Thursday, October 21, 2010

Star Wars As You've Never Seen It Before

This week I went to a new role-playing game being run at the game store. It is based on Star Wars, but with lots of funny twists and excitement to it.

The game began with us rolling up the stats for our characters. We started out by rolling for the basic stats like strength, dexterity, intelligence, and such, but in keeping with the science fiction aspect, one of the stats was "Robot Nature." According to the rulebook, you don't have to be a robot to have "robot nature" - the "robot nature" score is used for all sorts of "robotic tasks" like manual labor and standing guard, and "most supermarket customers have lots of robot nature themselves." Then we rolled for our race (human, robot, or one of many different types of aliens), character class, and also random starting equipment. As soon as we got to this point, we realized that the barriers between franchises had broken down - one character got a "tricorder", from Star Trek, and another got an "omni-tool", from the Mass Effect video game. A third character got a "Theopolis-class computo-face," described by the GM (gamemaster) as an "iPad with a built-in A.I.", or as we started calling it, an "AI-Pad." I got a "Grapple Rope Gauntlet" and a "Traveler's Guide to Koozebane" (a planet from the Muppet Show). Then we went onto our "Drama Rolls" and found out more facts that would lead to intra-party conflict: one of our members (a Jedi no less) had an Imperial bounty hunter's license, and two other party members (including me) had bounties previously placed on them by Jabba the Hutt.

Also, we looked at our special powers and under "psi-witch" (the "Jedi" character class) it said they had a special power of "1 pound mental force." I asked for clarification:

Me: "So 'one pound mental force', is that 'force' as in mass times acceleration?"
GM: "It means 'if there's an object that weighs one pound or less, you can use the Force to move it."
Another Player: "But in space, since there's no gravity, wouldn't everything have no weight at all, so you could throw a spaceship around with the force?"
GM: "We're using bad movie science, not real science."

But before we could start killing each other, we all learned we were part of a secret Rebel cell, and went to a busy cantina to get our first mission from our contact:

Contact: "We have to keep this on the down low, since this is a secret mission."
Me: "But if it's secret, why are we meeting in a busy cantina where everyone can hear us?
GM: "It's a role-playing game. You always meet in a bar."

Later we found our mission: we had to break into an Imperial research lab to rescue some civilians who were being held captive. We first needed a vehicle to get there, and we got one by stealing a hover-speeder, but we had to get a "station wagon style" one to hold all five of us. We made our way to the destination, but found the entrance was guarded:

GM: "You see four guys ... let's see ... they're an Imperial Death Squad, because I don't want to have to look up the armor rules. There's also a fifth guy that has a big weapon that looks like something a lowly intern at ILM* cooked up. - there's a big beer keg on his back and he is holding something that looks like a big tube with duct tape on it."

*Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects company that made the special effects for the Star Wars movies.

Anyway, we blasted the "beer keg" and it exploded and sprayed hot plasma everywhere - and since the Imperial Death Squad didn't have armor, they were defenseless against it, so they all got killed. With the initial guards taken out, we made our way into the interior of the facility. Our tricorder detected two rooms of interest - one with the civilians we were supposed to rescue, and one with "weird energy readings." We broke the cardinal rule of adventuring (YouTube link) and split up to investigate the two rooms. The "weird energy reading" room had a killer robot controlled by a mad scientist, but the Jedi used the Force to grab the remote control and turn the robot against its master. The other room was also weakly defended, so the guards in that room were dispatched and we returned victorious.


Dan Mont said...

nSounds like a blast.

Say, have you seen Big Bang Theory yet on TV. The characters in that show also play similar role playing games -- as well as video games and strategy games. And one character on one show even tried to design a flow chart to solve the "making friends" problem. I think the characters on the show are a lot like your gaming partners. I really like that show.

Nanette Goodman said...

May the force be with you

Dan Mont said...

By the way....why DID you break the cardinal rule of adventuring?

Alexander Mont said...

I don't know. I guess the rest of the group just hadn't seen that video yet. It worked in the end though.