D20 Bits and Pieces I Don't Get.

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Tremaniac, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ok, I don't know if this was mentioned earlier, and I'm really too lazy to check, so bear with me. I'm going over my SWd20 Revised and I noticed some things.
    1. Why is Energy Drain worthy of a dark side point? What way, shape, or form does it actually hurt an individual? Is it a power you need to be really mad to use? Just kinda makes me wonder.
    2. Why is it that armor only absorbs damage when you take wounds, and not vitality? Couldn't you argue that part of the reason that the reason a hit only glanced you (thus causing vitality damage) was because the armor was there? It still stops the shot, why wouldn't it offer protection?
    3. Talismans, if they are made and the owner dies or otherwise loses them, do they still retain thier power? In other words, can another player loot this "magic item"?
    4. How come there's no rule that allows me to hit a player with a maglite for every dark side point they earn? Ok, I jest, that's going to have to be a house rule.
    5. If a force adept (or whatever the non Jedi Force Chuckers are called) gets his/her/its hands on a lightsaber, does the weapon damage bonus get applied to the lightsaber like a jedi?
    6. Does strength modifier actually add to damage for a lightsaber?
    7. Has anyone else noticed the change in feel of the game? I remember SWd6 going on at length about the game being about heroes, and why player death is a bad thing (unless they really, really deserve it). This version is more morally ambiguous and definately not as player friendly. One crit, that's all she wrote.
    I may end up GMing this abomination soon and I just want to clear some of this stuff up. Heck, I've already got like 3 or 4 house rules ready to go, and I'm only half way through my re-read.
  2. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    1. Why is Energy Drain worthy of a dark side point? What way, shape, or form does it actually hurt an individual? Is it a power you need to be really mad to use? Just kinda makes me wonder.

    Because you're using the Force to change the fundamental nature of the universe -- twisting it to destroy energy (something that can normally not be destroyed).

    2. Why is it that armor only absorbs damage when you take wounds, and not vitality? Couldn't you argue that part of the reason that the reason a hit only glanced you (thus causing vitality damage) was because the armor was there? It still stops the shot, why wouldn't it offer protection?

    Vitality represents damage that doesn't hit you at all, hence armor doesn't apply.

    3. Talismans, if they are made and the owner dies or otherwise loses them, do they still retain thier power? In other words, can another player loot this "magic item"?

    I don't recall -- how long do the Talismen last? If forever, in theory a house rule could be that any Force-sensitive could use them AS LONG AS the character was dead. Of course, I'd rule that only someone close to the character and of the Light Side could do it, but that's just me. IF they're temporary, however, that's your obvious answer.

    4. How come there's no rule that allows me to hit a player with a maglite for every dark side point they earn? Ok, I jest, that's going to have to be a house rule.

    Page 3.14159 of the RCRB. If you don't have it, I'll photocopy it and send it to you. ;)

    5. If a force adept (or whatever the non Jedi Force Chuckers are called) gets his/her/its hands on a lightsaber, does the weapon damage bonus get applied to the lightsaber like a jedi?

    No, Jedi training is what gives the damage bonus, not the Force.

    6. Does strength modifier actually add to damage for a lightsaber?

    Yes. STR modifier for one-handed use; 1.5 x STR modifier for two-handed use.

    7. Has anyone else noticed the change in feel of the game? I remember SWd6 going on at length about the game being about heroes, and why player death is a bad thing (unless they really, really deserve it). This version is more morally ambiguous and definately not as player friendly. One crit, that's all she wrote.

    That's why you need to hit -10 to die. An average character will have an 11 for CON. So that's 21 points of crit damage to die, which is hard (average blaster == 11, average heavy/repeater == 14). Being stabilized between -1 and -10 isn't terribly difficult.

    Plus we count using Force POints to "Heal Another" a dying PC a) a heroic action, so they get it back and b) adding the FP dice to the wounds healed...
  3. Fingorfin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 4
    I think that the Force talismans are attuned to the particular Force Adapt that creates them, so their "magic" cannot be used by anyone else.

    As far as the game being morally ambiguous, isn't that really up to the GM and the players? I know the mechanics of the game don't really force a character down the right path, but there is a bit in the book about how heroes should act, and even if there were proper rules for it, it would still be the responsibility of the players to maintain that heroic flavor. That is what RP is all about.
  4. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    fingorfin im inclined to side with you about the talisman issue, i would have imagined that if it's imbued with some kinda magic, it'd be unique to that jedi/force user. it's like constructing your own lightsaber isn't it? if you made it yourself you get a bonus
  5. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    i wish my morning posts made sense [face_blush]
  6. Kizakh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2002
    star 3
    I recall reading somewhere (I can't recall exactly, maybe on wizards.com) that Drain Energy gets a DSP because of the one EU use of it in one of the Jedi Academy trilogy books.

