Taking Center Stage
The Signature Abilities and Species of Keeping the Peace
Countless bandits, armed with blaster rifles, slugthrowers, and swords, stand before you. Behind you unarmed, innocent civilians huddle in fear. On either side stand your friends and allies, steadfast, fearless, and ready for the fight. You stand in the center of the scene, your lightsaber glowing, determined to do whatever it takes to protect them all—even at the cost of your own life.
As a Guardian in the Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™ roleplaying game, you stand in the front lines, and put yourself in the way of danger so that others don’t have to. It’s not easy, but you have the courage, selflessness, and unflinching determination that it takes to be a Guardian. Keeping the Peace, an upcoming sourcebook, offers the talents, gear, specializations, and vehicles to help you succeed in that challenging—and rewarding—career. In today’s preview, Lead Developer Max Brooke introduces the two Guardian signature abilities of Keeping the Peace: Fated Duel and Unmatched Heroism. You’ll also learn about the book’s three new, exceptional, playable species.
Engage in a Fated Duel
In the words of Max Brooke:
Along with narrative actions such as taunting foes to draw their attention or standing physically between enemies and allies, Guardians have several mechanical tools at their disposal to protect allies in battle. Some talents available to the Guardian direct attacks away from others and onto the Guardian. However, even when using these talents and good roleplaying, it can be difficult to hold off determined foes for too long. Most enemies are not easily fooled into ignoring soft targets, and this can be especially true for dark side Force users. To this end, the Guardian signature abilities in Keeping the Peace give the Guardian two very different, very powerful ways to control the flow of battle and keep friends safe from harm.
Fated Duel allows a Guardian to challenge an enemy to a one-on-one battle, so allies have a chance to complete other tasks, defeat other foes, or even escape. As long as Fated Duel is active, the two participants can only target each other and outsiders cannot intervene. This also makes Fated Duel a way for the Guardian to turn the tide of an otherwise hopeless fight by decapitating the enemy force—provided, of course, that the Guardian can win the ensuing clash. To this end, the Stand Firm upgrade increases the Guardian’s wound threshold for the duration of the duel. Of course, wounds inflicted during the duel don’t disappear, so a Guardian might win a deadly conflict, then immediately collapse from her injuries.
Fated Duel can also embolden allies to perform impressive feats of their own. The Inspiration upgrade gives allies a boost die for any checks they make while the duel is going on. Meanwhile, the Cosmic Balance upgrade flips a Destiny Point to the Light Side every time the Guardian suffers a Critical Injury during the one-on-one battle, giving allies more resources to complete their own tasks. These upgrades help allies take advantage of the opening the Guardian created, rather than just sitting back and watching the ongoing duel.
Perform Unmatched Heroics
Unmatched Heroism helps the Guardian stay in between friends and foes, but in a more literal manner. A Guardian who activates Unmatched Heroism can suffer strain in order to intercept attacks from any enemy against nearby allies. This makes it well suited to large battles against many opponents, where attacks can come from any angle, without warning. However, it also means that a Guardian using Unmatched Heroism is likely going to get hit—a lot. Fortunately, Guardians are uniquely suited to acting as a bulwark for the party. The Protector’s Force Protection talent and the Armorer’s Armor Master both boost soak, while the Soresu Defender’s ranks of Parry and Reflect mean that the character can dramatically reduce the incoming damage.
The upgrades to Unmatched Heroism make it more flexible. The Endurance upgrade lowers the strain cost to activate it, something very useful for Guardians who use Parry as a first line of defense. Meanwhile, the Increase Range upgrade lets the character leap to the side of allies within medium range, dramatically expanding the ground she can cover when intercepting attacks. Peacekeepers and Warleaders are likely to find Unmatched Heroism especially useful, as it allows them to keep coordinating allies while intercepting hits and mitigating damage.
Whether a Guardian faces down one foe in a dramatic display of lightsaber skill or heroically leaps between allies and foes on a chaotic battlefield, deflecting shots and absorbing hits all the while, these signature abilities help keep friends safe in a dangerous galaxy.
Thank you, Max!
Your skills and talents, from Lightsaber and Leadership, to Grit and Parry, to any signature abilities you have, can be acquired and developed over the course of your adventures. But your species is your nature, the foundation of everything you can do. In Keeping the Peace, you’ll find three species whose qualities and capabilities are a solid foundation for the Guardian career, as well as countless others.
The humanoid, horned Iktochi may look fearsome, but they are not innately hostile. In fact, the moon Iktotch is largely free from military conflict because of a rare gift all Iktotchi possess: the ability to see flashes of the future. They can know how someone will respond to a question, whether a decision will result in harm, perhaps even who will win a battle—so they have very little need to fight. The Iktotchi even foresaw the formation of the Galactic Empire, and any who were abroad at that time fled home to Iktotch, seeking safety and peace. If you choose to play an Iktotchi character, your precognitive abilities are manifest as one rank in Vigilance and the ability to spend in exchange for a free maneuver before an encounter. GMs may also provide Iktotchi PCs occasional glimpses of what lies ahead.
Lanniks, on the other hand, embrace militarism and physical violence. They had to. Lanniks are comparatively small compared to other sentient species, and had to be constantly on guard against much larger predators—and against each other. But alongside their belligerence, Lannik culture also evolved codes of honor that reward the most valorous, effective, and selfless combatants, and it is that ingrained sense of honor that led Force-sensitive Lanniks in the past to become Jedi.
Throughout the galaxy, the compact Lanniks are sought-after mercenaries and enforcers. What makes them such talented warriors isn’t their ferocity, bravery, or even their brawn, but their high intelligence. A Lannik knows not just how to compensate for his height, but how to use it; not just how an opponent may attack, but how to counter; not just who the enemy is, but everything about them as well.
Lanniks physically look up to other sentients; Whiphids tower over almost all of them. These hairy, imposing, tusked mammals have never needed to be especially aggressive in order to thrive. Yet like Lanniks, they have become renowned bodyguards, mercenaries, and Jedi. Among each other, Whiphids tend to avoid conflict, since it takes energy away from the hunt for food and the struggle to survive on their frozen homeworld, Toola. Their longevity may also keep them from conflict. Whiphids can live to be over two-and-a-half centuries old, and over those years they accumulate a body of experiential wisdom that most other sentient species can never tap into. That wisdom may make your Whiphid character a patient Armorer, a calm and dedicated Protector, or a prudent and strategic Warden.
Never Bow Down
These are dangerous times. As the Rebellion gains momentum, the Galactic Empire tightens its grip upon the galaxy, mercilessly hunting down dissidents, relentlessly persecuting Wookiees, Duros, and countless other minorities, including Force users. But with your powers and skills, you don’t have to ever bow down. You can stand up to the Empire and other threats, fighting not for yourself, but for all the disadvantaged and oppressed peoples of the galaxy. Keeping the Peace helps you take that stand.
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