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Lee Torres

I can contain my curiosity no longer...

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Whill, one of our worthy and stalwart crew of moderators on this site, has the following text in his sig block:

 

~ Star Wars D6 GameMaster since 1988 ~

 

(Creator of the first Star Wars RPG in 1983)

 

Okay, so I've just silently kept myself in suspense for months now, but the wind is a-howlin' somethin' fierce across the high desert tonight, the stars are right, and a kind of madness has seized upon my fevered brain.

 

Spill it, Whill! Tell us of THE FIRSTEST EVER STAR WARS RPG!!! (cue dramatic music)

 

Darth Smiley ---->Hijack<----Whill Webwalker

 

:D :eek:

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Ok, let's take a little trip back into the hazy memory of Whill...

 

...Late May 1983. My Dad picked up my little brother and I on Friday evening after school, as was the tradition in those days. "Tonight," he said, "I am gonna take you to see a movie...." Anticipation built up as Little Brother and I look at Dad hopefully... "the new Star Wars" he said. "Yes!" Little Brother and I yelled in unison as we start jumping up and down like idiots. We went to Dad's girlfriend's place and had dinner. Then we piled into Dad's car and he took us boys and his girlfriend's daughter (a little red haired girl) to the theater.

 

Keep in mind this was before video (before we had video tech anyway). Dad had taken Little Brother and me to the theater to see the previous two Star Wars movies exactly once each, and we all loved them. In those days, Star Wars was a very rare special event that had only happened 2 other times in our lives. Needless to say, we were pumped for Return of the Jedi.

 

Just like Empire in 1980, the moment this new movie started, we left the theater and we wisked away to the Star Wars galaxy. When it has ended, we shook off the daze a little easier this time since we had already done this a couple times before. Little Red Haired Girl liked the Ewoks the most, but the rest of us admitted we were amused by their antics. Dad and I were still trying to wrap our heads around the major plot twist at the climax. Just like in Empire where no one expected the evil bastard Vader to be Luke's father, for this one no one expected Vader to turn good, and then sacrifice his life to kill his master and save his son. Bravo!

 

The next day, the daze had completely worn off and the excitement took over. My Dungeons & Dragons/comic book buddies had met me at my place to make our ritual weekly journey to the comic shop. On the way there, they told us that their dads or step-dads had taken them to see Jedi also. On the way there and back, all we could talk about was all the ships flying, lazers blasting and lightsabers humbuzzing!

 

That night I was supposed to be planning the next D&D adventure because it was my turn to DM next. But I had Star Wars on the brain and then it hit me... Why not Roleplay in the Star Wars galaxy instead of the fantasy world of D&D? So I created the first Star Wars RPG all in one weekend.

 

At that point we had never played any other RPGs, so D&D was all we had. Long before terms like game mechanics and game systems were in use, I took the D&D "rules" and intuitively adapted them to Star Wars as best as a could as a kid. Of course I had to create rules for piloting ships and vehicles, and other things. But I had a rudimentary game and first adventure ready the next weekend when our group got together to play. I'm not sure but I believe I called the game "Stars & Wars" or something like that.

 

My group was thrilled with the idea. I believe I called myself the "War Master" (instead of dungeon master). I remember the first adventure took place on Tatooine immediately after the events of Jedi. Things were in chaos because of Jabba's death, and then the news of the Empire's defeat at Endor made it to the planet. The adventure was mostly a big journey through the desert, and climax involved the PCs flying a speeder into Mos Eisley. That's about all I remember.

 

One of the other player/DMs in my group (Jason) had some suggestions for additions to the game rules and we implemented them for the next adventure. I ran another adventure and Jason ran one. I can't remember any more so that may have been it: me running two adventures and playing in a third. Then after our Star Wars mania calmed down a bit, we lost interest in the homebrew game I created and went on to other things, like more D&D, comic book poker, dirtly Ad Libs, and whatever other stupid stuff pre-teen boys do...

