Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Edge of the Empire Character Creation Example

Hey Game Fans, we’re back with another look at Edge of the Empire, and today we’re going to put together a brand new character using the rules for Edge of the Empire.  This game focuses on the space between the Empire and the Rebellion, and tells the stories about people who are caught in the middle, trying to survive in an otherwise unfriendly universe.  What kind of a character would you want to play? A rougish smuggler?  A hardened bounty hunter?  A Gun for Hire?  What ideas are percolating in your brain, and how do you want to interact with the Star Wars Universe?  Let’s take a closer look at the mechanics of building a character, and dive into the game.

Quick reminder, you can catch the new show, Pencils and Parsecs on Friday nights on for the live show, or you can catch past episodes on Youtube at

Now then, let’s build a character worthy of being described as someone’s kind of scum.  

There are 10 steps to character creation, so let’s dive in and see how much ground we can cover.

Step 1.:  Determine Character Concept and Background.  

Now the character i have in mind for this build is an outsider, hailing from a species that doesn’t interact much with the galaxy at large.  Because of this, i’m leaning towards a character from the Outsider background, with a Failure of character as the hook that pulled them into the life living along the Edge of the Empire.  This background looks like:

Exiled from the Ascendancy after an incident he will not speak of, the Chiss Tech Specialist known as Marret is an oddity among his normally cool and reserved people.  With a legendary temper and a disposition that doesn’t sit well with most people, it’s only been his tech skills that have kept him out of a shallow pit or floating home in the void of space.

Step 2: Obligation

Continuing on with our character building exercise, i have to think about what kind of trouble could force a Chiss into the shadows, and how he interacts with the other things living on the Edge.  If i wanted, i could just roll the dice and see what options appear, but i have some ideas for this character.  I end up selecting the debt obligation, because Marret seems like a person who’d end up owing the wrong people money for something eventually.  Because Marret is intended for a starting party of four PCs, he has a starting Obligation Value of 10*  His Obligation write up looks like this:

Debt:  After one outbreak of violence too many, Marret was in serious trouble.  He’d almost destroyed an entire space station.  He was pretty sure the next steps he took would be out an airlock.  He was surprised when the lawyer showed up, and escorted him off the station.  It didn’t take long to figure out that the lawyer was a representative of the Black Sun.  Most of the equipment and ships he’d damaged belonged to them, and they were going to make him pay back the damages one ship, blaster or droid at a time.

Note 1:  Marret increases his starting obligation by 10 because he wants a little more cash to buy stuff.  

The Final way i’m going to write this down is Obligation 20: Debt, Black Sun

Step 3:  Select a Species

This step is easy, I’ve chosen Chiss. I record all of my racial attributes, the special abilities, my thresholds, and most importantly for a starting character, my starting experience point total. This is the pool of experience points i have to customize my character throughout the rest of the character creation process, and what let’s me make my character different from all the other tech specialists in the galaxy.

Starting Experience Points: 100

Step 4: Selecting a Career

This one’s fairly straightforward, and of the selections available, i’m going to build a techie for this character.  I’ve considered a lot of the potential options, but i’ve envisioned this character as a support character who keeps the ships and gear running for other people, and the most efficient way to build that character is Technician.   For my four starting skills, i select Computers, Mechanics, Perception and Piloting: Planetary.  (I also noted the rest of my career skills on the character sheet).  

Step 5:  Selecting a Specialization

Of the three starting specializations for the Technician, i’ve settled into Mechanic.  I like the concept and the ideas for mechanic, and i make that selection.  I add the Mechanic’s additional career skills to my list, and add an additional point in Mechanics and Piloting: Space.

Step 6: Invest Experience Points

Now i’ve got 100 experience points to customize my character, and the first thing i do is increase Intelligence to 4.  This costs me 40 of my starting experience points.  I also want to unlock the Outlaw Tech Specialization, which costs me 20 more starting experience points.  With 40 experience points left, i think it’s time to pick up a couple of skills and maybe a talent or two.  I increase my Computers Skill to 2 ranks for 10 experience, and Astrogation to 2 ranks for 10 more.  This leaves me with 20 experience points to pick up talents from the Outlaw Tech and Mechanic Trees.  From the trees, i grab Gearhead for 5, (mechanic), Fine Tuning for 5 (Mechanic), Tinkerer for 5, (Outlaw Tech), and Utinni! For 5 (Outlaw Tech).  Now I’ve spent my starting 100 experience points, and am ready to move to the next step.  

Step 7: Derived Values

As we covered in our reading a character sheet article, there are four derived values we need to determine.  Soak Value is currently a 0, because we didn’t pick a race with a natural armor value.  Strain Threshold and Wound Threshold are both 12 (10 + relevant statistic).  Finally, Defense Value for both melee and ranged is a 0 (again, no special armor to make that better).  This might change in a moment, but i consider it unlikely that Marret is going to pick up heavy armor.  

Step 8:  Motivations

Motivations are different from Obligations in that they are intrinsic motivators that characters have.  Some have ambitions, some have causes, some have a variety of things.  Marret has a heavy case of Greed, but it’s purpose driven Greed.  He knows he doesn’t get along well with anyone but droids, and eventually hopes to have enough credits to buy his way out from under the Black Sun and open his own shop/station where he only has to deal with droids and gear.  

Step 9:  Gear and Equipment

The Star Wars Universe is full of exciting equipment and things to spend money on.  Marret is a relatively light packer, and only has the following equipment:  

Light Blaster Pistol
Heavy Clothing (Increases our Soak Value to 1)
Handheld Comm Link
Emergency Repair Patches (4)
Fusion Lantern
Tool Kit
Utility Belt

This cost him a total of 1,025 credits, leaving him with 1,975 credits left.  

Step 10:  Select a Starting Starship

This is a group decision, but Marret’s personal choice would be for a YT-1300 transport to get around the galaxy and holding his droid and parts and stuff.  

And that’s putting a character together for Edge of the Empire.  We’re going to put up a link to our example character, and put up the form fillable sheet we used to put the character together.  If you guys are interested, we may put in two or three other characters that fill out the rest of this group.   

So what would you like to see next?  A Breakdown of the careers, a look at the species, or another example character?  

Let us know, and we’ll see what we can put together for you wonderful people.

Game On, Game Fans

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