I was going to do my Monday Mixtape tonight, but I’m just really not feeling anything right now. Joey Bada$$ is still cool, Tyler the Creator is still over hyped considering his lyricism (or lack there of). So I will instead just geek out for a bit since I have neglected the blog for FAR too long. Tonight I want to talk about my favorite new role-playing game: Star Wars – Edge of the Empire.
My first thought was “Oh no… lots of symbol dice”. The beta rule book has about a dozen pages of info on the 6 dice, which is pretty daunting, however once the dice begin rolling it becomes very simple and was second nature to me by the end of the first session. You basically have a success, fail, Epic win, Epic fail, positive condition, and negative condition as symbols found on the dice.
For instance, I make a ranged attack with my blaster. I have an agility ability of 3, so I will be rolling three ABILITY dice. My skill proficiency of 1 when I use my blaster upgrades one die to a PROFICIENCY DIE, which has a better success rate. He is at an average range, so I roll against 2 difficulty dice (yes I roll it myself!) so I know what I have to beat. I roll 1 successes, 2 advantages, 2 failures, and 1 threats. The 2 failures cancel out the success, leaving 1 failure. The 2 advantages cancel the 1 threat leaving 1 advantage, for a total of 1 failure with 1 advantage. The game master says something like “You miss the shot at the bounty hunter. However, the bolt hits the wall right next to his head, causing the bounty hunter to stumble. The next person to roll an action against the bounty hunter may add an additional boost die to their roll.”
This kind of dice rolling really adds to the story telling of the game and gives you several narrative options beyond the traditional success and failure. You can succeed but at a price, fail but gain a leg up, succeed and gain advantage, or heaven forbid, fail and be threatened by a new problem. This also gives the players an opportunity to use their advantages in a more immersive way. They can tell the GM what they’d like to do with the advantages. I may role a triumph (epic win) and tell the GM I was aiming for his gun. The bounty hunters blaster rifle explodes and damages the hunter. Finally we find a dice system that is less math and more ROLE PLAYING.
At the beginning of each session, each player roles to see how many Lightside and Darkside points there are in play. The players and GM may flip a point to increase their chances at something, or give their opposition an unexpected karmic retribution. Like coins, the light side point becomes a dark side point once flipped and vice versa. This a great way of adding lady luck to the game, and in a universe like Star Wars that is rich with the force, it becomes another perfect fit to the atmosphere.
EXPERIENCE and TALENT TREES
Unlike traditional experience points systems, you do not use XP to level up. In fact, you don’t really “level Up” at all. Now before you get too freaked out, your character DOES advance as you gain experience, you simply don’t become a “Level two smuggler” or anything. Instead, you spend your XP like currency to purchase skill ranks or talents (feats) from your class talent tree. The oversimplification for the MMO players was detrimental in my opinion when introduced in 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, but this particular element is perfect with this new system. For those unfamiliar with “trees” they are basically talents that are placed on tiers and put onto mostly linear paths, needing the pre-requisite of tier X to proceed to tier Y
Hope you can process all that and I hope to talk more gaming in weeks to come. Now I’m off to build a standard legal MTG deck.
Look for lots of music updates this week!
Respect the vest,