Monday, 9 July 2018

Legacy of Lindisfarne - A Viking Campaign for Runequest

So I've been on kind of a Viking kick the last few days.  I had originally planned to use a hack of Pendragon for this.  However that ended up not being as doable as I thought it would be.  For a number of reasons that I won't go into for the sake of brevity.  So after being left wanting by Pendragon, I started looking around for alternatives.  I had considered GURPS prior to Pendragon, but it seemed clunky and not conducive to the sort of campaign I wanted to run.  While I love the Powered by the Apocalypse engine, Sagas of the Icelanders didn't quite fit either.  So for a while there I thought I was at the end of my rope.  This campaign idea sputtering out before it even caught fire.  Until I came across the Vikings Sourcebook for Runequest II by Mongoose publishing.  Now we're cooking with gas.  Let's get right to it.

The Pitch

Roughly what this campaign will be about.
Now the reason I originally chose Pendragon was because I wanted to make this a multi-generational campaign.  Much like how the players in Pendragon play knights and slowly build a family legacy.  Playing their original characters' heirs and their grandchildren (possibly even great grandchildren) building themselves a dynasty.  So too would the players in this campaign build a lineage, only Vikings instead of knights.  The idea would look something like this.  The players start out as young residents in a dirt-poor settlement (or rather a collection of neighbouring homesteads), somewhere in either Norway or Denmark.  (I'm thinking Rogaland or Jutland respectively).  Which of the two is entirely up to the players' personal preferences.  More often than not they'll be non-landholding members of society.  Even the wealthiest among them will not own land.  (If they play someone of the Jarl class it's almost required that they are not the heir to the family lands and fortune).  In a time and place when wealth is measured by the land you own.  The players will be somewhat lacking...  Point being that they'll have plenty of motivation to go out, raid and conquer.  The types of character concepts conducive to this campaign are as follows.

  • Bondi or Tenant farmers, who owe their land (as crummy, sandy and rocky as it is) to a larger landowner for a fee.  
  • Leysingi or Freedman, former thralls who likely own no land of their own.  But likely possess freshly acquired weapons with which to take some.
  • Second sons of both Jarls and Karls (nobles, freeman respectively) who stand to inherit nothing.
  • Outlaws and outcasts of all kinds.  Those trying to put their past behind them and make a new life for themselves.  A process that land and newly acquired wealth tends to help with.  Your obligatory shield-maiden falls under this category.  As a woman dressing and fighting as man does is transvestism and punishable by outlawing of the offending party.  
The players first adventure or dungeon if you will.
Anyways you have all these opportunistic individuals who nothing to lose and everything to gain.  And you set them on a course to build a legacy for themselves.  In Norse religion there is no life after death unless you die well in battle (earning yourself a spot in Valhalla) or are a completely evil and irredeemable bastard (thus earning a spot in what's essentially Viking Hell).  So all that really matters is what kind of a name you leave for yourself before the Norns cut your thread of life.  So as the GM you start out small giving the players a little taste of the riches in store.  Participating in some of the earlier Viking raids.  Personally I seek to start with the infamous raid on the monastery at Lindisfarne.  The proceedings would follow a path somewhat along these lines.
  1.   Start the players off with a short introductory scenario in the Spring of 793 AD.  Involving a bear that's been harassing what little livestock there is.  The hunting of said bear would serve as a way to get the players acclimated to the setting.
  2. Have word come to the settlement, possibly later in the year.  Right before summer of the wealth of the monastery at Lindisfarne.  If the players opted play Danes in Jutland throw in a  mention of the recent atrocities committed by Charlemagne against pagans in Frisia.  (The king of Frisia is related to the king of Denmark).  Possibly as a roleplaying hook for those characters that decided to play devout Pagans.  
  3. Have the local Jarl put out word that he's going to Lindisfarne to sack the place.  The players and possibly several of their NPC family members are welcome to come along.  
  4. From there conduct the voyage to the Holy Island.  It won't be a simple matter of getting from point A to point B.  Sea voyages were dangerous back in those days.  
  5. Then there's the actual raid, which is a cakewalk.  Everyone involved makes out like bandits.  Treasure in the form of tithes/donations and various religious paraphernalia is plentiful.  The players can even take a few captives to be sold as slaves.  If anyone's feeling antsy for a fight, they can vent their murder-hobo tendencies by killing some unharmed monks and layman.  It's one of the few times in a game I'd run where they'd be able to get away with it without consequence.
  6. Now while getting the loot was easy enough the trip back won't be.  Turns out somebody else had the exact same idea as the players' raiding party.  Just as they're leaving the area, a small of fleet of ships roughly the size of their own comes into view.  Who they are depends on a number of factors.  If the players are Norwegian make them Danes.  If the players are Danes make them Norwegians come down from a base in the Orkneys.  If a player has a character with a particular hatred of a nation (say the Frisians, after all they're the ones who had numerous of their people drowned on Charlemagne's orders) or if a player has an enemy from back home.  Have it be them.  Point is they came here to loot the riches of Lindisfarne and found you leaving the burning ruins.  They are not happy and spoiling for a fight.  
With the first adventure over and done with the possibilities are endless.  Do they go on another raid? Where to this time?  Against coastal villages in England or Frankland?  Perhaps find another monastery to loot?  Or do they prefer to stick close to home?  Getting involved in local politics, choosing to instead raid their ancestral enemies.  Be it the next settlement over or a across the ocean against the Danes, Norse, Swedes or whoever.  Once they tire of raiding or perhaps have built themselves up something of a reputation and some experience.  They may join in on the invasion of Ireland or England becoming the foot soldiers of the Great Pagan armies that conquered those lands.  My lofty ambition is to play an adventure for each year of the timeline.  Though if the players decide they don't have any great plans in mind we can always skip a year or two here or there.  Eventually the players may find themselves in a position to acquire land after years of fighting.  Of course they'll always end up with land located right on the frontier of the conquered lands.  Allowing for all kinds of opportunities for adventure.  Even when the players are supposedly settled.  There's always the possibility that the natives of the conquered land or even other Vikings will send them packing.  Forcing the players to go back to square one as landless wanderers.  Allowing the GM to switch things up, sick of fighting in Ireland or England?  Maybe go settle a farmstead in Iceland or go on a trading expedition to Constantinople.  Or help old Rollo intimidate King Charles the Simple of the Franks into giving him a duchy.  The possibilities are endless.  Each generation that comes as the original players settle down and have children will provide a way build on their legacy.  As well as provide replacement characters should someone ever bite it or get maimed in the midst of all that fighting.  

