Discover more from Last Roll of the Week
RPGaDay 2023 # 21
FAVOURITE LICENSED RPG
This is my 21st post for RPGaDay 2023, if you’re not sure what that is you can find Autocratik’s blog post about it by clicking here.
Basically a list of prompts is provided to generate discussion around RPG topics, with creators making a blog post, video or podcast each day during the month of August, the list of prompts is included below:
Favourite LICENSED RPG
Oddly enough, although my first real RPG experience was with a licensed product (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) I've never really been a massive fan of licensed RPGs and I think part of this is due to the eternal Games Workshop cycle (certainly with RPGs) of farming their IPs out to a company, they release books for year or two before the license gets reeled back in, the books become impossible to get and then it gets punted out to a new company and the whole cycle starts again. WFRP feels especially bad in this regard since I can't count how many reprints and re-dos of the Enemy Within campaign book I've seen.
That said, RPGaDay is supposed to be focussing on the positives so I'm going to move on.
Whilst WFRP will always have a special place in my heart due to how it awakened me to the idea that we didn't just need to play huge fantasy battles, but we could also fight through cramped dungeons as single brave--and often doomed--adventurers, I think that my favourite license RPGs have to be those that deal with the Star Wars universe.
There have been a few Star Wars (official) RPGs over the years, including:
West End Games D6 Star Wars
Wizards D20 version
Wizards SAGA version
Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars
As a big fan of the original Star Wars trilogy and the expanded media (now re-christened Legends IIRC) the WEG version of Star Wars really captured that feeling of a space-fantasy game, much as I love my hard sci-fi there's just something to be said for swinging a laser sword and using magical powers in a futuristic setting. The Star Wars games I've played in have never taken themselves too seriously either and have just pulled on the tropes and conventions of the well established lore to create a fun and visually appealing setting.
As a GM it's also very easy to run a Star Wars scenario, after all, pretty much everyone has a familiarity with the very basics of the Star Wars universe, and the lore wasn't so detailed that you'd often run into problems with player knowledge outstripping the GM's. That may not be the case nowadays so much with the conflicting canons, etc but it's easy enough to set your game in a sector of space that you have made up, create some planets and tell the PCs that they're Rebels trying to overthrow the evil Imperial sector-governor and you're off to the races.
So the WEG D6 version definitely is a great game, and I have fond memories of it being the first game I ever played in outside my normal, immediate group of friends, basically bumping into someone at a local wargames club who I got talking to and who then invited me to their game. We had great fun and I enjoyed playing a pretty ineffectual Protocol Droid who couldn't initiate combat but who had a lot of useful skills to back up the--mainly combat focussed--party.
I didn't really get to play much of the Wizards versions and so don't have much memory of them, although the SAGA edition has some absolutely fantastic character artwork in there, done in a muted, almost watercolour palette, and I often use the pictures from the book for NPCs regardless of what version I'm running.
I've run a fair few FFG Star Wars games (a lot of which are on my Youtube channel), both one-shots and campaigns and--despite my initial misgivings--I didn't find the proprietry dice used to be a massive problem, although I was using an online roller so it didn't make much different to me. However, the system was a bit crunchy for me, and the content of the books felt like it was thinly smeared across a number of different publications, forcing you to buy loads of books if you wanted all the material.
So I think that the WEG D6 version is my favourite of the official versions, if you do a search online for Star Wars REUP then you'll find a fan-updated version that honours the original D6 game whilst making some improvements.
Matt Click has also created a game called HYPERSPACED6 which likewise take the old D6 system, but rather than just tidying it like the REUP version it vastly streamlines it and makes it much quicker to run. Although not a commerical release this is by far my favourite Star Wars game and often accompanies me to UK Games Expo as one of my prepared games.
So if you like Star Wars roleplaying I advise you to checked out both the REUP version and HYPERSPACED6 in a galaxy far, far away... okay, on the internet...