CHAPTER 3: PLAYING THE GAME
Most of the game play information from Chapter 3 of the X-Plorers rulebook is unchanged in KWN, except as noted below:
Gaining Experience (XP)
As per the standard rules, characters earn 100 XP for each game session attended and a variable amount of XP for defeating hostile NPCs based on the degree of danger posed by the antagonist. Star Knights that can find a non-violent means of overcoming an enemy should receive DOUBLE the normal XP for the effort.
Heroic Star Knights should always act in preservation of life whenever possible. PCs who routinely mete out death and destruction as a method of expedience should receive a -10% penalty on earned XP in a game session, while those who go out of their way to defend the defenseless (to their own cost or detriment) should receive a +10% bonus.
NOTE: True minions of evil, like SHADOW LORDS and soldiers of the KLOANE EMPIRE, can be freely treated with extreme prejudice by all upright Star Knights, as their very existence poses a serious threat to the Galactic Republic by virtue of their twisted beliefs and cruelty.
Some guidelines for “mission XP” in KWN is given in Chapter 5 of this book.
As explained Chapter 1 some PCs will achieve milestones of character development in the course of play, and by doing so earn an automatic “level up.” Milestones represent the dramatic “high point” events that occur in a hero’s career that help shape her self-identity and boost self-confidence: two things measured in part by a character’s level of experience. In general, for an event to be a milestone it should have most (if not all) of the following qualities:
- Should be an operation of player choice, rather than dice roll.
- Represent a momentous accomplishment or singular event.
- Involve danger, suffering, or self-sacrifice to achieve.
- Culminate over multiple game sessions in purposeful fashion.
Below is a list of potential milestones; individual Referees may add to this list as they like:
Advancement: character meets the requirement to advance to the next tier of development. Psychics can earn this milestone twice: once upon reaching the second tier (adept) and once upon reaching the third tier (master).
Coronation: character is granted and accepts responsibility for some great leadership position; this could be accepting a hereditary title or being granted a great generalship or becoming the elected rule of a planet.
Corruption: character becomes psychically corrupted and/or joins the Shadow Lords. For non-psychic characters, this could indicate some sort of substantial betrayal of the Galactic Republic and all that is right and good. Usually, corruption results in the PC becoming an NPC, unless the Referee wants a darker tone to the campaign.
Dream Fulfillment: character fulfills a lifelong dream, usually discussed with the Referee beforehand. This could be to own one’s own starship, or free the slaves on their home planet, or find the character’s long-lost brother, or any number of personal goals.
Great Renown: character accomplishes some heroic task so noteworthy that her name is known and discussed throughout the galaxy.
Marriage: the character consummates a grand romance by becoming permanently joined in wedded bliss with her True Love.
Near Death Experience: the character survives a horrible event that should otherwise have killed her, perhaps requiring extensive cybernetic reconstruction or leaving permanent mental and physical scarring.
Redemption: a corrupted character or villain thought irredeemable “returns to the light,” performing some sort of heroic or self-sacrificing act that forever entrenches her in the ranks of the heroes. Unfortunately, such atonement usually carries a heavy price (including the character’s death).
Vengeance: character achieves some sort of dark revenge long sought for a real or imagined slight. While this seems to echo the Dream Fulfillment milestone, vengeance has a much more negative connotation, can be motivated by events in play (dreams are usually with a character from youth), and often involves the acquisition of corruption points.
Wisdom of Years: character reaches a ripe old age and has matured and gained knowledge in part by out-living her rivals. Old characters suffer a -2 penalty to any PHY or AGI skills and saving throws and subtracts 1 hit point from each Hit Die rolled (minimum 1).
No milestone may be achieved more than once (except as noted with regard to Advancement in tier); a character derives no benefit from being married more than once, for example. No more than one milestone may be earned in a single game session; no character may advance more than one level after a single game session. When a milestone is earned, the character begins the next game session with the exact XP needed to achieve the new level, regardless of the amount of XP previously earned.
Some milestones may carry additional benefits and/or hindrances. A character that achieves the Coronation milestone may have access to additional resources (bonuses to credit checks!) but has additional obligations as well. A character who has achieved Great Renown for acts against the Kloane Empire may get a friendly reaction from loyal members of the Republic but have bounty hunters searching to bring her down.
In intense or combat situations, the KWN “round” is considered to be 10 seconds long, not 3 seconds as stated in the X-Plorers book. Especially with regard to combat, a single “attack” is considered to be a flurry of shots or blows, not just a single strike or shot (except with regard to thrown or archaic weapons). The success or failure of an attack roll determines whether or not damage is inflicted; the damage roll determines the effectiveness of the overall attack attempt.
As per the X-Plorers rules, characters can move their normal movement allowance, plus make one action, in a single round. Usually that action is a single attack (or multiple attacks for soldiers using their specialty weapon). Psychics (including Star Knights like the PCs) can also choose to activate a psychic talent as their action instead of making an attack. Unless stated otherwise in the description, a psychic may not attempt to activate more than one talent in a single round. Some talents can be used as reactions (as described in X-Plorers), and these are noted in their description; any number of reaction-type saving throws can be made in a round.
NOTE: using a beamrazor form in combat (see Chapter 2), does not count as activating a psychic talent or using an action; it’s simply a choice of combat style.
[to be continued]
[Kloane War Knights is copyright 2013 by Jonathan Becker and Running Beagle Games. The X-Plorers rpg is copyright 2009, Dave Bezio & Grey Area Games. The X-Plorers trademark is used under the X-Plorers Trademark License]