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Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition [Hardcover]

Owen K.C. Stephens , Rodney Thompson
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 5 2007 Star Wars Roleplaying Game
Immerse yourself in the excitement of the greatest space fantasy of all time!

This new edition of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game encapsulates all six feature films while presenting a thorough revision of the rule, making the game easier to learn while improving the overall game experience.This new edition includes new character abilities and options, a world gazetteer, statistics for key characters from all six Star Wars films and the Expanded Universe, and guidelines on how to use Star Wars miniatures and battle maps in play.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
The Star Wars Saga Edition is light-years away from the über-complicated, over-detailed rules of its previous d20 incarnations.

Here, rules are simple, streamlined, straightforward and coherent:

There are few exceptions to the principles on which the system's based (malus/bonus to actions are generally -/+5 or -2/+2 in intuitively clear situations all throughout the game, for instance).

It's versatile, and follows a design philosophy of "less is more": Less character classes, but more ways in which to customize them through the use of Feats and Talent Trees (akin to d20 Modern's talent trees, but much, much better because they are here much more defining regarding the character's style and abilities); a single "Use the Force Skill", but a variety of uses from the basics you can produce while just being trained in the skills to advanced techniques and powers emulated by the acquisition of specific Feats, Talents and class abilities; a starship combat system that emulates the personal, character-scale combat system. Et cetera...

It's balanced. You can use a lot of cool powers with the Force, but non-Force using characters really stand a chance to shine here. The Jedi characters don't have to sacrifice ALL their skill points towards Force Skills, since there are no skill points and just one Use the Force skill.

It's a well-written book, clear, to-the-point, including good explanations and advice as to what role-playing is, how to run a game, how to produce a distinctive "Star Wars" feel while having fun.

It's a beautiful book with a colorful yet clean layout. It's also well organized and you find your way easily through the use of color codes on the side of the book, index and so on.

This is a GOOD Star Wars game with d20 Rules. This is what the d20 WotC Star Wars RPG should have been from the beginning. Now we have it. At last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Game System. Feb. 26 2010
Format:Hardcover
This is a true improvement over the previous D20 SW RPG.

There are more streamlined rules for just about every aspect of the game. I believe almost any major/minor character in the SW universe could be at least roughly modeled with the classes/powers as presented. The complexity of the rule system can be amped up or powered down, it is definitely a "middle" of the road game in terms of rule complexity. Generally speaking, I found however something worked in the previous version, this has a simpler system that feels more like the movies. (At least to me, your mileage may vary.)

Now that this RPG has had its licensed discontinued, no other RPG maker can afford to make this. If you're waffling about whether or not to buy, I'd recomend buying. The art and binding of this book is top notch. 5/5 for me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible balance Jan. 8 2012
Format:Hardcover
This version of Star Wars is terrible. It's not any better than the first one, only different and with WAY more flaws. The game is exceptionally easy at low levels and damn near impossible at high levels. A single Jedi can defeat any opponent at low levels but can't hit squat at higher levels. Other classes are essentially useless and are no match for any force user. The game has more design flaws than a block of swiss cheese.
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars They still don't make them like they used to! June 18 2007
Format:Hardcover
Yes, the SW D20 RPG v3.0 has some improvements over the previous versions. But it also gets more flaws by way of too much simplifications (like Jedi almost becoming cannon fodder for any big shot soldier!?). It still is not worth the D6 version from West End Games.
First impression: What the heck is that book format? Cutting down on paper or what? After looking it over from cover to cover I find they still waste precious space on each page, and even though it's about 300 pages it still has less of everything than all the previous versions (Heroes PCs, NPCs, stats, equipment, etc...). Why have high quality paper if there's nothing in it? Just to pay the high price?!
Combat mechanics and skill use have been simplified - Good
Character creation and expansion is less limited, making for more variety of the same type of PCs, NPCs - Good
Simplifying the technology (we so love to see in that universe and for which we buy reference books) used by characters - WRONG.
Big examples: The Pilot and Mechanic skills makes you fly &/or repair ANYTHING!. Does being an expert motocross bike rider make you an expert Jumbo jet pilot?! Or does being an auto mechanic makes you also a capable computer engineer?! No way! Then why should it in the D20 SW RPG versions?
Also the vehicles and (especially) the ships stats have been so simplified that they look like miniatures stats. As a matter of fact, the entire book is kinda just a more complete version of the miniatures game (WotC wants you to spend more money to buy their miniatures!). They changed enough of it to make difficult the use of existing material.
No I didn't buy this book. If I do, it won't be before I see what their planned reference books look like (so far it's not appealing) and then only if I were to find it in the Sale's bin.
They don't make them like they used to!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rule changes are great (but too bad they had to cut some of the fun details from the previous edition) June 6 2007
By El_Tonio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The 30th Anniversary Saga Edition is the latest update for the Star Wars D20 RPG (with the latest rules and content from all six films). This one Core Rulebook still contains all the information both players and Gamemasters need to start playing. And though the structure of the book is very similar to the previous edition (see list of chapters at the end of this review), some of the rules themselves have changed quite a bit (i.e., most are much simpler -- especially character creation and the combat rules). However, the new rules are still similar enough to the old rules that those who have been playing for a while should have little trouble adapting.

Overall, the book looks great (it is printed in full-color on high quality paper, and contains lots of great full-color photos and illustrations). However, this new edition is surprisingly compact (not only are the dimensions of the book smaller, but it contains about 100 less pages than the previous edition). A character template is still included at the end of the book. If there is one drawback to the appearance of the new edition its that some of the introductory text and many of the photos were taken from the previous edition.

This book includes a double-sided battle map. However (and unfortunately), both of the maps were previously released (one in the Rebel Storm Ultimate Missions book and the other in the Attack on Endor Scenario Pack). Further, NONE of the terrine is properly marked on either side of the map (i.e., walls, hindering terrain, etc.). Perhaps they did this because it is meant to be used with the RPG, but it will unfortunately make it harder to use the maps with the regular minis game (i.e., Rebel Storm, etc.).

The shorter length has also lead to a few other minor drawbacks over the previous edition. Here are SOME examples: (1) details are provided about fewer characters from the movies and books -- and the information that is provided is more limited, (2) the allies and opponents AND vehicles chapters are much less inclusive, (3) the Star Wars galaxy map is no longer included -- too bad because that was a pretty cool part of the previous edition, and (4) the equipment chapter no longer contains a picture of the items being described -- again, this is too bad because this was a very helpful part of the previous edition.

Overall, however, I think most of the changes are for the best, and I think those who play the Star Wars RPG will be very happy with this latest edition. And, the simpler rules will hopefully appeal to a wider audience. Some might even like that this book includes less information as it makes it easier to find what is most relevant to making game easier to play.

Finally, as promised above, here is a list of the chapter titles (I looked all over for this info, and couldn't find it anywhere... So I decided to include it here in case anyone else is interested):

Chapter 1: Abilities
Chapter 2: Species
Chapter 3: Heroic Classes
Chapter 4: Skills
Chapter 5: Feats
Chapter 6: The Force
Chapter 7: Heroic Traits
Chapter 8: Equipment
Chapter 9: Combat
Chapter 10: Vehicles
Chapter 11: Droids
Chapter 12: Prestige Classes
Chapter 13: Galactic Gazetteer
Chapter 14: Game-Mastering
Chapter 15: Eras of Play
Chapter 16: Allies and Opponents

Hope this helps!
80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's back!!! June 7 2007
By K. Brining - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to admit that I wasn't happy when Wizards of the Coast announced they were, once again, revising their Star Wars RPG. I've been generally frustrated with WotC's re-release schedule and this, at first glance, seemed like just another ploy to plumb my pockets. But as they started releasing previews of the new system I became more and more intrigued. As a veteran of the old West End Games version of Star Wars I remember a day when the game was fast and furious and not so formulaic. Its adoption into the d20 RPG machine, I felt, deadened some of its spirit. While I felt there were some features that the d20 system brought that made it worth the effort the game often became too cumbersome and too sluggish for me to enjoy. I longed for the old day.

Well, the old days have returned with the Saga Edition of the Star Wars RPG. They've shed many of the trappings of the d20 system that held it down for so many years, and even freed themselves from many problems that have continually plagued the RPG since the d6 days. They started with a fresh new take on core concepts like The Force, starships, and character creation. The rules have been streamlined while still adding more flexibility for character creation. But most importantly (and I can't stress this enough) after 20 years of the Star Wars RPG, this may be the first time they've truly nailed it in regards to the spirit of the films.

