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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > December 2018 (#25) > Star Wars RPGs

Star Wars RPGs

The Star Wars roleplaying games haven’t just brought the galaxy far, far away as seen on the big screen to our tabletops – they’ve expanded and redefined the very sci-fi universe itself


It’s 1987 and Lucasfilm is fioundering. Return of the Jedi threatens to be the swan song of Star Wars. The series fails on the small screen and future universe novels are axed – or, rather, lightsabered. This beloved titan looks to be a mere cultural footnote. Then something magical happens.

A small tabletop studio named West End Games steps in. On the back of the unlikely success of their previous release – Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game – the small team turns off their targeting computer and takes the shot. This event would change history forever, and this is where our journey begins.


Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game would find immediate success, receiving the 1987 Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules. It was decidedly a revamping of the solid d6-based Ghostbusters core system, serving a cinematic game that fades to the background as it supports narrative action and tremendous Thare.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Getting into the festive mood for this month’s magazine, the Tabletop Gaming team and you very readers have put together a list of the 12 Plays of Christmas – over a dozen modern classics that you should play with family and friends during the holidays. We’ve even set them all to a song, if you’re in the mood for a gaming carol. As the nights grow long, we gather around a candle with Great Western Trail and Mombasa creator Alexander Pfister to take a look at his new game, Blackout: Hong Kong. Set in a powerless city plunged into chaos, it promises to be something unexpected from the accomplished designer. There might not be a new Star Wars hitting cinema screens, but the Force remains strong with the galaxy far, far away. We travel back to the beginnings of the saga and look at the history of Star Wars in roleplaying games, discovering how the tabletop redefined and saved the sci-fi space opera. In a very different sci-fi universe, Warhammer 40,000 creator Rick Priestley takes us back to the genesis of the grimdark galaxy and considers how it’s shaped the state of sci-fi on the tabletop more than three decades later. Most people know Matt Edmondson as a BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, but he’s also been behind some of the funniest party games in recent years. As he follows up the ridiculous rhyming of Obama Llama with Santa Banter, he tells us about getting into games and what comes next. Plus, we’ve got the definitive verdict on this winter’s biggest games, including reviews of KeyForge: Call of the Archons, Betrayal Legacy, Discover: Lands Unknown, Arkham Horror: Third Edition, Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault, Legend of the Five Rings RPG, Reef and more!