Category Archives: Cause & Effect

Cause & Effect 14 – The art of the Swindle…

C-3PO_EP2-IA-50348_R_8x10Do you see? Do you see what I have to deal with? He expects me to wear this…

Welcome back to Cause & Effect! Today’s nutshell topic: Swindling. When I was a young lad, my uncle told me a story of how his adventuring party (ad&d) had been swindled by a back alley weapons broker. While it seemed like a good idea at the time. The discounted weapons that they purchased ended up breaking when they needed them most. It made for an enjoyable story to hear and found a cozy spot in my head to call home.

I heavily lifted from the idea for one of my Saga campaigns. Where the Crew met a shady Twi’lek in a back alley, who wanted to sell them discounted med packs. They looked a little beat up, but they were assured (and believed) that the product had simply fell off the back of the delivery truck and had not been stolen (well, okay, maybe a little stolen. But they looked to be in a usable condition and hey, times are tough even for the good guys). Credits being tight as they are, and combat being as dangerous as it is; the Crew purchased a few of these med packs. The rub was that the med packs were damaged/expired/etc. and did not heal as well as a regular priced one.

The above example will maybe work once. Players are a sneaky lot and generally like to be the ones doing the swindling (or at least my players do). This is where you, as a GM, need to get a little sneaky yourself. Role Playing Games are designed (in my opinion) to be a form of co-operative story telling. Use this to your advantage. Swindles can just as easily be sneaked into an idea of the Crew as they can into a random encounter. If the Crew are the ones calling the shots, they may also feel as though they are in control of the situation. With the GM being forced to ‘wing it’, the players may not see the twist coming. For example:

Continue reading


Cause & Effect 13 – What Kind of Thief Steals From an Old Lady?

“Oh my! I’m so glad that you were able to get my bag back. I was so worried. Oh, oh. Those are some well defined biceps that you have there. Do you work out? My nephew works out, but his arms aren’t as well defined as yours. Oh, silly me. I seem to have knocked my walker over. Could you be a dear and pick that up for me? Don’t worry about proper lifting technique. It’s a light walker. No back straining there. Mmmm, oh my...

Welcome back to Cause & Effect! Today I will be picking the results manually on the table presented in V is for Vignettes. These are my results:

Instigator Thug

Action Steals from

Target Poor Citizen

Escalation Quickly turns into a chase scene

Escalation I is for Illegal goods are involved

If the Crew will not defend the honor of an older Ithorian lady who has a taste for bulging biceps and Kowakian monkey-lizards, then who will?

Cause & Effect 12 – Poaching

Star Wars IV A New Hope

“Tortuga knows where it is. The bad news is that he was captured by the Imperials yesterday. The good news? That they’re transporting him to a secure facility tomorrow. That means there will be a small window to snatch him, while they try to make the move. We get him, extract the intel. Then we get the goods and get paid.

Welcome back to Cause & Effect! Today’s results were randomly rolled on the table presented in V is for Vignettes. These are my results:

Instigator Bounty Hunter

Action Discovers

Target Smuggler

Escalation has unavoidable Imperial entanglements

Escalation A is for Artifact is involved

Poaching is only wrong if you get caught…

Cause & Effect 11 – Cargo a la Incognito

Work created by Daniel Brown http://vimeo.com/channels/299145

Work created by Daniel Brown
http://vimeo.com/channels/299145

“No! You listen! I do not appreciate you slandering my good name with these false accusations! Fine, you know what? Search the ship again. You won’t find anything because I’m an honest transporter! I bet it’s because I have an artificial leg isn’t it? Oh look at the Spacer with one leg. She must be a pirate! Well you forgot one thing. I don’t have a bird on my shoulder! You men are all the same! You…what? You’re finished? Good, because I’m sick of your face….

Welcome back to Cause & Effect! I started feeling lucky and made the first roll randomly. As soon as I saw the result, inspiration hit and I picked the rest of the results manually on the table presented in V is for Vignettes. These are my results:

Instigator Smuggler

Action Delivers something to

Target The Crew’s Starship

Escalation I is for Illegal goods are involved

Escalation The encounter threatens to cost the Crew a great many credits

Have you ever transported goods that you didn’t know that you were carrying until it was too late? So has this Crew…

Cause & Effect 10 – Misinfomed

Image from The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force

Image from The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force

“Ah, you just got in my way you big oaf! Wait…hmm, you just might be able to make this up to me yet…

Welcome back to Cause & Effect! I’m feeling lucky today and have rolled randomly on the table presented in V is for Vignettes. These are my results:

Instigator Poor Citizen

Action Discovers

Target Escaped Convicts

Escalation A lover’s scorn is drawn

Escalation Quickly turns into a chase scene

Things are not always what they seem…


Cause & Effect 09 – Grans of Time

Source apparently from Alien Anthology (I cannot confirm this)

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

Action Gambles

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…

Cause & Effect 08 – Poor Citizen Begs for Help

“My, aren’t you a sight for stranded eyes. You would not believe what I’ve been through these past few days. Say, you wouldn’t turn down a woman in need would you?

starwars4_0665Welcome back to Cause & Effect! Today we are going to find that space, as vast as it may be, is full of little surprises. I’m not going to roll randomly on the chart today. No sir, today we will take the following hook and using the table presented in V is for Vignettes, create our scene.

This is the hook: A stranded escape pod needs your help!

This is how I’ve decided to translate it:

Instigator Poor Citizen

Action Begs for help from

Target The Crew

Escalation Has unavoidable Imperial entanglements

Escalation I is for Illegal goods are involved

Nothing bad ever happens to good Samaritan’s right?