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kamikazetrex

Imperial campaign ideas?

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Hey everyone, I'm kind of new to the whole GM thing and my group really wants to play as Imperial. Anybody have any ideas as to how to become Imperial? Also how would I do the classes, and armor stats? Probably a stupid question, but I figured I would try.

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Actually someone did a version of the Duty table as an Imperial version I think there's a resources thread which might have that.

The real question is will you run this assuming your Imperials are evil for the fun of it or actually approach this with the view they're actually quite decent and there are bad guys on both sides?

I suppose the TV series "Hello Hello" would be a comedy version of this, but would that appeal or repulse you and your players?

Assuming your players prefer competent Imperials over Sith playing the Joker maybe you should involve them when creating the background so you can gauge their expectations since this could end up a one shot so what do you hope to run?

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I've run an Imperial game and the big thing is what Copperbell brought up, do you play it as the evil empire that everyone believes them to be or do you play it from their eyes of trying to keep the peace in the universe that has terrorist in it's mists. 

 

A lot of what you need to look at is how you want to run the game, are they working for some moff in a certain sector, a high ranking officer in ISB who want to make sure that the Empire stays clean if alien scum, or are they working for the Emperor and Vader (kind of like Agent Callus from Rebels).

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I recommend reading, and have the players, read the Star Wars Novel, Lost Stars. It does a great job with sympathetic imperials.

I also recommend playing the old game TIE fighter

i did a bunch of work on a game where the players were the crew of a gozanti cruiser tasked as a fast response patrol craft. I did dossiers on the entire crew, and depending on what the players played, substituted the players for the NPC.

Do some missions as the empire being the good guys, then throw some morally questionable orders. Let the players choose if they wish to rebel or not. The real trick is to make some of the characters likable and less faceless goons. Make the players develop relationships with the characters, so they care about them and the situations they are in.

Edited by That Blasted Samophlange

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I'd often considered an Imperial game based on Star Trek (Next Generation especially). Make the PCs crew members of a Star Destroyer patrolling the Galaxy. But obviously more shades of gray and violence being more often the go to solution.

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Playing a "Good Imperial" campaign wouldn't be hard. The Rebellion is only one adversary to the Empire. There's plenty of underworld scum that needs to be brought into line. Your protagonists may not be the best of the good guys, but if they spend their time weeding out even worse elements from the galaxy, they can't be all that evil, right? This definitely keeps you open to a party eventually defecting if what they're asked to do becomes more and more reprehensible.

 

Of course, there's no reason why you can't play a squad who's only goal is to cream as many Rebels as possible and have fun doing it.

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Anybody have any ideas as to how to become Imperial?

I'm of the opinion that the easiest and most interesting way is to just start that way. Figure out the overall theme, and drop the players in as fast as possible. Put them all on an Imperial Troop Transport ship being attacked by rebels, or at an imperial outpost being assaulted by a rebel strike team. Toss the players into the deep end.

 

 

 Also how would I do the classes, and armor stats?

Classes really wouldn't change a whole lot. The Rebel Propagandist isn't really, truly any different then the Imperial Information Ops specialist. It's just different titles for the same job. The only difference is the Imperial version files his stories with Imperial Holovision instead of some pirate broadcaster... Just be on the lookout for anything super rebely and rename it something that works. The "Incite Rebellion" talent can just as easily be "Inspire Patriotism."

 

Equipment also wouldn't really change any. Stormtrooper armor is Laminate armor. No need to reinvent the repulsor. If the players create a specific character type see how close you can get to the standard equipment loadout. A "stormtrooper" character can, for example, start with a light blaster pistol, a frag grenade, heavy clothing, a utility belt, and extra reloads and still have credits to spare. That's (as far as stats are concerned) a standard Scout Trooper loadout.

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An Imperial campaign could lend itself well to a Vietnam allegory. You'd have Imperial characters who come from the cushy core worlds or mid rim and then are sent to far flung reaches of space to fight guerrilla fighters on their own turf. You could make the environments really inhospitable like jungles, or deserts, or tundras to heighten the culture shock. It'd get dark quick but it would be cool because you'd definitely have a way to humanize the often faceless minions of the Empire.

