PDA

View Full Version : Star Wars RPG: which one?



Cicciograna
2010-12-14, 12:09 PM
Hi there! I was thinking about purchasing a Star Wars themed RPG, so I googled it and...whoa! I found four different game systems!


West End Games edition (1987) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Roleplaying_Game_%28West_End_Games%29)
WotC edition (2000) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Roleplaying_Game_%28Wizards_of_the_Coast %29#Original_and_revised_editions)
WotC revised edition (2002) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Roleplaying_Game_%28Wizards_of_the_Coast %29#Original_and_revised_editions_releases)
WotC Saga edition (2007) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Roleplaying_Game_%28Wizards_of_the_Coast %29#Saga_Edition)
Which one should I buy? Keep in mind that my first interest is in recreating the hue and feeling of Star Wars Universe, paired with the most pleasing game experience available: concerns on balance and mechanical problems are secondary.

Psyx
2010-12-14, 12:45 PM
SWd6 (the WeG one) is excellent. The rules are simple, and the GM can easily run on-the-fly. If there's not a rule for something, it's easy to make one up. There is also a dirt-load of available books for it. Jedi are a bit over-powered, unsurprisingly.

WotC versions are more mechanically inclined and less free-form. Additionally, the d20 skill system stinks. I like the WotC revised addition, though. For a d20 game, it's not too bad.

Kylarra
2010-12-14, 12:48 PM
I'd say either the first or last, the D6 system will always have a soft spot in my heart since it was the first one I was introduced to and I love that system. If you want to play in the D20 system for familiarity or whatever reason, then I would recommend Saga Edition which is also excellent.

Zuljita
2010-12-14, 12:53 PM
I like Saga edition, the force is about as good a fit as any game system ive tried could do. I also like the familiarity of d20 and the no xp penalty multiclassing mixed with the talent system allows for both relatively easy character builds (with relatively few traps) that really fit the feel of star wars.

Havent played the WEG one in more than 10 years but i kinda hated it when i did.

The Rose Dragon
2010-12-14, 12:56 PM
Either the d6 version, or the SAGA version. Mostly because the other two are simply quite subpar.

Optimator
2010-12-14, 01:10 PM
I've never played the d6 version (which I hear great things about) but I can attest that OCR and RCR are bad and Saga Edition is awesome to behold.

Ozreth
2010-12-14, 01:12 PM
Saga for sure. Solid system, awesome books.

Obrysii
2010-12-14, 01:14 PM
Personally, I prefer the Revised Core Rulebook RPG.

I dislike Saga due to its need to integrate miniatures into it - measuring ranges in squares and not meters, and all that. It really bothers me.

Psyx
2010-12-14, 01:22 PM
^I'd agree with that and cite is as my reason for disliking Saga, along with the dumbed down 'you know it or you don't: No skill ranks' skill system.

Sci-fi is skill driven by nature, and d20 has a bad skill system. Saga edition only makes it worse IMHO.

Dienekes
2010-12-14, 01:24 PM
Chiming in, the first or the last.

d6 is very freeform and allows a lot more flexibility in concepts. You want to be a gambling politician who has never picked up a gun in your life? Sure. Unfortunately as my example more or less points out, it can lead to a very unbalanced and disjointed party.

Also, it's pretty easy. Literally right out the bat the party can take down a dozen stormtroopers without breaking a sweat (mild exaggeration). Whether this is good or bad is your call. Combat can also be incredibly repetitive in part due to the freeform nature. It got filled out some with later books, but it does require you to go looking through a few books to find what you want. Or contrarily you can make up them as you go, but this can mean for less imaginative players they will be saying "I shoot my pistol" every single round.

Saga on the other hand is a bit more limited in concepts. Really it's based off of the d20 DnD system so it restricts characters in levels. Sometime this won't fit what you have in mind for your character, but generally the ease at which you can multiclass means you can make it work if you try enough.

The game is also fairly streamlined, and pretty easy to play out of the box and get abilities in combat and out. Some design decisions many find disagreeable (armor is either worthless at higher levels, or you funnel all your resources into it). Some are completely split, example above is skill points. Saga means that a Soldier can still take part in a skill based encounter even though he's untrained. He may be worse but he still can try with a reasonable chance of success. Compared to early editions in which it was the DnD skill point system so if you don't have a few ranks you probably shouldn't give it a try.

