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DarthGM

Party Resource: Holocrons

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So Holocrons are an item that says in their write up are to the focus of a campaign or reward after many adventures.  Yet the party could start with one at the beginning of the game as their "party resource".

 

I'm planning on testing this mechaninc, but I wanted to get some ideas on what folks are planning to do for their holocrons they introduce to the game. 

 

It says the Holocron can grant a bevy of benefits, but not much is really stated explicity.  Mostly in vague terms of powers granted.  these are some of the questions rolling over in my mind as I consider giving such a polygon to a starting party.

  • How much or how many talents can the Holocron provide?
  • How are you reading the "grants a new Force Power" choice?
  • How much of a Damage Bonus?  Skill increase?
  • Does the Holocron provide one skill as a Career skill ever (A Holocron of Knowledge (Xenology), for instance), or can it change based on the bearer's desires (maybe the Gatekeeper will instruct a variety of skills, just one at a time?) 
  • What's to prevent the players from "passing the cube" and only bearing it when they're buying up a skill, then passing it to another player?

Just trying to gauge what other testers are considering before I go willy-nilly.  Or maybe that's the point, go willy-nilly and see how it flies.

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Based on how Holocrons have shown up in other Star Wars properties I feel this would be a bit of give and take between the GM and the Players.

 

I love the options they give and I am actually planning a mission/adventure around a Holocron, but that will be a several sessions from now.

 

If you take Star Wars: The Old Republic, they had holocrons give +1 to a characteristic, or some such like that (which is massively huge in FFG SW RPG so I would go against that).

If you take the books/stories it is different based on each "cube". Some may be the information on how to use a Force Power, others may be just a bit of training for a padawan (aka general skills?).

 

Holocrons are one of the few "anything can happen" items in Star Wars, so as long as the benefit is comparable to a small starship and doesn't break things for your players, you could do a lot with it.

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I used it already as a means to hand wave a bonus 20 xp to each of my non Force-sensitive players Force-sensitive status for the purpose of the Beta.  So kind of a narrative meets mechanical means to an end.

 

It's obviously a great tool for delivering this sort of targeted/directed xp bonuses like I did, meaning you advance players a bit more quickly but in a controlled fashion you can plan for a bit more.  It's a way to reward handsomely while suppressing min/maxing I think.

 

Also a great way to intro house rules for powers or custom Lightsaber trees or whatever.

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The story I am planning will give +1 force rating to whoever in the group manages to work out its secrets and spend the time going through the trials to get it.

The idea is I want them to be able to use the F&D specializations without having to waste time going into the FSE trees.

 

I would go into more detail but my Players read this forum.

Edited by fatedtodie

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I've basically used it like 2P51. When they first activated it, they got 15 xp that could be used towards anything force-sensitive related (powers, FaD & FSEx/Em trees, lightsaber skill). And from there just give them occasional boosts here and there - maybe specify that it has to be used specifically on a power, or a specific power, or specifically their trees. And basically instead of letting them go, "hey, let's pop open the XP box for today's session", the holocron will just dole out some general advice and teachings or say they need to practice their skills more before it can teach them more. Eventually as they get more competent, it'll just drop in usefulness to giving only advice since they'll eventually surpass what it can offer. That's basically how I handle the group resource holocron, and would likely similarly handle a group resource mentor.

 

For just any other holocron that can be found or I might toss their way, I'd probably make it a lot less effective than the one that's meant to be shared amongst everyone. Maybe do the career skill thing, maybe give a free skill rank in something odd, maybe a small boost in exp. Maybe even make a holocron that replaces the original group resource one and acts somewhat similarly in mechanical bonuses and but have it try to lure them to the dark side.

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Before F&D came out, my GM gave my Force-sensitive character a holocron, and I was talking with him about what it could do--specifically, we were bouncing around ideas for how it could bestow a new Force power upon me, or an Upgrade to one I already possessed (for example, I don't have any Strength Upgrades for Move, so it could teach me how to move larger objects).

 

What I was proposing was that once per session (or maybe once every few sessions), I could attempt a hard or daunting Discipline check to try and learn something from the holocron. If successful, the GM would grant me a new power or upgrade, based on a list of "wants" I had, and I would increase my Obligation by the same amount as the XP cost of the new talent. For example, if I were to receive that Strength Upgrade to Move, I would have to increase my Obligation by 10. We were bouncing around possibly having the Obligation increase cost double the XP cost of the talent.

 

Not something to do too often.

