Prepping FAE Star Wars
After a brief Gaslight/Pulp Cthulhu game in the autumn, this winter we'll be playing a Star Wars campaign using Fate Accelerated. The game will be set some time prior to Star Wars: A New Hope, with every possibility of advancing beyond it.
I'll likely post my impressions of Pulp Cthulhu actual play at a later point. My overall impression was it worked fine but I think I have a preference for a classic-era and style campaign. That said, I liked gaming in the late 19th-century and I think I'd really enjoy a non-Cthulhu adventure game set in that period.
The decision to use Fate Accelerated came out of a desire to use something less complicated than Fantasy Flight Games' various Star Wars RPGs. They are great games and I enjoyed Edge of the Empire but with my pursuing my master's degree part-time and taking on a new position at work, low prep-time is a must. We gave some thought to Star Wars D6 but decided to go for something a bit more on the narrative side.
I've had mixed experiences with Fate. What I'm hoping to do in this experiment is to make use of the Fate Accelerated game so we can really focus on the core of the system. We're staying clear of Jedi and the like to start so that we won't need to worry about bolting on any additional systems (and I suspect after some play we'll see how it can be done without bolting on any additional systems). What we discovered is the rules as-written seem to fit a basic Star Wars game just fine. We'll probably need to play fast and loose with any vehicular combat, but confession time - that's what I've done in every incarnation of Star Wars I've ever played.
We did some character generation last night and I liked the thought process that went into assigning aspects and approaches. Given that approaches define how a character tends to handle various challenges, they go a long way to defining a character's personality in addition to his or her abilities. For example, a former clone trooper who mustered out spent some time as a swoop racer (which was incorporated into one of his aspects). But his Quick approach wasn't all that great - indicting both he's a bit older and if he were to need to race, he'd make use of something like his Sneaky approach ("old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance"). Right now we've three characters with another to come:
- A former clone trooper who's been around the galaxy a few times. Spent time as a swoop racer and a mercenary. Even time to have a family (can they reproduce - well this one can or adopted). He's taking care of his granddaughter after the Empire was responsible for her parents' deaths.
- A former Imperial Army officer. He too served in the Clone Wars. He has an idealized vision of the Old Republic, forgetting how bureaucracy and corruption infested it in its last days. However this idealism left him with no place in the Imperial Army.
- A rogue Imperial demolitions droid. Perfect for the player who likes to blow up stuff and quote HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic. The Empire would really appreciate the return of this droid...
All of the characters so far are former Imperials and the human ones are a bit further up there in years - I've an image of your typical Traveller RPG group of PCs. They've all seen the corruption of the Empire first hand and from the inside.
As a campaign frame, the characters will be operatives for Senator Organa of Alderaan. We've not settled on exactly how close it is to A New Hope - in the range of a few months to possibly a few years. I might make that a feature instead of a bug - after all, the characters won't know just when Alderaan is going to be destroyed. I suppose that prevents the opportunity for the ultimate total party kill...