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Hagalaz

Imperial Assault to RPG

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Greetings, 

I've been playing I.A. for a few months now and feel it would be great to use as a RPG aswell. I don't have the other Star Wars related RPG book put out by F.F.G. and don't really feel the multitude of options and books out there, I'd rather use the rule set and materials/items I.A. uses for an RPG setting, just don't know how to go about converting or hacking the rules to facilitate them for an RPG. Granted the campaign missions are a lot like an RPG, I'm trying to go with a more, traditional feel to it. Hope this makes sense. I'm just looking for a way to alter the I.A. campaign rules to use as a roleplaying game. Any suggestions??? Thanks

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What constitutes an RPG for you? I apologize for answering your question with a question, but I assure you it's germane to the topic. From a certain point of view, Descent, Imperial Assault, and Wizards of the Coast's excellent D&D boxed games are all RPGs-in-a-box. You, as the player, control a character, make decisions for that character, and run through combat scenarios using that character's statistics.

 

Advancement, or "leveling up," in the IA campaign mostly means your character gets better gear and some abilities - the basic character's stats don't change much.  The D&D boxed games have somewhat better provisions for leveling, with additional leveling stats available in the fan community. You could do something similar, I imagine, but I fear you would quickly run into game balance issues. The bad guys are more-or-less balanced against the good guys as is. If you start making the good guys more powerful, then you'll have to either add more bad guys (which quickly can become ludicrous) or rework all of the bad guys to match the power increase (which is frustratingly difficult and somewhat pointless). In my opinion, you'd have better luck converting stats to the RPG system of your choice, but keeping the maps, missions, & rewards from the IA campaign.

 

I have heard that the FFG Star Wars RPG is very good, but I concede that it's expensive to buy into - the main reason I don't own it myself. Some of my friends and I are currently playing the old Saga Edition RPG, using IA and WotC minis. You can probably find all of the books online & download them, though print copies can be hard to come by.

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Thanks for answering. For me an RPG is character creating, choosing a role to play in a campaign setting. Building up relationships with NPC's. Establishing a form of income to better your equipment and items. Taking on missions and or choosing which to take, forming a story and a narrative between player and GM.

I've seen some hacks for character creating with I.A. And was going to just composite a list of all the available "abilities" from the existing character cards and use them in the character creating process.

I was thinking of expanding the "credits" system of equipment purchasing with new gear and items for the sake of role playing, like glow sticks, food and other survival and tactical based gear.

I love the RPG that FFG put out for Star Wars but for me, I'd have to have every book and expansion and what not cause I didn't want to leave anything out, and with the existing library of things out, it's FAR too overwhelming and time consuming to invest in it.

I.A is a perfect display map pieces, tokens, visual aids, miniatures, cards, that it just screams RPG to me. I just wanted to convert or create a simply "conversion" for it to be used as such.

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Well, it was WOTC circa DnD 3.5, and they found selling maps and minis was insanely profitable.

Unsarcastically, yes, there are plenty of rules for using maps and moving your heroes around. I am most familiar with the "Revised" edition that came out between third edition and Saga edition. I think I priced it out recently. If you went totally nuts and bought every revised star wars book ever, it would come out to something like $300.

Added bonus? The entire system came out, lived and died long before the Disney sale, so you dont have to worry about any of that crap in there.

Edited by Sam Tomahawk

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Would you recommend the West End Games version? I believe it was a D6 rule setting, which I think would be easier to transfer over to the I.A rules, since they too use D6's.

$300 wow, I could get a PS4 for that price and play "BattleFront" all day for that price. Lol

You have a go at the FFG Star Wars RPG? I found the narrative dice interesting at best. I have younger players that tend to hate "numbers", so figured either the D6 for simplicity or just keep the I.A dice and set rules for it.

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By some of those loose instructions, IA is an RPG that fits your mold already, without change.

However, by even the worst pen & paper RPG standards, IA doesn't even come close. Your choices in IA are to either shoot the guard or run past them. There's no sneaking past the guard. There's no talking your way past the guard. There are no ventilation ducts to crawl through, you can't hack schematics to plan on, and there's no death. While there are lots of those elements that are and can be placed in the introductory text, I'm guessing that's not what you have in mind.

As far as pen & paper RPGs go though, there are a vast number of them:

d6 Star Wars.