Anyways that's about all I have to say on the subject.  If you liked this post be sure to +1, re-share, follow this blog and comment any feedback down below.  As always may you roll many crits and have a nice day.  

Monday, 2 July 2018

Merli Basmi Reloaded - Another Re-statted Character from the Night City PD Campaign

So seeing as the Winter post was such a huge hit.  I decided to get off my but and re-stat Merli, Winter's partner and fellow SIFT-Div detective.  For those of you were awaiting this and you know who you are.  There you go I'm a man of my word.  For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, I refer you to this link here.  So without further ado let me tell you about Merli.

I think Merli's player would appreciate the humour in his
character being portrayed by Will Smith.
Merli Basmi was born into a large Corporate family of Brazilian origin.  His parents worked for Biotechnica, and died when he was a child.  They were smart though and made sure that their children would be provided for in the event of their demise.  Merli and his siblings were raised in a Corporate creche for the rest of his childhood.  (In fact he became incredibly attached to one of the nannies working there seeing her as something of a surrogate mother.  She remains an important part of his life even though he is now an adult).  Merli possesses a genius level intellect and a doctorate.  Yet he chooses to work as a Detective for the Night City Police Department.  You read that right, not as a Forensics Specialist or Pathologist as a Detective.  He routinely does his own autopsies and lab work, rather than pushing the work onto the already overworked NCPD Crime Lab.  Needless to say he's regarded as something of an eccentric.  Nobody doubts his skills though, as he has proven himself a capable investigator in both Narco and Homicide.  He was a natural choice for a special unit such as SIFT-Div.

Merli has an interesting origin in terms of character creation.  Instead of playing a pre-gen since he was a first timer Merli wanted to generate his own character.  I remember it took up most of the first session of the campaign (and is partly the reason I now have a Session 0 policy), and took many a strange turn.  It started with me reading out the available roles for Cyberpunk 2020.  (This was before I stopped using the roles, and switched to more free-form style).  I figured he'd seize upon a Solo or a Cop, you know a combat role since that's what most first time RPG players want to do.  Is just kill stuff.  Nope, he decided he wanted to play the party's healer.  In this case that meant playing a MedTech.  Yeah it kind of threw me for a loop.  How do you explain a MedTech being part of a police unit?  It's not like they're Edgerunners who can't afford to explain to the hospital how they got shot.  It's a question that never really got answered and I just rolled with it to save myself the hassle.  The stuff about him being a Pathologist was more an explanation Winter's player and I came up with in between games.  That we never really remembered to share with Merli's player.  Everything about Merli was odd.  He actually had a +9 in Driving, why?  Your guess is as good as mine the player just wanted to invest the points that way.  He also didn't originally have any Cybernetics (due to the player wanting to actually play before the session was over).  The player actually ended up creating his own personality type for the life path for Merli.  Intelligent and outlandish.  It fit his as well as the jumpsuit he wore over his corporate business suit.  Like I said Merli was an odd guy.

