Star Wars hack? Where is it?

As I look at all the crap I need to write up to do a Battlestar Galactica Viper pilots hack, I was wondering where the Star Wars hack is!

I’ve seen Mice of the Old Republic, and some of the stuff in the Getting Started Hacking thread.

Some of it is kind of unfocused for Mouse Guard. You really need a central theme. The Mouse Guard, ferinstance. You’re not playing Mice of the Territories in a general sense. Likewise, a Star Wars hack needs to be focused on one thing.

Star Wars equals Jedi. That’s it for a Mouse Guard hack. And Sith have got nothing to do with Jedi, as Weasels are not the same as Mice. Write the game for Jedi, and leave the Sith as the Weasels they are. Don’t get trapped in Star Wars dogma. Don’t even go down that road. Jedi that lose it? Done and gone, like Mice who’ve screwed their Nature, or Donutians who’ve fubared their Flow.

Probably the clearest era for Star Wars gaming would be the throws up on self Prequels, during the vomit Clone Wars. Teams of Jedi, mass combat, shit blowing up. The Clone Wars are IMO the ideal for a hack.

With Jedi as Jedi, and Sith as Sith, the Nature hack for player characters is purely Jedi Nature. Sith Nature is purely Sith. No dramatic re-write of Nature to accomplish this, like Light/Dark side retardation that has crept into Star Wars gaming. It shouldn’t be about dogma about Jedi religion… it should be about personal choice.

New Conflicts… Jedi shit. Whatever the Force means, it needs a Conflict system, I think.

Seasons. See, I love the Seasons thing in Mouse Guard. I have to shoehorn it into everything. For the Clone Wars, I’d kind of move it into a Burning Empires thing, with Seasons based on the siege/blockade/warfare conditions for specific planets. As the fighting grinds on for a planet, the patterns of the story have to shift.

The thing is, what’s so exciting? Star Wars in this period has shit for opponents. The retarded rule of 2 thing for the Sith makes it stupidly horrible, and you’d have to draw upon the IMO overrated animated Clone Wars stuff. (I liked Tartakovsky’s Clone War cartoons a lot more than these new CGI cartoons)

F***. But the kids, they like the Star Wars, especially of the Clone War period. It’s more identifiable to them than the BSG. sigh

I need a Star Wars hack at some point. It’s probably easier to pull off than BSG right now, but BSG has so much more passion & less annoying teenagers than Star Wars!


Okay, thinking about the Force… no Control, Sense, Alter. The Force skill triumvirate is very d6-era kind of shit. I still hate that the Force is split into three disciplines… and it seems very arbitrary & system-y.

So, I would split it two ways (still ultra sucky, but whatever). Force Within & Force Without. This is a philosophical basis with game implications, IMO.

Mastery of the Force begins within, and then you can learn the connection between everything through the Force (i.e. Force Without cannot go higher than Force Within).

Force Within covers all the internal shit. Suspended breathing, healing the self, jumping real high, running fast.

Force Without covers anything outside of the self. Telekinesis (knowing the Force of the rock), influencing other minds (knowing the Force within other life forms), sensing the future.

ALSO… if you use a Siege/Warfare-based “Season” concept (a la Infection), then I’d include Battle Meditation as the analog to Weather Watcher. This may make Battle Meditation more common than you’d think, but this is my idea :wink:

Okay, and what is Force Within/Without?

See how Wises give you an extra 1D for stuff?

I’d say Force skills are extra wise. So it’s another 1D on top of stuff if you can fork in your Jedi mojo, in addition to Wises. Extra wise!

Plus, Force Within & Force Without have their own tests & Contests, and they can replace Health & Will in various contests as well.

SIMPLE! No triumvirate, and it fits Mouse Guard’s underlying Will/Health mechanic!

Thoughts on Recruitment (with a WIP document on Zoho Writer)…

Nature shouldn’t be used as species hacks for Jedi. Jedi Nature overrides baseline racial traits.

Racial characteristics from the d20 incarnations don’t mean much here. A +2 here and a -2 there has limited effect on the end output of a Cerean or Miralukan, especially if we’re looking at things through a Mouse Guard lens.

Born Human is stuff like…
Skills: Laborer, Pilot, Trader
Traits: Underestimated, Determined

Likewise, other Star Wars races will just have different skills & traits to pick during Recruitment as part of the “Where were you born?” question. Differences should be more a matter of attitude and BIGs writing, IMO.

