Let's make some alternate universe scenes!!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by TheLastApocalypse, Feb 23, 1999.

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  1. TheLastApocalypse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 1999
    star 4
    I'm starting my campaign sooner than I'd planned (like this Friday!), and I'm more than a little concerned.

    Mainly, for an overall theme to the campaign, I don't quite know what to do. I have a couple of vague ideas banging around, like dark Jedi, etc, but nothing specific. Part of the problem is that I haven't played with two of the players before, so I don't know how they'll act/react. Once we've played a round or two, I'll know better, but until then life is going to be interesting, to put it mildly. Has anyone done a campaign where there isn't an overall theme/objective, but rather where they just go from one adventure to the next? Or both? What works best?

    Also, what are some other concerns/problems I should keep an eye out for, and how have you dealt with them? Rather a broad question, I know, but there you are. Feel free to reference other threads, too, if some of these things have been discussed other places.
  2. ulic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 1999
    As important as preparation is, flexibility is a must. Oddly enough, being prepared by knowing the rules, and knowing the world you want to create can help you adjust your adventure. Let your players take the adventure on tangents, they're often the most fun. If you're an experienced GM, then you know this and I'm sorry for wasting your time Ping.
    If you don't have a detailed adventure in mind, throw the players in a few mini-adventures and see where they take you. The best way to keep them from becoming one-dimensional is to make adventures where shooting and dodging aren't enough to keep them alive.
    Since you haven't played with these players, you can adapt adventures that you have played or GM'd in the past to these players. Who cares about plagarism if you have fun.
    Ultimately, if your players aren't into it, than you are in trouble. Find out what they expect from the game.
    That's all that I can think of for now.
  3. Geoff Morton Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1998
    star 2
    Remember how I told you to avoid the Empire for the first couple sessions, until you have a chance to play them properly? That goes double for Dark Jedi.

    I'd start off the campaign about nothing. Seriously. Do you know before hand what they're playing? Doesn't really matter. First, choose a location. Like a small outpost on a small backwater planet. You can eat up a couple hours just introducing the characters. Get the hang of it that way.

    Off the top of my head: say you end up with an Outlaw, a Bounty Hunter, a Young Jedi, and a Tongue Tied Engineer. Don't start off with them introduced.

    Start with the Bounty Hunter. New, inexperienced. First job. He's on the trail of...the Outlaw, a local troublemaker, who's wanted for blowing up a Crime Boss's munitions shed, after the Boss had his family killed for his father's non payment or something. Small reward. The trail has led to the local cantina, called the DrinkWater. The BH's sources indicated he typically comes here in the evenings.

    The Engineer could be in school, but was on a field trip to the Kakayvakin Ruins thirty miles north. Unfortunately, he got lost, and the rest of the group went on. He's killing time in town, because he doesn't know how to reach there. As it happened, he came into the cantina before evening, and noticed that a lot of the lights inside the table weren't working, so got a small commission to repair them. Small job, little bit of money, but what the hey?

    So the Young Jedi is in town, picking up some power converters in his uncle's Field Rover. He goes into the DrinkWater for some water, or other non alcoholic beverage.

    The Outlaw, oblivious to the Bounty Hunter on his trail, comes in and sits down at the table next to the Engineer, while the Jedi is sipping his tall glass of water. The Bounty Hunter, having not learned subtlety and finesse, waltzes in there, pointing a blaster at the Outlaw.

    At the same time, the CrimeLord, Boss Hardin, comes in with his beloved doglike creature Maxxus, and two bodyguards. As the Outlaw and Bounty Hunter struggle with the BH's blaster, they bump into the Engineer, and they all fall in a jumble. The Jedi, seeing this, decides to join in to help sort it all out. So all four are wrestling on the ground when the blaster goes off.

    A canine yelp fills the DrinkWater, and they all look over, and Boss Hardin is crouching over the body of his beloved canine like creature Maxxus, who is now quite dead, with a smoking hole in his side.

    Outraged, the Boss on the spot puts a two thousand credit price on all their heads. Of course, now all the characters know better than to hang around and try to explain it, and the bosses goons have called in more.

    So most of the session is spent evading the bosses goons, maybe stealing one of his ships, and getting offplanet.

    And all you knew was the location, and some of the local faces. I could have stretched that out to fill four or five hours, and it would have been a blast.

    Believe me, you don't need a set plot, especially for the first adventure. I recommend not using it, since the characters are all new to each other. Let the process of their coming together be the adventure, or misadventure, and don't set out any goal. Otherwise they may feel shoehorned. You have the potential for a lot of fun, especially if you start off their meeting somewhat comical.

