This article is about quantifying Star Wars stories, using DC Heroes RPG tools. It is both useful for people running SW campaigns, and to provide solid shared approaches and numbers for character writeups.
This is a slow-moving project due to time constraints, and the document is a work in progress. Part of the delay is the work about covering some Star Wars video games to fully integrate them with the movies’ power scale and action tropes.
Genre: Star Wars (predominantly Mock-Real, with Gritty Pushing and Recovery rules)
Killing Combat: Yes
Dice Action: 3
Last Ditch: 3
Pushing: 2 APs
Recovery: 16 APs
- Anti-Devastation: No Devastating Attacks
- Wartime Killing Combat: Killing Combat is allowed without an HP penalty versus members of enemy forces or others threatening the character with Killing Combat attacks.
- Difficult to see, the future is: Precognition Checks will never have a result better than the equivalent of ½ RV in RAPs, i.e. detailed but still difficult to interpret, no matter how many RAPs the Check actually gets.
- Pew pew pew: Range Penalties are in effect as per the Mock-Real Genre.
- I in Team: Team Attacks are considered to be Minor Marginal for each participant, and must be approved by the GMs who will judge whether they are dramatically appropriate.
Abbreviations and Glossary
- SWU – Star Wars Universe
- EU – Expanded Universe: Star Wars materials licensed by Lucasfilms. Includes the Star Wars novels, the Essential Guides, etc. These were long considered official but not canon, i.e. if there is a discrepancy the movies overrode all other material, and upcoming films needed not pay heed to EU continuity. The EU is now non-canon.
- Legends – the new name of the EU. It is now best considered a separate continuity, though elements from the Legends continuity may show up in the canon continuity of the officials writers use them.
- TPM – Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- AOTC – Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ROTS – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ANH – Episode IV: A New Hope
- ESB – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- ROTJ – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- TFA – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
This document assumes that readers are familiar with the basic history and premises of the SWU; the following definitions are for the sake of clarity.
- Force, the: A mysterious energy field generated by living things that permeates all of reality. All living things are connected to the Force on some level. Some individuals who are particularly sensitive to the Force can channel its energy to enhance their abilities or perform certain supernatural acts such as moving object with their minds.
- Force-Sensitives/Force-Users: individuals who can use the Force to see the future and to enhance their own abilities.
- Dark Jedi: Refers either to a Jedi that has fallen to the Dark Side, or is used generically to denote Dark Side Force-users. Note that not all Dark Jedi are Sith, as the Sith are a specific group of Dark Siders with their own unique history and culture.
- Dark Side, the: The aspect of the Force that is connected to negative emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred. It is easier to use but more addictive, leading into Force-users who rely upon it into a downward spiral, morally and physically.
- Jedi, the: A powerful group of Force-users who were devoted to the Light Side. Most Jedi served as teachers, advisors, or diplomats. Those with excellent potential were trained to become Jedi Knights, special agents assigned as needed to various galactic crises. A Knight in training was referred to as a Padawan learner; Knights of exception ability and accomplishment eventually became Jedi Masters.
- Light Side, the: The aspect of the Force that is connected to peaceful, harmonious action.
- Sith, the: A small, secretive group of Force-users who embrace the use of the Dark Side.
A sense of DCH scale for the setting
This section is the result of our discussions about benchmarks, so the writeups.org crew shares common numbers to base Star Wars profiles on.
Scale for small arms
Blasters do not appear to be radically more powerful than modern firearms. Here is a list of EVs for their Energy Blast Power :
- Light/holdout blaster pistol EV 4.
- Common types of blaster pistol such as the one used by Luke EV 5.
- Heavy blaster such as the speciality one used by Han EV 6.
- Blaster carbine such as the one used by Stormtroopers on the Death Star EV 6.
- Full-size blaster rifle seen in some mass combat scenes EV 7.
- Chewie’s bowcaster EV 7 (probably, it’s barely ever seen fired before TFA).
Scale for body armour
Body armour appears to provide limited benefits compared to going without. This role is so marginal that it is impossible to observe quantifiable differences in the movies. This left some to wonder what’s the point of wearing body armour in a Star Wars setting – especially since many fighters, such as most Rebels, go unarmoured.
The following stats are for Imperial Stormtrooper plastoid armour, the most emblematic Star Wars body armour. They walk a narrow path where armour does provide an edge, but doing without isn’t pants-on-head crazy either.
Stormtrooper armour also seems to be the stock heavy armour, provided a useful benchmark – lighter armour will have lower numbers, and better armour than that isn’t going to be much higher (mayhap some more Damage Capacity).
- BODY GLOVE PLUS PLASTOID ARMOR [/BODY/ 03, Blunting: 05, Damage Capacity: 02, Skin armor: 01, Limitation: Blunting and damage capacity only apply vs. conventional blaster fire, Damage Capacity does not protect against Stun, Drawback: Real Armour].
- STORMTROOPER HELMET [BODY 03, Radio Communications: 06, Shade: 01]. Helmets probably have some sort of HUD optical enhancements (Telescopic vision: 01 ? Ultra-vision: 02 ?) but this is impossible to say from the movies.
Scale for ranged combat AVs and OVs
Here we are attempting to model 2 things :
- A lot of the Star Wars action relies on most attacks missing, even when it’s massed fire. Hitting “named” characters seems to be particularly hard except for other “named” characters.
- We need enough space to have differentiated numbers for 2 tiers of mooks, some tiers of action heroes – and some tiers of Force users, who seem to normally have markedly higher numbers than baseline folks.
- Star Wars major heroes can defeat or at least survive a *lot* of lesser opponents, especially if they are Force users.
When it comes to AV and OV, this calls for a scrunched lower end (and using a table with single-APs columns would likely help, as with most other most-things-are-under-10-APS games).
- Most people packing a blaster will have 2 APs of Weaponry, from ordinary troops to cantina ruffians.
- Weaponry: 03 is the domain of elite/shock troops such as stormtroopers, or those Rebel commandos on Endor.
- If your Weaponry is 04 or higher, then you are “named” character. Congratulation ! Heroes can have cinematic levels of accuracy (5-6 APs or more) – that and their naturally higher Initiative is what gives them such an edge.
- Almost *every* named Character in the setting will have Acrobatics (Evasion) at 04 or even more. The number is largely based on their narrative importance – the more important you are to the story, the harder it is for mooks to hit you. This can be adjusted for characters who are noted as being really fast and agile, of course.
- Team Attacks are extremely rare, as noted in the Genre Rules. Even two Jedi going after a single opponent (such as Darth Maul) do not seem to derive a bonus from this teaming up act.
Scale for Attributes
Likewise, most common NPCs will just have a bunch of 02s and maybe some 03s. 04s is having at least one foot on the heroic scale. A person with DEX 03 STR 02 BODY 04 Acrobatics (Evasion): 04 Weaponry (Lighter blasters): 05 and good Hero Points is the textbook young gunslinging hero.
Star Wars isn’t a brawn-centric universe. Melee combat relies more on speed and accuracy, most melee weapons do not rely on sheer strength, and the fights are seldom brawls. It is thus fine for action heroes to have STR 02. They do not look particularly strong and simply do not need STR in normal situations.
This in turn leaves plenty of room for aliens to be very strong without having exaggerated scores.
- STR 04 would be fine for a tough Gamorrean guard (most probably have a 03).
- STR 05 would be fine for a large and ferocious Trandoshan fighter (most Trandoshans probably have a 04).
- STR 06 is good for an unusually large and strong Wookie such as Chewbacca (most Wookies probably have STR 05, perhaps less for women and teenagers).
The lack of brawling (outside of some attacks during highly choreographed lightsabre duels) also means that raw DEX isn’t necessary. Setting the desired levels of AV and OV via Skills such as Acrobatics (Evasion), Weaponry and (mostly for Force users) Martial Artist makes DEX a vestigial score in this setting compared to more brawl-tastic settings such as super-hero adventures.
BODY 04 seems to be the stock value for action heroes, whether it’s Leia or Han. Higher scores are best kept for strong aliens, combat droids, etc. This gives them a sufficiently high RV base for them to use LDD and the like against blaster fires.
With the good RV and the heavy use of Hero Points, hits are LDD’d or soaked and thus turned into grazing hits, near-misses that shower the hero with sparks and tiny shrapnel, desperate last-second dodges, etc.
Scale for Hero Points
Not sure yet. Mooks don’t have none, that’s fer shure. Lightsaber duels seem to be chiefly about who runs out of HPs first.
The Force and Magic
The Force uses the same basic game mechanics as Mystic Powers in BoH:SE with a few modifications. In crossover campaigns, the GM should decide ahead of time whether or not the Force is actually related to the other setting’s magic in some manner. It may be simplest to assume that the two are unrelated phenomena with somewhat similar means of expression.
However, the Force can be treated as an unusual school of magic or the two could be treated as distinctly separate but related phenomena similar to the differences between Order and Chaos in certain fictional universes.
The Force and magic may also have an alternating relationship, with Force-Users becoming full-fledged mages in other universes and mages traveling to the SWU being limited to using Force abilities. In this case, magic users with similar belief structures (eg, a Taoist immortal mage) will presumably make excellent Force users while magic users with different views of the universe (eg, a Sha’ir ordering djinns to perform tasks) will have more difficulty adapting.
New and modified Advantages
Strong in the Force
New Advantage [25 Points]
This Advantage allows the character access to Force abilities. However, it also makes them vulnerable to corruption by the Dark Side.
Characters who are Strong in the Force are allowed to purchase Force-Linked Powers, Occultist (F), and Force Rituals (each of these is detailed below). These abilities are available only to those who are Strong in the Force. Due to the subconscious prescience possessed by those Strong in the Force, they almost invariably have Lightning Reflexes and high skills in areas requiring split-second anticipation and quick reaction time such as Vehicles and Weaponry (Melee). These abilities are purchased as usual.
It should be noted that there are many individuals who possess some or all of these abilities without being Strong in the Force (Wedge Antilles, Jango and Boba Fett, Han Solo), so having high scores in these areas is not a de facto indicator of unusual Force-sensitivity.
The ability to use the Force is balanced by the temptation of the Dark Side, the malevolent aspect of the Force. The Dark Side offers a quick path to power at the risk of being under the permanent sway of one’s darker emotions. At dramatically appropriate moments of the GM’s choice, the Dark Side will try to influence a character’s actions in one of two ways.
The first is to suggest a particular course of action as if using the Charisma Skill to make a Persuasion Attempt. The APs of Charisma are equal to the character’s INF, representing the internal struggle between the character’s Light and Dark Sides. The character can resist this Persuasion as usual (see “Character Interaction Against the PCs”, BoH:SE pg. 165).
The second method is to offer a “gift” of free HPs to be used for a specific act suggested by the Dark Side/GM (such as Luke Skywalker’s final attack on Darth Vader on the Death Star II in ROTJ) ; the GM should make these offers at moments when the character’s HPs are almost if not entirely depleted to increase the temptation. If the character accepts the HPs, they can be used for the specific suggested act only and any remaining HPs are lost.
The Dark Side will only try to seduce a character twice per scenario at the most. Frequently, there will only be one attempt if any during a given adventure, with two attempts only occurring during very significant (i.e. campaign-altering) events. If done twice, the Dark Side will use Persuasion first to weaken the character’s resolve and/or drain HPs before offering the HP gift as a follow up.
If a character succumbs to Persuasion or accepts HPs from the Dark Side, the Dark Side makes a Mystic Attack after the suggested act is carried out (whether it is successful or not). Since this is a battle against the character’s own negative emotions the AV/EV and the OV/RV is the character’s INF/SPI. No HPs are spent on this roll — it is a straight Action Check.
