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Working on a force skills/powers revamp
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:32 pm    Post subject: Working on a force skills/powers revamp Reply with quote

I've been at this project for years now, but posting it here in case someone finds is useful or has ideas.


The system will be C/S/A-based. The main changes will be as follows:

All powers will be single skill roll, but the more advanced powers will have cross-skill prerequisites (such as affect mind being an alter power but having projective telepathy as a prerequisite, etc.).

In addition, many powers will have various applications. For example, telekinesis will be the base power, and then force push/strike would be an application that can be learned.

A power can only be learned when a new whole D is gained in a skill, while an application can be learned each time a pip is gained.

Also will have a "specialization" system wherein a character can spend 1 CP to gain a permanent +1 to specific applications. So, a character who wants to specialize in enhance attribute and had 5D in control could spend 1 CP to specialize. When making a control roll to activate enhance attribute, the player would roll 5D+1. The character can specialize an application up to the number of D he has in the relevant skill (so, the above character could max out his specialization at 5D+5).

Finally, many powers will be re-written to allow them to more appropriately express a character concept, rather than being powers that are "handy" in certain limited scope scenarios. Powers will have broader, general uses, with applications (kind of like sub-powers) that allow more nuanced uses for situation-specific solutions.

For example, enhance attribute will no longer provide a 1D-3D bonus for a round or two. Instead, it will be a power that is "kept up" and the bonuses will be smaller (a novice Jedi could get a +1 pip to an attribute, while a master could pull of ~+2D to the attribute over an indefinite period, such as the way that Yoda is portrayed when using Ataru).
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intriguing. Looking forward to seeing it develop.
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great. Force Powers, as well as regular skills, need consolidation - telekinesis is one of the best example.
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Last edited by Darklighter79 on Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
Great. Force Powers, as well as regular skills, need consolidation - telekinesis is one of the best examples.


I got a lot of alter-only powers for non-dark siders to use. Here's a list of what's been brainstormed (some may get cut, or additional stuff may get added):

Sunder/mend
Manipulate energy (fire, electricity, etc)
Gravity surge
Warp matter
Force barrier


I'll also see if I can port some stuff over from other systems, such as (tele)kinetic combat, force whirlwind, etc.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Control Powers

Dissipate Energy
Time to use: Reaction
Difficulty: Moderate or very difficult.
Effect: Activate this power as a reaction against any energy-based source of damage. If successful, you gain a bonus to your strength roll to resist damage. The bonus is equal to +1 for each D you have in control. If you roll very difficult or higher, the bonus is +2 for each D you have in control instead of +1.

-Absorb Energy
Required Powers: Dissipate Energy
Time to use: Reaction
Difficulty: Moderate plus damage dealt
Effect: When you suffer damage from an energy based attack, you can absorb the energy instead of dissipating it. If successful, instead of suffering damage, you may immediately reverse any one of the following effects if you may be suffering from: stunned, wounded (or wounded twice), fatigued, or exhausted. Alternatively, if you are benefiting from the effects of control pain and/or remain conscious, you may reduce your wound status by two levels (from incapacitated to stunned or from mortally wounded to wounded).

-Channel Energy
Required Powers: Dissipate Energy, Absorb Energy
Time to use: One standard action
Difficulty: Easy
Effect: If you successfully absorb the energy from an opponent's attack, instead of reversing an adverse condition, you may channel that energy into your use of the force. Within the next minute, you may channel the energy into any one control or alter power you use. You gain a bonus on the appropriate skill roll equal to the weapon damage code of the attack your absorbed.

Enhance Attribute
Time to use: One standard action
Difficulty: Very Easy for +1; Easy for +2; Moderate for +1D; Difficult for +1D+1; Very Difficult for +1D+2; Heroic for +2D
Effect: Roll control. You gain a bonus to one attribute of your choice (either strength, dexterity or mechanical). Once activated, this power's effects last for 1 minute for each D you have in control. At the end of this power's duration, make a stamina check (difficulty is difficult). If you fail, you are fatigued. If you fail by 10 or more, you are exhausted instead.

-Celerity
Required Powers: Enhance Attribute
Time to use: Free action
Difficulty: Moderate for 1 action; very difficult for 2 actions
Effect: Roll control as a free action. If successful, you may make one additional action using a strength or dexterity skill on your turn without incurring a multiple action penalty. If your control roll is very difficult or higher, you may instead make two additional actions without incurring a multiple action penalty. After your actions have been resolved, you must make a difficult stamina check. If you fail, you immediately become fatigued. Each additional time you use this power without resting between uses, the difficulty of the stamina check increases by one level.

-Burst of Speed
Required Powers: Enhance Attribute, Celerity
Time to use: Free action
Difficulty: Moderate for x10; Very Difficult for x20; Heroic for x30
Effect: Roll control. If successful, your base speed is multiplied by 10. You can only perform movement actions while under the effects of this power. If you roll very difficult, your speed is multiplied by x20. If you roll heroic, your speed is multiplied by x30. This power's effects last for 1 round.

