[Star Wars] Which era?

'A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...maclunky!" Discuss the Star Wars campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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[Star Wars] Which era?

Post by True_Atlantean »

I've been on a bit of a Star Wars bender recently, catching up on the new boxed set of the movies, the Clone Wars Animated Series, my novels and a horde of comics from Dark Horse. All of this has led me to be dipping in and out of my collection of WEGF Star Wars RPG books too.

When I first started playing with Star Wars Second Edition the 'Tales of the Jedi' series was only in its infancy, so really the default choice of campaign was Classic. I've aimed for the intervening years between Empire and Return as the best time to tell stories in the Star Wars universe. However, now that we have all these additional sources of information (of varying quality, I might add) which provide inspiration for other times, I'm re-evaluating.

So my question to all of you is this: if you were running or playing a Star Wars game, what time period would most interest you?
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by agathokles »

I don't like playing in the Rebellion era -- it's too dominated by the movie characters. The NYO and NR eras are both unfamiliar and dominated by the same characters. Legacy is too far away -- I'd only play it with a group of people who are heavily into SW.

The remaining three eras -- Old Republic, Rise of Empire and Dark Times, are all equally interesting to me. I've actually played only in the Dark Times, plus a little bit of the Rise of Empire.
The Old Republic is definitely interesting (besides being a huge era with a lot of unexplored potential). I'd use the CRPG times (Mandalorian invasion through Sith Empire), though, rather than Tales of the Jedi.

GP
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by BotWizo »

I would choose legacy era first and Old Republic second.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Havard »

I ran a quite interesting campaign back in the early 90s set in the classic/Rebellion Era which focused on events that ran parallell to the events of the movies, yet rarely having the players cross paths with anyone from the movies. My big plan was for the PCs to show up at the Battle of Endor though as a finale for the campaign, but sadly it ended before that (ever heard that line before?) :)

I think the New Republic Era could be interesting, but frankly dealing with Storm Troopers as villains and the Empire as all powerful is alot of fun. If I wanted a more Jedi heavy game, Old Republic/KOTOR era would be my first choice. I would probably stay far away from the Prequel Era...

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Jargal »

RoE - NJO interval, I think. Have no problem with "movie characters domination" because I will run a parallel plot, same as Havard.

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by CmdrCorsiken »

Rebellion to New Republic. The galaxy is big, so there are many, many adventures to be had which do not involve the main movie characters. Even better, I often link my PCs to the events in the movies.
For example:
"We have stolen a small Imperial shuttle." --General Madine
The movies do not explain where that shuttle came from; so I ran a campaign where one of the events was the Rebel PCs having to 'liberate' a shuttle to escape. Most of the rest of the campaign had no bearing on the movie plots, but that one event tied the PCs into the movies, involving them in the primary storyline of the SW universe.

I also like to run during the Rise of the Empire period, but have only had one opportunity to do so. I don't have as much information on that period, but it's not hard to backwards-modify worlds from the Rebellion Era resources I do have.

Not a fan of the New Jedi Order period, but that's a matter of personal preference.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Bouv »

I've always enjoyed the Rebellion Era (pre ANH through RotJ). One thing the WEG did nicely, through their modules, was show that you can have a lot of adventures without even touching upon the events in the movies. I'd also enjoy the New Republic era - this would be great for a lot of exploring and diplomatic type missions

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Jorkens »

Definitely classic rebellion and after; not to tied up to any form of canon however. Actually I prefer the old comic books from the 80's (until the Nagai thing) over Dark Horse and the novels, so I would probably use something from them too.

