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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.



The Sneak Attack
August 6, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: Sandbox Campaign

This is a quick post about something I’ve been pondering. The Sneak Attack. You’ve seen it in the movies, the hero sneaks behind a guard, puts his hand over the sentinel’s mouth and drags his knife across the jugular.

In D&D there’s really no way in the rules to copy this. But it makes sense in the real world, so I’m thinking of implementing a Sneak Attack system.

It’ll probably occur as a type of skill challenge where you have to do a set of skill checks, all in a row, and you’ll have to succeed on them all.

For example:

1. Hide

2. Move Silently

3. Make an attack roll vs. flat footed AC.

4. Roll damage using coup de grace rules.

This will be more devastating than a normal surprise round, but with more risk if you fail. Also, as a side note, I’ll be pretty specific about what weapon can be used in this manner. Wouldn’t make much sense to silently stab someone in the back with a warhammer, now would it?