I don't know the name of the company, but they somewhat illegally reprinted the old d6 Star Wars under a revised, expanded, and updated heading, quite recently in 2014/2015. It used to me West End, and that book isn't actually very hard to locate. Pros: There's never been an easier system to learn. Unless you're a Jedi, there are no "feats", you have your list of skills, you have your equipment, you're off. An absolute novice could make a complete character inside of 8 minutes. Also, there are about a billion sourcebooks printed for this game. Cons: Jedi start awfully weak and then go supernova. Now it's getting a little difficult to find those billion sourcebooks.

d20 Star Wars.

I'm going to lump the original d20 and the revised d20 into this bracket, though my preference was for the revised d20. "Oh, you got critically hit? You didn't actually like that character anyway, did you?" The original is probably the most difficult to find, since it wasn't the biggest hit in the community. Pros: If you know d20 systems, you know these. The sourcebooks they did get out are probably all in the super bargain bin. Cons: Flips between unkillable and can-always-die-from-a-crit hit point systems. Were still figuring out how to do Jedi and just seems to print the current try.

d20 Saga Star Wars.

This is the Star Wars game that enjoyed the most popularity and success. Pros: d20 system is easy to learn, yet varies enough to give multiple advantages and disadvantages. I personally loved this d20 system, based off Modern d20, with no real Armor Class and with the whole fatigue system. After about level 8 (or so) characters are actually balanced against Jedi. Loved the talent trees vs. feats line. Cons: It was so popular in fact that the core books and some of the sourcebooks are being sold for more than when they came out. Also power creep, some of those later sourcebooks were getting pretty ridiculous. When I said that some of the characters were balanced against Jedi, it's because they came up with some "feats" for those classes that bordered on absolute magic.

Star Wars by FFG.

Beautiful, gorgeous books that can stop blasters. Pros: the story-telling system is quite nice, and it's fun to sit back and let the players describe some of the results on the dice. New enough that while there are some class lines that will break your game, they are still hidden. I love how difficult it is to be a Jedi. Classes are pretty balanced. Plus, if you purchase it, you're supporting the current line, which is something I endorse. Cons: The system isn't difficult, but you'll be amazed at the number of either bad or just plain odd rolls. Those people looking to play Jedi should just go with another system, even the Force and Destiny book makes it scads expensive in terms of build points.

Various.

People have been adapting other game systems for Star Wars for years. Savage Worlds had a popular 'mod'. I know someone who ran GURPS: Star Wars. I heard someone was also using Mekton Zeta (look it up!).

In the end, I prefer the FFG system, and specifically Edge of the Empire. One book is richly priced, but it's chock full, and I've never thought I've overpaid. It's quality. I won't lie though, picking up the Age of Rebellion book after that chafed a bit. They are supposed to be two different games, but come on. They are gorgeous books, and they really capture the feel of the Original Trilogy in my opinion. The action is fast, the dice system is visual, no mucking over figures and maps, and it gets everyone involved.

Plus hey, it's cheaper than IA. :)

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Thanks for that, very informative and great pros and cons. In regards to the FFG RPG, been looking up character sheets and printables and noticed the seemingly "easy" read character sheets. Seems you color in levels to represent the amount of a particular dice you roll? Is that correct? If so, do I need more than just the boxed set dice? Also, there seems to be different character sheets for each of the three core books. Is the game really THAT different that you need book specific character sheets? I was under the impression they were all the same but the flavor/themes are different? Any news if they are making an "all inclusive" book with all three source core books included? Would you recommend the FFG RPG to be used in conjuction with I.A. Do they have existing rules to use their products like that? Know anyone already working the two into each game system? Thanks again.

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Thanks for that, very informative and great pros and cons. In regards to the FFG RPG, been looking up character sheets and printables and noticed the seemingly "easy" read character sheets. Seems you color in levels to represent the amount of a particular dice you roll? Is that correct? If so, do I need more than just the boxed set dice? Also, there seems to be different character sheets for each of the three core books. Is the game really THAT different that you need book specific character sheets? I was under the impression they were all the same but the flavor/themes are different? Any news if they are making an "all inclusive" book with all three source core books included? Would you recommend the FFG RPG to be used in conjuction with I.A. Do they have existing rules to use their products like that? Know anyone already working the two into each game system? Thanks again.

