Finally got around to playing this and the consensus (from 3 players, including my son, and 1 GM (me)) was that our first session was “great”. Given this is a free download with just over 30 pages of content, to the consumer I highly recommend you do just that, download and judge for yourself. To the author I say thankyou for putting so much content into such a tiny package.
I mention in the Offworlders products “Discussions” tab that my son wanted to play a “Star Wars” RPG and Offworlders provided everything we needed. Introducing players to the rules, creating characters, and preparing a session were all so easy. The only time-consuming aspect was ensuring I had all the Star Wars lore correct (Ship types, planet names, technology etc.) as I am only a Star Wars fan but no Star Wars Nerd.
The players had had no exposure to the rules before the session and in under 15 minutes the adventure began. Does any of the following sound familiar?
The Death Star has just been destroyed.
Sometime in the past the PCs had run afoul of TEEMO THE HUTT, a crime boss who's palace was located in the tiny spaceport MOS SHUUTA on TATOOINE. Several weeks ago they made their escape from both TEEMO and MOS SHUUTA by steeling the KRAYT FANG, a YT-1300 light freighter from a Trandoshan slaver named Trex.
[All the above “borrowed” from the FFG Star Wars Edge of the Empire starter set].
Since then, finding jobs that pay enough to maintain the freighter has been hard work, to the point the PCs are wondering if it is actually all worth it. However they have recently been contacted by a group of rebels who have a job whose pay will not only cover the past, but also future costs for some time to come.
RING OF KAFRENE ✨
Mining colony and deep-space trading post in the Kafrene asteroid belt of the Thand sector. The PCs are currently located here and their freighter has been impounded until its debts have been paid.
THE WARREN (A Cantina)
PCs are approached by a scruffy looking human who somehow knows they owe a lot of money. He can offer to pay for their current debts over the last few weeks as down payment for a snatch and grab job "a lowly armed transport - easy!". If they accept, a bigger payment will be paid upon delivery of a package found on the transport.
Basically steal package and deliver to rebels (Sounds all too familiar).
Did not play the above BTW, it was just for the background material – meet in a bar, etc., etc.
In a 2.5-hour session the players who had never before seen the rules:
• Rolled up PCs (1 Warrior, 1 Geek, 1 Physic)
• Created a starship
• Talked with a rebel sympathiser and accepted a mission
• Intercepted a "TRANSPORT" - Munificent-Class Star Frigate (Clone Wars era) – “lured” form hyperspace by PULSE-MASS generator mines.
• Fought a space battle with a Vulture-class droid STARFIGHTER (after a failed piloting check to approach undetected)
• Entered the transport and searched for the “special cargo”
• Set of a laser trap
• Defended against two Super Battle Droids (where the Wookie warrior self-sacrificed to defeat the last droid [he rolled so badly during the encounter])
• Acquired the cargo – Kyber Crystals and a Night Sister’s Head – still alive but no torso (undead).
• Arrived at Rebel base only to find they have all been killed (combat staged by Empire to look as if a local warlord clan was responsible)
• Met new PC, an outlaw (in shiny Heavy armour) – yep, he’s paranoid about death now.
So easy to pick up but has depth, including PCs level up, and so easy for a DM to wing it – little or as much preparation time as you feel necessary.
Being a PbtA based game the advantage of telling/improvising a story based on Full (10+), Partial (7 -9), or No Success (6 or less) as opposed to a binary (Success / Fail system).
Easy character creation (helps given PCs should be considered fragile)
This is not a full PbtA game, so players are not "limited" by set moves and there are no relationship specific rules. This is a Pro for me as I have no PbtA experience so this simplified take made me feel confortablke about running a game.
Given my group is an experienced d20 crowd (Currently playing a Starfinder campaign, and prior to that several 5e campaigns) we are PbtA amateurs. This is not really a fault of the rules but rather our experience. For example, in combat we (mostly) decided Success = PCs deal damage, Complication = PC and NPC exchange damage, and Failure = NPC deals damage, which meant after a few bad rolls the Wookie was dead. We also learned that armour plays a big part. Subtracting 2 from a d6 damage is a big factor.
So there is no real Con to the system other than to say that adding some complication examples would make this game even greater. An example (taken from a forum) is a complication may mean the PC is simply pinned down and another PC must intervene rather than straight out damage. We did use “gun over heats” and “gun jams” but a list of suggested complications for various activities in the rules would be a massive boon.
So if you like the idea of easy to grasp rules that take the backstage, quick PC generation, simple character advancement, and a system that encourages the DM to improvised based on what the PCs do, I can highly recommend giving Offworlders a try.
Next week the PCs will:
• Deal with an Empire’s spy droid currently spying on the rebel base
• Deal with a bounty hunter who has been paid to retrieve the outlaws heavy armour
• Discover the Night Sister’s head can teach the Physic some Light Sabre and Force knowledge
• Fly to the original cargo’s destination and deal with a minor undead bug investigation at the local temple if the PCs want to be rid of "The Witches Head".
All in a days (session) work.