Whoever made this poster could've made it about Merli's
work situation with SIFT-Div.
Yet in spite of all of that.  He was the one sane man in SIFT-Div.  May sound hard to believe but it's true.  His partner Winter was an ex-cyber criminal, not much better than a spoiled brat.  Who was so obsessed with Johnny Silverhand that she would've abandoned Merli if someone offered her a chance to go to a Samurai concert.  (An event that never came up in game, and for that I'm somewhat grateful).  Then you had the leader of SIFT-Div (whose name escapes me now) who was a Machiavellian schemer.  Who basically used SIFT-Div as his own personal hit-squad.  And was only able to get the unit because he blackmailed the mayor of Night City.  In hindsight Merli may have been crazy but you know compared to his colleagues he was the voice of reason.  Now while I said he was the voice of reason, that doesn't mean he didn't do some pretty dumb things in his career.  The crowning achievement being practically kidnapped by a drug-dealer and then being beaten by said drug dealer's cook with a rolling chair.  Now to be fair Winter was supposed to keeping an eye on him so she could tail the drug dealer and Merli after they left Club 404.  But that's a story for another time.

I'm actually quite happy with how Merli turned out this time around.  Other than some adjustments to his Social stats (COOL, ATTR and EMP) to fit his personality more and a boost in Reflex.  He's pretty much the same in terms of Stats.  As it turned out 2 Luck was the correct amount for him since he had a bad habit of getting the short end of the stick.  He was Murtaugh to Winter's Riggs.  I've also taken the liberty of giving him the Cybernetics he was missing in his first incarnation.  Which I gotta say was kind of hard to do.  Since R. Talsorian seemed to make Cyberware more with Solos and Netrunners in mind than MedTechs.  His skills have also been adjusted to better suit his police training.  Most notable being the addition of the Rifle skill.  Much to my regret Merli and Winter were issued a shotgun for some additional firepower which was constantly being left in the stake-out van.  Due to the fact that neither of them had the skill to use it.  As I mentioned before he's gotten a little bump in his Reflex stat so he'll be a bit more combat effective.  Since more often than not he was the primary combatant in the partnership.  Largely due to the fact that the person who planned to play a Solo dropped out before the first session even started.  I've also given him the Nightmares disadvantage to reflect an event on his life path regarding an accident he had.  An accident that I don't remember ever being specified.

Merli Basmi

INT: 10  REF: 7/7 TECH: 8  COOL: 7  ATTR: 8  LUCK: 2  MA: 6  BODY: 5  EMP: 7

RUN: 18  LEAP: 4.5  LIFT: 200  SAVE: 5  BTM: -2
DAM: +0  REP: 3 (Just an eccentric Cop trying to do his job)

Alienation Check: 7  Skill Points: 62

Skills: Awareness/Notice +5, Biology +6, Bureaucracy +3, Chemistry +4, Diagnose Illness +6, Drive +3, Education & General Knowledge +4, Expert: Forensics +3, Handgun +5, Human Perception +5, Interrogation +5, Know Language: English +8, Know Language: Portuguese +8, Library Search +2, MedTech +2, Persuasion & Fast Talk +5, Rifle +2, Streetwise +2

Advantages:
Bilingual Background 4 SPs

Disadvantages:
Close Personal Tie (Former Nanny) -2 SPs
Nightmares -2 SPs

Cybernetics:
Cyber Optics (with Image Enhancement, Micro-optics, LowLite, Infrared) 3  2430 EB
Chemical Analyzer                                                                                         4  200 EB

Gear: 
Concealable Armoured Vest (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
Shoulder Holster
Armalite 44 Semi-automatic Pistol (equipped with 911 chip, cookie cutter and gun cam)
Street-tech "Burst"
2 spare magazines of 12mm ammo
Badge, Police ID (Acts as a marker for NCPD cookie cutters)
Officer in Distress Button (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
2 sets of Plascuffs
Evidence Kit
Notebook
Medkit

