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KOTOR Minis and Campaign Guide

Posted By JF on August 19, 2008

Amidst all the news about The Clone Wars movie and the release of The Force Unleashed novel and comic adaptation, there is another great item due out in stores today. Wizards of the Coast bring back fans to the Knights of the Old Republic era with a (slightly delayed) Miniatures expansion of 60 different figures, and also the long-awaited KOTOR Campaign Guide that offers tons of information that appeals to fans of the comics and video games as well as RPG players.

The KOTOR Miniatures set is the latest addition to the ever-expanding game. Each pack contains random minis, and they are collectible. Here is an example of what you can find in the KOTOR Miniatures Booster Packs: the Massiff and Mandalorian Captain (#46 and #56 of the 60 piece set).

The Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide is the third sourcebook (after Starships of the Galaxy and Threats of the Galaxy) for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition. But there is a first for this one: not only is it co-written by long-time RPG designers Rodney Thompson and Sterling Hershey, two other writers contributed their wealth of knowledge. This may be fan favorites Abel Pe?a's and John Jackson Miller's first contributions to the RPG, but both have a long history with Star Wars in other media. Miller is, of course, the writer of Dark Horse's Knights of the Old Republic regular series so he has a lot to contribute about characters, events and things that he created for the series, as well as the research he did on the Tales of the Jedi series. Pe?a is well-known for his non-fiction informative articles covering various aspects of Star Wars, to which he contributed many memorable additions and fusions of different sources. Aside from the RPG stats, the information in this book alone is enough to satisfy any Star Wars fan interested in this period of Star Wars history.

For RPG players and gamemasters, this book (along with the Saga Edition Core Rulebook) contains almost everything needed to play in this era, and certainly tons of new rules and information that can be used into any other era as well. Here's a quick rundown of the book's contents:

  • The era itself is divided into 5 different periods (roughly between 4,000 and 3,951 BBY) which are outlined in the introduction.

  • This is followed by a chapter that offers 10 new playable alien species (12 if you count the Arkanian Offshoot and Kissai).

  • Chapter 2 talks about creating characters in that era and adds new talents to existing classes. The chapter also explains new uses for 3 existing skills, introduces the concept of "combined feats," and 21 brand new feats (most of which can be used in any later era).

  • Chapter 3 is all about Prestige Classes, including new talents for existing ones and 3 new ones: Corporate Agent, Gladiator, and Melee Duelist.

  • Chapter 4 concerns all aspects of the Force and offers several new Force powers, talents, and techniques that can enhance play with any Force-using characters. The chapter also has descriptions about different Jedi organizations and other Force-using traditions (which means even more new talents).

  • Chapter 5 is the largest one and is titled "Equipment and Droids," so it is an essential part of playing in the era. Here you can find descriptions and stats for different weapons, armor, implants and 15 types of droids from the video games and comics.

  • Chapter 6 covers the important vehicles and starships, too numerous to mention here.

  • Chapter 7 offers an incredible amount of info and advice about running and playing in an "Old Republic Campaign". It covers pretty much everything from factions, important battles, major corporations and a timeline of events.

  • Chapter 8 is the "Galactic Gazeteer" and describes 18 planets from the games and comics, as well as retro-updates for 18 other planets that were already covered in the Core Rulebook.

  • Finally, Chapters 9 to 13 will be of most interest to non-RPG fans, as they cover "The Jedi", "The Sith", "The Republic", "The Mandalorians" and "Allies and Opponents" respectively. These sections basically include descriptions and stats for all the major characters for each faction, some generic templates for each, as well as various equipment, droids and starships relevant to each. The last chapter could also be called "The Fringe" as it concerns characters who are not affiliated with any party but more independant, such as the bounty hunter Calo Nord, the woman warrior Jarael and the assassin droid HK-47.

    All in all, this is a great book for any Star Wars fan who are simpy intrigued by this period, who love the comic book series or the video games, or who want to try a different campaign in their RPG games. It may even inspire fans to try out the roleplaying aspect of the game.

    Note: for some of the writers' thoughts behind their writing, check out Sterling Hershey's blog, Abel Pe?a's blog, and John Jackson Miller's website (which will soon be updated with his production notes and trivia). And check back later for a more in-depth review of the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.

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