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by CmdrCorsiken »

Jorkens wrote:Definitely classic rebellion and after; not to tied up to any form of canon however. Actually I prefer the old comic books from the 80's (until the Nagai thing) over Dark Horse and the novels, so I would probably use something from them too.
Most definitely. The Marvel comics provide a lot of good adventure fodder during the Rebellion era. Just last week I entangled the PCs in the events of issues 74 and 75 (the iskalon effect).
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by True_Atlantean »

Bouv wrote:I've always enjoyed the Rebellion Era (pre ANH through RotJ). One thing the WEG did nicely, through their modules, was show that you can have a lot of adventures without even touching upon the events in the movies.
I'd agree. I've had a campaign running now for around thirteen years (on and off) which has been set between Empire and Return (it's a looong three year gap between those two movies :D ). the closest that the PCs have ever come to the established characters is being on the same ship as them, but never crossing paths; or being on Hoth at the beginning of the Imperial assault. I've been able to use a few lines from the movies to create modules and this has given a sense of connectedness, without cheesy cameos from Luke or Han. Likewise, most of the bad guys are still out of their league (and I'd hate for Vader to be accidently killed by one of the PCs).

Having now read the first few issues of the 'Dark Times' series by Dark Horse, I'm becoming more inspired by this era. This is a time which is rife with change and I think lots of opportunity for character development. I was thinking of a small group, including at least one Jedi, and having the opening scene of the campaign being the execution of Order 66. Let's face it, after that, the campaign tone can only get brighter, right? ;)

If anyone has run a game set in the Dark Times, I'd love to hear about it.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by agathokles »

I played through the entire "Dawn of Defiance" campaign, which is set about six months after Order 66. The PCs had actually had an initial adventure before the war, so they already new each other. We skipped the war itself, assuming the characters, all rather "fringe" type, remained outside the conflict, and were drawn into the events leading to the formation of early rebel groups.

GP

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by True_Atlantean »

agathokles wrote:I played through the entire "Dawn of Defiance" campaign, which is set about six months after Order 66. GP
Are there any guidelines in the campaign for playing Clone Troopers? I've been listening to the Clone Wars Roundtable podcast recently and they have been drawing on elements of the EU whihc show that there were 'renegade' units of Clones who refused to follow the Order (which of course throws out the question of what the Order actually was. Was it genetic manipulation? Brainwashing/Indoctrination?).
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Falconer »

Without a doubt, I would start just prior to the original movie, and proceed ahead with an alternate timeline and new characters. Pretty much how I would approach any world.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by agathokles »

True_Atlantean wrote:Are there any guidelines in the campaign for playing Clone Troopers? I've been listening to the Clone Wars Roundtable podcast recently and they have been drawing on elements of the EU whihc show that there were 'renegade' units of Clones who refused to follow the Order (which of course throws out the question of what the Order actually was. Was it genetic manipulation? Brainwashing/Indoctrination?).
Not specifically, though there's no reason why there couldn't be Clone Trooper PCs -- actually, the might be very effective in some parts of the adventure where they could pose as loyal imperials. Moreover, the initial scene of the campaign could be easily modified to include an Clone Trooper going renegade during the encounter.

GP

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Death_Jester »

I've often thought about starting a Star Wars, d6 or SAGA, game of my own and have given it a LOT of consideration. I always come back to the same conclusion, the history is just too fricken cumbersome to even consider doing. Too many people have a preconcieved notion about what is going on and what "should have happend" in the series. Not to mention all the endless conversations at the game table about this, that, or the other, bit of SW minutia they've read, heard, or thought about, during long dry spell between movies. It's just too much baggage to deal with and try to run an interesting game. Talk about setting lawyer-ing I couldn't think of a setting that is more researched or has a more entrenched fan base, you don't want that kind of stuff when you're trying to run a game, believe me.

However and alternative is, if you were to file the names of the powers, worlds, and characters, you could truly create someothing unique. You wouldn't have to explain how a group of cure cuddly teddy-bears kill a legion of the empire's best soldiers, or what have you. You can make them bad ass ninja warriors with lasers coming out of their eyes instead, or whatever floats you boat.

