All right, read the last entry to understand the game mechanics. In short: When conflict or challenge arises, take d6’s equal to selected attribute and other modifiers, roll them, take highest, add 1 for each double result, then compare to opponent’s roll. Either side may equalize the result by spending Force Points. If so, roll another round, maximum of three rounds. Each round requires a different attribute. Losing a roll does not kill the character. A player can choose to make a Heroic Sacrifice and boost a challenge roll immensely.
So. When you make a character for A Better SWRPG, first you must distribute attributes. You take 15 points and put them as you wish among the 6 attributes. Then you select your Species. If this were a book, very likely there would be a description of the most common species of the Star Wars galaxy. But unlike d20, none of the species provide a specific mechanical bonus. It’s just there to provide a choice and a roleplaying tool. Although many species in Star Wars do have some kind of extraordinary ability, and even if they don’t, people react differently to different aliens. Whenever the player can find a justification for their species to be a benefit in a situation, they get an extra die for a challenge roll. Note that Droid counts as a species.
Next, background. Background functions mechanically like Species: If you can justify it being a benefit, you get an extra die. Backgrounds are your character distilled in a few words. A bounty hunter, a smuggler, a jedi, a grey jedi, Antarian Ranger, Rebel Pilot, an Imperial Soldier, Senator of Farrfin, class 1 droid… Background gives the player a starting point from where to flesh out his or her character in detail. Like in Species, an encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars universe helps immensely. That or wookieepedia.
Next, items. What is Star Wars without weird and cool gadgets? A new character receives four items. These are specific and well-defined items the player begins with. They function like background and species: If you can find use for them in a challenge, you can get an extra die. However, you get more and more items as you progress in the game, and you can sacrifice an item to get a Force Point. For without being sacrificed, you never lose your items: They will always find a way back into your possession. Captured? When you are bust out of the maximum security prison cell, they are conveniently in an unlocked locker in the nearest checkpoint. Fell down an inevitable waterfall? When you wake up in a beach, your backpack has stuck in a tree branch nearby. Crash-landed your ship? The engines are in a bad shape, but if you can find some cabling and heat-resistant material, you should be able to jury-rig them into working until you can perform full repairs. Items can be weapons, armour, personal effects, gadgets, mechanical prosthethics, even vehicles and starships. The GM has right to deny your personal Star Destroyer, however.
With Force-sensitive characters, force powers are considered items. They can’t be sacrificed for Force Points, but the player whose character was defined as Force-Sensitive has access to the Dark Side-tracker, which enables him to tap into the dark side for temporary power. There are five steps in the tracker: Serene, Tempted, Tainted, Corrupt and Fallen. The players start in Serene. By tapping the Dark Side of the Force and using the Force in anger the player gains four dice to a single challenge roll. This can be done after the roll results are shown. This action drops the player one step down the tracker. In Tempted, the character has tasted the Dark Side. The GM is encouraged to encourage the player to be merciless, kill prisoners and ask after almost every failed roll whether the player wants to tap the Dark Side. In Tainted, the character has willingly stepped another step in the darkness. In stressful situations like combat the GM can make the character show unnecessary force and aggression even if the player does not wish to. These should not result in deaths of major characters or derail the story; They are just a taste of the influence of the Dark Dide. When the character becomes Corrupt, the GM can try to take control of the character when the lure of the Dark Side is strong. The player and him roll d6’s equal to the character’s Willpower. The player can use Force Points, but the GM can not. If the GM wins, the character becomes Fallen, and is now a GM character.
Redeeming oneself from the Dark Side requires atonement. Atoning from Tempted requires the character to remain centered and serene. He or she must not seek aggression and only act in self-defence. By performing acts of dramatic heroism (as judged by the GM and the other players), the character can return to the light and move back to Serene. Until then, the character must not initiate combat, meaning that the opponents can choose the first attribute. Atoning from Tainted is harder and requires personal sacrifice: The player must sacrifice three force points at the moment of a heroic act. This will move him back to Tempted. A Corrupt character needs to face his dark side to defeat it. He must win the corruption Willpower challenge with the GM and sacrifice every item and Force Point in his possession. This will redeem him back to Tempted. A Fallen character has gone too far to redeem himself. Only a few Sith in existence have broken through the grip of the Dark Side, and even them have had outside help.
That’s pretty much every mechanical aspect of the game. Next time a bit more on the overall structure of the game, from the GM perspective.