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Castlecruncher

"It's not like we HAVE to help the Rebellion..."

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*bangs head on table*

This is an issue coming up fast in my game. My players wish to go about the galaxy in order to purchase supplies in their down time. I admit, it has to do with me allowing such activities early on, but now I have decided to play it a bit more realistic.

The issue itself came up during a modified version of Beyond the Rim (I changed it so IsoTech was a corporation that worked for the Rebellion). One of my players casually mentioned that when this was over, he wanted to go to Coruscant to pick up some goods. I replied that this would be difficult, as it's now called Imperial Center for a reason, and he decided to go to Corellia instead, or maybe some other Core Worlds planet.

Now, it is possible that others play this differently than I do, but I prefer to keep the adventure continuous. There aren't really breaks in between adventures, and if they want supplies during an intermission, we normally will act it out, in order to take the necessary checks in concurrence with their abilities. Combine this with the idea that Rebellion will have them working near constantly in this priority sector, and their is no chance to get to Coruscant while with the Rebellion.

This is where I actually get to the issue. What if they quit?

I keep the back up plan that the Rebellion couldn't have run away thugs in the galaxy knowing all their secrets, and that they'd threaten them with death (this isn't sunshine and happiness team, it's the gritty rebellion against a powerful nation; they can't have their secrets at threat). But this has it's own downfall: if this is the case, you can't just let the PCs go after such an incident.

You COULD just stick 'em with a bodyguard to keep them in check, but if they wanted to quit, they would have an easier job of killing one guard than an entire base, and it just wouldn't seem realistic for this underdog force that can't afford for one rogue squad to be lost (even if they threaten for mutiny), but can afford to have a small army follow them around everywhere.

So, what do ya do? Any suggestions help.

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Do not let reigning them in be your first instinct.

 

There are 2 suggestions I have for you.

 

The first, I would talk to them, out of game. Sometimes when the tone of your games head in a direction you don't like, sometimes it's better just to let the know how you feel. I would do this before or after a session. Tell them that the game you are trying to run has to deal with the complications that they face from job-to-job, and that complications can't arise if half of the adventure takes place outside of the game.

 

Second, have them able to do cargo runs outside of the game, but for negligible credits. The kinds of stuff that can happen during the in-between are blue milk runs anyway, unlikely to pay more than a couple hundred credits at the most.

 

Are your players happy with working for the rebellion? Based on your worries, it sounds like they may not be. Take a look at their obligations and try and do a few sessions involving that. While they deal with the obligations, do something to take away their ships such as pirates, shipjackers, or impounding. Having to deal with multiple problems at once is very Star Wars.

 

See if you can't subtly prod them for deeper ideas as to what kind of game they want to play.

Edited by kaosoe
Joker Two, IDEJ, Desslok and 4 others like this

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My group doesn't get "downtime" that isn't roleplayed out at least to some extent.  Oh they get breaks between missions or encounters, but I still make them describe in general what they're doing and assign a few low-stakes (although not necessarily low-difficulty) rolls.

 

Here's some in-game suggestions:

 

In your case, if the players are designated Rebel operatives, heading off for the Core in search of some specific piece of equipment that doesn't further the Alliance's interests certainly won't endear them to their superiors.  Lack of NPC sympathy, loss of support, or even penalties to Duty would be appropriate.

 

And besides, Coruscant (and especially Imperial Center) isn't exactly someplace you go for a casual supply run.  Between Imperial security, Black Sun enforcers, distance, and the fact that there are plenty of other places probably only a jump or two away where you can acquire anything on a published equipment table, it'd be way down my list of stops.

 

If they're searching for a specific MacGuffin, on the other hand, there are plenty to be found in the city that never sleeps...

 

And as far as the potential for Rebels defecting...they're unlikely to be well-received by the Empire (pardoned perhaps, if they offer up a big fish, but never accepted) while they'll simultaneously have made themselves part of the institution in the eyes of Rebels, smugglers, and criminals everywhere.

 

Plenty of groups will accept an ex-Imperial, but I can't think of many that will accept a known (or even suspected) Imperial informant.  All the Alliance has to do is put out word that they're a rat, and they're unlikely to be able to find work (honest or otherwise) in that half of the galaxy again.

