Meet the Party: Star Wars: Separatists

An entrepreneur managing armies of battle droids instead of finances and job orders, trying to find some way to turn a profit in all this. A member of the Separatist Senate who truly believes in the cause, working to sway both allies and enemies. A warrior of an ancient tradition, fighting for glory in a galaxy that condemns him. A swordswoman skilled in magicks, out in the galaxy to prove herself and perhaps even learn a thing or two. The Grand Army of the Republic and the Jedi Order aren’t the only ones with stories to tell during the Clone Wars . . . so deploy the droids and get ready to fight for freedom from the Republic with this ready-to-play party of Separatists for Star Wars Roleplaying from Fantasy Flight Games!

We got new specializations for the Jedi and Clone Soldier in Collapse of the Republic, and they’re nice, but those Careers already had their time in the spotlight. This time it’s the Universal Specializations that really caught my eye. Three of them are pretty firmly on the side of the bad guys in the Clone Wars (although there are always exceptions, and then there’s that whole Palpatine thing), while the Senator is explicitly written to refer to a representative from either side of the war. So, why not turn things on their head and fight for the Confederacy of Independent Systems against the corrupt Galactic Republic, their army of clone slaves, and their Jedi attack hounds?

Tuc Shodin, Skakoan Colonist/Entrepreneur/Separatist Commander

Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 2, Intellect 3, Cunning 1, Willpower 3, Presence 3

Mechanic: Duty (Resource Acquisition) 0

Wound Threshold: 12

Strain Threshold: 11

Soak: 4

Defense: 0 Melee/0 Ranged

Abilities: Free Rank in Knowledge (Education) and Mechanics, Methane Breather

Entrepreneur Talents: Sound Investments

Separatist Commander Talents: Intimidating, Scathing Tirade, Improved Scathing Tirade, Supreme Scathing Tirade, Command, Cruel Commander, Speaks Binary, Field Commander, Improved Field Commander

Skills: Knowledge (Education) 2, Mechanics 1, Knowledge (Core Worlds) 1, Knowledge (Lore) 1, Leadership 2, Discipline 1, Knowledge (Underworld) 1, Coercion 3, Knowledge (Warfare) 1

Equipment: Pressure Suit, T-Series Tactical Droid, Symbol of Command, Toolkit, Comlink (Long-Range), Emergency Repair Patch x5, 175 Credits

Tuc Shodin leads the droids of the Separatist Alliance much the way he would lead a Techno Union labor force: with ruthless efficiency. He can use Coercion for Mass Combat checks with Cruel Commander, grants allies free maneuvers and maybe even an action with Field Commander, and provides a Boost die to NPC droid allies with Speaks Binary. He lambasts the Clones and Jedi sent against him with the Scathing Tirade Talents, inflicting strain and Setback dice. Finally, he was a businessbeing first, and the credits keep trickling in thanks to Tuc’s Sounds Investments.

He may have had the military life thrust upon him . . . but that’s why he’s got the best T-Series Tactical Droid credits can buy to help him out.

Galatea Obdris, Umbaran Diplomat/Propagandist/Senator

Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 2, Intellect 2, Cunning 4, Willpower 3, Presence 3

Mechanic: Duty (Recruiting) 0

Wound Threshold: 12

Strain Threshold: 14

Soak: 3

Defense: 0 Melee/0 Ranged

Abilities: Free Rank in Deception, Entrancing Gaze, Shadow Dweller

Propagandist Talents: Grit, In The Know, Bad Press, Positive Spin, Improved Positive Spin, Cutting Question

Senator Talents: Respected Delegate, Savvy, Inspiring Rhetoric, Improved Inspiring Rhetoric

Skills: Deception 3, Charm 2, Leadership 2, Negotiation 1

Equipment: Defender Sporting Blaster Pistol, BPEA-1A Cascader, Lector’s Outfit, 6025 Credits

Galatea Obdris fights for the hearts and minds of the galaxy, one speech or propaganda holo at a time. The Positive Spin Talents help increase Duty faster, even forcing Duty to trigger when it otherwise wouldn’t. Bad Press lets her reduce the wound thresholds of entire NPC organizations, like the Grand Army of the Republic, once a session for the entire session. Cutting Question allows for Deception to be used in place of a Coercion check, once a session. Meanwhile, her status as a Separatist Senator makes her a Respected Delegate (downgrading the difficulty of social checks made with offworld organizations), as well as quite Savvy (Boost to all Charm and Negotiation checks). Finally, her Inspiring Rhetoric lets allies recover Strain, and grants them a Boost die.

That her Cascader upgrades all Charm/Deception/Leadership checks, and her Lector’s Outfit Boosts her when dealing with large crowds, are merely bonuses.

