Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (West End Games)

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Star Wars
The Roleplaying Game
Star Wars Role-Playing Game 1987.jpg
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game.
First edition book cover, 1987.
Illustration based on the original movie
poster from Tom Cantrell, 1977.
Designer(s) Greg Costikyan
Publisher(s) West End Games
Publication date 1987 (1st Edition)
1992 (2nd Edition)
1996 (2nd Edition Revised and Expanded)
Genre(s) Science fiction
System(s) D6 System

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game is a role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe, written and published by West End Games (WEG) between 1987[1] and 1999. The game system was slightly modified and rereleased in 2004 as D6 Space, which used a generic space opera setting rather than the Star Wars setting. An unrelated Star Wars RPG was published by Wizards of the Coast from 2000 to 2010. Since 2012 the official Star Wars role-playing game is another unrelated game, published by Fantasy Flight Games.

History[edit]

The game, based on WEG's earlier Ghostbusters RPG, established much of the groundwork of what later became the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and their sourcebooks are still frequently cited by Star Wars fans as reference material. Lucasfilm considered their sourcebooks so authoritative that when Timothy Zahn was hired to write what became the Thrawn trilogy, he was sent a box of West End Games Star Wars books and directed to base his novel on the background material presented within.[2]

In 1992 West End Games published the second edition of the game, in which the title remained unchanged. In 1996 a revision of the second edition saw the light of day, but its title was slightly changed from Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game - Second Edition to The Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Second Edition - Revised and Expanded.[3]

By the end of the game's run around 140 sourcebook and adventure supplements were published for the game during its run through three editions.[4]

In addition fifteen issues of a magazine series, the Star Wars Adventure Journal, were published between 1994 and 1998. The Adventure Journal was published in novel format of around 280 pages, and consisted of adventures and articles for the game, plus short stories intended to provide inspiration for gamemasters and news relating to Star Wars.

WEG's license to produce Star Wars material was lost after the company declared bankruptcy in 1998, and the license was later picked up by Wizards of the Coast, who held the license until 2010. On 2 August 2011, Fantasy Flight Games announced that they had entered into "comprehensive licensing partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd. for the worldwide rights to publish card, roleplaying, and miniatures games set in the popular Star Wars universe".[5]

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1987.[6]

Game system[edit]

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game uses the D6 System, originally developed for the Ghostbusters roleplaying game.

List of core rule books[edit]

Second Edition Revised and Expanded cover, 1996
1st Edition Rules
2nd Edition Rules

List of supplements[edit]

  • The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987)
  • Campaign Pack (1988)
  • Tatooine Manhunt (1988)
  • Imperial Sourcebook (1988)
  • Strike Force Shantipole (1988)
  • Battle for the Golden Sun (1988)
  • Star Fall (1989)
  • Otherspace (1989)
  • Otherspace II: Invasion
  • Scavenger Hunt (1989)
  • Riders of the Maelstrom (1989)
  • Crisis on Cloud City (1989)
  • The Far Orbit Project (1998)
  • Black Ice
  • The Game Chambers of Questal
  • Domain of Evil (1991)
  • The Isis Coordinates (1990)
  • Death in the Undercity
  • Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1989)
  • Graveyard of Alderaan (1989)
  • Death Star Technical Companion (1991)
  • Mission to Lianna (1992)
  • Planet of the Mists (1992)
  • Abduction (1992)
  • Supernova (1993)
  • Cracken's Rebel Field Guide
  • Flashpoint! Brak Sector (1995)
  • The Rules Companion
  • Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope - 1st Edition: 1989, 2nd Edition: 1995.
  • Galaxy Guide 2: Yavin and Bespin- 1st Edition: 1989, 2nd Edition: 1995.
  • Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back- 1st Edition: 1989, 2nd Edition: 1996.
  • Galaxy Guide 4: Alien Races - 2nd Edition: 1994, ISBN 0-87431-208-6
  • Galaxy Guide 5: The Return of the Jedi - 1st Edition: 1990, ISBN 0-87431-140-3, 2nd Edition: 1995, ISBN 087431-267-1
  • Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters
  • Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley
  • Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts
  • Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
  • Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters
  • Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations
  • Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens - Enemies and Allies
  • Fantastic Technology: Guns and Gear
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 1
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 2
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 3
  • Wanted by Cracken
  • Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
  • Heir to the Empire Sourceook
  • The Last Command Sourcebook
  • Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
  • Dark Empire Sourcebook
  • Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
  • Creatures of the Galaxy
  • Cracken's Rebel Operatives
  • Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
  • Heroes and Rogues
  • Goroth - Slave of the Empire
  • The Planets Collection
  • Platt's Starport Guide
  • Alliance Intelligence Report
  • Hideouts and Strongholds
  • Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook
  • Fantastic Technology: Droids
  • Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
  • Secrets of the Sisar Run
  • Cracken's Threat Dossier
  • Platt's Smugglers Guide
  • Pirates and Privateers
  • Stock Ships
  • Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
  • Black Sands of Socorro
  • Fantastic Technology: Personal Gear
  • Alien Encounters
  • Lord of the Expanse
  • The Player's Guide to Tapani
  • The Darkstryder Campaign
  • Darkstryder: Endgame
  • Darkstryder: The Kathol Outback
  • Darkstryder: The Kathol Rift
  • Tales Of The Jedi Sourcebook
  • Jedi Academy Trilogy Sourcebook
  • Truce At Bakura Sourcebook
  • Movie Trilogy Special Edition Sourcebook
  • Gamemaster's Screen
  • Gamemaster's Guidebook

Spinoffs[edit]

Star Warriors board game cover (1987, art by Ralph McQuarrie).

Four board games were published and coincided along with the role-playing game, all of them by West End Games:

A miniature wargame was also written in 1989:

Five gamebooks were published by West End Games in the 1990s:

  • The Imperial Doublecross, published in 1997, wasn't part of the Solitaire Adventure series and used the Star Wars D6 rules and character's die codes.
  • The Lightsaber Dueling Pack[15] and Starfighter Battle Book[16] were picture gamebooks, presenting viewpoint series of pictures and the possible next courses of action, similar to Ace of Aces.

In the early 1990s, before the advent of the modern Internet, the FidoNet Star Wars Echo ran a message forum for playing the West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game on-line on computer bulletin board systems. The game also gathered a large internet following via such mailing lists such as the SW-RPG Mailing List.

References[edit]

  1. ^ COSTIKYAN Greg, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, West End Games, New York, October 1987, ISBN 0-87431-065-2
  2. ^ http://www.totse.com/en/ego/science_fiction/tzi.html Interview with Zahn
  3. ^ All role-playing games' covers from West End Games can be seen in RPG.net, a role-playing games specialized website.
  4. ^ http://www.sandcrawler.com/SWB/westend.html Star Wars Collectors Bible - West End Games List
  5. ^ "Use The Force". Fantasy Flight Games. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1987)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  7. ^ Star Wars: Star Warriors on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  8. ^ Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star (1990) on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  9. ^ Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star Game (1977) on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  10. ^ Star Wars: Assault on Hoth on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  11. ^ Star Wars: Battle for Endor on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  12. ^ Star Wars Miniatures Battles on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  13. ^ Scoundrel's Luck as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  14. ^ Jedi's Honor as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  15. ^ Lightsaber Dueling Pack as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  16. ^ Starfighter Battle Book as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.