Five Lessons from the Original Star Wars Roleplaying Game

in gaming •  2 months ago

I just wrote a review of the Star Wars Roleplaying game, and I want to go into more detail about the game design lessons that can be learned from it, especially since I'm working on Segira recently, which has a lot more inspiration from those classic 80's roleplaying games than my other work.

1. Stay on target!

One of the things that the WEG Star Wars does well is sticking to the sort of action that you'd expect from the Star Wars movie. There's no rules that go outside of the space opera formula, which means things go smoothly.

The d6 system manages to achieve a lot of things that other systems struggle with (namely a flexible action economy that limits people from becoming too overpowered and having too many actions) by simply relying on having a few solid core mechanics. It's interesting how something that generally has been a little

2. Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?

The West End Games Star Wars is 90% of the best Star Wars roleplaying game out there. The rest is lost to one-off mechanics (Wookies are a good example; they have to speak their own language and have rules for translation) or simply nowhere to be found. Characters in particularly feel sparse as opposed to modern games.

3. Do or do not, there is no try.

The whole system does a good job of having a really fluid and fast pace to play. There are some reference tables, but they're mostly unnecessary. A lot of the more frequently used elements will wind up on the character sheet, and some other tables are so simple they seem silly compared to what modern games expect you to remember.

4. Only what you take with you.

The game really has a strong focus on relying on the players in a way that a lot of modern games seem to despise doing. I'm certainly someone who appreciates game design and a little focus on the role of the designer as a framer for everything, but it's refreshing to see a game that generally is more of a framework for the players' endeavors than a be-all end-all approach like you see in other games. You can build on this core a lot, but you don't have to.

5. May the Force be with you!

The greatest and most important moments of the game are driven by the Force, which is super simple and just allows characters to double their starting dice pool for any action during the turn.

As a game where you can perform additional actions relatively easily, this is a tremendous power, and can really make-or-break rough situations.

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