((The RP XP with MJ #11))
The Zabrak Padawan Force-pushed aside the door and entered the dank back room of the warehouse, his lightsaber beam illuminating the space with a soft blue glow.
A chair sat in the middle of the room, torn bonds around its legs and hanging off the back. The crates and boxes stacked around the room all stared out with the crescent-shaped Czerka logo. There were no signs of anyone else nearby, though Tarik didn’t think to reach out with the Force to take a closer look. Instead, he found himself attracted to small dark speckles on the floor near the chair.
He crouched and reached down, smearing a finger across the spots before raising it to his nose and sniffing. Blood.
Then something heavy landed hard on his back and flattened him against the warehouse floor. His lightsaber extinguished and clattered off between two large boxes.
As suddenly as the weight hit him, it was gone. Tarik heard shuffling footsteps and looked up in time to see an orange blur rush toward his lightsaber. He reached out and Force-pulled it into his hand before getting to his feet.
He recognized the woman’s voice immediately, but ignited the lightsaber to see her. “Yulel?”
“Who did you expect, Tar? Man, Kendris really has to work on your training. I can’t believe you didn’t sense me up there.” The Twi’lek nodded to a stack of crates next to the door, on top of which she had been waiting while the bombardment leveled half the quarter outside.
Tarik stretched out a hand toward the room controls and turned on the lights. Then he switched off his lightsaber. “You ok, ‘Lel?” he asked in a soft voice.
The Twi’lek pouted and tilted her head as she saw him in the light. “You’re hurt.” She stepped up to him and gently reached up to touch one of the scarred horns on his head. “Were you caught in the bombardment?”
Tarik swallowed and nodded, unable to speak as his heart thudded painfully to match each bruise and cut on the Twi’lek girl. He reached out slowly and touched her cheek, then managed, “I’m not so bad off, but… but you.”
“Meh,” Yulel smiled. “I pretended to be in pain through most of it. Narcos do wonders for pain blocking.” She turned away and moved to the crates on one side of the room, checking the numbers and manifests attached to each one.
The pain in the young Padawan’s voice was personal. “You’re not still on the Narcos, are you? You promised me you’d get off that poison.”
“Here it is!” Yulel ignored him and crouched before a footlocker-sized box on the floor. “One-one-three-eight.”
“Tarik.” She ignored him and produced a small folding tool from her belt. She tapped at the keypad on the box as she waved the tool in front of the box latch.
Tarik watched her for awhile before stepping closer and crouching next to her. Overcome with curiosity, he decided to let the conversation about Yulel’s drug addiction wait for another time. “What are you doing?”
“Picking a lock. What does it look like?”
“Because the stupid bounty hunter and ignorant Chiss who held me here were looking for this. It was under their nose the whole time.”
Tarik glanced back at the chair just two meters away. “Why didn’t you tell them so they’d stop torturing you?”
Yulel stopped and looked at him. “Because it was funny.” She offered a crooked smile before turning her attention back to the box. It opened with a click and a snap.
Tarik reared back a little surprised. “How’d you manage that?”
“I used to be a locksmith for Czerka before I got into spice running.”
“I used to” … “before.”
As you get into RolePlaying in The Old Republic, you’re bound to find yourself saying that in conversations in one cantina or another, as you roam the galaxy meeting other RPers and their exciting or mysterious characters. Do you have something interesting to fill in the blank? You’re an RPer. You don’t answer the question, “What did you do before the war?” with “I’m a level 15 Trooper.” A good character needs a complete history. Don’t worry about it being “good” or “exciting” just yet. Let’s just work on one of the main building blocks of character: what you “used to do” in the past. Once you can fill in the blank that covers what your character did before (insert class here), the rest will fall into place.
Take our little mischievous Twi’lek for example. Yulel just said that she was a locksmith for Czerka. Beyond that, we know she’s got a drug habit and she’s a smuggler, but the fact that she was employed as a locksmith takes her character into whole new dimensions. If she’s involved with drugs, there’s probably a criminal edge to her. Did she use her locksmithing abilities to break into places? Steal things? Did Czerka make her break into places? Maybe she was a corporate pawn before leaving the company. Ooh, what if Yulel picked some locks at a Czerka rival’s warehouse and decided to keep all the pharmaceuticals she found for herself, selling them on the black market or along the shadier trade routes. Maybe that’s how she came to be a smuggler. See how they connect?
