There are certain special times when the needs of the story must impose upon the Crew a horrible, worst-case scenario with terrifying, overwhelming challenges. Often, the Galaxy Master will use these seemingly hopeless situations as the basis for an entire Star Wars roleplaying game campaign. In contrast to W is for super Weapons, Y is for You’re my only hope dooms the Crew with Nightmare Difficulty that is even more over-the-top, punishingly unfair, often beyond the control of mankind, and have no identifiable weaknesses.
Some examples of hellish, mind-numbing despair include: Continue reading
Recently, I came upon a neat little blog that focuses on video game design, analyzing what are widely considered to be “the classics” and seeing what makes them really jive. This post, certainly very relevant to Triumph & Despair from the onset, got me thinking about the use of details and story depth in Star Wars fandom.
A super weapon is an antagonist and Nemesis given the form of a terrifying object. It is a means to inspire fear and trepidation on the galactic scale fueled by the accumulated wealth, anxieties, and nightmares of a trillion worlds.
Super weapons are the ultimate display of both power and hubris. They are designed by highly focused minds, flawed by deep-rooted neuroses. Super weapons are also a projection of a society, proudly showing their most advanced technologies built, in vain, to alleviate their crippling insecurities.
Only Two Ways Home is a site-based heist / adventure for use with the Star Wars Edge of the Empire roleplaying game. In this scenario, an opportunistic Crew of interstellar misfits agrees to help the Galactic Imperial Navy bring a renegade commander back to face justice for his crimes.
Only Two Ways Home touches on and explores several key motifs that are encouraged by Edge of the Empire. While a wide variety of characters with varying Motivations will find this Heist interesting, those with the character Motivations of Religion/Spirituality, Droid Rights, and Support the Empire will find it especially so.
The title of this Heist comes from a quote from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now!. It describes the sentiments of the primary antagonists of both the film, Colonel Kurtz, and this scenario, Captain Kitano. The previous acts and deeply held moral convictions of these men have left them with a choice of only two options moving forward: victory, or death.
Download the Heist here!
Download the Handouts here!
Source apparently from Alien Anthology
(I cannot confirm this)
“It’s called ‘Grans of Time’. You know, like sands of time? Because these poems are timeless! It’s quite clever, really.“
Welcome back to Cause & Effect! I’m feeling lucky today and have rolled randomly on the table presented in V is for Vignettes.
I would like to stress though, that the V is for Vignettes table is intended to provide inspiration. If the rolls you get don’t excite you, don’t use them. These are my results:
Instigator Poor Citizen
Target Nearby Building
Escalation Threatens to cost the Crew a great many credits
Escalation An A is for Artifact is involved
This could be interesting…
I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one.
A few weeks ago, I began the process of composing my haphazard and frankly unreadable gaming notes used to run one of my fun, successful, two-session heists for Star Wars Edge of the Empire. It’s a bit of a chore, as you can imagine, as there is a great difference between “good enough to play” and “publishable work to be proud of”. Despite this, everything is going splendidly with it. However, the tasks ahead of me in terms of organizing, embellishing, clarifying, and general polishing up are taking far longer than I had originally expected.
I’ve spend far too many hours designing hospitals (ie. working) and not enough time designing Star Wars games!
Furthermore, I’m looking at my calendar and my well-earned, upcoming vacation and see that the sands of the hourglass run low. Thus, I thought it prudent to at least release a teaser of the final product.
Behold! I give to you a preview of my upcoming, double-length heist “Only Two Ways Home“. In it, you will find an Introduction, Background, and Overview of the heist, as well as a sample encounter: Flight Deck.
Comments welcome, though keep in mind that the heist is still incomplete. Be sure to look here around the first week of June to see the entire work in its completed form!
LINK TO OTWH PREVIEW
Star Wars is a reflection of George Lucas’ most vulnerable insecurities, and with that, we see our own. This is the reason why it transcends the limitations of science fiction, of fantasy, or westerns, of whatever genre you classify it under and goes beyond the mundane and into the divine. When watching these films, one can so easily be drawn into powerful emotions and primal terrors that permeate the human psyche. So, too, should your Star Wars roleplaying games.
In this way of thinking of the series, the Star Wars universe serves only as a clever, sugar-coated shell surrounding bitter truths. This is a hallmark of excellent storytelling. These movies are so good because they appeal to our deep seated concerns in a non-literal fashion. We know, instinctively, the importance of the story we are seeing, though perhaps we may not realize why. The glitz and glamour of the constructed Star Wars universe occupies our immediate focus, drawing the viewer into a fantasy world so that ideas from which we have strong emotions may be more easily confronted. Growing up and while still in film school, George Lucas was known to have had conflicts with his father over his future career path. His father was an office supply salesman and wanted young George to follow in his footsteps. To Lucas the Junior, living in the social unrest of the 1960′s, this represented an oppressive, soulless path towards unhappiness, tedium, and self-loathing; all in the name of the needs of society. He was an energetic young man eager to carve his own life out of the world, ready to take on the whole Empire himself. Blow this somewhat dramatic reaction up a thousand fold and make it larger than life on the silver screen. In short order, we have found Darth Vader’s plea to Luke, “Join me”, and young Skywalker’s utter rejection of such a life.
So, too, should your Star Wars roleplaying games. I encourage you to get into the meta of yourself and ferret out your buried fears and insecurities. Find something painful in your life, something controversial, something that you are uncomfortable facing alone. Apply a thick layer of fantasy on top of that to make it easy to swallow. Here is a list of great examples from just the original film of what I’m talking about. Use it as a seed to grow your roleplaying games into something more profound.
- I don’t know my parents, thus I can never know myself
- I am frustrated by my unfulfilled potential for great deeds
- I have lost far too much family
- I have lost much of my humanity and spirit through industrialization
- My identity is my career, my career is my identity
- I hate society, but am not sure why
- I have little power or wealth in this society
- The Big City is dirty and evil
- Without religion & spirituality, I am doomed to nihilism & despair