Thursday, April 24, 2014

GenConMod: The Hero of Tython 1.0

Good lord, I never thought I'd make it through last week.  I think I had about two hours to myself.  Not that last week was such a horrible week; two Edge of the Empire games, Mechwarrior Online practice, and a welcome back All Wings Report In episode for Erich Shafer made for a good week.

Oh, and I completed my 39th trip around the Sun.  So that's a thing now.

But it means I've been up to my eyeballs in obligations.  So much so I've definitely been neglecting other ones, like the family.  You gotta remember to put in time for that.  I do, anyway.

Mad, I Tell You

Before I get into this week's GenCon Module update, I wanted to announce on my blog that my former Holocron 2.0 co-host and fellow contributor to Order 66, Fiddleback, will now be hosting all of my Fragments From The Rim bits that I recorded for the Order 66 podcast.  They will be hosted on his website for the gamer connoisseur, The Mad Adventurer's Society.  I'm really excited to make this possible.  I have to go back and write up little blurbs for them, something Fiddy is already on my case about.  He has good reason.

The first Fragments is up over there; my first ever done in the new format.  I actually forgot what the heck it was about until Fiddleback wrote the info-blurb for it.   More will follow as soon as I get off my ass to write for them.

Strength in Diversity

On to the topic at hand; the next PC group for my GenCon Module.  This week we go over what is arguably the main character of The Old Republic.  Without giving away any spoilers, the Jedi Knight storyline seems to be the one with the most galactic impact in it.  The one that seems to carry the same magnitude of cause-and-effect as Luke Skywalker's.  His companions come from all walks of adventuring life; the plucky yet loyal Astromech, a feisty padawan with a dark streak, a womanizing playboy doctor, a loyal trooper, and (of all things) a deadly servant of the Emperor.  Together, they changed the face of the galaxy and saved billions of lives.

Now all I have to do is replicate these characters using some unlikely Careers and Specializations...


Race: Droid
Career: Technician
Specialization: Mechanic

Brawn 3, Agility 3, Intellect 3, Cunning 1, Will 2, Presence 1
Wound Threshold: 17
Strain Threshold: 12
Melee/Ranged Defense:  1/1

Skills: Astrogation 1, Brawl 3, Computers 3, Discipline 1, Knowledge (Outer Rim) 2, Mechanics 4, Perception 2, Skulduggery 1, Ranged (Light)2
Talents: Bad Motivator, Contraption, Gearhead 2, Enduring 1, Toughened 2
Equipment: Heavy Battle Armor, Blaster Pistol (Cybernetic Weapon), Implant Armor, General Purpose Scanner (Cybernetic), built-in comlink

A quirky droid with an independent streak, T7-O1 is the Jedi Knight's ranged tank. He (or she, I try not to judge) is supposed to be this touch little droid that can take a ton of punishment, yet is a mechanical genius and slicing machine, just like another famous Astromech droid from the Star Wars saga.  The Mechanic specialization actually isn't bad for this; it's got Toughness twice, and even the hard-to-find Endure talent to increase his soak value.  He doesn't get many actual combat skills or talents though, and I'm okay with that.  Tanks are supposed to take punishment, not necessarily deal it out.  Besides, this is an adaptation of a character for tabletop play.  T7 doesn't need to be a combat monster to be useful, he has to have skills and abilities that are useful to the adventure he finds himself in.

A lot of T7's power and survivability are drawn from his equipment.  To portray that tough little droid that's survived for decades, he's got Heavy Battle Armor and Implant armor.  Combined with his Brawn that gives him a considerable Soak value, and really only makes him worry about any enemy with a Breach-quality weapon (like lightsabers).

Anyone familiar with the Edge of the Empire book will notice he doesn't have Solid Repairs or Fine Tuning talents.  These talents specifically relate to fixing vehicles, something I don't foresee much interaction with directly.  If the PCs do jump off the rails and somehow get into a situation that warrants it, I'll add in these talents to whatever T7's PC attempts.  Otherwise they're just cluttering up the sheet.

Kira Carsen

Race: Human
Career: Jedi
Specialization: Jedi Sentinel

Brawn 2, Agility 4, Intellect 2, Cunning 3, Will 2, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 16
Strain Threshold: 13
Soak: 4
Melee/Ranged Defense: 2/2

Skills: Athletics 2, Cool 1, Coordination 1, Discipline 2, Lightsaber 2, Skulduggery 1, Stealth 2, Streetwise 2, Vigilance 2
Talents: Balance, Deflection Training, Dodge, Grit, Sleight of Mind 2, Toughened 2, Shii-Cho, Jar'Kai, Shii-Cho Master
Force Powers: Force Rating 3, Enhance (May roll Enhance power check as part of Athletics, Resilience, Coordination, or Piloting (Planetary) skill checks: Force points may be spent to gain Success or Advantage on the check,  May make a Force Leap Maneuver to any point Horizontally or Vertically within short range, Spend a Force Point to increase range of Force Leap by 1 band), Sense (Spend Force Point to sense all living things within short range, Spend Force Point to sense the current emotional state of one living target at Engaged range, Commit Force Die- twice per round upgrade the difficulty of an incoming attack twice, Commit Force Die- Twice per Round when making an attack upgrade the ability of that check twice)
Equipment:Saberstaff (Lightsaber; Damage 10; Crit 1; Range [Engaged]; Breach 1, Cumbersome 2, Defensive 1, Sunder, Vicious 2), Padded Armor (+2 Soak), 2 Stim-packs, Commlink

Kira is the first character presented that draws from my Edge of the Jedi document.  Ironically, this team has two such characters.  While she uses a Saberstaff and wears Consular-style clothing in the game, her skillset is more compatible with my Jedi Sentinel specialization.  This gives her career-access to Stealth, Skulduggery, and Streetwise; all of which appear in her cut-scenes or her backstory.  She's not overly-skilled at any one thing, and is pretty diverse.  Her Agility 4 gives her some skill with her lightsaber and with Coordination checks, but everything else basically slightly above-average.  She's got 2 Ranks in a lot, but those associated characteristics are also 2s, so she's rolling two challenge dice for a lot.  Sleight of Mind gives her quite a boost to Stealth checks, but that's her only skill-enhancing talent.  Everything else is combat focused.  With a Wound threshold of 16, and a Soak of 4, she'll need to be careful (or lucky) to stay in the fight long enough for her talents to shine.

The combination of Shii-Cho and Jar'Kai turns Kira into a minion-slaughtering machine.  Wind her up and send her at groups of minions (or dual-wielding melee opponents) and watch the light-show.  Kira never did much that was particularly "showy" with her Force Powers, no real feats of telekinetic prowess or Force sight.  She mostly used the Force to enhance her prowess, so I gave her two powers that catered to that; Sense and Enhance.  For Sense, Kira has Control Upgrades 1 and 2, the Duration Upgrade, and the Strength Upgrade.  For Enhance she has Control Upgrades 1,2,3, and 8, and the Range Upgrade for the Force Leap application.
Doc (Archiban Kimble) 

Race: Human

Career: Colonist
Specialization: Doctor
Brawn 2, Agility 3, Intellect 4, Cunning 2, Will 2, Presence 3
Wound Threshold: 12
Strain Threshold: 15
Soak: 3
M/R Defense: 1/1

Skills: Charm 2, Cool 2,  Knowledge (Core Worlds) 1, Knowledge (Education) 3, Knowledge (Lore) 1, Medicine 3, Ranged (Light) 2
Talents: Surgeon 3, Resolve 2, Grit 3, Stim Application, Improved Stim Application, Anatomy Lessons, Dodge
Equipment: Armored Clothing, Heavy Blaster Pistol, Medkit, Stim-packs (4)

Doc's write-up was pretty straight forward; be the best doctor that you can.  He's a great support character with his Stim Application talents, but also a nasty fighter with Anatomy Lessons (able to spend a Destiny Point to deal additional damage equal to his Intellect).  Being something of a charmer, and brilliant surgeon, Doc has the social skills and the Presence to sweet-talk his way out of (or into) many situations.

Nothing real deep in design theory here.  I gave him a bunch of talents and skills that seemed to fit his role and character.  We'll have to see how effective it is in combat.  If anything, I'm worried about him being a little fragile.