-Contort/Escape
Required Powers: Enhance Attribute, Resist Stun, Control Pain
Time to use: One full round action
Difficulty: See below
Effect: When attempting to escape bindings or other restraints, add your control skill dice to your dexterity. The difficulty to escape depends on the type of restraints used (per GM discretion). If the your total roll is successful, the process of contorting/escaping leaves you wounded. If your total roll succeeds by a margin of 10 or more, you escape with no ill effects. At GM discretion, this power may also be used to escape being grappled or pinned when brawling. Add your control skill dice to your brawling roll instead.

Resist Stun
-Control Pain
-Accelerate Healing
-Heal Wounds
-Reduce Injury

Hibernation Trance
-Emptiness
-Remove Fatigue
-Remain Conscious

Force Defense
-Reflect Force


Last edited by Naaman on Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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BentonGrey
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! This seems like a really good idea!
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cunning_kindred
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Finally, many powers will be re-written to allow them to more appropriately express a character concept, rather than being powers that are "handy" in certain limited scope scenarios. Powers will have broader, general uses, with applications (kind of like sub-powers) that allow more nuanced uses for situation-specific solutions.


I am curious about what you mean here. Could you elaborate? Are you going to create some powers which are unique to certain styles of Jedi (as have been described in video games, SAGA etc.) or specific Force Traditions?

Currently, the way you have bound applications together into powers seem to be a restrictive form of prerequiistes really. For example, to use a rather ridiculous (if fun example) wouldn't the Celerity application of Enhance Attribute be very appropriate for an Aing-ti while the base feature might not be so appropriate?

Or are some applications going to turn up in more than one of the "powers"?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about Aing-Ti... Never heard of them.

Also, it's just a house rule. And a first draft at that.

The purpose of the rewrite is to create a rules-based solution to "character uniqueness" within the game. The more general purpose you make things, the more you get characters that are all capable of the exact same things.

For me, it's not as fun to play when characters all "feel" the same mechanically.

The goal is to get players to think about what "role" their character plays in a group (or in a story, or whatever) by creating an opportunity cost when choices are made during character advancement.

In my mind, the opportunity cost is fundamental to character differentiation on paper. And the "on paper" component is quite a significant element in table top RPGs.

Also, someday (perhaps) I'll get around to writing up other force traditions. For now, you can assume that the Jedi tradition is the one that this system most represents. But yes: the idea would be that different force traditions would have access to different powers and/or require different prerequisites and/or be able to use certain powers at a lower or higher difficulty.
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cunning_kindred
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know anything about Aing-Ti... Never heard of them.


There kind of stupid but I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Basically, they can use the force to manipulate time and space but not much else.

Quote:
Also, it's just a house rule. And a first draft at that.


And all the power to you. I do hope you in no way took my question as a criticism. I was not trying to poke holes in your idea. I was trying to get a sense of what you intended and how you expected the system to improve the game.

Quote:
The purpose of the rewrite is to create a rules-based solution to "character uniqueness" within the game. The more general purpose you make things, the more you get characters that are all capable of the exact same things.


Couldn't agree more. What I was wondering was what "character uniqueness" each of these different power selections is supposed to be providing and what's to stop someone taking all of them anyway. I essence, you have a system here that in many ways merely mirrors the original system with its prerequisites and difficulties and I can't quite put my finger on how you imagine this is going to produce a different outcome than the original one.

I suppose what you are hoping for is that since the powers can only be selected less often, once two individuals have selected two different powers they are far more likley to explore the applications of the powers they have than to venture into a new power set and so compromise the uniqueness of another character. If that is the case, then perhaps you should insist on a separate cost for each power set, with advancement in the control, sense and alter skills only being able to open up new applications within each skill set. So, perhaps it costs 10 character points to purchase Dissipate Energy and perhaps this cost goes up, so 20 character points to purchase a second power set, 30 to buy a third and so. This would strongly encourage players to explore what they already have rather than delving into something new.

Quote:
For me, it's not as fun to play when characters all "feel" the same mechanically.

The goal is to get players to think about what "role" their character plays in a group (or in a story, or whatever) by creating an opportunity cost when choices are made during character advancement.


Again, I agree. I've played a lot of characters over the years, and exploring how they differed from each other is often one of the bits I enjoy the most. The rules need to support that or, as you say, it starts to "feel the same".

If character role is an important aspect of the system, you might consider tying the powers more closely to the roles they are supposed to support mechanically. Even something as simple as the naming can have a big effect on how a player sees the power. So, Jedi Healer instead of "Resist Stun", Jedi Meditation instead of "Hibernation Trance", Jedi Athlete instead of "Enhance Attribute" - so that the player has a clearer notion of what he is selecting and the kind of character that selection is supposed to lead him into playing.

Quote:
In my mind, the opportunity cost is fundamental to character differentiation on paper. And the "on paper" component is quite a significant element in table top RPGs.


Again; couldn't agree more. I like my players to feel like they have a unique place in the group and the Galaxy, and that they can make a unique contribution to the story.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make some good points.

I'm hoping to strike a balance between being too open ended and pigeon-holeing players into a "rail road" path of character development.

I don't yet know what the "right answer" is for the solution I'm trying to develop.
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