Monday, June 8, 2015



The information in the first four chapters provides all the information necessary for a starting PC Star Knight. Referees can reveal the following “secrets” to PCs as their characters grow in power and ability.

Psychic Sensing

Having developed a connection to the Star Force, all psychics have a greater awareness of things around them. When they are calm and at peace (in other words, not in the middle of combat, or a chase sequence, or some other hairy adventure moment), the Referee can use this ability to reveal useful information and clues to the players. Some things a psychic’s intuition should naturally detect include the presence of life (and life forms), psychics, corrupt psychics (i.e. Shadow Lords), and old relations (including family, friends, and former foes). The range of a psychic’s senses is determined by the character’s tier:

Tier 1: City-wide (or ship-wide if on a large vessel)
Tier 2: Planet-wide
Tier 3: System-wide (possibly extending into nearby systems)

A 10th level psychic of the third tier are so attuned to the Star Force that they can detect things on a galaxy-wide scale, but this ability will probably only be exhibited by NPCs in most games.

The presence of multiple “detectable” items can make it difficult to pinpoint a specific item (for example, locating a single, specific person in a city of people may be impossible unless in the same small building or room), so the Referee can feel free to limit psychic sensing to a “feeling” of someone’s “presence.” Also, use of the psychic talent mask presence can disguise a character’s personal “Star Force signature,” reducing the range of a psychic tracker’s senses by a number of range bands equal to the disguised character’s tier (for example, a second tier psychic using mask presence would reduce a third tier psychic’s sensing to “city-wide”). If the mask would reduce a psychic’s tier to zero the character could still be detected in the same building or room; if reduced below zero the masked psychic cannot be detected at all.


Each PC Star Knight is presumed to have a mentor responsible for their training; however, the PCs' demonstration of exceptional ability (and the strains brought on by the war with the Kloanes) means they are not shepherded as closely as they may have otherwise been in more peaceful times. Some PCs’ mentors may no longer be available at all.  For each PC, roll on the following chart:

1 to 2
Alive, but too old or crippled to adventure.
4 to 7
Alive, though usually unavailable
Alive, but fallen to Shadow

Roll D6 to determine the tier of living mentors: 1-3 Adept, 4-6 Master. Starting (first tier) Star Knights will usually receive their missions from a mentor, and mentors may be a source of additional information or aid to the PCs (at the Referee’s discretion); however, they are far too busy with adventures of their own to accompany the PCs. At the end of every mission, the Referee can roll D6 for each active PC mentor: on a roll of “1” the mentor is no longer available in any capacity (having died or fallen to Shadow).

‘Razor Construction

All Star Knights begin the game with a beamrazor and are expected to care for it with their lives; as with the ancient samurai’s katana sword, the ‘razor is considered both a tool and a symbol of the Star Knight’s honor and mission of galactic justice. It is presumed that each character received her beamrazor as a gift from her teacher, the mentor with whom she first apprenticed.

Purchasing a new beamrazor is generally outside the financial means of most PCs (credit code D). This is because they are not manufactured, but hand-crafted by a skilled Star Knight. Any Star Knight (or fallen Star Knight) of the second or third tier have the ability to construct a beamrazor; doing so requires a special credit check against credit code B. Characters add both their PRE adjustment AND their tier (+2 or +3) to the roll, but no other adjustments. Usually, Star Knights will only craft a beamrazor to replace one that has been lost to misadventure, or to gift to a new apprentice; they do not “sell them on the open market” (those available for sale have generally been stolen or taken from dead Star Knights).

A Star Knight using a beamrazor of her own construction receives a +1 bonus to attack rolls made while using the weapon.

Tiers and Trials

In order to advance in tier, characters must exemplify the honor and conscience of a dedicated Star Knight (generally, the “heroic ideal”) and pass the trials set down by tradition: the Trial of Fire and the Trial of Legacy. Each trial is described below:

Trial of Fire: character must survive single combat (i.e. “one-on-one”) with an opponent of equal or greater stature, usually defined as a beamrazor-wielding psychic of at least equal level. “Survival” means fighting until one combatant is incapacitated by wounds; the apprentice does not need to win the fight to succeed at the Trial of Fire, but it certainly reflects better on her if she does (not to mention Shadow Lords aren’t known for leaving defeated foes alive).

In the current age of the Kloane Wars, most apprentice Star Knights will eventually encounter a ‘razor-wielding opponent or two; the issue for the Referee is when and to provide such an opportunity.  Certainly, if PCs are seeking out such encounters the Referee shouldn’t withhold them; the Kloanes are just as interested in slaughtering Star Knights as they are in galactic conquest. But Shadow Lords are difficult opponents, and faced too early can result in dead PCs.

Star Knights who have achieved 4th level but who are still only apprentices are sometimes offered the chance at a Trial of Fire with another Star Knight; this was the usual method of advancement before the Kloane Wars. The Star Knight will be pitted against a fellow PC or against an NPC Star Knight of equal level in a combat arranged by a mentor; such a combat is still fought in earnest until one opponent is reduced to 0 hit points, disarmed, or otherwise rendered helpless. Such combats seldom result in death (Star Knights instead choosing to grievously wound their opponents), but it has occurred on rare occasions, usually when one Knight bears a grudge against the other (but remember that a Star Knight always earns a corruption point for killing an “agent of the Star Force”).

Trial of Legacy: character must train a new apprentice to adept status. To train an apprentice the character must be an adept or master, and must actively search out and recruit a likely subject (if a suitable NPC is not already available the character may make a PRE check to find one, receiving one such check per game session). Such “found” apprentices are generated randomly:

2 to 3
4 to 5
6 to 7
*High-born are less common than other character classes, while soldiers are less likely to be good candidates due to their violent nature.

The apprentice begins as a 1st level Star Knight, and can either be “cut loose” immediately or allowed to accompany the mentor on missions. If the apprentice stays with the mentor, all XP earned by the mentor on adventures is divided evenly between the two (half and half).

NPC apprentices are controlled by the Referee, though they will generally follow the directions of their PC mentor. NPC apprentices do not acquire corruption points the same way as PC Star Knights; at the end of every mission, the PC mentor attempts a PRE save (add +1 if the mentor is a third tier master). Failure indicates the apprentice earned D4 corruption points during the adventure and must check for “falling to Shadow” (as described in Chapter 1).

Apprentices that are sent off on their own are handled differently. After a mission, the Referee awards the NPC XP equal to one-half what the PC mentor earned (though the mentor’s earned XP is not reduced), and then makes a PRE save for the NPC apprentice (again adding +1 if the PC mentor is a master) to see if corruption points are acquired. Because it is the lower level NPC making the PRE save (instead of the mentor), solo apprentices are much more likely to fall to Shadow than those who accompany their mentors.

To pass the Trial of Legacy, the apprentice must complete a Trial by Fire (see above). This might occur during a mission (if the NPC is accompanying the PC), or else can occur randomly (for solo NPCs). To determine random Trials, roll D6 every time the solo NPC achieves a level of experience: if the roll is less than the NPC’s new level, the apprentice has succeeded and both mentor and student are promoted to the next tier. However, if the D6 roll comes up a “6” the apprentice has been killed, and the Trial of Legacy failed.

A Star Knight may never mentor more than one apprentice at a time, regardless of whether the apprentice is accompanying the mentor or undertaking solo missions.

[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]

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