The Hotness
Games|People|Company
Legacy of Dragonholt
Ghosts of Saltmarsh
The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition
Player's Handbook (D&D 5e)
Mörk Borg
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (4th Edition)
Ironsworn
Original Adventures Reincarnated 1: Into the Borderlands
Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty
The Shadow of Golgotha B/X Edition
Princess of the Universe
Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium
Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set
The Quiet Year
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 5e)
The Death Knight's Squire: A 5E Solo Gamebook
Planar Adventures
Salt and Sacrifice
Alone Against the Tide
The Expanse Roleplaying Game
Fate of the World
Monster Manual II (AD&D 1e)
Call of Cthulhu (5th Edition)
S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
In The Labyrinth
Melee
The Great Pendragon Campaign
Forgotten Realms Campaign Set
Volo's Guide to the North
RuneQuest Companion
Mutant: Year Zero Dice
Planet Mercenary
Mouse Guard (2nd Edition)
Star Trek Adventures Core Book
DDAL-CGB: Cloud Giant's Bargain
Coriolis: The Third Horizon
Starfinder Core Rulebook
Realms of Terrinoth
Ironsworn: Lodestar
Reign of Misrule
Alarums & Excursions (Issue 523 - June 2019)
Into the Unknown Book 4: Running the Game
A Touch of Home
The Curse Undying
Totems and Nature Spirits
Bleak World
Bleak World Enemies List
RPGPundit Presents (Issue 79)
Mites in the Woodworks
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
27 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Quite Possibly the best RPG system I have ever played. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
Star Wars Saga Edition review

Russell Waddel

“Every Saga Has a Beginning” -Star Wars Episode 1 Theatrical Poster

What can you say about the Star Wars universe that hasn’t already been said? I know, I know, some people hate the direction that the new movies have gone. I am the guy who sticks by something when the chips are down. I have stuck by the Seattle Mariners, even though they are the farm club for the Major Leagues. I have stuck by my Seahawks, even though they missed the playoffs for 8 years before finally winning a Super Bowl. And I have stuck by Star Wars, through the Prequels, and now through the sequels and related stories. And let me tell you, I WON’T be sticking by Fantasy Flight’s sub-par system. That isn’t “role-playing.” That is crap. And this is my opinion, which you are fine to disagree with. But, I am here today to talk about the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG. And those of you that have read my reviews knows that I post fairly good reviews of games. I try to stay away from being too opinionated, but know that I LOVE THIS GAME! And It will show through this review.

Let’s Begin!

History – West End Games to Saga Edition

“What have you done to my ship?”

“Your ship!? Hey, you lost her to me fair and square!”

Lando Calrissian, Han Solo

West End Games came out with the first edition of the Star Wars Role Playing Game in 1987. The game was popular amongst certain niche markets, and got a 2nd edition in 1992. Right about this time Star Wars hit it big here in the USA. Many gamers started playing ANYTHING Star Wars they could get their hands on. Decipher, LucasFIlm and West End Games worked really closely together to bring about supplements for the RPG and the SWCCG. Many long time fans of that game will know my opinion on it, as I left a “rant review” on the page. Head over there after you are done here if you want to know more about my opinion on that game. Back to the history.

In 1996, WEG produced the last Core Rulebook for their 2nd Edition of SWRPG. Many people who played the system back then say that this is the best edition to grab if you are interested in the WEG versions. I played this version, and I have to say that the system itself wasn’t conducive to Star Wars. I know, I know, there are purists out there who think WotC ruined the SWRPG, but I will get to that in a moment. Hear me out. The session I played, I was a mechanic who had a cybernetic arm that was used SOLELY to diagnose fighters. I wanted to BE a pilot, and my character was working towards that. Long story short, my arm got stolen by Imperials and we never got it back. Also, combat was a DICEFEST, even moreso than the SWTCG. And the problem was with the “wild die.” Now, most people know that in any role-playing system, there is a mechanic where you can fail miserably or critically hit something. In the D20 system, this happens by rolling a 1 or a 20 respectively. (Side note: a friend critically failed at jumping a table, so I had him slip on grease and slide across. The opponent got an attack of opportunity on him). In the WEG system, you had one die that you separated from the rest. This was called your “wild die.” If you rolled a 1, you failed. If you rolled a 6, you hit. If you rolled nothing, then you counted up the other dice and stuff (It has been a LOOOOOOOONG time, so bear with me), and then you grabbed a total of successes and whatever, then you either hit your target, jumped a chasm, etc. Because they didn’t have the Rise of the Empire (prequels) era, there wasn’t much in terms of “Force powers.” And you had to have a mentor NPC who would “train” you (ala Obi-Wan or Yoda).

But, the biggest problem with the system was the “wild die.” You had a 1 in 6 chance of either failing miserably or being the hero. Which meant that (more often than not), you were rolling buckets o’ d6’s and counting NOTHING because you had ROLLED A DAMN 1 on that stupid “wild die.” I really didn’t like this mechanic for just that reason. I mean, Deadlands Original had a better way of “success or failure,” in that when you rolled the “bones” (dice), you counted up the successes (anything over a target number) and failures (1’s rolled on the dice). If you had more 1’s than successes, the action failed. That, in my humble opinion, was MUCH better than WEG’s system.

