Star Wars Roleplaying Game
Fantasy Flight Games had their own attempt at producing a Star Wars roleplaying game, it's actually pretty good. Not to be confused with the D6 system with the same name made by West End Games. A very unique form of roleplaying game though, in that it relies less on raw statistical power and more on speciality dice (sold by FFG).
Currently there are three separate campaign settings:
- Edge of the Empire
- Age of Rebellion
- Force and Destiny
However, unlike the Warhammer 40,000 roleplaying games produced by Fantasy Flight, they all use exactly the same format and rulesets and are completely compatible with one another with only minor differences in the reason for why they adventure, though all of the mechanics can be used simultaneously.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Splatbooks
The three settings are set around the same time as Episode IV, approximately the same time that the Rebels blow up the Death Star. So it's the time of Storm Troopers, X-Wings and Yoda.
Depending on the rulebook that the characters are drawn from, the players are hooked into the universe using a variety of mechanical effects.
EotE uses an Obligation mechanic, which is a percentile number of how much debt they are in to someone or something else. It doesn't have to be monetary "debt", it could be a frail old grandmother that needs looked after, or simply having children. Either way the character has something after which they need to look or appease. The higher their percentile, the more chance of an off-table event occurring, which will affect the mindset of the character, reducing their effectiveness in-game. The players can use Obligation as a resource though, and accumulate more obligation to gain assets of value, like starships or rare items. Too much obligation and they start becoming a liability, so it's usually in the players interest to get rid of it when they get the opportunity.
AoR uses Duty, which is like inverse Obligation, they "want" to accumulate duty as it represents their status with their chosen organisation (the Rebellion by default), at low levels they don't get much, but as they accumulate more, they can trade it in for starships and items.
F&D uses Morality which generally only works for force users, being an asshole will accumulate conflict points, which will reduce their morality in the long run, meaning that they can start using the dark side. The custom dice that force users have has 7 dark sides out of 12, but the light sides tend to give more points when rolled. This is somewhat consistent with the lore, which describes the dark side as easier, but the light side as ultimately more powerful. In that vein, lightsiders gain a higher strain threshold, and can therefore continue fighting/acting for longer.
Anyone that has played any of the 40k roleplaying systems by FFG will get a familiar feeling when playing Edge of the Empire, it takes the "degrees of success" mechanic from the 40k rules, and strips away pretty much everything else.
Instead of simply taking a skill or combat check and comparing numbers, players roll a dice pool of special Star Wars dice that replace the numbers with symbols representing successes and additional effects. The DM then rolls a pool of "difficulty dice" proportional to the challenge of the task, with a different set of symbols to represent failure and "yes, but" negative effects that can happen independent of the roll's success or failure. If the player has more success symbols than the DM has failure symbols, the player succeeds on the check; excess successes and bonus-effect symbols give better results. This have later been developed to the generic Genesys RPG system.
This actually has two major advantages over most other rule sets straight off the bat.
- 1) Less reliance on statistics means there are less pauses at the table while people count up what their rolls actually mean. Few rolls require counting higher than ten.
- 2) Cheating becomes much less of a problem as players cannot simply roll dice and declare that they have passed or failed a test, since they actually have to compare their successes to the DM's failures. Thus, authority always remains with the DM.
Of course this means owning a set of Star Wars dice, though you can use traditional dice, and just use a conversion table found in the rulebook... though that defeats the point. FFG also sells a rather nice dice-rolling app for iOS and Android.
Dice pools are generated quite easily, when you take a test, each skill has a stat associated with it. Compare your ranks in the skill with the stat, and take the higher of the two numbers as your basic number of dice, and the lower of the two number determines how many of those dice are "upgraded" from D8s to D12s.
If you get situational bonuses due to talents or environmental effects, the DM can add D6s to the pool.
The Fantasy Flight version is a hybrid of free-form vs structure when it comes to character creation.
PCs choose a career and a specialisation to spend their experience in. However, if they choose to, they can buy upgrades from other specialisations by paying into those specialisations. They may also buy into other entire careers if they feel inclined too, though that is essentially cross classing and therefore comes at an increased XP cost.
Again, unlike the disparate 40k settings, they all work in unison with one another, so a Consular Healer could easily cross-class as a Hired Gun Heavy if the DM allowed it, since it would not affect the way the game is played, nor would it change the overall power level of the character with respect to the rest of the party.
New characters gain a set of Class Skills from both their core class and specialization, and get a number of ranks in both for free, 4 Class, 2 Spec, respectively. The number of these ranks differ for 'Force and Destiny' classes however (3 and 2) as each main Class in that core book also gains a Force Rating of 1 automatically.
These free ranks stack between Class, Specialization, and Species, but have a hard starting limit of 2. The most notable (and possibly only) exception to this rule are the Corellian Humans, who can raise piloting up to 3 at start. While all of these free ranks are nice, it quickly becomes apparent how little they matter, once you really get into the game.
Edge of the Empire
- Assassin - Part Ninja, part Sniper, all deadly. Gets aiming bonuses for added damage, and dodge & stealth bonuses for avoiding it. Also gets "Lethal Blows" for absolutely horrific critical hit modifiers. Plus, they have the "greatest" ability ever: they can stand up as a incidental action.
- Gadgeteer - Be like Boba Fett and get custom armour and gear. DMs should be wary about players who want to play this, as they are going to Munchkin the FUCK out of the character. The real cheese comes in when using the "Jury Rig" ability to reduce the advantage cost for weapons with autofire, effectively doubling their damage output for not a lot of investment.
- Survivalist - Tracking, sneaking and good at covering terrain, everything a good bounty hunter needs. Which of course makes for a good scout/pointman if your party doesn't include one already.
- Operator (No Disintegrations) - Piloting spec focused on pursuing and taking out enemy ships and vehicles.
- Martial Artist (NoDi) - Kung Fu spec all about improving unarmed attacks. It makes crits a lot easier to trigger and adds a skill that allows you to use parry while unarmed.
- Skip Tracer (NoDi) - The underworld detective. Taking some of the Investigator's sleuthing skills mixed some social ones for negotiating.
- Doctor: Pretty good as both a medic and a purveyor of "feel good juice" for buffs. Also make pretty damn good martial artists if they start taking the right skills in the tree, particularly for races that get automatic buffs to their unarmed damage like trandoshans and wookiees.
- Politico - The "Face" and buffer of the group, gets a hilarious ability to hurl scathing abuse at an opponent, causing strain, which has the potential to knock them unconscious. Can also do the inverse and restore strain on allies.
- Scholar - all the lore at your fingertips, basically about researching things you didn't know, but as a student of the mind you get have surprising mental discipline, you can reduce strain damage and can get some non-career skills of your choice.
- Entrepreneur (Far Horizons) - Always looking for a deal: Buy Low / Sell High, also get free money in every session due to your fat cat nature and wise investments. You can also become wealthy enough that you can throw money at your obligation and make it go away temporarily.
- Marshall (FaHo) - The frontier Lawman, or police officer. Gives the Colonist some much needed fighting ability and the ability to to-and-fro your interaction skills with another player, Good Cop/Bad Cop style (it is actually named just that too).
- Performer (FaHo) - the actual Bardic music class, this is ALL about the active abilities and gets practically no passive bonuses at all. Your performances can net you your "Biggest Fan", so pretty much like magical domination. Note that you can't just turn the BBEG like this.
- Fringer - Gets a few of astrogation bonuses that are unlikely to come into play, but makes for an acceptable group pilot if no-one else can do the job. They also get a a whole bunch of defensive bonuses that are generally handy no matter what other specializations they take.
- Scout - The stealth dude the team puts on point since he'll see everything and not be seen in turn, and gets to backstab in a similar way to Rogues. Also gets the utility belt ability, where he can pull a common rarity item out of his ass for free by spending destiny points.
- Trader - Earn 15,000,000 Gold a Day by wheeling & dealing your DMs economy to breaking point and also locating black market items he doesn't want you to have. Try to cross-class as Quartermaster and/or Entrepreneur to gain added Profit and your DM will kick you in the balls.
- Archaologist (Enter the Unknown) - Indiana Jones IN SPACE, you can play Harrison Ford's OTHER alter ego, despite not having the brawl skill immediately, is surprisingly good at... Brawling
- Big Game Hunter (EtU) - like playing an archery Ranger, gets a few stealth / terrain talents and can cause MASSIVE damage at long range
- Driver (EtU) - A "Pilot" but for atmospheric vehicles rather than X-Wings, is virtually analogous to to that specialization and many of the bonuses carry over, so it can be a worthwhile choice.
- Bodyguard - Supposedly the "protector" archetype but I can't remember the last time I saw the secret service use rifles, bazookas and gun-turrets, but okay. They get barrage bonuses on heavy weapons & gunnery at long range but most of the specialization IS about defensive boosts, and they can provide active benefits to party members. So it works.
- Marauder - Barbarian hit things, Barbarian do much damage... while having the highest HP and natural damage resistance in the game.
- Mercenary Soldier - The professional, and does it pretty well. Boost team members due to leadership skill, and gets half-decent fighting bonuses, making this a good option.
- Enforcer (Dangerous Covenants) - Get your Thug on and hit things with baseball bats. Good for intimidation value and getting around in the underworld.
