A Guide to the Unknown
An Edge of the Empire (TM): Enter the Unknown Designer Diary
Recently, we announced Enter the Unknown, a supplement for Star Wars®: Edge of the Empire™. Enter the Unknown expands the Explorer career found in Edge of the Empire, and provides new options for players and GMs alike.
In today’s designer diary, developer Andy Fischer explores the new mechanical options available in the upcoming Enter the Unknown.
A Word From the Developer
Our main focus with Enter the Unknown was expanding the options players have at their disposal for creating and advancing their Edge of the Empire character. We not only wanted to create more varied and unique choices, but we wanted to create ways in which players could get a deeper experience out of a focused character concept. While we did this narratively by adding new options to each step of character creation from Obligations to Motivation, today I want to talk about the mechanical options we introduced in Enter the Unknown, and how they will help players expand and focus their characters.
Expanding Your Character
The element that adds the most significant mechanical variety to characters is the addition of three new specializations for the Explorer career. These specializations were chosen and designed for this career based on a two step process. First, we looked at the Explorer career, and outlined the mechanical abilities (skills and talents) we still wanted to include as possibilities for the Explorer for it to feel complete. Once we had done that, we made a list of the types of characters players who choose Explorer would want to create. We then looked at the overlap between these two lists to create three new specializations that both stood on their own as strong, independent character concepts, but also expanded on the existing Explorer specializations in an interesting and complementary way.
However, these specializations are not only appealing to Explorer characters. The wonderfully flexible advancement system in Edge of the Empire means that these specializations are available to any player who wants to spend a bit of additional experience to diversify his or her character. When designing each of these new specializations, we also considered how they would complement characters from other careers. A Bounty Hunter may want to invest in the Big Game Hunter specialization to hunt a particularly dangerous mark, a Colonist may want to pick up the Archeologist specialization to acquire abilities relevant to working in the field, or a Smuggler may want to acquire the Driver specialization to help in some under-the-table transportation jobs through a sprawling metropolis. Whatever a character’s focus, working on the edge can often require some of the expertise of an Explorer.
In addition to these new specializations, new mechanical diversity comes in the form of three new species introduced in Enter the Unknown. Each of these new species fits in with the themes of the Explorer career in different ways, but can also make excellent characters from any of the five other careers. These species include the solitary and mysterious Chiss, the inquisitive and inventive Duros, and the gregarious Toyradians.
Focusing Your Character
In addition to adding more options for characters to diversify their skill sets, we also wanted characters to be able to focus their advancement if they choose, mastering a certain area of expertise instead of spreading out their ability. For this reason, the new specializations included in this book use many of the same talents found in the Core Rulebook, especially ranked talents. This allows characters who want to focus their advancement to find interesting combinations of specializations to make their character a true master of their craft.
Additionally, for players with a singular vision for their character that falls squarely into their chosen career, the new Signature Abilities added in Enter the Unknown allow them to focus their character’s advancement to gain powerful and flavorful abilities. By adding these abilities that “attach” to the bottom of in-career talent trees, we reward characters that commit to a specialization of their chosen career, creating an interesting choice between diversifying a character’s abilities or focusing them on a singular goal. These abilities also add a twist to how the game plays later in a campaign, adding fresh mechanics to the play experience that make the characters feel powerful while moving along the GM’s story in a meaningful way.
Thanks, Andy! Enter the Unknown will be available soon, so pre-order it today at your local retailer. In the meantime, check back here for more news and previews!