My first session playing Edge of Empire

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:

DiceFanI’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?