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Sincereagape

EoE vs AoR vs FaD - Least Complicated/Easiest to Learn first?

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Greets!  I'm new to Fantasy Flight Star Wars; having just switched over from Star Wars D20.  Due to budget reasons - I had to return the EoE core book and FaD Beginners Box this weekend, but we do have enough in the budget to pick up one of the three beginners boxes.

My plan over the next 2-3 months is to….

 

1.) Select a game

2.) Purchase the Beginners Box

3.) Purchase the Core Rulebook

4.) Purchase the Game Masters Kit

5.) Purchase Dawn of the Rebellion

-I flipped through the core rule books at the game store and at first everything/the mechanics seems pretty overwhelming, especially since I'm new to the Fantasy Flight system overall (I've played Shadowrun, Legends of the Five Rings, and D20) over my gamer career.

-My family (Who'll I be playing with) have narrowed the games down to Age of Rebellion or Edge of the Empire, and honestly I can't decide which one to pickup first?  It really is a toss up because I'm not 100% of whether to play.  One moment it can be a smugglers/Edge of the Empire game due to the overall balance between the three games that EoE has from what I've heard?  But then we like the altruism of Age of Rebellion (The family tends to like playing 'good guys'/light side) and AoR has a military/mission theme to it which I like....the problem with AoR for me is that it seems to more focused on combat?

FaD is a distant third for me at the moment.

What I do know about the chronicle that I plan to run is that the climax will be a battle/fight/conflict with the Star Wars Rebels version of Maul.  The Zabrak force user will serve as the antagonist/nemesis/thorn in their side throughout the chronicle.  (I can make him fit into either FaD, AoR, EoE in some way although FaD might make the most sense..)

Since I/we are at an impasse at the moment in terms of selecting a game:  One Big Factor for us, and I was hoping to get input from you guys is which of three is least difficult to learn and overall easier to run initially as a game master?   I’m looking for overall general input but also in terms of getting a good grip on all of the skills/careers/specializations/talents/equipment, etc?  I’m pretty sure that all three games are pretty similar but if there is one that requires less stress to grasp as a first game for FF Star Wars, we’ll probably go with that game. 

Thanks in advance!  Your help is greatly appreciated!

 

 

-

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Mechanically they are all the same. The only differences are in the theme of each core, and the mechanic that the characters are held to. Morality for F&D (Jedi need to do the right thing or fall to the darkside), Duty for AoR (Benefits and penalties for helping the Rebellion), Obligation  for EotE (what debts, stressors, responsibilities, etc... do the fringers suffer from).

Characters can be mixed together from each, like Leia would be from AoR with Duty as her mechanic. Han Solo and Luke would be EotE characters with Obligation (Debt and legal issues for Han, family needs for Luke).

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13 minutes ago, Kallabecca said:

Mechanically they are all the same. The only differences are in the theme of each core, and the mechanic that the characters are held to. Morality for F&D (Jedi need to do the right thing or fall to the darkside), Duty for AoR (Benefits and penalties for helping the Rebellion), Obligation  for EotE (what debts, stressors, responsibilities, etc... do the fringers suffer from).

Characters can be mixed together from each, like Leia would be from AoR with Duty as her mechanic. Han Solo and Luke would be EotE characters with Obligation (Debt and legal issues for Han, family needs for Luke).

Is there one you would recommend over the others in order to learn the mechanics and system? 

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16 minutes ago, Kallabecca said:

Mechanically they are all the same. The only differences are in the theme of each core, and the mechanic that the characters are held to. Morality for F&D (Jedi need to do the right thing or fall to the darkside), Duty for AoR (Benefits and penalties for helping the Rebellion), Obligation  for EotE (what debts, stressors, responsibilities, etc... do the fringers suffer from).

Characters can be mixed together from each, like Leia would be from AoR with Duty as her mechanic. Han Solo and Luke would be EotE characters with Obligation (Debt and legal issues for Han, family needs for Luke).

I would be more inclined to say that Luke would be an F&D character, not an EotE one. 

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31 minutes ago, Sincereagape said:

Is there one you would recommend over the others in order to learn the mechanics and system? 

For the system, all books have the same structure describing the mechanics. They are explained the same way.

