With 100 monkeys banging away on typewriters we feel confident.
From the Star Wars GM’s Holocron – NPC Development of Captain Adrian Verana
Written by Raul De La Garza III
Among the incredible resources given to the gamer community, the Star Wars Saga Edition role game gave us their adventure magnum opus, Dawn of Defiance (DoD). Within the 500+ pages the gamer community is introduced to countless NPCs to use as opportunities for role-playing excellence. These are briefly presented to the game master for use in his or her games and as such the implication made by the adventure writers was that we, the GM’s, would flesh out these personae for the maximum enjoyment of our players. One of these individuals I have put some thought and description to of late is the captain of the Resurgence, Adrian Verana.
In the first DoD adventure, The Traitor’s Gambit, we are given the following brief description:
Captain Verana of the starship Resurgence is a tall and slender man with jet-black hair and a finely trimmed beard that hugs his square jaw. He is dressed in the sterile uniform of an Alderaanian officer,…
Using the Central Casting supplement, Heroes for Tomorrow, I have expanded on his background somewhat as follows:
His, that is, Captain Adrian Verana’s space opera archetype is as a starship captain, naturally. His ship is his pride, the best ship in the galaxy – or at least it would be if House Organa would provide the necessary upgrades Verana believes is required to make it so. Perhaps the PCs are just the people Adrian Verana needs to get his ship ready for the coming conflict with the Empire?
The Family Verana Legacy
Some time in his personal history, a mysterious stranger bestowed a gift on the captain at his birth. The guardianship of a young ward. This is an NPC, an aerial alien companion from an advanced but barbaric society though having achieved an incredible level of technological advancement, i.e. the ability to de-materialize and re-materialize at great distances, due to their perceived notions of overpopulation they strictly enforce one child policies. These draconian policies have resulted in the euthanizing of millions of their world’s children. They are a secretive culture and protective of their technology. Those caught in acts of espionage or in violation of the many regulations imposed by the government on the home world typically suffer under harsh penalties up to and including death. From this environment does Verana’s companion comes. Through a generations spanning agreement with her family, the Veranas have willingly submitted themselves as caretakers for those deemed ‘undesirable’, ie. the weak and females, by the government under which the host aliens live. This is a secret arrangement and one that vows indefinite guardianship from even those Veranas yet to be born, hence Captain Adrian’s current ward promised to him since his birth but only recently realized. Due to the nature of the exchange, the real parents are never contacted directly but work through a third party, the stranger referred to earlier. In this manner, all parties to the contract retain anonymity and plausible deniability if the alien government ever becomes aware of the actions being taken to subvert its authority.
The alien ward herself is a down-to-earth type who enjoys simple pleasures like hot food, cold drinks, good company, tall tales, and fast action. She also loves a good knockdown fight. She figures that the best way to handle her current circumstances is to live in a manner that is in direct opposition to the ideals of her estranged society. A rebel by proxy, as it were.
A Secret Identity
Captain Verana, when not performing duties as a starship captain, privately holds a position on Alderaan as a school teacher for elementary-aged children in order to remain hidden from the ever present and watchful eye of the Empire. To those children, their parents and school staff he is known simply as Professor Lassano Corvin.
He Is The Very Model…
Captain Adrian Verana, despite his professional manner is an altruist at heart. He honestly desires to aid the player characters to the best of his ability and with what resources are given him. Like a good starship captain he exhibits confidence and capability. Never a negative word escapes his lips and he is always quick to provide an inspiring pep talk as needed. If Senator Bail Organa believes in the characters then so does Captain Verana. He is no free-style wandering heart, however. In order to provide him with a calm spirit, he remains a very organized, methodical persona with a great respect for procedure, order and etiquette.
What do you think dear reader of this detail? What Star Wars alien should be considered for the role? Recall that it should be one capable of flight, Toydarians excluded. I don’t like Toydarians. Ugh.
From the Star Wars GM’s Holocron – NPC Development of Admiral Gilder Varth
Admiral Gilder Varth
This presentation will be more technical in nature, more straight-out-of-the-notebook-style.
