Star Wars Roleplaying Game (Fantasy Flight Games)

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Star Wars
Roleplaying Game
Edge-of-the-Empire-Corerulebook FFG 2013.jpg
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (core rulebook, June 2013), the first of the three standalone games which constitute the FFG Star Wars roleplaying game.
Designer(s)Dave Allen, Shawn Carman and Jay Little
Publisher(s)Fantasy Flight Games
Publication dateAugust 2012 (1st Beta)
June 2013 (1st Edition of the 1st Rulebook)
Genre(s)Science fiction (Space opera)
System(s)Custom

The Star Wars Roleplaying Game is a tabletop role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe first published by Fantasy Flight Games in August 2012. It consists of three different standalone games, each one conceived to play a particular type of character:

  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (for playing smugglers, bounty hunters, pirates etc.)
  • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion (for playing rebel soldiers and freedom fighters against the evil Galactic Empire)
  • Star Wars: Force and Destiny (for playing the last Jedi Knights under the Empire's rule)

A fourth line, based in the era of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was released in September 2016. It currently only consists of a Beginner Game with no announced plans to expand the line with any other products.[1]

Development[edit]

In the 2000s, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) owned the license for all Star Wars' collectible card and roleplaying games. When the license expired in May 2010, WotC declined the offer to renew it.[2] In August 2011 Fantasy Flight Games acquired the license to produce Star Wars related games from Lucasfilm Ltd. Upon acquisition, Fantasy Flight announced two Star Wars gaming products: the miniatures game X-Wing and the card game Star Wars: The Card Game.[3] A role-playing game was rumored to be in the works until a year later, in August 2012, when the Fantasy Flight announced the publication of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. Edge of the Empire was to be the first standalone game in a series of three, constituting the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game. The first installment of the "trilogy" was first sold in a beta version (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta) in late 2012.[4] The completed version of Edge of the Empire, nearly double the size of the beta, was released on June 25, 2013.[5] Age of Rebellion's beta version was released in October 2013, a beginner set released on April 25, 2014,[6] and the final version of the game, the Age of Rebellion core rulebook, released on July 3, 2014.[7] The third line of products, Star Wars: Force and Destiny, for playing Jedi characters, was released in beta in September 2014.

Fantasy Flight initially drew criticism for releasing a beta version, making people pay twice, and for the extra expense of the unusual custom dice; but reviews after launch were enthusiastic about the dice, with Game Informer saying "In practice, this system offers tremendous flexibility to allow the players to participate in the storytelling process, rather than just waiting for the GM to respond after a die roll. The players talk together about how to interpret a roll of the dice, and shape the results to make the most exciting story. It also speaks strongly to the cinematic nature of the Star Wars universe; characters in the movies often succeed or fail along with potent side effects."[8] and Penny Arcade saying "This dice system is designed to facilitate awesome storytelling and it worked great!"[9]

Beta edition of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (August, 2012).

Release timeline[edit]

In the following release timeline, supplements are not included, however the timeline includes dice sets and the principal rule-containing products from all four lines of standalone games, including beta versions, beginner games, and core rulebooks.

  • August 2012: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta Version
  • December 2012: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game, a boxed set including the first mass-produced official dice of the game.
  • January 2013: The standalone official dice sets from the game are released.
  • June 2013: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire core rulebook
  • September 2013: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Beta Version
  • April 2014: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Beginner Game
  • July 2014: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion core rulebook
  • July 2014: The official dice sets from the game are re-released, this time with the label Star Wars Roleplaying Dice.
  • September 2014: Star Wars: Force and Destiny Beta Version
  • June 2015: Star Wars: Force and Destiny Beginner Game
  • July 2015: Star Wars: Force and Destiny core rulebook
  • September 2016: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game
  • February 2018: Dawn of Rebellion Era sourcebook
  • August 2018: Rise of the Separatists Era sourcebook is announced.