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Before F&D came out, my GM gave my Force-sensitive character a holocron, and I was talking with him about what it could do--specifically, we were bouncing around ideas for how it could bestow a new Force power upon me, or an Upgrade to one I already possessed (for example, I don't have any Strength Upgrades for Move, so it could teach me how to move larger objects).

 

What I was proposing was that once per session (or maybe once every few sessions), I could attempt a hard or daunting Discipline check to try and learn something from the holocron. If successful, the GM would grant me a new power or upgrade, based on a list of "wants" I had, and I would increase my Obligation by the same amount as the XP cost of the new talent. For example, if I were to receive that Strength Upgrade to Move, I would have to increase my Obligation by 10. We were bouncing around possibly having the Obligation increase cost double the XP cost of the talent.

 

Not something to do too often.

I like this thought. Obviously Holocrons granting permanent mechanical advantages break down when mixing with the muggles. That thought aside, I think this could have some merit, though if only in small doses. If I were to go this route, I would lower the characters strain threshold by 2 fore the remainder of the session to represent the rigors of training or having to coax the information out of the Holocron's guide.

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Before F&D came out, my GM gave my Force-sensitive character a holocron, and I was talking with him about what it could do--specifically, we were bouncing around ideas for how it could bestow a new Force power upon me, or an Upgrade to one I already possessed (for example, I don't have any Strength Upgrades for Move, so it could teach me how to move larger objects).

 

What I was proposing was that once per session (or maybe once every few sessions), I could attempt a hard or daunting Discipline check to try and learn something from the holocron. If successful, the GM would grant me a new power or upgrade, based on a list of "wants" I had, and I would increase my Obligation by the same amount as the XP cost of the new talent. For example, if I were to receive that Strength Upgrade to Move, I would have to increase my Obligation by 10. We were bouncing around possibly having the Obligation increase cost double the XP cost of the talent.

 

Not something to do too often.

I like this thought. Obviously Holocrons granting permanent mechanical advantages break down when mixing with the muggles. That thought aside, I think this could have some merit, though if only in small doses. If I were to go this route, I would lower the characters strain threshold by 2 fore the remainder of the session to represent the rigors of training or having to coax the information out of the Holocron's guide.

 

My suggestion to balance things out for the "muggles" was that they should also gain opportunities to get free talents, thanks to some special training opportunity arising or something. I saw this as a way (particularly for the non-Force-sensitives) for the GM to broaden characters in a direction the player is interested in, but can't get to for a long time.

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One thing I would consider is to allow certain specializations that could be accessed for "free"

 

Essentially, select a number of specializations from edge, age, and force.  each character can receive virtual training in one, which would function as allowing the PC to purchase talents from that spec without the corresponding buy-in xp cost to normally access a spec.  HOWEVER, they would not gain the career skills (thought holocron could grant them that bonus as written in F&D) and if the holocron was lost they would not be able to train up further.  This is something that both muggles and forcers could enjoy, and places some variety in character types.

 

Alternatively, you may include blueprints for weapons/armor that have additional Hard Points, minor additional effects, or a superior ship (like Mauls sith interceptor).  Perhapse forbidden knowledge (Like where darth Nihilus's mask is) or some such treasure hunt as well.

 

I think that the holocron section needs to flushed out a little better.

Edited by Thebearisdriving

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Alternatively, you may include blueprints for weapons/armor that have additional Hard Points, minor additional effects, or a superior ship (like Mauls sith interceptor).  Perhapse forbidden knowledge (Like where darth Nihilus's mask is) or some such treasure hunt as well.

 

I think that the holocron section needs to flushed out a little better.

I like this thought. If I recall, Exar Kun invented the Double Bladed Lightsaber using plans he discovered from a Sith Holocron.

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yes.  yes he did.

 

One other thought, though this gets a little blurry as to "power" and "balance" in the game, is to grant force users an effect similar to the "one with the universe" talent.  This could be something like each PC selects a specific force power as his/her favored force power.  Once per session, each time that power is activated they generate one (force pip of the appropriate color) on force checks for that power.

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My thoughts on what boon a holocron can provide (aside from the bonus career skill) is a justification for the Force user PCs to learn any Force power that they didn't begin the game with, as well providing a rationale for being able to access the Lightsaber Form specs after character creation.

 

As a starting party resource, I think the main boon it could provide is that each PC gets to nominate one non-career skill as becoming a career skill.  Since the group resource is the final step of character creation, the PCs wouldn't be able to put any of their starting XP (either the standard or the bonus for Knight-level play) into that skill into buying ranks, instead having to wait until the conclusion of their first adventure before they could start buying ranks in said skill without paying the non-career cost.

