Star Wars: Age Of Rebellion Role Playing Game: Core Rulebook, by Fantasy Flight Games
It is easy to see how this game would be appealing to many people. Despite the fact that it is missing my favorite player race (Devaronian, as my classic character is a Devaronian logistics ship pilot when I play Star Wars related games), there is still a lot to enjoy here. Those who want to take their roleplaying to a level that includes a lot of complexity regarding rolls and play within the Star Wars universe will have much to enjoy here. Indeed, the rolls in this game are particularly complex and appear to be designed to allow the GM to be fierce in the way that one can set up problems and complications for characters. Not only does one roll for success or failure, for example, but one also rolls for setbacks, difficulties, or challenges on top of mere success or failure that can greatly complicate the results that one receives in the game. Those who want a simple and straightforward experience of playing characters will likely find this to be at least a bit concerning, but all the same there is a lot to offer for those who want their experience in playing to mirror the ups and downs of the good Star Wars films.
This book is sizable and well-illustrated one at about 450 pages or so. The book begins with an introduction and then discusses playing the game and the dice rolls that are necessary (1). After that comes a look at character creation and the usual choice of racees, careers (classes), and specialization (2), all of which offers the reader the chance to be a part of a balanced and strong party. This leads to the choice of skills in several categories like general, combat, and knowledge (3) as well as talents (4) and gear (5). A chapter about conflict and combat (6) as well as starships and vehicles follows (7). The book then deals with the force (8), the role of the game master (9), and then provides a detailed discussion of the universe in which the game is set (10). The book then contains a discussion of the rebellion and how it started and is organized (11) while also discussing some of the adversaries of the rebellion in the Galactic Empire, the underworld, as well as among the Alliance itself, core world dwellers, and fringe dwellers (12). A sample scenario involving the Perlemian Haul over three episodes closes the book (13) before the index.
Like many games, it is easy to see that the appeal of playing in Star Wars for most people will be to play a heroic character on the side of the alliance and be a part of destroying an evil empire. This particular game is full of underdog appeal, and has some intriguing designs in classes to help create a well-rounded party that is capable of handling a lot of challenges. The wide variety of classes and skills available and the immense scope of the world of Star Wars can allow for many different missions, such as smuggling missions, combat against the Empire, or scouting and establishing a base in a remote system to provide a safe place for the Alliance to build its strength. With such varied options for gameplay, even support characters like pilots and mechanics get to shine by helping the party travel faster, repair droids and ships, and overcome the technologies that the empire possesses through ingenuity and creativity. If one is looking for an enjoyable self-insert into the world of Star Wars and appreciate complexity that allows the GM to create complications for dramatic effect, this is worth checking out.