Let’s make Stargazer’s World Great Again!

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Let me assure you that this blog is in no way affiliated to any US presidential campaign. But making things great again is just en vogue at the moment, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try to bring this fine blog back to its former glory.

So, what’s the problem? In the glory days of RPG blogging we often had way more than one or two thousand visits a day, countless comments that sometimes even turned into quite exciting discussions. One of the reason why we got so much traffic was the fact that the team and I churned out at least one post per weekday. Currently we are lucky if there are 400 views a day, way less than before.

Eventually the post frequency went down. The reasons were plentyful. One particular nasty reason was my ongoing fight with mental health issues. Things are slowly getting better in that department, so I find myself posting more often and more regularly. But it seems our articles don’t have the impact anymore that they once had. Perhaps the focus of the RPG web community moved away from blogs to social networks like Facebook or Google+. Perhaps I ramble too much about my thoughts on the hobby than bringing exciting industry insider posts. Or people are looking for stuff they can put to use in their own games.

Stargazer’s World has always been first an foremost a place for me to write about things going through my head. But over the years it also became something greater. Now in its 8th year, I have the feeling that the glory days are long past us. Or am I wrong? Perhaps we just need to give the old blog a push into the right direction.

Is there anything you’re missing from the good old days? Is there a type of article you want to read more often? Do you think blogs are yesterday’s news and have been replaced by other social media? Please share your comments below. If you’re a fan of the blog and totally happy with our content, please let us know, too. It doesn’t hurt to read a few nice words from time to time.

Last but not least I want to thank all past and current readers of Stargazer’s World. You guys are great. I am especially excited that there have been quite a few comments on posts recently. It seems things are already swinging into the right direction. So let’s strike while the iron is hot and make this blog great again!

Some Thoughts on FFG’S Star Wars RPG

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Yesterday I wrote about West End Games’ venerable Star Wars The Roleplaying Game, today I want to muse about the current incarnation of Star Wars in roleplaying form. Recently I finally had the chance to play Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire game and I have to admit I was very positively surprised.

Usually I am not fond of roleplaying games using custom dice, but if there’s one thing Fantasy Flight Games is good at, then it’s creating cool dice mechanics. FFG’s series of Star Wars roleplaying games uses various polyhedral dice with symbols that denote successes, failures, complications, etc. At first reading the dice is a bit fiddly, but after a while it becomes second nature. What I really like about the dice mechanic is that it provides GMs and players with a lot of space for interpretations. If you’re creative you can get a lot out of your dice rolls, which then leads to very cool Star Wars moments.

The dice mechanic is definitely one of the game’s highlights but I also love the character creation process. After picking species and class you get a couple of free skill ranks. After that you can improve your character with a number of experience points granted to you during character creation. The costs for buying new talents, improving skill ranks and attributes are the same as when you advance your character later in game. A lot of games have different systems for buying abilities during character creation and through experience, so this just feels … elegant.

I think I have written about my opinion on the physical product, the core rulebook for Edge of the Empire, already, but if not, let me share a few thoughts. As with most FFG products the core rulebook is a very well produced hardcover book with outstanding artwork. It’s quite expensivve, but you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. That being said I am not too happy with this whole “a core rulebook for every setting” scheme. Aside from Edge of the Empire which is basically Han Solo The Roleplaying Game, there are the Age of Rebellion, Force and Destiny, and the upcoming Force Awakens Roleplaying Game lines. So basically every Star Wars sub-setting gets a complete line of products which are 100% compatible. The core rulebooks are perhaps not total copy-and-paste jobs, but a lot of the material is redundant. They’ve used this scheme with their Warhammer 40K RPGs as well and I didn’t like it there either. From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense though.

So if you are a collector of all things Star Wars you can sink a lot of dough into the Star Wars RPG lines. Up to this point there are already countless source books for all existing lines and I am pretty sure FFG will produce many more as long as they are holding the license.

One last thing: can FFG’s Star Wars RPG replace the West End Games one as my go-to Star Wars roleplaying game? Hmm, that’s a tough one. I think it depends a lot on the target audience. Your regular grognard is probably more than happy with the old WEG game. But especially if you’re running a game for kids, or people who are usually not into RPGs, I recommend FFG’s game. For some reason it feels more vibrant, more flashy. Since it’s also currently in print it’s also the easier choice. But you should keep in mind that if you want the full Star Wars experience you’ll need to buy all the core rulebooks, which are quite expensive.

So what are you’re thought on the subject? Please share your comments below!

Why WEG’s Star Wars The Roleplaying Game 1st Edition is my favorite d6 System game

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Ok, I think I things got a bit out of hand with this title, but that’s basically what I want to write about today. Let’s get some things out of the way first: I am not talking about WEG’s version of the Star Wars universe here. This post is first and foremost about the rules Greg Costikyan came up with.

The mechanics in Star Wars The Roleplaying Game 1st Edition are a successor to the system employed in WEG’s Ghostbusters RPG. In its core it is a dice pool system in which you roll a number of six-sided dice equal to the relevant attribute or skill and compare the total result to a difficulty level set by the GM. If your attribute or skill has a score of – for example – 4D+2, you roll 4 dice, add their results together and add 2. It’s perhaps a bit more math intensive than counting successes in other games, but even a first grader should be able to do it.

To make things simple the game assumes that if you have a certain score in an attribute you automatically have the same score in all skills dependent on that attribute (if you haven’t improved it yet). So if you have 4D in Strength, you have 4D in Brawling, 4D in Climbing/Jumping, etc. I am sure you get the drift.

Continue reading Why WEG’s Star Wars The Roleplaying Game 1st Edition is my favorite d6 System game

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