Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Time Has Come

Once more into the breach, dear friends! It’s late January, the deepest part of the cold South Dakota winter. I live in Florida now, where it’s supposed to get up to 70 today. I look at my weather widget and see that Southeast South Dakota is currently 16 degrees, expecting a low of 6. What does any of this matter, you ask? Well, guess where I’m going tomorrow! That’s right, its that time of year again, time for my now annual trip to South Dakota to hang out with my good college buddies and continue the Star Wars campaign we began back in 1991.

So what’s in store for the guys this year? Well, I wish I had all the details locked down. The year went a LOT faster than I had expected, so I’m still scrambling to put together my notes into a more organized mish-mash. Even so, I will, as I did last year, give a few previews as to what we might expect…maybe.

The rise of a king?

The death of a hero?

A vergence in the Force?

The return of the Nagai?

A usurper of the Mantle?

An old friend…turned enemy?

A Tusken Horde unleashed?

Galactic Peace?

An ancient doomsday device?

A new frontier?

Yes, all these things, and more may or may not happen in this year’s session! I will, of course, post afterwards what DOES come about. Heck, depending on wifi, I may even post from South Dakota itself (laptops rule)! Until then, folks…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Marvel Comics Star Wars Omnibus 1: A Long Time Ago

I’ve mentioned before my love of (and some frustrations with) the Star Wars comics during their run with Marvel in the 70’s and 80’s. Well, lately I’ve gotten to revisit all this goodness with their “Omnibus” series. I’ve already spoken on a few of the stories to be found therein, but what I want to do in this post is just give an overview of the books in general and ‘review’ (however sketchily) the main story arcs that these comics follow.

Before I go into each arc, however, I want to discuss a couple things found throughout the book that are fun and amusing (at least to me). The first of these is the little “Hero” icon they put in the upper left corner of the cover of the comic book, just below the price and the issue number. In the earliest Star Wars comics, this features a suitably 70’s swashbuckling version of Luke skywalker, inexplicably wielding a red lightsaber and sporting long, flowing hair well past his shoulders. It makes me giggle every time I see it.

Another amusing thing found on each cover is the title of each issue- usually something highly exploitative like “DOOMWORLD!” and “THE SOUND OF ARMAGEDDON!”. And the ‘dialogue’ on the covers is likewise corny: Han: Keep firing, Chewie or this whole planet is DOOMED!... not to mention US!”; Vader: “You’ve escaped the WHEEL, rebels—But now you must face the wrath of DARTH VADER!”. Again, this is very much in keeping with the traditions of comics during that era- and in fact, the titles have a kind of pulp ‘serial movie’ feel to them that, while amusing, is endearingly so.

Also of note are the steadily increasing price tags of the comics themselves, hard to believe that comics used to only cost ¢30.

But now, without further ado- the story arcs themselves:

Star Wars

The initial issues of the series are (no surprise) the ‘official comic adaptation’ of the original movie. They’re more or less faithful to the movie in regard to the general plot- and even the script- of the film, but the overall ‘look’ of the comic is a lot more ‘exaggerated’, especially in the action scenes (but quite in line for ‘standard’ comic book art). It is worth noting that the very first issue probably has some of the sketchiest (even downright crappy at times) artwork of the entire series. I guess the illustrator (Howard Chaykin) needed some time to settle into the series, because there is a noticeable difference even between the first and second issues. I should also point out that issue 2 was the first Star Wars comic I ever bought- and I still have it (though it is in atrocious condition). It was this comic that set my impression for the entire series. Overall I liked it, but was disappointed (even at the age of seven) that it didn’t look more like the movies.

Eight for Aduba-3

I’ve already spoken about this story arc at length, so I won’t go into it too deeply here. Suffice it to say that Eight for Aduba-3 combines what I like best about the marvel comics and what I like least. It is a ‘rip off’ of the classice western “The Magnificent Seven”- which I think is awesome, and feels very Star Warsy. But on the other hand, it has big green bunny-men and purple porcupine men. Just incredibly silly. Overall, though, it exemplifies how I feel about the Marvel comics- some great ideas bogged down by some silly details.

The Dragonlords of Drexel

In this adventure, Luke crashes on a water-world, only to find out that it is the sight of a long running feud between a group of pirates (who use a secret weapon to force ships to crash land on their world) and a group of outcasts who have teamed up with huge aquatic dragons (the titular Dragonlords). The basis of the story is that the weapon the pirates are using to force ships to crash causes the dragons (which are sentient) to go insane and/or die. And into the middle of this charged situation stumbles Han Solo and Princess Leia, having been captured by a dreaded space pirate (Crimson Jack) while looking for Luke. The whole thing resolves in a titanic battle on the planet- where the good guys help the Dragonlords overthrow their pirate adversaries. The adventure then moves to space, where Han must outwit (and outfight) Crimson Jack in order for the whole group to escape.

While there are some decidedly silly bits to this story arc (some of the dialogue is stilted and childish), there are some interesting bits as well: The pirates of Drexel live on a GIGANTIC floating city in the form of a huge sailing ship. They even go as far as describing HOW they could build such a thing on a water planet (seems there are ‘underwater forests’. Okay, so its not ‘hard’ sci fi, but it looks cool). Han has some great dialogue with Leia as well- stuff that fits in well with their antagonistic relationship in the series as a whole. I found the whole space gun battle a little goofy, however, where Han and Crimson Jack square off in space…without space suits (they just had breath masks)- apparently protected from hard vacuum of space by their ships shield bubbles. Yeah. Right. Still, they get points for trying to give SOME ‘scientific’ explanation as to why they’re in space without suits.

Overall, a pretty entertaining and entirely original story that I could see working in any Star Wars campaign (though with a bit of tweaking).

Valance the Hunter

This story arc is unique in that it doesn’t directly include ANY of the main characters of the Star Wars films. Rather, it focuses on the origin of a bounty hunter named Valance who has a personal vendetta against droids in general and Luke Skywalker in particular. The reasoning for this is a bit iffy, though- Valance hates Luke because he is friends with his droids. That’s the whole reason (okay, so he was also disfigured at some point by the Rebel Alliance, but that isn’t put forth as the primary reason). We follow Valance as he tracks down what he thinks is Luke Skywalker, only to discover that it is actually one of the members of Han Solo’s mercenary troupe from Eight for Aduba-3 (someone who fits Luke’s description). In a fierce battle with the surviving members of Han’s group, Valance learns his mistake and it is dramatically revealed that he is a cyborg- thus explaining (?) his hatred of droids. He escapes, vowing to find the real Luke Skywalker.

My main problems with this story were centered around Valance’s reasoning for hating Luke Skywalker. The story seemed to imply that droids were somewhat ‘rare’ in the Galaxy, and the Luke’s friendly relationship with them was something of an aberration. This isn’t the impression I got from watching the movie. Droids were everywhere. And so it just seems silly- which makes Valance come off less as less of a threat and more of a complete loony.


I was surprised to stumble upon this story, which lasted only one issue (unlike the previous multi-issue story arcs. It is essentially Luke Skywalker thinking back on his youth on Tatooine. It starts with him recalling his dreams- about being a heroic space pilot and rescuing the beautiful slave girl from the evil space pirates. It then goes onto a ‘real’ story of him attending a party deep in the desert with all his friends. They’re suddenly ambushed by Tusken raiders, forcing Luke and Biggs to take one of their skyhoppers and go and warn the settlers that a raid is likely. With Bigg’s poisoned by a Tusken attack, it is up to Luke to pilot his way through a deadly obstacle course to safety.

My sporadic acquisition of Star Wars comics had caused me to miss this story entirely, which is a shame because I like it a lot. It is a low-key story that helps build some background for one of the main characters- in fact for my personal hero in the saga. The story also feels like one of the most ‘real’ stories in the comics up until this point- without any giant monsters or huge space battles to speak of.

The Wheel

This is one of the most complex and interesting stories in the comics up until this point. And to me, it reads very much like an adventure. While returning from their last mission on the Millennium Falcon, Luke suddenly collapses into a coma. While en-route to the closest medical help, the crew stumbles upon a wrecked ship that was made to look as though it had been attacked by the Rebellion. Fleeing Imperial pursuit, the heroes make it to a huge space station (and gambling den/resort) known as the “Wheel”. Run by an (ex) senator by the name of Greyshade (subtle naming there…), this station is ‘neutral ground’ due to the machinations of the Senator and the amount of money the wheel generously donates to the Empire.

From here, things get really complicated. Greyshade is evidently in love with Leia and seeks a way to force her to stay with him by using threats against her friends for leverage. In the meanwhile, an Imperial commander (Strom) seeks to overthrow Greyshade and assume control of the Wheel for the Empire (and himself). Seems that it was Strom who set up the fake rebel attack in order to turn public wheel sentiment against them as well as discredit Greyshade for not being able to protect the ship.

See? I told you it was complicated. And it only gets moreso as Han and Chewbacca are forced into a gladiatorial combat in order to pay off gambling debts incurred when Greyshade had his casinos cheat them. Luke, meanwhile, is struggling within his coma, evidently in a force-induced ‘vision’ where he confronts Vader and the dark side of the Force. This was evidently brought on by Luke ‘sensing’ Vader earlier while training. Coincidentally enough, the story then jumps to Vader, who is slowly tracking the Rebels down. This all sets up the final act where Greyshade betrays (but fails to kill) Strom, Han is evidently killed (by Chewbacca no less) and Leia finally agrees to stay with Greyshade in return for the lives of her remaining companions.

Knowing that he is losing control of the situation, Greyshade decides to flee with Leia, only to be betrayed and attacked by Strom. In a suddenly selfless act (evidently he really DID care for Leia), Greyshade sacrifices himself in order to allow Leia and Luke to escape- right into the waiting clutches of Darth Vader! Only they are saved at the last minute by Han and Chewbacca- seems that Han had faked his death earlier to he and Chewie could escape. Working together, they manage to escape Vader and flee to safety. Oh, and Greyshade? Seems his trusty droid managed to save him, too… evidently to sneak off into hiding (and a possible re-emergence later in the saga).

You know, reading the ‘abridged’ format below, things might seem a bit more confusing than they actually were. The various story arcs wove into eachother nicely. I found the story to be quite well done and very ‘adult’ in its complexity. Up until now, the stories had all been pretty black and white: heroes shoot bad guys and win. But here we have ‘grey’ personified in Greyshade, who isn’t inherently evil, just selfish. I also found the idea of there being /some/ places where the Empire isn’t in complete control to be refreshing and even a bit realistic. I wonder just how much this story influenced the character of Lando and the setting setting of Bespin in the second movie. There are remarkable similarities.

Silent Drifting

Another ‘one-shot’ story, taking place within a single issue. This one is framed by Leia telling a story about Ben Kenobi during his days as a Jedi Knight (as told to her by her father). Ben is riding on a starliner when it comes under attack by alien pirates (yeah, they used pirates a lot in this comic). Through his tactical capability, cleverness and steely resolve, Ben helps the ship escape and finds the traitor onboard who had been helping the pirates track the liner. All in all, it was a pretty good story. And interesting in its portrayal of Ben Kenobi as a young(ish) almost brash personality- and in a rather cool black ‘uniform’ of sorts. What was a little disconcerting was Ben’s casual killing of an antagonist who tries to stab him with a knife. Yeah… he didn’t just take the man’s hand in this case.

Siege at Yavin

In this multi-issue story arc we find the planet Yavin under siege by Imperial fighters striking at them from a secret base somewhere within the system. The rebels are slowly being whittled down and will soon face ultimate defeat. Luke and Leia scout out the situation and tail a suspicious mining cruiser to the gas giant Yavin itself. There, a tunnel opens in the clouds, allowing reinforcing TIE fighters to be sent to a space-station base within the destructive atmosphere of the planet itself. This station evidently generates a ‘safe zone’- and the aforementioned tunnel with which to access the base (and to send out attacks). Luke and Leia only narrowly manage to escape back to Yavin. Once there, Luke volunteers to fly a suicide mission in a captured TIE fighter. He’ll blend in with the other TIEs and fly into Yavin’s atmosphere to destroy the station- even though it means that the station will not be able to generate the tunnel necessary for him to escape. He succeeds, and manages to escape with the help of the Force.

Now, I find the premise of this adventure to be a bit iffy. Why would the Rebellion remain on Yavin long enough for this to happen? Why would the Empire not take direct action against them? Who knows. If you can get past THAT hurdle, however, the story is pretty fun. I especially like the introduction of a new and original villain into the mix. Seems the whole plan was the brainchild of Baron Orman Tagge. A rival of Darth Vader’s, Tagge seeks to discredit the Sith Lord by succeeding in destroying the rebels. Thus, the whole operation is ‘privately funced’ by Tagge’s wealth- it isn’t an Imperial military operation at all. Tagge and his family are destined to become recurring villains in future issues.

Return of the Hunter

In another single-issue story, we pick up with Valance the Hunter once more. Still pursuing his mad vendetta against droids and the droid loving Luke Skywalker, he finally manages to find and corner his prey. But even as Valance has Luke at his mercy, he is moved to allow him to escape by the loyalty and self-sacrifice of C-3PO, who places himself in danger to protect Luke. Valance is forced to reconsider his opinions on droids and his own self-loathing (due to his cyborg nature).

Again, the premise is silly here, but it's a fun little show-down between a Cyborg and a fledgling Jedi. It also gives the villain, Valance, more depth than he might otherwise have. You know, given another motivation, he might even be an acceptable recurring villain in my book.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Star Wars Soundtracks

Once again, I will indulge in a particularly geeky pastime of mine- relating songs that are about something else entirely to the setting of Star Wars. Sometimes, they make sense, other times, they hold on only by the thinnest of threads. I'll let you decide on this one, but I like it (obviously).

The song is "It's In The Way That You Use It", by Eric Clapton. It was featured in that one movie about pool with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, but I think it could easily reflect a fledgling Force user's relation with his/her growing powers- and the possible fears and pitfalls therein. See? I told it you it was geeky. So, without further ado...

It's in the way that you use it,
It comes and it goes.
It's in the way that you use it,
Boy don't you know.

And if you lie you will lose it,
Feelings will show.
So don't you ever abuse it,
Don't let it go.

Nobodys right till somebodys wrong.
Nobodys weak till somebodys strong.
No one get lucky till luck comes along.
Nobodys lonely till somebodys gone.

It's in the way that you use it,
It comes and it goes.
It's in the way that you use it,
Boy don't you know.

And if you lie you will lose it,
Feelings will show.
So don't you ever abuse it,
Don't let it go.

I've seen dark skies, never like this.
Walked on some thin ice, never like this.
I've told you white lies, never like this.
Looked into true eyes, never like this.

It's in the way that you use it,
It comes and it goes.
It's in the way that you use it,
Boy don't you know.

And if you lie you will lose it,
Feelings will show.
So don't you ever abuse it,
Don't let it go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fear at the Gaming Table

This is really more of a 'general' gaming topic than one solely found in Star Wars games, but it still does apply in those times where you have an adventure that is supposed to be 'scary' or even 'horrific'. As I've said before, Star Wars is an all-inclusive setting. Having one or even a series of 'horror' adventures within a Star Wars campaign is perfectly acceptable in my book. That having been said, I find that there are certain elements of horror adventures that lose something in translation to a game setting- most importantly: Fear.

Media, like movies or tv or even books are much more effective in causing fear than playing a game. In the former two, you have visual and audio stimuli to aid in creating fear. In the latter, the reader is effectively 'alone' in experiencing whatever fear they're facing within their own imagination. A gaming table, however, is far-removed fear. You're typically in a comfortable, well-lit room surrounded by friends. So right off the bat, a GM is at a disadvantage in creating a mood of fear and conveying a true 'horror' experience to his players.

There are a variety of methods that can be used to help create a mood of 'fear' at the gaming table. First and foremost are the descriptions the GM gives. As always, the way he describes a situation 'sets the stage' in the player's mind. Creepy imagery simply delivered is the best way. As always, this is one of those times when details are important- i.e. don't say "the mansion is scary looking", describe how the vines overgrow it, how you catch a faint glimpse of movement in the windows, how the broken door swings in the faint breeze, creaking back and forth on its rusty hinge, etc.

Turning down the lights, playing creepy music, rolling dice even when there is nothing out there- there are dozens of other methods that can be used to help generate a sense of 'fear', but even these can only go so far- especially if your players are prone to joke and talk at the table (as most players are). Banter between players is a great way to defuse fear (just as talking helps to defuse it in real life). Thus, its probably for the best if you try to come to an agreement with your players before running a 'horror' scenario. Try to keep their 'banter' in character and limit other table talk.

This is all well and good, but no matter how much a player buys into the creepiness you're putting out there, there is still a disconnect between the fear they may be feeling and the fear their character is experiencing.

In real life, when a person is faced with a dangerous/frightening situation, they respond viscerally- and often not in a rational manner. They might freeze up, or turn and run, or do something else 'stupid' and possibly even counter-productive to getting out whatever situation they find themselves in. In most games, however, a player remains in full and quite rational control of a player's actions, even in the most dire circumstances. And honestly? This bugs me a little bit. Even the best role players don't always react 'in-character', especially to a stimulus like fear.

Therefore, I wonder if it wouldn’t be fun to include a mechanic that simulates the not-always-rational-and-in-control aspect of fear. In dungeons and dragons, they implemented something like this in the Ravenloft campaign setting, where characters had to make a ‘saving throw’ versus the various horrors they faced, and depending how well they did, they would flee or freeze in terror, etc. In D6, this could be something as simple as rolling a character’s Willpower skill (a skill I use in my games) versus a difficulty number based upon the ‘level’ of horror they encounter. Depending on how they roll, they could respond in any of the above-mentioned ways. Honestly, in a game like Star Wars, I don’t see this coming into play very much, but if you were using D6 for a more strictly horror-based game, then I think something like this would be warranted.

I realize this could (at first, at least) be an annoyance to players, who like to have ‘total control’ of their character’s actions. But I think they’d get over it. I mean, there are a lot of other game systems that depend on a roll of the dice, why not instinctive psychological reactions? Heck, it might even create some more interesting RP situations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Considering my own dislike of killing off players, it wouldn’t even have THAT much of a detrimental effect on the mortality of a character (i.e. I wouldn’t use it as just ANOTHER way to kill off my players).

Were I to ever run another horror based D6 game, I would love to test out this system.

p.s. And yes, I realize one way to generate fear at a gaming table would be to up the lethality of a system, or at the very least make the system totally indifferent to character death. But I am also of the opinion that killing off players on a regular basis tends to ‘numb’ any sense of real connection with a character, which even further removes the player from any sense of fear. The old “Well, I’ll roll up a new one” idea, to me, doesn’t offer the kind of dramatic attachment that I enjoy in most RP games.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some Thoughts on Blasters

In rounding up photos of the various Star Wars blasters for my weapon/gear sourcebook, I've noticed something that has always kind-of been at the back of my mind, but I've never really dealt with in a game setting. It seems to me that in Star Wars, almost all blasters- even down to some of the tiniest hand-held ones (like the Scout-Trooper blaster), have scopes. While I realize this was probably just done to make them look more 'sci-fi' as props, it leaves open the question as to what the 'in-universe' reason for these scopes are.

To me, it seems to suggest that blasters- no matter what their size, have a much longer range than slug-throwing 'real world' counterparts- at least when it comes to pistols. The scopes are there to allow the shooter to aim at distant targets.

Now, that having been said, I can't think of too many firefights in my own RP campaign that took place at long range. But even so, I think that I am going to reflect this longer range in the game statistics for blaster weapons. It is yet another reason that they are superior to slug-throwers.

And when considering range, it also got me thinking about blaster bolts themselves. Do they 'drop' over distance? If not, how would they 'stop'? They can't just keep going forever. Not being the least bit interested in real physics (which would probably disprove the functionality of blasters anyway), I have decided that in my game, blaster bolts do not 'drop' over distance- rather, they fly on a completely flat trajectory and when they reach their maximum range, they simply dissipate- the bolt breaks up and disappears. I think this is a more 'plausible' explanation (and yes, I realize the irony of applying plausible to something completely fictional)- because blasters seem to fire 'bolts' of plasma, not laser beams. A laser would dissipate over distance as well, though it would likely take the form of a reduction in damage the further the firer was from his target. At close range, it might burn through something, but at extreme range it might just give them a nasty blister. Perhaps this is why laser weaponry is not seen in star wars, in favor of blasters? It's one explanation, anyway.

Anyway, just some musings.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Automatic Weapons In Star Wars

In working on my equipment lists (as part of my attempt to get things done in the new year), I have once again run headlong into the inconsistencies of the Star Wars D6 sourcebooks. Stats and prices are all over the place, seemingly without rhyme or reason. I am trying to wrest some semblance of order out of this mess, and as I do that I get to thinking about automatic weapons.

In the original trilogy, the only automatic weapons we see seem to be found on vehicles- from the cannons on the TIE fighters to the anti-personnel cannon on the Milennium Falcon to the side-guns on the AT-AT walkers. All the hand-weapons we see seem to be strictly semi-automatic (one trigger pull = one shot). In the prequels, however, we see several instances of Clone Troopers using fully automatic weapons (their larger blaster rifles seem to be full auto) and destroyer droids CERTAINLY use full-automatic weapons.

The question that came to my mind is…why in the heck WOULDN’T the Empire continue to mass-issue fully automatic weapons? I mean, most modern real-world militaries use them… and they do seem to exist in Star Wars. But why the sudden omission of them?

Real-world reasons are probably the limited budget of the first set of films- or rather, of the first film in particular. Perhaps it cost more money to add in all those blaster bolts. This would make semi-automatic weapons preferable from an economic viewpoint (and labor viewpoint, since I’m pretty sure all those blaster bolts were added by hand). In contrast, the prequels had everything done in CGI. Full-auto weapons were probably a lot easier to pull off.

That doesn’t satisfy my ‘need’ for an in-universe explanation, however. I briefly toyed with the idea of just changing the rules and making the weapons from the original trilogy fire full-auto. But that goes against my rule of trying NOT to contradict stuff from the movies (especially from the first movies). Full auto weapons would have changed the look of those movies- and indeed their ‘feel’. Perhaps not drastically, but it would have changed them.

So then I came up with the following hypothesis:

The Empire switched to semi-automatic weapons after the Clone Wars because they are more affordable in the long run.

As abundant as resources seem to be for the Empire, there is a finite limit to what they can afford. A semi-automatic weapon would be cheaper to produce and likely to maintain. It would consume less energy (in theory) than a fully automatic weapon would, thus conserving ammo. Yes, it is ‘energy’ ammo, but somewhere down the line, there would be a cost for producing that. The same argument was made against the use of fully automatic assault rifles in Vietnam. Many commanders thought that soldiers would expend MUCH more ammunition in un-aimed ‘spray and pray’ shots than they would otherwise in more carefully placed single or semi-auto shots. And to a certain extent, this is true- and it is one of the reasons many modern weapons switched to the three-round burst instead of full-auto.

Consider the fact that during the Clone Wars, the Republic was in the fight of its life against a foe that was nearly their equal in terms of manpower and resources. Automatic weapons, though expensive, could help turn the tide against a foe that was (mostly) armed with semi-autos. They were (perhaps) willing to throw money at the problem because a) they felt the need to and b) they could afford it (or at least could go deeper into debt). Contrast this with the Forces of the Empire. Here, even at the height of the Rebellion, the vast majority of Imperial forces were deployed in ‘police actions’ and relatively low-intensity conflicts. In these instances, semi-automatic weapons worked ‘good enough’ to do the job. Likewise, while the Rebellion would have probably LOVED to have full-auto weapons, they are even MORE restricted in what they can afford than the Empire. To me, this all tends to support my ‘economics determined weaponry’ theory.

The end result of this means that automatic weapons would remain an expensive and generally rare thing in the Star Wars setting during the ‘classic’ rebellion era. There would be the occasional light-repeating blaster carried as a squad support weapon, but your rank-and-file soldier would be armed with a semi-auto. So, oddly enough in this case, the real-world reasons seem to parallel the in-universe reasons: economics. Semi-autos are simply cheaper.

Sound good to you? Plausible? Insane? Geeky? Well, yes, of course the latter, but...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Now that I made my list of resolutions, here is a look at my main Star Wars project. It has grown considerably in scope since my initial conception of it. I would be THRILLED if I got half of it done in the coming year. But realistically, I’ll probably only manage a quarter of it.

1. Core Rulebook

Status: 30% complete (Some writing completed, more needed)
The basics of the D6 system, character generation, combat, skill descriptions, etc.

2. Force Rulebook

Status: 30% complete (Most of the system is written up, but needs to be put into book format and polished)

A revamped force system with full explanation of the various Force powers as well as expanded lightsaber combat techniques and other force-related issues.

3. Equipment Sourcebook

Status: 5% Complete (Still compiling lists from various sources. Need to combine all the various lists, then figure out some kind of rational pricing scheme)

A collected guide to equipment from all the various gear sourcebooks and rulebooks. Includes everything from weapons and armor to personal equipment to cybernetics and perhaps even installations like asteroid bases, farmsteads or pre-fab shelters and the like. Pretty much everything that isn’t a vehicle.

4. Alien Sourcebook

Status: 50% Complete (Have files on most of the ‘major’ races, but feel the need to include a lot more, will be a matter of writing a bunch of new entries and finding pictures for them)

A collected guide to the ‘main’ races (as shown in movies, comics and novels) of the Star Wars universe. Brief rundown of racial stats, special abilities, society, etc.

5. Droid Sourcebook

Status: 80% Complete (droids done, just need to finish sections on droid equipment and running droid player characters)

6. Vehicle Sourcebook

Status: 10% Complete (Images just about finalized and organized, will need to drop into page layout then write up entries on all of them)

A collected guide to the vehicles of the Star Wars galaxy. Everything from speeder-bikes to battle cruisers and beyond. I also wish to include a section of rules for building/modifying small transport craft (i.e. Millennium Falcon type ‘party’ ships used by most gaming groups). I have also considered coming up with a construction/modification system for personal vehicles (landspeeders, etc.), but haven’t come up with anything solid for it. Considering the fact such things rarely came up in my own games, I’m not sure it is necessary.

7. Galaxy Sourcebook

Status: 50% Complete (as with aliens book, I have the files done on the ‘main’ planets, but now want to expand them to include a lot more; Also, I want to do a revamped Galaxy map without the stupid ‘unknown regions’)

A collected guide to the main planets (and other major locations) of the Star Wars universe. Also Includes overview of the Galaxy as a whole.

8. Organizations Sourcebook

Status: 5% Complete (Have lists of organizations, now need to flesh them out and put them in book format; Already completed several of the Force using organizations to test out the format)

This is perhaps my most ambitious project. What I want to do is list and describe the major organizations in the Star Wars galaxy. Essentially, this is going to include streamlined versions of the information in the Imperial and Rebel Alliance sourcebooks, detailing the various organizations within the Empire and Rebellion. But I also want to include everything from Jedi and Sith sects to criminal organizations, bounty-hunting guilds, corporations, elite military units, mercenaries, etc.

9. Player Primer

Status: 0% Complete

I want this to be a very brief (2-4 page?) primer that would give a new player the basics of what they would need to know to run a character in a Star Wars D6 game. As with the core rulebook, it would need to include a fair number of examples.

10. Adventure Sourcebook

Status: 0% Complete

This is kind of a catch all to describe a book that would cover the various aspects of creating and running adventures. It would cover adventure designing, running large scale battles, chase scenes, etc., but could also have rules about hauling freight, mining operations, criminal enterprises, running races (pod racing, swoop racing, etc.), sports, etc.

New Years Star Wars Resolutions

A fresh start. That’s what the new years represents to me and a lot of other folks. Its like hitting the ‘reset’ button on all the stuff you did and meant to do the year before. This year is no different- except for the fact that I’m going to put some resolutions down IN WRITING this time, rather than just float them around in my head. I don’t normally make resolutions regarding my leisure time, but in this case, I’m going to- because I really would like to make some more significant progress. Why? Because it feels good to do so. It is part mental exercise (for entertainment), part practical (for my own gaming uses), part irrational (to try and impose ‘order’ on an otherwise jumbled collection of gaming stuff), and part egotistical (to show the world my OWN take on Star wars and (hopefully) how cool it is). So without further ado, the list:

1. Finish what I’ve started.
This is my BIGGEST vice when it comes to personal projects— I will get within sight of the finish line, then sputter to a halt and go on to some other project, leaving the first one dangling there, tantalizingly ALMOST complete. The projects I have dangling now are:

a) The Star Wars droid sourcebook. I am so close on this it is maddening. All that remains is to finish up the sections on droid-related equipment and running a droid Player Character. What’s holding me up? Well, the fact that the equipment section overlaps another project I want to do- the equipment sourcebook. This has me feeling as though I need to complete the equipment section before I can finish the droid. Gah. In either case, I need to just buckle down and do it. It will feel very good to just have one section ‘complete’.

b) Otherspace III. I have been working on this off and on since about.. 1992? I have four of the five episodes of the adventure already done and the fifth episode outlined. I just need to buckle down and finish it already. Even so, I would still like to work on some interior artwork for it. Unfortunately, I feel as though my own illustrative skills are a bit lacking (from atrophy). I also look back at it and feel as though a bit of a re-write of the interior sections might be in order as well. I see that there may be too much combat and not enough problem solving. I’ll have to give that a second look.

c) My Star Wars rulebook. This is my version of the ‘core’ rules. I would say it is about one-third complete at the moment, outlining the basic rules system. The combat and skills sections remain to be written and are going to be a lot of work.

2. Put in a little work every day
This is how I intend to accomplish my first resolution and move on to the others. I will often look at a project and see the mountain of work that needs to be done. This typically prevents me from even starting. I will put it off until I feel more inspired (or less intimidated). Unfortunately, this means I will often just put it off indefinitely. Therefore, I resolve to put in a little work each day rather than just letting it sit. I will chip away at the mountain, little by little.

3. Re-write the prequel trilogy
I started this in my blog, got about a third of the way through the first movie then stopped. But I really enjoyed it while I was doing it. Therefore, I resolve to continue- to finish my ‘re-write’ of Episode I and maybe move on from there. The fact of the matter is that I am a little surprised in seeing how much of those movies I actually like. For me it was the few ‘rotten’ parts of the prequels that stunk it up for the rest. A few minor tweaks is all it will take for the latter movies- though Episode I is going to see some pretty major changes.

4. Be more regular in my blog posts.
Blogging is, for me, mainly just a way to vent. But I realize I do have an audience and if I want to build that audience (even if only to satisfy my own ‘vanity’), then I need to post more often, even if every post isn’t a huge one. I started this prior to my Christmas break and intend to continue throughout the new year.

5. Catch up on Star Wars in other media.
Namely, I have to catch up on the Clone Wars cartoons. Though initially I disliked this series, it has gotten consistently better and I feel that by looking through it I could come up with some great ideas to carry forward into any future campaigns.

So, there you have it, the resolutions. Lets see by the end of the year how well I’ve kept them. Heck, maybe I’ll have a quarterly ‘update’.