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Other Force Skills
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Other Force Skills Reply with quote

The rulebook describes the three primary Force skills (Control, Sense and Alter), and then mentions the possibility of other Force skills, along with some teasers about things that may or may not have been possible under those skills. The problem is that, IMO, Control, Sense and Alter are defined broadly enough that there isn't really a need for other skills. Any conceivable Force effect can fit under one of those three.

Have any of you ever come up with other Force skills? If so, what made them distinct from the core C/S/A skills, and how did you use them?

I have a couple ideas of my own that I've never really gotten into fleshing out, and both concepts are for Advanced skills:
    (A) Discipline
    This skill would represent the various Sith Disciplines described in the TotJ Companion: Body, Energy, Illusions, Mind, Mechanical and Protection. There is definite evidence in the EU that Jedi also have varying natural aptitudes regarding which powers they can use. Taking an Advanced Skill in any one of these would allow the Force User to specialize in that subset of powers by stacking the Advanced Skill dice with the Force skill dice when using powers of that subset, but not others. There is also room for additional disciplines; for one, a Shift discipline could focus on the ability to move objects in time and space (both Telekinesis and Teleportation)

    (A) Path
    This would represent particular doctrines or ways of perceiving the Force, with each school of thought (Jedi, Sith, Dathomiri, White Current, etc.) having its own separate Advanced skill. I haven't fully fleshed out how to apply this one yet, but the tentative idea is of the character's understanding of a particular doctrine's teachings and lore boosting their ability to understand and interact with the Force in some ways, while limiting it in others (for example, very few Jedi exhibit the teleportation techniques used by the Aing-Tii monks of the Kathol Sector, so the skill (A) Jedi Path may not apply to Shift Discipline powers.

Of the two, I'm thinking the (A) Discipline one has a stronger framework within the EU, but I figured I'd throw them both out there to get people thinking.
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cunning_kindred
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the ridiculously broad definition of the Alter skill in particular, I think that it is almost impossible to imagine or codify a skill outside of the original three. The only argument I ever heard that made any sense to me at all was that "Alter cannot be used to change or reconstitute the nature of the Force itself" but only to use the Force to effect anything else. So, I suppose, if you could come with an effect that required the Force to change, then there could be another skill lurking in the wings but I can't imagine the Jedi would develop such an ability, even if it were possible.

Quote:
(A) Discipline
This skill would represent the various Sith Disciplines described in the TotJ Companion: Body, Energy, Illusions, Mind, Mechanical and Protection. There is definite evidence in the EU that Jedi also have varying natural aptitudes regarding which powers they can use. Taking an Advanced Skill in any one of these would allow the Force User to specialize in that subset of powers by stacking the Advanced Skill dice with the Force skill dice when using powers of that subset, but not others. There is also room for additional disciplines; for one, a Shift discipline could focus on the ability to move objects in time and space (both Telekinesis and Teleportation)

(A) Path
This would represent particular doctrines or ways of perceiving the Force, with each school of thought (Jedi, Sith, Dathomiri, White Current, etc.) having its own separate Advanced skill. I haven't fully fleshed out how to apply this one yet, but the tentative idea is of the character's understanding of a particular doctrine's teachings and lore boosting their ability to understand and interact with the Force in some ways, while limiting it in others (for example, very few Jedi exhibit the teleportation techniques used by the Aing-Tii monks of the Kathol Sector, so the skill (A) Jedi Path may not apply to Shift Discipline powers.


Would you split the dice between Control, Sense and Alter when using powers of the appropriate type?

I think the problem here is that RAW you don't need skills like this. The Force skills don't do anything unless you buy the right power and a Jedi just wouldn't be allowed to buy what you call Shift powers unless trained by an Aing-tii monk and even then, the GM might rule that he couldn't without a massive amount of other knowledge because he doesn't see the Force in the right way. In all other cases, when the differences between two traditions are not so dissimilar, the books show the characters exchanging knowledge and rapidly learning each others' special techniques which rather fits with the broad C, S and A framework found in RAW.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cunning_kindred wrote:
So, I suppose, if you could come with an effect that required the Force to change, then there could be another skill lurking in the wings but I can't imagine the Jedi would develop such an ability, even if it were possible.

Agreed. At that level, we're talking about the SWU equivalent of a Wish spell from D&D. And there really isn't a non-ridiculous way to incorporate that.


Quote:
Would you split the dice between Control, Sense and Alter when using powers of the appropriate type?

I'm thinking more along the lines of a MAP, where the Discipline skill dice suffers a penalty of -1D for using a two-skill power, and a -2D for a three-skill power.

Quote:
I think the problem here is that RAW you don't need skills like this.

