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Do you guys ever use Canon/Film Characters in your games?

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I have zero interest in including canon characters, as already noted the universe is just too big.  I tend to localize my campaigns, that is, the PC's interests and relationships are focussed on the fate of their home, kind of like Rebels.

The one exception was my son's Jedi campaign, set roughly 800 years before the fall of the Republic, where as a soon-to-be-knighted Sentinel he ended up rescuing some kind of rare egg, and when the egg hatched, out popped baby Yoda...

I have a few more story arcs planned before my son's PC takes on Yoda as a Padawan (and a very mischievous Padawan at that, always getting into trouble), and I have a vague plan to get them to Lothal to set up that whole thing with the wolves and the temple there.

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I have yet to use canon characters or even Canon PLANETS in my games. My players have enjoyed it pretty well so far, Canon creatures, alien species and ships exist all over the place and the themes of Rebels vs Empire are still intact but keeping it away from canon allows me and my players to still FEEL like all of this could be canon happening off screen in unknown parts of the galaxy. However, given the level of notoriety my players are getting and the level of XP they are getting I am beginning to think about going ahead and letting them see a couple of known characters. I dont expect it to be any more than small cameo's to make it work similar (luke, Han and Leia are likely to stay out of it entirely). I am even thinking of throwing Vader in there with his procession as a one off thing if and when they get the attention of and kill an inquisitor.

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I had two such encounters in the game I ran.

One was Sabine, as they contacted the Rebellion on Lothal at a time when she would have been in charge of it. So a bit of fan service there.

One was Hondo, as him manipulating the players into stealing a ship for him was just too amusing (plus I knew the party face OOC didn't know him, but the rest did, so that made the encounter so much more fun).

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Generally I do not like using any characters in the existing universe.  I find them limiting in the fact that the players already know what to expect from them.  Thus I have to play that character as NPC.  I would rather my players not know what to expect.

It forces me to be more creative and in the end its more fun.  

If you do choose to use a Canon character choose one with a small enough part that you can be flexible with them.  For instance I used the KotOR gang boss Gadon Thek.  I found him interesting and at the same time he was very flexible.

Turns out it was a good call because my players failed the mission he gave them and now he's an antagonist.  He will eventually have to be killed.  

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Finally was able to put this to the test.......yesterday was the beginning of a new campaign set during the Great Peace of the Republic.  The PCs played a special peace keeping task force sent by Valorum to aid the people of Naboo during the events of Phantom Menace (Invasion of Naboo), specifically to take back the city of Moenia from the Trade Federation.

After breaking through the Trade Federation Blockade in their G-9 Light Rigger (The team made jokes about ditching the ship after it failed to be able to pull off evasive maneuvers with only a top speed of 2.  The pilot of the team is playing a Commander - Squadron Leader which I give him credit for because it is a unique approach to the piloting role.  They ended up liking the ship because it has three guns). 

The players landed a few clicks away from Moenia.  They were ambushed by a party of Gungans and were able to make peace with them.  The Gungans brought the players and their Jedi Mentor back to their village for a strategy planning session and a small feast.  In the middle of the night one of the Force Users is awakened by Maul's taunts (GM liberty Maul used sense to project thoughts), and a sudden scream.  The Counselor - Niman Disciple was able to spot Maul standing on top of a large oak tree branch before leaping off into the middle of the night.  Maul had killed their Jedi Mentor and left the Jedi dangling from the gallows tree (The Force Users failed their Lore check to identify Maul as Sith). 

The Bounty Hunter - Assassin was able to roll a Triumph on their tracking roll (Used perception instead of survival, GM botch).  They discovered Maul had been using a secret passage to get in and out of Moenia.  Using the secret passage the team entered into Moenia and FOLLOWED Maul's tracks.  They were able to coordinate with the Gungans (Who launched a frontal attack on the city), while the PCs using the secret passage to free some hostages and shut down communications and defense systems set up by the Trade Federation.  They were also able to hijack a AAT-1 Hover Tank

While they were cleaning the b-1 battle droids, MAUL proceeded to slaughter all of the Gungans assisting the PCs. 


This is where I let them know OOC:  That if they go after Maul (The "Creature") I cannot promise that they will not die, and might get TPKed because I was not sure how the fight will end (The PCs tend to get emotional during a close fight).  THEY PROCEEDED ANYWAY WITHOUT Hesitation.