Personally I like the Saga skill system because it has a Star Warsy feel to it. Every character in the films is rather competent at everything they try. Some better than others, but they can all get in a starfighter and fly, or try to hack a system. Saga encourages this, but with a lower focus on realism.

Though I never saw Star Wars as science fiction or realistic anyway but that's beside the point.

Personally, I prefer Saga currently, but that's mostly because it's still fairly new. I played d6 for many years and thoroughly enjoyed it.

fusilier
2010-12-14, 01:27 PM
West End Games. Although when I played, the GM increased the damage on some of the weapons, as he found them a bit weak (it was actually kind of hard to kill someone with a thermal detonator). Nonetheless, it's an excellent system and works well with cinematic sci-fi.

ShaggyMarco
2010-12-14, 01:27 PM
Go SAGA edition. The other WotC editions are pretty bad. I've heard nothing but good things about the D6WEG version, but I imagine that you'll find lots more support (especially for any later Expanded Universe stuff you may wish to incorperate) in the SAGA edition stuff.

I ran a pretty long-standing Saga campaign set during the Legacy era and it just plain FELT like Star Wars. Partially because my players really enjoyed playing with classic Star Wars Archetypes, and partially because the system LET THEM play with those archetypes in new and interesting ways.

I'm not saying previous editions DIDN'T do this, I'm just saying that Saga does this really well.

DukeofDellot
2010-12-14, 01:45 PM
...You know... I own two separate Star Wars games on that list, Wizard's 2000 attempt and saga... and have on a few occasions played the Jedi Temple LARP and a couple miniatures games based on the series.

But I just use GURPS for my Star Wars games. Typically taking example from this awesome recreation of Avatar (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=30806&highlight=avatar+airbender) and modeling Jedi with a Martial Arts style (Force Swordsmanship, MA209 was designed with Star Wars in mind) and building the ability to manipulate the Force as a power (power-ups style). The rest falls into place rather easily if you know the setting well enough (I was obsessed from age 5 to age 11 and a fan ever since).

But now I'm suggesting you shell out the money for a core book and two supplements (Powers and Martial Arts) so you might want to ignore me.

Psyx
2010-12-14, 01:52 PM
I imagine that you'll find lots more support (especially for any later Expanded Universe stuff you may wish to incorperate) in the SAGA edition stuff.

Errr... there are literally dozens of books for d6. I imagine it far outweighs Saga for material. Granted, it pre-dates the newer films, but missing JarJar out of a game is never a bad thing.

sailor_grenoble
2010-12-14, 01:54 PM
This is your father's d6. This is the die of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a d20. An elegant die ... for a more civilized age.
follow the wisdom of Obi-Wan.

Cicciograna
2010-12-14, 02:05 PM
Okay, given your suggestions, I would go with West End Games edition, particularly "Second Edition Revised and Expanded". If I didn't live in a crappy place out of the world, where shipping rates make the basically double the price of the book itself! Gosh, I hate my country...

However, thanks for the help guys.

The Big Dice
2010-12-14, 02:10 PM
Strangely enough, the D6 version of Star Wars as an RPG is the one that kick started peoiple trying to make sense of Star Wars technology.

ShaggyMarco
2010-12-14, 02:11 PM
Errr... there are literally dozens of books for d6. I imagine it far outweighs Saga for material. Granted, it pre-dates the newer films, but missing JarJar out of a game is never a bad thing.

I know, but they don't JUST pre-date the films. They also pre-date much of the more recent EU stuff, such as all of the Legacy stuff, and many of the more recent developments. I never meant that d6 wasn't well-supported. I just meant that it wasn't well-supported on the last decade or so of Star Wars. Lots of major stuff of varying levels of awesome has happened since WEG stopped publishing Star Wars beyond Jar-Jar: Vong War, KotOR, and Legacy just to name 3.

boj0
2010-12-14, 02:18 PM
SAGA has Scum and Villainy; quite possibly the greatest splatbook ever.

