Using the Locations from Nexus of Power in Your Force and Destiny Campaign
"That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go."
The Nexus of Power rules supplement for Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™ is nearly here, and that means you'll soon have the opportunity to better explore a wide range of planets and locations with deep connections to the Force.
One of the inevitable truths of a Force and Destiny campaign, as with any roleplaying campaign, is that it needs to go somewhere. To be successful, your campaign needs to feature a compelling story arc, likely with a hook, some twists, some rising action as the stakes grow higher, and then a climax. But it doesn't just need to go somewhere figuratively, it needs actual locations.
Where Does Your Campaign Live?
Where should you go? Or if you're the Game Master, where should you send the player characters? Detailed settings matter. The more alive your campaign's setting feels, the more your characters are likely to be invested in the people, places, and things around them. It's one thing to hunt for rumors of a fallen Jedi Master in a nameless tavern; it's another thing entirely to meet with your contact, Sido, in his favorite watering hole where you know the ventilation barely beats back the sweltering heat. The lights are always flickering on and off, everything is tinged with the scent of sulfur from the nearby mines, and the local miners are a hardy, surly lot, prone to drinking hard and getting into brawls.
Additionally, by making sure that your settings are detailed, you highlight the differences between them, meaning that the tone of your campaign changes as your characters travel from place to place. Just as it led to the idea of a larger Star Wars galaxy in the original trilogy, the differences between the planets to which your characters travel can lead to a sweeping scope. Or by highlighting the powerful, but subtler differences between those locations that are strongly influenced by the dark side of the Force versus those that are simply a bit seedy, you ensure that even a campaign focused within a smaller region can enjoy a wealth of different tones and ambiance.
This is the first way in which Nexus of Power can enter your campaign; sixty of its 144 pages offer details about a variety of worlds and locations that are strong with the Force. As your Force-user characters look to strengthen their connection to the Force and learn more about the former Jedi order, it's natural that they'll find themselves drawn toward one or more of these locations. Perhaps they'll encounter the Imperial garrison stationed on Ilum, should they head to that planet in search of kyber crystals to power new lightsabers. Perhaps they'll accidentally end up on Weik, whose inhabitants seem to exist outside of time, where "priests" and "wizards" wield a certain "magic" that they draw from the planet itself. Or perhaps they'll brave the dangers of the Cron Drift asteroid field in search of the mythical planet Ossus, rumored to have once held the largest repository of Jedi knowledge anywhere in the galaxy.
No matter what your characters hope to accomplish in Force and Destiny, they'll need someplace to meet their goals, and Nexus of Power offers you a collection of a dozen of the best planetary options for a Force-themed campaign. You'll also find nine of the galaxy's strongest vergences described in even greater detail. In these places, the Force swirls like a whirlpool in a fast-flowing river, and those attuned to the Force may witness or accomplish great and terrible things. Will you seek visions of the future to guide you? Or will you succumb to the pull of the dark side? In a vergence like the dark side cave on Dagobah, your character is likely to be profoundly moved… in one direction or another.
Fitting the Setting into the Scene
Of course, a roleplaying adventure isn't all about its setting; the setting exists to enhance the adventure. To help you get the most from its location details, Nexus of Power introduces eight modular adventures that help you flesh our your settings and that can serve as part of an ongoing campaign or the basis for an all-new adventure. You'll find an emphasis on your characters' interactions with their environment, as well as the introduction of new adversaries that could serve larger, recurring roles within your campaign.
By design, these modular encounters are extremely flexible, and all of them open with a brief description indicating what it’s about and what’s supposed to happen. These "thumbnails" are intended to provide you with an understanding of the encounter that you can then use to modify to your group's needs. Each introductory section also gives you some idea how the encounter begins, and what kind of setup or circumstances are likely to work best to lead you into it.
The second part of any modular encounter describes the actual encounter, as well as tips that can help you more effectively bring it to life. However, given the flexible nature of a modular encounter, the tips are often useful toward interpreting any setting into a similar adventure, meaning that the eight modular adventures translate less into eight distinct encounters than they do into eight archetypes for location-based encounters.
Beyond Force and Destiny
Nexus of Power may have been aimed primarily at the Force and Destiny line, but it's easy to imagine good Game Masters making use of its materials in any Star Wars roleplaying campaign, even for Edge of the Empire™ or Age of Rebellion™. There's no telling where you might go in order to claim the treasure you need to pay back your debt to a Hutt. Your band of Rebels might embark upon a sabotage mission only for their Force sensitive emergent member to find herself inexplicably drawn to a strange location. There, her sudden and painful visions of the likely outcome of their mission convinces her that were she to perform her duty as a Rebel, she would be leading her friends into a trap.
When the setting of your campaign is rich enough, you can find new plot hooks hung upon the walls, tucked into abandoned med kits, and crystallized among the rocky outcrops of an alien planet. Get all the information you need to transform your generic locations into epic Star Wars settings with Nexus of Power. This sourcebook for Force and Destiny and the Star Wars roleplaying game is due to arrive at retailers next Thursday!