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What are the mechanical differences between Star Wars Revised Edition and Star Wars Saga Edition? Are there any benefits in playing one over the other?

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I was not completely pleased with either version, so I hybrid the two and threw in a few house rules to make the game all around better, imo. – user3074 Feb 6 '12 at 23:25
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The Wikipedia article has a lot of detail on this subject, but here are some of the highlights (cribbed directly from the article):

  • Standard hit points have replaced the former Wounds/Vitality system. Characters also have a Condition Track which measures how much they are currently impaired.
  • The number of character classes have been reduced to five — Jedi, Noble, Scoundrel, Scout and Soldier. Each class progresses along "character trees" similar to the d20 Modern system. Prestige Classes are still available, but they each also have one or more talent trees.
  • Virtually all attacks and offensive powers now require a roll against one of three defenses — Reflex Defense, Fortitude Defense, or Will Defense.
  • Skill points have been eliminated. Characters have a number of "trained" skills they can pick based on their class and Intelligence bonus. Some skills have been combined, integrated, or simplified.
  • Force sensitive characters now have a single "Use the Force" skill. Force users can also select Talents related to the Force, and prestige classes grant Force Techniques and Force Secrets which further improve their ability to use the Force.
  • The game includes an optional Destiny system. Characters receive "Destiny Points" which are more powerful than Force Points.
  • Multiple per-turn attacks are weaker and now require feats to attain.
  • Rules and stats for NPCs have been streamlined. There is only one non-heroic class for NPC characters. Non-sentient creatures in the game use the "Beast" class.
  • Alien races and classes now rarely grant bonuses to skill checks; instead they often allow a reroll of the check under particular circumstances.
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D&D players, note that some of these changes (particularly the skill system and more mobile combat) were precursors of D&D 4 design. – Tynam Feb 7 '12 at 11:00
@Tynam Indeed, they've said that SAGA was a testing ground for some of the concepts in DnD4e. – SnakeDr68 Feb 7 '12 at 15:20

James Gillen's review of the SAGA edition on is a quite thorough and comparative piece. (SAGA seems better, imo.)

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