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Tyberius_Deangelo

Compare/Contrast Saga Edition and FFG Star Wars

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I bought the Saga Edition core books and several of the supplements back in 2009-2011 but I never had a chance to play their version of the Star Wars RPG due to being in graduate school at the time and not being able to find people that were interested in role playing games.  Unfortunately, those books have never hit the table and they still to this day sit on my bookshelves.   Then in 2013 FFG's Star Wars game hit the stores and people in my area became enthralled with the mechanics and adventures.  There is a sold FFG Star Wars group that meets twice a month to play.

So, my questions is:  Besides the dice systems, how is Saga Edition and FFG's version of Star Wars different in terms of capturing the feeling of the universe, the narrative, and/or any thing that either system did better on when comparing the two systems, whether that be using the Force in the game, balancing Force users with non-Force users combat, space combat, etc?  After all these years, I am just curious what people think of Star Wars now with FFG compared to what Wizards did with Star Wars in Saga Edition.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

 

Edited by Tyberius_Deangelo

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Saga edition is a d20 system, it's a variant of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition disguised as Star Wars. There is a lot of fiddly math and levels and headache inducing stuff. Everything is pass/fail and no nuances.

FFGs Star Wars rpg is the good stuff. Better written, more lore and looks awesome. Not awkwardly square.

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I've played, and DM'ed every Star Wars games from west end D6, to WotC horrible d20 system, to the much improved d20 system revised, on to the second best iteration of the rules in Saga and finally, the hands dow best version of a Star War rpg we've ever seen. 

The quality of fluff and writing was really strong in Saga but pales in comparison to West end games legendary additions to canon and FFG incredible current work, especially in Lords of Nal Hutta and similar. 

I'll stick to a Saga vs FFG comparison here tho. 

In short, the largest problem in Saga was the massive imbalance between Force characters and everyone else. 

At first level a character could do cool and powerful things no one else could and by 3rd level, they could do it really well by taking skill focus in the Force power skill.

By 4th or 5th level they had even more force abilities and easily dominated the action with coolness and power. While everyone else "just" attacked, maybe did something cool as a noble and helped someone move or, eventually iirc, gave a standard action at the cost of their own.

When comparing Saga to anything, this glaring disparity is the central issue with Saga since it dominates lower level play but evened out at higher levels. The problem being, most campaigns never achieve that higher level, or play long at that level imo. 

Whereas FFG system has done a fantastic job of making the system character "neutral". So any concept is valid and has something to do and is not overshadowed by force users until the later levels and even then, it's only a minor thing. If anything, Force users are the weaker class lower levels until they've gotten a second Force die and a power or two. Then they're still behind on skills and such, although that is mitigated by FFG awesome narrative system.

As for combat, FFG wins hands down. The narrative ability to define your attack by the dice means you're nearly always succeeding somehow. So someone who's not a combat build is still effective by attacking and spreading boost and setback dice around to help allies and hinder opponents. As mentioned above Saga, and the other systems I mentioned, are pass/fail and I always prefer an option where the characters can always feel like they did something over constantly feeling left out of portions of the game. Whether combat peeps in the middle of negotiations or vice versa. 

As for Space combat, I recall Saga being decent. FFG is a bit confusing and honestly, we've been using attack wing miniatures and movement for an amalgamated space combat system. 

/rant. 

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I'll talk space and vehicle combat.

Sagas take is pretty traditional. You put little spaceships on a gridded table and move them around. It's easy to grasp for the most part, but getting a big fight going can take up entire sessions of play.

FFG went with a more abstract, movie director perspective, and really seems to use the Battle of Yavin as it's template. No need for grids, and it actually works like a really nasty melee fight. When everyone grasps how that works, and you drop in the right optional rules it's not bad, and can even be pretty good. But getting an entire group that grasps it ... Not so easy. FFG even rewrote the rules a few times for beginner games and Genesys because there were parts that are just plain hard to wrap your head around. Also Due to the high damage rating of starship weapons, and low hull and Defensive options, it's pretty brutal (again, see the Battle of Yavin, one or two hits and you're out). This can be quite a surprise to people launching headlong into a Squadron of TIEs only to find they just charged into a nest of actually decently designed Japanese Zeroes.

 

Personally, I like the FFG take of all the systems. It's pretty well done, feels like star wars, is fairly balanced except for a few specific builds. But it's got some things that turn people off. Vehicle combat is weird, and takes getting used to both in play and encounter design, especially compared to other systems, making a good force user requires some intent and discipline by the player, and understanding by the gm, and the fact that game WANTS both the GM and players to contribute details to the story is a little jarring.

If you like writing your adventures like a kind of loose, improv heavy movie script this is probably the system for you. If you like nice neat little maps and grids, and challenge ratings, and don't mind having to replace Stormtroopers at a certain point because they become a total non-threat... Sagas is probably more your style.

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Narrative Opportunities with Some Structure vs. Nearly All Structure.

Easy Peasy GMing vs. Need a Day to Prepare

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup vs. Candy Corn

Like Jaethe I've played all versions of Star Wars starting with WEG. WEG vs d20 vs FFG are all very different gaming systems so they are hard to compare. For me personally I will always play Star Wars with FFG from now until my interment. Why exactly? That's hard to say. I used to once love the detailed mechanics of systems such as d20 and would not have tried anything with a narrative label. After decades of gaming, I've done a 360.

I greatly appreciate the easiness of prep for a session of FFG without having to dump details. I love how the dice actually encourage players to get involved with telling the story. Players that are all about the mechanics and not true role-players at all will surprisingly get into it. For combat, the greatest difference for me is losing the "Roll - Did I hit? - Your Turn - Your Turn - Your Turn - Roll - Did I hit?" for something where all the players get to be engaged.

You've got to try FFG's narrative system to actually understand the difference in my opinion. Before I played the FFG Warhammer version I really had no idea what this new system was about even though I had read and researched for weeks before playing. Just one brief session made me love and understand it.

Edited by Sturn

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21 hours ago, Tyberius_Deangelo said:

So, my questions is:  Besides the dice systems, how is Saga Edition and FFG's version of Star Wars different in terms of capturing the feeling of the universe, the narrative, and/or any thing that either system did better on when comparing the two systems, whether that be using the Force in the game, balancing Force users with non-Force users combat, space combat, etc?  After all these years, I am just curious what people think of Star Wars now with FFG compared to what Wizards did with Star Wars in Saga Edition.

FFG did well to create three types of Core Rule Books.  If you want an Ep. IV feel, then go with Edge.  Want Force users everywhere?  Play in the Old Republic where (seemingly) everyone throws force powers around? Then go with Force and Destiny.  Want to do battle-scale events like a war game?  Then do Age of Rebellion.  I like that they make different little books (Clone Wars, Rebels, etc...) for different eras.  With SAGA d20, it's one basic book with everything in it and you have to invent these eras.  That said, the FFG books are awful at telling you how things work.  One book says this item gets a boost to medicine checks, another book with the same item says nothing about that.  And skill entries don't tell you all that can be done with a skill. You find some errant thread in the combat section and just don't have a place to turn to to know what a skill can do.  Just awful.... :(

SAGA more went with miniatures, grids, maps, hexes, and such.  FFG is all abstract. Don't sweat the small stuff, whether you are 6 hexes away or 7 and having that determine if you hit or not. What a relief!!

I dislike the force system entirely.  I'd rather they had a different system for Old Republic days and then something different for Edge.  One makes force powers hard to come by, the other makes it free-flowing.  The complicated and arduous system has kept my group from even wanting to play force-users.  If there's an area SAGA did well in, then in may have been the simplicity of the force system. One Skill and powers list D&D spell lists. In FFG, ONE power has about 12 potential upgrades each.  Get 3-4 force powers and you'll have 36-48 options to keep track of whether you bought that upgrade or not. 

As far as background goes, I find that FFG throws out 440-page books when 200 pages would do.  It tells you (repeatedly) about mundane stuff like about how Hutt worlds are full of dangerous gangsters.  I find the older WEG modules to be more informative and concise. 

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Regarding Force users, Saga Edition, and SWFFG...

Thing to bear in mind is that the two games took two very different approaches to replicating Jedi.

As per Steve Horvath in the old EotE introductory video, FFG's intent was to replicate the perceived "slow path" of development that Luke engaged in over the course of the original trilogy, due largely to a lack of formal instruction for most of the four year span those movies occur over.  So the Force power trees and progressin in how capable a Force user your character is quite slow.

