View Full Version : Those wonderful toys

7 May 2008, 07:02 PM
I'm finding myself wondering about some of the things mentioned in obscure game materials that seem interesting

I like the idea of Kilian rangers and as far as I know they exist only in one entry in a source book I have and the information is limited. Their gautlet seems intersesting as does the shiang lance but details are sparse. I'd love to get a little more info for the origins of the idea and maybe be given the chance to expand it (but to what end. I'm not in a game and who would see it). The world, culture and tech beg to be explored further.

The sheild gautlet was supposed to be tech that the people brought with them from before the preqels yet we see nothing of this elsewhere, and the limits are poorly defined. Could it stop a sabre blade? It strikes me as fitting the setting better then some of those other personal sheild devices that wookiepedia brings up that seem to be for video games. They just strike me as not very star wars.

Likewise I'me curious about the idea of light foils, this concept seems to have been covered much more then the above but still not much is said.

Could they work against a light sabre to some degree, one wookiepedia entry suggests yes while other sources say they would short out. None back up their claim. I can see the idea of a light foil being useless against a blaster, and doing less damage but I would think that they would have to be able to stand against a light sabre enough for the first generation of duelers to occassionally face the original thing.

Since i don't have the text about them how do they differ from a saber, how are they the same? When Did they first come into being? Are some older examples of light sabers more on par with the lightfoils? I mean the tech did just come into being with fully realised abilities did it?

The proto saber would suggest otherwise.

The practice saber also appeals to me, and is little covered. I can see a fair number of uses for that idea.

7 May 2008, 11:01 PM
If I remember my Lords of The Expanse correctly a lightfoil should be able to stop, at least momentarily, a lightsaber blade since they technically use the same parts only with a cruddy synthetic crystal. While I can't honestly say it would block some of the more powerful blasters out there, it should stop a holdout blaster, assuming the user had the reflexes to do so. Mainly I remember that they were notoriously temperamental and prone to shorting out.

8 May 2008, 08:01 AM
In addition to less perfect crystals, the whole lightfoil is not as tightly focused as one a Jedi would build. They do less damage than an actual lightsaber, and like Thomas said, they are prone to blinking out on occasion.

In the same vein of "energy weapons that can block a lightsaber" is the Kerestian darkstick. It's essentially a boomerang with one half sheathed in black colored energy that can withstand the blow of a lightsaber.

8 May 2008, 07:46 PM
now shorting out I can accept, I've heard people proposing hat they have a percentage chance of exploding. Thay just seemed stupid to me. exploding would make them a weapon for suicidal fools.

Shorting out would make them an experimental tool. Something like hot rodders in the garage tinkering with something to show up the neighbors or that other person ect. it also makes good on the skilled warrior front. You build and tend your weapon, to get the results as best suit your abilities.

But exploding because they are inferior to sabers seems silly. There is no way to fix explosive, and then your just nuts for going to a sword fight with a stick of dinamite.

Part of the appeal of this for me is the original ideas lucas had for the saber to be ubiquitous in the setting. And also the idea that it's not restricted to only force users. That always bothered me a bit. They have the force, let them use it to augment things and such. No need to make something like an energy blade off limits to everybody just because you want some samurai feel to your jedi. Yeah samurai had a thing for being associated with katana but they aren't the only sword in the world. and it seems that if one group can come up with an energy sword so can another.

I'd almost say that it's required of the setting that to be even somewhat realistic someone else somewher in history would have had to think, that's and interesting idea. and made something similar.

9 May 2008, 02:32 AM
well it wouldn't be beyond the realm of thinking that somebody would get his/her/it's hands on a lightsaber somehow and reverse engineering it somehow. After all in KotOR II, Bao-Dur helps The Exile build her new lightsaber and mentions that he had asked a few Jedi during the war if he could take one apart to see how it worked. However I think the main reason, IC wise, that not everyone ran around with perfectly working lightsabers was that not everyone had the training to properly use it right off the bat. The Jedi weren't going to train anybody who wasn't a Jedi in using one and the Sith were probably not willing to share their power with anybody not Force sensitive either. I think the only rerason why Dooku trained Grievous in lighsaber combat was to make him a much more effective, as well as frightening, Jedi killer. There's also the one story, that I never agreed with, that says that one must also use the Force to assist in building the lightsber, which could explain why your average person would have trouble building one.

