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What are the major differences between West End Games' d6-based Star Wars TRPG 2nd Edition. and Star Wars TRPG 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded?

Is the latter seriously better? If so, why? Are the two compatible? Can they be used simultaneously, with mild moderation?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Rules Upgrade (transcribed from Star Wars Adventure Journal, issue 11) that WEG released would probably have the most complete listing of what actually changed. The blurb at the top states:

Aside from the extensive physical makeover of the book, as well as the inclusion of a much needed index, there were only a few changes to the game system.

With which I am inclined to agree. The actual differences are small, mostly clarifications and errata.

I personally prefer the R&E over 2ed because of the additional clarifications. I wouldn't try to use them together, as they are not strictly 'compatible' ( less so than D&D 3e to 3.5, which is comparatively a much larger revision ) because most things that are changed are changed in small or subtle ways. As for using other 2ed source books, i.e. not the core book, I have yet to run into any problems with it, though I tweaked a couple of the powers to bring them more in line with the others.

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+1 for saying what I was about to. It think it's worth nothing that R&E is a prettier, more usable book - the index, for a start. There's little difference as a game, but as a publication the R&E is much improved. –  Tynam Jun 16 '13 at 7:29
    
-1 for factual error. Very important mechanical changes in R&E. –  aramis May 26 at 15:51
    
I may be reading this wrong, but this seems to address 1e vs 2e, whereas the question is asking about 2e and the revised 2e... –  Jason_c_o May 26 at 18:32

Terminology

For simplicity, I'll refer to Revised as 2.5.

Changes

2.0E: Has full round defenses
2.5E: no full round defenses (excepting shields)

2.0E: Reactions replace range TN only if better
2.5E: Reactions replace range based TN, even if worse.

2.0E: Scaling is table based - 3 tables used.
2.5E: scaling is based upon a simple bonus to number of dice by scale difference.

2.0E: Wound levels: Stunned, Wounded, Incapacitated, Mortally Wounded, Dead
2.5E:Wound levels: Stunned, Wounded, Wounded Twice, Incapacitated, Mortally Wounded, Dead

2.0E: Combined actions increase a dice pool on a semi-log scale from a table
2.5E: Combined actions increase a dice pool by 1d per 3 characters involved.

Discussion

These changes are very important ones in combat.

The change to eliminate full round defenses means you can't be "evasive" when moving. Well, you can, but only narratively; mechanically, you cannot.

The use higher of 2E defenses (Dodge, Parry) means that dodges at long range are logical. Under 2.5E, since they're reaction only anyway, you only bother once hit. This impacts the narrative with most players, and in a manner that precludes the kind of caution seen in some scenes of both ESB and RotJ.

The scaling change is HUGE. It both radically affects the odds and has a much different feel in play. A 6d starfighter weapon versus a hull 4d capital ship is going to damage capital ships under 2.0E; the average roll will be 15 vs 14, and the flat spots 15-18 vs 12-16; this shows that it will usually damage the capital ship, as it will usually get 3 points on the die. Under 2.5E, the average rolls are 21 vs 35; the flat spots will be 18-24 vs 30-40; in 2.5E, damage to capital ships with anything less than massed fire is pretty hard to achieve. Moreover, combined with the wild die, capping does require more 6's for the same bonus, making the effect of wild dice less in 2.0E than in 2.5E.

The combined fire rules are table driven in 2.0, don't have a cap on the number commanded, and use a logarithmic scale (Using the 2/4/6/10/15/25/40/60 sequence, one die per step). This allows for mass battles to be played out, and covers coordination of fire of even entire batteries of weapons. The 2.5E caps the commanded at a number equal to the dice in Command; never having seen a skill in play exceed 12D, this limits severely the effects of combined actions. This limits the ability to blow huge ships with small vehicles severely; the linear bonus also means the maximum bonus is typically only 2D. It is no longer suitable for mass battle resolutions. At the allowed levels, it pretty much only drops the bonus by 1D.

The extra wound level is almost ignorable; it minorly increases survivability.

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