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What makes a Jedi?

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Since Dawn of Rebellion has been released, we now have a much clearer understanding of what FF considers a Jedi. Kanan - knighted in the Rebels series, has a Force rating of 3. Ahsoka has a Force rating of 3. Darth Maul, a former Sith Lord, has a 4, as does the most powerful Inquisitor in the galaxy.

How has that changed or clarified our understanding of what it takes to be considered a Jedi in this version of the rules? Given that the characters in DoR have only a handful of force powers, does that change what we think of as a prerequisite for considering a character a Jedi? It suggests that two or three powers are more the norm, and many would be the exception.

Darth Vader, presented with a Force rating of 6, is supposed to be one of the most powerful force users in the history of the Jedi. Does that now define something of an upper limit on Force rating? Would you allow characters to increase beyond 6, or does it make sense to now impose the same limit on Force rating as we do on Abilities? 

Personally, this seems to suggest that Padwan would have a Force rating of 1-2, Knight would have 3-4, and master would be a 5-6. Obviously the lore would allow for exceptions to this, but it seems like a good guideline to me. When it comes to the powers, I would say that one power per force rating would be enough to be considered in full command of one's powers. What do you all think?

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Truthfully, there's really more to being a Jedi than just how strong you are in the Force.  The old WotC d20 RCR sourcebook Power of the Jedi has a pretty solid chapter going into detail of what being a Jedi meant in terms of role-playing such a character.  Granted, this viewpoint was based around the lore as it stood in the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and predominantly focused on what was probably the more dogmatic view of the Clone-Wars era Jedi Order.

In terms of Force abilities, it seems the default "array" for a Force user trained as a Jedi are Enhance, Influence (at least for the mind trick upgrade), Move, and Sense.  How many upgrades purchased probably varies wildly, but I'd say having at least the basic ability in each of those would be part and parcel of the Jedi Order's training regimen.

Also, I wouldn't quite take what the NPCS in Dawn of Rebellion have as absolute gospel.  For instance, Kanan is missing Influence and the "affect minds" Control upgrade from his list of Force powers, and he'd been seen on-screen doing the Jedi mind trick more than once, especially in the earlier seasons.  And fairly certain we've seen Anakin (prior to becoming Vader) do mind tricks as well in the Clone Wars series.

As for what "tier" a character is with regards to the Jedi Order and based upon their Force Rating, I'm thinking it might go something like this:

FR 1 - base sensitive, inexperienced Padawan (i.e. fresh from the Temple, early to mid-teens in age)
FR 2 - Seasoned Padawan (late teens, has been out in the galaxy for a few years), rookiee Jedi Knight (Luke at the start of Rotj)
FR 3 - 'Typical' Jedi Knight
FR 4 - Seasoned Jedi Knight, young/novice Jedi Master (Kenobi at the end of RotS)
FR 5 - Jedi Masters
FR 6+ - Exceptionally powerful Force users such as Vader, Yoda, Sidious, and perhaps TLJ!Luke

Given the XP investment required to get there, I'd have no problem with PCs having Force Ratings that went above a 6, as even the "quickest" way to do it (taking specs that offer two Force Rating bumps) is still going to cost a lot of XP, given non-career spec costs and purchasing the various talents, which itself doesn't even begin to cover the XP cost of Force powers and upgrades in order to put all those Force dice to good use.

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Blindness to the truth 

Attachment to their Order

A willingness to sacrifice others

 

What actually makes a Jedi? The player. You and I could make exactly the same character with the same xp spent on the same things and yet mine would probably be brash, deceitful and undisciplined. Meanwhile yours could be the pinnacle of light, holding true to every tenant of the Jedi code.

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7 hours ago, HistoryGuy said:

I found this table a while back. I heard it was from the old beta but I still think its useful on judging relative strength of Force Users.

ForceRating.JPG.700645c5c35d48ee6c84ac3c87f99101.JPG.1700a0b3bacc4afc6c20e0238ffdd9a7.JPG

counting only my career trees i can get up to eight what does that make me?

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8 hours ago, HistoryGuy said:

I found this table a while back. I heard it was from the old beta but I still think its useful on judging relative strength of Force Users.

And there were a couple of really good reasons why the table was deep-sixed and never seen outside the EotE Beta, namely that the devs realized that if Force and Destiny used a similar format to EotE and that nearly ever specialization would have a Force Rating talent, then setting any sort of "hard cap" on Force Rating (which that chart very much implies) becomes a problem.

The other reason being that as more playtesting occurred from outside their initial alpha testing, it became increasingly clear that you really only needed a Force Rating of 3 or 4 to be an effective Force user and that it was generally more XP efficient to invest in buying upgrades so that a single Force point had a greater effect than trying to get more Force points to trigger an upgrade multiple times.  Thus, anything above a Force Rating of 5 generally falls into the realm of ego-stroking; mechanically it's not really worth the investment of XP to get there, so all it provides is a bragging point to make the player feel better about all that XP they spent, not unlike the old joke about a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis spending loads of money on an over-priced sports car.

Granted, it takes well over a thousand XP to not only get a Force Rating above a 7, but also to purchase Force powers to make use of all those Force dice, so the odds of having PCs reach such lofty heights are generally pretty slim.  Even Keith Kappel's build of Yoda (2000 earned XP) for a convention module only got up to Force Rating 4, and from what I heard of after-action stories the Yoda build was highly effective due to having invested XP into Force power upgrades, allowing him to do more with the Force than a "mere" Force Rating of 4 would suggest.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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To respond to the OP, there are also Jedi Temple Guard stat blocks from I believe it was Nexus of Power. They have FR 4. In the lore, Temple Guards are supposed to be fully trained Jedi Knights that arguably would be more combat-focused since they needed to ensure protection of the temple and their fellow Jedi. The Grand Inquisitor was once a Jedi Temple Guard before becoming an Inquisitor, which if I recall, they weren't trained all that much in the Sith ways, so him having FR 4 later in life as an Inquisitor tracks.

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I like to use Sam Stewart's definition of "what makes a Jedi".

It's when you stand up to the Emperor, after defeating his Dragon, toss down your saber, refuse his offer of power for corruption, and tell him "No."

To get bogged down in numerical values to denote a Jedi is to forget the narrative focus, and point of this system.  

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What makes a Jedi?  At the risk of being impertinent, I’d have to say it is only one thing: Roleplay. 

Don’t get me wrong. As a game master, I find the concept of tiers as presented above to be a great guideline. It would be helpful for creating NPCs or providing an outline to a player who wants his character to progress through Jedi training/trials.  It does however, leave open the entire question of Force Powers.

Aside from the Prerequisite Force Rating, I have not yet discovered any template for this.  How many powers would typically be known at a given tier?  How many Upgrades?  When would a character be expected to attain Mastery of a particular power?

As a rule of thumb, I have generally given a Rival or Nemesis NPC one Force Power per point of Force Rating with a Rival having only the basic Power (no upgrades).  This has worked well enough in play, although I have no idea what the official standard would be. 

As a player….  It is all about the story.

In our Lost Worlds campaign where three of the six player characters are Force Sensitive, no one doubts which one is the Jedi.

It is not the most powerful. These characters have been together since the beginning and have equal XP.  It’s not the character with the most points in Move or the one who spent the first part of the most recent game session building a lightsaber based on antiquated schematics the group obtained from an ancient holocron. 

“You could have killed him.” says Bwangrozz the Hutt from his hover sled, looking down at the scene of battle. 

“Yeah,” agrees Krash as he deactivates his vibro-sword and lorrdian crystal saber.  “But then I’d have had to hear a lecture from Jhairen.” He looks past his opponent to where the Cathar is securing the restraints on the captive Nemesis whom the smuggler has just dragged out of the  pool at the Force Nexus.

“Thank you,” the Jedi tells the Togrutan, “That was a brilliant idea.”

                                                                -excerpt from the end of the session / mid-point of the campaign

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6 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

I like to use Sam Stewart's definition of "what makes a Jedi".

It's when you stand up to the Emperor, after defeating his Dragon, toss down your saber, refuse his offer of power for corruption, and tell him "No."

To get bogged down in numerical values to denote a Jedi is to forget the narrative focus, and point of this system.  

I believe quotes from the franchise define it pretty well. Luminous beings. Guardians of peace and justice. One who uses the Force for knowledge and defence. Often their lives are made up of several things they try to do selflessly if they are adhering to the principles of the Jedi. Strict adherence to a code doesn't often happen but the basic ideas and beliefs, the principles are upheld in most cases.

 

Basically, what makes a Jedi is finding the moment where you can make the most difference and taking it. A significant, selfless act. That concept is even mentioned in the franchise here and there.

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6 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

I like to use Sam Stewart's definition of "what makes a Jedi".

It's when you stand up to the Emperor, after defeating his Dragon, toss down your saber, refuse his offer of power for corruption, and tell him "No."

To get bogged down in numerical values to denote a Jedi is to forget the narrative focus, and point of this system.  

Dude... it's an RPG. Things come down to numbers.

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20 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

Role-Playing

not

Roll Playing

People play RPGs differently, so why would someone give a useless answer to someone asking for a mechanical clarification?

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26 minutes ago, Nivrap said:

People play RPGs differently, so why would someone give a useless answer to someone asking for a mechanical clarification?

If role-playing isn't an active part in the game, then it really isn't what the name says.

