Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

Look & Feel
So I picked up a copy of Edge of the Empire along with the GM Screen and two sets of dice. My initial thoughts on the artwork are positive. They’ve done a great job representing the different characters, races, star ships, planets, and even the miscellaneous gadgets therein. We come to expect that from Fantasy Flight Games, though. The core book is quite solid and large, well worth the cost.

Here is Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars EotE page: Link

Layout
At first the book can seem a little daunting but it’s worth the time to sit and read every section. I’ve gone cover to cover twice, you will miss things here and there just from the sheer size of it. The chapters flow well from one to the other without any issues. The only thing that I’ve found that should be changed is ‘The Force’, I feel it should have been put closer to the other available classes.

System, Races and Classes
Here’s were things get a tad dicey, if you’ll pardon the pun. The primary system is a fully dice-based system where your pool of dice is built by your stats and skills. I have become a big fan of this style system. It feels balanced. If you are unusually endowed skill or stat-wise your pool will balance itself. Considering a stat and skill, if you have a 3 in your stat and a 2 in your skill, you get a pool of three base dice, with two dice upgrades. The upgrades make your pool a tad more powerful. On the flip side if you have 2 in your stat and 3 in your skill, the same pool applies. They have seriously achieved balance in the force. Your checks are very straightforward. You roll your pool of dice, check it against the game master’s pool of dice (which is similarly generated) and count your successes and advantages. Successes cancel out failures and disadvantages cancel out advantages. Those are the barebones of it. I’m sorry I do not know where this image came from, I got it back when I purchased the game to help me along. If anyone knows the creator, I’d like to credit them.

Image

As you adventure you gain XP. XP can be spent to improve your skills and abilities. With XP you can buy talents from your class trees or even entirely new class trees as well. Your character is highly customization. I, for one, plan on going force sensitive on my first character!

Destiny Points are another factor. You use light side destiny points to pull a rabbit out of your hat or upgrade dice. The GM can use dark side points to hinder you. The kicker is that when you use a light side it becomes dark and when the GM uses dark they become light so it balances out well. Again, well thought-out. It’s a sort of renewable Action Point system.

So on to races, I expected a few more races from them. There’s a diverse array of races available, and it would be easy, considering the simplicity of the system, to create a custom race though. Your race determines your base array of stats, your starting XP, and any other skills/powers you start with. The starting races are Bothans, Droids, Gands, Humans, Rodians, Trandoshans, Twi’leks and Wookies. The racial benefits are well balanced and keep fights from breaking out over people with higher stats.

Classes
So when you begin, you get one class and one specialization within the class. The classes are: Bounty Hunter, Colonist, Explorer, Hired Gun, Smuggler and Technician. Yourspecialization grants you a number of primary and secondary skills based on a list generated specifically for each specialization. Plain and simple. Each specialization gives you the ability to purchase talents (not unlike an MMO’s talent tree) that gives you special advantages and bonuses. Also, straightforward. Each you can purchase additional specializations from any class, as I said above, so you can be a bounty hunter/technician if you wanted. The sky’s the limit, and I like that! Each specialization, while it has its own niche, does not feel under powered. They each get something they’re really good at and a few things that can help paint any scene.

The Force
The Force, in this book anyway, is limited in scope. I was a little disappointed to learn that the third core book, not due out until 2015 I think, is the one that will center around the Force. The mechanics for the force are good, and it feels like you are given a progressive growth for it. You can start out being pretty bad ass with the force, but the rest of your skills and stats will suffer. My advice? Take your time and progress it as you go. Your force score gives you your force dice pool. It starts as 1 and only talents can increase it. You can use light or dark side points but dark side points have their detriments. Honestly I feel this part of the force is a bit under powered. I may create a house rule that you get at least one light side force point to spend per your force score. Still thinking about that part.

DM/GM Information
The sections containing information on the universe and its contents is extensive but it barely scratches the surface of the universe (and they admit it!), the internet can be a wonderful place for information though. They provide you with a good amount of NPCs and baddies to start with as well.

All-in-all, I’d say you’d be a fool not to invest in this system! I expect good things for the suppliments.

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~ by lordnightwinter on August 9, 2013.

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