Star Wars – The HoloSith

   Virtually everyone in the galaxy knows about the Sith and the apparently-endless cycle of Sith Wars. They’ve been the favored master villains of holodramas, novels, and folktales for tens of thousands of years. There are humorously-incompetent Sith in comedies, badly overacted Sith in dramas, and long-running Sith characters in soap operas.

   Most of the people of the galaxy have never actually seen a genuine Sith – but they’ve seen PLENTY of Holo-Sith, bits of over-dramatized training techniques, and warped Sith philosophies. They may well have watched a bunch of Sith “training montages” on “Dark Lord, Dark Conquest” (there’s a good set in episode 18,437; the series is one of the longest-running serials in Republic history, with more than seven hundred years of bi-weekly episodes). Want to watch “Sith: The Reality Series” or “Behind the scenes of the ‘Massacare of Von’“? They’re out there. The galactic archives are pretty big and, after better than twenty thousand years and dozens of Sith wars, neither the Jedi nor the Sith, nor their basic teachings, are especially secret.

   The people of the galaxy have seen plenty of Holo- and Video-Game Jedi too – but Holo and Video-Game Jedi tend to be a lot more like real Sith than they are like real Jedi. Like it or not, the Sith practices are dramatic, exciting, and don’t forbid much of anything – while Jedi techniques involve lots of meditation, boredom, and giving up virtually everything that’s fun. A kid who’s pretending to be a “Jedi” – and to be bouncing around using his or her powers in dramatic combat, to strike down opponents, and to drive towards their goals, rather than focusing on things like teaching, education, and healing – is actually pretending to be a Sith.

   The Star Wars movies focused on the most exciting moments – the dramatic bits where the main characters are fighting, taking great risks, and going to the rescue. Those are also the moments when a Jedi is most at risk of falling to the Dark Side. There is a REASON why adventuring force-sensitives balance so precariously above the abyss.

   Young force-sensitives find it awfully easy to fall to the Dark Side anyway. Wish a broken leg on that bully, unconsciously boost that punch to the nose with a little bit of force-kinesis, use a bit of force mind-manipulation while out on a date? You’re on the way to the Dark Side – and a young and untrained sensitive may not even know it. Even amongst those that do, the temptation to use their powers to gain money, power, and influence, to claim attractive mates, and to enjoy the luxuries of life, can seem far more attractive than a life of monkish self-discipline. The Sith are the ones who live fast, die young, and get to posture dramatically along the way.

   And now you know where the secret Sith order is hiding, why kids can learn to be Sith so readily, why they posture so dramatically, and why so many of them are somewhat genre-savvy: all they have to do is be force-sensitive and watch their holos. Most “Sith” are self-trained based on old entertainment productions. Unlike someone who trains in – say – martial arts based on such sources, however, the Force tends to work as it’s user’s envision it working.

   That’s why self-training as a Sith based on holos works just fine – and is one reason why the Sith keep popping up again no matter what is done to try and exterminate them. Most orders have their own specific modifiers to the rules given in the books – and the Holosith are no exception. They have an easy time recruiting. Fallen Jedi and random force-sensitive kids will OFTEN wind up becoming HoloSith without ever actually meeting another or getting any training at all.

   It is rumored that at least one Sith Lord was genre-savvy enough to have a camera crew made up of his minions following him around with a camera and someone going “Emote! Emote! Laugh Maniacally!”. It supposedly let him get away with virtually anything as long as he got back to his ship and away before the local authorities figured out that his little rampages were quite real.

   The HoloSith have only a few game-mechanical modifiers.

  • Due to their excessive self-confidence – and the tendency of the Force to support that insanity – they gain a +1d6 bonus on their actions whenever they can overact them or describe them with really impressive dramatics. (In d20, that’s a +3 Bonus)
  • As noted earlier, they have a surprisingly easy time finding recruits.
  • They normally need not worry about petty cash, since they can use their force powers to readily support a comfortable lifestyle.
  • They are easy to find; they posture, waste resources trying to build superweapons, and tend to gloat and dramatically reveal their plans to their enemies. If they fail to live up to those limitations they will suffer a -1d6 penalty on everything they do until they’ve been living up to them for at least a week. (In d20, that’s a -3 penalty).

3 Responses

  1. I showed this article to the people in my gaming group today, and they got quite a kick out of it. One person noted that the corollary to this article was how true the underlying implication – that Sith are just cooler – is true in real life as well; two of the guys in our group have Sith Order tattoos.

    The best comment was, “After reading this, I can just see some Force-sensitive kid in his black hooded-robe knocking over a bank while yelling ‘I’m Darth Badass!’ “

    • Well, I’m glad they enjoyed it. Our current Star Wars game has several smaller Sith orders – who are constantly fuming over the chaos and attention that the HoloSith keep churning up.

      Although every so often the HoloSith manage to start yet ANOTHER Sith war, and some of those groups jump on the bandwagon…

      The force-sensitive bank robber is indeed a pretty good image there. I like it.

  2. […] The HoloSith: except these guys, who are exactly like in the Holos […]

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