Split Light said:
How easy is it to just make up a species in Edge of the Empire? I've been playing the West End version since it's first edition, and love the fact that if I can think up a species in my head, I can pretty well just make it in a minute or less.
Is it pretty easy to just put together a custom species in the game?
Honestly, not really, especially if you're trying to keep these balanced for usage by other players. There's no hard and fast rules to species creation (and I doubt there will be), so it really boils down to judgment calls on the creator's part.
Even if you do decide to take a mathematical approach, there can be a lot of grey areas on how much certain species traits can cost. One chap over on the d20 Radio forums took a stab at pricing out each of the Beta species, and there's been some debate on how much of an equivalent XP value some traits (droid's Inorganic and Trandoshan Regeneration being the big ones). With the Final Week Update's change to the Toughened talent, that makes setting a value on an increased starting Wound Threshold even trickier. Further proof of a lack of concrete math behind species creation would be the number of changes many species underwent from their initial write-ups in the Beta to their 'final' versions in the last update, particularly Droids. Granted, it's much easier to play armchair quarterback and second-guess the designers' efforts than to do the initial creation work oneself, but given the changes provides a pretty strong case that the designers had no hard-coded formula when creating those initial eight species.
For your own species, particularly ones that haven't shown up in Star Wars before, you can get by using Humans as the base, dropping the two bonus ranks in non-career skills and figuring you've got about 20 XP to play with. If you want them to have a 3 in one Characteristic, then drop the Human starting XP down to 100 and reduce another Characteristic to 1.
Anything more esoteric, and you're largely going to be relying on the eyeball method. In which case, I suggest getting a friend whose opinion you value and asking them to look the write-ups over to see if anything looks particularly problematic. It's what Cyril and I did for our respective species, and overall I think we did a pretty good job. Not all the species write-ups we did may be to everyone's tastes, and there's at least one I think will wind up getting scaled back a touch as well as a couple that will get tweaked a bit if/when there's a version 3 (probably not until after the final version of EotE is in our hands).