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A noble warrior. A powerful presence. A hokey religion?
In 1977 there was a movie.
It was followed by more movies. And comic books. And a Christmas special. And novels. And games. And toys. And cartoons. And breakfast cereals.
A generation grew up with these mystical, wise, noble, and philosophical protectors of the Old Republic. Science fiction samurai, armed with swords of light. A harmless conceit, a child's fiction.
In 2001, in New Zealand, there was a census. Tens of thousands proclaimed their religion to be that of the Ancient Jedi.
In 2002, the Census in Australia encountered the same thing. As did Canada.
In 2003, in the UK, not tens, but hundreds of thousands, signed up.
A joke? Perhaps. A nostalgiac tweak of the governments nose? Probably. And yet...
"A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind... Adventure... Excitement... A Jedi craves not these things."
The Jedi follows a strict moral code, and it is through his adherence to this code that he keeps himself from becoming corrupted by the Dark Side of his abilities. His power is tempered by his awareness of temptation and the weight of responsibility. Might does not make Right. It is not the Jedi's task to act out of revenge, or to strike in anger. It is his role to guide, protect, and serve his fellow beings. He owns few possessions, he helps those who need aid, and he comforts those in pain. Much as the mythical Knights of the Table, the Jedi are the servants of the people.
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."
"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."
Acting in fear, or anger, loosing the powers of the Force with destructive intent or out of strong emotion, can all lead a Jedi to the Dark Side of the Force. Flip-flopping due to any of his passions results in a Jedi breaking taboo. Passions are what make us human, but the temptation to act injudiciously is greatest when under great emotion. The Jedi attempts to acknowledge and channel his feelings, not be a slave to them.
Any loss of Avatar: The Jedi skill automatically adds to a new skill, Avatar: The Dark Side. Whenever an increase in Avatar: The Jedi skill is called for, a decrease in Avatar: The Dark Side can be subsituted, instead. Any roll against Avatar: The Jedi which is successful, but more than The Dark Side skill is treated normally. Any Avatar: The Jedi skill roll also less than Avatar: The Dark Side results in the desired effect, but carries with it a negative or
ominous side effect. The exact nature of this side effect is up to the GM, but sinister Unnatural effects or Madness Meter checks are not out of the question. The Jedi is losing control of himself and his abilities.
Avatar: The Dark Side has seperate channels of it's own. Any Jedi attempting to use them automatically breaks Jedi Taboo.
The Jedi is new on the scene, historical-wise, but he has his roots deep in myth. Many of the Masks of the Jedi are drawn from myths of noble warriors. The Jedi bears more than a passing resemblance to the mythic Knights of the Round Table, the Noble Gunslingers of the American West, and the Samurai and Bushido of Japan. Gawain, Percival, and Galahad(of the Arthurian Myths). The Lone Ranger. Li Mu Bai (from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). And, of course, "Obi Wan Kenobi", from Star Wars itself.
Symbols of any of the Historical masks of the Jedi are appropriate. The traditional costume of the Jedi, from the flms (loose brown robes), is also appropriate.
Any Star Wars related toy, game, or item is also a symbol of the Jedi, as long as that item is not related to The Empire or The Dark Side. A Star Wars figure of Luke, for example, is a symbol of the Jedi, whereas a Stormtrooper figure would not be.
Especially symbolic are "life sized" toy lightsabers.
Suspected Avatars in History:
This is a recent Avatar. The ascension was probably Alec Guinness, upon or near his death in the year 2000.
1%-50%: "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. "
At this level, the Jedi Avatar is able to sense the ebb and flow of some cosmic force (the Statosphere? The Will of the Invisible Clergy?), allowing the Jedi to be in the right place at the right time, to perform the right action in the right way, and to feel great and powerful events that affect large groups of people strongly.
Specifically, the channeler can make Avatar: The Jedi rolls to get hints and minor cryptic visions about what his friends and companions are doing, or what people around him need. In addition, when attempting to accomplish something he can allow the Force to guide his actions, allowing him to flip-flop any roll under his Avatar: The Jedi skill.
Finally, the Jedi will be able to sense intense emotions of large crowds of people, such as those watching a movie, play, sporting event, or political rally. The more people experiencing the same strong emotion, the more keenly and the farther away the Jedi will be aware of it.
51%-70%: "These Aren't the Droids you're Looking For"
At this level, the Jedi is able to affect the thoughts and perceptions of the weak minded. With a successful Avatar: The Jedi roll, the Jedi can cause others to ignore him. This only works if he's trying to hide. Walking right in front of somebody staring right at you, you'll still get seen. Standing over in the corner and avoiding people, trying to be sneaky, well, you'll be unseen. This is also handy for making phantom noises of the "Hey, what was that over there?" variety.
