Friday, April 6, 2018

Roll for Combat Starfinder Podcast Review

So my last post was a review of the Starfinder game and my opinions on it initially were rather mixed.  Because a large part of that was because of a well meaning but suboptimally run first game, I wanted to make sure I gave the game another chance.  In preparation for the second game that I'll be GMing, I decided to search youtube for an experienced group running through the same adventure to gauge how well they handled the same/similar situations.  On of the best fits I found was the Roll for Combat podcast linked below.



The group in the podcast feels like they've been running games together for a while and they've been running Starfinder for the past 6 months since pretty much the release of the game.  That experience definitely shows and there isn't any of bickering and rules arguments that you might tend to find in groups with younger or inexperienced members.  The sessions progress quickly and both the GM and players play their roles and characters like a well oiled machine.  Zany things do pop up occasionally like the impromptu building of a half goblin droid (long story!) but they're entertaining and the group and GM adapt well to fluid situations.  That last part is something that my own group (and myself in particular) need to get back into the hang of as we're all rusty and I personally haven't regularly roleplayed for over 5 years.  I've found that listening to their podcasts after reading through the appropriate adventure section helps with figuring out how I might eventually run the same scenario when our group catches up and to avoid potential pitfalls along the way that we might cause ourselves as newcomers to the game.  As part of the expansion of their podcast, they just announced that they'll also be doing Starfinder Society games in addition to the Dead Suns Path they're currently doing.

For those interested in following them in between games, they're fully connected to a plethora of different media (social and otherwise) like Facebook, iTunes, and Discord.  They even got an old grognard like me to join their new fangled Discord which feels like a mix between a live chat and older bulletin board systems.  It'll definitely take me a while to get the hang of that seeing as how I'm still trying to get into the swing of things on seasoned platforms like Facebook so I'm mainly lurking for the time being.  Another benefit to listening is that the group runs some *VERY* generous contests on a regular basis like an Amazon gift card giveaways weekly and even a fully expense paid trip to Paizocon this year.  I can't think of any other podcast that isn't owned and run by a large company that gives so much to their community so regulary.

My only minor complaint is more regarding the medium they post in (pure audio podcast) rather than the content of the podcasts itself.  While audio does come in handy in certain situations like commuting (and I myself listened to one episode while exercising), I do occasionally have a bit of trouble following along with which player is saying/doing what and linking it to the character when they use their real life name instead of the character's.  If the podcast were instead recorded and posted in video format on youtube (whether all together physically or the players webcaming in virtually), it would be a bit easier to follow along without concentrating on who is doing what.  I suspect that with further listening that this will become progressively less and less of a problem for me though.

Overall, I give the podcast a 9 out of 10 rating and they've definitely firmed up my decision to give Starfinder a second chance for our own scifi campaign.

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