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EotE: Opinions from Playtesters & Reviewers


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#1 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:30 AM

Hey folks,

A lot has been suggested and speculated with regards to Edge of the Empire, but right now I'm most interested to receive answers to the following questions from forum members who actually have the rulebook, and who have either read it thoroughly or - better yet - play-tested it.

My questions are:

1) How well does the game replicate the Star Wars universe in terms of feeling? Does it help you feel like you're in that galaxy far, far away, and if so, how well?

2) The rules: do they provide for fast, exciting action with minimal fuss, as advertised, or do they distract and hinder the game? Are they, in your opinions, a great means of bringing the Star Wars universe to life?

3) How limiting is character creation? Obviously there are only a few races/careers/specialisations available, but does it limit what you can create as a result, or is it easy to design the kind of character you want to play, using the rules as they are published?

4) In your opinion, how would the game translate onto a Play by Post medium? Given my profession, I'm hard-pressed to find the time to commit to a table-top game, but I've overcome this in the past by playing on forums or e-mail. Would this system be easy to use via these formats, or would I encounter problems (for example, I would have experienced some difficulty trying to run a Play-by-Post Star Wars SAGA game because of the need for miniatures and maps).

Thoughts?


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#2 cetiken

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:22 AM

 I have been devouring the book since gen con, but other than a demo at FFGs booth haven't got to play the system yet.  That said I'll attempt to answer your questions.

1. In the demo I played I definatly got a Han Solo vibe.  It's hard to say how much of that was playing a wookie and expressing my opinions by roaring at things and how much was GM flair or rules.

2. I'm a big fan of the narative dice system. So that gets a big thumbs up. I'm a bit hesitant about the initiative system and choosing who goes in which order. I have some players who suffer from classic analysis paralysis, so I'm concerned this could slowdown play.  I really like the idea of the destiny pool, but one of my players didn't like that dark side was always negative. That might be more in reference to your first question. I'll definatly be keeping an eye on how long it takes to decide who goes next in the sessions I run though. 

3. I've been able to do what I want with character creation easily with only one comment. Staring wealth of 500 credits is really low. Most characters are going to wind up increasing their obligation just to be basicly equipped.  If that's the intent it's fine, but I think starring at 750-800 would open up a lot of choices. I'd also like to see explorers and smugglers get Ranged (light) as a carrer skill - the galaxy is a dangerous place after all. 

4. The main difficulty with PBP that I see is the narative dice.  Some groups like to use built in forum randomizers to roll. Consulting the table in the book each time would get old soon.  I do most of my gaming ftf or on g+ so it's less of an issue. 



#3 awayputurwpn

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:05 AM

Shakespearian_Soldier said:

Hey folks,

A lot has been suggested and speculated with regards to Edge of the Empire, but right now I'm most interested to receive answers to the following questions from forum members who actually have the rulebook, and who have either read it thoroughly or - better yet - play-tested it.

My questions are:

1) How well does the game replicate the Star Wars universe in terms of feeling? Does it help you feel like you're in that galaxy far, far away, and if so, how well?

2) The rules: do they provide for fast, exciting action with minimal fuss, as advertised, or do they distract and hinder the game? Are they, in your opinions, a great means of bringing the Star Wars universe to life?

3) How limiting is character creation? Obviously there are only a few races/careers/specialisations available, but does it limit what you can create as a result, or is it easy to design the kind of character you want to play, using the rules as they are published?

4) In your opinion, how would the game translate onto a Play by Post medium? Given my profession, I'm hard-pressed to find the time to commit to a table-top game, but I've overcome this in the past by playing on forums or e-mail. Would this system be easy to use via these formats, or would I encounter problems (for example, I would have experienced some difficulty trying to run a Play-by-Post Star Wars SAGA game because of the need for miniatures and maps).

Thoughts?

1) having read most of the Rulebook through (unfortunately haven't played yet), but so far I have loved everything I've read in the rules. So many things in the rules lend to a very Star Wars-y feel.
 
2) I'm not too sure about this one yet, but hearing a couple live sessions being played, the rules seem to be pretty pretty fast-paced.
 
3) Having not made too many characters yet I can't really say for sure; however, they do seem to allow for you to build pretty much any kind of character you want. Several talents are shared between different specialities, and the method of spending experience to buy character traits is great.I will echo cetiken's comment about the Ranged (light) starting skill for Smugglers and Explorers: some of the starting skill lists for the specialities don't make a whole lot of sense.
 