 

Out-of-game suggestions:

 

If you're more worried about their actual commitment to the Rebellion (and/or their casual willingness to use violence against it), that's really a discussion you need to have with their players.

 

Are they viewing their characters in a different way than you are?  To use Firefly as an example, Zoe Washburne and Jayne Cobb are both hardened fighters on the same team, but they've got very different reasons for what they do.  Are you running a campaign for one while your players are playing the other?

 

Best of luck.

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Honestly, it sounds to me like maybe your group might be more interested in just playing EotE instead. I don't know if you started with that then moved on to AoR or if you jumped straight into AoR. Give them the option to roll up EotE characters instead if you and your group are interested in that. Or, if they wish to keep their current characters and you are willing to shift the campaign, have them mess up a mission so bad they are kicked out of the Alliance. This could force them to change their identities. You can shift their Duty to Obligation for Betrayal, Bounty, Debt (to someone who helps them build a new life), or Obsession (such as for power or greed). But over all, like everyone else is saying, you really should have a dedicated chat with your group about what they want out of playing.

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If you and them are up to it, you can make a combined EotE and AoR game. Maybe the Rebels get wind of the trading and ask the group to help out with smuggling. Maybe they offer better credits than the original buyer.

 

If they want to be part-time Rebels (it's not unheard of) you can let them - but of course, now the ability to gain obligation kicks in. Deal goes bad, they need startup funds to buy goods, or they need an actual starship suitable for cargo.

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Are you and they familiar with the current run of the Star Wars comic done by I think his surname is Woods?

 

They start off with Leia being tracked by some means and Han Solo heads to Coruscant to make a deal on behalf of the Rebellion, whilst there he's rumbled by the Imperials big time and this is worth using as an example to your players if they want to visit Coruscant since even if they quit the Rebellion they might still be associated with them and still subject to arrest, maybe trumped up charges but still being watched by the Empire because they're hardly going to accept their word after all.

 

My reaction would be to let them try and then run a game where they're pursued by the Empire, if they're determined to not continue with the Rebels then maybe reveal their former allies are using them as catspaws to draw off the Imperial forces so they can get their missions accomplished without Imperial interference.

 

Still what do they want to go looking for that would require them to visit Coruscant?

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It really does sound like you need to talk with your group. If you are trying to run an Age of Rebellion game, and they want to play an Edge of the Empire game, that is not a recipe for a fun time. Figure out what kind of game they want to play, and how they want to play their characters. These games are designed to work together, so being former rebels on the run from a Rebel bounty obligation might be a great campaign.

Also, just what kind of supplies do they want that they feel like they have to go all the way to the Core to get them? I mean....there are plenty of close by places. What credits do they have, exactly, to spend on all this stuff anyway?

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Coruscant? Really? For Rebel workers that is effectively a death sentence waiting to happen. They wouldn't even get past the Imperial blockade checks and land.

Where is your Rebel base located? Sons of Fortune does provide many different locations to explore, but as a Rebel Cell you really should only be getting supplies from trusted sources or local businesses to keep the impression that the group are 'loyal enough'.

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I would note that Coruscant is not a fortress world or anything, it's a metropolis. Getting into Coruscant as a rebel is as easy as getting into DC as Al-Qaeda. Which, as long as you're not on a watch list, is pretty easy. If they're nobodies then frankly there shouldn't be an issue. However, if they're known terrorists and murderers..well yeah.

 

And even if you are, it can be done with the aid of a professional smuggler or con-man, or if they're willing to be uncomfortable, they could do it on a garbage scow, packed into some crates, etc.

 

As for the Rebels stopping traitors...they simply can't. Like most revolutions, joining up with the Rebels is a volunteer thing, presumably if you joined you believe in the cause. If you don't, why did you bother? Do they have a problem with informants and double agents? Yes, they really do. It's pretty easy for the Imperials to infiltrate Rebel networks, and they do so quite often. I again reference parallels to Al-Qaeda and US intelligence.

 

Simply put, if your players don't want to be rebels, let them be. The Rebels wouldn't come after them unless they've deliberately betrayed them in a fairly dramatic fashion. 

