Star Wars D20


I finally broke down and picked up the core book for the new Star Wars using Wizards d20 system. What drove me to this you ask? Well, I decided that for better or worse, I really wanted to see what a non-D & D d20 game looked like. There are others that I could have chosen, but Star Wars seemed the best bet for me. At least with Star Wars, there would be some cool pictures and background information that I would enjoy reading, even if I thought the game sucked.

I finally broke down and picked up the core book for the new Star Wars using Wizards d20 system. What drove me to this you ask? Well, I decided that for better or worse, I really wanted to see what a non-D & D d20 game looked like. There are others that I could have chosen, but Star Wars seemed the best bet for me. At least with Star Wars, there would be some cool pictures and background information that I would enjoy reading, even if I thought the game sucked. Now I can be comfortable in spending the money in a month or so for the d20 Call of Cthulhu.

The d20 rules seem to work. I know there are still some rabid holdouts that refuse to put away their needlessly complex 2nd edition rules, but the rules work. I started out by flipping through the book to find all of the cool pictures and annoy my wife by imitating Yoda while repeating quotes from him that are liberally spread through the book. I was actually amazed at how easily the d20 system translated into another genre.

I managed to read most of the book in just one evening, because so much of the rules were the same as the ones in D&D. There are some differences, don't get me wrong. I haven't let a cleric run around with a blaster since I was 13.

The character classes followed the usual trend, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Sorcerer and Bard. Actually they were Soldier, Fringer, Scout, Force Adept, Jedi Counselor, Noble and Scoundrel. There is also a Bounty Hunter Prestige class. I can't explain why, but the classes make a bit of sense and don't really bother me. I remember reading the Alternity rules and not really grooving on the character classes. Some of the names have changed, such as hit points are now vitality, but a gamer experienced with Dungeons and Dragons won't have a problem.

The Force be with you, always. Here was an area of rules that I was sweating. I didn't know if WoTC was going to turn the Force into a cheap arcane spell knock-off or what. I was also wondering how complex the rules would be for the force and what they were going to do about the Dark Side. The Force is used to increase die rolls. Your character's level determines how many d6 one point of the Force will grant. The more I think about this mechanism, the better I really like it. This means my Jedi can put points in Tumbling or a similar skill and then use Force points to jump 100' across a chasm and do a triple roll while lighting a cigarette before chopping the Bothan's legs out from under him. By having the force add extra dice to the roll, it gives it the flexibility the Force needs to really do want players will want it to do. At the lowest levels a point of the Force will only give you an extra d6 to add to your skill roll. Up at Mace Windu's level we're talking about 7d6 for each point of the Force that Bad A^% Mother#%$@&* whips out on "Big Brain Brad".

Your character can choose to call upon the Dark Side as well. It works the same as the "good side" but at the lower levels will provide you with more dice. The Dark Side only seems more powerful, my student. Hmmm? Yes! Only seems more powerful it does. The more your character makes use of the Dark Side the closer he becomes to giving over completely. The comparison of how many Force points and how many Dark Side points a character has, is the closest this game comes to having an alignment for characters. A character that has really been racking up the Dark Side points can Atone, but it isn't easy and will take the character quite a while.

What about the droids you ask? Are they in the book, do they work? As near as I can tell, they work. The rules for using droids are roughly the same as designing any NPC. The only difference is in choosing the model and the class of droid that's being designed. Droids can't be used as PC's, but they also don't seem to be something that is going to make the GM's task even harder than it normally would be.

I noticed when I bought the game off of Amazon, some people were complaining about the vehicle and starship rules. I have to admit those are the first rules I've generally ignored when running a sci-fi, space-based campaign. The rules aren't really the greatest. I found the starship combat rules a bit vague, and the explanation of the starship template lacking. That being said, I think I am actually going to try and use the rules. They aren't the worst rules I've read. Heck, I actually tried using the starship rules in FTL2448 from TriTac. (Anyone else remember that game?) Hopefully the rules will be better explained in a starship supplement. I haven't poked around enough to see if there is one, but I'm sure there will be.

All the way in the very back of the book was something kind of interesting. I noticed a chapter on conversion. I was thinking it might be about converting D&D characters over to Star Wars for a Spelljammer sort of thing. It's actually a chapter for converting your West End Game Star Wars characters over to the new system. The last time I read the WEG rules was about 6 years ago, but the conversion chapter looked like it covered all of the bases.

