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Why Doesn't Star Wars Hold More Mind Share in the RPG Market?

jasper

Rotten DM
Well. The lore changes with each movie, book, cartoon, and meme. Light sabers use to be vibrating blades with a light as safety feature. Now the light saber can cut thru blast doors. Wait a minute I forgot the comic books. Good example. the Second movie where Lefty is nearly blown out the window, is having trouble blocking the debris. LORE CHANGE FORCE PUSH. Second movie where Lefty is nearly blown out the window is having trouble blocking the force pushed items.
So, One you have to have a group which agree to a base lore. Two you can't come near the real heroes of the story. Three if you break two, you can't change the real heroes of the story. Four, the system kept changing or was unbalanced depending on the system.
 

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macd21

Adventurer
Well. The lore changes with each movie, book, cartoon, and meme. Light sabers use to be vibrating blades with a light as safety feature. Now the light saber can cut thru blast doors. Wait a minute I forgot the comic books. Good example. the Second movie where Lefty is nearly blown out the window, is having trouble blocking the debris. LORE CHANGE FORCE PUSH. Second movie where Lefty is nearly blown out the window is having trouble blocking the force pushed items.
So, One you have to have a group which agree to a base lore. Two you can't come near the real heroes of the story. Three if you break two, you can't change the real heroes of the story. Four, the system kept changing or was unbalanced depending on the system.
Eh. I don’t think any of that matters. DnD lore has changed over time, and it never hurt it. And while yes, SW lore has changed, I think most people have a fairly good grasp of the most important stuff (and a few people disagreeing over it wouldn’t stop them from playing).

The whole ‘real heroes of the story’ thing doesn’t seem to have hurt sales, and the setting is so huge that I don’t think it bothers people.

And yes, the system has changed with each edition, but so did DnD’s, and they’re doing fine.
 

Malkinban

The Torn
What is mind share? never mind a marketing term.
Sorry, I went to school for marketing even though I work in IT now.

In this sense, I just mean, for all that Star Wars tends to be right behind D&D most of the time, it doesn't seem to be talked about much (except in RPG communities specific to it), have much shelf presence at FLGSs, or even played much.
 

macd21

Adventurer
Sorry, I went to school for marketing even though I work in IT now.

In this sense, I just mean, for all that Star Wars tends to be right behind D&D most of the time, it doesn't seem to be talked about much (except in RPG communities specific to it), have much shelf presence at FLGSs, or even played much.
Well part of that’s just edition fatigue. The current game came out 8 years ago, it’s best years are behind it. All the most important supplements have long been released. The initial fan enthusiasm has waned, as people finished their initial (and possibly second or third!) campaigns and then moved on.
 

Because WEG lost the license (and went bankrupt due to their parent company...a shoe import company, believe it or not!...).

I'm 100% serious.

WEG's "Star Wars" was sooo dang good that even Lucasfilm used it's RPG books/supplements as OFFICIAL CANNON! In fact, Lucasfilm sent Timothy Zhan a box of WEG SW stuff and was told "use the background and other stuff in these for your new novel series".

The WEG SW setting and system was perfect for what it was portraying; fast action space fantasy opera. INSHO, it is, to this day, THE best Star Wars setting/system, hands down.

Then WotC got the license, and...well... yeah. :(

If WEG was resurrected and all their old SW stuff brought back into play, and new stuff written....I could see SW making a HUGE comeback in the RPG community. But that will never happen.
I'll second this. WEG were lucky with being in the right place at the right time with the right stuff. They had the right system mechanics for the game they actually produced, they had the advantage of making up stuff (most of which was good/great) for the setting BEFORE the fans all got stupid obsessive about the Holy Canon (I firmly assert that fans choke creativity for any IP with excessive canon worship), and as more SW films and other media came out it was generally just adding to whatever canon existed and not contradicting it.

