Yesterday’s role-playing was a session of Saga edition Star Wars, set in the era just after the clone wars, and my character was a Rodian scout – that is, one of Gredo’s race, pursuing essentially the same trade and with probably just as much aplomb and skill.
My character, Seredo, was joining an established group, who were on a mission to rescue a turncoat admiral from an imperial prison. The prison was hidden in a treacherous fungus forest on the planet of Feluchia, and the majority of the group had already made landfall and been caught in a firefight with stormtroopers. I had been sent separately, hunting a criminal who was in turn stalking the group, and so I reached the firefight halfway through. This gun battle was taking place across a stream, and involved a couple of stormtroopers, some speederbikes and our party: a human jedi, a protocol droid, and a wookie. Seredo’s aim was to enter the battlefield secretly and use stealth to ambush two stormtroopers who were trying to alert a star destroyer to the group’s presence; unfortunately, Seredo did a Gredo, and fumbled his entrance – instead of sneaking onto the battlefield, he stumbled into a thicket of puffballs, which exploded in clouds of different coloured spores, giving Seredo a rockstar’s entrance to the scene. Still, he was able to pick off one of the stormtroopers and provide covering fire for the jedi and the droid, who were able to kill the others.
Having joined up, we then had to enter the prison block. Being star wars, this was going to have be done only one way: by stealing a scout walker. Our session had to finish after four hours, so we didn’t complete the task, but we’re halfway through: the Jedi is on the roof of the scout walker, I’m between its feet, and the wookie has been spotted. The best laid plans of men and walking carpets, etc.
Playing Star Wars is fun. Blasters, prancing jedi, droids and speeder bikes – it’s just like being there. One of our players has a weird little wookie-head-shaped device with 10 buttons, that when you press it makes various wookie sounds, and it comes with a code so that you know what button to press at what time. Every success and setback is greeted with its own roar of glee or outrage. There are outlandish aliens, stormtroopers to kill, and all the dubious and seedy characters of a universe that is, essentially, a fantasy realm with spaceships wrapped around it. Fun! The system is a variant of d20, simplified a little and with some additional deadliness built in – it has a kind of wound system that makes it a bit nastier to play with blaster weapons, and it’s probably a bit faster than standard d20. So it’s a good balance of crunch and swashbuckling. Of course, being d20 it still takes a bit of time to get anything done. It’s also nice to be playing a PC that can actually do something useful, even if it is only at a Gredo-esque level of ability. So, there’ll be more of Seredo’s exploits in a month or so, when we return to the planet of Feluchia and find out whether he’s going to end his reptilian span prematurely under the feet of an AT-ST, or whether he’s going to ride one to glory freeing imperial slaves …