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Thoughts on the Jedi
January 13, 2014, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Kingdom Far Away, Sandbox Campaign

Of course, the very first question one would ask, when confronted with a Medieval Star Wars (Land Wars?) game is “will there be Jedi?”

The short answer is “yes, of course.” The long answer is a bit more nuanced.

Scarcity

My first impulse when converting Star Wars to D&D was to call Wizards/Sorcerors Jedi and be done with it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would take the game in a direction I didn’t want to go. I fear that if Jedi was a class one could pick at the beginning of the game, unless it were balanced precisely, it would be the default for most players. Why would you be a fighter when you could be a Jedi fighter? And I fear that those who don’t pick Jedi would be less effective, or even less invested, in the game. Basically, the general perception is that the Jedi are the ones in charge and the most powerful and everyone else can just follow in their wake.

That, of course, isn’t actually the case in the original trilogy but it seems to be the general consensus. I also want the force to be mysterious. No midichlorians in this game! This is a low magic, high tech sort of setting. And considered in the scope of the whole galaxy, there aren’t that many force users out there.

I want the path of a force-user in my game to be that of Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. Luke was rather older when he became aware of his power. He sought training from Master Yoda. He grew in power. He still relied on mundane methods of fighting and problem solving. In the Extended Universe he again sought training from the Emperor Reborn and ended up falling to the dark side. He resisted taking on apprentices and when he finally did, some of them fell. Luke’s path was one of experimentation and resistance. Much like the path of your everyday D&D adventurer.

To Become a Jedi

Becoming a force user, then, must be difficult and at least partially random. The current iteration of my rules states that at character creation a player picks a single number between 1 and 100. A percentile die is rolled every level the character obtains, including first, and if that number comes up the player has “unlocked” force sensitivity for that character.

But you’re not done yet! When you become force sensitive, and at every level, you get to pick a force power and one is randomly selected for you from the three schools: Control, Sense and Alter. To gain more powers you must seek them out. Force powers can be discovered through holocrons, scattered in the deep places of the world. Perhaps you seek wisdom in the force through practice and meditation (and I have yet to develop rules for “spell research.”) You may also seek a master. But finding a master has it’s own set of difficulties. You have to follow their rules now and you’ve chosen a side.

Force Sensitive Factions

So there have to be Jedi and Sith but in the Extended Universe there are other groups of force users out there. The witches of Dathomir, the Aing-Ti Monks and the Grey Jedi are all out there and seeking one or more of these communities could make an adventure all of it’s own.

This game will rely heavily on a factions system that I’m developing. Each faction will have it’s own rules and affiliations and will come with perks that will develop much like prestige classes.

Using the Force

My current plan is to use a modified version of this spell dice system from Brendan at Necropraxis.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sounds like fun, but with only a 1% chance, once per level, doesn’t it seem like it’ll be so rare that almost no one will get the opportunity to experience all of the game play?

I get that Jedi should be rare, but what if the guy who wants to play a force user never rolls good, and the guy who wants to play a BH turns up Force Sensitive?

Wouldn’t there be a way to play as a Force user (if you want) but how powerful you get is the random part. Without holo robs, or masters, or force ghosts, training is slow, and not as effective? This could be done by setting out how many spells are learned automatically (a lowball), then bonus spells and powers can be earned as rewards (like loot) but only a certain number could be used per level, to keep a lucky SOB from becoming the Emperor at level 1.

Just a different perspective.

-Fik

(PS, for the record, I want to play Helo, a badass Commando healer who doesn’t take jack from the Sith 😉

Comment by Fik

I think this system is the most balanced you could reach for because of the extent to which products like the force unleashed or clone wars or whatever make Jedi out to be super ninja, general, archmages who have wolverine fast healing and the flashs speed. Also, I want to play a commando named Lokas who defends the weak and champions the downtrodden.

Comment by librarylegend

[…] the last post Fik […]

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