Tag Archives: Star Wars

Campaign Journal #2 – Star Wars Saga Edition

In the last installment, I discussed the very inception of the my latest Star Wars Saga Edition campaign. In this installment, I am going to introduce the cast.

The players are all people from the d20 Radio boards, some of whom I have gamed with before, and a couple who I have not. After deciding on some character creation guidelines, I let them cut loose, and was very excited when I saw what they had come up with.

I decided to allow the characters both a Background and Destiny for this game. The Destiny system was introduced when the game launched. Each character has a destiny they are working towards completing. In doing so, they get a small number of Destiny Points, which allow them to do incredibly powerful things in the game ranging from completely negating a hit to causing an automatic critical hit to changing when you act in combat.

The Background system was included in the Rebellion Era Campaign Guide and was intended to replace the Destiny system. Instead of focusing on where your character is going, it focuses on where you character came from. You choose a defining event, a job you worked at before you became a hero or a different planet of origin for your species. You draw certain abilities from your background, as well as the ability to draw from certain skills that may not normally be in your classes list, a powerful ability to be sure when used correctly.

I also decided that I was going to run a little experiment with this game. Those of you with an ear to the ground within the RPG industry have no doubt heard of the FATE system, which has been generating a lot of talk lately for their intriguing system. The crux of that system is what they call “aspects,” certain phrases, characteristics, or even quotes that describe a character. They can be invoked for bonuses or compelled to make situations interesting. I have decided to try something similar for this game (and so far, it seems to be working pretty well). Instead of Fate Points as FATE uses, the players use and get Force Points when invoking or compelling their aspects instead.

But enough of that system talk. Onto the characters!

We have Skai Kasian, a Zabrak mercenary who suffered a terrible loss at the hands of pirates. He was marooned on a remote planet after pirates shot down and killed the entire crew of the transport ship he was on. He was left alive to be hunted as sport and through skill and a little bit of luck he killed the pirates and was able to escape, dedicating his life to making life as difficult as possible for pirates and others that would prey on those less powerful than them. He is a survivor through and through, and more than a little superstitious, due in large part to a trinket that he discovered while he was being hunted by the pirates. Mechanically, he is a solid fighter, a Scout/Soldier build with the focus on survival, allowing him to avoid some damage as well as push his defenses higher. His aspects are Survivor, Superstitious, and Merc With a Heart of Gold

Next we have Kirikinerry-tovante, or Kiri for short. He is a Squib who was forced into a life on the Outer Rim through his own actions. He had a long and profitable career with the Squib Reclamation Fleet as a scavenger until war plunged the galaxy into chaos again. While the business was still profitable, Kiri was uncomfortable throwing himself in the middle of galactic events, especially those involving the Sith. He took his skills and went into business for himself as a smuggler until the authorities caught up with him. He was able to pay off the officials to look the other way, but it involved him selling his ship and effectively stranding himself on the colony world of Haalthor. Mechanically, he is a pure Scoundrel, focused on stealth and deception. His aspects are Outer-Rim Lifestyle, Caught in the Middle, and Holovid Junkie.

Then we have Rann Antilles, the near-human from Corellia. Rann was a cop, and a good one at that, working for CorSec until he found his commission revoked for busting an Imperial official’s son on drug charges. Finding himself unable to do anything else, he left his former life and bounced around from security position to security position, eventually finding himself signed up on an Outer Rim colony as part of the local defense. Though cocky and smart-mouthed, Rann is an honest cop through and through and actively hates those that give his profession a bad name. Mechanically, Rann is a Scout/Soldier build, another fighter, though this one more focused towards offense as well as some tricks up his sleeve outside of combat. His aspects are An Honest Cop, Chronic Wiseass, and Streetwise.

