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Lit [Fantasy Flight Games] Because it just keeps getting better

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Loyal Imperial, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I can't see them doing too many of those.

    The Hutt and Corellian books worked for the purposes of fleshing out two groups linked to EotE's themes as a game. The Hutts control all illicit commerce; the Corellians have a history as pilots.

    Similarly for FaD/AoR's books (Strongholds of Resistance and Nexus' of Power) are more about resources for the game than about specific planets/sectors.

    I could be wrong but I'd say they'll be pushing Genesys more than SWRPG because that's their proprietary IP and if it's successful I could see them making Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, and Fallout RPGs.
     
  2. Darth_Henning

    Darth_Henning Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Depends what they think they can do with the licence to make money.

    With the LCG probably closing down after this cycle of decks they may want to keep the RPG running.

    So far they've been able to rely on class sourcebooks, but there's no reason to think they can't do more. With Dawn of Rebellion, cross-theme sourcebooks (which were never a thing before) become a distinct possibility if they want to keep new product on the shelf.

    ( I also wonder if Legion will supplant Imperial Assault as Destiny has for the LCS)
     
  3. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
  4. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    I think it's already been mentioned, but Wave VII has been postponed until Q1 2018. Both the Profundity and Chimaera are still listed as being in development, so I'm gonna assume we don't see these additions until late February/early March.

    There was a cool article about designing Grand Admiral Thrawn for Armada, it came out a few days ago: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/11/27/grand-admiral-thrawn/

    I'm hoping we get a similar one for Admiral Raddus. I wish Ackbar had a better card, but as often happens as games progress the original cards have lesser value that the newer ones.

    --Adm. Nick
     
  5. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
  6. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 17, 2007

    Having the neo-TIE Avenger plastered all over everything would be the coolest thing to happen to my starfighter-jockey heart this year...except that the TIE kriffing Defender is all over Rebels. I'd like to think FFG sales had a role in convincing whatever higher-ups that it was ok to devote multiple story arcs on a kid's show to a relic from an obscure video game.
     
  7. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    The TIE Defender was awesome full stop. TIE Fighter was not obscure. And better to use cool existing design than create yet another version to do basically the same thing. That's why I'm glad to see things like the Punisher, Defender, Gunboat, and Aggressor in X-Wing. And now just for the Skipray Blastboat.
     
  8. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

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    Apr 5, 2015
    Its been almost 4 years since they rebooted canon. Is FFG the ghost of Legends, lingering on or is Legion canon? Who knows. Wookieepedia is split on it. Some FFG stuff they consider canon; others they don't. Its all screwed up and the OCD goblin in my head isn't happy.
     
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  9. Taalcon

    Taalcon Force Ghost star 4

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    Jul 12, 1998
    It's an RPG toolbox intended to be consistent with Canon, using Legends as additional story prompts. It doesn't establish Canon, although canon might draw from it (I.E. the Corvus from Battlefront II is from a ship model created for FFG X-Wing came to have an Imperial counterpart to the Corellian Corvette.)
     
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  10. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Wookiepedia folks are ignorant of what it is. It's a toolbox, which is by definition indifferent to canonicity as it exists separate from that. For roleplaying gamers it makes sense; to others, if it doesn't, it's not important.
     
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  11. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

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    Apr 5, 2015


    Yes, but the content!!!!
     
  12. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Think of the dichotomy not as "canon vs. Legends" but as "canon vs. non-canon." Legends is a subset of non-canon, and the lore found in FFG products is also a subset of non-canon, separate from Legends. They can (and do) draw material from canon, and canon can (and does) draw material from FFG, but in the end FFG lore and content is entirely non-canon. There are misunderstandings even within Wookieepedia about that, unfortunately, but hopefully that makes a little more sense of it all.
     
  13. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001


    THIS!

    (Also well said).

