Star Wars With Cortex Prime, Episode V

That’s not how the Force works!

Han Solo

Last episode I laid out how I’d build Star Wars characters out of Cortex Prime’s robust toolkit. Now we’ll mess them up real bad and see how that ties into using the Force.


In this build, stress doesn’t track physical injury. Most Star Wars characters drop if they actually get shot, so use complications like Pinned Down, Sprawled, Stunned, or Exhausted. If you need a real injury, complications can still do the job – Arm Wound is a popular one. The real reason to use typed stress over complications is how it can interact with the Force and the dark side.

  • Fear is the path to the dark side. You might take Fear stress from terrifying situations or doubting your abilities.
  • Anger is quick to join you in a fight. Gain it by acting out of vengeance, aggression, or being goaded by your enemies.

If Fear or Anger is ever stepped up past d12, it becomes Hate trauma at d6 and (probably) follows the usual rules for trauma. You can let your Hate flow through you, boosting your relationship with the Force beyond what you could otherwise accomplish with Fear or Anger alone (probably through some as-yet-undetermined SFX). Doing this risks the dark side forever dominating your destiny.

This whole section needs playtesting, of course. Will it create a tightrope of peril that tempts those strong in the Force? Is it just unnecessary bookkeeping, an interesting note for villain stat blocks?

The Force

With apologies to Skerples’ insightful article on the Force, I’m cribbing the following precepts for this build:

  • The Force is mysterious.
  • The Force lets you do impossible things.
  • The Force requires faith, not training.
  • There are no “Force powers”.

Using the Force

Calling upon the Force will always use your Force relationship die. You will usually add your Faith die, although another value could potentially be more important situationally. You will usually add an appropriate distinction as well. There might be a skill or role in there once I figure out my third prime set.


While there aren’t “Force powers” to learn, there are several common uses for the Force that are represented through SFX. The first SFX is actually going to apply to everyone’s Force relationship in order to emulate that while everyone might be one with the Force, not everyone knows how to use it.

Use the Force: Spend 1PP to include your Force relationship die in your pool.

The next one should be an SFX that can be attached to any “Forcey”-sounding distinction:

Strong in the Force: You may include your Force relationship die in your pool without spending 1PP.

These SFX essentially make the Force act like an on-the-fly asset and then upgrades it to a signature asset.

I don’t have specifics yet for reflecting blaster fire, jumping higher than anyone could jump, lifting things without touching them, and so on. Again, playtesting.

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