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GreyMatter

Considering Star Wars RPG and looking for insight

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Hi everyone,

 

New to the site and to Fantasy Flight games generally. (I've played a few first edition 40K games before.)

 

I'm strongly considering picking up one or all of the Star Wars games to try with my pen and paper group, but I wanted to chat with some folks on the boards before proceeding. I have some questions for you and I hope you don't mind my ignorance!

 

1. What is the legacy effect of the re-canonization of Star Wars on the RPGs? Is the RPG series effectively on hold until the IP rebrands and figures itself out, or is the RPG effectively going to keep operating within the outdated continuum for the foreseeable future?

 

2. How essential is a deep knowledge of Star Wars IP to a successful or fun campaign? Myself and probably 2 of the group are somewhere in the "intermediate" range of lore and knowledge, but the others will be "only seen the movies" types. I know this is generally a problem with outside-IP games, but is it a problem in this one more so than in others?

 

3. My group and I are all older (well, ages 35-45) and we do tend to enjoy a playstyle that tends a little less towards combat and more towards conversation, problem solving, discussion, etc. How good is FF's Star Wars system for non-combat activities? I'm definitely not looking for a combat simulator trussed up as an RPG (like with D&D). I'm intrigued by the unique dice system with Star Wars and am wondering how this facilitates this process.

 

Thanks guys, I look forward to reading through the forums.

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1. From what I've seen FFG is continuing to publish material with an eye towards staying in sync with the official universe as best as they can.

 

2. I'm running the game for our group. Other than the movies, I've only ever watched Clone Wars and Rebels, and have never played any of the PC or console games. The only book I've read outside of the novelizations of the films was Splinter of the Minds Eye. In the group, I probably have the most SW knowledge, but everyone knows the tropes, and they are having fun.

 

3. We are even older, 45-55, and enjoy the same style of play that you do. Our last session was about 5 and a half hours long, and we didn't have any combat until the last half hour. I was worried about the funky dice originally, but they grow on you after awhile, especially if you have a story-telling streak in you.

Edited by jbmacek

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2. My regular group barely remembers what a Hutt is from seeing E4 in 1977 and never since.  You only need to inject as much SW knowledge as you see fit.  In my case I only toss in references for flavour, but don't expect them to know anything specific or require it to make decisions in-game.  If you've seen Firefly or played Traveller you can easily put that kind of spin on it.

 

3.  Also 50+ here.  After literally decades of combat-focussed fantasy games, this is a huge breath of fresh air.  We've had several sessions now with no combat at all, and all the players have remarked how tense and exciting it was, one admitting at first he thought he was in for a boring evening...

 

I'll leave you with this long post from a few weeks ago.  The short version is this game has completely changed how I run sessions:

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/188406-running-a-freeform-plot/

 

Edit:  as usual, I strongly encourage the purchase and running of the Beginner box set to start learning your way around the game.  It's worth it just for the dice and the free PDF followup adventure.

Edited by whafrog

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1. FFG has been mining the expanded universe for material while also following the new cannonization.  It appears to be a very effective hybrid of the two where they use the EU to fill in the gaps while deferring to the official cannon where the EU is superseded.  I think it's a best of both worlds compromise that allows the GM to expand their galaxy to encompass the entire EU or focus solely on the films.  Whichever works best for their table.

 

2. The way the game is structured is entirely up to the GM.  While I know a good deal about the EU and appreciate frequent references to already existing NPCs and places, how intertwined the game is with the EU or Movies is solely up to the group.  The published adventures don't really tie into much of the existing EU and most of the characters and planets are new or officially cannon.  It's when the GM is crafting their own adventures in the SW universe that I see EU references abound.  That said, if the players don't get the references either way, does it really matter?

 

3. The combat in these games is very cinematic and not particularly tactical.  While there are some hard and fast tactical rules and boundaries for the sake of balance, it's not nearly as big a deal to make errors or forget things in this system as it is in others.  Additionally, there are many alternatives to combat in this system and, in my experience, much more can be accomplished without a blaster than with.  I liken it more to Shadowrun in that respect.  Combat is fast, brutal and efficient, but it is not usually that around which sessions are based.

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1. I wouldn't worry about it. They continue to make new books that include information based on previous Expanded Universe sources and they haven't indicated what effect, if any, Episode VII's new continuity will have on their games.

 

2. If you're at this level of Star Wars knowledge, then I'd especially say not to worry about the 'canon' situation. You can definitely make use of as little or as much SW knowledge as you have. As others mentioned, having low or intermediate knowledge wouldn't hurt your game at all, you can definitely read what's in the books and get information from there, or just make up your own planets, races, factions, crimelords, etc.

