Holocron gatekeeper test



My Jedi Knight PC’s are going to find the Tedryn Holocron that has Master Bodo Baas as its gatekeeper. JATM page 64-65 says, “Some holocron gatekeepers are stingy when it comes to dispensing information, however, and refuse to impart their secrets to those they find untrustworthy or unworthy. This mostly depends on the personality of the holocron's creator, but a few holocron gatekeepers refuse to impart their knowledge unless certain conditions are met as a precaution against abuse.  For example, a holocron containing the secrets of dangerous Force techniques might only respond to the  commands of a proven Jedi Master who can demonstrate a significant mastery of the Force”


I need ideas on how Bodo Baas the gatekeeper might test my PC’s before revealing information.


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I'm not sure what the holocron's gatekeeper can actually do to "test" someone but I believe those "tests" are more observations of how a character handles the other trials it must undertake.  If it knew current events the gatekeeper could give the petitioner tasks that would test him but what those tests would be I'm not certain.  I say that because the gatekeeper would want to assign hard tasks but how can it know what those things may be.
 

 


Offhand, I was thinking maybe some demonstration of his mastery of the Force. Maybe moving a Colossal-sized object?


Or, maybe a test of his knowledge of the Force or of the Jedi Code?


Or maybe test his light side/dark side philosphy. Perhaps a question such as, "If you were in this situation, what would you do?"


 

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Those are things that could be done but I fear the first one is the only one that could really be relied upon.  The problem with a test of knowledge is how answers can be lost and the code may change; Luke in the EU may have found it impossible to convince a Gatekeeper of the Jedi Code when the gatekeeper's reference is centuries older.  The "if then" questions could be asked but the problem is that people may lie about the answer; the gatekeeper may recognize the deception but it would be much better if the petitioner demonstrated his answers to those quesitons.
 
This question is hard to answer without knowing what the gatekeeper considers to be the prerequisite for obtaining the information.

In one of my games, for instance, the gatekeeper, Qiraash Jedi Master Jrul, merely wanted to ensure that the user of the holocron was a Jedi, or someone familiar and comfortable enough with the Jedi Code that they could be taught further in the Jedi way.

Whe the user says (or telepathically thinks the command) "activate," Jrul's holographic avatar appears and tells user simply to "conquer arrogance."

If the user then responds "conquer overconfidence," Jrul then similarly prompts all 21 tenets of Jedi Code (JATM 41-43).

If he's satisfied by the responses, the first level of the holocron is unlocked.

We never got further than that in game, because the character ended up losing the holocron, but had he attempted to delve deeper, there may have been tests of character.

In the real world, the fraternal order of Freemasons are said to use a roleplaying of sorts to test character.  The gatekeeper could do something like this using holographic technology or illusion -- the user may or may not realize that the situation is a test or a hologram/illusion.  If the user responds in a way that the gatekeeper deems appropriate, the next level could be unlocked.

Darth Sidious did something like this (in person, without holocrons, illusion or holographic technology) in Darth Maul's test for lordship, lying to him in an attempt to spark a certain response.  Needless to say, Maul passed the test.

A Jedi holocron gatekeeper could do something similar, though perhaps without the feel of evil deception.

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These are great ideas! Keep ‘em coming!



Those are things that could be done but I fear the first one is the only one that could really be relied upon.

The thing is, a dark-side force user can use Move Object too. So that’s not a complete test, although it might be a level 1 test.



The problem with a test of knowledge is how answers can be lost and the code may change;

Has the Jedi Code changed since the old republic? In any case, Bodo Baas has lived up to the Clone Wars, so the degradation of knowledge is not really an issue.



Luke in the EU may have found it impossible to convince a Gatekeeper of the Jedi Code when the gatekeeper's reference is centuries older.  

Funny you should mention that. Luke finds this very holocron, and he and Corran Horn use it to help establish the New Jedi Order.



The "if then" questions could be asked but the problem is that people may lie about the answer; the gatekeeper may recognize the deception but it would be much better if the petitioner demonstrated his answers to those quesitons. 

Very interesting. I like this.



This question is hard to answer without knowing what the gatekeeper considers to be the prerequisite for obtaining the information.