Well, we didn’t have to worry much about that because in 2000, WotC bought the license to produce Star Wars related games (from Decipher and WEG) and released a Core Rulebook for a “modified” version of the D20 Modern system. This new D20 system had “vitality” and “wounds,” where vitality was a die (d4, d8, you get the picture) + your Con modifier every level. Your “wounds” were equal to your Constitution score. Now, it took a few levels for charcaters, and they could easily die at first level from a blaster rifle shot (blaster rifles in the Star Wars universe shoot for 3d8(!) damage). It was hard for new players to get excited about a character concept, just to have that character die from a stray bolt! Needless to say, WotC refined the system in 2002-2003 with the “Revised Core Rulebook,” which gave greater vitality at that time. Also in 2002, WotC released the Star Wars Trading Card Game, and this game was unlike most of the games on the market. In fact, it bore a resemblance to the BattleTech CCG (and any fan here would know that instantly). I played the BTCCG for a while, and it ok. More on that over at their forums. Anywho, SWTCG blazed into stores, and players (like myself) found this a refreshing change over the old SWCCG. About 2003 (or so), WotC released the Star Wars Miniatures game. This game ROCKED. It had various mechanics from the TCG in the game, plus, you could play with named characters, nobodies, use the figures in the RPG, etc. The game went WILD. People played the game incessantly for years. WotC wondered if the mechanics of an RPG could be built on the back of a miniatures game, and the associated mechanics therein (the answer is yes).

Ergo, Star Wars Saga Edition was born in 2007. Run on the Miniatures game’s mechanics, this system is AWESOME. I love this game so much. Let me show you why.

System - D20/mashed up between 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons, and 4th Ed D&D

“The Force?”

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”

Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi

I like to call this game Dungeons and Dragons 3.75. Because this game came out shortly before 4th edition hit the shelves. At the time, the Star Wars miniatures game was really popular, and WotC was selling buckets of minis to eager players. The Saga Edition is just the miniatures game on steroids. You don’t control a “squad,” instead you control your own character. And this is the best part. They now have “Talent trees,” which give your characters new “bonuses” on a template of sorts. You pick one of three different “talent trees” per character class (in the basic Core Rulebook, there are some other guidebooks that have new talents in them for the talent trees, and some new talent trees), and these talents provide you with new abilities that can be used in land and space battles, encounters with NPCs and villains, etc. It is a great system that works well for a lot of encounters, whether they are “aggressive negotiations,” or just negotiations.

Also new to this edition is the Hit Points system. Each character class starts with a set number of HP + their Constitution Modifier. This means that you will have enough HP to actually survive a blaster rifle shot. This makes it better, because (having watched the films) you see that nobles stay in the background, while the scouts, scoundrels and soldiers are in the front. Ergo, Nobles still have some of the least amounts of HP while Soldiers (and Jedi) have the most HP, as they are on the front lines of battle most of the time. However, Nobles and Jedi are usually on the front lines of diplomatic encounters, as that is their strength. The system lends itself to a wonderful mix of characters, or if your players are all wanting to be Jedi, then you can create “Reborns” up the wazoo to challenge them! I will go more in depth about this in the GM section below.

Also different is the new Fort/Reflex/Will defenses. Instead of having one set defense that works for all attacks, different attacks go to different defenses. If you are trying to blast someone with a gun, or smash a lightsaber on someone, it goes against their Reflex defense. The reflex has the Dexterity modifier, plus some armor and class bonuses. If there is poison, gases, anything like that; those attacks go towards the Fortitude defense (just like in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and Pathfinder, but instead of rolling a “save,” You would roll against your defense). If someone used the Force against you, it goes against your Will defense. It is a system that once you get into it, it works very well. I wasn’t sure when I first looked at the core rulebook, but after running a few games, and building a few characters, it works really well. Much better than the game-that-shall-not-be-named from FFG. I think you know what I am talking about.

Combat -

“You came in here! Didn’t you have a plan for getting out?”

“He’s the brains, sweetheart!”

Leia Organa, Han Solo

Combat is miniatures driven. All of the mechanics are here, minus the fact that if you aren’t controlling a squad and can’t fire across the whole map. Every rifle and pistol has a range value, and if you push that range, the blasters lose their potency. In the miniatures game, it was more of a “I see you, I shoot you” mechanic. But, they wanted to make it a more realistic version of Star Wars. Which explains why the Stormtroopers couldn’t hit anything at a distance, doesn’t it?

Ahywho, the combat system works really well, and is faster paced than Dungeons and Dragons. Mostly because you can just about run the game like a miniatures combat skirmish. Allow the players to move, then move the opponents left on the field. The miniatures game maps work really well, and I love the fact that you can buy the miniatures for relatively cheap on websites (including eBay, coolstuff,inc and Amazon.com), and find maps online in various places. I would recommend that if you are going to buy some of the books and give this system a go, buy the miniatures game first, and familiarize yourself with it. Because a lot of the talents, feats and skills are incorporated from the terms used in the miniatures game. Just a suggestion.

USING THE FORCE -

“Blowing up a planet is insignificant, next to the power of the Force.”

“Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion hasn’t helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes. Nor has it given you clairvoiance enough to find the rebels hidden fortress...” [Force Choke]

Darth Vader, Admiral Motti

Oh, Darth Vader. Always choking your subordinates. But on to using the Force. This version of the game attempts to streamline the Force, by making “Use the Force” a skill. When you want to use a Force power, you make a “Use the Force” check against a DC number. The Force power will usually determine the number needed, unless you are using the power against an opponent directly. Then, you will roll against their Will defense.

