Aki might have had the brainpower to check in every day of PAX Unplugged, but I . . . didn’t. There was a lot to do and see, however: board games, events, roleplaying games, accessories, actual play opportunities! I came home with . . . a lot to write about, and more than a few review copies, but there are plenty of things that would get missed by doing things one article at a time. So here’s my PAX Unplugged Roundup of some of the things worth checking out, whether they’re things to look for next con or something worth chasing right now!
A Matchmaker of the Deer, manipulating others to maintain Rokugan’s balance. A Spymaster of the Crane, ferreting out secrets and striking at exposed weaknesses. A Deathdealer of the Scorpion, striking down enemies by any means necessary. A Chronicler of the Dragon, maintaining the truth despite a storm of lies. The social scene in the Emerald Empire is just as much of a battlefield as any blood-stained patch of earth outside Toshi Ranbo, and it’s a battlefield that requires warriors that wield words and blades alike with the greatest of skill. Fortunately we have what we need to build an entire party of such warriors for the Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying game from Fantasy Flight Games, using the Courts of Stone!
A Falcon hunting phantoms through the trees of Shinomen Forest. A Lion trying to heal the wounded and avenge an ancestor’s death. A Unicorn riding out to free the spirits of corrupted kin from the shadows that have swallowed them. A Phoenix desperate to redeem his bloodline and himself before it’s too late. The land of Rokugan thrives in the light of the sun, but shadows creep in, and someone must stand against them. We’re telling another tale in the Legend of the Five Rings from Fantasy Flight Games with this haunted but ready-to-play party of samurai seeking honor and glory in the Shadowlands!
Sure, you could enlist and get issued a giant robot by your space military. Or you could be a traditionalist and just
steal fall into the cockpit of the nearest mecha to start your adventure. Why trust some other engineer’s design, though? You’ll be making your own story, why not your own mecha to tell it with? Well if that’s what you want to do then you’re in luck, because that’s what we’re doing for one last G.E.N.E.S.Y.S. Mecha System Hack using the Genesys system from Fantasy Flight Games!
An entrepreneur managing armies of battle droids instead of finances and job orders, trying to find some way to turn a profit in all this. A member of the Separatist Senate who truly believes in the cause, working to sway both allies and enemies. A warrior of an ancient tradition, fighting for glory in a galaxy that condemns him. A swordswoman skilled in magicks, out in the galaxy to prove herself and perhaps even learn a thing or two. The Grand Army of the Republic and the Jedi Order aren’t the only ones with stories to tell during the Clone Wars . . . so deploy the droids and get ready to fight for freedom from the Republic with this ready-to-play party of Separatists for Star Wars Roleplaying from Fantasy Flight Games!
Ah, Mecha-Mooks. While the heroes and named villains of the piece get their shiny super prototypes and custom machines, the nameless grunts get bargain bin robots that might as well be made of cardboard with a jet fuel filling. Hey, just look at the OZ-06Ms Leo from Gundam Wing, the fandom would have you believe a stiff breeze causes one of those things to erupt in a fireball. But . . . when a named character hops in one, it still manages to accomplish something without dying instantly. So how do you get Mecha-Mooks to use in a Genesys Mecha game when the same machine can be used by the weakest of Minions and the most dreadful Nemesis? Once you’ve answered that question, how do you make the bad guys stand out from their goodie two shoes counterparts? Let’s find out in this latest System Hack for Mecha in Fantasy Flight Games’s Genesys! Continue reading System Hack: Genesys Mecha: Minions and Adversaries
A Jedi Knight forced to become a leader and a teacher, learning as much as she goes along from those under her wing as they’re learning from her. A Padawan on his second Master, fighting in a war when he’d rather be studying, because such is apparently the will of the Force. An officer, first among brothers, determined to get as many of them alive to the end of the war . . . whatever that might mean for them. A pilot who wouldn’t be out of place at a Corellian spacer’s cantina, never mind that he’s technically only eleven standard years old. A trooper who believes a quantity of firepower has a quality all its own, but it’s not the only quality worth bringing to the battlefield. These Heroes of the Republic are ready to fight the good fight on whatever planet it comes to, so let’s see what they can do and fight back against the Rise of the Separatists!
“The galaxy is in conflict. After years of growing tension, the worlds of the SEPARATIST ALLIANCE have seceded from the GALACTIC REPUBLIC. Under the leadership of the Jedi Knights, clone troopers fight bravely against the remorseless droid army. Away from the battlefields, Separatist diplomats and agents work to turn additional planes against the Republic, and both sides seeks alliances with neutral systems. Meanwhile, smugglers, scavengers, and pirates find opportunities to profit from the war, which continues with no peace in sight . . .” Such is the opening crawl for Rise of the Separatists, the latest Era Sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games. The light of the Jedi Order still shines, the Republic still stands, and clones fight the good fight, so let’s go section by section to see what this book has to offer for Star Wars Roleplaying!
From the bowels of amusement we stab at thee! Last week we covered an overview of Allies and Adversaries, but now it’s time for some fun, to breathe some life into the words and number on the page. These might not be the most serious or mechanically maximized characters we’ve ever built, but they are a nice way to show off the new character choices that Allies and Adversaries offers: The Ewok, Jawa and Tusken Raider. So, take a gander at the Oddball Defense Force!
Maybe it’s because I’m in dire need of a fix before Episode IX is released, but I find myself drifting back to the end of The Last Jedi. I know that it’s a polarizing topic for a lot of fans, but I keep thinking of the possibilities and implications left by the ending. The interesting part is, going at the question of “How Do I Build a Campaign?”, previous Star Wars Meet the Campaigns have created a location and then built up hooks around it. This method doesn’t work as well for something as broad as the entire galaxy. It might be simpler to have a GM pick a planet and say “this is what is happening here”, but unless we are talking about a popular setting like Nar Shaddaa, a write up for places of interest is less useful because there is little to keep players there without railroading them.
So, after some thought, I’ve decided to try coming at this from the other direction: rather than picking a location and populating it with plot hooks, this Meet the Campaign is setting up themes and using bits and pieces from throughout the system in order to build a framework that spurs a wide background of characters into the action. Unlike the previous entries, this installment is system specific for Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPG, but the themes are universal (or galactic) enough to be transferred over. And just to be sure, as this takes place after the events of The Last Jedi, spoilers will abound, so consider yourself warned.