Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...)

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Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...)

Post by Dragonhelm »

I was taking a look at preview 2 for the upcoming Star Wars Saga Edition, and there are some interesting changes.

First, they killed skill ranks since that lends itself to min/maxing. Secondly, check out the formula they use now for skill checks...
Quote:
The formula for determining a character's skill bonus is as follows:

1/2 character level + relevant ability modifier + 5 (if trained) + 5 (if Skill Focus)

Seems very similar to C&C, IMO, though there are noticeable differences. Still, maybe C&C was a bit of an influence. *shrugs*
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Post by Orpheus »

Maybe it was. Still I think that the change is promising and may point to a change in WoTC's tune. They could be using the Saga Edition as a market test for a lighter system. Isn't that what everyone here wants? Granted it sucks to see someone's good idea co-opted by others...

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Post by dcs »

Orpheus wrote:
Granted it sucks to see someone's good idea co-opted by others...

For better or for worse game mechanics aren't copyrightable.

I'm not sure that this system is actually lighter since there are still feats (Skill focus) involved.
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Post by Orpheus »

dcs wrote:
For better or for worse game mechanics aren't copyrightable.

I'm not sure that this system is actually lighter since there are still feats (Skill focus) involved.

True on both counts. Could you imagine the chaos if they would just strip the system in toto? It may be a small step in the right direction however. Of course there probably wouldn't be a wholesale return to old-school-style of roleplaying out of Washington. It may be corporate culture. Witness: outside of d20/D&D/Star Wars all of the games made by Hasbro/WoTC are competitive in nature, therefore in need of rules to adjudicate everything. I guess it's kind of like asking a rock band to do a country song if they don't really like country music. They may have an idea of what it's supposed to be, but it just doesn't sound authentic.

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Post by rabindranath72 »

Seems they are learning the lesson Nice to see things are moving. It is interesting that they say they did it "because it fits the Star Wars style". Which could be said also of D&D. They make it seem like they invented the wheel
Does anyone is willing to bet that the next iteration of D&D will be nearly a clone of Castles & Crusades?

EDIT:

I have the evil feeling that I will gloat over many people (I have two or three people in mind...) who worship 3.x

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Post by rabindranath72 »

Oh, another nice piece:
Quote:
For example, we realized that the distinction between the Search and Spot skills was only a matter of intent. Does a character notice something because she's trying to notice it, or does she notice it incidentally? Either way, what matters is the end result. Skills should be differentiated when they differ in utility. But since Search and Spot differed only in intent, they were easy to consolidate.

Once we decided to combine those two skills, we naturally examined the Listen skill next. The game had separate skills for seeing and hearing, but what about the other senses -- smelling, feeling, and tasting? It didn't make sense to represent only some of the senses but not others. So we folded Listen in with the combined Search/Spot to form the core of the new Perception skill, which is used by the GM to determine whether characters notice something by any of their sensory methods.

It seems we will return to the 1-2 on d6 spot roll of Classic D&D [/quote]

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Post by serleran »

At least they are finally seeing there is lack of logic in some of their rules-for-everything. Of course, now there will be no way to tell if a PC is better at seeing something than hearing something, so they will need flaws/traits to do that. What happens if I want to play a blind/deaf/tasteless PC... I can still have a huge Perception! Ludicrous! ;)

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Post by Orpheus »

rabindranath72 wrote:
Does anyone is willing to bet that the next iteration of D&D will be nearly a clone of Castles & Crusades?

With the revenue that they generate via miniatures? I don't think so...

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Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

I have to say, it at first reminded me of the 2e non-weapon proficiency system.

If D&D 4e were to follow this simplification process, I'd be much happier. But as Orpheus pointed out, minis are such moneymakers for WotC that we'll probably see a system even more tied to miniatures, which will make me the opposite of happy.

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Post by rabindranath72 »

Orpheus wrote:
With the revenue that they generate via miniatures? I don't think so...

Well, it is quite possible (considering what they wrote in the article about miniatures). But I was referring more the the simplification of mechanics.

