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CaptainRemiVandigrath

Running from Vader

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Reading through all of this, I notice that different GMs definetly have different styles.
So in the end it is your decision how you want to play it out.

Either way, I like to play that way that it fits into the cannon, so killing vader is a nono for me (A Grand Inquisitor on the other Hand is interchangeable...)

Also I would play Darth with dice, just to make things easier for you, but roll behind a GM Shield 
That way you can change the results, if you want to make him invincible
Or just say the results, but change the effects: so "killing" is just defeating him, buying enough time to flee or being pushed back by waves of Storm troopers.

That way you can change the whole tone of the game and keep your FSEs in check.
Also if they defeat Vader, sees them as a threat, putting all resources into ellimination, if they flee he sees them still as a threat (otherwise he wouldn't show up) but makes use of the opportunity of finding other Jedi/Rebels/whateverhethinkstheyare

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And then have them discover it was just a Doctor Doom style clone robot.

Or Proxy. ;)

EDIT: And if you do use Proxy, make sure that the holographic projector system gets totally slagged in the combat. I mean, completely unrecoverable, can’t spend a Destiny Point to make it just “Impossible”. Or give him a self-destruct circuit that will obliterate all evidence.

Or maybe it’s just supposed to look like it’s supposed to obliterate all evidence, but somehow the players manage to recover an important clue anyway. But maybe they were supposed to find that clue, because it actually just gets them into deeper trouble? ;)

Edited by bradknowles

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I was picturing Vader in charge of the Imperial Knights with Tarkin originally having oversight over their activities in the Outer Rim.

So the Inquisitors are effectively the Force equivalent of a Moff with the Knights often serving as their footsoldiers with ISB Agents heading up the intelligence network.

So the first major enemy they face will be stormtroopers followed by Imperial Knights who answer to someone that acts as an underling to Vader so by the time they get to face Vader they should have enough prior warning to realise they're hopelessly outmatched.

I was thinking of showing this by eventually revealing an Imperial Knight who retains clone troopers in his force where others retire them because he isn't a fool and isn't even that high ranked just an example of how competent they actually are!

Not a fan of that episode of Rebels where they're caught on the ground.

Had that happened in game they would have been lucky to escape offworld, but its Disney after all!

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The best way to teach a party the lesson of hiding Force Powers: Threaten them rumors that Vader is hunting them. If they don't stop using their force powers and lie low for a while, then kill them all with an overpowered (aka realistic) Vader. That should teach them a lesson after they create their new characters.

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Another thing to consider. When using a big bad, don't forget about using Fear checks. Edge of the Empire core rules specifically go over encountering Vader as a 5 or higher difficulty if I recall correctly.

 

 

Especially for Force-sensitive characters (recall Kanan and Ezra's reaction on Lothal).  

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I think Rebels provided a good example of how you can introduce Vader and make him both A. overpowered and obviously above their level while still being B. not an instant game over.

 

When Vader shows up, he gives them initiative. He doesn't run them through with a lightsaber in one swing, he toys with them in a protracted duel. He throws them around like ragdolls, effortlessly blocks their swings, deflects every blaster shot, the works. He doesn't even attack them unless he rolls a Triumph, in which case he casually maims them. He's testing them.

 

And if they happen to roll a Triumph or a bunch of Advantage, they can distract him just long enough to disengage and escape. Barely.

 

But now they know he exists, and now he knows they exist. And now that he has their mettle, he won't bother toying around the next time their blades cross. The novelty of a new Jedi to kill wears off fast for him.

 

From then on you don't even have to worry about bringing Vader back into the game--just drop reminders and hints that he's probably on their tail, methodically chasing down every lead and clue they left behind. Need them to leave a planet? Have them intercept an Imperial communique telling everyone to prepare for Lord Vader's arrival, then watch them bolt.

Edited by Jace911

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The fight on Lothal was also an interesting study in how differently he fights than the typically-depicted Jedi.  He has neither the aristocratic dueling panache of Dooku nor the acrobatics of many Jedi.  He's all brute force instead of finesse and flash -- he doesn't leap around or whirl about, he doesn't salute or flourish, he hammers away attacks instead of dodging, he just keeps moving forward and powering through whatever or whoever gets in his way.  

