grew up in the Alliance, nurtured as elite warriors and saviours of the New Republic.  The Alliance was not only their cause, but their family and their religion, even. Bonded as brothers, most grew up fanatically loyal and devoted to the ideals of the New Alliance.  They also were trained as soldiers, or engineers, or spies; their Force powers were something in addition to their role in serving the Alliance.  They worked together, or were sent to support other elite units like the Special Forces.   Due to the necessity and power of these rare Force-using agents, every single Alliance child who showed Force-sensitivity was enrolled in the Project, no exceptions.  While there were occasional mishaps, this was mostly successful, producing unique and powerful agents who were exceptionally faithful to their cause.  They were heroes to the Alliance, and hated targets to the Empire (Tarkin did not risk his own Emergents on the battlefield, using them as assassins or personal guard)

 

The Galactic Civil War now stands balanced precariously.   The Empire might deny it, but it is torn apart by civil war, the most powerful military force in history ground to a halt.  The Alliance is slowly gaining the upper hand. On paper, it should be no contest, but the Empire is stricken by its internal struggles.  However, the moment will soon pass – it the Death Star becomes operational again, or one of the Imperial factions gains control of the others, then it’s Game Over for the New Alliance. United, the Empire will win in short order, so the time to fight is now.

 

And then, on both sides, the Imperial and Alliance Emergents with Farsee begin to experience visions.  Their battle in the Far Rim won, the Sith and the Jedi will soon return.  And will demand their own positions of leadership back, something neither the Empire or the New Alliance will permit.  The Emergents relish showing the ‘betrayers’ of the Exodus how well they have trained and how much they have learned. 

 

(And somewhere, Luke Lars watches and waits to make sense of the chaos that is to come…)

 

So, that’s the game setting. Thanks for listening if you made it this far! It gives the players a bunch of factions and sub-factions to choose from, with everything to be won or lost and allies and enemies to be made.  The players have two groups, fringers and Alliance, but could easily find friends or enemies in every faction.  Some Imperials want peace and stability.  One group of Alliance SpecOps are definitely bad guys and violent terrorists – but the players must learn that the end does not justify the means.  Not all the Sith are evil; some simply embrace their emotions.  Not all the Jedi are arrogant and domineering, and some (like the future Jedi PCs) may want to make amends and help the Alliance. All the elements are still there,   but everything is different.

 

Surprisingly, thus far it has made almost no difference to the EoE group - they don’t care much who is Emperor – and little difference to the AoR team, though I expect that to change when the Jedi finally return.   

 

Anyway, I’ve gone on enough.  If anyone has their own alternant timelines or divergent campaigns, I’d be delighted to hear about them!


Edited by Maelora, 05 December 2013 - 04:47 PM.

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#3 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:25 AM

Sounds awesome, Maelora! A truly well thought out (if a little dark) setting shift. :) Be sure to keep us updated, nai? ;)


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#4 kaosoe

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:57 AM

If I may be crass. That's pretty ******* awesome!

 

Oh to be a player in your game.

 

The Emergents sound something like precursors to the Imperial Knights in the Legacy era, which is my favorite thing about those comics.

 

I'm tempted to steal this, but I doubt I can do it justice since it's not my brain child.


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#5 Desslok

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:02 AM

Rather than just being about me, I thought I’d do a thread for it, canvas your ideas and ask players and GMs about alternative or non-canon games.  Which could include things like the players being Black Sun or Empire or whatever, possibly?  Or Sith or Jedi or something?

 

I'm the other end of the spectrum - I think that interacting with The Big Stars is kind of fun and I love tweaking movie events through player actions to see where the ripples spread. I'll have to see if I can find my notes from 15 years ago, where one small change (The PCs saving Luke from Hoth before Han did) echoed all the way down the line to where Grand Admiral Thrawn came within an eye blink of completely eliminating the New Republic.It was actually a pretty fun "Lets see where this goes" campaign.

 

The other time we messed with movie continuity by our presence was during our Old Republic era Padawan game. We started playing in 1999 as soon as we got enough information to do justice to the setting and ran through 2005-ish (and it was pretty cool to see our game unfold as the new movies dropped). While we didn't directly change any events, our Jedi saw trouble coming and started building their own underground support network in case the storm broke. Weapons, resources, ships, stuff purloined from the front lines of the Clone Wars, and all manner of treason to build a nest egg for a dark and uncertain future.

