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leo1925

Force users and armor

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I think Jedi *normally* don't wear heavier kinds of armor for a variety of reasons. 1) They want to keep a low profile 2) humility and poverty -- armor is often shiny and expensive 3) they don't want to appear hostile or aggressive 4) it would seem to me like Jedi philosophy would go against becoming dependent on armor for protection, when the force is your ally 4) though it doesn't mechanically in this system, apart from sheer encumbrance, armor can slow you down a bit, especially if you're not used to wearing it (though I imagine sci-fi armor isn't nearly as bad as something like heavy mail), and reduce your flexibility and range of motion. When we've seen jedi in combat their defense has normally been not getting hit, either through dodging, parrying, or deflecting attacks. Armor doesn't help this strategy. Armor helps keep a hit from hurting you.

All this being said, this does not mean a force user cannot wear armor, or should not wear armor. I only sought to explain why we don't see jedi wearing armor in the movies, if there isn't some inherent "arcane spell failure" or other mechanic that keeps them from "using the force properly" if they wear armor. Darth Vader wears armor throughout the movies, albeit fairly light, but high quality stuff (I'd call it a superior version of the armored flight suit from Stay on Target, but with a better vacuum seal). Like awayputurwpn, I'm glad to see this go.

Also, despite what I said above, there are plenty of circumstances in which a Jedi might wear armor. A war situation would be one (You see limited armor use in the clone wars, though I find it odd the armor their limbs and not their torso--probably to keep the look of the robes--though perhaps they wear armor underneath the robes as well. You also see it in the MMO Old Republic). Another would be wanting to blend in with others who wear armor (though Jedi traditionally are trying to blend in with the civilian populace). A third might be as protection for when the force user can't wield his lightsaber for fear of drawing attention to himself, and thus needs some other kind of protection. I haven't read the full talent descriptions of force and destiny yet, but I'm assuming you have to have a lightsaber in order to deflect.

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 I haven't read the full talent descriptions of force and destiny yet, but I'm assuming you have to have a lightsaber in order to deflect.

Yes and no... the actual talent to reflect blaster bolts away requires a lightsaber, but it synergises with the basic ability to Sence attacks coming, which has a strong defensive bonus itself, even without a saber.

 

The clone Wars episode where Anakin gives his lightsaber to padme and then gets hunted by bounty hunters, Anakin can still use the force to dodge, he just cant reflect. I'm pretty sure he wouldnt make out as well in older systems.

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A couple of thoughts regarding force sensitives/Rebellion Era/armor use....

 

During the rebellion era i would expect any force sensitive to go through a transition on attitude towards armor as their story progresses.

 

At first, ignorant of the force and light-saber's abilities to Sunder past any mundane personal armor, their attitude will be dependent on their background. A Bounty Hunter used to wearing heavy armor isn't going to stop just because he has become a force sensitive emergent. They will keep that attitude until they encounter their first light-saber using opponents. As those opponents become more prominent melee/ranged defense in armor become more important to straight soak since it reduced the chanced of being hit/magnitude of success.

 

Ultimately, divorced from 10000 years of jedi teaching/tradition and faced with opponents that are presumable better trained in saber combat (i.e inquisitors - since they presumable actually have some heavy duty training going on somewhere) there wouldn't be any stigma attached to seeking something that would negate the Breach quality of light-sabers. Cortosis is one possibility.

 

Ultimately, I could see a group of force sensitive who played through Onslaught on Arda I and who have encountered the Doran'Enok taking the approach of using the defeated Doran'Enok to craft light-saber resistant armor.

 

Using something like the Kamperdine Custom Tailored Armored Jackets (Far Horizons 44) as a basis since they specialize in "use of fine and exotic beast hides," I could see something like this being developed in time....

 

Kamperdine Custom Jedi Coat - Each one of these coats is custom crafted from the skins of Doran'Enok gathered in an initiation right of the reborn Grey Jedi of the Dawn Temple. Reborn Jedi who have gained a measure of control over their light-sabers face and slay one of these Sith-spawned monstrosities on the planet of Arda I to gain the ranking of Jedi Knight and Kamperdine has the exclusive rights to craft these elegant and function coats that clearly say to all who see them that the wearer is a being strong in the force. The Jedi Coat includes not only the distinctive mid-thigh to torso covering, but also matching removable hood, calf-high boots or leg-guards and for those who chose a sleeveless coat, vambraces.

 

A Custom Jedi Coat retains the distinction of a Custom Tailored Armored Jacket (adding Advantage to any successful Charm, Deception, or Negotiation checks) as well as adding the Cortosis quality.

 

Def 0; Soak 2; Price 16,200 (11,200 for jedi who gather the skins themselves); Encum 2; HP 0; Rarity 10

 

Pretty close to a straight update of the custom armored jacket, except I increased the Encum by 1, removed a HP, and added the 10000 for Cortosis (with a 5000cr discount for those that harvest the critter themselves). Playing around with it I would probably change the skill bumps as well, but am unsure which at the moment except switching Charm with Coercion might be appropriate.

