Star Wars RPG Story Framework: Opening Scene

I primarily put these tables together for my solitaire and cooperatively gamemastered roleplaying sessions but they are broadly useful for anyone trying to come up with a dramatic opening Star Wars scene. The inspiration for these tables comes primarily from thinking about the opening In Media Res” scenes most Star Wars books, comics, movies, and televisions shows use to thrust the character into action.

Because I mostly play in either West End Games Star Wars or another roleplaying game that uses only regular six-sided dice, each of the random tables is keyed to something that can use them (rather than other polyhedrals.)

Determine Era & Opening Scene

It is important to pick an Era because this will frame the context for all of the conflict in your game. I picked the Eras from Disney’s current canon alignment to make life easier when looking things up on Wookiepedia but YMMV.

The purpose of the opening scene prompts are to setup the starting environment your character(s) will find themselves dropped into. Think about the prompts and try to imagine what the environment is like. Is it in-hospitable? overcrowded? under attack?

To begin, pick or roll on the following table to the set stage for your Star Wars solo adventure:

D6 Era Opening Scene: Objective Opening Scene: Locale
1 The High Republic Find someone Barren
2 Fall of the Jedi Find someone Rural
3 Reign of the Empire Find something Rural
4 Age of Rebellion Find something Urban
5 The New Republic Thwart the enemy Space
6 Rise of the First Order Thwart the enemy Space

To determine the full objective of your opening scene, recall the Opening Scene: Objective result and roll again on this table:

D6 Find Someone Find Something Thwart the Enemy
1 Old friend Location Steal something
2 Family member Map Rescue a hostage
3 Ally Key Disable a device
4 Specialist Droid Destroy a weapon
5 Patron Vehicle Eliminate a leader
6 Leader Unique item Retrieve a powerful artifact

Now determine which sub-area of your starting locale your scene will begin in:

D6 Barren Rural Space Urban
1 Fields Mine Small starship Undercity
2 Mountains Wilderness Large starship Industrial
3 Caves Outpost Asteroid/Moon Entertainment
4 Wetlands Settlement Derelict Military facility
5 Oceans Estate Military facility City center
6 Ruins/Temple Starport Spaceport Starport

Roll on this loosely named Biomes” table to determine the dominant terrain” feature:

D6 Barren Rural Space Urban
1 Mountains Jungle Remote Desert
2 Wetlands Islands Asteroid field Underground
3 Ocean Ocean Nebula Domes
4 Desert Desert Planet adjacent Forest
5 Ice Plains Planet adjacent Garden
6 Volcano Forest Planet adjacent City planet

If you roll up planet adjacent” from the Space table you might pick or roll (d6) on one of 1-2) Barren, 3-4) Rural, or 5-6) Urban and then roll a d6 again to determine the exact nature of the nearby planet.

To complete our environment we will determine what our In Media Res” state is:

D3 Barren Rural Space Urban
1 In transit In transit In transit In transit
2 In chase In chase In chase In chase
3 In battle In battle In battle In battle

While in chase” or in battle” paint a clear picture of the state of things in transit” gives you a brief moment of the calm before the storm.” Your character(s) is in hyperspace or an arrival approach of some sort. Perhaps they are giving one last speech before they brazenly attack or stealthily breach their next location. Maybe there is a violent storm that is preventing the characters from reaching their first destination.

Dice Rolling Methods: In Order or Upfront

One method to consider besides procedurally rolling on each table in order is to just roll 6 dice upfront and assign them to the results for each table that you like the most.

The Big” Example:

To begin I decide to pick my Era, the Age of Rebellion”, and roll a d6 die twice on the Opening Scene tables. Rolling a 1 and a 3 I have an Objective of Find someone” and Rural”. Now to determine who we are looking for with a d6 and we roll a 2. So we are looking for a Family Member”. Next I roll another d6 scoring a 6 for a Starport” Location and a 5 on another d6 for the Plains” Biome. Rounding things out for the environment I’ll roll a d6 as a d3 (divide the result in half) and I get a (2/2 = 1) for In transit”.

Thinking about all of these elements together reveal a story seed for me: A family member is in trouble with the Empire. They live on or have made their way to a rural praire planet’s major starport and need help getting out. I’d probably make a quick d6 table on-the-fly to determine the nature of the family relationship - something like 1) sibling 2) parent 3) spouse 4) grandparent 5) cousin 6) child. The key to a lot of random RPG generation is quick on-the-fly table such as these.

