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FrogTrigger

Transitioning a group from Imperial Assault to the RPG

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Hi all, first off thanks for taking the time to click my thread. I'm looking for input on how to transition a group from Imperial Assault (rpg lite, tactics heavy) to the RPG. This is a group that has little to no experience with RPG's (including me), but is in love with the Star Wars universe. This group has a lot of creative, high intellect individuals that I feel would really flourish in this  open system versus the constraints of template or grid combat. They enjoy listening to the story and flavor text and twists and turns of the game as much as they do rolling the die and blowing things up. They are great at debating in a civil fashion how best to proceed in certain situations of missions, and as I watch them interact I can't help but think this would be so much better in a RPG setting. They dislike the random spawn points that IA is famous for and the "get to the terminal" missions that seem to be on repeat. They love the class system, the title system (Smuggler, Trooper etc..) that is involved with the skirmish command card builds. I think this lends well to the RPG class system.

So where I sit right now is I have mentioned the RPG to them, I've gauged their interest in which book to play (Force and Destiny) and have even gone as far as to pick up the beginner game and start looking at the pieces myself. The timing is pretty good as we are just finishing up a campaign, so I am thinking I might bring this beginner game out at our next session just to show them (we wouldn't have time to play that night) and get them exposed to it and see if I can build up interest to make the leap at our next session.

Few questions:

In which way would you best describe the RPG to peak interest? Is it literally anything we want it to be? A good balance of combat, personal interaction and problem solving? How would you elevator pitch it to someone?

Is it possible to have characters come and go from session to session? Our group can sometimes be missing 1 or 2 people, or the odd time add an extra person. Is it better to have a few different story lines going? Or can I just award XP to those who maybe missed the last session to let them jump into the new one?

Lastly, How do you bridge the two games? How do you play a RPG without it feeling awkward? We aren't really an out going bunch, but we love playing these types of games on the computer and always have. Everyone sitting at the table their favorite type of game is a RPG, so I feel like this HAS to be a match... I just need to get that initial exposure right.

Thanks for your time.

Edited by FrogTrigger

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That's a lot of kind of big questions there...8D 

If everyone, including you is new to Table Top RPG's this is both good and bad, it can be a tricky system to learn so starting with the beginner box is a great idea. I think it has an intro module and some sample characters youc an use to introduce them to the system and whet their appetites for more action and building up their own concepts. 

As for pitching it...I try to describe RPG's as "Acting without the benefit of a script or guidance; it is an opportunity to explore new ways of looking at the world, a chance to be something/one other than yourself and more importantly its the chance to tell and share in an intertwined series of stories that you build together with your friends. Whether the stories are small and personal or large and epic, each story will be different, each scenario will present different challenges for you to interact with and overcome. Develop your character, expand the universe and have a good time while doing so!" 

...may have gotten a bit wordy but you get the idea; for me its always about telling and sharing a good story, helping others share a good story and looking back to remember those epic moments down the road. I fyou're new to this you have a lot to look forward to and plenty of people here and elsewhere that can help you answer any questions and get over any pitfalls. 

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As for transitioning from Imperial Assault...ah well I don't play so no idea how the rules would translate or if they would. 

Otherwise its the Star Wars Universe...get them thinking about what kind of characters they want to play.  

Also Force and Destiny is the Force-Users only Sourcebook and has a LOT of additional rules. If you really want to replicate the Grit of the SW Universe use Edge of the Empire. If they want to continue the Imperial Assault storylines then you may want to look at Age of Rebellion which is specifically for Rebellion scenarios. 

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44 minutes ago, GandofGand said:

As for transitioning from Imperial Assault...ah well I don't play so no idea how the rules would translate or if they would. 

Otherwise its the Star Wars Universe...get them thinking about what kind of characters they want to play.  

Also Force and Destiny is the Force-Users only Sourcebook and has a LOT of additional rules. If you really want to replicate the Grit of the SW Universe use Edge of the Empire. If they want to continue the Imperial Assault storylines then you may want to look at Age of Rebellion which is specifically for Rebellion scenarios. 

Hrmm interesting, so if they are mainly interested in being Jedi, can they be Jedi from a different source book? My understanding is that force sensitives show up in other books? We could play the F&D beginner pack just to get exposed to the game (and because I already bought it), then switch over to EoTE or AoR beginner guide again to familiarize with that area, and get an extra set of die, then move forward with that core rulebook? Or do you think a bait and switch from Jedi to Rebels/Scum force sensitives would be to drastic?

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FFG Set things up so certain classes could only be found in Certain Core Books. IE the FaD book is ONLY Force-users, however you can use any class in any setting...the books are more like general guidelines than hard and fast settings. There ARE some Force-using Classes, sub classes really, one each in EoTE and AoR (Force Aspirant/Emergent and Force Recluse...or something)  that are designed to reflect those who are Force-Sensitive but Untrained...can easily take those onto any existing careers and let the players grow into becoming Jedi-types...or Sith types if they want to roll that way....all about imagination! 

A lot will depend on what Era you want to set the Campaign in; Old Republic? Clone Wars? Imperial/Rebel Era? First Order? Like play a Force-User during the Imperial/Rebel Era will be extra challenging as there are so few Jedi left to teach new Force-users the ways of the Jedi. But you can always play a Smuggler or a Soldier etc...

Talk to your players about what kind of story they want and build from there. If they all want to play Force-sensitives then pick the setting and go from there. If they want to play a mix, same. I generally prefer an EoTE-type game where people really have to work to make a living, keep their ship flying etc...

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Probably 'a game where you can let your imagination run free' is a good one. Also a bit of a hurdle for some people.

I'd start by asking how interested the group is in the RPG aspects of IA. Do you pick characters because you like the character, and just adapt to the tactical aspects, or are you mostly interested in the tactical parts, choice in character be damned? That would be a good measure, I think.

Also, as a caveat, it would a bit of drastic change in the kind of game. Seeing as, per RAW, the RPG uses a 'theater of the mind' style gaming, coming from something that uses grid maps and miniatures may be exceptionally jarring. I mean, you could adapt the IA maps and miniatures to the RPG, but there would be a trade-off and if you do, don't tell anybody, lest you get accusations of 'ur doin it rong.'

The beginner game is a good place to start, I think, although the F&D beginner game is a bit... unbalanced compared to playing out of the core rulebook. It should work fine for beginners, though.

Also, the three game lines are fully compatible as far as rules go. Edge of the Empire focuses on the 'scum and villainy' and other fringe-type characters, like Han and Boba. Age of Rebellion focuses on Rebels vs Empire, and is more military in focus. Force and Destiny focuses on Force users, not exclusively Jedi (in fact, it very specifically brings out how the characters are not necessarily Jedi at all, just Force-sensitives trying to survive under the Empire).

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Awesome info so far, thanks so much to both of you. One thing to add from the IA experience is that they really, really enjoy going over how to build their characters. So when they pick a character they are looking more at the class type (even though classes don't really exist in IA, but class types sort of do (Tank, Melee dps, Range dps, Support etc..)) and how they can flesh that characters abilities out versus 'how much can it blow up' or 'whats our best tactical advantage here'. This has forced me to alter a fair amount of the game play though as their party composition can turn a bit sideways ignoring the tactical side of things, which is why I always try to just flesh out the narrative and add events or characters that weren't supposed to be there. So in a way we have been playing a RPG lite, or bowling with those blow up thingies in the gutters, we've cut our teeth on the experience. And from what I can tell, they enjoy that side of it more than the formula gaming, "We move X spaces here to target this for X damage to move this X spaces to terminal B" etc.. that composes a lot of the IA experience.

THAT is the reason I thought this transition could work, and I do truly believe it will. I guess.. I don't want to put a ton of pressure on the first experience, but I just thought if I did my proper research (I am a researcher for a living, so these type of games I think will be right in my wheel house) I could make it that much more enticing which in turn should help it stick with this group.

I am going to re read through the beginner pack tonight to familiarize myself with the game again, a more thorough read than the first skim, and maybe even try to play a few scenarios out myself to get a taste for it and use that towards my 'selling' of the game. I kind of didn't like the idea of it being just 4 force users all together, I liked the idea of playing as Rebels with Sabs and Troopers working side by side with a Spy and a Commander or something. Or EoTE where it is a Smuggler with a bounty hunter and an assassin etc.. but it's good to know there is a bit of diversity among the force users themselves.

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Sounds like you have a group that's going to dive into the RPG and have a lot of fun. Running the Beginner Game will do a lot of the work for you, both teaching the mechanics of the game and selling everyone on the concept.

If they like character creation, they're going to have a field day with this system. Even in one CRB, there are so many options for Careers and cross-Specializations.

