"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Star Wars - West End Games, Spell Summary & Black Death

There are probably a few contenders for product licenses based on movies or TV shows that could be bigger than Star Wares. The only one that might give it a run is Star Trek. West End Games had the rights to publish Star Wars gaming material back in the 1980's. This had to be a huge score in the history of the company. They went on to release maybe 200+ products in the Star Wars line. They released the first edition shown here in 1987.

The book starts with a simply amazing cover based off the movie poster used for "A New Hope". The game was published four years after Return of the Jedi was released and it does not feature Ewoks so that is a good sign. Inside the book are numerous pages of full color art from the movies. The whole book is filled with B&W stills from all three movies. For this factor alone it would be appreciated by most any gamer that is a Star Wars fan.

The game itself is based on the D6 system which first designed for Ghostbusters but was used later by WEG in other game systems. To create a character the player chooses from one of twenty-four Character Templates. These range the gambit from Alien Student of the Force to Young Senatorial. It includes all the templates you would also expect such as Smuggler, Arrogant Noble, Bounty Hunter to Minor Jedi. Character Templates determine the Dice assigned to each ability. Each player had 7D that can be added as desired with no more than 2D added to any skill. Players with Force ability get 7D that can be added to that as well.

The book has an Introduction at the very beginning. This is very short consisting of only one page which is nice. The bulk of the book consists of three major sections. These are the Player Section, the Gamemaster Section and the Adventure Section. Finally there are the Character Templates and a Charts and Tables area at the end of the book.

The Player Section features three chapters. The first chapter is Creating a Character. The second is The Bare Bones which goes over the basic of the game rules which are described in more detail in the Gamemaster section. The final chapter is An Introduction to Roleplaying.

The Gamemaster Section has seven chapters. The first is an Introduction to Gamemastering. The next chapter is Attributes and Skills. The third chapter is Combat. The fourth chapter is Wounds and Healing and then next is Starships. The sixth chapter is Force that deals with amazingly enough the Force. The final chapter in this section is Other Characters which deals with creating your own Character Templates. It also features the stats for R2-D2 and C3PO.

The Adventure Section has four chapters in it. The first is Running Adventures and the second is Designing Adventures. The third chapter is a premade adventure the GM can used called "Rebel Breakout". The fourth and final chapter is Adventure Ideas which has more than enough plot hooks to get the GM started.

Star Wars fans should have a copy of this though there were later editions which added to the game and clarified the rules. Still there is something to be said for the first edition of the game. If you are not a Star Wars fan I would still say find a copy and see if you can incorporate ideas from it into whatever Sci-Fi game you are playing. Who knows how a Vulcan Jedi in the Spinward Marches aboard a Minbari Sharlin War Cruiser searching for the Battlestar Galactica which is carrying Fifth Element would play out.

Spell Summary - To Date

Below is a list of the spells that have been posted so far. These complete the ones that were fully written before I started the posting. I will now begin posting those that were given a name and an idea but not a full treatment. I am going to keep them in the same format for consistency. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions or requests please let me know.

Cassandra's Acid Cloud
Armor of Oxidation
Cassandra's Beads of Irresistible Force
Cassandra's Birthday Present
Conjure Undead
Control Weapon
Dispel Invisibility
Elemental Immunity (R)
Ghoul Touch
Cassandra's Globe of Intoxication
Cassandra's Growing Snowball
Cassandra's Mark of Friendship (R)
Mass Polymorph
Mass Suggestion
Mass Teleport
Maximization (R)
Minor Petrification
Cassandra's Minor Replicas
Mystical Healing (R)
Cassandra's Mystical Mirror
Cassandra's Mystical Porters
Protection from Normal Weapons
Pyrokenetic Force
Cassandra's Ring of Teleportation
Shadow Assassin
Cassandra's Shadowy Hound
Cassandra's Sonic Shock Wave
Cassandra's Spell Amplification
Cassandra's Spell Recollection
Cassandra's Spell Reflection
Spell Resistance (R)
Summon Lesser Elemental
Cassandra's Veil of Friendship
Cassandra's Vortex of Doom
Cassandra's Wave of Exhaustion
Weight Amplification (R)
Cassandra's Wild Goose Chase
Cassandra's Carpet Trap I
Cassandra's Carpet Trap II
Cassandra's Carpet Trap III
Cassandra's Carpet Trap IV
Cassandra's Carpet Trap V
Cassandra's Carpet Trap VI
Cassandra's Carpet Trap VII

Black Death - Movie Suggestion

If you have not seen the movie Black Death pass on going to the movie cinema and fire up a Netflix account and watch Black Death. The movie stars Sean Bean of Boromir  fame and Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. This is a great period piece. There are good reviews at Aldeboran and Warlocks Home Brew so I won't try to recreate their work. There was another blog that had a great review that I actually commented on but I for the life of me can't find it. regardless of my failure see this movie!


Billiam Babble said...

Hi Wymarc!
Nice review of WEG's SWRPG. :)
The other day I was inspired by Brutorz Bill of the Green Skeleton Gaming Guild to scan in a sort of errata supplement for this rulebook which tweaks the combat rules (it was slipped into modules as a pamphlet).
Like you say, this is a really nice rulebook partly because it's just "classic" original trilogy setting. In addition to your recommendation that gamers and fans would be advised to also seek out the The Star Wars Sourcebook (ISBN 0874310660) released at the same time, which makes up for the lack of starship stats and alien racers and also includes characters with stats from the films.
Deep down in my heart I prefer this to WotC d20 SW - but I'm torn between the two (sometimes rolling so many d6s could be a bit of a pain, but the WEG system is elegant and easy to remember on the fly).
(Ewoks do get a sort of mention as a character template between "Brash Pilot" and "Failed Jedi" sorry about that, the world is still divided about the cute lil' Ewoks *grin*) ;)
Thanks for the memories, keep up the cool posts. :)

Wymarc said...

Thanks for the comment. I knew the ewoks were in the book but glad they did not make the cover as that would have tarnished its.

There were a number of great supplements for the game. Many were worth buying just as fans of the movies and setting even if you did not play the game.

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