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Felswrath

Sell me on this game.

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I am a big fan of the star wars universe and especially the games that FFG has produced. I have enjoyed Armada and especially Imperial Assault. I love the narrative that I get to experience in the campaigns for the latter. It is because of this that I am considering picking up the AoR Beginner Game. I've never done an RPG, let alone one of FFG's. I don't want to spend a ton of money on this at the get-go, because I don't  know how I'll feel about the game. At the same mark, I like having a lot of customization in my games so would not be averse to picking up a deck or two. Do I need to wait till I have the Core Rule Book before getting these? But before that question can be answered, I must be sold on the game. I ask you to tell be why I should invest in this game and not just more ally and villain packs for IA.

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The best test is probably picking up the beginner game and running it once or twice. A $30 dollar (or less; sometimes a brick and mortar store will be $5 cheaper or so) investment is better than the much more expensive core rulebook.

13 minutes ago, Felswrath said:

At the same mark, I like having a lot of customization in my games so would not be averse to picking up a deck or two.

I think you're talking about the specialization decks? Because those aren't what you probably think they are.

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Edit: Ninja'd by seconds.

I think you've already got the answer. Pick up the Beginner's set, not the core. The beginner's sets for FFG are actually quite good at what they do compared to other games. The AoR Beginner gives you everything you need to introduce the rules for you and a group while running an introductory session. So, you could have an introductory night of gaming, and if everyone likes it expand with a core book and more dice for the next session. If they don't like it, you are out $25-$30 depending on where you picked it up.

Make sure they know it's an introductory adventure so they aren't upset about dumping the character/story and starting over new during the next session if you start an actual campaign.

Edited by Sturn

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Thanks for the replies. What are the decks? I am talking about Imperials and Rebels, Creatures, etc. I also should have noted I'll probably only have 1 friend that  I'll be doing this with at a time. In IA, that was fine because he could balance four heroes while I played as the Imp Player. Is something like this going to be easy enough to do in RPGs?

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There are specialization decks (avoid these) and adversary decks (the ones you mentioned); they are kind of like a bestiary, as they have NPC stats on them. Useful for the game master as a utility (most of the stats can be found in the book, but they are in easily accessible card format).

Playing with one player is doable, but you'd have to ask others.

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Let me put it this way:  The Empire captures your character and their fate depends on the source setting.

 

If you go for Edge of the Empire, your character goes to a detention center, maybe Kessel, but gets out after awhile.

If the character is from Age of Rebellion, then either summary execution or ISB gets involved.

And if you go for Force and Destiny, count on Inquisitors and Darth Vader, along with the before mentioned, to get involved.

 

Likewise, only get the career decks and books for a spec you will be using.  Otherwise, they can be a money waste.

Finally, Age is designed for heroes and military style campaigns.  Going with this book can help you into the "Big **** Heroes" as well as pull off some other stunts.

In addition, I would honestly say the Edge can be useful, as it describes some alternative locations for the Rebels to use, which scum forces might be open to helping the rebellion.  Finally, Beyond the Rim offers an adventure that the Rebels would be interested in partaking.

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1 hour ago, Stan Fresh said:

I don't have one for Age of Rebellion, but there are a couple of excellent podcasts showing what can be done with Edge of the Empire and Force and Destiny. Check out Campaign and Dice for Brains.

 

http://feeds.feedburner.com/HeroesoftheHydianWay
 

The Tales from the Hydian Way crew just started an Age of Rebellion actual play podcast. Doing the adventure from the GM screen.

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11 minutes ago, Tear44 said:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/HeroesoftheHydianWay
 

The Tales from the Hydian Way crew just started an Age of Rebellion actual play podcast. Doing the adventure from the GM screen.

I've not yet listened to that one! Their Tales podcast is excellent, so I'm having high hopes.

 

Edited by Stan Fresh

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If you want to get an idea how this game can work with one player and one GM, have a look listen at the Silhouette Zero podcast https://silzero.podbean.com/ It is a very well done 1 Player 1 GM podcast around the smaller sized beings in a galaxy far far away.

They start of with Edge of the Empire but they currently seem to transition towards Age of Rebellion.

Other than that I would also recommend picking up the beginner game. If you want to run it for one player you'll need to adapt either the difficulty or run one or two of the PC-Characters as NPCs. In that case I would recommend that the player's PC outranks them so he/she can drive the rebels decisions.

One more thing, since you played Imperial Assault before: The big difference with the RPG is that, although as a GM you control the antagonists of the PC, this is not you vs. them. This game is focused on cooperative story telling where everyone at the table should work together to create stories and characters they enjoy and have fun with. It is not a strategic game of Rebels vs. Imperials.

May the Rebellion be with you

Fred

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You mentioned that you love the narrative in IA. I think you'd love this, then. As others have said, at $30 for the beginner game, it's not a huge investment.

I recently ran the introductory module from the beginner set for some friends and we had a great time. All of us were new to the SW-AOR universe, and as a GM I found the module was really well laid out to introduce the game mechanics to both players and game master. That said, as the action progressed I worried less about the details of the die rolls. For example, I didn't have players roll initiative: Depending on the circumstances, it was fairly obvious to me as GM when the heroes had the drop on their opponents. The game is good that way - Star Wars is already "Space Opera" in that the movies never let technical details get in the way of a good adventure, and neither should the games.

We had a blast working through Takeover at Whisper Base. I'm going to run it for a different group at a local gaming day in June. Meantime, my regular group is coming back next weekend for their second session. I like that FFG has provided a follow-up module (Operation Shadowpoint: A free PDF you can download from their website) that's really more of a series of adventure seeds. I've been building out one of these to run our next session.

Once you have played through Takeover at Whisper Base, and the half-dozen adventure seeds in Operation Shadowpoint, you'll have a really good idea of whether you like the game - and if you do, the Core Rules and other books will open up a galaxy of possibilities for you.

I also like that it's easy to integrate elements of FFG's other SW RPGs (Edge of the Empire, especially) into AOR. As an example of this, I'm using information from both the Edge of the Empire basic game and the Lords of Nal Hutta book to enhance the next adventure - the seed of which comes out of Operation Shadowpoint.

Well worth a test, in my opinion.

Cheers!

- Trevor

Edited by tpm1ca

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The upsides of this system:

It's a great blend between a narrative and rules heavy system. It gives you a ton of narrative freedom in the sessions but doesn't do away with all the gear and classes and other stuff to keep you reading and thinking between sessions. 

It has a combat system that is fun to play without mapping, allowing you to let your imagination run wild without being constrained by having to produce miniatures or maps for everything.

Semi-classless system allows for a high degree of customization of characters but doesn't require endless research to pick a sensible advancement path from people who aren't into making builds.

There are relatively few things to keep track of numerically, and the wound/strain thresholds are low enough that you can comfortably use counters for them.

 

The downsides of the system:

Proprietary dice are required for play, and while they work well, it's annoying having to buy several sets to have enough, and since they all look the same it's a pain to try and maintain a personal set.

Some systems are poorly balanced or thought out, like the possibility of taking a crit that flat out rips your arm off or even kills you on a single point of damage, so the usefulness of soak doesn't rise linearly, but makes a leap from decently useful to godlike when it blocks that last point of damage.

Some of the themes in the system only fully work when you split the party. It can get very Shadow Run if you want to let a fighter pilot, an entertainer, a gunslinger and a mechanic all play to their strengths in an encounter. 

Edited by Aetrion

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25 minutes ago, Aetrion said:

Some of the themes in the system only fully work when you split the party. It can get very Shadow Run if you want to let a fighter pilot, an entertainer, a gunslinger and a mechanic all play to their strengths in an encounter. 

This creates additional work for the GM, and can try the patience of the players if not done briskly, but it does replicate the feel of the movies, where the main characters spend long stretches of time in small groups or alone.

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3 hours ago, Aetrion said:

The downsides of the system:

Proprietary dice are required for play, and while they work well, it's annoying having to buy several sets to have enough, and since they all look the same it's a pain to try and maintain a personal set.

Not true! there is a conversion chart in all of the core rules for using the standard d20 series dice. Though this is time consuming to convert, it CAN be done.

 

Onto what you asked, however.

This game is definitely not made for 1 GM 1 Player, but that can definitely be accomplished. You'd need to dumb down the encounter difficulty, run a couple of NPCs and such, but it can be done. However, I think the best way, thematically and mechanically, for you to buy into this game would be this.

Get the Force Awakens Beginner Game (https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/star-wars-the-force-awakens-beginner-game/) , not the AoR one, unless that's what you have your heart set on. I'm sure I'll get called out on this, but I think the FA Beginner Game is the best of the four of them for beginning players and GMs. It's characters are a mix of Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion Careers, you get NPCs and a compelling story with it, and although lots see it as a cash grab by FFG, it's actually got a good mix of all of the games.

Another thing you could do, though, is look at all of the pdf-based character folios and sequential adventures released for all of the beginner games. They could give you an idea on it's similarities and differences between IA and AoR/FaD/EoTE/FA Beginner's Games.

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For me, the biggest selling point for this game line, is the narrative focus.  I, personally hate mechanics in games.  I hate them with a passion that borders on Dark Side levels of loathing.   I've played too many game systems over the years, and seen table after table get bogged down in rules lawyering, min/maxing, and overall pedantic debates over something that is, by design, only there to facilitate the story being told by the GM.  But sadly, nerd culture has turned a LOT of the games, into a mechanics thing.  The story becomes secondary, and the rules, and conquering the rules, becomes the ultimate focus for the gamers and GM.

 

FFG doesn't do that, in my opinion.  By design, they tried to keep the focus on the narrative aspect of the game, and designed a game system that is fairly minimal in it's invasiveness to the game, while being flexible enough to allow the GM plenty of options on how to construct a scene.

Sure, they've deep dived into some of the rules, and you can EASILY get into a pedantic rabbit hole for hours of time about the rules, as evidenced by many threads on this very forum.   But you don't have to.   The rules are simple and direct enough, that you can just go with them, and ignore a lot of the secondary rule systems that have been expanded on if you want.    And sure, some will probably say "Well you can do that with ANY game system" and yes, technically you can.  But in my experience, systems like D20, fall apart horribly if you try and ignore a lot of the minutia of the rules.  I've yet to see that problem with FFG.

So, to sell you on the game.  Do you like describing cool scenes and adventures, like you did as a little kid playing with your friends?  Where you turned a couch into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, and described elaborate and insane combat results based on you and your friend going "pew pew pew"?   Do you like having a narrative focused game, where the mechanics are a side-effect of the game, and not the focus, giving you freedom to express the story the way you and your players want to.   Then the FFG system is for you.   Because the rules are basically there, to give a basic framework to your imagination about what happens, and the rest is pretty much left up to you. 

Edited by KungFuFerret

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