I was invited to appear on the new Pawn and Pint podcast series Board at Work. Pawn and Pint is a game pub in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. They have a gigantic wall of board games and many RPG events.
Gen Con 50 was last week, and with it came a couple of announcements. One I should have covered here before the show, but had issues trying to use a mobile app to update the blog. I eventually just had to give up. The convention was fun. It was also sold out at 60,000 unique badges and over 200,000 visitors, however that is calculated. It felt more crowded at times, but not as overwhelming as it might have been. Part of that was expanding into Lucas Oil Stadium, I'm sure.
This week, Gen Con's event list went live for as a preview for preparing for event registration, which starts this weekend. For the first time, I'm organizing an event rather than just being part of someone else's. Of course it's Star Wars.
With Gen Con 50's advance event schedule going live and wish lists available, I'm happy to announce the "30 Years of Star Wars Roleplaying Games" event, with myself, Sam Stewart of Fantasy Flight Games, and Bill Slavicsek formerly of West End Games and Wizards of the Coast.
Fantasy Flight Games is generously sponsoring the event. It is part retrospective, part panel discussion about 30 years worth of roleplaying in a galaxy far, far away across multiple companies and game systems, featuring some of the designers involved.
Rebels and Rogues...I feel like that would make a good title for something beyond a blog post. In any case, this week includes a few thoughts about how Rogue One and Rebels reveals details about the state of the Rebel Alliance, and how that might impact RPG sessions. Then I'll switch gears and note a few things about the rapidly approaching 2017 convention season.
Something has become clear in the weeks since the Rogue One release: it provided a major opportunity for a great intersection of new work and old surrounding the classic trilogy (and beyond). It has inspired official, unofficial, and fan material from books to art to games. Not coincidentally, there are obvious and not-so obvious connections to West End Games Star Wars RPG.
Rogue One continues to draw, and I'm hearing quite a few positive comments from some I wasn't sure would be into the movie. Because of my association with Star Wars, a lot of people want to get my opinion, share their opinion, or both. At first, most didn't want to hear too much, but wanted to know basically if it was good. After they saw it, then the comments and questions really started rolling. No one has said they dislike it, and a few have called it their favorite (for now).
One thing about missing weeks on the blog, there's now so much new Star Wars being released, it's easy to get behind. Not that I try and talk about everything that is released, obviously, but often like to hit the highlights. With the new season of Rebels up and running, new books and new comics recently announced, I look at the growing stack of books on the shelf and think I've got to find some time somewhere to fit some more reading in.
This past weekend brought GamerNation Con 2016, hosted in Dallas, Texas by d20 radio and the Order66 podcast. I had a good time last year and found a way to get a bit of time to return this year. The con is relatively small, but has a very dedicated Star Wars RPG fan base, and it hosts a wide variety of board games, RPGs, and...lip sync battle. GamerNation clearly extends well beyond the US and some attendees come from around the world - Germany, Australia, Scotland, Canada, Norway, and probably others I'm overlooking at the moment. It was fun to see those who returned from last year, plus those who I've met elsewhere, like GenCon or Star Wars Celebration. The guests of honor were Rodney Thompson (formerly of Wizards of the Coast, Star Wars Saga Edition and D&D 5e fame, now with Bungie working on Destiny) and Christopher West (Maps of Mastery).
Quite awhile back....like several years ago....I posted some Star Wars RPG ship and vehicle stats for some of Christopher West's Maps of Mastery sci-fi maps. First in Star Wars RPG d20 Saga Edition stats, then a few in Saga and West End Games d6 when the RPG license was between companies. They are still on the site, and have remained reasonably popular. I've been wanting to do an update for the Star Wars Edge of the Empire / Age of Rebellion / Force and Destiny RPGs for the longest time, and never could seem to find the time.
With the frantic pace of Star Wars news the past few weeks, it's probably about time things slowed down a bit. There is a lot up for discussion now, and probably time to revisit where game fans can join in.
Become a big enough fan of something - book, movie, TV series and so on - and eventually, you'll want to know more about how it came to be. Behind the scenes stories become a form of entertainment all their own, both part of and separate from the actual thing they produce. With a big enough property, like Star Wars, behind the scenes info from original or secondary sources becomes extremely useful and even vital to those working on various stories and products.
One of the most iconic parts of Star Wars is the opening crawl. Recently, someone very cleverly coded a webpage to run the original Star Wars opening crawl, simply through html, css, etc. It and its code can be found here. An article about it by the programmer is here.
The idea for the crawl came from earlier sources - Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials, one of which is below. Skip to the 34:24 mark, as the embed code starts the show off at the beginning.
Ever since there has been a roleplaying game, GMs and players have looked for ways to kick off their games with crawls of their own. They've used various methods, such as this one someone created for my adventure, Core of Corruption (#6 in the Dawn of Defiance series for Saga Edition):
Of course, this illustrates one downside for using YouTube, or rather, using the original music score. Copyright issues. Of course, for those creating crawls for their own personal home games, this isn't a problem, unless you distribute it. Fortunately, there is another great method that I've mentioned before. There is a crawl generator starwars.com that can be edited and shared with anyone with access to a computer...that uses flash, that is. That's a bummer for many who would otherwise use a tablet at the table. Still, it works fine on a laptop.
I looked around and didn't see any for Beyond the Rim yet. With so many people getting into the adventure, I thought this would be helpful:
Copy this link and paste it into the browser to get to the above crawl:
Now, writing an opening crawl is actually harder than it looks. There is an art to balancing information, reading time, attention grabbing prose and the proper voice. The crawl from Beyond the Rim was re-written by FFG, and is much better for it. The best advice is to just hit the highest of highlights and try not to use it to replace any opening box text or more complete introduction. Look at the original examples from the movies to see where they emphasize locations, etc. using ALL CAPS.
More discussion about opening crawls can be found here and here.
Saturday is May the 4th, and if you haven't run across a ton of May the 4th be with You references, you probably haven't been anywhere near a Star Wars site for the past week or so. There appears to be a lot going on, and seems like there might be some surprises in store...but who knows for sure. Anyway, last week was pretty light in the blog, so I thought I'd make for it this week with a wide range of stuff...
Two topics of interest this week that don't exactly fit together. The first is the 100th Episode of The Clone Wars, the second is the conversion of the Order 66 podcast from Saga Edition to Edge of the Empire. Read on for comments on both...with a spoiler alert on the 100th Episode musings. After the break, the post will proceed with the podcast info, then a large break for those who don't want to accidentally read a spoiler or two on the Clone Wars.
Well, 2012 was an exceptionally interesting and unexpected year for Star Wars and Star Wars gaming. The design and release of the new Star Wars RPG from FFG. Lucasfilm going to Disney. Celebration VI. New movies on the way, and Clone Wars moving right along. I could go on, but most fans know it, and there are far better sources out there.
Instead, this end of the year grab bag blog post is going to feature links to Star WarsRPG related sites - new, old and still active.
Order 66, the first podcast dedicated to the Star WarsRPG, ended their Saga Edition exclusivity this past week. They're transitioning over to Edge of the Empire, after toying with the idea of running two separate podcasts. Not surprisingly, they decided the didn't have time for that.