Star Wars special: Character creation – Edge of the Empire

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I’m starting a series of posts centered in everything Star Wars which will last until the premiere of The Force Awakens. As first article, a character creation example for Edge of the Empire, from publisher Fantasy Flight Games, designed by  Jay Little, Sam Stewart, Andrew Fischer and Tim Flanders.

Edge of the Empire focuses on characters out of the strictly legal, who would rather avoid cumbersome imperial encounters or simply people who want to explore unknown planets. There are no options for the star war itself (these will appear in Age of Rebellion) or for Jedi characters (these will appear in Force and Destiny).

The game uses special die. Creation is point-based, being able to obtain more points getting a bigger Obligation (like owing more money to a Hutt).

I’ll try something original. For example, a character based on Han Solo: a smuggler with what is hard to say if it’s good or bad luck.

Step 1: Determine Character Concept and Background

I have already set my concept. The background has no mechanic effect. From those suggested, I think he comes from a medium class environment, which he left because it was too boring.

Step 2: Determine initial Obligation

The Obligation is some kind of personal debt the character has towards someone. You can choose one, roll to get one at random, or create a new one. I choose to roll to get mine, and my Obligation is towards my Family.

The magnitude of the Obligation depends on the number of players. I go ahead with the assumption of creating this character for a four player game, so my Obligation has an initial value of 10. I can make it bigger in exchange of extra Experience and/or Credits. Right now I’ll leave as it is.

Step 3: Selecting a species

There are eight different species in Edge of the Empire: Bothan, Droid, Gand, Human, Rodian, Trandoshan, Twi’lek and Wookie. I’m going to be a Rodian. This gives me the following abilities: Brawn 2Agility 3Intellect 2Cunning 2Willpower 1Presence 2. My Wound Threshold is 10+Brawn. My Strain Threshold is 10+Willpower. My Starting Experience is 100. Also, I start with rank in Survival, and 1 rank in the Expert Tracker talent.

Step 4: Choosing a career

The character’s career will never change once chosen. Options in Edge of the Empire are: Bounty Hunter, Colonist, Explorer, Hired Gun, Smuggler, and Technician.

I know I want to be a Smuggler. This gives me the following core skills: Coordination, Deception, Knowledge (Underworld), Perception, Piloting (Space), Skulduggery, Streetwise, and Vigilance. I automatically have 1 rank in four of these skills, and all of them will be cheaper for me to improve. I choose having 1 rank in Piloting (Space), Deception, Knowledge (Underworld), and Vigilance.

Step 5: Choosing initial specialization

Each career has several specializations. You start with one, but can buy access to more later. As a smuggler, I can be a Pilot, a Scoundrel or a Thief.

I go straight to Scoundrel. This gives me the following additional career skills: Charm, Cool, Deception, and Ranged (Light). I can give 1 rank to two of these skills, and  choose Ranged (Light) and Charm.

Step 6: Invest experience points

This is the thick of the creation. With my 100 XP I can:

  • Improve my characteristics, paying 10 x new value XP.
  • Improve skills, paying 5 x new value XP (+5 XP if it is not a career skill for me).
  • Buy talents, with a cost depending of their situation on my specialization talent tree.
  • Buy access to a new specialization, so I can buy its talents and get a discount in its skills.

These are my choices:

  • I buy the specialization Pilot (20 XP). It adds AstrogationGunnery and Piloting (Planetary) to my career skills.
  • Pilot talent: Skilled Jockey (5 XP)
  • Scoundrel talent: Black Market Contacts (5 XP)
  • Scoundrel talent: Quick Draw (5 XP)
  • Scoundrel talent: Convincing Demeanor (5 XP)
  • Scoundrel talent: Rapid Reaction (5 XP)
  • Raise Agility to 4 (40 XP)
  • Raise Piloting (Space) to 2 (10 XP)
  • Raise Ranged (Light) to 2 (10 XP)
  • Raise Astrogation to 1 (5 XP)

I have spent 110 XP; so to get the 10 extra points I need I raise my Obligation to 20.

Step 7: Determining derived attributes

Just some values we have to calculate now:

  • Wound Threshold: 12
  • Strain Threshold: 11
  • Defense: 0
  • Soak: 2 (my Brawn)

Step 8: Determine motivations

The motivation is what drives the character forward. I’m just going to roll randomly to get mine.

My motivation is Relationship with Former Nemesis. Things are patched between us, but there is still a certain rivalry.

Step 9: Gear and appearance

I have 500 credits to buy my initial gear. I could get more getting a bigger Obligation, but I have already done that to get more XP.

I buy: Blaster Pistol (400 cr); Comm Link hand-held (25 cr); Macrobinoculars (75 cr).

Now I get 1d100 cr to start the game with (which I can not spend before playing). I roll and get only 18 cr. I’m almost broke.

Step 10: Selecting a ship

Finally, the player’s group select together a ship. There is the YT-1300 Light Corellian Freighter, so that’s my choice.

Complete Character

Jonas Lone, rodian smuggler

Obligation: Family 20

Motivation: Relationship with former nemesis

Characteristics:

  • Brawn 2
  • Agility 4
  • Intellect 2
  • Cunning 2
  • Willpower 1
  • Presence 2

Derived:

  • Wound Threshold 12
  • Strain Threshold 11
  • XP 0
  • Defense 0
  • Soak 2

Specializations:

  • Scoundrel
  • Pilot

Skills:

  • Skulduggery 0 (c)
  • Vigilance 1 (c)
  • Knowledge (Underworld) 1 (c)
  • Streetwise 0 (c)
  • Coordination 0 (c)
  • Deception 1 (c)
  • Perception 0 (c)
  • Piloting (Space) 2 (c)
  • Survival 1
  • Ranged (Light) 2 (c)
  • Charm 1 (c)
  • Cool 0 (c)
  • Gunnery 0 (c)
  • Astrogation 1 (c)
  • Piloting (Planetary) 0 (c)

Talents:

  • Expert Tracker 1
  • Skilled Jockey 1 
  • Black Market Contacts 1
  • Quick Draw 1
  • Convincing Demeanor 1
  • Rapid Reaction 1

Gear:

  • Blaster Pistol
  • Hand-held comm link
  • Macrobinoculars
  • 18 cr.