    As for the DR on armor and vitality, remember that DR means "damage reduction." Vitality represents the ability to avoid taking real physical damage (aside from minor bruises or singing), so there isn't any damage to reduce until you get into wound points.
  7. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ok, I like the answers so far, but....
    back to energy drain. The problem is that using the force just about any time changes the fundamental nature of the universe. Rocks can't fly, but telekinesis changes that. Sentient species have free will, but affect (and control) mind tosses that out the window. And what if it just bled the energy so that it was used, and not destroyed? As for it being because someone used it in the EU, well, according to the EU anyone not related to Skywalker by blood, marrage, or close personal ties is mearly backdrop. Forgive me if I don't place any stock in that theory. I guess my big problem with this power is that it can be used to pursue non violent means, which is something a jedi should be for. Lets face it, when the baddie runs out of ammo all the sudden, it pays to surrender to the nice guy pointing a lightsaber at him.
    I figured out why I can't agree on with everyone on the armor/vitality point thing. Lets just say I don't like the explaination they give for vitality. I appreciate the input from everyone, but that's going to be adjusted with a house rule.
    By the way, thanks DP, now I can honestly say the Darkside Point Maglite Enforcement Act is in the books. Well, my book anyway. Sure they may bitch that it's written in in pencil, but that may cause me to put in the "Stop whining or take two from the maglite" rule. Ah Maglite, endorsed by GMs everywhere!
    Now, I may have skipped this earlier in my reading, but did SWd20 do away with maximum level of a skill per level? I know d&d3e the max skill is 3 plus your level. I was going over some of the heroes stats, and man, stuff just didn't add up! I should've known, even in the new system main characters are busted. The more things change....
  8. The_Ghost Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    No, the skill max is still in effect. the general rules of d20 apply.

    Drain energy is a Dark skill because it is destruction. only the Dark Side destroys. to alter is one thing, destruction is another.

    just looking at the suggestions, i see a lot more opportunity for a Darksider to use the skill than anyone else. Draining weapons so you can kill defenseless people and draining life-support systems are two ideas that come to mind.

    and if you don't want an in-game explanation: it's a Dark power because the book says so.
  9. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    well if drain energy is a dark side power, why isn't absorb/dissipate energy? :)
  10. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 8
    The official answer (quoted from Jedi Counseling via the SWRPGFAQ):


    Why does Drain Energy (Dark Side Sourcebook, pp.14-15) give you a Dark Side Point? I don't understand what's "evil" about it.

    This skill originally comes from the novel Dark Apprentice, by Kevin J. Anderson, on page 338. Here's the relevant text:
    "Kyp made a dismissive gesture with one hand, and a sudden wave of dark ripples splashed across the air like the shock front
    from a concussion grenade.
    "Luke stumbled backward. The lightsaber turned cold in his hand. Frost crystals grew in feathery patterns around the handle. At the core of the brilliant green blade a shadow appeared, a black disease rotting away the purity of the beam. The humming blade sputtered, sounding like a sickly cough. The black taint rapidly grew stronger, swallowing up the green beam.
    "With a fizzle of sparks Luke's lightsaber died."
    The phrases "black disease" and "dark ripples" used to describe the power certainly seem to imply that it is directly tapping the Dark Side. When the designers were looking for new Dark Side powers for the Dark Side Sourcebook, they chose to include Drain Energy for this very reason.
  11. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ok check. Because it's a power used by a character against a main character in a book written by the worst author in SW history, it's an automatic darkside point. As I said, some hack writes it in the EU in a certain way when a villian uses it. Now, were a lightsider to use it, there could be an equally graphic description, so what one character did in one book of some crap series shouldn't reflect on the power as a whole. If that were the case why isn't Telekinesis an automatic DSP? Vader used in in ESB to slam stuff into Luke. Using that explaination (It was used once as a bad thing, so it's automatically that way) EVERYONE who uses Telekinesis should get a DSP thanks to Lucas and Vader.
    If I gave "it's in the book" as an explaination for why it works, what kind of GM would I be? That doesn't cut it as an excuse, and my players wouldn't buy it for a second.
    Thank you JediMatt for pointing out absorb/dissapate as a counter. But going by EU logic Vader used it, so therefor it's an evil power, because it was only used once, by a bad guy!
  12. Ketalis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 1
    I have a question regarding the Wisdom ability score. Why are physical perception and mental willpower governed by the same stat? For instance, it makes no sense that a character's eyesight and hearing increase with age.
  13. Kizakh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2002
    star 3
    If it's such an issue, feel free to change it in your game. That's always an option.

    Besides, you can decide whether or not to hand out a DSP based on the character's mood and motivations. If he sneakily drains the power pack of an opponent's blaster (so he'll get shot in the near future), it's DSP time. If the same character swipes his pal's blaster so he won't go and shoot nuns in a drunken rampage, don't dish one out.

