The book pictured above was among the various extremely cool presents I got this weekend in celebration of both Father's Day and my birthday later in the week. Thanks for all the nifty gifts, everyone!
There's been a bunch of hoopla surrounding this new Star Wars game. Two items in particular have been discussed at length, the size of the book and the industry implications. The odd 9" by 9" size I find utterly charming. This book sits easily in my hands and lays flat. It should be no harder to use at the table than my 3.5 hardbacks. My only concern with the size of the book is that the charsheet in the back isn't very convenient, since it is the same size as every other page. But I'm sure PDF sheets will not be hard to find on the internet.
There's been a lot of buzz about this 'Saga Edition' in the form of the question "Is this the face of 4E D&D?" Based upon an initial investigation, my answer is "Probably not." Every change made in this book looks to me like it was done to make the game more Star Warsy and less D&Dish. Some of the changes, such as clarification/simplification of combat actions might make it into 4E. Others, like the Talent Tree fueled classes, maybe not so much. And using your Reflex save as your Armor Class is a great move, but if I saw such a shortcut in my baseline D&D I would decry it as heresy.
But more importantly based upon my first, casual readthrough I really like this game. A lot. Unlike all the previous Star Wars rpgs, I've immediately got some ideas on what to do with the game. And I don't feel intimidated by either the weight of the rules or the breadth of the included expanded universe materials. Assuming interested players, I very much like the idea of making my next campaign some sort of Star Wars Saga Edition based freakout.
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