We’ve all had the dream of running through the darkened alleyways of a backwater planet, fleeing laser pistol fire while clutching the payload tight to your chest. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire gives you the keys to the Millenium Falcon, with enough room for a co-pilot.. or five. (depending on how brave your Game Master is!) If you’re ready for high-octane space adventures in the Outer Rim, this handy guide will tell you all you need to know to engage your hyperdrive and soar into the action!
On a dust bowl little planet, where double suns gleam down like the watchful eyes of an old, vengeful god, there is a trading outpost. It is huddled by a small town, clustered together like the last teeth in a Rancor’s maw, aged from years of chewing up travelers and spitting them out. Here is where you will trade the last of your credits for a cargo load that could make you rich - or could cost years off your life, if you’re caught by the Empire.
Here is where you play Edge of the Empire.
If you have ever wanted to scuttle the dark underbelly of the Star Wars universe, edge through the back door bars on Coruscant or high tail across the rooftops of a marketplace in Tatooine, Edge of the Empire is the game for you. Heavy obligations rest on the shoulders of the bounty hunters, scoundrels and miscreants that live by their own code at the edge of the known Galaxy. Can you rough your way alongside them, or fall, one of the thousand unknown names to be crossed off and left in the dust? Let's dive into the kind of characters you can make, and the kind of specializations that let them thrive against all odds.
There are six unique careers to choose from within Edge of the Empire, and what makes these careers one-of-a-kind are their layered specializations. While you may be a Smuggler by trade, within this career path you can choose the Pilot, Thief, or Scoundrel specialization. These specific types of specialization allow precise control over the skills and talents your character may possess. You can craft a disgraced Colonist from the Core Worlds trying to bring law and order to the Outer Rim through your political skills, or Bounty Hunter assassin, ready for the next target before them. All these characters have a reason they skirt on the edges of society - and the skills to match.
Edge of the Empire uses a dice system which functions on two layers, perfectly marrying its mechanical components and narrative complexity of the dangerous world your characters inhabit. There are seven unique dice, collected into dice pools which help determine not only the outcome of a situation, but surrounding effects. If you’ve played the Fate system before, you may see similarities to the way this can effect encounters both mechanically and narratively - injecting fraught tension and roleplaying opportunities for both players and Game Masters alike.
Rolling well on these dice can give additional bonuses to a situation (as decided by your Game Master), such as saving the cargo on a heist mission, and finding additional leads to missing informant. Alternatively, they can add layers to failure, such as rolling a threat symbol; this will incur a threat, such as a terminal taking longer to hack, or vent doors in a ship beginning to close. Rolling from dice pools which include positive boosts (from your proficiency, boost and ability dice) and negative boosts (such as set back, difficulty and challenge dice) help create a more nuanced play experience with tangible in-game outcomes for mixed results. Positive outcomes can still have unique challenges and tripped alarms, while negative outcomes may still include the benefit of your crew not dying (immediately - no promises on how long that may last, though!).
This is just a small taste of the galaxy waiting to be explored. If you want to blast off at light speed, you can pick up the Star Wars Edge of the Empire Beginner Game, a complete standalone experience perfect for 3 to 5 players, or if you’re ready for something a little more advanced, pick up the Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook!