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"our Empire moment"
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Leona Makk
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:09 pm    Post subject: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

The little group I run just completed "Tatooine Manhunt" and well....they totally got their butts kicked.
The young jedi of the group went around Mos Eisley challenging bounty hunters (Zardra, too) to duels and suddenly, surprise surprise, every BH in the sector is after the entire group.
(I ruled that all the hunters with investigate spotted the players and their ship on site, word of mouth did the rest).

The players ditched the three modified z-95 headhunters in Mos Eisley and took off with just Talon in their own ship. Well, the three TIE Interceptors ripped their ship apart. The Young Jedi's lightsaber blew up in a duel with Zardra (he had a complication from a Wild Die 1 during construction and the duel).
All the players' NPC friends got captured by the Star Destroyer. Talon saw the writing on the wall and escaped without the players!!!
The players barely escaped with their ship Severely Damaged (Sensor Suite Destroyed -4D, Laser Cannons Inoperable, -1d to Manueverabilty). Not to mention they lost a ton of gear from a breach in the cargo bay (IG-72's self destruct).

The players left the game....in a mood....
The next day we were texting about how they had had "their Empire Strikes Back Moment" and would bounce back. I am glad they are coming around b/c I was worried the GAME WAS OVER and I lost all my Star Wars friends.

Still I think they were asking for a beating. The group spends a lot of time collecting stuff (not heroic), especially the YJ who is a braggart and wants all the gear he can pilfer.

Have any of you risked your game to give a group its EMPIRE MOMENT?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but generally that 'empire moment' was more of a scripted thing. NOT something they bring onto their own heads.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

Leona Makk wrote:
The little group I run just completed "Tatooine Manhunt" and well

One of my favorite adventures. I love hearing recounts of it. Thanks.

Leona Makk wrote:
...they totally got their butts kicked...

The players ditched the three modified z-95 headhunters in Mos Eisley and took off with just Talon in their own ship. Well, the three TIE Interceptors ripped their ship apart. The Young Jedi's lightsaber blew up in a duel with Zardra (he had a complication from a Wild Die 1 during construction and the duel).
All the players' NPC friends got captured by the Star Destroyer. Talon saw the writing on the wall and escaped without the players!!!
The players barely escaped with their ship Severely Damaged (Sensor Suite Destroyed -4D, Laser Cannons Inoperable, -1d to Manueverabilty). Not to mention they lost a ton of gear from a breach in the cargo bay (IG-72's self destruct).

The players left the game....in a mood....
The next day we were texting about how they had had "their Empire Strikes Back Moment" and would bounce back. I am glad they are coming around b/c I was worried the GAME WAS OVER and I lost all my Star Wars friends.

I'm glad for the outcome that they weren't ruined on the game, and their perspective of their "Empire moment" they can bounce back from.

Leona Makk wrote:
The young jedi of the group went around Mos Eisley challenging bounty hunters (Zardra, too) to duels and suddenly, surprise surprise, every BH in the sector is after the entire group.
(I ruled that all the hunters with investigate spotted the players and their ship on site, word of mouth did the rest).
...
Still I think they were asking for a beating. The group spends a lot of time collecting stuff (not heroic), especially the YJ who is a braggart and wants all the gear he can pilfer.

Hopefully they can see that their woes were mostly self-caused. The player of the Jedi is especially horrible, playing a bad Jedi and dumb Rebel. I'm quite disgusted by the D&D/video game looting mentality - I feel it has no place in the Star Wars RPG. Time to enforce some encumbrance rules and start giving them penalties for lugging around all the loot. Put them them through security checkpoints and into places where they can't have all that equipment and weapons on their persons. Give them higher hide/sneak difficulties because of all the stuff they have clanging around. Make them the target of pick pockets - The more they have is the more that can be taken from them. Make the loot a detriment more often than a boon. IMO a good Star Wars game shouldn't need a whole lot more than a starship, a droid or two, some blasters and communicators, and a ligthsaber for Jedi PCs. The focus should be on the story, the adventure, not all the the stuff in it.

Leona Makk wrote:
Have any of you risked your game to give a group its EMPIRE MOMENT?

I'm not sure what you mean by this question. The PCs' Empire moment was self-inflicted, so what would the GM be risking for that? Do you mean risk by not saving them and not making things easier for them when things turn sour? Just let things fall as they may and risk TPK?

Also, being captured by and escaping from the star destroyer is not addressed by the adventure as published and shouldn't be an easy task, so it seems you may have maneuvered things in their favor to even make that possible.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed.

I tend to run the sort of Galaxy that lays out the rules and conditions of survival for the players and then lets them do what they will.
The dice throw some randomness into the action, but for the most part, they know that their decisions guide their fate.

My job is to interpret the responses of the environment and to generate hooks and leads into interesting situations.

It is not to ensure that they always win out in the end or even to make sure that their characters survive to the next game.

But different people have different ideas. I had a former player who didn't seem to get the concept of sandbox style game. He always wanted assurance that the characters, as the heroes of the adventure, were given leniency in bad situations.