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There is do different in running an Imperial campaign then running an rebellion campaign mechanically besides having more resources.

Now I would not run one do to the underling evil problem with doing so.

its like running a Black-spiral dancer campaign in werewolf.

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My Wife runs a series of convention games where you play as Imperials, its easy to be "bad guys" but not too bad. They tend to hunt down corrupt Moffs, get sent on missions to take out evil aliens who are attacking imperial citizens, things like that.

 

Actual plays are available from the last playtest we did:

 

http://thetabletopreview.com/podcast/?p=35

http://thetabletopreview.com/podcast/?p=59

 

 

P.S, it is SAGA Edition, not FFG.

Edited by Eridan

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I also had a short-lived but fun d20 Imperial campaign years ago. What worked for me was to give the players an objective but leave how to accomplish the objective up to the players. 

For example, they are tasked with stopping Rebel attacks on shipping in a particular sub-sector. How they do so is up to them. They can attack militarily, try to infiltrate the cell, bribe the Rebels, or even use diplomacy. The point was to show the temptation to do things the easy way by just blasting everything and calling it a day. 

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Playing a "Good Imperial" campaign wouldn't be hard. The Rebellion is only one adversary to the Empire. There's plenty of underworld scum that needs to be brought into line. Your protagonists may not be the best of the good guys, but if they spend their time weeding out even worse elements from the galaxy, they can't be all that evil, right? This definitely keeps you open to a party eventually defecting if what they're asked to do becomes more and more reprehensible.

 

That was going to be my suggestion as well -- the galaxy is a big place, full of criminal organizations, outright hostile aliens, less scrupulous anti-Imperial organizations, mysterious enemies from unknown regions, etc.

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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I've played good Imperial characters a few times. The key is to keep them away from the centers of power and never, ever let them realize how evil Palpatine is. (I had one good Imperial character character who was a Moff in the Imperial remenant who had served in the Imperial military from 16 BBY, counting training, to 12 ABY before becoming a Moff under Palleon's leadership. I played him in a GCW campaign where he ended up part of Death Squadron. Within minutes of meeting Palpatine face to face he was on the run and then defecting because the orders he got were so horrible he couldn't follow them.)

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I ran a one-off adventure with PC Stormtroopers a long time ago now, but it's something I've always wanted to do in a long form campaign. I'd want to start on the Outer-Rim with very black and white morals with the Imperials valiantly maintaining order in a galaxy on the brink of chaos. I'd introduce an ISB agent who would function as an 'enemy within' (in the sense that the ISB are bad news even for other Imperials). The ISB would start exerting more influence, the orders and missions PCs receive would slowly start sliding into morally grey. Maybe they'd eventually start questioning what they're fighting for.

I've always thought the Battle of Endor would be fascinating to see from the Imperial perspective - it would probably shatter the world of many loyalists if word got out about the Emperor's death and the manner in which it occurred.

In terms of the Age of Rebellion, I wouldn't see any real need to change much, just some of the Duty descriptions really. The Empire would need specialists in those careers just as much as the Rebellion.

As others have said, Lost Stars is a good book for the sympathetic Imperial POV. I'd probably recommend the legends books Allegiance and Death Star as alternate perspectives on Imperial life. I think it's fair to say that these books demonstrate that the Empire puts its emphasis on loyalty and control (not just of star systems, but down to individuals too), whereas the Rebellion have a dedicated cause that they believe in and aspire towards. Those are themes that I'd probably recommend examining if you wanted to emphasise the differences between the Rebellion and the Empire.

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As I am partaking in an imperial play by post game at the moment, the important thing to remember is "everyone is the hero of their own story."