The basic ideas of the series aren't that complex, and you can generate all kinds of thoughts by getting your friends to help with universe building and they will not even know it. As an example, I don't know a gamer that hasn't got some ideas about what he, or she, would add or take away from the Star Wars universe, just tap into that. Get your friends to come over one night (this part is very important) do NOT tell them you are thinking about running a Star Wars game and casually bring up the subject of what "they" think of the movies/ comics/ extended universe stuff and how they would have changed it or made it better. All you have to do from there is take notes. It's just that easy. :D They will provide you with enough ideas to fill a notebook worth of adventures and scenery, and they will never even know it.

Then you file off the serial numbers, change the names, and present it with a generic rules set and off you go on a new and interesting mythology all your own, that you and your friends can shape, share, and build into anything you want, and never need to worry that your players will step on Luke or any other EPIC level movie character's toes. You're smuggler can then drive the fastest "hunk of junk in the galaxy" "shoot the "bad green bounty hunter" and "woo the princess," if he wants. Of course it could be the princess that woos him who knows, and really isn't the uncertainly what makes it fun?

I hope this helps buddy and best of luck no matter what you do.

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by CmdrCorsiken »

Death_Jester wrote:I've often thought about starting a Star Wars, d6 or SAGA, game of my own and have given it a LOT of consideration. I always come back to the same conclusion, the history is just too fricken cumbersome to even consider doing. Too many people have a preconcieved notion about what is going on and what "should have happend" in the series. Not to mention all the endless conversations at the game table about this, that, or the other, bit of SW minutia they've read, heard, or thought about, during long dry spell between movies. It's just too much baggage to deal with and try to run an interesting game. Talk about setting lawyer-ing I couldn't think of a setting that is more researched or has a more entrenched fan base, you don't want that kind of stuff when you're trying to run a game, believe me.
I see this point, and can imagine a group of players that could turn into just that.

However, I have run many long campaigns with a variety of player/group types and have yet to encounter this problem. In our experience, the depth of knowledge possessed by the group has always been an valuable enhancement to our games. Additionally, we also play with the undertanding that the PCs cannot change events in the movies (and likely most of the books, depending on what we have access to), thus we specifically avoid playing in those areas/events.

The Star Wars universe is a very large playground. We have always found it easy to stay out of the way of the major events, while having a great time in our piece of the yard.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by outlander78 »

How do you folks play Star Wars? I can think of how I'd like to play. I haven't even read the game books, so I'm not posting from knowledge here ...

1. Playing the group of heroes from episodes 4-6 (aka the good ones).

2. Playing a military squad like Rogue Squadron in the mopping up phase (after episode 6) - fighting Thrawn and other Imp warlords, that kind of thing.

What I don't think I'd enjoy is playing some random people just trying to get by, and playing Jedi prior to them being exterminated kind of sucks, when you know what's coming.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by timemrick »

I haven't played or run SW, but I acquired a copy of the 2E rulebook this past year and have thought about running a couple short adventures sometime. Between my preference for movies IV-VI and my lack of other SW RPG material, I'd set it during that time, but separate from the movies' story.

Now that the first wave of 2012 Star Wars LEGO sets are out, I can't resist buying a Y-Wing model and modding it for the pair of bad guys I dreamed up back when I first got the RPG. Which will probably convince me to finally run something with them... :ugeek:
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Bouv »

outlander78 wrote:How do you folks play Star Wars? I can think of how I'd like to play. I haven't even read the game books, so I'm not posting from knowledge here ...

1. Playing the group of heroes from episodes 4-6 (aka the good ones).

2. Playing a military squad like Rogue Squadron in the mopping up phase (after episode 6) - fighting Thrawn and other Imp warlords, that kind of thing.

What I don't think I'd enjoy is playing some random people just trying to get by, and playing Jedi prior to them being exterminated kind of sucks, when you know what's coming.
The books almost assume that you're either going to play as part of the Rebellion (from flat out soldiers to spies, smugglers, mechanics, etc.) or people on the fringe (smugglers, scouts, minor/failed Jedi's, etc.). But there is plenty of infromation there to play the Imperial side too, especially throughout the 1990's as more material was released (novels) and sourcebooks were released for them.