All of the “cool” Force powers are here, and every other guidebook has new powers listed. Knights of the Old Republic guide book has powers that were present in KotoR 1 and 2, like Battle Meditation and such. Galaxy at War makes use of the powers from the Clone Wars TV series. It also includes stats on famous characters like Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano and the like. There is even a Force Unleashed guide book that has “unleashed” Force powers. Powers that require TONS of die rolls and a good “Use the Force” number. Unfortunately for us fans, WotC ran out of ideas, and decided to give up the license to produce Star Wars materials to FFG. And we all know what became of that. The game-that-must-not-be-named.

Gamemastering -

“Have you ever heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?”

-Darth Sidious

This is where the game REALLY shines. Not only does the core rulebook and associated guides have TONS of bad guys to throw at your players, but it also has rules and information on planets, hooks for adventures, playing in different eras (like Rise of the Empire, where Jedi are predominant and the Clone Wars is central to the plot) and what the different planets will be like during those different eras. It also has working templates for major villains, so that you can model your campaign villains on the ones in the films.

I really love running this system, because the game is so streamlined. And, they didn’t “jump the shark” like Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. I know, I know, but I really like 3.5. Everyone has an opinion, and this is mine. As a Game Master myself, being able to handle multiple characters at once in a style such as the Star Wars miniatures game is NICE. I really love it when the rules are simple, and the game is fast-paced enough to be fun for the players as well as the GM.

Because you can play in any Era, you have limitless possibilities to throw at your characters. Love battle droids and the Clone Wars? Set your game in the Rise of the Empire era, and have the characters fight alongside clones and droids. Will the players survive Order 66? Do you love the classic film trilogy? Then have your characters be rebels, or smugglers who run goods and shave the bottom of their ship off the Maw, attempting to outrun Imperial cruisers! Or heck, run a campaign where the players are part of the Empire, but they see the evil and want to get out! Bounty hunters come after them, and they cannot set foot on Imperial worlds! Do you like the Legends EU? Set the game during the Old Republic and rub shoulders with Revan and the Jedi Exile. Or heck, run a campaign where someone IS Revan and they don’t know it! It would make for an interesting campaign. Or, do Jedi Academy, where Luke is looking for new recruits. Some of the characters within the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 could work as a “Jedi Master” of sorts, and see if the characters will work well or fall to the Dark Side!

The possibilities are limitless in the galaxy. Myself? I plan on running a campaign set in the new Star Wars canon, and have the characters rub shoulders with Poe, Finn and Rey. Maybe fight some of the new Knights of Ren, who knows? But I do know this for sure: my players are gonna have fun blasting whatever is in their way!

OVERALL - 9/10

“I knew there was more to you than money!”

-Leia Organa

I am full of Episode IV quotes, aren’t I!? I don’t know why. Hmm...anywho. This is one game system to own if you are a fan of the D20 system like I am. I really enjoy the simplicity of the game, and how it really works well with the GM and players. I mean, any min-maxed character the players build, I can build a similar villain that will give them a challenge. I can also build villains, worlds, and storylines that will keep them in stitches. It is a wonderful system to use. I give it my whole-hearted approval. Sorry this review went on for a LONG time, but this is something that is important to me personally. I have been a huge fan of Star Wars since I was a teen, and when I found out that my favorite game system would be translated over to Star Wars? I was ecstatic, to say the least. It is just a travesty that FFG has become the new Games Workshop. $40 for an X-Wing Starter Set that has THREE SHIPS IN IT!? Really!? What were they thinking!?!? I mean, it really begs the question as to why people are playing that game at all? I sure as heck don’t.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Taylor
United States
Venice
CA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russdogg99 wrote:
Head over there after you are done here if you want to know more about my opinion on that game.


Which page?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
wayne r
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Actually, SWSE had a hybrid hp system where there was also a condition track that made enemy hits mean something. That along with the goal of making every class equally fun, sold me on the game. Every other iteration made the Jedi so overpowering that it made other classes play second fiddle to it. When I first saw SWSE, I had high hopes that a version of this would be D&D 4th edition.

SWTCG was a great card game! It had most major characters in each rarity spot unlike SWCCG which had many major characters as a rare or worse. SWCCG's rules were complicated to begin with and got so bloated that a convention volunteer didn't want to bother teaching me how to play the game. The rules for SWTCG, on the other hand, was very easy to understand and the way they incorporated the dice with the cards made the game feel very Star Wars.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex van Donkersgoed
Canada
Acton
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I agree totally with you that SAGA was/is the best Star Wars RPG out there. I also happen to think that it was/is the best iteration of the D20 system.

I'm not sure that I agree that SAGA came out of the minis game. Take a close look at D20 Modern. You'll see a whole bunch of the concepts that exist in SAGA there. Certainly some influence from the minis game crept into SAGA, but I wouldn't say that was the primary influence.

Not that it really matters.

I love SAGA better than any other rpg system. I wish that D&D 4th had been closer to what SAGA is. Perhaps it wouldn't have flopped so badly.

(Talent trees in D&D, Condition Track, static defenses instead of rolling saves, spellcasting as a skill? I would have loved it!)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think each system has it's strengths. But if you want to run Jedi then Saga is the best system by far.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hendrik Neumann
Germany
Braunschweig
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ugavine wrote:
I think each system has it's strengths. But if you want to run Jedi then Saga is the best system by far.


I am curious, what makes it better than FFG's Force and Destiny?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colgrevance wrote:
Ugavine wrote:
I think each system has it's strengths. But if you want to run Jedi then Saga is the best system by far.


