Do you remember the first time you ever saw Star Wars? Do you remember being introduced to the thoroughly evil and throughly badass Empire, only to be ripped away and dropped off with a boy whose life bores even himself? In more ways than one, this was how I felt when I first started the adaptation from the elite Imperial Green Berets of CRUSH the REBELLION to the freelance bagmen of BLASTER at your SIDE.
But of course, the inspiration for countless Han Solo cosplays didn’t come from the scenes where he’s telling Chewie about how they’re going to finally make enough money to get a slug off their backs. No one bought a Boba Fett action figure because the government chides him like a child (“No disintegrations”). Hell naw. We like Solo because, when he shows up in the trench to save Luke, we understood that his motivations were complex. We like Fett because, when he’s tracking the Falcon to Bespin, we realize that he will use anything at his disposal to get what he wants. This meant that the first thing that needed to be changed for BLASTER at your SIDE was the central tenet of character building in CRUSH the REBELLION: a new S is for Secret Agendas, which I call Contraband Channels.
YOU BEAR WITNESS to a new column here on T&D, Retrofit, and a new contributor, Andy Kotch. I have participated in several of Ross’ past gaming endeavors as a player, including the ambitious homebrew of FFG’s Star Wars RPG: CRUSH THE REBELLION!I usually run games for a small group of old friends and we collectively jump from system to system (space pun) with new campaigns every few months. After delving into the Age of Rebellion starter box, they were eager to give Star Wars a shot.
I didn’t want to simply run CtR. As much as I love the Empire, I was burnt-out on the infinite riches and shocking abuses of power. I wanted to try a different aesthetic, and after polling my players a bit, we all seemed down for a fringe-worldy, get rich or die tryin’, morally gray campaign in space. Fortunately, that’s all the best aspects of Edge of the Empire (and I guess Firefly). The herculean task now lay before me: adapt the thoroughly evil and quasi-legal quest for POWER of Crush the Rebellion into a rough’n’tumble space-cowboy hunt for RICHES.
That is the focus of this column: re-writing and re-purposing what exists of CtR into what I have dubbed “Blaster At Your Side”.