I also think Star Wars rpgs suffer from being too sci-fi-y (like a fake plastic nose & body paint menagerie) and not as humanocentric as the movies. Not sure how to counter that expectation, though.

Nature doesn’t need to be hacked a lot. The Mouse Guard are already like the Jedi. Putting a lot of extra expectations on Nature defeats the cleanliness of the ruleset, and obscures what Nature means.

I feel stronger about using 2 Force skills (Force Within, Force Without) to hack Jedi tricks rather than make Nature into magic on its own. I don’t believe Nature hacks well as “magic”… the concept is larger than that, in my opinion.

Dogfighting… Easier to envision with Star Wars than BSG. Delta-7 Aethersprite and Eta-2 Actis, with supporting squadrons of Arc-170s & V-Wings being either irrelevant or modifying (perhaps like Armor rules for Mouse Guard? Or even the Weapons? And then Delta-7 or Eta-2 being more like Armor?).

Dogfighting rules, as said in the BSG thread, can just follow the normal Versus Conflict rules. Pilot skill can work for everything. Droidsmith can work for Maneuver or Defend against droid opponents (like Hunter & Loremouse work in Fights). Maybe overlay the Force skills as well.

For Jedi Generals in command of Acclamator cruisers or Venator-class Star Destroyers, you can just go with Militarist rules. I like the idea of Orator as an option for Militarist in the underlying Mouse Guard (never ran a Militarist contest), so that must stay.

Skill list…

I still need to come up with some skills to replace skills I’ve taken away from the baseline Mouse Guard list. However, most of the skills have been replaced or reframed in Star Wars terms.

Anyway, this gets me much closer to being done with Recruitment.

The Tenderpaw/Patrol Leader relationship reminds me of the Padawan Learner/Jedi Master relationship. I wonder if that’s intended…

Anyway, skillz.

A​dministrator - Unchanged

Archivist - Unchanged

Artillerist - Big soldierly weapons & ship’s guns

Artisan - Maker of any non-tech stuff, from sculpture to tailoring

Battle Meditation - the Star Wars hack version of Weather Watcher

Crewmate - Basic crew stuff aboard ship

Deceiver - Unchanged

Droidsmith - Droid makers, and also the Star Wars version of the Loremouse skill

Engineer - fixing tech

Farmer - from Moisture Farmers to whatever

Fighter - Unchanged

Force Within - Internal uses of the Force, affecting the self

Force Without - External uses of the Force, affecting everything besides the self

Herder - Mostly nerf herders, but any animal handler

Instructor - Unchanged

Laborer - Unchanged

Linguist - all the various Star Wars languages, communicating with other species (should be a wise?)

Medic - the Star Wars version of Healer

Militarist - Unchanged

Musician - musical performance arts

Navigator - plotting a course through hyperspace

Orator - Unchanged

Persuader - Unchanged

Pilot - Piloting anything

Programmer - computer & droid skills, not related to the physical tech

Scientist - Unchanged

Scoundrel - sneaky thief-y, anti-security stuff

Scout - pretty much unchanged

Survivalist - pretty much unchanged

Trader - the Star Wars version of Haggler

Dancer - because it needs to be its own skill

Gambler - which might not need to be its own skill (see Scoundrel?)

The other random thought for today… Militarist & gratuitous space battles.

For Mouse Guard, we have the Natural Order scale. Why not adapt that for gratuitous space battles?

Instead of War with Animals, you have to band together several squadrons of fighters to take down big enemy capital ships.

So, the Unnatural Order scale:
[li]Micro-Fighters (Vulture Droids)
[/li][li]Fighter craft (Delta-7s, Eta-2, ARC-170, Droid Tri-Fighter, etc)
[/li][li]Small freighters (various Corellian light freighters, Consular-class cruiser)
[/li][li]Small capital ships (Corellian CR90 corvette, medium freighters)
[/li][li]Frigates & Light Cruisers (Acclamator-class assault ships & Munificent-class frigates)
[/li][li]Venator-class Star Destroyers, Providence-class carrier/destroyers, & Lucrehulk-class Battleships

For your skill list, just use Performer to capture musician and dancer in one. In line with the “less is more” philosophy, I’d drop Programmer since that can be wrapped into Engineer. Also, I’d only have one Force skill and I’d eliminate Crewmate, as that’s both ambiguous and seems like it exists only to have a conflict skill for space combat (with little or no other use).

