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Reference Does Anybody Remember System Lords?

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by PRENNTACULAR, Jul 5, 2017.


    PRENNTACULAR VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 21, 2005
    Sorry if this isn't the right place for this thread -- it's been a minute since I've come around these parts!

    Anyway, does anybody remember the System Lord games we used to play? Here are links to a couple if anybody's interested or needs a refresher:

    I wanted to gauge interest for another System Lords type game. Basically, it's a mix between normal, classic role playing, and strategy (taking planets, buying ships for your fleets, etc.).

    Would some other people be interested in putting something together with me? Mods, would that be cool?
  2. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    That would certainly be cool.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  3. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jan 2, 2003
    Thought about doing a System Lords game a while back before ultimately going different routes. Miss SL!
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  4. BLemelisk

    BLemelisk Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 19, 2003
    I would quit my job if System Lords came back.
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  5. BLemelisk

    BLemelisk Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 19, 2003
    Ok so I actually went back and read through a lot of those old games (my posts mostly, in the interest of time) over the holidays. Some observations:

    A.) The "Store" should be smaller, and the units maybe even more rock-paper-scissors. In order to foster roleplaying and not a bunch of old-school fleet junkies dominating everything, it would make the game more accessible. This would streamline tactical considerations for players that aren't necessarily in the game solely for that, would make it easier on the GM(s) to manage the battles, and might make a good role-player (but not a military history student) more keen on taking their fleets to war.

    2.) Maybe a set planet list? In the least successful game, one of the two versions of System Lords IV, players were given leave to do pretty much anything. Invent and grab planets, invent and grab technology, etc. No one actually took to doing too much fighting when there were plenty of NPCs to plow through. The game literally ended in a GM post saying that things were too out of control.

    D.) Undeniably, forcing player interaction is what made the game shine. In System Lords I, players were consistently summoned in for meetings where strategies and war councils were held. Even a little romance on the side, which, while embarrassing to read again over ten years later, actually led to cool lineages with offspring characters in subsequent games. Also in the vein of relationships - historical alliances. In SL I, opposing empires ended up burying the hatchet, and that mutual understanding was built upon in later games.
  6. Sith_Lords

    Sith_Lords Jedi Master star 4

    May 17, 2004
    Weird that I think about something nearly 10 years on, and then find a thread about it haha... I can tell you exactly what wrong with the later System Lords games in a brief few words... inexperience and ill planning. And a healthy dose of randomization. I was a lot younger when I was GMing those, and instead of having any real plan worked out for a storyline, had what I thought was a good start, and then let things run form there. The first SL4 was a failure for the reasons BLemelisk outlined above - too much player freedom, GM inexperience (I blamed SL3's failure on too many meetings, not realising it failed due to the meetins being never ending, and not really allowing players to be a System Lord) and being a reactive GM, not a proactive one.

    I could do a full write up on the various failures of SL III/IV (IV.5?) and maybe will, if I want to cringe at my terrible, terrible writing... but I know exactly what I would do had I the time to run another SL game - work out a story, and a basic path for each character, work out which characters would work well together, or not, and push them together for the friction it would create - in general work out a lot more in advance with a story and path for the players, not to railroad players but give them something to work towards, as opposed to pure randomness and chance.

    The other thing would be to work out a store, and as BLemelisk said again, work out a better combat and planetary system - even going down to dice rolls even, for combat. Combat in the games I ran didn't overly have a system, the percentages and damage were very much spur of the moment then based on a preplanned system. The same for planets - reesources and income were based on things that were cool.

    I have a lot more experieincing in RPing these days, not to overly play the older and wiser card, but having played more tabletop RPGs and boardgames like Twilight Imperium and Race for the Galaxy etc, there are definitely systems from these that could be adapated very nicely for a new System Lords game - the only thing would be finding the time for GMing in the first place - the updates used to take me hours, if not days to write, and not being a student any longer, I find it time to find that time!

    I have ideas swirling at the back of my mind, and hope maybe one day they'll see the light of day - but I don't own the SL brand and never did - I was caretaker for a while, but it was never mine - anybody who wants to GM a game has my full backing! Equally if anyone has any questions or is interested in a full Postmortem, per say, of my time GMing and what I'd do differently, as opposed to this short(ish) write up - I'd be more than happy to do it... even if it means spending a couple of days cringing at my poor writing!

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  7. Fanficfan

    Fanficfan Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 12, 2005
    Haha I absolutely loved the SL games. It was a bit to free form perhaps (pretty sure I played in IV), and it started getting difficult to keep track of my fleets and what-not after a while, but I had a whole lot of fun with it.
    Not sure if I'd have the time to devote to it these days, but I think I'd definitely give it a shot if there was a revival.

    Edit: just went back and checked, I played in IV.5
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  8. BLemelisk

    BLemelisk Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 19, 2003
    @Sith_Lords, if you care to elaborate I'm sure we'd be all ears.

    I've been considering the possibilities of a setting for a new game, and my three favorites right now are:

    1.) Set the game directly after Endor, which is essentially the classic System Lords setting, with the Empire splintering and your Moffs becoming good old Legends style warlords and pursuing differing goals. You wouldn't have an Emperor to claim loyalty to, so this would encourage players to mix it up and create their own alliances and sub-Empires. This option probably offers the greatest degree of player freedom and stays closest to the original games.

    2.) A new era! Set it directly after Geonosis, and the onset of the Clone Wars. Players are either Republic officers from the Judicial Fleet, or Jedi of varying skill levels. This would offer a little more to players who want a "boots on the ground" game, where they can directly participate in battles as a Jedi leading clones. You could bring characters together for meetings with the Chancellor / Jedi Council, and push a plot forward that way. Being early in the war, you can keep the unit rosters very tidy for balance (essentially all equipment and units seen in Attack of the Clones), and then expand from there.

    3.) I have started collecting all the Bantam-era pre-Legends branded paperbacks for some odd reason, and I have finally started reading The Black Fleet Crisis. The third idea for the setting could be reacting to this threat (and others), with players leading the new-model fleets and jockeying with the Senate factions present at the time. Trying to bring it into a newer era and have the tool palette mostly be New Republic vessels (K-Wings, E-Wings, Nebula Star Destroyers, Fleet Carriers, etc.) Of course this might clash with the Disney canon, but it doesn't necessarily have to.

    Just some thoughts for anyone to comment on. Let me know if anything sticks.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018