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Post by Breakdaddy »

I think that while you may be correct about this being a testbed product, it's more about making the Star Wars system more cinematic and less... boring. I will be picking this up ASAP. It seems a lot more streamlined and may actually be a very nice version of the Star Wars rules. I didnt care for the rules heavy revised or original D20 editions.
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Re: Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...

Post by gideon_thorne »

*snorts* Anyone looked at True 20? Specifically Blue Rose? I like to tease Steve and Davis about moonlighting for GR cause the core engine is so similar. The two systems are amazingly compatable.

Its not like coming up with Seige was some vast leap in sense. Its inherent in the d20 system as it is. Smart folks can refine the design in all sorts of ways.^_^

Even complex games like Champions could be Seiged or True 20'ed or whateve with just a bit of tweaking. ^_^
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Post by Breakdaddy »

I've played some True20 and thought it was a fun system. The major difference is that there are no Hit Points in True20, but a damage track exists in place of the HP system. It's a nice and very easy system to work within, but lost some of the fantasy feeling for me. I would happily use it for modern and sci fi if not for the excellent Savage Worlds system.
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Post by Treebore »

True20 is a good game, less numbers than 3E.

The new Star Wars Saga looks interesting and I will be getting it necause my youngest is an SW addict and I actually like playing in his game because of his incredible imagination. He has this whole Star Wars story thats been going on in his head for several years now.

Now when he gets good at mastering the rules and integrating them with his story, it will be a great game.
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Re: Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...

Post by pactmaster »

gideon_thorne wrote:
*snorts* Anyone looked at True 20? Specifically Blue Rose? I like to tease Steve and Davis about moonlighting for GR cause the core engine is so similar. The two systems are amazingly compatable.

I found True20 to be almost exactly like Morrigan Press' Atlantis:the Second Age rpg. There is virtually no conversion between the two games. Even the magic systems between the two are almost identical and vastly superior to the C&C Vancian system.

Not sure how the new Star Wars game will turn out, it certainly will be an interesting read.

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Post by Zudrak »

This reminds me of the Alternity game being the guinea pig for the d20 game. Of course, if I were to play a Star Wars RPG, I'd go with the d6 books I own. Simple and easy to run.
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Re: Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...

Post by gideon_thorne »

pactmaster wrote:
Even the magic systems between the two are almost identical and vastly superior to the C&C Vancian system.

*smiles* I don't use vancian magic in my games. Course, players can if they want too, but for my personal preference I just seige engined the entire magic system. ^_^
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Post by serleran »

Quote:
like Morrigan Press' Atlantis:the Second Age rpg

I was disappointed with this game. It didn't have the same neatness that the original Bards Games version has, I think. Maybe I'm just an old codger, but I thought it was cheapened in being redone.

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Post by Telhawk »

I was initially led on to the site in question through a thread that was on the Trek-RPG.net site; I have to say that my feelings on this matter are a little mixed.

On the positive end, it's nice to know that it only took the WotC dunderheads eight fricking years to figure out that the d20 system wasn't working as far as Star Wars was concerned. Perhaps Mr. Gygax visited them in a dream and slapped them upside the head, a la the Three Stooges; perhaps a rapidly disintegrating player base (speculation on my part - I have no idea how things were going before/during/after the time of Episode I, II and III's release) was the lightning bolt from God that convinced them that the time had come to actually start doing something different. In any case, it's at least a relief to find that these people are - after years of upbrading by some of the fans - starting understand that you cannot fit a round peg into a square hole no matter how many prestige classes you weld onto it. Obi-Wan Kenobi, 7th level Jedi Guardian, 2nd level Jedi Master, 1st level Jedi Investigator. Whether that's an insult or a joke, you be the judge.

The downside is that this is that...well, it's still d20. I don't know if the crew in charge of this particular venture decided that WEG's d6 Star Wars system needed to be revived; I certainly, from the statements coming out of WotC'S mouth, get the impression that they've been convinced that having game-ending scraps that resemble a tax audit - and move about as quickly - are not quite as much fun as they're cracked up to be. Sigh. If only West End could get the license back somehow...until then, I'll wait for the professional reviews on the new system and see if it's actually worth putting in the time and effort to pick up and peruse.

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Re: Star Wars Saga Edition's Skill System (seems familiar...

