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ddbrown30

Tell me about your story campaign

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I'm interested in hearing about other finished (or at least far along) story campaigns. What I mean by this is not just an adventure or a series of adventures, but something with an overarching story and recurring NPCs; campaigns with plots and mysteries for the players to uncover and dissect.

The main purpose of this thread is to share your creations. Tell us about your plot, your NPCs, and your PCs. Tell us about the parts of it that you loved and how your players reacted. Tell us about your most memorable moments. Take the opportunity to nerd out with us.

I would also like to hear about the trials and low points. What parts of it just didn't work, particularly those that you thought would be great? Did you end up where you thought you would? What did you learn and what would you do differently next time?

Edit: Reworded original post to clarify the discussion.

Edited by ddbrown30

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Honestly the big one I'm looking at right now is length. I've haven't had a campaign go 100% off the rails in recent memory, but I have had plenty get to the point of total group fatigue. Now I'm defining "campaign" as closer to 10 sessions in length instead of 20 Adventures (which for me usually last 2-3 sessions) in length. Basically I'm looking at Campaigns having more in common with a Film Trilogy or Season of a Premium TV series than a Season of Network television. You know, figure out the story you want to tell and get there instead of dragging it out.

Other things:

- Introduce NPCs early and ride them out when the players like them.

- Generate NPCs that are people the PCs already know a lot about and have dealt with before the "film" started. Han didn't need to roll to know who Greedo, or Jabba, or all those people are.

- If the players like an NPC, try and keep him around.

- Don't waste time pumping gas, or shopping, or sleeping, ect. Push on. you don't need to account for every moment of every day.

- Put the PCs in situations they aren't built for regularly. One of my favorite session was when the party Face had left the game totally, and the group decided to push on with the campaign anyway. They hit an Adventure that was built with the Face in mind, and had to just deal. It was extremely entertaining.

- Use those player backstories.

- Don't plan EVERYTHING but do outline far far ahead. When players roll those "foresee" checks it's fun to give them an immediate answer, but it's more fun when you can also slip in some foreshadowing for something way down the line.

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Sorry, I think my original post wasn't worded in the best way. I appreciate the tips (it's good advice), but my purpose for the thread is to share stories and experiences rather than simply sharing advice.

I've edited the OP to better reflect that.

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I’ve had the good fortune to be able to run consistently for a great group of players for a while now. We’ve gotten through five and a half “seasons,” each of which is a complete story:

1: The beginner box and follow up PDF module. We learned the system but I didn’t write anything of my own.

2: The players are hired to track down a shipwreck by triangulating its position based on a burst of radiation it emitted when its hyperdrive failed. The players got a list of six sensors that could detect the signal, they had to pick three to steal the log data from. The ship was an ancient Sith warship, and the campaign ended in a big fight over the wreck between the Empire and an ascendant Sith warlord, with the players caught in the middle.

3: A whole bunch of random adventures, but the players did manage to goad the Sith warlord into glassing Saleucami with orbital bombardment.

4: The Rebels ask the players to help them hijack and Imperial Nebulon-B, and then I ran a loose adaptation of the Far Orbit Project. This ended with them being part of a fleet going after the Sith warlord, who had built a jump gate to bring in Sith reinforcements from the Unknown Regions. The players used the gate to fling their frigate to a random point in the galaxy, told the Rebels to take cover behind a planet, and blew up the gate, triggering a nova-scale explosion and ending the Sith threat.

5: The players’ frigate ended up half inside an asteroid. They established a new hive of scum and villainy there, and this campaign was about town building. Eventually they get big enough that the Empire takes notice and invades. The Rebels come to assist and help the citizens evacuate.

