When creating a character for the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG, a player must consider what they want to do in the galaxy far far away. The previous article discussed the Character Concept, creating a character Background and choosing a Species. This article continues the character creation discussion, focusing on the next two steps: choosing a Career and choosing a Specialization. In traditional Role-playing Games, this translates as choosing a character class and combat role (for example: tank, healer, damage, stealth). However, in the Star Wars RPG, players are not limited by combat roles. As discussed previously, Star Wars focuses on the narrative rather than the combat. So when a player asks themselves what they want to do, it opens more possibilities for creativity and storytelling.
A Career is the chosen way of life for a character, including elements such as his or her goals, training and destiny. What a character does and focuses on over the course of his story may change and vary over time, but the core of who he is will remain rooted in his career. For example, a smuggler will always be a smuggler even if he saves a princess, joins a rebellion, infiltrates secret bases and races Starfighters.
In the Star Wars RPG, Careers are described in the three core rulebooks: Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Force and Destiny. There are no other books that add new Careers. Each core rulebook has six Career options. Players should consider two major questions when choosing a career. What role does the player want to fill? This is more than just combat roles, as PCs can fill roles during combat or during narrative elements of the game. The 2nd question is what is the story? PCs will have many chances to influence the narrative through conversations with NPCS, injecting player derived story content through using Destiny points, and through decisions made that may affect a characters Obligation, Duty or Morality. This question also encompasses the character’s backstory. Creating a backstory to fit your chosen Career will go a long way toward making your character fit well in the overall narrative.
Choosing a Career can be limited by what type of campaign your party is running. Speak with your GM to determine which core rulebook you should reference. If you would like to choose a Career outside of your campaign’s setting, speak with your GM for special consideration as any Career is fully capable of working with any other core rulebook campaigns. Below are the Careers listed by Core Rulebooks.
Edge of the Empire: Bounty Hunter, Colonist, Explorer, Hired Gun, Smuggler, Technician
Age of Rebellion: Ace, Commander, Diplomat, Engineer, Soldier, Spy
Force and Destiny: Consular, Guardian, Mystic, Seeker, Sentinel, Warrior
While Careers form the core of a character, diversity and creativity are seen in the Specializations within each Career. Specializations are a focus on a special set of skills and talents that make up your character. While a character’s Career will not change, players can choose talents and abilities from different Specializations as their character gains experience. Specializations from other classes or generic Specializations can also be accessed. This can lead to incredible diversity and customization between characters in any given party.
Diversity in the same class can be easily seen between two iconic Smugglers. Han Solo is the legendary smuggler who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. He and his famous ship, the Millenium Falcon, are known throughout the galaxy. Han can make the Falcon do things no other YT freighter can do, and therefore he fits primarily in the Pilot Specialization. Lando Calrissian, on the other hand, is a suave and charismatic con-man. Known for his quick wit, his expert card playing and his charming smile, Lando most identifies with the Scoundrel Specialization.
Choosing talents and abilities from Specializations outside a character’s standard class can lead to some very interesting characters, and can be seen in the most iconic hero in Star Wars: Luke Skywalker. Luke most closely identifies as an Ace class from the Age of Rebellion core rulebook. As one of the Rebellions top X-wing pilots, the Pilot Specialization fits well with his character. However, as a Force sensitive character, growing in his abilities, Luke would also have some talents and abilities from the Universal Specialization: Force Sensitive Exile; found in the Age of Rebellion core rulebook as well. From a narrative standpoint, Luke was an excellent pilot before he ever consciously tapped into the Force; therefore, adding depth to his character as he progressed through the story.
As a player chooses a beginning Specialization for their character, they will generally choose based off one of two factors: The character’s background or the type of work the character will be doing. The first question focuses on what the character was doing before the campaign starts, what has led them to where they are professionally, for whom did they or are they working, and what is their reputation? The second question focuses on how the character manages his day to day life, how he gets paid, who pays him and what he does when he needs new work. Also when choosing a Specialization, speak with your GM and the other players involved as well. While the player ultimately makes the decision, referring with the GM and the other players so that all your character Specializations work well with each other is recommended.
Most importantly be creative and have fun! Each player is steering their character through the narrative and they get to help shape the direction of the story with the Career and Specialization choices they make. The next article will look at spending Experience Points and assigning Attributes. Below is the list of Careers and their Specializations from the three Core Rulebooks.
May the Force be with you!