Do you see Artillerist as replacing Hunter for a Fight Animal Star Wars conflict equivalent, such as Space Dogfight, perhaps? That would work nicely, I think. Oh, and I don’t think there’s a need for Gambler. That’d fall under Deceiver. Linguist… I’d say not needed as a skill. It could be a wise for sure. Swapping Weather Watcher for Battle Meditation is awesome, by the way; a perfect translation of an existing skill into something utterly setting-appropriate.

Thanks, regarding Battle Meditation. It seemed a natural fit, and any brilliance therein is a reflection of the underlying rules for Seasons & weather obstacles & the power of Weather Watcher.

People do underestimate Weather Watcher, IMO. The ability is strong enough in BW where there is no Seasons cycle. It’s obscenely powerful & important in Mouse Guard, in my opinion.

My thoughts in favor of separate Musician & Dancer skills… there are memorable elements of music & dance in the original 3 movies (and they were better before the Dark Times of Lucas’ re-edits). It would be nice to have feeder skills for them, like Carpenter can feed Help/lead into Stonemason.

Programmer is less so on that scale, I think, but the intent is similar. To cluster some service skills together.

Overall, Mouse Guard skills seem to be premodern, “We make stuff” skills. I want the skill list to reflect a post-industrial, service-oriented, “Droids make stuff in giant factories, and people just patch stuff back together if it breaks” kind of feeling. (Again, an impression, a feeling I get from the movies)

Gambler suffers from the lack of leads & follow-ons… I just need more skills to retain the same overall number of skills as Mouse Guard.

Simplicity is important, though. I want to echo the Mouse Guard setup, and not muddy it up any more than it has to.

Finding the replacement for Hunter in the Fight contests was also something I was thinking about. That suggestion works as well as any.

If my Crackberry doesn’t blow up from lack of memory, I’ll post some sample races for Recruitment. Again, it’s just a hack for the Where Were You Born? question during Recruitment, and bears no other in-game impact.

Hunter lets you deal with big bads in an alternate way. Isn’t that what Jedi do in SW?

Hunter replacement skill for Jedi… So, Use the Force (or whatever)?

Obi Wan waves his hand, and a bunch of Droids hit the deck.

Sounds good to me!

Okay, sample races.

Prepare for the awesome!!11!!! (Actually, I expect some degree of bitching from Star Wars nerds)

Just like in Mouse Guard, you’re picking a skill and a trait from the list under that origin.

I think the only “new” trait is Underestimated. This just reflects the galaxy’s view of Humans as not being very impressive (young Anakin in the pod race, Luke Skywalker in general, the general use of Humans as slaves in the fringes, etc), which means that others can be surprised by a skilled/bold Human… It also means it can be difficult for Humans to be taken seriously.

Oh, and Blind for the Miraluka. They use the Force to “see”, which is a problem if something can’t be sensed through the Force or if the Miraluka isn’t well attuned to the Force at the time.

EDIT: oh, Exotic for female Twi’lek. It’s there for us fanbois to reflect the “easy on the eyes” nature of Twi’lek females in the Star Wars universe (it’s written in the Wookieepedia, it must be true). Looks are both a benefit and burden, as all of us beautiful people are aware :wink:

Skills: Pilot, Farmer, Laborer
Traits: Underestimated, Determined

Skills: Militarist, Scientist, Medic
Traits: Calm, Rational, Quick-Witted

Skills: Force (whatever), Artisan, +why bother listing anything else+
Traits: Blind (?)

Skills: Dancer, Trader, Scoundrel
Traits: Exotic (females), Pragmatic (males), Cunning

Skills: Scout, Engineer, Droidsmith
Traits: Curious, Stubborn

Obviously this list is not complete when it comes to Star Wars Jedi races. It’s not difficult to dream up new races this way, though, so just make up whatever. Cathar, Aqualish, Zabrak, Mon Cal, Ewok, Gungan, whateva yousa be sayin’.

Again, Nature is specifically not a hack for race/species here. Race/species is more “Hollywood make up effects” & player attitude than anything else, which is inappropriate for Nature.

We’ll use Nature (Jedi) for player characters, Nature (Sith) for the Weasels, and some equivalents for Battle Droids & Trade Federation Lucrehulk battleships & so on.

Sorry. I prefer Nature as a hack for race/species. I like Jedi Nature too anyway.

Looks good beer!

Jedi nature over ruling species nature is pretty awesome. In the movies Jedi seemed pretty similar regardless of prosthetics and funny accents.

