Mar 15 2013
Yes you read that right! This was supposed to be the 8th installment of the weekly series of posts based on my old Star Wars Infinities campaign. Organizing the information for these posts has been a trip down memory lane and I realized that I have materials for one additional post. So next week will be the REAL final installment, an overview of the campaign itself. But for this week we’ll venture into crunch territory, house rules!
While the first 7 posts were mostly fluff and (I hope) usable for any Star Wars game, regardless of the system, this one is specifically about the Star Wars Sage Edition RPG. Published in 2007, we quickly embraced the system and got to playing. As I often do before a campaign I submitted a survey to the player about campaign expectations, this gave way to the Infinities timeline and background you’ve read in previous posts. It also gave way to the following house rules.
Back in 2007 I did share some of these rules in the EN World forums and got some excellent feedback form members. The rules evolved, I took some of their advice, ignored other bits, and came up with the following rules…
(Various caveats: I wrote the rules back in 2007, only the core rules had come out. I had some idea of how I wanted the system to work, specifically cutting back on some of the Jedi’s power. Whether I succeeded is debatable. In the end I believe I added needless complexity and there were some easier fixes, but hindsight is 20/20! One last thing, the force talents were adapted from those posted online. I cannot find the original source for all of them; some are adapted from the Imperial Knight Prestige Class (found here), the others I cannot identify. I don’t think I wrote them from scratch, but I am not sure.)
These are the house rules as I presented to my players back them. So let’s take a trip down memory lane to 2007!
House Rules and Campaign Guide
These modifications come from player feedback, my own assessment of the rules and a desire to adapt them to better represent the tone of the campaign. Since this will be our first campaign using the Saga System, some of these house rules MIGHT see some minor revisions as we play and see them in action. However I will not modify the rules in the middle of a session, and not on whim, or without consideration. I ask you give the rules a chance and after several sessions we may discuss them and revisit them. That way we may tweak them to our liking for future games.
We will all meet for an initial planning and character generation session before the campaign begins. This way, with all players present, character concepts may be discussed and we may attempt to create a balanced group that works well together.
Ability Scores: We will be using a slightly modified version of the basic method for generating Ability Scores presented on page 17 of the Saga Edition rulebook. As per the standard rules roll 4d6, disregard the lowest die and total the three highest dice. However, instead of six times, players will repeat this process seven times, generating seven scores. Players may then eliminate one score of their choice, and add the remaining scores. Should this total be lower than 72, the player may begin this process anew and reroll abilities. If the total is 72 or higher the player must keep the results and assign the six remaining scores to his or her attributes.
Choosing a Species: You may select any of the species from the core rulebook, including those on pages 284 and 285 with the following exceptions: no Ewoks as they have not been discovered yet, no Gungans as few travel beyond Naboo and even less people know of their existence. Finally, no Yuuzhan Vong as they simply do not exist. The Devaronians described in a Saga Edition Web Enhancement, reproduced in the appendix, are available as a playable species as well.
The official SWRPG Saga Conversion document includes the information for the following species: Geonosian, Jawa, Kaminoan, Noghri and Tusken Rider. The Noghri are not available as they have not yet been contacted. The other species are available but before playing a Jawas or Tusken Riders be sure to discuss it with the GM to make sure they will fit the campaign.
Droid Characters: Playing a Droid is an alternative for the campaign, but Droid characters use Option 1: Playing a Custom Droid presented on page 186 of the core rulebook. You cannot play a standard droid model in the campaign.
Heroic Classes: Of the Heroic Classes presented in Chapter 3 of the core rulebook, the Noble, Scout and Soldier remain unchanged.
The Scoundrel class gains access to the OUTLAW TECH talent tree presented in the Saga Edition Web Enhancement 1.
The Jedi Class becomes a Prestige Class, following the rules on page 206.
Hit Points: When rolling for hit points as a result of gaining a level, players may reroll the die if the result is less than half the possible result up to level 5. After level 6 players must keep the number rolled in the die.
To qualify to become a Jedi, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Minimum Heroic Level: 2nd
Trained Skills: Use the Force
Feats: Force Sensitivity
Special: To become a Jedi an apprentice must find a willing Jedi tutor. The Order to which the teacher belongs to determines the Talent Trees available to the character.
The 1st level class features for the Jedi Prestige Class are: the Defense Bonuses as they appear on page 39, gaining a Talent, a Lightsaber and Weapon Proficiency (lighsabers) as a bonus feat.
