View Full Version : Profusion of force users...

18 October 2002, 08:42 AM
here's kind of a dumb observation-

notice that there are lots of jedi pcs running around in everyone's game? everyone wants to play a force user it seems... which leads to a huge suspension of disbelief considering that no jedi (aside from vader/palp and kenobi/yoda) exist after III.

I'm glad that the group i play in has only two force users in it- the captain and myself (sigh- my first chance as a SW character and what do I pick- oh the hypocrisy). But in the group I GM there is a 1/2 and 1/2 profusion of force users... and the majority of people requesting SWAG pieces, it seems like Jedi... and the majority of fan films is about jedi (though I love TROOPS)...

I know I know, Lucas' Jedi Knights concept is really attractive, but... there are... too many... freakin' knights! There's another reason medieval fairs had tournaments- not just to prove their chivalry, but to kill off a few! Maybe the Old Republic had something like this, or a cap of 10,000 where the populace said- "All right, there's too many of you running around, keep the racket down!"

what this comes down to is this... how do GMs account for this profusion of forceusers in their game? Alternate SW universes? I've put a 2 force user cap on all my players- if one dies, you only got one other character that can pick up force sensitive. Or do other GMs not bother with this consideration? Am I just being too heavy handed?

18 October 2002, 09:36 AM
In my game (set in the rebellion era) I limited the number of force using characters to 2. Since we have a gaming group of around 10, the first two people to ask got them and then everyone else got on a waiting list to be a force user (when the existing force using characters die).

Obviously no one is allowed to just bump off another PC just to free up that force using slot, so it works pretty well. ;)

Jim Williams
18 October 2002, 09:36 AM
In my campaign (two GMs), there are two Old Republic Jedi that survived EpIII. One was frozen in carbonite by Darth Maul and recently thawed out. Maul's trial was to capture a Jedi Guardian intact to prove himself. He kept the carbonite guy hidden in his personal secret temple as a trophy to gloat over. The other is my character. "He" is a symbiote that moves from host to host when one dies. We're basically saying that Kir (my Jedi) fought Vader (against Yoda's counsel), and the host was struck down. Vader left, the real Kir lived and took a new host (always someone dying). He then patiently waited two decades for Yoda's "plan" to succeed in bringing about the downfall of Vader and the Emperor.

Sooooooo, if the background story is good enough, a player in our campaign can run whatever they want. The other two PCs that are Jedi had to multiclass into it because they are younglings.

18 October 2002, 09:49 AM
IMHO I don't think you are being heavy handed, after all you are the GM, you make the rules.
Personally I have been gaming SW for over 10 years, off and on with the same group, and only one of our players has wanted to be a Jedi consistently.
Right now we are trying something different, all of our rebellion era characters are force sensitive. My character(who is an NPC when I am GMing) is a failed Jedi trying to hide from the rest of the galaxy. The other narrowly escaped the purge on his home planet and has now taken on a Padawan in the form of a force sensitive orphan who is seeking his past.
The last player character is a Wookie healer who uses the force strickly for his healing abilities.
Many of the EU sources have had Jedi or force sensitive characters who have "Slipped through the cracks". That's how we deal with the extinguished jedi story. Afterall it's a big galaxy, surely Vader and Palpatine couldn't find everyone.

18 October 2002, 09:53 AM
Well, I am running two games now, one face-to-face that's sort of slowed up, and the other an e-mail game. Both games either center around Jedi/Force-users but neither is a problem. In the one face-to-face game, it's set 100 years before Episode I, so Palpatine's parents are just dating. In the e-mail game, the Force users are playing Jensaarai on Susevfi before they join Tavira's gang (from the book I, Jedi) who are a) actively sought by the Empire, b) in danger of being turned in by the people they're sworn to protect, and c) trying to beat the Empire using guerilla tactics.