4) Play by post seems like a great idea for this game. In my experience, one of the most difficult parts of GMing has been creatively interpreting dice rolls on the fly. With PbP, of course, this isn't an issue. 
But with the narrative dice, players can creatively interpret their own dice rolls, so that's be a cool feature in a PbP game. 
Built-in dice rollers are great, but 1) like you say it'd get cumbersome constantly referring to the tables (although I'm sure after a while you'd start memorizing what numbers matched up with what effects), and 2) when I play I just have my players roll dice at home and post the result. I trust them to be honest and they trust me to provide a fun game. So I don't see the dice as an issue at all.
And actually, some of us over on the d20radio forums are looking to get at least a game or two started, so if you wanted to you could head over that direction.

 

 



#4 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:33 PM

 Thanks for the feedback folks. Expecting my game tomorrow. :)


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#5 Damocles346

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:01 PM

 Ok, just finished our first game ten minutes ago, so you get to see the first after action report since I stumbled upon your post first. ;)

 

1. From what I saw? Very well. The flow of precisely defined terms and narrative elements gives it enough structure so that the players have a good understanding of what they can reasonably do, while still allowing for amazing descriptions and frantic events to unfold in a dramatic way. Example: The players were out salvaging an abandoned rebel outpost on Tatooine when they were ambushed by Sandpeople. The players all piled into their cargo speeder to escape while taking frantic popshots at their attackers. As they began to move away, a raider fired a shot. Mechanically he missed, but he earned a triumph symbol. The raider was shooting at a player, but I ruled that he missed the player, but hit the forward power coupling on the speeder, bring it to a halt. Our slicer/mechanic jumped out and, under fire from the raiders, repaired the coupling in under a minute while the party covered him, then he was yanked back inside as the PC's sped away. Star Wars? I say yes.

 

2. It was our first game, so everything was pretty slow as obviously none of the players had ever played it before. However, they picked up on the mechanics really fast, and I would say most of the slow down was with me, GMing a system that I had only had for two days. I would like to say that I think they are fast and efficient, but I can't say for sure yet.

 

3. There were some complaints. None one cared about not being Jedi (surprising), but there was a lot of, "I want to be this race," or, "none of these races are interesting." I think the races are very lacking, and if we weren't playtesting I would house rule in some of the fine races I have seen cropping up on the message board here. However, we ARE playtesting, so I forced the players to use what was provided for them. I think they are getting along fine, no issues with the class selection. One of my players mentioned how he liked the feel of just being a group of ordinary people trying to live a hard life, instead of heroes always saving the day.

 

4. I can't say very well, as I can't pay attention to PbP for more than like, the first post I make. Horrible I know, hate me if you must, however I would say that it would translate pretty well, since you have some clear markers ( advantage, disadvantage, triumph, and despair) that give you beautiful fodder for RPing out roll results.



#6 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:21 AM

Thanks for the feedback folks. :) Now that I have my rulebook to hand, I'll begin looking over it properly in preparation for my second Star Wars campaign, Dawn of Defiance II (an original storyline, not to be confused with the WotC supplement of the same name).


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#7 daddystabz

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:41 PM

 Would you be willing to share your Dawn of Defiance II storyline? I played through the original in Saga Edition.



#8 Slaunyeh

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:42 PM

Shakespearian_Soldier said:

Thanks for the feedback folks. :) Now that I have my rulebook to hand, I'll begin looking over it properly in preparation for my second Star Wars campaign, Dawn of Defiance II (an original storyline, not to be confused with the WotC supplement of the same name).

Now I'm curious how you would answer those four questions. :)



#9 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:57 PM

daddystabz said:

Would you be willing to share your Dawn of Defiance II storyline? I played through the original in Saga Edition.

Well, my current storyline isn't based on the Dawn of Defiance storyline published by WotC: it's a campaign under the same name, but played with a different system, different scenes, etc. It's altogether a different campaign.

I don't know whether I'm allowed to post links to an alternative site (if I'm not, then I apologise), but head on over to the board and give the posts a read, if you're interested in checking up on it. If you read it, and like it, then I'd be happy to elaborate on my storylines and plots (as I don't think any of my players currently haunt these forums…): http://www.roleplayi....cgi?&board=109


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#10 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:07 AM

Slaunyeh said:

Shakespearian_Soldier said:

 

Thanks for the feedback folks. :) Now that I have my rulebook to hand, I'll begin looking over it properly in preparation for my second Star Wars campaign, Dawn of Defiance II (an original storyline, not to be confused with the WotC supplement of the same name).

