Why don't people like playing Star Wars D20?


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Werthead wrote:

In the WEG STAR WARS I think we used the 'wild die catastrophe' rule once or twice and then forgot about it. Rolling a 1 on a d20 and fumbling in D&D is one thing, but a 1 on a 6 and something going crazy is just stupid.

I think we may also have experimented with a double-roll system as well (if you roll a 1 you roll again and it's only a crazy catastrophe situation if you roll a 1 for a second time in a row).

+1.

If you run WEG without the wild die fails or successes, it's a far better, more balanced game. However, if you used Character points to influence your rolls you could roll again if you got a six.

The way we did progression really lent to a long-running campaign and it was essentially if you used the skill you could pip it up and it was one pip up per session. It worked great.


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My opinion on the matter is that Star Wars is one of those settings that potentially get people into playing genres of gaming they haven't before. The d20 system just isn't an entry level system. Its incredibly convoluted and difficult to learn by comparison to other options on the market.

Fantasy Flight Game's Star Wars RPG products are easier to get into than d20, and something like the FATE system or the Numenera system are even easier.


Well, since this was already necro'd, and I haven't posted yet, I'm just gonna say: I loved Star Wars d20. It had flaws, but that's true of every game system.

One of my favorite things, though, was the ewok jedi master (with a couple of dark side force skills) who made for a great mentor figure with an ambiguous fate.

Hm... I might have to Skype with those people or something so we can finish that game...

EDIT: though, honestly, I think the blue rose system of powers and fatigue works better for Star Wars than the Star Wars d20 system. Most of the rest of the system works better as-printed, though (though in my games, I gave everyone more skill points, because, you know, I like doing that).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd love to play Star Wars d20.


...wow. those are some optimistic viewpoints.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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I cut my GMing teeth on the Revised Core Rules version of d20 Star Wars and ran it more or less exclusively from 2003 to 2006. We had a lot of fun in those games, playing from about 4th level all the way up to 16th or so, and I wrote storylines using all the crazy EU stuff that I and my players grew up reading.

It did have the same flaws I see in D&D 3.X and Pathfinder, though--namely high-level play issues that devolved into rocket tag, especially with Force users, and an overall degree of complexity that's just not friendly to new players or a GM working on a tight schedule. I ran it again around 2012 or so with an experienced group of PF players who wrecked it, numerically speaking, and I would not do it again based on that experience.

When Saga Edition came out, we tried to play it but never quite made the jump, mostly due to people in the core group moving away since we all met at college. I liked that it used a lot of the miniatures rules conventions, since I played that game a lot too, but the limitations on Jedi seemed immersion-breaking at the time (looking back at it now, I don't feel quite the same way--Jedi were way OP in just about every WotC Star Wars game and Saga Edition probably did the best job at reigning in that aberrant gameplay issue).

IMO, Saga Edition also suffered from a very weird but somewhat understandable initial perception problem among gamers of my generation who grew up in the 1990s: its name. If memory serves, WotC actually had to reassure its customers that the Saga Edition of SWRPG had nothing to do with the SAGA card-based RPG that TSR made for Dragonlance in the late 1990s. That game (and, frankly, the childish and mean-spirited behavior of the designers who worked on it and the associated campaign line) was so terrible that it actually tainted the word "saga" for anyone who remembered it.

However, that perception problem was quickly overcome, and the sourcebooks published in the SWSE line were very well received. I seem to recall a lot of people saying that it worked best if you only used one or two sourcebooks along with core at any given time--The Force Unleashed in particular was cited as potentially gamebreaking if you didn't tread carefully as you incorporated the rules into play.

I've got all three quickstart boxes for the new FFG games and really want to play them, but I haven't had time to do so yet. Once I do, I'll decide which of the three hardback lines I want to invest in... although Force & Destiny looks really, really awesome.


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Having tried d20/RCR, Saga, and Fantasy Flight, I would say Saga is still my favorite Star Wars RPG.

I tend to prefer games that are more simulationist in nature instead of free form narrative based, so Saga speaks to me far more than FF.

There are only really two changes I would like to see in Saga, one is a change to a Pathfinder style skill system, and the other is to also have saving throws instead of everything going against static defenses.

Also Dawn of Defiance is nothing short of a stellar campaign adventure path.


