Actual Play – Droid Rampage (6/11/2016)

FAE-Bookcover_300x450GM: Jonh Kim
Players: Milo Kim, Eric Lytle, Sean Nittner, and my littles
System: Fate Accelerated

Star Wars Game Day at Endgame

Thanks to EndGame for hosting a Star Wars game day! I got this buzz after watching Force Awakens that I just felt like the Star Wars universe had opened back up in a way it hadn’t done since New Hope and Empire but before Jedi. Like it’s clear that the story is unfinished, which just felt so freeing. We can make our own Star Wars Stories!

Here are the four games that we had on deck:

  • Droid Rampage by John Kim – Fate Accelerated (the game I played in)
  • Rescue at Glare Peak by Tim Sanders – Age of Rebellion
  • The Light, the Dark, and the Ugly by Montel Lin – Force and Destiny
  • Emergency Alert in Detention Block AA-23 by Gil Treviso – Stare O.R.E. (One Roll Engine)

Game Description

You are a special circle of droids who served in the Rebellion, now living in the New Republic. Adjusting to peacetime is harder than you thought, and you have hatched a plan to repair yourselves on Coruscant. A saga of soldiers back from war, struggling against a system that doesn’t want them.

John’s Blurb on Facebook

I’ll be running a Star Wars tabletop game this Saturday at EndGame Oakland, where the characters are all droids – because I’m intrigued by how droids are clearly portrayed as people with thoughts and feelings, but are never quite treated as people.

Difficult Discussions

This game was full of shoot outs, mad chases through Coruscant, impersonating New Republic officials, seeking out the truth, and blaster fire!

However, the primary thrust of the story was the problematic question about the value of a droid’s life. They are sentient creatures and yet considered property.  Our game started with the discovery that one among us had their memories erased and had been reprogrammed with new directives. They did not recognize their old allies, nor did they even know something was wrong. As far as they knew they were 11 hours old…and a lifetime of shared experiences were just obliterated.

So yes, we chased down the person who did this, and yes we eventually recovered the memory banks, but we could have just have easily not done it. They might not have made a backup, or we might not have been able to recover it.

So this game, set in the star wars universe had us discussion questions of slavery, classism, second class citizenry, the transgression of taking away someone’s free will, and whether or not free will can ever truly be “granted” to anything. All of this in a game with young players age 10, 13, and 16. It was some fucking powerful stuff.

In the end when given the choice of what to do, to find another human that we hoped would take us in and honor our sentience or set off on our own, the group was divided but eventually decided that we couldn’t trust any organics: the empire, the rebels, or the new republic, to care about us, so we would set out on our own and try to find our own way.

Shadows over EndGame

Missed out on Star Wars day and want to play some games?

Join us Saturday, July 23rd at Endgame for a day of eldritch horror of the Lovecraftian ilk. Four games will delve into the Cthulhu mythos using different rules, themes, settings, and time periods. Bringing the cosmic horror will be four GMs each running a different system demonstrating the terrifying scope of Lovecraft’s universe.

Sign up here!

What rocked

The content of this game was some of the best sci-fi I’ve played in. Specifically looking at very human issues through the lens of something fantastical. We’re talking about the trials that marginalized people have encountered throughout history, and we were doing it with speeders and access codes and blast doors.  There was a point where our BB droid had the access codes to our blank slate friends memory banks. Though she couldn’t restore his memories, she could remove the new directives…but then what to do? Give him free will and see what he does given that he doesn’t remember any of us? Or give him a new direct to follow us…thus trading one set of orders for another? It was tough call!

Stepping back from that a bit, we also have some very Fate like action adventure. The chase scene between speeders in Coruscant was something right out of the speeder bike chase on the forest moon of Endor. Some of my flubbed deception was just as bad as Han’s fast talking, and we had a battle droid (same chassis as General Grievous) that was a nightmare of claws and blaster bolts! There was also a BB unit, with lighter and all! This mixture of action and levity along with the serious issues that were the primary thrust of the game made it powerful experience as well as a thrill ride.

I finally had a chance to play a game at EndGame and eat at the cafe. My dreams have come true!

What could have improved

We had some environmental factors that were rough. My little ones are very quiet and hearing them over the din of other three other games plus a magic event was a bit tough. We moved some seats around and huddled close together, but even then, it was a challenging sometimes.

John mentioned trying to run this again with Steal Away Jordan, which I think would give it a decidedly different flavor, primarily because the either the presence of an owner (that would have to be added to the game or abstracted somehow) and because the mechanics of Steal Away Jordan are significantly less permissive (by design) than Fate is. I’m very interested to hear how that game runs if he does try it.

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