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So I have a problem with a campaign I want to run.

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So I want to run an Age of Rebellion campaign that is set during the Clone Wars, the idea would be that the players are all standard Clone Troopers in a regular infantry unit.The idea would be to show the war from the point of view of the average soldier.The problem is that I would like to occasionally have combats that would be unbalanced in favor of the Seps, and my players come from a DnD style background and so I get "yelled" at by the groups DnD GM if combats are unbalanced.I am trying to work with the players to tell an interesting story but it seems they all think that they should be special snowflakes and that they should get the equivalent of plot armor, another problem is they believe that credits and gear should be a guarenteed every other session at the least since that is what they expect in a rpg thanks to DnD.

PS:I don't hate DnD I just hate the mindset it gives players.

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I agree, ish, with 2P51.  This is, like so many, a case of figuring out with your players what kind of game your playing.  You can't, and shouldn't, force players to play a game they don't want to play, just as your players shouldn't force you to run a game you don't want to.  So it's kind of a case of "Look, this is the kind of game I'm looking at running - you are all clone troopers, so your equipment is requisitioned on a by mission basis, not owned.  You are given orders by your superiors, and your expected to follow them.  Lastly, retreat is a very real part of warfare - you will be put in fights you cannot win.  Is everyone good with this kind of game?"

 

Secondly, I'd take the D&D GM aside before the next game, on his own, and gently remind him that you are GMing this game, so please don't say I'm "Running the game wrong" while we're playing - if you feel there's something I did wrong or could do better, let me know after the game, or before the next one."

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The DnD GM needs a spanking :)  Or a talking to.  It's uncool for a GM to comment on another GM's style unless invited.

 

If you haven't already, just spell out to what you wrote above:  you're looking for something different, so they should have different expectations.  Remind them that all the major SW heroes were often running away except at key moments.

 

To reinforce this, make sure the first encounter is all about running away to an extraction point, kind of like the start of Under a Black Sun.  Make a long and crazy chase with lots of opportunity for multiple skills to be put into play:  Mechanics and Computers to mess with Seppie droids; Skulduggery to break into buildings; Charm or Coercion to keep locals from giving away their position; basically anything that helps keep them one step ahead of their pursuers, until they reach their goal.  Adding a time factor helps with this because it forces them to give up the idea of standing and fighting.

 

Run a few of these and I'm sure they'll change their tune soon enough.

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It's difficult to get a D&D mindset out of players once it has sunk in.  Other games have similar mindsets, so it's not specifically the D&D brand.  It is the most obvious though.

So far I've found that the biggest thing to help is the FFG dice.  Absolutely insist on the player's spelling out how they use their advantages and threats, in character when possible.  My murder hobos have thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling aspects and are getting more creative about the narrative because of the dice.  When they start concentrating on the narrative, they stop worrying as much about character advancement by the numbers, and start thinking more about who their character is and who they want them to become.

 

You might want to try giving them a heads-up spoiler alert for some unbalanced fights.  Something like:  "Ok guys, you crest the hill and see the Sep camp.  It has dozens of tanks, temporary barracks tents for several hundred, and a few strong patrols close in, plus scouts.  There's no possible way you can take these guys on and survive, but with some planning and more luck you might be able to complete a couple of your objectives."  That kind of sets up the expectations so that "winning" doesn't mean "killing all the bad guys."

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The only option I see is to let them collectively pool xp earned and use that as meta currency towards some of their gear/vehicle goals.

 

One idea I had, and not to make whiners happy, but to just add to the game, was to create some kind of generic group 'spec', a flow chart that everyone could kick xp towards in order to achieve some kind of group objective, base, ship, contact, some group signature maneuver, etc.  Kind of as a way to build team cohesion, as well as, side step some of the phat loot issues.

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I like that idea 2P51.  Think I'll steal it for my EotE campaign.  I've wanted a way to encourage them to think of their ship as another character.  Just spending credits to fix its numerous issues and buy upgrades doesn't seem like enough.  If I give them some kind of bonus or effect from the ship though... that would be really cool.  I'D want that as a player.  :)

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The only option I see is to let them collectively pool xp earned and use that as meta currency towards some of their gear/vehicle goals.

