From the ashes of the Republic rises the dread Galactic Empire. The Sith hold the fate of the galaxy in their iron grasp, and the Rebel Alliance is still years away from formation. In these dark times, is there any force that can challenge the tyranny of the Empire?
The Dark Times
Main Article: The Dark Times
The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide is a resource for players and Gamemasters looking to set their adventures between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the years leading up to A New Hope. Within this book's pages is everything a player needs to create a hero who will take center stage during these treacherous years. Gamemasters will find this book invaluable when planning campaigns for this time period. It includes descriptions of the major heroes and villains of the era as well as advice on designing campaigns, adventures, and encounters appropriate to the setting. This campaign guide provides you with everything you need to run or play in a Dark Times Campaign.
The Dark Times consist of the period beginning immediately after the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith and leading up to the foundation of The Rebel Alliance. This time frame encompasses the true rise of the Empire to full prominence and the descent of the galaxy into a less civilized age. These intervening years between movies are rife with opportunities to tackle adventures on totally new ground. This setting allows the players' characters to go on totally new adventures, experience worlds and events previously unseen in the Star Wars setting, and forge their own path to glory. A Gamemaster who runs a campaign in this era has nearly a blank slate for adventures to fill in, allowing him or her to explore a variety of options in storytelling without the need to worry about conflicting with continuity. Best of all, the heroes can make a difference in the galaxy without worrying about being overshadowed by the characters from the six Star Wars films.
The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide also ties in with the LucasArts video game of the same title, as well as the accompanying multimedia products that relate to the game. The Force Unleashed takes place during The Dark Times and follows the path of Darth Vader's first apprentice. Just as the game explores this rich setting, so too does the Force Unleashed Campaign Guide delve into the people, places, creatures, and technology of the game. However, where the protagonist of The Force Unleashed is Vader's apprentice, this book lets your heroes be Jedi, nobles, smugglers, bounty hunters, mercenaries, explorers, or any number of other character types of your choosing.
This book is far more than a mere description of the events of The Force Unleashed. Within these pages are the seeds of new adventures far beyond the scope of the video game, with heroes and villains hand-picked from throughout the Star Wars galaxy. Inside this book you will find new character options, new adventure scenarios, and a treatise on the far-reaching Galactic Empire that paints a vivid picture of just how deeply the galaxy has sunk into darkness.
Main Article: Species
The Species of The Dark Times are as varied as in any other Star Wars era. However, certain Species suffer greatly during this period. Some Species might flee Imperial oppression or the destruction of their homeworlds. The Empire considers members of certain Species to be escaped slaves, no matter where they dwell. Many must find refuge in remote and dangerous worlds, far from the Empire's reach. Travel for members of these Species is always risky, and they live their lives in fear.
Any Species available during The Rise of the Empire Era is suitable for a Dark Times Campaign. Some of the Species presented in this chapter are particularly useful for campaigns featuring Dark Times themes and abilities, but they are not restricted to those adventures. Other Species play pivotal roles in the development of the new Empire, although not often to their own advantage.
Main Article: Heroic Traits
Main Article: Prestige Classes
Main Article: Organizations
Though The Rebel Alliance has not yet been formed, and resistance cells are scattered throughout the galaxy with no central leadership, heroes still have the option of joining up with other like-minded people in pursuit of a common goal. In fact, during The Dark Times banding together is often the only way to survive. Heroes are likely to want to join, or found, their own rebellious groups (Which might lay the groundwork for the Alliance to form). Alternatively, they might seek refuge on the fringes of society, building up their own smuggling empire or joining forces with the Black Sun crime syndicate. Regardless of the type of Organization they choose to join or found, this article should give both players and Gamemasters the information they need to integrate these Organizations into a campaign.
In game terms, an Organization is a collection of criteria and benefits that measures a character's value to a particular Organization. Moreover, an Organization can provide numerous benefits to its members, benefits that increase in value and effect as a member ascends through the Organization's ranks. Each Organization has its own criteria for what makes a good member, and as such two heroes of the same level might have widely different ranks within the same Organization based on their deeds and abilities. Increasing one's rank in an Organization often requires a member to do extraordinary things, perhaps even things they wouldn't normally do, to prove their allegiance to the Organization or improve their stature. A character can be a member of only one Organization at any given time (They can have an Organization Score with only a single Organization); to gain another Organization Score, a character must abandon their current Organization and join a new one. Typically, a character cannot rejoin an Organization they have abandoned, though exceptions can be made under special circumstances.
Main Article: The Force
Equipment and Droids
Main Article: Equipment and Droids
The last years of the Republic saw an explosion in many fields of technology. The manipulations of The Sith brought war to every corner of the galaxy, and war often provides excellent opportunities to develop and test new machines, doctrine, and ideas. Although many ideas were not new, properly speaking, they gained new life during this era. (For Instance, Battle Droids had been used for thousands of years, but no one had done so on the scale of the CIS in centuries.) And, as with many waves of new ideas, some that seemed promising were eventually abandoned or replaced.
Vehicles and Starships
Main Article: Vehicles and Starships
The history of Vehicle technology and design takes a significant downward turn in the early years of the Empire. After years of new idea, designs, and concepts being produced rapid-fire to fight the Clone Wars, a period of much more modest technical advances settles in. The reason for this is partly a vast stock of ships left over from those wars, and mostly the Empire's desire to maintain strong control over the galaxy.
Vehicles are an important part of any military or paramilitary organization, especially one that hopes to oppose (In whatever small way) the Empire. With the New Order firmly in power and the Clone Wars ended. many sources of military vessels are shut down by Imperial decree, while others are placed under the Empire's control. The Empire's chosen suppliers are tree to continue to design, test and develop new ideas and models, but much of the competition that spurs innovation is shut down for many years, and will remain that way until The Rebel Alliance and its sympathizers begin working to produce Vehicles to end the Empire's rule.
New military craft are in short supply, sold legally only to those who have the Empire's blessing or in areas outside the New Order's growing control, any Vehicles are produced as ''Armed Civilian" models in the hope of slipping them past Imperial Inspectors without seeming too millant. Others become "Gray Market" items, available to those who know how to find them but technically illegal. And, of course, Vehicles originally manufactured and marketed with legitimately peaceful purposes are increasingly modified in private yards and fringe worlds, to serve more martial needs.
The Vehicles and Starships presented in this chapter are common in the years between the end of the Clone Wars and the Battle of Yavin, representing not so much the best conceivable but more the best available. Though not all are used for military purposes, most are pressed into fighting in enough cases to make mention of them worthwhile. They are in the hands of pirates, smugglers, planetary defense forces, large cartels or corporations, and small organizations readying to fight against the growing tyranny of the New Order.
Vehicles and Starships in use exclusively by the New Order are detailed in Chapter 10: The Empire.
Main Article: Campaign Guidelines
Main Article: Galactic Gazetteer
Main Article: The Empire
Affiliation Page: The Galactic Empire
Allies and Opponents
Main Article: Allies and Opponents
A Dark Times Campaign is about more than just the heroes fighting the Empire. While the heroes struggle to strike critical blows against the monolithic Empire, the rest of the galaxy continues on with its daily business. Throughout the course of a Dark Times Campaign, the heroes might have the chance to come across allies and enemies not directly related to the struggle against the Empire or the power of The Force. Moreover, the heroes might need to rely on these allies to keep themselves active in the galaxy. This chapter presents new allies and opponents for use during The Dark Times.