I am curious, what makes it better than FFG's Force and Destiny?


Saga just makes you feel like you are running a Jedi using Force Powers.

I'm just not a fan of how The Force works in the FFG system. Doesn't feel like you are doing anything. I still love the FFG system, just not for Jedi.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
cauldronofevil wrote:
russdogg99 wrote:
Head over there after you are done here if you want to know more about my opinion on that game.


Which page?


Didn't read the review, did we? I said the Star Wars CCG. Or: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2129485/just-alright
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
alex_van_d wrote:
I agree totally with you that SAGA was/is the best Star Wars RPG out there. I also happen to think that it was/is the best iteration of the D20 system.

I'm not sure that I agree that SAGA came out of the minis game. Take a close look at D20 Modern. You'll see a whole bunch of the concepts that exist in SAGA there. Certainly some influence from the minis game crept into SAGA, but I wouldn't say that was the primary influence.

Not that it really matters.

I love SAGA better than any other rpg system. I wish that D&D 4th had been closer to what SAGA is. Perhaps it wouldn't have flopped so badly.

(Talent trees in D&D, Condition Track, static defenses instead of rolling saves, spellcasting as a skill? I would have loved it!)


I mostly meant the combat system mirrors the minis game. Because that is the frame from which they started to build the game system from. Then they added in elements from D20 Modern. The blend is nice. Combat is fast paced.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
oninowon wrote:
Actually, SWSE had a hybrid hp system where there was also a condition track that made enemy hits mean something. That along with the goal of making every class equally fun, sold me on the game. Every other iteration made the Jedi so overpowering that it made other classes play second fiddle to it. When I first saw SWSE, I had high hopes that a version of this would be D&D 4th edition.

SWTCG was a great card game! It had most major characters in each rarity spot unlike SWCCG which had many major characters as a rare or worse. SWCCG's rules were complicated to begin with and got so bloated that a convention volunteer didn't want to bother teaching me how to play the game. The rules for SWTCG, on the other hand, was very easy to understand and the way they incorporated the dice with the cards made the game feel very Star Wars.


Yes, I forgot about the "condition track." That was very new as well, where you took penalties for getting hit during combat, eventually falling unconscious. There were also class talents and feats that you could take where you could gain "steps" along the condition track. Also, this was controlled by the "Damage Threshold" number, which equaled your Constitution score. So, if you had a 14 (say) in Constitution, and you took 14 or more damage, you move -1 on the "Condition Track." That means that you now take a -1 to all of your defenses, attack rolls, skill rolls, etc. It was really well done. It captured the "feel" of the movies where someone could get hurt and still keep fighting. If you took double damage past your Constitution score (say, using the number above, 28) then you would move -2. The penalties don't stack, so if you took 14+ on the first hit, and 14+ on the second hit, then you would be at -2 penalty, not -3 (-1 for the first step, and -2 on the second step).

I was disappointed in WotC for 4th Ed DnD. I had high hopes, but when I found out that they were trying to "eliminate" the DM, and made it so that players were basically WoW-esque clones who were OP and out of control. I think they learned a valuable lesson, because as 4th went along, they changed the rules to suit it better, and then they changed over to 5th. 5th (from what I understand) is more like a blend of 3.5 and this game. I call that game the TRUE 4th edition!

Anyway, yes. I still have a BUNCH of SWTCG, and I LOVE THAT GAME!! It is one of the best card games. And it was funny that a bunch of WEG Star Wars players who played SWCCG were telling me that the reason they hated the game so much was because it was a "dice fest." I thought, REALLY!? You play the WEG version of the Star Wars RPG, and you are complaining about the TCG being a DICE FEST!? At least I can HIT SOMETHING IN THIS GAME! Sorry, my inner "nerd rage" showed up there. I also liked WotC's rarity scheme better, because they figured it out with Magic and other games. They also took a clue from Young Jedi CCG (As I think one of the designers from Decipher jumped ship and went to WotC when the switch happened, but don't quote me on that) in that they needed to put in USEABLE main characters into the starter sets. Which they did. And because of the "stacking rule" (+10 speed, +1 health and +1 power to the main version of the card you have on the table) it made more sense to get more versions of the characters. I mean, you could only have 4 versions, but in a game if you got those 4 characters, that was the main character +30 speed, +3 power and +3 health! You throw that on a Vader, Sidious, Obi-Wan, Luke, etc you have a POWERFUL character that takes a WHILE to kill. All the while that character gets to POUND your opponent into dust. AHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, wait. Sorry about that. My inner maniacal madman came out.

Anyway, glad you guys enjoyed the review! I can't wait to get my campaign started!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
Ugavine wrote:
colgrevance wrote:
Ugavine wrote:
I think each system has it's strengths. But if you want to run Jedi then Saga is the best system by far.


I am curious, what makes it better than FFG's Force and Destiny?


Saga just makes you feel like you are running a Jedi using Force Powers.

I'm just not a fan of how The Force works in the FFG system. Doesn't feel like you are doing anything. I still love the FFG system, just not for Jedi.