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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The fight on Lothal was also an interesting study in how differently he fights than the typically-depicted Jedi.  He has neither the aristocratic dueling panache of Dooku nor the acrobatics of many Jedi.  He's all brute force instead of finesse and flash -- he doesn't leap around or whirl about, he doesn't salute or flourish, he hammers away attacks instead of dodging, he just keeps moving forward and powering through whatever or whoever gets in his way.  

 

IIRC part of this is because he no longer has the actual grace to be able to do that, thanks to his armor...but part of it is also because he's simply so powerful he doesn't need to. Jedi jump and cartwheel and whirl to gain the advantage on their opponent, but there's no need for Vader to do any of that because he always has the advantage.

 

Because he's Vader.

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The fight on Lothal was also an interesting study in how differently he fights than the typically-depicted Jedi.  He has neither the aristocratic dueling panache of Dooku nor the acrobatics of many Jedi.  He's all brute force instead of finesse and flash -- he doesn't leap around or whirl about, he doesn't salute or flourish, he hammers away attacks instead of dodging, he just keeps moving forward and powering through whatever or whoever gets in his way.  

What I noticed is that Vaders fighting style is actually very efficient.

He doesn't just hammer away, he hammers away with the minimum movement and strength required while leaving little space to attack. 

Vaders style is the closest to actual real live fencing which is something I can admire (as I have fencing interests) and furthers shows Vaders pure skill to do more (killing) with less (agility)

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The fight on Lothal was also an interesting study in how differently he fights than the typically-depicted Jedi.  He has neither the aristocratic dueling panache of Dooku nor the acrobatics of many Jedi.  He's all brute force instead of finesse and flash -- he doesn't leap around or whirl about, he doesn't salute or flourish, he hammers away attacks instead of dodging, he just keeps moving forward and powering through whatever or whoever gets in his way.

What I noticed is that Vaders fighting style is actually very efficient.

He doesn't just hammer away, he hammers away with the minimum movement and strength required while leaving little space to attack. 

Vaders style is the closest to actual real live fencing which is something I can admire (as I have fencing interests) and furthers shows Vaders pure skill to do more (killing) with less (agility)

 

 

 

I pretty much agree -- when I said he "hammers away attacks" I was trying to describe his defense, not say that he doesn't defend. When someone attacks, he meets their attack with force and hammers it away decisively, with power.

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If you don't want to do total party kill, just have Vader toy with them. When it is his turn, say, "He stands there and waits for your next move." Still make him overpowered so that he deflects, blocks, or defends against anything they throw at him without taking wounds. Once they try to run, have Vader casually pull the force sensitive one out of the air, bring the force sensitive to him, and leave with exactly one prisoner in tow. If they try to chase after him, have Vader casually destroy their ship.

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I think rolls are important, to give the players some feeling of doing anything.

However you should remember, that by slaying the dragon, there's nothing left to do. 

It can even tarnish future games:

"Hey remember, when we killed Vader?" "Yeah... huh..."

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I think rolls are important, to give the players some feeling of doing anything.

However you should remember, that by slaying the dragon, there's nothing left to do. 

It can even tarnish future games:

"Hey remember, when we killed Vader?" "Yeah... huh..."

 

 

"Never give the players an opportunity to fight someone who you don't want dead."

 

 

 

 

Edit -- missed a "you" in there somehow...

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Always?

 

Why even play it out, then?

Because fights don't allways have to be about the reward of killing an strong opponent.

You can sent different messages with a desperate fight.

At some point the should notice that retreating is the better option. My players would probably **** their pants when I discribed Vader and they notice that this is not just another Inquisitor.

It is about showing them where their place is, that the Empire may be a bunch of fool, but that they took their place with force and are willing to defend it with brutal methods.

To show them all they do is survive, that their impacts on the galaxy are near none.

