The Rancor Pit Forum Index
Welcome to The Rancor Pit forums!

The Rancor Pit Forum Index
FAQ   ::   Search   ::   Memberlist   ::   Usergroups   ::   Register   ::   Profile   ::   Log in to check your private messages   ::   Log in

Ideas for heroic scoundrels, 2 ABY?
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Rancor Pit Forum Index -> Adventures and Campaigns -> Ideas for heroic scoundrels, 2 ABY? Goto page 1, 2  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Ideas for heroic scoundrels, 2 ABY? Reply with quote

I recently undusted some old ideas for a Knights of the Old Republic campaign, but it's gown into something quite ambitious, which seems a bit challenging while I still have to get familiar with running the REUP rules.
So I am thinking about doing something simpler and smaller first. And my alternative setting of choice is the period of the early Rebellion, when the Empire is the undisputed power in charge of the galaxy. (Though not unchallenged. Wink ) To me it's Star Wars in the purest form, and what Star Wars all about when I got into it in the 90s. And the Rebellion is much more fun than the New Galactic. And it's the time of WEG Star Wars too, of course.

To establish the feel and dynamics for the campaign, I want to base it primarily on the three movies. The main EU work set at the same time is Shadows of the Empire, of which I both red the booked and played the videogame. Other works that I think capture that oldschool style very well (though mostly set during the New Republic) are the Thrawn books and the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games.

I think I would want to set the campaign about just before The Empire Strikes Back. The Empire still is as big and strong as ever and the Rebellion very much underground, but the annoying insurrection has turned into all out civil war. It's a time where the Rebels are under serious pressure while at the same time building considerable strength, and the disruption could be both a great annoyance and an opportunity for criminals.

Since I am leaning more to the heroes being scoundrels who are open to take well paying work from the Rebels instead of actual Rebel agents or soldiers, another nice thing about this time frame is that both Xixor and Jabba would still be alive. Talon Karrde is already a serious player at this time, and when you bend the precise timeline a little bit, Booster Terrik could be just out of prison to return to the business. (Some source say he was released just after TESB, but I'd doubt any players would notice that difference. I'll probably be the only one who even knows who Booster Terrik is.)
Mirax Terrik is also already deep in the smuggling business at this point, and Mara Jade is around doing stuff for the Emperor (and for this purpose probably make a much better NPC than Vader, though fighting either of them would be hopeless).

My idea for a KotOR campaign is set mostly in Sith Space, so a campaign during the Rebellion would be a great opportunity to use the cool planets on the other side of the galaxy.
The ones I'd really like to use are Malastare, Sullust, Sluis Van, Nar Shaddaa, Bespin, Ryloth, Duro, and Rodia. These include several of the galaxies biggest industrial worlds. (And Kuat isn't far from Duro either.)

Taken these things together, smugglers, rebels, and industrial worlds really calls to give this campaign a "pulp-action noir" style. Which is a great one both for Star Wars and for RPG adventures.
But this is the current extend of my ideas. There's still the really big question of what actually would be happening in the campaign. Which right now is still completely in the open. Any ideas or suggestions where I could go with this?
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Grimace
Captain
Captain


Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 692
Location: Montana; Big Sky Country

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if you want them to have a slant towards the Rebels, then I would suggest that whatever you do, have the Empire be encroaching on their usual territory.

So if they are running something from X to Y, making a killing on it, or running a hustle on someone, they may suddenly notice an Imperial ship (maybe not a Star Destroyer right away, but more like a Strike Cruiser or Carrack Cruiser doing the "scouting" for the rest of the Empire) show up and Imperial forces begin to be seen in the town the PCs are operating. The PCs may not even be on the Empire's radar, but suddenly there will be a stronger presence, more security, more scrutiny of things. That will begin to give the PCs some pause for thought. Maybe they can't stick around these parts anymore.

That's when you can have a more important plot fall into their laps. Someone desperately trying to get away from the area, and the Empire IS looking for that someone. A super lucrative job falls into their laps, they just have to deliver these containers to another planet. There may be some authorities looking for them, but it'll be up to the PCs to get the containers there without knowing what is in them. Of course those "authorities" are actually Imperial forces, and the contents of the containers could be anything from weapons for the Rebels to actual Rebel spies trying to get out of the area undetected.

