The Rebel Alliance's View of the Galaxy
A Preview of the STAR WARS (R): Age of Rebellion (TM) Roleplaying Game
“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” –Leia Organa
The Star Wars®: Age of Rebellion™ Roleplaying Game thrusts players into the middle of the civil war that rages between the evil Galactic Empire and the heroic, rag-tag bands of freedom fighters that comprise the Rebel Alliance.
In our last Age of Rebellion preview, we looked at how their allegiance to the Rebel Alliance gives player characters a cause to fight for that’s greater than themselves, and we explored how that idea carries out through the system’s epic scope: The missions your character undertakes will impact the fates of hundreds of Rebel soldiers, the outcomes of massed space battles, and the lives of millions throughout the galaxy.
Mechanically, the system’s epic scope is given form by its focus on Duty and by the new adversaries, vehicles, and starships that help comprise the Imperial threat. Today, however, contributing author Sterling Hershey turns our attention toward another way that the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook reminds you that your character’s actions are always creating ripples that echo throughout the galaxy.
Sterling Hershey on Portraying the Galaxy and the Rebellion
The Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook contains more than the rules you need to play; it contains setting details and story ideas. Setting details include information about the planets and locations where the player characters might go, and they address the groups and organizations to whom the heroes may talk or against whom they may fight once they get there.
The Star Wars galaxy is vast, and such information is helpful to orient both Game Masters and players. They can use this chapter to jump start their character backgrounds, discover interesting places and people they haven’t previously heard of, or find suitable locations for new encounters, adventures, and campaigns.
My contributions to the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook included Chapter 10: The Galaxy and Chapter 11: The Rebellion.
A Galaxy at War
Naturally, The Galaxy includes a lot of physical information: major hyperspace routes, regions of the galaxy, and a galaxy map. Each region of the galaxy is described, along with a list and brief description of important systems, but the approach is unique to the Rebellion’s specific interests.
The descriptions in the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook don’t just describe a location as a static entity; they talk more about how areas may be useful to the Imperials and Rebels who may visit or target them. That isn’t to say that every single entry focuses on battlegrounds; there are still shady places throughout the galaxy where characters can slip off the sensors for a while, and the Rebels make use of these as well. The Rebel Territories section discusses exactly what that means in a war where it is difficult to hold ground.
The chapter’s in-universe, in-character sidebar descriptions and vignettes also reflect the Core Rulebook’s focus on the Rebel Alliance. A variety of voices and viewpoints emphasize the range of opinions regarding the Rebellion and its efforts throughout the galaxy. A few examples include a Bothan Spynet report, Rebel recruiter, Imperial defector, and a skeptical citizen.
The Rebel Alliance
The Rebellion is a primer on the Rebel Alliance, how they operate, and the battle tactics they employ. Players trying to figure out how their characters or groups fit into the Alliance should find this information helpful. Common mission types may also serve as story hooks or inspiration for other Rebel operations.
The chapter also covers the Rebellion’s bases. Everyone needs somewhere to operate out of, and the chapter offers general base-building advice for those GMs or players who want to create their own. For those who want something more recognizable, the Rebel Main Base on Yavin IV is included, straight out of the movies.
You will also find a new base called Watercrest Outpost. Watercrest isn’t a military base, but an intelligence gathering base situated near sensitive Imperial star systems – places suitable for covert Rebel missions. It is hidden in plain sight, concealed within a failed vacation resort that the Alliance has “reopened” as a way to cover its ship traffic, as well as to provide better accommodations than the average secret base. Because the outpost hosts non-Rebel guests from time to time to keep up local appearances, the use of Watercrest Outpost introduces new roleplaying and story opportunities not available at an isolated military base.
As the core of an entire, standalone Star Wars roleplaying system, the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook provides all the rules you need to enjoy countless hours amid the civil war raging between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance.
We’ve now seen how Age of Rebellion immerses you in this epic, galactic conflict with both its rules and its setting information. In our next transmission, we’ll continue to explore the different elements that make Age of Rebellion a uniquely satisfying Star Wars roleplaying experience. We will turn our attention toward the Imperial threat and the vehicles, starships, and massed space battles that may decide the outcome of the Galactic Civil War!