"The Force is what gives a Jedihis power.
It's an energy field created by all living things.
It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the Galaxy together."
— Obi-Wan Kenobi
It's an energy field created by all living things.
It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the Galaxy together."
— Obi-Wan Kenobi
USING THE FORCE
Playing a Force Sensitive character carries with it additional responsibilities and required knowledge that other characters do not have to deal with. Below is an in depth description of some of the features that may come up while playing a Force Sensitive character.
The Force and Alignment
For Force Sensitive characters, every action they take may have a profound influence on their lives, more so then a normal character. Wielding the Force is wielding an entity that connects every living being, every thought and soul, in one unified net. Using that power for greed or anger can have a tangible effect upon the wielder, warping her perceptions and tainting his ideals. However, using the same powers to nurture and protect life similarly cultivates stronger feelings of guardianship and peace. Force Sensitive characters should be cautious as to how they use their power, as it may very well change them in ways they did not expect. See the Alignment tab above, for more details.
A force user's focus represents her ability to actively manage multiple different force abilities at the same time. The more skilled a force user becomes, the more tasks she can handle. A Force Sensitive starts off with 0 Focus, and gains an additional point each time she goes up in rank. Whenever a character attempts to maintain a power that 'Can be kept up', she uses one of her Focus. If she has 0 Focus remaining, she can only activate powers for short bursts, or activate powers that only require one action.
Once a power is dropped, the character receives her Focus back for that power. Some powers may take more then one point of Focus to maintain, or a power may have the option of spending additional Focus points to increase an effect. To either use a power which requires multiple focus or use an enhanced ability, a character must have that many Focus threads available, and commit them to the power for at least 1 round.
Focus Effects on Skills
Spending Focus and maintaining powers requires a great deal of mental concentration and direction. Any non-Force skill roll not directly related to either a skill or the target a thread is Focusing on receives -1D for each Focus thread maintained. As long as a single power affects the target or the skill, it receives no focus penalty no matter how many other threads are up. Willpower is never penalized by Focus.
To illustrate this concept, consider a Jedi Knight with 3 Focus. She raises Enhance Attribute: Dexterity, Lesser Force Shield, and Control Breathing, maintaining them all to use all three of her Focus. She then attempts to pick a lock. As the Security skill and the lock are not a target or affected by any of her powers, she takes a -3D penalty to her Security roll.
If that same Knight were to drop her Enhance Attribute: Dexterity the penalty would decrease to -2D. If she were to then raise Enhance Attribute: Technical, there would be no penalty at all, as the Security skill is under her Technical attribute and is affected by her Enhance Attribute Focus.
Force Powers receive a focus penalty when all Focus threads are used. In this case, they follow the same system as non-Force skills.
Sense Powers and Focus
Sense powers that focus on increasing a Jedi's awareness of her surroundings do not incur Focus penalties on the user. These powers include skills such as Life Detection, Danger Sense, Lightsaber Combat etc. Powers like these focus on raising an extra level of perception. Rather then allow these powers to absolve characters of focus penalties whenever they are raised by targeting virtually everything, they simply do not count. They still take a focus point to maintain, but they never cause a penalty to skills unless all Focus threads are used, in which case they count normally.
Re-Allocating Focus Threads.
A character may attempt to drop a focus thread at any time in order to attempt to negate the penalties of maintaining her powers. At the beginning of her turn before any other action is taken, a character may drop up to all of their currently active threads at no penalty. If she attempts to drop a focus thread at any other time, she takes a -2 penalty to all rolls. This penalty is cumulative based on the number of threads dropped, but goes away at the beginning of the character's next round.
Sustaining damage may cause a Force Sensitive's concentration to falter, and their powers to inadvertently fall. Should a character take damage, for any reason, she must make a Control or Willpower check to overcome the disruption in her concentration. The DC of the check is equal to the highest activation DC for any powers currently running, or the damage taken that round, whichever is higher. The activation DC for any given power is based on the DC required to achieve the effect that the Force user is currently employing. This check is considered to be made for each Focus thread, a user may successfully maintain one power, but drop another with the same roll; as will be covered by the example below.
For example, Force speed can be raised at DCs anywhere from Easy to Heroic. If a character rolls Heroic to raise FS, they must roll a minimum of Heroic on any Control or willpower check to maintain it.
Telekinesis' DC changes based on what the character is attempting to lift. If the character is currently lifting something that requires a DC 60 to lift, then the DC to maintain TK is 60.
Taking both of the above examples, if a character with a focus devoted to Heroic Force Speed and a focus devoted to a DC 60 Telekinesis rolls a 35 on her Willpower; the TK thread would drop, but the Force Speed would be maintained.
A Message to the Player
This system requires a bit of honesty between the player and the GM. In a sim, there are literally dozens of things going on at once and GMs often do not have time to track a character's every single action and determine whether or not focus penalties apply. Thus, it will often be up to the player to determine whether or not focus penalties affect her current skill check. Players found intentionally abusing this trust should be penalized by the GM whatever manner they see fit. With this in mind, below are several examples that should help determine whether or not focus penalties should apply.