Another time to set games might be post Battle of Coruscant in the expanded universe. Some Jedi are running around and no stupid prequels to mess things. (I haven’t read the young adult books with the aliens that invade from outside the galaxy though. . . )

I like the battle meditation idea coupled with seasons-as-conflict phases. Is battle meditation a separate skill from Force use? If yes, could someone who isn’t a Jedi use battle meditation? I prefer keeping over all Force use to just one skill, that seems for MG like.


I don’t think Nature will be possible with this hack. It is in a Jedi’s Nature to perform his various duties… which are obviously in line with his duties as a Jedi. There’s no tension there. The point of Nature is to provide an instinctual guide that presses away from the duties of one’s charge or station. In other words, Nature is meant to conflict, in a way, with one’s duties or responsibilities and not complement them. Nature is great in MG because, despite the real nature of mice, here are some that are going up against predators, the dangers of the wild, etc. They’re fighting against their Nature to accomplish their duties. However, Jedi are Jedi are Jedi. There’s no separation at all there, and thus no room for Nature, really.

That said, if Nature were to be dispensed with, you’ll certainly need those more particular skills to help fill a few possible gaps, and Health and Will will be rolled more often in conflicts. (Which is fine, by the way.)

Love species replacing location in Recruitment. That’s fucking awesome, and will work really nicely. It’s great colour with some mechanics to back 'em up.

In terms of skills, looking for skill pairings and matches is the wrong approach to take, I think. If players want utterly perfect synergy and self-help, that’s what wises are for. For instance, while dancing and music have been separate in some ways in the movies, that’s really splitting hairs. Might as well create a Repairman skill because some people don’t build things but only repair them. Skills are meant to be broad-based. Lots of options, but each skill covers a lot of area. I think you’d be well served to keep that going in your hack (which you mostly have already). For instance, I like Scoundrel for security systems and general shenanigans (maybe that would be where you fit in Gambler – did you say that already?) but you’ll still need Scout.

The craft skills are where it becomes a bit tough to call. Engineer is good, and I like Droidsmith. Scientist is definitely still needed. Programmer is almost too narrow. Based on intent, it could simply be Scoundrel or Engineer (or Scientist or Medic). You could simply have something like Technician, perhaps, to cover general ship systems, computer terminals, etc., though “Technician” swerves into pretty broad territory. So yeah… that’s a tough area.

By the way, as a fellow hacker of MG, I’m just trying to give you the benefit of what experience I’ve had with it, not smack down your ideas. If I wasn’t interested, I wouldn’t post at all. :slight_smile: My basic advice is: Keep it simple, translate over (and just rename) what translates well, and only create from scratch those things that really need to be added. If something doesn’t work, discard it and don’t try to mash it into place just because it’s in MG.

I hear you.

Battle Meditation is supposed to be rare amongst Jedi. I didn’t want it as a baseline “Use the Force” concept. I do want to keep it unique somehow.

So… How about “Force Sensitivity” as a Trait? (Yeah, stealing from d20 again) This unlocks the Force as a skill modifier on its own (and I’m not locked into the “extra Wise” idea anyway), applicable to any skill that you can draw in the Force as a Trait assist.

At level 3 Trait for “Force Sensitivity”, then you unlock the use of “Use the Force” for Battle Meditation? It makes it difficult to employ in the game compared to Weather Watcher (and we’re kind of far afield from that concept), but does it fit the feel & the lore better?

I would leave it as you had it, to be honest, with minor alterations. Since weather doesn’t mean anything in Star Wars, it would rock to have Battle Meditation used to power Maneuver and Feint in a Space Combat conflict. It will still be rare, Beer, because not everyone will want to take it (for the same reasons not many people take Weather Watcher). It’s still quite niche, and how fucking cool would it be cool to see someone use Battle Meditation in a Space Combat conflict action (Maneuver or Feint) with others helping with The Force skill?

Although… the name will have to be Battle Meditator, I just realized. MG always throws me with the naming of the skills as roles as opposed to the straight nouns. For instance, I keep wanting to say Fighting instead of Fighter or Scouting instead of Scout.

Also, no need to have Force Sensitivity because all characters will be Force users, right? You could have Strong In the Force as a trait, though, which would follow normal trait level rules.

Thanks for the insights into Nature. It’s a complex concept, and a great addition to the BW set, but it definitely is on the foreign side for myself.

How about making it separate, then?

