Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (a.k.a., Admitting You Might Be Wrong About Something)

This is going to be a
weird post...
Sometimes, you realize you judged something before actually giving it an actual chance. You just let your preconceptions and negative biases influence your decisions, causing you to treat something unfairly.

You realize this at a later date and you have a decision to make. Either A) Admit you were wrong, or B) Ignore this and continue to deny any wrongdoing what-so-ever. 

Last Saturday, I realized I was wrong about a certain game set in a galaxy far, far away. This post is me deciding to choose Option A. 

However, before I explain what I was wrong about, I guess I should give some much needed context to this situation. Back in 2012, Fantasy Flight Games announced a new series of Star Wars roleplaying games, each focusing on a different aspect of the franchise. The first entry, Edge of the Empire, would focus on playing the scum & scoundrels of the galaxy. 

Knowing this game would utilize a system similar to the one used Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying 3rd Edition, I was incredibly worried. I've gone on the record as disliking that system greatly, feeling like it was overdesigned, cumbersome, and clunky. That piece of knowledge immediately lowered my expectations for Edge of the Empire. When I finally got my hands on the Beta version of the game (which costed $30 f@#king dollars), I gave it a read, wasn't too thrilled by what I saw, and metaphorically shelved it (since it was a PDF). 

Last year, I attempted to play Edge of the Empire at my local game store when someone offered to run it, but gave up during character creation due to it being so boring and me being so tired. I actually dozed off at the table for a moment or two. Since then, I haven't really thought about it all tat much, only occasionally bringing it up when I talk about games I don't really like all that much.

Until last Saturday.

Recently, a new patron at the game shop started running an open table Edge of the Empire game, with this past Saturday being the 2nd session. I had nothing better to do at that moment, so I decided to give the game one more chance. I grabbed one of the pregenerated characters (a smuggler), took my place at the table, and rolled some weird dice. 

While I'm still not the biggest fan of the system, I didn't dislike it as much as I did the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay iteration. They seemed to cut away a lot of the fat I didn't like, making it a lot less cumbersome. The dice weren't as problematic as I remembered them being either. I still had to glance at the guide given with the pregenerated character every so often to remember what each symbol stood for, but I quickly got the gist of it.

I also really dug the advantage/disavantage mechanic. It takes some time to wrap your mind around it, especially when your role succeeds, but you somehow have two disadvantages, but it can lead to some interesting results. For example, my smuggler character managed to recognize someone in a prisoner pod, but unfortunately that person wanted to kill him due me screwing him over during a past job. 

Because of my experience last Saturday, I want to offer you an apology, Edge of the Empire. I didn't give you a fair shake and unfairly judged you. You weren't an amazing game, but you were pretty decent for what you were. I was wrong, and that's okay. 

Have you ever unfairly judged a game before? What did you do when you realized you might have been mistaken?