First Experience with Fate Accelerated Star Wars
Last night we had our first experience at using Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) to run a Star Wars game. This was my third attempt at running a game using some variant of Fate. An Atomic Robo game went ok while an attempt at a homebrew urban fantasy game using FAE didn't really work out.
It will require a few more game sessions before I declare absolute victory but this session definitely did go far better than previous attempts. The session itself was a little rough on the technical side - one player was having sound issues (times like this I miss having an in-person group) so had to drop out and another had to leave a bit early. Real world stinks.
I'll do a writeup of the session itself at a later point, this is more focused on my experiences running the game. The game is a pre-Episode IV Star Wars game, set a vague amount of time prior to Episode IV (close to it, but we've not fully nailed down if it is a few months or years). They are Rebels going on missions for Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan. The fact their home base is Alderaan might make keeping the exact date fuzzy a feature as opposed to a bug... We've a demolitions droid, an ex-Clone Trooper, a former Imperial Army Officer, and a Clone Wars fighter pilot who went AWOL after his brother was killed by Order 66 (he apparently has some minor Force sensitivity, but not enough to have been taken in by the Jedi Order - and nothing he can consciously control). The first session dealt with them tracking down a Separatist Admiral who had managed a secret shipyard in the Minos Cluster - the Empire wanted him for war crimes, the Rebellion wanted him in the hopes of getting access to the lost shipyard.
This time around I made it a point to do a lot of compelling of Aspects and encouraged the players to spend Fate points and create advantages like crazy. One player was a Fate veteran (more than me actually) which helped but also making all the Aspects on the table very clear. As you can see from the screenshot above, I wrote down all the Aspects - scene aspects and NPC aspects.
One thing that I hadn't anticipated is a fairly competent character in Fate is pretty tough and difficult to take out - a battle with bounty hunters searching for the Admiral took a bit longer than I had anticipated, but Jodo Kast and IG-79 were dealt with. One thing which pleased me is we managed to not make the game a constant stream of "I use my best approach" declarations. The compat was actually quite a bit more tactical than I've experienced in other games - for example, the ex-Clone Trooper managed to do a Forceful defend from a flamethrower fired at him by throwing a large tavern table between him and IG-79. It felt like something one might see in a grittier Star Wars film such as Rogue One.
What will I improve upon in further sessions? First, I now have a better idea how tough a character is in Fate and I know a bit better when to dial things down or up. Second, I did notice we didn't make too much use of scene Aspects - I might have the NPCs leverage them a bit next game to draw better attention to them.
Overall, I have to say I'm rather pleased with how this went.