Well, Bodo Baas was very strict about the light side. He found use of the dark side unacceptable in any circumstance.



In one of my games, for instance, the gatekeeper, Qiraash Jedi Master Jrul, merely wanted to ensure that the user of the holocron was a Jedi, or someone familiar and comfortable enough with the Jedi Code that they could be taught further in the Jedi way.

Whe the user says (or telepathically thinks the command) "activate," Jrul's holographic avatar appears and tells user simply to "conquer arrogance."

If the user then responds "conquer overconfidence," Jrul then similarly prompts all 21 tenets of Jedi Code (JATM 41-43).

That sounds too tedious. How about just reciting the part of the Jedi Code in Core rulebook page 104?

There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serenity.
There is no death; there is the Force.


What do I do if my players don’t remember the Code offhand? Shouldn’t their characters know the code? Do I make them roll Knowledge (Galactic Lore) check? Do I give them the Core Rulebook and tell them to try and find it in the book?



The gatekeeper could do something like this using holographic technology or illusion -- the user may or may not realize that the situation is a test or a hologram/illusion.  If the user responds in a way that the gatekeeper deems appropriate, the next level could be unlocked.

I LOVE this idea. What kind of illusion/holographic test should I use?

Should I make them fight and defeat a Sith Apprentice, then see if they destroy him or try to bring him back to the light?




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That sounds too tedious. How about just reciting the part of the Jedi Code in Core rulebook page 104?


There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serenity.
There is no death; there is the Force.


What do I do if my players don’t remember the Code offhand? Shouldn’t their characters know the code? Do I make them roll Knowledge (Galactic Lore) check? Do I give them the Core Rulebook and tell them to try and find it in the book?



Well, in my case, I handed the JATM to the player, and roleplayed through all 21 tenets.  Since I was reciting every other one, it wasn't particularly tedious -- we only went back and forth 10 times or so.  The player enjoyed it, because his character was at center stage for the whole scene.

But, whatever.  If you think that'd be too tedious, you can go back and forth two or three times, and then just narrate that the PC and the gatekeeper do that for the remaining tenets.  You don't ACTUALLY have to recite them (even though the characters might be, in game).

If the "no emotion / no ignorance / no passion / no death" is enough for you, go with that.  There are no rules, really.
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I would start with a test of knowledge. So use the part of the Jedi Code in Core rulebook page 104 like you suggested.
Bodo Baas recite the first half:
There is no emotion; there is...
There is no ignorance;
There is no passion;
There is no death;


A DC 20 (or so) knowledge check will give the player this list of answers: serenity, knowledge, the Force, peace.
You can also tell the player that he is pretty confident that these are the right answers. But they still have to figure out the right order.

A DC 15 knowledge check will give the player the same list, but add in two more words to make it harder: compassion, life.
Here you could tell the player that these are all things valued by the Jedi.

A DC 10 knowledge check will give the player all 6 words above and two more, to make it even harder: confidence, light
Tell the player this is things he heard other associate with the Jedi, and it may be some of these that is asked for...

Mix up the words in any order you chose and have the 3 lists prepared in advance. Reciting the Sith code here will make the holocron "lock up", as well any other obviously evil actions witnessed by the holocron.

As a "reward" for completing this test the player will be told the full code by the holocron.



If the player passes this first test, the next tests should check if he follows the code. This can be tested with illusions, like Luke facing his fears in the cave on Dagoba. But feel free to elaborate, this part could actually be 3 separate tests, for serenity, peacefulness and knowledge. One of these could be the holocron granting access to a rare force power as an appropriate time, there should be an obvious easy and wrong way to use this power in the situation at hand, and a more peaceful or serene way to use it. The holocron will expect the player to make the right choice

A reward for completing this test could be the holocron teaching the player a single force power. This could either be switched in instead of another power or be a "bonus power"



The final test should be of strength in the force, this is also a test of the players/PC's belief in the Force. The holocron will ask the player to do something that he thinks he can't do, like lifting an X-wing out of a swamp. At the right moment the holocron or the Force itself somehow gives a big circumstance bonus to the Use the Force check, but don't tell the player! But the player ONLY get the bonus if he states something like: "I will do it!", or something else that show he believe he can do it, even though it should be impossible.