Bruendor_Cavescout
2010-12-14, 02:49 PM
I'm going to be the voice of dissent and say that Saga has some real problems with it - namely, it does rather poorly to simulate an action-oriented universe. For instance, it slaps rather high penalties to relatively common combat maneuvers. If you're wanting to perform one of the staples of fiction that involves firearms - notably, wrestling with someone who is armed to prevent them from getting a clear shot - then you'll be taking a rather massive penalty (-5 or -10, IIRC) to the attack. You're probably not going to succeed. The system gets in the way of cinematic coolness, which is very much against the Star Wars milieu.

Also, wound penalties probably don't have any place here. We're talking about a universe where people get their limbs sliced off by freakin' laser swords, and still keep going. I don't think that getting shot should slow down your PC. If anything, a "boss fight" in Star Wars should involve your PC getting the snot beaten out of them, and surging back at the end.

I'm not a huge fan of the d6 system, but that's mostly a personal preference. I know plenty of people rave about it, but I never really got into it. I've had enjoyable experiences with the Revised Star Wars game, though, which is my personal recommendation. To be honest, though, no game is perfect - the Jedi tend to outshine most other character archetypes just by the nature of their existence.

Mando Knight
2010-12-14, 02:53 PM
SAGA has Scum and Villainy; quite possibly the greatest splatbook ever.

EVER. No tech hero is good without it: how else are you going to represent Boba's gauntlet-mounted weapons? Or LIGHTNING FISTS?

Reverent-One
2010-12-14, 02:53 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the d6 system, but that's mostly a personal preference. I know plenty of people rave about it, but I never really got into it. I've had enjoyable experiences with the Revised Star Wars game, though, which is my personal recommendation. To be honest, though, no game is perfect - the Jedi tend to outshine most other character archetypes just by the nature of their existence.

How does the Revised Edition not have the same problems you mentioned about SAGA?

Mando Knight
2010-12-14, 03:01 PM
We're talking about a universe where people get their limbs sliced off by freakin' laser swords, and still keep going.

No, no they don't. I don't recall a single incident in which a character continues to fight immediately after losing a limb except possibly through sheer determination. The closest it came was Darth Vader getting up after his robot arm was chopped off, but it was cybernetic and he'd had his body cut to pieces several times already at that point.

ShaggyMarco
2010-12-14, 03:39 PM
No, no they don't. I don't recall a single incident in which a character continues to fight immediately after losing a limb except possibly through sheer determination. The closest it came was Darth Vader getting up after his robot arm was chopped off, but it was cybernetic and he'd had his body cut to pieces several times already at that point.

And, clearly, he was spending a destiny point so that he could manage to do that. SAGA!

hayabusa
2010-12-14, 04:25 PM
I have all four mentioned, and I agree that the best one to go with is either the WEG version, or Saga. I'd personally say Saga, since it's the one that I have the most experience with, and they might be a little easier to get a hold of (your milage may vary).

Ashtar
2010-12-14, 04:57 PM
In my group, the d6 WEG version of star wars lead to extensive campaigns and adding Star Wars: Star Warriors (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3593/star-wars-star-warriors) to the mix (since the board game is on the same system) gave us incredible space battles.

The d20 revised edition on the other hand, collapsed pretty quickly, due to the game not really feeling like "Star Wars"...

I'd recommend the D6 WEG if you can get your mits on it, especially if you can find a copy of the board game for space combat.

Katana_Geldar
2010-12-14, 05:29 PM
In Saga I can run two encounters at once with different initative counts without going completely insane. Space battles are awesome and it is very, very easy to pick up.

I recommend you limit books though as to what people can use, and don't let first timers play a Jedi straight away.

Jedi tend to be scene stealers anyway...

Psyx
2010-12-15, 08:55 AM
I know, but they don't JUST pre-date the films. They also pre-date much of the more recent EU stuff, such as all of the Legacy stuff, and many of the more recent developments.

Erm... fluff isn't tied to crunch. You can just read the source books and use the fluff for d6. And d6 is sufficiently simple that there's nothing that you can't dream stats up for inside 5 minutes.


how else are you going to represent Boba's gauntlet-mounted weapons? Or LIGHTNING FISTS?

To be fair, d6 had already represented them ten years beforehand.


In Saga I can run two encounters at once with different initative counts

In d6, you don't need initiative counts...

Talya
2010-12-15, 12:51 PM
I loved both D6 and Saga Edition.

