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Superunknown

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  1. Take a look at West End Games' "Mission to Lianna" for some ideas regarding cracking into a secure facility and "Strike Force Shantipole" if you'd like to do some space encounters beforehand. If you set this final encounter on a ship or anywhere that isn't the surface of a planet, "Starfall" might give you some good ideas for an escape challenge. FFG's "Takeover at Whisper Base" is good at teaching the game to new players and not too much else, but it does have a pretty good description of what sort of structures you could find at an Imperial base and how they're connected to each other. I used this template to create a remote mountain outpost on Space Bosnia where my players went, coincidentally, to investigate the dark trooper project. If you want to talk improvisation, I would start by making a list of features players could expect to find at the base and in the general environs. Then draw an abstract map of the base in the "flow chart" style to illustrate where different features are in relation to each other and how they're connected. This is a great reference to use during play, and if you keep everything spread out enough, you can make notes for yourself as to what kind of impediments the players will run into when they attempt to access certain areas. Then rough out some basic encounters that could happen, from technical and social challenges to combat. Good encounters will play to the PCs' strengths, as well as their weaknesses- "So you can do this the sneaky way, or you could do it the way that fulfills your Duty." Last, a time-table for Imperial response would be a good thing to have on hand as well, if and when things begin to go pear-shaped for the players. It's an easy way of keeping track of how much the opposition knows about the situation, and a good place to make notes when Despair rolls come up and no-one can think of what to do with them right away.
  2. Hello. I'm set to GM a new game at some point in the dim future and am getting a bit of ground-work out of the way. My initial "Session 0" idea has been pitched to the group and they like it, so here's the plan: we're going to do a Fate-style game creation where we rough out our Player Characters as well as some details about the setting- the "home" planet, some settings, organisations, and a few friendly and unfriendly NPCs. (With the goal of building everything custom for the players and giving them the kind of game they want to play- it also saves a bit of work on my end.) I plan to use the "crossing paths" method so there's some initial connections between Player Characters. (Because I'm tired of that initial "you guys are in a bar, and..." situation; it's so awkward.) Once we're done with this, we'll do a more formal character creation. However, I would love to do some short role-playing either just before or just after SWRPG character creation to give each player a chance to do their "Call to Action" scene. (Order 66 mentioned: "show The Farm" once, many episodes ago.) The idea is to push the new characters down the gauntlet and hope that the Drama informs Character and encourages some ideas that might not have come up otherwise. Has anyone surprised their players by putting them on the spot like this? How did you accomplish it and how well (or not so well) did it work? Did you do short scenes with two or three players or give everyone their own individual scene? Do you have any other interesting tips for early-game creation and drama?
  3. Don't be too afraid to split the party. It sounds like you want to keep your options open, so there's no reason you can't have a few PCs in fighters and a few on the ground. The only real problem is that there's a limit to how many combat turns can pass before players begin to tire, so I would suggest nailing that down first and then structuring the combat around it. Once you've got a good idea how many turns it will take to complete the main objective, you can subdivide your timeline with smaller set-pieces. For instance, they make a mad dash through the shield on turn one, do a short atmospheric chase on turn two, execute a hasty landing or jump out of a moving vehicle on turn three, witness the arrival of the Death Star on turn four, and take cover on turn six, at at which point it fires. If you want to, give the Death Star a slot in the initiative order. (Probably at the very end, and only as a symbolic action to heighten the drama.) If the PCs split into two groups on the ground and in the air, you can keep them on the same page with complications: maybe there's a ground emplacement that needs to be taken care of because it's causing problems for the fighters- then a drop-ship that would threaten the ground team shows up, etc. As for a main objective, maybe they don't have one when the combat begins- if you've got a PC who's more of a commander or tactician type, let them use a skill roll to evaluate the situation. If I could make a recommendation, it seems plausible that a lesser Imperial commander would figure out what the rebels were up to and try to damage the communications array before anything (whatever it is) could be sent to the fleet. Remember that deleted scene where a TIE hazards Jyn when she's up on that gantry? Well, good luck. Hope everyone has fun.