All the major and well known Jedi Orders use and train their apprentices in the art of lightsaber combat. If your character belongs to one of the most obscure Orders, or is tutored under a master who does not teach him or her how to use a lightsaber, your character does not receive a lightsaber and the corresponding Weapon Proficiency feat at first level. Instead the character receives Force Training as a bonus feat.
Jedi Talents: Which talent are available to the character is determined by the Order under which the Jedi studies. Regardless, all Jedi can select talents from the Alter, Control and Sense talent trees in pages 100-101.
Jedi following the traditions of the militaristic Leoco Actum Order may select their talents from the Jedi Guardian, Jedi Sentinel, Lightsaber Combat and the Jedi Defender (the renamed Jensaarai Defender tree from page 107) talent trees.
Those that study the contemplative path of the Sar’Akar Sodality have the Jedi Consular, Jedi Guardian, Jedi Sentinel and Lightsaber Combat talent trees available.
The outlawed Force Petitioners, sometimes called Zealot of the Force, may select their talents from the following talent trees, Jedi Consular, Jedi Sentinel, Lightsaber Combat and the Force Noesis described below.
Through meditation and long, arduous study of the whispering Force you have discovered secrets that allow you to serve its will. You can defend holy sites, protect and heal the faithful and hunt those who oppose the will of the Force.
Extend Protection: You may use the Block and Deflect talents to negate attacks against an adjacent ally without spending a Force Point. You must have the appropriate talent (Block or Deflect) in order to use this ability.
Prerequisites: Harm’s Way, Base Attack Bonus +5.
Hold Ground: Opponents treat all squares that you threaten as difficult terrain for all purposes related to movement.
Prerequisites: Lightsaber Defense.
Healer’s Vision: You can reroll Treat Injury checks, but the result of the reroll must be accepted even if it is worse.
Hunter of Heretics: You can use your Use the Force check modifier instead of your Survival modifier when making Survival checks to track an individual. You are considered trained in Survival for the purposes of using this talent. If you are entitled to a Survival check reroll, you may reroll your Use the Force check instead (subject to the same circumstances and limitations).
Improved Hold Ground: The DC for tumbling through a square that you threaten is increased by 10.
Prerequisite: Hold Ground, Base Attack Bonus +9.
Return to Life: You have two turns, instead of one, to make a Treat Injury check to revive a creature that has just died.
Prerequisite: Medical Sense.
Jedi belonging to one of the other Minor Orders can select talents from the Lightsaber Combat and pick one of the following talent trees: Jedi Consular, Jedi Guardian, Jedi Sentinel, to have available as talent tree from which to learn new talents.
Build a Lightsaber: The 7th level class feature, Build a Lightsaber, no longer applies. Anyone meeting the criteria outlined on page 40 under Building a Lightsaber may attempt to do so.
Skills: Remember that as per the regular multiclassing rules the character does gain any new trained skills when taking their first level in the Jedi class. Unlike other prestige classes presented in the book, your list of class skills expands to include the skills of the Jedi Class on page 38 as corrected by the errata.
Credits: Likewise adding a level of Jedi gives your character no additional credits.
Leveling Up: As Jedi continue to gain levels in this class they must remain in regular contact with their master to continue learning, studying and mastering the ways of the Force. This may mean some time away from adventuring while being tutored, and the need to visit their teacher in person before gaining any new Talent or Force Power until reaching 5th level in this class.
During their training Jedi apprentices may have more than one teacher and may over time abandon one Order and join another. While some Orders condemn this practice and may ostracize or even oppose former members, once a character reaches 5th level in the Jedi class he or she may learn talents from any Order he or she was tutored in. If the character seeks to learn talents from unavailable trees, he or she may look for an appropriate master from other Orders, but must remain aware of the role-playing consequences of this action.
The Jedi Heroic Class becomes an 18 level Prestige Class that follows all other rules as presented in the core rulebook for level advancement and acquiring Talents and Bonus Feats.
Multiclass Heroes: All rules for multiclassing presented in pages 54-55 remain in effect. Adding a second or third class is desirable, even beneficial in some cases, however there are in game role-playing considerations that must be met before adding any class beyond your first.
The Jedi Prestige Class already has prerequisites and role-playing criteria that must be met. Adding any of the other heroic classes, or prestige classes, requires you as a player to rationalize how and why the character is developing this new set of skills, from providing a background suitable for this, to finding appropriate teachers that may teach the character what he needs to know.
Discuss any plan with the GM; there may be additional role-playing requisites before adding another class or prestige class. Do so before leveling up so all details can be worked out in advance.
Feats: There are two new feats available to characters, and one important feat that are modified from the version that appears in the Saga Edition rulebook.
