Star Wars 30th Anniversary is an Elegant RPG for a more Civilized Age
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game–now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.
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:
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.
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.