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Supplement Four February 25th, 2013 08:08 PM

D6 Star Wars RPG
WEG's D6 Star Wars game is brilliant, no matter which version of the rules you use. It's one of my favorite all-time games. I've said before that I think it's the best marriage between a set of mechanics and a gaming universe that I've ever seen in all my decades of gaming.

Still, I had a few dislikes. I thought I'd list two of them here. Feel free to post your D6 Star Wars tweaks in this thread.

First off, I don't like the combat round structure presented in the game. It changes, somewhat, depending on what version you're using, but it's basically the same in each version.

1. Determine which side in the combat goes first. In SW 2E R&E, this is done by the character with the highest PER score on each side making opposed throws. The character with the highest throw decides which side gets to go first.

2. When a side goes, each character in that side gets to act. And, the character with the highest PER score acts first, followed by the second highest, and so on.

3. But, each character is allowed to do only ONE action. After the entire side has moved (all characters have performed one action), then the second side gets to move, and so on.

4. Once all sides have moved, then we go back to the first side and perform section actions, and so on.

So, for example, if you wanted your character to move to the doorway and zip around the corner, popping off two shots at the stormtroopers, you'd first wait until your side goes, then you'd do one action--you'd move to the doorway. Then everybody on your side behind you gets to do one action. And, then, the other side gets to do one action, until if finally comes back to you, at which time, you can lean around the corner and fire once. Then we go through everybody again, until it all comes back to you for your third action.

On the surface, this sounds like a great way to simulate simultaneous movement and action. In practice, it's dull and boring and...very un-Star Wars, in my opinion.

I was surprised to see this system in the game, to be honest. All over the book, especially the first edition book, you'll see lots of advice on running a quick, seat-o-the-pants game to simulate the frantic action of the Star Wars movies. Then, the game presents this meticulous round procedure.

My solution was to go a more traditional route with the combat procedure. First, I'd have every character in the fight roll PER, and I'd record the order. This sounds like a hassle, but I only did this one time--to establish order--at the beginning of a combat. Once order was established, I followed it to the end of combat. A character could "hold" his action, if he wanted, basically lowering his initiative count, but if he did that, his count would remain at that position for the rest of the fight. If newcomers entered the fray, they simply rolled PER on the round that they entered, and I'd fit them into initiative line-up a the point indicated by their roll.

This worked great when I ran my multi-year Star Wars campaign. The fights would play out in a much more "Star Wars" fashion than what was suggested by the official rules.

Now, under my House Rule, if a player wanted his character to run up to the doorway and pop-off two shots at the stormtroopers down the corridor, well, that's exactly what he'd do when his turn came up: Move and pow, pow.

It did dawn on me that, maybe, the D6 game designers were trying to keep the player characters alive when they designed the combat round. Blasters can be quite deadly, and where one shot might stun or wound a character, two or more shots might incapaciate or kill a character.

So, if you use my house rule, consider all of the ramifcations.

One thing that you might want to consider, if using the House Rule suggested above, is to take a nod from Classic Traveller and add a damage phase in between rounds. So, your combats would play like this:

1. PER check for initiative (first round only)
2. All actions peformed on the character's initiative count, but damage not inflicted until damage phase.
3. Damage Phase: Apply damage just before the start of the next round.

Thus, if you run up to the doorway, pop around the corner, and fire two shots at the stormtroopers, then you'd do that, but if you hit, you wouldn't apply damage until the end of the round.

Thus, the stormtroopers, if damaged, would not feel the effects of that damage until the damage phase. That way, you've still got the easy-breezy Star Wars ease-of movent, and you can simulate simulate a more simultaneous combat round.

The other House Rule I used is one that I brought over from Classic Traveller, and you'll want to consider this rule change only if you're using one of the later editions of the game. That's because the later editions added a lot of skills to the game. For example, in the first edition, you've got Starship Piloting. In 2E R&E, there's Capital Ship Piloting, Space Transports, and Starfighter Piloting. What was governed by one skill in the first edition of the game is covered by three skills in the last edition of the game.

The Technical skills is another area where skills were added. In the first edition, there's Computer Programming & Repair, Demolition, Droid Programming & Repair, Medicine, Repulsorlift Craft Repair, Security, and Starship Repair.