Next, there is Jasem Osar, the Caamasi Force user was exiled from his tribe after an incident with some slavers. A race that is wildly pacifistic, often to the point of complete and total non-violence, Jasem broke those tenets when he stood up to a group of slavers intent to take some of his people away. Though the results were appreciated, his actions could not be tolerated, and he was exiled from his clan. He drifted for a while before discovering and being discovered by the Tyia Adepts, a Force-using tradition that exemplified harmony and peace, but also showed him how to use his gifts to non-violently handle situations should the need arise. Since then, he has been moving about the Outer Rim, seeking to keep himself out of the war as well as to promote his new doctrine. Mechanically, Jasem is a very interesting character. He is a Noble/Soldier build, and the words used to describe him are “Force Tank.” Despite his lower than average hp, he is built to focus enemy fire on himself and absorb it through various talents and Force powers. His aspects are Peacekeep, Wise Man on the Mountain, and Stubborn Old Fool

Finally, we have Niera Kurucz, the Arkanian Tech Specialist. She always loved machines, and spent more of her childhood with droids and circuits than with other children, tinkering both with a droid that has become a personal companion as well as with herself, going so far as to remove one of her hands to replace it with a cybernetic prosthetic. As she grew, she found herself more and more distanced from her people, she left her homeworld after some “encouragement” from the leaders of her community. She eventually found employment with a very large droid and cybernetics firm that paid her incredibly well to do the things she loved to do. Most recently, they sent her to Haalthor to oversee the installation of several devices that the Imperials had paid the company for. Mechanically, she is another interesting concept. While Force-sensitive, she doesn’t show any signs of it yet, but she is focused on being able to affect the minds of droids with mind-affecting powers which they are normally immune to. At the moment, she is simply a very talented droid mechanic. Her aspects are Uncomfortable Around Organics, Droid-Lover, and Internal Encyclopedia.

So there you have the cast of this adventure. Next time, we’ll finally dive into the story so far. Keep your eyes peeled, and remember – let go of your conscious self, and act on instinct.

Originally posted on Word of the Nerd Online.

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Campaign Journal – Star Wars Saga Edition #1

It’s always difficult for me to commit to starting a new campaign when it comes to tabletop games. It’s because I usually have so many ideas bouncing around my head that I feel that I am never going to be able to do them all justice.

However, I have had an idea in my head for a campaign for several years now, one I have tried to run several times. Neither of them got off the ground, unfortunately.

So, when I saw that several people on the d20 Radio boards were looking for a GM to run a Star Wars Saga Edition game over Skype, I figured “what the heck,” and tossed my hat in to GM, knowing that several of them were very committed role players.

This time I had no problem deciding what I was going to run.

This particular campaign I have tried to set in numerous eras. It’s first incarnation was in the Old Republic as a one-on-one game with my wife. The second was a Play by Post experiment that existed completely out of the canon timeline, but would have taken place right after the New Sith Wars and the implementation of Darth Bane’s Rule of Two. After doing a lot of thinking on how I was going to pursue it this time, I decided on the Legacy era, having just re-read the Legacy comics from Dark Horse publishing.

For the uninitiated, the Legacy Era is set over 130 years after the events of Episodes IV, V, and VI and shows us a galaxy once again dominated by a Sith Empire. However, this is not the Sith of the classical era. Instead of the Rule of Two, the Rule of One has been instituted – one ruler, one order. There are numerous Sith Lords across the galaxy, pursuing their own agendas, all the while working for the Sith Lord on the throne.

The Jedi Order is once again a shadow of it’s former strength, and Jedi are hunted mercilessly due to a large standing bounty placed on their heads by the Empire. The Sith Empire is in a state of near constant warfare with the Empire in Exile, the legitimate rulers the Sith betrayed to take power in the first place after helping them in the last great war. The Sith Empire is also forced to deal with the remnants of the Galactic Alliance, the government that existed before the last Empire was established by the Fel dynasty some 80 years previous.

As you can see, the Legacy era puts a lot on the table and in the toolbox of any aspiring GM. All the major pieces of previous eras are taken, put into a blender, and set to “frappe.” It gives a lot of opportunity for both the players and the GM to take the Star Wars sandbox and build what they want with it, and for this particular reason is becoming a fan favorite.

At the time this campaign begins, the galaxy is in a state of turmoil. The Sith Emperor, Darth Krayt has supposedly been assassinated by a Jedi of the name Skywalker, and a series of deadly power games is taking place within the ranks of the Sith Empire. The Empire in Exile as well as the Alliance Remnant have stepped up their pressure on the Sith Empire as well, even going so far as to set aside their differences after the last war and fight as allies.

It is into this mess that five strangers take the stage, working to uncover a sinister plot from an unknown faction deep in Imperial space. Hailing from the Imperial colony world of Haalthor, their story is about to begin.

Be sure to keep checking back as the story of this campaign is told. I want to give you all a peek behind the GM screen. I plan on speaking a little bit about my thought process on encounter creation, house rules that I’m implementing, as well as general system thoughts. But most importantly, I hope to entertain you all with the story of six people who come together for a few hours every couple of weeks and play make believe over the internet.

Next time, you will be introduced to the main players on this stage. Until then, remember to fly casual, and may the Force be with you.

Originally posted at Word of the Nerd Online.

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Threat Assessment: The Shadowtrooper

First encountered in Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the Shadowtroopers were the next evolution of the Reborn. Created by the Dark Jedi Desann and Admiral Fyyar and imbued with Force powers by the Valley of the Jedi, these soldiers fought with single-minded determination for Lord Hethrir’s Empire Reborn, cutting their opponents down in silent fury, showing remarkable skill with the lightsaber.

Like the Reborn soldiers, the Shadowtroopers were not strong Force users, possessing only rudimentary knowledge of the dark arts. However, their armor was created with a special crystal, known as the Artusian crystal, which amplified their power over the Force to a small degree.  Coupled with their suits stealth systems, they made the perfect covert and special operatives for the Empire Reborn.

 

 

Shadowtrooper – CL 4

Medium Human nonheroic 6/Jedi 2
Force 3; Dark Side 12
Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
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Defenses Ref 18 (flat-footed 17), Fort 16, Will 14; Block
hp 32; Threshold 16
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Speed 6 squares
Melee lightsaber +9 (2d8+5) OR
Melee lightsaber +7 (3d8+5) with Rapid Strike
Base Atk +6; Grp +8
Atk Options Rapid Strike, Weapon Focus (lightsabers)
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +11) battlestrike, Force grip, Force lightning
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Abilities Str 15, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Talents Block
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), Force Sensitivity, Force Training, Rapid Strike, Skill Training (Use the Force), Weapon Focus (lightsabers), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, simple weapons)
Skills Initiative +10, Perception +12, Use the Force +11
Equipment lightsaber, shadowtrooper armor (+6 armor, +2 equipment, stealth field generator and Artusian crystal)
____________________________________________________
Artusian Crystal – The shadowtrooper’s armor is embedded with a special type of crystal that amplifies their power over the Force granted to them from the Valley of the Jedi. It grants them a +2 equipment bonus to Use the Force checks and allows them to treat their Wisdom as if it were 2 points higher for purposes of the Force Training feat. This ability will not function for those that do not draw the source of their power from the Valley of the Jedi.

Shadowtrooper, Veteran – CL 6

Medium Human nonheroic 6/Jedi 4
Force 4; Dark Side 12
Init +11; Senses low-light vision; Perception +13
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Defenses Ref 18 (flat-footed 17), Fort 18, Will 16; Block, Deflect
hp 47; Threshold 18
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Speed 6 squares
Melee lightsaber +12 (2d8+8) OR
Melee lightsaber +10 (3d8+8) with Rapid Strike OR
Melee lightsaber +7 (4d8+8) with Improved Rapid Strike OR
Melee lightsaber +7/+7 (2d8+8) with Double Attack
Base Atk +8; Grp +11
Atk Options Double Attack (lightsabers), Rapid Strike, Improved Rapid Strike, Weapon Focus (lightsabers)
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +12) battlestrike, Force grip, Force lightning
____________________________________________________
Abilities Str 16, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Talents Block, Deflect
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), Double Attack (lightsabers), Force Sensitivity, Force Training, Improved Rapid Strike, Rapid Strike, Skill Training (Use the Force), Weapon Focus (lightsabers), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, simple weapons)
Skills Initiative +11, Perception +13, Use the Force +12
Equipment lightsaber, shadowtrooper armor (+6 armor, +2 equipment, stealth field generator and Artusian crystal)
____________________________________________________
Artusian Crystal – The shadowtrooper’s armor is embedded with a special type of crystal that amplifies their power over the Force granted to them from the Valley of the Jedi. It grants them a +2 equipment bonus to Use the Force checks and allows them to treat their Wisdom as if it were 2 points higher for purposes of the Force Training feat. This ability will not function for those that do not draw the source of their power from the Valley of the Jedi.