I like to show my players now and then where their place is. It may sound depressing at first, but the fact that they survived vader is something to celebrate, especially for the players.

I think that moves like that give a campaign a darker and more realistic tone and at least my players like that

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I think one issue to consider if the type of game you and your group wants to play. 

 

Early on, as a GM, I had this discussion with my players. Do you want to adhere strictly to canon? Ignore it? 

Do you want to pal around with Han Solo? Luke Skywalker? Or, do you want to do something entirely original? 

I'd say have this discussion with your players and set expectations. 

 

In 1 BBY the Empire shifted its focus from eliminating remaining Jedi to defeating the Rebellion. 

Depending on the timeframe of your game, this could buy your Jedi PC at least some slack.

Darth Vader, and the Emperor, could be too obsessed finding Luke to care about your Jedi PC. 

 

If you want a big, Imperial bad guy for your Jedi to fight, consider Grand Inquisitor Tremayne.

He's a fallen Jedi from the old WEG version of the game. You could update his stats.

He commanded an Imperial II Star Destroyer designated 'The Interrogator'.

That should be more than enough for your PC's to handle.   

 

In our game the force sensitive players found a rare holocron that takes the form of an holographic Yoda.

The holographic Yoda advised the players to stay under the radar and away from the Skywalkers, etc.

Instead, focus their time on training, locating, and preserving old Jedi relics, lore, temples, etc. 

Essentially, secret Yoda missions. 

 

This way, my players do their own thing while canon occurs around them. 

 

Semper Fi. 

Edited by SemperSarge

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Always?

 

Why even play it out, then?

Because fights don't allways have to be about the reward of killing an strong opponent.

You can sent different messages with a desperate fight.

 

 

And, sometimes, if you are playing by the rules, the dice don't roll your way. Kind of like real life. Things can suddenly go sideways. If you ignore the dice when they don't roll your way you are sending a loud and clear message that the players are doomed no matter what they do and no matter how the dice fall, and that you get to cheat the outcomes to suit yourself. 

 

That's probably not the message you want to be sending. I fall into the camp that says breaking the rules for an NPC, even an iconic one, is demoralizing to players in the long run and should be avoided. If you don't want to play by the rules, don't put Vader into a situation where dice are rolled. Keep it entirely narrative.

 

I also believe Vader's propaganda has mythologized his invincibility in the minds of many and turned him into an idolized fan-**** villain (see here) to the point where he is a symbol of un-fun.  Any fight with Vader should be hard-fought and serve a supremely dramatic purpose, and he should have all the advantages, but again, if you are going to be a canon wonk, don't put him into a die-roll fight. An unbeatable Vader is a patently boring Vader.

 

Some of the most epic moments in people's RPG memories are when outclassed heroes expecting to die see a scenario suddenly flip in their favor due to legendary die roll. That volatility is what makes it interesting. If you don't want volatility and its potential consequences, don't use Vader in structured play.

Edited by Vondy

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You should also remember that, at least by what Rebels show, Vader isn't known that much outside of high ranking imperials. Kanan had no idea who he was at first glance and realized he was Sith lord only during the fight, and still he had no idea who that sith lord was. I'm not sure he even discovered his name. If your player are good at playing this aspect the fight can be much more fun, as while they fight Vader they soon discover why the fear check is so diffcult. 

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Ahh, But isn't that part of what Light and Darkside points are for. 

 

Could not the GM simply turn over a Darkside point or two and declare that something happened to save Darth Vadar from some Lucky shot?

 

That wouldn't really be against the rules...

 

It would suck if the GM used such a method to Kill the players, But I don't think it should be taken askance to save a Big Bad from a Lucky shot. 

 

And the players have the same option with light side points to save themselves yes?

 

At least, I would allow such use of Light and darkside points at my own table. 

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That and defeat doesn't mean death. Being knocked back, winded or otherwise inconvenienced is also a valid way of handling wounds.

 

That being said I largely agree; because at no point do we see an entire party fight Darth Vader. It's always been one or two at a time, often with stormtrooper support/other circumstances preventing the others joining them.

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