RAPs are deducted from Current SPIRIT as with any Mystical Attack. The GM also keeps track of the RAPs from each of these Dark Side Checks made by a given character. RAPs from the last Check can be used to boost the AV/EV of the next Dark Side Check as if they were HPs (distribution to be determined by the GM) and the *minimum* RAPs of the current Dark Side Check are equal to the RAPs of the last check. This will tend to have a cumulative effect as the higher AV/EV will often lead to more RAPs, which will boost the next Check even more, and so on.
If a character’s Current SPIRIT Condition is reduced to 0 or below by Dark Side Checks, the character falls to the Dark Side, taking on a Villainous Motivation.
Example: Luke Skywalker accepts the Dark Side’s Persuasion attempt to attack the Emperor. The attack is blocked by Vader, after which Luke makes a Dark Side Check that nets 2 RAPs. Later, the Dark Side offers HPs to attack Vader and Luke accepts again. After defeating Vader, Luke makes a second Dark Side Check, with the 2 RAPs added to the AV. This time, the Check yields 4 RAPs. This leaves Luke with 4 Dark Side RAPs and 6 RAPs total damage to his Current SPIRIT Condition, which is dangerously close to the Dark Side.
The damage to Current SPIRIT can be recovered normally, but the RAPs remain “in play”. Characters who have RAPs from a Dark Side Check gain the Guilt Drawback (they do not get bonus HPs for this) and must pay a Guilt Fee each week of game time equal to the Dark Side RAPs. This Guilt Drawback can be bought off as usual, representing the atonement of the character. This is the only way to clear the slate of Dark Side RAPs.
In a campaign with a very strong division between the Light and Dark Side, the GM may encourage limited HP spending on combat Dice Actions by Force-users.
- Light Siders cannot raise their AV/EV by more than ½ of the original value, and Dark Siders cannot raise their OV/RV by more than ½ of the original value. Players who keep their characters within these bounds can get an extra Role-Playing Award at the end of the scenario. Keep in mind that if you use this rule, it is more restrictive than the movies, in which characters on either side of the Force seem to engage in offensive and defensive actions with equal aptitude.
- Another optional rule is to give Strong in the Force three levels — Limited, Average, and Powerful. Limited characters would have no Powers or Occultist (Ritual Casting) greater than 5 APs and no ability to memorize Rituals. Many Force-sensitives taken in by the Jedi Order were Limited and ended up serving the order in the Agricultural or Diplomatic Corps rather than as Knights. Most Jedi Knights were Average, which limited their Powers to a maximum of 12 APs and their Occultist (Ritual Casting) to 10 APs maximum. Powerful Jedi usually became Masters and had no maximums. Sith were always Powerful, as their practices and philosophies quickly weeded out anyone without exceptional ability.
- While there are some EU precedents for the latter optional rule, most of these can be explained through a smaller base HP campaign than the movies or player’s choice in where they spend HPs for advancement. For some characters such as Tyria Sarkin of Wraith Squadron (who in game terms had some of the Force-Linked Powers but couldn’t buy Occultist at all), the leveled optional rule might be appropriate.
New and modified powers
This operates in the same manner as Mystic Link, only it relates specifically to Force abilities. Force Linked Powers will be denoted with an (F) after the name of the Power.
Force Linked Awareness operates in the same manner as usual. SWU-specific examples include the destruction of Alderaan and Carida (OV/RV=4/4), both of which caused Jedi in distant systems great pain, and the beginning of Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side when he slaughtered the Tusken Raider tribe in AOTC (OV/RV=13/13), which triggered feelings of unease in Yoda.
Extrasensory Perception (F)
This Power is described in our New Powers for DC Heroes document. A talented but untrained Force-sensitive may have 1 or 2 APs of this ability that they use on an instinctual level. Typically, Padawans will have 2 to 4 APs of ESP, Knights will have 4 to 6 APs and Masters will have 7-8 APs.
Focus (Dumb Luck (F))
This most fundamental aspect of the Force allows a character to focus his concentration and let the energy of the Force flow through him. Many individuals who are Strong in the Force may unknowingly use this ability on occasion even before they receive formal training, i.e. untrained individuals often have this Power with the Marginal Limitation. Luke used this to make the shot on the Death Star (ANH).
