View Full Version : Last Nail in Star Wars d20's Coffin

25 August 2005, 09:38 AM
Well alas poor Star Wars d20 we hardly knew ye. As the main page of the SWRPGNetwork says and corroborated by several friends who attended GenCon the Star Wars d20 RPG is dead in all but name. WotC has refused to just come out and say it because as long as they support it on the website with crappy "Use your Star Wars Miniatures in your Star Wars Role Playing Game" articles they can keep the RPG license. This only further feeds my loathing of this company that has done so much damage to a game that I love.

West End Games held the license during the times when there were no plans for more movies and all fans could hope for were expanded universe novels, comic books and video games. WEG created demand for the game and built a fan base for Star Wars in a time when the license was not as attractive as it is now. Sadly WEG hit hard times just before Lucas announces the new movies and they lost the license. Then came Wizards of the Coast. The bought the license when it was more popular than it has ever been and squandered it to make sub-standard collectable miniature game. Over the past two years I have been a doomsayer of what would happen to Star Wars as soon as WotC announced that they were "Putting the RPG on hold to focus efforts on our New Collectable miniature game" I knew the end was near. Now just as Anikin fell completely to the dark side so had WotC.

But there may still be hope. CMG are still relatively new and now a deluge of CMGs is flooding the market. Much the same as the CCG market was several years ago and in the end only a few games had the power to endure. Eventually the Star Wars CMG will fade to obscurity and will become a withered and dead market. Then and only then can we hope for a return to the Star Wars Role Playing Game. Either by WotC or by another company who may have the vision to use the license wisely. Until that day fans will once again turn to the Internet for fan material so that the game may go on in spite of the shortsightedness of those in power.

And now a moment of silence for a departed friend.

25 August 2005, 11:01 AM
wow...i dont even know what to say. i dont agree, but still. it's a shame that you think that way. hopefully you are proven wrong, but even if you don't, the d20 system has enough stuff (in my opinion) to keep going for quite some time. just because they dont release new books doesnt mean it is dead. when people stop playing, it dies. and i personally i dont want to stop playing SWRPG for a long while yet. so at least here with me, it lives.

And give the mini's a break, they are a good bunch and I have always wanted a good mix of stuff for SW that i can use in the RPG so this just helps me out. But thats just me. Peace and Well wishes!

25 August 2005, 11:19 AM
I agree with you, PneumaZ. I've got everything I'll ever need from WotC. No more books to buy? No more new crap for my players to throw at me? No more crazy prestige classes to use as substitutes for actual character development? Sounds wonderful.

So SWrpg is dead... long live SWrpg!

Now let's just get back to gaming...


25 August 2005, 12:02 PM
Thats kinda what I have been saying. Trust me I'm a hard core D6 fan and have been playing for years without support I just am sad that at the highest point of star wars popularity in history WotC could not manage to publish even one sourcebook for the new movie. Star Wars fans are resiliant and here for the long haul. I know the game will go on and probably more smoothly without WotC meddling.

25 August 2005, 01:09 PM
Remember, WotC is owned by Hasbro, and they really don't understand RPGs; so why do they buy these licenses? To make a quick buck, and to bring people into D20. When marketing thinks it's on the way down they let it go, whether marketing has done it's research or not. Here's a couple other licenses that went wrong:

Purchase of White Wolf Publishing. Though this did give them some control over WW they missed the Game Studio because it was a different company; though it is possible WW just didn't want to publish anymore, but this makes them a subsidery in all but name.

Purchase of Last Unicorn Games. The only license they held was Star Trek; but a clause in the contract caused the rights to revert to Universal when they were disolved, meaning thet WotC would have to renegotiate the contract.

Purchase of rights to Wheel of Time RPG. Not bad, but there was too much system balancing and not enough enough explaination of balances set up in the setting; they let it die after one module and the core (which RJ said is really screwed up, if they had bothered to asked him; i.e. Prophecies of the Dragon is not canon)

Letting DragonLance go. Need I say more? there are a number of hardcover sourcebooks that sell fairly well; not to mention the novels (which still come out under WotCs imprint). Sovereign Press is adding Serenity to Sovereign Stone & Dragonlance.