 

Sadly, the notes we had written down about the game are now long lost to time. But in the summer of 1987, one of my friends got VHS tech and the Star Wars trilogy, and my passion for Star Wars was re-ignited. Then in October of that year, my teen age place of employment got WEG's original Star Wars RPG book and Sourcebook for sale. I immediately snatched these up and thought, this is way better than that homebrew game I made. The rest is, as they say, history.

 

So no, the game I had made was never published. It was not made by professionals, but instead by an 11 year-old kid. Yes, it ripped off TSR's D&D big time. It was played a few times and mostly forgotten about.

 

But no one I have even encountered, even on the internet, has ever claimed to have homebrewed their own Star Wars game, let alone four and half years before WEG's first edition. So until I find out otherwise, I am going to stand by my claim that I made the first Star Wars RPG. :)

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Wow... It's uncannily like the original Star Wars film...

 

Obi-WEG Kenobi confronts his former pupil, once known as Anakin TSRwalker...

 

Darth WOTC

I've been waiting for you, Obi-WEG. We meet again, at last.

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the

learner; now I am the master.

 

Obi-WEG

Only a master of evil, Darth.

 

Hijack

 

Thanks, Whill, my addled mind can rest!

 

But no one I have even encounted, even on the internet, has ever claimed to have homebrewed their own Star Wars game, let alone four and half years before WEG's first edition. So until I find out otherwise, I am going to stand by my claim that I made the first Star Wars RPG.

 

For the record, back in 1980 or so my old group (the East Coast gang) used the Traveller stats published in the last pages of Citizens of the Imperium and the other supplement dealing with characters, with some Star Wars gear published (serial numbers filed off, of course) in old issues of, if memory serves, White Dwarf magazine and played a Traveller version of Star Wars, but I haven't met anyone that homebrewed one either, so I'll stand by your claim as well! :D

 

We set ours during the Clone Wars, based on the passing mention in "A New Hope" - boy, did we ever get that wrong! Now that Lucas has the official Clone Wars info out there, we just completely missed the boat... well, prior to Order 66 we missed the boat, anyway - our version was bad-guy clones versus heroic Jedi Knights and the Army of the Republic...

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Good story, Whill! I'd forgotten what it was like back before VCRs when you had to wait for a movie to come around before you could see it again. I once watched Star Wars in french because it was on TV, and I had only seen it twice before that. It was still awesome.

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Yes, it ripped off TSR's D&D big time. It was played a few times and mostly forgotten about.

 

Wow... that sounds just like the Star Wras Original Core Rulebook that WOTC made!

 

:D

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Yes, it ripped off TSR's D&D big time. It was played a few times and mostly forgotten about.

 

Wow... that sounds just like the Star Wars Original Core Rulebook that WOTC made!

 

True, but I ripped off D&D first! 17 years earlier! And don't you forget it! :D

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But no one I have even encounted, even on the internet, has ever claimed to have homebrewed their own Star Wars game, let alone four and half years before WEG's first edition. So until I find out otherwise, I am going to stand by my claim that I made the first Star Wars RPG. :)
I can claim to have done so in 1980, using D6s no less. My "group" and I used dice to "balance" our action figure play because otherwise it was just a game of "'I hit your Greedo first!' 'NO! my Greedo shot your Han first!'" ;) Lego D6 was more fun though. :D

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I can claim to have done so in 1980, using D6s no less. My "group" and I used dice to "balance" our action figure play because otherwise it was just a game of "'I hit your Greedo first!' 'NO! my Greedo shot your Han first!'" ;) Lego D6 was more fun though. :D

 

Interesting. An action figure game with dice rolls. Sounds kinda like a mini game, but action figures used instead. I wouldn't count that as a full-fledged role-playing game though.

 

My Star Wars RPG was more of a role-playing game then even the D&D (Basic) that it was based on, because it had a lot more role-playing and all sorts of game mechanics that D&D didn't have. Not really a skill system, but I remember an ability score check system was devised to resolve a lot of the action that I had never seen before.

 

So Temprus, you can definitely take credit for the first Star Wars Action Figure Game but I'm still gonna keep the first Star Wars RPG.