 

One idea I had, and not to make whiners happy, but to just add to the game, was to create some kind of generic group 'spec', a flow chart that everyone could kick xp towards in order to achieve some kind of group objective, base, ship, contact, some group signature maneuver, etc.  Kind of as a way to build team cohesion, as well as, side step some of the phat loot issues.

That sounds a lot like duty.

Edited by kaosoe

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The only option I see is to let them collectively pool xp earned and use that as meta currency towards some of their gear/vehicle goals.

 

One idea I had, and not to make whiners happy, but to just add to the game, was to create some kind of generic group 'spec', a flow chart that everyone could kick xp towards in order to achieve some kind of group objective, base, ship, contact, some group signature maneuver, etc.  Kind of as a way to build team cohesion, as well as, side step some of the phat loot issues.

That sounds a lot like duty.

Yeah but duty really only covers bases and stuff . I didn't want to just limit it to things . I was thinking maybe there would be one column to deal with gear , or they could pick a column to advance through that would help them make contacts on different worlds , or another column that would grant certain buffs to the group under certain circumstances. The tangible rewards for duty are all pretty much guns, ships, and bases . Duty and contribution rank standing are too vague for my tastes .

I'm basically considering something with far more specific tangible mechanical benefits , and not just ambiguous descriptions like what is written in age of rebellion for duty .

For example, a box in the group move column might reward a boost die to everyone in the group if they all score higher than opponents in the initiative check .

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Interesting idea 2P51, i like it a lot.

 

 

for the OP it sounds like they are stuck in the Competitive gaming mindset, and breaking that will help you a lot. Encouraging narrative descriptions of what happens AFTER the dice are rolled is a great way to plant the idea that with this system everyone is sitting at the table to make a narrative story together. getting them involved with describing the threat and despair that NPC's roll is important too, making it clear that when bad things happen to the NPC's that means good things happen to them, and they have influence on the game outside of just the actions and manoeuvres they take.

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The problem is that I would like to occasionally have combats that would be unbalanced in favor of the Seps, and my players come from a DnD style background and so I get "yelled" at by the groups DnD GM if combats are unbalanced.

Have a (root) beer with the guy some time. Explain your angle and ask how he would handle it. A good comparison to bring in might be The Empire Strikes Back. In that movie the "players" lose every step of the way, and it's considered by many as the best of the series thus far. Explain that you'd like to be able to do something like that, and ask for his input.

 

Maybe he'll get a little more positive if you can enlist his help rather then make him feel like you're out to get him. 

 

 

another problem is they believe that credits and gear should be a guarenteed every other session at the least since that is what they expect in a rpg thanks to DnD.

Are you running things consecutively? D&D tends to see scripting in a day-to-day set due to how certain mechanics work (there's rarely any "down time" or "episodes" each session just continuously flows into the next.

 

Try breaking that up and make it clear time passed. Make gear changes make sense, and really push the "right tool for the job" angle. It's ok to give them improved gear, and take it away again as long as it's replacement makes sense.

 

Adventure 1 "Strike at Mon Cala" they get blaster spearguns and scuba gear concussion grenades and so on.

 

Adventure 2 opens.... "The Rhen Var Incident" It's been six months since you left Mon Cala, and you're already wishing you could return to it's warm equatorial waters" 

Drop em right into a battle, no time to go shopping, they get what you give them. They have Armor, cold weather gear, and some other odds and ends.

 

Adventure 3..... "The Kofax Extraction" "It seems like a million years since you were last  'cold' and it may as well have been. The jungle seems to consume everything"

Carbines, scout armor, array guns. If someone insists on keep the Sniper rifle or Heavy rifle they got on Rhen Var, warn them it may not be suited. If they insist... say hello to Mr. Setback die. It's hard to move a long gun through bush that dense yo.

 

Adventure  4.... Battle of the Nibian moons. "A year ago you cursed the jungle... now you miss it. At least a Kofaxian tree viper gives you a few hours to get the anti-venom. Vacuum is immediate and unforgiving." Bust out the spacetrooper armor. Zero-G Powersuits with wrist mounted heavy pistols, mini proton torpedo launchers, and fusion cutters, and backpack mounted gas grenade launchers.