    It's that simple.
  14. Fingorfin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2001
    star 4
    I agree with you on the Drain Energy thing, Tremaniac. As with many other Force powers it can be used for good or evil. I have never given a DSP just for using that one. The only Force abilities that I give a DSP for no matter what the motivation for using it, are powers that deal direct damage to a living being.
  15. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ket, perhaps a skill penalty to offset the ability increase would serve as an adequate counter? You know, hard of hearing, good for a -1 or -2 to listen. Failing eyesite could give the same to spot. They say age brings wisdom, but it's a fact that it takes away senses.
  16. Protoss72000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2001
    star 3
    Ket, hearing and sight get more sensitive as age/wisdom increases, the younger man might see 5 red blurs on the horizon, while the older man knows what it is because he has seen it before and has the wisdom/experience to identify it. Its not that it gets better, its that as you get older you learn what to look/listen for specifically.
  17. yodaismygod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 4
    I don't remember if this has been posted or not, but one argument my group has from time to time is would you gain a dsp from hitting someont with a rock you threw at them with the force? The book says if you use the force to injure someone you gain a dsp, well using move object on a rock is definetly using the force.
  18. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    definitely yodaismygod

    using telekinesis /move object etc etc to hurl objects at people earns a dark side point. I think Anakin woulda come pretty close to getting one in the episode 2 novelisation when he built that wall of TK which Dooku walked into, because, IIRC using force strike against living things gets u an automatic dsp too

    absorb/dissipate was used greatly in the same time period as where drain energy was created (by corran horn), and luke didnt discourage corran from using it, and nothing from the holocron said anything, otherwise luke would have said.

    interesting... perhaps its to do with the fact that absorb/dissipate is more defensive, although drain energy could be a defensive skill too, if you drained the powerpack of a gun then you wouldnt even need to resort to absorb/dissipate.

    confusing this is
  19. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    using telekinesis /move object etc etc to hurl objects at people earns a dark side point. I think Anakin woulda come pretty close to getting one in the episode 2 novelisation when he built that wall of TK which Dooku walked into, because, IIRC using force strike against living things gets u an automatic dsp too

    While using TK sa a weapon has been discouraged since way back in WEG in 1987 and should earn the user a DSP for INTENT to casue harm with the Force, Anakin's intent was to create a wall that Dooku couldn't bypass, not to injure him. It was to confine him to a space. There should be no DSP for that at all.

    absorb/dissipate was used greatly in the same time period as where drain energy was created (by corran horn), and luke didnt discourage corran from using it, and nothing from the holocron said anything, otherwise luke would have said.

    interesting... perhaps its to do with the fact that absorb/dissipate is more defensive, although drain energy could be a defensive skill too, if you drained the powerpack of a gun then you wouldnt even need to resort to absorb/dissipate.


    Because Drain Energy is the actual act of destroying energy (against physical laws of nature). Dissipate Energy transforms it into life energy -- since a blaster is energy and the Force is energy, energy is conserved in the process since Force == Life (hence, vitality).
  20. Jedi_Matt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    star 4
    that's what i thought! i just didn't know how to put it into words, hence my confusion :p

  21. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ok, so if it screws with the laws of the universe, it's a bad thing. So the guy that invented the helicopter is a Dark Side Devotee of immense proportions. I'm sorry if I'm coming off as a smart @$$, but I'm still not finding an acceptable reason. DarkSide points should be awarded for intent, not because someone in the EU did it, and he happened to be a bad guy at the time.
  22. Kizakh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2002
    star 3
    What in the hell is wrong with the helicopter? :p

    Seriously, choppers don't violate the laws of physics (or else they wouldn't work). No problem there.
  23. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Ok, so if it screws with the laws of the universe, it's a bad thing. So the guy that invented the helicopter is a Dark Side Devotee of immense proportions. I'm sorry if I'm coming off as a smart @$$, but I'm still not finding an acceptable reason. DarkSide points should be awarded for intent, not because someone in the EU did it, and he happened to be a bad guy at the time.

    Right, I don't see any logic behind your analogy.

    Using the laws of physics in order to fly (in our world) is still obeying the lawos of physics.

    Using the Force to rip something off its mooring does NOT violate the laws of physics (in our world or theirs that we know of)... it's a manipulation of ENERGY (not creating or destroying it), or in our terms... F = ma which is directly translated by things higher in kgs costing more vitality (more life) -- you're using vitality (aka the Force) to do something else, so energy is conserved through the entire process...
  24. Kizakh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2002
    star 3
    Nicely put.

    By the way, the RCRB says "A character who uses this skill (Drain Energy) recieves a Dark Side Point since it employs dark side power to siphon energy."

    Of course, that apparently isn't enough. Continuing what dp4m was saying, Drain Energy not only depletes (and apparently destroys) energy from a source (i.e. power pack), it costs vitality as well. An amount of energy is disappearing, and as such is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics.

    And wo be unto he who shall mess with the laws of thermodynamics!
  25. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    And wo be unto he who shall mess with the laws of thermodynamics!

    "Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of THERMODYNAMICS!"
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