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Imperial Navy Core Rulebook?

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44 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Worked pretty well as the plot of Lost Stars.

Depends on the character(s). In the aforementioned Lost Stars, one of the two main characters did defect to the Rebellion. The other didn’t, yet still didn’t become an evil space Nazi.

That’s not to say one should run/play in a campaign that doesn’t appeal to them. But, just pointing out that decent people serving the Empire without becoming (to borrow a phrase) twisted and evil can be - and has been - done.

No decent person could serve the Empire. They might delude themselves but no one that stands by whilst a society engages in slavery, genocide and fascism is ‘decent’. 

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3 hours ago, HorusArisen said:

No decent person could serve the Empire. They might delude themselves but no one that stands by whilst a society engages in slavery, genocide and fascism is ‘decent’. 

I don't know that this is so black & white.  Sure, there are definite atrocities being committed, but does the average rank & file soldier know about this?  Do cadets that aspire to be Imperial soldiers know this?  The propaganda machine of the Empire is strong, and of course paints the Empire in the best light.  There are in fact specializations that play directly off this fact.  Star Wars loves to play with "a certain point of view" after all.  And heavens to mergatroid, we have enough examples in our own world to demonstrate this.

 

 

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I think Disney would wanna dodge the advocation of space nazis.

Having said that I think in a galactic setting it isn't hard to envision PCs with backgrounds where they were starving, cold, and homeless, and then the Empire and serving it, saved them from a wretched existence leading to miserable death. They could easily have been socialized under very different conditions where their perspective is very different from someone with a background whose never wanted for anything.

Not an acknowledgement of support for space nazis, just an observation that life and people are complicated.

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11 hours ago, HorusArisen said:

No decent person could serve the Empire. They might delude themselves but no one that stands by whilst a society engages in slavery, genocide and fascism is ‘decent’. 

I think the whole galactic conflict, as well as the factions are much more grey.  

Atrocities are commited on both sides and both sides want the Galaxy to be at peace. 

Given the Emperor is a true evil influence, but that hardly affects the day to day life of your average citizen. Compnor for example is full of people that are idealists and want to make the Galaxy a better place, there are even less radical influences there regarding the whole anti-alien thing.

 

I think how you portray Empire and Rebellion comes down to preference. 
Some like the Rebellion being the pure good and the Empire being pure evil. 

I and my group favor a more realistic view on the setting, with there being nuances and spots of light and darkness everywhere.

Edited by Fl1nt

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Only one side enslaves and works indigenous populations to death and it ain’t the rebellion. You can be deliberately ignorant of your groups atrocities but that wilful act is enough in my view to paint you a bad guy.

Anyway I’m not looking to derail the thread any further. I can see many uses for an imperial sourcebook, for me it supplies variations on the antagonists my players can duff up.

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As I said, consider the political climate.

White Wolf got dissolved as a company because of a (frankly tactless) implication that a horrific real-world event was just a ploy by elder vampires to distract the masses, all in a misguided effort to be "edgy."

James Gunn got booted from working on GotG 3 by Disney corporate mandate because an alt-right troll dug up a bunch of tasteless joke tweets from over a decade ago, tweets that James Gunn himself had apologized for years prior and admitted they were in bad taste.  Rian Johnson did a purge of his twitter history "just in case" so as to avoid the same fate should one of his prior tweets be taken in the wrong light.

It's not as bad as the "Satanic Panic" of the 80's that surrounded D&D, but with things like fascism, neo-fascism, and white nationalism being far more prevalent topics in today's news, and neither is it something that Lucasfilm and Disney (much less FFG) can really ignore, especially in a society where an accusation of a thing means you're automatically guilty in the court of public opinion.

Yeah, it sucks, but it is the current state of affairs, and something that companies need to be aware of lest they also get convicted of wrong-doing in the court of public opinion.  Tommy Lee Jones said in best in Men in Black:

"A person is smart.  People are dumb, panicky animals and you know it!"

