I guess in some ways I have been a fanboy of Star Wars since the beginning. Especially the ships. This is probably because I can still remember the opening scene of Star Wars where the big Imperial Star Destroyer enters the screen. Ships are the center of my Star Wars experience.
I have been collecting the new Star Wars Role Playing Game: Sage Edition (SWRPG:SE). So far I have the Core Rulebook, Starships of the Galaxy, Threats of the Galaxy, and Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.
Now I have a tech problem.
The Star Wars Universe spans a vast timeline, from the Old Republic Era (25,000 years before Star Wars Episode 4 – BSW4) to the Legacy Era (130 years after Episode 4 – ASW4). Knight of the Old Republic (KotOR) takes place around 3,996 years BSW4.
When I look at that much passage of time I am influenced by expectations built up after years of playing Traveller. Tech Levels, that is the progression of science, is intimately intertwined with Traveller. You don’t take a TL9 fighter up against a TL15 fighter; the higher TL always has a tech advantage.
But what is the difference of nearly 4,000 years of technology in Star Wars?
Lets compare the Star Saber XC-01 from KotOR page 95 with the classic X-Wing found in Ships of the Galaxy pg 152. I will only highlight the differences (please forgive the d20 shorthand and read XC-01/X-Wing):
- Cost: 145,000/150,000
- Initiative: +5/+7
- Defenses: Ref 16/18 Fort 24/26 Armor +3/+7
- Ranged Laser Cannons +4/+7 Proton Torpedoes -/+7
- Abilities Dex 18/22 Int 12/14
- Skills Initiative +5/+7
- Hyperdrive x2/x1
The net result is after 4,000 years of empire you get a a fighter that is twice as fast in hyperspace and very marginally better in combat.
So where is Star Wars different? In the area I feel less attached to – the Force. The force in KotOR is a key aspect. Less so in the Rebellion Era which probably explains why WotC puts out very little product on the Rebellion Era and why KotOR, Rise of the Empire, Dark Times, Force Unleashed, and Legacy are popular.
But not for me.