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If their characters don't really have a reason to help the Rebellion they I don't see any reason to force them to be Rebels.

 

If their background does not include a reason to join the Rebellion, then you will need to make an in-game reason for them to hate the Empire enough to take up arms.

 

Luke was going to stay on his farm until the Empire killed his family, and even Han was going to take his money and leave until he decided he cared more about his bromance with Luke than he did about staying out of the conflict.

 

Have the Empire do something bad to the team. Did the Empire hire the group to deliver an important item to a construction site and then try to kill them instead of pay them to keep the construction site secret? Did the team have family on Alderaan? Is someone they love part of the Rebellion and in trouble?

 

If you are transitioning from Obligation to Duty then you can work with the players to get a Duty (hehehe...I said Duty) that works as a motivation for their character to run missions for the Rebels. You can have them resolve their Obligation and not give them a new one if that works with the story.

 

It also looks like they are not too keen on being full time Rebels. Not every Rebel is sitting in a secret base waiting for missions. If they are specialists they'd be waiting for orders for big missions rather than standing guard on a shipyard. If they are doing the tough jobs there will also be times they need to lay low. Covert Rebels don't wander around with uniforms and military markings on their vehicles, so I don't see any reason why they would not be able to slip into Coruscant. They'd just need to take some precautions and check to see if they are on any 'capture/kill' lists. It could end up introducing some interesting story moments if things get complicated or they end up with a good target of opportunity.  

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Problem is, they don't hate the imperium enough.

Maybe the fields of dead innocents and oppression hasn't really sunk in and its time for you to sack up, get in touch with your inner evil bastard and break everything.

 

Break their ship, break their gear, take all their money and kill every **** person they know. Capture a couple, torture the crap out of them, find nothing of interest and turf them out in their whitey tighty's as being people of no consequence.

When they get back up on their feet.

Break it all again...

 

This is the reason ordinary people loose it and go join crazy rebellions.

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Some of the issue here may be that regardless of which system you're playing players will want to buy better gear. Keeping them from doing so fosters resentment, and that in turn makes them annoyed and more likely to find ways to sabotage your campaign by not cooperating.

 

While I think that going off to the Core Worlds just to buy some piece of gear sounds really silly, don't keep them from trying to get it. Make them roll a Negotiations check based on the item's availability, modified by where in the galaxy they are. If they make it they get the piece of gear and will probably be quite happy. If they don't make it, it's because their skill isn't good enough, not because you as a GM kept them from finding it.

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Problem is, they don't hate the imperium enough.

Maybe the fields of dead innocents and oppression hasn't really sunk in and its time for you to sack up, get in touch with your inner evil bastard and break everything.

 

Break their ship, break their gear, take all their money and kill every **** person they know. Capture a couple, torture the crap out of them, find nothing of interest and turf them out in their whitey tighty's as being people of no consequence.

When they get back up on their feet.

Break it all again...

 

This is the reason ordinary people loose it and go join crazy rebellions.

My only issue with this line of thinking is it's basically forcing the players to adopt the mindset that the GM wants the players to have. If the players approached the game from a different perspective and aren't super hot on being Rebel zealots, why does the GM feel like he needs to railroad them to become Rebel zealots, instead of letting the PCs choose their own destiny?

 

If they want to play like they're in The Adventures of Han Solo, you shouldn't be pushing and pushing and pushing to force them to become Rogue Squadron.

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Throw in some events that remind the players why their PCs joined the rebellion in the first place. Unless its something like my old Alliance privateer character who originally signed on with the privateer group he served because it was that or take up begging on the streets of a Shadowport after his previous captain lost his ship gambling that should help.

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This sounds like a job for Duty. When they act outside the interests of the Rebellion, I'd start docking it. 

 

If that doesn't motivate them, then I'd get them under an Obligation and switch to EotE.

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I do not think this is a player problem (other than WHY do they think they need to go to that planet?), but a GM issue. The PCs want to buy new toys, the GM says no, when he should be "yes, but"

They are not going to be worked like dogs by the Rebellion but given time off between missions to lay low or unwind. As a GM I would be asking "what do you want to get with the cash on hand" or "Why by the Force do you need to go into the lions den to get supplys".

Also Duty and Obligation can be used side by side.

Talk with your players.

I am sorry if I am off on this but to me it sound like the problem was the supply run was the problem and not so much as skipping out on the Rebellion

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It never fails. I leave for a couple days and BANG, a dozen plus posts!

I already let them buy gear, but it's a campaign based in the Outer Rim so the player who mentioned quitting the Rebellion was thinking it would just be easier to just go to the Core Worlds. Of course, there's the issue with raveling, which they overlooked, and I'm both unwilling to just let it slide and not roleplay it, but also unwilling to roleplay it (because there are more important things to be doing).

I think that talking to them will be best. They already have plenty of reasons to hate the Empire; it was just that the player wanted gear that wasn't available where he was. My resolution is that they will have Rebel bases with goods available for sale.

Thanks for all the advice.

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It never fails. I leave for a couple days and BANG, a dozen plus posts!

I already let them buy gear, but it's a campaign based in the Outer Rim so the player who mentioned quitting the Rebellion was thinking it would just be easier to just go to the Core Worlds. Of course, there's the issue with raveling, which they overlooked, and I'm both unwilling to just let it slide and not roleplay it, but also unwilling to roleplay it (because there are more important things to be doing).

I think that talking to them will be best. They already have plenty of reasons to hate the Empire; it was just that the player wanted gear that wasn't available where he was. My resolution is that they will have Rebel bases with goods available for sale.

Thanks for all the advice.

 

Remind the player that Duty is a good way of acquiring gear that is otherwise unobtainable. Plus you (or they) don't have to worry about roleplaying "nonessential" scenes, because ideally they should be working on their duty with each mission.

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I'm curious now what the gear is, and why it's so special.  Usually if I've given the credits to afford the gear, I don't really waste much time worrying about accessibility, but if accessibility is an issue, and the gear is important enough, why not make getting the gear a mission of its own?  Maybe making a run for that gear is a Rebel mission in its own right.  So they get a crate of E11s or something, and they get to keep one as a reward.

 

But if they just want to go "shopping on Coruscant", it sounds like maybe they have too much money :)

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I already let them buy gear, but it's a campaign based in the Outer Rim so the player who mentioned quitting the Rebellion was thinking it would just be easier to just go to the Core Worlds. Of course, there's the issue with raveling, which they overlooked, and I'm both unwilling to just let it slide and not roleplay it, but also unwilling to roleplay it (because there are more important things to be doing).

Why are you both unwilling to not role-play it and unwilling to role-play it? I mean I understand not wanting to role-play it: some minutiae just aren't deserving of happening in the actual scene, in-focus. And I understand if the campaign is in the Rim, why you wouldn't just say "there's not really time to go to Coruscant, and the risk is very high."  

 

I don't understand what the problem is with saying "you go to the next system and get what you need." Not every little thing needs to be role-played out in detail; that actually can get incredibly tedious in high-action-style games when you're forced to go into mundane slice-of-life stuff to just buy gear.

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For those curious about the gear they wanted: it wasn't anything special, it was just something the player couldn't find on the Rim. As I said, I'm planning on having it available through a Rebellion base.

About the roleplaying tedious scenes: I just don't like the idea of saying the players go out and get stuff, and that's it. No checks, no realism, no nothing. It just magically appears!

It's more personal preference, and I can understand that others don't like playing the same way.

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For those curious about the gear they wanted: it wasn't anything special, it was just something the player couldn't find on the Rim. As I said, I'm planning on having it available through a Rebellion base.

 

Given the amount of starship traffic in the galaxy, I can't imagine a product you couldn't find on the Rim that would be unique to the Core and described as "nothing special." What on Earth is it?

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For those curious about the gear they wanted: it wasn't anything special, it was just something the player couldn't find on the Rim. As I said, I'm planning on having it available through a Rebellion base.

 

Given the amount of starship traffic in the galaxy, I can't imagine a product you couldn't find on the Rim that would be unique to the Core and described as "nothing special." What on Earth is it?

I can't remember too well. I'm pretty sure it was some basic item, possibly grenades. 'Nothing Special' was in reference to what goes on in Star Wars, of course, and he couldn't find it due to a ailed check, I believe.

That, or he thought n advance that it would be easier.

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