9 May 2008, 05:35 AM
Um, explode? Where did you read that a lightfoil can explode? Are you referring to the idea that a poorly constructed lightsaber, if not properly aligned, can potentially explode at the first ignition? The lightsaber has that level of craftsmanship, but a lightfoil is not built to such stringent standards. It can just short out at inopportune moments.

12 May 2008, 06:43 PM
Yeah I thought it sounded wonky but given the serious lack of any accessable source of information on the topic out there any one source that says this is a larger percentage of the data pool.

Basically I've only been able to find maybe seven pages that discuss light foils, and of those only two or three make any attempt to define how they are waeker then a light saber. One of those sources mentions that Of course the light foil has the disadvantage of exploding a certain percentage of the time, which only increases the danger appeal to sabre rakes.

Now it appears that that page was just some back story used to define a character outline, but given that the two remaining sources are rather vauge on the detracting factors of the light foil I've got little else to work with.

I'm assuming a character with a light foil not being a jedi and hence the unlikely blaster deflection as out of the question most of the time. But a smart saber rake can find ways to restrict combat to close quarters or otherwise make confrontations in magnetically sealed rooms ('would you put that thing away, you're going to get us all killed' her worship in the compactor). Likewise there is a sort of skill and honor image that can be placed in blades that is a bit harder on the gun end of things.

A drunk with a blaster is dangerous, but a person with a sword usually has skills to use it and has to be deliberate about it. It less a point and click then a draw, stance ignite bypass guards and terget given area to achieve the desired effect.

Don't get me wrong you can get the blaster to follow a similar route with the idea of a shoot out like in the old westerns, and with sniperes.

But there is a reason some of theold heroic legends we all hear don't concern cross bows, instead of swords; and other hend weapons.

The energy blade also carries a certain appeal, in it's tech-hotrodder foundations. The tool is simply inert parts that in themselves are non obtrusive and unimpressive, but the user who cares for the weapon and can fix it and modify it and costumise it and keep it running, that is a passionate user of that weapon. and the symbolism of the energy blade has a mystique all it's own.

as for the Kilian ranger, one of the appeals of this character is a force user that isn't defined by the light saber but is none the less a knight like figure. The Shiang lance does disapoint me slightly in being a ranged weapon prmarily, but the sheild gauntlet intrigues me a bit for the idea of a non offensive energy device that is likewise cared for and maintained by a trained warrior and appears as little more then maybe a stylised glove or gautlet.

The written material on these is so little, I desperately want to know as much as possable about the people who these conscepts are used to illustrate. I'm a writer and story teller and artist at heart and the potential of these for stories and deeper world building is so tempting.

I just don't know what information I should have to start with and wether there would be any use in fleshing it out if it would just be a notebook I keep and nobody else cared about.

12 May 2008, 08:41 PM
All "official" information on the Lightfoil is found in the "Lords of the Expanse" Tapani Sector boxed set and sourcebooks from West End Games; this is the primary source of information.

Basically, it did one less die of base damage than a lightsaber in the WEG d6 version, and had a problem with shorting out or intermittently deactivating when you rolled a 1 on the wild die.

It is specifically noted that a Jedi can use it as if it were a lightsaber, including deflecting and reflecting blaster bolts.

15 May 2008, 07:22 PM
I agree that lightsabers should not be restricted to Jedi only. I also think that the shorting out only applies to shoddily constructed lightfoils and other lightsaber look-alikes.

