I’ve just finished playing in another Edge of the Empire session run by Runeslinger; playing with Andre (who runs his own game Tides of Change) from the Brigade and two of Runeslinger’s regular face-to-face players; our motley crew consisted of:
Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed like a brilliant one at the time, but then in the cold light of day, maybe not so much?
I’m sure we all must have done right?
Well I had one the other day, it was late, must have been nearly midnight, i’d got up early at 6:00am to play in a StarWars Edge of Empire one-off run by Runeslinger (you can find a link to the AP of that session here) and really enjoyed that, banged a load of energy drinks down me, went to a local RP convention then I came home, did some blogging, drank some more energy drinks and kept writing until near midnight. It was as the witching hour approached that I was sitting at my keyboard, Edge of Empire corebook tantalisingly within reach that a thought occurred to me:
“I could probably run an Edge of Empire campaign at the same time as my Jadepunk game”
I was chatting to a couple of people online at the time, but the idea seemed like a really good one as I started to crash, the last of the caffeinated goodness from my earlier feast of energy drinks spent; I went as far as to start writing down the skeletal notes of a campaign outline and began musing idly about what day I could run it on – Saturday was out because otherwise i’d be running games on both days of the weekend and I’d never manage to get into a one-shot, how about Tuesdays? I was going to be playing in a bi-weekly StarWars game run by somebody else on Tuesdays, but perhaps I could slot my game in on the other weeks; i’m pretty sure that some of my Jadepunkers would be interested and I could always look for other players on the many RP Facebook groups I’m a member of.
Luckily for me it was at that point that I really started to crash and, making my excuses retired to bed. When I woke up the next morning the idea of running another campaign seemed a little silly in the cold light of day, after all, it would effectively halve the planning time that I’d have for Jadepunk and would mean that I’d have to organise two groups of people, with all the scheduling difficulties, correspondence and other things that entails.
If you find yourself in the situation where you’re thinking about running another campaign, I’d suggest asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have the energy to run another campaign?
Although running games is fun, a lot of effort goes into them and it can become exhausting if you take too much on, leading to the dreaded GM burnout.
- Do you have the time to run and plan another campaign?
There’s only so many hours in the week, work and other real-life stuff tends to eat up a lot of time for most of us, so seriously consider whether or not you have the time to devout to it, keeping in mind that you’ll be splitting this time between your new game and any current campaigns you’re running.
- Is your significant other going to murder you?
A very important consideration, whilst playing non-stop RPing games would be a dream come true for some, even if you have a very understanding other half, they may frown on the amount of time you have to devote towards running yet another game.
- Could you get your fix another way?
If you’re just looking for a change of pace or maybe want to try out a new system, perhaps running a one-shot or one-off session might help to scratch that itch and, since it’s only a one-off it won’t chew up so much of your time.
If you want to run a one-shot I highly recommend giving the Tabletop RPG One Shot Group Facebook community a look.
Hopefully once you’ve answered those questions you’ll have more of any idea of whether running another RPG campaign is actually desirable and feasible…
…and I definitely can’t run another game…
…nor do I want to…
You might be wondering what i’m doing posting at such an early time in the morning (UK time)?
Well, I was lucky enough to playing in my first Edge of Empire game this morning, a one-shot kindly ran by Runeslinger (a member of the RPG Brigade), you can find a link to his youtube channel and blog here; the game was a one-shot and has been recorded on Runeslinger’s channel.
The game featured myself playing Jummuri a Twi’lek smuggler who was trying to find a way to free his tribe from the yoke of Hutt slavery and Shivox a gand seeking to make a name for himself (played by Jason of Mr Mephisto’s Geek Manifesto); this was my first game using the system, I own the corebook for EoE but hadn’t really tried it out yet but was looking forward to giving the game a try, in particular the narrative dice mechanic (dice with a variety of strange symbols) intrigued me.
To summarise the session, we were on Viv station in the Korla Sector, a place known for it’s criminal enterprises but that faced the encroaching darkness of an Imperial presence including a large blockade capable Imperial vessel; a Bothan contact of ours named Rek was supposed to have arranged repairs to our vessel, but they hadn’t been carried out. Eventually we located Rek and it was revealed that he was on the run after falsely being accused of killing the hencman of Hutt crimelord called Jabba; an out of control bounty hunter known for unauthodox disintegrations was on Rek’s tail so he offered to trade ships with us (switching our small Firespray for his customised YT-1200) if we’d provide a distaction whilst he escaped.
We agreed and ended up fleeing the station ahead of bounty hunters tracking Rek (believing him still onboard), at one point even having to make a scary ride into the icy ring of one of the systems planets to shake off someone magnetised to the hull of our new ship and trying to burn their way through. We got barely escaped the icy asteroid belt with our necks, although we did manage to lose our unwanted passenger, only to be confronted by the Imperial blockage ship as the session drew to a cliff-hanging close.
So how did I find the game?
Well without beating around the bush I absolutely loved it, Jason was a pleasure to game with, a great deal of banter developing between his serious and social inept Gand and my smooth talking but ultimately insecure Twi’Lek, Runeslinger had a very engaging style of gamesmastering and was quite willing to take into account suggestions from the players (always a good sign in my book); this lead to a very enjoyable gaming experience that was well worth getting up early and consuming a large quantity of energy drinks for.
The system itself seemed fairly easy to understand (although I think there are some areas where Runeslinger did a lot of the heavy lifting mechanics-wise) and I felt that by the end of the session I was really starting to understand how they worked.
The process was made a great deal easier by the fillable EoE character sheet that I downloaded (you can find it here) and the rules reference sheet (available here) that I got off the internet and had open whilst the game was running.
But what about the funky dice mechanic?
Edge of Empire (and the other FFG starwars games) use special dice with various symbols on them:
I’m not going to go into exhaustive detail about what these dice and all the symbols mean (if you want more of an idea then the reference sheet should help, as well as the books of course) but basically you create a pool of dice, some positive and other negatives, you then roll them and the symbols determine not only whether you succeed or fail but also whether any complication, bonus effects or such-like occur.
I have to admit to being a little skeptical about this at first, any mention of buying special dice tends to make me a little uneasy, however this feeling was eased slightly by my discovery of the Edge of Empire dice app for Google Hangouts; however in game I found that, even by the end of this one-shot, the use of the dice was becoming fairly intuitive and after a few early checks of my reference sheet I was starting to remember the names of the different dice and being able to read the rolls very quickly. The mechanic seemed to add an extra dramatic/narrative element to the game, every time you made a roll it wasn’t just either (A) you’ve succeeded or (B) you’ve failed but it gave the GM guidelines as to how to add extra touches of narration and entertainment into the scenes.
Overall I am very impressed with EoE based on this first play and am going to be playing in a bi-weekly campaign soon which i’m looking forward to; it’s definitely becoming a strong contender for a future campaign (although not for a while since I’ve got a lot of Jadepunk to run first).
What can I say? Daring flights from bounty hunters and whizzing through asteroid fields at death-defying speeds, what better way is there to spend a Saturday morning?