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Impressions from my First Play (Spoiler: It was a Blast!)


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#1 lrdkudzu

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:54 AM

Finally got EoE to the table last night with a regular group of gamers.  Now, I've been a GM for about 15 years and have only rarely been on the player's side of the screen.  Far and few between have I had as easy a time to have a ton of fun than I had last night with this system.  The simplicity of the overall mechanic (after a little bit of a learning curve) really makes coming up with cool situations absolute cake.  Player rolls a triumph while escaping from some Tusken Raiders and would have killed the last one?  Boom, instead he blasts the rocky wall of the canyon and causes a rockslide to cover their retreat.

Personally, I tend to run a more narrative, "Rule of Cool" style of game.  I'm there to have a good time and tell a fun story with a group of folks.  This system fits my playstyle like a glove.  The success/advantage system in the dice allow the players to have hooks to add to the story baked right into the mechanics and the Destiny points is an excellent implementation of a house rule that I had used with D&D in the past.  Obligation and Motivation are mechanically "hooky" enough to really let a group of neophyte gamers (this particular group) to get into the story aspects pretty heavy. 

One thing that I have to suggest that my players went crazy over - have something nearby to pull up Youtube clips or Star Wars sounds.  When I read off the Opening Crawl of the pre-written adventure in the back, of course I played the John Williams theme!  When they jumped to hyperspace you bet that I showed the starlines and that wonderful sound effect.  One of my players rolled up a Wookie Marauder and he loaded a Wookie soundboard on his phone that he used before speaking in character.  There is a wealth of atmospheric resources to pull on for this game - do it.  One of my players nearly jumped out of his seat when that opening music hit.  "That's it!  I'm right there," he exclaimed.

Let's take a step back and look at the overall flow.  Character Creation is pretty smooth.  There are enough choices and having just a few XP to sculpt with really makes the players want to accept additional Obligation.  The step by step flow kept things moving forward and we didn't get too bogged down with the exception of having only the one book.  The general consensus was to boost the Characteristics as there are no way to improve those stats later (short of expensive cybernetics).  The choices were varied and seemed to be pretty balanced though no one looked at the Talent trees to start with.  Could just have been my players approach.  I usually offer a first-session respec, but it didn't seem too critical.  As usual, Character Creation was a different session all together.

In play, the dice mechanic took a bit of explaining and I ended up walking everyone through building their dice pools for the first few times.  After that though, my players really grabbed it and started grabbing just what they needed.  The Boost and Setback dice were liberally used and seemed to make or break more than a few rolls.  Both my players and I loved the fact that ever time you picked up dice *something* happened.  There were very, very few null results on the dice and the chance to add a bit of spin to the next roll might have been even more interesting than straight success.

The range banding got a bit fiddly during combat, but that might have been me being unclear as to the layout of the scene.  Either way, we rolled with it and just let things fall as they may.  I've got to say, combat is BRUTAL.  Characters really need to keep their heads down and use maneuvers to find cover and avoid getting hit.  Blasters will really ruin someone's day!  The Initiative system is very cool and added some interesting decisions, but I can see that leaning to a bit of analysis paralysis in some groups.  Keeping the pace during that step was a bit difficult.

Switching from action to exposition was seamless and we were able to adjudicate a negotiation, a speeder chase and some inspired deception all with some very quick rolls.  We quickly started the Destiny economy going and that was another fun meta-layer on top.  We didn't get too far through the scripted adventure but rather went off the rails and created some ad hoc scenes.  I'm very excited to get this back to the table and in many ways I haven't been this energized to get behind the screen in a while.

So, continuing thoughts for next session.  I definately want to have the Opening Crawl a thing that the players do to recap the previous events.  When we kick off a new arc, I'll take the reigns and set the stage, but I want to put that in their hands to get the mood set.  I'm going to look for more elegant ways to display the range bands.  Maybe tokens or minis on a rough map…just a quick sketch.  I want to push more manuevering as there was a stand-and-box feel to some of the combat, but that could have been description.

All in all, we certainly had a blast.  I'm very excited to keep this game rolling.



#2 Sturn

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

lrdkudzu said:

Now, I've been a GM for about 15 years and have only rarely been on the player's side of the screen.  Far and few between have I had as easy a time to have a ton of fun than I had last night with this system.  The simplicity of the overall mechanic (after a little bit of a learning curve) really makes coming up with cool situations absolute cake. 

 

I've yet to run EotE, but I had a similar reaction after GMing FFG's Warhammer. I had been a simulationist GM before then who often got bogged down in play prep. The narrative system won me over.

lrdkudzu said:


The Initiative system is very cool and added some interesting decisions, but I can see that leaning to a bit of analysis paralysis in some groups. Keeping the pace during that step was a bit difficult.

 

A pointer for next time from my experience running the nearly same initiative system in FFG Warhammer - When the players get bogged down discussing who is next for too long, suddenly announce that the current initiatve point has been lost due to their indecision to act. This should easily speed their decision making (worked for me).

lrdkudzu said:


So, continuing thoughts for next session. I definately want to have the Opening Crawl a thing that the players do to recap the previous events.

 

This is a great idea to remind the players what has gone before. In the past I've always started sessions with recaps of what had happened last time, especially when a couple weeks or more had passed. Setting up opening crawls with music (I've heard of easy ways to do this somewhere) would set the mood and give the recap at once.

lrdkudzu said:


I'm going to look for more elegant ways to display the range bands. Maybe tokens or minis on a rough map…just a quick sketch. I want to push more manuevering as there was a stand-and-box feel to some of the combat, but that could have been description.

 

In FFG Warhammer I had the same problem initially. Warhammer had "Location Cards". I later made my own over-sized location cards which were used to place miniatures or player tokens upon. They helped set the scene and were used for keeping track of range bands. I plan on making new ones for Star Wars. When I get a chance I will find a link to the discussion at the Warhammer forum so you can understand what I mean…..Found the link.

lrdkudzu said:


All in all, we certainly had a blast. I'm very excited to keep this game rolling.

 

Please return after your next session!






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