Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game

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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 and 1999. The game system was slightly modified and rereleased in 2004 as D6 Space, which used a generic space opera 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.

Development[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 its sourcebooks are still frequently cited by Star Wars fans as reference material.[citation needed] Lucasfilm considered the West End Games' Star Wars 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. Many of the first uses of Star Wars alien names (such as the Twi'lek, Rodian, and Quarren) appeared for the first time in WEG's Star Wars books. Even after Disney's reboot of the Star Wars Expanded Universe in 2014, much of this nomenclature still exists in new canon works.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1987.[4]

Game system[edit]

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

List of core rulebooks[edit]

1st Edition Rules
2nd Edition Rules

All covers from all core rulebooks published during the game's run:

Star Wars Role-Playing Game 1987.jpg          Star Wars The Roleplaying Game - Second Edition 1992.jpg          The Star Wars Roleplaying Game Second Edition - Revised and Expanded 1996.jpg
First Edition (1987)          Second Edition (1992)          Second Edition, Revised
and Expanded (1996)

List of supplements[edit]

  • The Star Wars Sourcebook (1987)
  • Campaign Pack (1988)
  • Tatooine Manhunt (1988)
  • Strike Force Shantipole (1988)
  • Battle for the Golden Sun (1988)
  • Imperial Sourcebook (1988)
  • The Star Wars Rules Companion (1989)
  • Starfall (1989)
  • Otherspace (1989)
  • Otherspace II: Invasion (1989)
  • Scavenger Hunt (1989)
  • Riders of the Maelstrom (1989)
  • Crisis on Cloud City (1989)
  • 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 - 1st Edition: 1989, 2nd Edition: 1994, ISBN 0-87431-208-6
  • Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1990)
  • Black Ice (1990)
  • The Game Chambers of Questal (1990)
  • The Isis Coordinates (1990)
  • Death in the Undercity (1990)
  • 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 (1990)
  • Cracken's Rebel Field Guide (1991)
  • Death Star Technical Companion (1991)
  • Domain of Evil (1991)
  • Graveyard of Alderaan (1991)
  • Gamemaster Kit (1991)
  • Gamemaster Handbook (1991)
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 1 (1991)
  • Heir to the Empire Sourcebook (1992)
  • Dark Force Rising Sourcebook (1992)
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 2 (1992)
  • Mission to Lianna (1992)
  • Planet of the Mists (1992)
  • The Abduction (1992)
  • The Politics of Contraband (1992)
  • Gamemaster's Screen (1992)
  • Movie Trilogy Sourcebook (1993)
  • Dark Empire Sourcebook (1993)
  • Planets of the Galaxy Volume 3 (1993)
  • Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook (1993)
  • Supernova (1993)
  • Wanted by Cracken(1993)
  • Twin Stars of Kira (1993)
  • Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley (1993)
  • Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts (1993)
  • Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim (1993)
  • Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters (1994)
  • Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations (1994)
  • The Last Command Sourcebook (1994)
  • The Planets Collection (1994)
  • Creatures of the Galaxy (1994)
  • Cracken's Rebel Operatives (1994)
  • Classic Campaigns (1994)
  • Classic Adventures Vol 1 (1995)
  • Classic Adventures Vol 2 (1995)
  • Flashpoint! Brak Sector (1995)
  • Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens - Enemies and Allies (1995)
  • Galladium's Fantastic Technology: Guns and Gear (1995)
  • Heroes and Rogues (1995)
  • Platt's Starport Guide (1995)
  • Goroth - Slave of the Empire (1995)
  • Alliance Intelligence Report (1995)
  • The Darkstryder Campaign (1995)
  • Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook (1996)
  • Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook (1996)
  • Shadows of the Empire: Planets Guide (1996)
  • Tales Of The Jedi Companion (1996)
  • The Jedi Academy Sourcebook (1996)
  • Truce At Bakura Sourcebook (1996)
  • Classic Adventures Vol 3 (1996)
  • The Best of Star Wars Adventure Journal Issues 1-4 (1996)
  • Operation- Elrood (1996)
  • Instant Adventures (1996)
  • Darkstryder: The Kathol Outback (1996)
  • Darkstryder: The Kathol Rift (1996)
  • Darkstryder: Endgame (1996)
  • Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook - Special Edition (1997)
  • Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook (1997)
  • Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids (1997)
  • Secrets of the Sisar Run (1997)
  • Cracken's Threat Dossier (1997)
  • Platt's Smugglers Guide (1997)
  • Pirates & Privateers (1997)
  • Stock Ships (1997)
  • The Player's Guide to Tapani (1997)
  • Wretched Hives of Scum and Villainy (1997)
  • The Black Sands of Socorro (1997)
  • Lords of the Expanse (1997)
  • Gundark's Fantastic Technology: Personal Gear (1997)
  • Classic Adventures Vol 4 (1997)
  • Mos Eisley Adventure Set (1997)
  • No Disintegrations (1997)
  • Star Wars Introductory Adventure Game (1997)
  • Tapani Sector Instant Adventures (1997)
  • Hideouts and Strongholds (1998)
  • Alien Encounters (1998)
  • The Far Orbit Project (1998)
  • Classic Adventures Vol 5 (1998)