Setting[edit]

All three installments of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game are set within the time period of the original Star Wars trilogy. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, and deals with characters on the fringes of galactic space. Age of Rebellion is set around the time of The Empire Strikes Back, and allows players to join the Rebellion. Like Edge of the Empire, Force and Destiny is set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star and the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi, when the force sensitive and Jedi slowly start to re-emerge in hopes of rebuilding the Jedi Order.

The Rise of the Separatists Era sourcebook is set during the Clone Wars era.

The Dawn of Rebellion Era sourcebook is set during the beginning of the Palapatine regime. It deals with the events of Rogue One, in which the Rebellion is divided into factions and is opposing an ascendant Empire.

The Force Awakens Beginner Game is set during the current era depicted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with the adventure provided taking place just before the events of the movie.

Game system[edit]

Attributes[edit]

The Attributes are Brawn, Agility, Intellect, Cunning, Willpower, and Presence. Attribute levels range from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 6. Each character race has different base Attribute levels, though additional levels in each attribute can be gained during or after character creation, at the cost the value of the next level times 10.

Strain is a derived attribute based on a Racial minimum plus the character's Will that determines how much physical, mental or emotional stress a character can take before collapsing. Wound Points are a derived attribute based on a Racial minimum plus the character's Brawn that determines how much physical damage a character can take before passing out or slipping into a coma. Soak is the protection granted by the clothing or armor a character is wearing and/or the character's natural toughness.

Templates[edit]

After determining attributes, the player designs their character using a Racial Template. Each race has different racial attribute minimums and maximums. Some races also have a free level in a racial skill (usually up to a maximum of Level 2 at creation) or have a racial talent. As an example, humans have a racial template that has a score of 2 in all Attributes and can have any two different skills of the player's choice at the start of play. Characters can also pay points to increase starting wealth (a baseline of 500 credits / point) or raise their racial advantages.

The player then picks a Career, which grants career skills. Then they pick a Specialization which grants more career skills, and a Specialization Tree, which grants specialization-based Talents. Career Skills are granted their first level free during initial character creation. They also cost less than regular Skills when buying additional levels in them. The character's career grants four Career Skills from the Career template skill list and their career specialization grants two more career Skills from the Specialization template skill list. For instance, an Engineer-Mechanic and Technician-Mechanic have the same Specialization Tree but have different specialization template career skills to choose from to depict their different character concepts.

Characters cannot buy a new Career but may buy additional Specializations - whether they are under their Career or not. However, if a character wishes to buy another specialization, it costs less for one under their chosen Career than for one under another Career. For example, the Engineer Career in the core Age of Rebellion book narrows down to the Mechanic, Saboteur, and Scientist specializations. An Engineer - Mechanic who wants to add the Engineer's Scientist specialization would pay less than if they wanted to add the Ace's Pilot specialization. The character can even take a Specialization from one of the other games like Edge of the Empire's Technician's Slicer or Bounty Hunter's Martial Artist specializations.

Skills[edit]

The game's rules assume that all characters have all the listed skills at "zero level" if they do not have a level in it. The character's default skill level is equal to the skill's governing Attribute score. "Default" skill rolls use one green 8-sided Ability die per Attribute level.

Purchasing a level in a skill makes the character an expert in it. Skills have a maximum level of 5. Skill levels can be purchased for five points times the level for Career skills, with the additional cost of five additional points for non-Career skills. For instance, buying level one in Athletics skill would cost no points if it was a selected career or specialty skill during character creation, 5 points (5 x 1 = 5) if it was a non-selected career skill during or after character creation, and 10 points (5 x 1 [+5] = 10) if it was a non-career skill. Buying level two would cost 10 points (5 x 2 = 10) for a selected or non-selected career skill and 15 points (5 x 2 [+5] = 15) for a non-career skill.

Regular Skill rolls substitute a yellow 12-sided proficiency die for a green Ability die per Skill level. For instance, a character with a level of 4 in computers skill and a level of 5 in their Intellect attribute would roll four Proficiency dice and one Ability die rather than 5 Ability dice. It can also add green Ability dice if the character's skill level is higher than their attribute level. Let's say that in the example above the character instead had a level of 5 in computers skill and a level of 4 in their Intellect attribute. They would still roll four Proficiency dice and one Ability die rather than five Proficiency dice.

Talents[edit]

Talents are advantages that add flavor to a character and either grant bonuses, benefit allies, remove penalties during play, or penalize adversaries. They cost experience points to buy, and must be unlocked in the order they appear on a diagram called a "Specialization Tree" (similar to those found in video games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic). The further down the diagram, the more expensive (and powerful) the Talents become. This means that sometimes a player has to buy Talents that they do not want or require in order to get to desired talents further down the same branch. However, it avoids having the character cherry-pick the more powerful talents and leaving the rest. The player can only buy a talent on the tree once (but can buy it again if it appears elsewhere on the diagram). When the tree is all filled out, the character cannot buy any more talents from that specialization tree.

Talents are split into two groups. "Passive" talents (which have a blue code) denote abilities that are considered always on and can be used for the entire duration of the session. "Active" talents (which have a red code) denote abilities that require a difficulty roll to turn on prior to use, and in some cases can only be used a limited number of times in a given session. Some talents have levels and can be purchased more than once. The talent's levels stack, even if they are bought for different amounts of experience points.

Example: Grit is a Talent that grants a bonus of +1 per level to the character's Strain. If a player bought their character three levels of Grit from one Specialization Tree at a total cost of 45 points and bought it at one level on another Specialization Tree at a cost of 10 points, it would stack as four levels of Grit (granting a total of +4 to Strain).

Disadvantages[edit]

Disadvantages can be taken during character creation to offset point costs. Edge of the Empire has Obligations, something the character is forced or compelled to do. Age of Rebellion has Duties, something the character wants to do. The number of Player Characters in the group set the base disadvantage number. The smaller the group, the larger the Disadvantage level that each player must bear. The Game Master rolls at the beginning of play to see which character's disadvantage will be used during the session. The character can pay off the disadvantage with experience points in gameplay.

Force and Destiny has Morality, which governs how close the Force-using character is to slipping over to the Dark Side. Unlike the other two games, Morality is governed by a character's actions during gameplay. Conflict is generated whenever they choose to perform a morally questionable action or choose to use the Dark Side of the Force in order to power their abilities. Morality cannot be 'bought' with XP, instead a player wanting to change their alignment must actually role-play a more aggressive character to turn Dark, or perform acts of compassion to become a paragon of the Light.

Motivation is the character's guiding principle (a Belief, Personal Connection, or Quest). If the player uses the character's Motivation during gameplay, they get an experience point bonus.

Dice[edit]

FFG StarWarsRPG(c2011) DICE+GUIDE.jpg

The system requires custom polyhedral dice, or dice modified with stickers to play; the beta version came with stickers to convert ordinary dice of the right size to Star Wars dice.[10]

The custom dice enable the dice having results on two axes; how successful the skill check was, and how lucky the attempt was with other factors–normally only one success on the pass–fail axis is needed to succeed. There are both positive and negative types of dice, which can be added to a skill check roll to represent advantages or disadvantages.

