Saturday, March 23, 2013

Do it your way, for a limited time only / Playing Star Wars before Episode VII

I had a sobering thought today... I've only, what, a year, 18 months, to go before the new Star Wars movie comes out and crushes the post Jedi game ideas I have.

Yes, I'm sure (I hope) they'll be good; that the story will be more finely honed than George 'I'm an ideas guy' Lucas's prequel efforts, mainly because he's not writing or directing and that they'll be inspiring.

The thing is, all the ideas I have for how I'd run a Post Jedi game, a New Jedi Republic game, would be moot.
It'd be like running a prequel / Clone Wars game and ignoring Episodes I - III.
Which wouldn't be a completely bad idea, but still...

Because the game is based on a franchise, the franchise defines the game setting. Drift away from the franchise and you kind of lose the reason for playing.

I have these ideas for a Star Wars game that I probably won't get to use now.

Over throwing the Empire creates a power vacuum which the Rebellion faithful naturally expect someone like Mon Mothma, Leia Organa and the reinstated Senate to fill.
More realistically other factions move to fill the void as well. The Imperial command structure will exists and their bureaucracy has been running the galaxy for 30 years thank you much. Organised crime has flourished under Imperial rule. It's foolish to think that crime families died with Jabba.
Then there are the Rebels. They've been fighting for years and have finally won. What do they do now? War time generals don't always make the best peacetime leaders. Lando will fall on his feet, he governed a colony. Others will not be so skilled, resulting in dissent amongst the population and a foothold for corruption and organised crime.

Then there's the new Jedi Order, founded by Luke Skywalker.
Skywalker is not a true Jedi. He received less than half the training that even his father did, and he was considered too old to train effectively. He received only perfunctory schooling in the Jedi Code and history with Kenobi and Yoda focusing upon the martial applications of The Force, due to time constraints. They needed a serviceable warrior to challenge Vader and Palpatine, and this is the legacy they pass onto the new Jedi Order.
Luke Skywalker has flirted with the Dark Side, turning to it on the second Death Star before pulling himself back from the brink. He is still an emotional being and put the fate of the galaxy on hold to pursue a personal quest. Any Jedi he trains will follow his lead, his example.
In short, he is not training true Jedi, not any Jedi that a Master emerging from decades of hiding would recognise, anyway. He is training Force users that are as likely to turn to the Dark Side as be a force for good. Maybe they'll be the balance in the Force that the galaxy needs. Maybe not.

Add to this the forgotten history of the galaxy. Palpatine destroyed the library in the Jedi Temple when he seized power, and it is safe to assume that he did the same elsewhere. He definitely effectively purged all recorded knowledge of the Jedi Order so that it was regarded as a "hokey old religion" by the likes of Han Solo. Any knowledge that could be a threat to Palpatine's rule was destroyed.

So, it is conceivable (to me) that eventually the New Republic would wish to recover this lost knowledge, that someone would be given Senate backing to uncover it and restore the libraries and academies and arts and technology that the Empire plundered and hid.

From this I would run an exploration adventure - the players form the core of an archeological expedition, including pilot, security, bureaucrat/academic, technician etc tasked with finding Imperial sites and raiding them for information.

Cue encounters with resistant Imperial cells, half crazed Jedi still in hiding, corrupt planetary officials, pirates, smugglers, the discovery of forbidden lore, dark secrets, temptation, fear, anger and suffering.

Like I say, I've only a limited time to run this game before the new canon likely invalidates it.