In the last edition of the rules, The Technical skills increase to 18 skills:

Armor Repair
Blaster Repair
Captial Ship Repair
Capital Ship Weapon Repair
Computer Programming/Repair
Droid Programming
Droid Repair
First Aid
Ground Vehicle Repair
Hover Vehicle Repair
Repulsorlift Repair
Space Transports Repair
Starfighter Repair
Starship Weapon Repair
Walker Repair

My first thought, seeing the lastest rules, was, "Well, how did Luke Skywalker get to be such a hot-shot pilot? He's 19 years old--a moisture farmhand on a desert world who has lived with his aunt and uncle is entire life."

Using the 1st edition rules, it makes sense, because there's only one skill that covers Starship Piloting. One can assume that, with one skill, the knowledge needed to fly a military spacefighter isn't that much different than piloting the family vessel. But, if Starfighter Piloting and Space Transports are different skills, then it makes no sense at all that Luke could have flown the X-Wing starfighter the way he did. Where would have have gotten that training--before he was 19 years old?

In order to bridge the 1st and 2nd edition rules, I suggest this House Rule: Whenever a task can be performed by a like skill, then allow the use of the alternate skill at one die less.

For example, young Luke Skywalker could, indeed, have achieved a high Space Transports 6D rating by using Uncle Owen's space caddilac over his youth. When he got to the cockpit of the X-Wing, he saw that the controls were not that much different. Thus, Luke's Space Transports skills serves as Starship Piloting 5D (one die code lower).

The same argument can be made for Repulsorlift Operation. Luke has his two-seat land speeder, and in the garage, we see the T-16 air speeder that he said he used to bullseye womp rats. Plus, the airspeeders used by Rogue Squadron on Hoth would use the Repulsorlift Operation skill. Flying those vehicles around, in my estimation, really isn't that much different that piloting a starfighter. Thus, I'd allow the use of my House Rule: If Luke had Repulsorlift Operation 7D when he met Ben Kenobi, then he is qualified to use Starship Piloting 6D.

Another House Rule I used was to allow the Search skill to be used for Initiative. Search is governed by Perception, and my reasoning was that a character in the Star Wars universe should be learn and improve his combat reactions. Thus, Search became an important skill.

Of course, the game has rules for improving a character's PER score--it's just very, very hard to increase stats. You can do it, but you sacrifice the improvement of a lot of skills. Most Star Wars characters do not improve their six main stats after character generation. Even Darth Vader has the same amount of dice in his six basic stats as any starting human character.

I figured that a character could go to the Star Wars equivalent of Marine Corps boot camp and come out with a better understanding of sizing up a combat situation. Search seemed like the best skill to use for that use.

You may or may not want to do this in your game. One of the ramifications is that you might end up with group of PCs who some perceptive, searching SOB's. If that seems unrealistic to you, then just keep the PER as the stat you use for Initiative. (Or, you can make up an Initiative skill....?)

Other than those changes, I pretty much ran the game as directed by the 2E R&E rules. And, to be fair, if I started a new Star Wars game today, I know I'd use the same round structure house rule and the "like skill" rule, but I'm not sure about using Search for initiative. I go back and forth on that one.

Supplement Four February 26th, 2013 06:27 PM

I found this on the net: It looks like a fan-made New Player Introduction Packet. I didn't read it completely, but from a skim, I think there are some house rules used in there.

Supplement Four February 27th, 2013 08:58 PM

I've been perusing WEG's D6 Star Wars core rulebook. The first edition is action, and lite rules, and fun, fun, fun. If you want more grit, go with 2nd edition. There, you'll see a more dense rulebook with rules that you are used to seeing in most RPGs.

But, Star Wars first edition?

Get this: Character creation is given two pages. The entire chapter is four pages, but the last page and a half (half the page is a pic of Han Solo), is a detailed example of how to create a character.

And, just how do you create a character? Well, you pick one of the 24 character templates from the book's appendix. An example of a template is the Tounge-Tied Engineer, the Smuggler, the Loyal Retainer, or the Laconic Scout.

