It Was Right Under My Nose…

So, hi… I’m back. Actually, my girlfriend got sick of me moping about — and I’ve cleaned up the fallout my life has been experiencing lately as best I can — so, I can return to my regularly scheduled posting…

And with that out of the way…

Some of you may have noticed, a while back, that I had a little nerd-rage going on about 4th Edition D&D. Don’t get me wrong, I stand by everything I said — and I have no intention of jumping back into the land of 4E anytime soon — but I realize that much of my anger was really disappointment. I’m disappointed because I realize that 4E has just enough pieces that I really like, that the parts that don’t work drive me nuts. So I started looking around for a new system to run. I considered going back to some of my old standby systems. I could run Warhammer Fantasy 2E again. I’m a big fan WHFRP2E because I love the way combat works. I considered jumping over to Pathfinder. I picked up the PF core book and the Bestiary a while back and realized that I really like what Paizo has done with the 3.5 rule set. I think they’re really onto something, and I wish Pathfinder and long and fruitful run.

My girlfriend — who has been shouldering the posting chores around here as Mara-kai (thank you) — has become pretty enamored of Savage Worlds. SW is an interesting system, and it also does some pretty cool stuff, but, never one to be satisfied, I’m not sold on SW either. I mean, it has great potential as a quick playing, simple system. I think it works great for pulp games or even really simple fantasy systems with minimal magic. I think, with a few tweaks, I could get into Savage Worlds. As I mentioned before, I’d probably scrap the wounds system and change over to a modified hit point mechanic to help with some of what drives me crazy…

But, to my amazement, a game system that does almost everything I like and very little that I don’t has popped up on my radar and it has come from a pretty unexpected direction. The unlikely winner of the where have you been all my gaming life award: Star Wars Saga Edition. See, the game has recently come to the end of its run — and I was digging through some half-price books at a local comic shop when I discovered the Core Book for Saga Edition hanging out at the bottom of the pile… I picked it up, bought it, brought it home, and then ignored it like I had for the game’s entire lifespan.

See, I love WEG’s old D6 Star Wars system. I hated the first two tries WotC made at Star Wars D20. I’m also not the biggest fan of D20 Modern, which Saga Edition seemed to be a direct evolution of. So I passed on it. I’m dumb. I started talking to a friend who works at this same local comic shop and he’s telling me what a great system it is and how I should try it out and how he wants to run a game set in the Legacy time-frame. Which I’m really all for… Legacy is a pretty neat story. But the point is, I decide to give the book a read.

Saga Edition is Awesome. Really, truly awesome. Some of it feels like 4E D&D — for example, you have Ref, Fort and Will defenses instead of saves. Some of it feels like D20 Modern — you have talent trees to use to customize characters (done better than I remember in D20M though). Feats are handled just a bit differently than in 3.5, they feel, bigger. And the Force — Holy Bantha-poodo — this is my favorite gaming rendition of the Force I’ve ever seen. And while it brings to mind the way the Book of Nine Swords handled encounter powers, it is so much cooler than 4E’s final version of the power structure. Combat is excellent too. I love the way the mechanics are set up — and I love the Condition Track. This is a great system.

Now, it’s not perfect. Some of the rules with combat are a little annoying — like the still counting diagonals as 1 then 2 then 1… this is something I’ll definitely be discarding. But heck, you honestly don’t need a grid to really run Saga Edition combat. It might be fun to use sometimes but it’s not necessary. Also, encounter design leaves a little to be desired… I probably would just discard the whole XP system and go for narrative leveling…. but forget the few bits I wanna tweak for now. I really, really like it.

Saga Edition combines a lot of little bits I like from other games really well into a whole that is interesting and dynamic. If my friend does get a Saga Edition game off the ground I can’t wait to start playing a Noble. So. Many. Plans. If you haven’t ever checked out Saga Edition Star Wars RPG, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of the rules before they’re all gone. I wish I’d discovered it before I invested in other games… might have saved me a bit of heartache.

I’m currently in the process of revamping the whole system to run it as a straight fantasy game instead of a Space Fantasy game. Tweaking the Scoundrel and the Jedi (and the Force) is about all it’s gonna take and I’ll have a fantastic system to play with. Have to keep you all posted how that’s turning out. Until then…

It’s good to be back.

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4 responses

  1. You know when I got back into games after years, I found the SW core edition for three bucks only two find it was already way, way outdated. Is it useless?

    1. I’m not entirely sure which edition you purchased. WotC did two versions of a D20 Star Wars game. Saga edition is the one that just ended… I highly recommend it, because the interesting thing about RPGs is that they are never ‘obselete.’

  2. ruthlessdiastemagames | Reply

    I am not home to look at it, but it was the one before Saga Edition. It was not the West End product. Oh, I guess this doesn’t help much as I look back at your response. I will have to check it out when I get home. I always assumed it was the version that Saga replaced.

  3. […] about system and what I actually want to get out of a system I’m playing. I discovered the Star Wars Saga System, and though I really like it, and I’ve been bitten by the Star Wars bug again thanks to […]

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