WFRP: Jedi Knights
Author's Note: I'm not even going to pretend that this is even remotely a serious piece of work. It was pretty fun writing up the thing and was originally meant for a one-off Star Wars spoof of an adventure. There was a Nuln smuggler named Hans Solo, his mutant ogre partner (with Chaos Gift: Furry Hide) named Chewymints, and their superfast riverboat (Slann technology sails) named the Millenium Falchion. Everybody laughed like complete nutters all the way up to the climactic river-battle: the desperate attack on the Chaos flagship 'Chaos Star' by the beleagured rebel forces in Y-Sails and X-Sails. Did I mention the thermal exhaust port leading directly into the main gunpowder store?
Mar 1999 (revised May 2003)
Jedi Knight: A WFRP Career
The Jedi Knights are an ancient order of warrior-mystics whose origins are lost in the mists of time. This secretive order leapt into public consciousness in Imperial Year 1977 when a visionary playwright Jorge Lukas staged 'Chaos Wars', the first of a trilogy of blockbuster plays. The play follows the epic adventures of a young farm boy who learns from a wise Jedi Knight and overcomes incredible odds to defeat a mighty Chaos Empire. Since then, the Jedi and their philosophy have been the toast of Chaos Wars fans all over the Old World and are popularly considered the honoured guardians of the Old World.
Despite their acclaim, most Jedi live simple lives away from population centers (like in remote, dusty deserts) and shun the worldly concerns of normal folk. They care little for money or power and have a fanatical belief in truth, justice and freedom which makes them immensely popular with the common folk and a royal pain in the rear to the nobility of the Empire. While reclusive, this does not mean the Jedi are totally indifferent to the events and happenings of the world. They have an unfailing tendency to side with the weak, helpless, and downtrodden against the strong, making them persona non grata with factions like the Worshipful Guild of Dictators. At several crucial times in history, their surprise appearance has changed the flow of events and caused the early retirement of many a dastardly, black-hearted villain (usually involving plenty of crowd-pleasing jedi powers and flashy pyrotechnics).
If there is one trait that separates the Jedi Knights from all other wandering bands of meddling do-gooders in the Old World, it is their mastery over the mystical ability known simply as 'The Force'. A famous Jedi Knight, when asked to describe the Force, said: "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, ...binds the galaxy together." (No doubt recited in the thoroughly correct and proper Reikspiel that causes Dwarves to roll their eyes skyward).
While the archwizards of the Imperial Colleges of Magic are as yet unable to fathom the workings of this 'Force' and refuse to comment on it, its effects are common knowledge to the millions of Old Worlders who have watched the Chaos Wars trilogy. The Force appears to be a form of arcane mind-power with which skilled practitioners can influence the minds of others, move objects without touching them and sense their surroundings (...and place highly accurate shots into highly vulnerable spots while travelling at ludicrous speeds). Sages researching this phenomenon have speculated that the Force is an ancient alien discipline developed by the mysterious Slann, which may have some basis, especially considering the strange, otherworldly weapons borne by the Jedi.
In addition to the Force, all Jedi Knights wield weapons unlike any other in the Old World. These fabled weapons, called 'Lightsabers' have the appearance of a stout handgrip which at some command, produces a blade-like beam of pure energy. It is possible that these are lost artifacts of the ancient Slann and that the Jedi are the last remnants of humans who alone know its secrets. While their origins are unclear, the potency of these weapons is undisputed. A 10-year old with a Lightsaber would cause master swordsmen to flee at Lightspeed.
Despite their all-round wholesome image, there are rumours spoken of in hushed whispers about 'Chaos Jedi'. If these rumours are true than it appears that the insidious forces of Chaos has also left its mark on this noble order. Jedi Knights lead very structured lives, trying to avoid anger and hate in the pursuit of peace and knowledge. It is a long, ardous journey and not all would-be Jedi are patient. There is a quicker way to power; by giving in to the baser emotions of fury and aggression, a Jedi can gain great powers in the Force. These fallen ones become Sith Lords, strong with the power of the Dark Side of the Force.
These Chaos-tainted Jedi are the arch-enemies of the true Jedi, and are often encountered spearheading the forces of tyranny and oppression (and ending the career paths of incompetent officers). These renegade Jedi have been known to use their mastery of the Force to kill or injure indiscriminately (something true Jedi take pains to avoid), making them the favoured enforcers of every two-bit major villain the Old World has ever produced. Sith Lords also always seem to have deep, sinister voices and black attire. It is entirely possible that their Dark Masters see fit to introduce voice and fashion training into their curricullum. Rumours abound of an infamous Sith Lord banished in disgrace from the Order for lip-synching while a more capable assistant hiding nearby provided his rotund, baritone voice.
