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Dawn of Rebellion Sourcebook

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Initial impressions: A Dave Filoni introduction that emphasizes making your own stories in a book that has Death Star and Darth Vader stats felt disconnected.

Likes: Stats for common NPCs, ships, equipment and universal talent trees. Usual level of professional art and polish.

Dislikes: No Pelta-class capital ship, no art for the KST-100/Kasmiri, no write-up on Kaller from the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic. I wanted a full entry on Garel, not a two paragraph write-up. It's frustrating that text on these planets includes nothing more than what we already know from Rebels and the Canon section of Wookieepedia. 

I seriously doubt it would shatter future projects if new creatures and locations associated with these locales are introduced. When the DK Visual Dictionary books bring in more interesting off-screen background tidbits than your RPG, there's a problem.

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You have to remember that the writers are given a limit on the number of pages they are allowed to use in a book. Because if this, they sometimes have to leave out some content in order to include things with a higher importance/priority. The characters and lore took priority because they are specific to Rebels and Rouge One. The equipment and ships (like the pelta) can always be included in other books, like fully operational (hopefully!!!) 

They also have to keep discriptions of canon characters as general as possible. This will help ensure that the information given remains canon after something happens to them in the Star Wars univers. It also allows GM's some wiggle room when encorperating them into the game because the description is so universal (not limited by time). You'll notice that they included the stats of dead characters to allow them to be involved and stats of the equipment an individual used in the beginning of the tv series but eventually abandoned (Ezra's slingshot) 

If the writers were allowed to use as many pages as they wanted and could be as detailed as possible, the book probably would be the size of a core rule book and just as expensive. The information is there to make the canon characters usable in a game without limiting their availability in a campaign to a single point/place in time. How detailed and accurate a character is when compared to the original Star Wars lore is up to the GM. 

Although I will agree that they should have incorporated the Pelta-class Frigate and artwork for other ships. While the Pelta-class Frigate was in both Rebels and Clone Wars, Rebels was where it had a more significant role. In the Clone Wars, it was just another support ship they sometimes used, Rebels brought it into the limelight. And ship artwork would really help provide a visual reference for GM's and players. 

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15 hours ago, Azanael said:

Tomorrow mine will arrive  here in Germany. 

May I ask which store?

I ordered mine like half a year ago on FantasyWelt, still no updates. :unsure:

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Not that I'm not grateful, but why in the name of Sith did I get it two days ago - in Sweden?? We're like on the North pole, should have thought it would arrive earlier in Germany and the UK...

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International distribution is weird like that.

I could get it on Amazon and have it here by Saturday, but it's through a third party and at a significant markup. AND I'd need to refund my pre-order. Too much hassle. :D

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6 hours ago, RicoD said:

May I ask which store?

I ordered mine like half a year ago on FantasyWelt, still no updates. :unsure:

Morgenwelt . org - at this time it also only costs 40 Euros (2 Euros more than at fantasywelt) - the same at sphaerenmeisters-spiele (wich is sometimes a little bit cheaper). Both stores have SW Books sometimes weeks before fantasywelt. (wich is otherwise my favorite store - but not for sw books) 

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On 3/8/2018 at 1:11 PM, ArchAngel3535 said:

You have to remember that the writers are given a limit on the number of pages they are allowed to use in a book. Because if this, they sometimes have to leave out some content in order to include things with a higher importance/priority. The characters and lore took priority because they are specific to Rebels and Rouge One. The equipment and ships (like the pelta) can always be included in other books, like fully operational (hopefully!!!) 

They also have to keep discriptions of canon characters as general as possible. This will help ensure that the information given remains canon after something happens to them in the Star Wars univers. It also allows GM's some wiggle room when encorperating them into the game because the description is so universal (not limited by time). You'll notice that they included the stats of dead characters to allow them to be involved and stats of the equipment an individual used in the beginning of the tv series but eventually abandoned (Ezra's slingshot) 

If the writers were allowed to use as many pages as they wanted and could be as detailed as possible, the book probably would be the size of a core rule book and just as expensive. The information is there to make the canon characters usable in a game without limiting their availability in a campaign to a single point/place in time. How detailed and accurate a character is when compared to the original Star Wars lore is up to the GM. 

Without meaning to, you hit upon my key complaint about this project, and it's the same complaint I had further up-thread: pages were spent writing statistics for canonical characters like the Ghosts and plot devices like the Death Star. I don't claim to know what every GM does but, judging from the years of threads on these forums, it's a safe bet that most games aren't played with canonical character PCs. The old WEG D6 game had a Death Star Technical Manual but even the writers admitted that GMs weren't going to be using the book as-is; rather specific rooms, equipment, and NPCs could be re-purposed for unique adventures. 

As a perpetual GM who wants his players to explore their own stories in the Star Wars universe, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with a lot of this book's material. I really don't. And as someone who has purchased every book FFG has released in the Star Wars RPG line and gotten use out of every book, this is the first time I've said this.

I could use stats for an Executor-type Super Star Destroyer. What am I going to do with a write-up on the Death Star other than say, "yep, that's pretty darned big"?

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6 hours ago, Concise Locket said:

Without meaning to, you hit upon my key complaint about this project, and it's the same complaint I had further up-thread: pages were spent writing statistics for canonical characters like the Ghosts and plot devices like the Death Star. I don't claim to know what every GM does but, judging from the years of threads on these forums, it's a safe bet that most games aren't played with canonical character PCs. The old WEG D6 game had a Death Star Technical Manual but even the writers admitted that GMs weren't going to be using the book as-is; rather specific rooms, equipment, and NPCs could be re-purposed for unique adventures. 

As a perpetual GM who wants his players to explore their own stories in the Star Wars universe, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with a lot of this book's material. I really don't. And as someone who has purchased every book FFG has released in the Star Wars RPG line and gotten use out of every book, this is the first time I've said this.

I could use stats for an Executor-type Super Star Destroyer. What am I going to do with a write-up on the Death Star other than say, "yep, that's pretty darned big"?

Um... alternate universe campaign?

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On 3/20/2018 at 2:37 PM, Concise Locket said:

Without meaning to, you hit upon my key complaint about this project, and it's the same complaint I had further up-thread: pages were spent writing statistics for canonical characters like the Ghosts and plot devices like the Death Star. I don't claim to know what every GM does but, judging from the years of threads on these forums, it's a safe bet that most games aren't played with canonical character PCs. The old WEG D6 game had a Death Star Technical Manual but even the writers admitted that GMs weren't going to be using the book as-is; rather specific rooms, equipment, and NPCs could be re-purposed for unique adventures. 

As a perpetual GM who wants his players to explore their own stories in the Star Wars universe, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with a lot of this book's material. I really don't. And as someone who has purchased every book FFG has released in the Star Wars RPG line and gotten use out of every book, this is the first time I've said this.

I could use stats for an Executor-type Super Star Destroyer. What am I going to do with a write-up on the Death Star other than say, "yep, that's pretty darned big"?

So, I hear you, but I think there are a few things you aren't considering. 

I think a lot of GMs like building their own unique Nemesis type characters. A lot of people enjoy seeing an iconic just to use as a measuring stick for their own baddies (or super weapons). For someone who doesn't want to see the iconics make an appearance in their game, you can still use the stat blocks. I often repurpose existing blocks for my own games on the fly, and with a game that has been around for a few years now, there are several long-running games that need some higher level challenges. The iconic blocks accomplish that, no matter if you use them as is, or as a starting point for an NPC unique to your table. 

Super weapons are a part of Star Wars. They feature prominently in several movies. Until Dawn of Rebellion, GMs haven't had any sort of mechanical frame of reference for a super weapon. 

Also,  much of the direct feedback I've gotten from people who picked up the book were those excited about the Darth Vader or Death Star stat blocks. 

So while this might not be the ideal book for your needs, others certainly seem to be grateful for the iconic NPCs and the Death Star. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

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I totally love the fact they finally included some canonical characters.  Just as a bench mark if nothing else, example NPC’s are always a good thing.

