This topic will really only be of interest to those players who, like myself, have experience with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition game that FFG produced and that was, in fact, designed by the same fellow (the very excellent Jay Little, who I was pleased to have the chance to chat with at GenCon).
When FFG announced its intention to do a Star Wars role-playing game, I was immediately curious about what form it would take. Would they follow in the footsteps of Black Industries' work on the 40K line, which FFG has since inherited? Or would the new game follow a design closer to that of WFRP3E, an FFG original game.
I would have been happy with either answer, since I like both product lines. However, I did have one gripe with WFRP3E, and that was the extremely component-heavy nature of the game in its first incarnation, that huge boxed set. I found that we needed a ton of table space for the game, and it was often time-consuming to manage large combats because I was often juggling a bunch of action cards, timing tokens and so on.
In my ideal world, a new Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight would use the great "narrative dice" design philosophy while almost completely removing the excessive components of WFPR3E. Well, from what little we know so far, it does look like my ideal world is the one that came to pass, as the final retail release of EotE has been described as a book (and not a boxed set), which, as far as I can tell from reading EotE, will use custom dice and little else in terms of components.
(Though I admit I will miss those nifty Wound cards that you can flip over to reveal a critical – that was pretty slick.)
So it looks like we won't have to deal with action cards, all the various mini cards for corruption, mutation, insanity and so on, the timing counters for action cooldown and the management of such concepts as Aggression, Cunning and Expertise on monsters. Fantastic. These were all things that slowed me down as a GM and I won't miss them. I want my Star Wars game to move fast, maybe even frantic, as the character race form danger into danger while my John Williams soundtrack blares with heroic blasts of brass in the background. More than maybe any RPG out there, Star Wars has cinematic melodrama in its DNA, and the rules need to reflect that.
So, I'm very encouraged by the small glimpses I've had into the new Edge of the Empire game, and I'm looking forward to taking it to my table.
How about you guys? I'd be curious to hear the thoughts of those how have played WFRP3E and have been able to make a comparison with EotE.