Duron Skirata, Mandalorian Smuggler/Gunslinger/Death Watch Warrior

Characteristics: Brawn 2, Agility 4, Intellect 2, Cunning 2, Willpower 3, Presence 2

Mechanic: Obligation (Family Clan Skirata) 20

Wound Threshold: 15

Strain Threshold: 12

Soak: 5

Defense: 1 Melee/1 Ranged

Abilities: Free Rank in Ranged (Light)

Gunslinger Talents: Quick Draw, Rapid Reaction, Quick Strike, Dodge

Death Watch Warrior Talents: Conditioned, Jump Up, Jetpack Expertise, Toughened, Armor Master, Side Step

Skills: Ranged (Light) 3, Coordination 1, Knowledge (Underworld) 1, Perception 1, Vigilance 1, Cool 1, Coercion 1, Piloting (Planetary) 2, Mechanics 1, Streetwise 1, Knowledge (Outer Rim)

Equipment: Heavy Blaster Pistol, Mandalorian Armor, JT-12C Jetpack, 50 Credits

Duron Skirata is a fast-shooting, fast-flying son of Mandalore determined to return his homeworld and people to their glorious heritage, forged in battle. Quick Draw, Rapid Reaction, and Quick Strike all ensure that he’s the first one with a blaster in hand and all the deadlier for it. Jetpack Expertise lets him spend Advantage to remove System Strain from his JT-12C, keeping him in the air longer. He’s also hard to put down thanks to Toughened and Armor Master increasing his Wound Threshold and Soak, and hard to hit in the first place with Dodge and Side Step.

Vania Tuspin, Dathomirian Hired Gun/Marauder/Nightsister 

Characteristics: Brawn 4, Agility 3, Intellect 2, Cunning 2, Willpower 2, Presence 2

Force Rating: 1

Mechanic: Morality 50 (Pride and Arrogance)

Wound Threshold: 16

Strain Threshold: 14

Soak: 5

Defense: 2 Melee/1 Ranged

Abilities: Free Rank in Coercion, Survival, and Outdoorsman

Talents: Outdoorsman

Marauder Talents: Toughened, Frenzied Attack, Feral Strength, Lethal Blows

Nightsister Talents: Witchcraft, Summon Item, Ichor Blade, Improved Ichor Blade, Ichor Transfusion

Skills: Coercion 1, Survival 1, Athletics 1, Melee 2, Discipline 1, Vigilance 1, Resilience 1, Stealth 1, Knowledge (Lore) 1

Force Powers: Enhance (Control [Resilience/Brawl/Brawn), Misdirect

Equipment: Duskblade, Nightsister Energy Bow, Concealing Robes, 3400 Credits

Vania Tuspin is a warrior of Dathomir, and absolutely not an opponent you ever want to let into melee range. She can inflict more wounds and deal nastier critical injuries thanks to the Talents from the Marauder tree, but when paired with her Nightsister magicks things get truly messy. The Ichor Blade Talents grant her weapon (like, say, a Duskblade) extra damage, extra Pierce, and the Cortosis/Sunder/Defensive Qualities. Summon Item does just that, from anywhere in the galaxy. Ichor Transfusion can trade Wounds for Strain or Strain for Wounds, whichever keeps Vania in the fight longer. Finally, the Witchcraft of the Nightsisters grants her a Force Rating of 1, which gets put to use with Enhance and Misdirect.

Our Separatist leaders and their irregular allies were created using Collapse of the Republic, Rise of the Separatists, Far Horizons, Fly Casual, Desperate Allies, Lead by Example, Friends Like These, and the Edge of the Empire and Force and Destiny core rulebooks. They were all built at Heroic Level, getting an additional 150 XP to work with. Tuc, Galatea, and Vania all chose the +10XP option for their various mechanics, while Duron went for the extra 2500 Credits (kitting out a Mando is one of the few things that isn’t satisfied with the 9000 from Heroic Level).

A few observations before we get into Who They Are and How They Interact. First, and this only really hit me when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to afford a pair of Westar-35s for Duron, but not having the Standard Load-Outs that Clone Soldiers and Jedi benefit from smarted a bit. The point of the Standard Load-Outs is to convey that, unlike (most) characters from the core rulebook games, the defenders of the Republic are well supplied and supported. Well, so were the Separatists! So you might want to consider some sort of CIS Load-Out, or perhaps just hand over more Credits, to reflect that.

Second, I got into a conversation with Ben Yendall of The Hydian Way on the Twitters the other day, mostly about the Short Path to Power from Collapse of the Republic and its balance challenges, and one of the things they pointed out was that nobody else gets a little sidebar rule that makes it easier to access things, including the Universal Specializations. That reminded me that I’ve felt like I would just want to have one of the Universal Specs as my starting tree before, but I really felt it with Tuc and the Separatist Commander. I don’t really have a simple solution to that because you’d need to come up with ‘Career’ skills for the Universal Spec, but it’s a niggling little thought that probably won’t go away.