 

As for providing spontaneous access to talents and Force powers, that I'm hesitant to allow mostly as it has the feeling of circumventing one of the primary checks on the power of Force users, namely that they have to spend XP to be able to access some of those high-ranking talents as well as Force powers.  Though where Force powers are concerned, I might allow a PC to flip a Destiny Point to gain access to the basic effect of a Force power for that encounter, even if they don't have a high enough Force Rating to otherwise purchase that power.

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 It's interesting that few seem to be testing out the RACW concerning Holocrons, especially given that's the point of this whole Beta process to begin with.

;)

 

Here's what we got for the Holocron's listed benefits:

 

"Depending on it's nature, a holocron can grant new Force powers, increase the damage of a specific kind of attack (Melee, Ranged, Gunnery, Lightsaber, etc), grant basic or advanced talents, grant or increase a skill, or anything else a Game Master can imagine."

 

 

 

That's the mechanic I'm looking to test.  It's a vague mechanic, sure, but if it's in this book it's something that deserves attention or at least feedback on what's reasonable and what's over the top.  So I'm going to test them all. 

 

The holocron I'm giving the PCs will do one of the following at a time while carried:

  • Access to Heal/Harm (Grants Basic Power, Range Upgrade 1, Magnitude Upgrade 1)
  • Access to Seek (Basic Power, Magnitude Upgrade 1, Control Upgrade-Commit 1 to upgrade Vigilance and Perception checks)
  • Increase damage from Lightsaber skill checks by 2
  • +1 Rank in Healing Trance
  • +1 Rank in Force Protection
  • +1 Rank in Intuitive Evasion
  • Access to Knowledge is Power
  • Access to Intuitive Shot
  • Access to Improved Reflect
  • +1 skill rank to Astrogation, Discipline, Knowledge (Lore), Knowledge (Xenology), Lightsaber, Mechanics, or Medicine

Yes, I know that's quite a list, but I figure if you're going to test something I figure you go all in and try and break it.  Only one benefit can be utilized at a time, and only by the person carrying the Holocron.  I'll be following the book in that the character needs to spend some time with the Holocron before getting access to the benefit while carrying the Holocron, and that swapping benefits requires time and that Hard Knowledge (Lore) check. 

 

I'll probably also declare some of these one-use only; test out that limitation described in the book.  Not sure which, tho'.

 

Anyway, I'll let folks know what I find in testing.

:ph34r:

Edited by DarthGM

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Unfortunately I don't have a copy of "Force & Destiny" beta so I'm going to take a shot in the dark here.

 

First, possessing the holocron can be the in-character reason for the PCs being able to train and advance as Jedi. Without a teacher they could slowly learn with higher costs to attain new powers/ranks (WEG d6 handled this with double cost without a trainer). The holocron explains why they can advance using standard XP.

 

I like the idea others have put forward about a one-time bonus of 15 to 20 XP to put towards Force related abilities.

 

Or, the holocron can have a theme based on the Jedi who created it. Perhaps studying under the holocron's gatekeeper will add ranks in healing powers/skills if the creator was a Jedi Healer.

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Sorry to bring back an old thread....for those who have tested giving additional benefits for being in possession of a Holocron, what do you guys recommend?

Background:

The group just completed Lure of the Lost/FaD Beginners Box stories.  They have all three holocrons (Jailor, warden, curator). 

The main antagonist of the story is ultimately Maul (Dawn of Rebellion stats).  I have throw into the story that Malefax and Rav Nareern were both working for Maul in attempts to gain one of the Holocrons to take back to the former Sith Apprentice so Maul can use it to find Kenobi (Taken from Rebels).  The group redeemed Malefax and Rav Nareern is in stasis where the group had found him.  (Rav is the former master of one of the players and Malefax was a child hood friend of two of them).

Maul sent some Nightbrothers who are apart of the Crimson Dawn to try and steal the Jailor from the museum in Splintir but the PCs stopped them.

There is going to be a small break of stories where they find their lightsaber crystals and track down a missing Jedi.

Behind the scenes:  Maul can't leave Dathomir in fear that the Emperor will sense his existence in the galaxy.  Maul doesn't want to risk Palpatine or Vader coming out and kicking his butt again.

So, he is planning to attempt to lure the PCs to Dathomir in order to try and steal one of the holocrons.  In order to do so, one of the PCs will have to have one of the holorons on them potentially.

Hence: They might be carrying one of the holocrons on them when/if they visit Dathomir.

 

What types of powers/benefits do you guys suggest in 2018 for a holocron to provide a player?  I"m still trying to figure out the balance between having an OP item and an underperforming one.  Thanks.

 

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