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Castlecruncher

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!!!

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I've officially backed myself into a corner. No campaign ideas, no fallbacks, no nothin'. I'm nearly out of FFG Adventures, and I honestly don't know what to do.

I'm currently the most experienced GM in my group (which, considering I have no idea what to do anymore, is pretty bad), so all of the work is left onto me. However, I also really want to be a player, which is a serious problem, seeing as we don't have another candidate for GM. I've run through my own ideas, and come to the conclusion that they all suck. I've played the FFG games, and I'm almost out of them. I'm really screwed in terms of the RPG.

Anyone know what to do, or is there nothing TO do? Could I save my group, or are we doomed?

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OMG Take a deep breath my friend XD

 

Maybe its a too vague suggestion but, adapt an story that you like (book, videogame, tv show, movie or even older editions) to the game sessions.

Change and adapt a few things and use a world where you feel more confident and comfortable.

 

For example, in my games, I use concept from games like Mega Man X, Mass Effect, Chrono Trigger/Cross, Airbender. I adapted them using the mega open world of Star Wars.

 

If players fall on a random planet due to a Desperation in a roll, put them on a medieval world that only smugglers and pirates know and make a campaign about look for the pieces to repair the ship while they put themselves in a planetary conflict... and maybe further in a conflict between them and pirate slavers.

 

Tons of ideas mate :D

 

About wanting to play, the first, tell your friends about what do you think and feel. Your friends would understand it. No need to be a famous writer or movie director to roleplay. Just cool dices, an awesome book, a few hours and really good friends.

 

The rest is just a "have fun!" ;)

Edited by Josep Maria

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Yeah, I would definitely talk to your gaming group. Tell them you are feeling a little out of your depth, and ask them to bear with you, and then see if they have any ideas! 2 heads are better than one.

In your last bits of published adventures, try taking things off the rails a bit more. Practice on-the-fly storytelling. Also, listen to the a order 66 podcast episode "GMing A-Z with Jay Little."

Have you used the Adventure Seeds from Suns of Fortune?

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Right kaosoe! Almost forgot this.

 

Obligation system is an important tool to help GM's to develop their stories. Some debts? Send them a minion squad to kill them or to bribe the local authorities to search for them :)

 

Also you can use "secret obligations" to guide the story somewhere else.

Edited by Josep Maria

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If you need inspiration and don't mind going into it, use the Expanded Universe for inspiration. It's not your job to be original as GM, just impartial and entertaining. And there's plenty of material for you to use, it's a big universe.

 

All the supplements, career and otherwise (though only one is out for AoR, I'm sure you can adapt the Edge stuff to a Rebel focused campaign) have adventure seeds as well.

Edited by Rationalinsanity

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Take a look at their obligations. They still have obligation right? If not, get them son.

Wait, isn't obligation Edge of the Empire?

 

Also, in response to Castlecruncher, I like to read Star Wars novels and get ideas from them. I especially like the new canon novels A New Dawn and Tarkin, there's some really interesting stuff in there.

 

P.S. Has anyone read those books? I'm hearing a lot of hate on the new canon novels.

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Take a look at their obligations. They still have obligation right? If not, get them son.

Wait, isn't obligation Edge of the Empire?

 

Also, in response to Castlecruncher, I like to read Star Wars novels and get ideas from them. I especially like the new canon novels A New Dawn and Tarkin, there's some really interesting stuff in there.

 

P.S. Has anyone read those books? I'm hearing a lot of hate on the new canon novels.

Ah. I had forgotten which forum I was in. Duty can inspire stories just as well. In fact, a character's duty is a good indicator of what kind of campaigns the player wants to participate in.

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WEG Adventures here. Read them, pick one you like, convert.

 

Complete free d20 Star Wars Campaign here. Fits well with AoR. Needs converted. GM synopsis of the campaign here.

 

TV shows and movies. Borrow their basic plots and convert them into an adventure. Examples (scroll down to episode summaries): Age of Rebellion adventures - Rat Patrol. Edge of the Empire adventures - A-Team.  For some reason, 70's and 80's entertainment seem to be the best fit. :)

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What's their Contribution Rank? Check the table on Pg. 325, it often gets forgotten, but the table should be helpful for getting ideas. For example, if they've got 5+ Contribution, you could start expanding the scale of the game in terms of what they have access to and are in charge of, and it's also when Bounty Hunters can start coming after them.

 

Or you could just start adapting the Metal Gear franchise storyline.

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I feel your pain - I have hit this a number of times over the years. It sucks.

All previous pieces of advice are good, but...maybe you need a break. Maybe it is a break from Star Wars or from the GM chair, or even gaming as a whole. If you are really feeling that burned out, tell you group. Then maybe do a Fiasco session. Or whip up some characters for a system everybody is comfortable with and smash goblins and rats for about ten minutes...

 

The key is to give your mind a chance to relax.

 

Also, check out @SWRPGAdventures on Twitter - daily ideas worth picking up, modifying, or inspiring. 

 

Failing all that, have them in a revolving pit fight versus Zakkegs and Rancors until they come up with ideas for their characters to pursue.  Should only take a round or two to wipe the floor...I mean inspire them :D

Good Luck!

Edited by Iosuah

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WEG Adventures here. Read them, pick one you like, convert.

This.

 

WEG's old stuff is easy to convert, works just fine, and is largely in line with the "theme" of AoR. I've actually run several already with little issue. Instant Adventures can get you covered for the occasional one-shot, Operation: Elrood is a complete little campaign that can easily cover you for several sessions.

 

Some of em are a tad cheesy, but they'll also cover you and give you plenty more time ti figure out what you want to do with your games. Instant adventures can give you multiple adventures that can also help you develop a formula. Elrood can do the same for a campaign.

 

The GM handbook might also be of value as it's more about running games in general, with Star wars being the overarcing theme.

Edited by Ghostofman

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Don't forget these goodies from the GamerNation: http://www.d20radio.com/backerzone/

 

But seriously, I suggest you get comfortable operating with published adventures as a standby, not as your meat. With Age of Rebellion, it's incredibly easy to get buy in from PCs ("this just in from Alliance Command"), so all that really remains is to send them on a mission that makes sense with their Duties, as kaosoe suggested.

 

One time in the not-so-distant past, I took Jay Little and GM Chris at their word, and didn't plan anything for a gaming session until 10 minutes before the session. We were right in the middle of a story, and I felt that I wanted to be surprised at where this thing might lead as well.

 

I wrote down a few things on the list of ABCs...I think I made it to "J"...and then we started our session. Cued up the music, rolled the Destiny Points, rolled for Duty, and no-one's Duty activated! So, I gave them a recap of the previous session, told them where things currently stood, and then told them, "and go." It was seriously the best gaming our group had had in a very long time.

 

I was surprised with how much my players could carry the story with their in-the-moment ideas. I still prepare for sessions, about 20-60 minutes depending on many variables, but it's nice to know that I can run a session at the drop of a hat if I need to.

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Here are my recommendations. Just some opinions, I've been gamemastering and playing for 15 years now and i've learned a lot I think.  Most have been mentioned already in the thread of course.

 

In general:

 

1) Speak with your group as awayputurwpn has said.

 

2) Once you've explained your players the situation, ask them if any of em would like to GM even if it's only a bit. If you have the itch for playing and never get to do it things will probably go south. You can try some other system, there are even some that are much simpler than AoR. Just breaking the flow with 1 or 2 sessions with a different GM can do wonders. Or just use AoR since your players should know it.

 

3) If no one wants to try to GM so you can play, and as you say you really want to be a player, don't be afraid to just take a break then. A table can become poisonous very quickly if the gm is not enjoying what he is doing. It has happened to me and to practlicaly any other long term GM I've known. Seriously. Don't just keep going without giving it some though. At some point without even realicing it it'll become a you vs them and silly arguments will arise and get worse over time.

 

Bottom line: If you want to play badly, get a backup gm for at least a session, or rest if you need it :P

 

Now, if you want to step up your game:

 

1) Lots of material to work from with star wars. Don't be afraid to just copy a story from somewhere.

 

2) Your ideas probably dont suck as much as you think :). GMing a plot you've built yourself can be rewarding too, at least I have fun with it. Nowadays I rarely use premade stories except for inspiration.

 

3) This is tricky, but open campaigns can be fun. Basicaly instead of a plot let the players decide what they want to do and roll with it. This kind of games are fun but usually turn very weird at some point, specially when you're not used to reeling the players in a  bit when necesary. On my first try, on a Marvel supervillians campaign my players ended up growing drugs in their own plantation (one of em had powers over plants...)

 

4) Move to another system and setting for a while. It'll do wonders. At least for me, it's impossible to stick in the same setting for very long without getting stuck, specially at the times when i'm not a player in any game. I've ran campaings of several years and they werent as good as they should've been in the end because I now realice i was simply burned out. Now I usually rotate my campaigns. For example we just finishe d a 1 year mutant and masterminds campaign and are now starting with EotE, which we will play for a bout a year or so before we keep going with the mutants one.

Edited by Leam

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You need these supplements for Traveller:

 

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?keywords=traveller%20plots

 

Various "21 plots" collections for a variety of situations.  I find them supremely useful just for starter ideas...and eventually the players will generate their own plot point around which a campaign can be woven.

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My preferred method of driving the story of a game and for generating more ideas is to first come up with a central conflict or Main Villain.

Maybe it's a crime lord who has it out for the players (or has it out for something or someone they care about).

Maybe it's the Empire (embodied by a Moff or Inquisitor or Vader or whoever) that is pursuing goals that intersect with the player characters and/or their interests.

Maybe someone the PCs care about sends them on a mission because they've gotten themselves into a mess ("Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!").

I find it much easier to run a campaign when I've got the villains in mind (designed to have goals that the PCs will care about - also work with your players on this, ask them what they want).

 

A lot of games sort of set up the premise of the campaign - like the opening crawl in the movies.  You may need to pause the game - get feedback from the players - and start the game back up with an understanding that the campaign is going a certain direction so the players have buy in and you can have some confidence they'll react to what you throw at them.  Maybe what has come before is Episode I and now it's time for Episode II with a new story arc.  And I agree with the others who have said mine their characters for hooks - Motivation and Obligation etc.

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Since others have pointed out the "Steal from Other sources" idea, I'll leave that alone. As for getting others to GM - have you talked to them and said "Hey guys, I'm running out of ideas. Does someone else want to run the game for a little while?" My group has had rotating GMs for years now with no issues whatsoever.

 

"But Angry Penguin!" I hear you say "They don't know what they're doing either!" So what! Everyone had to be a starting GM once in their lives - and hell, even years on now and I still get stage fright or get lost or wind up dry of ideas. The solution? Just muddle through it. Okay, the starter plots consist of nice, basic, linear stories like "Break into this stronghold, steal the Macguffin, deliver it to Morbo the Hutt." - this is fine. Not every story has to be a sprawling epic.

 

Just realize that the guy behind the screen is new, cut them some slack when they have to look up range modifiers, be helpful with suggestions without being pushy and remember that EVERYONE at the table is responsible for telling the story.

 

Oh - wait, that's a thought! So you're out of ideas? Go sandbox. Start the game off with "So, you've just touched down on Bespin. The city lies before you - what do you want to do?" and let them go shopping or gambling or go score with some chicks or get drunk and into a bar fight. It'll require you to think on your feet - but it gives the players a sense of "Hey, we got something done! And I was awesome!"

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