Star Wars Heroic Roleplaying: Part I

It’s Star Wars Season! You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere!

With a new movie coming – just a few days away! – and all the excitement and expectation it brings, my friends and I decided to revisit this universe through roleplaying. Star Wars is rooted in heroic fantasy so, for this task, it was a no-brainer to hack Heroic Roleplaying rules for Cortex Plus. This article and the following ones will bring the guidelines for adventuring in galaxies, far, far, away.

This a hack requires some familiarity with the Heroic Roleplaying system (Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and Fantasy Heroic Roleplaying) described in the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. I trust that you (or your Gamemaster) have access to it but, if you don’t, you can get it here.

This game material references the Cortex Plus® game system, available from Margaret Weis Productions at www.margaretweis.com. Cortex® and Cortex Plus® and all associated logos and trademarks are solely owned by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. and are used with permission. Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability of the purpose of this product.

I. HERO CREATION

© Disney
© Disney & Lucasfilm

Star Wars Heroes follow the same guidelines as Heroic Roleplaying characters with some adjustments  made to better capture the spirit of the SW universe.

DRIVES

Affiliations are gone, replaced by Drives. In Star Wars’ stories encompass epic struggles as well as personal ones. And at the core of all of them, characters who fight for personal benefit or the good of the galaxy. The Drive Trait represents the motivations of these characters and how well they perform when moved to action by them.

Every hero has three Drives prioritized by dice: D10 for the primary, D8 for the secondary, and D6 for the tertiary. Which die goes where reflects how the hero performs in those situations:

  • When you hero acts for his own benefit, he’s driven by Self-Interest;
  • When your hero acts on behalf of friends, loved ones, organizations or due to obligations or duty, he’s driven by Loyalty;
  • When you hero acts selflessly, or for a greater cause, he’s driven by Compassion.

DISTINCTIONS

No change. Write three Distinctions: a High Concept Distinction, a Trouble Distinction, and a Distinction of any type you prefer (i.e. a personality trait, his outlook or reputation, his history/backstory, a catchphrase or title, a notable feature, his profession).

Examples: Lord Of The Sith, Princess of AldeeranWhiny Farmboy, Half-Witted, Scruffy-Looking Nerf-Herder.

ABILITIES, SIGNATURE ASSETS AND SPECIAL TALENTS

Abilities, Signature Assets and Special Talents are assembled just like Power Sets: traits grouped around a common theme, source, or manifestation. Abilities can represent the supernatural abilities derived from The Force. They can also represent the racial abilities of an alien species, unique skills, intensive training, special gear or weapons, pet animals and even droid sidekicks.

What the dice mean?

Abilities

D6: Average. Representing the human average range of power.

D8: Enhanced. Above the norm, near maximum capability for humanoids. Example(s): Jedi Knights

D10: Exceptional. Supernatural levels of performance, remarkably beyond those possessed by  normal humanoids. Few heroes have powers rated higher than this. Example(s): Jedi Masters

D12: Legendary. The highest level of performance possible. Few in the galaxy possess such levels. Example(s): Master Yoda, Darth Vader

Weapons, Artifacts and other items

D6: blaster pistols, vibroknifes, personal comlink, stun grenades, holo-messengers, average items

D8: blast doors, blaster rifles, lightsabers, bowcasters, vibroswords, vibroaxes,frag grenades, holocrons, very effective items and artifacts

D10: heavy repeating blasters, master holocrons

D12: thermal detonator, Jedi Archives, legendary artifacts or weapons

Specialties

D6: Rookie. Level of expertise found on GM characters, not heroes. Average competence.

D8Expert. Extensive training and contacts. The character is highly competent.

D10Master. The character is one of the best in the field throughout the galaxy. His training and knowledge are extensive, beyond what Experts can accomplish.

D12Grandmaster. The character is so proficient in his field that he’s become a legend in the galaxy. It’s quite rare to find such individuals.

SPECIALTIES

Choose your Specialties: one at Master D10, three at Expert D8. Specialties work as described in Heroic Roleplaying, but the list is changed to reflect a space opera setting:

Acrobatic, Covert, Crime, Diplomacy, HealingLoreMelee CombatMenacePerformancePilotingRanged Combat, Science, Tech and Trade.

MILESTONES

Milestones also remain unchanged. They provide a guide to roleplay in return for Experience Points (XP), which are used to unlock story resources or trigger interesting developments, gain new traits and abilities.

That’s it for now.

Next: In Part II, we’ll tackle Force Points, The Dark Side Pool, Experience Points and more.

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