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The Unknown Regions Released Today

Posted By JF on April 20, 2010



With the recent announcement that Wizards of the Coast will not continue their Star Wars RPG and Miniatures lines, it means that the latest book The Unknown Regions released today will be the last one. Much like the previous supplements for the Saga Edition RPG, this sourcebook written by Rodney Thompson, Sterling Hershey and Daniel Wallace continues to carry the high standards in quality that will appeal to any fans of the RPG or the EU in general. Here's what you can find inside the book:

Chapter 1: Character Options adds several familiar alien species that are new to the Saga rules. Here you can find how to create stats for Anzati, Chadra-Fan, Ishi Tib, Krevaaki, Nikto, Shistavanen, Sluissi, Squib and Verpine characters. Even more aliens and planets are covered in later chapters. This one also includes ruleson how to create various Near-Human species. Also like all the previous supplements, this chapter includes many new talents for core and prestige classes, 21 new feats including Hyperblazer and Nikto Survival, and closes with details for a new Force-using tradition from the Unknown Regions called the Blazing Chain.


Chapter 2: Explorer's Equipment details lots of new weapons, equipment, droid models, vehicles, fully-detailed starships, animal mounts and animal companions needed to explore the harsh Unknown Regions. Melee and ranged weapons include some used by space pirates, such as blastswords and black-powder pistols, as well as species-specific weapons like the Squib tensor rifle and the Verpine shatter gun; droids include various survey and exploration models made for scouting, as well as the brand new WED-20 Treadwell model; vehicles include the return of classics from the West End Games RPG such as the 48 Roller Wheel Bike and the Nightfalcon Speeder Bike; there are also several scout and recon starships, such as the JumpMaster 5000 Scout (like Dengar's ship The Punishing One) and the Mu-2 Shuttle. Another favorite for long-time fans is the SoroSuub Preybird-class starfighter. Finally, the chapter offers several animals, old and new, that can be used as mounts or as companions. You can see how your characters can ride aiwhas, berguutfas and ukian torbulls, as well as banthas and eopies, or have tame a Mandalorian strill to keep as a pet much like Walon Vau did in the Republic Commando novels.


Chapter 3: Exploration Campaigns starts out with two complete campaign outlines set in the Unknown Regions, which is followed by descriptions of three different types of scouts (service, corporate and independant). But then the meat of the chapter follows. Inspired by WEG supplements such as Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts and Planets of the Galaxy, this chapter describes how to run scouting campaigns, how to scout planets, and tables to randomly generate new planets and creatures. This chapter really offers tons of ideas for RPG campaigns in general, and is useful for any part of the galaxy and any time period.


Chapter 4: Hazards describes and offers rules on how to create obstacles and challenges to add spice to any adventure. Stats for poisons, explosives, sickness and environmental objects are classified by different climate: aquatic, arctic, arid/desert, forest/jungle, indoor/urban, space, subterranean and swamp hazards. Here you can find anything to throw at players anytime, anywhere.


Chapter 5: Threats describes several important civilizations or organizations that were or can be threats to the galaxy in general. More than just describing alien species (some already covered in previous supplements), this chapter explains how to use them as major plot points and the basis of long-running campaigns. Each highly-detailed entry covers each threat's description, motivations, methods, history, and how to use them in a campaign or adventure. The threats described are: Chiss, Ebruchi, Killiks, Lugubraa, Mnggal-Mnggal, Rakata, Sorcerers of Rhand, Ssi-Ruuk, Tofs, and Vagari. Most of these entries also include stats for the species involved to help GMs or players create their own characters.


Chapter 6: Planets covers several new planets, describing their histories, important locations, hazards, factions, environments, animals, and several adventure ideas as well. All eight of these planets (including O'reen and Veroleem) are brand new and exclusive to this book, so this alone is worth the price for any completist.


Finally, Chapter 7: Deep Space Encounters offers eight complete mini-adventures for different character levels and mostly set on planets described in the previous chapter. Of note is the last one, titled "The Mask of Darth Nihilus".


In conclusion, despite the title of the book this supplement can be indispensable to any campaign set in any area of space that has unexplored planets. There is a wealth of ideas and new rules and information that can appeal to any GM, player or fan. The book covers many rules on exploration and scouting, given the nature of the area of space it centers on. Also, like all the previous books from Wizards of the Coast, this book is very-well produced and includes amazing color artwork, floorplans and maps by talented artists too many to mention here. I regret the departure of this gaming company from the Star Wars gaming license, but the books they have released so far offers an endless wealth of information which can help create limitless adventures and stories set in a Galaxy far, far away. I recommend this book, and the entire line of Saga Edition supplements, to any fans of the EU in general (if you don't play, just skip the main rulebook).






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