Force Sense (BC: 15 [including Force Link], FC: 4)
Same as Magic Sense except that it detects Force energy, not mystic energy. Force Sense uses the Discerning Bonus and includes a new Bonus, Sense Alignment, that works like the second Precognition ability on page 193 of BoH:SE (the character need not spend HPs to use the latter, however). Force Sense also allows the character to see Force Spirits.
Force Linked Obscure also makes the user more difficult to find by Force Sense. Most Sith will have this Power to avoid detection by their enemies, the Jedi.
Force Linked Precognition has the following Limitations:
Using Precognition requires the character to enter a meditative state (-1FC). ”Difficult to See, the Future is” — Precognition never gets a better result than ½ RAPs (-2FC).
A Power with this Limitation can only be activated by spending a number of HPs as indicated below. An activated Marginal Power lasts for a whole “scene”, as determined by the GM. Marginal is most commonly seen in characters who are Strong in the Force but lack any formal training; such characters usually have Focus and/or Precognition with this Limitation.
|Severity||Activation cost||Factor Cost Modifier|
Beyond these examples, Powers do not exist for the most part in the SWU, Force Linked or otherwise. Individual characters may have certain Powers as a characteristic of their species. For example, a Cerean might have Split (Computational): 1 due to his binary brain. Most Force-users’ superhuman abilities are Rituals, as described below.
Those who are Strong in the Force can take the Occultist Skill, with modifiers; this modified version will be denoted with an (F) similar to Force Linked Powers, though the character does not pay for a Force Link in this instance. This is the only manner in which the Occultist Skill is available to characters in the SWU.
Occultist (F) is used in the same manner as described in the rules, with thefollowing adjustments:
- There is neither a Create Artifact nor Identify Artifact Subskill, unless the GM wishes to allow Force-attuned or -imbued artifacts (-2FC if Artifacts are not allowed).
- There is no Premonition Subskill (Force premonitions are covered by the Premonition (F) Power) (-1FC).
- Ritual Casting has no risk of Backfire (+1FC). Optionally, a Backfire can trigger an attempt at corruption by the Dark Side.
- Occult Knowledge represents knowledge of the Force in terms metaphysics and application of abilities, as well as the histories and philosophies of various Force-user factions such as the Jedi and the Sith. Unlike the other Occultist(F) Subskills, this one can be bought even if the character is not Strong in the Force; it would be appropriate for academicians, historians, and those individuals who regularly work alongside Jedi or Sith.
All Force Rituals have the Instant Casting Time and No Components Needed Bonuses (+4FC total) and all of the effect Powers are assumed to be Force Linked. Force-users in the movies frequently make gestures while using the Force, but this seems to be an aid to concentration rather than a necessity.
Rituals can be pushed up to double the original APs (an exception to the Star Wars Genre Pushing limits; see BoH:SE pg. 186 for Ritual Pushing). Remember that while making the Occultist roll to use a Ritual is a Dice Action, it does not use any of the character’s allowed Actions (Automatic or Dice) for that turn.
Note that some effects such as Telekinesis are both Dice Actions and Automatic Actions, which have varying durations where Rituals are concerned. In these cases, use the Automatic Action duration (i.e. the RAPs of the Occultist Skill Check) until a Dice Action is committed with that effect, in which case the Ritual then expires as a normal Dice Action effect and must be recast.
At the GM’s option, a character who is Strong in the Force can use a Ritual that they have not learned yet. The character must pay the Ritual’s full cost for this use. However, the Ritual effect’s APs are halved (rounding down) and cannot be Pushed, and the effect can only be used for a single action, even if it would normally last longer.
Rituals may seem inappropriate to some since the Force-users in the movies seemed to display varying levels of ability. However, my observation of the movies indicated that most acts seemed to fall within the same AP levels (most uses of TK fell within the 5 AP range, most uses of Jumping were about 3 APs or less), and that uses above these levels usually required great effort.
For example, Darth Tyrannus and Yoda used up to 10 APs of TK with great effort, which would be consistent with both the HP spending to double the Ritual effect APs and the fact that they would be among the few with high enough Occultist (Ritual Casting) Skills to successfully push the TK Ritual that high.
This should not be considered an exhaustive list of Force abilities. There are still a great many possibilities to be explored. It seems that most of the traditional Force abilities can be categorized as either enhancement of personal abilities (e.g. Focus, Force Sight, Leap) or “classical” psychic abilities (e.g. telekinesis, telepathy). Those may serve as guidelines for maintaining a proper atmosphere when introducing or allowing new Force Rituals.
On the other hand, some EU materials have introduced more superheroic force abilities such as Dispersal and Teleportation. Introducing those kinds of abilities may be unbalancing to a SW campaign as well as out of character for the genre, and the GM should consider them carefully before adding them.
Absorption [Effect: Energy Absorption: 08, Cost: 29]
This Ritual was used by Darth Vader to absorb Han Solo’s shots on Cloud City ; this contrasts with Deflection as the shots were not reflected but simply dissipated.
Absorption (Advanced) [Effect: Energy Absorption: 08, Power Reserve: 06, Bonus: Absorbed energy adds to Power Reserve (+3FC), Limitation: Power Reserve must be fueled by Energy Absorption (BC: 75, FC: 05), Power Reserve can only be added to APs of Ritual effects (-1FC), Special: Each use of this Ritual costs 10 HPs (-10 pts.), Cost: 58]
The Horn family in the EU literature had this ability, channeling absorbed energy into their Force feats (I, Jedi EU novel). This was a very taxing ability ; after one very strenuous use Corran Horn was too exhausted to perform any Force Rituals for a while and his grandfather Nejaa Halcyon sacrificed his life to employ this ability against a very powerful Dark Jedi (in game terms, he used his last HPs to cast and Push this Ritual instead of negating the Dark Sider’s attack through Last Ditch Defense).
Breath Control [Effect: Sealed Systems: 04, Limitation: Only protects againstgas (-2FC), Cost: 07]
This technique allows Jedi to operate without breathing for brief periods. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi used this when the Trade Federation tried to gas them (TPM).
Deflection [Effect: Reflection/Deflection: 06, Limitations: Only effective against ranged attacks (-2FC) using Reflection instead of Deflection increases the OV by +1CS (-1FC), Special: can only be used with a lightsaber (-10 pts.), Cost: 17]
This is a focused use of force prescience which allows Jedi and Sith to block incoming attacks by intercepting them with their lightsabers. Trained Jedi could even reflect the blasts back at attackers. However, that reflection was more difficult than simply deflecting attacks and thus was not effective versus numerous average opponents or highly skilled individual opponents such as Jango Fett. Note that since this Ritual is a form of precognition, the caster is not hampered by sight penalties, as seen with Luke Skywalker’s training against the remote on the Millennium Falcon (ANH).
Deflection (advanced) [Effect: Reflection/Deflection: 06, Limitations: Only effective against ranged attacks (-2FC), can Only Deflect attacks (-1FC), Cost:19]
This Ritual was used by Yoda against Darth Tyrannus’s Force Lightning blasts on Geonosis (AOTC) and arguably by Darth Vader on Cloud City (though the blasts stopped with Vader rather than bouncing off, other official depictions have had him visibly deflect blasts with his hands ; even the official RPGs differ on this). It is not as precise as the basic Deflection Ritual (it cannot reflect attacks), it does have the benefit of being usable without a lightsaber.
Empathy [Effect: Empathy: 10, Cost: 31]
This ritual allows Force-users to sense the emotions of others. Darth Vader used it on Luke while stalking him in the Throne Room of the Death Star II (ROTJ) and the Jedi Council used it while testing Anakin (TPM). Note that in both cases the users received enough RAPs to not only determine the emotion but also its cause (5+ RAPs as per BoH:SE pg. 73).
