At last! I am definitely going to play this if it goes through.
The pitch looks great, but it seems a little bare-bones at the moment: it relies on a fair bit of a. prior knowledge of the SW universe (mostly justified, because everybody's seen the films and I expect most people who will want to play will have at least basic Legends knowledge) and b. everyone having the same idea of what's 'sensible' (less justified, but I'll get onto that later).
Alright, so I'm effectively putting Star Trek: To Boldly Go on the shelf temporarily to make room for this. Mostly cause, VII hype and all that.
Great choice of era and setup. Post-Endor makes perfect sense as an RPG setting: the recent past is well-known to players as the plot of the original trilogy, and we can stay close to that OT aesthetic that we know and love while telling new stories.
It has been only months after the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star battlestation, and with it the Galactic Empire’s head. Both the newly christened New Republic and the Empire are scrambling, consolidating power and swathes of territory as star systems pledge allegiance to one side or the other, only to turn at the slightest provocation (or threat of bombardment from the Imperial Navy). The Empire, hit the hardest from the death of Palpatine, has been struggling with infighting as power-hungry bureaucrats attempt to claim the throne for themselves. While the Council of Moffs have taken de facto control, the initial chaos has allowed the New Republic a number of victories to push the Imperials back from the Outer Rim and to their Core strongholds.
Though facts are in short supply and rumors are everywhere, the ceaseless churning of the Imperial propaganda machine being of no help, news of the former Rebellion’s win has spread like a wild fire, kicking up smaller, local resistance movements across countless worlds.
However, Darth Sidious’ demise has had far more affects than most of the galaxy’s inhabitants can sense, many of which could be devastating to both the fledgling New Republic and weakened Empire. As the waves of darkness, malice, and hate that the Sith Lord had been blanketing the galaxy with dissipate, the Force shines out into void once again, seeking out those who connect to it and igniting old beacons of knowledge. The first to hear this call, unfortunately, were those in the ranks of the Empire’s dark side adepts, the Inquisitors. With Sidious gone, the group of would-be Sith Lords have struck out on a crusade for power, far more than what the previous dark lord would have allowed. This search has led some of their number to the battered world of Taris, where they pursue a Republic agent, and the information which will lead them to the biggest repository of information available: a holocron.
Nice. We've got a political Empire/Republic conflict interleaved with a Dark/Light one, the the immediate story hook (hunting for the holocron) is already there. Exciting.
However, you haven't really told us what to expect from the game and its story. I know from your comment above and from conversations with Tyler that our characters will have the opportunity to seek out more holocrons and thus learn the ways of the Force, and I think that's a fantastic way of combining Force training with plot and character development, but for that very reason it should be in the pitch. For me, that's one of the biggest draws of this RPG concept, so advertise it!
You also haven't told us what our characters' immediate involvement with the holocron hunt will be. Obviously Inquisitor/Imperial characters will be chasing this Republic agent you mentioned, but how will the good/neutral guys get involved? Will we just throw our Ordinary Joes With Great Destinies into the middle of the Taris spaceport and hope they get caught up in the action?
The New Republic is a fledgling government created from the reorganization of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Spurred by the Empire’s defeat at Endor, and the subsequent mass of star systems rallying to their cause, the New Republic has transformed the fighting force of the Rebellion to a legitimate political power. Its seat of government is positioned on the world of Chandrila, with Mon Mothma serving as Chancellor. The Republic is still relatively small compared to the might of the Galactic Empire, though discord throughout the Imperial powerbase has worked to their advantage. Its military consists mainly of starships loaned by sympathetic and member world’s planetary security forces, though Imperial warships from both captures and defectors have been added to their ranks. The Empire is currently under the command of the Council of Moffs, with the even tighter military grip on member worlds forcing many to seek help from the New Republic.
Galactic Empire, a name which sent dread and despair into the hearts of being across the galaxy. The Imperials were severely weakened command-wise with the death of Emperor Palpatine, the Sith Lord’s direct approach to government proving to be a weakness once the head was severed from the body. While theoretically they are still the reigning power in the Galaxy, infighting between Moffs and the slow breakaway of star systems from their iron grip has cut down the Empire’s effective strength immensely. However, an Imperial cruiser parked in orbit is still an effective deterrent to open rebellion.
