Roll to Confirm

More Thoughts on The Jedi
January 16, 2014, 11:13 am
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Kingdom Far Away, RPG's, Star Wars

On the last post Fik says:

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?

Yes, yes it does. And that’s been the sticking point for me. Really, a part of my internal monologue about force-users in this game. I tried to alleviate some of that scarcity by upping the chance every level, and maybe I didn’t make myself clear in that. Every level, your chance to become force-sensitive goes up by 1%. So for every level, you pick another number and then roll a d100. Meaning by 5th level, you have a one in twenty chance of being force-sensitive and by 10th, it’s one in ten. I’m also considering a luck mechanic and allowing players to burn luck points to improve their chances.

But then at that point, why not just give players who really want to be force-users a no fail way to do it? Fik’s more subtle question about people who just want to play a bounty hunter being “forced” to be a force user is valid. I haven’t talked about it, but I’m considering some in world complications for being a force user like being drawn into politics or being recruited/hunted by other factions.

Well my original reasoning was that Jedi are just so darn scarce in the Star Wars universe. That and I really don’t want to DM a campaign where everyone is force users, and even less a campaign where one person is a force user and he/she is way more powerful than everyone else. Or a campaign where it’s all about the force-users hunting for “spells.”

My holy grail here is to have characters who are good at stuff, and also Jedi rather than characters who are just good at being Jedi. Corran Horn versus Qui Gon I guess. It makes more sense to me to have a base class of fighter or specialist and then “bolt on” force-sensitive rather than having either:

1) A force-sensitive class for every style of character like The Old Republic did it
2) Or a force-sensitive class with a million options at character generation so you could be a sword fighter or a healer or whatever

My current rules makes it so you’re still a fighter, but you can do this one extra thing like jump high or read minds. And if you want to pursue it, you can. Maybe some sort of hybrid system that allows you to give something up for a guaranteed force power at character creation. But the thing you give up had better be awesome. And I don’t mean like the paladin having a code that everyone forgets.

If it seems like I’m arguing with Fik, that isn’t the case. I’m arguing with myself, and Fik happens to agree with that part of my brain. It bears some thought.


5 Comments so far
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I’d agree that the increased chance each level does make it a bit better. I also love the idea of playing a character like Corran Horn (love the X-Wing series so much I asked for it to be shipped here for x-Mas… X-Wing for X-Mas, I always say…)

Anywho, I didn’t want my original comment to sound like I was arguing with you either. There are disagreeing parts in my brain as well, those were just some of the concerns that came to mind. I suppose players could always opt-out of the system if they really didn’t want to be force sensitive?

Something else. You’ve mentioned a few times that you didn’t want one Jedi in a group to become more powerful than everyone else, but regardless of whether someone starts as a Jedi or rolls to get it later, the real concern is that you have to try to have everything balanced so that Jedi don’t become overpowered.

In the movies (IV-VI), the Jedi/Sith are basically so overpowered that they can really only fight each other (i.e. *SPOILERS* Only Luke can fight Vader). In that world, they’re in such a class of their own that there is no one for them to fight but each other. (That’s my they’re, their, there statement for the day 🙂 That obviously isn’t what you’d want in any game and I suppose the trick (which you’re probably keenly aware of already) is trying to find a balance where everyone is still competitive and fun.

Love reading these little updates!


PS. I started working on my Serenity campaign world again, so these kinds of conversations are of significant interest to me fit now!

Comment by Fik

You mentioned the movies, and this will be a blog post eventually, but I want to address it here so we can continue the conversation.

In the “original trilogy” it’s true that the Jedi/Sith pretty much only fight one another. And none of those guys are in their prime. But they’re the only force-users you see so they’re way stronger than the muggles.

In the prequel trilogy, these guys are at the top of their game. Darth Maul can fight two Jedi and nearly win. I’d argue that if Darth Maul was around, Luke would be toast.

But Jedi still die. They die against overwhelming odds, they die when they are surprised and Obi-Wan almost dies when he fights Jango Fett.

If I decide to make force user a real option, that’s how I want to balance it: by assuming Jango Fett is an “adventurer.” He doesn’t have the force, but he uses tech and training and smarts to make up for it.

It’s like Han says “nothing beats a good blaster at your side.”

Comment by S4M

Agreed, that’s kind of what I was getting at. Also, Han shot first.

Comment by Fik

Also, Maths >.<

When I looked at the math in the last post, I thought it looked like a 20% chance of becoming Force Sensitive (1%/level, 20 levels). Then I remembered I always got questions like that wrong in college. Rather than try to fry my brain figuring the probability, I just stuck with a 1% chance each level. Looking at the new math, I went and got six pieces of paper, stapled them together the way a test is in school, picked up a pencil and then just threw everything up in the air in exasperation!


Comment by Fik

I tried to explain the math fik was describing in a way that made sense, but I’m not even remotely math-minded. Basically, instead of a static chance you have an increasing static chance which actually means that it’s something different? I dunno how to term that. Anyways…

I always thought that in an RPG world Jedi would be more like they are in the later movies… I.e just as easily blaster fodder when a clone has a rifle at your back (sorry Aayla, you were cute and blue and you will be missed).

I’d rather play a clone trooper commando who is an expert at what he does than a guy who doesn’t have the droids you are looking for, but that’s me. I can see some players wanting that iconic feeling, and I wonder if any system is gonna satisfy what people are looking for. (I.e if they don’t have the potential to do the things force users do, are they going to be disappointed? And if they can jump tall buildings in a single bound, how disappointed is the guy who has to get expensive tech to even compete?) I know there isn’t gonna be crazy tech but you know my intention there. Just my musings.

Comment by librarylegend

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