  4. Oh hey! Just concluded a campaign here myself and have another one in the works. However, I'm part of a regular group and we're doing a different game right now, so it is not likely to begin until sometime in the middle of next year. However, I can keep you [two?] posted if you're interested. Alternatively, it might be worth your while to ask around at I'm Board on the West side, because some RPG groups do meet there from time to time.
  5. Is it okay to agree and disagree on this one? The Force Awakens felt very narrow to me, but I feel that narrowness was the key to keeping the story focused and well-paced. So I agree with you, but I feel that a less-fleshed-out setting furthers my goals as a GM by giving me just enough limitations while leaving plenty of room to improvise. That said, I can't help but be a bit interested in running a "Cold War" game in this setting, or at least during the interim. I kind of like the idea that the war in this setting is being fought with scraps, over scraps, (although Starkiller was a pretty big scrap) and that two gigantic galaxy-spanning conflicts earned merely 30 years of relative peace. There's a lot of potential to play with unresolved issues, or one could draw inspiration from real-world history. ("The World Was Going Our Way" has been on my reading list for quite some time, and could be a potentially invaluable resource for planning a game in the post-OT period. My next game is going to include some fighter squadron stuff and Jedi stuff, and although the group seems to have its heart set on the pre-Empire Strikes Back period, I'll at least float the idea. A military (or quasi-military) unit attempting to justify its existence in peacetime while being pulled in different directions by authority figures with differing goals, all while trying to help a couple of its members learn to be wizards could be pretty fun. Add in that classic cold war paranoia and its accompanying surveillance regime and you could have a lot of varied things to do.
  6. Nice- I tired to run something like this, but we didn't get much further than the Tak Base investigation and a subsequent archive raid. The bones of your encounter sound pretty good- however, having the narrative progress of an encounter dependent on players voluntarily spending all their strain sounds like a tough order. (But I don't know your players- maybe they tend to play things close to the edge? In my own experience, making personal strain a major consequence has been exceedingly difficult, and I've mostly used it as a means of adding narrative teeth to an encounter.) You make it pretty clear that you'd like to cause the players to be stuck someplace away from their objective with a lot of questions about what caused them to be in this situation, so here's what I might suggest: -Make landing on the planet the goal of the first encounter and focus more on the chase aspect. This should lend that encounter a frantic single-mindedness, and hopefully the players won't feel quite as badly about landing a damaged ship away from their initial target. -Your pilot would probably like some obstacles to fly through. Take a look at the "Junkyard Juke" encounter in Beyond the Rim if you need some inspiration; pick 3 to 5 good ones and re-skin them to fit. (This will also help to add some more damage to the ship over time.) The gunner(s?) would probably be happy for an opportunity to shoot at the opposition, if not score some kills. If you've got a computer specialist or observer, you can keep them busy with navigation or overwatch, because everyone likes getting boost dice. If they want to try and get a look at what's shooting the ship, that's an option, too. Then they'll at least get some kind of useful information leading into the investigation. -Dark troopers are pretty maneuverable, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them to go for components hits. That way, you get to dictate how the ship takes damage. (If you're lucky, the mechanic will try taking parts from other systems to repair the damaged ones.) -The cockpit fire and other complications are great set-pieces. Don't be afraid to upgrade players' checks as the encounter progresses- red dice can and should appear when things get dangerous. If a fire breaks out or the ship needs to make an emergency landing because someone rolled a despair, they'll hopefully feel less badly about it. (And/or won't notice that you'd planned all this from the beginning.) -A hard landing is a great time for a Resilience or fear check. Anyone who has "Brace" will feel really cool. -Some kind of time limit on the salvage/jungle encounter would be helpful, just to keep things moving. Maybe they're supposed to report in at a certain time, after which they will be presumed captured or dead and left behind. If you want to keep that aspect of immediacy going, it helps if the players don't have time to take much more than a short rest. This also limits their options going forward, but only in a way that enhances the narrative. Hope that was at least close to what you were looking for. Good luck!