 

Hijack

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Whill,

You never saw my "group" play with our Action Figures, definitely more RP then most people get with more formal RPGs. ;) The AFs were just our bigger scale minis. :P We customized my SW figs so we could use them as our own characters. We even added a "Force Point" like mechanic after we stole the Force cards from my brothers copy of "Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game". Later I used the same deck of card Force Cards to use for Force Points with WEG Star Wars (and recently bought a copy of the Hoth game just to get a deck again).

 

If you had asked me at the time, I never would have considered it a RPG since I really did not know what a RPG was until much later. It was not until recently when someone started a post on "When did you start gaming" that I realized what we used to do was basically a RPG. Also, our "Cowboys and Indians" type play was more LARP then normal too.

 

Besides, we did not only use Star Wars figures, so we played multi-genre long before GURPS! :D Where else could you get a team like Kirk, Luke, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Spider-man and Gandalf traveling in an Eagle Transporter from Space 1999 or a big rig with an ABC Sports motif? :cool:

 

TGG,

Our system was way more basic, each character had 0 to 10 in a skill, roll a d6 and add, higher total wins, then you must describe/play out what happened. Force Cards let you add one die per card or could be used to survive a combat loss. There was no real GM either, I ended up as the arbitrator since they were mostly my figures.

 

I had no dealings with WEG before Eric, the only (in)direct contact I had with WEG was to send a letter (that I don't even know if they got) suggesting they make a separate D6 System game (this was a few years before the original D6 rulebook).

 

Bah, this post is way longer than I meant it to be.

 

Edit: I would point out that Chainmail was a minis/action figure game that evolved into D&D.

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Whill, You never saw my "group" play with our Action Figures, definitely more RP then most people get with more formal RPGs.

 

Sorry, Temprus. I meant no offense.

 

The AFs were just our bigger scale minis. :P We customized my SW figs so we could use them as our own characters. We even added a "Force Point" like mechanic after we stole the Force cards from my brothers copy of "Hoth Ice Planet Adventure Game". Later I used the same deck of card Force Cards to use for Force Points with WEG Star Wars (and recently bought a copy of the Hoth game just to get a deck again).

 

If you had asked me at the time, I never would have considered it a RPG since I really did not know what a RPG was until much later. It was not until recently when someone started a post on "When did you start gaming" that I realized what we used to do was basically a RPG. Also, our "Cowboys and Indians" type play was more LARP then normal too.

 

Besides, we did not only use Star Wars figures, so we played multi-genre long before GURPS! :D Where else could you get a team like Kirk, Luke, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Spider-man and Gandalf traveling in an Eagle Transporter from Space 1999 or a big rig with an ABC Sports motif? :cool:

 

TGG,

Our system was way more basic, each character had 0 to 10 in a skill, roll a d6 and add, higher total wins, then you must describe/play out what happened. Force Cards let you add one die per card or could be used to survive a combat loss. There was no real GM either, I ended up as the arbitrator since they were mostly my figures.

 

I had no dealings with WEG before Eric, the only (in)direct contact I had with WEG was to send a letter (that I don't even know if they got) suggesting they make a separate D6 System game (this was a few years before the original D6 rulebook).

 

Bah, this post is way longer than I meant it to be.

 

Edit: I would point out that Chainmail was a minis/action figure game that evolved into D&D.

 

Interesting. Very creative game you created. And it sounds more original than the game I made.

 

You are correct about Chainmail, but Chainmail was not considered an RPG itself. Chainmail was classified as a "midieval minitures wargame". Predecessor to the first RPG? Yes. An RPG itself? Not quiite.

 

The definition of an RPG includes someone in the role of gamemaster who is not a player in the game. You said your game had "no real GM", but you did mention that you were an "arbitrator". If you were also a player than it would seem your game didn't really have a gamemaster, as you indicated. My game had a gamemaster who was not a player.

 

And finally, you game was a multi-genre game. Mine was pure and utter Star Wars. No Spider-man, Captain Kirk or Gandalf.

