You'll poke your eye out with that thing....

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
April 29, 2008 - 10:03am
Recently we had players that really like the Star Wars universe. When questioned why it wasn't the setting or rule-set as much as, "I want a lightsaber and the ability to use force powers".

If anyone has run across this what are some ways:

1. You have integrated these concepts into Star Frontiers.
2. You have an idea how to integrated these concepts with Star Frontiers.

Yes, there is a test at the end of the this chapter.
Sealed
Comments:

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
April 29, 2008 - 10:07am
Lightsabers - cool.  Um, sonic sword anyone?

Force - lame and probably will spiral into something retardedly too powerful.  (IE Mentalists - vomit!)

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 29, 2008 - 10:10am
Imperial Lord wrote:
Lightsabers - cool. Um, sonic sword anyone?

Force - lame and probably will spiral into something retardedly too powerful. (IE Mentalists - vomit!)

Are you saying that as a GM you would not allow Players to use these (or offer an alterative)? Might have to bend a little to get Players involved.

Bill mentioned the sonic sword as well. Excellent suggestions. Lightsabers give off to much light. You can see a Jedi on the moon from your back yard.
Laughing

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 29, 2008 - 10:30am
Shadow Shack uses the Proton Sword which I think comes from a Dragon magazine article in lieu of the light saber.  It's basically a sonic sword that glows but is defended against using a gauss screen instead of a sonic screen.  If you want to see a Star Wars-esque Star Frontiers campaign, check out his Dominion game at http://www.mfbb.net/starfrontiers. (I'm playing the Han Solo equivilent character)
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
April 29, 2008 - 10:31am

I would be happy for someone to propose a lightsaber - straight out of the movie - and slam it into the next Star Frontiersman issue.  And if it is balanced I would be happy to include it in my campaigns.  No problem.

But no Force.  I don't feel like writing a whole book of rules to govern this totally open-to-interpretation concept.

I like Han Solo's reaction in the first Star Wars (note that I did not say 4th) when Obi and Luke were running around with their feelings on the Falcon.  "You can talk about hocus-pocus all you want, nothing beats a good blaster, kid."  Or something to that effect.


If you want mental crap then play Star Trek and quiver with the Betazeds.


Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
April 29, 2008 - 10:35am
"Light Sabers and The Force are trademarked by Lucasfilms/Lucasarts/??? therfor they cant be utalized by the Star Frontiers universe/denziens." That would be my smarty-pants, lawery-type reply. Smile Or "And I want a player that can come up with original character concepts, other than Dark-Jedi Jawas." Depending on who I was talking to.

I try to point out the Sonic Sword/knife and the Force Axe from Zebs.  Then tell the players about the Mentalist and how it needs to be refined a bit before we can use it.


 
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
April 29, 2008 - 10:45am
Well Rum, we are not selling plastic light sabers, we're just using them imaginatively in a "private, non-commercial use."  Lucas will have to deal with that.  Of course, Lucas will probably send Darth Maul to enforce the copyright and I will kick Maul's azz, because he is LAME.  Then I will take my legal light saber and kill Jar-Jar.

But I will NEVER run a campaign with mental powers in any form.  In fact, I remember the fact that it was missing from SF was one of the many reasons why I liked the game.



Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
April 29, 2008 - 11:06am
Imperial Lord wrote:
Well Rum, we are not selling plastic light sabers, we're just using them imaginatively in a "private, non-commercial use."  Lucas will have to deal with that.  Of course, Lucas will probably send Darth Maul to enforce the copyright and I will kick Maul's azz, because he is LAME.  Then I will take my legal light saber and kill Jar-Jar.

Lol. Nice.  I agree.

Imperial Lord wrote:

But I will NEVER run a campaign with mental powers in any form.  In fact, I remember the fact that it was missing from SF was one of the many reasons why I liked the game.


The few times I have used Mentalists in SF, it seemed to throw things out of whack.  That is why I tell my players that it needs refined. I just dont tell them I have not done any refining.

I dont know how hard-core Lucas is anymore, but in the late 90's I was on the RIFTS mailing list, and when some people started posting Star Wars conversions, Lucas's lawyers contacted Palladium Books and said get this stopped and removed or else.  It was a private mail list that Paladium did not run, but their people would make contributions to it. Might want to be cautious concerning SW conversions for publishing.

Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

umungus's picture
umungus
April 29, 2008 - 1:36pm
I would just make up a light saber. Have the bonus and damage similar to a sonic sword. Then for the force rules you could use mental mutations out of the Gamma Dawn rules. The are many mental mutations that are Jedi like. Then the player could develop them as they get more experience points. After all the Jedi are born with the abilities and have to develop them. Much like an inherent mutation. sound good?

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 29, 2008 - 2:05pm
umungus - what about alien artifacts the Players find that give them special abilities? I'm gonna ask Bill if in our next sitting I can try his Mentalist PSA. Just to see how it plays.

:-)

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 29, 2008 - 4:05pm
  I have used Mentalists before and I do not even fret about the game being over balanced. I make sure that the player knows that this is a powerful PSA. That is why there is Psi-corp to keep Mentalists in line. And to make it less unbalanced I allow other players to have Enlightened Characters. It went over so well and balanced out when I introduced them to Augments. Once they found out how an augment works they stayed put. I also let them know about the registration of their character to Psi-corp and the things that could happen if they are found out.

   An Augment is a profesional cybernetic hybred that uses cyberntics to mimic feats of magic, mentalist powes, and general mayhem. They can be jammed I know but there is away around that too. In my games Mentalists can be jammed to a very short range or limited power to their mental ability.

  I also have another profesion of Mentalist hunters. Try that on for size.Cool

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 29, 2008 - 4:16pm
  Oh yes, I forgot about the Mentalist null character.

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
April 29, 2008 - 4:44pm
Honestly, if I get the urge to play a force user, then I would not play SF - I would pick up my SW d6 or SW d20 games to play.  Why reinvent the mechanics for SF?

Now on the topic of Mentallists, I would love to have the general concept redesigned from the ground up.  Eliminate the PSA aspect of it altogether, and make it more of a single (very costly from a XP standpoint) latent ability that a character could develop... something more akin to a random power like the Gamma Dawn rules list... but the powers would need to be much more mundane.  A character might be mildly telepathic, or having a small amount of precog powers, or a somewhat useful pyrochinetic ability... not a host of powers with exceedingly strong effects.
<insert witty comment here>

umungus's picture
umungus
April 29, 2008 - 5:18pm
w00t wrote:
umungus - what about alien artifacts the Players find that give them special abilities? I'm gonna ask Bill if in our next sitting I can try his Mentalist PSA. Just to see how it plays.

:-)


That is the campaign I just ran. The characters were travelling throughout the frontier to find alien artifacts. each of them had a different effect. One would cause mental mutations. One would cause physical mutations. One would affect power sources, power packs, parabatteries electronics.
The characters all acquired mental mutations from the campaign.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 29, 2008 - 6:15pm
  I ran a Mentalist only campaign that turned out great, Had them running from their own shadows. I also made tons of mentalist only equipment. And, I expanded the Mentalist disciplines to include over a hundred more abiliies and sub abilities. To enter a Mentalist's abode is suicide even for a mentalist. Never go alone even as Star Law Psi-corp. You guys are missing all the fun. Who wouldn't want to have a teleport chase around a moon. They just couldn't out run the Star lawman's chronocomp(more advanced the the chronocom). Neat little toy I have. You just can't outrun it on a high tech world.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 29, 2008 - 7:03pm
Gilbert wrote:
I also made tons of mentalist only equipment.


Do tell! :-)

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 29, 2008 - 7:33pm
  The key here is the metalist switch level 3 device. A normal light switch would be level 1. A mentalist switch is invisble to a normal character. It is also a level 4 lock with special equipment for you normals out there, otherwise, good luck on finding it and tripping it. A mental switch can be put anywhere the mentalist desires and can operate any device he/she desires to turn on or off.
  A level higher devices can be used as combination locks or multiple switch banks for many devices. A level 4 device would have 2 to 5 switches. As is, it is a level 5 lock as a combination lock it becomes a level 6. The device level reflect the level the Mentalist should be at to use it. A level 5 device is a panel of them 10 to 20. Level 6 can have many more some as many as 50 is not unusual. They are small then a dime for size. An example of use and try to use this one as a normal, A grenade with this device in it. Pull the pin then throw it? This is only the basics and the core of mentalist equipment.
  NOTE: All items I consider to be black market items. Not something you go down to the local Techno shack and grab one. Although you could fashion one from common material. Do not let anyone know you have this skill.

CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
April 29, 2008 - 7:46pm
Mentalist characters can quickly become the focus of a campaign if you include them in your games.  They aren't necessarily unbalanced though... because they often can only do things that other characters can do with certain gear, certain skills, or certain types of actions.  THey become the focus because of the focus YOU put on them, as a Referee. 
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack


Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 29, 2008 - 7:52pm
  Yes, you are correct about that. However, the group wanted to see how dangerous it would be to run nothing but mentalists. And, I have never lost grips with any of my campaigns, never. When I was done the mentalists became a second hand character. My game actually always gets focused around my battle armor.

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 30, 2008 - 9:49am

I think the mentalist concept would be a lot more useful if we took a page from Firefly/Serenity and developed character attributes like River Tam (Maybe without the psychosis or maybe with). A mentalist would be very useful with reasonable ESP, precognition ability (maybe gives the character an automatic initiative bonus in combat), reasonable telekinetics - like push a door handle or move a small object but would have severe stamina penalties for the amount of concentration required to accomplish this act. Subjects using telekinetics may even absorb physical damage as in one HP per attempt due to the strain to the attempt. Cybernetic implants and amplifying devices sould negate this effect and greatly amplify the attempts sucess. However I think that defying the laws of physics and fishing a spacefighter out of a swamp or lifting a ground car would be absolutely out of the question. But opening a locked door, knocking a weapon from someones hand/pulling a weapon to the PC's hand, lifting a lite object may have some merit worth exploring. Unless you want to get into supernatural themes in the game (Which I most certainly do not) Clarivoyance and Clariaudience are kind of pointless skills. Using Clarivoyance to "read minds" or ease-drop on mental conversations is sketchy at best. I would go the route of premonition - the character has a feeling about what is going on or gets a image in his/her head or maybe a dream about what will happen (That could make for a fun plot device if you use cryo-statis type of technology) Anyway I agree that the current system needs a re-write and that Force powers are way too open-ended or powerful for this game as they are proposed in the Star Wars sense.


AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
April 30, 2008 - 10:15am
Not to mention I think that the original trilogy's approach to the force as physical manifestations of the unified universal energy field was a heck of a lot more plausible then this mumbo jumbo about medi-chlorians (or however you say that hogwash). What was Lucas smoking, if the medi-whatchamajigs were sentient but symbiotic micro-scopic entities then what would happen if they developed their own will and decided to go on strike. Darth MooMoo approaches the apprentice Jedi bent on unleashing a deadly Sith energy attack.....dice roll please.....when there is a catastrophic force check roll and the medi-chori..thingamawhatits all decided that they really liked the noble Jedi and being tired of their evil masters self-destructive ways decided to do nothing. Save versus laziness. And the nobel jedi kicks evil Darth Moo Moos butt by force pushing him off the catwalk to his death (funny how those catwalks are always in the right place at the right time with minimal protective railing....hmm I think some one should call OSHA to visit IL&M and inspect those catwalks immediately)Laughing As a Sci-fi movie fan of course I like Star Wars and can suspend my disbelief for two hours to enjoy a great story. However, were talking about a RPG where reasonable rule systems are in place to simulate events so that players can have an enjoyable time playing the game. I don't think a reasonably playable rules simulation has yet to be proposed that adequettely would describe force powers. Anyway thats another game, its called Star Wars RPG and it's not what I do...lol. I never cared for movie based or media based RPG because it requires you to operate within the assumed world created by the movies/media and kind of leaves the ref and gamer limited to what kind of things they can invent for their game. For instance Star Trek, I do enjoy some of the movies and a lot of the TV, but as a role playing game it was awful because you were pigeon holed into the Star Trek universe and bound by the already established concepts of this fictional reality. (Especially in ST, ever tried to convice a trekkie that his equipment/weapon didn't work a certain way and all the sudden they whip out their encyclopedia of Trek tech quote chap, vers, and episode as to why it did and why it will.....ackkkkkkkk. And then the ref declares that the unfortunate event of a Doomsday planet eater appears out of warp and eats the players world then self-destructs out of guilt causing a subspace rift that "supernovas" the Known universe...game over, lets have some pizza and put something in the DVD player to watch.Foot in mouthLaughing