    It's the first session, don't take it really seriously. Let that develop, as the players get used to their characters, and you get used to the players. Don't bring in any Imperials, and certainly not any Dark Jedi for a long time. Build up the mystique and fearsome reputation of both, before they actually encounter them, and you will get a much more satisfying response.

    There you go, my two bucks worth.


  4. Erudite Ewok Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 1998
    Remember, too, that if neither you nor the players really like what went down, you can always scrap it and start over. They can make new characters, etc. A few games in, however, this won't seem like such a good idea. If it's to be done, it should be done quickly.

    Personally, I'm afraid of creating continuity mistakes more than most anything else. But we've got five years invested in the campaign, so my worries are not yours. Yet.

    Other than that, as a GM I fear disco music and the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaaaaahhhgggg!
  5. Jim Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 1
    Ping, I feel your pain.

    I've never gone into a game session or campaign start not knowing what I was going to do (even in the short term). I prefer to plan at least a little bit ahead, that way I'm not scrambling the first night. I generally like to know what the players are going to play beforehand, so I can get some good subplots going for them. But then, that's just me.
  6. Jim Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 1
    Ping, I feel your pain.

    I've never gone into a game session or campaign start not knowing what I was going to do (even in the short term). I prefer to plan at least a little bit ahead, that way I'm not scrambling the first night. I generally like to know what the players are going to play beforehand, so I can get some good subplots going for them. But then, that's just me.
  7. Jan lo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 1998
    star 1
    Ah, Geoff, you are a Game Master after my own heart. What a delightfully sadistic idea...

    Like Erudite, I am also afraid of disco music and continuity errors. Being flexible and prepared are great, but *keep notes* during your sessions, so you can remember the names of baddies who spontaneously create themselves and make a big impression; things of that nature.

    Some of the most fun we've ever had in a campaign was a tangent adventure when our GM wasn't prepared with anything specific. She set the stage and we took off, doing very silly things that we still remember. We even wrote a filk about the session. (laughing to self) It was great. Not all adventures need to be earh shakers, and comedy early in the campaign can make the party bond faster, as well as set off the later seriousness better than any scripted set-up could.
  8. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Ping, the first few times I ever GMed, I just came up with "one-shot" adventures that the group would go through in one session. A GM has to keep track of a lot of stuff, and it's easy to get your brain overloaded with too much info if you're trying to learn how to GM, introduce a bunch of strange PCs to each other, and teach the players how your game system works all at the same time. If you're also trying to introduce a campaign that you intend to keep running for a long time, you'll probably forget to mention things, and that gets annoying for players. So I would just dream up a scenario that will throw all of your characters together and make them work together. There's nothing wrong with a basic "shoot em up" or "hack n slash" adventure every now and then, but be sure your players understand that those are only for learning the system and that you intend to do more role playing when the campaign itself gets started. Most gamers like to introduce their characters to the group and begin "socializing" with the others, so you'll probably have some time when you can just sit back and watch them for a while.

    BTW, did you get those character templates I mailed you?
  9. Ping Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 1998
    star 3
    Yes, I did, and thanks.

    I have a small adventure for them to do. About the only thing I'm planning on throwing at them are a couple of bounty hunters on the world they're supposed to go to. Dark Jedi, etc, will definitely wait, not least of all because I don't want to bother with the stats this week. I already have to much to do.

    I was actually hoping for more a role-playing session, with the characters getting to know each other, the universe, and the system. There'll be a bit of shooting, probably, and that's about it. My players are a Bounty Hunter, a Slicer, and a Young Jedi.

    (Varian, spoilers contained within the next bit. Skip to the next paragraph, please. ) I'm going to throw in a Kid, at least for the first few adventures. If the players decide they want a ship, then I'll probably introduce a smuggler or something similar who needs a new co-pilot and some help maintaining the ship. I'm going to have one of the jedi masters at the "academy" ask the bounty hunter and the jedi to go and pick up a jedi knight who's coming out of hiding. Because the Empire has a bounty on jedi, she's notably concerned, and wants protection (the bounty hunter) and a sign that these are the people she's supposed to go with (the jedi). Because the slicer is the jedi's brother, I'm assuming he'll come to "protect" his sister. (If not, well, that's his problem. )

    Most of the adventure I would like to just have them tell me what they do, I tell them what they see, without too many skill rolls. Kinda ease into it, as it were. I just hope it goes okay and they do the very few things I really need them to do. Once we're all more comfortable, thing will be easier, but until then...

