Star Wars Wednesday - Unlikely Allies

Sorry again for the late post, but I think many of you will find it worth the wait.

First, a follow up on last week's Star Wars RPG and minis internet rumor extravaganza. The current rumor front runner is Fantasy Flight Games. According to this ENWorld post, they responded to a direct question with, essentially, no comment. Those that have already declared they don't have it are Piazo, Green Ronin, Steve Jackson, White Wolf and Margaret Weis Productions, and probably others.

Moving on...just in time for your holiday Star Wars RPG sessions, I present to you Unlikely Allies, a full length adventure complete with 6 pregenerated characters. This is one of the convention adventures I wrote for ShaunCon, featuring the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide after its release. As with all of my con adventures, it highlights aspects of the book I enjoyed the most, and often those I had a hand in writing.

This adventure wades deep into KOTOR video game lore, and the entire premise depends heavily on the players understanding their character's role at this particular time in this particular era. As such, the character backgrounds are longer and more detailed than I would use in later convention games. This is crucial, as I know from long experience that most every con table will have, on average, a collection from the following range (and combination) of players:

  • Someone who has seen the movies only, plays the RPG once in awhile at conventions.
  • A D6 veteran, playing largely because I'm running the game.
  • A veteran of every system so far.
  • A Saga devotee.
  • A new player to RPGs who was told to try the game.
  • Someone's spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/friendfriend who may or may not have played at a con before.
  • Star Wars EU expert, with variable RPG experience.
  • Someone who wants to try Saga because they heard it was a sampling of D&D 4e to come, now replaced by someone who wants to try Saga because they heard it wasn't like D&D 4e.
  • Someone who wants to play a Jedi (ability to play AS a Jedi would, not withstanding).
  • Someone who wants to play a bounty hunter.
  • Someone who wants to play a wookiee. 
  • Someone who wanted to play specifically in the era advertised for the game.

Rare is it that I get a table where all the players know and understand the era and system in detail. And KOTOR is a niche of a Star Wars niche to boot.

So, to get the heavy roleplaying I wanted for this KOTOR specific scenario, I needed to provide a lot of information for both those who had no idea what they were getting into, and those who loved this particular era. That means the character backgrounds are longer than normal these days, more like a traditional/classic RPGA adventure.

It worked. While the players never use every detail, they use enough to make it feel like KOTOR. In later adventures, I try to pare the prose down to the minimum needed to get the gist across, so the players don't feel overwhelmed by the wall of text. This was an early adventure, see 3,720 to 1 from a few weeks ago to see where I am now.

Also, this is the adventure where I realized giving out notes and instructions about the character's mechanical build (build notes) would help nearly all players, and especailly those new to the system. Having just picked up the characters (and probably the system) for the first time, they wouldn't know what they were good at. This adventure highlighted the issue more than most, because I created each of the character's stats to highlight a specific aspect of the system - cool Mandalorian armor and abilities, Force powers and new feats and talents.

I also pushed the character creation system hard to achieve some fun and interesting results. By coincidence, this week's Order 66 podcast highlighted some character options that feature prominiately in one of the pregenerated PCs (Aarin). GMs might find it useful to give it a listen. While I like all of the characters here, two I'm particularly proud of - Dreadnought and Aarin. The players really loved these two. Note to GMs - Aarin works best in the hands of a leader-type player, preferably an experienced Saga player who can really make use of Aarin's action related abilities. Dreadnought isn't as complicated, but players seemed to love the concept.

I originally planned to get this adventure written up for a friend....last January. I got started, then distracted. Then I planned to use it early in the Star Wars Wendesday run. Then I realized just how many maps I really needed to include - when I wrote this, it was just for me and I just drew the maps as needed during the game. The result - I needed way more maps than I would have planned on otherwise. You'll notice there are a variety of styles - I'm experimenting with this and a number of things as I go along. As usual, if you see some thing odd, let me know via the contact page here on the site.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may all of your sessions be a blast.

Click here to download Unlikely Allies.