Star Wars Heroic Roleplaying: Part IV

It’s been quite some time since our last post, so here’s a little recap: Part One presented the basic rules for character creation; Part Two covered character advancement and gamemastering; and Part Three brought some PC and NPC examples (fresh from Episode VII: The Force Awakens). In this post, the Fourth (and final) Part, we’ll see how to handle scale, temptation by the Dark Side and how to build your own starship.

As mentioned before, 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.

IV. NEW / OPTIONAL RULES

© Disney & Lucasfilm 2015
© Disney & Lucasfilm 2015

TEMPTATION

“But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”

As mentioned in Part Two, Star Wars Heroic Roleplaying doesn’t have a special rule to simulate the temptation. Each player (and each group) should decide if this is something they’re interested in pursuing. This being the case, the fall towards the Dark Side and the lure of power can be represented by the use of character Milestones and Abilities SFX. Example of the latter:

SFX: Call on the Dark Side. When you roll Anger or Fear in a dice pool, add a D6 to the dark side pool and earn 1 Force Point.

SFX: Use Your Anger! Add a die equal to your Anger stress to the dark side pool to include your Anger stress in your next attack action.

Having said that, Christopher Moore from the Google+ Cortex System Roleplaying forum came up with a rather cool idea for a temptation rule. Check this: Dice that roll 1 present the opportunity to be used for the dark side. If a player so chooses, they can count a 1 in their pool as the maximum value of the die, at the expense of adding that die directly to the dark side pool afterwards. Success, but at great cost.

SCALE

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”

A single starfighter faces against a massive cruiser. A brave scavenger stands battle an armored sandcrawler. An obstinate jedi must lift his ship from sinking into a swamp. These are examples of situations where one side significantly outmatches the other. Most situations are simple enough that dice are not needed — just plain good sense on the part of the Gamemaster. However, not all situations will be like this, some will be trickier.

Whenever there is a large scale difference between opposing sides in a contested action, we’ll use the Scale die. This means that the side with an overwhelming advantage in the contest adds a D8 and a third die to the total for free (In cases where the difference is truly overwhelming, the Gamemaster might consider adding two dice and including four dice for the total). While this makes it more difficult for the disadvantaged side to succeed, it can be overcome by an ample expenditure of Force Points coupled with careful planning. If the mismatch is so unfair that the inferior side doesn’t stand a chance, that’s probably time to just set aside the dice and just narrate the action.

 

V. STARSHIPS OF THE GALAXY

Disney & Lucasfilm
© Disney & Lucasfilm 2015

Simply put, you can’t have a Star Wars game without starships. (Well, of course you can, but it won’t feel quite like it.)

They are a essential part of the SW setting: with so many worlds, starships provide transportation and allow trade (and contraband). They connect the galaxy and, at times, even play important roles in its major events. Given their importance, here we’ll see how to add them to your Star Wars Heroic Roleplaying adventures.

CREATING YOUR OWN

It’s quite simple. And you already know most of the basics. Starships are built like just like a character’s Signature Asset, if they belong to a Hero, or a Threat, when controlled by the Gamemaster. So, just like characters, ships have their own Distinctions and Abilities.

Your starship’s Distinctions, like your Hero’s, may be used as a D8 in cases where it’s beneficial or a D4 where it’s a drawback. They may have two or three Distinctions, with one of them describing it’s model and/or class (e.g. YT-1300 Freighter,  Delta-7B Aethersprite-class light interceptor, Transport Cruiser).

No matter the type, every ship has three basic Power Traits: Durability to represent hull and shields; Reflexes, its maneuverability; and Flight for its flying speed. If the starship can jump into hyperspace, the Flight power trait is described as Interstellar Flight; if not, it’s Space Flight. Most ships will also have Weapons, representing their defensive systems, and Senses, their sensors capabilities. SFX and Limits can further describe it.

That’s it. Below, some examples built using these guidelines.

SAMPLE STARSHIPS

MILLENIUM FALCON

Despite her humble origins and shabby exterior, the Millennium Falcon has played a role in some of the greatest victories of the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic. The Falcon looks like a worn-out junker, but beneath her hull she’s full of surprises. A succession of owners, from Lando Calrissian and Han Solo to Gannis Ducain, have made special modifications that boosted the freighter’s speed, shielding and firepower to impressive – and downright illegal – levels. The price of such tinkering? The Falcon can be unpredictable, with her hyperdrive particularly balky. Despite her flaws, she’s beloved by her owners – Han Solo and Chewbacca have spent years searching the galaxy for the ship they once called home. (starwars.com)

MillenniumFalconTFA-Fathead

Distinctions
————
Modified YT-1300 Light Freighter
The Fastest Hunk Of Junk In The Galaxy
Doesn’t Look Like Much

Power Traits
———-
Enhanced Reflexes D8
Exceptional Durability D10
Interstellar Flight D10
Senses D6
Weapons D8

SFX: Proton Torpedo Launchers. Step up or double a Weapons die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Quad Laser Cannons. If a pool includes a Weapons power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Reroute Power. Shutdown your highest-rated MILLENIUM FALCON power to step up another MILLENIUM FALCON power. Spend a Force Point to recover the power.
SFX: Tractor Beam Projectors. When inflicting Trapped complication on a target, add a D6 and step up your effect die.
Limit: Too Much Tinkering. If your pool includes a MILLENIUM FALCON power, both 1s and 2s on your dice count as opportunities, but only 1s are excluded from being used for totals or effect dice.
Limit: Unreliable Hyperdrive. Change Interstellar Flight into a complication and gain 1 FP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.

DOWNLOAD THE MILLENIUM FALCON SIGNATURE ASSET (soon)

RESISTANCE X-WING

The Incom T-70 X-wing is the latest incarnation of a classic design, and the signature combat craft of the Resistance’s Starfighter Corps. Faster than the Alliance-era T-65s, Resistance X-wings are maneuverable enough to engage TIE fighters in dogfights, but powerful enough to take down capital ships. The credit-strapped Resistance relies on X-wings donated or lent by sympathetic New Republic senators and local security forces. During the assault on Starkiller Base, Poe Dameron flies a customized, dark-hulled X-wing under the call sign Black Leader. (starwars.com)starwars_ep7_x-wing_fighter_1

Distinctions
————

T-70 X-Wing Fighter
Fast and Heavily-Armed
Resistance’s Signature Combat Craft

Power Traits
————

Interstellar Flight D12
Enhanced Reflexes D8
Enhanced Durability D8
Weapons D8

SFX: Quad Laser Cannons. If a pool includes a Weapons power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Proton Torpedo Launchers. Step up or double a Weapons die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
Limit: Disabled Astromech Droid. Shutdown RESISTANCE X-WING to gain 1 FP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a non-Action Scene.

DOWNLOAD THE RESISTANCE X-WING SIGNATURE ASSET (soon)

FIRST ORDER TIE FIGHTERS

The latest starfighter in the storied TIE line looks similar to its predecessors, but the TIE/FO boasts improved solar cells and higher-capacity converters, making these ships deadlier than the TIEs that saw service in the Imperial era. Unlike the Empire, the First Order values its pilots as key military assets, protecting them with onboard deflector shields. (starwars.com)

starwars_ep7_special_forces_tie_fighter_1

Challenge Die
——
4D4 Minion (Mob)

Distinctions
————
TIE Series Starfighter
Fast and Deadly
Howling Twin Engines

Assets
———-
FIRST ORDER SIGNATURE STARFIGHTER
Exceptional Reflexes D10
Durability D6
Interstellar Flight D12
Laser Cannons D6

SFX: Attack Formation. Add a D6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by -1. Step up Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Destroy Them! Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Squadron Cohesion. Defeat FIRST ORDER TIE FIGHTERS Level dice (with D6 Stress) to reduce FIRST ORDER TIE FIGHTERS. Each Level die may be treated as a separate target for Area Attack SFX.

