The Hero's Journey
Crafting Guardian Stories with Keeping the Peace
“If all you do is fight for your own life, then your life is worth nothing.”
You’ve moved objects with your mind, and leapt several meters in a single bound. You’ve secretly influenced the minds of other sentients and healed their wounds. You can even peer into the future. Maybe you’ve used these powers to make money, pilot a ship, find out secret information, or even just stay alive. Yet there is far more you can do. You can save the lives of others, battle oppression, change a village or planet for the better—even affect the future of the entire galaxy.
Those who take up the Guardian Career in the Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™ roleplaying game use their powers to make positive changes and fight for the lives of others at the risk of their own. The upcoming supplement Keeping the Peace offers these heroic individuals new specializations, talents, gear, and vehicles, so that they can better protect anyone in need. You can learn about the Guardian specializations of Keeping the Peace in the announcement for it.
Yet there’s more to being a Guardian than the Force powers you possess and the lightsaber you wield. Today’s preview takes a look at some of the epic Guardian stories that you might experience and how Keeping the Peace can help players and GMs create those stories together.
One influence George Lucas has cited for the development of Luke Skywalker’s journey in Star Wars is Joseph Campbell’s concept of the mythical hero’s journey. That same conceptual framework can be used to shape a Guardian’s path within a campaign. Keeping the Peace explores how Luke’s journey compares to that of Campbell’s mythical hero and suggests ways in which Game Masters and players can incorporate mythic tropes into their roleplaying games.
You might give your Guardian character a problematic relationship with a powerful parental figure—that figure might wield great political power or simply have dominated your character’s life in a way they seek to break free from. A piece of your Guardian’s starting gear might tie them back to that parent or come from a mysterious past that you have yet to fully understand. A group including at least one Guardian can choose a holocron as their group resource: the Game Master can then use that holocron to issue a pressing, irresistible summons that will lead the Guardian character far from home.
A Road of Trials
One key part of the hero’s journey is the road of trials: a series of tests that both challenge the hero and aid his growth. Keeping the Peace suggests four different adventure arcs that might compose your hero’s road of trials. A Guardian could be challenged to slay a terrible, menacing monster such as a rancor, acklay, or giant, carnivorous krayt dragon. You might be resting at a village or colony only to discover that hostile raiders or Imperial troops are on the way, and that you’ll have to engage in a battle against impossible odds in order to ensure that as many innocent people as possible survive.
You may encounter a settlement facing a threat that your group cannot manage alone. They may have spent years oppressed by a tyrannical government or find themselves at the center of an interplanetary conflict that they never sought to be involved in. Your work then is to arm the people and lead them in the defense of their homes, as Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan do so often in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But commanding untrained townsfolk in battle is only part of the challenge. Persuading them to stand up for themselves in the first place may prove as tough as the actual combat.
Fighting for Others’ Lives
Within Keeping the Peace you’ll also find the outlines of two multi-episode campaigns for your group of Force users and suggestions on how to craft campaigns of your own with similar themes. One campaign focuses on the theme of protecting the weak. The PCs arrive on a planet in the corporate sector, only to find that most of the planet’s residents are bound in indentured servitude to the ruling corporation, doing hard labor in terrible conditions. Players’ Morality will likely compel them to find some way of changing these wretched and oppressive circumstances, whether by inciting an anti-corporate rebellion or by trying to influence the minds of the corporate leaders.
Rather than seek to change an unjust situation, Guardians may also strive to maintain order in the face of destructive chaos. That chaos may be caused by war, violent crime, or more natural causes like floods, earthquakes, and plagues. The second campaign outlined in Keeping the Peace pits your group against a lethal airborne infection that ravishes both the respiratory tract and nervous system of its victims. To stop the disease, you’ll have to find its origin and its cure. You’ll also have to heal the side effects of the disease upon society: vacant seats of power, broken supply lines, and ubiquitous paranoia.
A Call to Adventure
In every system of the Star Wars galaxy, from the Core to the Outer Rim, an epic, heroic journey awaits you. All you have to do is remain open to the call to adventure, which may be as subtle as a news briefing from a distant planet or as personal and clear as the discovery of a holocron.