It's all something we do, come across, and what typically drives Star Wars beyond the few brief moments of dialogue, exploration, and mojo-talk about the Force. I mean, heck, wars is in the name - So at one point or another you'll probably find your character in some sort of violent life or death situation. Especially with the state of things being in a dog-eat-dog world. So here is a little tip'n'tricks guide to how I do my events and structure certain baddies beyond boss battles in my events: For both new comers, and those whom merely enjoy dipping into the minds and thoughts of others.
Turns, Actions, Rounds - Initiative: How, What, and Why?
-Every event you've participated, or will in the future - Beyond those of which usePVP mechanics have probably lead you to being invited into an Ops Group, if not it's smaller four man cousin group. In which players can coordinate, see each other's rolls, and hash out any discrepancies that arise without needing to ruin the major flow of things. However, some tend to question why have turn orders? Why can it not be who is fastest typist? Why do some events drag the combat on-and-on-and-on? Why roll for initiative? So on and so forth. Let's start with the top.
Turn orders along with initiative allow for some semblance of order - While combat is typically not that, this is a RP situation, and nine times out of ten - You and others are just wanting to have some fun duking it out, if not slamming some NPCs - but rather than constantly cut each other off mid post, causing other's to retcon their actions mid post, and have the general fuss of who does what first - Initiative and Turn Orders eliminate this. This also allows slower typist to begin pre-writing their emotes/actions - while also making adjustments when it get's closer to their turn, and fast typist to slam up their one-offs, or paragraphs.
Now, on that note: Some tend to mistake that the event is going on nearly as long as it is in RL. Such as a player character doing things within the same amount of time it takes for their player to type. stahp et. Instead, try looking at each player character's turn taking anywhere up to 6-12 seconds. I mean, it makes sense, adrenaline is kicking in, nobody who is an "Elite Tactical Thinking Commando of the (insert faction here)" is going to be standing in the wide open for five minutes straight while they pew-pew their blaster. Same goes for many others. Instead, they'd be ducking, weaving, aiming, hip-firing, and doing whatever they can to put themselves out of harm's way. At least most sane individuals.
During the span of 6-12 seconds, your character can still accomplish a lot. Taking a page out of "Dungeons & Dragons" your character should be able to "Attack", "Move" (at least 30 ft.), "Speak", and perform a minor "Bonus Action" (reload, drink, eat, wave, etc that is mostly non-combative). Here is an example:
"While the Jedi charged the veteran Mandalorian Warrior; The T-faced crusader would duck to his left into a roll, putting another five feet between him and the Jedi (Bonus Action) while he called for his brothers-in-arms to alert them of the oncoming fight (Speak). Deciding that five feet would still not be enough to get him in a comfortable range out of the saber's reach, he'd pop to his feet and take off. (Move) All the while fanning his blaster at the pursuing Jedi. (attack)"
The player whom may have written that might've taken an actual minute to write that out, but in the heat of the moment - much like in cinematic and movies - That in itself would've only been: 6-12 seconds of screen time. If you wanna go the extra route such as with Rounds: Rounds should also be scaled to being a minute long - two minutes at most in the realm of In-Character. So rather than believe you and your lot have been stuck fighting the same two battle droids for ICly 30 minutes, in reality of the character's it has been just five or six minutes long.
TL;DR - Your turn is 6 seconds, do the things, stop treating events like they lasted for five hours to take out Bad Guy Joe, because your rolls are bad, or have slow typist. Also turns and initiative are there to low-key keep you from ripping out your hair due to chaotic tendencies of faster typist. I.E. retcons, bickering, etc.
