PDA

View Full Version : Best Non-Star Wars game to run a Star Wars campaign



Yora
2015-08-24, 03:14 PM
I know of several licensed Star Wars games, but they all seem rather ill suited to run a Star Wars campaign.

What system would you pick to adapt for a Star Wars campaign?

I think it probably should be a system that plays very fast, has a simple character sheet, and few dice, and it also needs to be able to handle space battles and Jedi. But if you think other requirements might work better for a Star Wars game that would also be a great thing to discuss.

Freelance GM
2015-08-24, 03:20 PM
I know of several licensed Star Wars games, but they all seem rather ill suited to run a Star Wars campaign.

What system would you pick to adapt for a Star Wars campaign?



Why not Alternity?


I think it probably should be a system that plays very fast, has a simple character sheet, and few dice...

Nevermind.

But in all seriousness, it has the space combat, and easy adaptation to the Star Wars setting. However, it also has excessively dense rules, 4-page character sheets, and needs a small handful of dice. I love it anyways.

Darth Tom
2015-08-24, 03:42 PM
I used a bastardised version of the Fallout rules ("Fallout pen & paper game" as they call it). It was easy to use, easy to take an educated guess at equipment stats and species stats, plus the built in perks system allowed characters to develop quickly. A bit more bastardising handled Jedi (I used the Luck stat as Force sensitivity, affecting some die rolls and outcomes etc, and added some Luck-based Jedi perks, appropriate for what a novice might figure out without guidance).

We had a lot of fun with characters who were smugglers, rebels, mercs and similar: Star Wars allows so many different personalities to come into contact that the players were able to have idealists, suave gamblers, hardened mercs and down on their luck smugglers desperate for quick cash, all in one party.

Happy days.

Eisenheim
2015-08-24, 03:43 PM
fate,
but I would answer that for anything that wants light system and a variety of situations.

Seriously, though, fate would be great for starwars, pretty much whatever part of the world you want to focus on.

NomGarret
2015-08-24, 03:45 PM
Exactly what kind of Star Wars game are we talking, here? In my experience, they tend to be split along the lines that FFG used: the Jedi game, the Smuggler game, and the Rebels game. Oftentimes groups jumble these story lines more than they intend.

Jenrock
2015-08-24, 04:22 PM
I would definitely have to say the Cortex Plus Firefly game. It handles everything short of Jedi with incredible ease, and creative use of distinctions, plot points, and signature assets can do a fair job replicating Jedi as well.

Mark Hall
2015-08-24, 04:51 PM
I know someone on Dragonsfoot was talking about using Stars Without Number, which is based on BECMI type D&D. You might check there, as well.

D+1
2015-08-24, 04:56 PM
I know of several licensed Star Wars games, but they all seem rather ill suited to run a Star Wars campaign.
Nonsense. WEG d6 system is perfect for it. BUT...


What system would you pick to adapt for a Star Wars campaign?
The next best answer is whatever system that YOU and your players are most familiar with.

Mechalich
2015-08-24, 11:08 PM
I think it probably should be a system that plays very fast, has a simple character sheet, and few dice, and it also needs to be able to handle space battles and Jedi. But if you think other requirements might work better for a Star Wars game that would also be a great thing to discuss.

There is no 'very fast' way to handle space combat that actually feels like space combat in anything resembling a reasonable way. Space combat is cumbersome and complicated - especially so in Star Wars, which inevitably has to juggle shield pools and armor and hull points. Even Star Wars video games generally can't manage to bridge the gap in an effective way (witness KOTOR or TOR's very limited space combat systems).

Star Wars Saga is actually a pretty fast system, especially at low levels, as it resembles a streamlined version of d20 (and due to high weapon damage, things die quickly). So if your players are d20 veterans it might play faster for a short term campaign than trying to learn a completely new system.

Xuc Xac
2015-08-25, 02:30 AM
There is no 'very fast' way to handle space combat that actually feels like space combat in anything resembling a reasonable way. Space combat is cumbersome and complicated - especially so in Star Wars, which inevitably has to juggle shield pools and armor and hull points. Even Star Wars video games generally can't manage to bridge the gap in an effective way (witness KOTOR or TOR's very limited space combat systems).

Never heard of "TIE Fighter"?

Ninjadeadbeard
2015-08-25, 03:01 AM
I used D&D 5E to run a pretty successful Star Wars one-shot. The alt-rules I wrote up for it took up only a couple of pages, double-spaced.

Fri
2015-08-25, 03:30 AM
I second stars without numbers.

Steampunkette
2015-08-25, 03:38 AM
5e dnd.

Bear with me!

Warlocks make great Jedi. A few special powers, flung objects the rest of the time, some jumping and running as innate powers, and for a Jedi Knight you can go blade.

Fighters make great Stormtroopers, too. Heavy armor, heavy weapons, more attacks.

And the Thief rogue makes a great smuggler.

With backgrounds helping to divorce skills and aptitudes from classes a little its easier to make a Princess Jedi or turn that Stormtrooper into a Bounty Hunter.

Paladins also make decent Jedi, with smite standing in for the blade having a laser edge.

Anonymouswizard
2015-08-25, 03:55 AM
This is going to vary a lot depending on taste.

I second Fate as good (but not great) for anything, and great for highly narrative games, but it's a very 'like it or get confused by it' system in my experience.

I've considered hacking Shadowrun to do Star Wars, but it's nowhere near what you want (bucketful of d6s, relatively slow, complex character sheet, no in-built space combat).


If you limit Space Combat to 2D you can get a half-decent combat system by hacking vector racetrack, and I plan to use a version on a Hex Grid when I run Space Opera. 3D space is hard using an RPG, beaten only by physics-consistent air combat (where you also have air resistance, maximum speed, and all that stuff in addition to acceleration, momentum, and other space battle stuff).

You thought 3.5 wizards using fly was hard to bookkeep (well, I've only heard this complaint from newbies), now imagine having to keep track of every craft's velocity (not speed), elevation relative to other ships, facing (as unrelated to velocity as players are willing to sacrifice thrust), hull points, shields, life support, and FTL drive status.

That's the easy version, the horrible version (which I plan to use) includes armour sections, internal hull ratings, component integrity (from life support to weapons to drives), crew member status, ammunition yield (to calculate damage if ammo is hit), fuel yield (to calculate damage if a fuel tank is hit), AI level and status (reduces crew members needed), as well as velocity, acceleration, elevation, facing, and shields.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-08-25, 04:23 AM
If you're really looking for a fast system it might be an idea to just not model space travel and combat completely. They're going to X-planetium? Okay. The travel time is two days. After two thirds of that time they notice two fighter planes approaching fast. One person is piloting the ship and gets to make some sort of flying(dex) checks to lose one or both fighters, while the others man the guns and roll against some to hit DC with whatever skill or stat or something applies. In the case of fighters that DC will be pretty high, but with low HP, a good damage roll might get them in one go. Every other ship type has something different about it to keep things interesting. Freighters and smuggler ships might make interesting targets for the players, they're making flying checks to stay on their trail. Star Destroyers are slow and relatively easy to escape from, if you manage to disable their tractor beam and maybe their sensors or something first (which sounds like a job for a boarding party). That way you can still have a little bit of space battling while using a system focused on the players doing stuff while on planets. Not satisfactory if you're looking to do lots of space fighting, but a quick way to add it to a ground based system that fits the rest of the requirements.

Oberon Kenobi
2015-08-25, 04:47 AM
I'll echo the Fate recommendations, and go one step further with something specific: the Atomic Robo RPG. In-play, it's pretty much as simple as Fate Core (it adds one new scene type, Brainstorming, which is awesome but maybe not very Star Wars so you can ignore it if you want). It includes simple rules for creating custom skills, so you can model different uses of The Force. It includes rules for vehicle combat, and you can also extend the Organization rules to your ship if it's a central part of your game. I used a combination of ARRPG and Venture City Stories to run Avatar, and it worked pretty darn well.

I've also heard several people say that Jadepunk works great for Star Wars, though I've only ever used it with its base setting.

On the way simpler end of the spectrum, you can just use Fate Accelerated, and change up what the consequences are when you're in a space battle. When Shadowcraft comes out (next month, hopefully!), I think it'll be a perfect middle ground, but we'll see.

Mutazoia
2015-08-25, 10:13 AM
Nonsense. WEG d6 system is perfect for it. BUT...

This.


There is no 'very fast' way to handle space combat that actually feels like space combat in anything resembling a reasonable way. Space combat is cumbersome and complicated - especially so in Star Wars, which inevitably has to juggle shield pools and armor and hull points. Even Star Wars video games generally can't manage to bridge the gap in an effective way (witness KOTOR or TOR's very limited space combat systems).

Try the Star Warriors game for WEG's SW d6 game. That is if you want to get in to more detailed space combat. Otherwise the d6 rules handle space combat just fine....no juggling shield pools and hull points.

Seriously...why try to re-invent the wheel?

Oberon Kenobi
2015-08-25, 10:50 AM
I don't see why juggling shields and hull damage is 'inevitable' in Star Wars games anyway? I don't see the source material caring much about the difference; damage is pretty much damage, set-piece missions to take down battlestation shields notwithstanding.

(Expanded universe also notwithstanding, as I've only seen the movies and bits of Clone Wars.)

A_Man
2015-08-25, 10:53 AM
Bountyhead Bebop has some pretty good rules for quick space combat. Only issue with it is that you'd have to Brew up some Jedi rules. The current 'magic' system for telekinetic psychics and feng shui masters could mix well for Jedis. Awesome simple rules system.

Cikomyr
2015-08-25, 04:37 PM
Dark Heresy with some homerules

Yora
2015-08-27, 04:08 AM
Nonsense. WEG d6 system is perfect for it.


Try the Star Warriors game for WEG's SW d6 game. That is if you want to get in to more detailed space combat. Otherwise the d6 rules handle space combat just fine....no juggling shield pools and hull points.

I downloaded the free d6 Space rules and it looks interesting. Lots of skills, but the character sheet looks very tidy. And while I usually hate dice pools, adding up the total instead of counting successes doesn't seem too unfamiliar.

Tal_Akaan
2015-08-27, 10:51 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Savage Worlds yet. Itís inexpensive, the core rule book can handle pretty much anything you would want in a Star Wars game, but there is also a Sci-Fi Companion book that is a really good resource.

Knaight
2015-08-27, 10:58 AM
I'd go with Fudge, personally. With that said there's a number of systems which could work pretty well, taking varying degrees of tweaking. A modified ORE system could be particularly good, but that's getting into heavy tweaking territory.

lt_murgen
2015-08-27, 01:42 PM
This.



Try the Star Warriors game for WEG's SW d6 game. That is if you want to get in to more detailed space combat. Otherwise the d6 rules handle space combat just fine....no juggling shield pools and hull points.

Seriously...why try to re-invent the wheel?

Thirded. D6 Star wars was well designed and well balanced. Taught me to add numbers quickly too. The first edition had a few minor bugs, but was fixed in 2nd edition. Handled space combat really well too (at least as shown in SW)


I downloaded the free d6 Space rules and it looks interesting. Lots of skills, but the character sheet looks very tidy. And while I usually hate dice pools, adding up the total instead of counting successes doesn't seem too unfamiliar.

I am running a D6 fantasy campaign, and built one heck of a character builder / sheet in EXCEL that handles some of the math. It was easy. I prefer the Multiple dice over one D20- I love bell curves.

Nerd-o-rama
2015-08-28, 09:22 PM
Fate, easily.

Pex
2015-08-28, 10:44 PM
GURPS, maybe. It would be necessary to look over the psionics rules and take out powers that are not known to be of the Force, but it could make for an interesting story if a villain or a world population had powers not normally associated with the Force.

BootStrapTommy
2015-08-28, 11:16 PM
Oh, look. Another chance for me to shamelessly plug GURPS...

Only need d6s, space battles are included, characters are interesting. And while characters themselves are rather complex, the character sheets rarely are...


GURPS, maybe. It would be necessary to look over the psionics rules and take out powers that are not known to be of the Force, but it could make for an interesting story if a villain or a world population had powers not normally associated with the Force. There is actually a whole Star Wars Sourcebook for GURPS. It was an unofficial endeavor, but a quality one.

Yora
2015-08-29, 04:07 AM
Try the Star Warriors game for WEG's SW d6 game. That is if you want to get in to more detailed space combat. Otherwise the d6 rules handle space combat just fine....no juggling shield pools and hull points.

I love the spaceship rules for d6. They are really just the regular rules for movement and combat. The only major difference are the lists for possible penalties when a ship gets damaged. Strange idea to have a space combat system that is almost entirely only critical hit tables, but it looks really fun to play.
I like the movement rules in general. It's made for chase scenes either on foot or in vehicles.

Mutazoia
2015-08-29, 10:27 AM
Strange idea to have a space combat system that is almost entirely only critical hit tables, but it looks really fun to play. I like the movement rules in general. It's made for chase scenes either on foot or in vehicles.

If you have ever get to look close up at your "average" jet fighter, you will understand the "almost entirely only critical hit tables" thing. I, personally, have accidentally put my hand through the fuselage of an F-14, after slipping on some spilled JP-5 (jet fuel). Think how easily Luke and Han blew up the Tie-Fighters that chased them out of the Death Star....

Beleriphon
2015-08-29, 10:49 AM
Never heard of "TIE Fighter"?

Its a dedicated space combat sim, not an RPG.

Xuc Xac
2015-08-30, 04:32 AM
Its a dedicated space combat sim, not an RPG.

So? The point was about Star Wars video games being able to easily juggle shields and stuff without getting bogged down.

In the movies, they say "set your shields to double front" and it's done with the flip of a switch. In "TIE Fighter", it's just as easy. The only reason most games make it complicated is so players who aren't the pilot can do something in space combat. It doesn't have to be actively rolled against each attack like some kind of dogfighting "parry".

Zombimode
2015-08-30, 05:34 AM
I know of several licensed Star Wars games, but they all seem rather ill suited to run a Star Wars campaign.

Uh, what? Edge of the Empire is EXCELLENT.

Yora
2015-08-30, 07:11 AM
I heard it's slow and the book has 450 pages. And that's just one of three if you want to have a proper full team of mixed smugglers, republic soldiers, and jedi. I think a Star Wars game needs to be fast and have few character stats or special rules.

Beleriphon
2015-08-30, 09:32 AM
So? The point was about Star Wars video games being able to easily juggle shields and stuff without getting bogged down.

In the movies, they say "set your shields to double front" and it's done with the flip of a switch. In "TIE Fighter", it's just as easy. The only reason most games make it complicated is so players who aren't the pilot can do something in space combat. It doesn't have to be actively rolled against each attack like some kind of dogfighting "parry".

The reason its easy in TIE Fighter, or X-Wing, is precisely because it isn't an RPG. There are no complicated states to keep track of, there's no rolls to be made nor extra processes to keep track of by virtue of it being a dedicated computer game where player skill has more impact that character stats. If you want to hit you aim the reticule at the enemy and pull the trigger, I doesn't matter if I have Specialization in shooting Y-Wings vs A-Wing with blaster cannons rather than ion cannons.

Now, I'm not saying that one can't make RPG space combat as easy as X-Wing/TIE Fight but neither X-Wing nor TIE Fighter are RPGs and using them as examples of doing easy space combat in an RPG is accurate.

I personally think that SAGA Edition's space combat is probably the best example we have. It is relatively straight forward and doesn't get bogged down with positioning issues. There a few hiccoughs of course, but as a whole the system is pretty easy to use.


I heard it's slow and the book has 450 pages. And that's just one of three if you want to have a proper full team of mixed smugglers, republic soldiers, and jedi. I think a Star Wars game needs to be fast and have few character stats or special rules.

On that note, and since I haven't actually played as of yet, my understanding is that the three "games" share the same rules but aren't really meant to be played together. If you're doing the smugglers everybody is a smuggler of some kind, as Jedi everybody is a Jedi since the power levels are very different. So in essence there's no easy way to do the setup of Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and the droids.

Xuc Xac
2015-08-30, 09:58 AM
The reason its easy in TIE Fighter, or X-Wing, is precisely because it isn't an RPG. There are no complicated states to keep track of, there's no rolls to be made nor extra processes to keep track of by virtue of it being a dedicated computer game where player skill has more impact that character stats. If you want to hit you aim the reticule at the enemy and pull the trigger, I doesn't matter if I have Specialization in shooting Y-Wings vs A-Wing with blaster cannons rather than ion cannons.


How is that any different from normal combat? Space combat doesn't have to track anything that normal combat doesn't. Especially not in Star Wars where space combat is basically 2 dimensional.

Beleriphon
2015-08-30, 10:07 AM
How is that any different from normal combat? Space combat doesn't have to track anything that normal combat doesn't. Especially not in Star Wars where space combat is basically 2 dimensional.

My point is that TIE Fighter is not an RPG and has none of the attendant stuff to track. If you want to redirect shields you press a button on the joystick or keyboard and it happens, with the relevant impact on other systems. In an RPG you need to manually track that stuff on paper and RPG video games have never bother to include that level of functionality because doing so is an entire other type of video game.

Yora
2015-08-30, 10:38 AM
On that note, and since I haven't actually played as of yet, my understanding is that the three "games" share the same rules but aren't really meant to be played together. If you're doing the smugglers everybody is a smuggler of some kind, as Jedi everybody is a Jedi since the power levels are very different. So in essence there's no easy way to do the setup of Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and the droids.

Which proves the point, doesn't it?

Zombimode
2015-08-30, 11:27 AM
I heard it's slow and the book has 450 pages.

In this case you should evaluate your sources. As I had the book in hand I can attest that it doesn't have 450 pages. More like 200-250.
What do you mean by "slow"?

The game is extremely sleek. There are about 20 skills. In addition each "class" has a tree of special abilities which range from attribute increases to skill bonuses to activated abilities that are all easy to resolve. One of the more memorable ones is the technicians "Utini!" which allows him to assemble any kind of equipment (up to a certain value) on the spot.

It can model personal combat, ground vehicles and spacecraft, trading, interstellar travel and infiltration satisfyingly and with equal ease.

Its dice system which tracks positive/negative side effects independently from success/failure makes it stand out not just as a StarWars RPG but in roleplaying games in general.


The only reasons I can think of not to like this game are hating Star Wars or if you don't like having rules or dice.


And that's just one of three if you want to have a proper full team of mixed smugglers, republic soldiers, and jedi.

Smugglers and soldiers are not problem to create. I think there is splatbook support for Jedi. But considering the era the game is set it is understandable that Jedi are not in the focus.

Yora
2015-08-30, 12:03 PM
Well, it says so (https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/star-wars-edge-of-the-empire/products/star-wars-edge-of-the-empire-core-rulebook/) on the website of the company that makes those books.

Zombimode
2015-08-30, 12:13 PM
Oh well. Then the book has 450 pages. So what? It doesn't change anything what I said about the system.

Eisenheim
2015-08-30, 12:32 PM
I'm just looking over age of rebellion now, and a lot of that page count isn't rules text. Much of it is world description and roleplaying advice aimed at letting people who are new to both RP and starwars use and enjoy the product. Veterans of both can skim or skip a lot.

Karta
2015-08-30, 10:22 PM
Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny are very compatible with each other, they're meant to be. So yeah, you can play a game with Jedi, soldiers and smugglers, Force and Destiny (since it's the "last" sourcebook) even has rules for mixing all the obligation/duty/morality stuff together.

It's a highly narrative, very fast paced game that oozes Star Wars in almost every way, most of the pages in the book are lore, GM advice and equipment, the rules themselves are fairly simple and easy to learn once you understand the dice.

I recommend it, unless you really hate dice pools or something...

Nerd-o-rama
2015-08-31, 06:01 AM
Ths is why, even though I am a Saga Edition fan, I have refrained from ragging on EotE - I haven't actually read it.

Sayt
2015-08-31, 06:00 PM
I found the various FF RPGs with their funny advantage/disadvantage die systems a little... wll, it was a bit of a culture shock, coming from d20 and D% systems.

If iwas going to run Star Wars, I'd go Dark Heresy 2E, strip out insanity, rejigger Corruption to Dark Side Corruption, hack psykers down to size and cut out Perils/Phenomena and use those rules for force sensitives. But a lot fo that is because I am comfortable with Dark Heresy. I suggest you think about systems you're comfortable with and how they could be adapted.

(I've also had similar thoughts about Dh2E and Mass Effect)

Mark Hall
2015-08-31, 06:37 PM
Ths is why, even though I am a Saga Edition fan, I have refrained from ragging on EotE - I haven't actually read it.

Part of why I haven't read it is page count. While I'll admit to chasing a better D&D across several different games, I already have two games that do Star Wars perfectly well for me, and a limited amount of time. I can barely finish library books in two weeks; I don't have time for a 250 page book, much less three of them.

Ashes
2015-09-01, 07:29 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Savage Worlds yet. Itís inexpensive, the core rule book can handle pretty much anything you would want in a Star Wars game, but there is also a Sci-Fi Companion book that is a really good resource.

I agree with this. Savage Worlds is without a doubt one of the fastest systems I have tried, and it doesn't sacrifice character depth for it.
It has a good system for vehicular combat as well.
The force powers are even built in. Just rename one of the Arcane Backgrounds to Force Adept or Jedi and go to town.

Best of all, you can try it for free on www.peginc.com, it has a pdf called Test Drive Rules that gives you all you need to play.

Mark Hall
2015-09-01, 02:50 PM
I will say that I am generally a fan of Savage Worlds.

Anonymouswizard
2015-09-01, 03:02 PM
I'll agree that Savage Worlds is probably a good choice, I personally don't like it's tone but it should work brilliantly for Star Wars. It is a fun system, I just prefer more lethality.

Ashes
2015-09-02, 02:41 AM
I'll agree that Savage Worlds is probably a good choice, I personally don't like it's tone but it should work brilliantly for Star Wars. It is a fun system, I just prefer more lethality.

Have you tried shooting a character with a rifle? That's plenty lethal.

Anonymouswizard
2015-09-02, 10:30 AM
Have you tried shooting a character with a rifle? That's plenty lethal.

I've only used it for pre-black powder fantasy, which meant that there was quite a bit of people swinging swords and not hitting their opponent's parry (assuming d6 is your average warrior then melee hits on a 5+ while ranged hits on a 4+), and then most hits either inflicted the shaken condition or dealt a single wound (great until I realised that in 3 sessions I'd only actually been damaged once as an unarmoured elf). It probably works better when guns come into play, and your experience with melee may be completely different, but I prefer GURPS for my generic games. I just prefer it when the PCs can't soak 3+ hits from the average mook when unarmoured. I stick to games like Shadowrun or GURPS now, and would pretty much only run GURPS if I had a decent netrunning system ready to go.