It’s been a long time - I used to run under this username at the old FFG forums many years ago, hopefully I can get some help here, too.
Even before the pandemic struck, I was suffering from a bit of GM burnout. I’d GMed a few short SWRPG and Genesis campaigns (my group tends towards 6-8 session long mini-campaigns) coming up to the end of 2019 and I needed a break. Next thing I know, it’s 2023, I’ve volunteered myself to GM for the first time in 3 years, my group is clamouring for a Bad Batch themed SWRPG and I’m sitting in the GM seat going “Um…”
So far I’ve introduced a team of Clones to the dying days of the Clone Wars; I had them drop into the Citadel prison as a backup team to some ARC commandos, only to have all their dropships shot down and the PC group be the only survivors. They infiltriated the prison, rescued a Jedi Padawan, and escaped. That was the first two sessions. Next session I had them on Coruscant, having delivered the Padawan safely, being co-opted into an off-the-books operation as a favour to a certain Clone Captain Rex, in order to provide security for a clandestine meeting between a Republic Senator and an emissary from the Seperatists, trying to get peace talks going. The meeting was then jumped by bounty hunters, which the PCs escaped from at the end of the last session.
At the moment, I’m kind of flying blind here. The overall discussion at Session Zero was Clone Troopers (vaguely AoR-esque) transitioning to a more underworld-esque (so EotE) as the campaign rolled on. At the moment, though, I don’t have an overall objective beyond that, no main story thread beyond “things are about to get nasty and you guys are in the middle of it”. In the past, I’ve usually gone into a Campaign (as I said, usually less than 10 sessions planned) with an overall story arc and usually, if not a big bad, then at least a central conflict. Here, I don’t really have much in mind. I thought that running a few sessions would get my juices flowing a bit, but I’m struggling to regain that spark, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor.
What I do have is as follows:
- The PC team is now believed to be dead by the central command of the GAotR
- They’re building a reputation for the aforementioned “off the books” type missions with some powerful friends - they have direct contact with Rex and some Senators
- One of the PCs was already a Republic Intelligence plant (a diverted batch of clones that work directly for RI, not under command of the Jedi)
My thoughts at this point are to try to enmesh them more in off-the-books work, working directly for the cabal of senators (Amidala, Organa, Chuchi) who are trying to work for peace but are stymied by Palpatine’s workings behind the scenes. I’d like to introduce some of the “dark side” of the higher ups of the Republic to give the characters more reason to turn against the newly founded Empire that is coming in their future (I’ve already disabled their inhibitor/loyalty chips so direct Order 66 actions shouldn’t be an issue there).
Eventually, I’ll need to run them through an Order 66 scenario and have them choose to either immediately rebel against their fellow Clones, or go along with things and stick close to the Cabal as the Empire forms, only to get pushed out and have to run later. For that decision, I’ll discuss it at a meta level with the players as to which way they’d like to take the story before we get to the Order 66 session.
So, what I am looking for here?
Short term, I have my next session this Friday, although one of the players has already dropped out, so if I need to, I can postpone a week. I’m looking for adventure seeds or ideas for either ethically grey missions for Clones to be undertaking towards the end of the Clone Wars (especially if it brings them into contact with Underworld types who might end up as future contacts) or not-techincally-legal ops to run for the Cabal to help them resist upcoming power grabs by Palpy.
Long term, I need an overall goal for the team to work towards. The Bad Batch has them finding a haven and a patron and taking on jobs from there, which I could go with - but if anyone has any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.
Incidentally, I spent most of last week preparing last Friday’s session, then sat down at 10pm on Thursday night to relax by watching The Bad Batch S2E07, only to find they’d used several story elements in that episode that I already had prepped for the game. No spoilers, but I was annoyed… and amused…