Tales Of The Old Republic

LIGHTSABER FORMS

THIS IS THE WEAPON OF A JEDI KNIGHT

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“… not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized time.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Lightsaber forms are the seven different traditional styles of lightsaber combat.

Mechanics wise, forms are stunts and follow the usual FATE Core stunt rules. However, they can be much more, especially when paired with Aspects that describe the style’s philosophy, strengths and weaknesses.

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FORM I: SHII-CHO

“Form I, also called Shii-Cho, requires little explanation, as every Jedi youngling learns the basics of attack, parry, body target zones, and practice drills called velocities.” – Cin Drallig

The Way of the Sarlacc or The Determination Form is the most basic form of lightsaber combat – and the most ancient. It is the first form of lightsaber combat that most Jedi learn, and was developed as the Jedi transitioned from traditional swords to lightsabers.

Form I combat is wild and raw, relying on deliberate tactics and (in keeping with Jedi philosophy) focuses on disarming rather than injuring foes. In the hands of a master, Shii-Cho is described “like watching water flow over the falls.”

It is specialized for engaging multiple opponents: the wide, sweeping motions is ideal for attacking numerous adversaries. However, it is not as useful against single opponents; such opponents have complete mobility and can find weaknesses and openings in Shii-Cho’s clumsy bladework.

Notable Practitioners: Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Kit Fisto

INVOKE Excels at disarming tactics
Effective against multiple opponents
COMPEL Not as effective against single opponents
Weaknesses are well known – a predictable & well-known style
Exploitable by Form 2 (Makashi)
FORM DESCRIPTION
Shii-Cho: Disarming Slash Gain a +2 bonus to Fighting rolls when creating a Disarmed type of aspect when targeting an opponentʼs weapon
Shii-Cho: Flow of Water When fighting a mob with your lightsaber, you deal +1 stress on a successful hit

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FORM II: MAKASHI

“He is a fencer. Leverage, position, advantage… they are as natural to him as breathing.” – Qui-Gon Jinn’s spirit to Yoda on Count Dooku

The Way of the Ysalamiri or The Contention Form developed to fight the Sith and other lightsaber wielders. It is the most duelling-centric form of the seven, and emphasizes precision, simple footwork, and preventing disarmament; it is thus a strong defense against Form I.

The form was strongest when engaged against a single enemy duelist. As Makashi had not been designed to counter enemy gunmen, it provided poor blast-deflection training. Also, the form’s precision and blade control left Makashi practitioners vulnerable to duelists who used fast, strength-oriented swordplay, such as the Djem So variant of Form V.

Notable Practitioners: Count Dooku, Darth Vader

INVOKE To defend against Disarm type advantages
Effective against Form 1 (Shii-Cho)
Most duelling-centric of the seven traditional forms
Form focuses on feints and ripostes
COMPEL Weakness when used against multiple opponents
Not as effective at deflecting ranged weapons (blasters)
Exploitable by styles that rely on fast and strength-based forms like V (Djem So)
FORM DESCRIPTION
Makashi: Firm Grip +2 to defend with Fight against being disarmed
Makashi: Lightsaber Duelist Gain a +2 bonus on Fighting rolls to create advantages against opponents wielding a lightsaber
Makashi: Riposte If you succeed with style on a Fight defense, you can choose to inflict a 2-shift hit rather than take a boost

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FORM III: SORESU

“A… defensive technique. But effective. Use it if you do not wish to be hit, or if you are facing many opponents with blasters. With a lightsaber blade and enough skill in deflection, it is an excellent offense against blasters, but in other situations, it merely delays the inevitable.” – Kreia

The Way of the Mynock and The Resilience Form was developed to defend against blasters. It is characterized by tight, efficient movements that shield the Jedi’s body, using the lightsaber primarily as a defensive weapon to deflect blaster bolts. It is the ultimate expression of defence – its masters are said to be impervious to all forms of attack.

The practice of Form III is an important reflection of Jedi philosophy, as it emphasizes the Jedi belief in calmness and non-aggression. A Jedi using Form III must center herself in the Force in order to anticipate her opponents’ movements and successfully block blaster fire.

Notable Practitioners: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker

INVOKE Developed to defend against ranged weaponry (blasters)
Meditate and calm the mind, as Soresu is the most inward directed of all forms
Focused almost entirely on self-defense
COMPEL Completely sacrifices offensive capabilities
FORM DESCRIPTION
Soresu: Circle of Shelter Take no penalties and grant no bonus for being outnumbered by blaster-armed opponents
Soresu: Deflect Use Fighting to defend against Blast attacks while wielding a lightsaber
Soresu: Eye of the Storm +2 to defend with Fight when you perform a full defense action for +4 total
Soresu: Resilience When you succeed on a Fighting roll to create a Defensive-type of aspect, you gain an additional free invocation of that advantage

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FORM IV: ATARU

“Ataru is the name given to the movements of this form—though it is aggressive, it is focused, and its best use is in combat against a single opponent.” – Zez-Kai Ell

The Way of the Hawk-Bat or Aggression Form is an acrobatic style. A practitioner of this form channels the Force to achieve high-speed movements, impossible leaps, and deadly strikes. To an outsider, it appears as a wild rush of movement.

