Friday, January 13, 2017

Campaign Rules - Part Four: Jedi and the Force

"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
In the past, I've really tinkered with the rules for the Force and its related abilities based on the misgivings and dissatisfaction (real or perceived) expressed by fellow players and GMs of the system. At the same time, I've successfully winged a lot of stuff with the game simply by being a fan of Star Wars and doing what my players and I think "feels right" for the setting. I've looked over the past notes I compiled regarding the Force in D6 Star Wars and I'm going to post only those things that change as little of the system as possible.

The reason for this is because I want to give the system a chance and to give us a chance as GM and players to sort out what works and what doesn't. The only big change in the rules here is the institution of Peter Schweighofer's "Dueling Blades" system. This system emphasizes quick, simultaneous combat rolls with some nice dramatic flourishes. I'll go over that more below, but for now, let's dive in...

Creating Jedi and Force-Sensitive Characters
Originally I was going to post my guidelines for creating Jedi and Force-sensitive characters back in the first entry when one of the Jedi slots opened up, but including them here is probably a better place to do it so I don't forget.

Creating a Force-sensitive character is not that different from creating a regular character. Dice for the character's Force skills are drawn from the 18D they receive for attributes as compensation for having those special abilities. In addition, the character receives two Force Points instead of just one.

In choosing powers for beginning characters, I like to use a "slot" system. For each 1D a starting character has in Force skills, they have one "slot". A character with 1D in each skill (Control, Sense, Alter), essentially has three slots. This gives you some flexibility in choosing your powers, and you do not have to fill all the slots at character generation if you don't want to. Each power fills a slot based on the number of skills it requires. A power such as Control Pain, which requires the Control skill, fills one slot. A power such as Transfer Force, which requires Control and Alter, fills two slots. A power such as Affect Mind, which requires all three skills, would fill all three slots for a beginning character.

If you want to find powers beyond what's listed in SW2R and the Tales of the Jedi Companion (TJC), you can check our main reference for this game, the Rancor Pit's Force Power compendium; any material from this book that does not already appear in the rulebook or TJC must be cleared by the GM first. Other notes and powers can be found in the following conversion books by the Rancor Pit crew as well as conversions by Gary Astleford:
Likewise, any powers and material from these conversion files and their associated books must be cleared by the GM before going into use in the game.

After that, the character either needs to find the lore and time to train themselves in the ways of the Force, or find a master to teach them, either of which is a hazardous challenge thanks to the Empire...

...and as always, because the Jedi are hunted, any master or other Jedi who teaches a Force-sensitive is most likely going to limit how many students they have. Thus we only have two slots for Jedi or Force-sensitive PCs. This does not preclude the inclusion of an NPC master in the group at the GM's discretion.

A Helping Hand (Optional)
One complaint I've heard from players and GMs is that Force-sensitives in D6 Star Wars start weak and become unstoppable later on. If a player thinks their character (either scratch-built or template-based) is going to be underpowered and vulnerable, they can choose one and only one of the following options at character generation:

In exchange for one (1) Force Point you can take one of the following options:
  • The Concentration Option: Concentration is a Control power which grants a Force-sensitive character an extra 4D to use on one action when the power is successfully used. Since it can be used in conjunction with Character Points and Force Points, this is an invaluable tool for beginning Force-sensitive characters. This option gives the character the Concentration power as a freebie, but the character must have the Control skill to use it.
  • An Additional 1D: You receive an additional 1D to one of your character's existing Force skills or add one Force skill they do not have.
By accepting one (1) Dark Side Point, your character can receive:
  • An Additional 2D: Your character receives an additional 2D for their existing Force skills or may add one or two Force skills they do not have. You and the GM must determine how exactly your character earned that Dark Side Point, how it affects them, and what the character is going to do about it. This is by far the most dangerous option, but it can also provide an interesting backstory and satisfying roleplaying challenge.

Martial Arts and the Force
As one of our PCs is a Guardian of the Whills, I thought it prudent to put in some info on the Force and the martial arts specialization for the brawling skill. Basically, the martial arts rules we'll be using can be found on p.116-117 of Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook (ROE). Overall, the interaction between the techniques and Force skills is pretty simple. A successful roll for the appropriate Force skill allows a character to add that skill's dice to a roll for an applicable martial arts technique.

The three Force skills are defined as such on p.141 of the SW2R rulebook:
Control: Control is the Jedi's ability to control her own body. A Jedi with control can access her own internal well of Force energy, learning harmony with and mastery over the functions of her own body.

Sense: Sense teaches a Jedi to sense the Force in other things beyond her own body. Te Jedi learns to feel the bonds that connect all living things and gains the ability to understand how all things are interconnected. Sense governs powers such as detecting danger and learning information about the world around the Jedi.

Alter: A Jedi with alter learns how to change the distribution and nature of the Force. Jedi who have mastered alter can move physical objects with their minds, can help others control their own Force, or can manipulate the Force in the bodies of others. This power can be used to change the perceptions of others and make them come to incorrect conclusions.
While the martial arts techniques shown in ROE are particularly effective, when bolstered by training in the Force, they are even more so.
Blindfighting (Sense): A successful (Very Easy, modified by proximity) sense roll allows the character to add their sense dice to the skill roll for this technique.