Characters and NPCs

If you need more detailed inspiration for the someones” in your game then consider the following four tables:

Careers

# Career # Career
11 Agent/Spy/Saboteur 41 Instructor/Teacher
12 Analyst/Tactician 42 Interrogator/Marshall
13 Animal Master/Beast Rider/Big Game Hunter 43 Mercenary/Bounty Hunter/Hired Gun
14 Archeologist 44 Merchant/Trader/Shopowner
15 Colonist/Civilian 45 Noble/Aristocrat
16 Courier 46 Officer/Commander/Leader
21 Diplomat/Negotiator 51 Performer/Musician/Dancer
22 Doctor/Medic/Healer 52 Pilot/Spacer
23 Droid* 53 Pirate
24 Duster/Drifter/Vagabond 54 Primitive/Barbarian
25 Explorer/Scout/Ranger 55 Scavenger
26 Farmer/Peasant/Laborer 56 Scientist
31 Fighter/Gladiator/Enforcer 61 Scholar/Academic/Student
32 Engineer/Mechanic/Shipwright 62 Slave/Thrall/Prisoner
33 Force Sensitive/Dark Side Adept/Jedi* 63 Slicer/Hacker/Infobroker
34 Gambler 64 Smuggler/Criminal/Thief
35 Gunner 65 Soldier/Warrior/Trooper
36 Hermit/Outcast 66 Technician/Scientist

Droids*

Droids are varied in the Star Wars universal but for some quick information here’s a simple d6 table you could use: 1) Assassin 2) Astromech 3) Labor 4) Medical 5) Protocol 6) Security

Species

The are too many species in Star Wars to reliably place into a d66 or even d666 style table. Instead I’ve taken someone’s online analysis of species occurrence data in the various media properties and used those percentages to seed this table:

d66 Species d66 Species
11 Aqualish 41 Human Clone
12 Bith 42 Hutt
13 Bothan 43 Ithorian
14 Cereans 44 Jawa
15 Chadra Fan 45 Kaminoan
16 Ewok 46 Kel Dor
21 Devaronian 51 Mon Calamari
22 Droid 52 Muun
23 Duros 53 Neimodian
24 Gamorrean 54 Quarren
25 Genoshan 55 Rodian
26 Gungan 56 Sullustan
31 Human 61 Togruta
32 Human 62 Toydarian
33 Human 63 Trandoshan
34 Human 64 Twi’Lek
35 Human 65 Wookie
36 Human 66 Zabrak

Memorable Quotes

Perhaps you are looking for a snappy quote as inspiration for a character’s disposition or motivations:

d66 Quote
11 Rebellions are built on hope.“
12 If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.”
13 I can assure you they will never get me on one of those dreadful Star Ships.”
14 Same thing I always do: talk my way out of it.”
15 Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.”
16 You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought.”
21 Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”
22 Never tell me the odds!”
23 Someday I will be the most powerful Jedi ever.”
24 Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”
25 Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
26 I’ve been running scams on the streets since I was ten.“
31 I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
32 You’re coming with me. I’ll not leave you here, I’ve got to save you.”
33 Somebody has to save our skins.”
34 I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me.”
35 Your focus determines your reality.”
36 Judge me by my size, do you?”
41 In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”
42 The time to fight is now.”
43 He’s the brains, sweetheart!”
44 I am no Jedi.”
45 I’m gonna be a pilot. The best in the galaxy.”
46 No. I am your father.”
51 Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.”
52 When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.”
53 I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
54 It’s a trap!”
55 The Force will be with you. Always.”
56 We’ll take the next chance, and the next, until the chances are spent.”
61 I can fix this.”
62 I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people.”
63 I am here to put you back on schedule.”
64 Great shot kid, that was one in a million.”
65 I’ve outrun Imperial starships… she’s fast enough for you, old man.”
66 I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.”

West End Games Character Templates

Finally, I offer you this d666 table of the majority of character template names from the original Star Wars Roleplaying game from West End Games. While the game was classless” many of the character templates (think of them as a pre-gens that could be further customized to your liking) provided some colorful inspiration as to which direction to take a character:

D666 Template D666 Template D666 Template
111 Alien Student Of The Force 312 Hot-Shot Pilot 513 Quarren Deep Hunter
112 Alliance Agitator 313 House Guard 514 Quarren Miner
113 Alliance Liaison 314 House Guard Captain 515 Quarren Street Hustler
114 Alliance Observer 315 House Guard Officer 516 Quarren Swindler
115 Ambassador 316 House Knight 521 Questioning Jedi
116 Annoying Squib 321 House Retainer 522 Quixotic Jedi
121 Armchair Historian 322 House Troubleshooter 523 Rebel Conspirator
122 Arms Merchant 323 Imperial Academy Cadet 524 Rebel Recruit
123 Arrogant Imperial Noble 324 Imperial Adjutant 525 Rebel Saboteur
124 Arrogant Noble 325 Imperial Assassin-In-Training 526 Resistance Leader
125 Bacta Merchant 326 Imperial Bounty Hunter 531 Retired Imperial Captain
126 Bacta Pirate 331 Imperial Diplomat 532 Retired Republic Clone Trooper
131 Bacta Smuggler 332 Imperial Double Agent 533 Retired Republic Navy Officer
132 Barabel Shockboxer 333 Imperial Intelligence Agent 534 Revwien Tyia Adept
133 Battle Master 334 Imperial Morale Officer 535 Rodian Dramatist
134 Beast Master 335 Imperial Smuggler 536 Rodian Gunner
135 Big Game Hunter 336 Independent Bounty Hunter 541 Rodian Pacifist
136 Bimm Bard 341 Industrial Espionage Agent 542 Rookie New Republic Pilot
141 Bith Musician 342 Instructor 543 Saber Rake
142 Boarder 343 Interstellar Transient 544 Saboteur
143 Bodyguard 344 Iotran Bounty Hunter 545 Scavenger
144 Bounty Hunter 345 ISB Agent 546 Scholar
145 Brash Pilot 346 ISB Investigations Specialist 551 Scientist
146 Cautious First Mate 351 ISB Protocol Officer 552 Scout Droid
151 Classy Smuggler 352 Ithorian Storyteller 553 Security Specialist
152 Comm Slicker 353 Jaded Spice Runner 554 Senator
153 CompForce Assault Trooper 354 JAN Operative 555 Shadow
154 COMPNOR Military Liaison 355 Jawa Trader 556 Ship Captain
155 COMPNOR SAGroup Youth 356 Jedi Consular 561 Ship’s Gunner
156 Con Artist 361 Jedi Guardian 562 Shipwright
161 Corporate Scout 362 Jedi Master 563 Skip Tracer
162 Corporate Slicer 363 Kid 564 Slicer
163 Court Fop 364 Klatooinan Roustabout 565 Sludir Crate-Buster
164 Curious Explorer 365 Laconic Scout 566 Smuggler
165 Cyborged Pirate 366 Locator 611 Snivvian Artist
166 Cynical Free-Trader 411 Loyal Retainer 612 Space Rescue Corps Officer
211 Cynical Scout 412 Marshall 613 SpaceOps Trooper
212 Devaronian Grifter 413 Mechanic 614 SpecForce Driver/Pilot
213 Disgraced House Guardsman 414 Merc 615 SpecForce Heavy Weapons Specialist
214 Disguise Artist 415 Mercenary Trader 616 SpecForce Infiltrator
215 Doctor 416 Mining Guild Recruiter 621 SpecForce Pathfinder
216 Droid Specialist 421 Minor Jedi Knight 622 SpecForce Scanner/Communications Operators
221 Duro Merchant 422 Mon Calamari 623 SpecForce Technician/Engineer/Medic
222 Entrepreneur 423 Mon Calamari Courier 624 SpecForce Urban Combat Specialist
223 Ewok Shaman 424 Mon Calamari Crewman 625 SpecForce Wilderness Fighter
224 Ewok Template 425 Mon Calamari Mediator 626 Speeder Racer
225 Ewok Warrior 426 Mon Calamari Medic 631 Spoiled Debutante
226 Ex-Imperial Commando 431 Mon Calamari Pilot 632 Squadron Leader
231 Ex-Imperial Scout 432 Mon Calamari Professor 633 Squib Trader
232 Ex-Rocket Jumper 433 Mon Calamari Spacer 634 Sullustan Engineer
233 Failed Jedi 434 Mon Calamari Technician 635 Sullustan Trader
234 Flamboyant Entertainer 435 Mrlssti Roving Entertainer 636 Svivreni Mineralogist
235 Force Sensitive Emergent 436 Mrlssti Swindler 641 TIE Fighter Pilot
236 Force Sensitive Exile 441 Mrlssti Tutor 642 Tongue-Tied Engineer
241 Former Separatist Commander 442 Mystic 643 Tough Native
242 Freedom Warrior 443 New Republic Bureaucrat 644 Tramp Freighter Captain
243 Freeworlds Artist 444 New Republic Intelligence Operative 645 Twi’lek Co-Pilot
244 Freeworlds Trader 445 New Republic Security Force Agent 646 Unemployed Imperial Bureaucrat
245 Fringe Trader 446 NewsNet Reporter 651 Veteran Spacer
246 Gadgeteer 451 Nightsister 652 Wealthy Physician
251 Galactic Big Game Hunter 452 Noble-In-Exile 653 Weapons Instructor
252 Gambler 453 Old Senatorial 654 Weary Ship’s Tech
253 Ground Assault Vehicle Commander 454 Ordnance Procurer 655 Whiphid Collector
254 Guild Bounty Hunter 455 Outlaw 656 Wookiee
255 Gunrunner 456 Outlaw Tech 661 Wookiee Bounty Hunter
256 Gunslinger 461 Pack Tracker 662 Wookiee First Mate
261 Healer 462 Pirate 663 Wroonian Captain
262 Herglic Archaeologist 463 Privateer Captain 664 Xenoarchaeologist
263 Herglic Gambler 464 Professional Bodyguard 665 Young Jedi Padawan
264 High-Stakes Gambler 465 Professional Thief 666 Young Senatorial
265 Hired Demolitionist 466 Propagandist
266 Holovid Celebrity 511 Prospector
311 HoloVid Gossip Columnist 512 Protocol Droid

May the Force be with you friends of Star Wars roleplaying!

June 12, 2022 · Star Wars · random tables · GM tools · Observation Deck


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