Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 30th Anniversary Edition

Fantasy Flight Games, no stranger to product delays, has finally made the 30th Anniversary Edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game available for purchase! I picked this up the day it released from our FLGS and was immediately swimming in nostalgia. The box comes with both the original 1st edition corebook and the sourcebook.

To my surprise, both books are virtually unchanged and are word for word replicas of the originals right down to the iconic photos from the original trilogy and the Cold War era propaganda feel that comes from some of the art (only change I could find was the advertisements for old games like the Ghostbusters RPG have been replaced with the modern Star Wars RPG products from Fantasy Flight).

These books are special. Some have attributed the original Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game with keeping Star Wars alive through the dark period after 1983 when Return of the Jedi was released. The Star Wars RPG came out in 1987 after Star Wars fever had already drastically subsided. There were no more planned movies and fans needed an outlet for their inner-geek or risk turning to the darkside (which I assume for the Star Wars fandom is becoming a Trekkie). The expanded universe was built upon the foundation created by the source material for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, and creators of official content would be given The Sourcebook to study by LucasFilm.

The corebook is going to give you everything you need to play the game. The game is a d6 system, so character creation essentially boils down to distributing a number of d6s to skills on a character sheet called a template. Templates are archetypes that fit generally the type of character you wish to play. You can also make your own template by distributing 18d6 to the main attributes before selecting skills. There are hundreds that you could find in other source materials from the original game or there are 24 to choose from in the back of the book to build your character from. Very simple character creation.

The remaining sections of the book are for the gamemaster to help them run the game and an adventure is included at the back of the book. Its fine enough for learning the system but it is not a terribly interesting or engaging adventure as it is basically an on the rails escape from imperial stromtroopers through a mine. I much prefer the module that came with the Introductory Adventure Boxset that I remember owning as a kid. All in all its a complete book that offers you everything you need as a player or a gamemaster.

I love these vintage feeling advertisements they have throughout the book. Gives Star Wars a bit of that Cold War feeling.

The sourcebook is your world building resource. It gives you all the explanations for how things work. In these pages you will learn how hyperdrives generate power and how astrogation computers find unique points in space as well as details and stats on specific types of starships like Incom's T-65C-A2 X-Wing (no longer in production after the Empire halted production, the Incom design team now works independently with the Rebel Alliance - the level of detail is impressive...most impressive). This is also the book that will detail alien races, creatures and imperial agents, providing a gamemaster with the most basic of stat blocks that can be used to create NPCs. This book also contains information on equipment and costs. Lastly, you get a look at some famous characters so you can learn details you would not have known just by watching the films and see how your player characters or NPCs stack up against Darth Vader's stat block.

Sourcebook Table of Contents

X-Wing Schematics

For a collector, I think this is a must. The black slipcase would look really sleek on a bookshelf or in a display case. The sourcebook is a blast to read through because of the light it sheds on things I never even thought about regarding the Star Wars Universe. If you are looking to use this to play the game it definitely has everything you need to run it. A quick look on ebay suggests you can pick up books of old adventures between $20-35 and you could certainly write up your own adventures with everything that is included with the sourcebook. That being said, the materials are firmly rooted in the Imperial Era, so if you are looking to play Star Wars in either the new Disney universe or the Old Republic era, you will need to do a lot of work as the source materials provided will not give you any direction for those settings. It is a limited run, so if you are on the fence about purchasing you might want to act fast. It certainly took long enough for one run of the books to get released; there might not be a second chance to pick it up.

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Review: Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 30th Anniversary Edition

Fantasy Flight Games, no stranger to product delays, has finally made the 30th Anniversary Edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game avail...