Saturday, May 30, 2015




As galactic peacekeepers, Star Knights are trained in using their skills to defend others. With an activated beamrazor, a Star Knight can defend a 5m area centered on the Knight; no attacks may pass through the defended area unless the Knight allows it. In other words, if a Star Knight comes between an attacker and its intended target, the attacker must target the Knight instead (the attacker cannot “shoot through” the Star Knight at a softer target).


The space opera genre often resembles a swashbuckling Errol Flynn film, and KWN with its beamrazors and Star Knights is no exception. The following rule modifies the normal “20’s and 1’s” rule found in X-Plorers:

Psychics and all PCs (psychic or not) are never subject to double damage from an attacker’s roll of “20.” However, an attacker that rolls a 20 can choose to disarm an opponent instead of inflicting the normal damage for a successful attack. The target of the attack makes an AGI saving throw; success indicates the weapon flies D8 meters in a random direction (and can thus be recovered), failure indicates the weapon has been destroyed.

Player characters that roll a 1 for an attack roll may choose to fumble away their weapon instead of losing their attacks for the next round of combat. Retrieving and readying a fumbled weapon takes a character’s action for the round, assuming she can move far enough to recover it. Remember: Star Knights receive special bonuses when armed with a beamrazor (as described in Chapter 2) and some psychic talents can only be used with ‘razor in hand, making disarmament particularly dangerous; a Knight who chooses to stumble (losing attacks) will retain her weapon and her associated bonuses.

A psychic with the move small objects talent can retrieve a loose weapon instead of making a normal move AND still take their normal action in around. This is an exception to the rule that activating a psychic talent counts as the character’s “action” for the round.

Multiple Opponents (OPTIONAL RULE)

Compared to the hordes of miscreants that inhabit the galaxy, including the soldiers of the Kloane Empire, the Star Knights are few in number. However, their heroic temperament and mental discipline (not to mention the conceits of the space opera genre) allow them to handle more than their fair share of enemies in combat.

When outnumbered by foes of the same type, the Referee should simply make ONE attack against each defending Star Knight or PC at the opponent’s normal base “to hit” bonus +2 (to represent the bonus received for their numerical advantage). If the attack is launched successfully, the character takes damage as if being hit by a single attack (i.e. a maximum of one damage roll per round from foes of the same type). This serves two purposes: it keeps the pace of the game quick (less dice rolling for the Referee) and it increases the longevity of heroic characters.

Similarly, a Star Knight can reap opponents like wheat when using a beamrazor. Against non-psychic opponents, any damage in excess of an opponent’s hit points can be applied against all foes of similar type within melee range of the Star Knight.

For example: Ben Starjammer is alone and beset by four space pirates. The pirates gain initiative and the Referee makes a single attack roll using the attackers’ normal attack bonus of +1 and adding +2 because they outnumber the Star Knight. The roll is a 12+3= 15 which is not enough to hit Ben’s Armor Class of 16. Ben now wades into his scurvy opponents, ‘razor flashing. He succeeds at his attack roll and rolls a total of 12 for damage (including the bonus for his level). Since the pirates only have five hit points each, this kills two of them and does two point of damage to a third. If the pirates only had 3 hit points apiece, Ben would have cut down all four in a single round.

Two-Fisted Fighting (OPTIONAL RULE)

Some players will want to use two weapons at once (one in each hand). If the character wishes to launch an attack with both weapons in the same round, she suffers a -2 penalty to each attack roll, unless the character would normally be allowed multiple attacks (like a high level soldier). In addition, melee weapons do not receive their normal PHY bonus to damage rolls when fighting two-fisted (though PHY penalties apply). Soldiers gain the advantages of their class specialization OR the two-fisted fighting rule, not both.

Psychic characters using one or two beamrazors in this fashion lose all the advantages for using a form, unless they are masters of (and using) the Way of Balance. Regardless, the Star Knight's damage bonus for level is split between the two weapons (the full bonus is only received when using a single 'razor).

For example: Ben Starjammer has been captured and forced to fight in an arena without his trusty beamrazor. Seeing his opponent is armed with a pair of fighting staves, Ben does the same hoping he’ll be able to land a blow with at least one. The Star Knight makes two attack rolls (each with a -2 penalty) and any successful attack will not receive the psychic’s normal PHY bonus to melee weapon damage. His opponent, on the other hand, is a 6th level soldier specializing in fighting staves; rather than use the two-fisted rule, he rolls two normal attacks (one attack per round plus a bonus attack with his specialty weapon) with normal to hit and damage bonuses. If one of the soldier’s weapons were replaced with a blaster (a weapon in which he has no specialization) he’d have to use the two-fisted fighting rule (thus losing his class bonuses) in order to attack with both weapons in one round.

[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]


  1. I love the disarm rule. I'm going with something a little more draconian for Spectacular Science Stories, but it will only affect ranged weapons.

  2. @ Faol:

    Thanks...I was trying to think of a fast way to emulate a common trope of the genre (losing one's weapon) that dins' involve multiple rolls and saving throws and whatnot. The "fumble" rule of X-Plorers works fine.

    I really like that it gives players a choice of what type of fumble happens.

  3. I really like the Defending and Two-Fisted Fighting rules, but am a bit confused on Disarming. Actually, Disarming itself looks fine - it;'s the paragraph after that on Fumbles that lost me.
    You say that a character who rolls a Natural 1 can choose to fumble away their weapon rather than lose their attack for the next round. Ok, fine, but you THEN say that it takes that next round to recover and ready their weapon, thus using their action, so they lose their attack anyway. Isn't that essentially the same thing? Am I missing something?

    1. @ Reese:

      Excellent question! And thanks for asking.

      In the standard X-Plorers rules, a person who rolls a 1 loses their entire next round of action, as they stumble or "trip" or something. To model the genre, the revised rule allows a PC to simply drop their weapon.

      Recovering and readying the fumbled weapon takes the entire action (unless the Star Knight has the "Move Small Objects" talent and makes a successful PRE check to use it as their "move")...HOWEVER, the PC doesn't have to spend their action recovering the fumbled weapon. They could take another action (make an unarmed attack, draw a blaster and shoot, duck and run for cover, etc.). In fact, if their original weapon was to be, say, fumbled over a cliff the character would need to take some different action since recovering the weapon would be impossible without doing a swan dive herself.

      Does that make sense?

    2. Sure it does, thanks. So, you're really just clarifying that one possible option for a fumble is to drop the weapon as the PLAYERS choice rather than DM fiat. Then the option to recover it next round, or not, is also up to the player.

      Works for me - thanks!

      Still following along and enjoying the posts. I like your changes to the death & maiming rules - cybernetic replacements, healing time guidelines, etc. Stuff I can see using in some form or another for sure.
      Overall it's a neat spin on the SW/space opera genre. Interesting take when you assume all the PCs are Jedi, "star knights." It's more heroic that way, but I'm more likely to mix the other classes back in to allow for your princesses, smugglers, bounty hunters and so on who aren't gifted that way. I can totally see myself using a mash-up of WhiteStar, X-plorers and KWN if I run a SW-inspired game.

  4. Oh, and I fully expect to throw you some cash for the cleaned-up PDF if/when you post that on RPGNow. I'd pay $10, just like James gets for WS, no problem. Your free preview strategy worked!