Book Review: Star Wars: Force And Destiny Roleplaying Game

Star Wars:  Force And Destiny Roleplaying Game, by Fantasy Flight Games

One might wonder why it is that there are three separate but very similar role playing games relating to Star Wars that were roughly simultaneously released on the market.  It seems as if the people who made these books all sought to create slightly different aspects of the same overall world with different mechanics that players could enjoy.  In many ways there are a lot of overlaps between the three games and the differences do not amount to all that much in the grand scheme of things.  None of the games include the most awesome Devaronian pilots that I would want to play, but they do offer a variety of somewhat distinct races within the Star Wars universe.  This game’s mechanic to add to the Star Wars set is that of morality as the characters in this particular game tend to be force sensitive and have to choose whether to move towards the light or dark sides, which has various consequences.  This makes for an interesting addition to the previous games’ adoptions of the duty and obligation mechanics which also tend to push the characters in this game to behave in certain ways and wrestle with the consequences and motivations of behavior.

This book is about 450 pages long or so and is divided into thirteen chapters whose broad outlines should be familiar to those who have read other books on Star Wars role playing games.  The book begins with a short introduction and then a chapter discussing the game’s mechanics and cinematic approach and rather fussy amount of dice rolls (1), after which the author discusses character creation with a set of species, backgrounds, and classes that are broadly similar to the other games in the series (2).  After this comes a discussion of skills (3), talents (4), as well as the gear and equipment that players will wear (5) to protect them from the harm of a dangerous universe.  There is a discussion about conflict and combat and how it is to be resolve with rolls (6) as well as starships and vehicles that can be used in the game (7) and the force mechanics as they apply to this game (8).  After that the authors discuss the way this game is to be run by the GM (9) as well as the state of the galaxy and its planets (10).  A chapter focuses on the Jedi and the Sith (11) and their history and artifiacts before discussing various adversaries, including the dangerous Inquisitors (12) before the book ends with a sample mission (13) and an index.

Considering that a great many people like to imagine themselves as being force sensitive because the idea of having magical powers to shape reality is an immensely and nearly universally appealing human fantasy, it is little surprise if this book was a popular one within the series.  Indeed, all of the Star Wars role playing games offer their own aspects of self-insert into the Star Wars universe.  This game focuses on force-sensitive players who master the force and choose between good and evil based on their choices and behavior.  Age of Rebellion focuses on the duty that players who fancy themselves to be good and noble have towards the rebel alliance and allow them to see themselves as part of a successful resistance against an evil empire.  Likewise, Edge of Empire allows figures to think of themselves as outsiders and underdogs who are able to prosper and thrive in the seedy underbelly of a corrupt empire.  All of these sorts of fantasies are easy enough to understand and they model the sort of appeal that the Star Wars universe has for many people, and what a lot of fantasy fiction has.  We would do well, even in a game like this one, to reflect upon the real needs that are represented by the existence and popularity of such games.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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