Role-Playing Game Publication Review

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  • Authors: J.D. Wiker, Michael Mikaelian, Jeff Grubb, Owen K.C. Stephens and James Maliszewski
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 158
  • Price: $29.95


A New Resourse Exands the STAR WARS RPG

By James T. Voelpel     October 22, 2002

Since the release of the new STAR WARS role-playing game its producer Wizards of the Coast has come out with well laid out, beautifully produced supplements and books...all done in the aftermath of the beloved West End Games version. After West End ceased to have control of the license many a fan of their d6-based game feared this new version, especially with the announcement that it would based on the new 3rd EDITION DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (i.e. the D20 rules).

Well, WOTC released the new game and there were no uprisings in the gaming community, in fact the new D20 version put playability first, at any level. While the West End version was simple to learn and play using just d6's as it's basis, it became unwieldy at more advanced levels. Sometimes you'd end up rolling over twenty dice just for one action and as you became more powerful this became more frequent.

Now as WOTC's version has become the norm instead of the rule, each supplement for the game is waited for by a legion of fans. Next up is the POWER OF THE JEDI sourcebook, a collection of rules, histories and character write-ups completely focused on the Jedi. This is one of the first books for the STAR WARS RPG that non-players would find most intriguing due to it's detail of the Jedi Knights and it's members. For the average fan of the movies or the endless STAR WARS novels there is a wealth of background information inside. POWER OF THE JEDI was compiled and written by STAR WARS RPG scribes J.D. Wiker, Michael Mikaelian, Jeff Grubb, Owen K.C. Stephens and James Maliszewski.

This sourcebook is separated into 7 sections beginning with a history of the Jedi beginning 25,000 years before the Battle of Yavin (as seen in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE for those living in a cave on Mars). It includes sections on the formation of the Jedi, the first war against the Sith, The return of the Sith detailed in many Dark Horse comic series. It moves on to yet another return of the Sith 2,000 years before the Battle of Yavin, the rise of the Empire, the New Republic era, and finally the invasion of the Republic by the Yuuzhan Vong 25 years after the destruction of the first Death Star.

The second section describes new skills and feats utilized by the Jedi, new prestige classes for the Jedi as well as new force techniques. Some of the new Prestige classes include Jedi Healer, Jedi Scholar and Jedi Weapon Master. These new classes give a real individual feel to each character instead of everyone ending up like a cheap copy of Luke Skywalker.

Section three deals with how to gamemaster Jedi and force using characters. It is a well-detailed section that is invaluable to anyone running a STAR WARS campaign set in any era of the books or movies. The area discussing the rules for Jedi behavior is the recipe to stop anyone that thinks being one of these Jedi means cutting people down with their lightsaber or using Force powers to help their way out of any situation. The code is what playing one of these powerful characters is all about.

Jedi Equipment is the content of section four and lists tons of Jedi specific equipment, starships, vehicles and gear. It also includes rules and information on different types and colors of lightsabers as well as rules for Force-specific equipment such as the Force detector.

The Fifth section details over twenty-five new races and creatures to either play as characters engage in sometimes-hostile dialog.

Section six is a filled well of knowledge dealing with the histories and traditions of specific Jedi. This is the section that will really interest the common person as well as players of the RPG. It includes personal histories for forty different Jedi and Jedi Masters from every different era of STAR WARS media. It includes such famous Jedi as Obi-Wan, Yoda, Mace Windu and Kyle Katarn (famous from the Jedi Knight and Jedi Knight II computer games). Also included are such luminaries as Ulic Qel Droma from the TALES OF THE JEDI comic series and Kit Fisto (the tentacle-headed Jedi from the battle of Geonosis in EPISODE II).

The last section of POWER OF THE JEDI is also filled with facts and information this time in the realm of famous Jedi locations. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant and Luke's Academy on Yavin 4 is detailed as well as the Valley of the Jedi from the JEDI KNIGHT computer game. Other less known locations are equally written up and mapped out.

An invaluable tool to gamemasters and players alike POWER OF THE JEDI only suffers from sometimes erratic artwork. While the art is sometimes lacking the lay out is the usual high WOTC standard and the photographs are excellent, albeit a little stingy in their use. The information here is in-depth and researched, furnishing everything you need to play or run Jedi in a campaign. The background and detail in the last two sections is definitely full of fan friendly information. With all the most famous Jedi and Jedi related locations and stands on it's own as a background for all that happens in the STAR WARS related universe.

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