Get ready to dig into the trenches of Hoth or charge across the open plains of Geonosis, standing shoulder to shoulder with your fellow warriors. War has come to the galaxy. and the deeds of soldiers and generals will determine the fates of billions of lives. Remember your training, and don't stop fighting until the enemy is down.
Main Article: Introduction
Few things are more constant in the Star Wars saga than the ongoing conflict of war. Our first exposure to the Star Wars saga began with the war between The Rebel Alliance and The Galactic Empire, and the stories of heroes from a galaxy far, far away almost fall against the backdrop of armed conflict. From the ancient Great Hyperspace War to The Jedi Civil War, from the Clone Wars through The Sith-Imperial War, time has been marked in the galaxy not by its long-standing ears of peace, but by its tranquility-shattering periods of war. Nearly every great tale of heroism and villainy comes with galaxy-spanning conflict as a part of its story, and the same goes for the stories of heroes in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game.
Galaxy at War is dedicated to bringing the same kinds of epic conflict to your adventures and campaigns. Inside these articles you will find a virtual toolbox full of material that you can use to give your adventures a backdrop fitting for a setting focused on warfare. Galaxy at War is all about bringing a strong militaristic feeling to your adventures, whether your heroes are part of a military unit engaged in war or simply swept up as unwilling pawns in a galactic conflict. With Galaxy at War, you should be able to take a campaign set during any of the wars throughout the galaxy's history and create a campaign that makes your heroes feel like they are directly contributing to the outcome of that conflict.
Players using Galaxy at War will find inspiration not only for their heroes' origins, but also for their Destinies. Galaxy at War helps players get into a military mindset, so that they can bring their heroes (Soldiers and otherwise) to life. Players with characters of any class in a war-themed campaign should find plenty of things to use in Galaxy at War, including new ideas for character histories, weapons, and equipment. Moreover, these articles can be a great inspiration for an entire group of players looking to find ways to bring their heroes together and form bonds that will last through an entire campaign; nothing ensures loyalty like going into the fire together and coming out the other side alive.
Gamemasters will find not only sample adventures but also advice for creating and maintaining military adventures and campaigns. Galaxy at War can serve as a tool kit for putting together military adventures, from the pre-mission briefing all the way through the post-combat breakdown and mission analysis. Galaxy at War provides not only advice for running military-themed campaigns (Including the archetypal military campaign, in which the heroes play characters who are members of the Imperial military), but also provides small details and subtle touches, like military jargon and NPC personality qualities, that can help GMs transform adventures from standard mission-based games into exciting and in-depth war epics.
Main Article: Military Heroes
For over a thousand generations The Jedi Order has guarded the peace throughout the galaxy. Even so, key eras of the Star Wars saga are ravaged by war, offering Gamemasters opportunities for campaigns focusing on warfare and the military. The heroes of a military campaign fight in battles, but they also can be the characters around which the war turns. In many cases, the actions of such heroes not only decide battles but also determine the fate of entire systems and sectors. Billions of lives hang in the balance, and the heroes' actions can determine the final outcome of entire wars. The heroes of a military campaign are not simply combatants, they are agents of destiny.
The Soldier class is well suited for a military campaign. Galaxy at War introduces new options specifically geared for characters who take levels in the Soldier class, including those who only have a few levels of the class. Additionally, the Soldier class encompases a wide variety of archetypes within the military theme: Soldiers can be covert-ops warriors, military police, officers-in-training, mercenaries, Starfighter pilots, Gunners, martial arts masters, and much, much more. Galaxy at War helps players and Gamemasters use the Soldier class to greater potential, illuminating new paths for combat archetypes.
At the same time, Soldiers are not the only participants in warfare. Nobles recruit and command troops, Scoundrels raid supply lines and ambush unsuspecting troops; Scouts prepare entire armies for the battles they are about to face; and Jedi bring the power of The Force to combat. Heroes of these classes can find new Talents and Feats in this chapter, and elsewhere in Galaxy at War can find new material to hive heroes a distinctly military edge. Heroes of all classes are affected by the tides of war, and Galaxy at War presents several new options that reflect how involvement in galaxywide war changes those characters.
