Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lightsaber Forms

Though I've spoken at length about Force powers and the sometimes chore of ensuring their balance within the game. There are some additional rules that I just can't help but tinker with, even if I'm not exactly sure how much they can impact that balance. The area of lightsaber forms is one such rule set.

Essentially, this means that Force users can learn different fighting styles with their lightsaber. Each one (theoretically) has its own benefits and drawbacks. The forms I am going to detail below are compiled from a couple different online sources, so if the names or details don't exactly match whatever you know, that's why.

Shii-Cho Form
Description: This is basic lightsaber combat
Benefits: None
Drawbacks: None
Prerequisites: 2D Lightsaber (Melee), Control, Sense

Makashi Form
Description: This form focuses specifically on hand-to-hand duels, to the detriment of defense against ranged attacks.
Benefits: +1D on Defense vs. Lightsaber/Melee
Drawbacks: -1D on Defense vs. Ranged Attack/Reflection
Prerequisites: 3D Lightsaber, Control, Sense

Soresu Form:
Description: This form focuses on tight defensive maneuvers, at the expense of offense
Benefits: +1D on Defense vs. All Attack forms
Drawbacks: -1D on Attack/Reflection
Prerequisites: 3D Lightsaber, Control, Sense

Shien or Djem Sho Forms
Description: Two similar forms that focus on turning an opponent's attacks back against them.
Benefits: +1D on Reflection
Drawbacks: -1D on Attack
Prerequisites: 5D Lightsaber, Control, Sense

Ataru Form:
Description: This is an acrobatic style, utilizing telekinetically enhanced leaps and mobility to aid in attack—though the user does suffer on defense due to the focus on moving into attack position rather than maintaining a defensive posture.
Benefits: +1D on Attack
Drawbacks: -1D on Defense/Reflection
Prerequisites: 5D Lightsaber, Control, Sense, Alter

Sokan Form
Description: An interesting form that offers no benefits to attack or defense. Rather, it allows its user to maneuver an opponent across a battlefield and into a position that may be disadvantageous to them.
Benefits: Whether his attack hits or misses, the user of this form can force his opponent to move up to five meters per action in a desired direction.
Drawbacks: None
Prerequisites: 5D Lightsaber, Control, Sense

Juyo or Vaapad Forms
Description: One of the more dangerous forms (in many ways). This centers around focusing emotion and aggression to press the attack. The danger here is that this use of negative emotion might draw upon darkside energy, thereby tainting the user.
Benefits: +1D on Attack and Reflection; Power of attack forces an opponent to make a DEX check (w/o multiple action penalties). A roll of less than 6 results in a knockdown. A roll of 6-10 results in a the Defender being forced back 2 meters. A roll of 11 or higher means no other effect
Drawbacks: User must make a difficult Willpower check (w/o multiple action penalties) to avoid gaining a darkside point when activating this form.
Prerequisites: 7D Lightsaber, Control, Sense
Special Note: The benefits of this form are ONLY active when it is used by a light-sider. It is all part of the 'lure' of the dark side—hoping to tempt a being with power. Once you are in the thrall of the dark side, these benefits are lost (as all Darksiders are assumed to use agression and negative emotion as a matter of course).

Jar'Kai Form
Description: A form that is very difficult to master, but quite effective. It involves the use dual-wielded lightsabers to enhance either attack or defense.
Benefits: +1D to Attack or Defense/Reflection (decided at start of round)
Drawbacks: -1D to Attack or Defense/Reflection (the opposite of whatever the bonus is)
Prerequisites: 9D Lightsaber, Control, Sense

In game terms, whenever a Force user initiates lightsaber combat, they have to choose which form they are going to utilize. It is possible to switch forms in the middle of a combat, but this requires an action and another roll to initiate lightsaber combat.

As far as learning/acquiring individual lightsaber forms goes, it would be handled in much the same way as learning/acquiring Force powers—however you handle that in your individual campaigns (i.e. through training with a master, through purchase will skill points, etc.)

You'll note that in almost every case, I have specifically tried to give a drawback for each bonus. The Force user is already such a powerful character type that it just doesn't seem to make sense to give them MORE advantages and bonuses without anything to balance it out.

I am only slowly introducing these forms to my game, and so far, so good—but I still wouldn't consider them fully play-tested.

No comments:

Post a Comment