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UncleArkie

Home-brewed Sith, Pureblood v 0.5

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SO! This is still very much in "beta" so to speak, but I've been brewing on a version of the Sith Pureblood for an Old Republic campaign that I'm thinking about running. Thoughts and feedback much appreciated.

 

Sith, Pureblood

During the days of the Old Republic few species command as much respect or instilled as much fear in whomever encountered them than the fierce Sith. For thousands of years the race was synonymous with a Dark Empire that rivalled the Republic in size and power and was unmatched in it’s cruelty.

Physiology: Pureblood Sith’s are tall and muscular red skinned humanoids, the product of the cross breeding of early human dark Side acolytes and brutal tribal Massassi native to the 4th moon in the Yavin system. standing 5-10 centimerers taller than the average human and weighing 5-10 kilos more.  it is not u

 

 

Br 3 Ag 2 In 2 Cn 2 Wp 2 Pr 2

Would Threshold 11 + Brawn

Strain Threshold 10 + Willpower

Starting Experience 80 XP

 

Special Abilities: Sith begin the game with one rank in Coercion or Deception, Sith also start with one rank in Cool. They still may not train Coercion, Deception or Cool above rank 2 during character creation.

 

Darkside Affinity: The Sith have an innate affinity for the dark side of the Force, when a Sith Pureblood rolls for conflict the Sith’s conflict rating is considered to be one point higher for the purpose of determining if the Sith gains conflict. Sith Purebloods also gains a point of Strain the first time their Morality drops below 20. A Sith pure blood who have dropped below 10 does not suffer strain from generating force points from light side results, but must still flip a Destiny Point in order for them to do so.

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I was thinking about this recently too, so I approve of the initiative :)

 

The Sith pureblood are almost exclusively force-sensitive. The wiki article mentions that they actually draw sustenance from the dark side.  The Revan novel has a Sith that has no force ability, and he is definitely viewed as an inferior specimen and ostracised.  It makes me think that any PC or NPC would have to be among the force-sensitive (unless it was a plot point that they were an outcast or something).

 

To that end I’d say the species starts with FR 1, but must still buy powers and specialisations to use that ability. As with other innate FR (such as gained from F&D careers) this FR is not increased other than with the relevant talent on the specialisation tree.

 

To offset this I’d drop the starting XP another 10, maybe 15 points.

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I was thinking about this recently too, so I approve of the initiative :)

 

The Sith pureblood are almost exclusively force-sensitive. The wiki article mentions that they actually draw sustenance from the dark side.  The Revan novel has a Sith that has no force ability, and he is definitely viewed as an inferior specimen and ostracised.  It makes me think that any PC or NPC would have to be among the force-sensitive (unless it was a plot point that they were an outcast or something).

 

To that end I’d say the species starts with FR 1, but must still buy powers and specialisations to use that ability. As with other innate FR (such as gained from F&D careers) this FR is not increased other than with the relevant talent on the specialisation tree.

 

To offset this I’d drop the starting XP another 10, maybe 15 points.

I agree with one of Sam Stewarts comments about giving a species a starting FR. The reasoning was not because of balance issues, but instead to allow players the choice to play a Force Sensitive or not. I think a non-Force Sensitive Sith Pureblood would be a lot of fun to play.

 

I have a player in my on-going campaign playing a Sith Pureblood that I wrote up. I'm not commited to my write-up, but it's serving the purpose I intended for it to serve.

 

 

Sith Pureblood

Br 2 Ag 2 In 2 Cn 3 Wp 1 Pr 2

Wound Threshold: 11+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Ancient Knowledge: Sith have long been the practitioners of dark alchemy and ancient teachings. This knowledge is a treasure to Sith. A Sith Pureblood starts out with a free rank in Knowledge (Lore)

Brutal Breeding: Sith Purebloods hold nothing back when dealing with their enemies. As such, they start out with a free rank of "Feral Strength".

 

Design Notes

The low willpower represents their lack of discipline. They are quick to anger and quick to action.

The increase in Cunning represents the conniving nature of the Sith Purebloods and the nature of the faction of their namesake.

I'm not sold on "Brutal Breeding", but it does a decent job of showing their more violent, hands-on, nature without upping their brawn. A deliberate design choice on my part since I wanted to make the SPs more nuanced than just walking beatsticks.

Edited by kaosoe

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I agree with one of Sam Stewarts comments about giving a species a starting FR. The reasoning was not because of balance issues, but instead to allow players the choice to play a Force Sensitive or not. I think a non-Force Sensitive Sith Pureblood would be a lot of fun to play.

