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D&D 5E I hope 5E springs from SW Saga Edition

Reaper Steve

I've always felt that SW Saga was more of a proper evolution of D&D than 4E. I enjoyed 4E for a while, but it was (IMO) a divergent branch of the evolution of the game. SW Saga (again, IMO) was a much more natural progression of the game that kept the best of 3.X while significantly reducing bloat.

When SW Saga was released, I thought that it was the Herald of a 4E that would have been very similar.

I hope that in their quest to 'take the best of all editions', WotC takes a good, long look at SW Saga as well. I think a great starting point would be SW Saga with the return of Saving Throws instead of Defenses.
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I hope not, SW sucks StarTrek rules!!!!!!!!!!1!

(sorry had to, couldn't help my selfB-) )


P.s I never laid eyes on SW saga so I can't really judge.

Jeff Carlsen

I'm with you on this. After all the talk that SW:Saga came from the design evolution going into 4E, I was shocked how different they looked. Particularly since SW:Saga was an amazing evolution of the d20 system, particularly in how it handled class design and progression.

I still believe that if 4E had been more like SW:Saga, we would not be discussing 5E right now. So, yeah, I hope that they give it a very good look.



I love the way the Saga Edition works. It's as straight-forward and simple as 4e but with all the extra complexity(if you want it) of 3.x

Really though I think this is aided by it's lack of books though(10).

Star Wars Saga is a great game, but the bridge between spellcasters and other characters, which seems to be a major concern in D&D, becomes absurd when you look at force users and everybody else in SWSE.


Pariah Silver

First Post
First: I apologize for the wall of text. I also apologize for the somewhat rant-like approach this takes, but I simply cannot discuss Saga Edition without becoming upset. It is, bar none, the single worst game system I have ever encountered.


I have ended up in many conversations about Saga Edition. Each time I have found myself repeating the same things over and over, so I thought it might be a good idea to ensure that I have my own opinions straight. With that in mind, I decided to sit down and fully organize my thoughts on the subject. Not only should it help me get my own facts straight so I can more accurately (if not effectively) make my point, in the course of writing this I may be reminded of other problems with Saga that I had previously overlooked or forgotten. Yes, the book is open in my lap as I write this.

Thematic problems are probably the least of my issues with Saga Edition, simply because such things are so easily overcome by the knowledge of the players at the game table. There is however one thing that, being built into the rules of the game, is a problem for me thematically.

Jedi deflect blaster bolts with their lightsabers. It's a fundamental aspect of the very use of lightsabers, easily one of the most famous, and it is an ability demonstrated by nearly every single Jedi to ever set foot on the screen. When I say every single Jedi, I am including the four-year-olds with their little training sabers and helmets that cover their faces in Episode II. Yet by the very basic rules of the Jedi class in Saga, no Jedi can deflect a blaster bolt without taking the 'Deflect' talent. It becomes a 'talent tax,' to appropriate a term. You must expend a talent slot in order to acquire one of the most fundamental abilities that all Jedi have. This is a minor issue, but even the tiniest pebble in a mountain of pebbles is still part of the mountain. Saga is a mountain of pebbles.

The mechanics of the game are a bittersweet disappoint for me. When I first got my hands on the book and began to flip through to get an idea of the overall fundamentals, I was happy. I was excited, and even eager. It looked great! Yet the more I played, the more I began to realize that this edition is a collection of half-formed ideas. Given the timing of the publication of this book, I am of the opinion that it is an incomplete, untested result of brainstorming by the development team responsible for the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

The Saga development team (if you can call them that) saw the potential of this new set of rules and ideas being developed (the same potential I saw while flipping through the Saga book) and got excited. They immediately set about slapping some Star Wars names on the rules set, then threw them in a physically deformed book and went about their merry way. The problem is that the D&D development team, as a result of playtesting and simple logical reasoning, continued their development of 4th Edition and moved onward from the rules set that the Saga team had just published. Which makes Saga Edition an incomplete rules set that later became 4th Edition once it was actually, oh I don't know, finished.

Skill progression vs. Defense progression.
For the record I have no problem with the removal of skill ranks, nor do I oppose the transformation of the Saving Throws to Defenses. These are things that I very much like about both Saga Edition and D&D 4E. What I detest however is the incomplete and frustrating way that Saga Edition throws them together and expects them to work. Certain skills (namely Persuasion and Use the Force) are used against the Defense scores of enemies on a regular basis. This would be fine, except that the two game elements progress at completely different rates. Skills progress at a rate of half-your-level, while Defenses progress at a rate equal to your level. Which means that characters' abilities get less powerful comparatively as the character actually gains in level.

Take a 1st-level Jedi and pit him against any 1st-level opponent, and he can Use the Force against that baddie almost willie nillie with no hope of failure. Pop both of them up to 20th-level however, and the Jedi has a hard time getting his Use the Force to stick simply because his power to wield the mystical energy field has progressed at half the rate that his opponent's Defense scores have. One could of course argue that this should be expected as heroes would face more powerful opponents at higher levels, and it is a rationalization that I used when I first came to this realization about Saga. Eventually however I realized that this is silly once you consider how stupidly easy it is to use such skills at low levels compared to their relative difficulty at high levels.

Base Attack Bonus
The bab mechanic was developed for a system in which AC was relatively static if you didn't continue gaining better equipment or more powerful enchantments. Its function was to represent that some heroes were able to learn how to overcome enemy defenses as they gained in power whereas others never really got much better at it (at least in comparison). Saga Edition for some reason keeps the base attack bonus, even though the very fundamental aspects of its opposition have been replaced in their entirety. Defense is now based off the level of the character or monster, making bab entirely meaningless. In Saga Edition, all bab represents is the fact that the very best in the galaxy simply remain on par while everyone else in the galaxy gets worse as they gain in power.