  7. The players in my recently-concluded tramp steamer campaign flew an oddly-paired Sorosuub luxury yacht and Jumpmaster 3000. The yacht picked up some modifications, including a light turret, bacta tank, amenities, (why wouldn't you?) and a tractor beam. The group's dedicated [Mon Calimari] pilot found an abandoned Y-Wing which he repaired and modified for underwater use. The group also managed to capture an unnamed stealth ship from a criminal syndicate and I had to conjure up some stats for it on the quick. (It's a long story, but they ended up doing some extravehicular nonsense in hyperspace to achieve this and almost died.) All these ships and their modifications were used to great effect and it was a lot of fun. (Although the stealth ship was mostly used for narrative purposes- it wasn't too useful to them.) In the next campaign, we're going for a squadron/commando thing, and I'd like to start low and keep everyone hungry initially- see how many weird and varied fighters they can collect, and what interesting ways they come up with for acquiring them.
  8. Oh, good old Beyond the Rim. This one has a lot of riffable material for players and GMs alike. This was the first big adventure my group did; and remarkably, I had to change very little. My players were the crew of a couple small tramp freighters and were already pretty adventure-minded. One of them wanted to get into business, and another was working to bring down an evil Rodian clan. My advice would be to tie in player obligations and motivations as much as possible, and drop some threads to any future plots you may have planned. The beauty of Beyond the Rim as a whole is that it's not dependent on anything playing out in a specific way, from its smaller details to its outcome. (The only partial exception is the Blockade Bandit set-piece, which works best if the players decide to hold up their end of the bargain with IsoTech.) Put as much character into IsoTech staff as possible- I gave Shira a fair amount of screen-time and made her sort of a Watson to Reom's Holmes. Norta is a good character to make use of, also- my players grew quite fond of him. (I recommend giving him a crazy New Zealand accent.) Also, make sure to lower the difficulty of negotiating with Rel Harsol if your players have put effort into mounting an honest rescue. IsoTech's deal is not a bad one. Last, definitely give your players an opportunity to recover some of the treasure from the Sa Nalaor. It can cause immense logistical problems for them if they decide to do it right away, which is fun. It can also make for a fun side adventure if they come back for it later, especially since the Yiyar clan knows about it now. So, one of the players was really interested in the sort of business IsoTech was doing, so the party as a whole got pretty involved with the company and still are as the campaign draws to a close. The other player's Rodian nemeses wer a stand-in for the Yiyar- they got a lot of screen time and became EVERYONE'S Nemeses. Rogue One put Kyle Katarn out of the job, so I dropped him in as an ISB deputy. He survived Cholganna and Raxus Prime and has since became the players' own Agent Kallus. I had plans to do Jewel of Yavin sometime later, so Arend Shen was introduced at The Wheel and gave the players a side mission to recover some Jedi artefacts from the Sa Nalaor- gave me a chance to use some of the hazards written up for the stern section. (Afterward, Shen has been a source of additional dungeon crawls any time we needed a change of pace or theme.) I also did an encounter with an abandoned salvager scout ship- it happened very early in the Cholganna portion of the adventure and was only meant to give a player a Y-Wing to sink some money into, but the players ran with the idea and started preparing to deal with another rival party or some additional unknown group- that was pretty fun. That should at least give you some ideas. Have fun!
  9. YES. That was it, thank you. Now how do I embed a beer in a private message? You deserve one.
  10. Ha, good old Crate of Krayts. Unfortunately, I've already done a modified version of that. Thanks for the help, though.
