Friday, January 10, 2014

Boba Fett...The Movie?!

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In case you are not up to date, Disney's plans with their newly acquired Star Wars franchise is to do a new trilogy of films..and to insert "character films" in between each film of the trilogy.

Rumors are out now that a Boba Fett film will be one of the character movies. I think this is an important (and of course lucrative move) for Disney, but really it is a new hope for Star Wars Fans.

The current 6 SW films deal with one overarching story line: Sith v. Jedi with the universe in the balance.  Sure its great (well honestly only Ep. 4 & 5 are great IMHO) and presents lots of memorable characters. Sadly these characters only serve to play their part in moving forward the over arching Sith v. Jedi story line. So for a guy like me who was wondering just what the hell is IG-88 all about anyway? Sorry kid he has nothing to add to Sith v Jedi, just buy the figure and make it up yourself.

Now that we get films that look at individual characters and their story?  What a damn great opportunity to really explore the SW universe broadly and bring some depth to characters we like but may not know very well.  I am hoping for an IG-88 movie or maybe this Boba Fett  thing becomes a full blown bounty hunter movie...but time will tell.

Okay so I yammered about the BF film so what's my point? Why is it important to gaming?  I think as a Referee there is a tendency (given to us from movies like Star Wars or even Star Trek) where the characters are the center for saving the universe.  Damn that is a tall order to Referee and script out, let alone as a character figure out how to do it.  Second its tough for all the characters to figure out what their special and important role is in saving the universe.  And if you the Referee can't help the lost player feel important? It's curtains for the campaign.

Frankly it is a tired and pretty crappy game experience, especially for those of us who can't spend every weekend in a gaming marathon for months on end.  Sure when I was 12 that was fine, but now? If I can get in 2 good games in a month its banner month...(and yes if I quit creating and publishing game stuff, that might help too. )

Anyway the point I am getting to is, a good adventure needs to focus on the characters...not on the story.  The story will develop as you play and the story does not have to be "save the galaxy" to be interesting, fun, or worth your time.

The two best (and most remembered/discussed) adventures I ever created and Refereed were Pizza Delivery in Cyberpunk 2013 and The Great Tobacco Caper in my homebrewed TFT.  Nope I won't bore you with "my great adventure story" so it is safe to read on, but I will tell you why I think they standout. What distinguished both of these adventures is using something common/mundane to create an opportunity for the characters to be the focus of the game, not the story nor a quest.

There was no princess to save, no galaxy to liberate, no secret weapon/magic item to uncover and no dungeon or hidden lair to murder hobo your way through for fun and profit.  Yet both adventures shined and are still talked about all these years later because the characters (players) alone were really the focus. They got to use their crazy ideas and schemes only to benefit themselves in getting through odd situations.  There were "personal challenges" that mattered to the character's and the lack of story gravitas helped liberate the players to have more fun because it was just all about them.

So this gets back to the (maybe) Boba Fett the Movie. I think making a SW universe story that may have only vague reference to (but no part in) the Sith (Empire) v. Jedi (Rebellion) would be an extremely liberating experience for SW fans and the entire SW franchise.   It expands the possibilities and interest in a wider and universe and the possibilities become much broader, more rich and frankly a hell of a lot more interesting than the simple (and simplistic) quest to save the universe story we had for 6 films.  The same is true for your own game. You don't need an epic story line, what you need is an interesting story focused on your characters and letting them be the star.

Don't let the players be props to tell a story, let the players be stars that create a story.

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