Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Lucky Find - Mirco Machines Star Wars Figures

I made a lucky find today at the house. A dozen or so metal Micro Machine Star Wars Figures. I found them in a box in the attic, which probably should have burned to ash but didn't thanks to the asbestos popcorn ceiling we had.  


You can see these are from a few different sets. I have a couple from Hoth, including Luke and Han. There is also a single regular Stormtrooper, Vader, and Boba Fett. 

There were two figures I didn't recognize in the same box: plastic Gamorrean guards.  


eBay sparked a memory. These are from the 1983 Parker Brother's game, Battle at Sarlacc's Pit. I recall having this one but I have no idea where the rest of the game went. I did not die in the fire, I had lost it long ago. 

Anyway, things are moving along at the house. We have windows, a toilet and kitchen cupboards. It's all looking up. 


Thursday, October 28, 2021

"New to me" WotC Star Wars RPG Book.

I lucked out and found a new copy of WotC's Star Wars RPG in great condition at a very reasonable price. 

Ironically, the reason I like this ruleset so much is that it is very close to D&D 3.5 and d20. Sure, there are some differences but the system lends itself to modification. 

I'm sure you can judge by my posts that I would like to have more great Star Wars themed posts and this book is the gateway to that end. 

Back in 2020, I reviewed this book. Since it's Thursday, let's call this review link a Throwback. Since I had been playing this ruleset for a couple of months, I suppose I need to update the review. 

Maybe later. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

What's to Like About The Reign of the Empire, The New Republic and Beyond?

Disney's gots its hooks in Star Wars. That was a development that I never saw coming. So, what to like about this? 

Disney has a mix record on movies. With 5 in the can, only 2 are notable. 

Rogue One was excellent as it presented a very different take on the world. It nearly didn't make it judging by the refilming, but it was very good. It captured the ideas very well and threw a bunch of stuff at the audience that meshed clearly with the original film. I could have done without the bit at the end with Vader, but otherwise, it was a decent Star Wars story. Which was a good thing because "A Star Wars Story" was in the title. 

The next best film is also the most dogged. Solo. Again, this tried to diverge from the typical Star Wars setting it was very good in that respect. 99% of their battle was making people believe Alden Ehrenreich and Harrison Ford are the same person. That's a bad idea, but they did their best. It also suffers from the shoehorned villain ending. It was loaded with flaws, but was a passable story and fun romp. 

Ramming killer villains into the end of films seems to be the Disney Double Gainer. Usually Disney kills the villain in the end, but in these films they live. New ground, I guess. 

All the other live action movies wer dren. Yeah, I said dren. They were almost as bad as the prequels. 

But the prequels and sequels give a hint as what could be good about the Star Wars universe. There is a running concept in the newer Star Wars films and spin offs. The galaxy is strange. There are things you wouldn't believe out that. 

Now that's an idea right from the first film and occasionally Disney can nail it. 

Where Disney seems to get into trouble is Disney-fying things. Force Ghosts that act like people is a very bad one. Zero mystery anymore, they hang in the Force StarWarsBucks while waiting to drop knowledge on us. 

The other part is misunderstanding which movie the characters are in. Some of them are dead obvious like the need for fuel. More jarring is when they pull a classic sci-fi trope out and in dump it in the film, like Rey's Mirror Cave moment. It's good sci-fi, but bad movie making to assume that Star Wars is science fiction. It's more fantasy, but tightly defined fantasy. In introduces a lot of nonsense into films that don't have enough room for it. 

But what is good about these new creations? 

Before watching The Bad Batch, I went back to The Clone Wars series to see how they worked in that series. It wasn't a bad transition from one series to the other. The Bad Batch are introduced as anti-heroes to rescue Echo from the Separatists. In the end, they accept Echo into the misfit band. The entire ensemble are misfits, so Echo fits right in. They also diverge from pretty much everything else in Star Wars. 

Tech is a genius in a world that seems to be lacking them. Hunter is a low-fi tramp like character thrust into a high tech world. Wrecker is the team meat shield, apparently having survived many things that would normally kill people. He has a massive scar on the side of his head which is clearly going to haunt him. Crosshair is a stormtrooper who can actually handle a weapon. 

As divergent characters, they don't diverge much. Yes, they take off their helmets and armor, but in ways that make sense. They have mighty backpacks which seem to include a lot of the kit they need for missions. But aside from beefing up their profile, not much is made of them. They have interesting powers, but not that interesting. Tech is no more profound than Han Solo, but he has a better execution rate. Echo is basically a living R2-D2 which they already toyed with. Wrecker is a talking Chewie and Hunter is basically Luke without a lightsaber. The every dad.  

It remains to be seen what Omega and Crosshair will become. And that is actually the key to Star Wars. 

"What will you become?" 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review - Invasion of Theed Boxed Set

Happy Star Wars Day! 

Title: Invasion of Theed Boxed Set
Design: Bill Slavicsek
Year: 2000
Pages: 2 32 page booklets, and 16 page character sheets folio.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Theed is the capital of Naboo and this adventure runs contemporaneously with the end of the film, The Phantom Menace. The party of up to 8 players fights to help the Queen free Naboo from the threat of the Sith Lord.

This set is a modification of the rules that appear in Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars: Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. These "simplifed" rules cut out everything not necessary to run the adventure. It is heavily combat orientated, but other non-combat situations are addressed in a limited fashion. Characters star at level one and have the potential to level up several times during play. 

This set features 2 game booklets, one for the rules and second is the module. Players are given gloriously detailed 2 page character sheets which also include activity prompts and a rule guide focused on their particular character. There are 2 maps plus 2 sheets of tokens. 0

The adaption of the 200+ page d20 ruleset from the core book to simplified adventure game is more than adequate. As a fighting system, it is rock solid. Many items are pre calculated, such as experience. This takes a load off the Gamemaster and places it on the characters. Everything runs extremely smoothly. 

Being an introductory set, there will be situations the players could ask about that is not included. A season GM would have immediate answers but a newbie would invoke "That not possible" for these few situations. 

Being run alongside the events of The Phantom Menace, the players will notice that they don't really meet too many of the characters in the film and definitely don't interact with them in any meaningful way. It seems their insertion into the game was driven by IP consultants trying to sandwich in all of the content from the movie. 

If you look at the cover of the boxed set, you can see that the artists were free of this concept. Not a single major character is featured there. But the created characters fit wonderfully with the theme of the film, like a second batch of heroes in this titanic battle. The premade characters sheets include a very minimal backstory, usually only to account for their abilities such as being a soldier or Jedi. They can be made into whatever the player has in mind for their character. 

Lost on the back page of one of the booklets is a one page character sheet. This is a nice addition as it allows someone to roll a completely new character for the set. 

There are only two flaws to this set. First, major film characters are shoehorned into the end of the adventure in a way that can never be canon breaking, which will give the players a sense of being rooked in victory. 

The other flaw is only apparent if you have the Core rules. Scale is reduced to "squares" in this boxed which convert to a standard 2 meters in the core rules. So, when switching from this set to the main rules and back, invariably new players will screw up ranges by a factor of two. This isn't too bad, in my opinion. The Core set lists unrealistically low ranges for virtually every weapon. The idea that an energy rifle only covers "40 meters" or "20 squares" is somewhat ludicus. Forget the scale and just have fun. No one will notice. 
 
All and all this is a great introduction to Star Wars and d20. 

Sadly this set is out of print and not available in pdf.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Launch the Fighters!

This is a preview of my spring modeling series. I am short a few TIE fighters, but I shall press on. 

All fighters launch!

What are we looking at? 16 Bandai Star Wars model sets, in 1:144 scale. I really like this scale for gaming. In reality, this is 26 different models, not counting the 2 I already completed. 

I figure I'll kick out 2 a week for 13 weeks, then revisit when I paint them. Behind the scenes, I'll be building one of each first, then painting them as examples. As I said, I am rather light on TIE fighters and heavy on TIE Advanced models. 

I really wish they made B-Wings in this scale. 



Like I mentioned the last time, unless these models are on sale on Amazon, you are better off elsewhere. My personal preference is Hobby Lobby due to the 40% off coupon. But they only have X-Wings and TIE's. For a bigger selection, try The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops. 

I do get remuneration from Amazon and DO NOT get anything from the Big Bad Toy Store or Hobby Lobby. It's just straight shooting on good prices.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review: Dark Forces

Title: Dark Forces
Publisher: LucasArts
Year: 1995
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, memories. In Dark Forces, you control Kyle Katarn on his mission to recover the Death Star Plans and save the rebellion from the Evil Empire. 

Oh, but there's more... Kyle discovers a secret base on the Arc Hammer, ready to pump out a new weapon system, the Dark Troopers. This is one of the first times Star Wars fans access the universe via a character who does not have the Force and does not pilot a cool ship. Han Solo and Wedge, Kyle is not.

The game plays out like a cross between The Mandalorian and Doom. Considering how the 1990's were, that should be no surprise. It was refreshing not to see Sith and Jedi gumming up a straight shooter game along with the idea that the Cool Ship was merely a vehicle within the story, not the main character like TIE and X-Wing.

Kyle does a cool ship, but it's not an item you use on your missions. It carries you from and to each mission via screen cuts. The Moldy Crow is epic looking and seems to be the look Bungie was going for in Destiny with the Guardian's ships. 

This game is very similar to Doom in it's execution, but has some notable differences. Like Doom, Kyle Katarn  is armed with an array of weapons, each one except fists needing ammunition. These weapons can strafe and have two modes of file. 

They are: 

1 Fist
2 Bryar Blaster Pistol
3 E-11 blaster rifle
4 Thermal Detonator
5 Imperial Repeater Gun
6 Jeron Fusion Cutter
7 I.M. Mine
8 Packered Mortar Gun
9 Stouker Concussion Rifle
10 Assault Cannon

In addition to these weapons, Katarn has a collection of items which are helpful. Headlamps and Infrared googles, a breathing mask, ice cleats, and medi packs are all necessary to complete the game. Kyle will also need batteries, power ups and extra lives to make it to the end. 

Unlike Doom, the player is able to look up and down, move vertically and maps simulate different elevations. There are jumping puzzles, mazes, environmental hazards to stymie the player. It has three levels of difficulty to assist the new player get into the game. 

Mission 1: The Death Star Plans: Operation Skyhook – Secret Base
Mission 2: After the Massacre – Talay (Tak Base)
Mission 3: The Subterranean Hideout – Anoat City
Mission 4: Imperial Weapons Research Facility – Research Facility
Mission 5: The Blood Moon – Gromas Mines
Mission 6: Crix Madin’s Fate – Detention Center
Mission 7: Deadly Cargo – Ramsees Hed
Mission 8: Ice Station Beta – Robotics Facility
Mission 9: The Death Mark – Nar Shaddaa
Mission 10: Jabba’s Revenge – Jabba’s Ship
Mission 11: The Imperial Mask – Imperial City
Mission 12: Smuggler’s Hijack – Fuel Station
Mission 13: The Stowaway – The Executor
Mission 14: The Dark Awakening – The Arc Hammer

Gamer Walkthroughs is an excellent resource I wish I had back in 1995. Each mission has specific win parameters, so you need to hunt for solutions and solve puzzles. If all the Storm Troopers are not enough for you, you'll fight Boba Fett, a Kell Dragon with no weapons and finally, face off against the terrifying Dark Trooper. 


While no longer canonical Star Wars, it's nice to see some of these scenarios come to life via The Mandalorian.  

The audio track was excellent, the music virtually lifted from the movies. The use of stereo sound was terrifying, you hear things coming from the proper direction with headphones. The first time a Dark Trooper attacks, you know it's badassed just by the sound of it's footsteps. 

The AI is sort of lack luster and the missions are designed Doom style meaning you don't sneak or bypass enemies. It's straight up blast and kill session even though you have a story and mission parameters. 

Performance was iffy if I remember correctly. 4 MB was not enough for you to get the full effect. It's even choppy on my Sawtooth, which has more than enough horse power for 1990 games. 

All and all, I give this game 4 stars. Go check out the videos at Gamer Walkrhrough for a feel of the game. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Additional Force Feats for my Star Wars Campaign

Based off the new Star Wars movies, the Rebels series and The Mandalorian I have a couple of Force Feats I want to add to my campaign. Strangely, not all of the original force feats displayed by Luke, Leia and Vader are a part of the original WotC Star Wars book. This book was for The Phantom Menace, but oddly didn't include anything from the original 3 movies.

These Feats are more dangerous and useful than the last set I posted. While I spell them out as all being telekinesis in some form or another, they are under the Alter feat. 

Almost all of these are based off the Force Lighting feat, with the DC adjusted for lower levels. 

Telekinesis: 
Telekinesis allows the force user to grab, throw and manipulate items at a distance. Within this group there are 4 feats. 

Grab: 
The force user can grab a loose object and pull it to themselves. This requires one level of force use. At low levels, this is a full round action. At higher levels, it is a move action. The object will end up in their hand or in a desired landing place near them. If two force users are contesting the control of an object, the one with higher die roll wins, no matter the DC requirement or level difference.

This will usually result in a tug of war, where the lower level character has the exact same chance of winning as the higher level character. The primary problem for the lower level character is the higher level character may be able to make more than one attempt per round, the second of which is uncontested. This seriously antagonizes Dark Side characters and they may needless continue the tug of war with the lesser Force user until some other event prevents them from continuing the war. 

Dark Side users gain a Dark Side point each time they repeat this action against another user. 

Use the script, Hayden.
Force User's Level     DC
1-3                              15  (Full Round Action)
4-6                              14  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            13  (Move Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action)

There is only one modifier to this DC roll, ownership. If the object in question belongs to the character, the DC drops by 2. 

This feat has a cost of 1 vitality per object per round. Characters are limited to one object per 3 levels. 

Examples: Ankin levitating fruit, Luke recovering his saber. 


Lift: 
Sometimes this feat is used as Jedi drinking game.
A force user can lift an item into the air or pin it to the ground. It requires one level of force use and the Grab feat. 

Dark Side users can inflict damage at the same rate as falling a given distance, while Light Side users will tend not damage the item. Like the Grab ability, it has a DC score to succeed against inanimate objects and there is a limit to the number of times they can do this per round. This power only works against inanimate objects. 

Force User's Level     DC
4-6                              15  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            14  (Move Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action)

The vitality cost is identical to Grab, one per round per object. There is no upper limit to how many things they may lift except the cost. The cost is based on when the objects are moving, not the fact that they have moved. As a consequence, a force user may lift dozens of objects and hold them stationary for a long time. Gracefully returning the object to a resting place will cost more vitality and have its own required DC roll.  

Examples: Rey vs. the rocks, Luke entertaining Yoda. 

Forceful Impact: 

This power is more aggressive than the last two. The force user violently pushes an object or person either out of their way or into a fixed object for damage. Being lifted into the air or slammed to the ground is one of the Force effects that cannot be contested or counter acted by another Force feat. It requires both the alter Feat and the Lift feat. 

This power does have a number of different uses. First, it can be used to hurl an item at a target or hurl a target into another object. There is a DC roll: 

Force User's Level     DC
4-6                              15  (Full Round Action) 
7-12                            14  (Full Round Action)
13-20                          12  (Move Action)
+21+                           10  (Move Action) 

Dark Side users can inflict falling damage on a victim. A Light Side user will can knock someone down, but generally won't hurt living beings. A victim can resist this damage if they can make a reflect save. If pinned to a surface, the victim must make a Fortitude save in the next round to begin moving again. 

One unusual use of this power is to safely propel a target to a destination, as if they lept the distance. When used against a friendly target, the DC is reduced by one. 

When used against a friendly force user, that person can use Forceful Impact to guide themselves to a perfect landing along their flight path. This is a separate roll and will not modify the other character's DC roll. Failure indicates they land where the other person intended, not their choice of landing spots. 

The cost of this power is two vitality points per round per object or target. If pinning a target, the cost must be paid, successful or not. If the force user is adept enough, they can push back and absorb energy. The cost of this is 4 vitality point per unit of damage absorbed, plus a second DC check for Dissipate energy. If both rolls are successful AND the force user dies, there will be a one round delay in the blast to allow people to escape. 

Examples: Obi Wan in every fight in the Prequels, Kanan saving his friends, Kanan and Ezra escaping various fights. 

HR is not involved with the Imperial
Field Promotion Program.
Clutch: 

Clutch is completely surrounds a target, prevents movement and can cause damage. It may incidentally lift a target from the ground. It requires the Grab feat and 7 levels of force experience. 

Force User's Level     DC
7-12                            15  (Full Round Action)
13-20                          14  (Move Action)
+21+                           13  (Move Action) 

The force user may inflict 1d6 points of damage per round at a cost of 2 vitality per damage die rolled. The user may choose how many damage dice to roll up to their current level. They may be required to do this for multiple rounds for the desired effect if they guess wrong. When used against a living being, the user receives Dark Side Points equal to the damage done. Light Side users will be inclined to use this power against droids or other non-living targets, while Dark Side users will attack anyone with this ability. 