Basic Career - Jedi Apprentice
Those who aspire to be Jedi would have to learn the ancient ways of the Force from a fully-trained Jedi Knight or Master. While not easy to find, the reclusive Jedi are always on the lookout for potential aspirants, especially those who are 'strong with the Force'. Since no one else knows exactly how to detect the Force, most folk just nod sagely at their undoubted wisdom.
Flee (Jedi learn early to run from incredible odds so that they may make sequels)
Luck (enables miraculous escapes in spite of ludicrous odds)
50% chance of *Speak Sagely Level 1
50% Chance of Slann Technology - Lightsaber (See below)
Any but somehow, the best Jedi always seem to have been
Career Exits: Jedi Knight
Advanced Career - Jedi Knight
An apprentice who studies hard and patiently eventually gains mastery of the Force, and with it, great powers over thought and matter. They can also aspect to have adoring folk following them around and naming their babies after them. However, the Jedi path is a narrow one, fraught with many temptations. Their powers are meant only to advance peace, freedom, and harmony. Using the Force for personal gain or to injure or kill indiscriminately eventually marks a Jedi as one of the Fallen, a Sith Lord and dooms the person to wear black forever.... (at least until their long-lost son comes along and redeems them)
[All the Jedi Apprentice Skills plus...]
Arcane Language - Old Slann
Astronomy (to be able to distinguish between space stations and real moons)
Concealment - Rural & Urban (to better hide from hordes of Chaos Stormtroopers)
Marksmanship (to hit small exhaust ports from fast-moving mounts)
Scale Sheer Surface
Silent Move - Rural & Urban
*Speak Sagely Level 2
*Specialist Weapon - Lightsaber
Strike Mighty Blow
Strike To Stun
Lightsaber (see below)
Simple robes (Chaos Jedi may wear Chaos armor - but always in Black)
*Suitably Strange Name
Jedi Knights are subject to hatred of Sith Lords whether or not they care to admit it. And vice versa. In addition, true Jedi only wear plain, simple robes and are required to be unbearably polite. Sith Lords are required to practise a suitably sinister voice and dress appropriately in black to avoid confusing the common folk. Jedi of either Order failing to obey the sacred dress and speech code risk censure and possible banishment from their respective Orders.
Speak Sagely - Jedi must learn to appear wise and sagely and thus, cannot use slang or obscenities. At Level 1 they must always speak 'proper' Reikspiel - which often causes Dwarves to grit their teeth and clutch at their warhammers. At Level 2, Jedi are required by their charter to say things like: "I sense a presence in the Force" or "The Force is strong with this one". It is possible that the Jedi training manual includes a vast selection of these wise and semi-wise sayings for use at dramatically appropriate moments.
Specialist Weapon: Lightsaber - This rare weapon skill is only taught by and to Jedi and confers the ability to use the fabled Lightsabers to full effect. Trying to use these awesome weapons without the requisite skill usually ends in embarrassing self-mutilations.
Suitably Strange Name - Upon achieving full status, Jedi Knights are expected to adopt an ancient name (Arcane language: Old Slann) to reflect their station. No self-respecting Jedi would be called Johan, Hans, or Bengt - it must be something like 'Qui-Gon' or 'Kenobi'. This is especially true for Sith Lords - 'Darth Otto' doesn't quite invoke the fear and terror that they crave.
The Force - The arcane knowledge of thought and matter known only to the mystical order of Jedi Knights. Since nobody knows what exactly the Force is (except maybe Jorge Lukas), we can simply assume persons with this skill can do the following at will:
Reliable witnesses have also reported that the stirring instrumental music of Johan Wilheims seems to play magically whenever Jedi Knights use their powers at dramatically appropriate moments...
These weapons are reputed to be ancient Slann artifacts dating from the Lost Age of Technology. At present times only the mystical order of Jedi Knights and their arch foes the Sith Lords have been known to possess or use these fabled weapons. When deactivated, they appear to be rounded metal handgrips about a foot in length and covered with brightly-coloured buttons and protusions. Once activated, a softly-glowing blade of pure energy about the length of a sword blade is projected from the handgrip. The energy blade emits no heat although an audible hum can be heard, increasing in volume as the weapon is swung. Variations are known to exist - one infamous Sith Lord (now sadly deceased) wielded a unique double-bladed lightsaber so well that for a short time, sent Sith Lord T-shirt and action figure sales into orbit.
While they are not strictly-speaking magical, these swords can cut through any known material except another lightsaber. In game terms, all AP is ignored (unless magical) and parries are not allowed against them unless the defender is wielding a lightsaber as well. Against fragile targets such as people, each hit causes 2D6 wounds and flammable targets may be set afire (with double sixes, the victim's body parts would probably end up in different time-zones).
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