I bet you thought that was an April Fool’s joke, huh? Nope. I’m really reviewing this title. So let’s get right into Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Power of the Jedi.
Chapters 1 and 2
Since chapter 1 is just an overview of Jedi history, we’re digging right into chapter 2. This chapter deals with new Force skills, such as Battle Influence and Plant Surge; there are also new Force-related feats presented such as Force Pilot (sheer Skywalker) and Cure Disease. These are pretty solid additions, and I like the existance of Battle Influence as an example of the battle meditation technique that was utilize in KOTOR. After that, there are prestige classes…what, you honestly didn’t expect them? 😛
Force Warrior: The Force Warrior is like a Monk that can utilize the Force; while increasing her unarmed damage and gaining uncanny dodge abilities, she’s also learning Force skills that she can utilize in defensive maneuvers. This is a good class if you want to avoid damage as well as dishing it out with fists rather than lightsabers.
Force Healer: As expected, the Force Healer works toward healing vitality, wound, and ability damage better than the average person. They also gain some handy combat abilities such as increased lightsaber damage (albeit on the lower end of it) and increased lightsaber deflection, making them a good combat medic.
Force Instructor: This 5-level prestige class focuses on inspiring confidence as well as gaining VERY minor lightsaber damage increase and the deflection abilities. Oh, and the handy ability to transfer Force Points from herself to one of her pupils, which is neat.
Jedi Scholar: Synergy bonuses to aiding others with Intelligence-based tasks, extended deflection abilities beyond the other classes, and the ability to record and craft holocron databases…in other words, the Jedi Scholar is what you want to be if you are the “nerd” in your Jedi group.
Jedi Weapon Master: I’m…not sure what to think of this prestige class. It’s dedicated to dealing hefty damage with a single type of melee weapon, but that type usually ISN’T a lightsaber. It’s like the random rogue Jedi who decided to be a knight with a sword. I guess it could potentially be interesting.
There’s also rules for healing trances and sensing your surroundings while in a Force trance…you’d think that kind of stuff would be core, wouldn’t you?
Chapters 3 and 4
A brief note on chapter 3, AKA “All you ever wanted to know about GMing a Jedi-centric game but were afraid to ask”…this pretty much gives you every idea you can think of straight out of the box for a Jedi campaign. Moving on then…
Chapter 4 adds to the Jedi lexicon what should have been core, such as training lightsabers and that training probe from A New Hope. There are also various items from the EU, such as the great lightsaber, the primitive oversized lightsabers from the pre-KOTOR era. There are also new vehicle stats such as the Delta 7 from Episode II and the Holocrons of lore. This is a great portion of the book, since it covers every era in goodies, and even has some non-Force toys such as the Force Detector used by the Empire’s hunters.
Chapters 5 and 6
Ooh, there’s a bestiary chapter! Rappy likey. The chapter starts out with 18 new playable species. Are any of them worthwhile? ..Well, yeah! The blind but Force-sensitive Miraluka are pretty damn cool, and the dinosaur-like Tchuukthai are a personal favorite of mine. There are also sentient trees called Neti, which I remember from Dark Empire (if I recall my Star Wars book names correct)…they’re cool, if a bit out of place in the general campaign group. The creatures are also cool. Some highlights: the Beck-Tori (Force-using, Gungan-eating giant leeches), marsh haunt (giant predatory heaps of swamp muck animated by the Force), and taozzin (giant caterpillars that can diffuse lightsaber strikes) are some of my personal favorites. There are also four pages that have data on Force Spirits; anyone familiar with Star Wars should know what Force Spirits are and why this is such a useful piece of book data. There are also some Jedi NPCs such as Jedi martial artists and AgriCorps workers, but they’re nothing really special.
Chapter 6 has NPCs from all the major eras of the Star Wars universe. From the early-age Jedi such as Vodo-Siosk Baas (a 14th-level Krevaaki Jedi Guardian/Jedi Weapon Master/Jedi Master) to classic-era Jedi such as Yoda (20th-level Jedi Counsular/Jedi Master/Jedi Instructor) and New Jedi Order-era “new Jedi” like Kyle Katarn (12th-level Scoundrel/Soldier/Jedi Guardian), there’s a large variety presented.
The final chapter deals with Force-infused locations. These are areas where the Force is excessively strong, and bleeds into the very land around it. From the temples of Yavin IV from Episode IV to Dark Forces II‘s Valley of the Jedi, each area is well fleshed out with data, maps, and stats for native creatures such as Ruusan’s kell dragons and Yavin IV’s woolamander monkeys. There are even adventure hooks that pull the heroes further into these repositories of ancient and powerful knowledge.
Reading this again reminded me of why I loved Star Wars Roleplaying Game…a great universe, with great material presented, and excellently presented stat abilities. Some of the items are a bit silly (such as the Jedi Weapon Master), but the book is great otherwise. 9/10.