Star Wars Wednesday - Dangerous Stats

I knew I was doomed to be late this week once I tweeted out that I knew what the topic would be. Well, one of the topics, as it turns out. Waiting a day has turned out to work in my favor, with a new product announcement hitting the Fantasy Flight Games site today. Of course, it wasn't the original topic...

So, the breaking news first:

Fantasy Flight Games announced Dangerous Covenants, A Sourcebook for Hired Guns will be released in the First Quarter of 2014. I'm one of the authors. It was a blast to work on, so to speak.

And that last image of a vehicle on the FFG preivew page...that sure looks interesting...

Cue segue*...

Speaking of interesting vehicles, the original topic for this week was Pablo Hidalgo's latest Star Wars Mysteries post over at the blog. His tweet announcing it called it "Playing With Fire." And well he should, because he ventures into the highly contested territory of the length of the Super Star Destroyer.

Pinning down acutal sizes and specific numbers of any sort to ships and vehicles in Star Wars often ventures into massive grey areas rife with conflicting information. In essense, the numbers often don't add up and some can never add up due to multiple models and optical special effects of the time. Throw in multiple authors and fans trying to make sense of it, and you get different interpretations. The SSD takes all of that an rachets it up a few notches. 

Pablo does a great job, as usual, summarizing the discussion and presenting his new findings, aka the awesomely captioned "Rosetta Stone of Star Destroyer sizes". 

It seems several Star Wars authors have a story involving the SSD (or something similar with another ship). The best one I've heard is Owen K.C. Stephens, author of both the d20 and Saga Edition versions of Starships of the Galaxy. They're both books of ships and ship stats for use with their various versions of the roleplaying game.

Wizards, like West End Games before them, listed actual ship lengths in the d20 stat blocks. Determining such things was always problematic if there wasn't an official source to begin with. Saga Edition wisely got away from this because, frankly, the actual size of any ship rarely matters when playing the game. Relative sizes, yes, but it doesn't really matter if one ship is a meter longer than another, 99.999% of the time. Saga and FFG both use much more general ship sizes, in part to avoid these issues.

Anyway, Owen's story really needs to be told in person, by him, so track him down at a game convention sometime to hear an interesting collision of Star Wars lore, fandom, and licensee products.

As for me, I had my own encounter with the Executor when writing a preview for the Wizards of the Coast website for the Starship Battles game. In order to make the previews a bit more useful to a wider audience, we also included d20 Revised Core Rule RPG stats for each ship/mini. Huh. My file tells me I sent this in 7 years ago, almost to the day today. Wow. Anyway, we had some discussions about the right number of weapons and how to present them within the d20 rules (how many batteries, number of guns in a battery, etc.). I'm fairly sure we took the length from the cross sections book, as it was the current official size.

Anway, I was surprised how much discussion that one preview churned up on forums and elsewhere on the length of the ship. I mainly became aware of it when a link would appear on a google search on my name. Sometimes, I'd be looking through a forum for some other discussion and run across an argument on the subject. 

So...speaking of Star Destroyers, Disney XD ran a new (very short) Rebels trailer this week: 

This weekend is New York Comic Con, and a Rebels panel has been announced and teased, so expect new news in the next few days.

And while on the subject of trailers, compare that with the original 1976 Star Wars trailer, also posted this week:

And just because, there's an exploding Star Destroyer in this episode of the Clone Wars. It's a really great explosion and one that should give Gamemasters a lot of ideas...


*The vehicle is NOT a segway, but I appreciate a good pun better than most, so, sorry for any confusion.