Scaling Campaigns

It is often natural for campaigns to scale upward as they go. Players will naturally collect more resources as the game goes on and as a GM it can become a concern as to how to keep the campaign interesting. While a group might find a fight with a group of Stormtroopers a challenge in early sessions, by the time you’re 8 sessions or more in and they might be able to mow down Stormtroopers like Princess Vespa after getting her hair shot. This can often bring up the question of how to keep things interesting and challenging for players as they become overpowered.


The first thing to keep in mind is that no matter how powerful your players become a bombing run from some Tie Bombers can wipe out the party in a single hit with a planetary damage of 70 and ignoring 80 soak there is no way for the party to survive a direct hit. So their presence can be used to instill fear in the party and make victory feel earned.


Another thing to consider is that if the players are interested a scaling campaign can work in everyone’s favor. Yes the players have enough money to buy any weapon or armor they want but do they have enough to buy a Star Destroyer? Depending on the focus of the party the challenge can change from personal survival to opening their own company, creating a mercenary army, taking control of a planet, helping found their own city, or any variety of large goals. This will shift a good amount of attention away from the players being in direct threat by combat but will still offer a lot of challenges. And these challenges can be new and refreshing to a group that’s gotten tired of mowing down legions of Stormtroopers or thugs.


However, if you reach a point where things are too financial and the players are becoming bored and wish for the good-old-days of fighting for their lives you can also consider scaling down. An easy way to do this is, for instance, having the Empire take notice of their planet/mercenary army and launching a surprise assault with overwhelming resources. They decimate everything the players have worked towards and they barely have enough time to grab one piece of equipment and run to an escape ship. After that their accounts are seized and they’ve lost everything. Now you have a campaign with players at high experience levels but almost no gear or credits to go with it. The same can be for a group of Entrepeneurs who have their company torn apart by a rival or a crime syndicate leaving them stranded with only their wits and some of their contacts.


Scaling a campaign can go either way in these games and the galaxy is a big place. So as a party gets more power you can decide whether to scale up or down. Whatever is more fun for the players. Theoretically a campaign can last forever. Another option even is that the players become too old to do much and so their children set out. You have a soft resetting of the campaign with a new generation of adventurers and all the time and work that was put into the previous characters are not wasted. They become mentors and important NPCs.  I hope this has been an interesting read and if you have comments or suggestions please leave them down below. And if you have your own advice on scaling a campaign I’d love to hear it. Have a great day and may the Force be with you.

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