  • They leave the hostages at the secret passage, while they went out in the AAT tank to chase Maul.  Maul ended up double backing through the secret passage and slaughtered the hostages (They kept failing Perception/Vigilance opposed Checks vs Maul's agility  of 5).
  • They hear the screams of the hostages and return back to Moenia to find it suddenly very quiet.  That is when Maul appeared.  I proceed to warn them again.  OF course they proceed to attack.  CUE Duel of Fates on my IPHONE (1 hour loop).
  • What proceeds to happen.
  • 1.Cool Initiative, PCs get first three slots, followed by Maul. Followed by Last PC slot.  (Maul has a presense of 3 and no cool). 
  • 2.  They attempt to shoot Maul with the ATT turrets and attatched light repeating blasters.  NO ONE HITS despite my heart beating fast.  Parts of buildings crumble around Maul as IT Rushes into a two story Monolithic style building).
  • 3. PCs chase in AAT tank.  Commander is piloting, the Bounty Hunter is manning the top turret with one head sticking out.  The two force users are standing at the sides of the Tank manning the light repeating blasters.
  • 4. They spot Maul ontop of the ramparts of the building.  Successful perception check with 6 disadvantages gives Maul a free Maneuver.
  • 5.  Maul uses force leap (Enhance) to jump onto of the tank.  Healer spams Harm. 
  • 6.  Next round, Padawan Niman misses but rolls a triumph --short circuits Maul's LS.  Bounty Hunter uses Blaster Carbine (Quick Draw) and crits Maul scattered senses.  Bounty Hunter rolls off the side of the tank from the Commander position main turret. 
  • 7.  Commander Squadron Leader emerges from the pilot seat to the main turret in slow motion and blasts Maul with a Heavy Blaster -- CRITICAL Compromised.
  • 8.  Maul realizing It will lose, uses Force Leap to jump onto an adjacent Arch.  Force Healer Chases -- Spams Harm. 
  • 9  Arch Collapses: Maul uses enhance coordination/athletics to survive and then runs off into the forests of Naboo on It's second turn of the round.
  • 10.  DONE.


Summary:  4 PCs - standard CC with 50 extra exp post species and Obligation/Morality EXP to spend on talents, skills, specializations.

PC Party..

1.  Arkanian - Guardian, Armorer

2.  Human -Commander, Squadron Leader, Gunner (Ace)

3.  Human - Counselor, Niman Disciple

4. Rodian - Bounty Hunter, Assassin

--I gave Maul only one turn pre-greater than half wound threshold.  With less than 1/2 wound threshold Maul had two actions.

--Stats from Maul were from Dawn of the Rebellion.

--At the end of the fight Maul had reached Wound Threshold 18/18, but had not exceeded the threshold. 

--Technically the PCs downed Maul.  B/C Bounty Hunter failed to use lethal blows on Crit (Overpowered) and Maul technically had 1 brawn point lower at this point due to not having cybernetic legs.  But there was to much going on that human mistakes happen.

--Going Forward I will be going all out with Maul and giving It two turns each round.  Standard initiative slot.  Then end of the initiative round.

--PCs had everything going for them.  "We had everything going for us. Maul will never take us lightly again" --- Guardian Armorer, Arkanian, who played the team's healer and spammed Harm (Conflict galore). 


--EVERYONE LOVED IT.  I'm planning to bring Maul back and 'go all out' next time. 


--Cannon has now been changed in our campaign.  Being to injured from the battle with the PCs, Maul was not able to kill Qui-Gon Jinn, instead Qui-Gon was able to win their duel in the reactor and cut Maul in half --- Essentially what Kenobi did to Maul at the end of TPM.  Qui-Gon is now Anakin's master.

--Maul will survive because Rune Haako managed to find It amongst the garbage and debris on Lotho Minor...giving Maul new cybernetic legs.


Altered Timeline Ideas none of the ideas below are set in stone for the campaign...--I'm not sure what will other plot points on what could happen, and could use input.

--Maul will form the The Crimson Dawn or Veiled Society and start plauging the galaxy......

--Valorum stays on as Chancellor and is really the Sidious.  Palpatine becomes an advisor to Valorum. 

--Palp still becomes supreme chancellor of the republic....ends up using Maul to start the Clone Wars....or uses Maul running around the galaxy to sanction the Clone Army...

--With a sanctioned Clone Army develops the Death Star....frames the Jedi and then blows up the Jedi temples on each planet in addition to inacting order 66.....



Edited by Sincereagape

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On 9/12/2019 at 10:58 AM, Stethemessiah said:

Dr Evezan and Ponda Baba.

I had a Hotshot ace who encountered these two. He played Ponda a game of sabacc to kill some time- his nomad greatcoat (of course he was Corellian) for the sweet orange jacket the aqualish was wearing. 

My ace won, but he just grunted belligerently and popped his collar, before exiting. Sore loser, that guy.

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My Clone Wars Unit 66 Campaign currently features Ventress as the main antagonist, and boy she is ludicrously powerful. It's been good to have the Jedi Knight terrified to face her but struggling with his code of honour to avoid her attacking the Clones.

Currently they have gotten around facing her by using Heavy Weapons and Air Support.

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