Roleplay: Star Wars: Roleplaying Game
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game was the first licensed roleplaying game set in the Star Wars universe. It was published by West End Games from 1987 until they lost the license in 1998. A German-language version was published by Welt der Spiele a few years later. One player is the gamemaster who runs the gameworld, being something like the director and referee, while the other players have a single character or role to play. The player characters have various skills and equipment and some can even use the Force.
Three versions of the main rulebook were published: first edition, second edition, and "Revised and Expanded" second edition. All three were based on West End Games' D6 System.
The West End Games sourcebook collection is made of almost 100 books—not including second editions and compilations—plus 15 quarterly magazine issues under the title Star Wars Adventure Journal. They also edited several books related to, but not belonging to, the Roleplaying Game line, including Star Warriors, the board games Escape from Death Star and Assault on Hoth; the two-player game Lightsaber Dueling, the Introductory Adventure Game, Star Wars Miniatures Battles, the Live-Action Adventures and single-player adventure books.
The material produced by West End Games was one of the major sources of the Star Wars Expanded Universe
material before the publication of Heir to the Empire
in 1991 sparked new interest in Star Wars publications, and remained an important source of EU material afterward. Being one of the first sources giving numbers and data to the universe shown in the films, several of the statements given by the sourcebooks have been retconned or corrected to better reflect the films and Expanded Universe fiction. Among the best known corrections are the continuity issues involving the Super Star Destroyers and the "discovery" of the Mon Calamari by the Galactic Empire.
When Timothy Zahn was hired to write what became the Thrawn Trilogy, he was sent a box of West End Games Star Wars books and directed to base his novel on the background material presented within. After the novel trilogy's success, West End Games created a series of sourcebooks inspired by Zahn's work.
In 1999, West End Games lost the Star Wars RPG license. The next licensee, Wizards of the Coast, began production of a new roleplaying game using their d20 System, until 2010 when they gave up the license, that all of their Star Wars brand lines will be discontinued. In 2013, Fantasy Flight Games released Edge of the Empire, a Star Wars RPG set in the grim and gritty places where morality is gray and nothing is certain. 2014 saw the release of the Age of Rebellion - your classic Rebels versus Empire setting, and 2015 will see the release of Force and Destiny, with Jedi-based campaign rules.
As for West End Games, in 2004 they started publishing D6 Space, a generic space opera game system based on the former Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, but not including specific Star Wars content.
- Adaptation Distillation: The West End Game series is considered some of the best EU out there.
- Adaptation Expansion: Vast-vast numbers of biographies for virtually every character in the Star Wars universe.
- All There in the Manual: THE manual for EU authors.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: Averted. It was very easy for blasters to kill you if you were hit by them. Which is why a high dodge or lightsaber parry skill was necessary.
- Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Averted. Nothing prevented Jedi from wearing armor.
- Body Horror: The fate of Grand Moff Ravik in Otherspace II.
- Black and White Magic: Aside from using your lightsaber, all offensive Force powers were Dark Side.
- Can't Catch Up: The later depictions of canon characters included hundreds of skill points. The average PC started with seven.
- Adventures tended to be less blow up the Death Star and more blow up the Star Destroyer.
- The Dark Side: Plays a major role in the game.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Jedi survivors tended to have children, get married, and be recruited as adults. That's because no one knew about the rules for Prequel Jedi.
- Expy: High Inquisitor Tremayne is this for Darth Vader, basically meant to serve as the PC's personal nemesis.
- Trinta is one for Dagobah, complete with Dark Jedi to redeem.
- Jodo Kast is one for Boba Fett.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Acquiring a lightsaber was considered to be a rather major accomplishment for beginning Jedi.
- Averted in Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion; lightsabers are incredibly expensive and are at the highest rarity level so you won't be getting them anytime soon.
- Level Scaling: The game suggested characters begin with lower level Imperials and work their way up.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Jedi are more or less unstoppable at higher levels.
- The Six Stats: Averted. There's SEVEN. Dexterity, Knowledge, Mechanical, Perception, Strength, and Technical.
- Played straight in Fantasy Flight's system. The stats include Brawn (which covers both physical strength and endurance), Agility, Intellect, Willpower, Cunning and Presence.