Tag Archives: saga edition

The Start of a Saga

So, I finally got my Star Wars Saga game off the ground last night, and decided I would post up a review of the session last night and give a run down of the party. We’ll do the party first.

Vyrashanni – Miralukan Jedi 1/Noble 2. Vyrashanni is a Miralukan that has no idea she’s a Miralukan. She was born off of her homeworld aboard a starship. The ship failed over a fairly primitive planet on the Outer Rim and the crash killed everyone aboard the ship except the infant. A tribe of near humans found her, and believing her to be a gift from their gods, they raised her as one of their own. The belief that she was special was compounded further when she started manifesting power over the Force, and they made the young sorceress their witch doctor. She lived with the tribe until slavers attacked the planet and took her aboard their ship, where she has been kept blind and powerless thanks to a ysalamiri. She’s a pure Force Wizard build planning on going into the Force Adept prestige class.

Jace – Human Scoundrel 3. Jace was one of the rare few born with the gift of Force Sensitivity. However, his parents believed the power ot be a curse and forbid him from ever tapping into those powers. He was eventually forced into the seedy underbelly of society at the age of 17 and was stuck there for the majority of his adult life. He developed a gambling problem which led him to owing a great deal of money to a pair of Gand crime lords. When the young man couldn’t pay them back, they sold him into slavery in order to make some money back, and teach him a lesson. He plans on going into the Charlatan prestige class.

Vee – Yuuzhan Vong Soldier 3. Vee came into the galaxy following various clues as his own personal crusade and quest to find someone important to him led him. He allowed himself to be captured and sold into slavery in order to get his bearings in a strange new galaxy that fears and reviles him. He relies on his own strength to get him through tough situations and plans on taking the Elite Trooper prestige class and more specifically, the Master of Teras Kasi talent tree.

Poh Ran – Kel Dor Scout 3. Poh Ran was born into one of the Mandalorian Crusader clans and was raised fighting against “the injustice of the Neo-Crusader Empire.” Captured by bounty hunters as a small group of them moved to attack a Mandalorian supply post, he was sold into slavery by the Empire.

Gavin – Human Scout 2/Soldier 1. Gavin was born to the son of an Antarian Ranger, and strove to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, not being able to reconcile the Rebellions use of Clone Troopers as soldiers, he joined the splinter group of the Antarian Crusaders, alienating him from his father. One day while infiltrating a Mandalorian outpost, he was betrayed by two of his allies and sold into slavery by the Empire.

The advenutre started with the party waking up aboard a slave ship as it was hurtling through hyperspace. They quickly found out they were the only ones aboard the ship who were left alive, and the rest of the crew and slaves bore no sort of physical wounds. After ascertaining their destination by checking the navicomputer (which told them the moon of Nar Shaddaa), they found where their equipment was being kept and found a door that was locked through no physical means. There was a heavy, oppressive energy coming from the other side of the door that made the party very uncomfortable, especially the Force sensitive members of the party. As they tried to figure out a way to get through the door, the ship jolted out of hyperspace. They ran back to the cockpit just in time to see the surface of a planet rapidly filling their viewscreen. They were hardly able to do anything before the ship entered the atmosphere and careened into the ground.

After a period of time, they regained consciousness to find they had all survived intact. As they moved to get off of the ship, they noticed that the previously locked door was no open, and that there was nothing inside except that lingering presence of dread. Suddenly, a voice, as if being played from an audio recorder told them. “They will be looking for you soon, you’d best leave.”

They decided to heed the mysterious warning and left the ship, looking up to see a large number of military craft in orbit above the planet, a portion of the Mandalorian fleet. After a few hours forced march, they managed to make it to a city close to the Terminus of the planet, led by Poh Ran, who was the first to discover a few environmental clues about where they might be.

As they neared the city, they found themselves confronted by two Neo-Crusaders and a Twil’lek Customs Agent. The Mandos demanded to see their identification and Vyrashanni managed to convince him, through a mind trick, that they didn’t need ID to enter the city. After passing the guard, Jace decided the best way to get information (and to maybe win some credits to maybe buy their way offplanet) was to head to the nearest cantina. They walked in, and after noticing the bar was full of both locals and off-duty soldiers, found a table to sit at, and Jace found a spot at a Sabaac table with two Twi’leks and an off-duty Rodian Neo-Crusader. He proceeded to lose big at the first two hands, and win a small amount to break even at the third hand, but managed to find out where they were from a passing Toydarian. He also found out from the very drunk and loose tongued Rodian that the Mandalorians were there to “negotiate” a price in order allow the Twi’leks to continue shipping Ryll spice off the planet. After a group of the Mandos left the bar to sleep it off before their shift change, he found out that anyone crazy enough to advertise they could run the blockade of the planet had either done so already, or was in jail because of it. Poh Ran moved his way up to the bar in an effort to see if he couldn’t find anything else out, and Gavin took the opportunity to melt into the shadows and watch proceeding events from there while Vee hung around by Jace and made a few of the bar patrons very uncomfortable with his presence.