Force Lightning [Effect: Lightning: 05, Cost: 11]
This Dark Side Ritual was used by the Emperor against Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader on the Death Star II (ROTJ) and by Darth Tyrannus against Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Geonosian hangar (AOTC). This is usually considered a Ritual of the Dark Side, but some Jedi Masters such as Yoda have learned it as well.
Force Sight [Effect: Ultra Vision: 06, Cost: 10]
Kyle Katarn used this Ritual, channeling Force energy through his eyes to enhance his night sight (Jedi Knight PC game).
Force Wave [Effect: Super Breath: 04, Cost: 09]
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn used these telekinetic blasts against the Trade Federation Battle Droids (TPM) and by Anakin Skywalker against the Geonosians in the Droid Factory (AOTC).
Leap [Effect: Jumping: 03, Bonus: APs of Jumping can be subtracted from height while falling down for damage purposes (+2FC), Cost: 06]
Many Jedi and Sith use this focused form of telekinesis to enhance their jumps or cushion their falls. Luke Skywalker used this to escape the carbon-freezing chamber in ESB, and it was featured prominently in the final duel of TPM.
Mental Influence [Effect: Hypnotism: 04, Limitation: Must vocalize orders unless the hypnotic impression is very simple, such as “You hear a noise to the right”(-1FC), Cost: 20]
Those trained in this ritual can influence the weak-minded. Kenobi used this to get Luke and the droids past the stormtroopers upon entering Mos Eisley and to distract the stormtroopers near the tractor beam controls on the Death Star (ANH). Qui-Gon Jinn and Luke Skywalker also used it on occasion (TPM and ROTJ, respectively). Corran Horn used this to great effect ; his family had a special affinity for Force illusions, though this came at the price of a near-total inability to use any form of telekinetic Force Ritual (I, Jedi EU novel).
One with the Force [Effect: Self-Linked Spirit Travel: 02, Note: Force spirits are immune to Mental Attacks as if the Power were Mystic Linked (+2FC), Limitation: Spirit Travel is Always On (-1FC), Special: This Ritual is permanent and thus is only be cast by a Jedi who is about to die and takes up all of his actions for that turn (-10 pts.), Cost: 15]
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda used this Ritual when they died (ANH and ROTJ, respectively). According to an interview with George Lucas, this technique was learned by Yoda during his years of study on the Jedi Council and taught to Obi-Wan Kenobi during their exile prior to ANH. Note that in the SWU, these Force spirits generally cannot affect or be affected by anything, except for the potential to communicate with Force-users. Some EU literature featured spirits that could interact with the physical world in a limited manner, though these were ancient spirits created under special circumstances.
At the GM’s option, these spirits can appear to give advice and information to characters who are Strong in the Force (most likely those characters a Jedi knew while he was still alive). Such spirits would function as an unusual form of Connection.
Swiftness [Effect: Running: 06, Cost: 09]
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn used this to flee the shielded Destroyer droids on the Trade Federation vessel (TPM). Kyle Katarn made frequent use of this Ritual (Jedi Knight PC game)
Note: Both Jedi appear to be fading in and out of visibility while running during this sequence. The significance and effect (if any) of this is unknown.
Telekinesis [Effect: Telekinesis: 05, Bonus: Can attack opponents directly with TK APs as AV/EV and DEX/BODY as OV/RV (+5 BC, +2 FC), Limitation: No Self-Propulsion (-2FC), Cost: 15]
Luke Skywalker made an unskilled use of this ritual to retrieve his lightsaber in the Wampa’s cave on Hoth (ESB). Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Darth Tyrannus all used this ability to hurl objects at various times, as did some Jedi. The “direct attack” Bonus represents the infamous Force choke favored by Vader and occasionally used by others.
Telepathy [Effect: Telepathy: 04, Bonus: Range +8 (+2FC), Limitations: Only works with other Force-users (-2FC), Cost: 11]
Luke used this to contact Leia when he was trapped on the underside of Cloud City and Darth Vader used the same Ritual to contact Luke while the Falcon fled Bespin (ESB).
