Threat Assessment: Niss and the Order of the Black Wind

The following is an example of how quickly things can steam roll in my head. When I sat down to start this edition of Threat Assessment, I was just planning on putting together a couple of stat blocks. However, after I started with the NPCs, I started coming up with backstory to tie them together. From that sprung a new organization, a Force Tradition and associated talent tree, and a planet for them to inhabit. There’s quite a bit to this post, so I’m not going to deal with much more preamble and get right into the meat.

Niss and the Order of the Black Wind

Niss

Region: Unknown Regions

Climate: Temperate

Gravity: Standard

Moons: 0

Length of Day: 25 hours

Length of Year: 200 days

Sapient Species: 99% Human, 1% Other

Government: Theocracy

Capital: Thraceen

Major Exports: None

Major Imports: None

Knowledge (Galactic Lore)

DC – Result

10 – Niss, a small backwater planet was discovered and catalogued in the early days of the Old Republic.

15 – Since time immemorial, Niss has been controlled by various warlord and tyrants, keeping the planet in an almost constant state of civil war.

20 – Though Niss has no major exports or industry to speak of, a rare vein of ore runs through the mountain range circling the middle of the planet that makes a very strong metal alloy.

Knowledge (Social Sciences)

DC – Result

10 – The people of Niss have a strong patronymic society, and they trace their people’s history back to a figure known as the “first father.” It’s unknown whether or not this is an actual historical figure or not.

15 – While they have access to the technology, most of the natives of Niss believe it to be an affront to personal strength to rely on blaster weaponry, and thus, most warfare is still conducted hand to hand.

20 – A small number of the Humans living on Niss, while appearing similar to Humans in most every respect, are actually genetically different than those in the rest of the galaxy, making them a different species.

The Order of the Black Wind

Type: Dark Side Cult

Enemies and Allies: The Order of the Black Wind doesn’t have any allies on planet, but any dark sider who follows the same philosophies might find an ally in the organization. There are several large areas of Niss controlled by powerful warlords who want to see them destroyed and have clashed militarily with them in the past.

Scale: 8 (Regional Power)

Organization Score Criteria: To belong to this organization, one must possess a rudimentary knowledge of the dark side of the Force, even if they are not Force sensitive. A character cannot begin using organization criteria or gaining the benefits of an Initiate of the Black Wind until he has successfully made contact with the organization and been accepted into their ranks.

Positive Criteria | Organization Score Modifier

Experience | +1/2 levels

Base Attack Bonus +5 through +9 | +1

Base Attack Bonus +10 through +14 | +2

Base Attack Bonus +15 or higher | +3

Dark Side Score of at least 1 | +1

Dark Side Score at least equal to ½ Wisdom Score | +2

Dark Side Score equal to Wisdom Score | +3

Force Sensitive | +1

Speaks the Sith language | +1

Has the dark rage Force Power | +1

Has a talent from the Initiate of the Black Wind Tree | +1/talent

Defeats an opponent of the organization | +1/4 opponent’s CL

Participates in a battle in which the organization is victorious | +1

Negative Criteria | Organization Score Modifier

Shows restraint instead of rage | -1 per instance

Atones for Dark Side Points | -2/1 Dark Side Point atoned

Fails on a mission assigned by organization leader | -2

Fails to defeat an enemy of the organization | -4

Titles, Benefits, and Duties: The Order of the Black Wind expects all of its members to provide military service should it become required. They are also required to donate all of their material wealth to the organization, who in turn, provides the basic needs of each of their members. Finally, they are required to take part in various rituals designed to strengthen the hold of the dark side in their area of operation.

Rank | Score | Title and Benefits

0 | 9 or lower | None

1 | 10-19 | Initiate: An initiate is the lowest ranking member of the order. Through their training and indoctrination, they gain a +2 bonus to their Will Defense against enemies of the organization.

2 | 20-29 | Acolyte: An acolyte is a member of the organization who has completed more training and has a deeper understanding of the Force and the philosophy of the group. His encounters with enemies of the group and their zeal in serving  give them a +1 circumstance on attack rolls against enemies of the organization.