So in the one case, the Jedi are still members of a thriving government that spreads love and caring all over the galaxy to the betterment of all parties concerned (yuk), and in the other they are paying the price for their abilities by having to stay undercover their entire lives. In fact, in the Jensaarai game, if these guys have to resort to using the Force too much or using their lightsabers I will hit them hard with Imperial investigations, Inquisitors being put onto their trail, and the like. So there is a very real price to pay.

I think people like to play Jedi becuase a) the main characters in the films are Jedi and b) it's the only unique class from the movies. I mean, every movie can have scoundrels, evil military officers, frontiersmen, and the like, but what other movie has guys that can move stuff with their minds, use "blades" of light to slice through anything and bounce blaster shots back at the attacker, and so forth? If Rod Serling were to appear in my office right now and send me to the Star Wars universe but gave me a choice of what to be, I know what I'd pick. Apparently, you did too.

I would suggest if someone wants to run a campaign from Episode III through Episode IV they will want to limit the number of Jedi, maybe even making that class completely off-limits, or else make being a Jedi such a pain in the you-know-what as to make them wish they didn't have Force abilities. I mean, what fun is being able to do a mind trick on someone if all it does is get you arrested, or being able to turn on your lightsaber merely gets Imperial Inquisitors sent to the area to investigate strange phenomena? It would be better to be a non-Force using class and avoid the hassle, right?

18 October 2002, 10:20 AM
In the Rebellion Era, force users are generally rare and underpowered (though I will make exceptions in extreme cases). However, I haven't run a game in that era in a number of years.

With other eras, the concentration of Force using PCs is usually larger than the galactic proportion anyway. In some cases, I run all Jedi games. When it's not a Jedi specific group, I usually just assume that Force sensitive characters are more likely to be thrown into being adventuring PCs (and then join the adventuring party). Like the Hobbits of Tolkien's books, they are destined to play a large role in the galaxy, regardless of whether they want to or not.

18 October 2002, 10:31 AM
I like to honor the intent of the films that Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi are the only surviving Jedi during the Galactic Civil War. Equally, all-Jedi campaigns are a natural choice during the Republic.

18 October 2002, 02:05 PM
I always try to limit the number of actual Jedi in my campaigns to one per group, as well as one Dark Jedi per campaign as well and rather have the characters as Force sensitives who have developed a couple of tricks (insight, perhaps some tk) than fully fledged Jedi Knights. As for the actual Jedi, they have to come up with a decent backstory to why the were not killed off during the purge, such as the Wookiee Jedi in my current campaign, who spent most of his time hiding on the rim, never using his Force abilities unless he had to, or use the failed Jedi background from the D6 system. Other than that, there's only one Jedi Knight (Luke) and absolutely no Jedi Masters running around the galaxy.

As for dark Jedi, I have the same story that I run in my campaigns, and only in games set after RotJ - a Force user has gone to the darkside (never, ever Sith,) joins the Empire and announces himself to the galaxy as Darth Vader - back after years of recovery. He is aided by a top stratigist, wears the armor, and uses the fact that Luke would not have told anyone save his closest friends the truth as a way to justify his exsistance. It actually makes a great story hook, especially if you introduce it early enough and have it grow in the background.

18 October 2002, 06:14 PM
We do an AU storyline.

Roughly 25 - 30 years after Endor, Luke's Jedi Acadamy has turned out many students. But, it seems there a few Jedi users overlooked by the Emperor's Purge, due to having been in suspended animation after having been...born.

Basically, as it is in our game, there are very few true Knights, and even fewer Masters. Most other Force users are just beginning to realize their power (i.e, 1d in their skills).

Out of over a hundred Force-users loose in our galaxy, only about a dozen are true Jedi/Sith. The rest are young apprentices, still learning about the Force.

