Star Wars – Rules
Crafting a Lightsaber
In the days before the purge of the Jedi Order, it was traditional for every Padawan learner to construct his own lightsaber. This was not a test of the would-be Je- di’s aptitudes or skills, but a rite of passage hallowed by countless years of tradition. Now, with the secrets and treasures of the Jedi purged from much of the galaxy, those hoping to carry on their traditions must construct their own lightsabers out of simple necessity. A few hilts or even fully functional lightsabers can still be found in private collections or aboard ancient vessels such as Val Isa’s Sanctuary, but these examples are incredibly rare. Gaining access to them is even more incredibly perilous.
Fortunately for the PCs in Force and Destiny characters may build their own lightsabers, even if they are not technically gifted or learned in ancient lore -although such qualities certainly help. The following section details the construction process of a lightsaber.
Lightsaber Construction Rules
Although lightsabers are true marvels of galactic technology, part of their wondrous nature comes from the elegant simplicity of their design. Apart from the wondrously rare crystals that create the weapons’ signature blades, the rest of the construction relies primarily on a power source, an energy emitter, appropriately rugged circuitry, and a hilt with basic controls. Constructing the hilt of a lightsaber is fairly easy—it’s obtaining and shaping the crystal that prevents most from fashioning one.
To construct a lightsaber, first the character must construct the hilt. To do so, the character must first either obtain some basic information on the construction, or intuit the design through existing sources. Old records, a holocron, or being able to reverse-engineer an existing lightsaber hilt can all give the character the information he needs to build a lightsaber. Meditation and attunement with the Force aid the aspiring lightsaber craftsman, as the wisdom of the countless generations of Jedi who have passed into its embrace guide him. Even when the Jedi Order was at its peak, the Force was considered the ultimate teacher on the topic, and many lightsabers were constructed while meditating with a “hands-free” telekinetic process.
Building the Hilt
Mechanically, a character constructs a lightsaber hilt by first amassing the proper materials and making a check. Obtaining the materials is a simple process, requiring the user to amass 300 credits worth of parts without a check (the cost of a basic lightsaber hilt), or making an Average (♦♦) Streetwise check to obtain them instead. The majority of the cost lies in acquiring a suitable energy source, such as a diatium power cell, but other components are also required. Notably, the actual housing of the lightsaber hilt is of negligible cost unless the PC building it desires otherwise. Only the internal workings of the lightsaber are of real significance, and a length of industrial piping works just as well as an elaborate electrum-plated masterpiece at housing the weapon’s crystalline heart.
Once the character obtains the materials, he can construct a lightsaber hilt by succeeding on an Average (♦♦) Mechanics or Knowledge (Lore) check If the character does not have access to information on how to construct a lightsaber (such as via a holocron or other data archive) the GM can either decide that he may not attempt to construct it, or he can increase the difficulty to Daunting (♦♦♦♦) Assembling the hilt requires three days of careful concentration and assembly.
Success AND Failure
A successful check indicates successful construction of a basic lightsaber hilt, as described on page 177 of the Force and Destiny Core Rulebook. Every additional success beyond the first reduces the assembly time by four hours (to a minimum of four hours).
If the check fails, the character fails to construct the hilt. Fie can attempt to construct it again, although at the GM’s discretion, failure with a setback may mean some or all of the materials are lost and must be acquired a second time.
If successful, the character gains a basic lightsaber hilt, as found on Table 5-8: Lightsaber Hilts on page 177 in the Core Rulebook. However, for taking the time and effort to construct a hilt, he gains one additional benefit. When the character adds his first attachment (including a lightsaber crystal) to the hilt, he may automatically install one mod on that attachment without making a Mechanics check (he counts as automatically passing the check). This still counts towards the total number of mods installed on the attachment.
Although this process describes constructing a basic lightsaber hilt, at the GM’s discretion, a player can use these rules to allow his character to construct any hilt for a lightsaber. If he does so, the cost for materials equals the cost of the hilt found on Table 5-8: Lightsaber Hilts on page 177 in the Core Rulebook, or the GM may increase the difficulty of the Streetwise check to obtain materials.
Advantage and Triumph
Any advantage results on the construction check can be used to expedite the assembly process. The character may spend an advantage to reduce the cost of materials by 25 credits per advantage spent (to a minimum of 100), or add customization or ornamentation to the hilt (this does not have any mechanical benefit, but can make the hilt look interesting and unique at the player’s discretion). Three advantage results may be spent to decrease the encumbrance of the hilt by one.
The character may spend a Triumph to increase the number of hard points on the hilt by one, and may do this multiple times.
Setback and Despair
If the construction check generates setback results, the assembly of the lightsaber hilt is more difficult and consumes more resources than expected. Each setback result either requires 25 credits of additional materials to be purchased to replace ruined components, or adds 12 hours to the construction process. Three setback results means that the finished hilt is bulkier than expected, and its encumbrance increases by one.
If the character generates Despair during construction, he decreases the number of hard points on the hilt by one. Multiple Despair are cumulative, to a minimum of two hard points.
Although building one’s own hilt does not directly affect lightsaber crystals, it does give the character the chance to tweak his crystal (or another lightsaber attachment) upon installation.
As per page 23, when the character adds his first attachment (including a lightsaber crystal) to the hilt, he may automatically install one mod on that attachment without making a Mechanics check (he counts as automatically passing the check). This still counts towards the total number of mods installed on the attachment. This means that when a character builds his own lightsaber, as long as the first thing he installs is the crystal, it will be different compared to the “stock” version of the weapon.
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Game Management: Annotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Creating a Galaxy Map, Ending three year campaign, GM’s Luck Roll, Running Games over Skype, Tracking Experience, 2016 Campaign
References: for Characters, for GMs, Dice, Items (Lightsabers, Modifying, Purchasing, Qualities), Knight Level Play, Mechanics (Awareness, Duty, Morality, Obligation), Movement (Personal, Planetary, Vehicles), Roles (Bounty Hunting, Investigations), Secrets (Empire, Jedi, Rebels, Sith)
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