Reception[edit]

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game was ranked 9th in the 1996 reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time. The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: "Very good. The rich and varied background already created by the movies helps a great deal, but there have been many games based on great fiction, and few of them work nearly as well as Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. Everything about the system has been designed to complement the setting's unique blend of fantasy, science fiction and myth, and to recreate the same feel and atmosphere as the movies. [...] The rules system is beautiful in its simplicity, yet ably copes with everything from vicious space battles to speedy chases through narrow canyons. A clever set of guidelines covers the use of the Force, complete with details of both its Light and Dark sides, enabling characters to make heroic efforts and pull off the kind of stunts that are vital to what Star Wars is all about. [...] Perhaps the perfect system for introducing new players to roleplaying, and yet offering more than enough to keep even the most jaded garners happy."[8]

Star Wars Adventure Journal (1994 - 1997)[edit]

  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 1
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 2
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 3
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 4
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 5
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 6
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 7
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 8
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 9
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 10
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 11
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 12
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 13
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 14
  • Star Wars Adventure Journal 15

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:

  • Scoundrel's Luck[15] (a Han Solo adventure) and Jedi's Honor[16] (a Luke Skywalker adventure), both published in 1990, were the two only gamebooks of a series titled Solitaire Adventure, a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure books.
  • 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[17] and Starfighter Battle Book[18] 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.

Fantasy Flight Games Reprint[edit]

In 2017, Fantasy Flight Games, the current holders of the Star Wars RPG licence, plan to re-print the original core book in deluxe format. [19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Veekhoven, Tim (October 30, 2015). "West End Games: Expanding That Galaxy Far, Far Away". Starwars.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ All role-playing games' covers from West End Games can be seen in RPG.net, a role-playing games specialized website.
  3. ^ http://www.sandcrawler.com/SWB/westend.html Star Wars Collectors Bible - West End Games List
  4. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1987)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2007. 
  5. ^ COSTIKYAN Greg, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, West End Games, New York, October 1987, Editors: Eric Goldberg, Paul Murphy and Bill Slavicsek, Hardcover, p. 142, ISBN 0-87431-065-2
  6. ^ SMITH Bill, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game - Second Edition, West End Games, New York, October 1992, Editor: Ed Stark, Hardcover, p. 176, ISBN 0-87431-181-0
  7. ^ SMITH Bill, SCHWEIGHOFER Peter, STRAYTON George, SUDLOW Paul, TRAUTMANN Eric S. and FARSHTEY Greg, The Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Second Edition - Revised and Expanded, West End Games, New York, August 1996, Hardcover, p. 288, ISBN 0-87431-268-X
  8. ^ Pettengale, Paul (Christmas 1996). "Arcane Presents the Top 50 Roleplaying Games 1996". Arcane. Future Publishing (14): 25–35. 
  9. ^ Star Wars: Star Warriors on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  10. ^ Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star (1990) on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  11. ^ Star Wars: Escape from the Death Star Game (1977) on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  12. ^ Star Wars: Assault on Hoth on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  13. ^ Star Wars: Battle for Endor on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  14. ^ Star Wars Miniatures Battles on Boardgamegeek, a boardgames specialized website
  15. ^ Scoundrel's Luck as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  16. ^ Jedi's Honor as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  17. ^ Lightsaber Dueling Pack as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  18. ^ Starfighter Battle Book as described in Demian's Gamebook Web Page, a gamebook-specialized website.
  19. ^ https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/8/16/dont-underestimate-the-force/