STAR WARS: EDGE OF THE EMPIRE
An evolving review, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the game
I started running SW:EOTE several months ago. My 13 year-old son played Pathfinder on and off with his friends for years, but started complaining that the games were getting too same-old same-old. I got him some Pathfinder card decks, designed to jazz-up combat, encounters, and adventures in general. They got used some, and they’ll be handy for other games and if he returns to Pathfinder in the future, but he was still ready for something new.
So, I thought about games that would be similar enough to Pathfinder to be accessible to him and his friends, but different enough to seem fresh and to broaden his roleplaying game horizons. My friend and sometimes gaming guru Chris Rogers- of The Die is Podcast – mentioned Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, and was even kind enough to send me his copy from the other side of the planet. Like Pathfinder, characters in SW:EotE are built much like various iterations of Dungeons & Dragons, but the system has a unique and dynamic dice mechanic – and it’s Star Wars! That all sounded like just the thing.
So I started running the game for my usual group, and included my son. I immediately realized I would be hand-waving a lot of things, because in play the rules seemed oddly not very Star Wars-y to me.
Thanksgiving rolled around, and my son wanted me to run a scenario for him and his cousins that weekend. I decided to see what I could do to simplify character creation, so I whipped up a quick character creation one-sheet. I wound up not running it for them that weekend, but this quick re-write got me thinking more analytically about what I like and don’t like about the game.
Below you’ll find said one-sheet. I changed some terms to make things maybe a bit more accessible, I dumped 2 of the 6 ability scores, rejiggered Skills, and smooshed together some of the defensive stuff. The Species stuff is incomplete. The Skills are not very well balanced here. Page numbers refer to the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
BACKGROUND (p. 37)
TURNING POINT (p. 37-38)
1-2: opportunity knocked
3-4: higher calling
5-6: made an enemy
7-8: feet of clay
9-10: wrong place, wrong time
5: wanted (criminal record)
7: duty (oath, responsibility)
MOTIVATION (p. 94-97)
roll d10 for all charts
SPECIES (p. 43-53)
CAREER (p. 53-91)
Use as-is for now, but need new skill bonus lists.
Not using Specializations for now.
SKILLS (p. 103-124)
(abbreviations are for Brawn, Agility, Cunning, and Will)
brawl – B or A
move – A
perform – A
shoot (choose: light, heavy, mounted) – A
sneak – A
stunts – B or A
fix – C (choose: electronic, mechanical, weapons, propulsion)?
fly – A (choose: ground, small space, medium space, large space)?
focus – W
hack – C
heal – C
know – C (choose: core worlds, outer rim, education, lore, underworld, xenology)
sense – C
survive – W (choose: street, desert, arctic, forest, water, space)
charm – W
deal – W
fool/trick – W
lead – W
scare – W
(TALENTS (p. 128-145) – IGNORE FOR NOW, but figure out a smoother continuum/integration from stats to skills to talents)
Damage (divide by 5)
HP (was Structure Threshold)
(Ignore everything else.)
Defense + Soak = Threshold bonus
(Ignore everything else)
Look at stats, thresholds, and skills – integrate them more. Replace some terms with something Star Warsier: “threshold” might have to go, for instance.
Next time, I will explore more of my conceptual and design thoughts regarding SW:EOTE.