Game review: Star Wars Force and Destiny RPG: Nexus of Power: the worlds of the Jedi are here
Posted June 1, 2016
The Star Wars roleplaying Force and Destiny campaign setting puts players into the roles of fascinating, powerful and regal Jedis. A new sourcebook, Nexus of Power, is packed with a bantha's saddle full of Jedi material from locations and weapons to artifacts and preset encounters perfect for roleplaying. Grab your saber because this is one of the best Jedi sourcebooks in the galaxy.
First off it needs to be known that the artwork and quality of the Star Wars RPG books from Fantasy Flight games are absolutely fantastic. And Nexus of Power is no Ugnaught. Gamers will find page after page of jaw-dropping art that for some will be worth collecting for the artwork alone. My favorite art device is the Jedi counsel spread on pages 116 and 117. It introduces the chapter on modular encounters (more on that later).
This setting book is divided into four sections. It covers worlds and locations that Jedi characters inhabit and provides rich details on background and history. Section two describes the specific nexus points or sources where the force is strong and Jedis are more able to access its power. These are perfect settings for Jedi characters. Section three provides new weapons, equipment and items as well as four new playable species. The third section rounds out with several motivations to involve characters in the game. The final section features eight encounters that can be dropped right into a game session.
Section one gives details on no less than 12 worlds ready for Jedi exploration. There is Naboo, Ilum, Dagobah, Weik, Lothal, Bardotta, Auratera, Aleen, Devaron, Iktotch, Empress Teta and Ossus. Information is given for some planets, but entries most often include a brief history, locations of interest, people, culture, creature stats and potential challenges Jedi heroes might face.
For example on the planet of Aleen, a strange set of caverns under the surface contains a race of Kindalo guardians. Their goal is to protect the underworld from surface dwellers, and they employ all kinds of tactics to do so. What secrets can be found in their catacombs? There are stats for these fierce warriors on page 55.
Section two blasts away with specific places in the galaxy with a strong connection to the force. There is great detail about the Coruscant Jedi Temple and a location called the room of a thousand fountains. Even though the Jedi are wiped out, does Emperor Palpatine live there? Find out on page 73 before moving on to details about the Jedi temple on Ilum. The Dagobah tree cave description gives information about exploration and ideas for a Jedi test similar to Luke's experience from Empire Strikes Back.
More locations of power are detailed, including the Jedi Temple of Eedit, the Acablas ruins, the Lothal Jedi Temple, Mortis, the wellspring of life, the lost power of the Jedi on Ossus and the origins of the Jedi on Tython. There are even rules in this section to create your own vergence locations from scratch. The underground Jedi sand chambers of Tatooine anyone?
Section three is all about options for players and game masters using Jedi characters in their roleplaying game. To start, the chapter introduces four new alien species related to the worlds of the force outlined in the book. There is the Alleena, Bardottan, Devaronian and yes, the Gungan. A table of location-specific motivations on page 115 is helpful when using these new species.
The section continues with a list of new weapons that might be found by player characters during their travels around the galaxy. Stats are given for the Gungan plasma ball, energy shield and electropole as well as many others. The coolest section by far is the one detailing new relics and talismans (think unique magic items for fantasy gamers). The crown of verity, the grimoire of syclos the lame, the eyes of laqasa and the herder's gauntlets are just a few of the amazing artifacts that could stand at the core of a Jedi adventure. The light saber of master Lodaka is a personal favorite, but good luck ever finding it.
The final section of the book is a wonderful addition because it details a variety of ready-to-play modular encounters that can be thrown right into a game of Force and Destiny to flesh out a location, storyline or campaign or to just have a one-off adventure contained in an evening of play.
Here are the names of the encounters: Exploring the Acablas Ruins, the Witch's Wrath, Cave Security, Vault of Justice, Trial of Skill, Light Within, If It Sounds too Good to Be True and the Menagerie. Each one follows a similar outline in detailing adventure hooks for players, creature stats, flavor texts and even difficulty roles for specific tasks at the core of the encounter, but all feel fresh and innovative. This section is a fabulous addition that hopefully gets included in future roleplaying books from Fantasy Flight Games.
Science-fiction fans who are already enjoying roleplaying in the Star Wars universe with Force and Destiny will love this new book. It's definitely one of the first books that should be purchased to enhance the game. The reason it stands out from other expansion books is because of the sheer variety of things covered. Gamers will be hard-pressed to find something in this book they can't use or enjoy. It is simply one of the best expansion books on the market for the main game. Check out more details here.