HP, Damage, and Criticals
While many of us would love to believe our characters are unstoppable machines of death, destruction, and mayhem - That is not the case. Everyone, including Gen'Dai, Dark Lords of the Sith, Mandalorian Ultra Commandos, and Jedi Battlemasters have a point of exhaustion, if not expiration. However, HP doesn't *always* need to stand for the 'mortal health' of a character. You do not need to take the bolt to the face (unless someone is running a high mortality event, or has mechanics that say otherwise), instead you can have the bolt skim your character's face or helmet. Give them a scar, a dent, a minor burn/scrape, or just caused them to pull a muscle from how hard they just jerked themselves back into safety to avoid having a new hole in their skull. I mean, as it stands - MOST BLASTERS PEOPLE ARE PACKING WILL TEAR YOU APART IF YOU'RE WEARING ANYTHING LESS THAN PLASTOID MILITARY GRADE ARMOR.
So yeah, rather than have your cute nimble Padawn, Civilian-grade Freighter Captain armed with a Snubber, or Freeballing Space Amazonian take a bolt to the gut - You can just instead duck real good and suffer fatigue from the extreme movement you just had to exert in saving yourself.
Off the topic of taking and dealing with damage and treating your HP - Let's go onto numbers and crits. Now, if you're a DM of an event that is just 1-4 players? It's reasonable to say you can give them more than just single digit HP, you can even give them anywhere between 10-35 HP. Especially if you plan on throwing out attacks that deal more than just -1HP point of damage, how long you'd think the event should last, and if they have access to abilities or means to heal themselves. Typically, I don't like restoring HP of players in events unless they're max is 4-8 HP, and even then - It's dependent on the scenario.
Criticals on the other hand, can be a lot of fun for a DM. Failure or Success, it's generally going to bloom something tasty for your party to deal with. A good example as of late: Is rolling a nat 1 on trying to access Enemy Equipment during stealth operations. You can have multiple things happen. Such as: "The power for the entire building/station goes off. You incidentally connected the camera to every holoscreen in the base, alerting everyone within that there are intruders. The turrets you attempted to activate to turn against the enemy - activate, and begin locking on your friends." etc etc. Rolling a 1 can also count in middle of battle. Such as: "You dropped your blaster, trip, and are stunned for a round." or "The blaster began to overheat due to an interior fault in the middle of combat, and you take -1HP." (Due note: In events where the party is running with low number of HP, it might be sometime for the best to avoid negative effects that take away from their pool. However, stunning them is always a good alternative, if not giving them a negative modifier to their rolls for a round.)
In the opposing court: 20's can lead to players gaining heroic moments: From the Jedi Padawan cutting down the Sith Lord who belittled her and her friends in one singular fluid slice across the mid-section. To taking over a corporate overlord's personal magnaguards and having a few extra NPC friends in another wise difficult fight. Even possibly thwarting the corrupt Republic General's master plan to nuke a monastery due to being a Separatist enthusiast. While also often employed as a sign of double damage for combative rolls. So instead of doing 1, 4, or 8 damage - A player will find themselves doing 2, 8, or 16 damage. Which might be all they need in order to really turn something around.
Now - Criticals shouldn't just always be given strictly to players. NPCs, at least in my events have just as much opportunity as the player's do to really bring down the hammer and remind characters that they're not the bigger fish. - And sometimes, that crit is all your party needs to be reminded to play smart.
TL;DR - HP doesn't always mean your life force, think outside the box. Don't MachoMan the blasters - They actually hurt. Crits are crits. Treat them as such if you can. Consequences and Rewards should both be celebrated by the DM.
Types of Combatants
Many events have the common NPC baddie. You roll. They roll. If they win, you take a single point of damage. You win, they die. But - But~ What if that wasn't always the case? Welcome to that answer. Now rather than go through and give examples for each, I'm gonna slap down my list of baddies, their HP counter, skills, and attack damage. For that everything else can be gathered by what they are in their name and what they can do.
-Thug/Infantry (Base Enemy): HP: 1 || DMG: -1HP || Ability: Squad Tactics - If there is more than Four Thugs or Infantry fighting in a combat scenario: They may roll twice, and take the highest number as their established roll (ADVANTAGE).
-Heavy: HP: 5 || DMG: 1d4 -HP || Ability:Ability: Suppressive Fire + Grenade.
Suppressive Fire is a bonus action that a Heavy may take before or after their main attack to lock down player's. Players must roll against the Heavy's d20 - If they fail, they will need to make two rolls for future actions and take the lowest roll (DISADVANTAGE) until the Heavy's next Suppressive Fire, or the Heavy is taken out. Grenade is an optional one time use AoE action that can target up to 4 player characters or friendly NPC. Failure to defend against the grenade's d20 attack roll will lead to d6 DMG.
-Officer/Leader: HP: 3 || DMG: -2HP || Ability: Demoralize, Inspire, and Focus Fire.
Demoralize is an AoE attack that renders no damage upon success, but instead causes all those affected to roll with DISADVANTAGE until the Officer/Leader's next turn.
Inspire is a Bonus Action that the Officer/Leader can use to give themselves or another allied NPC or Player ADVANTAGE on their rolls till the Officer/Leader's next turn.
Focus Fire is a Bonus Action that the Officer/Leader can use to grant the next successful hit of themselves, or an allied NPC or Player to be an automatic critical hit.
-Elite: HP: 6 || DMG: 1d6 -HP || Ability: Multi-Attack, Stun, and Inspire.
Multi-Attack grants the Elite to attack two times instead of once with their main weapon.
Stun is an ability that is granted to an Elite anytime they: Deal Critical Damage, or perform MAX damage on their 1d6 roll.
Inspire is a Bonus Action that the Elite can use to give themselves or another allied NPC or Player ADVANTAGE on their rolls till the Elite's next turn.
-MagnaGuard Droid: HP: 8 || DMG: 1d6 -HP || Ability: Multi-Attack, CQC Expert, and Fearless.
Multi-Attack allows the MagnaGuard to attack two times instead of once with their main weapon.
CQC Expert grants the MagnaGuard ADVANTAGE on defense and offensive rolls so long as it is engaged with an enemy in melee combat.
Fearless: MagnaGuards cannot be intimidated or earn DISADVANTAGE to their rolls. Once the droid is engaged, it will not stop till it is destroyed, or called off by the one whom ordered it to engage.
-Medic: HP: 2 || DMG: -1HP || Ability: Heal, Bolster, and Squad Tactics.
Heal: The Medic rolls a 1d4 and the target of choice is healed by that number.
Bolster: The Medic can as a bonus action boost the defensive roll die of another NPC or Player by +2 till the Medic's next turn.
Squad Tactics - If there is more than Four friendly NPCs or Players fighting in a combat scenario: The Medic will earn ADVANTAGE to their rolls.
-Sniper: HP: 3 || DMG: 1d12 -HP || Ability: Aim, Headshot, and Hide.
Aim is an action that the Sniper can use over attacking. This allows the Sniper to begin lazing down their target and prepare for a more devastating hit on their next turn. (Only way to achieve Headshot.)
Headshot is an attack that the Sniper may use after using Aim. This attack is an automatic hit and does critical damage.
Hide is an ability that the Sniper uses in exchange of an attack in order to duck and find a new advantage point. Till their next turn, the Sniper is immune to all damage. This ability becomes a Bonus Action after using Headshot.
-Engineer: HP: 2 || DMG: -1HP || Ability: Combat Shielding, Repair, and Turret.
Combat Shielding is a Bonus Action that the Engineer can grant to themselves or another friendly NPC or Player in order to give them the ability to ignore a successful attack roll of an enemy DMG die.
Repair is the Droid version of Heal, which can only be performed to Droid based enemies. The Engineer makes a 1d4 die roll, and whatever the die rolls on is how much the Droid is repaired.
Turret: Once per engagement, the Engineer may forgo an attack and deploy up to 1d6 turrets. Turrets get their own initiative, HP, and DMG die.
Turret = HP: 1 || DMG: -1HP ||
More to come at a later date...