Or you could have the PCs get caught up in something that they had no knowledge about. Perhaps they are just out shopping and spending some hard-earned money on some gambling tables or something like that, and that's when the Empire raids the facility looking for someone OTHER than the PCs. But the PCs are in the same area as this someone. Maybe a blaster fight erupts. Maybe the someone rushes to the PCs and asks for help. Maybe the Empire mistakes the PCs are known associates of the someone. Whatever it is, the PCs are then immediately thrown into the conflict and then have to figure out how to get out of the predicament and maybe how to clear their name with the new Imperial forces, as they are now wanted by the Empire.

Until then, depending on what the "scoundrels" actually are (gamblers, smugglers, conmen, whatever), you could have smaller adventures like run-ins with other scoundrels (pirates, theives) or maybe a run in with a bounty hunter. If they are gamblers or smugglers they might win or pick up something that has significantly more importance than they originally thought, and some other group is suddenly looking to gain that something from the PCs.

Without a bit more specifics on players characters, it's difficult to be more specific.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the direction of these ideas.

With Star Wars, the odds of the players deciding to not take up the call to be heroic is probably pretty low. (As compared to Shadowrun or D&D for example.) But I still think it would likely be more engaging for the players if the situation does not come across as the Rebels rilling up the Empire and making life hard for honest criminals by increasing the number of patrols and Imperials getting more trigger happy.
Instead I think it would be great to first have the Empire turning up the pressure on a system where the players are doing things, and the Rebels then being introduced by doing attacks that actually benefit smugglers and fences. When the Rebellion comes to their system, the players should feel relieved. Not that they lost a good thing they had going.

I guess the best way to get there would to begin with the Empire starting to take full control over a system that previously was left mostly to itself. Maybe the old government under the Senate was pretty laid back and corrupt, but now that the Imperial commander for the sector has been given full authority by the Emperor, he wants to properly enforce the New Order.
Customs checks become much more thorough, corrupt officials have been removed or no longer accept bribes, and ungarded back routes are getting closed. Taking place around the time of the Rebels building their base on Hoth, they are going more on the offensive. And given that the people of the system are still used to their autonomy, still have lots of unregistered weapons, have not yet accepted the new governor as being here to stay, and the Imperial forces still building up their strength, it seems a very promissing place to start an uprising and prevent the Empire from getting a strong hold over it in the first place.

One option is to start by telling the players that the Empire has been changing things a lot in the past year at the start of the campaign. But it could also start right at the time when the governor starts purging the old officials and puts his own people in charge of patrols and checks. The second option sounds cool in its own way, but that would probably make for a slower and longer buildup before the Rebels enter the scene as allies for the heroes. And my whole reason to consider this campaign was to start with something simple.
Maybe start with something in the middle, with the players being told at the start that everyone has been on edge for the last months because business has become a lot more risky recently, and probably is only to get worse.

They could be meeting at a space station to make a transfer with another freighter, but the freighter then gets attacked and seized by the Empire as it comes in for landing. The players could decide to help the freighter escape together to a different transfer point, or to just keep playing to be a regular freighter and hope the Imperials don't notice anything wrong with them. (Getting boarded and playing it cool sounds like a really fun scene.)
Another thing is having a meeting with a corrupt official or other contact, but finding that he has just been killed or arrested. Giving them perhaps opportunities to try to free their friend, or at least warn others that the Imperials might have learned something and could soon show up to make further arrests.
Discovering they have been betrayed by other scoundrels who now work for the Empire should also work great to make the players see the Imperials as personal enemies. It will make them hate the turncoats, which will carry over to the turncoats new friends.

Then after three or four incidents like that, the heroes could end up in a very tight spot facing overwhelming forces, when they are interrupted by a large scale Rebel assault that provides a miraculous chance to escape. Right now I'm not quite sure if they should be doing a job for someone earlier, who then turns out to be a Rebel agent. Having some foreshadowing for the Rebels making a move might make it feel more that this Rebel attack is a major part of the main story and not a momentary disruption of a story that is purely about Scoundrels and Imperials. Players catch on to such thing, and get a stonger feeling that it just makes narrative sense right now to befriend the Rebels.

