Sunday, February 21, 2010

"All Too Easy..."

Darth Maul (Episode I)

Medium Zabrak Soldier 6/Scoundrel 1/Elite Trooper 3/Sith Apprentice 3

Destiny 0 Force 12 Dark Side 8
Languages: Basic, Zabrak, Sith

Defenses: Ref 31 For 31 Wil 25
Hps 136 Threshold 31 (Damage Reduction/1)

STR 16 DEX 16 CON 16 INT 12 WIS 8 CHA 8

Melee: Double-bladed lightsaber +15/+15, +16/+16 versus Jedi (2d8+14 two-handed)

Talents: Dark Scourge, Devastating Attack, Greater Devastating Attack, Greater Weapon Focus (Lightsabers), Melee Smash, Skirmisher, Stunning Strike, Weapon Specialization (Lightsabers)

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light and Medium), Dodge, Dual Weapon Mastery I, Dual Weapon Mastery II, Force Sensitivity, Force Training, Martial Arts I, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (Lightsabers), Weapon Proficiency (Lightsabers, Pistols, Rifles, and Simple weapons)

Skills: Acrobatics +14, Initiative +14, Knowledge (Tactics) +12, Perception +5 (untrained but re-roll due to zabrak species), Use the Force +10

Force Powers: Force Thrust

Force Techniques: Improved Move Light Object

Class Abilities: Damage Reduction 1, Delay Damage

Possessions: Double bladed lightsaber, Sith robes

Destiny: None.

***NOTE: Darth Maul's statistics are provided in a separate sourcebook (Threats of the Galaxy), and for me, it is one of their poorest takes on a character from the films.

Personally, I don't see Maul needing to be particularly high level to be an absolute killer threat to Jedi. I see a 13th level character being plenty of threat while still giving a young Obi-Wan the chance to finish him off with Qui-Gon's help.

Furthermore, I have a real problem with giving levels of "Jedi" to a Sith character that has never been a Jedi. Vader and Tyranus are fallen Jedi of course, and it makes sense for them to carry several levels of Jedi. Maul (and Palpatine/Sidious for that matter), were never part of the Jedi order. While Force sensitive, I see Maul as more of a trained hunter-killer than a character with any "Jedi" training.

Anyway, he displays little in the way of Force powers (a single moved small object, accomplished with a Use Force roll and a single instance of Force Thrust). Mainly, Maul just beats and batters his opponents with brutal hand-to-hand combat. While obviously well-trained with the saber-staff, one can easily picture him working over non-Jedi as easily with a simple gaffi stick.

As I detail the rest of "the Geezers," specifically Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, I plan on trying to run the various film combats using the D20 Saga rules to see how close I can come using the mechanics as presented.***


  1. The film shows only a couple fights with Maul before he dies. Perhaps he was lower level than the good guys but had some decent rolls up until the end. Or maybe he was higher level but botched a lot of them.

    Think how hard it would be to tell the levels of a pair of Human Fighters just by the outcomes of two or three fights.

    Also: the Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. You start with clones of a badass bounty hunter and end up with an army of hapless mooks. Does this mean the cloners grew them wrong, or trained them wrong?

  2. True story...but there are some "clues" to go on based on the D20 system.

    Obi-wan is still a padawan in Episode I but "more than ready to take the tests" to become a Jedi knight. That puts him square at level 7.

    A Jedi Master (one that "could have been on the Jedi Council" like Qui-Gon), is at least Level 13.

    The feats, talents, skills, and force powers presented in the films are all clues as to how tough or powerful a dude is. In my re-writes, I have preferred to err on the side of "if it ain't in a film, probably shouldn't presume to give the character the ability." Darth Maul never dodges or reflects a single laser blast; why would he have Deflection or Redirect Shot talents? He uses the force exactly two times (a "Force Thrust" and a "Move Light Object"); why should I assume he can use Force Grip, Force Lightning, blah-blah-blah.

    WotC errs on the side-of "Badass Powerful NPC that players should go up against because they're meant to be killed by movie character NPCs." Ugh. Why should NPCs have all the fun?

  3. This may be a problem though. If the designers of the game looked to the movies for inspiration, they would have set the level for getting an ability based on what their opinions were of the movie. Like so:

    "I think Anakin was Level 12 in this movie, so I'll put his newly gained force powers at Level 12. That way when we stat people up using the system, he will have to be 12 according to the rules"

    If you use those rules to stat up the character, you'll hit near the game designer's vision of the character's level.

    I could roll with an argument that the Stormtroopers were Level 1 Fighters, Luke was Level 7 by the end of Ep. 6, and Vader was 9th.

    Then again a Stormtrooper could be 5th, and Luke / Vader could be 35th / 45th.

    Note how they seem to hover around but not be close enough to breach 20th?