Saga, however, i found does a better job of capturing the cinematic feel of Star Wars.

grimbold
2010-12-15, 01:05 PM
i loove Starwars D6 (West end Games) fun and easy and allows for improvisation
a bit like FUDGE actually

Foryn Gilnith
2010-12-15, 01:43 PM
I'd agree with that and cite is as my reason for disliking Saga.

Your primary reason for disliking Saga, standing aside the hefty and substantive criticism of the d20 skill system, is its use of squares? Really? Just multiply everything by 1.5 and call them meters. Problem solved. It's painfully simple. The "need to integrate miniatures" is at best a mere aesthetic issue.

Psyx
2010-12-15, 01:49 PM
No, the need to integrate minis. Minis slow down play, make it less heroic and tie down player options.

"I charge Darth Vader"
"Erm... he's 7 squares away, you can't"

"I dive behind the consile and fire my heavy blaster at the stormtroopers"
"There are no consoles nearby"

SW is a game where the GM's default answer for anything cool should be 'yes'. Squares restrict players.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-12-15, 01:56 PM
No, the need to integrate minis.

I mixed what should have been 2 posts into one; sorry. But Obrysii cited "measuring ranges in squares and not meters" as an example of the need to integrate miniatures. That's ridiculous IMO. If Darth Vader is too far away to charge at 7 squares he'll still be too far away to charge at a dozen meters. If there are no consoles to take cover behind, they'll still be absent whether or not you draw grid lines and plonk down miniatures.

Talya
2010-12-15, 01:59 PM
Saga doesn't require miniatures any more than D&D 3.x does, although a map is always a useful tool when dealing with any scenario in any system.

MeeposFire
2010-12-15, 02:15 PM
No, the need to integrate minis. Minis slow down play, make it less heroic and tie down player options.

"I charge Darth Vader"
"Erm... he's 7 squares away, you can't"

"I dive behind the consile and fire my heavy blaster at the stormtroopers"
"There are no consoles nearby"

SW is a game where the GM's default answer for anything cool should be 'yes'. Squares restrict players.

If you do not like squares do not use them. If you want somebody just say I charge play without squares and let them. Tactical combat will be reduced without miniatures but you can play without them easily. And why would there be no consoles in the same room with squares but there would be consoles if you do not use squares? Even if you use squares you can have things like consoles so you can use them or cover.

Katana_Geldar
2010-12-15, 02:28 PM
Space battles work best without minis, I gave up trying to convey the 3D of space and it works fine

Dienekes
2010-12-15, 02:55 PM
No, the need to integrate minis. Minis slow down play, make it less heroic and tie down player options.

"I charge Darth Vader"
"Erm... he's 7 squares away, you can't"

"I dive behind the consile and fire my heavy blaster at the stormtroopers"
"There are no consoles nearby"

SW is a game where the GM's default answer for anything cool should be 'yes'. Squares restrict players.

I have never run Saga with miniatures.

I have run d6 with miniatures. In the end, it only depends on your GMs style and personal choice.

Kylarra
2010-12-15, 03:00 PM
You could take a move action to get within range to charge and then charge anyway. :smalltongue:

Mark Hall
2010-12-15, 04:59 PM
My preference for WEG is the 2e R&E from 1996... when Han still shot first. I've houseruled a few things (making it harder to get widely competent in the force, but easier for competency in a power), but it's a good system with a lot of flexibility.

Katana_Geldar
2010-12-15, 05:02 PM
I use a lot of WEG material in my games, as the books are just great. Particularly how to attack a Corellian Corvette...

Beleriphon
2010-12-15, 05:11 PM
Space battles work best without minis, I gave up trying to convey the 3D of space and it works fine

The system in Saga works on rather vague levels of "squares". It's just for relative sizes of things they are mentioned, and range. The square could be 500 metres a side, or 5000 metres a side and both are valid. All they really do is keep track of position and relative sizes of ships.

Half the idea is that the stuff in the square is so small it doesn't matter what the relative elevations are compared to each other, which is why the rules for crashing into other ships allow starfighters to occupy the same square without issue.

Katana_Geldar
2010-12-15, 05:14 PM
I was more concerned about moving UP and the fact that Space Is Not An Ocean.

