Monday, June 27, 2011

Campaign Proposal: Star Wars - Shadows of War

At any given point in time, there is generally at least 3-5 games that I want to run. Now, these are not always the most original plots, they're not always the most developed stories, but they are ideas that tickle and wiggle in the back of my mind and can generally be a distraction. Even with using the Flux in my Friday game, I still have the issue. Hell, one session into fluxing away from L5R and into my system, and I find myself desperately wanting to run an L5R game. So, to have a place to write these down, and to maybe give you guys some ideas yourself, I decided to write down the ideas that really stick with me. The series is called Campaign Proposals, and if you want to grab an idea from here, just post a comment and let me know how it goes. That being said, let's begin.

I'm a huge Star Wars fan. I absolutely love the Original Trilogy, and was one of the thousands (millions) who was sad to see how much of the magic was lost in the prequel trilogy. The Star Wars books, particularly Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy and Kevin J. Anderson's New Jedi Academy trilogy, are what got me into reading books for fun and a large part of what got me into RPGs. As such, well, I love me some Star Wars gaming too. There is just an energy about the universe that seems to make everything more epic, and the idea is to try and capture that.

The campaign would be set roughly 150-200 years after Return of the Jedi. The Yuuhzan Vong war happened, but after that I'd be hazy (honestly, I haven't read the series afterwards). The timeline and state of the universe would be inspired by Legacy, but not the actual Legacy time line. The main idea here is to get far enough away from the movies and books that I can play in the universe without having to fear stepping on toes too much. A lot can happen in 200 years, and that gives a lot of freedom while still holding onto the universe's feel.

The campaign takes place in the Galactic Empire. The Galactic Alliance formed after the Yuuhzan Vong war quietly/peacefully broke apart sometime in the last 50 years and turned into three bodies of government. The Galatic Empire, The Republic, and the Confederated Merchant Systems (led by Corellia). There is tension in the air, both political and military, as the three large bodies of government bump against each other and have to figure out how the interplay is going to work. The presence of three bodies keeps it from just being war, as no one wants to fight on two fronts if they don't have to.

The PCs could be anyone they wanted from the Empire. Players wanting to play Aliens would be warned of the Empire's 'human-centric' motif, but that shouldn't be a huge problem, and could even be a help. Players wanting to be force wielders could either be Jedi just around to help out (or retired), or Imperial Knights. Obviously, with it being an imperial game, I'd suggest Imp Knights, but no one would be forced into it.

Ostensibly, the PCs would begin with doing their own things to establish themselves, with anyone with direct Imperial ties getting missions to look into various points of interest as they travel around.

As the game progressed, the players would see signs of mounting tensions between the Imperials and the Republic, the Imperials and the Confederates, and the Imperials and the Imperials. As things heated up, the possibility of inter-stellar war would heat up, and anyone with force sensitivity would begin to feel the touch of the dark side manipulating things from the shadows. It would be up to the PCs to choose sides and decide if they were going to try and stop the war, embrace the war, or just find out who was putting things into motion.

This is Star Wars, so the feel has to be high adventure. Things should be epic and fun. Smugglers with hearts of gold. Knights conflicted between duty and honor. Princesses/Princes to be saved. And of course, the fate of the galaxy in the palms of the PCs. All of this, hopefully, explored from the perspective of Imperial Citizens, which isn't something often done in Star Wars.

The idea is to call back to the old movies and books, while giving the PCs rooms to make their own mark on the galaxy without having to fight for top billing. Events happen, the PCs choose how they want to interact - or if they even want to.

Honestly, I'm not sure on this part. I've heard wonderful things about the Sagas system, and didn't have particular issue with the older D20 system. I don't think the West End Games system would handle the Yuuhzan Vong stuff all that well, being as they all came into existence long after. I could homebrew a system, or hodge-podge R&K further into it, which worked well before.

Still, with this game I'm not sure system is even fully necessary beyond what my players want to use.


  1. Long-time SW rpg fan, and your idea for a campaign entices me silly. Good and bad things come from each of the SW systems, so at this point I'd probably use Strands of Fate.

    My two copper pieces, anyway.

  2. I kind of want to run a Star Wars game myself, but I'm a bigger fan of NJO.

    That said, Imperial Knights are BAMF.

  3. oh, NJO is a lot of fun. You can run a lot of fun games there too if you want. This is just one that has been in my mind for a while. Even started a game following this at one point, but it fizzled.