I ran my first session on Tuesday, so thought I would post feedback from that here for developers (and anyone else interested).
WARNING - spoilers for Crate of Krayts (the adventure in the book) follow:
The session started with character creation. We only had the one book, but with my Reference sheets that didn't really matter as everyone had a copy of the bits they needed. Still, it took us a good 1 1/2 hours to create 5 characters, mostly in debating choices around species, career, specialisation, spending XP and buying gear. We ended up with a male Human Hired Gun (Marauder I think, with Gadgeteer specialisation from Bounty Hunter), male Human Hired Gun (not sure what career specialisation he took, but he also had Force Sensitive Exile), female Human Bounty Hunter (Assassin, also with Doctor specialisation), male Rodian Scoundrel (Pilot specialisation) and male Twi'lek Technician (Mechanic specialisation).
Generally speaking character creation went really well, and everyone was able to make up very different characters (even from the same career). There were a lot of tough choices made, both in terms of spending XP and also in terms of whether or not to increase obligation (One player increased obligation by 15 for both increased XP and gear, three players increased by 5 for either XP or gear and the last was determined to not increase it unless he really needed to, and managed not to - but it was a tough call for him, so I think the balance there is about right). The Force sensitive exile had the tough choice between buying Force powers or spending XP elsewhere, and eventually opted to skip the Force powers for now. The obligation and motivation mechanics worked well to give the characters a good backstory and tie them to the adventure. After a bit of discussion the group decided to go for the middle of the road YT-1300 as their starting ship. All-in-all, it went well and I think the players really got into the customisation options around specialisations, skills, talents and gear (and upgrading gear).
We then played through the start (first encounter) of the adventure from the book (Crates of Krayts). Again things went fairly well, with the less combat capable characters (pilot and mechanic) tending to the crates and moving them up to the ship, with the more combat capable ones fighting the raiders. Although a couple of issues did come up:
1) Auto-fire was crazy good against minions. I guess this is kind of the intended effect, but we had the situation where the player scored enough advantage to either activate a Critical Hit or buy extra hits with his heavy blaster rifle. With the way crits work against minions, the crit (costing 3 advantage) would have inflicted another 5 wounds (the amount of the minion's wounds), or the three advantage spent on autofire would have scored an extra 30 odd damage, which isn't really even comparable! Not entirely sure what the best fix for this is. Autofire as a two advantage activation might be too expensive, but it seems too cheap as a one advantage activation…
2) Advantage/disadvantage seemed to work pretty well, with lots of using it to pin down foes (giving them black dice), creating openings for allies (giving them blue dice) and diving for cover (getting a free maneuver, usually used to take cover and generate add a black die to the attack - not sure if that is the intent of the rule, after the roll, but that is the way we played it). One player did comment that it seemed like they were doing a lot of stuff, without really being successful, but that could just be the change of system - really they cleaned up the raiders pretty handily, with no-one taking any wounds and only minor amounts of strain. Another player commented that it was weird to not have separate attack and damage rolls, and he missed the suspense of not having the second roll, but the rest mostly liked the system. It also worked pretty well out of combat, with the players stopping to buy some "bantha poo" in bulk to hide the special crates in - they succeeded so I gave them a good price (I handwaved 100cr), with a lot of advantage, so I said the seller chucked in some empty crates to put the two special crates inside to help with the illusion.
3) Aiming seemed very popular. To the point where it was pretty much the default maneuver, with strain being taken to also move or do something else if needed.
4) More a concern with the adventure than the system, but there seemed to be too long in between the waves of attackers. The ranged attackers on the top of the canyon were wiped out in the first turn, leaving a couple of turns of shooting at the slowly advancing melee attackers. In the end, only one group of melee attackers made an attack, which missed due to their ranks being pretty thinned by the time they got there. In hindsight, I probably should have given ranged attacks against the guys at the top of the canyon an additional black die for them being prone (I did add one for cover though), or added a third group of ranged attackers, but I figured the first fight was intended to be a bit of a cake walk.
5) The was a question about armour encumbrance, but that has been answered with this week's update already!
6) One player looked at buying synth-skin, but there aren't really any rules around what it does… I hand-waved that it'd add an extra blue die on medical checks to repair minor injuries (the description says cuts and bruises).
7) The pilot failed the easy Astrogation check to get to Nar Shadda, but there are no rules/guidelines to cover what this means. By a strict reading of the rules, it means they aren't able to get to Nar Shadda, but that seems to cut the adventure dead in it's tracks. The player also rolled a few advantages, so I instead ruled that he plotted an ultra-cautious route that was safe but took longer to get there. This probably needs a sentence or two to explain what the intent is…
8) Almost forgot - the players loved the destiny point mechanic - there were a lot of cheers around the table at the start of the session as two PCs rolled two light side points! There was a tendency at the end of the session to just burn it on every roll though, as everyone knew the session was coming to an end (so I usually just spent one as well, to even it out and potentially generate threat - which actually came up on the doctor's check to remember how often they would need to apply the sedative - once every 24 hours looks about right….).
I think that is it. Next session will be in 2 weeks time!