With WotC on the other hand, they were angling more to replicate the prequel era Jedi and allow players to have characters like that, so learning/mastering Force powers became a whole lot easier.  Sadly, the way that Saga Edition handled skill checks when affecting non-heroic adversaries was problematic, with Skill Focus being vastly more powerful than intended; it just so happened that Force users brought the issue into clear and inescapable view.  The same issue with skill proficiency and the Skill Focus talent comes up with Persuasion- and Deception-based characters who can talk their way past most low-end NPCs without breaking a sweat, but those issues don't come up nearly as often.

Of course, with the new films showing that learning/mastering new Force abilities isn't quite nearly as difficult or laborious a process as the OT leads one to believe (and even Luke shows a dramatic increase in Force ability between ESB and RotJ), FFG's approach may be due for some fine-tuning if they ever opt to do a second/revised edition.

But as far as differences, it depends on what you want out of your RPG.

Saga Edition is a lot more linear, both in character progression and how it handles task resolution, from social encounters to combats.  It did refine the notion of "Skill Challenges" that D&D4e introduced, providing ways to do streamlined non-combat encounters that could involve the entire group and allow each character to contribute according to their particular strengths without having everything hinge on a single dice roll.  It does require more prep time in creating encounters, but it's also a lot easier to judge if a certain level of opposition is too tough or too week for the PCs to face; it's still possible to have surprises (such as if the PCs start rolling crap and the GM starts rolling hot for a squad of stormtroopers, which I had happen at a con game I ran).  Yeah, it's a simple binary "pass/fail" sort of system, but sometimes it's not a bad thing that you don't have to come up with extra results from the how the dice landed, and you can get on with the encounter; one of the hardest things I've seen both players and even veteran GMs struggle with is how to spend the advantage/threat off a roll that's both interesting and balanced that don't just simply default to "I pass a boost die" or "add a setback to the next check."  Combat-wise, the PCs aren't nearly as fragile as they can be in the FFG system, as most Saga Edition PCs take take at least one or two shots from a blaster rifle before they're in serious trouble, and as they gain levels they automatically improve their odds of surviving in combat against more daunting foes, plus you've got the Condition Track which greatly simplifies how various negative status effects hinder characters, which is much less for both players and GMs to keep track off.

FFG's system is frankly a good deal more fiddly in terms of results and encounter design; in a way it's not unlike the stereotype of Italian cooking where the chef just tosses ingredients together based upon "feel" or "intuition," and hoping it comes out just right.  The dice system can be notoriously unpredictable, as players can just as easily fumble checks they have no business failing as they can ace checks they have no business succeeding on, but by the same token every roll is assured to have something happen as a result of dice hitting the table, since you can fail with advantage/triumph, or pass with threat/despair.  Characters aren't nearly as restricted in how they advance, which gives you a lot more options, but that can sometimes lead to too many options to pick from and bouts of analysis-paralysis.  Combat is much more free-form, being more "theater of the mind" and not as stringent on range bands or distances between baddies.  Combat also does't tend to bog down due to all the PCs and higher-end NPCs having dozens of hit points that the attacker needs to chew through (unless the player focuses on "Condition Track Killer" builds, which tend to be fairly specialized but still very dangerous), but it's also a lot more dangerous as one good shot from a blaster rifle can drop a PC outright, and some crit results can seriously hamper a PC for the encounter even if they're not taken out.

Starship combat in both systems have their quirks and problems, so it boils down to a case of pick your poison.  Saga Edition didn't have quite as much of the "rocket tag" problem that SWFFG does, but then SWFFG is a lot more forgiving in terms of narrating the encounter (especially if the PCs are in a single freighter) than Saga Edition was (at least WotC had largely gotten rid of facing by that point, which helped somewhat).

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On 12/23/2018 at 2:06 PM, jaethe77 said:

In short, the largest problem in Saga was the massive imbalance between Force characters and everyone else. 

At first level a character could do cool and powerful things no one else could and by 3rd level, they could do it really well by taking skill focus in the Force power skill.

By 4th or 5th level they had even more force abilities and easily dominated the action with coolness and power. While everyone else "just" attacked, maybe did something cool as a noble and helped someone move or, eventually iirc, gave a standard action at the cost of their own.

So it's realistic? I kinda want to buy Saga now.

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14 hours ago, Yaccarus said:

So it's realistic? I kinda want to buy Saga now.

Only if you are running a campaign where everyone has force powers, in my opinion. Saga made force-users the Master of All Trades class.

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My main issue with Saga, much as I loved it, was that it quickly became clear that if there wasn't a specific Feat or Talent that let you do something, and it wasn't a thing you could normally do by the core rules, you could not do that thing.

Like, there's a feat that lets you smack someone in melee combat with your gun.  Okay, that's cool.  Except that only those who have that feat can smack someone with their gun in melee, no one else can.  Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all.  If there's a talent that lets you throw sand in someone's eyes, only someone with that talent (and thus, of specific classes that have access to the talent tree that talent appears in) can ever throw sand in someone's eyes.  And they can do this whenever and wherever they want. . . the deserts of Tatooine, the plains of Naboo, the meticulously polished corridors of a Star Destroyer, the vacuum of space. . . 

Everything became so delineated through the rules, through additional feats and talents and such that it became increasingly difficult, and in some cases impossible, to build a character that wasn't highly specialized in one specific class (or closely grouped classes and prestige classes).  And with the way defenses and attack bonuses scaled, multiclassing could be very, very painful.

Another very annoying thing is how multiple attacks work.  Huge penalties, especially if you're not going two-weapons route, significant investment to get rid of those penalties (especially if you're not going two-weapons*), and requiring you to not move to use them.  Made them much, much better in the hands of ranged characters, which is odd since Jedi are typically the multiattacking fools of the Star Wars universe.

It's still a good system, fairly easy to understand, fairly quick to play, easy to calibrate enemies to various player groups, how they've built their characters (how powerful/minmaxed they are on average), and so on.  But my group played Saga for years, and dropped it like a hot potato once I got the funding to buy into the FFG line, and we're a lot happier with it.  It's a lot more flexible out of the box, and once you get the system, you can tweak some minor things without worrying about breaking it completely.

* With two-weapons, you can eventually buy down the penalties to almost nothing just by getting the various two-weapon feats.  For Double and Triple Attack, you need to invest in talents to buy off those penalties, and you need basically a whole Prestige Class worth of levels spent on just those talents to buy off the penalties completely, meaning you can Triple Attack. . . and that's about it.  Just bugs me.  Especially when (and know saying "real life" costs me cred in this argument) in real life, using two weapons is far more inefficient and impractical than just getting faster with one weapon.  And great, now I'm having House Rule ideas for a game I don't even play anymore, so thanks (grumble grumble harrumph).

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17 hours ago, ErikModi said:

Like, there's a feat that lets you smack someone in melee combat with your gun.  Okay, that's cool.  Except that only those who have that feat can smack someone with their gun in melee, no one else can.  Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all. 

That's a problem with all versions of d20 3/3.5 (maybe later versions? didn't try) in my opinion and it irked me too. I recall picking up the Modern d20 book that had a talent for automatic fire with firearms. So, I can't flip this weapon's switch to automatic and pull the trigger? The counter-argument when I spoke about it on forums is the talent made you be able to do it well. When asked for the rule how to fire an automatic weapon badly without the talent, crickets or house rules.

That being said, there is a little bit of that in FFG's systems also. Just not nearly as bad. And yes, I've house ruled it when I've found it.

Edited by Sturn

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18 hours ago, ErikModi said:

Like, there's a feat that lets you smack someone in melee combat with your gun.  Okay, that's cool.  Except that only those who have that feat can smack someone with their gun in melee, no one else can.  Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all.  If there's a talent that lets you throw sand in someone's eyes, only someone with that talent (and thus, of specific classes that have access to the talent tree that talent appears in) can ever throw sand in someone's eyes.  And they can do this whenever and wherever they want. . . the deserts of Tatooine, the plains of Naboo, the meticulously polished corridors of a Star Destroyer, the vacuum of space. . .

So this happens in FFG's system just as often. Look at Talents like Headbutt, Knockdown, Parry, and Pin for close combat examples of things anybody should be able to attempt, but without the Talent, you're right back in the "Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all that you talk about with Saga.

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On 12/24/2018 at 4:51 PM, DurosSpacer said:

FFG did well to create three types of Core Rule Books.  If you want an Ep. IV feel, then go with Edge.  Want Force users everywhere?  Play in the Old Republic where (seemingly) everyone throws force powers around? Then go with Force and Destiny.  Want to do battle-scale events like a war game?  Then do Age of Rebellion.  I like that they make different little books (Clone Wars, Rebels, etc...) for different eras.  With SAGA d20, it's one basic book with everything in it and you have to invent these eras. 

????

