Tuesday, January 06, 2015

A few Star Wars gaming thoughts...

...that didn't quite make it into the post below.

First, if I do end up making the Jedi (with some judicious name and label changes) a class that's available in DARK•HERITAGE as a kind of Soulknife, then it raises another question.  Why not just add the a la carte class options of Star Wars into DARK•HERITAGE all the way?  That's not actually a bad idea, and I've done a fair bit of cross-pollination between the two already, but in general, I probably won't go much further than I already have for one main reason: Star Wars is very expansive.  It envisions an entire galaxy, in an optimistic space opera paradigm, of life forms and possibilities.  You can never hope to represent all of the options available to potential player characters in such a paradigm, so an a la carte build-it-yourself approach to class and race is a suitable alternative to tedious exhaustiveness.  On the other hand, DARK•HERITAGE is a geographically constrained area on one fantasy world.  I could possibly open up the classes a bit, but the races are pretty fixed as they are.

Second, I realize, on thinking about it, that there are at least three characters that probably aren't very well represented by the rules for m20 Star Wars.  Yoda and Palpatine seem to be force-using prodigies that can't possibly be constrained by the hit point damage (representing fatigue) that other Knights are subject to.  And Mother Talzin seems to be some kind of witch or sorceress that uses rules that are completely absent from my ruleset.  I actually think this is OK.  For one thing, I don't think that it is necessary for NPCs to follow the same rules as PCs, and all three of these characters are definitely NPC type characters that shouldn't ever be represented by a PC.  If I were to try and build them as characters, I'd probably give Yoda and Palpatine some kind of unique "damage reduction when using Force powers" ability that reduced or even eliminated their fatigue from using the force.  Mother Talzin would probably have to cast actual spells, as per my other m20 ruleset.  This is OK, because she is represented less as a Force-using type of person and more as a magical witch of some kind.  This isn't ever really explained, but there it is.  She also seems to be unique, or at least her order is unique.  Of course, in my version of the setting, a slightly modified Nightbrother and Nightsister cult still exists, and if anything, is stronger than it was during the Clone Wars, but that's OK.  Mother Talzin is still more of a mentor/patron type NPC, or perhaps an adversary, but not a PC.  Honestly, I probably wouldn't worry too much about how to represent her with rules, and consider her an extra-legal plot device more than anything else.

I know, I know.  Some gamers get really bent out of shape about the "unfairness" of NPCs having abilities that PCs can't.  I'm not one of those, though--my theory of gaming doesn't even necessarily say that NPCs need to have any stats at all, and they can do whatever I need them do.

Third, I read the Darth Maul--Son of Dathomir comic book, which would have been a story arc of the Clone Wars if it hadn't been cancelled for business reasons which us fans of the show gnash our teeth at somewhat.  Interestingly, it posits at the end (MINOR SPOILER ALERT!) that Darth Maul was essentially removed as a threat to either the Jedi or the Sith when Mother Talzin was (apparently) killed (again) and his Shadow Collective was broken apart.  Of course, he wasn't killed, he was just... somewhat neutralized as a power.  Of course, in Season Five, he built up that power from scratch over the course of just a few episodes, so there's no reason to think that he couldn't do it again, but clearly the implication is that 1) Maul survived the Clone Wars, and 2) Maul ceased to be a mover and shaker in the galaxy following the Clone Wars.  And, as it happens, Maul was using the Darksaber instead of his classic red double-bladed lightsaber.

This maps astoundingly well to my own assumption that 1) sometime after Jedi, the Nightbrother and Nightsister cults underwent a bit of a Renaissance with 2) a much stronger position of the Nightbrothers within the cult (as opposed to the more submissive role that they played on Dathomir during the Clone Wars) who traditionally 3) use Darksabers rather than regular lightsabers.  In fact, I can now go on and say that it is in harmony with canon to suggest that Darth Maul himself went on to rebuild this cult following the events of Son of Dathomir, possibly with the help of surviving Nightsisters somewhere, or the ghost of Mother Talzin herself, even, and that it would turn out looking exactly as I have them look.  It's almost eerie sometimes how much the developing new canon, and stuff that Dave Filoni says, etc. matches my own particular take on Star Wars, which deviates (on purpose!) substantially from the EU style canon.  Which, of course, is now no longer considered canonical anyway.

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