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Get in touch with your Dark Side: STAR WARS ROLEPLAYING GAME: SCUM AND VILLAINY
Written: Nov 22, 2008 (Updated Mar 14, 2009)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Slick, well constructed game book, useful, versatile, detailed, with a complete adventure.
Cons:A bit pricey at $39.95
The Bottom Line: This game book shows what can be done to make a game fun, challenging, and easy to run. Five Stars.
Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Scum and Villainy
Designed by Greg Astleford, Robert J. Schwalb, Owen K.C. Stephens, Rodney Thompson, JD Wiker.
"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." Obi-Wan Kenobi, about Mos Eisley.
As Wizards of the Coast was preparing the foundations for Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, they also updated their Star Wars Game. While the merits of Fourth Edition are debatable, the update to Star Wars was great, creating a sleek, easy to play game with lots of options for character development, and a solid engine that keeps the play moving.
Now they have created a supplement for the seamier side of life; from Han Solo and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon, to Jabba the Hutt and Bobba Fett, there have always been shady characters, scoundrels, and down right bad men in the Star Wars Universe. Sometimes it's not about ruling the Universe; sometimes it's about taking your lunch money.
This book is a sleek resource, 223 pages chock full of gamblers, thieves, conmen and crime lords, and all the things they need to run their businesses.
Chapter One: Character Options.
Ready to make your scruffy looking scoundrel? Want something a bit different? There are more options of races detailed here. The new species included are the Blood Carver, the Clawdite (remember the bounty hunter who released the worms into Padme's apartment? The shape shifter whose speeder Anakin jumped? Those guys.), the pheromonal Falleen, the Gand, Jawas (Finally!), the Ryn, a gypsy race, the Toydarians (Remember Watto, Anakin's owner?) and the Ubese.
The basic Classes are the same, but each has a new seamier talent tree listed. The noble Jedi have one new Talent, Persistent Haze, while the Scoundrel has the broadest selection of new tricks, at 16. The Noble in particular has an interesting collection; the Disgrace Talent Tree, for those who wish to pursue the path of Edward Longshanks, or Carl Rove.
Skills have a nice treatment of how to turn your efforts to less than noble pursuits; included are Gather Information: Find a Good Source, Mechanics: Booby Trap, and the ever popular Pilot: Fly Casual.
There are 27 new feats including Deadly Sniper, and Friends in Low Places.
The existing Prestige Classes Ace Pilot, Bounty Hunter, Crime Lord, and Gunslinger gain new talents, and add the Prestige (or Infamy) Classes Assassin, Charlatan, Master Privateer, and Outlaw.
Chapter Two: Outlaw Tech.
A thief is usually only as good as his tools, and this chapter deals with all the fun things that make larceny and mayhem easier. Equipment upgrades are handled in some detail, allowing for what almost amounts to "Masterwork" equipment. Most systems can be Miniaturized, Cloaked, remote activated, secret compartments installed, even turned into a droid. Weapons Modifications and Armour Modifications are listed, then other "Outlaw Tech" illegal weapons and thieves tools. The next section is particularly fascinating: Outlaw Starships. Finally you can trick out your ship better than the Millennium Falcon. Three major ship designs are detailed, with several variations on the Corellian YT series.
Chapter Three: Fringe Campaigns.
This chapter outlines everything you need to run a campaign in the shadows, with the likes of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Watto, and the Hutt of your choice. Even if you don't particularly want to run a campaign of Guy Riche meets George Lucas, this will help you build up cohesive outlaw opponents to challenge your heroes. A crafty crime lord can make thing difficult, even for a Jedi.
The chapter gives great material on allies and contacts and how to make crime pay, both in credits, and in Experience points. It also deals with the criminal's greatest enemies, other criminals, and the Law.
Chapter Four: Fringe Elements.
This chapter discussed the eras of play (Old Republic to New Jedi Order) and has a great Rogue's Gallery of Conmen, Bounty Hunters, and Assassins. It also lists out the Archetypes various cops and robbers for quick use, and handy references to the relevant listings from Threats of the Galaxy. It also details Organizations, like the Black Sun, The Hutt Clans, Swoop Gangs, and Thalassian Slavers. It also covers some of the seamier locations in the galaxy, like Nar Shadda, the Hutt moon.
Chapter Five: Point Nadir.
Point Nadir is a Hutt outpost, fully detailed, a handy setting for shady characters to lurk in. The movers, shakers, and obstacles likely to be encountered there are detailed; just enough background for the Game Master to have a framework to fill in the details.
Chapter Six: Mini-Adventures.
For GMs only. This sets out a couple of mini-adventures to use or just to serve as an example of how it is done. The first, Wreck and Ruin is designed for second level heroes, and shows the pitfalls of salvage operations, Smugglers' Rendezvous is designed for fourth level, Boarding Party for Sixth Level, and can be run as the heroes defending themselves from Pirates, or they can BE the pirates. You get the idea; the eighth adventure is for 12th level, so there is a wide range of activities and difficulty, allowing a GM to pick one appropriate to his group, or design one, using the example provided.
Chapter Seven: The Fell Star.
This is a complete adventure suitable for launching a Scum and Villainy campaign. With this, the mini adventures, and the seed material sparking a GM's creativity, this book can easily build into a complete campaign.
There is only one other feature, but it is a welcome one, addressing a weakness the Star Wars line has suffered from. This volume actually has an INDEX!
Like all of the line, this is a professionally done product, painstakingly researched, fitting seamlessly into the Star Wars Universe. Unlike the earlier Knights of the Old Republic and The Force Unleashed campaign guides, this material applies to any era of play you might want to run. After all, no matter who is in power, there will always be an Underground, and the scoundrels who inhabit them. In the Old Republic, they might be villains, but during the Rise of the Empire, and the Rebellion Era, they might be freedom's best hope.
This product, while a pricey $39.95 will probably become a mainstay of any ongoing campaign. It's material is so universal and so well organized it will make the Game Master's job easier; a quick reference when a couple of spare Bounty Hunters are needed to shake up the heroes a little, or for a highly skilled thief to have beaten them to the punch.
Do you have to buy it to play the game? No. Do I recommend you get it anyway? Yes.
And just remember this one important fact:
Han shot first.
May The Force Be With You.
The New Frontier: Younglings.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Check out the other completely different Clone Wars cartoons.
Star Wars Clone Wars Volume One. and
Star Wars Clone Wars Volume Two.
Check out these Star Wars Novels:
Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Invincible
The Cestus Deception.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
Check out these Star Wars Comics:
Tag and Bink Were Here
Jango Fett: Open Season.
Rites of Passage
Star Wars Rebellion: My Brother, My Enemy.
Check out my reviews on Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic.
Days of Fear, Nights of Anger.
Check out the Future of Star Wars in Legacy:
Star Wars Legacy: Broken.
Star Wars Legacy: Shards
Star Wars Legacy: Claws of the Dragon
Star Wars Legacy: Alliance
The Star Wars Role Playing Game:
Star Wars Role Playing Game
Star Ships of the Galaxy
Threats of the Galaxy
Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
Scum and Villainy
The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
Check out all the Star Wars Saga:
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
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