If everyone wants to be a Jedi-type, then FaD is definitely your best bet. You can build any type of character within the Careers of the game. The fluff text just has a very Force-y, Jedi-y bend to it. While the other books have a Force Specialization and a couple Powers, the scope of a Jedi character is much more narrow than in FaD.

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3 hours ago, FrogTrigger said:

Is it possible to have characters come and go from session to session? Our group can sometimes be missing 1 or 2 people, or the odd time add an extra person. Is it better to have a few different story lines going? Or can I just award XP to those who maybe missed the last session to let them jump into the new one?

Lastly, How do you bridge the two games? How do you play a RPG without it feeling awkward? We aren't really an out going bunch, but we love playing these types of games on the computer and always have. Everyone sitting at the table their favorite type of game is a RPG, so I feel like this HAS to be a match... I just need to get that initial exposure right.

Thanks for your time.

I'll caveat my response with not everyone agrees with my opinion and it really depends on how your group works together. I find in my games it doesn't make a huge difference if players are absent. I quickly spin off a few sentences about what they are busy doing and move right along. I personally find this game's experience system to not heavily penalize characters if they miss the xp from a weekend game. In my main game that I run I have 4 players who due to other life commitments range from 150xp to 450xp. Now with that being said this group doesn't have a lot of crossovers in skills, there is a doctor, a bounty hunter, a slicer/scout, and a jedi lightsaber wielder. I can easily set the difficulty of the slicing checks and social encounters to those players strong suits and modify encounters accordingly. The group knows where the weak spots are and in combat I include a mix of lesser minions as well as tougher rivals and nemesis. My 150XP character doesn't charge into the big scary bad guy and focuses on lessor minions. When they need to fight tougher opponents the rest of the group will spend advantages to help provide boosts to the lower characters and add setbacks to tough opponents.

On the second question don't pressure them to speak in character from the start. Let them sink into it and gradually encourage it. Most of all, prepare to embarrass yourself. Seriously, give your npc a unique voice or accent.  Enjoy a good laugh at your own expense and in turn you might find that your players will feel safe experimenting back. 

 

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I'd also recommend relaxing about it. Just suggest that they give the game a go as an alternative one night . The beginner set is an excellent introduction to the game, so just read through it beforehand to familiarize yourself with the story.

its a great system and it sounds like it'll be a perfect fit for your group :)

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On 3/24/2017 at 3:35 PM, FrogTrigger said:

How do you play a RPG without it feeling awkward?

 

On 3/24/2017 at 7:22 PM, arrivan said:

Most of all, prepare to embarrass yourself. Seriously, give your npc a unique voice or accent.  Enjoy a good laugh at your own expense and in turn you might find that your players will feel safe experimenting back. 

This. In this system, I have had the luxury of conducting a solo (so far) campaign for my young son. This has helped me to not be self-conscious about the story-telling, and just immerse myself, making it as fun as I can for both of us. Groan like a  wookie? Done! Chirp like an astromech? Of course! The more you do it, the more comfortable the others will become, to the added enjoyment of the group- and it sounds like you have a good group, ripe for rpgs.

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On 2017-03-24 at 8:35 PM, FrogTrigger said:

Few questions:

In which way would you best describe the RPG to peak interest? Is it literally anything we want it to be? A good balance of combat, personal interaction and problem solving? How would you elevator pitch it to someone?

Is it possible to have characters come and go from session to session? Our group can sometimes be missing 1 or 2 people, or the odd time add an extra person. Is it better to have a few different story lines going? Or can I just award XP to those who maybe missed the last session to let them jump into the new one?

Lastly, How do you bridge the two games? How do you play a RPG without it feeling awkward? We aren't really an out going bunch, but we love playing these types of games on the computer and always have. Everyone sitting at the table their favorite type of game is a RPG, so I feel like this HAS to be a match... I just need to get that initial exposure right.

Thanks for your time.

Just my two cents regaring your questions:

1. A fun, interactive storytelling game where the players are the heroes of the story.

2. Yes, that often works without issue, when someone is missing it's better to say that their character is away doing something else ("he's calibrating the hyperdrive, it will probably take at least a day or two"), and then have them jump in next session. I think doing separate story lines is harder, that's almost like having two separate groups instead of one.

3. I started out with a lot of computer RPGs (like Baldurs Gate) before I got into pen and paper RPGs and I just loved it. So I think your group of friends have potential to have a lot of fun with RPGs.

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