The Stenos Gambit is one of two FFG Star Wars campaigns that I am running.
Before The First Session
I spent some time researching an area of the Star Wars galaxy map and getting together some ideas that would allow me to run a campaign in a few different time frames for Star Wars. I created the one map that would serve with different interpretations of its symbols based on what was decided for the first session.
As I wanted the map to also work for my other campaign, this ensured that the work Spintir that features in the Force And Destiny beginner box adventure would be on the map. From there I looked up Spintir on Wookieepedia and used information there to flesh out the map.
This turned up some quite amusing things from the Legends Marvel comics that will now be a feature of the campaign.
The First Session
During the first session I asked a few questions;
- What era of Star Wars would you prefer; Clone Wars, Original Trilogy, New Republic ?
- The vote went to New Republic, and the game is set 2 years before The Force Awakens. (So we can ignore the events in the movies but use information from the Force Awakens Beginner Game and as revealed in the movies, without worrying about future movie events.)
- Everyone can be a Force user, 1 PC can be a Force user, no PCs can be a Force user?
- The vote went to 1 PC can be a Force user, but most didn’t mind.
- Republic, Resistance, First Order or Underworld?
- The vote went to Underworld. This means all the characters will use the Obligation mechanic. The one player who voted Resistance can still be involved in the Resistance, but that would be a minor part of the character’s activities in the campaign.
Then we went into the usual character creation discussion, and we ended up with a raggedy bunch as would be expected from a campaign rooted in the Edge of the Empire milieu.
Hal Varsin a human Propogandist who used to work for the First Order until he was betrayed (or was that he betrayed…?).
Jirok Grisht a trandoshan Agressor who is more brains than brawn. Under contract, and owing a favour, to the crime lord Zana Vinjagga he wields his red lightsabre as an enforcer as she directs.
Oskara a twilek Bounty Hunter (Gadgeteer), she finds herself under contract to Zana Vinjagga in order to deal with the complications her sister has created. This character was based on the one in the Edge of the Empire beginner box, but remade to follow the rules for a standard beginning character.
The 4th character was proposed as a Zabrak Marshal, but the final details are still unclear as the player was involved in the discussion via Facebook messenger as he wasn’t able to attend directly.
While the Player Build the GM Plots
So while the players got to on building their characters, I shuffled through the NPC cards and started building up the main NPC ideas for the people that the characters would know.
Once these were all sorted out I needed some names in a hurry, enter some Google searching for some random name generators for Star Wars.
- The Star Wars Random Name Generator
- Inn and Tavern Names, used to get inspiration for adding a more Star Wars flavor to things. This site also offers a whole lot of other generators that are useful to GMs of various games.
- Storm Trooper Number Generator.
- Ok admittedly the last 2 were used for my other Star Wars game, blog post for that later, but this seemed a good time to share them.
From flicking through the cards and choosing things that seemed like they would create an interesting story given the premise of the game and using the name generator and the information on the cards the NPCs the PCs know already are:
Zana Vinjagga and her protocol droid ODX-9.
They know that Zana was one of the first crime lords to set up on Stenos, and that she came to the world with a small cadre of muscle and set about securing her base. She has been able to reliably avoid the scrutiny of the Republic since then, moving goods and people off the planet reliably. Her operation has a military air about it, making it one of the more dependable organisations that you can get work for on Stenos.
Notes about Stenos
Post the Stenax Massacre 26 years ago the planet Stenos has been monitored by the New Republic to ensure that the Stenax do not become a danger to the surrounding systems again. However this monitoring is aimed at the Stenax, and the Republic is not too interested in what other people are doing on the planet and the history of the Massacre has meant that the underworld of the galaxy has moved back in to take up their old habits (because no one else wants to gamble with a planet whose residents are notable for the massacre of millions).
The Stenos Gambit
So the campaign will be about the PCs involvement in the activities on the world of Stenos, and through their ‘patron’, Zana, other activities in the Spadja Sector. They will run into the interests of the Republic and the First Order, but the focus will remain on that underworld of bounty hunters, slavers, crime lords and other things that move in the shadows of the great political forces of the galaxy.
The first story arc will focus on the players investigating rumours of the Stennax having found their god Vol again, and the danger that poses to the off-worlders and perhaps the whole sector. This gives the party a chance to establish their dynamics and characters, while also sowing seeds for later events, including First Order involvement, rival crime lords wanting the credit for stopping the Stennax and so on. Success here also has the chance to propel the characters off Stenos on jobs for Zana, while failure (at least in Zana’s eyes) will see them stuck dealing with problems on Stenos, both of which allow for campaign development.
That’s before anyone turns up wondering about that red lightsabre being used by Jirok….