Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Beta: Character Differentiation

Star Wars Edge of the Empire Logo. This article a discussion of the Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG beta from Fantasy Flight Games character creation process.The Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta from Fantasy Flight Games has continued to be a hot topic in the roleplaying community, although – thankfully – most of the talk has moved from whether you should do an RPG beta or not to whether or not the game has a sufficient amount of character differentiation, which is to say whether or not you have enough options during the character customization process, so I thought I would explain what options you have during character creation in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta.

First, the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta character creation process has eight species/races to choose from (Bothans, Droids, Gands, Humans, Rodians, Transdoshans, Twi’leks, and Wookiees, for those looking for the complete list). Each of the species has different starting scores in the six attributes (3 is the highest starting score, and raising it beyond that gets very expensive very quickly. A character might get one attribute at 5, but you’re not going to get many more skills, which is not great because the game rewards a balance of skills and attributes because of how you get to upgrade dice in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta). Each species also has a different amount of wounds/strain (Wookiees are the hardest to knock out, but the easiest to stun), a special ability (starting with a rank in a skill mostly), and an amount of starting experience that you use to upgrade skills and attributes. As mentioned, you can upgrade skills, but going much over a 3 in an attribute in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta will generally result in a dearth of skills.

After you select your species in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta, you choose from one of six classes (called careers here). Each career gives you a list of skills that become your ‘career skills’, which you get to upgrade for less experience and you get a rank in to start with, and then a specialization that adds another choice of skills to start with. The important thing to note here is that while a given class gives each player the same list of skills to choose from, you only get to start with half of the career skills and each of the specializations comes with multiple talent trees that gives you different active and passive abilities, each of which costing experience (and with more powerful talents costing more experience and having different prerequisites). Over time, you can also gain access to different talent trees through spending experience.

So that’s how character differentiation works in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta character creation process. The game is a pretty ‘traditional’ RPG, so it does have the classic race/class structure, but it looks like it does a pretty good job of allowing you to build a pretty wide variety of characters with the choices. I was pretty concerned when I read some of the early information (some of it mis-information) about character creation in the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG beta, so I was pretty pleased with the range of differentiation available.

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About Michael

Michael is an enthusiast about a lot of things, including indie games, roleplaying games, board games, and comic books that wanted to help create a place where he could bring things to the attention of those with similar interests. Futile Position is a true labor of labor, which he hopes continues to grow through the support of the great readers who have come upon this page.

27. August 2012 by Michael
Categories: RPGs | Tags: , , , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. While I am very interested in seeing where this Edge of Empire can go as the latest installment for TRPG (tabletop role-playing games)I must agree with other posters on various threads. “Paying for a ‘Beta test'” seems like a waste of my time and money. Especially because there is little or no artwork featured in the merchandise as of yet. This is a “beta” test which means that it is not even the final product. That alone is a major turn off for me as a consumer. No thank you. I think that I for one will still continue to read about the game from the standpoints of those people who will be paying for an unfinished product. Then, after a “finished product” is done, I might shell out a price for that.

    • I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I see why it irks people, but it’s easy not to buy it and then get it once it’s out for real. As much as anything, I picked it up in large part because a lot of people are curious about it. With that said, it certainly appears to be a playable, complete game, albeit with nothing in the way of theme. Honestly, though, I have enough Star Wars miscellany in my head that I probably wouldn’t really use the setting stuff anyway. I love reading rules so much that, for me, it was a worthwhile purchase. 😀

  2. My local rpg group picked this game up a few weeks ago. Due to time restraints (damn work), we have only completed characters and got in a decent session. I’m far from a seasoned rpg’er, but I have found the system is very fluid and dynamic. I love the cinematic feel of the mechanics, and the character creation is rather straight-forward but allows surprising variety. And it’s rather refreshing to play a Star Wars universe game that doesn’t focus on force-users (even though I rolled one up lol). And as for the beta arguement, we jumped at the chance to add our input and experience towards the finished product. But it is quite well fleshed out, with all the rules you need

    • Yeah, there’s definitely a whole game there so long as you can fill in the setting well enough (and my gut reaction is that most of us that would be interested in the game can). As I’ve said, I can see why people might be disappointed, especially if they might have to wait three years to get the game they want (with all of the Force users). In any case, the system – taken for what it is – seems solid to me on a read-through although I’ve still not really got to take it for a spin. Glad to hear you’re having fun with it, though! (and thanks for your thoughts!)

  3. I can see another perspective on the beta book being sold at a cost. They want people who are invested in the beta. If you get it for free or cheap, you’re unlikely to either spend time with it or give that crucial feedback (not always the case, but often enough it is). Having spent the money, it sits on your mind and gets you playing, which is what they needed for the beta phase to be successful.

    However… If FFG was to display some good customer service, they would make the full rules available to either purchasers or possessors of the beta, either at a discount or in exchange for either beta books.

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