Sunday, February 14, 2010

Once & Future GM: Star Wars Saga Edition

Recently I've found a new group to game with, one which is playing Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition -- a game I am excited to start as a player. So far I've only played in two short-lived D & D 4th Edition games. (One of them only lasted two sessions, if I recall correctly, and I only made it to one.) I really enjoyed the game mechanics much more so then the 3/3.5E game we had been playing the previous year or so.

However, I still plan to run my own campaign at some point once I'm done with school. I've long since decided that my first full-fledged campaign as a Game Master would be Star Wars Saga Edition, by Wizards of the Coast. There are other games I'm thinking about running as well, for example I do have ideas I'd like to run both in Dark Sun and a generic fantasy world, but I'd like to give Saga Edition a solid run first.

I actually did start running the SWSE Dawn of Defiance campaign about a year and a half ago, but between full-time work, full-time school, and full-time family, I just couldn't put together enough time to do a good prep job even with only one game a month; thus I abruptly stopped it after four or five sessions. The player's said they enjoyed it, but with each session I enjoyed it less and less due to my overburdened schedule, but I vowed to return behind the screen.

To that end I'm already starting to prep, though it'll be many months -- maybe even a year -- before the game starts. I'll be playing around with possible story arcs, flexible encounter ideas, and NPC's. I don't want to get too detailed, but I do want a library of material to draw from when it comes time to run. I think I should be able to come up with a set of encounters that are flexible enough to drop into any game session, and adjustable to a range of levels. Basically the Star Wars equivalent of a Dungeon Delve.

Additionally, I'll be reading, and reviewing, all 14 of the books Wizards of the Coast has produced for the game. Those reviews will at the very least show up here, and I may look for other outlets for them if they come out any good. I'll also queue up some of the novels and comics, and hopefully finally sit down with the kids and watch the entire series. We may even get a hold of the new Clone Wars series.

Star Wars Saga Edition was developed by Wizards of the Coast in-between D & D 3E and 4E. As such, there are many elements of both in the game. One can pick out many bits that are clearly either refinements of 3E mechanics, or prototypes of 4E mechanics. Star Wars is also a familiar universe to a lot of people I'm likely to game with, and has a lot of potential.

I have several other projects in mind, in the areas of programming and media, which I also consider to be, in part, preparation. Lately I've been learning how to squeeze in personal project time here and there, whenever possible. I've also carefully tried to align projects which may result in possible income sometime in the future with projects that are completely for fun. This makes it a little easier to justify resource usage for projects on my list.

I put this out here in the public for a few reasons. One is I'm trying to improve my communications skills. Another is I'm looking for feedback and ideas, whether it is about my writing, my game ideas, my programs, or anything else. This is also me trying to give back to the larger RPG blogger/podcaster community, from which I have learned so much.


  1. I'm in the same boat with gaming. Full time job, school, family. I tend to have a general idea if the direction of my game and let the players gave their way. Kind of like a sandbox. It works I use the threats book a lot.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Lumrunner! I did try two game sessions where I essentially "winged" it with little more then a basic idea of what was going to happen, but I found that approach to be less then satisfying. I think part of the reason for that is I didn't know the system as well as I should have, and part is I worry too much about making a "mistake" in running the game.