May 1, 2013
A Look At The Crunch Of Star Wars: Saga Edition
In celebration of “May the Fourth be with You,” redOrbit is hosting a series of Star Wars-inspired blogs.
Before getting started here, I want to make mention of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, by Fantasy Flight Games, the most recent Star Wars role-playing game adaptation. As I still have not had the opportunity to run or play the game, I cannot really do it a just review, so I am reviewing the most recent adaptation I have played, which is Saga Edition. As I have heard nothing but positive reviews for Edge of the Empire, I would love to someday have the opportunity to play it.
Star Wars: Saga Edition is a role-playing game based on the d20 system made famous by Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition, and created by the same company, Wizards of the Coast. Before Saga Edition, Wizards of the Coast developed the Star Wars Role-playing Game, which had two editions (the first coming out soon after the theatrical release of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and the second just after Episode II: The Clone Wars). Saga Edition was the company’s last sojourn into the Star Wars universe and, in my opinion, it was a fine one.
At a glance, Saga Edition functioned much like D&D. You picked your race and your class, you rolled a d20 plus relevant modifiers to hit a set difficulty, and so forth. Where it stood out was its interesting take on the customization of classes, as well as its handling of Force Powers and Force Sensitive characters. After selecting a character class (ranging from Noble to Scoundrel to Solider to Jedi and more) you had an option of class talents, usually divided into three or more trees, to select for your character. This helped to define what sort of character you were within the archetype of your class, and in addition to the feats offered to all characters, gave a great deal of customization to your character. For example, the Jedi could choose between talents that focused on various lightsaber fighting styles, abilities that augmented their use of the Force, and more.
As for the Force, while Jedi are automatically Force Sensitive (able to use the Force), other characters have the option of gaining Force Abilities by simply taking the feat Force Sensitive. This unlocked various options, including the much sought after Force Powers. When a character chooses Force Training as a feat (which required one to have Force Sensitive) they receive a number of “picks” of the various Force Powers of the game. These picks could be used to select different powers or multiple uses of the same power, as your Force Powers were treated much like a hand of cards. Once you used one in an encounter, you could not (normally) use it again until the next. Picking a power multiple times allowed you to use it multiple times per encounter, and characters could also later gain various talents and abilities allowing them to “refresh” their Force Powers mid-encounter.
I, for one, adore Star Wars: Saga Edition. I feel that it is a well-crafted game that makes good use of a reliable and easily understood core mechanic. It was not in print for long, and there are not a lot of source books for the game, but what it does have is wonderful. If you are looking to adventure in the Star Wars Universe, Saga Edition is a game for you.
Join me next time in Gamemaster’s Grimoire.
Image Credit: Fantasy Flight Games