Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?


  • Pitcrew

    Star Wars, I think, has evolved considerably over the years - largely for the better. I played the WEG system back in the day; they had some of the most awesome books, to the point that they are pretty much responsible for the Expanded Universe existing (When Timothy Zahn was writing the first EU books, he asked Lucasfilm for some source material; and they sent him a box of WEG sourcebooks)
    The problem with that system, as far as Jedi are concerned, is that there was no real cost to be Force Sensitive; you decided if you were or not, and that was that. There was no point or stat cost; just three additional stats you could spend xp on after the fact.
    I've played through the various other iterations over the years as well; the original d20 swung too far in the other direction and made Force users too restrictive/too underpowered. Ultimately, I thought Saga was the best version of the game to get released - and it did a great job of making Force users powerful, but also making other classes just as powerful and interesting.
    As far as the world, it makes sense that Jedi were rare in the Empire era. They were being hunted, and given that one of the primary powers any force user had was sensing other force users they couldn't really hide effectively either. However, the EU introduced a number of other eras - The Old Republic, Legacy, etc - where force users were more common and more open; so in light of that and with the right rules set, there's really no excuse to restrict them.
    tl;dr, don't restrict or hamper force-users arbitrarily; use a system where playing other things is just as interesting and potentially powerful.



  • Chontio was really fun with a cool concept. RL got me and I wasn't happy with the character I had made so I kind of gave up on making the time. My faults on both ends. The game itself was very good.

    There were certain things that made it good where others have not been so good, but I don't think its unique to SW. Its just the way games are run. One thing is theme. There's a definite theme to the game and the setting reinforces it. It isn't just the sandbox everyone plays in, it is part of the theme in a way that people are unable to ignore. Most games don't spend enough time on the setting. They just pick a place and overlay their game onto it. PCs then ignore at their leisure and no one says anything about it.

    The second thing they did well was stress the rarity of force users - then let anyone play one. But rather than just leave the distinction there, the force was worked into the plot lines in ways that were obviously there, but I wasn't able to stick around long enough to get details on. There are only so many PCs on a game. Even if every player is a 'special', it would still be drowned out compared to the millions or billions of people in the game universe. And since the staff gets to come up with the theme there are numerous ways to work that into the setting and plot. And if for some reason you can't work that in, then no one gets to play one. Letting some but not others fill a force user role is a dangerous recipe for early game death, if only for reasons of public perception.

    There were a couple of other things that they did well, but the end result of most of it is summed up as: dedicated staff. You can't run a good game without dedicated staff and they did a very good job of focusing content into the game that people wanted to engage with rather than some places which just toss out fluff out of obligation to 'run something'. Its so annoying to feel like you're in a scene where it feels like the ST (player or staff) is just running the scene to fill some quota and really couldn't care less about the outcome or how it affects the story or the characters involved.

    I've been in many, many SW -combat scene #223948- where bad guys are thrown at PCs like cannon fodder and staff call themselves having created plot. That, actually, is both very annoying and very common to SW games.



  • Chontio still exists! Technically. Because I've not had the time to box it all up for safe keeping. So... you can feel free to browse the wiki! http://chontio.aresmush.com/

    When we made Chontio, I was aiming for a very original story set in the Star Wars universe. My hope was to pull far enough away from the extended Star Wars lore that casual fans could feel comfortable in the world, yet still have it be authentically Star Wars. I aimed right in between the Star Wars fanatic and the average MUer.

    I missed both groups.

    Were I to do it again, I'd not use FFG. As Faraday says, people want ships and guns and fiddly systems that I didn't have (and didn't want). People want that grit of a Star Wars game, which includes the books and books of lore and history. I didn't have this, and more than a few players left exactly because of this.

    On the other end, players were turned off by having to learn a new system that is, imo, horrible for a MU. No fault of Faraday, she did a great job implementing it. It's just not a MU-friendly system.

    Were I to redo this, I'd have used FS3 and tweaked it. As @Warma-Sheen said, we used very mild force powers, wherein it was rare but everyone could have access... no way you couldn't easily redo that (as Grey-Harbor has done with glimmer).

    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY... In order to run a MU, you need some really good staffers and some really dedicated players. Most of the people who offered to help me never did (shout out to @farfalla and @Brunocerous for did a LOT of helping!). Most of the players who were most excited left the fastest.

    Still love Star Wars. Still think it's a great setting for a MU world, which allows enough tech to feel modern, yet enough antiquity to capture some of that "wild west" old style world.



  • @bored said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    Are people (out of those here, I guess) very intrinsically interested in any of the particular (d6/d20/dFunnySymbols) systems?

    Yes. Literally 50% of the reason I bailed of Age of Alliances, and a full 90% why I never really got into Dawn of Defiance/Generations of Darkness, are system-based.

