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RPG Superstar 2015

Star Wars Saga vs WEG?


Other RPGs


I realize off course its a subjective question, but thats all I need: opinions.

I used to have some of the earlier versions of d20 star wars, but never got around to saga (which I hear corrects a lot of past mistakes and is a different beast on its own) so I will be getting rulebooks from scratch anyway.

On the other hand I remember hearing all those great things about the WEG version and wanting to get it since my first days of roleplaying(didn't get around to that due to money issues back then)

My hesitation/expectation about each one

Saga: could suffer the d20 battle system syndrome and thats bad for the SW universe which needs to be cinematic and quick.Suspect it handles Force powers greatly

WEG:Its old so it wouldn't be up to date with the universe.Its force powers could be 'weaker' as in the 90s writers were more constrained about this sort of thing(Not talking about unleashed stuff..it could be weak for even the New Jedi era)I believe it will be all about roleplaying and on the narrative approach(thats a plus obviously)

If I am to spend money on rulebooks,which version should I chose?

PS: thanks and have a happy new year!

Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the WEG game. It FEELS like Star Wars and every game I've been in with d6 has been awesome. It's fast and loose which really lends to the cinematic feel that SW should have. Yeah, the force and stuff isn't as well defined, but that's really okay.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

I liked aspects of all three of the main Star Wars games. If I were to run it again I would probably use the Revised Edition with a few Saga and WEG tweaks and use the E6 framework.


Locke1520 wrote:

I liked aspects of all three of the main Star Wars games. If I were to run it again I would probably use the Revised Edition with a few Saga and WEG tweaks and use the E6 framework.

Could the force powers of Saga work for WEG with tweaking?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We love WEG Star Wars

My players played in the SAGA edition once or twice and said WEG was alot funner for the players

WEG you have to create alot of the more current stuff and the books are hard to find

There are some great player ran sites out there for the WEG stuff check them out before you invest

Make sure you get the revised edition of WEG


WEG 2e and Revised all the way.


I'm going to cut against the grain, here, and endorse Saga. I'm going to heartily endorse Saga.

I cut my teeth on WEG's Star Wars. I loved it. It was awesome and fun and great. I own two different editions of it.

It also suffered from ridiculous amounts of character competency explosions, had some very large rules holes (which I will grant have been fixed in later revisions), and forsook some basic tenets of the Star Wars mythos in exchange for "making something for everyone." (Case in point: Starfighters and spaceships in SW are window dressing, only used for Dramatic Escapes or Exciting Plotpoint Backdrops. Actually investing in space combat rules misses the point of them entirely*.)

That's not to say I don't like it. See above. I LOVE it.

However, I am going to say that Saga is a better system for how I run games, and how my players play games. When they were making Saga, WOTC did a massive player survey and figured out what the players loved the most about the previous editions of the game (both WEG and D20). Thus, each Saga book deals directly with what the players and GM's wanted to see in the game. Large swaths of each book are devoted to making sure that the players understand what's going on in the universe as pertains to the book. You do not have to have anything more than the Core Book to run a very, very fun game (also true for WEG). Combat and Damage rules are consistent. Characters do not have dice explosions after investing only a moderate number of points into something. Armor works better (WEG's Armor had this notorious habit of either stopping everything or stopping nothing. Your mileage may vary, but it was this case in every WEG SW game I played or ran). Force Power rules are clear, consistent, and with a tiny bit of tweaking, balanced**.

I've run Star Wars games for my group for over ten years. I've run WEG, Star Wars D20, and Saga. The most fun my players have had has been in Saga, hands down. As I run my games exactly the same, regardless of system***, the fact that they were having more fun indicated something was up. When I asked them, their response was that the system was "fast, clean, elegant, and FUN." Take that as you will, but my vote is Saga, all the way.

*

Spoiler:
Seriously, Star Wars has next to nothing to do with space combat as anything more than interesting skill challenges for the main characters, window dressing, and plot advancement. Escape the Death Star? Plot point, enabling the GM to prevent the PC's from searching the ship after they "miraculously" escape from the station. Death Star Trench Run? A way for Luke to shine, and nothing more. Blasting off from Hoth and getting lost in the asteroid belt? Dramatic Escape Scene. Capital Ships fighting over Endor/Coruscant? Backdrop for the player action sequences. The only time that space combat comes into play in the movies is as an indirect method of advancing the story of the main characters.

**

Spoiler:
By "tiny bit of tweaking," I mean grant all Jedi one round of the Force Training ability at character creation. Normally they have to spend a Feat on it, which doesn't make sense - the only Jedi we see who don't have any amount of Force Training when they appear on screen in any of the movies are Luke and the Younglings. Any Jedi, Padawan or not, who is out and about with his Master (or off on his own in a game) is going to have some basic Jedi training - not just his "Use The Force" skill. Giving Jedi characters a "Starting Bonus Feat" of Force Training allows them to have some additional oomph at character creation, and enables things like Qui-Gon saying to Obi-Wan "Let's use Force Jump to get up there and chase down this Darth Maul jerk," without Obi-Wan going "Uh, yeah, about that... Gimme a level or two, okay?"

***

Spoiler:
I've found that the key to running a successful Star Wars game that gives all my players a chance to shine is to engage each encounter as though it were a Multiple Choice test. Each Encounter I design has three ways of getting out of it - Combat, Diplomacy, or Environment. If players choose the Combat way out, they can fight through things. If they choose the Diplomacy, they can intimidate, bribe, or otherwise graft their way out of the situation. The Environment option usually involves doing something to create havoc, or a distraction, or otherwise eliminate the challenge they face. Of course, I never ask them "Which option would you like to use?" because that's breaking the 4th wall. I leave it up to them to figure out how to best deal with the encounter, then I react appropriately for their choice.


jemstone wrote:

I'm going to cut against the grain, here, and endorse Saga. I'm going to heartily endorse Saga.

I cut my teeth on WEG's Star Wars. I loved it. It was awesome and fun and great. I own two different editions of it.

It also suffered from ridiculous amounts of character competency explosions, had some very large rules holes (which I will grant have been fixed in later revisions), and forsook some basic tenets of the Star Wars mythos in exchange for "making something for everyone." (Case in point: Starfighters and spaceships in SW are window dressing, only used for Dramatic Escapes or Exciting Plotpoint Backdrops. Actually investing in space combat rules misses the point of them entirely*.)

That's not to say I don't like it. See above. I LOVE it.

However, I am going to say that Saga is a better system for how I run games, and how my players play games. When they were making Saga, WOTC did a massive player survey and figured out what the players loved the most about the previous editions of the game (both WEG and D20). Thus, each Saga book deals directly with what the players and GM's wanted to see in the game. Large swaths of each book are devoted to making sure that the players understand what's going on in the universe as pertains to the book. You do not have to have anything more than the Core Book to run a very, very fun game (also true for WEG). Combat and Damage rules are consistent. Characters do not have dice explosions after investing only a moderate number of points into something. Armor works better (WEG's Armor had this notorious habit of either stopping everything or stopping nothing. Your mileage may vary, but it was this case in every WEG SW game I played or ran). Force Power rules are clear, consistent, and with a tiny bit of tweaking, balanced**.

I've run Star Wars games for my group for over ten years. I've run WEG, Star Wars D20, and Saga. The most fun my players have had has been in Saga, hands down. As I run my games exactly...

Interesting,thank you.

I can see your points though I disagree about the spaceships(in that there are novels and comics and not only the films,and you aren't taking in account secondary characters which might as well have been pcs.For instance it wasn't a backdrop through Wedge Antilles' eyes)

But we are more interested in the Force* and its users so my campaigns will focus more on it.
Could you please enlighten me further by comparing the force use in both systems?(or more details about WEG)

Cheers

*=something that before ''Force Unleashed'' didn't seem to interest a lot of people.I don't get it.If I wanted to play in a 'space marine' party there are better scifi settings to use for it(sorry its true)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I have only played Star Wars d6 2nd Ed Revised & Expanded and for me the d6 system doesn't work well, too much adding up of dice, and too many rolls to resolve a combat action Attack, possible Reaction, Damage and Soak. Plus it didn't seem to have any mook rules and the lightsabre combat Force rules were quite crunchy if I recall.

However I haven't played Saga Edition so cannpt comment on it, however I have heard it improves on d20 Revised Core Rules which I have played and personally liked better than the d6 version - the Jedi were more balanced with other PCs, there were mook rules and also there was genre emulation for stuff like Armour (as the DR only applies to hits to Wounds rather than Vitality it didn't make much sense for PCs but made perfect sense for NPCs that only had Wounds).

