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After the positive reception of my first article providing charts to aid gamemasters in constructing Imperial bases I’ve decided to keep the Old School Chart Cool coming. Today’s post provides a few charts to help gamemasters populate that old standby in Star Wars Roleplaying, the local cantina.
As with that entry, it is first important to recognize these random charts are just one of the many tools in your toolbox as a gamemaster or adventure writer. When the entire galaxy of options is before you, it can be hard to get creative. I like to roll on charts to generate some possible options, and then pick and tweak those options to create a prompt for further development. Never be beholden to the results on these charts. Instead take them, leave them, or tweak them as you please.
The cantina is a familiar feature of Star Wars Roleplaying, sitting at a nexus of the dreaded Dungeons and Dragons “you all meet at a tavern” and the iconic Mos Eisley cantina scene from A New Hope. The cantina scene serves to introduce both Luke and the viewer to the magnitude and character of the galaxy. The wonder of seeing so many unique aliens from exotic locales is tempered by the fact Chalmun’s cantina is the kind of place you can shoot a guy and just tip the bartender on the way out.
This can prove a problem for players looking to their gamemaster for an authentic cantina experience. Especially if unplanned, it can be daunted to generate a whole cast of patrons. My advice is firstly, don’t do that. Instead, focus on a few key players and let the others serve as set dressing.
Roll 2d10 on the below chart for inspiration, rolling on the expanded Imperial and Rebel charts if directed to or as desired.
|2||Imperial, roll d10 on Imperial Chart|
|3||Local Gang Members|
|5||Off Duty Planetary Military|
|6||Local Cop / Detective|
|7||Local Toughs / Ruffians|
|8||Young Man / Woman desperate to meet someone|
|11||Local Workers just off shift|
|12||Local Workers just off shift|
|13||High Roller / Flagrant Spender|
|14||Potential Employer, looking for freelancers|
|15||Son / Daughter of a Local Politician|
|17||Bounty Hunter, you may roll again on this chart for the their target|
|18||Drug Dealer, selling his wares discretely|
|20||Rebel, roll 1d10 on Rebels chart|
|3||Rebel Spy posing as eligible single|
|4||Rebel Supplier / Purchaser|
|5||Rebel Assassin, you may roll for target on the Cantina Patrons chart|
|7||Rebel Fixer looking for freelancers|
|8||Off duty Rebel soldiers|
|9||Disillusioned Rebel agent|
|10||Undercover named character|
|1||On duty Imperial|
|4||Spy posing as Rebel|
|7||Proud Imperial veteran|
|8||Imperial Assassin, you may roll for target on the Cantina Patrons chart|
|9||Drunk Imperial Military|
I decided somewhat randomly I wanted to roll four times to get a good group to pick from. I rolled oddly low, with two 3s, a 4, and a 2. Clearly I should be playing a d10 roll under system! My 2 leads to a roll on the Imperial chart, where I subsequently got a 7. My prompt cast consists of two gang members, a pickpocket, and a proud Imperial veteran.
A quick, almost stock scene is starting to play out in my mind. The players are maybe between jobs or refueling their ship at a stopover. They hit the bar to relax and kill some time. As they enter, there is some drama in the establishment as two burly gang members accost an elderly man. For those with a keen eye, his tattoos show both Republic and Imperial military service. The especially perceptive can quickly discover this is part of a bigger game, as a young pickpocket is cautiously moving in to relieve the veteran of his credits. This can serve as a simple vignette to show that the cantina is a business of ill repute, but it also provides players a choice on whether or not to intervene. This can serve as a small moral choice, i.e., help an older man or leave an ex-Imperial to what he deserves, and should the players intervene to help the man he could turn into a contact able to provide intelligence on Old Republic and early Imperial installations or operations.