Well, well - after a slow start, Star Wars Beta picks up speed in the second chapter – Creating a Character. Here we get acquainted to the concept of Obligation, different species to play as well as the six different careers: bounty hunter, colonist, explorer, hired gun, smuggler and technician.
I must say, I really like the Obilgation – actually I would like to incorporate this into any future games I’ll help produce (realistically, just Coriolis, at the moment). Obligation is as the name implies a debt, unpaid favor, family duty, addiction or whatever you think would be interesting for your character. Or just roll on a table if you can’t come up with it by yourself. The obligation is a value ranging from 5 to 25 at the start of the game for each character but it´s added together when used in the game. Technically at every session the game master rolls a D100 and if it’s below the total obligation, the corresponding characters Obligation comes into play this session. The character reduces his strain threshold (used in “mental” conflicts) by 2 and all other characters by 1 – and this doubles if you roll was a double (eg. 11, 22, 33). As the strain threshold normally is 12 (for a normal human) you can sort of figure out the possible effect.
You can also use the Obligation to get stuff, favors etc but if it rises above 100 the whole party won’t be able to relax (and spend xp) until they have resolved their Obligation(s).
Moving on to species – I suppose here you get what you expect – in my case you can play wookiees, humans, droids and twi´leks among others, and each species description is short and inspiring – the opposite of how the first chapter felt like.
The six different careers with 3 specializations each (bounty hunter: assassin, colonist: politico etc) are what makes me want to play SW! Each specialization ahs its own talent tree, describing which talents you can choose from as well as how they are interconnected (see below). Talents resemble their namesake in WH3, by having different effect that are sometimes due to added boost or setback dice or adding bonuses to abilities, attributes etc.
After you bought your talents, career skills etc you choose (or roll) Motivation, which resembles an aspect in FATE but doesn’t seem to be compelled in the same way. And finally you get to choose a ship – among three different types – whose names don´t elicit any recognition for my part – but I have come to understand that one is the “Millenum Falcon” and one “Slave-I”.