Anyways that about wraps it up.  I'm very happy and proud of my work here.  I feel so much better about this version of Merli compared to how I felt when we first rolled him up.  Lately I've been thinking about re-statting and roughly detailing some NPCs as well as the first adventure from the NCPD campaign.  Which I ran Merli and Winter's players through.  If you'd like to see that be sure to +1, re-share, follow this blog and comment down below.  Until next time have a nice day and may you roll many crits.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Winter Hyland Remastered - A Re-Statted PC from Night City PD Campaign

So today I thought I'd do something different.  Rather than a writing about a campaign idea I may have had or character concept I'd thought up.   I thought I'd tell you about an old Campaign I once ran and one of the PCs that was involved in that game.  It was back in High School I had just left my first gaming group and struck out on my own.  With the intention of playing games other than Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition.  I'd run a few games of Boot Hill (which was my first non D&D love when it came to Tabletop RPGs) but those had been poorly received.  Clearly the group I started out with enjoyed Roleplaying for different reasons than I did.  So I made the decision to start my own group and run games with them.  Not an easy task at a Catholic High School in a small town in Canada.  It wasn't exactly a breeding ground for players.  Somehow I did manage to get something that resembled a group together.  Though a large part of the recruitment was done by the one friend I'd been able to talk into playing with me.  The rest of the group was made up of co-workers and acquaintances of hers.  In the end it ended up only being her and one of her co-workers that actually played for long.  (One actually left after character creation and never came back, the other never showed up to character creation and proved to be a problem player when he did finally show up.  The single friend from high school who I'd recruited's brother showed up for one session.  Only to get his character's arm blown off by his own grenade!)

This is basically what I had in mind when I was thinking up
this campaign concept.
Now what was the campaign you ask?  Well around this point of my life I was watching a lot of Countermonkeybard videos.  Specifically the ones about Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun.  The idea of playing augmented cyber-criminals intrigued me.  Of course as you may have noticed I never do things the easy way or the way it was intended.  Also around this time I really into Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (I didn't see the Film until my later teens/early twenties).  It was pretty much the only contact I'd had with Cyberpunk as a genre.  And if I'm honest it's kind of a bad starting point.  Since now being more educated on the subject I'd call the GITS franchise more Post-Cyberpunk.  But I'm rambling, point is I decided that I wanted the campaign to be about Cyber-cops rather than Cyber-criminals.  Specifically a special task force within the Night City Police Department known as SIFT-Div.  (I no longer remember what SIFT was supposed to stand for).  It was supposed to be kind of along the lines of a unit that didn't get tied down by red tape and got results.  I actually had a plot line in mind that never got explored about how the NPC head of SIFT-Div (the PCs' boss) had gotten dirt on the Mayor of Night City and blackmailed him into approving the creation of the unit.

While this image looks nothing like Winter
it does pretty much sum up her approach to
life.  Being a bratty, angst-filled college
drop-out, know it all.  Poking her nose
where it didn't belong.
I'm getting side-tracked again, sorry about that.  I'm supposed to be talking about the character not the campaign overall.  So the character was Winter Hyland the daughter of a Microtech technician.  With a promising future awaiting her in the field of Computer Science when she graduated.  What happened you asked?  She tired of paying off her tuition with money earned tutoring dumb Corp kids.  So she turned to a life of Cyber-crime, stealing money from various places on the net.  She built quite a reputation for herself as the Hacker known as a Lady Cypher.  So-called because of her avatar's appearance as a Victorian era aristocrat with a face of ever-shifting green code.  In hindsight Winter really wasn't much of a hacker, her reputation owed mostly owed to her prolific activities and pure dumb luck.  Her crowning achievement was infiltrating the ZetaTech data fortress.  Her last crime before she was picked up by NCPD's NetSec Department.  She was looking at jail-time if the head of SIFT-DIV (who was in need of a computer specialist) hadn't stepped in to place her under his authority.  It was either work for the NCPD or go to jail, some choice.

Back when we first started this campaign Winter's player didn't know anything about role-playing.  So the approach to character creation went something like this.  I gave her the campaign pitch and told her what kind of roles I had in mind for the SIFT-DIV team.  Then gave her the option of calling dibs on one of the roles listed.  She immediately went for a Netrunner/Tech hybrid.  (Back then I was using the Interlock Unlimited from over at DataFortress 2020.  Which allowed for hybrid role characters.  I've since done away with the Role System in my campaigns).  Rather than rolling the character herself she left that in what she referred to as "your capable hands".  I went home created a character then came back the next day and showed it to her.  She was instantly in love.  I actually wrote up a little biography for Winter which I'm still very proud of.  If you're interested I managed to dig out the original document from my files and upload it to my GoogleDocs.  Despite the fact that I imagined her as sort of a Cyberpunk version of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  (The Lifepath results for look & style as well as a personality of moody and rash were really pointing towards it).  The character sort of took on a life of her own when the player got ahold of it.  She developed into a huge Johnny Silverhand fan.  (After the player read some quotes by Mr. Silverhand in the Core Rulebook when she finally got around to reading it).  In hindsight Winter probably would've worn a bunch of Silverhand and Samurai patches on her leather jacket.  Proudly displaying her allegiance, not unlike what a metalhead friend of mine calls a battle jacket.  Her fascination with the Rockerboy came to the point of obsession.  (She very easily could've gone the direction of obsessed fan that every musician lives in fear of).  She once actually only went out with a guy because he could get tickets to a Samurai concert on very short notice.

Anyways all this reminiscing about the old days got me going back through the old files.  And I realized how much of a mess Winter was in terms of stats.  I clearly had no idea what the hell I was doing when I made her for her player.  (Keep in mind I was 17 and new to Cyberpunk).  Now that I'm older and have my gaming style a little more established.  I thought it'd be fun to go back and revamp the character a little.  Using the character creation method that I currently use for my campaigns.  (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about I refer you to this link).  Overall I'm quite happy with how the new version of Winter turned out.  She's a great deal more rounded out than when I first built her.  (She actually has a believable level of training in firearms for a Criminal turned Cop in a special unit.  She can somewhat handle herself in a fight with minimal skill.  And she has enough skill in Drive to have a license.  Something she lacked when she was first built).  She also has social stats more in keeping with her personality.

Winter Hyland

INT: 9  REF: 6/6  TECH: 9  COOL: 4 ATTR: 7  LUCK: 7 MA: 6 BODY: 6  EMP: 6/5

RUN: 18  LEAP: 4.5  LIFT: 240 SAVE: 6  BTM: -2
DAM: +0  REP: 7 (As Lady Cipher persona), 1 (as plain old Winter)

Alienation Check: 27  Skill Points: 58

Skills: Athletics +3, Awareness/Notice +2, Basic Tech +9, Brawling +3, Composition +4, Cyberdeck Design +4, Cybertech +2, Driving +2, Education +3, Electronics +6, Fast Talk & Persuasion +3, Handgun +5, Human Perception +2, Interface +2, Know Language: English +8, Programming +6, System Knowledge +2

Advantages: Computer Aptitude 4 SPs, Technical Aptitude 4 SPs

Disadvantages: Compulsion (Johnny Silverhand Groupie) -4 SPs, Criminal Record (Paroled) -4 SPs

Cybernetics:
Neural Processor                            2 1000 EB
Interface Plugs                                1  200 EB
Universal Link                                 4 400 EB
Chipware Socket                              2 200 EB
Cyberaudio Basic Hearing Module 3 500 EB
Phone Splice                                    3 150 EB
Wearman Stereo Music System       7 100 EB
Wide Band Radio Scanner               5 100 EB
Total Alienation: 27, Cost: 2,650 EB

Gear: 
Concealable Armoured Vest (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
Shoulder Holster
Armalite 44 Semi-automatic Pistol (equipped with 911 chip, cookie cutter and gun cam)
Street-tech "Burst"
2 spare magazines of 12mm ammo
Badge, Police ID (Acts as a marker for NCPD cookie cutters)
Officer in Distress Button (Consult the Datafortress 2020 NCPD Sourcebook)
2 sets of Plascuffs
Evidence Kit
Notebook
Used Cyberdeck (All she could afford on a student budget).
Tech Toolkit
Electronics Toolkit

Interface
Commands: Detect/Conceal +2, Locate +2, Infiltrate/Login +2, Query +2, Edit +2
Targets: File/Database +5, System +5

Anyways that about wraps it up for me.  If you liked this post be sure to +1, comment below, re-share and follow this blog.  Who knows if things do really well I may re-stat Winter's partner Merli Basmi. Until then have a good day and may you roll many crits.

Update: Came back and edited a few things that I left out and forgot the first time around.
Update #2: For those of you waiting for Merli's re-statting, rejoice.  It's here.

