What's Your Favorite System for Star Wars

Staffan

Adventurer
Running the Age of Rebellion Beginner Game adventure and the web enhancement Operation Shadowpoint is the most fun I've had running a game ever. The FFG rules work great...

... until vehicles get involved. Then things get wonky, partially because all vehicles work on the same stat scale (from a speeder bike to the Death Star), which makes resolution within a relatively evenly matched band (e.g. two different starfighters) work poorly.

But I'd still take FFG over D6, and D6 over D20.
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
@Staffan Yeah, I tend to gloss over any vehicle stuff during play unless we can create an exciting or dramatic scene. After a couple of piloting checks and shots fired, I'll wrap it up with something definitive or interesting. Combat is the same way. No need to draw things out if it starts getting repetitive.
 

longisland

Explorer
You're limiting yourself by keeping the same expectations you have for all the other game systems that do exactly what you described: generate a singular outcome for a singular action. That is neither plot, nor narrative, nor story. It does not convey any greater sense of drama, suspense, action, or humor. It is simply a test of whether your character succeeds at the moment of decision or action based on your choices as a person playing a game.

In the game you describe, your character attempts to appease the Hutt after botching a job for him as a favor to your employer. You roll a Diplomacy check, add whatever modifiers are baked in to your character sheet or at the DM's discretion, and you either do or do not.

In my game, the entertainer offers to perform for the Hutt to celebrate his small victory and his return to status despite losing his new mining facility to a bunch of murder-droids. It is a hard sell, but the character is good at telling people what they want to hear. But Hutt's are notoriously fickle and hard to deceive or persuade, so the difficulty is upgraded. Also, he is not happy that the group did not achieve all of their objectives, so the attempt has setbacks. But the group did bring back the workers and the credits the Hutt asked for in the first place, so boosts are also appropriate. Understanding all that goes into this process is as much a part of the roleplaying as figuring the dice itself. Now here's the kicker:

The result generates not only a success, but a Triumph AND a Despair. We stopped to think about this for a moment, and then it quickly hits me. The Hutt is so taken with both the character's negotiation and offer to perform at the event, the Hutt forgives the group's failures but decides to make the zeltron his own personal entertainer! And that became a whole new session I had to improvise for the group to get their friend back.

If your system of choice works for you, that's great! Have fun with that. But don't assume that is the only way to play, or expect every system should give you the same kind of experience. :)
My limited understanding is that it is a game of having fun explaining a narrative around the dice results. Which is fun in part because the dice are unpredictable. The GM is not simply dictating the narrative based on the scenario they have, nor are the players simply deciding what to have their characters attempt to do. The narrative dice add a massive random element to narrative creation with both the players and GM getting to have fun creating narrative around what the dice say.

In the game discounting multiples of the same die result there is a base of what?
1 Success
2 Success-Triumph
3 Success-Despair
4 Success-Triumph-Despair
5 Success-Advantage
6 Success-Advantage-Triumph
7 Success-Advantage-Despair
8 Success-Advantage-Triumph-Despair
9 Success-Threat
10 Success-Threat-Triumph
11 Success-Threat-Despair
12 Success-Threat-Triumph-Despair
13 Failure
14 Failure-Triumph
15 Failure-Despair
16 Failure-Triumph-Despair
17 Failure-Advantage
18 Failure-Advantage-Triumph
19 Failure-Advantage-Despair
20 Failure-Advantage-Triumph-Despair
21 Failure-Threat
22 Failure-Threat-Triumph
23 Failure-Threat-Despair
24 Failure-Threat-Triumph-Despair

All those possibilities and then there are all the results with cumulative dice for example a roll can come up with multiple threat or advantage.

It is not like a old fashioned RPG. The players are not just roleplaying their characters, they do not just decide what their character's do from the perspective of their characters. Nor is the games master simply playing through a scenario reacting to what the player characters do and acting as rules arbiter. It is much more dynamic and unpredictable with everyone acting as story teller using a game system where that story is inherently more unpredictable than a old fashioned RPG.

