With the holidays, and New Years Eve falling on Wednesday, I didn't get around to a last grab bag post of the year this time. I am trying to kick off 2015 on schedule, though. We'll see how long that lasts. 2014 was a great year for Star Wars, and 2015 appears to be even better. It got off to a great start with the return of Star Wars Rebels, and one of the best episodes yet. Even better, it opens up some new ideas for the RPG. Spoiler warning for the episode on this one - but I'm putting those observations at the very end of this entry with a wide gap in between so those that don't want to see it can read the rest of the post. Things like a few comments on Stay on Target. Happy New Year!
I received my author's copy of Star Wars: Age of Rebellion: Stay on Target the same day as most almost all of the other freelance writers on the project (John Crowdis, Keith Kappel, and Jason Marker), the day after New Years. The art is fantastic, once again. I think everyone will be entertained by the variety of new and recognizable speeders, ships, and beasts - which just happens to go along the new beast riding rules. Even a couple of X-Wing/TIE Fighter ships make an appearance. That's the classic PC games, which were a lot of fun to play.
By the way, if you missed out, or weren't born yet (trying not to think too hard about that one), both games have reappeared for sale on GOG.com (Good Old Games, though not all are old these days). So go try out X-Wing and TIE Fighter on a modern system. Since I'm already on a tangent, I'll also note that the classic Knights of the Old Republic is also on GOG, but also available on mobile devices. I had to wait to get a better rig before playing it, now it runs on my phone?
OK, enough of the getting older stuff, but on with the tangent. Marvel's announcement of their Epic Collections of Dark Horse works surprised me at the speed of which they are available. I thought it would be awhile before any DH work reappeared. Anyway, the tangent connection here is that one of the trades is John Jackson Miller's Knights of the Old Republic series.
So much for Staying on Target....<rimshot>. My contribution was smaller this time around. I had fun writing the intro short story. You better believe I was thinking about my X-Wing and TIE Fighter experiences while writing it. My work basically bookends this one, with the story and the introduction, then Ace Missions onward in chapter three.
Those waiting for Edge of the Empire: Lords of Nal Hutta can check out a new preview here of the types of adventures that can be found in Hutt Space.
OK Spoiler Warning for this week's Rebels episode Path of the Jedi. Scroll down to read.
So, the Jedi training storyline continues to press ahead at a faster pace than I'd anticipated. This was a really good episode for a lot of reasons. Frank Oz as Yoda brings back some of the nuances that only he seemed to provide - bits of laughter, hmmming, etc. I enjoyed Tom Kane as Yoda in The Clone Wars and think the switch between the two at this time actually supports the storytelling. Yoda is changed by his experiences at the end of The Clone Wars series and begins to transition to the person he is in the classic trilogy. Using Frank Oz reinforces that change, and the passage of years.
For GMs looking to get a jump on their Force and Destiny campaigns, there is some great material in this episode providing new opportunities. The revelation of hidden temples scattered across the galaxy isn't entirely new, but the notion that they can provide the Empire-like "tree" illusion experience is. GMs can use the episode as a template for their own version of finding the temple, accessing it, and creating their own "Adventuring in the Tree" encounters.
An even bigger revelation is the way Yoda is used in the episode. Yoda is still observing others from afar, and can communicate through the Force if he wants to. The episode seems to imply the that the conversation is only possible if the receiver is in one of the temples, but that isn't a given. Now GMs that want to stick to whatever version of canon they like can reasonably include Yoda in their games without an unlikely journey to Dagobah. He might push training along, or offer a bit of advice, but he's still Yoda and still mysterious when he wants to be. Even better, the PCs probably don't know who he is even though the player does, opening up some roleplaying possibilities. I'd recommend keeping the conversations in one of the temples so it isn't too easy for the PCs to seek contact too often.
As for the temples themselves, one might be on most any world, but not every inhabited world. The Empire knows about many, making them prime locations for discovering and ambushing Force users. The PCs could discover one from a holocron, forgotten text, or find it by following the will of the Force. The temple might be in good shape, but most probably aren't. A ruined temple might still function, though. Just finding one should be an adventure itself, and one filled with suspense from the ever-present possibility that the Empire might be waiting to ambush them, or discover them en route.
It should make for some really good games. In fact, I may add this to my Force and Destiny con adventure, as it will tie in nicely with what I've already established, and fill in some gaps I hadn't decided how to develop and cover.