View Full Version : Force Lightning Question

Rigil Kent
9 February 2002, 12:31 PM
Can it be used against a vehicle? What would be the results? I'm thinking it may act sort of like an ion blast if it hits.


Matt Richard
9 February 2002, 12:36 PM
I would assume that it would be something like an ion blast, but ive never done it that way, so im not sure.

Donovan Morningfire
9 February 2002, 04:23 PM
Since Force Lightning is pretty much pumping a lot of voltage/wattage into a target, using it as an Ion effect on vehicles sounds good.

As for effect level, maybe a -2 to all vehicle-related rolls per level of effect (Force-user lvls 7 to 12 is a -2, 13 to 18 is -4, and 19-20 is 6), and otherwise functions as ion damage to starships.

Another take is roll the damage, and for every point the damage total exceeds the vehicle's Hull Points, it is totally ionized for that many rounds.

9 February 2002, 04:58 PM
I agree with Donovan's interpretation, except that I would add two more considerations....vehicle technology level and size. A bigger vehicle might have more backup systems and be more difficult to knock out. The same line of reasoning applies to an advanced speeder. But if it just your basic run of the mill speeder bike, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Whoever came up with this, it is a great idea.

Rigil Kent
9 February 2002, 09:16 PM
Glad we're on the same wavelength, Donovan. The original concept for this idea sprang from the introduction I'm devising for my coming campaing in which the new characters are part of a unit hunting down several of the older characters. One of those older characters has been consumed by the Dark Side (not entirely his fault, but he helped out quite a bit) and I thought it would be cool for him to use Force Lightning against some pursuing airspeeders or starfighters.

I can't wait to see the player who originally ran him freak out when he (player) sees his old PC do something like this. :D

10 February 2002, 08:29 AM
Another thing to consider is the range of Force Lightning. I know in d20 the range is explicitly stated as 10 meters. I don't have my d6 Rev. book in front of me, but if you're playing d6, you might want to check out range modifiers there, too.

Not that it can't be done, but you could use the range restrictions to increase the drama of this little stunt.

That is, the bad guys flee in a speeder, the good guys pursue in a speeder. Easy enough. After a few round of generic chase scene schenanigans you let the good guys believe they're starting to gain on the bad guys. The bad guys let the good guys get closer and closer while faking some sort of control problem, or engine trouble, or whatever. Then just as one of the good guys thinks he'll pull an action-hero-type jump over to the other speeder - - - lightning boy pops up and blasts the good guys speeder. 8o

Sounds like fun!

13 February 2002, 12:30 PM
I hate to be difficult, but I think that it would really depend on the size/type of vehicle in question. Think of regular lightning. Against a small object (speeder, droid, etc) the effect would be more damaging than against something much larger (AT-ST, AT-AT) where the effect would be much less, or have no effect at all. I do like the idea of using the ionization rules for the effect, but would say that the larger (or more military) the vehicle in question, the less effect there would be. Instead of just using an arbitrary number (like the ion rules) instead I think it would be more cinematic to just use your own judgement (as GM) as to what it would do. Then again, this is just my two creds worth...

-- "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." --
Mark Twain

Kayle Skolaris
13 February 2002, 04:37 PM
Something I think is being overlooked here is that Force Lightning is NOT electricity. It's a perversion of the Force and a raw manifestation of the Dark Side. Yes, it will affect objects, but it won't affect them like electricity would. I'd personally apply damage as normal with scale modifiers and everything. If your Dark Sider inflicts 6D of damage with Force Lightning, then treat it just like an attack by any other weapon that would inflict 6D Character Scale damage. Since Force Lightning ignores armor and energy shielding, you may wish to ignore the first 2D of Hull Code and all of a shielded object's shielding. The 2D would, in most cases, account for the "hardening effect" of armor so you'll be striking directly at the structure of the object. If an object is especially heavily armored, subtract even more dice until you feel you've accounted for all the armor.

Donovan Morningfire
14 February 2002, 04:55 AM
While Force Lightning may indeed be a perversion of the Force, it takes the form of lightning, which last I check was a form of electricity.

I can agree with Rigil's idea that it could have an ionization effect, but I'd use it only for dramatic purposes (i.e. the chase scene he mentioned). As a tool to raise tension and underscore just how dangerous these two renegades are, it works fine. That said, keep the range limit of 10 meters as well (close-range only). Since it's an NPC, there shouldn't be too much chance of overusage/abuse, but it should still not be used constantly.

As for size of vehicle, I'm not sure that would really matter. Granted I'm speaking d20 (been a while since I've cracked upon my 2nd ed R&E d6 rulebook), starship-scaled Ion Cannons don't seem to differentiate between size (d'oh!) and affects them equally.

If using the damage roll bit I suggested, then size/Hull is taken into account.

Kayle Skolaris
14 February 2002, 07:36 AM
I disagree here. Jagged blue bolts do not lightning make. And the observed effects in RotJ do not match that of electricity. If it really were bolts of lightning, it would've ignored Luke and gone straight for the catwalk railings. It also would not have illuminated Vader's skeleton through his armor like it did. It also should've burned Luke's hair off or set it standing on end at the very least. I think "force lightning" is another colloquialism like "turbolaser" that cannot and should not be taken at face value. Force lightning IGNORES body armor, something real electricity wouldn't do. I'm sorry, but in my view, if it doesn't act like it, doesn't injure like it, and doesn't affect it's environment like it, it probably isn't electricity.

Rigil Kent
14 February 2002, 08:48 AM
And yet, in the novel Truce at Bakura, Luke was suffering the effects of having been subjected to a great deal of electricity. I understand your point, Kayle, but disagree slightly.

The point is kind of moot given that I've adjusted my prologue more toward something else, although I may very well include the use of FL on vehicles at a later date. One thing I did consider was perhaps to use FL against a vehicle, you have to be able to Drain Energy (ala the WotC skill of the same name) as well.

Thanks for the advice, guys.

14 February 2002, 12:42 PM
I would have to remind you, freind Kayle, that this is the SW universe... things dont neccesarily work as the would in the world we live in. In my humble opinion, force lightning is lightning... but its being directed by the will of the force, which has been shown in the SW universe to be able to defy certain laws of nature... gravity, anyone?

14 February 2002, 12:52 PM
I would say it is Ion damage, But HARD ion damage, much like what happens from an EMP.

On a side question. If a person used force lightning to charge a dead ships' power cell, would he still get the DSP for using FL. What about if someone used it, like EMT's and doctors use defliberators (to shock the heart of a patient who's heart has stopped)??>>>

Kayle Skolaris
14 February 2002, 12:55 PM
It's those "creative uses" of Force Lightning that Wolvy just mentioned that sparked my campaign ruling that Force Lightning isn't electricity. It was a game balance decision.