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Star Wars has given us stories about bad guys before, especially in the video game realm. TIE Fighter is the earliest example that comes to mind, but more recently we had an entire evil faction in The Old Republic. And most recently, there's Inferno Squad in Star Wars Battlefront II. Not to mention miniatures games where you can play as the Empire. Even in the movies, heroes can be Imperials (although they tend to leave): Han in Solo, Finn in the First Order in the sequels.

But yeah, tread lightly.

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2 hours ago, HorusArisen said:

Only one side enslaves and works indigenous populations to death and it ain’t the rebellion. You can be deliberately ignorant of your groups atrocities but that wilful act is enough in my view to paint you a bad guy.

Anyway I’m not looking to derail the thread any further. I can see many uses for an imperial sourcebook, for me it supplies variations on the antagonists my players can duff up.

I don't think you're derailing anything. The conversation is the why's and why nots of an Imperial book.

I do think there would be PC considerations for Disney to avoid by skipping this book and I'd completely get it, wouldn't agree or like it, but I'd understand.

I don't think on a character level it's as simple as good = Rebels, bad = Empire though.

Cassian murdered a helpless informant.

Vader killed the Emperor.

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3 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

I don't think you're derailing anything. The conversation is the why's and why nots of an Imperial book.

I do think there would be PC considerations for Disney to avoid by skipping this book and I'd completely get it, wouldn't agree or like it, but I'd understand.

I don't think on a character level it's as simple as good = Rebels, bad = Empire though.

Cassian murdered a helpless informant.

Vader killed the Emperor.

Cassian (and Saw Gerrera) definitely show a darker side of the rebellion but Cassian at least starts to see a different path than just aping the empires follow orders doctrine.

Im not sure Vader is an example of a playable imperial. Last minute redemption is a great story point but up to that point he’s a vicious sadist.

The problem with the fiction is that I don’t see how you can play a ‘heroic’ or ‘good’ imperial for long given the Empires nature. It’s a repressive, facist civilisation that uses brute force, fear and immoral practices to sustain itself.

Now it’s a RPG and people might want to explore the monster within but I’m not built that way personally. For me an Imperial sourcebook is essentially a monster manual of bad guys and gear to beat on, blow up or steal.

I agree with you and several others in that I can’t see the House of Mouse exploring the darker side of the SW club.

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Sure, but power level notwithstanding, how do you get to the redemption story if you don't have the character?

Players aren't playing the Empire. They aren't playing the Rebellion. They're playing Bob and Sue, one might be a stormtrooper, one might be a rebel. Both need to eat and a roof over their heads, and neither may have had a bouquet of choices in life.

I could see an Imperial officer character who has a family they know would be very much in danger if they step a toe out of line. So they serve. They might be in charge of running slaves, but they don't beat them, they feed them, and treat them well within the context of what they can get away with, telling superiors it makes them more efficient. As opposed to the 'decent' Rebel that blows up a factory and causes hundreds of casualties in collateral damage. 

Whose the bad guy? Probably both, sorta, or neither. Life is complicated.

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33 minutes ago, HorusArisen said:

Cassian (and Saw Gerrera) definitely show a darker side of the rebellion but Cassian at least starts to see a different path than just aping the empires follow orders doctrine.

Im not sure Vader is an example of a playable imperial. Last minute redemption is a great story point but up to that point he’s a vicious sadist.

The problem with the fiction is that I don’t see how you can play a ‘heroic’ or ‘good’ imperial for long given the Empires nature. It’s a repressive, facist civilisation that uses brute force, fear and immoral practices to sustain itself.

Now it’s a RPG and people might want to explore the monster within but I’m not built that way personally. For me an Imperial sourcebook is essentially a monster manual of bad guys and gear to beat on, blow up or steal.

I agree with you and several others in that I can’t see the House of Mouse exploring the darker side of the SW club.

I just addressed your point about Disney somehow being against bad-guy games. SWTOR is still running, and Star Wars Battlefront II has long Imperial storylines. FFG's own miniatures games let you play as the Empire.  It's simply not the case that Disney would just flat out reject this sort of play.

There's definitely an argument to be made that an RPG involves a different level of empathetic engagement with the characters you portray. And I agree with you that I'd not enjoy an "evil" campaign of any sort. But from a business level, I don't think we can assume Disney is dead-set against the idea.

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45 minutes ago, SavageBob said:

I just addressed your point about Disney somehow being against bad-guy games. SWTOR is still running, and Star Wars Battlefront II has long Imperial storylines. FFG's own miniatures games let you play as the Empire.  It's simply not the case that Disney would just flat out reject this sort of play.

There's definitely an argument to be made that an RPG involves a different level of empathetic engagement with the characters you portray. And I agree with you that I'd not enjoy an "evil" campaign of any sort. But from a business level, I don't think we can assume Disney is dead-set against the idea.

Ah I don’t play video games so I think I missed your point sorry. It’s a good one though and maybe a good sign for those that want it that an Imperial sourcebook isn’t totally off the table.

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4 hours ago, HorusArisen said:

Only one side enslaves and works indigenous populations to death and it ain’t the rebellion. You can be deliberately ignorant of your groups atrocities but that wilful act is enough in my view to paint you a bad guy.

Anyway I’m not looking to derail the thread any further. I can see many uses for an imperial sourcebook, for me it supplies variations on the antagonists my players can duff up.

Yes the Empire definetily does that ;)
I'm just saying its not as black and white (a few Rebel Cells even go as far as committing Terroristic Act against Imperial Citizens). 
Just to be clear, the Empire is still the big bad galactic regime in my campaign. We're just trying to not paint it as comically evil, which makes it unrealistic for us. But thats the personal choice of our group, it hasn't to be yours.

As of the pro's and con's of an Imperial Navy Sourcebook: It would be an interesting read eitherway, even if one would only use it to get more detailed information about antagonists and their overall enemy. 
But it would make running a Imperial Campaign so much more easy and interesting :)

And in my opinion Imperials as a whole dont need to be evil, many Imperial Citizens and especially Soldiers believe in the Empire wholeheartedly (there are not few that get disillusioned and defect as well).

The aforementioned Battlefront 2 Campaign paints a great picture, had it not been for the Contingency Plan, the Protagonists would most likely have stayed loyal, but they saw to what illogical ends the emperor would go even after his death, so they chose a different path.

Edited by Fl1nt

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4 hours ago, HorusArisen said:

 You can be deliberately ignorant of your groups atrocities but that wilful act is enough in my view to paint you a bad guy.

One might be surprised to find real-world analogs that might paint many forum users here as "bad guys" by your criteria.  😄 Not sure I want to tread down that path of discussion.

Keep in mind that the Imperial propaganda machine is quite potent. 

A wise jedi once said, "“Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

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1 hour ago, 2P51 said:

Cassian murdered a helpless informant.

This act alone helps paint the Rebellion as "not entirely the good guys" and also speaks to shades of gray in the setting that maybe aren't overt in the other canonical media. 

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1 hour ago, Demon4x4 said:

The 501st seems to be doing just fine despite these view points, and is well respected and supported by Disney. 

The 501st also benefits from having been around for a couple decades and being much more in the public eye, with the public understanding that these people aren't espousing the rhetoric of the Empire, and aren't going around pretending that they're a bunch of space nazis.  If they started up now, in today's climate, it's likely they might not be nearly as well received.  Back when they started, George Lucas wasn't that fussed so long as they weren't trying to make money off the Star Wars IP (a guideline both the 501st and Rebel Legion are very strict about adhering to), where as Disney tends to be a lot more protective of its IP and thus might not turn such a blind eye to a fan organization, even if it is a lot of free advertising.