 

Also, along the way - being that the Jedi are a pretty close knit group - they became friends with Obi-Wan (and by extension Anakin) so when Young Skywalker was having his meltdown of faith in episode III, and badly needed someone to be a shoulder to cry on (so to speak), they were able to step in and be the roll that Obi-Wan should have been when he was out killing Grievous.

 

Mind you, none of this stopped Palpatine's power grab and the game came to an end shortly thereafter so we never did get to see how a Vaderless Empire would have played out, but it was still fun to save the day (or at least part of the day).

 

Will our current EotE game impact on the movies? Probably not - we're pretty far away from the Rebellion and we're likely to remain that way. But, you never know. . . .



#6 Maelora

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:59 AM

Sounds awesome, Maelora! A truly well thought out (if a little dark) setting shift. :) Be sure to keep us updated, nai? ;)

 

Thanks, SS (or should that be TT?) :)

 

Actually, if anything, I thought it felt less dark.  Order 66 now has a single casualty. Anakin and Unibrow Boy are put down early before they cause any real damage. Bail Organa survives Alderaan. 

 

What's left is certainly more 'shades of grey', but the PCs are still the heroes, they're still fighting for the Alliance, and the underlying concepts of the original films  are very much in evidence. 



#7 Lord Zack

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

One idea I've had which is not non-Canon, but is certainly alternative, is going back to explore the ancient Republic. More specifically, the Pius Dea Era. It'd be pretty different since a lot of the technology of the movie eras has not been developed yet, such as blasters and combat shielding for starships. The Pius Dea is in many ways an equivalent to the Empire, but also has differences, such as it's theocratic nature. Of course I would have to create a lot, since very little is known about this era. It might be tricky maintaining the Star Wars feel as well and the era is so large I'd have to choose a specific subset of the era to run in.

 

I could play it in any of the games, as "Edge of the Republic", "Age of Renunciation" and I'd probably allow use of material from Force and Destiny to allow the characters to play Jedi if that game was released when I ran the campaign. I'm leaning towards running an "Edge of the Republic" game wherein the characters might be refugees from the Core, persecuted aliens, etc. trying to survive in uncivilized Wild Space, possibly having to deal with Republic attacks on the regions they are inhabiting.

 

Another campaign I am considering is one in which the PCs are exploring the Unknown Regions under the orders of Thrawn (not sure exactly when, and thus whether Thrawn would be Superior Captain, Vice Admiral or even Grand Admiral at this point). Not sure whether they would be part of the crew of a larger ship, or independent agents. Possibly allowing them to choose as part of their starting resources- they'd be able to choose between a shuttle, starfighters (or possibly Jumpmasters, since I'm not sure what the Empire would be able to provide as far as two-man hyperspace capable starfighters are concerned. Though other alternatives might be old Clone Wars era Republic Y-Wings from Imperial surplus.) or a base of operations, which in this case would be either an actual Imperial base, or a starship, possibly Thrawn flagship- the Admonitor, itself.


Edited by Lord Zack, 06 December 2013 - 12:26 PM.

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#8 Maelora

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

 

I'm the other end of the spectrum - I think that interacting with The Big Stars is kind of fun and I love tweaking movie events through player actions to see where the ripples spread. I'll have to see if I can find my notes from 15 years ago, where one small change (The PCs saving Luke from Hoth before Han did) echoed all the way down the line to where Grand Admiral Thrawn came within an eye blink of completely eliminating the New Republic.It was actually a pretty fun "Lets see where this goes" campaign.

 

That's the beauty of RPGs of course!

 

Which is why it shouldn't bother anyone what Disney does as far as the game is concerned. 

 

Good to see other people's ideas, anyway!



#9 Maelora

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

If I may be crass. That's pretty ******* awesome!

 

Oh to be a player in your game.

 

The Emergents sound something like precursors to the Imperial Knights in the Legacy era, which is my favorite thing about those comics.

 

I'm tempted to steal this, but I doubt I can do it justice since it's not my brain child.

 

Why yes, you can say that! :) Thanks!

 

To be honest, I knew nothing about the Imperial Knights but Chortles also mentioned them. Nice to see some ideas resonate!  I steal liberally from all manner of sources, so feel free to take what you want.  The SW galaxy is pretty big.  



#10 aramis

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 01:53 PM

 

 

I'm the other end of the spectrum - I think that interacting with The Big Stars is kind of fun and I love tweaking movie events through player actions to see where the ripples spread. I'll have to see if I can find my notes from 15 years ago, where one small change (The PCs saving Luke from Hoth before Han did) echoed all the way down the line to where Grand Admiral Thrawn came within an eye blink of completely eliminating the New Republic.It was actually a pretty fun "Lets see where this goes" campaign.