All thoughout the book were sidebars discussing the different eras of play for Star Wars. There are three recognized eras within the rules. Late Republic (Episodes I - III), Late Empire (IV - VI) and New Republic. If you want to stay within a certain era and aren't sure what supplements you'll want to look into getting, check the back of the book. Each book for Star Wars should have a symbol or two to show which eras the book will be valid for. I kind of like that. I don't really plan on buying a lot of the Star Wars supplements, and the ones I do will be pretty generic ones. If I was concentrating on a New Republic setting, I wouldn't want to bother with a supplement that's only going to deal with the ending days of the First Republic.

Overall, I have to say that I think I am going to like playing the d20 Star Wars. While just different enough from D&D to have a separate flavor, it won't take me any time at all to get used to this variation. I don't know if I am going to try and run a campaign for this game, but I am definitely going to look around for some opportunities to try the game out. A complaint I do have is with WoTC's marketing department. About two hours after ordering my copy, I found out that after the release of Episode II they will be releasing an entirely new edition of the rules to cover all of the new information and cool stuff. I really wish they had just chosen to put out an Episode II supplement, and then wait for Episode III before redoing the core rulebook. Oh well, I guess they just couldn't pass up the chance to gouge players for an extra $25.

Rumor around these parts has it, that the new edition will also include revamped starship combat rules. Dunno if it's true - I heard it from someone who heard it from someone else...etc. has a review of the new rulebook and explains what's been added. The starship combat rules have definately been changed.



The starship combat rules have definitely changed. You can find a preview of that rules in Star Wars Gamer magainze #008.

If you want more preview of what's included in the new revised rulebook, go to, where you can find a new armor rules (armor now absorb damage when hit, not provide bonus to defense), two revised classes (noble and scoundrel), a few new force feats, and a gambling skill. Oh, yeah, one new race (Kel Dor?) and a revised Gammorean.

Oh, I almost forgot. The revised rulebook release date is May 10th ... to coincide with the opening of "Episode II: The Attack of the Clones" in the same month.

Retail Price stands at $39.95, with 64 more pages than the original rulebook.

I'm happy to hear that they have revised the rules, but I guess I won't get to see them until Episode III comes out. I'm not about to drop another $40.00 on a setting update. It may have some more pages and some new stuff, but as far as I am concerned, it's just an update to the setting and I'll wait.

The new rules effect the old ones at every level - so while it would have been possible to put out a supplement, or an explanation on the web it would have added up to a complicated and long document.

Expecting the Star Wars book to have the force as D&D type spells is not something I'd describe as niavity - I'd just call it plain stupidity on your part.

I personally would describe it as a lack of confidence in Wizards.

I just bought the revised edition.

Wooz you are wrong, it's more than a revised setting. Many rules have changed (like how the primitive disadvantage works), armour doesn't work the same way anymore (it give DR instead of protection), etc. But, you can get some of the updates as free downloads on the Wizards' web enhancement page.

And I don't know who was complaining that you can't play droids, but it is feasible, although not encouraged.

To all those who thought the D20 system was for idiots, well the Star Wars adaptation of the D20 system will prove you wrong. Many things are left to the GM to figure out (like skill synergy and dark side force points), I really like the Vitality vs Wounds rules and will probably incorporate them in my future D&D games. The force is worked out great, although I don't remember how it worked in the D6 system of olden days, I find though that force skills cost way too much vitality, thank god for heal self and absorb/disperse energy.

As any RPG 2D galactic map, the one in the book sucks, someone should do a 3-d galactic map on the web, like they did for the Verge in Alternity.

Overall I say the book is excellent, it is filled with usefull content and I can't wait for our Thursday night campaign to finish for us to start playing Star Wars instead. Now I can blow the dust off all my Sci-Fi "Galactic Encyclopedias" and start filling the Galaxy with worlds and aliens.


BE WARNED THERE ARE MOVIE SPOILERS IN THE BOOK!!! I've managed to skip reading them but I got tricked into reading two spoilers. Since I won't see the movie till Sunday, I got a bit mad.

Cthulhu Matata


Thanks for the heads up about the new book. I still don't know if I will bother buying it. I only picked up the first book back in December or January. I really don't feel like dropping more money on the game yet. I'll probably get the rules, but now that I know about the spoilers, it won't be until afterwards.

