Wargame Dork

A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

[Operation Game Collection] Star Wars RPG/Hobby Gaming the D20 Years Part 2

  Ah how dreadfully SLOW of me!  I meant to have this post out 4-6 WEEKS ago but a mixture of real life catastrophes and playing 15-25 year old somewhat online centered computer games via source port or mod patches kept me from it.

  So let's finish up D20 Star Wars and as always one can click images for bigger ones!

 We start off with the SAGA EDITION core book and the GM screen.  Now for some oddball reason Saga Edition decided to go with this super weird format as opposed to normal book style.  A nice thing is they more or less realized by this point the Prequels were not.. the most beloved films so tried to show more of the classic stuff.

 Back of the book and an internal panel from the GM Screen.  Remember when RPG books weren't stupidly priced?  Well I do and so does Pepperidge Farm.  And YOUR MOM.   She is however very disappointed in people who think a modern RPG core rulebook should be 80 dollars.  I have heard people say this.  These people while well meaning towards the creators who ought to get paid for their hard work are in fact idiots divorced from normal people reality.

 The internals.  Looks nice, full color, is basically a prototype 4th Ed D&D without being quite so ridiculous about it all.  If 4th edition was closer to this it probably would have went over much better. 

 They even helpfully provide a battle map inside the book you can take out.  I already have that map sheet from something else but its a nice touch.

 And a character sheet with character I made for a campaign that never happened.  Its why I bought SAGA at all yet it never happened.  So more wasted money like most RPGs that aren't in print Dungeons and Dragons.

 Luckily for me the now long dead website for the game had errata and goodies I printed out, saving them for use.

 Including more classes and bonus stuff.  There was even an entire Level 1-20 campaign.  Some of this has been saved by people but finding it can be a pain.

 They even had a conversion guide to help idiots like me who bought lots of the previous ed stuff to get SOME use out of it.

 I only bought a single expansion book for the game and obviously it was one based on a great comic book series and a pair of excellent electronic RPGs.  Each book they did for Saga had new races and stuff for everyone to use so they could sell to multiple people and not just GMs.  Sadly the few other books I might have wanted either sold out before I could buy them, I didn't much want them period, or now go for absurd amounts on Ebay.  For an edition I am not huge on anyhow.  But if nothing else the fluff in this book can be backpedaled into a D6 campaign.

 They also released a single pack of dungeon type tiles for the RPG.  I bought 2 copies of it since it has utility and at least at the time there wasn't much inexpensive sci fi type terrain like this at all.  Now with Starfinder there is more but that was what?  7 years later more or less? 

 They show a few example layouts inside the package cover just like the old D&D tiles of the same timeframe did.

 They also had a short running game magazine devoted to all aspects of Star Wars gaming at the time.  I am missing but one issue though the one with Jaxxon the Green Space Bunny (from the old 70s Marvel Comics run) it one I bought a couple weeks back.  Its a very abused condition copy but 5-6 bucks beats 25-30!

 Continuing to show the issues now full of non canon stuff from the first two editions of the RPG, plus info and stuff from the current videogames being released and the CCGs that were out.

 No I don't know why we needed general fiction in the magazine and I apologize to the ghost of a film LEGEND for my flash here on the final issue.  RIP sir.

 Yeah it basically was for the first D20 edition of the RPG and ended publication around Episode 2.  Why?  Nobody really bought the magazine.  Just like nobody really played the RPG period even less people buy magazines even one trying to cover multiple games and use fiction to get non gamers in and maybe into the games.  As usual if its not IN PRINT DEE UN DEE most RPGers just do not give a flip and this makes me a sad dork who will probably die alone. 


 As what the D20 SW RPG was of course there would be new prestige classes in the issues.

 One of the earlier posters included with most issues.  They still had some dumb idea people would be playing with action figures for miniatures then so this one was mostly made for it.  Thankfully they quickly realized this was not gonna happen much if at all, plus they discovered a new more profitable side business..

 Issues included stuff like campaign posters, battle maps, stickers, temporary tattoos.. they gave it a good effort but RON PAUL'S STUPID FREE MARKET DIDN'T CARE.

 Blind box prepainted miniatures as both a game and to be used for RPG minis worked for D&D so they made one for Star Wars.  Which quickly eclipsed the RPG as collectible blind box games of any sort so often do.  People like gambling and spending money on random crap.  IDGI.

 This was like one of the last big starter sets released for the game and probably the classiest.  

 They released a few campaign/expansion books for the game which I thought were really neat.

 What the book backs look like and what series of minis each book was primarily in support of.

 Books came with battle maps, map tile overlays, and various interesting scenarios and options since in SWMinis lots of the character figures were Rares or Very Rares and hard to get.  Which in some ways worked for Star Wars because you might want hordes of Stormtroopers but you would only want one Boba Fett or Luke Skywalker.  (Of a TYPE anyhow.)

 There were some third party maps and tile sets made for the game too.  I got most of mine on deep clearance.

 Back of the tile pack and part of one of the maps.  

 I suppose it did well enough though for this enormous BEAST of an item to be made.  And as an avowed fanboy of the AT AT I got one as soon as I could reasonably afford to.

 Back of this stupidly large bit of bourgie nonsense.

 And said miniature next to some AT STs, a Stormtrooper from the game line, and a Rogue Trader era plastic Tyranid Warrior.  For scale.  ITS BIG.  Such a biggie makes you wonder if it had beef with Tupac.

 Some of the later normal size booster packs at deep clearance.  Front and back.

 The final starter set I recall coming out was made in service of the then running CGI Clone Wars show on Cartoon Network.  Not as fancy as the Episode 3 starter.  They also had some neat little 2 pack minis and map sets.  I have another of those sealed and the third and final I should be buying soon for reasons.  (These collection post things always get me buying more stuff.  Figure my final update in SW Gaming will have such acquisitions shown in them.)

 And the back of them both.

 They came in the blisters in little plastic baggies to help fill our environment with garbage.  Some of them had extra plastic to keep their lightsabers and whatnot from being bent too badly.  These are made of that generally softer bendy plastic.

 An example of some of them and a few with their lightsaber bendy protectors.   Bottom of the generally unpaintable bases (No idea if the models themselves can be repainted on top of it.  I should check because the paint goes from very good to GARBAGE and sometimes just a little DIP METHOD might save those) has the mini info...

 But the cards included have their game stats and info with the back just a drawn image of the model which is handy kind of.

 The card looks evolved over time.

 There were also big packs with big minis.  BIG MINIS=BIG LYFE

 And some of the big box sides like the front and err... side.

 Some of the stuff like overlay tiles, the counters you needed to play and whatnot.  

 Rulebooks!  WOOO.

 Inside said books.  I overall quite liked the game a lot but most of the time I played it was me using my own models and building forces for both sides so no real major bits of cheese and power gaming.  I never saw anyone but a small circle of people I know playing the game ever.  Its honestly the best of the CMGs though.  The cover/LOS system is kind of odd though.  It makes sense but its a big departure from Warhammer 40k.

 Some of the quick start, cheat sheet, and scenario pack books.  Sadly I never got the biggest scenario pack which was Hoth the Ice Planet.  Which is a shame but time and money is what it is.

 All the checklist pages which have any errata or new rules on the back.

 Most of my large base miniatures for the game.

 How I tend to store these sort of soft minis.  In faction organized zip baggies in card boxes.  (The big ones just got their own plastic storage tub so I have more room for these little ones.)

 As always one benefit of these blog posts is organization improvement or in this case putting many many many unopened figures into some semblance of order.  Only they all need to go in zip bags.  I am not doing that now.  I will but.. not right now.

 However this massive binder is now mostly correctly organized so I can at least build forces for a game I haven't gotten to play in years.  It is a VERY large and full binder.

  Well we are now more or less done with most of the D20 games but next time will we go to space or show off lots of useless trading card games?   We will find out when we do!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

[Operation Game Collection] Star Wars RPG/Hobby Gaming the D20 Years Part 1

  Well this WAS going to be a single parter but in preparing for it I realized it is entirely too much for one post.  In fact it might take THREE.  Maybe.  As is it is 11 months late.

Last year we covered the best Star Wars RPG ever made if not one of the best RPGs ever PERIOD, the West End Games D6 version.  Now in the age of the prequels and the massive dominance of the D20 ruleset used in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Wizards of the Coast had gotten the Star Wars license helped out by their being owned by giant IP swallower that is NOT Disney, Hasbro.

  I was at least a LITTLE bit excited.  Everyone plays D&D and the Prequel trilogy was starting up.  Now there would be almost zero reason for folks to not play Star Wars as the normal excuse of "Well I would have to learn a new game" was now dead.  If D&D was great being able to play in the giant galaxy of Star Wars would be even MORE GREAT.  No longer stuck being murderhobos going into dungeons on planets who somehow were an odd pre Renaissance Lord of the Rings technology level but with dozens of sapient races and massive amounts of fauna and flora capable of snuffing out said races before said races could even do it to themselves. THERE WERE NOW WORLDS TO EXPLORE AND SAVE over tons of different environments and cultures and technology levels with a timeline vast enough to allow for just about anything.


  Sadly, as always the RPG playerbase at large only wants bog standard D&D in usually whatever edition is currently in print and ONLY in as close to generic Tolkienesque Fantasy but with Murderhoboing as possible.   No other settings in that system, no other systems in that setting.

