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andrewseely

Source books - which to buy

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Hello to all the fellow GMs.

I'm getting ready to finish up the starter box and probably one more pre-gen campaign with my group(s).

Then we're going to move on to character creation.

Any tips on which (if any) of the source books I should look into getting for the group when it comes to character creation?
What have you found most helpful?

Also can someone give me a small primer on the Specialization Decks. Are those something I should encourage my players to get if they want to enhance their characters?

Thanks for your input!
 

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As a GM, Lords of Nal Hutta and Suns of Fortune are awesome, but less so for players. The opposite is true for the career books. Encourage your players to purchase the career books (if available) for the careers of their characters.

 

The general consensus on the specialization decks is that they're not necessary at all. Especially when there's a lot of well made PDFs of all the talent trees.

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It's a tough question, IMHO there's not a dud among them. Depends what careers your players want, if they all want to be, say, smugglers, then Fly Casual is a must-have. But if they're all different I would just start with the core book and see how it goes.

I would ignore the specialization decks, printing out the Talent trees and having the player check off the talents they have is much more convenient.

As far as decks go though, the adversary decks are hugely useful.

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As far as decks go though, the adversary decks are hugely useful.

 

Seconded. I also recommend putting them in tight-fit sleeves so you can write notes on them with dry-erase markers.

 

As for source books, it really depends on the group. I've bought them all, but I'm insane. I greatly enjoy the career books even as a GM, since they add a lot to the careers and have good advice on integrating those types of characters. The location books like Suns of Fortune and Lords of Nal Hutta are good for helping you plan a campaign in the area, but the amount of player-usable information is reduced.

 

You could also do the adventure books, but I actually don't collect those, so I don't think I could comment on how useful they'd be for you.

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I think this topic is one that comes up a lot.  For me, the answer changes as each sourcebook comes out.  (I own them all, because I am a Star Wars and FFG fan.)

 

Career Books

 

Generally: great for PCs that have that career.  Also, as a GM, if your campaign will focus on exploration, colonization, combat, and/or smuggling, the career book(s) covering that will add great ideas.

 

Enter the Unknown: Probably my favorite of all the sourcebooks until Fly Casual came out.  It fleshes out a career that isn't an obvious choice for most players.  It also adds a lot of story ideas for exploration and traveling the Outer Rim in general.  There are some flavorful and useful gear and ships.  Plus, both the Chiss and Duros species are great.

 

Dangerous Covenants: Probably my least favorite sourcebook to date.  I like the careers, but the paramilitary nature of the equipment in the book could easily lead to an arms race between the PCs and the NPCs.  One of my players really likes the (?) DX heavy rifle that does 10 damage with Pierce 2; every one of his characters now starts with one or buys one at first opportunity.  I advise caution when using this book.

 

Far Horizons: This book gives the Colonist some help as a career choice.  There are also some interesting bits of equipment and such.  Overall, it is very focused on colony life and establishing a colony.  If that is what your game will be about, this is a must-have book.  Otherwise, it is so-so.  BTW: The Entrepreneur's talents that earn him credits and allow him to spend credits on situational die rolls is interesting.

 

Fly Casual: The Smuggler is one of the most popular archetypes in Star Wars, and it is probably one of the iconic careers in Edge of the Empire (with the other being Bounty Hunter).  If you had to buy just one sourcebook, this might be the best one.  Great choices in species, flavorful specializations for the Smuggler, decent gear and vehicles, and great info for all sorts of shady adventure ideas.

 

Region Books

 

Suns of Fortune: This is a great regional book.  Lots of great fluff and crunch for both players and GMs.  The Corellian Sector is not a homogeneous one; each planet has its own perks and quirks.  I believe there is enough here to run an entire campaign in the Corellian Sector and not run out of things to do.  Lots of fun equipment and vehicles to boot.  The species are interesting, but nothing you can't live without.

 

Lords of Nal Hutta: You could apply everything I just said about Suns of Fortune to this book, but for me it didn't add anything I can't find via the internet and various non-RPG Star Wars books I own.  The MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic really fleshed out Hutt Space; most of that info (found on wikis and such) is easily ported into a game.  Because of that, I'd rank this book in the middle.

 

Honorable Mention

 

The Jewel of Yavin: Aside from a well-written and flavorful adventure, there is a lot of good info about Bespin.  If you plan on centering a campaign on or near Bespin and want to GM a great, classic-feeling heist adventure, The Jewel of Yavin is a great buy.

