Dangerous Covenants Review – Star Wars Edge of the Empire
The latest sourcebook for Edge expands on the Hired Gun career. The TL;DR is this is my favorite Edge sourcebook yet. First off, the cover has a heavily-armored Aqualish brandishing a smoking multi-barrelled repeating blaster. This is the book to use when the party decides “aggressive negotiations” are in order. The races added are Aqualish (walrus dudes), Weequay (Hondo Ohnaka and his pirate gang) and Klatooinians (tough dog-faced people from Klatooine). The new specializations for hired guns are Enforcer (good mix of melee/underworld social skills), Demolitionist (Awesome for setting traps, and blowing stuff up of course), and Heavy (Unstoppable tank, best at wielding the biggest guns possible).
To Edge of the Empire’s credit, it’s not just all new guns and new characters to use them. It provides a lot more detail and ideas for hired gun backgrounds and obligations for the new as well as the originial hired gun specializations. The book is divided into three chapters, the first is all about the new backgrounds, races and specializations as well as new signature abilities like the ones added for explorers in Enter the Unknown. The second chapter is new weapons, armor, explosives, attachments and vehicles. Toward the end of the chapter there is a quick conversion table to turn a civilian vehicle into a paramilitary version. This allows you to drop a template on any stat block for vehicles already detailed in previous books and make them armed and armored! The third chapter is GM-focused, and deals with encounters, campaigns and rewards that cater to the hired gun career, as well as tips about running cinematic combat.
The page count breaks down this way: Total 96, intro 6 pages, new races/specializations/talents 30 pages, new gear/vehicles/ships 34 pages, encounters/campaigns/rewards 26 pages. Most of the stuff in this book is going to appeal to PCs, though really any of it could be used by the GM. If there is one thing I’ve learned from running this game, put big guns on the field and the PCs will find a way to use them. I think the combat system is one of the real strengths of Edge, and this book gives you a much bigger toolbox to work with than what is in the core. Plus, I’ve already got a smuggler in one of my groups that is always trying to rig up a trap with grenades, he may want to stat up a demolitionist!
If you’ve been on the fence about buying any of the expansion books for Edge, but really like the combat aspect of the game this book is a must have. If you enjoy more of the diplomatic missions/characters you may want to pass, but I don’t think any party of scoundrels and ne’er-do-wells would be complete without one guy with a whole lot of firepower.