View Full Version : Powerful Starting Characters in d20

29 April 2002, 10:13 AM
I recently started up a group. Half the group I had been gaming with for quite a long time. The rest of the players are newbies. None of the players had ever played Star Wars before. This is also my first time running a d20 Star Wars game.

To speed things up, and to form a group that fits together well (at least on paper), I pregenerrated the characters. I had all the players tell me the type of characters that they wouldlike to play, and went from there.

One of the new players is a huge Star Wars fan, and wanted to play either a jedi or a Wookie. I explained to him that he could play both. He was amazed. You have to remeber that he had nevered roll played before.

Everything was fine until I sat down and started making the characters. The party consists of a Bothan solider, a human scout, human scoundrel, a Dug fringer, and the Wookie Jedi. The Jedi Wookie, at first level just seemed, statisticly, to overwhelm the rest of the party.
Combat wise, he would be an complet terror from the start.

I thought about scraping the wookie jedi. I felt that he was just to unbalanced. Then, I game up with a role playing solution. Instead of a jedi guardian, I have made the wookie a jedi consular. I felt that this made for a very interesting concept to play. It had the added benifit that , if played correctly, combat would not be this characters last choice of respone. Time wil tell if this pans out or not.

I was wondering if anybody else has discovered any realy powerful character combinations at first level. If so, how did you deal with it?

29 April 2002, 01:58 PM
Personally I see the Jedi Guardian to be a better choice for a Wookie than a Jedi Councilor. Might want to keep in mind the Wookie rage ability, that would be awfully inappropriate for a JC to have. Not to mention and easy path to darkside points. Also, I like the idea of giving pre-generated characters to players but when I play there's something I enjoy about making a character my own. There's little details a player forms in his mind when they make their selections that help round out the character. Not to mention that if they are newbies they might be unfamiliar with all the nuances to playing a Bothan or a Dug. Might be better to let them pick a race they are comfortable with (Human?, Wookie? ) trying out for the first go-around. You've got a lot of great ideas but throwing newbies into the ocean to teach them how to swim can get a little rough when role-playing. Man, I know too many metaphors...

Good luck to your campaign! Wish you the best.

Oh, and as far as the Wookie JG being too powerful. Well, that's the game. Trick is for you to challenge him appropriately. Don't throw a droideka at him but a few stormtroopers in an ambush may keep him on his toes. :D

29 April 2002, 09:04 PM
Well, let me preface this a little by saying that I don't use the D20 system, so I can't really comment on whether other characters in that system can be made too powerful at the beginning or not. Perhaps that's something to ask in the D20 forum.:raised:

Now, as far as the rest of your post goes...

I personally think you did a good thing by generating the characters yourself. This saves you a bunch of time going through the character generation with new players, and also makes the group of characters something that you KNOW will work better together, rather than having a couple of fighter pilots who always want to go flying, and some ground pounders that are always stuck doing nothing. You'll have more control to begin with, and hopefully you'll create characters that the players will have fun playing and will foster new ideas for them to make future characters with. Yes, they may have a little trouble figuring out how to play a Bothan, but if you give a little write-up for each character on main characteristics, it might help get them into character a little more. Just don't go too hard on them if they don't run something exactly the way you envision the race being run. They're new. Guide them, don't chastise them. Also remember that not every Bothan will act the same way....or even close to the same way.

As far as your problem with the Wookie Jedi, I think you may have backed yourself into a corner to start. If you're not entirely sure of how things are going to be (for characters), don't guarantee anyone anything. By stating that a person can play a Jedi Wookie, you've now got a person that thinks this is either A: something common, so he'll want to play more of them... or B: an expectation. That is, you said he could play both, so now he's expecting it.

My suggestion, tell the player that you goofed (are you still new at GMing in this system?) and that having a Jedi Wookie is too powerful to start. He may just be happy to play a Wookie something, or a Human Jedi. If that's the case, you luck out and can keep someone on a level that better fits the rest of your party.

If you can't back your way out of this, I suggest pulling the ol' "GM's fiat". He has a Wookie Jedi, but he doesn't have a lightsaber and he's lost his master (or doesn't have one....depending on the time period you're playing in). Put this character at a disadvantage to make up for all of the advantages it gets. The other thing you'll have to do is carefully, VERY CAREFULLY, calculate the bad guys that you're going to throw at the party. You can't make them powerful enough to take out the Wookie Jedi, as they'll likely massacre the rest of the group. You can't make them on par with the rest of the group, as the Wookie Jedi will walk through them like a tissue paper door. Basically, you'll have to carefully balance cunning and deadliness along with numbers for the bad guys. This is a lot of work for you, especially if you're pretty new to the system yourself.

All in all, my suggestion is to rewrite the Wookie Jedi into either a Human Jedi (if the player wants to play a Jedi) or a Wookie something-or-other (if the player would rather play a wookie). It'll keep your group more balanced and be easier on you. After you get some time under your belt with the system, and you know what you can handle (as well as what your players can handle....giving a new gamer a Wookie Jedi may be too powerful and create a munchkin right off the back) then you can let people try more powerful characters such as the Wookie Jedi.

Hope this helps.

Dan Kyrinov
29 April 2002, 09:16 PM
When I read your e-mail, Mythtify, I had to smile, because I have a Wookiee Jedi in my tabletop group. Ole' Salwooka has ascended to 3rd level, so although that's not a lot of missions, it has given me some perspective. He's a Jedi Guardian. Also in the group, and for comparison, are a Twi'lek Soldier and Human Jedi Consular, and sometimes an Omwati Force Adept and Chiss Soldier. I have found the way to handle a Wookie Jedi is divide their interests. Salwooka both wants Wookiee and Jedi heritage to play a part in his character. At 3rd level, he refused Deflect Blasters in favor of Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bowcaster.) It sounds as if your player might also be interested in both the Wookiee and the Jedi abilities. Against the soldiers of the group, Salwooka is not exceptional. His Force skills do help him fight, but he cannot handle anything larger than a bowcaster, whereas the other soldiers can unload with greater firepower due to bonus feats. The Consular's skills, being higher, can be expanded over greater fields, allowing her to use the Force in combat applications with far greater success than Salwooka. The Omwati Force Adept poured skill into Move Object, and is very strong in the ability while Salwooka trails. Wookiee dexterity, being not as high, makes him an easier ranged target, plus, seeing a furry tower with a lightsaber might possibly draw more attacks. I know if I were a stormtrooper, I would shoot in that direction first.

It sounds like your campaign is going to be a promising one. I think your Consular idea was fast thinking, and a good outlet for good roleplaying, as Wookiee rage might prove a struggle and temptation. Don't worry too much if the balance of power is only slightly off. It could be worse... Savrip worse...

30 April 2002, 09:03 AM
I would like to thank you all for your advise and insights. Realy good stuff. Thanks!:D