Some will embrace it and have far more fun than in a old fashioned RPG. Others will not. It is a matter of preferred style of play.
 

longisland

Explorer
A more valid criticism than the narrative dice style of play might be based on the question how easy is it be to play the 1977 Star Wars 1980 Empire Strikes Back and 1983 Return of the Jedi movie trilogy using FFG Star Wars RPG? It is after all a licenced RPG for roleplaying Star Wars.

This is not because I think the only thing to do is play the movie trilogy it is that the ability to emulate the movie trilogy well should be the starting point of the game's design. That people who buy Star Wars the RPG will probably want to play in the heroic style of the movies, with heroes and actions like those seen on screen. So that should be the minimum the game is capable of. From that starting capability the game then expands to the Star Wars Universe and its endless possibilities.

FFG Star Wars looks to me overly complex for the task. I am no fan of numerous careers and endless lists of talents and talent trees. Or needing to chose x talent to do things like get up as a type x action rather than a type y action. And the various rules from the effect of multiple successes to if equal to and less than or equal and more than is used are applied differently to different skills and actions which seems pointlessly complex and inconsistent.

To me it looks difficult to simply pick up and play the Star Wars movie trilogy as Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C3PO and R2D2. And characters do not look capable of being say Luke a boy farmer who saves the galaxy in the first movie and is a Jedi knight by the third film.

I am also unsure how heroic the characters are capable of being. Can starting characters achieve the heroic acts of daring do that the heroes of the movies do?

Then there are the woeful rules on space combat for a game based on movies where space dogfights are often part of the finale.

And the splitting of the game into so many books. To play the original movie trilogy you appear to need Edge of Empires for Han Solo and Chewbacca, Age of Rebellion for Leia and the Rebel Alliance vs Empire, and Force and Destiny for Luke, Obi-wan, Yoda, Darth Vader and the Emperor. And large sections are repeated in all three books as they are sold as stand alone games. Then there are all the splat books for the careers and the splitting up of details on alien species between the splat books.

Just buying the first core book Edge of Empires seems instead designed to play characters beginning on a career path of bounty hunter, smuggler, colonist, explorer, hired gun, technician. With the Star Wars Universe being a background detail. It seems more Firefly the RPG than Star Wars.

By contrast West End Games 1st Edition Star Wars RPG and Star Wars Sourcebook was clearly focused on emulating the style of the original movie trilogy, being all you needed to play, and having simple and easy rules. Although you did need the rules addendum quickly put out in the adventures to play it as the 1st edition rules on dodging were broken.
 
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Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
@longisland Speaking as someone who regularly demos the game for strangers, teaches new people how to play, and runs games and campaigns, I can assure you that no one has ever come to me after with the same concerns as you. But just to put your mind at ease:
  • The default timeline begins between the destruction of the first Death Star (episode IV) and the Battle of Hoth (episode V). Original trilogy.
  • The core mechanic works the same way for almost everything in the game, every time, which makes it simple, intuitive, and easy to learn.
  • You can absolutely play/emulate any character in films, books, games, etc. What makes you think you can't?
  • You can absolutely go from farm boy to Jedi, or any other paths you and your GM decide. What makes you think you can't?
  • "Narrative" means your results can be as heroic as you want to describe them to be.
  • Space combat needs only to move the plot or story forward. Otherwise, it's a tactical game. This is not a tactical game.
  • A lot of RPGs have lots of books. None (that I can think of) require you to buy all their books (or buy more than just the core one) to be able to play as intended.
  • Firefly doesn't have droids, rodians, X-wrings, the Force, and a bunch of other stuff. Both are great settings, but I think everyone can agree they are mutually exclusive.
  • I never had the opportunity to play WEG version, but I hear great things. Sorry to hear you needed an addendum to fix something that was "broken".
Incidentally, I hope to see people who are genuinely curious about the system when I demo the game at PAX South next month! You may not like it, but at least you can do more than just glance over it or read other people's comments to come up with your own opinions. Then again, no one has ever told me they didn't like it after playing, either. ;)
 