Each template comes with blanks for typical character sheet info, a background for the character, his starting equipment, blanks for the player to assign dice to his skills....and stats that are already assigned a die code.

That's right. In Star Wars first edition, the player does not assign dice to his own stats. That's already done on the templates.

All a player has to do, in order to create a character for the game, is assign 7D to the character's stats, with the restriction that no more than 2D can be assigned to any one skill. Skills that aren't improved this way use the die code of the governor attribute (for example, Blaster falls under DEX, so an unimproved Blaster skill will use the same die code as the character's DEX).

Have you ever seen a more simple method of generating characters? All you gotta do is decide where 7 dice go. That's it. You're off and running.

Literally, it takes mere minutes to create a first edition Star Wars character.

Here. I'll show you. I'll use the example character in the book.

We pick the Smuggler template. We'll call him: Roark Garnet. Write in player's name and make up character description: 6', 180 lbs., Male, age 28. Roark's got a pencil thin mustache, leather jacket, jeans and boots. He's in good shape. He always wears a blaster in a worn leather holster.

OK. We're done with that.

Next, on the template, we see his stats.


Those stand as they are. Our job--our final job in creating this character--is to assign 7D to Roark's skills. We use whole dice. We can't move more than 2D into any one skill. And, every skill in the game, Roark now uses at the code of the skill's governing attribute. For example, we're not going to improve Astrogation, which is governed by the Mechanical stat. Therefore, Roark's skill is Astrogation 3D+2.

So, we assign those 7D. We put 2D, the max, into Blaster. That's a DEX skill. And, we put 1D into Dodge, another DEX skill.

We don't improve any Knowledge or Technical skills.

Under Mechanical, we put 2D into Starship Piloting.

And, with our last 2D that we have to spend, we put one into Bargain (Perception skill) and one into Brawling (Strength skill)

So, combined with the stats above, Roark turns out lookling like this:

Blaster 5D+1
Dodge 4D+1

Starship Piloting 5D+2

Bargain 4D

Brawling 4D

As I said above, any other skill uses the governing attribute's dice code.

And....that's it! We're done! We've created a first edition Star Wars character. Easy Cheesy.

Even a someone new to the game could do this in five minutes.

Our template gives us a little more information about the character. He's got a stock light freighter (a ship!). He gets a comlink and a heavy blaster pistol. And, he gets 2000 standard credits as starting wealth, which he can use to buy additional equipment at standard prices.

Oh....ha! And, the template says that he starts 25,000 credits in debt to a crime boss. This can be a story element for the GM (with the Hutt's men out to get Roark), and a bit of a game balancer--he gets a ship, but he has to contend with the debt!

Supplement Four February 27th, 2013 09:27 PM

Reading over the rules, I am reminded of another variant round structure that we used with first edition. IIR, it worked quite well.

Movement, in 1E SW, was simple, like every other rule. A character could walk 5 meters in a round or run 10 meters in a round. If the character ran, then that was enough effort to be considered an action--and thus the multiple action penalty would come into effect. If a character wanted to run and fire his blaster, the blaster shot would be done with a -1D penalty (Roark, above, would fire using 4D +1 instead of his usual 5D +1).

I never have liked declaration phases in games, and I was always looking to keep the game--no matter which game we were playing--flowing fast and exciting. This seemed especially appropriate for a Star Wars game.

So, we rolled DEX for initiative (later, we changed that to PERCEPTION) for every character, noting the throw, creating a initiative order, and then we kep that order for the entire combat--not unlike 3.5 d20.

When it came time for a character to move, he could do anything he wanted, but 2nd actions came at a -2D multiple action penalty. A 3rd action would have a -3D penalty, and so on.

Thus, let's say that Roark wants to fire his blaster then run. He throw his full 5D+1 blaster skill, but then have to throw for his movement. If he failed the Move check, he'd have a mishap--like falling down (doing too much at one time--stumbling around).

So, the GM would make the terrain Very Easy, since it was flat corridor, but the kicker is that second actions get the -2D penalty. This is a DEX check, and Roark's has DEX 3D+1.

That means, when Roark runs, he'd have to make a 5+ roll using 1D+1. That ain't easy, and odds are, Roark will fail, slip, and fall.