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After acquiring several of the books over the years I just wish I had the chance to even play it.


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Then move to Ocala and split the pay for us to have 'sitters for an evening! ;D


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Richard Moore wrote:

IMO, Saga Edition also suffered from a very weird but somewhat understandable initial perception problem among gamers of my generation who grew up in the 1990s: its name. If memory serves, WotC actually had to reassure its customers that the Saga Edition of SWRPG had nothing to do with the SAGA card-based RPG that TSR made for Dragonlance in the late 1990s. That game (and, frankly, the childish and mean-spirited behavior of the designers who worked on it and the associated campaign line) was so terrible that it actually tainted the word "saga" for anyone who remembered it.

...

Smile when you say that.

hugs saga Dragonlance collection


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jwes55 wrote:
Werthead wrote:

In the WEG STAR WARS I think we used the 'wild die catastrophe' rule once or twice and then forgot about it. Rolling a 1 on a d20 and fumbling in D&D is one thing, but a 1 on a 6 and something going crazy is just stupid.

I think we may also have experimented with a double-roll system as well (if you roll a 1 you roll again and it's only a crazy catastrophe situation if you roll a 1 for a second time in a row).

+1.

If you run WEG without the wild die fails or successes, it's a far better, more balanced game. However, if you used Character points to influence your rolls you could roll again if you got a six.

The way we did progression really lent to a long-running campaign and it was essentially if you used the skill you could pip it up and it was one pip up per session. It worked great.

The GM who ran us through the old West End system was in love with that damned wild die. Something really stupid happened EVERY SINGLE TIME. I think the worst was leading a squadron when my ion cannons rolled a one on the wild die, shorting out my fighter, and the rest of the squadron held formation despite my ship leaving the battle under inertia. That day forward whenever we voted on a game to play I always voted against anything West End.


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I'm sorry your DM was so literal with that die. I had fun with it, but it wasn't a very big part of my games.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Freehold DM wrote:
Richard Moore wrote:

IMO, Saga Edition also suffered from a very weird but somewhat understandable initial perception problem among gamers of my generation who grew up in the 1990s: its name. If memory serves, WotC actually had to reassure its customers that the Saga Edition of SWRPG had nothing to do with the SAGA card-based RPG that TSR made for Dragonlance in the late 1990s. That game (and, frankly, the childish and mean-spirited behavior of the designers who worked on it and the associated campaign line) was so terrible that it actually tainted the word "saga" for anyone who remembered it.

...

Smile when you say that.

hugs saga Dragonlance collection

Off-Topic As Heck:
To be fair, I never played the game, and the few reviews I've found that looked back on that system actually rated it favorably, although some omissions from the rules about when to draw cards apparently made it really hard to play without getting the errata from TSR's online hub... and the less said about that, the better. But I do remember someone at WotC issuing a disclaimer about the SWSE book prior to its release to quell concerns.

To clarify my original post: I don't think it was the system design so much as the attitude that turned people off, and I misspoke when I called out the designers--it was whoever was nominally in charge of the Dragonlance product line at the time, although they may have also contributed to the DL5A SAGA boxed set.

The same person was in charge of the Ravenloft line at the time, incidentally, and while I won't name them, you can probably dig up some nice gems of hostility on UseNet archives if you're so inclined. I know a few of us on alt.fan.dragonlance got threatened with lawsuits by this person when we wanted to transcribe and post a recording of a somewhat-infamous panel talk by Margaret Weis that happened at DragonCon during that time period. It was a very interesting time to be a D&D fan, that's for sure.


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Freehold DM wrote:
I'm sorry your DM was so literal with that die. I had fun with it, but it wasn't a very big part of my games.

I had similar issue with the Fantasy Flight version - the GM (different GM) never added complications, he merely upped the base difficulty roll for such things, leaving the abilities I had chosen to be completely useless.


Richard Moore wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Richard Moore wrote:

IMO, Saga Edition also suffered from a very weird but somewhat understandable initial perception problem among gamers of my generation who grew up in the 1990s: its name. If memory serves, WotC actually had to reassure its customers that the Saga Edition of SWRPG had nothing to do with the SAGA card-based RPG that TSR made for Dragonlance in the late 1990s. That game (and, frankly, the childish and mean-spirited behavior of the designers who worked on it and the associated campaign line) was so terrible that it actually tainted the word "saga" for anyone who remembered it.