This feat now has the added prerequisite that it must be selected at 1st character level.Having the Force Sensitivity feat means the character is naturally attuned to the Force, whether he or she knows it or not; or even chooses not to develop the potential. Characters that select this feat will be more susceptible to Dark Side transgressions and their actions examined with greater scrutiny during the game. See The Dark Side on pages 93-94 of the core rulebook for more information.
Latent Force Sensitivity
You discover your Force-sensitivity much later in life that it is typical. Trough meditation, feasting, a great distress or sacrifice you can now call upon the Force and draw on its power.
Prerequisites: Cannot be a Droid, the character permanently reduces their Force Point total per level by 2.
Benefits: This feat work exactly like the Force Sensitive feat on page 85, with the exception that since it can be taken at any level, the character must make a permanent sacrifice to awaken his or her powers and must reduce their Force Point total by 2.
The TECH SPECIALIST feat from the Saga Edition Web Enhancement 1 is also available.
The Force: While the vision of the Star Wars Galaxy we will be playing in may seem darker than the traditional Star Wars game, the Jedi still strive for the greater good and champion the Light Side of the Force, fractured as they may be. If anything in these darker times there exists the chance for good and kindness to shine even brighter.
While I do not expect all character to be saints, or paragons of virtue, those that select to be Force Sensitive and follow the ways of the Force, through a Jedi Order or any other tradition, will still be expected to be righteous and avoid the temptations of the Dark Side. These characters will be carefully observed and any Dark Side Transgressions will result in an increase of their Dark Side Score.
Any characters that falls to the Dark Side, i.e. his or her Dark Side Score equals their Wisdom score, will become a GM character and is no longer under the control of the player.
Destiny: The Destiny mechanic will be available in the game. Characters are free to select a destiny, or not, as they please. Destinies must be discussed with the GM and may be player selected or secret destinies determined by the GM, player’s choice.
While players may select destinies from the beginning of the campaign I would encourage you at least wait until the character planning and generation session so you may get an idea of the characters in the campaign. If no destiny is selected initially the GM will discuss with each player whether to choose a destiny and what destiny that may be after the 4th or 6th session of the campaign.
Equipment, Droids and Vehicles: Characters begin play with maximum credits for their heroic class: 4,800 credits for Nobles and 3,000 credits for Scoundrels, Scouts and Soldiers.
During character creation equipment, droids or vehicles may be purchased at their base cost regardless of its restriction rating. No need to pay for licensing fees or black market prices. It will be assumed that all documentation was obtained and fees were paid for items rated as licensed or restricted. Items whose availability is rated military or illegal will be assumed to have been procured through the black market. Be aware that carrying items rated military or illegal will call attention to you and may cause trouble with the authorities.
I know some of you may be considering developing character concepts that may involve owning a ship or vehicle way beyond the means of a first level character. Rather than setting some rules for this, if this is your case, let’s discuss it on the planning and character generation session.
Once the campaign begins all rules regarding restricted items in pages 118-119 will be in effect.
Prestige Classes: As the campaign attempts to portray the struggle of the Light Side of the force against the ever encroaching Dark Side, some prestige classes are not appropriate in this time of the dying light. Neither Sith Apprentice nor Sith Lord are available as Prestige Classes for characters.
All other prestige classes presented in the book are available as long as the considerations mentioned under Multiclass Heroes earlier in this document are observed.
Character Death: Should your character die in the course of the campaign, you may create a new character and it will be integrated into the adventure as soon as logic and ongoing plotlines permit. The new character will be the same level as your previous character, but will have the exact amount of experience needed to attain that level.
Bonus XP Opportunity: There is a one-time bonus experience point opportunity for new 1st level characters. Creating a unique background tied to the Star Wars universe for your character, telling me or writing up a character history and/or finding an image or miniature to represent your character can all give you bonus XP before we begin the campaign and have you on your way to 2nd level that much quicker.
Here is a breakdown of the amount of XP you can accumulate with each option:
- Character History:
- Character history, told to the GM – 100 XP
- Character history, written* – 200 XP
- Extra 200 XP at the GM’s secretion if it is tied to the history and background of the campaign
- Character Image:
- Showing an image that represents your character – 100 XP
- Providing the GM with an image (print or digital) that represents your character – 200 XP
- Character miniature:
- Finding an existing miniature for your character 50 XP
- Unique or modified miniature that represents your character 200 XP
So those are the rules… I know that after reading the subsequent books and the experience of actually playing the game there are many things I would change, but think of this a snapshot of history. What do you think?
And again, Star Wars, all associated characters and images are copyright of Lucasfilm and I use them here only as a fan creating an RPG campaign.