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onebadveggie

Trying to figure out how to get a group to work together?

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Wasn't sure how to word this title. So I've been running a game with a couple of characters playing as undercover Jedi in the Outer Rim. Basically infiltrating organizations, arresting fugitives of the Republic, etc. We're introducing new characters to the mix, and want to go from one shots to a more campaign like story. One is playing as Hired Gun, but she wants her character introduced as someone on the run for stealing from the Hutts. The other character is playing a Bounty Hunter who is on the trail of the Hired Gun. Meanwhile the two Jedi characters are also on the trail of the Hired Gun, because they had stolen spice from the Hutts, and the Jedi want him arrested and the spice confiscated.

All this basically will lead to a stand-off on Rishi where the plots will meet.

And that's when I realized, I have to get these characters to work together... and I have no idea how. The era is just before the end of the Clone Wars, but that's still a few weeks off. Any hook ideas?

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Unless you have something better planned, you could have Order 66 issued and they all are hunted by clones together.

Otherwise, maybe the BH is chasing the HG to put hurt on the Hutts, rather than working for the Hutts.  He teams up with the Jedi, only to find that the HG is stealing from the Hutts, and planning to turn over the evidence to the Republic, but got in over his head, and doesn't know where to turn.  A couple Jedi would make excellent intermediaries for him.

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It's so funny, I had a similar literal "shower thought" this morning, regarding the Hired Gun, that yes, he has information that's more valuable to the Jedi than him being taken in. Your story actually makes a lot of sense with where I was going because the first encounter was going to deal with a rival NPC Bounty Hunter swooping in and trying to get them. If Jedi and the PC Bounty Hunter are already working together, this makes more sense.

As for the Clone Wars, I've had a Clone Trooper with the Jedi during the one-shots who's been their sort of "Big Brother" who's been finding them jobs, feeding them information, and piloting the ship they all live on. The Jedi in this campaign are Padawans who've had to forgo their official Jedi Trials because of the War, and their Masters being off in the fight. Instead of bringing them along they sent them off with this Clone Trooper to keep up their work in the Outer Rim. So the idea is that when the appropriate time comes, that knife is going to sink in. Masters dead, Jedi fallen, No ship, their "best friend" turns on them, and the only people they have left are the outlaws and scoundrels.

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This situation seems rife with double-cross possibilities. Do the Hutts like what the Jedi have been doing? If not, this could be a cunning ploy to get a bunch of potential thorns together for one massive betrayal. 

Nothing makes a group work together like having a common enemy.

It also gives them a hook to investigate why they were all put on the chopping block together, who paid for it, etc.

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I also believe in something I call Dramatic Interest. This is the idea that to some degree the players need to try to actively work to keep the group functioning as a group at times using OOC (Out of character) coordination and discussion. To me, a lot of bad things happen from the assumption of necessary spontaneity. The assumption that everyone must be operating 100% in the dark and not using any meta-controls. Some players take this so far that they are essentially driving toward having a solo character in a group game, and will use their "Role-Playing" and Agency as an excuse to engage in this sort of RPG autoeroticism at the expense of the other players. 

I think it's better to have a purpose as far as the group, but not to script it as far as in-game events and concepts. By this I mean don't try to contrive a story to bring them together because that's no insurance, and if you are constantly trying to justify their togetherness by hooks you are going to be working hard and against the Law of player induced chaos (like murphy's law but for RPG players vs. planned story). I think it's ok to say, "ok what's the deal with your Bounty Hunter Phil? Why is he always away from the group and never wanting to do what the others do? Is there no bond with the other characters that you can make work for your guy?"

A common bond, contrived OOC is a good thing in my book, especially if it has an arc to be realized later. Hey guys don't worry because I am building up to the character being loyal to the group, but he has demons to work through first. That gets rid of anxiety over the character being an internal threat to the group. In my experience players organize the game world into Us and Not Us. In many groups the Not Us gets quick violence or dismissal as the most common form of interaction. If a player in the group falls into Not Us because of being a jerk or self-centered, or if the group doesn't actually form in the first place, you are inviting violence or separation.  

