August 17, 2012

Fantasy Flight Games & SWRPG, my thoughts

As I (and probably a host of other folks) expected, Fantasy Flight Games finally released some news on what they were doing with the RPG portion of their Star Wars license.  Clue one, it ain't using it as a seat warmer.

From what bits I've seen on Twitter so far, it looks like it's going to follow a model similar to that used by the Warhammer 40K RPG, with at least three books of escalating power levels, with the initial offering being "Edge of the Empire," and an additional book being released each subsequent year.

To be honest, I'm a bit hesitant about this.  Having seen the WH40K books and the way they were set up, I have a bad feeling about just how "open" this new iteration of Star Wars is going to be, at least in terms of official content.

Granted, it's true that the d6 version of Star Wars had an incredibly strong focus on the Rebellion and eventually the New Republic eras, but that's due largely to those really being the only eras out there, with Clone Wars pretty being "hands off" as per The Flanneled One.  But since the release of the Prequel Trilogy (regardless of what you think of them) on top of the New Jedi Order, Knights of the Old Republic, and Legacy Era material, Star Wars now covers a much broader range of eras than just the Classic/Rebellion Era.  Even the OCR and RCR versions of Star Wars by Wizards of the Coast weren't heavily restricted to just a small window of time, remembering that they were released at the same time as the adore-mentioned Prequel Trilogy.  Star Wars Saga Edition, by far my favorite version of the different Star Wars RPGs, almost literally covers the gamut of eras, with the vast-majority of the crunch-based material being non-specific enough that it can be ported into game set in other eras with a minimal amount of fuss, to say nothing of almost half the line's sourcebooks generally being "era-neutral" and thus applicable to campaigns set during the Dawn of the Jedi all the way up to to Legacy Era and everything in between.

No granted, I don't have any special insider info, and not being able to go to GenCon this year obviously means what a lot of what little info I do have is coming to me second-hand, so I might be way off base.  Then again, considering the press release that FFG put up on their website, there may not be a whole lot of viability if you want gameplay in settings outside of the Rebellion Era.

However, that may also change, as FFG is offering up the chance to get involved in the Beta Testing as early as now, even if you're not at GenCon.  Unlike a lot of other Beta testings, this one you have to pony up your cash up front to play along.  So for those of us not at GenCon, there are two options: Hope you've got a participating retailer in your area, or buy the beta book right off FFG's website, which is the option I took.  I choose the Priority Mail shipping option, but I suspect the book won't even ship until after GenCon.

For those of you curious and would rather get the (limited) info from the horse's mouth, here's the link:

In other news, I'm really hoping for my X-Wing game to be shipped soon.  I pretty much pre-ordered the main box set and all the available boosters as soon as they became available, based solely upon the demo games I played of it at GenCon 2011.

Also, lack of being at GenCon has the prospect of being made up for by playing a Skype game of Mouseguard run by my friend Nateal.  I've heard a lot about the game, so I'm eager to see what all the talk is about.


  1. Ya, most of what I have heard is from Twitter and a little on facebook from Mr. Ruffles. Also they where talking special dice for the game as well. I am thinking I might pick up the Beta book and maybe the first book and dice, but that might be about it. See ya around Dono.

  2. Interesting news. So far I can say that I am not a fan. I agree with the issue that you point out about the era issues. I also don't see us getting any Jedi for a least 2 years, with a Jedi filled time period beyond that. I am unfamilar with FFGs 40K offerings, but I expected they might use them as a guide.
    Other things of note: What is up with the custom dice? Don't all gamers have enough dice already? Is FFG just trying to get more money by using custom dice. I could say the same for X-wing, but a lot fewer dice are needed there. I am curious how the odd dice pool/story telling mechanism works. It seems off hand clunky.
    And what is up with paying for a "beta". Seriously, even WOTC (who is well know for evil) offered the D&D Next stuff for free. Instead you have to pay $30 for a softcover beta rule set with little art and flavor text. Seems odd. If the beta is that much, I hate to think about what the real books will cost.
    I personally will likely sit this edition out (as I did with OCR and RCR). I have Saga and WEG if I want to play Star Wars and that covers a lot.

    1. That whole "need for special dice" sends up a warning flag for me as well. Not even Fudge/FATE has that, since you can easily use regular ol' six-siders for that game. As for the "paying for beta"... seeing as how we're getting a printed book and not just a slew of PDF files, I can at least begrudge them some money to cover the printing costs. We also don't know how much or how little art and flavor text are in these books; there may actually be a fair amount of each. So I'm not quite so eager to write the whole thing off just yet, but I will admit to being wary.