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Species
February 4, 2014, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Campaign Brewing, Kingdom Far Away, RPG's, Star Wars

I’ll put force users on the shelf for now and move on to another vital thing about both Star Wars and RPG’s: Species. Of course in RPG’s the common term is races, but I think for a Star Wars game species feels more appropriate. It evokes a slightly more scientific bent and also I hope makes the world feel bigger. Unlike the generic fantasy campaigns I normally run, in the Kingdom Far, Far Away, each species will have it’s own distinct homeland. They will still mingle in cities but I really want locations to be distinct. I’ll admit in my games all dwarves tend to be from mountains, all elves tend to be from forests etc. This helps speed up play at the table but it also makes things more generic.

One of my goals for this project is to create a campaign that has a very low entry point. I’d like to be able to run it for people in my area, mostly students, who haven’t played tabletop games before and come from a video gaming background. Familiarity with Star Wars is assumed, but not necessarily with RPG’s. I want a player to be able to sit down at my table, roll a few dice, and have a playable character in minutes.

How does this work with all those species?

Well, I’m going to limit the initial species selection to humans. You can hail from Corellia, Coruscant or Alderaan and each of those origin kingdoms will come with their own benefits like stat improvements, skill selections or social abilites. When your party, or group, ventures to an alien kingdom, gains the services of an alien species or makes a particular contribution to a species, you “unlock” that species as a character creation option.

I hope this will both simplify the game as well as open up more incentive for engagement with my world.



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.



Star Wars Class Musings Pt. 2
August 4, 2009, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Star Wars

Continuing from my post last week, I’ve got a few more ideas for classes for the Star Wars d20 Homebrew.

Spy-Should this be a class set apart from Smuggler/Scoundrel? I think so. I see the spy as less of a thief and more of a trained assassin. Like the  navy seal of the rogue community.

Parallel: Rogue, sort of. I might end up making spy a subclass of Commando or Smuggler.

Lore: “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”

Commando-I haven’t decided on what time period to use for this campaign yet but nearly every point in the Star Wars timeline has some version of the Commando. A heavily armed fighter with specialties in all weapons.

Parallel: Fighter.

Lore: Republic Commandos, Storm Troopers

Medic-I have no idea what to do with this class. It’s nearly universal to have a healing class to complete the “holy trinity” of role playing games. But the more I think about it the more I realize that it’ll be a dry-as-toast class to play. There’s no reasonable way for a person to ‘cast’ heals and some sort of healing ray-gun would be ludicrous, no matter how hand-wavingly convenient it would be. Besides that, there aren’t any solid religious reasons, lorewise, to have any type of holy healer. Other than a Jedi of course . 

So, healing will come from two sources: Jedi and items.

Jedi will be able to provide direct healing, by touch, but only outside of combat. I’m of a mind to make it more like a heal skill than a castable ability.

Also available for purchas will be things like stim packs, spice and bacta patches to provide on-demand, direct healing (and other buffs) in combat.

Are there other classes I should be considering? More to come on Jedi healers as well as some item ideas I’ve got.



Star Wars Class Musings Pt. 1
July 29, 2009, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Star Wars

Yesterday I started musing on the Star Wars d20 homebrew. Today, more of the same. I’ve been thinking long and hard on classes and their fantasy parallels.

Potential Star Wars Classes

Diplomat- I see this as the party leader class. A charismatic individual who is better at persuasion than combat. The Diplomat would have group buff abilities, diplomacy and bluff skills and maybe some mind control based CC.

Parallel: This is the hardest class to parallel because most of the systems we play lean heavily toward combat. Think Warpriest without the melee bent or Wizard without direct damage spells.

Lore basis: I have been questioned over and over about my choice to include this class in the game but I think it’s a pretty vital role to be filled. Padme is my go to example, as are Bail Organa, Yoda (when he’s not fighting) and Thrawn. Lando?

Jedi/Force Adept– As mentioned yesterday, I’m not completely sure what system I’ll be adopting or developing for the Jedi. The Jedi class will obviously have martial (light saber) combat abilities and force powers. I’m considering limiting base Jedi classes to light armor only.

Parallel: Cleric for the classes devotion and protective spirit. Monk for the single-minded nature and lack of physical mitigation. Sorcerer for the ability to spontaneously and intrinsicly cast spells. Fighter for the devotion to martial prowess. Dark Jedi would lean more towards barbarians, channelling primal rage to deliver devastating attacks. It’s a broad and diverse class, which is why I’m tending toward splitting Jedi into sub-classes or something.

Lore: If you need this, you shouldn’t be playing with us.

Bounty Hunter– The bounty hunter will be a heavily armored, heavily armed combat class. Probably with ranged and close combat specialties. Alignment will be an issue here, as well as technology.

Parallel: Ranger, absolutely ranger. This would be the easiest class to do a direct overlay from D&D. Combat focus, favored target, tracking abilities…it’s a perfect fit.

Lore: Bounty Hunters already do quests for money.

Smuggler/Scoundrel– The scoundrel will be a light or medium armored class with lots of skills. Predominately ranged damage skills and maybe some sneaking abilities.

Parallel: Rogue.

Lore: Han Solo, Corran Horn, maybe Anakin even.

To come: Commando, Medic, Spy and maybe some ideas for Jedi specializations/sub-classes/talent trees.

 

Edit: Gray Paladin I smell a prestige class!



Star Wars Musings
July 28, 2009, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Star Wars

I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to come up with the most important, vital hallmarks of the Star Wars universe. At this point I’m not even that concerned about implementation. I’m only worried about nailing the list of ‘gotta have this’ stuff from the Star Wars universe.

  • Space Combat
  • Jedi
  • Planets
  • The Undesirable Element

Space Combat

This’ll probably be the hardest to “home-brew”. I’m of a mind to steal this from some other RPG and tweak it to fit. Of course, more time will probably be spent on board ships than transit systems from other RPG’s. That means there will have to be a robust system for upgrading, maintaining and personalizing ships. I foresee as much as a 50/50 timesplit between space and planetary exploration. As such, we’ll need something for everyone to do, not just pilots and gunners.

Jedi

Who wouldn’t want to play one? Well, hopefully somebody won’t. My thoughts on Jedi are various. Options include:

  1. Make Jedi one cohesive class with a ‘spell list’ that allows for differentiation of roles.
  2. Design numerous Jedi classes ie. Guardian, Healer and Saber Artist.
  3. Start with a ‘Force Adept’ base class and make all Jedi specializations into prestige classes.

Planets

Lots and lots of planets. I tend to think of planets as equivalent to major cities or hex-locations of fantasy campaigns.

The Undesirable Element

This is my catch-all term for all the Scoundrels, Slicers, Bounty Hunters, Smugglers and Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herders. This is the thing that sets Star Wars apart from other, more rosy SciFi titles.