Tag Archives: roleplaying

Help Order 66 – Get Some Swag!

Readers of this blog should know that I have long been a fan and member of the d20 Radio Network and their flagship podcast Order 66, which reintroduced me to Star Wars Role Playing.

Chris Witt and Dave Villegas, better known as GM Chris and GM Dave have been podcasting for over five years, and in that time, they have interviewed everyone from freelance game designers, to lead developers, to actor and Star Wars gamer Sam Witwer, all the while keeping the masses entertained and hungry for more about Star Wars Role Playing. And last December they decided to make the move from Star Wars Saga Edition to Edge of the Empire, the new game from Fantasy Flight Games.

But five years of podcasting have taken their toll on the guy’s equipment. And to that end, they launched a little Kickstarter project with a modest goal of $1,000. Needless to say, they blew well past that goal, and at the time of this post they are sitting just a little over $8,100. And because their initial goal has been surpassed – that means stretch goals!

Everyone pledging at the $20 level will receive a Swag bag from the guys at Order 66. These include map tiles from cartographer extraordinaire and d20 Radio network sponsor, Christopher West as well as Roll20 tokens created by GM Dave. But that’s not all! You’ll also receive a module penned by GM Chris himself, titled Dead Man’s Hand. 

Well, that’s the initial swag bag.

Now you’ll get not one, not two, but four modules – the aforementioned Dead Man’s Hand, but also Summoned, by host of d20 Radio’s Threat Detected, Garrett Crowe. You’ll also get Fallen Starlight penned by the one, the only Donovan Morningfire, aka Jonathon Stevens, noted blogger and freelance game designer. Finally, you’ll get The Hovertrain Heist, which is my original module.

But the biggest news is that they have found a title sponsor to put together the first ever Gamer Nation Con if they manage to hit $9,000, which will take place the weekend of March 14th-16th in 2014 in Plano, TX. This is hugely exciting news, and there’s still time for you to get in on the ground floor.

So check out the Kickstarter page, help out some great guys deliver a quality podcast, and get some cool swag for your trouble. I’m absolutely thrilled to be even a small part of this, and would love to see them attain their goal of making Gamer Nation Con happen.



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A New Universe

entropyAn Ancient Universe
A Mysterious Universe
A Harsh Universe
A Dying Universe

The Valdorri Empire is a highly militant, highly organized regime that holds power in vast swaths of the known universe. But the further one gets from the seat of their power the more nominal their authority becomes. And there are corners of the galaxy where even their authority doesn’t reach. Mysterious aliens and unknown forces exist in these shadows, whose machinations might never be known.

But the Valdorri aren’t the first regime to hold power. Their Empire is built on the remains of those who came before. Everywhere one looks they can see echoes of these previous civilizations, from a building of strange and ancient architecture to the ruins of entire cities. Xeno-archeologist work to understand these people so that they might know themselves and their own people’s place in events. But for every answer they find, it seems they find two more questions.

And then there’s the Wrinkle – the power that holds the universe together and makes many modern conveniences possible. For all of existences combined knowledge and understanding of this power, so much remains completely unknown. Scholars spend entire life times to add a few words to the overall knowledge of the subject. It seems likely that humanity will never unlock all of it’s secrets.

Meanwhile, the universe continues its long, inexorable journey towards Entropy…

This is just the boilerplate statement for a science fiction setting I’ve had for a while. It struck me again the other day and has been hanging in the back of my mind ever since. It draws a lot of inspiration from existing settings, notably Star Wars and Mass Effect, but I’m hoping to put enough novelty into it that it can stand on its own. Where and how it develops from here, I guess we’ll see, but it should be an interesting journey.

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Rebellion Era Sourcebook Insights

Like the rest of you Star Wars Saga fans out there, I picked up my copy of the Rebellion Era Campaign Guide today. I’ve read through the new talents, feats, and paged through the rest of the book. However, one thought struck me after reading through the racial feats:

I want to play a Gamorrean.

I’m gonna give you guys a second to recover from that.

That’s right. I want to play a Gamorrean. Their new racial feats are just that good.