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 30, 2008 - 10:20am
Has anyone read the Mentalist PSA in the back of the AD Remastered book?
Bill and I play-tested last night using his proposed damage system and skill system. I played a cinematic martial artist while Bill played a mentalist. Good times -- although Bill only used his healing ability after taking massive amounts of damage from a tunnel fan that backfired on us.
Here is my character (still adding info).
Gok Hargut

Basic Information

Race:
Yazirian
Gender:
Male
Age:
28years
Handedness:
Right
Height:
1.8
Weight:
48

Ability Scores

STR/STA:
50/60
DEX/RS:
75/55
INT/LOG:
50/55
PER/LDR:
45/45
Initiative Modifier:
+6
Punching Score:
+3
Ranged Weapons:
38%
Melee Weapons:
37%

Movement

Walking: 10 m/turn
Running: 30 m/turn
Hourly: 4 kph

Racial Abilities

Battle Rage:5%.
Night Vision: But -15 to all actions in full light.
Gliding: Can glide 1m forward for each 1m dropped.

Skills

Primary Skill Area:
Military
Projectile Weapons:
Level 2
Computers:
Level 1
Robotics:
Level 1

Background

Gok lost his family when he was very young so he took the name of the planet he was found on, Hargut. Gok hails from the Barakha clan. Barakha's are of stocky build and are proud hard workers. Because of this there is no penatly to STR/STA.

Equipment

Clothing / Eyewear
Coveralls, inside pouch has a Pocket Flashlight/Tool
Advanced Chronochom on left wrist
Toxy-Rad Gauge strapped to left shoulder area
Sungoggles / Magnigoggles / IR Goggles around neck
Gas Mask, left leg pouch

Backpack
  • First Aid - Styadose/Stimdoes
  • ID Card
  • Rations, water and vitasalt (x5)
  • Everflame x2
  • Timer (x2)
  • TD-19 (x2)
  • Holoflare x5
  • Rope
WEAPONS
Sonic Sword +6; 53%; S:6d10; ROF:2; 20SUE, 2/hit

Auto Pistol
 - single shot  +6; 58%; I:2d10; ROF:3; 20, 1/hit
 - burst fire +6; 78%; I:5d10; ROF:1; 20, 5/hit

DEFENESE
Skeinsuit 50

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
April 30, 2008 - 10:44am

Once again, I have to swim upstream here...

The mysticism of mentalism does not fit with the gritty "feel" of Star Frontiers.  Additionally, I see oceans of possibilities for abuse.  Plus, mentalism trivializes the Vrusk Comprehension and Dralasite Lie Detection skills - why spend XP on these when you can just have your well-chested Deanna Troi "feel" her way through the NPC conversations?

As Smoot said, why not just play Star Wars?  I am sure they have a cute Force system up in there, with all sorts of Yoda opportunities.  Have at it. 

I would say that mentalism should stay in the realm of optional rules.  Very optional...


Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 30, 2008 - 2:19pm
  OK, end of Mentalist....... No one likes so why go on with it. I do not have time to get you to even try a scenario. You are so bent that anything to do with powers of the mind is instantly a Jedi Knight. Star Wars is good entertainment but not any good as an RPG. I wouldn't care for it anyway. The Mentalist is a good class, but you have to be open to it and closed to Star Warsian attitude.

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 30, 2008 - 2:31pm
  No, I changed my mind. You guys need to watch "Attack of the Clones" a little closer. When the empire won the insueing war the emporer ordered the trade federation to turn off ALL battledroids because the Jedi and the sith are powerless to them enmass. So, jedi are not all powerful. In a properly made scenario a Mentalist is never as powerful as he wants to be. If he does try he will be an outlaw being sought out by someone more powerful.....Star Law Psi-corp. Or, just about any of the denizens that look more at the Mentalist as A "witch". Witch hunt anyone? The mentalist is a powerful class to a point and if you cross that point you will most likely be hunted down and eradicated.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 30, 2008 - 3:16pm
Quote:
(snip) so bent that anything to do with powers of the mind is instantly a Jedi Knight.