Here's some indication that D20 isn't doing so well:
Fantasy Flight has decided to stop producing D20 material. Dragonstar is a very interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy and Legends & Lairs is one of the best supplements for the D20 system I've seen. I think I've seen one feat out of 10 or 15 titles that I wouldn't allow in a game, many I've transfered over to my list for possible WoT games.

Hasbro's got some great people working for them, and most of the time they put out good material. But once marketing decides that the product isn't such a good seller it'll end up cut. The employees of WotC love gaming else they wouldn't produce gaming material, they'd continue to produce a game that wasn't selling well because they enjoyed it (remember, there are quite a few former WEG staff at WotC now); but if Hasbro can't see profit, they will cut it.

25 August 2005, 01:26 PM
I can't disagree with what johnpatrickmcp and Cha_man have posted, but my question is "so?"

So Hasbro isn't making new supplements. So?

It just doesn't hurt my gaming experience. In many ways, it helps.

I know a lot of guys want to play the newest, shiniest games, and there's nothing wrong with that (several of my good friends fall into this category).

But I just want good stories, and I've always relied on my own devices to get them.

If I want to play new Dragonlance/Wheel of Time/Star Wars/White Wolf/anything else adventures, I'll write them, or join a campaign where someone else has.

What do I need more rulebooks for? I have a massive stack already, and some tens of thousands of web pages to support my games.

Please take this as it's meant: friendly banter among gamers. But I honestly don't understand the animosity toward WotC. They made the game; maybe there comes a time when it's simply "done." I suppose they could take the approach the action figure line has, and keep producing version after version after version of Luke and Han* ... but I'm pretty happy with SWrpg the way it is. Are you not?

*I should know; I bought most of them... :( ;)

Uron Teff
25 August 2005, 01:45 PM
bocce you're taking the words out of my mouth.

I also don't see any use in 'new' STWRPG Corerulebooks and new system advancements and new feats and new PrC.

I allow myself the luxury of comparing D20 SW with WoD d10 Vampire: The Masquerade. I loved to play this game and the whole system but it has changed. After the 'new' books and the end of the world this game has lost all his appeal to me. It's still fun to play in The Dark Ages but why the hell do they have to end the whole Vampire "story" that stupid? I fear that WotC will do the same with the whole SW Universe or/and the main Characters.

Comparing SWRPG to AD&D:
How many (A)D&D revised corerule books are there? How many feats are there? This game is more a game statisticians than a game of roleplaying. And I fear that SWRPG is heading in the same directionwith more official Revised Revised Revised Corerule Books.

That's just my two cents.

25 August 2005, 02:44 PM
I guess my problem with WotC is that there is more material to add, they could easily produce another sourcebook on Revenge of the Sith and make some quick cash. There was a lot of material in WoT but they didn't explore it. Basically, they should be thinking of the sourcebooks as booster packs, they keep the players interested in the system; but since they don't 'get' RPGs they don't see them that way.

I agree that what makes the game isn't the material, it's the GM and the players. An outstanding system and setting can be horrid if run incorrectly, I saw a lot of this on the Wizards boards for WotC before they shut them down. It's for this reason that I'm running the concordance for WoT (well trying to, only one update this year).

It just makes it easier to find the stats I want in a book then to go hunting for them on the net, where you can have multiple versions depending on someones take. Thankfully the Holonet uses the forums to come to agreement on stats, that's why I'm here.

No, I don't take it personally, I got into a 'heated' discussion (darn near a flame war), only to find out later that we had misinterpreted what the other was righting. I was real bad because we try to drive to the point. I like to hear criticism (ok, I don't like it, but I try to take it constructively), especially if it helps me develop and understand.

25 August 2005, 02:51 PM
what gets me is WOTC produces these worthless "minis related books"

I suspect damn few SW Minis fans buy em, wanna bet a Gaming SB'd make more money?

