As Ant has already told you, the Remnants of the Force podcast is going to include some “Live-Play” (or “Actual Play” if you prefer) from FFG’s (Fantasy Flight Games’) gaming genius. No doubt some/ most of you are already well-aware of what this is but the chances are if you don’t know what that is you are possibly also unaware of what a Roleplaying game actually is.
(By the way, if you’re thinking that roleplaying is something you only do after-dark in the comfort of your own home with a significant-other, some honey and a Winnie the Pooh costume you’re on the wrong website… When you find the right one, please send me the link…)
Does that mean I’m going to take you through “What is a Roleplaying game?” Step-by-tentative-step?
Nope. Well, not really… Well, I suppose I should… a bit. Afterall, it does seem a bit unreasonable to assume that anyone interested in Star Wars is automatically a roleplayer. So, lonely reader, if you are already a roleplayer the following couple-hundred words are basically going to bore you; skip to a more interesting article – Ant’s “What a Guy” homage to the late (Spoilers!) Mr Solo definitely qualifies.
If you are not a roleplayer and the next couple-hundred words bore you anyway… oops!
So what’s this about?
Well… role… playing – and roleplaying in the Star Wars universe. It’s about – in a general sense – what you can expect from those Live/ Actual Play sessions.
In short: players create (from their imagination) their own Star Wars characters. Then, along with a bunch of other folk that have done the same, they are taken through a series of scenes described by a little dude with white hair and a red… robe… usually called the Dungeon… Sorry! Usually called the Games Master (GM).
For us, Ant is the GM and the scenes he will be taking us through are ones he has written himself. Success and failure of actions are determined (usually) by dice rolls and a set of rules: hence, the system. The whole point of a roleplaying game is – at its most basic – an interactive story-telling experience that everyone gets a kick out of.
Because – once again – we are back to story-telling.
You will be listening to people improvise their reactions to situations they are presented with. This nearly always includes plenty of bickering, sulking… dice rolls getting sworn at… as well as some stuff that might actually appeal to you (such as a completely original Star Wars story being told; an entirely original cast of Star Wars heroes and villains… and Ant trying to keep up to six potentially fragile egos from melting down).
Think: Amateur Radio-Play in which a cast of character-actors (players) improvise their reactions to situations provided by the narrator (GM) according to the role they are playing.
The (FFG) system we are using is defined by the fact that it requires all players and the GM to co-operate (not compete) and not only complete the story that the GM introduces, but also potentially create entirely unanticipated scenes with a single roll of the dice (which is why it is one of the most original and clever systems available, in my humble(ish) opinion). As the story can change in ways that even the GM does not expect this should create an even more entertaining experience for anyone listening; it will be (hopefully) a story that will take shape while you listen – rather than having been written in advance and “performed”.
I can’t say too much more because I don’t know exactly what to expect: I don’t know what character I am going to create; I don’t know what Anthony has planned as a stroyline; I don’t even know all of the other players. What I do know is that Ant has a very good understanding of how to tell a story organically and without “rails” – and with FFG he has finally been given a system that compliments that style rather than fights it.
So, listen in and enjoy – and make sure you give us feedback (think of that as the price of admission).
By the way, the art at the top of this article is a sample of the art from one of the FFG books – I have not been able to trace the actual artist, but these books are without doubt the source of some of the best Star Wars art you are ever likely to find!