10 Mar 2015

Test Run - Edge of the Empire

More character generation testing abounds!  Today, I'm looking at Fantasy Flight's RPG, Edge of the Empire.  The game is another licensed setting, this time Star Wars.  Set at the start of the Rebellion, characters come from the edge of known civilization, trying to make a living while keeping their heads down to not attract Imperial attention.  The mechanics use dice specific to the game, with symbols indicating successes and failures.

It's going to get long, so let's break here and continue after it.

This was two triumphs.  I'm making a note here, huge success.

I am currently in an ongoing campaign, playing a technician on board a freighter plying its way through the Outer Rim.  For this test, though, I want to try something different, something more swashbuckler-y.  Since Star Wars is not just space opera but borrows heavily from planetary romance stories like EE "Doc" Smith's Lensmen, swashing a buckle is keeping with the flavour of the setting.

With that goal in mind, I now look at the game's character generation steps.  First step is concept and background, which is usually my first step, too.  I've always preferred the scruffier characters in the Star Wars saga, especially Han.  A less cynical version might work.  As to why the character is on the fringe instead of working a proper job, well, Twi'leks aren't treated well in Empire.  Ryloth, the Twi'lek homeworld was occupied by Separatist forces during the Clone Wars.  A hardscrabble life leads to dreams of making it big and becoming wealthy, and there are plenty of people who wouldn't miss a portion of their wealth and deserve to have some of it taken away.

Next step is to choose an obligation.  I see one, Criminal, that may fit, but I want to roll to see what comes up.  The roll is 20, Blackmail.  Someone knows a dark secret about the character and is willing to use this knowledge.  The initial size of the obligation depends on the number of players, but I can increase the size, meaning it becomes more likely it comes up, to gain extra cash or experience points.  I'll leave that aside but will remember the option if I need it.

The third step is to choose a race.  I already did that above, selecting Twi'lek.  Twi'leks seen in the movies include Bib Fortuna, Jabba's major domo, Oola, one of Jabba's dancers, and Aayla Secura, a Jedi.  Twi'leks start knowing their native language, Ryl, their non-verbal language Lekku, which uses their twin head-tails, and Basic.  They also start with a level of either Charm or Deception and 100 experience points to spend during character generation, along with a base set of abilities.  The below shows where I am so far.
Name: Pria Lecuya
Species: Twi'lek
Obligation: Blackmail

 Brawn: 1
 Agility: 2
 Intellect: 2
 Cunning: 2
 Willpower: 2
 Presence: 3
I've added a name as well, though that is one of the later steps.

The next two steps, career and specialization, I tend to combine into one.  The two are closely tied, with careers providing a broad range of skills and the specialization allowing a character to focus on a smaller set.  A quick look through available careers gets me Smuggler with the Thief specialization.  With Smuggler, I can choose to increase four of the eight skills listed by one point; I take Coordination, Deception, Skulduggery, and Vigilance.  Thief lets me choose two of four skills listed; I take another point in Skulduggery and Stealth.  Now that I have my beginning skills, I assign the bonus skill point from being a Twi'lek to Charm.

With the basics done, I now get to spend my starting experience points.  I spend 20 to improve Brawn by 1, 30 to increase Agility to 3 and another 30 to increase Cunning to 3.  With 20XP left, I spend 10 to get Cool at 1 and 5 each for a point in Streetwise and Knowledge (Underworld).  I do want to get a talent or two, so I reluctantly add ten to my starting obligation's size to get another ten experience.  I spend the new XP on the talents Street Smarts, letting Pria get info from shady contacts easily, and Bypass Security, to make it easier to disable a security system.  Pria prefers to talk her way out of a sticky situation; getting into a shootout with Stormtroopers is not something she relishes.

The next step is motivation.  As mentioned during the concept stage, Pria wants to get a better life.  Greed is listed as a possible motivation, but it's no so much gaining money as what the money represents to her.  So, with that in mind, I'll once again roll to find a motivation.  The first roll is a 3, indicating an ambition.  The subsequent roll is 60, Status, which really does suit Pria.  Unlike the obligation, where there's someone pushing her, the motivation is coming from within Pria, and wanting a better life and status in the Galaxy is definitely one she strives to achieve.

The last step is gear.  She only has 500 credits to spend.  Pria can't afford the electronic lock breaker, not without taking an even bigger obligation.  Climbing gear is affordable.  A weapon might be nice, though she has it as a backup, not the first choice to use.  Pria picks up a holdout blaster, something to tuck away, and a truncheon.  That leaves her with 235 credits as the game starts.  Anything else she needs, she figures she can acquire one way or another.

Technically, there's one last step.  Choosing a starship, though, should be done as a group with the other players.  The possibilities include a smaller gunship or one of two freighters.  Pria doesn't mind which one.

Pria's character sheet:
Name: Pria Lecuya
Species: Twi'lek
Obligation: Blackmail (+10)
Motivation: Status
Career: Smuggler

 Brawn: 2
 Agility: 3
 Intellect: 2
 Cunning: 3
 Willpower: 2
 Presence: 3

  Bypass Security x1
  Street Smarts x1

Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 13
  Ranged: 0
  Melee: 0
Soak Value: 2
Special Abilities:
  Remove one setback die added due to hot or arid conditions.

Skills (* = Career Skill):
 General Skills:
  Charm 1
  Cool 1
  Coordination* 1
  Deception* 1
  Piloting (Space)*
  Skulduggery* 2
  Stealth* 1
  Streetwise* 1
  Vigilance* 1
 Combat Skills:

 Knowledge Skills:
  Underworld* 1

Weapons & Equipment:
  Holdout blaster (Dam: 5, Crit: 4, Range: Short, Encum: 1, HP: 1, Stun setting)
  Truncheon (Dam: +2, Crit: 5, Range: Engaged, Encum: 2, HP: 0, Disorient 2)
  Climbing gear
Feel free to use Pria in a game.  Please let me know how it goes!


  1. You're going to have to watch Rebels when it's available to you. I know you're going to love their Twi'lek pilot Hera.

    1. I'm planning on getting the series on DVD when it's available. Memory fails me - in the first season episode, "Brothers", where two clone troopers protect a young Twi'lek girl who keeps calling them "nera", what was the girl's name?