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17 minutes ago, Daronil said:

I just can't wait to get the stupid thing! 

None of the Australian sellers seem to have it yet, and I refuse to pay more for postage than the cost of the item.

Ironically it was probably printed closer to Australia than the United States.

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19 minutes ago, Concise Locket said:

I wish these forums had a polling option. What percentage of SW gamers play in those types of games?

More than you might think. Quite a few groups I know like to take part in established historical events in whatever RPG they are playing, but want to retain the possibility of changing that history through their characters’ actions. I’ve also known a group that built a campaign around the theft of the Death Star plans (not based on Rogue One, in fact long before we even knew that movie would be made). People who love these IPs often want to play at the heart of the setting, not just the fringes.

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15 hours ago, KRKappel said:

So, I hear you, but I think there are a few things you aren't considering. 

I think a lot of GMs like building their own unique Nemesis type characters. A lot of people enjoy seeing an iconic just to use as a measuring stick for their own baddies (or super weapons). For someone who doesn't want to see the iconics make an appearance in their game, you can still use the stat blocks. I often repurpose existing blocks for my own games on the fly, and with a game that has been around for a few years now, there are several long-running games that need some higher level challenges. The iconic blocks accomplish that, no matter if you use them as is, or as a starting point for an NPC unique to your table. 

Super weapons are a part of Star Wars. They feature prominently in several movies. Until Dawn of Rebellion, GMs haven't had any sort of mechanical frame of reference for a super weapon. 

Also,  much of the direct feedback I've gotten from people who picked up the book were those excited about the Darth Vader or Death Star stat blocks. 

So while this might not be the ideal book for your needs, others certainly seem to be grateful for the iconic NPCs and the Death Star. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

I have no doubt that Star Wars fans are excited to see movie and TV characters be given statistics. However, as someone who plays a lot of different role-playing games, I'm looking at a product's utility in comparison to what has already been released. The core books, and even the adventure modules released for the Force & Destiny line, already have very powerful Nemesis NPCs that can be easily re-skinned. And, as has been discussed many times in several threads on these forums, if the solution to making a game more interesting/challenging for players is to simply up the power level of the bad guys, something has gone wrong with the game. The mechanics in this narrative system simply aren't granular in a way that something like D20 is and "more power" is rarely a good solution.

There is exactly one canonical super-weapon in Star Wars: the Death Star (and its grandchild, Starkiller Base). Including The Force Awakens, Death Star plots have occurred in four of the six post-prequel movies and as a background subplot in Rebels. It seems like there are gobs of planet-destroying devices floating around in the galaxy but that's because the DS is the SW galaxy's one of two major instigating plot-devices, the other being the machinations and fall-out of Darth Sidious. 

Unless a hypothetical GM wants to run a non-canonical game or feels that yet another Death Star story will make for a ripping yarn, there's nothing to say or do with the DS that hasn't been said or done. The core books of all three lines have text pieces that talk about making your SW game your own and how players can find a piece of the big, big galaxy and do things that are as important and Luke, Leia, and Han. While, I'm frustrated that key pieces of era-specific technology like the Pelta-class and certain locations were omitted, reversing course on the whole "other cool stories in the SW galaxy" philosophy is my biggest gripe.

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20 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

More than you might think. Quite a few groups I know like to take part in established historical events in whatever RPG they are playing, but want to retain the possibility of changing that history through their characters’ actions. I’ve also known a group that built a campaign around the theft of the Death Star plans (not based on Rogue One, in fact long before we even knew that movie would be made). People who love these IPs often want to play at the heart of the setting, not just the fringes.

I need numbers, though. I know people here do it but my perception, based on forum interactions, is that it's a minority.

Gamers gripe about not being as powerful as Elminster but, until Pathfinder came along, the Forgotten Realms were still D&D's most popular campaign setting.

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6 minutes ago, Concise Locket said:

I need numbers, though. I know people here do it but my perception, based on forum interactions, is that it's a minority.

