Thursday, February 5, 2015

12 Game February: D6 Star Wars (Week 1)

Week 1 Initial Reactions:
One of my players constantly talked about how D6 Star Wars was one of the best games out there, both from fun and easy to run.  I did a bit of digging a found out a ton of people felt the same way.  In fact I've been hard pressed to find many negative opinions about it out there.  When making the poll for games we would be playing I'll be honest and say that I already knew we were going to try this one out, but then again it's Star Wars and a bit f a fan favorite so it was incredibly unlikely it wouldn't make the cut anyways.

For those that don't know what I'm talking about or that might think I'm referring to either the new Edge of the Empire games (or the slightly older Star Wars Saga Edition from Wizards) I'm referring to the first Star Wars role playing game by West End Games.  The first edition came out in 1987 when fans had little to nothing out there to scratch their Star Wars itch, but I'm no looking at the first edition.  Though some digging and asking around most everyone I could find pointed me to what is basically the third edition of the game, but it know as Second Edition Revised & Expanded that came out in 1996.  I did do a bit of skimming of what I could find of the earlier editions and from what I can tell this is the most smoothed out and polished of the three.

Now on to my actual impression of the book.  First thing I have to say is the core book does something I wish more books (especially those of licensed properties) would do.  Right from the start the book explains that some of the passages are highlighted in tan boxes, those are the bare minimum of what you should read to learn the game.  They bypass all the fluff and examples, but if you are confused about a mechanic odds are there's an examples right there for you anyways, just not highlighted.  The book being laid out this way actually gave me the time to read through it twice. First just the highlighted areas then a second time all the way through.  The biggest advantage though is for your players that don't want to spend all their time reading when they want to play.  I have one player that constantly give me grief about actually reading the damn books, but with this I have the come back of just reading the boxes.  I'm sure he didn't read all of them, but it did get him to read and I knew he wasn't wasting his time on the fluff that while a great read wont help at the table.

As for mechanics I'm finding them incredibly intuitive to how I think of games.  In my head it's feel like that oddly beautiful combination of modern Shadowrun (with the basis in pools of six sided dice) and savage worlds (wild dice and wounds).  Now I know this predates savage worlds by decades and while shadowrun is a classic I feel that these are in no way related other than the fact that they use pools of D6s, but when I think rolling fists of those dice my brain thinks Shadowrun so that's what I associate with.

When first looking through the books I won't lie I was a bit intimidated as (like most classic games) it is absolutely full of tables and charts, but I soon realized that most of them I didn't need depending on the nature of my adventure and the rest actually made a ton of sense.  I'm still needed to double check the exact effects of different wound types and ship malfunctions from damage, but the rest is just extra in case you want it.  In fact the book even suggests stripping the game down to it's more core mechanics when you first run it then add the more complicated stuff piece by piece.  I personally love modular system and this is definitely that.

In fact in the section on ship combat (what can easily be the most complicated part of the game if you want it) they give the "fast rules" for ships fighting each other and my friends and I tried them out.  You know what? They're a blast.  The combat took six rounds, but only about fifteen minutes and everyone with skills for ships was able to participate.  The pilot was dodging and rolling while trying to plot a hyperspace jump (he even got in a pretty cool maneuver to get the turret pointed at the enemy).  The gunner was able to blast away at tie fighters. Even the character on shields was constantly thinking where the enemy was t try and focus shields in that direction before they could fire.

I'm excited to get onto talking about character creation and even the game play, but those are for later weeks.  As for now all I can say is that so far from what I can see this might be one of those games that comes out to play a lot more than most of my collection.

Week 2
Week 3
Week 4


  1. West End Games and then Wizards of the Coast let their licence for Star Wars run out. There is a genericized "D6 System", stripped of any licenced movie details that West End used for their games of Star Wars, Ghostbusters or Men in Black, and you can get tons of rulebook files FOR FREE from a basic D6 System game and then the genre rulebooks worked out for Fantasy, Modern and SF campaigns. That's a lot of reading for free (Open Game Licence versions):

  2. Oops, something is wrong here. A graphic of a sheet of loose-leaf paper is superimposed over all the text. The fields are overlapping making it hard to read.