The part of using the Force to construct a lightsaber is mainly to train the apprentice. Theoretically, anyone could build a lightsaber just as good as those produced in the Temple. Its just a <i>helluva</i> lot of work. You have to be very, very careful about connecting the pieces together, and you have to get top-notch stuff. This could take months or even years to accomplish. You probably would do something similar to a "bonding" with your lightsaber, which is one reason for the Jedi using the Force to construct it. Theirs just takes less time, and in eras when the Sith are out and about (and even when they're not) the Jedi can't really afford to have an apprentice take half a decade to make a lightsaber. Most techs, though, if they really wanted to make a good lightsaber, would take that time. This also has the effect of preventing quality lightsabers from being mass-produced, as it just takes too darn long to do.

So lightfoils could probably avoid the shorting out too, if they were made better. Still not as strong as a lightsaber, but not all explodedy either. It would be something similar to a training lightsaber, which I've seen in another form as the "stunsaber." Very cool idea, actually, using a lightsaber that stuns instead of cuts. Crowd control. And parental guidance. Could also be used by forum moderators.

Something that came to me as I was writing this was the concept of mass-produced lightsabers. I believe they were used for the Imperial Knights, but what about Jedi Knights? Surely the Jedi Order had a reserve somewhere, and in times of desperate need could construct a lot of them quickly. I doubt that they'd be as good as the one you built yourself, but to think the Jedi Order would make anything sloppy seems nigh-blasphemous. I would think they would still be high quality, despite the mass production. But how could this reasonably be done?

Hmm, I smell an adventure in the wings...

16 May 2008, 03:28 PM
well the imperial knight sabres are not mass produced, as far as I've heard all evidence is that they are just as original as a jedis only they use the exact same planes and shape. It's part of the tradition to prove that the order is above all, sort of the men in black bit.

supposedly the shorting out has to do with the inferior nature of the crystals used.
I imagine that you would have to find a flawless crystal of the right shape and general size, with just the right levels of impurity. Kind of like a ruby could be flawless but without certain other things mixed with the base of aluminum oxices it would be clear or even blue depending on other things found in it. The idea of aligning frequencies may be part of the trick too. If the are miss aligned then you get a tube holdout blaster or detonator. So getting a super close alignment would be crucial. Synthetic crystal because of their formation by machanical means might be inferior enough to allow slight misalignments to be unavoidable in some parts of the crystal and not others leading to imbalanced charges and eventual arching and shorting. Ingenious techs might be able to build something like a surge protector to compensate, but it might make the things twice as big and a bit more cluncky. This might allow for a light foil that works consistently and is less likely to fail, but will still be less powerful then a sabre. But it might also make for some more interesting blade effects that can't happen in an authentic saber.

Mass produced sabers are only referanced in video games as far as I know. When we have mass produced darkside bad guys to fight they are supplied sabers that are mass produced. I actually find the idea distasteful to be honest. It sacrifices the hobbyist approach that appeals to me in the subject. Like buying a radio and building one yourself. only this is a status symbol and a mark of the person who makes them. Like a hot rod or something like it. Lets even cross the fourth wall and say you want a light saber hilt of your own.

You can buy a cheap plastic one all put together for more then you make an hour, you can buy an authentic replic for more then you make in a week. You could pay somebody to build you one for a similar amount. Or you can do the research find parts and peices all around you in the world and get inspiration on how to make it your own and destinct, then put it together yourself.

As time goes by you may modify the design slightly are change parts around, take things off and add things to it. Maybe at another time you will experiment with another style. That is where i think the spare ones come from at the jedi temples. That and any made by past jedi.

This is actually something I am working on right now. I have scraps from things that people where about to throw out and such, I'm going to experiment with some paper towel tubes and some craft papers to get design ideas staight before spending the time and these raw materials on vauge notions. I'm going to start with a rough version of the imperial knights saber, then try a few scetchs to lay out a few alternat designs that are more personal to me, then when I have one or two I like I'll get a few last supplies and make a metal and pvc version. If all goes well I may even set up electronics inside to light it and maybe even get sound. That beats even the build your own custom sabre toy kit in my mind.