 

That's the beauty of RPGs of course!

 

Which is why it shouldn't bother anyone what Disney does as far as the game is concerned. 

 

Good to see other people's ideas, anyway!

 

The problem there is in finding players not corrupted by whatever Disney does. Much as how FASA-Trek was massively derided by Trek-Fans for no TNG materials. (That they then did some and lost their license over them is a sad corollary.)

 

Me, my divergences from film canon are many and minor.

 

  • Battles of Yaavin: there's an approach battle befotre the death star comes into view. Most of Yaavin's fighters fight this one, and take out most of the death star's fighter wings.
  • Lando takes over as Baron-Administrator on Cloud City about 3-4 BBY. Which means he's had time to become entrenched and beloved.
  • Lando is a rebel sympathizer from the get go. But can't quite bring himself to join until vader shows up. Chewie's rage prevents him from saving Han.
  • R2-D2, Chewbacca, and Yoda create the Alliance. Bail Organa is the front man, but Chewbacca is the real head at first. Chewie leaves for the front lines after his capture by the empire and rescue by Solo, turning things over to Organa and Organa.
  • Senator Jar Jar is head of ComPNOr. He falls to evil quite casually. 
  • Midiclorians don't exist in a scientifically measurable way; the measure works because the Jedi think it works. (They actually TK the device subconsciously.)
  • Palpatine is a clone grown in an Ysalmiri's influence. Hence his succeptability to the force.
  • Tarkin is dragged to his shuttle by order of Lord Vader. Tarkin later becomes Regent after endor. (A good villain is too good to lose)
  • Palpatine had no part in the founding of the Alliance, other than being an asinine ruler.
  • Vader has a dozen or more dark adepts he's trained. This is why he operates at a distance.
  • Obi-Wan rescuing Leia tips vader off that she's his missing child. Luke being strong in the force confuses him. It takes him a couple years to realize that he sired twins.

Otherwise, I try to preserve the timeline.



#11 Lord Zack

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:14 PM

Another campaign I've thought about is an "Edge of the Republic" campaign set before the Clone Wars. Not quite as radical as some possibilities, but Edge of the Empire does assume you are playing in the Rebellion era. Despite the common dislike of the prequels I rather like the "Rise of the Empire" era. There is a lot of room for adventure as the PCs try to make their way in the corrupt and failing Republic as well as the large swaths of the galaxy ruled or influenced by the Hutts.

 

Also, I'd probably rather run an Edge of the Empire campaign during the Dark Times rather than the Galactic Civil War. It seems slightly more interesting to set a campaign in an era where the Empire is just establishing its tyranny than where the Empire has nearly dominated all of known space. The PCs might have to deal with the Empire moving into territories they once felt were safe from it's oppression. Their underworld contacts might pack up and leave for more remote regions or the shrunken borders of Hutt Space. The Rebellion era is no less dynamic, but much of the action is focused on the struggle between the Alliance and the Empire.



#12 Chortles

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:14 PM

@ aramis: According to a certain work of Maelora's, midichlorians do exist in sentients in her setting and are scientifically measurable... there's just no consistent correlation -- much less causation -- between them and Force sensitivity, with some Force sensitives even having low midichlorian counts (that is, not just "low for Force sensitives" the way that Tionne Solusar was supposed to be in the EU lore).

 

Also, "being an asinine ruler" is closer to the the Emperor's treatment in IV and V; it's only in VI that we got Palpatine as a darksider, much less an obsessive.

 

@ Maelora: I'll note that the Imperial Knights however nominally owe allegiance to the light side of the Force over allegiance to the person of the Emperor, as an official tenet, which plays a role in the concluding issue of Legacy: War... whereas it always sounded to me like Project Emergent's adherents were closer to a sect that conflated "the light of the angels" with the Alliance.

 

... what? The only other word I had in mind for them was cult...  :ph34r:


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Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#13 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:18 PM

Interesting campaign idea.  Not entirely my thing, particularly how some of the movie characters were brushed aside, but to each their own.

