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Bluegrrl

New GM and looking for help making a pre-Yavin, Rebels-era campaign

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Long-time player, first time GM and very nervous. Our previous SW gang ditched out, and I was interested in playing again.  My husband told me to run my own campaign as he was tired of GMing.   So, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I am a fan of Rebels, and am thinking of running my game in that era.  And yes, I have cred with Star Wars and gaming, I just happen to like the Rebels series a lot and think it's a fun time period.  I find Jedi rules a little difficult, so I may not allow them in the campaign, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a plot.  Since the players are all our of city, I'm planning on using d20.  It will be about 3 players.  One droid (husband) and I'm going to character gen night with other friends.  Any ideas for a plot?  Any tips for a new GM?  Help?  Using Edge of Empire rulebook as well as Dawn of Rebellion sourcebook.

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Tips: 

  • Have a character name list - if you think you've generated enough names for random NPCs your players are likely to encounter, add a few more, trust me. 
  • If you aren't sure about a rule, make a ruling, jot it down, and move on. Check it later to see if you got it right or wrong, so you can know it next time, but don't bog the game down searching for certain rules. You could also have  someone helping you to do some rules check, let them look it up while you  keep the game going. Maybe your husband can do this since he has GMed the game before. 
  • Don't be afraid to take a break! This might sound in contrast to the last point, but you'll know when it is a fair time to take a break, especially if the players have found themselves in a situation that you didn't expect, like a big fight breaking out in the middle of a Hutt's lair or something. Take a break, let them get a drank or use the bathroom, while you stat-out all those characters they are about to battle! 
  • Encourage players to describe how they are spending advantage especially in combat. Players and even GMs, have a tendency to just start throwing around boost dice or adding setback dice without really describing in the scene how that is happening. If you push the players to describe it everyone at the table will be more engaged and feel like they are in the scene. 
  • Read the "skills" and make sure all of them are being used. I'm guilty of this myself, I've notice in my recent games an overuse on both the players and my part of "perception" and "stealth" while skills like "cool" or "resilience" are rarely used. Try to use a wide range of the skills, and get the most out of them. 
  • Don't be afraid to tell a player NO! Seriously everyone is there to have a good time and play and live in the Star Wars universe, but sometimes players can tend to want to push things and get away with some crazy stuff. Don't be afraid to tell a players, "No, you can't stealth pass the two guards at the entrance that is the only way into the base, the difficult is impossible, sorry." That said, I rarely say "no" or have to say "no" as my players are generally pretty understanding of certain things just don't seem possible without me really having to flat out say it. 
  • Flip opposed rolls. Nobody likes to have their character told or made to react a certain way, besides that kind of takes the role play out of it right? But if you are trying to do something like, coerce (intimidate) the players with a big scary wookie, instead of you, the GM rolling against their discipline  to scare them, succeeding and telling them they have to act scared of the wookie, let them roll their discipline against the wookie's coercion. You'd be amazed at how much more accepting the players are if they roll and fail, and how they will naturally start reacting to the situation according to the roll. 

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. As for the plot, I'd need to know more about which corebook you are going with. Clearly you aren't using F&D but Edge or Age could be used in this time period and I'd suggest different ideas for them. 

For Edge you could do something like, the players are hired by a crimelord to steal a weapons cargo and once the players get their hands on it, they find out it was meant for this new Rebellion that is trying to fight the Empire. So now do they give the weapons to the crimelord or do they give or sell it to the Rebels and risk crossing the boss! It would be kind of similar to the conflict Han had in the original trilogy. 

For Age, I'm a sucker for old war movies, so I'd suggest something like the Dirty Dozen. The players are all playing characters who are prisoners, and are now being put together to earn their freedom by doing this crazy suicide mission! 

Anywho, I hope this helps and if you have room for another player, I might be interested since you are using Roll20 ;)

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Check out this current thread, maybe some ideas in there:

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/295852-help-me-with-a-campaign-framework-for-force-destiny/

On 5/30/2019 at 10:39 PM, Bluegrrl said:

I am a fan of Rebels, and am thinking of running my game in that era.  And yes, I have cred with Star Wars and gaming, I just happen to like the Rebels series a lot and think it's a fun time period.