Personally when I next come to run Star Wars I will likely use FATE in the form of Starblazer Adventures (but I have also heard Bulldogs! could do it well too). For me FATE would work better than either d6 or d20 in that it is fairly light, very cinematic and can even elegantly handle stuff like having droid companions.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

And after getting a sense of deja vu after making that post I find I said pretty much the same thing a couple of years ago...
My previous post on the subject


@stroVal wrote:

Interesting,thank you.

I can see your points though I disagree about the spaceships(in that there are novels and comics and not only the films,and you aren't taking in account secondary characters which might as well have been pcs.For instance it wasn't a backdrop through Wedge Antilles' eyes)

But we are more interested in the Force* and its users so my campaigns will focus more on it.
Could you please enlighten me further by comparing the force use in both systems?(or more details about WEG)

Cheers

*=something that before ''Force Unleashed'' didn't seem to interest a lot of people.I don't get it.If I wanted to play in a 'space marine' party there are better scifi settings to use for it(sorry its true)

While you're correct in that other authors and storytellers who are not the creator of Star Wars* have made stories involving characters and situations that involve ships and whatnot, I still contend that they are missing the point. Star Wars is now and always has been about the thematic use of scenery to advance the story. Ships in Star Wars don't travel at "Ten Times Lightspeed," they travel at the Speed of Plot. Hoth to Bespin at sub-light speeds? They make it in a few days, tops. Luke gets from Dagobah to Bespin in the same amount of time, traveling in Hyperspace. Fighters, capital ships, all of those things are window dressing in the grandest scheme and tradition of shows such as Flash Gordon and Commander Cody. They are only important when they are directly involved with the main characters, or the supporting cast. Star Wars is not, and in my opinion (at the very least), should not be about crazy space dogfights unless it is of vital importance to the plot that there be a crazy space dogfight. Then, and only then, does the mechanic of "Luke's the best stunt pilot in the outer systems" come into play.

WEG's Force Rules are a bit tricky to sum up for me right at this instant, since I'm at work, but essentially for you to be a Force User, you have to give up some of your creation points, substituting them for Force training. After that point, it's mostly "roll dice, check for result," which is fine and well, but as DigitalMage said, it comes up to "Roll, check for resist, check for effect, check check and check some more."

With Saga, you are dealing with a Proto-4E type system - Your Force Power is rolled, and checked against a specific Defense (usually Will, but not always). If you meet or beat the Defense, you succeed. If you succeed, there is an effect. If you're not using your power against a target that is not yourself, you immediately succeed, have a nice day.

There are a TON of extraneous Force Rules in Saga, but nearly all of them are optional. I personally ignore the "Jedi Academy Training" rules, because they're kind of kooky and lame, but most of the abilities and Feats and Powers are quite handy.

*

Spoiler:
Yes, I know that many, many people love and admire the EU and ExU for Star Wars. I am dealing specifically with the Movies when I speak of the setting. A lot of writers for Star Wars forget that Star Wars is not Science Fiction, it's Space Opera. Space Opera is the same genre that told us that it's possible to survive in space using only a flimsy bubble helmet, and that rocket ships don't accelerate when blasting off, they just GO. I'll catch a lot of flack for saying this, but most people who have written stuff for Star Wars have completely missed the point of the genre. Don't get me wrong, I love the books and the comics and the whole shebang. I just think that when discussing "What Makes Star Wars 'Star Wars'," the only things that should be discussed as a baseline are the movies. Once you understand the way the thought process on the movies went (and let's please not bag on Lucas' vision, or which movies were better, or whatever), then you can add or subtract from that process to really nail down the feeling you're going for.

Just my two Daktari, of course.


I've only run RCR and SAGA Edition games, never played the WEG version. I confess, SAGA Edition is my favorite rule set - of anything, not just Star Wars.

I think the Condition Track is awesome and elegant way of expressing getting beat up and worn out in addition to HP. I cannot overstate how awesome I think this mechanic is.

Additionally, the way the actions per turn are structured (You can have 1 standard, 1 move, and 1 swift, and can "trade down" if you like to have 3 swifts, 1 move and 2 swifts, 1 standard and 2 swifts - whatever you want) it lends itself to a very cinematic feel where the arbitrary round structure fades into the background.