Gamers gripe about not being as powerful as Elminster but, until Pathfinder came along, the Forgotten Realms were still D&D's most popular campaign setting.

Definitely a minority. Just not a negligible one. ;)

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Our campaigns run with the mindset of "Roleplaying games can inherently not be canon". That being said, it can be quite fun to brush with the movies.

Our current game is set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Due to the actions of one of our players a high ranking Rebel Agent got captured and spilled the location of Echo Base WAY before the Empire deployed the Probe Droids in the movies. As a result Vader got his surprise attack on Hoth and most of the Rebel Alliance was wiped out. Our party, being Bounty Hunters, got invited onto the Executor to scout out Hoth before the attack and subsequently capture any high ranking targets in the aftermath of the battle (instead of just tracking down the Falcon). One of which turned out to be Leia. We bag her and hand her over to Vader. And while the party has now a good standing with the Empire (for the time being), the galaxy at large got that much more oppressive.

Before and since then we did a bunch of stuff not related to "canon" at all. One example is the party planning to overthrow an imperial occupation on Naboo. The Moff in control made an Inquisitor his lap dog and plans to get himself higher up the ladder by undermining other Imperial Officials. My character also died in an unfortunate air lock situation in what was supposed to be an easy bounty. My GM and I switched seats since then, as we occasionally do, and I intend on carrying on mixing and mashing whatever we think is going to be fun for our game.

And while it was unanimously agreed upon by us that crossing and eventually fighting Vader would most likely not end well, it IS kinda nice to have a baseline for his statblock in case we ever decide to go into that direction.

We did make a statblock ourselves beforehand just in case though, so while they may not be necessary, I think they're very interesting and nice to have.

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Oh, my table tweaks the **** out of the movies all the time. We kept Anakin from falling, saved Luke from being stuck out overnight on Hoth (which had the fun domino effect of nearly handing the Galaxy to Thrawn when he showed up years later), threw a droid's head at Vader during his Bespin showdown, was one of the founding elements of the Alliance and generally given the bird to continuity wherever we please. I want to see Luke blow up the Death Star? I'll put the DVD in. Otherwise, step aside son, I'm the hero of this story here!

Edited by Desslok

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On 2018-03-20 at 3:37 PM, Concise Locket said:

Without meaning to, you hit upon my key complaint about this project, and it's the same complaint I had further up-thread: pages were spent writing statistics for canonical characters like the Ghosts and plot devices like the Death Star. I don't claim to know what every GM does but, judging from the years of threads on these forums, it's a safe bet that most games aren't played with canonical character PCs. The old WEG D6 game had a Death Star Technical Manual but even the writers admitted that GMs weren't going to be using the book as-is; rather specific rooms, equipment, and NPCs could be re-purposed for unique adventures. 

As a perpetual GM who wants his players to explore their own stories in the Star Wars universe, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with a lot of this book's material. I really don't. And as someone who has purchased every book FFG has released in the Star Wars RPG line and gotten use out of every book, this is the first time I've said this.

I could use stats for an Executor-type Super Star Destroyer. What am I going to do with a write-up on the Death Star other than say, "yep, that's pretty darned big"?

I get that it may not be your cup of tea but I have to say I think it’s amazing to have this. Imagine, there are stats for Inquisitors like Fifth, Seventh and Grand that we can have show up and try to kill our Force user? Perfect. They have stats for the characters from Rebels? Amazing, now we can have camels with those who are a part of one of the most influential rebel cells! Finally gotten the attention of the Empire in full for that amazing thing your group did? Well maybe Vader or Thrawn are dispatched to deal with you. Oh, your campaign has reached the battle of Yavin? Awesome, take part in it as one small element of the larger battle. Wait, so I can be at one of the momentous battles in history and still have my game be a seperate thing... um sign me up. I don’t see why getting stats for these things is anything but the most amazing thing that FFG has done since the CRB. Oh, and all that takes up about 10 pages, which is also split with details on Planets, locations and organizations, equipment and ships? Yeah, I might buy this book twice just because it’s that great. 

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