...

Smile when you say that.

hugs saga Dragonlance collection

** spoiler omitted **

it was an interesting time indeed.

I think I know who you are talking about.


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I have a complete SAGA edition collection that I meticulously found a deal on that expensive as hell KOTOR book. ;)

Never played though, but read all of the books. I would be curious to see if anyone has a write up for non battlemap space combat?


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Never got the chance to play it. Bought some of the original Star Wars d20 books and they just collect dust.


Richard Moore wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Richard Moore wrote:

IMO, Saga Edition also suffered from a very weird but somewhat understandable initial perception problem among gamers of my generation who grew up in the 1990s: its name. If memory serves, WotC actually had to reassure its customers that the Saga Edition of SWRPG had nothing to do with the SAGA card-based RPG that TSR made for Dragonlance in the late 1990s. That game (and, frankly, the childish and mean-spirited behavior of the designers who worked on it and the associated campaign line) was so terrible that it actually tainted the word "saga" for anyone who remembered it.

...

Smile when you say that.

hugs saga Dragonlance collection

** spoiler omitted **

I played the Dragonlance Saga game, hated it. That's my personal take though.

It worked, if you REALLY worked at it, but other than that, there are other systems that are soooo much smoother and better for gaming (once again, in my opinion).

On SW Saga Edition...loved it. It's the only WotC SW version I still own. (I might have a revised corebook someplace, admittedly, but I'd only play Saga of the WotC versions of SWRPG).

I enjoy the FFG take on it though.


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Heaven's Thunder Hammer wrote:


Never played though, but read all of the books. I would be curious to see if anyone has a write up for non battlemap space combat?

Play it. It's really great.

As to the non-battlemap space combat - I've done that a few times in other SW:SE threads, and I'm pretty sure that you can still find the links to my "Star Wars Saga Edition Rules Changes" PDF in those threads. They're playtested, balanced, and work well, according to several groups of players (not all of them mine!).

The general gist of the space combat rules is: Give everyone a job to do, have them make skill checks at dramatically appropriate times, and run it as a chase scene. Slant it heavily in favor of the PC's escaping - after all, this is space opera, and the ship is not a vehicle, it's a location and a setting. Ships are set dressing for action, not actual vehicles, in space opera. Once you get that working with the players expectation, you should be golden.


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I've been reading through Star Wars REUP, a retro-clone esque update to the old WEG d6 system, and as someone who never really played that system back in the day and has no built in nostalgia for it, I have to say its a highly impressive piece of work. I suggest checking it out, I'm likely going to give it a try. There also seems to be a solid community out there supporting this, and people have even been using Lulu to make their own print copies.


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Given their past unwillingness to enforce legal copyrights and follow publishing best practices, I cannot in good conscience support Lulu as a print-on-demand publisher, but I'm glad those people are finding a solution that works for them.

They could help the Star Wars game community by moving to a more ethical publisher, but that's not for me to say.

I will point out that if you want the WEG D6 system, the entire core library (barring the WEG SW books, which don't appear to exist on the site) is available for free over on Drive Thru RPG.

So, you know, no need to go through Lulu.

Full Disclosure:
I haven't dealt with Lulu for quite some time, but the last time I did, it was as a member of a small group of creative professionals who were finding their work being printed without compensation or formal notification. I also know several people who have had their work openly plagiarized and reprinted without their permission on that site. Lulu's past policies and unwillingness to enforce copyright - despite what their terms of service stated at the time - have really soured me on them. I can't suggest them to anyone.


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I do like the Saga and d20 Star Wars systems.


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I like the game very much.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I'm sorry your DM was so literal with that die. I had fun with it, but it wasn't a very big part of my games.
I had similar issue with the Fantasy Flight version - the GM (different GM) never added complications, he merely upped the base difficulty roll for such things, leaving the abilities I had chosen to be completely useless.

This is THE hardest thing to get used to as a player and a GM in the FFG system. You NEVER 'up the difficulty' based on conditions, environment, etc. You add Boost dice or Setback dice. Once you get the hang of it, this system rocks.

There are games going on in the FFG system here on these boards. This one is current.