18 October 2002, 06:49 PM
For 15 years I have played Star Wars, and it is only this year that I started playing force users. I think that the Scoundrel (aka Space Cowboy), and the Scout are far more appealing and versatile character types. Now we always used to play RebEra so we decided that Force use was nearly dead, and there were no teachers (and no holocrons) in the classic sense. The one force user in our campaign paid his dues for perhaps 20 adventures before I gave him teachers, and even then his time with them was limited. If he were ever to use the Force anywhere near and Imp, he was in deep pudu.

One of the things that I think is to blame is that WoTC has really put all the creativity in to force users. As an example: Ask most people what the two best sourcebooks so far have been and they will say DSSB and PoJ...and frankly so would I. Though it may be a case of chicken or the egg. Did WoTC's force slant make a gaggle of Forcies, or did a gaggle of Forcies (and their market clout) slant WoTC?

evan hansen
19 October 2002, 05:33 AM
Hmm. Interesting. Well, ultimately, you're the GM. Do what works for you and your players -- but don't forget that I said you *and* your players. If the GM is the only one in a group that doesn't want to have a lot of Force users, the GM might need to move a little bit towards the players on that. The best part of being a GM, to my mind, is crafting an experience that the players will enjoy.

I believe it was Jim Williams that noted that as long as a background is good, anything is possible. That's always been my take -- really on *everything* in a game. If the reasoning is good, why not allow it? For me, the most fun I ever have as a GM is when players make me adapt to unforseen or unusual circumstances or when they hand me unusual storyline material to work with. Sometimes, 8 well-vacationed Jedi who show up from the Unknown Regions after 30 years out there can be a good story element.

Choose what you will, but my advice to anyone who thinks they have too many Jedi would be to craft a storyline that fits with what your players want. Unless players are going to conflict with one another, I say just about anything goes!

(Then again, as a player, I was the one who *always* wanted to be a Jedi. Heh.)

20 October 2002, 08:56 AM
I've always considered every campaign takes place in an alternate reality from the one presented in the movies. How drastic depends on what you as the GM (or co-GM) are willing to do with it and how much alteration your players will accept before they say "that's stupid!"

Our current timeline includes uncovering more than a few new Force-user Orders, including a Chiss tradition and a pseudo-Jedi tradition in Wild Space (that I was just informed one of the players wants to jump into, so I'm busily creating a PrC for him). The heroes also discovered a Jedi Academy hidden in the Unknown Regions that was home to a splinter sect of the Old Jedi Order. This meant a rather large influx of Jedi Masters and Knights, as well as hundreds of new Padawan. In fact, it pretty much deflected the entire Yuuzhan Vong invasion because they participated in a strikeforce operation at Dantooine that thrashed the Yuuzhan Vong.

The Jedi Knights have been using the Force meld technique along with the classic EU Jedi, and as a result, the New Republic Fleets that accept Jedi aboard (contrary to Fey'lya's orders) have been systematically beating back the Yuuzhan Vong. Based on the success of the fleets using Jedi, the Senate voted no confidence in Borsk Fey'lya and the military has been opened to full cooperation with the New Jedi Order.

In short? There are about 250 Jedi Knights and 50 Masters wandering around our little piece of fantasy, and hundreds of non-Jedi Force-users as well, and it hasn't really hurt the integrity of the campaign.

The group is a fairly balanced mix (Human Jedi Investigator, Ewok Jedi Battlemaster, Human SpecOps Free Agent, Duros Combat Engineer, Wookiee HWE/Ex-Bounty Hunter and the Mon Calamari Dropzone Pilot) with only one new character coming in (the one who wants to play the Force Adept), the balance will remain pretty much half-and-half, which IMHO is pretty indicative of most NJO campaigns.