I would have to agree. To add on, Saga Edition allowed you to create a custom Jedi with powers appropriate to your level. The old WEG version (and to a limited extent, the original run of the d20 version of SW) didn't really know how to handle Jedi properly. I feel that Fantasy Flight Games sacrificed great gameplay for narration and "fancy dice." I didn't feel like needing to look up 5 charts to find out if you succeeded or not. Because it wasn't just "roll one die and add some modifiers." Hell, it isn't even WoD where you would roll some dice and add up the total number of "successes." It was "look up this skill. Find this number. Then take this number and look up the TN on this chart. Have the player roll the appropriate number of dice and add up the symbols on those dice. Then compare that with the number needed." REALLY!? Who designed this game? Gerard Kristopher Klugg? (for those not in the know, he designed the inferior James Bond RPG at Victory Games. That system had something similar where you needed to look at 4 [!] separate charts just to find out what to roll.)

It is anomalous, and it really boring when the GM sits there looking up whether or not you rolled correctly or not. I mean, come ON. And SYMBOLS!? SPECIALTY DICE!? FFG is NOTORIOUS for this, and it really sucks. Because you can't just pick up a set of plastic dice for US$3, and go play! Instead, you have to pay US$15 for a set of dice. But, because not everyone in your gaming group is going to have these, you will undoubtably have to pay MORE than just US$15 for sets of dice. It isn't that fun. I really don't like it. It bogs the system down. In fact, the only system that I found that wasn't clunky (and didn't use standard dice) was the SAGA system RPG 5th Age Dragonlance set. https://rpggeek.com/rpg/1359/dragonlance-fifth-age

And THAT system used CARDS. Granted, the DM (referred to in system as the 'narrator') didn't have to do much in terms of tracking miniatures, but the system itself worked MUCH better. Because all the players had to do was lay down cards, and cards of the same suit got a "trump" card, where you pulled off the top card of the deck and laid it down, adding it to your total. I think this system is much better than FFGs. I got waaaaay off track, but I wanted to explain my frustration about the system. It just doesn't work that well, unless you are going to plan out the encounters beforehand, and have ALL of the numbers you need ready to go. Which is just too much WORK. Give me a hook, a book, some dice, some players, and let me PLAY!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hendrik Neumann
Germany
Braunschweig
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ugavine wrote:

I'm just not a fan of how The Force works in the FFG system. Doesn't feel like you are doing anything. I still love the FFG system, just not for Jedi.


Thanks for your answer, but I still wonder what exactly is making Saga's force rules superior to the FFG system - I know the FFG games and their limitations, but have no experience with Saga.

Could you elaborate a bit more on the strengths and weak points of the respective systems as they pertain to Jedi?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hendrik Neumann
Germany
Braunschweig
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russdogg99 wrote:
I feel that Fantasy Flight Games sacrificed great gameplay for narration and "fancy dice."
I quite like the narrative approach and the "fancy dice", so for me this does not speak against FFG's games.


russdogg99 wrote:

I didn't feel like needing to look up 5 charts to find out if you succeeded or not.

What charts are you referring to? All we ever had to look up in our games of Edge of the Empire were Critical Hit results.

I get that you don't like Genesys (FFG Star Wars), and that's fine, but it sadly doesn't answer my question about the relative merits of the Force power rules. I have yet to see a system that really captures the feel of the movies - I know WEG's D6 and the original D20 Star Wars games, but do not think their rules for the Force are any better than FFG's take. So I'd really like to hear why people think Saga is superior.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colgrevance wrote:
Ugavine wrote:

I'm just not a fan of how The Force works in the FFG system. Doesn't feel like you are doing anything. I still love the FFG system, just not for Jedi.


Thanks for your answer, but I still wonder what exactly is making Saga's force rules superior to the FFG system - I know the FFG games and their limitations, but have no experience with Saga.

Could you elaborate a bit more on the strengths and weak points of the respective systems as they pertain to Jedi?


It's Role-Playing vs Roll Playing. I like a good balance.

The Saga system uses skills. Therefore you declare you are doing something and roll for it.

The FFG system uses a convoluted Talent tree system and your powers are either always 'on' so already incorporated in your stats or add the Force Die, which really doesn't feel like you've done anything.

The FFG Genesys system is great for Role-Playing, and for Roll-Playing, but no Roll-Playing The Force.

Sorry if I've confused you even more now
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DMSamuel
United States
Wurtsboro
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
RPGMusings.com
badge
Currently Playing 2 games: Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not trying to speak for the OP, but here is my take on it...

In the Saga edition of the game Jedi PCs had access to force powers and related talent trees that allowed the PC to use powers that had immediate effects and were often very powerful. These could be used by spending force points that were readily avaialable (especially if the PC had the Force Recovery ability). This was in addition to the regular skills and abilities that were available to PCs. Jedi had access to the use of a lightsaber from level 1 and they were proficient in the use of that weapon. As the game went on into higher and higher levels and more and more splat books the Jedi got access to more powerful effects.

In FFG's Star Wars game the Jedi starts out as a young padawan without much skill in the use of the force. Using destiny points to cause a force effect has sometimes deep consequences and are not always readily available. Spending XP to buy into more force talent trees is extremely expensive and must be done almost to the exclusion of other abilities if you want your PC to become a very powerful force user.

In short, in Saga edition Jedi = uber-powerful space wizards who are capable from day 1 and quickly overshadow any other type of character. Lots of issues can be resolved with a roll of the dice and the Jedi saving the day using the Force. Some prefer this because they see it as the natural place the Jedi should be fitting into in a Star Wars game.

In FFG Force & Destiny Jedi = weak and unskilled in the force, and improving that costs a lot of resources, keeping them in balance with other PCs, and also making room for lots of roleplaying. Some prefer this because it allows the story to show the evolution of a Jedi who has a lot of power, but the Force is not wielded in an all-powerful manner to solve every problem faced by the party.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lorddillon wrote:
Not trying to speak for the OP, but here is my take on it...

