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Contents By Scribe

"The Jedi Knights were once the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic, before the dark times, before the Empire..."

Obi-wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight and all-around ass kicker extraordinaire

Well, Kenobi was right about one thing: Jedi Knights are supposed to be guardians of peace and justice. In the hands of a mature player, and a creative GM, these characters can be the most challenging and rewarding to play. In the hands of a more abusive player, or an inexperienced GM, they can become a serious pain in the ass.

Let me give you a case in point, back in the infancy of both the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, and my own Gamemastering days.

The engineering deck is off limits to all beings not affiliated with the two Moffs, despite statements made in the information datapacket. Anyone who tries to enter the engineering level is warned away by stormtroopers... The rebels have only two ways to reach the engineering deck: take the turbolift or climb down a set of emergency ladders in the turbolift shafts. Three stormtroopers guard each of the three turbolift stations on the engineering deck. Double the number of guards present if the rebels are not entering the engineering level during the gala ball taking place on the Lido deck...

Excerpts from the module; Riders of the Maelstrom

Now, this was back in the good ol' days, when my players shot first and only asked questions when I told them that they shouldn't shoot this particular NPC. I had made a Jedi Knight character who I played periodically, but mostly ran as a background character that accompanied the group on their adventures. First mistake.

The problem was that - to ensure I didn't play my character with the same knowledge that I possessed as the GM - I let the players run my character. (I hadn't learned the fine art of just shutting up and running my character in the background.)

Second mistake.

Because for the most part my players saw this character as a big rewind/erase button, as Jedi have the annoying habit of changing a scene before it has had the opportunity to run its' natural course.

Case in point: The Maelstrom module above.

My players, being the headstrong, ignorant, think we can take on the might of the Empire and win type of players, didn't take much stock in talking to NPC's, taking interest in major plot points, or "investigating" a situation before charging in, blasters blazing...

All they saw were a bunch of Imperials creeping about a luxury liner where they normally wouldn't be, and so they determined that there must something cool going on, (we were fifteen, so cut us some slack...), or at the very least, they could pilfer some nifty Imperial weaponry - which of course always fetched a nice price on the black market. (please refer to aforementioned "we were fifteen" comment).

So upon hearing that you weren't allowed to go to the engineering deck, they did what any smart, life preserving, quietly ask around for clues group would do; they headed for the nearest turbolift and pushed the "down" button.

Now, for any other group of PC's, this would present a major challenge. The stormtroopers will not let any unauthorised personnel enter the engineering deck. As soon as the doors slid open, they found themselves facing a cluster of shiny white troopers, armed with the best blaster rifles around, all adamant that the characters turn around immediately and head topside. What did the players do? Draw down? Blasters firing wildly? Run like hell? Stumble around like the Three Stooges? (Oh, a wise trooper eh?)

Nope. Something far more devious than that. They turned to page 79 of the original Star Wars Roleplaying Game book.

Huh?!? Wha?!?

e-mail Confused as hell...

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Copyright 1999 Scribe