Regardless, Edge of the Empire is a great example of what we call 'dice pool' and what's more, a proprietary system much like the Warhammer Fantasy RPG, which shouldn't surprise you since FF was behind both. That said, this game should have felt very different from D&D since we didn't phys-rep, we didn't count distances on a board, and the map was merely for reference, not for placement, range or other mechanics.
Yet this system may still feel stiff and mechanical after next week, when we experience the story-driven yet extremely detailed BURNING WHEEL. Note also the existence of BURNING EMPIRE space setting, and others from Luke Crane. Bring a large handful of D6!
*THIS is the hard, crazy, confusing -- but really fun -- one! Start on this character right away so you don't fall behind next week! There are two major phases for this and it usually takes a few hours (at least) the first time.
Using any edition you like (I prefer Gold), "BURN UP" a 5 life-path Burning Wheel character, making sure to start with a "born" and only going to leads that are permitted from that path. If you follow the rules, everything is derived from your choices so there are no further instructions.
[Alas, NO ORCS or mods (like Hobbits) ALLOWED, but the other 3 core races are fair game! You can burn a basic wizard if you must, but be warned - you may discover that your magical abilities are not all you had hoped once we begin. There were only ever 5 wizards in the Tolkienverse, FYI.]
The scenario will be "Lord of the Rings: Year III-861 in the city of Annúminas - Ancient seat of the Kings of Arnor. You start with 3 fate - 2 Persona - 1 deed point. Brackin will GM the entire class at once, so expect a very different type of game experience.
CHARACTER BURNER AND SHEET
Full download list is here: http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/index.php?title=Downloads. Note that there is an "extended campaign" character sheet HERE which I will not accept for the assignment, though I prefer it when playing personally.
There are TONS of resources for this game (http://www.burningwheel.org/) including the fan-based wiki (http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/) and forums to help you out (http://www.burningwheel.org/forum/forum.php). You MAY also use an online burner to help you out - but beware - many are buggy and you must still turn in a fully completed burner worksheet HERE and character sheet HERE. (or the form-fillable one HERE) You can play with and learn from the automated burner, but you MUST transfer it over to the above sheets correctly.
Need a hand? Don't Panic! Come to Strategy Game Club in ATC 3.102 after 6pm this Thursday where the SGC plays board games and you will find many BW experts to ask intelligent questions of!