I guess that works for some people.
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Leona Makk
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
Indeed.

I tend to run the sort of Galaxy that lays out the rules and conditions of survival for the players and then lets them do what they will.
The dice throw some randomness into the action, but for the most part, they know that their decisions guide their fate.

My job is to interpret the responses of the environment and to generate hooks and leads into interesting situations.

It is not to ensure that they always win out in the end or even to make sure that their characters survive to the next game.

But different people have different ideas. I had a former player who didn't seem to get the concept of sandbox style game. He always wanted assurance that the characters, as the heroes of the adventure, were given leniency in bad situations.

I guess that works for some people.

Yeah, I hear you.
The old 2nd edition Blue Book does a good job of laying out the roles of the GM; Referee, Storyteller, Mood Setter...uh something else...Boss of Fun? Well, I for sure have been running the game more as Storyteller and LESS as objective Referee. After this adventure, I am hoping to steer everyone towards the ultimate sandbox...MINOS Cluster. Maybe I will rein MY story ideas a bit and practice objectivity there.
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Leona Makk
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:24 am    Post subject: Re: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

Hopefully they can see that their woes were mostly self-caused. The player of the Jedi is especially horrible, playing a bad Jedi and dumb Rebel. I'm quite disgusted by the D&D/video game looting mentality - I feel it has no place in the Star Wars RPG. Time to enforce some encumbrance rules and start giving them penalties for lugging around all the loot. Put them them through security checkpoints and into places where they can't have all that equipment and weapons on their persons. Give them higher hide/sneak difficulties because of all the stuff they have clanging around. Make them the target of pick pockets - The more they have is the more that can be taken from them. Make the loot a detriment more often than a boon. IMO a good Star Wars game shouldn't need a whole lot more than a starship, a droid or two, some blasters and communicators, and a ligthsaber for Jedi PCs. The focus should be on the story, the adventure, not all the the stuff in it.

Absolutely.
Star Wars has a certain style to it. The clothes have a few gizmos but frankly they are not important. Han, Leia, and Luke have almost no personal possessions. Luke's Blue Saber, so iconic, is lost suddenly in Empire, and you know what, Luke doesn't shed a tear for it. He doesn't go back to Bespin and crawls around in pipes until he finds it. He moves on and builds a new one.
Greed/attachment seems like the direct path to the Dark Side in SW.

I loathe the DnD grave robbing and corpse looting in RPGs. Its so ghoulish and ignoble. I was reading some samurai comics and stealing from a dead foe is beyond unethical. Stealing the sword of a warrior was the same as taking their soul. I feel like the Jedi would have a similar creed. Looting a corpse would also be pointless, if a Jedi is actually free of attachment.
Thanks for the advice!
Encumbrance (physical and emotional) here we come!
"The more you have, the more can be taken from you." Jedi Master quote of the day
Whill wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by this question. The PCs' Empire moment was self-inflicted, so what would the GM be risking for that? Do you mean risk by not saving them and not making things easier for them when things turn sour? Just let things fall as they may and risk TPK?

I phrased the question poorly. Tatooine Manhunt isn't designed to CRUSH the players for a larger campaign plot like the Empire Strikes Back. The adventure offers tons of help throughout the adventure especially at the end with three allied fighters. I think they just took end of the adventure for granted....DESPITE THE CONTINUED CUT SCENES TO THE STAR DESTROYER EN ROUTE! Also, they were lazy rebels who now have every bounty hunter in the Outer Rim after them.
Yeah, maybe my players saying, "hey, no biggie, its our Empire moment. Everything will turn out swell." was their attempt to brainwash me.

Whill wrote:

Also, being captured by and escaping from the star destroyer is not addressed by the adventure as published and shouldn't be an easy task, so it seems you may have maneuvered things in their favor to even make that possible.

Hmm, yeah by the book I don't think they could have escaped. There are so many difficulty increases to Astrogation during a fight AND being damaged. They did spend a Force Point on Astro to escape but.....I think I went easy on them.
Odds are they will limp into Hawk Bat City where the engineer will let them know that the ship is a total loss. "Bad news; the repair costs outweigh the value of the ship...you DO have insurance, right? Look at the bright side, the diagnostic is free."
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

Leona Makk wrote:

Absolutely.
Star Wars has a certain style to it. The clothes have a few gizmos but frankly they are not important. Han, Leia, and Luke have almost no personal possessions. Luke's Blue Saber, so iconic, is lost suddenly in Empire, and you know what, Luke doesn't shed a tear for it. He doesn't go back to Bespin and crawls around in pipes until he finds it. He moves on and builds a new one.
Greed/attachment seems like the direct path to the Dark Side in SW.

I loathe the DnD grave robbing and corpse looting in RPGs. Its so ghoulish and ignoble. I was reading some samurai comics and stealing from a dead foe is beyond unethical. Stealing the sword of a warrior was the same as taking their soul. I feel like the Jedi would have a similar creed. Looting a corpse would also be pointless, if a Jedi is actually free of attachment.
Thanks for the advice!


