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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    I'm thinking of starting up a SW Saga game at my college campus. The thing is, I don't know how many people there are familliar with Saga, and It's been ages since I played a game with any system that wasn't over the internet (and most of those have been short lived after either a DM or myself had real life issues). So, my concern is trying to introduce several new players to the system while myself being somewhat rusty.

    A couple of concerns I have;

    1) Era- Rebellion Era and Clone Wars era are the two that are obviously going to be the most familiar to my players. However, I also have the KOTOR and TFU campaign guides, and I feel like a Dark Times setting works well, since it starts the Players out with very little in the way of resources, but gives them the potential to feel like they really made a difference by the end of the campaign, in contributing to the earlier years of the rebellion.
    2) Dawn of Defiance?- I'll be honest; Adventure writing is not my strength. However, is using Dawn of Defiance a good idea? I only got a few encounters into the campaign when I tried to get a pbp game going in real life, so I don't know for sure.
    3) Avoiding Options overload- This is an issue I've had with introducing new players to RPGS in general; How do I gauge how many options I should give them, character creation wise? Should I ask them for general character concepts (making them aware that I want to limit the number of Jedi, Renegade Clones, Droids, and Mandalorians in the group)? How much help should I give them with making characters?
    4) Is there any mechanical concept I should avoid outright with these guys? I've always found Saga fairly intuitive, but then, I generally seem to pick up new systems easily.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    1) Ask your players

    2) This is a great module. You can run it as-is and it works perfectly. I'd strongly recommend redoing their maps though because they're terrible. But you can also add or subtract and tailor the thing to your specific preferences. If you're in school I strongly favor this option. You can spend a few hours reviewing the stuff and maybe adding your own tweaks - which is great during midterms when you shouldn't really be spending loads of time designing stuff instead of studying.

    3) If they're new then just leave it at core only. I've had to teach a lot of new players Saga and it seems the best thing to do is let them build something simple, and then give them the option to rebuild at level 3 or so when they have a grasp of the concepts and a better handle on what they want to do.

    4) No Skill Focus: UTF before level 5 or so. Watch out for condition track stacking. Its very powerful. Dont forbid it. Just be aware of it. At low levels a stormtrooper's blaster rifle is pretty lethal. So make sure your party knows a gunfight can kill them.

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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    1) I'm a real big fan of the Old Republic era, and end up using it for virtually all my campaigns (granted, I'm just starting up on #2, so not a great sample size). Ask yourself the question: Do you want dark jedi to be a thing in your game - do you want there to be more than 1-2 lightsaber wielding force-users that your players face over the course of a campaign. If yes, then the Old Republic provides. From my understanding, in all other eras there are a distinct lack of evil jedi dudes running around (a few, here and there, but no real antagonistic force with thousands of the blokes).

    I mean, heck, I'm planning on throwing a dark jedi at my level 1 players and expecting them to win, no other era can claim that - without breaking verisimilitude.

    3) Creating characters in Saga is pretty damn easy. Give them their choices of classes: Jedi, Noble, Scout, Scoundrel, Soldier. Once they choose what type of character they want to play (for me, it seems like this will be a damn easy choice to make). Then work on race, which is usually just a visual preference.

    Talents and Feats might be a smidgen harder for people, but just showing them a list of feats and asking them to choose one they like should be relatively straightforward - none of them (except dodge) are bad choices, so it all comes down to personal preference. And talents, well, I am paralyzed with talents because I want them ALL...

    4) Saga is pretty easy and intuitive, I would restrict Skill Focus to latter levels (and maybe a related prestige class), but otherwise everything should be fine.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    1) Talk to the players. Not to disagree with the above, but the Dark Times allows for heaps of dark jedi. Sidious had no less than 4 or 5 sources of force using, saber swinging minions in the expanded universe canon (in addition to Vader's 6 or so apprentices, he had Emperor's Hands, Inquisitors, Shadow Guards, Dark Side Elite, and Prophets of the Dark Side), in addition to Jerec and his seven dark Jedi, so I wouldn't call this a big issue.

    2) Dawn of Defiance is OK. If nothing else, read it, then read any many adventures in any books you might own. Maybe read some online campaign journals if you can find them. This will give you some easy ideas for adventures so you don't need to write from scratch.

    3) I agree with both of the above, it's pretty easy. Talk with people about what they would like in their characters. Be involved and active. Use core unless a concept cannot be made without it. I'd allow them to rebuild around level 3 as well, and possibly again around levels 7 and 12ish if it gets that far (I'm just a fan of allowing players to rebuild if it makes the game more fun for them in general).

    4) Limit Skill Focus in general to adding a bonus equal to half your level, rounded up. +3 on UTF or Persuasion at level 5 isn't nearly as powerful as +5 at level 1 or 3. I feel it needs to be limited for at least Persuasion as well, as a Noble 1/Jedi 3 with Master Negotiator can quickly move an enemy down the track, especially if an ally moves them down 1/2 steps first. I just limit things in general.
    Last edited by SSJ Ranulf; 2012-10-02 at 11:35 PM.

