So your players have decided to ignore your well-crafted plot line and travel off to the far reaches of space following a completely non-related thing you happened to mention as part of some flavor text. Or perhaps they are traveling to a destination that was pre-planned, but suddenly feel they need some other choice piece of information or gear to make the heist work. Either way it is time for either some creativity, Quick & Dirty!
A simple roll of the FFG Edge of the Empire dice will soon solve many of our questions, and lead to additional possible narrative possibilities. All with just a hint of collaborative creativity between you and your players. This article assumes that you have a basic understanding of the Edge of the Empire game system.
Assembling the Dice Pool
The base Skill dice pool is generated from the location of the system within the galaxy. The more populated and traversed star systems will have the greatest likelyhood of having settlements, colonies, and industrialized worlds. Those furthest out along the rim, or in uncharted territory, will be far less likely to be colonized and those few will have a smaller population base.◊ Deep Core / Unexplored / Wildspace ◊◊ Outer Rim ◊◊◊ Expansion Region / Mid Rim ◊◊◊◊ Inner Rim ◊◊◊◊◊ Core Worlds / Colonies
Difficulty dice are added to the pool based upon the type of star(s) that form the basis of the system. The most common type of star in the star wars universe is the Type K Star, followed by the Type G Star. Most of the civilized races of the Star Wars universe follow a similar pattern of population based upon the type of star. More unusual and strange races should only be placed by the Game Master as best benefits the story.◊ Type G Star (Yellow) ◊◊ Type K Star (Orange) ◊◊◊ Types O, B, A, or F (Blue, Blue, White, Yellow White) ◊◊◊◊ Non-main Sequence Stars ◊◊◊◊◊ Type M (Red)
Boost dice can be added to the dice pool when the players are near other inhabited systems, travelling through allied territories, following information gathered previously, or for any other reason that the players and GM feel should increase the likelihood of the system having a greater population or beneficial locations. Each reason should only add one boost die to the pool. No more than three boost dice should be applied to any single roll.
Setback Dice should be added to the dice pool when the players are travelling through enemy controlled territory, on the run from bounty hunters, near other uninhabited systems, or for any other reason that the GM feels is appropriate to limit the population or increase the danger of the system. Each reason should only add one setback die to the pool. No more than three setback dice should be applied to any single roll.
Proficiency Dice should be applied when a star system is directly on important hyperspace transit lanes. Upgrade a skill die to a proficency die based upon the size of the hyperspace route, or if there is a compelling reason that the star system should have a significantly larger population or a very benefical situation for the crew. Be sparing with these extra upgrades.
Challenge Dice are applied when a star system is located away from commonly used hyperspace transit lanes. Upgrade Difficulty dice when the star system is located farther and farther away from any known hyperspace routes. Another possible reason for upgrading Difficulty dice would be when the system is inherently hostile to the crew.
Adjudicating the Dice Roll
Every net success should reflect a level of population in the entire system. A single success should reflect a small outpost or colony just starting off. Additional successes can either be used to increase the size of the outpost or increase the number of colonies in the system. Additional colonies can either on the same planet, or on another location in the system.
Failures represent an empty star system, devoid of sentient life. Multiple failures could represent additional hazards or reasons why life never developed in this system. Perhaps there was too much radiation coming from the binary stars, or one of the planets collided with another creating a vast asteroid network that continually rains debris down upon the other planets.
Advantages should be spent upon setting laws, cultures, locations and events favorable towards the player characters. Perhaps there is a local shadowport that welcomes smugglers and fringers. Perhaps there is a local festival that needs whatever goods the characters happen to be transporting. Perhaps there is an ally who settled here that one of the crew helped in their past. Advantages tied to a failed roll should be tied to the lack of population. Perhaps there is a single hermit living in the system, or there are ancient ruins begging to be explored. The players should be able to spend these advantages with the watchful eye of the Game Master.
Threats are also determined by the laws, cultures, locations, persona, and events that would impair or threaten the crew. Perhaps a local Imperial Scouting party has entered the system at the same time as the PCs. Perhaps the local lord was recently burned by smugglers and is hostile or distrusting of all spacers. The GM could run wild with these possiblities, creating several new plot threads as the players try to navigate these new dangers.
Triumph should be used to purchase any of the previously listed Advantages, but can also be used to create significantly lucky events. Perhaps the mining colony on that moon mines exactly the minerals and elements needed to repair your turbo-sprocket’s left handed ion shifter, or perhaps the bounty hunters on your trail have their own bounties on the planet below.
Despair should be used to purchase any of the previously listed Threats, but can reflect horrible and tragic dangers present in the system. Perhaps there is an uncharted black hole in the system, and not the star that was expected to be there. Perhaps the Empire just built a shield generator on the moon below and they still have their fleet of star destroyers in orbit. However you spend the Despair, it should reflect a massive danger or threat to the players.
Now that you know what your brand new star system contains, it is time for the players to do what they do best: stomp over everything in their way to having a great time! And remember, if you need something on the fly to help have a great game… make it Quick & Dirty!