3 | 30+ | Hierophant: A hierophant is the highest rank in the Order, one who has completed his training and has a deep level of understanding in the Force. Those who achieve this rank receive access to a personal aide who has heroic levels equal to their heroic level -3.

The Initiates of the Black Wind

History

During the Golden Age of the Sith, a powerful Sith Lord by the name of Thraxuss took off for the Unknown Regions, and found himself in a system with a lone planet circling a sun. Landing on the planet, he quickly found himself a subject of great interest from the locals, whom were much less advanced than he was. He took advantage of his powers and quickly bent the leaders of several of the tribes to his whim, ruling over them like a God Emperor and passing on some of his teachings to several powerful apprentices. When he died, his body was placed in a tomb carved into the base of the largest mountain on the planet. His apprentices plunged the planet into a bloody civil war after his death as each of them struggled to take over Thraxuss’s entire empire. Meanwhile, the galaxy continued on as it is wont to do, and the people of Niss advanced to join the rest of the galactic civilization, and eventually Lord Thraxuss was forgotten.

One day, a young man named Rath Traynor, strong in the Force stumbled across the tomb, where Lord Thraxuss had been buried along with all of his teachings and several of his artifacts. Armed with this knowledge, equipment, and his own violent nature, Rath was quickly propelled down the dark path. Before long, he had begun to follow in the ancient Sith Lord’s footsteps and had taken over several large areas of the continent, controlling the government leaders like puppets.

Location

The power of this dark side cult has never reached beyond the planet of Niss. The planet, while registered in the galactic database, doesn’t have much to offer the galaxy at large and thus still several steps behind the rest of the galaxy.

Philosophy

Lord Thraxuss drew upon several of the basic emotions that Sith Warriors called upon to aid them in battle: specifically the emotions of rage and anger. He studied this power, discovering and inventing new ways to manipulate these emotions to help aid a Sith in battle.

Following these original teaching, the Order of the Black Wind places a great emphasis on these emotions, encouraging and even manipulating violent reactions from those that follow the teachings. Rage is a powerful emotion, but like anything, those that are also able to control their rage, as well as the rage of others are the ones who rise to the top of the food chain.

Membership: Any character with a Dark Side Score of at least 1 who has been accepted by a member of the tradition can become Initiates of the Black Wind and take talents from this talent tree.

Initiate of the Black Wind Talent Tree

Hear the Winds: Once per encounter, you can regain all expended uses of the dark rage power as a swift action.

Dark Howling: You can expend one use of the dark rage Force power from your suite in order to activate this talent. Instead of the normal benefits of the dark rage power, you instead project the turbulent emotions outward instead of inward, surrounding you with a swirling cloud of rage and anger. For a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1), any adjacent opponent that attacks you takes 1d8 damage. This doesn’t affect opponent who are not adjacent to you. You can spend a Force Point to add one-half of your heroic level to the damage dealt to an attacking opponent.

Prerequisites: dark rage, Hear the Winds

Smoldering Rage: You can expend one use of the dark rage Force power from your suite in order to activate this talent. Instead of the normal benefits of the dark rage power, you turn the emotions into a physical weapon. A blade of fire appears in your hand, lasting for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1). The blade deals 2d6 damage, adding one-half your heroic level, and your Charisma modifier to the damage roll. The blade deals fire damage. You can spend a Force Point when you activate this talent to make the blade last until the end of the encounter.  For all intents and purposes, the blade is treated as a light, simple weapon.

Prerequisites: dark rage

Armor of Rage: You can expend one use of the dark rage Force power from your suite in order to activate this talent. Make your Use the Force check as normal, but instead of adding the bonus to your melee attack and damage rolls like normal, you get the listed bonus as DR for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier (min. 1). If you spend a Force Point, you can add the bonus to your Damage Threshold as well.

Prerequisites: dark rage, Dark Howling

Link of Rage: You can expend one use of the dark rage Force power from your suite in order to activate this talent. Make your Use the Force check as normal, but instead of adding the full bonus to your melee attack and damage rolls like normal, you only get half the listed bonus. You grant one ally within 6 squares of you and within your line of the sight the other half of the bonus. If you spend a Force Point to make the dark rage last until the end of the encounter, the ally you choose must stay within 6 squares of you to maintain the benefit. If the connection is broken, you still only receive half the bonus.

