Calling all Renegades, Rebels and Rogues
Last December, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” premiered, and with it a reawakening of Star Wars Mania. Six months before that, I joined my first ever table-top role playing game with Plano Star Wars: Role Playing Group. What drew me to search for a Star Wars role playing group was the opportunity to recreate myself in my favorite galaxy far, far away. And I’m not the only one.
Nicholas Nagher is the mastermind behind not only my game, but five of the six current games in the Plano Star Wars: Role Playing Group. When he was just a youngling, his mom, a bona fide sci-fi fan, sat him down in front of the TV to watch “A New Hope.” From the opening crawl to the end, he was riveted. Like the perennial battle of Jedi vs. Sith, his love of Star Wars has never ceased.
One day, Nicholas walked into his favorite gaming store and spotted the manual for “Star Wars: Edge of the Empire” by Fantasy Flight. The Force called out to him across a thousand star systems, saying, “Play the game!” The only problem was, he couldn’t play alone.
“Rather than risk not playing at all, I gambled on Meetup.com,” Nick says. He initially hoped that he would create a group of maybe four or five people who would meet up once a month for an ongoing game. “I thought running a Star Wars Game might help me come out of my shell and make some new friends.”
With 70 players and six groups (so far), Plano Star Wars: Role Playing Group is a Jabba-size success. In fact, Nicholas is recruiting new Game Masters to set up future groups, and has offered to teach a “GM Assistance Course” to get new masters headed in the right direction.
The game we play, “Age of Rebellion,” is designed so that even the casual Star Wars fan can play without feeling like too much of a noob. We meet once a month. There are four of us, plus a Game Master who oversees the game in a god-like, narratorial capacity.
The scene is a lot like those poker table scenes in your grandpa’s favorite Westerns–just a few rowdy dudes risking it all on a high-stakes game. Only, we’re not playing with cards, we’re playing with (fictitious) lives! The typical game involves dice, player pieces and small figurines, as well as character sheets to track progress.
We play on a game map, board game style, and when we roll the dice to decide our fates, the story can literally go anywhere. For instance, Nicholas Nagher once created a game wherein my character, Bekks, faced down his arch nemesis in a gladiatorial fistfight while the coliseum exploded and literally fell out into space. In the end, Bekks triumphed, defeating his foe and leaving him to drift to his doom, while another player swooped in with a jetpack to carry my hero off to safety.
Perhaps the joy of role playing is that the scope is great, but our choices are even greater. Our campaigns give us an enemy we can actively fight against, and they pose moral ultimatums which we are all too happy to consider. To take on the work-week is a tough task. To take on the Star Wars Universe? Well, that’s just fun. It also helps to have a few rowdy friends who’ve got your back in the occasional cantina brawl and/or epic space battle.Plano Star Wars Role Play Group >