The Rulebook

A Star Wars Story: The Rulebook

Core Rules for A Star Wars Story, an Alternate Universe Star Wars RP

Introduction to the Universe

A Star Wars Story is a play-by-post role-playing game set in an alternate version of the Galactic Republic era of the Star Wars universe, roughly 40BBY if following the canonical timeline setting it slightly before the "Battle of Naboo". In our universe, titular canon characters such as Yoda, Obi-Wan or Anakin do not exist, but the overall theme of the Jedi Council, Sith, or even the Galactic Senate do. By ignoring canon characters, this allows players to be the titular characters and shape the destiny of the galaxy themselves.

The Galactic Republic, commonly known as the Republic is a federal parliamentary republic comprising of thousands of worlds spread across the galaxy. Adhering to a democratic constitution, the Republic is governed by a legislative body of two thousand senators, known as the Galactic Senate, appointed to represent the interests of their respective homeworlds on the galactic stage. It is the core of galactic civilization, with its influence felt across much of the known galaxy. It was led by the Supreme Chancellor, who was chosen from among the Senate's ranks to arbitrate congressional sessions and represent the Republic as a whole. Coruscant, a planetary ecumenopolis located in the Core Worlds, is the Republic's capital, and therefore, home of the senate.

In the Republic, art and commerce is flourishing and the economy on most core worlds is quite strong. There is however growing disparity in the rim worlds which is leading to rising tensions. Tales and heresay from smugglers and the criminal underworld also speak of the potential return of the infamous Sith. While the Republic has been succeeding in bringing peace and stability to the galaxy via the Senate and its guardians, the jedi, for over a Millennium, occasionally remnants of the previous era, which saw period of war between the Jedi, Sith, and the Mandalore still surface.

With mounting tensions, the situation could be easily manipulated and drive the Republic to destruction, or protected by stalwart guardians to ensure that peace prevails.

Rules of the Universe
In A Star Wars Story, it is up to players to build and drive the world. That said, to limit players from being gods and to enable a consistent, fun atmosphere that prioritizes collaborative story telling, ASWS has various rules. At the most basic level, we have bans on certain abilities or concepts that either ruin the fun of the RP, or are simply too overpowered for player characters.

Ban List
  • Canon References/Characters
  • Force Teleportation
  • Immortality
  • Clones
  • Midi-chlorian manipulation
  • Thought Bomb
  • Non-equivalent revivals (1:1 life)

While all is said and done, we are more than willing to work with players to balance ideas or abilities and make their characters come to life.

The "Adversarial RP System" in the ASWS Universe
An Abridged Guide to Combat Roleplaying on ASWS
Before jumping into creating a character, it is important to understand how role play, particularly combat on A Star Wars Story can be somewhat different from table-top or traditional RPG games. By and large, ASWS tends to be unlike D&D or other traditional RPGs as there is no system for rolling numerical success.
We feel that the luck-based mechanisms like dice in table top formulas have quite a few issues when transitioning to play-by-post RPs and also limit the creative freedom of storytellers. Instead, all characters on ASWS have stats, racial abilities, modifiers, items, and skill ratings that provide a framework for judging what a character can realistically do. This allows players to utilize this framework to responsibly craft their stories- together. We refer to this method of Role-playing as "Adversarial Roleplay" and it is at the core of our board.

Stats

Stats are the meat of the character framework used by ARP System for deciding RP outcomes. They describe the innate physical abilities of a player or non-player character and help decide what a character can realistically do and do not. All player characters start with 10 points to be distributed amongst a characters stats as desired. All stats must start at 1 and the maximum amount of points a stat can have is 10. The maximum amount of points a character can have between all stats is 38.

There are five stats:
  • Focus - Directly correlates to one's ability to act, be it holding an unrelenting defense or offense or utilizing high-level force techniques. Some examples include: deflecting/blocking blaster bolts, piloting through asteroid fields, and or/sniping. Focus depletes each time it is used, and as focus becomes extremely low, targets are vulnerable to killing blows.
  • Endurance - The physical stamina one needs to go long bouts in a fight, or run long distances. This also influences ones ability to shrug off damage or survive a killing blow.
  • Athleticism The physical strength and agility of ones body. This correlates to feats of acrobatics or even how hard one can punch.
  • Speed The physical speed in which one's body can move or react.
  • Force The raw amount of midi-chlorians in a being reflects their Force-sensitivity. Those strong in the force have innate reserves of energy, however for many this is only ever perceived as luck, unable to tap into this power or use it on their own will. For those trained, this becomes like a stamina pool for ones force abilities.


Of course, utilizing stats alone however can be overly simplistic, especially in cases where stat differences are close. In these cases, we look at other systematic pieces of a character. The first would be the racial ability.

Racial Ability

In ASWS, different races have no impact on character stats. Instead, every race has different tertiary abilities or starting bonuses. Examples would be the ability to breathe underwater or staring with 2 extra skill points. These abilities are innate and all members of that race are born with it for the most part. You can find the complete, up-to-date list here. If you would like to add a race, please contact staff via Discord.

Modifiers

Modifiers are augmented abilities that a character obtains post-birth. These are things such as cybernetic enhancements or special force abilities that grant some limited form of foresight. Each character is allowed to have 3 modifiers maximum. Modifiers are custom, and priced on a case-by-case basis by staff. The cost for modifiers is usually credits, or a thread, or a combination of both.