The Inquisitorius, on the other hand, was a name that scarcely few would recognize, and those that did would never speak it aloud. Originally a branch of Imperial Intelligence, the organization has since grown into its own distinct entity, some say even from the Empire itself. The organization is made up of Force-sensitive individuals, all trained in the dark ways of the Sith by the late Darth Sidious and Vader. These acolytes, while not full Sith Lords, are still brutally effective Jedi Killers, and the freedom from their dark master has only made them more dangerous. Their primary objective was to hunt down and either kill or convert the remaining Jedi after Order 66, though they also worked to gather artifacts of the Force and recruit Force-sensitive younglings to their cause. The Inquisitorius is lead by the Grand Inquisitor, and the organization is quite small compared to the other military branches of the Empire. Even so, they do have their own small fleet of black-armored Imperial ships to command, in addition to what power they can take from the Moffs.
Nice familiar factions, though I wonder why you haven't mentioned the Skywalkers at all. Are they helping helm the New Republic, or off on adventures of their own? Even if nobody knows, I'd like to at least be told that they're conspicuous by their absence.
Your story begins on the Outer Rim world of Taris, a polluted, industrial planet that has been plagued by war over the millennia. The wrecks of starships and the glass craters of orbital bombardment sit side by side with massive skyscrapers of the rich and the battered huts of the poor. While still regarded as a major world, Taris’ influence has dwindled over the years, and suffered even more so under the rule of the Empire. It is technically an Imperial planet, not many Imperials would be caught visiting. The capital city is a gleaming mass of durasteel buildings, rising just above the yellow smog, positioned next to the planet’s major spaceport. Around the spaceport are clusters of ramshackle buildings, houses, and less-than-savory businesses. Every piece of available land that isn’t swamp, and some that is, is taken up by the less fortunate of the planet’s population. On the other end of the city is the Imperial Garrison, which has access to enough Stormtroopers, Imperial Army personnel, and TIE fighters to quell most public riots. The garrison’s commander, however, isn’t too picky when it comes to where the credits in his pocket come from.
Is there a way off this dreary world, well, nothing's impossible.
I love the choice of Taris as our starting system (KotOR feels), and having it under Imperial control immediately gives the good guys reason to watch their step.
Again, though, you haven't told us what to expect as the story progresses. I'm sure it'll take us through Hyperspace to other far-flung, exciting, single-biome planets in good time (this is Star Wars, after all) but I'd like to know, vaguely at least, that I've got such things to look forward to.
Your heroes and villains. Fields in bold are required, others can be added and removed as needed.
Gender/Species: Only rule is being sensible when it comes to species.
Appearance: Description, picture, anything that accurately portrays them works.
Skills: What are the good at? Do they have any natural abilities?
Force Abilities: For those that are Force Sensitive. Includes both specific techniques and passive benefits (e.g., Force Lightning or a perception boost respectively). Do note, characters are not going to be throwing X-Wings around without proper training, and most aren’t even going to be aware of the Force to begin with.
Equipment: Blasters, comlinks, old rusty knives, etc?
Personality: What are some of their mannerisms, how do they carry themselves?
History: Who are they, where are they from, how did they end up on Taris?
Ship: Do they own any starship?
Affiliation: Galactic Empire, New Republic, a lone mercenary, a Hutt Cartel enforcer, who do they call allies, if they have any?
Rank: If part of a larger organization, do note that Imperial Moffs aren’t likely to concern themselves with these events, and the New Republic leadership is too busy trying to keep a government together to notice.
Position: Say if they’re part of the crew of a cruiser or on a squad of soldiers.
Alignment: Good, evil, justice, money, adventure, knowledge, what do they value?
Might be worth giving some more detail on what a 'sensible' choice of species is. Are shapeshifters allowed, for example? Or the Falleen and their pheromone abilities? And what about droids, are they playable?
I'd say the same about ships and ranks. I take it we can't have our own battlecruisers, so are we restricted to fighters and freighters? How about small frigates? As for ranks, what you've said seems to imply that extremely high-ranking members of both factions are in theory playable, although in practice they wouldn't be concerned with events. Is there an upper limit to how much authority a PC can hold?
I hope I'm not coming across as overly nitpicky, because I really like the look of this game. Everything it's got so far is great, so I guess all my complaints could be summed up as: tell me more!