This series follows the trials, tribulations, successes, and failures of a fairly inexperienced GM who has recently picked up the hobby after a long time away. It aims to assist new GM’s by examining what worked, didn’t work, and what failed miserably as he spins up new campaigns, modules, encounters, and adventures for his friends and family in Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion/Force and Destiny system.
(Warning: If you have not seen Rogue One yet, you might get some minor spoilers from this piece.)
The reason for this article is quite simple: my brain is on overload after this Star Wars nerd and gaming nerd saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I grew up on Star Wars like most others and played the video games, board games, card games, and now the RPG. I’ve told the story of what got me back into RPGs and gaming, which is primarily my children became the age they could enjoy it to and so now I’ve jumped back in head first. That, plus Star Wars, have equaled a combination where my family bonding time is at the gaming table. So now having seen Rogue One, my head has exploded with ideas for our roleplaying campaigns.
So what comes next is a series of brain droppings that could be used in Star Wars RPG campaigns and adventures, inspired by Rogue One. Encounters, adventure ideas, and general concepts are presented here in no particular order. These can also be adapted to any non-Star Wars campaign if you simply replace elements with those that are appropriate to your game.
My primary campaign surrounds a Rebel SpecForce unit that was pieced together by the Alliance to fulfill missions assigned to them. In doing so, they stumbled on a larger plot involving prototype starfighters designed to destroy the Rebel Fleet. So when Rogue One was announced it seemed like perhaps it would mirror at least many concepts we try to spin up in our campaign and spark ideas. And boy was I right. Without further ado…
Examine Jedha and the Guardian of the Whills
One of the coolest Easter eggs for Star Wars nerds in Rogue One was hearing that Chirrut and Baze were former “Guardians of the Whills.” For those that don’t know, the Whills goes back to George Lucas’ original draft of Star Wars which was originally called, “Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills.” The Whills was basically the early ideas of the Force and what it would become. I’m sure we’ll get from FFG and LFL more information on what they intend but for now, all we have to go on is that on Jedha, there was an old Jedi temple there, and that two of the characters were its guardians. A lot of kyber crystals are there as well.
A great Force and Destiny campaign or adventure could examine Jedha years before Rogue One. What was in the temple? Who were the Guardians of the Whills? Perhaps the beginning of Imperial occupation and the fall of the Jedi Order could be examined on Jedha. Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion campaigns all have real estate on Jedha.
I think a fascinating aspect of the film was the idea that even Rebels can take things too far and be considered by the Alliance to be extremists. Perhaps your very own PC’s could act as an extremist group performing those terrorist acts against the Empire. Perhaps your PCs could be a group sent in to stop a group like Saw Gerrera’s in the film. A group like that can cause some unexpected complications to a routine mission your Rebel PCs were going to attempt. Or you could use an extremist group as an NPC group that you are required to utilize to fulfill your mission.
What Else is On Scarif?
We saw the Imperial Archives, basically their Library of Congress, is on Scarif. What other documents or information does it possess? Might your PC group need to try and sneak in there themselves for something else? Or perhaps you could invent an archive on another planet based on the one in the film. The Empire hides secrets all across the galaxy. Perhaps you could try and visit Scarif before the shield is put up.
Be Part of the Fleet
How amazing would it be for your small Rebel band to be part of that battle on Scarif? Knocking out the shield or perhaps keeping TIEs off of the flagship. Perhaps you could pilot the Hammerhead Corvette charged with ramming the Star Destroyer. Maybe you need to land and see if you can blow up the shield gate from the inside of the space station. Or what if your Rebels are trapped on a planet with a shield like that? What if there were millions of citizens that were not allowed to leave because of a shield like that? Your PCs could be charged with trying to smuggle people, goods, or secrets out of a planet with a similar shield.
The Battle on the Ground
So you could easily get your Age of Rebellion PCs to be part of the Rebels who are on Scarif helping the Rogue One crew complete the mission. Mass Combat rules would be a lot of fun here and you could play out your own version of the Battle of Scarif. Your PCs could even be part of specific parts of the battle…like needing to hook up the main switch and the communications with the tower, or holding off the Imperials for so many rounds while the crew does what they need. They could set the diversion and the explosives on the beach. Or even more simply you could organize a Mass Combat adventure based on a similar mission.
The Imperial Defector
In the film, Bodhi Rook defected to the Rebels. In one of the first scenes, a quite skittish man gave Cassian the information, only to be killed by Cassian as he would have easily been captured and talked. But what if your PCs had to get that information to Cassian? What would that mission and adventure look like? There’s a lot of story that happened on Eadu, and you could flesh out having Galen Erso talk to your team about Bodhi. Then the PCs must get to Cassian and relay the information. Perhaps this overall idea can work in general concepts. An Imperial Defector idea could spice up so many campaigns. Maybe you need to get a defector out of a dangerous Imperial facility. Maybe a spy inside the Empire is about to be discovered and has a short amount of time to be rescued. Perhaps you could flip things and have an Imperial sympathizer inside the Rebellion messing things up for your PCs.
Rebel Headquarters at Yavin IV
Your PCs could be charged with getting supplies and equipment to the Rebel Headquarters as it is established. Perhaps you are charged with getting one of the high counsel members to Yavin IV for the briefing and decisions we see in the middle of the film. Maybe your PCs could be Bail Organa’s personal military escorts, or ones assigned to any of the members we see talking at the meeting. They were obviously summoned from different parts of the galaxy. What is important about that meeting is that it was going to decide if they declare full-scale war against the Empire, or continue to act as they have been up to that point. Setting up the base or helping to set the meeting in motion could be an adventure all its own. Or maybe your group takes on adventures tied to their commander who was present at the meeting.
I could go on and on but hopefully you can see how much amazing roleplay fodder there is for Star Wars fans and players of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG system. My eyes and ears filled with inspiration at each viewing because it’s the first Star Wars film to deviate from the Skywalker family storyline, allowing us to see and experience a much larger world in the Star Wars universe, which is something we all play each time we roll the dice.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this bit of straying from the formula a bit but it’s very seldom we get a new Star Wars movie to help us add to our games. Did you see the film and did it give you ideas for your games? Did it inspire you to make a character or an NPC? Did it help you think of some fun things to do with your games?