Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Essential" Star Wars

I have been making headway on my Star Wars rules-cyclopedia thing (hence the drop off in activity here), and as I have, I find myself coming up against the same issues again and again. Star Wars is such an expansive setting that it would be very easy to 'overload' a rule book with all manner of information. And so as I tackle each section, I find myself having to take a step back and edit things down—to focus in on what I consider the 'essentials'—those things that really make Star Wars unique and memorable to me.

It seems to apply to every category, too—from weaponry to alien species to which planets to include. It's difficult, but at the same time kind of fun. I realize that the choices I am making are somewhat subjective, and that they're going to shape the game 'in my own image' (which may or may not appeal to some Star Wars fans), but then that's kind of the point. This is going to be an expression of the game I have played in the galaxy as I perceive it. But even knowing that, I am trying to stay as true as possible by using one main standard to base my decisions on: The movies themselves.

As much as possible, I am trying to include things that were seen in the movies—or at the very least mentioned. Secondary to this are more subjective things from the Expanded Universe (mainly things from the Han Solo and Heir to the Empire novels and Rogue Squadron comics—those few bits of the EU that I actually enjoy). And tertiary to this are ideas I can salvage and modify from the crappier bits of the EU (for example, I hated The Courtship of Princess Leia, but there is nothing wrong with the concept of the Witches of Dathomir or Warlord Zsinj).
As I try to decide which things to include and which not, it is these 'filters' I turn to.

But, right off the bat I determined there would be some things that would NOT be included in my Star Wars rules. I have discussed most of these at length in various other posts, so I'll only recap here. In my rules you will NOT find:

1) midichlorians
2) flying R2 units (except in zero-gee)
3) midichlorians
4) a "pastoral wonderland" Corellia, half inhabited by giant otter-people
5) midichlorians
6) force powers that seem more like magic spells
7) midichlorians

So anyway, this is just my thinking as I proceed with this project—a little update if you will. Right now I am working on a lot of different sections all at once. As I get 'bored' (or stumped) with one section, I'll move on to another. So far, it seems to have worked and keeps me engaged. Currently I'm juggling three four main sections: Alien Races, Combat Rules, Planets and Equipment. I realize that this is just the 'tip of the iceberg' as far as the whole book is considered, but I feel I have a good start and I'm still enthusiastic. So.. yay! Talk to you later.

p.s. NO Midicholorians.

p.p.s. Oh, and I have decided to write the rulebook and setting from the point of view of the 'Classic' era, picking up right after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the First Death Star. It just felt 'right' to use this setting (as this is how the game and movies were first introduced to me). This may alienate folks who prefer the prequels, but.. meh. I think it's easy enough to translate the base information if you want a prequel era campaign.

p.p.p.s. In case you're wondering—I don't anticipate a lot of folks will ever use this book. Mainly just my friends. Since I have no right to publish any of this stuff officially, it is (of course) going to be free to anyone who asks (in PDF form, of course). But then, I don't see myself getting done with it for a while in any case.

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