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Do you ever use historical events as inspiration for events, battles, political hijinks, etc. in your campaigns or adventures? If so, what, and how did you implement it?

Star Wars takes heavy inspiration from WWII for much of its combat and story (dambusters/trench run, hunt for the Bismarck/Malevolence, D-Day/Second Battle of Geonosis, space combat, starfighters, etc), and that is one of the (if not the) main reasons I like it.

I was always fascinated by the Pacific theater of WWII because of the ships and the fighters. The "space" part of Star Wars. When you think about it, in Star Wars, there's a space battle over a planet, and then the attacking force invades (almost always successfully, even if Pyrrhic) said planet. In the Pacific, there would often be a naval battle (or a series) as the attacking force tried to clear the waters and air so that they could land their troops on the island. Then more naval battles and skirmishes would follow as both sides tried to reinforce or retreat, slipping transports past the blockades. In particular, this makes me think of Christophsis and Guadalcanal, although the similarities are not perfect.

I was fascinated by the European and North African theaters for the ground combat and the role airpower took, more comparable to Star Wars ground combat. This is more easily found in the Clone Wars, one of the big reasons I love that series.

I have considered (though not yet implemented) a story inspired by the Warsaw Uprising in particular, and contemplated what other historical events would make good Star Wars stories. Battles that come to mind are Taffy 3 and The Battle off Samar (the charge of the tin cans), the rest of the naval battles around the Philippines, The Battle of the Bulge, The Battle of Britain, the Americans holding out at Bataan and Corregidor, The Battle of Berlin, Anzio, Monte Carlo, the sabotage of the heavy water plant, and I already mentioned it in relation to Christophsis, but Guadalcanal. Of course Midway, Coral Sea, Marianas Turkey Shoot all would make for good space battle adaptations. I am sure there are many slipping my mind right now, but these are just some off the top of my head that I think most people would have a decent understanding of. I didn't list Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan, etc. because those battles don't translate well to a planet-wide invasion.

A note on Taffy 3: This is pretty much a perfect story to translate into the Rebels fighting the Empire. You have fragile carriers fleeing from the mightiest surface warship afloat, while their "corvettes" run up under the guns, evading incoming fire and pestering the enemy while every fighter they have is launched, relaunched, and launched again to harass and slow down the Imperial warships, managing to score surprising victories and escaping with a surprising amount of their forces.

As you can probably tell, combat, WWII in particular, is my focus. But I do not mean to limit the question to war, other historical events can also make good fodder for Star Wars stories.

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1 hour ago, BrickSteelhead said:

It is a period of civil war!

 

Some favorite historical civil wars I've mined for inspiration:

- the Sengoku period of Japan (okay, the Momoyama specifically)

- Sulla's and Caesar's civil wars in ancient Rome

- the English Wars of the Roses

The Catholics being hunted in England can give some good inspiration for Jedi hunting. China has a similar thing.

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I’ve found that after the Battle of Endor is a good time period to explore. I ran a session based around ideas inspired by the Battle for Castle Itter. 
 

Fighting alongside Storm Troopers against Death Troopers is something my players still talk about. 

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7 hours ago, Flavorabledeez said:

I’ve found that after the Battle of Endor is a good time period to explore. I ran a session based around ideas inspired by the Battle for Castle Itter. 
 

Fighting alongside Storm Troopers against Death Troopers is something my players still talk about. 

By deathtroopers do you mean the zombie stormtroopers or the uber stormtroopers in black armor?

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9 hours ago, EliasWindrider said:

By deathtroopers do you mean the zombie stormtroopers or the uber stormtroopers in black armor?

Uber Stormtroopers, for sure (but any Imperial terror unit will work).
 

There’s already enough games with zombie fascists out there, no need to work that genre into Star Wars.

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2 hours ago, Flavorabledeez said:

Uber Stormtroopers, for sure (but any Imperial terror unit will work).
 

There’s already enough games with zombie fascists out there, no need to work that genre into Star Wars.

Now that I remember Castle Itter and that you aren't talking about zombies, that's a really cool idea. Especially the parallels to the SS (though one could argue that the Stormtrooeprs are more akin to the SS and the Imperial Army is more akin to the Whermacht). The black armor is a nice touch though.

Castle Itter was a war-story I had somehow missed until Sabaton brought it up. Good song, too.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

Castle Itter was a war-story I had somehow missed until Sabaton brought it up. Good song, too.

Better run the adventure before the movie comes out and spoils it. Such a crazy beyond belief story that I only heard about a couple year ago and I grew up reading everything I could find about western front WW2. That it hasn't gotten more attention and made into a movie before is surprising. Perhaps it was deemed as so unbelievable it wouldn't be accepted as a true story? Nazis fighting alongside Jews and Americans in a Gothic castle? Hero Olympiad tennis player and prime minister? Tank broken down holding out against all odds on a bridge? Yep all in one story.

Edited by Sturn

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1 minute ago, Sturn said:

Better run the adventure before the movie comes out and spoils it. Such a crazy beyond belief story that I only heard about a couple year ago and I grew up reading everything I could find about western front WW2. That it hasn't gotten more attention and made into a movie before is surprising. Perhaps it was deemed as so unbelievable it wouldn't be accepted as a true story? Nazis fighting alongside Jews and Americans in a Gothic castle? Hero Olympiad tennis player and prime minister? Tank broken down holding out against all odds on a bridge? Yep all in one story.

