Samus Aran
 member, 341 posts
 Author, game designer
 Part-time Metroid fighter
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 21:48
Star Wars FFG TFA-era plans (players in my game, stay out!)
I'm setting up a Star Wars game (FFG's SW rules) starting about 3 months after the events of The Force Awakens. Things are in turmoil, and this era is good (my other favorite is the Old Republic era) because you have legacies and remnants and ruins everywhere you look. It's pretty wide open for most character types, but you don't have tons of Jedi running around. Yet!

So I've been batting around a few ideas. One of the primary antagonists will be a high-ranking Knight of Ren named Jarek. So far, the idea is that he's very hateful of the Republic because he considers it a bloated, corrupt, decaying regime. His own parents were killed when he was young by Joe Chill by pirates or something, after his world had long suffered due to governmental inaction. He came to hate the Republic and its ideals, viewing it as the true remnant limping on long past its time, and so the First Order found him. Hatred made him strong, and his great Force potential made him a Knight.

The game will start on Jakku because I think that has a lot of good opportunities. You have the ruins from the final decisive battle that ended the Empire. Secrets hidden in the sands. Jarek Ren is searching for something he feels will help the First Order topple the Empire. He believes there are ruins of Imperial bases hidden somewhere on Jakku that hold holocrons full of Imperial and especially Force lore. Jarek believes that some of long-lost Emperor Palpatine's vast wealth of Dark Side lore especially lie among these holocrons. This power will spell doom for the Republic. One of these holocrons holds the location of a temple where Palpatine once harnessed his Dark Side powers.

Another idea I had was for a ship, but I worry about going too much into "yet another super-weapon" territory. Especially following Starkiller Base. I want something perhaps lesser in scale but still significant. The idea is for a special kind of Star Destroyer, something that Palpatine had begun work upon before his demise. This ship (working name "Leviathan," will change when I get a better one) features a Force Core: a massive crystalline construct made of thousands of hoarded kyber crystals. The idea with this ship is that it's not itself a super-weapon, but allows the commander to magnify his Force powers through the Core. Crude uses include casting vast Force Lightning attacks to destroy other ships, but that's amateur stuff, and Palpatine knew it. Where it's truly strong is in its ability to increase the scale of Force senses and especially mental powers. Imagine the power to crush an entire system in fear, or sway the minds of millions all at once. No enemy or secret could hide from the Emperor at once connected to and domineering the masses.

Palpatine theorized that with enough presence, no foe could even infiltrate the Leviathan. Only those truly strong in the Force could even stand to be in the same system as this crushing force of will, let alone directly engage it. The weak could be undone simply by the force of the user's ire.

The question is: does this hit too much in the super-weapon category? Is it unique or interesting enough to be a fun storyline? An alternative could be that it's simply in the Sith temple itself, and not so much a mobile super-weapon as a massive artifact that could enhance its user to truly control perhaps an entire galaxy. If Jarek Ren is to discover its location, it becomes a race to stop him before he's able to finish building the temple and activating its true power.

Another idea, perhaps related, was that of a Force-sensitive droid. Yes, but wait, there's more: she is a unique kind, so advanced that she appears human, and is capable of making her own decisions, dreaming, and feeling the flow of the Force. Possibly related to the above ideas in that Palpatine knew he was getting old, and perhaps even the Force Core couldn't stave off his body's decline. So he thought to transfer his mind to this Droid, or maybe he realized the heavy strain the Force Core would put on a body. If he could make a proxy to power the Core according to his will, he could be without weakness. Unfortunately for him, Darth Vader threw him down an exhaust shaft before he could complete work on any of this stuff.

I could combine the two, maybe? I do have some setpieces in mind, just fragments and images. Like, for instance, the ruins of this base Jarek Ren seeks on Jakku is actually converted from a Star Destroyer that crashed into the surface, its engines driving the bow deep into the earth. The "base" was converted from this half-buried ship and still functions on a minimum of power. Its depths connect to magma-filled caverns far beneath the sands, so that I could have an epic confrontation over fiery chasms and ruined ship innards. Maybe our Droid gets awakened and Jarek gets the holocron, but the players rescue her and he doesn't realize how useful she is at first. Then if Jarek falls, or even if not, the players now hold something the First Order would do anything to reclaim, and you get to explore all these implications.

Another thing worth exploring is corruption within the Republic. Political stagnation, double agents for the First Order, and complacency of the kind that allowed the Order to flourish. Present a threat that can't just be lasered to death, give the social and intellectual characters a chance to shine. And maybe then laser something to death.

So anyway, what do you think of these ideas for some Star Wars gaming? Sound like fun? Would you play in such a game? What kinds of things would you want to see, or add to these plot seeds to help them grow?

This message had punctuation tweaked by the user at 21:53, Wed 02 Aug 2017.

 member, 533 posts
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 22:13
Star Wars FFG TFA-era plans (players in my game, stay out!)
I've got a suggestion for your not-another-Death-Star ship you might dig. So way back in the days of yore, there was a Great Hyperspace War. A lotta ships blew up. One that didn't for another thousand years was Naga Sadow's flagship. Exar Kun picked it up, dusted it off, and used it's crazy powerful Force crystal pedestal on the bridge to kill one of his traitorous allies, like ya do.

It wasn't a unique ship, and history doesn't say what happened to the others. You might consider using the ship Naga Sadow gave to his human apprentice, Gav Daragon, and simply say that ship had a crystal pedestal as well. The class is extremely durable, and its wreckage might have crashed on Jakku sometime during the five thousand year wait to be rediscovered. Then Jarek Ren could find it and have his forces restore it to working order, maybe with some upgrades like a shield system. Boom, a differently-designed Star Destroyer with the power to disrupt stars using the Force. :D

Bonus points for it being a vessel that actually betrayed the Sith in its final moments to save the Republic.

EDIT: I never answered your questions, sorry.

Personally, I have issues with the FFG Star Wars system. Mainly that the books I've got (EotE and AoR) are so poorly organized and explained that it confused both me and my players when I ran it. I'd be happy to play a game of it, though, and this sort of plot with a combination of action, intrigue, and Force lore that doesn't actually require Force users sounds right up my alley. There's very little more pulpalicious than racing a villain to a dangerous artifact that may or may not actually exist/work.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:18, Wed 02 Aug 2017.

 member, 60 posts
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 22:58
Star Wars FFG TFA-era plans (players in my game, stay out!)
Generally any SW game can be fun, the setting lends itself to the crazy and the odd just as easily as it does to gritty brutality.

The system mechanics for Edge of Empire suffers more from the 'all characters are the same' problem than most games at the starting character level, it also has the 'advancement gets you nowhere fast' problem of most non level based games in that the story will be over before your character is noticeably different than it started.

These two problems can be mitigated a little bit by starting at what the books claim would be a very high XP level (about 200) and or awarding XP very fast, but even those only mitigate the problem of characters being almost completely dependent on luck of mostly neutral dice to do anything other than be modestly good at not getting killed.