- Demolitionist (DaCo) - KABOOM BABY! All about blast weapons, making blasts better and how they are shaped (so you can exclude friendly targets), you can also rig mundane stuff to explode once per session.
- Heavy (DaCo) - Make big guns seem like kiddie toys and start hip-shooting normally mounted weaponry and doing massive damage while you spray lasers all over the place. It's the exact same tree as Heavy for Soldier, so you could conceivably cross-class from Heavy into Heavy and carry some really, REALLY big guns.
- Pilot - Learn to fly a space craft, while many classes get the pilot skill, a specialized pilot gets talents and bonuses that make him generally better at it than anyone else. (until you see Rebel Aces)
- Scoundrel - Telling lies and acting quickly, also gets the black market connections that the Trader gets but doesn't screw with the economy so much since he's not selling them back at a profit.
- Thief - "Yoink" I've picked your lock, pinched your stuff, now I'm stealthing off into the night then blending into a crowd. Like playing the Thief video game, but in science fiction!
- Charmer (Fly Casual) - A huge amount of active talents that help with interaction checks, but this specialization also allows normally "Face" style characters to do stuff in combat with "Don't Shoot" and "Disarming Smile".
- Gambler (FlyCa) - Yes, they've got a few actual "Gambling" boosts, but this class is excellent no matter what you are doing or what career you started from. You can get access to re-rolls, can suffer strain to get a Destiny point back in your pool and the Double or Nothing talent can be Awesome if you use it on skills you know you can pass.
- Gunslinger (FlyCa) - Gives the Smuggler career some needed firepower, though exclusively based around
pistols"Ranged: Light" weapons and initiative-order trickery. Fantastic on the quick draw, they get bonuses to Critical Hits and if they get in first they can reduce the crit rating of their weapon for that strike, as well as gaining additional first strike bonuses. Remember, grenades are "Ranged: Light" too...
- Mechanic - Fixes stuff, so is good with vehicular focused parties. Can also cause machinery to spontaneously combust due to "Bad Motivator", which is hilarious. Can also make items out of sticky tape, PVA glue and coloured paper which can solve immediate problems. FUN.
- Outlaw Tech - Remember how the scout could pull items out of his ass? well so can this guy, but earlier on. Plus he can modify, scavenge, improve and repair things. Making him a desirable party member when people want to upgrade their gear. Anyone who cross-classes Gadgeteer with Outlaw Tech is a filthy munchkin and can't really deny it.
- Slicer - There is something called "Defensive Slicing", just in case your DM wants to hack your computers with a skill check rather than telling you he's hacked your system, the only situation this routinely comes up is in space combat, but is far more likely to be the slicer hacking enemy ships. But this class is not just about tackling computers and is also handy with lock-picks. Not really a specialization to completely max out unless I'm missing something.
- Cyber Tech (Special Modifications) - Become better at cybernetics by increasing the number you can have and getting more out of them. You also get to be a better healer, heal yourself with droid items, and use some of your cybernetics to reload or power up depowered devices. This tree includes Eye For Detail, which lets you change your spare Successes for more Advantage when taking Mechanics or Computer checks; very useful when crafting items.
- Droid Tech (SpMo) - The Cyber Tech is good with cybernetics, this one is good with droids. With "Machine Mender" and "Deft Maker" you're good at making them, modifying them and repairing them. Plus with lots of "Speak Binary" you're good at talking to them and getting them to boost their dice use. You also get "Eye for Detail" twice, and the ability to salvage parts from one item to repair another, without destroying the first item.
- Modder (SpMo) - Upgrade ALL the things! Kind of like a catch-all Gadgeteer crossed with Rigger. It gives you enough Tinkerer ranks to upgrade your and your friends' gear, as well as getting some sweet vehicular abilities on the other side of the tree with Signature Vehicle. While it's not a big problem, you're clearly not as focused as either the Rigger or the Gadgeteer. But otherwise still great for characters who just want to dip their toes into item modding without pigeon-holing themselves into a total technician role.
Age of Rebellion
- Driver - Identical to the Explorer specialisation, even if your focus is not atmospheric, can be worth taking for the stacking passive bonuses it grants.
- Gunner - Good even if you can't pilot for shit, since larger vessels have turret mounts that few people get any bonuses using, different from the Heavy since it's less about mobility and more about aiming bonuses. But the talents also work broadly too, turning you into a Tank. If you are also a decent pilot... Then well....
- Pilot - Exactly the same specialisation the Smuggler gets, but a better fit for a character who wants to be a dedicated pilot, since the in-career specialisations combo extremely well together.
- Beast Rider (Stay on Target) - More for riding than driving/piloting. Your mileage may vary since mounted characters might be rare in your campaign.
- Rigger (StTa) - Holy Shit! Like the Gadgeteer, except for a vehicle, if your group has a shared starship and the setting involves a lot of space combat, someone should be MADE to play this class.
- Hotshot (StTa) - Like the Pilot, except more about crazy active abilities like maneuvering enemies into each other or pulling the switcharoo during dogfights.
- Commodore - Combo Mechanic and Fringer with command and defence abilities thrown in. Literally there are four straight-line paths to the bottom which means you aren't forced to mix up your abilities. It's generally straightforward if your character wants a two or more of those paths and couldn't get them without multi-classing more than once.
- Squadron Leader - A defensive pilot. If he was on his own he'd be fairly inoffensive though he does get the Quick Strike ability for getting first hits in. His group skills mostly work on the ground as well as in vehicles, so he's not entirely useless. But this should be chosen as a later specialisation, rather than starting the game as a squad leader.
- Tactician - Sort of a combination of Bodyguard and Mercenary Soldier, without the fighting talents of either but gets improved mobility skills (so would have made a better "Bodyguard" than the Bodyguard specialisation). Good if the party includes several fighting characters and could use someone to buff them up.
- Figurehead (Lead by Example) - This career is a generic commander, unlike the three core specializations, so they are good for all situations rather than just one. They keep their nerve and can buff their allies, as well as bringing passive Duty bonuses. Like a Boss.
- Instructor (LbE) - A combat support class, allowing their allies to gain free maneuvers or actions, or to gain bonuses on repeat actions. The career is also useful as a medic and bodyguard for keeping their allies alive. Not much in the way of personal combat ability other than extreme PT exercises, but combat utility should be granted from multi-classing.
- Strategist (LbE) - Most of your abilities pertain to Massed Combat, which might find little use in a typical RPG session, but they can heavily modify those combat checks when they happen. The second half of the class is all about gathering and applying lore, turning this class into Sun Tzu in space. Can hand out boost die much like the Analyst.
- Ambassador - they took the chatty part of the Politico specialisation and removed all of the foul language and gave them actual defences instead. They still can't stand up in a fight but they've got strain for days and are resistant to fear.
- Agitator - The angry portion of the Politico, made more focused. They're much more thuggish (like the Enforcer) but unfortunately unless they cross-career into something tough, its all bark rather than bite. That said, the ultimate ability causes a literal riot.
- Quartermaster - FREE MONEY! Seriously they can learn an ability that gets them free money every session. Mucks up the economy just like the Trader specialisation, but with less access to black market stuff, instead they learn how to use bribes as a game mechanic.
- Advocate (Desperate Allies) - Not quite a "Face" like the ambassador, but certainly a tricky social beast, using strain as a resource for useful interactions both in and out of combat. You can interject to interrupt another person's (including PCs) social action and add bonuses or penalties (your choice), you can retort against your opponent and inflict strain on their own check and you can even compel an incapacitated opponent to perform a single task of your choice.
- Analyst (DesAll) - Excellent at lore, much like the Scholar or the Scientist. Though this one chooses particular areas of expertise which they can absolutely dominate in. They can also generate floating boost D6s for an encounter, based on them applying knowledge to their situation.
- Propagandist (DesAll) - Want to debuff an entire organisation before you even roll for initiative? Then this is the class for you. They are also really good to have because they passively increase Duty gains made by the party, bringing rewards earlier.
- Mechanic - Same as in the Technician Career, you fix stuff.
- Saboteur - Its about the bombs, though the first half of the progression is actually more about defensive abilities and you don't get the blast bonuses until later.
- Scientist - Like the Scholar, but less about being well rounded and more about application. You get the same knowledge and academic respect talents, but instead of all the mental fortitude (since that went to the Ambassador) you get to play with your gear making it better like an Outlaw Tech, plus utility belt for lulz.
- Droid Specialist (Fully Operational) - Much more combat focused than the technician's droid tech, with talents that focus on getting as much as you can out of droids, and fighting enemy droids better. The tech wants to direct and build them, but this guy can keep them running better.
- Sapper (FO) - Essentially a Techmarine, you are the combat mechanic who can fortify your location, or bring it down with siege tactics. Gets bonuses like removed setback on fortification building, "Known Schematic" to give them knowledge of buildings, and "Contraption" to macgyver a solution to whatever problem they have. Both of those talents are available very early on so you can put that big brain of yours to use right away. Sappers get a few demolition and explosives focused skills a bit like the Saboteur though nowhere near as specialized.
- Shipwright (FO) - The ultimate crafting expert with eye for detail and a new talent that can let you make some more quirky designs too. Also still good at fixing ships, but not as well at the Mechanic. Shipwrights can repair ships faster and at a reduced cost. The addition of Gunnery as a career skill and a few piloting oriented talents (exhaust port, and debilitating shot) means that you could be made to serve as a pilot for these ships in a pinch. They can also give vehicles temporary buffs like increased handling and speed.
