Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Just what Planet are you from? (A Species Discussion for Star Wars: Edge of the Empire)

Hey Game Fans, we’re back for another Wednesday write up regarding one of our favorite things, Star Wars.  We’re going to further refine that discussion with a chat about Edge of the Empire, Fantasy Flight Games’s entry into the Star Wars Role-playing Game.  One of the most important aspects of the Star Wars Universe to us has always been the dizzying array of potential species and cultures represented in the setting.  From the first time we got a look at the Mos Eisley cantina and the swath of alien species operating inside of it, it was clear to me that the Star Wars universe took a wide view at a lot of different cultures and ideas about what sentient creatures were, and how they could interact with each other.  

The various Star Wars RPGS over the years have embraced this diversity by enabling a player to make a character from an assortment of alien species.  Edge of the Empire (and the FFG line of RPG supplements) continues this fine tradition, and gives a player the choice of one of eight species (Bothan, Droid, Gand, Human, Rodian, Twi’lek, Trandoshan and Wookie) in the core book.  Further, each supplement has added additional Species, which means that most players should be able to find a species for the character they are looking for.

From a character building standpoint, a species overs two sets of benefits.  First it offers a cultural basis for the character to either conform to or rebel against.  Deciding which way your character operates and how they fit into their own culture can produce interesting role-playing ideas and options for things to do in game, and can help you shape some decisions.  Secondly, it offers Game statistics that help you play the mechanical side of your character.  Knowing how strong, or how smart your character should be is extremely helpful and it helps you build your character from a gameplay perspective.  Let’s take a bit of a closer look at the write up of a species and how the game statistics interact.

Species Name

Pretty easy, this is what the species is referred to by the galaxy at large.  


This will tell you what a race looks like, any physical or mental advantages based off of their internal makeup, and any other odd quirks, like they breathe methane.  


This is a quick rundown of the societal aspects of a particular species and how they interact with each other, and the galaxy as a whole.  This will give you a rough idea of whether or not you’re coming from a species full of friendly traders, quiet craftsfolk, or bloodthirsty, face breaking conquer monsters.  


This will tell you where your species is from, and it usually also includes major colonies or other areas where they are frequently encountered.


Language includes the specific language the species is known for, and any other forms of nonverbal communication that they are capable of using.  

Life on the Fringe

Some species have natural inclinations towards careers and aptitudes for specific jobs.  This section will give a new player an idea of where members of a given species are likely to be found in the Edge of the Empire pool of careers.  

Species Abilities

Each Species has a basic level of ability in each of the six abilities.  This represents the species average, and forms the starting point for character advancement and improvement.  From a gameplay standpoint, this is a critical resource for building your character, it helps you identify areas of strength and weakness in the character you’re putting together, and it can help you match up a species with a concept.  

Wound Threshold, Strain Threshold

These are the starting threshold values for resisting physical and mental abuse, and are a good measure of a species baseline tolerance for trauma.  

Starting Experience Points

When putting a character together for Edge of the Empire, every character gets a starting pool of experience points to customize and specialize their character.  Most species have 100 starting experience points, but some have slightly different values.  

Special Ability

Some species have interesting or otherwise quirky abilities like claws, or telepathy, or a host of other cool or unusual things.  These are listed as separate special abilities with an explanation of how they work during gameplay.


Each species has a unique perspective and role in the broader Star Wars galaxy.  Figuring out the differences between species can give you an interesting idea for roleplaying choices and designing interesting characters for your game of Edge of the Empire or any of its siblings.  The sibling games also offer additional species options for you game, so check out the other books and see what choices are around for your gaming experience.  

We’ll take a look at careers next week, and maybe we might have another example character build for you to look at while we’re at it.  Until then Game Fans.

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

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