Welcome to a Galaxy far, far away
The Star Wars Roleplaying Game (SWRPG) is a tabletop RPG game originally created by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) and currently published by EDGE Studio. The game is set across the different eras of Star Wars films.
Welcome to our New Player Guide where we explain how to play SWRPG. The system is broken into three main games; "Edge of the Empire, "Age of Rebellion" and "Force and Destiny". Each game is a standalone, but fully cross-compatible roleplaying system. Each introduces a unique dimension of the Star Wars play experience, but the core mechanics are fully interchangeable. Players and GMs will have the option to use these materials separately or combine them as they see fit in order to carve out a unique, custom roleplaying experience. The aspects of SWRPG are most clearly laid out in published books, which include the rules, like in the Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook, adventures, like Mask of the Pirate Queen, or supplementary material, like Dawn of the Rebellion.
A roleplaying game (RPG) is a cooperative storytelling experience between players and Game Master, or GM. Like many games, it has rules, components, and dice to help describe and resolve the action. Unlike most games, an RPG has no winner or loser and no opposing teams.
The GM serves as the judge and the storyteller. It’s their responsibility to present an exciting and compelling situation to the players, and to help determine what happens next when those players respond to a situation. GMs can invent their own stories, characters (NPCs), and adventures, or use adventures written by somebody else.
2-4 players take on the role of individual characters in the Star Wars galaxy. Over the course of the game you will choose what your hero does and says, and use the dice and game rules to determine whether you succeed or fail. Characters controlled by hero players are called Player Characters, or PCs.
Image Credit: Fantasy Flight Games
Image Credit: Fantasy Flight Games
Many different systems govern the rules of Star Wars RPG, but the main mechanics revolve around dice and the "skill check". In order to perform an action, players must roll a pool of dice to determine whether that action succeeds or fails. In Star Wars, the dice are known as narrative dice - different than the d20 usually found in D&D.
Whenever you roll a skill check, you compare a pool of positive dice (⬟■▲) and their results against the results of a pool of negative dice (⬟■▲). Positive dice help your character accomplish a task or achieve beneficial side effects. These dice may reflect his innate abilities, training, or other advantages that he can apply to the specific task. Negative dice represent the forces that would hinder or disrupt him, such as the inherent difficulty of the task, obstacles, or the efforts of another character to thwart the task. If your character’s successes outnumber his failures , the action succeeds. However, the situations of SWRPG are rarely simple, and the game’s custom dice do more than determine whether an action succeeds or fails. Even as the dice indicate whether an action succeeds or fails, they determine if the character gains any Advantages or suffers any Threats as the result of the attempt.
The sheer number of possibilities provides opportunities to narrate truly memorable action sequences and scenes. Nearly anything can happen in the heat of the moment; even a single shot fired at an Imperial Star Destroyer might hit some critical component that results in its destruction.
Here's a longer form article from FFG explaining an encounter from the game.
More of a visual learner? Check out the below comic for an explanation of the core mechanics.
Where To Next?
There are loads of options to jump in and play. We recommend looking into picking up a beginner game (BG), either the Edge of the Empire BG, Age of Rebellion BG, Force and Destiny BG, or Force Awakens BG. These are shorthand versions of the game that are designed to guide you through the rules and get you started. They're also great resources to have as you transition into a core rulebook!
Looking to join a game? Join the Discord and check #looking-for-game and #campaign-postings. Once you find a game you'll need to create a character.
Other How to Play Resources:
Looking for more guidance? Check out Frequently Asked Questions.