 

With the possible exception of the Inquisitor and maybe the ISB agent, no one's really "the baddies" to borrow from the skit linked above, and at least the ISB agent took no pleasure in executing a whole bunch of captives after he got the intel he needed, and most of us were all pretty shocked and appalled by the effect of a baby super weapon we had to test.  Sure, most of the complaints were "Man, we couldn't see through the vaporized dust storm it kicked up," but I for one had to scrub what I found out was vaporized people out of a Lambda's intake, and certainly have some doubts about the rightness of a weapon like that.

 

Even the Inquisitor isn't a mustache twirling bad guy so much as he is... well, creepy and dark side.  

 

My character in this sees himself as a peace keeper, sort of like the redcoats during the American Revolutionary War.  The British Empire didn't set out to stomp stomp stomp over the American heroes.  They were there to enforce the rule of law and bring some criminals to justice.  "Yup, we're a monarchy.  If you don't like that, you can always expatriate to the Corporate Sector, or Hutt Space, or go live in the wilds for all I care, but don't start a war where you can injure civilians who just want to do their jobs, obey the laws, and live their lives because you don't want to live in a monarchy."

 

To be fair, there is a certain level of indoctrination that we are all playing, like my character, for example, buys the story that it was a mining platform that was captured by rebels and turned on Alderaan, but nobody is saying stuff like "crush the rebellion," more "we will bring these criminals to justice!"

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Personally, after watching the new Star Wars Rebels shows, I'd love to play the Imperials just so they can have some competence, for crying out loud!  Except for Vader and some of his Inquisitors, the Empire is ran and operated by nincompoops.  It doesn't make the plight of the heroes of the Ghost all that serious when they completely outmatch entire squads of Stormtroopers, complete with walkers and fighter support.  They may have Jedi, but all that means is that the Empire are the real underdogs!  It seems to me that Vader and the Emperor, and their Inquisitors, are trying to save the galaxy from these superhuman malcontents!  

Edited by Wayfinder

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I've never seen it done well.  Hardly surprising, as even in all the movies the bad guys are mostly one-dimensional and cartoonish. 

 

It could be a good prospect, with a decent GM and set of players. But everything I've seen either ends up like a bad 40K parody, with the players as Space Marines running around and murdering people for fun, or changing the lore to the extent that they are the 'fearless overdogs' and the Emperor gives them a cookie.   

 

It would work as a prelude to an Alliance or Independent game - some of the Career books even have an 'ex-Imperial' as a background.  

 

Or you could run it something like 'Fatherland' where the PCs are not initially monsters, they may even feel they are in the right, and slowly become aware of the horrors they are supporting.  Then they have a tough choice, to risk all leaving it behind or 'buy in' to the system and resign themselves to being the Bad Guys.  

 

If you're playing it canon, I think the overwhelming thing to understand is that it's a pretty thankless job - totalitarian organisations expect success and so do not reward it, and harshly punish failure (as we see constantly in the movies).  Understanding a game like 'Paranoia' (which was played for laughs but it hits the right note) would help. The players should be much more afraid of their masters and their peers than their opposition. A key survival tactic will be setting someone else up to take the fall when things invariably go wrong.

 

Another option would be to disregard the canon (as we did) or maybe set it after the original movies. An Empire without an Emperor might have different splinter groups as various people tried to take control.  The EU had Imperial Remnants or the Fel Empire, which weren't necessarily cartoonish supervillains. We have various imperial factions, some trying to keep order in the lawlessness that resulted in Palpatine's death. That might suit players who want something different but don't necessarily want to be the 'Bad Guys'.  The 'First Order' is a dull totalitarian copy/paste of the original, but there's no reason you couldn't make something better. 

Edited by Maelora

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Another option would be to disregard the canon 

 

I'm playing in one Imperial campaign right now and running another.  In both of them, we opted for exactly this.  Though to be honest, we also opt for this even in our EotE and AoR games.  It's not much fun tearing down cardboard cutouts of mustache-twirling villains.  I mean, everyone knows they always lose; there's just not much tension there without a good performance to sell it and we're not Ian McDiarmid/David Prowse/James Earl Jones/Adam Driver.  We substitute for our lack of acting ability with making the bad guys actually have legitimate and valid motives, even if we think their methods and ideals are abhorrent.

 

For more detail, we subverted canon differently for each campaign.

 

The setting for the campaign I am running was inspired by a post I saw on these forums a few months back. I diverged the setting from canon immediately after Yavin.  The Rebel victory there has galvanized resistance across the entire empire, and the entire southern half of the galaxy up to the Middle Rim declared for the Alliance, with entire defense fleets either falling to mutiny, fleeting from massed militia fleets, or even defecting wholesale.  The Alliance put their existing shipyards into overdrive with the influx of new resources and pushed guerrilla fleets into the North to interfere with Imperial supply lines and logistics.  More importantly, this served to delay the inevitable counterattack and buy them time to dig in to defend their new territory.  My purpose here was to establish the Rebels as much more of a military threat, on par with the Separatists of the Clone Wars.  Only this time, Palps isn't running both sides!

 

In response to the Rebellion becoming a new civil war practically overnight, the Empire came up with a desperate plan to recruit people of interest into something of an expendable Intelligence Operatives initiative, informally called the Shadow Army.  The PCs are a part of this group, which means they have ties to the military but are usually cut off from direct military support- and when they do have access to it, they wish they weren't in a position to need it!

 

The progression I'm going with for the campaign started in the North, operating on Imperial worlds rooting out rebel cells.  It ended with them destroying a major base and a large guerrilla fleet that was refueling there, getting a chance to call down some ATATs on some poor bastards, and learning that the Inquisititorius were kinda creepy.  Next, they had a more military focused campaign, helping the fleet gain space superiority over an invasion attempt on Naboo, then deploying groundside to help hold Theed against a siege (succeeded), try to save the Queen (Failed, though not really their fault), and rescue Parliment from attempted abduction (succeeded, and even captured a live Jedi to boot!  Inquisitorius confirmed creepy).  After a lengthy and action-packed vacation, they are now acting as shadow commandos for Vader himself.   His single, sole task for the team?  

 

Find Luke Skywalker.

 

So far, this has led them to Rebel-controlled Sullust mere hours before an Imperial counter-invasion is due.  Their objectives are split between capturing live quarry who may have information on where Luke is, and eliminating the base commander (an old rival of theirs, he escaped them on the guerrilla base) to make the ground invasion go smoother.  I can't wait to see how it plays out!

 

In the second campaign, it's set after Endor, about six months or so.  So far, Grand Admiral Tigellinus has declared himself to be the new Emperor, on the platform of continuing Palps' anti-alien sentiments.  He has the support of another Grand Admiral (Grant), a Super Star Destroyer (the Ravager), and Kuat.  They’ve dubbed themselves the ‘Loyalists’ while OUR faction (led by Sate Prestage) is called the ‘Centralists.’  Meanwhile, we've heard news of the Alliance already calling itself the New Republic, so it looks like we're close to canon otherwise. How much else is being changed from canon I don’t know, as it hasn't been running as long and I’m not the GM so I don’t know of planned divergences!  Since the top two offenders are out of the picture, however, there's less overhaul that needs to be done to make the Empire into something that exists for a purpose other than slaughtering puppies.

 

All-in-all, an Imperial game is FUN, but you’re likely going to have to make extensive modification to the setting.  For us, that wasn’t a big deal because we tend to do that anyways. For us, Star Wars works for us in a 2 hour pulp film but there’s a lot of questions that come up in a world-building context that really don’t lend itself that well to the default black-and-white morality in our eyes.

Edited by Benjan Meruna

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Your game sounds like a rare example of the Imperial setting done well, Benjan.

 

 For us, Star Wars works for us in a 2 hour pulp film but there’s a lot of questions that come up in a world-building context that really don’t lend itself that well to the default black-and-white morality in our eyes.

 

So much this, for me.

 

I love the original movies, as films, as an absolutely essential part of my childhood...

 

But so much of it doesn't work for us as the setting of a player-focused RPG.

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