O is for Operations

Operations provide the guiding framework for Imperial-centric adventures in Star Wars roleplaying games. By using a matrix of randomized tables, a catalyst for creativity is created for the Galaxy Master to grow forth a unique, engaging, and fun adventure for his or her game. This article distills the essence of what it means to be an elite operative of the Emperor and enhances all of the challenges that they must surely face while at the same time accounting for the rightful advantages the backing of the Galactic Empire confers upon its Agents.

Though they serve the same basic function, Operations and H is for Heists differ in several key ways. Heists function in a campaign focused on greed and lawlessness. The main drive in an Edge of the Empire campaign is the acquisition of more and more wealth (see EotE Core Rulebook, Keeping The Players Hungry), through an infinite variety of creative means. In stark contrast, a Crush the Rebellion campaign is instead focused on just the opposite; using unlimited wealth to keep peace and order in a galaxy teeming with chaos and an infinite variety of threats.

An operation has multiple critical elements that all must be present for the sum of the whole to work in a long-term campaign. When designing an operation, choose or roll randomly on the tables below as best you see fit.

First, each operation presents a basic problem that draws the ire of The Emperor. These are all dubious criminal elements in one fashion or another which threaten the harmony of the galaxy and of civilized society.

d10   The Emperor is concerned about …
1 a domestic terrorist plot
2 organized crime and rampant smuggling
3 a Rebel military strike
4 a military defection
5 a political coup d’etat
6 a sovereign, rival galactic power
7 proletariat unrest
8 local government corruption and/or incompetence
9 space pirates
0 a cult of heretics

For the Galaxy Master, where this treason is happening is almost as important as what is happening; the various parts of the galaxy imposing a shadow of emotion and theme upon the entire adventure.

d10   , located in the …
1 forbidden Deep Core.
2 industrialized Core Worlds.
3 commerce-rich Core Worlds.
4 pollutant-choked Core Worlds.
5 Mid Rim borderlands.
6 untouched Outer Rim.
7 lawless Outer Rim.
8 savage Outer Rim.
9 desolate Outer Rim.
0 mysterious Unknown Regions.

Any of these threats alone would warrant Imperial intervention, but certainly not the attention of such elite officers as your players’ characters. It takes some sort of deadly twist or unexpected complication to warrant the use of The Emperor’s most skilled and talented Agents.

d10   Your unique talents are called for in this matter, due to …
1 It’s a Trap! designed to lure the Emperor’s Agents to their demise.
2 the presence of a Jedi Knight.
3 secret aid from a local terrorist cell.
4 a sympathetic populace.
5 the important hostages whom must be protected.
6 the Imperial secrets which must be protected.
7 the experimental, new technology wielded by your enemies.
8 the presence of doppelganger assassins leftover from the Clone Wars.
9 the scheming of traitors within.
0 Roll twice; this Operation is especially dangerous

The Emperor swiftly punishes failure, but also garners rewards for success. Simple rewards, such as money, have little meaning. Instead, triumphant Agents are permitted concessions to go above the law in their pursuits.

d10   For your efforts, the Emperor will reward you with …
1 an additional 5 XP each.
2-3 a new personal-scale Restricted Item (Max. Rarity 6) for each Agent.
4 a new Vehicle (max. Silhouette 2) for each Agent.
5 a single new Vehicle (max. Silhouette 4) for your team.
6 a Squadron of personal servants (max. Rarity 5) for each Agent.
7-8 an Attachment onto an Item or Vehicle for each Agent.
9-0 an increase in maximum Vehicle Silhouette, Item Rarity, and Squadron Rarity by 1 on all future Rewards.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, each Operation opens up a choice of two distinct means that the Agents may advance their own nefarious plans. No Agent is entirely contented with the Empire. All have the ambition to bend the galaxy to their will.

d100   This Operation may be able to help our secret plans, as it will offer an opportunity to advance …
01-09 Support. This Operation will allow you to find, manipulate, and exploit the weaknesses in others.
10-18 Political Support. This Operation will allow you to use your political clout to unfairly influence events back in the civilized core of galactic society and the inner working of what was once the galactic senate.
19-27 Combat Victory. This Operation will allow you to command legions of Stormtroopers to occupy worlds and oppress its people.
28-36 Space Superiority. This Operation will allow you to leverage the full might of the Imperial Navy to your advantage, abusing your power by shutting down hyperspace lanes and diverting civilian starship travel away from protected star systems.
37-45 Intelligence. This Operation will allow you to plunder the hidden library vaults of the Empire, searching for dark secrets of both the present and of ages long past.
46-54 Counter-Intelligence. This Operation will allow you to contact bounty hunters, smugglers, and the other scum and villainy of the galaxy to do your dirty deeds.
55-63 Personnel. This Operation will allow you to research the history and secrets of Imperial citizens to use to your advantage through threats and blackmail.
64-72 Tech Procurement. This Operation will allow you to appropriate some advanced weapon or piece of technology from its rightful owners.
73-81 Sabotage. This Operation will allow you the will, patience, and dedication is takes to destroy, commit acts of domestic terrorism, and murder in cold blood.
82-90 Resource Acquisition. This Operation will allow you to plunder the vast, untapped resources of the untouched outer rim to fuel your nefarious projects.
91-99 Recruitment. This Operation will allow you to use your position and hand-pick the best recruits the Imperial citizenry has to offer, pulling a valued member of society into your dark web when he is likely needed most at home.
00 Roll twice

About C. Steven Ross

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

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