In the Saga edition of the game Jedi PCs had access to force powers and related talent trees that allowed the PC to use powers that had immediate effects and were often very powerful. These could be used by spending force points that were readily avaialable (especially if the PC had the Force Recovery ability). This was in addition to the regular skills and abilities that were available to PCs. Jedi had access to the use of a lightsaber from level 1 and they were proficient in the use of that weapon. As the game went on into higher and higher levels and more and more splat books the Jedi got access to more powerful effects.

In FFG's Star Wars game the Jedi starts out as a young padawan without much skill in the use of the force. Using destiny points to cause a force effect has sometimes deep consequences and are not always readily available. Spending XP to buy into more force talent trees is extremely expensive and must be done almost to the exclusion of other abilities if you want your PC to become a very powerful force user.

In short, in Saga edition Jedi = uber-powerful space wizards who are capable from day 1 and quickly overshadow any other type of character. Lots of issues can be resolved with a roll of the dice and the Jedi saving the day using the Force. Some prefer this because they see it as the natural place the Jedi should be fitting into in a Star Wars game.

In FFG Force & Destiny Jedi = weak and unskilled in the force, and improving that costs a lot of resources, keeping them in balance with other PCs, and also making room for lots of roleplaying. Some prefer this because it allows the story to show the evolution of a Jedi who has a lot of power, but the Force is not wielded in an all-powerful manner to solve every problem faced by the party.



That's a better explanation of what I tried to say
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
colgrevance wrote:
russdogg99 wrote:
I feel that Fantasy Flight Games sacrificed great gameplay for narration and "fancy dice."
I quite like the narrative approach and the "fancy dice", so for me this does not speak against FFG's games.


russdogg99 wrote:

I didn't feel like needing to look up 5 charts to find out if you succeeded or not.

What charts are you referring to? All we ever had to look up in our games of Edge of the Empire were Critical Hit results.

I get that you don't like Genesys (FFG Star Wars), and that's fine, but it sadly doesn't answer my question about the relative merits of the Force power rules. I have yet to see a system that really captures the feel of the movies - I know WEG's D6 and the original D20 Star Wars games, but do not think their rules for the Force are any better than FFG's take. So I'd really like to hear why people think Saga is superior.


Well, for me, I see "specialty dice" as a hindrance. Mostly because it costs me around $3-$10 bucks to buy one normal set of dice, and I get everything I need to play for myself. And if I need multiples of some dice for people, extra dice are relatively cheap, because they are more plentiful. As for FFG's dice, it it $15 for a pack, and I would need around 2-3 packs to play with most gamers.

As to the charts, when you are character building, you need to look at charts for how many dice, and what colors. As for combat, I guess you really didn't read the rules, because it isn't just for "critical hits." You have to roll the dice, look at a chart for how many successes it takes, for what symbols you need to hit, etc. It is a cumbersome system coming from "roll 1 d20, add a few modifiers, subtract some modifiers, get a target number." It is very simple to use the d20 system. It is all pluses and minuses.

WEG was built around the original trilogy, ergo, the Force was something that someone had to "learn," ala Luke Skywalker. So, you could still "use the Force," but it was clunky and not very well implemented. It seems to me that FFG went BACK to this with Edge of the Empire, since it takes place within the Galactic Civil War period (OT). Also, the d6's "wild die" (covered in more detail in the OP review) SUCKED. I hated the fact that you had a 1 in 6 chance of a critical hit! Now, the "template" system was more "free form," in that you had more choice in what your character could become. Moreso than the d20 system, unless you are playing a class from the start that doesn't take an XP penalty to multi-class. It is cumbersome at times, but not overly hard to grasp once inside. The majority of gamers that I have played with for SWRPG (either d20 or Saga) keep to once class, or get a "prestige class" later in the campaign.

As to the "Force," the original d20 system wasn't very good. It used a different system, and the Jedi's didn't get a lightsaber until level 2! I mean, did WotC think that Jedi never picked up a lightsaber in their life before their first adventure? It wasn't until the "Revised" ruleset came out that they FINALLY made it that a Jedi gets their lightsaber at first level. It also made Ewoks take a "technology" penalty for being a "primative culture." I figured that if an Ewok ventured off of the planet of Endor, he would figure out technology pretty fast. I mean, look at how fast they were able to figure out the technology in Return of the Jedi. I mean, some of them were using blasters and a couple of them figured out how to drive an AT-ST pretty quick. Which means that they are highly intelligent creatures capable of picking up and using technology pretty fast. I usually give the player a chance to pick up the feats necessary to use technology within the first level or two. Otherwise, they are running into firefights with just a spear and a bow.

For me, the Saga Edition is all about simplicity of use. Things are laid out in a way that it is easy for people to "pick up and play." There are no illusions, and if you are going to play a Jedi, you can play the Jedi from the Old Republic (rise of the empire era) really well. If you are going to play in the Galactic Civil War (OT era), you will find that the ability to learn to use the Force outside of being a Jedi is VERY SIMPLE, because you can take the "Force Sensitive" feat at first level and put ranks into the "Use the Force" skill right away. Which means that you can be just like Luke Skywalker or Anakin, or even Rey, where you can use the Force on a near conscious level. That is to say that you can roll on your Use the Force skill and affect outcomes in battles, encounters, etc. Until you get a "mentor," you cannot advance further or multi-class into a Jedi. That is what we mean by this system. It is very simple. And hey, if you liked the "Force Unleashed" game, there is even a campaign guide that has "unleashed" Force Powers, which are just normal powers on steroids. So, instead of Force Pull pulling an object like a large crate or maybe an AT-ST at uber successes, you would be able to pull a Star Destroyer out of low orbit, like in the game. Force Push allows you to blow your opponents back 20 spaces (!) and into walls, etc for massive damage. The possibilities are endless.

