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Atraangelis

Starwars Matrix style campaign start... feedback

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Heya fellow GM's
I am starting a FFG FnD campaign. I want the players to start off in a false reality, and 'Wake' into the real campaign unsure of who they are. 
The setting is they were captured and placed on a prison ship and placed in stasis , it was designed for Force sensitive characters to keep alive for <insert nefarious plot here>.
The ship is crashing and this is the wake event years after their capture.. where the pcs will find out that the first session was false.

I want the players to not fully know who they are upon awaking. 

My thoughts, Have each player make 3-4 backgrounds, I will hand each one a starting background....
When the Wake happens I will tell them to dismiss the first background as something implanted... and they must figure out their true background. to do this i will be selecting one of the remaining ones as the true one and discarding the others not used.

The premise is they will be hunted by many for what reason they know not, untill they reveal the clues along the way.. and eventually thwart or join the opposition.

any ideas? , has any one attempted something like this...

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This sounds a lot like the plot to the Darkstar TV series that I'm enjoying on Netflix.  It's a better than average show and the first season deals with the characters trying to figure out who they all are.

I also participated as a player in a similar Pathfinder game with a similar plot.  Someone else who knows what I'm talking about may be able to fill in the name of the canned module, but it was such a sucktastic experience that I have already deleted all electronic evidence that I participated in that campaign.  That said . . .

Session One had us start with a character who promptly died . . .  (totally sucktastic).

Our 'PC's' then woke up in another body in an insane asylum that was being besieged by Cthulu like monsters.  We fought our way out of the asylum, learning that our 'new' PC's were 'patients.'  There was some vague possible allusion to that previous 'death.'  But the module was pretty poorly designed and the PC's (now convinced that we were actually all really deranged criminals) started killing each other.

 

So my advice would be to proceed with caution.

I would let the players at least know that you plan on running an amnesia mystery campaign up front so that they avoid creative dissonance.  As a player, I can tell you that taking the effort to create a wonderful and storied background for a character only to have the GM announce that my work was all a waste, was a massive disappointment.

You can still engender a sense of wonderment and awe in your campaign, but if the players assumptions are aren't integral with your direction it could cause issues.

 

In a subsequent campaign (another mystery) we are struggling to comprehend the aftermath of a great cataclysm and the GM is dropping hints and clues along the way and while we have certain assumptions, it would appear that many of those assumptions were wrong!

THIS mystery campaign is a cool campaign!  (As opposed to the poorly written Pathfinder dreck we tried to run through).

 

Note that I also found the Pathfinder rules to be overly and unnecessarily complicated.  In spite of having a set of the rules we found that every time we leveled characters that we had been running the game 'wrong' and would in essence play a different game after each level . . .

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I was concerned about the "elaborate" background issue and i thought about asking the players to make one back ground.. but the details need to be changed...

I know a man on tatooine.. I visited a bar on corellia... ect..

 

The names places and events would be changed, but background would basically be the same. This would allow the players a sense of mystery not knowing who they are looking for but they know they are on tattoine.. or did that shoot out happen in a bar or a ship hangar...ect...

Edited by Atraangelis

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I'd make the players focus more on creating personalities for their characters rather than making backgrounds. Instead of "My Character seeks to avenge his murdered father" they would instead say "My character values family units above all else, and will protect those he considers family". OR  instead of "My character wants to learn more about the jedi and become one" it would become "my character pushes himself/herself to always exceed his/her past efforts".

This way, they are still fleshed out characters, but their motivations are now more based on their personality as opposed to things that would require them to have a backstory. Then you, as the GM get to have free reign with their pasts and so you don't have to worry about them being able to narrow it down based on what they submitted.

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1 hour ago, Atraangelis said:

Oh I like that idea... would you suggest letting the players pick thier motivations and such from the book then to help flesh out who they are instead of rolling?

 

My own personal rule of thumb with character creation is to allow the players to pick, and then choose a motivation that fits what they want. If they can't decide or don't want to decide, then you can have them roll for it.

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If you have experienced players and want to truly make it an awakening, have them start with nothing more than motivations suggested above, species, and characteristics.  Have them spend XP during the game to build the character based on what is thrown at them or what they discover.

Say they come to a corridor where the retractable bridge is retracted and the controls are on the other side.  One of the characters looks at the area and notices several outhangings that could be used for hand and foot-holds and he thinks to himself, "I can get over there by using those. That jump there may be difficult but I could do it"

He then does it and discovers he has 2 ranks in Athletics.

Career and Specializations could be a bit more challenging but have the Players give you ideas of what they like before the game an you can choose the specifics and reveal it at the right time during the game.

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These are great ideas and yes the group i have has been with me for over 4 years so we are starting something fresh as we just finished a EOE campaign.

What about names? do they or should they know who they are??? 

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