Much of the discussion in Galaxy at War uses the word "Military" to represent a general theme of a faction involved in a war. The term is not reserved only for organized factions such as The Galactic Republic or The Galactic Empire, but also covers any paramilitary or combat-oriented group. Highly organized and militant pirate groups, mercenary bands, support forces, and even individual adventuring parties all fall under this banner. Military heroes are not required to be signed up for the armed forces of a major government, although typically they are members of an organized force with a rank structure and protocols of behavior focusing on combat and warfare.
Main Article: Military Heroes
Life on the battlefield can be intense, terrifying, exhilarating, or short. It can even be all of these at once. Most galactic citizens take food, shelter, and safety for granted, but in combat- from simple skirmishes between rival forces to galaxy-shaking conflicts such as The Mandalorian Wars, the Clone Wars, or the Galactic Civil War- those features become luxuries. Those who learn to adapt to harsh and unforgiving conditions survive to fight another day.
Main Article: Hardware
Weapons and hardware make the soldier. For thousands of years, blasters are the dominant weapon technology used by soldiers, mercenaries, and warriors alike. However, a bewildering array of weapons and armor are used throughout the galaxy, from cutting edge to primitive. A soldier might face sophisticated fighters with Missile Launchers, Battle Armor, and the latest in blaster and ion technology, or primitive savages wearing little more than bone armor and wielding Bows and Spears.
Main Article: Advanced Cybernetics
Basic rules for cybernetic replacement parts and their implantation can be found in Cybernetic Devices. The following section details several new cybernetics options that can be included in any campaign.
A creature with a cybernetic part is susceptible to Ion damage as though it was a Droid. Additionally, the creature takes a cumulative -1 penalty to Use the Force checks for each Cybernetic Device or Advanced Cybernetic part.
Main Article: Battlefield Effects
Vehicles can be difficult challenges for heroes. Unless the characters pack serious firepower, most Vehicles can easily shrug off the damage caused by hand-held blasters. In addition, Weapon Systems are usually able to mow down an entire adventuring group in short order.
The rules provided here transform Vehicles from killing machines into more manageable terrain objects that can augment an encounter rather than derail it. These effects can be offensive or defensive and can be used by the Gamemaster either to help or to hinder the heroes.
Battlefield Effects are special auras that can be applied to any nonstarship Vehicle that meets the prerequisites. A Battlefield Effect lasts until the end of the Vehicle's next turn. A Vehicle can only have one Battlefield Effect at a time, and the effect is determined prior to an encounter. Giving a Battlefield Effect to a Vehicle requires no modifications to its weapons, armor, or other systems.
To use a Battlefield Effect, the Commander of the Vehicle takes a Standard Action and the Vehicle can make no attacks until the start of the Commander's next turn. This produces an area of effect as described in each Battlefield Effect's description. Characters or Vehicles must be completely within the area of effect to be affected by the Battlefield Effect.
Main Article: Gear Requisition
Training, equipping, and arming a soldier in a professional army costs tens of thousands of credits. Soldiers rarely carry their personal gear and weapons into battle and instead rely on their military units to outfit them with the gear necessary for battle. In addition to three square meals a day and a cot, one advantage to serving in a regular army or mercenary unit is access to Weapons, Equipment, and Vehicles that are beyond the reaches of civilians. A well-equipped and well-funded army or mercenary outfit is assumed to have gear, Vehicles, and Droids appropriate to their faction and era. In most cases, the average soldier has access to gear and equipment far beyond what would normally be available to a character by using the Money system.
Gear Requisition is a set of optional rules that replaces that standard system of Money. The Gear Requisition system gives players in a Galaxy at War campaign access to bigger and better weapons, armor, Vehicles, and even Starships that would exceed the limits of their personal wealth. However, the equipment that the heroes requisition does not belong to them and must be returned to the army or mercenary company's quartermaster at the end of the adventure. When the heroes are off duty or not otherwise working on behalf of their units, they must rely on their own weapons and gear to survive.
Requisitioned Gear is distinct from gear assigned for a specific mission. Requisitioned Gear can be used in any way that the hero sees fit, just like personal gear. Heroes who requisition gear for a mission might receive additional unique, mission-specific items or Vehicles that would otherwise exceed their requisition budget. However, gear assigned for a mission must be used in accordance with the mission's parameters. A soldier is both responsible and accountable for gear assigned as part of a mission, and reckless endangerment or destruction of this equipment could result in harsh discipline. For example, the heroes might be ordered to transport an experimental weapon to the battlefield, but the weapon is not theirs to deploy unless given direct permission. Also, Starships and Vehicles that ferry the heroes to and from locations and do not otherwise accompany the heroes after drop off are not considered part of a requisition budget.
If you utilize this system in your campaign, then the heroes should receive only one-half the usual rewards in credits that they would otherwise gain (See Gamemastering). Heroes in a military-themed campaign are fighting for the prestige and glory, not the credits, and if they choose to leave their military organization, they discover that life as a civilian comes without access to the best gear, weapons, and gadgets that soldiers enjoy.
Rank and Privilege
Main Article: Rank and Privilege
A hero who serves in an army, a planetary defense organization, or a mercenary group is given a rank here called a title. With a title comes authority to give orders, access to equipment and personnel, and increased pay. However, the greater a hero's title is, the greater are the accountability, responsibilities, and demands placed on him or her. The Star Wars Roleplaying Game is about action, however, not administrative paperwork or Boards of Inquiry, so heroes in the game are allowed more leeway than actual members of the military would ever hope for. A title is usually indicative of character level and experience, but a title can be based on social status and other noncombat-oriented factors. Heroes often receive orders from officers who are superior in rank but considerably lower in level-sometimes having only Nonheroic levels.
The Rank and Privilege system is based on and is compatible with the Organization system described in the Force Unleashed Campaign Guide, and it also stands on its own as an independent optional system. Gamemasters using both these systems should determine the scale, organization type, and positive and negative criteria for specific military organizations in their campaigns.
The Rank and Privilege system provided here gives a character's title and the corresponding additional in-game abilities and bonus for requisitioning equipment (See Gear Requisition). As a player advances in title, he or she also gains access to additional benefits. With title also comes authority, and as such, heroes add the appropriate Command Bonus score to any Persuasion checks when dealing with members of their military organization (See below).
Military organizations follow a strict chain of command, with clear regulations on rank, responsibility, and authority of each soldier in its command. Soldiers are expected to follow the orders without question, and officers expect that their orders are carried out quickly and efficiently by those under their command. Depending on the military organization, era, and even duty post, soldiers can advance rapidly through the ranks or can make themselves career foot soldiers or noncommissioned officers. The table below includes the most common ranks found in military groups throughout the galaxy. Depending on the branch, some of the titles might be different or might not exist at all. For simplicity's sake, the titles given apply to both ground and naval forces. Gamemasters are free to alter the titles as needed.
Main Article: Military Campaigns
Military Campaigns can portray the heroics of a high-flying Starfighter squadron or the trials and tribulations of a special-forces unit wallowing in the mud. The most important difference between a Military Campaign and a more conventional one is the mood and tone. Military Campaigns are structured. Even though the morality of the conflict might be unclear, the objectives are well defined.
Winning a war requires teamwork, planning, and the skills to get the job done. Discipline is also important, because it provides a structure for the military machine. Even the lowliest trooper is expected to follow orders. If the trooper refuses to do so, the ripples of the insubordination can be felt even in the highest echelons.
This chapter explains how to establish the necessary tone and mood of a Military Campaign and how to convey to the heroes that they are a part of a conflict that is much larger than any individual solder. In addition, you can learn about military characters and what makes them tick.
The Imperial Campaign
Main Article: The Imperial Campaign
During The Rebellion Era, the largest, most powerful, and most cohesive military force is controlled by the Empire. The increased militarization started by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during the Clone Wars is enhanced by fierce nationalism, xenophobia, and fears of destabilization. Constant warfare keeps the Imperial military in a heightened state of readiness for decades, and insurgent uprisings on a number of worlds sharpen the skills of Imperial officers and the troops that serve beneath them.
Thousands of military vessels crewed by millions of loyal Imperial troops cruise space in defense of the Empire. They possess the best weapons and equipment available, along with the tenacity and training to use them to the best effect. In addition, Emperor Palpatine- a charismatic and seemingly selfless leader- has made it his goal to see that their way of life is not tarnished by corruption, terrorism, or the threat of primitive and debauched non-Human societies.
How can they lose?
Battlefield Encounter Tool Kit
Main Article: Battlefield Encounter Tool Kit
The battlefields of the Star Wars universe are many and varied, so the tactics of enemies and allies should not be limited to routine assault or defense. Methods of warfare can be codified and civil or brutal and barbaric, but the aim is always the same- victory. When the price of victory becomes secondary to victory itself, all bets are off.
