[Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

'A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." Discuss the Star Wars campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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[Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:06 pm

have any of you played Star Wars RPG Saga edition (the last edition to be published by WotC -- had shorter physical height than normal books)

If so is it a good game?
What edition of D&D rules is it closest to for game mechanics?

I am asking because we may want to start playing a space rpg, and I have heard some good about this game.

thanks in advance.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Ashtagon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:20 pm

It's closest to 3.5e, although you can see some major shifts towards 4e design philosophy.

* There is no AC. Instead, you defend using your Reflex save.
* Speaking of saves, they are now defences (like AC used to be), rather than bonuses.
* No iterative attacks.
* Class design is a lot more elegant than 3.x, and uses the same framework for all classes.
* Skills are rationalised, and follow the 4e pattern more than 3.x
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:00 pm

was/is it fun to play?

did it capture the essence of the movies/fantasy world?

thanks for the response.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:40 am

This system seems to have been very favorably received based on discussions on forums like RPG.net. I picked up the book, but it never appealed to me to be honest. If I decide to run Star Wars again, it will be with a modified version of the original D6 system.

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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by agathokles » Tue May 17, 2011 7:41 pm

I'm answering this quite late, but...

It is a nice game, as far as d20 based games go. As Ashtagon mentioned, the game is a mix of 3e and 4e, and has a mix of good and bad of both. Specifically, the skill system and the class design are a major improvement over 3e and SWd20, and Force powers are somewhat like 4e encounter powers. Later additions, such as a Skill Challenge system, move the game even more in the 4e camp.

In play, it feels like 4e, rather than 3e*.
Character construction is, on the other hand, very similar to 3e, with tons of options -- building a mid to high level PC can take hours (same for NPCs, though, luckily, minor NPCs at least are somewhat simpler to design, but not nearly as much as in 4e).
On the other hand, you've got plenty of space for customization, built in from the first level, so two Soldiers or two Nobles can be very different from each other -- e.g., you might build a Soldier as a tank, a melee o ranged damage dealer, or even a healer, or a Noble as a skill monkey, a 4e Warlord-style leader or even a melee duelist. Most of these customization options, besides serving a tactical purpose, have some degree of in-character role (e.g., you'll find talents and feats based on movie quotes, such as "Fly Casual", or covering specific abilities of movie or EU characters, such as Bastila Shan's Battle Meditation or the Jedi Covenanters' precognitive powers).
Prestige classes are relatively few (about 20), but cover all the major roles (pilots, Jedi and Sith, other Force traditions, bounty hunters, crimelords, etc.).

The rules cover, beside character interaction, vehicle and starship combat as well as squad and army level combat.

All in all, it is my favorite incarnation of the d20 ruleset, and it is rather fun to play. I must note that dying, like in 4e, is almost impossible -- we've been playing the Dawn of Defiance campaign from level 1 to 13, and only one character actually died -- but in that case, the player though the scene was a dream and had the PC shot himself in the head to end it... of course, it was not a dream...

GP

*Though my experience with 3e is very limited.

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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by nils » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:02 pm

I've played in a Saga edition campaign for a while, and I quite liked the system. It did remind me a lot of a bastard between 3.5e and 4e as well, but that's really not a bad thing. My main gripe with Saga edition would be that the rules are too complex; they can slow gameplay down and that clashes with the action oriented nature of the setting. It is also far too easy to powergame.

Still, I would say the game is very fun to play.

The books have a high production value, I love the format. I have a complete set on my shelves, I was just in time - some books are out of print now and people charge ridiculous sums for it. If you are starting from scratch, this could be an issue. Also, if you run in the Star Wars setting I recommend picking up the Star Wars atlas - it's not connected to the Saga edition or RPG but it's an awesome resource.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks for the responses. I was able to get a full set of the books for acceptable prices right after the start of the thread.
I will check out the atlas, who makes the atlas or is it just a book?

Thanks again!
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:29 pm

I played it once. Enjoyed the D20 revised version better.

There is no reason to not just have one class and open up all talents to it. Of course the classes (skill lists and base starting proficiencies) effectively become character templates that is applied to the class. This is the modificastion I would make if I were to run Saga (but I'd rather run D20 revised).
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by nils » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:59 am

Twin Agate Dragons wrote: There is no reason to not just have one class and open up all talents to it.
But then there is no real reason for class-based systems anyway, since the real world doesn't work according to such a system. Still, it works well enough for Star Wars. I won't claim Saga Edition is the "best" Star Wars system (I am partial to d6, myself) but it is quite enjoyable and works well enough for Star Wars.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:50 pm

hey nils,
is this the book you were discussing?

Star Wars: The Essential Atlas by wallace and fry???

Thanks!
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by nils » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Yes that's the one. It has many full color maps of the SW universe, current ones, political ones, historic ones, detailing hyperspace routes, population density, and so on, plus details about many systems and heaps of fluff about the galaxy, locations, history, etc. There are even maps showing the various locations of the movies etc and how the protagonists travelled. I absolutely love that atlas and can't recommend it highly enough to any Star Wars fan. At Amazon you can access a preview, check it out.

Edit: The preview on Amazon is VERY extensive, wow!
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:33 pm

Thanks, I may have to order this, the problem is everytime I go to amazon I can't seem to buy just one rpg book.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by nils » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:53 pm

Hahaha I have exactly the same issue.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:35 pm

nils wrote:But then there is no real reason for class-based systems anyway, since the real world doesn't work according to such a system. Still, it works well enough for Star Wars. I won't claim Saga Edition is the "best" Star Wars system (I am partial to d6, myself) but it is quite enjoyable and works well enough for Star Wars.
All the classes have the same adancement progression as far as the 'specials' go. Like I say, have one class table chart and use the character classes as templates that overlay/add to it.
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Re: Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:24 pm

Thanks for the tip nils... I ordered the book yesterday

and Bsolo, Xsolo, and XS2 -- all BECMI modules.