Its use of acrobatics makes Form IV difficult to master and dangerous to attempt. Even with the aid of the Force, a Jedi risks expending too much energy in a short burst of offensive strikes, leaving himself open to attacks if he cannot defeat the enemy quickly enough.

Notable Practitioners: Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn

INVOKE Best used against single foes
Acrobatic fighting manuevers; speed & agility
Ataru training specifically includes dual-blade combat
COMPEL Poor choice against multiple foes
Disadvantageous in tight quarters where there isn’t enough room for this form to operate
Fatigue or tiredness in the Ataru duellist
FORM DESCRIPTION
Ataru: Falling Leaf Gain a +2 bonus to create aerial manuevers with the Athletics skill in a fight with Ataru form
Ataru: Hawk Bat Gain a +2 bonus on Fighting attacks while invoking an advantage or boost created by the Athletics skill

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FORM V: SHIEN / DJEM SO

“I prefer more straightforward tactics.”
“Master of understatement.”
– Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Way of the Krayt Dragon or the Perseverance Form developed out of Form III, utilizing its precise defensive motions to create a more offensive fighting style. Its basic premise is using one’s natural strength to dominate an opponent. Both Shien and Djem So were also designed to use an opponent’s attack against them.

The first variation, Shien, focuses on deflecting blaster bolts back at targets. This allows a Jedi to defend herself while simultaneously using the enemies’ weapons against them.

The second variation, Djem so, applies the same principle to lightsaber duels. It focuses on blocking an enemy attack, then using that energy to segue into a counterattack.

Notable Practitioners: Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker

INVOKE Specifically designed for lightsaber duelling
Uses Physique to the wielder’s advantage
Designed to use an opponent’s attack against them
COMPEL Can exploit form’s focus on offence
Slow, heavy strikes can be avoided by users of Makashi and Ataru
Soresu experts will block these strikes
Makashi’s emphasis on light footwork can allow the user to dodge
FORM DESCRIPTION
Djem-So: Falling Avalanche When you tie on a Fighting attack in a lightsaber duel, gain a +2 bonus to Fighting
Djem-So: Fluid Riposte If you succeed with style on a Fight defense, you can choose to inflict a 2-shift hit rather than take a boost
Shien-So: Deflect Use Fighting to defend against Blast attacks while wielding a lightsaber
Shien-So: Offensive Deflect (Requires: Shien-So: Deflect) If you succeed with style on a Fight defense against blaster fire, you can choose to inflict a 2-shift hit against an opponent up to 2 zones away in rather than take a boost

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FORM VI: NIMAN

“For superior balance, use the Niman form. This form has no specific strengths, but no weaknesses either.” – Kavar

The Way of the Rancor or Diplomat’s Form is a balanced synthesis of elements from the five previous forms. It is especially popular among Jedi who do not focus on combat training, as it is easy to master and execute — for this reason, however, Jedi who have mastered other forms may view it as inferior.

The basis of Form VI is combining lightsaber combat with other Force techniques. For example, a Jedi may use telekinesis to push away enemies, allowing her to better manage a group of fighters by facing them one at a time. Form VI is the primary fighting style of Jedi who dual-wield lightsabers.

Niman is also the combat style associated with the use of twin blades, also known as Jar’Kai.

Notable Practitioners: Darth Maul, General Grievous

INVOKE Practiced integration of Force powers during combat (Force pulls, pushes)
COMPEL
FORM DESCRIPTION
Jar’Kai: Rising Whirlwind When wielding twin lightsabers, you may make a Fight attack against every opponent in your zone, dividing your roll between them as you see fit
Jar’Kai: Twin Strike When you succeed on an attack with two lightsabers, inflict +1 physical stress

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FORM VII: JUYO / VAAPAD

Form VII, also called “The Way of the Vornskr,” is the most difficult of the traditional lightsaber forms, both physically and emotionally. Rather than ridding themselves of emotions, practitioners of Form VII channel them into the fight, attacking with chaotic, furious, and unpredictable moves to catch their opponents off guard.

During the time before the Clone Wars, Mace Windu developed Vaapad — a variation on the traditional Form VII fighting style, Juyo. Its premise was turning the Jedi into a conduit, channeling an opponent’s negative emotions back at him.

Only a few Jedi were allowed to learn Form VII, as it was thought to bring its practitioners dangerously close to the dark side.

Notable Practitioners: Mace Windu, Darth Maul

INVOKE
COMPEL
FORM DESCRIPTION
Form VII – Juyo Gain a +2 bonus on Fighting attacks while invoking an advantage or boost created by the Fighting skill
Form VII – Vaapad (Requires Form VI: Juyo) Gain a +2 bonus on Fighting attacks while invoking a consequence you placed on an opponent

Credit: Much of this was gleaned and cherry-picked off the excellent Wookiepedia resource. Also, check out the original Lightsaber Combat article by Amelia Hill

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