Monday, 5 November 2012

A New Hope?

All his life as he looked away to the future, to the horizon...

I'm sure you all know by now of Disney buying Lucasfilm, and the news of Episode VII in 2015, so I need not go much into it. At first I was shocked and a little dismayed, but then after thinking about it I think it's good thing, after all Disney's been treating the studios they've acquired pretty well, given how well Marvel Studios are doing with that franchise. I'm still worried about this new trilogy though, given how disappointing the prequels were and that so much awesome Expanded Universe material might get re-conned, or outright trashed.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, back at GenCon last August, Fantasy Flight Games announced not only their new Star Wars RPG line, but released a Beta test version of it that day. Several months since then I've had time to read [this too] and listen [here too] to all the hubbub on the trial. And I must say, since I can no longer get my hands on the Beta, I'm anxious for when the testing & balancing finishes and the rulebook and/or beginner game it hit the shelves of my FLGS. It sounds like they've introduced a lot of elements into the game that have made it more cinematic, and there's a lot of great concepts I like the sound of. One being the non-binary dice pools where a successful roll could land you under threat or if you fail at your original goal you may still gain an advantage. Another are all the career trees available for a wide range of character customizing.

Custom Dice?
First I was like Boo, but now I'm like Ooo...
The other big thing: Obligation. Something I always felt in my Saga games was a lack of inherent mechanical drive in the Fringe characters' backgrounds; players would kind of play them like D&D adventurers: get in fights and get rich. It seemed no matter what ideas I'd suggest or situations they'd get themselves into, it wouldn't really matter to the devil-may-care-soldiers-of-fortune-for-hire-with-no-past; which is funny because that's what you pretty much play in Edge of the Empire, but they solved it by giving everyone Obligations, built in plot hooks! Sure, Han Solo did whatever he wanted when he wanted but that death mark on his head eventually caught up with him, causing a whole mess of trouble for him and those who associated with him.

Now, I love Saga Edition, it's by far my favourite incarnation of the d20 system. I was rather disheartened when I heard that they were stopping the line and dropping the license. I was concerned a bit when I heard FFG had acquired it and it was going to be kinda set up like their Warhammer 40k RPG license (I didn't want my Star Wars to go all grimdark). But I always knew I was going to pick up at least the core rulebook of the new SWRPG, because I'm a huge fanboy and I love roleplaying games. (Heck, I'm still trying to get my hands on the old West End Games stuff but I haven't seen it anywhere.)

And now I'm so excited about the prospect of this new game, I can't wait till it comes out. And before I catch myself, I pretty sure this isn't the same kind of anticipation like waiting for a video game *coughTORcough* and winding up disappointed. What I love about RPGs over video games, is if you're disappointed with a video game, you can't do anything to change it; but with an RPG you can do anything or everything to change it, to make it more enjoyable.

I love trying out new systems, new ways to play games and tell stories, but in the end it isn't the system that really matters. Sure I have my preferences we all do, but like to think I can enjoy any game because the only thing I really need is my imagination.

Wow, that got corny quick...

May The Force Be With You! ;{١