February 13, 2012

Drain Energy house rule idea

On the recent episode of the Order 66 podcast (Number 152: Dammit GM, I'm a Healer not a Beatstick!) during the Docking Bay segment, there was a question about whether the Force power Drain Energy (found on page 25 of the Jedi Academy Training Manual) could be used on droids or vehicles.

I got to thinking about that, and while the RAW answer is "doesn't work on those since they don't fall under equipment," I tossed out an idea during the live chat when Chris and Dave were recording the show about how a successful use of this Force power on a droid or vehicle might move it down the condition track. Problem is that just using the static DCs means Drain Energy becomes too good against most droids (who rarely exceed Large size). So here's my amendment to Drain Energy:

Drain Energy
Special (add the following paragraph): You can use this power to impair the operation of a droid or vehicle. Compare your Use the Force check to the target's damage threshold. If successful, the target moves one step down the condition track and gains a persistent condition that can only be removed with a DC 20 to repair the affected droid or vehicle as per SECR pg70. You can spend a Force Point to move the target one additional step down the condition track.

I could have gone the route of making it ape Force Stun, but I opted to veer away from that route, especially as Force Stun can ridiculously easy to recover from. This way, you do managed to affect the droid or vehicle in a meaningful way without being able to totally one-shot it, and even the really big stuff won't be incredibly easy to take out either, particularly stuff that's Medium size or smaller. This way, you've still got to beat the base DC for the droid/vehicle's size as per affecting an object normally, but it gets an additional defense (particularly for higher level threats) and can't be KO'd by a single skill check.

Don't know if I'll ever use this in my own games, as so far I've yet to see a Jedi at my table even look in the direction of this power, but I just thought I'd toss the notion out there.

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