6: This is the one we’re in the middle of now. The Rebels ask the players to help with the invasion of an Imperial world. It’s in a black hole cluster and the hyperspace lanes are only open for a few hours every 61 days. The Rebels think this means they have 61 days to secure the planet where the Empire can’t reinforce them, but it turns out there’s a planet-based prototype superlaser that makes short work of the invasion fleet. The players’ ship crashes in the jungle, and the players have 61 days to find repair parts and escape before the Empire arrives to lock the system down. This is a hexcrawl, kinda like the Kingmaker D&D adventure. Foraging takes time, travel takes time, etc. We’re about halfway through and the next session is a week from Saturday!

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I've got an ongoing game that I've run three "episodes" so far.  Our gaming group has multiple GMs and we run 6 week intervals of different games.  I run 2 different Star Wars games but the original one has been very entertaining.

It's a Force and Destiny campaign set around the time period of Return of the Jedi.  The 2nd Death Star has not been discovered yet.  The characters are all Force Sensitives that were found by a Jedi, Master Reknu, that had survived Order 66.  He took them all out to the Outer Rim and started training them, doing his part to pass on the knowledge of the Jedi.  Reknu was an Iktathi Sentinel/Shadow and had trained the characters up until he was killed by an Inquisitor.  The characters were left to continue their training on their own with the first rule, avoid Imperial Forces at all cost as Reknu knew if the Empire learned of them, Vader or the Inquisitors would soon follow.

They have joined up with the Rebellion although I have kept them away from the core Rebels as I don't want them crossing paths with Luke.  

The last episode was a lot of fun.  They assisted the Rebels on a salvage mission to recover a ship found crashed and frozen on an ice asteroid.  I pulled a Captain America move and had a Je'daii ranger who had crashed and gotten into a low berth/cryogenic unit and the froze for 30,000 years (I had not realized the length of time when I worked out the story).  When they revived him, he pushed his beliefs about Balance of the Force that the Je'daii followed and became a mentor type character that they had been missing since Reknu's death.  They traveled to a now desolate Tython and made their own journey.  Most of the temples were still in tact but in very poor condition. They found signs of a great war that took place and in the Temple of History were able to learn a lot of the history of the Jedi and the Sith as well as what had happened to Tython since Darik had left. At each temple, they would learn something new and gain strength in the Force. I had them do tests or face challenges that normally ended with them getting the base power of a Force Power or learning a new skill as a GM boon. At Anil Kesh, the temple of Science, Darik turned on them and used their combined Force (a combination of Suppress and Drain) to enhance his own strength in attempt to reach the bottom of the Chasm where he thought he would gain ultimate power.  

One high point of that game was when they were at Akar Kesh, the temple of Balance, each character had a Force vision that really pushed on their character's flaws.  I had a custom vision for each player based on what their character's background and mental outlook.  Between that game session and the final battle which had the characters chasing the Je'daii deeper and deeper into the Chasm it just had a very Star Warsy feel to it.

 

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9 hours ago, Cael said:

5: The players’ frigate ended up half inside an asteroid. They established a new hive of scum and villainy there, and this campaign was about town building. Eventually they get big enough that the Empire takes notice and invades. The Rebels come to assist and help the citizens evacuate.

Ooh, town building? That sounds unique. What was that like to run? What were the players actually doing?

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15 minutes ago, ddbrown30 said:

Ooh, town building? That sounds unique. What was that like to run? What were the players actually doing?

I used The Quiet Year (https://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year) as a base. We’d play one round at the end of each session. In that game the players introduce their own events (someone goes missing, the life support systems malfunction, etc), and the settlement has some resources in abundance and are hurting for others. Those two things made it easy to come up with stories. The players did all kinds of things, including dealing with a blue shadow virus outbreak, dealing with food riots, establishing an illegal/unlicensed YT-2400 production line, and negotiating with traders to get some commerce going. At the start I kept the item rarity modifier jacked way up, and they slowly improved it. Hilariously it took one player 4 sessions with terrible rolls to find a weapon sling, so apparently strips of fabric were very hard to come by.