 

As for the idea of running "alternative universe" campaigns, they can be a lot of fun.  Inspired by the Age of Apocalypse series from the 90's, I did my own "for want of a nail" campaign, based around "What if Luke died during the Battle of Yavin?"  He still got off that final shot that doomed the Death Star, but Vader was able to blast him out of the sky.  Left room for both movie iconics and the PCs of the prior campaign to appear in different roles, including a few Face-Heel and Heel-Face Turns.  I kept Vader around as he's such an iconic villain, but many of the other major roles were taken by other characters.  And the movies are ripe for "leaping off" points where things go differently.  One that I toyed with was "What if the PCs were the ones hired by Obi-Wan for passage to Alderaan?" but sadly that one never got off the ground.  In this case, Han would go on being a skilled smuggler, and Luke's role would likely be taken by a PC.

 

GM Chris had is own Alternate Universe campaign that spawned from the simple statement of "What if Anakin hadn't stopped Mace Windu from killing Sidious in RotS?"  It lead to a pretty rocking campaign, with Leia becoming the major villain and Luke leading a psuedo-Rebellion group.  I did my own take on that notion, using the initial adventure write-ups he did, but going in different directions at several points particularly for the later half.

 

I did a blog post a while back about the fun of using these types of campaigns, as they free up the GM to throw the player's expectations out the window and the EU junkies can simply be put into a tailspin because all the stuff they "know" has happened is no longer a sure thing.


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#14 Maelora

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

@Chortles said: According to a certain work of Maelora's, midichlorians do exist in sentients in her setting and are scientifically measurable... there's just no consistent correlation -- much less causation -- between them and Force sensitivity, with some Force sensitives even having low midichlorian counts (that is, not just "low for Force sensitives" the way that Tionne Solusar was supposed to be in the EU lore).

 

Ah, have you been reading my DA pages? ;)

 

Yes, I'm keeping that topic very vague.  Force-sensitivity might be in the blood, or have something to do with breeding with ancient species and bloodlines... But I also want to avoid Special Snowflake bloodlines, and have a Force that is more far-reaching, more in line with what Kenobi initially tells us about it. 

 

Our AoR group actually has an Emergent Scientist, something like a Mass Effect Sentinel, who has done some work on this:

 

Inyri also worked on Force theories, investigating the highly-controversial field of ‘midichlorians’.  Some believed that Force-sensitivity was in the genes, passed down along bloodlines who had once bred with the ancient Sith and other force-sensitive races. Others felt certain that Force powers were genetic, not spiritual in nature, and the race to discover the truth consumed Alliance and Imperial scientists alike.  Exploration of the unknown workings of the brain were the primary area of study, but the existence (or otherwise) of ‘midichlorians’ was also a popular and controversial field.  It was discovered there were microorganisms in the blood of all sentient species, and some claimed they could be measured in accordance to that individual’s prowess in the Force.  

 

Unfortunately, the whole line of research proved inconclusive, as it had done in the days of the Old Republic. While these supposedly-benevolent parasites existed, there was no overall conclusion as to whether they had any correlation with the Force. Certainly, some sensitives manifested high counts of these organisms, yet others with a strong connection to the Force had normal or even low mitochondrial counts.  Like the Jedi scientists before her, Inyri had to present inconclusive findings – there was no direct scientific link that gave clear results in all cases.  In particular, there was absolutely no way to be certain if any given individual would develop Force-sensitivity in later life - something the Empire was very keen to discover.  To this day, ‘midichlorians’ are dismissed as quackery, an ill-fated attempt to  impose biological functions to the spiritual energy that surrounds and binds all living things.  

 

In other words, they exist, but the science is poorly-understood and largely dismissed. Though part of me liked the idea of Emperor Tarkin having Herod-style purges of newborns as he tries to stamp out this 'genetic flaw in humanity'... 

 

 

 

>whereas it always sounded to me like Project Emergent's adherents were closer to a sect that conflated "the light of the angels" with the Alliance. ... what? The only other word I had in mind for them was cult...  :ph34r:

 

Yes, definitely.  Something of a flipside to Tarkin's creepy Dark Side acolytes.  But even within the Emergents, there are differences.  To Inyri, it's a family and a brotherhood/sisterhood.  To Jaleela, it's her religion and her reason for living (mainly because the former joined later in life, the latter has been raised in these traditions since she was a young child...).


Edited by Maelora, 06 December 2013 - 06:42 PM.


#15 Maelora

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

I did a blog post a while back about the fun of using these types of campaigns, as they free up the GM to throw the player's expectations out the window and the EU junkies can simply be put into a tailspin because all the stuff they "know" has happened is no longer a sure thing.

