A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Discussion – Old games, old friends


As I’ve said in the past (I think), I feel that old games have that level of familiarity and nostalgia that make them better when you get older (or at least more fun). It’s very akin to hanging out with old friends.

Last night I spent several hours playing Mario Kart Wii with a couple of my old friends and we had a riot of a time. We hadn’t played in quite a while, so with all the cursing and the laughing, it was good fun. It got me thinking about other games we used to play together. We used to play computer games like Diablo II, Empire Earth, Age of Empires, and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. We used to play console games like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart (we played them A LOT). We still play Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars RPG together.

When sharing games with friends, you get some fantastic memories. Like where one friend and I decided to both play Necromancers in Diablo II and wound up slowing the game drastically thanks to our skeleton armies. Or in Galactic Battlegrounds where I played the Republic and my other friend played the Empire and the field was covered in clone troopers and AT-ATs. Or where we were all playing Super Smash Bros. (the original) and one of us was Captain Falcon and two of us were Pikachu (one of us was Darth Pika and the other was his apprentice). Many many hours of gameplay filled with laughter and adventure.

Yesterday I ran a Star Wars RPG game for the first time in a very long time. It was quite fun, but we only played for about four hours and then we decided to do something else. We’ve been playing SWRPG since Wizards of the Coast got their hands on it and we definitely prefer the Saga Edition these days (we feel it’s better and more fun to play than the Revised Core Rules).

Anyways, apologies for writing something kind of disjointed and without much of a point. It’s more of a thought dump today.

Until next time, have a happy 4th of July!

– Elorfin

P.S. “But remember! when it comes to friends, it’s not how much time you spend with them, just how you spend it!” – Eiichiro Oda

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2 responses

  1. swrpg-diehard

    I have a question maybe you could help me with to do with upgrading and/or building items/ships. I noticed when they changed over to saga edition, all of a sudden building and modifying cost a substantial amount more am I interpreting this correctly? do you have any hints of how I could rectify this for my games at home

    January 15, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    • Yeah, what happened was they originally didn’t include any sort of crafting because (and I quote more or less), “You don’t see them crafting anything in the movies”. Thanks to lots of requests from the community, they added the stuff in the Starships of the Galaxy book like Starship Designer and Tech Specialist feats and then later added in some other things to appease people. I don’t think they ever made it so you could make items from scratch, but you could technically build a ship from scratch with the Starship Designer feat.

      There are two ways to make a ship (essentially): take any model of ship and strip/swap out its parts or use the Starship Designer feat and attempt to start from scratch. In the case of the latter, you take one of the Stock Ships from the tables on pages 52/53 of Starships of the Galaxy and go from there.

      The favorite method my group used was the first one though. You grab a ship the party likes, you write down the cost of the ship (new) and you start subtracting components from it until you get it down to its base cost. For example, the ARC-170 has three weapon systems and you need to remove all three and pull out the hyperdrive to get close to what the chassis costs. Now, that said, my example here isn’t the best because the ARC-170 has a laser cannon that does more damage than the listed ones in the weapons table. This is where you need to be clever. I seem to recall that for every weapon added after the first, you can add an extra die of damage, so the first ARC weapon system is a laser cannon, heavy at 5d10x2, then you fire-link a second one to make it 6d10x2. The cost of one heavy laser is 6000 credits, fire-link 2 adds a multiplier of x2 to the weapon system, so the cost of two fire-linked heavy laser cannons is 12,000 credits. An ARC-170 costs 155,000 credits new, but if it doesn’t come with that weapon system, you subtract 12k and bam, 143,000 credits. Rinse and repeat.

      There’s something to be said for taking a ship from the books and just upgrading though. Oftentimes the pre-generated ships have better stuff or systems that don’t make any sense (laser cannons that do 3d10x2?) but this is because the devs made the ships the way they thought they should be, ignoring rules of construction. We can interpret this in gameplay as “the side effects of mass production”. You need to get clever sometimes… the X-Wing we all know and love has 4 laser cannons in the movies, but the book says just “laser cannons 6d10x2”. I know for a fact that four lasers is better than two, so why does a ship that’s 18 years newer than the ARC-170 do the same damage with more weapons? So, if a player gets the ship, you can say the lasers are underpowered and the player needs to upgrade (fire-link 4 heavy lasers would make it 7d10x2 instead of the medium laser fire-link 4 being 6d10x2).

      Ships ARE expensive, but they don’t have to be if you’re careful. Just be careful to not let the players get too much money too quickly or too much power too quickly.

      OH! Side note: Star Destroyers and other large ships technically have twice the weapon systems because they can only bring half of their arms to bear on one target at any given time. So, if you have one player on one side of an ISD and another on the other, technically the ISD can shoot them both with broadsides. Typically these ships are so big they don’t have costs (yay military vessels not for sale publicly) so your players can’t have them. Even then, I have no idea if you actually double the cost of the weapon systems or not when calculating the cost of such a large ship, so use your discretion if it ever comes up. You’re the GM, so you are the final arbiter of all decisions.

      I hope this helped. I’m always willing to get my hands dirty with this stuff, so maybe I can help more if you give me more details. Good luck!

      January 15, 2014 at 10:08 AM

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