Though from there I am still completely blank. Using the same Imperial governor as the main villain for the adventures that follow might be a good idea. The players would already hate him and be motivated to mess up his plans. But to make it a cool story, he still would have to have some villainous plan that is more spectacular than straightening up the local police.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Grimace
Captain
Captain


Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 692
Location: Montana; Big Sky Country

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, now you're getting the idea....

You may want to have an established baseline of non-imperial "life is grand", and then introduce the Imperials as they begin to stick their fingers into everything. That way it is a more notable impact on them as they can REALLY see the change with the Empire.

As for the "aspirations" of the Imperial Governor....he could be wanting to really make a name for himself, and establish a power base where he might be as powerful as a "Core World Governor".

Or maybe he could have dreams of becoming a Moff or even Grand Moff, and so he is collecting more and more resources. A Torpedo Sphere shows up. Golan III stations begin appearing on the pivotal systems, really clamping down on all travel that is not "official" travel.

Or maybe you could have a misdirect completely! Maybe the Governor gets too big for his britches, and an Inquisitor shows up to "remove" the Governor. The Inquisitor then decides (if the Rebels have made too much of a stink in the area) to really bring the FULL MIGHT OF THE EMPIRE to squelch all rebellion in the area. And the Inquisitor will be the lead, not squeamish about getting their hands dirty by killing a few rebel soldiers to establish themselves as someone to be thoroughly feared.

Or you could have the Governor be a key linchpin in acquiring resources for a little known project that the Emperor has going. It wouldn't be the 2nd Death Star, but it would be something equally nefarious (maybe the first edition World Devastator a la Dark Empire, maybe a massive Robot Army akin to what Xim the Despot had long ago...but modernized and nastier). Then the PCs, if they decide to work with the Rebels, stumble across a secret, uncharted station with gobs of resources pouring into it and being shipped to Secret Location X. And the station is guarded by either dangerous droids (appropriate if it's a War Droid Army being built) or an abnormally large amount of stormtroopers, TIE fighters and maybe even a Skipray Blastboat or two (appropriate for the World Devastator type of idea). They trace where Secret Location X is find an ever increasing amount of Imperials and defenses and eventually the "prize" to show the real villainy of the Governor.

There's lots of options you could do for making the Governor a "man with a plan" or shunt completely from the Governor to someone even nastier (an Inquisitor or someone with more power and aspirations)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's an Inquisitor? Never heard of those.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Grimace
Captain
Captain


Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 692
Location: Montana; Big Sky Country

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look in Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim. In Chapter Two: Imperials (on page 22) is High Inquisitor Tremayne. You could either use him, or use an Inquisitor of your own design.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Mamatried
Commodore
Commodore


Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Posts: 1310
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yora wrote:
What's an Inquisitor? Never heard of those.



They are basically "dark jedi" that works for the empire.

Most in canon at least were former jedi and padawans, in legends they were also from other force traditions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the idea of having Mara Jade appear as a side villain. She's doing her undercover stuff for the Empire during this time period, and in the comic series I remember her going after several corrupt officials who are doing side jobs at the side. If there's ever a good setup in which she would fit great as an antagonist, this would be it.
But she wouldn't work as the main villain, as she's just way too powerful to beat. But I think it's more plausible for players to make it out of a run-in with her than with Vader.

She could even be a potential resource for the players, if they make a trade with her or secretly deliver information that will take down an imperial official, or even the main villain of the campaign.

Having the new governor being strict and appearing like a determined imperial officer, but actually having secret personal plans would also invite for a more noir campaign style that fits well with scoundrel heroes on remote industrial worlds. If he'd be completely straight and with a flawless record, he really could only be opposed with direct military force. When he has some corruption going on, scoundrels can fight him on their terms.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mamatried
Commodore
Commodore


Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Posts: 1310
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a small band of heric and anti imerial scoundrels or smugglers, in posession of something that the empire will do anything to have back, however the group of heroes are not able to get to rebel controlled space.

