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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A significant advance from previous editions
After being introduced to the Star Wars Roleplaying game in its D20 incarnation I found that I was increasingly baffled by the design philosophy which seemed to sit behind the rule set. Though everything Star Wars was there to a greater or lesser extent the entire game felt like an eternal struggle to run and play, overly complex rules eating away at the fabric of what...
Published on 30 Oct 2007 by E. Porter-daniels

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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simpler system which is good for newcomers, but it will disappoint others.
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 find it an insult to dedicated gamers to keep asking them to upgrade, and confusing to newer and more casual players. This, at first glance, seems like just another ploy to plumb my pockets; as a veteran of the old West End Games version of Star...
Published on 10 Sep 2007 by Mr Ghostface


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A significant advance from previous editions, 30 Oct 2007
By 
E. Porter-daniels "Irenicas" (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
After being introduced to the Star Wars Roleplaying game in its D20 incarnation I found that I was increasingly baffled by the design philosophy which seemed to sit behind the rule set. Though everything Star Wars was there to a greater or lesser extent the entire game felt like an eternal struggle to run and play, overly complex rules eating away at the fabric of what could potentially have been an excellent game. I love Dungeons and Dragons, but it was progressively clear that the 3rd Edition rule set (which was being used here) was utterly unsuited for the task of adapting the Star Wars films and expanded universe into game form. Every aspect of the game seemed overly complex and laboured, a tedious exercise when it should be exciting and swift. It was with a skeptical mind, then, that I purchased this new edition.
The first thing that strike you upon actually holding the book in your hands is the unique feel of it - it is an unusual size and shape and though this could have been irritating, it in fact seems to fit the style of the game well. Reading the book feels like you are participating in an epic adventure and this is some kind of great tome rather than the rather overly-standard A4 sized hardcovers that Wizards rely upon in their other gaming lines. The book itself is gorgeous, a vast improvement over its predecessors who always felt like more space was taken up with filler than with content. This, on the other hand, feels streamlined, stylish, and extremely professional. These comments do not, in fact, merely apply to the aesthetics.
The rules have been substantially overhauled, and I do mean substantially. Do not expect to wander in without having read the book and be able to create a character from the knowledge held in your head from previous editions. In fact character creation and development has been changed so radically it feel revolutionary, like this is something ground breaking (when, in fact, it is merely pulling together many already existing threads). There are now only five classes, but the felxibility of creation and development is so far in advance of previous editions that it seems like you have hugely greater choice. Instead of the class abilities, something which has always held D20 back as far as I am concerned, there are varied talent trees which allow you to custom pick your abilities, powers, and talents. The variety that is available is astonishing, and it allows the creation of vastly more varied PCs than ever before.
The game itself moves into a slightly different sphere, and the huge changes to the skill system (you no longer have skill points but are either trained or untrained) means that what was once a frenzy of mathematics and dice rolling is a straightforward test of your character's abilities. The entire system feels... swift. Streamlined is a word I cannot use enough, and it is vitally important to say that this does not make the system "simplistic". In this case, less is very much more, and when you add in the optional destiny rules and begin to play around with force point use, the game slips into an extremely pleasant realm of its own.
There are of course some negative points to the system. In an attempt to tie this edition into the successful miniture game the book refers to everything in terms of "squares", but if we are honest then few gaming groups do not use gaming mats. If you don't, then merely times a distance in squares by 1.5 and you have the distance in metres. Multiply it by five, and you have it in feet. A minor gripe, and an understandable move, but a somewhat irritating one none the less for those of thus who have deemed the cash-sink which is minature buying unneccessary.
In summary then this game manages something spectacular - a refined and streamlined ruleset that loses none of the nuances and delicacy of play that one expects from a Wizard's system that combines blissfully with a free-form character creation system and the feel of the Star Wars game. The only possible gripe is that, like in early incarnations, there is little discussion of the creation of custom antagonists, and the choice of "additional materials" (antagonists, ships, equipment, etc) is poor. However, the rule set is so elegant that an experience GM should have no trouble creating their own.

All in all, superb. I hope that D&D4E is as good, and that there are plenty of expansion books available soon.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simpler system which is good for newcomers, but it will disappoint others., 10 Sep 2007
By 
Mr Ghostface (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (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 find it an insult to dedicated gamers to keep asking them to upgrade, and confusing to newer and more casual players. This, at first glance, seems like just another ploy to plumb my pockets; 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 adaptation 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 days.

Well, the old days have to a great extent 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. May be, but it will take a lot more playing to explore the game more thoroughly. That said, however, the streamlining is something I support, regardless of it feeling a little bit like Diet RPG.

From a design/layout standpoint it's the simplest 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, which to me always felt like filler, and went back to using artwork that shows the Star Wars universe is more than what you see on the screen. The major gripe here, however, is that I didn't see one single piece of original artwork. It's all recycled, but if you're new to the game, that won't be a problem. The dimensions of the book are a bit strange (about 9" x 9"), but it at least serves to separate it more from the previous versions (though copying the character sheet will be a bit tricky). And therein lies my dilemma; for old gamers, this book will seem light, simpler, yet lacking anything new, whereas new gamers will find it accessible and well presented.

