October 17, 2015
A Long Time Ago ...
... In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...Being a HUGE Star Wars fan, all I could think about for about the past year and a half was the upcoming release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens and playing GURPS: Star Wars! We started talking about it around the gaming table and everyone was interested in giving it a try. My idea for a Star Wars campaign would be New Republic Era, about 5 years after the Battle of Endor and focus on non-aligned free-traders and adventurers. This worked for everyone as well. The hope was, that we would be able to come to a conclusion on the current Wandered Roads of Varisia campaign and then switch over to Star Wars, but the timing wasn't working with us so we just got to a stopping point and put that campaign on pause. After playing half a session of WR:Varisia, we got down to some "Simple Tricks and Nonsense" of creating Star Wars characters.
My players were in for a bit of a surprise, as I had told them to NOT make any characters in advance but that we would generate them at the table together. What they also did not know was that I had spent hours putting together a whole galaxy-full of templates that would be randomly selected by each player to build their characters. Everyone started with the same Crew Member template and then we started drawing randomly. I told each player that they could have ONE trade in at the end of the session on ONE template and that I would be selecting an NPC/ GM character to round out the crew from what was left over.
|Some of the left-over templates|
We started by drawing Species Templates. Here I gave them few choices. They could be Human, Alien or either. If they wanted to be Human, they drew from the three possible templates (Core, Mid or Outer Regions). If they wanted to be Alien they got to choose from the various other species and if they didn't care, they let chance decide and drew from the whole pile. We ended up with three Humans (one from the Core, one from the Mid Regions and one from the Outer Rim), one Mon Calamari, one Twi'lek and one Wookie. JeCorey had drawn a Bith but in the end, traded that in to be an Outer Regions Human. The Human characters then drew from a large pile of Background Templates. These were divided into one Childhood and two Early Adult Templates and depended on the region of the galaxy one came from. Dan, hailing from the Mid Rim region, ended up with an Under Privileged Childhood and Athletic and Bar Staff experience. Carol, whose character would be from the Core Worlds, pulled Under Privileged Childhood, Lab Assistant and Mule (as in smuggling) while JeCorey, from the Outer Rim came up with a Sheltered Childhood, Normal Adolescence and Survivalist background. These early life templates helped balance out the point costs that were associated with the Alien Species templates.
Next we drew from the Core Occupation Templates. These were the big point value templates, worth  points. Dan ended up being the Pilot, Carol got Smuggler (which fit with her Background Templates), Ben was the Scoundrel, Jodi drew Engineer, JeCorey got Scout (which also fit with his Background Templates), and Don drew the Diplomat. Totally getting out of some comfort zones here for sure!
The Attribute and Personality Templates rounded out the draws and this was really fun. Some of these template combinations fit together seamlessly together (like Dan's Cocky, Eagle-Eyed Pilot, Carol's Brainy and Greedy Smuggler (Mule) with a Lab background, or Don's Charismatic Wookie Diplomat (whoa!) and Ben's Dexterous, Altruistic Scoundrel. Some of these would take some work figuring out and some just fell into place. Jodi ended up with a Healthy Grizzled-Vet Engineer and JeCorey's Willful Scout Survivalist seemed to write its own background!
|Adin Vill, Washed-Up, ex-Imperial Medic|
|Also Adin Vill|
A list of all the templates I used can be found on this Google Doc as well as some (WIP) campaign notes.
At the time, I didn't have a name for the campaign and I mulled over it for a long time until I decided upon "Simple Tricks and Nonsense." This seemed to fit quite well to me because our game will center around the fringes, there will not be any Force-using PCs, and because I love to improvise and make stuff up on the fly. It is also one of my favorite Han Solo quotes from A New Hope. Anyway, that's that on the new GURPS Star Wars campaign. We will eventually go back to our Wandered Roads of Varisia campaign (I assume) but for the time being, we will be playing among the stars!
May the Force Be With You!
Players Present:+Daniel Ernst
and +Jason Woollard as the GM
Precis - Kicking off our new GURPS Star Wars campaign by putting some characters together. I provided the group with a handful of templates that were pieced together to create their characters. Nothing like getting outside the box! Go GURPS!