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inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

After the recent forums downtime ended, I build a little Python app to scrape the F&F threads into a database.

I now have a 172 MB sqlite database containing the raw HTML of 578 pages, and then the processed HTML of all 23081 posts in the threads. (If anyone's interested in keeping score, Mors Rattus leads the board at 1140, with Alien Rope Burn at 925 and PurpleXVI at 857 respectively.)

I intend to use Syrg's indexes from the wiki to automate maintaining a F&F post archive along the same vein as lparchive.org. (Syrg, if you're interested, we can talk about any ways I might be able to use the database to make your life easier.)

I saw in the last thread (which I'm close to finishing reading) that someone else started an archive but only got a few writeups in. I hope that by making it automated I can avoid this problem.

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inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

I've got a first pass result on the writeup archives. This link is not permanent and may go away as work progresses.

Known issues:
  • I suck at web design, even when I'm using Bootstrap
  • Smilies are being hotlinked from SA servers; this is bad
  • Any images posted using the attachment feature are also being hotlinked from SA servers; this is also bad
  • Two of the posts in Halloween Jack's Carcosa writeup are missing. The urls on the wiki for the posts don't work.
  • A lot of the images from older writeups are lost; they point to waffleimages or some such.

Advice on dealing with these problems is welcomed. (My ideal situation is someone steps up to help with the web design and I can focus on keeping the archives reliably up to date.)

Currently I've got a database containing every post from all three threads as well as all the indexes Syrg Sapphire has so generously maintained on the wiki, and I can automatically keep this archive up to date going forward. There's also probably some way I can make the indexing job easier. Happy to talk about that too.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Galaga Galaxian posted:

Rapidfire is a relatively simple, fast, and straightforward rules system. There are almost no reference tables, combat doesn't use a tactical map, and the math is kept very basic. All actions are resolved with a simple mechanic of 1d6 + Skill + Stat + Difficulty modifier.

Characters in Warbirds have only 3 major attributes and a few substats. The 3 primary stats are Body, Mind, and Spirit. Starting out these stats range from -2 to +2, though the actual extremes are +/-3 (representing peak human potential or a person with a nearly completely debilitating affliction). Body and Mind are fairly straight forward, though Spirit represents willpower and/or religious faith, and is also used in social situations to represent social acuity/constructiveness.

I guess they used up all their imagination on the setting! I'm honestly kind of surprised this wasn't a Savage Worlds game or something like that.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

After some thought, I decided to remove "Racial Holy War" from the archives I made of these threads, as well as add a sort of half-hearted disclaimer. I do think there's room to explain the context of the threads when I do come up with a not-horrible design for the site. (If anyone's interested in doing the design or HTML for this, please let me know.)

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Alien Rope Burn posted:

If anybody wants to pick up that work from DDP, I'm seeing who to inquire with about getting a wiki account these days. I can't imagine anybody wants that burden, but any work put towards ensuring the indexing continues would be appreciated.

Maybe we can make it more of a self-service deal?

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

I picked it up thinking it might be an interesting substitute for Eclipse Phase, but apparently the main human civilization in-game has a Federation-like stance on human improvements (by which I mean "don't do it ever we mean it").

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

They don't have them linked directly for all to download; you have to "buy" them for $0 from the Burning Wheel webstore or DriveThruRPG. Seems odd, but there you have it.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord


The Obitu were also statted up for regular Pathfinder and for 4E. I bought the 4E version a while back. Instead of a virus-making psychic coral, they were made by a lich to be immune to turn undead; in order to do this, he had them powered by positive energy, and so they promptly destroyed him.

They're skeletons, but their bones are alive and can bleed. They have an extra magic item slot, inside their ribcage. (Technically any race can use these magic items, but most races die when you remove their hearts and put in magic stones instead.) Unfortunately their stat bonuses are to STR and DEX, which means they can be fighters, rangers, rogues, or monks. That's right; the not-undead race literally powered by radiant energy is at best a mediocre fit for any of the divine-powered classes; the best you can do is pick a class that works great with one of those stats and use the other bonus to shore up a dump stat.

