Thursday, January 12, 2017

Campaign Rules - Part Two: Here's Where The Fun Begins!

The Canon
Before Star Wars: Rebels and Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, the canon for the Expanded Universe was a very convoluted and intricate thing. While the cultures and history of the Legends canon (as it's now called) have a lot of depth and detail, I don't have all the money and time to gather all the novels, games, and other media associated with it in order to become a guru.

That being said, I'm working with the new canon as established by Disney, bolstered by any details I find relevant and interesting from the Legends canon. For example, I consider the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian trilogies, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and Dark Empire to be valid in this campaign. If you have questions about it all, just ask and we'll hash it out; just remember, as GM, I do have the final say.

The Meat of the Rules
Thus far, we've covered creating characters and the skill list for the game. I know I mentioned having notes regarding combining actions and the like, but to be honest, the bulk of the rules are going to come from the second edition revised & expanded (SW2R) rulebook.

The first edition's initiative rules were more of a "flow-style" as compared to SW2R's conventional Perception-based initiative. Basically, if your character got the high roll against their opponent, they won initiative and the effects were determined from that point forward. For example: Jana (Blaster skill of 5D+2) and Roark (Blaster skill of 5D+1) both shoot at each other; the difficulty number for each shot is 15. Jana's roll is 19; Roark's is 17. Jana gets her shot off first (because 19 is greater than 17), and hits Roark (because 19 is also greater than 15). Roark's shot doesn't take place.

In resolving ties, PCs win out over NPCs. Between PCs, the highest attribute or skill code wins the roll. I find this is a bit more realistic than having a static initiative roll for each character during the course of an encounter.

Drama and "Speed of Plot"
While there are travel times listed on the astrogation chart in the rulebooks as well as several maps, all hyperspace travel is pretty much "speed of plot" as it is in the movies and TV shows (Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels). While I'm not a fan of FFG's new Star Wars RPG, Age of Rebellion has an excellent way of handling hyperspace and sublight travel. The hyperdrive multipliers still remain in effect; these guidelines just save us a lot of headache and bookkeeping.
Sublight Travel Times
Flying from a planet's orbit to a safe hyperspace jump distance: 5-15 minutes
Flying from a planet's surface to one of its moons: 30-90 minutes
Flying from one planet to another within the same star system: 6-12 hours*
Flying from the center of a star system to its furthest limits: 12-72 hours*
* - This time varies depending on the relative position of the planets in question and any stellar phenomena between them.

Hyperspace Travel Times
Within a sector: Ten to 24 hours
Within a region: Ten to 72 hours
Between regions: Three days to one week
Across the galaxy: One to three weeks
The same goes for ammo - although SW2R gave us how many shots each type of blaster has in its power pack, we're going with what's "dramatically appropriate".

The Wild Die
One of the things the second edition introduced that I absolutely despise is the Wild Die. This essentially made 1D of a character's die code an exploding (or fizzling) die. Normally, I don't mind such things as Star Wars is very cinematic. However, I just don't think it fits the way they've implemented it. The Wild Die is not used in this campaign. The exception is with Character Points (see below).

Character Points
Character Points are the exception to the abolition of the Wild Die rule. Per SW2R, any dice provided to a roll by Character Points (limit of 5 CP on any roll) that come up a six (6) are added to the roll and rerolled. My limitation on this is the number of rerolls as shown in the table below; "CP Dice" refers to the number of Character Point dice rolling a six (6).
For example, a player decides to burn three Character Points on a roll, netting their character an extra 3D for a shot at a major villain. The roll comes up 5, 4, and 3 for the hero's normal Blaster skill of 3D and three 6's for the added 3D from their Character Points. The player adds the 6D up for a total of 30 (5 + 4 + 3 + 6 + 6 + 6), and then gets to reroll the extra 3D. The second 3D roll nets the hero a 6, 6, and 3 for an added bonus of 15; this brings the total to 45. The player gets one more reroll on the two sixes and comes up with a 2 and a 3. The final total is a whopping 50!

My reasoning on this is to keep the dice rolls within reason for those who aren't fond of math, as well as keeping the momentum of the game up. For those who want to know, no, dice provided by a Force Point do not explode on a six.

LATE EDIT: One last note. Since Character Points do double duty as experience points as well as mini-Force Points, I strongly recommend people try to keep a bank of at least five (5) Character Points at all times. That way, you can use some for improving your skills and attributes and still have some Character Points to burn if you don't want to (or can't) use a Force Point in a situation. This is not a hard rule; you're free to burn your character's Character Points as you like, but know that there are consequences (and it's always good to have a few Character Points when they're needed).

Rolling More Than Five Dice
For some people, rolling more than five dice at a time seems a hassle because wrangling 6D or more is a pain and/or math gives them a headache. I sympathize. As such, here is a copy of the dice code simplification table from the revised, expanded, & updated (REUP) rulebook. In using this table, find the number of dice you're supposed to roll, roll 5D and then add the number in the "5D" column to the total. Ignore the Wild Die column.

Combining Actions
Getting back to the whole "combining actions" situation, I took a look at the rules as presented in both the first edition Star Wars Rules Companion and SW2R and while the first edition rules give a better boost, they do involve a little more wrangling of dice and pips than SW2R. For the time being, we'll go with the SW2R rules and if they prove to be too ineffective, we'll switch to the first edition rules.

Using Miniatures (Optional)
The d20 rules basically broke maps down into 5-meter squares. A character in SWR2 moves 8-10 meters. As such, figure the character can move two (2) squares for their regular move score, one (1) square for cautious movement, and four (4) squares for running. Diagonal movement from one square to another counts as two (2) squares. Elevation and line of sight (LOS) will either be eyeballed or figured using a straightedge. The effects of elevation in combat will be interpreted by the GM.

I'm going to close this entry out at this point as Blogspot gets cranky if I try to type too much. My next entry will go over the vehicle rules and the fourth entry will cover the Force.

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