 

But very cool to hear about your imaginative game, Temprus. Honestly, it seems much more original than my game, which I admit I couldn't have made at age 11 without using TSR's D&D as a framework.

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I cooked up a Star Wars game that was vaguely based off of Pendragon and my friends homebrew Superheroes game . . . . but, that was in 90 or so. So I dont win at all

 

The basic mechanic was opposed d20 rolls, so it had a dubious honor of being d20 Star Wars before d20 Star Wars showed up (and I like my version of d20 Star Wars better)

 

I later made it into a genericish system

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Hate to burst your bubble Whill but you are far from the first person to do a Star Wars RPG, I can predate 83, I did Star Wars using both Traveller and "Basic" from Runequest 2nd Ed,

 

I also know a number of people who did Star Wars with Traveller along time before me, Not really that surprising though, Traveller came out about the same time Star Wars did so I'm guessing it was a fairly common thing to do,

 

You can't claim to be "creator of the first Star Wars RPG in 1983"

cuz its not true, sorry dude

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Hate to burst your bubble Whill but you are far from the first person to do a Star Wars RPG, I can predate 83, I did Star Wars using both Traveller and "Basic" from Runequest 2nd Ed,

 

I also know a number of people who did Star Wars with Traveller along time before me, Not really that surprising though, Traveller came out about the same time Star Wars did so I'm guessing it was a fairly common thing to do,

 

You can't claim to be "creator of the first Star Wars RPG in 1983"

cuz its not true, sorry dude

 

 

Thank you for this information. I knew none of this about anyone else or you using Traveller to make Star Wars. Dang, I wish I had heard of Traveller back then, because that had to be a lot easier than trying to turn Basic D&D into Star Wars! :eek:

 

But the others you knew aren't here to make the claim, just you. But I believe you on the same token that I expected people to believe me with no proof.

 

So I hereby pass the honor to you pathfinder, and promise to update my signature soon to delete the erroneous claim. If you know of others who did it before you, then you are free to not make an equally invalid claim as I had. The true creator of the first Star Wars RPG may always remain a mystery, but it is possible that it goes back to when Traveller first came out.

 

So thank for this thread bursting my bubble, Lee! :) I jest. The game I homebrewed wasn't anything to be proud of. In retrospect, it was a piece of crap like D&D was, only slightly better because it was Star Wars.

 

:cool:

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I can't take that title of being the first to make a Star Wars RPG

Has I've already said there were others before I did it,

 

And chances are other before them,

 

Traveller came out in 77 same year as Star Wars, thats alittle before my RPG time,

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I...promise to update my signature soon to delete the erroneous claim.

 

Done.

 

But I can still say that I bought the original Star Wars RPG and Sourcebook that were simultaneously relelased in the Fall of 1987, the week the came out. So probably not the first in the entire country, but one of the first to buy them. I had no advanced information and didn't know of the game's existence until I saw it in the store in which I worked.

 

So my next question is, could someone claim to be a GM of a game before they ran their first game session? Part of the role of GM involves planning the adventure and/or campaign, and that can happen before the first game session.

 

I bought the Star Wars game in 1987 and began dreaming up my first campaign almost immediately. But the group session to create the characters and the first session to play the first adventure did not happen until 1988. I have always claimed to have been a Star Wars D6 GM since 1988, since that is when the campaign began to be played. I was at least a "GM-to-be" in the planning stages in 1987...

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I got both books in 87 as well, but didn't play it

in fact I didn't like the system at all in those days

 

still thought my basic version was better,

 

Wasn't till later, much later till 2nd Ed Rev came out that I liked the system,

I always liked D6, just not for Star Wars in those days,

 

 

 

And GG, I must be missing something, but I don't think anyone is getting rilled

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And GG, I must be missing something, but I don't think anyone is getting rilled

 

I wasn't the only one who noticed it, and it was mentioned backstage by someone else.

 

As long as everyone stays cool then this thread can continue

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I wasn't the only one who noticed it, and it was mentioned backstage by someone else.

 

As long as everyone stays cool then this thread can continue

 

Who is meant to be rilled up?

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