- Commando- Combat Pro, though unlike the Merc Soldier is less about team command and more about being good in a fight.There is armour, resilience, melee and ranged buffs going for them. The selection of abilities and skills does point to a much more close quarters oriented build, especially with the ability to stack up on melee/brawl skills at character creation. If you want to go deep on a punchy build there is a branch of the tree that rewards this.
- Medic - Do you need healing NOW? The military medic is based around patching people up immediately using consumable stim-packs that become less effective with repeated applications. The Doctor might be the better overall healer but you get to cross-class as Commando & Sharpshooter, so SUCK IT UP SOLDIER! Also comes with an ability that says "fuck do no harm" as you use your intellect to make your shots do more damage.
- Sharpshooter - Like the Assassin, but with less stealth and MORE killing, when this guy is maxed out and armed with a sniper rifle, very few careers can do it better. Combo with Assassin & Big Game Hunter and no-one will survive.
- Heavy (Forged in Battle)- Carry around heavy weapons same as the Hired Gun. In fact, it's the exact same tree as Heavy for Hired Gun, so you could conceivably cross-class from Heavy into Heavy and carry some really, REALLY big guns, while ignoring the non-ranked talents the 2nd buy-through.
- Trailblazer (FiB)- Move through the wild, setting up traps and ambushes Viet Cong style, With passive bonuses while in cover and bonus damage against disoriented enemies. Nice spec if your looking for a good mix of survival and combat skills.
- Vanguard (FiB) - Another career that is a better bodyguard than the "Bodyguard". You get a lot of talents that allow you to protect your allies and take hits for them, while making you more resilient and difficult to strike against. You also gain abilities aimed at jumping up the initiative order, so you can behave like a real guardian of bodies. One other cool talent set allows you to turn failed attacks into "Suppressing Fire" and cause strain on your opponent instead of wounds. All in all a good class for those who want to tank for the group but aren't Soresu Defenders.
- Infiltrator - In a word: Ninja. Strangely less about actual "infiltration" (though does get stealth bonuses later on) and more about dodging, flipping and overwhelming opponent's in melee
- Scout - just like the Explorer, works well here for stealth reasons and being able to go solo.
- Slicer - the same as the Technician, but considering the multi-class combos the Spy gets it gives it a more malicious edge, though they might want to skip this and go out-of-career for their next specialisation since it doesn't really fit the melee/stealth character build.
- Interrogator (Cyphers and Masks) - A more medically skilled agent. (Not yet released)
- Sleeper Agent (C&M) - Pretend to be someone else, giving yourself a wide variety of training options. As well as "Inside Knowledge" that lets you can spend a destiny point to just declare that you've been somewhere before and are familiar with it, or "Inside Person" to Bill & Ted yourself an useful item in your location by narratively having planted it earlier. (Not yet released)
- Courier (C&M) - Intergalactic FedEx ninja. Comes with a bunch of abilities not found anywhere else, like parkour for navigating your way through short distances or up walls. You can make like more difficult for pursuers by imposing setback dice on their checks, or even shout "what's that?" at the top of your lungs and create a distraction. (Not yet released)
Force & Destiny
- Healer - Since "Heal" is a universal force power, the Healer specialization is strictly unnecessary, but it's still a good career to have since it applies itself primarily to medicine checks for recovering wounds and strain. So does not tie itself into force usage. You also get "Healing Trance" where you can heal yourself over encounters naturally by committing force dice, rather than actually attempting to roll for it.
- Niman Disciple - A good generic lightsaber style based on Willpower instead of Brawn, comes with some flat defensive bonuses which are always good to have and allows you to increase the crit ratings of hits that strike you so you are less likely to be hurt badly. The style allows you to mix in some force techniques like push/pull as part of your attack action so you can have some control over your opponent. Finally, it's the only Saber style that grants an increase in Force Rating, making it a great general option for any Jedi character.
- Sage - They start out as Force-wielding scholars where they get a bunch of bonuses to interaction and knowledge checks. Later they start pulling out impressive set-pieces with the Force, like by meditating to add white spots to your force checks in the following encounter or being able to perform Force powers as maneuvers instead of actions. The Sage is also one of the few classes that gets two Force Rating increases, so is a very good option to consider for a Force-heavy character.
- Arbiter (Disciples of Harmony) - A class dedicated to talking their way out of trouble, it focuses heavily on adding boosts to or removing difficulty from different conversation skills. Includes the skill Calming Aura to weaken incoming Force attacks, with a couple Reflects and a Parry thrown in for good measure, giving it some use in battle as well.
- Ascetic (DoHa) - An odd "jack of all trades" character with talents empathizing a "less is more" approach. As in: there are a couple of talents which provide Force and recovery boons when they are carrying less than 2 encumbrance (after reductions, like actually wearing your armor, and the Burly talent). They also get a huge boost to strain and can spend it to upgrade any ability check. Letting them roll a yellow on every check without flipping destiny points, as well as being able to make a single skill check when you lack the necessary items. Instead of armor they can commit force dice to increase soak and can suffer additional strain when injured to reflect wounds back to their attacker.
- Teacher (DoHa) - Has some of the scholarly aspects of Sage, but focuses more on boosting up allies and bailing them out of tight spots. A bit fiddly, but has some neat stuff at higher levels, like swapping out any stat for your combat check. Its penultimate ability buffs up the Force rating of party members by adding yours to theirs temporarily and the ultimate ability lets you copy a Force power or talent (ranks/upgrades included) from anyone once per session and keep it for a full encounter. Also lets you cheapen the XP costs of up to four skills, two of which you get to pick, which is always appreciated.
- Peacekeeper - read: "Squad Leader", it is nearly all about Discipline & Leadership checks, even allowing you to add Force dice results to improve leadership rolls. Some cool abilities here, allowing you to get the whole team performing maneuvers out-of-turn if you need the group to surge forward or coordinate actions.
- Soresu Defender - The Tank style, based on Intellect instead of Brawn. It's the only career with Supreme Parry so you can block for days rather than tiring yourself out. You can also improve the defenses of the whole group with your lightsaber by creating a Defensive Circle and you can even Aggro/Taunts enemies into attacking you exclusively. Obviously, this specialization is more about blocking incoming attacks rather than hitting hard so your group will need someone else to do the heavy punching or shooting.
- Protector - Kind of like a medic crossed with bodyguard. For starters, you get some Parry/Reflect talents even though this is not a lightsaber combat style and can even Parry/Reflect for your allies, or make them more difficult to hit with your "bodyguard" talents. Your other abilities include using stim-packs for immediate healing rather than a medicine check, but which get worse with repeated use, but you're "better" with them, you also get Force Protection, so you can commit force dice to increasing your soak value temporarily.
- Armorer (Keeping the Peace) Like the Gadgeteer specialisation; it sounds obvious from the title but their main focus is armor, turning the tank career class into a genuine soaker of damage, although it doesn't have the broad range of tech abilities like the Artisan or Rigger, but can still make and improve personal scale items. It also adds a few lightsaber moves like Saber Throw to round it out.
- Warden (KtP) an unarmed fighter, a bit rougher around the edges like the Enforcer specialization. Comes with some social abilities like Good Cop/Bad Cop the same way as the Marshal.
- Warleader (KtP) Makes for a fantastic squad leader in teams of non-Jedi. Gets the passive ability to improve cover for your teammates, or to grant allies the ability to hit with ranged attacks even when they miss, so long as they roll well enough. This guy is someone your party really wants on its side.
- Advisor - The "face" of the group, the class is fairly straightforward granting you bonuses to interaction checks while ignoring penalties. You also get a couple of trading boosts thrown in for good measure. Not a great deal for force users except for one ability where you can switch out your force rating for your ranks in Knowledge (Lore) once per gaming session, which can be good if you min-maxed, but in the late game your force rating may eventually overtake your skill ranks.
- Makashi Duelist - Presence-based Lightsaber style heavily focused on dealing with a single opponent in melee, so you get no Reflect talents. You do have some cool techniques though, which can allow you to dominate your opponent, like feinting to turn your missed attacks into penalties for your opponent, or by taunting your opponent into losing strain points while recovering them for yourself. Your ultimate ability is the Makashi Finish, which can massively boost your critical damage rolls and rip your opponent a brand new asshole if you manage to hit him with it.
- Seer - A more practical counterpart to the Sage, it also gives you two Force Rating increases. But instead of knowledge or interaction bonuses, you get much-improved initiative checks and some boosts to outdoor survival checks. It doesn't quite have the same force boosting talents as the Sage, but you can get some floating re-rolls on power checks, and with "Forewarning" you can massively increase your allies defenses up until the point they act in an encounter.
- Alchemist (Unlimited Power) - Harness the power of the force to become a drug dealer, brewing all kinds of special concoctions. Using the light to whip up healing potions, or the dark to brew poisons. Also lets you add Force Dice into a crafting check to create extra successes or advantages, plus some resistances to poisons (useful, given what you'll be brewing).
- Magus (UnPo) - Ignore both Jedi and Sith rules and tradition in search of the Force's most powerful secrets. Involves a lot of research and lore based abilities, plus no less than FOUR talents that automatically add Conflict every session.