Instead of Nature, call it the Dark Side, with the descriptors Fear, Anger, Hate, Suffering (or whatever). Then, Jedi can tap it to do crazy badwrong stuff…

Hmmm, but the Nature mechanic makes Nature go the other way with Tax…

Maybe the Dark Side can be another Ability, like Will & Health, but also rooted in the conflicts inherent in Nature.

I’d want to draw in the Light versus Dark Side somehow. Nature seems like the closest concept, and ideas are more than welcome.

Now you’re talking. I was thinking about something along those lines, too, but thought it might then screw with the Sith. Then I thought “screw them!” – give Sith Nature descriptors that work against the ultimate Sith goal of galaxy-wide conquest! Think of things that force them apart, make them suspicious, etc. An example would be “betraying.” That’s the freakin’ story of the entire Sith Empire: Darth So-And-So had a chance to ---- Oh, he was betrayed. Then Darth What’s-His-Name almost had the entire Sith armada and ---- oh, betrayed! :slight_smile:

My brain just isn’t working so I can’t think of others for Sith. I like Dark Side temptations for Dark Side Nature descriptors for Jedi: hating, coveting, getting revenge (?).

Tax and everything should still work fine. However, there are simply no ways for a Jedi to tap his Nature with Persona to perform actions that are in line with it. In other words, tax will be one-sided: no actions would be in line with a Jedi’s Nature. I actually like that. You want to give in to hate and despair for extra dice in a Fight conflict? Okay. You’ll be taxed. There are no actions that involve the Dark Side that are in line with a Jedi’s nature. You want the advantages of tapping Nature, feel the TAX!

That said, I’m sure some thinking (and tinkering with what exists) will yield a decent and balanced system.

As for the Light side… hmmm… I wouldn’t worry too much about it as a mechanic. Having the Dark Side is enough, I think, and really makes a Jedi character know that he can fall.

Yeah, I do like Battle Meditation as a skill. Since the vast majority of non-Jedi (and non-Sith) will probably just be written as “Nature X (attributes)” (like Nerf-Herder, Nature: 3 (Herding, Smelly, Scruffy-looking)), only Jedi and Sith should have practical access to Battle Meditator as a skill.

Going back to prior concepts of the Dark Side/Light Side written by others, do you use a Light vs Dark Side continuum? (Max for Nature is 7, so Dark Side is 7 minus Light Side)

Or do you just tempt with the Dark Side for Jedi?

I want there to be spectacular badwrong potential with the Dark Side. That would be cool.

EDIT: Okay, following the prior post, I think I need to leaf through my book some more and brainstorm some additional ideas about Nature & the Dark Side.

In the original movies, Jedi were known as fighters. In the new ones, they are more like monks. A jedi must be patient, but time is running out. They should be peaceful, but the situation forces them to fight. They must be fair, but the villain must be punished. I think there is a lot of room there.

Well, I do not want to contradict myself but … I must do. :stuck_out_tongue:

A Jedi must be patient, but humans -and other creatures- are not. They must be peaceful, but we are violent creatures. We should be fair, but our passions blind us.

In the other hand, Nature for monsters look too great to ignore.

If you ask me, the Nature conflict should be about all those bad things a Jedi should never do. Not Dark Side bad stuff, but, you know, all the internal conflicts of the prequels. “A Jedi must not love” and such. So maybe Nature is the Jedi Nature stat, but instead of useful descriptors like “knowledge, defense” have more questionable ones like “calm, passive” and the like. The idea is at 7 Jedi Nature, you retire to the Council and do nothing but meditate fruitlessly, and at 0, you go rogue or Dark Side or whatever.


Exactly! That was what I was trying at with my crappy hack.

You bring up a good point regarding Jedi. The question for all of us being, “Who are the Jedi?”

Which is the best source, and what is the best way to play it? Warrior-Monks are an ideal, but I am more the fan of the samurai movies & that style of impassioned drama (which is why we need Nature somehow, whatever is going to be the best way to get at it).

Boring monks who are too wise and too rational? Kind of anti-Burning Wheel, IMO. To make the game move, I think we need more “human” Jedi (not Human, the species, but rather more like us, the poor mortals who live & suffer the human condition). Temptations need to be in there. Flaws need to be exposed, brought to light.

The end result is ideally something not as emo as Anakin, not as monk-like as Qui Gon.

Okay, I almost had a good idea after reading Odie’s post, but I lost the thread of thought.

I do like the idea of Jedi attributes turned negative in Nature, and pushing the Force into activity leading to tax & passion being equal to heading down the Dark path.