Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Other Side of Space Faith

New Powers

While we have plenty of “appropriate” powers, we're missing some key components. We can see the future (Divine Guidance), see into the hearts of men (See Evil, Sense True Evil), but we lack psychokinetic effects, and quite a few of the common tricks Jedi often do, such as sense danger. A few new Learned Prayers might be:

Minor (Neutral Reaction)


Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 4
Learned Prayer Cost: 3 points
A minor telekinetic effect occurs, perhaps moving a force-sword hilt to you, or pulling a key to you, or even granting you a +4 to pick a lock.
Statistics: Telekinesis 3 (Divine Favor -10%) [13.5]

Major Blessing (Good Reaction)

Ghost Motion

Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 7
Learned Prayer Cost: 7 points
Gain obvious, if not particularly strong psychokinetic effects, including pushing things over, throwing stones at people, etc.
Statistics: Telekinesis 7 (Divine Favor -10%) [32.5]

Miraculous Power (Very Good Reaction)

Invisible Might

Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 10
Learned Prayer Cost: 14 points
Gain psychokinetic effects that exceed the power of an individual human, including lifting someone off the ground, or yanking large objects off walls and flinging them at people.
Statistics: Telekinesis 15 (Divine Favor -10%) [67.5]

Divine Message

Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 10
Learned Prayer Cost: 12
Send a single message or vision to another character, regardless of distance. This message transcends culture and language to ensure that the target always understands it.
Statistics: Telesend (Divine -10%, Cosmic (No Die Roll) +100%, Universal +50%, Send Only -50%) [57]

World-Shaking Miracles (Excellent Reaction)

Unseen Titan

Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 14
Learned Prayer Cost: 27 points
Gain psychokinetic effects that exceed the maximum power of a human, including blowing gaping holes in walls, moving vehicles slowly through the air, or tearing apart a cavern.
Statistics: Telekinesis 30 (Divine Favor -10%) [135]

Alternate Forms

Avatar State
I've noted that Ten Monros has given us some pretty cool tricks without really going all the way into a Full Alternate Form, likely because their interaction with Alternative Ability frameworks are confusing, but I've addressed that very topic on this very blog... precisely because I was working on this power set at the time.

The concept of the Force flowing through someone, guiding their motions, seems to me a good example of a deep connection to the divine, something a character with a great deal of Divine Favor could certainly do. While I cannot, off the top of my head, remember anything like that from either Star Wars or the Expanded Universe, I think the Avatar State from Avater: the Last Airbender is an excellent example of what that might look like (especially given its Chinese-inspired mysticism).
The Righteous Fury powers certainly cover that sort of thing nicely, but I'd rather explore an alternate form, because it allows me to add even more powers and also to balance it with some disadvantages to create a distinctly inhuman character: You can let the Force in, let it strengthen your limbs and burn in your eyes, but then you are guided by Its will, to serve as Its agent of change in the world. When you become a Force Avatar, you serve the Force, it does not Serve You.

The inspiration behind the build comes from GURPS Thaumatology, Spirit Vessels, starting on page 211. The idea is that this “Alternate Form” is more spiritual and mental rather than physical: the character looks the same (mostly), but becomes something else.

It might look something like this: It takes one second of concentration and a cost of 5 HP (the strain of channeling so much Force takes its toll) to enter the Avatar state. Once in it, he is driven by the Force to do a particular thing (chosen by the GM), must do so in a predictable and obvious fashion, without harming others. Furthermore, the strain costs the character 1 HP per second. Fortunately, while in the Avatar State, the character is nigh unstoppable: He feels no pain and is immune to unconsciousness and will not die unless reduced to -5xHP (The Space Knight's flesh is just a shell for the Force, and while the Force animates it, it cannot die, only be destroyed). Heightened awareness gives him perfect knowledge of all danger that faces him, and the Force allows him to reach out and interact constantly with his environment around him (to a maximum range of 10 yards). Finally, the Space Knight is obviously possessed, with glowing eyes and echoing, multi-tone voice and burning strands of power lashing out around him as he floats around. This is marginally attractive, but it's as much terrifying as it is pleasant.

Force Avatar

Learned Prerequisite: Divine Favor 16
Learned Prayer Cost: 200 points

This alternate form does not include Divine Favor. The character loses access to Divine Favor for as long as it lasts. This imitates the nature of other Alternative Abilities, which also preclude the use of Divine Favor. Otherwise, all other character stats remain the same and the rest comes in addition.
Alternate Form (Divine -10%, Reduced time (1 second) +80%, Limited (Once per day) -40%, Costs 5 HP -50%) [12]

Jedi Avatar Form:

Attractive (Impressive +0%) [4]
Danger Sense (Cosmic, No Die Roll +100%) [30]
Immune to Pain [30]
Indomitable [15]
Penetrating Voice [1]
Telekinesis 21 [105]
Unfazeable [15]
Unkillable 1 [50]
Dependency (Return to own form, constant) [-25]
Hidebound [-5]
Obsession: A goal chosen by the Force [-10]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-5]
Unnatural Features 5 (Brilliant, Glowing Avatar of Power) [-5]

The Dark Side

Of course, if Divine Favor represents a Good God, the Light Side of the Force, we should be able to represent an Evil God, the Dark Side, in a similar fashion. Divine Favors actually discusses this at length on page 12.

The rules for Petitioning are the same, though you're not required to maintain the -10 points worth of religious devotion. We can continue to use the Meditation rule for the Dark Side, but we could also say that if the character is willing to fail a self-control roll for certain appropriate psychological disadvantages (Bad Temper, Berserk, Bloodlust, Lecherosness, Overconfidence, Sadism or Selfish) and/or to act it out in detail, he gains a +1 for the duration of being under that disadvantage. Instead of using the Fatigue rules, though, consider using the Black Magic rules: Each +1 costs 4 points of Corruption, rather than 4 fatigue. The Dark Jedi will pay the price, but only later, and from his form and sanity.

The Reaction Roll works  as the side-bar suggests: How much does the Dark Jedi's proposed action facilitate the Dark Side's objectives? And what are the Dark Side's objectives? Generally death, chaos, ruin and the fulfillment of the Dark Jedi's baser needs: the Dark Side will absolutely help someone fulfill their ambition or kill those who insulted him, but it won't generally help him save the life of those he loves, or sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Finally, when the Light Side faces off against the Dark Side, the Dark Side always loses. For example, Consencrate beats Desecrate.

Minor (Neutral Reaction)


Eyes of Hell (Pyramid #3-36, page 10) the Dark side can see in the dark of course. Explains why they're always lurking in Shadows.

Servant of the God of Lies replaces Sermonize (Pyramid #3-36, page 10)

Divine Guidance


Mantle of the God of Lies (Pyramid #3-36, page 10) is a bit of a stretch, but I could see the Force reshaping someone's face to deceive others. Also, shapeshifters are practically a cliché in space opera.

Major Blessing (Good Reaction)

Ghost Motion

Eyes of Hell (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 10) the Dark side can see in the dark of course. Explains why they're always lurking in Shadows.

Power of the Abyss (Pyramid #3-36, page 10) “Good. Good. Let the hate flow through you.” The dark side parallel to Righteous Fury.

Corrupting Touch (Pyramid #3-36, page 10) The ability to destroy life with just a touch seems appropriate to the Dark Side and makes a good parallel for Force Healing.

Sense True Good (Pyramid #3-36, page 11) the reverse of the Light side's ability: the Dark Side can as readily sense the Light Side as the reverse.

Guide My Hand: (Pyramid #3-36, page 11)

Dark Glory (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) The ability to inflict fear on an opponent definitely fits the Dark Side of the Force.

Desecrate Ground (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) one of the things that supposedly tainted Dagobah was the presence of a Dark Lord. This suggests that those who follow the Dark Side of the Force can certainly “taint” the world around them.

See Good (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) This allows a Dark Lord of the Sith to look into the heart of another and see the Hate and the Hope roiling around within them.

Holy Fire (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) A Jedi never uses the Force for attack... but a Sith certainly does. Holy Fire won't work... but we could create a variation for Lightning blasts.

Miraculous Power (Very Good Reaction)

Invisible Might

Corrupting Touch (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 12) The same as the above, but better.

Power of the Abyss (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 13) As above, but better.

Vampiric Touch (Pyramid #3-36, page 13) The ability to drain energy from others. This expands on that concept to include the draining of life to feed the character. While this is a stretch for classic Star Wars, the Expanded Universe does contain straight up vampires, and it fit the idea of having pyshic vampirism in Psi Wars.

Holy Fire (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 14) As above

Desecrate Ground (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 14)

Dark Glory (Enhanced) (Pyramid #3-36, page 14)

World-Shaking Miracles (Excellent Reaction)

Unseen Titan

Eclipse pushes the bounds of what might be possible: I can almost see the Force altering the orbits of planets slightly.  And if anyone would bring darkness to the sky, it would be a master of the Dark Side.

Dark Metamorphosis: (Pyramid #3-36, page 14). As Avenging Angel, but Dark!

Drain Soul: (Pyramid #3-36, page 15). The expanded version of Vampiric Touch.


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