 

3. This system EXCELS at social encounters! It's a lot of fun and the skill system is really well developed to support using player stats and dice results in social encounters. The narrative dice system add a lot to it, and there are a lot of social skills.

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1. What is the legacy effect of the re-canonization of Star Wars on the RPGs? Is the RPG series effectively on hold until the IP rebrands and figures itself out, or is the RPG effectively going to keep operating within the outdated continuum for the foreseeable future?

 

2. How essential is a deep knowledge of Star Wars IP to a successful or fun campaign? Myself and probably 2 of the group are somewhere in the "intermediate" range of lore and knowledge, but the others will be "only seen the movies" types. I know this is generally a problem with outside-IP games, but is it a problem in this one more so than in others?

 

3. My group and I are all older (well, ages 35-45) and we do tend to enjoy a playstyle that tends a little less towards combat and more towards conversation, problem solving, discussion, etc. How good is FF's Star Wars system for non-combat activities? I'm definitely not looking for a combat simulator trussed up as an RPG (like with D&D). I'm intrigued by the unique dice system with Star Wars and am wondering how this facilitates this process.

  1. I find the RPG is in a funny place regarding lore. It was started before the reboot and has continued past it. It talks a lot about now Legends stuff, remains compliant with canon as far as TCW and the OT, doesn't contradict with any of the events of Rebels (although mostly due to the newness of it) and doesn't extend beyond the interlude between Episodes IV and V, so doesn't tread on any new post-Episode VI stuff. I might incite mod violence, but my guess is that the RPG is not canon, but not Legends either, allowing them to cherry pick everything without alienating anything in particular. So what Braendig is accurate: you can build a game following either or neither and be fine.
  2. Plenty of lore included with the books. Take what you are familiar with and combine it with some of the world building you are given and you'll be fine. Speaking of world building, Suns of Fortune and Lords of Nal Hutta are world-building supplements.
  3. Pretty much, this is what this system is for. Edge covers your galaxy at large; Colonist in particular can be completely without combat if you'd like. Anything Age related is more combat focused inherently, seeing as it covers Rebels v. Empire. Force and Destiny can either well, but that depends on what you do with Force-sensitives.

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1. Zippo as far as I'm concerned.

 

2.  No trivia champion level knowledge required.

 

3.  Fantastic.  The skills actually matter in this game, as opposed to D&D where they're tacked on with little use.  I will say this, while I am not a fan of canned adventures, the ones for this game do provide one distinct benefit, they give great examples of how to use skills, as well as, very creative ways to interpret results, so that success/failure can be as blurry as you need it to be, or not.  

 

You can set up a custom results table and depending on how PCs roll, determine how much information they learn in a given conversation.  In addition you can let the PCs 'role' before they 'roll' and judge their conversations techniques and then reward or sanction their in game efforts based on how well they actually talk it up at the table.

 

Opposed checks and pitting yourself against an opponent are actually very prevalent in social interactions as opposed to combat, where combat tends to be more static Difficulty modified by adversary level and environmental factors.

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there is the inofficial species menagerie with most of the alien species that might come up in game, I use that to show players what the alien that's hiring them looks like.

 

For in universe knowledge there are the knowledge skills that are perfect for giving the players facts about aliens, society, law&order etc.

 

The core rulebooks have loads of informations about most things that will come up and ther eis also wookiepedia.

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New to the site and to Fantasy Flight games generally. (I've played a few first edition 40K games before.)

 

I'm strongly considering picking up one or all of the Star Wars games to try with my pen and paper group, but I wanted to chat with some folks on the boards before proceeding. I have some questions for you and I hope you don't mind my ignorance!

 

If you are going to try this narrative system, first blank out anything you've learned from prior RPG's. :)

 

1. What is the legacy effect of the re-canonization of Star Wars on the RPGs? Is the RPG series effectively on hold until the IP rebrands and figures itself out, or is the RPG effectively going to keep operating within the outdated continuum for the foreseeable future?

 

We've never run into any problems. Since the first SW RPG (WEG) there were already contradictions throughout SW material. Everyone GM has their own take on the SW universe. Even if the canon is resetting, nothing monumental is changing within Ep. 6 or prior.

 

2. How essential is a deep knowledge of Star Wars IP to a successful or fun campaign? Myself and probably 2 of the group are somewhere in the "intermediate" range of lore and knowledge, but the others will be "only seen the movies" types. I know this is generally a problem with outside-IP games, but is it a problem in this one more so than in others?

 

If a new member joined my group I would actually prefer them to have, "only seen the movies". EU experts can lead to game pausing discussions. :) If it has been a while since they have seen the movies I might have them rewatch Ep. 4 and possibly 5 if your campaign is set during the Rebellion era? Or, for example, just be ready with an image and description of an AT-ST if your adventure has plans for one to show up.

