Thursday, 17 December 2015

What makes a Star Wars game... Star Wars?

How do you make a Star Wars RPG adventure feel Star Wars-y?

Steve D has great answers here...

I’ll add some thoughts of my own, having just read dozens of RPGnet threads and my thoughts across a few years. I still like this bit from 2002...

Star Wars is at once panoramic and personal. There are huge battles, but there are small character moments in the middle of them. The PCs should never get lost in the general melee - they should always be doing something significant, from helping get the wounded to safety to sabotaging the main Imperial weapon. This is ideal in all RPGs (unless they're about insignificant PCs, like Paranoia) but it's vital in Star Wars to cut between the big picture and the closeup action that determines how the main event goes.

The Backdrop Is Really Impressive But Not Generally Important
The Cantina scene is the classic example here. Every other character is a member of a highly peculiar alien species, and it isn't important. It could just as easily be a Wild West saloon. I once set a battle in a spaceship tumbling out of control just to test the rules for moving while shooting. Insert background details to interest the players, even if the characters don't look twice at them. "Cast" important NPCs (Christopher Walken as Darth Bane, maybe?) and use visual cues for them if possible. The PCs might react to an assassin Droid with a blaster in each of its four telescoping hands no differently than a man in a dark suit with a gun, but the players should.

What To Follow
George Lucas lifted chunks of mythology, Samurai films, pulp sci-fi and Westerns.

And this list from a couple years ago...

A massive conflict that the PCs are front-and-centre of. At any point in the timeline there should be fleets of pointy capital ships and funky-looking fighters going at each other.
Mooks that I can blast (or sabre) my way through with abandon.
Battles that effectively boil down to what the PCs and their direct opponents are doing, with hundreds of extras fighting in the background.
Planets with one kind of scenery. Two at a pinch.
Unsubtle demarcation of heroes and villains. If a villain is "subtle" it should still be blindingly obvious to the audience.
Droids. Totally amazing technology but absolutely unremarkable to all concerned.
Plans created on the fly. Any good plans are to be created by NPCs in positions of authority off-screen.

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