Now it's been a while since the Satanic Panic of the 80's, but RPGs still have a stigma attached to them even as they've become more mainstream thanks to a number of celebrities "coming out" as RPG gamers.  And with news media being a lot more interested in the sizzle than in actual news content (note the sheer increase in click-bait article titles and heavy bias in reporting in general on both sides of the political fence), all it takes is a bit of scandal to cause a serious headache.  The hobby is probably lucky that White Wolf's blunder (trivializing the murder of human beings who simply had a different outlook than the government of that region of the world) was squashed and dealt with as quickly as it was.

Do I like that this is the current state of affairs?  Nope, and on that point at least 2P51 and I see eye to eye.

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The Rebellion wants to restore the Republic. The Republic was a horribly corrupt and ineffective form of government that led to much chaos and suffering in the galaxy. This wansn't all Palapatine's doing either--the Republic was rotten to the core long before he came around. The Republic really shouldn't be considered a "good thing" except in comparison to the Empire; it's the South Park choice between a ****** and a turd sandwich. Restoring the Republic is just going for the lesser evil rather than trying to do something new and (hopefully better), but the Rebellion eats up all of that revisionist history.

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On 1/15/2019 at 6:25 PM, HappyDaze said:

The Rebellion wants to restore the Republic. The Republic was a horribly corrupt and ineffective form of government that led to much chaos and suffering in the galaxy. This wansn't all Palapatine's doing either--the Republic was rotten to the core long before he came around. The Republic really shouldn't be considered a "good thing" except in comparison to the Empire; it's the South Park choice between a ****** and a turd sandwich. Restoring the Republic is just going for the lesser evil rather than trying to do something new and (hopefully better), but the Rebellion eats up all of that revisionist history.

I can't really agree with that. The rébellion wants to restore A republic, not the Republic as it was at the end. At the time of the Clone Wars, it was indeed just a tool for the Core Worlds to get what they wanted from the other systems, and the empire was really its natural evolution. But let's not forget that its ideals, at the begining, were good enough for the Jedi order to swear to protect it.

And the rebels know all of this, there is no revisionist history. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were senators, i think we can assume that they are aware of the flaws of the system, given that Bail in particular was known for his integrity.

Proof is, the Alliance DID try to make the New Republic better than the previous. First, they gave to the different systems the choice to join it, or not. And second, they moved the capital and the senate away from Coruscant (I remember reading that the senate moved to a new planete every X years, but i can't find the source, so...)

Edited by AbsatSolo

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29 minutes ago, AbsatSolo said:

I can't really agree with that. The rébellion wants to restore A republic, not the Republic as it was at the endroit. At the time of the Clone Wars, it was indeed just a tool for the Core Worlds to get what they wanted from the other system, and the empire was really its natural evolution. But let's not forget that its ideals, at the begining, were good enough for the Jedi order to swear to protect it.

And the rebels know all of this, there is no revisionist history. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were senators, i think we can assume that they are aware of the flaws of the system, given that Bail in particular was known for his integrity.

Proof is, the Alliance DID try to make the New Republic better than the previous. First, they gave to the different systems the choice to join it, or not. And second, they moved the capital and the senate away from Coruscant (I remember reading that the senate moved to a new planete every X years, but i can't find the source, so...)

None of that makes the Republic any less flawed. The Jedi are not interested in good but rather in harmony/balance, and that means somebody is always left to suffer "for the greater good" much as Anakin's mother was left to wallow in slavery by the Jedi.

Even if the founders of the Alliance were politicians that were aware of the flaws, the vast majority of the Alliance were not. Frankly, they didn't care and foolishly just assumed that anything would be better than the Empire, even a fundamentally flawed system that had already proven itself a failire

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12 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

None of that makes the Republic any less flawed. The Jedi are not interested in good but rather in harmony/balance, and that means somebody is always left to suffer "for the greater good" much as Anakin's mother was left to wallow in slavery by the Jedi.