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I think any reason a Force User, or any SW PC for that matter, would or would not wear heavy armor is going to be narrative. You have to step back from the D&D fantasy "wear it all the time" model and think more cinematic. In the Star Wars films we see few of the main characters ever wear armor, even in the Clone Wars series we see the characters who do wear armor generally only do so when they could be, will be, or are in combat, the rest of the time they don't.

Everyone's FFGSW campaigns will be different but I think wearing heavy armor all the time should be discouraged. I'm of the opinion that the PCs should probably stick to unassuming types of protection unless they know or suspect they are going to go into heavy combat. The same should apply for weapons heaver than a side arm. But thats just my opinion your mileage may vary.

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I take great precaution in taking just the films into account here. The original trilogy shows very few force users. Obi-Wan in hiding will not need armor. He is trying to lay low as a hermit. Wearing armor would be ridiculous based on his personal motivations. Next is Darth Vader. Quite a bit of armor on that guy. Next you have Luke Skywalker. He grew up as a farmer and pilot. That doesn't seem a lifestyle of armor use and thus makes little sense to all the sudden pick it up. I agree with the narrative aspect of it that he would have to have some reason. That leaves Emperor Palpatine and Yoda. Well Palpatine is the political leader of the galaxy. Why in the world would he wear armor? Yoda lives on planet that does not appear to be inhabited by civilian life.

 

The Jedi in the recent trilogy spend a good portion of the series believing they are in a state of peace. They go on a few diplomatic missions at the outset. Armor would be the worst thing a diplomat could wear to a negotiation that is suppose to be "peaceful." The galaxy sees itself at peace and it would seem awkward to most Jedi to all the sudden begin wearing armor.

 

Again, the movies cover such a small portion of force users in general. What we see of the new movie, it appears that the force using nemesis is using armor as well.

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This is why I mentioned the Clone Wars as well. Here we see the Jedi in an actual ground war and basically the only Jedi we see wearing a full suit of heavy armor more than half the time is Kenobi, all the rest of the Jedi wear light, piecemeal, or no armor at all. Nor do we see many non-troopers wear much.

Heavy Armor just isn't a big thing in this setting unless you're a trooper or a badguy. I'm not saying PCs should never wear heavy armor but lets just admit that it's a fantasy RPG holdover and be done with it.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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I would just say we don't see obvious armor much, there is no telling what we are seeing that is high tech or concealed.

 

I would be highly surprised if the many diplomats with excessively overdone garments don't have at least one layer dedicated to some form of protection.

 

Princess Leia gets shot in the arm in Return of the Jedi and shrugs it off, just a bad shot, or some sort of protective material in her scout gear? You could go either way, but of course at that point in three films we have seen numerous storm troopers in their much more obvious armor go down with one shot. Narratively I know this is a major character versus hordes of minions things, but even as a kid the fact that she shrugged off that shot bugged me and some concealed armor would go a longways to resolving the difference.

 

Even with someone like Captain Tycho from the prequels you see a bodyguard/soldier who is basically wearing a leather tunic (very similar to what I posted early) that wouldn't do squat in reality, but I would presume would be effective in the SW universe.

 

There are enough professionals in real life that were suits/jackets with concealed body armor that they are easy to look up online and arrange for fitting/purchase. I see no reason that anyone in the SW Universe that participated in occasion to frequent dangerous activity wouldn't seek  durable protective wear.

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Next is Darth Vader. Quite a bit of armor on that guy.

 

People keep saying things like this. If you actually look at Vader he isn't wearing much armour at all, certainly less than Obiwan wore during the Clone Wars. The majority of Vader's suit is made of a fairly soft material. The only real armour is is helmet (containing vital life support features) and his upper chest/shoulders, which arguably supports the helmet structure. He has some sort of cod piece, and possibly some greaves on his boots, but his abdomen, arms and thighs are all exposed. He is barely more protected than a pilot in a flight suit. 

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Who (in the current canon) is an armored force user (other than Darth Vader)?

 

Anakin, Obi-Wan (various Republic armor plus full-mando armor disguise), every Jedi General (bracers, at least, if not more), Kanan Jarus, Savage Opress, the Jedi Temple Guards...

 

They're out there.

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Who (in the current canon) is an armored force user (other than Darth Vader)?

 

Anakin, Obi-Wan (various Republic armor plus full-mando armor disguise), every Jedi General (bracers, at least, if not more), Kanan Jarus, Savage Opress, the Jedi Temple Guards...

 

They're out there.

 

I don't think anyone here is saying they never wear any armor but Heavy Battle or Laminate armor seems situational for Jedi. Armored Clothing and Padded Armor can encompass such a broad range of possibilities from a full suit to partial with some added plates, it's all really up to you how to describe it. Kanan for example is likely wearing the equivalent of Superior or Modded Armored Clothing. Boba Fett isn't really wearing full Mando armor but pieces Modded into Jury Rigged Padded or Armored Clothing and probably Jury Rigged and Superior as well. All of these can fit almost any situation without attracting too much unwanted attention. It's full on Heavy Battle Armor and Laminate that is going to attract attention.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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I think Jedi mainly just wear their traditional robes as a matter of practicality.  With "Defensive Training" talents you can build up a pretty impressive melee defense, this would counter the need to wear heavy armor to gain defense.  Wearing heavy armor just to gain soak becomes less of an issue when dealing with an opponent armed with a lightsaber as your soak probably isn't going to happen.  I know people like to mention cortosis often but it should be rare.

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Jedi are not soldiers, so traditionally they do not wear armour or carry blasters, but they do carry a lightsaber both as a symbol of their order and as a means of (sometimes aggressive) defence when necessary.  As a few people have pointed out the lightsaber in the hands of a skilled Jedi is plenty enough to protect them in most situations.  The simply robes and lack of major offensive weaponry is part of their image as ambassadors of peace. 

 

However when the situation demands it, Jedi have been known to employ whatever is needed.  In the Clone Wars when they did take on the role of soldiers various Jedi added some armour to their robes.  In the chaos of war even the most skilled Jedi is likely to get unlucky and a bit of armour is prudent (not that armour helps much as "plot device" has breach).  Likewise they have been known to use blasters when necessary (although off hand I can only think of Obi-Wan vs Grevious).

 

As some others have mentioned the "Jedi don't wear armour" idea came from various RPGs and RPG computer games where they based force users on wizards, and wizards can't wear armour.  at no point in any of the films have they given any suggestion that a Jedi could not use their force powers in armour.

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One of the people behind Tales of the Jedi advocated that Jedi don't wear armor. KotOR didn't allow it (probably for some level of balance), but TSL did have some non-Jedi Force tradition armors that worked with the Force. Not a lot of other writers bothered much, though.

 

I think the armor debate is one of the cases of fans putting more thought in something that the original creator ever did.

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I wore armour in KoToR, admittedly much to the horror of some of my friends.  It blocked some of the powers but not the main combat powers or force heal, so playing a Guardian it was fine.  And the exoskeleton armour giving me +2 to strength was lovely for a lightsaber based character. 

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Yeah i was wrong (as some of you pointed out), in the Clone Wars series we see a lot of Jedi wearing robes with some armor plates (mainly at hands, legs and one or two at chest). The issue is that i (wrongly) assumed that these things didn't amount to much armor (in the game) but seeing how that item (armored robes) gives 2 soak, which is the same as storm trooper armor (laminate armor), so the jedi wear serious armor when they expect to go into war, it's just that it looks different.

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One of the people behind Tales of the Jedi advocated that Jedi don't wear armor.

 

Yes, because "that's not the way of the Jedi." And this might be true for certain periods in the monastic Order's history, but when they all rise up to fight those wars of Legend, they don't seem to have an issue with wearing armor. 

 

Of course, I could see things going horribly wrong if you tried to use Force lighting while wearing conductive metal armor...ouch. 

 

KotOR didn't allow it (probably for some level of balance).

 

This is because KotOR was essentially a video game version of Star Wars Roleplaying OCR/RCR by Wizards of the Coast. It's very similar in mechanics (both game-engine-wise and game-mechanics wise) to Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate, both of which were also produced by BioWare and both of which used Dungeons & Dragons as their "ruleset." BioWare was very comfortable working with D&D 3e (used for Neverwinter Nights), and so the Star Wars RPG "OCR" (combined with an update of their game engine) was a natural follow-on. 

 

Bottom line, as Squirrelsan alluded to, the only reason that there exists the idea that "the Force is blocked by armor" is because of the Wizard archetype in Fantasy Roleplaying, which is pretty much exclusively a "balancing" concern :)  

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Just had a flick through Saga Edition to remind myself how that went, and basically nobody wears armour except the soldier class and NPCs.  Unless you have some special soldier feats that allow armour to stack you can either use armour for your defence (with various penalties for movement etc) or a defence based on your level, so past a couple of levels armour sucks for nearly all classes and would only get in the way.  So Jedi didn't wear armour in that game but neither did nearly everyone else. 

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Just had a flick through Saga Edition to remind myself how that went, and basically nobody wears armour except the soldier class and NPCs.  Unless you have some special soldier feats that allow armour to stack you can either use armour for your defence (with various penalties for movement etc) or a defence based on your level, so past a couple of levels armour sucks for nearly all classes and would only get in the way.  So Jedi didn't wear armour in that game but neither did nearly everyone else. 

 

Yeah, that's the problem with level/feat based systems (granted, there were talents as well); you have too many options and not enough opportunities to use them.  In addition, like you said, after a while it doesn't matter what the AC was, a character was still likely to be hit if unless there was another defense involved.

 

Plus, since they were using the EU at the time, it was getting ridiculous with the enemy rules.  Especially those with the force users.

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