For instance, in order to take the aim action, you need to spend 2 swift actions. BUT - those actions don't need to be on the same round. So, on round X, you can double move and dive behind a crate, then spend your remaining swift action to aim. On round X+1, you can start by spending a swift action to finish aiming, spend a standard action to shoot your blaster, then have a swift or move left to do with what you want.

Eliminating 5 foot steps makes things much more cinematic as well - I've only had maybe one combat where one of the PCs stood their ground and slugged it out with an opponent. Most of the encounters are highly mobile and dynamic.

The skill system is pretty simple and binary (you're either trained in a skill or not - there are no skill ranks), the force powers can generally be resolved with a single roll of a d20 (the users Use the Force skill check vs the target(s)' particular defense score), and each of the classes can really hold their own.

Like jemstone, I heartily recommend SAGA edition. It is great.


Man, how did I forget the Condition Track? My players saw this and exclaimed as one "You mean we don't have to drop our opponents to zero health to really mess them up? And we can get torn up without dying? SWEET!"

It's the best thing ever. You don't even know.


The Condition Track is WEG D6's Wound system, layered onto a hit point mechanic. :)


AdAstraGames wrote:

The Condition Track is WEG D6's Wound system, layered onto a hit point mechanic. :)

It's also R. Talsorian's "Stun/Shock" system from the Interlock game system. Or any number of other similar systems. It also happens to be a great addition to the game. ;)


A lot of new details here,thank you all...

Out of curiosity how many of you were content with 3.5?

I might recall jemstone not being a fan, from another thread(though I could be wrong)

I personally dislike/am tired of the overall 'handle' of 3.x systems,that is why I'm asking


1 person marked this as a favorite.
@stroVal wrote:

A lot of new details here,thank you all...

Out of curiosity how many of you were content with 3.5?

I might recall jemstone not being a fan, from another thread(though I could be wrong)

I personally dislike/am tired of the overall 'handle' of 3.x systems,that is why I'm asking

I like 3.5 well enough, I just contend that D&D 3.X is not an entirely "new and unique" system - it grabs and borrows and blatantly steals a lot of its ideas from other game lines. My biggest contention with it is not the system itself, it's the people who view it as the Ultimate System, and who say "Oh, this stat-plus-skill-plus-die-roll game is just like 3.X!" No, no it's not. 3.X is similar to these other systems which came before it.

Saga, as I've mentioned, is a proto-4E system that (imho) handles a lot of things better than 4E actually ended up doing. The Condition Track, for one. The method of handling abilities, for another. Whereas in 4E, you have X number of Encounter powers, and N number of At-will powers, and blah blah dailies, Saga gives you a straight-forward encounter based mechanic. You can use this ability X number of times during an encounter (where X is usually equal to a stat modifier or a level value), or you can use this ability whenever you want. Nearly all abilities are usable whenever you want, with game-changers like The Force coming down to a per encounter basis.

Something else to mention is that while weapon damage rarely changes in Saga, that's okay, because as characters get more competent, their damage increases. Tucked away in the combat section is a rule that states that as characters progress in level, their damage goes up. This, I think, handles the "need" for damage escalation against tougher opponents quite well, and also helps deal with lower level enemies handily - as it enables the "one shot, droid goes up in a shower of sparks" dynamic.


Having skimmed through SAGA, It's actually a nice 3.5 variant. The transition from armor to half your character level as your "Reflex Defense" is nicely handled, in particular. I also like the "Add +1 per level to your damage."

I've never been a big fan of the 'level chunking' in d20 based systems, but I realize I'm in a minority here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The d6 version is great for what would amount to low level play (I know it doesn't have levels, but what else do you call it?). For long term play it gets a bit harder to do (I talked to Slavicsek at GenCon once, and he admitted they never playtested it beyond a certain point.). The first time some one has to roll 40d6 to resolve a combat, it starts to get ridiculous.


Justin Franklin wrote:
The d6 version is great for what would amount to low level play (I know it doesn't have levels, but what else do you call it?). For long term play it gets a bit harder to do (I talked to Slavicsek at GenCon once, and he admitted they never playtested it beyond a certain point.). The first time some one has to roll 40d6 to resolve a combat, it starts to get ridiculous.

