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My conflicted feelings about the sourcebooks
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Yora
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:33 am    Post subject: My conflicted feelings about the sourcebooks Reply with quote

I got the opportunity to leaf through some of the Sourcebooks and Galaxy Guides (I believe 2nd edition) and read through parts of them, and I discovered that I don't really like them, on the basis that I feel that they don't mesh with my subjective perception of Star Wars.

That's not really a criticism, but mostly an observation on personal feeling.

And to see the game books in their historic context, there really is no blame on them for being different, since they are really where the Expanded Universe started with nothing but the movies to work with. (There also were the Marvel comics, but they seemed to be doing their own thing respectively.) If anything, any mismatch falls to the responsibility of the books and games that came later and took the EU into a slightly different direction.
And I think when you take the perspective of Star Wars being only the movies and nothing else, something like Fragments from the Rim actually slots in very well.

But I came into Star Wars in the 90s with the novels, and the games Shadows of the Empire, and Rogue Squadron, and soon after Jedi Knight and KotOR. And I feel with this style of Star Wars, the sourcebooks don't really connect.
(Though now that I think about it, X-Wing and Tie Fighter do feel more at place with the sourcebooks that the books and later games.)

Reading those books now, they really do have plenty of decent ideas, and I am starting to make first mental plans how to work them into a campaign. But then half an hour later I remember that I am trying to make something that captures the feel of Star Wars (which really is my feel of Star Wars), and it all strikes me as wandering off into a completely different direction.

This is a topic very much about subjective perception and personal aesthetics, so there really isn't any point in arguing if the sourcebooks are good or bad. The only sensible direction to go with that I can see is "use them if you like them, don't use them if you don't". It's not like there isn't huge mountains of other material to draw from.
But I did feel a bit disappointed that very little from these books seems to be of any use to me. The rulebooks are still fantastic, presenting one of the best looking game systems I've ever come across that really feels perfect for playing any kind of Star Wars.

But I am also curious how other people are feeling about this? I would assume that plenty of people here didn't start with the game back in the ancient days when the sourcebooks were the uncontested version of the Expanded Universe, but probably also many who did.
How do you feel they are fitting in with Star Wars as a whole?
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have mixed feelings about story/lore and narration etc, with some of the scoursebooks, as like you they tend to crash a little wityy "my star wars"

I however use them for mainly ideas really.

Imay need a fleshed out NPC for something, I know he needs tobe an IMP officer, I dice into a scoursebook, pick one and just change the name etc etc.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the feel a mixed bag, sometimes. In general, I think that they're a great resource for ideas. There are some specifics that I won't like, and I just kind of note that evaluation as I move on to things I do like.

I can't remember any specifics at the moment, but generally I like the style until I find something I don't. When I don't like it, I skip a bit, and mine the next section for ideas.

Right now I find my personal headcanon to be a hodgepodge of ideas that I'm glad doesn't have to make sense to anyone else. For my games, I tend to narrow things down on a sector-level, and tend to default to what is in the shared consciousness of the players to drive the story.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They certainly aren't perfect, but WEG did at least try to apply some verisimilitude to the setting. I much prefer that approach to the more modern "Sense? Why would you want your silly space-wizards fantasy story to make sense?" For the most part, the WEG material was made by people who took the setting seriously. The fact that so many other subsets of the EU decided to phone it in is a strike against them, not WEG.
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RyanDarkstar
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original source material seems so "small world" and some-what new. For example, Tatooine is said to have been "newly" settled within 100 years BBY after the crash of the Dowager Queen, but it's been shown in later EU, especially Knights of the Old Republic, to have been settled thousands of years prior. Of course the hand wave used was ventures not panning out, leading to abandoning the planet, and some time later, new colonists/corporates arriving and subsequently leaving again and again.

I really liked the frontier aspect of the original source material, but I also enjoy what has come later (for the most part), such as, how the Empire in the old source material seemed to have been around for several more decades than shown in the Prequels (which was awesome), but I also liked how personal it was to the survivors of the movie, especially Vader and Obi-wan, and the hope brought on by the birth of the twins.

In my new game, I try to be as vague with the chronology and specifics, since they've always been in flux. Some of WEG's stuff was also pretty awful (I'm pointing at you, "Goroth Slave of the Empire."), but I still managed to take some of the ideas and remold or excise whatever I wished. In the end, it's your Star Wars Universe. Have fun with it.
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Yora
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the first thing that feels off to me is a lack of connections to other major planets, factions, and people. Which isn't a surprise because many of these had not even appeared yet and only became established as being important later.
The galaxy from the movies really only consisted of Tatooine, Bespin, the destroyed Alderaan, and the uninhabited Yavin 4, Hoth, Dagobah, and Endor. It's quite clear from context that there is something like the Core World, but really no information about it at all. Marvel Star Wars Comics existed, but in hindsight they appear to be their own alternative universe, doing their own thing, with no real spillover to other works.
Thrawn and Dark Empire came out just before the last of the Galaxy Guides, the Jedi Academy and X-Wing series even later.

Another thing is the prominence of humans. The galaxy feels like it's populated by humans with a few aliens hidden away in some remote corners. Curiosities like in the Cantina and Jabba's palace. That "Alien Student of the Force", "Wookiee", and "Mon Calamari" are even templates contributes to that notion. It's clearly assumed that Player Characters are humans by default.

One thing about Fragments from the Rim and Wretched Hives for example, is that much of their material is all located in a very small area next to Tatooine. Though again, I think that may come down to later cartographers putting them all next to each other.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Original WEG or bust, for me. Later sources, even films, that implicitly or explicitly contradict WEG are wrong. The exception being WEG adaptations of post-WEG EU novels.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can this be related to the scope of the orignal WEG rpg?

I never saw this game as being actually campaign friendly at least not for the very long campaigns. there simply is not rules that cover "time"

With that I mean, like connectivity to the saga, you have a scourse book, and it imo somewhat "limits" the scope of the game to that spesific line of quest.

lets take the tapani guide, the tapani scoursebooks, while you can run multiple missions in a campaign that last in time, we do not actually have any information about the long run. What about the aftermath, the prequal era etc etc.

to me this limitys the actual "scope of the game" to what we can see in the movies or read in "that one book" and only this.

Once you mix two scorse books, maybe use something that is close to the tapani sector we now run into conflicts.

so to me this mostly about the scop of the game, as I see it was never meant to be a long running thing, spanning over time, but more the "lets play episode 1, nothing else than what is seen on screen even exit" and to me this is the issue if any with the books.

I personally use them for ideas mostly.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: My conflicted feelings about the sourcebooks Reply with quote

The body of WEG Star Wars supplements is certainly a mixed bag. I have a complete collection (all 2e, plus all 1e not republished for 2e) because it is my favorite game and I'm a big nerd. I haven't used a lot of the books at all. To make my collection more practical, my goal is to use something from every single book, at some point in my life. At least an NPC or speeder or something.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been rediscovering the awesomeness of WEG and selling my FFG miniatures games. I got rid of all my Legion stuff and am trying half-heartedly to ditch my Imperial Assault collection. I'm going completely crazy with WEG fun in the quarantine.
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