Is Star Wars RPG the perfect d20 system?

arscott

First Post
Some notes on your individual points:
greywulf said:
* Lots and lots of races, all of which are LA +0. Add in the Ultimate Alien Anthology and you've almost 200 playable races, many of which would fit equally well into the fantasy milieu (if you play a Jorune or Talislanta style game, anyhow). I want me some Wookiee Duskblade!!
From what I've seen, many of the races need work. Many aren't at all balanced, while others are mechanically uninteresing. I think a better philosophy is (with any game element, but races in particular) it's better do a few things well than many things poorly.

* Free-for-all Multi-classing and class selection. Class availability is left in the hands of the DM, just where it should be.
* All classes are packed with goodness; there are very few dead levels where the class gains nothing. This means there's incentive to stick with a single class all the way to 20th, if you wanna.
No complaints here. I agree with you 100%

* Armour gives damage reduction not Defense (AC).
* Defense increases as level improves. Yep. 20th level characters can wear no armour, cast no Mage Armour and still be harder to hit thanks to their training and experience. Just as it should be.
I like both of these Ideas in theory (and my favorite system, d20 Modern, uses class-based defense), but I don't think SW has implemented them particularly well.

* Reputation bonus and the ability to gain followers after 10th level. This is a return to OD&D Name Level benefits! I love it!
I'm not that familiar with the SW reputation rules, but this sounds pretty cool.

* HP replaced with Wounds and Vitality; Wounds = CON, Vitality improves with level and represents the ability to turn a blow and ignore trivial blows. Cannon fodder critters don't have Vitality.
* Critical hits directly damage Wounds. Cannon fodder critters are reduced to -1 Wounds with single a critical blow.
I think that d20SW actually handled damage relatively poorly. In fact, there were enough problems with VP/WP that the new Saga version is abandoning them entirely.

* Miniatures use is de-emphasized, but still there if you want/need them.
I'm not sure how miniatures are any more de-emphanized than they are in regular D&D, but It's been a while since I looked at the SW combat chapter.

* Force (Magic) use is Vitality-based. It's very easy to drop Vancian magic, Psionics or anything else in too though; just stick those classes in, give them Defense and Reputation mods and you're done.
I felt Vitality-based magic was probably the biggest weakness to d20 Star Wars. It means that high-hp fighter types make better magic users than the actual mages. And while I support easing away from preparation and spell slots, I'm looking forward to the new rules for force powers in the Saga edition.

* Goal-based XP awards. Simple, not primarily combat based and none of that CR/ECL silliness. Just "Simple" (lvlx100), "Challenging" (lvlx300) or "Extreme" (lvlx400). Perfect.
A simpler experience mechaning that de-emphasises combat? I bask in the sheer awesomeness.
 

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Hammerhead

Explorer
Victim said:
Our group mocks Stars Wars d20 as a game done in a weekend. Bad classes, magic, ship combat, equipment, races, damage system, etc.

He says weekend. I say afternoon. Star Wars d20 is something a joke that fails to create a satisfying mechanical game or even adhere to the flavor of the movies.
 

Have to agree with a number of others - Star Wars d20 has some nice ideas, but taken as a whole it's an utter disaster area.

Armour is meaningless. Lightsaber duels are over in seconds, and the sort of acrobatic, varied lightsaber combat we see in the movies is actively discouraged by the rules. Starship combat is utterly unworkable. Stun weapons are all-powerful. 90% of the huge variety of available races are utterly uninteresting and mechanically weak. The only classes worth taking are the Jedi classes, soldier, scoundrel, and perhaps at very low levels, Force Adept. The XP tables are wildly dysfunctional. The implementation of Force Points was utterly naive and unimaginative. Genre emulation and any sort of cinematic feel are completely non-existent. Force power mechanics (Friendship, Fear, Move Object, Burst of Speed) were glaring rules problems from the word go. And if anyone tries to tell me that significant playtesting was done on the ruleset, particularly at higher levels, I'll call them a liar to their face.