Never played any of the interim SW RPG editions, but gave FFG's a try and was very happy and satisfied.
...but I think the FFG mechanics are actually probably better suited for a Star Trek RPG than Star Wars, canon fanaticism among fans (outside of the rpg) doesn't help anyone needing to create NEW content for an RPG, and at the moment (unless I'm forgetting something) there is no SW RPG actively in print and doesn't seem likely to me that there will be any time soon.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
... the SETTING has interested me for some time, especially elements like the Grey Jedi.
Which said grey jedi have been declared impossible in setting by the last several canon-keepers, and by Lucas, and by Disney. They're simple fanwankery.

I suspect that is part of why they're mechanically impossible in F&D. (and in WEG, too.)
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
...but I think the FFG mechanics are actually probably better suited for a Star Trek RPG than Star Wars, canon fanaticism among fans (outside of the rpg) doesn't help anyone needing to create NEW content for an RPG, and at the moment (unless I'm forgetting something) there is no SW RPG actively in print and doesn't seem likely to me that there will be any time soon.
FFG Star Wars is still in distribution, and technically still in print. The license still has a few years to go, and the only question is if the Asmodee re-organization results in termination of the license.
Further, the Genesys game is the same mechanics, save for the trait tables. (Traits work the same, just not the method of access.)
As for a Genesys Trek? I'd prefer FFG to Modiphius, but STA isn't bad as long as one stays aware of the issues that unrestricted threat generation can cause.
 
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Different editions changing the game system. This is bad if you want to sell sourcebooks about crunch. And in the internet age if you want lore you haven't to pay but only to read the fandom wiki. If you want crunch is better to use from sci-fi RPGs what aren't licenced franchises but their own IPs.

SW suffers the "skywalker effect" in the eyes of lots, nothing changes until the main characters appear. It's as playing historical game where you know the PCs can't alter the History. Something like this happens in Dragonlance where it's harder to create epic stories without the heroes of the Dragonlance, possible but not so easy as other lines.
 

I'm not gonna lie: I grew up with the Legends and Dark Horse comics' Star Wars lore. To the point that it's hard for me to accept the Disney reboot.

Now some of the Disney reboot EU, like the Marvel's Vader Quest, were interesting. Especially since Vader's "Bioware RPG party" was basically the Dark side version of Luke and his posse. Stuff like that, I got no probs "mixing" in with the Legends EU.

But if I ever ran FFG's Star Wars RPG, then yeah it's Legends all the way. It gave us too many awesome things, like the Tie Defender, Thrawn, telling the actual Clone Wars saga, Knights of The Old Republic, etc, etc.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm not gonna lie: I grew up with the Legends and Dark Horse comics' Star Wars lore. To the point that it's hard for me to accept the Disney reboot.

Now some of the Disney reboot EU, like the Marvel's Vader Quest, were interesting. Especially since Vader's "Bioware RPG party" was basically the Dark side version of Luke and his posse. Stuff like that, I got no probs "mixing" in with the Legends EU.

But if I ever ran FFG's Star Wars RPG, then yeah it's Legends all the way. It gave us too many awesome things, like the Tie Defender, Thrawn, telling the actual Clone Wars saga, Knights of The Old Republic, etc, etc.
Same I based my last campaign on the TIE fighter campaigns and they got to play Imperial.

My next game if I use Empire or some form of imperial Remnant is a sane imperial officer maybe not an outright genius like Thrawn but he wants to rally the Imperials around using things like strike Cruisers and smaller ships with things like shield equipped TIE interceptirs and X1s that can be built en masse for a decent cost vs something like the TIE Defender.

Younger players I need to recruit from seen to prefer legends as well due to the KoToR games.

But basically if you want Jedi vs Sith you do KoToR, if you want space combat do classic/new republic.
 