- Prophet (UnPo) - Become a magical evangelist motivational speaker, spreading word of the force and using it to inspire hope in others. Includes an aura of awesomeness for you (or anti-awesomeness if you turn it against your foes), the power to inspire fear or comfort in others, or the ability to become a Force generator for a full encounter.
- Ataru Striker - A blitz and blur of motion, the Ataru style is based on Agility. You do get some awesome damage potential, like the ability to hit an opponent multiple times in a single attack (and with a lightsaber he's going down), throw your lightsaber as a ranged weapon or close the distance fast and leap to your opponent's space. The defensive abilities are no slouch either, allowing you to mix up Parry/Reflect with Dodge so you're unlikely to get hit. However, the style is heavily dependent on your pool of strain points, so if you cannot finish a fight fast you may find yourself running out of things to do.
- Hunter - A very practical specialization that works in situations where you don't need or own a lightsaber. Good at tracking and with perception checks and is good for dealing damage to animals and beasts, as well as avoiding incoming ranged damage. It also allows you to use your force dice on ranged weapon attack rolls, making it a good fall-back class for anyone.
- Pathfinder - The Druid to the Hunter's Ranger. This also gives you a whole bunch of outdoor survival boosts and travel enhancements. As the class progresses, you get your own permanent animal companion, though as your force rating increases you could swap it out for larger and meaner creatures.
- Executioner (Savage Spirits) - The barbarian to the Hermit and Pathfinder's Druid and the Hunter's Ranger, this is a class that does one thing: Kill, constantly. Its best gimmick is adding it's force rating to any weapon that isn't a rocket launcher or starship turret. So, in essence, it's the best combat-focused force specialization hands down.
- Hermit (SS) - Shares the animal companion feature of the Pathfinder, but with fewer wound increases, no speed or search boosts and no dedication talent for +1 stat. In return you get an additional force rating in the tree, lots more strain increases and a higher focus on your animal companion, granting several abilities that improve your animal companion and make it more useful to you.
- Navigator (SS) - Some marriage between a Scout and a Pilot: A hybrid of piloting skills and overland travel boosts, mixed with general tracking ability. Comes with a bunch of Astrogation talents you might not find a use for unless you need to jump to hyperspace quickly, but the class does have an overall focus on escaping.
- Artisan - The Mechanic and generally the guy you want fixing your vehicles and broken stuff. A non-force wielder like a technician or proper mechanic might be better in general situations, but this guy can imbue his items with the force to gain enhancements, or he can even use the force to add hardpoints when modifying items.
- Shadow - The Thief archetype, you are really good at stealth. To the point that you can make yourself invisible to other force users and make your own force powers being undetectable. You can even make people forget about your existence once per session. Other than stealth, you also get improved hacking skills but only when attempting to decipher communications.
- Shien Expert - A Cunning-based style heavily focused on dealing with ranged attackers and being defensive, but not quite as one-dimensional as the Makashi or Soresu styles, so you at least have combat options. The talents actually make this class very well rounded, allowing you to take advantage of enemy misses, or close the distance quickly if you need to.
- Investigator (Endless Vigil) - Go all CSI, investigating crime scenes while moving through the underworld. Has A LOT of passive skills removing setbacks on perception and vigilance as well as Streetwise and Knowledge (Underworld). It doesn't offer any way to upgrade skill rolls or reduce the difficulty, however, so you'll have to rely on straight skill dice and items to help.
- Racer (EnVi) - they had to squeeze Podracing in somewhere, so might as well tack it on to the most urban force using career. Kind of like a force wielding pilot, with less ability to shoot stuff but who can pull crazy maneuvers. Also gives them track and field powers, cus Usain Bolt was a Jedi racer too.
- Sentry (EnVi) - kind of a generic lightsaber style, coming with Reflect talents, the ability to dodge, throw your saber and boost your Vigilance and Stealth rolls. You also get a dark side ability where you can go "BOO" and make people run away. Considering the wide-ranging applications of the class, it would make a good starting choice.
- Aggressor - The muscle dude who exists to debuff enemies and make them easier to deal with. The Aggressor can terrify opponents into a disoriented or immobilized state, then take advantage of that state by dealing additional damage.
- Starfighter Ace - Exactly what you think it is, a force-wielding pilot, coming with some useful repair talents and force enhancements while at the helm of a vehicle, making it more difficult to hit and allowing you to add your force dice to your vehicular attack rolls for improved damage.
- Shii-cho Knight - The "basic" lightsaber style, which is still based on Brawn. Shii-Cho is about dealing with crowds of enemies in melee, allowing you to strike multiple targets with a single attack. It has virtually no ranged defenses so can be easily overwhelmed by the same bunch of dudes with guns if you can't close the distance, but the specialization does have a focus on durability and being able to increase crit ratings on incoming attacks.
- Colossus (Knights of Fate) - Juggernaut from the X-men comics as a SW career. Its an odd tree of four columns that lead straight to the bottom. One row of Wounds and an ability to heal some, one row of Crit reduction, one to mitigate being stopped by status effects (and including a hilarious headbutt maneuver to stop other people), and one row of Strain, Soak, and two Force abilities. Those Force abilities provide damage reduction and a temporary (there is no permanent) increase to your Force Rating = active Criticals the character is suffering.
- Juyo Berserker (KoF)- Form VII is a "controversial" lightsaber style based on channeling one's love of combat into the style itself, which somehow equates to ORA ORA ORA with a lightsaber. The entire tree forces you to walk a tightrope with your Destiny Points and Conflict (which you get for "free" just by knowing two talents early in the tree) with the specifics depending on whether you specialize in Juyo (used by Sith) or Mace Windu's signature Vaapad style. Very, very easy to gain mountains of Conflict while doing insane amounts of damage and critting like a boss. Or, if used carefully, generate a net positive Morality score, while just doing a silly amount of damage.
- Steel Hand Adept (KoF) - Punch things with The Force! Literally. Two Force talents add Pierce and Sunder to your fists and a third lets you punch faces at range. The rest of the tree is nothing to sneeze at either.
Specialisations that can be taken by any character as if they were part of the character's own career path, so therefore does not suffer the additional experience penalty for choosing them. Oddly, many of these would be appropriate concept-wise as origins for characters, but Universal Specs are not appropriate RAW as a first specialisation.
- Force Sensitive Exile (EotE) - Representative of a Force user in hiding, lots of passive boosts to reaction/initiative and social interactions making it broadly useful as an alternative career choice for anyone looking to expand into Force wielding.
- Force Sensitive Emergent (AoR)- Someone just coming into "Force Puberty", gaining passive bonuses to stealth and perception. It is a bit more focused than Exile but it gets more by way of "The Force" than the Exile path does by allowing you to enhance your allies or use your own Willpower in place of their usual stat.
- Rebel Recruit (AoR) - A universal specialisation providing a broad set of low level combat and utility abilities. Actually a really good choice for non-combat characters (especially from EotE) who don't want to cross-career into more focused combat roles and take them too far from their original concept/build.
- Retired Clone Trooper (Dawn of Rebellion) - The "Captain Rex" spec. Limited to male humans for obvious reasons, but you could probably convince your GM to let you refluff it as a member of different vat-grown army or something. As you might expect, gives a whole lot of passive bonuses to making you a better soldier, mostly making you more resilitent and better at aiming.
- Pirate (DoR) - The "Hondo Ohnaka" spec. Generalised social and skullduggery-oriented tree. Kind of mediocre, but does have an utterly hilarious end-tier talent called "Prepare to be Boarded!", which lets you force an enemy captain to surrender their ship to you if you deal them enough strain.
- Force Adherent (DoR) - The "Chirrut Îmwe" spec. Despite having no force abilities, lets you do absurd amounts of damage with simple weapons and do some nifty things like heal yourself with Knowledge (Lore) checks. Lots of focus on the Discipline skill, which is elsewhere used to resolve opposing Force powers checks, but here just makes you really, really fearless.
- Imperial Academy Cadet (DoR) - The "Wedge Antilles" spec. A pretty good alternative to Rebel Recruit, with more of a focus on ignoring strain and working in formation with others. Has a small knowledge thing going on, including using Knowledge (Warfare) for initiative.
- Padawan Survivor (DoR) - The "Kanan Jarrus" spec. Based around being a padawan who escaped Order 66 and went into hiding as a normie, this gives Force Rating 1 and a wide range of defensive and stealth-based force powers, as well as really good bonuses to crafting your own lightsaber... but as a tradeoff, you get no career skills.
- Ship Captain (DoR) - The "Hera Syndulla" spec. Acts as a hybrid pilot/face/leader class, so it's a good alternative to the Smuggler Pilot. Has several ways to use leadership, so it makes a good supplement to commodore or squad leader. Has an ability in the late tree that can let you treat a large ship as a smaller one, so you can do sick drifts in a Nebulon-B.
Kind of like Epic/Ascension level equivalents, they give you a single ability that must be activated using destiny points to give a very powerful bonus, usually once per gaming session but some can be upgraded to be used multiple times. They can only be taken by attaching the signature ability to the bottom of one of your career talent trees. Obviously there are a few caveats to that; you can only take signature abilities from your own career (meaning if you start as a hired gun, you can't take smuggler abilities) and you can only attach them to in-career talent trees (so your hired gun cannot attach a hired gun ability to a smuggler talent tree taken out-of-career).
