Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The New Star Wars Campaign


Well I mentioned something about Star Wars a while back and that did turn into something though not quite what I was thinking at the time. Given our other schedule issues we've restructured things and so for our first non-Deadlands weekend I ended up running the Edge of the Empire Beginner Box ... which I had somehow never run before. 

My thinking was that I wanted to give FFG Star Wars another try but given its very different approach with the dice and all I wanted to try it out with my current group of players before committing to a longer run. So we did exactly that - a tryout! I had 5 players. Two of them used pre-gens from the box, two brought in PC's they had from a prior EotE run, and one had a character from some other campaign. 

It's very railroady as you might expect from a starter adventure and it introduces the major elements of the game system along the way which is what I wanted. I already know we like Star Wars - what I wanted to test out was the system. I haven't managed to run more than about 5 sessions of this one in a row so I really want to see if I can get a sustained campaign going.

I have to say that despite it being about 5 years since I last ran this game it came back very quickly and it felt even easier than before. Maybe I've read and played more games since then or something but I really felt like I grasped it right from the start. The adventure covers skill checks, personal combat, and even some space combat in the finale and all of them ran well which was very encouraging. I used no miniatures and no maps until the very end when I pulled some X-Wing minis off the shelf to show relative positions and add a little flair to things. Some TIE fighters vs. a YT-1300 is a pretty classic moment and afterwards comments were made that it felt very much like Star Wars.

So, test successful! 

Many options were discussed but it was decided afterwards to continue on with some of these same characters in an Edge-style campaign. No definite connections to the Rebellion and no definite force users at this time. We are setting it back before Ep IV in the Rise of the Empire era so that will keep things interesting. 

Definitely more to come.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Interesting Times


One of the side effects of the OGL Hubbub has been the explosion of "there are other games like D&D that are not D&D" discussions online. Forums, blogs, YouTube ... I've seen a bunch of them and even though it probably shouldn't it still kind of surprised me. I still assume to some degree that other people are at least somewhat aware that D&D is not a unique thing. We have 45+ years of other RPG's (you know, "it's like D&D but...) and they are easier to find than ever in electronic form, yet so many people seem unaware of them. How?

I get it ... we have a ton of people now who came into the hobby through 5th Edition D&D. It's the only game they've played and it's the one their friends play so it seems like its own thing. I wonder what that percentage is? Say, of all the people who will roll dice for a combat or skill check this month, how many of them would have their minds blown to find out there is a <gasp> Star Wars "like D&D" game? What about Lord of the Rings? Marvel and Marvel-like properties? Is it half? I'm not even saying "played" another game or bought a book or a PDF - I'm just talking about awareness. 

I always thought the big franchises would bring new players in at a significant rate - Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, you know the list. When the MCU started being referred to as "The MCU" I thought it had achieved a big enough status to bring new people in there but apparently not. Who knew the hottest ticket for bringing in new RPG players would be ... the oldest RPG ... again. 

Now that the boat has been rocked there seems to be a lot of interest in broadening the horizons of these neo-gamers. I'm still not sure if it's truly new players showing a real interest or grizzled veterans like me desperately hoping we can break some of them away from the Forgotten Realms and into some of the other awesome options out there. Hopefully at least some of the less-involved are discovering that these exist. 

What's the easiest "other" RPG to drag 5E-only gamers into? The easy answer is something very similar to D&D like Pathfinder or one of the OSR games but I think that's misleading because if it's more swords and spells you're going to get asked at some point "why don't we just play D&D"? My best candidate is Star Wars - pretty much everybody knows at least some of it and it can accommodate a wide variety of campaign styles. Maybe the FFG funky dice edition isn't your favorite but there is plenty of support for d6 still out there and it's pretty easy to grasp and there is still material for the d20 versions if you want to go class and level with it. 

I don't know that I have more conclusions than questions here. It's just been an interesting thing to watch. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Meme-ish Monday


My life the past few months ...