Discussion: “Home Base” in Roleplaying Games

On Sunday, the Order 66 Podcast published Episode 59 – Homestead is Where the Obligation is, in which the hosts (GMs Chris, Dave, and Phil) discussed the rules for PC-owned homesteads, businesses, and space stations within the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars systems. The boys talked about the rules, settings, situations, etc involved in owning, running, and living out of your own home base within the Star Wars system. I wanted to bring this topic before you, Fellow Gamers, and get your opinions on having a base of operations in your roleplaying game of choice. Do you like having a “home base”? Would you rather have a wandering campaign? What do you look for in a home for your party? How involved would you like the homestead to be (with NPCs, descriptions of the grounds or operations, etc)? What sorts of in-game situations could you imagine homesteads bringing to a session, and would you enjoy tackling them?

GMs: Do you like running homesteads?
PCs: Do you like owning homesteads or businesses?

I want to make this a conversation. I ask that you post your thoughts below and click the “email me with new posts” button. That way we can share ideas and communicate about this, because I really am curious.

Property of Lucas Film and Walt Disney Corporation
Property of Lucas Film and Walt Disney Corporation
Kyle Blomgren is the founder of Flat Top Gaming. He loves tabletop gaming, watching others play tabletop games, singing, and spending time with his wife and daughter.
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4 thoughts on “Discussion: “Home Base” in Roleplaying Games

  1. The SW:EotE (and others) setting lends itself to a wandering base with my players. Most of them love the spaceship side of the game and I get the feeling that they’re planning on some substantial upgrades to their mule (It’s a Wayfarer class hauler).

    The idea of a homestead can be a good one, but it can be a little limiting, especially with such a vast universe, with so many diverse cultures and habitats. I plan on taking players to all kinds of weird and wonderful places so, for me, the mobile home base is a better solution.

    Eons ago, I had players in a D&D campaign rescue a small village from a band of nasty beasties, and over time, they ended up buying the local ‘general store’, and would go “a looting, and a pillaging” the local areas and dungeons, and then selling the goods through their business. it worked well with that team, and the village became ‘alive’ as I spent the time developing the NPCs through the “3 adjectives” route that I use.

    During one dungeon run, one of them said, “We need to move this (dungeon crawl) along, Deirdre will be having her kid soon and I want to be there so I can be the Godfather!”

    It was an interesting moment for me as I’d never managed to create a situation where non-central factors/characters had a true, tangible effect on the players.

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    1. I agree. I feel like the point of an adventuring-type setting is to travel and adventure in far-off lands and explore all of the strange wonders that the universe has to offer. That being said, one of my PCs expressed the desire to have a base of operations to center their game around, so I may have to try and put that in soon.

      That’s really neat how your PC seemed to take to an NPC and really feel like they are part of the community rather than another voice for the DM to play. How long had that NPC been a part of the campaign by that point (in terms of number of sessions)? I imagine it was a process that took time to develop a relationship like that. Then again, isn’t that sort of the point of the RP- part of an RPG?

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      1. Players eh? Pffffft!

        Making NPCs real is vital, and can be difficult.

        They’d been playing for around a year. It wasn’t so much a campaign as just a series of adventures, but that particular NPC they’d rescued from a fire (PC’s stray fireball) in a barn. They were honest about what had happened, and after a ‘cold period’, she eventually came around and through her, their “rep” with the rest of the town grew. 27 NPCs. It almost became a TV show… “Did Deirdre and Thorl get together?” “Will Shorn’s farm ever recover from him losing all this season’s crops?” “Whatever happened to that beer deliver from Fornsty?”

        It was fun.

        I have a few plans in place for my own team in a similar vein but, in case they’re watching this thread, I won’t say what they are yet!

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