 

I have a bounty hunter (arsenal merc) in SWTOR who is Sith... and has an entire head-canon backstory as to why she's living on the fringes, which starts with being barely Force sensitive (pretty much makes her immune to mind-manipulation and that's it, which you see in the actual game as blowing off attempts with much snark...) and running away when she was a kid.

 

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My original thought with the dark side affinity was that to tap into their "somewhat force sensitivity" as a species without giving them FR:1, the Legends lore has plenty of non-force sensitive siths.

 

As for Brawn being the stat that they have at 3, the rationalisation for it was that they are again according to the lore bred for purpose, to be strong and dominant, the coercion or deception skill then represents that they are culturally manipulative. 

 

From Wookiepedia

 

"Sith had a larger than average number of individuals with potential to use the Force in their species" meaning that they are not all of them force sensitives.

 

But I am starting to think that cunning 3 might be where it's at.

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That the OP's stat line has a characteristic at 3 but none of them at 1 is worrisome.  I think kaosae's take is better, and with a viable justification for Cunning and Willpower being what they are.

 

Skill options of Coercion or Deception and a rank of Cool is okay, since it is offset by lower-than normal starting XP.

 

The Dark Side Affinity is setting off too many alarms, as it's doing a whole lot; most Sith Purebloods are going to want to drop their Morality, and the extra Conflict each session just makes it that much easier.  In fact, I'd suggest just dropping this entirely and leave the species' affinity for the dark side as more of a narrative thing.

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The 3, but no one is handled with the lower starting xp, 90 xp (if you take the 10 bonus xp option) allows you to have 4 stats at 3 to start with (and no skills or talents) just like a human, which is the baseline I operated from.

Edited by UncleArkie

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The 3, but no one is handled with the lower starting xp, 90 xp (if you take the 10 bonus xp option) allows you to have 4 stats at 3 to start with (and no skills or talents) just like a human, which is the baseline I operated from.

Not quite.

 

Pushing a characteristic from 2 to 3 is 30 XP, which most species balance by dropping a 2 to 1, which is a rebate of 20 XP, and putting them at the 100 XP mark when contrasted with Humans.  So before anything else, you're at 80 XP before taking into account the other species abilities.

 

Your write-up offers two skill ranks (one of which is a choice rather than hard-coded) where most species only offer one, as well as an increase to Wound Threshold as well as a species ability that is highly favorable to what's probably going to be a fairly common build type, that of a dark side Force user, but is generally worthless outside of that build type.

 

That you've front-loaded this with a minimum wound threshold of 14 but no penalty to strain threshold is, from a design perspective, kinda worrisome.  Most species that have a starting Brawn of 3 and a boosted Wound Threshold either have a reduce Willpower, a reduced starting strain threshold, or both, such as Wookiees, who start with Brawn 3, base WT of 14, Willpower 1, and base ST of 8.

 

I would suggest making use of what kaosae posted, and use those for the starting characteristic line.  That helps pay for the other special abilities and increased wound threshold that you've got.

 

For the dark side affinity, if you are going to keep that, I'd say just drop the strain cost from spending dark side Force Points.  That's going to make calling on the dark side a lot more appealing will still avoiding it becoming a "go to" option for PCs since they'd still gain Conflict (which may not be a big deal for them) as well as having to burn a destiny point (which can be a big deal), and is still useful if/when they do go dark side, as they can now use those dark side FPs without suffering strain.

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I like the idea of dropping the strain cost for the dark side, and I'm going to change the WP to 1 since you are right, they are quick to react on impulse and rarely see to have much regard for anything but the hear and now. I did at one point consider dropping their Ag to 1 to go with the whole "lumbering brute" type, but there is a lot of lore where they are gracious as well. I seem to remember that WotC divided them up so there were different kinds of Sith, but I don't have the books anymore so I can't look it up.

 

I also wanted to add a downside for them being light siders so I changed the 'Dark Side Affinity' a little (still work in progress), reduced the would threshold and WP and removed a skill point. I'm still not 100% happy with the affinity, but it's a start. Good feedback there Mr. Morningfire.

 

Br 3 Ag 2 In 2 Cn 2 Wp 1 Pr 2
Would Threshold 10 + Brawn
Strain Threshold 10 + Willpower
Starting Experience 100 XP

Special Abilities: Sith begin the game with a rank in one of the following skills: Coercion, Deception or Cool. They still may not train Coercion, Deception or Cool above rank 2 during character creation.