    Disco music? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaagggh!
  10. ulic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 1999
    AAA, AAA, AAA, staying alive, staying alive.
    The reason they wore those tight pants was so that the Bee Gees could get their voices high enough.
    Greatest GM fear, 2 hour wait for pizza.
  11. Erudite Ewok Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 1998
    Two hours?!? The horror! The horror!

    Ping, another thought that I've mentioned before, somewhere (maybe the "Any Game Masters Out There? thread): One of the keys to a good campaign is a good villain. They don't have to show up in the first session, especially if you're nervous about how things will go. But the sooner, the better. They don't have to start off as a completely kick-a$$ character ... just powerful enough to triumph over the PC's about half the time, and to avoid getting killed by them. The point is, make 'em interesting, believable, and recurrant, and the rivalry will be worth its imaginary weight in glitterstim.
  12. Geoff Morton Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1998
    star 2
    If you want to make a truly interesting villain, and one that will take on mythological stature in the heroes mind, have him come in, and wipe the floor witht hem the first time they meet.

    Maybe even kill off one of the characters. That would depend. If you have a player who enjoys advancing the storyline of the campaign, approach him. Explain to him what you want to do with this villain, and why. Ask him to keep it quiet, and not tell the other players. You could actually start him off at the same level of experience as the other players, or partway there.

    The reason being, is if you start off the villain that way, he becomes a very potent figure. Imagine Darth Vader's stature if he hadn't killed Ben Kenobi. If they'd all gotten away. He'd still be fearsome, but not to the degree he was after. After our beloved Kenobi died, he became an absolute monster, and a terror.

    Imagine in your campaign, they end up taking on the master villain quite early. In the course of the skirmish, he utterly defeats them, leaves them wounded, maimed and in need of prosthetics, and leaves one of the characters dead. Imagine the dread, and the enthusiasm, the players will have come time to face him again. They will always wonder if they're ready. And if you really want to string them along, always keep them at a disadvantage when they meet. Remember Indy and Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark? "Nothing that you can possess which I cannot take away." Set up that kind of relationship. I really think you'd have a potent, memorable villain.

    You might even start the one player off at a higher level of power, make him mid level rather than low. It's worked in campaigns I've played in, and didn't really create any resentment either. Give it to the player who plays the most seriously, and has lots of experience. Chances are, he'd be the one to go for it anyway. When they see him cut down, they'll fear the villain, and hate him.

    Just some thoughts on creating the master villain, anyway. Remember, half the mystique of the Master Villain, is that the protagonists see him in their mind as unbeatable. Did you really think Luke would defeat Vader in Empire?
  13. MaGnUs Darklighter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 1998
    star 1
  14. MaGnUs Darklighter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 1998
    star 1
  15. Geoff Morton Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1998
    star 2
    So Ping...did you play yesterday? And if so...how did it go?
  16. Ping Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 1998
    star 3
    We did, and it went really well, IMHO. However, I have to run now, so I can't tell you all the soapy details until I get back. Sorry for the suspense!
  17. Ping Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 1998
    star 3
    Okay, here's the scoop.
    My players are a Young Jedi named Jendra, and Bounty Hunter named Kestrel, and a Slicer named Therrin. Jendra and Therrin are step-brother and -sister. (This is really kinda hard to tell from the GM point of view. *sigh*)

    I started out (sort of) setting the scene. It's five years after RotJ. The Empire has about a third of the galaxy left--in kind of a slice formation. They've been dropping back steadily until the last six months or so, when they seem to have stabilized. There is lots of speculation on what's going to happen next: a complete and rapid collapse, a long, bitter struggle with them holding what they have for a long time, or a resurgence of Imperial might. Also, the Empire has a bounty out on all jedi, the price depending on the level of power of the jedi. (There are a few masters and knights at the academy and a bunch of students, way more than can be taught at a normal pace.)

    I wanted the characters to be able to get into their roles and to learn about each other, which happened really well. The New Republic approached Kestrel and Jendra to ask them to bring in a Jedi knight who was coming out of hiding. Jendra was to show that this is who the knight's to go with, Kestrel was protection. Then the New Republic asked Therrin to "book" them passage on the transport so that no one would really be able to find them--their names appear at the last minute, etc. He orders them room service for their meals and triple the amount of soap. He also makes an ID for the Jedi. One of the people, Jendra, is his step-sister, so he books himself a suite on the same transport.

    While waiting to board the transport, the jedi makes "friends" with a kid with a small "dragon," basically a fire lizard, for those who've read Anne McCaffery. They get on and find that they have to share a room. Neither of them are happy about it. Kestrel dumps her stuff and wanders off and starts eating the free pretzels. Thus begins a series of misadventures that it would take to long to explain. Basically, the players messed with each others' minds during the trip. One of them compared it to a family trip. It was so funny! Jendra didn't recognize her brother. He looked familiar, but she couldn't place him. He was conning her up one side and down the other. "I work on the ship," "I've never been to the planet," etc. The bounty hunter didn't trust him, but she didn't much care how come Jendra recognized him. She did keep an eye on him (not very stealthily), and almost followed him into the guys' bathroom, but fortunately finally rolled high enough not to. Therrin hooked up with the kid and made him a pass for his dragon so that he didn't have to hide it in his backpack anymore. He also fed them steak, let him sleep on his bed, and set off the fire alarm in his own suite (even though he was going for the cabin where the two women were). He finally told Jendra who he was, at which point she stopped believing most of the things he lied to her about. Therrin sent lots of soap to the women, so the bounty hunter intimidated a little ship's hand into sending lots of soap to him. The poor little guy about wet his pants, he was so scared!

    Anyway, they got to the planet eventually and without killing each other. They took a taxi out to the jedi's farm. Then they drove straight back into town. However, Therrin (who was rolling really bad the second half of the adventure) couldn't get them a room. They went to a diner for dinner, where two bounty hunters came in looking for the Jedi they were escorting. Kestrel took one of them out, at which point the other one took her out. Jendra then shot his gun (on accident), then the Jedi knight shot him. (They were all using stun, thank goodness.) Then the Jedi woke Kestrel up, controlled her pain, and they left the diner.

    They spent the night in an old building, taking turns keeping watch. Then they got on the transport and went back to Coruscant. The bounty hunter got the rest of her pay and split to go drink herself into a thoughtless stupor. (She'd done that on the transport, too, and jus
  18. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Ping, if everyone wants to play again, it was a success. Sounds like you had fun GMing, too. I hereby dub thee Game Master. Er, excuse me, Game Mistress. Give us a muahahahahaaa...
  19. Ping Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 1998
    star 3
    *rubbing hands in evil anticipation* Mua-ha-ha!
  20. MaGnUs Darklighter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 1998
    star 1
    Ping: My congratulations! But please work on your muahaha...yesterday I had a very muahaha-ey AD&D game of my ongoing campaign...including a PC's death...and many drawings of the Deck Of Many things to see if they got a wish to get him to life again. They did...the wish was "I wish Pirs gets back to life"...no specifications....I left it "to be continued"...I still don't know what kind of body I'll give him...
  21. ulic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 1999
    Ahh, the Deck of Many Things, the most tempting and evil treasure in the D&D universe.
    I started my first SW campaign in a long time this weekend. Started them off in a bar fight just so we could remember the rules. I smacked them around a little. Muahahahahah!
    There was actually a point to the fight. I wanted them to be professional insurgents like Plourr and her allies in the RS series. This was a fight set up by Gen. Cracken so they he would have a fake reason to kick them out of the military. Their mission is to help free a planet that is an Imperial world. It's a problem that the NR faced when it became a real government instead of a rebellion. They can't be involved with toppling a legitimate government. If you've read the Bacta War, you get what I'm saying. I lead them by the nose to get them there, but now that they are in the middle of the situation, it's up to them to decide where the adventure will go. So, in a sense, we'll all be players. I think that it's going to be fun.

    [This message has been edited by ulic (edited 03-01-99).]
  22. Pash_Aideen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 1999
    Personally, I only make cursory outlines of each episode in he adventure, and then basically wing it. I have specific things I want the characters to accomplish, but I try to structure it around a non-linear story line. If the players mess up, then I take it in another direction. It seems to work for us, and we've had some pretty good laffs. Also, my players are mostly smugglers, so it isn't hard to find motivations for their exploits.
  23. Geoff Morton Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1998
    star 2
    And another one goes back up to the top for Stargazer...
  24. Players Nightmare Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1998
    All the lights go out. And a lone shaft decends apon a female figure atop a pillar.
    A booming voice sounds out of the Darkness.
    "All bow their heads. This day a new star has arose from the Chaosian depths of the Player masses. Game Mistress Ping. We of the order of Omnipotent GMs welcome you to our ranks...." All the lights go on and someone screams "tap the keg! The party is on!"
    Sounds like you had a rather sucessful first cession Ping. Keep up the good work.
    Ulic, in the words of Ren "You seek leetle monkey!" And I also have very, very fond memories of my players getting their hands on a Deck.
  25. MaGnUs Darklighter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 1998
    star 1
    Ping, cantina fights, that's cool! :> Well, in case anyone's wondering, my AD&D player got a Sherkasta body, a humanoid tiger...standing 2.46 meters, 400 kilos
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