So for a while now I’ve wanted to take my Alien vs. Jedi idea and port it over to Fate Core, but the sticking point since the first iteration of the hack has always been, “How do you model the Dark Side?” In my initial draft of the hack, the Dark Side was basically a way to get free invokes at the cost of being compelled a lot (without getting a fate point for your trouble). It mucked with the fate point economy a bit too much and, in a con game, there wasn’t much incentive to restrain yourself from pulling as many free invocations as possible from your darker nature. So I need a new solution.
I was thinking about it today after a brief twitter conversation and all of the sudden I got the idea to model the Force and the Dark Side with a modified version of the rules for Gifts and Costs that I put in Wild Blue. A Force-using character would choose from a specific list of Powers: one for Light Side and one for Dark Side. A Jedi or Sith might get three of these Powers (or maybe they cost refresh, like normal stunts); the down side is that they’d also get three Costs (or a Cost for each Power), also specific to Light Side or Dark Side and chosen from a list. Powers and Costs work as their counterparts in Wild Blue work; they give you auto-success against passive opposition and nameless NPCs and they provide a stunt-like bonus when you actually have to roll a skill (though I’d probably tone down the bonus of each Power because you’re getting three of them, making them slightly better than a normal stunt but not as good as two stunts). Some examples:
The Force allows me to . . .
. . . move at great speeds and leap great distances.
Benefit: You get a +3 bonus to Athletics rolls made to run and jump.
. . . sense the presence of other Force users.
Benefit: You know when other Force users are near, and can make a Notice roll to determine a specific Force user’s identity, if you’ve felt their presence before.
. . . deflect and redirect energy-based attacks with my lightsaber.
Benefit: While you’re wielding your lightsaber, you can defend against energy-based ranged attacks (like a blaster shot) with Fighting. If your defend roll beats your opponent’s attack roll by 2 or more shifts, you can use the shifts you gain as an attack against a target in your zone or an adjacent zone. The target can defend as usual.
But . . .
. . . the Dark Side always tempts me with power.
. . . I rely too much on the Force, and am helpless without it.
. . . a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.
A Dark Side user might look like this:
The Dark Side gives me the power to . . .
. . . hurl bolts of dark lighting at my foes.
Benefit: You can hurl Force Lightning, allowing you to attack an opponent in your zone with Will. If you attack a single opponent, you deal +2 stress on a successful attack. You can choose instead to attack multiple opponents in your zone by dividing your attack up, but you do not deal the extra stress.
. . . fill myself with the strength of hatred and rage.
Benefit: You can choose to get a +2 to Fighting rolls made to attack and a +2 to Physique rolls made create advantages through brute force, but you take a 1-stress mental hit during each exchange in which you use this Power.
. . . choke the life out of others with the power of the Force.
Benefit: You can use Will to attack a character in your zone or an adjacent zone. You deal +3 stress on a successful attack, but any defense rolls you make while using this Power are made at Mediocre (+0).
But . . .
. . . I am a slave to its will, and it compels me to ever greater acts of depravity.
. . . one day it will consume me.
. . . others can sense its presence within me, and they recoil from it.
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