Disarm (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to add their control dice to the brawling (martial arts) roll. NOTE: Per Martial Arts Revised & Expanded, the item lands 1D meters away.

Elbow Smash (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost or reduce the damage roll for this technique.

Flip (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton.

Flying Kick (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost or reduce the damage roll for this technique.

Foot Sweep (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton).

Headbutt (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost or reduce the damage roll for this technique.

Hold/Grapple (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add their control dice for attackers the same size as the character. A successful alter roll allows the character to add their alter dice to the technique roll when fighting against attackers larger than the character. NOTE: Per Martial Arts Revised & Expanded, a martial artist who makes a successful hold/grapple roll gains a +1D bonus to opposed brawling skill checks while grappling the target. This technique can be maintained each round with a successful new skill check.

Instant Knockdown (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton).

Instant Stand (Control): A successful (Moderate; +1 modifier for each additional 1D of damage above 2D) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost the brawling (martial arts) roll for this technique.

Instant Stun (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost the brawling (martial arts) roll for this technique.

Instant Wound (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost the brawling (martial arts) roll for this technique.

Kick (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost or reduce the damage roll for this technique. NOTE: This technique is added and handled per the rules in Martial Arts Revised & Expanded.

Multiple Strikes (Control): A successful (Difficult) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost the brawling (martial arts) roll for this technique. NOTE: Per Martial Arts Revised & Expanded, this technique allows multiple attacks at no penalty, but normal damage for each attack.

Nerve Punch (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost the brawling (martial arts) roll for this technique. NOTE: Martial Arts Revised & Expanded includes a second Nerve Punch technique that allows the martial artist to render the target unconscious. We will be rolling these two techniques together. Under this ruling, the attacker must clarify if they are going to render a limb useless or knocking out the target for 3D rounds when making the attack.

Power Block (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to add their control dice to the technique's skill roll, the damage roll, or split the dice between the two.

Punch (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to use their control dice to boost or reduce the damage roll for this technique. NOTE: This technique is added and handled per the rules in Martial Arts Revised & Expanded.

Reversal (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton).

Silent Strike (Control, Sense, and Alter): A successful (Very Easy for control and alter; target's control or PER roll for sense) skill roll for Force skill allows the character to add 1/3 of the dice (minimum of 1D) for that skill to the technique's skill roll. NOTE: Per Martial Arts Revised & Expanded, a martial artist may declare that they are using this technique to render the target unconscious for 3D rounds. Otherwise, the technique does STR+3D damage.

Shoulder Throw (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton). NOTE: Per Martial Arts Revised & Expanded, damage for this technique is STR+1D.

Spinning Kick (Control): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows the character to add their control dice to the technique's skill roll, the damage roll, or split the dice between the two.

Weapon Block (Control and Alter): A successful (Moderate) control roll allows a character to add 1/2 their control dice (minimum 1D) to the technique skill roll. A successful alter roll allows the character to add 1/2 their alter dice (minimum 1D) to the technique roll. The difficulty of the alter roll is based on the weight of the attacker (Very Easy for objects weighing 1 kg or less; Moderate for objects 11-100 kg; Difficult for 101 kg to one metric ton).
EDIT: The Martial Arts Revised & Expanded book does have Jedi battlemaster and Sith martial art styles and does indeed make some minor changes to the system - adding several additional techniques (Kick, Nerve Punch 2, and Punch) and changing some of the difficulty numbers for techniques. We're going to dispense with the technique difficulty rolls and go with opposed rolls per the Dueling Blades rules; the rules per ROE will be used. I've included the basic punch and kick techniques here, but they can also be found in Martial Arts Revised & Expanded.

Lightsaber Duels
Peter Schweighofer, a talented individual who wrote quite a bit of material for the Star Wars RPG, designed and posted a fast, rules-light set of dueling rules for the D6 system. This is the system we'll use for lightsaber battles in our game.

Lightsabers and Fighting Styles
Lightsabers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. While most are customized to their owner's preferences and species, some do require specializations of the lightsaber skill, such as the greatsaber, double-bladed lightsaber, (aka lightstaff), etc.

There are also a number of fighting styles associated with the Jedi and Sith. Given that Disney's revision of the canon wipes away a lot of the specifics, we can really only go by the descriptions of the styles, counting them as specializations of the lightsaber skill.
The way I see and understand it, the lightsaber combat power works as written in the rulebook. Under the Dueling Blades system, the two combatants make their lightsaber rolls as modified by their control and sense dice normally for attacks, parrying, and damage. Peter's system just flows with the first edition initiative rules we're using and the highest roll wins fighting for that round with the difference in rolls determining what you can do. The higher the roll, the more your character can do.

For the moment, I'm ruling that our group's Jedi battlemaster is currently using Form "Zero" and any other specialization will need to be taught by an NPC with that specialization.

No comments:

Post a Comment