Environment Article

The environment can make a big difference in how things are done and how difficult an encounter is. Below is some environments with their game mechanics.

Navigating through asteriods can be hazardous and requires skilled piloting. Pilot checks to avoid Hazards:
D20 Roll Obstacle Size Pilot Check DC
1 Colossal 40
2 Gargantuan 35
3-4 Huge 30
5-7 Large 25
8-11 Medium-Size 20
12-14 Small 15
15-17 Tiny 10
18-19 Diminutive 5
20 Fine 0
D20 Roll Obstacle Speed DC modifier
1-4 Stationary -10
5-8 Docking -5
9-12 Cruising +0
13-16 Attack +5
17-20 Ramming +10
D20 Roll Obstacle Direction DC modifier
1-7 Moving Away -5
8-13 Moving Perpendicular +0
14-20 Moving Toward +5
Dark Side Sites
Some areas, like some beings, are strong in the dark side. They resonate with corrupt energy. These places emanate evil and darkness, creating cold spots in the Force that disturb those who are sensitive to the energy that binds the galaxy together. For those who draw upon the dark side, these spots serve as wells of power that can sometimes be tapped for greater effect.
Dark Side Sites can be created in a number of ways. When acts of great evil or violence take place at a location and are accompanied by the manipulation of the Force, a Dark Side Site can come into being. If a powerful darksider operates in a specific place for a long period of time, or if that darksider meets a violent end at a specific location, that place can also become imbued with the dark side.
Such a site feels cold and dark even on the brightest, warmest days. It radiates evil, casting shadows the way a glowrod casts light. While these Dark Side Sites are few and far between, when one comes into existence it lingers, haunting the galaxy for many years. While the dark side sometimes permeates extremely large areas, in general a Dark Side Site will be relatively small. A tiny cave, a ruined temple, an ancient battlefield, a crypt of some long dead Sith Lord – these are the typical Dark Side Sites that might be encountered. Sometimes an entire moon or planet might radiate wit the dark side, as in the cases of Dxun or Korriban, but such sites are rare. In a few cases, a Dark Side Spirit might also haunt a Dark Side Site.
Dark Side Sites and Non-Force Sensitives
Those without a strong connection to the Force find Dark Side Sites to be creepy. As long as they remain in the area, non-Force-Sensitive beings feel uneasy, nervous. They can’t identify the source of their discomfort, but they probably won’t want to remain in such an area any longer than necessary.
If a non-Force-Sensitive character tries to use a Force Point with in the bound s of a Dark Side Site, nothing happens. The Force Point doesn’t get used up, and no bonus gets applied to the character’s rolls for the round. The character is, in effect, cut off from utilizing the Force due to the constant but barely perceptible uneasiness that hangs like a cloud over him.
Once a character leaves the influence of the Dark Side Site, he can once again utilize Force Points as normal.
Dark Side Sites and Force-Sensitives
Characters with a connection to the Force (those who have selected the Force-Sensitive feat) can feel the ever-present evil that permeates a Dark Sid Site. Character who have levels in a Force-Using class might experience challenges, tests, temptation, or even visions while within the influence of a Dark Side Site. Staying focused, calling on the light side of the Force, even keeping one’s own fear in check proves difficult inside the dark emanations of such a location. For this reason, characters sometimes have a harder time concentrating, using skills, defending themselves, or making attacks while bathed in the aura of a Dark Side Site.
When a Force-Sensitive character enters a Dark Side Site, that character makes a Will saving throw. The DC for the save depends on whether the character has any Force-Using classes and on the power of the Dark Side Site. Dark Side Sites are rated as minor sites, major sites, and extreme sites.
A minor site could be the crypt of a Sith Lord or a hidden vault of Sith artifacts. A major site might take the form of a cave where a powerful darksider died in combat, the tomb of a Sith Master, or ancient ruins that once housed alchemy machines. An extreme site could include a well of power on the demon moon of Dxun, the private sanctuary of a powerful Sith Lord, or the killing fields of Ruusan where great numbers of both Sith and Jedi fell in apocalyptic conflict.
If the Force-Sensitive character fails the save, the following penalties are applied to the character for the next hour:
• Force Points can’t be used to call upon the light side of the Force (a character can use a Force Point to call upon the dark side, however)
• -4, -6, or -8 penalty on skill checks and attacks (depending on the rating of the site)
• -2, -4, or -6 penalty to Defense (depending on the rating of the site)
Every hour that the character remains within the influence of the Dark Side Site, he must make another saving throw as below:
Site Power Force-Sensitive Force-User
Minor 15 10
Major 25 20
Extreme 35 30

A tainted or dark character isn’t affected by the aura of a Dark Side Site; no saving throw is required for a character with these traits. In addition, a dark character can draw upon the energy of a Dark Side Site for an additional boost of power. The dark character receives a +2, +4, or +6 dark side bonus, depending on the rating of the site, to all Force-based skill checks while inside the aura of the Dark Side Site and for 24 hours after leaving the site. Drawing on the site for this kind of power gains the character a Dark Side Point.