His character just isn't that coordinated enough to pull that off even half the time.

Or, let's say that Roark wanted to stand in place and squeeze off 3 shots of his blaster. No problem. He doesn't move, and his first shot is at 5D+1. He second shot at 3D +1. And his last shot at 1D +1.


As he stood there, quickly squeezing off shots, the recoil of the weapon made him less and less accurate.

It's not a bad House Rule, and it fits the "universe" well.

EDIT: The RAW is that a character can walk 5 meters a round and still do one action at no penalty, or he can run 10 meters in a round, having it count as an action (thus -1D to any other actions performed).

Under my House Rule above, that translated like this:

Roark uses his blaster and then walks? 5D+1 on the shot, then move the character 5 meters.

Roark walks, then uses his blaster? Move the character 5 meters, then use 3D+1 on the shot.*

*Some players argued that, since the base game allowed a walk + single action at no penalty, then there should be a special case in our House Rule for this. I think that's a fair argument. So, if you wanted, you could allow, just in this instance: Move the character 5 meters, then use 5D+1 on the shot.

Basically, you would consider Walking a "free" action that did not count towards the multiple action penalty. Thus, a character could move 5 meters then sqeeze off 3 shots at 5D+1, 3D+1, and 1D+1. Depending on the target number, though, that last shot (and possibly the second shot, too) might be a waste of ammo.

Supplement Four February 28th, 2013 12:14 AM

There was one other initiative system that we used for a bit with first edition Star Wars. The combat round played out as I outlined above (first action - no penalty, second action - minus 2D, third action - minus 3D, etc.).

Instead of rolling for initiative, each round, automatically, the person who went first was the one with the highest Perception score--then the next highest, then the next, and so on.

If Perception was tied, the tie was broken by the highest Dexterity score. If still tied, Player Characters won over NPCs, and any tied PCs went simultaneously.

Therefore, there was no rolling, and the combat round was smooth as glass. He round, the GM knew, easily, who's turn it was.

We added to this our own version of Haste (much different than Haste in the book). Any character could challenge the character immediately in front of him. They roll opposed DEX throws. If the challenger won, his place in the initiative count was moved up one place for the rest of the combat. The character could attempt this Haste once per round on his turn (and he can only challenge the character, friend or foe, immediately before him).

Performing Haste was considered an action, and thus, even if the character won the Opposed DEX throw, his next action would be at -2D. So, a player really needed a good reason to want to change his line-up position. (The defender was not penalized an action--only the challenger. I didn't want this turning into a tactic to penalize the guy in front of you.)

So, let's say Roark (PER 3D, DEX 3D+1) ran into two stormtroopers (PER 3D, DEX 1D). The combat would be played out in this order:

First, Roark.
Then, Stormtrooper 1 is simultaneous with Stormtrooper 2.

So, Roark starts to act, but Stormtrooper 2 declares a Haste challenge. We roll opposed DEX throws, 3D +1 vs. 1D. Roark rolls a total of 5. The trooper gets lucky and rolls a 6.

The round becomes
Stromtrooper 2
Stormtrooper 1

On that first round, Stormtrooper 2 will have a -2D penalty associated with his first action (-3D on the second, and so on) because of the Haste attempt. He gets this penalty regardless of whether the Hast challenge was successful. But, the perk is that he has changed the initiative line up for the entire fight (and there are no Haste penalties on later rounds--only in the one where the Haste was performed).

aramis February 28th, 2013 02:29 AM

The only initiative system I ever needed for first ed was "hasted actions go first"... each level of haste costing 1D. Straight from the 1E Rules Companion.

Supplement Four February 28th, 2013 08:37 AM


Originally Posted by aramis (Post 424398)
The only initiative system I ever needed for first ed was "hasted actions go first"... each level of haste costing 1D. Straight from the 1E Rules Companion.

Did you use the RAW combat procedure?

aramis February 28th, 2013 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by Supplement Four (Post 424410)
Did you use the RAW combat procedure?

Pretty much.

Supplement Four March 1st, 2013 02:24 PM

I've been looking over that old Star Wars rule set. Man, I love that game. I've been thinking of running a by-the-seat-of-the-pants, blasters firing, princess saving, asteroid dodging game using just the first edition rules.

