Today I’m going to flesh out a game idea that I’ve had kicking around; I’ve considered numerous game systems for it, some a better fit than others, but the Cypher System seems like my best bet. I admit, with Rogue One coming out in a few days, part of my itch with this game stems from that. Still, I hope I present an interesting campaign seed, and if you choose to run it yourself I look forward to hearing about it!
The basic seed of this comes from the last of the prequel trilogy; yes, I know, but bear with me. In the part where Order 66 is given and the various Jedi are gunned down, the general assumption given is that the Jedi Order is either driven into extinction or hiding. The children at the Jedi Temple and anyone else there are murdered by an emotionally unstable young man who really hates sand. Anyone left is going to have to go into hiding.
And that’s where our PCs come into this; they’re the recently chosen Padawans of several Jedi Masters whose specialties mean that they’re in a group, their Padawans tasked to looking after the maintenance of the ship and whatever homework they’ve been assigned, when Order 66 drops and every clone soldier in the galaxy goes into full extermination mode. Padawans are, by default, a lower priority than Jedi Masters, and so they get the opportunity to escape – likely at the command of one of their Masters as he gets cut down by a squad – before the troopers can come after them.
They don’t even have lightsabers yet; they know the basics of how to build one, but they’ve never even seen someone else go through the process before. They’re completely isolated from any other Jedi in the galaxy, and for all they know the entire Republic has mysteriously turned on them. Checking the HoloNet shows a standing bounty on any Jedi brought in to authorities, preferably dead with evidence.
At this point, the Padawans have a choice before them, one that got taken away when the Jedi Order claimed them. They have no Masters to answer to, no rules locking them down, no guidance on how to go forward. They can seek their own paths, whether that means trying to be Jedi in their own right or trying to become something new. Light and Dark have meaning outside the dogmatic mantras of the Order, and now they get to decide if they want to live up to the ideals they’ve been told about without really being shown.
The Jedi, they’ll have been told by people mired in dogma and arguments over etiquette and protocol, are a light shining for the galaxy. Even as the Order itself had ossified into something so strict and controlling that a lone Sith could exploit the flaws and cracks, they were told about how Jedi are champions of the people. Stories about famous Jedi of the deep past, and warning about Sith Lords and the perils of falling to the Dark Side, none of which were born out in action by their teachers.
Which leaves them with a simple enough question, on the face of it. Will they embrace the core ideals of the Order, whether or not they’ll ever be known as Jedi, and strive to be the champions the galaxy needs? Or will they embrace their own, more selfish desires and let the galaxy suffer whatever fate the mastermind of the Empire to be seeks? Ultimately, the stories of truly legendary heroes and villains may be born from answering it.
I recommend, if you plan to use this, looking at The Cypher System Awakens by James Walls; he’s already come up with some fairly simple ideas for hacking the system to have a Star Wars vibe. You can also check out my own post from a few days ago, when it comes to using the Force in a game of nothing but Force users.
Meanwhile, Rogue One comes out in a few days, and I plan to be there.