Force Points are an additional resource that are available to both non-Force Sensitive and Force Sensitive characters. They represent an inner strength that comes out in times of great need or want. Force Sensitive characters recognize that Force Points can be harnessed to empower their abilities and actions, and are earned for performing particularly heroic or heinous actions. Non-Force Sensitives typically regard Force Points as luck, chance, adrenaline, or divine intervention, when really they are just tapping into themselves. More information on Force Points, their effects, and how they are earned, are found in the Using Force Points tab of this guide.
Deflection with Enhance Combat
Unlike with normal deflection rules, a character that has EC raised can deal with multiple attackers at the same time. Rather then rolling a deflection roll for every single attack, a character with EC raised deals with 'volleys' of attacks. A volley is defined as all of the attacks that round taken at the same multiple action penalty. For instance, if three characters all open fire and fire two shots normally, the first three bolts would all be fired at the same time, as would the second three. Each of these would be considered a single 'volley', and require a single roll to deflect them. When volley deflecting, the same skill roll is compared to all of the attack results and any rolls that are not beaten hit the defender as they normally would.
A character with EC raised can deflect a number of attacks up to one half (rounded down) the total number of dice the defender has in the appropriate skill each time they attempt a volley deflection. If a character is wielding two Lightsabers to deflect, double this number. The number of bolts a force sensitive can deflect per round applies to all defense rolls made that round, MA penalties do not reduce this number.
For example, a character has 7D+2 Lightsaber from the effects of EC and Enhance Attribute: Dexterity. She can deflect up to 3 incoming attacks per volley. If she character was dual wielding lightsabers, or wielding a lightstaff, 6 bolts could be deflected per defense roll.
There may come a point when a Force Sensitive is attempting to utilize a power which she hasn't specifically trained to use, or is in the process of learning. Such a task is extremely difficult, but possible, as is outlined below.
To even attempt to use a power untrained, a character must have all of its prerequisite powers as outlined by the power hierarchy and the power's description. The untrained power may be used at a skill level equivalent to the power's governing attribute with a -2D penalty. In addition, the following modifiers apply:
- If the Jedi is currently learning this power, the penalty is reduced to -1D.
- If a Jedi attempts to use a power above her rank, she takes an additional -3D penalty.
Restricted by armor
There are some powers that simply do not work when a Force user is wearing restrictive or completely encompassing suits of armor. Often a Force Sensitive needs complete flexibility in order to properly use her abilities, or they must be able to have direct physical contact which would be impeded by larger protective measures. Armor that offers more then 1D protection against any form of attack, or has any dexterity penalty associated with it at all, is considered Restrictive for certain powers, and increases the difficulty for activating those powers by 2 levels.
A bonded weapon or starship is a something in which the character has placed a great deal of his own energy and essence into creating or maintaining. Such items have an intrinsic link to their creator and, when used in combat, act as an extension of the wielder more then just a simple tool. When using Enhance Combat, Blaster, or Spacecraft combat a character will only receive the full benefits of the power if she is wielding one of her bonded weapons. Furthermore, the character can sense the location of his item through a Moderate Sense Force roll.
During an upgrade sim the user may spend 1 FP and 2 CP, representing the deep ties the user is creating with this weapon through the force, to bond to a weapon or starship. When constructing a lightsaber, the weapon is automatically bound when the FP are spent on the crystal alignment phase. The weapon or ship receives no additional features or abilities besides being specifically tuned to the creator and permitting the full benefits of the above listed abilities. Users may have a number of items based on their rank, 1 for initiates, 2 for padawans, 3 for knights, and 4 for masters.
Targeting with Powers
Unless otherwise specified, all force powers require the user to have a direct line of sight to their target. Some powers may be used if a character has successfully raised Life Sense on the intended target, but they will often have an increased DC based on the proximity of the user to the target. See the individual skills under the Force Powers section of this guide for more details.
Identifying the Source of a Power
At times, a character may have a Force power used on them and will be unaware of the source of the power. This could be problematic either through being unaware of a skilled assailant, or choosing to resist a beneficial Force Power used by an ally.
A character may use their Sense attribute to determine the source of an incoming Force power. If the ability is a hostile power which they do not resist, the DC to determine the source is equal to the activation roll. If the power is successfully resisted, the DC is a static 21. Successfully determining the source only identifies who or what used the Force power, and gives them no other information.
In addition, a character may choose to add 11 to the DC of any power, doing so will inform all of their target(s) of who is using the Force Power on them, and what that Force Power is. This is typically useful for throwing around friendly powers in a hostile situation.
Force Powers and Scale Modifiers
All powers are considered character scale unless otherwise noted; however strong practitioners of the Force may attempt to use a power on a different scale -- shielding a capital ship, or performing other actions on large-scale items. When attempting to do so, the power attempt is reduced by the Scale Modifier difference, as found on the Taking Action article. The effect of the power is up to the GM running the sim, but will likely be close to the original power. A GM has the right to deny the use of a higher scale power if she is uncomfortable with making such a ruling.
In addition, a character may Research a power to work on a specific scale of their choosing. This may be, for example: Lesser Force Shield: Capital Ships. This would allow the character to be able to know in advance what their power will do, and how they might apply it. In addition, a researched power could be slightly stronger than one that is just attempted 'in the field'. Please contact the HGM if you have any questions about this, or anything else featured in this comprehensive guide.