 

Yes, definitely, and I enjoyed your blog take on this.    One of my 'design briefs' was to provide a new take on familiar material.  I also wished to use the best elements of the EU without being beholden to the vast volume of that material. 

 

Some of my players know much more about the lore than me, and this was one way of keeping things fresh for them. 


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#16 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

Thanks, SS (or should that be TT?) :)

 

Actually, if anything, I thought it felt less dark.  Order 66 now has a single casualty. Anakin and Unibrow Boy are put down early before they cause any real damage. Bail Organa survives Alderaan. 

 

What's left is certainly more 'shades of grey', but the PCs are still the heroes, they're still fighting for the Alliance, and the underlying concepts of the original films  are very much in evidence. 

 

 

It can be either or for yourself, lass. :)

 

I did enjoy your campaign write-up. Would be good to hear more about it. :D


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#17 Desslok

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:12 PM

Okay, I found my old notes. Here is the best "what if" take my game ever did:

 

The time, just before the battle of Hoth. Luke and Han out on patrol, Luke gets clobbered by a Wampa and dragged off to the lair. Several hours later, everyone figures out that Luke is missing and goes into a panic.

Enter into this, my group. More importantly Jared the Jedi (although he would punch you for calling him that. He was very much not a Jedi). With the powers of the Force in your corner, finding a person lost in the snow is pretty easy, and so they are able to rescue Luke long before nightfall shuts the base down. Luke is battered, but overall in pretty good shape. Now instead of spending all night on the ice fields in a small tent, Han gets the Falcon up and running.

The next morning, Han now can depart long before Echo base is locked down to departing ships - meaning he and his Wookiee friend are long gone when the Probot is discovered and put out of commission.

The Battle of Hoth goes just about the same as depicted in the movie, with ONE notable exception. Fleeing to the last transport, Princess Leia is cut off from her transport by the cave in - and suddenly has nowhere else to go. She falls into the clutches of the Evil Lord Darth Vader.
 
Luke goes to Dagobah and undergoes the training from Yoda as depicted in the film. Vader, on the other hand, has the perfect opportunity to set whatever trap he wants wherever he wants. Since Cloud City is close, I see no reason why he wouldn't use that facility - although now he has all the time in the world to control the location, remove random elements from the scene and otherwise set his trap exactly how he pleases.

Once the characters got back to the Rebel fleet, they discover that Leia did not make it off, and fell into the Empire's hands. Time to saddle up and mount a rescue mission!

Since players will be players, Leia was rescued from Vader's clutches - but the damage has been done. Luke, not knowing that she's already free, walks right into Vader's trap. With no Lando to run interference and the Falcon to save him, with the "I'm your father" bombshell, Luke's back is up against the wall, and he joins his Father.

Exit Luke, Jedi in training, enter Supreme Commander Skywalker.

Yoda, seeing his well laid plans go up in smoke, pulls his ace in the hole. He gets Jared to bring the Princess to Dagobah for training. Realizing that he's working with a short deadline gives the accelerated training course and passes the ball to Jared to finish what he had begun before becoming one with the Force.

Meanwhile, things are afoot in the Empire. Vader completes Luke's training and with their combined strength they kill Palpatine and being order to the galaxy. Since everything was already in in place and the pieces were motion, Skywalker and Vader proceed with the Death Star trap to eliminate the rebellion once and for all.

Things go much the same way at the battle of Endor. Since they need 2 new generals, and since the characters have been star players of the rebellion for some time now, they get the jobs of leading the fighter attack and the ground assault.

The battle more or less played out the same - my commando team went right to the bunker and tried to sneak their way in until someone noticed they weren't imperials and just started shooting up the place. Leia goes to try and get Luke back from the dark side (dragging Jared along with her). Vader tries to turn Leia also, but when it becomes obvious that she wont turn, he has Luke kill her. Luke, of course, refused - and thanks to wicked cool role playing on the light side, came back. The children of Skywalker (and Jared) kill Vader, the Death Star is destroyed, the Empire is defeated, and everyone lives happily ever after...

Or do they?

So, we have a Leia without a Han. meaning Prince Isoder now has a clear window of opportunity to marry Leia, forming a strong alliance between Hapes and the New Republic. Luke, having walked through fire much sooner than he did in the comics, open his Jedi Academy much sooner than he did in the Real Star Wars universe - but since the Jedi  Academy trilogy was crap, we wound up ignoring just about all of it.

