Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I don't play console games that much.
It isn't that they aren't awesome or anything, I'm just usually physically closer to a computer and (if I want) I can Alt-Tab to my web browser.
I've put off buying a next generation console for these reasons and for the lack of a compelling game. Until now.
Nintendo has announced a future lightsaber fighting game using the wiimote to its fullest duelling potential. This game, when released, will be a game worth making a stand over.
It helps that the Wii is much cheaper than the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
Even poorly executed, the novelty of the concept will make this game a must-have.
I've spent a long time being neutral.
I lost friends in the first console war, and the memories are still painful whenever I visit a Game Stop.
Another painful flashback is triggered by the simple mention of the Star Wars universe in table top role-playing games.
In high school, instead of working on my social skills and alcohol tolerance, I spent many hours with friends slogging through the old first edition rules, based around six-sided dice and a fixed set of personality types and character career paths. It was awful.
In fact, at one point following a Mountain Dew fueled frenzy and subsequent sugar crash, I purposely sent my mid-level "Laconic Scout" into a black hole, hoping he might end up in some Dungeons and Dragons universe where he might stand a shot at having a good time.
He died horribly -- split into his component molecules slowly over a million years -- but I've never regretted that.
In 2000, Wizards of the Coast released a new universal rule set called D20. They wrote it for Dungeons and Dragons and it works there. They also tried to illustrate how universal it was by setting their new Star Wars role-playing game in the same exact rule set.
They finally gave up on that in 2004, since the game books were always better to read than to play.
You don't generally want the rulebook to be more fun than the game.
The new edition specially created for the 30th anniversary is called the "Saga Edition", and it seems to fling a lot more Star Wars into the basic Dungeons and Dragons rules.
In the earlier books, a Jedi could beat anything. This is pretty true to the movies, but doesn't encourage a lot of people to play politicians or smugglers. Apparently, any character has the potential to do something awesome now.
The new edition pulls out a lot of the D&D overhead, too, which leaves room for player creativity.
As someone who frequently runs games, player creativity can be frustrating. It is also what makes a game fun for everyone.
I still need to get our Dungeons and Dragons game going again, but at least Star Wars is there as an option that isn't instantly discarded by hardcore geeks as a poor translation of life in the Star Wars universe.
Those discussions invariably lead to multi-hour discussions of Sarlacc (plural Sarlacci) biology, Imperial rank insignia continuity, what Taun Tauns eat, and ways George Lucas should have killed off Jar Jar Binks. I've been in enough of those debates.
For now.


tess said...

You know, I just read the /. story on the new Star Wars PnP RPG, and had the same kind of flashback you did...

Sitting in my living room, with 5 other friends, playing the original ruleset with stacks and stacks of D6, wondering why the Jedi's always got to have all the fun. Thankfully our GM was more about fun than rules, so he bent them for us all the time... So it probably wasn't as miserable a time as you spent, but it was still painfully obvious that my smuggler was more of a window dressing than the actual display.

(yes, I was the only chick in the group, just as I was the only chick who played Magic, and the only chick who played DnD, and the only chick who went to Jackie Chan movie marathons... )

Garrick said...

Is there a good game mechanic for Force powers?
I've thought about it a lot, and I haven't come up with many conflicts with others that couldn't be solved by frequent application of the Force choke -- or even random use just to keep the survivors in line.
I'm just not sure how well it will ever actually translate into rolled dice.

tess said...

Force powers, we always took to be based upon someone's degree of concentration, with modifiers for overall intelligence... Which was roll-able. The higher the roll (after modifiers of course), the more concentration your character has, the more likely the power is to succeed.

Garrick said...

Yeah, but once the Force choke is on, rolling one's way out of it seems . . . Less than cool.
I did enjoy the lightsaber combat bits, though my Laconic Scout was always merely an observer.
I may eventually try the new system, but D&D will always come first.

Dygrin said...

I've looked and looked and yet no mention of WoW being a warhammer rip off. This makes me happy! and Rock on D&D! btw where's the wow update?

Garrick said...

Webinara is level 55 and almost Exalted with the Frostwolves. She picked up her Epic riding wolf and is a few thousand honor points short of the full Rare PvP set.
She is also a few hundred gold short of buying the training to actually ride the wolf in 5 levels, but she kills everything that moves and auctions everything that doesn't.


Darrell said...

Coolness, my first first toon was a hunter as well! although I forgot to deck her out with epics after BC came out, I still have my epic pvp set from 60 (I don't use it, but its in the bank)
Btw what are you running these days you Jew! :)