HoloNet Uplink: Alternative Force Tradition – Voss Mystics

Copyright Disney/Bioware

Welcome to the HoloNet Uplink, citizen. This series focuses on Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Roleplaying Game, with content aimed mostly at the Gamemaster. Threats, adventure seeds, rules supplements, and more are all to come for those who access The HoloNet Uplink.

I previously took a stab at the Zeison Sha in a pre-Disciples of Harmony review article. Now that I’ve got that review out, I’m thinking its time to try another Force tradition. By no means do I think I have the hang of these, so consider this more of a public experiment.

I haven’t had a ton of academic horsepower available to really analyze these in depth, but I’m quite enthused by the concept. So by all means, if you’ve got feedback or comments please hit me up. Have I got this right? Is there a type of extra content that would go well with the “Write Up – Benefit – Drawback” basic structure? Have your own alternative Force tradition to share? I would love to hear about it.

Voss Mystics

Totalitarian rulers of their eponymous Outer Rim World, the Voss Mystics were known be powerful seers and healers. Their debut on the galaxy’s stage was the thwarting of a Sith Empire attack on their world through what was thought to be incredible foresight abilities. To the Mystics, the Force was a conduit through which healing and visions would flow.

Voss Mysticism was based on talent, intuition, and a spiritual openness to the guidance of the Force. Unlike the Jedi or Sith, the Force was not a subject to be studied or practiced; instead it would guide each mystic through pilgrimage, visions, and rituals. Individual Jedi have varied opinions of the Voss, some considering them dangerous Grey Force users and others being more open to mutual exploration. The majority of Voss Mystics had little interest in the ways of outsiders. They saw themselves as the Chosen of the Force, and thus had no reason to study the ways of others. In truth, the true origin of Voss Mysticism is that of ancient interference by both Sith and Jedi. This secret history is long forgotten, buried by both time and by intentionally by the few to have rediscovered the truth over the generations.

It is exceptionally rare to find Voss Mystics away from their homeworld, and essentially unheard of for aliens to be trained in their ways. Records do exist of Mystics leaving Voss, but the number of such cases is but a handful. However, the Force moves in mysterious ways. The Voss greatly value the gift of prophecy, and indeed will break even the most entrenched traditions to follow a clear vision. The PCs could reasonably learn from a Voss, or have a Voss character amongst them, given a sufficiently compelling prophecy.

Benefit: Reduce the cost to purchase Foresee and Heal/Harm basic Force powers, as well as Control upgrades by 5 XP, to a minimum of 5 XP.

Drawback (25 XP): Closed to the Ways of Outsiders. Increase the cost of learning any basic Force power by 5 XP, except the following: Enhance, Foresee, Heal/Harm, Move, and Seek. Increase the cost of increasing ranks in Lightsaber by 5 XP.

Voss Commando [Rival]

Copyright LucasFilm / EA

The defenders of their namesake world, Voss Commandos protected the city of Voss-ka and served as bodyguards to the Voss Mystics. A structured military force, the Voss Commandos were organized in units made up of squads with permanently assigned members. These squads could also be detached to the retinue of specific Voss Mystics as close protection. Battle hardened soldiers, the commandos had extensive expertise fighting against the Gormak, another sentient species native to their world. To the Voss, military matters are especially a time for adherence to visions and prophecy. The predictions of the Voss Mystics would be used to plan and execute military operations, in many cases placing soldiers in exceptionally dangerous positions justified by what the Tower of Prophecy had foreseen. Trust, even to the point of blind adherence, of the seer’s predictions is drilled into each commando. As a result, the Voss Commandos were highly disciplined and nearly fearless fighting force.

Characteristics

Br 3, Ag 3, Int 2, Cun 2, WP 3, Pres 2

Soak 4, W. Threshold 16, Def M/R 1/1

Skills: Athletics 1, Cool 3, Discipline 3, Melee 2, Perception 2, Ranged (Heavy) 2, Ranged (Light) 2, Resilience 2, Vigilance 2

Talents: Adversary 1 (upgrade difficulty of all combat checks against this target once), Body Guard 2 (once per round, perform the Body Guard maneuver to guard an engaged character. Suffer up to two wounds, then until the beginning of the next turn upgrade the difficulty of combat checks targeting the protected character once per wound suffered.)