Prerequisites: dark rage, Hear the Winds

Rath Traynor – CL 13

Medium scout 5/noble 3/force adept 5

Force 8; Dark Side 16

Init +12; Senses Perception +14

Languages Basic, Sith

Defenses Ref 26 (flat-footed 25), Fort 26, Will 30 (32 vs. light side powers)

hp 88; Threshold 26

Speed 6 squares

Melee sith alchemical sword +8 (1d6+6)

Base Atk +8; Grp +8

Atk Options Cunning Attack, Melee Defense

Special Actions Armor of Rage, Dark Howling, Dark Presence, Hear the Winds, Inspire Confidence, Link of Rage, Power of the Dark Side, Quick Skill

Force Powers Known (Use the Force +19): corruption (2), fear, Force lightning, Force scream (2), Force storm (2)

Force Techniques Force Point Recovery, Improved Force Storm

Abilities Str 10, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 16

Talents Armor of Rage, Dark Howling Dark Presence, Dark Side Talisman, Hear the Winds, Inspire Confidence, Link of Rage, Power of the Dark Side

Feats Cunning Attack, Force Sensitivity, Force Training (2), Melee Defense, Natural Leader, Quick Skill, Skill Focus (Use the Force), Skill Training (Persuasion), Weapon Proficiency (pistols, rifles, simple weapons)

Skills Climb +11, Initiative +12, Jump +11, Perception +14, Persuasion +14, Ride +12, Survival +14, Use the Force +19

Possessions sith alchemical sword, dark side talisman

Rath Traynor is the younger brother of Kell Traynor, born two years after his brother. He too, was strong in the Force, but he did not have the benefit of a Jedi Master, and thus was left to his own devices to learn to control his powers. One day, the young man discovered the tomb of Lord Thraxuss, a long forgotten Sith Lord who had once ruled over a large section of the planet as an absolute tyrant in the bygone days of the Golden Age of the Sith. He discovered the Sith Lords teachings along with several ancient artifacts, which coupled with his family’s already violent nature, exhibited by him as well as his brother, quickly precipitated the young man’s fall to the dark side. He began to exert his control and influence over several of the local leaders his area, eventually taking the power for himself. He began rebuilding the Order of the Black Wind, learning to control many of the same powers that Lord Thraxuss had used in his lifetime, using his new powers and the militant force he was building up to extend his own circle of influence, eventually attracting and corrupting the likes of Skree Tontin, the powerful warlord of one of the larger countries on Niss and even his brother.

He began to assert his influence in his local areas, beginning to put together a dark side cult that he ruled over like a high priest. As his power and influence began to grow, so did his organization, eventually attracting the likes of Skree Tontin and eventually his older brother, who had been expelled from the Jedi Order.

Firebrand – CL 10

Medium Human soldier 7/Force adept 3

Force 7; Dark Side 14

Init +12; Senses Perception +7

Languages Basic, Sith

Defenses Ref 27 (flat-footed 25), Fort 27, Will 26

hp 86; Threshold 27

Speed 4 squares

Melee fire blade +12 (2d6+8) or

Melee fire blade +10 (3d6+8) with Rapid Strike or

Melee fire blade +7/+7 (2d6+8) with Double Attack or

Melee fire blade +5/+5 (3d6+8) with Double Attack and Rapid Strike

Ranged heavy blaster rifle +11 (3d10+5)

Base Atk +9; Grp +9

Atk Options Double Attack (simple weapons), Rapid Strike

Special Actions Attune Armor, Dark Howling, Hear the Winds, Smoldering Rage

Force Powers Known (Use the Force +13): dark rage (3), fear, Force grip, Force slam (2) surge (2)

Force Techniques Improved Force Slam

Abilities Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 16

Talents Armored Defense, Attune Armor Dark Howling, Hear the Winds, Improved Armored Defense, Smoldering Rage

Feats Armor Proficiency (light, medium), Double Attack (simple weapons), Force Sensitivity, Force Training (3), Rapid Strike, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (simple weapons) Weapon Proficiency (pistols, rifles, simple weapons)

