Saturday, March 12, 2016

Clumsy and Random

So, a little over a week ago, I was a participant in a Star Wars Roleplaying Game session (the d20 one, not the current game with the extra-weird dice). It had been forever since I played or ran a d20 System game, so it took a little while for me to get up to speed. Nonetheless, I was able to make my character, a Jedi Knight named Titus Crom, and fun was had by all.

Titus came into the story in the middle of a prison break occurring in a massive Imperial skyscraper; the details that the GM told me about this time period in the Old Republic implied that I had been arrested for being (rather obviously) a Jedi Knight. I was freed, and joined a newly-freed smuggler and another Jedi who was making his way through the complex. They stayed in touch with their allies (four other player characters working on getting into the building from the top down) via com-link, and I was brought up to speed on the Jedi's mission: Defeat the Sith Apprentice on the very top floor of the building.

We made our way through, and right before our fight with the Sith Apprentice, the GM rolled a d20 for some reason that slips my mind now. It was a natural 1. He racked his brain for a bit, and then announced to us:

"The Sith Apprentice loses his connection to the Force."

Wow. Not what we were expecting, but considering that it was now a battle between two Jedi Knights in top form, and a single crippled Sith Apprentice, we figured that this should be an easy fight.

It was not. D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder may be obsessed with balancing everything so that the players won't have too tough a time with their enemies, but SWRPG is very, very tough. For this reason, the GM had instituted a rule that, after all racial and other modifiers were applied, any 9s that were rolled for ability scores became 10s. So Titus has exactly average Strength and Dexterity - not high enough to take any of the lightsaber combat feats - with only slightly above-average Constitution and Intelligence, but a 14 Wisdom and a 17 Charisma.

Two Jedi against one disabled Sith, and I still came within one blow of dying.

Of course, once a bunch of guards showed up, I was able to effortlessly sweep them down using Force Slam, and pin a straggler to the wall and interrogate him from halfway across the room. My total bonus to Use the Force is +14, on a twenty-sided die.

I have hung out with this group once more since then, and hopefully the fruits of that more relaxed session will make good blog material. For now, I'll leave off with a few observations:
  • The GM was excellent; aside from a few notes on his cell phone, he was able to give us descriptions of everything from memory and/or improvisation.
  • Star Wars and the d20 System are a nearly perfect match.
  • That said, I still really want to try White Star.


  1. Do you know if your GM was running Saga Star Wars (the final D20 version...had a black, squarish book). The first two editions of D20 were kind of a mess (in my opinion), but Saga wasn't all that bad...pre-cursored some 4E changes that work well with "heroic space opera."

    1. Unfortunately, I can't say for sure, as the rulebook that was (only rarely) consulted was in PDF form on a netbook evidently designed for pixies. From what I've read, your evaluation of the earlier d20 versions of Star Wars is correct, though. I have a feeling that there was a heavy dose of house-ruling in place, too.