Star Wars 30th Anniversary is an Elegant RPG for a more Civilized Age

  • Posted by
  • at

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game–now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

via FFG

It’s a veritable Return of the Jedi, thanks to Fantasy Flight Games’ special 30th Anniversary Edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. That’s right, the classic West End Star Wars game is back, in a big way. Even if you’ve never played a single session of this game, your life has been affected by it. Back when the West End game originally came out, so much of Star Wars was unknown territory.

So many horrors had yet to be unearthed…

There were whole sections of the galaxy map that had yet to be filled in. Aliens had appearances in the film, but didn’t have the massive backstory or the interwoven alternate universe that is so carefully documented on the internet, in novels, and holiday specials that are universally beloved. All of that universe owes a great deal to these RPG books. They worked to expand the Galaxy that existed so far, far away.

So it’s an understatement to say that I’m excited to see these books make a return to print. FFG has a preview of the Rulebook today, so let’s dive in and see what all the hubbub is about, bub. Also I guess I’m Wolverine now.

One of the main things about the old West End system is that it’s a d6-based system. If you’ve ever formed a die pool based on your attributes and skills, you know the system here. Characters have six attributes at the core of their characters:

  • Dexterity
  • Knowledge
  • Mechanical
  • Perception
  • Strength
  • Technical

Each of which corresponds to a suite of skills that vary from things like cultues and survival to repulsorlift repair and starship shields. More interesting is that your stats are determined by your class. Each class has a different baseline ranking for one of the six stats. So the Bounty Hunter might have a higher Dexterity than the Alien Student of the Force. But the latter has a much better Knowledge rating–it all comes down to building your character around that.

Character creation is picking from one of the 24 different character templates, FFG has 3 on display, but they all have evocative names. Things like Arrogant Noble, Failed Jedi, or Laconic Scout. They give you something to latch on to when designing your character, so you can both build the adventurer you want and have some guidelines for playing them.

Bounty Hunter Guideline number 1, don’t be Dengar.

You’ll also find some game mastery advice–which includes a lot of storytelling structure and pacing–one of the things West End really nailed down was that space opera feeling of Star Wars. There’s a reason people go so crazy for this game–find yourself someone who played it, and you’ll find someone who will be willing to gush about the system for days.

Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Edition will be out later this year, but you can pre-order it now.

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 30th Anniversary Edition – $59.95

Few books or games have had as enduring an impact upon the Star Wars galaxy and its fans as Star Wars™: The Roleplaying Game. Originally published by West End Games in 1987, it arrived at a time when the future of the Star Wars galaxy was uncertain, and it captivated a whole generation of gamers with rules and guidelines that made it easy to design and enjoy adventures truly worthy of the Star Wars universe and its ongoing space opera.

Our Star Wars™: The Roleplaying Game 30th Anniversary Edition is a faithful, limited edition recreation of both Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and The Star Wars™ Sourcebook, both printed with higher quality than the originals and packaged in a stylized slipcase.

May the Force be with you.

  • violencejack

    Maybe I’ll purchase this one instead of trying to re-read the Fantasy Flight dice system for the 10th time. 🙂

    • Navaren

      Its such a good system. And most of the other sourcebooks are readily available online.

      Additionally one thing JayArr neglects to point out is that there are instructions for making your own character templates it just warns you away from using one for your first character.

    • Drew

      This, a thousand times this.

    • Xodis

      Try playing a game with them, my kids learned the system before the first session was over.

  • Aurion Shidhe

    So many good memories with this game. I do like the FFG version, as well, but it just doesn’t give me the same feels as those old books did. Back before the current glut of the franchise, these books were our main creative Star Wars outlet. This used to be one of my favorite games to run at cons, because it was easy to pick up and play and pretty much everyone was on the same level concerning setting knowledge.

  • Boondox

    This is so tempting. I loved the WE version of this game and played countless adventures using this system. Platt’s Starport Guide has to be my favorite sourcebook. It’s still in my gaming library with tabbed and dog eared pages.

  • sniperjack

    My game.

  • Paul Wesley Pratt

    The universe was so expansive when i looked through these books. I felt like i had intimate knowledge of everything going on behind and between the movies when i read them. They were a wonderful companion and complement to the original trilogy. All of that is just gone now with the prequels and the awful new films.
    The original Second Edition revised and expanded rule book and all the second edition source books sit on my shelves to this day. I’ll probably pick this new edition up just to have.

  • bobrunnicles

    Still have all my original books, almost a complete set of everything WEG put out. Loved this game!

  • palaeomerus

    I still play my old copy of Fantasy D6 when people get tired of Savage Worlds and such.