With the release of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, my table-top gaming group spent a long time discussing our options. Many of the players were either miffed at WotC's handling of the release (and seemingly summary dismissal of lifelong players), or unsatisfied with the new rules engine.
We did run a short playtest campaign of 4th Edition. Many of us liked the ruleset, but versatility seems lacking compared to 3.X and the rules for arcane magic in particular just don't suit our Greyhawk-based home campaign setting. Maybe the fit will improve as more sourcebooks flesh out the options available to players, but most of us are heavily dissatisfied with the core mechanics. Time will tell as more 4E content is released.
We certainly have the choice to continue playing 3.5E, but much of the gaming world will be moving on. Personally, I'm worried about the slippery slope - that I might become one of those weird, wild-eyed bearded fat guys off in the corner at GenCon still playing 1st Edition...
Then there's Paizo Publishing's new rising star - the Pathfinder system. Many of our players have taken a shine to Pathfinder, but we're not keen to start learning beta rules, which may change again with the final release next August.
So what to do in the mean time? Hey - what about those cool Star Wars Saga Edition rules that Ken picked up last GenCon? Although I hadn't been able to attend, my group had playtested the SWSE core rules and found them very much to their liking. Saga Edition seemed like a perfect compromise for the time being, so we've made the decision to play SE for a year and see if the final release of Pathfinder suits our taste for our triumphant return to Obsidian Bay.
Between working on my progress in KotOR II while my 360 was out for repair, and my more recent tawdry affair with The Force Unleashed, I was already on a fairly large Star Wars kick. The Saga Edition rules have Force-Grabbed me by the collar though. I simply can't remember being this excited about a RPG campaign for many a year.
Normally, I'm pretty lukewarm about RPG gaming. Sure, it's fun because I'm getting together with buds and gaming, but typically I'd much rather play strategy board games (geeky scifi- or fantasy-themed board games, that is) . Weirdly enough though, SWSE has me gnawing on my dice in anticipation.
One last note - for any readers actually playing SWSE, be sure to check out the Order 66 podcast - very well done and informative.