Thursday, November 13, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

I sit here typing this while a high-tech washing machine launched 10 yeas ago is now doing it's best TJ "King" Kong impression as it rides around the solar system.

Best tweet I saw about this...

Fox News: Why did America waste so much money on this mission?  
Scientist: This was a European mission.  
Fox News: Why didn't America do it first?

Order 65 Draws To A Close

On November 22nd, I'll be running the last session of Order 65, my Alternate Universe campaign that began on July 4th weekend, 2010.  It's taken a little longer than I intended to get to the end, but I did have to take some time off in 2012 to recharge my batteries and come up with a way to convert it from Saga Edition to FFG's Star Wars RPG.

The game didn't go exactly as I scripted out, but it was pretty much where I thought it would go.  I'm still trying to do some sort of self-evaluation to see if that was because I directed the storyline or if it's because the PCs followed the same clues and thought patterns I had going for the plot.  I'm willing to bet a bit of both; sometimes it's up to the PCs to figure out where the GM intends the plot to go.  I think it's a mark of a good GM to let his story happen along with that of the PCs, instead of against them.  I know I steam-rolled over a lot of good RP opportunities because I wanted to move the plot along.  I had a story to tell, dammit.  I don't have time for Lucas's revenge plot, or Nicaella's flirtation with the Dark Side, or Marin and Barrett's issues with their creditors.

The Obligation chart really took a back seat to become an on-again-off-again debuff, and not so much as a source of subplots for my players.  I really feel like I missed out on a lot of the fun of the system because of that.  I suppose I was just so focused on getting to the end of the campaign so I could work on the next "shinny thing".  Stupid ferret-brain.

Another Longshot Prepares for Launch

The next two weekends will have meetings with the 5-6 players in each of my Another Longshot groups.  This will make the weekend of the 22-23rd a very Star Wars weekend for me.

Group Aurek looks very Force-heavy, with everyone playing a Force-user of some allegiance.  At least two Imperial Knights and two Jedi, for certain.

Group Besh looks more on the fringe/Galactic Alliance side of things.  Got one Mandalorian, a merc commander who may go Alliance, and a fighter pilot who also may go Alliance.  No clue what the other 3 PCs are thinking of playing.

I'm leaning towards everyone having Obligation or Duty (as appropriate for their characters) at game start.  Force users will have Morality too, but I'm leaning towards applying the other two "RP Mechanics" in all cases.  It makes sense to me that Imperial Knights have a Duty score, and that Jedi have an Obligation (or two).  Starting scores will be based on the number of players in that party with either Obligation or Duty, as outlined in the Character Creation section of the Core Rulebooks.  So the two Imperial Knights (assuming the fifth player is not an Imperial Knight) will start with a Duty score of 20, since there are only two PCs with Duty in that party.  The Jedi (or whatever) will all start with Obligations of 15, since there are three PCs with Obligation in the party.  If I based it on the number of total PCs, then everyones score would start at 10.  So a 20% chance to have Duty affect the game and a 30% chance to have Obligation affect the game.  That just feels a bit low to me, even taking into account these scores will shift as play proceeds.

I'm leaning heavily towards letting my players modify these starting scores to allow for more XP or gear, as normal, except that any XP earned by lowering Duty or raising Obligation is applied after Character Creation (so it can't be spent to help increase Characteristics).  I'm leaning towards this option instead of starting characters at Knight Level (+150 xp, +9,000 credits or a lightsaber).  I've got a lot of players that are relatively new to the system, or at least new to leveling up their own character.  I want to give them that chance to grow and develop their abilities, but maybe start them a little more advanced than normal.

My conundrum is what to do about those players that aren't Force Users.  The Force Users can basically double dip.  It would only be fair to let the non-Force Users to as well.  I think I'll be working with those PCs to figure out the best manner to handle it; some may have Duty and Obligation, or double Duty hit (and possibly starting with zero Duty, but a ton of gear), or two Obligation types (and really be beholden to someone).

We'll see.

Anyway, that's all for now.  Here's a treat for those who don't follow my twitter feed; the finished image for my Besalik Imperial Knight PC.

May the dice be with you!

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