Tuesday, February 23, 2010

D20 Star Wars Combat (Part 2)

Continued from HERE.

JB: Roll that initiative! [Lee rolls 9+21=30; Evan rolls 2+8-All = 0; Chris rolls 20+10-1=29!] Declarations?

Chris: Argh! Just realized my Shake It Off! feat allows me to recover conditions in two swift actions instead of three!

JB: Okay, well, we’re not going “back in time” now, but you would have been fully recovered without expending any actions this round, so now your Initiative is at 30 just like Lee. What are you going to do?

Chris: What is HE going to do?

Lee: Actually what is OBI-WAN going to do?

Evan: Obi-Wan would LIKE to attempt to stay conscious maybe using an Endurance check?

JB: Hmm…there’s no such thing as “Endure Pain.” Sure, go ahead…you won’t be able to move or take more than one swift action per turn and it’s a DC 30 check; otherwise, you’re unconscious.

Lee: Can I still do a coup de grace?

JB: Yes, of course…he just gets to be awake for it.

Lee: Excellent!

Evan: Hey!

Chris: In that case, I am going to use a Force point to Block his attack. After taking a move action to get adjacent to him of course.

Lee: Good luck. That’s an automatic Critical correct?

JB: Yes. Anakin will need to get a Crit to block.

Chris: I’ll spend a Destiny point.

JB: Um…you can’t spend a Destiny point till you’ve chosen a new Destiny. Remember? You just completed the “rescue your mother” Destiny.

Chris: Oh, I’ve got a new Destiny, all right. My character is destined to destroy Count Dooku!

Evan: All right!

Lee: Oh, crap!

JB: All right, you block the coup de grace. Are you making an attack with your standard action?

Chris: You bet! [rolls 16+10=26] Crap…I am never going to get through that 33 Reflex save of his.

Evan: You just need to roll a Critical 20!

Lee (*snarling*): Aren’t you supposed to be unconscious?

Evan: Oh, right, I need to make an Endurance roll to stay conscious [roll 11+11=22]. Guess I’ll spend a Force point to stay awake [rolls, adds +11=33]. There you go! As my swift action, I’ll toss my lightsaber to Anakin…at least that way you’ll have twice the chance to hit and Crit!

Chris: Right on!

JB: Everyone roll Initiative again. [Lee rolls a 20+21=41; Chris rolls a 17+10=27] Intentions? Evan, you go last regardless.

Evan: Got nothing to do this turn save whimper anyway.

Chris: I’m whacking away!

Lee: Swift action for Makashi, and attacking!

JB: Go ahead and roll. [Lee rolls 4+19=23; not enough to penetrate Anakin’s Reflex defense of 24].

Chris: My turn [rolls an 8 and a 20!] Right on! That’s a Crit!

Lee: I’ll Block as a reaction. [rolls 11+21=32 as a Use the Force roll. Anakin’s Critical is equal to a roll of 20+10=30, so the Block stops the Critical]. All right this is ridiculous.

JB: Initiative again [Lee rolls 11+21=33; Chris rolls 14+10= 24]. And…?

Chris: Whacking away!

Lee: I’m going to go two-handed and attack one of his sabers, attempting to destroy or disable it. [rolls 7+19=26] I’ll use a Force point to drive that up [rolls 3D6 as a 16th level character and gets an 11 increasing the total to 37, enough to hit it]. My damage roll is [rolls] 24…more than enough to destroy the weapon.

Chris: Trying again, two-handed now [rolls 17+10=27]. I’ll use a Force point and add [rolls 2D6 as a 9th level character] six to the roll…a 33 total.

JB: That equals your Reflex defense without Makashi, Lee. Are you blocking?

Lee: Better believe it [rolls 18+21=39]. Time to finish this whippersnapper.

JB: Roll Initiative. [Lee rolls a 5+21=26; Chris gets a 17+10=27]. Wow.

Chris: Finally!

Lee: (*…*)

JB: Your move Chris.

