Star Wars RPG

Posted: January 19, 2012 in RPG

Star Wars is my favorite universe.  I have read most Star Wars novels, I have played a generous portion of the games and of course watched all the movies.  When my friend was trying to get me into roleplaying games he thought buying me the newly published Star Wars Roleplaying game by WotC would do the trick.  Which it helped a lot.  I have played in and run several Star Wars games since then.  None of these campaigns were long nor did any of them run to the completion of the story arc.  Which has me wondering, what does it take to have a fulfilling Star Wars campaign?  Is it a good set of RPG rules, an epic story, accepting players or an engaging GM?  Well since I am asking the question it might be a good idea to break it down.

RPG rules

West End Games, Wizard of the Coast, and now Fantasy Flight Games have all had the license to create Star Wars RPG’s.  Currently the fan favorite that I hear time and again is the d6 rules.  Which honestly I did enjoy the games I have played in using that ruleset, however both were run by the same GM.  I think Wizards of the Coast was heading in the right direction with Saga Edition, but do to fans who were A) WotC haters and B) WotC making bad decisions WotC decided to not renew their license.  Which leave Fantasy Flight Games a company to breath new life into the franchise.  The games I have previously played by Fantasy have been pretty cool which leaves me excited for the Star Wars RPG.


An Epic Story

What makes an Epic Story?  The length of time it takes to complete the main quest?  Traveling to a library?  Magic?  To me this is not an easy question.  I can look at Lord of the Rings and say that is an epic story.  The same goes for the Star Wars films.  As I type this I realize what do all of these have in common?  World or Galaxy changing events!  When Frodo throws that ring into the Volcano it marked the end of Sauron.  When Luke fired those torpedoes at the exhaust port it marked the end of unimaginable strength of the Empire.  So I think Epic means world changing.

Accepting Players

To make this not a whopper of a post I want write all my opinions about how accepting players need to be.  I think it is important though that players feel they are connected to the setting and their characters.  On top of that the players need to personally agree with the moral stances in the setting.  With out players their isn’t much of a game.

Engaging GM

I have played with several GM’s.  Some of them good, some of them okay, and some of them awesome.  I am a rules lite GM.  If I know the rule, great if not we will look it up later.  I hate seeing rulebooks come out during game.  We should not be spending 15 to 20 minutes looking up rules during game.  This stopping of the game grinds it to a halt.  A couple of GM’s would be great GM’s if they didn’t worry so much about the “RULES”.  Some GM’s are lazy, they have no excitement for their game and it shows.  Great GM’s get excited about their games they show energy which then the players will be more engaged.

Now that I have written these out I think I have a better understanding of what my Star Wars games lack.  Tell me what you think.

  1. Robert Kepner says:

    Every one wants the “Epic” story. And yes, having a major impact on the setting is a part of the formula.

    However, everyone cites literary or film references when defining “Epic” and why they’re game isn’t. The problem with that is when one person is controlling all of the characters and their actions and reactions, thoughts, fears, and concerns, it is quite easy to achieve an epic story.

    When running a role playing game, however, you can’t write “Epic”, because you can’t control all the players. Heck, you can’t control ANY of the players. Place a Gandalf style character in a game to help guide the story, and your players will chaffe every time he speaks, and wonder why the all powerful NPC isn’t just killing all these orcs. Present an NPC who can provide players with valuable information and wants to help, and they will do one of three things: Ignore him completely, insult him to the point where in all honesty the NPC would be unwilling to help, or kill him outright.

    As a fellow GM once pointed out: Luke and Hand did not stop to loot the bodies at every opportunity. As GM of the rings pointed out, Fordo and company were not always looking for the next city store with which to get better gear, and complaining about the lack of handouts.

    Epic can’t be written into a game, it has to evolve between, as you stated, accepting players and engaging DM’s. And sometimes that’s hard to manage.

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