Silhouette Zero

Chris and Matt Ing must’ve looked at the back of the Starter Box of Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: Edge of the Empire and laughed. Three to five players, haha, two is enough. While some pregenerated FFGStar Wars adventures are balanced, this system is pretty flexible and doesn’t inherently require defined roles in the same way as, say, Dungeons and Dragons 4e. Any difficulties are dealt with by the addition of an ensemble NPC crew. That crew accompanies protagonist Kan Click Kachak, “Click,” a Chadra Fan pod-racer of some renown, as he travels the galaxy scrounging, bumbling, and developing a heroic side on his way through Imperial-controlled space. So, with brother Chris as GM and brother Matt controlling Click and directing the NPC crew members, they produce a fast-moving, smart, love-letter to Star Wars in the form of an actual play podcast.

Season One operated under the rules of Edge of the Empire, while the brothers are now exploring the other variations, Age of Rebellion in season 2 and Force and Destiny in their patreon-only recordings. These systems, while essentially the same, have different mechanisms to drive the plot in a direction more in keeping with certain kind of atmosphere. In Season One Click is driven by the constant threat of everything falling apart, debts being called on, or bounty hunters catching up. As the first season developed other elements of Star Wars lore crept in, as well as a developing animosity towards the Empire and not just various elements of the underworld. The story evolved in compelling way, yet from a perspective not often taken—literally “from below” in the form of these silhouette zero characters. In some ways this allows Silhouette Zero to offer comedy-laced commentary on the order of the Star Wars Universe. Also notable is how well the brothers play off one another, their lifelong relationship results in such banter that you even forget there is just two of them. A good reminder to GM’s… get to know your players.

Silhouette Zero is a reference to the main conceit of the podcast (what I’ve heard Chris and Matt refer to as a gimmick, but I’ll give them more credit than that!). In FFG’s Star Wars system, silhouette zero characters are the smallest size player characters. They are the Jawas, Chadra Fan, Droids, and other such smaller races—and Click and the other player-directed NPC’s are these tiny people. It is both cute, and serious—dealing with some dark elements of human existence by using these easy to overlook smaller characters.

Chris and Matt do such a good job at a two-player version of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire I have to wonder why FFG hasn’t reached out to Chris and said help us make this work. It would certainly grow the hobby. I see this as a perfectly valid play-style, as can be seen in Gumshoe one-two-one’s like Robin D. Laws’ Cthulhu Confidential. It might be that player-plus-droid is an awesome way to enjoy FFG Star Wars with only two people—we certainly see Luke play Star Wars like that with R2-D2.

These bite-size adventures are great, most recordings are well less than an hour, and it is quite possibly the best bang-for-your-buck Star Wars Actual Play out there: your time will be rewarded.


½-1 hour recording length.

High quality audio, sound effects, music (including some singing of familiar motifs). No language or content issues.

Website (Some NPC resources here)
Patreon Page (More resources and GM notes available to supporters)
RSS Feed

Active: 2016–present

Photo from the podcast feed for Silhouette Zero and all rights reside with the original creator.

Saving Throw Show: Never Tell Me The Odds

This David Crennen GM’ed triumphant stumble through Star Wars parts the blast doors of reality with no regrets—heck, it might knock them off entirely. It is occasionally drunken, raucous, vulgar, absurd, and little screwed up in all the right ways. This is one of the earliest Fantasy Flight Star Wars actual plays and reveals the kind of zany storytelling enabled by the FFG narrative dice. Similar to Saving Throw‘s other long-running Actual Play, Crit Juice, you can support the players or GM through twitch and purchase rerolls and similar game benefits.

Multiple story-arcs have seen homicidal droids, ill-fated Alderaanian superlaser engineers, delusional Ewoks with Rancor pets, and numerous other beloved(?) characters wreak havoc across the galaxy. The player characters,  almost all played by comedians, are well-embodied, highlighting their intentional personality quirks (defects?).

That being said, there is one reoccurring character who deserves explicit mention, and is a particular favorite of mine, and yet I hate the character with a passion, Gippy Bindoo. Gippy is a morbidly obese Mon Calamari diplomat from Dac. This character flowed through much of the series. A seemingly invincible, completely reprehensible, uncannily lucky, vile and morally bankrupt fish-man with more than 9 lives, who will either endear you to player Andrew W. Jones, or make you wonder what kind of twisted person invents such a character. The NPC’s are just as creative and bizarre, including a decidedly unpresidential Hutt, but as these writeups are meant to be spoiler-free, I’ll say no more.

The website for the game also has some resources if players would like to incorporate some of the elements from NTMTO, but most of it is from the early seasons. It also has some helpful guidance for new players to the system, including a bonus tutorial episode for new players.

This game, despite its comedic tone, is a great starting place to learn the Fantasy Flight narrative dice mechanics. You can fail with a triumph or succeed with a despair, and all the while the narrative evolves. Crennen, as his other GM’ing credits testify, is very talented at keeping the story going even with sponsored re-rolls and intoxication creating more chaos than just a surprise despair roll. GM’s who might be intimidated by the narrative dice system will find a great example of adaptive storytelling in NTMTO. What is truly amazing is that Crennen and crew make this Actual Play feel like Star Wars, and that is really the highest compliment I can offer.

Seasonal, on break. Roughly weekly release schedule when active.

3 hour recording length.

Explicit tag in iTunes, and it deserves it. Occasional overtalk and table noise.

RSS Feed
YouTube (The Saving Throw Show Channel)
Twitch (on the Saving Throw Show Channel)

Active: 2014–present

Photo from the podcast feed for Never Tell Me the Odds and all rights reside with the original creator.