Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Colonist Career for Edge of the Empire (Townsfolk go on adventures too)

Following up from last week, we’re going to take a bit of a deeper dive into the specific careers that you can pick up for Edge of the Empire. In alphabetical order, (having done the cool cat bounty hunters) today we pick up with the Colonist.  Colonists are an interesting component of life in Edge of the Empire, and the Outer Rim as a whole.  There are a million little out of the way places on the edges of space, and you can be sure that somewhere, someone is looking to make one of those places home.  

The Colonist has a mind for finding their place and making the best out of the situations that they find themselves in.  Hardworking folk, Colonists are often the bedrock of a given community in Edge of the Empire.  Colonists have a core skill set that let’s them take many different approaches to problem solving, and their specializations can be very, very handy at keeping a settlement up and running.  

What this means in terms of the Edge of the Empire game is that there is opportunity everywhere for folks with the right skills to be in the right place at the right time. Colonists fill a role for a variety of expert roles that don’t fall into other roles.  You may not need a Colonist in your adventuring group, but you might be surprised at how often they help out.


The Colonist has 8 career skills that collectively represent the professional knowledge that all Colonists should have.  Those skills are:
  • Charm
  • Deception
  • Knowledge (Core Worlds)
  • Knowledge (Education)
  • Knowledge (Lore)
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Streetwise

These skills clue us in to expect that Colonists are well equipped to handle social interactions and are usually an expert on at least one topic of interest.  Selecting the right skills can focus your character into an expert trader, a negotiator, or a teacher.  This is not a combat heavy character career, but it isn’t intended to be.  It’s expertise lies in other fields of endeavor.

(Remember, when you build your character and select the Bounty Hunter Career, you gain a free rank in four of these skills)

The Colonist’s Role

The Colonist is a social expert who likely has specific knowledge masteries.  Conceptually, a Colonist is the character most likely to be able to look at a situation and find ways to either take advantage of the situation, or improve the circumstances of the people involved.  Colonists tend towards being big picture thinkers, and look to take advantage when they can.

The Colonist is exceptional at handling social interaction challenges.  They can cover every single social interaction aside from intimidation (which is what Bounty Hunters and Hired Guns are really for) for a group.  This an excellent niche for the Colonist to take over and make their own, and they can really contribute a lot to the economic well being of a group of experts.  

How does this career interact with a group of characters in Edge of the Empire?  The Colonist by itself can handle mercantile and social challenges and backup other characters.  Alternatively, the Colonist can take over as an expert with the knowledge skills available.  This expert scholar version of the Colonist can be very handy at finding leads and other background information.  

Colonist Specializations

There are three Colonist Specializations offered in the Edge of the Empire core book.  Like other games that offer specializations or archetypes, these are primarily intended to strengthen an existing concept, or push the core career in a slightly different direction.  The three specializations presented are:

  • The Doctor
  • The Politico
  • The Scholar

Remember, Each Specialization offers four additional career skills, (1 free rank in two of those skills) and access to a talent tree linked to that specialization.  Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these.

The Doctor

Life in the Outer Rim can be exceedingly dangerous.  Between the inherent dangers of uncivilized worlds, hostile native flora and fauna, and the jerks with Blasters, folks get hurt a lot.  The Doctor specialization is here to remedy the ills of the world and give everyone a chance to rest and heal before all sorts of problems show back up.   Don’t overlook the need for a healer in a game where you can be killed by a lot of things.  

The Doctor specialization adds Cool, Knowledge (Education), Medicine, and Resilience to the list of career skills for bounty hunters, and they will gain a free rank in two of those skills if this is your starting specialization.  This is one of the ways that a character can start with two ranks in Knowledge (Education) that come up every so often, if the Doctor puts a free rank from Colonist and a free rank from Doctor into it.  The talent tree for Doctor is focused on keeping people awake and active during the fight, and the best ways to get them back among the living after the fight’s over.  

The Politico

The Politico accepts the communication is the key to getting ahead in the universe, and makes it their singular pursuit. The Politico has a plan in mind, and usually a few back ups to achieve the ends they have in mind.  These folks are the ones you want negotiating the new contract or talking the scruffy looking nerf herder out of trying to marry your offspring.  

The Politico specialization adds Charm, Coercion, Deception, and Knowledge (Core Worlds) to the Colonist’s career skills (remember, you get a free rank in two of those if this is your starting specialization)..  This gives the Politico the option to double down on three of the Colonist’s core skills, while potentially adding Coercion to the mix.    The talent tree for Politico focuses on removing stumbling blocks from social tasks and giving them every edge they can get in the social arena.

The Scholar

The other primary facet of the Colonist is a wide base of knowledge skills.  The Scholar career takes this as its personal fiefdom and excels at it.  If you need an expert on ancient customs from a dead civilization, your best bet is a Scholar.  The people who know things can be really handy in Edge of the Empire, so if you want to be prepared, grab a Scholar, or know how to get a hold of one.  

The Scholar specialization adds Knowledge (Outer Rim),Knowledge (Underworld), Knowledge (Xenology), and Perception to the career skills offered by the Colonist, and you get a free rank in two of these skills if this is your starting specialization.  The Scholar’s talent tree offers a variety of options that improve the results of the Scholar’s knowledge base, and gives them some surprising versatility in other arenas.  

Colonist Stories

I always feel the urge to describe Star Wars and its sprawling universe as one of the greatest westerns of the genre.  It’s filled with tiny towns (independent worlds) who are just trying to survive in a hostile universe.  There are bandits, criminals, oppressive governments, and a host of other things that are actively trying to influence the larger universe around them.  In that context, there are a lot of interesting stories that you can tell with a plucky townsfolk who knows just enough to get into some serious trouble.  The ones offered by the book are fairly straightforward ideas that you can probably work something out with.  Everyone has their own reason for leaving home, but here are some interesting options.  

  • Knowledge:  The pursuit of knowledge can be a powerful motivator for a character in any universe.  Digging into lost (or more dangerously, banned) knowledge can drive a character out of their safe homes and push them into the Outer Rim.  
  • Power: Being the person in charge can motivate a person to do a lot of crazy/dangerous things.  The Core and the interior of the galaxy are tightly regulated and the Empire is a stifling force of governance.  The Outer Rim offers a variety of ways for an enterprising sentient to carve out a place.  
  • Revolution:  The Star Wars universe is in a fairly constant state of turmoil and crisis.  The Rebel Alliance is striking blows against the Galactic Empire, and the reprisals are brutal.  Escaping the conflict may not be enough for some, and eventually, someone may have to overthrow the existing government.  For whatever reason, treason may be afoot.  

Far Horizons

Now if you’ve got some more questions or ideas about putting together a Colonist character, Fantasy Flight Games has got you covered with Far Horizons  .  Featuring new species, specializations, and a host of new equipment options, this book also takes you into the life of a Colonist and some interesting ways to maximize your fun, and maybe get yourself a Colony of your own.

Game on, Game Fans.  

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