Diagonal Movement
I personally, when playing the d20 system, never found it difficult to count 1.5 squares when I moved diagonally. For some reason Wizards is of the opinion that the majority of their customers found such a task difficult however, and decided to do away with that in both Saga and 4E. Fine, whatever, I can live with that. What I despise however is the solution used in Saga Edition. The 4th Editions solution (one square is one square, even diagonally) isn't much better, but the Saga version is still utterly ridiculous (one diagonal square counts as two squares of movement). This mechanic alters the physical reality of the game world in which you are playing. A 6-meter object is 4 squares long horizontally or vertically, but if you set it diagonally suddenly it's 2 squares long. Stretching it in 4th Edition is equally ridiculous, but that doesn't excuse such silliness in Saga.

Size Modifiers
The entire point of size modifiers in the d20 system was to represent the aspects unique to being so huge you can't be missed or so small you can't be hit. The d20 system was, within certain limits, a reality simulator and so the size modifiers were a nice attempt to bring such aspects of reality into the game mechanics. This was carried over into Saga Edition, which is fine, but only portions of the idea made it over. Size modifiers to Defense scores are fine, but only if they are accompanied by commensurate size modifiers to attack rolls. A Small character gets a bonus to its Defenses, but without the accompanying bonus to attack rolls, a Small character finds a fellow Small character difficult to hit because he's so...small. This is absolutely laughable.

Destiny Points
Initially this idea really struck a chord with me, and to be honest I'm still fond of the idea. I just hate the execution. Primarily I suppose the failure of this aspect is the absolute lack of limitations on the use of destiny points. Yes it's true you can only have a number equal to your level or fewer, but if you have twelve destiny points you can use twelve damn destiny points. This means that you can, if you so choose, save up your destiny points and then throw every single one of them at the primary villain of a campaign, rendering him entirely impotent in the face of your ultimate badass destiny, reducing him to a quivering pile of hit points through which you rip with incredible ease. No game mechanic should be that powerful, not ever.

A Wisdom check? Seriously?

All publications have problems such as printing errors, typographical errors, errors of omission, and the like. I will not discuss those here, as they are not a genuine problem. There are however a couple things done with Saga Edition that I cannot get over.

The Book's Shape
Publishing the book in some weird dwarf-sized format makes no sense to me whatsoever. For some reason they decided to make the book wider and shorter than every single other table-top gaming book ever published. Since the first books in the genre published by TSR, to every book published for every other setting and rules set to this very day, they have been the same general shape. This makes it easy for gamers like me who have a large collection, as all my books fit nicely on my shelf and are easy to pack up when I move.

Not Saga Edition, though. No, this little angry midget sticks out on my shelf trying to get my attention, as if to say "we're advertising even on your own bookshelf; why play those other games when our book catches your eye more easily? We've got your money, now we want you to ignore the other games on which you also spent money!" This is several things:

Insulting: They think they can make it special by changing its shape.

Problematic: Trying to include it with my other gaming books when moving is annoying.

Pointless: The shape of this book serves no purpose other than to be as aggravating as I have detailed.

The So-Called Index
I have seen my share of bad indexes in the past, but the Saga Edition index is by far one of the most useless pieces of crap ever published. For one thing it is not so much an index as it is a list of talents with some game elements thrown in. A list of talents is perfectly fine, and even useful. Including it at the back of the book in addition to an index would have been quite nice, along with a list of vehicles by level, adversaries by level, and that sort of thing (all of which are of course entirely absent). Using this index is an exercise in frustration. Case in point: try using the index to find anything about running, size modifiers, or damaging objects; none of which appear on the table of contents, either.

I could go on about Saga Edition at great length. I could bring up the vehicle rules (what a joke that phrase is), I could mention the Sith thematic problems, I could dig through the book to find the rules sections that reference rules that aren't even in the damn book, but I grow weary in my annoyance and I want to go play around with 4th Edition now just to make myself feel better about table-top gaming.

Jeff Carlsen

Most of that post isn't pertinent to the discussion, so I'll focus only on the mechanics.

For the most part, you're complaints are about mathmatical problems with some of the new mechanics. I agree that 4E is better in the math department. I doubt that's what we're talking about here.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that those of us that like SW:Saga Edition are mostly in love with its class design. We like how class abilities have been unified into talents, and how those talents are grouped into trees. It's a very easy to understand system that provides meaningful choice at every level. It allows for tremendous flexibility in multi-classing, yet still resembles the class structure of other d20 games, which 4E does not.


I like SAGA and its the closest I ever want to get to 4e (which we played for almost 2 years regrettably). Thankfully my therapy is going well with PF and 1e.

When we don't play Dark Heresy and want something more 'sci fantasy' and less dark we play SW SAGA.


First Post
First: I apologize for the wall of text. I also apologize for the somewhat rant-like approach this takes, but I simply cannot discuss Saga Edition without becoming upset. It is, bar none, the single worst game system I have ever encountered.

Wow, dude. That's some serious edition hate. For my part, I loved the elegance of Saga, and found that 90% of its balance problems could be solved with a simple house rule that Skill focus (use the force) could not be taken until 8th level.

I would agree with previous posters that a 5e based on Saga would be awesome, and that if 4e had been it might have had more success.

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