By coming up with an occupation for Yulel, I’ve started to build a solid background for her.
The trick to keeping your RP fresh and your character interesting is to steer clear of the stereotypical trappings. I’m not saying it’s bad to have a Trooper character who used to be a Republic recruiting officer or even a security guard. Those career paths all make sense. But what if your Trooper was a tailor or a droid salesman before joining the Republic war effort? That would raise some eyebrows and get some conversation rolling, wouldn’t it?
I’ve assembled some possible occupations for non-Force using characters. I’m specifying the non-Forcers here only because lore and story suggestion lean toward Jedi and Sith starting their careers in their respective classes at a very young age. That’s not to say you couldn’t be the exception to the rule (Luke Skywalker was a Moisture Farmer before he was a Jedi), but lets concentrate on everyone else for now.
The stereotypical beginnings of a Smuggler might include freighter pilot or navigator, ground crew or some kind of engineer. A Trooper may have been a security officer or rehabilitated criminal. An Imperial Agent could have had their start as some kind of linguistics expert or a soldier. A Bounty Hunter could have been a technician of some kind or an engineer. These are all semi-obvious off-shoots of class and they’re all perfectly viable.
But let’s see what you can do with this. Give it some thought and let me know what you come up with. I’m curious to see what kinds of unique variations, combinations or off-shoots you find.
100+ Roads to your Professional Past
General Occupations for RolePlaying Characters
Broken into Categories and Sub-Categories
Activist: (Species) Rights, Anti-(Republic/Empire), Supporter (Military), Union Fighter
Agent: Travel, Entertainment, Real Estate
Agriculture/Agroscience: Botanist, Farmer, Rancher
Clothing: Designer, Tailor, Retail
Communications (Behind): Worker, Designer, Operator
Communications (Front): Reporter, Anchor, Actor
Computers: Designer, Programmer, Operator
Construction: Building, Street, Vehicle
Construction Specialist: Duracrete, Plasteel, Transparasteel / Roofing, Foundations, Pre-Fab
Culinary: Cook, Chef, Baker, Server
Domestic: Servant, Butler, Maid, Gardener, Driver
Droid: Designer, Repair, Programmer, Retail
Engineering: Structural, Electrical, Industrial
Factory (Union/Non-Union): Loader/Vehicle, Fabrication/Assembly, Supervisor/Foreman
Farmer (Extended types beyond agriculture): Water, Kolto, Synthetics, Gas
Financial: Billing, Collection, Economist
Freight: Shipping, Transportation
Historian: Librarian, Archaeologist, Recorder
Homemaker: Parent, Legal Guardian, Single Mom/Dad with Independent Wealth
Legal (Light): Assistant, Librarian, Paralegal/Lawyer
Legal (Heavy): Partner, Prosecutor, District Attorney, Alien Affairs
Manufacturing: Household, Fabrication, Specific Item
Medical (Light): Medic, Aide, Pharmaceutical
Medical (Heavy): Doctor, Nurse, Surgeon, Xenospecialist
Medical Service Specialist: Xenobiology, Psychology, Psychiatry, Sociology
Mining: Ore, Spice, Fuel
Mob / Illegal: Hit man, Muscle, Collector, Bodyguard.
Performance: Artist, Musician, Singer, Dancer
Professional (Non-Liberal Arts): Architect, Executive, Banker
Professional (Liberal Arts): Advertising, Design, Marketing
Public/Government (General): Security, Service, Political (see specifics in the list)
Public/Government (Specific): Senatorial Aide, Tax Collector, Lobbyist
Royal: Duke, Baron, Earl
Safety: Firefighter, Emergency Services Technician, Medical Transportation, Inspector
Science: Biologist, Chemist, Physicist, Astronomer, Oceanographer
Security (Surface): Guard, Bodyguard, Detective, Cop, Corporate Security
Security (Deep): Crime Scene Investigator, Cyber Crimes, Coroner/Forensics
Seedy: Prostitute, Mugger, Drug Dealer
Service: Refuse, Waste, Demolition
Shop: Retail, Stock, Management
Sporting: Hunter, Fisher, Game Warden
Teacher: General Education, Specialist, Professor
Technical: Inventor, Arms Dealer, Satellite Design/Operation
Unemployed: Vagrant, bum, beggar, grifter, con-artist
Vehicle (Land, Sea, Space): Operator, Maintenance, Retail
Vessel (Large, Sea or Space-faring): Purser, Navigator, Pilot, Communications
Writer: Technical, Program, Editor, Fiction
You can multiply the possibilities by combining different categories and subs. For example: Ore Mining and Guard (a security guard at an ore mining facility). Manufacturing and Waste (an employee who works on an assembly line constructing portable waste containers). Vechicle Operator and Safety Inspector (someone employed by the Republic (or Empire) whose job it is to test landspeeders for safety). Medical and Finance (someone who bills medical insurance companies on behalf of patients). Not exciting, I know, but as the expression goes, “The world needs ditch diggers too.”