Zardnaar

Legend
@longisland Speaking as someone who regularly demos the game for strangers, teaches new people how to play, and runs games and campaigns, I can assure you that no one has ever come to me after with the same concerns as you. But just to put your mind at ease:
  • The default timeline begins between the destruction of the first Death Star (episode IV) and the Battle of Hoth (episode V). Original trilogy.
  • The core mechanic works the same way for almost everything in the game, every time, which makes it simple, intuitive, and easy to learn.
  • You can absolutely play/emulate any character in films, books, games, etc. What makes you think you can't?
  • You can absolutely go from farm boy to Jedi, or any other paths you and your GM decide. What makes you think you can't?
  • "Narrative" means your results can be as heroic as you want to describe them to be.
  • Space combat needs only to move the plot or story forward. Otherwise, it's a tactical game. This is not a tactical game.
  • A lot of RPGs have lots of books. None (that I can think of) require you to buy all their books (or buy more than just the core one) to be able to play as intended.
  • Firefly doesn't have droids, rodians, X-wrings, the Force, and a bunch of other stuff. Both are great settings, but I think everyone can agree they are mutually exclusive.
  • I never had the opportunity to play WEG version, but I hear great things. Sorry to hear you needed an addendum to fix something that was "broken".
Incidentally, I hope to see people who are genuinely curious about the system when I demo the game at PAX South next month! You may not like it, but at least you can do more than just glance over it or read other people's comments to come up with your own opinions. Then again, no one has ever told me they didn't like it after playing, either. ;)
I would play the system, it just money, time and already have 2 other SW games.
 

longisland

Explorer
@longisland Speaking as someone who regularly demos the game for strangers, teaches new people how to play, and runs games and campaigns, I can assure you that no one has ever come to me after with the same concerns as you. But just to put your mind at ease:
  • The default timeline begins between the destruction of the first Death Star (episode IV) and the Battle of Hoth (episode V). Original trilogy.
  • The core mechanic works the same way for almost everything in the game, every time, which makes it simple, intuitive, and easy to learn.
  • You can absolutely play/emulate any character in films, books, games, etc. What makes you think you can't?
  • You can absolutely go from farm boy to Jedi, or any other paths you and your GM decide. What makes you think you can't?
  • "Narrative" means your results can be as heroic as you want to describe them to be.
  • Space combat needs only to move the plot or story forward. Otherwise, it's a tactical game. This is not a tactical game.
  • A lot of RPGs have lots of books. None (that I can think of) require you to buy all their books (or buy more than just the core one) to be able to play as intended.
  • Firefly doesn't have droids, rodians, X-wrings, the Force, and a bunch of other stuff. Both are great settings, but I think everyone can agree they are mutually exclusive.
  • I never had the opportunity to play WEG version, but I hear great things. Sorry to hear you needed an addendum to fix something that was "broken".
Incidentally, I hope to see people who are genuinely curious about the system when I demo the game at PAX South next month! You may not like it, but at least you can do more than just glance over it or read other people's comments to come up with your own opinions. Then again, no one has ever told me they didn't like it after playing, either. ;)
What makes me think it is overly complex? Reading the rules for the first three skills tells me the rules work differently for different skills. Hence the need for each of the 33 skills to have a half to a whole page of rules. And just reading the rules for the first three talents likewise tells me they create various modifiers in various different ways at various different times. Hence the need for each of the 150 talents to have as short blurb of rules. If a character sheet had to contain all the rules for the skills and talents the character had I think it would be a booklet.

What makes me think it does not look capable of making the cast of the original trilogy. Reading the character generation rules I can't see how to create Princes Lea or Luke Skywalker using Edge of the Empire.

What makes me think characters might not be capable of the daring do seen in the original movie trilogy. The rules. Looking at combat characters are limited in the number and types of actions they can perform, and need various talents to do stuff, and there is a critical hit table. Its not written as free flowing do or try to do whatever you like. Nor do the rules look capable of handling starfighter dogfights or speeder bike chases which are iconic to the movies. I do not fancy starting player character chances eve against say half a dozen or so storm troopers despite in the movies the heroes repeatedly dodging blaster fire with seeming ease. Let alone Ewoks taking down AT-ST walkers or a farm boy in a lone starfighter destroying the Death Star by trusting the force.