Once you've got the signature ability, you can further upgrade it like it was part of your regular talent tree, and some of the abilities are very nearly broken as hell...
Edge of the Empire
- Always Get My Mark (Bounty Hunter) - Surprise Motherfucker! Spend 2 destiny points and make a hard streetwise check. If you're on the same planet as the person you're looking for you instantly learn their location.
- Unmatched Devastation (Bounty Hunter) - Spend 2 destiny points after attacking to make an extra attack with a different weapon. Not all that impressive, until you get a few upgrades and it goes from getting a second attack to unloading with everything you've got. The attacks get harder for every successful one you've made, but you don't need to pass each check to keep the chain going. Two upgrade lets you move and quick draw weapons between each attack. Meaning you can fire at range before closing in with melee, or vice versa.
- Sudden Discovery (Explorer) - You can take a knowledge check to learn your location (if you were lost) or a safe path out of your location. Sounds weak, but the best is yet to come... you can also use it to discover the location of a place or object of your choosing subject to GM approval. So you can learn otherwise secret things like the location of the Valley of the Jedi, Revan's Infinite Army or unique and powerful relics otherwise lost in the setting.
- Unmatched Mobility (Explorer) - Allow yourself a third maneuver per round, for an upgrade-able number of rounds. Under normal circumstances PCs only get two maneuvers with the second costing strain to perform. This makes you fast as hell, meaning you can pull off a ridiculous amount of shit while the power is in effect.
- Last One Standing (Hired Gun) - Kill ALL low level minions in your current encounter with a single check, followed by a suitable explanation for what you are doing, like jumping out of cover with a repeating blaster and getting them all with headshots., or throwing a grenade that brings down a landslide or something. The ability can also be upgraded to work on "rival" (mid-level) characters but it won't clear out a "nemesis" like Darth Vader or Starkiller.
- Unmatched Protection (Hired Gun) - For the duration of the ability you can half the amount of damage you take BEFORE you apply things like armour and toughness to modify it, making you an absolute tank. This power is upgradable by increasing duration or the number of hits per round that it can apply to.
- Insightful Revelation (Colonist) - Take a Knowledge check to gain one bit of information from the GM that must be immediately useful to overcoming the current encounter. While this ability sounds like a waste, the answer MUST NOT have been obtainable by any immediate means, so the GM can't cheat you by giving you stuff that you could find in the galactic library or by telling you that walls make good cover in a gunfight, making it nearly as situationally powerful as Sudden Discovery, but involves the GM telling you something rather than you asking a specific question.
- Unmatched Expertise (Colonist) - One sure fire way of breaking the game temporarily. It reduces the difficulty of all career checks by one for the remainder of the encounter. This can be further upgraded to modifying difficulty by two down to a minimum of "simple" as well as reducing any setback dice that your GM may want to impose upon you. All of this means that you character can pull off pretty much any skill check virtually unopposed, including making combat checks which are only countered by the target's defense dice, which can amount to very little after setback reductions, meaning you can just land hits on Darth Vader with impunity and will make your GM thankful for the reason that signature abilities can only be taken as in-career upgrades.
- Narrow Escape (Smuggler) - Your character can NOPE out of any encounter with a successful check. Initially only applying to personal combat but can be upgraded to ship-scale or social situations on various different checks. It doesn't actually end the encounter and in some situations could make matters worse, like by leaving some of your companions in the lurch (it can be upgraded to cover some of your allies) or by leaving a powerful opponent alive to come and get you later. This can also leave the GM in a difficult spot if the encounter was particularly important to the story progression like the boss fight at the end of the campaign, so it should probably be discussed with the GM how it best fits the situation.
- Unmatched Fortune (Smuggler) - Spend Destiny to "flip" a dice to an adjacent side, allowing you to turn a fail into a pass, or a pass into a triumph. Can also be upgraded to apply to multiple dice from different pools, including your allies.
- Inventive Creation (Technician) - spend some destiny points to immediately build an item that only lasts for the rest of the encounter before falling apart. Is different from the "contraption" talent because it allows you to build an actual named item, rather than Macgyver a solution. Is also better than "utility belt" because you can build an actual weapon and items of greater than rarity 4. At higher levels, you can even build yourself small vehicles of up to Silhouette 2. (Note: the Miy'Til Starfighter from "Keeping the Peace" is the only actual spacecraft that is within the right size and rarity limitations for this ability)
- Unmatched Calibration (Technician) - be just like Garrus Vakarian and endlessly perform weapon calibrations, except this time they pay off. Allows you to spend destiny points to reroll dice, whether your own or the GM's difficulty dice, so long as it is your check. As you level this ability, you can actually upgrade the dice you choose to reroll into better dice or downgrade the difficulty. You can also extend this ability to your allies and reroll dice to help them out.
Age of Rebellion
- This One is Mine (Ace) - You can lock yours and your enemy's vehicle into attacking each other for a set duration, and also preventing anyone else from targeting either of you. Meaning you can do things like lock enemy TIE fighters out of a boss fight. It works especially well if you have a vehicle crewed by multiple PCs and will let you all deal with the most difficult target without having to worry about other things. It does have limitations based on the relative sizes of your vehicles, so you can't challenge a star destroyer to a duel with an X-Wing, but you might get away with a frigate sized vessel if you were in a freighter.
- Unmatched Survivability (Ace) - Kind of situational but spectacular at turning around a vehicle battle that is going sour. It makes a crippled vehicle NOT be crippled, allowing you to fight beyond the wounds/hull threshold that would normally take you out of the fight. All the while reducing enemy critical hit values on your ship so you are less likely to die in a grizzly fashion when you continue to take damage. While it sounds like an obvious take if the crew share a common vessel since it keeps them going longer, from a GM's point of view this ability would be better if the whole crew had separate vessels since a GM should only cripple (and therefore wreck) a shared vessel if the storyline demands it, otherwise the party will have ended up in a TPK.
- Diplomatic Solution (Diplomat) - Something the combat characters will hate you for. This ability allows you to turn a combat situation into a social one, allowing you to directly avoid a fight. It doesn't stop the situation from turning sour by itself, but it does allow for some tense (or amusing) situations where you end up attempt to talk down a superior opponent.
- Unmatched Insight (Diplomat) - Earn a PhD in psychology, you spend destiny to determine the emotional state and basic life history of a room full of people. The base ability is really only fluffy and not of mechanical benefit, but it can be upgraded to by useful to a group "Face" as it allows further bonuses against those people you've gained insight over.
- The Harder They Fall (Engineer) - You knew this one was coming, given the Soldier Signature ability. As for the ability itself, it's AUTO-CRITS on all damage (not strain) for a full encounter. Can be made to apply to attacks from your allies, ignore defense, and happen twice per session. Upgrade it fully and laugh evilly as you shred that big bad Star Destroyer in a few turns.
- Unmatched Ingenuity (Engineer) - Tinker with something on the fly and add new qualities that last for a little while. Starts out being unable to add Breach or Concussive, but upgrades let you add those too. Neat, but be ready to justify why your blaster rifle just ensnared someone for a round.
- The Bigger They Are... (Soldier) - If it bleeds you can kill it. Find the weak spot on anything silhouette 2 or smaller with a knowledge warfare check and completely ignore it's damage resistance/armor when using a non-vehicle or star ship weapon. Great for taking out humanoid bosses. It also applies to allies nearby, for those moments you wanna just delete an enemy from an encounter.
- Unmatched Courage (Soldier) - Soldier on like no other, completely ignoring the affects of all critical injuries for a short time. Pretty nice for high resistance characters whose only weakness is getting repeatedly crit'd. Could potentially make for hilarious scenes where you somehow moved full speed despite missing a leg, or managed to snipe someone while blind.
- Rousing Oratory (Commander) - Remember how the Agitator can start a riot? Well this signature ability urges a group to take military action, even if they had no inclination to do so before. Giving you an instant army.
- Unmatched Authority (Commander) - Spend strain during allied character's turns to downgrade the difficulty of their checks.
Force & Destiny
- Much To Learn (Consular) - Share a talent of yours with one of your allies for the rest of an encounter, ranks included (aside from Signature Abilities, obviously). Upgrades increase the number of allies affected and allow sharing of Improved/Supreme talents, which could lead to shenanigans like the entire party busting out Force powers as maneuvers or casually deflecting small arms fire.
- Unmatched Negotiation (Counsular) - Downgrades the difficulty of all conversation checks in a round to remove the worst of the dice, adding more rounds with more upgrades. A pretty steep investment, but if everything is riding on one particular deal...
- Fated Duel (Guardian) - "This one is Mine" that applies in personal combat. You lock a chosen opponent into a challenge where only the two of you can strike at each other. Good for a Guardian who has specialized as a Tank with the Soresu Form and heavy armour as it gives you the time to pin down a difficult opponent while your team mops up the easy enemies.
- Unmatched Heroism (Guardian) - A bodyguard action combined with a series of Force Jumps. You can interpose yourself between allies and incoming attacks as an incidental, regardless of your relative positions and regardless of how often it happens. This lasts for several rounds as you leap around combat out of turn soaking up all the damage intended for your team mates.
- Prophecy (Mystic) - Predict a single event, which is nice, but then you can spend a Destiny Point to make it happen when you choose. Starts out just about you, but can be improved to be about anyone listening, add boosts and remove setbacks to making the prophecy come true, or spend another point to make it happen again.
- Unmatched Destiny (Mystic) - Don't like your roll on a Force power? Roll it again! Or up to two of the dice, anyway. Boosts let you roll additional dice, use it more times per session, or multiply the total force points generated. About the only drawback is that you double whatever Conflict is generated by the check.
- My City (Sentinel) - You know every street, rat, and crack house in town. Suffer stain to learn/recall the location of any person, group, or establishment in town, or other valuable details.
- Unmatched Vigilance (Sentinel) - Ignore initiative results and choose the turn order for the first round of combat. Just As Planned. You go back to the regular initiative order afterwards however.
- Unexpected Demise (Seeker) - You can forgo your maneuvers to gain an automatic "Triumph" on your next few combat actions. In addition, whenever you cause a critical hit on a Rival-level NPC (which you are going to do due to the Triumph) they simply drop out of the fight. Not as hilarious as "Last One Standing" but definitely has its place in fights against stronger opponents when the guaranteed Triumph can come in handy.
- Unmatched Pursuit (Seeker) - A more immediate form of tracking which is quite situational. You designate a target within range, and you can get out of sequence maneuvers to stop them getting away from you. So whenever they move away, you move with them. Problem is, most unfriendly NPCs are generally going to charge you, with those attempting to get away doing so for narrative reasons rather than any sense of self preservation. Otherwise if they get away from you, just find their trail and do it the old fashioned way.
Like any good FFG system, it is heavily equipment based, meaning that any character with a decent set of gear can overcome nearly every problem, so differences between character levels means significantly less than it does in other systems. (like 3rd & 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons)
The game also does away with most of the minutia that bog down other systems; so no tracking extremely minor consumables, food & drink, denominations of currency, and the exact weight of each item of gear. Instead it has a system of "encumbrance" which is basically an abstract number of how heavy or bulky an item actually is, and a character has a small threshold before becoming encumbered, meaning that most PCs will not simply attempt to loot everything in sight
Weapon upgrades are also dealt with fairly, each weapon / armour / starship has a pre-determined number of hard points where things can be added to and each modification has a hardpoint value, though certain mods can be upgraded in and of themselves. So very few items can be pimped out to the max and become stupidly overpowered.
FFG actually came up with a fairly elegant system for crafting equipment. Rather than allowing you to create every item in the book for a fraction of the cost and breaking your GMs economy or by circumventing the rarity restrictions and giving yourself an item that the GM didn't make available to you (like T-7 disruptors for instance), you can instead build items from a pre-set template, which is a bare-bones item with absolutely no frills. It comes with a very cheap materials cost, a predetermined length of time to build, and a difficulty skill check in order to build the item.
Your mechanically minded character (or Outdoorsman, since they can build low tech items) will generally be able to breeze through these simple checks and build themselves a desired item without much bother. You additional successes on the roll actually make the build time go more quickly, where if you end up with a net number of failures, you lose your material cost and have wasted your time. What really becomes interesting is what you spend the Advantages/Triumphs on: There are tables with a large variety of qualities that you can build into your newly crafted item, and so long as you can afford the advantage cost, you can build yourself some pretty nifty items, such as laser rifles with the Blast and Auto-Fire qualities. Mind you, your Gamemaster gets to spend Disadvantages/Despairs to make those same items suck some too.
There are a number of caveats to this however, first is that your god-tier item doesn't cost any more that its base materials. So unless you have certain talents which increase your selling cost and reduce your crafting expenditure, you're not able to turn much of a profit on a low cost template, added to the fact that it takes several hours to build each item you are not likely to earn 10,000,000 Credits per day using this method.
Secondly, the odds of you creating a god-tier item are pretty sketchy. Even a high level mechanic who throws five D12s at a single check can only roll (or convert in some cases) nine "Advantages" (as one "Success" is still required to pass the check) or roll five "Triumphs" at best without finding additional advantages from other sources somehow. This is not counting what the difficulty dice rolled against you, though it is possible to reduce the difficulty of the check to zero by taking the Schematic result several times, but you are still at the mercy of the random dice when you roll. (At this point the GM should be throwing Destiny points at you in the vague hope of scoring some disadvantages) Even without difficulty you have about the same odds of building a basic template item rapidly through high success as you do building something slowly with very high quality, odds are you'll roll a roughly even split of Success vs Advantage and end up with something roughly in the middle.
Better items may be found off the shelf if you fork out some more money and take the time to look, or that come with unique rules that you simply cannot build into your own items using the template method. But crafting generally means that your brand new item is likely to be bespoke; tailored to what you want it to be and allows for some oddball combinations.
Droids can also be crafted using the template method though they are of comparable cost to droids off the shelf and it can take several days of work to complete, and because you are essentially building a new character it is slightly more complicated than rolling one check. Requiring a Mechanics test to first build the chassis from a selection of templates following the normal rules. Then programming the personality from a list of directives which requires a Computer checks, providing it with a selection of skills suitable to its intended job. Thankfully once the body is completed, the personality no longer costs anything and cannot be ruined by a failure, though disadvantages rolled can count as permanent penalties for the droid's available skills, or imposing negative personality traits. There are no items that explicitly help with programming either, so you're probably relying on you skills (and luck) alone to get it done, unless you can convince your GM to allow you to craft some kind of programming tool/guide with the Gadget crafting rules first.
With the release of Unlimited Power, there are also crafting tables for the creation of Force Talismans and Potions. The book strongly encourages players and game masters to reflavor their items in new ways beyond those presented (as tattoos, for example). The crafting tables also include both Light and Dark Force pips for purchasing positives and negatives on new items, alongside of and in addition to the normal Advantage/Triumph, Disadvantage/Despair.
Lightsabers are in, and work exactly how they are expected to, so no underpowering them for the sake of game balance. Thankfully the setting largely excludes Knight-level characters, so very few people actually know how to use them properly, meaning any character stupid enough to wield one will be rolling a number of D8s based on strength or agility without any skill points to upgrade them and therefore would have problems reliably hitting anything with a decent defense score.
- Force & Destiny added Lightsaber styles as part of the base ruleset. That still doesn't make people into jedi sword masters though, since each style has to be learned separately just like any other career specialisation, plus Lightsabers are still rare and illegal, so finding one should be a challenge.
Lightsaber Crystals: Because there isn't actually a single table providing the statistics for lightsaber crystals -despite the fact they actually define the weapon itself - it is rather difficult to actually compare them without extrapolating from the text.
So here follows a table of crystals put side by side, normally a crystal takes up 2 weapon Hard Point slots; some do differ and it will be mentioned in their notes.
|Crystal Type||Base Cost||Rarity||Base Damage||Base Critical Rating||Base Qualities||End Damage||End Critical Rating||End Qualities||Special Notes|
|Ilum (default)||9000||10||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder||10||1||Breach 1, Vicious 2, Sunder|
|Training Emitter||100||6||6||-||Stun||N/A||N/A||N/A||Not upgradeable|
|Barab Ingot||15,000||8||8||3||Breach 1, Burn 1, Sunder||8||3||Breach 1, Burn 3, Vicious 2, Sunder|
|Dantari||12,000||9||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder||9||1||Breach 1, Sunder||May spend force points as part of a combat check to recover strain|
|Dragite Gem||14,000||7||7||3||Breach 1, Disorient 1, Sunder||8||3||Breach 1, Concussive 2, Disorient 3, Sunder|
|Etaan||12,000||9||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder||8||1||Breach 1, Innate Talent (Parry), Innate Talent (Reflect), Vicious 1, Sunder||When the wielder uses the Improved Reflect talent to redirect an attack to an opponent, increase the Damage by 2. Takes 1 Hard Point slot.|
|Ghostfire||14,000||9||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder||8||2||Breach 1, Defensive 2, Sunder||The wielder can spend 4 Advantage or 1 Triumph result in an attack check to prevent the opponent from using the Parry talent. Takes 1 Hard Point slot.|
|Kimber Stone||6500||8||9||-||Stun||11||-||Stun, Concussive 1, Disorient 2|
|Krayt Dragon Pearl||15,000||10||9||1||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 1||10||1||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 4|
|Lorrdian Gemstone||9600||8||7||2||Breach 1, Defensive 1, Sunder||7||2||Breach 1, Defensive 2, Deflection 2 Sunder|
|Mephite||10,000||10||8||2||Breach 1, Sunder||11||1||Breach 1, Vicious 1, Sunder||Force Sensitive Characters automatically detect the crystal when sensing their surroundings|
|Nishalorite||12,500||8||7||3||Breach 1, Sunder||7||3||Breach 1, Disorient 2, Innate Talent (Planet Mapper), Vicious 1, Sunder||The wielder gains +1 advantage whenever they attempt to navigate or determine their position.|
|Sapith Gem||18,000||10||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder||9||1||Breach 2, Sunder|
|Seeker||16,000||9||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder||8||2||Breach 1, Vicious 1. Increase check range to Medium (see ability)||Force Sensitive characters may make Perception/Vigilance checks to detect living creatures within short range.|
|Solari||16,000||9||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder, Defensive 1||8||2||Breach 1, Vicious 1, Defensive 2, reduced Cost of Improved Reflect by one||Reduce Strain from using Reflect talent by one. If user drops below 50 Morality then crystal ceases to function.|
|Sorian||16,000||9||6||3||Breach 1, Sunder||9||3||Breach 1, Disorient 1, Innate Talent (Parry), Sunder||When used with the Parry talent, add +1 boost die to the next combat check against the attacker. Also takes up 4 hard point slots.|
|Tainted Nightsister Crystal||13,000||10||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder, Disorient 3, Vicious 4||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder, Disorient 4, Vicious 4|
|Unstable Kyber Crystal||16,000||10||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder||A character can spend a maneuver to increase their Force Rating by +1 until they use the extra dice to fuel a Force Power or Talent. The GM may spend four disadvantage or one despair to have the lightsaber sputter out and deactivate for one hour.|
|Varpeline||14,000||9||8||3||Breach 1, Vicious 1, Sunder||9||3||Breach 1, Vicious 3, Sunder||When spending a Triumph result to cause a critical hit, they may spend a second Triumph to automatically get the "Maimed" result without having to randomly determine it.|
|Corrupted Crystal (Special)||N/A||10||6||2||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 2||8||1||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 3||Wielder adds one Black to Force power checks. If a Force Sensitive wielder raises their morality to above 70, they may "reclaim" the crystal, whereupon it no longer provides Black for force checks, but also loses the Vicious Quality.|
|Cracked Crystal (Special)||N/A||10||7||3||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 1||7||2||Breach 1, Sunder, Vicious 3||If the wielder rolls a Despair result on a lightsaber combat check, the GM may choose to shatter the crystal, after which it may no longer function.|
|Master Lodaka's Lightsaber (Unique)||20,000||10||N/A||N/A||N/A||10||1||Breach 1, Vicious 2, Sunder||Attacks made with this lightsaber ignore the Cortosis quality and cannot be shut down by refined Cortosis.|
Despite Jedi not being the focus of the setting, the Force is present if players want to use it. Thankfully it's not as OP as sometimes portrayed in other rules systems.