I told you I have problems. :roll:

my BEMCI/Mystara collection is now coming close to a complete collection of all the published materials.
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:06 am

My impression is that this ruleset offers a lot of very nice campaign settings, but it doesn't offer a fair number of ready made adventures (although the few available are usually really good) and this is its main detrimental point, as there is no chance that adventures will be eventually produced, as WotC doesn't have SW license anymore.
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by agathokles » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:38 am

Yaztromo wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:06 am
My impression is that this ruleset offers a lot of very nice campaign settings, but it doesn't offer a fair number of ready made adventures (although the few available are usually really good) and this is its main detrimental point, as there is no chance that adventures will be eventually produced, as WotC doesn't have SW license anymore.
Yes, this is a real problem, considering that, as a d20 based game, encounters require some effort to design. The provided campaign, Dawn of Defiance, is worth playing, and takes a year of real time playing once a week.

Beyond that, you are mostly on your own, since there are few adventures available -- there's Iridonian Darkness, and many books include a short adventure. So, it is easy to start a campaign, as you get several low-level adventures, but for a campaign, you have to design your own adventures. There are also a number of pre-made encounters or brief missions, which can be dropped into an adventure, or used as the basis for a longer one. Converting from the previous edition is relatively easy, as long as you use mostly stock NPCs and monsters instead of building custom ones.

Even if you have the time to design your own adventures, the main issue is that encounters, as in any d20 game, must be balanced with the current party level and leveling is fast, so a sandbox-style adventure is very hard to build, as you would have to build multiple versions of each possible encounter.

There is also a campaign which was designed by fans, although I'm not sure it was ever completed.

GP

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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:43 pm

I'm not sure why fans didn't produce a lot of quality adventures and perhaps the reason is linked to fine tuning encounters as you mention. However, I think that Star Wars universe is so overloaded of canon (movies, books, videogames, interviews...) and there are so many opportunities to make false steps, raising rule-lawyers and canon-lawyers, that potential amateur authors feel very nervous at presenting their stuff out there and prefer safer options, like officially published adventures.
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Michael Silverbane » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:17 pm

I very much enjoyed the Star Wars Saga Edition game, so much so that I developed a 400-ish page house-rule version of the game.

I can see how the lack of pre prepared adventures could be a problem for some game masters, but I personally never use them (except in bits and pieces). The wealth of canon, and the ease by which it may be accessed (via wookiepedia), however has always seemed to be a major boon to me. Whenever I am preparing to run a game, wookiepedia is my first source of information, and often just hitting the random page link a few times can give me plenty of inspiration for new adventures.

Canon-lawyers are easily dealt with with a variation of, "sure, its reasonable that your character may have heard a rumor to that effect, but it may or may not be true."

One of the ways that I like to start off a Star Wars campaign is to take a specific point in the canon, and then diverge from there, either via the introduction of the player characters or somewhat previously to the introduction to the campaign world of the player characters. That way, events previous to the campaign are established and familiar, but events surrounding and/or resultant from the campaing can be whatever the game makes them.
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by BotWizo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:52 pm

I think the reference to cannon lawyers was to people like us producing an adventure on say DM's guild.

I can say it would be intimidating to make an adventure anywhere in the timestream other than in the future past movies and acceptaded cannon for DM's guild.
I would think you could put one in the "main" time stream, but you would probably not have galaxy shaping adventure paths more local adventure path that didn't get SW fans riled up.

Now one interesting way to make adventures in DMs guild would be if you wanted to fix issues you felt came up in recent or past movies and put that out there and see who likes it.

:)
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by agathokles » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:38 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:43 pm
However, I think that Star Wars universe is so overloaded of canon (movies, books, videogames, interviews...) and there are so many opportunities to make false steps, raising rule-lawyers and canon-lawyers, that potential amateur authors feel very nervous at presenting their stuff out there and prefer safer options, like officially published adventures.
Maybe, although I think the canon is actually quite useful as an inspiration, and the galaxy is so large and the timeline so long that it is reasonably easy to pick a time and place that are empty in canon... there are literally thousands of years with no canon events in the KotOR and pre-Rise of Empire eras, not to mention the Legacy era.

GP

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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:08 pm

agathokles wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:38 pm
the galaxy is so large and the timeline so long that it is reasonably easy to pick a time and place that are empty in canon...
Maybe, but most players want to have adventures that have connections and references to canon, in my humble experience.
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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by agathokles » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:14 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:08 pm
agathokles wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:38 pm
the galaxy is so large and the timeline so long that it is reasonably easy to pick a time and place that are empty in canon...
Maybe, but most players want to have adventures that have connections and references to canon, in my humble experience.
This obviously depends on the players you have. Mine have no knowledge of the EU, and that probably makes things easier. Still, they appreciated the KotOR mini-campaign I whipped up out of the few available adventures.

GP

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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Havard » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:09 pm

Many of my games were set during the rebellion era, but for the most part I would use planets and solar systems that were made up. That provided a sufficient connection to the main setting (rebels, fighting a branch of the Empire) while also giving alot of freedom and being able to stay away from most of the main events from the movies.

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Re: [Star Wars] Star Wars RPG Saga edition

Post by Yaztromo » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:36 am

This viewtopic.php?f=93&t=19491 may help providing a lot of sorely needed (by me) ready made adventures.
Yes, a little bit of adaptation is required to run them with SWSE, but anyway you have most of the job already done. :)
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