View Full Version : Star Wars Saga Edition and the Dark Side...

05-15-2008, 10:41 PM
Okay, so it has always been my assessment (per Yoda's teaching in Empire Strikes Back and the Emperor's comments in Return of the Jedi) that the Dark Side represented a "quicker, easier, more seductive" path to power. Thus, I've always found it important to keep the idea of the "temptation" that the Dark Side represents very real in my Star Wars RPGs. Star Wars D6 handled this beautifully. When you are desperate or fueled by negative emotions, you can call upon the Dark Side for a boost of power at the cost of the Dark Side tainting you. There is a real, tangible advantage to the Dark Side's influence. Thus, there is a real sense of temptation.

Star Wars Saga Edition doesn't have anything like this. In Saga, the Dark Side seems to basically work like so: You gain Dark Side points for being evil or using Dark Side powers. When you reach your Dark Side point limit, you fall to the Dark Side and become an NPC. That's it...

There's no advantage to using the Dark Side. One might argue that embracing the Dark Side allows you to use Dark Side powers or to take Dark Side prestige classes, but someone trying to play a Light Side Jedi isn't going to find those things appealing anyway. Where is the promise of power that the Dark Side represents?

The corebook even describes the Dark Side as "...whispering to Force-Users, tempting them with quick and easy access to power." and "Early on in her training, a Force-User finds that the Dark Side greatly enhances her abilities." But the game itself doesn't seem to support this at all.

So, this issue bring me to my question. For those who have played, are playing, or plan to play in Star Wars Saga games, what (if anything) have you contemplated doing to address this issue? Has it come up in your games before? How do you handle Dark Side temptation in your games?

05-18-2008, 08:04 PM
I've been thinking of allowing characters to use a dark side power on the fly at the cost of an existing force power while gaining the usual DSP.

That, or being allowed to use the rage ability when calling on the dark side.

Inquisitor Tremayne
05-19-2008, 07:32 AM
I have never been happy with the way d20 handles the dark side. So to make it much more tempting I have added the following house rules.


The seductive Dark Side: For Force Sensitive characters the temptation to call upon the Dark Side is always present. By calling on the power of the dark side a Force Sensitive character may gain a single use of any one of the following Force powers; battle strike, dark rage, force grip, force lightning, force slam, or force thrust, at the expense of gaining a dark side point per power used. The use doesn’t count against the characters total number of Force power in their suite nor does the character need to have already selected the Force power as one of their suite of powers.

Calling on the Dark Side of the Force: If your Dark Side Score is less than half your Wisdom, when you spend a Force Point to roll 1d6 and add the result to a skill check, attack roll, or ability check you may choose to call upon the dark side of the Force and gain an additional d6 to roll and then choose the higher result (as usual). In addition the character also receives 1 dark side point. This feature stacks with the Power of the Dark Side talent, so a character with this talent could potentially roll 3d6 and keep the better result and gain 2 Dark Side points.

(Taken from Jedi Counciling #110) Variant Rule: Calling on the Dark Side: If your Dark Side Score is less than your Wisdom, you can call on the dark side to gain a temporary Force Point. If the Force Point is not used before the end of the encounter, it is lost. Calling on the dark side is a major transgression (see page 94 of the Saga Edition Core Rulebook). Only heroic characters can call on the dark side.

(Taken From jedi Counciling #110) Variant Rule: The Measure of Evil: When you commit a dark side transgression, your Dark Side Score increases by a random amount: 1d6–3 for major transgressions, 1d6–4 for moderate transgressions, and 1d6–5 for minor transgressions. (This never reduces your Dark Side Score, even if the result is less than zero.)

Atoning: Atoning to remove a dark side point from a character requires a period of self-reflection. To atone and remove a dark side point a character must spend 1d20 days in reflection, meditating upon their actions and atoning. The days need not be used all at once and can be spread out as far as needed. However no other dark side points can be removed before the initial atonement period is over. At the end of that time period the character spends their Force point(3) as noted in the SECR and removes a single dark side point.

A character must spend an additional Force point for every additional dark side point they want to remove. Example: Jedi John has 5 DSPs. He spends his first Force point to remove one DSP. To remove the next DSP it will cost him 2 more Force points, to remove the 3rd DSP it will cost him 3 more Force points, etc... until he has removed all 5 DSPs. If he later gains another DSP and wishes to remove it, this one will cost him 6 Force points to do so. Atoning is required every time a character wishes to remove a DSP.

“Lost” Force powers: With the loss of so many Jedi and the loss of the Jedi archives several Force Powers and Force Talents are now considered “lost” to time. The following powers may not be selected for a characters suite of Force powers: Rebuke, and Sever Force. The following talents may not be selected: Force Haze, Battle Meditation, Dark Side Scourge, Dark Side Sense, and Resist the Dark Side. If a character is able to locate a Force Sensitive individual that knows one or more of these lost Force Powers or Talents, the character may then train with the “master” and from that point on is able to select a lost Force Power to add to their suite of Force Powers or Talent the next time the character is able to gain a Force Power or Talent.

During the Rise of the Empire and Rebellion eras (up until the death of the Sith Lords at Endor) Force-Sensitive characters suffer a –10 circumstance penalty on all Use the Force checks to determine the location and goings-on of any dark side character. If attempting to discern the location or activities of the Sith Lords the Use the Force check must succeed at an opposed roll vs. a Use the Force or Farseeing check from the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, also at the same circumstance penalty.
The Sith Lords need not be aware of the Sense attempt. Even if the check succeeds, the information gained is vague (“…the dark side surrounds the chancellor…”) unless it is something the Sith want them to see.

05-19-2008, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the input, Tremayne. Consider some of these ideas "snagged". :D

My group has more-or-less talked me into running a Star Wars Saga game for them, but I need to address a couple issues I have with the rules before I proceed. These ideas will be invaluable as I too am one who never liked the way any of the d20 Star Wars RPGs have handled the Dark Side and have always had to make house rules.

If there are other ideas out there, I'd love to hear them as well.

Inquisitor Tremayne
05-20-2008, 10:02 AM
Check teh SW wotC website and look under the Jedi Counseling articles. The latest two, number 110 and 111 cover the dark side and offer some variant rules.

If you have any other rules questions please ask.

I will be posting my updated house rules also so you can take a peek at those too.