You seem to have a really low opinion of the jedi, but well, it is a matter of personal vision of the star wars universe, so I can't really argue against that

13 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Even if the founders of the Alliance were politicians that were aware of the flaws, the vast majority of the Alliance were not. Frankly, they didn't care and foolishly just assumed that anything would be better than the Empire, even a fundamentally flawed system that had already proven itself a failire

Well, anything IS in fact better than the Space nazis ^_^

The "vast majority of the rebels" don't fight for an hypothetical republic, they fight to bring the Empire down, and free themselves of the oppression, and don't really care/think about what comes next. It is the responsability of the leaders to deal with the aftermath, i.e the people like Mon Mothma

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1 minute ago, AbsatSolo said:

Well, anything IS in fact better than the Space nazis ^_^

The "vast majority of the rebels" don't fight for an hypothetical republic, they fight to bring the Empire down, and free themselves of the oppression, and don't really care/think about what comes next. It is the responsability of the leaders to deal with the aftermath, i.e the people like Mon Mothma

No, there are much worse things out there than the Empire (for example, the Hutt kajidics).

As for the average Rebel abdicating the responsibility of mission to their leaders, that's exactly how the Republic fell: too much advocating the voice of the many to the decision-making of the few. The exact Republic that those leaders are trying to rebuild (note that it's The Alliance to Restore the Republic, not The Alliance to Restore a Republic) will eventually become the enemy of the malcontents that form the unthinking masses of the Alliance.

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29 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

No, there are much worse things out there than the Empire (for example, the Hutt kajidics).

As for the average Rebel abdicating the responsibility of mission to their leaders, that's exactly how the Republic fell: too much advocating the voice of the many to the decision-making of the few. The exact Republic that those leaders are trying to rebuild (note that it's The Alliance to Restore the Republic, not The Alliance to Restore a Republic) will eventually become the enemy of the malcontents that form the unthinking masses of the Alliance.

The only thing making the Empire "better" than the kajidics is that their uniforms are cleaner. Otherwise they are just as twisted.

They are not advocating the responsability, they just have other priorities at the moment, like saving people, or surviving. What they want in the end is freedom, and decide of their own fate. That may or may not involve being part of a republic, and they trust that their leaders will give them a choice when the war is over. We don't know what happened exactly after Endor (at least, i don't), or how they handled the changement of regime (maybe they organised a giant brainstorming, who knows ?)

Also, I don't think one should read Alliance for the Restauration of THE republic as the proof that they want to make things just like they were before. They want to restore the republic, more generally speaking, meaning a system where everyone sits around a table and discusses the problem, as Padme says in AotC

 

 

Edited by AbsatSolo

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1 hour ago, AbsatSolo said:

The only thing making the Empire "better" than the kajidics is that their uniforms are cleaner. Otherwise they are just as twisted.

They are not advocating the responsability, they just have other priorities at the moment, like saving people, or surviving. What they want in the end is freedom, and decide of their own fate. That may or may not involve being part of a republic, and they trust that their leaders will give them a choice when the war is over. We don't know what happened exactly after Endor (at least, i don't), or how they handled the changement of regime (maybe they organised a giant brainstorming, who knows ?)

Also, I don't think one should read Alliance for the Restauration of THE republic as the proof that they want to make things just like they were before. They want to restore the republic, more generally speaking, meaning a system where everyone sits around a table and discusses the problem, as Padme says in AotC

 

 

The Republic that the Alliance is fighting to restore didn't want its members to be able to decide their own fates; they fought against separatism and made villains of those that wanted freedom from their ineffective and flawed government. Even after the Clone Wars are over, Mothma refuses to let former Separatists into her Alliance. The Republic she wants to restore will be the same as the Republic that died, only with Mothma and her crew in charge instead of Palpatine.

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