From a design layout standpoint the product is the best Star Wars RPG book since the pre-revised second edition d6 book. They finally moved away from cramming the book full of images from the movies and went back to filling the book with rich, original artwork that shows us that the Star Wars universe is more than what you see on the screen. The dimensions of the book are a bit strange (about 9" x 9"), but that only serves to make the book more unique (though copying the character sheet will be a bit tricky).

The only down side to this book is that it is a little thin on "stuff." There aren't a lot of starships, Force Powers, NPCs, and so on. This version begs for a number of good quality supplements (which is the ONLY reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5). But I don't think that's a bad thing. Dividing the rules (in this core rulebook) from the "stuff" (in various, appropriate sourcebooks) is a good design philosophy, if not a bit more expensive.

The bottom line is this: if you're a Star Wars RPG veteran who lost faith after it was taken in to d20, come back. I think you'll like it. If you're a veteran of the d20 version, and have enjoyed the heavier rules of the Revised Core Rulebook (or D&D 3.x), you may want to steer clear of this one. it's designed to be a lot lighter and play a lot faster, but good, flexible character design is not sacrificed. I won't go into great detail of the changes to the rules (I'm sure other people will do that and everyone's view on what's important is so subjective anyway). But accusations that this system is simply a revamped version of their miniatures combat rules are simply wrong. Make no mistake this is a role-playing game, and a hopping good one at that. With a few solid supplements it might shape up to be the best Star Wars RPG yet.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent First Role Playing Game Aug. 31 2007
By Karl Bielefeldt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are plenty of reviews written by experienced role players for other experienced role players. If you want the perspective of a complete newcomer, read on.

Although I immensely enjoyed both versions of Knights of the Old Republic, I had never played a pen and paper role playing game until my brother-in-law introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons a few months ago. While I continue to enjoy D&D very much, after buying this book and gamemastering a couple games, I wish Star Wars Saga Edition had been my first introduction to role playing games.

First of all, character generation is very simple and flexible. One of my players had zero role playing experience of any kind. However, he said he wanted to play a character like Greedo, and we were able to easily come up with exactly what he wanted. We have a standard jedi in the party, but we also have a force-using noble and a very skilled pilot. In this game, you think about what kind of character you want then find the rules to support that kind of character, rather than seeing what kind of character the rules will allow you to build.

There are rules to cover anything you can think of to do or be from the movies, and there are explicit examples for many of them. For example, there is a stat block for the trash compactor from the Leia prison rescue scene, and there are feats to cover the scene where Darth Vader absorbs Han's blaster shots, then makes the gun fly into his hand.

For a gamemaster the simplified skill set adds to the element of surprise. My players were surveilling a building when I had them roll a perception check. They assumed it was to notice something about the building, but it was really to notice the rancor sneaking up behind them. They failed the check, but if they had succeeded, they would have noticed a bad smell and turned around. Having all the senses, including smell, rolled into the perception check is really fun.

Vehicles are another element that makes the game fun. Everything from a speeder bike to a star destroyer is represented. Vehicles enhance the dynamics of the game, and increase characters' capabilities. For example, that rancor attack was way above my party's level, but they had a fighting chance on speeder bikes.

My main complaint about the book is that some of the information is scattered, and the index is terrible. I ended up making my own index for my personal use.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who is just getting started with pen and paper role playing games. It's relatively easy to learn, and the possibilities are endless.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I WANTED to like this, but couldn't. July 29 2007
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Whether or not you will like Saga Edition really depends on your playstyle and personal preferences. So, before you pick up a copy for yourself, it's probably a good idea to check it out and make sure you like it before committing. If you put your money down before seeing what you're getting yourself into, you may end up disappointed; on the other hand, you may really enjoy it.

As for myself, I appreciate some of the new innovations in the book, but overall I will not be able to enjoy the game very much without significant modifications on my part. I'm sure other reviewers will have already gone into all the details of the book, but I will do so again regardless:

One of the major design approaches to this version of the game was the idea of "streamlining": simplifying and eliminating certain rules to make gameplay faster and easier. This includes trying to cut down on the number of dice rolls, such as by eliminating extra attacks (from having a high base attack bonus) and turning saving throws into static defense scores. However, as for whether or not this will make the game faster or easier for you, your mileage may vary; I personally am having a little difficulty relearning rules I have been using for many years and never intended on changing. Saga really is a totally new version of the game, with lots of changes in all areas of the rules.

