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Secret Writings of the Ash Ock

Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem

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SOTC: Star Wars
Hearing bits and pieces about the new SAGA edition of Star Wars that have me interested in the rules. Sadly, playing Star Wars has always had seriously mixed results -- partly because you are playing in someone else's sandbox, and partly because players rarely embrace the spirit of the setting.

From a rules perspective, they are moving to fewer classes with Talents to differentiate between characters of the same class. This is something I've talked about before that I really want to see in D&D 4, so I'll break my "Stop buying games I'll never play" rule (more of a guideline, really) and pre-ordered the book. :)

My old talent posts that I could easily find.

But, given that my brain has stayed firmly clicked into Spirit of the Century for a few weeks now, it seems like there's a pretty obvious fit there for the pulps-y SF series we've all grown to love/loathe.

Stress seems like a very good simulator of Star Wars combat. People tend to surrender before they get killed, except in cases where we're nearing the end of a big fight or a character isn't willing to accept a concession.

Even lightsaber fights are mostly stress. When we get to consequences, I think to properly simulate the movies, there are few "minor" consequences in a lightsaber duel. Which is to say, in the movies, the first real hit usually means a lost hand or outright death.

So, here's my take on the lightsaber: +2 stress on a successful hit except against an opponent capable of blocking a lightsaber strike -- someone else with a saber, or some sort of force field...or those wacky staff things. When someone wielding a saber deal a consequence, he can freely choose to increase the consequence level by one. This latter rule would be easy to ditch for a less lethal game. (There's a stunt for Fists named Lethal Weapon that also seems appropriate, but would be pretty scary to combine with this rule).

Concessions are always supposed to be "fight enders" in SOTC, although I sort of like the idea of being able to offer a concession while "staying in a fight". In episodes 2 and 3, the jedi are constantly having their lightsabers lost or destroyed. And I sort of like the idea of being able to offer concessions more generally.

Example: "You are climbing up on to the speeder...roll your athletics skill." "Ah hell, I rolled a 2". "A 2 isn't good enough...you are going to fall unless you use fate points or offer a concession". "Well, uh, I could drop my lightsaber."

(Another possibility within the existing rules: the Lightsaber really should be an aspect, and the GM can compel it all the freaking time to make you drop it, lose it, etc.)

The Force just screams Mysteries to me, and like other suggested campaigns, the 'magic' here needs the most work. That is, porting or creating new stunts to work off of mysteries.

A simple approach recommended for magic has been to allow someone to use Mysteries to replace other skills (there's a gadget rule that works this way) and that seems appropriate for a quick and dirty Force mechanic. A Mysteries roll might replace Deceit "You don't need to see our identification.", Athletics, even Guns on your starfighter to destroy the Death Star.

Most of the other skills and stunts seem like they'd work fine as is -- we have mook rules, people tend to not get hit. I'll take a closer look at some point.

Aspects: "The Dark Side clouds everything" seems appropriate for episodes 2 and 3. Just in general, aspects seem like a good way to actually push Jedi characters into dark side territory, which has always been frustrating in other Star Wars roleplaying.

If I wanted to do more adaptation work, I'd consider some distinction between dark side and light side Fate points. That is, if I compel your fear of your mother dying, you'll get a fate point out of it, but it has dark connotations. Or if you invoke your anger by spending a fate point, it definitely has a negative effect as well. Fred has some rules like that in his Mu FATE playtest rules with "hope" and "despair" points.


And of course, Star Wars is easy to data mine for aspect names ("Never Tell Me The Odds"), and aspects are one of the easy ways to keep non-Jedi interesting.

One nice bit: I think it would work extremely well for modeling the Skywalkers. One bitch I've had with most D20 Star Wars implementations is that they were just normal characters -- nothing special about them other than maybe being a bit higher level. That is, there was nothing to indicate that Anakin's force powers were any stronger than Obi-wan's, since the only differentiator for power level in D20 is character level. In D20, there should have been some sort of template for the Skywalker family that really differentiated them from other characters.

In SOTC, this becomes easier. Luke and Anakin probably both have "Superb" in mysteries, or "force" if you really feel the need to differentiate between the skills. Obi-Wan might only have "Great" or "Good" mysteries, but with some interesting differentiation in stunts and aspects. But "The Force is strong in your family" can be invoked again and again, at least until you run out of fate points, get compelled by your former master into an attack, and are taken out.

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Dean pointed out that there are already some rules for when someone with Fists fights someone with Weapons -- that seems easy to adapt to the lightsaber.

Which is to say, instead of having lightsabers do +2 stress, the person without a lightsaber is simply disadvantaged (for a -1 to their defense rolls).

Why not have "Force Sensitive" as a stunt. It doesn't give you any abilities other than being able to use mysteries instead of other skills.
I think allowing everybody to use mysteries without this makes it far too powerfull.
You could even split it down into having to take the stunt for each additional skill you want to use.

I wouldn't give everyone force powers for free -- there'd be a stunt or more associated with it. That's more or less how magic works -- you need to have Mysteries + Stunts to use Mysteries as a skill replacement. Realistically, a full jedi should be using lots of stunts on his force powers.

Who are you? :)


what on earth r we supposed 2 do if we need a lightsaber vs lightsaber battle

u forgot to mention

how do we do lightsaber vs lightsaber fights

Re: u forgot to mention

Wow, raising an 3-year old thread from the dead.

This is speaking completely off the cuff -- this was a brainstorming exercise I did, not something I ever actually ran -- but I'd mostly handle it using the existing rules. Here's some specific details and tweaks:

* per my original post lightsabers generate more stress EXCEPT when both participants are using lightsabers or the GM rules that the defending player has some other sort of lightsaber-proof defense. That expresses the movie conceit that the best way to fight a lightsaber wielding opponent is with a lightsaber.

* the basics of combat would still be Weapons skill vs Weapons skill. A force-wielding character could substitute Mysteries for Weapons by spending a fate point (again, per the post).

* A character that wants to specialize in fighting skills (over say force skills) could easily jump on the Flawless Parry/Riposte/Turnabout stunt tree.

* Many of the Fists stunts also look they they'd be easy to adapt to be jedi lightsaber stunts. Anything from facing a whole army wihtout penalties to being able to inflict a devastating consequence (Signature Strike, Mix It Up, Army of One).

* To go beyond the back and forth of attacking, look for ways to mix in maneuvers and blocking. With creativity, players could use maneuvers to apply new aspects to an opponent in a way that evokes elements of the movies. [I Have the High Ground] springs to mind. :)

* Above that, it really comes down to interesting choices of player aspects, and using tagging and compels. For example, Darth Vader compels Luke in Return of the Jedi by using Leia against him. Up to that point, Luke has been burning fate points defending himself against Darth Vader, so he's out of fate points to resist the compel.

Anyway: Start with the standard melee basics + stunts + Mysteries as force powers. Then add in Aspects to make it feel like Star Wars.

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