Fantasy Flight Games has the licencing for the Star Wars IP in a death grip, and man, are they doing it right! I’m a little late to the party, seeing how Force and Destiny is already out to either augment this game or stand by itself, but this is what I’m playing at the moment. So why not talk about it?
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Role Playing Game is the ultimate cinema-to-tabletop experience. The setting is during the original Star Wars film trilogy and the rules in place really help bring that feeling to the game. Although we know that Disney is running Star Wars now, this game takes a lot of the extended universe into mind. HA! Take that, nerfherders! For me, it was love at first sight when it came to the art. I was totally invested in playing this game before I even read a single word out of the damn book because of how well the art was done.
Upon cracking this sucker open and devouring the contents inside, I wasn’t disappointed. There’s enough complexity to the system to keep you interested, but it also heavily leans on story telling and dramatic situations. Hell, it’s even built right into the game! At the start of the session, each player rolls a special, white d12 (though, that’s not saying much seeing how all the dice for this game are unique to it) to see how many Light or Dark Side points are available for use in the session. What does this mean? Well, for all you guys that follow me regularly on here, you know that I’m a fan of the Icon Relationships mechanic of 13th Age. This is basically the Star Wars equivalent. The difference here is that the Light Side points are for the players where the Dark Side points are for the GM to use. It’s essentially an auto-succeed type mechanic but to create an interesting situation, whether it’s dramatic or comical.
So I mentioned unique dice, and it’s truly marketing genius on Fantasy Flight’s end. You either purchase these dice separate, or you buy the starter box before you get the core book. Personally, I don’t mind shelling out cash for a quality product, but the unique dice could be a drawback for someone who’s less liberal with their budget than I. Anyway, how do they function? The game focuses on the idea of a cancellation system. Green dice are ability dice, yellow are proficiency, purple are difficulty and red are challenge dice. Based off the picture above, you can see that they have special symbols instead of numbers on them to kind of iterate how they work. The little hit symbols cancel with the triangles and the U-shaped symbols cancel with the Imperial insignia-like symbols. Uncancelled results determine the outcome of the check. It’s a pretty nifty way to handle it, very different from d20 systems and a very refreshing way to play. Anybody who is familiar with their X-Wing Miniatures game will be very familiar with the concept.
Anybody who reads this blog knows that I love simplicity, and this game has it nailed down. Everything is rolled at the same time, so you get to roll the difficulty dice directly against your dice. It adds this layer of tension to any roll because you can tangibly see what happens, as opposed to an arbitrary target number that the GM comes up with in d20 games.
Having yet to GM this game, I can’t give it a truly proper review. This was my GM relief system when some people from my group and I came back from Gen Con. We had someone else from the group that didn’t come on the trip run the game, seeing how he’s the epic Star Wars nerd out of all of us. With around a hundred novels of knowledge under his belt, who better to run the game? Needless to say, he knocked it out of the park and helped make the rules system in place play like the movies feel. Age of Rebellion will definitely be in our regular rotation of tabletop games! Keep your eyes peeled for a proper review once I gain some more experience with it.
Stay Metal \m/