L is for Lightsaber

lukesaber002Rules as written, the Lightsaber presented in FFG Star Wars is static and unchanging, with no modification options due to its lack of hardpoints. This comes across at odds with my view. I see the lightsaber as a weapon that reflects a personal style and customization. Compared to any other piece of equipment in the whole Star Wars milieu, I have felt that the lightsaber should be the one to display the most variety; crafted by hand in a sacred, personal ritual as opposed to one of countless manufactured, identical items. Indeed, Darth Vader remarks to Luke in Return of the Jedi, “I see you have constructed a new lightsaber.” The key word here being constructed. Luke didn’t buy a  lightsaber, he didn’t find one, he wasn’t handed one – Luke Skywalker, jedi knight, builds this very personal weapon with his own two hands. It is unique to him.

While working on a section of Fane of the Sith Lords (namely, The Serpent Mothers’ Cloister), I came upon a great idea on how to integrate at least a little more variety and customization into Lightsabers in the FFG Star Wars roleplaying game.

CONSTRUCTION

Force-sensitive characters, having accumulated the expensive and difficult to find base materials required by the Galaxy Master, may spend one week attempting to construct a new lightsaber. At the end of the week, the character makes a Daunting (dddd) Discipline check.

On a success, the lightsaber is built and the Force-sensitive character chooses the blade color and which of the ten styles of lightsaber they wish to wield (see below). Otherwise, the week’s worth of time is wasted. With triumph, the lightsaber is constructed with a bonus focusing crystal (see below).

All Lightsaber styles are used at Engaged Range, have no hardpoints, and occupy 1 Encumbrance.

d10   LIGHTSABER STYLE
1 Electrum Hilt
Damage 10, Crit 1; Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 1

 

2 Darksaber
Damage 9, Crit 1; Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 4
Focus Crystal Slots: 2

 

3 Shoto Crossguard
Damage 10, Crit 2; Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2

 

4 Lightwhip
Damage 10, Crit 1; Inaccurate, Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
5 Firesaber
Damage 10, Crit 1; Pierce 8, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
6 Dual-Phase
Damage 10, Crit 1; Ion, Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
7 Lightfoil
Damage 8, Crit 1; Accurate, Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
8 Curved-hilt
Damage 10, Crit 1, Pierce 10, Sunder
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
9 Short Lightsaber
Damage 9, Crit 1, Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 2 
0 Double-bladed staffsaber
Damage 10, Crit 1; Cumbersome 3, Pierce 10, Sunder, Vicious 2
Focus Crystal Slots: 0
Requires two hands to wield.
Before making a Lightsaber check, the wielder of this Lightsaber can choose to add 1 Difficulty to attack with both ends. On a successful hit, the wielder can spend 2 Advantage to hit with this weapon a second time.

FOCUSING CRYSTALS

lukesabercontructionLightsabers do not have traditional hardpoints, but can be similarly modified using focusing crystals. Each lightsaber has a maximum number of space for focusing crystals, between zero and two, and when so modified gains the benefits listed in the entries for the focusing crystals. A focusing crystal can by installed into a lightsaber with a week’s time and an Average (dd) Discipline check. Once installed, a focusing crystal cannot be removed without permanent damage to the lightsaber.

Galaxy Masters are encouraged to provide focusing crystals as alternate or secondary rewards when designing Heists, Missions, and Operations. If needed, focusing crystals each have a Price of 2,000 credits and Rarity 10 (R).

d10   FOCUSING CRYSTALS
1 Sigil: +2 Vicious
2 Adegan: Treat O rolled on a Force check as OO
3 Eralam: Add advantage to checks with this Lightsaber
4 Firkraan: As an Action, gain or lose the Ion quality
5 Phond: +1 base damage
6 Luxum: Defensive 1
7 Jenruax: Deflection 1
8 Opila: +2 Pierce
9 Solari: Knockdown
0 Kathracite: Disorient 3
 
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About C. Steven Ross

C. Steven Ross is the founder of Triumph & Despair. View all posts by C. Steven Ross

9 responses to “L is for Lightsaber

  • Zorak (@npcdel)

    If the whole point is that lightsabers are intensely personal to each force-user, why are these options presented on a “roll d10″ list? Are players supposed to randomly determine which reflection of their personality appears in their ancient weapon from a hokey religion?