For narrating as a beginner GM, and for your family, I would go for Age of Rebellion. Reason? Rebels = Heroes. Empire = Bad guys. Easy to grasp. Edge of the Empire has lots of gray zones, not all is black or white, and is easier for mature themes. 

Although you can also play Age of Rebellion in a "grey/dark zone" mood, the feeling is always that of the heroes fighting a great evil. Edge of the Empire is not about heroes, is about survivors.

In terms of narration only and theme only, and only for you to have a better understanding of what I am trying to tell, Age of Rebellion would be more like "Lord of The Rings", and Edge of the Empire would be more like "The Witcher/Game of Thrones".

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Personally, I'd suggest going with EotE. The beginner box scenario is just so much better and has a tendency to bring people right into the spirit of the setting. You can easily play EotE as a band of plucky underdogs doing the right thing and sticking it to The Man if that's your thing.

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1 hour ago, Sincereagape said:

Is there one you would recommend over the others in order to learn the mechanics and system? 

All the beginner boxes have abridged rules to make the game easier to learn.

Out of the three, EotE abridges the least and includes the most. There will still be growing pains when you get the full rulebook, but compared to the other ones, it's not as bad (and unlike the AoR one doesn't totally rewrite some rules).

That said, the space battle is pretty flat without full rules and a gm that can narrate the crap out of it.

Quote

the problem with AoR for me is that it seems to more focused on combat?

...it can be? Part of the reason each core is called a "stand alone" game is because they all come with a full set of player options. So in AoR a party of spies and diplomats will probably see a lot less combat than an EotE party of mercs and bounty hunters.

It's really what you make it...

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50 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

All the beginner boxes have abridged rules to make the game easier to learn.

Out of the three, EotE abridges the least and includes the most. There will still be growing pains when you get the full rulebook, but compared to the other ones, it's not as bad (and unlike the AoR one doesn't totally rewrite some rules).

 

 

So you're saying that the EotE beginner transitions to the Core Rules smoother than the AoR or FaD beginners boxes?  That is a little weird that the AoR beginners box might rewrite some of the rules.

Another question:  If I'm game mastering a EotE or AoR game would I be able to run Ghosts of Dathomir from FaD for the group with some changes here and there content/story wise so it would fit a Rebellion or EotE group better?  

 

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm still deciding but the information is helping with the process. 

 

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I own all 4 beginner boxes, but have only run the EotE beginner game. Each scene is designed to introduce a new mechanic, and is pretty well written and flows well. I haven't looked at the presentation of the mechanics in the other three, but looked over the adventures and wasn't very impressed. Our group went right into Beyond the Rim following the beginner box adventure with no problems.

I wouldn't recommend Ghosts with a AotR or EotE group without some modification. It was designed for Knight-Level Play (powerful, experienced Force user PC's). There are Force Sensitive trees in EotE and AotR that PC's could spec into. The adventure could be scaled to PC's of any experience level, and with a little work, the adventure hook can interest PC's of any background. SPOILERS: They will encounter a lot of Force users, and should be equipped/prepared for that. Force "visions" are an important plot thing that only Force Sensitive PC's will experience. And they have the opportunity to learn/use a new Force power (requires a Force rating of at least 2). A bit of the moral choice written into the plot is missing if none of the players are Force users and don't have the opportunity to do so and be tempted to the Dark side a bit. 

Edited by panpolyqueergeek

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2 hours ago, Sincereagape said:

So you're saying that the EotE beginner transitions to the Core Rules smoother than the AoR or FaD beginners boxes?  That is a little weird that the AoR beginners box might rewrite some of the rules.

All of the Beginner Games slightly rewrite some of the rules. It's just done for the sake of streamlining things, allowing for new players to dive right in. For example, they use a single Piloting skill instead of Piloting (Planetary) and Piloting (Space) or all of the Knowledge skills are bundled under a single over-arching Knowledge.

I've both played in and run the EotE BG, and played in the AoR. EotE is the strongest of the Beginner Games, but AoR lends itself nicely to a continuing campaign. (Although, when I played the AoR BG, we thought of a plan that bypassed most of it with our success. Fortunately, the GM had the follow-up ready just in case.)

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2 hours ago, Sincereagape said:

 

So you're saying that the EotE beginner transitions to the Core Rules smoother than the AoR or FaD beginners boxes?  

Yes, it covers pretty much all the basic rules, and what it leaves out builds on what is included. So like in the space fight at the end it only gives a few maneuver options. The full rules add more maneuvers, but the ones you learn in the beginner game are still valid too.

 

2 hours ago, Sincereagape said:

That is a little weird that the AoR beginners box might rewrite some of the rules.

The big one is a Chase that could feature the players on speeder bikes or on foot vs a walker. Chases have a special mechanic, that they likely didn't want, or have room, to explain. People vs. vehicles, especially heavy ones like walkers, is really risky. You can do it, but it's not something for a new player. You gotta know the system or it actually looks impossible.

The game cheats to make a better experience, but it also makes it look a lot less dangerous than it is.

 

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7 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

I would be more inclined to say that Luke would be an F&D character, not an EotE one. 

Have to disagree with that.  He's some kind of Fringer, with the Exile tree.  Later he's some kind of pilot or commander, probably with the Emergent tree.  Maybe after that he finally gets a Guardian or Consular tree.  Really, the whole game line is set up to mirror Luke's journey, including the available powers.

7 hours ago, Sincereagape said:

One Big Factor for us, and I was hoping to get input from you guys is which of three is least difficult to learn and overall easier to run initially as a game master?

None, though maybe the Force is a little edgier to adjudicate.  If your PCs stick to simple powers like Enhance and Sense it'll be easier (and their single FR die will actually be useful).

I've run the EotE beginner box twice, both times everybody was pretty happy with it.  All the beginner boxes have a PDF followup you can download to extend the adventure.  While I prefer the EotE box adventure, of the PDF extension I prefer the AoR adventure.  Still, both are good.

Keep in mind, as others have said, the core rules are the same for all games, and the only differences (Obligation vs Duty vs Morality) are not necessary to use at all.  I have two AoR PCs in my EotE campaign, it's no big deal.  So it's really about the flavour you want:  scoundrels, bounty hunters, charmers, and smugglers? or soldiers, pilots, captains, and diplomats?

 

Edited by whafrog

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My preference is eote, based on the career books, I just think it's better in terms of player options, but I'd recommend getting both core books and the edge supplements.  Being on a budget I'd skip the adventures and write my own, I am fond of the aor friends like these adventure in terms of reusable fluff.  But my order of preference for buying supplements for an eote campaign would be fly casual, special modifications, no disintegrations, and lords of nal hutta in that order.  After that you may want to continue with the EotE career books (enter the unknown last) or pick up a few from other lines... stay on target and forged in battle are pretty good for AoR books, if you want to heavily modify rebuild a ship by RAW you'll want the fully operational book and look at replacing the hull of a lancer class pursuit vessel (from no disintegrations), if your team wants a sil 5 ship then a consular from the air core book is tough to beat.  I have the deck plans from colonial chrome on my "eliaswindrider" photobucket account.  Or you might want to go with an ir-3f from the FaD core and use the rules in fully operational to upgrade it (among other things it needs a hyperdrive).  But I'm nearing completion on a set of starship crafting house rules that I think are vastly improved relative to the RAW in fully Operational, for fad supplements my top picks go to keeping the peace (gear, armor crafting, warden spec), and endless vigil (if you want eote themed force users it's hard to beat the sentinel career, especially the racer which is in endless vigil)

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15 hours ago, whafrog said:

Have to disagree with that.  He's some kind of Fringer, with the Exile tree.  Later he's some kind of pilot or commander, probably with the Emergent tree.  Maybe after that he finally gets a Guardian or Consular tree.  Really, the whole game line is set up to mirror Luke's journey, including the available powers.

None, though maybe the Force is a little edgier to adjudicate.  If your PCs stick to simple powers like Enhance and Sense it'll be easier (and their single FR die will actually be useful).

I've run the EotE beginner box twice, both times everybody was pretty happy with it.  All the beginner boxes have a PDF followup you can download to extend the adventure.  While I prefer the EotE box adventure, of the PDF extension I prefer the AoR adventure.  Still, both are good.

Keep in mind, as others have said, the core rules are the same for all games, and the only differences (Obligation vs Duty vs Morality) are not necessary to use at all.  I have two AoR PCs in my EotE campaign, it's no big deal.  So it's really about the flavour you want:  scoundrels, bounty hunters, charmers, and smugglers? or soldiers, pilots, captains, and diplomats?

 

And I disagree with that assessment. Firstly because Luke's Force sensitivity is pretty well established almost right at the beginning, Secondly. he already had extraordinary piloting capabilities well beyond what a "normal" fringer (like his aunt and uncle, for example) would have had. As such, I would have him either  as a Warrior/Starfighter Ace or a Sentinel/Racer

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2 hours ago, Mefyrx said:

Ill burst your bubble there but the empire doesnt mean bad guys and the rebels doesnt need good guys as there are no perfect system

Or less cryptically:

There's an Imperial Duty Chart in circulation, and playing a Darkside Force user is possible and the penalties for doing so not really bad compared to the benefits.

Or even less cryptically:

You can play an Imperial Campaign in this system and it'll work out fine!

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I meant *mean both times....typo from my cellphone...if that may help the confuse person...lol....so ive fixed it

 

Well you can do anything with this system and adapt it to your own story

 

Its just that i saw a couple of time the empire refered as the bad guy and the rebels as the good guys in this post.....and i think people have the wrong idea about this....

 

The rebels after all refers to the old republic that was disfunctional....

In the end your always subject to the person or persons in power and it all comes down to their values...mentality ...judgment...etc

Wether it is a dictatorship such as Russia (hidden one but is) or an elected one as USA....in both case you dont get the best person to represent your country...i mean in this case it basically prove that you would rather have a dictatorship...i mean between the two candidate....lmao

Edited by Mefyrx

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I prefer to mix all three together, but I have to disagree, that a Rebellion scenario is always more Military. Most rebel actions are pretty clandestine, and deal with the seedy underbelly of the corrupt empire. It's all how you create the scenario. The Dawn of Rebellion Book is actually giving a lot of good advice for that.

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Personally?

Edge of the Empire is easier to GM and run than Age of Rebellion.  In addition, an Edge group can be upgraded to Age fairly quickly.  The reverse isn't quite so easy. Plus, it the two lines can do a decent amount of cross over, especially for the out of career specializations.

For me?  Stick to Edge until you have a handle with the core game mechanics, then slowly add the Age mechanics on.

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I think the Edge Beginner Box is a better introduction, but Age is much more relatable to people who are mostly only experienced with the movies. It’s definitely not a “Combat only” setting as diplomat, engineer and spy all lead to very different objectives. I also think the Duty system is the best at bringing players together for a common cause.

Age of Rebellion would be my pick.

 

Edit: The AoR gm kit is definitely the most useful too.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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There seems to be pros for both AOR and EotE. I am leaning more towards EotE. at the moment due to the fluidity into the core rules that EOTE. beginners box has.  I do prefer obligation over duty after reading both tables on the FF website.  

Two more questions:

is it possible to use some of the pregen characters from FaD and AOR beginners box in the EoTE beginners missions and vice versa?

 

and how about the faD boa sex?  The adventure seems meh but doable. Does the beginners faD mission transition into the core rules similarly?

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1 hour ago, Sincereagape said:

is it possible to use some of the pregen characters from FaD and AOR beginners box in the EoTE beginners missions and vice versa?

Strictly speaking, it’s possible.

You’ll just want to keep in mind that the pre-gens are designed to give a smooth introduction to the concepts of the line they’re designed for. (When you combine the four included in the box and the two free downloadable ones, there’s a pre-gen to represent each of the careers.) Not to mention, since the Beginner Games are - by design - far more railroady than a typical session, the pre-gens are tailor made for that BG.

 

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This isn't an exact answer to your question, but here goes:

If at all possible, buy the three beginner boxes. You'll then have three decent adventures (each with a substantial free downloadable continuation), maps, loads of cardboard character tokens to represent troopers, vehicles etc but more importantly three sets of dice, which while not essential is very very useful. You'll then have a wealth of material to choose from, and determine which 'flavour' suits you best without splashing out for the relatively expensive CRBs.

More dice are always useful, and this is by far the most economical way of getting more with other 'stuff' as well.

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