Dealing with Lightsabers

A problem I regularly run into when desiging adventures and "dungeons" is how to prevent a player with a lightsaber from simply cutting straight through to the goal, bypassing the traps and enemy encounters I've set up. This is especially problematic if I want to place a locked door somewhere, since the player could just cut right through it without having to hack the access panel or bribe the guard or whatever I might have planned.

I suppose I could just state that walls are regularly lined with cortosis, except that wouldn't fit canonically. What's the best way to deal with this?
Find a way to incorporate this into your games.

Have the hole just cut open up to something:

1.  A mineshaft or other deep hole.

2.  The cage of a monster. 

I'm sure there are other ideas out there, but hopefully you get what I'm going for. 
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Make the walls thicker than the length of a lightsaber blade is the first thing that I thought.  If you want something nasty then make the doors hollow and add something explosive into the hollow and allow the heat generated from the lightsaber interacting with the metal of the door to detonate the explosive.  Do this a couple of times and that should slow down the jedi's hacking habit.  For something simpler you could put a magnetic sheath on the door (which is supposed to stop the lightsaber from working on it) or just put an alarm system on the back of the door that goes off by  having its wires being cut.
Why not just draw in the "walls" when the characters have explored to that area so the players do not know if the wall has a room on the other side or is solid?
A problem I regularly run into when desiging adventures and "dungeons" is how to prevent a player with a lightsaber from simply cutting straight through to the goal, bypassing the traps and enemy encounters I've set up. This is especially problematic if I want to place a locked door somewhere, since the player could just cut right through it without having to hack the access panel or bribe the guard or whatever I might have planned.

I suppose I could just state that walls are regularly lined with cortosis, except that wouldn't fit canonically. What's the best way to deal with this?


First off, a lightsaber will not bypass a trap, it will likely set it off. For example, using a lightsaber on the access panel of a locked door ship will likely set off alarms, or at the very least notify security that there's a breach and where it's located, resulting in lots of clashes with security forces.

On the other hand, successful use of the Use Computer or Mechanics skill would open the door without triggering the alarm. Also, the Use Computer or Mechanics skill can alert the PC that there's an explosive or a laser tripwire that activates ray shields attached to the door, things that a lightsaber whack will set off rather than prevent. You don't have to put a trap next to every locked door. Just enough to get your trigger-happy jedi to think twice next time.

As for your encouters, since you are the GM, you can relocate any "bypassed" encounter to another place you want. Not every encounter needs to be fought. For example, some can be bypassed with Diplomacy or Persuasion, or an effective use of lightsabering to find another way around.

Lastly, as an experienced GM, I've learned that things rarely go as I planned them in my preparation of the quest. Players are smart and will sometimes come up with solutions I haven't thought of. If their idea is good, try to go with the flow.

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Plus that, Jedi shouldn't be spoiling for fights, so it's very character-friendly to give a Jedi some XP for "avoiding" an encounter. But yeah if lightsaber usage become rote, something should be done and the suggestions above are excellent. 
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If your game has a Jedi Council or similar, have the character in question continually reprimanded for using his lightsaber to solve all of his problems.  Even have a master assigned to him to demonstrate the proper use of "Form Zero."

Alarms.  Even if they aren't set up specifically to detect the "make my own door" Jedi, many bases, and certainly ANY starship, will have sensors to detect when large chunks of wall suddenly go missing.  At the very least, a damage control team will be sent to figure out what's up (and lightsabering new doors in THEM should result in heafty DSS increases.)  Most likely, if there is no rational explanation for why large chunks of bulkhead are suddenly vanishing, security details will be sent to investigate, especially if it happens many times in rapid succession.

As an adjunct to the above, make it clear to the party that they must sneak in and sneak out relatively undetected, and lightsabering their way through walls will be counterproductive to that end.

Does the character in question have any skill at determining what is and is not a load-bearing structure?  If not, or if he doesn't make the rolls, drop the roof on his head.  Literally.  (I actually did something like this in a cave-based adventure.  The party was crawling through a small rock tunnel, at one point of which there was an irregularity jutting down from the roof, forcing them to crawl through a puddle of water beneath the rock bulge to proceed.  The last character in line decided to open up the path by carving the bulge away with his lightsaber.  It triggered a cave-in, blocking their exit.  I'd had the cave-in planned anyway, but the PC's, shall we say, poorly thought out action gave the perfect excuse.  Even the other PC's shook their heads as he announced his action, seeing disturbing said rock to be a bad idea.)

