Articles

Review: Star Wars RPG Rebellion Era Campaign Guide

In Uncategorized on 2009-07-28 by Kyle Maxwell


The Rebellion Era Campaign Guide for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game (Saga Edition) focuses on roleplaying in the time of the original trilogy, a key era for many of us that grew up with the movies and loving Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, and Darth Vader.

Chapter 1, “Heroic Traits,” introduces an Alliance cell party concept and then moves to one of the best features of the book, the addition of backgrounds. Mechanically, these generally reflect skills tied to the background but ideas for fleshing out characters also provide a nice boost to character development. The chapter includes additional class talents and sample concepts as well as regular and species feats before introducing the Kilian Rangers as an additional Force-using tradition.

Chapter 2, “Prestige Classes,” contains additions for Ace Pilot and Officer as well as two new prestige classes, Improviser and Pathfinder. The former basically seems like the MacGyvers of Star Wars: “Improvisers can quickly grasp the needs of a situation, analyze what tools are at hand, remember relevant information, and combine all these factors into a hasty (though not necessarily elegant solution.” Pathfinders really consist of extensions to the Scout class, using Jan Ors as an example.

Chapter 3, “Equipment and Droids,” has a few minor weapons, armor, equipment, and droid listings, but much of that type of content actually shows up in factional chapters 6-8.

Chapter 4, “Vehicles and Starships,” holds particular interest for the remaining players of the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. In addition to a few speeders, this chapter lists statistics and background for most of the SWG Freelance faction starfighters and a few other ships, including some space transports.

Chapter 5, “Rebellion Era Campaigns,” discusses some themes of the era as well as campaign elements and suggested adventure hooks. New game masters as well as those looking for a few new ideas for their campaigns and role play will really appreciate this section.

Chapter 6, “The Rebel Alliance,” lists a brief history of the Rebellion and outlines the organization of the Alliance, including a little bit of clarification on Special Forces versus Special Operations (mostly independent operatives). It gives data for some Alliance personnel (generic NPCs) and personalities (e.g. Ackbar, Wedge, Cracken, Biggs, Nien Nunb, and others). Also, the chapter has a Technology and Vehicles section, including rules for tactics from the Rebel Field Guide (an in-universe manual), plus Weapon Emplacements, Combat Assault Vehicles, and several starships not listed in Chapter 4.

Chapter 7, “The Empire,” has a similar structure to Chapter 6. It includes an even briefer view of the organization of the Empire and its military, generic NPCs, and only two specific NPCs (Grand Moff Trachta and Janek “Tank” Sunber). Additional equipment, droids, vehicles, and starships round out the chapter.

Chapter 8, “Fringe Factions,” could well have fit into the Scum and Villainy book. It lists stats for three bounty hunters from Episode V (4-LOM, IG-88, and Dengar), then a bit of background and additional NPCs or vehicles for Black Sun, Cloud City, Jabba’s organization (including a few GM tips for encounters with the famous Hutt), the Zann Consortium, and the Corporate Sector Authority. One beast, the Cracian Thumper, is included.

As we’ve come to expect in these books, it includes quite a bit of high-quality art. While it does use a few movie stills here and there, most of the art reflects new droids, vehicles or starships, plus a few NPCs rendered very very well. The art style fits very nicely with the rest of the Saga Edition books, so if you have enjoyed the others, this one will definitely carry its own weight.

Unfortunately, the editors appear not to have proof-read very well. Lots of spelling and grammar errors made it to print, the outline “levels” don’t always seem to match properly, and in one glaring case an image of Crix Madine is used as Carlist Rieekan. The spreading of equipment, droids, and starships out of their respective chapters and into the factional chapters also may make it difficult for GMs to rapidly find what they need.

Overall, I really enjoyed the references to content from Star Wars Galaxies and the help with character backgrounds and hooks. Due to this latter part alone, GMs or players with campaigns in nearly any era should find it helpful.

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