The Star-Wars-but-not-Star-Wars game that never happened

Way back in the early days of d20, my Saturday group played a few sessions of the original d20 Star Wars RPGs. The first one was okay, but the second one, the Revised Core Rulebook was, IMO, a really solid d20 game. Plus, it was basically self-contained; there was nothing in any of the splats that seemed at all necessary to me.

One session, I suggested that maybe we could basically use the rulebook to play a game that was our own take on SW. Basically, forget all the canon and just assume the basics that were true at the start of the first film (the real first film, not Episode 1): there’s an evil empire, there’s a rebellion, there are mystic knights with laser swords, sapient droids, etc.

No one was interested. The main guy GM’ing at the time was vehement that we stay within canon, even though that meant no one could play a jedi* (’cause there’s only Yoda and the Skywalkers left). Ergo, like most of the published scenarios at the time, we were all “scoundrels” doing crime-y things. I.e., we were basically playing a weak version of Traveller.

I have no real need to recreate this idea in some current system. This was specifically inspired by my interest in using the RCR sans all the Lucas baggage. If the book didn’t have Haden Christiansen on the cover, I might have considered keeping it. TFA was simply the first SW film in along while that had me musing about SW gaming, which brought up this never-was game idea.

* IMO, any SW game that does not involve jedi is completely pointless. Sorry, folks.

14 thoughts on “The Star-Wars-but-not-Star-Wars game that never happened

  1. Bret Gillan That blows!

    No RPG canon has proved as contentious for me as SW canon. When we played RCR, it was all about extensive restrictions so that our PCs fit in properly. When I ran a SW Saga game set in the “dark times”*, it was all, “Which planet is this exactly? Is this before or after [some bullshit from some novel] happens?” I would typically just let the hardcore players figure it out themselves and then just nod.

    * The “dark times”, i.e., between Eps 3 and 4, is the best, RPG-wise. It has all of the trappings of real SW, but nothing much canonical has happened yet. Players can be pretty much anything (jedi!), and it all basically works.

  2. < ![CDATA[Bret Gillan That blows! No RPG canon has proved as contentious for me as SW canon. When we played RCR, it was all about extensive restrictions so that our PCs fit in properly. When I ran a SW Saga game set in the "dark times"*, it was all, "Which planet is this exactly? Is this before or after [some bullshit from some novel] happens?" I would typically just let the hardcore players figure it out themselves and then just nod. * The "dark times", i.e., between Eps 3 and 4, is the best, RPG-wise. It has all of the trappings of real SW, but nothing much canonical has happened yet. Players can be pretty much anything (jedi!), and it all basically works.]]>

  3. Matt Wilson I saw a reference to it here on G+. It was good to see.

    For me, if it didn’t happen in one of the films, it didn’t happen. I find the SW universe incredibly uninteresting, ergo exploring it further just doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. < ![CDATA[Matt Wilson I saw a reference to it here on G+. It was good to see. For me, if it didn't happen in one of the films, it didn't happen. I find the SW universe incredibly uninteresting, ergo exploring it further just doesn't make sense to me.]]>

  5. I’ve run alot of D6 Star Wars in the past and I often implemented a ‘No Jedi” rule. Mainly though that was for balance reason (they sucked really bad early on, and we’re entirely too powerful later on), and also because Jedi are, in concept, emotionless space monks, which isn’t really all that exciting. 

    Often at the table there were at least one or two people who knew entirely too much about Star Wars and so it was easy to get bogged down in minutiae discussions about the setting. I generally lay out at the beginning of a game what’s happened, and what the characters know about it in a broad sense. Ignoring most of the EU was pretty standard in those days, in part because it was a pain, but also mainly because alot of it was pretty shit.

  6. < ![CDATA[I've run alot of D6 Star Wars in the past and I often implemented a 'No Jedi" rule. Mainly though that was for balance reason (they sucked really bad early on, and we're entirely too powerful later on), and also because Jedi are, in concept, emotionless space monks, which isn't really all that exciting.  Often at the table there were at least one or two people who knew entirely too much about Star Wars and so it was easy to get bogged down in minutiae discussions about the setting. I generally lay out at the beginning of a game what's happened, and what the characters know about it in a broad sense. Ignoring most of the EU was pretty standard in those days, in part because it was a pain, but also mainly because alot of it was pretty shit.]]>

  7. Ugh.  I’m so lucky my group is about the same place I am – we like the stories, we like the canon, but for gaming, we’d rather do our own takes on the whole thing.  

    My PTA game we ditched the prequals and turned “The Clone Wars” into a situation where the Republic was carefully replacing a few key people with clones in order to tamp down dissent and manage things better.  However, some of the clones wanted their own lives rather than being tools.  So it was this horrific shadow war with people on all sides of the conflict, that erupted into open civil war as the public found out.

    The Republic turned into the Empire in the purging of their clones, suspected clones, and suspected clone sympathizers.

  8. < ![CDATA[Ugh.  I'm so lucky my group is about the same place I am - we like the stories, we like the canon, but for gaming, we'd rather do our own takes on the whole thing.   My PTA game we ditched the prequals and turned "The Clone Wars" into a situation where the Republic was carefully replacing a few key people with clones in order to tamp down dissent and manage things better.  However, some of the clones wanted their own lives rather than being tools.  So it was this horrific shadow war with people on all sides of the conflict, that erupted into open civil war as the public found out. The Republic turned into the Empire in the purging of their clones, suspected clones, and suspected clone sympathizers.]]>

  9. < ![CDATA[I tried to run a SW game in 1998 using the 2nd ed. West End Games rules, set just after TESB and jettisoning all canon other than the first two movies. I lost interest after a couple of sessions.]]>