MGibster

Legend
I never understood the Skywalker effect. Especially back in the old WEG days, the universe was so big and undefined that the DM could largely do what they wanted. Who cares if they’re not defeating Vader or Tarkin? That story was already told so let’s do something different.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I never understood the Skywalker effect. Especially back in the old WEG days, the universe was so big and undefined that the DM could largely do what they wanted. Who cares if they’re not defeating Vader or Tarkin? That story was already told so let’s do something different.
Skywalker effect saved Star Wars.

The revival really started with Heir to the Empire.

Doesn't mean you can't tell other stories but for mass market yeah. Force Awakens 2 billion dollars, sure it had nothing to do with Han/Luke/Leia returning same as 1991 with Heir to the Empire.

That's the Skywalker effect. The only other characters outside the movies that gained much traction were Thrawn (hence back in Disney), Mara Jade and Revan.

They did polling in the 90s and from memory on a good day Thrawn beat Vader or was just right under him in terms of popularity.

These days maybe Baby Yoda.
 

There are plenty of ways you can avoid the Skywalker effect or even "Well I already know how the story ends, so how is my knock off Han Solo smuggler supposed to beat that?"

Example? I had an idea where it was basically, what was it First Order or Imperials...can't remember, but anywho the story would be basically the PCs being a squad of Elite Stormtroopers called in to resolves a situation where a Galactic Barge or some ship has been taken hostage by the Yevetha for trespassing in their territory. (They are basically nasty beings who pretty much feed blood to their egg sacks to birth their young and extremely xenophobic.)

The squad leader of the Elite Stormtrooper unit wants to ensure that they are able to breach the barge and rescue the civilians, despite a number of them being possibly rebels. He doesn't care as he job is to make sure the civilians are safe. The problem? They unexpectedly get a Sith Inquisitor assigned to them as their Handler, who only cares about capturing a Jedi who is hiding among the civilians on said barge. To the Inquisitor, the civilians are expendable and anybody that tries to ignore that or the "mission" will be personally executed by the Inquisitor on behalf of the Emperor/Supreme Leader. So the idea is trying to "survive" both the aggressive alien forces and the Inquisitor, while trying to save people, and not get branded as Traitors by the Imperials.

Sometimes, flipping the script is great: What if you play an Imperial game where your Imperials just trying to do their job and not because they are evil? What happens if your villain is a Rebel terrorist, who takes the hero worship of Luke Skywalker's destruction of the Death Star to an unhealthy level, and basically bombs/destroys imperial facilities where there are higher levels of civilians there?

The Yevetha are from the WoTC Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Alien Anthology splat book. Basically tells ya about all the various alien species in the Legends Expanded Universe.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Skywalker effect saved Star Wars.

The revival really started with Heir to the Empire.
And Timothy Zahn has stated that the continuity source he was pointed to by LFL was the RPG line by WEG.
The RPG was also several years old, and a top 10 RPG seller, available not just in the hobby market, but also in mainstream toy stores and book stores. By 1989, when Timothy Zahn was writing, Star Wars had more shelf space than any non-D&D game. Second edition was in the works, and was informed a lot by Zahn's novels, too, advancing the setting to the post-rebellion New Republic.
WEG also had a lot of buyers in those book stores who weren't playing the game. Not a majority, but enough to be notable.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
And Timothy Zahn has stated that the continuity source he was pointed to by LFL was the RPG line by WEG.
The RPG was also several years old, and a top 10 RPG seller, available not just in the hobby market, but also in mainstream toy stores and book stores. By 1989, when Timothy Zahn was writing, Star Wars had more shelf space than any non-D&D game. Second edition was in the works, and was informed a lot by Zahn's novels, too, advancing the setting to the post-rebellion New Republic.
WEG also had a lot of buyers in those book stores who weren't playing the game. Not a majority, but enough to be notable.
I know about Zahn getting the RPG material.

Pre HttE though Star Wars was functionally dead. The RPG was the only thing producing content.

It was still smaller than D&D and the entire RPG market in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter even now.