25 August 2005, 02:54 PM
Ya, I think that's one thing that turned me off to feats when I first picked up the d20 system. At first it reminded me of a talent & flaw system, but there were no flaws. To me, most of this can be described in a skill system, Biggest argument I here against it:

"But the fighter doesn't get a lot of skill points"
give them more, you already broke the mechanic

The skill system is linear and that really bugs me (I used to play RM, a lot); an alternate way to roll the skills is presented in Unearthed Arcana which helps to balance it more realistically

What really gets me is that they are well aware the system is broke, that's why you have to follow another set of rules for character development after 20th level

25 August 2005, 03:12 PM
a gaming SB probably would, and for a longer period; but they're trying to capitalize on the collectible minis. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if their intent was to try to convert the gamers to mini players.

as I've said before, marketing doesn't get RPGs, worse they don't get RPG players, we want long running campaigns, we want to be able to run a character for many years, we want that attachment. They don't want us to, they want use to contunually buy their products, once every member of a group has all the SBs for a setting they're done. they may buy a new one to replace a worn one five or ten years later, but with collectible minis, you have to buy them then, they can drive their income by how many expansions they release. I don't know how many SW boosters there were this year, or the D&D, I think there were two apiece. That's four supplements that cost $12 a pack, if you play it, or are looking for a particular figure you're going to buy five or more of each setting you want, thats over $100 for one setting from one person. Versus one copy of each book produced, at $25 a pop you'd need to release over four titles a year to match, in fact you'd need six to eight because there's a higher overhead for books, not only in preproduction but in storage and shipping.

That is how marketing sees it, that's why I don't expect to see any more SBs released for SW

25 August 2005, 04:54 PM
I think one of the reasons wizards might be dumping alot of RPG's is because video games are just eaiser. Although it seems like it would cost more, a video game costs less to make and will attract many more buyers than a book and paper will. It is very hard to get into d20 if you don't know what it is allready. d20 also requires multiple people, which some people don't have. And video games are just simpler to play.

That doesn't mean I don't like d20, but that is how alot of people think.

25 August 2005, 05:07 PM
isn't Atari another Hasbro corp?

No, just checked, Atari 'manages' Hasbros games

25 August 2005, 08:47 PM
While you all make good points, I'm brought back to actually needing the new suppliment books. They have covered the force, the new republic, the dark side, the empire, the old republic, the new jedi order, ultimated bad guys, ultimate heroes, 2 different planet suppliments, a revised core book (D&D has had 4 revisions by the way, D&D AD&D 3rd Edition and 3.5) arms/equipment and how to make your own starships (granted this needs uodating but is easily convertable).

While I see the potential for a RotS book, i dont see where it makes sense. There isn't enough material in my mind. a few new character stats, some new vehicles and some new weapons. They covered all that with webu suppliments and its free! Marketing or not, that's still very generous. Now yes, marketing does have its own agenda, but lets be fair. This IS a company and the company is in the business of making money.

I for one am very happy they have made minis. For years I never had any minis whatsoever to use in ANY RPG. They would say go out and buy these mini's but at 10-20 bucks a pop for 2 or 3 minis, that sucked! They were overpriced, understocked and some were a pain to put together. Now we have lightweight, easily customizable, plastic minis! They are made for the system and they are out there in droves! Need a new Sith mini, convert a Wizkids or any other of the many Plastic Minis flooding the market. So now i have a great core of rulebooks, a great imagination and a growing set of characters and (with paper models) props. WotC Learned their lesson with these mission guides and are discontinuing them, now making Map Books instead. MUCH better.

In the end I dont think people would be happy the other way either. Then it would be that you need 25 books just to play the game or you would need to know so many different odd rules spread across so many books its ungainly. Right now its managable and I like it. And the system works within itself.

Sure statiticians might find issues with the system and mini maxers may think the system is broken but the the key is that a system technically cannot be broken within the same system because all characters run under the same rules (hence a level playing field). And even if it is broken so what? If its a pain in your butt, fix it. write an errata. D&D and every other comapny has written erratta out their noises for decades and no one seems to mind much. Why start throwing rocks now?

Again none of this is meant maliciously, I just like looking at the positive that I have. When it comes right down toit we have over 20 years of RPG material between WEG and WotC. Both easly can convert back and forth. we have a plethora of sites like this supporting an ongoing community of gaming and we have a great amount of minis. Okay we may not see an D20 SW for a while...but that doesnt mean its dead. All things have a season and if d20 SW has passed i STILL dont care. I like it and I am sticking with it. As long as one person plays this system it is not dead. So its not dying in my lands anytime soon.

