Star Wars: Dawn of Defiance is underway!

This post is actually a couple of weeks late – we’ve now had two sessions of the Star Wars Saga edition Dawn of Defiance campaign. For those who missed my musings on the character I’m playing, I’m playing a human noble based on Miles Vorkosigan. Of course, as soon as you get me playing a PC, you get lots of elements of my personality rather than the original persona, but that’s what you should expect, surely?

Somewhere, I’ve got a list of what everyone else is playing, but for now it’s from memory. Adam’s got a Rodian mercenary-type; Peggy’s a human mercenary; Nate’s a human pilot; and Greg’s a human Jedi. At least, he’s human, and Miles know he’s a Jedi – the other PCs suspect, though their players know – and he’s on the run from the Empire.

Our original hooks were that my father is a powerful merchant trader and he’s trying to protect Greg’s PC. So, I’ve been told off to look after Greg, and Adam and Peggy have been hired to protect us. We were going to my grandmother’s planet for safety, but at the spaceport we got into a bit of trouble with one of Bail Organa’s spy. Now, I know Organa through my father, so I’m all to volunteering for help. And there’s a lot of action and trouble involved, so everyone else is interested… and Nate joined us just because Greg’s character reminded him of his dead sister (who was a Jedi…)

One of the things I really, really, really like about the Saga system is how it handles skills. Of course, as the Noble, I’m the skill monkey of the group. (Greg has 3 trained skills, I have 9). I really feel that I’m competent at first level in the skills I care about. The skill I really care about is Deception, so by virtue of my 16 Charisma, Skill Training and Skill Focus, I had a +13 bonus at first level, and that’s a lot.

Miles is a bit of a fast-talker, you see.

The one thing I don’t have and everyone else does have is Skill Training in Initiative. (Yes, it’s a skill in Saga). My Dex isn’t great (13), and this means that I’m always going last in combat, which is a real drag. Even more so since the combats haven’t been lasting that long and so by the time I get to inspire everyone, the combat is over. Or I’m unconscious. Just call me Giles.

The skill system really feels different from D&D’s because you have good ratings at first level. There’s none of that “Oh, I’m first level, and I can’t disarm that trap because I only have a 25% chance and I rolled high” that afflicted AD&D, nor do you have the feeling that a skill is useless because that DC 15 Tumble check is just a bit too risky.

Sure, I messed up my Computer Use roll and got locked out of the system when trying to work out where the stormtroopers were, but that’s mainly because I didn’t care enough. (Should have used a Force Point.) Anyway, I’m second level now, and my bonus feat went into Skill Focus in Computer Use. I have a +13 now!

I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of my feats and bonus feats will be going into Skill Training and Skill Focus. I like succeeding at skill rolls.

The spy for Organa got us involved with a Crime Lord, and eventually into a fight. Greg wasn’t about to display his lightsaber, but he’d acquired a Gamorrean Axe a little time back, so, after winning initiative, he charged the BBEG of the first big fight we had… and critted.

Now, Greg and I think all of the BBEG’s allies should have surrended or fled, but they kept on fighting. (It makes a more satisfying game to have them attack and let other people than Greg have a chance to contribute. ) I got hit by a blaster bolt, but used Second Wind to make it not so bad.

The second session we played saw us getting away from the spaceport and reaching Bail Organa. Our escape wasn’t without incident. I managed to bluff a bunch of stormtroopers acting as custom inspectors that we were part of the ISB. That was fun. Then I got tripped up by the Saga edition surprise rules, and so spent my surprise round drawing a blaster, before being blasted into death by a critical. Ow. Thank the Rodney for Force Points! My only use of a Force Point so far- surviving a critical!

Once we got to Organa, I just acted like I owned the place. Look, I may be great at Deception, but I’m a fine diplomat as well. Just not quite as good… yet. (It’s on my list of things to get Skill Focus for). I get to show off my roleplaying skills – such as they are – in this game. So, we’ve got another mission now. Guess keeping Greg safe is getting lower on our list of priorities!

Although I can play (and enjoy) playing newbies, I prefer playing competent characters, even if they’re low level. That’s one reason I enjoy Amber. So, Miles, even if he’s at the beginning of his career as a hero, is well-educated, has been around men of power and knows how to handle himself. Sure, his enthusiasm is going to get him into trouble (as will his low HP… call him Giles), but that’s part of the fun.

So, it’s another week or so until session #3. Can hardly wait!

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