TusserkMember since: 2009
Okay, why not, here I am! You've given us a space to wax lyrical about our campaigns, so I may as well use it, especially since it's not just myself from our home game hanging around SWAG these days.
We're currently in the midst of our second campaign, and it's barrelling along just as merrily as our first!
I've gone through various elements of our first campaign in various submissions to the gallery, heh, though by no means put together a comprehensive picture of the tale. It featured an experimental squad put together by Lord Vader, featuring Tusserk, Lonar, Nimeq and Klopan, on first impression humble Stormtroopers but eventually revealed that we were all Force Sensitive (which Vader had been aware of since the beginning, hence the squad's formation), and picked up Toaster, the 'droid' in our second session. The campaign followed the trials and tribulations of our squad as we ended up defecting from the Empire, finding employment with House Organa, struggling with our powers and varied philosophies, about a dozen BETRAYALS by Toaster and/or his myriad incarnates, and finally, finally winding up back at the foot of Palpatine's throne, where he begged us to hear him out, and take part in yet another experiment- designed to protect the galaxy against a monumental threat he had glimpsed in the indeterminate future.
Palpatine was asking for volunteers, to enter a bizarre, terrifying device of his own design- a vast machine (I believe it was introduced to us as the 'Genesis Sphere', but we pretty much 100% of the time refer to it as the 'Death Bubble') that would essentially take willing beings, dissassemble them, and then essentially regenerate them at a time and manner of its choosing. Palpatine claimed we would be re-created as beings best designed to combat this 'mystery threat', whenever the galaxy 'needed us most', keeping our greatest skills and abilities intact. We had no guarantee it would work, we had no guarantee it wasn't just some convenient way Palps had designed to off us. Effectively, we had to 'trust the Force', which some of the squad did.
Tusserk refused. He retired to Alderaan, peacefully trained new Jedi with Toaster, and, well, we all know how Alderaan wound up.
Playing Tuss was pretty much everything I could have hoped for in a character; when it comes to making stories, I love being the 'subversive' element in a team, the one at odds with everyone else, with their own motivations, the one who stops the missions from being a straightforward 'kill the monsters and take the treasure' scenario. In previous games, because of the nature of most RPGs, this has seen me be the 'bad guy' element, which is most certainly fun, but in 'real life' I'm very very much the stereotypical 'pacifist' at heart; non-confrontational, peacemaking, greater-good, non-violent sort of person. So Tusserk was a character I could pour a lot of myself into, his decisions were 'my' decisions (assuming I was a magic lizard from outer space), his mistakes were 'my' mistakes, and yet I could still delight in working counter to the team, especially in the early part of the campaign where I was the Jedi 'plant' in a squad of Stormies. I had an absolute blast, and never imagined I could sink my teeth into and get to know and love another character the way I did for him.
Enter Campaign II.
We pick up some thirty odd years later. We've lost Toaster's player to married life overseas, but gained a couple of new players in his stead.
The Death Bubble is finally activated; but things have gone wrong. First of all, clearly not all of the volunteers have been reconstituted. Secondly, it becomes pretty clear early on that we're not the amazing, elite supersoldiers we imagined we'd be. We all have varying degrees of issues, and we're not even all on the same page about the threat we face. Tendaji, who remembers having previously been Cora, is too old. Equisha, who was Klopan once-upon-a-time is too young. Fix't has no memory of a previous life; he has a genius intellect coupled with the emotional development of an infant. Jak, who remembers being the adorably chipper Kit, is a set of raging Shistavanen instincts stuck in a pathetic human body. It's clear pretty early on that we're in the midst of the Yuuzhan Vong war, and some of us are instilled with a powerful urge to, well, end the Vong... enough of us to start guiding our bizarre little group in our initial activities after we crash on Dantooine.
So we've been following our adventures merrily along, picking up Ceelo and Evi on the way (though Ceelo is currently in indefinite intensive medical care as his player has been too busy to play of late), and learning more about ourselves, slowly developing as characters, dealing with the fact that we're unique individuals with old memories. And realising, a few in-character months in, as the Yuuzhan Vong war is ended without any huge input from us, that perhaps fighting the Vong isn't the reason we all exist after all. Perhaps it has more to do with these hideous monsters that seem to be able to tear holes in space and time and keep messing with our lives and threatening the existence of the Galaxy.
We're having a pretty darn good time with it thus far, and though it took me a while, I am most definitely as wholeheartedly in love with Jak as with Tusserk. She started out fairly two-dimensional and gratuitously crude and violent, but has come a loooooong way as a character, and definitely has plenty of narrative meat for me to sink my teeth into. It's also pretty outrageously fun being in stark contrast to my fully-in-tune-with-the-Force, highly philosophically minded Jedi, now playing a character that is bigoted against Force Sensitives almost to the point of crippling phobia.
This campaign definitely has a different 'feel' to it than the first, and I owe it a lot to just how closely we're following our characters' lives this time around. The first involved a lot of between-session space travel, new planets (sometimes SEVERAL new planets) almost every session, and basically a lot of 'dead time' where our characters effectively just 'sat around'. This time, we're pretty much well aware of what our characters are doing every minute. We spend several sessions on a single planet, and even time spent in hyperspace is largely played out. Because several sessions can span a matter of hours in game, how much we rest, how often we're healed and what sort of first aid we get really starts to matter. Unlike the ethereal 'resting/heal up' time we previously had the luxury of, now we're having to actually pause, gather ourselves together, and sometimes put the mission on hold (and be forced to put lives at greater risk) because we're just not in a state to go back out there. We know when we eat, when we sleep, we stop to re-fuel, we talk with one another at length and know exactly how we spend all of our downtime, how much time is devoted to various hobbies. Not to say that there wasn't a powerful narrative in our previous campaign, but this time around we've had stretches of sessions without a single encounter, and even the odd session with barely a dice roll. For those of us with a tendency to get awfully involved with our characters, it's pretty satisfying and adds a considerable amount of depth to everything we do!
WATCHING THIS INTENTLY...
One day I'll get to updating this thread with more actual narrative, but right now I'm feeling the overpowering desire to make note of the fact that last night, Evi managed to horriffically injure every single member of the team, including herself, and then some. And sever a space station. Thank frak we are armed to the teeth in expert surgeons, medics, and cloned body parts these days, or we would have been down and out for months after that Force-nonsense!
Also it's just occurred to me that Force lightning doesn't generally come with the sound of thunder. Or does it. Should it? Because great golly we'd all sure have some powerful burst eardrums right now too, if that were the case. XD