Edited by Archlyte

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The Jedi and the Bounty Hunter both catch the Hired Gun at the same time. The Hutt comes in and says the Bounty Hunter violated the contract somehow so won't be getting paid. Then Clones come to arrest the Jedi. And a ridiculous Pirates of the Caribbean style stand-off insues.

Whatever the results, they are all marooned on a wild planet. Maybe the wiley Hired Gun has been marooned there before, but needs a crew to operate his/her abandoned ship which just happens to be infested with wild beasts.

Now they are all on the run from the Hutts AND the Republic/Empire

 

 

Edited by Mychal'el

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On 3/13/2018 at 1:01 AM, onebadveggie said:

One is playing as Hired Gun, but she wants her character introduced as someone on the run for stealing from the Hutts. The other character is playing a Bounty Hunter who is on the trail of the Hired Gun. Meanwhile the two Jedi characters are also on the trail of the Hired Gun, because they had stolen spice from the Hutts, and the Jedi want him arrested and the spice confiscated.

Well, IMO this is a great idea for a story but a lousy idea for an RPG party. The reason is you've already set up a situation where all the PCs are out to get each other which makes it really hard to justify any of them working together. I would suggest something a little different:

There is a MacGuffin. The Hired Gun is on the run from the Hutt for stealing the MacGuffin, the Hutt wants it back along with the HG's head in a sack so he puts out a contract. The Bounty Hunter is after the MacGuffin as well but isn't working for the Hutt rather is following an open contract put out by a Shadowy Figure. Unknown to the HG or BH, the Shadowy figure is a Fallen Jedi the Hutt stole the MacGuffin from, and they want it back so badly they not only put out that open contract but also has their minions looking for it. The Jedi are after the Fallen Jedi and they learn of the MacGuffin which will help them infiltrate the FJ's stronghold. The Adventure begins with the two Jedi posing as buyers of the MacGuffin when the HG and BH all end up in the same place at the same time and are about to figure this all out when, you guessed it, a shipload of bad guys show up to take the MacGuffin over your PC's dead bodies...

As you can see none of the players are after each other but the MacGuffin so none of them have any reason not to work together, in fact all them will need to work together because there are other Bounty Hunters and assorted thugs who want either to get the bounty from the Hutt and aren't above killing all of them to get it, or the Shadowy Figure and their minions who are also unconcerned with the PC's lives. This is pretty much the plot for a dozen or so adventure films so your Players should pick up on it pretty quick.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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1 hour ago, FuriousGreg said:

Well, IMO this is a great idea for a story but a lousy idea for an RPG party. The reason is you've already set up a situation where all the PCs are out to get each other which makes it really hard to justify any of them working together. I would suggest something a little different:

There is a MacGuffin. 

As you can see none of the players are after each other but the MacGuffin so none of them have any reason not to work together, 

Yes, always have a macguffin!

But I love when frienemies band together against common foe, it may take more creativity than a group of natural allies, but if done right, it'll make for lots of fun!

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Funny enough what I thought was going to happen did not happen. Something even more kind of crazy did.

So what I figured would happen, was the Hired Gun would try to convince the two Jedi to come with them to jack an even bigger stash of contraband off-world. Simple enough, keeps the group together for the time being.

What ended up happening, was through normal conversation, one of the Jedi let it slip that he was in fact a Jedi. Everyone at the table was in stunned silence, (while the other Jedi rolled a successful Deception and said "YOU'RE A JEDI!?") and the Hired Gun pulled out their gun, and basically blackmailed him into helping do their heist, or being given to the Separatists. Later the two Jedi decided that it'd probably be in their best interest to help with the Heist, and the session ended with them trying to find a ship to steal and take off into Hutt Space.

Edited by onebadveggie

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