I got my hands on the revised edition of Star Wars d20 this week, and after paging through it quickly I’m fairly impressed. The book’s seen some pretty massive overhauling, most particularly in its vehicle and starship combat sections. In the earlier edition, such combat was done abstractly, so abstractly that after reading a page or two I promptly skipped onto something I might actually use in my game.
This time around, they’re using something more along the lines of person-to-person combat (although obviously scaled up considerably). I’ve only glanced at it, but the fact that there are diagrams depicting ships and vehicles moving from square to square (rather than text saying “imagine this…”) is a good sign.
Changes to the character classes are less dramatic, and consist primarily of tweaks that give each class more abilities sooner. The scoundrel class has been overhauled to make it more true to the series. Now the class has an expanded luck ability — allowing it to re-roll an attack, skill check or other die roll up to 4x per day (granted, that’s at 18th level). Previously, the character could only ever do it once (and does that sound like Han Solo to you?
The combat system now plays up attacks of opportunity — how much I can’t say yet because I haven’t read the chapter, but anything would be an improvement (I’ve heard quite a few Star Wars d20 fans complaining about that one — almost as many as who complained about the atrocious space combat system).
The book itself has far more heft to it — the original had 318 pages; the new one has 381. The new edition also clearly denotes at the beginning what’s changed (and it seems every chapter has some chances). The extra pages partly reflect an added emphasis on Episode II, as well as more information in general about the Star Wars universe. The overall effect is to down play the Phantom Menace, which is a good thing in my book. I must say that I’m a lot more excited about playing Star Wars d20 after leaving through this book than I was after actually reading the first one.