Ken has a review of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas up at Nuketown. This guide to the galaxy is packed with background information, maps, and timelines; it became a defacto source book during our KOTOR campaign.
Scavenger’s Guide to Droids is the definitive droid sourcebook for Star Wars: Saga Edition, introducing a new chassis-based system for creating droids, a new streamlined “protocol” format that lets players run droids as equipment rather than NPCs, new droid manufacturing traits and personality quirks and a 96 page codex containing dozens of droids.
The Droid Codex, with its myriad combat, technical and utility droids, makes it tremendous resource for game masters, particularly for those running Clone Wars or other droid-heavy campaigns. This is easily the most statblock-heavy book since Threats of the Galaxy, which may makeScavenger’s Guide to Droids less essential for players. Those who enjoy playing droids will find plenty of new options for their characters, and tech specialist types should appreciate how the protocol format allows them to put their creations to work, but even they may be disappointed by how much of the book has been dedicated to the codex.
Wizards of the Coast has released the Galaxy at War source book just in time for our Star Wars campaign to plunge into the Mandalorian Wars. You can read my review of the book at GameCryer.com.
It’s a good book, and I’ll so far as to say it’s must-have book for anyone running a war-based campaign. There’s good advice on running such games, a new martial artist prestige class (and a host of feats and talents that go along with it), mini adventures, a short campaign, and my favorite part, a Bases and Battlestations section that’s sure to shave hours off your game prep.
My review of the Rebellion Era Campaign Guide for Star Wars: Saga Edition is up at GameCryer.com. I was skeptical of this source book — did we really need a source book for an era that’s been covered exceedingly well in a half-dozen previous source books? The answer is “no … but there’s good stuff here regardless.”
They had to dig through the depths of Star Wars canon to come up with new Rebellion era content, but what I liked most about the book (and what’s seen the most use in my campaign) are the new Background and Species Feats mechanics.
My review of the Star Wars: Legacy Era Campaign Guide is up at GameCryer.com. As I mentioned in the review, the Legacy Era is a real hodgepodge of Star Wars tropes, species, technology and heroes. I was skeptical about it at first — did we need yet another Sith Empire? Did the Jedi need to be extinguished again? But as I’ve read through the graphic novels and reviewed this campaign guide, I came to the conclusion that the answer is a “yes”.
Legacy is a great time period for a sandbox-style game where you want to be able to draw on an entire galaxy’s worth of stuff. It’s perfect for those who find themselves unable to commit to any one era when running a game, as well as those who don’t want to muck about with continuity. Check out the review or buy the book on Amazon.com.
What I liked best about The Clone Wars Campaign Guide are its combat options, specifically its new squad, mass combat and follower subsystems. As I mention in the review, The Clone Wars mass combat system is the first d20 rule set that I felt really worked at the character and army level.
We’ve tried a bunch of options, from D&D 2nd Edition’s Battle System to Malhavoc’s Cry Havoc to a home-brew mass combat system, and none of them did a good job of really integrating heroes into combat. This did.
My review of the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide is up on Nuketown. As you might imagine, this is an important book for our KOTOR campaign; we could have run the game without it, but it would have been a lot harder. The single best aspect of the book is its comprehensive history of the time peroid; there’s a lot there scattered through a dozen comic books and two video games, so its very useful to have a single campaign guide that pulls everything together.
While not directly related to Star Wars, this blog post by campaign member Damon does a good job of why our gaming group ended up playing Saga Edition instead of D&D 4th Edition. Not every Blackrazor agreed with him, but I’d say he speaks for about half the group, and I think even those of us who liked 4E agree with at least some of what he says here.