If the force user has both the sense and alter feats, they may subdue a target for as long as desired, with or without inflicting damage so long as they succeed their DC roll. The sense feat also allows the force practitioner the ability to attack targets at vast distances so long as they can sense the target in some way. For example, they could use a camera to view the target or may hear foot steps at the target approaches from behind. 

Examples: Vader's force choke, Luke crushing the Dark Trooper. 

It wasn't a person, so it wasn't that Dark.

Monday, March 1, 2021

A-Wing Photo Test

I picked up this large scale A-Wing at Ollies for less than 10 bucks. 

I'm testing out embedded albums and it's not working out. I guess I am going to have to write some code later. 


coolme i jm b.ko,o lvo bbjuu
A-Wing Box



















Sunday, February 14, 2021

Review - X-Wing Miniature Game

Title: X-Wing Miniature Game
Credits: A Game by Jay Little
Rule Set: Unique to set
Year: 2014? 
Pages: 24, 16 and 4 page booklets
Number of players: 2*
Rating: ★★★★★

I picked this game up for my son a few years back and we played it a lot. My son has his X-Wing and TIE models on a shelf in his room. I started this post at 4:45 am, which is why you won't see images of those parts in this review. I'll see what I can do when my son and our sun gets up. 

As I understand it, this system is full of power creep which really doesn't effect the gameplay of this set. This is also the first edition rules, which is different than what is currently on the market. So on to the game review. 

This version of X-Wing was produced for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to guess at the date because there isn't one on the box. The box is solid, it will hold up well on the shelf. Inside are 3 booklets, totalling 44 pages of information for game play. The graphics are incredible and a valued addition to the game as they present gameplay information, not random photos from a at the time unreleased movie. It's a good thing the box is as sturdy as it is, it's loaded with parts. 3 painted models, cards, dice, tokens, templates, etc. It's a lot of parts, but nothing extraneous. 

The first play guide has you in the seat of your beloved X-Wing or TIE fighter and blowing the snot out of your enemy in minutes. The instructional method is a familiar one: learn the basics as you play, add more rules, play again, then master the all rules and go crazy with new adventures. 

The first session can be played in 10-30 minutes as you learn the rules. Its really nice. My first impression of the game was that it was a copy of Top Gun**. There are some similarities, both where made for a movie, both had some cool tokens and a move, react, shoot, repeat method of play. But that is where it ends. 

There is one thing missing from the box that sets this game apart from the others: A Game Board. There isn't one. Players are told to find a good sized table, lay down some felt or a black table cloth and have at it. Sure, you can buy one but the rules clearly state it isn't necessary. Movement templates guide the ships, unlocking them from the play space. The lack of a board is actually a strength. Not having a grid or hexes to lock your pieces down gives the game the same fluid dynamic of Star Wars space combat. You feel like you're in the cockpit. 

This game brings back a lot of memories in one tiny box. I have already mentioned that it felt a bit like a better planned out version of a Top Gun** Movie game from the late 80s, which was an apparent skin of the Aerotech game (which is available via the Battletech Compendium at DriveThru. It has the movement guides like the turn keys of Car Wars. Combat is handled with dice where each player rolls dice at the same time like Risk, with the twist that the defender's dice eliminates the attacker's damage. There is a I-go-you-go approach to terrain, which is a hell of an old school call out to games like WRG. And it's Star Wars themed. 

First edition games may seem rough, but this one isn't. Gameplay and rules are tight, with carefully considered options. Gameplay pops and snaps into place naturally, it's like something from the Spice Mines of Kessel. And since it's a vehicle for selling models as add-ons, it very successful at that. 

*While intended as a two player game, there are 3 models which could be divided among 3 players. For complex missions, one could add a game host. My initial playthrough was with 3 young children each having a model and myself acting as a gamehost, so 4 people can be involved. Whatever you do, it just works out.
** I wish I could point you to the Top Gun game I had back in the 80s/90s, but I have never seen one except the one I bought from the shelf of my local Hobby Shop back when the movie was hot. Since I lost my copy, I don't even have a picture. It was pretty cool at the time, coming with about a dozen tiny plastic airplane tokens. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Additional Force Feats for my Star Wars Campaign

Based off the new Star Wars movies, the Rebels series and The Mandalorian I have a couple of Force Feats I want to add to my campaign. Strangely, not all of the original force feats displayed by Luke, Leia and Vader are a part of the original WotC Star Wars book. This book was for The Phantom Menace, but oddly didn't include anything from the original 3 movies. These are not all that incredibly overpowered feats, I merely want more options for my players. 