Shadowtrooper, Elite – CL 8

Medium Human nonheroic 6/Jedi 6
Force 5; Dark Side 12
Init +13; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14
____________________________________________________
Defenses Ref 19 (flat-footed 17), Fort 21, Will 18; Block, Deflect
hp 72; Threshold 21
____________________________________________________
Speed 6 squares
Melee lightsaber +14 (2d8+11/x3) OR
Melee lightsaber +12 (3d8+11/x3) with Rapid Strike OR
Melee lightsaber +9 (4d8+11/x3) with Improved Rapid Strike OR
Melee lightsaber +9/+9 (2d8+11/x3) with Double Attack
Base Atk +10; Grp +13
Atk Options Double Attack (lightsabers), Improved Rapid Strike, Rapid Strike, Triple Crit (lightsaber), Weapon Focus (lightsabers)
Force Powers Known (Use the Force +11) assured strike, battlestrike (2), Force grip, Force lightning, vornskr’s ferocity
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Abilities Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Talents Block, Deflect, Weapon Specialization (lightsabers)
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), Double Attack (lightsabers), Force Sensitivity, Force Training (2), Improved Rapid Strike, Rapid Strike, Skill Training (Use the Force), Triple Crit (lightsaber), Weapon Focus (lightsabers), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, simple weapons)
Skills Initiative +13, Perception +14, Use the Force +13
Equipment lightsaber, shadowtrooper armor (+6 armor, +2 equipment, stealth field generator and Artusian crystal)
____________________________________________________
Artusian Crystal – The shadowtrooper’s armor is embedded with a special type of crystal that amplifies their power over the Force granted to them from the Valley of the Jedi. It grants them a +2 equipment bonus to Use the Force checks and allows them to treat their Wisdom as if it were 2 points higher for purposes of the Force Training feat. This ability will not function for those that do not draw the source of their power from the Valley of the Jedi.

And there you have them. Special thanks and shout outs go to Dragonis111 for coming to the d20 Radio forums with the request for the NPC blocks in the first place. Hope they find a place in your games and “long live the Empire Reborn!”

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The Announcement That Shocked Few

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2528

Word was broken today that Fantasy Flight Games has acquired the comprehensive Star Wars license. Now, while this is big news, it really doesn’t come as a surprise to this gamer, and quite a few others, including Gary Sarli and newbiedm. There were a lot of developments over the last year that put a lot of it into perspective for me, but I’m not going to get into that just now.

Lets just suffice to say that I’m pleased to see the first two products they are announcing have nothing to do with an RPG. The Starship minis game has be excited to be sure, and the card game, while interesting, will have to be seen and played I think before I can pass judgement. I’ll be watching the news on the eventual RPG front with great interest though. It’s going to take a lot to break me away from Saga Edition I think.

More on this as it develops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Star Wars: Now With… Dragons?

Not quite. Found myself in a conversation yesterday morning over Twitter with @newbiedm about a very interesting proposition, and one that had come to my mind much earlier, but had abandoned for some reason or another. Porting Star Wars to the AGE system.

For those of you uninitiated, the AGE system is what was developed by Chris Pramas for the Dragon Age Roleplaying Game published by Green Ronin Publishing. He brought up the idea of Star Wars AGE after someone released a very well done version of Mystara, the Known World for AGE.

Hearing that other people were interested in this idea as well galvanized me a little bit. After batting some ideas back and forth, namely how to handle the inclusion of the Force in the game, I found myself furiously scribbling notes and paging through the Dragon Age books as well as the copies of my old WEG books for Star Wars.

While the development is coming a lot easier than I ever dreamed it would, it’s still no where near complete. But I figured I would post up some of the basic stuff I’ve been working on to whet your appetites a little bit for things to come.

Like the Dragon Age game, there are only three classes. These are the Noble, the Scoundrel, and the Soldier. Species selection (as well as Droids) will all be handled through the background system, with broad strokes such as Wookiee Sidekick, Astromech Droid, Protocol Droid, Corellian Pilot, Bothan Spy, Gungan Warrior, etc etc.