The three books are supposed to represent different tiers of power in play. Edge of Empire for the small freighter pilot crews out on their own, Age of Rebellion for full on Rebellion soldiers with the (somewhat) full backing of the Rebel Army, and then Force and Destiny for the ever more full backing of the Jedi and a Republic (Old or New).

No, you can use any character sheet for any tier and it will be just fine. The tiers themselves aren't that different from each other really, the Age of Rebellion book seems to offer slightly more powerful characters (but only if you're really looking for them), the real difference is the available equipment.

The character sheets have different colors for different things, especially the career paths thing, but it's usually listed on the sheet. Once you've read the rules, the character sheets make a lot more sense, as with any game.

I didn't buy the boxed set, so I don't know if those are the full rules or not. Typically, each player purchases their own set of dice. You can share, but I wouldn't recommend less than 1 set per two players.

There are currently no plans to place all the rules in one book that I know of, as this would crack down on their business model to scrape more money from us. :). Working though in my case.

There are no attempts that I know of to meld the RPG with IA. They are completely different games with completely different rules that simulate effectively the same thing, characters attempting to accomplish goals through adversity. Though they do use a lot of similar terminology in an effort to keep it in house. In fact, the RPG is specifically designed in order to make it difficult to use figures on a map, the distances are all relative, which is a good thing as I've thought the use of miniatures actually detracted from RPG imagination for years. FFG has simply separated them. If you want your tactical game, play IA.

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Thank you again.

Other than the "types" of characters you can play, which of the three books do you suggest? Any hold more options than the other? Obviously if we were looking to play Jedi we would get the "force" related book, or a bounty hunter we'd get the "edge" but if none of that mattered and I was looking for "best bang for the buck" which of the supplements would be suggested?

And as far as the dice, do you enjoy playing with them? Do they distract from the game or add a new level of involvement?

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If you're only going to purchase one book, it completely relies on the type of game you're going to run. You know about Force and Destiny already. It boils down to this for the other two, if the party is going to be involved with the Rebellion directly, then Age of Rebellion is your book. If not, then Edge of the Empire. A New Hope opens with Edge of the Empire, but as soon as the heroes reach Yavin 4, the rest of the series of movies would be Age of Rebellion.

The most common is running a Firefly-esque type of campaign using Edge. (Firefly IS Star Wars, just without the blasters!)

But IA campaigns identify most with the Age of Rebellion book.

The dice are fun. You'd swear the purple dice are even with the yellow dice. They are difficult to know at a glance what the result are, so there are lots of moments with the entire table trying to figure out if it's a success or not, but the cool thing is what type of success you got, or whether you failed with advantage (which can be quite common).

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Thanks R5D8, it's been a learning experience looking into all this and the options present. I like the box set idea simply for the tokens and the dice, obviously can be used in conjunction with the map tiles of I.A. I personally love the use of miniatures, especially since I GM for younger kids, they help with visuals and placement. And the miniature line for I.A is great. Already started painting mine. But I think a box set and maybe some of those "character cards" for the NPC's and a GM screen would be great. I'll have to home brew some of the other elements of I.A that I like. It'll just be a matter of comparing and contrasting the games and draw together the "pros" of each into the RPG experience I'm looking for. Thank you again.

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(Firefly IS Star Wars, just without the blasters!)

You are not the only one to feel that way! Serenity is my favorite Star Wars movie. The most important difference is no self-important Jedi running around mucking things up. Just normal joes running around trying to make a buck and survive under the thumb of a hostile empire.

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River Tam is their Jedi.

An easy comparison to make, but she lacks focus, and succumbs to fear ;) So whatever that makes her (besides a scared kid that had somebody take an egg whisk to their brain)

I guess I meant no Jedi as no meddlesome council or monolithic bureaucracy that came with the prequels. Closer to the "mad old Ben Kenobi in the desert" from the original. :)

(the prequels really made me hate Jedi, sorry)

Edited by Sam Tomahawk

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In fact, the RPG is specifically designed in order to make it difficult to use figures on a map, the distances are all relative, which is a good thing as I've thought the use of miniatures actually detracted from RPG imagination for years. FFG has simply separated them. If you want your tactical game, play IA.

 

I've had zero issues using miniatures with EOTE. Would it work out fine without them? Sure, but then again, I've played D&D without miniatures as well and it went just fine.

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