Darkside Affinity: The Sith have an innate affinity for the dark side of the Force, when a Sith Pureblood rolls for conflict the Sith’s conflict rating is considered to be one point higher for the purpose of determining if the Sith gains conflict. A Sith pure blood who have dropped below morality 20 does not suffer strain from generating force points from light side results, but must still flip a Destiny Point in order  to do so. A Sith Pureblood does not gain a point of Strain when they increase their Morality above 80.

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I think it would be more balanced if you changed the strain cost to be 1 lower than RAW (ex: 0 strain for 1 pip, 1 for 2 pips) or something like that. Dark siders already get a penalty to max strain and your way eliminates a major drawback. Dark side users have it easy already taping the other side, not having to care about conflict. I think it can get really crazy on higher FR otherwise.

If you insist on  having total strain reduction, you should lower starting xp way more in my opinion, if you want it to be balanced, 

On the other hand, it feels a bit weird that a dark side affinity makes them tap to the light side easier. It should be the other way around really. This would make the dark side more tempting and natural to them.

Edited by blackyce

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I think you're getting close.

 

Alternatively...

 

Dark Side affinity: Sith are believed to be created by the Darkside of the Force. As such, it is their natural state. When Sith Pureblood suffers a penalty to their Strain Threshold due a low  Morality score, they suffer one less, to a minimum of 1.

 

 

Essentially, if they go full Darkside practitioner, they will only have a -1 to their Strain Threshold.

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I dislike the Darkside Affinity as it pretty much forces a player to take a F&D class or be denied a basic feature of his race. This means anyone starting from an AoR or EotE build gain nothing. I don't think a species should be forced to play a particular class, even if canon states most are Force sensitive the player should still be given that choice. 

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To play Palpatine's Advocate, his current write-up of "Darkside Affinity" does not punish a player for not taking Force sensitivity. They just do not receive the benefit.

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To play Palpatine's Advocate, his current write-up of "Darkside Affinity" does not punish a player for not taking Force sensitivity. They just do not receive the benefit.

 

Do they "pay the XP cost" for the Affinity regardless of whether they take FS? 

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To play Palpatine's Advocate, his current write-up of "Darkside Affinity" does not punish a player for not taking Force sensitivity. They just do not receive the benefit.

 

Yes but your starting stats, xp, and all that good stuff are balanced against what kind of abilities you get. Not having access to that ablility should logically mean the PC gets access to the xp he would have otherwise gained from his race not having the ability all together.

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Ah I see what your saying. It's an implicit penalty. That makes sense.

 

In that case, Darkside Affinity (whatever the final product looks like) may make better sense handled in the narrative, or purchased at the time of character creation similar to how Dresselians or Gand can spend XP to buy off the penalties inherent to their species. In this case, you are purchasing something that's been known to set Sith Purebloods apartment from any other species known to have strong Force traditions.

Edited by kaosoe

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I would need to go over the Grand and Dresselians again to see how that works out for them in the end. But overall I'm not in favor of a mechanic that pretty much only benefits you if you take a certain set of classes. Even if you could maybe buy off the negative aspects it doesn't sit well that their species is tied into the Morality mechanic. 

 

Maybe when they come out with Miraluka and we see how they deal with a Force strong species in general I'll have a different opinion on Force related species abilities. 

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I suspect the Miraluka stats will be even simpler than we expect. Likely a boost die to perception or the ability to negate setback die due to cover, concealment, or environmental effects that obscure vision.

Edited by kaosoe

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I suspect the Miraluka stats will be even simpler than we expect. Likely a boost die to perception or the ability to negate setback die due to cover, concealment, or environmental effects that obscure vision.

 

You're likely right, but seeing them would give us clues into better balancing strong Force species that they aren't likely to cover on their own, such as the Sith.

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For darkside affinity why not a streight ds/ls flip.

Darkside affinity: Sith purebloods are believed to be born from the dark side of the force. As such they no longer need suffer conflict or flip a destiny point to spend darkside points, these penalties now affect Lightside points instead.

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For darkside affinity why not a streight ds/ls flip.

Darkside affinity: Sith purebloods are believed to be born from the dark side of the force. As such they no longer need suffer conflict or flip a destiny point to spend darkside points, these penalties now affect Lightside points instead.

Still means that you have to choose a Force class to see any benefit for the trait.

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For darkside affinity why not a streight ds/ls flip.

Darkside affinity: Sith purebloods are believed to be born from the dark side of the force. As such they no longer need suffer conflict or flip a destiny point to spend darkside points, these penalties now affect Lightside points instead.

Still means that you have to choose a Force class to see any benefit for the trait.

 

It would probably be simpler to just avoid the darkside affinity. The miraluka almost certainly aren't going to get anything explicitly related to the force mechanic,so sith purebloods shouldn't either. 

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