Top positive review
One person found this helpful
If you want to get the best out of Edge of Empire, you will definitely want to buy these dice!
on 9 August 2014
Custom dice from Fantasy Flight Games, for Edge of Empire Star Wars RPG: they're used to determine the result when the outcome of an action is doubtful, hence a roll is needed for narrative purposes.
The big difference between other Role Playing Games and this one - and its main strength point - is that dice rolls don't give simply failure/success of an action, instead they provide different degrees of the outcome that is explained by the Game Master throughout the game, hence increasing the role play and narrative components.
The figures presented on the dice represent success/failure and advantages/threats: when a player declares an action, before rolling to determine the outcome, a pool of dice is assembled and both the difficulty dice and the ability dice are rolled by the player.
After the roll, advantages and threats cancel each other out, same as success and failure, and the final result - after calculating how many successes or failures remain and if there are advantages or threats - is determined and explained to the players as a description of a small scene by the Game Master.
Finally, there are two more figures that can be rolled, Triumph and Despair (that don't cancel each other out and are always applied), representing the extreme accomplishment or the total disaster and add respectively one success and one failure (which can still be canceled by opposite symbols).
An example that I always give to new players to understand how this (apparently complex to understand, but actually very simple after two-three rolls) mechanic works is the following.
Imagine this situation: you're an Alliance Rebel that just got caught in a room hacking a computer by an Imperial Stormtrooper sentinel, who is still outside the room; you shoot the Stormtrooper, roll the dice and let's see what happens:
- neutral outcome, no successes, no failures. no threats, no advantages... a total zero: you don't hit the guard but nothing bad happens.
- one success:a hit! your blaster laser hits the guard, apply the damage.
- more than one success: very good hit! you hit the guard, your blaster laser bypasses his armor and wounds him badly, apply eventual bonuses to the base damage
- one or more success, with one or more advantage: a hit with consequences! you hit the guard, your blaster laser bypasses his armor and wounds him badly, furthermore you manage to knock him out.
- variable successes and advantages, one or more triumph: an incredible shot! you hit the guard and make him fall from the balcony where he is, he falls splatting on the floor 50 meters down, behind some fuel tanks; his body will be found only many days later.
- one or more successes, with one or more threats: a hit, but with something negative! you hit the guard and wound him (with variables already described); however the noise of your blaster attracts the attention of other guards, you can hear the noise of boots and shouting in the corridor as alarms are triggered.
- variable successes, one or more threats, one or more triumphs: an incredible shot with negative consequences! you manage to knock out the guard that falls down as described above, however the noise triggers the alarm in the complex
- one failure: a botch! you miss the guard, now it's his turn to shoot back
- more than one failure: a very poor shot! you miss the guard and the blaster has a strong recoil, putting you off balance; the guard will add one boost die on his turn to roll when shooting at you.
- one or more failures with a threat: a very poor shot and things start to go bad! you miss the guard and your weapon runs out of ammo; time to draw the other gun, but not before the guard shoots back!
- one or more failure, multiple threats: very very bad! you miss the guard, your weapon runs out of ammo, furthermore the noise of your blaster raises the alarm in the complex.
- one or more failure with one or more opportunity: bad, but there's light at the end of the tunnel! you miss the guard, however your laser shoots the door's control panel, locking you inside the room.
- one or more failure, one or more threat, one despair or more: BAD BAD BAD! you miss the guard, attracting the attention of the other guards, furthermore your weapon overcharges and explodes in your face, knocking you unconscious.
- one or more failure, one or more despair, one or more opportunity: BAD BAD BAD, however...! you miss the guard, your laser hits the control panel of the door, your weapon explodes knocking you unconscious; you're safe for now locked in the room, however it's a matter of time before the Imperial guards will manage to open it from the other side. Will you manage to wake up before it happens?!
As you can see, the same situation can have a lot of different results, determined by how difficult is the task to accomplish and how good is the character at doing what he's doing. I personally find this game mechanic amazing and it's through the use of these dice that everything I've just described become much more fast to determine and understand!
The dice are well manufactured, have rounded edges for a smoother roll and their symbols, carved in the die and then painted, are easy to read.
Colors are bright (a bit less "fluo" than the picture shows) and distinguish perfectly one from the other.
Although buying them is not mandatory for the resolution of the game mechanics - the manual includes a conversion table to use with traditional multisided RPG dice you might already have - their use is highly recommended, since it speeds up a lot the game and the calculation of the outcome of the roll.
The package includes 14 dice:
- 1 twelve sided white Force die
- 3 eight sided green Ability dice
- 3 eight sided violet Difficulty dice
- 2 twelve sided yellow Proficiency dice
- 1 twelve sided red Challenge dice
- 2 six sided cyan Boost dice
- 2 six sided black Setback dice
- Also included in the package are 4 light/dark force tokens made of cardboard that are used for other mechanics not described here.
Definitely a good and beautiful product and a must buy (for the reasons described above) if you decide to play Edge of Empire RPG.
To nitpick, there are just two very very minor flaws:
- for some outcomes of the game, also percentage rolls are needed; so you would actually need also two numbered ten sided dice (or a D100), however if you're already playing RPGs most probably you already posses them, so no big deal.
- the number of dice provided is barely enough to play, since some time more than 3 difficulty/skill dice are needed, resulting in a reroll of some dice; not a flaw per se, however it may become a bit annoying when more than one player has to re-roll for the same check, since the game gets slowed down: consider that Edge of the Empire is mostly a narrative RPG, hence a long round of rolls can disrupt the flow of the story.
However as said above these are such minor details that they don't really make the difference, i personally was so satisfied with the product that ordered two more copies!
Buy these dice, you won't be disappointed.