Or the first time someone asks why Yoda has a better Heavy Weapons skill than some professional killers...


Oh, WEG D6 classic breaks down at around 10d6 in an attack.

The highest difficulty in the game is 30.

8d6+2 gives you an average result of 30.

10d6 allows you to do one other thing and roll a little below average and still make a difficulty of 30.

My variant of the engine (D6 Dramatics) starts to have breakdowns at around 14D.


Our current Pathfinder converted Star Wars game has been running for 13 months, I'm not sure how long the previous arc ran for.

The problem with the force and the D20 version of the game is there ended up being too many force skills to get points in and no reason a light side force user would give in to temptation and use dark side force skills.

We fixed that by having 7 basic force skills and making the uses of the force sub skills, only a few of which needed a feat to use.

:)

The classes were a little tricky to sort out, other than the soldier of course which is just a sort of fighter :)


Justin Franklin wrote:
The d6 version is great for what would amount to low level play (I know it doesn't have levels, but what else do you call it?). For long term play it gets a bit harder to do (I talked to Slavicsek at GenCon once, and he admitted they never playtested it beyond a certain point.). The first time some one has to roll 40d6 to resolve a combat, it starts to get ridiculous.

I'll agree with this.

The one mitigating factor, is if you have a small group of characters and encourage them to spread their skills out (basically give opportunities for any and every skill to be useful), you can make characters last a little longer. But when I played a Verpin in a group of 7 and all I did was Technical skills, it got ridiculous fast.

We also played the first book of Darkstrider more than once (we love the concept) and some of the command characters (very experienced, 8-9D in several skills) and those characters could end up a little domineering, but they usually got rotated in and out fairly regularly.

If I were to rewrite D6 Star Wars, I'd add something like Feats, or Aspects from FATE. Then starships and starfighters would have their own stats, removing things like Piloting and Gunnery from the game. You'd roll the ships Maneuverability (modified from the current stat) and if you had something like Hot Shot Pilot, you'd have some bonus or ability to reroll. That way ships don't add bloat to dice pools and people don't have to specialize in tons of skills for starship combat.

Grand Lodge

Played WEG back in the day only a few times... never really 'got' it.

Played Starwars 3.5 or whatever it was... was disappointed.

Saga? Hit the sweet spot for me.

Sadly 4th Ed D&D (which SAGA was apparently a test bed for) failed to take the best of the concepts and so for me (I won't make this an edition wars thing) unsatisfying.

SAGA can also be used as a pretty good generic rpg system with minor tweaks and reskinning.


Irontruth wrote:
If I were to rewrite D6 Star Wars, I'd add something like Feats, or Aspects from FATE. Then starships and starfighters would have their own stats, removing things like Piloting and Gunnery from the game. You'd roll the ships Maneuverability (modified from the current stat) and if you had something like Hot Shot Pilot, you'd have some bonus or ability to reroll. That way ships don't add bloat to dice pools and people don't have to specialize in tons of skills for starship combat.

One of the things I'm writing - and expect to rip out - is a "feat-like" structure for D6 Dramatics.

I call it Skill Stunts; like Feats they allow you to (largely) access new abilities, or ignore certain penalties. To get your first Skill Stunt you need 3D in skills dice above the Attribute level; each additional +2D adds another Skill Stunt.

Right now, I'm actually gearing this towards Fantasy Combat with a Conanesque-feel, in large part because I can get a lot of these ready maid by raiding the PRD.


I love WEG Star Wars. My second favorite RPG of all time (after Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying). I actually can't stand Saga, which is really strange because I otherwise love any d20-based system.


Loved d6 Star Wars, but haven't used my WotC Saga stuff yet.
To be honest, by now I'm going to wait and see where Fantasy Flight plan to take the game next- not sure when we can expect a release date, mind.


i have played both.
with D6, I pretty much feel that 'parity' between Force and 'mundane' skills was never included as a design goal.
...of course, if you watched the movies, you would never believe the force to merely be 'on par' with the things mundane human(oids) could do, it's obviously 'SUPER natural'.

there was one force skill that could be used to emulate any other skill...
basically the whole 'limit' on force was the training system, i.e. wholly up to GM fiat.
starting force users essentially have to trade off their stats for their force 'stats', although we played allowing to put only a pip (+1, i.e. sub-1 dice) which allowed to 'activate' all 3 force 'stats' with the same investment as the book standard force user (who had 1D in one force stat).