Beleriphon
2010-12-15, 05:23 PM
I was more concerned about moving UP and the fact that Space Is Not An Ocean.

Right, gain a positive x axis elevation compared to the other ships. It isn't stricly speaking necessary using the rules as written. If you have Starships of the Galaxy (which I do, and it's awesome) there maneuvers that sort of cover using "elevation" to your advantage. Even the base rules support this. The action isn't meant to be a 2d plane like 17th century ship battles, but rather the action tends to be so tight actually using a significant elevation difference is meaningless.

Looking at the movies most dogfights take place within distances of hundreds of metres as opposed to realistic space combat which would take place over hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres.

So, I think the rules work really well to model what we see in the movies, where most things end up in chases, which really are a flat plane. I guess space combat is ultimately just a series of flat planes intersecting.

The Big Dice
2010-12-15, 09:46 PM
So, I think the rules work really well to model what we see in the movies, where most things end up in chases, which really are a flat plane. I guess space combat is ultimately just a series of flat planes intersecting.
When you can just alter your pitch a little and put yourself in the same plane as the ship you're tangling with, a third dimension becomes irrelevant. If there's no up and down except relative to each other, then up and down cease to have any meaning.

There is only relative range and velocity. Star Wars isn't about realistic (and therefore dull) calculations of Delta-V and the like. It's about starfighters going WHOOSH! and shooting at each other.

hayabusa
2010-12-15, 11:52 PM
I use a lot of WEG material in my games, as the books are just great. Particularly how to attack a Corellian Corvette...

Yeah, same here. I used a map of a Nebulon-B while playing a Dawn of Defiance game. I was allowed to use it because it made sense for me to: the character had been living on that ship for months and would easily know the route to take. The schematic helped me describe his frantic race through the dying ship.

Another thing on the good side for WEG is all of the non-rules information. All of the new characters, organizations and all is really nice, and I just might use them if I ever get the chance.

EDIT: And as for the 2d nature of space battles in the WotC version (haven't really looked at the WEG version of space combat yet, to tell the truth. I've seen a starfighter campaign online that made use of 3d elements, having different colors to use to designate how many squares "up" and "down" you were in addition to your location on the battle grid. The whole thing seemed like too much book keeping and not very fun. I really don't want to have to do a geometry equation every round to figure out how far I am away from the enemy ship.

FelixG
2010-12-16, 04:40 AM
I personally dislike saga just because you have to be a special class to craft things lol

I prefer d20 revised but I would pick d6 over any of them if my group was willing to learn the system

I also feel compelled to mention d6 is also the cheapest of all your options because you can pick up the core of it under the name d6 space for free.

Mando Knight
2010-12-16, 08:42 AM
I personally dislike saga just because you have to be a special class to craft things lol
:smallconfused:
If you want to slap something together (that works) in the middle of a fight, sure. Normal crafting isn't covered due to the extremely technical nature of the stuff, though tech modification is available in spades to everyone, and vehicle design is possible through a couple of feats.

FelixG
2010-12-16, 09:39 AM
:smallconfused:
If you want to slap something together (that works) in the middle of a fight, sure. Normal crafting isn't covered due to the extremely technical nature of the stuff, though tech modification is available in spades to everyone, and vehicle design is possible through a couple of feats.

Earlier editions covered creating things just fine :smallconfused:

One of my favorite things to do was to build a companion droid or as a smuggler make the droids my teams ship used so they couldn't be tracked through a money trail ect.

Heck in one game another party made all our gear for us for just such a reason.

Theo Hammond
2010-12-16, 10:49 AM
Yep - another voice here chiming in on behalf of the WEG d6 systems. Its just so fluid and simple to grasp, whilst also being easily adaptable. If i had to pick a 'high point' i'd go with how it handles the difference in scale, allowing teeny tiny people to interact with whopping great battleships all within the same mechanics and system (and every degree of size between the two). Works extremely well.

Using the d6 to run a Battletstar Galactica game also works a treat :)

Matthew
2010-12-17, 07:07 PM
Errr... there are literally dozens of books for d6. I imagine it far outweighs Saga for material. Granted, it pre-dates the newer films, but missing JarJar out of a game is never a bad thing.

Ha! Best reason to use D6 right there. :smallbiggrin: