Star Wars: Edge Of Empire Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook, by Fantasy Flight Games
As one might expect, there is a great deal of similarity between the various Star Wars roleplaying games. Those who have played some of the core rulebooks will find that a lot of the information travels over as well, with different class and specialization options available in one game that are not discussed in the other. There are other subtle differences as well, in that this game focuses on obligations, including the unpleasant specter of indentured servitude or slavery to employers who might not respect the freedom of one’s character or might take out their frustrations on family left behind. Likewise, this book offers the chance to the player to enjoy a self-insert experience into the Star Wars universe as one of the players on the edge of the empire that does not likely like the empire very much but is not involved actively in the rebellion either. For those who are less idealistic in their desires to play within Star Wars and who find it appealing to play smugglers or bounty hunters or other assorted riff raff, this game has a lot to offer even if the experience would be tangential to the most popular material within the Star Wars universe.
This book is a large one at almost 450 pages. The book begins with an introduction that takes place before the table of contents and then the contents of the book properly begin with an introductory chapter that discusses the mechanics of playing the game and interpreting the complex set of dice that one rolls (1). After this there is a discussion on character creation as backgrounds, species, career, specializations, and one’s ship are chosen (2). After that there is a discussion of various skills in general, combat, and knowledge categories (3) as well as a large variety of talents that one can choose (4) and gear and equipment that includes weapons, armor, gear, and black market items and custom modifications (5). There is a discussion of conflict and combat including the concept of soak as well as wounds, strain, and states of health (6). There is then a chapter on starships and vehicles (7) as well as a look at force (8) and the role of the game master (9). The book gives a deep discussion of the galaxy of Star Wars and some of the locations within it (10), after which there is a discussion of law and society including the Empire, Alliance, Black Sun, Hutts, and other organizations (11). There is a relatively brief list of possible adversaries for the characters (12), and then an introductory campaign (13) before the index ends the book.
The fact that this game was created and that people do find it appealing to think of themselves as being involved in various shadowy actions likely accounts for the appeal of the Mandalorian. Sadly, there is no Baby Yoda character here (nor any Mandalorians, alas), but the general roughness and lack of polish of life in these worlds is appealing for those who like that series and the struggle of beings who are not committed enough to overthrow the empire but who are not law abiding citizens either and find being on the periphery of a corrupt civilization in crisis to be appealing to imagine themselves working within. I found this book and the scenarios it discussed appealing, and could see how it would be possible to become embroiled in the search for justice in a world of casual violence and intense corruption, with possibly serious conflicts. After all, such situations and consequences take place within our real world, so why should we not imaginatively prepare for such matters in our games. The fact that this game was made before the Disney purchase of Lucas Films makes this book and others in its series even more appealing, it must be admitted.