Rules Lawyer – Converting WEG Modules for FFG Star Wars

Obligatory Minor Spoiler Warning: Small details (e.g., vehicles, encounter types) for the WEG module “Operation: Shadowstrike.”

My Age of Rebellion group suggested I look at the golden oldie West End Games (“D6”) Star Wars RPG as a resource for adventures ideas, since I have access to many WEG materials. But it meant I would most likely have to convert stats, something that I have limited experience with. But I gave it a try–and was glad I did. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be, either.

Picking something to convert is the first step. You need to find the right module for your needs. I was looking for something that could be completed in a 3-4 hour play session, for times when I was short a player, or to step in if another game’s GM was unable to run as planned. This eliminated a lot of otherwise interesting modules; many full-lengthWEG modules have upwards of 6 episodes, some of which equated to a single encounter while other episodes would take a full session, I judged. (I might use some of them in the future.)

Another factor is types of characters, including how experienced they were. Fortunately WEG’s writers were good about giving this kind of information. Deciding on the PCs’ XP level, whether you do pre-gens or let your players make their own, is probably going to be the first “conversion” you do. A number of the modules include some suggestions for how experienced the PCs should be. “This adventure is for a combat-focused party” needs no translation, but “Intended for characters with an average of X many dice in their skills” does. I needed something for 3-4 PCs who were more than Knight Level. Since I had only a little experience with WEG, and none at all building PCs, I checked with a friend who did have extensive experience with both systems to give me some rough guidelines so I could judge how to alter, if needed, the encounter number or types of opponents.

After considering several other modules, I went with “Operation: Shadowstrike” from WEG’s Star Wars Instant Adventures. This is a pretty straightforward Search & Rescue – but there were paragliders and Storm Commandos! And the information from my friend and a couple read-throughs made it look like a pretty good fit for the party, even if only half my party was combat-oriented.

Next up was converting the encounters in the module, such as skill checks. I felt very lucky when I realized that WEG’s and FFG’s Difficulty scales are pretty interchangeable; the major difference is the name of each level. Examples used in the second edition WEG and AoR corebooks are very close, in fact. So:
WEG Difficulty                    FFG Difficulty
Very Easy                                  Simple
Easy                                            Easy
Moderate                                   Average
Difficult                                      Hard
Very Difficult                            Daunting
Heroic                                        Formidible

This means that for non-combat skills all you need to worry about is which FFG skill to use for a given check. WEG has many, many more skills than FFG’s much broader skills. For example, there are twice as many Knowledge Skills in WEG as in FFG, although some of these–Survival, Alien Species, Alien Culture, etc.–correspond to a General Skill in FFG. FFG’s Piloting (Planetary) covers all non-space vehicles, while WEG has different skills for different types of vehicles. It is pretty easy to figure out which FFG skill to use. For combat skills, use the standard FFG Difficulties.

A few cautions on WEG skills. Compared to FFG, encounters call for a lot of checks, for what is essentially part of the same activity. For example, an insertion by paraglider required several checks, including one to simply activate the repulsors at the proper time. After I ran the session, I got feedback that there were too many checks for the insertion. It was also suggested that instead of just eliminating some checks for the hardest parts of the canyon descent,  I use those bits as narrative results for Despairs or multiple Threat on the remaining checks. I also found that some of the module’s suggestions for outright failure were better suited in FFG for those Despairs, particularly ones that affected the next encounter. Speaking of harder checks, I noticed that suggested Difficulties tended to be higher than I would have set, but that may be my GMing style. Still, if you think a given Difficulty is “wrong” for your style or party, just alter it. A final thing to be wary of is that some WEG consequences from failure will pretty much end the adventure for the PC who fails, such as stranding someone who fails a check to control a paraglider. Find another consequence that let’s everyone continue. (My veteran WEG player confirmed that this and railroading aren’t uncommon for WEG adventures.)

The final thing is converting your opponents and any special gear or vehicles. Of course, if FFG already has the same thing, or something similar, just use that, perhaps tweaking stats or switching out some equipment to reflect key bits. That is what I did for the Imperial Storm Commandos and also for the troop transports for the final encounter. (I have upcoming write-ups for the Commandos and the Combat Paragliders.)

Would I do this again? Yes! There were some problems with the session, but most were unrelated to the scenario conversion. So as soon as I find another WEG module that looks good, I will prep it to have on hand. There was also another plus to this exercise. It gave me a better understanding of building a scenario and more confidence in my ability to convert or homebrew what I needed.

Credits: Donovan Morningfire, Dr. Xerox, and Empty Bacta Tank, of the Friday Night Skype group, who provided post-game feedback on the game and some of my conversion work.

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Linda Whitson

Linda Whitson

Contributing Writer & Copy Editor at D20 Radio
Linda Whitson is a long-time RPGer, amateur musician & artist, & an officer in the Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming club. Linda met her husband in an AD&D game and they have 2 teenagers, an anime fangirl daughter and a son who plays on his university's quidditch team. She is the Lead Mod of D20 Radio's forums and Copy Editor for the blog. Linda can be reached at GMLinda@d20radio.com
Linda Whitson

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