Chris: I beat him two-handed with a flurry of Rapid Strikes…and I’ll tell you right now I’m using a Force point [rolls 19+10=29 +6 (Force bonus) = 35 -2 (for Rapid Strike) = 33! A hit!]. Nice!

Lee: I’ll Block as a reaction [rolls 18+21=39]. My turn [rolls 19+19=38]; my mastery of Vaapad makes that 19 a critical. Damage is [rolls 9+16] 25 multiplied by three for my Triple Crit feat means you’re taking 75 points of damage.

Chris: Well, I can still spend a Destiny point to avoid the attack!

Lee: Chris, I’ve got more Destiny points than you. If you want to trade critical back and forth, your character will die. I’ll make you a deal: I’ll take the damage down to 37 using Severing Strike and you’ll lose an arm, but I’ll let you live. The Separatists needs strong young Jedi that aren’t afraid to dabble in the Dark Side of the Force.

Chris: Fine. Don’t forget my new Destiny, though.

Lee: Oh, I won’t, don’t you worry. And after taking his right arm, I am going to spend a Force point to activate a Quickened Force Slam as a swift action.

Chris: Hey!

Lee: Quit whining; your character’s still conscious! [rolls: 8+21=29, well-exceeding Anakin’s Fortitude defense]. You take [rolls 4D6] 18 points of damage, dropping you below 0. But 18 doesn’t exceed you Damage Threshold, right?

Chris: No, I’m just knocked out.

Lee: I try to land his unconscious body on top of Obi-Wan’s…those two are so inseparable!

JB: Okay, done. So…Obi-Wan and Anakin are both down for the count, Dooku’s ship is ready for departure, and let’s see what the final Force tally was: hmm, you guys really did go for broke! Dooku’s down to 9, Obi-Wan 5, and Anakin has 1 left!

Anakin: Thought I might need it to save my life. I made a deal with the devil.

JB: Oh, there’s always cybernetic replacements.

Lee: So am I out of here or what?

JB: Well, there is just one little thing more…make a Perception check....

; )

***NOTES: This was a good learning exercise. Folks familiar with Episode II will certainly remember the scene recreated here. However, it required me to make creative interpretations to figure out how to use the rules as written to model the cinematic scenario.

One thing it helped me see are alternatives of character creation. I should note that almost every roll above was actually rolled...the decisions made regarding what actions to take were structured by the sequence of the film, but the dice played out well, especially with the uses of Force and Destiny points. However, I see now that some of my assumptions about certain feat or talent combos are unnecessary in light of the game mechanics.

For example, giving Dooku "wicked strike" is completely unnecessary...he's able to take Obi-Wan out simply by reducing his hit points withOUT lopping off limbs. Even the "triple crit" is unnecessary if Anakin has fewer hit points to start the encounter...the damage assigned the characters at the beginning of the combat was totally arbitrary, not based on watching the arena battle on film.

Likewise, there's no reason for Anakin to have the "dual weapon mastery" feat for a single encounter, in which he's definitely NOT a master. It's useful to have as many attacks as possible when you don't normally have a "double" attack...basically, whenever you're relying on wild luck to hit your much more adept opponent, you want to throw as many attacks as possible out there to see what you can roll.

Lastly, I'd just like to note this combat write-up was almost six pages long. In screenplay writing, one page of text equates to one minute on screen. I don't know how it would work out in role-playing. Assuming ALL the players were on the ball, knew the rules, and were able to contribute to the encounter (withOUT too much "search & handling time") D20 Star Wars has the potential to be a pretty quick moving game, at least in encounters including only a couple/three individuals. Against more? Well, that remains to be seen.***


  1. Also, it was a better script than the one Lucas wrote. ;)

  2. I 1) don't care much for SW, 2) care even less for SW RPGs. Still I've found this whole series fascinating reading. Thanks for all the effort, insight and humor!

  3. Thanks for the post! While I generally like Star Wars as an IP, the D20 system as of 3.x has been a pretty big turn off for me, though you guys certainly made it look pretty fun.

    Now, maybe with the old d6 version of Star Wars...