Alluria Publishing posted:

In actuality, most of the biological functions of an obitu take place within its skull. A small, wormlike feeding tube extends into its mouth cavity when it eats. [...] Some obitu, if they are fortunate enough to find their mortal origins, will re-name themselves in honor of their bone donor, especially if their donor was noble and good.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Alien Rope Burn posted:

The index is not maintained. I personally went to the work of making sure my own F&Fs are up to date, but I don't know if anybody else has. There's also the offsite index created by Inklesspen, but it's based off of the wiki and isn't any more up-to-date that I'm aware of. (It's a great site, but most F&Fs are being lost like tears in the rain right now.)

I have the complete contents of all three threads (24622 posts). However, I was relying on the wiki to tell my script which posts to pull out of the database and compile into the writeups.

Since the wiki is not being updated anymore, I am working on an alternative solution, but my spare time is not as frequently available as I would like.

However, if anyone would care to update the wiki, I will resume fetching it and updating the site on a regular basis (while I work on the new system).

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

theironjef posted:

Great! Now do the easier one. We can't remember the name of the obvious famous harem anime, the one with the space cop, the shrine maiden, the space pirate, the rabbit that turns into a space ship, etc.

Tenchi Muyo, the show with a million remakes/spinoffs.

Also tree starships are the best thing ever, so there.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

If I ran Tenchi Muyo, it would just be psychic tree space opera.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Halloween Jack posted:

That is James Desborough in a nutshell, though. If you take away the controversial things he's done in his games and online, he's just a D20 shovelware hack who hasn't done anything noteworthy after the handful of higher-profile titles he worked on early in his career.

I regret to inform you that Black Tokyo is the (presumably one-hand-only) "work" of Chris Field, not Desby.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Evil Mastermind posted:

The Strange may be the world's first Torg Heartbreaker. I was so disappointed when I found out it was just another d20 game. I'd kill a man (or at least wound one) for a Fate-powered version of Torg.

Nah, it's Numenera (with all its stupidities). I oughta do a quick runthrough of it, though. There is some stupid poo poo in there.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

It'll be GURPS.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Kurieg posted:

Mors Rattus reviewed it, and it's in the archives, but the links on the FNF Wiki are broken.
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3421366&userid=126443&perpage=40&pagenumber=13#post401939822

Just a reminder that I have all the old reviews up at my site. (I haven't updated it since the FNF Wiki stopped being updated, but all the old stuff is still there.)

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Young Freud posted:

I'd really like to talk more about this, and kinda wish there was a heartbreaker thread I can discuss more of this and probably motivate me more.

This or this is effectively the heartbreaker thread.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Let’s talk about the The Strange RPG. It uses the Cypher system from Numenera. Unlike Numenera, it also has a title that’s very awkward to use. We already know Monte Cook, but the primary author of The Strange is Bruce Cordell, whose mind gave us D&D 3e’s Epic Level Handbook and D&D 4e’s Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (as well as some D&D supplements that were actually good.)

The Strange comes from Cordell’s concept for a science fiction novel providing his solution to the Fermi paradox, taking advantage of the fact that while physicists currently believe dark energy and dark matter exist, they have no idea what the hell they are. In The Strange, you will learn that dark energy is a universe-spanning computing network. (This doesn’t make a lot of sense, since dark energy is a part of our universe’s physics while the dark energy network supposedly contains many universes with a variety of different axioms, but hey, that’s surely just a conundrum for the GM to resolve.) When he told Cook about the novel idea, Cook convinced him to turn it into The Strange instead.


These are the first two paragraphs in the book. None of this has anything to do with The Strange RPG.