This Channel can also be used to convince someone of a single short statement. If the Channeler succeeds in an Avatar check, the statement is believed, at least for a moment. Anyone with a Soul stat above the channeler's Avatar: The Jedi skill is allowed a stat check to see if they snap out of it immediately. Those with a lower stat may only make such a check ten minutes or so after the Avatar leaves their presence.
Each such statement must be short and to the point. "You don't want to do that", "Stop", "Give me the keys" are all good. "Go home and mail all your money to this post office box, then e-mail your mother and tell her you love her" doesn't cut the mustard. Five or ten words is about right.
71%-90%: "Not so clumsy or random as a Blaster. A weapon for a more civilized age."
This is an important channel. When in possession of anything sufficiently lightsaber-like, the Jedi can make an Avatar check. If successful, his implement becomes a Light Saber, capable of cutting steel, deflecting lasers, and the like. Any toy (or real) sword can work for this, but the prefered object of choice is, of course, a toy lightsaber, or a prop replica of one. In a pinch, a flashlight can work, too.
Lightsabers can slice through any material known to man. When used in combat, they do firearms damage.
91%+: "Size matters not... For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
At this level, the Jedi Avatar can substitute his Avatar skill for either Body or Speed rolls. In addition, he can move with his mind anything he could lift if his Body score was equal to his Avatar skill level. This allows crude manipulation of levers, or the moving of objects around, but does not allow fine manipulation like typing.
The Dark Side of the Force:
"...[B]eware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will..."
Any use of these abilities causes the Jedi to automatically break taboo, possibly raising his Dark Side skill through the attrition of his Avatar: The Jedi skill.
If at any time the Avatar's Dark Side skill is greater than his Jedi skill, he suffers a negative shift equal to the difference upon all Avatar: The Jedi skill rolls.
1%-50%: "Impressive. Most impressive... You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger! Only your hatred can destroy me!"
At this level, the Avatar can flip-flop any roll under his Avatar: Dark Side of the Force. This is an example of the deceptive easiness of the Dark Side.
51%-70%: "You are beaten! It is useless to resist."
At any point in a conflict, be it argument or combat, when the Avatar has gained a victory (inflicted a wound, embarrased his opponent, etc.), he may verbally challenge his opponent and make a Dark Side check. If his opponent fails then the conflict is over and the terrified and quailed opponent surrenders or gives up. Upon success he may continue the conflict. In either case, he must make a Hoplessness check, faced as he is with the implacable might of the Dark Side.
71%-90%: "I find your lack of faith...Disturbing"
This channel permits the avatar to mentally choke someone using the power of the Force. Use standard grappling and asphyxiation rules, but anyone with line of site can be affected. The Avatar uses his Avatar skill for this grappling-like attack.
91%+: "I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete..."
Much as the Jedi can generate a real lightsaber from a suitable prop, so too can a dedicated devotee of the Dark Side...
Momentary Vision | profile | Jul 28, 03 | 11:08 pm
D'oh. I suck.
Momentary Vision | profile | Jul 29, 03 | 12:26 am
I'd love to be constructive but. No.
URNOVI | profile | Jul 30, 03 | 8:18 am
i concure. we tried to make a school of magick based on star wars and it became a hopelessly broken skill. if you want to base it around star wars, it should be based around the fact that star wars fans are geeks. (yes i am counting myself in with those geeks). it shouldnt actually make the person into a mind-reading, light saber-swinging bad mofo. in the ua world the star wars movies probably have a lot of significance and some possibilities for working magick based on them are there, just not in this fasion. also: there's no way alec guinness was a jedi in real life. no way.
paul f. | profile | Jul 30, 03 | 11:50 am
David K. Tormsen | profile | Aug 03, 03 | 7:01 am
I for one think it could work, if you did it right and remembered the drawbacks.
This amuses me to no end, and I think it can work. Consider: What if this archetype was once a Knight of the Round Table, Galahad, mayhap, who was challenged and thrown down by this modern reinterpretation? Perfectly viable. (Galahad, then, would now be wreaking havok as a leader of an Al-Qaida cell or something.) Also, the SW movies DO make great obsessions for adepts, if no one's done that school yet.
Well, you can't follow two archetypes, so no chance of gaining "Sith" as you lose "Jedi." Maybe after you fall from the path, but that's it.
Menzoa | profile | Aug 21, 04 | 1:31 pm
Gotta say, I'm with Menzoa on this. Unless you take some very strange route, like Tormsen here is suggesting, and make the movie Jedi a reflefction of something else, I just can't imagine someone embodying a fictional order enough to ascend.
Surely the Jedi is a specific mask of a more general Archetype anyway, the way that the fictional religion and philosophy encompasses a mass of genuine real world ones?
Anarkana | profile | Sep 01, 05 | 6:53 am