As the subject suggests, I am looking to see what others think about how to rule the Order 66 for clone players in a campaign?
I am running a Clone Wars game for some friends, and 2/3 of them are clones. If the game lasts long enough, I am certainly going to initiate the order.
To resist the order, I am thinking either Discipline or Resilience checks. The question is, what should be the difficulty? At first I thought Impossible (5d8), but then thought some Challenge dice might be good as well, since a Despair could turn them even against other clones if they sided with the Jedi.
I have no real idea how difficult it should be to resist order 66, except that it need to be nearly impossible.
And if some of the members do resist and are witnessed by other clones they will be turned against for sure, no matter if there is a despair because it would be insubordination.
I think it should be Impossible difficulty (Formidable+DP), but I do have a couple more specific suggestions:
First, and this should be obvious, but check with your players and make sure they’re on board with getting Order 66ed.
If they are, then mutually discuss whether you want to actually play it out or just narratively resolve it.
That out of the way, I would suggest that you give them a way to avoid Order 66 without “resisting” it. This could take the form of discovering the plot and stopping it (if you want to take an “AU” approach), or removing the chips from at least the clone PCs, if not from the whole unit.
Without spoiling too much from our game, one of the storylines we were pursuing had to do with Camouflage’s inhibitor chip malfunctioning and Mireska investigating the chips, their origins, and the contingency orders. Such a storyline can lead to the discovery and disruption of the plot, or chip removal that grants at least some clones free will in the situation. That makes it even more of a gut-punch when some of those clones really do turn on their Jedi.
I know this doesn’t help, but wouldn’t the more discipline a character has actually work against them? Would not a very disciplined clone soldier actually be more prone to following the Orders?
Perhaps require it to be straight Willpower, with ranks in Discipline not actually helping at all? Or even providing setback per level of Discipline? That combined with a 5 difficulty may be enough to make this near impossible. A Clone with 2 Discipline and a Willpower of 2, for example would roll 2 Greens and 2 Setbacks vs 5 Purples, which has only a 10% chance of success.
I definitely think Discipline is the right skill as resilience is more physical resilience than mental perhaps cool might be able to be used. For difficulty it depends which way of implementing the contingency orders in clones you want to go with.
The Cannon way are the inhibitor chips and in that case it would be extraordinarily difficult at the time of the order with a possibility of it being slightly easier in the weeks after the event. I would offer some boost dice if the character has a strong emotional connection to a Jedi. However it should be pretty hard check. A way to sorta make it easier is if the force user can use influence to make it an easier check by downgrading difficulty.
The Legends way that order 66 was implemented was mental conditioning, which depending on if the clones in the group are rank and file clones compared to more independent thinkers as arc troopers I would adjust the difficulty. In general I think it would be a similar difficulty check as to the inhibitor chip unless there is a strong emotional bond to a Jedi which I would make it a lot easier than compared to the inhibitor chips. In the case of an initial failed check I would make it a lot easier down the line as the clones start to think through their actions.
I would also make it easier for any of the clones that might be ordered by a commanding officer (non Jedi) to not follow. As such you could make the initial check by whoever got the order first and then depending on if they succeed you could make the checks easier down the line based on the results of a subsequent leadership test.
If you are concerned with having the whole party fail you could have them fall out of communication during the order perhaps making it easier to succeed, or find another way to have them not receive the order.
“Discipline” isn’t about military discipline, but about self-discipline. Military discipline would fall under Leadership. Do they have the military discipline to do what you order them to?
Self-discipline is a large factor in military discipline, but not the only one. For example, is someone who resists extreme pressure to follow an order to commit an unlawful/immoral act exercising military discipline, or self-discipline? You can make good arguments for why the former is both an accurate (you aren’t suppose to do bad things) or inaccurate (you have to follow the chain of commend), but it’s murky.
I would argue that it’s self-discipline to follow what you believe to be right, regardless of external pressure. I believe that interpretation is more in line with how the Discipline skill is used in this game, for anything from resisting temptation to doing something you really don’t want to.
General rule of thumb: Discipline is a skill for making yourself do something you want to do, even if you are instinctively set against it/resisting external pressure.
In an Order 66 situation, that can take two forms (ignore inhibitor chips for this):
“I don’t want to kill the Jedi, but the orders say to and I have to follow orders!” Failure indicates an inability to follow orders.
“I don’t want to kill the Jedi, but the orders say to! I have to do what’s right, no matter what my orders say.” Failure indicates the character caves and kills the Jedi.
Have them receive Order 66 and then immediately end the campaign. In other words, getting the order is the very last thing that happens. Don’t play it out.
A Schrodinger’s cat ending would be pretty cool. Let the players imagine how it all goes themselves with no input from you.
I second this.
Over on the SWRPG Cantina, @GM_SteMac and I had a little thing going between two characters, and I really like how he ended it. If you don’t wanna go and find the thread (Which I understand),
He commented this
The grizzled man gets up slowly, still never breaking eye contact with the Hunter.
He gestures with one arm
“After you?” He growls in a questioning tone, with almost a hint of humour, that seems out of place from him.
When the hunter, unfazed, does not respond, he continues “No? Didn’t think so”
The grizzled man strides purposefully toward the door, with the hunter following at a cautious distance.
The 2 men leave the cantina, and as the door shuts behind them, there is the distinctive sound of a flash-bag grenade detonating, the light bursting through the thin seal at the edges of the door, immediately follwed by two types of blaster fire in short controlled burst, and a scream of pain, but you can’t be sure whose.
The immediate silence after the scream, is broken only by the faint ring of tinnitus that always follows a flash-bang.
Eventually, one of the previously unconscious patrons plucks up the courage to poke his head outside.
There is no sign of the Hunter, or the Grizzled man, and neither is ever seen or heard from again.
I really enjoyed it, your players might too.
"The hologram of Palpatine looks at you. ‘Execute Order 66,’ he commands.
"You all look at each other, knowing what must be done.
“Fade to black. Roll credits.”
Close your book and sit back. Play the Revenge of the Sith exit theme music.
There’s a part of me that loves this, but…
You’d have to be really sure all your players were going to be ok with it, as it would be really easy to **** them all off and leave them feeling cheated, and robbed of all agency.
I honestly think ot should be probably be a Session Zero conversation, if you’re running a Clone focused campaign.
Along the lines of “This campaign will end with Order 66. And by that I literally mean, the second the order drops, that’s it. Campaign over, fade to black, roll credits.”
You could fade to black and when it’s over they begin to realize what they’ve done and have to deal with it.
This would mean that any Jedi characters would have to be separated before the command, and on the run while the Clones are following orders.
Finally, if you’d like the clone characters to have a possibility of fighting it… make the roll near impossible and then fade to black. Then upon awakening they are either war criminals with memories or innocent ones who just watched their brothers commit the atrocities.
My instinct is the opposite. While it’s styled “Order 66,” if following the directive were a matter of discipline, I don’t think it would need to be programmed into a biochip that literally overcomes free will. Instead it’s effectively brainwashing, so Discipline to resist strikes me as spot on.
Players, as a rule, have strong feelings about losing control of their characters, so this is extremely important, or the campaign is liable to just end when Order 66 happens, whether that’s what you were hoping for or not.
Or, don’t play it out, and make no decision at all, then skip ahead a couple years, after the clones have been decommissioned, and are now out there living whatever life they are living (presumably Edge of the Empire, maybe transitioning to Age of Rebellion at some point. Invite each player of a clone to decide, individually, whether their PC clone executed or resisted — totally free choice, preferably made independently, maybe have each write their answer on an index card and all reveal at once. Start a new campaign, in which the characters must learn to live with their choices.
Maybe hold off the Order 66 decision until a few sessions into the new campaign. Yeah, all the characters would know what they did, and probably what the other characters did, but the players don’t find out until the reveal.