White Die (The Force Die) (12-sided white die with one or two black or white dots per facet) are used to calculate the number of Force Tokens granted at the beginning of the scenario. The Player Characters' party gets some of one color and the game master gets the tokens of the opposing color. White Tokens (The Light Side) are for the Good Guys and Black Tokens (The Dark Side) are for the Bad Guys; the party's affiliation determines which color they get. Every time a token is used by the party or the game master, it is flipped over to change its color and awards either a bonus die (Green or Yellow) for a character's action, or a penalty die (Purple or Red) for the opposition. The tokens can also be used to change the situation ("I'm drawing my pistol..." "Did you remember to retrieve your pistol when you fell down that hillside last scene?") or cancel out or re-roll an unfavorable result like a fatal hit or pivotal skill-check failure.
Green Dice (Ability Die) (an 8-sided green die with black markings) are based on the character's Attribute level. They only have Success, Advantage, and blank faces.
Purple Dice (Difficulty Die) (an 8-sided purple die with white markings) are based on the difficulty of the skill roll. They only have Failure, Threat, and blank faces.
Yellow Dice (Proficiency Die) (a 12-sided yellow die with black markings) indicate the character's level in a skill. Each level in a skill substitutes a yellow die for a green die in a skill roll. The yellow dice are like the green ability dice, except they have a "Triumph" (critical success) result on one face.
Red Dice (Challenge Die) (a 12-sided red die with white markings) are used with an opposing skill level or extreme difficulty. Red dice are like the purple difficulty dice, except they have a "Despair" (critical failure) result on one face. They are used when a Non-Player Character is opposing the Player Character.
Blue Dice (Boost Die) (a 6-sided light-blue die with black markings) are used to aid a skill roll due to advantageous factors. They only have Success, Advantage, and blank faces. Player Characters with equal or greater skill can take an action to aid another Player Character who is using a skill to perform a task by granting them a blue die.
Black Dice (Setback Die) (a 6-sided black die with white markings) are used to penalize a skill roll due to disadvantageous factors. They only have Failure, Threat, and blank faces.

The results on the dice are Success (explosion symbol)/Failure (caltrop symbol), Advantage (a pip in a wreath)/Threat (a pip on the central facet of a faceted sphere), or Critical Success ("Triumph", a starburst in a circle)/Critical Failure ("Despair", a triangle in a circle). Blank faces confer no benefit or penalty.

The result depends on subtracting the lower result from the higher result on an axis. A result of 5 Successes and 3 Failures is a Success of 2. A result of 2 Advantages and 5 Threats is a Threat of 3. Triumph and Despair do not cancel each other out and double as a Success or Failure result. A result of no Triumphs and 1 Despair is 1 Critical Failure / +1 normal Failure, which cancels out 1 Success. The total results mean that the character made the Skill roll with a bonus of 1 Success, but suffered 3 Threats and 1 Despair as well. The Game Master would interpret the result to indicate what problems and difficulties would happen next.

Official games and supplements for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game[edit]

These items can be used with Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and/or Force and Destiny.

  • Rulebooks / basic sets
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Beginner Game: Set during the Sequel movies (Star Wars VII, VIII, & IX) in the New Republic era. (No core book or supplements are scheduled to follow.)
  • Accessories
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Characters - Critical Injury Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Ships and Vehicles - Critical Hit Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Citizens of the Galaxy Adversary Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Imperials and Rebels Adversary Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Scum and Villainy Adversary Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Creatures of the Galaxy Adversary Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Imperials and Rebels II Adversary Deck
    • Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Hunters and Force Users Adversary Deck
  • Sourcebooks
    • Rise of the Separatists (Era Sourcebook): Set during the Prequel movies (Star Wars: Episodes I, II & III) at the beginning of the Clone Wars era.
    • Dawn of Rebellion (Era Sourcebook): Set during the events of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie and the Star Wars: Rebels series, between the rise of the Empire and the beginning of the Rebellion.

