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My first session…


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#1 GoblynByte

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:46 AM

I ran my first session of Edge of the Empire last night. In general, I had an absolute blast! My thanks go out to anyone on these boards who might have been at that table for helping it be such a grand success. Here are a few take away thoughts from the experience.

  • First off, teaching the game in general was very easy. The toughest part was teaching all the symbols on the dice (see below), but the other concepts were quickly understood, almost intuitively. I got lots of ooh's and aah's when I described the destiny point pool and the use of the Force die for fueling Force powers. The ability to spend Dark Side dots to fuel your powers is simply brilliant.
  • The die mechanic was slow at first. It took some folks at the table a few rounds to get the hang of the symbols and what they mean and this slowed down a process that is usually just "roll, add it up, and go." To be fair, those that were quicker with it had access to the book before the session and so had more context, but it was an issue at the beginning. I had to be a lot more hands on rather than requesting a die roll and simply getting back a result. By the end, though, everyone was tallying up their pools and tossing out their results like pros.
  • I enjoy the aspect of narrating threats and advantages (as well as despair and triumphs). It really tests my ability to think on my feet. The benefits of this mode struck home when, in one round, a character used an advantage rolled on a Perception to see an attack coming at another character and shouted "watch out!" giving that enemy a setback die on his attack. Very cool!
  • Combat was fun, frenetic, and exciting. The occurrence of threats made for a lot of really exciting (and funny) moments (we never rolled any despair). It was cooperative, very interactive, and very Star Wars-like. We even had a completely non-combat character in the group (didn't even have a gun) and he found plenty of ways to be useful in a fight scene. There was also a Rodian smuggler that was a dead-eye with a pistol. He was fun to watch in action.
  • The method for determining initiative order was very slick and its advantages were made quite clear. I found it easier than I thought to keep track of who went and who didn't (I was worried I'd skip someone if we didn't have an established order). I just listed all the PC's names and made a check mark next to them as they went. There were times when the players didn't volunteer to go so I just picked someone to keep the action rolling.
  • There seems to be no method for resisting the Influence Force power. I started another thread on that one.
  • Minions really are minions. They were cut down like grass, but they still posed enough of a threat to cause damage that they worked as good motivators. This is exactly as it should be.
  • There were some comments about the coverage of some skills and how they seem to overlap, but overall I didn't have too much trouble deciding which skill fell into the situation at hand. I might have been wrong a few times, but… eh. It worked out in the end. ;)

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there will be more as I process the events of the night and read over the book again. In short, I like the way this is progressing.

 



#2 GoblynByte

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 02:29 AM

Oh, additional commentary:

  • The range and movement mechanics worked quite smoothly and kept the action moving (no pun intended). I stumbled on it a few times but it had been a very long time since I had run with a more abstract approach, I just need to practice it again. There is a warm place in my heart for that more narrative style and I'm glad to be back in it again. I'm no longer limited by maps and miniatures. Just my imagination. Like old times.
  • Having said that, there were a number of players who said they would have preferred to have at least some use of miniatures. They expressed it was more an affectation than any commentary about how well the existing rules worked. At the end of the session we discussed how (in theory) miniatures could come into play. We talked about some of the scenes and how miniatures would have played a role. I would have nothing against using them. There were times when having a visual representation of relative range and position would have helped me track it all and doing so wouldn't detract at all from the narrative. And I have plenty of miniatures to use. So I'll keep the option open for later sessions.


#3 GoblynByte

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:32 AM

Another bit I remembered:

  • At one point I decided that the mooks the PCs were fighting were going down way too fast. I wanted to drop in a more difficult foe just to push the system a little more and raise the stakes in the scene. Looked in the book and -boom- there was a mid-level Bounty Hunter to use. I was able to quickly digest the stats and was ready to play him in less than 30 seconds. Being able to drop stuff in like this quickly is vital to successfully GMing on the fly, I think. Even had I needed to build the stats from scratch, I don't think it would have taken me more than 2 minutes to do (and I could probably just keep track of it in my head). This will make improvisation very easy.
  • Back in the WEG days, whenever I'd come up with an NPC, I'd write out his full stats on an index card. This was convenient for use in the adventure and for filing away for later use. As RPG characters became more stat-heavy in later iterations of Star Wars, this became more difficult. In prepping for last night's session I jotted down the stats for various NPCs on an index card. We're back to the state where I can do this and it is wonderful!!!





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