The game opens with an in-universe briefing document from “The Estate”, which is an organization that “defends the Earth from all threats of the Strange”. (By implication, PCs are assumed to be members of this organization.) Some of the more interesting details in the briefing are redacted and the document is (in theory) intended for people who already know about the Strange, which produces an effect that I think is supposed to be evocative but is actually just annoying. As an example:

Why even bother posted:

We call these creatures planetovores because a) the Estate has good evidence that one tried to consume our planet when Earth first discovered the Chaosphere and b) because they REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.

The Chaosphere is apparently a synonym for the Strange. The two terms are used interchangeably throughout the book. Planetovores are referenced from time to time in the rules; they are the ultimate foes which PCs may fight. There are absolutely no rules or guidelines for the GM to use when creating a planetovore for the game.

The document also explains the different kinds of axioms natural laws under which alternate universes (called “recursions”) operate:

Totally not TORG posted:

Earth and the visible universe operate under a familiar set of rules, called Standard Physics. But different recursions often operate under alternate sets of rules. The Estate has classified the following additional laws under which recursions operate: Magic, Mad Science, Psionics, Substandard Physics, and REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.

Okay, “Substandard Physics” is funny, but this is also the point where you have to give up pretending dark energy in this RPG means anything like what dark energy means in the real world. It’s just one level above waving your hands and saying “because quantum”.

Next the document lists the other two major recursions, Ardeyn and Ruk. Ardeyn is a fantasy realm where magic works, while Ruk is a millennia-old realm with mad science. Numerous other recursions exist, mostly created by human imagination using the fun old “all your favorite fiction is true in another universe” trope. Later on, we’ll see recursions based on Dante’s Inferno, the Muppets, Barsoom, Oz, 221B Baker Street, and others. (Plus, as a special bonus feature, three pages of a very racist stereotype of Native Americans, for which Monte Cook Games is currently mounting an incoherent defense.)

Of course, The Strange is also a Cypher system game, which means you can look forward to a bunch of crappy one-shot artifacts, GM intrusions, and not!wizards being better than the other two classes. But don’t worry, The Strange has its own special spin on most of these as well!

So, where should I go from here? There's a lot of "fun" in the character creation, including The Strange's little tweak on Cypher System's adjective-noun-verb thing. Or we could look at the rules for jumping between recursions, or even skip ahead to discuss the different recursions in the book.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

LornMarkus posted:

You won't have to work hard for it, as it's my understanding their most recent world book for it was "Native American Stereotype land," and people were not happy about this.

It's not a worldbook; it's three pages in the core book. And yeah, it would probably be less offensive if they hadn't done whatever modicum of research they did. (Also I'm convinced one part of it is a really vague Shadowrun reference.)

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Traveller posted:

Mobs are a special kind of creature for when you don't want to roll for all 6d10 goblins. They represent 50 enemies or so, and behave as a single creature but have a lot of attacks (4-8) and lots of HD (10 or better). They normally act as if they only had one HD for purposes of Fray dice and Gifts, but abilities that one-shot one HD enemies only reduce the mob in one die. Area-effect spells and Gifts deal double damage to mobs.

Sanity-check me here: if I'm fighting a boss backed up by a 10 HD mob and I roll anything above a 1 on my fray die, it hits the mob (because the mob is treated as 1 HD for this), doesn't auto-kill the mob because for applying damage the mob still has its full HD, and then applies damage as normal?

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Nessus posted:

Maybe someone should do a writeup of that old Guardians of Order Sailor Moon RPG guide.

I could have sworn someone did, but all I can find in my database is the Sailor Moon CCG.

I guess what I'm saying is :justpost:.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Fsmhunk posted:

Where the hell did the 'orcs do lots of rape' thing come from anyway? At least Warhammer is free of such taint.

Orcs hating other stocks, other stocks hating orcs, and half-orcs still being a thing, I think.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Just to mention because :effortless:, Rifts World Book Six: South America is now up on the tradwiki, as is every other Rifts review occamsnailfile and I have done.

Thank you for your service to America and to freedom.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Tasoth posted:

Is there a SJWmancer? It has a great paradox of fighting for equality but tilting at everything that comes up whether real or imagined, a taboo where you have to die on every hill even if you realize it isn't a good one and a charge scheme that moves from being embedded in tumblr for minor acts and physically being involved in greater and greater efforts for bigger charges. Although I can't imagine what the rituals would look like.

Friend, you might want to slow your roll.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

This is the 30,000th post in the combined FATAL & Friends threads. I hope you're all proud of yourselves.

To celebrate, I'm finally starting work on the next generation of my off-forums archive for these threads, which will no longer depend on the wiki being kept up to date. Project MIMIR is go.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Aggressively Hegemonizing Porcine Swarm

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Do Engine Heart. Do it.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

PurpleXVI posted:

Is there an up to date index of the thread anywhere these days? It doesn't look like the index on tradwiki has been updated in at least half a year's time.

IIRC Alien Rope Burn made a few updates, but other than that, nope. That's why I'm working on my offsite archive.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Kai Tave posted:

Next Time: Introductions, Explanations, and Magic Deer

:allears:

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

MadScientistWorking posted:

You can't though as I want to say that he has material that has never been released for that game.

Having homebrew for FATAL doesn't really count for anything.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord


a common typo, but I contain neither ink nor spleen

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Please stop posting about FATAL Rose.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Kai Tave posted:

I'll go ahead and spoil the next update a little bit, but in the section on romance and marriage Aldins are described as generally being "thoughtful, polite, but exceedingly determined matchmakers." So this is an option that's on the table.

One of the campaign frames from the kickstarter is basically a group of PCs doing this:

kickstarter posted:

The Wedding Planners

Andy Peregrine offers a series framework that follows a group of characters who travel the land offering their services for weddings. They do not just provide music and entertainment, but priests to officiate, adepts to create wondrous effects, and warriors to safeguard the affair, if required. There is more to this troupe than meets the eye, for each has sworn to serve love itself through devotion to the gods. They are led by cryptic signs to find those who need their help. There are challenges aplenty to overcome but, in the end, love triumphs—even if it does occasionally rely on a little outside help.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Blasphemeral posted:

Hey, everybody. I hope this is the right thread to ask:
Has anyone heard anything about the Mouse Guard second edition that was supposed to come out in February? And then again in April? I've not been able to find any news on it, and while I'm really interested in trying out Mouse Guard, I'm not gonna drop the high-premium to get a first edition handbook just to have second edition come out all new, shiny, and revised right afterward.

That would normally be the Indie RPG thread if it wasn't locked for archiving, or probably the monthly chat thread. Luke posted an unboxing preview in April, but that was just a proof copy, not something from a full run. As far as I can tell, he hasn't posted a new release date yet.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

The first edition was PDF, though (as was Torchbearer).

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Alien Rope Burn posted:

You'd have to bug one of the Trad Wiki sysops (Foxxtrot, Fuego Fish, or Doc Bubonic) for an account, after which you just follow the existing format and post it up. I think Inklesspen was working on a new version of his script to pull info from the thread that wouldn't require the wiki, but I could be wrong. In any case, it's not up to date with the Rifts reviews.

That's correct. It is, however, slow going. But I am making a little progress every week.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Dear FATAL & Friends, I got you a holiday present: version 2.0 of the F&F archive

Cool features include:
  • No longer hotlinking all the images
  • The ability to keep updating writeups even without the wiki being updated
  • The ability to trim side chatter from the beginning or end of a post
  • Multiple admin accounts possibly???

The wiki stopped being updated around page 55 of this thread; I'm slowly working forward from that point (which is why you'll now be able to see the Rifts Mercenaries review).

(As mentioned, there's support for multiple admins. Things are still a little rough around the edges in the admin panel, but if you want to help out, get in touch with me on synirc.)

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

I'm now caught up archiving through about page 83. I don't think I'm going to be putting the Skins for the Skinless in, though; the posts seem like they would only make sense with the commentary from the rest of the thread.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

My archive is now caught up to page 203; that's only a hundred and twenty pages behind.

