Monday, 31 December 2012

Last Entry of 2012

Howdy all!

Jerreth Esq. here with my last entry of 2012. Sorry to say it isn't the Yearly Retrospective I've been ignoring working on; I'm hoping I'll get that up sometime in January. But before the year is over, I want to gush a bit about Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.

My feelings on this game can best be summed up in the final panel of the comic strip below:

Penny-Arcade copyright Mike Krahulik & Jerry Holkins

My heart is on FIRE. :'D

Yesterday my EotE gaming group had our fourth and final session of the Beta Rulebook adventure: Crates of Krayts. With everyone mostly familiar and comfortable with the core mechanics and gameplay, it went hella smooth compared to our first session. We finally started to look beyond the suggestions in the book and interpret the dice results cinematically, which I think enhanced the fun threefold. I had an awesome time, and I'm pretty sure my players had great fun as well. Evidently, I/we must be doing something right because we've decided to continue EotE as our Sunday game; and I'm glad for this because a) I'd like to get more practice/experience with the system as I'm going to run it at GottaCon (Yes, I finally decided! I'm going to run the Beginner Game!), and b) I friggin' love this game!

I've said in the past that WotC's Star Wars: Saga Edition is my favourite incarnation of the d20 system, but I think FFG's game is my favourite Star Wars RPG period. It just does Star Wars better.

Speaking of the Beginner Game, I was a little worried when I submitted my slot info to the event coordinators, as despite playing the Beta, I had yet to actually posses the Beginner Game! But that changed when I was able to grab a copy at my FLGS Saturday after work.

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game

I was going to do a little unboxing review of the it, but I changed my mind and I'll just direct those interested in such to Gabe from Penny-Arcade and Agent 94 from The GSA's reviews. I will give a few of my initial thoughts and impressions though:

  • I agree with Agent 94; the box itself is rather disappointing, being made out of thin cardboard. It would've been rather nice to have a sturdy box to store/carry around the materials and the Beta Rulebook. Alas.
  • One of the chief reasons why my friend and I each picked up a copy of the Beginner game was for the set of dice it comes with, as using the stickers provided with the Beta to make your own set or the Dice App for iOS or Android just isn't the same as having the actual dice. It just feels right. But in that regard I was a little disappointed as the dice failed to meet the expectations I had formed on their appearance from the Dice App and the images of them from FFG. Don't get me wrong, these dice are much easier to read at a distance than their sticker'ed counterparts, but the material and colours they're made out of doesn't really match the hues portrayed in the books. The green and purple dice are darker, the blue die is much whiter, and the yellow's corn-hue is kinda lame. Also the symbols are inset into the dice and not just printed on, which doesn't look as sleek but is probably a good move design-wise as printed symbols would be more likely to get worn off. Here's a comparison below:

The Actual Dice

The Portrayed Dice

  • I'm probably just nit-picking here. I mean once we started rolling them in our game, the appearance didn't matter at all. They are easier to read, and that's what's most important I think.
  • As for the Adventure provided, Escape from Mos Shutta, it's geared toward teaching the mechanics of the game to new players and the GM a little at a time through each encounter. Since we've played the Beta, it's not so useful for our group now but it is written for introducing the game to new gamers, which I think will come in handy when I run it for new players at GottaCon.
  • The follow-up adventure, Long Arm of the Hutt, is available as a PDF from FFG, and is more of a standard adventure. Very well written.
  • The various tokens the set came with are pretty decent, but being a huge mini fan myself they'll see little use I think, and I made my own Destiny tokens by finding some loose backgammon checkers and painting one side of them black. (You can see my tokens in the bottom right of the box photo above. They don't look as cool as the Lightside/Darkside symbols on the left side, but they're more tactile in my opinion.)
  • The Beginner Rulebook is a handy quick-reference for rules, but it omits many of the rules from the core game for obvious reasons so it can only be so useful once one owns the Core Rulebook. I've also noticed some of the rules it does provide have been altered from the Beta Rulebook (even after the last errata). I'm not sure if this will reflect the final rules we'll see in the Core Rulebook, or if it's just simplification for beginners. That said I do like most of these changes, and will use them in place of some of the Beta rules.
  • All in all, I think the Beginner Game is a good holdover till the Core Rulebook comes out Spring 2013. Another thing to look forward to in the New Year!
I also wanted to mention that my range-band-target idea has been a really useful aid for all of us during our sessions. I'm definitely going to utilize it at the convention. One thing I'm going to add to improve it is a few sidebars that stat out the silhouette differences that effect Gunnery checks during Starship and Vehicle combat.

/end fanboy

And that concludes my final entry of 2012! I want to thank everyone for visiting this year, and I wish you all a happy 2013 of gaming!

Cheers! ;{١

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