According to The Traitor’s Gambit adventure, Senator Bail Organa describes the former Imperial Admiral as follows: “Admiral Gilder Varth is a veteran of the Clone Wars and an honorable man. He commanded one of the ships at the Battle of Coruscant and was promoted for bravery. His loyalty to the Empire seemed unwavering, but once you’ve seen what he has seen . . .” Later in the module, his initial physical appearance is also given, “Admiral Varth is a slightly overweight man with close-cropped gray hair and a bushy mustache.” Finally, what is revealed is that he holds a dark secret, he is playing the part of a mole for the Empire in order to infiltrate House Organa and expose them as traitors to the emperor.
We are given his stat block in order to get more clues as to how to play the admiral:
Admiral Gilder Varth (as of Felucian rescue) CL 9
Medium Human nonheroic 4/noble 3/officer 5
Force 0; Dark Side 5
Init +5; Senses Perception +12
Languages Basic, High Galactic
Defenses Ref 20 (flat-footed 20), Fort 19, Will 24; Improved Defenses
hp 10 (max 51); Threshold 24; Improved Damage Threshold, Toughness
Speed 6 squares
Melee unarmed +10 (1d4+4)
Base Atk +10; Grp +10
Special Actions Born Leader, Coordinate, Trust
Abilities Str 10, Dex 9, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Special Qualities command cover, share talent (Assault Tactics, Shift
Talents Assault Tactics, Born Leader, Coordinate, Shift Defense I, Trust
Feats Armor Proficiency (light), Improved Damage Threshold, Improved
Defenses, Skill Focus (Persuasion), Skill Training (Deception, Pilot),
Toughness, Vehicular Combat, Weapon Proficiency (pistols, simple
Skills Deception +13, Knowledge (tactics) +12, Perception +12,
Persuasion +18, Pilot +10
Possessions tattered officer’s uniform
Noting that he is trained in Deception we might comfortably assume that the admiral is a good liar which would be an obvious trait given the nature of his role in the campaign. He is also a skilled leader of men given his officer and noble related talents. Love of order, procedure and obedience might also be assumed. Short-tempered and condescending to the player characters especially if proper respect is not given for his role and de facto rank. Will act annoyed by behavior not consistent with a proper military bearing.
Character Archetype and Feat Suggestions
NPC Archetype is that of a Hardened Warrior. He’s survived combat situations that few other men or women could. Some or even most of him may have been replaced by bionic parts. Due to an attempt to poison the admiral during the Clone Wars he lacks an organic digestive system. Instead, he no longer has a requirement to eat save once per month and this through a specialized liquid concoction that is easily broken down by the artificial system and transformed into energy. The process is also a highly reparative method which will extend his lifespan far beyond that of a typical human. He heals twice as fast, requires less sleep and can endure physical strain longer. Grant him the Regenerative Healing ability of the Trandoshan. Consider Shake It Off and Extra Second Wind.
Suggested Character Traits
The admiral possesses two Noteworthy Traits. The admiral is an adulterer and he has three Unusual Birth Circumstances. 1) The sky darkened when he was born (like an eclipse). 2) His mother died in childbirth from whom he has since received a large inheritance and lives very comfortably despite his low military income. Take another level in Noble and grant him the Wealth talent. His father re-married 4 years later angering Varth as a young adult and which has provided an additional excuse to justify his own infidelity to his current spouse. 3) Immediately following his own mother’s death, Gilder was given up for adoption to an Imperial officer and his family. In order to make sense of the above it is necessary that Varth used his Imperial connections to determine the many aspects of his own personal history. This he used to his great advantage in extracting through veiled threats the large inheritance from the mother’s family and most notably from his maternal grandfather from whom he felt owed. Adultery, betrayal, secrets, lies. Seems a fitting background for one who would be a traitor. Perfect.
What do you think, folks? Does the admiral appear to be a more intriguing character for a Star Wars game master to role play? What modifications or additions might you consider making?