Thursday, January 31, 2008

Star Wars RPG podcast: Order 66

The first Star Wars RPG-related podcast is now available. The Order 66 podcast (a production of d20 Radio) promises to "provide a lighter look into the Star Wars Galaxy as it relates to the d20 Saga Edition."

In Episode 1 of the podcast, GM Dave and GM Chris give us an introduction, set the tone, and show us their unique brand of humor.

In Episode 2, Dave and Chris cover the Jedi class in depth. This episode has lots of cool tips, including a thorough discussion of the value of giving your Jedi another class at level 1 rather than Jedi. Also, the guys increase the content-to-humor ratio, which I (and some people in their forums) believe is an improvement.

In Episode 3, our hosts discuss the noble class, as well as noncombat encounters.

Dave and Chris are shooting for a new episode each Monday, so keep checking their site for updates. (I'll try to tell you about them here, too.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wizards Posts Errata for Starships of the Galaxy

Wizards has put up a short list of errata for Starships of the Galaxy. Don't worry, it's only a few items, things like little details on talents and ship abilities, table corrections, and reducing the super star destroyer's armament by half. Just kidding on that last one!

But they did boost the Y-Wing's Shield Rating from 10 to 25. Bet that was by popular demand, 'cause I saw some complaints about that little eggshell in the forums.

Don't shoot me! I'm made of little bricks!

Adding Parts to Custom Minis

Wizards has just put up part 8 of their series on customizing Star Wars miniatures. The focus of this latest article is how to make additions to custom minis.

Check out the uncommonly cool cape on this common mini!

In case this is the first you've heard of this series about customizing miniatures (and I have to admit it escaped my notice until just now), here's an index of all the columns to date:

1: Tools and Precautions
2: Color and Paint
3: Basic Painting Techniques
4: Simple Repositioning Techniques
5: Moderate Repositioning Techniques
6: Advanced Repositioning Techniques I
7: Advanced Repositioning Techniques II
8: Additions to Customs

That Jack Irons really knows how to work a miniature! My favorite tip is in part 4, where he shows how to get a bent mini back into its proper shape. (Like, when they get all bent up in shipping. Grr!)

But I have to wonder...does he perform such surgery on rares as well? I mean, as much as I'd love to see my rare Mace Windu fig with a Pulp Fiction-style afro, I'd be afraid to ruin his near-mint status!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Clone Wars Beats Star Wars - For a 5-Year-Old

The other night I was in the mood to watch Return of the Jedi again, and I excitedly told my son we were going to watch Star Wars. He got all excited and said, "Clone Wars?" I said no, not exactly, but this is even better! (He had seen bits and pieces of a few Star Wars movies, but mostly only got excited when the droids were on screen.)

Well, I guess "better" is in the eye of the beholder. The boy still prefers the animated Clone Wars series to the live-action movies, and wandered away from my screening of ROTJ before we even got to the part where Jabba bit the big one. Kids...

Now I'm afraid to let him see The Phantom Menace all the way through...I worry that he will discover Jar Jar--and love him!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wizards Working on Star Wars RPG podcast

In the Wizards Community Star Wars forums, Rodney Thompson has asked for your questions about the Star Wars RPG, to use in a "listener mail" segment of a possible upcoming Star Wars RPG podcast (which is itself superb news!). Here's his original post:

Hello all!

We're looking at starting up a regular Star Wars podcast, and one of the things we want to do is set up a "listener mail" segment for each podcast. However, in order to do so we need you to send us questions about the Star Wars RPG. Each week we'll pick some of the best questions (or the ones that the most people are asking) and answer them on the show to the best of our ability.

We do have some guidelines and notes about these questions:
  • This is not a place for rules questions. Those questions should still go to Jedi Counseling.
  • We cannot discuss products that have not yet appeared in our product catalog, and sometimes cannot say much even about those that have.
  • Please don't be upset if your question isn't answered on the show; we're going to pick the questions that make for the most interesting discussion, or those which we feel can be uniquely answered in a podcast environment.
  • Feel free to ask almost any non-rules questions, including questions about production of the products, general game design philosophy, "help me be a better GM"-type questions, Star Wars adventure/campaign design questions, and so forth.
  • There are always legal and business reasons why we can't answer some questions, so please understand if we can't pick your question for one of those reasons.
With that said, please send your questions to and we'll begin going through them and picking out which ones are the most suitable for the show.

Thanks guys, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Products on the Horizon for 2008

Here's the latest info I've been able to dig up about upcoming Saga Edition books and accessories. The information comes from Rodney Thompson's blog and

  • Imperial Outposts: Galaxy Tiles (April 15, 2008)
    "Illustrated cardstock terrain tiles for use with the Star Wars Roleplaying Game.