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by shesheyan »

I would choose SAGA+Knights of the Old Republic. Its far removed from the movies (400 years?) and as a GM you would have maximum liberty within a well defined setting. I ran two star wars campaign and never had any problems with players complaining about not being cannon. Just stay out of cannon major events. Create your own major events.

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Big Mac »

Jargal wrote:RoE - NJO interval, I think. Have no problem with "movie characters domination" because I will run a parallel plot, same as Havard.
I've not played a Star Wars game, but I kind of like the idea of a game that starts with some PCs on Alderaan that meet with Bail Organa and get asked to fly to the edge of the Alderaan system to investigate a garbled radio message, as he thinks there is a small possibility that it may be a distress call from the Tantive IV (which is due back soon, but not yet overdue). Once in space and beyond the orbit of Avishan, I would have them detect the arrival of a moon-sized object… :twisted:
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by ripvanwormer »

I like the idea of starting a campaign in a cantina on Tatooine in which the players hear a smuggler, a Wookiee, a boy, an old man, and two droids just died in a brutal bar fight. Unfortunately, whatever data the smaller droid might have been storing is lost, and the larger droid's hard drive contains nothing but common linguistic protocols. But never mind that, a bounty hunter named Greedo has a job for them...

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by Jargal »

The last time we played SW we was a crew of the MRX-BR Pacifier scout vessel - 3 loyal members of Imperial Survey Corps (well, actually one of us was a member of Imperial Intelligence, one - a member of the Secret Order of the Emperor, and the latter - a rebel in disguise :) ). We were on a mission deep in the Unknown Regions, and returned only a year after the Battle of Endor...

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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

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ripvanwormer wrote:I like the idea of starting a campaign in a cantina on Tatooine in which the players hear a smuggler, a Wookiee, a boy, an old man, and two droids just died in a brutal bar fight. Unfortunately, whatever data the smaller droid might have been storing is lost, and the larger droid's hard drive contains nothing but common linguistic protocols. But never mind that, a bounty hunter named Greedo has a job for them...
A friend of mine once ran a campaign set in another alternate history. Imagine if Luke accepted Vader's offer on Cloud City -- destroying the Emperor and ruling the galaxy as father and son. The PCs were a group of 'dark jedi' a new order established to help administer the Empire.
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Re: [Star Wars] Which era?

Post by lostanddamned »

True_Atlantean wrote:
agathokles wrote:I played through the entire "Dawn of Defiance" campaign, which is set about six months after Order 66. GP
Are there any guidelines in the campaign for playing Clone Troopers? I've been listening to the Clone Wars Roundtable podcast recently and they have been drawing on elements of the EU whihc show that there were 'renegade' units of Clones who refused to follow the Order (which of course throws out the question of what the Order actually was. Was it genetic manipulation? Brainwashing/Indoctrination?).
Interesting thread, sorry for the Necromancy on it, but I had to respond to this post, as the new Rebels TV series answers this question somewhat, along with information from the previous Clone Wars stuff.

All the clones were trained using brainwashing/indoctrination methods as clearly seen in Attack of the Clones, however the Clone Wars TV series suggested that certain troopers, most noticably the ones for the ARC program (WIIRC was Advanced Recon something-or-other) were less indoctrinated so they would be more able to make decissions using their own ideas.

In Rebels, it is clear AFAIK that Captain Rex from the clone wars not only surived the wars, but does not appear to have the complusion to kill Jedi, as he's clearly friends with the former Jedi Padwan Ashoka in the current Rebels period (5 years before E4:ANH)

It's a shame that FFG is soley releasing RPG material which is set during the Rebellion period, as I really miss WotC's SW books, at least they did stuff for the other periods.
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