Specialties
———–
Piloting Expert, Ranged Combat Expert

DOWNLOAD FIRST ORDER TIE FIGHTERS‘ THREAT SHEET (soon)

KYLO REN’S COMMAND SHUTTLE

The First Order’s top officers travel in Upsilon-class command shuttles that look like grim birds of prey. These ships’ massive wings are packed with defensive systems to protect their valuable passengers. The upper wings contain advanced sensor suites that scan for enemies, while the lower wings house efficient shield projectors and powerful jammers. Upon landing, the wings rise from flight mode and then retract, encasing the upper wings’ sensor arrays in thick armor. (starwars.com)

starwars_ep7_kylo_rens_command_shuttle_1

Challenge Die
——
4D4 Minion (Mob)

Distinctions
————
Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle
Grim Visage
Heavily Armored

Assets
———-
LONG RANGE SHUTTLE
Exceptional Durability D10
Exceptional Senses D10
Interstellar Flight D8
Laser Cannons D6

SFX: Jammers. When using Exceptional Senses to create complications or stress against foes communications, add a D6 and step up your effect die.
Limit: System Overload. Shutdown any LONG RANGE SHUTTLE power to step up the lowest die in the dark side pool or add a D6 dark side die. Recover power by activating an opportunity .

Specialties
———–
Piloting Expert, Ranged Combat Expert, Tech Expert

DOWNLOAD KYLO REN’S COMMAND SHUTTLE‘S THREAT SHEET (soon)

FINALIZER

The powerful flagship shared by General Hux and Kylo Ren, the dagger-shaped Finalizer is nearly twice the length of an Imperial-era Star Destroyer. The first of the new Resurgent class constructed in violation of treaties with the New Republic, the Finalizer’s heavy weapons are augmented by two starfighter wings, a hundred assault craft and a full legion of stormtroopers. Her turbolasers are more powerful and faster to recharge than Imperial-era weapons, a product of kyber crystals harvested in the Unknown Regions. (starwars.com)

starwars_ep7_star_destroyer_finalizer_1-small

Challenge Die
——
5D10 Boss (Large Scale Threat)

Distinctions
————
Resurgent Class Star Destoyer
Flagship of the First Order
Intimidating

Assets
———-
MILITARY COMMAND VESSEL
Interstellar Flight D6
Legendary Durability D12
Exceptional Senses D10
Heavy Weaponry D12

SFX: Focus Fire. Against a single ship, double Heavy Weaponry. Remove the highest rolling die and use three dice for the total.
SFX: Lock On Those Ships! Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Weapons Array. Split Heavy Weaponry into 2D10, or 3D8.
SFX: Tractor Beam Projectors. When inflicting Trapped complication on a target, add a D6 and step up your effect die.
Limit: Large Scale Threat. Defeat an Finalizer Challenge  die for each D10 stress effect die applied to Finalizer.

STARFIGHTER WING
Space Flight D12
Exceptional Reflexes D10
Durability D6
Laser Cannons D6
Minion Mob 6D4

SFX: Attack Formation. Add a D6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by -1. Step up Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Destroy Them! Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Reinforcements. Spend a D4 dark side die to add a die to Mob, up to a maximum of 6D4. Spend or greater a D6 dark side toadd another STARFIGHTER WING to the battle.
Limit: Squadron Cohesion. Defeat STARFIGHTER WING Mob dice (with D6 Stress) to reduce STARFIGHTER WING. Each Mob die may be treated as a separate target for Area Attack SFX.

LEGIONS OF STORMTROOPERS
Armor D6
Blaster Rifle D8
Eletronic Senses D6
Standard Mob 5D6

SFX: Area Attack. Against multiple targets, for each additional target add a D6 and keep an additional effect die.
SFX: Concentrate Fire. Step back the highest die in your attack action pool to add a D6 and step up Injury inflicted.
SFX: Reinforcements. Spend a dark side die to add a die to Mob, up to a maximum of 5D6.
Limit: Internal Defense. LEGION OF STORMTROOPERS may only be used against or targeted by opponents inside the Finalizer.
Limit: Squad Cohesion. Defeat LEGION OF STORMTROOPERS Challenge dice with D8 Stress to reduce LEGION OF STORMTROOPERS. Each Challenge die may be treated as a separate target for Area Attack SFX.

Specialties
———–
Piloting Expert, Ranged Combat Expert, Tech Expert

DOWNLOAD FINALIZER‘S THREAT SHEET (soon)

FINAL WORDS

This little hack has been inspired and influenced by Dean Gilbert’s (Torghacker) Star Wars Cortex Plus Hack,  Josh Roby’s Jediville, Marvel Plot Points’ Star Wars Week, Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition, Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars Roleplaying games and the good folks at the Google+ Cortex System Roleplaying community. To all, thank you!

And thank you, who has been (patiently) following these posts. Keep coming back, though: The Gamescape will continue!

May the Force be with your game. Have Fun!

 

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