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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Quote Originally Posted by SSJ Ranulf View Post
    1) Talk to the players. Not to disagree with the above, but the Dark Times allows for heaps of dark jedi. Sidious had no less than 4 or 5 sources of force using, saber swinging minions in the expanded universe canon (in addition to Vader's 6 or so apprentices, he had Emperor's Hands, Inquisitors, Shadow Guards, Dark Side Elite, and Prophets of the Dark Side), in addition to Jerec and his seven dark Jedi, so I wouldn't call this a big issue.
    I'll admit that I'm limited in my experience to the Movies, the ongoing clone wars cartoon, and the Knights of the Old Republic games. Only one of which has more than 2-3 "bad" Jedi.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidmen View Post
    I'll admit that I'm limited in my experience to the Movies, the ongoing clone wars cartoon, and the Knights of the Old Republic games. Only one of which has more than 2-3 "bad" Jedi.
    Ah, that makes sense. In the full on expanded universe, every era has a crowd running around. Dooku has a gang of dark acolytes (maybe 15), the legacy era after the moves has the sith return in swarms, and I already talked about Sids, who probably has about 50+ named saber swinging, force blasting minions.

    I DO agree that KOTOR has the advantage that it's by far the least ridiculous. Any Sith after ROTJ seem to degrade the meaning of the chosen one. While Dooku having a small cabal of followers is reasonable, it almost seems comical for Sidious to have 100 or more dark side followers. You certainly CAN have dark Jedi in any era, but it just feels most organic in KOTOR.

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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Question; How would you recommend handling Droids? I've always kind of felt the rules were kind of all over the place; Many droid models that are "legal" for playing as player characters cost more than 5000 credits, and some have more than 3 nonheroic levels (Also, nonheroic levels really, really suck). Does anyone have reccomendations on how to handle Droid characters? I was thinking of trawling books for a few Droid models that have heroic class levels (the R2-R and TC-Series protical droid from Threats of the Galaxy, for instance), and just casting them as stock examples of Droids players could play as, and letting them change the model if they wish. Also, if I offer my players a point buy greater than 25, should I give droid players using a stock model an increase to some of their stats?


    Also, is there an archive of Wizard's old site for the Star Wars RPG? If not, how can I get a hold of the web enhancements and Dawn of Defiance?
    Last edited by Squark; 2012-10-06 at 01:16 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    The core rulebook has rules for creating a droid hero from scratch using one of the droid models as a template. I made an R2 soldier character. But avoid droids as characters? I remember reading that they're super easy to break.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    Question; How would you recommend handling Droids? I've always kind of felt the rules were kind of all over the place; Many droid models that are "legal" for playing as player characters cost more than 5000 credits, and some have more than 3 nonheroic levels (Also, nonheroic levels really, really suck). Does anyone have reccomendations on how to handle Droid characters? I was thinking of trawling books for a few Droid models that have heroic class levels (the R2-R and TC-Series protical droid from Threats of the Galaxy, for instance), and just casting them as stock examples of Droids players could play as, and letting them change the model if they wish. Also, if I offer my players a point buy greater than 25, should I give droid players using a stock model an increase to some of their stats?


    Also, is there an archive of Wizard's old site for the Star Wars RPG? If not, how can I get a hold of the web enhancements and Dawn of Defiance?
    I'll be honest, it is probably just easier to have the player use the "creating a custom droid" rules and ignore the "the player can/can't play as this" rules. You can replicate virtually any droid you want with those rules - and likely better than the base-line version.

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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidmen View Post
    I'll be honest, it is probably just easier to have the player use the "creating a custom droid" rules and ignore the "the player can/can't play as this" rules. You can replicate virtually any droid you want with those rules - and likely better than the base-line version.
    Seconded. Don't bother with the stock model option; it's a little wonky balance-wise (what with nonheroic levels and starting with more XP than other characters), and I've always found the notion of having all your starting choices made for you to be boring. I suppose new players might not mind that, but then again they might. Depends on the players.

    The custom droid rules in the core book work fine. If you happen to have the Scavenger's Guide to Droids, it has a 3rd option I rather like: it provides a list of stock chassis options (astromech droid, battle droid, protocol droid, etc), which basically function like species traits. Want to play an R2 unit? Pick the astromech chassis as your "race", then go on to pick class/skills/feats and such like any non-droid character would.
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

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    Default Re: [SW:Saga] Running First game in ages

    Yeah, re. Droids, by far the easiest way to do it (especially for new players), is the Scavenger's Guide 'Droids as races' options, where each broad type of droid is presented as a race. From there, use the core book building guide to help cost other addons etc. If players are confident, use the build-a-droid-from-scratch rules from the core book, but don't use stock models, they're all over the place and hard to figure out.

    With Skill Focus, one of the other options is to limit the bonus it gives to half your level, so at level 1, it's useless, and only grows to full efficiency at level 10.
    "Hex grids are the way forward! And slighty to the side..." - Studoku

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