Now, I know that Force and Destiny are an attempt to get more Force powers into the games, but at $50 a book, it get extremely expensive to play FFG's Star Wars RPG. I know that at the time the Saga Edition game book was $50, and it contained EVERYTHING you needed to play in ANY ERA. The problem with most game companies now is that they "nickel and dime" you to death. I mean, if you want an example, X-Wing. Star Wars Legions. Instead of making the game affordable and easy to get into, you have to pay $40 for a starter set with THREE SHIPS, and each ship after that is anywhere from $12-$40. It is the same with Legions.

I guess, I think Saga Edition appealed to so many because it worked really well. It had the right bland of characters, eras and ease to get into. There also isn't a steep learning curve.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DMSamuel
United States
Wurtsboro
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
RPGMusings.com
badge
Currently Playing 2 games: Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So basically your only criticism is that is uses funky dice and the book is expensive?

Everything is not on a "table" to figure out if you rolled the right symbols or not. I have run multiple sessions of the game and it has never been even remotely like that. Tasks have a difficulty they must overcome, just like all d20 versions of the game.

The difficulty determines how many purple d8 dice you roll and your skill rating determines how many green d8s you roll. You roll the dice and compare success to failure symbols; as long as you have one success left over you succeed. It's that simple, no need to look up anything on a table.

It's fine if you don't like the game, but your criticisms aren't even based in the reality of how the game works.


[edited for grammar]

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DMSamuel
United States
Wurtsboro
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
RPGMusings.com
badge
Currently Playing 2 games: Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And just to be clear - I am also a fan of the Saga Edition of the game, so don't think I am trying to foment an edition war here - that is not my intention.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
lorddillon wrote:
So basically your only criticism is that is uses funky dice and the book is expensive?

Everything is not on a "table" to figure out if you rolled the right symbols or not. I have run multiple sessions of the game and it has never been even remotely like that. Tasks have a difficulty they must overcome, just like all d20 versions of the game.

The difficulty determines how many purple d8 dice you roll and your skill rating determines how many green d8s you roll. You roll the dice and compare success to failure symbols; as long as you have one success left over you succeed. It's that simple, no need to look up anything on a table.

It's fine if you don't like the game, but your criticisms aren't even based in the reality of how the game works.


[edited for grammar]



To be fair, I have never played it. I only bought the Edge of the Empire beginner's game out of curiosity. And I don't care how the system works, because it SUCKS in my opinion. I don't like symbol-based systems that force you to buy useless crap. And, yes, the books are priced at $50 A PIECE, and you need multiple books IF you are going to GET THE FULL STAR WARS EXPERIENCE. That, pardon my language here, IS COMPLETE SHIT. The Star Wars Saga Edition had an "all-in-one" experience. Hell, even Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 had (pretty much) an all-in-one with 3 books (which cost around $90 for the whole). Hell, Paizo's Pathfinder was $50 just for the Core Rulebook, and it contained some basic monsters. Granted, you would probably shell out $30-$40 for a monster manual, but then you are only at $80-$90 TOTAL for a complete game experience. And, you can use dice that are plentiful and can be used in multiple games. THAT is my complaint. I should not have to buy 5 books at $50 each, plus figures, plus ships....I think you get the idea. I am against ripping off gamers with crap they don't really need. There was NO PROBLEM with the system that was, and if FFG had just picked it up (ala Paizo) and retooled it a bit and re-released it, it probably would be the #1 selling RPG right now. Instead, 5th Ed and Pathfinder (plus Playtest) are kicking FFG's ass right now. Because gamers realized that to get the full Star Wars Experience costs buku bucks. And no one likes to get shafted. THAT is my point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russdogg99 wrote:
Because gamers realized that to get the full Star Wars Experience costs buku bucks. And no one likes to get shafted. THAT is my point.

I've been collecting Star Wars merchandise since 1980, RPGs since 1987, so can't disagree with this statement enough.

I certainly don't feel like I'm being shafted by FFG. I've even just started collecting Legion.

No the RPG books are not cheap, but they are quality books with original art, a solid system and have been properly play-tested by gamers (several active on this site).


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DMSamuel
United States
Wurtsboro
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
RPGMusings.com
badge
Currently Playing 2 games: Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay, hyperbole much?

You don’t need 5 books at 50 bucks each, 30 bucks worth of dice, and miniature ships.

You can buy edge of the empire and force and destiny for 50 bucks each and a set of dice for 14 dollars and have enough to play for years. That’s $114 dollars brand new. You don’t need minis or cards or anything else to play the game. Are the books pricey? Yes, but the quality is extremely high and the books are large (high page count).

Their book pricing is not out of line for other popular games of this era. 5e dnd costs 50 bucks for the PHB, MM, and DMG - and that is more money ($150) to buy in than FFG Star Wars. Other companies also have 40-60 dollar core books - Star Trek, pathfinder, delta green, traveller and a multitude of other games have a comparable book price for sometimes smaller book with sometimes less quality.

I have no interest in getting ripped off - I agree that no one wants to get ripped off, but I don’t feel ripped off by FFG because the products are high quality beautifully produced books and the game is a ton of fun to play.

