Star Wars for One

July 27, 2016

gamblingLast weekend I set up another session of our Bounty Hunter campaign at our awesome FLGS the Wyverns Tale. Most weeks we have about 4-6 people show up, some weeks we have 12, some we have zero, but this week we had one, besides myself. Solitary FFG Star Wars is possible, but… if you’re just making up stories in your own head, maybe write a book? No, this week we had me and one PC. He was understandably nervous going on a solo bounty hunt, but really this seems like it would be a much more common scenario. One hunter means you get the whole bounty, rather than a share.

Given that it is difficult to predict how many PCs will show up in a given week, I built my encounters to be very flexible. Usually if a combat encounter involves minions, I’ll have 3 minions per PC making up the minion groups. One PC table = 3 minions (not the little one-eyed yellow kind, despite how much I would not mind taking a light repeating blaster to those). Rivals are usually a pretty decent challenge for most PCs, so I recommend adding them to encounters on a one to one basis with PCs for a moderately difficult encounter. A nemesis is going to be quite a challenge to solo for one PC. It is not impossible, but it will likely require a bit of luck and some very clever tactics on the part of the PC.

AggressiveNegotiationsBeyond combat, social encounters can be very challenging for a lone PC, unless they have a particularly well-rounded character. Often when playing in large groups, it is very helpful to specialize in just a few skills. You can be the party “face” with a lot of social skills, the muscle, the sniper, the mechanic/slicer, or maybe the driver/gunner. With a smaller party, and especially a party of one, you need a diversified character. Some career specializations lend themselves to this better than others. Dangerous Covenants, the sourcebook for hired guns has great examples off both a specialist, and a generalist. Take the Heavy: nearly all skills and talents are related to making you a walking tank. Good luck with anything outside wielding the heaviest weapons with devastating efficacy. Not very effective during negotiations, unless those negotiations turn aggressive. On the other side of the coin you have the Enforcer: adding Brawl, Coercion, Knowledge (Underworld) and Streetwise. This is the darker side of a “face” character, but when you add those skills to the already diverse base set for hired gun of Athletics, Brawl (again), Discipline, Melee, Piloting (Planetary), Ranged (Light), Resilience, and Vigilance, you get a street tough that knows how to drive, shoot, brawl, and intimidate information out of underworld contacts. Maybe not someone you would send in for delicate political negotiations, but pretty good in most Edge of the Empire situations.

This past week, as really every week of the Bounty Hunter campaign was fantastically entertaining. The player ended up using his most experienced and well-equipped PC, despite having a fairly narrow skill set as a Bounty Hunter Assassin. Sometimes *not* having the appropriate skill led to some hilarious situations. Negotiating with a Drall duchess, investigating a missing person, and attempting to wheedle information from the Drall Wing Guard were not this PC’s strengths, but that added to the adventure as he caused quite a stir around the capital city of Mastogophorus. Most of the combat encounters he breezed through, since that is his wheelhouse, and in the final battle he held his own, despite going against three rivals through some skilled tactics and favorable rolls.

Starting the session we were both a bit anxious as to how one PC would be able to succeed, but by the end we both agreed it was an excellent adventure and all the more memorable thanks to having just one PC! For those of you attempting your own one on one Star Wars game, I would recommend planning a lot more encounters and encounter areas than if you were planning for a larger group. My typical three major act format usually takes a full group about 3-4 hours. With one PC we were done in two.

  1. July 27, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    This is a great recap of your game. We needn’t see all of the encounters, as we presume they are smaller in scope for a party of one. I wonder if Edge of Empire greases the wheels of more combat encounters, though, as its starting species have no great Intellect. Does this subtle fact push us into more combat-oriented roles? For example, an assassin should survive combat, but may struggle with social interactions. Perhaps the social encounters go so poorly they they devolve into fighting. Outside of one known talent, few can turn a combat encounter into a social play. Is combat-focus necessary for easiest survival? Surely, any great GM could make an entire pro-social, no-combat campaign if the players want it, but at the end of the day, are combatants the best choice of play from Day One? Have you even built non-combat characters and expected them to survive for long? Sure, a wealthy Entrepreneur could BUY everything he lacks, but…

  2. July 28, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I usually build characters that can at least hold their own in a fight. Once you get more comfortable with the system you could design a social only character as a challenge, but seeing C3-P0 just running around, almost getting shot by storm troopers never really inspired me to say, “I want to be THAT guy!” It would be a challenge though.

  3. July 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

    True- but Edge of Empire seems to push more combat oriented characters, at least with their starting species– none of whom have high intellect. Do you find yourselves finding non-combat aspects to be more problematic?

  4. July 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Not really, but I don’t ever restrict myself or players to just the core Edge book. We’ve got Drall edge characters that start with 4 intellect. Often it is fun to play counter-archetype for a particular role.

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