That's pretty much exactly my experience. Really fascinating story.

This may seem like heresy, but I don't really watch war movies. Somehow it just doesn't feel right to me. I did watch The Longest Day though. That was a good movie. Perhaps it being in black and white made it feel more right to me. I'm not sure.

I do strongly recommend the Sabaton song: The Last Battle (Jenny at the gates, as the SS open fire...)

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Miami in the 1980s as seen through the lens of Michael Mann and Anthony Yerkovich's Miami Vice.

 

Yeah, it's kind of a joke...  But I really do use that series as a huge source of inspiration for EotE.

(The Cocaine Cowboys documentaries give you a look into the "real" Miami of the 80s.)

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I steal ideas from history all the time.

My own plans for post ROTJ would center around how the Greek Empire fell apart after Alexander the Great died. I plan to have the galaxy fall apart into splinter groups.

I also have plans for Luke rebuilding the Jedi along the original legends ideas and going towards a belief like Bendu from Rebels. I would lean towards the concept of a "living Force" and Luke's search and growth that way. 

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3 hours ago, Harlock999 said:

Miami in the 1980s as seen through the lens of Michael Mann and Anthony Yerkovich's Miami Vice.

 

Yeah, it's kind of a joke...  But I really do use that series as a huge source of inspiration for EotE.

(The Cocaine Cowboys documentaries give you a look into the "real" Miami of the 80s.)

SO the Villains in the series make great Hutts and Black Sun Vigos? I never watched the series...

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On 5/10/2020 at 9:27 PM, Sturn said:

Better run the adventure before the movie comes out and spoils it. Such a crazy beyond belief story that I only heard about a couple year ago and I grew up reading everything I could find about western front WW2. That it hasn't gotten more attention and made into a movie before is surprising. Perhaps it was deemed as so unbelievable it wouldn't be accepted as a true story? Nazis fighting alongside Jews and Americans in a Gothic castle? Hero Olympiad tennis player and prime minister? Tank broken down holding out against all odds on a bridge? Yep all in one story.

It is pretty unbelievable, but it probably hasn’t gotten as much attention because it challenges the way people look at soldiers in German uniform... making them actually seem human.

War is complicated, and some people don’t like that.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Flavorabledeez said:

It is pretty unbelievable, but it probably hasn’t gotten as much attention because it challenges the way people look at soldiers in German uniform... making them actually seem human.

I somewhat agree, but there have been quite a few movies where WW2 era German soldiers have been displayed in a good light. Typically the "good German soldiers" are seen as the exception in these movies, but these lone wolves have been there early on in WW2 movies.

It's a simple matter to portray the "bad Germans" as the SS assaulting the castle and the "good Germans" as the guards fighting alongside their former captives.

ETA: Valkyrie, also a movie based upon a historical event, pulled it off.

Edited by Sturn

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On 5/10/2020 at 8:35 PM, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

That's pretty much exactly my experience. Really fascinating story.

This may seem like heresy, but I don't really watch war movies. Somehow it just doesn't feel right to me. I did watch The Longest Day though. That was a good movie. Perhaps it being in black and white made it feel more right to me. I'm not sure.

I do strongly recommend the Sabaton song: The Last Battle (Jenny at the gates, as the SS open fire...)

I recommend *most* Sabaton songs😁

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On 5/12/2020 at 11:38 AM, Sturn said:

I somewhat agree, but there have been quite a few movies where WW2 era German soldiers have been displayed in a good light. Typically the "good German soldiers" are seen as the exception in these movies, but these lone wolves have been there early on in WW2 movies.

It's a simple matter to portray the "bad Germans" as the SS assaulting the castle and the "good Germans" as the guards fighting alongside their former captives.

ETA: Valkyrie, also a movie based upon a historical event, pulled it off.

You make a good point. Admittedly I was thinking about “audience reactions” like the fiasco with Battlefield V and the fallout regarding the single player storyline “The Last Tiger.” That line of thinking had me soured into being one-sided in my statement.
 

Just to add something else to the thread I’ve also used the story of the CSS Shenandoah to great success. With the Empire being in control of the holonet and Rebel forces tending to act independently of each other it’s easy to have a frigate still attacking shipping well after the destruction of the Second Death Star and being labeled as pirates. The PCs had to track it down, convince the crew they weren’t going to serve time for piracy, and then defend them in a tribunal from charges of piracy while still making the new Republic government look functional.

Definitely a good session for your trackers and “face” characters.

 

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:50 AM, Daeglan said:

SO the Villains in the series make great Hutts and Black Sun Vigos? I never watched the series...

Oh, yeah.  That series basically centers on, well, the vice in Miami at the time ... which was quite a lot.  Ha.

So you have storylines - pulled from real-world headlines - that feature smugglers, gun runners, prostitution rings, illegal betting/racing, black markets, all manner of organized crime (including the occasional international assassins), and drugs.  Oh, man, drugs.  (Yayo!)

There were even episodes revolving around Haitian voodoo and Japanese Yakuza.  Crazy stuff.

For an EotE campaign?  There is a TON to pull from Miami Vice...

...as long as, yes, you're willing to change various Earth-based ethnicities to Hutts, Aqualish, Quarren, Falleen, and the like.    😎

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