Chapter 1 is Ability Scores, is this is pretty much the only area of the game that did not change significantly. You still have six attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma), and they still affect such things as your attacks, damage, skills, etc.

Chapter 2 is Species, and there are a few changes in here. Species no longer gain skill bonuses, instead gaining the ability to reroll certain skills. I really do enjoy this change because it makes the species much more interesting and unique. A few of the species also got a few changes to their ability adjustments, whether for good or ill. Overall, this is a good chapter.

Chapter 3 is Classes, and it takes a bit of a different approach from previous versions. For those of you that play D20 Modern, each class now has talents (basically class features they can choose between) and bonus feats every other level. Jedi are a lot weaker, and all the other classes are a lot stronger. In fact, you may want to give Jedi a few more skills, cause otherwise it is difficult for any of them to be good at anything besides swinging a lightsaber. Tech Specialist was basically combined into the Scoundrel class (see the Wizards of the Coast website for a web enhancement for Techie characters), Fringer was combined into Scout, Jedi Consular and Guardian were combined into one Jedi class, and Force Adept was eliminated. Instead, any character can easily use the Force as well as any Jedi, regardless of what class they are. Overall, these changes were pretty well-done as well.

Chapter 4 is Skills, and this gets into one of the bigger changes of the system. Instead of skill points and ranks, all characters get a bonus to all skills equal to one-half their level; if they are trained in a skill, they get a +5 bonus and can use the "trained only" uses of the skill. Characters can also take the Skill Focus feat to gain a +5 bonus with a particular skill. This has the effect of making characters better with their skills at low levels (having a bonus of +5 or +10 at 1st-level instead of a maximum of +4 ranks in the RCR), but less skilled at high levels (at 20th-level, +10 if untrained, +15 if trained, +20 if Skill Focus, compared to in the RCR having +23 from ranks). Additionally, many skills have been combined: Balance, Escape Artist, and Tumble are now Acrobatics; Bluff, Disguise, and Forgery are now Deception; Demolitions, Disable Device, and Repair are now Mechanics; Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot are now Perception; Diplomacy and Intimidate are now Persuasion; Hide, Move Silently, and Sleight of Hand are now Stealth; and all the Force skills have been turned into a variety of talents, force powers, and a single skill called Use the Force. There are also two new skills: Initiative and Endurance. Overall, I like the combinations of skills, but I don't like how characters can have relatively high bonuses at 1st-level and relatively crappy bonuses at higher levels; however, this is just personal opinion, and you may like it just fine.

Chapter 5 is Feats, and there aren't really a lot of major changes in this section. All the skill feats have been eliminated and reduced to just Skill Focus (which gives a +5 bonus) and Skill Training (which lets you select an additional trained skill). Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes are gone, replaced with Improved Defenses (+1 bonus to all Defenses). A few feats, such as Spring Attack and Shot on the Run, have been combined. If you want to trip, pin, or bantha rush an opponent, you now need a feat to do it; if you don't have the feat, you can't do it. Likewise, you need certain feats (Double Attack, Triple Attack, or the Dual Weapon Mastery feats) in order to make multiple attacks, since multifire and additional attacks from BAB have been eliminated. The multiattack feats also aren't very good, since you get a really high penalty and they require a full-round action; with how much more mobile SW characters are now, it will be very difficult to pull off a double/triple attack. All in all, not a very bad section.