Blue Skies and Good Dreams

25 August 2005, 09:30 PM
Good point, no matter what any company does, this site (and others like it) will continue to support SW RPGs. Conversions will be figured out and you can play whatever system you prefer.

25 August 2005, 10:22 PM
it amazes me WOTC tried the missions books at all.

senerio packs for war gaming have notriously sold poorly.

Andrew Simmons
26 August 2005, 03:53 AM



26 August 2005, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Simmons



Please do not do that ever again. I cannot stand people who:
a) Post in all caps.
b) Post in all lower case
c) Constantly misspell easy to spell words.

26 August 2005, 11:30 AM
I second the all caps argument, in chatrooms it equates to yelling and this has carried over to forums & even e-mail. All caps works best to emphasis a SINGLE word, and there are other options such as bold and italics.

As far as misspelling, I recieved an interesting e-mail a couple years ago about a study on words and spelling. I t turns out that most people skim over misspelled words, as long as all the letters in the word are present in the misspelled word. In fact, I didn't realize the entire e-mail was misspelled until I had finished, even the one word that hung me up a second didn't tip me off. A second cavet is that this probably only applies to native or fluent speakers of a language.

27 August 2005, 02:02 PM
I'm all in favor of KC Owens' scrapped project "Ultiamate Starships of the Galaxy" in hardback, but we may or may not see something like that. Starships should sell well in my view...

However, I am a bit more optimistic than this thread's originator. I have a nearly complete series of books. It fits pretty nicely on my shelf. I know exactly where things are regarding rules. I can play SW d20 whenever I want without spending any more money.

Plus, it allows fans to create their own sw gaming material without the fear of being contradicted by the people who own the copyright. *shrugs* While I'm sad to see d20 SW not getting any more support than minis, I'm okay with it I suppose. What I don't want to see... is sites like this losing players and people who profess to be SW fans simply because the company is screwed up. We're all individuals and we all play SW. The game isn't dead until your group stops playing it.

It's just that simple. Stop playing, and it is dead for you. Continue playing, continue posting, continue sharing your game exploits with others and debating rules and the community is very much alive. I'll still rather play d20 SW than DnD or any other RPG. This is one genre that still keeps me up at night thinking about stories, adventures and new characters. It's a gold mine of creativity.

Andrew Simmons
30 August 2005, 03:01 AM
"Hello Again"
First off i do not have internet at home, i have to go to my local library to get my star wars rpg info (mainly seeing something i like and putting it onto a floppy disc) as for the library you only get 1 hour of internet use and then it shuts down the computer and restarts. I was on my last 4 minutes when i typed the thread. So to all you who hate CAPS LOCK i actually did not notice it was on, and to the comment about misspelled words (i was typing in a hurry).

About my initial comment "sorry if i sounded negative" but it so infruriates me when companies pull the plug on Great Roleplaying games, this is the second game that i have started to collect, the other being Star Trek by decipher and that fall on it's proverbial backside, probably because all of decipher's talent and cash went into Lord of the Bloomin Rings.

I personally as a Star wars GM have not stopped running it, i am running my own Star Wars Infinities inspired campaign. So please do not think for 1 minute that i have given up on Star Wars.


All things aside it feels great that i am now a part of a greater community, it's great that i am (Kind of talking to other Star Wars freaks like me)

As a side thought, on my computer at home i have a database of ........well Star Wars Starships about 365megs worth all taken from this site Swrpgnetwork and others such as Dark lords of the sith and lots of others, i've spent a lot of time converting them all to the newest Sw rules set, obviously having to come with things on the fly.
As you can probably tell i am a starship nut "i Love em!" anyone with decent layouts and blueprints/deckplans please let me know, exspecially big ships such as "here goes" the TARKIN CLASS COMMAND CRUISER the one with two wave grav shock bombard and the molecuar furnace AND the massive nano factory.

By the way does anyone know how the nano factory works???
I can only guess that it works as a shipyard, but i do not know how long it takes to build things in it, normal shipyards take 1 week per construction point, my current thinking is that the nano factory takes 1 day per construction point. If i am wrong will someone please correct me, Thanks.

"One more thing"
Does anyone know the updated rules for the Dark trooper Heavy weapon????????

"Ill see you all later i have 20 minutes left so i'm gonna start browsing"

Talon Kane
30 August 2005, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by Cha_man
Here's some indication that D20 isn't doing so well:
Fantasy Flight has decided to stop producing D20 material. Dragonstar is a very interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy and Legends & Lairs is one of the best supplements for the D20 system I've seen. I think I've seen one feat out of 10 or 15 titles that I wouldn't allow in a game, many I've transfered over to my list for possible WoT games.

Ummm..FFG may have decided to stop Dragonstar, but they are not stopping D20 products. They publish Midnight, which is by far one of the best settings I've seen yet, and just released Midnight 2.0 recently (played it at Gencon). I'm not sure where you pulled this info Cha_man.

30 August 2005, 07:16 PM
One of the FFG guys at the con, maybe he was talking about some of the other lines (Dragonstar, maybe the Legends & Lairs)

Well, as long as they continue some D20 they may decide to add material to some of the other d20 lines

30 August 2005, 07:35 PM
D20 is doing fine, at least the big producers, but you can only have so many RPGs on the market at any given time.

31 August 2005, 12:41 PM
BrianDavion makes a fair point- there is a certain market threshold, and the growth of RPG has stagnated from its initial days taking over clubs of miniature war gamers from the late 70s and early 80s. RPG has had to increase its marketshare through a number of ventures, of which, computer games have had some success.

The gaming market needs to grow if we're going to continue to see quality products, otherwise it'll turn into "survival of the fittest... er, most profitable"

31 August 2005, 02:35 PM
Part of the problem may be the product being identified as something it's not

the Dragonstar setting can intially be mistaken for Spelljammers, which it's not, it's just magic in space; it can be used like Spelljammer, but it's a waste of money to do so

WoT was used by a lot of people as an alternate D&D setting and a lot of gamers didn't get it. It's more about the story than about the combat.

I'm waiting to see how Thieve's World does

Talon Kane
31 August 2005, 04:31 PM
Personally, I'm tired of the multitude of d20 games. I'm begging for something new to try and play. For example, I loved Fireborn's d6 rules and the setting is very good. I personally loved the old DC Heroes game, which became Blood of Heroes. I still play it to this day.

Though there are some good d20 products (Spycraft..and 2.0 rocks!, Stargate, Midnight 2.0, Star Wars (duh) ), there is more garbage than quality these days. I'll even say that A Game of Thrones d20 is quality. But, these games are appearing to be far and few between.

Reel 2/Dialogue 2
17 September 2005, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Ravager_of_worlds

The gaming market needs to grow if we're going to continue to see quality products, otherwise it'll turn into "survival of the fittest... er, most profitable"

The problem with this, specifically with Star Wars d20, is that years from now all the sourcebooks will be too expensive for new players to obtain, and they'll move to either another system or other genre of gaming.

There seems to be a viable mindset which equates continued product creation with hobby security. Even the apathetic have to admit that without basic RCR sourcebooks like Power of the Jedi and the regional guides, we'd have to make up all those stats ourselves. Wouldn't THAT be a pain.

If Moridin and Wiker still have access to their Ultimate Battlestations work, they should think of publishing it through Green Ronin under a different name, with slight adjustments as to not attract the litigious ire of LucasLiscencing.

Another, more longshot solution may rest in the miniatures line. Perhaps an upcoming starship expansion will be rules-compatible enough with the RPG to fill the need of the Ultimate Starship and Battlestations books.

But for years I've been looking for new content from this site and starwars-rpg and will continue to do so. But, heh, even THAT progress seems to mirror Wizards's lethargy (due to many here having actual lives to live). :D

Andrew Simmons
19 September 2005, 04:38 AM
I totally agree with REEL 2/DIALOGUE 2, why not release the ULTIMATE STARSHIPS and BATTLESTIONS books through a third party, Hang on!!! Why can't they make SWRPG an open licence system. It does have the D20 SYSTEM badge on the back of every book (I initially thought that badge meant that Star wars was open licence?).

My beef with wizards is that they spend far too much time writing and releasing stuff for D&D, you always see one of the Star wars Rpg writers name on the front of nearly every D&D book that comes out every month.

Come on Wizards of the Coast Say something!!!??? Do Something!!!???