To celebrate, I'm going to review some boxed sets. Here's what I have; vote on which you want to see first:


  • Force and Destiny is the latest in Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars line. Learn how to use a lightsaber, if you can figure out their crazy dicepool system. (May feature a bonus appearance from ProfessorCirno to tell us about dice probabilities.)
  • Mouse Guard 2nd Edition is the game of being a badass mouse in a region vaguely shaped like Michigan
  • Pathfinder is a piece of poo poo but it's a well-selling piece of poo poo. Let's check out its production values. This edition of their boxset features a bonus booklet by everyone's favorite, Sean K. Reynolds!

My criteria for review will be largely focused on production values, quality of the quick-start material (if any), the ramp-up from the quick-start material to the full game, and the replayability of the boxed set.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

senrath posted:

The Pathfinder Beginner Box doesn't even include the full rules of Pathfinder, right?

Of course not!

Midjack posted:

Force and Destiny, we already have Mouse Guard and I think Pathfinder got done too.

Well, yes, Pathfinder and Mouse Guard (1st edition though) did get written up. But I think it would be interesting to see what's in the boxed sets too.

Anyway, I'm planning on poking at all of them; the only question is what order.

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inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord



WEG WotC FFG

If you are reading this on the Internet (as opposed to from a yellowed printout you found in a data cache while seeking a respite from your post-apocalyptic hellscape), very likely you know what Star Wars is, so I won't bother regurgitating it here.

There have been three major groups of Star Wars RPGs published over the last few decades. From 1987 to 1999, West End Games published the first one, which later became the D6 System. From 2000 to 2012, Wizards of the Coast published a RPG based on their d20 System; the "Saga Edition" released in 2007 brought the game a little closer to D&D 4e's simplicity.

But we don't care about any of that. In 2012, Fantasy Flight Games released a beta version of Edge of the Empire, the first game in their Star Wars line. This line includes three games which all use the same system (with one unique stat per game); characters from one game's rules can join a campaign running under another ruleset very easily.

  • Edge of the Empire is intended for scoundrel-type characters: smugglers, bounty hunters, etc. The cover art shows Han and Chewie. The custom stat is Obligation.
  • Age of Rebellion is intended for members of the Rebellion: ace pilots, diplomats, generals. The cover art shows Luke (in his pilot suit) and Leia (in her white robe). The custom stat is Duty.
  • Force and Destiny is intended for Force-sensitives who may or may not actually be Jedi. The cover art shows Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. The custom stat is Morality.

Each of the games provides a core book, a GM's guide and screen, a variety of supplements, and a "Beginner Game" which retails for US$30. We're going to take a look at the Beginner Game for Force and Destiny, though I'm told the basic structure of the beginner games is the same for all three.



The front of the box shows two of the pregenerated characters, while the sides show Yoda, Obi-Wan, Vader, and Palpatine (none of whom feature in the game). The box itself is made of really flimsy cardstock; it will probably not hold up to repeated opening and closing.



Most of the interior volume is actually wasted. The game materials take up a third of the box volume; the rest is a cardboard spacer.



The box includes a "Read This First" flyer, a 32-page "Adventure Book" labeled "Read This Second", and a 48-page rulebook labeled "Read This Last". It also has a dual-sided map and a bunch of cardboard creature (and Destiny pool) tokens, four pregenerated character booklets, a set of the special dice FFG invented for their game line, and a booklet showing FFG's many other fine products which are available for purchase. There's also extra resources for free on their website: a 40-page followup adventure and two more pregenerated character booklets.

The "Read This First" flyer is your basic "what is a roleplaying game" and "here is a transcript of some people playing". The transcript doesn't go into detail about mechanics; it just talks about making skill checks and using Force powers without giving any numbers. On the reverse is a classic "opening scroll" showing the adventure hook:



Next time, I'll discuss the pregenerated character booklets and the first few scenes of the Adventure Book.

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