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 Post subject: OBJECTION! How to center a session around a court case?
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:02 pm
Posts: 1
My PC's done goofed and had to get their bacon saved by the Bespin Wing Guard. However this exposed their illegal Tibanna gas mining operation and they have all been taken to Cloud City for a hearing and their day in court.

This is set before Lando takes over and Administrator Dominic Raynor is hoping to use this show trial to boost his popularity. Thus they are getting a slew of charges thrown at them some true some false and some in between.

I was hoping to use the the Manaan trial from Kotor as inspiration for the session, and I wanted to allow the PC's a good portion of the session to be free to roam Cloud City and build their case but also strip them of most of their gear as it has been impounded.

I thought about giving them ankle bracelet type devices and there is also the added complication that several of them have their secondary characters unable to make bail still in the detention hall. I guess if they wanted to slice out of their trackers and also leave their other characters to rot they could.

This group has been trying to go legit for a while now so I know most of my PC's are going to want to prove their overall innocence. They also have their large ship impounded and have invested a lot of time and energy into their gas platform.

Any suggestions one how to set up this session mechanically and any other idea's y'all have to offer?

 Post subject: Re: OBJECTION! How to center a session around a court case?
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:52 pm 
Sith Warrior
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 542
The source books No Disintegrations and Endless Vigil cover running investigations in a campaign (I think No Disintegrations covers the same material as Endless Vigil and expands on the topic).

This isn't exactly what you're doing but it's pretty close.

As for my own advice - I like setting things up so that the players can go about resolving issues without needing a lot of pre-plot planning from me. I let the PCs connect the dots and push the story. Set things up as specifically as you can without penning in the PCs too much. Give them specific charges to deal with (like illegal gas mining) and specific sources/pieces of evidence (whether it's a witness or a physical piece of evidence). And have a short explanation (often kept to yourself) for the backstory (e.g., if there is a witness that's lying, why are they lying) but don't get too complicated with it. Keep things pretty shallow on your end because they'll seem much deeper to the players and you want most courses of actions they take given the information they have to pay off in some way (with consequences and fallout of course). Too much complication creates too many bad choices for the PCs, too many dead ends. And if the PCs think up something cooler than you'd considered don't be afraid to change things behind the scenes to accommodate it.

Let the players decide how to tackle each. Maybe the Presence focused PC just wants to convince the court that the poor bedraggled PCs didn't know that they were doing anything illegal and would be happy to procure a license or that their request to get a permit was unjustly denied. Maybe there is a witness the PC's know is lying so there is an avenue to expose the lie or pressure them to change their story (or remove a threat pressuring them to lie or bribe them). Maybe the PCs can steal/destroy a piece of physical evidence or the party mechanic can expose the evidence as unreliable.

I'd also have a plan as to what happens if they lose the trial (a big fine, or tasked with performing some task to pay back the community or whatever).

 Post subject: Re: OBJECTION! How to center a session around a court case?
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 15
If you were a D20 Radio backer, I believe there is an adventure module called Escape From Smuggler's Hold I did for a kickstarter exclusive (before my official work started coming out). In the back of that, I have some rules for running an actual trial. Mileage may vary. ... igital.pdf

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