Star Wars: Birth of the Republic
*Birth of the Republic takes place at the founding of the Republic. There’s also a few divergences from canon, mostly in the exact timing of events. In the canon timeline, the fall of the Infinite Empire, the foundation of the Republic, and the foundation of the Jedi Order all take place near to each other, but aren’t actually related to one another at all. Birth of the Republic mashes all of these events together so that they overlap and affect one another.
*The rules are mostly Core, although there are one or two house rules, a few classes and species have been banned because they haven’t been invented/discovered yet, and in the latter case some other species who have been discovered have been brought in from various splats in order to provide a bit more variety.
*We’ll be starting from level 2.
*The Sith Apprentice and Sith Lord prestige classes are definitely banned, because those don’t exist yet. The Jedi base class is also banned, because the nature of the setting is such that the Force is still being discovered. A class based primarily upon using it wouldn’t fit. That said, all of the Force powers and half of the Force talents are available to the Scoundrel and Noble, you just have to spend some feats to get it started. Even without the Jedi class, you can be a Force-user by level 3, possibly sooner if your species gives you bonus feats.
The Jedi Knight and Jedi Master prestige classes might be banned, because Master is kind of lightsaber heavy and Knight is extremely lightsaber heavy, and lightsabers are not very common right now. That still leaves Force Adept and Force Disciple as prestige classes for characters who want “uses the Force” to be their schtick, however. In fact, they’re almost identical to the Jedi classes, but with the lightsaber talent trees swapped out for others, which is very convenient.
*Of the Core races, only the Humans, Duros, Droids ,and Wookiees are available. Splat races allowed are Chiss, and Selkath. Also, homebrew stats have been written up for the Sith species (no prizes for guessing which of these races will be there for the founding of the Sith a few thousand years down the road). Other Races are allowed upon approval with me (the GM). I only allow other races based on backstory that explains why they would be in the Core worlds instead of their home world.
So long as we’re talking about races, I’ve also radically changed the appearance of the Rakata from canon. In canon, they look kind of dorky, which is really bad for a race that’s supposed to be terrifying and tyrannical. I’ve replaced their canon appearance with that of the Rattataki, chalk-white skinned bald near-humans who you might recognize as being the race of Asajj Ventress. Or at least it was, before the Clone Wars TV show retconned her to being a Dathomirian, who apparently look exactly like the Rattataki.
*Star Wars Saga Edition doesn’t have alignment, but it does have Dark Side Points, so I’ll take about that here.
I am considering a house rule that makes the Dark Side slightly less threatening to use, to reflect the fact that a lot of people are dabbling with it right now, and it is not the strictly forbidden sort of thing it will become after the Hundred Years Darkness. Anytime you gain a Dark Side Point by using a Force power or talent, using the Force in anger, or pretty much anything else that grants a Dark Side point except for doing something unambiguously evil1, you can make a Corruption check by rolling an unmodified d20. If you roll a number you’ve never rolled before, you do not take a Dark Side point (this time). Another way to think of it is to write down the numbers 1-20 and every time you make a Corruption check, cross out the result. If you ever roll a result you’ve gotten before, take a Dark Side point.
The idea behind this is that early on, using the Dark Side does not mean intentionally rejecting the teachings of the Jedi and practicing forbidden secrets. It means saying “hey, I wonder what this does?” The more you experiment and come to understand the Dark Side, the more your use of it is rooted in wanting more of it and less in wanting to know what it is, hence the odds of corruption increasing every time it is resisted.
Whenever you gain one or more Dark Side points without rolling a corruption check, because it was an unambiguously evil act or because you chose to forego the roll (for example, because you wanted to get a single Dark Side point in order to enable you to use Dark Side talents), you must select a number on the list that hasn’t been crossed off yet and cross it off.
The Sith gain two Dark Side points when they use these powers (as per their Darkness trait), but they still only get one Corruption check, which means they will always gain at least one Dark Side point when using Dark powers. However, this doesn’t mean they have to cross off an extra number on their Corruption list as per the above paragraph, because they did roll a Corruption check, even if it wasn’t able to fully mitigate their corruption.
This gives a decently-sized by finite barrier between you and the Dark Side that you can use to dabble (the finite bit is important; I was initially going to use a WIS check or have the Dark Side roll against your Will Defense, but both of those things can get high enough that a character could conceivably become nearly immune to the Dark Side, which doesn’t mesh with how the Force works in Star Wars).
While we’re talking about the Dark Side, I should mention that the Force Adept prestige class has the Dark Side Devotee talent tree, which includes many talents activated upon spending a Force point. It’s not explicitly stated in the rules that spending a Force point to activate a talent called “Channel Aggression” counts as using the Force in anger, but I would rule that it’s a pretty unambiguous situation nevertheless.
If you commit an unambiguously evil act, you just get the Dark Side point, no question. The point of the house rule is to allow for dabbling in Dark powers, not to allow for dabbling in being a psychopath.
*Hack and slash and roleplaying will both be important, puzzle solving less so. However, politicking and strategy will also be significant. By the time we enter the endgame, you’ll need to find a way to get enough worlds involved in the foundation of the Republic that it gets founded at all, and you’ll have to figure out what to do with any worlds you can’t get on board. Further, votes on what the Republic’s major policies will actually be will also be important, which means finding a way to keep as many senators as possible happy with who you’re killing and why you’re killing them. You might end up spending a lot of time working out compromises, making secret alliances, and conspiring.
There’s also longterm strategy. You won’t always have enough time to get everything done by the time you need to (in combination with the politicking especially, if you have requests for missions from three different worlds, do you start with the ones who already see things your way to entrench the friendship, or throw a bone to those across the aisle to try and get them to cross over?), and you’ll often find yourself guessing at what your opponent’s next move will be. Heading off to fight them on one world might net you credits and XP, but it won’t win the war if it turns out the main force of their attack was actually launching from another world entirely.
*Material other than what’s already been approved is available on a case-by-case basis. Just run it by me first
*Character Ability scores 18, 14, 13, 13, 13, 11