Monday, 18 June 2018

The Mines of Kessel - A Campaign I'll Probably Never Run

I know it's been some time since I posted something on this blog.  And I apologize for that.  When I first started writing posts for Stories and Other Such Distractions a year ago, I prided myself on the fact that I updated at least monthly.  May ended up going by without a single update from yours truly.  A fact that I deeply regret and find inexcusable.  So this is me trying to make up for lost time.  For those of you who still read this blog I am eternally grateful.  Without further ado let's get to what you came here to see.

The Pitch

The subject of today's campaign pitch.  The kidney
shaped Prison planet of Kessel and it's
garrison moon(given its appearance
it might be more accurate to
 describe it as an asteroid.
Anyone who is at least the tiniest bit familiar with Star Wars has at least heard of Kessel once or twice.  Who could forget the famous line?  "It's a ship that made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs."  Now in the original novelization of the film of A New Hope Han was just supposed to be talking out of his ass.  (A parsec is a measure of distance not speed for those of you not in the know).  Later on the expanded universe went on to fill in the blanks on the Kessel run (adding in a black hole that the Kessel system orbited known as the Maw that would be smugglers would fly dangerously close to in order to shave time of their route) and the rest as they say is history.  You didn't come here for a lecture on the Star Wars Expanded universe though.  You came here to read about a campaign idea centred around the stinking place.  

Kessel is known for two things, the spice known as glitterstim.  (Which is said to give those who imbibe it the force-like ability to read the thoughts of others, incredibly useful in interrogations.  Which is why the Empire keeps such a tight grasp on its excavation).  The other is its infamous prison facilities where the spice is dug up the cruel Spice Mines of Kessel.  (Imagine something akin to a Nazi concentration camp or a Soviet gulag).  Now many an RPG campaign has kicked off with the escape from such a place.  But very few have taken a look at what it'd be like to have the characters adventure be indentured for an extended period of time in such a place.  

"But..." you say "that's boring."  Is it now?  There's a lot of sources of conflict to be had in an Imperial Prison.  Remember this is a place that's run by what amounts to Space Nazis.  There's bound to be conflict in such a place if you know where to look for it.  Here's a few things just from the top of my head.
  • Remember how old Han Solo made the Kessel Run?  Well what was he smuggling?  There's nothing else of value in the whole Kessel system but glitterstim and free prison labour.  Yet both are so highly regulated, that amounts to pretty much nothing.  Unless...someone's been double-dealing under the table.  Perhaps the staff at this mine aren't the tight-asses you think they are.  They're still immoral pricks, they just care about lining their own pockets than they do the Emperor.  Shipments of Spice may be turning up light, or prisoners may disappear.  (The latter sold into slavery, hey prisoners die all the time in the mines).  

  • And like in every situation there may be some stickler for the rules that wants to blow the whistle.  Maybe the players can manipulate him somehow?

  • In the expanded universe Kessel is described as being littered with ruins of Sith origins.  Up for a little Star Wars dungeon crawl?

  • Just like prison in real life it wouldn't be unlikely for the mine the PCs find themselves at to have rival gangs inhabiting the place.  They could join one of the existing ones or start one of their own.  

  • The population of the Kessel Spice Mines is 78% Alien, 22% Human.  You could literally have a prisoner of every species for PCs of a particular species to interact with.  You could even have one of the most feared prisoners be an incredibly violent Wookie.  (Don't upset him).

  • Then you have the ultimate source of good in the Empire.  A large number of Rebels are sent to the Imperial controlled mines.  As punishment for their betrayal of the Emperor.  If your players tire of being locked up they could mount an escape.  If they take some of these guys with them they've got an in into the Rebel Alliance.  (And you get a way to continue a campaign with established characters if you decide to take a break and come back to Star Wars).

Characters

Now personally I'd use Star Wars d6 for this campaign.  It's simpler than say the Fantasy Flight or Wizards of the Coast games and it has a large online community dedicated to it.  And presents a number of useful templates to base characters off of.  Any one of the following would fit right in in such a campaign.  They could be sentenced for any number of crimes, real or trumped up charges it doesn't matter.  If you manage to piss off someone with the right connections within the Empire.  Your ass just earned a one-way ticket to Kessel.

  1. The Smuggler
  2. The Gambler
  3. The Brash Pilot (remember lot of rebel POWs end up at Kessel)
  4. Any of the Alien Templates (Again the Imperials are Space Nazis)
  5. Pirate
  6. Merc
  7. Outlaw
  8. Outlaw Tech
  9. Slicer
Anyways I think I've rambled on enough for my first effort after my hiatus.  If you liked this post be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below.  Be sure to +1, like and follow this blog.  As always have a nice day and may the dice be ever in your favour.