    There is no ambiguity about the intent either; this non-canonical status is fundamental to the RPG, as these books exist for the sole purpose of enabling players and game masters to live out essentially "alternative reality" simulations in the Star Wars universe. By their design, therefore, canon is an impediment in its purest form (in that my current character, Aden, has never existed in canon and therefore, I could never create a character without breaking canon) and really is just a resource to help the GM flesh out and make their story feel more related to the universe.
     
  14. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
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  15. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 5

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    Oct 29, 2005
    'Non-canon' has the implication of a reduction of material to be equivalent to an unconnected one-off, or someone's fan-fiction. The EU consisted of, and still consists, of a body of work that includes books, comics, video games, RPG games, and TV shows - a body of canon. The detachment from 'current official Star Wars canon' didn't change that.

    If the question is about FFG's RPG being canon with 'current official Star Wars canon', the official answer is... nothing. The de facto answer is no, with a caveat that StoryGroup can (and has) come in and dictate how material is handled. I suppose the idea that they could 'pull material from the RPG' is true, but much like the ongoing MMORPG, the 'official' response is to act as if it doesn't exist.

    But FFG's Star Wars RPG is first and foremost a roleplaying game. Ideally, all except the most abstract RPG has a self-consistent body of work that forms its core. Now if that body of work consisted only of, say, rules and non-specific lore, then I would agree that it would be too thin to form a true 'canon' of work (apart from the supplements that are official as opposed to fan-made). However, FFG's Star Wars RPG has a detailed history and geography that is consistent (as much as it is possible) across their supplements. Even if it doesn't describe a narrative, it still forms a setting for one - which, again, is the hallmark of a good roleplaying game.

    A particular group's adventure and the PCs within aren't canon to the RPG any more than someone's fan fiction is canon to the current official Star Wars. But here's the thing - neither is your run-through of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (to give one example), and yet Skyrim can still refer to the events of that game regardless of what you personally did in your run-through . There's still can be a consistent narrative to an RPG setting (and there often is) - a 'default' that is in spite of whatever a particular party's take on an adventure is. Even if one is not established, nothing precludes it from happening.

    So the short answer is that it isn't canon with the current official Star Wars canon - it doesn't tell you anything about that version of the Star Wars universe (in so much as you can be told about a fictional universe) although a well-researched RPG can certainly act as a source of educated guesswork. But it does form a self-consistent body of lore that is interesting in of itself (which isn't surprising, as other well-made licensed RPGs - Last Unicorn's Star Trek, ICE's and Cubicle 7's LOTR RPG, to name a few - do so as well). Again, that's just the hallmark of a good roleplaying game. If you want to use it solely as a 'toolkit', that's your choice - but so is just getting the books because you like the setting. Personally, I do both.

    I know that some of the responses that come up every time someone asks this question derive from shooting down one particular idea; as FFG's Star Wars RPG canon derives heavily from the prior two RPGs (WOTC and WEG), which form the core of EU canon - which, in turn, makes the implication that the FFG RPG can be seen as a continuation of the EU. I don't really know what to say about that, if that's your fear. [face_dunno] Personally, I see it as an interesting hybrid of the old and the new - ultimately, I feel, unsustainable, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts (if anything could get me interested in the new Star Wars universe - and that's pretty unlikely - it would be through the RPG).
     
  16. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    What does FFG derive from WotC? It's like they bypassed that wretched d20 era entirely. If anything it's based on the WEG D6 SWRPG and the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game that FFG put out, which was a precursor to the narrative dice system now found in FFG Star Wars and FFG Genesys.
     
  17. Darth_Henning

    Darth_Henning Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 1, 2007
    I think he means in the style of how the lore is presented in the books, not the gaming mechanic as there is definite structural similarity in that manner.

    ALso as someone who never got to play the d20 era, why is it so maligned?
     
