This past weekend, I had a great time at Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars Game Experience. Hosted at their own Event Center, SWXP featured all three of FFG's Star Wars Games: Star Wars: The Card Game, X-Wing Miniatures and Edge of the Empire RPG. Of course, this was held appropriately on May 4th, or May the 4th be with You. Note to those on mobile, this post will have more images than a normal week.
Friday kicked off with a drive to Minneapolis...through the entire Midwestern surprise May snow storm that stretched from Missouri to Minnesota. Phrases like "latest snow in May ever" were thrown about, followed by "after it passes to the east, it will reverse course as it spirals around and come back west." So, sure enough, it started snowing Thursday in a bizarre end of the world kind of way on the bright green grass. It snowed on us all the way to Des Moines, with the heaviest between there and the Iowa border. After Des Moines, it the snow stopped, but that left the white landscape merging with the grey sky to form a fantastically even glare from the ground up. The roads were mainly wet, though, so it could have been worse. Around the Minnesota line, it turned to rain, and Minneapolis had no snow at all.
After checking in at the hotel, it was off to check in at SWXP. The place was already busy. I quickly met up with the FFG staff and fellow Edge of the Empire designers. What was scheduled to be a character creation run through turned out to be a small panel discussion/character demo and Q&A. I was drafted into it. Dan Clark and Sam Stewart took one room, Jay Little and I took the other.
Next was my only scheduled game of the event: GMing a session of Edge of the Empire. It was a good time. We used pregenerated characters, and I ran my own adventure, influenced by the activated Obligation for the session. Most of the players had played either the Beta or the Beginning Game, though one had only read the rules. Highlights included a Wookiee-Trandoshan impromptu showdown, and a spectacularly timed Triumph - Despair combo on a Deception check to more or less end the session.
I see I failed to mention that we also had the actual hardcopy of the Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook on hand...and it looks fantastic. We also had the GM screen, and it is best described as a high quality board game board. Very heavy duty, with a linen style texture just like a good board game board. Very useful. It's the traditional taller style screen, rather than the landscape style Saga Edition used. I'll have to get used to looking over a taller screen again. We also had a ton of dice, which was very helpful.
Star Wars Day, May the 4th Be With You, started off with the X-Wing Miniatures expansion announcement. No one guessed the last ship on the right...the Moldy Crow, from the Dark Forces games. See the full writeup here.
Then came the panels with the design teams. There was an X-Wing design panel, card game panel, Edge of the Empire adventure design panel, and a couple featuring long time Star Wars novelist Troy Denning.
For those who don't know, Troy was a RPG game designer before becoming a best selling novelist. He originally worked for TSR, but later wrote Galaxy Guide 4: Alien Races for the d6 Star Wars RPG. His West End Games work predated mine, and we had an opportunity to compare WEG editorial regimes, which had changed at the time.
Troy also asked to play a demo of Edge, which I was very happy to run. Dajuan Kinney of theforce.net sat in. As Troy had not played or seen the game before, I ran the first few encounters of the Beginning Game, but used the regular Edge pregenerated characters instead of the folios in the game.
BTW, Dajuan's husband, Doug, was dominating most of the X-Wing tournament. He's somewhere at one of the tables, not shown. He's the 2012 world champion.
After that, Troy ran off to a panel with Jay Little. I eventually caught up. Next, my wife goaded me into playing in the Star Wars Trivia game. My team came in second, if I remember the final Jeapordy style scoring correctly.
The Edge of the Empire sessions were so popular, they were adding new ones, so I ran an evening game. It was a good group and a lot of fun to run. It was a variation on the previous night's adventure, adapted to a different Obligation activation. This time, the group was on the lookout for a pesky bounty hunter, who finally caught up with them for the final encounters. One of the players informed me halfway through the game, that this was his first RPG session EVER. I think they all had a good time.
Sunday was a shorter day. Before we took off, I played in a large X-Wing dogfight session. My Y-Wing dueled Vader for awhile, keeping him busy, while the rest of the table clashed with a horde of TIE fighters. Games like this take a long time, so we had to go before it was over.
It was a fun time. They'll be hosting sessions on Free RPG Day, so if you're in the area, stop by. I won't make the trip back up, though I'll likely run at a local game store.
By the way, the Event Center and game store are excellent. Every game store should aspire to be this nice, clean and very well lit, not to mention the high quality tables. Most of SWXP was actually run in another space a few doors up, but a few tables ran in here, such as my demo with Troy, up on the mezzanine. The game store carries FFG games, of course, but it is a full service store, with games from many companies on the shelves.
So, a great time. The FFG event staff were great, and it was fun to meet many members of the Star Wars design teams I had not seen in person yet. Looking forward to using the full core rulebook and GM screen in the coming months. No, I didn't get to keep a copy.