 

3. My group and I are all older (well, ages 35-45) and we do tend to enjoy a playstyle that tends a little less towards combat and more towards conversation, problem solving, discussion, etc. How good is FF's Star Wars system for non-combat activities? I'm definitely not looking for a combat simulator trussed up as an RPG (like with D&D). I'm intrigued by the unique dice system with Star Wars and am wondering how this facilitates this process.

 

THIS makes me think you will love this system. This makes me think this narrative system is exactly what you are looking for. Warning though, if your players are d20 veterans, they must take a hint from Yoda and, "unlearn what you have learned". Starting with or at least reading through a Basic set will greatly help if you are having a hard time grasping the system. If all else fails, jump in and play. It may seem complicated but once you've actually played you will realize it's pretty simple. Learning the dice and interpreting the results (as a group) is the largest part of this system. When I first tried this system (the Warhammer version) I spent way too much time prepping and learning. One session will teach you more than days of research and reading.

Edited by Sturn

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As others have said before the RPG seems to sit in a strange place with EU/Legends. Then again its not like your characters and their exploits are going to be cannon anyway. So I think it is up to the GM to walk that line as they see fit.

 

I have a decent knowlage of star wars and one of my players could write a detailed history of the Star Wars universe from memory (sometimes I want to wipe that memory like he was a droid) but several of my other players "saw the movies a couple of times". I think the the thing is Star Wars is one of those IPs that everyone likes a little something about it. I love the smugglers and the criminal element (hence EotE really calling to me). So no one needs to have the Knowlage (Star Wars) skill to really enjoy the game.

 

My group is made up of players in the 30s and 40s this system offers a lot you can have combat or not without too much trouble. I ran the beginers box module and one of my shy players was lieing and misdirecting his way through the adventure we skipped several of the possible combat encounters with some creative versions of the truth and a distraction or two.

 

All in all I think this system can do what you want it to. Obviously it is steeped in Star Wars lore and we can geek out and love that but a non Star Wars fan could run it with a bent of it being a fun sci-fi game without having to stop to argue who shot first (we all know it was Han right?). The system is fast and easy and involves everyone at the table and there is no penalty for not chooseing combat as your main focus and plenty of tools to help you not run combat as the go to resolution.

 

I suggest picking up the beginers box, getting some friends together and giving it shot I think you will come out on the other side of 3-4 hours with lots of laughs and a **** good story to tell.

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Officially, I believe that everything in the FFG SWRPG is considered “Legends”, but they have been pretty careful not to conflict or contradict any of the known Canon, and they’ve tended to restrict themselves to material and periods where there’s not likely to be much in the way of conflicts that will arise from new Canon that gets created in the future.

In other words, pretty much exactly what I think you would want in a game that is set in the same universe, and is designed to provide the same flavor.

IMO, FFG tends to go with the “Rule of Cool” and the “Rule of Fun” over everything else.

You can have a lot of fun if you know a lot of Star Wars trivia, but you don’t have to be a Star Wars trivia expert in order to have fun. It all depends on you and your group. If you go with the flow and stick with whatever you find to be fun, you should be fine.

Likewise, if a player wants to try something that isn’t obviously covered by any of the official rules, and it sounds cool, I would encourage the GM to be open to that. If it looks cool and cinematic, then that is a very long ways down the road to being true to the Star Wars style.

One thing I would caution you about is that failure in this game is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a great thing, because following the Rule of Fun and the Rule of Cool, there is the Rule of “Yes, and …”.

So, if you fail your check to use Skulduggery to unlock the door in time, then maybe what happens is the security guard comes through on his rounds to check to see if everything is okay. Now, you’ve got a chance to use some Social skills to trick the guard into thinking that you belong on the other side of that door, but you seem to be having some problems with your keycard and would they be so kind as to open the door for you. Or maybe someone on the inside opens the door, and this is your opportunity to convince them that you are the space-pizza delivery guy that they had called for. Or maybe you can convince someone that you’re with Health and Safety, and you’re there for a surprise inspection. More ominously, maybe the door opens and it looks like you succeeded, but what really happened is that a silent alarm was triggered, the security administrators were notified, and they decided to let you in so that they can see what you go do. And they’re now actively monitoring every action you take.

So, failure is not only always an option, it can easily lead to comedy gold. Or story gold. In my own personal experience, most of the best situations that I can recall are things that happened as a result of someone failing a roll, and then what happened with the consequences of that?

Think back to the movies — how often did Luke or Han always succeed on the first try?

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