I started the thread mentioning SW and force but I agree with Gilbert, it seems any time you mention "mental" and "power" it automatically assumed "Jedi" - but they don't have mental power right?

Just off the top of my head:

Sathar - Hypnotic
Ul-Mor - Mind link

I'm sure there are more.

Will's picture
Will
April 30, 2008 - 3:18pm
Imperial Lord wrote:

I would be happy for someone to propose a lightsaber - straight out of the movie - and slam it into the next Star Frontiersman issue.  And if it is balanced I would be happy to include it in my campaigns.  No problem.

But no Force.  I don't feel like writing a whole book of rules to govern this totally open-to-interpretation concept.

I like Han Solo's reaction in the first Star Wars (note that I did not say 4th) when Obi and Luke were running around with their feelings on the Falcon.  "You can talk about hocus-pocus all you want, nothing beats a good blaster, kid."  Or something to that effect.


If you want mental crap then play Star Trek and quiver with the Betazeds.



"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side."

Han Solo to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars 

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
April 30, 2008 - 3:29pm
  When Darth Vader removed his blaster from his hand with mental powers sure made him look silly. Anyway, if you read the Mentilist section and play the part of detective and you are looking for a Mentalist pick the disciplines that you would use. Here I call it Mental Forensics the actual eveidence that is left behind by the use of mentalist powers. Even without the mentalist powers I can use the technology to be able to make them think I am a mentalist.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
April 30, 2008 - 6:46pm
w00t wrote:
Quote:
(snip) so bent that anything to do with powers of the mind is instantly a Jedi Knight.

I started the thread mentioning SW and force but I agree with Gilbert, it seems any time you mention "mental" and "power" it automatically assumed "Jedi" - but they don't have mental power right?

Just off the top of my head:
Sathar - Hypnotic
Ul-Mor - Mind link

You did kinda tie the two together at the start of the thread. 
Tis either fortunate or unfortunate that in order for people to understand "mental powers" Star Wars has to be referenced the majority of the time. That is not a slam, its just an observation.  Most nongamers have to have some point of reference and SW is well known.

At least with the Ul-Mor, there has to be a physicall connection for it to work.
And the Eorna seem to have some mental abilities as well.
Now I am wondering what the Sather Psionic Pragram may be like...Smile
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
April 30, 2008 - 9:10pm
I like having some element of the unknown in my sci fi - whether it be a new world or species ready to be discovered, or a special "mental" ability possessed by a specific race.  I generally don't allow mentalist PCs in my games... even in the short gaming session I played with w00t yesterday, I made the Mentalist character an NPC that went along with his main character.  The only thing is, if you add them, you almost have to develop mentalist aspects to your setting.  If mentalists exist who can telekinetically move things around, every store owner is going to lock up all his merchendise to prevent you grabbing stuff off the shelf 20 meters away while he's not looking.  Diplomats are going to emply mentalists to accompany them, to help defend against dominion of the mental sort... etc.  Then you'd have to investigate the military and religious aspects of it... are mentalists seen as clergy, as witches, as agents of a megacorp... lots of ideas come to mind.  My point is simple: if you add them to you game, it's more work than letting someone pick "beam weapons" as a skill, ya know?  But they're not overpowered or disbalancing, not at all.

If you're concerned about the "feel" of the game, don't be.  Everyone has their own feel, their own flavor.  That's one thing I love about Star Frontiers.  It's setting is so light that you can tinker with it easily to mix to suit your tastes.

MANY sci-fi movies and books have some level of supernatural powers.  Vulcans, Romulans, etc. (Star Trek), Elementals, Necromongers, etc. (Riddick), The One (Jet Li movie), Starship Troopers, um... there are MANY more.  Having a "Star Wars" feel to your game DOES make it differ from campaigns that loathe the concept of mental powers... but it doesn't make it WRONG.  It's your game, play it how you want: then tell me about your sitting cuz I get ideas that way!!! :-)
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack


Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
April 30, 2008 - 11:08pm
Yes Will, thanks for the verbatim Han.

Bill makes some excellent points there with the everyday life stuff.

Having said all this, I would love to see a playtest.  See if it does not blow out the game and see if it is cool.  I'm not completely closed minded to it.  I would just like to see some evidence, is all.