The toughest part about this was figuring out how the Force would work. I finally settled on letting the player decide if their character was going to be Force Sensitive right out of the gate. If they wanted to, they could at no additional charge, and they would have access to the Force talents (Control, Sense, and Alter). If they didn’t want to at creation, but decided they wanted to become Force Sensitive at a later point (awakening to their latent power as it were), they could, but it would require them to sacrifice a talent slot and find a teacher. After that, they would have access to the same talents as any other Force Sensitive character. When you take the novice rank in either Control, Sense, or Alter, you get an associated ability, as well as three Force powers grounded in that discipline. Control powers will include things like Accelerated Healing, Force Trance, Detoxify Poison, Reduce Wound, etc. Sense Powers will include things like Telepathy, Mind Trick, and Beast Languages. Alter will include the combat powers, like Force Slam, Force Thrust, Telekinesis, and even Force Grip. Each time you take another rank in one of those talents, you get more associated powers.

Jedi will come into play through specializations. If you are Force Sensitive and can find training, you can take a Jedi specialization when you qualify. The Noble can specialize into Jedi Consular. The Scoundrel gets the Jedi Sentinel specialization. And finally, the Soldier gets the Jedi Guardian specialization.

Look familiar? They should. These are the broad three types of Jedi throughout the Old Republic, made most popular by the Knights of the Old Republic video games. Jedi specialization will also open up the Lightsabers Group proficiency for your character.

A lot of the focuses and talents can be used as written, with a little bit of flavor text rewritten. A few need to be scrapped, like all of the Magic focuses and talents and replaced with Force ones.

Speaking of which, the Magic attribute has been completely removed and replaced with the Force attribute. It does the same thing mechanically, but it fits the milieu a lot better.

I’ve been jumping around the past few hours on various pieces of the game, and will probably continue working that way, bouncing back and forth between this and other projects as well (I’ve got about five of them, and as of yesterday, a new appreciation for Google Docs), but I’ll be sure to post more on this as I write.

To leave you with a little taste here’s how the three Force talents appears right now.

Control
Classes: Noble, Scoundrel, Soldier
Requirement: Must be Force-Sensitive, and you must have a teacher
You have begun to study the Jedi discipline of control.

Novice
You have become skilled in letting the Force flow through you, allowing it to help you heal from your wounds more quickly. You add your Force score to any healing your receive. Additionally, you gain three Level 1 Control Powers.
Journeyman
Master

Alter
Classes: Noble, Scoundrel, Soldier
Requirement: Must be Force-Sensitive, and you must have a teacher
You have begun to study the Jedi discipline of alter.

Novice
You can use the Force to lift small objects with basic telekinesis. You can lift an object within 5 yards and weighing less than 5 kilograms. You can move the object, but you cannot manipulate it. For example, you could pick up a blaster, but you could not fire it. You can try to slam the object into an opponent, making a Force (Alter) test against your opponent’s Defense. Success deals 1d3 damage plus your Force score. Additionally, you gain three Level 1 Alter Powers.
Journeyman
Master

Sense
Classes: Noble, Scoundrel, Soldier
Requirement: Must be Force-Sensitive, and you must have a teacher
You have begun to study the Jedi discipline of sense.

Novice
You can use your basic powers of telepathy to sense the surface emotions of a creature within 10 yards of you, but you cannot influence the creature. For example, you could sense whether or not the Hutt’s goons are agitated, but not if they are agitated at you specifically and you could definitely not use this power to calm an angry Rancor. Additionally, you gain three Level 1 Sense Powers.
Journeyman
Master


Finally, on a personal note, I’d just like to mention that as of last night, I just crested the 10,000 view mark (I was at 10,001 as the date switch). This is a huge milestone for me, and I’d just like to take a moment and thank you, the people that have been coming here and looking at the site and reading what I have to say on roleplaying games. This is what I love to do, and to have you people even give a passing interest is more than I could have ever hoped for. So once again: Thank you. I’ll see you guys at 25,000. Let’s keep this thing growing. I’ll keep posting if you keep reading.

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Crossing the Streams

Anyone with enough internet savvy to run a Google search should be familiar with the concept of “de-motivational posters.” A lot of them are crap, or simple attempts at propagating stupid internet jokes (referred to collectively as “memes”). However, occasionally, you find some that are simply great.

Well, I ran across a series of them crossing both the Star Wars mythos and the Green Lantern mythos, posted for your viewing enjoyment.

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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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