Um...who said Rebels doesn't have "cred"?  I think Rebels is the best story in canon, but it doesn't matter:  like what you like!  :)

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Firstly... Kudos for jumping in at the deep end & taking on the rewarding task of running your own game 👍

My current campaign is set in the same time period, as like u I like it... & there’s plenty of scope for making your own stuff up!

My campaign concentrates on a single sub-sector with my players trying to disrupt Imperial activities there... it straddles an important trade route & is important to both the fledgling Rebel Alliance & The Empire (who currently control it with an iron fist).

Your first decision might be how big u want to go? I could pretty much do what I’m doing & restrict it to one world, I suppose it depends on whether u want your players planet hopping around the galaxy though! If u do like that route bear in mind the amount of extra work that involves in preparing locations. 

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Posted (edited)

This may sound really obvious, but don't be afraid to dig in and make your characters relationships with the Empire and the Rebellion complicated. Are they all part of the Rebellion at the start of the game? Do the other characters know that? How active is the Rebellion on the planet they are on? How loyal is the local government to the Empire? Most people tend to set their games in the Outer Rim because it's easy to explain why the Empire isn't always around to bang down your door, and why there are pirates or bounty hunters or other adversaries. But the galaxy is a massive, ungovernable mess and I've always felt its much more fun to think of the Mid-Rim and the Expansion Region as a rich patchwork of full member states, colonies, territories, outposts, client states, tributaries, vassals, protectorates, satellites, and puppet regimes, each with their own unique rules governing Imperial presence on that planet - rules which the Rebels or other parties can break or exploit to advance their own goals. 

How combat heavy do the players want the game to be? 

How's this for the starting point of a plot? The recent, possibly mysterious death of a system's senator presents a rare opportunity for the Rebellion. The ruling elite of the system will be gathering soon to vote which of them should be chosen to represent the system in the Imperial Senate. Will it be the capable war hero? The technocrat? The charismatic populist? The wealthy oligarch? Or some one else? Any one of these characters could be an agent for the Rebellion - but is the most effective agent really the best person to rule? And is that really what the local population wants? 

The players can choose their preferred candidate and do whatever is required to help that person win, perhaps even killing, blackmailing, or kidnapping a front-runner with unfavorable positions. Or they can forge identities and throw their hat in the race themselves. Or they can taint the election, sow chaos in the system, and try to inspire open revolt as this last shred of the democratic process breaks down. It can get mundane, but there's a lot to explore. It's Game of Thrones - Star Wars style!

Edited by Pollux85

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On 6/3/2019 at 5:48 PM, unicornpuncher said:

Tips: 

  • Have a character name list - if you think you've generated enough names for random NPCs your players are likely to encounter, add a few more, trust me. 

Unicornn's whole post was good advice but on this one, if you have a tablet or laptop handy, keep this page open

https://www.dimfuture.net/starwars/random/generate.php - For Random names on the fly

and this is great for an on-the-fly merchant npc: https://rawgit.com/JmurrayJr/EoteTools/master/EotE_NPC_Merchant_Generator.htm

 

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I just tried that NPC merchant generator link. The resulting merchant was selling gear which in general ranged from 35 credits (Spray Plasto-Cast) through 1,000 credits (Fabritech AG/L Mk. III Targeting Goggles) to 7,500 credits (SBD Series Assistance and Rescue Droid) ... and one hilarious outlier: a DefenStar Ltd. Nyalsan II Planetary Shield Generator for 460,000 credits!

"Oh, you're looking for something ... special ... are you?" :D

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A lot depends on the characters the players create. One of the first things I do is to ask "what would bring these characters together?" Sometimes, the answer is fairly obvious, but involving the players in coming up with the answer is fine, too. 

It's also important to remember that they don't have to want to be together; a common enemy can do wonders.

I suggest not starting them off as active members of the Rebellion. I think it's a lot more fun if they find their own reasons for becoming rebels.

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I'm surprised no one has posted these links yet.

First is an official post from FFG about running a Rebels campaign.:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2018/3/26/running-rebels/

 

Second is an unofficial sourcebook released a couple years before FFG released Dawn of Rebellion (This link sucks because their website uses way too much "web 2.0" garbage):

http://www.rpg.buzz/

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