I find myself needing to plumb the depths of your knowlege and opinion on a matter I find kind of hard to research on my own.
Let me set the scene for you.
I'm a gamer who intends on using the new Star Wars Saga Edition to run a particular campaign I have wanted to see happen ever since AOTC - a campaign where the player characters are all Clones - Arc Troopers to be specific.
The idea is that the group has been sent off to some far flung world to help prosecute the War to its inevitable conclusion. They are sent without extensive support - basically them, their Laat/i and their pilots. While they are on assignment, Palpatine issues General Order 66, but for reasons I haven't entirely fleshed out yet the Player Characters don't receive that order. They are never directly 'told to turn'. By the time they come back from their mission (or on route) they come to realize things have changed - a lot - and the team's captain (an NPC - non-player character - to start, eventually I will hand team command over to a player) isn't comfortable with the changes. He resists and in doing so essentially casts his whole team adrift. I intend on making it possible for these ARCs to remove themselves from the GAR's military bureaucratic memory so that (at least in the beginning) it will look as though they went on a mission, never came back and are now dead (or something similar).
This of course will grant the Player Characters some obvious freedoms - and that is what the game will focus primarily on. This will be a game of questions. Questions such as:
- What would ARC troopers do with their freedom? Any clones for that matter?
- How many of the Player Characters would truly believe that they had done the right thing refusing Palpatine's Order?
- What would these guys' attitudes be towards Jedi?
- Would they join the Rebellion or the so-called 'Anti-Imperial Legion' I heard about?
- If they didn't decide to change the galaxy, what would they do with their time?
- How would they reconcile their bred purpose with the incredible complexity and nuance of the galaxy as a whole?
- How 'Mandalorian' would they become? How 'Mandalorian' would they remain?
- Would they try to 'fix' what had been altered in their genetic code - specifically the part that causes them to age faster?
All of these questions and more would hopefully be answered as the campaign progresses, and I am confident that the players I select will be top drawer and bring a great experience for me and for themselves into the game.
But as with any game, I as the Game Master must work out some particulars. I could (of course) always simply decide them for myself, but I would like to stay at least relatively close to canon - at least in areas that don't directly conflict with my vision of the campaign.
As such, I have a number of questions I am hoping you guys can help me wrassle with a bit. I will separate these questions into two categories, the first one I will call 'Universal Questions'. These will probe the canon itself, and it is where I need you the most my fellow worthies because they are questions I cannot seem to find answers to despite my not insignificant Wiki and Google-Fu. The second catgerory is much more specialized. These will be called 'Saga Questions', and are questions specifically about the new Star Wars Saga Rules, and specifically how I can adapt them to the campaign I want to run.
Okay, so, the Universal Questions:
1) Clone Iterations:
In AOTC, the Kaminoans tell Obi-Wan that a certain number of clones (20 000 I think?) are ready immediately, with more on the way. They also tell the jedi that if he wants more, it will take time to grow them:
- Does this mean that (at least the initial 'order') they are grown in successive batches rather than concurrent ones? ie: batch 1 is finished on day 1, batch 2 finished on day 14 or day 30, batch 3 finished in a similar period after that and so forth until the original 'order' is satisfied?
- Does anyone know if there ever was a subsequent order or orders put in? and if so, would these clones have ever served in the Clone Wars considering they seemed to take about 10 years to get ready?
- Would there have been more than one batch of ARC's created considering that Jango was no longer around to train them and Kal Skirata seemed to be more interested in the Commandos?
- I have read the suggestion in the Saxton books (incredible cross sections) that after the death of Jango Fett, Clones were made (or plans were made to make Clones) using the genetic material of existing Clones. Do you think that ever happened?
The reason I ask (I hope) will become clearer in my next set of questions:
2) Roles/Specialties within the GAR:
In AOTC there seems to be little specialization among the Clones. That is to say there doesn't seem to be (at least on the screen) Clone Medics or Clone Demolitions specialists or Clone Snipers and so forth. They seem to come in one of a small number of varieties - you seem to have pilots, ARCs and infantry. Only later on in the Clone Wars cartoons and Episode III do we start to see these specialists appear - indeed by Epsiode III the GAR seems to have been fragmented almost into all sorts of specialist troopers and even specialist sub-armies within the GAR itself:
- Would these specialists have come about as a result of the Kaminoans 'retrofiting' subsequent batches of clones to be better suited for certain military specialties and/or altering their flash training accordingly or is it simply a case of some troopers 'settling into' certain jobs? Obviously no line trooper is suddenly going to be a pilot, commando or ARC but what about something like a medic, recon operative or demolitions specialist? Is it a case simply of someone being thrust into a role and growing into it or dying?
- The armor is pretty standard in AOTC, but by Episode III the armors and gear come in a wide assortment of colors, styles and capabilities. Did the Kaminoans do all this? Did they supply the GAR with all the Clone Troops' subsequent needs or was it a case of each 'army' doing for itself and looking after itself?
- How are Clone Officers determined/created/chosen? In AOTC you see that the officer cadre is already selected, so I don't think it's a question of merit, or is it? If it isn't, how do you think the Kaminoans would have selected an officer cadre from candidates who are presumably identical? Who would promote officers in the field at high levels? The Jedi?
I think that's it for the Universal Questions. Now for the Saga Questions:
ARC troopers as Player Characters:
- How would you do this? Would you simply take the template in the back of the book, copy it out a bunch of times and hand it to your players?
- I am considering starting the Player Characters off as 6th level soldiers (selecting some of the feats for them as listed in the ARC NPC description) with identical attributes. I am doing this to allow the Player Characters to have as much choice in their future as possible and the more levels I give the characters, the less future choice the player has about their character (because the levels only go up to 20). Why? Because IMO the Clones are exactly that - clones. They emerge from the 'program' (including the one run by Jango Fett) with functionally identical capabilities. Everyone has Feat X, and Y and Z, why? Because they are Clones and trained identically. Would you do this differently? Please tell me how if so.
- What do you think of the dramatically compacted set of skills in the new Saga Edition?
- How do you think that will affect what I am trying to do with this campaign?
- Would you make any changes to the skill system as presented for this campaign?
- Would you make any changes to the ARC trooper template found in the back of the book?
- How would you reconcile the fact that ARCs, indeed all Clone troopers are well skilled individuals as part of their training with the fact that they may (at most) get two or three class skills and may not be able to have their skills truly reflect how competent they are in the game world?
Any advice for me in the face of this challenge?
I know this is a lot to digest and I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me out. Much obliged!