  18. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    WOTC was a victim of their own success. When they put out the Open Gaming License - essentially allowing everyone and anyone to use your rules system - it was what apparently to be a very shrewd business move, especially to their competitors. A flood of d20-based products hit the market, and rival companies were 'forced' to include d20 rulesets in their products - leading to some rather cumbersome books from that era where up to 25% of a book was just d20 conversions. However, in the long term it failed, for a number of reasons:

    1) A lot of d20 products were just not very good. Every roleplayer probably knows someone who has this great idea for a game, and was just hampered by the 'boring stuff' - making a ruleset. Suddenly that wasn't a problem, and every crappy idea people had started appearing on shelves at gamestores... followed by a trip to the discount bin.
    2) The d20 system itself isn't very good. It's a legacy system - essentially 1st/2nd edition D&D with modern RPG components (like having skills) welded onto it. Having a level-based system is barely tolerable in fantasy games - but when you start seeing a "12th level Investigator" in d20 Call of Cthulhu, its deficiencies become glaringly obvious. All the game companies that panicked initially discovered that gamers preferred the original rules than d20 in every case, and there wasn't a real 'crossover effect' from what was thought of as 'casual gamers' (i.e. players that were only familiar with D&D and nothing else).
    3) They created their own worst enemy. In recent years, Dungeons & Dragons has faced stiff competition from Pathfinder, which is produced by Paizo - the company that used to run Dragon and Dungeon magazines for WOTC. And the Pathfinder system is simply the OGL d20 system. WOTC has moved on, of course, which two newer versions of D&D, and made sure that they are not OGL - but Paizo is still using the system (jokingly called "3.75 edition") and has sometimes been outselling WOTC.

    On a personal note, I haven't played d20 since our group moved away from D&D, which was 6-7 years ago.

    as Darth_Henning mentioned, I was referring to the 'lore' itself.

    Incidentally, Cubicle 7's "The One Ring" has storytelling system in the same style (if not following the same mechanics) as FFG's Star Wars. While I'm sure you're aware I'm more of a fan of the 'traditional' RPG rules (by which I really mean those developed apart from D&D in the 80s and 90s, not the paleolithic 1st edition D&D rules), I think it's still a pretty good game.
     
  19. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    OK, but FFG doesn't carry over that lore tradition in the way WEG or WOTC did. They're not consciously trying to tie their products to new novels, and are quite reactive to the non-filmic media like Rebels. Mostly they're just about providing a toolbox for GMs, and I know you disagree on this but you're also disagreeing with FFG people like Sam Stewart and Keith Kappel on it. And you can also understand why they would take this position - the EU was a terrible mess of fiftieth-rate hack writers being paid peanuts to deliver poorly written and poorly characterised nonsense that was mercifully shot dead a few years ago (leaving some visibly struggling to cope).

    Playing SWRPG since the 2nd ed base (not 2e R&E, mind you - the 2nd ed book with Vader's mask on the cover), across all editions, nothing has been as fulfilling an experience as this though. So they have my loyalty, my money, and a modest amount of my hopes and dreams with future releases.

    Darth_Henning - the biggest problem with d20 is its reliance on crunch. The emphasis really becomes numbers, not narrative. Have you got the most optimal stat line for your class? Which feats do you want to take to boost your Base Attack Bonus? It's very MMO grindy in that regard, and without a really mature group of players and GM it becomes about shaving enough hit points off a target or targets before they do the same to you. It's dreadfully boring when combat is just "I hit them" and you can't be dynamic in your positioning because attacks of opportunity are a thing.

    Plus, as the narrative dice system has amply demonstrated, a binary axis of resolution is, in simple terms, bad. What do I mean for this?

    Let's use SW as an example. I want to override a lock on a blast door. I'm not trying to bypass the programme itself, but actually pick the lock.

    Star Wars d20, it's a skill check. DC might be 18. I have a +8 to the skill (let's say it's lockpicking) which means I'm pretty good. I also add +2 from my DEX modifier. And...I roll a four. Despite being proficient in this task, the RNG gods decided I would fail this.

    Star Wars Narrative Dice - GM lets me use skulduggery. I have 2 yellow 2 green in the pool. Difficulty is hard, so throw in three purple. GM and I both upgrade once, so it's Y Y Y G P P R and I get a boost dice to the roll because of my lockpick kit. I roll; net result is :

    OPTION 1: GOOD ALL ROUND:
    1 success, 2 advantage - I open the lock, and replace the panel so people won't notice in future.

    OPTION 2: THE GOOD WITH THE NOT AS GOOD:
    4 success, 2 threat - I open the lock in record time, however I've damaged in a way that any passerby is bound to notice.

    OPTION 3: NOT GOOD
    2 Failure, 3 threat - "I've got it... I've got it!" In anticipation of the lock opening, I grin. The lights flicker for a second, and the silence is shattered by the wail of an alarm.

    OPTION 3: NOT GOOD BUT NOT NOT GOOD
    3 failure, 2 advantage: The locking mechanism trips and a secondary blast door closes over the first. As I remove the lockpicks, I bump a wire and hear a hiss as a hatch folds down from the ceiling...

    Alread you have these moments where results trigger a new narrative position. D20 allows for pass fail with a 5% chance of mega success! (20 on the roll) or catastrophic failure (1 on the roll). But it also means players get stuck with this stupid idea of "I look for the thing. I rolll... it's 15. Do I find it?" GM says "you do not find it" which translates to players as "it's there, but your roll didn't meat the DC". so they keep checking and finding new ways to retread the same ground over and over.

    Narrative dice means even if you fail, you fail forwards.
     
  20. Darth_Henning

    Darth_Henning Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Ender Sai Thank you for the comparative explanation. I played...I can't honestly remember which, DND-like RPG a few years ago...and while I do remember there being critical success/fails the narrative of that particular one had a similar sort of fail-forward mechanic in the narrative, though I can't remember in detail. But without that I can see why the D20 system would be widely disliked.


    This though isn't quite what I was getting at.

    FFG is indeed deliberately not tying into the novels specifically (though if they did they'd be quite limited on material at this point as its rather era and location constrained currently) but that's more about the goal rather than the presentation.

    The similarity I see is that while there are of course the necessary mechanical details in the guidebooks, each book is presented as a self-contained piece of lore which contains its own stories and buiding of the universe, presented in a similar way as was done in the d20 books. Its a similar writing and layout style, not purpose.



    Now I personally strongly disagree about the majority of the EU being "fiftieth-rate hack writers....deliver[ing] poorly written and poorly characterised nonsense". While there was absolutely drek, there was also a lot of amazing content. No different than what we're getting with the reboot. Its merely organized from the beginning rather than starting 15 years later.
     
  21. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Where is there similar lore in the guidebooks..?
     
  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    I didn't enjoy TLJ as much as I did TFA, but I will say that it offers a lot of interesting threads to weave into an RPG. Look forward to seeing if FFG do a TLJ beginner box.
     
  23. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
  24. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 8

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    Sep 2, 2012
  25. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 5

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    Oct 29, 2005
    You're kidding, right?

    About the only time there isn't is in ridiculous situations like the Lothal entry in Nexus of Power, or the "this is all Legends(tm)" disclaimer for anything to do with the Old Republic (despite having an adventure in the main rulebook that relies on actual events from the OR)

    If the restrictions are so great that they can't invent one single bit of information that didn't come directly from the NEU in the upcoming Dawn of Rebellion book, that's where I jump ship. I've had my fill of restrictive, run-of-the-mill tie-in RPGs over the years, and I'm not interested in continuing to spend money on another one. Again, I'd recommend looking at The One Ring RPG for how to do it right; no one is claiming that it's "Tolkien canon", but it manages to build on the source material and create a consistent narrative universe that is faithful to the spirit of the original.

    And if it makes you feel better with regards to your intense hatred of the EU, FFG's RPG resembles (apart from the StoryGroup interference) the early days of WEG's Star Wars RPG, prior to the true 'birth' of the EU with Heir of the Empire - an RPG that has to develop the majority of material itself because the 'canon' material is so thin.
     
    AdmiralWesJanson likes this.