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Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook

bone_naga

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook

As a longtime fan of Star Wars, I have been disappointed by the d20 adaptions. I was getting ready to dust off the West End d6 books when I came across this game at a convention. I am a fan of FFG but I was skeptical about the requirement for special dice. It struck me as a bit gimmicky. However, the guy let me read through the Beta rulebook and I got a lot of that old d6 vibe from it, so I bought the starter set.

Best decision I could have made. The dice are confusing at first, but you catch onto them pretty quickly. I really like the advantage/threat system that breaks away from the normal pass/fail checks of most RPGs. You can succeed, succeed really well, succeed with some complications, fail, epic fail, and fail but still get some minor benefit, and it takes all of a second to figure out what the result is.

Even moreso than most RPGs, it is designed to be a cooperative narrative between the GM and players. The Destiny Points are also interesting. At first we misunderstood the rules and thought the points went away when used, which caused everyone to hoard their points for a rainy day. Instead, they are supposed to fluctuate between light side and dark side points. So if a player spends a light side point, it turns into a dark side point. Once the GM spends a dark side point, it turns back into a light side point and visa versa. They are meant to be used liberally by the GM and players a like.

The only area that seemed a little lacking was starship combat, and really only for the pilot of a multicrew vessel. On the plus side, everyone else can chip in and help instead of sitting in the passenger compartment watching the fight through the window. One character can pilot, a couple others might man the guns, someone can go to engineering to coax as much performance as possible out of the ship, and another character might engage in electronic warfare with enemy ships.

Land combat is a lot of fun. Characters have tactical options to help themselves and each other, but the system is also very abstract with no grids or precise ranges. Being a 4e D&D fan, I'm usually all about grids and tactics and precise movement and ranges, but honestly this system just feel more like the cinematic fights that Star Wars is known for. They characters are also hardy enough that they probably won't go down on the first hit (and even if they do, they'll be incapacitated, not killed) but they are definitely fragile enough that they will think twice before taking on a squad of stormtroopers.

I wasn't initially sold on the breakup of material. Edge of the Empire focuses on criminals, smugglers, bounty hunters, etc. Age of Rebellion naturally focuses on rebels fighting the Empire. And soon we should have a book about Jedi. After trying the game, I think this approach works out for the better. Your mileage may vary.
 
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Jhaelen

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook

Others have already covered the basics, so I'll make it short: FFG's take on Star Wars is a real winner: Simple rules with a focus on storytelling and cinematic action, gorgeous artwork and a plethora of character options and potential for advancement. Initially, I was a bit disappointed about their choice of splitting the game/setting into three parts, but looking back, it was probably the right idea. EotE is also the setting that appeals to me the most, and I could easily see myself using the ruleset for a different sci-fi setting, e.g. something like Firefly. If there's a negative, it's probably the need for specific dice. But the dice pool system itself and interpreting the results gets quite easy after a few encounters.
 

ryanroyce

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook

The narrative dice system can be intimidating at first with all those different symbols and die types, but it's amazing once you're used to it and realize that interpreting your results doesn't involve any math.
 

Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
2 out of 5 rating for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook

...yes I like the system as such and would have given it a 3 even if, when you play more than an occasional game, interpreting those dice takes too much time. But the real drawback - you can't really play with the dice you already have available, which is especially bad for online play as not many tabletop systems seem to offer those dice (probably due to licensing reasons). You will have to either pay for upgrades or new dice sets or be left without a way to dice in game. In today's gaming environment this is a big no go.
 

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