 

Regardless, I'll indulge the request.

Mechanically, there have been several thoughts already stated here. Force Rating 2-4 seems about right for a Jedi Knight. This is backed up by the statblocks and rules listed in the game. Temple Guards at FR4, prominent Jedi from Rebels at FR3, Jedi-in-training at FR2. The rules in Disciples of Harmony suggesting that a character not go on their trials of knighthood until they have obtained FR2. The trials of knighthood as listed in the books seem to suggest powers like Move, Enhance, Sense being basic Jedi abilities and I'd personally add that Influence is another basic Jedi ability as well, though that's debatable if you want to point to all the background Jedi that are never seen using it when compared to all the front-and-center Jedi who do use it at some point.

 

Mechanically, I would say a Jedi Knight is a Force Sensitive character, that wields a lightsaber, that has earned around 500xp, that upholds the principles and beliefs of the Jedi.

 

That's the kicker though, you can't really separate the mechanical from the narrative regarding Jedi, because to be a Jedi, you must believe and uphold the principles of the Jedi. To wave around a laser sword and to use the Force only (see: Ahsoka Tano post-Clone Wars) does not make one a Jedi. This is because Jedi is not just a religion, not just a skillset, not just a connection to the Force and not just a lightsaber. It is all of those things. Any living being in the Star Wars galaxy could learn to use the Force and anyone can craft and wield a lightsaber given the knowledge. Nobody can be a Jedi unless they join that religion because the belief system is the core of the Jedi.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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Is role playing crucial to being a Jedi? Yes, absolutely. At their core, Jedi serve the story and the setting by functioning as guardians, protectors of both ideals and the natural world. As each of us would approach that in a different way, that allows myriad stories to be told. It is, after all, why we are here.

The question was, perhaps, poorly worded. Does the new information change your expectation of what a Jedi could mechanically accomplish would likely have been a better way to phrase it. 

Looking through the answers, it appears that most people are less hung up on Force rating, and more focused on two things: mastery of the force as expressed through learning the powers (narratively: honing one's understanding of the force), and in portraying a character that lives up to the examples - good or bad - present in the movies, books, TV, and comics. I suppose the number crunchy way to look at that would be crafting a character that thrives in the setting as depicted by a given GM.

Personally, I know how I want the Jedi, Inquisitors, and other force users to fit in the story I am telling, but the presentation of the characters in Dawn of Rebellion had me rethinking their stats somewhat. 

Thanks for the responses, all. 

 

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Things get murky especially post Order 66. Do you need to be a Jedi openly to be considered a Jedi? Do you need to wield a lightsaber? Do you need to be trained beyond the basics? How strictly do you need to adhere to the Code to be a Jedi? Luke had some pretty low moments, wanting to stop his student Ben Solo for fear he would turn, wanting the Jedi to end. I wouldn’t say he was a Jedi while he was doing the hermit thing, but how Jedi-like was it to give up on Ben out of fear?

For me, believing in and following the Jedi Code as well as possible and having had at least basic formal instruction suffices to be a Jedi. I believe the generally accepted norms differ from age to age though.

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Personally, pre-clone wars, a Jedi was first and formost a defender of the republic and diplomat that ensures that disputes within the republic is resolved fairly. They are the upholders of stability and essentially the maintenance crew of the republic. In addition to this, they are scholars of the force and spend much of their time trying to divine purpose and function in this vague being, which included ways of measuring force sensitivity and generally enhancing understanding in any ways they know how.

In short, they are are force sensitive scientists of the indescribable, but first and foremost they are the guardians of republic values.

Post Clone wars: Who really gives a toss? Anyone can name themselves a Jedi and have legitimate lay to claim. The organisation is gone, the only reason that they have so many non-Jedi force users is because something some crony old frog thing was waffling about was being treated as the bible, when Yoda himself was shown to be an almost compulsive liar when it suited his purposes. What makes a Jedi is as vague as the force itself, Kanan was always a Jedi but just needed to get his heart back and believe in himself in his ability to eventurally restore the republic. Akosha has legitimate reason not to be considered such because she saw what the Jedi was like and just didn't want to be assoicated with that faceless agency that effectively abandoned her to the republic, yet might also be considered such otherwise because she is actively providing support to rebel cells to assist with reasserting the new republic.

But in all seriousness, the best title that fits is a Jedi is a force senstive freedom fighter who has taken up the office of a broken organisation to try and re-establish the republic. Luke did succeed in that role, and then, as the sole member of his order he decided to withdraw from the republic and focus on building a new order based on *something something*. So he had shifted it quite significantly from it's original ideology. Was it for the better or worse? Donno, we know less about Luke's order then we did about the force. XD

Edited by LordBritish

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