After Jace told this to the rest of his companions, a group of armored Neo-Crusaders came into the bar and started talking to the bartender. The bartender motioned to the table where three of the group were, one well hidden in the dark light. Two of the Mandos came over and attempted to bring Jace and Vyrashanni in for questioning, but Vyrashanni began acting like she didn’t understand and began babbling in the language of the backwater planet she was raised on. Meanwhile, Vee attempted to leave the bar, only to be stopped by the Mandos left guarding the door. Poh Ran came up behind the Mandos and asked what was going on, spinning a story that these two were her clients and the young woman was mentally unstable and needed to refill her medication before she went anywhere. As the leader of the Neo-Crusaders called this in to his CO, Poh Ran asked the other if he could take Vyrashanni to the refresher before they left in an effort to create a long enough distraction for them to get out of the cantina. As all this was going on, Gavin stealthily grabbed a chair and pulled it into the shadows with him, ready to use it if things went south.

After a quick planning session in the refresher, Vyrashanni came tearing out the bathroom, babbling in her native tongue while Poh Ran began shouting after her, yelling that her meds weren’t working. The Mando standing at the door to the refresher unit was too surprised to grab her and she ran into the middle of the bar before using the Force to rip a large section of the bar out of the floor and send it barreling into a large group of off-duty Mandalorians. Vee took his cue and slammed his fist into the Mando guarding the door, killing him. Vyrashanni began to levitate, once again using the Force to swirl a lot of the small debris around her in an attempt to keep attention on her instead of her companions. Gavin took this opportunity to bring the chair down on the Neo-Crusader on the comm with the base, hard enough to hurt him, but not enough to take him down. Poh Ran began struggling with the Mando by the refresher and Jace hit the dirt beneath the table. Vee ran over and quickly dispatched the other two Mandos while Vyrashanni landed and Force Gripped the last Mando in an effort to stun him and make it easier for Poh Ran to grapple him to the ground so they could keep him alive for questioning. Neither of them were gaining the upper hand, and so Gavin grabbed Jace’s blaster pistol that was left in the booth, set it to stun, and scored a critical hit on the last Mando, rolling one point off max damage, dropping him instantly.

At this point, the group decided it was best to get out of dodge as quickly as possible. They ran out of the cantina, and glanced up to see that the Mandalorians weren’t the only ones in the sky above Ryloth anymore. Indeed, a small number of capital ships had apparently dropped out of hyperspace and were in an intense firefight with the Mandalorian Navy. The upper atmosphere was full of smaller fighters and troop transports bearing the symbol of the Rebel Army. Ryloth was about to become a bloody battleground…

And that’s where the first session ended. Next week I plan to run them through some mass combat and find out what side they’ll choose to fight on in the war, if they indeed choose a side or if they decide to stay neutral and contract themselves out as mercenaries.

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But wait, there’s more!

While talking with some fellow Saga players over at the d20 Radio message boards about upcoming releases that we would like to see, the subject of the New Jedi Order came up by another poster. After jokingly saying that since we were probably 2 of the 5 people that enjoyed the NJO series and the Vong, we would probably wind up seeing something fan generated long before we see anything official.

So far, we have official announcements through May of next year, included splat books for the Soldier, Noble, and Scout classes, plus one for Droids. Nothing coming down the pipeline over the next year for campaign guides.

Then I got to thinking… why couldn’t I be the fan to generate this content? And so in a whirlwind trip to the book store to pick up the first three novels in the NJO series (I’d listened to most of them on audio book and was disappointed to learn most of them were abridged something fierce). I’m almost through my reread of Vector Prime now and have a few pages of notes including characters to stat out, equipment to write rules for, notes and names for the Yuuzhan Vong deities that have appeared so far, and starships and everything else under the twin suns of Tatooine to stat out.

So yes, that’s one more project I’m throwing myself into for those of you keeping score at home. And who knows? This could be the big score.

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Grappler Ships in Star Wars?

I’m a big fan of the anime series, Outlaw Star. I can’t really tell you what drew me to it in the first place, but I can tell you one of the things that really kept my attention after I started watching it: Grappler ships.

Well, it didn’t take me long upon looking at the starship stat blocks in the Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game to realize that vehicles had grapple modifiers that were virtually useless unless the enemy happened to be focusing tractor beams on you. So I began to think, how could I involve grapple modifiers into starship combat more often? And then it hit me, grappler arms. So, with fluff befitting the current campaign I’m running, I present the rules to grappler arms.