Skill Ratings

Skill ratings are entirely learned, knowledge based skillsets that help flesh out the possible maneuvers or actions a character can perform. Skills are rated on a 1-10 scale and a character can have a maximum of 10 skills. Rather than buying individual techniques or spells like other RPG systems, this allows us to ignore macro-level stuff and allows characters to instead be controlled more freely while still within reason. The extensive list of skills with descriptions is found here. All new characters start with 15 skill points to spread as they choose, but skills ratings are capped at 6 at startup.
Spoiler: Example Skills
Linguistics
Piloting
Navigation
Robotics Technician
Tracking
Blaster Pistol Marksmanship
Sabre Combat - Form III
Force Lightning
Force Acrobatics

Skills can be conceptualized as showing how capable someone is in a field. For example, a Jedi with a "Piloting" skill rating of 9/10 is likely able to fly most crafts and perform advanced evasive maneuvers such as barrel rolls or cutting their engine to drop behind an opponent and reposition for attack. A kid with 1 in piloting however would barely be capable of piloting low-speed land speeders with basic maneuverability. Likewise, a Bounty Hunter with a 10 in Linguistics could confidently "interpret" most languages without overstepping any character-breaking boundaries.


Items

The last systematic element of ASWS that can influence combat is the item system. Items are graded on a case-by-case basis. Non-combat items generally have a flat price, otherwise items that have combat value are graded and priced on three characteristics: Consumability, Durability, and Damage Rating. After purchase, items can be upgraded retro-actively.

Consumability
A "yes" or "no" question, items that are consumable are 1-use items. For example, a detonator. Consumables are restored at the beginning of each thread, but because they can run out, they generally get a discount between 10-50% depending on the item. Note: Consumables are limited by how much a character can logically carry. A player can only have a max of 5 of any type detonator wether flash or explosive for balance reasons.

Durability
How much damage or usage can an item can put up with before breaking. For example, a vibro-blade with low durability will break easily when clashing with other objects. A helmet with low durability will not provide much defense again attacks. Graded on a 1-10 Scale. Pricing is generally 2^X *10, where X is the rating.

Damage Rating
For items that deal damage such as vibro-blades, detonators, or even blaster rifles, the damage can be rated. For detonators, blast radius scales (.5m/point) off of damage rating and damage is linear. Common sense is also applied here. Blaster pistols at best tend to be medium at dealing damage- things like blaster pistol that fire with ship-cannon level output are not allowed- cause realistically you'd probably blow your arm off. Graded on a 1-10 scale. Pricing is generally 2^X *10, where X is the rating.
Spoiler: Weapon Damage Rating Ranges
Blasters
Class Max Damage Rating Example
Pistols 5 WESTAR-34
Rifles (Two-handed) 6 DC-15S or DC-15A
Heavy Artillery* 7 Z-6 rotary blaster cannon
*Heavy Artillery requires two-hands, high athleticism, and hampers movement. These are practically turret-grade weapons.

Detonators
Class Max Damage Rating Example
Hand-held Grenade 6 Class-A or N-20
Placed Charges 8 large-form factor charges that must be manually placed and armed.

Lightsabers
Mystical weapons of the Jedi and Sith, the blade of a lightsaber has damage comparable the lasers fired from ship canons. Players can start with a lightsaber, but until it is upgraded to 6 damage rating it is a practice saber: effectively it is a stun baton that can deflect stuff with none of the legendary cutting power of a true lightsaber. From 6 damage, a lightsaber is capable of doing damage, but not at full potential. At 10 damage, lightsabers are like the canonical ones of legend that can cut through ships or triple-reinforced doors like Qui-gonn Jinn.


Some other thing to be aware with when buying items:
  • The size and location of items on-person need to be described in the character application.
  • Armor is defined in an RPG-esque slot system: Head, Shoulders, Chest, Arms, Legs, Boots.


In the next section, let's combine the above parts of the system we learned and see how it plays into a combat scenario in RP.

How to RP: Example of Deciding an RP Outcome

A simple example of the above at play would be if a character was to quick-draw and fire some blaster bolts at another character's chest area, the two characters speed, focus, skills, abilities, and other merits would be quickly considered to decide the likely outcome. In a simplistic example, these two parties would be:
  • A Jedi Padawan with 2 speed and 2 focus. Has plastoid chest plate with 5 durability.
  • A Mandalorian honor guard with 10 speed and 6 focus. Using a Westar-34 with 5 damage.

Given the wild difference in capabilities between the two, it is easy to say that it is unlikely the Jedi Padawan could completely deflect the blaster bolt. Likely, the padawan will get hit in the chest and his armor will be compromised/damaged completely at the point of impact, but since the damage and durability rating were the same, he will be spared from an otherwise potentially lethal blow.

Another important thing to understand is how actions work. For the most part, there is no hard limit to the amount of actions one can per post and players may decide amongst themselves what is acceptable based on the situation. That said, multiple attacks, such as rapid firing blasters can be rather over-powered in the forum RPG setting.

To make defense and attack easier to conceptualize, all attacks, even "flurries" count as one single attack. Put more simply, shooting a flurry of multiple blaster bolts can still be blocked as if it is 1 attack. The same is true for flurries of melee attacks, etc.
This process is relatively easy and allows RP to progress among those involved smoothly. This system helps create the co-operative experience of ASWS, though on occasion we realize disputes do arise. In that case, please consult a moderator.

Items, Modifiers, and even Racial Abilities can also be added into the equation to tip the scale in the odds of one side. For example, in a roughly equal matchup underwater between a human with just a re-breather and a Nautolan, the Nautolan would have an edge in most cases due to enhanced vision and mobility underwater.

That's it!
If you are a veteran of play-by-post forum RPs or a new character, you might be quite pleasantly surprised to find that you have now read all core RP rules and all you need to know to get started registering your character.

While this page contains the core rules for the RPG, some other secondary rulebook pages of note which can found below: