House Rules

Melee
Ranged Attack at a Prone Target

Ranged attack at a prone target increases the range increment penalty by 1 step (just the penalty – so you can still use Point Blank Shot bonus at a target within that range).

Same rules for Aim vs Cover apply to Aim vs Prone

Range attack vs a Prone target within melee range (your Reach) provides no prone defense bonus or penalty.

Vehicle Combat

Target Sense (Starships of the Galaxy) for Jedi
Turn off your computer. Replace the vehicle’s INT modifier with your CHA modifier; as a result, it’s no longer the vehicle’s attack; it’s yours. As such, Battle Strike now works with it even though it wouldn’t normally work with a vehicle weapon . A good Jedi pilot combination. Serenity and Destiny points can also work here.

Skim the Surface _(Starships of the Galaxy):
This works with vehicle weapons, for the pilot only.

Double Attack and Triple Attack:
Works with vehicles, but only useful to a dedicated gunner, not a pilot/gunner.

Works with vehicle weapons:
Burst Fire, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Careful Shot

Doesn’t work with vehicle weapons: Rapid Shot

Clarification on how to avoid the slower ship using All Out Move to escape a faster ship firing at it

Problem: 4 TIES (fast) pursue a single ARC (slow). The ARC uses All Out Move, forcing the TIES to All Out Move to chase, but they must give up their standard action (firing) to do so. They never get to fire, despite being the faster ships.

Solution:
All-out move must be in a straight line and you must have already moved the round before to use it.

The straight line helps set up a dogfight, which will pin the slow fleeing ship, by having the pursuing ships sweep past the fleeing ship, ending their turn in it’s path. Now the fleeing ship must either enter the square and get into a dogfight, or change direction.

The “must have moved round before” also can help if, since this is the first round of combat, all-out can’t be used yet. This makes it easier for the TIEs to pounce earlier on in the example.

You can only maintain all-out move the next round if you keep going in the same direction.

You are at top speed now, you can only change direction if you slow and use a regular move action first, then back to picking up speed with an all-out move the next round. This makes sense and it makes it much easier for faster ships to pass and get in front of you to cut you off. The slower ship ends up flying through the faster ship into a dogfight, or must slow to turn and juke, opening him up to being shot by his pursuers who don’t have to all-out to keep up.

IOW, when faced with a faster pursuer, the slow ship either goes straight through into a dogfight, or slows to turn, which puts it within range of a standard move action (and likely within range of a standard move/shoot with the pursuing fighter on the pursuer’s next turn).

I think this favours a more dynamic combat, with more shots and movement tactics, rather than endless bait and chase.

Starship Maneuvers

If you take a vehicle or heavy weapons skill or talent, you are going to get a free maneuver. This keeps folks like Jason’s Bolo far and away the best Pilot, without denying him things he needs in character scale. It also helps ensure everyone else is not “sitting out” during space combat.

Pilot house rules to get extra manoeuvers

You are granted 1 free maneuver for each of the following skills or talents you take:

Trained in Pilot – Pilot maneuver
Skill Focus (Pilot) – Pilot maneuver
Vehicular Combat – Pilot maneuver
Weapons Focus (Heavy Weapons) – Gunner maneuver
Double/triple attack (heavy weapons) – Gunner maneuver
Starship Tactics – as in Starships (I think grants 3 maneuvers)
A Few Maneuvers – Pilot maneuver
Talents: Spacer, Expert Pilot, and Squadron Leader talent trees – each grant a maneuver
The Gunner talent tree may include free (gunner) maneuvers

shooting at someone on a vehicle:

1. The Pilot may use Vehicular Combat to negate an attack on a vehicle occupant by an outside source. (If he can negate a vehicle hit he should be able to negate hitting something on/in the vehicle.)

2. Pilot may use vehicle’s DEX modifier minus vehicle size modifier in place of his own when determining his REF defense; this is not limited by an Armor’s Max DEX. (The pilot is moving the vehicle so this represents his ability to help move himself away from the attack as well at the vehicle’s speed.)

Example
Taking these two houserules into account would give the pilot a chance to evade one attack and a +6 REF Defense (he only has REF 10 with no personal DEX mod) to his own REF which incidently makes him just as hard to hit as the bike itself.

The Force

Calling on the Dark Side

If your Dark Side Score is less than your Wisdom, you can call on the dark side to gain a temporary Force Point. If the Force Point is not used before the end of the encounter, it is lost. Calling on the dark side is a major transgression (see page 94 of the Saga Edition Core Rulebook). Only heroic characters can call on the dark side.

The Threshold of Evil — When your Dark Side Score increases, roll 2d4 and add your new Dark Side Score. If the result exceeds your Wisdom by 5 or more points, your Dark Side Score increases to your Wisdom score, and you turn to the dark side.

To decide if an action is “blatantly evil,” ask yourself the following questions:
• Did the action harm a sentient, living character?
• Did the action harm a character that was at your mercy (helpless, unable to meaningfully defend itself, or something similar)?
• Did the action cause serious harm to a character (physically, mentally, or emotionally)?
• Was the action unnecessary to protect yourself or another character from an immediate, obvious threat?
• Was the action deliberate and the result intended?
If the answer to all of these questions is “Yes,” then the action is almost certainly “blatantly evil” (a major transgression) and deserves increasing the character’s Dark Side Score. Examples include murder, torture (including acts such as intentional mutilation or maiming), slavery, rape, and any similar act considered reprehensible by most civilizations.

If exactly one question can be answered “No,” then the action is probably “questionably evil” (a moderate transgression), which might be worth increasing the character’s Dark Side Score. Examples include assassinating an Imperial warlord who is about to give orders to exterminate the population of a planet (it’s in defense of others, but he’s still at your mercy), tormenting a droid to extract information, or starting an unnecessary fight that results in serious injury.

If exactly two of the questions can be answered “No,” then the action is probably “dubiously evil” (a minor transgression) and likely doesn’t deserve increasing the character’s Dark Side Score. Examples include killing in self-defense or recklessly (but accidentally) causing injury to others.

If three or more questions can be answered “No,” then the action probably is not a dark side transgression at all. For example, destroying an object is not a transgression unless doing so also causes some sort of substantial harm to a character. Similarly, hunting an animal (not sentient) in the wilderness (not helpless) for sustenance (protecting yourself from starvation) is perfectly acceptable in all but the most unusual circumstances.

Battle Meditation (revision – is now a Force Power, and not a talent)
The original battle meditation is seriously underpowered for the cost…
Here is a proposed revision that works better.

You can influence the outcome of battle through the Force.

Time: Full-round action.
Range: 12 squares.

Make a DC 20 Use the Force check.
If successful, you grant all allied characters within 12 squares excluding
yourself a +1 Force bonus to their attack rolls, skill checks and Defenses until the start of your next turn.

This is a mind-affecting effect.

Special: You may maintain your concentration on this power, requiring a standard action and a new Use the Force check each round. If you suffer damage while maintaining battle meditation, you must succeed on a Use the Force check (DC = 15 + damage taken) to maintain concentration on this power, with the effect ending immediately upon a failed Use the Force check.

You can spend a Force Point when activating battle meditation to increase the Force bonus to +2.

Alternatively,you can spend a Destiny Point when activating battle meditation to increase the Force bonus to +5.

If used in starship combat, this power affects all allied gunners and pilots within 12 squares at starship scale.

Sundry

Knowledge (Tactics) – What does it do?

It’s a pre-requisite for a lot of Officer talents that have in-game effects, but what does it do by itself? I looked to D20 Modern for answers in line with other Knowledges.

“Like any other Knowledge skill, Knowledge (tactics) is used to determine whether a character knows something. As with all other flavors of the Knowledge skill, the DC for a Knowledge (tactics) check is 10 for an easy question, 15 for a basic question, and 20 or 30 for a hard question.

If you have a player who wants to make a Knowledge (tactics) check in every encounter, make him ask a specific question, then decide how hard it is. A question such as, “Would it be easy for the enemy to ambush us here?” is probably easy or basic (DC 10 or 15).

A vague question that simply fishes for GM hints (such as, “What’s the best way for us to handle this situation?”) is probably pretty hard (DC 20 to 30).

If the check succeeds, give him an answer that seems correct to you. A little information is fine — you don’t have to come up with a detailed battle plan even when talking about the best way to handle a situation. You might simply point out one or two aspects of the encounter, such as terrain features, that the heroes could take advantage of. Or you could point out an advantage that the bad guys might be able to exploit.

Remember too that a Knowledge check, when not made as a reaction, requires a full round action. If your player wants to skip a turn in the middle of combat to make a full-round Knowledge (tactics) check, he’s probably made a bad tactical decision already.

Acrobatics, Getting up from a prone position

Getting up from a prone position in a threatened area provokes an AoO, which is avoidable with a DC 15 Acrobatics check. (Note you cannot trip or throw someone who provokes an AoO because you can respond with a normal attack, not a grapple attack.)

Skill Focus

Instead of a flat +5, which is too powerful at first level and too weak later on, I propose that we use the common house rule variant that scales with level.

That means skill focus would now give a bonus of 1/2 your level maxing out at 10th level with the full +5 bonus. This prevents characters with extremely high bonuses at 1st thru 5th level (especially with Use the Force) – which will outclass any villains by a longshot.

Climb, jump, and swim are now covered by a combined Athletics skill.

ANY class that has climb, jump, OR swim on their class skill list should add Athletics to their trainable list. If you chose more than one of these, you can re-allocate your trained skills. Fishy characters can still re-roll their Athletics check as they would when they swim

Skill Focus

Skill focus offers a bonus of +1 when you take it, plus 1/2 your level, maxing with the full +5 bonus at level 10. This prevents characters with extremely high bonuses at 1st thru 5th level (especially with Use the Force) – which will outclass any villains by a longshot.

Starting Money higher level

As a very loose guideline, your wealth at any given level should be something like this: (level x -1) x 2,000 credits*

*Double this for a noble with the Wealth talent. This basically assumes that roughly 60% of your total income is spent on upkeep, paying rent, buying food, paying taxes, repairing equipment, getting medical care, etc. (This is a much higher rate than in D&D, where you’d only be expected to “burn” about 10% — but D&D doesn’t have an Imperial Revenue Service.)

For example, at 16th level, it should be somewhere around half a million credits. The reason I say this is a very loose guideline, though, is that at least half of this wealth would tend to be in a non-liquid form (e.g. property, intangibles such as favors and allies, etc.). As a very rough guideline, having someone owe you a favor (i.e. one-time intervention on your behalf, not to exceed one encounter) is worth about 2,000 x CL; having a long-term ally (i.e. someone who will help you out any time they are available) is worth about 40,000 x CL x (% chance that they’re available).

Gunslinger Trigger Work talent (Core 217): You take no penalty on your attack roll when using the Rapid Shot feat.
House Rule: Gladiator Jedi Knight and Melee Duelist should have a prestige talent available that equals this for melee attacks.
Gladiator Jedi Knight and Melee Duelist talent called Balanced Strike: You take no penalty on your attack roll when using the Rapid Shot feat.

House Rules

Dawn of Defiance Nefandus