We began the night by me explaining the basic principles of the game mechanics and the character sheet. We then took about an hour or so creating characters. Without having to share the book, this time probably would have been greatly reduced. Our characters were:
A Bothan Doctor who was recently caught undermining Imperial authority on Coruscant. Running for his life, he fled to the Outer Rim in hopes to find work and put his medicinal skills to good use in opposition to the Empire.
A Twi-lek Scoundrel. His recent underhanded dealings with a notorious Hutt have left his sister and mother in slavery. He has ended up in the Outer Rim to find enough work to buy them out of slavery.
A Wookie Marauder was recently on the bad end of an Imperial Raid. All of his friends and family were murdered, he vowed to take revenge. He finds himself in the Outer Rim trying to recruit help to enact his revenge.
A Rodian Slicer who owes much to a grandmother who paid for his education. Amidst his education he realized he had an extraordinary gift for slicing. He has also came to the Outer Rim to put his skills to good use and earn enough money to send home to his family.
A modified IG-100 Magna Guard droid. This Droid was originally requisitioned by a separatist leader during the Clone Wars. In a surprise Clone attack, he and his squad were destroyed. Or so he thought. Many years later a group of Bounty Hunters found him and pieced him back together, he now has sworn allegiance and fealty to them.
The game started with us rolling Destiny Points. Each player rolled the Force Die and added the corresponding counters to the light side or dark side pool. The Destiny pool ended up even with 3 light and 3 dark side points.
I then rolled on the Obligation Chart, first roll 11. This brought up our Doctor's Obligation. I decided to use that as the starting point of the adventure.
The adventure began with all of the characters in a cantina on Nar Shaddaa called Knuckles. The players learned that if they are looking for work this is a place to come look. It was decided that 3 of the 5 characters knew each other, the Twi-lek, the Wookie, and the droid. The Rodian was sitting drinking while the other three were just chatting. The Doctor on the other hand was there to meet Fablam, a Duros who's "in the know" with local jobs and information.
Shortly after the Doc meets Fablam in through the door walks a group of rough looking patrons. The presumed leader pulls out a personal holo-projector which displays a blue-lined image of our friendly old Doctor. They immediately draw weapons and fire at our Doc (Critical Hit). This is how the mechanic of Double 1's of the Doc's Obligation came into play. Throughout the rest of the session he was constantly "looking over his shoulder" and worried about another attack. This led to the rest of group being distracted or bothered by his Obligation as well.
Fablam attempts to offer to pay off the attackers but they refuse. He then offers credits to anyone in the cantina to help his "friend". Being as poor as they are, the party then joins the fray.
After the battle Fablam discusses an opportunity for the group to make some extra cash. Travel to Tattooine pick up some cargo and take it to Sinesu, a local Hutt. Gives them the information and transponder codes for a YT-1300 Freighter docked nearby that they can use for the journey.
::SPOILER ALERT:: If you read below then you will learn of some events that happen in the Crates of Krayts adventure in the back of the Edge of the Empire Rulebook.
They arrive at the Vapor Station on Tattooine without incident. They walk down into the canyon to get their cargo and meet the battle scarred Jora. After a brief conversation, he tells them what their cargo is and materials needed to handle the cargo. The players do not ask too many questions and are about ready to carry the cargo up to the ship when shots ring through the air. They are being raided by Tusken Raider's. One shot hits the bag of sedatives and food and another shot hits the repulsor sled carrying the smaller crate.
The Wookie and the Rodian pick up the smaller crate and place it on the other crate. The Twi-lek picks up the sedatives, food scavenging as much as he can, and gets hit with another shot (Critical Hit). The Droid begins firing at the Tuskens, while the doctor begins firing.
Jora yells at them to get the crate out of here while he starts firing at the raiders. The Rodian and Wookie start driving that repulsor lift up the canyon to their ship. The Twilek attempts to close in on the raiders, gets hit with a Gaffi stick and goes unconscious (another Critical Hit). The doc attempts to heal the Twi'lek while the Droid lays covering fire.
Half way up the canyon the smaller crate gets hit by another shot, this time a loud alarm goes off and the digital panel on top of the crate shuts off. The Rodian climbs up and gets it running again. At this point, the Twi'lek, Doc, and Droid begin making a hasty retreat up the canyon while firing back on the Raider's.
Another round or two pass and the characters end up back on the ship. The Wookie hops in the pilot chair and takes off, but before he swoops around to get a couple of pot shots at the raiders. In doing this, he scrapes the ship against the canyon wall. We end the session there.
Character creation is simple and straight forward. The only thing that we thought was problematic was that the starting credits seemed low, which we're sure this is to increase the players Obligation.
The system is really easy to understand once you actually do it. Explaining it to my players made it sound harder to get than it really is, but it didn't take long for them to figure out the system once they began actually rolling the dice.
The initiative system was at first clunky and seemed to bog down the beginning of the combat. Once the order was established, the way it works is amazing. It's one more way that the players are interactive the entire time. Of course, I think that the initiative mechanic was probably more problematic due to me making it more complicated than it really is. Once I figured out a more efficient way to order it, it was pretty smooth.
We all loved the Combat mechanics. We thought that it was really immersive and interactive. All the players really enjoyed how they could help or hinder other characters in the conflict based on the results of their actions. All members were attentive to what was going on. I also think that some of this had to do with the initiative system. The one thing that I would recommend is that FFG give plenty of "Narrative" examples of how Advantage, Threat, Triumph, and Despair results can be applied to combat.
There were a few times where we were a bit confused as to what to do, when. A few examples include 1) when to use Streetwise or Underworld. 2) Is Melee Combat an Opposed Roll or a Static Difficulty? 3) Personal Weapons have an effective range, but how does the difficulty outside of that range affect the dice pool. 4) Why is there not a Gambling Skill? You can buy Sabacc Deck and Chance Cubes but there isn't a Gambling Skill.(we may have over looked which skill this falls under)
Overall we thought the story and the game was awesome! The adventure in the back of the book is great. As time passes some of the learning curve of a new system will lessen and the game will run more smoothly. Great Job FFG!