Saga had plenty of era-specific books: the Old Republic (KotOR era; this one was in high demand and went quickly out of print), Clone Wars, Force Unleashed (a bit OTT, but definitely covering the earlier years of the Empire), Rebellion Era, and Legacy Era. There were also tidbits about other periods tucked away in various rulebooks (like Mara Jade, Odan-Urr, and Nomi Sunrider in the Jedi Academy sourcebook). All from the old Expanded Universe canon.

While FFG's different core rulebooks do indeed have different flavours, FFG so far has not done much in the way of era-specific sourcebooks. Dawn of Rebellion is one (based on the Rebels animated series which is part of the new canon). Rise of the Separatists is coming next year (2019; supposed to be focused on the early Clone Wars), but we don't know yet how much it covers.

 

On the other hand, I will agree with DurosSpacer on most of the rest of his reply.

Edited by Bellona
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5 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

So this happens in FFG's system just as often. Look at Talents like Headbutt, Knockdown, Parry, and Pin for close combat examples of things anybody should be able to attempt, but without the Talent, you're right back in the "Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all that you talk about with Saga.

This is why I've house ruled weaker anyone-can-do-it versions of some talents. I treat such talents as improved versions of some basic abilities that anyone may attempt.

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Well, and the thing about FFG's narrative system is you can headbutt, knockdown, parry, and pin to your heart's content. . . narratively.  Give an enemy setback dice on their next roll?  You headbutted them and knocked them off balance.  Giving an ally boost dice on their next attack?  You pinned the enemy to give them that clear shot.  Enemy missed their lightsaber attack on you?  In a shower of sparks, you batted the glowing plasma aside with your vibroblade, keeping the contact brief enough it's still functional, though you'll probably want to give it a thorough servicing the first chance you get.  The Talents just let you do it as an actual combat maneuver.  

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Probably already addressed here, but my main issue with Saga was my issue with D20 in general:  the levelling thing is a weird artificial constraint, and the only way to learn a new thing is to get more powerful overall.  On the face of it, there numerous Prestige classes that would be interesting to explore, but you can't really explore more than one or two in a campaign.  And even at level 20, almost no PC could approach the abilities of many of the iconic characters.

Not to mention I really hated the "deck of cards" approach to Force powers, so I rewrote that entirely.

Much prefer the FFG approach.  While the mythical "encounter balance" is a bit more elusive, it's still a far more satisfying and memorable experience, and far more easy to deal with an imbalance than D20 systems.

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:38 PM, whafrog said:

Probably already addressed here, but my main issue with Saga was my issue with D20 in general:  the levelling thing is a weird artificial constraint, and the only way to learn a new thing is to get more powerful overall.  On the face of it, there numerous Prestige classes that would be interesting to explore, but you can't really explore more than one or two in a campaign.  And even at level 20, almost no PC could approach the abilities of many of the iconic characters.

That's an all-around issue with just about any level-based RPG where progression has an eventual cap, even if a single d20 is never rolled as par of the game's mechanics.  And even RPGs that are effectively level-based  with no cap (Savage Worlds) or have an incredibly high level cap (Rolemaster) still run afoul of that issue, as the majority of campaigns in those systems comes to an end long before the higher end of the level charts are reached (aside from encounters starting to break down due to just how crazily powerful the PCs were by that point).

I agree that a point-buy based system offers more freedom, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have a group of players that won't min-max, dumping all their points into the one thing they're meant to be good at and skimping out on anything outside that focus.  Prime example, Champions/HERO System (and to a slightly lesser extent Mutants & Masterminds) where you've got players that pour their points both during and after character creation into whatever fits their niche and just ignore anything outside of it.  That same sort of behavior was seen with D6 Star Wars, with examples such as the bounty hunter that could track their target in any condition and perform a vasectomy on a monkey-lizard with a blaster rifle at 100 paces while blind-folded, but put them in a social situation (even something as 'simple' as haggling for the payout on a bounty), at the controls of a ship, or a situation where combat wasn't a viable option, and they were nigh-useless.  Force users hit a similar hurdle, as any instance where they couldn't use their increasing array of Force powers meant they were far less viable, and due to how the system worked they had to choose between boosting Force powers or buffing up their mundane skills, to the degree it was either be good at one category or mediocre in both.

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Posted (edited)

I loved Saga Edition but compared to ffg starwars it's a distant second.  Ffg just plays better faster, you can wing things, and it's a lot more tolerant of house rules than Saga.  If a player likes character optimization it's got enough bells and whistles to scratch that itch.   Here are a few tips and tricks.

minion groups work best when either they are very large or very small (1 or 2).  If your players chew through minions like nothing and combats aren't lasting long enough for your tastes, then you want a lot of minion groups with only 1 or 2 minions per group, that prevents each attack from killing more than 1 or 2 minions, and the dice pools they're attacking your PCs with aren't too deadly.