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Some of our profiles are based on the SW:TOR massively multiplayer online video game. Unfortunately, this game suffers from a number of game design and technical failures. Such shortcomings mean, among other things, that the action it portrays is quite unlike what is usually seen in other Star Wars media – especially the movies, which remain our game stats modelling yardstick.
Given this constraint, our game stats for SWTOR characters are based on re-imagining the action as if it occurred in a Star Wars movie – or simply in one of the cinematics for the game. The main impacts of this policy are :
- Durability adjustments. SWTOR features lots of men in a cloth uniform who can take dozens of blaster hits — or more — without much effect. Instead we will assume that tougher opponents are like tough opponents in the movies – they are difficult to hit, use good tactics and have good stocks of Hero Points rather than being humongous bullet sponges.
- Healing. As a logical result of this durability paradigm, SW:TOR features lots of healing where green sprays of kolto (the predecessor of bacta) magically restore hit points. Here we’ll drop this, though characters who are meant to have medical skills (e.g., they were healing-oriented Companions before Patch 4.0 standardisations) are modelled with healing skills and equipment – but not magical healing spells.
- Action bar-itis. Most character classes have abilities on their action bars that only make sense in a World of Warcraft style gameplay. My favourite is “special blaster shots” that heal team-mates, or make enemies move slower – though a lot of abilities are WoW spells that make little sense in a Star Wars adventure. These get ruthlessly pruned, and modelling is done using the basic theme of the characters and abilities demonstrated in cinematics and cutscenes.
- Power scale. The power of Player Characters relative the their environment varies dramatically depending whether one is in a solo environment or group environment. Furthermore the efforts to improve the game have impacted this, the apparently goal being to make most solo combat easy so it doesn’t get in the way of the story. Thus, estimates of power scale are going to be based entirely on the storyline and remarks by NPCs, using the previously discussed power scale values for Star Wars adventures.
- Basic technical skills. All characters demonstrated the ability repair or sabotage electronics, use specialised computers to hack systems (though at this point they are inside the security envelope), etc. to accomplish quest objectives. I have modelled these as simple Familiarities since apparently anybody with some training can do it without notable difficulties.
At Last! Beyond the Movie! Beyond the Galaxy!
Since so much of the gameplay is a WoW emulation, many of our modelling considerations about World of Warcraft (expounded in our profile for Madam Delamorte) are also valid for SW:TOR profiles, notably :
- Assumption of stealth. Many missions feature Player Characters invading very well defended areas, but getting in very few fights since aggro ranges are modest. We’ll assume that they actually do this through a mixture of stealth skills (but not so high as to deprive stealthy characters of their niche), stealth equipment (ditto) and planning (such as sneaking in at night from unlikely angles over difficult obstacles). None of that is featured in the game — except for certain characters with stealth powers, but this is a typical MMORPG near-invibility spell — but that’s the only way it makes sense given how these areas are depicted in the dialogue.
Since this is a high-tech milieu, our default package for Player Characters and Companions is Thief (Stealth, Security Systems): 04 (more for characters with in-game stealth or a relevant background) plus a PASSIVE JAMMER [BODY 01, Obscure: 02, Limitation: Obscure only vs. technological detection]
- Assumption of holographic character levels. This is not as marked as it is in WoW, since there is a sense of character power level progression from chapter to chapter in the class quest. Still, characters start out being quite competent, and like in WoW we’ll assume that “levels” do not correspond, in-universe, to anything observable. The whole Influence thing is also entirely ignored as being purely a game conceit.
- Assumption of space and time compression. The usual for MMOs – we assume that the gameplay depicts a very simplified and accelerated version of what is actually happening in-universe. So sending your companion to investigate underworld rumours on another planet doesn’t actually take 2 minutes and change, and the Old Market area on Coruscant is considerably larger, more complicated, livelier and varied than what can reasonably be displayed in-game.
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Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, John Colagioia, Eric Langendorff, Nicolas Lemaçon, Sean MacDonald, Danielle Mendus, Jay Myers, Nebbin, Adrian Tullberg, Mike Winkler, Pawsplay, Adam Fuqua.