Saturday, October 24, 2009

2nd Look at 2nd Edition

No...not 2nd Edition AD&D.

Finished up reading my new $10 copy of the Star Wars RPG (1st edition). I know I wrote that I was pretty excited to get my hands on it. I know I said I was very glad that it was the 1st edition, the one published prior to the horde of Star Wars novels that inundated readers in the 90's prior to the release of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. I know I said the only differences I recall between the 1st and 2nd edition were a slew of new Force powers based on said novels.

Ok, so I was talking out of my ass. It's a blog...sue me.

Having finished up my reading I now see gaping holes in the rules that I remember being filled by the 2nd edition...and NOT simply rules regarding Force powes. Where are the scaling rules between walkers, speeders, starships, and capitol ships? Where are the alternative to death rules (aka "lightsaber maiming")? For that matter where is the stuff on prosthetic limb replacement?

Regarding the Force, the 2nd edition introduced Character points as a combo XP/karma point for doing cool stuff and saving your bacon, even if you weren't Force sensitive. Force points were capped in 2nd edition for non-Force sensitives. And there were a LOT more rules regarding the Dark Side, how it interacted with Force use, as well as rules for redeeming characters that had fallen to the Dark Side (my favorite type o story to tell).

All of this is missing from the 1st edition book, and I'm sure there's more (I didn't peruse deeply the starship rules because I've already decided 1st edition ain't enough). Ugh. I need to get in touch with that guy who was going to sell me his stack of old Star Wars stuff...and buy it!

Maybe I need to retro-clone WEG's Star Wars. But what would I call it? I'd have to re-name "the Force," of course...maybe I'd call it the Source.
; )


  1. why retro-clone it?

    They released the d6 system as an OGL game already, all you will be missing in those books is the force.

  2. Intriguing. And thanks for the post. I've never played D6. I have the 2nd edition and kept reading about how great 1st edition is. So I ordered it (cheap) and its on its way. It will be interesting to compare them.

    (By the way, how much used stuff does Gary's have? I don't make it down to Seattle much but may be able to swing a stop there sometime.)

  3. Ye're making me feel better about winning the second edition on ebay...

    Personally, I'd run it 'elsewhere in the galaxy, where other things are happening to other people', during the original trilogy (Han Shot First!), or use it as a guide to developing my own SF galaxy.

    Too many skills for my taste, can we have a class-and-level version? Hey, I might have to write that as a Swords & Wizardry adaptation!

  4. First edition Star Wars was the first game system that I truly fell in love with (after D&D, that is). In fact, it (and its 2nd Edition) became the focus of my gaming all through college and up to this day. Unfortunately, for all its innovation, first edition really DID have a lot of holes in it. 2nd Edition did fix most of those, but throughout my extended campaign (and after West End Games went in the toilet), I couldn't resist tinkering with those things I considered 'problem areas'.

    Still, for all its holes, 1st Edition really does capture the SPIRIT of what the game for this setting should be about—simple, fun, action-packed and cinematically dramatic. And all of this gained at the sacrifice of 'realism' and complexity. Ironically, 2nd Edition seemed almost to take a few steps AWAY from this, even as it plugged the holes.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. And if you're interested in hearing more of my rambles about Star Wars, please check out my own blog. Until then, may the... no, I'm not going to say it.

  5. @ Narmer: Gary's has a ton of used stuff, but whether or not you can find what you're looking for...well, it depends on what you want. I've never seen B/X material, pre-2nd edition D&D modules, or any BECMI Gazeteers...all stuff I'd love to pick up. There's plenty of shit no one wants (Ravenloft campaign material anyone?). As far as other games, it just depends...I peruse the shelves at least once a week, and I find something worth purchasing at least half the time.

    @myrystyr: there are A LOT of damn I've been re-visiting the game I am seeing that myself. I'm sure there's a way to simplify the game.

    @rolo: I agree with the SPIRIT thing...totally.

    @Dyson: man...I need to catch up on what games are out there! But it was a momentary fit o madness anyway. I already have some ideas about a different game...
    ; )

  6. A little late that I comment here, but better late than never.

    I too love the old SW game, played some of the most memorable and joyous games with d6, and d20 just doesn't cut it for SW. WotC had the opportunity to continue d6 (or at least I was told from a reliable source the opportunity was given), instead they did d20, and killed SW as an RPG, IMO.

    While looking for houserules etc in case I ever wanted to revive SW for my games, I stumbled over this:

    Might be of interest to you.