This Battlefield Encounter Tool Kit features various rules and options for spicing up the battlefields of your military campaigns. Some of the rules presented here might prove deadly to unprepared heroes. You are advised to use them with care.
Main Article: Mission Generator
You might have a clear idea of the types of missions you want to send the heroes on. However, the Mission Generator can help to formulate a basic concept from which you can extrapolate more concrete details for a specific mission. To use the generator, roll a d20 and consult the table below. Each Mission type is briefly described in their respective section, along with criteria to determine Mission success.
Main Article: Military Units
Many will claim that wars are fought by individual soldiers, and that a single person's contribution can turn the tides of battles and even of entire wars. That may be true, but typically wars area carried out not by individuals, but by factions. Within most conflicts, those factions are broken down into even smaller groups, often known as Military Units. This chapter details fifteen unique Military Units drawn from across the breadth of the Star Wars saga, from the ancient days of The Great Sith War all the way up through the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong invaders.
Some units are part of a larger military structure, but still retain a great deal of autonomy. Although organizations such as The Katarn Commandos and Wraith Squadron answer to their New Republic and Galactic Alliance superiors, they still choose their own missions, create their own plans, and execute those plans according to their own standards. Other units aren't part of militaries at all; for example, The Mistryl Shadow Guard is an organization unto itself, and though beholden to the Eleven Elders of the People it answers to no higher military authority other than its own leaders.
Heroes can choose to use these organizations as a part of their characters' histories or simply as models for creating their own, similar organizations. Having the heroes all choose a single unit as their organization makes it very easy for both the players and the Gamemaster to justify why heroes of such disparate skills and personalities might be working together. Serving as members of the same Military Unit is a great way for heroes to find common ground without having to resort to elaborate descriptions of how each hero knows each other hero and why they would all be working together. Moreover, having the heroes all be members of the same Military Unit makes it much easier to design adventures for those heroes, as they all have common (If not identical) goals and motivations.
By the same token, these Military Units can be used as allies and antagonists for heroes in any campaign, not just those with a military theme. Each Military Unit in this chapter contains information on its goals, methods, rank structure, and missions to give the Gamemaster a solid idea of how the organization functions and what its members could be like. When creating NPC allies and antagonists, using these Military Units is a great way to give an adventure a warfare-based twist without having to alter the structure of the entire adventure.
Bases and Battlestations
Main Article: Bases and Battlestations
No military campaign is complete without missions to infiltrate, sabotage, or destroy the opposing force's base of operations. Whether this means breaking into an Imperial prison colony to rescue a Rebel agent or piloting a Starfighter into the heart of The Death Star, military campaigns are full of adventures that involve heavily defended locales. This chapter covers everything the Gamemaster needs to create exciting adventuring sites- hereafter referred to generically as "Battlestations"- from basic concepts all the way through encounter design.
A Battlestation is more than just a Death Star or some other massive superweapon. In this chapter, the term "Battlestation" means a fortified and actively defended location where adventures will take place. A Battlestation can come in many forms, whether it is a Space Station, a ground installation, or a Capital Ship.
Of course, before the villains can wreak havoc with a Battlestation of the heroes can commandeer it for their own noble purposes, the place has to be built. This chapter not only covers the basic rules for assigning statistical values to the various aspects of a Battlestation, but also introduces factors that affect a station in the game. Moreover, it includes specific environment rules for creating encounters on Battlestations.
Main Article: Military Encounters
This chapter is intended for Gamemasters and contains several mini-adventures ideally suited for military-style encounters. If you're a player, you probably should skip over this chapter and wait for your GM to spring these adventures on you and the other players in your group.
Operation: First Breach
Main Article: Operation: First Breach
"Operation: First Breach" is a short campaign heavily focusing on planetary warfare. This campaign is set during the Clone Wars, but with some slight adaptation it can be altered to fit almost any era that features two powerful military forces at war with one another. In this campaign, the heroes take on the role of a strike force sent to soften the defenses of a world controlled by their enemies, a theme that fits in with almost any era.
This short campaign is designed to run with 3nd and 4th level characters. Although some of the challenges in this campaign may be a bit tougher than 3rd-level heroes normally have to face, resourceful characters should be able to handle themselves.
If you are a player, you should stop reading now so that you do not spoil any surprises for yourself. If you are the Gamemaster, be sure to read through this campaign thoroughly before running it.