The top letter in the Edge of the Empire Alphabet is the headliner in describing the mechanics and method to playing a Star Wars sandbox-style campaign that are part of the core experience of playing in that style.
Using the Astrogation skill in new ways is central to this type of gameplay; as are the Knowledge (core worlds, outer rim, underworld) skills, which will be expounded upon in a later post, K is for Knowledge. These additional rules aim to provide an impetus to the Crew to explore the galaxy, finding new hyperspace routes, and stirring up local trouble in backwater star system; all while under the constant pressure to earn more credits, finance their travels, pay off their debts, and upgrade their sweet new starship.
At the start of the campaign, print out or draw a large (28 in. x 28 in.) sheet of paper or posterboard representing the Star Wars galaxy, referred to as the Galactic Map. A circular area 6″ in diameter at the center of the galaxy represents the core worlds, and the surrounding area represents the outer rim. Draw a thick boundary on the paper to represent this galactic core. Throughout the course of the campaign, the players will discover new worlds, plot out hyperspace routes, and unravel the mysteries of their Destinies; all by drawing directly on this Galactic Map. Draw an axis of 3 to 30 on each edge of the Galactic Map. When new star systems are found, they are placed on the map randomly by rolling two sets of 3d10 and using those results as the star system’s galactic coordinates.
Each player character introduced into the campaign may pick one star system to have a deep connection with. Often this will be the star system of that character’s birth, but need not always be. The player may place that star system anywhere on the galactic map.
Each day of hyperspace travel is represented by 1 inch of physical distance between two star systems on the 28″x28″ paper Galactic Map. Finding new star systems will be covered later in K is for Knowledge.
Upon entering a star system, roll a Force Die. A result if oo indicates a random E is for rogue Event.
Each day of hyperspace travel takes up 1 day of in-game time and 100 credits in supplies and fuel per Hyperdrive Class of the starship. The minimum travel time between two systems is 1 day (100 credits in supplies and fuel).
When making a jump through hyperspace, a starship’s pilot or astrogator must make an Easy (d) Difficulty Astrogation check with the following modifiers.
Quick calculations or entry into hyperspace under duress. Upgrade Difficulty
Damaged or missing astromech droid or navicomputer. +ddd
Ship heavily damaged. +dd
Ship lightly damaged. +d
Outdated, corrupt, or counterfeit navigation charts or data. +d
Success: The ship travels through hyperspace to its intended destination, using the calculated in-game time and resources.
Failure: A technical goof wastes 1 day and 100 credits worth of supplies and fuel. Make a new Astrogation check.
Advantage: The journey doesn’t take as long as expected, using 10% less time and resources per Advantage.
Threat: The journey takes longer than expected, using 10% more time and resources per Threat.
Triumph: The journey takes only half as long as expected. In addition, the starship emerges from hyperspace in a hidden location, such as within the shadow of an overlooked moon.
Despair: Critical hyperdrive malfunction. The crew may fly at sublight speeds to a shipyard in the system and pay 500 credits for repairs, or spend 1 day and 50 credits in supplies adrift in space and attempt to repair the hyperdrive themselves with a successful Hard (ddd) Mechanics check.