Friday, April 23, 2010

Star Wars RPG Thoughts

Last weekend due to being in schedule hell one of the apprentices and I discussed letting them play the d6 Star Wars RPG. He read the rulebook some time back and thought it was cool and I think the d6 version is perfect for kids as it's pretty simple - read the numbers, add them up. It's a nice universal mechanic and it reinforces basic math very well. Since the Red apprentice was going to be unavailable I thought Blaster, Lady Blacksteel, and the Aspiring Apprentice could sit down for an hour or two of old-school d6 rebellion-era Star Wars.

Well that didn't happen to due to some last minute schedule issues. I was not happy, but I let it go. We will probably play it this weekend, but it may take a back seat to Basic D&D, we'll just have to see. It kind of depends on who's available. If nothing else it will make an appearance in July when everyone is here for an entire month.

But back to my reasoning- the Aspiring Apprentice is only 7, so I want to limit what we try to play - no 3rd edition D&D, no Hero System, etc. I though about basic D&D but even that is a little much IMO. He is a Star Wars fanatic though, and that counts for something, plus the d6 version is right in his math skills target area so it's a perfect fit. He already knows what a Jawa is and a Stormtrooper and a blaster and a lightsaber and he knows how Star Wars works. Plus the concept of "if you are better at something you roll more dice" is easily grasped.

Now I have only ever played 1 session of this. We just weren't into it back when it was popular. I am part of the Star Wars generation being in 3rd grade when it came out and I picked up the 1st edition rulebook about 1990 and thought it looked cool but no one ever wanted to run it - too many other games and D&D was always first. Eventually my main GM decided to run a game of it. I made a jedi -ish character. In our first session our 4-man party landed our tramp freighter on a primitive planet, walked down the ramp, encountered some natives, who then attacked us for no apparent reason and my jedi took a spear to the chest and died before getting to hit anyone with his lightsaber - I did get to draw it, I just never got to swing it. 2 other PC's died and the only survivor locked himself in the ship, unable to pilot it and unable to fight off the remaining natives by himself. That kind of put the group off of Star Wars for a while.

I did get interested again when WOTC started making the d20 version. The first edition was alright but lacking in some areas. The second edition was much better and I ran 3 short campaigns using it and the player's were all very pleased with how it played. Saga edition looks like the best by far to me (and is what D&D4 should have been but that's another story) though I have yet to run it.

After playing around with the d20 version I started picking up the d6 books on the cheap for extra material like maps and adventure ideas and figured out that even with a good d20 version there was merit in the d6 system too. It looked like it would play faster and there was a ton of material out for it and it was not expensive to acquire. So I did and I have a lot of it now and I am going to run it at some point, probably for the kids as mentioned above. I like that the mechanics take less overhead then d20 which I think makes it better for new gamers - d6 still has the "look at what I rolled" factor but d20 has that and also has the metagaming thing too - what feats to take, what prestige class, should I multiclass or not - and that's fine but it's better for more experienced players. I don't want them getting bogged down in those kinds of details yet which is why I think the d6 version is the better choice for this. If I was going to run it for the NE crew or the D&D4 crew then it would be Saga, no question about it.


Dr Rotwang said...

When I die, my tombstone will say:

NOT d20

Blacksteel said...


I like both for different reasons but I do see the attraction of d6 and I always thought it was great. If you can get past the d20 part Saga is a damn fine system and worth taking a look at if you're at all interested.