Category Archives: gaming aids

Stat Block Organizational Tool

Friend of the blog, map maker, and adventure writer Will Patterson has pulled together one of the great resources found here at Triumph & Despair and has taken it to the next level. The link below provides you with the Stat Blocks featured here, but in an easy to use Excel Worksheet with quick pull-down menus to easily look up and bring up an array of stat blocks.

Related, I have been asked by some, “will you update your Age of Rebellion stat blocks to reflect the Core Book? Will you provide Force & Destiny stat blocks from the Beta?”

  1. Probably not. The core books differ so little from the Beta’s that it really doesn’t spark my interest. I hate minutia and boring things, and this seems like an exercise in both. I feel like a great many of the fans of Star Wars RPGs are in it to fulfill some need to codify everything in the Star Wars galaxy in some sort of weird encyclopedic fashion, this being an example of such. I really dislike that attitude, I find it constricting and limited, and so I will not be adding fuel to that fire. Go do meaningless tasks yourself.
  2. Maybe! Keep on the lookout. I have a copy waiting for me right now and, if the stat blocks are new and different enough from previous Beta’s, then it will pique my interest and I’ll do it. I only blog about things I enjoy, let’s see if Fantasy Flight can pull the hat trick.

Critical Cards

losehandAs Galaxy Master, I like to run a very face-paced game of Star Wars. I don’t sit down. I treat my GM Screen as a clipboard and little more than a hard surface to help jot down notes on paper. I drink coffee and energy drinks at 6:00 PM just to get amp’ed up for a game. I don’t stop the game to discuss or analyze rules in a book. I listen to thrash metal and hard-beat industrial.

I cannot be bogged down by rolling on a critical injury table.

This function of FFG Star Wars has long been a speed bump in my GM’ing style. To get around it and keep the game pounding at my preferred breakneck speed, I devised a clever little system of Critical Cards (click to download) to replace the drudgery of rolling d100 and looking up the results in a chart. I implemented this first in FANE of the SITH LORDS and it worked amazingly well. Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve made them. Jeez, why didn’t I post these sooner?

Galaxy Masters wishing to use these instead of the traditional system should print out several copies, two at the least, and shuffle them up. Create one deck for Critical Injuries, those affecting an individual Crew Member, and Critical Hits, those affecting vehicles and starships. Whenever something or someone would suffer a critical, roll just a d10. Previous criticals held by the target, the Vicious weapon quality, and Wounds or Hull Trauma suffered above the target’s threshold all add a +1 to the roll, similar to the rules-as-written critical mechanics.

  • If the total of the roll is 8 or lower, use the end of the Critical Card that has a white background; a Minor Critical.
  • If the total of the roll is 9 or higher, use the end of the Critical Card that has a dark gray background, a Major Critical. Disruptor weapons always use the Major Critical end of the card.
  • If the total of the roll is 15 or higher, the subject is completely destroyed or instantly killed.

This system is intuitive to use, quick to deploy, and gives the players physical reminders of their debilitating conditions. It also opens up an avenue for customization for the Galaxy Master, tweaking the composition of the Critical Cards deck to suit his or her desired level of lethality. For example, during my CRUSH the REBELLION campaign it was made well known that the Critical Cards deck would be stacked with an overabundance (about three times as much as normal) of Maimed critical injuries. What can I say, I like my games of Star Wars to have a lot of lightsaber amputations.

ldvyields2The Critical Cards as presented do not fit the percentages and ratios presented in the rules-as-written charts exactly. I do not care and neither should you. This system overall is a little more swingy, risky, and dangerous; an injury of Dead can theoretically be applied on just the first critical injury delivered. If you’re uncomfortable with that, tweak the die roll thresholds (9 and 15) to be a little higher, or remove those offending cards from your deck.


CtR PreGen Character Sheets

I will be running some local one-shot games using the FFG Star Wars at some local cons and MeetUps in the coming weeks. Naturally, I went with what I am excited and passionate about at the moment and put together a quick little adventure related to my CRUSH the REBELLION campaign. When running adventures like this with strangers in the mix, or any one-shot game really, I always prepare a set of easy to use pre-generated characters.

My ultimate goal with these character sheets is to have something available so that any player can sit down with one of these, grab a pen, and start playing immediately. Everything should be easy to read and work in an intuitive fashion. Additionally, I wanted jaded fans of the Star Wars lore to be immediately become enraptured and excited at the audacity of the characters I was providing. These aren’t nameless Imperial lackeys that no one cares about; these are the big time movers and shakers within the deep core of the Empire’s machinery. I want every character to inspire someone to say, “Whoa, this person is such a badass!

I’ve already established a method that I enjoy for showcasing skills, talents and the like. For this adventure, however, there was another wrinkle to consider.

Secret Agendas

A core mechanic for any CRUSH the REBELLION campaign, the thing that makes it really unique, is the use of Secret Agendas. To foment an atmosphere of tense, cold-war style manipulation and intrigue, I needed to have each character with something to instantly focus their disdain on, something for the character to hate; and also a seemingly simple end goal with an added complication of needing to rely on someone, perhaps another Agent, to be able to accomplish. The tension between the Agents competing against each other in the macro scale, but also needing each other to survive the micro scale, is what defines this setting.

These characters are each built with an additional sum of experience points above starting level (I think I ended up with +100Xp for each), basic gear, and one special equipment; a gift from The Emperor that defies the normal order of Imperial dogma and gives that character a special advantage.

In the rare chance that you might be involved in any of the local Baltimore games that I am running, please do not read these character sheets until after your game. No spoilers!

Downloads


I’ve made a huge mistake.

… and messed up the rules for vehicle weapon attack difficulties. Why didn’t anyone tell me earlier? What am I supposed to be doing here, reading the rules?

