Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Skills for Edge of the Empire (Everybody has Mad ones)

Hey Folks, we’re back with another article on one of our favorite games, Edge of the Empire, from Fantasy Flight Games.  This fun Role-playing game encapsulates the experience of living on the fringes of civilized space in the Star Wars Universe, and you can take on the role of a Smuggler, or a Technician, or a Bounty Hunter (or some other choices we’ve talked about before).  If you’d like to see what this game looks like (how it’s played) check out the amazing folks at Hyper RPGs Pencils and Parsecs show.  You can catch them live on Friday nights after Death from Above on Twitch, or catch them on Youtube after the fact at  

Today we’re going to look at one of the specific components that every character has, and sort of go over what they do and how they work.  Today we’re going to talk about skills, and how they work in Edge of the Empire.  So Buckle in, grab your funny dice, and let’s get started.  

Skill types

Skills fall into one of three primary categories.  Knowledge skills represent information that a character has easy access to/remembers/can draw on to help them figure things out.  Combat Skills represent a character’s training in a variety of weapons and other means of inflicting harm on other things.  General skills represent a character’s ability to interact with the Universe around them in unusual or surprising ways.  Let’s break down each category, and a very brief description of the skills in each category.

Knowledge Skills

Knowledge skills represent the gap between what a player knows and what their character probably should know.  They are basically types of information that a person who’s been either studying a topic or performing a job would be expected to know that a player realistically wouldn’t be able to duplicate.  I as a player have no idea where to look for spice traders on Nar Shadda, for example.  My Character, Mister Smuggles (You better not steal this internet) has had a lot of practice dealing with the underworld, and has a body of knowledge that would tell him where to go looking for those folks.  Let’s take a look at the Knowledge Skills.

Knowledge (Core Worlds)  [Intellect]

The Core Worlds are a dense region of occupied worlds that form the center of the Star Wars Galaxy.  These worlds represent the peak of galactic civilization and are centers of influence, wealth, and power.  Being able to identify culturally significant aspects of specific worlds, and even the major worlds themselves fall under this knowledge.

Knowledge (Education) [Intellect]

Education represents a variety of topics and areas of thought that are covered in formal education settings from the earliest days of pre-school to post-doctoral studies at the university level.  This Skill covers a lot of bases for characters because a lot of things that require a formal education are grouped together in a single skill selection.  

Knowledge (Lore) [Intellect]

Lore covers the folklore, myths, and shared stories that are commonly accepted by the Galaxy, but can’t be proven with science.  Lost worlds, Giant Space Monsters, and a host of other interesting ideas are covered by Lore.  If you want to be able to think of an interesting story to scare the children into behaving, this is your jam.  

Knowledge (Outer Rim) [Intellect]

The Outer Rim is the frontier of known space.  Forming a circle that surrounds the galactic core, the Outer Rim is the most recent region colonized (and still being colonized) by the citizens of the galactic core.  This area of knowledge represents the location and make up of these worlds, their populations, and key areas of interest.  

Knowledge (Underworld) [Intellect]

Edge of the Empire characters thrive in the shadows that the Empire casts.  Knowing where to find things and people who operate in those shadows can be a key difference in making enough money to settle down and by that bar, or ending up in a cell.  This is a key skill for at least one member of every Edge of the Empire crew.  

Knowledge (Xenology) [Intellect]

Did we mention that one of the hallmarks of Star Wars has been its amazing diversity of alien life forms?  There are thousands of aliens in the Galaxy, and being able to differentiate a Barabel from a Duros is a key to having successful encounters in a galaxy full of interesting and unique life forms.  

Combat Skills

The Combat skills work a little bit differently from the Knowledge Skills.  Each one represents a different expertise in combat, and the combat rules (which we’ll cover eventually) break down how these skills work.  We’re going over them briefly to describe the weapons/styles of combat covered.  

Brawl (Brawn)

Brawl covers unarmed combat and combat with natural weapons.  

Gunnery (Agility)

Gunnery covers vehicular and starship mounted weaponry and other weapons that are impractically large to carry.

Melee (Brawn)

Melee covers the use of close ranged weapons like swords, knives, and axes.

Ranged (Heavy) [Agility]

Ranged (heavy) covers most two handed ranged weapons that require more training than simpler lighter weapons.  Rifles, carbines, and a host of other two handed ranged weapons are covered by this skill

Ranged (Light) [Agility]

Ranged (light) covers small ranged weapons that are easy to use with one hand.  Pistols, hold out pistols, Sporting pistols all fall under this key.  

General Skills

These are the skills of daily living for a majority of the galaxy.  They represent specific mechanisms to interact with the machinery of the galaxy, and ways to interact with other people.  There are a lot of these, so we’re going to do very brief descriptions so you can see what they’re about.  

Astrogation (intellect)

Astrogation is stellar navigation, and used to plot hyperspace jumps between star systems.  

Athletics (Brawn)

Athletics covers running, hiking, climbing, swimming, jumping or a host of similar physical activities.

Charm (Presence)

Charm is the skill of gently persuading people to provide help or assistance without using hard lies.  

Coercion (Willpower)

This is the skill of firmly persuading people to do what you want them to do through implied or stated threats.  

Computers (Intellect)

This is the skill of interacting with computers, either accessing databases, programming droids, or a host of similar actions.

Cool (Presence)

Cool is the skill of maintaining composure and critical thinking capability under stress.

Coordination (Agility)

Coordination is the skill typically associated with balance and acrobatics.  

Deception (Cunning)

Deception is the skill used for lying or otherwise manipulating people through not truths.  

Discipline (Willpower)

Discipline is the skill best associated with resisting impulses and managing reactions to terror.

Leadership (Presence)

Leadership is the skill for determining the right course of action in a given situation and inspiring your allies to do it.

Mechanics (Intellect)

Mechanics is the skill used to build, enhance, or repair physical objects like starships, droids, or speeders.

Medicine (Intellect)

Medicine is the skill used to treat injuries and conditions for living creatures.

Negotiation (Presence)

Negotiation is the skill that covers commercial transactions and other goods for services interactions.

Perception (Cunning)

Perception is the skill of noticing things that are out of place in a given situation.

PIloting (Planetary) and (Space) [Agility]

These skills govern the operation of either planetary vehicles or starships, depending on the specialization.

Resilience (Brawn)
Resilience is the skill at persevering through unbelievable physical stressors and carrying on with the mission.

Skullduggery (Cunning)

Skullduggery is a general skill encompassing many smaller criminal skills.  Picking locks or pockets are a few of the potential uses of this skill.

Stealth (Agility)

Stealth is the skill that covers performing activities without being detected.

Streetwise (Cunning)

Streetwise is the practical skill to conduct business in unsavory parts of the galaxy.

Survival (Cunning)

Survival is the skill that covers operating in wild/untamed areas and being able to survive the environmental hazards and find food/water/shelter.

Vigilance (Willpower)

Vigilance is the skill of maintaining alert awareness for extended periods of time.

Choosing Skills

Now i always encourage a group of players to get together and build their characters together.  First, it helps you establish a backstory and bounce ideas off of each other.  Second, it allows each player to select their own role within the group so that everyone has a chance to shine.  Doing this means that as a group you can select the skills you want to prioritize.  This can encourage players to select careers and specializations for their characters that feature these skills heavily.  That means you should have the skills you need to succeed at the ready when game time starts.  

That’s our article on Edge of the Empire for today, if you’re looking for something specific, let me know and we’ll see what we can put together.  Game On, Game Fans.  

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