Maybe you can educate me as to how to make Leia and Luke? Maybe you can explain how the system emulates various iconic action scenes of daring do in the movie trilogy? Because to me it does not look designed to do any of that. Edge of Empire looks to me designed to make characters starting a career path as bounty hunter, smuggler, colonist, explorer, hired gun or technician with the Star Wars Universe being a background detail. Not designed to create the stuff of legends in a science fiction fantasy of heroes triumphing against insurmountable odds against an evil Empire. A tale of princesses, magic and monsters as much if not more than spaceships, blasters and droids.
 
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overgeeked

Explorer
I still prefer the old WEG Star Wars game. Still works mostly fine with a little house rules for OP Jedi. Otherwise a simple generic system like Fate works great.
 

vpuigdoller

Explorer
Haven't played FFG Star Wars but have d20, d20 revised, SAGA, D6 WEG original and revised. My favorite is the original d6 with revised d6 close second. It grabs the feel of the original trilogy perfectly and is very easy to pick up and play.

I also have very fond memories of some of the WEG adventures Tatooine Manhunt and Otherspace come specially to mind.
 
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Stormonu

Hero
WEG D6 forever. I’ve played all of the other versions except FFG’s (whose presentation left me cold), and none of the others even come close to my enjoyment of the original SW version.
 

Gradine

Final Form
Are there any good hacks for D6 to make combat flow faster? The way attacking and dodging are separate actions feels like a bit of needless complexity.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Are there any good hacks for D6 to make combat flow faster? The way attacking and dodging are separate actions feels like a bit of needless complexity.
Having run a bunch of d6 SW, editions 1, 2, and 2R...

Basing this on 1E:
Remember:
  • the round is comprised of segments, and no character takes more than one declared action per segment, and only one reaction per segment. Each segment in 1E is resolved in descending order of skill roll. In 2E, it's descending order of initiative.
  • reactions have to be declared BEFORE the attack is rolled. Remember that actions are declared at the start of the round, not the segment, PC and NPC alike, but the GM should restate NPCs targets at start of segment, so players can make the reactions if they wish.
  • ALL attackers in the round overcome ONE dodge/parry roll, it's not separate per player.
  • Each rules upgrade/edition has changed the defense reactions rules slightly, but the above remains true in all 1e.

No Reactions
Eliminate reaction dodges/parries. Make it just another declared action, one that lasts from the segment taken until the end of the round. If you want to ensure your dodge works, it's your 1st pass action, but then, there's a strong possibility you might not get your second pass. If you make it second pass, you might not get to dodge, but you're going to shoot.

Use the d6 Legends dice mechanic instead of the d6 standard
D6 Legends dice are count successes. 3-6 are successes; 6 on the wild die still succeeds. Difficulties divide by 5, then add 1, pips are ignored except for advancement and breaking ties on resolution order. Modifiers of +2 to +6 are reduced to +1, +7 to +11 are +2 , +12 to +16 are +3, and so on. This reduces resolution times a lot, BUT, it also reduces granularity and swing. Note that the expectation of the die is 2/3 success per die, but the variability is relatively low; a more variable option is instead of 0/0/1/1/1/1, go to 0/0/0/1/1/2 (4-5=1s, 6=2s).
 

innerdude

Adventurer
Force uses a d12, not a d6.

And it sounds like you don't have Star Wars - the differences are in char gen, advancement, and paranormal abilities, plus the FFG-SW corebooks each have different thematic abilities. And they are profound differences.

Porting in F&D powers is going to be simple even if you intend to use the Genesys char gen and advancement, but you'll need to understand the way the advancement trees work in SW vs Genesys.

Also, while the symbols on the dice are different in appearance, yes, indeed, they are the same names and distribution as on the SW dice.

The mechanics of play, however, are nearly identical, so there's not a lot to relearn, but there a few differences.
So I finally sat down with the group last night and used Edge of the Empire as the baseline "starting point" to get into FFG Star Wars.

Even though I'm going to GM, I went through a character-building exercise myself just to get a feel for it.

And after looking through the Star Wars talent trees, and comparing it to the more free-form "talent pyramid" setup in Genesys, in your opinion would it break the game if we took a more open approach and went with the Genesys character build option? In looking at the EotE talent trees, as long as you keep the talent costs equivalent to their tier, does it really matter if you allow people to unlock a talent without taking its supposed precursor?

Also, I've read multiple places now that vehicle and space combat in baseline EotE is kind of wonky. What are the best ways to fix that?
 

Widfara

Explorer
Bill Roper created a "Star Wars Traveller" rules set that, while by and for fans, is very well done. We just started a campaign using the rules and I'm having a blast.
I found the rules over at Happy Jacks. Here is a link:
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
So I finally sat down with the group last night and used Edge of the Empire as the baseline "starting point" to get into FFG Star Wars.

Even though I'm going to GM, I went through a character-building exercise myself just to get a feel for it.

And after looking through the Star Wars talent trees, and comparing it to the more free-form "talent pyramid" setup in Genesys, in your opinion would it break the game if we took a more open approach and went with the Genesys character build option? In looking at the EotE talent trees, as long as you keep the talent costs equivalent to their tier, does it really matter if you allow people to unlock a talent without taking its supposed precursor?

Also, I've read multiple places now that vehicle and space combat in baseline EotE is kind of wonky. What are the best ways to fix that?
Break it? kind of.... Many of the specialties are balanced by the restrictions on when you can get to X talent. I can tell you that that absolutely is true for the various Smuggler splatbook trees. (You'll find me listed in playtesters on that, and on the Ace one for AoR.)

They are there to emulate the path these types of folk take... and all the really hot stuff is behind borders to slow access to the most powerful; that barrier will disappear with the Genesys mode, and allow much faster hyperspecialization, and reduce the (in SW) enforced breath of abilities.

Keep in mind also - a starting Star Wars character can often have 4 rank 5 talents at 150 XP... 75 for down the straight path to the rank 5s, then 75 to get the other three. But if that path has bends, many are more than 75 away.
Genesys, you have to have at least 75 points per rank 5... because you need another R1, R2, R3, and R4 ton allow that R5.

It won't hurt the game much, but it will "void the warranty" so to speak. It will no longer mechanically enforce certain tropes that the designers put in to emulate the feel.

If you do so on the force power trees, expect horribly OP force users.

I've figured out that Anakin vs VSD? Yes, he can do it. He has to have at least 5 dice, and have boght the full power tree, and made one hell of a roll.... and it's quite obvious from his flop sweat that he used points of both light and dark...
 

innerdude

Adventurer
Keep in mind also - a starting Star Wars character can often have 4 rank 5 talents at 150 XP... 75 for down the straight path to the rank 5s, then 75 to get the other three. But if that path has bends, many are more than 75 away.

Genesys, you have to have at least 75 points per rank 5... because you need another R1, R2, R3, and R4 ton allow that R5.
Okay, so I think this answers another question I had --- the talent trees have to be purchased in order both VERTICALLY and HORIZONTALLY.

Meaning, once I buy a 10-point, Tier 2 talent, I don't automatically get to "free float" horizontally anywhere along the Tier 2 path. I have to purchase the talents horizontally along the path in progression to reach my next "downward" path. Am I reading that right?
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Okay, so I think this answers another question I had --- the talent trees have to be purchased in order both VERTICALLY and HORIZONTALLY.

Meaning, once I buy a 10-point, Tier 2 talent, I don't automatically get to "free float" horizontally anywhere along the Tier 2 path. I have to purchase the talents horizontally along the path in progression to reach my next "downward" path. Am I reading that right?
Yes. Well, mostly.
Talent 1​
Talent 2​
Talent 3​
Talent 4
|​
I​
I​
Talent 5​
Talent 6​
talent 7​
talent 8
|​
|​
I​
|​
Talent 9​
—​
talent 10​
—​
talent 11​
—​
talent 12​
To get talents 1-4, just pay the points. Talent 5 requires you have either talent 1 OR Talent 9
Talent 6 requires talent 10,
Talent 7 requires talents 3 or 11.
Talent 8 requores 4 or 12.
10 requires 9 or 11
11 requires 10 or 7 or 12
12 requires 8 or 11
So... to get 6 fastest, either 1-5-9-10-6, or 3-7-11-10-6
Note that 2 isn't required at all for anything else. and to get 6 or anything on the 9 row or later, you have to go 1 & 5, OR 3 and 7, OR, 4 and 8..., and then maybe work across.
 

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