I think part of this is that I often mentally confuse the rules for the Edge of the Empire Beta with those that changed throughout the Beta Updates and the final Core Rulebook. This issue came up at my home game just the other day (thanks, Steven) and, suffice to say, I am embarrassed. In general, almost all the attack difficulties listed in my popular Starship Cheat Sheets need to be increased by 1.

As a service to my fans, I’ve not only updated all of the sheets to be accurate, but I’ve also added an impressive list of never before crafted Starship Sheets for some of the more popular Imperial and/or Capital starships, all the way up to the massive Imperial Star Destroyer. Enjoy!

STARFIGHTERS & SMALL CRAFT

  • All-Terrain Personal Transport (PDF) (Word)
  • All-Terrain Scout Transport (PDF) (Word)
  • Aratech 74-Z Military Speeder Bike (PDF) (Word)
  • Storm IV Cloud Car (PDF) (Word)
  • Incom T-16 Skyhopper (PDF) (Word)
  • TIE/LN Fighter (PDF) (Word)
  • TIE/SA Tactical Bomber (PDF) (Word)
  • TIE/IN Interceptor (PDF) (Word)
  • TIE/D Defender Multi-Role Starfighter (PDF) (Word)
  • RZ-1 “A-Wing ” Light Interceptor (PDF) (Word)
  • T65B “X-Wing” Multi-Role Starfighter (PDF) (Word)
  • BTL-S3 “Y-Wing” Attack Starfighter (PDF) (Word)
  • A/SF-01 “B-Wing” Heavy Fast Attack Starfighter (PDF) (Word)

FREIGHTERS & MISCELLANEOUS

  • Firespray System Patrol Craft (PDF) (Word)
  • Ghtroc 720 Light Freighter (PDF) (Word)
  • Sorosuub Luxury 3000 Space Yacht (PDF) (Word)
  • Wayfarer-Class Medium Freighter (PDF) (Word)
  • YT-1300 Light Freighter (PDF) (Word)
  • YT-2400 Light Freighter (PDF) (Word)
  • YV-929 Armed Transport (PDF) (Word)
  • T-4A Lambda-Class Long Range Shuttle (PDF) (Word)

CAPITAL SHIPS

  • CR90 Corvette (PDF) (Word)
  • EF76 Nebulon-B Frigate (PDF) (Word)
  • Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer (PDF) (Word)
  • MC80 Liberty Type Star Cruiser (PDF) (Word)
  • Victory Star Destroyer (PDF) (Word)

Heist Dashboard

screenshot-102-terminalI’ve received another great guest contribution this week, this time from Peter Holland. Peter gives us a sampling of a Heist Dashboard he has created for his home group, a clever little PowerPoint Presentation file that interactively allows the Crew to review their current heist options, peruse various details, and select their next impetus for adventure.

I think this is a great idea, and brings nostalgic memories back to me from playing Privateer as a kid. As an adult in the 21st Century, I look forward to hearing from the computer-savvy Triumph & Despair readers who take this idea and create their own interfaces, similar to this, for their own groups. As I’ve talked about before here, this is a great jumping point for creating meaningful choice; presenting the players with transparent information, allowing them to make informed decisions on the course of the campaign, and holding them responsible to both the rewards and the perils of that decision.


Adversary Cards

adversarycardsOne of the most well-received posts on Triumph & Despair has been the invaluable Revised Stat Block Format. It takes its cues from other roleplaying games designed for maximum legibility and utility at the gaming table, expertly presenting the overwhelming wealth of information in the stat blocks for Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion in a way to lead a panicked Galaxy Master seamlessly and intuitively through a combat encounter. It also is a necessary component in running adventures in the SpaceCore style; utilizing the streamlined format to allow the Galaxy Master to focus on provided a fast, furious experience of maximum intensity.

Galaxy Master Eric Carltock has taken this idea to the next level, applying his artistry to the revised stat block format to create something wholly new. He has graciously allowed his work to be posted here and I could not be more thrilled. Behold!

This set of 64 painstakingly crafted stat blocks cover the range of enemies presented in the Edge of the Empire roleplaying game. They take the fundamentals of design pioneered here at Triumph & Despair and put a shine to them; creating a stat block with both elegant presentation and an artistic style to match the rest of the Core Rulebook, something to truly replace the cumbersome, unreadable blocks of the past.

For my own sake, I plan on giving these great stat blocks a permanent home in my Galaxy Master’s Binder; waiting in the wings for the times when I need to pull out a quick NPC, unprepared and on the fly while running a game.


Secret Agenda Cards

In a few weeks I’ll be starting up a brand new FFG Star Wars campaign. Determined to make something great out of Age of Rebellion, I have crafted together the framework for a campaign dubbed Crush the Rebellion, as described three moths ago here. The core element of this campaign is the idea of a Secret Agenda – a major project overseen by the Agent and hidden from the Emperor for various reasons. Secret Agendas replace Obligation and Duty and offer no mechanical effect other than the first player to fulfill all 5 steps of their character’s secret agenda wins the game by changing the face of the Galactic Empire forever.

As we progress and actually play out my theoretical ideas about this game, I’ll be posting small updates to my treatises and house rules to better reflect what we’ve learned. Already, I’ve tweaked the original Secret Agenda post to include contingencies for Destiny Points and revised the reward system.

The first of these are Secret Agenda Cards (PDF).

These simple handouts are designed to clearly show how agendas operate, how the actions dovetail into a compelling narrative, as a practical means of keeping track of one’s secret agenda, and as a handy reference guide when trying to divine the secret agenda of rival Agents.

Secret Agendas_Page_1Secret Agendas_Page_2Secret Agendas_Page_3