Post by rabindranath72 »

pactmaster wrote:
and vastly superior to the C&C Vancian system.

It is like comparing apples and oranges. None is superior to the others, it depends on which feel you want to do to magic. I have used Vancian systems with little tweaks in all sorts of settings, by simply creating "in-game" explanations of why magic works the way it works, and it has always worked quite well.

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Post by pactmaster »

serleran wrote:
I was disappointed with this game. It didn't have the same neatness that the original Bards Games version has, I think. Maybe I'm just an old codger, but I thought it was cheapened in being redone.

Oh, I agree heartily here. I was interested in seeing the game remade until I saw the game remade by Morrigan Press. The only redeeming quality to the new game is the art by Christoph Swal, I only bought the new Bestiary to support him because he hadn't been paid for the art as he was told he would get paid when the book was released. The catch: it is a print on demand via Amazon. I hope someone buys the original system, hires Swal, and re-remakes the game to play more like the original.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

The Article wrote:
Gamemasters no longer need to stat out an entire NPC just to get a skill modifier. Instead, they simply look at his level, the relevant ability modifier, and whether he's trained in the skill -- a process that can take mere moments. On-the-fly creation of NPC statistics is much faster under the new skill system, which facilitates high-level play.

Considering that this is a major bashing point of rabid d20 fanboys of the rules light systems, I'm surprised.

Next week the fanboys will be shouting,

"Brilliant!"

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Post by serleran »

Heh, they will learn that its easier to follow the way of serleran.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

serleran wrote:
Heh, they will learn that its easier to follow the way of serleran.


Yeah, it does sound suspiciously like the "primitive" method of M&T.

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Post by Orpheus »

DangerDwarf wrote:
Considering that this is a major bashing point of rabid d20 fanboys of the rules light systems, I'm surprised.

Next week the fanboys will be shouting,

"Brilliant!"

I'm in. i liked playing d6 Star Wars, but I was just never nuts about the system with those buckets o' dice. I think that if the game could be made into a d20 light experience it will totally rock!

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Post by Rigon »

OK, I'm thinking that by GenCon 08, we'll see the new WoC/Hasbro rules "lite" version of d20 D&D. This is most definately a feeler for their other d20 lines.

Just my 2cp.

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Post by Orpheus »

Rigon wrote:
OK, I'm thinking that by GenCon 08, we'll see the new WoC/Hasbro rules "lite" version of d20 D&D. This is most definately a feeler for their other d20 lines.

Just my 2cp.

R-

I don't know. I'll have to wait and see. There's a lot of money in those miniatures and I don't know how well they can make that business compatible with a "rules light" game. The whole miniatures line works in-game out-of-game and no new rules have to be developed. If they think that a rules light game could stand on it's own and revitalize roleplaying then they may go for it across the board. Heck, maybe they would try rules-light miniatures rules. I'd like to see their 10-K for 2006, but they don't have it out yet. It would be a good indicator of where they might be heading.

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Post by serleran »

As I understand it, miniatures are more porfitable than RPGs, so if they go with a 4e, I'm betting minis will be a huge factor of it, nay... required.

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Post by Omote »

Kinda off track here, but I think the new Saga Edition of SW sounds terrible. I'll be the first to admit that I hate v3.5 "D&D" but I don't mind d20 for modern or future. The new rules sound... like d20, but, blah.

*shrugs* Oh well.

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Post by Orpheus »

serleran wrote:
As I understand it, miniatures are more porfitable than RPGs, so if they go with a 4e, I'm betting minis will be a huge factor of it, nay... required.

Oh yeah! I read their 2005 annual report and they mentioned how hteir plans included "expanding their profitable prepainted miniatures line." Actually, it very rarely mentioned D&D. Any of the roleplaying mentions were in regards to Star Wars and it's "super revenue." Of course, Episode III came out that year. Lucas has got that Star Wars TV show coming out soon right? My money is on Star Wars being their big push and then if the "lighter" rules (I can't believe that we're saying that since they're only "kinda light") succeed in the Star Wars RPG they'll give it a shot in D&D...but they'll definitely keep the damn miniatures.

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