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Species
February 4, 2014, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Kingdom Far Away, RPG's, Star Wars

I’ll put force users on the shelf for now and move on to another vital thing about both Star Wars and RPG’s: Species. Of course in RPG’s the common term is races, but I think for a Star Wars game species feels more appropriate. It evokes a slightly more scientific bent and also I hope makes the world feel bigger. Unlike the generic fantasy campaigns I normally run, in the Kingdom Far, Far Away, each species will have it’s own distinct homeland. They will still mingle in cities but I really want locations to be distinct. I’ll admit in my games all dwarves tend to be from mountains, all elves tend to be from forests etc. This helps speed up play at the table but it also makes things more generic.

One of my goals for this project is to create a campaign that has a very low entry point. I’d like to be able to run it for people in my area, mostly students, who haven’t played tabletop games before and come from a video gaming background. Familiarity with Star Wars is assumed, but not necessarily with RPG’s. I want a player to be able to sit down at my table, roll a few dice, and have a playable character in minutes.

How does this work with all those species?

Well, I’m going to limit the initial species selection to humans. You can hail from Corellia, Coruscant or Alderaan and each of those origin kingdoms will come with their own benefits like stat improvements, skill selections or social abilites. When your party, or group, ventures to an alien kingdom, gains the services of an alien species or makes a particular contribution to a species, you “unlock” that species as a character creation option.

I hope this will both simplify the game as well as open up more incentive for engagement with my world.



More Thoughts on The Jedi
January 16, 2014, 11:13 am
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Kingdom Far Away, RPG's, Star Wars

On the last post Fik says:

Sounds like fun, but with only a 1% chance, once per level, doesn’t it seem like it’ll be so rare that almost no one will get the opportunity to experience all of the game play?

Yes, yes it does. And that’s been the sticking point for me. Really, a part of my internal monologue about force-users in this game. I tried to alleviate some of that scarcity by upping the chance every level, and maybe I didn’t make myself clear in that. Every level, your chance to become force-sensitive goes up by 1%. So for every level, you pick another number and then roll a d100. Meaning by 5th level, you have a one in twenty chance of being force-sensitive and by 10th, it’s one in ten. I’m also considering a luck mechanic and allowing players to burn luck points to improve their chances.

But then at that point, why not just give players who really want to be force-users a no fail way to do it? Fik’s more subtle question about people who just want to play a bounty hunter being “forced” to be a force user is valid. I haven’t talked about it, but I’m considering some in world complications for being a force user like being drawn into politics or being recruited/hunted by other factions.

Well my original reasoning was that Jedi are just so darn scarce in the Star Wars universe. That and I really don’t want to DM a campaign where everyone is force users, and even less a campaign where one person is a force user and he/she is way more powerful than everyone else. Or a campaign where it’s all about the force-users hunting for “spells.”

My holy grail here is to have characters who are good at stuff, and also Jedi rather than characters who are just good at being Jedi. Corran Horn versus Qui Gon I guess. It makes more sense to me to have a base class of fighter or specialist and then “bolt on” force-sensitive rather than having either:

1) A force-sensitive class for every style of character like The Old Republic did it
2) Or a force-sensitive class with a million options at character generation so you could be a sword fighter or a healer or whatever

My current rules makes it so you’re still a fighter, but you can do this one extra thing like jump high or read minds. And if you want to pursue it, you can. Maybe some sort of hybrid system that allows you to give something up for a guaranteed force power at character creation. But the thing you give up had better be awesome. And I don’t mean like the paladin having a code that everyone forgets.

If it seems like I’m arguing with Fik, that isn’t the case. I’m arguing with myself, and Fik happens to agree with that part of my brain. It bears some thought.



A long time ago, in a kingdom far, far away…
January 10, 2014, 11:25 am
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Dungeons and Dragons, Kingdom Far Away, RPG's

So, last post I talked about the campaign settings I’ve written and DM’d. I’d like to think I’ve matured as a Dungeon Master and as a campaign setting writer and I’ve decided it’s time to tackle a “big idea” and to make a setting that is uniquely mine.

My weak point has always been with the lore of a setting world. I’m good at coming up with encounters, plot hooks, NPC’s and the like. My struggle has always been with “what’s the history of this place?” So I’ve decided to co-opt a setting with history and places and make it my own.

I’m taking Star Wars and turning it into a medieval setting.

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Instead of Dwarvs and Orcs and Halflings, we have Mon Calamari, Bothans and Wookies.

Instead of the Corellian system we have the Kingdom of Corellia.

Instead of blasters and vibroswords, we have crossbows and…well, real swords.

Planets become cities, systems become kingdoms, the galaxy becomes one big world.

The idea here is to use the Star Wars setting but reinterpret it into a generic fantasy setting. I’ve found I have to do a lot of rules tweaking to get it to work the way I want, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. So, the next series of posts is going to be all the building of this new campaign. I haven’t decided what to call it, but for now I’m tagging all the posts with the “Kingdom Far Away”category.



What to do next.
April 11, 2011, 10:20 pm
Filed under: RPG's

So, I’ve been doing some thinking about what I want to do with my little corner of the internet. I started this blog for the same reason most people do; because I had a lot to say. But so far, it’s felt more like a burden or a chore looming over me than a treat. I still have ideas and information to share, I just have trouble finding the motivation or confidence to post it.

I was just reading an RPG blog (I was skimming my blog roll after a week without internet, I wish I had noted where it was) about what people want to see when they come to a tabletop RPG-themed blog. The author quite snarkily suggested that, in general, people want things they can use for their campaigns or things that spark their imagination not session re-hashes.

I suppose I agree. I do read session re-caps, when I have the time. But if my blogroll gets bloated from a weekend away, they’re the first thing I target with my Scorching Burst.

What are my strengths? What can I contribute?

I love tables. I use them quite a bit when I DM and for the most part, I make my own. I also create a lot of “named NPC’s”, humanoids with class levels, for use in my games. I’m going to start posting them, maybe someone else can get some use out of my legwork.

I’m no Jeff Rients, Chicago Wiz or Taichara but I think I can contribute.

I’m going to try very hard to keep to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule. This should be fun.