Reintroduce minis, maps, and a grid, but not the grid you're used to.  The large grid cell you're in is all of short range, for 1 maneuver you can move anywhere in it or move to an adjacent cell.  I like to print maps in 11 x 17 inch pieces and have each 11 by 17 inch piece of paper be a grid cell/maneuver.  The sheet your on (call it sheet 1) is short range.  Sheets 2-3, is medium range, sheets 4-5 is long range, sheets 6+ is extreme range.  That is a completely consistent elaboration/extension/concretion of the RAW abstract movement and positioning rules.

I also have 3 sets of the maps of mastery nightlife tiles, those are extremely useful (make sure to get 3 sets).

The standard recommendation for starting characters is a single specialization and "no" (scare quotes) talents or force power so you can put as much of your starting xp as possible into attributes, because character creation is the only time you can spend xp to directly increase attributes, later it can only be done by acquiring ranks of the dedication talent.

This might change when rise of the separatists is released but currently I know of only 1 way that a jedi character can reach maturity at approximately the same xp as a non force sensitive character.  You can make a movie quality jedi knight in 2 specs by taking niman-disciple/sentry in either order and taking the enhance/influence/move/sense force powers with a smallish number of upgrades (basic power 2 upgrades for influence, 1 of them being the control skills upgrade).

Use ogg dude's generator the "another character generator" thread for character creation.

My group is tactile, e.g. we like playing with physical dice (get 5 sets), knocking over "dead" minis, and using othello tokens as destiny points.  Othello tokens have the right feel to them while the punch board tokens that come with the dice don't.

The gm screen/kit for AoR is better than the other 2 lines in my opinion, better color contrast and it comes with the squad rules.

Edited by EliasWindrider

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On 12/26/2018 at 1:12 PM, Sturn said:

This is why I've house ruled weaker anyone-can-do-it versions of some talents. I treat such talents as improved versions of some basic abilities that anyone may attempt.

Would be curious in seeing your house rules

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On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 8:59 PM, Kilcannon said:

Would be curious in seeing your house rules

BRACE: Anyone can Brace with a Maneuver. The talent allows it with only an incidental.

PIN: Anyone may attempt a Pin, but only against a prone or helpless target. You may need to use Brawl to first Knockdown or disable the target first in some other way. The Pin talent allows an attempt at a Pin regardless of the defender's state - a trained person can take down and pin a person who is up and ready.

 

 

 

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On 12/25/2018 at 12:26 PM, ErikModi said:

My main issue with Saga, much as I loved it, was that it quickly became clear that if there wasn't a specific Feat or Talent that let you do something, and it wasn't a thing you could normally do by the core rules, you could not do that thing.

Like, there's a feat that lets you smack someone in melee combat with your gun.  Okay, that's cool.  Except that only those who have that feat can smack someone with their gun in melee, no one else can.  Not even "they can do it, but badly," no, they can't do it at all.  If there's a talent that lets you throw sand in someone's eyes, only someone with that talent (and thus, of specific classes that have access to the talent tree that talent appears in) can ever throw sand in someone's eyes.  And they can do this whenever and wherever they want. . . the deserts of Tatooine, the plains of Naboo, the meticulously polished corridors of a Star Destroyer, the vacuum of space. . . 

 

Funny you should use gun club as an example as it states that without the soldier talent you can use it as a club but at a penalty.  Typically I have found that it isn't that you can't do things but you either take a penalty or don't get a specific mechanical benefit. You might have to get a little creative such as the sand in your eye being suppress the enemy (I think that is what it was called) under aid another.  

Anyway I have both systems and have compared them thoroughly and I think they work better for different GMs and players.  For instance I like building characters and as a GM the fact that you "choose what looks good" for enemies is hard for me, but I love how minions work.  I also am not good at improvisation so coming up with interesting die results does not come naturally to me.  As for characters FFG Star Wars definitely has more systems and ideas in place to make your character interesting, Saga Edition the narrative is mainly up to you.  I personally haven't found force users to be as broken as people act on the forums, yes they get cool tricks but they are limited to once per encounter unless they spend a lot of resources on it.  Ultimately they are both good just different.  

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