The announcement of Age of Rebellion, so quickly on the heels of Edge of the Empire, surprised a few, shocked others, and has the rest of us considering how this is going to impact our own group. FFG, intentionally or otherwise, has created a release timeline that for many groups is going to create an interesting content introduction dynamic.
In EotE characters have their beginning within the group and will find out who their characters really are through misadventure across the galaxy. In AoR characters will come of age and commit to a cause greater than themselves. Force and Destiny will be the culmination of their story as characters fulfil whatever destiny lays before them. Strangely enough, this structure fits perfectly with how many campaigns normally run. Interestingly, with F&D unreleased and AoR only just starting beta, the “end points” for characters are clouded in darkness. It is a rare opportunity for players to build characters not knowing what the future will hold. Perhaps an opportunity worth exploring ?
Once AoR and F&D have been released, GM’s can still release content in sequence for their players, but the mystery will be gone. Players will read F&D, know exactly how to build their pseudo Jedi and how best to groom their character before then. Right now, it’s all speculation and it is exciting not knowing what may come.
Not everyone may share this excitement at the unknown. For those people, the frustration of not being able to see what to spend where may reduce their enjoyment of the game. It may also lead to the all too familiar “retraining” of characters, or worse, the all too convenient PC death, to allow a clean slate character with a boatload of unspent XP.
Consider for a moment the opportunity that lays before you, regardless of how you might like to build your character. The one important thing to keep in the back of your mind is that you can save unspent XP for as long as you wish. Yes, I can hear the shouts of “under-powered” all the way across the ocean, but exactly how is a character under-powered?
If a character does everything you need it to and has sufficient skill to make that reasonably likely, how much of an impact will additional XP really have? One less Setback die to worry about? A 5th yellow die in the pool? Sure you’ve got the XP, but will you really notice the benefit once it has been spent? Perhaps not. What is the harm in not spending that XP you just received, maybe hold on to it for a session, see what happens. If your character is still kicking ass and taking names is there any real need to spend that XP? Perhaps just save it, bank it, and forget about it.
Insanity? Perhaps, but just imagine the possibility of what you’ve just set yourself up for. Age of Rebellion is released, your GM informs the group you will be transitioning and lo and behold you’ve got 75 unspent XP. Guess what, it’s Christmas for your character. You can dive into the new AoR specializations and hit the ground running. It will give you a true sense of having taken your first step into a larger world.
Remember your choices tell the story of your character. That little dip into Politico to get the group out of a tough campaign arc is not wasted, even if you never use it again. It’s part of the greater story of your character, bringing a little authenticity to them. No one is perfect, why should your character be any different ?
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