From the movies, the Rebel TV series, and the Mandalorian, I created 4 more Sense Feats: Whisper, Audience, Intrusion and Affinity, with examples. None of these powers have a cost. 

Whisper
You can make your thoughts known over a distance, mind to mind. Communication is one way unless two force users have this feat or are somehow related (family or close friends). 
Prerequisites: Sense, Force level 2. 

Benefit: This is silent, mind to mind communication between two characters. It is initiated the force user and the target does not need to respond in anyway. In cases where there is a language barrier, simple thoughts are translated. If a target of this feat is a force user, the communication is two-way. It can be used to form a special link between two force users, like the secret language created by twins, useable over a distance. If the connection is strong, then the location or director of a character can be transmitted. 

Examples: Luke and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back and Grogu and Ahsoka in the Mandalorian. 

Luke calls to Leia

Audience
This force feat allows a force user to present themselves to another person. An image of the one requesting an audience appears in the mind of the other. This can be alarming to the target. If two force users engage in this feat, the effect is two-way. Note, the target and user cannot see where the other is. 

Benefits: The target and the projector can see each other in real time and communicate without threat of contact. The illusion is very complete, perhaps causing the practitioners the fight and quarrel as if they were really there. No damage can be inflicted in this way, however people may damage their own environment. Attempting to discern a hostile target's location is a DC 20 and must be derived from clues.  
Prerequisites: Sense and force level 5.
Examples: Kylo Ren and Rey in The Last Jedi. 

Swinging a lightsaber at an illusion is bad.

Intrusion
A force Intrusion has one of two effects, depending on the number of targets. Against multiple targets, the force user can project an image of themselves great distances. Against a single foe, it can be used to compel them reveal information and tell the truth. 

Benefits: An Intrusion can trick opponents into believing the force user is present or even in their head. With extreme concentration, the person can manipulate small items as if they were really present. When used against a single target, a DC check equal to the targets Wisdom will prevent the target from lying for a single round. The target will know they cannot lie for the round and can try to deflect the conversation. This second type of Intrusion is a dark side power. Most people know this is ineffective as a means of interrogation. 

Examples: Luke appearing on Crait, Kylo's interrogation Rey and Poe. A notable except is Vader, who could use this power but does not. It's easier to choke people. People who are flexible in their morality find deflection of questions easy, while more trusting people have harder time. Compare Han and Poe to Rey. 

Better than being there.

Affinity
Force Affinity can make a victim or group of victims more disposed to leave the user alone or be more friendly. It only works on living creatures, not droids. While not generally a dark side feat, over reliance can have a side effect where the user believes they can charm anyone resulting in instant failure. For example, Kylo and everyone he orders around, Anakin trying to command droids, and the young Obi Wan. 

Benefits: on a DC roll equal to the target's Wisdom, the creature will ignore the force user. On a DC equal to the target's combined Wisdom and Intelligence, the creature will treat the practitioner as a friendly. This will work better on single animals better than intelligent creatures. Pack dynamics can be a hassle for the force user as it could trigger attacks by other members of the pack. Predators are an additional DC 5 because this doesn't change the basic nature of the creature. 

Offering an attractive, different option, choice or making a successful animal handling skill check will provide a longer lasting affinity lasting more than a round. A GM may allow multiple rolls to allow an earnest character to actually befriend the target.  

Attacks on the victim instantly end the affinity. An attack of any kind will cause animals to flee, even if the attack is not on them or even to their benefit. 

Prerequisites: Sense and force level 1. 

Examples: Leia communicating with the Ewoks, Luke trying to calm the Ranor (and failing) and Ezra's ability to commune with every animal. 

This could also be the "Jedi Mind Trick", which seems to make people predisposed to an idea go along with it rather than have a whole new idea. The Stormtroopers were not surprised that those weren't the droids they were looking for, it already happened 80 times that day. Watto on the other hand, had no plan to give stuff away ever, so it couldn't work on him. Luke flat out appeals Bib's greed and desire for praise to turn him to his will. 

Ezra uses this ability on nearly every animal he encounters.

I hope you enjoy these and add them to you game. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

That's Not Star Wars, Ya Know

One of my favorite Star Trek episodes is Balance of Terror. It is a trope defining story about a Romulan warship using it's cloak to bomb the heck out of the Federation's outposts. It's actually a rewrite of the film "Enemy Below", but it was used effectively to establish a lot of lore within the series. Before this point, we didn't have cloaking devices, photon torpedoes, etc. It really wasn't Trek, but became Star Trek. 

So, yeah. That's not Star Wars. 

Neither is my Star Wars campaign, or so I have been told. The players are force adepts with no lightsabers. That isn't cool. I have been issued an order to get them lightsabers. 

Ok, fine. I see my mistake. For a couple of sessions, I proved that Star Wars can exist without Jedi and lightsabers, but the players are annoyed with this. I saw this coming and had a plotline where the characters build lightsabers from some junk they receive from a bounty hunter, La'ow Houd

I was told "no deal", that is also not Star Wars. Jedi spend zero screen time building lightsabers. 

Hmm.

In our discussion, I outlined the concept of La'ow and his desire to destroy a prison or at least free the prisoners. The players like this but asked "why us?". I explained they were the only rebels around. They asked "So, are we going to find help in the Prison?" 

Well, no. They would be destroying a prison that is too close to the capital, making the whole area a battlefield in a galactic war. At this point, we picked through a couple of episodes of Rebels, The Mandalorian and a scene from The Last Jedi, the casino bit. These choices were all parts where "Star Wars" stopped being "Star Wars". 

The players asked what makes the prison a bad target in a war? Wouldn't someone else simply bomb the snot out of it, satisfying the goals I laid out? And why does this bounty hunter have a sailboat for us to hang out on? Ooh. Wouldn't someone, the Rebellion or the Empire attacking the city serve the player's goals? Won't the sailboat be a good way for the party to escape that end? That was awkward, because they are right. 

By group consensus, we decided that the prison is on the edge of bay. On one side of the bay, the Droid Army is modifying a castle ruins to be a prison. That's what I had and I am all onboard with this.  

However, on the other side of the bay are a series of small communities. It's sort of a vacation spot, like the casino in The Last Jedi. These communities have this ugly wart of the prison in plain view and being an obvious target, that is not so hot for the locals. While the level of decadence is not ramped up like The Last Jedi, think the Poconos or Lake George rather than Vegas, there are some powerful people running around here. People who have access to lightsabers and other powerful weapons. People who might want to see this prison destroyed. People who might want a fight. Like the players.

The players are exactly right. I did want to investigate the lives of common people in Star Wars, but without some small details, it doesn't work. But with the player's feedback it can continue. So, "this is the way". 

Monday, February 1, 2021

1001st Post (or not) - The Countdown Is On

Edit - It turns out I goofed. This is not the 1001st post, its actually 950 something. I have 43 draft posts for upcoming reviews I planned for this year. Sorry about that. Carry on...

I have couple of projects coming up. As promised before, this spring I will be doing a series on the Bandai Star Wars Models. These are 1/144 scale models, except for the Falcon which seems to 1/350. I almost have everything I need, I want to get a few more TIE Fighters and X-Wings. 

The list so far is: 

Y-Wing, 
4 A-Wings, 
2 First Order TIEs, 
2 Classic TIEs, 
2 New Style X-Wings, 
2 Falcons, 

2 AT-STs, and
2 Snowspeeders. 



I'm going to be real honest, Amazon's prices are not the best at first look. They fluctuate so some days they are a steal and others they are a rip off. If Amazon isn't working for you, try out Hobby Lobby or The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops.

Spring is 47 days away and summer is 91 days long. That puts me on a schedule of one or more models a week. I figure in fall I can do a series on painting models. 

In the meantime, what am I doing with those 47 days until spring? I am getting seeds ready to plant. I'm doing a garden this year. I hope to do some gaming garden side as I really enjoyed my outside posts last year. I figure the garden will be a suitable place to play some D&D. All I need is some chairs and a small table and we'll be set. 

Now I have one more mystery picture to share. 

What are they? 1440 3 mm rhinestones. What on earth could I do with those? You'll see.