In high-tech bases and starships, bulkheads contain all kinds of things.  High-voltage electrical lines, coolant pipes, fiber-optic cables, waste disposal tubes, etc.  Cutting through the wall containing these will have a number of side effects.  Spray the character in the face with sewage a few times, and he'll probably get the hint.  If not, have the party make Acrobatics checks to pass through holes in walls crackling with live wires or get electrocuted.  Finally, spray toxic or corrosive chemicals on them as the Jedi cuts through these sensitive pipes.  If the character/player doesn't get the hint, the other PCs will stop him from taking their lives in his hands every time he draws his glowbat.  Right now, the PCs probably appreciate his "EZ MODE" approach, but if you make it far more trouble than it's worth, they'll come around.

An adjunct to the above, as the Jedi cuts through electrical and data cables, systems around the base/ship start shutting down.  Imagine the party's surprise when they reach their objective, a console from which they must retrive data, only to find that the power to the whole room has been, quite literally, cut off.

Blast doors.  If the PCs follow your maze only to a point, then let the Jedi cut through the door instead of slicing the lock, have sensors in the door register damage and slam shut a blast door.  As shown in The Phantom Menace, a blast door may not stop a Jedi, but it can slow him down long enough for sufficiently nasty reinforcements to arrive.  After an intense firefight, the Jedi can certainly proceed with cutting through the door, but it would have been far easier to simply slice the damn lock.

In short, make the consequences of cleaving through the dungeon outweigh the benefits.

Finally, be careful not to make the lightsaber useless for such purposes.  There may indeed be times when cleaving through a wall or door is the most expedient option.  Be careful to avoid making it feel like a video game, where only these three sections of wall are destructible, everything else is made of Plotonium.  Allow the PCs to use the Jedi's lightsaber ability cleverly, but act to curtail the abuse your PC seems to be taking it to.
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You can also pull a "Qui-Gon vs. Blast Door" in Episode 1. It took Qui-Gon quite a while to use his lightsaber to burn through the blast doors. That allowed time for the Droidekas to appear and send him off.

Lightsabering through doors and walls takes time, it's not instantaneous. While your jedi tries takes the time to lightsaber through a particularly thick door or wall, you can send some encounters at him, especially if he's tripped the security alarm.



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You can also pull a "Qui-Gon vs. Blast Door" in Episode 1. It took Qui-Gon quite a while to use his lightsaber to burn through the blast doors. That allowed time for the Droidekas to appear and send him off.

Yup, that is canon you know. Anytime a Jedi try to burn through a blast door, there will be Destroyers roling in! You can play the clip 3 times in a row for your players and say: "See, it happens the same way every time!" ;)

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"Qui-Gon vs. the Blast Door" really is a great example of one of the best solutions, in my opinion. PACING is the solution. If my PCs sit around relying on a "cheap" solution, I try to throw something at them. Doesn't have to be droideka. Could be any kind of enemy, or a nearby guard who might overhear the hum of the lightsaber, a gas or water or something flooding into the room, or even just a tight timeline so the Jedi doesn't have time to burn through the wall.

I find the RPG works best when the action feels like the movies: things are always moving. Which doesn't mean my Jedi never gets to use her lightsaber: sometimes, there are very appropriate times when the easy solution is also the best one.   
Blast doors.  If the PCs follow your maze only to a point, then let the Jedi cut through the door instead of slicing the lock, have sensors in the door register damage and slam shut a blast door.  As shown in The Phantom Menace, a blast door may not stop a Jedi, but it can slow him down long enough for sufficiently nasty reinforcements to arrive.  After an intense firefight, the Jedi can certainly proceed with cutting through the door, but it would have been far easier to simply slice the damn lock.



Agreed.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19424726/Saga_Edition_Weapons_Complaints__ http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/19425146/New_Empire_Sourcebook
Blast doors.  If the PCs follow your maze only to a point, then let the Jedi cut through the door instead of slicing the lock, have sensors in the door register damage and slam shut a blast door.  As shown in The Phantom Menace, a blast door may not stop a Jedi, but it can slow him down long enough for sufficiently nasty reinforcements to arrive.  After an intense firefight, the Jedi can certainly proceed with cutting through the door, but it would have been far easier to simply slice the damn lock.



Agreed.



You do know that agreeing with your self is a bit weird, don't you? Maybe you wanted to agree with someone else?

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I was more pointing out that I'd more or less advanced the same idea previously, so I was in essence pre-agreeing with the upcoming posts suggesting the same thing.
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A lot of good suggestions here.  I guess I just need to get more creative with my dungeons.
A lot of good suggestions here.  I guess I just need to get more creative with my dungeons.

Well. you just have to stay in control of the game. You are the GM after all.

In the best of worlds your players should help you tell a great story. But if someone try to use the "I win"-cheat most of the time, you may need to be creative when it comes to stoping such behavior. You can always ask your players if they really want to cut a hole in the bulkhead? If they say yes, you can be extra nice and remind them of the warning signs on the wall stating that there are high power plasma conduits behind the panels... If they insist, let the attempt trigger an explosion doing 5 to 10d6 damage on the party! Not enough to kill them, but maybe enough to make them rethink that strategy...

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