 

Adventure 5..... Summit at Station 13. "You're actually feeling fat... and old. VIP guard detail is preferable to your previous years of combat... but you can actually feel your edge dulling... "This is VIP babysitting. No armor, or heavy weapons. The politicos don't want to spook the other side, so it's dress uniforms and sidearms only....

 

 

 

See? time passes, gear comes and goes, and the stuff you do get makes sense in context.

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Make sure you don't forget that you are playing an RPG and not a tactical simulation game. Playing pure military adventures have some inherent issues that are difficult to RP well such as Rank and following orders. Neither of these things are typically fun to RP either and can cause issues amongst the Players (such as one Player ordering another Player's PC around).

Another issue with military adventures is that they are typically win, loose, or draw scenarios with little if any investigation, character interaction, alterer motivations, etc. basically not much to do but plan and execute the operation. Plenty of fun as a battlefield game but not much fun from a RP perspective (IMO).

 

My advice isn't something you're likely to want to hear but it's to play Rebel Assault instead to get your military rocks off and set up something different for your RP sessions..

Edited by FuriousGreg

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Make sure you don't forget that you are playing an RPG and not a tactical simulation game. Playing pure military adventures have some inherent issues that are difficult to RP well such as Rank and following orders. Neither of these things are typically fun to RP either and can cause issues amongst the Players (such as one Player ordering another Player's PC around).

Another issue with military adventures is that they are typically win, loose, or draw scenarios with little if any investigation, character interaction, alterer motivations, etc. basically not much to do but plan and execute the operation. Plenty of fun as a battlefield game but not much fun from a RP perspective (IMO).

 

My advice isn't something you're likely to want to hear but it's to play Rebel Assault instead to get your military rocks off and set up something different for your RP sessions..

 

 

An alternative might be to break it down. Give them a handful of characters to cycle through as needed. I'm running a "Military" campaign right now, and I've given each player at least 3 characters to pull from. That way I can run a pretty diverse campaign model with lots of RP situations, and the players can select a character as mission and adventure dictates.

 

Painful details of what I'm doing:

The way I've got it is they pick a Pregen Knight level (+150XP), a Pregen "Padawan Level" (+75XP), and they create their own "Redshirt" at merely +20XP. Each one is of course supposed to fit a different speciality. The result is the Pregens are good, but balanced enough to ensure the Redshirts are still a better option when you need that specialty.

 

XP is rewarded in an above average pool for each player, and the players can advance their characters as they see fit. So you can dump it all into your Knight Level if thats you're thing... of course this is war, and people die, and since you've got 2 other characters (and a stack of additional pregens to pick from) I as the GM have no reason to pull punches with characters that aren't essential to the story....

So he could do the same, allowing the Baseline troopers to be the core story driver, but cutting to the Civilian Embeds and Commanders, or Jedi and ARC Troopers when things need a change. Of course mixing and matching is an option too...

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Make sure you don't forget that you are playing an RPG and not a tactical simulation game. Playing pure military adventures have some inherent issues that are difficult to RP well such as Rank and following orders. Neither of these things are typically fun to RP either and can cause issues amongst the Players (such as one Player ordering another Player's PC around).

Another issue with military adventures is that they are typically win, loose, or draw scenarios with little if any investigation, character interaction, alterer motivations, etc. basically not much to do but plan and execute the operation. Plenty of fun as a battlefield game but not much fun from a RP perspective (IMO).

 

My advice isn't something you're likely to want to hear but it's to play Rebel Assault instead to get your military rocks off and set up something different for your RP sessions..

 

 

While rank and orders can cause issues (especially if one PC gains ranks over others) the idea that military adventures are inherently win/lose or draw, or lack scope for investigation, interaction, ulterior  motives is just odd, as if the scope has been unusually restricted. A poor one will sure, but Even in a destroy base x mission (a purely military objective) working in the potential for all of those is child's play, a combination of suitable hooks, and penalties for not having covered those bases. At first you may have to be fairly unsubtle about at least some (have the team briefed with the proviso from the briefing officer the intel is old, so to search for contact x for info or scout things out, imply theres believed to be a local independent resistance that may be amenable to staging a diversion, that will prove useful to draw away the extra forces stationed there that weren't in the old intel and a basic scouting mission may see, imply a local trader may be able to fix them up with a transport or similar to luff their way in with, have their local contact be a traitor). Give them a sliding scale of success.

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