Star Wars by way of Truth & Justice

Star Wars is a highly cinematic setting that has more than a few similarities to super-hero comics: good versus evil? check; cool powers? check; fast paced action? check. Because of that, Truth & Justice (T&J), a game designed to emulate the exploits of super-human heroes, and its Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system are perfect tools to run a roleplaying game (RPG) in an universe full of Jedi, rebels, stormtroopers and Hutts.

Ever since I wrote up these notes and made them available through the T&J Yahoo group, PDQ grew in scope, with new games like Questers of the Middle Realms and Zorcerer of Zo pushing the envelope as to what the engine could do. In the future, I may revise these rules to incorporate some of the ideas in those games. If you don't want to be a slave to my whims, check this thread and this one at They are full of Star Wars- and sci-fi-related PDQ goodness.

To create a character for Peace & Light (P&L) follow steps 1-6, 8 and 9 from Chapter 3 (T&J, p.25). Characters have the usual spread of Qualities, however they can only have one Good [+2] Power (or two Average [0]). This will most probably be the Force, which is a Meta-Power (T&J, p.38) with a couple of tweaks explained below. Characters can exchange their Powers at creation for points to spend in Qualities, a la Intense Training (T&J, p.37).

The Star Wars setting can accommodate almost any Quality the players come up with, but a few of them need a bit more attention.
Jedi: this is the Quality for those wishing to play Jedi knights, masters and padawans. It includes knowledge of the Order, meditation techniques and lightsaber swordmanship and construction. Above all, the Jedi Quality allows the character to make full use of her Force Power. The maximum Rank a character can wield in the Force is equal to her Rank in this Quality.
Example: Diobus Adesa is an Average [0] Jedi padawan. Even though he has Good [+2] Force, he can only use it at an Average Rank.
Padawans usually have either Poor [-2] or Average [0] Ranks. The latter level is commonly found in those Padawans that travel the galaxy in the company of a knight or master -- they are in the final phase of their training. Good [+2] and Expert [+4] Ranks are the province of full-fledged Jedi knights

Lightsaber: training with this weapon is already included in the Jedi Quality. However, Jedi characters may wish to increase their ability with their signature weapon. Non-Jedi can also learn how to wield a lightsaber. There is nothing supernatural about it, although mastering this weapon is quite difficult -- this is why it is not part of the Swordplay Quality. The Jedi’s mastery of this skill comes from their ability to use the Force to complement their martial skills (see Battlemind).
Racial: a Star Wars game can, at the GM’s discretion, have racial Qualities, such as Wookie, Trandoshan or Jawa. Given the amount of material published about the many races (movies, novels, comics, RPGs) it is not difficult for someone familiar with the setting to know what a specific race would be able to accomplish. For example, Wookies are strong, have climbing claws and a nasty reputation. A character with a Wookie Quality could use his MOD in strength-, climbing- and intimidation-related rolls.

Although the Force is the main Power of the Star wars setting, there are a few other special abilities that could be represented by T&J powers, like Super-Senses, Telepathy and even resistance to Force abilities.

The Force
A mystical energy field that connects everything in the galaxy, this is the Force (at least it was until The Phantom Menace). In terms of T&J, the Force is a Meta-Power, but it works a bit different. Unlike the standard version, subpowers default at the same Rank as the master Power. If a character has Expert [+4] Force, his abilities will be used at the Expert [+4] Rank as well.
The limitation in this case comes from a training Quality, like the Jedi one above. This rule simulates the fact that the Jedi have been studying the Force for millennia. Optionally, the GM can allow the players to take Qualities that represent training from other orders of Force users that, despite not having the extensive knowledge of the Jedi, are quite proficient in certain aspects of the Force. These characters are able to wield a Force Rank equal to their order Quality, but suffer two Downshifts for uses outside their area of expertise. Someone without any kind of training Quality can only use the Force by spending Force points.
Example: Alyra is a Good [+2] Dathomir Witch with Expert [+4] Force. Whenever doing the Witchy thing, Alyra can use up to Good [+2] Rank. Otherwise, she’s stuck at Poor [-2] Rank.
Example 2: Chacarara is a Wookie youth that was never trained in the ways of the Force, despite being sensitive and having an Average [0] Rank. Whenever he tries to use a Force ability, he must spend Force points. For one point, he will have Poor [-2] Rank, for two, Average [0].

The Dark Side
There probably are as many interpretations of the Dark Side as there are Star Wars fans, not to mention RPG mechanics to represent it. The system presented here is just one of many possible and each GM should customize it, or create her own, according to her interpretation.
Whenever a character is about to do something that the GM feels is Dark Sidey, he should warn the player. If the action is performed anyway, the GM should tick the character’s name. When the number of ticks is equal to the TN of the character’s Jedi Quality, he takes his first solid step into the Dark Side. At this point the character gains the Dark Jedi (or Sith) Quality at Poor [-2] Rank. This Quality functions as a Downshift whenever the Jedi attempts actions that involve self-control or tries to use a clearly Light Side ability. How many ticks are gained per action depends on the GM. However, unless she wants the characters spiraling down the dark path as fast as the Millenium Falcon in the Kessel run, I would suggest ticking once per scene, even if the character performs a continuing action. Additionally, depending on the GM’s interpretation, the new Quality can open the doors to Dark Side powers, like Telekinetic kill or Force Lightning (certain fans believe that only a tainted Jedi would even consider using these abilities).
The GM should keep tracking the Dark Side actions of the character. When he gets additional ticks equal to the TN of the next lower Rank of the Jedi Quality, the Dark Jedi one rises to Average [0] and grants two Downshifts to self-control and Light Side abilities. The process will repeat itself until the Dark Jedi Quality reaches the same Rank as the Jedi one. At this point, it will replace the latter and the character will have completely succumbed to the Dark Side. Keeping this character as a PC will depend on the GM and the other players.
GMs should not forget that the Dark Side is tempting. Whenever a Jedi character is in dire straits, the GM should offer him Upshifts. These are optional, but if the Jedi accepts them, he will gain one tick towards the Dark Side. Particularly evil GMs may give as many ticks as Upshifts taken.

Force abilities
The Jedi have developed a wide array of Force effects. They include combat abilities, extrasensorial perception, telekinesis and physical enhancement, among others. Further abilities can be created by the GM or developed as Spin-off Stunts by the players. Below you will find a list of the more common Force powers employed by the Jedi.
Battlemind: by using his Force-enhanced perception and limited precognition, the Jedi is able to improve his martial skill. This power allows the the character to add his Force MOD to combat actions and reactions.
Burst of Speed: by focusing the Force on his body, the Jedi can increase his movement speed. Multiply the character’s regular speed by Rank TN.
Farseeing: the ability to see into the future, the present and the past. The TN for the roll depends on the relationship between the Jedi and the subject or the importance of the event. Since the future “always in motion is”, trying to foresee events incur two or three Downshifts, maybe even more. The past is easier, giving one Upshift. Physical distance is also a factor: touching the subject will grant one Upshift; being in a different star system will give three Downshifts.
Telekinesis: the Jedi can use the Force to move objects. Check the P&L Intensity Table to find out the TN to move a specific weight.

Hyperdrive. A ship’s FTL capability. Check the P&L Intensity Chart.
Shields. Works like the Super-Armor Power (T&J, p.48).

Landspeeder: Average [0] Speeder
Speeder bike: Average [0] Speeder; Good [+2] Fast, Good [+2] Handling
Swoop: Average [0] Speeder; Expert [+4] Fast, Poor [-2] Handling
AT-AT: Good [+2] Walker; Good [+4] Armor-Plated, Good [+2] Blaster Cannon, Good [+2] Troop Carrier, Poor [-2] Slow

TIE fighter: Average [0] Starfighter; Expert [+4] Fast, Average [0] Laser Cannons, Poor [-2] Spaceworthy
X-wing: Good [+2] Starfighter; Expert [+4] Hyperdrive (Limitation: Requires Astromechd droid), Good [+2] High Performance, Good [+2] Laser Cannons, Good [+2] Proton Torpedoes (Limitation: Can only fire three times before reloading), Average [0] Shields, Average [0] Spaceworthy
Y-wing: Average [0] Starfighter; Expert [+4] Hyperdrive (Limitation: Requires Astromechd droid), Good [+2] Laser Cannons, Good [+2] Proton Torpedoes (Limitation: Can only fire three times before reloading), Average [0] Ion Cannons, Average [0] Shields, Average [0] Tough, Average [0] Spaceworthy
Millenium Falcon: Good [+2] Space Transport; Master [+6] Hyperdrive, Expert [+2] High Performance, Good [+2] Concussion Missiles, Good [+2] Quad Laser Cannons, Good [+2] Shields, Good [+2] Spaceworthy
Star Destroyer: Average [0] Capital Ship; Expert [+4] Shields, Expert [+4] Spaceworthy, Expert [+4] Turbolasers, Good [+2] Big, Good [+4] Hyperdrive, Good [+2] Inspires terror

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