Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Psi-Wars: Ruminations on the Basic Space Knight

Jedi are some of the most iconic figures in Star Wars, and fittingly, Psi-Wars has its own variation in the form of Space Knights. However, it would be a mistake to directly compare the two. Where Force wielders in Star Wars are essentially pretty similar, with the major distinction being whether they’re the good guy Jedi or the bad guy Sith, Psi Wars has far more variations. The type of psionics that a Space Knight uses and the 50 point Power-Up lens they choose have a great deal of effect on just what they can do. There’s so much potential variation, in fact, that this is only going to be one in a series of posts on the Space Knight. Today, we’ll look at the traits common to all Space Knights.

Space Knights

The Basic Chassis

All Space Knights come with ST 11, DX 12, IQ 13, HT 11, and Will 15. Thus, like most action heroes, they’re going to be at least passably competent in just about anything they choose to study. The high Will, in particular, is important for many psionic abilities that are based on Will, and is just a little shy of letting most abilities qualify for No Nuisance Rolls with a minimum of point investment. It also means that Intimidation is going to be your best social skill, which is handy for Contests of Will in a duel.

Space Knights also come with Combat Reflexes and Weapon Master (Force Sword). Combat Reflexes is pretty standard for any combat-oriented template, but Weapon Master deserves some further consideration. If you know the relevant skill at DX+2, you get +2 per die to damage with that weapon. Since all Space Knights have this, your standard Force Sword deals a whopping 8d+16 (5) damage! That’s enough to get past up to DR 220 on average. Since the maximum protection personal armor offers is DR 120, anyone you hit is dead. Okay, some people will survive, but typically you’re forcing unconsciousness checks and at least one death check.

As a result, the moment you turn that force sword on, expect to draw everyone’s attention. If you want to survive, invest in good armor or your defensive abilities. Fortunately, depending on which force sword skill package you choose, your parries start at 12 or 13, and your Precognitive Defense starts at 13. Fast-Draw (Force Sword) also helps you get your blade in your hand quickly, which begins at 13 as well.

Speaking of combat skills, depending on whether you fight with one weapon, two weapons, or a weapon and a shield, you’re looking at 16 or 18 in your chosen weapon type (force sword or saber). This isn’t amazing, but you’ll at least threaten hits consistently, and have a bit of skill to spend on fancier tricks. Picking up a force buckler is great for your defenses, while the Dual Weapon Attack package improves your offense. In any case, the net result is that you’re very dangerous at melee range, and even shooting at you is unwise unless you’re trying to deflect a lot of shots at once.

For other skills, you have Meditation-14, Philosophy-13, Stealth-12, a choice of Brawling or Karate, and Wrestling or Judo. Meditation and Philosophy are your mystic skills, Stealth is an everyman skill, and the rest are back-ups for close-in fighting.

In conclusion, the basic space knight is a competent if not outstanding melee fighter with a supremely dangerous weapon, and potential to do well in other areas. Unfortunately, you’re also a very tempting target, so try to avoid putting yourself in situations where you draw a lot of fire.

Advantage Options

With only 20 points to spend, you’re not going to pick up a whole lot here. Improved DX and IQ are both tempting, since either of them applies to a lot of your abilities. IQ in particular is great, since it adds to your psionics and your Precognitive Defense. Devotion is good if you plan to focus on the mystic side of the Space Knight, while Enhanced Dodge and Enhanced Parry may very well save your life in a pitched battle.

Destiny and Luck are handy for getting out of a jam, but they’re limited use and so are really emergency-only abilities. Wealth is another interesting option, since good armor and weapons are expensive, and it’s a lot easier to foot the bill if you have Wealth.

Disadvantage Options

Not much to say here. They’re all about what sort of a knight you are. Are you the heroic, knight in shining armor sort? The wandering beggar knight? Or a bloodthirsty dark knight?

Be careful choosing Vow (Poverty) and Wealth (Struggling or Poor), though. Good armor can save you from the attacks you’re likely to face, and forgoing it means relying on skill.

Skill Options

Between your background lens and the secondary skill options, you actually have a lot of options here. Acrobatics and Climbing are suitable for agile space knights, Armoury if you want to tinker with your weapon, and Literature, Law, History, and Intelligence Analysis for understanding what’s going on. Intimidation deserves particular note for how well it synergizes with your high Will, and again, it’s valuable in Contests of Will. Keep that in mind.

Still, you’re not going to be particularly outstanding at any of these, though your high attributes will give you a decent skill level with anything you choose to take.

Martial Arts

With only six points to spend and one those dedicated to a Style Familiarity, you’re not going to get a lot out of this. Depending on your skill choices, you may have to spend some of those points just for the buy-in for the style. You can get a perk or two, and maybe invest in a style technique. Your choices here are mostly a statement of how you’re going to fight.

More to Come…

By default, your standard space knight is a competent combatant with a smattering of other skills and the beginnings of a distinctive martial style. Where they really get interesting is in their choice of psionic ability and 50 point Power-Up lens. However, each of these needs a post of their own, since there’s so much to think about and choose with each. Stay tuned for most posts on the Space Knight.

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