Star Wars RPG: Reading the Rolls – An Introduction

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

There was a GM, sat clutching at his hair as he desperately attempts to weave something fun and exciting out of the dice results that lay before him. Sadly, thinking on the fly was something he found he lacked in and was in 9dire need of help. Poor GM…

Does this sound familiar? Have you yourself suffered this or maybe you have a GM who struggles to interpret/extrapolate something fitting but enjoyable from the unique dice system of the Star Wars Role Playing Game?

In a series of articles I’ll attempt to help you work out how to make the outcome of the SWRPG dice be something enjoyable, thrilling and yet not over-the-top.

The SWRPG Dice – The bane and/or boon of any session.

The SWRPG dice system doesn’t fall neatly into to your typical D6, D20, D100 sort of skulduggery. Instead it uses a bespoke system that determines whether the action failed or succeeded and whether it did so with varying degrees of advantage/disadvantage along with the possibility of a critical success (Triumph) or critical failure (Despair).

Whilst a little daunting at first, this dice system proves very intuitive for GMs and creative players alike. It is encouraged that players should also dictate or suggest the outcome of the dice results with the GMs approval and this can truly help to have the players feel invested in the sessions. It can also help players provide a flavour befitting their own vision of the scenario or whatever fits their tailored character.

These dice can determine whether you successfully re-enable the life support system of your ship with mere seconds to spare until you ran out of oxygen. Or they can have your Gamorrean demolitionist have his leg literally shot off by a rabble of furious Stormtroopers. Providing you’re able to conjure up an idea in the heat of the moment you’re able to have any scenario result in either a flawless victory or a harrowing failure along with everything in-between.

Using these dice to make skill checks for the various general skills in the game means that you make these rolls fairly often and so near-anything can happen in very short spaces of time. One thing that can deter a lot of people is interpreting the results and assessing what they actually mean for your character/party and the check you have rolled against. In the upcoming series of articles, Reading the Rolls will help you determine what sort of outcomes you can expect for the numerous general skills in the game. Whether you’re a first-time GM looking for some help on how to run your players and their antics, or if you’re a long-time player and are simply curious as to what sort of events unfold from the mind of another SWRPG fan. Of course, the scenarios mentioned in these articles are simply ideas and you’re free to come up with anything yourself! Consider these writings as guiding whispers from the Force as opposed to a solid and implacable blaster in your hand that should never change or falter.

Stick around and together we’ll see how spectacular and horrifying the SWRPG dice system can be for players. The first upcoming article will focus on characters keeping on swift their feet in the hope they don’t stumble and clatter down clumsily. How bad could an Athletics check really go?

Stay tuned and find out.

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