We’ve had this in the house for a while, but Christmas can get in the way of getting enough people together to roleplay. Finally, thanks to our FLGS opening a regular gaming club, we found both time and players.
The game comes packaged in a box with everything you will need to play: A rulebook; a pre-written adventure; maps for that adventure’s key locations; four pre-generated character folios; and the dice.
Character folios? Not sheets? Yes indeed. You see, the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game is – as stated on the box – an introduction to roleplaying, not an introduction for roleplayers to one particular game. This box is singlehandedly doing what roleplaying has neglected for well over a decade: attracting new players to the whole hobby.
The character folios then, aren’t just a sheet with a myriad of confusing stats: They contain progressing versions of the same character, helping new players learn about Experience Points and character advancement. They contain a note on each double-page spread explaining how the dice work. There is a sidebar outlining your key skills, and on later spreads how advancement in different directions will shape your character. In short, there’s everything you need to adopt a pre-generated character and make them entirely your own.
These characters are so carefully created, and so thoroughly ideal a match for the beginning adventure, that it’s next to impossible to have a bad time. The group has a powerfully strong motive to work together, and an equally strong reason to get the heck offworld. The adventure is very gently railroaded but manages to feel as though you have multiple choices: our group managed to evade and persuade rather than go toe-to-toe in combat in a couple of situations. The characters also don’t overlap one-another’s niches, and every one has a part to play in the included adventure: Pash seriously came into his own when it came to flying a ship; Vex was invaluable for both slicing and obtaining items we might have otherwise had to pay for; Oskara has some seriously mad carbine skills; and Lowhhrick is the close-combat specialist.
Fantasy Flight’s support is so good, though, that there are an additional two character folios available to download from their website: Sasha the Explorer; and Mathus the Technician. We had Sasha in play in our game, and she was superb at stealth and perception, frequently acting as our spotter. There’s also a second adventure, following on from the events in the Beginner Game. All this? Free.
They’ve released a dice roller app so that you don’t have to carry bags of dice to every game, and your players don’t have to start buying these very specific dice just to join in. It’s available for iOS and Android, and covers dice for both Edge of the Empire and the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Either version is only about $5 / £3.20.
It’s a great game, but more importantly it’s an ideal introduction to roleplaying. Looking for a way to bring your children into the hobby? Buy this. Looking for your first roleplaying game to try between yourself and a few friends? Buy this. Looking for an ideal game to help new members of your local games club learn to roleplay? Buy this. Star Wars fan who’s never tried roleplaying before? Buy this.
At about $30 / £25, it’s the ideal start to a lifetime’s enjoyment of one of the most enjoyable hobbies available. It isn’t a full copy of Edge of the Empire, and does exactly what it says on the box.