Tomorrow is supposed to be the day I pick up the core rule book and screen (and probably another set of dice) from my FLGS. After a hideous week news 'life wise,' ending in just escaping death when a 17 year old behind us fell to sleep on the motorway and smashed our car into the barriers - the prospect is joyous.
Why? Well; the system has changed my 'gaming life'. After RPGing most of my teenage and Uni life away in the 70s and 80s I had fallen into the normal 'wargame/game' life. Forays into the RPG world were spoilt by the way the systems had seem to have gone. After spening two 4 hour sessions playing D&D a few years ago I had put RPGs into the 'not for me anymore' category. I remember our beginning party being ambushed by some orcs on the way into the caverns we were going down... I think I had 3 combat turns in the about 130 minutes with a massive wait between each slot! By the end of the evening we had effectively got nowhere. I have far better ways of spending my precious gaming time thank you very much.
And that is what it boils down to I think, most of us older players out there have only a limited amount of 'gaming time' - I'm lucky I do a lot of 'work' which involves games but what I am refering to is 'me' time playing games. Spending those rare 'brownie points' on sitting around basically watching one combat encounter for the evening is not 'cost effective' at all. Playing a game like X-WIng or Saga is an ideal use of the points - games that are over in an hour means I get three games in and they are 'ALL MINE PRECIOUS' .
But Edge of the Empire is different, so far there has been little sitting down doing nothing time in the games There is always chance for a player to get involved due to the fluid initiative spots, the dice system interpretations meaning everyone needs to add to the narrative plus you may be given an extra action in some way. In fact the players HAVE to listen to the game narrative to know what is going on as the action, even if using figures, 'physical game' wise is far more abstract with less micro movement etc.
For me it has bought the 'story telling' back. RPG lite wargame rules have, I think, usurped the modern RPG game which have morphed into a type of hybrid wargame/boardgame/rpg beast which is lost in micro management and, as far as I can see, has lost the 'story telling' apart from what the GM does. The first game of EotE I ran was for a group of 'hardcore' d20 RPGers. I chuckled inwardly as I described the setting and what was occuring around them and then they waited... When I asked them why they were waiting the answer was they were waiting for me to make something happen. And this was the bit out of the Beginners module which starts with them ducking into the cantina. They had spent too many years entering a scene only to have the GM tell them to roll a dice for this, get initiative for that... It wasn't long until they got into the swing of things but it is a very subtle but important 'psyche shift' for most players I think.
So roll on tomorrow, goodies to pick up then our next session of 'Long arm of the Hutt' in the evening... Geek Heaven one feels.
Works in Education as a teacher and consultant.