Clone Wars Campaign Guide Sneak Preview

January 14th, 2009 by Ed Grabianowski

"You've got something on your chin...no, other <BR>side...no, just...here, I'll get it for you."

"You've got something on your chin...no, other side...no, just...here, I'll get it for you."

The galaxy is at war. Loyalty and principle are being tested. Endless legions of clone troopers are on the march. This is the world of the Clone Wars Campaign Guide, the latest addition to the Star Wars RPG.

The Clone Wars are all the rage these days, bolstered by the movie and TV series that many fans are growing fond of despite the bitter cynicism that has crept into Star Wars fandom in the last decade. This campaign guide, intended for use with the Star Wars: Saga Edition RPG, lays out the Clone Wars galaxy in all its gritty, war-torn glory. If you’re not familiar with the Saga Edition, it’s based on third edition Dungeons & Dragons, but is vastly improved, and even shares a few elements with 4th Edition. It’s different, yet familiar.

The Clone Wars Campaign Guide (to be released on Jan. 20) offers up all of what you’d expect in any campaign guide: new species of aliens, new droids, new planets, new weapons and starships, a gazetteer that describes the major events of the era, plus a bunch of new feats, force powers and prestige classes. Naturally, you’ll find stats for favorite characters like Ahsoka Tanu, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Those are all very cool, and you could easily find use for many of them even if you aren’t running a Clone Wars campaign. But this guide goes beyond that. The designers here have gone to great lengths to integrate all the new rules and features into the overriding themes of the Clone Wars.

Of course, the Clone Wars era’s theme is pretty simple: war. Therefore, there are rules for having followers, so your characters can lead a squad or act as military leaders. Rules for large scale battles have been included as well. The feats are geared toward military exploits, such as Coordinated Barrage (lets you combine fire with an adjacent ally) and Artillery Shot (allows you to create area of effect ranged attacks). A lot of effort also goes into discussing ways for your characters to take part in the larger story. Whether scout or soldier, Jedi leader or military tactician, each character will have a role to play as the galaxy lurches toward the inevitable, terrible conclusion of the Clone Wars: Order 66, the execution of all the Jedi, and the ascension of Darth Vader. Indeed, a doom-laden, fatalisted vibe permeates the book, and I don’t mean that as a negative. It makes for a very interesting approach to role-playing in the Star Wars universe.

Like other books in the Star Wars RPG line, the production values are excellent. The book is liberally strewn with excellent full-color art. In this case, it’s a bit unusual because they blend comicbook style illustrations with rendered computer graphics in the style of the Clone Wars TV show, and there are even several photos of actors in full costume. Sometimes the differing styles clash, but not to the detriment of the material. Many of the units and characters described are tied to miniatures released for the Star Wars Miniatures game last October.

Each new release for the Star Wars RPG impresses me. These are among the best RPG products being put out these days, and this is probably the best campaign guide yet in terms of the actual content. With this and a few packs of Clone Wars minis, you’re ready for war.

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5 Responses to “Clone Wars Campaign Guide Sneak Preview”

  1. Comment by izlear

    I have recently completed my collection of these books, and am looking forward to this new book as well. These really are some of the best RPG products on the market!

  2. Comment by ggodo

    See, I wish my group wasn’t so set on WOW and D&D, I would love to branch out into some other stuff. I love games in general, how they work, how they play. Does anyone know if the History Channel’s game is still alive? I haven’t found anything, dead or alive.

    Forgive this next bit being off topic, but, how does one set their avatar? I cannot find it anywhere.

  3. Comment by Ed Grabianowski

    ggodo, are you talking about Anachronism? TriKing Games (the developer) went out of business, although fans have kept the game alive to some extent. You might find some useful info here: http://www.heardworld.com/dystemporalia/

    You want to hear something that I find completely hilarious? I can’t figure out how to set my avatar either, and it’s my freakin’ blog! :-)

  4. Comment by izlear

    Ggodo I know what you mean! Some time I like to flex my gaming muscles. I have to say my group is pretty diverse, but sometimes we get stuck. I like a lot of games. I’ve actually been trying to get my group to play hero scape. Their not opposed just havn’t done it yet.

  5. Comment by FandomComics

    For those who do purchase this product, and plan on running a Clone Wars era campaign, be sure to check out http://www.fandomcomics.com for a free Clone Wars fan sourcebook for saga edition, featuring hundreds of additional vehicles designed to supplement this official sourcebook for a deeper era experience. We also have hundreds of NPCs that we wrote for D20 Revised, but are now converting to saga edition, check the site out on the 1st of each month for updates!