BTW, we've tried the all Jedi campaign. The complete lack of realistic opinion tends to get the group killed in a spectacular but messy way. If everyone in the group wants to be a Jedi, let them, but make sure they're all role-playing Jedi correctly. If they're smart and some choose to be non-Jedi Force-users, be evil and try to kill them off first. ;)

20 October 2002, 09:57 AM
only time jedi players put a screw job on ya is if you wanna run a rebellion era game. I am running a ROTE game where I ENCHOURAGE folks to play jedi

20 October 2002, 12:36 PM
One thing to remember, especially when running a rebellion/rise of the empire era, was the emperor's jedi hunters.
In the on going, sparks campaign, they have 4 levels of trouble...

FIrst time in a module (or for you gaming session), the player(s) roll above a 45 (which over the past 3 years has dropped to 40 then this year to 35) on ANY force use check (except lightsaber skill rolls/damage), they get Force vision #1.

Known By The Hunters: The first time a Force user rolls over 35 in any module, seminar or interactive they have attracted the attention of the Emperor’s Jedi Hunters. Also during the course of a module if the Emperor, Darth Vader or any Hunter gets a Force signature of the character by scanning them with Sense, they too will be Known by the Hunters. When a character becomes Known by the Hunters they see the following vision:

You see complete blackness. Then a distant pinprick of light pierces the veil and you begin to move towards the light. As you get closer you see that the light is shining from somewhere above down onto a figure kneeling with its head bowed clad in a black hooded robe. As you approach the figure looks up at you and says, “You too will join my master…. sooner or later”. A sudden chill shoots through your body as you are hurled back deep into darkness.

The second time in the SAME module (session) they get force encounter #1: The first roll of 40 in a module after a Force user is Known by the Hunters will give the Force user the following vision:

The Imperial Corvette continued on its mission. Jumping from one system to the next. The strange alien on the bridge would slip into meditation as they entered each system. Suddenly the alien looks up. “There is one here, move closer.”

The second roll over 35 will prompt the following encounter with the Imperial forces.

1 Stormtrooper Squad Leader –
1 Stormtrooper Heavy Weapons Specialist –
1 Stormtrooper Field Medic –
9 Stormtroopers –

After they have had Force encounter #1, any time there after, they roll above 35, they get force vision #2.

The Imperial Corvette assigned to the Crucible Sector was at last reinforced with a second Imperial Corvette. The pair compared notes and then once again moved from system to system looking for the rogue Force users. This went on for days then suddenly the alien Commander of the first ship calls the Commander of the second ship.
Commander #1 – “They are here, the ones I told you about.”
Commander #2 – “Yes…I feel them also. Don’t worry, I have foreseen our success.”
Commander #1 – “Yes… but the one that is with them can feel us. We must deploy the full force of this task force.”
Commander #2 – “Yes. Lord Vader will be most pleased at these new prizes.

If in THAT same module, they roll 35+ again, they get Force encounter #2.
2 Complete Stormtrooper Squads –
Use 2 of the 12 Trooper squads
7 Member Stormtrooper Heavy Weapon Squad – 2 heavy e-webs and a medium e-web
Kamino Forscan – Dark Jedi
CON 7D+1, SEN 8D+2, ALT 7D+2. Force Powers: accelerate healing, control pain, enhance attribute, resist stun, combat sense, danger sense, life detection, life sense, sense force, sense force potential, telekinesis, bolt of hatred, Lightsaber combat, farseeing, feed on dark side, inflict pain, affect mind, enhanced coordination, lesser force shield.

Ming Moonshadow – Dark Side Adept/Imperial Royal Guard
CON 5D+1, SEN 6D, ALT 5D+2.
Force Powers: accelerate healing, control pain, enhance attribute, resist stun, combat sense, danger sense, life detection, life sense, telekinesis, inflict pain, affect mind.

20 October 2002, 12:52 PM
I really like the idea of these force visions. Not sure I would use the encounters as they seem a bit rigid for me, but the idea of the encounters is really good. I think the the d6 35-40 roll could be translated to a 25-30 in D20.

21 October 2002, 06:41 AM
Those are some well thought out opinions on all sides, this is what i was wondering about.

in my campaign, i had 5 force users and 1 regular (with the death of the sith-warrior-in-training at the hands of a fallen jedi the mix was 4 and 3... we also got a new player).

I have been using a particular Inquisitor to hound the characters- in fact, they recently just escaped from his carefully laid out plan to entrap them. (High Inquisitor Vehlan also has his own band of force cronies, basically to mirror the group's makeup)

To give the Jedi challenges (and the Sith Acolyte-in-training) I wanted to have them meet their matches- in other hunted force users, some working for secretive corporations on the rim and others in the same boat as the heroes', but with different intents. A lot of these force users are not 'pure' force users, because Nobles multiclass well into dark side devotee, Soldiers into dark side marauder, etc.

I was just noticing overall, that my campaign, set in the Rebellion era, had a mess load of force NPCs. This is still before Episode IV, but in the campaign we are witnessing the exinction of the last fringe groups- including the characters

21 October 2002, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Ravager_of_worlds
here's kind of a dumb observation-
...considering that no jedi (aside from vader/palp and kenobi/yoda) exist after III.

I almost hate to ask this question, but think out of the box with me a second here.

How do you know this is true?
Because a character said it?
That does not make it true....
After all, Grand Moff tarkin, and Owen Lars said Obi won was dead.
Tarkin also said there were no jedi but vader, he was wrong.

The validity of any statment by a character is only accurate until such time as evidence to the contrary is produced. Ben thought Luke was their last hope. He was wrong, yoda said 'no, there is another" (referring to leia).

Timing is everything. If you only saw episode 4, the follwoing would be "true".
1 - Luke and leia might be a good couple, and are not related.
2 - Ben was the last jedi and he is dead.
3 - Lukes father is dead.
4 - Han will be fine with jabba, since he just got paid, and can go and pay him now.

Originally posted by Ravager_of_worlds

what this comes down to is this... how do GMs account for this profusion of forceusers in their game?

Lucas only showed what he needed to show for a story .
The heros in his story were luke and company....thus only events which made them more heroic were depicted.

There could be thousands of jedi out there hiding out, JUST LIKE BEN AND YODA...waiting for their chance to make a difference...waiting for THEIR heroes to come along....

NEVER sacrifice YOUR story (ie. campaign) due to a scripted line of dialogue in a movie.

Hey, what part dont you believe? That there are guys with light sabers, or that there are only one of them?


21 October 2002, 10:16 AM
I know that I read Ewok Jedi Battlemaster somewhere in this thread. That’s hysterical. I personally believe that All Ewoks must be force sensitive combat monsters, since they were able to beat a legion of the Emperor’s best men with sticks and rocks.
Back to the point of the thread…I believe that you find yourself running into a campaign with too many Jedi, then you need to be far more strict in the interpretation of the code. Sure Jedi get lots of cool powers, but the life of a Jedi is not an easy row to hoe. Lay down the old Jedi Law and you will see the less dedicated “Jedi” fall. Then they can be hunted by the true Jedi…excitement ensues.
Or if you find that everybody in your campaign wants to be a Sith, enforce the rule of two. Heck even if you don’t use the rule of two, the Sith knock each other off on a regular basis. Basically what I’m driving at is that if the characters of your game want the fantastic powers that come with being force sensitive, they will also have to deal with the fact that they will never again have a moments piece.

21 October 2002, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by Otonashi
I know that I read Ewok Jedi Battlemaster somewhere in this thread. That’s hysterical. I personally believe that All Ewoks must be force sensitive combat monsters, since they were able to beat a legion of the Emperor’s best men with sticks and rocks.

Oh, Yipcha (yes, his name is Yipcha...at least insofar as the other characters know) is quite the ferocious kneebiter, no doubt. ;) It's made even funnier in that he uses an amalgamation of a lightspear (toned down a bit for his size).

22 October 2002, 06:55 AM
I almost hate to ask this question, but think out of the box with me a second here.

How do you know this is true?
Because a character said it?
That does not make it true.... loudanddeep

One of the quandaries is this though- we have a box. It's Star Wars- it is a fairly well defined genre and the people at Lucasfilm and WotC are trying to set up a few base rules.

I totally understand the creative license of GMs- I used to create total worlds and universes for my groups... but I found it more of a challenge to have the same entertainment quality while restricting oneself to a set stage.

I'll take for granted that your post wasn't in a derogatory tone, though some could. Please accept that this and all posts I have is in simple search of a truth. I've found an initial way to balance the idea that force users are;
A ) Valuable, rare and precious and
B ) Everyone seems to want to play a force user

However, I was wondering what other people had done in their games. I don't agree with the semantic "Rule of Two" since anyone can easily find a way around that. But one should also remember what a purge is- if we only irradicated 1/2 of all Small Pox (which is a great PR move for the Emperor- equate the Jedi with a plague), then it isn't a purge. I was looking at other ways to balance out the above presuppositions (A & B ) because I still don't feel my campaign is where I want it to be... I've lucked out that the new player wanted to do something different than Force User-- but that's still asking for chance...

Another rule I thought of was- Any force user that starts out in my games automatically will start at Level 1, no matter what the others are. I think I'll use it.

22 October 2002, 07:54 AM
Well, the Emperor eliminated Jedi, of whom there were some 10,000. We can probably safely say he missed about 10 of them (give or take). But from there on out...what about non-Jedi Force-user orders? The Emperor left the entire world of Dathomir unmolest. In fact, he removed his forces from Dathomir when he found out Dark Side Force users existed there. I think this speaks a bit to the idea that the Emperor didn't run around killing off every, single Force-user and Force-using Order.

Luke Skywalker draws on a rather odd band of people to become the new Jedi Knights. We've got a surviving Old Republic Jedi Knight who fell to the Dark Side, a Bardess with minor Force potential...so little, in fact, it's unlikely she would have been chosen as a Padawan in the Old Republic, a former law enforcement agent and detective, a Jedi Knight's ancestor from a distant colony world, an Imperial officer and a genetically imperfect clone.

You're talking about the literal needles in the haystack for Luke Skywalker's first students...but they're there. After that, the Force begins to proliferate again and Force-sensitive children aren't immediately swooped up by Palpatine's Dark Jedi at the behest of the Prophets of the Dark Side.

Most if not all of the Jedi Knights we've been made familiar with are imperfect in a very strong way. Most of them were exceptional to the point the Emperor wouldn't even think about looking for them. If the character is not exceptional, don't let them take the Force-Sensitive feat. Making Force-Sensitivity a reward for good role-playing and an interesting character is probably the best way to keep a cap on the number of Jedi you would have to deal with at any particular moment.

Also keep in mind, Ravager, everyone's idea of what's canon is different. I tend to view everything published by a licensee of Lucasfilm Ltd as canon, but will make differentation between the movies and EU for the sake of outside observers.

Lord Diggori
22 October 2002, 01:43 PM
When I ran in the Rebellion era I simply refused any Jedi in my group, only Force Adepts or Sensitives where allowed. When my players questioned me on this I told them that if they wanted to be Jedi that they would have to remain extremely low-key or the Empire would bring the purge to them.

Also, whom would train them? I have a standing house rule that padawans must have regular contact with a master or they won't level in a Jedi class. Plus who likes being bossed around by NPC's.

This was reasonable and they didn't want that kind of campaign so only two of the five chose to be Force users, none Jedi.

After they blew themselves up in a hyperdrive accident and we started a new campaign, most wanted to be Jedi. I set the new camapign pre-Ep. I so they could do this without restriction. Then they learned how strict I am on Jedi and most sought new characters of other classes, retiring or loosing the originals.

So how do I limit Jedi:
1. Setting
2. Circumstance
3. Standards to live up to