Cause & Effect 00 – Introduction

Welcome to a new series on Triumph & Despair, written by new author Mark DesLauriers, something I like to call Cause & Effect.

I am a big fan of random tables. Random tables can be a valuable resource to both prep-heavy and prep-light Galaxy Masters alike as they allow you to quickly create things out of just a few dice rolls and tags. But what if your improv-fu is weak? What if you don’t like random rolls or building things out of a few words? What I aim to do in these posts is use the information and tables presented by C. Steven Ross in V for Vignettes, as well as other posts, to flesh out random events that can be used as an interesting encounter or as a springboard for additional adventures. Why do you need random events or encounters in your game? I’m glad you asked…

Random events are an excellent way to inject life into your campaign and maintain a sense of disbelief. They reinforce the idea that nothing is static and something is always happening. You may not like what’s happening, but Fate is a cruel mistress. One day you could be suffering from a case of mistaken identity and running away from bounty hunters. The next day might you may have stumbled upon century old secrets. That’s just the way it goes. Likewise, the actions (Cause) of the Crew should almost always have consequences (Effect). For example, breaking into a local warehouse should attract the authorities. If the warehouse is blown up, the Crew should hear about it, notice bulletins or holo-net broadcasts reporting the event. If the Crew was identified, warrants for their arrest could pop up or at the very least, pictures of them wanted for questioning.

Not every (random) event needs to result in a fire fight or further complication however. Simply having the crew being recognized by someone who saw them best a group of thugs on another world. Or witness an old lady holding up a terminal line as she tries to find her nephew in the database. Some events could even result in a future boon for the Crew. Putting an end to a gang who was extorting protection money out of shop owners might result in lower prices in their stores. Events like these help create a living, breathing environment. While the Crew are the main characters of the story, they are not the only characters. For every plot and scheme they come up with, others are doing the same and there is no reason that they shouldn’t catch wind of these events in a local cantina or on the holo-net. If you provide an environment and a cast of characters for the Crew to interact with, they likely will and your collective story will become that much richer for it.

Upon landing on a planet, roll a Force Die. A result of oo indicates a random V is for Vignettes encounter (or some sort of random event. Maybe a local bird makes a deposit on your freshly cleaned starship. Like I said before, a fight doesn’t need to break out. But something unscripted should.). Most of these entries will be presented in a bare bones fashion. This will allow you either add to the existing framework if you choose to do so, or use it as is to quickly work it into your session.


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