Access to Force powers is granted by the Force rating talent, which can only be obtained via certain specializations.
In an often overlooked rule, Force Sensitivity is NOT automatically granted by any of the F&D career classes unless they are your starting careers, so characters from EotE or AoR who buy into Consular trees do not become Force Sensitive immediately. Instead the Force Rating 1 talent is provided to characters of those classes at character creation in the same way that they get free ranks in career skills. The only specializations that grant Force Sensitivity automatically are the universal careers such as "Force Exile" or "Emergent".
That means that players who don't start out as "Jedi" have to take a much longer path to competency in Force abilities, having to first cross class into one of the universal trees to be granted Rating 1 if they didn't already have it. Which would also be an XP sink as it adds to your cross-class multiplier and makes your next class more expensive. A Player could still multiclass into one of the "Jedi" careers and learn all of the talents just like any other class, and could pick up the Force Rating increase found at the end, but that's also long way journey to the bottom where you'd have to purchase a lot of unusable talents that won't help you without the ability to use the Force. This is quite consistent with the lore, where often those considered "too old" for training were not permitted to become Jedi.
Once the specialisation (and therefore the talent) is bought, upgrades can be taken for the class itself, but can also be bought for powers, which are relatively simple but can be upgraded much like any other career specialisation:
- Alter: (Unlimited Power) Allows the manipulation of the surrounding (natural) environment to increase/decrease difficult terrain, heighten awareness (through the eyes of local wildlife), and with Mastery, power-up everybody's Force rolls with bonus pips.
- Battle Meditation: Grants floating "success" results to friendly targets whenever they make dice rolls, upgrades grant you more targets at further range with more successes. Additional side-grades allow you sustain the power by committing force dice, or to send simple communications to your troops, or to share skill competencies with the best character in the target group.
- Bind: Freeze a target for a few rounds, if you're a dark side user you can also inflict wounds at the same time (ie: force choke). Increases to this skill give you more range and more targets and longer duration.
- Conjure: (Unlimited Power) Make your own (simple) weapons or tools out of thin air from "Force ichor" à la Bladelocks in D&D 5e. With Mastery raise Force "zombies" to do your bidding (and give you nice mounds of Conflict). Baseline weapons have the Cortosis quality, with nicer qualities (including longer duration, size, and number) you can buy later, so it can make for some interesting not-Jedi/Sith tradition concepts that can still go weapon to weapon with them.
- Ebb/Flow: (Disciples of Harmony) A weird one, this one gets added to a skill check and has two sides to it; inflict strain on everybody in range, and heal your own strain. You can eventually exclude characters you don't want this to apply to (besides yourself), drop automatic failures/despairs on opponents' checks and pull out instant successes/triumphs on your own.
- Endure: (Knights of Fate) Arguably, character death is narrative in this system, the exception to this is rolling on the Critical Hits table (131+ for NPCs, 141+ for player characters). This power lets you win at those and live forever, much like the iconic Darth Sion, who essentially just never turned this power off.
- Enhance: Spend your force points on your Athletics skill, giving you more success/advantage. Upgrading allows you to widen the range of skills you can apply your results to (such as piloting, or brawling). You also get some cool side-grades that give you the ability to Force Jump or commit force dice to your physical stats, increasing them for indefinite duration.
- Farsight: (Savage Spirits) Give yourself the ability to ignore blindness, or any condition that would prohibit your sight. You can upgrade this to see further, make out near-microscopic details, or even gain a 360° arc of vision. Can also boost your perception or vigilance skills, see through walls, or even leave your body and gain vision from a different perspective at close range.
- Foresee: See up to one day into the future... sure to give your GM a headache, but he is allowed to be vague. You can upgrade to pick out more details, or the number of days you can see. Of more immediate use is the ability to use this power at the same time as you roll for initiative, jumping you up initiative order, providing free maneuvers to your friends and lowering the defenses of your enemies.
- Heal/Harm: You can heal wounds/strain with a force check - easy. You can also use the force combined with medicine to cure critical injuries. Full mastery of this power allows you to bring someone back from the dead, as long as they only died last turn. The "Harm" version of this power is pretty much the exact opposite, but used by Dark-siders, and generates a whole lot of Conflict points.
- Imbue: (Disciples of Harmony) Pat someone on the back and boost one of their basic characteristics by 1 until your next turn, but limited to once per encounter for each character. Can eventually be increased in range and sustained by committing force dice, and sharing one of your skill ranks. At the bottom of the tree, the boost increases to 2, and can go above max.
- Influence The "Jedi Mind Trick", allows you to change someones emotional state. Light side users can generate peace, tranquility and friendliness, while Dark side users generate fear and rage. Both sides can generate confusion. This can also be used to inflict strain on an opponent, knocking them out of the encounter. At later levels this allows you to roll a force check as part of your social skills, allowing you to manipulate people with the force. You can also focus on a specific individual and make them believe something blatantly false for a short period.
- Manipulate: (Endless Vigil) Allows you to rebuild vehicles or equipment. Initially only restoring system strain, but later allowing you to repair broken components or gear, moving them through damage states. Later upgrades allow you to restore actual wounds to vehicles, from a distance. You can also combine this power with Mechanic skill checks to add additional positive results to your dice rolls.
- Misdirect: Create illusions to make yourself (or something) invisible. You can also expand this power into making objects (or people) appear like something else, or create completely illusory people or objects.
- Move: Probably the most well-known Jedi power, giving you the ability to move objects telekinetically. Upgrades allow you to move larger objects (up to Silhouette 4, but you'll need a lot of Force dice), move them faster, or further.
- Protect/Unleash: Create fields of energy that allow you to reduce damage from incoming energy weapons. If you're a light side user you can expand this over friendly targets. You can also use the "Unleash" version to shoot beams of energy as a ranged attack (Force Lightning?). While you don't need to be a dark side user to do this and can use your white spots to activate this power, it does generate conflict either way so be careful. Upgrades allow you to improve the effectiveness of the power, or add weapon qualities to their ranged attack (like Burn or Ensnare).
- Seek: The boy scout power, that helps you find your way if you get lost, or track someone/something through the force if you don't know where it is. You can also use this power to cancel out Force-based illusions (see Misdirect) or can use it to increase your weapon penetration as you view weak points in enemy targets. Full mastery allows you to gain automatic Triumphs against one enemy on every combat check for the remainder of an encounter.
- Sense: Feel the Force flowing through you. You can sense living beings all around you, and their emotional states. This can be upgraded to read people minds, but it can also be used to sense incoming attacks against you and make them more difficult, and later be used to upgrade your own attacks.
- Suppress: (Keeping the Peace) Your anti-force-power force power. The result you get when rolling for this power will diminish the ability of other force users to use their powers, up to the point that you can completely flatten his ability to use the force entirely, or even smack him with strain when he rolls black (which most Force villains in the campaign will do) and potentially knock him out on his own Force rolls. You can also upgrade this to turn it into a Jedi version of Dispel and force an opponent to uncommit any of his force dice currently being used on powers.
Force powers require a special D12 dice to activate which has white and black spots on it, representing light or dark points respectively. (players are inherently "light-based") and powers require certain numbers of white spots to be effective or activate additional effects. Unfortunately only five sides of the D12 have any value to a light side force user making them useless 58% of the time. The player can expend a destiny point to "flip" black spots to white ones, though if your DM is using the F&D morality system this will inevitably cause the character to descend into evil ways. Three-fifths of the light-sided faces of the die have two dots, while only a single dark-side-aligned face does. This is somewhat-consistent with the movie lore, wherein the dark side is easier to use, but the light side is more powerful overall.
