we have finally gotten to the end of our journey through the various editions of the star wars RPG. we end at the beginning with the amazing West end games D6 star wars RPG.
when the first edition of this game came out there was no extended universe of star wars. there was no prequels, no thrawn trilogy, there was only a handful of t.v. movies and a horrendous Christmas special. this RPG created the star wars EU. this RPG gave new life blood to the series that was not going anywhere at the time.
the SWD6 system uses the classic WEG dice pool system where you put points into a skill or attribute and roll that number of dice and try to beat a DC to succeed. the force was divided into three skills Sense, alter and control these three skills would actually continue on into the D2o era of the game as the feats needed to use force. there where no classes so you could customize your PC in any way you wanted which at the time was somewhat innovated as class systems where prominent then. one other feature that was great was the force point system, basically you say you are using a force point and when you do you double the dice pool you are about to use in when calling on the force. the interesting thing with force points was that you gained them for doing good deeds and making heroic sacrifices. this added encouragement to do good and to be heroes. also in this game if you gained too many darkside points you would become a NPC under the GM’s control.
the greatest strength of this system was the ease on which it could be learned and played. you looked at your skill saw how many dice you had in that skill then rolled those dice to beat a DC. this was far simpler then say AD&D and its notorious THAC0 mechanic. to make multi attacks you just subtracted a dice from the pool for each extra attack you wanted to do. to actively defend you rolled your dodge skill and that became the DC for the attacker. overall the core was a simple system. now that is not to say there were not issues. large dice pools made the game a breeze and when Jedi got above 10 in their force skills it made them into unstoppable death machines.
the force was as mentioned divided into three skills, but you also had the force divided into many powers that were governed by the skills. for example one power was called control pain the control skill governed the power. therefore to see if you could use the power you would roll control and try to beat the DC that the power told you to beat. some powers though had more than one governing skill and you needed to roll all of them to activate the power.
as mentioned this game created the EU as we know it. with over twenty years of sourcebooks and products. when timothy zhan was writing the thrawn trilogy he received this RPG to use for reference that is how awesome this game was. this game took those minor background peeps in the movies and gave them names, histories and personality. this game explained how things worked when George lucas was silent on the topic.
now i think the new FFG star wars is also awesome, but they have a long way to go to capture the thunder of this game. it is a pity that WEG went bankrupt and lost the rights. though i again will say I love the FFG edition, but this game had so much soul to it.
i think it is without saying that any star wars fan or gamer needs to buy this RPG. there are three editions, first, second and second updated and revised. avoid the plain second edition and go with either the first or revised editions. the first has less rules and is faster, but the revised has more crunch and less rule ambiguity. also WEG D6 space which is free online is basically the third edition of this game with the star wars specific material taken out.