 

Stay On Target: This is an Age of Rebellion sourcebook for the Pilot career.  If your group plans on doing any snubfighter piloting at all, or if you want to make your space combats more detailed, this is a decent book.  There are a heap of ships in this book; now run-ins with the Empire or even a criminal organization can become really scary in space.  The species are also really interesting.  Not a must have, but worth considering for aforementioned reasons.

 

Adversary Decks: YES! As a GM, hugely useful.  Flipping through books is a pain for generic stats.  I wish they made decks for starships as well!

 

Summary

 

As a player, getting the career book that matches your PC's career is a great buy.  Suns of Fortune and Lords of Nal Hutta also provide ideas if you want a player from that region.

 

As a GM, all the books are useful.  It depends on what kind of game you are running.  If your focus is the standard fringer/Firefly campaign where the PCs take jobs as they find them, whatever that job may be, then I think Fly Casual and Enter the Unknown will give a lot of ideas for smuggler and exploration jobs (as well as other helpful pieces of info). 

Edited by Madcap

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After the core book, for player resources, it greatly depends on the direction of the party.  If they're going to be doing a ton of exploration, go for Enter the Unknown.  If they're going to stay in one place for a while and work off of a planet for most of the sessions, go for Far Horizons.  For smuggling and ship-flying, Fly Casual is essential.  Dangerous Covenants for mostly wetwork.

 

That's for player resources.  Most of these also provide a good set of rules and information for the GM as well (in the relevant area).

 

If you want to slowly build up your collection, I suggest focusing on the splatbook related to the main focus of the party first.  Then pick up a region book related to the area they're working.  From there, the collection can grow organically as the party takes different paths.

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I think you'll find most of us here are agreeing that no book is worthless. Everything you need to run a successful game is in the main book of course. The rest of the stuff is just if you want to expand the world and give more options to your players. I own every book myself, and let the rest of the group use them. I have not bothered with the specialization decks. With a piece of paper you can completely make them pointless.

The Adversary decks however are very useful. Yes all of their stats in those cards can be found in other books, but what I enjoy is having them all on hand so that if the players do something I didn't plan for, I can flip through the cards to find something appropriate for combat/negotiation/and other interactions.

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After the Edge of the Empire Core Book, second best sourcebook for Edge of the Empire games is the Age of Rebellion Core Book, you get 5 new species, a better selection of Imperial vehicles and starships, 15 new specializations, and 2 new Force Powers

 

Next I would say is Fly Casual, followed by Dangerous Covenants, Far Horizons, Enter the Unknown, then Stay on Target.

 

Lords of Nal Hutta would be my next choice, followed by Suns of Fortune

 

Lastly would be the adventure books Beyond the Rim and Jewel of Yavin and GM kits.

 

Specialization decks are a low priority, photocopied pages from each specialization are sufficient though the Adversary Decks can be handy for avoiding the need to page thru multiple books for NPC statlines.

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You could do what I do and just buy every book :D. How I long for the days when money constrained my gaming and time did not. 160% of my time at work is booked on projects I'm working 45+ hours a week and falling further behind doing the technical work that I am better at than any of other 10,000 people who work for the same government lab. A lot of my home time is spent on the phone with my girlfriend (soon to be fiancee), and I don't regret a minute of it, but it leaves very little time for gaming. I have all the books but this time around (FFG) is the first time I haven'the had time to read them cover to cover (I don't think that I have read any of the FFG books cover to cover). With Saga edition my time for gaming matched my budget for gaming. They say time is money but they aren't completely exchangable. Actually I am pretty happy with my life right now professionally and personally but I don't have much time for hobbies anymore (for me being the GM is a much bigger time commitment than being a player, of course I try to bring my a game to every session and I am never satisfied with the degree to which I have prepped for the session, it takes me about 12 hours of prep before each session not counting the time I spent chatting about plot ideas in the game masters section of these boards).

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You could do what I do and just buy every book :D. How I long for the days when money constrained my gaming and time did not....

 

[OffTopic]

 

The cliched adage: Time. Money. Energy.  Pick two.

 

When you are young, you have Time & Energy.

When you are an adult, you have Money & Energy.

When you are retired, you will have Time & (hopefully) Money.

 

As a married adult with two kids, I have strange blend of Time, Money, and Energy, but no more than two at a time. :)

 

That being said, my wife allows me to have a day per week for gaming, because she understands it is my hobby and it helps me not be so grumpy.  In exchange, she gets to go to weather symposiums and such, because it is her hobby.  We make things work.

 

[/OffTopic]

 

Back to the topic at hand, don't feel the need to buy everything if that's not practical.  Hopefully your players are willing to buy some books as well.  Then you can exchange information.

 

For Essential Guides, hopefully your local library will have some and/or be able to get some via inter-library loan.

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