Its not just the weight issue that will be a pain, but how LONG do they spend stripping enemies to GET all that loot? During that time other enemies could easily come upon them a,d SHOOT THEM in the back while the attention is on looting..
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

Leona Makk wrote:
"The more you have, the more can be taken from you." Jedi Master quote of the day


This reminds me of something Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda 3:

Master Oogway wrote:
"The more you take, the less you have."


Yeah, greed has been the downfall of numerous characters, noble and evil alike. And that has been a longtime theme in Star Wars, as demonstrated by Jedi Knights throughout the franchise trying to avoid attachment. And that especially includes conquering materialism in particular. I remember another Jedi quote, this one from the D20 WotC Jedi Sourcebook Power of the Jedi on page 32:

Master Kogoro wrote:
"I wear my robe so that I am warm; I carry my lightsaber that I am safe; and I keep enough credits for my next meal so that I am not hungry. If the Force wants me to have more, it finds a way of letting me know."


And this idea of greed "ruining" RPGs has a bit of particular salience for me because I just finished a long session of Pathfinder today. For those of you who don't know about Pathfinder, it's essentially a Dark and Edgier version of D&D 3.5. (Pathfinder has been nicknamed "D&D 3.75 for a reason.) In the Pathfinder universe, PCs work for the Pathfinder Society, which is an organization of a bunch of Indiana Jones types who basically travel around the world of Golarion trying to gather magical artifacts from old tombs and dungeons in order to preserve them for posterity. So looting and graverobbing is actually part of the job description in Pathfinder. Fans have even nicknamed Pathfinders as "murder-hobos" since PCs are essentially homeless (because they're always traveling) who go around killing monsters in order to take their stuff.

But the session I was in today involves one of the later/deeper levels of a large dungeon designed to get characters from Level 1 all the way to Level 16. It's known as the Emerald Spire and each floor your party completes allows every character to gain a full level in just one session. Needless to say, this is an advanced dungeon and it has been known to kill even experienced players if the dice rolls do not favor you. Today, my group did (part of) the 11th floor of the Emerald Spire, known in-game as "The Tomb of Yarrix." The details of the session don't matter (and we ran long after 6 hours and are meeting again next week to finish the dungeon), but I can tell you that I and 1 other member of the party played clerics and both of us were needed to cast both Lesser Restoration and Restoration multiple times to heal party members from all the Constitution, Dexterity and Wisdom damage people were taking. This dungeon is that dangerous. I was a bit worried that I wasn't experienced enough to play a high-level cleric because at Level 10 the cleric spell list (that I'm still a bit unfamiliar with) is huge compared to the relatively low number available spell slots, but it turns out that the spells I prepared were almost exactly what the party needed. The rest of the party was extremely grateful for having two clerics in the group.

My point is, for some RPG games like Pathfinder and D&D or video games like World of Warcraft and Diablo, tomb-robbing is par for the course; after all, the more gold and loot you get, the more powerful monsters you can take on. But in games of black and white morality like Star Wars, the point is to be the good guy who fights the good fight regardless of the personal cost. Any rewards you get might not be of the material kind, but rather will be of moral victories in saving lives or restoring democracy to a galaxy suffering under tyranny. And even if you get material gains, they're only a means to the end of defeating the Empire if you even get to keep the material gains and not have to turn them in to the Rebellion Quartermaster. The problem is that some players are so used to the "loot-and-scoot" mentality found in D&D and forget to set aside that mentality when they play games involving upholding good morals and "fighting the good fight" like Star Wars.

But then again, part of the job of the GM is to explain this to his players so that they go into the game knowing what the proper themes of the game are supposed to be. If the PCs ignore that and go off on their own thing, then the GM should have no problem inflicting the (entirely foreseeable) consequences of the PCs' actions on them. Karma (or the Force) can be a b!tch, after all.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: "our Empire moment" Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:

Fans have even nicknamed Pathfinders as "murder-hobos" since PCs are essentially homeless (because they're always traveling) who go around killing monsters in order to take their stuff.


That's actually another D&D port over to Pathfinder. The 'Murder Hobo' nickname started with D&D and pre-dates Pathfinder's publication by at least a year, as a reference to the typical adventuring group.

As you say...travelling from town to town, homeless, killing monsters (and people that get on their bad side) and stealing their stuff!
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange, it wasn't till 3.5 time frame, i even heard of murder-hobos, in relation to DND gaming..
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It feels like the term has been around almost forever, but I can't honestly say when I first heard or saw it.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Strange, it wasn't till 3.5 time frame, i even heard of murder-hobos, in relation to DND gaming..


Yes, I first heard it in 2009 from a guy who said he saw it being used on the net. Intrigued me so I went looking for it's origin. Sadly, no one seems to know for sure...but there are references logged as early as 2007.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first time I heard it was on an episode of Shooting Womprats...
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
The first time I heard it was on an episode of Shooting Womprats...
Do recall the date (approximate or exact)?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
The first time I heard it was on an episode of Shooting Womprats...
Do recall the date (approximate or exact)?

Sometime between 2015 and now. I only really started listening for a year or so before they went on hiatus.
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