Grappler arms are a unique weapons system designed by the engineers in the Mandalorian Navy in an effort to allow their pilots to obtain more glory in starship combat. Grappler arms are very short range weapons that when used effectively, turn the starfighter into a very dangerous opponent, however, also making them very dangerous to the pilot using them.

Grappler arms are equipped wtih a gravitic scrambler that helps them to punch through an enemies deflector shields and latch onto the hull. Then, through use of either the razor sharp claws on the “fingers” or gravitic pulses, allow the grappler ship to tear their opponent to pieces.

Grappler arms allow a pilot involved in a dogfight to make a grapple check as a full round action, and if successful, deal damage to his target. As a bonus, the target only applies half of his SR to the attack thanks to gravitic scramblers installed on the arms and the target doesn’t get to apply his DR to the attack. The arms can either be used to deal 4d10x2 points of damage using gravitic pulses to break apart the ship’s superstructure, or use the clawed “fingers” to tear the enemy apart, dealing 3d10x2 damage, plus the starfighter’s Strength bonus (added after the multiplier). The grapple can be maintained every round, just like a grapple at character scale, simply requiring a new opposed grapple check to be made. The target, on his turn can attempt to escape, either by making an opposed grapple check of his own, or a Pilot check opposed by the Grappler Ship’s grapple check. Failure to escape causes the target to move -1 step down the condition track as it strains the ship’s engines and superstructure.

Grappler arms are an Illegal weapons emplacement that take 2 emplacement points. The cost is dependent on the equipment bonus to grapple check the arms provide. If you want a +2 bonus, it’s going to cost you 5,000 credits base. It’ll be 10,000 credits base for a +5 bonus, and a hefty 50,000 credits base for a +10 bonus.

Adding grappler arms toa  ship does weaken the overall structural integrity and reroutes a lot of the power circuits, causing the shield generators to lose efficiency, cutting the ship’s DR and SR in half (rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5). However, most of the pilots using them find the benefits of being able to dispatch your opponent more quickly far outweigh the risks of the weapon system.

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The Ghosts of Alderaan

In lieu of putting up a blog topic yesterday, I’m hitting you with a couple of quickies tonight. If you’re like me, I’m sure you too are frustrated with the lack of adventure support for the Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game. It is starting to become more and more apparent that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) isn’t going to give us a new rendition of the Living Force campaigns like they did for the RCR days and the most they are going to give us in the books is mini adventures and plot seeds, almost as if daring us – the players – to develop our own content.

The folks over at d20 radio have answered this challenge en masse. With several one shots already up for download a few more on the way, and a couple announced but not written, it’s beginning to become a great resource for GMs looking for adventure content. I’ve already posted my piece over there, but in order to keep more people informed, I will be posting my progress on the one shot I have announced here as well.

Here is the synopsis:

The Ghosts of Alderaan
This will be  a Rebellion Era game, most likely set between Episodes V and VI.
An adventure for PCs of level 8

Rumors abound of malevolent and vengeful spirits haunting the asteroid field where the planet of Alderaan used to occupy, craving revenge for their unwarranted deaths at the hands of the Death Star, and indeed, several ships travelling near the area have disappeared. Is this just a group of enterprising pirates and other outlaws preying on ships that venture too near the asteroid field? Or is there something much darker happening in the darkness where a jewel of bright green and blue used to shine? This is what the PCs are there to find out.

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A fine podcast indeed… if anyone would ever listen.

I would just like to take a moment and talk about the guys over at d20 radio – specifically GM Chris and GM Dave, the voices behind the Order 66 Podcast, a cast dedicated to “the power, the passion, and the glory that is Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying” to borrow their phrase. They’ve been casting for a little over a year and a half now and have built up quite a fan base and a wonderful forum community (even if no one ever listens to the show, and you’ll just have to start listening to get that reference).

To make a long story short, these fine gentlemen have been nominated for an ENnie award. For those of you in the gaming community who don’t know, or those outside the community, the ENnies are a fan voted awards show hosted by the website EN World (http://www.enworld.org/), and put on every year at Gen Con where the winners are announced.

Fan voting starts on Friday, July 24th, and these two guys do an amazing job with the show, really care about their listeners as well as the subject matter they discuss, and really deserve to walk away with a win this year I feel. So, if you’re a fan of the show, vote for them. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then wander over http://www.d20radio.com and check out the Order 66 Podcast and give it a listen. Even if you’ve never played a game of Star Wars Saga Edition and never plan to, but are still a fan of Star Wars, the show is still worth listening to.

So this Friday, head over to http://www.ennie-awards.com/ and let your voice be heard.

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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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