Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Rebellion Era Campaign Guide

See also: Heroic Traits, Destiny

Every hero has to come from somewhere. Heroes don't all begin as Rebel agents, adventuring smugglers, or daring explorers. For most players, a simple history for their heroes will suffice, but other players might want to choose details in their characters' pasts that will help shape their futures. After all, the heroes are more than just members of a particular Species or the sum of their training; they have defining elements in their histories that molded them into what they will become.

The Background system presented here is an alternative to the Destiny system described in the Saga Edition Core Rulebook. The Background system allows you to focus on a hero's origins rather than on an uncertain future. Gamemasters can use either the Background system or the Destiny system, giving players a choice of selecting a Background or selecting a Destiny. It is not recommended to use both systems together because adding another layer to the characters will affect hero complexity and party balance. To use the Background system, each player chooses a single Background from the Event category, the Occupation category, or the Planet of Origin category. Each category has its own rules giving special access to Skills, Languages, Equipment, or other traits that help define who the character is and what shaped them into a hero. A character receives the benefits of the chosen Background at 1st level, and those benefits stay with the character for life. For details on the benefits gained from each Background, see their individual description.

Background or Destiny? Edit

Should a Gamemaster use the Background system or the Destiny system in a campaign?

The Destiny system puts more powerful abilities in the hands of the heroes, allowing them to perform incredible feats and save themselves from certain death by expending Destiny Points. However, some campaigns, particularly those set during The Rebellion Era, have a more realistic feel. In an era particularly devoid of Jedi, giving such abilities to the heroes might alter the campaign's tone in a way that the Gamemaster wishes to avoid.

The Background system is a substitute that tones down the power level of the heroes while providing opportunities for telling interesting stories. The Background system gives each character a special hook that the Gamemaster can use to develop adventures, much in the same way that a hero's Destiny provides direction for that character. If you are a Gamemaster looking to run a campaign without the high-powered abilities given by Destiny Points, consider using the Background system instead.


When you choose an Event Background, you decide that your hero has a single, defining Event in their past that put them on the path to becoming a hero. This Event fundamentally shaped your character's life. It was the moment at which they took their first steps toward becoming something more than ordinary, and it continues to shape the way your hero's adventuring career develops.

When you select an Event Background, add one of the relevant Skills listed at the end of that entry to your character's Class Skill list, regardless of starting Heroic Class. This Skill represents something your character learned to do as a result of the event. Additionally, when you select an event background, your character gains a small enhancement.

Bankrupt You lost all or nearly all your credits and material possessions. As a result of being nearly impoverished, you can use the Survival Skill to sustain yourself in urban or civilized environments. Deception, Gather Information, Survival
Conspiracy You witnessed an attempt to cover up an incredible secret and had to abandon your life for fear that the conspirators would try to silence you. You can reroll any Perception check made to Sense Deception or Sense Influence, keeping the better result. Deception, Stealth, Use Computer
Crippled You were crippled or seriously wounded in some way, but you have overcome the effects of that injury to become a hero. When your Fortitude Defense is reduced as a result of moving down the Condition Track, your Damage Threshold remains the same, as if you had no debilitating Conditions. Endurance, Mechanics, Treat Injury
Disgraced Once you were respected, possibly even in a position of authority, but you were disgraced and lost the standing you had worked so hard to achieve. You treat any attempt to create a Deceptive Appearance for yourself as one step simpler. Deception, Gather Information, Stealth
Enslaved At some point in your past, you lost your freedom and became a slave. You gain a +2 competence bonus to Grab and Grapple checks. Climb, Endurance, Jump
Exiled You were exiled from your home planet and cannot return. As a result of your journeys around the galaxy, you can plot a safe course for Hyperspace travel in half the time it normally takes (You can plot a course in 30 seconds, or 5 rounds). Gather Information, Knowledge (Galactic Lore), Survival
Imprisoned You were wrongfully imprisoned and spent a great deal of time in an Imperial penitentiary or in the spice mines of Kessel. You can obtain Black Market goods in half the time it usually takes to obtain (Minimum 1 day). Acrobatics, Gather Information, Stealth
Marooned You were abandoned in a remote locale and forced to fend for yourself with little hope of rescue or survival. You take no penalty to Treat Injury checks made to administer First Aid to yourself (Or to Mechanics checks made to Repair yourself, if you are a Droid). Ride, Survival, Swim
Orphaned At some point in your life, you were orphaned. When you spend a Force Point to add to a Skill Check in an Untrained Skill, add an extra +1d6 to the Skill Check. Gather Information, Survival, Treat Injury
Scarred You were physically scarred in some way, a visible reminder of a trauma that you experienced. When you make a Persuasion check to Intimidate a creature, you always have Favorable Circumstances. Deception, Persuasion, Treat Injury
Widowed You lost a husband, a wife, or another close loved one. You can Take 20 on Gather Information checks, but it takes 20 times as long as normal to gain the information. Gather Information, Knowledge (Galactic Lore), Use Computer


When you choose an occupation background, you select an element of your character's history that defines her skills and abilities. Most heroes in The Rebellion Era had some kind of job or career before they joined the fight against the Empire.  