Sergeant Rusk

Race: Chagrian

Career: Soldier
Specialization: Heavy (adapted from Dangerous Covenants)
Brawn 3, Agility 3, Intellect 2, Cunning 3, Will 2, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 17
Strain Threshold: 12
Soak: 6
M/R Defense: 0/0

Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 1, Coercion 2, Resilience 2, Vigilance 3, Gunnery 3, Perception 2, Ranged (Heavy) 2, Leadership 2
Talents: Burly 2, Barrage 2, Brace 2, Spare Clip, Side Step, Armor Master, Toughened 2, Rain of Death
Equipment: Laminate Armor, Rotary Blaster Cannon, StimPacks (2)

Sergeant Rusk may be one of the easiest PCs to stat out for this party, mostly because I’ve already done it. Ultimately, Rusk is very close to Aric Jorgen from Havoc Squad.  Using those stats as a baseline, I can tweak the skills and abilities to fit Rusk a little better.  Both are squad leaders, but Rusk seems to have a bit of Coercion in his command style.  Also, while I gave Aric the Heavy Hitter talent, allowing him to give his attacks a Breach quality, Rusk is able to gun down multiple foes with his Rain of Death talent, that lowers the difficulty to use Autofire with a mere maneuver action.

Otherwise, Rusk is nearly identical to Aric Jorgen.  Similar stats, talents, and equipment.  Certainly makes my life easier.  There isn’t an official Chagrian race, and instead of using anything unofficial I’m just going to re-skin a human.  It works for a Convention game, a game that most folks will only play once.

Lord Scourge

Race: Sith Pureblood
Career: Jedi

Brawn 4, Agility 2, Intellect 2, Cunning 3, Will 3, Presence 2
Wound Threshold: 18
Strain Threshold: 14
Soak: 8
M/R Defense: 1/2

Skills: Cool 3, Deceive 2, Discipline 2, Leadership 3, Perception 2, Resilience 2, Vigilance 2, Lightsaber 2
Talents: Toughened 2, Defensive Stance 2, Knockdown, Inspiring Rhetoric, Balance, Sixith Sense, Enduring 2, Grit, Shien, Side Step, Juyo
Force Powers: Force Rating 3, Foresee (Spend Force Point to gain vague hints of events to come up to a day into the future, Spend Force Point to pick out one specific detail, Roll Forsee Power Check as part of Initiative check: spend Force Point to add Success to the check), Move (Spend a Force Point to move a Silhouette 0 item within short range any point within range, default range is short, Spend Force Point to increase Silhouette able to be targeted by +1, Spend Force Point to increase range by 1 range bands, Hurl Objects to damage to targets with Discipline check)
Equipment: Heavy Battle Armor, Lightsaber, Comlink, 2 Stimpacks

Lord Scourge is a beatstick.  A melee monster comparable to Kira, except aimed more towards the damage tanking aspect of the game.  With a huge soak value and highest wound threshold in the party, Scourge should get up into the face of any opponent as quickly as possible and lay into them.  Shien and Sixth Sense give him some ways to deal with ranged attackers, and the Move power can be employed to either make ranged attacks or to bring targets to Lord Scourge.

Just like the Chagrian race for Rusk above, for the Sith Pureblood I just used basic human stats as a base.  No real advantage or disadvantage, no funky racial abilities (not for a Con game, anyway).  I figured that he'd need a good check for Deceive to keep his ultimate intentions from his fellow Sith.  Some would arge he should have a higher Discipline, or Lightsaber, or even Brawn and Willpower, but there need to be some consideration for player balance. His stats may not reflect the power his backstory says he should have, but he is only a companion character, and does need to be somewhat in line with the other PCs in the party.

One unique aspect to playing Lord Scourge is that I consider him to be a Dark-Side character.  He was the Emperor's Wrath for over 300 years.  He's a Lord of the Sith.  When a player uses his Force powers, they will see that Lord Scourge uses the more plentiful (but slightly less potent) Dark Side facets of the Force die to power his abilities.  Because of this, I'm almost tempted to give him a Force Rating of 4.  We'll see how it tests out.

Testing, Testing, One Two...

I'm going to have to start running these characters and getting some testing done on the module, pronto.  It's almost the end of April, and in less than 4 months I'll be at GenCon.  Time to get some folks together and put these teams through their paces.

Next up, I'll probably post the Scoundrel's companion team.  Another unusual and eclectic party, with some characters and options I didn't expect, but look like a blast to play.

I hope.

Notice Lord Scourge's absence?  Sith are not very photogenic...