It’s fine to not like a game - there are plenty of games I don’t like - but don’t pretend that you are comparing two systems on their merits when you’re just mad about the dice, narrative aspects of the system, and the fact that they discontinued your preferred game system.

The fact that you are going with gusto against this game without even having played it is what is so curious to me. It’s like giving a restaurant a bad review when you never ate there but you didn’t like layout of the menu.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Waddel
United States
Kennewick
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
lorddillon wrote:
Okay, hyperbole much?

You don’t need 5 books at 50 bucks each, 30 bucks worth of dice, and miniature ships.

You can buy edge of the empire and force and destiny for 50 bucks each and a set of dice for 14 dollars and have enough to play for years. That’s $114 dollars brand new. You don’t need minis or cards or anything else to play the game. Are the books pricey? Yes, but the quality is extremely high and the books are large (high page count).

Their book pricing is not out of line for other popular games of this era. 5e dnd costs 50 bucks for the PHB, MM, and DMG - and that is more money ($150) to buy in than FFG Star Wars. Other companies also have 40-60 dollar core books - Star Trek, pathfinder, delta green, traveller and a multitude of other games have a comparable book price for sometimes smaller book with sometimes less quality.

I have no interest in getting ripped off - I agree that no one wants to get ripped off, but I don’t feel ripped off by FFG because the products are high quality beautifully produced books and the game is a ton of fun to play.

It’s fine to not like a game - there are plenty of games I don’t like - but don’t pretend that you are comparing two systems on their merits when you’re just mad about the dice, narrative aspects of the system, and the fact that they discontinued your preferred game system.

The fact that you are going with gusto against this game without even having played it is what is so curious to me. It’s like giving a restaurant a bad review when you never ate there but you didn’t like layout of the menu.


Ok, calm down. First off, when the WEG version of the game came out, it was a niche market until the 1990's when the movies really became popular (right around 1995-1996, about the time of SWCCG). After that, the books took off. WEG let the license lapse and WotC took up the reins. WotC released the best collectible miniatures game in a long time. It was simplistic, easy to use, and what is the best: YOU GET MULTIPLE MINIS IN A PACK! That is why they are called "booster packs." Anywho, WotC ran out of ideas for what to make. They had LITERALLY made everything in the Legends EU! I mean, you want it, there is a MINIATURE of it somewhere. And, you don't have to paint them to play with them. Now, at the time, there wasn't much in the way of miniature spaceships. Sure, WotC tried to make astarship battles companion to the miniatures game, but it proved cost ineffective. WizKids came up with a nifty alternative: Star Wars Pocketmodel TCG. Foamcore ships that you fit together to make ships. And the scale was pretty much there. Ergo, gamers used them as a good model for the game.

Now, to why I hate the FFG system: BECAUSE THEY NICKEL AND DIME YOU TO DEATH. Again, why "specialty dice?" FFG is the only company using it! And why do they cost $15 a pack? Again, I cam buy dice at my local hobby store for $.05 a PIECE! WHY OH WHY!? THAT is a ripoff, because they are saying "we are better, because we have special dice!" Yeah, no. In fact, until they had the license to produce the SWRPG, they only had Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and 40k RPG. And THOSE USED THE SAME DICE!! I don't understand it. It doesn't make sense.

Also, I can have an opinion on something. Because maybe I sampled a dish at that restaurant and didn't like the grease content, or the spice was too much. Ergo, YES, I CAN COMMENT ON SOMETHING. Get off my back. You guys asked this question, and I answered it. So, next time someone posts up a review, don't ask for their opinion on why they like Saga Edition OVER FFGs!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
flag msg tools
designer
badge
One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russdogg99 wrote:

Now, to why I hate the FFG system: BECAUSE THEY NICKEL AND DIME YOU TO DEATH. Again, why "specialty dice?" FFG is the only company using it! And why do they cost $15 a pack? Again, I cam buy dice at my local hobby store for $.05 a PIECE! WHY OH WHY!? THAT is a ripoff, because they are saying "we are better, because we have special dice!" Yeah, no. In fact, until they had the license to produce the SWRPG, they only had Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and 40k RPG. And THOSE USED THE SAME DICE!! I don't understand it. It doesn't make sense.

There are free online dice rollers.
Or a simple search online will produce stickers to use with regular polyhedral dice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DMSamuel
United States
Wurtsboro
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
RPGMusings.com
badge
Currently Playing 2 games: Star Wars Edge of the Empire and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russdogg99 wrote:
Ok, calm down.
Ummmmm, I don't think I am the one who needs to calm down.

russdogg99 wrote:
Also, I can have an opinion on something. Because maybe I sampled a dish at that restaurant and didn't like the grease content, or the spice was too much. Ergo, YES, I CAN COMMENT ON SOMETHING. Get off my back. You guys asked this question, and I answered it. So, next time someone posts up a review, don't ask for their opinion on why they like Saga Edition OVER FFGs!!
But you didn't sample the dish - you admitted in your last post that you never actually played the game!

Also - I believe that I actually said in two of my posts that it's okay to not like something. Where did I say you are not allowed to have an opinion? This is not my point at all.

I was just trying to have a conversation and was curious why you come to the opinions you have... Then I find you haven't actually played the game? And you are conflating the miniatures game with the RPG, and then talking about the CCG?

I guess I just don't follow your line of reasoning.

No harm, no foul. I'll show myself out of this thread now.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.