January 31, 2016

Forging Synthetic Kyber Crystals

So back on Christmas, I posted up an article listing out a number of homebrewed kyber crystals for use with a character's lightsaber in Fantasy Flight Game's Force and Destiny RPG.  And overall, they seemed to be pretty well received.

One thing that did come up was "how do I create a synthetic kyber crystal?"  And by extension, how would a PC create a compressed synthetic crystal, which is supposed to be a 'flawed' version of the typical synthetic crystal.

As I noted in the comments section of that post, at the time I wrote those crystals for inclusion an update of my Ways of the Force fan supplement, we didn't really have any sort of constructions rules.  However, with the release of the Force and Destiny GM Kit as well as Keeping the Peace, we've actually got rules for building things, specifically lightsaber hilts and sets of armor.

Well, after reviewing both sets of rather different rules, I opted to take the route that best adhered to the long-standing principle of "Keep It Simple Stupid."  So, going the path of the construction rules for lightsaber hilts, I've put together this fairly simple process to enable a PC to try and construct their own synthetic kyber crystal.

Creating a Synthetic Kyber Crystal
The process of creating a synthetic kyber crystal requires a geological compressor, which is often far easier to obtain under false pretenses due to its primary usage of replicating geological conditions in a laboratory.  The raw materials to form the crystals are also easy to obtain, costing approximately 900 credits with a Rarity of 4.  Once acquired, the raw materials are placed within the compressor and essentially left to bake for a period of roughly three days.  During this time frame, the Force user creating the crystal would meditate upon it through the Force, guiding the formation of the crystal and increasing its potency.  The level of control required over the formation process of the synthetic crystal often proved daunting to raw initiates; perhaps the difficulty and degree of control required lead to the Sith preferring to use synthetic crystals in contrast to the naturally-formed crystals used by most Jedi in their lightsabers?

When a character attempts to create a synthetic kyber crystal, they need to make either a Mechanics of Discipline skill check at a Formidable (dddd) difficulty, adding Force dice equal to their Force Rating to the check.  Each Force Point generated can be used to add either success or advantage to the check result.

If the check is successful, then the character has created a synthetic kyber crystal.  If the check succeeds with a Triumph or 3 advantage, the player may choose one modification option of their choice to be included with the crystal when it is installed into a lightsaber hilt (it still counts as a successful modification when determining the difficulty of future modifications to the crystal).  If the check is successful but generates 3 threat, then the character has created a compressed synthetic crystal.  If the check succeeds but generates a Despair, then the character has created a flawed kyber crystal.  A failed check results in a crystal that is unsuitable for use in a lightsaber, requiring the character to start over from scratch.

Under most conditions, the synthetic kyber crystal does not have an inherent color until it has been attuned through the Force for installation into a lightsaber hilt.  However, if the creator is a dark side Force user, then the lightsaber's blade will default to a shade of crimson, usually the blood red for which the Sith are known and feared.  However, the dark side can spend a Triumph from a successful check to create the crystal to have the lightsaber blade be of a different color, though for most followers of the dark side, a red-hued lightsaber is seen as both mastery and commitment to the dark side of the Force.

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