Then Thrawn shows up, and suddenly things get real interesting. There are no Jacen/Jaina twins means that the motivation to persuade C'both to Thrawn's side wouldn't work. But that's okay, since he has a MUCH better deal on the table - my groups Dark Jedi nemesis!

And this is the wonderful part. At a local convention one lazy Sunday morning (since Sunday morning at Cons were dead, dead, dead)  I got a chance to talk to Tim Zhan for well over an hour during one of his book signings. I asked him, "So, if Thrawn had access to a sane Dark Jedi and all these neat toys and wasn't under the constraints of 'Good guys must win at the end of the book', how do you think it would have gone down. . . .?"

Yes, the end of my campaign was ghost written by Timothy Zhan.

No assassination attempts on Leia means that the Nogri never get the chance to make the Lady Vader Connection. They never find out they've been betrayed by the Empire. That means that while the battle at Bilbringi goes poorly for the Empire, they don't lose Thrawn. The Empire goes on to win the battle- and tip the balance of power once again.

Final result - near imperial victory

Now, of course I was able to spin the final battles against Thrawn to completely spotlight my characters. There was an ongoing effort to turn the Dark Jedi Nemesis back to the light by his daughter, Thrawn backstabs everyone, a Planet Eater is racing towards Courscant and the good guys get to use a Wave Motion Gun in one last all-or-nothing gamble to stop the Empire. It was, in short, pretty god damned epic - and all from one little incident on Hoth. . . .


Edited by Desslok, 06 December 2013 - 08:17 PM.


#18 Desslok

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:21 PM

That's the beauty of RPGs of course!

 

Which is why it shouldn't bother anyone what Disney does as far as the game is concerned. 

 

Good to see other people's ideas, anyway!

 

 

 

But. . . but. . . Space Nazis!

 

:)

 

One that I toyed with was "What if the PCs were the ones hired by Obi-Wan for passage to Alderaan?" but sadly that one never got off the ground.

 

Okay, that sounds kind of fun. I'm not sure where I would go with a game like that, but it sounds like a blast!



#19 Chortles

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 09:59 PM

Ah, have you been reading my DA pages? ;)

... the power of Google compels you!

In other words, they exist, but the science is poorly-understood and largely dismissed. Though part of me liked the idea of Emperor Tarkin having Herod-style purges of newborns as he tries to stamp out this 'genetic flaw in humanity'...

Pffft, that'd stamp itself out as soon as someone found them in seemingly all humans sampled... though maybe that's just me interpreting things as "all members of all sentient species"...

Yes, definitely.  Something of a flipside to Tarkin's creepy Dark Side acolytes.  But even within the Emergents, there are differences.  To Inyri, it's a family and a brotherhood/sisterhood.  To Jaleela, it's her religion and her reason for living (mainly because the former joined later in life, the latter has been raised in these traditions since she was a young child...).

Hahaha, whereas the difference I saw was that Mon Mothma can safely trust the Alliance's Emergents not to try and "ascend her to godhood" at the expense of her corporeal form... Tarkin, not so much.

 

Oh, and check your inbox.


 

Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#20 RogueCorona

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:50 AM

Alternate Clone wars timeline

 

Overview=Events follow the prequel timeline until Palpatine is killed by Mace Windu, and a small team of Jedi PCs, with Anakin arriving only after Palpatine is dead. This sets in motion a chain of events which leads to the Republic splitting into the Galactic Republic led by Bail Organa, and the Republic in Exile led by Wilhuff Tarkin after the two face off in an election to replace Palpatine as Supreme Chancellor. The Confederacy of Independent Systems uses the time granted them the Republic’s splintering to find new military and political leadership and to rebuild their forces.

 

After the Second Battle of Coruscant both Republic factions spend roughly 2 years trying to gain the allegiance of neutral worlds or worlds loyal to the opposing faction via diplomatic efforts . Those efforts end and open warfare begins when a Galactic Republic invasion fleet is repelled by Republic in Exile forces at Corulag. Confederacy forces take advantage of the chaos to liberate many of the Core Worlds that they had been driven from before the First Battle of Coruscant. By the middle of the second year of the fighting most battles are fought over minor worlds as no side can afford to expose their major worlds to launch a full assault at another faction’s vital holdings for fear of the third faction striking while their fleets are out of position.

 

Two years later the Mandalorians under new leadership launch a massive offensive against all other factions. For a time it seems that the Mandalorians will overrun the galaxy but after securing the area around their home sector they stop seizing new territory but continually launch raids against all factions focusing on any which seem to be gaining an advantage over the others. The intelligence organizations of the various factions eventually reach the conclusion that rather than seeking to win the war the current Mandalorian leadership is attempting to keep it going eternally so the Mandalorian people will always have access to worthy battles

 

Military notes=Most ship, starfighter, and ground vehicle or speeder models are used by multiple factions via capture, secret purchase, defection or in the case of the two Republic factions belonging to their forces prior to the formation of the Republic in Exile. The bulk of clone forces are used by the Galactic Republic but the Republic in Exile has a few well hidden cloning centers. All common unshielded fighter models have been retrofit with shields, or were designed with them in our timeline. Also all factions have access to modern Interdictor technology and a number of designs entered production far earlier than they did in the main canon/EU setting. For examples in 8 ABC (After Battle of Coruscant, 11 BBY in the main Star Wars timeline) Imperator-II (Imperial-II in the main timeline) class Star Destroyers, MC90 class Star Cruisers, T-65 X-Wings, B-Wings, and shield equipped TIE Interceptor prototypes were all undergoing field testing. We converted pretty much every ship we could find which felt right for the era from D6, D20, or the video/computer games to Saga, drew up stats for a number of ships mentioned in the EU from this era or the Clone Wars which didn’t have any, and created a number of designs or variants of designs unique to our timeline. . By the late days of the first year of the Galactic Republic/Republic in Exile conflict both Republic factions and the CIS had launched officially sanctioned Privateer programs and agreed to treat captured Privateers as POWs. This has led to many major shipwrights designing special variants of existing classes, or all new classes of warship for their faction’s privateers.

 

 

Alderaan Royal Engineers, the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and Kaut Drive Yards and its subsidiaries are the major Galactic Republic capital ship producers, and each has a fighter and transport design division with Corellia’s well known skill at transport production unabated by the expansion of their capital ship line. Incom and Koensayr are also major Starfighter producers for the Republic’s forces while many Republic allied system and Sector forces near Naboo use fighters manufactured by the Theed Space Vessel Engineering Corporation.

 

For the Republic in Exile Rendili StarDrive and the  Tapani Starship Cooperative were its primary capital ship focused shipwrights in the beginning but they were soon joined by the Mon Calamari Shipyards with Loronar Corporation and the Bothan shipyards focusing on frigates and small to midsized cruisers. Republic Sienar Systems produces a wide range of starfighters and capital ships for the RIE forces, while FreiTek, Inc., formed by a group of disgruntled Incom personnel early in the war,  and  Slayn & Korpil[ focus on fighter development. Cygnus Spaceworks designs fighters and small transports for the RIE while Ghtroc Industries focuses on all kinds of transports but has recently begun construction of small capital ships for the RIE Independent Militia Fleet privateer program.

 

The Confederacy of Independent systems uses TransGalMeg Industries, whose homeworld joined the Confederacy at the beginning of the split between the Galactic Republic and the Republic in Exile for producing everything from starfighters to transports and battlecruisers, and recently acquired Gallofree Yards, Inc produces a variety of transports for the CIS Worlds. SubPro formally joined the CIS not long after the Battle of Coruscant and concentrates on fighter production. Also Sorosuub has expanded their support of the CIS to include producing a number of new starfighter, transport, and capital ship models along with ground vehicles and blasters. Most companies that supported the CIS in the early stages of the war, like Hoersch-Kessel Driveworks Inc, continue to produce weapons and ships for them.

 

MandalMotors produces most of the equipment needed by the Mandalorian clans though large stockpiles of captured gear are widely used. Companies based on independent worlds or worlds neutral in the conflicts between the Republics and the CIS like Damorian Manufacturing Corporation, Joraan Drive Systems, and Taggeco have become major sources of military grade hardware for independent and neutral worlds or mercenary outfits which has also led to their designs being widely used by pirates, some privateers, and criminal groups.

 

Characterization changes=While most canon characters stay true to the personalities displayed in their appearances Tarkin’s has changed drastically. As a rebel leader he can’t afford to use or display the rule by fear tactics, human supremacist or slavery condoning traits he could under the Galactic Empire and a number of non-humans (Most notably Admiral Ackbar) hold high ranking positions in his government and forces

 

Status of Major characters (Those not mentioned are largely like they were in the main timeline. Senators are senators, Jedi are Jedi, and military officers are military officers though their allegiances could be different.)