Skills Endurance +11, Initiative +12, Jump +10, Knowledge (tactics) +11, Use the Force +13 (+15 to activate dark sidepowers)

Possessions heavy blaster rifle, dark armor (dark side energy trait)

The man known only as Firebrand was a member of a small group of Mandalorians, still clinging to the ways of the Crusader clans of old. However, when it was discovered he was Force sensitive, he was exiled from the clan. Eventually, guided unconsciously by the Force to a small planet in the Suarbi system where he was accepted as a member of the Jensaarai tradition. However, his demeanor and violent tendencies proved to be too much even for the Jensaarai, and he found himself exiled from their teachings as well. Eventually, he found his way to the planet Niss, once again unconsciously following a call from the Force where he discovered a small dark side cult quickly growing in power. Rath Traynor, the leader of the group found the young man’s inner rage something he could exploit, and helped to finish the young man’s fall into darkness. Rath put the young man through intense training, making him his first disciple in the recently resurrected Order of the Black Wind. Through this training, he grew to master the art of projecting the rage and hatred into a physical weapon in his hands, a talent that very few people in the order had ever managed to learn with any sort of proficiency. The blade of flame in his hands, matched with his fiery temper lent him the name Firebrand. He wades into battle with his rage as his weapon, clad in the armor worn by one of Lord Thraxuss’s apprentices.

Skree Tontin – CL 11

Medium soldier 7/scout 1/Force adept 3

Force 7; Dark Side 14

Init +11; Senses Perception +7

Languages Basic

Defenses Ref 24 (flat-footed 23), Fort 25, Will 27; primitive block

hp 103; Threshold 25

Speed 6 squares

Melee empowered vibro-ax +13 (3d10+11) or

Melee empowered vibro-ax +11 (4d10+11) with Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered vibro-ax +8/+8 (3d10+11) with Double Attack

Melee empowered vibro-ax +6/+6 (4d10+11) with Double Attack and Rapid Strike

Melee empowered vibro-ax +15 (3d10+16) with Powerful Charge

Melee knife +12 (1d4+8) or

Ranged knife +10 (1d4+8)

Base Atk +9; Grp +12

Atk Options Double Attack, Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike, Swift Power

Force Powers Known (Use the Force +11): battle strike , dark rage (3), surge (2)

Force Techniques Improved Move Light Object

Special Actions Hear the Winds, Indomitable, Power of the Dark Side, Shake it Off

Abilities Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12

Special Qualities evasion

Talents Empower Weapon, Evasion, Hear the Winds, Indomitable, Power of the Dark Side, Primitive Block, Swift Power

Feats Armor Proficiency (light, medium), Double Attack (advanced melee weapons), Force Sensitivity, Force Training (2), Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike, Shake it Off, Weapon Focus (advanced melee weapons), Weapon Proficiency (advanced melee weapons, pistols, rifles, simple weapons)

Skills Endurance +12, Initiative +11, Jump +13, Use the Force +11

Possessions empowered vibro-ax, 3 knives

Skree Tontin was a native of the planet Niss and from a young age carved out a large section of the planet through armed force, ruling over it as a warlord for many years. Strong in the dark side of the Force, Rath Traynor sensed him when he began forming the cult, and began to put out calls through the Force, bringing the warlord to seek him out. When Skree finally found him, Rath began to exert influence over the warlord’s will, finally bringing the man into his power and absorbing Skree’s lands and forces. A sadistic man by nature, Skree loves giving pain to others, especially in combat. Sensing this, Rath put him in charge of training the soldiers of the military arm of the Order, where he has no problem culling the weak from the Order.

