Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Web Enhancements
By Matthew Grau
The Sith. The very name has haunted The Jedi Order for millennia. This cult of Force practitioners has known both absolute power and unconscionable self-destruction. Indeed, they are something of an enigma- nightmares to all, but to themselves, a natural expression of The Force.
It is no surprise that many players are drawn to the idea of exploring The Dark Side and creating Sith characters. Although Threats of the Galaxy examines The Sith as enemies, this series of articles will explore the different aspects involved in developing, portraying, and using compelling and unique Sith characters in five eras of the Star Wars saga.
Part 1: Portrayal Edit
Main Article: Portrayal
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
-From the Sith Code
Selflessness is not a concept inherent in the Sith way of being. Those who choose to serve The Dark Side out of devotion to a philosophical or religious ideal are rare. The exploration of passion inevitably leads to desire, and delving deeply into desire inevitably leads to greed. Power corrupts, and The Sith are no exception. Though one may begin on the path intending balance or even commanding The Dark Side for altruistic purposes, all fall prey to greed and vanity. This is why groups of Sith, left to their own devices, eventually turn on each other. They are predators, and sooner or later, Sith regard their brethren as threats.
You might say the key difference between The Jedi and The Sith is that the Jedi contemplate and master inner space to serve others, whereas the Sith dominate and master outer space to serve themselves.
Part 2: The Becoming Edit
Main Article: The Becoming
To symbolize the giving up of their old life, a Sith Apprentice takes on a new name. In all eras after Darth Bane, The Sith take on the honorific Darth, a title that caused jealousy and infighting in ancient times. Darth is often thought to be a contraction of Dark Lord of the Sith, the first recorded use of which was in the ancient times of Darth Revan and Darth Malak. Some believe it derives from the Rakata, an ancient race of corrupt creatures whose horrifying Infinite Empire was a tool of The Dark Side, possibly meaning "Emperor" or "Immortal." The name given to a Sith Lord by their master is often something associated with the dark passions he or she revels. Bane, Krayt (As in the terrifying dragons of Tatooine), Maul, Plagueis (As in plague), Sidious (As in insidious), and Tyranus (As in tyranny) are examples of things that appeal to The Sith.
In the days of the Rule of Two, the relationship of Apprentice and Master can end only one way- with the death of the Master. Few apprentices are content to wait for their master to die of natural causes to take on the mantle of power, and, as in the Sith legend of Darth Plagueis the Wise, many Masters are killed by their apprentices once they have taught everything they know. Sith Masters are hardly fools and know that death at the hands of their pupils is a very real possibility, but they view this as a necessary danger to keep the Sith lineage strong.
Now is the time to create your character's Sith name. Most likely you'll be using the honorific Darth, but what sort of dark, poetic name did your character's Master gift them with? The examples here should provide a good baseline from which to work.
It is also time to determine the current state of your character's relationship with their Master. Are they still in your character's life, or are they dead? If they're in your character's life, what is their relationship? How do they guide and use your character as their apprentice? If they're dead, did they die by incident, or did your character kill them to seize their power?
All Sith share a deep hatred of The Jedi. They view the Light Side Order as their ancient enemies, the one force that has stood in their way time and time again and the one thing capable of defeating them. The Sith look forward to a day when they can truly wipe The Jedi from the galaxy once and for all, something Darth Sidious and Darth Vader thought they had accomplished.
Contemplate your character's attitude toward The Jedi. Do they actively seek to destroy them, or do they follow other pursuits (While remaining happy to rain down suffering on any Jedi who cross their path)?
Part 3: Design Edit
Main Article: Design
Not all Sith are fallen Jedi. There are as many paths to darkness as there are paths in life. One of the most infamous and powerful Sith was Darth Sidious, a man named Palpatine who was a noble and a politician (Growing out of the Noble Heroic Class). Some were warriors or survivors of one sort or another, whose prowess and/or Force Sensitivity drew the attention of a Sith Lord (Growing out of the Soldier or Scout Heroic Classes). Those who live in the shadows of society may already be inclined to the obsessions of The Sith simply due to the nature of their lifestyle, especially if they are Force-sensitive (Growing out of the Scoundrel Heroic Class).
Others are Jedi who fell or those whose control of The Force was developed outside the Jedi tradition. Darth Vader, the scourge of The Jedi, was in fact a powerful and respected one himself until the lure of The Dark Side claimed him. Perhaps the easiest explanation for a Force-using character to have strayed down the path of The Sith is that he lived in a world where falling to The Dark Side was a regular concern.
Part 4: The Teeth in the Darkness Edit
Main Article: The Teeth in the Darkness
Previous articles looked at the essence of The Sith, choosing an appropriate name and appearance for your Sith character, and the game mechanics of designing that character. In this article, we delve into the technology used by Sith, the kinds of characters that best fit in the different eras, and ways to advance beyond the Sith Apprentice Prestige Class.
Part 5: Antiheroes Edit
Main Article: Antiheroes
In the last several articles, we examined how to create a Sith character from the ground up using Saga Edition mechanics. But what if you're a Gamemaster and you want to include Sith characters in your playing group?
Your first consideration involves how many Sith you'll have in the group. Some groups might be composed of all Sith, and others might feature only one or a few Sith while the rest are characters who compliment them. There are advantages and challenges to both.
Ultra-Powerful Sith Lords in Saga Edition Edit
By Sterling Hershey
Amazingly dark and devastating powers are the purview of some of the greatest Sith Lords of The Old Republic Era. They cheat death repeatedly. They devastate and consume entire worlds with a thought. They bend and twist The Force to their needs and desires as The Dark Side warps them into tools of its own. Average beings stand no chance of stopping these ultra-powerful monsters of The Dark Side. Only the greatest heroes may ultimately defeat them.
In the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition, using such powerful characters presents many challenges to the Gamemaster and game system itself. This is especially true when balancing story issues with game mechanics. As a GM, how do you handle characters with powers that are far beyond those that the heroes possess?
In the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, the approach taken to adjudicating these powers uses a combination of story devices, Destiny Points, and existing Talents, Feats, and Force Powers. In this article, we discuss this method. We also provide alternative ideas for GM who wish to apply similar abilities to their own villains by creating specialized mechanics.