I guess I am just stuck in my ways #RPG #StarWars

Happy Star Wars Day, May the Fourth be with you. Because of the day I wanted to talk a little about Star Wars and role playing.

When I was in Graduate school the group I hung out with said that someone was going to run a Star Wars game. This was in 1992 (I think) so it was before movies 1-3 came out. So we were stuck relying on the original trilogy, and some of the novels for source material. But we had a great time. It was a well run game. And I got a decent idea of what a game in that universe would be like.

A few years later, living in a different place, I got to join in a home brew Star Wars game. It did not last very long. But it was still a lot of fun, and full of interesting ideas.

Now we have seven movies, 7 seasons of a good animated series, another 2 seasons of another animated series, an animated movie and an embarrassment of riches when it comes to books, comics, and other printed material. Including what are from all reports 3 excellent versions of Star Wars role playing games. I even have a group of players who have all been raised in a world with 6 or more Star Wars movies.

Despite all of this. And despite my deep and abiding love for the Star Wars universe and all that material I listed above. I just cannot bring myself to run a Star Wars game. It is a mental block for me.

If someone invited me to play in a game tomorrow I would likely jump at the chance to do so. Because I love the universe. And think that there are a ton of great stories to tell.

But for whatever reason, as a GM, I just cannot come up with a story line. It is not that I do not think that you could run a great game in the universe. I am sure you could. I have been in some games in that universe and really enjoyed them.

This is something that bothers me. I guess I am just stuck in my ways. My head does not contain the necessary wiring to construct a campaign in that setting. I really wish it did. If I had the time I might even try running the game that comes with the starter box for the new game. That would be a good start I guess.

What do you all think? Is there a type of campaign setting or style that your brain just refuses to run? Where your head wiring says ‘uh-huh, compute this I cannot’?

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All the ideas make me crazy #Starwars

Sorry if you are sick of me writing about Star Wars. I love the series, and the Universe. And all the new ideas that come from the new film and novels are especially interesting. So many ideas! If there was one thing I took away from the new movie is that there are now so many different things that could be done, new movies, new series, new books. It is one good thing about effectively restarting the canon. But there is one continuous thread that does drive me up the wall.

Okay, here’s the deal. Prior to the Clone Wars there were at least hundreds of Jedi Knights. And they came from many races, they were not all human by a long shot. In fact one of the most powerful was an alien, Yoda. And yes the Clone Wars and Order 66 wiped out all of the Jedi at that time. And yes it is possible that in the 20 some odd years of Imperial control that Vader was somewhat successful in hunting down the remaining Jedi, and also preventing anyone else from training as Jedi.

But, there are thousands of planets, hundreds of systems in the Star Wars Galaxy. It defies logic that somehow Vader was able to track down and wipe out any Force user on all of those planets. Even with Faster Than Light travel it is still impossible to be in more than one place at once. And in some of those planets, particularly the ones on the Outer Rim, Empire control would be termed shaky at best.

And yet, all of the speculation coming out of the movies was about whether those using the Force were or are somehow related to each other. That they somehow all stem from one or two human bloodlines. That just does not jibe with common sense.

First, it is established that use and mastery of the Force is not limited to Humans. That is true even in the original trilogy, because Yoda is clearly not human. So aliens can train in the use of the Force. And if you look at everything that is in the prequel trilogy, and the Clone Wars series, all of which is still accepted as canon, there were many alien Jedi from many different races.

Second, although it is never explicitly pointed out, but is pretty clear, the Jedi Knights were to remain chaste at a minimum. Which theoretically means that the Jedi were not having offspring. And Jedi training began at a very young age, as children throughout the Republic were brought to train. Those children had to come from somewhere. And if they were not children of Jedi Knights than clearly the use of the Force is not an inherited trait. You either can use the Force or not.

Which means that in the time since the ascension of the Emperor and the rule of Vader, it stands to reason that there are or were Force sensitive children out there. They may not be getting trained but they are out there. And they could be of any race, not just human.

And yet, despite all of this, we are somehow led to believe that only Luke could be a Jedi Knight. And somehow only his relatives would have the ability to be trained in the use of the Force. No, I tell you, that fails the logic test. That somehow the ability to use the Force would somehow be wiped from the Galaxy in one human generation or two at most.

So, as cool as all the theories are (and I came across a really cool one today let me tell you) spare me. There must be others out there who can use the Force and be trained. And that is not even mentioning other groups with odd powers like the witches in the Clone Wars series. And I understand there are challenges in portraying aliens. But come on Disney, I want more than one human Jedi in an entire Galaxy.

Thinking beyond the expected #StarWars #RPG

I’ve been reading this book:

Battlefront_Twilight_Company_cover

To see more go here: Star Wars Battlefront Twilight Company

I am really enjoying this book. Got it from the library of course. But it does something that many of us are not used to when thinking of Star Wars. It completely goes away from the core characters, there are mentions of Luke and Leia, but they are just that, mentions in passing. There are no Jedi Knights running around with light sabers.

Instead it is a war novel, set in the Rebellion era. It most reminds me of the Warhammer 40K novels. It is gritty, violent, and very interesting. I really like it when stuff like this is released. It reminds me of the Clone Wars series (except for the proliferation of Jedi in the show.) The thing that I love about it is that it shows that there is a great big universe out there. I think that is important, especially if you think about role playing game settings.

It is all very well to tell the story of the heroes. Luke, Leia, Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf, Bilbo are all interesting characters and their stories make for good fiction and thrilling movies. But what is happening elsewhere? That is the area I like to focus.

When you think about Star Wars, imagine a large galaxy, where faster than light travel exists, where thousands of non-human races exist. And imagine an Empire large enough to control most of that galaxy. An Empire rich enough in resources to create not one, but at last count 3 Death Moons. That’s a huge effort. And the logistics is kind of overwhelming when you think about it. That’s a lot to imagine. And then imagine all the stories that can happen in that universe.

One of my favorite fantasy series is the Malazan Book of the Fallen. And one of the things I like about it is the way it focuses on the stories of the grunts, who spend their time trying to figure out what their leaders are doing. I understand that in Middle Earth the main characters are the closest thing to grunts, because it is a world with a seemingly small population. But not every fantasy world has to be like that.

And that is an approach I like to take in coming up with my stories and the setting. Yes, there is a bigger world out there. And yes, the events in that bigger world will eventually impact the players. But not every player can be the Emperor killer. Not every group can find the great sword, staff, orb what have you, that spells doom for the Evil Big Bad Guy.

I prefer to tell the little stories. The players are the settlers on the frontier, just trying to scratch out a living. And maybe they will make some small contribution if there is a war. But not everyone gets to be the Hero who Saves the Day.

That’s what I mean by thinking beyond the expected. For every Knight with a +5 Holy Sword, there need to be a certain number of grunts sweeping out the trash, killing the goblins and orcs. Some campaigns are about the Heroic Journey. Mine are about survival and exploration.

One last post for the road #Jedi #DnD

I will be out of town next week. And where I am going the Wifi is minimal, and I will not be taking my computer. And that means no posting, or very little, until next weekend when I run the boys game. But I did want to post my thought for the day, how to create a Jedi character or class in a fantasy campaign?

Continue reading “One last post for the road #Jedi #DnD”

Excited by the new worlds and directions #StarWars #Warzone #Roleplaying

Okay, I got a little carried away this week. The gaming budget took a serious hit. But I am excited about it all. I got some new things to share with the boys and other folks who might be interested. And while I have lots of cool games to play with, some times something new is fun just for the sake of new. Now it is time to share a little of what I got.

Continue reading “Excited by the new worlds and directions #StarWars #Warzone #Roleplaying”