Star Wars d20 is a terrible, terrible ruleset. I don't know who was responsible for loosing such a dumb, direct D&D port into the wild as a Star Wars game with no testing worth a damn (whether it was Lucasfilm, WotC management, or the writers/design team), but whoever it was should be ashamed of themselves. Hopefully the Saga edition will be an improvement (the hints i've read so far are promising, and after all it can hardly be worse!), but I won't be buying it for the simple reason that after struggling for so long with the Revised rules, my gaming group has utterly burnt out and will never, ever play Star Wars again. That's how bad d20 Star wars is.
 

delericho

Legend
greywulf said:
delericho, considering you "strongly disagree" you seem to agree with a lot of my points :)

Yeah, I noticed that. However, where I agreed, I mostly found the improvements pretty marginal. But where I disagreed, the areas of concern basically kill the game dead for me. I really hate the VP/WP system (at least for this game - allegedly it's implemented a lot better in Spycraft). And, as I also noted, the two areas I expect a Star Wars game to handle well (lightsabers and staships) fall flat.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
I didn't like playing Star Wars d20. It's not a bad game, I don't think, but it didn't deliver the kind of play experience I was looking for in a Star Wars game. d6 did that better for me, the way I played.

I'll be interested in seeing the new version.
 

Odhanan

First Post
I really like Star Wars d20. Overall, it's a great adaptation of the feel of the movies.

I agree however with the criticisms of the VP/WP system. In my experience, it indeed has counterproductive effects on the heroic feel of the game and is less simple for newbies to RPGs to understand, sort of like a double-standard based on two abstract concepts.

I also think that the multiple Force skills should be just one. You already don't have much Skill points either as a Guardian or Consular, but if you want to perform in the Force correctly, you have to invest almost all of them in Force Skills.

And yet, the Jedi seem really not balanced with the other character classes. They seem way more powerful, so you end up with a lot of players who either want to play something else and end up frustrated sooner or later, or they play Jedi and you have a lot of them in the party. For some eras that may not be a problem, but for the variety of the game that may be damaging (not even speaking of the frustration of non Jedi players I just pointed out).

It seems that the Saga edition due this year answers to all these criticisms. I can't wait for it. My only problem with what I've read about it so far is that there are less character classes overall. That bothers me, but if the system answers my personal issues with the Revised edition, I see no reason why we couldn't just import some classes from Revised to Saga so... we'll see when it's out ! :)
 


Turjan

Explorer
Odhanan said:
I also think that the multiple Force skills should be just one. You already don't have much Skill points either as a Guardian or Consular, but if you want to perform in the Force correctly, you have to invest almost all of them in Force Skills.
At the moment, jedi are combat monsters and not much else. They don't have any skill points left for anything but force uses, which makes them useless in certain types of game. I agree that it's kind of boring.
Odhanan said:
It seems that the Saga edition due this year answers to all these criticisms. I can't wait for it. My only problem with what I've read about it so far is that there are less character classes overall. That bothers me, but if the system answers my personal issues with the Revised edition, I see no reason why we couldn't just import some classes from Revised to Saga so... we'll see when it's out ! :)
I heard that the reduction to only five classes is more or less an organizational change for more flexibility without losing anything. There won't be any fringer anymore, but you will be able to build a scout that looks like the old fringer by choosing the appropriate feat tree. There won't be an explicit force adept, but you can make your scout one. That's how I understood the changes.
 

Nadaka

First Post
I think that a combination of d20 modern and SW is the best d20 system in general. I would use d20 modern as a base and add Wounds/Vitality.

In modern there are no dead levels. Every hero gains a class feature at every level. Generic base classes let you build a wide range of characters without forcing any niche, while advanced and prestige classes still allow one to focus if a niche is desired.

The system is independant of FX. You don't need magic to play the game. However it does include examples of "vancian" arcane/divine magic as well as D&D style psionics and slightly different scroll/slayer based magic system used by shadowchasers. With a little creativity you can "plug and play" nearly any d20 style of magic into the system rather simply.
 

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