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What was so great about the D6 Star Wars?

Steve Dubya

Plot Railroad Conductor
Validated User
In my HS days I recall having a brush (literally one session) with some version of WEG's D6 Star Wars game, and I walked away being somewhat unimpressed. However, I'm totally willing to chalk that up to just a bad session as (from what I recall) there were other events going on at the time that seemed to detract from playing.

I've heard tell the the D6 Star Wars is a fantastic rules light game* and still the favorite of many as not only the most efficient at modeling the SW movies, but a fantastic rules-lite system in general.

What made this the case? Is there a version of the game that is more or less considered better than the rest? How close is the current incarnation of the D6 System in terms of mechanics to the earlier game?

*Not without it's problems; I understand that the Force can be somewhat of an issue.


Retiring User
Validated User
Comparison with D20/RCR Star Wars. Literally anything was better than that mess.

Seriously, I can think of plenty of systems that do Star Wars a lot better than D6. Frankly even Saga Edition (with it's own problems) is better, IMO.


Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It ran very quick and, with very little effort, could accommodate pretty much any character concept that you could envision. Our Star Wars GM ran a very non-canon expanded universe with vampires (of the White Wolf variety), mutants (of the Marvel variety), immortals (of the Highlander variety), and so forth haunting the void. Generally speaking, we were able to work up perfectly serviceable rules for all of those characters in a little less than a half hour each.

Is there a version of the game that is more or less considered better than the rest?
Yep. Second Edition Revised and Expanded is where it's at. If you can't get that, then Second Edition (with Vader on the cover) is your next best edition.

How close is the current incarnation of the D6 System in terms of mechanics to the earlier game?
At the core, they're pretty similar, but D6 Space overly complicated things, IMO. In order to get what we had going with D6 Star Wars using D6 Space, I would have to strip a lot of stuff out. That, for me, is more work than adding simple rules extensions to D6 Star Wars.


Registered User
Validated User
It's a perfectly simple, cinematic inspired game system. It's very easy to say, "This Star Wars game is going to be very close to the original trilogy in what a Jedi can do." or "This game is going to be more like the prequels in terms of what a Jedi can do." or "This will be like the original Clone Wars Cartoons that that were aired between Episode II and Episode III, in terms of what Jedi can do." and then just roll with it.

Jedi were the alpha class, which means it is the one game system that most closely emulates the source material. Granted, The Force rules do need to be tweaked to make them less cumbersome.


New member
A lot of the simplicity was lost between 1E and later editions (more skills, wild die which is a goofy mechanical addition which tangles up results.) In general it was the simplicity, the good advice for running a Star Wars game, and little things like having a "Episode" scrawl, starting script, and other genre nods which made the game nice for what it did.

Was it perfect? No. Yet at the same time it did what it aimed for quite well.


Registered User
Validated User
It was the game that got me into roleplaying due to the fact im a raving Starwars fanboy. It was rules light, easy to learn and teach. You could run pretty much all you could think of. It doesnt work well for Jedi games, but for rebel or smuggler sorts its perfect.

The lack of classes and levels no doubt influenced what I like in an rpg. To this day i dislike class/level games and charts galore. The majority of games in my teens were with SWD6 and i had a blast.

Also at the time it was a chief source of EU, when i started playing Zahn had only published up to Dark Force Rising and so the SW novel business had yet too boom. Learning all the names of the races and characters in the Cantina and Jabbas Palace was awesome when i was young.

Yeah it had problems. How damage was handled seemed odd and all my players wore armour for the strength bonus. The Force was a bit wonky, but I only Gmed for one Jedi so it wasnt a major issue until the Jedi could take apart fucking tonnes of stormtrooperss with Lightsaber Combat (the force power).

Nowadays Im not sure if i would run it. For a Jedi/Clone Wars/KOTOR game I would go with Saga. But for a sandbox fringer game...maybe.

Its also a great game for introducing players to roleplaying. Everyone has seen the films so theres no books full of setting info needing to be read for a good game, the rules are simple and the premise of "Your Rebels fighting the Empire" or "Your Smugglers like Han and Chewie trying to make a profit" are very accessible.



Not going to do well here
Validated User
I loved it.

I really enjoyed the full color ads for in-universe products.

Lightsabers were incredibly lethal. Every time we had an encounter between two jedi, there would be a series of exchanges ending in the sudden death of one of the participants when his opponent dealt enough damage to kill him outright in a single blow.

I also like the Dark Side point mechanic. Every Dark Side point was an additional die to roll when using your force powers. It made it easier to use the Force. But every time you gained a point, there was a chance to turn irrevocably to the Dark Side. I'm a big proponent of giving the players enough rope to hang themselves and this really allows that.

Cam Banks

Kiwi Game Designer
Validated User
My favorite (and in my opinion the best) was the first edition, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and the accompanying Sourcebook, with the Rules Expansion that came out a few years later. The second edition completely lost the cool attitude and great writing, and the Revised and Expanded version tried to add it back in without as much success. But, you know, the R&E was all that was available for a long time, so.



Deserve's got nothing to do with it
Validated User
Played it in high school as well. Things that stood out were the full-color book (very well put together), easy to understand system, and the fact that it used d6 only.


Slitheroid Morph
Validated User
Chalk another one here for purchasing and running the game in high school because I was a Star Wars fanboy. 20-odd years later, my players then are some of my best friends now.

You could create a character in under 2 minutes if you knew the basic rules. You could come up with a generic NPC mook in 30 seconds as you run the game.

My players tell me what they want to do and I tell them to roll which attribute or skill against what difficulty number. If I described the environment around the PCs during combat well enough, they'd be up to awesome swashbuckling actions in combat depending on their skill rolls and imagination.

Reading the 1st Edition book was fun, which helped with the flavor of running and playing the games. If people weren't all laughing and cracking wise during a game then you'd know you're doing it wrong. Happened to me a couple of times when I didn't prepare well.

Also, there is the nostalgia factor. When I started playing the official Lucasfilm Expanded Universe didn't exist. You only had a handful of novels from the late 70s and early 80s, the Marvel comics series and the Droids toon that expanded the movies. Suddenly there I was with my friends making up stories structured by the rules and playing bounty hunters, rebel commandos, Jedi, scouts, pilots in that universe, blowing up Imperial outposts, rescuing Senators, persuading planets to our cause, betrayed by vile traitors and looking for lost treasure from the Old Republic.

It's probably something I'll never experience again.
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