When you select an occupation background, add one of the relevant Skills listed at the end of that entry to your Class Skill list, regardless of your starting Heroic Class. Your chosen Skill represents something your character learned to do as a result of his or her Occupation. Additionally, you gain a +2 competence bonus to Untrained Skill Checks with the Skills in your occupation's list of relevant Skills.  

Academic You were once involved in an academic field, dedicating yourself to the pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge (Any), Persuasion, Use Computer
Celebrity You were a celebrity of some kind, and your name was known throughout several worlds or sectors, or possibly even the entire galaxy. Deception, Gather Information, Persuasion
Criminal You come from a criminal background and spent your early years in and out of penitentiaries across the galaxy. Deception, Gather Information, Stealth
Executive You once had a position of influence and authority in a company or corporation. Initiative, Persuasion, Use Computer
Labor You toiled for years doing manual work. Climb, Endurance, Jump
Law Enforcement You used to work for a significant law enforcement agency and spent years apprehending criminals. Acrobatics, Gather Information, Knowledge (Bureaucracy)
Medical You come from a medical background and have learned the art of repairing the bodies of the sick and wounded. Knowledge (Life Sciences), Treat Injury, Use Computer
Military You have experience in the military and spent time in the disciplined world of professional soldiers. Endurance, Ride, Treat Injury
Pilot You were a commercial or corporate pilot, using your skill at handling Vehicles in the service of your employer. Knowledge (Galactic Lore), Mechanics, Use Computer
Politics You come from a political background and have learned the art of diplomacy, negotiation, and maneuvering. Deception, Gather Information, Persuasion
Technology You have a strong background in technology; either you studied how to operate or repair it, or you researched new technological advancements. Knowledge (Technology), Mechanics, Use Computer

Planet of OriginEdit

See also: New Languages

Choosing a Planet of Origin as a Background is different from choosing an event or an occupation. When you choose a Planet of Origin, you are declaring that your hero was raised on a world that is not typically considered to be the homeworld for their Species. For example, they might be a Rodian raised on Tatooine, or a Bothan raised on Bespin. As a result, your hero is unlike other members of his or her Species. You should develop a story to explain why your hero was raised on the chosen planet. You cannot select the same Planet of Origin as the traditional homeworld of your Species. Humans and other Species that do not have a single homeworld can choose any planet described below.

When you select a Planet of Origin Background, add two Skills from the relevant Skills listed at the end of that entry to your character's Class Skill list, regardless of starting Heroic Class. These Skills represents something your character learned on his or her planet of origin. Additionally, you add the Bonus Language given at the end of the planet's entry to your character's known Languages.