But that's because there is no nuance in the RAW; everybody has the same theoretical access to every Force power, can learn them at the same rate and everyone has an equal amount of potential in every aspect of the Force as everyone else. The EU, on the other hand, allows for a much greater degree of individualism, and that is what I'm trying to represent.
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cunning_kindred
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But that's because there is no nuance in the RAW; everybody has the same theoretical access to every Force power, can learn them at the same rate and everyone has an equal amount of potential in every aspect of the Force as everyone else. The EU, on the other hand, allows for a much greater degree of individualism, and that is what I'm trying to represent.


While I don't disagree. I personally decided years ago to break down C, S, and A into more narrowly defined skills so that specialisation was easier, I think its not quite accurate to say the base system can't represent this at all. I mean, the player can just choose not to buy powers which don't fit his vision of what his character should be good and bad at. Not a perfect solution, but without a radical alteration of the system, probably the best you can do without over complicating everything.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cunning_kindred wrote:
I think its not quite accurate to say the base system can't represent this at all. I mean, the player can just choose not to buy powers which don't fit his vision of what his character should be good and bad at. Not a perfect solution, but without a radical alteration of the system, probably the best you can do without over complicating everything.

But that's not the same as an actual framework in place to say "this character is better at this particular group of powers than he is at all the others." And there is definite precedent in the EU for a system that does that.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Other Force Skills Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
The rulebook describes the three primary Force skills (Control, Sense and Alter), and then mentions the possibility of other Force skills, along with some teasers about things that may or may not have been possible under those skills. The problem is that, IMO, Control, Sense and Alter are defined broadly enough that there isn't really a need for other skills. Any conceivable Force effect can fit under one of those three.

Have any of you ever come up with other Force skills? If so, what made them distinct from the core C/S/A skills, and how did you use them?


No, because most everything we've really seen in the force use, from the films can be explained away as what's wrote using C/S/A...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

But that's because there is no nuance in the RAW; everybody has the same theoretical access to every Force power, can learn them at the same rate and everyone has an equal amount of potential in every aspect of the Force as everyone else. The EU, on the other hand, allows for a much greater degree of individualism, and that is what I'm trying to represent.


I tend to have a problem with this as well (philosophically speaking). I have resolved to reuse the C/S/A set up as per RAW, and then just create powers that are unique to different force traditions.

For example, Anakin asks, "Is it possible to learn this power?" The answer: "Not from a Jedi."

You could think of it like "spell lists" from D&D. Depending on your class (in this case, force tradition), you can learn some powers, but not others (unless you "multi-class"). In other words, you'd have to seek out a teacher from the specific tradition for which you wish to learn a particular power (if your teacher isn't of the appropriate tradition).

I actually wrote up a character who did this, but the RAW have no impact on the character (it's basically just "fluff" for the background of an NPC).
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's kind of how the witches of Dathormir are handled in "wanted by Craken"..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
You could think of it like "spell lists" from D&D. Depending on your class (in this case, force tradition), you can learn some powers, but not others (unless you "multi-class"). In other words, you'd have to seek out a teacher from the specific tradition for which you wish to learn a particular power (if your teacher isn't of the appropriate tradition).

That's similar to my train of thought. I was thinking of classifying powers by domains of effect, then saying that certain fields of study weren't allowed for certain orders. Jedi, for example, might be unable to learn powers from the Illusion Discipline, but excel at the Protection Discipline, and vice versa for the Sith. The White Current might be surpassingly skilled at the Illusion Discipline, but be unable to learn anything from the Energy Discipline, and so on and so forth.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a way to go.. So then we'd have to figure out
A) How many disciplines there are
B) what powers come in each one
C) then we'd need to figure out what sort of orders there are, and what disciplines each would have...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
That's a way to go.. So then we'd have to figure out
A) How many disciplines there are
B) what powers come in each one
C) then we'd need to figure out what sort of orders there are, and what disciplines each would have...

Whichever way we go about it, it's a huge project. A lot of homebrew powers would be needed to flesh out the Illusion and Mechanical Disciplines. I'm not even sure if there are any Force Powers that deal with Mechanical Constructs.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There may be some listed in wanted by craken, going over the stuff from the Children of the Jedi-Darksaber-Planet of twilight novels.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have several ones specifically for use with/against droids.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
They have several ones specifically for use with/against droids.

I'd say Anakin probably has a natural talent in the Mechanical Discipline.

"I've always been good at fixing things."
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, there are some Telemechanics psionic powers listed in one of the Rifts Sourcebook that are similar to Receptive Telepathy, Affect Mind and Control Body, but just on electronics / mechanical devices.

I'll give it a look in a bit...

Were there ever any Tech-based psionic powers in any of the various Cyberpunk games?
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