As a reward for completing the final test, the holocron will impart any knowledge it has, as the player has now gained its trust.


These test should be spread out over at least 3 encounters, and the player don't get to face the test until the holocron think he is ready. If the player fails one of the tests, the holocron will try to teach him; the Code for failing the first test, how to follow the code for the second test, and how to trust in the force for failing the last test. After some time the holocron will test him again in some other way...

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How about this: I will give players all the words and make them put in the right place. I’ll give them a piece of paper where they must put the right words in the correct spaces:

-There is no ______________; there is ______________;.
-There is no ______________; there is ______________;.
-There is no ______________; there is ______________;.
-There is no ______________; there is ______________;.


Words:
death
emotion
the Force
ignorance
knowledge
passion
peace
serenity

Should I include words from the Sith Code or would that make it too difficult?:

Words from the Sith Code:
strength
power
victory




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I dunno...I'm not a big fan of puzzles for players.  If the character should know the Jedi Code, why turn it into an out-of-character puzzle?  Why not just have the Gatekeeper start reciting it, and if the player can't finish the recitation (but the character should be able to), just hand the player a copy of the JATM, open to the page with the Code, and let the player read the parts his character is supposed to be reciting?  Just make it a roleplaying moment, rather than an all-out puzzle.  Just my 2 creds.
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I dunno...I'm not a big fan of puzzles for players.  If the character should know the Jedi Code, why turn it into an out-of-character puzzle?  Why not just have the Gatekeeper start reciting it, and if the player can't finish the recitation (but the character should be able to), just hand the player a copy of the JATM, open to the page with the Code, and let the player read the parts his character is supposed to be reciting?  Just make it a roleplaying moment, rather than an all-out puzzle.  Just my 2 creds.

Our entire RPG group loves puzzles. We find it challenging and fun.



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Oh!  Okay.  Carry on then!
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This will be even harder then what I suggested. Knowing where to start will be hard, unless your players really know the Jedi code by heart. But IF you think that they can sort it out, go ahead. I think you should make more out of this then just one slip of paper with a riddle to solve. Gaining access to a holocron can be a powerful reward, so it should not be fast or easy.

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The recitation of the Jedi Code is only going to be part of the test.


I was thinking of also asking questions to test their light side/dark side philosophy. Perhaps a question such as, "If you were in this situation, what would you do?" Here are some examples of what I was thinking of:

Q1: A jedi initiate who is a good friend of yours has one final chance to be accepted as a padawan learner, apprentice to a Jedi Knight. He asks you to put in a good word with the Jedi Masters so he can succeed. However, you have seen some leanings toward the dark side in him. Do you make the recommendation and hope he works through his feelings, or refrain and dim his last hope of becoming a jedi?

Q2: A prisoner of war has crucial information that will save countless lives, but he is unwilling to give it up. Do you (1) use a jedi mind trick? (2) Try to persuade him with your words (3) extract the information by any means necessary.

Q3: You have battled a powerful sith apprentice that has slain your companions and now lays helpless, do you destroy him to end his terrible campaign or refrain in hopes of turning him to the light?

I’m not quite sure which answers will be the “correct” ones, but my players don’t know that. I really want to get them to think more than anything else. Also, they might wonder, “Should I say what I think I would do or should I say what the gatekeeper wants to hear?”

Thoughts?







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You could easily roleplay this, especially if the Gatekeeper asks clarifying questions to keep the players from just saying what the Gatekeeper wants to hear.  If the Gatekeeper has knowledge of events that pertain to the questions (like for your #3), maybe the Gatekeeper could talk about Juhani and Revan, or The Jedi Exile and Visas Marr, and compare what they did to the answer given by the player.

If you trust your players enough to be honest, do the following:  Anytime you think the PCs might be lying, have the Gatekeeper make a Perception check opposed by Deception to see if they are lying, and then, GM to player, ask them if the character is lying.  This allows the Gatekeeper, through the eyes of the GM, to 'see' the heart and soul of the questioning character and respond accordingly.  You could even apply a penalty on the Deception check equal to current DSS of the lying character.
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