We've had our first Star Wars D20 game last night.
It was really fun to play an "all alien party".

Role Call:
-Nypet the Ewok Scout
-Grosmok the Wookie foot Soldier
-Davross the Duros pilot Soldier
-Kiadi Saar the Cerean Consular Jedi
-Bigby the Squib Scoundrel

In 5 hours of gaming (in which we created our characters) we managed to smuggle a dark jedi, her 4 thugs and electronic equipment to a planet covered in what seems like a "natural" dampening field that wrecks havok with all electronic/electrical equipment. Needless to say that the transport I still owe 12 000 Creds on has crashed and we all are in deep Batha Poodoo. On a planet where the only weapons that work are primitive weapons and the slug throwers my passengers had the forethought of packing with their stuff.

Just looking at the rules, I didn't think too much of the game at first.

But after having played, I find that the Star Wars system is the most versatile application of the D20 system yet. I admit, my memories of the WEG system are blury at best, but it seems to me that the characters are much more balanced now than they were then.

I also find that the character synergy is really well thought out. Character classes seem to be both self reliant and complementary to one another. At least that's the way it seemed to me last night. I still think it's a shame Alternity got dumped by Wizards of the Coast, but Star Wars D20 is a very good alternative.

Good Points for the system:
Simple, fast paced, easy to grasp, well ballanced,
leaves alot of room to create and elaborate upon.

Low points:
Sensor vs Stealth is too unclear, there is a lack of starships (although easily remedied), there aren't enough alien species (even with the supplement), basically my major problem is the lack of support material (although Star Wars Gamer seems to aleviate that problem somewhat).

Cthulhu Matata

PS Episode II was OK, but the switch from Anakin's part of the story to Obiwan's could have been done better. Now I'll have to wait another … 2 or 3? years to get my Star Wars fix again. Oh well.

Well our campaign had died. I loved the setting and the game per say but my group had this to offer:

One player doesn't like th setting.

One player doesn't like the fact that jedi take a long time to amount to anything (4th level). Doesn't understand the sanctity of life priciple of the Code

One is a whiner who hates it when a game asks him to think outside the box (he would hate shadowrun and cyberpunk.) Also doesn't understant that a light saber can/should be used to destroy blasters not the people holding them.

My group is tactically inept and that is what killed the campaign.

We switched back to D&D which they play like Diablo and never try to spare anybody's life. This time though I need not have any qualms about it since we will all be evil.

I will no longer be the only one trying to:
Spare enemies out of kindness and civility (mind you I thought that was part of being good).

Risk my character's life for that of the others.

Play a heroic character and die twice as often as the others while half of the group hangs back and saves spells and magic items.

Wew what a relief.

I feel your pain, Sam.
D&D is a great outlet for non-creative ROLL-playing, as well as an outlet for those of us who enjoy ROLE-playing instead. I have found that many other games, star wars included, demand a higher level of commitment from your players. Not only to the game and you, but to their characters.

...God forbid your group would try and run a d20 ravenloft campaign...



Heaven forbid indeed.

I have never been able to find a group of chars that could properly roleplay. Instead of: "I'll have your best wine M'lady." , I have "I buy food and drink so I do not get a -2 penalty for being unsatiated, pay 2 gp (or credits) for a room, wake up in the morning fully refreshed, and get back into the dungeon/interplanetary rancor warp to start my endless pillage for my goal which is become the uber character of the world/galaxy."

Sound familiar? God I wish was still around. How I miss D&D online. (or is it still working but my browsers messed up?

Back to the topic, heaven forbid indeed x2

Wow. Suddenly I think my role-playing group is actually pretty good. We only have one or two "kill it all!" kind of people, and even they typically have personality for their characters, at least. Even in D&D (speaking of it, has anyone else tried the Rokugan setting? Highly recommended if you prefer ROLEplaying to 'rollplaying' -- the players in my group really did excellent with developing personality for their characters in that game).

I never got to play the first edition of the D20 starwars game, started with the Revised setting/rules. I think they work well (especially the way they've worked the force powers into the game -- it's so much easier but the vitality costs are high, though it makes sense. A Jedi should never completely rely on force powers rather than his own wit and faith in the force anyway =p). I've noticed mention that some people think they'll revise the game AGAIN after Episode 3 comes out... Can anyone confirm that? I'd hate to have to spend another $40 on the book when they could just release a $20 - $25 supplement... But the game is great.