I finally got to reading the gear and equipment chapter (read previous posts about the game, mechanics, char gen, skills and talents), which was interesting. Gear is important – to me – especially in a science fiction setting such as Star Wars. The first thing I wrote on this blog was actually a diatribe (in Swedish, here and here) about the lack of gear or rather tech in my favorite sci-fi RPG, Coriolis. In space opera such as Star wars it might be less important than in a cyberpunk setting, but still.
The gear chapter starts with some introduction to trade, rarity, the black market – which sort of resembles the Warhammer rules. Then you have the elaborate rules about encumbrance – how bloody boring is that. Why not learn from computer games – give each character ten slots and let them fill them up with gear. No, instead you have encumbrance values based on Brawl + something etc. This part of the game doesn’t need this level of realism, just some internal logic which you could get with a slot based system.
Next you have all the weapons, describing types, qualities, maintenance and armor. I like the fact that every piece of gear seems to have associated hardpoints – telling you how much you can modify it, by adding stuff like optic sights etc. among the qualities you also have stuff like limited ammo, cumbersome etc., which gives me an aspect touch to the whole thing, with somewhat elaborate explanations for some qualities like how guided ammo/missiles work.
The weapons are generic, i.e. there are blasters and slugthrowers but no brand names or more specific types – something that works in SW, but would be boring in a cyberpunk setting.
The gear part includes everything from comlinks and fusion lanterns to bacta tanks and jet packs and most are just descriptions without any rules (there is a general rule regarding gear, that instructs you to add a boost dice if appropriate). The black market items include different drugs such as spice and lesai, as well as illegal gear, but not that many different items.
The most interesting part of the chapter is the customization and modification part – where you can modify your weapon (depending on number of hardpoints) with stuff such as, re-cocker (for bowcasters), Merr-Sonn’s Marksman Barrel, spread barrels, bipods, tripods, under-barrel flamethrowers, sights – you name it.
So, all in all, this is a good chapter where you get what you expect and some more. I like the fact that guns have qualities, which resemble aspects in some FATE games such as Strands of Fate and that you have plenty of stuff to choose from.
Next up – Conflict and combat.