SAGA is going to appeal to players more familiar (and mostly happy with) 3.x type of systems.
The Feat system, and player customization that grows around it, appeals to a certain mindset of player,
although that mindset is really about a metagame outside of the story per se, i.e. character optimization.
D6 is very flexible and intuitive to use, but it will feel 'flat' to anybody who needs that metagame level...
I think D6 definitely leads to less 'rules conflict' since the whole system is so consistent in the first place.
I can appreciate both, but in all honesty I think D6 keeps everybody's energy focused on the story, not mechanics.

Integrating Feats into the D6 system was an idea I always thought would be interesting to implement...
My idea was that Feats were tied to skills, so that you need X level of a skill to gain a Feat (tying into that skill somehow), the total number of Feats being generally tied to your total skill/attribute points (i.e. level substitute), pretty much in-line with what AdAstra describes... The main thing being that 'what Feats do' is not necessarily the same compared to a d20 system like SAGA.

The observation of D6's upper end for scaling is probably accurate, although we didn't actually play there... Equating D10 with 20th level or something is a good idea, but the whole concept of 'advancing' is so vague in D6 that things can be strung out for however long you want before reaching that point... i.e. fit all the story you want in... You only play at high dice levels when the story has developed there. This really is a serious difference between the systems, and again, has implications for the type of 'metagaming' that goes along with each game. A note about 'level' scaling: non-Force users don't have signifigantly scaling defences vs. the Force.

You just can't rely on the MECHANICS to provide compelling entertainment in D6, the combat system just doesn't even model half of the stuff that 3.x (and SAGA) does, not even counting SAGA's Feats.

...I don't really agree with the poster's complaint about Starship piloting in D6 rules. I don't really see how starship piloting skills are LESS related to the story than Jumping skills or any other skill... But mostly, if starship piloting is an unimportant of your game, then it never has to show up in your game... If a character's BG says they are good pilots, then they should have the skill to reflect that, but that won't take a front stage part of the game unless starships are an important part of it. There's nothing saying the GM can't advance the story line and say some big starship battles took place (and boost the characters' ranks in piloting to match their 'fast forwarded' actions) Finally, the game runs just fine if none of the PCs invest in piloting and just have a droid handle that task... or hire some NPC to do so (etc).

I KIND OF agree with the observation that D6's armor tended to everything or nothing, but given the Wound Tier system, that kind of balances out. D6's wound system (with no HP) over-all tends to give characters a more 'living breathing (non) human' feel than HPs which tend to feel like video game toons.

over all, i LOVE D6 more. that said, SAGA isn't bad and may fit your group's play style more.
i probably wish Paizo had gone a bit more in SAGA's direction with a few things in PRPG...


Quandary: Have you got a group that could be talked into playing a D6 Dramatics playtest in about a month or so? The engine is reasonably generic; I've rescaled combat to let you re-use all your 5'/1" maps without conversion.

I think I've solved some of the worst problems of D6 combat - notably that everyone who gets into a fight maximizes the Dodge skill, even if they're Charles Xavier - and made it more dynamic.


AdAstraGames wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If I were to rewrite D6 Star Wars, I'd add something like Feats, or Aspects from FATE. Then starships and starfighters would have their own stats, removing things like Piloting and Gunnery from the game. You'd roll the ships Maneuverability (modified from the current stat) and if you had something like Hot Shot Pilot, you'd have some bonus or ability to reroll. That way ships don't add bloat to dice pools and people don't have to specialize in tons of skills for starship combat.

One of the things I'm writing - and expect to rip out - is a "feat-like" structure for D6 Dramatics.

I call it Skill Stunts; like Feats they allow you to (largely) access new abilities, or ignore certain penalties. To get your first Skill Stunt you need 3D in skills dice above the Attribute level; each additional +2D adds another Skill Stunt.

Right now, I'm actually gearing this towards Fantasy Combat with a Conanesque-feel, in large part because I can get a lot of these ready maid by raiding the PRD.