 

Bail Organa=Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. He has removed many of the Emergency powers granted to his office during the Palpatine Administration but term limits have not been reinstated. A strong supporter of the traditional independence of the Jedi Order he personally pardoned Mace Windu for Palpatine’s death after evidence of some of Palpatine’s criminal activities were discovered.

 

Padme Amidala =Continues to serve as senator of the Galactic Republic controlled worlds in her home sector and largely raises her two children while her husband is at war.

 

Anakin Skywalker=General GAR, and former Jedi. Commander of the Republic’s first independent Battlegroup.

 

Wullf Yularen=Admiral and commander of the RIE’s Fourth Roving Fleet. He has fought numerous battles against forces led by Generals Anakin Skywalker, and ObiWan Kenobi but none have been conclusive.

 

Garm bel Iblis=Senator of the Galactic Republic allied worlds in the Corellia Sector, one of the major supporters of the Republic’s Citizen’s Battlefleet privateer program, often recommending that officers whom he feels would do better in the program then in the military resign their commissions, and equipping them with ships to start their new careers if they accept the advice.

 

Wilhuff Tarkin=Chancellor in exile, commanding Admiral of the RIE Navy and the RIE Navy’s Command Fleet. He initially believed that the Jedi Order needed to be kept under stricter control by the government, that Palpatine should have been arrested rather than executed, and that claims of Palpatine killing four Jedi Masters were ludicrious. He ran on a platform of maintaining the Chancellor’s emergency powers as an unpleasant necessity for security and firmer restrictions on the Jedi Order in the election against Bail Organa, and later claimed that the Jedi were secretly puppet masters of the Republic after narrowly losing the election (by less than three percent.) forming the Republic in Exile to combat their control

 

Admiral Ackbar=Admiral and commander of the RIE’s Fifth Roving Fleet, its believed that he will be appointed Commanding Admiral of the RIE Navy if Tarkin dies or retires.

 

Jar Jar Binks=Dead. Killed when his shuttle was ambushed by fighters controlled by the pro-RIE faction in the ongoing civil war on Naboo. (The pro RIE faction mainly launches hit and run raids like the one that killed JarJar lacking the support to seize the planet.)

 

Boba Fett=Dead killed while attempting to assassinate Bail Organa. (Final session of our first campaign set after Palpatine’s death.)

 

(Proposed for appearances if we do later campaigns in this setting. We would be jumping forward 7 to 10 years.)

 

Han Solo=Leader of a Republic’s Citizen’s Battlefleet force. It started with his personal  YU-410 light freighter  and the Millennium Falcon, a Corona class Armed Frigate, and a Maruader-A class Patrol Corvette the last three being ships he won in a high stakes Sabbac tournament, the first two from Lando Calrissian, and the third from Dash Rendar. He used the rest of his winnings, after paying back the loan he took to enter the tournament, to purchase fighters and supplies for his new command than launched a series of attacks on RIE and CIS merchant traffic. Since then his fleet has expanded to include a second more modern frigate, two additional corvettes, and a bulk freighter converted to a carrier for a ragtag wing of fighters.

 

Chewbacca=We’re debating having him command an independent Republic’s Citizen’s Battlefleet ship, having him command one of Han’s ships, or having him serve as the chief engineer for Han’s fleet and flagship.

 

Lando Calrissian=A commander in the CIS’s Citizen’s Patrol Group privateer force. He lost his first command and his personal transport to Han Solo in a Sabbac game, and swore revenge after Han’s first raid devastated a shipping firm he owned stock in. He sold most of his remaining possessions and took out a loan from the Citizen’s Patrol Group’s financial department to raise the money to buy a captured Alderaanian War Frigate at a prize auction then launched a series of assaults on Galactic Republic interests. Between his profits from raiding, and the occasional gambling tournament he has since paid of his loan to the CPG and expanded his fleet to a total of four frigates from a variety of sources. He still actively hunts Solo seeking vengeance. 

 

Dash Rendar=Commodore of an RIE Independent Militia Fleet task force. Like Lando Calrissian he lost a ship to Han Solo in a card game. Unlike Calrissian he accepted the loss as the fortunes of gambling than purchased a new Corvette returning his force to a strength of one light cruiser, two frigates, and one corvette plus support craft then returned to raiding along the Perlemian Trade Route.

If anyone has questions about the positions of movie or EU characters not listed here please feel free to ask, and if we’ve decided what their roles are in this timeline I’ll add them






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