JP On Gaming

Friday, November 23, 2018

[Campaign fail] Star Wars RPGs

I hate the way the Force is presented in the older Star Wars RPGs. Unlike what we see in the movies, where the jedi use the Force to get pertinent and useful information, what I see is an endless string of spellcasting where skills are effectively never used, in favor of constant use of the Force.

The party looks for someone in a bar: "I used Force Mind Scan to find out who knows something."
The party tries to fly and avoid the asteroids: "I used the Force to push the asteroids out of our path and into the path of our pursuers."
The party tries to sneak: "I used the Force to fog the stormtroopers' minds."

This is something I notice years ago when I tried to run Mage: The Awakening (shows you how long that was...) where the only thing the players did was to use magic for literally EVERYTHING. Their skills, backgrounds, stories, all fell to the wayside in favor of magic. This annoyed me greatly.

At first I blamed the players, but they weren't to blame. They just used what the game gave them.

As one of the biggest failed campaign I ever ran, I tried to put some additional rules designed to curb the use of magic. But all it did was to curtail creativity and made the game unwieldy and legalistic. Exactly the opposite of what I thought the game should be.

So what did I do? I gave up. I ran other games. I raged against it.

Recently, I got into a PbM game of Star Wars where I play a gungan Holovid star who played in a million roles. Think of a gungan Nicolas Cage, or Ernst Borgnine, or Troy McLure.

After just a few post, guess what?

You guessed it. It was a Force-o-rama with the jedi having only one ability: the Force. Piloting? Force. Shooting? Force. Stealth? Force. Interrogation? Force. Combat? Force.

Pfff... I could not stop the cavalcade of Force power but I must say it is difficult to prevent it. There must be a major disturbance in the Force wherever our party goes...

So I decided to just take it in stride, and just enjoy myself. Since I am not running the game, I don't have to worry about it and I just play my characters.

A Solution?

A possible solution may be to provide a system from the Doctor Who RPG (DW:AITAS) story points wherein the character has a finite number and may spend them as wanted to do something meaningful. That's how the Doctor goes around but not open every door unless they influence the plot (though this latest one over-spams the sonic, which is getting old).

Nope... There I go again trying to add subsystems to change the game... Sheeesh...

No comments:

Post a Comment