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Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG; Fantasy Flight

A year ago, Fantasy Flight Games, who produce the Warhammer miniatures war games and RPGs, great board games like Arkham Horror, Twilight Imperium, Talisman, etc., various CCGs, etc. bought the licensing rights to the Star Wars roleplaying, miniatures and board games, which had previously been owned by Wizards of the Coast (D&D, Magic the Gathering, etc). Being a long time Star Wars roleplaying fan, from back when the license was owned by West End Games, and having been disappointed with WotC's Star Wars offerings, I've been waiting to see/hear what Fantasy Flight was to do with the license. They'd been announcing board and mini-based games for a while, with no info on an RPG...

It looks like Fantasy Flight has been developing their Star Wars RPG, and have announced the Edge of the Empire RPG Beta! Unfortunately, they're charging $30 for the honour of testing their system to make sure it works before they release it... so I guess I'll be waiting for the final release.
It also looks like they're pulling a classic Fantasy Flight cash grab in offering "the first of three epic roleplaying game installments. Each will be a standalone core rulebook, but will complement the other two to form a single game system." Why, Fantasy Flight? Why not make a Core Rulebook covering all facets of how the game is intended, and offer expansion material for those who want deeper information? Why separate Rulebooks for each "point of view" of the conflict? I assume we'll be getting something like this book for mercenaries, bounty hunters, smugglers, etc., then another for Imperials, and another for rebels and Jedi. Oi.

It looks like they're focusing on the Rebellion era (for the three installments), and adventures in the Outer Rim (at least for this book). I do like that they describe it as "a roleplaying game that captures the visionary essence of the Star Wars universe, while focusing on its grim and gritty corners," which, to me, says we're making an original 3 Star Wars roleplaying game.

Unfortunately, they appear to be using unique custom dice for the game. That means that unlike D6 Star Wars, in which you could find dice anywhere, or, as they suggest in the book, steal them from your board games, or D20 and D10 stuff where dice are readily available in any hobby shop, for these games, you're stuck hunting down or specialty ordering their proprietary dice. This adds expense and inconvenience to the system. That said, perhaps their rolling system will be pretty novel and interesting, as it appears to be intended to add dimension to checks beyond simple success/failure. We'll see.

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