Kell Traynor – CL 12

Medium Human Jedi 5/soldier 4/Force adept 3

Force 8; Dark Side 10

Init +12; Senses Perception +13

Languages Basic, Sith

Defenses Ref 24 (flat-footed 23), Fort 26, Will 28; block, deflect

hp 111; Threshold 26

Speed 6 squares

Melee empowered lightsaber +14 (3d8+8) or

Melee empowered lightsaber  +16 (3d8+14) with Powerful Charge

Melee empowered lightsaber +12 (4d8+8) with Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered lightsaber +9 (5d8+8) with Improved Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered lightsaber +9/+9 (3d8+8) with Double Attack or

Melee empowered lightsaber +7/+7 (4d8+8) with Double Attack and Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered lightsaber +4/+4 (5d8+8) with Double Attack and Improved Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered lightsaber +4/+4/+4 (3d8+8) with Triple Attack or

Melee empowered lightsaber +2/+2/+2 (4d8+8) with Triple Attack and Rapid Strike or

Melee empowered lightsaber -1/-1/-1 (5d8+8) with Triple Attack and Improved Rapid Strike

Base Atk +11; Grp +12

Atk Options Channel Aggression, Double Attack (lightsabers), Improved Rapid Strike, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike, Triple Attack (lightsabers)

Special Actions Dark Howling, Force Harmony, Hear the Winds

Force Powers Known (Use the Force +18): battlestrike, dark rage, Force grip (2), Force slam, move object

Force Techniques Force Point Recovery

Abilities Str 13, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 14

Talents Block, Channel Aggression, Dark Howling, Deflect, Empower Weapon, Force Harmony, Hear the Wind

Feats Double Attack (lightsabers), Force Sensitivity, Force Training (2), Improved Rapid Strike, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Rapid Strike, Skill Focus (Use the Force), Triple Attack (lightsabers), Weapon Focus (lightsabers), Weapon Proficiency (lightsabers, simple weapons)

Skills Initiative +12, Jump +12, Perception +13, Use the Force +18

Possessions empowered lightsaber (self-built)

Kell Traynor was born with a powerful connection to the Force, which was sensed by a travelling Jedi Master who had sensed the young child’s potential. However, when he got to the temple and began his training, strong violent tendencies began to appear in the boy. His teachers tried hard to curb those outbursts, but they were eventually forced to expel him from the Order when he nearly killed another student in a fit of rage during a training duel. When he returned to Niss, he found that he had a younger brother, also strong in the Force. He also found that his brother had taken over a large part of the planet and was ruling over it with the help of a dark side cult he had formed in the intervening years. Rath, sensing his older brother’s power, inner turmoil, and natural rage, brought Kelli into the Order and began instructing him in the teachings that Lord Thraxuss had given him. Rath not only accepted, but encouraged his brother’s violent outbursts, further speeding the young man down the path of imperilment. He has still not completely traveled that path, but with such violent men around him, feeding his already dangerous tendencies, it is only a matter of time.

Cult Soldier – CL 6

Medium Human nonheroic 6/soldier 4

Force 3; Dark Side 5

Init +11; Senses Perception +5

Languages Basic

Defenses Ref 19 (flat-footed 17), Fort 19, Will 14

hp 47; Threshold 19; tough as nails

Speed 6 squares

Melee war sword +12 (1d8+8) or

Melee war sword +10 (2d8+8) with Rapid Strike or

Melee war sword +7/+7 (1d8+8) with Double Attack or

Melee war sword +5/+5 (2d8+8) with Double Attack and Rapid Strike

Base Atk +8; Threshold 19

Atk Options Double Attack (simple weapons), Power Attack, Rapid Strike

Special Actions Fortifying Recovery, Indomitable, Stay Up

Abilities Str 16, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12

Talents Indomitable, Tough as Nails

Feats Armor Proficiency (light, medium) Double Attack (simple weapons), Fortifying Recovery, Power Attack, Rapid Strike, Stay Up, Toughness, Weapon Proficiency (pistols, simple weapons)

Skills Endurance +11, Initiative +12

Possessions war sword, troop armor (+6 armor, +2 equipment)

This stat block represents the professional soldier corps of the Order. Rath accepts nothing more than the best for his troops, and Skree Tontin has no problem making examples of those who aren’t up to the task. Equipped with swords and light armor, they are terrors to behold. They are trained in firearms, but due to the planetary attitude towards that form of combat, they don’t carry any ranged weapons.

So there you have Niss and the Order of the Black Wind along with its leadership. Feel free to borrow, modify, or steal these ideas for your game. Just let me know how they work out for you.

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