Make your big stats Strength and Constitution (Though don’t skimp on Dexterity if you can. I’ll get to that later.) and take Primitive Warrior as your 1st level feat in order to give you a +1 damage die bonus for the simple weapons that you will be using over your career. Equipped with a Dire Sword, they are doing 2d10 + 2x their Strength bonus at 1st level. Your 3rd and 6th level feats are already chosen with Increased Resistance and Quick Comeback, in either order. Take Scout as your 1st level class, train in Endurance, and take the Aggressive Surge talent from the Unpredictable Talent Tree. For your character level feats after that, I’d recommend Extra Second Wind a number of times and Unstoppable Combatant in order to make more use of those Second Winds. After 1st level, it’s Soldier all the way. The Commando Talent Tree is going to be your friend. Tough as Nails at 1st level and a few picks of Indomitable. If you do have the luxury of having a good Dexterity score, consider the Ambusher talent tree for more extra damage against your opponents. Resurgence, Recovering Surge, and Fast Surge are all key choices for Soldier bonus feats and if you have the extra bonus feats, Assured Attack isn’t a bad choice, especially if you grabbed some of the Ambusher Talents.You can’t go wrong with Improved Defenses, and maybe a pick or two or Improved Damage Threshold. If you grabbed some of the Amubusher Talents, Skill Focus (Initiative) early in your career can help you to make the most of them, especially considering that Dexterity isn’t your bread winning stat.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of prestige classes for this build, but it does leave you open for more Soldier bonus feats and more picks of the Indomitable talent.

Following this build, you won’t necessarily be dealing the most damage, but you’ll be a tough combatant to take down, and even tougher to keep down. And if you have the Aggressive Surge talent and the Resurgence feat, that’s a free charge attack after taking a second wind and a move action to use how you will.

So yeah… I want to play a Gamorrean.

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What if?

One thing that I really enjoy doing either with world history or established canon is playing the “What if?” game. I especially enjoy doing this with the Star Wars movies and Expanded Universe. What if Han never had his flash of conscience and didn’t return to the Death Star? What if Vader had found Obi-Wan before he had deactivated the Death Star’s tractor beam? What if Luke fell to the dark side and became Vader’s apprentice? What if Luke had failed to redeem his father aboard the second Death Star and died at the Emperor’s hands? There are hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of things to do with this, and it was this exact little exercise that lead to the seed idea for my new campaign:

What if the Mandalorians had won their war with the Old Republic in the events preceding the events of the first Knights of the Old Republic game?

I don’t think the Crusader clans would have been able to hold onto the planets they had taken, but the Neo-Crusader clans would had both the discipline and the numbers to hold on and consolidate their winnings.

With the forces of the Old Republic destroyed and the Jedi Order severely weakened, the forces of the dark side took the opportunity to strike, further splitting the already weakened order, and sending the survivors of the Jedi Civil War that followed the Mandalorian Wars into hiding effectively ending the ancient tradition.

Over the next thousand and some years, the Mandalorians remain on the throne, putting out small Rebellions in the Outer Rim territories they control and consolidating their hold on the planets they succeeded in taking from the Old Republic, while taking precious few other planets in their time. The Emperor on the throne remains one of the Neo-crusader’s from the clans that originally took their war of conquest to the Old Republic, and their forces become stronger and stronger, remaining a key part of the Mandalorians’ control of the Empire, becoming an Empire reminiscent of ancient Rome.

However, the time eventually comes where a small unorganized rebellion based on a world not directly in the Mandalorians’ Empire grows in strength and actually attracts a number of Jedi Masters to the group along with still rich and powerful noble families from the Old Reppublic. The rebellion, actually organized by the remnants of the Antarian Rangers from before the fall of the Jedi, quickly gains a foothold and begins growing at an exponential rate. Using the influence of the Jedi and the bank accounts of the noble families, they find unexpected allies against the Mandalorians in the Kaminoans, who they contract to build a series of clones for them to act as soldiers for the coming war they will wage with the Mandalorians. Using the clones, the rebellion grows in numbers and brings more and more of the Jedi out of hiding.

However, as many of the Jedi join the rebellion effort, some of them find the use of clones a personal affront to the sanctity of life. Banding together to form a sub-sect of the Jedi Order, they break from the rebellion effort and form a group known as the Jedi Crusaders, standing against both the Mandalorian Empire and the clone army of the rebellion. This leads to breaks and splinters of Jedi apprentices and their masters, including an embittered Jedi Knight named Obi-Wan Kenobi who watched as his former master Qui-Gon Jinn and Qui-Gon’s new apprentice, a younger Jedi named Anakin Skywalker.

And this is not even mentioning the fact that the Sith are still out there, waiting for their moment to once against strike and try to destroy their ancient enemies, the Jedi, in whatever form they may take.

It is into the volatile situation the characters find themselves thrust into, waking in a slave ship in Wild Space, a powerful sense of purpose about them.

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