  11. Okay, so I write down a lot of notes when something interesting comes up here. Sometimes I forget where they were written down. This is a problem. Then I can't find the original post. A while back, one of the old d20 adventures was recommended to me as a good point to "settle old debts at the close of a scum-and-villainy campaign or for an EoE->AoR transition." It involved a job against a major criminal organisation at the behest of a different major criminal organisation. I think it ended with a pretty fun shoot-out and the complete downfall of one of the criminal empires. Does this ring any bells for anyone? Or would you happen to have any other suggestions? The current campaign I'm running is winding up pretty soon and I'm looking to tie up part of this way. (Shutting down a criminal empire for good.) It wouldn't be much trouble to just write the whole thing from scratch, but that one adventure module came very highly recommended.
  12. So if there MUST be a Kenobi film, how about one that takes place roughly around Attack of the Clones? My favourite bit of the Clone Wars cartoon was that three-part arc where Kenobi does his undercover investigation.* A film that executes that concept in full-on Film Noir style would be great. I'd love to see a movie where Kenobi dives head-first into a web of lies and deceit in the seedy underbelly of Coruscant (or elsewhere) on the tail of some shadowy villain, with only his dubious underground contacts for back-up. Bonus points if he relies mostly his wit and a few force abilities and hardly ever takes his sword out. Even more bonus points if they get someone like Park Chan-Wook to direct it. Failing that, seeing something that borrows a lot from classic samurai films would be fine, too. *Edit: Now that I think of it, that might be the only part of Clone Wars that I even remember anymore.
  13. Up to a certain point, I would agree. Yes, it would be nice to keep things simple. However, this is a kids' cartoon we're talking about- it would be unfair to expect it to completely avoid typical Saturday Morning wackiness. (Even if the show kind of pretends to be for us adults.) The Inquisitors are an interesting point, though- I feel they served a dual purpose. Sure, the kids were going to want some evil wizards to fight the good guys. You even get that nice parallel to underdog sports movies where Team-Obviously-Bad-Guys have the benefits of wealthy backers and "cool" toys. (Which ultimately turn out to be more of a hindrance than a benefit- guess they should've spent more time perfecting their Force Jump. (TM) ) Segueing into: The Inquisitors are a nice bridge from the Prequel era into the Classic era. They are adherents to the bombastic style of the old age, and when they don't even manage to survive into the third season, those traditions die with them. You may notice how the portrayal of the force tended to skew more toward spooky mysticism in the later seasons. Although there were a few missteps along the way, I feel Rebels did a pretty good job including the various sub-sectors of Star Wars mythology and treating them respectfully.
  14. Great suggestions. They help to reinforce that concept of Obligation being that lingering trouble that players will do really stupid things in order to be rid of. Here's a couple other fun things you can do: -Plan in advance ways that Obligation could come into play in upcoming encounters, even if it doesn't roll. Then put it into play anyway. Give them a tantalizing opportunity to reduce this or that obligation while they're in the middle of something else that they already find important. -Along those lines, think of ways you could use a player's individual Obligation to drive a wedge between other players' Obligations and Motivations. There is no easier way to create narrative tension, because the tension comes from the players when they try to decide what's more important. (As an example, say your group has infiltrated the lair of a Nemesis with the goal of destroying them once and for all, and they're on a tight schedule. BUT the Nemesis has been working on a project to create something and it looks like they've run into a creative block. When Mr. Ultimate Device takes an interest in the schematics, have him roll an associated knowledge check. The difficulty is one. That could be fun.)
  15. This is always a good thing to remember, since it's one of a GM's lesser duties to give players an excuse to use those things they spent experience upon. Seems to be a good strategy to forget who has those sorts of talents, because people are smart and they know when you're pandering to them. I like to add setback dice as part of each session's sliding difficulty curve, but sometimes it's easy to forget to do that. (However, apparently it's even harder for me to remember to add adversary upgrades even though I write notations in RED CAPITALS at the tops of my NPC cards.) Maybe you'll have an easier time. Good luck!
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