Flaunt Your Talent
Preview the Signature Abilities of Desperate Allies
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan.”
–Leia Organa, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
As a Rebel Diplomat, you are the voice of reason in a galaxy torn by war. A few choice words from you can make the difference between signed treaties and drawn blasters. You analyze the data that keeps the Alliance hidden and safe. You grease palms and blackmail politicians to save countless Rebel lives. You battle oppressive Imperial propaganda, spreading truth and unveiling the atrocities that condemn the Empire. Without its Diplomats, the Rebel Alliance would quickly cease to exist.
In the Desperate Allies sourcebook for Star Wars™: Age of Rebellion®, you find plenty of new options for enhancing the power of your Diplomats. Our last preview explored the new species and specializations introduced in Desperate Allies. Today, developer Max Brooke explains the new Signature Abilities in Desperate Allies and their implications for Diplomats across the galaxy!
Developer Max Brooke on New Signature Abilities in Desperate Allies
The Signature Abilities of every career sourcebook are one of the most exciting parts for players, Game Masters, and the developers. Whenever we design new Signature Abilities, we strive to make each one stand out from the others. These powerful abilities are only available to characters who complete a specialization in their starting career, and they help to differentiate the characters’ careers as they grow and develop through an ongoing campaign.
Age of Rebellion already has the Ace’s Signature Abilities, This One is Mine and Unmatched Survivability, which were introduced in the Stay on Target sourcebook for Aces. The Diplomat sourcebook, Desperate Allies, obviously has a very different focus, and in keeping with that, this book introduces two very different Signature Abilities: Diplomatic Solution and Unmatched Insight. Like existing Signature Abilities, these new Signature abilities allow your Diplomat to step up and take a larger role in defining the story, working with the Game Master to achieve feats in an arena where your character excels. Unlike the Ace’s Signature Abilities, which grant unparalleled finesse and flair in space combat, the Diplomat’s Signature Abilities focus on interpersonal interactions, allowing a Diplomat character to influence and observe others with supreme skill.
The first Diplomat Signature Ability introduced in Desperate Allies is Diplomatic Solution. This ability gives your character the chance to change the playing field in a conflict, turning a potential firefight into a battle of wits and wills. By using this Signature Ability, your Diplomat can bring reluctant parties to the table, convince foes to negotiate rather than fight, and cause even the staunchest Imperial supporters to hesitate in the face of your unwavering resolve.
Diplomatic Solution doesn’t solve any problems on its own, but it does open many doors, giving your group a great opportunity to find alternative means of resolving the conflict. Your well-reasoned words may force bounty hunters and assassins to reconsider their contracts, call for a cease-fire to evacuate civilians, or convince two lifelong enemies to discuss compromise for a common goal instead of just shooting each other. Diplomatic Solution has countless applications that a clever Diplomat can leverage to serve the Rebel cause.
Imagination and Insight
Signature Abilities like Diplomatic Solution offer an excellent opportunity to add definition to your career’s abilities and because each book features two of these powerful abilities, they help players build distinct characters within a given career. For example, an Ace with the Hotshot specialization who chooses This One is Mine as his Signature Ability uses very different tactics and tricks than an Ace with the Rigger specialization and Unmatched Survivability. In the same vein, an Ambassador with Diplomatic Solution behaves very differently than an Analyst with the Unmatched Insight Signature Ability.
Diplomatic Solution lets your character redefine a conflict, swapping blasters and vibroblades for arguments and rhetoric. Unmatched Insight, the second Signature Ability introduced in Desperate Allies, grants you the crucial information you need to resolve any conflict in your favor. If your character uses Unmatched Insight, you can determine someone’s history, motives, and weaknesses with a glance and some swift reasoning. Then, you can use that information to predict and manipulate that person’s decisions.
When Unmatched Insight is fully upgraded, your Diplomat can walk into a room of aggrieved parties and immediately know who is a potential ally, who has interests that conflict with your group, who wants someone else in the room dead, and how to make this disparate mass of people work together toward the interests of the Rebel Alliance. Of course, this Signature Ability can have powerful applications outside of social situations as well. You can use Unmatched Insight anywhere that it’s useful to know another person’s strengths, weaknesses, and motives – whether in the criminal underworld, when conducting investigations into the internal affairs of the Rebel Alliance, and even on the field of battle.
Fight with Your Words
Between them, these two new Signature Abilities give Diplomats powerful new tools and interesting new opportunities to spread the Rebellion’s cause across the stars. I very much look forward to hearing the stories that players and GMs tell by using these Signature Abilities in their Age of Rebellion campaigns!
How will you serve the Rebel Alliance? Whichever Signature Ability you choose, however you develop your Diplomat, you can sway new systems to join the Rebel Alliance and spread hope throughout the galaxy. The Rebellion is counting on you!
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