Chapter 6 is the Force, and it introduces a new Force system to the game. If you play D&D, these rules may be very familiar to you: Force-users select a number of powers, and they can use each power once per encounter (or more times if the select the same power several times). It's very similar to the Maneuvers system of Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords; I personally don't enjoy it because it doesn't make sense to me how a Jedi could "use up" one power and be forced to use another one instead. ("Well, I ran out of Force Lightning. Time for some Force Choking.") Another thing I don't like is the distinction between Force Slam, Force Thrust, and Move Object; Force Thrust in particular is like a crappy version of Move Object, so I doubt it will ever see much use. Force Points are also now an exact duplicate of Action Points from D20 Modern: you get a crapload of them (5-15 each level), and they are extremely weak. The Dark Side is very different; there are no longer ability score penalties for being corrupted, and the only real change I can see for falling to the Dark Side is that the GM can take away your character. This chapter also gives barely any information on a handful of Force-using traditions: a page each about the Jedi, Sith, Jensaarai, and Dathomiri. However, this chapter also introduces generic talent trees for Alter, Control, Sense, and Dark Side, which are available to any Force-sensitive. The Jensaarai and Dathomiri each also have their own talent tree. Overall, this chapter was a great disappointment to me: the Force power system is not at all what I hoped for, the Dark Side system seems pointless (I honestly don't see any significant effect for falling to the Dark Side), and the information about the Force seems very scant and trimmed. However I enjoyed the talent trees for the Jensaarai and Dathomiri.

Chapter 7 is Heroic Traits, and it gives a little information about defining your character's age, height, weight, and personality/background. However, there is no dice rolling involved in any of this; you instead get charts with average height, average weight, and the age ranges for the different age categories. I particularly enjoyed rolling dice to generate the little details of my character, but this is now unfortunately gone. However, half of this chapter discusses a new optional rule mechanic: Destiny. Destiny Points are a slightly more powerful version of Force Points from previous versions, and you character can choose between different destinies (including corruption, destruction, discovery, education, redemption, and rescue) that give your character different goals and bonuses for furthering your destiny. Destiny Points can be extremely powerful, but they are an interesting idea. Finally, Reputation has been completely eliminated from the game. Overall, I am a little disappointed in this section because of how much was removed, though I do enjoy the addition of Destiny.

Chapter 8 is Equipment. A few weapons were tweaked with different stats, but the major change is for ranged weapons: instead of range increments, there is a chart to determine whether an attack is at point blank, short, medium, or long range. I'm not really sure why they did this, since I found the range increments to be a lot simpler and easier to use, instead of having to look up a chart. Armor now gives a bonus to Reflex Defense (AKA Armor Class if you play D&D, Defense if you played the SW Revised Core Rulebook), but if you wear armor you do not get your class bonuses to defense; this seems to be an old idea that they brought back from the Original Core Rulebook, for some reason. If you're high level you get penalized for wearing armor, even if you're proficient; there's a talent that eliminates this penalty (but you still gain practically no benefit from wearing the armor), and a second talent lets you gain a small bonus from your armor. It is extremely impractical to make a character that wears armor, since the costs far outweigh the benefits; it goes along with the philosophy of the designers wanting to punish players that wear armor, which has been going on for years now. Overall, this chapter was a bit of a disappointment, especially the section on armor.

Chapter 9 is Combat, and it reflects the biggest changes to the system. Vitality points and wound points are now gone, being replaced by hit points (for better or worse). A condition track makes the game slightly more realistic; if you take damage in excess of your damage threshold, you move down the condition track, taking penalties that represent your fatigue. One-handed blasters can make attacks of opportunity, instead of being limited to melee weapons. Combat is now much more mobile than before; you can move half your speed to avoid taking an attack of opportunity while still being able to attack in the round (in previous versions, Withdraw was a full-round action); this makes it almost impossible to pull off a full attack, so most characters just run around and fire single attacks. Autofire is basically an area attack that targets a couple squares (I think they got the idea from D20 Modern). I believe I already mentioned that saving throws have been turned into three defense scores (and blasters/lightsabers/etc. target Reflex Defense). Also, the new rules make it practically impossible to disarm or sunder an opponent's weapon. Overall, I am disappoint at the combat system; it is rather clunky in some ways (especially regarding disarm/sunder), and the changes to Attacks of Opportunity change the game in ways that I don't like. Your mileage may vary.

Chapter 10 is Vehicles (combination of land vehicles and starships), and it can be summed up rather easily: same as character combat. Starships now move and attack almost exactly like a character (including capital ships pulling tight turns with ease). Heck, vehicles even have their own ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence...). Space combat doesn't even feel like space anymore, so I have to give this system bottom marks in every area. Truly a disappointment.

Chapter 11 is Droids, and the only real change is that droids no longer have a Constitution score. Meaning the only thing that decides how sturdy they are, how many hit points, is their level: apparently all droids are made of the same materials and designed with the same quality. I believe it was copied over from D&D, where constructs and undead creatures do not have Constitution scores. However, it didn't even work over there: most (if not all) of the new undead creatures add their Charisma score to hit points, since they have too few otherwise. It's not a big change, but it seems completely pointless.

Chapter 12 is Prestige Classes, and is basically what you would expect. Each prestige class has certain requirements you must meet (including a minimum character level), and each one introduces one or two new talent trees and some bonus every other level. No complaints here.

Chapter 13 is a Galactic Gazetteer with scant information on several of the most important planets in the Star Wars galaxy. It's very small (about 10 pages), but it is a nice touch. I'm glad it was included.

Chapter 14 is Gamemastering, and it has information and tips about running a campaign and creating adventures. This is one of the sections that took the biggest hits: although it has the bare bone information such as an Experience Point Awards table, most of the information for a running a campaign is missing. There are practically no guidelines for being a gamemaster, meaning it will be very difficult if you are new to the job. There is also no information about cities/settlements, and barely anything about challenges/encounters. This is one of the areas of the book that could not afford to be skimped on, and I am sorely disappointed with it.

Chapter 15 is Eras of Play, and is basically a trimmed down version of the same section that was in the Revised Core Rulebook. You are provided with very slim summaries of each era and a handful of stats of main characters. They don't even cover all the main characters, either; Jango Fett, Darth Maul, and many others are absent. Yet again, a chapter for gamemasters that doesn't provide enough information.

Following the theme of the previous few chapters, Chapter 16 is Allies and Opponents. If you are expecting an encyclopedia of NPC's like was included in the RCR, you will be sorely disappointed. The only alien species you'll find are Aqualish, Hutts, Neimoidians, and Yuuzhan Vong. All the creature classes (herd animal, parasite, predator, scavenger, and vermin) have been combined into an all-encompassing and ill-suited Beast class. The professional classes (including Diplomat, Expert, and Thug) have been combined into an equally ill-suited and all-encompassing Nonheroic class. There are a grand total of 14 NPC's: 4 Imperials, 2 Rebels, 3 Republic, and 5 Fringe; compare to the RCR with over a hundred allies and opponents, with different-leveled versions of each.

Overall, I am disappointed with quite a few of the rules changes (including some of the "streamlining" that actually make things more difficult for me). The book is 100 pages shorter and is actually slightly smaller than its previous versions; most of this lost material was ripped straight out of the sections for gamemastering, easily some of the most important sections of the book. You will also notice quite a few errors in the rules; the Wizards of the Coast site has an errata document that is currently 4 pages long. However, even this doesn't catch all the errors and inconsistencies, and several sections of the game are very problematic. If you've never GMed a game before, I don't know how well you'll be able to do it with so much information missing.

But like I said at the beginning of this review, this is all personal opinion. Some people love the game, others do not. I happen to fall more toward the negative side; it's not a horrible game, but it has its problems. I strongly advise browsing through the book before you purchase it: you may greatly enjoy it, but you may be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed Review on Differences Between Saga and Revised Editions Oct. 23 2007
By Helix Ptoch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
To preface, I have played three versions of the Star Wars RPG (WestEnd D6, Revised Edition D20, and now the Saga D20 Edition). To sum things up, the system has come a long way and yet in some ways has come full circle back around to some of the things everyone liked in the original D6 system. That said, I would highly recommend the newest Saga Edition of the game system. The system has just enough rules to keep the realist roleplayer happy while making combat and other areas quick enough to keep the feel of a Star Wars adventure. The wealth of resources from the prior D20 modules and resource books from Wizards really help fill in the gaps that Saga does not cover well.
Let me also say that there are some things in Saga that are not well done. In an attempt to simplify the rules they made some game mechanics unusable. This being said, it is nothing a few house rules can't change.
Here are my likes and dislikes about the newest Saga Edition (comparing it to the Revised Edition D20 system since it uses the same base) and how our group has dealt with weak areas:

Likes-
1. Streamlined skills, no need to track hundreds of skill points. There is now one skill for perception (there were 3-4 skills for it in the Revised Edition).
2. Most of the game unbalancing feats from the Revised Edition were removed or modified into class talents specific to a class only.
3. Class talents and force powers are a great change to jedi and non-jedi character development. The variety of characters that can be created from the same class is great.
4. The removal of vitality and wound points (from the Revised Edition) and the embrace of hit points is a good change. No more will your 12th lvl character die in one critical shot. :-) Also, using the force does not drain your character of his hit points in the new system so you can actually use the force more frequently in combat.
5. Force points have a heavier usage in the system and remind me of the good ol character points of the D6 system. They are much easier get than in prior systems.
6. Droids as characters are easier to play in the Saga Edition with a much better rule set to work with.
7. Your character level more directly influences how good you are with skills, your defensive traits, and your damage delivered. All good changes from prior the Revised Edition.
8. Grid movement and the adaptation of minatures into the system is a great addition. We all use minatures anyhow, might as well use squares as movement distance.
9. The introduction of Destiny Points is a great addition to the Star Wars RPG. It allows for more heroic "there is no way he can pull this off" scenes where the impossible becomes probable (very much in line with Star Wars), and allows players to deepen their character history, goals, etc. and obtain physical rewards for following their destiny.

Dislikes-
1. No ability to play darkside characters (no rules for darkside sites, no sith force powers, no tainted status, etc.). You pretty much have to fall back on the Revised Edition for information on this stuff. I suggest the Revised rulebook and the Darkside source book (both D20).
2. I know the idea was to streamline the system but some things are just good rolplay elements. There is no details on the jedi trials and other steps a jedi takes to become a jedi knight. Again, you must refer to the Revised Edition for ideas and information on this stuff. In Saga, you hit that level and can automatically become a jedi knight. :-) Sounds a lot like an online RPG "ding", you have raised a level thing. 'Yawn'.
3. The ability for players to gain followers was greatly nerfed in Saga over prior versions of the game. Our entire group was sad to see this go away as it added a great deal of roleplay to the game. Of course you can always create house rules and add it back in. The Revised D20 Edition has good rules on followers.
4. Area attacks such as autofire and grenades are a bit too powerful in Saga. They basically always hit for at least half damage (if the attack is 10 or higher) unless you have a specific Scout class talent. We went ahead and nerfed this rule to "if the attack misses by 10 or less it does half damage. A 11+ miss does no damage." If you use Saga, try this rule instead and this will help ease this pain.
5. Armor is still not that great in Saga (in comparison to the Revised Edition). The creators still have something against armor wearing folks. Armor basically becomes useless at higher levels unless you have a few specific talents from the Soldier class. As a house rule we have allowed armor to subtract the DR from the damage delivered by attacks, even if it lowers your defensive totals. This seems to be a fair trade off as you get hit more frequently but take less damage when struck.
6. The vehicle and starship rules, combat, etc. is not well done in Saga. The release of a future starship and vehicle enhancement in December 2007 will greatly help this piece. The other option is to integrate the Star Wars Starship Minatures game and create rules to bridge the gaps and use it in Saga. We have house rules for this and they work well. If anyone is interested in learning more about this please email me at ciridan@gmail.com.
7. Gambling is very poorly done in Saga, but I must say that it is better than prior systems. There has never been a good rule set for this to date, no matter what version of Star Wars you use. For Saga, we use the deception skill as the gambling base and we use house rules with an actual created Sabaac deck of cards in our games. This may be a bit over the top but the players love it and it uses their skill as well as their character's skill to modify the game. If you wish to learn more about this email me at ciridan@gmail.com.
8. This knock is more of a general one. I wish the makers of Star Wars RPG would incorporate certain elements of the video game Knights of the Old Republic into the RPG. Namely, the addition of implants to augment abilities and the ability to add certain crystals to lightsabers to increase abilities, etc. These are great adds to the video game and would make great quests and RPG items for players. We have made custom rules for this as well in our group. :-)

I hope this review was useful. I highly recommend the Saga Edition if you have not played it since the D6 era. For those that have played the Revised D20 system it depends on if you wish to remake characters and unlearn what you have learned...so to speak. This system kind of undoes a few areas of the Revised D20 so you need to have a group that is willing to step out and try a different way of doing things. If you have never played the Star Wars RPG, I recommend the Saga Edition as a good starting point. It is easy to use and fun to play.

MTFBWY,

Helix
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