This weekend, having left the book on my reading pile for months, I finally took the time to take a look at Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.
My usual approach to new games is to browse through the introduction and then design a character. Having already played the system, using the excellent Introductory Game, I was able to jump in and do just that.
What I have found was... very encouraging.
Fringers, one and all...
The first thing to say is that this incarnation of the Star Wars RPG is focused on the thing that I love most about the whole setting: edgy fringers clinging on for dear life in a hostile universe.
This isn't a Jedi game, like the Saga Edition, and it's grittier than the old d6 version. It's also designed to encourage story-telling and cinematic action, despite the funny dice.
In an hour, working from scratch and reading the rules as I went, I was able to come up with my very own Star Wars character... and it was pretty straight-forward to customise him to my taste too.
Careers and Specialisations
What I particularly liked was the way in which you pick an archetypal Career for your hero and then get to choose one (or more) Specialisations - easily thought of as "the job you do right now" - to fit your concept.
I've chosen to build a thief - a kind of ex-ganger who steals for a living. That made him a pretty good fit for a Smuggler with the Thief specialisation. What is neat is that the game gives you lots of cool choices to make your hero your own, whilst retaining a template-building system.
Of all the things that I like about this game, however, by far the best is the system for Obligation. Basically, everyone owes someone for something... and your obligations can get you into trouble. This wonderfully emulates the kind of things that come up in the Star Wars movie - think of Han getting a "talking to" from Jabba, all because Han owes the Hutt a dropped cargo, and you've got the idea.
My hero betrayed his gang boss and had to flee Coroscant, stowing away in the smuggling compartments of a friend's freighter. He owes his friend and he may have to face the consequences of his betrayal. Both of these past events might rear their heads during the campaign. It's a neat system to encourage some cool background stories... and include the past in the present action.
Getting a Game
The only barrier to a game will be, as mentioned last week, persuading players to take an interlude and try a session. With all the games vying for my attention, including Shadowrun5, this game is going to have to wait in line. And yet... it's really slick, neat and very atmospheric. It leaves me itching to play it now.
Labels: characters, review, Star Wars