Who They Are

Tuc Shodin always imagined himself as a relatively simple being. He put in his time, got paid good credits for it, and climbed the ranks of the Techno Union at a slow but steady pace. Then the Clone Wars kicked off, and someone noticed that he had a particular talent for commanding droids. Now instead of organizing shipments of goods he’s directing shipfuls of mechanical soldiers, plotting out destruction instead of sales pitches. It’s not where he saw his career taking him, but he’s sure there’s got to be some profit in it . . . provided he can stay alive and win victories, anyways.

Galatea Obdrin became Umbara’s Senator to the Confederacy shortly after Senator Deechi was murdered and Umbara cut ties with the Republic. The ‘Shadow People’ have a reputation for being shifty, and Galatea can indeed tell a good lie, but she is in fact a true believer in the Separatist cause. Corruption might be useful at times, but the Republic has a terminal case of it. It’s high time to start something new, get in on the ground floor, so to speak, and restore some sense of balance to things before the Hutts and Black Sun and whoever else is buying Republic senators these days give up the illusion and just take over.

Duron Skirata is a true son of Mandalore, a member of the Death Watch who yearns for the age when the entire galaxy knew and respected (feared) the might of the Mandalorians. The actual cause of the Confederacy means little to him, but they started an excellent fight and left him an open invitation he was all too glad to accept. While events at home may draw his attention at times, he’s more determined to become a symbol for Clan Skirata and the Death Watch to rally behind on the path to glory . . . perhaps by adding a few lightsabers to his belt.

Vania Tuspin believes that it might have been safer for the Nightsisters of Dathomir to remain hidden from the wider galaxy, but ‘safer’ does not necessarily mean ‘better’. True challenges are difficult to find on a planet where your magicks reign supreme already . . . but the wider galaxy offers many. The Separatists have made enemies of the pale power of the Jedi, and Vania is glad to test her strength against them, while the whispers of the dark madness of the Sith hint at even greater opponents to overcome. Perhaps, even, the Jedi and Sith are more than just opponents to crush under heel. Perhaps she can learn from them, fuel her magicks with their own, and return to Dathomir as a new power . . .

How They Interact

Tuc doesn’t quite understand the gleam of true patriotism in Galatea’s eyes. This is another job to him, although it’s more dangerous and decidedly less stable, but the Umbaran brings a baffling number of ideals to what should be a practical affair. Duron is easy, basically a mercenary. A little more unhinged than most mercenaries, maybe, caring more about the fighting than the credits afterwards, but there’s plenty of that around to keep him in line. Vania makes less sense than Galatea, just because of how strange her abilities are, but the Dathomirian saved him from a persistent Padawan once so Tuc respects her.

Galatea sees Tuc as someone so used to the way things are that he doesn’t even realize the change his actions could bring about. Until he does, she’ll continue to try and convince him. Duron represents a potential problem; should the Republic fall, who will the Death Watch fight? Galatea devotes some spare time to lining up opponents for the Mandalorian, ones that won’t give him time to pick a fight for the Confederacy. Perhaps one of them will even get lucky. Vania represents one of the lost gems of the galaxy to Galatea. Surely if the Republic wasn’t waiting to corrupt everything it touched, and the Jedi lurking about looking to steal younglings, Vania’s culture would be one of many that would emerge from the shadows to take their place among the stars.

Duron is too pragmatic not to appreciate having a lot of disposable metal bodies around to soak up blaster bolts for him while he draws a bead on a Jedi; so long as Shodin keeps providing them and putting them in the right places, Duron will continue providing his own skills. Galatea is a fellow true believer, but for a different cause than Duron’s own. He can wish her luck and technically support her while still knowing that he’ll cut bait if he has to – or wind up fighting her new order, if that’s where glory is to be found. Vania follows a much different creed, but her personal drive to prove herself the strongest matches up well with that of the Death Watch. That may be an interesting fight, some day . . .

Vania views Tuc as a valuable asset, as well an important lesson in appearances being deceiving; the amount of destruction he’s caused by moving pieces around the dejarik board, so to speak, tells a tale of power no magick can quite achieve. Galatea seems oddly interested in Vania’s beliefs and culture; odd because there doesn’t seem to be any actual motive behind it other than curiosity. ‘Friends’ would be a strong term, but it’s probably the closest. Duron seeks to pit himself against powerful foes and conquer them, much like Vania herself. Aside from the persistent feeling that Duron himself might be one of those foes, Vania wouldn’t mind taking him home to meet the other Nightsisters, as it were.

The End of the Age of Heroes

You could tell the story of the doomed heroes who stood up against the oppression of the Republic . . . but you don’t have to. It’s your game after all, and nothing says that things have to play out the same. Can Tuc, Galatea, Duron, and Vania topple the Galactic Republic, the GAR, and the Jedi Order? Can they bring peace and freedom to the worlds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems?

Or is the flow of history unalterable? Will Tuc and Galatea survive to fight another day on the other side of the massacre at Mustafar? Will Skirata find a new battle to fight? Will Vania carry the magicks of the Nightsisters into a new era on her own? Or will all four wind up just another quartet of victims of the dark times?

That’s for you and your dice (and maybe the will of the Force) to find out!

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