This one just ended.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Gambit wrote:
I've been reading through Star Wars REUP, a retro-clone esque update to the old WEG d6 system, and as someone who never really played that system back in the day and has no built in nostalgia for it, I have to say its a highly impressive piece of work. I suggest checking it out, I'm likely going to give it a try. There also seems to be a solid community out there supporting this, and people have even been using Lulu to make their own print copies.

Thanks so much for posting this. This is a great update of SWD6 that encompasses everything up to the new canon being established by The Force Awakens and its related product lines. That is a fantastically good PDF.


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Richard Moore wrote:
Gambit wrote:
I've been reading through Star Wars REUP, a retro-clone esque update to the old WEG d6 system, and as someone who never really played that system back in the day and has no built in nostalgia for it, I have to say its a highly impressive piece of work. I suggest checking it out, I'm likely going to give it a try. There also seems to be a solid community out there supporting this, and people have even been using Lulu to make their own print copies.
Thanks so much for posting this. This is a great update of SWD6 that encompasses everything up to the new canon being established by The Force Awakens and its related product lines. That is a fantastically good PDF.

Glad I could help. ;)

The art is simply amazing isn't it. Like the whole thing is just stupid impressive.

If you want to delve even more into it, surf around The Rancor Pit, the (Rebel) headquarters of the SWD6 system. They seemed to have a good bit of input in its creation.


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The art is really nice!


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Brokenlookinglass wrote:
I'll be honest, I'm fairly new to roleplaying, I've only been playing for less than 5 yrs now. But every group I join and play with has had an amazing distaste for the new Star Wars d20 game. Is it something that I'm missing for are they just upset because they feel Wizards nerfed the Jedi classes that much? I'll be honest, I never got a chance to play in a d6 game of Star Wars, so am I missing something from not having played that? Let me know please!

I enjoy Star Wars d20, and my old group played a campaign that ran about two and half years. There are several reasons I've seen why players may not like Star Wars d20:

1. The feat system penalizes you for not optimizing. I played a Jedi Ace in a group with two others playing Jedi, and mine was mechanically weak. I took the spacer feat because it made sense from a roleplaying perspective, but the mechanical benefits of a force user feat are significant. The feat requirements for Jedi Ace are not optimal compared to other Jedi prestige classes.

2. Jedi are mechanically much stronger than other classes. You could build Han Solo as a jedi consular and he could have similar skill points along with a lot of powerful force abilities.

3. The d6 mechanic of the original Star Wars rpg had flaws at times, but was generally more cinematic and had faster paced combat. The 3rd ed. D&D action economy lends itself to optimizing for combat, which in turn favors jedi characters.

There were upsides to the combat mechanics, a soldier can generally deal more damage per round than other classes and is strong in combat, the scoundrel is a lot of fun to play and 'better lucky than good' is a great mechanic, the noble can be fun to play. The combinations of species and class can be fun. But Star Wars d20 needs a group that is on the same page, more than most systems. Our group played a six month story arc as Firefly-style smugglers when we got our first light transport, the GM had to wing it a bit. But there's a lot of room for the mechanics to cause issues, and a lot of room for the mechanics to not work for the kind of Star Wars game players would like.

Liberty's Edge

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SAGA edition will always hold a special place in my heart. When I returned to RPGs after a 10 year lapse I started running a SAGA game out of the FLGS and thats where I met my wife.

I recently tried the FFG version and it just didn't work for me. It might have been the GM and or group but the story telling elements never seemed to matter much and I often found myself checking out of the game mentally.

SAGA forever for me.

Dark Archive

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Saga was great but I have to say that the new fantasy flight version is really really good. The biggest reason we switched was to play with a different mechanic, d20 is fine but sometimes it's nice to play with a different system.

Scarab Sages

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I still have fond memories of a campaign using the d6 mechanics. While I suppose it could have been fun under any system, I felt that the d6 system was very well-matched for our play style. Rules-light, and roleplay-intensive.

Our GM particularly enjoyed tempting Light Side Force users with easy access to Dark Side powers. A Jedi and an alien Force adept in our party nearly succumbed several times each.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah I don't know how the dark side works in FFG version but I loved the SAGA mechanics for it. Plus the familiarity of D20 made adding houserules to tempt force users with extra benefits was always fun.

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