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.

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