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This article was written on 15 Aug 2013, and is filled under Advice/Tools, Fluff/Inspiration, Game Design, Game Theory, Star Wars RPG.

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Sticking It To The (Edge of the) Empire

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BY MICHAEL PACHECO

I don’t always do random things to dice, but when I do it’s exceptionally random.

When I first tore up my Edge of the Empire beta, I completely ignored the dice stickers. After that rant about game mechanics, I felt like using them up.

For those of you that didn’t get the beta, the book came with a sheet of stickers so the owner could stick them on standard 6, 8, and 12 sided dice. I opted to use the dice roller app on my phone and totally forgot about the stickers until a few days ago. About a minute later, I also remembered another buried purchase: Story Cubes.

I don’t remember why I bought the Story Cubes in the first place. I think I had some idea for qualitative Risus dice or something, but I didn’t pursue it. Instead, I wound up putting the Star Wars stickers on them. The stickers are meant to be used on D6s, D8s, and D12s, but I couldn’t bring myself to care about whether I was doing this “right” or not, considering that I wasn’t in love with the system in the first place.

At first I was trying to distribute them evenly. The first Boost and Setback dice were accurately placed, and the first Ability stickers were as well. Then, at some point, I start mixing them up. One dice got 3 black and 3 blue sides, and things devolved from there. Basically, I gave up all pretense of keeping the distribution even.

But what does it all mean?

I’m not sure it means anything, but I did have some revelations while doing it. It was oddly similar to what I imagined Bones being like. I realize that bones has over a dozen different symbols to represent skills, I think they could be paired-down to fit the colors and icons of Edge of the Empire. However, I was never going to do that, nor am I likely to actually use these dice for anything other than a conversation piece.

What I’m discovering is that game designers aren’t gods. Just because they carefully playtest these games to ensure balance and fairness, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other applications for the various components. Dice are dice. Stickers are stickers. Stickers that are meant to be stuck to dice are just that. And unless you plan to play exactly as the designer intended (and I wasn’t), you don’t have to keep things pristine and uncontaminated.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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