One last thing.
What's happened to the wizards Star wars web site it's absolutely pitiful, all they ever seem to do is fill it with Living Force rubbish, and 75% of the Jedi counciling section has somehow been Frelling invaded with minitures questions, Minitures have thier own web site for crying out loud.

There that's better i'm calm now.
See ya!!

20 September 2005, 01:24 AM
Be fair to those writers, If Hasbro doesn't want to produce SW they have to do something to earn their paycheck, otherwise they'll get cut.

21 September 2005, 04:37 PM
Thay get cut anyways sometimes too...the whole profitability thing.

Darth Bile
21 September 2005, 05:00 PM
one, i happen to prefer dnd, well, 2nd edition over star wars, but it's the WEG version i love the most so closely tied with dnd, even though i prefer D6 version, i still play the D20 version, since i have nothing else to do, and as for WoTC/Hasbro, well, they could care less about the people who buy the stuff, all they care about is the profit they can make, that's the way of big business's, it's all about the money. So, yes, i believe the D20 is dead for now for star wars, hopefully, it'll be alive again soon when they realize the foolishness of mini's, and i've never paid 20 dollars for minis for sw, most i ever seen one go for was like 6 or 7 dollars at my local hobby store.

2 October 2005, 11:40 PM
"Never count a man dead until you've seen the body."

WOTC has better things to do than make more SWRPG products? HAH! If they believed they'd make a profit, they'd be in it in a heartbeat.

For now, they believe that there is more profit to be made in the CMG.

Look for the D20 3.5 (or 4.0) version to be out the year after the CMG stops being profitable.

6 October 2005, 01:32 PM
a wotc rep at gencon said that they want to produce books, they just can't figure out how. it seems that isn't a very good answer because they had no problems figuring out how to release a ton of d&d books. when it comes to looking for new material that i don't have to make myself, those books are really useful.

as i see it, wotc doesn't want to lose that fairweather consumer by saying outright that they are no longer producing these books. instead they keep trailing people along with web supplements that are few and far between (though they have all been very good). and this with a book rumored to be ready to go...

while it is disappointing, it does lend good readon to go back to d6. just wish that the d20 stuff had stuck around longer - it was nice to see a supported star wars game

Andrew Simmons
10 October 2005, 06:54 AM
Then why don't they release the book that is damn well ready to go, even one book a year is better than nothing.
I cant stand the Wizards Star wars web site at the moment because it's absolutely Bl##dy dreadful

"Pull your finger's out of your furry backsides Wotc"

"Just One book a Year Minimum Pleease"

Cool McCool
10 October 2005, 04:56 PM
Since Star Wars d20 is a d20 game, you can get all the new system material that you need - new ships, new classes, new combat rules, new feats - in other sources. Spycraft, Stargate, d20 Future, etc.

As far as new Star Wars setting material goes - man, how much is enough? ;) There will always be new books, new comics, perhaps a TV show; I'm sure that a lot of that will be translated into "Stats" via fans of the Star Wars RPG.

I don't mind WotC losing the lisence because - and I've only recently been able to articulate this - but the d20 system does not support the style of game that I want to run. That isn't a knock on d20; I think it's a fine system for a certain type of play style, but not for me.

Andrew Simmons
14 October 2005, 06:12 AM
Ok CoolmcCool "I totally agree" with your point on the fact that their are new stuff from other d20 sources, i own a copy of d20 future myself and i like it a lot, BUT in their infinite wisdom wotc has made Star Wars a stand alone rules set not fully compatible with the Actual d20 system.
I would like to see someone, anyone create an actual workable conversion system for the d20 system such as D&D 3.5 , Stargate, d20 Modern, Farscape, Babylon 5, and most of all d20 future and mybe the other so called d20 game, Traveller (Have not seen it or read it by the way)

I would like to see the Robots section of d20 future converted, the starship system converted, the mecha section, cybernetics, etc;etc.

Babylon 5 has louds of great starship's but they do not include an actual length listed so you have to guess them based on a half thought out scale system.

So yes i would love to use material from other sources but until i get my hands on "The Bible of Conversions" as it probably will be called it is difficult to do at this moment in time.

"Maybe Someone somewhere has thought of writing such a book it would most likely make them a loud of money"