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The Force Does Not Throw Dice: Roleplaying and the New Continuity

The beginnings of our madness

The beginnings of our madness

Welcome to The Force Does Not Throw Dice, a new series of articles where we are going to be exploring the fun world of playing and directing tabletop roleplaying games in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, and where we are planning to impart some sage advice and encouragement to both Game Masters and players. If you’ve never played a Star Wars RPG, keep reading all the same, for our first article is going to have a small discussion on setting and canon. What should the continuity in our campaign be like? Should we discard all official materials or should we try to choose between one of the official portrayals? Hello, I’m Dave and I’ve been directing games for more than twenty years!

Playing in the Star Wars galaxy comes with a few constraints that playing in your own homebrew sci-fi setting doesn’t. First and foremost, there’s the metaplot: Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Vader and saved the galaxy, not your player characters. If you are playing tramp freighter spacers or bounty hunters, that’s probably okay with you, but many groups are used to a more heroic kind of roleplaying and find these restrictions completely unacceptable.

Many gaming groups sidestep this problem by setting their games in an alternate universe, one where their characters can fall in love with Leia and/or Han and be the ones to destroy the Death Star; some other gamers prefer to play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and have their player characters have their adventures in the cracks of the saga (like, I dunno, being the ones to steal the Death Stars plans; hey, there were official precedents!). Some of this last kind of gamers even insist on making their adventures perfectly fit with the “canon” of the saga, bending themselves over to make sure the official word is respected no matter what. » Read more..

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