This fantastic scene is a slightly changed color and cropped image of this piece, which was originally drawn by the incredibly talented Simon Goinard.
From the moment I tried Edge of the Empire by running the excellent beginner’s box, I fell in love with and became very interested in Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars Roleplaying system. Of course the tricky complication is that there are actually three separate products making up what FFG’s “Star Wars Roleplaying” actually is with Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and the most recent addition, Force and Destiny. As I mentioned in the previous reviews, each individual game tackles an aspect of the Star Wars Universe and gives detail on that particular style. Edge of the Empire is about being rogues, bounty hunters and smugglers – effectively Han Solo or Chewie type characters. Age of Rebellion is where you play primarily as soldiers or saboteurs of the Rebel Alliance fighting against the Empire. Force and Destiny on the other hand, covers force sensitive characters hiding from and even trying to piece together the Jedi order from whatever fragments of its lore they can gather.
It is completely possible to run an individually fantastic game in any one of these systems, which are built to give each campaign an individual style and feel. On the other hand you can also do something really ambitious: Combining all three of the products into one and allowing players to make characters sourced from any of these books. This provides some tricky elements in terms of storytelling and is quite daunting from a “running the game” point of view. I say “Daunting” because if you got into this system late to the party like I did, you’re going to be reading three pretty thick books to get up to speed with the ins and outs of each “pillar” of the game. On the other hand to me this extra work isn’t even a consideration for why I would do this, because I really want to capture the feel of Episodes IV and V. In doing so, the source material in these two original films most closely resembles what the game looks like using all three books at once.
So I decided to take the plunge and make Hunters of the Force about all three books at once. Of course, having an idea for running a game and doing so are two different things. The first thing I had to do was determine which of my groups would be interested in a potential change to Star Wars. As my Trail of Cthulhu group had been playing in that system for nearly two years, I thought that would be a good place to start for a potential switch in system. So here’s my first tip on how you propose changing a system, start by bringing it up casually one day and see how your players react. In my case, I started talking about it while everyone was around a bit early before we started playing for the day. I got some enthusiastic supporters immediately from those who were fans of Star Wars, but also got some more skeptical views as well. So here is the second and most important tip: Give them a chance to try the game out first (including yourself).
I invited them all to play the Edge of the Empire Beginner Box, which back then was a new acquisition for me as well, with even the couple of players who were more skeptical being firmly won over. This made the decision to ask “Would people like to play Star Wars after Trail of Cthulhu?” a much easier proposition for me. The enthusiasm my players have for moving from my gritty, tension filled horror game to something that I described as more “Action Adventure in Space” has been great to see. It’s also something I’m looking forward to, as Night’s Black Agents, Shadowrun and the new Trail of Cthulhu game one of my other groups will be starting are pretty dark in tone. Having a game that runs very contrary to those in style, even if there will be moments of darkness or despair, will be good for my writing and plotting in general.