  • Donovan Morningfire

    Not really sure this is needed. Aside from the fact that Jedi and their ilk are getting their own core rulebook in a year and a half, this sort of thing calls back to the d20/D&D mindset of “your gear is more important than your character.”

    As for needing them for an NPC, just use the standard lightsaber stats. The weapon is powerful enough without adding even more to it. The stats listed look more like a munchkin’s wet dream. Crit 1, really? And that’s before getting into the cheese factor of the focusing crystals, especially if more than one is installed, as there’s nothing suggesting you can’t have two of the same type. Double Sigil crystals with Crit 1? Yeah, congrats on turning lightsaber fights into even more of a “first to hit wins the match” scenario than they already can be, and just about as heinous as D6 lightsaber fights could be between two expert (6D+ in Force skills) Jedi.

    The lack of inherent customization is likely as PCs in Edge of the Empire or Age of Rebellion aren’t going to be the sort of folks that will be building lightsabers. The folks best known for doing so are either practically extinct (the Jedi) or have a very short membership list (the Sith). Yes, Luke managed to construct his own lightsaber, but it wasn’t brimming with extra bells and whistles.

    Frankly, the whole thing needs to go back to the drawing board.

  • magister-ludorum

    First, thanks for your effort C. I like the idea and your concept is most certainly sound. It is a useful starting point for story and character ideas. I especially like your idea of a lightsaber with only ion damage, your adaptation of the dual-wielding rules to the double-bladed lightsaber, and the intruduction of the Classic Star Wars Comics Forcewhip (Man, and here I thought I was the only one who remembered that.).
    And while I certainly disagree with Donovan’s choice of words and tone I still have to agree with some points he raised: Lightsabers are incredibly deadly implements in EotE, but that decision (especially the Critical Rating of 1) was made by FFG and not by you C. You just took what FFG gave you and went from there. No problem with that, and surely not your fault. To make lightsabers even more deadly is a game-balancing issue, though, that has to be addressed and discussed between the crew and their Galaxy Master. It isn’t really important how deadly a game gets, for as long as everybody involved is having fun.
    To consider every house-rule a global game-balancing threat is blowing things out of proportion, and not to thank creative people for providing material for the gaming community is rude. Not liking something is human, but there is no need for scathing criticism, as it only hurts and will not lead to any improvement, which most people give as their reason for criticizing.
    I agree that a weapon, which may be wielded single-handedly should not stand up easily to a tripod-mounted blaster cannon, but if may group said this would be fun I would go with it, anyway. As every group adjusts the rules of their game, I would suggest groups intending on using this rule to consider adaptations like to the following:

    – should it be allowed to use the same crystal more than once?

    – how many threats does it take for the GM to destroy a crystal? fixing/replacing a broken crystal should likely be a construction roll diff 3 (+1 for each broken crystal)

    – like some weapon attachements, focus crystals might also incur negative side-effects, like fluctuating (dam -1 in non-standard gravity environments), etc.

    Just my two credits,
    keep it

    • C. Steven Ross

      Thank you for the genuinely thoughtful discussion! I agree with pretty much everything you said. My own group is very into high risk, high reward options in games; over the top and extreme. Lightsabers (and these variants) fit our personal style well as they make combat so absolutely decisive.

      Also a note; crunch the numbers, really look hard at what I’m offering and compare to, say, a disruptor rifle with maxed out attachments and mods. The disruptor is just as deadly, but cheaper, much longer range, less Rarity, AND doesn’t use a bizzare skill to use. I think game balance is going to be a-ok.

      • Sleepy

        I have to disagree on the dr being just as deadly. If i remember right you can only put a sight on it, or the superior enhancement. So we are at 10 base damage, to do a crit to use that viscious you need to damage someone. To negate (if you dont deal dmg you dont crit) a basic 1 success dr hit you need 11 soak, (in one of our games 45xp collected so far i stand at 8 soak) Not that easy, but not that hard. For the same on a lightsaber you need 21 soak, and that is impossible.
        In our own game, we will most likely use this, but decided it was op so we will make cortosis weave armor negate a lot if not all the breach a saber has.

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