I haven't found all of my old stuff yet, but I did uncover an adventure I've never played: Battle For The Golden Sun.

This looks perfect.

I'm not 100% going to do this yet--just thinking. But, if I do run it, I want to change the beginning a bit. I want to set the players up as normal citizens (as normal as you can get in the Star Wars universe), and then let them make decisions during play as to if they want to be Rebels...or maybe they'll go more towards the Fringe.

Here's what I'm thinking....

We'll start the game on Alderaan. This is shortly before A New Hope. I've got three players right now, so I'm thinking I'll start them as the crew of a tramp light freighter. They can pick from an assortment of aliens, if they don't want their characters to be human. I've got all the Alien books. There's a ton of species to pick from.

The Trade Federation has been heavily taxing the local space routes, and our PCs start the game fallen on hard times. Credits are tight. Payment for their ship is due.

First scene of the game session: I figure we'll start in a spacer bar near the starport. Their looking for work. There's actually lots of work--lots of small cargos that need to be taken to different worlds, but the problem is, once you figure in local export tax, then import tax at the destination, the Empire's transport tax, and now, the Trade Federation's lane tax, there's nothing left for profit.

The bigger shipping lines are soaking up all the smaller cargos. They can make it work, financially, by the shear quantity of freight that they can move at one time. Plus, the big companies are politically connected, getting the quantity discount from the Empire and the Trade Federation (and with many of the worlds that they service).

This situation is leaving scraps for the independent--the tramp freighter captains.

All of that is a bunch of BS I just made up, but I think it's good enough for a Star Wars game. Maybe I'll refine it. Besides the "push" this creates to get the PCs off planet, it also puts a bad taste in their mouths for the Empire.

So, for the one and three man stock light freighters, finding a profitable job has become an exercise in managing expenses. Some jobs filter through the cracks, sure, but operating a vessel of this size is no longer a matter of just going to a posting office and grabbing the next ticket.

At this point, a droid approaches the PC's table and introduces itself. It's designation is G0-B-TWN, but the droid tells the players that they can address it as "Gobiteen" or "Gobi" (Go Between....get it?).

The PCs have heard of this droid. Since times got tough, and the law on Alderaan is fairly strict on the fringe element, spacers have set up a method of business contact without having to identify themselves. The droid is used as the go between, and each side doesn't know the other.

Now, this is a fairly risky way to do business. The freighter captains don't like not knowing their employers, but as times have become lean, even the most honest captains have resorted to this method of business.

Many times the jobs that Gobi will have are those that are just trying to skirt the high taxes. And, sometimes, the jobs are of a more nefarious quality--gun running, things like that.

A freighter captain that deals with Gobi takes his chances. But, there are those in the spaceport that have made runs for the droid and have been quite happy with their compensation.

So Gobi has a deal for the PCs. Would they run a cargo of local wiker tradeables (baskets, figurines, ornate chairs, wall hanings and the like) to Coruscant? The run pays quite well. The stipulation is that the PC's ship must leave within 4 hours.

Let's see...good compensation...leave within 4 through Gobi...and it's a cargo of wiker do-dads. Riiiight.

But, that's the deal.

If the PCs don't take the deal, then I think it will be time for an action scene with some toughs by the local crime boss. Where's the money?

Or, if the PCs bought their ship legitimately, this crime boss becomes a legitimate Repo agent. Either way, where's the money?

The PCs don't have it.

Now, maybe, the ship will be taken, and the game will go off on a tangent. I need to think about this and be prepared. But, hopefully, the PCs will take Gobi's job. Because they've got no real other choice. It's a bit of a railroad, but this is Star Wars. And, I won't stop them from not taking the job. If they don't, I'll probably change the direction of the adventure, making it the PC's vs. the Repo Agent, or the PCs vs. the Crime Boss.

So...the PCs take the job. The cargo arrives. And, they need to lift off. I'll put a sense of urgency with the delivery of the cargo by moving the timetable up, explaining that a certain Alderaan traffic controller was going off duty earlier than expected...,"So, you got to leave port NOW!"

