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Played it? Run it? What's the deal? I'm thinking if it's decent I might start picking stuff up to run myself some day. It's pretty good overall. But suffers from some drawbacks. It was written in the Iron Age of metaplot - meaning NPCs you can't kill, bizarre twists to the pre-generated PC types, and GMs who have to guess at a lot since a lot of important story factors aren't "revealed" until the end of the series.
Not as much of a downside now that the whole thing is done, but at the time it was exceptionally annoying. It feels more like Star Trek than Star Wars - single capital ship, very isolated part of space, linear movement within this isolated space chasing a war criminal in a star destroyer , PCs are drawn from the "officers" of the ship, away missions, etc. Pre-generated PCs. Sort of a must given how difficult it would be to write a movie trilogy-type plotline without knowing the types and motivations of potential player characters, but in a few places it really isn't written to be customized for a particular group.
Veteran GMs should have no problem with this, first-timers may find it rough. The pre-gens are also sort of type-cast into their roles and scripted to act in certain ways - again, GMs can work around but better to know the pits are there. Given the scope of the project and what it accomplished - as a campaign I'd give it a 4 out of 5, zooming in to greater detail things start to suffer a bit and require more GM finessing.
It has a lot of nifty aspects to it but Ma'at summed it up well by describing it as other than your classic Star Wars campaign. And if I remember aright, it is composed of the boxed set and three books. A few details for those who are interested. Darkstryder comes across as a combination of Babylon 5 and ST:Voyager , something WEG readily admits to in the end notes to the campaign but, as mentioned, it tends to mitigate against a true SW feel.
My best suggestion is to get all or as many of the books and boxed sets that made up the campaign and read them all before starting. This will give you an enormous heads-up on the whole campaign and where you will need to go in an renovate the rough patches.
The choice they went with sort of is a dog's breakfast of the two options. If you go with a smaller ship be sure to keep an eye on some of the dogfighting and space combat options - you don't want to overwhelm a ship lacking a X-wing support fighters. If you dislike "new" elements to the Star Wars universe, you're also going to want to mess a bit with the dingus of the campaign - the darkstryder technology.
Not hard to do, but it simplifies things, especially if you have an EU junkie or two around to pick nits. I think Bahama'at covered it pretty well One thing I'll add: when I ran it, the players unanimously decided to make their own characters, even if it meant playing less experienced crewmembers. While it was some of my first GM'ing, it was also some of my most memorable and in a good way! Elvish Lore Hello! Bahama'at did cover it very well but way too positive of a rating.
This campaign didn't feel like Star Wars. I'd rate it a 2 because of that. Well, scenarios included are a bit Star Trekish which I never noticed before but I rather liked it. True your based on a big o'l capital ship, which is never working quite right the Far Star is in poor repair, and has built in booby traps in the computer core its a fun ship. The hardest aspect of the campaign is definately dealing the metaplot. Since your supposed to play pregens that in many cases are destined to die it can feel a bit like Beyond the Mountains of Madness in Space.
The box set is rich with cool setting stuff, and I love running games in the Kathol Outback. I never got Endgame so I don't know what's up with that. If you can get a copy on the cheap its a good read, and segments can be broken off an run as their own game. Honestly I bought it for the Timothy Zahn fiction. Interesting comments.
I'm still neither sold on or off of it, but I'll give it some thought. The biggest downfall so far is the campaign being geared towards pre-genned characters. I dislike that intensely. Jedi, Sith, and dogfights can fix that pretty quick.
I'm wondering how difficult it would be to tailor it for a group of original characters in a tramp freighter? I quite liked it, and would give it a 3. It's pretty good though. I've run it twice - once with th epre-gens and once with new characters, and it went well both times. I'd say stick with the original crew size though - that way you can spring the various surprises still, with NPCs. If you just have PCs on a tramp freighter, you can't really have the same things happening that do with the original.
It's also a good way of easily being able to replace PCs if they die - some other crew member that had been taken on as an assistant mechanic just happens to have x skills depending on what the new PC looks like but was slumming it because he couldn't find another job that would take him of of his homeplanet.
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[Star Wars] DarkStryder Campaign? Sell me on/off
This boxed set features a page original story by Timothy Zahn called The Saga Begins and was published on July 17 , This boxed set is the start of a campaign of adventures set in the early years of the New Republic in the remote Kathol sector. Four years after the Battle of Endor , the struggle against the remnants of the Empire continues. A New Republic task force has been dispatched to the distant Kathol sector to topple rogue warlord Moff Sarne.
Imperial warlord Moff Sarne has set about to conquer a large part of the galaxy. The players take on the roles of characters who board the decrepit starship FarStar and attempt to track him down. Players are encouraged to play several pregenerated characters at the same time. In the June edition of Dragon Issue , Rick Swan called this set of adventures "one of the most dramatic turning popints in the game's history [ DarkStryder conjures a harsher, drearier universe, a Star Wars for grown-ups.
Trautmann , Peter M. Schweighofer and Doug Shuler , the series spanned one boxed set and three additional supplements. A deluxe boxed set which included all four products in the series was released in April In addition, three blister packs for the Star Wars Miniatures Battles game were released containing miniatures based on several of the main characters.