The 360 went in the post to Xbox Customer Service on Wednesday, so with any luck I should have it back by mid-November. I doubt I’ll have any trouble; Podge’s 360 got all Red Ring of Death on him a few months ago and he got it back in fairly short order (the refund of the repair charges took a little longer, though).
Which has, of course, given me more time to get some other things done. The first is to get back into the garden; I mowed the lawn and fixed the fence of a smaller garden bed near the front gate that we turned over a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow is whipper-snippering and clearing the yard of dead leaves (not to mention dog poo – Vickie’s granted me the household title of “bomb disposal expert”).
I’ve also got back into RPGs. I think I’ve already written that the “Prelude to Defiance” module I played at Spring Revel Down Under back in October had me keen on playing some more. Well, thankfully I have my chance. On Saturday October the twentieth, I trooped up to Edge Hill to get together with Simon and Cristel, Patrick and Tracey, and Sam to make characters and do a touch of world-building for the Star Wars campaign I’m going to run using the Saga Edition rules. I’m pretty happy with how we went, although I still think I could’ve done a few things better.
It was good seeing Simon and Cristel again. Sam, the player I’d met at last year’s ReefCon and played “Prelude to Defiance” with at SRDU, was already at their place when I arrived, and Patrick and Tracey turned up not long after. Once we were settled I started asking questions about what everyone wanted to play. As there’s a lot of Star Wars to go around, with thirty to forty years of history in the movies alone, “when” was a big question. Between Sam’s preference for a home game that would tie in with the RPGA’s Dawn of Defiance adventures and Tracey’s wish to play in a galaxy dominated by an unopposed Empire, we decided to start the campaign three years after the end of the most recent film Revenge of the Sith.
While we were discussing options, I noticed that Cristel was looking very lost. I’ve known for a while that Cristel’s tastes in fiction and RPGs are pretty exclusively fantasy, but while chatting over Windows Messenger Simon reassured me she’d be good to play, so I figured Star Wars was fantasy-ish enough for Cristel’s palate. In reality, Star Wars is so not Cristel’s taste that the movies utterly failed to make an impression on her when she saw them (I’m pretty sure Cristel’s Star Wars is the Lord of the Rings films). All our talk about stormtroopers and jedis and wookiees and forces was going straight over Cristel’s head, and after some discussion I said I’d hate to make her play something she wasn’t really into.
Thankfully, it looks as though Cristel’s taste for fantasy will be filled soon. During the session, Sam asked who’d be keen on some D&D, which got Cristel’s interest immediately. Simon and myself weren’t far behind in sticking our hands up. Our plan is to get together for gaming every fortnight, alternating between Star Wars and D&D.
Anyway, we spent the rest of the session hammering out character basics and some notes on our home sector. I was aiming to build up the sort of group “consensus of coolness” on setting and characters that I see in actual play reports of Primetime Adventures when groups build their games from the ground up, but we were hampered when Tracey had to dash off part of the way through to see her mother, leaving us with less discussion time.
Another potential problem has cropped up since. I’ve been sending the odd e-mail and developing the sector of space we’ll be playing in, when I realised today that there were two preferences in collision. As I wrote above, Sam wants a home game that ties into the Dawn of Defiance campaign the RPGA is publishing (and that the game at SRDU was tied into) so that he can use his “Prelude to Defiance” character in both (which the RPGA is cool with, by the way). The problem is that the ten Dawn of Defiance modules are released on a monthly schedule, and as we’re playing Star Wars once a month, we can either play in our home-brewed sector or the Dawn of Defiance modules, not both.
I’ve e-mailed my players asking which they’d prefer. Our next session is November 10th; I need some sort of call on who wants what ASAP so I know whether or not to start statting out NPCs (and so that, should we decide on the DoD campaign, we can get a friend with Herald-level RPGA access to download the module and send it to me).