The PCs will most likely want to dig into the cargo once its aboard. There won't be a lot of time to do that while its being loaded. I bet they'll wait until their in hyperspace. But, if the players figure a way, every container that they open does, indeed, have wiker do-dads in it.

And, that won't make sense. What they're being paid is way too much for what they're carrying, even if the shipper is just trying to skip under the taxes. It can't be even worth the bribe to get off of Alderaan.

When the deal is struck with Gobi, he'll offer to pay them half in electronic Imperial credits, or X amount (whatever I think the PCs should have as starting money) in hard currency--the rest once they reach Coruscant.

If they take the electronic Imperial credits, these will completely blank out and become worthless (nonexistent) after a few hours. Of course, the PCs don't know this at the time of lift off. I'll tell them, though, if the players ask the right questions at deal time, that electronic credits can be risky once offworld.

Once the PCs lift and break Alderaan's orbit, I want an action scene with an Imperial customs boat bearing down on them. "Come to and prepare to be boarded!" I might throw in a couple of fighters and an SDB just to make it clear to the players that they are outgunned.

We can trade some pops here in a Star Wars-esque escape from the planet scene. Maybe the PCs will get lucky and knock off a TIE fighter or two...

...and that, right there, is changing their lives on Alderaan....

...while they rush to get the navicomp ready to make the jump to hyperspace.

The stars make lines, and, boom, the PC's ship escapes.

But, something is immediately wrong. Alarms are going off. The ship should be safely in hyperspace now, but the instruments are showing that the ship is coming out of jump.

That's impossible. The players might think that they're just outside the Alderaan system.

But, in fact, they've suffered a hyperdrive mishap that has taken them far off-course, through a treacherous, gravitic-thick region of space, to the waterworld of Sedri. The PCs, though, will have no idea where they are until they can somehow figure it out.

The ship is damaged, and it plunges through the atmosphere. I'll have the pilot do some throws for a heroic splash landing in Sedri's great ocean.

There will be a few moments as the PCs recover from the crash. The interior lighting is flashing on and off. The PCs may check the ship. The hyperdrive is damaged, and she is taking on a bit of water. They'll plug the hole, I'm sure, but they'll find out that there's no fixing the hyperdrive without new parts and a starport repair facility. Comm's damage. Power finally goes completely out, and the ship is adrift on Sedri's world ocean.

Then, the PCs hear a crash on the hull. Out the dorsal hatch, they exit the ship to see....that their ship has floated into the remains of a sea battle. There are pieces of vehicles (a big piece just slammed into the ship with the roll of the ocean) and bodies....yes, bodies, floating out in the water.

There was some kind of skirmish here--some battle. Wait, what's that? Is that a stormtrooper floating over there?

Then, in the distance, they see the colored beams of blaster bolts being fired across the water. How to investigate? Among the debris about the ship, the player see an intact sea-speeder.

It's up to them. Do they take the sea speeder and investigate the battle in the distance...or, do they just stay with their ship?

And, that's pretty much where the adventre Battle For The Golden Sun.

So....what was going on with Gobi on Alderaan? I'm thinking that the PCs were set up to drag attention away from a different ship lifting with the real smuggled cargo. The PCs were played as fools.

And, I've got room for recurring villians and other NPCs. It might be interesting to see Gobi show up somewhere after the PCs finish the adventure on Sedri. And, sometime, maybe on Sedri, or after they leave, they'll hear about their homeworld being destroyed by the Death Star.

If I can find it, I also have the adventure called Graveyard of Alderaan. It's a neat little adventure that features scrap hunters around the asteroid field that used to be Alderaan.

You never know how games will go. I like to set up a story, then when gaming, not hesitate to deviate from it when players go in a different direction than what I had planned.

BytePro March 1st, 2013 02:56 PM

So, you're sitting in this bar, down on your luck, trying to figure an angle on scraping some coin together before the ship gets port-locked, when this scruffy looking droid wheels over... designation G0-B-TWN. 'Gobiteen', or just 'Gobi' to those who know it - and you know it. Or, of it, at any rate. So does The Law.

This rolling pile of plasti-sheet and neuro-circuits is trouble - trouble of the capital T and the capital punishment kind. Its also the promise of credit of the tax free and clear kind...

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