Official games and supplements for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire[edit]

  • Rulebooks / basic sets
    • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire - Beta
    • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire - Beginner Game
    • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire - Core Rulebook
  • Accessories
    • Edge of the Empire Game Master's Kit (includes the gamemaster's screen)
    • Under a Black Sun (Free RPG Day Supplemental Adventure) - A booklet with Dice Conversion tables, Fast-Play Rules for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, 4 pre-generated characters, and an adventure set on Corellia. They were given away at retailers on Free RPG Day (June 15, 2013).
  • Adventures
    • Beyond the Rim
    • The Jewel of Yavin
    • Mask of the Pirate Queen
  • Rules Supplements
    • Dangerous Covenants (Hired Gun Career Book)
    • Enter the Unknown (Explorer Career Book)
    • Far Horizons (Colonist Career Book)
    • Fly Casual (Smuggler Career Book)
    • No Disintegrations (Bounty Hunter Career Book)
    • Special Modifications (Technician Career Book)
  • Sourcebooks
    • Lords of Nal Hutta (Hutt Space Source Book)
    • Suns of Fortune (Corellian Sector Source Book)

Official games and supplements for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion[edit]

  • Rulebooks / basic sets
    • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Beta
    • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Beginner Game
    • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Core Rulebook
  • Accessories
    • Age of Rebellion Game Master's Kit (includes the gamemaster's screen)
    • Rescue at Glare Peak Box Set (Rebellion Day Supplemental Adventure) - Contains a 48-page Adventure / Star Wars - Age of Rebellion Fast-Play Rules booklet, three sets of play aids (each containing a mapsheet with three maps and 4 pre-generated character sheets) to run three one-shot sessions, a set of Star Wars Dice, and a promotional Rebellion Day poster. Only available to participating retailers who applied to get them before August 6, 2014. The event was held worldwide on Rebellion Day (September 13, 2014).
  • Adventures
    • Onslaught at Arda I
    • Friends Like These
  • Rules Supplements
    • Stay on Target (Ace Career Book)
    • Desperate Allies (Diplomat Career Book)
    • Lead by Example (Commander Career Book)
    • Forged in Battle (Soldier Career Book)
    • Fully Operational (Engineer Career Book)
    • Cyphers and Masks (Spy Career Book)
  • Sourcebooks
    • Strongholds of Resistance (Alliance Worlds Source Book)

Official games and supplements for Star Wars: Force and Destiny[edit]

  • Rulebooks / basic sets
    • Star Wars: Force and Destiny - Beta
    • Star Wars: Force and Destiny - Beginner Game
    • Star Wars: Force and Destiny - Core Rulebook
  • Accessories
  • Adventures
    • Chronicles of the Gatekeeper
    • Ghosts of Dathomir
  • Rules Supplements and Sourcebooks
    • Keeping the Peace (Guardian Career Book)
    • Savage Spirits (Seeker Career Book)
    • Endless Vigil (Sentinel Career Book)
    • Disciples of Harmony (Consular Career Book)
    • Unlimited Power (Mystic Career Book)
    • Knights of Fate (Warrior Career Book)
  • Sourcebooks
    • Nexus of Power (Worlds Strong in the Force Source Book)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official page for The Force Awakens Beginner Game
  2. ^ "Wizards of the Coast Drops Star Wars License". The Haunted Game Cafe. The Haunted Game Cafe LLC. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  3. ^ News section in the Fantasy Flight Games official website: August 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Jay Little (2012). Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (Beta). Fantasy Flight Games. p. 224. ISBN 1-61661-581-8.
  5. ^ Jay Little (June 25, 2013). Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. Fantasy Flight Games. p. 448. ISBN 9781616616571.
  6. ^ Fantasy Flight Games news (April 25, 2014), "Begin Your Service in the Rebel Alliance: The Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Beginner Game is Now Available"
  7. ^ Fantasy Flight Games news (July 3, 2014), "Enter the Age of Rebellion: The Core Rulebook, Game Master's Kit, and Roleplaying Dice Are Now Available"
  8. ^ Top of the Table: Star Wars Edge of the Empire review - Game Informer, July 2013
  9. ^ Star Wars Edge of the Empire review - Penny Arcade, December 2012
  10. ^ Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta as presented in the Fantasy Flight Games official website. Archived 2012-08-22 at the Wayback Machine.