The number of dice you get is represented by your force sensitivity factor and you invest these successes into your power upgrades to perform more impressive feats, like moving larger objects or mind-tricking more opponents. However unless you are using options from Force and Destiny, your force sensitivity factor doesn't go higher than 2, meaning that your powers are unlikely to be impressive as you cannot activate as many upgrades to a power as you can roll light-side successes. Even "true" Force Wielding characters often don't have a Force Rating of higher than 3 without cross classing into different force-wielding careers (unless you start out as Consular) which still won't guarantee Starkiller levels of power.
In most of the campaigns, the group starts out with their own method of transportation. EotD and F&D gives them a freighter while AoR gives them either a shuttle or a squadron of cheap starfighters (Y-Wings by default). There are options to choose from, but generally the GM should choose for the group depending on the theme of the campaign, because it would not do too well for a squadron of fighters to roll up in certain situations, but also that some ships have certain narrative crew requirements or limitations which are all helpfully explained in the vehicle's stat block. So small groups might find they don't have enough manpower to properly use a large gunboat/corvette while large groups simply won't fit in smaller light freighters.
Like Rogue Trader the ship and ship combat can play a very big part of the gaming session. But thankfully unlike Rogue Trader the rules have been streamlined in line with what they did to personal scale combat. Distances and positions are abstract, so you only need to pay attention to who has particular advantages over each other.
The ruleset doesn't depart too much from the personal scale either, so rather than learning something new, you calculate your dice rolls much the same way, this means that space combat can be speedy and active rather than onerous arguing about position, speed and firing arcs.
As with any good splatbook, each non-adventure module adds new races, equipment and vehicle options. Most of them also add modular encounters which can be squeezed into any other adventure without too much trouble, or even strung along together to manufacture your own adventures.
- Dawn of Rebellion - The first book designed for use with all three games. New talents and species for players, plus material for running games in the just-before-A New Hope era showcased in Rogue One and Rebels, as well as stats for most of the characters and vehicles from both and six universal specializations.
Edge of the Empire
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Class Books
- Enter the Unknown - rules for Explorers. Lots for players, less for GMs than other books.
- Dangerous Covenants - rules for Hired Guns as well as help for GMs running military campaigns that don't focus on adventures from job to job. Adds A LOT of weapons, from mini-guns and grenade launchers, to retractable forearm blades, and Vibro-greatswords.
- Far Horizons - rules for Colonists, adding rules for running your own business/homestead giving you an upgrade-able base of operations and working off-screen jobs to generate cash in the long term, as well as adding rules for allowing non-combat characters to shine and use their skills in ways more than simply "roll profession" checks.
- Fly Casual - rules for Smugglers, but also adding lots of additional rules for Slicing and Astrogation, giving those very situational skills much needed breadth and allowing characters to do more with it rather than just "yes/no" rolls.
- Special Modifications - Source book for technicians and expands on how much they can expend to be paid for certain jobs in encounters. Adds A LOT of new modifications for not only character gear but also vehicles along with rules for crafting weapons, droids, gadgets, and cybernetics (this being the most disappointing table with its lack of variety). Bonus points for the inclusion of slicing encounter rules (pg. 86 for those interested). In short, probably a must have for DMs(GMs) and any technician worth their salt.
- No Disintegrations - rules and goodies for bounty hunters, including the iconic suits of Mandalorian Armor. Covers guild membership in a lot of detail, and the pros and cons of going freelance. Adds rules for investigations and gaining reputations which provide tangible benefits, as well as a very informative table on bounty pricing and adjustments based on conditions or the PCs credentials.
- Adventure Modules
- Beyond the Rim - First adventure supplement, covering a treasure hunt for a lost clone wars starship.
- Jewel of Yavin - Another adventure supplement that centers around a jewel heist.
- Mask of the Pirate Queen - get involved with the Zann Consortium (from the video games) and attempt to overthrow a rival criminal faction.
- Suns of Fortune - a gazetteer for the Corellian sector, and one of the modular encounters has rules for portraying Sabacc, incorporating various skill checks into influencing gambling rolls rather than just taking a "gambling check".
- Lords of Nal Hutta - another gazetteer for Hutt space, and rules for Hutts as PC characters and plenty of rules for cybernetic enhancements.
Age of Rebellion
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
- Class Books
- Stay on Target - sourcebook for Aces, also provides expanded rules for Astromech PCs & NPCs and what they can do with a starfighter, as well as rules for beast and wild animals.
- Desperate Allies - the book for Diplomats, and provides a whole lot of social boosting gear and equipment. Also provides a few helpful tips on how to narratively deal with losing strain in social encounters without characters falling unconscious like they would in combat. Finally, includes rules for running your own base, which ironically is done in a more mechanically friendly manner than the whole of the Strongholds of Resistance sourcebook.
- Lead by Example - Sourcebook for Commanders, one of the thinner books. It has rules for massed combat which gets boiled down to a more complicated skill check, rather than sitting down playing a war-game. The book also has rules for field equipment though, so you can create small bases and static defenses.
- Forged In Battle- Source book for Soldiers. Also includes rules for gaining trophies and battle scars which provide useful benefits based on the narrative.
- Fully Operational- Sourcebook for Engineers.
(Sadly the printing company that FFG hired went bankrupt just as the books were about to be released, so until they find someone else to reprint them we won't be seeing this one for awhile).Now available, contains "Blast" weapons, explosives, and tools to deal with such, including a Demolitions Toolkit that can negate a Despair rolled while working with explosives (so go buy it), as well as some entertaining toys like Droid-brain demolitions timers and personal-scale explosives that have planetary-scale damage. This book also contains crafting rules for vehicles through the steps of Frame, Engine, Hull, and Assembly. They work best for ships in the Sil 3-6 ranges (which are the sizes PC's interact with the most anyways). Having any Disadvantage left during the Assembly step almost guarantees your ship comes out "not looking like much" (your baby's gonna be ugly).
- Cyphers And Masks - Source book for spies, with a guide and rules for crafting cover identifies and false personas.
- Adventure Modules
- Onslaught at Arda I - adventure supplement, involving helping the rebels hunt down an Imperial spy.
- With Friends Like These- adventure supplement, detailing a rebel mission to build support and alliances to defend a world. More importantly it has info and rules for Mandalorians, so everyone can finally make that special snowflake Mando they've been dreaming up.
- Strongholds of Resistance - A book about running your own Rebel base, providing several examples, what benefits they can provide a party and several mission hooks surrounding them. It only has details for one base you can build from scratch though, but the information can be easily used substituted for one of your own. The book also has a lot of rules for underwater gear, since its where they squeezed in the Quarren race and added lots of info about Mon Calamari.
Force and Destiny
- Star Wars Force and Destiny Core Rulebook
- Class Books
- Keeping the Peace - Sourcebook for Guardians. Adds two new lightsabers types and some new crystals, as well as a whole lot of other useful Jedi armour and gear. Adds rules for armor crafting too.
- Endless Vigil - Rules for Sentinels. Adds guides and extra rules for encounters in cities; like fighting and evading people in crowded locations, or setting up intelligence networks. There's also rules for pod racing and lightsaber crafting.
- Savage Spirits - rules for Seekers, adding rules for mounts and companion animals.
- Disciples of Harmony - Sourcebook for Consulars. Adds more lightsaber crystals and attachments, as well as rules for crystals from evil lightsabers. Also includes rules for mentors/diplomatic conflicts, and LOTS of nonlethal weaponry.
- Unlimited Power - Guide to Mystics, Adding trinkets and fetishes to help train and strengthen force connections, as well as rules for crafting force imbued items. Crafting rules use Advantage/Disadvantage to buy options as usual, but also adds Light/Dark Force pips (and even a few Dark pips almost guarantees your new item generates Conflict every time you use it). Cheapest Talisman does let you do a spacewalk naked though. Adds two new Force powers (Conjure and Alter), and a Signature Ability for re-rolling Force dice.
- Knights of Fate - A very tight book for the Warrior Career, there's almost nothing that isn't useful in this one. Includes a specialization that gives Mace Windu's lightsaber fighting style (Sam Jackson not included). Adds the 'Guided' item quality to its ranged weapons, making character Silhouette actually matter. Be sure to check out the Mindful Assessment, Honored Titles, and Allies and Assets tables in the back. Adds the "Endure" Force power.
- Adventure Modules
- Chronicles of the Gatekeeper - follow clues given by a Jedi holocron and travel the galaxy in search of a missing Jedi Master and hopefully learn a new power.
- Ghosts of Dathomir - a mysterious and powerful artifact suddenly surfaces on Toydaria, you embark on a journey into the lawless Outer Rim. Along the way you’ll enter negotiations with a ruthless Hutt kajidic, experience relentless Force visions, and discover some of the darkest secrets of the galaxy.
- Nexus of Power - A giant gazette for worlds that are strong in the force, granting tangible benefits for when Force users spend time exploring them. It tries hard reconciling planets from the expanded universe and the new cartoon canon in a way that doesn't get too bogged down in details.