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Kambion2

New GM Advice

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Hi there!

I was originally supposed to be running a game this weekend for an established group, but that fell apart when half the group made other plans. So the rest of us were pondering what to do and I decided "hey, there's an adventure in the back of Edge of the Empire, I'll run that for you!" This seems to have taken root with them, and it looks like I'll be doing that, with less than a week to refamiliarise myself with the system.

So yes, the advice side of things. I have never played or ran this system before, and as far as I know, out of the four of us, I'm the only one who has ever owned or read the books. So I'm basically looking for any tips or wisdom on how to get on with things as smooth as possible. Is there any alterations to that mini adventure you would advise to help it be more exciting for new players? Anything like obligations/motivations etc you think I should downplay for this first game? Anything maybe I should concentrate on? Any aid would be appreciated while I power read through the core book :-)

The idea is for this to be a one-shot, but I always enjoy planning, and as such I would love to be able to hook my players from this first game so that maybe they wouldn't mind playing again down the road. As such, any themes or ideas would be greatly appreciated on how to sell this system to them from one session. I realise I'm asking a lot, and I would mainly like to hear tips on running that core book adventure, but any other advice would be really nice. Thank you all in advance!

Kambion

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Take notes.  I had a few pages of notes listing all the various rolls and checks that could be made although be prepared to to rescan sections as you play.  For this first session, make it a learning session.  Learn how to read the dice and how to apply the various effects of the dice.  This system allows for creative interpretations as opposed to straight out success or failure.  A roll could technically be a Failure but it's loaded with Advantages that can be spent.  Same with a Successful roll but that could be loaded with Threats that can be spent by the GM.  There are plenty of tables within the Core Book that list ways to spend those Threats and Advantages.

 

I'm only on my third session with my group and we are still learning things that can be done within the system.  Be prepared to be surprised.  Keep an open mind.  Be creative.

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If you can somehow quickly pick up either of the Beginner games you really don't need to do much prep. Those adventures are made to guide you and the players through it.

 

And there's a link to a PowerPoint describing the dice, which is excellent for beginners, somewhere on this forum. Knowing the dice is at least half of the system.

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-Practice interpreting dice results. Have the result sample options handy for both you and the players. The addition of Threat/Advantage/Despair/Triumph is awesome, but it takes getting used to, and you'll have some odd situations from time to time. Get ready for the odd 3 Triumph, 1 Despair, No Success.

 

 

-There's a short space combat segment. If you're going to run it, practice it first. Set up all the parts, and just work your way through. Vehicle/Space combat in this system isn't hard, but it doesn't work like a lot of people are used to so it can be a little tough to learn it and adapt to it. It's fast, it's smooth, and it's deadly. In my experience it's the people who haven't played other games that tend to make better pilots because they come in with no presumptions about what it should be like.

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This is my first kick at the can as well. I'm now 7 sessions into my campaign and loving it! I never thought I'd be game mistress material. I was wrong.

 

Notes are good to take. I use Obsidian Portal to plot out my sessions secretly. I decide on the major NPCs, the plot/motive, and then break down the cinematic into a series of encounters. Then I brainstorm predictions about how the players will react, and make notes for how I will handle each of the potential options. Basically a flow chart.

 

To involve the players more and make my job easier, I let them interpret their dice along with me. It helps turn their waiting on baited breath for the results into actively participating and imagining their successes and failures.

 

I lean heavily on obligation and player background, merging it with the FFG modules so a lot of the stress is off me to generate entirely new content. What I do generate is 'A Game' because I'm not overwhelmed by having to create a grand opus.

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This is my first kick at the can as well. I'm now 7 sessions into my campaign and loving it! I never thought I'd be game mistress material. I was wrong.

 

Notes are good to take. I use Obsidian Portal to plot out my sessions secretly. I decide on the major NPCs, the plot/motive, and then break down the cinematic into a series of encounters. Then I brainstorm predictions about how the players will react, and make notes for how I will handle each of the potential options. Basically a flow chart.

 

To involve the players more and make my job easier, I let them interpret their dice along with me. It helps turn their waiting on baited breath for the results into actively participating and imagining their successes and failures.

 

I lean heavily on obligation and player background, merging it with the FFG modules so a lot of the stress is off me to generate entirely new content. What I do generate is 'A Game' because I'm not overwhelmed by having to create a grand opus.

 

 

This.

 

The core rulebook encourages the GM to have the players help with interpreting the dice results, and this is one of the aspects of the system I most enjoy.  It makes the act of dice rolling fun in itself and takes some of the burden away from the GM. Also, you might be surprised at how eager your players will be to screw up their own day, devising threat effects that are more severe than what you might have had in mind. But if in doubt, stress them out.

Edited by Pac_Man3D

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My biggest piece of advice to you is this: make it feel real. When the Age of Rebellion system was announced, FFG modified a few frames of the original trilogy to have big "YOU ARE HERE" circles added in. This feeling of immersion is what really makes this system work. It's a cinematic system, a narrative system. If the Players (with a capital "P") feel immersed, no matter how clumsy the dice rolls are, they'll enjoy it. Just keep your head up, adapt quickly to changing situations, and you'll do just fine.

 

Welcome to the team.

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The binary pass/fail nature of many RPGs influences players to save RP for successes. Failures are generally deemed worthy of only a frustrated sigh ;). SWRPG is different. Encourage your players to RP failed rolls as much as they do successes, especially if there are advantages involved!

 

"Missed. Add 1 boost to the next person. Done."

vs.

"I swing my vibro-ax and narrowly miss the stormtrooper, creating a massive gouge in the concrete pillar behind him. Stumbling to the side in fear, the trooper leaves himself vulnerable to Oskara's next shot..."

Edited by verdantsf

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Thanks for all the words of advice guys, really appreciate it! I actually modified my original plan a little after reading here and picked up the Beginner Game and am very glad I did. Me and my players have roleplayed for a while now, but while many parts of the system are familiar, there are some very big differences and we all liked how it eased us into various mechanics.

We all actually really enjoyed the system, it felt very star wars, and the mechanics went very smoothly. Combat was a treat, and everyone started getting into the description of the rolls. We completed the beginner game, and finished act 1 of the Long Arm of the Hutt, as everyone wanted to carry on after that initial game. From here I will start a proper campaign I think, as they all seem eager to play some more. Definitely a new group of converts here :-) Thanks again!

Kambion

Edited by Kambion

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