    I've talked a bit about how I think FFG's system is a terrible choice for MUing, but it's not like the prior ones are all that great either.

    I am in the opposite boat - I think it is an awesome choice. I absolutely LOATHE the all-or-nothing dice rolls of other systems. If whoever is STing says 'bad happens, even though dice good', the shit hits the fan, ooc.

    Advantages, disadvantages, triumphs, dispair... all of that gives a wider spread of fanciness that can happen in RP. It ESPECIALLY encourages cooperative storytelling, where you can suggest to spend X advantage on Y thing happening... rather than leaving it all on the ST to do for you, OR put them in a place to say 'no, Y does not happen, there are no rules for it'

    Edit to add: I'm not saying that having some sort of space trucker/flight simulation is REQUIRED or anything. But it's a moderately sized factor for me. I don't want simulated battle! Just... something to kill time between scenes. With maybe a trading system latched on. Plz. We needs it, precious.



  • @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    With maybe a trading system latched on. Plz. We needs it, precious.

    Some people never learn...



  • @Tinuviel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    With maybe a trading system latched on. Plz. We needs it, precious.

    Some people never learn...

    Some people do not learn, you're right. Despite what you, or any number of anti-space trucker simulator people want to admit, there is clearly a demand for it's existence - @Auspice and I being particularly vocal about it, for instance, but also what appears to be a steady activity level on a game that adamantly uses and enforces space trucker shenanigans.



  • @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    there is clearly a demand for it's existence

    That doesn't mean it's a good idea.



  • @Tinuviel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    there is clearly a demand for it's existence

    That doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    It doesn't mean it's a bad idea, either.



  • @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Tinuviel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    there is clearly a demand for it's existence

    That doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    It doesn't mean it's a bad idea, either.

    I would totally play a game like WNOHGB again and own the shit out of the econ system.


  • Pitcrew

    I love the people I met playing AoA, but it just felt like BaRP and meaningless combat events in a static world that we couldn't actually influence at all.



  • @Killer-Klown said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    The problem with that system, as far as Jedi are concerned, is that there was no real cost to be Force Sensitive; you decided if you were or not, and that was that. There was no point or stat cost

    There was, it was a huge cost, each force skill cost 1 attribute die in character generation. Many mushes house ruled this away, and it broke the games, especially with the 1nom=1cp formula that many went with. Many mushes also house rule away multi action penalties, which really gums up the system. If you chose to become force sensitive later on, it cost 20cp to get one die in a single skill, which is harsh, because 1die really really sucks and without an NPC teacher, raising force skills costs double what normal skills cost.

    I've run WEG on tabletop for a long time, and choosing to be force sensitive was hamstringing your character unless a particular campaign went very long or you went monty hall with character points, but even then, the mundane characters would be absolutely stellar by the time the jedi got up to speed.



  • @skew said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    Were I to do it again, I'd not use FFG. As Faraday says, people want ships and guns and fiddly systems that I didn't have (and didn't want). People want that grit of a Star Wars game, which includes the books and books of lore and history. I didn't have this, and more than a few players left exactly because of this.

    To be fair, you didn't actually use FFG. Well... you did. You used Genesys. Which was the equivalent to, say... advertising a SAGA edition game, but using the first edition d20 Star Wars rules, instead.

    On the other end, players were turned off by having to learn a new system that is, imo, horrible for a MU. No fault of Faraday, she did a great job implementing it. It's just not a MU-friendly system.

    How is it not a MU-friendly system? Asking legitimately (and will happily hop into a different thread for it, if need be).



  • @Jennkryst said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    To be fair, you didn't actually use FFG. Well... you did. You used Genesys. Which was the equivalent to, say... advertising a SAGA edition game, but using the first edition d20 Star Wars rules, instead.

    That's not really a fair comparison. The chargen and die roller mechanics of Genesys are 95% the same as the Star Wars Edge of Empire rules. For Genesys they just took their FFG Star Wars system and made it a little more generic.

    I disagree with the notion that it's not a MU-friendly system. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered implementing the MUSH code for it :) I think it does suffer from some of the same things Fate has in terms of requiring a bit more negotiation in player-to-player interactions about how certain perks / die roll impacts take effect. It may not be for everyone (no system is) but it's hardly a deal-breaker.



  • @faraday said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    I think it does suffer from some of the same things Fate has in terms of requiring a bit more negotiation in player-to-player interactions about how certain perks / die roll impacts take effect. It may not be for everyone (no system is) but it's hardly a deal-breaker.

    I think the distaste for the system may be similar or connected to the preference for familiarity, which includes the gear-heavy SAGA games of yore.



  • For my sake, Star Wars MU*s suffer from a few blights (Same as Star Trek for that matter).

    1. People want to impact the Universe, but people get upset when the Universe doesn't match a canon version. So... which one is it? Do you want to play out the movies or do you want to deviate and create a new world... and in doing such lose some of that familiar canon?

    2. It is a Setting, not a Theme. Star Wars is a Universe to be within and within that Universe there is a lot that can be done theme wise. The underdog Rebels, the police state Empire, the trader trying to make his way, the bounty Hunter looking to become famous... so many different themes in there and often they are at odds -- this is what leads to playerbase separation as well in a lot of cases. Some people love to play Rebels, some love to play Empire, and those two themes are not conducive together.

    3. Acquisition. People may say that gear/ships etc. don't matter and they don't to them. But to some people these 'items' are synonymous with the movies. The Lightsaber, the Millenium Falcon, the Custom DL-44 Blaster. Sure, not everyone is attracted by those, but some are attracted by those. This sense of acquisition leads to the next part of accompanying challenge is the 'how' of acquiring which leads to all sorts of issues (space, trade, econ, envy of what others have, etc etc.)

    4. System Issues arise as well since there is a bad trade off in a lot of cases between Force Users and the normal person. It becomes either a punitive on Force Users for being special or so advantageous that's all people want to be (assuming people are entering a winmore mentality). Along with that, Star Wars has a glut of special about characters by design. Jedi are 'specials' and thus people may hold them up as who they want to be or who they don't want in the game to keep the field even. Regardless the position taken, it creates a tension.

    In the end, Star Wars just has a lot of design tensions built into it that, I believe, make it difficult for the setting to sustain a long running game of interest. There are certainly games that have existed for a long time but as someone mentioned they are BarRP. The world cannot change because if it does, it creates tension. If FU are limited or free for all, it creates tension. If there's gear (or not) it creates tension. And this isn't the good type of plot tension, but the design tension.



  • I feel like the FFG system would be great for MU because the dice are designed to help create RP opportunities.

    Try not to think of the "pass, but with drawback" as "lol you pass but fail", but more as "You pass, but something happens in the scene that complicates the scene."

    The Pass w Difficulties or Fail with Benefits results apply to both the PCs and Villains, and could go both ways. That Sith could be just about to blow your ship away, but instead they could pass (do damage) but to get the shot they had to skim the deck with their TIE fighter and you'll get an extra round to get away, for example.

    If anything, I think MU could do well with dice systems that aid in RP decisions over hard dice systems that are black and white to target number pass/fail. Trinary systems are great.



  • @Ghost said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    If anything, I think MU could do well with dice systems that aid in RP decisions over hard dice systems that are black and white to target number pass/fail. Trinary systems are great.

    The thing is that, insofar as scenes without a storyteller may be concerned, FFG presents a problem. For example:

    "You pass, but something happens in the scene that complicates the scene."

    Well, what is that complication? It's not clear from the rules. A storyteller is in a position to tell players what that might be, but what about when it is player-and-player, as one often finds in social situations? I can see players hitting this result and feeling uncertain or uncomfortable in making the call when all participates are essentially at the same level.

    I like FFG a lot, but I can see what it would turn off a good number of us.



  • @Ganymede You're right. Thats where the FFG system falls apart in a MU format.

    1. Force points. The villains in the scene are ultimately controlled by the GM. When the GM spends a dark side point, it flips and becomes a light side point that the players can use, which flips to become a dark side point again. These are supposed to exist per number of players per session. A system would have to exist to enable this. Fairly.

    2. The "pass, but.." And "fail, but..." results require decision making, and are designed to benefit the dice roller or the target in a PvE type manner. There would need to be guidelines as to good behavior in selecting the results. One of the results is to either add good or bad dice to the next roll. So some dice system that remembers "good but" (hah. Good butt) results or at least has the workable options posted would be necessary.



  • @Ghost I agree those are complications that need to be addressed but most TTRPG systems have similar mechanics that need to be adapted to MU environments. I don’t think that constitutes falling apart.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Ghost said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    If anything, I think MU could do well with dice systems that aid in RP decisions over hard dice systems that are black and white to target number pass/fail. Trinary systems are great.

    The thing is that, insofar as scenes without a storyteller may be concerned, FFG presents a problem. For example:

    "You pass, but something happens in the scene that complicates the scene."

    Well, what is that complication? It's not clear from the rules. A storyteller is in a position to tell players what that might be, but what about when it is player-and-player, as one often finds in social situations? I can see players hitting this result and feeling uncertain or uncomfortable in making the call when all participates are essentially at the same level.

    I like FFG a lot, but I can see what it would turn off a good number of us.

    I played FFG Star Wars in a TT setting, where the GM often had us determine our own drawbacks and benefits and it was a problem then. At one point or another everyone in the group was flailing around trying to determine what was appropriate. In a MU, this could have easily turned into an hours long discussion, since you wouldn't necessarily have a GM right there, pushing us to move on.


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