Abilities: Faith in Prophecy (When working under the orders of a Voss Mystic, a Voss Commando may decrease the difficulty of any Discipline check to avoid the effects of Fear twice. If this reduces the difficulty of the check to zero, the commando does not need to make the check. This effect is identical to the Confidence talent but only applies when the commando’s ingrained trust for the mystics would be relevant.)

Equipment: Blaster rifle (Ranged [Heavy]; Damage 9; Critical 3; Range [Long]; Stun Setting), voss commando armor (+1 soak, +1 defense).

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Christopher Hunt

Christopher Hunt

Staff Writer at d20 Radio
Ready to pull the ears off a Gundark, Chris is new to writing in the gaming industry. Up in the mystical Canadian land of Manitoba, he can be seen running Star Wars for his home group and at PrairieCon events. Chris has a passion for gaming he hopes to unite with academic and corporate writing experience .
Christopher Hunt

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Comments

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6 Comments

  1. I’d love to see a Nightsister path, but I think it would need to be fairly extreme. I’m of the opinion that the Force is merely one highly mechanistic approach to the magic of the SW universe, and there are things it can’t do that other approaches can.

    That said, the FFG system is broad enough that I think one could approximate the witch-style spellcasting by letting them make Force powers affect others in a permanent (or lasting) manner through complex rituals and sacrifice. i.e. Savage Oppress’s strength as the +1 Brawn function of Enhance, balanced by a -1 Intellect.

    • Nightsisters were absolutely on my initial list of traditions I wanted to tackle. But as you’ve identified, I think to do them justice you need more than just a little coat of paint. There are some talents out there that sell the withcraft aspect a bit, but as you say they are more different than some of the tamer options out there.

      Would love to see your take on it, as you’ve started to identify options. I may swing back around and give them a go sometime.

    • All of those options sound solid. Comment would be the quickest and easiest, plus then everyone else can see. Only downside is comments aren’t great if you have a super long amount of stuff to share.

      • A-well then.

        Ashaderi Monk

        Ashaderi monks are a meditative religious order known for their unique fighting style and nomadic ways. The order is said to originate deep in the mountains of Antar 4, the Gotal homeworld, but in the many millennia since, monasteries have been founded on hundreds of worlds by dozens of species, each with its own unique variation of the Ashaderi beliefs and style. In general, the Ashaderi recognize the Force as a universal will that strengthens those who listen to its guidance, and treat the Force as a path to personal enlightenment, but do not actively attempt to recruit new members (those meant to join will find their way to a monastery) and do not feel they have a mandate to interfere in the lives of outsiders, even for their own good.

        While the Ashaderi practice several forms of still meditation, they are most recognized for using the exercise of their fighting style as a meditative act. Their fighting forms emphasize circularity and maintaining center-of-balance, with spins and rolls performed while moving around an opponent (or a point on the ground that represents one). While this ‘circle dancing’ can be performed bare-handed with great effect, its most dangerous and dramatic variant includes the use of a deeply curved sword, or a pair of them.

        Most Ashaderi are not sensitive to the Force, but the most respected masters almost universally are. They are capable of incredible feats of agility and strength, and

        Ashaderi recognize the Dark Side of the Force only as a mistaken path that acts contrary to the universal will and inhibits enlightenment. Rage and fear can lend power, but they blind the user to the will that the order is devoted to following, and lead ultimately away from that goal. But as bad as following the wrong path, is ceasing to move on any path. The Ashaderi emphasize motion as not only a form of meditation, but as central to life. All things in the universe move — planets in their orbits, stars in their great turning galaxies, wind and water, even blood within a body. To cease movement is to end, so Ashaderi monasteries act primarily as waystations for their wandering membership. Only monks devoted to teaching and their students remain in a monastery for any length of time, and even then the teachers stay only for a time before moving on to teach at another monastery, often bringing with them one or two of the most promising students for more focused instruction.

        Benefit: Reduce the cost to purchase the Sense and Enhance basic Force powers by 5 XP, to a minimum of 5 XP. This reduction also applies to the cost to purchase Control upgrades for either power, if the upgrade allows you to commit a force die.

        Drawback (15 XP): An Ashaderi Monk must not become too comfortable in a single place. At the end of every week spent in a single geographic area, an Ashaderi generates 2 conflict.

        Comments:
        I based this on a sort of vague mixture of Ba Gua Kung Fu (aka Airbending), Shaolin, Komusou (Japanese basket-wearing monks who have to travel as part of their Zen), and some variants the Dervish religious orders. I’m not happy with that Drawback, since it doesn’t seem like it would really inhibit a PC any, this was just a first try.

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