The Elegant Weapon

Lightsabers and Lightsaber Specializations in Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™

“The weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
   –Obi-Wan Kenobi

The lightsaber is one of the most powerful weapons known in the galaxy. As a melee weapon, it is unsurpassed, far more effective than vibroaxes or electrostaffs. Its colored plasma blade, hot and bright as a star’s core, protects the wielder from blaster fire and grenades. It can carve open doors, decapitate a row of battle droids, and slice almost any existing armor. It is beautiful and versatile, requiring training and finesse to wield well. And under the Empire, the lightsaber has become an iconic and illegal hallmark of the outlawed Jedi Order. 

The Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™ roleplaying system puts this legendary weapon in the palms of your hands. Not only can you wield a lightsaber in the game, you may be able to find a crystal and construct your own, or become an advanced practitioner a specific form of lightsaber combat. In today’s preview, you’ll learn all about making and wielding the weapon of a Jedi Knight.

A Weapon Of Your Own Design

In the days of the Jedi Order, Padawans would venture to the planet Ilum to find just the right kyber crystal, then construct custom lightsabers around their crystals with the guidance of their elders. Now, Force users must either search the galaxy for an old lightsaber, or hope to discover a kyber crystal on their own. Old lightsabers are extremely rare, requiring a check of Formidable difficulty to find, but if you possess a kyber crystal, lightsaber hilts are more easily bought. Or you can build your own lightsaber as true padawans once did, and shape it to your personality and fighting style.

The Force and Destiny Core Rulebook describes five types of lightsabers and hilts, from the short shotos wielded by Yoda and Ahsoka Tano to the double-bladed lightsaber used by Darth Maul. All except for the training lightsaber have the Breach quality, which lets them ignore almost any target's soak rating and slice through armor, other weapons, even a computer terminal. Between the Breach quality and their damage rating of six, lightsabers can deal more damage than any other melee weapon.

Since lightsabers are no ordinary melee weapon, you must acquire a unique skill to wield them. Appearing for the first time in Force and Destiny is the Lightsaber skill, linked to Brawn. No Career in the Core Rulebook boasts Lightsaber as a core skill, but each one offer a specialization rooted in one of the six classic lightsaber forms. In these specializations you’ll not only gain the Lightsaber skill, but open up a talent tree unique to your lightsaber form.

Discipline and Defense

In the days of the Old Republic, many Jedi worked to enforce justice and protect those who needed it. By choosing the Guardian career, you are following in the footsteps of legends like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn – and if you want to fight for justice in the chaos of Imperial rule, you’ll need to become just as adept with a lightsaber as they were. You can therefore take up the Soresu Defender specialization, gaining the skills Discipline, Knowledge (Lore), and Vigilance in addition to Lightsaber. A Soresu Defender transforms himself into the calm eye in the storm of battle, creating a space where others can find refuge. His training focuses on defensive tactics like deflecting blaster fire, parrying an opponent’s blows, and protecting unarmed allies. 

Even more dedicated to establishing peace than Guardians, Consulars use their lightsabers only for self-defense. A Nimian Disciple shares the defensive focus and Discipline of the Soresu Defender, but learns also Leadership and Negotiation. The Nimian form teaches Force sensitives to remain calm and use their telekinetic abilities to disarm adversaries, push them away, or even pull them in. The Nimian Technique talent, for example, allows you to test Willpower instead of Brawn in combat. Draw Closer allows you to spend Force points to pull a target into range. Force Assault lets you spend  or  results to immediately use the Move Force power, and telekinetically toss an adversary or object where you want. 

Speed and Brute Strength

Consulars and Guardians tend to operate in population centers, but Seekers often find themselves alone in uncivilized and hostile areas. In those situations, self-defense often means going on the offensive, striking first and fast. The Ataru Striker specialization gives Seekers Athletics, Coordination, Lightsaber, and Perception, and opens up the Ataru form, known as the “Agression Form” of lightsaber. Ataru is designed to overwhelm an opponent by quickly attacking them from unexpected angles. Its practitioners enhance their own speed and strength through the Force, relying on Agility in combat instead of Brawn. Ataru Striker talents include Quick Strike, which gives you a boost die for attacking first, and Saber Swarm, which lets you suffer strain to gain additional hits. 

Sentinels also tend to fight alone, but those fights can occur in challenging urban terrain like back alleyways and packed taverns, or even on moving vehicles. They favor the Shien form, which treats a lightsaber as both a melee and a ranged weapon, uniting cunning and brute strength. Shien Experts gain the Athletics, Resilience, Lightsaber and Skulduggery skills, and the option to use Cunning instead of Brawn when fighting. The most fundamental talent in the Shien Expert tree is Reflect, which at its base allows you to suffer strain in order to reduce damage, but at higher levels lets you redirect the shot aimed at you onto an adversary. With Saber Throw, your lightsaber truly becomes a ranged weapon. Using the Force, you throw it at a target like a spear, and recall it before the next attack.

Precision and Presence

A Mystic may seem unlikely to be a master of lightsaber combat, but because Mystics dwell so deeply in the Force, they tend to acquire a broad range of skills. Mystics are also often showmen, equipped with Charm and Coercion, and that showmanship manifests in the Makashi lightsaber form, which is focused on style, grace, and precision. If you choose the Makashi Duelist specialization you can learn to wield your lightsaber with Presence instead of Brawn, and your Duelist’s Training talent will grant you a boost dice whenever you engage one-on-one. Other talents utilize both presence and precision: The Makashi Flourish lets you recover strain while dealing strain to your opponent. The Makashi Finish enables you to use the Force to make your critical hits more lethal.

Warriors have such a great passion for combat that it somestimes lures them towards the dark side. They are skilled in all styles of combat, so rather than learn a highly specialized lightsaber form, they focus on the most ancient and fundamental form of all: Shii-Cho. It is a raw and simplistic form that doesn’t take the technology of blasters into account, but is extremely effective in melee combat. The Shii-Cho Knight specialization makes fighting intuitive and comfortable for you, so the Natural Blademaster talent allows you to re-roll a lightsaber or melee check. Shii-Cho Knights are also incredibly dangerous even when surrounded: Multiple Opponents gives you a boost dice when you’re one against many, and the Sarlaac Sweep talent allows you to spend to hit several targets at once.

Draw and Ignite!

No weapon compares to a lightsaber in versatility, beauty, precision – and deadliness. In Force and Destiny you have the rare chance to construct your own lightsaber and wield it as you fight for the light side or the dark. You might become a swift Ataru Striker armed with twin Shotos, or a disciplined Niman disciple, igniting your double-bladed lightsaber only when your life is in danger. You might choose the panache of the Makashi form or the defensive fortitude of Soresu. The question is, down which path does your destiny lead?

The Force and Destiny Core Rulebook and Game Master's Kit is coming soon.

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