Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Star Wars Off The Table

So Fantasy Flight Games just announced that THEY are the company that acquired the comprehensive game licensing package of Star Wars for tabletop gaming (cards, minis, and RPGs). That puts to rest any speculation that Mongoose may have been fibbing back when they said a different company had already acquired the rights in which they were interested.

The fact that we haven't heard anything till now isn't surprising, seeing as how FFG is accompanying their announcement with the announcement of their soon-to-be-released minis and card games. It would appear, they've been spending the time between acquisition and now in quiet development.

Which is neat and all, but nothing I give a rat's ass about. As one person commented, do we need a new SW minis game?

[probably not...though do we need a new anything, really?]

What I am more interested in knowing is their plans, if any, for anew RPG. That we could use (in my opinion), but RPGs are nototiously low in Ye Old Profit Threshold. Especially ones (I suspect anyway) that have been issued in licensed form time and time again (the Star Wars RPG has no less than 5 editions).

Perhaps, they'll re-re-license the RPG rights to Mongoose to make a sourcebook for the new Traveller, a la Hammers Slammers? Ugh...personally, I'd hate to see that happen, as SW doesn't model well with a "start a career" mode. Luke Skywalker (or Young Anakin and Young Ben from the prequel trilogy) are NOT well-modeled by Traveller's standard chargen system. At least, not in my opinion. Plus, the straight-forward simulationist-accomodating Traveller isn't (again, just my opinion) really suited for the rollicksome story-telling style of cinematic space fantasy (i.e. what is called "space opera").

But then, few systems are...D6 was bogged down with an over-abundance of skills, an over-saturation of sourcebooks, and a poor modelling of "character development" with its glacially slow "advancement process." Meanwhile, D20 made Star Wars all about collecting Stormtrooper scalps (i.e. "shooting stuff")...and there is, of course, more to the franchise than that.

Ah, well...they may be planning nothing at this time. I'm not sure I'm familiar with FFG's past RPGs...oh, wait. THEY did Death Watch and Dark Heresy and the new "card-counting" version of WFRP?!

Ugh. Then they probably ARE developing something. Probably something that comes in a 500 page rule book, in a box, with cards and counters. Nothing I'd be interested in, in other words.

Too bad, really. And here I was thinking about offering 'em some freelance help.
; )


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  2. Whatever rpg they put out, it'll be riddled with editorial errors and laid out as if by a drunken orangutan. FFG produce decent games and their production values are very high indeed, but my gosh, their organisation is appalling.

  3. I contend that the best system for playing a Star Wars-esque style of space fantasy is B/ has all the building blocks you need to pull off a surprisingly satisfying space opera. Source book anyone?

  4. I can only totally disagree when it comes to D6. It was simple, fairly fast paced and the 'over-abundance' of skills confuses me to no end. There were maybe thirty if you really stretched it. In comparison to most Sci-Fi and Space Opera games it was practically Toon.

    How exactly did it poorly model character development? I've GMed it numerous times and a plethora of very deep, three-dimensional characters emerged. Of course, like most RPGs, that doesn't have much to do with the rules (nor should it in my opinion). That's all about player creativity and role playing.

    I just can't see where you're coming from on this one JB. Star Wars D6 remains one of my all time favorite RPGs. I actually like it a lot more than I actually like Star Wars as an IP. That is, I'd rather play Star Wars D6 than watch the Prequels. ;P

  5. Yeah, I always though D6 was pretty light on the skills. Granted, they had that absolutely absurd rule about hitting yourself with a light saber, but you can just ignore that... I've found D6 to be a pretty light, fast-playing system. (Especially if you use the Fast Static stuff from Mini-Six for combat.)

    Spot on about the sourcebooks, but then again, the entire Star Wars franchise is littered with expanded crud.

    ...sounds like you need to brush yourself off and finish that B/X Space Opera game. ;)

  6. @ B.A.:

    I've blogged more than once about some of my issues with D6. It's not that it doesn't model character development (!) it's that it doesn't model the character development of characters in the FILMS. In other words, you can't play D6 and be Luke Skywalker (or a Luke Skywalker clone) without altering the system the way it is designed to play. To me, that's a deal-killer because...well, because if I play a Star Wars game I expect my character development to be in line with what I've seen in the films.

    @ Ryan: Over the years I have acquired an extreme dislike for skill systems that require the GM to set a "difficulty number." D6 has this particular feature in spades.

    I've got a LOT of projects to finish up in the near future...I may need some help getting 'em all out.
    ; )

  7. Hmm...interesting. Never had that issue myself. Even had a a player play a virtual Luke clone once (although he differentiated a bit as he went on) with no difficulties.

    To each their own of course. I just don't want to see another D20, class based mess. Ugh. The last two editions of the game by WotC combined with the Prequels put me off playing Star Wars for years.

  8. @ B.A.: Hey, man, I agree that I don't want a mess, but class-based seems extremely useful for SW, as in "classification." This guy's a Jedi, this guy's a pilot, this dude's a wookie, etc.

    The trick for not making it a mess is NOT to have archetypes with customizable skills (as is done with D6), nor making classes interchangeable (as with D20), but painting characters (and their capabilities) in broad strokes that call to mind the cinematic nature of the original films.

    Don't worry...we'll get to it.
    ; )