Friday, May 13, 2016

Second Hand Treasures - Edge of the Empire


Yup, my copy of Edge of the Empire is a Second Hand Treasure. I'm still a little gobsmacked to this day that I was lucky enough to find this like new copy in the store's used bin for ten measly dollars.

I trawl that used bin (really more like a set of shelves, but bin sounds so much better) frequently, about 2-3 times a month. More often than not I buy nothing, but sometimes I get lucky.  I picked this up on a "Well, shit, it's ten bucks!" mentality. I figured, if nothing else I could read the rules and see what people were talking about.

At home I gave it a skim. Later I gave it a read. It seemed simple enough. I liked the way that attributes and skills combined to form your pool in a unique way. Not just 3 dice plus 2 dice, but instead something more interesting, 3 dice then upgrade 2 of them. This system uses custom dice of course, with the upgraded dice having both more faces AND more results on them. The difficulty system was likewise innovative (at least in my experience) with dice added to your pool that had negative results, and those can be upgraded (downgraded?) into their more challenging version. And of course there are positive and negative modifier dice. It's a lot of dice to roll, and then to you have figure the symbols out, cancel out the bad with the good and find your net result. But it was certainly new (to me) and certainly different.

A lot of the rest of the book was as expected. Lists of gear and weapons and ships and ships and ships and gear and weapons and ships and creatures. But it felt very Star Wars-y to me. This led me to buy the Edge of the Empire beginner game (for $20 on discount it was by far better than $15 for a set of dice given that the dice came with it). I played that with a group of friends. I played it with a different group of friends.

I found that I wasn't comfortable enough with it to take it further. As a GM I need to feel like I have expertise, or better still mastery, over the rules system. I'm willing to accept a certain learning curve, but if I cannot gain that level of expertise I'll never feel good running the game. I knew that Edge of the Empire would need a lot of learning on a larger curve. It's crunchier than what I'd been playing.

Fast forward to now. I get an email earlier this week inviting me to a game. A Star Wars game using this very system. If all goes well the first session of this will be my ... fifth (I think) time playing FFGs version of Star Wars, and my 2nd as a player. I'm hoping that with a GM who is very comfortable with the rules I can ride part of that learning curve toward expertise. I'm hoping I have the opportunity to try out the rules for the Force that seem quite different than what has come before.

And all for a measly ten bucks.