This could be even something as epic as prof of the second death star being built, or maybe something that could sway even the most die hard imperial to swap sides, maybe the group posess a list of most moffs and higher ranking generals and admiral that the emperor wants to purge.

The idea of being hunted by an emperor's hand or Inquisitor could be something related to have a list of force sensitives, maybe the hunter eventually can be swayed to turn......
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more ideas as the concept is taking a bit more shape.

As Tarkin said, "the regional governors now have direct control over their territories, fear will keep them in line". So there's a an unremarkable, out of the way sector where the local Moff decides to turn the backwater into something, removing most of the local officials and replacing them with Imperial officers. He's cracking down on crime and corruption, making life very hard for smugglers operating in the area. But he's secretly making sure that important positions are filled with people loyal to him personally and not to the Empire, and is embezzling a lot of the new tax money and confiscated goods.

The Rebels see the sector as a good place to recruit people to their cause and think it would be best to keep the Empire from establishing full control while their hold is still weak, instead of facing a more securely entrenched warlord later.

Meanwhile both Jabba and Prince Xixor, who are still alive at this point, have their own interests in the sector. (Though I have no clue yet what value it could have for them.) Perhaps the Moff knows he needs a reliable partner in the underworld to do business put of sight of the Emperor, and Jabba and Xixor are both competing for that potentially lucrative privilege.
Talon Karrde is also working in that part of the galaxy, and Lando Calrissian is in charge in Cloud City, which is not far away from Malastare, Sullust, and Sluis Van. I think Talon Karrde and his crew could be a great regular business partner for the heroes, and he's known to be working with the Rebels. He could be a good backup NPC to offer them jobs when the players get lost about how to proceed.

Star Wars is always this mashup of old movie genres, and I think in addition to Noir stuff with Jabba, Black Sun, and the Rebellion, the situation with the Moff taking charge and bullying the local population could be approached in a cool way in Italo-Western style. It's the Railway coming to the frontier, bringing with it stronger government control and big corporations, that are pushing out independent private farmers and prospectors. I think it could be a cool idea to have the Moff declare several planets as Imperial property and requiring settlers to have officially recognized property claims. Human settlers have to pay outrageous fees to get their generations old claims registered and recognized, while alien settlers get relocated to crappy reservation planets. That could tie in really well to whatever the Rebel agents are doing, but I have no clue yet how it would come together with the activities of the criminal syndicates.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
KageRyu
Commodore
Commodore


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 1029
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some ideas to get freelancers, scoundrels, and rogues into adventures-

The Sabaac Game Gone Bad-
A gambler in the group could just be having one of his regular weekly, nightly games with the regular crowd and a few new faces while waiting for passage or taking credits from Naval crew on layover. Unknown to him/her one of the people is actually a rebel agent with a serious gambling problems who gambles away something he probably shouldn't have. Perhaps a data cylinder with valuable codes, plans, logistics, or imperial data on it (or even rebel data on it). from here it could turn into that Rebel trying to regain the plans, or the imperials come looking for the data - the members of the regular gambling ring start getting rounded up, etc... soon the player realizes he's in trouble but not necessarily why. If/when they group learns what is on the cylinder who's side do they choose? Will they aid the rebellion? Do they sell it to the highest bidder? Do they hand it over to the imperials?

The No Conscience Load-
In trucking generally a consigned shipment often pulled off another trucker by the shipper and sold to a new carrier to deliver with no questions asked. Often these loads come with problems. This is a great hook for a group with a ship and doing the tramp freighter type activities. It has so many variations and branches to develop into a story. There are many reasons such a load can come into existence such as the original point of sale not paying the needed fees - the load being recovered at auction after failing to pay taxes or import costs - the carrier running into license problems that could endanger the loads delivery - almost all of them involve someone getting their feathers ruffled weather it is the original intended customer, the original carrier, or the shipping company of the merchandise. Then there are the additional complications brought on by what the cargo is, and whether or not there are proper manifests. Sure the manifest says they are vaporator parts but why do the crates look like bio-specimen containers? The great thing about this type of hook is how versatile and reusable it is. Do the players end up smuggling needed supplies to the rebellion? Are they running guns or spice for a local syndicate? Is the cargo legitimate but the "real" owners want it back? Do the imperials cause unwanted complications?