Alderaan You were raised on the idyllic Core World of Alderaan. Your people abandoned open warfare far in your past, and you grew up learning the values of peace, diplomacy, and freedom. Knowledge (Any), Persuasion, Treat Injury High Galactic
Bakura You come from the distant Outer Rim world of Bakura. Although your homeworld experienced Imperial rule, its distance from the center of galactic events sheltered you from the worst of the Empire's atrocities. Mechanics, Treat Injury, Use Computer High Galactic
Bespin You hail from the gas giant Bespin and were raised in the mining colony of Cloud City. You spent plenty of time in the casinos and hotels of the city and are familiar with the finest luxuries The Outer Rim has to offer. Deception, Knowledge (Bureaucracy), Persuasion Bocce
Bothawui You were raised on the Bothan homeworld of Bothawui, the center of the galaxy's most devious political maneuvers. You spent your youth in the cut-throat world of Bothan society, learning that manipulation and deception are fine arts to be savored and mastered. Deception, Gather Information, Persuasion Bothese
Cerea Your home is the jungle world of Cerea. You were raised in a society where harmony exists between civilization and nature. You have learned to appreciate the natural world, and you leave few marks on the land you inhabit. Acrobatics, Knowledge (Life Sciences), Survival Cerean
Corellia You are from Corellia, long known as the home of proud, stubborn beings. You spent your formative years rubbing elbows with hard-working citizens, expert pilots, and master shipwrights who took risks that others would consider foolish. Initiative, Knowledge (Technology), Mechanics Old Corellian
Coruscant You come from the cosmopolitan planet of Coruscant, known during the Empire’s rule as Imperial Center. You have long been at the center of galactic society and are well versed in the latest cultural trends of The Core Worlds. Gather Information, Knowledge (Bureaucracy), Knowledge (Galactic Lore) High Galactic
Dorin You were raised on Dorin, a toxic world that is the home of the Kel Dor Species. You have learned to live in a hostile environment, overcoming great adversity as a matter of course during your development. Endurance, Survival, Treat Injury Kel Dor
Duro You are a native of the great orbital city-ships of Duro, and you lived on those vessels for much or all of your young life. You studied under great Duros pilots and learned how to do incredible things with a Starship. Knowledge (Technology), Mechanics, Use Computer Durese
Fondor You come from Fondor, a world in the Tapani Sector. You grew up in a society that was deeply involved in Imperial politics, and you still take pride in your home planet's great shipbuilding traditions. Knowledge (Technology), Mechanics, Use Computer Bocce
Gamorr You hail from the Gamorrean homeworld of Gamorr, a forested planet ruled by warring tribes. You have learned to survive the constant violence and conflict and have become tougher as a result. Climb, Endurance, Survival Gamorrean
Iridonia You are from the harsh planet of Iridonia, the home of the Zabrak Species. You have learned to live among vicious natural hazards, and so surviving on a world with an unforgiving climate is second nature to you. Acrobatics, Endurance, Survival Zabrak
Ithor You were raised in one of the floating cities of Ithor, the verdant home of the Ithorian Species. You learned an appreciation for all things natural, and you know that nature can be manipulated to serve civilization's needs without devastating the wild. Knowledge (Life Sciences), Persuasion, Treat Injury Ithorese
Kashyyyk You come from the treetop cities high above the jungle world of Kashyyyk, home of the Wookiee Species. Since you were raised among Wookiees, you are aggressive and not easily intimidated. Climb, Persuasion, Survival Shyriiwook (Understand Only)
Mon Calamari You hail from the aquatic planet of Mon Calamari, home to both the Quarren and the Mon Calamari Species. You learned how to survive on the watery world and studied under great Mon Calamari shipwrights or Quarren traders. Mechanics, Persuasion, Swim Mon Calamarian or Quarrenese
Naboo You come from the beautiful world of Naboo, the home planet of Emperor Palpatine. You have learned the value of peace, but you also know the importance of vigilance and occasional defiance. You would go to great lengths to protect your beloved homeworld. Ride, Persuasion, Swim Gunganese
Nar Shaddaa You were raised on the grimy ecumenopolis known as Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon. Your upbringing in the Vertical City taught you the harsh realities of life on the fringe, and you have become devious and tough enough to survive in any den of thieves. Deception, Gather Information, Stealth Huttese
Rodia You are from the humid rainforest world of Rodia, the home planet of the Rodian Species. You learned the art of the hunt from Rodians who shared the world with you; as a result, you developed keen senses and hunting instincts. Climb, Stealth, Survival Rodese
Ryloth You come from the dangerous world of Ryloth, home of the Twi'lek Species. The planet is divided in half, with a blasted hot day side and a frozen night side, and you lived in the twilight region between those extremes.You learned to fend for yourself in the perilous Twi'lek society, and you might identify with one of the planet's tribes. Deception, Persuasion, Survival Ryl
Socorro You grew up on the volcanic desert planet of Socorro, a distant world on The Outer Rim teeming with criminal activity. You learned hard lessons from the smugglers, pirates, and other spacers who passed through, gaining skills that allow you to follow in their footsteps. Deception, Stealth, Survival Socorran
Sullust You hail from Sullust, a volcanic world that is the home of the Sullustan Species. You spent your formative years in the underground cities inhabited by the natives, and you might have worked for the SoroSuub Corporation. Climb, Mechanics, Stealth Sullustese
Taris You come from Taris, the home of the Swoop Bike, a once-beautiful planet that is now only a shadow of its former greatness. As a youth, you lived among the tall towers of the city-planet, listening to stories of your world's past as a prominent center of galactic importance. Deception, Mechanics, Stealth Sy Bisti
Tatooine You were raised on the harsh desert planet of Tatooine. You have always believed that if there is a bright center of the universe, then Tatooine is the planet farthest from it. Though you learned to eke out an existence on the dry world, you saw enough traders and spacers to dream of the wider galaxy. Endurance, Ride, Survival Jawa Trade Language
Trandosha You grew up on the dangerous world of Trandosha, the home of the Trandoshan Species. You learned to live among the violent and aggressive natives, and you were tough enough and strong enough not only to survive but also to prosper. Endurance, Persuasion, Survival Dosh

Creating New Planetary Backgrounds Edit

Gamemasters might want to create a Planetary Background for a world other than those given here. To do so, the Gamemaster should choose three Skills that are relevant to the planet's history, culture, or reputation. In addition, if the planet is home to a native Species, add the language of that Species to the Background as a Bonus Language. If the planet has no natives, the Gamemaster instead should choose a common trade language (Such as Bocce or Sy Bisti) or High Galactic. The latter language is especially appropriate for Core Worlds and planets that pride themselves on their prestige.

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