 

 

Now I'm curious how you would answer those four questions. :)

Then I shall offer my opinion. :)

1 and 2) I feel the game rules replicate the universe exceedingly well, possibly as well - if not more so - than WEG did. It's fast paced, fluid (once you get used to it), and helps players to push their imaginations to incorporate elements beyond a simple "I succeed, I fail" that comes with the usual "beat this target number" system. This helps to further encourage players who aren't used to having to add their own elements to the universe - it's a tool to develop the player, as well as adding fluff and detail to a scene.

Of course, I have yet to properly play through this system - I will be aiming to prior to using it in DoD II.

3) So far, character creation has proven to be far more expansive and open than I thought it would have been, based upon what I had read on these boards. The only thing I've read that made me raise a brow (ever so slightly!) was that it says that players should choose a ship - which implies that they worked together, or knew one another. But this is so easy to remove or modify - just take it out of the process.

There's nothing in the process so far that has me thinking "wow, this is limited".

4) I've not had the chance to play it online, but I intend on trying it out when I use it to power DoD II. From what I've read, however, it should be extremely easy to translate onto that roleplaying medium - in fact, it might even run better than table top, because it gives players and the GM a lot more time to process roll results, and translate it into exciting results/stories.


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#11 TonganJedi

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

 I think if I had to make one comment about the new system, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how "advanced" it feels in terms of gamemastering.  I get the feeling this system is not going to be as user-friendly to new GMs as other systems, such as 4th Ed. D&D.  There is a strong emphasis on the GM's ability to think on the fly and make ad-hoc decisions based on player actions.  This is not a new thing to veteran GMs, but to those who might be coming from more structured systems, where decisions about responses and consequences are built into the system itself, EotE relies much more heavily on the GM to interpret dice results and make them relevant to the situation.

As a veteran d20 GM, I relish the idea of stepping outside the rigid confines of the d20 system and challenging my creativity and improvisation skills.  And what better place to explore than the Star Wars universe?



#12 Gigerstreak

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

TonganJedi said:

 I think if I had to make one comment about the new system, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how "advanced" it feels in terms of gamemastering.  I get the feeling this system is not going to be as user-friendly to new GMs as other systems, such as 4th Ed. D&D.  There is a strong emphasis on the GM's ability to think on the fly and make ad-hoc decisions based on player actions.  This is not a new thing to veteran GMs, but to those who might be coming from more structured systems, where decisions about responses and consequences are built into the system itself, EotE relies much more heavily on the GM to interpret dice results and make them relevant to the situation.

As a veteran d20 GM, I relish the idea of stepping outside the rigid confines of the d20 system and challenging my creativity and improvisation skills.  And what better place to explore than the Star Wars universe?

Well said.  This is my favorite way of Game Mastering and I feel this system will inspire me, rather than hinder me. I missed the days where miniatures and grids were not a requirement.



#13 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:14 AM

Gigerstreak said:

TonganJedi said:

 

I missed the days where miniatures and grids were not a requirement.

A-frickin'-men! This is the only true reason why me and the SAGA system never got on - I found it near-impossible to run or play in via PbP without the aid of a map. Even trying to make it abstract (using distances in place of squares) didn't help, as a lot of the rules (line of sight, flanking, etc.) became absolete or wonky without precise movements and placement.


"Beg for your life. No, doing so won't save you - but it will make your death more amusing to watch."
- Vago the Hutt; Star Wars: Edge of the Empire


#14 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

TonganJedi said:

 I think if I had to make one comment about the new system, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how "advanced" it feels in terms of gamemastering.  I get the feeling this system is not going to be as user-friendly to new GMs as other systems, such as 4th Ed. D&D.  There is a strong emphasis on the GM's ability to think on the fly and make ad-hoc decisions based on player actions.  This is not a new thing to veteran GMs, but to those who might be coming from more structured systems, where decisions about responses and consequences are built into the system itself, EotE relies much more heavily on the GM to interpret dice results and make them relevant to the situation.

That's really interesting… from what I'm hearing, this system sounds much more 'user-friendly' than any d20 Star Wars I've seen, that's for sure. As a GM, I found those crunch-heavy systems so intimidating that I never had the desire to try and run them. Gimme a rules-light game where I can wing the drama any time! Of course I'm an old-school D6er, so that may explain a lot… 



#15 Ferretz

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

1. I think it does a very good job at creating the right kind of action and mood. I'm not used to the custom dice yet, but I'm eager to get into it more, and I'm optimistic that it will create the right kind of action and excitement.

However, when we're talking about how the game works in relation to the setting, I think a weak point is the adventure in the back of the book. Crate of Krayts… well, I thought the Krayt Dragon were this massive, extremely dangerous predator. It was also very rare. The larger ones would actually dig up and eat Sarlaccs once in a while (check out the excellent book "A Field Guide to Star Wars Wild Life"). Having a crate of Krayt eggs and a live Krayt sedated seems just wrong in relation to the Star Wars universe. If I'm going to run this adventure, I'll change switch the Krayt with a different creature. I know, I know, it ruins the whole title pun. :P

2. We haven't playtested it yet, but the rules feel different, but exciting and fast paced. I think we will need some time getting into it, but one session would get the players into it, I think.

3. I really like the character system. We do like the idea that even if some skill or talent is not within the characters chosen Career or speciality, it's still possible to train it. I think the character options work well within the setting provided (Outer Rim, scum and villainy etc)

4. Not sure how it would work with play-by-post. Some kind of dice apps would be needed, maybe? We're going to use the one found on Android and IPhones, but we're mostly used to play as a group.

 

Eirik

 



#16 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 03:04 PM

Just got done with a Skype demo session, which was a lot of fun with a fair degree of silliness as well.

As for OP's questions:

1) The game was very quick and fluid; it would have taken us two or three sessions in Saga Edition to accomplish what we did in one with EotE, but as for "the feel of Star Wars," that's a tough one.  Things do happen very quickly, and there is a lot more narrative control, though I'm sure our group will get better with action embellishments as we get more used to the system.  Beyond that, replicating the "galaxy far, far away" is pretty independent of system, having more to do with the sorts of adventures your GM is running and what backdrop elements he includes.  For our group, we started out in Mos Eisley, in Chalmun's Cantina (the one from A New Hope), with a quick combat before heading out into the Dune Sea to fight some Tusken Raiders, so it certainly had the feel of Star Wars to me.  With combat being much quicker and more open to creative interpretation (especially with Advantage and Threat), there's more chance for immersion and less having to worry about tactical aspects.

2) I think the rules do deliver on the fast, exciting action.  As noted above, combat were quick (granted, we were only fighting minions and a couple of us rolled really well on our attack rolls, generating enough Advantage to score crits and take them out instantly).  The only real delay was for those people without the sticker'd dice or the dice app converting their regular dice results to those on the chart to get their final result, with one player having to do her difficulty dice and skill dice separately due to not having a way to distinguish dice colors on the app she was using.  But towards the end of the session, they were getting much quicker about it, with the only big drag was trying to figure out what their Advantage points could be used for.

3) Character creation is hardly limiting at all, as you've typically got a lot of points to spread around on skills, raising characteristics, and buying talents.  I played a Human Smuggler Scoundrel/Thief/Force Exile that was almost a straight conversion from an old D6 character that I never got to play.  Character would have been grossly difficult to build under OCR/RCR, and far more powerful than intended under Saga Edition.  The other characters were a (busty) female Twi'lek Bounty Hunter/Gadgeteer, a Trandoshan Hired Gun/Marauder, and a Human Smuggler Pilot/Scoundrel.  Each of us had our specialties, and could contribute equally in most circumstances.  There wasn't much exposure to social combat (though I did manage to get us banned from Chalmun's Cantina due to rolling lots of Threat on a Charm check against an NPC whose bacon we'd just saved).  I would dare say that outside of D6 Star Wars, which barely had any restrictions on character creation at all, this has very few hard limits; if you can think of a character concept, you can build it.  Still, I would have liked the starting selection of races to have been a little broader (Duros and Zabraks being the two races I most miss), but you can do a lot with what there is.

4) Given that combat is abstract, I'd say it'd carry over to play-by-post quite well.  In fact, over at the D20 Radio Forums, there's actually an EotE PbP game that's in the formative stages, but you'd need to be a member of the forums in order to view it (it's in the members-only gaming boards).  So the only issue you'd really have would be the one common to most PbP games, that of interest fading due to lack of timely posts from everyone.


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