From a writing and design perspective, I would suggest looking at how FATE does Aspects. Aspects are essentially tags for characters that are used for a dual purpose. The first purpose is spend points in actions that match the tag when it applies positively. The second is to gain spendable points when the tag applies negatively. A well-chosen aspect can be used for both purposes. An example to illustrate:

I give my character "One Eyed" as an Aspect, cause... he's got one-eye. Whenever I'm in a situation where having one eye is a detriment, like when I need depth perception to shoot a moving target that's far away, I earn a point and a penalty is applied to my roll.

When it can be used positively, like intimidating someone, because lifting up the patch to show the empty socket is unsettling, I can spend a point to gain a bonus.

The benefit of this is that you only have to come up with the mechanics for one thing, instead of a giant list of Feats. It has to be balanced, well-rounded and explained well, but the players (with GM input) are responsible for coming up with their description.

This gets around an inherent problem of a narrow defined option list, often times when a player is looking over the list they might feel like there's nothing that quite fits, so they settle for something, or they beg their GM to allow a supplemental list (you see this kind of thing in 3.X games all the time with Feats and additional sources). The player comes up with the exact definition that they need for their character.

If you haven't seen a FATE game with Aspects before, I would highly recommend finding a copy of Dresden Files RPG, it's a very well written game that has a lot of little notes from different "characters" to help illuminate concepts about the game.

The downside to this method is that as a player, my "One Eyed" mechanically isn't any different from your "Hot Shot Pilot", they will have different effects on the game, because they will push the story differently, but the mechanics are always the same (though for some people, a single mechanic is also an advantage).

Edit - Spitballing here, if you're interested in this route:

Character Points:
Positive - spend one point when your Aspect applies, gain +1D
Negative - gain one point when your aspect applies, -1D penatly to your roll

Force points:
Positive - when doing something truly heroic and your aspect applies, spend a force point to double your dice.
Negative - Automatically fail a very important roll (GM's discretion), gain one force point

GM Compel's:
A GM can compel your Aspect to apply negatively to a roll, offering you the normal payment for it (it must fit the fiction). You can refuse, negating the penalty by paying that cost. The GM can up payment to further entice you.

For example: The GM compel's my "One eyed" by saying that a young woman finds it particularly revolting, offering to pay me one character point. I refuse and say I'll pay a character point to negate it. He ups the ante and offers me two character points (still the same penalty on the roll, -1D), I now decide it's worth it to accept the penalty (I then can't spend any CP to increase my roll).


Irontruth:

Thanks - I've already got two mechanisms similar to Aspects in the game.

The reason for my Skill Stunts is because a subset of my playtester cadre WANTS mechanical differentiation of abilities. Or thinks they do. I also want an incentive to encourage players to 'preserve niches' - one problem with open ended skill based systems is they over-encourage generalized characters because the benefit to deep specialization doesn't outweigh flexibility.

If this weren't incentivizing deep specialization, I'd not bother to write these up for testing. As it is...I'm writing them up for testing and expect (and sort of hope) that I'll be removing them. Or making them optional.


One thing to encourage specialization is to decrease the cost of higher grade skills. So if increasing my Blasters 6D (which I use constantly) is the same as increasing my Melee 4D (which I rarely use) I'm much more likely to increase my Blasters.

Then you have the issue of people raising their higher skills through the roof faster though. (A Song of Ice and Fire uses this method) This then has to be mitigated through GM'ing, by encouraging a little bit of generalization.

I've usually found that certain overly useful skills, like ones where having multiple people have it, or someone else can't do it for you is when it happens the most. Like stealth skills, usually everyone increases it eventually in a skill based system, because having everyone have it is more useful.

Dark Archive

Saga all the way. I've played and have every version of SW.

Earlier editions had trouble balancing Jedi. Now it's not the obvious choice and you don't have entire ships full of Jedi zipping around during the rebellion which I always found ridiculous. }: P

It's funny btw since I loathe 4E D&D. Saga strikes a nice balance where choices are meaningful but you're not going to easily break the game, especially with force powers.

My group in fact are going to be playing an episodic SAGA game come May.


I am just starting a new job in a new place (Maui), so have alot on my plate now,
but will keep my open for folks who'd be willing to do a basic playtest...
If your system keeps most of D6, it should easy to learn or at least use while improvising...


IronTruth: I set up the cost of increasing skills by 1 pip to 4 skill points, rather than scale it up by the amount of dice in the code. I've made the cost of increasing an Attribute 6 Attribute Points. The two currencies are not fungible.

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