    "These tiles add a new dimension to the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and gives Gamemasters an easy-to-use and inexpensive way to include great-looking terrain in their games. This set provides ready-to-use, configurable terrain tiles of various shapes. Use the tiles to build your own Imperial bases, Rebel redoubts, and fringe outposts!

    "This accessory contains six double-sided sheets of illustrated, die cut terrain tiles printed on heavy cardstock." (Amazon)
  • Threats of the Galaxy (May 20, 2008)
    "Ready-to-play characters, creatures, and droids for your Star Wars campaign.

    "This supplement gives Gamemasters an assortment of galactic denizens to populate their Star Wars Roleplaying Game adventures. Nowhere will you find a more useful hive of scum and villainy! This book presents scores of nefarious characters, fearsome creatures, and droids of various levels and across all Star Wars eras. Each character, creature, and droid entry includes game statistics, tactics, and encounter tips." (Amazon)
  • GM Screen (June 17, 2008)
    A 4-panel Gamemaster's screen. (Amazon)
  • Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (August 19, 2008)
    "A sourcebook for the time between Episode III and Episode IV. It draws upon the video game of the same name for information, but it is much more than just a description of characters and events from the game. The book will be useful to anyone who plans to run a game set during the Dark Times." (Rodney Thompson)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tagging your rulebook

What an organized man. JD Wiker (who wrote and contributed to lots of Star Wars d20 products) demonstrates on his blog the cool system he uses to put tabs in the rulebook to save time when trying to look up a frequently-referenced rule.

I do something similar, using Post-It Flags that my wife found for me. (She supports my gaming, and I support her scrapbooking. What a team!) But I've just been using them to temporarily mark a few pages for the current or upcoming game session, like the page for battle droid stats, or force powers. JD takes it to the next level, with more permanent tabs.

If I were going to do this, I'd probably go with Post-It Flags (or something similar) rather than the small size Post-It Notes. The Flags are smaller, and the part that sticks to the page is transparent. It's also easy to remove them without damaging a page (not that I've had any page damage from a standard Post-It).

Post-It Flags
Another useful item (thought I haven't tried it) is the Post-It Arrow Flags, which could be cool for marking a particular passage in a book.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saga Edition's role as a precursor to D&D 4th Edition

In Episode 18 of the D&D Podcast, Chris Perkins (Design Manager of WOTC's Star Wars RPG team) talks about the parts of Saga Edition that are sort of precursors to what we will see in the upcoming 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. From WOTC's podcast summary:

What elements of the Star Wars Saga Edition are most 4E-like?
When Star Wars Saga released, there was much speculation that the mechanics would feature strongly in 4th Edition. Indeed several do, as Chris explains, such as:

* Adding in minor actions in addition to move and standard actions; the idea that move actions are strictly for movement; and other combat elements, such as how initiative, surprise and multiple attacks should be handled.

* The Star Wars Saga skill system derived from a draft of the 4E skill system. Add to that, a similar consideration of changing feats into powers.

* To take a third example, the concept of four defenses: Armor Class, Reflex, Fortitude and Will.

How would Star Wars Saga be made even more 4E-like?
Although the two systems both do what they’re intended, at a stretch there’s still design space within feats, powers and character builds in 4E that might be well explored in future Star Wars Saga material.
I liked the way Chris answered the question about what he would steal from 4th Edition to add to Saga Edition now:
"I don't think I'd steal anything. I actually think the Star Wars system now does exactly what it's meant to. And that the differences we're seeing between the two systems are happy differences... I think the Star Wars system is excellent and ideal for what it is now."
That's good to hear. Still, one of the main reasons I'm looking forward to reading D&D 4th Edition is to see if there are cool things I can steal for my Star Wars game.

What about you? Do any of the sneak previews of 4th Edition sound like they'd be juicy additions to your Star Wars campaign? Or have you added mechanics from other games to yours already? Let me hear about them in the comments.

Just what do I think I'm doing?

Since the Saga Edition of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game came out, I've been looking for a good source of information about the game. Preferably, it would feature product announcements, reviews, gameplay tips, that kind of thing. Maybe the site would even feature some new content, such as stat conversions from previous games or original creations. And it would be super-cool if it encouraged the development of a community of Star Wars RPG gamers.

Well, I never found such a site. I mean, there are lots of Star Wars blogs, but not so much on the gaming. The Wizards of the Coast official Star Wars RPG site gets occasional updates, but not often enough to satisfy me (and it doesn't offer an RSS feed to simplify reading in subscription form, as I like to do in the awesome Google Reader). And there are even some Star Wars gaming sites, but still I don't see one with the sort of one-stop-shopping I'm looking for. Maybe Google Reader has just made me lazy.

So I'm going to take a shot at putting such a site together myself. I plan to have a humble start, just some news tracking at first (and whatever game-related babbling I can't stop myself from adding). But if you like what you see here, post comments to let me know. Positive reinforcement will make me work harder!