 I HATE HATE HAAAAAAATE this.  While I don't mind some quality D&D from time to time it has never ever been the one RPG I would want to play over any other.  In most cases it is merely me settling for it in the hopes that maybe people will become friends and be willing to try new systems and setting types.  This is largely a NO and as always my heart and soul get broken.  It is also why I have basically given up on tabletop RPGs at this point in my life.  Given my schedule, social circle (IRL so small as to be practically ZERO), and what I want to play or run I have just given up on RPGs.  (Something about insanity being doing the same thing and expecting different results.)  And at this point the people who do really want me to run anything still have extremely limited tastes and it would have to be online which I have never enjoyed doing.  (Although running something like D6 system or other lighter systems would work much better probably.)

  But I was still somewhat hopeful back then and gave WOTC a shot.  It did not go over well.  It only made my hatred for RPG players in general grow and the best thing I can say is it showed me how I should have dropped out of a number of groups sooner than I did.

  Anyhow, let's see what I have for the early days of the WOTC license eh? 

(You know the drill. Click for larger images if it is your thing.)
 We start out with a starter box that came with a Wookie action figure to maybe grab collectors of SW stuff to maybe try an RPG and also the character sheet pack.  As is kind of obvious the early WOTC SW was prequel based more than Original Trilogy (OT) though it fully covered both.  Like D20 D&D it was heavy on battle map combats but in this game's case they had action figure scale to use all your toys.  

 I really do like the art in the Theed box it must be said.  The character sheet pack also shows the Era designation which gives you information on what point in SW history it can be used in.  Which at this time was a rather large array of novels and Dark Horse comic books in what was known as the Expanded Universe  (EU).  Disney got rid of 95% of the EU.

 Our Mk1 character sheet.  The biggest difference between D&D and SW was armor worked much differently to the point of being useless (not too bad given how it normally seems useless in most SW media honestly..) and two HP systems as one was actual physical health and the other was the more abstracted D&D like value which rarely actually meant taking mortal damage.  Kinda.

 Besides the toy I think I gave away the box came with the character sheets, the rules, and the adventures plus a battle map to play on with counters I think.  This thing came out a good 16 YEARS AGO OH GOD I AM OLD.

 As is the normal case the starter set has simple adventure and scenario bits mostly based around combat stuff, in this case taking place alongside Episode 1.

 A bit of the battle map.  The other side is less fancy but in action figure scale.

 The main rulebook and part of the GM screen in this case showing the OT cast which is on the back of the Core Rulebook here.  (See what I mean?  They were aiming at the currently running Prequels more than the OT.)

 A bit of the info in the GM screen.  

 The rulebook is full color and quite large.  But the abstracted vehicle combat systems and the weird armor rules would not last too long.

 We also had some cheaper black and white (mostly) supplement books which were sought after for a while as they had smaller print runs and OMG ITS NOT DEE UN DEE meant less people buying them in the first place.

 Yes at this point in time even the original Marvel Comics Star Wars series was mostly still part of EU canon.  Thus Hoojibs!

 I didn't go too crazy on getting D20 SW stuff.  Rebellion Era was kind of a no brainer as was Dark Side.  New Jedi Order was more to see what the basic story was all about.  The answer to me was REALLY STUPID.  From all reports of the New Jedi Order series and what came after it was even worse.  So this book kind of helped me to see I didn't want to read those books.  

 Showing the backs of two of them.  Obviously not the NJO one.  Also one can see prices and stuff.

 And a page of the Rebellion book with one of my favorite machines in Sci Fi on it, the mighty AT-AT!

But it didn't take off.  Between the uneven response to the first prequel, some of the wobbly rules, and RPGers mostly being snotty prats who only want their one precious game no matter the edition (although in this case people already had a fantastic RPG system I talked about last year in D6 so it had more hurdles!) it didn't make too many waves.

So around the time of the next (really really BAD) movie they did another mostly compatible go at it:

 Now with all the movie stuff on the front cover!  They still made some cheaper supplement books though!

 I would say if you wanted a D20 D&D Star Wars game that played like 3.0 and 3.5 they pretty much did it right this time.  

 They also helpfully tell you its for the Revised edition.  Nice of them!

 And our new character sheet.

 I again realized early on even with the fixes most people just weren't going to play it so I again did not exactly spend fat stacks on the game.

But the Hero's Guide back does show it was clearly doing the 3.x character building thing with piles of new stuff to mostly be there to kill stuff better or do stupid tricks if your GM decided to want more than just a combat game.   Basically Revised is more or less Pathfinder to Core's 3.0.  

But again it didn't go over as well as Hasbro, Lucasfilm, and WOTC probably wanted it to.  But they had some folks working on the next edition of D&D so they had an idea on how to test a few things out with less risk,

  Join me next time for SAGA EDITION, the Star Wars Gamer magazine, and possibly the collectible miniatures games depending on how big the next installment will be.  It probably won't have me whining.  (Besides, for all I know I am the failure.)


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