Which version of Star Wars is most Simulationist?

Saelorn

Hero
I think Star Wars is pretty neat, but since it started with the movies, I've noticed that a lot of the games include cinematic rules to provide for better storytelling. If I don't want any narrative-control mechanics, and all I care about is accurately modeling how droids and blasters and Force powers work, which version of the game should I pick up?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Of the three main ones, I'd say WEG's d6 system. It's not super-simulationist, but it's less narrative than FFG's and has less high-fantasy mechanics than d20/SAGA.

That said, I feel Star Wars lends itself towards space fantasy than simulationism. Star Trek - now that I'd use a more simulationist system for.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Well, that would depend on how you thought droids, blasters, and Force powers actually work, now wouldn't it?

Yes, the games - *all* of them, I think - have cinematic rules for better storytelling, because this world is *defined* by cinema, as the core canon are movies. If you want to accurately model that universe... that universe is cinematic!

Even back in the old WEG d6 Star Wars, even non-Force-users could spend a Force point, and double the number of dice they were rolling, which often meant many, many dice hit the table. The result often could be nothing other than spectacular results.
 
Of the three main ones, I'd say WEG's d6 system. It's not super-simulationist, but it's less narrative than FFG's and has less high-fantasy mechanics than d20/SAGA.

That said, I feel Star Wars lends itself towards space fantasy than simulationism. Star Trek - now that I'd use a more simulationist system for.
That's funny. Today I was just thinking that to do Star Trek you have to find a way for players to invoke deus ex machina without having to wait for the DM. So I figured something like, story points with sci-fi descriptors which the players can spend to solve problems. It seems like Star Trek characters change/bend/break the rules of the universe too often to do simulationism.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
Of the three main ones, I'd say WEG's d6 system. It's not super-simulationist, but it's less narrative than FFG's and has less high-fantasy mechanics than d20/SAGA.

That said, I feel Star Wars lends itself towards space fantasy than simulationism. Star Trek - now that I'd use a more simulationist system for.
I'm going with a different track because sometimes when someone says simulationist, they aren't asking what is necessarily more realistic, but what seems to be a more comprehensive game and addresses the most corner cases. Especially with a mid to high level of crunch.

With that in mind, I'd probably say d20 is a choice. I can't speak about FFG's version, but those books are thick, sooo maybe?

Ironically, I've seen a lot of people play Star Trek in a more realistic mode than I ever saw done on TV. It's like they remember there's a pseudo-military vibe to the show and play it more like a Navy SciFi game (but still sending all of the officers out on the away party) than the show ever does.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It seems like Star Trek characters change/bend/break the rules of the universe too often to do simulationism.
You can do a lot of simulation with Trek, if you are thinking in terms of marrying it with tactical game play.

There is a problem with simulating the science, in that its internal logic is hazy, and married more with cinematics. I would be tempted to steal and adapt the science brainstorming mechanic from Atomic Robo (a FATE-based game) to do Trek science.
 
You can do a lot of simulation with Trek, if you are thinking in terms of marrying it with tactical game play.

There is a problem with simulating the science, in that its internal logic is hazy, and married more with cinematics. I would be tempted to steal and adapt the science brainstorming mechanic from Atomic Robo (a FATE-based game) to do Trek science.
That sounds good. Do any of the ST games do t=something like that?
 

Saelorn

Hero
Well, that would depend on how you thought droids, blasters, and Force powers actually work, now wouldn't it?
That's kind of the point of a system, I mean. I want to know how droids and blasters and the Force actually work within the game world - what physical laws they follow, and how they interact with each - in the absence of narrative causality or PC protagonization.

I want to know how someone reacts to getting hit by a blaster, without needing to factor in whether it's a PC or not.
 

Jiggawatts

Explorer
I would say SAGA edition is the most simulationist of the bunch. Fantasy Flight is definitely the most narrative.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
I think Star Wars is pretty neat, but since it started with the movies, I've noticed that a lot of the games include cinematic rules to provide for better storytelling. If I don't want any narrative-control mechanics, and all I care about is accurately modeling how droids and blasters and Force powers work, which version of the game should I pick up?
If you're really interested in accurately modeling this stuff, I'd point you to GURPS. Seriously. You'll have all the "accuracy" you could ever want. Whether it will produce a game you actually LIKE is a different story, but the actual "modeling" will be highly detailed.

And just for background, I've played Saga Edition d20 pretty extensively, and have a decent amount of experience with GURPS. And in no way whatsoever would I call Saga Edition a "simulationist" system. When a min-maxed level 12 Trandoshan can take a full-on rocket blast from an AT-ST, survive it with half hitpoints remaining, and then proceed to take out that AT-ST single-handedly with nothing but a vibroblade.......yeah. Not simulationist in any way. And yes, I watched that exact scenario play out in one of the Saga campaigns I played in.

Don't get me wrong, I actually really like Saga Edition. I love the whole "talent tree" setup, and I think it's a really nifty use of the d20 mechanic. But it's hardly "simulationist."
 
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Bluenose

Adventurer
If you're really interested in accurately modeling this stuff, I'd point you to GURPS. Seriously. You'll have all the "accuracy" you could ever want. Whether it will produce a game you actually LIKE is a different story, but the actual "modeling" will be highly detailed.
Gurps seems like it would be a good option, or possibly Hero System. Either deliver a detailed set of mechanics and have rules for creating robots and modelling weapons.
 

Saelorn

Hero
If you're really interested in accurately modeling this stuff, I'd point you to GURPS. Seriously. You'll have all the "accuracy" you could ever want. Whether it will produce a game you actually LIKE is a different story, but the actual "modeling" will be highly detailed.
I am aware of GURPS. I actually went to a meetup for a GURPS Traveller campaign just yesterday. (I'm wait-listed, because there are too many players right now.)

In general, though, I think GURPS falls a bit too hard on the Simulationist end, and could stand to make a few concessions for improved playability. I'm not looking in perfect verisimilitude or anything. I don't mind if someone can take a hit from a rocket and keep on kicking, as long as they do it through good armor and sheer toughness rather than luck or destiny or the hit being not actually a hit.
 
I would vote for Saga as the most effective while still being simulationist. Gurps seems to bog down under its own weight, so while you may have the most accuracy, you also get the least accomplished.
 

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