Fun story I got a large chunk of my collection from one of the WEG authors. I asked an eBay seller if he posted to NZ.

Turns out he had just been here and loved it so he sent it to me postage free costing him slightly more than I paid for it. Signed some of the books and aquired a lot of the Saga books from him for the price of All Black Jerseys.

Picked up a lot of books for $1-$8 around 2004. The only ones worth much were the rarities and Jedi/space ship stuff.

Grabbed KoToR and Starships of the Galaxy asap due to this for SWSE and they are a bit pricey now.
 
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aramis erak

Adventurer
I know about Zahn getting the RPG material.

Pre HttE though Star Wars was functionally dead. The RPG was the only thing producing content.

It was still smaller than D&D and the entire RPG market in the grand scheme of things doesn't matter even now.

Fun story I got a large chunk of my collection from one of the WEG authors. I asked an eBay seller if he posted to NZ.

Turns out he had just been here and loved it so he sent it to me postage free costing him slightly more than I paid for it. Signed some of the books and aquired a lot of the Saga books from him for the price of All Black Jerseys.

Picked up a lot of books for $1-$8 around 2004. The only ones worth much were the rarities and Jedi/space ship stuff.

Grabbed KoToR and Starships of the Galaxy asap due to this for SWSE and they are a bit pricey now.
I'm half expecting FFG née Asmodee to get permission to rerelease more of the WEG materials; all the IP belongs to Disney either way. I like FFG's characters and dice better, but WEG's much better with the vehicle rules and ease of initiating play.

I'd lay odds that a well handled rerelease would do a fair bit of sales.

OTOH, if one wants just the rules mechanics, d6 Space is still available.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm half expecting FFG née Asmodee to get permission to rerelease more of the WEG materials; all the IP belongs to Disney either way. I like FFG's characters and dice better, but WEG's much better with the vehicle rules and ease of initiating play.

I'd lay odds that a well handled rerelease would do a fair bit of sales.

OTOH, if one wants just the rules mechanics, d6 Space is still available.
If a other company picks up the licence I wonder if just redoing SWSE via the OGL or D6 which is now open source would make sense.

Skips the whole we need to design an RPG from the ground up phase.
 

MGibster

Legend
Skywalker effect saved Star Wars.

The revival really started with Heir to the Empire.

Doesn't mean you can't tell other stories but for mass market yeah. Force Awakens 2 billion dollars, sure it had nothing to do with Han/Luke/Leia returning same as 1991 with Heir to the Empire.
We're not talking about mass market here we're talking about role playing games. And as Luiscarlo14f pointed out, some people don't want to play Star Wars because they're characters aren't the big damn heroes who get to blow up the Death Star and cut off Vader's hand. There were plenty of great stories to tell in the Star Wars universe for characters who aren't Luke, Leia, or Han.
 

Retreater

Legend
I remember as a child being intrigued by roleplaying games, and I think the first one I saw was WEG's Star Wars game. It wasn't in a hobby store or book store. It was in the gift shop at the end of the Star Tours ride at Disney World! (So I can attest to how widespread it was to mainstream audiences.) I was a huge fan of Star Wars, even though the movie franchise had long ended and the brand was basically dormant for an eternity (at least in my child mind - in actuality, probably about 4 years).
Even though my parents didn't buy it for me at Disney, it was something I wanted to get, so I picked it up after I got TMNT and Other Strangeness and AD&D 2nd edition. We played it a few times, but it never supplanted AD&D as our system of choice throughout middle school, high school, and college.
I bought (but never used) the d20 Star Wars systems. I did run a campaign using the FFG system, which I admit took a LOT of getting used to with weird dice, degrees of success, narrative tokens, etc., and even for people who knew the system, we found it to have major balance issues in long term campaigning.
It did serve as our go-to system for sci-fi for years whenever that urge (rarely) came up. Nowadays we are more likely to play Savage Rifts.
 

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