V is for Vignette

mos-eisley-cantinaA vignette is a brief scene that drives home a single theme or development. It is a side trek, usually unrelated to any ongoing plots or serious character development arcs in the campaign. Galaxy Masters are encouraged to use vignettes on occasion to shake up the game and throw something a little different in the mix. Vignettes also provide a snapshot into the wider galactic citizenry, adding a layer of verisimilitude by showing that the interesting events of the universe do not always revolve around the Crew’s interests, and often do not involve the Crew at all.

To design a vignette, a Galaxy Master should roll a ten-sided die five (5) times and consult the table below, or simply choose the elements that suits his or her ideas best. Vignettes are typically composed of a single person or unified group of people selected from the Instigator column performing a specific Action against a designated Target. These three selections will create a mere commonplace occurrence that has little interest to our players or our stories. The mundane is elevated to the tantalizing by adding two (2) selections from the last column, Escalation, mixing the results together into a unique combination of shenanigans.

    INSTIGATOR
(roll d10)
  ACTION
(roll d10)
1   thug   attacks
2   local law enforcement   protects
3   Imperial officer   steals from
4   bounty hunter   harasses
5   poor citizen   interrogates
6   wealthy citizen   discovers
7   lynch mob   begs for help from
8   Z is for Zealot   gambles a high-stakes game against
9   crime boss   races
10   smuggler   delivers something to
    TARGET
(roll d10)
  ESCALATION
(roll d10 twice)
1   the Crew   an A is for Artifact is involved
2   the Crew’s starship   in the middle of a wild parade
3   an ally or other close relation   quickly turns into a chase scene
4   a fellow smuggler   I is for Illegal goods are involved
5   a poor civilian   the same subject as a Crew Member’s Obligation is involved
6   a wealthy civilian   the same subject as a Crew Member’s Motivation is involved
7   escaped convicts   has an encrypted code that leads to a reward
8   a cantina or other nearby building   the encounter threatens to cost the Crew a great many credits
9   innocent children   has unavoidable Imperial entanglements
10   roll twice, the action affecting both targets   a lover’s scorn is drawn

About C. Steven Ross

C. Steven Ross is the founder of Triumph & Despair. View all posts by C. Steven Ross

One response to “V is for Vignette

  • Ramin

    This is brilliant! Thank you so much for this. I’ve been wanting to inject some more life into the published adventures, and this is perfect!

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