Star Wars: Dawn of Defiance
Character Creation and House Rules
Before beginning work on a character please consult with me first. I’d hate for you to go through all the number crunching only to find your concept does not mesh with the group.
As far as concepts go, I’m pretty open to anything. There are two things I’d like you to keep in mind, however. First off the game takes place around one year after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – to pinpoint the date more precisely consider the first session to start two months following the Ghorman Massacre. Plan your concepts accordingly. Secondly the game will revolve around the beginning of the rebellion – so your characters must be willing to work against the Empire. This does not mean they have to be holier-than-thou. In fact, with the Empire clamping down on criminal organizations – many scoundrels and criminal lords see profit and advantage in bringing down the Empire.
I currently own ALL the SAGA Edition books which we will be using for the game. Unlike most splat books WotC published, I’ve found them to be surprisingly balanced and surprisingly possessing a distinct lack of cheese. If you have a homebrew prestige class or feat or something, chances are good I will not accept it. I’ve had bad experiences with custom prestige classes in the past and find them to be somewhat overpowered. That said, I am not ruling out the possibility entirely.Also make sure to consult the official Errata:
- SAGA Core Rulebook
- Starships of the Galaxy
- Knights of the Old Republic
- The Force Unleashed
- Scum and Villainy
- The Clone Wars
House Rules and Character Creation Guidelines
Level: All characters will start at level 2.
Class: While most players will undoubtedly want to play Jedi or Force Sensitive characters (this is Star Wars after all) – I hope you’ll keep in mind that some of the setting’s most memorable characters have had zero talent with the Force. I highly encourage anyone who wants to play a non-Force attuned character to do so. If, as the game progresses, I see that you are falling behind in terms of party balance and the game isn’t becoming quite as fun for you – I will work out a way to bring a sense of equality to the game somehow.
Species: Generally speaking, I’d rather see the players play humans or human-ish characters like Twi’lek or Zabrak. Weird races like the Gand generally won’t fit well with the type of campaign I plan on running. That said, I will not deny things outright. If you have a cool, workable concept – we can figure something out.
Ability Scores: We will be using the point buy system on page 18 of the core book. All characters will begin with 40 points to distribute amongst their stats as they see fit. Droids begin with 34 points.
Hit Points: There is no need to roll for hit points, characters always gain the maximum amount per hit die.
Destiny Points: We will be using Destiny Points – your destiny will be kept secret until I deem it necessary.
Force Points: You may use a force point to reroll any damage roll you like and choose the better of the two totals.
Talents: The Block and Deflect talents have been combined into one talent – Deflect. All characters are considered to possess the Armored Defense talent in any armor in which they are proficient in.Skills: All skills (except Use the Force) are class skills for ALL classes. This is to ensure that if a Jedi wants to be skilled in computers due to his background, he can be. People from all walks of life become adventurers and basing skill choices on class (as opposed to background) seems needlessly restrictive. In addition – there are some modifications to some skills:
- Climb, Jump, Swimming have been combined into Athletics.
- Gather Information has been removed from the skill list – anything Gather Information can do can be done by either Persuasion or Deception.
- Stealth and Perception: Rather than metagame, if the PCs are not actively looking for hidden opponents the opponents will simply roll a Stealth check against the PCs take-10 Perception value.
Feats: Jedi add Weapon Proficiency (Pistols) to their list of starting feats. Nobles and Scoundrels add Weapon Proficiency (Rifles). Scouts and Soldiers add Weapon Proficiency (Advanced Melee Weapons.)
Wealth and Equipment: All characters begin with their maximum starting credits to spend on equipment. Vehicles as well as Military, and Illegal-grade equipment are all unavailable for purchase at this time. The Double-Barreled Blaster Carbine is way overpowered and is not available in this campaign.Force Powers:
- Move Object: for every 5 points you beat the base DC of 15, you can throw the object an additional 2 squares.
Background: I do require a background – the more detailed the better. If you give me a rich, densely layered background, I will find ways to incorporate it into the game. If your father and mother were both killed by Orcs, er… I mean – Gommoreans… don’t bother joining this game. I hate cliche backgrounds unless they are used in new and interesting ways.