Extreme Cold
Cold deals vitality damage that cannot be recovered until the character counteracts or escapes the inclement temperature. When a character runs out of vitality points, he begins to lose wound points. As soon as the character suffers any damage from cold, he is considered fatigued.
A character not properly equipped to counteract the cold must attempt a Fortitude saving throw each hour (DC 15, +1 for each check cumulatively). Failure means that the character loses 1d4 vitality points. Heavy clothing or armor grants a +4 equipment bonus on saves against cold. A character who succeeds at a Survival check (DC 15) gains a +4 competence bonus on these saves.
Bitter cold forces a character to make a Fortitude save every 10 minutes. Failure means that the character loses 1d6 vitality points. Appropriate clothing and a successful use of the Survival skill can modify the save, as noted above.
Extreme Heat
Extreme heat deals (such as in a fire) lethal damage. Creatures breathing the air in these conditions take 1d6 points of damage per minute. A character must also make a Fortitude save every 5 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check cumulatively) or take additional 1d4 points of vitality damage. Wearing armor or heavy clothing imposes a -4 penalty on the save, and those wearing metal armor or who come in contact with hot metal are affected as in the table that follows.
Finally, remember that a creature that takes any vitality damage from heat exposure suffers from heatstroke and is fatigued. The character suffers from this fatigue until healed of the vitality damage.
Round Metal Temperature Damage
1 Warm None
2 Hot 1d4
3+ Searing 2d4
Extremely low gravity can be disorienting to characters. A zero-g environment is even worse. In general, any physical action a character attempts while in zero gravity suffers a -4 penalty. In light gravity, this penalty is only -2. The Zero-G Combat feat allows a hero to ignore these penalties.
Characters who operate in high-gravity environments suffer a -4 penalty to Strength and Dexterity while there.
Radiation (Radiation Poisoning)
An inhospitable planet bombarded by solar radiation. An ancient starship hulk with deteriorating engines, its bowels flooded with radioactive seepage. A vast, underground power plant constructed by some ancient, radiation-resistant alien species. In these, environments, Star Wars heroes must contend with radiation poisoning.
The table below describes the effects of various levels of radiation and the DCs against which a Fortitude save must be made for a character to shake off the radiation’s effects. A character must make a Fortitude saving throw after every 10 minutes of radiation exposure. Damage results marked with an asterisk require a second saving throw. If the second save is failed, the damage sustained to ability scores is permanent unless the victim is treated in a bacta tank within 24 hours.
Radiation poisoning can be cured using the Treat Injury skill, or the Force skills Heal Another and Heal Self. Ability score points lost to damage are recovered at a rate of 1 point per two days of rest. Ability score points that have been permanently lost can be restored only with ability increases gained every 4th level.
Radiation Level DC Damage on a Successful Fortitude Save Damage on a Failed Fortitude Save
Level 1 (Mild) 12 1 Con 1 Con, 1 Str*
Level 2 (Strong) 15 1 Con, 1 Str 1d2 Con, 1d2 Str*
Level 3 (Powerful) 18 1d2 Con*, 1d3 Str 1d6 Con*, 1d4 Str*, 1d2 Cha
Level 4 (Searing) 21 1d6 Con*, 1d6 Str, 1d4 Cha 2d6 Con*, 2d6 Str*, 2d4 Cha*
Level 5 (Lethal) 24 2d6 Con*, 2d4 Str*, 2d4 Cha* Death within 2d6 hours unless treated with bacta
Suffocation and Drowning
A character in an airless environment (underwater, vacuum) can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution score. After this period of time, the character must make a Constitution check (DC 10) every round to continue holding his breath. Each round, the DC of the Constitution check increases by 1.
When the character finally fails his Constitution check, he begins to suffocate or drown. In the first round, he loses all remaining vitality points and is fatigued. The following round, he loses all remaining wound points and is dying. In the third round, he suffocates or drowns.
Thin Air
Characters in conditions of low oxygen, such as on top of a mountain or in a partially depressurized starship, must make a Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous check), taking 1d6 points of vitality damage each time they fail.
A character who sustains any damage from lack of oxygen is fatigued. The penalties for fatigue ends after the character has spend at least 1 hour in an environment with normal oxygen levels for every 4 hours spent in a low-oxygen environment.
Toxic Atmosphere
Any character that breathes in the atmosphere without a breath mask must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffers 1d3 points of temporary Dexterity damage, every 5 rounds of exposure requires an additional save. Should the character’s Dexterity drop to 0 they fall unconscious for 1d3 hours (a Treat Injury check with a medpac, DC 17, can revive the character sooner).
Sudden exposure to vacuum deals 1d6 points of Constitution damage (DC 20 Fort save to avoid). After that, you begin to suffocate. Unlike being underwater or engulfed in smoke, you can't hold your breath without damaging your lungs. Thus, you must immediately begin making Constitution checks (DC 10, +1 per additional round) to avoid falling unconscious, as per the normal rules for suffocation.
In the event of explosive decompression (as when General Grievous shattered the viewport on the bridge of the Invisible Hand), you must make a Climb check (DC 20 minus the distance to the breach in meters) to grab something. If you fail the check, you're blown out into space.
If you make the check, you manage to remain inside. However, as long as the breach is open and air is rushing out, you take a –4 penalty on all attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks, and in order to move, you must make another Climb check (same DC as above). If any significant debris is being blown out into space, all characters within 4 meters of the breach also take 3d4 points of damage each round (DC 20 Reflex save for half). Characters are not considered to be exposed to vacuum (see above) until they are blown out into space or the compartment completely depressurizes.
Unless the Gamemaster rules otherwise, emergency bulkheads will seal a minor breach (such as a shattered viewport) in 1 round and a major breach (such as a ruptured hull) in 2d4 rounds. Major hull breaches are considerably more dangerous because affected characters might be sealed outside the emergency bulkhead unless they move quickly to escape.
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