These are just 2 ideas, if I had more time I could throw together more. My last few game groups were in the Freelancers and Rogues type game style, so I had a lot of stories based on just trying to survive the empire in day to day life. "Investment" opportunities, Guns for Hire, passenger transport to the stars (essentially how Solo met Luke and Kennobi), Space P.I.s, Collecting bounties on pirates in some systems, Treasure Hunts...
_________________
"There's a set way to gain new Force Points and it represents a very nice system, where you're rewarded for heroism, not for being a poor conductor to electricity." ~Jachra
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are both great ideas for individual adventures.

If the players end up in trusted standing with the criminal syndicates, they get a last minute call to deliver a fully sealed shipping container to Jabba's people because the freighter that was supposed to carry it was seized by the Empire, and the backup ship just broke down, and a delay for the delivery is absolutely not acceptable.
The cargo consists of settlers who were told they were transported to a reservation planet, but the official in charge just sold one group as slaves to the Hutts.

That's just the typical scenario that makes criminal heroes start switching tracks to become good guys. I don't recall a specific case right now, but it feels like a classic Star Wars situation.

A Rebel agent who puts both the heroes and the Rebels in great danger because he's unreliable also feels like a really neat starting point for a Noir type story.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been diving deep through material about the region between Sullust and Tatooine, and it turns out there is actually quite a lot going on there.

And entirely by coincidence, a major part of Shadows of the Empire materials concerns itself with this area. And there's quite a bit in Fragments from the Rim as well.

I put together a list of planets in this general area that have some information on things I could work with to create content for adventures, and based on it I made this map.



White names for planets I plan to use.
Gray names for planets that have something interesting on them.
Red planets are under full and direct imperial control.
Blue planets are controlled by Black Sun.

On the left side of the map, you've got the Galaxy's biggest industrial zone with Malastare, Sullust, Eriadu, Sluis Van, Darkknell, and the toxic wastelands of Clak'dor VII.

And on the ride side of the map, you've got probably the drug capital of the Galaxy. At the end of the Triellus Trade Route, that comes all the way from Kessel, you got Mon Gazza and Ryloth, which are giant spice producers themselves. The Hyperlane from Mon Gazza through Llanic is called the Llanic Spice Run and continues on through Socorro until it eventually ends at Spice Terminus. Tatooine and Rodia are right next door, as are the slave markets of Orvax IV.
Luke was right. This is the @$$ end of the Galaxy.

This ends up with the giant industrial wasteland on one side and the main drug hub on the other, and somehow all the spice as to be transported through the space in between. Whatever a corrupt Moff in this part of the Galaxy has his eyes on, it's got to be spice smuggling.
So after Tarkin's death, the new Grand Moff of Eriadu decides to crack down on the spice smuggling coming through Enarc, Farstine, and Llanic. This means the spice runners need to find alternative routes through the backwaters. The Moff in charge of the Five Veils Route from Farstine to Svivren knows that his superiors expect him to do something about it, and so he's weeding out all the corruption and complacency and puts a lot of pressure on all the smugglers trying to take the long way around. But there's a great opportunity to make a lot of money by tipping certain ships off about patrol schedules and taking them off the watch lists. And Black Sun really wants to be the ones who can get this exclusive arrangement.
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."


Last edited by Yora on Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:32 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
MrNexx
Commodore
Commodore


Joined: 25 Mar 2016
Posts: 1887
Location: San Antonio

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something that might be worth looking in to is plot points from Star Wars: Uprising, a mobile game from a few years ago. Set near Hoth and Bespin (the Anoat sector), it takes place immediately after RotJ, when a local Governor basically says "Ok, *I* know that the Emperor is dead, but the rest of this sector does not, so I am going to blockade my entire region and keep control."

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_Uprising
_________________
"I've Seen Your Daily Routine. You Are Not Busy!"
“We're going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”
http://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Yora
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 158
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The page doesn't really mention the plot. What specifically are you thinking of?
_________________
"Adventure? Eh... Excitement? Eh... A Jedi does not crave these things."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Rancor Pit Forum Index -> Adventures and Campaigns All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group


v2.0