Sunday, December 8, 2013

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

So, as I said, I'll be starting with a character from the Star Wars RPG published by Fantasy Flight Games, called Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. As one might assume from the name, it focuses on those who live out on the edge of civilization, either in the shadows, the underworld, or just at the edge of civilized life. There are no Jedi character options; there is a Force-talented Exile specialization, but nothing more. Here's a link to the character sheet.

According to the core book, there are ten steps to character creation in Edge of the Empire:

1. Determine Character Concept and Background
2. Determine Starting Obligation
3. Select Character Species
4. Select Character Career
5. Select Specialization
6. Invest Experience Points
7. Determine Derived Attributes
8. Determine Starting Motivations
9. Choose Gear and Description
10. Group Chooses Starting Ship

I'll be skipping step one, because I'm not creating a fully fleshed-out character, just playing with mechanics; for the same reason, I'll be skipping step 10, because there's no group.

So, on to step 2 - starting obligation. Edge of the Empire (EotE from now on) characters each have some kind of obligation, representing something the character owes - to others or himself. These are things like Addiction, Blackmail, Debt, Oath, Favor, or Obsession; I'll be choosing Debt. My starting Obligation amount is determined by group size, but let's assume 10 fr now. I can take more Obligation to add more XP or money (for equipment) later.

Step 3 is species selection. Star Wars has a lot of alien species, and there are several unofficial supplements adding to the species in the core book, but in the core, there are only 8 choices: Bothans, Droids, Gands, Humans, Rodians, Trandoshans, Twi'leks, and Wookiees. I have a hankering to play a lizard-man type, so I'll go with Trandoshan. This will determine my starting Abilities: Brawn 3, Agility 1, Intellect 2, Cunning 2, Willpower 2, and Presence 2. My Wound Threshold (how much damage I can take) is 12 + Brawn, my Strain Threshold (how much stress I can take) is 9 + Willpower. My starting experience is 90 XP. As a special ability, I start the game with 1 rank in the Perception skill. I also have a Regeneration ability, letting me regenerate additional damage after resting or while being healed, and I have Claws, which lets me do additional damage in hand-to-hand combat.

Next, I choose my career. My options are Bounty Hunter, Colonist, Explorer, Hired Gun, Smuggler, and Technician. I want to be able to fight, but I also want to have skills outside of combat, so I will go with Bounty Hunter. This determines my starting skill options, eight in all - Athletics, Brawl, Perception, Piloting (Planetary), Piloting (Space), Ranged (Heavy), Streetwise, and Vigilance. Now, of these eight skills, I get one rank in four of them.  I'll delay that until after I choose my specialization.

Within the Bounty Hunter career, there are three specializations - Assassin, Gadgeteer, and Survivalist. Now, I don't want to be a murder-fiend or a space hillbilly, and I like the idea of a guy who can repair and modify his own gear, so I'll go with Gadgeteer. This gives me access to four more skills - Brawl, Coercion, Mechanics, and Ranged (Light). I can get one rank in two of these. I also get access to the Gadgeteer Talent Tree, but I'll go over that in more detail when I get to step 6. In the meantime, I will make my skill picks - Brawl, Piloting (Space), Ranged (Heavy), Vigilance, Coercion, and Mechanics; with my species rank in Perception, I have seven skills now.

Now, in step 6, I get to spend the 90 XP I started with as a Trandoshan. I can spend this on several things - I can buy characteristics at 10x the purchased rating, bought sequentially; I can buy skill ranks at 5x the purchased rank, bought sequentially (no higher than 2 in character creation); I can buy talents, which vary in cost depending on their place on the talent tree; and I can buy new specializations at 10x the number of specializations including new specializations. I can only buy characteristics at character creation, so 'll buy some of those. Agility is an important characteristic for both shooting and piloting, so I'll buy that up from 1 to 3 - that will cost me 50 XP (20 for the second point, 30 for the 3rd). I'll buy 1 rank each in Athletics, Piloting (Planetary), Ranged (Light), and Streetwise; that will cost me 20 XP. I'll spend my last 20 XP on talents; I'll buy the whole top tier of Gadgeteer talents - Brace (lets me brace a weapon more effectively), Toughened (+2 wound threshold), Intimidating (I can take strain to make my Coercion tests easier or those of others harder), and Defensive Stance (I can take strain to make attacks against me harder). That's 90 XP.

Then I determine derived attributes. These are my wound threshold, strain threshold, defense, and soak value. As a Trandoshan, and with my Toughened talent, my wound threshold is 17. My strain threshold will be 11. My defense, divided up into melee and ranged, are both 0, as I have no armor. My soak value is equal to my Brawn rating, which is 3, and might be augmented by armor.

Then I determine my starting motivation. There are three main groups to choose from here - Ambition, Cause, or Relationship. I see my hunter as an ambitious fella, so I'll go with Ambition. There's a sub-table for each of the three, and of my choices on the Ambition table, I'll go with Expertise - my Bounty Hunter wants to be at the top of his field in skill.

Finally, I can choose gear. I start with 500 credits, which is, frankly, not much to go on. I can get 1,000 more if I add 5 Obligation to my total, or 2,500 if I add 10 Obligation. I'll live on the edge and add 10, so I have 3,000 starting credits. I don't need a hand-to-hand weapon, I have claws. I do need a blaster, though; I'll grab a blaster rifle for 900 credits. I'll buy a handheld commlink for 25. since I'm a Gadgeteer, I need tools; I'll buy a Tool Kit for 350. Utility Belts are cool, so I'll take one for 25. Backpacks - not as cool, but good for carrying things, so I'll take one for 50. I want a Datapad for 75 and a Hand Scanner for 100, to help me find bounties. Since I'm a bounty hunter, I'll buy a pair of Binders (basically handcuffs) for 25. That brings me to 1,500. I want some armor, too, so I'll buy a set of armored clothing for 1,000 credits. Finally, just to make sure I'm prepared, I'll buy a holdout pistol for 200 and a pair of stun grenades at 75 each, for 350 more. That brings me to 2,900 credits spent; I'll leave a little left over in case of bribes. This would also be where I flesh out my description and personality, but that isn't what I'm doing here, so I'll leave that for a time when I'm actually creating a character for play.

I said I would leave out the ship choice, but the book recommends three - the Firespray System Patrol Craft (what Boba Fett flew), the YT-1300 Light Freighter (the same model as the Millenium Falcon), and the Wayfarer Medium Transport (relatively large, but unarmed, good for bigger groups). So, that leaves my character as follows:

Bossk Jr.
Trandoshan Bounty Hunter (Gadgeteer)
Brawn 3
Agility 3
Intellect 2
Cunning 2
Willpower 2
Presence 2

Athletics 1, Brawl 1, Coercion 1, Mechanics 1, Perception 1, Piloting (Planetary) 1, Piloting (Space) 1, Ranged (Heavy) 1, Ranged (Light) 1, Streetwise 1, Vigilance 1

Brace, Toughened, Intimidating, Defensive Stance

Species Abilities

Wound Threshold 17
Strain Threshold 11
Defense 1/1 (from armor)
Soak 4 (from armor)

Blaster Rifle
Holdout Blaster
2 Stun Grenades
Armored Clothing
Tool Kit
Utility Belt
Handheld Commlink
Hand Scanner
150 credits

And there we go.

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