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Due to unforeseeable issues (ask me about “Sprinkler-Gate” some time!) I regrettably was unable to provide a Halloween Week HoloNet Uplink, so to make up for that fact I’m going to address a topic that has been on my drawing board for some time. My thanks go out to Kevin Frane who covered for me with a terrifically topical Tabletop Thursday.
In lieu of Halloween I bring you a special treat. Unfortunately, Fantasy Flight Games seems intent on tricking you into thinking there is no need to release an official write up and stats for the Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon. The Gamer Nation Blog is proud to present an unofficial solution to this frankly bizarre missing link in FFG’s existing Star Wars Roleplaying Game offering. Without further ado, I present to you the infamous Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon!
The Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon
Originating from an unlicensed WEG d6 Star Wars adventure, the Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon are admittedly one of the sillier elements found in Legends. These pacifistic Gamorreans are a sect of all female Force-sensitive healers who have established their convent within Jedi ruins in the asteroid known as G’aav’aar’oon. A unique departure from the stereotypical Gamorrean brute, the Nuns can be a multifaceted tool for the GM. Obviously there is an easy opportunity for a silly adventure or two with the Nuns and their asteroid at the center. However, I ask you all to consider that this concept could easily be treated with some more respect.
Let’s take a moment to look at this concept piece by piece. The sect is a female group of healers from an alien species known for brutish behavior. Unlike the Jedi or Sith, these Force users are totally committed to non-violence. In the original material, the Nuns come to their asteroid home at some point after the Clone Wars and eventually their Mother-Superior Grotrugga is killed by the Empire, returning as a Force ghost and calling her followers to maintain their pacifism.
While in Gamorrean society females expect for their male relatives to perish en mass in combat, some women feel the death toll weigh down upon them with no support from their peers. In fact, any women who showed sorrow at the loss of their men would be shamed as outsiders who threaten the order of Gamorrean society. As members of their own species the Nuns are a refuge for members of this Gamorrean counterculture, providing a place of welcome and healing.
This leads to interesting questions and themes for exploration. How did this sect originate and survive on the war torn world of Gamorr? How would other Gamorreans view the Nuns? How can GMs use the pacifist nature of the Nuns to contrast with the fact most if not all PCs have killed multiple sentient beings in their lives? These are but a few areas in which a GM can get a lot of depth from a concept which is on the surface very silly. I’m particularly intrigued by the idea of exploring the morality of violence in Star Wars. It can be asked and argued whether or not the Nun’s non-violence is ethical in never abridging the sanctity of life, or selfish in that they are unwilling to take moral risk in order to achieve a greater good for the galaxy.
So maybe I’ve convinced you there’s more to the Nuns than what is on the surface. Or maybe I haven’t. Either way, I don’t think I could get away with opening this topic with providing some quasi-silly crunch for the Nuns, so read on for NPC stats, a Force relic, and ideas on how to use the Nuns in your game. Pretty deep stuff for alien pig nuns, eh?
The sisters who make up the Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon are told to be skilled healers, a reputation well deserved by their abilities in both mundane and Force powered medicine. Many grievously injured or seriously ill patients have journeyed to the convent despite the obvious disincentive of braving a destroyed fortress full of burly Gamorreans. Those who make the journey are relieved to discover the Nuns fulfill their reputation. While some may struggle with their vows of pacifism, each is committed to healing the sick and wounded regardless of what side of a battle they may come from. In recent times some non-Gamorreans have joined the convent, but the vast majority are Gamorrean females sensitive to the Force. After Imperial agents failed to frame the Rebel Alliance for the murder of Mother Grotrugga, the Empire sent several military task forces to conquer G’aav’aar’oon. Each was forced to turn back due to sudden and inexplicable mechanical problems, system failures, and navigational accidents, each sufficiently severe to turn the force away but not bad enough to cause any casualties. Rumors are spreading that the spirit of Grotrugga protects the Nuns through the Force, protecting G’aav’aar’oon in non-violent ways.
Br 4, Ag 1, Int 3, Cun 2, WP 4, Pres 2
Soak 6, W. Threshold 25
Skills: Cool 1, Discipline 3, Knowledge (Lore) 2, Medicine 2, Resilience 2
Talents: Force Rating 2, Adversary 1 (upgrade difficulty of all combat checks against this target once times; GMs are encouraged to narrate negative results as inexplicably bad “luck” – the results of the nun’s pacifist defenses), Healing Trance 2 (Commit a Force Die, for each full encounter it remains committed heal 1 wound per rank of Healing Trance), Physician (When making a Medicine check to help a character heal wounds, the target heals 1 additional strain per rank of Physician)
Abilities: Misfortune Mastery (Once per game session, may make a Hard (3 Purple) Discipline check. If successful, one device spontaneously and inexplicably fails. The effect of this ability is intended to mirror the Bad Motivator talent), Force Power: Heal (Spend a Force die to heal a number of wounds equal to Intellect from an engaged living creature, plus ranks in Medicine. Spend a Force die to remove one status effect from the target. Spend a Force die to increase wounds healed by 1, this maybe activated multiple times.)
Equipment: thick nun’s habit (soak +2), religious scrolls
Mother Surnurra [Nemesis]
The death of Mother Grotrugga at the hands of undercover Imperial agents nearly proved the undoing of the Nuns. However, Grotrugga’s appears as a Force ghost to her followers cemented her teachings of non-violence and trust in the Force. Despite Grotrugga’s appearance a new leader was needed, thus the Nuns chose the most skilled of their number to step forward. Surnurra, formerly handmaiden and bodyguard to her clan’s Matron, sought out the Nuns after the death toll of the Clone Wars began to weigh heavily on her emerging Force senses. Surnurra embraced the teachings of non-violence and healing wholeheartedly. She has permanently put away her significant hand-to-hand combat skills and now humbly wears the holy Veil of Grotrugga as Mother Superior of the Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon.
Br 4, Ag 1, Int 4, Cun 2, WP 5, Pres 2
Soak 6, W. Threshold 30, S. Threshold 20
Skills: Brawl 3, Charm 1, Cool 2, Discipline 5, Melee 3, Knowledge (Lore) 2, Leadership 3, Medicine 4, Resilience 3
Talents: Force Rating 3, Adversary 3 (upgrade difficulty of all combat checks against this target three times; GMs are encouraged to narrate negative results as inexplicably bad “luck” – the results of the nun’s pacifist defenses), Healing Trance 4 (Commit a Force Die, for each full encounter it remains committed heal 1 wound per rank of Healing Trance), Improved Healing Trance (When healing wounds due to Healing Trance, make a Resilience check to heal a Critical Injury. Difficulty of the check equals severity of the Critical Injury), Physician 3 (When making a Medicine check to help a character heal wounds, the target heals 1 additional strain per rank of Physician), Preemptive Avoidance (May spend 1 Destiny Point to disengage from engaged enemy as an out-of-turn incidental), Sense Advantage (Once per session, may add 2 Setback to another character’s skill check)
Abilities: Misfortune Mastery (Once per game session, may make a Hard (3 Purple) Discipline check. If successful, one device spontaneously and inexplicably fails. The effect of this ability is intended to mirror the Bad Motivator talent.) Force Power: Heal (Spend a Force die to heal a number of wounds equal to Intellect from an engaged living creature, plus ranks in Medicine. Spend a Force die to remove one status effect from the target. Spend a Force die to increase wounds healed by 1, this maybe activated multiple times. May spend 4 Force Die to resuscitate one target of the power who died since the end of the Force user’s last turn, immediately remove the Critical Injury or other effect that killed the target, this can only be activated once per session.)
Equipment: thick nun’s habit (soak +2), the Veil of Grotrugga (see below), religious scrolls
Veil of Grotrugga
This simple white and blue veil, originally handmade and worn by the Mothers Superior of the Nuns, hardly looks like a relic. Indeed, its most notable wearer is the late Mother Superior Grotrugga, for which it is now named. Worn at the time of her death and resonating with power during her return as a Force ghost, this veil is imbued with an echo of Grotrugga’s selfless adherence to the Light Side. Rumor has it that wearing the veil allows Force users to enhance their healing abilities, but only if they are selfless and pure of heart. Travelers to the asteroid report cases of terminally wounded patients receiving miraculous healing from Mother Surnurra.
Wearing the Veil of Grotrugga allows a Light Side Force using character to treat their Force Rating as one higher for the purposes of the Heal power and for Force talents and abilities related to healing (GM’s discretion). Reduce the difficulty of healing Critical Injuries once. Additionally, a character with the Heal Mastery upgrade may spend 6 Force Die once per session to restore to life one target who has died within the last encounter. This may be used once per session, and the attempt is so taxing that it causes the user to suffer 5 strain. Narratively, the target character was never dead and was “merely” miraculously healed from fatal injuries.
Fun with Nuns – Seeds and Ideas
- Some Scars Can’t Be Seen: Psychological trauma is often glossed over by the high adventure treatment of combat in Star Wars. The Nuns may be a unique opportunity to address these issues in game. With the Rebel Alliance granted use of G’aav’aar’oon as a medical and rehabilitation facility, GMs and PCs in an Age of Rebellion game could use the setting to explore the mental toll of combat. It is entirely possible the Nuns are no strangers to the horrors of war. The Nuns may have ex-warriors (such as handmaidens and body doubles) in their number, having rejected the brutal warfare of their home planet after taking part in it. Rebels assigned for R&R to G’aav’aar’oon may be surprised by the firsthand understanding some Nuns possess, possibly leading to surprising bonds forming between the PCs and an ex-warrior Nun NPC.
- Origin of the Order: The healing properties of G’aav’aar’oon and the presence of Jedi ruins dating well prior to the Clone Wars suggest the Nuns’ occupation of the asteroid is not accidental. PCs intrigued by the mysterious origins of this Force tradition, and the immense contradiction between the Nuns’ philosophy and normal Gamorrean culture, could seek out answers in many places. The asteroid G’aav’aar’oon hosts caverns and ruins left uninhabited by the Nuns and their visitors, leaving significant areas for PCs to explore. Perhaps the Nuns did not come to their new home by accident, potentially sharing a distant origin with ancient Jedi Healers. PCs playing former members of the Jedi Medical Corps may be particularly interested in pursuing this mystery.
- Player Character: A truly onerous challenge is available for those players who would take up the non-violent habit of the Nuns of G’aav’aar’oon. The mechanical build is quite straightforward, taking the Consular class with the Healer specialization to start with. The Unofficial Species Menagerie includes states for Gamorreans on page 10. Cross-specialization could easily follow into Doctor or Sage depending on how much focus the PC places on healing. The true challenge is from a roleplaying perspective, however. Will the PC eschew all violence? Can they tolerate violence on the part of their companions? Are they a heretic to the convent by believing violence is sometimes ethical, and if so where do they draw the line?