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... (a tale from the GM)

A group of enterprising but fledgling rogues and scoundrels came together on the planet of Formos for a nice and simple bounty: catch Bandin Doba (the first mission in the book). The group consisted of a female smuggler with clone heritage, a bothan spy working for himself, a Mandalorian with a drinking problem, and a tall and shiny robot riddled with hidden blades. After a successful capture mission they were offered a position of Employ from Besadii the Hutt, poster of the bounty, and graciously took the job. Several jobs later, they incurred the wrath of the Plinkar Corporation after pulling off a heist of artwork along side an eccentric Rodian and a nervous Givin. 

Besadii was ready to integrate them further in his operation, but then they did something he did not expect or like: they declined.

Angered by this, he banished them from his domain and they were on their own again. The intel officer of Besadii took pity on them and gave them a direction to go. They then set out to break an old Black Sun Majordomo free, who would help them start their own operation elsewhere in the galaxy. They found his location on Wobani with the help of Forlan Calador, who they promptly knocked out and bound in order to pass him off as a Rebel officer. They managed to gain access to the planet to drop their "prisoner" off, but the robot's lust for blood got the better of him and a fight broke out, nearly killing the robot and the mandalorian and forcing them to escape the planet, leaving Forlan behind in the chaos.

They were soon contacted by on Illo Vandin who had helped them with a job for the Zann Consortium in the past, and he offered to get their friend out in exchange for a job. They destroyed a rival scrapping operation on Ord Mantel and made it look like an accident, ensuring no legal repercussions, but were ambushed by a bounty hunter group on their way back called The Grey Jackals. Outmatched and in a poor position, they were able to detonate their speeder and allow themselves to escape before a fight broke out. With Dakara Benji out of prison, they blasted off to find a new home and new base of operations.

They found it in the form of an abandoned Rebel space station, which was riddled with booby traps they had to navigate in order to get power and oxygen back on, but were successful in doing so while also rescuing a Wookiee Mechanic who was trapped on the station too. Now that they have a station, the time has come to start making contacts. Dakara and the Robot went to see about some renovations to the base while the rest of the Gang went to Bonadan to start finding clients.

While there, they ran into the same Rodian and his Givin friend who planned and helped pull off the Art Job, but he had not yet paid them for their efforts. With their shares now valued at about 2 million credits, he promised that he would take them to the stash after they got reacquainted at the local bar. He got too drunk to be able to lead them, so they agreed to wait until morning (they don't trust the Rodian, but they trust the Givin, who makes the promise). While escorting him back to his hotel, the group was hit by a stun grenade and went blind for a few seconds, which was just long enough for someone to ****** the Rodian away and escape.

And so that's where they are now. In the middle of the street on Bonadan with a few clues as to where their "friend" has been taken, and more than a few choice words for him once they find him.

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Hi there,

I took a twist on the Age of Rebellion game (well with the other two books thrown in) and I run an Imperial based game. The PCs are a select group of high performing officers and troopers put together as a black ops squad. Sent in to do dangerous and under cover missions in for the Empire. Now my take on the empire is this (just before the whinging starts) The Galaxy is to large for the Empire to be bastards to everyone, also that amount of evil is draining, expensive and takes a huge effort. Im more focused on the change of government affecting not many (Republic to Empire is the same as one party replacing another in any country - lots of promises and not much change). Sure there are curfews now and Stormtroopers around but a lot of places would have seen crime drop and economy flourish (especially after a long clone war!) Its what happened in post WW1 Germans and elements of which can be seen in a large powerful country west of the Atlantic .

I like this quote and run my campaign around it:

"The Empire is a government. It keeps billions of beings fed and clothed. Day after day, year after year, on thousands of worlds, people live their lives under Imperial rule without seeing a Stormtrooper or hearing a TIE fighter scream overhead." - Captain Thrawn.

 

I encourage the PCs to be loyal sons and daughters of the Empire but also think for themselves and become more in tuned with whats happening in the galaxy.

 

Its working very well with interesting moral choices (one hard nosed Stormtrooper Chief follows orders to the letter, whereas a scientist and a medical officer are more open to the real world.

Edited by mwknowles

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