COMPANIES AND COPORATIONS
As for companies and corporations you can attach your character to, the possibilities are as extensive as the races and planets in the Star Wars universe. I started to go through all the possibilities listed in Wookieepedia when I searched the word “corporate,” but there were over 3,500 of them. Most of the entries I scanned were actually legit Star Wars corporations. Take a look for yourself, but be sure to note the era in which the company operated. Many of the companies listed are from later generations or the Legacy Era of Star Wars.
You can start by checking out these companies. They’re just a few, but all have roots in the Old Republic era, though I’m sure there’s more in that 3k+ bunch over at the Wook.
Adascorp (Adasca BioMechanical Corporation of Arkania) – Bioengineering firm and a huge medical corporation.
Bumani Exchange Corporation – The Telosian Restoration Project on Citadel Station (from KOTOR II). Note that this was a front for the Exchange. Granted, that was 300 years ago TOR-time, but that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t still be using the front or attempting to re-start certain shady deals using the name.
Corellian Engineering Corporation – Maker of Corellian ships like the XS Freighter in TOR
Czerka Corporation – A HUGE galaxy-spanning business that also operates under the names Czerka Arms, Czerka Weapons and Czerka Mining and Industrial
Kuat Drive Yards – Maker of the D5 Mantis. Also known as the largest military shipbuilding company in the galaxy.
Nebula Line Corporation – Possibly related to a non-military starship line. (Mentioned in the novel Deceived)
Rendili Hyperworks / Rendili Vehicle Corporation – Maker of the BT-7 Thunderclap and the Defender. They had also sold blueprints and designs to the Corellian Engineerig Corporation
Vanjervalis Systems – Manufacturer of computer systems for the Republic.
Keep in mind that you can do a little canon-bending by going with logical extensions. For example, you can say your character (with a background in medicine or oceanography) once worked for the Manaan Kolto Transport Company. Manaan, of course, being everyone’s favorite water planet from KOTOR and Kolto being the restorative healing liquid found on Manaan. No such company ever existed (according to the games or books), but it does follow that since Kolto is found elsewhere in the galaxy, it would have to have been transported, right?
You can also create your own canon by coming up with your own name. You can say your character works for “MJ Manufacturing.” I just used my initials there to make up a company name. A Star Wars name generator can also throw you a bone or two. For instance: “The Mirnath Colonial Resource Company.” ‘Mirnath’ came from the Star Wars name generator that comes with the T.O.R. Codex iPhone app (which also, I might add as an aside, includes a news feed from us here at swtor-life). I threw the rest on to make it sound “authentic.” Since I made up the company, I can decide what they make or do as long is it comes off as authentic.
Almost any name you can think of, followed by one or more of the following extensions, will sound legit: Company, Corp., Inc., Manufacturing, Synthetics, Operations, Industrial, Conglomerate, Amalgamated, Union, Fabrications, Assembly, etc. Throw your own initials in front of one of these and, viola, instant Star Wars company.
If you think about your own occupation or the occupations of those around you, the companies you endorse, work for or buy from, you’ll find there are countless possibilities even in a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars may be a fantastic universe, but people will still need food, shelter, transportation and places to go to the bathroom.
There will be jobs attached to those, so get to work.
I can’t wait to start up a conversation with you at the local cantina. I’ll be the Kowakian Monkey-Lizard Trainer from the Szardas Investment Corporation.
5 Responses to “Occupations for Your RP”