So it seems that our AD&D game may have a shorter shelf life than I wanted. One of our players is in the midst of trying to find more work, and as a result may end up having to move to find a decent job. In this economy, I can’t say I blame him. I will continue to run the game for as long as I can, and hope that he can find something closer to home. If he doesn’t, I hope that he finds success wherever it may take him. If I end up being able to finish the campaign, then I will be very happy, if not, then I will shelve it until I can get another (and hopefully slightly larger) group to run it with.
So in light of that, I have decided to get back into the idea of running a Star Wars game (warning there is some rant-type things coming up). So I know that I stated that I would be making a Star Wars setting for Altered Realities, but as I looked at how much work would go into that, I realized that it just wasn’t plausible. With all of the alien species that would be playable, all the rules I would need for the Force, starships (the hundreds of them that there are) and starship combat, planets, and the hundreds of different creatures, I knew I would be working non-stop for about 6 months on it, and I would have no time for anything else. So I decided to not go down that road.
So now I ponder. How do I run a Star Wars game? I REALLY want to, I LOVE Star Wars, it’s my favorite setting of all time, and I’ve never been able to run a full-fledged game. There’s a few problems at this point. First – I HATE, DESPISE, and LOATHE d20, and especially d20 Star Wars. A level 12 Jedi? Give me a frakking break. Or worse a level 10 Jedi/level 5 Scoundrel/level 2 Noble. What? Seriously? How can anyone who calls themselves a Star Wars fan buy into that? The class and level paradigm does not work for Star Wars. Oh, so we’re going to classify Yoda as a Jedi Consular? And a Consular specializes in Force powers, has a lower attack modifier than a Jedi Knight (the “combat Jedi” class), and yet he can still pretty much beat anyone in a lightsaber duel? How does that work? Yeah classes do not work with Star Wars.
So obviously the d20/SAGA version is right out. I do have the introductory boxed set to the new Edge of the Empire put out by Fantasy Flight Games….but we tried it once. There’s a reason I could never justify buying the $60 book or more of the proprietary dice that run close to $20. The game felt…well too much like a game. Instead of feeling like we were immersing ourselves in the Star Wars universe and playing characters in a role-playing game, we always felt like we were playing a game. The proprietary dice was a lot of the problem, but the mechanics didn’t help either.
First off, classes, again. Ugh. And classes with talent trees of all things! Double what the frak ugh. Second off, there were these tokens that the players and the GM could flip. If they were white side up, the player could use it to gain extra benefits during play, while if it was black, the GM could flip it to cause “dramatic complications”. Right. Because I need to flip something as GM to do that. How about I’m the GM and I’ll just cause “dramatic complications” because I’m the frakking GM?! Why make it a “game” for the GM and the players to be able to do dramatic things? In most ROLE-playing games, that happens as a matter of course through…*GASP* ROLE-PLAYING! Or in the case of the GM, telling the damned story. These things were nothing more than crutches to remind players to be heroic, and the GM to cause complications for the players. Seriously with that and the specialized dice, the whole thing felt more like a board game without the board.
That and the prices for everything for Edge of the Empire is just ridiculous. $60 for the main book, granted it’s full color and over 400 pages, but damn, most core books go for between $30 and $40. Then we get into those “talent trees’. Guess what, to get the most out of them, you need to buy $8 booklets for each class and there are 23 of them! The splatbooks are $40 each! Splatbooks usually run for $15-$25 for most games. So yeah, the pricing is horrible, especially in the current economic climate. I don’t know what Fantasy Flight Games was thinking, except that only rich people like to play Star Wars RPGs… except that it isn’t really an RPG. Let’s not even get into the fact that they only plan to cover the Rebellion era, the most overdone era in the history of the franchise, and that the most popular eras (Legacy and Old Republic) are never going to be introduced. Even if they are…it’d be another $200+ for each era. No. Thanks.
So I’m left with…what? That’s right. the original Star Wars RPG. The granddaddy of them all. The one with the most material out of all the Star Wars RPGS in existence and in fact has SO much material that you could combine the entirety of the WotC run and the current FFG run and still not have as much. I’m talking about the d6 West End Games version of the game. I started looking at the rules again in a pdf of the main rulebook and saw that it really is a system that stands the test of time. Sure it’s pretty basic, but because of that it’s easy to work with, and it’s an overall solid system. It’s like WoD with d6’s.
So I decided since all the work was done in the d6 version and since everything that was ever going to come out for the d6 version was out already (so finite in terms of money out to collect), and that there was tons of free stuff out there put together by fans who have stuck with the game since it’s inception (and it’s been dead 15 years now), that going back to this version would be perfect! So I now have the core book with a creature book on the way. I am complete psyched, because I haven’t run a full on Star Wars game in forever. I am really looking forward to character creation on Sunday.