Or, better yet, support your local game shop. I know it will be more expensive there, but those small businesses can really use it.
I know this is a bit different from my usual reviews. However, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and do any major reading as of late (I’ll be getting back to that once the school year kicks in) with Camp and work all summer. However, I did have a chance to look at a new game system for playing with my friends and I really wanted to share it. So, I’ll be talking a bit about the new Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG system (and particularly the ‘Force and Destiny’ rulebook.
First and foremost, you should know that this is one of three Core Rulebooks. The others are Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion. A LOT of the material in this book is repeated material from those two books (I only have the sample game from Age of the Empire but I do have the Core Book for Age of Rebellion). The combat system, the character creation (largely) and the narrative aspects are largely repeats with a few small bits and pieces of change that, if given the money, I would bet are simply corrections from Beta tests. The unique aspects of this book are related to the Force and the character classes available. Obviously this means one big thing: JEDI
Like Age of Rebellion and Edge of the Empire, it also adds a unique aspect to this books focused characters called the Morale system (Age of Rebellion has its Objective system as a counterpart; I don’t know Edge of the Empire’s) where a characters actions influence their location within the Force. A character can fall to the Dark Side depending on the actions they take and the desperation therein.
Like all Star Wars RPG’s, the Jedi are a key element to the mythos and the fiction. Creating a balance between the Jedi and others within such a setting is a difficult task. Go watch the movies – there is a reason that the Jedi are so powerful in most systems – they stand up to hundreds of droids and stormtroopers at a time and survive. Regularly. They ARE that powerful and creating a balance with those kinds of innate talents and abilities is difficult mechanically and realistically. The setting holds that they are that strong and few can stand up to them. It took Order 66 AND the clouding of the Force by Emperor Palpatine to kill them off – that wasn’t easy.
However, Fantasy Flight seems to have done a good job. You can create a Han Solo and still have them contribute just as much to the adventure as a Jedi Character with little, if any effort. The balance comes from the way the trees are arranged and the way conflict and combat work in the system. My blaster can do just as much as your lightsaber AND your powers need to be fueled by the Force (or you risk corruption).
It’s a fun system that has a lot of positives and I strongly encourage folks to go and check it out. The custom dice are a bit of a pain at first, but once you get used to using the system it is incredibly easy to work with and VERY streamlined.