August 18, 2012

FFG & Star Wars, take two

Last night, the GSA put up a much more in-depth article discussing what was (at the time) known about Fantasy Flight Games' upcoming Star Wars RPG.

Fair warning that the tone can seem a little negative, but take it with a grain of salt.

I won't rehash what's said there, but of note is at the end Mr. Ruffles of the Brew City Gamers podcast has a short iPhone video clip of him flipping through the book.  Seems there's not a lot of art, but there is a lot of crunch-based content, and word has it the lack of art is going to be the only major difference between the "beta" book and the final version.  To me at least, this sounds less like it's a beta in regards to D&DNext, and more like the rules are largely set, they just don't have the assorted bits and bobbits ready yet.

I'm hoping that we'll have more information not long after GenCon, as the GSA's got at least a couple Agents on the spot at GenCon with the chance to talk to some of the folks behind this game.

Edit: You can also read about a fellow gamer's thoughts about FFG's version of Star Wars over at Word of the Nerd at

August 17, 2012

Fantasy Flight Games & SWRPG, my thoughts

As I (and probably a host of other folks) expected, Fantasy Flight Games finally released some news on what they were doing with the RPG portion of their Star Wars license.  Clue one, it ain't using it as a seat warmer.

From what bits I've seen on Twitter so far, it looks like it's going to follow a model similar to that used by the Warhammer 40K RPG, with at least three books of escalating power levels, with the initial offering being "Edge of the Empire," and an additional book being released each subsequent year.

To be honest, I'm a bit hesitant about this.  Having seen the WH40K books and the way they were set up, I have a bad feeling about just how "open" this new iteration of Star Wars is going to be, at least in terms of official content.

Granted, it's true that the d6 version of Star Wars had an incredibly strong focus on the Rebellion and eventually the New Republic eras, but that's due largely to those really being the only eras out there, with Clone Wars pretty being "hands off" as per The Flanneled One.  But since the release of the Prequel Trilogy (regardless of what you think of them) on top of the New Jedi Order, Knights of the Old Republic, and Legacy Era material, Star Wars now covers a much broader range of eras than just the Classic/Rebellion Era.  Even the OCR and RCR versions of Star Wars by Wizards of the Coast weren't heavily restricted to just a small window of time, remembering that they were released at the same time as the adore-mentioned Prequel Trilogy.  Star Wars Saga Edition, by far my favorite version of the different Star Wars RPGs, almost literally covers the gamut of eras, with the vast-majority of the crunch-based material being non-specific enough that it can be ported into game set in other eras with a minimal amount of fuss, to say nothing of almost half the line's sourcebooks generally being "era-neutral" and thus applicable to campaigns set during the Dawn of the Jedi all the way up to to Legacy Era and everything in between.

No granted, I don't have any special insider info, and not being able to go to GenCon this year obviously means what a lot of what little info I do have is coming to me second-hand, so I might be way off base.  Then again, considering the press release that FFG put up on their website, there may not be a whole lot of viability if you want gameplay in settings outside of the Rebellion Era.

However, that may also change, as FFG is offering up the chance to get involved in the Beta Testing as early as now, even if you're not at GenCon.  Unlike a lot of other Beta testings, this one you have to pony up your cash up front to play along.  So for those of us not at GenCon, there are two options: Hope you've got a participating retailer in your area, or buy the beta book right off FFG's website, which is the option I took.  I choose the Priority Mail shipping option, but I suspect the book won't even ship until after GenCon.

For those of you curious and would rather get the (limited) info from the horse's mouth, here's the link:

In other news, I'm really hoping for my X-Wing game to be shipped soon.  I pretty much pre-ordered the main box set and all the available boosters as soon as they became available, based solely upon the demo games I played of it at GenCon 2011.

Also, lack of being at GenCon has the prospect of being made up for by playing a Skype game of Mouseguard run by my friend Nateal.  I've heard a lot about the game, so I'm eager to see what all the talk is about.

August 15, 2012

Edition Wars: Great Fun in Small Packaging

Not a huge post, but just a quick one to discuss in brief the first offering by GamerNation Studios, aka the guys behind the D20 Radio network.

Funded via Kickstarter earlier in the year, Edition Wars has officially been let loose upon the world.  Part of the premise is it's a quick, fun card game you can throw down while waiting for the rest of your gaming group to show up, or perhaps play if the GM suddenly can't make it (which is what happened tonight).

As most of our group for the bi-weekly Marvel Heroic RPG had shown up but the GM had to beggar off to avoid excessive wife aggro, that left a bunch of gamers ready to game but no game on hand.  Luckily, I'd brought along my copy if Edition Wars so at least our gathering wasn't a total waste of everyone's time and gas money.

We only played a couple times, and the first one had some referring to the instruction pamphlet (not really a booklet) a few times just to make sure we got things right.  Nothing's worse than playing a game, not having fun, and then realizing you'd screwed up several key elements.

Well, fun was to be had, as well as laughs galore at some of the gamer types and the GMs, as well as various Critical Effect cards.  I must admit, it felt kind of odd to lose the game because my own gamer card was the 6th gamer in to another GM's group.  I'm going to want to play a few more times before I really go into an in-depth review, but suffice to say it's a really fun game and worth the $25 to pick it up at either your FLGS or various online gaming retailers.

In other news, while I've not been posting much here, I have been far busier over at the Gaming Security Agency website, found here:

I've done a couple of advice articles, including a warning about excessive house ruling taken from my own long experiences with RPGs and an incessant urge to "tweak" things under just about any RPG I've played or GM'd.  I've also kicked off a running series of articles called "Heroes on Demand," which is intended to provide ready-to-run characters, all of them rules-legal, for new players and time-pressed GM's alike.  I'd say about half of the offerings so far are for Star Wars Saga Edition, although I really do hope to change that in the weeks to come.  Already there's a Chest-Deep hero for the FATE-based Dresden Files game as well as a doughty adventurer for Warhammer Fantasy.  And there are a lot of other great articles by my fellow Agents that are worth your time to check out, so if you haven't scoped out the GSA website, go do so.