Heroic Characters in Vehicles: Characters with Heroic class levels who are aboard a vehicle and actively crewing that vehicle (IE, are in command of a crew station or function) add an amount of hit points to the vehicle’s total hit points equal to their own maximum hit points. Characters who are passengers do not. This won’t mean much for large capital ships, but it should help to alleviate some of the ultralethality of starfighter and vehicular combat towards heroes.
Stunting: The way stunting works is simple; to promote role-playing and good, vivid descriptions, one simply must describe what one is doing. Detail will be taken into consideration, as will audacity. Essentially, the point is to be awesome, and in so doing, prove that you are truely moving with the will of the Force.Stunts have three tiers.
- The First Teir is the most basic and common, but should be pretty easy to trigger. The effect is simple; you may apply a Force Point immediately to whatever ends are available considering your current action (such as boosting a roll, or for many force powers, boosting the effect). This does not actually count as using a Force Point, so if it’s really important, you can spend an actual Force Point, too.
In Episode 4, A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi not only uses a mind trick to convince the Stormtroopers that R2-D2 and C-3P0 are not the droids they are looking for, he reinforces how ‘little’ they mean to him and Luke by adding that “They’re for sale, if you want them.” His whole speech was audacious and daring, putting words into the mouth of the Stormtrooper. This was a one-die stunt (in a social context, which is perfectly valid), and given Obi-Wan’s high level, there was simply no question; the Stormtroopers had no hope to resist him.
- The Second Tier is the same as First Tier (rolling a bonus as if you had rolled a Force Point), but additionally adds a Force Point to your FP pool; which you can then spend on the roll, if it’s that important to you. To invoke a second-tier stunt, some interaction with the scenery is mandatory. (Even in space there is scenery, if only your cockpit,) and your action must be both daring in nature and dramatic in scope. Force Points gained in this way are permanent, but vanish along with any others upon leveling up. Use ‘em or lose ‘em!
In Episode 5, The Empire Strikes back, Luke Skywalker and Dak Raltar attacked an Imperial AT-AT in a T-47 Snowspeeder. In an absolutely audacious and dangerous move, they used the Snowspeeder’s tow-cable to grapple the leg of the AT-AT in an attempt to bring it down. This was a Second-Tier Stunt, adding the effect of a Force Point to Luke’s piloting rolls, Dak’s gunnery rolls, and giving them both a Force Point. Unfortunately for Dak, even though he may or may not have attempted to use that Force Point to survive the direct hit from the AT-AT’s main laser cannon that downed the snowspeeder, Luke was unable to get him free from the crashed fighter before another AT-AT stepped on it.
- The Third Tier is the hardest to reach, and they will be given out only rarely. In addition to the benefits of the First and Second Tier, successfully pulling off a Third-Tier Stunt grants you a temporary Destiny Point, which lasts until the end of the Scene. Third-Tier stunts must be truely couragous, unique, inventive. Anything that makes your fellow player’s jaws drop is good – these stunts are often suicidal on their face; interaction with the scenery is mandatory, and it’s the kind of thing that should make your fellow players go “holy smokes.”
In Episode 2, Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are pursuing bounty hunter Zam Wessel in a purloined airspeeder. Anakin attempts to ‘head Zam off at the pass’ by taking a shortcut, but when he emerges from a tunnel, the bounty hunter’s speeder is nowhere in sight. Then, young Skywalker simply says “excuse me, Master,” and simply drops from the speeder, hurtling through the endless skies; his stated intent is to intersect Zam’s speeder as she exits a tunnel far below, and grab on. The jaws of everyone involved drop; this is clearly a Third-Tier stunt, and with the application of a Destiny Point, Anakin simply succeeds through having taken refuge in unmitigated audacity.
Note: Third Tier stunts can go horribly, horribly awry if the action attempted is suicidal, but insufficiently awesome or unique; you may be left facing death with only a second-tier, first-tier, or even no stunt to back you up! Please take care when attempting something this audacious. Over-use may well leave the Force uninclined to provide for you