One of the down sides - and this is where Wizards of the Coast have really aliennated a lot of their gamers over the years - is that it's 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. That alone, I don't think, is such a bad thing; dividing the rules (in this core rulebook) from the "stuff" (in various inevitable supplements) is a good design philosophy, and helps free up the game for people who want to come to it fresh. There isn't so much crammed in to make anyone feel bogged down or intimidated by it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Wizards' appalling milking of RPGs through their incessant supplement release schedule - D&D fans know where I'm coming from - but within reason it is perhaps the best way to present the game. The problem, and I speak to the older gamers like myself in this, has always been that Wizards don't seem to like presenting supplementary information cleanly, instead subdividing it into endless accessories and sourcebooks. I want to see it done better, but experience tells me it will just happen all over again.

Here's the chapter list for you to see the basic breakdown:

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

The bottom line is this: if you're a Star Wars RPG veteran who lost faith after it was taken in to d20, you might like this. It does feel newer, if a lot lighter at the same time, so there might be the breathing room that got squeezed out when it was converted. If you're a veteran of the d20 version, and have enjoyed the heavier rules of the Revised Core Rulebook (or D&D 3.5), or you're simply sick of Wizards, you may want to steer clear of this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The force is strong with this one!, 10 Nov 2009
By 
Sleepy Fox (Truro, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
This is an excellent guide to all aspects of running and playing a great roleplaying game as player or game master. It has engaging text and inspiring pictures, with quotes from the films slipped in as a constant reminder of the amazing universe and stories we are trying to recreate in play!

Having not played previous versions I cannot comment on how this measures up to those, but as a new player I found it an easy to use system with plenty of room for personal touches to adventures.
The saga book is also one of the cheapest core rule books for any game system I have ever come across!
My only criticism is a lacking in included ships, but once you familiarise yourself with the game it's easy enough to create your own, or purchase a supplement that contains as many as you could ever need.

All in all, a superb core book that has everything you need to begin playing a cool game!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow..., 23 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
I've been interested in roleplaying games for a long while now. Taking an interest, while never really playing D&D. Though, recently I took that step. I ordered the D&D4E starter and a few other pieces to go along with it. A few months later and now I'm here, trying the Saga Edition.
I can say with confidence, this is what I'll be sticking with.

The quality of the book is simply excellent. I feel the need to wash my already clean hands before flicking through, just in case.

The rules are simple, though a little more complex than D&D 4E. It seems that Wizards have taken inspiration from their miniatures game when writing this, and for me, that poses no problem. In fact, before trying this I was (and still am) an avid Star Wars miniatures player.

One downside is the thinning out of the book. Rather than releasing three core books like the D&D line, WotC have released the one. This can be seen as a good thing, allowing you to get into the game with minimal purchases. But if you wan't the full game, the "missing" content has been released in supplemental books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not so along ago in a front room not so far away...., 21 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. K. Richardson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
I've loved StarWars for aslong as I can remember and I've always wanted to get into the role play side of it. Being the first Starwars role play book I've bought, I've no knowledge of the previous incarnations, although I've played anumber of roleplay games in the past. The books great, although as previously mentioned, I wasn't too keen on the heavy handed way the book pushes the starwars miniatures, but could have been alot worse. Just hope an alien race supplement comes out soon, I really need official rules for Amanin. Have a cool image of them swinging from the tree's after a group of PC's.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long ago in an Errata list far away, 3 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
Yet again Wizards of the Coast release a Star Wars rule book with seemingly no proof reading. And so yet again we are faced with an errata list on the wizards website that makes a mockery of buying the book only to be presented with a re-print in a few months time with all the gaffs corrected. If only!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looking for an RPG? This maybe isn't what you want..., 15 Feb 2010
By 
Krzysztof Zieba (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
Alright, huge disclamer first - I HATE the d20 mechanic.
I thought it has been implemented better here, but I was wrong. This core book shares all the sins and adds a handful of new ones. My main concern is the fact that the system is 90% combat based. When you look at the class Talents and Feats, a VAST majority of those are used in combat. Info on the "Eras of Play" are mostly statistics for characters. I mean, what the hell? Rather than giving some true info, they just let you know how easy/hard it is to kill characters from the Saga? The mechanic is only marginally intuitive, definately not the best I've seen. It's very limiting and makes playing a chore rather than something enjoyable. It also takes away the freedom of the GM, a thing that is a Capital Sin for me when it comes to role-playing.
While it does have this SW feel to it, I don't really see it working as a good Role-Playing game. The fact that the combat system is based on Star Wars Miniatures is a cheap trick as well, a blatant smack to the face really.
I'm somewhat relieved that this game has been discontinued now and that they are closing the line. I'm hoping another company is going to pick up the license and do something better with it. I was planning on buying some expansions for this, but probably won't bother. Hell, I'm thinking about selling my copy of the corebook off, actually. I may do it in the future, right now I still want to give it a chance.
It's not a 1/5 because I have to admit that the quality of the book for that price is very, very good. The format kinda bugs me, but generally speaking, the publishing quality is great. The content, as you can see above, is a whole different thing for me I'm afraid.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, 23 Nov 2009
By 
M. Bell "Matt Bell" (Swindon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
As far as the system goes, I could take it or leave it. I enjoy the game as it's Star Wars, but I find the system to be a little basic and simple. Shame really.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 5 Feb 2008
This review is from: Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) (Hardcover)
this book is great to play star wars dnd. i found it easy to use and fun to play with my mates it has my recomandetion
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